Did I want to get up for school? Really? The answer was no. It was helpful that Darren was at university otherwise the answer would have been definitely no. I got up and stretched, wondering how I could be fed up of school when I'd been depressed at the prospect of not going to university last summer. Ah, how things changed.
I'd got into the routine of checking my texts every morning. I flipped open the screen of my new mobile, bought for me on my 18th birthday. I still looked 17, of course, but I felt a bit older. I wondered how old Darren felt. He was what, 107? I felt suddenly sad. I was going to live until I was 2017 and although he was living until he was 2021, it still meant that I would have to live about a century without him as he'd lived for a century before I'd come into the picture. Wait. Why was I thinking about the fifth millennium? We were only a decade into the third (A.D.). I chided myself and instead, focused on the new text message before me on the screen of my phone.
‘Hey Tay. Missing you a lot but hope to see you soon (can't wait till Easter). Uni's going well. How's school? Love you. Darren xxx'
I smiled as I recalled the last time Darren had come back to the apartment. He'd thrown his arms around me and then done the queerest thing. He'd started to drink my blood. He obviously was doing it as a symbol of his love for me so I started to drink his too. As the other's blood coursed through our veins, we'd felt a bond form between us, a bond that couldn't be shaken or broken, that brought us together in perfect unity until we were one rather than two. It was hard to deny Darren was a part of me more physical than a memory in my mind, a mental photograph in my heart, and I was euphoric to be a part of him. We saved the blood exchanges for special occasions when part of you to keep inside the other was the perfect present. It made me feel like we'd never really be apart, as if I'd thought we ever could be separated.
I sighed as I washed and dressed for school.
The day was extremely boring. I had three hour-long study periods and a period of Maths and English Literature. Thankfully, no homework was set. I don't think I'd have been able to bear a monotonous evening as well. I barely registered it was half term as I walked back to the apartment.
I opened the door and stepped inside. I paused as I caught a familiar but impossible smell. Was my nose deceiving me?
"Darren?" I asked the air.
There was a blur of motion from the direction of the living room. I was suddenly in Darren's arms.
"Oh, Darren, you are here. How won-"
But he didn't let me speak as he started kissing me. I dropped everything I was carrying to wrap my arms around him.
He broke away, smiling widely.
I grinned back, knowing I was the luckiest vampire in existence.
"I wanted to ask you something," he said.
"Go ahead, darling."
"I was thinking ... about the future, ... about us - maybe moreso you than me [here his smile widened even more] - and I wanted to prove, beyond doubt, that I adore you and love you and admire you [I grinned at his repetition of the same message], so I decided to buy you something. I'll give you a clue. It's something you accept ... or reject, but I don't think you'll want to do that, ... and the formal name of the offering of the object begins with the letter p."
"Darren, I'm no good at riddles."
"I'll say it straight then. Close your eyes."
I heard the creak of the floor beneath him and wondered what he could be doing.
"Now open them," he said quietly, lovingly, his voice caressing my ears and my heart and well, me basically.
I opened them and gasped, taking in unnecessary air. For Darren had gotten down on one knee and was holding out an open black jewellery box which contained a very shiny, very expensive-looking diamond ring.
"Taylor Kensington," he said, beaming and almost radiating elation and tender, sweet affection, "will you marry me?"
Tears sprang to my eyes. "Of course! Oh, Darren, wow! Yes! Yes, yes, yes! How could I say no to the other half of my heart?"
Darren stood up (looking quite choked himself) and put the ring on my finger with trembling, careful fingers.
"Thank you," he murmured in my ear, before biting his wrist. I bit my own and we placed the bleeding wrists in each other's mouth and began to drink, gently and adoringly as we savoured the other's succulent, sweet liquid, strengthening that bond between us, celebrating the fact we were going to tie the knot and most importantly, conveying our wondrous love for each other in a way that no human ever could. We communicated more love through our thoughts of course, but the exchange was the main symbol of love. We became more of each other's and felt the glorious sensation of truly belonging with someone and the sense of completeness that came with it.
There was one thing I was curious about before I let the moment sweep my away.
‘Why did you say you weren't going to come here until Easter?' I asked my new fiancé.
‘I wanted to surprise you.'
So there we were, fiancé and fiancée, Darren and Taylor, standing in the hallway of our home (where of course our shared heart resided: home is where the heart is), exchanging blood and delighting in each other's company and basking in each other's love. Life, or existence I should say but being so good it was just like life, couldn't have been better, couldn't be topped yet was as insignificant as the fact our hearts weren't beating and our skin was cold and pale as nothing mattered outside the moment. Taylor and Darren, TaylorandDarren, love and unity was all that flowed through our minds dancing to the beautiful tune our hearts were singing.