Saturday, 1 August 2009

The Curse

He wished and ached for her so badly; knowing they’d never last if she found out who and what he was. Besides, their age gap was something she’d probably freak out about. He had been sired in the sixties – the eighteen-sixties that is. James had an absolute weakness for redheads; and this one didn’t have to dye her hair. She was born with fiery lochs that spilt down her back, caressed her shoulders and framed the most perfect heart-shaped face. He could tell she was a natural-born redhead. Her fair skin, ever-changing eye colour and how she never wished to get a tan gave it away. James was always mesmerised by the way her hair moved when she walked. There were no regrowth of another colour to contend with and no trips to the hairdressers – well unless she needed a trim to neaten up the mane she had.He hadn’t taken too many risks in his life and had married once; to a redhead of course. Through time, he had not come across another like his first wife. He hadn’t loved another like her either; not until he saw Amy. However, with a name like that, one would think she was popular.
Not this college student. Amy was the typical wallflower who rushed between her classes, did her work, turned in each essay on time and never attended a party. Not that she wasn’t interested; she just didn’t have the confidence to go alone.
James watched her though. He was always there during the nights Amy studied for her exams, talked on the phone while sitting on the sill of her dorm window. He’d climb up the oak outside and watch from the shadows of the branches loving the way she brushed her hair, the way she fiddled with the corner of a page while reading; and the way she slept. For that, he’d get a lot closer and sit on the sill for most of the night. He found out a lot about her; finding out where she went at night. Sometimes, she’d see him by accident; and at around six foot and having dark features, he didn’t really blend into the background all that easily. He’d follow her to her parent’s house, then make sure she arrived back to her dorm safely later that night. Yes, James loved Amy; but she really didn’t know he existed. She had seen him once or twice. He’d disappear so quickly into the shadows Amy wasn’t sure who – if anyone – was there. So she didn’t tell anybody about the strange shadows in the oak outside her window and the feeling of being watched as she slept. Besides, if there was somebody, he’d show up eventually; that was her theory and she was sticking to it.
One night, he climbed into her room when he thought he was being watched from outside; besides he had to return a book he had borrowed. Once his feet touched the floor gently, he looked around the dim room. He found her laptop closed on the desk, inspected her huge collection of books that crowded a tall pine bookcase on the other side of the room after putting the book back where he had found it, then he ran his fingertips over her possessions of a cordless phone, i-pod, the book she was into now, her favourite bag and the long leather jacket she kept for the cold wet days of winter. He loved that one on her. A murmur from the bed caused him to turn quickly and see her roll on her side. Her eyes were open. He didn’t know whether to stay or run; and he opted for the latter but her voice stopped him at the window.
“What are you doing here?” she asked softly.
He turned and looked at her unsure if what he was going to say would be believed: “Watching you sleep.” He couldn’t pull himself away from the foot of her bed or her green eyes, “You’re not freaked out I’m here?”
Sitting up, Amy shook her head, “I’ve seen you around. I wasn’t sure you were real or not, so I didn’t tell anyone about you.”
In the darkness, he felt the changes he normally would feel around mortals start in his gut. He willed them to stop. “You’re so beautiful Amy.”
“You know my name?” she took a deep breath and glanced at the door wondering if she’d make it there before he grabbed her; and doubted it. She knew what he was and knew he had inhuman speed and strength; but not his name. “If you know my name, what’s yours?”
“James.” He sat on the end of the bed slowly, “I know everything about you; and some things people around here don’t.” she turned and switched on her reading lamp. When she turned back, he had moved up the bed a little and yet she hadn’t heard him. James could see her exposed neck and wanted so badly the youthful blood that coursed through those veins; but only wished to make her a wife.
“Why do you look at me that way?” her voice shook and he could see a light sweat start on her skin.
“Because I like you, Amy.” He said as he reached out to gently touch her cheek, her messy curls but she moved back against the bedhead quickly. “You’re a believer too.”
“In what?” she asked as frown marked her pale forehead, her eyes locking with his.
“What I am.”
“And that would be?” she felt a little uneasy, wondering where this was going to end up.
“A lover.” He could feel her move a little as he kept control of himself and the whole situation. He couldn’t change too soon, she’d freak out and he’d end up killing her and he didn’t want that. “I’m a special kind of lover.”
“What kind?”
“Myth.” There was something about James that made him irresistible. He had an animal magnetism about him that made her want to rip his clothes off and…
“Let me love you in my special way and you’ll see everything my way, Amy.” James took her hand and kissed the palm gently as he watched her reaction. She was under his spell, and she was beginning to relax, “I could never hurt you, why would I? You’re just too special to me.” He reached out and touched her cheek and observed as her head turned with his caress. James moved forward as she reached out and touched his pale face. He nearly attacked her, but stopped himself before animal instinct took over. He could almost taste her youthful blood as her hair brushed his cheek, his neck. He felt the changes of the demon and knew if he didn’t strike now, he’d lose his nerve. Her arms held him close as his teeth sunk into the tender flesh of her neck; and he felt her reaction. Blood spurted warmly into his mouth and he closed his eyes as he began to suckle like a baby. He hadn’t come across such a rare blood type before. He had heard these ones tasted so much better; and the rumours were right. Her fists beat hard upon his back as he drank her wine. He knew Amy would be a fighter, but didn’t realise how strong she’d be; he was going to have bruises on him tomorrow. James heard her heartbeat slow and Amy weakened, but didn’t pass out.
He sat back and the redhead regarded him groggily. He sliced his arm with one of his nails and held her mouth to it. She was a reluctant drinker as they all are at first; then she lapped at it hungrily. He watched her drink as he stroked her hair: “Don’t drink all of it, leave some for me, my love.”
She soon laid down and pulled the covers up as he closed the curtains against the false dawn outside. He found some clothes pegs and secured them at the join where sunlight could get in when the breeze blew. After locking the door, he joined her on the bed where she snuggled with him. He pulled the covers over himself as well and looked at her, “How are you, lover?”
“Better now you’re here.” She smiled.