I know I’m posting a bit late for the Daily Post for the 26th – Daily Prompt: Your Days Are Numbered, but I didn’t like the more recent topics 🙂
I worked on this for 26 hours. I know my short story is a little long, but I hope someone reads it through and enjoys it.
Twenty six days ago it was my 26th birthday. I never imagined in all my 26 years that anything like this could happen, I mean, who would?
It was the 26th day of January, and it was 26 degrees outside. I left for work one minute later than I normally did, at 6:26, and as a result was late… by five minutes. What the hell? The day was otherwise uneventful though, as was my drive home up I-26. I showered and readied myself for my date with Travis. It would be our first date, and I’d splurged on a new lipstick, “Ravishing Ruby, #126”… It was $26… He’d better be worth it.
Generally, I hate first dates, but this one managed to far exceed my exceptions. We talked for hours over glasses of wine and the most delicious small plate meals. He was 26 as well, his birthday in 26 days, but seemed far older than those short years. It was a welcomed change from the losers I’d recently met and begrudgingly gone out with. And he was gorgeous too. I caught myself having to look away more than once during the night after realizing I’d been staring into his deep blue eyes.
At 12:26 the restaurant was well past their usual closing and the staff was doing their best not to shoot us too many dirty looks. We settled up and took a cab 26 blocks to an all-night Jazz spot. The band was Karma and the sounds they produced that night melded together like hand spun silk. We continued to drink wine and talk about everything, I felt like I’d known him for lifetime; I’d never felt this comfortable with anyone so quickly.
As the night grew shorter and the morning grew longer he began to get antsy. More than once I’d caught him looking at his watch. I began to grow fearful that maybe Mr. Wonderful had someone waiting for him somewhere that he’d “forgotten” to mention. He excused himself for a moment and while he was gone, his phone went off. Great, I figured, here’s the “Where are you?” call. But, it wasn’t. It was his alarm – 6:26am Sunrise in 1 hour. Well, that’s random.
The alarm was still vibrating Travis’ phone across the table when he returned. He quickly shut it off and put the phone away then nervously ran his fingers through his mussed dirty blond hair. “Uhh, I think they’re trying to close up for the day.” He said. “I don’t suppose I could talk you into breakfast… At my place?” Under optimal conditions, i.e. me not being more than a bit drunk, and not being pissed off at thinking he had to get home to someone else, I would have politely declined since I’m not “that kind of girl”. But, in my current frame of mind, what came out of my mouth with a smile tacked onto the end was, “yes, I think I could be talked into it.” Surely, he had me on the fast track to becoming the other woman, I had to see his place to find out for sure; and, wouldn’t it be fun to tease him for a while before I left him high and dry if that truly was the case.
He hailed a cab and we made our way through the city to his building, and his large open apartment on the 26th floor. I opted for water instead of wine when offered so that maybe I could get my faculties about me before the confrontation that was sure to take place. I was doing my best Sherlock Holmes as I checked out his large living room. There were a few old tintype photographs, and a couple of very old black and white family photos that had yellowed with age, but nothing that would indicate a woman in his life right now. The furnishings also gave no indication of there being a female influence in the apartment; a couple of large leather couches, an antique secretary, a beautiful Persian rug, a mahogany book case with all 26 volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannia from 1926, but no throw pillows or blankets, no knick knacks or vases; nothing really that would indicate a woman’s touch.
The sky was just beginning to lighten as I peered behind the heavy curtain hoping for an unobstructed glimpse of the sunrise. Travis cursed and something crashed on the floor in the kitchen. I dropped the curtain and it obediently fell back into place as I went to go see what had happened.
“I just burned myself, its ok.”
“Let me see,” I took his hand and turned his arm so that I could better see it. The skin from just below his elbow where he’d rolled his sleeves up to his hands was bright red. “Holy shit, let’s get some cold water on that.”
I led him to the sink, turned the cold water on, and turned toward him to guide his scalded arm to the cold water. Instead of letting me take care of him, he put his hands on my face and pulled me closer to him. I should pull away. I don’t kiss on the first date… but can it really be considered a first date still if we are going on 13 hours now? Oh that glorious pause, our eyes were locked and all I could think was this is my future. He finished the move and brought his mouth down on mine hard and soft all at the same time. One of us, or maybe both of us, I can’t be sure, let out a guttural moan. He pulled back and looked at me with heavy lidded eyes and then came back to meet me again. Soft imploring kisses gave way to more greedy deep kisses before he tilted my head ever so slightly and brushed his lips against my neck.
Oh sweet God in Heaven, just keep going! And, he did. One, two, three kisses. My breath catching, his deepening and quickening. More and more and – he bit me! He really fucking bit me! I tried to move; to push away, kick or punch, scream, anything to get away from him, but I couldn’t. I was paralyzed. Not by fear, I was pissed, I just could . not . move. The anger welled inside of me, but was soon replaced… by lust? He sucked, gently, powerfully at my neck where he’d just bitten me. Thank God I couldn’t move because I’m not sure what I would have done at that moment, but I’m sure it would have involved ripping off all of my clothes and forcing myself on him. What the fuck is wrong with me! For 26 minutes, he kept going, slow and steady, pacing himself it seemed. I could hear his breathing grow deeper in my ear. I was aware of time passing, of my body getting lighter, my vision fading. Sick bastard. I was sure I was close to death. I could hear my heart pounding in my head, I could hear it slowing to a pace that was certainly not compatible with life.
He was holding my body in place, fully pressed against his, when he finally pulled away; I stared deep in to those gorgeous eyes once again. My blood was on his mouth, dripping down his chin, and onto his chest, ruining the same shirt I had complimented only hours before. I stayed locked on his eyes and was finally able to croak out “you’re a monster.” He grimaced and quickly turned his head away. My vision faded again as I felt my limp body rise up and briefly, in my delirium, thought I was dying and going to heaven. Strange, I thought, I never really believed in heaven.
Twenty six hours later a regained consciousness. The room was dimly lit by a hurricane lamp in the corner, and I was in a big, warm, soft antique four post bed. I smelled lavender. From the sheets, the sheets smelled of lavender. I smelled roses as well, there were the palest of pink roses on the bedside table. I’d never seen roses quite that pale before, it made me question my vision again.
The door knob was engaged and I made an attempt to try to rise up and out of the bed that I was in, but to no avail. My heart pounded heavy in my head again, still frighteningly slow. My vision again abandoned me and I fell soft against the overstuffed pillows. He entered the room, but stayed close to the door, not making eye contact.
“Why?” It wasn’t why are you sorry? It was why did you do it?
“I’m so sorry… I…”
“What are you going to do to me?”
He took another step into the room, cleared his throat, and turned his body towards me, but still did not make eye contact. He cleared his throat again. “That choice is yours.” He put his hands in his pockets. “I didn’t intend for this to happen the way that it did; I wanted it to be your choice when and if the time came.”
“The time came?! The time for what? For you to rip my throat out?” Damn, why was I still attracted to him?
“No.” He stepped back towards the door. Slowly, he lifted his chin and looked at me. “I wanted to give you the option of immortality.”
“Oh my God! Immortality? You really are sick in the head.” Getting upset was soo not helping my pounding head. “I suppose you are going to tell me you’re a vampire.”
“Oh holy fucking Hell, I can’t take this! Just do what you will with me, or let me go!”
“I’m not holding you here, but of you leave now, you will surely not survive.”
“Then get me to a hospital.”
“It won’t help. When I bit you… my bite… I have a poison, it enters your blood during the bite. Your body is changing, your heart slows, your blood thickens, many of your normal bodily functions are already irreparably changed.”
“I don’t believe you.” I said in a whisper. And, before I could even blink, he was on me, in the bed with me, laying against me, he caressed my face, and then he bared his fangs. Ho-ly Shit! I opened my mouth expecting to hear a scream, but no sound escaped. The pounding of my heartbeat in my head amplified, but did not speed up. He closed his eyes and his head dipped as he inhaled deeply; I could swear I heard a growl rise up from his chest. I reached up and touched his face and realized for the first time that he did seem cool to the touch, he opened his eyes and lifted his chin. I ran my thumb over his mouth and his lips parted slightly. I traced his lower lip with my forefinger and pushed down on his full lower lip, then lifted my finger to push up on his upper lip. No fangs. “Show me again.”
I heard the low deep rumble from his chest again and his breath became ragged and he repositioned his hips farther away from me. Was he getting turned on? I kept my eyes locked on his mouth and watched as the deadly looking teeth lowered from his upper jaw. His eyes were locked onto me. I took my finger, still on his lip and touched my fingernail to one of the newly extended fangs and scrapped, then tapped, then did the same for the teeth to either side of the fangs. They all felt the same. The lusty look he’d had had now been replaced by a look of amusement, the corners of his mouth turning up in a smile. I caught his eyes briefly before continuing to finger his mouth. I grabbed one like a child with a loose tooth and tried to wiggle it, but it was firmly attached. I got a chuckle from him with that move. I couldn’t help myself and touched my fingertip to the tip of one of the fangs. “Ouch!” Well that was stupid… He locked his eyes onto the expanding drop of blood forming on my fingertip. “So. What are my options?”
He shook his head as if trying to break the spell the blood had on him and spoke in a gravelly voice. “I’m sorry. What?”
“You said the choice from here was mine, I have to assume that means I have options.”
“Yes.” He smiled. “Yes, of course you have options.” I offered the blood forming on my finger to him, and he greedily took it. There was that erotic sound coming from his chest again; maybe it wasn’t a growl after all, but a purr? I vowed at that moment that I’d do everything I could to cause him to make that sound as often as I could.
In a quick movement, he managed to change our positions on the bed so that he was on his back and I was pulled in close to him. He stroked my hair and my face while he laid out my options. There were four of them. 1) He could bring my life to an end right here and now, and no other decisions would need to be made. 2) We could do nothing and I would die within the next week or so. 3) There was an antidote; he’d already ordered it from overseas, it was scheduled to be delivered on the 26th. He could nurse me along until it arrived, and although it would not completely return me to how I was before the bite, I could function and return to a relatively normal life. 4) He could complete the process and turn me into what he was. Options 1 & 2 weren’t really options, but I wasn’t ready to choose between 3 & 4 either. Besides, I really did enjoy our time together, so it seemed like a good plan to let him take care of me until a decision was made. And, take care of me he did. He catered to my every whim, serviced my every need. He shared drops of his blood with me to give me glimpses into his world, and what it would be like if I chose the change. It was the most incredible 26 days of my life. And, maybe the longest first date in history.
On the 26th day, I give him my answer. It was his 26th birthday, again, I gave him the gift of joining him in eternal youth. Who wouldn’t want to be 26 for the rest of eternity?
That was 26 years ago tonight. Tonight, he has asked me, as he has on each anniversary of my change, if I would be his wife. I think after 26 years I’m ready to tell him yes…