19 Chapter 19

He was feverish and anxious, wanting nothing more than to bury himself in her and forget, for a while, that there was anguish out there that could bring a man to despair. Dimitri watched Blanca eat with gusto, yet his mind was preoccupied with what happened five years ago. How did he forget her that easily? He was supposed to remember marking her as his, but he didn't.

Dimitri was heaving with effort as he managed, eventually, to stabilise himself over her. "I need to train you, Blanca" he mumbled, his voice as raw and naked as his soul, sipping his wine at the same time, "You need to know how to fight, and defend yourself, especially now that the witches know about you," but Dimitri understood at that moment that he completely couldn't be of any use to her at all. He wondered if surely he was being of any use to himself in those moments, five years ago as he exploded deep inside her, losing all sense of self, all sense of who and what he was, or of belonging to anyone or anything. He was scattered and wandering, and he took satisfaction in the brief thoughtlessness. Being with her was his everything. But after the shattering delight ebbed, he was again incredibly alone, not that losing his memory of that remarkable moment was any better. And once again, he remembered that there was evil out there in the night, looking for her, targeting her.

However, he thought about how he had slowly moved away from her. It was long ago—five years and two weeks to be exact—but to him, it felt like yesterday. The feeling came back into unbearable obsession, seeing the shadows the fire cast on the walls opposite her bed, following them to the deeper traces that filled the corners of the bedroom, bathing everything in a grey void. No, the void was inside him, and he was the one who yet lived.

He managed to mark her, and back then she was nothing but innocent, pure, and too young, but Blanca didn't protest. That night, as he took her purity, he turned to her. She was lying on her back, her legs still spread, one graceful hand lying fisted on her white mattress. That night, she became his. He didn't even tell her his real name, but it didn't matter to her if he treated her like a seam of comfort, because it did matter. She'd never known him. She'd heard about him in the university's rumour mill but never saw him. It was not a very long time to know a man as complex and proud and ferociously sexual as Dimitri Norton, but enough for a woman like Blanca, who was as aggressive in her own way as he was, and well used to contentment, "Why do I have the feeling that I've known you for so long? You might as well tell me who you are."

Dimitri remembered now how Blanca managed to tell him about her life that night, and he just listened, and then he told her about himself, his life since the 17th century. She accepted Dimitri with no more than a kiss on the cheeks, she didn't fear him. Blanca accepted him with all her heart. She didn't even ask questions.

They made love so many times that night that it felt like they knew each other. Dimitri savoured the memory.

He remembered how he lightly kissed her knuckles, then laid her hand back onto his face. He smoothed her fingers, splaying them on her white flesh. "You're beautiful," he meant, his voice as absent as his mind was from her.

"Yes, I know, but that doesn't matter. You're beautiful as well. Now, what's wrong, Dimitri?" Her eighteen-year-old self asked, her big beautiful raven eyes seeking his nakedness. "Tell me?"

He rose slowly, still naked, and walked to her small apartment living room, in front of the fire that was no longer raging but soft and glowing, and stretched himself. His large body was bathed in golden light. He remembered reading her mind as she admired him, as well as his body—both were quick and graceful and powerful.

"You're exhausted, Dimitri. Let's take a rest," she muttered, breaking into his silence.

"Yes, I am awfully weary, but I don't want to miss this moment, because I fear that there is a possibility that I may forget you."


"Because I was bitten by a feral werewolf, their blood is kind of lethal, and it would make me forget you. What if tomorrow I woke up and couldn't remember you?"

"But I will remember you, Dimitri." Her sweet, gentle voice echoed in his mind, into his heart and to the death of his soul.

But Dimitri was more than that. He was also a fool. He had hoped that being with her would somehow renew him, make him savour life and its living once more, but it hadn't. He felt even weaker than he had an hour before. "Yes," he added after a quick kiss on her lips. "I' m so tired. I'm sorry," he mumbled yet again.

Blanca rose and walked to him, pressing herself against his side. "How can I help you?" That made him smile. Things would be much simpler if she was responsible for the pain that had burrowed so deeply in him that he doubted it would ever retreat. "The feral toxicity is running into my veins now, and I believe my spirit is losing its will. My sense of sanity is slowly fading."

"Dimitri, I know you said you are a vampire. The last one left, but I don't care. Your spirit is yours. They are very different from your insanity. Your spirit nurtures your belief in yourself. If your mind rejects the toxic, it's your own worth that is wounded, not your spirit. But a human's spirit is a desert to be filled with more powerful attention. Mine is easily wounded, but you are not human anymore. For someone like you, who doesn't excel in giving full attention, it isn't your way. So both your kind and mine suffer from pain; only my pain is very different from yours."

"How did you know this, little one?"

"I don't know, but I just know. But to debate that would be an impossible task. No, this has nothing to do with the feral's bite. This is about you and your broken spirit."

He nodded, realising that she was telling him the truth. Somehow this human knew something he didn't. She was not ordinary. She had an ancient heart.

"Who are you, Blanca?" He paused, then looked down into that quite lovely face.

"I am nothing but ordinary. Just the girl next door." She said that before her hand was on his arm. There was nothing sensual about it, but still, his body reacted. She saw the renewed heat in him, the force and energy of his turning to her, and she quickly backed away. "Before you jump and bite me again, tell me, Dimitri… How can I help you?-"

He interfered, "A human shouldn't haunt a vampire. You are pure and innocent. You are supposed to be shocked, not all-knowing and understanding. Oh, hell, it's all about me being the creature of the dark Blanca, the needless murder of someone there in the dark alley. Those were feral, rogues, and they were willing to kill anyone on their way. I can't let them get back to you again."

"Did you kill them all?" She said it so matter-of-factly that he started.

"Yes, but one escaped." He rammed his long fingers through her dark raven hair, sending it to stand on end. "They were killers, ferals. I'd dispatch them to hell where they belong, but it's what's behind him that drives me to fury and despair. I begin to wonder if you are safe here." He turned back to the fire, his head down, and she knew he wouldn't say anything more. He was in discomfort. She would help him, but this was one time when she would have quite willingly taken him into her arms for absolutely nothing at all.

"I'm sorry," she whispered, and pressed herself against him. He was hard against her abdomen. She kissed his shoulder and laid her face against his chest. "Come, let me help you forget, at least for a little while."

He didn't take her back to her bed. He lifted her, driving deeply upward into her. He wondered if he was hurting her, but then he touched her and she made that soft sound deep in her throat, and he knew she was close to her climax. He didn't let her down this time, but when he left her in the morning, dizzy, and with no memory of her, she knew that he still felt as cold as stone. She too succumbed to the feral toxic bite and the next morning, she remembered nothing but sweet, pleasant, and gentle discomfort between her legs.

It was Blanca's fake cough that made Dimitri come back to the present as he stared at her lips.

"Dimitri, are you OK?"

"Yes, why?"

She sipped her wine and finished it in one gulp. "Well, you... you just stared at me for like five minutes and this is quite awkward, you know," she sipped her wine. "You alright?" She asked and blushed at the same time. She just wished she hadn't read his mind. She couldn't look into her eyes without seeing those memories of his beautiful, amazing naked body in her living room apartment five years ago and not be able to remember how they made love until they were both too exhausted to the bone.

"I'm perfectly well, Miss Vergil. Should we call it a night? I'm exhausted." Dimitri said, and he vanished from thin air.

"How rude." She grumbled under her breath.

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