One Last Kiss
It was unusually warm for this time of year. The moon was full, and a low, ethereal howl could be heard in the distance. Courtney had awakened unusually early, and seemed to be in a particularly foul mood that evening.
"Harry, I'm going out. There's got to be something happening somewhere."
Harrison chose not to provoke her into one of her seemingly endless arguments, and only commented, "Don't be out late. The wolves are on the loose tonight," as she disappeared out the door. Already used to his Childe's escapades, Harrison decided he wouldn't chase after her anymore. A typical Toreador she turned out to be, going places and doing things that, as a mortal, would have made her blush. "Let her be; she can fend for herself," he thought out loud. "Now, if I could only find the paper..."
He helped himself to a tall glass of that special blend of A and O positive that Courtney always kept in her fridge. Then, as he was walking out of her room, he finally spotted the paper. It was on Courtney's dresser, opened to the Socials page, to an announcement of a wedding... of one Anthony Peterson.
"Oh, no... Courtney."
* * *
The hall resonated to Chopin - sickening to him, but what the hell, it was Arlene's choice and, at least for the reception, she'd have her way. As Anthony chcked himself in the mirror one last time, he whirled around to ascertain that his eyes were not deceiving him. Standing by the door - which he was sure he had locked from the inside himself - was Courtney Bain.
"Jesus Christ! Courtney?! I must be dreaming!"
"If this is a dream, then I refuse to wake us up," she said as her frown melted into a smile. His eyes had always brought a smile to her face.
"How are you? Where have you been all these years? Hey, wait a minute, how did you--"
"I just walked in, love, didn't you hear me? I couldn't miss this for the world. You look as handsome as ever."
He was about to say something, but he paused, as the realization set in. "Courtney, listen..."
"Please, love, don't. Even though I've been away for a few years, you know you have my blessing. Besides, I can't stay. I'm only here to ask a favor."
"Kiss me goodbye."
She walked up to him. "Will, if you don't, then I will." Before he could react, she kissed him. She kissed him deeply, lovingly, passionately. Forgetting for a moment the time and the circumstances that stood between them, he held her tighter, closer to him. As he used to do before, he grabbed her buttocks... as usual, she moved his hands to her chest... as usual, he started playing with her nipples. She ran her hands down his back... that was *his* spot. In response, his breathing quickened and he held her even tighter, as if he wanted to fuse them both into one. She noticed that he could awaken the bloodlust in her just as easily as the mortal passion of years before. She had to back away before her fangs started to show. She stroked his face gently.
"You always made me feel as giddy as a schoolgirl in love. My heart skipped a beat when the phone rang, my pulse raced when you stood close to me, and as soon as you touched me, every cell in my body - indeed, every fiber in my being - cried out your name. I never stopped loving you, even when I realized you didn't feel the same way about me."
No reply. Only his eyes spoke without words that same worn-out excuse... I didn't want to hurt you.
"My only regret is that what goes around comes around, and someday you'll have to suffer what I did. But be certain, my dearest, that is NOT my wish for you." She kissed his hands, and caressed his cheeks as affectionately as always; as if time had stopped... as if the past five years had never gone by. "Well, unfortunately I've taken up too much of your time already. Your guests are waiting; I should be going. But I left you my present." She walked toward the door. "Oh, by the way, the cake is absolutely exquisite." And, before he could blink, she was gone.
Anthony stared dumbfounded at the door for a few moments before regaining his composure, checking himself in the mirror one last time, then finally leaving the room toward the reception hall. He was halfway down the stairs when the first screams alerted everyone present to one of the maids running out of the kitchen, terrified out of her mind, screaming at the top of her lungs. Everyone that walked in, in turn, walked out either gagging or screaming. They wouldn't let Anthony through, but he effortlessly pushed his way in.
Lying on the kitchen floor was his new bride, immaculate, her wedding dress still on, her wrists slashed but not one stain on her, her blood splattered all over the kitchen walls, oozing slowly to the floor. One phrase was scrawled in blood, dozens of times, all over the place:
YOUR ETERNAL VALENTINE
* * *
Back at the haven, Courtney walked in to her Sire's accusatory gaze.
"What did you do?" he asked sternly.
In reply, soft laughter joined the ethereal howls in the full moon night.
design ©2001 by Cindy Rosenthal
One Last Kiss ©2001 by Stygia
What is copyright?