She had paced the floor of her small, crowded apartment. Back and forth, back and forth. Over and over. She could have picked up her phone, called him, but what would she say? Email was impersonal. Not entirely impersonal, she guessed. But she didn't have to hear his voice when he said that she was crazy. She wasn't positive that she wasn't losing her mind.
She sat down on her bed, choosing her macbook, because her bed was safe. And she wanted to be safe for this. She knew his personal email address, had it saved. Why was it saved? She started to write, once, twice, then a third time. Erasing everything that she had written. She stood up and paced some more and then sat back down and decided simple was probably better.
You've been in my thoughts lately and I miss you. I hope that you are doing well. Things are going well here, I suppose. My career isn't as glamorous as I thought it would be, and well. I had a lot of experience being alone, before college but... I guess that until you know what loneliness actually is, it's hard to miss what you never had.
There are so many things that I want to say. Like I'm sorry. I should never have left you. I know we fought, at least I think we did. My memory is so fuzzy about you.
I know I love you. And I'm sorry it took me six months to realize this. Nachton isn't that far from DC and maybe, if you want me to, I could visit?
He turned his head, and noticed a new email arrived on his PC. Probably just another ad, offering World of Warcraft gold specials, free penis-enlargement, or an email from a Nigerian informing him that millions of dollars were being held for Mr. Scott Kinney.
He smirked. Might as well move it to the recycle bin. He clicked on his mail icon, looked at the sender's name, and blinked.
His heart nearly lept into his throat at seeing the name. A tumult of emotions washed over him... sadness... resentment... lust... loneliness.... love.
Hand shaking, he clicked open the mail and read it.
Then, he read it again.
He sat back in his chair, so many thoughts running through his mind.
Despite his attempts, she had apparently remembered more about their... relationship, than he had intended. He tried to give her a fresh start. His feelings so deep for her that, despite the hurt he caused himself, he had let her go... and tried to convince her with his powers that their separation was his fault. She could blame him. She could... move on.
But reading the email, he could sense the emotion behind it. Memories came flooding back to him, ones that salted still-recent wounds,
He raised his hands and rubbed his eyes roughly for a moment.
What should he do?
Add her name to his kill-file?
He sat deep in thought, pondering. He had admitted long ago that he had missed her, and every other night, he had regretted letting her out of his grasp.
Now - here she was again - before him, as if served on a platter. Part of his body tingled at some of their more enjoyable memories.
Then he saw it - Nachton. His heart sank, his slight smile fading. The mere name of the place made him nervous. But... to see Miya again...
He thought, and thought, and then thought some more.
He looked back at the clock. An hour had passed. He bit his lip, suddenly feeling hungry, as he typed the only response the he could think of.
I'd like to come visit you.
Now. Today. Soon. As soon as you want.
Please tell me you'll allow it. I won't be a pest, I promise. I'll only stay for as long as you want.
I have missed you more than you know.
He read it over and over again before hitting send, making little corrections and changes here or there, but he knew he was just stalling.
Would she laugh at him? Did he sound TOO.... eager?
He chuckled to himself. No, he was fine. Everything was fine.
Then he proceeded to sit at his desk for the rest of the night.
Finally she lay curled up, naked, in a ball on her bed, sobbing softly, convinced that he did hate her and she would never see him again. Then the 'boing' sound of new mail on her macbook. She cracked open an eye to see that the mail was indeed not junk. It was after midnight, closer to one than midnight. She hit the reply button and typed as quickly as she could, shaking with tension and need a simple answer.
Now. Tonight. Please. I can't take this much longer.
Luckily her macbook was intelligent enough to correct the amount of typos that the short sentence left. Then she remembered that Scott didn't do well in the sun. Something about his skin not reacting to the sun well, some kind of allergy or something. She didn't remember what it was, just that he avoided it. He had such beautiful skin though...
Miya dragged her mind back to the problem at hand as she tried to reckon up the time it would take him to get from DC to Nachton driving, then flying. If he could get a flight it might be best. Then she realized he would need her address hit reply again and then sent it off with her cell number and the note she'd leave her door unlocked.
She had done that in college before she had ... wait... no. She couldn't have. Her mind felt so fragmented in ways. And she needed him. She wished he could be there now, holding her. Instead she hugged herself and waited to see if there was a response.
He bit one of his fingernails, something he sometimes did when nervous. It wasn't that far of a drive to Nachton, he could easily make it before dawn. He'd have to cancel classes for tomorrow - which wouldn't be THAT big a deal... but he had no idea if he'd miss any further time.
Did she want him for a night? Would there be more? Or would she seem him, remember the pain, and push him away?
He looked at the clock on his desk. Time was ticking.
Quickly, he entered her personal information into his smartphone. Where Miya was an Apple-freak, Scott tended to avoid the brand, instead opting for his Samsung Galaxy, preferring the Android market. It made him feel like less of a 'cool person', but Scott always liked to blaze his own trails.
And - it was fun to tease Miya about it - playful teasing, often turning into something much more... his skin tingled again. In a few hours, she could be in his arms again.
He quickly fired-off a few emails to his Department Chair, who was also a tennis-buddy of his. Scott *never* took time off, so he knew Frank would be ok with it. He also submitted mass-emails to his students to inform them of the cancelled classes for the next night - he was sure they'd be thrilled for the evening off. But, his 'good news' also included their next assignment - a hefty-chunk of Shakespeare to read and prepare for discussion for next class. He chuckled as he imagined the various curses his students would be throwing at their monitors upon reading *that*.
Then, he moved to the closet in his office, opened it, and sifted through some clothes. Jeans, a Rush t-shirt, a Symphony-X t-shirt, a couple plain olive t-shirts, socks, briefs. He sniffed each one, making sure they weren't ones he had worn to tennis or racquetball. Approving of their odors, he quickly stuck a bunch of those spare garments in his dufflebag, along with a few toiletries, and headed for the door as he zipped up the bag.
He lept into his glossy-black Mustang and fired-up the beast, peeling tires a bit as he left the faculty parking lot, the big V-8 roaring to life like a wild animal unleashed from captivity. He guided the vehicle towards the I-95 exit, northbound, and was thankful that traffic was light at this time of night, especially for a weeknight.
He then committed the first of two mortal sins - he input Miya's address into the GPS, one hand on the wheel, the other inputting the data. Then, he committed the second mortal sin - he texted a message to her, simple and short.
Yes, he knew he would burn in hell for texting AND screwing with the GPS while doing 80 mph in a 65 mph zone - but he didn't care. His senses were heightened, his excitement almost palpable. He realized with vivid clarity that he had missed her far more than he thought.
And - he regretted hitting 'send' on his text message as quickly as he did. He cursed himself: he wasn't normally that... aggressive. But he was afraid to call her, afraid that hearing his voice, she might change her mind. In text, at least, she seemed interested enough to see him, brave enough. Willing.
87 mph. His Cobra radar detector was silent, as his Mustang devoured pavement like the insatiable star of some Japanese monster movie.
He took a deep breath. If he was lucky, he'd be in and out of Nachton before any of his kin - from any clan - knew he was about.
His mind raced over memories of their last few meetings - passion of incredible degrees, her willingness to do anything for him opening up new worlds of pleasure he had never considered in all his centuries of existence. He remembered with clear clarity the scent of her hair, the smoothness of her skin, the sound of her sighs and soft little moans...
He blinked, realizing he was on the shoulder of the highway. He quickly course-corrected, and touched the power to his CD player. A wide smile broke across his lips as he heard Geddy's voice.
"...Off on your way hit the open road, there is magic at your fingers.
For the spirit ever lingers, undemanding contact in your happy solitude..."
92 mph... 4th gear...
She'd already called down to the front desk, letting them know that he would be arriving, sometime before dawn and to let him in. The security guard here at this building were used to people coming and going at all hours of the night and they would escort him to her door, letting him into the apartment using their passcard and key, since she had left the message for them to do so. She had no idea why there was such service at a mid-ranged apartment building but she was very thankful for it, and that it didn't have the price tag associated with it that DC would have.
Against all probability she had fallen asleep. Sprawled across her bed, near naked, dressed only in the white silk robe that she loved, that he had given her, she thought. Cell phone in hand. And she dreamed the hours away.
He smiled, well past the trap, and the engine roared back to life, as if it, too, was in on the conspiracy.
Scott pulled into Nachton city limits just after 3 am... plenty of time before dawn. He would find her, and meet her, and if she changed her mind, he would leave. He knew, past 3 am, that he had reached a point of no return - he would not be able to make it back to his home before dawn.
Thankfully, his trunk was specially prepared for such contingencies. He need only find a safe place to park, and wait out the sunlight in its dark confines.
How long had it been since he had seen the sun? In his own mind, the sun ceased to exist when his beloved Katherine had been taken from him, almost 700 years earlier.
He pushed such thoughts out of his mind, and pushed the accelerator down further.
His GPS guided him without fail. He pulled up to a parking spot across from the complex address she had given him. He swallowed, licking his suddenly-dry lips, and nearly leaped out of the car - dufflebag in hand. Setting the alarm, he jogged across the street, eyes looking all about, before entering the lobby of the apartment complex.
A security guard greeted him. Scott suddenly wished he had called Miya, to let her know he was close. He gave his name and who he was there to see, and the guard nodded, and offered to show him to her door.
"She is expecting you," the guard said in a bored monotone.
Scott's heart pounded the entire way. Six stories up, then down a long hall. The guard scanned his card, and a moment later, the door handle clicked.
"Good evening, sir," the guard nodded as he departed, and Scott nodded back.
Gently, he pressed open the door, quietly stepped inside, and shut it behind him.
He let his eyes adjust for a moment, and with the dim light available through the lightly-curtained sliding door, he was able to make out the details of her home. He set his bag down, and silent as death, he crept across the floor towards what he thought would be the doorway to the bedroom.
He swore he could hear own his heart beating like a drum, then cursed himself in his own mind. What was he - a youngling trying to kiss his first girl? He suddenly felt silly, stupid... desperate. He was afraid she would sense it too.
He didn't care. As he made it to the doorway of her bedroom, he didn't care - he just wanted to see her once again.
He could just make out her outline in the darker bedroom, no windows offering any light. Just the faintest outline of white - the silk robe he had bought for her, gossamer and, in the right light, VERY transparent against her dark skin. But now, with the low light, it simply gave of the faintest glow of reflected light.
Next to where she rested, he could make out the tiny dim pinpoints of light - her macbook battery charger, her phone charger - he smiled. If anything, she was consistent.
And she was right... there.
Her chest rose and fell slowly. If she wasn't asleep, she was faking it wonderfully. Without making a noise, he closed the distance to the bed, able to see her slightly better now, muted tones of gray and black as his eyes adjusted even further. He wrung his hands quickly, calming the gentle shaking that had overcome him, and moved them to the folds of her robe.
Slowly, gently, and without a word, he began to pull them apart like delicate silver curtains.
She finally stirred, and smiled at seeing him. A joyous smile.
"You came." She whispered to him, the joy evident in her voice. "Please stay. I need you. Something is wrong with my memories I think. I think I am going crazy. I keep having flashes of things that aren't real." Her voice now held a frantic note to it and her emotions matched it. She was scared of what was happening to her. Her fingers sought his, curling into them.
His blood surged just from that simple touch, their hands interlocking. He squeezed tightly, but not painfully so. He couldn't believe, at that precise moment, how much he had missed her.
"Miya..." he whispered, saying her name in a reverent whisper, like a prayer, worshiping the mere sound of it.
He leaned over her slowly, and the closer he got, the deeper her scent was. It was exactly as he had remembered it - the smell of freshly bloomed roses, so clear, so delectable. His lips hovered a mere inch or two from her own, his breath a gentle shuddering exhalation of nerves and desire.
His hands rested on either side of her body, pressed into her mattress to support his weight above her.
"Kiss me," he whispered, eyes boring into her in the dark.
"Scott?" She asked softly. "Hold me please?" She almost begged it of him. "I think we should talk before we..." She blushed just a tad. "You know."
He lowered himself to the bed beside her, his arms pulling her onto her side, snaking around her upper and lower back like two hungry pythons, crushing her to his chest in a bear-hug so tight she might not be able to breathe for a moment.
Scott kept his voice as steady and calm as he could, though even he could hear the emotion in it as he responded.
"We can talk as much as you'd like," he whispered. "Just... don't send me away."
His mind filled with regrets on the spot, regret that she left DC in the first place, regret that he had let her, regret that he hadn't contacted her before now.
Scott remembered using his abilities to try to cloud her mind, to help her forget what they had, so that she might... move on easier. She had fled his house that night, seemingly oblivious to the relationship they shared - but here, now, months later - her mind was obviously struggling to remember the hazy bits and pieces, to piece together what *really* happened between them. She *wanted* to remember, consciously *and* subconsciously.
"It's ok, now, I'm here," he whispered back, still holding her tightly. "It will all come back to you now, slowly, but surely," he mumbled, burying his face in the small of her neck for a moment.
Taking a deep breath, he began to speak, as he described a few of their dates, each description containing key phrases and words which he knew would help part the clouds over her memories. Slowly, gently, she would remember more and more, things would start to make more sense. The fog may not be *completely* removed, but she would quickly start to remember more than had she been left to her own devices.
He nods again, "You may ask anything of me that you wish, Miya. And if I have the power to grant it - it shall be yours," he said.
How could he tell her... explain to her... how he felt, without sounding like a psychopath? Without scaring her off, or... lowering her opinion of him?
Quietly he held her still, tightly, as if she might try to escape his grasp.
"Granted. Next time you suggest such a thing, I will remind you what a silly idea it is. Then you will smile and kiss me for suggesting such a thing," he said, chuckling.
One arm released its grip on her, and he moved his hand to her cheek - caressing it softly. So smooth... so young. Ripe.
His fingers slid under her chin and he lifted her face to look at his in near-darkness.
"Are you... ok?" he asked softly, his voice drenched with concern for her. She could hear the love in his words, feel it in his arms.
He watched as she stretches - all lithe body and sinew - and grabbed her phone.
"Sure, I could eat. I am not that picky, I'll eat just about anything. Though I do admit, a rare steak sounds really good right about now," he said, watching her move.
He sat up on her bed, folding his legs after kicking off his shoes. His jeans were tight in his crotch right now, but he couldn't help that for the moment. He just hoped she was ok. She seemed... different, in some way.
Nachton. Had another laid claim to her? His eyes narrowed, though she would not have seen it in the dark. What if... she had been?
He tried to breathe deeply, evenly, as she played with her phone.
"If I had known you were coming, I would have gotten you a steak. And the convenience store downstaires doesn't really carry meat. They occasionally have something but usually no. Oh, and the store is open all night long. Most things here are." She chattered as she pulled him out of the bedroom and into her miniscule kitchen, pulling open the door to the fridge. "Ham, bacon, eggs, jam..." She grins, "Would you like if I made you breakfast? Or do you want to cook? I seem to remember you were a fantastic cook, and we both know I'd ruin the food trying to create it."
She looks up at him with a soft smile. God she had missed him so very very badly.
He smiled, but inside his heart was stirring. In two days, he'd find out if she really wanted him... or not.
And if she did?
"I'll whip us up some omelettes. How about that?" he asked with a smile. he moved over to the fridge and began to withdraw all the items he would need. He looked further and found the remains of a block of cheese, opened the baggie, and smelled. He nodded and tossed it with the other ingredients.
"So tell me about work, how great is it going? All that stuff while I make breakfast?" he asked while he began to prepare their coming feast.
He was a good cook. He wasn't a pro, but 700 years of being a bachelor was enough time to bring his own level of cooking to a specific quality - especially for himself.
"The lady who took it over, who I've only seen a couple of times, well they think she's french. I haven't had a chance to meet her, so I don't know. She seems fair and no one has been complaining about it. And I'd expect there to be some disgruntlement ya know? She was hired from outside the Museum, and no one inside was promoted. Which is all to the good, I guess. Some of those people aren't, well creative? Some of the exhibits have been kinda stupid, but there is one that is still going on that I like to go see whenever I get stuck on something. It's illustrations from children's books. It reminds me that the world still holds wonder." Soon enough the omelettes were done and he had sat down on the other barstool next to her.
"How...how is DC? How's home?" It was true that the only time she had ever considered home was when she had been with him. How stupid had she been to leave. "How have you been, my l..." She bit her tongue on calling him her love. He was, oh how he was. But it didn't feel right to do so quite yet.