“I heard that there is a single lady moving into the old Delgato house. I was thinking about stopping by to say ‘hi’. Do you think I could invite Ezio to go, too?” I rambled on, snuggled against Blaine, watching TV. Vivian was playing with Spunky and Roxy on the floor.
“Pimpin’ out the ole hubby again, are we?” Blaine smirked, kissing my forehead.
“No, just thought he may want to get to know new people, that’s all…” I half-lied … just a little.
“You wanna change his diaper and give him his bottle while you are at it? Vik, that man is an adult. He runs one of the most successful businesses in the region. I am sure he could muster meeting a woman if he really wanted to. Even without your help. So stand down, soldier.”
“Vittorio said that his dad always complains that a woman’s touch is missing in the house …” Vivian now chimed in.
I looked straight at Blaine, eyebrows raised.
“Yeah, I am going to stay out of this now. Definite estrogen overload here. Sorry Ezio, you’re own your own dude. I tried.” Blaine smiled and kissed my cheek.
In my mind I was already plotting the best plan of attack. If the newbie was nice, of course. Wasn’t gonna send Ezio to the pits of hell. He already had that once, with Lilith.
“Spunky, stop! You retched mutt! Stop!!!” I was holding on to the leash for dear life when my dumb klutz of a dog decided he had to suddenly chase a cat. Dang dog lived with one, and he would not dream of chasing Roxy. But here we went, me the epitome of grace (not) while trying to put all my weight against his four-wheel-drive attack mode, a losing battle but I was so not going to let go of the leash.
Up some path, down another, I nearly stumbled several times but managed somehow to stay upright. A small house came into view and there went the cat in through a partially open window, Spunky barking and jumping up and down outside, luckily smart enough to realize himself that the opening was too small for his large frame to get through.
The door opened now, and a woman appeared.
Naturally Spunky immediately forgot about the cat as he just had to go say hi, which turned him into a wiggly ball of fur while he was flirting with the lady petting him now.
The woman now looked up and smiled at me, still half-bent petting my dog, holding out her hand, which I took and shook.
“Hi, I am Melissa, sorry about the mess, just moving in … and sorry about the cat. He’s a beast sometimes, likes to pick fights with dogs and then runs home like a chicken.” she laughed.
“I am Viktoria, this klutz is Spunky and I live down by the beach with my husband and daughter .. and an equal beast of a cat, but she’s got Spunky well trained.”
“By the beach? I haven’t really gotten to explore much, but do you mean that big mansion?”
“Oh no! No no … mine is the one near the mansion, that you probably thought was a shed where they keep their yard equipment…” I laughed, she did too.
“I’ll be sure to keep an eye out. Sorry to be so rude, I would ask you in, but it is a mess, I have no furniture yet and no idea where to even begin to look for my coffee mugs, unless you like to drink directly from the coffee pot, because that one I just found!”
“I have been know to have done that a time or two … when a girl needs her coffee…” I joked.
“Maybe we can meet up tonight and you can show me where to eat around here? Stove is not gonna be here till tomorrow…”
“Sure thing. Hey, better idea, why don’t you come by my house tonight and I’ll cook. Oh and … ummm … bring your boyfriend, or husband or partner … if you like.”
“Sounds great. Sorry, it’s gonna be just me. One reason for the move, needed to get away from … memories, if you know what I mean. But I am open to suggestions, if you happen to know of any nice, single men around here…”
Oh girl! Have I got the man for you! And she just basically gave me permission, didn’t she?
After we said our goodbyes I barely waited until I was out of sight from her house, until I started dialing.
“Hey, Ezio … do you happen to have any dinner plans tonight?”
“I cannot believe you are playing cupid again.” Blaine grinned and shook his head.
“Cupid? I merely invited a new person who would otherwise starve to death and an old .. friend.” I almost believed this myself.
“Yeah, right. Where does this go?” He was helping me set the table.
Melissa arrived and I ushered her into the living room, shortly after the doorbell rang again, Blaine answered and all I heard was
“Sorry man, I tried to save you, but just so you know, it was all her idea…”
The evening went well, we all laughed, no awkward silences, no drama. Ezio, all gentleman, even walked Melissa home, since it was already dark when our little get-together ended.
After I closed the door behind them, I leaned against it and smiled big at Blaine.
“Say it.” I demanded.
“You’re funny. And you just cannot admit that I was right.”
“They just met, they were civil with each other. Hold up with sending the wedding invites, will you, wife?! Geesh!”
Ezio was over, evidently the bromance between him and Blaine still continued and they were watching some important sports match. I sat with them in the living room, but more to keep them company, not paying much attention to the action. I put down the book I was reading, and asked
“How much longer is this going to go?”
“Shhhhhhhhhhhh!” was my synchronized reply by both men, who were staring at the TV intensely. Personally I saw nothing interesting, still.
“Anybody want something to drink? Coffee, beer, hard liquor, rat poison…?” I asked and was ignored, just as expected.
Walking into the hallway I suddenly felt really strange, then suddenly my whole body stiffened, then went all limp and uncontrollably cramped as I fell to the floor without being able to stop it. The only thing I was able to do was scream my husband’s name at the top of my lungs
The last image I saw before my world went dark was Blaine’s silhouette in the door frame.
I came to, felt incredible stiff and odd. I opened my eyes and blinked several times, but still could not see anything. Trying to raise my arm it felt unbelievably heavy, but I eventually managed and began to realize I was in an enclosed space of some sort. Panic rose, yet I still could barely move.
“NO! Help!” I wanted to scream, but it was barely more than a loud whisper in a raspy voice that sounded strange and unlike my own.
I heard some indefinable sounds and suddenly it got light around me.
A familiar face appeared. Blaine! Thank goodness! I wanted to jump up and hug him, but my arms were still so heavy. He noticed and took my hands, pulled them up to his face and kissed them.
“Welcome back, sleepyhead.” he said softly, before kissing my forehead.
“Sleepy? How long have I … where am I …so dark..” I stuttered.
“Relax, babygirl. You are home. Take it slow, your will regain strength, but it will take a bit. I am here, you are safe.”
“Am I sick?”
“One way to put it..”
“I don’t understand…”
“You died, babygirl. And now you came back.”
“I told you about this … remember, me, at the cabin?”
“Oh … right. How long was I … ummm …out for?”
“Oh gawd. Is Vivian ok?”
“She is fine. Everybody is. Even Ezio.”
“Yeah, after your little stunt, he almost had a heart attack. I mean, a real one. So I had to leave you and take him to the hospital. No worries, he is fine and already back to working.”
“Ezio would continue working as a ghost, if he had to. But, you left me?”
“Only for a moment. Not like you were going to go anywhere. I locked up Spunky and Roxy though before we left. Just in case. Didn’t think you’d appreciate coming back to life to find chewed up body parts … hahahaha”
“It is from where I sit.”
“Been there, done that.” He smirked.
I tried to hit him, but it didn’t happen. His grin broadened.
“This is fantastic. I can go nuts and trust me, I will abuse the hell out of this!”
“Glad you are enjoying yourself.” I replied from between gritted teeth.
“Oh babygirl, you will be just fine soon and then you can hit me as much as you like again.”
“Count on it!”
“Ok, I have to leave you now for a little bit, Vivian is coming home soon.”
“How is she dealing with this?”
“Fine. She is a big girl. I explained it to her and she is as excited as I am about this. Now I did not bring her down here, vampire or not, she is still a child and I did not think seeing her mother so … lifeless would be good for her. But I’ll bring her down when you have recovered a bit more.”
“Down?” I finally realized I was in a coffin in the cellar of our home!
“Yeah. I have to go now, she is bringing home a school project today and I promised I’d help her with it.”
“I want to help….”
“I got this. Especially since I am the one here who can actually move … ” he winked at me and grinned.
“Funny. Well unless her school project is to build a lifelike replica of a naked woman, I think you should let me help!” I shot back.
“I don’t know, I may need a refresher though, if you do not mind.”
“You stay away from me! I am barely fully conscious” I was joking.
“Aww, where does it say that the woman has to be conscious for naughty stuff. I am only the knuckle-dragging dumb man-whore around here but I proudly report that a good part of my old conquests were conscious, at least somewhat. Still counts though, right?” he joked.
“Argh, you are impossible …” I sighed.
“I think you meant incredible. On that note, sweet cheeks, I am going to drag my knuckles up those stairs and hope to have energy and brain cells enough to read instructions so I can help our child with her school work instead of just drooling over myself while blankly staring into space.” he replied, kissed my forehead, then left.
Then I was left to my own devices again. The feeling of my physical limitations was depressing, and scary.
Eventually Blaine was back. He shifted me a bit to the side, then slid in next to me, wrapping his arm around me from underneath me. With the other hand he gently stroked my cheek.
“How do I look?”
He laughed, shook his head.
“I cannot believe your appearance made it to the top of your list of questions in this situation.” he continued laughing.
“Seriously, how? Is it bad?”
“Do you want the generic husband response or the truth?”
“Let me put it this way: you wouldn’t like it. You would freak out if you saw yourself. But it will get better and you will look just as beautiful as always.”
“What?! I want to see. Please!” I urged, freaking out.
“You like me to draw you a picture?”
“Mirror!” I demanded.
“Ummm … babygirl … those are kinda useless now …” he reminded me.
“Oh, right. What about a cell phone? Can you take a pic? Where is my phone anyway?”
“Your phone is fine, aside from it being in terrible withdrawals from you not constantly fondling it, but it is upstairs. You do not need a phone right now. And I really do not think you should see yourself now. Just wait.”
“All righty, as you wish.” he pulled out his cell phone and took a selfie of us together. When he showed it to me I cursed up a storm until he muffled me with kisses. I calmed down, only because I had started crying uncontrollably.
“How could you want to kiss something like that … I look like an old corpse!” I moaned.
“Well, you kinda are … minus the ‘old’ of course.” he kissed me again, as I cried harder.
Eventually I calmed down. The truth was, I looked ten times worse than scary and I could fully understand why he kept Vivian away. I would not want anybody to see me now. Including Blaine. The fact that he was still here, that he still held me, kissed me, without even flinching was the biggest proof of love.
“So how long will it take for me to look …. decent?”
“Couple more days, I don’t know. we’ll have to wait and see.”
“How long did it take you?”
“Vik, I wasn’t exactly given a detailed agenda, and also I was alone through it all and can only tell you what I recall when I was conscious. Besides, my circumstances were different, you cannot compare the two.”
“Why not? Same process, right?”
“If you need the grueling details, I was to be buried, meaning they embalmed me. You weren’t so it will take your new body a while to break down the … contents of you. Hard to say how long. I haven’t exactly been down this road many times, you are my first offspring, as you know.”
“Yeah, that is what it is called. And I am your master. Which, I do have to say, I like the sound of that. ‘Husband & master’, yes, definitely has a good ring to it.” he grinned.
“The only good ring you’ll hear soon is from my hands slapping your ears! Master! Ha, you wish!”
“And she’s back!”
“Just you wait! Once I can really move again, you will be sorry!” I play-threatened.
“In that case, I may just go crazy with you while you cannot fight me off, so you only have to beat me once!” he began planting kisses all over my face, making me giggle.
“Stop … you are evil … stoooop!”
“No, evil would be if I did very different things to your right now, while you cannot stop me …”
“Don’t you dare!”
Of course he didn’t. What he did do was check on the pets, put Vivian to bed and then came back to lay with me cradled into his arm until Vivian had to get ready for school.
He spent most of the time with me, as I was slowly, painfully slowly, recovering.
“Blaine? Do you know if Melissa and Ezio ever went out or something?”
“Not the foggiest idea.”
“Could you maybe ask him, during one of your next bro-dates?”
“Bro-dates? So I get along with your ex, and I catch flack from you. I do not get along with him and you yell at me. There really is no pleasing you, woman!”
“Fine, playdates or whatever you want to call it. Just carefully feel him out a little…”
“Two things. Men do not carefully feel each other out, unless they want to date each other. And just in case you are wondering, I am NOT interested in your ex. Secondly, I did not know that on top of all the other duties I so gracefully took over during your … mini-vacation here, I was also supposed to assume your meddling in other people’s love lives.”
“Meddling? I just wanted to know. I think she is great, I think Ezio is good guy and they seemed to have hit it off … I felt like she liked him. And vice versa. I mean, how could she not? He is a perfect gentleman, he still looks great, works out a lot …”
“Yes, babygirl, he is just a dreamy piece of man meat.”
“Sorry, I didn’t mean it like THAT.”
“You know what he also is? Old enough to get his own dates.”
“Blaine? Do I look any better today?”
“You look gorgeous. Good enough to eat…” he began nuzzling my neck …
The rest of the recovery was as you would expect. When I was finally strong enough to stand and walk, Blaine helped me up the stairs. I found a gigantic bouquet of deep red roses, my favorite flower. From Ezio, as I found out from Blaine. Vivian and Spunky were overjoyed to see me, Roxy punished me at first with demonstrative ignoring, but warmed up to me again later on and ended up purring herself to sleep in my lap.
After Vivian had been tucked in, I snuggled up against Blaine as we sat on the little bench outside our home, wondering if after such a rough start my new life as a vampire would be any easier.
Please also check out the corresponding side of Melissa’s story Melissa’s Point of View