Chapter 1: Friendly Neighbor
You roll your eyes, nodding along in habitual response as your dad retells the story for what can only be described as the LITERAL millionth time. However, you can never stay too mad at him. He came into your life when you were a teen, having been unaware of your existence until you grew the courage to seek him out for yourself. Everyone was shocked how immediately protective of you he became, and how quick he was to insist on you living with him. He was seen by the public as a notorious player, the infamous Peter Vincent, and no one exactly expected him to win father of the year... but he stepped up, and always made sure you were happy and safe.
Even now, in your early 20s, every phone call or visit with him included stories of warning. But this one... This one was his favorite. Even Aunt Amy and Uncle Charley vowed it to be true, although you didn't believe a word of it, they all 3 swore to the existence of vampires.
Your dad believes to have faced a particular vampire not only when he was a child, but again 10 years ago (not long before you came into the picture), which is actually how he says to have met your Aunt and Uncle in the first place. The experience with the vampire, 'Jerry' as they called him, is what they claimed made them a family.
Side-note, how lame is the name Jerry for a vampire? Not exactly a name that instills fear is it? You didn't think so as a teen, and you definitely don't think so now. Why they continued holding onto the story was beyond your understanding...
Yet here you are, trying not to doze off as your dad drones on over the dinner table. Aunt Amy and Uncle Charley both shiver when the story finally ends, then squeeze each other's hands comfortingly before raising their glasses to toast.
Your dad raises his, and motions for you to do the same. "To family, to health, and to making sure we keep both." He says with a smile, and you all clink glasses briefly before sipping your drinks.
"Listen..." Your Uncle speaks up just as everyone sets their glasses down. He clears his throat and hesitantly looks up to meet your eyes, his brows furrowed with concern. "I know that you don't put much stock in the story." Your Aunt moves to interrupt him but he puts a hand on her shoulder before turning back to you. "I know you don't believe in vampires... or understand why your dad or any of us acted the way we did while you were living here. But, we just want to keep you safe."
Glancing to your dad, he gives a smile reassuring smile. "I don't mind that you don't believe us, and I honestly hope that you never have to find out the truth."
Something about those words, and the way your dad said them, brings a slight chill to your spine. You think back to the strange lessons he instilled after you agreed to move in with him: spar lessons, weapon training, vampire lore, and even language studies. He wanted to ensure you would always be safe, and if you had to run away to start over, well you would be prepared for that too. While you actually enjoyed the training, and used it to carve out a very lucrative career for yourself... you can't help but wonder if perhaps the story was true?
After dinner you say goodbye to your Aunt and Uncle, walking them out to their car, and wishing them well on their late-night drive home. Your dad squeezes your shoulder as they drive away, then kisses your cheek before turning to go back inside.
He pauses at the door as if waiting for you to follow him, but you take a seat on the front porch instead. "I think I'm going to stay up a bit longer, maybe finish the last few chapters of my book." You hold up the novel, the bookmark sticking out near the end as proof it wouldn't take long to finish.
He glances out into the night, straining to scan the trees surrounding the house.
"I'll be fine, dad." You reassure him.
Hesitantly, he nods, and flips on the porch light. Pausing in the open doorway, he moves as though to offer his company.
"Dad..." You warn playfully. "I'll be fine."
Nodding again, he gives a quick smile, and then disappears inside as he shuts the door behind him.
Opening your book, you pretend to ignore as the curtains shift in your peripheral, knowing your dad would probably check out the window 50 more times before you came back inside.
Smiling to yourself as they shift closed again, you turn to the next page in your book.
Roughly an hour later you realize you hadn't seen the curtains shift in quite some time. Hoping that he had been able to fall asleep, you turn another page in the book. Finally, you're at the last chapter.
Before you can even read the first word on the page, you notice movement in the trees. You squint into the darkness, but to no avail, and attempt to return your attention to the book. Just as you glance back down, you notice the movement again, in the same area of the trees. Pursing your lips, you glance to the door beside you, and then back out into the darkness, debating whether you were really that stupid.
Unfortunately, after reading several chapters following a rather dramatic tale, you decide that you ARE in fact... that stupid...
You stand, book in hand, and move to place your hands on the porch railing, peering out into the darkness with eyes straining to make out the slightest shape.
The soft creak of someone, or something, stepping onto the wooden porch startles you. Spinning around, you nearly bump into a tall figure.
"Woah." He puts his hands on your shoulders in attempts to steady you, but immediately withdraws them when he notices your confused glare, holding them up defensively in front of him as he takes a step back. "I just wanted to come say hello."
Looking him over curiously, you glance around him toward the front door, knowing you wouldn't be able to make it past him if anything were to happen. "Who are you?"
With a somewhat cocky grin, he points a finger over your shoulder toward the woods, although you don't dare take your eyes off him. "I just bought the place through there. Was looking for a fixer-upper project." He shrugs, but when you seem less than impressed, he adds, "I didn't think anyone was here actually."
Recalling a conversation with the gas station clerk earlier that afternoon, you allow your shoulders to somewhat relax. Afterall, it's not every day that a handsome man wonders onto your porch. "Yeah, I think I heard someone mentioning how it finally sold."
He seems to take this as an invitation for further conversation. "Do you come out here often?"
Eyeing him again, you take another step back to lean against the railing. "Is that some kind of line?"
Quirking a brow, he takes a large step forward. "What if it is?"
You shrug. "Is that how you charm all the strange women on porches?"
He takes another, smaller step forward, stopping just in front of you. "Maybe I was just making polite conversation?" He glances around briefly before returning his attention to you, his lips turning up in that sexy smirk again. "It really is a nice place."
Glancing around for yourself, a soft smile spreads across your features with fond memories. "Yeah, my dad bought it for my 16th birthday. It was our vacation spot for a long time, but we hardly come anymore."
Nodding, he glances down, motioning in question to the book in your hand. Having honestly forgotten you were still holding onto it, you bring it to your chest, allowing him to read the cover. He raises a brow in question and cocks his head to the side, "Dracula?"
Chuckling, you place the book lovingly on the railing beside you. "Yeah. Another birthday gift from my dad. He has a thing for vampire lore, but it's a great book, I've read it a bazillion times."
"It's one of my favorites too." He glances at his watch. "I really didn't mean to barge in this late, if you have someone waiting inside..." He throws a thumb over his shoulder, offering to leave.
You shake your head. "I'm pretty sure my dad already went to bed, but it IS getting pretty late, and I should probably do the same." Grabbing your book, you move to make your way past him toward the door.
His footsteps tell you he's leaving, but just as you reach for the door handle, you hear his voice. "I would say it was great meeting you, but I don't think I ever got your name."
Turning to face him, you tell him your name, which earns another one of his charming grins. He moves off the porch and begins to walk away, but you call after him, "Don't I get to know yours?"
He turns to face you again, putting his hands in his pockets as he slowly saunters backwards. You can barely make out the details of his face anymore, but you swear his teeth seemed sharper as he cocks his head to the side and says, "You can call me Jerry."
Chapter 2: Jerry
You wake the next morning to a dreary, overcast day, barely able to tell the time from the dim light. Rolling out of bed, you stretch and glance at the clock, curious about the overly quiet, empty feeling in the house.
Even knowing that there's no way your dad is still asleep, you decide to check his room anyway.
Rounding the corner to the living room, you purse your lips, also finding it to be empty. Turning around to pad into the kitchen, you find a note stuck to the fridge. 'Gone to town. Forecast to rain all day. Picking up movies, food, and gas for generator. See you soon. Stay out of trouble. - XX Dad'. Smiling to yourself, you toss the note away, certain he couldn't have left that long ago. It takes a full 50 minutes just to get to town, so you would be left to entertain yourself for at least 2 hours, maybe 3 if he ran into that chatty store clerk.
Glancing around the kitchen, you suddenly recall last night's strange interaction with your new neighbor. Chewing at your cheek, you check the time again, 8:30 a.m. You weren't used to sleeping in so late, and you definitely weren't used to not having a mile-long to do list.
With a sigh, you eye the couch, debating whether you should take the opportunity to sit back and relax. However, you find the idea quite unappealing, and decide instead to grab your laptop bag. Setting everything at the kitchen counter, you open your computer and unsuccessfully attempt to connect to the WiFi.
Your dad must have shut off the cabin's internet, knowing your tendency to be workaholic.
Shutting your laptop, you again eye the couch with a defeated huff of frustrated boredom. You didn't want to be cooped up, alone, in this big old cabin, without even your work to keep your mind busy.
Resting your elbows on the counter, you again find your thoughts drifting toward the mysterious Jerry.
Knowing you have nothing better to do, you let your curiosity get the better of you.
After changing into some shorts and a tank-top, you hop into your car, and make your way down the long driveway to the main road. You look left, then right, the thick fog making the empty, tree lined road seem almost ominous. It feels as if the tall pine branches would reach down and swallow you; never to be seen or heard again.
Shaking your head, you adjust your rear-view mirror, and take a quick look back at the cabin before easing your foot off the brake. You turn right onto the road, knowing it would only take a few minutes by car to make it to the next cabin's driveway.
In what feels to be the blink of an eye, you find yourself turning slowly onto an old road, almost unrecognizable as anything other than an abandoned, overgrown trail. But as you continue, the old cabin comes into view. There's a truck parked just in front, wooden boards sticking out the back, and construction supplies strewn about the front porch, which seems to have been recently reconstructed. Throwing your car into park, you quickly step out, admiring the quality of work Jerry had clearly already put into the place. You almost don't notice as a figure comes around from behind the truck.
"Hey." His voice startles you, causing you to jump slightly and spin to face him, which he clearly finds to be amusing. "Sorry, didn't realize I had snuck up on you."
With a smile and a light chuckle, you shake your head. "It's fine, I just wanted to stop by and see what you've done with the place." You motion toward the porch. "Did you do this by yourself?"
Wiping his hands with a rag, he comes to stand a bit closer, his white tank-top and bare shoulders equally covered in black grease and dirt. Placing his hands on his hips, he glances between you and the porch, his brows slightly furrowing. "Is it that bad?"
You laugh and roll your eyes at his sarcasm. "It looks amazing. So, I'm assuming you work in construction then?"
He nods. "I did for a long time."
Moving up the steps, you admire the quality up close, dragging your fingers along the smooth, freshly painted portion of the railing where several different colors are swatched next to each other. "Can't decide on a color?"
"I can build it... " He comes to stand beside you, flashing that sly grin of his. "But I'm clueless with decorating."
Shaking your head, you catch yourself smiling again. "Maybe I should hire you do redo ours, I'm sure you noticed how creaky it's getting."
Crossing his arms, he leans back against the railing directly next to you. "I'm sure we could work something out."
You look up to meet his eyes with a questioning quirk to your brow.
Chuckling, he uncrosses his arms, tapping a single finger on the painted portion of the railing. "Help me with this kind of stuff and I'm more than happy to build whatever you want."
Cocking your head to the side, you keep your eyes locked. "Gray."
"Gray?" He inquires, his eyes seeming to dart momentarily to your lips as you allow yourself to smile again.
Looking down to the railing, you point to the light gray portion. "You should paint the railing this lighter color," then you move your finger to the darker gray, "and the shutters should be this charcoal tone, maybe do some of the trim in white."
He turns to look at the house, then back to the paint swatched railing, then back to the house, and finally rests his eyes on you. He draws his bottom lip between his teeth in what you assume is contemplation over your suggested color scheme. "I never would've thought of that."
Shrugging, you lean over the railing, glancing up at the now even darker sky. "Weather is supposed to be really bad this afternoon."
Grabbing your hand gently, he again meets your eyes, his dark and yet somehow heated gaze seeming to dare you to protest as he turns your hand over in his own. He checks the time on your watch briefly before returning his attention to you, and then nods toward the door. "It's not supposed to hit for another hour at least. Why don't you come check out the inside, maybe you can give me more advice?"
Noticing him still caressing your hand, his thumb moving slightly, barely grazing along your skin. You clear your throat to both regain your train of thought, and to draw his attention. Although, as he releases your wrist and shoves his hands into his pockets, you feel a strange sense of loss.
Fighting the urge to reach out, you turn your head back toward the sky. "I really think I should get going, but I would love to help out next time."
When you turn back to face him, his eyes seem to dart from your neck, to your lips, and then finally to your eyes, and he realizes he's been caught. With an amused grin, he follows you out into the yard again. He glances back toward the house as if contemplating asking you again, but then turns his gaze up to the sky and chuckles. Looking down at you, he notices your keys already drawn, and seems to give up on the attempt. (((see gif at beginning of chapter)))
Instead, he walks you the last few steps to your car, holding the door open for you as you lower yourself inside. "I'm glad you came over, maybe we can have dinner once this weather calms down?"
After latching your seat-belt, you look up at him, his hopeful smile and brows raised in patient curiosity surprise you. He seemed so cocky before, but you find yourself sharing in his smile with a soft giggle as he seems to give you puppy eyes.
Nodding, you start up your car, indicating to him that you really should be going. "That would be great."
Smiling triumphantly, he takes his bottom lip between his teeth again. He moves to shut your door, but pauses, adding a quick "Drive safe." before finally closing it and patting the roof of your car in goodbye.
You glance in your rear-view as you make your way out to the main road, seeing him still standing there. His hands are on his hips, and lips turning up into his sexy signature grin seeming overly pleased with himself. Again, his teeth seem sharper as he fades out of view.
Chapter 3: Apples To Apples
The Jeep is already parked in front of the cabin when you pull up, letting you know your dad had already returned.
You find him in the kitchen attempting to cut up some vegetables, "Hey dad."
He jumps and spins around, knife still in hand and a large frilly apron tied around his waist. Once he realizes it's just you, his shoulders seem to fall. "I was hoping to surprise you."
With a soft giggle, you step closer to inspect his progress. Furrowing your brows, you eye him playfully. "What exactly are you trying to make?"
Puffing out his chest with confidence, he proudly announces, "Veggie lasagna!"
Scrunching your nose, you grab a second cutting board and knife, moving to help him cut everything properly.
Noticing you may be more aptly suited for the job, he instead turns and fumbles around the cabinets for a dish to bake everything in. "So." He sets the dish on the counter and starts lining it with foil. "Where did you run off to?"
Shrugging, you begin to layer the veggies, making sure to put plenty of sauce in between, just like your dad loves. "I was just taking a look at that old cabin, it looks like the guy is fixing it up beautifully."
After sliding the dish in the oven, he leans against the opposite counter, facing you with his arms crossed and head tilted in curiosity. "I think I heard Janice the clerk rambling on about a new owner making repairs to the place. So, you were able to meet the new neighbor then?"
You nod. "I did. The guy seems really nice. He already completely rebuilt the porch. I might have to hire him to redo ours while we're here."
Eyeing you, a sly grin tugs at the corners of his lips. "I see... So, you decided to use up your full vacation afterall?"
A meager, nonchalant shrug is your response. Knowing you to be a notorious workaholic, your dad, aunt, and uncle had taken bets to see how many vacation days you would actually use. Even your business partners had playfully made threats to have someone watching you, making sure you were actually taking a full holiday.
His grin broadens. "Ah. So, the mystery man has intrigued my daughter?"
Inadvertently, a coy smile ghosts briefly along your features, which doesn't go unnoticed.
Your dad claps his hands, rubbing them together in excitement. "And when do I get to meet the lovely gent?"
"Dad..." You groan, rolling your eyes. "I'm 23! I don't need to introduce you to everyone I meet anymore. And besides... I'm on vacation. I'm just happy to see someone fixing the place up instead of tearing it down."
"Well." He leans forward over the island countertop between you. "I heard there was going to be a nice Halloween party at the Geller's this weekend."
Perking up at the mention of Halloween, you quirk a brow at him. "What about the weather?"
Smirking with smug satisfaction, knowing he had you on the hook, he leans back. "Turns out the rain will be gone by tonight, just in time for the puddles to be cleared up by tomorrow, and then Saturday night is the party."
Pursing your lips, you deflate slightly. "That only gives me 2 days to figure out a costume."
Your dad chuckles, keeping that strange smirk plastered on his face, earning a curious glance from you. He puts a finger to his chin in exaggeration, pretending to think. "Gee... How will you EVER find someone to help you decide on a costume?"
You narrow your eyes at him. "Dad. I'm not asking our new neighbor to dress up and go to a party with me."
He simply keeps smiling at you in response.
"Dad. No." Pointing a finger of warning at him, you repeat it one last time, "No."
That evening, after the weather clears, you find yourself standing at Jerry's door with a homemade apple pie in hand. Hesitantly, you raise your fist to knock, but the door opens before your knuckles make contact.
"Sorry." Jerry's throaty, playful chuckle greets you. "I always seem to be scaring you, don't I?" He seems surprised, and maybe even happy, to see you as his hands slide away from the door-frame. (((See GIF)))
You return his flirtatious smile with a somewhat coy one before clearing your throat, and offer the pie towards him. His fingers lightly graze against yours, seeming to linger before he takes the pie and peels back a small edge of the foil.
Raising a brow in question, he looks to you. "Apple pie?"
"Yeah, my dad goes through phases of hating apples." Shrugging, you shake your head. "Something about a guy he didn't care for being really obsessed with them."
"Apples are my favorite." With a strangely amused smirk, he moves aside, keeping the door wide open to invite you in.
Again, you feel somewhat hesitant, but find yourself moving inside before you even realize you made a decision.
The house is somewhat messy, although you expected it to be. Construction equipment strewn about, paint swatches all over the walls, various furniture covered in protective tarps, and several moving boxes in different corners.
He seems to notice your wandering eyes and gives a somewhat apologetic shrug. "I would offer to give you a tour but... I'm still figuring out what to do with the place."
Nodding, you feel yourself following him toward the kitchen. He opens the fridge to find a spot for the pie and grabs a bottle of beer, offering one to you. With a polite shake of your head in decline, he shrugs, opening the bottle for himself, and kicks the fridge shut behind him.
Seeming to sense your tentative demeanor, he lifts himself slightly to sit on the counter, and then pats the space next to him. Unable to resist his charming, playful smile, you roll your eyes jokingly before hopping up onto the counter next to him.
Feeling his eyes on you, you glance up. "What?"
With a light chuckle, he takes another swig of his beer before shaking his head. "Nothing." His eyes land on you again, meeting yours, his brows slightly furrowed. "I feel like you wanna ask me something but don't know how. Or maybe I'm wrong?"
You shake your head and laugh it off. "No, I mean I was thinking about something my dad mentioned but it's kinda stupid."
Before you can gather what he's doing, he has already gotten to his feet to stand before you, and trapped you by placing a hand on the counter at either side. He leans in slightly, seeming to study your reaction. "Try me."
Having only a second to compose your thoughts, you find yourself surprised at how little his bold action bothers you. "Well... There's a Halloween party Saturday, 2 nights from now."
He shifts ever so slightly closer, making it so that you have to move your knees further apart. "Halloween party?"
Whether you don't fully register that he is now between your legs, or you have found a random new sense of confidence to act as if it doesn't affect you, you aren't entire sure. But, you manage to remain nonchalant, shrugging your shoulders before elaborating on the party. "My dad and I usually go when we're here but he doesn't feel like it this year. It's really fun, and everyone dresses up, but I'm not sure I'd want to go alone."
With a furrowed brow, he feigns confusion, apparently wanting you to spell it out for him. "Are you asking me on a date?"
Deciding to play along, you find yourself trailing a finger lightly, and somewhat teasingly, along the edge of his shirt, feeling the chain of his necklace beneath the fabric. "I'm not saying we have to find a couple costume, but it could be fun."
You feel his chest rise and fall with an amused, and slightly distracted, chuckle. "Couple costume hm?"
He leans in closer, one of his hands finding your lower back and pulling you to the edge of the counter. You flatten your hand out on his chest, keeping him at a distance, albeit a very small distance. "But I said NOT a couple costume." With a joking roll of your eyes, you pretend to try and scoot back away from him. "See, you didn't even listen."
Catching on, he holds you firmly in place, one of his hands still on the small of your back, and the other finding its way up to hold your neck. His hands are rough, callused from the construction on the porch, but his grip is gentle enough where you barely feel pressure. "I know it's probably overused, and maybe your dad hates the idea … being who he is … but I think I know what we could do."
Running his thumb firmly up closer to your jaw, all while keeping his grip, you're sure he can feel your pulse as his lips twitch up in a satisfied smirk. Unable to find the words to respond, and not trusting yourself to speak for the possibility of letting a moan escape your lips, you opt to quirk a brow of curiosity instead.
He trails his other hand from your back down along your leg, hinting for you to wrap them around his waist, which you happily oblige. Dipping his head, his lips barely ghost along the skin of your neck, his hand shifting slightly to grip closer to the back of your head and prevent you from pulling away. The warmth of his breath sends chills up your spine, causing a slight shiver, which he definitely notices.
You feel his breath move to your ear. "You could be my little vampire queen."
"Would that mean you have to bite me?" You question, intending it as a joke, but Jerry's breathing shifts.
His thumb presses into your jaw, coaxing your head further to the side. Feeling his lips lightly brush along your pulse point again, you grip his hips in an almost involuntary reaction. With a hum of satisfaction, more of a soft growl than anything, Jerry's grip becomes almost painful.
With his voice seeming much huskier than before, and his breathing now definitely labored as if trying to control himself, he asks: "Do you want me to bite you?"
Chapter 4: Lost Time
You bolt upright in bed, but immediately regret it when your entire skull starts pounding. Cradling your head in your hands, you take deep breaths until it passes. With a sigh of relief, you glance around your room, struggling to remember the previous night.
Brief flashes of Jerry's hands on your hips bring a blush to your cheeks, and more pain. Taking a few more deep breaths seems to relieve it, bringing more flashes of Jerry's lips on your neck, but then it all goes blank.
Feeling a dull throb through your entire body, you throw off your covers and get up to move toward the bathroom. As soon as you flip the light switch, you catch your reflection in the mirror; you're wearing the same clothes as yesterday, with the exception of your jacket.
"What the hell?" Leaning forward over the sink and notice your eyes looking darker than usual. Turning slightly side to side, you also notice a light bruise forming on your neck.
With a sigh, you turn on the shower, cranking the heat way up before stepping in.
The hot water relaxes your tense muscles, and the steam seems to ease your headache. However, you still can't remember much of last night, especially not how you got back to your room.
Wrapping a towel around yourself as you step out, you decide to check the mirror again. Wiping the steam away with your hand, you lean forward, happy to see that your eyes seem back to normal. Your neck however... may have gotten worse. Pursing your lips, you run a finger along the tender skin, wishing you could remember exactly what had happened.
Throwing on some clothes, including an oversized hoody to pull up around your neck, you make your way downstairs.
Before you can escape out the door, you hear your dad call out for you from the kitchen. Taking a few steps back, you manage to give him a smile from where he sits sipping his coffee at the counter.
"When did you get in last night?"
He offers you a cup, but you shake your head. "I can't really remember to be honest, but I think I left my jacket at the neighbor's so I was gonna go pick it up."
With a sly smile, he leans back in his chair, wiggling his eyebrows in insinuation.
"Yeah, no." You narrow your eyes at him in warning. "Nothing happened dad."
"Well you seem to be spending a lot of time together." He shrugs, and then motions to the counter beside you. "Your phone was ringing earlier by the way."
Assuming it was one of your business partners calling with an emergency, you check it immediately, but it's from a new number and there's no voicemail. Opening your messages, you notice 3 new messages from the same unknown number.
'Hey it's Jerry, checking to make sure you made it home safe.'
'I'm assuming you fell asleep. '
'Hey I have a huge favor to ask.. '
Assuming you had gotten his number last night and just didn't remember, you type out a quick message in reply: 'Sorry I definitely knocked out last night. What did you need help with at 3 am??'
Shoving the phone in your pocket, you rummage through the pantry to find a protein bar for a breakfast snack. You dad pretends to not be watching, but you know better.
With an exasperating huff, you turn to him again. "What is it?"
He sips his coffee innocently.
"Did you ask him to the party?" He asks curiously.
Groaning, you roll your eyes. "Yes, I asked him."
He leans forward, waiting patiently, but before you can say anything else, your phone dings with a new message.
Jerry: 'Design advice again.'
Your phone dings again with a second message. 'Would you be able to come over for a bit?'
Glancing up to your dad, you notice you must have been smiling at your phone, because there's a huge 'I told you so' style smirk plastered across his face. Rolling your eyes again, you type out a quick response. 'I can be over in a few minutes.'
Jerry: 'I'll be in the basement. Feel free to let yourself in.'
With a quick goodbye to your dad, not waiting to listen to his questions about the strange neighbor he knew nothing about, you grab a bottle of water and your keys.
It only takes a few minutes to get to Jerry's, as promise, and you decide to text a quick 'Here.' before moving to let yourself in. But you can't help but smile to yourself as you notice the newly painted porch; he had taken your suggestion.
The house still seems in a state of disarray, but you distinctly notice 2 wine glasses by the sink, along with an empty bottle of wine, and several beer bottles. That could definitely explain your foggy memory... Although you could have sworn you didn't drink anything.
Moving around the corner, you call out, "Jerry?"
It doesn't take long to hear his somewhat muffled voice. "Down here!"
Turning in the general direction, you find an open door with a staircase leading down. You take the first step, but Jerry comes around the corner, a broad smile forming as soon as he sees you.
"Hey there." He easily takes the stairs 2 at a time, coming to stand beside you. Seeming to notice the hoody and your less enthusiastic greeting, his brows turn up in slight concern. "You feeling alright?"
Shrugging, you shove your hands in the pocket of your hoody. "I just woke up with a headache, and last night is a bit foggy."
With a chuckle, he moves into the kitchen, grabbing an apple and tossing it to you before grabbing another for himself. "Always helps when I'm hungover."
You set the apple on the counter, pulling your protein bar and water out of the big pocket that makes large hoodies your favorite thing in the world.
He shrugs, rubbing the apple against his shirt with a smile on his face before leaning back against the counter to watch you. (((See GIF)))
"So..." Motioning toward the wine and beer beside the sink, you look to him in question. "I really am a bit fuzzy on last night."
Seeming to ponder an explanation, he takes a bite of his apple, keeping his eyes on you as you hop up onto the counter and crack open your water.
"Where does it go blank?" He takes another bite, seeming very nonchalant and unconcerned with your memory loss. Which you suppose should be comforting, it at least meant nothing too serious happened.
Warmth rises in your cheeks as you tug off your hoody, exposing your bruise.
His brows turn up in concern again as he tosses his apple in the trash and then moves closer, running his thumb gently across the discolored skin. "Does it hurt?"
You shake your head. "Not really, but I don't remember much after talking about the party. Something about you wanting to dress up as vampires?"
He smirks, tugging the collar of his shirt down to reveal a bruise just below his collar bone. "I suppose you don't remember returning the favor then?"
"I don't even remember drinking anything." Pursing your lips, you begin to feel a light throb return in your temples.
Jerry seems to notice. He places his hand under your chin, tilting your head to the side so he can get a better look at your neck. "Are you sure this doesn't hurt?"
"I just keep getting these weird headaches."
He leans in closer, pressing a soft kiss to your bruise. "Maybe you should lay down."
Before you can protest, he places another kiss, then another, each more eager than the last, until you forget about your headache. In fact, everything seems so warm and comfortable. Fuzzy even...
You barely even register when his tongue trails along your pulse point.
Chapter 5: Black Out
A soft finger trails along your cheek, tucking the stray hairs behind your ear and bringing you out of your deep sleep. (((See GIF)))
It takes a moment for you to come to your senses. The room is dark, the windows blocked with blackout curtains, and the only light source coming from the open door to the hallway. Blinking your eyes a few times in attempts to adjust, you begin to shift slightly.
Jerry sits beside you, smiling softly. "Hey sleepy head."
You move to sit up but feel an immediate surge of pain through your entire head and the crook of your neck, causing you to double over.
Jerry pulls the hair back away from your face, but you can't understand what he's saying. The ringing in your ears drowns out his words and blurs your vision where you can barely make out when he rushes out of the room.
He comes back seconds later, pressing a glass into your hand and sitting beside you, cradling you gently to ensure you are able to bring the glass to your lips. The liquid is thick, reminding you of v8 juice, but with a strange aftertaste. After a few sips, the pain slowly begins to subside, and your senses return.
Able to sit up on your own, you shift out from under the blankets, hanging your legs off the edge of the bed. Seeming to still be concerned, Jerry silently massages the back of your neck with one of his hands, then taps the bottom of the glass with the other, indicating for you to finish drinking.
After emptying the glass, you feel much better. Amazing actually... maybe even the best you've ever felt. A surge of strange energy passes through you, making you take deep breaths in a conscious effort just to stay sitting still.
The feeling passes, and you glance up into Jerry's eyes, his brows knitted in patient waiting. "What was in that?"
His expression breaks into immediate relief. "Just something I mixed up. Are you alright?"
Taking another deep breath, you manage a small smile and nod. "I'm not sure why this keeps happening." Finally able to glance around the room, you realize you don't recognize anything. "Did I fall asleep at your house?"
Tilting his head again, he wraps an arm around your waist, ensuring you're steady enough to stand before letting you go. "Losing time again?"
With a sigh, you follow him out into the hallway. "Yeah, I'm not sure what's going on."
"Well." He drags a finger gently along your jaw, tilting your head to the side. "At least your neck is getting better."
Apparently noticing the blush in your cheeks, he smirks, and gives you a quick wink before leading you downstairs to the kitchen. He grabs the glass from you, refilling it from a pitcher out of the fridge, and then hands it back to you.
Without question, you begin sipping it. Cocking your head to the side, you take another sip, slower, curiously trying to identify the strange extra flavor. Although, you do have to admit that it was growing on you. Whatever the strange, twangy, extra ingredient was, it made you feel great.
"You know..." You throw a coy grin his direction. "I feel a bit at a disadvantage."
Chuckling, he quirks a brow and moves to stand before you, seeming to tentatively watch every sip you take. "And why is that?"
"Well," You take another sip, and then offer him the glass, which he obliges in taking a sip from before returning it to you; his immediate acceptance making you feel oddly comforted, especially with your lack of knowledge on the mystery v8 concoction. "You seem to remember our little make out sessions, but I can't."
With another chuckle, he takes the now empty glass from you to set on the counter. Wrapping his arms around your waist, he kisses your forehead. "I'll try not to feel insulted by that."
Giggling, you return his affection by pressing closer and wrapping your arms up around his neck, then question him playfully: "Maybe you could just tell me why you gave me a hickey?"
"It's from a bite, so technically not a hickey." He counters, and then seems to catch on to the confusion and curiosity in your eyes, so he continues. "And to be fair... you left one on my chest in return."
Rolling your eyes jokingly, you tug the collar of his shirt down far enough to trace along his also lingering bruise. "Between your biting and your costume idea, I might start to think you're obsessed with vampires like my dad." You glance up to meet his eyes, hoping he sensed your sarcasm, but you see his brows knitted in contemplation. "What's wrong?"
He takes a breath and tilts his head side to side as though waging an internal debate. "Well." His eyes seem darker for a brief second, but they soften when you move to pull away. Wrapping his arms tighter around you, he places a sweet kiss to your lips, his smile returning as you relax against him. "Maybe your dad knows more than you think."
"Oh, is that so?"
He nods, but before you can say anything else, he changes the subject. "You know, the party is tomorrow night and you never did say if you liked my idea."
Giggling again, you shrug your shoulders. "I'm cool with that. It would actually be really easy to make a costume with some of my dad's old show stuff."
Squeezing you playfully, he places another gentle kiss to your cheek. "Can't wait."
His affectionate demeanor somewhat surprises you, but you chalk it up to his remembering your little sessions, assuming this allows him to feel closer to you. Although, something feels good about it, and you notice yourself feeling oddly attached to this man; even feeling comforted by his arms around you.
Catching a glimpse of a clock on the wall, you feel a bit startled to realize the time. "Did I really sleep all day?"
Nuzzling into your neck, you feel the tickle of his breath as he chuckles against your skin. "I didn't wanna wake you up, you looked so peaceful."
Squeezing him, you kiss his cheek and attempt to move away. "I should really get back."
He gives you his best pouty lip and puppy dog eyes. "Stay."
You manage to wiggle free, throwing an apologetic smile over your shoulder as you grab your hoody from the counter and slip it back on. "I really need to go."
Defeated, his shoulders droop slightly, and he gives a curt nod before moving to open the door for you.
Night had already fallen, reiterating your need to get back to your dad. Jerry of course insists on walking you the few feet from his porch to your car and opening the door for you to get in, but stops you just before you lean down, pressing his lips to yours in a single slow kiss.
Reluctantly, he pulls away, allowing you to lower yourself into your car. "Text me when you make it back safe."
Chuckling, you buckle your seat-belt. "Yes, daddy." You say sarcastically, but when you take another look, you see his head cocked to the side and a brow quirked up, that smug grin of his tugging at the edge of his lips. "Really?" You find yourself rolling your eyes again, and yet can't help but to return his smile. "Goodbye Jerry."
As you shut your door, you can barely hear him playfully asking, "What happened to calling me daddy?"
He watches as you drive off, waving goodbye and then placing his hands on his hips, ensuring that you at least make it out of his driveway safely.
A few minutes later you pull up at your own cabin. Before you walk in, you send a quick text to Jerry as promised.
Your dad is still up, sitting in his chair in the living room, an old book in hand as he sips his tea. The sound of the door shutting causes him to glance up over the brim of his glasses. "Well hello there darling. I was about to call you, I was starting to get worried."
With a smile, you walk over and press a reassuring kiss to his cheek before moving toward the kitchen for some water. You felt absolutely parched for some reason. "I was just at Jerry's dad."
Silence fills the cabin, and you stiffen as you realize the slip up. Sighing, you finish filling a cup of water, and then shuffle your feet unwillingly back into the living room to face your dad.
"Did you say.... Jerry?..." He emphasizes the name as though it was some sort of plague that he would catch just by saying it. To be honest, it almost reminded you of when anyone in the Harry Potter movies would say the actually name of Voldemort; terror and disgust.
"Dad..." You groan, flopping on the couch and using your free hand to rub your forehead in agitation. "You can't hate everyone who happens to be named Jerry."
"Dad." You point a finger at him in warning.
He seems to take the hint, and you shake your head, silently cursing yourself for letting the name slip so easily. But you know it had to happen at some point, afterall, the man was living in the next cabin.
Taking a sip of your water, you immediately furrow your brows, running your tongue over your teeth. The water tasted....strange. Something about it didn't quite sit right with you, but the glass is clean, and you don't feel anything on your teeth. Maybe you were just craving more of that strange concoction Jerry had given you? You take another sip of water, but it almost hurts your stomach, and you give up on the attempt for now.
"I want to meet this... Jerry." He says his name again with equal disgust.
"Well." You set the glass down. "Maybe I can bring him by after the party tomorrow night." He seems to perk up, but you raise your finger again. "Only if you promise to behave dad... I'm serious. No guns or stakes just because his name is Jerry, alright?"
Sighing, he gives in, throwing his hands up in the air. "Fine."
Chapter 6: Bruises and Bite Marks
Slowly blinking awake, you glance around your room and smile. Finally, you awoke with no pain, and a full memory of the previous evening. You had stayed up with your dad for a bit, happy to spend time together when it felt so rare the last few years.
He even brought down quite a few boxes of his old show props and costumes, and proceeded to help you dig through them. It had been quite late when you finally went to bed, but you were happy to have a costume picked out. While your dad was partial to the old style, blood dripping from your mouth and a ton of jewelry type of vampire, you wanted to go a little more subtle; a modern vampire if you will. Whatever that may be.
To you, this meant a black corset that had a hood attached, black skinny jeans, and a pair of your converse. Heels would usually be your go to, but as intimidating as Jerry is, you're actually the same height.
Stretching, you decide to get out of bed, opting for a shower before attempting to take on the day.
As you step out, you wipe steam from the mirror as usual, and smile tugs at your lips when you catch your reflection. The bruise on your neck had completely healed, leaving no trace it had ever existed in the first place. Even though you could have made it work with your costume, you no longer had to worry about your dad seeing it. As if he wasn't suspicious enough of Jerry as it was, seeing a bite mark on your neck might cause him to implode.
With the party not being until tonight, you throw on something casual. You grab your phone before heading downstairs and notice a few messages. Swiping your thumb across the screen, it unlocks to show they're from Jerry.
'I can't wait to see you tonight.'
'You're more than welcome to come over if you want to figure out the costumes.'
'I was thinking more casual, less cliché.'
When you look up, your dad has a rather large smirk, letting you know that you must have been smiling at your phone like an idiot without even realizing.
Rolling your eyes, you both share a laugh, and he pushes a plate of your favorite breakfast toward you. "Thought you'd enjoy this."
Eyes lighting up, you giddily sit at the opposite side of the counter, immediately digging in to the delicious meal. "I didn't even know you remembered how to cook this."
Shrugging, he leans back in his seat, seeming quite proud of himself. "I'm pretty great when I want to be."
Finding yourself rolling your eyes again, you manage to tap out a quick message in response to Jerry, letting him know you had thought the same about the costumes.
"So." Your dad's voice tears your attention away from your phone, he sets a small box on the counter between you, sliding it slowly in your direction. Immediately knowing what it is, you sit a little straighter. "I managed to find a little something when we were digging around, thought you might need it."
Bringing the box closer, you flip the latch and push it open, smiling with fond memories as it reveals custom made vampire fangs. "I'm surprised you still have these."
With a chuckle, he throws his hands up. "I'm not even sure they'll still fit. Afterall, we got them done when you were what? 18? 19?"
Running your thumb along one of them, you think back to that day. You had just told him you were moving away, and instead of freaking out like you had anticipated, he ended up taking you out for what could only be described as the perfect day. A trip to the museum, your favorite restaurant, he even took you shopping for nice luggage, but the day ended at a specialty shop run by of his old friends. That's where you were fitted for custom teeth, which you're sure would have seemed weird to anyone else, but for you and your dad... it was special. It was his way of saying goodbye, and it meant a lot.
After breakfast you sit and reminisce with your dad for a bit, but when you part ways, you realize the day had almost gone by. Having been snacking during your chat, you knew you wouldn't be hungry again until the party, so you opted to go ahead and figure out your makeup.
The first step, of course, is brushing your teeth, followed by trying on your fangs. Carefully, you pull one from it's safe little velvet cushion, and then lean over the sink to get closer to the mirror. It pops on almost effortlessly, and you jump with giddy excitement.
Although you could have figured something else out, these fangs were going to be the best part of your costume, you're certain of it.
Placing them both back in the box, you begin playing with your makeup. With plenty of time, you end up starting over several times, trying numerous different looks before deciding on one. Finally feeling happy with your eye makeup, you lean down to grab your lipstick bag. You take out every dark shade and arrange them in a line on the counter, trying one after the other.
You pop off the cap on a dark burgundy shade, twist the bottom, and then trace your lips. Turning your face to one side, then the other, you wiggle your brows playfully at your reflection and giggle. A mix of giddy excitement and nervous butterflies turning in your stomach. Your look had turned out just how you wanted, and you couldn't wait to see Jerry's reaction.
Leaning in closer to the mirror, you smile wide, running your tongue along your teeth to ensure there's no lipstick on them. (((See GIF)))
Just as you're about to zip up your makeup bag, you feel the hairs on the back of your neck bristle. Your entire body goes rigid, and your eyes slowly trail back up to your reflection. Hesitantly, you lean in closer again, feeling your heart beating through your chest as you slowly bare your teeth.
Jumping back, you bring your hands to your mouth, feeling 2 fangs. But you could have sworn you took them out!
Quickly, you rummage along the counter to find the box, tossing everything back into your makeup bag. Yanking a towel away, you hear the box clatter to the floor, and spin to retrieve it. Luckily, it's unharmed, but also somehow remained shut. Picking it up, you slowly press the latch and pull the lid back, revealing your 2 fangs sitting perfectly still in their cozy home.
You can actually feel the color drain from your face, and your entire body runs cold.
Slowly, you turn back to face the mirror. Your eyes wide and lips pressed firmly together. With a deep breath, you set the box carefully on the counter, staring at the contents in panic before returning your attention to your own reflection.
You bare your teeth again... and exhale a large sigh of relief as you expose only your normal teeth.
A loud ding startles you, making you jump. With another breath, you manage to laugh at yourself, chalking it up to obviously having some sort of sickness in the previous few days. Picking up your phone, you check the new message from Jerry.
'Do you wanna come over for a few minutes before the party?'
Taking one last look in the mirror, you again confirm your regular teeth. Tapping out a quick reply to Jerry, and taking a few calming breaths to lower your heart rate back to normal, you shake your head, laughing again at your strange daydream. Because there was no other explanation, it had to be in your head right? Afterall, you had been feeling really strange lately. But tonight would be fun, and you felt the excitement from earlier welling up in your chest again as you grab your keys.
Chapter 7: Atta Girl
Jerry comes to the door in dark wash jeans and a black button down, the sleeves rolled up, and the first few buttons left casually open. The chain of his necklace peaks out, almost distracting you from his warm smile, but as you glance back up, you notice the fangs.
He seems distracted by your outfit, one of his brows raised as he rakes his eyes over you. "Wow, you look … just wow."
It's your turn to smile and flash your pearly fangs, which seems to intrigue him even more. "You don't think the corset is too much?"
His lips part slightly in a soft chuckle, then shakes his head as if still trying to process your little costume. "It might be my favorite part to be honest."
"Great!" You spin around, motioning to the strings dangling from your back. "Then you won't mind helping me tighten it?"
Rather than stepping forward as you had expected, he instead grips the strings and tugs, pulling your back flush against his chest. With one hand on your hip to steady you, he leans forward, his warm breath trailing along your neck up to your jaw. "I'd love to." His voice always does things to you, especially that husky, sultry tone he uses when whispering directly into your ear.
"I would've asked my dad but I couldn't find him."
He takes a small step back and moves his hand so that he has a firmer grip on your hip, then pulls on the strings with the other, tightening your corset. Before you can motion to him that it's tight enough, you feel him tying off the end. He spins you around and pulls you against him again, a bit rougher this time, almost taking your breath away, and cracks his signature cocky grin. "I'm definitely not complaining."
Pressing his lips to your own, you can't help but to giggle at the strange sensation both of your fangs create. Feeling him smile into the kiss, you pull back slightly. "That might take some getting used to."
Humming in agreeance, he brings one of his hands up to run his thumb along your bottom lip and tilts his head in slight curiosity.
You had almost forgot about your lipstick entirely, and bite his thumb playfully before taking his hand in your own, then place a sweet kiss on his palm. "See? Transfer proof. Comes in handy with darker shades like this."
His hand moves along your jaw to rest along your neck, the familiar firm yet gentle caress seeming to grow on you more and more each time he does it. With a smirk, he kisses you again. "So, I can do this all night?"
Giggling, you slide his hand down to your hip so you can hook your arms up around his neck. "As much as you want."
Quirking his brow slightly, he chuckles. "With that outfit we might just have to skip the party, then I could keep you to myself. Maybe just kiss you all night." He peppers you with soft, sensual kisses every few words.
Smiling, you run your fingers up through his hair and teasingly keep a painfully small distance so that he can barely feel your lips on his own without actually kissing. He shifts to nip at you playfully, but you grip his hair to prevent it. Seeming to catch on, the corner of his lip twitches up in his cocky grin, and his grip on your hips tightens.
"Fine." He gives in, "We can still go to the party."
When he attempts to lean in, you again grip his hair, but this time he lets out a small growl and before you can register what's going on, he spins and has you pressed between him and the door. His lips crash onto yours hungrily, and you decide to push him even further by taking his bottom lip between your teeth, making sure he feels your fake fangs.
Pulling back slightly, you let his lip slide out from between your teeth, and notice his eyes have gone completely black. Gripping the collar of his shirt, you pull him back in for another heated kiss.
Somewhat reluctantly, he pulls back, smiling at you with a soft chuckle. "I think maybe we should calm down. If you still wanna make it to that party anyway."
You move to tug at his collar again, making him smirk, but he presses a kiss to your cheek. Taking your hand, he pulls you with him toward his truck, opening the passenger side door for you. "I figured I'd drive, call me a bit old fashioned, but I might need your help with directions."
As you climb up into his truck, you feel his hand smack your ass. Taking your seat, you turn to see him playing innocent as if it wasn't him. Giggling, you shake you head, earning a smile and a small kiss from him before he shuts the door and walks around to get in the driver's side.
"So." He shifts the truck into gear and makes his way up to the main road. "Which way m'lady?"
He holds your hand the entire drive, occasionally bring it to his lips in a sweet kiss. At one stop light in particular he even clears his through to draw your attention, and then taps his cheek with a grin and quirked brow. Rolling your eyes, you oblige in kissing his cheek, but before you can settle back into your seat he turns to steal a slow kiss on the lips. You actually have to tell him that the light is green, and even then he insists on one last kiss before turning his attention back to the driving.
When you finally arrive at the Geller's party, it seems like most everyone is already inside. They rent out a huge warehouse every year for this, and the majority of the town shows up. It's always been one of your favorite parts of the year, well, since you've been old enough to attend anyway. You weren't one to really drink or get crazy, but quite a few of the townspeople were, and this party was always the place for them to let loose, meaning no one under 18 was allowed in. It was a lot like a once a year Halloween club, anyone under 21 got huge X marks on their hands for 'no alcohol', and they always hired a great live DJ for the music.
As soon as the door opens, it's like stepping into a different world. The music, the crowds of people, all the strange costumes making it seem as if wild creatures were running wild. Jerry pulls you closer, leaning in so that you can hear him. "Wanna get a drink?"
Shaking your head, you kiss his cheek. "You go ahead, I'm gonna try and find the Geller's. Just text me if you can't find me, I'll have my phone on vibrate."
He seems warry about leaving your side, but nods and manages a smile. "As long as you promise to text me if anyone bothers you."
Rolling your eyes, you nod in agreement and share a quick kiss before running off to find your friends.
They actually end up being easy to find. There's an area off to the side, which they have set up like a VIP section away from the dance floor. It's a bit calmer, and has a large sitting area to relax. As soon as the Geller twins see you, they stand up and smother you in hugs. While they don't look like twins, the brother and sister have always been inseparable, and you had made friends with their family during your visits here in the past. They had taken over their parent's tradition of throwing this party every year, and had taken it to a new level.
"This is great!" You motion around. "It gets better every year, I don't know how you do it."
"Thanks!" Tracy brings you in for another hug, then holds you at arms length to look over your costume. "You look amazing, and the teeth are a nice touch. Although, you have GOT to try this blue drink the bartender is mixing, and it might stain them."
Shrugging, you pop them out with ease, placing them safely in a small bag you had brought before stuffing it in your pocket. "Problem solved."
Damon smiles, handing you a glass of the aforementioned blue drink that matches the ones they're already holding. Raising all 3 of your glasses together, you cheers to happy reunions.
Raising your brows, you take another sip of the drink. "Wow, this IS good!"
Tracy and Damon nod in unison.
"So..." Damon starts, but trails off.
Tracy speaks up for him. "We were wondering if you brought a date this year?"
They wait patiently, seeming to lean in with anticipation as you take another sip of your drink.
"Well... " A smile tugs at your lips, and they high five each other.
They had always been like siblings to you, and it never failed that they wanted to set you up with someone. You never really had time to date, but it didn't stop them from trying. Not to mention, they loved a bit of gossip.
"Is it that mysterious new guy?" Tracy looks over your shoulder onto the dancefloor, her entire expression changing from excitement to agitation. "Oh please tell me it's not Mark..."
Tilting your head in confusion, you notice Damon casting an agitated glance in the same direction. Turning, you notice Mark making his way toward the 3 of you. Sighing, you swig the rest of your drink in one large gulp, attempting to prepare for the headache that always comes with any conversation with Mark. He always had a thing for you, but he would also hit on anything with a heartbeat. The man couldn't take a hint, and all hopes of avoiding him tonight were dashed as he walks right up to stand beside you.
"Well." He drags his gaze over you, almost making you cringe. Not that he wasn't attractive, because he definitely had the looks, but he was a horn dog, and the single most annoying person in existence. "You look sexy as ever. Why don't we go dance? You can show me some moves."
Somehow, you manage a polite smile. "No, thanks Mark, but I'm actually here with someone."
"Oh?" He glances around sarcastically, then brings his attention back to you, taking a step closer. "I don't see him around anywhere sweetheart. Maybe you should just come dance with me. One song won't hurt will it? Maybe you'll even enjoy yourself."
"Thanks, but really I'm fine." You move to step back, but he grabs your arm.
"Come on. Just one dance." His grip isn't painful, but when he pulls you closer, you can't help but feel anger rising in your chest.
Before you can react, Mark's hand is twisted away, and Jerry steps between the two of you. "I think she told you no."
Jerry releases Mark's arm, and wraps his own around your waist before placing a soft kiss to your cheek, no doubt marking his territory. To be honest, it took every ounce of self-control to hold back your smirk as Mark slinked back into the crowd.
"Thanks." You press a kiss in return on Jerry's cheek, and notice Tracy and Damon eyeing the two of you, or rather, eyeing Jerry.
He doesn't seem to notice, but you feel a strange sense of pride at their reaction. Jerry was undoubtedly attractive, but he was clearly only interested in you, and if that's not a confidence boost then nothing else will be.
"So, you guys came as a vampire couple or something?" Damon speaks up.
Tracy nudges him. "I think it's a cute idea, they look great."
Chuckling, Jerry squeezes you tighter with affection. "Yeah, I talked her into it but she definitely upstaged me."
You roll your eyes playfully.
"Well," Tracy pulls on Damon's arm. "We're gonna go get another bottle of that blue stuff, we'll be right back. Oh, but they might stain your fangs." She motions to Jerry and then points her finger back at you. "Might wanna take them back out, because you know we're gonna fix you another glass."
Jerry chuckles as they leave, but you feel frozen in place. Your tongue runs hesitantly along your teeth ad your hand dips into your pocket. He seems to notice as you go rigid, and watches you with a mix or worry and curiosity. "What's wrong?"
Pulling out the bag, you feel the fangs still inside. Shoving them back into your pocket you bring your hands to your mouth, feeling the sharp protruding teeth. Panicked and confused, you pull away from Jerry, your heart pounding in your chest and stomach turning in knots.
"Hey." He holds you steady by your shoulders, pulling you to him so he can look you over. "Hey what's wrong. Look at me." He tucks a finger under your chin, tilting your head up for you to look him in the eyes.
"My fangs are in my pocket, Jerry..." You don't believe it yourself, and you wait for him to laugh at you, or call you crazy. Maybe he will leave you here, never to speak to you again. Because clearly, there's something wrong with you. Between the sickness over the last few days, and now this. Whether you're hallucinating or not, there's something clearly wrong here, and you cast your eyes downward waiting for him to say something; anything.
With a sigh, he pulls you against him, still holding your chin up so you can't look away. "I was hoping this wouldn't happen until after the party." He frowns slightly, and then continues. "You know, I didn't plan on it happening this way, I tried keeping it painless by making you forget the first few times. It's going faster than I thought it would... I wanted it to be special. I really did, and I hope you believe that."
Your brows furrow in confusion, not understanding a word of what he just said.
He smiles softly. "I suppose you would be happy to know that your family isn't crazy, and that it all actually happened. Just as they said it did."
You move to pull away slightly, but his grip tightens, keeping you flush against him. "I wanted you to forget the painful parts, but tonight won't hurt, especially with you being so far along already."
"I came here because I knew your father lived in that cabin. He and I have some unfinished business, which he obviously told you about already. I just didn't count on meeting you..." He holds you in place, but for some reason you don't feel the need to struggle. His arms make you feel safe, even as he brings his thumb up and cuts it on his fang, you still don't feel panic; if anything you feel a sense of relief wash over you. "I'll explain everything later, I promise." He trails his thumb along his bottom lip, smearing blood over it before he leans in to kiss you.
It tastes strangely familiar, and it suddenly clicks; the drink he had made you had a similar aftertaste. Blood.... There had been blood in the drink. And your father, he wasn't crazy. This was Jerry. THE Jerry. Your family thought they had killed him, but here he was, kissing you in a crowded warehouse party, his blood mixing on your lips and tongue. And yet, you couldn't feel more right; more at home; more safe.
You should be running, screaming for help. Not kissing the vampire that tried to kill your dad, TWICE; once as a child and again with your aunt and uncle. But... this was your Jerry, and you could feel that he would never hurt you.
When he pulls away, you still have a somewhat confused expression, but you relax into him, feeling a warm sensation throughout your entire body and a strange tingle in your teeth.
He smirks softly, flashing his fangs and yet looking at you with such affection. "Atta girl. How about I take you home, yeah?" ((((See GIF))))
Chapter 8: Are You Sure
You don't really remember much of the drive home. Jerry had been trying to explain something about a ... bonding process? At least, that's what he called it. It was really foggy, but you swear he was attempting to explain what he had been doing to you; why it had taken so long; why you haven't completely turned yet.
No matter how hard you try to concentrate on his words, your mind keeps drifting in and out of some warm, sleepy disorientated state. Although, you almost prefer the foggy state. For some reason, every time your mind seems to clear up you feel sharp pains throughout your body.
Jerry's hand never leaves yours, seeming genuinely concerned as he attempts to provide some sort of comfort through your pain. He seems to understand what's causing it, and through the muffled fog you gather that he's assuring you everything will be okay soon.
Before you can even register the absence of his touch, your door is open, and Jerry is carrying you up to his bedroom, where he gently places you on the bed before rushing back out. He returns only seconds later with a glass of the familiar red liquid.
Carefully, as though he's scared to break you, he sits on the bed and pulls you up beside him where he can help hold you steady. You feel the cold glass in your hand as he tries to help you drink, but you turn your head in refusal.
"Please..." He pleads.
His voice sounds sincere, and you can't help but to trust that he's trying to help you. The fog seems to be fading again, and before the pain can start, you quickly take several long gulps from the glass. Jerry breathes a sigh of relief, but gestures for you to finish the glass.
Once it's empty, you find yourself slowly coming back to your senses.
You drag your thumb across the side of your lip and pull it back to see the small amount of red liquid you wiped away. A sick feeling washes over as your stomach sinks; you remembered this taste, and you remembered what Jerry is.
He takes the glass from you to set it on the bed side table, but when he turns back to face you, you can't help but to flinch away.
"Hey." He whispers, attempting again, more slowly this time, to reach out to you. "I would never hurt you."
His fingers brush lightly along your cheek, and when you don't pull away, he lightly tilts your head up, forcing you to look at him.
"Why are you doing this?" You mutter, your voice barely above a whisper. "Why me?"
Jerry seems to crumple, his eyes searching yours as his shoulders deflate. "I never wanted you to be afraid of me. Not you." He pulls you closer, nuzzling into your neck, and your arms reflexively move around him. Without waiting for you to change your mind, he tightens his grip around your waist, hugging you desperately. "I made you forget the painful parts, hoping it would help you see. I wanted you to know I would never hurt you."
"But why me?" You repeat your question, but this time it comes out more curious than scared.
He pulls back a bit so that he can see you, his mood seeming to have been somewhat uplifted when you didn't reject his affections. "I tried explaining in the truck, but..." He pauses briefly, again searching your eyes as though he was scared to tell you. "Do you believe in soul mates?"
Furrowing your brows slightly, you tilt you head in question. "Soul mates?"
Pursing his lips, he gives a curt nod in response.
"I mean, I like the idea I guess." You shrug. "But I'm not sure how people really know... Why?..."
With a sigh, he seems to muster whatever courage he needed, and clears his throat for an explanation. "Well, we- … um..." He clears his throat again. "Vampires... We um, we DO know."
Seeming to take in your blank expression, he sighs again. His reluctance making more sense as he continued explaining.
"Soul mates." He states again, hoping you would catch on.
"Oh." Your eyes widen, and you motion shortly between the two of you. "You mean?..."
Nodding, he seems to realize that he wasn't getting out of spilling the gooey details. "It's corny, and I've never believed it... But I've always heard that there's a sort of pull, like a magnet, when you see who you're meant to be with. For us, um..." He clears his throat again, his discomfort with saying the world vampire in front of you becoming slightly amusing. "We, um, vampires... We feel it, and it's undeniable. I thought it was some sort of joke, until I saw you that night... on your porch... and it was like KNOWING. I had never been so sure of anything in my entire life. Which has been a very, very long time."
He waits for your response, his eyes searching your features, trying to gauge your reaction. To be honest, you were trying to figure out your own emotions. They ranged from disbelief, to amusement, to horror, and finally to curious acceptance.
"So..." You meet his eyes again. "I think I hear you say something about 'bonding'? I think... it was in the truck when I was all..." You make a swirling motion around your head to indicate how loopy you had been the whole drive home, which seems to make him smile.
"That's why you didn't turn the first time I..." He trails off, shuffling uncomfortably under your gaze.
"The first time you bit me?"
Quirking a brow at you, he seems shocked at your blunt, yet accepting tone. Maybe he was expecting you to be mad at him? To be horrified? Maybe you should be, but for some reason, all you were... was curious to hear more.
Nodding, he continues. "Yeah, the first time I bit you... Usually you would change if I didn't um... well, you know..."
You slide your finger across your throat, imitating death, which makes him tilt his head.
"Yeah, that... You know you're taking this very well." He watches you carefully, obviously not sure how to react, the situation being new for both of you.
"Maybe I'm just used to hearing about weird stuff." Shrugging, you manage a small smile, and wait for him to continue.
"Hm. Well, there's a bonding process that you can go through, but I've never really seen the point. It takes so long to turn someone that way, and with another … another vampire, it would make you really weak until it was finished." He runs a hand back through his hair, shifting again before meeting your eyes. "When I met you, I realized why someone would go through the trouble."
"So, what does the bonding do? What would happen if you finished? If I turned?"
Your question seems to startle him, but the corner of his lip twitches up slightly. "You would be mine, and I would be yours."
Quirking a brow, you can't help but to make a comparison, "Like wolves?"
He chuckles softly, and nods. "Kind of, yeah."
"So," you bite the side of your cheek in contemplation. "What would we need to do?"
With a small smile, he tucks a loose strand of hair behind your ear. "It won't hurt this time, but we would exchange blood, and then... seal the deal." He wiggles his eyebrows suggestively, making you both laugh.
Your smile fades. "My dad..."
Jerry nods in understanding. "There's no laws or anything like in the movies, you could tell him, or even turn him, if you wanted to. I'm not sure how he would react to me though..." His brows knit together.
Suddenly you recall who Jerry really is. "Did you come over to kill him that night? When you met me?"
With a sigh, he nods. "I won't lie to you, it's the main reason I bought this cabin. I saw your family together, and thought I could get a little payback of everyone at once, but then I saw you walk out of the house... And I couldn't. When you were sitting on the porch, by yourself, I decided I'd try to introduce myself. I honestly thought you might have some kind of charm or weird protection thing your dad may have found, but when I started talking to you, I realized what happened."
After taking a moment to think, you feel no reason to doubt him. Maybe he was right, maybe soul mates did exist, and maybe he was yours. "Do you still want to kill them?"
"No," he shakes his head. "I wouldn't ever hurt them because that would end up hurting you."
"You know..." You quirk a brow playfully. "My Aunt doesn't quite remember what happened, but my Uncle thinks you tried to steal her away."
Chuckling, Jerry tightens his arms around you again, pulling you close and kissing your cheek. "That was just to lure your dad and Charley." With another kiss to your other cheek, he adds. "You're the one for me, I promise."
You press your lips gently to his, but after only a few seconds, he pulls away.
"I need you to understand, before we do this, what it really means." His brows knit together in concern again, but he gives you one more quick kiss before explaining. "We will be bound together, if one of us dies, so does the other. You'll be a vampire... so you'll need blood. You can survive on blood banks and things like that, but fresh human blood is what will keep you healthy. We don't always have to kill, or turn them, some people are actually willing to let you keep coming back for more." He seems to notice your slight grimace. "I'm just telling you the truth, you need to hear it before deciding. If we stop right now, I promise to leave and you and your family will never see me again. You'll have what seems like the flu for a day or two, and then you'll be back to your normal, human self. And... you'll forget I was anything other than some random, temporary neighbor named Jerry."
With a soft smile, you press your lips to his again.
He responds somewhat hesitantly, but you decide to reassure him by running your fingers up through his hair, and pulling him deeper into the kiss. When he shifts away, you move to question him, but he tugs at your knees, pulling you down so that he can situate himself on top of you. With a giggle, your legs immediately go around his waist, and he leans back down to continue kissing you.
Impatiently, you tear his shirt open, accidentally popping off one of the buttons. He doesn't seem to mind, and quickly rips the string on the back of your corset, making it easier to tug off. With a low growl, he's back on top of you, his lips trailing up and down your neck.
You tug at his hip with one hand, and burry the other in his hair. Moans, and whimpers spilling from your lips with every breath.
Pulling back again, you see his eyes are black, and his fangs are out. "Are you sure?"
You nod in response and pull him back down, pressing your lips to kiss.
He responds for a moment, but then he again pulls back to look at you.
"I need you to tell me." He gently caresses your cheek. "Tell me you're sure."
He smiles, and you feel his lips on your neck again. There's a sudden sharp pain, but before you can even wince, it's already faded into a warm, amazing feeling that causes you to moan his name.
Flashes ghost along your eyelids, making things seem blurry even when you try to blink it away. Whether you're dreaming or not, you can't be completely sure.
Everything feels …. different.
Not bad. Just … new.
You try to concentrate on clearing your vision, but something shifts around you. A hand reaches around your waist, causing you to jump slightly and bringing your senses back to reality.
"Hey, it's okay." Jerry runs a soothing hand through your hair, then gently feels your forehead and purses his lips.
In one swift movement he's standing at your edge of the bed, scooping you up into his arms to carry you to the bathroom. Setting you gently on the large counter between the 2 sinks, he places a thumb under your chin to tilt your head back, seeming to inspect your neck. Then he feels along your jaw curiously, his brows knitting together when you flinch slightly as he hits a strangely tender spot.
He spins to turn on the shower, his hand feeling the water to get it at the right temperature.
Your hair drifts up to your jaw, immediately finding that same tender spot. A mix of curiosity and concern bubbling in your stomach as you realize the likely reason for your teeth hurting. Before you can open your mouth to ask Jerry anything, a wave of nausea rakes through you, causing you to double over.
Jerry turns back to check on you, apparently having gotten the water to the perfect temp, and sees you clutching at your stomach, your jaw clamped shut both in pain and an attempt to keep the contents of your stomach from coming up. He brushes the hair out of your face, rubbing soothing circles on your back and along the base of your skull, somehow relieving some of the strain and allowing you to sit upright.
You open your mouth again, trying once more to ask the question, but he seems to already know what's on your mind.
"I've never been through this." His eyes are wide with worry and you can sense the sincerity in his voice, which somewhat confirms your fear. This wasn't the normal way someone turned, and there was no telling whether it would stop any time soon. "I'm so sorry..." He caresses your cheek, pressing small, gentle kissing along your temple.
Pulling back slightly, he feels your forehead again and inspects your eyes. Something about him seems crisper, almost like you're truly seeing him for the first time. Even his smell is different, but you aren't quite sure how to explain it, even to yourself. You reach out to grip his arm, both for support and in an attempt to ground yourself in reality.
What you weren't expecting is how he would even feel so much different. It takes every ounce of control not to flinch away as you feel a jolt of electricity run through you. You can feel the throbbing of his pulse, and... are you hearing it too?? What's going on?...
He seems to notice you trying to work through the feeling of being in a new world, everything around you feels so different. It's like all of your senses have been kicked into overdrive. You can even smell a distinct metallic scent in the air, which causes you to furrow your brows.
Jerry places a hand at either side of your face along your jaw, bringing your gaze up to meet his. "You'll get used to it, I promise. I'm here for your, I'm right here."
Nodding softly, you finally notice the strange feeling along your neck and chest. The sudden realization the you're somewhat covered in blood hit you like a truck, but the sinking feeling washes away almost immediately when you see the way Jerry is looking at you. He had been looking so concerned this entire time, so worried and helpless to the situation, that you had completely overlooked the fact that he too was covered in blood.
With a deep breath to steady yourself, you realize the metallic smell was from the drying mix of blood on both of your skin. Tilting your head, you take another deep inhale and close your eyes. You remember exchanging blood to start the change and initiate the bond between the two of you, but you also remember how close it made you feel. It was like you could feel how much Jerry loved you, and that he would do anything to protect you; almost as if you were flooded with the warmth of all his affection for you.
You had never felt so close to someone in your entire life.
Something about the way he's holding you, tells you that he felt exactly the same way. There was a pull toward him before, but now, it's like you need to be near him.
Is this what he meant? Is this what he tried to explain before? Could this be the pull between soulmates that only vampires can truly feel?
It has to be...
There's no other explanation. This man standing before you, clutching to you as though you're the key to his life, as if you're more critical than the air around him for his survival... this is your soulmate.
A warm feeling, like a sense of relief, slowly trails throughout your body, taking away all the pain and uncertainty. Everything seems clear and bright, and you wonder how you ever lived your life without this level of clarity. Colors seem more vivid, smells all bring images to your mind, and you swear if you tilt your head just right you can hear a fly buzzing in a spider web in the downstairs front window.
With a soft laugh, you smile up at Jerry, who returns with a wide grin of relief. "Well, looks like the worst of it's over?" He kisses your forehead again, obviously hopeful that your pain had passed.
Before he can wrap his arms around you again, you move to slide off the counter and motion at the blood covering the both of you. "I think we need to shower."
Chuckling, he nods in agreement, checking the water again before you help each other out of the somewhat sticky and definitely ruined clothes.
He steps into the shower first, then offers you his hand, clearly insisting on babying you for a while longer until he was sure you weren't going to double over again anytime soon.
Once the water begins to run clear again, a good sign that the blood had been washed away, you find yourself simply wrapped in each other's arms. The hot water feels so good on your skin, and his embrace makes you wonder how you were ever able to live without him.
With a soft sigh, you lean back enough to look him in the eye.
His features twitch up in that sweet, sly grin of his as he presses a slow, loving kiss to your lips. Then, he seems to notice the slight knit in your brows, "What's wrong, love?"
Pursing your lips, you press a quick kiss in return to his lips, then nuzzle into his neck and squeeze him closer. "How are we going to tell my dad?..."
Jerry opens his closet to reveal several items of clothing in your exact size and style. With a curious raise of your brow, you glance over your shoulder at him. “Do I wanna know who these belong to?”
Chuckling, he pulls a fresh henley shirt over his head, then casually tugs the sleeves up at his elbows. “I got them for you. Call it wishful thinking, but I wanted to make sure you’d be comfortable here if you said yes.”
You quickly dress in a pair of jeans and a fitted tshirt, opting for you converse yet again before turning to face Jerry. “Well.... I guess I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. Let’s head out.”
“Wait.” He catches your arm before you can step toward the door, fishing around in his pocket for an item he then conceals clutched in his fist. “Just one more thing.” With a somewhat nervous smile, he gently slides a beautiful ring onto your finger.
Suddenly left without words, you slowly bring your hand closer, inspecting the gorgeously intricate new adornment that has made its comfortably snug home on your finger. “Jerry I.... I don’t know what to say.”
“Well...” He pulls you close, the edge of his lips twitching up before pressing them gently to yours. “It may be a bit easier to start off with an engagement announcement than to tell your father our lives are linked.”
In a deflated sigh, your shoulders slump and eyes drop back to the ring where your hand rests on Jerry’s chest. “He’ll freak out as soon as he sees you.”
Lips pursed, he tucks a few stray hairs behind your ear and looks into your eyes. “He can’t kill me, he’s tried that already.”
Your brows knit together. “It’s not funny Jerry...”
He presses another reassuring kiss to your cheek before leading you out to the truck, and continues pressing several to your knuckles on the short ride to your cabin.
The Jeep is parked outside, just as you expected, but it doesn’t make getting out any easier. If your dad heard the truck pulling up, or the doors shutting as you both slowly approach the porch, he doesn’t make any move to even check out any of the windows. Although an overcast day like this provides safety from the sun, it usually means your dad is camped out in front of the tv watching old horror movies and jumping at every creak and moan in the house.
Jerry moves to knock at the door, but you catch his hand, earning his questioning glance. “Maybe I should go in first... try to explain things a little.”
He seems hesitant, which is understandable considering what you’re about to have to tell your dad. “I’m not sure that’s such a good idea.”
“Just wait out here for a few minutes, okay?” You press a gentle kiss to his cheek, then his lips. “He’s my dad, he won’t hurt me. But you... you he hates.”
With a half-hearted chuckle, he reluctantly nods and stays put as you walk into the cabin alone.
“Dad?” You call out, slowly making your way into the living room where you could hear an old thriller playing. “Dad?” Rounding the corner, you spot him sitting in his favorite chair with a rather large bowl of popcorn. Stepping a little closer, you attempt to gain his attention without startling him.
But... popcorn goes flying as he jumps up out of said chair and ends up falling onto the floor at your feet. Looking up, he manages a meager, slightly embarrassed smile as he props his head casually up on his hands. “Well hello darling, I was just um... just testing the floor.” He pats it gently and then jumps to his feet. “Ah, yes, very good. Floors are still sturdy.”
Quirking your brow, you can’t help the broad smile forming across your features. You wanted to remember this moment; your dad looking at you in such a loving, sweet way, his eyes so full of affection and light. They always seemed brighter when they landed on you, something that never failed to cheer you up. But, how would it change with what you were about to tell him? Would he still look at you as his daughter, or as a monster? Would the light leave his eyes completely?
As if the worry was written plainly in front of you, your dad steps closer, placing his hands on your shoulders as he tries to bring you back from your thoughts into reality. “What’s wrong, love?”
With a sigh, you bring up your left hand. The ring glints brilliantly in the darkness of the room, light from the television screen playing up every edge cut into the diamonds placed along its band.
Eyes wide, he moves closer, taking your hand in his own to run his thumb along your new jewelry. Almost as if he had half expected it to be a trick of the eye, he releases a heavy breath he had been holding in. “Is-Is this... Is this what I think it is?”
“Dad.” You start attempting to explain, not entirely sure where to even begin. “Jerry and I-”
“Jerry?!” He steps back slightly, seeming stung by your words. “The guy you JUST met?”
“Dad, I know but-”
He cuts you off. “There’s something going on here. This isn’t right.” Something catches his attention from the front window. “Is that him out there?!”
Your dad takes a purposeful step toward the front door, grabbing a large cross from one of the nearby tables.
“DAD!” You try to block his path, hoping you can explain. “Dad you have to listen to me, you don’t understand he-”
A painful scream rips from your throat as you fall to the floor, your entire body raking with spasms as you clutch your scorched hand. The rest of the world is blocked out as you look through blurry, tear brimmed vision as your hand slowly heals. Within what felt to be several minutes, but was in reality only a few short seconds, your hand is healed and the pain subsided.
Glancing up, you notice your dad frozen in place, shock written plainly across his features as the cross dangles limp in his hand. “What has he done to you?...”
Before you can respond, you realize Jerry must have heard your scream. All you can do is watch as your dad’s entire world shatters, his expression changing to that of pure hatred as he recognizes him.
"You?!" Your dad raises the cross, clutching it furiously in an outstretched hand.
The feeling is immediately uncomfortable, causing you to flinch away. Something that doesn’t go unnoticed by either man.
Jerry shifts to move closer to you, but your dad shoves the cross closer. Unfortunately, this only causes you more discomfort. The ringing in your head growing louder as your skin seems to crawl.
With a low growl, and one large step, Jerry grips the front of your dad’s shirt, pushing him further away from you. Your dad tries shoving the cross in his face, but Jerry grabs it with his bare hand. The cross immediately catches fire, and Jerry flashes his fangs before blowing it out and throwing it across the room. (((See GIF)))
Jerry gives your dad one last little growl, then releases him to move closer to you. “You were hurting her.” He crouches next to you, helping you back to your feet and keeping a warry arm around your waist.
Your dad watches the two of you interact, obviously perplexed as Jerry inspects your previously burnt hand and places a very gentle kiss to your completely healed palm. “What have you done to my daughter?”
A low growl rumbles in Jerry’s chest, but you easily silence him with a look. Defeated, Jerry takes a step back, allowing you and your dad to take a seat on the couch while he stands, leaned against the doorframe barely an armlength away. Your dad keeps glancing at him, but you know Jerry needs to be a part of this conversation too.
“Dad.” You grip his hand, ripping his attention away from Jerry. “I know this is a lot to take in-”
“Are you okay?” He interrupts, his eyes drifting downward toward your hand before meeting your gaze again. “I never meant to hurt you.” Tears threaten to spill over the brim of his eyes, his bottom lip quivering slightly as he takes a deep breath and glances again between you and Jerry.
“I’m fine.” Holding both of your unmarked palms up, then flipping your hands over to show the smooth skin on either side. “See?”
“And you always thought I was paranoid...” He holds both of your hands in his own, his thumb seeming to linger on the ring.
You share nervous laughter, but it dies off quickly as your dad sniffles.
With a sigh, you squeeze his hands gently. “I love him...”
Rolling his eyes, his sarcastic tone drips with venom that laces every word. “And I suppose he’s said he loves you too?”
“She’s the only reason you’re alive.” Jerry mutters, earning another eye roll from your father. “Hey.” Jerry barks, shifting from the doorframe and obviously resisting the urge to move even closer. “I gave her a fucking choice, I offered to leave if she didn’t want this. Believe it or not, she’s my soulmate, and for some reason she thought I was worth loving back.”
Slowly, your dad lifts his eyes to meet yours, searching for something. “So you- you’re?...” Taking a deep breath, he squeezes your hands again, seeming to reassure himself more than anything. ”You’re like him now?”
Pursing your lips, you reply in a soft, but curt nod.
Letting out a long breath, he glares over at Jerry. “I’ll kill you for this.”
“No.” He shakes his head. “I almost did it before, but I swear I’ll find a way to make it permanent this time.”
Jerry crosses his arms, the veining in his neck turning a bright shade of blue as he strains to hold himself back. “And here I thought you loved your daughter.”
Turning his attention back to you, your dad furrows his brows. “It turned the others back. It turned your Aunt back, I promise I’ll save you darling.” He clutches at your hands, his desperation clear.
But he can see in your eyes... that this won’t be the case. “Dad...” You want to explain, but realize you don’t even fully understand yourself, and glance to Jerry, pleading.
He clenches his jaw several times, but reluctantly sighs and nods. “Peter...” Your dad seems to ignore him, so he tries again. “Peter.”
“What?!” Your dad spits back, his chest heaving.
Jerry glances to you again before continuing. “She’s my soulmate. It’s different.”
Shaking his head, your dad moves to turn his attention back to you, but Jerry is done playing nice.
“Hey.” Jerry takes a step closer, placing his hand on your shoulder and causing your dad to somewhat lean away. “Soulmates are a little more serious for vampires, it links you. In other words... If you kill one of us, the other dies.”
The color drains from your dad’s face, his skin suddenly looking very gray and clammy as his wide eyes bore into yours. Your lack of response apparently confirms his fear, and you watch as he crumples. His entire soul seems to deflate, his shoulders falling and eyes suddenly seeming so devoid of all the bright life they held only a few brief moments ago. You had tried memorizing how they used to look at you, you had hoped for the best, but nothing could prepare you for the way those same eyes looked at you now.
Jerry guides you inside, your feet shuffling along numbly as he gently helps you lower onto the couch. His hand caresses your cheek, tucking a finger under your chin in attempts to bring your focus back to the present. You meet his eyes, but it immediately overwhelms you.
Tears threaten to spill over the brim, your breath hitching in your throat as you open your mouth to speak, unable to find the words.
The damn breaks and a single tear streams down your cheek as your chest continues to ache.
You squeeze your eyes shut and move to turn away, feeling the warm drops run down your cheeks uncontrollably. Jerry wraps his arms around you and sits beside you, quickly bringing you across his lap to comfort you as best he can.
He runs his fingers soothingly through your hair, pressing his lips to the top of your head and repeatedly whispering that it would all be ok. But every time you close your eyes, all you can see is the look of utter agony on your dad’s face, as if the realization that your life was linked to Jerry’s was worse than a death sentence. Although... with their history together, you couldn’t exactly blame him; you had just really hoped he would still love you.
The void, long-distance stare that left his eyes so dark and cold, felt so foreign to you. He had always had such warm, loving eyes. They seemed like a distant memory now.
The tears seem to finally slow down, but Jerry keeps you close, the both of you clutching onto each other in near desperation. Suddenly, you start to feel as though you had been selfish. It was so emotional to think about not having any family anymore, but Jerry had been alone for... well you weren’t really sure how long to be honest.
“At least I have you...” You whisper, your lips ghosting along his skin where you were still nuzzled in the crook of his neck.
He squeezes you tighter in reassurance. “Always.”
With a sniffle, you wipe your hands across your face, smearing away the last of the tears. Jerry runs his thumb across your cheek, studying your eyes before smiling softly and pressing a long, gentle kiss to your forehead.
Your stomach begins to rumble, which makes Jerry chuckle as he easily stands with you, holding you in his arms bridal style as he carries you into the kitchen. He sets you down on the counter before reaching into the fridge and pulling out a large, gallon jug of red liquid. Seeming to hesitate, he takes a deep breath before placing it on the counter next to you.
Brows furrowed together, you cautiously reach out and pick up what you assume used to hold milk, knowing full well what it now contains. Every inch of your being screams out for you to chug the entire container, the smell prickling at your senses before you even pop off the cap. Your mind wants to fight it, but you made a decision, and knew what the consequences would be.
Slowly, you bring the jug to your lips, part of you savoring every second as the liquid pours into your mouth and runs down your throat, but the other part of you hated how good it made you feel.
After a few moments, you put the jug back down, trying to pace yourself even though your entire body ached for more.
Jerry sighs, crossing his arms as he leans against the opposite counter, his brows knitted together as he glances between you and the jug. “It’s easier if you just drink it all.”
Pursing your lips, you glance down, running your thumb along the seam of the plastic handle, the internal war on your old human instincts fighting in vain against your new urges and needs.
“Hey...” Jerry whispers, ripping your attention back to reality as you meet his soft gaze. “I know it’s hard.” He stays leaned against the counter, obviously trying to give you some space, his arms coming uncrossed briefly before gripping the counter in restraint. “I can promise you... It will be much worse if you don’t drink it.”
You trust him completely, but something feels off. You’ve noticed the blue veining getting more prominent, especially in his neck, but you had chalked that up to your new heightened senses. “What do you mean?”
Taking a deep breath, he seems to steady himself. “We need a lot more of that,” He points to the jug, “than we do the fresh stuff. Especially with you being... turned... so recently.”
Giving in, you take a few more gulps from the jug, which seems to help Jerry relax a little. “Is that why you’ve been a little edgy?”
Quirking a brow, he cocks his head to the side before his lip twitches up in a grin. “You’re already noticing more. That’s good, it’s coming naturally to you.”
A few more large gulps go down, easily draining half the jug. “You didn’t exactly answer the question.”
He nods curtly, seeming distracted by your lips every time the jug meets or leaves them. “I haven’t fed since I saw you.”
“Here.” You hold the jug out for him to take, but he just shakes his head.
“That’s not cutting it anymore.”
It’s your turn to feel worried, you can’t imagine the pain and hunger he’s enduring. “Isn’t there somewhere nearby? Or animals? Something?”
He chuckles and finally moves forward to caress your cheeks with both hands, his eyes meeting yours with such warmth that you feel love radiate every inch of air between you. “I’ll be ok, it can wait another day or 2 until I’m sure you’re alright.”
After draining the last of the jug, you turn your full attention to Jerry. “I’m sure I’ll be fine, you’ve got like 3 other jugs in the fridge.”
Dragging a thumb along the edge of your bottom lip, he slowly wipes away a small drip of blood. “I’ll go tomorrow night, ok? I promise. Besides, you helped hold me over a little.” He wiggles his brows for emphasis as he wraps his arms around you.
“Does it still help, even now?” It’s a simple question really, but it seems to surprise him.
After a brief pause, he reluctantly shrugs his shoulders ever so slightly. “I suppose it does, but it’s not quite the same.”
The veining in his neck is even bluer than before, almost reaching his jaw and seeming brighter by the minute. “I don’t mind, especially if it’ll help you feel better.”
He immediately shakes his head. “No, I’d never ask you to do that. I promise I’ll be fine for another night.” He presses his lips to your forehead several times.
You can see the pulsing vein perfectly from here as his head tilts to reach and kiss your temple. You know he’s trying to comfort you, but all you can think about his how hungry he must be, and how great you feel after drinking that entire gallon. Something seems to stir inside you, both out of worry and your own new urges.
Jerry presses another soft kiss, and you move forward, catching him off-guard as you grip the back of his hair, holding his head in place to drag your tongue along his neck.
He grips your leg, letting out a deep, shaky breath. He mutters your name in question, but you pull him closer by his hips with your free hand, wrapping your legs around his waist to press your body flush with his as you lightly nip at his jaw.
One of his hands moves to your shoulder as if to push you away, but as your tongue drags along his pulse point again and back up the length of his neck, his resolve fades. Instead, a soft groan escaping his lips.
Tugging at his hair until he gives you better access, you suck and kiss at the crook of his neck until his chest rises and falls with heavy, raspy breathing. His fingers dig into your hips, clutching at your body as you lightly graze his skin with your teeth so he can feel your fangs.
Running your tongue along his jaw one last time, you nip at his ear playfully before whispering into it. “Bite me.”
A heavy breath passes through his lips, his entire body seeming to tremble. “I don’t think-”
“Please.” You whimper into his ear, tugging at the back of his hair again as you grind your body up against him.
His grip shifts to your legs, his hips seeming to grind into you as an involuntary response.
“Please Jerry.” You moan into his ear again, tugging at his belt. “Bite-”
A deep growl sounds from within his chest and before you can blink one of his hands moves to your hair as he sinks his teeth into your neck. You don’t even flinch this time, the pleasure is instantaneous.
You arch your back and tilt your head, giving him better access. He hums in satisfaction, sending a chill up your spine and goosebumps across your flesh.
When he pulls back you almost protest, but the sight of him like this, his chest heaving, your blood dripping from his lips down his chin, his pupils blown wide, you just can’t help the whimper that escapes.
His brows knit slightly. “Babe, I-”
You cut him off by pressing your lips to his, your hands trailing down to start undoing his shirt. Pushing him gently, you slide off the counter and make your way toward the stairs. Glancing over your shoulder, you see him standing there, looking disheveled and slightly confused. A smirk tugs at your lips as you sway your hips every step up the stairs.
He seems to take the hint, walking through the door not long after you.
Slowly, you guide him further into the room, his eyes never leaving you, even when you push him down so that he falls back onto the bed. He moves to sit up but you straddle him and press your hands to his shoulders, pushing him to lay back down.
Your hands move along his bare chest, then down along his abs to undo his belt. He squirms beneath you, running his hands back through his hair as he clearly struggles to restrain himself.
Taking off your shirt, you lean over him, barely allowing your body to graze his as you lick some of the blood from is lips. He groans and grips your hips, quickly pinning you to the bed and settling his entire weight between your legs.
You don’t even remember when or how your pants came off, but your entire being aches for Jerry.
He quickly removes the last of his clothing and runs his hands along your legs, up the length of your torso, before resting on one hand to hold his weight above you and using the other to caress your cheek. His lips press to yours, moving slowly at first, but as you drag your nails down his back, he lets out another growl and latches onto your neck again.
Moans spill from your lips, begging him, your back arching in anticipation as he finally obliges in shifting his hips forward to slide into you. The pleasure is almost unbearable, between the steady rhythm of his hips and the intoxicating warmth as his fangs dig deeper into your neck.
You don’t remember waking in the night; you don’t remember slipping into one of Jerry’s t-shirts and padding downstairs into the kitchen; you don’t remember chugging the last three jugs; you DEFINITELY don’t remember the primal hunger that took grip on your entire being.
Something snaps you out of it just as you begin licking the spilled blood off your hands. Like reality suddenly clicked back into place, and your brows knit as you look down at the mess you’ve made. There’s blood splattered across the floor where you had thrown the jugs after emptying them, and the thick liquid starting to cake in the crease of your neck where it has messily trailed along to soak the front of your shirt.
The realization that you had lost control wrecks through your body as you slide to the floor in a fit of spasms.
You bring your hands to your face, trying to steady them as the shaking worms its way into your emotions like a strange virus taking hold. The anxiety blooms across your chest as it heaves with each labored breath. Were you turning into something else? Was there a side effect Jerry didn’t know about? Was this the end?
Jerry rounds the corner, still blinking sleep from his eyes as he wonders where you’d gone. He notices the blood first, and then the crumpled, shaking figure on the floor. Calling your name seems to go on deaf ears, so he cautiously moves closer.
The sudden touch of someone’s hand on yours startles you, seeming to scare away whatever had been plaguing you. You look up to meet Jerry’s eyes, his brows knitted together as he kneels before you, gently taking both of your hands in his.
A single tear spills over the brim of your eye. “I don-don't understand.” You move to look around again but he moves a hand to your cheek, keeping your eyes locked with his own. “I don’t even remember doing this... it was like I just woke up down here and I was- I … I’m just so hungry.”
Another tear trails down your cheek.
Jerry wipes it away with his thumb, softly tugging you forward into his arms as he wraps them around you. “I didn’t expect the bond to be so strong. I’m so sorry, love.”
Leaning slightly to get a better view of his face, you tilt your head. “What?”
With a sigh, he kisses your forehead, then your temple, then your cheek before meeting your gaze again. “I think you’re feeling some of my hunger. I’ve had to learn to control it, but you …” He runs a hand through your hair, taming some of the stray fly-aways by tucking them behind your ear. “You’re not used to it yet... I’m sorry, I didn’t know the extent of what we would share.”
“I thought you’d heard stories?”
He pulls you with him as he stands, easing you onto your feet and helping to guide you back upstairs. “Each bond is different; some are a lot stronger than others.”
He makes sure you’re steady as he moves away to warm the shower for you. Still feeling confused, but knowing it was both the best, and ONLY answer that he had, you try to accept that you’ll have to figure things out as time goes on.
A smile gently warms across your face at the reminder; Jerry is yours; you’re Jerry’s; you have an eternity to spend together.
When Jerry returns, his worried expression softens at the sight of you smiling again. “Feeling better?”
You stand and remove the bloodied shirt before wrapping your arms around him. “Thank you.”
“For what?” He leans back slightly, moving a hand to caress your cheek. “Are you sure you’re feeling ok?”
Giggling softly, you smile up at him, taking in all of his beautiful features. Each handsome curve of his face, the cute twitch of his brow in curiosity. “For being here. For being mine. For having patience with me.”
A soft chuckle sounds in his chest as he squeezes you tight again. “I’m not sure I could ever explain how much you’ve done for me already, but you saved me.” He kisses the top of your head, then your temple. “Over 400 years of feeling empty and lost, being angry at the world, not knowing how to cope... until I saw you.”
With a soft sniffle, you push away gently. “I’m gonna cry if we keep getting sappy like this.”
He laughs and shakes his head, bringing a smile to your face as he presses his lips to yours. “Go take a shower, I’ll clean up the kitchen.”
You catch his arm before he can fully turn away, bringing him in for another slow kiss. “I love you.”
Smiling, he gently nudges you toward the bathroom. “I love you too, now go relax and clean up. I’ll be right back.”
The hot water feels amazing on your skin, even with the blood long gone, you can’t bring yourself to leave the steamy comfort of the shower.
You hear Jerry stirring in the room, and reluctantly twist the water off before stepping out to wrap yourself in a towel. “Hey Jer -”
Brows furrowed, you tilt your head, listening intently at the sounds from the next cabin over. Tires on loose gravel, a familiar squeak of brakes that you kept telling them to replace, and then the muffled voices you had never thought would bring dread.
Jerry steps into the bathroom. “I guess he called them.”
Before you can say anything, he warps his arms around you and guides you into the bedroom. Some of your clothes already laid out on the bed as he shrugs on a shirt of his own. “What will I even say?”
“Well,” he finishes buttoning his shirt. “Charley might try to kill me again.” He chuckles, but you’re less than amused.
You slip on the rest of your clothes in a huff of frustration. “I’m serious. What if he actually does? What if you get hurt while we’re trying to explain everything?”
Grabbing your hand, he starts to lead you toward the door. “Come on, your dad ended up listening, I’m sure we can get them to listen too.”
“How are you so calm about this? They literally tried to kill you before...”
With a soft kiss to your knuckles, he continues leading you down the stairs and out the front door. “I’ve got you with me, for one. But I’ll stick back a bit while you go inside and try to smooth things over.”
He opens the door to his truck, helping you inside before moving around to get in the driver’s seat.
Seeing the anxiety plainly written across your features, he again takes your hand and presses another, lingering kiss to your knuckles. You look up to meet his eyes, finding a deep sense of comfort in them, like knowing even if everything goes wrong, Jerry is here for you no matter what.