“You’re going to WHAT?” Abby exclaimed, her voice rising in disbelief as she whirled around to stare at her daughter.
Clarke winced at the sound of shattering glass as the phial Abby had just picked up to fill with one of her concoctions slipped from her fingers. She frowned as she silently berated herself for her careless timing, knowing full well that her mother’s ire will be tenfold because of the damn broken crystal phial.
“I am going to let Lexa turn me.” Clarke repeated defiantly. “It is not up for discussion, mother.” She added for emphasis. ‘If I am going to piss off the most powerful witch of the last millennium I might as well do a thorough job…’
She saw the tiny visible signs of how much effort Abby made to remain calm. The subtle flare of her nostrils and the tightening of her skin around her temples, they were well-known tells of her mother’s temper. Over a century of practice in annoying her mother has taught Clarke to read her to perfection.
“It damn well IS up for discussion, young lady.” Abby hissed the words through clenched teeth, her gaze hardening as she pointed towards the door leading out of her work den.
“Mother, I am a hundred and forty-six years old. Young lady hardly applies to me any more.” Clarke deadpanned in a flat tone, sass and defiance having always been her go-to defence whenever she pissed her mother off.
“We can broach that subject when you’ve reached the five hundred year mark. ALIVE.” Abby replied in a tone that tolerated no defiance. Her arm never swayed or trembled, outstretched as it was, her finger rigidly pointing towards the door. “Now move your fury backside into the living room, Clarke, or so the Divine ones help me, I will move it for you. We need to talk.”
Clarke stomped out of the den, tense with the indignation she felt for so many reasons. She knew their lives were measured in centuries and millennia rather than decades but her job to interact with mortal humans left a lasting impression on her. After a mere century she was already growing tired of suffering her mother’s control and expectations.
Flopping down on one of the well-worn leather armchairs Clarke hoisted her legs up, draping them carelessly over the armrest as if this discussion was of no consequence to her. It was another reason her soul raged against her predicament for she literally had to obtain her mother’s consent if she did not wish her eternal marriage to a vampire lord to turn into bloodshed. ‘Well…blood other than my own.’ For therein lie the problem. Lexa, as all vampires and other creatures of the night, was considered a cursed Dark eternal who prayed on humanity rather than attempting to guide the bumbling hapless creatures. While Clarke knew Lexa had grown to become different, that she strove to guide her kind onto a new path, Abby was sceptical and distrustful of such a development. Abby’s vehemently vocal scepticism had put a significant strain on their relationship as it was and Clarke came home to visit less and less in the decade since Lexa had robbed her of her heart. Her father’s intervention had allowed the relationship to blossom undisturbed despite her mother’s heavy bias but Clarke feared that if she were to cross from light to dark, even though Clarke liked to think of it as rather an ambiguous shade of grey, without her mother’s prior blessing she might do something rash. The Great Fire of London was no mundane bakery accident after all.
“I am listening.” Abby declared imperiously, her voice tight and controlled as she sat perched on her favourite wooden chair, the one Clarke mockingly referred to as her throne more than once. Abby’s features were nearly blank, not giving away a single thought or emotion. To the unsuspecting bystander, she would almost seem calm and at peace were they to find themselves stumbling into the argument but Clarke knew the deadly stillness that cast the glamour of calm onto Abby. It was but the calm before the storm. A storm she desperately sought to avoid but not to the point of denying her innermost desires.
Clarke shot her a devastating glare, one she had honed to perfection throughout the decades of carrying out the righteously sought pleas of vengeance mortals and eternals alike wrecked on one another for having been wronged. While strictly speaking her death glare was no prerequisite to causing either madness or persecution she had developed a taste for inducing fear in the monsters, both figurative and literal, that crossed her path. It was much to her dismay that her own mother had seemed to be entirely immune to it. Abby merely stared at her expectantly from beneath her veneer of serenity, the lack of effect Clarke’s glare had on her casually dismissing her efforts as the temper tantrum of a wee child.
“What do you want me to say?” Clarke asked coldly, her eyes boring into her mother’s with something akin to disdain.
“You can start by telling me what possessed you to commit suicide by vampire.” Abby’s own salty flavour of sass never failed to amuse Clarke even when they were going at each other’s throats but the implications of what she had said angered her far too much to allow herself to be placated by her mother’s underhanded attempts at humour.
“It is not suicide, mother. I will not be dead.”
“Yes, you would be worse. You would be UNdead.” Abby said matter of factly. “Why would you want to curse your soul and condemn yourself?”
“Lexa is neither cursed, nor condemned. And you know that.” Clarke said hotly. “She has been leading her kind towards a new future.”
“Yes. Yes I know. Vegan vampires drinking coconut water instead of human blood.” Abby snorted dismissively. “It is very noble of her but it is only a matter of time before she falls back on her species’ natural habits. A vampire must have blood.” Abby declared unwaveringly.
Clarke pursed her lips as she considered her next words. One of her mother’s many skills was literally smelling a lie. She could not very well tell her mother that Lexa had not had blood in centuries for her mother would immediately smell the untruth behind her words. Remembering the sharp sting of Lexa’s canines penetrating her skin made something tighten in her lower extremities. She pushed the thought away ruthlessly, not allowing the lustful memory to fog her mind.
“Lexa has not preyed on humans for two centuries, mother.” Clarke said with conviction for she knew this much was absolutely true. When she saw Abby raise an eyebrow in curiosity Clarke knew she had taken a step in the right direction.
“Two centuries? And the rot has not yet set in? How…interesting.” Abby said with a tut but seemed genuinely perplexed.
“Rot?” Clarke asked, her brows knitting in confusion.
“Do you think Lexa is the first vampire to attempt sustaining themselves through other means than the blood of humans?”
“What are you talking about?” Clarke had to fight to keep the uncertain tremble from her voice. Her mother’s quip about this rot had nearly taken the wind from her sail. She made a mental note to ask exactly why Lexa had failed to mention this to her before…
“Ever since the first vampire was cursed into being there have been those noble fools who raged against their cursed condition and attempted to free themselves from the slavish need for human blood. They all rotted in the end.” Abby said in a tone Clarke could almost believe held a grain of sympathy.
“Clearly Lexa does not.” Clarke deadpanned, wrapping her defiance around her defensively as the cold chill of dread hollowed her chest. The mental image of seeing Lexa’s beautiful face bloated with rot was enough to chill her to the bones. She rubbed her arms, attempting to chase the cold away but it had seeped deep into her skin and clung to her like kappa slime.
“Her dietary crusade notwithstanding, it remains a fact that her soul is cursed. Why would you bring down upon yourself the curse of the ancient ones?” Abby changed the subject.
“She is NOT cursed. You keep saying that but it is not true.”
“You don’t know much about vampires, do you, daughter?” Abby commented in such a flippant way that Clarke could not dismiss the insult.
“I live with one. I dare say I am better-versed in vampirism than you…” Clarke said darkly, her temper slowly running short.
“Clearly I know more than you. Clarke… vampires are literally cursed. A mortal human was cursed by three of the most powerful of the Ancient Ones. The accumulation of their curses formed the creature that we understand to be the first vampire.”
“I don’t care.” Clarke said petulantly. If her mother would not yield to reason she would try with stubbornness.
“ I DO.” Abby countered hotly, her temper flaring for a moment before she reined her ire in. “Clarke do you even have an idea what you are tampering with? A fey becoming a vampire? What if you come back a monster?”
“What?” Clarke asked, genuinely stunned at her mother’s suggestion.
Abby’s stoic and controlled facade cracked as she pinched the bridge of her nose between her fingers. “You didn’t even think about this, did you?” She said with a sigh. “Clarke. You are a fey. A magical creature, far more than human. Have you not considered what you might become? What if you become a night hag?”
“Why would I become a night hag, mother?” Clarke asked defiantly. She was enraged by the very thought. True enough, night hags were undead witches but they were witches to begin with and Clarke has never dabbled in fey magic throughout her century long life. Furthermore, they had to offer their souls to a demon with malicious intent.
“Because you are a fury. AND the daughter of a fey witch. If you part with your soul…”
“VAMPIRES ARE NOT SOULLESS!” Clarke yelled. “Lexa’s soul returns to her body every single night.”
“Is that why she has no reflection in the mirror?” Abby asked, her tone superior, bolstered by her confidence that her argument would not be thwarted.
“Except she does have one.” Clarke countered, her eyebrow raising in surprise as it dawned on her that her mother’s views of vampires may well-be centuries out of date. The genuine shock on her face, the way her pupils subtly dilated confirmed in Clarke’s mind that she may well have cracked her mother’s best defence. “Mother, when was the last time you have spoken to a vampire with genuine openness?”
“How have they reacquired their reflection in the mirror?” Abby asked, not deigning to answer her daughter’s question. Her expression became guarded, her body hiding in a stillness that most living creatures were unable to achieve. They breathe and they blink, there would be a twitch of a muscle or an eye movement. Most living creatures were not capable of such stone-like immobility but Abigail Griffin’s craft often required such precision from her that a millennia of practice has taught her a control of her body that would easily rival that of vampires even.
“Human technology’s advancement.” Clarke said cryptically before elaborating, strategically opting to attempt to further unbalance her mother’s already shaken resolution. “Vampires used to not have a reflection in the mirror because silver was used to craft them. Modern mirrors use aluminium which reflects their souls perfectly well.” The explanation made Clarke wonder if Lexa’s body would have a reflection during the day whether in a silver or aluminium mirror, but she deemed that thought be best kept under wraps for the time being. ‘Who the hell would even think to look at vampires who have died for the day in mirrors anyway…’
To her surprise and despair her mother recovered rather quickly from her shock but her response rather lacked the desired effect. “So…the ore of purity remains effective against the creatures. Their souls remain cursed and fleeting.” Abby declared her verdict. “You cannot risk becoming a monster that will need to be put down.”
“Dammit, mother. Really? A night hag literally nails her soul to a demon’s altar. Lexa is not a demon. And she would only bite me.”
“But why, Clarke… You will live up to thousands of years. Centuries will pass before the first wrinkle shows upon your features. Why are you in such a hurry?”
Clarke was fearful it might come to this. She was not naive enough to think that her mother’s stubbornness would not force her hand. She dreaded the notion of sharing such intimate details with her mother for she was firmly convinced that she would consider it an abomination.
“Mother… I need to tell you something.” Clarke said solemnly. She scoffed at the notion that a century and a half old fury could be reduced to a tremble mess of nerves. ‘Only by my mother…’ She mustered her courage as she looked into her mother’s keen and expectant eyes. “But you must promise to let me finish.”
When Abby’s only response was to cock her head to the side in enquiry Clarke repeated. “You MUST promise, mother.”
Abby stared for long seconds before she slowly nodded in consent. It was good enough for Clarke. Her mother’s word was her honour and she has never known her to go back on it. Once her consent was acquired she would stand by her oath no matter the consequences. Clarke drew a deep breath to steady her nerves as she slowly reached up to pull her cloak to the side to reveal the neat fang marks marring her skin.
“She’s already bitten you!” Abby exclaimed in shock. When Clarke only nodded in agreement the expected question tumbled from her lips. “How many times?”
“Once.” Clarke said, her voice timid but clearly audible. “I planned on taking the second bite tonight. After we have spoken.”
“You made me promise to allow you to explain in full without interruption. So explain.” Abby said in a seething tone, her voice shaking with her attempt to control it.
Clarke blushed furiously. Despite the countless crude descriptions of the most heinously lecherous crimes mortals assaulted her ears with, the notion of explaining something so intimate to her mother left her feeling helplessly shy. The ultimate act of intimacy between vampires was sharing their own blood with one another. It was, after all, the way they were once created, Clarke remembered Lexa’s explanation vividly. When Lexa proposed to her she asked if she would grace her with this gift. Lexa had been thoughtful and patient, telling Clarke that she had all the time in the world to think before she gave her an answer. She was not, after all, getting any older. If need be Lexa would wait for all eternity to share this last part of themselves. Clarke had taken Lexa’s word for it and she toyed with the idea for a while before she consented.
“So… you want to become undead for a sex thing…” Her mother crudely summarized when Clarke had fallen silent after her monologue.
“It’s not just a sex thing, mother…” Clarke in annoyance, her upper lip twisting into a slight snarl at the hurtfully dismissive way her mother belittled this act of intimacy. “It’s…” Clarke struggled to find the right words. “It’s the most intimate act one vampire can do for another…it’s…it’s the vampire version of merging your auras.” Clarke finally blurted out in the hopes of swaying her mother. When she saw her mother’s eyes round in disbelief and horror Clarke knew she would be met with resistance and tried to head her off.
“Don’t give me that look, mother. Lexa siring me would create the magical bond and the repeated act of drinking each other in is basically described in much the same terms as the Book of Life describes a merged aura. We would perpetually feel each other, in our thoughts, in our souls, in our bodies.” Clarke said earnestly. She had spoken with a bonded vampire whom Lexa promised was trustworthy and reliable to keep her secret.
“If that is true…” Abby started slowly. “Clarke. This is an insoluble bond. You have only known Lexa a decade… I think you are being terribly rash. I only merged my aura with your father’s after three centuries of marriage.”
“I know what I’m doing, mother.” Clarke said confidently. She heard the change in her mother’s tone. The ire and indignation was slowly leaving her to be replaced by… something much softer Clarke had yet to identify. It was her chance. “My soul belongs with Lexa. I just feel it in my very bones.”
“And if something goes wrong, Clarke?” Abby insisted.
“Then… I do believe my mother is the strongest witch to walk the Earth in the last millennium.” Clarke said with what she intended to be a playful smile and a knowing look. The deep sigh she elicited from her mother was not the response she was fishing for though.
“Do not be careless or flippant about this, Clarke. As powerful as I may be, I am not a necromancer, honey. My magic is seated in life, not death.” Abby said, her voice sounding more tired than Clarke had ever heard it.
“Lexa’s aura is not permanent, mother. This is the only way.” Clarke said, adjusting her tone to something softer to match her mother’s increasingly less harsh resistance. The ghost of sadness strummed her heart string in a painful pang as she thought about Lexa’s aura. It had been one of her own contentions when Lexa first courted her. When Lexa’s soul departed for the day to only the Divine ones knew where… her aura faded along with it, leaving nothing but the cold shell of Lexa’s corpse. If she were to merge her aura to one that faded every day…She would be choosing the truest form of condemnation known to the fey. Clarke would suffer the pains of hell, her aura wide open and raw where Lexa’s should be, her other half ripped from her over and over as though she were bearing the spiritual equivalent of Prometheus’ burden.
“Lexa has an aura?” Abby asked, not even bothering to hide her surprise any more. When Clarke shot her a confused look from beneath drawn eyebrows she elaborated. “Vampires don’t have auras.”
“Lexa does.” Clarke replied. She had inherited enough of her mother’s natural ability to be able to sense someone’s aura and she certainly felt Lexa’s. Admittedly, she had never even attempted to feel any other vampire’s, she felt the act far too intrusive. However, her mother being quite above such trifling moral quandaries, a thought wedged itself in Clarke’s mind. “You’ve met Lexa maybe half a dozen times this past decade, are you saying you never even looked?”
Abby shrugged with such unnatural grace that can only be obtained through several centuries of practice. “I never bothered. In the nine centuries I have lived I have never heard of vampires having auras. It is a semi-corporeal manifestation of your soul. Something I am still not entirely convinced vampires do not lack.” Abby replied unapologetically.
“Would you believe that the love of my life is not a soulless monster if she allowed you to touch her aura?” Clarke asked, her voice hardening somewhat. But there was also a speck of hope, hope that this might just be the offering that would convince her mother.
“Would she let me?” Abby asked, her curiosity piqued. Clarke knew quite well what sparked her mother’s interest. Touching one’s aura consensually granted her mother the ability to see…everything. Not specific memories per se, that required quite a complex sacrifice and the blessing of the Divine but Abby would be able to feel a condensed accumulation of impressions from Lexa’s entire life. The way Abby leaned forward, her rigid posture breaking into something resembling human normalcy told Clarke how eager her mother would be to accept the offer.
“She is adamant that we secure your consent. I believe she would.” Clarke confirmed with as few words as possible but when Abby raised an eyebrow in inquiry she knew it was a moot effort. “She remembers the Great Fire of London, Mother.” Clarke said darkly, failing to keep the accusation from her tone.
“Do not give me that tone, Clarke. Those bastards deserved the fiery pits of hell brought to Earth for what they had done.” Abby said, temper once again incensed.
“I know, mother. But Lexa was human when the fires ravaged the city. She was terrified.” Clarke changed tactics one again. She knew the information had hit home when she saw her mother’s eyes softening.
“I want to talk to Lexa privately before you take the second bite.” Abby said so abruptly Clarke wondered if she had actually heard her mother utter the words. The fact that Abby said before rather than something conditional planted a seed of hope in Clarke’s soul and she quickly murmured a silent prayer of gratitude to the Divine ones for her mother’s efforts to be agreeable.
Clarke paced the cold flagstone floor of their dining room anxiously as she waited for Lexa’s arrival. Her stupid, stubborn, noble-hearted fool of a partner was absolutely immovable in her resolution to visit her prospective mother-in-law alone. Clarke had argued, pleaded, yelled and wept but Lexa remained firm in her resolution. Uncharacteristically firm as far as Clarke was concerned. Sure enough, she had seen Lexa lead her clan bravely and confidently, even ruthlessly when necessary but she had never personally experienced Lexa’s cast iron will directed against her. If she persevered, Lexa had always aligned her will with Clarke’s, if not always immediately.
Despite her restlessness Clarke was growing tired of pacing, or rather of it not helping an ounce. She stalked over to one of the large windows, its heavy thick curtains drawn to the sides to allow moonlight to cast its eerie glow on the metallic surfaces of the dimly lit room. Clarke had once been surprised to find Lexa living on a relatively modest estate with ample grounds rather close to a large city. When Lexa asked her what she had expected…Clarke felt rather vexed at Lexa’s amusement over her…apparently archaic expectations. So what if she had assumed that Lexa lived in a largely decayed castle perched atop a remote and inaccessible cliff? She was well within her rights to assume that a vampire would set up her abode far from the prying eyes of the humans she preyed upon. The double shock of finding out that she neither preyed nor slithered into the depth of wilderness to hide was the first of a series of surprises that forced Clarke to reconsider her rather biased light fey assumptions.
As she gazed out the window she was met with one of Lexa’s completely ridiculous, un-vampiric… pet projects. ‘For lack of a better word.’ As far as her eyes could see across the grounds rows upon rows of tall glass houses were erected. Hot houses, as Lexa called them. They glittered and sparkled beautifully in the moonlight, that much Clarke happily admitted but the practicality of it... it was Lexa’s little dream to grow her own coconuts year-round, despite the unfavourable climate. Clarke was surprised to find that Lexa enjoyed puttering about in these hot houses, pruning and caring for her trees. ‘A vampire who loves midnight gardening...who would even believe me.’ Clarke found herself smiling fondly at the thought of all the ridiculous things her girlfriend did. She was over three hundred and fifty years old yet strove to keep with the times far more and better than Clarke ever had after a measly century and a half on this planet.
She fell a little more in love with Lexa every time she was confronted with how well she merged the remnants of her long lost humanity with the curiosities of a supernatural life. As if she had conjured it from thought, one such curiosity scampered across the floor behind her but as it was their unspoken agreement she did her best to take no notice of it. A goofy grin spread across her features as Clarke remembered the first time she and Lexa did possibly the most ridiculous thing she could imagine: they had gone…grocery shopping. In an auto-mobile. A vegan vampire and a fury went to mingle with humans in a round-the-clock supermarket.
“How do you even know how to operate this…metallic contraption?” Clarke asked as she gingerly settled in the seat next to Lexa and softly pulled the door until it gave a gentle click.
“That’s door isn’t closed properly, Clarke. You need to open it and shut it firmly.” Lexa said absent-mindedly as she meticulously checked a variety of small things Clarke did not understand. She looked around somewhat helplessly for a moment, trying to remember how Lexa opened the door for her in the first place. ‘She’d touched something that vaguely resembled a door handle…’ She spotted a tiny plastic…thing that looked like it might do the trick and after a few attempts she managed to operate the devilish thing. A surge of triumphant joy surged through Clarke when she managed to open the door and she pulled it shut with significantly more force.
“Hey! I said firmly…but it’s not a john ya know…” Lexa said disapprovingly.
“What?” Clarke asked in confusion. “John?”
“You never heard that expression before? You slammed that door like the wind would slam the outhouse door…” Lexa asked, perturbed herself.
“Um… no? Where do you even pick up these ridiculous sayings from?”
“Oh you know… I travel. This one I picked up in a wee central European country called Hungary.” Lexa said, her tone easy and flippant but Clarke did not fail to notice the slight curl of her upper lip.
“Unpleasant memories?” She probed gently.
“Quite…they were, not very vampire-friendly a hundred fifty years ago.” Lexa said dryly.
“Eh, I still have not gotten used to the fact you had been around for two centuries and were gallivanting around the world just as I was being born…” Clarke said good-naturedly.
“Sorry. I don’t mean to keep reminding you of the age difference.” Lexa said with a wince as she made the car come to life. Clarke jumped slightly at the unexpected motion beneath her but when she saw Lexa remain calm she assumed that it was the expected outcome of whatever she did.
“So how DO you even know how to operate this thing?” Clarke changed the subject.
“It’s called driving, Clarke. Much the same way as you would drive a cart. And cars have been around for about a century. I thought it’s a useful thing to know. Helps me blend in.” Lexa said as she set the car in motion. She glanced sideways briefly to look at Clarke before turning her attention back on the road. “How do YOU get around if you don’t know how to drive?”
“I walk if I’m in the mood. Or I just manifest where ever I am called.” Clarke said matter-of-factly.
“Geeze, that must be nice.” Lexa commented with a measure of envy in her voice.
“Well… but you can fly too, can’t you?” Clarke shot back.
“You mean like on an aeroplane?” Lexa asked, never taking her eyes off the rode. When several seconds passed by without a response from Clarke Lexa glanced sideways again to take in Clarke’s genuinely affronted features. “What?”
“Vampires can’t fly??”
“You’ve read way too many spooky stories, princess.” Lexa said, grinning.
Clarke just stared at Lexa’s profile, her happy grin making her features all the more attractive even with the flash of a single fang.
“Okaaaaay. So where are we going again?” Clarke changed the subject abruptly. She had only been… dating… Lexa for a couple of weeks but it was like a very anti-climatic crash course on what vampires actually were like, compared to all the biased expectations and grisly myths surrounding their species.
“Grocery shopping. We’re here by the way.” Lexa said with a happy smile. “One of the perks of being perpetually stuck in the night shift. No traffic whatsoever.”
Clarke trailed after Lexa, mildly confused. There were very few humans up and about at 11pm but they passed enough of them for Clarke to expect trouble. She expected at least one of these mostly oblivious bumbling creatures to recognize that there was something odd about the pair of them. That they somehow did not belong. She expected screaming and terror to ensue and was quite surprised by their rather uneventful entry.
“Why aren’t they running in terror?” Clarke whispered after walking past a gaggle of young humans.
“Because most people would not recognize a vampire unless they literally bit them in the ass… and I am not stupid enough to flash fangs.” Lexa said discreetly. And sure enough, Clarke noticed that her girlfriend had turned her head in way as if she wanted to whisper into her ear, her words somewhat mumbled on account of Lexa’s effort to not move her lips much.
“Okay…so we’re just going to buy a bunch of coconuts? Don’t the humans find it weird that you only ever buy coconuts?” Clarke wondered as they passed a number of shelves stocked with an assortment of things she had never seen before.
Lexa stopped the gigantic rolling metal basket to look at her. “I don’t just buy coconuts, Clarke.”
“Why, what else do you need?” Clarke asked in confusion. When all Lexa did was blink at her slowly several times, disbelief clearly etched across her features her frown deepened.
“You mean apart from cleaning products, personal hygiene, and cream and honey for the brownies?” Lexa asked, nonplussed.
“Did you just say…cream and honey for the brownies?” Clarke asked rather more loudly than she had intended. When Lexa’s eyes darted around to see if they had attracted any unwanted attention Clarke realized her mistake and lowered her voice to a hush. “WHY would you have brownies, Lexa, when you can’t eat them?”
Clarke immediately knew that she had said something stupid when she saw the look of pure horror in Lexa’s eyes. “Eat the brownies? Are you insane, Clarke?” Lexa whispered somewhat harshly, looking and sounding every bit as flabbergasted as Clarke herself felt. “Even if I was capable of ingesting anything solid I would not be eating my brownies! They get testy if I buy them low fat cream for crying out loud…I would find myself quite suddenly brownie-less if I were to start snacking on them…”
The conversation had taken such an abruptly surprising turn that Clarke felt compelled to stop and clarify. “Wait. So when you say brownies… you don’t mean the ridiculously sweet brown cake thing humans are so fond of?”
A crash brought Clarke out of her musings and she whipped her head round snarling, hand flying to her belt for her knife as her eyes inspected her surroundings for any intruder. The sight in front of her made her muscles lax immediately as she watched one tiny creature dragging another towards her by its large hairy little ear. The gruagach, or as Lexa liked to call them, the brownies, typically preferred to stay out of sight so much so that the brownies in their employment were even willing to work during the day to accommodate their mistress’… nocturnal lifestyle.
“I beg your pardon M’lady. The young ones can be so dreadfully clumsy.” The older of the little gruagach, or household spirits, said in a thick accent. He shook his captive by the ear as if to make a point. “Petalbeam here has also yet to learn that the mistresses are active during the night.”
“That is quite fine, Cinnamonvine.” Clarke said, crouching so that the two tiny creatures would not be forced to crane their necks to look at her. It was one way to honor a brownie when circumstances made conversing with them necessary. “Your help is much appreciated, even if there are mishaps on occasion.” She said appeasingly. The elvish features of the little fairy lit up with pride before he ducked his head to modestly hide what Clarke expected was a much pleased grin. When Cinnamonvine failed to release Petalbeam’s ear despite the compliment it was on the tip of Clarke’s tongue to attempt to reaffirm her gratitude with an offering of extra cream and honey but experience had stopped her in time. The Gruagach much preferred their transactions with their masters to happen without any attention drawn to it, much the same way as they went about their chores without being told to do so, they expected their offerings to appear without talking about it. Instead of committing the faux pas, Clarke tried another compliment. “I am quite confident Petalbeam will be invaluable to us in no time, particularly under your tutelage, Cinnamonvine.”
The tiny fey blushed even more furiously and finally let go of his companion’s ear who used his newfound freedom to bow its little head towards Clarke in gratitude. “Mistress is much too kind. Very kind.”
Clarke was pleased to have averted the minor household catastrophe and watched in amusement as the two brownies scurried away. Her attention not diverted any more, her thoughts gravitated towards Lexa again, wondering when, and more importantly, how her girlfriend would arrive home.
She walked from the dining room down a set of hallways to arrive at the main foyer, tempted to open the front door and hover there, anxiously waiting for her partner to come home. Just as she was teetering on the edge of succumbing to this unbecoming desire the door opened and Lexa walked in, demeanour calm and easy, her eyes rounding in surprise when she found her arms full of Clarke before she had completely closed the door. Their combined weight pressed against the antiquated wood of the door and slammed it shut behind them.
“Lexa!” Clarke’s voice was no more than a strangled yelp as her hands slid from her girlfriend’s shoulder up to her cheeks. “Are you okay? What happened? How did it go? What did she say? Are okay?” Clarke’s eyes roamed every visible part of Lexa, seeking confirmation that there were no wounds or signs of curses.
“Clarke, Clarke, ease down, love. I am fine.” Lexa said soothingly in an attempt to stop the flurry of questions Clarke was drowning her in. “Everything is alright.” She said with a fond smile.
Lexa’s causal ease temporarily calmed Clarke’s nerves and she stopped to look the devastatingly beautiful vampire in the eyes. “The Divine ones above, Lexa. I was so nervous.” Clarke said before she moved in for a kiss. Her lips wrapped around the vampire’s bottom lip and she sucked it between hers before realigning her head to deepen the kiss. It had taken her some practice to be able to kiss Lexa without skewering her tongue on her fangs. Clarke vividly remembered the first time it happened. It had been…awkward. Their sexy time had been interrupted by the need to share emotions. She had been very surprised when Lexa hold her that she had not tasted blood in any way in over a century by then. The notion that Lexa had not had anyone to lose herself in that completely had broken Clarke’s heart a little. She had never considered what it would truly mean for a vampire to swear off of blood until then, not truly understanding how the sharing of blood could become so intimate. They slowly disentangled from their embrace far enough to be able to look at one another.
“So…what did she say?” Clarke repeated the most urgent question pushing at her mind.
“She’s given us her blessing, Clarke.” Lexa said, her lips stretching into a wide, happy grin flashing her pointed canines again. Her eyes wandered to Clarke’s trembling lips briefly before she looked into watery eyes again. Clarke felt the thin sheen of tears wet her eyes, blurring her vision somewhat. She imagined the relief and joy Lexa must have seen on her face because the next thing she said was “Lord above, Clarke. If my heart could beat it would break my chest for you.”
Clarke did not hold herself back when her lips descended on Lexa’s again. She boldly pressed her tongue between Lexa’s lips, revelling in the sharp sting of Lexa’s teeth scraping at her tongue hard enough to draw blood. The sweet metallic taste of their kisses had become a bit of a kink for Clarke and she cherished the rare occasion Lexa allowed it to happen. Her arms snaked around Lexa’s shoulders and she pressed herself against her vampire’s front as if intent on merging their bodies through their clothes. Her hips shamelessly ground against Lexa’s and she groaned into her mouth. A single touch from Lexa was enough to turn Clarke on beyond coherent thought.
“Not…here…” Lexa panted between frenzied kisses. “Bed…” Her hands confidently trailed down Clarke’s back until she could grasp Clarke’s buttocks. Clarke instinctively understood the implied command and she launched herself upwards, wrapping her legs around Lexa’s waist to allow her vampire to use her supernatural strength to carry them up the stairs. That much was true of vampires and Clarke was forever grateful for it. When she found out exactly how strong Lexa was her first lecherous thought had been a silent prayer for Lexa to use that strength to fuck her.
There were no more words necessary to occupy their lips and they had not stopped their familiar explorations of the other’s mouth until they reached their bedroom. As an understandable safety precaution there were no windows. When Lexa nudged the ajar door fully open with her foot to let them inside the pitch dark room, Clarke’s hand blindly found the switch and twisted the dimming dial to give the room a comfortable soft glow of light. While Lexa’s vision was perfect at night, hers was not and she preferred to see her vampire as she took the second bite from her.
When Clarke’s back softly landed on the bed she opened her eyes to gaze into impossibly vivid greens gently searching hers. “Are you certain you want it tonight?” Clarke had already taken the first bite, and both their lips were freshly smeared with Clarke’s bright red blood and this gorgeous creature of the night still needed to be reassured that Clarke had no doubts. Clarke’s still beating heart filled with warmth at her soon-to-be wife’s thoughtfulness.
“Yes, Lexa. I feel your pull. I love you. I want you. I want to be with you. To be like you.” Clarke whispered the solemn words before turning her head to press a gentle kiss into Lexa’s palm, leaving a smudge of red there from her own lips. Lexa had warned her that that would soon change, as vampires’ blood blackened during the transformation phase. When Clarke shot her a disbelieving look Lexa countered with a mischievous one while she nicked her own tongue on her fang and stuck her tongue out at Clarke in the most hilariously childish expression Clarke had ever seen. Clarke grinned softly at the fond memory before she strained upwards to recapture Lexa’s lips and lick them clean.
Sounds and noises took the place of words. The rustling of clothes as they disrobed one another, Clarke’s traditional fury garb falling from her body once Lexa’s deft fingers loosened its fastenings, soft sighs elicited by knowing touches. When Clarke took Lexa’s first bite she was surprised by Lexa’s almost timid, reverent touches which the vampire explained were owing to the fact that she was damn well aware that she was taking a finite life, regardless of how long it may naturally be, in order to gift her the possibility of infinity. It was an act of intimacy that deserved to be worshipped with love and gentle attention.
When Clarke’s hips started moving against Lexa of their own accord and Clarke’s unrestrained whimpers inundated Lexa’s ears in an endless string, the vampire’s lips made their way down Clarke’s throat, readying herself to strike. She settled a thigh between Clarke’s and steadily ground down to urge Clarke towards her orgasm, lips gently caressing the skin her fangs had once broken already. Clarke felt the ever increasing warmth grow between her legs and slowly spread, her breathing becoming erratic. Lexa’s cool lips against her throat were like an intoxicating aphrodisiac Clarke had never before experienced and she desperately clutched at Lexa’s naked back in encouragement. “Ah…Lex… I’m so close…” She breathed the words into Lexa’s ear, her hot breath warming Lexa’s perpetually cool skin. When Clarke’s body tensed, her spine bowing as the first tendrils of her orgasm rippled through her, Lexa’s canines penetrated her skin and she drank the flow of warm life that flooded into her, getting lost in the moment as the taste of Clarke’s orgasm hit her tongue and triggered her own release she had carefully built grinding herself against Clarke’s thigh.
Lexa collapsed against Clarke’s panting chest, her own treacherously still, slightly souring Lexa’s experience with the reminder that she had just drank down a living creature, one that still needed oxygen. She felt her body shake the cold of the grave as warmth coursed through her for the second time since she had resolved to substitute preying on humans with coconut water two centuries ago. A single side-effect of coming off blood was that Lexa would never be warmed by life but she was content with her sacrifice. They both knew tonight was different, for tonight Lexa had feasted on Clarke, still a warm, live creature of daylight and tonight Lexa would be warm beside Clarke as they curled around one another. Lexa had forewarned Clarke to commit the feeling to memory for the first two bites were the only time they would experience this. On their wedding night Lexa would be warm once more but Clarke would not be there to share the experience. She would lie alone, cold and dead in her coffin for the three days it took her soul to return to her body.
Delirious with blood loss and her mind still addled by the force of her release, Clarke struggled to open her eyes. Her lips opened and closed silently, much in the same way a fish would, the ability to work her muscles to formulate words leaving her entirely.
It was only Lexa’s supernatural hearing that picked up the soft sounds of Clarke’s effort and she raised herself off Clarke to tend to her. A bottle of that disgusting blue liquid humans had invented to more efficiently replenish fluids was thoughtfully placed on the night stand in advance, knowing that it would help Clarke combat the ill-effects of blood loss. Lexa pulled her girlfriend into her lap as she manoeuvred the bottle’s neck between her lips and helped her drink.
“Th…thanks” Clarke whispered hoarsely. “Mm…cold. Come …here and curl around me. Warm me.” She whispered as she turned on her side and Lexa dutifully curled around her from behind to try to give her back some of the warmth she had taken from her.
“Are you really sure it’s the right time, Clarke?” Abby asked once again as she worked her magic to secure Clarke’s curls in place.
“Mother… tell me you did not just ask me that on my wedding night.” Clarke said, her clear blue eyes darkening to the blue of ocean depths.
“I’m sorry, honey, it’s just…what about children?”
“What about children?” Clarke asked, momentarily distracted from her anger.
“An undead womb can’t exactly bear children.” Abby deadpanned.
“I guess I’ll just have to ask you to make me one of those fertility potions you’re so good at” Clarke said, decidedly uninterested in the subject.
“Living. Creatures. Clarke.” Abby emphasized each word individually. “You ALWAYS forget. My magic does not extend beyond the realms of the living.”
“Fine, then if I decide sometime down the line that I want children I’ll ask aunt Maggie…” Clarke said defiantly, but regretting her words as soon as she looked into stone cold eyes.
“You will do no such thing, Clarke, particularly not alone. As much as I love my sister, I will not allow my daughter to deal with necromancers. Maggie wouldn’t want it either…” Abby said forcefully.
“Fine, fine. I’m sorry. I don’t want children of my own anyway. And if I ever do I’m sure my siblings will be more than happy to ask me to baby sit theirs. Can we get back to being happy for me?” Clarke said, her hands up in the air in defeat.
“Yes, Clarke, we can. But you have to cut me some slack. It’s very unusual for a mother to experience the best and worst of her dreams come true at the very same time.” Abby said softly.
Clarke’s own gaze softened in return, knowing well what her mother was referring to. She would be getting married tonight and the height of her wedding ceremony would be her death by her wife’s hands, or rather fangs, as part of her oath of loyalty.
“It’s going to be fine, mom. I’ll be back in three days.” Clarke said softly, turning in her chair to face her mother.
“I know….” Abby said, her eyes misting over. “I just hope you come back right.”
“You and Lexa will be there to make sure of that.” Clarke said confidently, reaching out to squeeze her mother’s hand in encouragement.
Abby nodded, but her eyes lacked real conviction before she mastered her features. “So what’s on Lexa’s side of the wedding party?” Abby attempted to change the subject.
‘What…not who…’ The word hit Clarke’s ears immediately. She narrowed her eyes, giving her mother yet another strict look.
“Don’t give me that look. It’s a fair question.”
“Everyone on Lexa’s side knows that…the pre-deceased guests are off the menu, mother. No one is going to be snacking on anyone.” Clarke said tiredly. She had been through this conversation with quite a number of family members. ‘Light fey… what a bunch of stuck up purists we are.’ She turned back towards the mirror to let her mother continue working on her hair.
“Still. Indulge me, please?”
“Fine. Lincoln is a werewolf. He’s Lexa’s best man. But you know him already, he’s Octavia’s husband.” Clarke relented and starting ticking off all of Lexa’s closest friends. “Indra is a banshee, an…” her mother’s interruption stopped her from finishing the list.
“Oh, great, there’s going to be a banshee at the party. Has she taken a draught to stop her from screaming to foreshadow your death?” Abby asked, rolling her eyes in annoyance.
“Her lineage has never been tied to our family, mother. There will be no screaming involved.” Clarke said testily. True enough, banshees wailed when they sensed the impending death of a noble fey but they were typically tied to specific families and no one in Indra’s lineage has ever wailed for the Griffins. Clarke had asked specifically. “There’s also going to be some vampires obviously, and no not all of them are vegans, mother.” Clarke answered her mother’s unasked question pre-emptively. “But they have given their oath to behave. You know how much a word of honour means to vampires. They will not break it. Then…some of Lexa’s ancestors were called from their graves so there’ll be zombies and ghosts.” Clarke continued, ticking off the various species on her fingers.
“Oh, Lexa’s mother’s been roaming the Earth as a lost soul for centuries, she’s quite excited to finally see her daughter be married so she can rest in peace. And I think they managed to find her father’s skull so he’s being resurrected as a zombie...I think there’ll be a couple of ghouls, cousins and the like and… oh yeah, Lexa’s uncle Gustus is a poltergeist.”
“Oh my…what a…translucently colourful family.” Abby said dryly.
“Yeah. As colourful as ours is. Land wights, nymphs, Witches and necromancers. Speaking of… you have spoken with Aunt Maggie about laying off trying to thrall all the undead folk, right?” Clarke asked, giving her a pointed look. “You know how she gets once she starts using her mojo… resurrecting Lexa’s father is going to get her in quite a state.” Clarke said with a slight sneer in her tone. “I swear, she had the ickiest gleam in her eye when she realized I’m asking her to get funky with a four hundred year old corpse.”
“Yes, yes. She even promised to wear the Necklace of Submission I had crafted for her to ensure that the undead don’t start clamouring around her as soon as she enters the room.” Abby said defensively.
“Good. The last thing I want is Lexa’s family taking offence at her new wife’s family forcing them on their knees.” Clarke deadpanned.
“I’m sure it would be a tragedy if she stole the show from you being ritually murdered in front of a crowd.” Abby said dryly, her eyes flashing with a rather unpleasant emotion.
“Kissed into the afterlife. Mother. You promised.” Clarke said in a pained voice.
“I know. I did. And I am truly sorry, Clarke. You know I do not make a habit of breaking my promises. It’s bad for my karma. But I just cannot help but be nervous.” Abby replied in defeat. “Your hair is finished.”
“Thank you.” Clarke said as she stood. She approached her mother calmly and hugged her, encircling her in her warmth one more time. “Don’t be cruel to Lexa in my absence, okay?”
“I promise, Clarke. She’s family now.” Abby said solemnly.
[Suggested listening: Blinding Lights by The Weekend]
As open-minded as Clarke was about everything she would have to adjust to, she had still not expected her wedding night be quite so topsy-turvy. As she and Lexa discussed decorations and guests it dawned on her that they would have the party before the commitment ceremony. ‘Makes sense if one thinks about it… I would not want to miss my own wedding party on account of…being dead.’
Clarke surveyed the crowd with gleeful amusement. If a mortal were to stumble in they would likely have the fright of their life. The large banquet hall of Lexa’s estate had been decorated as if they were throwing the most luxurious Halloween ball as a safety precaution against their human neighbours. ‘Seriously…humans will believe whatever you tell them despite what’s right in front of their eyes…’ Clarke grinned, wondering how on earth anyone seeing these creatures congregating here would assume they were humans in costumes.
There were zombies tearing up the dance floor, or rather tearing each other up on occasion. Aunt Maggie had reassured Clarke that every single zombie had been thoroughly fed before she brought them and they would not even consider snacking on anyone…per-deceased. She stayed by their side, telling Clarke it was just in case, but in reality she knew that her necromancer aunt was drawn to the dead just as much as they were drawn to her, despite the powerful amulet hanging around her neck. She was currently engaged in playing a morbid sort of limbo with them where both she and each zombie took turns trying to pass below the…severed legs of Lexa’s uncle Henry. Clarke snorted into her Sewer Cider as, she had to think for a moment to recall the name, Aunt Isobel’s ligaments failed to support her and her knees made a clean break, her entire body flopping down with a thud while her feet kept walking. Clarke could faintly hear Aunt Maggie’s high voice declaring that all of her body had to make it under the legs if she wanted to make it to the next round before she turned her attention towards the rest of the crowd.
Lincoln was already in half-man form, hairy chest on display as he danced with his siren wife, surprisingly agile on his elongated paws. She spied cousin Bella, a water nymph making a valiant effort at seducing one of Lexa’s clansmen whom Clarke could not decide if he was uncomfortable because of his oath or enjoying the sweet torture of her attention. Clarke’s eyes narrowed as she spotted her niece, Madi, attempting to spike the already spiked Shark bite punch. Before she could move in to intervene, her sister caught on and grabbed the sneaky little witch’s wrist before she poured whatever was in her phial into the bowl. Clarke made a mental note to ask later what it had been. ‘Might have been fun to see unfold.’
Suddenly she felt arms circling her waist and she was wrapped in the familiar cool embrace of her soon-to-be-wife. “Hey there, beautiful.” Clarke grinned as she turned in Lexa’s embrace, her hands snaking behind the neck.
“Dance with me.” Lexa said seductively as she guided their bodies into the dance floor.
I'm going through withdrawals
You don't even have to do too much
You can turn me on with just a touch, baby
Clarke gave her body over to the sway of the music and Lexa’s touch. Lexa was the perfect leader, and while Clarke herself had it in her, she preferred to follow Lexa’s lead on the dance floor. Lexa effortlessly dictated the twirls and steps, rocking her body to the bounce of the rhythm, every movement telling Clarke exactly where and how she wanted her. It was a blissful sort of submission and Clarke happily let her body be carried away with the flow.
I'm running out of time
'Cause I can see the sun light up the sky
So I hit the road in overdrive, baby, oh
Lexa’s touches were earnest and eager as if she were attempting to commit all of it to memory, her eyes never leaving Clarke’s for a moment. Clarke guessed that it might be close to dawn for Lexa to be quite so frenzied. On the next twirl she exerted enough of her own will to land back in Lexa’s arm and she whispered in her ear “Is it time yet?”
“Yes. I came to have the last dance with you before the ceremony.” Lexa whispered back, her arms tightening around Clarke’s waist. “I love you, my beautiful fury.”
Lexa was nervous, standing by the altar in the ceremonial tux she had been buried in more than three centuries ago. Once the music had been switched off the hall had been transformed into what must have looked like to outsiders as a grisly morbid amalgam of a wedding and a funeral. As it was meant to be. Lexa’s nerves particularly threatened to fail her when she glanced at Clarke’s mother sitting on the first bench looking like she was trying to brave through watching her daughter’s cradle be robbed. She knew it not to be the case but it was always difficult for the living at first. There was a reason such weddings were not often held, but she, as leader of her clan had not had the luxury of opting out of it. Clan leaders were expected to follow tradition and Lexa’s crusade against blood had severely pushed vampire society’s limits. Lexa could simply not allow herself to break with yet another tradition.
When the orchestra sounded and Lexa spotted Clarke, her arm draped around her father’s, all thoughts of political unease flew out of her mind. Clarke was absolutely breathtaking in her white dress. Lexa stood there more thoroughly enthralled to Clarke’s radiant beauty and fierce soul than any necromancer ever could thrall her.
When Clarke reached her the world ceased to exist to Lexa, she stared at Clarke with what was sure to be a dumbstruck expression. She saw herself mirrored in Clarke’s pools of blue. Her eyes were wide as she took in Clarke’s beauty, her lips ajar in disbelief that this magnificent creature of the light wanted her to kiss her into the afterlife. Lexa was so mesmerized she almost failed to hear the Master of Ceremonies begin the ritual.
“We have gathered this evening, to witness the last kiss being gifted by this vampire unto this fury as a symbol of their eternal dedication to one another.” The Master said, his deep baritone carrying his words to the last pews. “You may share your vows.”
Lexa saw Clarke swallow, the muscles in her throat contracting enticingly before taking a deep breath to steady her nerves. Her lips trembled as she said the first words but her voice grew bolder and steadier with each passing syllable. “I, Clarke Griffin, commit myself to you, Alexandria Woods, as wife and a part of your kiss to learn and grow with, to explore and adventure with, to respect you in everything as an equal partner, in the foreknowledge of joy and pain, strength and weariness, direction and doubt, for all the waning and waxing of the moon. I take your last bite to symbolize our connection to one another. It represents our trust in each other and our combined strength together.”
Clarke’s oath moved Lexa and her eyes misted over with a thin sheen of tears. As Clarke finished her oath, Lexa reached out for Clarke’s hands and squeezed before she pledged her own oath: “I, Alexandria Woods, commit myself to you, Clarke Griffin, as wife and sire to learn and grow with, to explore and adventure with, to respect you in everything as an equal partner, in the foreknowledge of joy and pain, strength and weariness, direction and doubt, for all the waning and waxing of the moon. I kiss you into the afterlife to symbolize our connection to one another. It represents our trust in each other and our combined strength together.”
“We have witnessed this couple’s vows and they rang strong and true. If anyone should have knowledge of any reason why this union should not commence, speak up now or remain silent for all eternity.” Boomed the authoritative voice of the Master of Ceremonies. Lexa swallowed the odd thought fleeting through her mind about the words ‘all eternity’. The ceremonial oath greatly resembled the wedding oath of humans…foolish creatures whose natural lifespan was barely more than a moment in history yet they arrogantly set their sights on mastering time. Three hundred years removed from her humanity the words rang with a weight in Lexa’s ears, but she meant them all the more for it.
After a few seconds she became aware of the uncomfortable ache as her shoulder tensed, ears picking up what were unmistakably her mother-in-law’s strangled sobs but to her relief no words came forth to sabotage her union with Clarke.
“No one has presented an objection to your union. You may now kiss your bride into the afterlife.” The Master’s voice brought Lexa back to attention. Staring at her wife Lexa was once again awed by her beauty. Her eyes rounded in a sweetly enticing mixture of fear and anticipation. Lexa could see the gentle tremble of her bottom lip, the perspiration forming on her temple as she waited for Lexa to close the distance between them.
She leaned forward, eyes open and staring into pools of blue and pressed a gentle, reassuring kiss to her lips before moving down her throat to where the twin puncture marks of her bites have healed over. Her canines pierced warm skin for the last time and she relished in it, allowing her body to instinctively enjoy the kill, the fatal rush of blood gushing down her throat, a final time. Her arms tensed around Clarke’s back as she greedily drank her wife down, feeling life pouring down her steadily convulsing throat, the excess blood already overflowing past her lips despite her valiant effort. Not losing herself entirely in her prey, she tipped Clarke’s body backwards as she continued to feed. It was not for dramatic effect but rather to help Clarke swallow when the time came for her to accept Lexa’s blood.
As she felt Clarke’s grip on her shoulders slacken she guided Clarke’s head towards her own neck, her head tipping to the side without stopping her own feeding. The silver fangs fitted onto Clarke’s humanoid canines would serve to puncture the necessary wound. Lexa was prepared for the sharp burning pain of the silver but it was yet to come. Her lips sealed around the wound tighter to contain the overflow and she slowed her own feeding to give Clarke more time and she pressed harder against the nape of Clarke’s neck to encourage her to bite down on her neck. To her relief Clarke was still conscious enough and she finally felt Clarke’s lips part, the silver immediately burning her skin as it pressed against her. Applying more pressure to Clarke’s neck to aid her, Lexa felt her skin give way beneath the sharp metal and her blood gushed into Clarke’s mouth when her borrowed fangs retreated. She felt the metaphysical change between them, death magic binding them together as Clarke instinctively sucked at the wound, drinking her down every bit as much as Lexa had been drinking her.
The kiss took several minutes, Lexa patiently orchestrating the transition, her enhanced hearing focused on Clarke’s steadily slowing heart. Once slackened and barely holding on, Clarke’s arms now rigidly clung to her as they exchanged blood, Clarke’s heart desperately trying to keep her circulation up even though there was less and less blood to keep flowing. Eventually Lexa recognized the sluggish pounding as Clarke’s death throes, recalling the memories of past kills from centuries before. Her arms tensed, body at the ready to catch her wife when her muscles inevitably failed as life faded out of her with a last shuddering breath.
It was a deafening moment when Clarke’s heart ceased beating and a small part of Lexa mourned the loss of the beautiful sound she spent countless hours listening to before her death each morning. Clarke’s arms slid from Lexa’s shoulders lifelessly as Lexa picked her dead wife up in her arms. She was a grisly sight to behold, her deathly pale skin and white dress stained with both crimson and black stains, both of their blood flowing freely down their chests. Clarke was well and truly dead, a limp weight securely held in her embrace as she solemnly made her way towards the back yard where Clarke’s grave had been prepared with great care.
Lexa’s heart broke a little when she heard her mother-in-law’s wail of despair. Lexa thought no mother should be subjected to seeing such a horrifying vision of their daughter, drenched in blood in their wedding dress. Abby’s cries were far more alarming than any of Indra’s wails ever could be, Lexa thought gravely, fighting to keep her tears in check. Internally she winced at Abby’s pain but she kept a straight face, honouring Clarke’s sacrifice for an afterlife together.
Lexa carried Clarke outside where an elaborately carved white coffin had been prepared. It was a unique design patented by a vampire some centuries ago, specifically crafted to aid the newly risen in digging their way out of their grave come the third night. For it was the cruel reality Lexa had prepared Clarke for. She would stay with her each night whilst her mother had been adamant to stay with her during the day as Lexa lay dead to the world herself in the soft comforts of her bed, but she could not be helped. She must dig herself out and crawl to the surface alone. A vampire can only rise for the first time from an undisturbed grave.
Lexa gently set Clarke down, arranging her limbs as she had been taught. She knew how much Clarke hated sleeping on her back but she dared not veer from tradition, lest Clarke should come back wrong. The comforts of a better sleeping position for the first three days was not worth experimenting with and possibly endangering the afterlife of someone they had just brought over. Despite the fey world’s misconceptions, vampire society respected life beyond anything and would have considered it a gross violation against one and their family if they had brought someone back wrong. Vampires would do just about anything to ensure they did not have to slaughter any members of their kiss, whether they be old or new.
When Lexa had finished arranging Clarke’s cooling limbs as tradition demanded, flat on her back with her arms crossed above her chest, she leaned into the coffin to press one last gentle kiss upon cold lips. ‘May we meet again.’
Lexa glanced around, eyes seeking her in-laws but as neither of them were to be found she nodded in Lincoln’s direction, who, along with his brother from his pack, would lower Clarke’s coffin into the grave. Both the living and the undead stepped closer, their faces sombre as they wished Clarke safe passage on her journey, throwing blood red roses onto the coffin as they passed Lexa. There were no condolences offered, everyone knew Clarke would rise in three days, yet the visage of a coffin being lowered into the ground inspired sombre feelings even among the undead.
One by one they left until only Lexa and the already fading ghost of her mother remained. Lexa stared into the milky white features of her long passed mother, happy for her that she would finally be able to rest. When Lexa first found out that her mother had condemned herself to stay in purgatory until the day she could watch her daughter be married, she had been devastated for her. When her previous partner, Costia, a selkie, had been murdered before their wedding Lexa was burdened not only with the grief of losing a partner but the guilt of not being able to provide relief to the ghost of her mother. The guilt had plagued her for centuries but now that she had seen her mother’s ghostly tears of joy she was happy for her.
“Can you stay with me until she rises?” Lexa asked, her voice trembling, selfishly reaching out to her mother for support. “Just three more nights. Please.” She was over three hundred and fifty years old yet she shamelessly begged, needing the cold comfort of her mother’s ghost lingering while her wife found her way to back to her. To her immense relief, her mother nodded in mute consent, her faded white complexion solidifying slightly once more. Even if Lexa had not been able to converse with her mother in a little over three centuries her encouraging smiles and gestures would be enough. They had to be enough. 'Only three days.' Lexa attempted to soothe her own nerves. Only three days until her wife would rise from her grave.