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i can feel your blood pressure rise

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Climbing up a tree to get into Calliope’s house is not an unusual circumstance. Not anymore. To Juliette, it’s a standard, run-of-the-mill practice in order to get to her girlfriend’s room. It usually happens when Juliette has appeased her mother enough to get her eyes off her back long enough to slip out of her house. Then, it’s a simple jog to Calliope’s; Legacy stamina has its perks, from time to time. 

Calliope is already there when Juliette pulls herself onto the final branch. The window opens, a half-smile cocked in the corner of Calliope’s mouth. “Hey there, stranger. It’s a little late to be out, don’t you think?” 

“Does it matter when you don’t really need to sleep?” Juliette replies, a subtle eyebrow raise in Calliope’s direction earning her a small chuckle. Calliope waves her in, and Juliette takes that as her cue to enter Calliope’s loft room. Every time she comes here, she’s more and more amazed by the sheer size of the space, the high ceilings and low lights flickered on. 

Behind Juliette, Calliope shuts the window in record speed, remaining quiet. Then, she comes from behind Juliette, winding her arms around the smaller girl’s waist and leaning her head into Juliette’s neck. 

“I missed you,” Juliette hums. Calliope replies in kind with a kiss to Juliette’s skin. 

It’s come to a mutual understanding that Juliette will always be, to some degree, a little more verbal than Calliope is. In a strange way, it works out; Juliette is always in tune with Calliope’s heart, her ears registering the constant, low beat in Calliope’s chest. She’s learned what the subtle shifts in tempo mean. A low tempo is usually Calliope’s resting heart rate, like how it is now. So really, Calliope doesn’t even need to speak for Juliette to understand how she’s feeling in the current moment. 

Benefits. 

Juliette turns around in Calliope’s arms, placing her hands to frame Calliope’s face. The kiss that comes after feels like the most natural thing in the world, languid and familiar. Juliette knows, without even looking, the shape of Calliope’s mouth just by feel. To her, that might be the biggest blessing of it all. 

And it helps to ignore the faint pressure in the back of her throat. 

“Jules, I’m—” Calliope turns her head away, tucking her mouth into her elbow to yawn. Short and quick, militaristic in movement. Juliette tilts her head to the side. “I’m a little wiped. Went on a ten mile run with Theo and had training with Apollo directly after that, then all of the homework from our English class—” 

“Hey,” Juliette says, putting her hand on Calliope’s arm to shut her up. She smiles. “It’s okay. Let’s get your tired ass to bed.” 

Calliope snorts, but looks grateful; the sentiment hidden in her eyes, but Juliette sees it nonetheless. Juliette grabs her girlfriend’s hand and leads her up the stairs to the loft where the queen-sized bed is sitting, the comforter rumpled and a book on the foot of it. The pair crawl in— Calliope on the left, and Juliette on the right, snaking their limbs together until their bodies are fused in the way that they love. 

It’s moments like these where Juliette feels normal . Like a normal girl, sneaking over to her girlfriends house to sleep in her bed with her. But in reality, Juliette is far from that. Normal girls don’t exactly listen keenly to the heartbeat and breathing of their girlfriend falling asleep. Yet, Juliette does, because she’s fascinated by the downshift that happens when Calliope relaxes enough. Her breathing goes from twelve breaths per minute to nine, almost eight. Calliope’s heart shifts from forty five beats per minute to nearly thirty five, a sign of extreme physical fitness. 

The latter part shows in Calliope’s muscle definition. Juliette could dream about that for hours if she wanted to. But, instead, she closes her eyes and tucks her head into her girlfriend’s neck, the tip of her nose pressing against Calliope's pulse point. 

But even with the quietness of the room, something has to come and ruin it. 

Something being the first reminder that Juliette needs to feed. And soon. 

Juliette opens her eyes, her vision bearing a slight red tint. She exhales sharply, eyes dipping down to the column of Calliope’s throat. In the back of her mind, she hears hisses and whisperings repeating the same word. Feed, feed, feed. Her throat becomes drier than sandpaper, though it’s been that way for the entire day. 

Fuck. Juliette hoped this wouldn’t come right now, not when she’s with Calliope. The fates always seem to play tricks on her like that. The pressure in her mouth starts to increase, and Juliette knows it’ll become unbearable to the point where her fangs will have to come out just to relieve some of the ache. It happens every time she waits on feeding. 

Why is it getting so hot in the room?

Juliette squirms; her gut instinct tells her to open her jaw and bite Calliope’s neck. Her heart tells her to pull away , to run and get out the window before hurting Calliope goes from being a possibility to a reality. Fucking damn it. 

Yet, she’s left frozen in place, her mouth watering at the heady smell of Calliope’s blood humming underneath the warm skin. Calliope has yet to notice Juliette’s ordeal, still thrust in the throes of deep sleep and her head tilted away. It only makes it all ten times more tempting; Juliette’s muscles lock up, gripping Calliope just to find some chance of salvation from her own inherent nature. 

It never seems to work, though.

The red tint in her eyes intensifies. Everything narrows down and Juliette knows she needs to get out right fucking now

The same time Juliette lets a whimper slip past her mouth is the same time Calliope’s heart rate skyrockets up. 

“Jules?” Calliope’s voice is rough with sleep, but she’s perfectly alert and awake. 

“I’m sorry, I’m so hungry, I’m sorry. ” Juliette begins repeating those same words over and over, her eyes screwed shut and her mouth open. Her teeth are just barely grazing the skin of Calliope’s neck, and that seems to be the moment that Calliope realizes what’s going on. Realizes that Juliette is fighting the monster that is her nature underneath her skin, fighting the intoxicating smell of the blood in Calliope’s body. 

Calliope sees Juliette shifting and struggling, her body now convulsing. Muscle spasms erupting in her fingers, causing her to let go and subsequently grab Calliope’s shirt in repeated motions. Sweat beading on Juliette’s neck, the liquid a mixture of sweat and tinges of blood. 

“Jules, when was the last time you fed?” Calliope’s voice is low. Dead serious. 

Juliette whispers, “L— last week? I think?” 

“Juliette.” 

“I know, I know!” Juliette lets out a loud gasp. She forcibly yanks herself out of Calliope’s hold, turning over until she can sit up and scoot away. She nearly falls off the edge of the mattress in her haste to create some space from her girlfriend. Her head shakes. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.” 

Her fangs have never ached so badly in her life until now. It’s like they know that Juliette’s favorite person is only three feet away from her. They crave Calliope, and this is a craving Juliette is terrified of indulging. She’d slowly come to terms with having to feed, preferring glasses of cooled blood over anything straight from the source, but Calliope?

No. She’s off limits. Juliette can’t afford to lose control. 

“Jules, can you hear me?” Calliope says, her voice sounding so far away. 

Juliette swallows, her eyes drooping. “I need to go.” 

“Not in this state, you aren’t.” Calliope is firm. “You’re starving, you haven’t fed in a week. Maybe more! You’re supposed to feed every other day!” 

Felt sick of it after what Elinor did. Juliette had trusted her sister with going to a party that ended up in assaulting a woman in the bathroom, the two of them taking turns drinking from her neck until there was hardly any left for the woman to live. Juliette had just barely stopped Elinor from killing her, and that was a task in itself. 

And though Juliette had drunk a lot more than usual, it still wasn’t enough. A growing Legacy vampire like her needs far, far more than an older Legacy needs in order to function. 

Which leads to now; Juliette sweating bullets while Calliope comes ever so slightly closer to her. 

“Feed from me.” 

“What?” Juliette’s eyes snap open. She shakes her head, jaw growing tight at the prospect. “Not happening. I told you I wasn’t going to hurt you.” 

“But you’re hurting yourself by denying it,” Calliope retorts. “You need it, I know that. What kind of girlfriend would I be if I let mine starve?” 

“A good one, because you’d know that I might lose control,” Juliette hisses, her voice just above a whisper. 

Calliope turns, rummaging through the drawer of her nightstand. She fishes something out, something familiar. 

The silver bracelet. 

“You feed from me and when I need you to stop, I use this,” Calliope says. “I know you won’t hurt me, Juliette. I know that. This is just a safeguard, because you won’t lose control. I know you won’t. Not with me.” 

 Juliette swallows. “You promise you’ll use it if I go too far?” 

Calliope nods, a solemn look lined with dead seriousness. Calliope never has been one to make false promises like these, so Juliette feels relief when she hears, “I promise.” 

Shakily, Juliette crawls over to Calliope. Her hands feel like fireworks have gone off, a buzzing livewire erupting through every nerve in her skin. Calliope holds the bracelet in a closed fist, slowly leaning back onto the cushions. Juliette settles onto her lap. 

“It’s okay,” Calliope says, her voice so reassuring that Juliette fully believes her, despite the painful feeling of her fangs digging into her lower lip. Calliope’s hand comes to Juliette’s waist, snaking to her back, subtly pulling so Juliette comes closer. 

When Calliope tilts her neck to the side, offering it plainly, it all snaps. 

The cord breaks and Juliette gives in. Her mouth seals over Calliope’s neck. Not yet breaking the skin, but sucking and kissing. Calliope moans softly; Juliette opens her mouth more and bites down.

The taste is nothing short of heavenly. 

Juliette suckles, blood flowing into her mouth. Rich in iron and oxygen, the metallic taste on her tongue serving as a drug to her system. This blood being Calliope’s makes it so much more potent, her body being filled with warmth that blossoms from every nook and cranny. It’s addicting; Juliette struggles for control, one hand gripping the headboard of Calliope’s bed so hard there’s a quiet crack of the wood splitting into a dent. 

The other cradles Calliope’s head gently. 

Enough. 

Juliette keeps going. She needs more, she craves it, she wants it. 

Enough!

“J—Jules,” Calliope’s voice comes out broken, bordering the line between a moan and a whimper. 

Stop stop stop stop stop stop stop STOP STOP STOP STOP S T O P  S  T  O  P. 

Juliette severs the bite, forcing her fangs out of Calliope's neck with such a speed there’s a small tear in the skin. She throws herself onto the other side of Calliope’s bed, her body shaking for an entirely different reason. The blood is near orgasmic, the taste rolling around her mouth. Blood is smeared over her lips, dripping down her chin. 

Any voices sound distant. Juliette’s eyes roll into the back of her head, her back arching off the bed with her fingers curling around the fabric of the comforter. It’sm not something she can control it’s something happening beyond her mind. She feels like she’s being fucking thrown into outer space with how her body and mind feel. 

She craves more, yet at the same time, she’s never felt more satisfied. 

It’s different, when you feed from a loved one compared to a regular mortal, Juliette recalls the voice of her father speaking to her about it. Your mother had to learn to control herself when she fed from me. It takes time, Juliette. Be not afraid of your instincts, because they will always protect the one you love no matter how much it feels like you’ll go too far. 

“Jules? Jules, are you okay?” 

Juliette takes a breath (not like she needs it). Her eyes come back to clarity; the light from the lamp on Calliope’s nightstand illuminates the room. Her tongue darts out, cleaning up the blood from her lips and mouth, though the rest of it has already smeared on her chin and neck. 

Just when she thinks she’s finally functioning again, the second wave of bliss rocks through her body. She can’t hold back the sound of pleasure that escapes through her mouth, a whispered Calliope that makes the woman beside her give pause. 

The bite mark on her neck has already healed. Calliope’s okay. 

“Oh my god,” Juliette says, pushing herself to her elbows. Calliope is laying on her back, her limbs moving sluggishly. Her heart is pounding, and not because she just had a fifth of her blood taken from her, maybe more. Juliette exhales, looking at the ceiling rather than anywhere else. 

“Baby, look at me,” Calliope whispers. Juliette turns her head a fraction, eyes meeting her girlfriend’s through her peripherals. Calliope gives her another half-smile, dazzling and irresistible. “That was the hottest thing I’ve ever seen.” 

Juliette brings her hand up to her mouth, wiping some of the blood off. She cleans it off her palm with her tongue, the inside of her mouth red and her teeth stained. Her fangs have slid back into their sheathes, content and happy. “Cal, that was the best blood I’ve ever had.” 

“At least it didn’t taste horrible.” 

“You—” Juliette has to pause, closing her eyes as her body comes back down from a blood high. “It feels like you have a drug in your blood.” 

“Try not to become addicted to it,” Calliope warns, but it feels half-hearted. Not serious at all. 

“I think I already am,” Juliette says, sitting up all the way. “I’m… I’m gonna go wash off in your bathroom. Stay here?” 

“Not going anywhere.” 

Juliette speeds to the conjoined bathroom to Calliope’s room. When she gets a look at herself in the mirror, she looks practically drunk. 

She leans down and washes the blood off her neck and mouth with the sink water, making it ice cold to cool off. When she’s done, Juliette towels off her hands and heads back to Calliope. 

The woman has pulled the covers over herself again and stretches her arm out. “C’mere.” 

Juliette all but jumps into the bed, sliding beneath the comforter. Calliope turns until her back is facing Juliette, and the young vampire wraps her arms around her girlfriend, holding her securely. 

“Thank you,” Juliette whispers. “For letting me feed.” 

“If it meant I got to see you react like that, then put me on the calendar for next week,” Calliope mutters softly. Juliette exhales a laugh against her girlfriend’s neck. 

Then, she places a tender kiss there. An apology, of sorts. 

Who knew that coming to her girlfriend’s house would lead to the best feeding she’s ever had in her life?