A/N If you haven't read the one shot associated with this story you should.
I jumped in surprise, something I didn't do often. Not only had there been no noise in the room, but no thoughts, no scent. What was more concerning was the sound of the voice. Distinct in my memory, but muffled with time.
I looked up slowly, both preparing for disappointment and to attack if my visitor held an ill will. I wasn't to be disappointed.
He stood in front of me, the same as the day I'd left him seventy years ago. Auburn hair, more red than brown, messy in an orderly way shagged in his eyes, tickled his ears. Pale, ashen skin like mine stretched over high cheek bones and a strong, angular jaw. A bit of golden-red beard stubble brushed across his lower cheeks and jawbone. Although serious in expression, his full mouth still held a slightly amused twist to it. His build was strong, solid, and his significant 75 inches of height only added to his imposing presence.
"Ander? I…I understand if you don't want to see me or talk to me. I just I've been searching for you for years…and-and I remembered," he finished lamely.
I rose to my feet, bracing my hands against the wall and the end table. Stepping cautiously closer, I carefully examined the planes of his face. Re-familiarized myself with the textures and contours of his mind, the richness of his scent, muted but still distinct.
"If you want to punch me, or throw me out, I understand," his eyes met mine, like they had so many times, not hazel but black.
I continued to stare at him, my face carefully blank. He dropped his gaze from mine and spoke in a beaten voice,
"I don't even deserve that much."
I stumbled forward, collapsing into his familiar embrace, dry sobs ripping from my throat, my chest heaving with the tears I couldn't cry. Anthony lost his balance as I wrapped my arms around him as tightly as my strength allowed and we slid awkwardly to floor. He pulled me tightly to his chest as I crumpled into a ball against him.
Time ceased to exist. It could have been hours that we sat there, Anthony murmuring comforting words in my ear, stroking my back, kissing my hair, or it could have been mere moments. Likewise, it was seventy years since he last held me like this, but if felt as though we were right back in the dingy apartment in New York City, year 1988, right across the hall from Mrs. Jenkins.
I wasn't exactly sure when, but at some point he shifted us to a more comfortable position leaning against the bed. Anthony had adjusted me slightly so that I sat in his lap, my head tucked under his chin.
"What happened?" my voice was quiet, barely above a whisper.
"I remembered. Slowly at first, until one day, you were all there was, nothing existed in my mind but you."
"You had a… mate. A woman."
"Yes. I met her probably ten or so years after you… after I changed. Everything was just normal for the next 55 years or so, but then weird things started happening. She would kiss me, but I wasn't kissing her. I would watch a movie, hear a song, and I could feel something warm inside me. I could remember a smell, the feel of smooth, marble skin. Then, she was called to the Volturi for long periods of time. They wanted her to join their ranks, she had some great power."
He shook his head, and bitter tone biting into his voice.
"I trusted her when she said she wasn't sure exactly what they wanted. But the more she was away, the more I remembered. While she was gone, I would lie in bed at night, knowing I couldn't sleep, but feeling like it would be wrong not to be there. I started to remember things more clearly. Certain topics gave me memories, doing certain things, hearing certain noises. Everything was linked back to you."
Anthony pulled away to look me in the eyes, leaning his forehead against mine.
"I remembered the feel of your lips, the touch of your hand. Like walking around living my non-life, you were always there with me. Then she would come back. Everything got fuzzy again. I found excuses to leave for days, and you would come back to me. She was suppressing my memories."
I blinked. All these years. I could have had him.
"As you may have noticed, I can hide my presence."
I hadn't actually bothered to wonder too much about that.
"When I was around her, I was always careful to hide my presence and things came back even faster. I started remembering not only you, but also my family, my life, my career…" he paused before lowering his voice, "Myself.
"A few weeks later, I was gone," he finished, brushing my hair back behind my ear.
"How did you find me?" I asked, my voice still soft. I didn't want to do anything to spoil the equilibrium, to have this perfect little dream end.
"I started searching for you everywhere. The apartment, the cabin in the woods, the subways you told me you'd been changed in. After that I just started sweeping the country. I knew there were some places I could rule out because of the weather, but I couldn't risk it. Two years later and here I am."
A long comfortable silence followed, before he broke it with the question I knew was coming.
"What have you been doing the past seventy years?" he asked, a smile on his mouth, and pain on his mind.
I chewed on my answer before I spoke it. Composing it in my brain, rolling it around on my tongue, testing its truth, before I uttered,
And that was the harsh truth. For the past seventy years I had done nothing but the bare minimum to keep existing.
"Oh, Ander. I'm so sorry."
Anthony examined my face carefully for what felt like forever, before gently grasping my chin and dipping his mouth to meet mine. A heat smoldered inside of me building as his lips covered mine, gentle, teasing. My hands buried themselves in his thick hair as his pulled me tight to him. His strength was unexpected but not unwanted; the squeeze of his arms a pleasant discomfort after years of numbness. His tongue carefully coaxed my parted lips open farther, the sweet chill sent shivers of pleasure down my spine. I shifted so that I could straddle him, tilting my head to get a better angle.
Far too soon, he pulled his lips from mine, bending his head to bury his face in my neck. The soft abrasion of his beard stubble on my neck was a sensation I had missed all too much. His mouth moved hungrily on the column of my throat, slowly moving higher until he gently nipped the delicate skin behind my ear. I moaned, digging my fingers into his back, needing his touch more than anything.
He slowed his frantic pace, leisurely kissing my neck, my jaw, before finally just brushing his lips to mine. His hands were less calm, edging up my shirt to touch my lower back and hips.
Anthony scooped me up effortlessly and sat me on my bed with a light thud. He sat next to me, gently cupping my cheek in his hand. A slow reassuring smile spread across his lips, as he leaned forward to capture my mouth again in a rough kiss. Those hands returned to taunting the skin of my back and stomach before he pulled off my shirt altogether, leaning me back against the unused pillows. My fingers entwined in his hair as he dipped lower to kiss my collar bones and chest.
I exhaled a breath I'd been holding for seventy years.
Alexander snuggled closer to me, his head on my chest. I didn't usually breathe, but I made the effort to, enjoying the rhythm of his, up and down, up and down. I couldn't remember a time I was happier, more perfectly and utterly content. Well, I suppose I could now. There were some things I didn't actually remember. I couldn't actually fully recall kissing him, until I kissed him hours earlier. I didn't remember making love to him until even more recently.
"Yes, Alexander?" I liked to use his full name occasionally, enjoying the noble feel of it, the rich sound as it caressed my tongue.
"You aren't… leaving, are you? You're here for good?"
"I'm here as long as you will have me."
"Oh, I will always have you," he said slyly.
I chuckled, and rumpled his forever too long hair.
"You will, but how about the other people in this house?" he asked, a grim undertone crept into his voice.
"No, they know about… that part of me," he replied awkwardly.
"I mean… I don't drink from animals. I feed on humans."
Silence dragged between us.
"You're right. They won't like that. But…"
"I'm not changing to live with them. I love you. But now that I've found you, I just want you all to myself. I'll stop if you want me to, but not for them," I said, prepared to accept his anger if it came.
"I agree with you," Ander replied simply, "I don't want you exposed to them. They're nice, and they've been very good to me, but they are all about the whole self-deprecating, 'Oh, I'm a monster who has now soul, wahh!' charade. That and…" he trailed off lamely, searching for his words.
"That, and I don't want to have to share you."
I shifted Alexander, twisting him so that he was directly on top of me. He chuckled as I forced his lips down to meet mine. I buried my face in his neck suckling his ear.
"I'm no one's, but yours."
"I think they're close," Ander murmured, his voice muffled in my shoulder.
I closed my eyes throwing up barriers.
"They can only sense you. Just that you're here, not your thoughts or… actions," I finished with a smile. I couldn't help myself.
"You have to go now, don't you?" Alexander asked, rolling off of me and the bed, landing on the floor in one fluid motion.
"I'll be back, as soon as I sense it's safe," I replied quietly, pushing myself up off my stomach, and began the search for my pants.
"Right here," Ander murmured, tossing them to me, "I go to high school here. I can come to you. Just leave for school and go to you."
I fastened the button on my jeans, and pulled him into my embrace, "You know I would love that, but wouldn't it be just an ounce conspicuous?"
"Maybe just on sunny days, then?" he said hopefully.
"Well, I don't about that infrequently."
Alexander laughed pushing me backwards onto his bed. I rolled on top of him to pin his hands, before stopping short.
"Shit. They're closer than I thought." Scooping up the remainder of my clothing I ducked into the closet.
I heard him scuffling to get back into his own clothes and put the bed back together.
They were in the house now. Four of them. Two women, two men. One of them women and one of the men climbed the stairs. I heard heavy footfalls as someone entered the room. A man.
"You haven't moved," it was a statement, not a question, spoken in a velvety voice, laced with concern and judgment, "I know, you're going through a hard time, but it'll be fine. Trust me, you have eternity to move on."
"As comforting as that is, I would appreciate it if you would-"
The conversation ceased. I heard no movement. A few moments later I heard the other man leave the room. I blocked Ander's thoughts just in case he wasn't already.
I emerged carefully from the closet (oh the irony), and placed a fleeting kiss on Alexander's lips before ducking out the window again, disappearing into the now dark forest.