Chapter Summary: Wow! She stayed! She said she couldn't, but she did! Even after my embarrassing dream that she heard. And she's going to tell me a story! I hope it has a happy ending …

Rosalie woke me up again. It was still light outside. She asked me why I was crying. I didn't know why.

I didn't know why I was crying. I must have been dreaming about something sad, but I couldn't remember. I was about to tell her this, but her look stopped me.

She was regarding me with that speculative look. She reached out to my face …

Everything in me tensed as her finger touched my cheek, capturing a tear.

She withdrew her hand from my face and looked at the tear on her finger for a second, then touched it to her lips. She stiffened and her eyes when from pitch black to pure gold in an instant, and she looked at me with awe and the deepest sadness.

"So sad," she sighed.

"Why are you so sad?"

Oh, she was talking about me. I thought she was talking about her. I wanted to answer, but my voice was stuck in my throat, and before I could swallow to clear it, she climbed into bed with me, lying beside me, taking my face in her hands, looking at me, sadly.

After a second, she closed the distance between us, and her lips touched my cheek, and she whispered, "so sad!" as I felt her kiss a tear away.

She kept kissing my tears away, each time sighing out, "so sad!" Then she pulled back and looked at me, and I looked at her, and she said, almost pleading with me, "Don't be sad!"

Then she wrapped me in her arms, and she kissed me. She kissed me full on the lips, so gently, so caringly, so lov-… well, so caringly.

And I wrapped my arms about her and returned her kiss with mine. I returned it with all I could. I returned it with everything that I was.

And she rolled on top of me, and I felt the weight of her, her strength … I felt her. And it felt so right, her on top of me. It felt so right. And she pushed, oh! so gently, her legs between my legs, and I felt her.I felt her touching me, embracing me, even through my PJs and her clothes.

And I held her as tightly as I could, pulling her down to me, wanting her, pressing myself up to her, giving myself to her.

And she broke that kiss and kissed me again. And kissed me again. And she kissed me on the lips, then on the chin, then on the throat, then on the neck. Each kiss so sweet and so gentle. And it was hard to breathe, and every breath was her, and impossible to think: all I could do is want her. That's all I could do; that's all I wanted to do.

And then I felt her teeth graze my skin right at my neck, and I gasped out a "Please! Oh, please! Oh, Rose, bite me!"

And her teeth sunk into my flesh, and there must have been pain, but I didn't feel it, because I felt so, so connected to her. I was with her, and she was with me and in me and taking me. And I felt a flash of heat as my loins exploded, and all sense went away.

But eventually the pain of it did become too much as my senses returned. I felt a pulling on my neck, and it began to hurt so much.

"Ahm, Rosalie, stop. It hurts." But she wasn't stopping. I felt the pulling, more and more, and I felt myself weakening. It felt like before: I felt myself lessening as the pain increased.

"Please, Rosalie, stop. Please stop. Please." I begged, and I tried to use my arms to push her away, but they were so leaden that I couldn't lift them from her back.

"Please, Rosalie, I'm dying." I felt it. I was dying. "I'm … I'm dy-…"


Then everything shifted.


Everything shifted like what happens when you fall off your bed when you're asleep. That's when I realized that I was dreaming. Rosalie was standing over me, I could see her silhouette in the darkness, arms crossed, body stiff, and I heard the echo in my ears of her shout. She must have shouted at me to wake me.

She leaned toward me in the darkness, and I saw her white, white, pale white skin and the blackness of her eyes from the moonlight from the window.

"That is what I am," she hissed at me, pure hatred in every word.

Oh, God! I must have been talking in my sleep! I must have been … God! … I must have been saying those things out loud.

Without ceremony, Rosalie lifted me up and raced me to the outhouse, and I felt the heat from the pail of embers dangling beneath me. She had the outhouse lit and heated by the time I sat. She held out her hand, and as I handed her the panties and PJs bottoms, I saw her unmoving chest and her golden eyes regarding me, and I realized she wasn't breathing anymore … because of me. I couldn't look at her. I peed as she left the outhouse. She was gone and back in an instant, holding out a washcloth that she wet in the heated water and lathered with the bar of soap.

I took it and washed myself there, not even daring to look at her anymore.

She rinsed me, handed me a towelette, and a fresh pair of panties and PJ bottoms. I dried myself and put on the new clothes, eyes downcast the whole time.

She handed me the tin of lime then extinguished the candle. We were outside the outhouse, me in her arms, and the towelette and washcloth in a ball, flying leftward far, far away from us. We raced back toward the cabin, but she stopped suddenly. We were by the tree with the cross in it.

Oh, no!

She put me on my seat and stood a few paces away from me, looking away from me. The silence lasted a few seconds.

I sat there in that few seconds of silence in that beautiful, cold moonlit night, as I looked at that beautiful, cold Rosalie.

She still looked away from me when she said quietly, "It's not like that."

I said the only thing I could: "I'm sorry." Shame washed through me.

She looked at me, but I couldn't tell what color her eyes were in the moonlight coming from the waxing moon behind her. She spoke quietly again but this time more forcefully. "It's not like that. Do you understand me?"

It looked like she was trying to tell me something, but I didn't understand what. I shook me head in my shame.

"If I were to bite you, you would not come," she explained.

"'Come'? Go where?" I didn't understand.

She looked at me steadily. "Come," she stated: "orgasm."

I looked back at her.

She sighed and waved toward my midsection.

"Oh." I said in a small voice, finally understanding. "I'm …"

"Or you would," she continued, "… but only for the same reason that a man on the gallows defecates and ejaculates and dances when hung. You would try to run, too, doing everything you could to escape from the pain."

"But you couldn't." She was so remote. "You would experience pain indescribable for three or so minutes, and then you would die. That's the only thing that would happen. Your dream was wrong, but it was right: you would die. That's all you would do. Die. Do you understand me?"

I looked at her.

"I'm cold," I whispered meekly.

She shook her head, picked me up, and we returned to the cabin where she placed me in the bed and tucked me in. She looked like she was going to go.

"Rosalie, please," I started.

"What? WHAT!" She shouted. "'Rosalie, please'? You're going to ask me to stay, aren't you? I have to hunt. I have to hunt! Or did you think your 'oh, bite me' would leave me unaffected? With that kind of blood in you? I have to go!"

She stared at me, murder in her eyes, murder in her voice, "I have to go, or I will kill you."

She was panting, staring at me in fury.

"If you go now, it will kill me, and you know it."

I don't know why I said that. I just knew it was true.

Rosalie became so still, staring at me through the darkness, but then I saw her move to the door.

"Please," I said.

She stopped. She stood there for a long time. I heard her hand go to the latch.

"Please," I whispered.

"God damn it," was the softest of whispers I heard coming from her by the door.

She came back.

I almost vomited with relief. She came back.

She took a chair from by the table and sat down by me, the high-back between us.

"Thank you," I whispered, pushing everything I could into my thanks.

There was nothing from Rosalie. She was trying so hard to be remote, to be far away from me.

But she was here.

I looked at her in the darkness, sitting there so rigidly. "Tell me a story," I dared to whisper.

"About what?" asked the remote and quiet voice. The voice that wasn't screaming at me.

My dare worked.

"Anything," I breathed in relief.

"All right," she responded. "This is a story about King Midas." And she told me the story.

"Once upon a time, there was a wise King over all the lands," she began, her musical voice taking on the smooth flowing lilt of the story-teller's voice.

"And the King loved his people and wanted the best for them, so he accumulated wealth of all kinds, particularly diamonds."

I thought it was gold, but I let her continue.

"But the King had one possession he prized above all the rest. He had the fairest and most beautiful daughter in the whole world, none in the kingdom came even close to rivaling her beauty. And he loved her above all other things. But he never much had time for her, for the day-to-day administration of the land and his people occupied much of his time. He was an important man and had important things to do. And there were some that faulted him as miserly, but the kingdom was prosperous, and the people employed and engaged and happy, all because of the King's providence."

Then I knew why the story was different. Rosalie's father was a banker. She was telling me the story about her family, using King Midas as an allegory.

"One day, God appeared to the King in a dream and asked, 'What would you have, if you could have anything in the world?' And the kindly King thought of his people. He thought, 'If we were to have unlimited wealth, my people would lack for nothing.' So he asked God to grant him the power to turn anything he touched into diamonds. God responded, 'Well, you're no Solomon, but as you wish.'"

"The next day the King awoke from his trifling dream, or so he thought, amused by it, but when he sat on his garden bench to admire his flowers, he saw it sparkling in the sun and was delighted to see his stone bench turned into a carved diamond. He shouted with glee, touching each flower, growing more and more pleased with the wealth that he was creating."

She didn't sound delighted as she told the story of the King's delight.

And then her voice grew ominous.

"But then at his brunch, when he picked up an orange to eat, it became a crystal clear diamond ball, heavy as stone in his hand, and the liquid in his gold goblet froze into a diamond pool, with the goblet itself now glass clear. And the King wondered what and how he would eat."

"But that wonderment left his mind in a flash. Because, as he was thinking this, his daughter, his only daughter, his one truly beloved treasure burst into the room."

"'Father,' she said, 'you look so pale! Whiter than snow! What is wrong?' she asked him. She then ran to embrace him."

"'Stay away from me!' the King shouted desperately."

And I remembered those were the exact words Rosalie had said to me.

"But he had said it too late, or his daughter did not believe him or did not hear him in the overflowing of concern in her heart, and she clasped him in her embrace."

"And the King screamed, for now holding him was no longer his daughter, no longer the fairest and most beautiful maiden in the kingdom. Nothing held him anymore, for she was turned into a cold, hard, translucent statue."

"The King cried out now in anguish, and begged God to rescind his gift and restore his daughter to him. But God is just and said, 'What you desired, I gave,' and left the King. And the King understood, but too, too late, and looked at the nothing that was his daughter."

She spoke this story so dispassionately, but the tears coming out of my eyes betrayed the emotion she must have felt.

"And then the King cursed God for the gift He gave him, and he brought his hand behind what used to be his daughter's back, and he touched his own cheek. And, to this day, there they still stand in their embrace, father and daughter, forever. Dead. The end."

She was silent as I continued to cry not so silent tears. I definitely remember the story didn't end like that, so upsettingly cruel and sad.

But then I felt myself growing calm, strangely calm.

"What's that?" I asked dreamily.

"What's what?" Rosalie purred back.

That's what it was. She was purring. Not purring, because I couldn't hear it or even feel it, but she was, like, I don't know, purring, and I felt it calming me, putting me to sleep.

But I struggled against it. I had to know.

"Was King Midas your father?" I asked, fighting for coherency.

"No," responded Rosalie. Then her answer surprised me: "I am the King Midas in that story." She explained: "Didn't you discern the moral? Everything I touched died."

I thought about it … fuzzily.

"Does it hurt to be around me?" I wondered this from my last dream. If it hurt me for her to take my blood, did it hurt her not to?

Her purring got stronger, and I got sleepier. "That is not your concern," she answered.

It hurt her.

"Does it hurt a lot?" I asked.

Rosalie didn't answer.

It hurt her a lot.

"If you were King Midas, then who was the daughter?"

Rosalie didn't respond.

It couldn't have been me. I remembered what I looked like in the mirror: sallow, not fair … and definitely not beautiful.

"In the story, was I the daugh-…" I began to ask.

"Sleep now," Rosalie purred.

And I did.

A/N: King Solomon asked God for wisdom, not wealth [cf. 1 Kings 3:5-15].