Kerry meets Michel in New York in the middle of the winter, in the middle of night. A story for all seasons in groups of 3 parts at a time and 10 parts of three. (That was fun to write.)
(Formatting didn't work on the strikethrough at the last bit of the chapter, unfortunately. It makes a bit more sense when it's certain parts of it have a strikethrough and double strikethrough through them, but for some reason that doesn't transfer from Word. Kerry is just rambly.)
I don't own Companions of the Night. Prompts taken from an old list at I think 31_kisses, but perhaps maybe not. The title will come in later. (By the way, Brooklyn Heights is quite lovely in the summer, as the Lower East Side. During the winter, the LES is vaguely foreboding at night when no one is out and in Brooklyn Heights all of those brownstones on the promenade just look creepy.) Please tell me if you think that the rating should go up now, it probably will, eventually.
The story shall commence now!
1) our breaths in winter
Winter nights in New York City in February. The lights of Midtown make the air icy cold and she is in a part of lower Manhattan where there is just brick and grey and the FDR Drive to her right. Kerry is so, so lost.
She knows that her college is over 100 blocks uptown and on the other side of the island. She knows that she is in Alphabet City, somewhere she shouldn't be at 2 in the morning in February alone. She can't even find the subway, because there isn't one nearby.
Her feet are cold and the wind tunnels created of the avenues push her hair back and her hat almost off. She pinned it down, but she's lost a bobby pin. Her lips are chapped; her being is clenched.
She needs a taxi.
There are none on the streets except for one a block behind her, the lights of the off duty sign mocking her as the taxi driver speeds towards a presumably warm house with hot soup on the stove.
She sits on a stoop and begins to cry.
There are footsteps next to her but Kerry doesn't look up, she doesn't want to. But the voice she hears is slightly mocking yet warm; familiar.
"Fancy seeing you here," he says, sitting elegantly next to her. His hair is long; his skin is once again smooth and unblemished. He is cold, but in this bitter weather her hands are colder than the light touch on her shoulder.
Kerry raises her head. "Ethan- Michel," she corrects herself.
"Michel," he agrees with a nod. "Kerry."
"Yes- that's me. Here, on these steps," she says, nodding stupidly. He exhales, forming a cloud with his breath. Her scarf is iced over with her frozen breaths, chilling her neck. The chill running down her spine is much, much different. Induced.
"Are you all right?" he asks. Kerry nods, and then shakes her head no. Blows out in frustration.
"Cold," she murmurs. "And I'm lost. I need to be in my dorm-"
"Where?" he asks. She sighs. "Columbia. Uptown."
"I know that," Michel says. "Come with me. I have a car."
"Is it stolen?" Kerry asks, remembering. He shakes his head.
"It's a rental. From New Jersey."
"Oh," she says, letting him pull her up and over then in. She sits in the passenger seat of the car and fiddles with the dials, turning on the heat, taking off her scarf and hat, shaking out her hair. When they turn onto what she recognizes as the Brooklyn Bridge her lips part, confused.
"Michel- what- this isn't Morningside Heights-"He chances a look at her.
"We're going to my place in Brooklyn Heights. It's late; you can get on the 2/3 in the morning."
Kerry would argue but she is too tired, too chilled, and the car feels safe.
Despite what she's seen him do. Despite what she's done because of him.
The window is fogging over, and she raises a gloved finger to it. She traces circles in the damp, draws a flower, a heart.
Michel laughs. Kerry just inhales and exhales, nervous. Anticipatory.
2) la vie en rose
Her cheeks are flushed with heat and something else as she sits on the worn couch by the fireplace. His house is a brownstone with a stoop on the promenade, on the river- expensive. There is a brick front and impressive steps, but the inside is almost shabby.
"I haven't been here- lived here- for a while," he says at her confused glance. Kerry nods, then gets up and stares out the window over the East River. She can see the lower tip of Manhattan and if she strains, the silhouette of the Statue of Liberty.
"I'm hungry," she says to him. She thinks he nods at her back, because he says "as am I," but she knows what he is referring to is something very different.
"Um- I just want food."
"Of course," Michel says. "There's a kitchen. I have water and canned soup I believe. It shouldn't be expired."
"You still entertain?" she asks, knowing the answer. His grin is wicked.
"Occasionally-" and he wraps a hand in her hair and spins him to face her so they are nose to forehead. "Surprised?"
"No," she breathes out, feeling her chest rise against him. His breathing is quickening so his heart beats faster, like hers when she is walking. Her heart is rat-tat-tat drumbeating and her blood is warm in her veins.
"Good," he breathes in response. "Good."
He kisses her fiercely, her back pressed up against the window as he pushes her shirt up so her spine is knobs against the glass window. He grabs a breast roughly and squeezes. It feels good but that hurts and she tears her lips away from his (somehow they're warm, how?) and she tries to arch back but ends up pushing further into his hand because it feels good. And he's sucking on her neck- she'll have an evil looking bruise there later- and she gasps out "don't-" because she doesn't want him to bite her.
"I wasn't going to." He says, and when he meets her eyes she can see the actual truth in them and reaches, sucks on his lower lip, slides her hand over the muscles of his back all taught and tense.
"I'm still cold," she mutters, and leans into him. She's so chilled by the window glass and the outside wind that he feels good in even more ways.
"We'll move then," and he yanks off her shirt. A button pops off and falls to the floor and absently Kerry wonders what she's going to wear when she has to go back to Manhattan to her dorm.
With her shirt off and her bra now hanging open she's colder than ever, so he pulls her tighter and moves her to an old armchair. Kerry is seated on his lap and he has easy access to her throat. She arches her neck unwittingly and knowingly.
"I said I won't."
He doesn't tell her to trust him, and she's glad for that. His lap is comfortable and they're back to the fire. He kisses her again and does something with his hand that makes her gasp and so she's glad her found her, for the moment at least.
The river watches them through the uncovered window, calmly accusingly, dark blue against a grey sky.
3) her handwriting
Thank you very much for picking me up on the Lower East Side. I truly didn't know what the hell I was going to do. I was freezing and tired and, of course, it was two in the morning. You truly saved my life. Since I saved yours I guess that it's fair. I'd like to think that we're done now. Every time that I see you it confuses me, and last night was very definitely confusing. Especially since it went kind of quickly. I'd prefer if we not talk about it. (And no, it's not like it'll be complicated because I have a boyfriend. I know that you know that I broke up with him a few weeks ago. You have got to stop following me occasionally. You don't hide from me as well as you think that you do.) I know I'm going to sound like a total bitch, but I don't really want to see you again. You're… different, obviously. And I at least think that you're dangerous. Although you definitely do have your uses.
Look, I've told you so many times starting when I was 16 years old that I don't want to be a vampire. I really, truly don't. I think that you want me to turn into one, but I have this feeling that you're waiting for me to become, like, perfect or to turn me at the perfect moment.
Please don't. I don't want to be your "companion of the night" like you once said about Regina. Co-vampires sounds pretty horrible to me. I don't think that it's romantic at all.
I'm thankful for what you've done for me over the past couple of years. Helping last night was just one of the things that I'm going to add to your list. Maybe you're not as a bad a person as you think you are. Just sort of bad. I'm sorry, I'm really tired and the sun has just risen. When you get this at sundown, you'll know that I've left. I've covered all of the windows in the front room- the ones in the hall were closed, obviously. I put the covers over the shutters in the bedroom window too, so you should be safe. Now please, please let me be safe. I like being human. I like being alive. You're not dead but you're not alive. You're stuck in half, in the middle, and I don't want that for me.
And Ian can't lose me. He's already lost Mom.
I can't trust you to fulfill any of these requests that I'm making, but I'm asking you. As a friend. Not as a lover.
I don't know if I even love you anymore. I think that I don't.
I'm leaving now. Don't worry, I'll take the subway. I can take it pretty much straight back to Columbia. I'll be fine. I hope that you'll be fine as well.
I remember that you said that there were choices beyond choices once and that it would be nice to see my hair in the sunlight. If you take that choice then maybe we still have a chance.