Disclaimer: I do not own these characters, and certainly do not claim them as my own. All characters in this world belong to the wonderful Kim Harrison *I am not worthy*. I'm just borrowing them for a few pages, needing the outlet for my Ivy/Rachel frustration.

The sweet scent of redwood leaks from your every pore, entering my flared nostrils and driving me to the brink of insanity. You doesn't understand; never have and never will. Dearest Rachel, no words can describe the way I feel. My heart smashes itself against my ribs every time your smooth, satin skin rubs inadvertently against mine. My fingers twitch uncontrollably, wanting to touch you with such desperation it isn't even rational. Lately, I've had to bite my tongue—many times to the point of drawing blood—just so I can sit beside you quietly. It's irrational, stupid. I can't speak to you without having my breath quicken or hitch audibly. Then, you look at me with those eyes; the ones that make my heart clench and moisture accumulate within my eyes.

I know, Ivy. The eyes say. I know what you want, I know how you feel. But I can't give it to you. Never.

So I put up a brick wall, hiding my emotions from the passing glances. The only one who can tear that wall down is you, but all you do is solidify it. Brick after brick after brick. The confines of my solitude have been hardened to the point where I don't even know if I can once again be repaired. I don't know if I even want to be whole again. What's the point of latching yourself onto one individual, placing your still-beating heart in the palm of their hand, giving yourself to them completely: body and soul. Why do this if they cannot love you the way you love them? And I do love you, more than I've ever loved any other person or thing.

Dearest Rachel, they say actions speak louder than words. But how am I supposed to show you how much I care when you cringe every single time my hand caresses your cheek? How do I declare my boundless love when you perceive my every action to be hostile? How can I spend a moment alone with you, without everything turning to a pile of compost? Tell me how.


It takes me every ounce of restraint I hold in my soul to remain confined in my room at night. The knowledge that you are sleeping peacefully, just down the hallway—it makes me want to scream. I know I cannot creep slowly into your room, slide under the covers beside your fragile body, and wrap my arms around the waist that beckons to me, immersing myself in the gentle aroma that rolls off of your figure so sweetly. I know I cannot, and it's killing me. I want to have the liberty to hold you whenever I please; I want to be able to press my lips to yours with a delicacy that never makes you want to let go; I want to feel the softness of your flawless flesh against my fingertips as they explore the unknown of your body. But I cannot. And it kills me.

Dearest Rachel, my heart is yours. You may do with it whatever you wish. If you choose to crush it within the palm of your hand, then so be it; for if you do not believe me to be good enough for you, then I am no good at all. Should you choose to cherish it, nothing would bring me more joy. I've had a taste of you, and now nothing else can compare; nothing else is good enough. I need you.

Your ravishing beauty merely adds to the illogical way I've latched myself onto you. Never once have I not noticed the provocative way your hips sway when you walk before me, the sensual curving of your figure. Your soft, creamy breasts—oh how I've wondered what the weight of one would feel like in the palm of my hand. That untamable mane of curls, outlining the faultless form of your striking visage. Piercing green eyes. Not one day goes by that I do not imagine those eyes gazing lovingly into mine. Luscious, red lips; full and inviting. I tasted them once, and a tingle slivers it's way through my bottom lip when I merely think about it...what I wouldn't give to have another taste. My fingers twitch, wanting desperately to be acknowledged in this fantasy of you—so I allow it. I imagine them running up and down your sides, from the middle of your thighs, trailing their way up to your waist, lingering for a few seconds at your hips before making their way to the small of your back and pulling you close. You do not wince at the black of my eyes, because you know they signify love, compassion, adoration. My eyes close shut to stop the tears from falling, as I grasp that fact that only in the figments of my imagination will you let yourself be held by me. It hurts. So much.

Dearest Rachel, if only you knew how I felt. At least then I would not blame you when you make your decision—at least then,you would know everything there is to know about me. For the moment, you are to blame. Your assumptions about my nature are false. False. Your blood does indeed call to me, but I would never take what is not freely offered. My love for you is strong enough to restrain the urges that your blood beckons to. I am not feeble the way you portray me to be; my heart's size easily surpasses the instincts that lurk beneath my flesh. You cannot understand that, because you have never asked.

A single tear slips down my cheek, washing away any hope. You don't ask because you don't care. My grip on the handle of my mug tightens with anger; but what makes my fingers clench even further around the piece of ceramic is the emotion of despair. I will never be allowed to have what it is I want so desperately. It is then, that it hits me. A scent so familiar I would recognize it from miles away. It's you.

The aroma envelops me with such comfort, I fear I will fall. But I regain my posture, and my sleeve comes up to wipe away the salt water rolling with excruciating leisure down the side of my cheek—it's as if it wants you to see. I won't let you.

"Good morning," you say, your voice croaky from sleep. I release my death-grip of the mug handle, fearing I might shatter the ceramic if this goes on. Turning away from the computer screen to face you, I place the most believable smile I can find upon my features and reply with surprising ease.


You return my smile, and I wonder if it is as counterfeit as mine. As usual, you begin the conversation we share every morning. "Did you sleep well?"

"Yup." I did not sleep at all. "You?"

You nod.

I give you the same empty action in response, and return to my e-mails. So desperately do I wish to speak about what anguishes me every second of every day, but I know you will divert the conversation topic—as you always do, and as you will continue to do. My mouse clicks louder with each tap of my index finger; I seem to be taking out my frustration on this small, plastic piece of technology.

"So what do you wanna do today?" Your overly-peachy tone severs my bad mood.

I turn to face you, forgetting any negative thoughts that may have crossed the barriers of my mind. How can I stay mad at you? You are wearing your favorite Takata T-Shirt, and even though it is over-sized, I can still see the flawless outline of your curves through the material. Pretending not to notice, I shrug nonchalantly.

"No idea." None that you would approve of.

It is then that you laugh; that sound! Were I stranded in the desert, parched and desperate for a single drop of water—I would give up a pool to forever hear that harmonious sound. A smile tries to creep it's way onto my features, knowing that I can make you laugh the way you do, but I hold it back. You would surely ask me the reason I was smiling; and I cannot divulge it's cause. Instead, I arch an eyebrow and give you a questioning allure. "What is it?"

"You practically go out every night, Ivy." You give me a suggestive look, and I try to hide my disappointment to the fact that is meant to be mockery. "Don't go telling me you have no idea where to go when you're probably the Queen of the party at whatever places you go to those night. Come on, it's Saturday. I have to spend tomorrow with Al, and I wanna do something exciting tonight!"

You sashay your hips from side to side at the word "exciting," hinting the fact that you're thinking of a dance club. My eyes lower to stare at the opulent way your body moves, rhythmically and without fault. You've placed your hands on your waist, fingers dangerously close to a zone I have deemed forbidden. I want to replace them with my own, I want to be behind you, fingers upon your hips and moving sensuously in synchronization with your figure.

My mind wanders, and only then do I stop and notice you've ceased dancing to an unheard tattoo. Your gaze pierces mine, and your expression poses the unspoken question: Were you ogling me?

"No." I answer myself more than you, and then realizing that a question hadn't actually been asked, I reformulate my answer. "I mean—I doubt I'll go out with you."

My eyes widen as I see your expression. You're so taking this the wrong way. "Tonight!" I clarify. Then, just to make sure: I repeat. "Tonight. I doubt I'll go out with you tonight. I have some stuff to do. Sorry."

You giggle as I stumble over my words, blood rushing to my cheeks. You're the only individual that can make me as clumsy as I currently am; and I wouldn't change that for the world. You're the only one who gets to see me for who I really am, the one person I don't need to calm and collect myself for. So why do I still do it? You tell me.

I clear my throat and regain my cat-like posture, turning back to the screen. "You can go if you want to, though. I really don't mind." I nonchalantly wave my hand in your direction, quietly wishing you'll try to convince me to come. "I might be able to go another night."

You don't say anything for what seems like an eternity. Then, you break the silence with one of your random quirks. "When was the last time you fed?"

I turn abruptly, not even bothering to keep up the charade that I'm checking my e-mails. I had started pretending about fifteen minutes ago. My gaze narrows, and I look you over to see if you're bluffing. If you are, you're very good at it.

"Three nights ago."

You nod knowingly, as if you usually keep track of how many people I feed from per week. You give me a sad, sympathetic smile and say, "You should feed."

"I'm okay," I say hastily—probably too hastily, because you stare at me with a perplexed expression. "I'll be fine, Rachel. Besides, I'm not in the mood to go out there and suck at someone's neck until I feel satisfied, because it ends up making me miserable." I pause, wondering if I should tell you what's been plaguing my mind ever since the idea had popped into my head. "I'm...thinking of going back on a blood diet."

Your eyes widen, and you shake your head immediately without hesitation. "No."

"No what?" But I know exactly what you mean.

"No. You are not going back on a blood diet." Your voice is firm with authority, and I'm surprised by the way I fold to it. "When you're not sated, you're pissy, you're bitchy, you're always tired, and most of all you're dangerous."

"I can control myself, I just need to—"

"Ivy," you say my name sternly, and I find myself bow my head slightly at the tone of your voice. "You are not going on a blood diet."

"Okay," I respond softly.

"Good," you say. "Now get dressed, we're going out."

I look up and see that you're smiling. Without warning, I smile as well. That's what I love about you—your bubbly personality knows when and where to pop up and make everything better. My guess is that you knew all along that I wanted to come with you. I love how you know you have a certain dominance over me, how you can hold me in place with a single word. I willingly give myself to you, you know that, don't you? And I know you'll never abuse that status; that you'll always take care of me and you'll never exceed that limit that defines the fine line between friendship and possession.

Dearest Rachel, the gut-wrenching fear that settles itself deep within my core every single night is due to the possibility that you might leave me. That one day, I'll do something absolutely dreadful. Something irrevocable. And then you'll leave me because you'll be unwilling to forgive me for what I'd have done. I choke a sob out loud at the mere thought of you leaving me; alone; worthless; insignificant. You turn to me, then, head cocked slightly to the side. Your eyebrows are furrowed oh-so adorably, giving you a quizzical allure. Your eyes twinkle with compassion; I know that if I tell you what's wrong, you'll do whatever you can to remove all doubts. You'll do everything but hold me. I want you to hold me, Rachel. But you won't. And that's why I need to maintain this wall: because you'll perceive me as a feeble weakling if I show you who I really am without the needed support of your love.

"Where are we going?"

You sigh as you sense my guard returning, and I hate the fact that you don't even attempt the sole thing that would lower it forever. Despite the realization, you uphold your smile, and you give me a look that makes my stomach clench in anticipation. "You tell me."

I smile, knowing exactly the place. "I'm taking control," I say with blunt ridicule. "Wear something fancy, but don't go nuts."

You narrow your eyes at me, playing the game. My smile widens, and involuntarily I show you the tips of my canines. Your gazes fixes upon them, and you shiver. I can feel your arousal pooling between your legs, and I sense the blood coursing through your veins being engulfed with adrenaline. You look away, blushing fiercely; my smile disappears. It never should have been there in the first place, and I mentally slap myself for ever having placed it there.

"You should go change." I give you an excuse to leave the room, knowing you won't leave without one. I don't want you to leave. I want to talk. But, as expected, you shuffle clumsily out of the room—wishing to get as far away from me as possible while I'm in this state. Yes, fine, your blood was calling to me. I will admit it; I am not afraid to. However, I could have held myself back with no problem. If you would have been stupid to walk near me while my pupils had swollen to a sinful state, then perhaps things wouldn't have ended as they had.

I hear you rummaging through your things in your room, and a smile once again creeps over me—I know you cannot see it. You are cursing and muttering unintelligible things under your breath, my guess: you're trying desperately to find something to wear. I can tell by the way that you thump childishly onto the ground that you haven't found anything. My little Rachel...

With vampire grace, I glide my way to the door of your room, and I rap softly three times. You still don't yet seem to comprehend the fact that I can hear your every movements from many meters away, because as soon as you hear my knocks, you scurry to your feet and I hear your shirt being straightened. I hide my smile as the sound of your melodious voice fills my ears.

"Come in, Ivy."

I open the door, and no surprise—you are still in your over-sized Takata T-Shirt; it fits you so perfectly. I take a quick look around to see three-quarters of your closet scattered at various corners of your room, your hands are clasped nervously at your front. So adorable.

"Can't find something to wear?"

You shake your head shyly. I take a step toward you and suddenly stop; you've stiffened. Regaining my previous spot in the room, I give you a soft look—asking permission. You shift uneasily and nod. I step forward and gently grab your biceps, lifting them up to stretch your arms out vertically. Your movements are graceful and refined, as if a professional pulled at your strings like a marionette. They parallel mine, and give you a close-lipped smile to reassure you. I can be this close to you without any negative repercussions. Watch me.

Dearest Rachel, as you allow me to be this close to you, touching you—limitedly—and being able to smell the sweet scent that purely belongs to you, I realize that there is no other place I would rather be. Subtly, I permit myself to "unintentionally" stroke your sides, or graze the length of your legs with my own. You do not seem to notice—or rather, you do not seem to mind. I've sensed your increased blood-pressure. I know of the general direction of your thoughts. You want me to touch your thigh again, don't you? So I do, discreetly enough so that had your thoughts not previously been in that zone, you would not become aware of my more intimate touch. But I felt you stifle that shiver. I rise once again to my full height and stare into your emerald gaze, hoping my eyes are depicting every ounce of emotion that roams freely within my body. You know what I want. How am I supposed to know of your desires?

Your eyes do not mirror the state of mine, so I avert my gaze. "Wear the black dress crumpled behind the bed. And don't iron it, either—the ripples will outline your curves and draw attention to your impeccable figure."

I do not care if the tone of my voice may have sounded harsh; I do not attempt to hide the disappointment in my expression; I do not pretend I hadn't been touching you mere seconds before, and I do not act as if you had not had a positive response. My intentions are clear, I have intentionally made it so. But you, Rachel, I do not understand. I step away so that your body heat is no longer engulfing my ability to maintain the brick wall, and it once again rises to it's full height. I feel the lines of my face return to a solemn and expressionless mask, and I allow myself one last glance at you before stepping out of your room.

Dearest Rachel, I will never stop loving you. And I will never cease trying to make you love me.