CHAPTER 14 - SICK

I own nothing, I just love Twilight – no copyright infringement intended.

Thanks, as always, to TheRainGirl, nowforruin and solareclipses—my awesome betas.

I also want to say thank you to my regular readers and reviewers, because I love seeing little review notifications in my inbox. I don't believe in begging for reviews, but to those who leave them—you make my little heart flutter! I will always take time out to respond to all signed reviews—if you guys can take the time to write them, then it's only fair!

Just to make you all aware...The Burning of Lucius Demetrius Flavius, the Demetri POV companion story to Red Eyes, is now up on My Vamp Fiction and fanfiction net. There are two chapters there as I write, and hopefully the third will be joining very soon. If Demetri the Roman gladiator intrigued you, then you might enjoy it...

~X~

I think I'm drowning, asphyxiating,
I wanna break the spell that you've created,
You're something beautiful, a contradiction,
I wanna play the game, I want the friction,

You will be the death of me.

Time is Running Out, Muse

~X~

His mouth found mine once more, and this time it was his turn to pin me to the mattress.

"Again?" I complained, then my eyes were drawn down the naked length of his body. He saw my distraction and grinned.

"Yes." He smiled down at me. "Again, again and again. Then if you're really lucky, again...maybe."

"You'll wear me out," I complained again, smiling widely as I pecked him on the lips, and then proceeded to tangle my limbs around his.

"That's the beauty of it all; you are the perfect blend of natural and supernatural, so you can keep up with an insatiable monster like myself."

"Oh, really? You'll get bored."

"Of this? Never," he said in a serious tone. "I never figured myself for a one she-wolf man, but you have all the advantages of a vampire, with all the benefits of flesh and blood." He jiggled one of my breasts in his hand to emphasise his point. "Vampires don't wobble—a fatal flaw in our design, if you ask me."

"So, you really did fall in love for me because of my boobs?" I lay there and ran my hands down his stone-like back. I would never, ever get bored—though I might need to sleep once in a while. I looked over at the alarm clock beside the bed, and it dawned on me just how many hours we'd been at it.

"No, Leah." His mouth dropped to my chest. "I fell in love with you because of you. The breasts were just the pretty packaging to lure me into looking inside. A rather excellent lure, too." He showed that gift wrapping a little appreciation, and my grin grew even wider.

"So," Demetri mumbled with his head buried in my cleavage, "aren't you going to give me the list of things you love about me again? It's good for my ego."

"The last thing your ego needs is a massage, Demetri," I joked. "But if I must go through the list again—"

"Yes, you must. Consider it foreplay."

I laughed out loud. "Okay then..." I paused as his mouth began a slow journey down my rib cage. "I like your smile...I think you're pretty and you're a lot less dusty than your average two-thousand-year-old."

"That I am...anything else?"

"You're fairly decent in the bedroom," I added.

"And the bathroom—don't forget the bathroom," Demetri murmured as he kissed my hip bone. I tensed in anticipation, and felt disappointed when his trail took a turn down my leg rather than the direction I'd been hoping.

"You have a rather excellent sense of humour for a bloodsucker...and I think I almost have as high an opinion of you as you have of yourself."

"That's quite a feat."

"Isn't it? You have one hell of a sexy voice, and I could listen to you talking about nothing much of interest for hours—which comes in handy."

Demetri chuckled as his mouth began a journey down my calf.

"There's your ass, and you're really considerate and generous. I love the way you accept the fact that I'm incapable of saying anything nice."

"You do say nice things, Leah. They're just wrapped up in little packages of sarcasm."

I looked at him and turned to mush on the inside. He met my gaze and smiled.

"I love you," I breathed. I was still in disbelief that I could say the word out loud, and I wondered if it would ever lose its novelty, or become painful to even think like it had done with Sam.

"I love you, too," Demetri replied and clambered back up the bed until his head was back level with my own, and I was underneath him. "But I think you're getting a little tired now; you're going all soft on me. Maybe I should let you get some sleep?"

"Uh-uh, I'm not tired at all." A yawn betrayed me.

"No, not at all." Demetri kissed me slowly and then went to move off the bed. "Oh well, maybe you can't keep up with me as well as I thought." His voice was filled with amusement, and he paused to give me time to react to his invitation. I could sense his smirk even though he was facing the opposite way.

I grabbed him by his bare shoulder and pulled him back. "You know I can keep up. Here's a deal. I'll go to sleep if you make it worth my while, again."

"Again?" Demetri feigned shock. "You're such a demanding taskmaster. Though, it would be terribly rude not to oblige you." Demetri positioned his body on the bed so that we were like spoons and then began kissing my neck.

I chuckled and leaned back into him. Despite our hours of physical demonstrations of love, he still smelled as if he'd taken a bath in expensive hand cream, and I was pretty sure I was less fragrant. I was disappointed that I couldn't see much of him in this position, but then I could feel his cold, muscular mass pressed close behind me. Despite his temperature and solidity, it felt comfortable and familiar.

I groaned at his attentions before I twisted my head around to kiss him. His hands sought out one of my breasts and then the sensitive spot between my legs; I automatically ground my ass against his erection.

"Do you know something, Leah?"

"No, what?" I was slightly breathless as Demetri had begun kissing my collarbone. It was pretty goddamned nice.

"I think my cock is in love with your pussy."

I giggled. "Is that right?"

"Yes," Demetri whispered, and then turned his attention to my earlobe. "I think you've spoiled other pussy for him. It wouldn't be the same if it wasn't yours; he's never met another one like it."

"You say the most romantic things, Demetri."

"You don't think that is romantic?"

"Not really, but it is hot, so please continue." I twisted round again to kiss him once more.

"And I think your pussy loves my cock, too." Demetri smirked at me.

"You know what?" I ground my ass against him one more time. "You might be right."

Demetri groaned and positioned himself, ready to thrust into me. "Leah, I think you just undid all my self-control." Then he pressed his hips forward, and I gasped as he entered me.

He found a slow, firm yet regular rhythm, and kept a hand entertained at all times with either my breasts or between my legs. It was relaxed, but no less thrilling than our usual positions.

"I've had...a spiritual moment...Leah," Demetri said, as he continued to make love to me. "I've decided...heaven is one...oh eight...point nine...degrees."

I smiled at the compliment. "I thought naughty—unh—boys didn't go to heaven?"

"Neither...did I," he breathed into the curve of my neck. "But this...certainly...can't be...burning in hell. It feels...too nice...for that."

"Doesn't it just?"

"La lupa, ti amo."

"I...oh...I love you... Oh, Jesus Christ!" I reached my climax, and Demetri found his moments after.

We had a few minutes of post-coital silence before Demetri spoke first. "Jesus Christ is the holy guy with the long, dark hair and the beard. I'm Demetri, the hunky, blond vampire who is in love with you. You can't confuse us—after all, I can be a little bad at times." He chuckled at his own joke, and then ran his hand down my spine.

I sniffed with amusement, but I was already drifting off into sleep. "A wuv you too, 'Metri," I mumbled, my voice heavy with sleep.

I felt him press a kiss to my shoulder. "Goodnight, Leah. I love you."

~X~

I had a nightmare.

By falling in love with a vampire and by condoning his new role as a premature grim reaper, I had condemned myself to hell. For my sins and for my betrayal of my wolf roots, I burned. My dream was so vivid that I felt fire on my skin.

It was then that I realised it wasn't my skin burning, but the flames were internal, licking the inside of each of my veins. A sudden rush of intensified pain flowed through my entire body.

I sat up, only half-awake, and waited for a moment for my dream to pass. Instead the burn became more intense. I squirmed, and my eyes sought out Demetri in the dark. I tried to call his name, but all that I heard coming out of my mouth was high-pitched gibberish.

"Leah?" He stood up and came over to the bed. My vision was blurred, and I felt drunk and disorientated. "Are you all right?"

I tried to communicate, but the power of speech was beyond me; I managed a few painful sobs. He put his ice-like hand to my forehead, which was drenched with sweat.

"You don't feel or smell right. Are you in pain?" Demetri looked into my eyes. "Do you have any broken skin, or can you show me where it hurts?"

I tried to shake my head, but I wasn't sure that the gesture came across as I intended. There was no single area that was more or less painful than the rest of me—my entire body was agony.

I panicked.

I was consumed by the sensations I was experiencing. Anything beyond seemed surreal, as if I was watching my surroundings through an old black and white TV with bad reception.

The air felt chilly on my colder than usual, clammy skin, while Demetri fussed over me. Then I rolled over and vomited on the bed.

"Stay here. I'm getting help," a distant voice called to me, as I faded into unconsciousness...

~X~

I felt my body jerk, and I was awake again. I could hear Demetri's voice in the background, but he had begun to speak in gibberish, too. After a few mentally incoherent moments, I realised he was speaking into his cell phone in Italian.

He felt my eyes on him and came over to the bed. "Leah, I am going to have to move you to take you to someone who can help. Please, hold on."

I nodded as best I could, and then tensed as a fresh wall of pain hit my body. It was too much to bear, but I held onto my moment of consciousness while Demetri dressed me.

He scooped me up in his stone-like arms. I tried to ask where he was taking me, but words failed me yet again, and instead of the answer I wanted I got a kiss pressed to my forehead.

Leaving all of our belongings in the room, he carried me through the door and into the elevator.

I couldn't remember reaching reception but the next thing I knew I was laid on cold, pale leather in the back of a car. My head was in Demetri's lap and he ran his fingers through my hair and across my cheekbones.

"I'm getting some help, Leah. Stay with me." The corner of my mouth lifted, and then I was gone again.

~X~

I jolted awake with a sharp intake of breath and sat up.

Demetri was over me with a look of stress on his face, and there was a syringe sticking out of my chest. My heart pounded at an alarming rate. The vampire then began to slowly and carefully pull out the needle that had pierced me.

"A-Adrenaline," he stammered. I looked at him confused, until I saw his eyes were pitch black and focused intently on a small drop of blood dripping down my skin. He looked at it with a face that I could only compare with his expression in moments of extreme ecstasy.

He wanted my blood.

He materialised suddenly at the opposite end of the room, still with the medical implement in his hand. He lifted it up to eye level. His gaze, which until now had not left the red droplet on my breast, shifted suddenly to the tip of the needle. The look of ecstasy returned.

"If you lick that needle, I will tear you apart if it's the last thing I do. My blood is off limits."

The power of speech had returned to me, and although my body was far from capable of carrying out the verbal threat, the sound of my voice snapped my vampire lover out of his red haze.

"Leah! I am unbelievably glad to hear you speak."

I looked around trying to find something to wipe the blood off me; ideally something that could then be quickly disposed of. I was too weak. Although it was now at a lower heat, the painful burn still consumed me.

I was in a large, beige leather chair, and I noticed there were a number of similar chairs about the room. It was clinical, and it looked as though he'd brought me to an expensive doctor's office. The room was white and slightly curved, and an ornate wooden coffee table was laid on thick, cream carpet.

My eyes connected with a rather strange piece of modern art on the wall. For a second it looked like a collection of red and black lines, but on closer inspection it seemed to be a dark figure crouched over a pale naked woman, interspersed with slashes of red. There was a companion piece at the other side of the door. Not the kind of artwork you would associate with a medical establishment. It certainly didn't give the impression of healing.

"What kind of doctor's office is this?"

"It's an aeroplane, Leah. We will be landing in around thirty minutes. I'm taking you home; the doctor and a car will be waiting for us."

I smiled at Demetri. "Thank you."

I felt much better knowing I would have Doctor Cullen looking after me. Even though he was a vampire, he was certainly the greatest authority in the world on shapeshifter anatomy. I'd seen what he'd done for Jake after the battle with the newborns.

Demetri finally approached me with a dark handkerchief he'd retrieved from his pocket. I noted that he'd worn the same outfit that he had been wearing the first day we had met. I guessed that we had left in a rush, although Demetri had picked out something half decent for me. Not that what I wore was much of a consideration for me at this time. It just seemed strange that Demetri had given up his new image.

"I wouldn't thank me too much just yet, Leah. The doctor thinks that you have venom in your bloodstream, and I really don't know how it got in there. I don't remember you having any broken skin." He looked into my eyes with concern. "I wonder if it was while we were having sex, maybe something internal.

"It seems venom isn't quite as fatal as you thought, but you did go into anaphylactic shock. With your metabolism, you have some kind of hyper-reaction while your body fights the change. You won't turn into a vampire, but you certainly seem to feel the pain that goes with the change. I can smell it in your veins still."

I tried to lift my arm to my face to smell, but control hadn't quite returned to my limbs again. I was weak; being used to shapeshifter strength, it was a very unfamiliar sensation.

"Rest, Leah." Demetri came closer to me, wiped the blood off my chest, and then put the cloth inside a clear, plastic bag. "We'll be home soon."

I complied with his request, and dreamed of cool, damp air, the smell of pine and the faces of those I loved. Memories that were the perfect antidote to the dry burn that was devastating my body. I longed for the moment I could fill my lungs with the air of home. Until that moment, I slept.