It's Melodramatic But It Turns Me On
"Now tell me what's going on with you Lottie."
I was sitting in my boss Jessamine's office. She was seated at her desk with her boss Cruz standing behind her, a hand on her shoulder. I was slumped in my seat across from them, feeling like a kid at school getting a scolding from the principle. I didn't know why I'd been summoned here but I still had a bad feeling about it.
"What'd you mean?" I asked.
"You've gone slack lately," she told me, "What's going on?"
"I-I don't know . . . Fighting - I'm just not good at it anymore. I don't know what's wrong with me," I said, feeling genuinely lost and confused.
"You know what I think the problem is?" Cruz jumped in, "You're not fearless anymore."
"Fearless?" I repeated.
"You used to think you were invincible," he elaborated, "But now . . . after what happened with Alonzo and Julie Marie . . . you're afraid. You're afraid of fighting because you think that you are going to die again. Even if you don't realize it."
Oh I realized it. It was my new thing. Being terrified of dying, not because I don't know what awaits me. But because I do know. I'm afraid of that 'so called' heaven that was more like hell for me. But I hadn't realized that it was what was affecting my fighting.
"I don't want to die," I mumbled, explaining my fear.
"We understand Lottie," Jessamine said kindly, "And we want to help you. But we have a lot of problems treating vampires with mental illnesses."
I didn't really like her usage of the word 'mental illness.' I wasn't that bad, was I?
"Mental illnesses?" I repeated.
"Don't worry Lottie," Cruz said, "You're not the only one we're concerned about."
"Ghost," I substituted, "Ghost was really messed up by everything that happened."
"Yes we're worried about him too," Jessamine said, "However, in his case, the experience gave him even more of an edge. His abilities have been inhanced. I feel that what he went through with Julie Marie made him so angry that when he fights, he puts everything into it."
"It still affected him as much as it affected me," I muttered, "He has such low self esteem."
"You're right," she said, "Which is why we want the both of you to speak with a therapist."
"A therapist? Seriously?" I demanded, "You do know that we'd have to kill them after we tell them all about vampires, right?"
"There's a vampire therapist," Cruz said, "In Quebec."
"Why is everything in Canada . . ." I mumbled to myself.
"The point," said Jessamine, "Is that we want you and Ghost to speak with this woman. Hattie too maybe. . . Diego and Joseph seem alright for now."
"When?" I asked.
"Next week," Cruz said.
"I'll go tell Ghost," I said, getting up, "He won't be happy."
"We didn't think he would be," Jessamine said, "We'll tell Hattie ourselves that we recommend it for her. But we mandate it for you and Ghost. The two of you are some of our best and we need you mentally sound. Not to mention that we really do care about you."
"Thanks Jez, that means a lot to me," I told her truthfully even though the smile was fake.
"We just want you to get better Lottie," Cruz said.
"Thanks," I mumbled, walking out the door. I headed back to Ghost's room, forcing niceties to the people I passed. I was just generally . . . not depressed but not really happy lately. Not doom and gloom. Just . . . my heart wasn't in anything that didn't have to do with Ghost. That sounds sappy but it was true.
When I got into his room, he was lying in his rumpled bed, reading a book with his headphones in. Just looking at him gave me a nice jolt of happiness in the usual melancholy I was experiencing. He was wearing a message tee with the words Oh God It's Happening Again under a zip up black hoodie. I was glad because it meant I didn't have to see his arms, or the scars that marred them. His black hair was arranged in it's perfectly straight manner, the bangs falling over his forehead. He looked up at me even though he had the volume on his IPod up full blast, his red eyes meeting mine. I had to hold back the dreamy sigh that threatened to escape my lips.
He's the love of my life, point blank. He's gorgeous and dark, witty always and sensitive when he wants to be. On a good day, he's an unstoppable force of nature. If he wants to be heard and seen, you'll know he's there. And when he wants to be invisible, he'll disappear into thin air. And even after everything he's been through, he does what makes him happy. And so far, the only known thing that makes him truly happy, is making me happy. And vice versa.
"Hey Char," he said, pulling the earbuds out of his ears, "Come to posion my precious alone time with your feminiscity?"
He could go on and on about how he needed time away from me and my supposed 'girliness' but I knew that when he went a long time without seeing me, he started to lose it. I could relate.
"Actually I have news," I told him, going over and sitting down on the side of his bed. I smiled from the memory of why his sheets were rumpled. We hadn't had sex yet but things were getting pretty heavy between us. We needed each other in every conceivable way.
"Good news or bad news?" he asked, putting his book down.
"Depends . . ." I mumbled.
"Bad news," he decided, "People only say 'depends' if it's bad news."
"Well . . . Jessamine wants us to go to Canada to see a vampire therapist," I told him.
"You gotta be kidding me," he said, sitting up and moving so that he was sitting on the side of the bed next to me.
"Sadly no . . . She thinks I have an anxiety issues and that you have low self esteem," I said. Okay, so I was putting words in her mouth. Sue me.
"Well duh," he said, "You died . . . twice. And my foster mother used to treat me like a sex toy so . . . what did they expect?"
I was surprised that he actually said that out loud. Denial about both of those topics was common in him.
I shrugged. "I don't know . . ." I mumbled.
"So where is this vamp shrink exactly?" he asked easily.
I was surprised by how accepting of this he was. "You're not upset?" I asked.
He shrugged. "Not really . . . I've been to a therapist before. It's no big deal."
"Yeah . . . JM - I mean Julie Marie took me to one once," he told me, attempting to sound casual, "When I was a kid."
"Oh . . . I guess not. But I'm not thrilled about it," I admitted.
"It'll be fine," he assured me.
"If you say so . . ." I mumbled.
"That is probably my favorite sentence ever," he said.
"You just like to think that you're in charge," I teased, turning so that i was facing him and bringing my face closer to his.
"Aren't I?" he asked, closing the distance between our lips.
I moaned lowly, reveling in the entire experience of kissing him. The sweet taste of his lips and the warmth of his mouth. The way it felt to have his sharp teeth nibbling on my lower lip playfully.
I actually giggled when he grabbed my by the waist and pulled me down onto the bed with him. He rolled us over so that he was on top and I really didn't mind. He deserved to feel dominant sometimes after what he went through with Julie Marie.
I reached up and wrapped my arms around him, rubbing his back in a sort of unconscious gesture. He moaned as he ran his hands up and down the contours of my body. Frequent moans escaped my lips as well. Ghost was one hell of a good kisser.
He had his tongue in my mouth, grazing it against my teeth. I knew it was intentional when my top fang cut his tongue, causing him to bleed in my mouth. One drop of blood touched my tongue and my whole body was infected with hunger and lust.
But that had been his plan. He took tongue out of my mouth and put his arms on either side of me to prop himself up more. He smirked that devilish smirk down at me. I growled at him and reached up again to grab his hair and pull him back down on me.
"You're going to finish what you started Xander," I told him.
After what his crazy ass foster mother had done to him, I usually had to be careful about what I said and did around him. Ordering him around like that was okay as long as we were in a carefree sort of environment, or else he'd get all touchy. Calling him 'baby' was a no. Julie Marie had referred to him as her baby. And calling him a whore (even while joking) was out of the question.
"Make me Charlotte," he challenged seductivly.
"Oh I will," I said, crushing my lips to his forcefully.
His lips moved against them in a rough, rhythmic motion while his hands grazed my body up and down. I was moaning in desire as he unzipped my sweatshirt and managed to take it off me without breaking the kiss. He had to separate his lips from mine to remove my shirt though, but once the shirt was off his lips reconnected with mine.
His hands were all over my torso, over my flat stomach and my not so flat chest. When his hands slipped under my back, going for my bra clasp, I stopped him.
"You first," I breathed.
He rolled his eyes dramatically and sat up to remove his sweatshirt. I averted my eyes from his arms as he crisscrossed them to lift his t-shirt over his head. I forcefully shoved down the dreamy sigh that threatened to escape at the sight of him shirtless.
"Now you can," I said in a shaky voice.
He grinned, flashing his fangs at me as he lowered himself back down on me. He undid my bra with vampire dexterity and tossed it aside.
"Jackpot," he said, ogling me.
"Well," I said impatiently, "Aren't you going to come and collect your prize."
"You bet your shapely ass," he told me, pressing himself to me. He began to pepper my bare stomach with kisses, starting at my abdomen and working his way up to my breasts. He ran his tongue up my cleavage and I shuddered in desire. I was desperate for him to stop teasing me and just do what he was planning on doing. We'd gotten to second base already but I was just waiting for him to start sucking on them.
He didn't though. Because he saw me staring at his arms. I hadn't meant to. I'd caught a glimpse of arms and then I was trapped, staring at them in the same horrified way as always. By the time Angel had recovered enough to heal the wounds there, it had been too late. They'd already healed on their own (sort of) forming scars. The words Julie Marie would forever be carved into the inside of his arms.
He noticed my staring and was immediately put off by it of course.
"Mood killer," he said plainly, pulling away from me and getting up so that he was sitting on the side of the bed.
I scrambled into a sitting position as well, so that I was next to him as he stared down at his scarred arms in annoyance.
"Hey, come on," I urged, poking him in the side teasingly, "Don't you wanna play?"
"After seeing how my scars bother you?" he asked rhetorically, "No actually. I'm just not in the mood anymore."
"Your scars don't bother me," I told him honestly, "They're apart of you. And I love every part of you."
He ignored my clever little innuendo there, and continued to let me know that he wasn't buying it by being silent.
"Scars are hot," I said, pushing him back so that he was laying down across his bed backwards, his feet on his pillow.
I laid down on top of him, determined to convince him that his scars didn't bother me. Which they truly didn't. I'd been serious before when I'd told him I loved them because they were apart of him, no matter what they symbolized.
I grabbed his wrist and held out his arm so that I could kiss each of the letters carved into it.
"Scars are sexy," I said as I moved onto the next arm.
"I love scars," I purred.
"Okay, okay," he said finally, "I believe you."
I smiled. "Good . . . Maybe now we can finish what we started."
"Maybe . . ." he said with a devilish smirk, rolling us over so that he was on top, staring into my eyes before looking down at my chest.
"Ghost! Lottie!" came an annoying voice. Well, the voice wasn't as annoying as what it represented. Us being interrupted. By Hattie . . . Who was probably spazzing over the whole therapy situation.
"Fabulous," I muttered, "Interupted, again."
"Maybe this Canada thing won't be so bad," he said, caressing my face, "A little alone time would be nice."
I didn't have the heart to tell him then that we'd have a bit of a stowaway on this supposed romantic getaway.