A/N: Hey all! Griffin-queen here with my first Castlevania fanfic. I have been working on this one for a LONG time, so I hope it's not a complete train wreck. I finished Symphony of the Night back in January, and I fell in love with it. It was, for the most part, a perfect game, and I loved the romanticized, fairy-tale esque spin on the legend of Dracula. Also, Alucard (Adrian) continues to be my favorite character in the series. Anyway, I ramble, so I'm going to shut my trap, and finally present this to you guys. Enjoy!

P.S- Dear Selfish Vampire mint, It's finally done! xD

The wind was fearsome as it tore through the forest… and it took as many leaves away in its chaotic gusts as it could, bringing along anything else that was light and unfortunate enough.… this was no consequence to the lone wolf that ran along the forest floor on this night.

A slender, silvery wolf sped through the forest at breakneck speed… digging his claws into the saturated earth and driving himself forward. He was not sure where he was going, or for that matter, where he had been. All he knew was that it felt good to run. It cleared his mind, and he was lulled by the sound of his own thundering paws against the ground. The cold rain stung his face, but he paid it little mind as he charged through the forest.

After a while, he ground to a halt and shook himself off. He looked up at the thundering sky, and his fur bristled as a light shiver ran through him. He didn't get cold easily, as his body temperature was naturally lower than that of a normal human… But for some reason tonight was especially chilling. He shivered again… wishing for a moment that he was in front of that roaring fire… in his favorite chair, in that adorable cottage in the middle of the far off woods.

He shook his head… how could he think such things? It wasn't fair for him to show up only when he was cold, wet, and hungry… it just wasn't proper. She was worth far more to him than a place to stay for a night or two. He sat down, trying to plan his next course of action. The image of the cottage nagged at the back of his mind…For it was the only place on the whole wide Earth where Adrian Tepes, son of Dracula, felt he could always return. And Maria Renard, the owner of the cottage, was the one person on Earth in which he placed his full, undying trust. His mind suddenly made up, Adrian shook himself off again and took off in the familiar direction.

Maria sat in her chair, having just settled into her nightclothes, and cracked open a book, intent on staying put there for a good portion of the night. However, she found herself unable to concentrate on the words as much as she'd hoped. It was raining tonight… and she knew what that meant. She was desperately awaiting a knock on the door. She knew that every time it rained, he would show up. Like the storm itself. Unexpected, but always welcome.

After an hour or so went by, she let out a sad sigh. He hadn't been by all day. A sudden twinge of fear bristled along the back of her neck. What if something happened to him? No. She told herself that Adrian was completely capable of handling whatever may confront him…

Adrian ran like the lightning that was crackling along the sky. It wasn't helping his freezing condition, but he forgot how cold he was when he reached the clearing in the woods. He panted for a moment, relieved to see warm lights in some of the windows. In a sudden, shimmering display, the white wolf became a tall young man. His face was beautiful, and a river of long, silvery blonde hair accented every touch of beauty about his face, even though it was wet and clung to his body. His masculine jaw line was clenched, and he was quivering slightly. Even though he was fully dressed, his coat and cape weren't doing much as they were both soaking wet.

He walked up to the door, then hesitated. Surely she didn't want to be disturbed, let alone by a leech like himself. Shaking his head and hoping for the best, he gently knocked on the door, surprised to find it creaking open just seconds later. The beautiful, blonde haired woman he saw standing before him looked relieved.

" Adrian… you've returned." She said breathlessly. He noted the way her eyes traveled around his torso.

" I hope I'm not intruding…."

" No. Not at all! Please, come in." Hurriedly, she opened the door and let him inside. He filled his lungs with the warm air inside the house. There were no words to describe how he adored spending time here. The constant scent of roses was never unwelcome, and it seemed as though she was always overjoyed to see him. He could not deny, he was always happy to see her too, and often found himself missing her company when he went away. " God, Adrian, you're soaking wet. Why do you stay out on nights like this?"

" I did not plan for a storm... It caught me by surprise. I hope you don't feel as though I am taking advantage of your hospitality… If that is the case then I shall leave, and find somewhere else to stay." She walked closer to him.

" Nonsense! Must I always remind you of how welcome you are?" That statement filled Adrian with an unexpected warmth. " I could never turn you away." He bowed before Maria, taking her hand and placing a gentle kiss upon it. Maria's cheeks turned a light pink.

" I am most grateful to you, Maria… Certainly I do not deserve your kindness…" Her only response was to place a hand on his shoulder, feeling his ever so slight shivering.

" You know where the washroom is. Why don't you go and take a nice hot bath? If you leave your clothes outside the door, I'll have them clean and dry by the time you are done."

" A bath sounds nice…Thank you." He bowed before her again, and set off to draw himself a bath.

After a while, Maria headed towards the washroom, smiling when she saw a pile of clothes neatly folded outside of the door. Gathering them up, she set out to prepare them for when he would need them again…

Just as soon as she had refolded all of the clothing, she heard footsteps coming out of the bathroom. She turned her head ever so slightly to see Adrian standing behind her in the common room. However, what caused her heart to nearly stop was the fact that he had yet to put his shirt back on. Indeed, he was only clothed from the waist down, and Maria felt as though she was going to drop dead at the very sight of him. His lean torso looked as if it had been sculpted by the finest artist in the land… his muscles were perfectly toned and aligned in every way. Her eyes could not stop themselves from traveling… From his chest, to his stomach… to the muscles that hugged his hips and were angled inward… forming an arrow that dared her eyes to travel even lower… With a silent gasp, she felt her cheeks blazing with embarrassment, and she turned around as quietly as she could, hoping he hadn't noticed her staring. She heard him take a deep breath, and turned around again to see him stretching his body, making his muscles twist and shape in different ways than before. He raised his arms up above his head, and this time she was completely mesmerized. She did not have time to avert her gaze before his sharp eyes noticed her. Nervously, he picked up his shirt and put it on, though she noticed he neglected to button it up.

" Forgive me… it is rude to walk around in such a state." She was too far away to notice the faint pinkish hue that had also found its way onto his face.

" Not at all. It is good to know that you feel comfortable here." She said through uneven breaths He walked around and sat down next to her. Her heart was easily beating twice as fast as normal..

" Thank you for drying my clothes… Surely, there must be some way I can repay you." he asked, his brilliant eyes looking directly into her own. He took her hand and said nothing, but his pleading eyes made her heart flutter.

" Don't look at me like that… You don't owe me a single thing." he noticed her quickened breathing. The way her chest rose and fell… The scent of her blood, the scent of sweet innocence and life… it made his own heart skip a beat. He had known for a long time that he had fallen in love with this woman… but he had tried so hard to block it from his mind. It would be far too painful to fall in love with a mortal. This he knew. But something about her… it captivated him. It made him want to spend every waking moment in her company. He cursed himself. She would eventually leave him… Just like everyone else…. Eventually they had no choice in the matter. He hung his head, and she placed her own hand on his cheek. He leaned into her soft, forgiving touch, and looked up at her with eyes that melted her every time…

" I… Found it ridiculous that I was starting even a small fire in the summer… but tonight is just so cold."

" Indeed. This storm is odd… But I'm sure it will be clear by tomorrow. The rain is already stopping."

" You must be starving… Can I get you something to eat?"

" I'm fine for the moment. Thank you."

The next hour or so was spent sitting in the common room, talking of the days gone by, and what had happened in the time that they had not seen each other. Eventually Maria bid Adrian goodnight, and departed for her bedroom.

Adrian was not sure how long it had been since she had gone to sleep, but he guessed it had been at least a few hours. He was sitting in his favorite chair, in front of a fire that was now reduced to flickering embers, and a book in his hand. He idly flipped the pages, absorbing the story as the reflection of the embers danced across his brilliant eyes. He was quite enjoying himself, until a small noise caught his attention. Placing a marker in the book and closing it, he picked up his head and listened. After a few moments, he realized that the noise was coming from Maria's room upstairs. Standing, he walked up the stairs and listened in further.

He rounded the corner and stood outside Maria's door. His sharp hearing could hear almost as if there were no door between Maria and himself… And he could hear that she was most definitely crying. His eyes widened. Crying? Why would she be crying? More importantly, why was she still awake? He reached up, and gave a quiet, hesitant knock.

" Maria…?" He called gently. When he received no response, his hand reached for the doorknob. He pulled it back, realizing that she might not want to be disturbed. But…what if she was in need of help of some kind? He pushed his own thoughts aside and opened the door as quietly as he could. When he peered inside, he saw the sleeping lady lying in her bed, crying softly against her pillow. He did not need light to see into this room, as the moonlight was providing just enough for his acute eyesight to look upon her… It was at that moment that Adrian realized that she was, in fact, still sleeping.

It appeared that Maria was trapped in a nightmare. Adrian crept closer to her, a look of confusion on his face. Adrian was very much in tune with dark forces, and though he could not get an exact picture of the content of her nightmare, he could sense its very essence as it flooded the immediate area around her. There was death, and fear, and great emotional turmoil. The aura surrounding her bed was cloudy and tense, and Adrian had to take a step back to clear his mind for a moment. Carefully, he sat down on the edge of her bed, leaning over and putting a gentle hand on her shoulder.

" Maria…? Maria… Wake up." he called gently. " Maria…" he called again, shaking her lightly. After a few more minutes of this, her eyes suddenly snapped open. She flew into an upright position, panting and frantically looking around the room. Eventually, her eyes fell upon a very concerned face.

" A-Adrian…?" She asked. He was unable to speak, somewhat stunned by her violent awakening. He was even more stunned when she threw herself at him, locking her arms around his neck, crying once again. He could feel his breathing quicken… . It had been a long, long time since he'd been embraced…He had forgotten what it felt like… She was warm and soft against him… and he could feel all of her pulse points beating quietly against him… each one of them overshadowed by her strong heart…

Slowly, he put his arms around the distraught girl, and found himself losing himself in the embrace faster than he could register what was happening. The feeling of holding her tight in his arms… the wild, floral scent of her hair… In an instant, it became clear just how much he truly did care for this woman. This one, special woman…

Wrapping his arms around her tighter, he muttered gently against the side of her forehead.

" You have nothing to fear… it was only a bad dream." Her shaky breathing was warm against him…" I-I'm sorry Adrian… I must look like a fool." She began to pull away from him, but he kept his arms firm.

" Even the strongest of men have nightmares, Maria."

" Maybe you could sit with me… For a while…" The smell of his skin was beginning to intoxicate her… And his neck was so warm and inviting…

" As you wish." She could feel her eyes fluttering behind her eyelids as his rich voice flowed through her…

" Don't let go…" Her eyes snapped open. She hadn't meant to say that out loud… How had that managed to leave her lips?

" I wouldn't dream of it." She closed her eyes again, relieved. They had never been this close before. Subtle touches here and there had been their only form of contact… She never expected a simple embrace from him to be so completely wonderful. " I am the darkest creature that could ever set foot inside this house… Allow me to assure you of that." She picked her head up.

" Enough. I hate when you refer to yourself in such ways. You are so much better than that. Dark creatures create nightmares… You are saving me from one. There is a distinct difference there…" As she went to return her head to his neck, he grabbed her chin and tilted her head up, lunging for her neck. He stopped, just barely grazing her neck with one of his fangs. However, the noise he heard leave her lips was anything but frightened.

" Doesn't that repulse you? Does it not make you fear me?" he released her chin and looked away briefly.

" You may go ahead and try all you want. I will never fear you." After a few minutes of silence, she gently reached around and probed at his lips with a finger. As he slightly opened his mouth, she ran her finger along one of the prominent fangs.

" Ah!" She yelped, pulling her finger back as she pricked it on the razor sharp tip of the fang. " they're so sharp… Don't you ever bite yourself?" She nursed her finger, which was now bleeding.

" Surprisingly no. I don't." He looked down at her finger. " Are you alright?"

" Yes, I'm fine. It'll stop in a moment." He took her finger and placed a gentle kiss over the small wound. She felt as if she was floating.

" Perhaps you should try to go back to sleep now. It is rather late. The sun will rise in just a few hours."

" What about you?"

" I grow weary as well. I will retire to the common room once you are comfortable."

" Won't you stay with me…?" She asked before she could stop herself. " Just for tonight?" Adrian looked flustered. She could not see the flush across his cheeks in the dim candlelight.

" That is… highly inappropriate. Forgive me, Maria…I will sit in the chair over there until you fall asleep if you wish… But I would never forgive myself if anyone ever found out I was in your bed…" Maria sighed sadly.

" Don't worry about it... If it troubles you so, just return to the common room. That chair over there is awfully uncomfortable, and I think one of the legs is starting to come loose. I'd feel better knowing you were comfortable downstairs." Adrian nodded.

" As you wish. Pleasant dreams my lady." Maria's heart stopped again, though she regained her composure long enough to stop him before he could stand, and plant a kiss on his cheek. Flustered, Adrian lost his balance for a moment before he stood, pulling the blankets over her and quietly exiting the room. Maria closed her eyes, and soon drifted off to sleep with a small smile on her face.

Downstairs, Adrian was buried in his book again. Unknowingly, his hand was touching the spot where Maria had kissed him. His cheek felt warm, and it felt as if tiny bolts of electricity were coursing through it. Briefly, he regretted his decision to not sleep beside her.. But he quickly pushed it aside and returned to his reading.

In the morning, Maria walked downstairs after what she considered a good night sleep. She found Adrian stretched out in his favorite chair, fast asleep. His arms were sprawled out above him, and though it was an odd position he was in, he honestly looked quite comfortable. Maria paused on her way to the kitchen, noticing the peaceful look that graced his beautiful face. He looked positively serene, and she had to resist the urge to reach out and touch him to make sure he was really there. Her heart skipped a beat as he shifted in his sleep, bringing his arms down to a different position and turning his head to the opposite side. Maria gasped for air, realizing that she had been holding her breath the entire time. Quickly, she hurried off into the kitchen, deciding it was rude of her to gawk at him while he slept.

After a while in the kitchen, Maria heard footsteps behind her. Turning around, she was met with those uncharacteristically sleepy eyes that she had seen only a few times before.

" I'm sorry, did I wake you?" He shook his head.

" Not at all." He stretched, and her eyes traveled down his torso again. " How did you sleep?"

" Very well, thank you." She smiled.

" I apologize for my behavior last night… It is rude to refuse a lady's request for company." He suddenly found the floor quite interesting. Maria walked over to him.

" If you remember, I once questioned if you knew how to be a gentleman. Spending time with you like this has proven that you are, in fact, a perfect gentleman." This was the first time she had ever been able to catch the subtle flush across his cheeks…

" It seems so long ago… I remember meeting you for the very first time."

" I remember too…" Maria looked up to see him stifle a yawn. She giggled. "It seems that you could use more sleep."

" Perhaps…" She smiled, and placed a hand on his shoulder.

" Go on and lay down for a while longer. I will be out in the garden when you wake." Adrian gave a small nod, and Maria left for the outdoors.

After a while, she heard the front door open, and looked up to see Adrian walking outside. She gasped and ran towards him.

" Adrian!" He jumped, clearly startled by her outburst.

" What is it? Is something wrong?"

" Well, it's just…. F-forgive me, but, will you not burn in the sun? Y-you've only ever visited me by night… I-" His shoulders relaxed, and he placed a hand on her blushing cheek.

" Fear not my lady. I have my mother to thank for my ability to walk the Earth by day. My father would be reduced to a pile of ash were he standing in my place. However, I am free to walk in the sun as I please. My skin is slightly more fair than that of a normal human, but that results in nothing more than a sunburn if I am outside too long." he looked down at her, their eyes locking for a brief moment that caused her knees to weaken and collapse underneath of her. She was no sooner caught up in a pair of strong arms.

" Are you alright? Perhaps you've been out in the sun too long already?" She shook her head as he placed her back on her feet.

" I-I'm fine. My knees weaken sometimes… it's… something I've dealt with my whole life." She was hoping he didn't catch her in the tiny white lie… After a moment, she took his hand. " Come, let me show you my garden… it's not far from the house." he walked beside her, not letting go of her hand as she brought him into the garden. He was met with the sweet smell of many different kinds of flowers. He instantly recognized this as the scent that Maria always carried with her. It was incredibly soothing, and for a moment the world disappeared around him. All that remained was the scent of the flowers, the warm sun shining down on him, and the beautiful woman that still held his hand. Opening his eyes, he absorbed all of the vibrant colors in the garden. He took note of the way the flowers were arranged, the ivy curling around the tree that was stationed in one corner, the stone birdbath with a few twittering birds splashing happily in it. An ethereal calm washed over him…and for a fleeting instant… All that mattered was this…

" What a beautiful garden." he said gently. " I feel as though I've entered another realm..." She giggled.

" I spend a lot of my days here. Though it's not far from my house, to me, it is another realm."

" Did you plant and grow all of this yourself?" She nodded.

" Most of it from mere seeds. I like the flowers that come back year after year… It's something to look forward to after a long winter. For the plants that don't return, I go into town and visit the botanist."

Adrian reached over and plucked the nearest flower he could reach. It was a beautiful peony in full bloom. He placed the flower behind her right ear, and she was sure she had died and gone to heaven.

" What is this one?" He asked, a light smile still on his face as he gently pawed the fragile flower.

" Th-these are Peonies…They come out in the summer. They come back after the winter too… that's why I like them." Her face was just about the same color as the flower behind her ear. " W-why don't I go get a blanket for us to sit on? Unless you're ready to go inside." He stood up.

" Allow me. I'll go get the blanket." He walked out of the garden and toward the house, returning a few minutes later with a white blanket. " Will this one do?" She stood up in front of him.

" That's fine. Lets spread it out in the grass here." She walked over to a patch of grass, and spread out the blanket. Adrian removed his shoes and sat down on the blanket, watching Maria as she walked around her garden. His eyes followed her graceful movements, and he was unaware that he had been staring… Soon enough, she returned with an armful of flowers and greens. Adrian's heart fluttered in his chest as he saw her. She looked so beautiful with all of those flowers… She sat down beside him, placing the flowers in front of her.

" Aren't they beautiful? All of the summer blossoms are at their peak right now."

" Admittedly my botanical knowledge is quite limited. As much as my mother knew about this subject… I was too young to absorb any of the information she had to offer."

" I learned a lot of what I know from my caretaker. She's the one who taught me how to grow plants and care for them. I learned how to use their medicinal capabilities from books though." She noticed Adrian reach forward and pick up a small cluster of purple flowers. " Lavender? Smell it." Adrian held the flower to his nose.

" This fragrance… it's familiar somehow." he admired the tiny cluster for a moment, before placing it back in the pile.

" it's used in soap and perfume. It's not surprising that it's familiar to you." She picked up a thick, green leaf and held it out to him. " This is Aloe. If you should ever get sunburn, the juice from this plant will soothe the burns." She squeezed the plant ever so slightly, letting some of the juice drip out onto Adrian's hand. It was cool and refreshing. Curious, He took the leaf from her.

" It's quite heavy."

" Yes. That's how you know they're ready to be squeezed. I keep some of the juice in my house." He placed the leaf down, picking up a delicate, white flower. " The Calla Lily. One of my favorites." She noticed the way he handled the flowers, gently holding each one as if it would disintegrate in his hands.

" Do you have a favorite flower?" he asked. Maria blushed and look down into the pile of flowers.

" Yes. It's this one." She picked up a red hibiscus flower and handed it to Adrian. " The hibiscus. I do love them so, but they are very hard to keep."

" Why?"

" Because they are not native to this land. The botanist I know brings them back from her travels, but it's so very rare that any arrive safely. I try to grow them whenever I can. I love to see them bloom… They make me think of someplace exotic. Somewhere I've never seen, and probably never will see… but it exists regardless of whether I'm there or not… But that probably sounds ridiculous… What about you? Which one is your favorite?" Not missing a beat, Adrian pointed to the pink peony behind her ear. " The Peony? Why?" He shook his head.

" It reminds me of you." he said softly. Maria turned pink again.

" Oh stop… You flatter me so."

" Were you born in the summer, Maria?" She looked up at him.

" No. I was born in the winter. February 20th."

" Perhaps you are the reason the Spring returns each year…"

" Adrian…" She put her hands on her cheeks to hide the blush. " When were you born?"

" October. October 8th."

" An autumn baby." She giggled. " Autumn is such a beautiful season. I love when the weather grows crisp and cool."

" Doesn't it kill all of your beautiful flowers?"

" Some of them survive until the first frost. But Autumn brings new plants as well." She was quiet for a moment. " To everything there is a season. A time and a place for all things… A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to be uprooted… And so on and so forth, however that passage goes."

" It is comforting… To one who is unsure of whether or not they actually do have a place in this world…"

" I believe that every being is born with a purpose. I can see no other possibility. We all have a reason for living. Each one of us has a job to do, and a place to do it. It's just finding it and figuring it all out that is up to us…"

" I will remember that…" It was quiet between the two for a while, until Maria rolled onto her side to face Adrian, who was still staring up into the endless blue sky.

" Can I ask you something?"

" Anything." He laid back on the blanket, crossing his arms behind his head.

" How… How old are you?" She didn't know why she feared asking such a question. He looked confused for a moment.

" It's been quite a while since I've paid it any mind… give me a moment." She awaited his answer. " Three hundred and forty-nine. I am three hundred and forty nine years old." Maria was struck silent.

"…impossible! I don't believe it. Not for a second." She flew to her knees, looming over him.

" It may seem impossible. But one of the so called "gifts" bestowed upon me by my father's blood is eternal life. Unless I am struck down, I will live on forever as I am now."

" Oh my… What an incredible gift."

" I disagree… I would give anything for a mortal lifespan."

" But… why? I can only imagine what your eyes have seen. You will have the chance to see all that this world is and ever will be."

" I would trade it all away if it meant not having to watch the people I care for grow old and be taken from me…" Maria sat back on her feet.

" I'm sorry… I never thought of it like that." Her face saddened… Perhaps in all this time… there was another that had captured his affections. Scolding herself for being so selfish, she looked back at him.

" may I ask you something else?"

" There is no need to ask. I do not fear questions. I have nothing to hide from you Maria."

" Do you ever crave human blood?" Maria blurted her question out, instantly turning her head away. Adrian was speechless… of all the questions she could have asked at the time, this was the most uncomfortable.

" I drank the blood of a human only once in my long life … When I was very small, my father starved me in an attempt to make me ravenous, and bring about my darker nature… I vowed then and there to never feed off of humans again… I cannot bring myself to do it after that experience. I can eat human food and it will sustain me the same as anyone else… Though because I am half vampire, I do sometimes crave the taste of blood… And if I were ever to become that ravenously hungry again, I am not sure what would happen…" Adrian looked down into his lap. Maria ran a hand through his hair.

" What if it was offered to you willingly?" Adrian shook his head.

" Even then I could not…"

" I would never refuse you, you know."

" Maria, please… Don't talk like that. I could never live with myself knowing I did something like that to you…" He glanced at her coyly out of the corner of his eye. " And besides… Your apple pie is far more delicious than blood." Maria let out a quiet gasp, and her cheeks were instantly set ablaze… was he being playful with her?

" You should have told me sooner…"

" Do not trouble yourself. I am sure there are a number of other things you could be doing with your time. Things that benefit you much more." her eyes widened. Suddenly she was overcome with a wave of emotion. She hung her head, tears falling silently from her eyes. " Maria…?" He sat up.

" Adrian… I'm sorry… I…" he pulled her into his arms, putting a hand on the back of her head.

" Please don't cry… What troubles you?"

" I can't hide it anymore… I planned to keep it a secret… but I just can't… This is probably the last thing you ever wanted to hear from me… but… I love you Adrian… I truly do." he pulled his head back, eyeing her incredulously.

" Maria…You have no need to be so upset… You should know that my heart has been yours since the day my father's castle fell…and you ran after me…" Her head snapped up.

" Y-you…"

" I love you, Maria…" There was nothing but sincerity in his eyes... " Each day you find new ways to captivate me… and each day I am taught a little bit more by you. Each morning, when the sun rises into the sky I think of you, wherever I may be… because you have made me see that no matter what may come, no matter what challenges and hardships must be faced, the sun will always rise again to vanquish the horrible night. No matter what happens, you will always be my sun. You have brought harmony to my soul… and beauty to a world that for so long was shrouded in darkness and despair…And for that, I am eternally yours…" Maria opened her mouth to speak… only to be stopped by Adrian, who reached his hands around to the back of his neck, moving his hair aside.

" Here… there is something I wish to give you." Adrian unclasped a chain from his neck, and held it out to Maria. Dangling from the delicate chain was a small pendant. A small, heart shaped gem with a tightly fitting, white gold cage around it. Maria could've sworn that the gem was the color of the sun itself… a beautiful, radiant yellow. Maria gasped, a hand flying up to her mouth. " I have worn this necklace for a long time… My mother gave it to me when I was very young. She used to tell me to keep this necklace close to me at all times… And just as the cage protects the stone, I would find a way to protect my own heart from the darkness that seemed to surround me." Adrian's eyes grew misty for a moment, but he reached out to clasp the necklace around Maria's neck. Her hands flew up and stopped his.

" Adrian no… I-I can't. I can't take something so precious to you." He smiled, and she felt her grip loosening. He clasped the chain around her neck, cradling the pendant in his hand one last time before letting it fall on her chest.

" I would have it no other way… Take it so that wherever I may be, you will know that my heart is always with you." Maria hugged him as tight as she could. Gently, Adrian cupped her cheek with his hand, bringing their faces within just inches of each other. " May I?" he whispered. Her whole body shivered, and she could only nod as her eyes closed…

When their lips met, it felt as though two parts of a whole were finally coming together. Though neither side could explain it… something about this was simply right. And even though Adrian was not one for such fairy tale mindsets, he found himself thinking that perhaps this was meant to be… His hand found its way to her back, and he felt her hands reaching up and becoming lost in his hair. Every once in a while, she could feel his fangs brushing against her lips, and it sent chills rushing all over her body. Adrian could feel her pulse pounding within her… and it was driving him blissfully wild. His heart was singing, and it was the best he'd felt for as long as he could remember.

When the two pulled apart, it felt like an eternity had passed between them. Adrian could only stare into her eyes… content simply to be lost in their verdant hues….

" Adrian… I can't help but feel as though I will ultimately bring you nothing but pain… Perhaps this is selfish of me…"

" My love… though I know you will leave me someday… the pain I will feel will pale in comparison to the agony I would endure If I had never told you how much I adore you…" She could find nothing to say… so she pressed her lips against his again, squeaking quietly against him as he laid back down against the blanket, taking her with him.

Here in this garden, in this secret little world, two secret hearts beat in time with one another… There may come a time to fight, and a time to defend the love they shared. There may come a time where their lives were in danger… But for now, none of that mattered. For now, they thought…

"All that matters is this…"

A/N: Well, that's that! I hope you enjoyed, don't forget to review if you did. I am actually quite sad about letting this one go. I was toying about making a series of oneshots as a sequel to this, but it depends on the feedback.