She had never felt more like a monster, like a real vampire, than in that moment. Anyone could buy a coffin and play Dracula, but only a real monster, a genuine creature, could burry itself like a corpse, survive, and sleep like a baby.
Her eyes were almost open now, and there was dirt between her eyelashes, under her fingernails, and also inside her mouth. The word "disgusting" came to mind, but it was only the remains of human reactions. Nothing could disgust her now; not the rats, not the insects, or the filthiness. She didn't like it, but there was some kind of bond between vampires and all these things.
Enough. It was dark, she was alive, so no one had discovered her. Perhaps children and all kinds of people had literally walked over her grave, but that was it. Cool, now she wanted to get out of there as soon as possible.
She couldn't sense anyone's presence in the park. Well, maybe a few cats, but that was it. Relieved, Yulia began pushing her arms and body upwards, fighting against the clay-like earth that wanted to swallow her. Not yet. Her hands shot up and caressed the outside air. Then, her head, and then, the rest of her body. For a moment, she wished that someone would have recorded that. It surely would've looked fucking cool!
"Get real, Yulia", she whispered to herself.
After hiding up the hole, she reviewed herself. God, she was covered in a thick layer of dirt, face and all. Her hair! Her clothes! Her clothes... they were ruined, she would have to throw them all away. Really, she didn't want to do this again, so she would have to schedule her hours with Lena, or steal a fucking watch. She had been closer to die than ever and she knew it. Her skin hurt, as if it had burnt badly.
Dusting herself off, she didn't know whether she should go directly to see Lena like that or first go to her flat, have a shower, and change. Really, she looked horrible, like a mud monster or something. The thing was that she didn't feel like going back home and then running back. Maybe it was laziness... Whatever it was, Yulia shook her head, scattering tons of dirt in all directions, and decided to go to Lena.
This time, she went walking, checking herself up. Wow, it had been closer than ever. Her hands had turned dark, totally suntanned, and she was sure that her face was like that too. And no sun had shone on her directly! All that strength, and a little sunray could annihilate her like a laser. Damn scary!
When she got to Lena's building, she noticed two things. The first one was that she had forgot to feed with all the excitement of having buried herself and burned. But God knew that she was extremely thirsty, so she would have to find a victim right away. The second thing that she noticed, was that Lena was outside, on the street, leaning on the door, with her thoughts concealed, as always. She was talking to two other girls.
Luckily, these girls were damn easy to read. As she had supposed, they were the redhead's friends, called Ivana and Lilia. The one called Lilia was trying to convince Lena to go out with them, telling her that she hadn't gone out to party in a long time, that she needed it... The other girl was nodding to what Lilia was saying, and pulling at Lena's arm. Of course, the redhead didn't want to go, and was nervously flickering her eyes down the street, maybe expecting Yulia to appear, and not wanting her friends to be there.
Good, she didn't want to go. Still dusting herself off, Yulia turned and flashed past the three girls without either of them seeing her. She had noticed that someone was hiding behind that street corner, and she knew that whoever it was, it would be her victim. Yes, luckily, it was the kid that had tried to attack her with a blade the other day. The poor boy began asking for her money, pulling out a brand new switchblade and pointing it at Yulia.
"Don't point that thing at people's faces" she said, wagging her index finger "Didn't your mother tell you that?"
Just for the kick of it, she grabbed the blade and broke it to pieces, like she had done the last time. Wide-eyed, the boy tried to run, but who was he to escape from Yulia Volkova? No, very soon, he was her victim.
It was necessary to take that dead boy away, at least a few streets, because he was too close to Lena's house. So she did that while the redhead kept telling her friends that she didn't want to go out, that she didn't feel like it. Then, she returned and hid in the shadows until those two girls, Ivana and Lilia, tired and left.
Lena vaguely waved her hand at them and scanned the street one more time, before turning around and getting into the building. Great. Yulia climbed the building again (it was becoming a habit, like routine) and sat on the window sill she knew so well to wait for the girl. Some minutes later, Lena entered her bedroom and took off the blue sweater she was wearing. Then, she took out some kind of book -a diary- and began writing on it, very slowly.
Yulia knew that she should knock on the window right away, but instead, she kept watching the girl secretly. She wished she could read her mind to know what Lena was writing. Also, she wished she could be with her on the daytime hours too; maybe that way she could know her better. Really, Lena always seemed to be reading or writing something; like making herself smarter, and then, when she saw Yulia at night, she seemed anxious of learning everything that a vampire was.
Whatever was going on inside Lena's mind, Yulia always felt a need of surrendering to her. And, like every time, the desperate impulse of touching her and losing herself in that body. Yulia closed her eyes and imagined herself hugging the redhead and holding her in her arms as if she was a baby. Then, she pictured her lips kissing that living skin of hers while she moved the red curls of her hair away and found her neck. She was completely lost in that dream now, not seeing or noticing a thing, just that rosy neck with a pulsating, tender artery...
No! Yulia shook her head, waking up from that daydream. She was shocked and deeply horrified. How could she fantasize with that, with drinking from Lena? No, never! Even if sweet images of desire kept sweeping by inside her mind, she kept shaking her head. No. She could keep remembering the first time she had seen Lena laying on that bed, with just a t-shirt, her socks and underwear forever, but that temptation wouldn't work.
Her fingers tapped on the glass, but Lena was already there, opening the window. How did she know that Yulia was there? Her green eyes wore an eerie expression, but not of fear. She never felt fear towards Yulia. So, what was it? Again, how had she felt the presence of the vampire? But she hadn't sensed her, she hadn't seen her. Yulia knew what had happened; God, she had been too unconscious thinking about the redhead's blood... Without meaning to, she had sent those thoughts to Lena! Bowing her head, she braced herself for whatever was coming.
"Are you okay?" was what Lena said.
Huh? Surprised, Yulia lifted her eyebrows and stared at the redhead, swallowing a gulp. What a weird question, she had expected another thing. Lena had offered her neck to her before, so she was sure that, with this direct message of desire, she would throw her arms around her and beg to be bit. But no, she wasn't doing that. Lena was looking at her with a concerned expression. Why? Oh... of course.
"Don't worry, Lenotchka, I... Well, yesterday, I didn't have time to go back to my flat and..."
"You buried yourself" Lena interrupted.
Yes. Fuck, with all those damn books she was reading, surprising her was impossible. Frowning, Yulia jumped in the room and hung her jacket outside the window while she took off her shoes and left them on the sill. She knew she was filthy and didn't want to leave mud and dirt all over Lena's pink room. By then she knew that the apartment was empty except for them. Again, like the other night; no mom, mom's boyfriend, or sisters. The chow-chow dog had smelled of vampire and was scraping the closed door with her paws, but apart from that they were secure.
And Yulia managed to feel more or less safe, pacing around the room. She picked up this stuffed animal or that little figure, examining with little interest. Her blue eyes scanned the rims of many thick books. The ones about vampires were piled up on the desk. Beside them, heaps of papers covered with notes. Hmmm... Lena had been very busy studying... her.
"What's this?" Yulia picked up a sheet of paper and read out loud "...he bent forward and offered the kiss of greeting. Biting deep into his tongue, he filled his mouth with blood, and opened his lips over those of..."
"Stop" Lena whispered "Please."
The dark-haired raised an eyebrow again and dropped the paper back with the others. Smiling strangely, she opened the window completely and took out a cigarette, which she gratefully lighted up.
"You've been doing a little research, huh?" she asked sarcastically, with the cigarette between her lips.
Why she felt hurt, she didn't know. Hell, of course she knew! Lena was still reading those crappy, five-hundred pages long, paperback books. And worst of all, taking notes. Comparing her, her vampire, with the ones someone made up! Maybe she wasn't the romantic, tortured, sickly cool soul fiction said she should be. Maybe she wasn't the monster, beast-like creature with no more brains than a dog that Hollywood portrayed either. She was just Yulia!
"I know!" Lena cried "I'm sorry if I have offended you, Yulia. Yulia..."
The redhead went up to her, grabbed several of the pages covered in writing and wrinkled and tore them apart. But all that Yulia could do was shudder and flinch.
"Lena, you know I will do anything for you. I don't try to deny what I am. In fact, all I'm doing is trying to define what I am. You know what I am? I'm not one of those guys" she pointed at the books and movies.
"Yul, you'rere wrong, okay? I'm not trying to change you! I just... I think I'm obsessed" she blurted out "Obsessed with the whole thing."
"Lena, I want you to be alive. You're a great person, smarter than anything... No, listen to me, listen. You got all your life to live it up, to grow, study, work... all those things. And I want you to do them."
Yulia grabbed the thickest book and flipped through its pages with honest disgust.
"This stuff..." she went on "It will do you no good, you should be doing other things. Nothing good can come out of this. I've taken over your life, and I have no right."
No. Lena was shaking her head and crying. At once, the dark-haired threw the cigarette butt out the window and hugged the girl, sinking down to the floor with her. God, she was sorry for doing what she wanted, not what she had to do. That night, when they met, she should've ran away and once. She shouldn't have told her that she was a vampire, or taken her away... or let her drink her blood. It had been the worst kind of selfishness (only because she didn't want to be alone), and now, Lena couldn't think about anything that wasn't Yulia.
The obsession would've been slighter if Lena had never tried her blood. That was what vampire blood did to you. First, for a while, you saw and felt like one of them; your feelings became deeper and more intense. And, of course, there's the pleasure. You felt a powerful pleasure running its hands over you and inside you. Lena had felt that.
"I'm right" Yulia closed her eyes and held the girl, resting her chin on Lena's head "I've come into your life and erased everything else. Your family, your friends..."
The redhead detached herself from Yulia's hug and stared into her blue eyes, which were crying bloody tears.
"I don't care, I want it to be like this" Lena said, kissing the vampire's cheeks "But you've just told me that nothing good can come out of this."
"Are you sure? Look at us! Loving each other... every night, since the first night. Is that bad?"
Of course not. But did it justify everything else? Because Lena was still a tender human; could she forget everything around her? Yulia wiped her eyes and desperately clung to the redhead, who smiled and kissed her lips several times, not wanting to stop. So, that was the way things were; it was helpless. Useless talking, useless trying to be apart from one another, useless rules. Yulia returned every time because she loved Lena, and Lena expected Yulia to return because she loved her too.
"Don't try to protect me from what you are, Yulia. It's too late for that, I can't go back. I'm inside it and I love you."
"I love you too."
Their arms hugged each other's bodies tighter and they kissed again, forgetting about the things they had been talking about. It was useless, and too late, so the talking would make no difference. Lena sat on top of Yulia and held her face between her hands, kissing her lips very slowly. Yulia's skin, still burnt, felt more sensible than ever, so she trembled just with the touch of Lena.
Now, Yulia was very interested in knowing exactly what had Lena sensed when she had imagined herself drinking her human blood. The reason she never wanted to picture it in her mind, or even talk about it, was... because she desired that blood. Just like Lena desired her body, Yulia desired the girl's blood. And that was plain nature, vampire nature screaming inside her. What she couldn't understand was the reason why Lena wanted to offer blood to her. Maybe there was no reason, no logical explanation. If Lena was the vampire, Yulia would've surrendered her blood to her. It was not a matter of reason, but of feelings.
Even so, the fear didn't go away. Yulia was afraid of herself really, afraid of the excellent vampire that she was. When she killed, there was no one that killed better; that was a fact. She had no pity for no one, whether it was man, woman, or kid. She was cautious but deadly. Yes, the personification of dead, with no respect towards a weaker vampire than her, and even the own vampire that created her. It was, apart from killing her boyfriend, like killing her father.
The only ones that Yulia didn't feed from were the members of her family, which she had never seen again since she was transformed and ran away. And Lena, or course. Lena was sacred. She was so afraid of drinking from her and not being able to stop... like with her boyfriend Arman. He died, the other vampire died too. Everyone died. No, but the difference was that she did care about Lena, while she didn't feel a thing for those other two. There wasn't a feeling in her heart for Arman, but her heart beat for Lena. Yes, that was the difference, so she wouldn't kill Lena. So simple...
The redhead lifted her head from Yulia's shoulder and stared at her eyes. Yulia was sure that Lena had "seen" her daydream of drinking her blood, but hadn't commented on it maybe for respect.
"Lena, I want to talk about what I was thinking before. You know, when you opened the window for me. You knew I was there because I transmitted it to you by mistake."
"Yes, I saw the whole thing, and felt it too. As if... as if it had really happened! It was very strong, so I guess you really want to do it, Yulia."
"Yeah... Before, I thought I didn't want to because I was afraid of myself. But now, I think I've sorted it out."
Lena didn't want to wait more. She was dying to give Yulia something in return for the blood, for the love. If it was painful or if it drained life out of her... she didn't really care. Yulia loved her, Yulia would know when to stop. Sharing this was very important, because for the vampire, blood was love, and love was blood. Kissing, touching, were beautiful and nice things, but the real warmth came with the blood. And if it was the blood of a loved one, it was better than anything they could have done if she had been human.
What had she imagined? Hugging Lena around the back, then turning her around to be face to face. Then, she had dug her fingers on her red curls and kissed her passionately, promising that nothing bad would happen. Yes, nothing bad, just Yulia and that beautiful, rosy neck, and that glowing artery.
Then, she noticed that the dream was becoming true. She was standing up, hugging Lena, and the redhead had her eyes closed, waiting for her to do it. Was she afraid? No, luckily she wasn't. Just expectant, curious and giving. Giving herself to the vampire. And the vampire couldn't wait. She bowed her head and kissed Lena's jaw line, then went down to her neck and placed her lips on the spot. Here it was. All she had to do was draw open her lips and bite. She was imagining it... no, she was doing it! Her fangs were already touching Lena's extremely tender skin, so different from that of a vampire. Just dig them in a little more and it would begin.
She did it. Her two little sharp fangs pierced the skin. At once, several things occurred. Yulia felt that Lena's body gave a little jump and then pressed against her like never before. She also heard the redhead moaning, but soon that was far away, because, for the first time, she was drinking from her! A huge slosh of blood spurted out from the two little incisions and filled Yulia's mouth with liquid pleasure. Now, this was it! She wasn't just touching Lena's body, she was tasting her outside, her inside, and her everything.
<<Don't stop>>, Lena's mind screamed to hers. But she would have to stop soon. <<No, a little more>>, the redhead pleaded, not being able to keep herself standing up. No, she had to stop. This was the crucial moment, where there could be no doubt. It was hard to let go, but it was also easy; just thinking about Lena alive made her happy, so she stopped drinking, sealed the two little wounds with blood from her own tongue, and withdrew her lips.
Wow, where were they? They were no longer standing up, neither of them had noticed that they had fallen down on the bed. Sprawled there, Yulia had drank from Lena and couldn't believe it, even if in that same moment she was feeling the blood settling inside her (wherever it went) and working in her body, turning it stronger and warmer (for a while).
"Lena?" she muttered.
How was Lena? Her head shot upwards and she crawled over the red-haired girl, wanting to see that she was okay. The girl's eyes were closed, and her lips open. She was alive, thank God, but was she weak? Damn! Her hands and cheeks were cold! Yulia grabbed Lena in her arms and went out of her room, walking to the kitchen. There, she sat little Lena down in a chair and kissed her fiercely, and also slapped her cheeks as gently as she could.
"Lena..." her voice was coarse and extremely tense.
"Hmmm?" the redhead muttered, her head swaying from left to right "Yul, that has been... great. I'm sleepy now..."
<<Yes, honey, but you musn't fall asleep, you hear me? Talk to me>>. Yulia began opening cupboards and drawers, and savagely assaulting the fridge. She had to make Lena eat something quick. Had she drank too much? Stop, she couldn't think about that right now. Sitting by her side, Yulia made Lena drink very strong coffee and made her eat chocolate, cookies, and all sorts of things with sugar. Then, she prepared a sandwich and stuffed it down Lena's mouth.
That was better, Lena was sort of reacting now, slowly gaining color. Yulia approached another mug of coffee to her mouth, and smiled when the redhead pressed her lips and shook her head. Good, she was recovering, but she had to drink that to gain strength. No, it didn't matter if she didn't like coffee. She had to swallow.
"No, Lena, drink it. Then I wanna see you eating this, and this..."
"Stop! I'm alright!"
Yes, she looked much better now, with her cheeks back to normal. Yulia grabbed her hands and pressed them hard, feeling their warmth and enjoying her own warmth too. Now she seemed as human as Lena, with blood pumping under her skin and making it redden.
The dark-haired felt drunk-like and cheerful, but also thankful. She felt like kneeling before Lena and kissing her fingers, thanking her for such a present, for giving herself for her. And there was relief too, extreme relief because Lena was okay, she hadn't harmed her. At least, physically. There was a little of regret inside of Yulia, because she knew she was pulling Lena into her world at fast speed. She would think about Yulia all day, and desperately hold on to those nights in which they saw each other. How would this end up? It had to lead somewhere; Lena couldn't live all her life like that! People were people, they had responsibilities, families, work, whatever...
Suddenly, laying her head in Lena's lap, she saw the answer, as clearly as anything. But she dared not say it or transmit it to Lena's mind by mistake. Also, she wondered if Lena knew it too but also kept quiet. Sometimes, Yulia had the impression that Lena knew everything, all the answers, and she was just a little lost pawn moving around. Moving around her. And when she did it, what would happen to this girl? Would she still be the same girl?
But what was the point of those doubts? She knew she would do it. But maybe she would feel more guilty if she didn't torture herself. In any case, the decision was already made. It wasn't really a decision or a choice, it was a consequence. Had she known all along? Maybe. Maybe Lena had known before her, but she wasn't afraid. That was Lena; never afraid when Yulia was with her.
"Yes?" Lena smiled sweetly and kissed Yulia on the lips.
No, she couldn't discuss this with her right now. The poor redhead had been weak of ecstasy and blood-draining. Tomorrow? Yes, there was always tomorrow, and the rest of the night to think about this, to try to imagine... Because it wasn't just wanting it or rejecting it. It was going to happen! How long could they survive giving blood to each other? No, they had to be both human, or both vampire, and the first option was impossible.
They got up and returned the food to the fridge. Then, Yulia carried Lena back to her room and bed, just for the kick of it. Covered up with the sheets, they hugged, feeling each other's heartbeat and breath. How long would that skin be permanently warm, so tenderly human? How would Lena's features change? Yulia shook these thoughts away from her head and buried her face on the girl's scalding hot neck.
"No, honey, I'm not gonna do it again" Yulia said, feeling that Lena was offering herself once more.
"Before you said you'd never do it, even if the world depended on it."
The vampire didn't add another comment. Lena knew. Lena knew everything. She knew that Yulia was going to do it again; maybe not that night, but sometime soon she would have to.