November 17th, 1915
“What appears to be the end, may really be a new beginning.” -unknown
Stretching out on the beige couch, Daniel groaned of boredom. It had been nearly an hour since his girlfriend, Winnie, left for the store. He gave up on taking a nap and sat up looking for something to do. Standing up, he stretched his arms out above his head and reached for the sky. He let out a roaring yawn as his toes curled and his muscles constricted. He shook it off and headed towards the fireplace to poke the wood. Winter was coming and he didn’t like to be cold. Feeling satisfied with the growing flames, he decided he’d entertain himself the old fashioned way. Turning to pass the couch and coffee table, Daniel walked into the master bedroom and flipped the lights on. The massive room illuminated to expose the disaster of clothes. Winnie’s clothes were sprawled across the floor and sequined curtains hung around the perimeter of their king size bed. Walking towards the full-body mirror, Daniel tripped over a pair of black high heels. He balanced himself and cursed under his breath. Ever since the couple decided to cohabitate, Winnie had treated the bedroom floor as her own personal closet; it drove Daniel insane. Finally making it to the mirror, he locked eyes with himself and mentally concentrated on a figure. Suddenly, his pampered, brown hair transformed into short grey stubble, his deep, brown eyes started to fade, and his beautiful, olive face started to sag along with his posture. He raised his eyebrows and snickered.
“Too old,” he commented in a deep, raspy voice that wasn’t his originally. Daniel was what the Court called a successful experiment. About 400 years ago, his parents sold him to a group who called themselves the Nécron. They promised to bring a better future for the people of Russia and at a high reward, too. The Volikov family accepted 300 rubles in exchange for 17 year old Demyan. Demyan was Daniel’s birth name. It was given to him with pride by his father at his first birthday. Children weren’t often given names until their first birthday, once the high chance of death had passed. Daniel was removed from his family home in the middle of the night and taken to an underground lair that reeked of chemicals and dirt. He was chained to a slab of stone and injected with a glowing, green liquid. As soon as the chemical entered his body, he was sent into a convulsing shock. After an hour, the chemical was fully injected and his body was conformed to the new cells. He repeatedly dazed in and out of consciousness throughout the process. He could clearly see the men’s faces surrounding him. They stared at him as if he were a disgusting blemish on the face of their perfect planet. He didn’t feel differently, but his heart was racing and he was worried what he may look like. He screamed at the men, but they did nothing beyond ignore him. It took a few long weeks, full of whips, chains and torture, for the Nécron to be pleased with their results. They subjected Daniel to all sorts of torture to try and trigger his new abilities. Finally, they received a breakthrough after forcing Daniel to stare at himself in the mirror for nearly 24 hours. During those long hours, his brain had started to shift and he began thinking of his family. He felt betrayed by all of them except his younger brother, Nikolai. Nik had tried to come with Daniel when the Nécron came for him, but it was no use. The Nécron had thrown him to the side and only taken the one they paid for. That’s when it happened; Daniel’s features started to change for the first time. Sharp pain coursed through his every muscle and every bone. He cried out and begged them to make it stop, but the men merely stood around and watched in awe. Feeling the pain surpass, Daniel looked up to see his younger brother’s reflection. His heart tightened. “Nikolai?” he asked, scurrying closer to the boy. As he moved, so did the figure. Realization hit him when he touched the glass and felt nothing but cold metal against his palm. He let out a soft sob and his body collapsed against the hard dirt. The next morning, he awoke in the woods. He wasn’t sure of his location, but he decided from then on he was going to travel as far away from Russia as possible. He arrived to another tribe, far away, months later where he met an old couple that took him in and gave him his new name: Daniel Harling.
Coming back to present time, Daniel concentrated again, his hair started to grow long and brown. His body started to slim down and his facial features became more feminine. After many years of practice, Daniel could now configure his shape without pain. When he came out of his haze, he took in the figure before him.
“Mama..” he whispered. Memories flooded his head. His mother was always his favorite parent, despite the betrayal he felt. His father was an abusive drunk who didn’t deserve such an angelic soul as her’s. But it wasn’t long until his subconscious was pulled back into reality, as well as his own body, when he noticed his beautiful girlfriend, Winnie, walk into the room.
“Oh, hey babe!” he said with a loving smile that seemed so genuine. He could sense something was off about her by the unpleasant facial expression she possessed and her tense body language as she walked towards him. As if changing her mind, she moved the sequined curtains from around the bed and sat on the edge.
“Hey, hun,” she replied as she took off her alter with a snap of her fingers and the familiar explosion of blue sparks, exposing her exotic, turquoise skin that shimmered in the low lighting of the bedroom. She wore what looked to be a costly, sleeveless dress. It didn’t do much when it came to accentuating her figure, but she wasn’t worried about her appearance right now. She looked at Daniel and sighed. He could see by her eyes that she had an important question to ask him, but he couldn’t understand any more than that. Winnie had always confused him, from the moment he met her. He stopped believing in love when his family sold him. But rather, he took pride in his true beliefs: sex and procreation. It was part of his nature; it was in his newly formed DNA. The Nécron called him ‘Experiment A001’ and he had an uncontrollable urge to reproduce and protect their race. But with Winnie, he felt different. He thought that there was a chance he could love her; he’d had many internal conflicts about the subject over the many years they’d spent together. He had tried and tried to convince himself that it was not a big deal.
“Where were you last night?” Winnie finally asked the question that had been eating at her inside. The words slipped off of her tongue like ice slicing through the air. Her eyes flickered from the mess of clothes on the ground to his deep, brown eyes. She couldn’t stop herself from looking at the man she had come to love for nearly a hundred years. She often told herself that she shouldn’t love him, that he constantly broke her heart, but she couldn’t help herself. Daniel was her addiction; she would always have to return for a fix of his poison. Winnie predicted this upcoming fight would be just like all the others. She would get upset, they would fight, she would look at his hurt expression and that would be the end of it. They would then have sex and the fight would be over. She would find herself falling in love with him all over again; while learning to hate herself even more than the last time he walked all over her and her dignity. She always told herself it was her own fault, but this time she stayed strong. This time, it had to stop, it had to be the end of the messed up cycle of love and hate that they called a relationship. She refused to be the victim in his madness once again.
“What do you mean? I was with Robert, you know that,” Daniel replied, his eyes filled with questions and concern. He walked towards her, careful not to trip over anything, and sat on the edge of the bed beside her.
“You weren’t with Robert; I just saw his wife at the market. She said he was home with her all night. I’m not stupid, Demyan,” she replied and bit her lip. Sitting up straighter, she fought the urge to curl up next to her love and forgive him for all of his wrongdoings. He looked at her even more confused; he knew that he was caught red-handed. The use of his birth name sent a shiver down his spine. He hadn’t been called it in years. Winnie was the only person he ever told about his past and his true name. But in return, she had to tell him about hers. About her birth name and her past. He tried to look more innocent than he was. He kept the confused facade up a while longer.
“I don’t think you’re stupid, Winnie. What is this about anyway?” He shifted on the bed and grabbed her soft, blue hand. She quickly pulled her hand away and took a final moment to think her decision through. Should she ignore the issue once more and go back to pretending that she didn’t know he was cheating? She could still be happy, right? No, she thought, I need to do this now. Otherwise, nothing will ever change. She took a deep breath and continued to push the issue.
“Who were you really with last night, Daniel? I deserve to know the truth.” Daniel’s heart dropped with defeat. He looked everywhere but her eyes. Her eyes. He couldn’t stop but think of how beautifully blue they were, even in the midst of a fight.
“What are you implying?” He started to stutter, which was unlike him; he was a charismatic man who did not have to struggle to find the right words to say. “I was,” he paused, “with Robert. I told you that.” Winnie shook her head stubbornly. She knew better than that. He knew as well as she did that he was not with his colleague, Robert, the previous night. He was only playing games at this point and it was pissing her off. She was going to get through to him and show him that he couldn’t use her like he used everyone else. She was not his toy. Not anymore.
“Fine. If you were with Robert last night, look me in the eyes and tell me so,” she said angrily. She was fed up with all of his games. She stood up and waited for a reply, her hands placed on her hips in an annoyed manner. Daniel ignored her request and continued to look across the room and not at her. “Look me in the eyes and tell me you weren’t with another woman, Daniel!” Winnie requested again, even more frustrated. Daniel closed his eyes.
“Fine.” he said softly. He stood up and looked his devastated girlfriend in the eyes. “I won’t lie to you anymore. I was with another woman.” Winnie’s heart shattered as she looked at the ground. She promised herself that she would not cry in front of him. So instead, she lifted her head and sent an icy, blue glare at him.
“Why? I mean, if you don’t want me anymore, just tell me! I could leave right now and neither of us would really care! Just admit it!” She knew she was lying. She would care and it would hurt like hell. She didn’t know what she would do without Daniel. He had been her life for nearly one hundred years of her pathetic life. Her chest felt like it was going to explode from her heart pounding so hard. She started breathing heavier to regain composure. Finding that her legs would no longer support her, Winnie sat back down on the bed and put her head in her hands and sighed. Daniel wanted nothing more than to wrap his arms around her and kiss her worries away.
“Of course I want you. I have always wanted you. I love you. I don’t know what I was thinking. I’m sorry. I’m really, really sorry.” He looked up at her with a small tear rolling down his cheek. He could feel the hurt he had caused her and knew this fight was different than all the others. “I know you will never forgive me. I would bet money on that, but you know what I am and how I live. I have to reproduce to keep my kind alive. I don’t have feelings for that girl, or any other girl but you. I haven’t been able control my urges since the experiment- you know that. Winnie, I am so, so sorry.” And he really was sorry, in a sense. He cared for Winnie more than he ever cared for anyone else he’d met in his life. They certainly had had a connection at one point that he had never experienced before. Was that love? He didn’t know.
Winnie breathed in rapidly and realized just how close she was to having a panic attack. Daniel had been the only person to ever be able to comfort her out of one of her attacks. It was difficult, but she managed to keep her breathing normal. She didn’t reply, instead she turned her back to him so she wouldn’t have to face the man who had spent the past century breaking her bit by bit. Daniel knew that he had officially pushed her over the edge and that he was going to lose the only woman he’d ever thought he might have loved.
“Winnie, I’m sorry,” he said once again. His face was red with frustration and anger; anger at himself and the world. He wasn’t sure how he would survive without her. Her and her blue hair that always looked perfect, even early in the mornings. As well as her sexy body that had always seemed to intertwine perfectly with his. Memories of their time together replayed in his head. The first time he had met her, their first date, their first time having sex, their first trip across the world together, their first masquerade ball, their first fight which led to their first make-up sex. Daniel fought back the tears. He couldn’t understand these emotions that were filling him to the brim. “Please,” he paused, slightly overcome with emotion, “say something.” His voice cracked.
“I know. I know that that it is what you have to do to survive, something they made you do when they made you,” she stuttered and paused to compose herself. She thought maybe she had no right to be upset about him only doing what he had to to survive. After all, she didn’t get mad at him for eating or for sleeping. He always lies about it, though, she reminded herself. Maybe she wasn’t made for a relationship where it wasn’t monogamous, “but I can’t be with you when you do. I just can’t handle the lies.”
She felt a tear fall down her cheek. She quickly wiped it away and turned her gaze to Daniel. She stared straight into his dark eyes and remembered an abundance of wonderful memories they had made together. She remembered the moment when she had sworn to herself that she was going to get to know Daniel in a way no one else knew him. She knew she was the closest person to him and that she was his one true love; but did she really believe that she was different than all the others? She thought she had seen something in him that might be considered love. When she would look at him, she often caught him staring at her first, not lustfully, but lovingly, longingly. She really had thought they could make this relationship work, that he was the one she would marry and have a future with. Whether or not Daniel was the one for her didn’t matter anymore. No matter how much she loved him, she couldn’t let him keep using her like this and shatter her heart over and over. She couldn’t fight him anymore, or his way of living. She thought maybe he should be able to live the way he needed to and she should be able to live the way she needed. She knew they cared for each other more than anything else, but maybe that wasn’t enough. She felt her heart breaking again as she realized maybe they were never going to work. It was something she’d put on the back burner, but she couldn’t ignore it anymore. She hated his lies and his games and the way he played. It made her feel degraded and disgusted with both him and herself. Looking at him this way, she had to resist the strong urge to lean into his warmth and kiss him one more time. She bit her lip and looked away again to keep from doing something she would later regret. Daniel felt as if his heart had fallen off the roof of the tallest building and shatter into oblivion. He just lost the one person he cared about more than anything in this world. He was in the middle of harboring a whirlwind of emotions.
“What do you mean? Don’t say those kinds of things! Of course you can. I mean, I’ll stop. I’ll stop. I promise. Is that what you want? Please!” He’d blurted it out before he knew what he was saying. He stopped his pleading to take a breath and make sure no more tears escaped his eyes. “Please. Just don’t leave me.” His voice cracked as he spoke. The room around him seemed to turn black. What once were memories of love and happiness, were now full of hate and heartbreak. He bowed his head and ran his hands through his hair. “Please,” he pleaded softly, completely broken.
Winnie analyzed the situation as a whole. It took all of her strength not to wrap her arms around her lover and return to acting like nothing ever happened, just like every time this had happened before. She sat down on the closest chair and tried to regain her normal breathing. She needed to get away from him. Daniel was her biggest weakness and they both knew that. He had used her, abused her, and played her like a toy. For a century. Hell, she was sure he was toying with her right now. Could she really find the strength to walk away from the one person she loved more than anything? Surely he knew how much she loved him, how he was her Achilles heel. He must have known how hard this was. His act made it worse. They had spent so many years together. Sure, they had their breakups, but they had some great memories together.
“I know it’s not the first time you have done this. I just haven’t said anything before this. I’ve ignored it for the sake of this-” She felt herself breaking more, “-this entirely messed up relationship.”
Daniel looked at himself in the mirror from across the room. He realized he was acting weak and his body stiffened as he glared at his reflexion. Suddenly, his reflexion was replaced by a mental image of his father. His father was a tall man, nearly seven foot, who always got his way. He was rough, tough, and all around, not a very friendly man. He had a muscular build and a brown beard that complimented his hard, brown eyes. He only smiled when he was around his wife, Daniel’s mother. His mother was an average-faced woman with long, black hair and piercing, green eyes. She had no special qualities, but Daniel’s father loved her dearly.
Growing up, Daniel’s family lived with a village of people in Russia. Their group was located very close to the forbidden forest. It was seen as “forbidden” because there were wild beasts that were thought to live within and it was not safe. Daniel and his younger brother, Nikolai, would often run away to play in the forest and forage for food. Believe it or not, Daniel used to be a happy child who enjoyed nature. This was, until one day his father found him playing in the woods. Sensing his father’s presence, Daniel felt a sharp pin of electricity course through his body and he quickly hid his brother in a bush and himself behind a tree out of fear. As if being reenacted, Daniel could feel the rough hands pulling his small body out from behind the tree. He could also feel the fists colliding against his cheeks and the knees pounding into his ribcage as small, blue eyes witnessed through the bush. His father accused him of what he referred to as “doing womanly things” by foraging for food and repeated how he would not have anything but a strong willed son living in his home. His father was a proud sexist, and always flaunted having sons, not daughters. Being pulled back into reality, rage overwhelmed Daniel. He would not be weak. He would not let his father down again. Finding himself drifting toward Winnie, he was close enough to reach out and touch her if he wanted.
“Whatever! You clearly don’t understand anything! If you don’t want me anymore, then fine. But you will regret it.” He moved to walk past Winnie, causing her to unconsciously flinch away from him. He gave her a hurt and confused look; she hadn’t flinched in a long time. He thought they’d gotten over that, but apparently he seemed angry enough to resort to hitting her again.
He couldn’t take being in the same room as her for one more second, so he stormed outside. The frigid breeze tore through his clothes and sent goosebumps across his body. It was raining softly, just enough to get his clothes soaked quickly. He sat in his car and punched the steering wheel, causing the horn to honk loudly. He started his car and placed his hands on the wheel. He wasn’t sure where he was he supposed to go. Winnie was all he knew in this town or hell, even this country. He rested his head against the back of his hands and screamed. He felt like his whole world had just tilted sideways. All he felt was pain and anger, he took a deep breath, started the car, and speedily drove to the nearest pub.
Winnie sat there, in the now deserted apartment. She realized that her breathing had gotten out of control and tried to bring it back to normal. Instead, she found herself sobbing. The tears fell as she sat there, feeling her world empty itself. Her shattered heart saw no hope. Daniel was her first love; her first real love. He was her everything, but she knew she had to fix this situation; otherwise it would have gotten out of control. Sobbing, she stood up and ran to the closet and started ripping Daniel’s clothes out and throwing them across the room and out the window. She was shaking from head to toe. Giving up on everything, she fell to the ground and screamed. She questioned the very reason of her awful existence. How would she go on after this? How could she get over him, without him? Daniel was supposed to be the one thing she could have and never lose. Winnie had been abandoned by her family. She had nothing left until Daniel came into her life. Now what was she supposed to do?
Daniel woke up with his head on his crossed arms that rested on the pub counter. His eyesight was extremely fuzzy. He tried to stand, but stumbled and grabbed a chair. Regaining some balance, he slowly started to walk. He was trying hard to focus his eyesight and fight off the alcohol at the same time.
“Get away,” he mumbled, pushing a blonde tramp out of his way. She made a disgusted sound, called him an asshole, and huffed away. He continued his way outside and finally made it to his car. He searched for his keys and yelled when he couldn’t find them. Frustrated he got in his car and slammed the door. He looked over to the passenger seat and found them lying there next to him. He grabbed them and fumbled to put the keys in the ignition. Once the car was started, he slammed it into reverse and started to pull out, almost hitting a black ford. He drove down the road to the nearest hotel, swerving the entire way, his vision wavered in and out. Finally, he pulled into the parking lot and surprisingly parked without any further complications. He stumbled out of the car and walked through the front doors.
“Hello, sir, welcome to the Biltmore Hotel. We have-” the man behind the counter started his typical speech until Daniel interrupted him.
“Please,” he started as he stumbled and gripped the marble counter. “Just- shut up and give me a room. I’ll pay you when I’m ready to leave.” He slurred a little along the way, but managed to get it all out. The man was shocked to be spoken to in such a way.
“Excuse me sir, but are you under the influence of alc-” The man sounded genuinely concerned.
“What did I just tell you? I don’t care what you have to say. Don’t make me repeat myself, Winnie!” Daniel interrupted once again. He pounded his fist against the counter and the man jumped slightly. He started to ask who Winnie was, but figured that would only anger the man more. “You won’t give me a room? Fine, I’ll get one myself.” Fed up, Daniel reached behind the counter and got himself a room key. He started to walk down the hall towards the numbered rooms when he stopped and turned back around. “You call the police on me and I will kill you with my bare hands. You got that?” Daniel threatened him with a look of all seriousness. The man’s face was filled with pure fear as he nodded slowly.
“I understand, sir. Enjoy your stay.” The words spilled out of the stuttering man’s mouth quickly. Nervous sweat dwelled on his forehead. Daniel scoffed, turned and headed to his self-assigned room. After fumbling with the door handle, he finally got inside. The room was small, dark, and smelled musty. Daniel groaned in dissatisfaction. Tearing his clothes off, he headed to the shower. The water was cold, and stayed that way, but it would help him clear his mind. The ice water made him shiver, but instantly cured the hangover. He looked at the rusty shower head and closed his eyes, letting the water run down his face and body.
Sitting on a bench in the rain at one of the many New York parks, Winnie kicked her mud-covered heels back and forth above the drenched ground. It was nearing wintertime, but instead of snow it kept raining. She sniffled and ran a pale hand through her black hair. She felt utterly betrayed and was past the point of return. She was exhausted and could barely maintain her alter. After wrestling with the fact that her true love betrayed her trust- and not just once- she was left with no other choice. She couldn’t keep living a lie. Daniel had been the main reason for all the love, the joy, the pain. He was the source for all the emotion she had felt over the course of a hundred years. One did not just move on from that.
Their love was intense, extraordinarily passionate and full of compassion, even if others didn’t see it. Winnie had loved Daniel with a willing and open heart. It was evident since the beginning that her way of loving was genuinely different from Daniel’s way of loving. She had questioned herself and endured others verbalizing their concerns that Daniel never loved her; that he was just using her for sex. After being with Daniel off and on for 70 years, she had become more certain that he did love her, just in his own way. He may not love her the way she wanted, but he showed he loved her everyday.
Thinking too much about her past, and Daniel, Winnie rubbed her face, only to discern that she was crying again. She wiped at her makeup coated eyes and cursed herself for ruining it. Winnie sighed and realized that she was left with nothing but questions. What was she to do now? Where was she to go? What was the point in living anymore? She thought about going to a hotel, or maybe a bar, but decided against it.
Suddenly, she found herself reminded of all the time she had spent with her ex-boyfriend and mentor, Marcus Cruz. She remembered the time she had run across him on the street as no more than a child. She was sixteen when she had first met him and had trusted him wholeheartedly to take her in. He had given her shelter, food, clothes, and compassion while everyone else had simply ran in terror. Despite the fact he was her mentor and protector, he was at one point her lover as well. Around the age of 20, she realized that the love she had with Marcus wasn’t her destiny. Her love for Marcus was simply strong friendship rather than a romantic relationship. She knew now where she always seemed to go when the rest of her world was falling out around her; the one person who would always be there for her, no matter what others thought.
“I have to see Marcus.” She mumbled to herself, shivering from the cold winter breeze as she stood up from the freezing metal bench.
She began walking down the cold, wet street and approached a familiar brick building. The lights were off, but she knew that Marcus would still be awake. She came to the door and pressed the buzzer. Once. Then, twice. The rain slowly stopped, leaving her utterly soaked. This caused her makeup to smear more than it already was. She took a deep breath and waited for a moment. The cold wind ripped through Winnie’s dress. She feared hypothermia might overcome her. She wrapped her arms around herself and heard a familiar, husky voice on the other end of the speaker.
“It had better be important.”
“I-It’s Winnie,” she stammered. She brushed her icy hands over her face, trying to look somewhat presentable and knowing it wasn’t possible right now. There was a beep and the door instantly opened. She walked through and up the stairs. When she got to the hall, a towering man stood in the doorway to greet her. He took in her appearance, put his arm around her, and led her inside without a word. They walked to the velvet couch and she sat down, pulling a fleece, mink blanket around her frigid body.
“You want a drink, kitten?” Marcus asked, eying her. She nodded slowly and he snapped his fingers. Green mist swirled slowly out of his wiggling fingers until the shape of a porcelain mug was formed. He looked down to his hands and handed her a hot chocolate with an alcoholic kick. She drank it too quickly and was pleased when it refilled itself. She looked at Marcus for a moment and turned her gaze back down to the floor. Marcus sat beside her and squeezed her hand.
“Is it Daniel?” She nodded in reply and felt her eyes stinging with tears again. Marcus grimaced. “He’s an ass. You want to talk about it?” He asked as he pulled her close to him to attempt to warm her up. She shook her head and opened her mouth as if to say something, but closed it again.
“You were right, Marcus. He’s nothing but an experiment, you know. He has to be with other women to keep his species going. I just-” she took a deep breath and felt Marcus squeeze her hand again as her words faltered. “I just can’t stay with him knowing that. And, of course, I’ve known for a while, but I finally broke it off. I just- I didn’t know where else to go. I’m sorr-” Marcus shook his head.
“No, no, no, kitten. No need to apologize. You know you are always welcome here. I’m sorry about him. He didn’t deserve you. But you need to remember that once you make the decision to move on, you can’t choose to look back. Your destiny won’t be found in a rear view mirror. You have to keep moving forward and you have to fight.”
His words spoke to her heart. She shifted closer to him, looked up at his face, and took in his overall comforting presence. His golden brown eyes were enhanced by the lighting. His curly, brown hair stopped just above his shoulders. She always seemed to find herself crying on Marcus’ shoulder.
“You’re such a good person,” she mumbled through her tears. He laughed at that.
“I’m anything but.” He put his gentle arm around her and joined her under the warm blanket like they had so many times before. He was her best friend long before he was her boyfriend and she loved their friendship. He was always here for her.
Resting her cold face in the crook of his neck, she shivered. He always seemed to be naturally warm-blooded. She remembered the hours spent cuddling with him, in this very same living room even. She could feel his breath flow past her cheek and the familiar scent of Marcus wafted up her nose.
“I love you more than anyone, you know that right?” she whispered into his neck. Marcus gazed at her with his loving eyes.
“As do I, Winnie,” he said as he slid a piece of wet hair behind her ear. After looking at him for a hard minute, Winnie leaned in and kissed him slowly him on the lips. He had extraordinarily soft lips, like always, but his facial hair had started to grow out a bit and tickled her lips. He responded willingly and she continued kissing him harder and more longingly. He moved one hand to her waist and the other behind her head. He intertwined his fingers in her damp hair and deepened the kiss. Her hands slid up his shirt to feel his abs. The kiss turned sloppy and their tongues started to clash. As if a bucket of ice water was dumped on him, Marcus quickly pulled away.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” He asked furrowing his brows and looking at her with question. “I don’t want you to regret any of this in the morning.” Winnie moved to straddle him.
“I’m sure. I need you right now.” She looked at him longingly and leaned down to kiss his neck. He moaned softly into the air and continued to kiss her harder than before. His hand brushed over her face and he thought it felt wet. He willed himself to pull away once again and lift her face. Her breath was ragged, even more so than what this situation could cause, and he knew it. He wiped her cheeks and she opened her eyes. She was, indeed, crying. He looked at her with concerned, golden-brown eyes. She shook her head and wiped her face. She then intertwined her fingers in his messy hair and pulled him back to the kiss once more.
They ended up in the bedroom upstairs on Marcus’ queen size bed with their clothes hurled around the room. Over an hour passes of their bodies intertwining in several positions. The air was hot and sweat crept down Winnie’s forehead. She lie next to Marcus and put her head on his chest to feel his heart beating.
“Are you okay?” he asked her softly, worried.
“Physically? I mean I’ve had worse,” she joked, smirking up at him. His only reply was the continued focusing of his golden-brown eyes at her, so she added, “I’ll be fine. Thanks.” She leaned up and pressed a chaste kiss to his cheek. He smiled softly and pulled more of the blankets up around her naked body. She yawned and felt her eye droop. Exhaustion was finally catching up with her. She laid her head on his bare chest and was soothed to sleep by his steady heartbeat.
Marcus looked down at Winnie, the girl he had taken in years ago, who had easily become one of his best friends and saw him as a mentor. He looked at her face that had always been there to pick him up when he had needed it. He had seen her challenged with many difficulties in her life: being abandoned by her family, friends, the world. She had been shunned similarly to how he had been.
She looked so exhausted, not like she needed more sleep, but simply she was exhausted of life. She had gotten to the age where she was starting to come to terms with how hard being immortal really was. After being alive so long, one begins to stop feeling. Marcus hoped that she would not reach that extreme, but it was coming. She had gone through the period of her life where she screwed around, partied, and tried so hard to feel something. She had been through the drug and alcohol phase. Anything she could think of to help, she had tried. Marcus attempted to be there for her the whole time. Although, when Daniel came around, Marcus noticed that she was definitely feeling something. It may have been confusion, hatred, love, anger and so much sadness, but she was feeling.
Now that he thought about it, that may have been the reason she unconsciously put herself through the hell that was her relationship with Daniel. They had gone through their fair share of breakups; she had been hurt and angry over every last one. This one, though, seemed to be different, the end. This caused Marcus to be both grateful and worried that their cycle of hell was over. He was far from happy that Winnie had been so repeatedly pained by the same person, of whom she claimed was her true love. But he was thrilled to think that she wouldn’t go back. Marcus wondered how this would affect Winnie later on. It was simply the concern that once your heart was burnt, torn, and beaten repeatedly for so long by the one you love more than anything, it becomes extremely hard to give your heart away and to let others in.
He brushed his hand gently over her peaceful face, feeling the warmth of her soft skin. He loved this woman so much and he could discern how troubled she had been lately. She had kept commenting more and more about Daniel’s lifestyle. Marcus had seen this day coming for a while. He had been watching and waiting for them to end it due to Daniel being a complete jerk, but he did not tell Winnie that. He thought she deserved better. She had always been easily susceptible to anxiety attacks and depression. She tried to keep up the facade that nothing ever hurt her, but when it got down to it, she was just scared of what would happen tomorrow. Marcus had quickly learned to read her emotions and body language. He could tell she had been through hell and at some point, she would tell him more about it. He sighed as he closed his own eyes and lulled his brain to stop rambling about so he could fall asleep.