Paruush truly hadn’t been paying any mind to where he was going when his brother appeared in front of him “Paruush, what the hell are you doing here? Get your ass home”
“I’m just walking”
“right into the territory of known vampire killers. I know you’re hurting and I know Antigone still wont answer your calls or the door when you go to see her but you will destroy mom and dad if you keep doing stupid shit. You need to take care of yourself, if not for you for us” He looked around “I didn’t come here on purpose…I was lost in thought…maybe I was guided here….I hurt her….one more second and I would….I….”
“I understand you were a second from killing the woman you love but you didn’t”
“but I still killed what we had…that night was so romantic…we were finally getting together and then I obliterated everything” tears began to fall again and before he knew it his body was wracked in sobs. He could still hear her screaming, could still see the horror and haze in her eyes when he finally could take his fangs out. His beloved could have died in his arms and he just didn’t want to live anymore if she wouldn’t even speak to him. He had no idea self hatred could run so deep. She had been screaming and frantically pushing against him, why didn’t that make him stop sooner. He felt worse than a rapist, worse than any other being on earth for nearly draining her completely. He deserved the fact she had been refusing to speak to him for a month and a half, he was miserable but he knew he deserved this.
“I’m taking you home”
“just let the hunters come” in the end his brother did have to force him home. He decided to call his parents and let them know he was going to be staying with Paruush until they could trust him to be alone which his brother wasn’t sure such a time would ever come if things didn’t get mended between him and Antigone. He wanted to talk to her himself but didn’t know what he would say, it wasn’t like he blamed her but it was terrible watching his brother this way.
He decided to call her on his phone after his brother had cried himself to sleep. He needed to explain things, to hopefully get Antigone to at least speak to Paruush. He was surprised when she answered he almost forgot how to speak. “Antigone, hey.”
“Leave me alone.” She sounded so hurt and scared.
“Please…please just hear me out. I’m begging you to just listen.”
He could hear her swallow. “What?”
“You have to understand, he wasn’t trying to hurt you. He…he didn’t know. He’s not a violent person. Please just talk to him, let him apologize.”
“I was scared.”
“I know, but please, I don’t want him to hurt himself because of what happened, I’m sorry he hurt you, but I’m worried about him.”
“why would he hurt himself…I’m sure he got just what he wanted”
“Antigone, terrifying you into never speaking to him again was the last thing he wanted that day. He didn’t know how addicting fairy blood is. He had been told it was but experiencing it and being told it are two different things…I understand you being afraid…I really do but you cant think he got what he wanted that day”
“I…I just don’t know what to think anymore” her voice was strained with tears “Antigone he’s broken, I’m staying with him now because he can’t be trusted not to hurt himself or put himself in danger. I know you love him too, he told me everything that happened, how you two had gotten together that day. God he’s told me about what happened almost every day. If you’ll just let him talk to you I’ll sit there the whole time. Even if you’d just answer the phone when he calls…please, do it for me…we’re still friends right?”
“so for me then, since I’m still your friend will you just let him apologize, that’s all I’m asking. He’s my brother Antigone….please” there was an incredibly long pause but he waited patiently, knowing if he got off the phone she may stop answering his calls too. He heard her sniffle and knew she was crying, his heart breaking for the whole situation. “I…I still have some stuff I miss at his home….I’ll…I’ll come over tomorrow sometime if you swear you’ll be there and that he wont come near me…he can say what he wants but I don’t want him to be near me:
“I will be here, I’ll even help you take your stuff home and I promise he wont touch you okay”
“thank you so much Antigone”
They hung up and he went into Paruush’s room, gently shaking him awake. He jerked up, looking confused for a moment before sorrow filled his eyes once more. “What is it?”
“I spoke to Antigone.”
Paruush perked up. “You did? Is she alright? What did she say?”
“She’s coming to see you tomorrow, to grab the rest of her things, but she said she’ll talk to you.”
Paruush’s face fell again, his heart sinking lower. “Oh.”
“She has some conditions. I have to be here and you are not allowed near her.”
Paruush swallowed, but nodded. “I…I understand. Thank you, brother.” He laid back down, turning over so he faced away from his brother. “I’ll be good, I don’t want to cause either of you anymore pain or trouble.”
“Hey, you have a chance to explain and tell her how sorry you are. Maybe this can be fixed”
“I really hope so. I love her so much. If I could take back ever feeding on her I would…I’d never even try again if we could even be friends..I just don’t want to lose her completely…I miss her so much it hurts.”
“I know brother, that’s why I reached out for you…I’ve never seen you like this and all of us are worried” Antigone walked into her living room, lifting up the picture frame she had face down on the mantel. It was her favorite picture of her and Paruush. It was mostly her favorite picture because of the incredible day it reminded her of. She had thousands of amazing memories with Paruush but this day had been the day she fell in love with him. She sighed, thinking about what his brother said about Paruush being so upset he thought he might hurt himself. The way he had been that night was horrifying and when she passed out she had truly though she was never going to wake up again. She remembered waking up the next day in his arms, now more protectively than being forced to stay. She tried to remember his face, if he had looked sad but she couldn’t. She had been so afraid and happy to finally not be pinned down while she felt the life leaving her body she made her escape before he latched on again and wouldn’t let go.
She had begged, screamed at the top of her lungs and he hadn’t cared. He just held tighter and tighter. If he loved her, even with her blood how could he do that she thought to herself. Her father had always fed on her mother just fine. She hadn’t however told them about her incident with Paruush but while she was afraid of him she didn’t want her father, brother and possibly grandfather to go do something to him. She might doubt he had ever had any care for her besides lust for her fairy blood but she did still love him, as impossible as that sounded in her head.
She set the picture back down, returning its face to the mantle so she wouldn’t have to look at it unless she chose to. She wanted to throw it away but the feelings that were still there made her unable to do anything more than place it face down. Late that night Paruush’s brother could hear him pacing in his bedroom and guessed he was thinking intensely about what he’d say when Antigone showed up tomorrow.
Paruush couldn’t sleep that night, his mind was working too hard for him to even think about sleep. He barely noticed it was early morning and decided he would shower and change so he looked nice for Antigone. His brother was already up when he finally made his way out and cooking breakfast. “I can’t eat.” Paruush said.
“You will eat, you’ve been neglecting yourself and if I have to I’ll shove it down your throat.”
Paruush sighed. “Alright, I’ll eat.”
“What am I going to do if she hates me for the rest of her life? What is her family going to think of me? I’ll be nothing but the vampire boy who took advantage of a beautiful woman and tried to kill her.” He was on the verge of tears again. “This is so damn unfair.”
“I know, but hopefully she listens and besides her family should be the first to understand. Fairy blood can be dangerous to vampires, the addiction runs deep.”
“Her father never seemed to have an issue.”
“They’ve always been a little unique.” His brother sat a plate of food down in front of him. “Eat all of it.”
Antigone was sitting in her car, trying to get herself to drive over to his house. Her heart was pounding in her chest, afraid shed go over there and he’d pin her down again. It was why she hadn’t been over for her things. Her mother called as she sat in the car and she decided to answer “hey, are you free today?”
“Maybe later…I..have to get my stuff from Paruush”
“Your stuff” Antigone sighed, knowing it would be a good idea for somebody else to know where she was before she returned to his home. She began telling her mom about their entire day, all the sweet, heart warming stuff and them finally confessing their feelings for one another. She then told her about that night, about Paruush needing to feed so she offered herself so he wouldn’t have to get animal blood. It was harder for her to talk about what happened next and had a headache from crying by the time she was able to finish the story but she had gotten out there and nervously waited for her mother to respond “Oh Antigone”
“I don’t want anybody to be angry at him…I still love him….I just don’t think I can be around him anymore….I’m so scared, even just to get my stuff and hear the apology his brother says he wants to give me. All I can think about is him pinning me down and all the fear I felt”
“Maybe you should come over here first, just so we can talk to you. Paruush loves you so much Antigone. I know he didn’t mean to do that. If he didn’t love you you probably would be dead. A lot of fairies die who are caught by vampires like that Fairy blood does something to them, something really powerful”
“but dad has never done that to you”
“Yeah but your fathers family live their life honing abilities and tend to be incredibly strong willed from the day their born, it’s different. We aren’t mad at him but we do understand you being afraid of him. A vampire killed my parents. Your father had a horrible time getting me to give him a chance”
“okay, I’ll come over and talk to dad. I didn’t give them a specific time anyway…I asked his brother to be there”
“hurry over honey”
Antigone’s parents were waiting for her on the front porch when she got there and they both came down to hug her once she was out of her car. She stopped herself from crying again, letting them guide her inside. Kifa went and poured them some lemonade and Gregory sat with her on the couch. Kifa came back, sitting their drinks on the table then took her place on the other side of her daughter. “Your mother explained what happened between you and Paruush. I know that had to have been terrifying.”
“I thought he was going to kill me.” Antigone replied, her voice shaking. “He wouldn’t let go. I just kept screaming and fighting and he just…he just wouldn’t stop.”
“Antigone, he didn’t mean it, you know that.” He ran his hand up and down her back. “He’s not a bad person, he loves you, everyone can see that.”
“I am a lot stronger than he is baby, I’m lucky, but normally when a vampire consumes fairy blood it’s like when a human uses heroin or meth. It’s dangerous and is a hard addiction to break. The fact that he was able to stop himself is amazing. A weaker vampire would have killed you, but he loves you.”
“I’m just afraid he might try again.”
“Did you talk to him afterwards?” Kifa asked.
“No, I ran away and I’ve been hiding from him until today. His brother said he’s pretty upset and that he’s afraid he might try hurting himself.”
“I’m sure he is. He looks at you the same way I look at your mother and the same way your grandfather looks at Rylan. If something caused me to hurt your mother like he hurt and scared you..somebody would probably need to make sure I didn’t do anything stupid to myself, especially if she wouldn’t come near me any longer. I’m glad you’re letting him talk, you should. I’m sure that’s cured him of ever even thinking about feeding off you again so I’m sure this isn’t going to be a reoccurring problem” Her mother started speaking after her father finished “why didn’t you talk to us sooner? Was it really just you being afraid your father would hurt him?”
“Yeah, dads always been so protective and even though I was scared…I don’t want anything to happen to him” Her father kept rubbing her back and her mother kissed her head as Antigone spoke again “I wish I didn’t feel so afraid”
“when you see him I imagine he’s going to look like a beaten puppy. Go over there and I’m pretty sure you wont be scared any longer” Gregory encouraged. Antigone half smiled “well at least that makes me feel a bit better. You really must feel like he would never be able to kill me to encourage me to go like this”
“He truly loves you, everyone in the family has seen it. If you go over and you’re still scared I’m not saying force yourself into anything but do really give him a chance” Antigone nodded as she stood “I guess I better go”
“we love you honey, call us and let us know what happened” Antigone left, still afraid but actually able to drive now. She went straight there, taking a deep breath in and out before she exited the car. Fear was freezing her just a bit as she looked at his house, the memories as prominent now as they had been the night it happened. She was back here, where it happened. She sighed “you can do this…it’s going to be okay…he wont hurt you” she whispered to herself.
Paruush could smell her and wanted to run outside but she had asked for him to keep his distance and damn it he was going to honor that, he wasn’t going to let his selfish wants cause him to upset her again. His brother looked out the window so Paruush asked “what’s she doing?”
“talking to herself it seems”
“can you read her lips?”
“No” he lied but his brother knew him too well “what is she saying”
“she’s coming, that’s all that matters”
It felt like an eternity waiting for Antigone to knock and when she did his brother let her in and Paruush stood slowly, not wanting to scare her. Their eyes met for a brief moment and he found himself looking away, shame and self hatred coming back. He could smell she was scared and it twisted that knife deeper into his heart. “You came.” He said, knowing it sounded stupid, but he was having trouble collecting his thoughts.
“I said I would.” Her heart was beating incredibly fast and she had continuously remind herself that everything was okay, that she was safe.
“I know, but you didn’t have to, I could have asked my brother to gather your things and take them over there. Thank you.” He cleared his throat and forced himself to look her in the eye. “I’m sorry, Antigone, really, really sorry. I…if I had known I wouldn’t have fed from you. You have every right to hate me, I accept that, and I won’t ask you to come back into my life because I don’t deserve you in it. What I did was monstrous, but I just wanted to tell you that I love you and I will never let that happen again.”
“You don’t have to forgive me, I understand.” The distance between them was killing him, but he kept his feet firmly planted. “I’m really the vilest of creatures aren’t I?” He dropped down on the couch, the tears he had been trying so hard to hold back finally spilling over. “This is so wrong and unfair.” Antigone felt herself start to choke up, hating seeing him so broken. It was a far cry from the man who had nearly drained her. She took a step forward and he held up his hand, shaking his head. “Don’t come over here because I’m upset, I don’t need me making you feel guilty added to my shame so please just stay there.”
Her bottom lip trembled as the clouds of fear dissipated, causing her to see the man she loved instead of something to fear. She walked over and hugged him, Paruush wanted to hold her back now that she had her arms around him but he didn’t want her to fly across the room in fear if she felt like he was trapping her instead of hugging her. “Hug me please’ she finally choked out and he gently took her in his arms “I’m so sorry Antigone. I’d do anything to take back the ending of that day, to go back and choose to drink the animal blood instead” She let him go and he let his hands slide off her without any resistance at all. “I still love you too…I talked to my parents before I came here and they helped me understand the situation better….I’m actually really glad I talked to them before I came here..I’ve mostly…until talking to them what happened made me feel like you didn’t really love me but my dad talked to me about it and he explained to me why that happened”
“he’s not angry at me”
“No, he understands…he actually pushed for me to come over. He didn’t want me to back out” New tears tumbled down Paruush’s cheeks “is he why you hugged me?”
“yeah, plus…your apology and the way you looked….it..well it helped me see you how I saw you before you almost drained me. I still want my stuff because I don’t think I’ll be ready for sleepovers again anytime soon but…we’re not over….I havent even stopped loving you…I was just afraid. We can move past what happened if you’ll give me a little time”
“Just back pedal our relationship a little?”
“yeah, can you deal with that?”
“can I?..Antigone I’m the one who….of course” he was struggling not to all out bawl again now that he knew she wasn’t walking away from him for good, that all she needed was to take a few steps back and slowly get back to where they were. He could do that, he could do anything as long as she was in his life atall. “let me help you get your things. I think I gathered it all but I wanted to let you tour to make sure you had everything. You’ll let me help you get your stuff home right?”
“yes, I’d appreciate it” she still sounded nervous so as they walked he made sure there was a good bit of space between them. They looked through the house, saving his room for last because he was scared of what her reaction would be to being back in there. He hoped she’d even be able to walk in. His heart twisted again when she paused at the door “you don’t have to go in Antigone” he said sadly and his brother added “I’ll give it another once over for you Anti”
Paruush gave her a sad little smile and she reached out, taking his hand. “So I can at least touch you, that’s good.” He laced their fingers together, allowing himself to savor the contact. He knew he probably wouldn’t be getting many opportunities for awhile. “Now I don’t even want to be in my own home.”
“Paruush, it’s just…”
“I know, but the fact that you can no longer find happiness here makes me hate it. It doesn’t feel like home if you’re not in it and it’ll feel like hell if you’re scared of it.” He swallowed. “I really screwed up.”
“Hey.” She couldn’t help but hug him against and he wrapped his arms slowly around her. “I do love you.”
“I love you too, sorry I’m acting like such a baby. You’re the one who was hurt.” He pulled back a little and gently lifted her hair. “I’m really glad there’s nothing there, I would hate for you to live with anymore than you are.”
“Just promise me you won’t think about hurting yourself, okay?”
“I promise. It’s just without you my existence is meaningless. You’re my everything, Antigone, my other half. I’ll work hard for you.”
They were soon loading her things into her car, following her home in Paruush’s so they could help her bring her stuff inside. She truly didn’t need the help but she knew it was mostly just Paruush wanting to spend more time with her. Now that they were in separate cars his brother asked “so I take it you’re moving”
“Yes, I’m going to build or buy another home, one she wont have bad memories in”
“well, I’m glad things are going in a good direction.”
“you still going to babysit me?”
“No, she’s forgiving you so I know you wont give up”
“they really need to invent time machines”
“I think things would get chaotic if they did.”
“Maybe just so this wouldn’t be one of her memories of me”
“Paruush, you’re a vampire. Even us civil ones are still, well monsters. She understands that, she really does. You both just know now you can’t handle her blood”
“regardless, I still have a lot of making up to do besides giving her time to heal. Help me think of some things I can do to show her how loved and treasured she is. I need her to know how precious she is to me”
“of course” when they pulled up to her house they quickly took her stuff in and helped put it away. Paruush noticed their picture was face down and asked “do you still want it like that” Antigone walked over to it, moving it so it stood upright for her to look at. She gave him a smile and he gave her the best one he could back. “do I have to go now Antigone?” he asked, hoping she’d let him spend even a little more time with her.
“You could stay for a little bit longer, we could talk” HIs brother now spoke “do I still need to be here for you to be comfortable?”
“No, I was a lot more afraid when I needed that. I’m good now to be alone with him” his brother smiled and Paruush had to make an effort not to cry again. He felt like he needed to man up and deal with this better. “good, I’ll go start thinking up some stuff Paruush and before you press him for answers it’s a sweet surprise, let him surprise you, for me?”
“Okay” When his brother left Paruush payed close attention to her heart rate. After a month and a half she was letting him near her and alone at that. He was going to be extremely careful not to mess that up. They sat down on the couch Paruush looking at the picture of them since his shame still made it hard to look her in the eye “what a fun day that was” wanting to make him feel better she decided to actually admit to him “thats the day I fell in love with you you know”
“when during that day?”
“I don’t know, I think it was a little of everything about it. We’ve had a lot of happy times but that day was the best. That night I could barely sleep. I was so smitten, I really was. From then forward I thought about you all the time”
“You were all I could think about before then. The way you smiled and laughed, the way you moved, how everything about you could just light up my world. It was like there was a piece of my heart I had not known was missing until I met you.” He gave another sad smile. “It won’t be like that again.”
“That’s not true.”
“Of course it is. Even if you let me touch you and kiss you again, even if you stay in my house, in my bed, that one horrible moment will be there in the back of your head.”
Antigone decided to give him a little more and scooted closer, taking his hand. She saw him swallow, looking like that meant the world to him. “I’ll get there eventually, Paruush, I won’t run away, okay?”
“Okay, but I’m going to move out of that house.”
“Oh Paruush, you don’t have to do that.”
“Yes I do, I want a fresh start for us, a place with an unfamiliar layout so you won’t have to remember what happened. I’m even going to redecorate so nothing looks the same. Maybe you can help me pick out furniture and paint.”
“That would be fun to do together…I mean, I will get to the point I want to live with you again so I’d love to help you decorate whatever new house you pick”
“If I decided to have one made would you help me design it. I’d want it to be everything you want”
“as long as it wouldn’t be only what I want”
“then I’ll build my next home so it’s perfect for when you will live with me”
“I promise we’ll get there” he nodded, rubbing her hand with his thumb. He felt terrible for still whining so much when she had made so much progress today in forgiving him. It had just been a torturous almost two months, especially to go from deciding to start a life as mates to this far back. She let him stay until it was getting late “I’ll call you tomorrow alright”
“okay, sweet dreams Antigone. Call me if you can’t sleep okay” she smiled at him then gave him another hug he gratefully accepted. As much as he didn’t want to he left after that hug, hoping it wouldn’t take too terribly long to earn back the trust of sleeping under the same roof. He was glad to have the distraction of things to do tonight. He needed to figure out where to build a house and he needed to figure out what he could do to show Antigone what she meant to him.
When he got home the first thing that came to mind was his guitar. He could write her a song. He had written music before but never for anybody else so that in itself would be special. He’d make a love song just for her, he’d pour everything he ever wanted to tell her about why he loved her in it. He didn’t sleep once again that night, there was far too much to do so he was already awake when she called early in the morning. “Antigone” words couldn’t express how happy he felt just to see her name lit up on his cellphone again.
“Hey, love, how did you sleep?” He asked as he cleaned up his work space.
“Good, how about you?”
“It’s not because I was up being depressed, I promise. I was doing something for you.”
“What is is?”
He smiled. “It’s surprise so you’re going to have to wait.”
“Come on, tell me.”
“Nope, you have to wait, but don’t worry you’ll love it. At least I hope you will.” They sat there in silence for a few moments. “I miss you, Antigone. I know it sounds stupid since I just saw you yesterday, but I miss having you here.”
“I do miss you too.”
“Would it be too much to ask you out for breakfast? My treat?”
“Okay, I’m basically ready. If you can head my way I’d ride there with you” His heart beat a happier rhythm “I wont be long. I’ll be at your place before you know it” She smiled, adoring how happy he sounded. They got off the phone and Paruush got himself ready, once again trying his best to look as good as possible for Antigone. Since he hadn’t really slept in two days besides a short nap after crying himself to sleep the other day he went to his fridge for some blood. He wanted to be with her again today as long as she’d have him around and he didn’t want to be worn down. He downed some in hopes it would keep him going then put his boots on.
She was waiting outside, looking gorgeous as ever. Her beautiful white hair was curled and she was wearing jeans that fit her body perfectly. She wore an adorable shirt that also fit to the curve of her torso. Paruush had seen her wear this precise outfit with her hair this way before but he was certain her beauty would never stop taking his breath away. “good morning” that beautiful voice was actually sounding in his ears again. “good morning” his voice came out weird.
“are you okay Paruush?”
“sorry, you cause such aw in me. You’re an impossibly beautiful woman with the most angelic voice that has ever graced my ears” She blushed, actually getting goosebumps just from his words and the way he was looking at her. His eyes were actually meeting hers as they had before. When he was actually looking in her eyes he made her feel like she was immensely adored. It was just in the way he looked at her, like she was some precious gem or all things good in the world. She hugged him, it was a bit awkward since they were in the car and he was still hesitant to wrap his arms around her, afraid she’d feel trapped. He just carefully did it again, not holding her quite as tightly as he desired.
Breakfast went perfectly and afterwards she went with him to a few patches of land he was considering buying to put a house on. They had more to see when they got to the fifth place but she was completely taken by how beautiful it was here “you seem to like this area a lot”
“It’s so freaking beautiful”
“then this is where I want my home to be, so every time you come to see me you can see all this” He pulled out his phone and walked away from her to talk to the seller. Antigone just kept taking it all in, not sure if she could stay in her own home if he lived in an area like this. She wasn’t sure how long he had been gone when he returned to her side “It’s mine, I’m so glad there was one you liked. Now I can move on to the actual house part” He smiled at her “are you ready to go?”
“Oh, yeah, sorry”
“you shouldn’t be, I want where I live to inspire happiness in you Antigone and that’s how you seem to be now”
“can we walk around a bit more then?”
“well it’s mine now so I’m sure that will be okay” she laced her fingers with his and he let out a happy sigh, she was touching him, she was actually touching him. She pulled him a long, talking about everything. He just happily followed, happy to stay here forever if she’d keep holding his hand.
“You have blackberries.” She said when they were walking along the back end of his property. There was a large patch of them lining the forest edge.
“I bet we’ll be seeing a lot of wildlife out here. I can’t wait until the house is built and you’ll want to stay out here with me.” He sounded so hopeful and he did his best not to let sadness creep back in. This moment was more than he deserved and he wanted to keep it light and happy. “I know, maybe I can start raising honey bees.”
“That sounds like fun.”
“I’ll put them right next to the brambles so they keep them pollinated and their honey will be delicious.” He turned and looked out over the empty lot. “I’ll have to make sure we have plenty of space so when you’re ready for babies, they’ll have room to grow.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “That is if you still want a family with me. Maybe you don’t.”
Antigone couldn’t help but smile at how sweet he was as he did his best not to upset her. “I think you’d make a wonderful father.”
His eyes collided with hers as he gave her a look of surprise. “Really? Even after all that?”
“Of course. I still want everything I wanted before.”
She could see how much that touched him as she added “we’re going to be okay, I mean it. I love you and I just need a little time. I think it will help a lot once we can be here”
“so we are still going to have a wedding” she nodded and a few tears slid down his face. She could tell he needed a hug and she knew he wouldn’t take it so she wrapped her arms around him “you’re a good man Paruush. What happened wasn’t anybodies fault. I didn’t think anything of it because my dad and mom never had problems and you had no idea how addicting fairy blood is. We’ll get past it and have everything we were planning on having” He made sure to stay silent as he cried. They stood there a long time holding eachother, Paruush not wanting to let go and Antigone wanting to make sure he knew she still loved him. It was Antigones phone ringing that broke the hug “Oh crap it’s my mom” she said and answered with apologies. She had forgotten to call her and her parents were anxious to know if they were okay.
They were happy to hear the update and let her go soon after so she could resume spending time with Paruush. “why don’t we go to your home and start looking up people I could hire to bring what we want into reality”
“okay, lets pick up lunch on the way” he looked at the time, hating they were well into lunch time. He knew it was going to feel like no time at all before he had to part with her again. Now that he couldn’t be with her all the time he viewed time as cruel. They got back into his car, stopping to grab burgers on their way to her house. Once there they grabbed her laptop and sat down together.
Paruush’s brother sent him a text part way through their search and he had to quickly hide it when Antigone curiously looked over. “It’s a surprise, no peeking.”
“He could have called.”
“With your ears, you might hear what we’re talking about and he probably knows I’m with you and doesn’t want to make me talk the whole time.” He quickly replied to his brother then stuck his phone in his pocket. “How about this guy? He has good reviews, good customer service.”
“The homes he has built look gorgeous. Look at this one.” She clicked on one of the images. “Oh wow, it’s so pretty.”
“How about we call him then and set up an appointment.”
“I can’t believe we’re really building a house together. How much space do you think we’ll need? We’ll need room for guests as well as children, that means we’ll need a nice sized dining area so we can have family dinners.” Paruush chuckled and Antigone stopped, looking confused. “What?”
“Just hearing how excited you are makes me happy.” He let out a happy sigh. “Would it be to much to ask to kiss you?”
“you can” she said shyly. Relief and hope filled him, relief she didn’t say no and feeling more hopeful things truly were going to be okay. Paruush took the computer, setting it down on the coffee table in front of them before slowing moving in to kiss her. He made sure not to touch her beyond their lips, not daring to even risk upsetting her. He truly could have lost her forever and though she was trying to move on from the incident things could still regress, she could still choose to shut him out again and his heart couldn’t take it a second time. It could barely take her shutting him out the first time.
When she broke the kiss he just reminded himself to feel grateful rather than wish it could have been as long and passionate as before all this. “I love you Antigone” he said softly “I love you too.” She let him stay for what remained of the day but when night came he left. She hadn’t told him to but he knew he was welcome to sleep with her until she invited him and he didn’t want to be an ass and make her say out loud she still wasn’t comfortable enough for something like that.
When he got into his car he looked longingly at her home for a few moments before he put his car in reverse, his heart mangling as he left her driveway. If he could have just been stronger for her, if he could have just stopped even at the point she started panicking he would still be able to hold her but now he had to accept the fact he hadn’t been stronger and he was a lucky bastard things were mending between them at all. When he got home he laid down, setting an alarm for three hours later. He needed to rest but he still had so much he wanted to get done. He wanted to have her song ready no later than the end of the week.
Antigone sat on her bed, she could feel how sad Paruush had been that she once again hadn’t invited him to stay the night but letting him sleep even in the same house as her made her so vulnerable. She needed to build back a lot more security for that. When he almost drained her she learned just how much more physically stronger he was than her so if the addiction made him crave getting more and she wasn’t ready to bolt he’d have her again and she’d have to just hope he could once again stop before he killed her. Her only hope was being alert and out of his grasp. She wished she could control her feelings because she knew how much he did love her but she just wasn’t ready for him to sleep there, to let him be around her when he could quickly have the advantage.
She felt so bad thinking about him feeling bad it took her hours to fall asleep but she finally did. He jolted up with his alarm, getting right out of bed to continue working on a song for Antigone. He also had his brothers ideas to mull over and he didn’t want to waste any more time. About an hour into pouring over music sheets and strumming out things on his guitar to actually hear how it sounded he decided just to relax and think about her, he thought it might work better to let the music just come to him instead of thinking so hard about it. That turned out to be just what he had needed to do. Music and words started pouring on to the pages and before the sun was even considering rising again he was already practicing it for her, making it as perfect as she was.
Antigone woke in her dreams to see Paruush locking her bedroom door. “Paruush?” he licked his fangs and she got out of bed “Paruush” she said fearfully and he said “I need it, I need to taste it again”
“Nnn….no!” she screamed, her mind instantly jumping to how strong he was and the fact she had nowhere to run if she didn’t break through the window so thats just what she did, not giving a damn about being cut up by the glass. She ran,praying she was at least faster than him. She couldn’t go through that again, she absolutely couldn’t. She could hear him calling her name, his voice needy and taunting. “Please Paruush, you said you wouldn’t..you said you were sorry” He appeared in front of her and in moments there she was, pinned between his rock hard body and the ground “Please please please” she just kept screaming it as she hit, kneed and scratched him “No! Please, you said you wouldn’t! You said you were sorry! Please, don’t you love me more than my blood”
When she got that feeling again, the feeling of the life leaving her body she whimpered one more time “please stop Paruush” one final tear fell from her left eye and she bolted up in bed, drenched in sweat. She sobbed again, glad she hadn’t invited him to stay over if only to spare him the knowledge of such a nightmare. He was really trying to make what happened up to her and he was truly sorry, she didn’t want to hurt him further with something like this. She was still scared even though she was awake and called her mother. She felt like an absolute child but she needed someone and unlike last time she didn’t feel like she couldn’t tell her parents “baby?” her mother said sleepily “I’m so sorry mom but could you please come over. I’m so scared…mom” she sounded like a little girl again and it broke her mothers heart. Antigone heard her mother get out of bed and tell her father where she was going “I’ll be right there honey, your house right”
“Okay, do you need me to stay on the phone?”
“No, I’ll just wait. I’m so sorry to wake you up liek this…I’m an adult for christ sake”
“Antigone, you almost died. I understand. I’ll be right there honey and don’t feel bad” Kifa was there within twenty minuets and just held Antigone as she cried “I love him mom and I know he wont do it again…I just wish I could control this fear I have. I shouldn’t still be afraid”
“feelings don’t always work how we want them too Antigone. It’s been a month and a half but you only truly started dealing emotionally with what happened two days ago. Give yourself some time”
“don’t tell Paruush okay, it would break his heart”
“It’s your business to talk to him about this or not baby, I wont go behind your back” Kifa stayed the night, holding her daughter tightly. In the morning when Antigone woke again they had breakfast together before she returned to Gregory “don’t be afraid to call me if you need me again Antigone”
“I hope I don’t….I just…I want to feel as safe around him as I used to.” Antigone swallowed then added “I only plan to tell him if the nightmares still aren’t gone when the new house is ready. I love him and he really loves me…I still want a life with him so if we have to deal with these nightmares together we have to deal with them together. I hope he doesnt have to know but I’m sure he’d rather help me heal spending nights with me and showing me itll be okay than us never living together.”
Paruush noticed there was something wrong when they went to meet with the architect a couple of days later. Antigone looked exhausted and when he went to take her hand she jumped. “Sorry,” she said, “you startled me.”
“Are you alright?”
“Yeah, just in deep thought.”
“As long as your sure.” He went for her hand again and this time she took it, giving it a reassuring squeeze.
The architect was a sweet woman name Liz and she was already set up when they arrived. She listened to their ideas, making sketches and tweaking them until she had a good rough draft of what they wanted. She told them she would continue working on it and draw up a model on her computer so they could get an idea of what it would actually look like inside before sending it off to construction. She also told them that the space would have to be inspected and measured to make sure it was safe and would fit their dream home.
“So, would you like to have lunch with me?” Paruush asked as they left.
“I would love too.”
“And also, would you like to go out with me on the weekend, on a date? I know it may be asking too much, but I’ve been working on some surprises for you with my brother’s help and I would really like to take you out. Would that be alright?”
“it’s not asking too much at all Paruush. I’m excited about my surprises, I’ve been so curious’ He took her hand, giving it a happy squeeze. The weekend came fast, Antigone ready with a new outfit she hoped he liked. Things were truly going so well and she knew it was only a matter of time before she got sleep every night. She was starting to wonder if the date would run late and if he’d want to spend the night somewhere since she didn’t know where he was taking her. She sighed, deciding if he asked her she’d say yes and she’d talk to him. She wanted to get past this nightmare problem and maybe she did need to go ahead and let him help. She knew he had to be noticing how tired she was, he was just caring and observant that way and she didn’t want his imagination running wild.
He came to pick her up and she noticed he had taken special care with his appearance aswell “you look so beautiful Antigone”
“thank you, you look really handsome yourself Paruush”
“are you ready sweetheart?”
“yes” he took her hand, holding it until they were at his car door. He let her in then went over to his side, happily pulling out of the driveway with her. He had a ring in his pocket, part of his plan this weekend was to propose to her properly. She deserved a beautiful ring and to be asked in a much more romantic setting. She looked a little more well rested which brought him comfort, he hated seeing her tired.
“So, where are we going?”
She started to recognize the route after a few minutes and she smiled when she saw their favorite beach come into view. It was unique in the way it was almost made completely of crushed seashells. He pulled to a stop and quickly got out, going around to her side and pulling the door open. He helped her out, lacing their fingers as he pulled her away. “It’s so nice out today.”
“Come on.” He said gently as he took her past the water and up a trail that lead to the top of an overhang. It looked out over the ocean and would give them a beautiful view of the sunset. Antigone was surprised to see his brother there leaning against one of the trees. “Is everything set up?”
“Yes and I made sure no one messed with anything so you’re ready to go. Call me if you need me.”
“Thank you.” He left and Paruush guided Antigone gently into the clearing. “I hope a picnic is okay.” He gestured to the blanket and basket set up so they had a perfect view of the ocean. There were candles lined up and waiting to be lit when it got dark and his guitar rested next to the basket along with a bouquet of lilies. “This isn’t too secluded is it? If it is, I can call my brother back and he’ll stay close.”
“this is gorgeous and so thoughtful” she was almost breathless with how touched she was “Paruush” she hugged him and he gently held her, happy to have her so close. This moment touched him aswell, he could almost cry he was so glad she was willing to be this alone with him. He had the urge to sweep her off her feet and carry her over to the blanket. He guessed it was because of where they were. He had carried her many times here after they walked along this gorgeous beach to the point she was exhausted. He asked her almost meekly “could I carry you over to the blanket?” he heard her heart thud just a bit but she said yes “are you sure”
“yeah, carry me…you used to do it all the time here” He carefully lifted her, wanting to hold her tight but he was still careful about that. He always wanted her to feel like she could get away from him if she wanted to. He soon set her down, sitting close as he pulled their food out. She noticed his guitar “you’re going to play for me?”
“yes…in fact that’s one of your surprises…I wrote a song just for you”
“I dont write songs for anybody yes but you’re not just anybody Antigone. You’re my very heart”
“Paruush, I don’t know what to say. I…” she felt herself tearing up and Paruush couldn’t stop himself from hugging her.
“Please don’t cry, it’ll kill me. I just want you to be happy, baby.”
“Sorry, I am, just you’re so sweet even after everything that happened, even after I ignored you.”
“Antigone, honey, I hurt you. None of that’s on you, I did that and I just want to make up for it. Please never blame yourself, you were scared and confused, I understand.” He tipped her head back, giving her a loving smile. “My sweet Antigone, you’re the most amazing woman in the world, you know that right? You’re so strong, coming out here with me shows that. I really, really love you.”
“I love you too.”
He felt the urge to kiss her, but instead he let her go and turned away to get their plates ready and fill their glasses. “I hope everything tastes okay.”
Everything was perfect, the food tasting all the better because of how immensely sweet this gesture was. He waited until she was done eating then lifted his guitar. He had practiced daily, he wanted it to be perfect when he played it and now was the moment. He was nervous but it didn’t show as he started. As he sang those gorgeous, heart felt lyrics it was like she was falling in love with him all over again and even deeper. She hadn’t realized when he said he wrote a song for her that it was about her and how he felt. It was the most beautiful thing she had ever heard and it caused silent tears to stream her face. It made her know all the more this was the man she wanted to be with forever and have a family with. It made her know even more so that what happened was never going to happen again, he did love her enough never to try again and she just knew deep within her that this was probably the end of her nightmares since deep down in her core she could feel the depth of his love and admiration for her.
When he stopped playing he could barely put his guitar back down before she was kissing him. He didn’t know what to do at first but her lips moved so lovingly against his he couldn’t help but start moving his lips against hers in the same fashion. His hands grew a mind of their own and began to gently travel and caress her. In response hes began feeling his chest and shoulders, all the muscle that had scared her just seeming incredible sexy now. She was still silently crying as she pulled back “I think that’s the most beautiful song ever written Paruush”
“do you want me to sing it again” he asked, half hoping it would earn him teh same type of affection. It had been so long since she touched and kissed him like that. It had been so long since he was able to feel her soft skin. She smiled “you’re so cute Paruush”
“I meant every word”
“I could tell, that’s why it was so touching”
“speaking of…it meant a lot you didn’t seem scared at all when I started touching you.”
“listening to that song..I felt like I was falling in love with you again, even more than I loved you before” He didn’t feel there was any better time so he pulled out the ring and assumed the proper position “Antigone, I know you already said you’d marry me one day but I thought you deserved a ring and a real proposal. I deserve you even less than the first time I asked but…please…nothing would make me a happier man than you agreeing to spend your life with me.” She nodded “Of course….” she could barely hold back her tears. She was just feeling so much and feeling it so strongly. He had truly made all of this perfect, was really showing just how much she meant to him and she could barely believe any man could be this crazy about her. He slipped the ring on then she began to kiss him again.
Paruush lifted her onto his lap so she straddled him, one of his arms arms sliding around her waist as the fingers of the other slid into her soft hair. He gently pulled her head back, his lips touching her neck, kissing where his teeth had sank into her before moving to her shoulder and down to nibble at her collar bone. “Paruush.” Her voice came out in a soft whisper and he lifted his head, pressing gentle kisses to her lips, his hands sliding slowly beneath her shirt, his fingers moving up her back.
“You’re so soft.” He said against her lips. “So warm and beautiful.”
Antigone was red from head to toe and her heart beat uncontrollably in her chest. His words made her feel shy and embarrassed and his smile only made it worse. “Meanie.” She said and he rubbed their noses together.
“Sorry, I just really need you my love, I could so easily get lost in you.” His hands came up, framing her face, his thumbs brushing her cheeks. “I love you, so much I have to fight to control myself.”
They didn’t have sex that evening but Paruush didn’t care, he got to enjoy the beautiful sunset with her in his arms and that night he sang her to sleep with the song he wrote her. She drifted feeling at absolute peace, trusting Paruush implicitly that he wouldn’t sink his fangs into her. Paruush continued stroking her hair long after she was passed out, only allowing himself to get emotional when he knew she was gone to the world. So much happened today, this date had truly felt like how things were before he destroyed things between them and now she was laying here, absolutely trusting, knowing he was alone with her. The fear of her changing her mind and leaving him behind forever was gone from his heart and it felt so incredible.
He needed Antigone, he needed her more than she could ever understand. It was also a comfort to see the ring on her finger, to think about the family and future it meant with her. He knew he had to thank his brother for helping him set this up and for everything he had done to help. He didn’t know if he could have won her trust back without him. It was a long text and he promised him he’d repay this massive favor one day.
With that done he put his phone away and snuggled close to her. He placed a loving kiss on her cheek then allowed himself to fade to sleep to the sound of her breathing and the crashing waves of the sea. Antigone smiled at Paruush’s sleeping face when she woke the next day. She actually didn’t have a nightmare, just as she thought she wouldn’t. To her, things were back how they were and she couldn’t wait for their home to be finished. When Paruush woke she also planned to invite him to live with her until it was done. She wanted to fall asleep like that every night, with him caressing and talking to her. It had made her sleep so hard and soundly. Things were great and Antigone knew in the coming months things were only going to get better.
~ The End