Celestia & Burkhart

Chapter One

Celestia laughed happily as Burkhart twirled her around the dancefloor. Fatima and Lombard were hosting a benefit for the childrens hospital. They planned on matching every penny donated tonight then giving the money to help them buy newer equipment and anything else the hospital needed for the children they tended to. On top of this Lombard and Fatima were planning as a side gift to buy new books for the childrens library at the hospital. Most of what Lombard and Fatima were enjoying right now was watching their daughter having fun with Burkhart. “why did we even have to invite Zachary Lombard?” Fatima said, not taking her eyes off her daughter. “Because thats who our daughter likes.”

“but why cant she want to be with Burk. He adores her and you know there is somthing off about Zac”

“Fatima” he started in a whisper “We’re not always going to like who our children want to be with. She’s an adult and even if she wasn’t its not our place. With the hard head she inherited from us both telling her not to see him would just make her latch all the more. She asked us to invite him so I did. He’s not even here, maybe he wont show”

“He’ll show just to wreck things”

“Fatima” she sighed “I’m sorry”

“You know I dont like Zachery any more than you do. If I had my way I’d choose Burkhart myself but its her life, not ours” Burkhart was lost in a world of only he and Celestia when everything shattered. Her gaze jerked away when Zachary entered and to top it off her eyes lit up for him. He already knew who she was looking at without even turning his head. His heart gave that painful twist and he let her go so she could run to him. Fatima saw the heartbroken look on Burkharts face and stood from her chair “I’m not feeling so well. Would you mind hosting the rest of this alone?”

‘Of course not” Lombard kissed her cheek, wishing she could handle this better. She should have known a time would for atleast one of their children where they made a horrible choice in the person they wanted to be with. Lombard followed Burkhart as he walked away to get a drink and sit down. Once Burkhart was sitting Lombard took a seat beside him. Burkhart gave Lombard an obviously forced smile. “I need to write you your check. I may aswell do it now.” he decided since tonight was probably going to be one of the harder nights to watch her flirt and giggle with Zac. He only wanted her happiness but that didn’t stop the pain it caused to see her with him. Burkhart wrote the amount he was donating then handed the check over “thank you”

“Of course”

“Are you planning on leaving soon?’

“Maybe”

“I’m really sorry Burkhart”

“for what?”

“That you’re upset”

“What are you talking about? Its been a fun evening.” he lied then continued ‘damn I didn’t feed my panther. Guess I have to go. Thanks for the invitation”

“You’re welcome, safe travels home”

“Have a nice evening. If Celestia wants tell her she can still call me tonight no matter how late she stays up for this. I’ll have my phone near me”

“You two still talk until you fall asleep at night?”

“Most nights, somtimes she talks to Zachary now”

‘Oh” Burkhart shrugged “its only natural to want to talk to the man you..like when he has time for you” Burkhart hoped Lombard hadn’t noticed how hard it was for him to say that.
“Good night Burkhart.”

“Good night.”

He left without saying another word, his heart aching in his chest. Lombard sighed as he went back to entertaining people and only stopped talking when Celestia came running up to him. “Daddy, have you seen Burkhart, I can’t find him anywhere?”

“He went home.”

She frowned. “Did he say why? Is he mad because I just left him?”

“I doubt he could ever be mad at you sweetie. Maybe you should call him later.”

“I’ll call him now.” She pulled out her phone and found a quiet place to talk. She speed dialed him and he picked up right before it went to voice mail.

“Is everything okay Celestia?” He asked when he answered.

“Why didn’t you say goodbye, why did you leave?”

“I have to feed my panther.”

“You always feed him before you go out though.”

He sighed. “Don’t worry about me and go enjoy the rest of the party, you can call me afterwards.”

“Are you mad at me?”

“That’s impossible, I could never be angry with you, not in a million years.”

“There you are Celestia.” Zachary said as he walked into the room. “Who are you talking too?”

“It’s Burkhart.”

“Celestia, please go have fun and I’ll talk to you later.” Burkhart said. He didn’t want to hear Zachary’s voice.

“Okay, bye then.”

“Bye.”
“So he isn’t here any longer?”

“No, I think I hurt his feelings. I was so excited to see you. I was coming back when i ran off but I guess he had no way of knowing that. I feel like such a jerk” he grabbed her hand ‘you are the furthest thing from a jerk gorgeous” Celestia blushed “want to dance?” Zachary closed the distance between them and whispered in her ear “are you sure thats what you want to do? We are alone in here” Celestia fully flushed and pushed him away “yes i’m sure” Zac smiled “alright then”

He kept smiling at her blush as they danced “stop that” she said but it only made him smile more. “I love making you blush”

“But you’re just playing with me”

“Am I? I didn’t know that. I thought I was actually into you?”

“You are?”

“why shouldn’t I be?”

“I like you too” Zac kissed her cheek ‘good, then you’re my girlfriend”

“I think you’re supposed to ask”

“Weren’t you going to say yes? You just said you liked me too”

“I suppose I would have but I still want to be asked” He chuckled ‘you beautiful, marvelous girl. Will you be my girlfriend?”

“Yeah, as long as you can manage not to flirt with other women”

‘For you, of course” Zac wondered how Burkhart would react to this news. Zac was a sociopath so couldn’t feel real attachment to anyone. He thought Celestia was gorgeous but he was only dating her because he saw all the painful expressions Burkhart tried to hide when the two of them were together. He was excited to see his wounded heart when he saw them together as a couple. Plus, there was nothing more enjoyable to him than playing with a womans feelings. He was going to drag her heart through the ringer and then slowly kill her as he had his previous girlfriends. He mainly killed prostitutes but girlfriends were so much more fun. So far his money had paid off enough of the right people to keep him out of jail and he was confident it always would. He had quickly learned from his parents that anyone with money was above the law.

Every bit of evidence found against him was always misplaced or undocumented by his friends in law enforcement. All it took was a nice sum of cash delivered to their door. Lombard heard this exchange in horror. It took copious amounts of self control not to storm over there and tell his daughter she was an idiot. now he had to see if his suspicions had merit. Tonight he was going to research Zachary Ferguson and if he so much as hurt one hair on his daughters head he would rip him apart.
It was late by the time the party ended and Zachary kissed Celestia goodnight. She smiled happily as she went up to her room, butterflies brushing her insides. She changed into her night clothes an grabbed her phone, wanting to share her happiness with Burkhart. “Hey Celestia.” He said when he answered. “How was the rest of the party?”

“It was fun. I have something to tell you.”

“Really, what?”

“Zacharay asked me out and I said yes.”

There was a long pause and Burkhart said, “Oh.” Celestia frowned. She had not expected him to sound so detached and she could have sworn there was a hint of sadness in that one little phrase. He cleared his throat. “That’s wonderful, I’m very happy for you.”

“Are you okay Burkhart?”

“Why wouldn’t I be, you’re happy so I’m happy.”

He didn’t sound happy and she didn’t like that. He had always smiled for her, but now she could tell he wasn’t and she didn’t even have to see his face. “Burkhart?”

“Yeah.”

She wanted to demand the truth from him, to know why he sounded so disappointed, but she couldn’t bring herself to say what she wanted to so she just asked, “Will you read to me?”

“Sure, do you want your favorite story or something else?”

“My favorite please.”

“Give me just a second.”
Lombard went in to check on Fatima and found she had fallen asleep. He wanted to kiss her but knew she may wake up. He walked quickly to their computer room and started up their desktop. He began doing his research, from the beginning not liking what he saw. Money may clear his name but it didn’t remove the articles about him being suspected and a few websites made by outraged parents and friends that he had been cleared of crimes they were sure he committed.

It seemed Zac moved everytime a couple girls would be found mangled and often times butchered in grotesque ways. Lombard stood up from his computer, not his girl. he was having a talk with that little shit tonight and he didn’t give a damn the hour. Celestia had already fallen asleep on the phone listen to Burkhart read when her father left. Burkhart had only just hungup and began to cry. He felt selfish for crying over this. He just loved her so much and it felt like a knife had been jammed into his heart the second he heard her say she was with Zac now.

His panther Nali climbed up on the bed and licked his arm. he scratched her head then wrapped his arms around her for a hug. “I love her so much Nali. How am I going to look at them together and hide how I feel? If i tell her now she’ll only be upset. If he hurts her I’ll kill him. i dont fucking care I’ll kill him” Nali hated getting wet but stayed to comfort her owner. She let him finish then got off the bed to sleep in her own for the night. Burkhart got up to make himself some tea. He had given himself a headache from crying and needed somthing to relax him.

He pulled out the mug Celestia made him when they went to a pottery shop together. They went there about once a month and spent a few hours making things. Everything they made they gave to eachother so a fair number of things in his kitchen were things she made him. It did nothing to help the pain his heart felt from that phone call earlier.

Lombard pounded furiously on Zacs door until he answered ‘what the hell?!” Zac said with an angry glare.
“Did you think for a second that I wouldn’t figure you out you little shit.” He growled as he shoved his way into Zachary’s home.

“What are you talking about?”

“I know what you are boy, I know what you’ve done and if anything happens to my little girl I will infect you and leave you somewhere to starve.”

“Look old man, I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

Lombard shoved him against the wall. “This is the only warning you will ever have. My little girl may be an adult, but she will always be my little girl and if you think for a second you can get away with hurting her you’re wrong. If she sheds one tear or you harm one hair on her head, you’re a dead man.”

Zachary smiled and it took every ounce of Lombard’s self control not to rip his throat out. “Goodnight Lombard.” Lombard was seething by the time he got in his car. He pulled out his phone and called Rick.

“Yo, what’s up man?” Rick asked.

“I need you to send someone to watch Zachary Ferguson, tell them not to take their eyes off of him.”

“Right away.”

“Thank you.” He hung up then pulled away from Zachary’s house, filled with worry and anger.

Chapter Two

Lombard immediately went back to the computer room once he was home and printed off all the pages he wanted to show Celestia. He was going to tell her what he looked up. She needed to know how many crimes he had been a suspect in. He had been cleared of them all but no innocent man is suspected of that many. He knew she might be angry he was looking up Zachary online but he didn’t care. He knew she wasn’t an idiot even though she was making a poor choice in Zac so he was fairly sure she would listen and reconsider who she was dating. At the very least this would make her cautious and even that was enough for Lombard.

With that done Lombard laid with his wife. He knew he wasn’t going to be able to sleep but he needed Fatima near to stay calm. Zac had gone to sleep right after Lombard left, a smug smile on his face that he was already torturing Celestias father. He wasn’t scared of some pathetic zombie.

Celestia woke the next morning when her phone went off. She opened it to see a text from Zachary “good morning beautiful, I hope I can see you today. How about lunch at your favorite sushi place?” She smiled, knowing she had nothing to do “Sounds amazing. I’ll meet you there at 12:30” she responded then plugged in her phone from her night of being read to by Burkhart.
She got up and went into her bathroom and jumped in the shower. She was really happy about going out with Zachary. She washed quickly then jumped out and dried. She wrapped a towel around her and went into her room to find something to wear. Her phone rang as she was pulling one of her favorite dresses off of its hanger and she hurried to answer it. It was Burkhart. “Hey, good morning.” She said happily.

“Good morning Celestia, did you sleep well?”

“Of course, I always do when you read to me. How about you?”

“Not really.”

She frowned. “Are you alright?”

“Sure. Look, I was wondering if maybe we could hang out later, maybe watch a movie or something.”

“I have a lunch date with Zachary today, maybe after.”

“Oh okay, well if you can’t just text me and we can find another time.”

He still sounded so disappointed and almost sad. “Burkhart, please tell me what’s wrong.”

He gave a small laugh, but there was no amusement in it. “I can’t do that so please just let it go and have fun on your date. Wear that blue sundress, you always look so stunning in it.” There was the warmth she had been wanting from him and mixed in with it was what she took as adoration. “I’ll talk to you later Celestia.” He hung up and she just stood there with her phone pressed to her ear. She wondered if he had always talked to her like that.
She sighed, not knowing if she could go on a date when the most important man in the world to her was so upset. She simply liked Zachary but she loved Burkhart. She had never analyzed the love for him and decided what it was but she loved him and nobody was more important to her. She just sat down on her bed, not knowing what to do with herself. He had always told her everything and now there was something wrong and he was clamming up. She knew a date wasn’t going to work today. She texted Zac ‘I’m sorry, somthing with Burkhart came up. I can’t go”

He called her and she answered “yes?”

“what do you mean? He’s your friend and I’m your boyfriend”

“He’s not just a friend. He’s my best friend. He’s been there for me since i was 16. I’m sorry but quite frankly we’ve just started dating and I really like you but my best friend is hurting for some reason and i cant enjoy a date knowing he’s upset. It’s frustrating because he wont talk about it. I just need to coax it out of him. I’ll go out with you some other time”

“What kind of crap is that? A friend is more important than your boyfriend?”

“Did I stutter?”
“I certainly hope so. How can you ditch me like that? I had so much planned out and it was I could think about last night.”

“I can’t Zachary, not when he obviously needs to talk to someone. I’ll make it up to you.”

“Fine, whatever. Do what you want.” He hung up on her and she sighed. She couldn’t just leave Burkhart alone. She refused to be pushed into the date and would just do her best to make it up to Zachary. She believed if he just had a few minutes to think about it, he would agree going to Burkhart’s was a good idea. She pulled on the dress she had picked out, quickly brushed her hair, and put on her sandals. She then sent a text to Burkhart: I’m coming over, we need to talk.

Burkhart grabbed his phone when it vibrated and saw it was a message from Celestia. He sighed, knowing he should be honest with her, but unwilling to interfere in her life. He loved her too much and would feel like he was manipulating her if he told her how he felt after she had decided to date Zachary. He looked at the message and his heart leaped in his chest. She was coming to see him. He sent her a message back: Please go on your date and have fun, don’t worry about me. She sent back: Too late, I’m on my way.
He felt happy then angry at himself. He wanted so much to be happy for her but the only moment he had felt happy since hearing she was with Zachary was right now when she was ditching her plans with him so that they could talk. “she deserves so much better from you” he scolded himself then started getting himself presentable for Celestia coming over. He was just standing in front of the door when her knock came. He pulled it open then quickly lifted her into the tight embrace he had been waiting on. When he set her down he noticed she had worn the dress he suggested. “beautiful as always Celestia” he said in that same adoring tone. Now that she was actually thinking about it even his eyes seemed to change when they were focused on her.

“aren’t you coming in?’ he asked before his cheeks reddened with her staring. ‘oh yes, sorry” she sat down on his luxuriously soft black couch and he sat by her side “so we need to talk?’

‘don’t act like you dont know about what Burkhart. You have been sad since last night. We’ve always been honest and open with one another and I’m really worried about you. You are more important to me than you could ever imagine and I need to know what’s upsetting you. My heart can’t take not knowing whats wrong with you. Its why i couldn’t go on my date. I can’t enjoy myself atall knowing you’re hurting for some reason”
“Celestia, I told you not to worry.”

“I’m not a child Burkhart, you can’t expect me to ignore what’s going on. Please tell me.”

He reached how and stroked his knuckles over her cheek. Her skin was incredibly soft, like silk. He took her face in his hands and leaned in and kissed her. Her heart jumped in her chest and she pulled back. “I’m sorry.” He said and let her go. “You should go before you regret coming here.”

She was still shocked so it took her a minute to gather her thoughts. “Burkhart, do you love me?”

“With everything that I am. I crave you, the feel of your skin, the taste of your lips, everything about you. From the very first moment I looked into your eyes I was lost. I hate myself for needing you this much, especially when you already love someone else.”

She sighed and took his hand. “I don’t love Zachary, I like him and the truth is we had kind of an argument about me coming over here. He tried to make me choose him over you which wasn’t happening. We start dating all of two minutes and he already things I should pledge my undying love to him.”
Burkhart felt relief wash over him “you don’t love Zac?” he asked almost excitedly. She smiled “No, I love you. I always have Burkhart. I just, I guess i never considered us dating or considered what love I have for you. All I know is that I do love you immensely and before you worry, no, its not a brotherly love. Maybe I’ve just been in love with you for a long time and was too big of a fool to see it. We’ve had such an amazing friendship and you’ve always made me so happy. Maybe I pushed those feelings down not knowing because i didn’t want to ruin the best relationship I’ve ever had. Nobody makes me happy like you do and nobody ever will”

He lifted her hand and pressed it over his heart ‘will you leave him then and be with me Celestia? My heart needs you. It’s been falling to pieces since you told me you liked him and then started dating him.” Celestia hugged him “Of course I will. Love beats liking any day Burkhart. I do feel bad now. I’ve only just started dating Zac and I’m dumping him for my best friend. I’m glad he was such an ass this morning so i dont have to feel quite so guilty.”

“He’s always been an ass”

‘i think you might be biased”

“Maybe” he said softly. Celestia could almost see all the weight that had been lifted off of Burkharts shoulders. “let me call him before i technically cheat anymore. You know thats not who I am”

“I know beautiful. Take your time. I’ll make us some brownies”

‘sprinkles?’

“do i ever not put sprinkles on for you?” she smiled “never” Once alone in his kitchen Burkhart held the bridge of his nose between his fingers and let his breath out in relief. He almost felt like crying again or even dancing in jubilance at how that talk had ended. All this time all he had to do was tell her. Now she was his, finally his after so long of loving and dreaming of her as more than a friend.
Celestia was happy when Zachary answered his phone quickly. “So you’ve decided to call me after ditching me, that kind of messed up isn’t it?”

“Zachary, we need to talk.”

“Is it something important?”

“Yes, very.”

“Then you’ll have to come over here and talk face to face.”

She sighed. “Fine, what time?”

“How about an hour from now? I think you owe me an explanation as to why you ditched me today other than Burkhart needed you.”

“Fine, an hour from now.”

“See you then.” She hung up and Zachary smiled. He had to make sure everything was ready for her, he was going to make sure she suffered.

Chapter Three

She couldn’t believe how pissed off he was. It would make sense if they had been together a long time and she ditched him for a friend but this was their first day of dating and it wasn’t like he was looking forward to those plans all that long. They hadn’t been together a full twenty four hours yet. As she approached the kitchen her thoughts soon registered that Burkhart was making her brownies and it was breakfast time. She smiled, he had always had a sweet tooth and seemed to love baking for her. “Brownies for breakfast?” she asked as she walked in. He smiled “don’t worry, we can have breakfast for lunch” Her smile grew larger and she hugged him from behind.

He smiled happily, turning around to lift her “what did he say? Are you mine now Celestia?”

“He wanted to talk in person and I think he does deserve that much. As much as your kiss made me weak don’t kiss my lips again until we’re broken up. It would be a little wrong”

“I am more than capable of resisting. I’ve been keeping myself from kissing you for three years, whats a day?”

“Three years?’

“I’ve felt a strong bond with you since the day we met when you were sixteen but I fell helplessly in love just before your nineteenth birthday.You have been all I’ve wanted. I think about you all the time and hate when we aren’t together. Every second I spend with you is heaven to me. You are my soul mate Celestia. You truly are. I will do anything to make you happy. You will only have to tell me what you want. I feel so lucky and I think I’m a moron for not just coming out with it sooner” Ceslestia giggled though she still felt incredibly touched from his words before.
When the brownies we done they sat down at the dining room table together and ate. Celestia was glad Burkhart was back to being himself. She checked the time and gave a sigh. “I need to get going, I’ll be back though. Maybe we can go out for lunch.”

“It’s a date.” He leaned in and for a minute she thought he was going to kiss her lips, but instead he pressed one onto her forehead. “I love you my sweet Celestia.”

She blushed. “I love you too.”

He walked her to the door and stood on the front porch while she climbed behind the wheel of her car and pulled out of his driveway. He hated watching her go and hoped her visit with Zachary went fairly quick. He went back inside, wanting to decide where to take her before she got back. His phone rang as he was sitting down at his computer and he quickly answered when he saw Lombard’s number. “Yes?”

“Have you seen Celestia?”

“She just left here to go talk to Zachary.”

“About what?”

“About breaking up so she can date me.”

“That’s wonderful news Burkhart, but you need to call her back.”

“Why?”

“Because Zachary is dangerous. I had all this stuff to show her, but she was gone before Fatima and I got up.”

“What did you mean by Zachary is dangerous?”

“I’ll explain once my daughter is safe. Call her and get her to go back to your place.”
Burkhart now considered his feelings about Zachary were far more than jealously over the woman he loved. He may have had real reason to worry about him with her. He called Celestia and groaned when she didn’t answer. She never answered her phone while driving. he left her a voicemail in hopes she’d check it before going inside with a man who may hurt her. “sweetheart please don’t go inside of his house. Your father called and said Zac is dangerous. I dont want you breaking up with him by yourself. Come back so your father can show us why this man is dangerous. I love you so much”

Burkhart texted her aswell since she was more likely to look at that. “Listen to your voicemail before going inside. It’s important my love” Celestia stopped at a red light and checked her phone since Burkharts ringtone had been going off. She smiled, wondering what he had left her on her voicemail. She would check it now if she wasn’t so against people having phones to their ears while they were driving.

When Celestia pulled up to Zacharys house he was already waiting outside. “On second, I need to check a voicemail” sounded rude and to be fair to him she had been rude this morning so she decided the lovey voicemail could wait. Lombard arrived at Burkharts house with Fatima “is she on her way?’ was the first thing Lombard asked when Burkhart answered the door. “I don’t know, she hasn’t responded. Zac lives a good distance from my house and you know how she feels about using cellphones while driving”

“After you see all this you’ll understand why I’m so worried about her” They went into Burkharts living room and Lombard started going over everything, planning to start over when his daughter was in the room. Burkharts felt panic and fear rise within him. Lombard wasn’t even finished and he started calling Celestia again. Zachary was screaming “YOU FUCKING BITCH! HOW FUCKING DARE YOU!”

“if you’re going to curse at me I’m leaving you asshole!” she said and started for the door. He pulled the hammer he had resting in his jeans and covered by his shirt out and quickly slammed it into the back of Celestias head. She screamed, turned around and punched him in the stomach. Her head was bleeding and it was hard to think but fighting was somthing she had grown up doing with her parents. Attacking him in return was her natural reflex.
Zachary laughed. “You stupid little whore.” Her head was swimming, but she brought her guard up to defend herself from another attack. He swung at her so she blocked and he kicked her feet out from under her. With her vision spinning and her head throbbing, her balance was thrown off and she hit the ground with a hard thud. “Did you really think I’d just let you walk away from me? I choose when you get to leave.”

“Zac please.” He kicked her in the ribs.

“Zac please, Zac please, oh shut up you pathetic little bitch.” He kicked her again then grabbed her by her hair and started dragging her across the floor. She pulled at his fingers and he turned and hit her with the hammer again, this time in the temple. “I’ve always wondered what it would be like to torture an immortal.” He dragged her down into the basement and dropped her on the floor. “You know what the most beautiful thing about this is?” He asked as he paced around her. “I’m going to get away with this and there is nothing you or anyone else can do about it.”

“Burkhart and my family will…come for you.”

“All I have to do is pay off the cops and any attorney they hire and that’ll be the end of it. I’ll leave no evidence that you came here, everyone will think that you were attacked somewhere along the way. There are a lot of stoplights between Burkhart’s and here.”

Celestia pushed herself onto her hands and knees then raised up so she could look at him. “They…they won’t work within the law if you kill me. They’ll come for you.”

“I’m not afraid of your family, I’ll kill them all.” He smashed the hammer against her head for the third time and her vision went black.
“we’re going over there!” Burkhart said angrily after the seventh call. He received no protest from her parents and wouldn’t have cared even if they didn’t think they should go over there. They all loaded into Burkahrts Aston Martin then he took off speeding. Fatima held her husbands hand tightly enough to even hurt him in her fear. She wished they hadn’t slept so late. As her husband had said to her when he told her he wanted to talk to Celestia she would have listened and been more cautious if she had warning and proof he was a bad person. She was a stubborn, hard headed girl like the two of them but it didn’t keep her from using her brain.

Lombard wasn’t surprised atall to see Ricks car already by the house and the door kicked in. Once again Rick had kept his word and was watching the house. The only thing that scared Lombard about that was something had obviously happened. The second they were out of Burkharts car the smell of blood hit their noses and sent all three of them into a near blind rage.
They found Rick laying in the living room where he had been attacked. Fatima dropped down and rolled him over, making him groan in agony. “Rick, where’s Celestia?”

“Bastard hit me with a hammer, thank god you changed me. Fucking little shit used the clawed end.”

“Where’s Celestia?”

“That fucker went downstairs, I could hear his footsteps.”

“Fatima you stay with Rick.” Lombard said and hurried away before she could protest. Burkhart followed and they both followed the smell and drops of blood to the basement door. It was partially open, the door knob smeared with blood. Lombard jerked it open and they moved slowly down. They both wanted Celestia safe, but they didn’t want to startle Zachary and have him kill her.

“Where’s Rick, what did you do to him?” Celestia asked weakly.

“Could you hear us up there? He broke my door so I taught him a lesson.” Zachary answered. “And now I’m going to teach you one.” He grabbed her chin and forced her to look at him. “I can’t believe you actually thought I liked you Celestia.” He let go of her chin and slapped her. “Make sure you stay awake or it won’t be any fun.”

“You’re sick.”

He picked up a knife from the table next to them. “I think sadist is the term people use actually.”
Zac had his back to the stairs and was enjoying seeing Celestia this way too much to notice them. He had all his senses concentrating on her pain and fear. She was trying to hide it but as a fellow vampire there was no keeping it from him. Burkhart could barely control himself when he saw Celestias blood soaked hair. She was obviously injured badly and a head injury was even hard for a vampire to heal from. It was when Zac stabbed Celestia in the stomach and smiled manically that both men rushed over, knowing by the time he reacted they could have him pinned. “wha” was all that came out before Lombard had bitten into his neck. This little bastard was going to quit torturing and killing women. Tonight Lombard was going to make sure Zac would die as Lombard promised if he hurt his girl.

Burkhart and Lombard beat the hell out of Zac, causing Celestia to squeeze her eyes shut. She had enough violence and just wanted to be removed from there. Her stomach hurt from her newest knife wound and she was exhausted. All she wanted to do was sleep but she kenw how dangerous it might be to allow herself to sleep again with her head injuries.

When Burkhart found the key and unchained Celestia, Lombard put the unconscious Zac in her place. Lombard was so lost in fury he wanted to leave Zac there to starve but he knew he had to inform the police and they would humanly put this monster down though he didn’t deserve it.
“Celestia, you okay baby?” Burkhart asked.

“Rick, is Uncle Rick okay?”

“He’s fine baby.” He pulled off his shirt and wrapped it around her head. “We need to get you to the hospital.”

“You take her and Rick, Fatima and I will stay with this…this pathetic waste of space.”

“Yes sir.” He lifted Celestia and hurried upstairs. “Fatima, Lombard wants me to take these two to the hospital. Will you put Rick in the car?”

Fatima helped Rick to his feet and they hurried out to the car. Burkhart put Celestia in the passenger seat and buckled her in while Fatima put Rick in the back. “Don’t worry about us Rick, we’ll get a ride from the police. Just hurry and make sure they’ll be okay.”

“I will.” He fishtailed out of the driveway and broke every law he could think of to get them to the hospital. He didn’t care if he got pulled over or arrested or ticketed as long as Celestia and Rick didn’t die. He hoped the police would recognize him as someone who helped Fatima and Lombard hunt and just leave him alone. He screeched to a stop in front of the emergency exit and got out, screaming for help as he pulled the passenger door open and pulled Celestia out. A bunch of nurses came running and helped Rick out as Burkhart took Celestia inside.
Burkhart was a wreck until he was finally able to see Celestia again. They told him she might be unconscious for awhile but she was fine. Her body had already started to heal itself when she was brought in so if he had damaged her brain Celestias vampire blood had already mended the damage. Now that he was at last allowed to be with her he pulled up a chair then took her hand in his. A little later when her parents came in they each kissed their daughters head, grateful she was going to be alright. When visiting hours were over Lombard and Fatima left but not without making sure not a person on staff tried to chase Burkhart out since he wasn’t family.
Burkhart rested his head on the edge of the bed, never letting go of her hand as he drifted off. Celestia woke with a small headache and slight nausea, but other than that she felt fine. She slowly opened her eyes and blinked a few times to clear her vision. She was incredibly thirsty and when she moved her hand to push the call button Burkhart jerked awake, startling her. “Celestia?” He stood and kissed her forehead. “Thank goodness, how are you feeling?”

“Thirsty.”

“Okay, hold on.” He grabbed the little plastic cup and the pitcher of water the nurses had left and filled the cup. He pushed the button that lifted the bed then handed her the cup of water.

“Thank you.” She gulped down the water, sighing as it brought relief to her dry mouth and throat. She handed the cup back and he sat it down.

“You scared me.” He said softly as he sat on the edge of the bed and stroked her cheek.

“I’m sorry. Zachary?”

“He’s been arrested. Your father infected him. I wish he had just killed him.”

“Burkhart, I’m okay and you said Rick was okay. That’s all that matters.”

“He and his piece of shit family paid off so many people before.”

“Hey, the police here know my mom and dad and won’t accept any bribes or be swayed by threats. He won’t get away with the things he’s done, not this time and if he does somehow manage to get out, mom and dad will put him down.”

He brought her fingers to his lips and kissed them. “I love you so much Celestia and if I had lost you, I would have gone mad.”
“I’m just like my mother. Nothing can kill me”

‘I hope that’s true”

“Believe thats true.” she gave Burkhart a smile that warmed his heart before she said ‘I’m a free woman now. Why aren’t you kissing me lips? Or did all that blood gross you out?” Without a word he moved his lips reverently against her. He sighed happily as he pulled back “with how often I fight temptation to kiss you, you’re going to get sick of my affection”

“I’ll love every second. Why don’t we start now with you holding me” She moved over and he carefully got in and wrapped his arms around her. Lombard and Fatima came first thing the next morning but quickly left with happy smiles when they saw Celestia and Burkhart in bed together. They wanted to see their daughter but didn’t want to ruin the moment. When Celestia was released from the hospital Burkhart took her to see her parents then whisked her away to his home.

She brought a small suitcase since she didn’t know how long she was staying. Burkhart would have loved forever but he wasn’t going to ask her that when they had only just begun dating. There was truly no rush since they lived so close and he could so easily see her any time he wanted.
“It’s so nice to be out of that hospital gown.” Celestia said.

“I thought you looked kind of cute in it actually.”

“Should I get injured more often?”

He pulled her into his arms. “Don’t you dare.” He stroked her cheek. “I nearly had a heart attack this time.”

“It’s impossible for you to have a heart attack.”

“I beg to differ.” She smiled and he leaned in and kissed her. Her arms slipped around his neck and he held her tightly to him. He loved the taste of her lips and the feel of her pressed against him. He deepened the kiss and moaned excitedly into her mouth. He parted their lips and pressed his forehead against hers. “You’re so beautiful Celestia and being with you is an absolute dream. I’m so afraid I’m going to wake up and you’ll be gone.”
“I guess I’ll have to prove you wrong tomorrow then. Can I share a bed with you like we did in the hospital?”

“You truly think you have to ask me my love?” They just smiled and stared into eachothers eyes until Nali nudging them because she was hungry brought them back to reality “sorry girl, come on” Burkhart fed his panther then snuggled with Ceslstia on his couch. They sat there talking until they were both too tired to stay up another moment. They hadn’t been intimate yet so although they were sharing a room tonight they got ready for bed in separate rooms then joined one another in Burkharts bedroom.

Burkhart felt whole once his body was wrapped around Celestias as he spooned her. Her scent flowed over him and across his large bed, making things even more amazing. “I love you so deeply Celestia” he whispered sweetly just before he drifted off “Love you too Burkhart, always” she whispered back as she slipped into the bliss his warmth offered her and faded to sleep.

~ The End ~

Villain originally created by Melinda Collins.

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