Dorin & Aislinn

Chapter One

Aislinn and her brother Cian trekked across the frozen mountain side, the cold biting into their skin and whipping their red hair around their faces. They had not expected the storm to move in so quickly and had had to let their horses go before the poor animals froze to death. They now carried their packs, their fur boots sinking into the knee deep snow. They were crossing this mountain to take their father’s ashes to the ocean where he had told them he was born. He had been a sailor and a fishermen. The ocean had been his home for many years before meeting their mother.

They shivered even through the layer of fur they wore to protect their skin from the elements. “Sister dear, take it slow or you might exhaust yourself.” Cian yelled over the howling wind.

“If we don’t get to a better place brother we will freeze to death, we must keep going even if it is at a fast pace.” Aislinn replied. She was growing tired already, but if they didn’t find a cave or at least a dip in the mountain then they could easily die. She took a step, her foot hitting ice and slipping out from under her. She screamed and Cian reached for her, losing his balance so they both tumbled down the mountain side. They came to a very sudden stop in a group of trees, Cian unconcious after hitting his head. Aislinn dragged herself to him, blood running down the side of her head and making her hair stick to her face. She shook her brother, but he did not move. He was still breathing at least, but she worried about the injury to the back of his head.

She tried to stand, grabbing her ribs and collapsing back in the snow. She felt like crying as she lay in the snow next to her brother. Her head spun and her vision began to darken. She swore she heard footsteps and a face came into view. She was worried she was hallucinating the man standing above her, his dark hair being whipped around his face by the wind that managed to push its way through the trees. She blinked, the darkness moving in on her. “Save my brother.” She said softly before closing her eyes and falling into unconsciousness.

Dorin quickly picked the both of them up. Slinging one over each shoulder then began to run to his home on top of the mountain. They were bleeding badly and needed to be tended to right away. He worried over the girls head wound, hoping it wasn’t too serious. He could tell they were humans and he knew how weak their bodies could be, especially in weather like this. He hadn’t had company since his loves passing but he would let these two stay until they were fit to travel. He was impressed with the woman for only asking he help her brother. There she was bleeding and freezing in the snow and all she cared for was her brothers safety.

When he got home he laid Cian on a bed and took Aislinn into the bathroom to clean her head wound. He couldn’t help but notice how delicious her blood smelled but he refrained from any tasting. Aislinn woke as he was leaning her over the tub and pouring water over her injury to get the blood off. He wanted to be able to see how bad the hit was. Aislinn jumped and Dorin said “I’m just cleaning up the wound so I can help you”

“Thank you” He finished cleaning it up then grabbed some bandages he had. He put medicine on the wound then wrapped bandage around it.

“What were you doing in the snow?” He lifted her and carried her to a bedroom and laid her down.

She tried to sit up, panic evident on her face. “The urn, I had an urn in my pack. Please make sure it’s not broken.”

“Okay, just calm down. I have to go get it, so please just relax.”

Dorin hurried back down to the entryway where he had dropped their packs. He looked through them until he found the one with the urn and picked it and carried back to her. He handed her her pack and she sighed with relief when she saw the urn wasn’t broken. “Thank the gods. My brother, is he okay?”

“I was going to check on him next.”

“He hit his head on the way down, please take care of him.” He gave her a smile and she gasped at his fangs. “You are a vampire.” He stopped smiling. “Are you going to devour us?”

“No, I just want to help. Please believe me. They’re only showing because you and your brother are bleeding. I promise not to hurt either of you. Just let me check on your brother and get him bandaged up.”

“Take me with you.”

“You should relax.”

“No, I need to be there for him.” Her raised voice made her head hurt.

“Please just relax and when he wakes up I will take you to him, I promise.” He brushed her hair away from her face. “Just relax…uh…”

“Aislinn and my brother is Cian.”

“Nice to meet you, I’m Dorin.”

“thank you for your help.”

“It was no trouble. You two can stay as long as you need to” Dorin walked out and to Cians room. When Dorin cleaned the wound he found it wasn’t nearly as bad as Aislinns. He wrapped it and laid him back down. He only needed a rag to clean up Cian since his wound wasn’t as bad so he stayed asleep. Dorin walked back to Aislinns room “could I get you anything to drink or eat?”

“I don’t really have an appetite but I’d like a drink.”

“will water do?”

“Yes” Dorin walked away and to his kitchen. He downed a bottle of blood to make him less hungry for the sweet smelling fresh blood of the twins then poured Aislinns cup of water. Dorin rinsed his mouth to make sure there was no evidence he drank any blood. He knew even if he told Aislinn it came from a bottle it may scare her. Her gasp before hurt his feelings even though he didn’t say as much. Humans had every right to be afraid of vampires. once upon a time he would have drained her without a single thought.

Dorin grabbed some asprin on his way back to Aislinns room. When she was handed the water and pills she popped the pills in her mouth then drank half the glass. “do you live alone?” Aislinn asked. “Yes i do, you should probably get back to sleep though. I regret waking you. Sleep will help you heal faster.”

“alright, I’ll try”

“If you need anything, I will be in my library.”

“Thank you so much.”

He slipped her boots off then pulled the blankets up to her chin. “Sweet dreams.” He left her alone and headed down to his library where he sat down and pulled his cello between his knees. It was the oldest thing he owned and had even been with him before he had been made into a vampire. He slid his bow over the strings, closing his eyes and getting lost in the music. He had to distract himself from the beautiful woman upstairs and her warm blood.

The sound of music snapped Aislinn back into wakefulness. She could barely hear it from where she was, but the fact she had never heard anything like it had slipped into her subconcious and woke her. She sat up and swung her legs over the edge of the bed and stood. She padded quietly on barefeet out of her room and down the hall. The stone floor was surprisingly warm for being in such a snowy place. She moved downstairs, the sad music pulling her through the castle. She found herself standing in the library doorway, her eyes settling on Dorin. He froze and opened his eyes, they looked hungry.

“I’m sorry, I heard the music and thought I’d listen.”

“It’s okay, would you like to try?”

She waved him off. “I couldn’t play an instrument to save my life.”

“Come on, it’s fun.” She shrugged and crossed the room. He stood and let her sit down on his chair. “Open your legs.” She blushed, but did what he said. He handed her the bow and stood behind her. He positioned her fingers on the strings and showed her how to hold the bow. “Stroke the strings.” She moved the bow, the sound a little off to her ears. “So what were you and your brother doing in the snow?”

“We are taking our father’s ashes to the sea.”

“I’m sorry to hear that”

“We have done our mourning. Now we live to celebrate his life. Our father wouldn’t want us sad so we cried it out and now we are taking him to the sea where he would love to spend the end of his life. So don’t feel bad for us. We are both ok and will be strong for our father.”

“Not everyone can be so strong. You are just an admirable woman in general I see. You’ve already shown me that once when you asked not for you life but your brothers. You were badly wounded and only cared about him”

“Nobody is more important to me than my brother. We have always been close. Do you have siblings?”

“No”

“It must be terrible to be so alone”

“Here, let me help you practice more” Dorin said to change the subject. He helped Aislinn awhile until she said “I’d rather hear you play again. You are so good at it” Dorin smiled as he settled back down with his instrument. “You were doing fine for your first time playing. I’ll teach you whenever you want while you’re here.” Dorin began to play. This tune wasn’t sad, it was more mellow and soothing. Aislinn could have easily fallen asleep to the sound he was making. She was surprised such a frightening creature could create such beautiful music. When Cian woke it was with a jolt. He grabbed his head which was still throbbing from the trees blow.

“Aislinn!” He yelled in terror since he didn’t know where he was. Dorin stopped “your brother is awake and panicked. Lets go to him quickly” He picked her up without even thinking if it was alright or not. Dorin ran to Cians room “she’s here and fine” Dorin said as he sat her down. The twins ran at eachother, wrapping one another in a tight embrace. “Where are we?” Cian asked. Aislinn answered “Dorin saved us, this is his home”

“I was unaware anyone lived up here.” Cian said as he looked Dorin over.

“I have been here for many years. My castle is set down in a dip in the mountain so it would be hard to see unless you were close enough. I also tend to keep to myself, but I couldn’t leave you two in the snow.”

“Well thank heavens for that. We would have frozen to death. Thank you.”

“It was nothing. Please feel free to stay as long as you wish or at least until you are healed and the storm has passed.”

“Thank you and don’t be afraid tout us to work. We’re not used to lazing around all day. Aislinn here can cook and I can do things that are not food related.”

“What he’s saying is that he’s lazy and won’t learn and our friend here probably isn’t big on food, he’s a vampire.”

“Oh, well isn’t that something. Is it true that you hunt down virgins and suck them dry?”

Dorin felt guilty and ashamed, images of his past flitted through his head. “Some hunt down whoever takes their fancy and contrary to popular belief we vampires eat human food. It just doesn’t give us as much of a boost as blood.”

“If you like I can cook for us then. You can help if you like while Cian sits nearby and drools.” Cian laughed and lifted his sister over his shoulder.

“Come Dorin and we’ll get my wench of a sister to cook us something amazing.” She punched him in the back.

“I am no wench you soft skulled simpleton.” Dorin walked behind them, admiring Aislinn’s irritated face. She was beautiful even then, her bright red hair and striking green eyes stood out like fire and emeralds next to her pale skin. Once they were downstairs Cian stopped and looked around.

“This place is huge.”

“It took a very long time to build.” Dorin explained.

“It certainly looks that way. Where is the kitchen?”

“This way, please follow me.”

Cian put Aislinn down in front of the stove and she shot him a dirty look. He backed up and pulled a stool up to the center island. “I should let you starve.” She walked over to the pantry and stepped inside. For someone who lived alone, Dorin was not short on food. “Where do you get all of this?” Dorin stepped in with her and she found herself blushing at the closeness.

“An old friend delivers food for me. He’s a dragon, very interesting creature. He likes shiny things.”

“So you give him shiny things in return for bringing you food?”

“Yes”

“Is there anything in particular you’d prefer to eat?”

“No, make whatever you want. I’m not picky. Honestly I feel guilty letting you cook with your head injury” Aislinn shot him what wasn’t quite a glare but very near it. “Nobody lets me do anything. I want to cook so I’m cooking. I merely asked before out of curtosey since this isn’t my home” Dorin struggled not to smile at this beautiful ball of fire. He could tell she wasn’t truly angry, a little miffed maybe but not angry. He worried a smirk at how beautiful and cute he found her might push her into angry so he was glad he had the restraint to keep the smile off his face.

“Well then I’ll take up drooling over what meal is to come unless you desire my help”

“I don’t, go sit and let me show you how cooking is done.” Dorin approached the island where Cian sat and took up his own place. Corin leaned over and whispered “My sister is a little firework but sweet as can be underneath that. Try to keep that in mind when that firey head of hers takes over.” Dorin smiled and whispered “She hears you whispering and is lunging invisible daggers” Corin laughed boisterously “I love you Aislinn”

“I love you too lug head”

Aislinn chopped meat and vegetables for stew. She moved the knife quickly, skilled after years of practicing with her daggers. “You’re amazing at that.” Dorin said, the minute distraction making her slice her finger open. She hissed in pain and looked for a rag. Cian jumped up and pulled open drawers, finding one and handing it to her. Dorin felt himself grow hot, his nostrils flaring and pupils dilating. He jumped back knocking his stool over. They both froze and looked at him and he hurried away.

“What was that?” Cian asked.

“Finish cutting that last carrot, I’ll be right back.” She hurried after Dorin, wanting to make sure he was okay. “Hey, wait.” She caught up to him and grabbed his shoulder.

“Don’t touch me.” He slapped her hand away.

“Calm down and tell me what’s going on.”

He turned on her, grabbing her wrist and pulling the rag away. “This is the problem. Fresh blood makes me hungry. You have no idea how much I want it.” He swallowed and let her go. “Just stay away from me until your hand is clean and I’m calm.” She clutched the rag to her hand again and watched as he retreated. She went back to the kitchen and cleaned her hand. It had already stopped bleeding.

“Is he okay?” Cian asked.

“I guess.” She put the ingredients in a pot with water and covered it then stuck it on the stove.

“Are you okay?”

“Just a little cut, nothing major. I’m going to go talk to him, this practically cooks itself.”

“Okay I’ll just sit here and starve.” She rolled her eyes and left him alone, checking the library first. When she didn’t find him there, she searched the rest of his home. She found him pacing in a study.

Chapter Two

“Dorin, stop and talk to me.”

“Get out.” He snapped.

“No and don’t yell at me or I’ll break your nose.” She crossed her arms angrily and glared at him.

“Fresh blood is addictive, the smell alone makes me crave it.”

“So, it’s not like you attacked me.”

“I could have. I don’t want to hurt you, but you smell so amazing.” She blushed and felt her heart skip a beat.

“I need to check on the soup, I’ll give you your space. I’m sorry for smelling so delicious, I’ll try to stop.”

She went for playfully sarcastic but Dorin didn’t show the slightest sign of a smile. His face was immovable seriousness as worry gripped him. Her blood was far too sweet for him to trust himself near her while she bled. It didn’t help she was so stunning. Thoughts of ripping her clothes off, drawing blood from her veins and loseing himself in passion with her filled his mind and sped his heart rate.He tried to push out the thoughts but they lingered. When he was finalyl composed and no longer thinking things he knew he shouldn’t Dorin joined them in the kitchen. Dorin was too embaressed by everything to look at Aislinn so he just smiled at Cian who asked “you ok now?”

“Yes, I’m sorry”

“Eh you’re a vampire, you don’t need to say sorry for wanting my sisters blood.”

“You told him?” Dorin asked Aislinn. “I lie about nothing to my brother. He asks me a question and I answer. He’s the same with me. Dinner is almost ready if you want to sit” Dorin took a seat wordlessly, plopping down and laying his arms on the table. “You aren’t going to leave?” He asked and Aislinn rolled her eyes “what do you take me for? Of course not”

“well you did gasp when you found out what I am”

“It was surprising and you know the stories that circulate about your kind. I know now you wont hurt me. If you try I’ll just kill you anyway. That is if my brother doesn’t kill you first.” Dorin smiled and soon they were all enjoying Aislinns soup. Dorin wasn’t surprised when Aislins food was the best he tasted. Cian was lucky to have a sister who cooked so well.

“That made me feel much better.” Cian said after finishing his second bowl.

“It better have, I work hard to fill your belly.” Aislinn replied.

“And you do a magnificent job.” Aislinn smiled as she stood and took their bowls and Dorin found his eyes drawn to the sway of her hips as she disappeared into the kitchen. Cian snapped his fingers in front of his face, making him jump.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to stare.”

“I just didn’t want her to notice. She’s liable to smack you.” Cian glanced at the kitchen door then said in a lower voice, “It’s okay to like her, all sorts are attracted to her. Just don’t touch her unless she gives you the go ahead. She beat a guy nearly into a coma once for grabbing her ass in a pub. Took the healers days to get him back to normal. He never looked my sister in the eye again.”

“I’m not afraid of taking a beating. I heal pretty quickly and I’m extremely fast.”

“Oh and don’t worry about the blood think. We really understand.” He just nodded as Aislinn walked back out.

“You two talking about me?” She asked.

“It’s not like there’s anyone else here to talk about. I was just telling about your hot temper.”

“I do not have a temper. Maybe you just don’t have enough of one.”

“Forgive me for not smashing in the nose of every woman who hits on me. It might do you some good to get rid of some of that aggression in ways that don’t nearly kill someone.” She punch his shoulder since she couldn’t slap him in the back of the head. “Ouch that really hurt.”

“Big baby.”

“Little psycho.” Dorin’s lips twitched and he cleared his throat to keep from laughing. “So what do you do around here?” Cian asked.

“Read, play my cello, exercise. There’s not much you can do until the storm moves away.”

“I think I’ll grab a book.”

“You can read?” Aislinn asked.

“Better than you.”

“Fat chance.” Cian stood and hugged her then headed to the library.

“So now that you’re not ready to pounce on me and do whatever it is vampires do, will you teach me some more cello?”

‘Yes, come with me” They retrieved Dorins cello from the library then took it into the living room so they could practice without disturbing Cians reading. When they started Aislinn disliked the sound of her own playing. Especially when she compared it to the sounds Dorin made with this instrument. She knew she was being over critical of herself and nobody could be expected to play amazingly the first day they ever picked the cello up. Dorin was enjoying teaching Aislinn. He loved having a reason to just stare at her and occasionally touch her soft, warm hands.

They practiced until Aislinns second yawn. Dorin took the cello “you need rest. Want me to take you back to your room?” Aislinn hugged Dorin “Thank you for teaching me. I think I got better”

“I knw you did. You weren’t that bad from the start. You haven’t tried the cello before?”

“No, thanks for trying to be sweet but I sound terrible when compared to how you play”

“I’ve been playing a very long time and you’ve only just started today. Don’t be harsh with yourself” Dorin guided Aislinn to her room where they exchanged goodnights and parted ways. Dorin was disapointed as he walked to the library to check on Cian. He didn’t want to part with Aislinn but he couldn’t keep her up all night either. He knew her head njury probabyl wasn’t all the way healed either since she’s human so her body needed to rest so that it could heal. Dorin smiled long before he arrived at his library. Cians heart rate told Dorin he was sleeping.

Dorin woke Cian “I’ll guide you to your room” Cian took the book off his stomch and put it away where he found it “sorry man, where’s my sister?”

“in bed”

“were you just there with her” Cian winked ┬áthen noticed how embaressed that comment made Dorin “just teasing you. I know for a fact you weren’t just in bed with her. Aislinn isn’t easily won over, especially not in the bedroom. You are a long way from there. I doubt we’d stay here long enough for you to get in bed with her.”

“I’m not looking for that. She’s far to good for me. Being friends is good enough.” Cian followed him upstairs.

“Look if you want to win her over, sexual relationship aside, you should keep up with the cello and be honest with her about who you are. I can tell that there’s something bothering you other than the blood. You’re the only guy I haven’t had to threaten.”

Dorin stopped and turned to face Cian. “Honestly? I have a dark past and a lot of heartache, it’s something I don’t like to talk about and the reason I’m up here alone.”

“What did you do?” Dorin ran his fingers through his hair. “Come on, you can tell me.”

“If I told you, you would tell her and I can’t have her looking at me like I’m some kind of monster. I did things that I’m not proud of, bad, horrible things. Lets just leave it at that for now.”

“Alright, I understand, but if you need an ear then don’t be afraid to pull me aside and talk to me.”

“I’ll remember that.” He left to go to his own room. He shut and locked the door then pulled his clothes off and switched on the shower. He stepped under the warm water, wishing he could wash away Aislinn’s scent. It seemed to stick in his nose. He rinsed and got out then dried and went to bed. He turned and stared out the window, watching the snow hitting the window, knowing he wasn’t going to be getting any sleep.

Aislinn woke the next morning with a slight headache. She stretched and got up, wanting to get breakfast started before Cian and Dorin woke up. It was mostly Cian, he would be knocking on her door if she slept in. She headed downstairs and into the kitchen, deciding on banana pancakes. She sang as she mixed the batter and crushed some bananas and stirred them in. She ladeled some into a butter skillet and waited for it to cook. She was sure even in such a big place the smell would at least draw her brother downstairs.

The smell got to Dorin first since he hadn’t gone to sleep. The delicious smell told him Aislinn was awake so he changed his clothes and began his way to the kitchen to be with her. As Dorin neared the kitchen the smell woke Cian just as Aislinn knew it would. Excited about pancakes Cian leaped out of bed, a little dizzy from how quickly he rose. Cian readied himself for the day hastily then left his room to join Aislinn and Dorin. She gave each man a smile as they entered the kitchen. A smile that brightened Cian and melted Dorin.

“How’d you sleep?” Cian asked his sister “wonderfully, you?”

“Perfect. Much better then I would have slept if we were stuck outside. How’s your injury?”

“I haven’t checked it. It doesn’t feel bad though” She said as she sat down to join the men in pancakes. Dorin found himself truly enjoying another meal of Aislinns. What was once boring was now somthing he could look forward to. He may even get fat if Aislinn was around to cook for him daily. Sadness immidietly crept into Dorin. When Aislinn and Cian were better she’d be gone, maybe to never return again. He didn’t deserve such wonderful company, probably wouldn’t have it right now if Aislinn knew the truth of him but he wanted her there. Dprin wanted Aislinn to stay with him always or atleast return for visits.

“So will you two be leaving soon?” He asked nonchalantly.

“It sounds like it’s still storming outside so we’ll probably be here for awhile. The snow is going to be up to our chins by the time we can go anywhere.” Aislinn answered, sounding a little frustrated.

“Well we’re not going back out there sister, not until our heads our healed and the snow and wind has completely stopped. We could have died out there if we had never been found.”

“Do you think I’m some sort of muscle headed twit or something? I’m not going anywhere until it’s safe. We’re going to be bugging you for awhile Dorin, I hope we don’t get annoying.”

“That will never be the case. You are welcome to stay here for as long as you like.” She smiled at him and his heart gave a flip. “Let me clean up since you cooked.” He picked up their plates and took them to the kitchen.

“Well he certainly likes you.” Cian said quietly.

“Yeah right, he’s just being nice.”

“He’s being more than nice. He can’t keep his eyes off of you and he’s obviously nervous.”

“Most brothers would kill a man who oggled their sister.”

“While I am willing to die and kill for you, I also know that you can take care of yourself. Plus, I want you happy and as long as no one is grab assing or abusing you I am willing to stay my hand.”

“Oh how sweet and where were you when that man got handsy with me?”

“I was sitting there watching you beat him to a pulp.” She rolled her eyes. “Come on, Dorin is a nice guy as far as he has shown.”

She narrowed her eyes at him. “What do you mean by that?”

“He told me last night that he has a past, a bad past that he’s not proud of. He said he did bad things. He didn’t go into detail or anything, but I could see in his eyes how ashamed he was.”

“if he’s ashamed that means he wont do somthing like it again. So in my opinion he’s a good guy. We all do stupid, selfish and somtimes mean things but if we’re sorry and do our best to be good we are all good people. I wonder what he did”

“we may never know, he’s scared you wont look at him the same”

“do you think I should talk to him about it?”

“Yeah, I don’t care if he gets mad at me for telling you about it atall.”

“I’m sure it’s not as bad as he thinks” They quit talking so they wouldn’t be caught pondering about what crimes he may have committed in the past. When Dorin returned to them Cian got up “I’m going to the library again” Aislinn looked at Dorin with those green, heart stopping eyes. “Can I practice with your cello?’

“Of course you can” He said happily. Dorin quickly grabbed his cello then went into the living room. In just her second day Aislinn had gotten much better. He was surprised by her improvement. He was in a state of bliss looking at her and hearing the sounds she made until it crept back into his mind the monster he once was. Cian told him to be honest but how could he be. How could he tell Aislinn somthing that might make her afraid of him or even hate him.Aislinn noticed his mood change “am I doing badly? You seem unhappy.”

“You are amazing, especially for only playing today and yesterday. I just have somthing terrible on my mind.” Aislinn set the cello down on the deep black couch “well tell me, what’s so terrible that’s on your mind?”

“I am too ashamed to tell you” He said in a softer voice. “Please tell me, I want to know. I promise to listen all the way through without interruptions so you can get everything out before I start throwing questions your way. It’s not like I can run either, there’s a storm outside” Dorin looked at Aislinn in silence for a time before releasing a harrowing sigh. “Before I tell you I want you to know, if it upsets you to the point you dont wish to even look at me all you have to do is say the word and I’ll do my best to stay away from you. You may be stuck here but I could never force my presence on you. Don’t hesitate to tell me to stay away…it would hurt greatly but I am prepared for that reaction”

“What could be that bad? Did you murder someone?”

“Let me start at the beginning. When I was twenty-three I was taken by these men when my father, a judge at the time refused to set a murdering thief free. He was the head of some crime syndicate. When my father failed to do so within the allotted time frame I was given to a very wealthy and very corrupt baroness named Contessa. She was a monster. She would beat me daily, threaten me. I was her play thing and her food. One day I disobeyed her and she turned me into this creature you see before you. She turned me loose on the world. At first I was fine, I made it home only to find my family’s house burned. The only thing left was my cello and a few books.”

“How sad.”

“Day two of my new life was when it all started. The blood lust, the need to feed. So I took my first life and the rush it gave me was exhilarating. Hearing someone’s heart stop, having all that power after being used and abused was amazing. So I took another and another until they all blurred into one kill. I had become the monster. People feared me, they told their children stories about how the boogeyman would come into their homes and drain them dry. Then one day I saw her. She was beautiful and alone, but when I approached her, ready to pounce she didn’t scream or run. She just stared at me with such compassion and told me it was alright.” He shook his head. “It wasn’t alright, my killing, the blood on my hands, it wasn’t alright. I broke down in tears and she took me home. The killing stopped and I started drinking bottled cows blood. A year later we were married and three years after that she was taken from me by a pack of ravenous vampires.” He buried his face in his hands and she pulled him into a hug. “They made me watch as they drained the life from her. I could do nothing.”

“It’s okay, everything is okay. I’m sorry for your loss, I’m sorry you were hurt.”

He held tightly to her, his forehead resting on her shoulder. “That’s why I am so afraid that I will hurt you. Everything I touch dies and I don’t want to kill you. Your blood is intoxicating, it makes me feel dizzy and needy.”

“There I go tempting you again. I’m such a pain. Maybe you should just take some and get it out of your system.” He pulled back to look at her.

“That’s not funny.”

“I wasn’t joking. It’s not like I need all of it to function. Does it hurt?”

“The first prick does, but hold on let’s go back. I’m not drinking your blood. I might not stop, I might kill you.”

“Oh please, I doubt that. You ran away after I cut my finger so I don’t believe for a minute that you would drain me dry. I can forgive you of your past because it’s in the past. It’s over and done with and there’s nothing you or I can do about it. Right now I’m concerned with the present and the future. You’ll never stop being uncomfortable around me if you don’t do this.”

“I can’t risk hurting you..not you” He said in a pained voice and sad eyes that could rival ones of a puppy. Aislinn sighed “I want you comfortable around me because I love being around you. Please, just take some and it wont be as big of a thing. Anytime you need a little to be comfortable you can take it. I trust you not to kill me” Dorin was moved by how deeply she obviously did trust him. She was literally putting her life in his hands by allowing him to sink his fangs into her. It was especially moving for her to offer this after hearing of who he used to be. “are you sure?”

“I wouldn’t have offered if I wasn’t sure”

“sit in my lap please” Dorin sat back on the couch and Aislinn crawled into his lap. “I want to hold you as I do it and you squeeze me if you need to for the pain you’ll feel when my fangs sink in. If you feel I’ve done it too long hit me as hard as you can. I’ll stop that very instant.”

“Ok” Aislinn said, her trust unwavering. Dorin moved the long, red locks of hair away from Aislinns neck then pulled her closer as he tilted his head. Aislinn didn’t make a sound when his fangs pierced her skin. It hurt but she held down the pained noise that wanted to escape and just held him. Dorin almost moaned when the first of her blood entered his mouth. It tasted even better than he imagined it would. He didn’t know if maybe it was being on cows blood so long but nothing had tasted better to him. He felt that needy greed to take it all but his heart wouldn’t allow that. He pulled his fangs out then just hugged her. His arms pressed Aislinn into him painfully but she knew he needed this embrace.

Chapter Three

“Thank you for putting that much trust in me” Dorin whispered “do you feel better now?”

“Oh yes, you were even more delicious than I thought you’d be” Aislinn blushed and Dorin smiled, feeling her skin heat.

“Sometimes it’s weird when you talk about me like I’m food.” She pressed her fingers to her neck. “I need to stop the bleeding.”

“Just stay here.” He sat her on the couch and he hurried to the kitchen, grabbing a rag an wetting it before running back. He handed it to her and she pressed it against the two small holes.

“That wasn’t so bad, just the first little bit hurt. It got my heart racing that’s for sure.”

“Let me see.” She moved the rag and he examined her neck. It had already stopped bleeding. “Are you sure you’re okay?”

“Yes, I’m fine so stop fussing. You sound like a mother hen. I kind of enjoyed it actually. I guess that makes me as weird as you.” She laughed softly and cupped his cheek when she still saw how worried he was. “I don’t think you’ll eat me up so stop looking at me like I might hate you and bolt. My survival instincts are far to strong to allow myself to freeze to death.” She smiled sweetly. “Now, give me a proper tour of this place.”

He pulled her into another hug and kissed her cheek. “You have no idea how much this all means to me. I’m terrified you might come to the realization that I am a monster.”

“I already know you’re a monster Dorin, but you’re a very sweet one. I like the kind of monster you are right now.”

“I don’t know what to think about you. You’re so confusing. I’ve never known anyone like you. You meet danger head on with no fear. I fear you have no real sense of self preservation.”

“My brother seems to think the same thing. He used to call me the walking disaster magnet. My little slip only proves him right.” He kissed her cheek again and pulled back. He took her hand and pulled her out of the living room.

“Lets start down here and work our way to the tower. It’s my favorite place so I’ll save it for last.” Cian waved at them as the passed the library, smiling and going back to reading. Aislinn marveled at the beauty of this place, running her hands along the details carved into each pillar they passed. She had never been in a place so big. She had grown up in a normal home and helped herd cattle and gather eggs. She listened to him talk about each room and painting, never tiring of his voice. When they finished with the first floor they moved to the second and third where he took her up a winding staircase to the top of the tower. “I love it here because you can see everything.” She shivered and he pulled her against him. “Let me warm you.”

“Thank you. It’s amazing up here, but I don’t think we’ll be seeing much with all the snow. I think you just wanted an excuse to hold me. Well played.” She teased.

He smiled, it hadn’t been his true intent. This was honestly his favorite place but it was nice to hold her. Dorin was bold and kissed her cheek again. “Getting small tastes of me?” She teased again, hoping he was comfortable enough not to get upset “I just love to kiss your soft, warm cheeks. Your skin is so smooth”

“well this isn’t fair, you’ve kissed me multiple times and I haven’t kissed you” Dorin turned her around “then kiss me wherever you like.” Aislinn smiled playfully then kissed his lips. It was a pleasant surprise for him and he began to kiss her back. Aislinn pulled back “now that’s better. Couldn’t let you keep having all the fun” Dorins heart was in a steady stutter. He didn’t know if it would ever return to a normal pace. “lets go in where it’s warm before you get sick.” Aislinn laughed “you worry way too much about things”

“How could I not worry about a woman as wonderful as you?” Aislinn would have blushed if she had the body heat to. She was glad to be going back in where it was warm. They went back into Dorins living room where he grabbed a blanket “Could I hold you again and drape this around us?”

“I’d get warmer faster so why not.” Dorins smile grew bigger, he hadn’t stopped smiling since their kiss. Aislinn got comfortable in Dorins lap again, resting her head on his shoulder. He wrapped the blanket around them then sighed contently. “you know kisses are good at making people warm.” Dorin said with a slight hint of nervousness. Aislinn giggled again, filling his home with her delightful sound. She grabbed his face and brought it to her own.

Dorin pulled her tightly against him, his fingers slipping into her hair as he kissed her more passionately. He would never get enough of her sweet kisses. Her leaving was going to kill him, but he knew she would have to. It was important for her to get to the sea. He had never wanted another person more. He broke the kiss and pressed his forehead against hers. “I’m definitely warm now.” He let out a soft laugh and opened his eyes to look at her.

“You have no idea how much I need you. It’s not just about blood either.”

“You have been alone to long.”

“It’s not about loneliness either. You are just so amazingly beautiful and intelligent. I adore your temper and your smile and your laugh melts me. Everything about you drives me wild. I hunger for you.”

“Developed an addiction have we?”

“It’s one I’ll never be able to get rid of.”

“Like candy or cake.”

“You’re even better.”

She kissed him again then settled down with her head on his chest. “You make me feel really special do you know that. I like it, no correction I love it.”

“Then I will continue to tell you how much you mean to me.” He caressed her cheek and she smiled happily then grabbed his hand, holding it to her cheek. She fell asleep like that and he became as still as he could. He absorbed her warmth and admired her beauty. Her pale skin reminded him of the snow, soft and dazzling. A few minutes later Cian came to check on them and Dorin held a finger up to his lips to tell him to be quiet.

“Sorry, just making sure you two were okay.” He whispered.

“Thank you, we’re perfect.”

“Good, if you need me I’ll be napping.” Dorin nodded and Cian left them alone. He rested his head on the couch and closed his eyes falling asleep with her.

Aislinns eyes slowly drifted open when she woke. She felt as if she had been asleep for months instead of a little over an hour. She sat up, noticing Dorin sleeping. Aislinn smiled then got up so she could find where a bathroom was. She had barely gotten up from Dorins lap when he woke and grabbed her hand “where are you going? The storm hasn’t stopped has it?”

“I was just going to look for a bathroom. Regardless, I wont leave without telling you bye. I know you can’t go with me to the see or is it not true that you can’t be in the sun?”

“It just drains me, I wont shrivel up and die or anything” Aislinn smiled “well lets worry about a bathroom for now so I dont wet myself”

“Sounds urgent, I better run you there myself since you don’t know the way”

“I guess so” Aislinn answered in a humouring way. She looked at him in such a way it made it hard to stand. Dorin swept Aislinn off her feet and ran her to the nearest bathroom. When she was done Aislinn said “Now that that emergency is over we can discuss what happens when I leave” They went into a study and sat down on the small couch. “I’d be an idiot not to see you care about me with how sweetly you’ve talked and acted towards me Dorin. I can also tell how upset you’ll be when I go with your reaction to me needing to use the restroom.Would you like to travel to the sea with us? Afterward we could come back here and stay with you if that’s somthing you want. I don’t know if my brother would want to live here but I’ll stay here with you if you want me”

Dorins exhale of air was sheky “of course I want that, more than anything Aislinn. You do not know how badly I do not want to seperate from your side. I may slow you two down a bit at times but I’ll try not to. It’s hard for my kind to be out during the day but I’ve had practice and can do it”

“Would taking my blood every now and then help you during the day”

“Yes…” Aislinn sighed “stop that Dorin, it doesn’t upset me for you to like my blood. You are what you are and I accept that. I like that I’m delicious anyway.” Aislinn said with a wink. Dorin smiled “I’m just not used to anybody being so ok with it. My first love accepted me but the blood drinking still put her off.”

“Your first love?” Aislinn asked, understanding he had just professed his love without meaning to. Dorin gave Aislinn a gentle kiss “You are so perfect for me, everything I could want. Of course I’m falling madly in love with you. I want you to be mine always. I will travel with you and only take any blood from you if you offer it.”

“You really are the best.” She wrapped her arms around his neck and gave him a long, loving kiss. “I love you too Dorin and you’re the first man I haven’t tried to kill for hitting on me.” He smiled as he pressed his lips back into hers. He slid his hands up the back of her shirt, wanting to touch more of her.

“I love how soft you are.” He whispered and trailed kisses down her neck. He licked the spot where he had bit her, getting the faintest taste of blood. “You taste amazing.”

“Would you like to taste more of me?”

“Yes please.” He lifted her and she wrapped her legs around his waist. He kept kissing her as he carried her to his room. She found herself pressed into his mattress and they pulled at each other’s clothes. He rained feather light kisses down her body, his hands cupping her breasts and sliding down her sides to her hips. He licked her, making her moan loudly. She gripped the blankets as he teased her, making her back arch off the bed. He kissed his way back up her and she wrapped her legs around him. He thrust into her as he sank his fangs into her neck, making her cling to him and scream his name.

Aislinn held tightly to his back, feeling scars covering his shoulders. He moaned as she clenched and quivered around him. She felt herself growing drowsy and he pulled his fangs from her neck, kissing her softly as he spilled himself in her. “Are you okay? I took to much didn’t I?”

“Shh, I’m fine.” He moved to lay next to her and pulled her into his arms.

“I just got carried away.” He stroked her cheek and she smiled happily.

“Just let me nap then I’ll make dinner.”

“No, you are going to let me cook tonight. No arguments.”

“Are you ordering me around?”

“Absolutely and in your weakened state there is nothing you can do about it.”

“Mmm, you’re very clever. I really love you. Fine, you can cook and would you mind getting a rag and wiping the blood off my neck?”

“Sure.” He left her laying there and went to the bathroom, wetting a rag and going back to her. He gently wiped the blood away then took it back and tossed it in the clothes basket before going back to her and laying down. She was already asleep and he checked her breathing before pulling her into his arms. “Next time I’ll be more careful. I promise.”

That had been a truly amazing experience but he laid there feeling guilty for taking so much blood. Dorin got so lost in the pleasure of it all he wasn’t paying attention and that greatly upset him. He could have killed her if he didn’t notice how much her heart slowed and removed his fangs. He couldn’t believe she still wasn’t upset with him. Nobody would take Aislinn from him. He wouldn’t let another vampire near enough to. He didn’t care what it took he would not loose Aislinn as he had lost his wife. When dinner time came Aislinn still wasn’t awake and his heart sank. Dorin checked her again to find she was still living then readied himself to go make dinner. He hoped a meal would give her energy. He made grilled cheese and a fruit salad then went to get Aislinn. Cian could tell somthing was bothering him but didn’t ask. He figured they were still working out a few things.

Aislinn was stretching when Dorin returned “How’re you feeling?” Dorin asked softly “After amazing love making and a nap? Fantastic”

“Do you feel light headed still?”

“Slightly but I’m fine Dorin. Don’t you go mopeing about it either. I know you didn’t mean to and I know next time you’ll be more careful. Please be happy for me because I can’t wait for a next time” Aislinn said with a wink. Dorin smiled then gave her a kiss before picking her up. “you just mean so much to me” He realized she was still naked so set her back down. That would be fine if it were just them but Cian was at the table. Aislinn pulled on her clothes then allowed Dorin to pick her back up. Cian smiled when Dorin sat his sister down “letting a man carry you, my my my. Where is my Aislinn?”

“Shush it you” Cian laughed and they all ate. It took a few days for the storm to pass. When it did Aislinn asked again “you sure you want to travel when the sun makes you feel bad?”

“I am sure, I’ll do my best not to slow you two.”

“You’re also welcome to a little blood if you need it for energy” Dorin nodded and smiled. He was a little more comfortable with taking her blood at this point. The rest of their travels to the sea were as easy as traveling across a mountain could be. Dorin only took Aislinns blood when he needed it to keep walking. When they arrived at the sea the twins spread his ashes in the water then each said a few words. Cian and Aislinn ended up in a tight embrace as they cried. Dorin wanted to comfort Aislinn but knew this was a moment best left to the two of them. Aislinn and Cian didn’t know how much time passed as they stood there but they finally let go. Cian wiped at his face while Aislinn wiped at hers “so, are you returning to mother with me?” Aislinn shook her head “I’m staying with Dorin. Tell mom I love her and that I’ve found my love” Cian smiled “I’m glad you have. I think I’ll let her finish mourning our father before I tell her your love is a vampire. I don’t think she needs that type of stress right now. She’ll worry herself into the grave.”

“That probably is best but don’t keep it from her too long. You know how mom is about omitting the truth”

“Yeah”

“You promise me you’ll make it home on your own and safely” Cian laughed “I will, you be safe with mister blood sucker here. You come visit us. I’ll be pissed if you don’t”

“We will” They hugged again then walked together back to Dorins. Cian stayed another night to rest then Dorin sent him on his way with food, drink and a change of clohes if he wanted to change along the way. Cian gave his sister a long hug “I love you Aislinn”

“I love you too, be careful returning home”

“There’s no blizzard any longer. I’ll be just fine. I’ve traveled without you countless times”

“I know, it’s a siblings job to worry”

“Bye sister”

“Bye Cian” When the door was shut Dorin hugged her from behind “they can come anytime and we’ll visit as often as makes you happy”

“I know Dorin” He kissed her cheek “I love you” Those words hitting her in the heart as they always did. “I love you too my sweet, amazing monster”

~ The End ~

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