Fatima 50 Lombard 250

Chapter One

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Fatima stared at her computer screen, trying to figure how to word bashing a zombies head in in a good way. She had to send this report in as soon as she was done so the kill could be called justified. She sighed and closed the laptop then rested her forehead on top of it. She hated these damn reports and wanted to ring the police chief’s scrawny little neck. She had twenty years on the man and here she was having to write reports up for him so she wouldn’t be arrested.

“Is everything alright?” The familiar voice filled her with such warmth. She raised her head and smiled at Lombard who stood across the room giving her a very concerned look.

“Yes, just fantasizing about murdering the police chief with my laptop.” She answered and a smile played across his lips.

“Well that’s not good. You look tired. Why don’t you let me rub your shoulders then take you upstairs to read to you.”

“You are a real angel you know that.” She got out of her chair and sat on the edge of her desk. He crossed the room and she pulled her hair aside so he could rub her. His hands felt amazing. His fingers moved up her neck and she actually moaned. She blushed and covered her mouth. He didn’t seem to notice.

“Better?” He asked and she nodded. He lifted her off the desk and carried her upstairs to her room. He sat her down at the foot of her bed and slipped her shoes off. She lay back and he rubbed her feet and calves.

“You’re going to put me to sleep if you keep doing that. I want you to read to me. I bought a new book.” She said and sat back up. He kicked off his shoes and sat at the top of her bed with his back against the headboard. She crawled up to lay between his legs and he picked up her new book.

“This looks like a romance novel.” He said as he stared at the cover.

“It is a romance novel.”

“Okay then, I guess.” He flipped the book open and started reading. She rubbed her cheek against his chest as if she were trying to find a more comfortable position and his heart sped up. He glanced down at her. Her eyes were closed and she was smiling. He stopped reading and she opened her eyes, looking a little confused.

“Is something wrong?”

“Your birthday is the day after tomorrow.”

“Is it really? How could I forget?” She sat up and hugged her knees to her chest. He sat her book down and wrapped his arms around her.

“What’s wrong?” He asked, his breath tickling her cheek.

“I’ve just been so busy. I forgot your birthday too.”

He smiled and said, “I remember you crying because of it. It didn’t hurt my feelings. I know how busy you are hunting down zombies and attending benefits.” He turned her face so she was looking at him. “I’m going to throw you a party. Fifty is a milestone. No baby blue this year I promise. There will be a big cake, your friends, and dancing.”

“I’ll only dance if you promise to dance with me. You never dance with me anymore. You keep worrying about my reputation.” She said softly.

“Your reputation is important.”

“I’m going to give you a really important order and you are bound by your loyalty to follow it to the letter. You’re going to dance with me at least once on my birthday or I won’t attend it.”

He smiled again. “Alright, one dance.”

Chapter Two

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He read until she fell asleep, her breathing soft and almost inaudible. He sat her book down and wrapped his arms around her. He wished he could take some of the burden off her shoulders. She had far to much responsibility. He would gladly hunt zombies for her if she would let him. She always told him he wasn’t going with her. If she was afraid he would hate her afterwards she was wrong. There was a difference between him and the creatures she hunted. They were no longer sane.

He kissed the top of her head and stroked his thumb back and forth over her arm. He looked down at her sweet face, at those lips he knew had to be soft. He brushed her hair behind her ear and kissed her forehead. He shook his head, forcing himself to look away. He was extremely exhausted, had been unable to sleep. He was worried about something. He didn’t know what, but it plagued him constantly. He sighed and lay her gently on the bed. He needed some fresh air. He left her room quietly and went up into the attic. He climbed out the window and sat on the roof, staring up at the full moon.

Fatima felt cold. She opened her eyes and noticed she was alone. She sat up and looked around. He hardly ever left. She wondered where he was and what was wrong, but didn’t go looking for him. He deserved alone time if he needed it. She went over to her window and pulled it open, sticking her head out and inhaling the fresh night air. “Where have you gone my friend?” She asked the night.

Lombard heard her and became still. He held his breath, not wanting her to find him up on the roof. She sighed, sounding sad. He wanted to go back to her, but he made himself stay. He was afraid of what he might do to her. He loved her so much, but he wasn’t willing to ruin her or their relationship for a few minutes of bliss. He closed his eyes and shook his head. He heard her window close and then he went quickly back inside. He snuck to his room and undressed, crawling in bed and staring up at the ceiling. Tomorrow he had a lot of work to do.

The next morning he went about making phone calls after serving Fatima her breakfast. He rolled his eyes when he called Sicily, wishing he could lock her in a room somewhere. He went into the kitchen and went over dinner for tomorrow with Edwin. He wrote down a list of things he would need for the party and gave it to Sue. They were all going to go shopping for presents the next morning since Fatima had a meeting with Donnie. He checked and double checked everything before going to help clean.

Fatima watched Lombard move past the dining room and into the library. She wanted to ask him if he was okay. She was worried about him leaving her alone the night before. He usually had a reason, but he had not offered one this morning. He looked exhausted. She didn’t know if zombies could get sick like humans. She then wondered if she had done something wrong. She knew he would never say anything unless she did something stupid that could get her hurt. She ate slowly, thinking back on anything she might have said or done. After breakfast she went to the library to watch him put books back on the shelves. She pretended like she was reading, hoping he would say something, but he didn’t.

She huffed and flipped her book closed. She stood and crossed to him, grabbing his arm and making him look at her. “You haven’t said one word to me this morning. Did I do something wrong?” She asked.

“No, of course not. I’m sorry, I’ve just been busy planning. Did you sleep well last night?” He slid the book in his hand into its place.

“For the most part. Is that why you left last night?”

“Yes,” he lied, “I was figuring things out for tomorrow.”

“Next time just say something. I thought I had made you angry.”

“I don’t usually get angry and I never get mad at you.”\

Chapter Three

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Lombard sat with her until lunch, listening to her reading. She had never read to him before. He loved the sound of her voice, her words flowing like warm honey. He reached slowly over and took her hand in his. She smiled, but kept reading. He was happy when she didn’t pull away until she had to turn the page. He frowned. What was he doing? He thought and pulled his hand back. He couldn’t let her know, couldn’t let himself fall into her warmth. “You need to eat lunch Fatima.” He said softly and she closed the book. She walked over to the bookshelf and put the book where it went.

“Come and eat with me please.” She said and grabbed his hands in hers, pulling him to his feet.

“I should get back to work.”

“I am work remember.” He couldn’t help but smile at that. That was true. She was his job, her happiness and well being were what drove him. He went with her to the dining room and Trisha brought them out hamburgers. Everything was home made, home grown or fresh off the farm. They ate happily together, her trying to squeeze as much information out of him about her party as she could. He was unrelenting. There was nothing she could to sway him. They finished lunch and she kissed his cheek before heading to her office to work on her report while he went back to overseeing the house.

Fatima flipped her laptop open and her unfinished report looked back at her. She glared at the screen. She thought hard about a better way of saying she smashed someone’s skull. She heard her office door open. It was Lombard with a bottle of blood. He crossed the room and handed it to her. “What’s a nice way of saying you hit someone’s head against something so hard it killed them?” She asked as she twisted the top off the bottle and took a sip.

“Blunt force trauma.” He answered.

“Thank you so much. I didn’t want my report to sound so gruesome.” She quickly typed it then attached it to an email and sent it to the police chief. “So glad that’s over with. Stupid report had me ready to commit murder.”

“You only kill when justified.”

“Why are you so understanding of what I do? Why don’t you try to make me be a good girl like everyone else?”

“Because I lo…” He froze, snapping his mouth shut and then clearing his throat. “Because you are my friend and I want you to be happy.”

She stared at him for a moment then looked away. He had almost said he loved her. She nodded then smiled and drank the entire bottle to keep herself from jumping into his arms. She twisted the top back on and handed it to him. “I can’t believe I’ll be fifty tomorrow. How crazy. We’ve known each other for fifty years.”

“It is quite amazing.” He agreed. They had been fifty amazing years, watching her grow up and then falling in love with her. Even if she never felt the same he would always love her. No one else could have his heart, could command him.

“I can’t wait to see what you’re going to do for my party. You always make my birthday so special. I think I’m going to go to the beach and swim. Want to come?”

“I can’t I have things to do, but you go and have fun. Why don’t you call Sicily and see if she’ll accompany you?”

“Dear lord, alright fine.” He left the room as she picked up the phone to call her friend.

Chapter Four

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She waited outside on the front porch in a bikini and sandals. Sicily showed up and Fatima understood why it had taken her so long. She had done her make up and hair. She was going to attract a man, not to swim. Fatima was glad she was wearing shades so Sicily couldn’t see her roll her eyes. She got in Sicily’s car and she drove them very quickly to the beach. Fatima laid her towel out in the warm sand then took off her shades and sandals. She headed for the water while Sicily lay down. She noticed she was being watched by a young man who looked oddly familiar. She waded into the water and then dove under, enjoying it rushing over her skin. She surfaced and watched as the man started swimming toward her. She glared. It was Rick’s son Otto.

“What are you doing here?” She asked.

“Swimming what does it look like?” He replied and she resisted the urge to push his head under the water. “Dad says he has a job for you tonight.”

“He does know I have to be up early tomorrow right and it’s also my birthday?”

“Hence the reason he sent me to ask you to do it tonight.”

She huffed. “Damn it fine. Where?”

“In the park near the old cathedral.” He answered.

“Okay, I’ll be there. Bye bye.” He swam away and she went back to the beach. She walked across the sand and lay down on her towel.

“Who was that?” Sicily asked as she watched Otto walking across the beach.

“Otto, I know his dad. If you want him then go get him because I don’t need him in my life right now.” Fatima answered.

“Nice, I’ll be back.” She closed her eyes, enjoying the sun. She just lay there for an hour, the sun was suddenly blocked. She opened her eyes and found herself looking up at another man. She glared at him and he smiled.

“What do you want?” She asked angrily.

“You look like you need someone to rub sunscreen on you.” He said and wiggled his eyebrows.

“No thanks, find another woman who cares.”

“Come on, just a little rub. I promise to be gentle.” She came up off the ground and grabbed him by his throat, exposing her fangs with a growl. He turned paler that a sheet and she let him go so he could run away. She laughed as he sped across the sand. The sun was starting to fall and she needed to get home and shower.

“Sicily lets go.” She yelled down the beach to her and Otto. She waved goodbye and came back, pouting. “I have to get home.”

“Things were just starting to get good damn it.” She whined.

“I’m sure we’ll see him again, lets go.”

Chapter Five

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Sicily insisted on following her inside. She rolled her eyes, but did not protest. Lombard met her at the door, his eyes moved briefly over her bikini clad form. “You don’t look happy.” He said as he followed her upstairs, Sicily close behind.

“I’m not. Rick had Otto come and ask me to work tonight so I don’t have to work tomorrow. I can’t say no.” They all went into her room and she stepped into her bathroom. She pulled off her bikini and tossed it into her room. She switched the shower on and quickly rinsed the salt water from her hair and skin. She grabbed a towel and dried then wrapped it around her. She stepped into the room and into her closet.

“Did you tell him you have to get up early?”

“Yes and the little fucker just grinned.” She went through her clothes and pulled a pair of jeans and a long sleeve shirt on. She grabbed her boots and tugged them on. She came out and found a ponytail holder then pulled her hair up. The sun was starting to go down. “I may be back late tonight. Can have me something simple to eat ready?”

“Of course I can.”

“Thank you so much you’re the best.” She tip toed up and kissed his cheek. “Hopefully I’ll be back in time for you to read to me.”

“If not it’s okay, just be careful.” He said and couldn’t help but tuck a piece of fly away hair behind her ear.

“Sorry Sicily, but I can’t hang out. Rick wants me to hunt so I’m going to hunt. You should go home and be ready for tomorrow.”

“So not fair. Fine, I’ll see you and Mr. Buzzkill tomorrow.”

Lombard walked Fatima to the door and stood on the front porch as the car pulled away. He always worried when she went zombie hunting. He didn’t want to see her covered in bites and scratches. She never came back with any, but it may be because she healed so fast. He went into the library and found a book, flipping it open and reading. It was the only thing that helped take his mind off of her dangerous work. He filled his mind instead with images of her beautiful smile and musical voice. From there his mind drifted to images of her covered in water, the drops rolling down the valley between her breasts and lower. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, reprimanding himself. He had to stop thinking of her like that. When he could sleep, all he dreamed about was her. He threw the book across the room and buried his face in his hands. He was failing, found himself unable to hide his feelings for her. The way he touched her and talked to her was far to intimate. When she slept in his arms, her face pillowed on his chest he wanted to wake her up with kisses. It wasn’t fair how much he loved her.

Fatima made it to the park as the sun fell completely passed the horizon and the moon began to rise. She had Keith pop the trunk and she pulled her gun out. She made sure it was loaded then flipped it closed. She took a deep breath and made her way into the park. She didn’t see anything yet, but she could definitely smell decay. She listened closely as she moved passed the small pond where duck slept peacefully. She looked at her reflection in the moon lit water. The water started to bubble and a zombie crawled out, grabbing her ankle and flipping her onto her back. She shot it in the face as another came scrambling out of the darkness and jumped on her. She rolled across the ground, losing her gun. She gripped its hea don her hands and wrenched hard, snapping its neck so it went limp.

She pushed it off of her as six more came from the shadows, their moans and cries heartbreaking and terrifying. She snatched up her gun and opened fire, emptying it and having to face the last two with her bare hands. She rushed the first one, jumping into the air and onto its chest. She snapped its neck and was tackled by the last zombie. Nails scratched her as it tore at her shirt. She screamed in anger, punching and kicking as she held it back by its throat. She put her feet in its stomach and launched it through the air and head first into a tree. The impact smashed its skull, killing it. She lay in the grass, catching her breath. She pulled her cell out of her pocket and called Rick.

“They’re all dead, send your idiot son to clean up please.” She said as she gasped for air.

Chapter Six

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Lombard sat on the porch, waiting impatiently for Fatima to return. He resisted the urge to call Rick and make sure she was alright. He checked his watch. It was almost nine and she was still gone. Headlights suddenly bloomed at the edge of the driveway and Keith pulled up. He was on his feet and to the car in an instant. He pulled the door open and gave a relieved sigh when he saw she was alive. He held out his hand and she took it, looking ready to drop. He lifted her and carried her inside. She rested her head against his chest and he took her upstairs.

“You stay here while I get you something to eat.” He said as he lay her down.

“I’m too tired to eat, just read to me.” She replied, her voice a whisper.

“Eat first then I’ll read all night if you want me to.” He hurried back down stairs, pulling the bowl of fruit he chopped out of the refrigerator. He had set it aside just for her. He grabbed a fork and hurried back up. She was asleep and he shook her gently awake. She groaned and opened her eyes. “You need to eat.” She sighed and sat up and he handed her the bowl.

“Thank you.” She said and he watched her eat until there was nothing left. She sat the bowl on the table and scooted forward so he could sit behind her. He pulled off his shoes and her boots then sat behind her. She leaned against him and he picked up her book, finding the page he had dog eared and reading to her. Her breathing evened out and she relaxed completely against him. He sat the book down and wrapped her in a tight hug.

“I love you and I wish you would stop hunting. It scares me. Every time you go out my heart nearly stops. I know you won’t stop because it is not in you to quit ever. I love how tenacious you are. Someday I’m going to make you take me.” He said softly. He ran his fingers over her cheek and down to her chin. He traced her lips, wanting to kiss her again. He leaned his head back and closed his eyes. He felt himself grow drowsy and before he knew it, he was sleeping.

The next morning Fatima woke feeling refreshed. She smiled at the sleeping Lombard, glad he had stayed this time. She pulled his arms slowly from around her and rested them on his lap. She slid out of bed and snuck into the bathroom. She had a meeting with Donnie and some other businessmen who wanted to invest in her father’s steel company. She showered quickly and dried, surprised Lombard was still asleep as she passed through to her closet. She put on a knee length black skirt and long sleeve red blouse. She buttoned it up then grabbed a pair of red heels. She turned around, nearly jumping out of her skin when she saw Lombard leaning against the door frame.

“Christ on a cracker, you scared the shit out of me.” She said and moved passed him to sit down.

“Sorry, you should have woke me.” He sat down next to her as she pulled her shoes on.

“You looked so comfortable, I thought I’d give you a few more minutes.”

“I like being awake when you’re awake.”

She smiled at him then went into the bathroom. She switched on her curling iron and did her make up. She blow dried her hair and then curled it. “Do I look professional?” She asked as she turned in a circle.

“Yes and beautiful as always. Would you like me to get your sunscreen?”

“Yes please.” He left and quickly returned, handing it to her. She covered her bare skin then tossed the bottle on her bed. “Okay, I have to get out of here before I’m late. Sorry I have to miss breakfast, but Donnie’s taking me out to lunch after the meeting. I’ll probably be back around one or two.” She kissed his cheek and then wiped away the lipstick. “Go eat and maybe relax. You look so tired.”

“I will. One more thing before you go.” He said. “Happy birthday.” She smiled and gave him another kiss on the cheek.

“You’ll have to get that one.” She said as she left the room. She practically ran down the stairs and out to the car. Keith smiled at her and opened the back door.

Chapter Seven

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Lombard washed the lipstick off of his face, not wanting to give anyone anything to talk about. He went downstairs where the two maids and cook were waiting for him. Edwin had already called a cab. They waited on the porch and quickly got in. They stopped at a variety of stores, buying her a couple of presents each. He had the driver stop at a store that made bath stuff. He found a bottle of shampoo that smelled like roses. The smell was sweet, but not overwhelming. He bought it and one of the many gift bags they offered. He hoped she would like it. If she did he would buy her more. They all went home, carrying the bags in. Sue and Trisha decorated while Edwin helped him wrap. They had chosen to make the theme purple and red. They moved a table into the large entry way and stacked the presents neatly. Edwin left to begin cooking while Lombard helped finish decorating.

Fatima sat at the head of the long table listening to Donnie talk about money. The four men sitting with them debated back and forth about how much they were willing to invest. They wanted to pay less than they thought they should. Donnie looked angry. “What do you think Miss Hicks?” Donnie asked. He only called her by her last name when she was here.

“I think that these so called men are trying to screw us.” She answered, turning her attention to the potential investors. “This is what is going to happen. You four are going to pay what we ask because we all know the price is reasonable. My father’s steel is worth every penny, in fact you won’t find anything better. If you want to play games I am more than willing to play. I could easily buy your business right out from underneath you and have you fired then replace you with someone more competent. I bet your boss would jump at the opportunity to paid double the price he would ask for his business.”

The four men swallowed nervously, their eyes wide with shock. “Do we have a deal then?” Donnie asked and the four men nodded. “Good, I’ll have the papers written up and faxed to your boss tomorrow.” The four men stood and walked out of the conference room. Donnie took a deep breath and ran his fingers through his hair. “Damn Fatima, you really scared those assholes. Tell me again why you aren’t running this on your own?”

“Because I am not as business oriented. I’m just intimidating.”

“That you are beautiful. Happy birthday by the way. I’ve never seen a better looking fifty year old, well except for me of course.” She punched him in the arm and he laughed. “Too bad we never stayed together.”

“Just because you and Maria divorced doesn’t mean you can get in my pants.” She replied.

“I know, I know. You have eyes only for Lombard. When are you going to tell that poor man you love him anyway?”

She shrugged. “When he’s ready to admit his feelings for me I guess. He’s been holding back for years because of my reputation. I don’t think he quite understands that my reputation as a Hicks is already in the toilet. People don’t like what I do for work or that I act like a tomboy. You know what I mean.”

Donnie checked his watch. “Lets go to lunch. Let Keith go home, I’ll drive you back.”

“Sounds good. I am starving.”

Lombard was happy with how everything turned out. Keith arrived back at the house without Fatima and he knew his plan for Donnie to take her out had worked. Keith wrapped his presents then put them on the table with the rest. Guests arrived and stacked their own gifts on the table. He checked his watch. Fatima would be on her way soon. He couldn’t wait to see the look on her face when she walked in.
Fatima ate her burger quickly. Donnie smiled as he finished his french fries then sucked down his soda. They paid and left. She climbed into his car and he drove her home. There were so many cars in her driveway and she looked at her friend with an arched eyebrow. “Hey don’t look at me like that, Lombard asked me to keep you away from the house.” He said and she kissed his cheek. They got out and she practically ran through the front door.

Chapter Eight

The loud “surprise” made her smile. Lombard stood near the present table, hands behind his back. She could see happiness twinkling in his eyes. There was red and purple everywhere, her colors. She talk to and hugged everyone, even Rick and Otto who she wanted to slap half the time. She made her way to Lombard and wrapped her arms around his waist. “This is wonderful, thank you.” She said as she smiled up at him.

“You’re welcome. I’m glad you like it.” He replied with a warm smile of his own. “Go ahead and talk to everyone, have fun.”

She went back into the group of people, hearing how everything had been going in their lives. She laughed when Rick told her about Otto’s scare with a zombie he thought was dead. It had apparently been laying on the ground motionless and Otto had got to close. It had grabbed his ankle and by Rick’s account Otto had screamed like a girl. Otto glared at his father which made him laugh harder. He slapped his son on the back and told him it happens to everyone at least once. Dinner was served at five and everyone ate. Fatima noticed that Donnie was rubbing his chest. He smiled when he noticed her watching him. Next she opened her presents, thanking everyone. Lombard’s was a bottle of shampoo that smelled like roses.

“Are you trying to say I stink?” She teased.

“Yes, you smell terrible.” He replied and she laughed.

Edwin brought out the cake with a 5 and 0 candle on top since blowing out fifty at a time would be extremely hard. She closed her eyes and made the same wish she did every year before blowing them out. Edwin started to cut cake and Fatima looked over at Donnie who was leaning against the table, a pained look on his face. She started toward him and he collapsed. She rushed to his side, screaming for Lombard to call an ambulance.

“Donnie, what’s wrong?” She asked, lightly slapping his face to keep him awake.

“Heart attack.” He answered as his eyes drifted closed.

“No, no, no stay with me Donnie.” She pressed her ear to his chest, hearing nothing. She started CPR, begging him the whole time to come back. He had to live to see his child again. The ambulance showed up just as she got his heart beating again. They lifted him onto the gurney and wheeled him away. She followed him into the ambulance, holding his hand. She knew Lombard would have Keith follow in the car. “Don’t die Donnie. I will never forgive you if you do.” She said sadly, trying not to cry. They made it to the hospital and she followed them inside. She was stopped in the hall and directed to the waiting room. Lombard came in a moment later and she ran into his arms, tears slipping down her cheeks.

“What happened?” He asked as he sat down with her in his lap.

“He had a heart attack. I didn’t even know he was having problems. He never said anything.” A nurse came in an hour later and she begged the woman to take her to Donnie. The nurse relented and took them to the cardiac ward where Donnie lay asleep. She went to him, taking his hand in hers. “Donnie, please wake up.” She whispered. “Please open your eyes.” His eyelids fluttered open and he smiled weakly up at her.

“Hey beautiful.” He said softly.

“Hey, how are you feeling?”

“Like I’m dying. This is my third heart attack.”

“You should have said something Donnie.”

He coughed and she brushed her thumb over his hand. “I didn’t want you to worry you.”

“Stupid idiot. Never hide things from me.” She started crying again. “How much more can your heart take?”

“One more and I could die.” He answered honestly.

She shook her head. “I’m not letting you die. You have a daughter. She’s getting married soon and you have to be there.” She cupped his cheek and looked into his eyes. “Let me change you, let me make you like me.”

Chapter Nine

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“Fatima, are you sure?” Lombard asked, worried.

“Yes, I know I’ll be responsible for him.” She replied and stroked her friends forehead.

“Does it hurt?” Donnie asked.

“I was born this way, but yes it does a little. My mother said it was like fire moving through her, threatening to burn her from the inside out.”

“So a lot less than a heart attack. Okay, yes I don’t want to miss my daughter’s wedding.”

Fatima hit the call button and a nurse came running into the room. “Is everything okay?” She asked.

“I need you to tell his doctor to bring some bags of blood in here and that I am going to need him to hook me up to Donnie for a transfusion.”

“You’re going to change him ma’am?”

“Yes, now go.”

The nurse left without arguing and came back with Donnie’s cardiac doctor and four bags of blood. The doctor ordered the nurse to hook Donnie and Fatima to each other so they could run her blood into him after she drained him. “Okay Donnie, I have to take as much of your blood as I can and then give you some of mine in return. You’re going to get very sleepy, but you must stay awake.” He nodded and she tipped his head back and sank her canines into his throat. He gasped in pain. She drank until he was limp and pale then the nurse opened up the tube that connected them and let her blood flow through it and into his body. She felt herself getting dizzy, her knees shaking. Lomabrd wrapped his arms around her, supporting her weight as she gave as much as she could. The nurse unhooked her and bandaged her arm. She hung one of the blood bags and then hooked it up to Donnie.

Donnie gripped the blanket in his hands, a whimper of pain escaping his lips. Fatima held his hand and whispered to him he would be alright. Tears streamed down his face and into his hair. He screamed and she stroked her fingers through his hair. Her blood finally took hold and he was able to fall asleep. She kissed his forehead and apologized for the pain. “You have to make sure he stays out of the sun.” She told his doctor. “I’ll have some of my special sunscreen sent over. Make sure he puts it on before he goes home.”

“Yes Miss Hicks.” The doctor said.

“Lombard please take me home.”

They took the elevator down and he carried her outside to the car where Keith waited patiently. He put her gently in and then got in next to her. Keith drove them home and he carried her inside and up to her room. She was already asleep. He ran downstairs and grabbed a bottle of blood. He took it up and sat it next to her bed then kissed her forehead. He went back downstairs which had already been cleaned up and found the CD player and one of her CDs. He put it on the small table in the entry way next to a vase of lilies and plugged it in. He had promised her a dance and he was going to deliver. He turned the knob so the lights came on. He made sure they were dim, glowling softly.

Fatima woke to the sound of music. She sat up, feeling dizzy. She noticed the bottle of blood next to her and grabbed it, twisting the cap off and gulping it down. Even though she had taken nearly all of Donnie’s blood she was still weak from giving nearly as much. She stood slowly then headed downstairs. She stopped at the bottom when she saw Lombard standing in the middle of the room. “What’s all this?” She asked.

“I promised to dance with you.” He held out his hand and she smiled, crossing the room and placing one hand on his shoulder and the other in his hand. He pulled her close as the song Never Fade started:

She laughed as he spun her out and pulled her back in. The song was happy and exciting, bringing her so much joy. He spun her in a circle then pulled her back in so her back was against his chest and his arms were wrapped around her. They rocked together, her laughing louder than intended. She leaned her head back on his shoulder, laughing to hard to keep going. She smiled up at him and he smiled back.

“Thank you so much for today.” She said breathless.

“You never have to thank me Fatima, I just want you to be happy.” They smiled at each other until the song ended and she was ready to be read to. She fell asleep with a smile on her face, knowing everything was going to be okay.

THE END

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