Just a quick one today. I wrote this bit for #FlashMobWrites, using the “marry someone who” prompt. Marriage brought Ariella and Niklaus to mind, so here’s a bit more on them.
“So do you actually hunt for your food?” I walk out of our washroom, already changed into my sleeping gown, combing my still-wet hair. Niklaus sits at the edge of the bed, removing his shoes. He’s already shirtless, and for a moment I falter. It’s only been a few weeks since the ceremony – feeding from me isn’t the only thing he hasn’t attempted.
“Yes.” He smiles when he answers, apparently amused with me again. “Why so curious all of a sudden?” When he looks up at me, he notices the expression on my face and the color very obviously rising in my cheeks. “Sorry,” he reaches for a sleeping shirt, “Didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable.”
“Um, no – it’s okay. We’re married, right? I should be getting accustomed to this kind of thing.” Even though I never imagined I’d marry someone who needs to drink blood to survive. I walk over to him, still a bit nervous, but place my hand on his, stopping him from grabbing the shirt. “If you feel more comfortable…like this…then that’s fine.”
“Are you sure?” His eyes are a strange mixture of wariness and concern. It’s obvious he’s doing what he can to appease me, practically walking on eggshells around me.
I offer a nervous smile in response, and he lets go of the shirt.
“Anyway,” I turn around, trying to muster the courage to ask my next question, “Will you take me hunting with you?”
“What?” My question seems to shock him out of the awkwardness of the moment.
“My mom – my real mom – used to take me hunting. I miss it.” When was the last time I held a crossbow? My stepmother frowned upon it so my dad never let me.
“Ariella, I don’t…it’s not the same as when humans hunt. I doubt you want to see that.” He sits on the edge of his side of the bed. “Besides, it’s dangerous. I could hurt you if something goes wrong.”
“So no more dangerous than every other day?” I pull the covers back on my side of the bed, busying myself with the motions of getting ready for bed. It’s not until I look back up at him that I notice the expression on his face. He looks guilty.
“I’m sorry.” Niklaus looks away, turning his back to me. “I don’t think I’ve apologized yet, for what I’ve done to you…”
Before I realize what I’m doing, I’m sitting on his side of the bed. In an unprecedented act of intimacy, I turn towards him and cup his cheek in my hand. Eyes wide, he simply stares at me. “You didn’t do this to me – the council did. They did this to us.”
Niklaus’ smile is faint, but it’s there. He removes my hand from his cheek, holding it in both of his. “I don’t deserve your kindness.”
“Just take me hunting and we’ll call it even.”
He laughs at that, and the tension in the room finally dissipates.
Be sure to check out the rest of the entries submitted at the prompt. There are so many talented writers and awesome stories!
As always, think happy thoughts!