Grand weakness

Happy Friday!

Eventually, I’ll get back to posting multiple times a week. We’re twenty-seven days into the new year and I’ve yet to adjust properly. Maybe in February. We’ll see. Until then, weekly Friday posts will have to do.

This week’s post comes courtesy of Our Write Side’s Master Class Monday prompt, which I’ll be using as general inspiration for the next scene. We’re going to pick up where we left off with A Vampire’s BrideSecondhand Soul is still in a bit of a limbo, since I’m still not sure how to wrap it up.

Prompt: Grand weakness

~~~

The silence of the ride is all-consuming. Resting my head against Niklaus’ back, I let my thoughts take me, playing back the events of the hunt, everything that went wrong, where I could have reacted better. Why did the fledgling have to look so much like Niklaus?

“I’m glad you’re okay.” His voice startles me from my thoughts. “I don’t know what I would have done if-”

“Don’t think about it.” I tighten my hold on him as one of his hands moves to rest over mine.

We don’t say anything else the rest of the ride. There’s a tension in the air when we get to the cottage. Nothing seems to have happened in the village while we were gone – the atmosphere is sleepy and quite. And yet the tension follows us off the horse and to my room. I thought he would just leave me at the door and go, but when I invite him in he follows. Niklaus hovers at the door to my bedroom, though, face shrouded in thought.

I’m about to say something when he beats me to it.

“That fledgling – you said his appearance caught you off-guard. Why?” Is that what he thought about the entire ride back?

“Isn’t it obvious?” By now I’ve discarded my weapons, hidden them under my bed. “He looked like you…” I avert my gaze when I say it, unsure of how he’ll react. “I…”

“Ariella…” At some point, he entered the room, because now he’s standing right behind me. When I turn around, he’s right there. “If I ever…ever lose control, you have to be prepared to put a bolt in my heart, understand?”

I can’t look away from his eyes, trapped in the gravity of his words and the intensity of his gaze. “I can’t.”

“You don’t have a choice.” He places a hand on my cheek, the touch light as a feather. “It’ll be your life or mine.”

“It won’t happen. You won’t lose control.”

“Nadya won’t always be there to keep me in line.”

“But-” I try to pull away, but he takes both my hands and holds me in place.

“Promise me.” Again, his eyes trap mine. There’s that loathing, that disdain for what he is radiating off him in waves. “Please. You have to promise me you’ll do it…”

“And if I don’t?” My words are hardly a whisper, and all I can do is look at our hands. He doesn’t have to say it out loud. If I can’t promise that I’ll kill him if I have to, Niklaus will leave. Just like he sent me away from the castle for my own protection; he’ll do it again. When he doesn’t say anything, I pull away and sit on the edge of my bed. Reluctant, he follows and sits beside me.

“Please.” He takes my hand, the gentle caress at odds with what he’s asking of me.

“Okay. I promise.” But I don’t look at him when I say it. If he can tell I’m lying, he doesn’t show it. When I look at him again there’s relief in his eyes now, a sad smile turning the corners of his mouth.

“Thank you.”

I don’t want to hear his thanks for agreeing to kill him, so I press my lips to his. His arms slide around me as he shifts closer in response, lips gentle but firm against mine. My fingers slide into his hair and he deepens the kiss, biting softly on my bottom lip. It’s not long before the kiss turns passionate, and I’m all but sitting in his lap. Niklaus pulls back first, his breathing heavy as he rests his forehead against mine. I don’t want him to leave – not yet.

“St-Stay with me?” The words escape me before I can stop them, and I’m afraid I’ve crossed some line. There’s no taking them back now, though. “For a little while?”

Niklaus looks like he wants to say no, but he doesn’t. Instead, he shifts farther back onto my bed, pulling me with him so I’m lying down. “You need to rest, but I’ll stay as long as I can.”

It isn’t until I’m settled into his arms, tucked against him and on the precipice of sleep that I realize how much I missed this.

~~~

Hopefully next week we’ll take a turn into Secondhand Soul. As much as I love vampire fluff and angst, I really want to get back to Videl and Marcus.

As always, think happy thoughts!

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