Chasing Love by B.K. Walker
Trees blurred as she ran through the woods. The smell of pine and earth assaulted her nostrils, her chest straining to expand as she gasped for more air. She chanced a look behind her, hoping she had finally lost the creature hunting her. Slowing her pace she kept a watchful eye behind her, her ears listening for any movement. Nothing. Feeling her shoulders relax, she turned to find her way out of the woods and back to the safety of her home. She screeched as she was met by a strong, solid body standing directly in front of her.
"I love a chase." He smirked. His dark eyes showed every hint of humor as he looked down upon her.
He moved in closer, inhaling her fruity scent. His mouth watered and he ran his tongue over the sharp fangs extending from the gum line.
Emma bit her tongue, chasing the scream back down her throat that was trying to escape. She would not give him the satisfaction, but his eyes were filled with evident hunger. Her heart beat so loudly she was sure he could hear it too.
He reached for her and slid a stray hair from her forehead. "Emma, I mean you no harm."
"Then why chase me?"
"You needed an explanation after what you saw."
Closing her eyes tight she spoke through gritted teeth. "I saw murder."
"That was not murder my dear Emma. It was survival."
She felt her stomach twist in knots as bile rose in her throat. She turned to run, but he caught her wrist before she could make her escape.
"Emma, please. Let me explain."
"I don't want to hear your lies." She snapped.
"You trusted me before, why can't you trust me again?"
"I trusted you when I didn't know you were a monster!"
She turned her head away with disgust.
Studying her, his emotions soared through him like the blood that should be coarsing in his veins. There was no blood anymore, the veins were dry, dead just like he was. Never thinking he may feel love again, this mere mortal has taken his life to a whole new reason for being. He wanted to be good, to be a better 'undead' man. He would endure anything if he could have her but just once. He remembered the look on her face as she happened upon him during his feeding. He never meant for her to see. He wanted to ease her into how he had to live, how he had to survive. He was gone too long and she came searching for him. This was one incident he could never take back. Even rolling her mind would be useless as this was something that would find its way back into her memories.
"I didn't mean for you to find out this way. I'm sorry."
She watched him with hatred in her eyes. "You're sorry you killed that poor girl?"
He had to admit he got a little carried away, but he did not kill her. He simply left her unconscious as he set chase after Emma. She would be fine once her blood replenished. "I killed nobody. That girl is still alive. She was just...tired."
Eyes squinting she spat in his face. The girl took a breath and looked the vampire right in the eye and said, "Do what you will. I do not fear death. I am ready to meet my maker." She closed her eyes and tilted her head to the side baring her neck.
“I do not wish to kill you Emma, but to love you." He let go of her wrist he had been holding to keep her from running.
Turning her head fast she looked him in the eye once more. Looking for the lie, she searched his face over and over. "You do not know what love is Demetri."
"That may have been true before I met you, for it has been a very long time since I have felt love, but I know what love feels like. I know I love you." He watched her face soften, so he continued. "I have not loved anyone since my wife many, many years ago. I never thought I would feel it again. I thought I was just doomed to misery for the rest of eternity. You changed that Emma. You changed that the moment you accepted my friendship."
"No. I didn't change anything. I'm not able to change anything."
"Yes. You are. You are a beautiful person Emma. You were given this gift to help people through their struggles, to make them feel whole. That is what you have done for me. You have given me new reasons to live."
Tears welled in her eyes. She didn't want to love him. She had been fighting her feelings for some time now, but after what she saw she fought to keep them from surfacing. How could she possibly love a monster like this? Someone capable of murder?
Demetri watched the emotions dance across her face, from love to fear. He knew she loved him too. He could smell it pouring off her. Why couldn't she just accept it? Before he had time to contemplate what his next words would be, she darted through the thicket of trees. He watched her go for a moment, wondering what he could do to convince her she loved him. He was sure of it. He decided he would not waste any more breath, he would just show her. With vampire speed, he closed the distance between them. She screamed as he grabbed her around the waist. Spinning her around he backed her up against a tree, putting his hands on either side of her just above her shoulders. Her breathing was heavy and she screamed as she beat his chest with closed fists.
“Let me go! Let me go or kill me now, but I won't ever love you!” Tears streamed down her cheeks like a steady rain.
Grabbing her wrists he pinned them above her head, careful not to scrape her skin on the bark of the tree. “This tree probably knows more than you that you do love me. May the holy beings from Heaven strike me dead if I'm wrong.” Before she could say another word, he crushed his lips against hers.
She struggled at first, trying to resist the kiss. Demetri remained adimant, and after just a few seconds, she gave in. Her shoulders relaxed along with her wrists restrained by his hands. Her soft lips moved against his, and the mere warmth of them sent heat from his head to his toes. He let go of her wrists and they fell around his neck, pulling him in closer, deepening the kiss. Demetri never wanted this moment to end. They slowly brought their lips apart, and she finally said the words he had been longing to hear.
“I love you Demetri.”