by Tammy May
“Laurel, are you sure you’re ready?” Ethan asked. “It can be quite jarring.”
He was sitting behind me, leaning back against the couch and cradling me against his chest.
“We’ve discussed it a ridiculous number of times. You’ve told me what to expect. Disorientation, a loss of balance, and a wicked thirst. I can handle it. Do you want me as your partner or not?”
We’d been together for just over a year. He’d never told me what he was. I surmised it on my own.
“It was really rather obvious when you turned down only invitations that required you to be out during the day.” I explained. “You never ate or drank around me.”
I always wanted to believe in magic and fairy tales but somehow knew that if the bright and good things from fairy tales existed, so did the shadowy things. I just happened to run into the murkier side first. Now, I wanted to be a part of those shadows.
“You promised that you would do this after a year, if I still wanted it. I do, you know. I want to be with you forever, really forever, not just until death do us part,” I said, leaning back into him and looking up into his eyes.
“Alright, I’m convinced,” Ethan agreed. He smiled in that lazy way he has. “At midnight. What shall we do until then?”
“I’m sure we’ll think of something,” I stroked his thigh and shifted position so that I could kiss him. My heart started to beat a little faster, a symptom I chose to attribute to Ethan’s proximity rather than any apprehension about the upcoming change in my existence.
Our lovemaking was sweet but quick so we could meet our self-imposed deadline. We wrapped up in a flannel blanket and faced the fire.
“It’s time,” Ethan said.
“I know,” I breathed. My pulse raced. I knew that there would be pain but I was eager to experience the world with the enhanced senses I would have after the change.
Ethan bent his head to my neck and kissed it gently. He took my right hand in his and traced hearts on my inner wrist with his thumb. He searched for the pulse in both my neck and my wrist. It took several minutes to find it but I didn’t mind; I love having my neck kissed. Suddenly, he quit kissing my neck and lifted my wrist to his mouth. He lowered his fangs and sank them in.
“Ouch!” I cried. It stung like the shot the dentist gives to numb you in preparation to drill; only Ethan didn’t remove his fangs so the stinging sensation went on for several minutes. He’d warned me about the pain but I still bucked and reared, trying to get away from the assault on my arm.
Ethan turned my head towards his and locked his eyes with mine. A sensation of warmth flooded through me. I started to see pictures in my mind, memories of my past. I saw the day that I told Ethan that I knew what he was. I smelled the cologne he was wearing the first time I met him.
Mesmerized, I saw myself graduating from college, I could smell the gardenias from the lawn where I graduated from high school, I saw the day I won my first debate and smelled the cinnamon roll Jared bought for me after my first date.
Then I began seeing scenes from my childhood; some I remembered but others were hazy, recalled only from family stories. I smelled the homemade bread my mom made every Christmas. I saw myself learning to walk! What?
With a Herculean effort I pulled my eyes away from Ethan’s and looked down at myself, but there was much less of me to see. I had transformed into a child, no, a toddler. Ethan was cradling me in his arms and I was still shrinking. “What’s going on?” I tried to say, but all that came out was a wail.
Then I heard him in my mind: “Don’t worry! Everything is going just as it should. I told you there would be a lot to learn when you transformed.”
“You didn’t tell me I would become an infant!”
“That is the one secret we never tell. Would you have wanted to be transformed if you knew?” Ethan grinned and tickled me under the chin. I chortled with delight, hating it but unable to help myself.
Ethan reached under the couch and produced a baby bottle. I tried to reach for it but my hands landed on Ethan’s nose. He smiled and popped the bottle into my mouth.
I drank greedily and noisily. The blood was warm and sweet, like drinking a hot chocolate milkshake.
“Don’t get carried away! It’s a vicious thirst but you can’t give into it,” Ethan warned.
I felt my stomach expanding more than it should. It felt like it did after Thanksgiving dinner at Mom’s. I knew I should stop but I couldn’t control myself.
Apparently, I couldn’t control myself in more ways than one: I felt a warm liquid running down my legs.
I squalled, “You said vampires didn’t need to eliminate!”
“We don’t! Not once we learn to control our hunger,” Ethan grimaced. He looked up and called, “Tracy.”
A tall, black-haired beauty appeared at his side. “Sir? Is the child ready for the nursery?”
“Who is she? Wait! You’re sending me away? I thought we were going to spend eternity together.”
“We will, my love, in about twenty years. A short time really, when you live forever.”
Ethan stood up, still cradling me gently, and handed me over to Tracy. “Take her away. Bring her back when she is civilized.”
Copyright © 2013 by Tammy May