Here's my submission for round three. If you like it, please vote for me! Voting is on the main page, stories are in the forum. You DO NOT have to register to vote. http://www.vampirekissed.com/ is where you go to vote!
Vampire Kissed Dream
Shira drove the back roads, windows down, air-conditioning on low pushing the remaining hot air from the vents of her pick-up truck. Old trucks took so long to cool down. Warm air pulsed through the windows, teasing loose tresses of hair across her neck. The combination of warmth, dancing hair, and slightest chill of cool air on her arms made her shiver. Goose bumps skated across her arms, she'd never felt like this before. Needy. Lonely.
Driving was an old human habit, but it calmed her.
Maybe it was the music, the sultry, scintillating sound that wrapped her in rhythm and haunting tones. The heavy beat mimicked a pounding heart. Blood. Life.
She could imagine a lover's breath as he lowered his head to whisper in her ear.
Shira's hair flitted across her neck again. She imagined a lover's fingers, his light caresses reminding her she was his, of promises and pleasures to come. She fought the urge to close her eyes, tip her head back in invitation. In submission. She couldn't stifle the purr of contentment that rumbled from her throat.
Vampires only responded to their mates this way. 200 years was a long time to live without touch. Without love. Was it so bad to imagine it?
Maybe she'd take the long way home tonight and play the song again…and again.
Something was wrong. Darius was invisible, unsubstantial, and against his will, drawn to the woman driving the pick-up truck he suddenly found himself in. He saw through himself, and still, his main focus was the woman. A small voice in the back of his mind balked. A bigger voice told it to shut up. He needed to concentrate on…her.
Darius reached down to undo his seatbelt and realized the futility of his actions. Panic should set in, cussing ensue, but the woman enthralled him. Drove out every need, every emotion, except desire – for her. Only her.
He slid across the seat, easy to do in…what was his current form? Spirit? Mist? Did it matter when she was so far away?
Could he touch her? Would her skin be as soft as it looked? Would she taste like her scent? Like vanilla and fresh green apples? A bead of sweat trickled down her neck. He followed it with his finger.
He jerked his hand back. He felt her. Warm, soft, and…perfect.
"Who are you, honey? I feel like I should know you." In his heart, he recognized her, she was…his. What was going on?
He remembered his bed in the research facility in Antarctica. A warm bed, all things considered. The generator…The generator. There must be a carbon monoxide leak. His mind was living out one final fantasy before he died.
Scared, Darius looked around for a light, a tunnel. Nothing. He breathed easy again…breathing was good…right? He didn't take any more time to think about it. If he was dying, he'd enjoy this time left with the dream his mind had conjured all on its own.
Darius slid behind her. He placed his hands on her shoulders and lowered his head. "Do I know you?" He obviously didn't, he would remember if he'd ever met her.
Energy flowed between them, he felt the compassion well up from her soul, the honesty and integrity in the way she lived. He wrapped his arms around her waist. Darius felt the strangling hold of need, to be loved, cherished, protected, and the opposing need to build a wall around herself, to keep her heart safe. "Such sadness."
He stroked her arms in a gesture of comfort – she jumped! A small, inconsequential, unconscious reaction to his touch. Goose bumps rippled across her arms.
Darius moved his lips to her neck. Gently, tentatively, he kissed her. She shivered, then purred in contentment. He stared in amazement. Wow.
"If only you weren't a figment of my oxygen deprived mind. If only you were real." Darius enjoyed being close, holding her, sheltering her, protecting her.
A wrenching pain shot through his body. Panic engulfed him. Tugging. An unseen force pulled him. Fading. He was fading, running out of time.
"You're precious, wonderful, beautiful. My last regret is that you're not real." He ran his hand down her neck. Gasped on the wrenching pain. "If things were different I'd move heaven and Earth to find you." He rubbed her hair between his fingers. "I'll never forget you, as long as my spirit can remember. I could love you forever." Another hard jerk to his ethereal form. He caught his breath. "I will love you forever," he said, in grunted, stilted words.
Darius needed to leave something for her, something he treasured, even if she never knew. He removed the simple braided gold chain from his neck and placed it around hers. The chain had belonged to his grandmother, a gift her husband had given her when he left for war. He never came back. Tonight, Darius passed it on.
He tried to stay, clawed at the truck but disappeared just as easily and quickly as he'd appeared. No light, no tunnel. He felt cheated.
Light. Voices. A heavenly choir to welcome him? Friends and Family?
Yelling. Shaking. The sounds sliced through the haze in his mind. Not singing, if it was, he hadn't landed in heaven.
"Dude, Darius, wake up man, day light's burning. Come on, you're sleeping like a dead man...you okay?"
Darius blinked, trying to focus. Winston, his roommate, stared down at him, concern wrinkling his forehead. "Rise and shine, sleeping beauty."
Not dead. Cold, hungry, in need of a shower. Arms noticeably empty. Pulse racing, heart clamoring… for her. Intense desire.
But not dead.
He was awake. No carbon monoxide poisoning, just a very real, very strange dream sandblasted into the recesses of his mind. Out of habit, he reached for his gold chain.
It was gone.