Heart of the Night Part 14

Tossing and turning on the dank mattress, Quatre whimpered aloud as images flashed through his mind. Over and over he saw Trowa lying on the dirt-covered floor of the tiny shed, covered in his own blood. Each time he felt anew the sheer terror of the moment, thinking that his former guardian would die... and there would be nothing he could do to prevent it. He finally sat up in the bed and rested his face in his hands, waiting for the tremors to die down.

He was still afraid. He didn't see how anyone could survive those wounds without medical help, but Trowa had insisted he'd be alright. But, is he alright? The blonde left the bed and peered out the window, deciding it must be somewhere around mid-afternoon. He hadn't really slept much and he knew it was no use trying any further.

Leaving the tiny bedroom, his eyes fell on the door to the room that the brunette slept in. Maybe he should check on him... what if he'd gotten worse through the day? Then shaking his head, he moved away. He'd promised. He wouldn't betray the man again. But, what if he needs help? The nagging thought tugged at the corner of his mind. Once again his steps took him around until he was standing in front of the closed door, head down and fists clenched. Then with a violent shake of his head he slowly backed away. I'll give him a little longer. Just until nightfall, then we can leave here without being seen.

He busied himself with exploring the cramped confines of the cottage and eventually the grounds outside. He noticed that it was starting to grow dim. Soon the sun would be down and he would wake Trowa, promise or no, and get the pair of them out of here. He'd get them somewhere they'd be safe and Trowa could receive the medical attention he surely needed.

Running his plans through his head, he knelt in front of a set of double door, presumably leading to a cellar. Pulling one side of the doors open, he peered inside, ignoring the dank odor wafting up from the dark depths. Leaving the door open so the fading light would allow him to see a little, he carefully climbed down the stairs.

He was leaning forward, trying to make out what was on the many shelves in the dirt cellar when he heard a loud thud above his head. Trowa! He spun around and ran for the steps; the fading light mingled with his anxiety causing him to rush up the old steps without being careful. Suddenly as his foot hit one of the tops steps he heard the rotted wood crack and he was suddenly catapulted backwards through the air; his cry of surprise cut off as he hit the dirt floor with a bone jarring thud.

"Quatre!?!" Trowa's voice sounded from the top of the steps.

How did he get around here so quickly? Quatre tried to draw enough air into his shocked lungs to call out. Before he knew it strong hands were pulling him into a sitting position.

"Are you alright?" Trowa's voice sounded close to his ear.

"Y-yes," The blonde replied wincing as a pain shot through his shoulder. "Just... startled me..."

"Idiot!" Trowa said softly, picking the smaller man up and carrying him up the stairs.

"Trowa! You shouldn't be doing this! Your wounds..."

"Are fine." The slim brunette cut him off as he kicked the cottage door open.

He set Quatre in one of the rickety chairs and moved around the room in the dark. Within moments Quatre saw a bright flare of light and Trowa set a lit candle on the table. Before he moved from the candles glow, Quatre got a good look at his face and gasped. All the scratches, cuts, and bruises from earlier were gone... his face was perfectly smooth.

"What..." He whispered rising from his chair. "How..."

Trowa tried to back out of the light before the blonde noticed his un-natural pallor along with everything else, but before he could escape, soft hands were fluttering over his skin. He hissed through his teeth, a sound wrought from his deep hunger and the feel of Quatre's hands on his face. He held himself perfectly still as Quatre opened his shirt, checking for the deep lacerations that had been there, now nothing but fading scars. Sucking in a deep breath, he offered up a prayer to Quatre's god, that this torture would end soon.

"Gone... everything," The blonde breathed. "All the wounds," He lifted Trowa's wrist. "Even the tears from the ropes..." He face paled suddenly and he dropped Trowa's arm, backing away. "What..." His blue eyes lifted to the brunette's intense green ones. "What are you?!?! This... isn't natural!!"

Trowa closed his eyes as pain washed over him. It was just like all those years ago, when Rhea had stumbled across his secret and then just a few days later, she had thrown herself from a window on the top floor of his manor. He saw the same horror reflected in Quatre's eyes. He would not let it happen again! Somehow he would prevent it, even if he had to disappear from Quatre's life. Before he could respond, the bright light from the candle's flame shone in his face.

Quatre held the candle up to look at Trowa closer, his hands trembling slightly. He then saw the stark paleness of his skin and gasped again. He saw the green fire of the brunette's eyes, a look that spoke of deep pain... and something else... hunger. Reaching, up he winced as another sharp pain jabbed his shoulder, but still he had to touch. As his fingers came in contact with the man's skin, he had to stop himself from jerking back. Why hadn't he noticed how cool Trowa's skin was before? Finally setting the candle back down, he stepped back and slumped in the chair, his body trembling.

"Quatre..." Trowa took a step towards him.

"You don't have to tell me," Quatre whispered. "I've read enough books, I can figure it out. I never thought such things truly existed." He raised his eyes to Trowa's and the tall man could see the hint of fear in his eyes. His lips struggled to form the word that his mind wouldn't accept.

"Vampire," Trowa said softly for him wincing inwardly as Quatre jerked as if he'd been struck. Unable to watch the stark anguish in the blonde's expression, he turned his face away. "I tried to tell 'Bastian that you wouldn't understand."

"I didn't say I didn't understand," Quatre's voice shook. "Actually it makes a lot of sense out of things that I didn't understand about you." He let out a bitter laugh. "Now I understand why you didn't want me."

"Quatre... I would never..." His words died off as Quatre got up from his chair and walked over to a window, staring out in the dark rubbing his arm as he did. "You're hurt." He finally said simply.

"It's nothing," The blonde replied, shifting his gaze back to Trowa. He gasped and jerked as Trowa moved swiftly across the room and carefully took his other wrist, turning him around.

"I won't hurt you, Quatre." He said sadly as he pulled the blonde's shirt from his shoulder, growling at the livid bruise the covered his shoulder. "And I always wanted you." His voice grew even sadder.

Silently Quatre allowed him to finish removing his shirt and lead him to sit back down in the chair. He winced as Trowa's gentle fingers prodded at his bruised skin. "Is it because of what you are?"

"Partly," Came the tense reply. "Yes, it is." Damn! His hunger was building; he could literally smell the heat from the blonde's blood.

"When was the last time you had any..." Quatre closed his eyes, "any... blood?"

Trowa started. "A few days," He felt Quatre shiver under his hands as he shifted his fingers to tenderly stroke the skin along the back of Quatre's neck. Suddenly he dropped his hands. "Luckily, it's just a deep bruise." He said stepping back. Before they did anything he was going to have to feed, he hated to leave Quatre here alone, but it was the safest place right now.

"Don't you need to feed to survive?" Quatre didn't move from where he sat, his head bent, exposing the smooth length of his neck.

"I'm a very old vampire. I can go for a while," Trowa answered him. Why did he want to know all this?

"How old?" Still he didn't move, his voice had taken on an odd timbre.

"Why do you want to know this?"

"I want to know you."

*sigh* "I've been a vampire for around five-hundred years; I was twenty-four when I became like this."

Quatre suddenly stood and turned to face Trowa. "You've been alone all this time?" He said sadly walking over to the man.

"It doesn't matter," Trowa jerked back as Quatre's hesitant fingers brushed his face. His body tensed as the blonde slid his arms around his neck and stepped in, pressing their bodies together. "You're hungry... I can see it in your face. I can feel it." He whispered, burying his face against Trowa's shoulder. "I've read enough to know what those wounds would have done to your strength. I doubt you even have the ability to get back to the city right now."

"I can feed temporarily off..." He hesitated, hating to say it, "animals; enough to get my strength to get somewhere else if needed. The effect isn't same and it doesn't last as long."

"You need human blood," Quatre's voice was low. He looked up into Trowa's face. "Do it."

"What?!" Trowa reached up and removed Quatre's arms from his neck. "No! I swore never to hurt you!"

"It's not hurting me if I consent!" Quatre cried. "You need my blood! I'm telling you to do it!!!!"

Trowa trembled, he did need to feed and he hadn't told Quatre but there was nothing nearby for him to feed on. He'd not been able to sense a single living creature, but to use this young person in that manner. Something he'd sworn never to do. It would create one advantage, though he realized sadly, something that might save them later on.

He stepped back and lifted Quatre's chin with his fingers. The gaze that met his was determined and suddenly unafraid. "I won't hurt you," His voice changed, its tone washing over the blonde like a soothing balm, the green of his eyes seeming to blaze to life. "I will never do anything to hurt you."

"I know. If you were, you would have by now." Quatre smiled sadly at him. "It's alright. I love you; you see... that makes it alright."

"Your heart is divided," Trowa said huskily as he tilted the blonde's head sideways. "But mine's not... I love you, Quatre."

Quatre's heart clenched in pain at the man's words and then he gasped his body jerking as a sharp pain stung his neck. Drawing a trembling breath he clutch at Trowa's shoulders as something like molten ecstasy flowed through his veins. It didn't hurt at all... it... "it... is beautiful... almost sensual", he moaned softly.

Trowa held the blonde tightly as he felt the heat of his blood flow from his body, carefully calculating how much he could take. His hand came up to cup the back of Quatre's head, a moan escaping his throat as languid warmth spread through his limbs. "It doesn't hurt because I hypnotized you first," He whispered finally lifting his lips from Quatre's throat. "It's a very basic power and if I didn't use it the agony would be excruciating."

Quatre's eyes slid open as he kept holding onto Trowa's shoulders. "More." He whispered. "Please."

"No." Trowa smoothed the sweat dampened hair from Quatre's forehead. "Any more and you would be too weak yourself. I won't do that to you."

Quatre's mouth crashed against his, the blonde kissing with a passion that made Trowa's head spin. Feeling Trowa's arms tighten around him, he pressed closer, tasting the coppery after-taste of his own blood on the man's lips. Flicking the tip of his tongue across Trowa's lips he pulled back, his eyes full of determination. "Finish it! Please, Trowa!"

"Never!" Trowa growled. "I'll never make you the same as me!" He grabbed Quatre's face and ground his mouth against his, his tongue demanding entry into the blonde's mouth. His kiss suddenly changed from demanding to tender as he gently left no area of Quatre's mouth untouched. Pulling away, he ran his thumb across the blonde's lower lip. "I'll never do that to you," He whispered sadly.

"But, I want to be with you!" Quatre cried, throwing his arms around Trowa's neck again. "If that's what has kept us apart then I'll gladly become like you!"

"You don't want to be like this," Trowa held him tightly. "It's pure hell to live without truly living. I will never condemn anyone to that existence. And," he removed Quatre's arms from his neck and stepped back, a shuttered look coming into his eyes, "you have someone else that is counting on you now. I won't interfere with what you have found there."

Quatre gasped his hand coming to his throat. Vachel!! A sudden weakness crept through his limbs as the effects of the loss of blood came over him. Oh... god... Vachel! "He's in danger isn't he?"

Trowa moved forward to pick Quatre up and carry him to the room he had been sleeping in. "Yes. You need to rest for a short time and then we'll return to the city. I promise you that I will do everything I can to protect you and him." He laid Quatre on the bed and then sat beside him, his hand lingering against the blonde's fingers.

"Trowa..." What should he do? He couldn't abandon Vachel, but he had loved this man for so long.

"It's alright, Quatre." Trowa's voice drifted over him. "I love you... because I love you I can give you up to him."

Quatre could have sworn the last words weren't spoken aloud. "Funny," He said drowsily. "I could almost swear I can hear you speaking in my mind..."

Trowa just smiled sadly and leaned over to press a kiss to the sleeping blonde's lips.


*goes off the beat the sap muse with a stick*


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