1-15) Walking In A Winter Wonderland

Winterfest had come and gone. Needless to say it was shoddy at best, for everybody. On top of our divorce, Frederico, Ezio’s oldest brother and oldest pain in my rear, had died unexpectedly. While I would not insult anybody by even pretending I was sad about that fact, it pained me for Ezio. He was a family man through and through, and took it hard. I tried to comfort him, but things between us were awkward. We did not hate each other, both still deeply cared for one another, but we just could not keep up even the shortest conversation without each of us feeling iffy.

The kids were all right. Not thrilled, but not falling apart either. I had gone over to the house several times, to see them, but of course also to pick up the rest of my personal things. I wanted some photographs, Ezio agreed that I could take my pick, but no matter which one I choose, as soon as I took it off the wall, there was this big empty spot it left. It did not feel right. I put it back and decided this house should be my children’s home the way they had known it all their lives. Marco mentioned he had no intentions of ever moving out, which as weird as it initially sounded, was great news to me. Ezio was significantly older than me. After not seeing each other for weeks at a time, I was surprised that I had never noticed how much grey already was in that deep brown hair of his. And wrinkles. After the divorce, a horrific Winterfest and Frederico’s funeral he looked as if he had aged by years since the last time I saw him in court. And the truth was, he would be approaching retirement age by the time Marco was in college. Which really meant not much, Ezio would never retire and work till he dropped dead one day. I hated that he seemed to be declining, as I felt better and freer than ever before.

Living with Blaine had its challenges, mostly because he was a vampire and hence a night owl, I was an early bird and loved daylight, walks in the sun and was pretty useless after 10 pm. Also, Blaine had lived like a bachelor for so long before and after, and as I had found out, during his marriage to Olivia, that it sometimes felt like living with a teen boy.

Despite it all, I was happy and so was Blaine.
“Hey Blaine?”
“Yes, sweet cheeks?”
“Did you know that vampirism is curable?”
“I did.”
“So, we could turn you back into old, human Blaine?”
“We could.”
“But you do not want that?”
“Not particularly, no.”
“And why not?”
“Because it would return me to the state I was in before my demise. And I’d rather drive a stake through my own heart with one hand, while eating garlic cloves with the other, than go back there.”
“Oh, I see. Yeah, nix that. I just have been thinking …”
“Did it hurt?”
“I will if you interrupt me with smartass commenting again! No, I am dead serious now Blaine. You do not age anymore, right?”
“But I do. Sooooooo …”
“There is an easy fix for that.” he opened his mouth and pointed at his fangs.
“Not going to happen! I like the sun and daylight WAY too much.”
“Suit yourself, old lady!”
He received a punch against his upper arm, as I went into the kitchen.
“What sounds good for dinner, Blaine?”
“Same as every other time you asked me that. Nothing.”
“Oh, right.” Yeah, meals alone was also tough.
“So Blaine, what would happen if you actually ate something?”
“Well, given that my internal organs are pretty much purely decorative at this point, I would guess after a few days I would reek pretty badly and you’d feed me air freshener.”
“Eww. Never mind. Hmm, Blaine …?”
“I have been wondering about something else. How does … ummm … does …argh … what about sex?”
“Sounds great. Here or upstairs?”
“No, you fiend, I meant how does it feel?”
“The fact that you are asking that, makes me feel like I completely failed as a lover and a man.” Blaine acted insulted, but the crooked grin gave his amusement away.
“No, you fool. I meant for you. Is it different from when you were not a vampire?”
“Hmmm… not sure. For a proper analysis I think we should go upstairs and …”
“NO! I am not going upstairs for sex, Blaine.”
“So, the kitchen table then?”
At this point I threw a dish cloth at him, which he caught with his cat-like reflexes.
“I don’t know why I even try to have an adult conversation with you.”
“Oh babygirl, don’t get grumpy. You love my boyish charm. And sex with you is the best I ever had, vampire or human. Does that answer your question?” he asked while pulling me close and spreading little kisses all over my face.
“Hmm, interesting. Because I always thought sex with a vampire would be … different. Like … out of this worldly… instead it still just feels like normal sex.” I rambled on analytically.
“Ouch. You know how to insult a man where it REALLY hurts.” Blaine was not insulted, as he winked at me.

At this moment my stomach demanded food by growling so loudly, the neighbors would probably bring over dinner if I did not do something about it soon. Blaine let go and I decided on just pancakes. Blaine watched me, entertained me with small stories from his learning curve to be a vampire, when I cut my finger trying to chop up a banana.

“OUCH!” I shrieked.
Blaine grabbed it, ran cold water over it and patted it dry with a piece of paper towel when the bleeding had nearly subsided. Then he kissed the wound, or tried to, when I pulled my hand away and looked at him weird.
“Did I hurt you?”
“No, I just didn’t want your instincts to get the best of you …” I blushed.
“My instincts? Vik, I am not a shark. I can contain myself, I thought I had proven that well enough, considering how clumsy you are.”
“Besides, vampirism is not contagious. It is not a virus. And while we are on topic, to put your mind at ease, I cannot just turn you. There are rules for everything. You have to ASK me to turn you. Just like I have to ASK you to drink from you, if I wanted to. Of course there are always black sheep, but as I mentioned before, vampires are a very tight group and such outlaws are quickly identified and dealt with. As much as I have been a rule breaker while living, I am not going to mess up this. OK?”

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