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Eternal V: Sun-Kissed

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Added to the Roswell Slash Archive March 17, 2003

        When I woke up again I felt amazing; more alive than I'd felt the whole time I was trying to find Nick. I felt a little weird about enjoying the effects of the bloodlust, but I knew I'd feel lousy again before long so I was willing to take what I could get. Funny how it took getting myself killed to really feel alive for the first time. I hadn't been doing a whole lot of actual living before I met Nick, though; mostly I'd played it safe, spent way too much time editing trailers and gone home alone to my ratty apartment in the valley to catch a few hours of sleep before I started all over again. It wasn't much of a life, but until I met Nick I thought I was doing pretty good. Then he walked up to the Mercedes and asked me for a ride and that was it. I mean it wasn't love at first sight or anything, but the minute I laid eyes on him I knew I'd been missing out all this time.

        Nick was nothing like the people I met in L.A., so maybe I had to leave town to find somebody like him. I was starting to get a little too much like all those people I'd always said I never wanted to be, and meeting Nick was kind of like a wake-up call. When he told me what was happening to him to us at first I thought he was nuts, but once I saw it with my own eyes I started thinking about the way I'd been living. Everything had been about me for so long, what I got out of it and how it was gonna affect my world. Meeting Nick and getting the chance to try to save both our asses showed me what it was like to do something that made a difference, even if it only made a difference to us. Cutting movie trailers sure as hell wasn't making a difference in anybody's life, anyway, and if I'd gone back to L.A. after he ditched me in that hospital I know I wouldn't have been happy being oblivious anymore.

        Seeing him again was such a relief that it hurt, made it hard to breathe and it made me want to never let him out of my sight again. When he went for food while I was out of it I really did think he wasn't coming back, and when he walked through the door I knew it was gonna take awhile to trust him again. When I woke up the second time he was right next to me, though, his arm across my chest and his hand on my shoulder like he was afraid I might make a break for it while he was sleeping. Me, like there was any danger of that happening after everything I went through to find him.

        I didn't wake him up right away; I needed a little time to think about what I'd gotten myself into, and anyway I knew my days of sunlight were numbered and I wanted to take advantage while I still could. Not that I'd ever been as into the sun as the rest of L.A. was, but I knew I was gonna miss being able to go outside during the day once I couldn't do it anymore. I'd miss that warm feeling on my skin, I'd even miss the unbearable days when it got so hot the pavement stuck to your shoes. It was worth losing, though; everything was worth giving up if it meant I got to be with Nick. And maybe nobody would understand that not my sister, not my old friends, maybe not even Nick himself but I knew it was true and that was all that counted.

        I slid out from under his arm carefully, but I didn't have to worry because he didn't even move when I climbed off the bed. He'd never been a heavy sleeper when we were looking for his Forsaken, but I figured this was the first time he'd gotten a decent night's sleep in awhile. It was nice that he trusted me enough to be able to sleep so soundly, and maybe I was reading too much into that but I was willing to take what I could get. Giving up my whole life for somebody who'd already run out on me twice was scary enough to make me wonder what the hell I was thinking, and grasping at straws made me feel a little less like I'd totally lost it.

        There was no light coming in from the windows at all, so I had no clue what time it was. I used the bathroom and let myself out of the bedroom as quietly as I could, closing the door behind me just in case the sun reached all the way to the back of the house. When I stepped out into the hallway I could see why the Forsaken had chosen this house to hang out in for awhile; the few windows there were pointed toward the south end of the house, so there was barely any light coming in at all. It was cooler inside than I expected it to be, especially after crawling out from under Nick. Sleeping next to him was like having my own personal furnace, which didn't make much sense because I'd always heard vampires were cold.

        Then again I'd learned a lot about vampires since I'd met Nick, and none of it was in any movie I'd ever seen. I didn't know how any of this worked, what to expect or how to deal with life after the infection took over completely. I mean I'd felt it working on me the first time, but I was cured so fast that I didn't even have time to get used to it. It had only been a day since I found Nick again, and we hadn't really done a lot of talking yet, so I had no clue what the plan was. I didn't even know if we were safe staying in this house until I changed.

        He seemed to think we didn't have a lot to worry about yet, and I trusted him enough not to purposely get us both killed. At least I told myself I did, but the idea of Nick sacrificing both of us for the good of mankind wasn't really that much of a stretch. He had a hell of a survival instinct, though, and I knew he loved me. If he didn't he wouldn't have turned me, and he sure as hell wouldn't be hiding out in the desert with me.

        Knowing that made it a little easier to live with the fact that I didn't know what happened next, but I knew it was gonna take awhile to get used to the fact that there was no going back. There was no more career in the movies, no more worrying about living up to my sister's expectations and wondering if I had the right clothes for going out in L.A. There was no more anything, really, except Nick.

        That thought made it hard to breathe; I mean yeah, I was crazy about him, but how much did I really know about him? We'd known each other less than a year, and I hadn't even stopped to think about how all this would work before I practically forced him to turn me. I'd never been much for commitment before I met him, but like I said before, I wasn't really living before I met him.

        I let myself out the front door, careful not to lock myself out when I closed it behind me again. As soon as I stepped outside the ache started, just below my skin and throbbing in my temples. The sun was high and bright, and I knew from experience that this was the way it was going to be until finally I couldn't go out during the day anymore. And after spending the past few years in a dark room editing B movie footage I shouldn't have minded so much, but part of me was going to miss it. It already hurt so much I had to squint just to see anything, and I was still going to miss feeling the sun on my face.

        Knowing this might be the last chance I had just to stand outside in broad daylight made me step out of the shadow of the front door, blinking against the first wave of heat as I let my body get used to the feeling of the sun making my blood run hot in my veins. It ached even more in the direct sunlight, but in a way even that felt good. It made me feel alive, with my blood pounding against my eardrums and the sun beating down on me. I would have stood out in front of the house like that until I couldn't take it anymore, but I was close enough to the road that if somebody drove by they might be able to see me.

        I couldn't run the risk of the cops or a realtor showing up while it was still light out, so I forced my eyes open and made my way around the side of the house. The back yard, if you could call it that, was mostly just a long stretch of desert broken up by the occasional cactus. There were a couple sun-faded pieces of lawn furniture forgotten on the patio, and right in the middle of the back yard was a giant concrete hole in the ground. I was surprised the real estate agency didn't keep the pool up for potential buyers, but then again after the bloodbath that probably took place in the house I was guessing didn't get a lot of lookers.

        The pool must have been empty for awhile, because the concrete was bleached white from the sun. I walked over to the edge and made my way down the stairs, stopping when I reached the center of the pool. It was even hotter once I was surrounded by all that concrete, heat rising up around me in waves. I pulled my shirt off and dropped it on the ground, closing my eyes and letting the sweat pour down my neck to pool at the small of my back.

        Part of me wanted to stay right there, to lie down on the hot pavement and let the sun bake my skin until I finally burst into flames like that first vampire we killed together. I knew what I was getting into when I asked Nick to turn me; I'd seen enough of the underground clubs while I was following him to know it wasn't gonna be easy, and just for a second I thought about taking it back. It wasn't too late; I could just walk outside one day and end it all. There were still ways to take back my decision, but when I thought about Nick waking up alone and worrying about where I was I knew I'd never go through with it. Even though he'd left me twice I couldn't do that to him, and that was the scariest thing about the whole fucked-up situation.

        I climbed back out of the pool, wiping some of the sweat off my neck with my shirt while I looked around the yard until I caught sight of a tool shed partly hidden by the side of the house. I dropped my shirt on one of the lawn chairs and crossed the patio, pulling open the shed door to look around. The air inside was stagnant and I choked on the dust that coated my lungs, wiping at the sweat stinging my eyes so I could see enough to find what I was looking for. I'd almost given up when I finally spotted it under an old work bench, coiled neatly and tucked most of the way under a tarp.

        So I'd given up pretty much everything to be with Nick, that didn't mean we couldn't have a little fun after the sun went down. I kicked the shed door shut and dragged the hose over to the faucet near the back door, turning on the water before I picked up the end of the hose and dragged it over to the pool. I had no idea how long it would take to fill up and I had a feeling I was missing a few ingredients, but it would do for a couple days. Anyway we weren't going to be out there during the day, so it didn't matter if it didn't look perfect. I dropped the hose into the pool and stood there for awhile, watching the water slide along the bottom of the pool to the deep end.

        I'm not sure how long I stood there, but when my skin finally started to feel like it was on fire I turned away and pulled my shirt back on. I stopped at the car on the way back and opened the glove box, pulling out Nick's gun and a tattered paperback before I went back to the house. It was even more quiet when I walked back in than it had been when I left, and for a long time I just stood inside the door and listened. Maybe I'd never get used to sneaking around in places that didn't really belong to anybody, but I could tell my senses were already sharper after only a day of being infected.

        When I was positive there was nobody waiting to jump me I picked up the bag Nick had dropped the night before, carrying it into the kitchen and setting it on the counter. I set the gun down next to my book and started unpacking the bag, rolling my eyes at Nick's idea of nutrition. I put the beer in the fridge and set a bag of chips on the counter before I looked in the bag again and grinned. I pulled the lube and a box of condoms out, setting them on top of my book before I emptied the rest of the food onto the counter. I laughed when I imagined the look on the face of whoever had to ring him up the night before, especially when I got to the box of Pop-Tarts.

        Then again, whoever rang him up might not even be alive now, especially if Nick believed in one-stop shopping. I ignored the shiver of want that ran through my veins, picking up the lube and condoms and a couple warm beers. I tucked my book under my arm and headed back toward the bedroom, opening the door and slipping through as quickly as I could to keep the light out. It took awhile for my eyes to adjust to the change in light, but when they finally did I looked toward the bed and stopped breathing when I realized it was empty.

        I was moving before I even registered that Nick wasn't there, dropping my armload of supplies on the bed and almost colliding with him when he came out of the bathroom. "Jesus, Sean," he said, his hands landing on my shoulders to steady us both. "Fuck, man, you're burning up."

        His hand felt cool against my forehead, so I almost didn't mind that he was feeling for a temperature the way my mom used to do when I was a kid. "I'm alright," I said, staring at his chest so I wouldn't have to see his expression. I felt stupid for thinking he'd found a way to ditch me in broad daylight, and I didn't want him to know that I was worried about him taking off again. "I was outside. It's hotter than hell out today."

        He frowned but didn't lecture me on what I thought I was doing hanging around outside where anybody could spot me. It was nice to know he trusted me to be careful, or at least that he was trying to trust me. "You feel okay?" he asked, his hand moving to the back of my neck.

        "Yeah, I'm fine," I answered, mostly because it wouldn't do any good to tell him how I really felt. I was hot and I could feel my blood racing in my veins, but there was nothing he could do about it. I just had to wait it out like last time, and in a few days it would all be over. "I thought you'd still be asleep. It's only like 2:00."

        "I don't sleep that much," he said, letting go of me and turning back to the bed. I stood there and waited while he sat down and picked up the book I'd brought with me, grinning when he glanced up at me. "I thought we left this thing in some motel."

        I shook my head and took a few steps forward, climbing onto the bed next to him when he moved over to make room for me. "Are you kidding? I've been dragging that thing all over the country looking for you."

        As soon as I said it his face fell, and he looked down at the book and flipped through a few pages before he answered me. "I'm sorry," he said, his voice so low that at first I thought I'd heard him wrong. Even when I realized he really had said he was sorry I didn't want to believe it, because the one thing I'd never expected was for him to apologize about anything. Then he looked up again and my heart started pounding even harder against my chest. "I mean I could have at least left you a note again."

        "Forget it. It doesn't matter anymore," I answered. I wanted to tell him that the note didn't help the first time and it sure as hell wouldn't have softened the blow the second time, but I didn't want to make him feel any worse than he already did. Besides, we both knew why he'd left, and as much as it hurt when I realized he was gone I appreciated what he was trying to do for me. I looked down at the rest of the stuff I'd picked up in the kitchen, grabbing the box of condoms and raising an eyebrow. "Speaking of things that don't really matter anymore..."

        He grinned and shifted on the bed until he was leaning against the headboard, the poetry book resting on his chest. "Force of habit. Anyway I didn't want to have to listen to a safe sex lecture from the nice little old lady behind the counter at the drugstore."

        I laughed at the mental image and swung a leg over his, straddling his thighs and watching while he thumbed through the book. "So are you gonna try seducing me with that stuff again or what?"

        He picked up the book and dropped it on the mattress next to him, reaching up and pushing my hair off my forehead. "You should take a cold shower or something."


        I could tell I looked as confused as I felt when he grinned and sat up to plant a kiss on my mouth. "It would help bring your temperature down."

        "I already told you, it's just from standing around in the sun."

        "It's not just from the heat," he said, his hands moving up under my shirt while he said it. "You're like a furnace. You've gotta have a fever. Anyway you shouldn't be hanging around outside. You never know when..."

        "I know," I interrupted, cutting him off before he could get the words out. I didn't want to think about it, not yet anyway. Right now all I wanted to think about were the hands on my stomach and the body pinned under me. "It's only been a day. And I was careful."

        "Careful doesn't cut it. You remember how fast it happened the last time? And you were on the drug then."

        "I remember. Jesus, Nick," I muttered, hating myself for getting mad at him as soon as I said it. I climbed off him and picked up the book again, sitting down next to him and dropping it in his lap again. "Read me something."


        "Well we've gotta do something, so if you're not gonna fuck me then the least you can do is entertain me." I grinned and leaned against his shoulder, pretending I didn't see the glare he shot at me.

        "If I do will you take a shower?"


        He rolled his eyes and flipped the book open to his favorite poem. "On what?"

        "On whether or not you're taking a shower with me."

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