Here With Me
by Patricia R.D.

Everyday is a long day, Lindsey thinks as he parks the old truck in the curb. He gets out and gently pats the old girl, knowing her days are numbered. With one last look he heads inside, taking the stairs two at a time. His muscles complain, still not used to heavy work and the graveyard shift. But it's okay, these days he barely notices any pain.

He lets himself inside the small apartment, calling a familiar name, frowning at the silence. He walks around, avoiding a couple of discarded dolls and one tiny shoe. He picks up the last one, his voice raising, calling for them.

Where's his family?


The last thing you remember is cries around you and a flash of light painfully piercing your sight before darkness swallows you. When you awake, claustrophobia kicks in as you find yourself trapped inside dark plastic. Your screams fill the confined space while your hands rip it apart. Then there's the night, fire and twisted metal surrounding you, and the bodies, dismembered and bleeding out. But it's the living that scare you the most. Gazes filled with shock and concern, hands trying to keep you down, soothing voices drowned by someone yelling, announcing to everyone you're still alive.

Except you're not. And that's one of the two things you can remember about yourself. The second being the burning desire to destroy the life growing inside of you.

It doesn't take you too long to realize you're the sole ‘survivor' of this accident, probably the only one without charred flesh or missing limbs. And that little life inside of you, beating and kicking to let you know that, despite your best intentions, has survived. Its tiny heartbeat rises about the ones of your ‘saviors'. Rage takes over, and after a few minutes, you've taken your hate and killing instincts over them, way easier to destroy than your loathed offspring.


He actually stands in front of her closet, counting her clothes. He knows every single garment she posses by sight and touch. How many are on the dirty clothes bag? How many are actually missing? He tries to remember what was she wearing when he left in the afternoon.

Green. It was a green sweater over a white skirt. He clearly remembers his hand sliding under the skirt to caress the cool skin as he kissed her goodbye.

"I'll be home early," he had promised her. She'd just smiled and nodded. Her way of saying yes, I'll be here when you get back, I'm not going anywhere. Last night is forgiven and forgotten.

And now she wasn't.


A few days later you walk the streets of a small town, the blood of your latest victim dissolving on your veins. It's not enough, there's never enough. Hunger is a way of life now. When you don't sleep, you hunt, trying to ignore the beat, wishing for it to stop forever.

Tonight you don't go for the rest you crave so much, but head straight into the ‘bad' part of town: the area where junkies, whores and cheap motels dwell. You look for an old woman, a witch. You've been told she can help you. The woman welcomes you into her shack with a calculated smile. Doesn't take more than a few seconds for this tiny prune of a woman to trigger a hidden memory: You've tried this before, and it was all in vain. She starts to gather herbs and the content of different jars in one single pot, talking slowly, assuring you she can help you, for a price.

Liar, you think as you lunge at her. She has no time to defend herself. You don't take any chances, breaking her neck before ripping her apart. After you clean yourself as best as you can, you walk out, looking for prey. You ignore the honk of the cars and the screaming of humans. You're suddenly loosing focus, growing weaker. It's the never ending hunger taking its toll on you. But you just fed! Or did you? If feels like weeks since you had any nourishment. You move heavily and reach for the nearest warm body, a man. His blue eyes flash with shock, then recognition when a single street lamp shines your face.

He knows you.

You try to do the same, searching endless empty chambers in your mind, looking for this face. But you're too hungry to think and the light makes your eyes hurt. A hand, large and warm, comes to rest on your cheek, followed by a velvety male voice, soothing and concerned.

"Darla?" he says.

And then there's only darkness.


‘Maybe there's a note,' Lindsey thinks as he rummages through the stuff on the vanity. ‘Maybe they went out for a walk.'

In the middle of the night? not likely.

Please, Darla. Don't do this to me.


When you finally awake, there's cold blood in tall bottles waiting for you. At least is human. The man is right there, urging you to drink. You don't need to be asked twice. When you're done he's really quiet, staring at your hands crossed on your large belly. He finally speaks, about himself: life on the road, odd jobs and lonely nights. You stare at the trash can next to the bed as he says this, looking down at the cigarette stubs and condom wrappers.

"I didn‘t say alone," he whispers after following your gaze. "I said lonely."

You laugh. You can't help it and the sound is refreshing after all this time. You raise a hand to cup his cheek. He relaxes.

"What happened?" he finally asks.

You shrug and tell him what you remember, your voice cool and calm. He just nods and listens.

"How..." he starts to say, the stops. He sights. "Where are you headed?"

You just stare. You haven't thought of it, the last few days being all about feeding and sleeping. He finally breaks the silence again. "I'm headed west. You could... come with me." His tone is cautious, fearing a bitter word or a no. When you don't reply immediately, he goes on. "Look, Darla. Things between us were not good last time we saw each other. You don't remember and I'd rather not talk about it. Let's just..." He pauses, searching for the right words.

"Start over?" you offer, although you can tell things go beyond that: He looks at you with the eyes of a man in love. And yet he's afraid to show it. Once upon a time, you broke his heart, and now you carry another man's child. Is amazing how much two orbs of blue can tell you.

"Something like that," he whispers. "I can help you."

You almost scoff, wondering what this human can do for you.

"You shouldn't be alone," he says as he rests his hand on your belly. The child kicks against it, probably intrigued at the warm touch. "I can take care of you."

There, he said it. The words that he knows mean ripping his chest open and offer you his still beating heart. You try to conceal any emotion, but his words sound so tempting, sweet and filling. For the first time since you woke up in a plastic bag, you feel something besides rage and pain. It's so strange, how all of your emotions are heightened: hunger, pain, fear... This time is just the same, with a whole different emotion.

So this is what hope feels like.

You don't speak, but your little smile tells him what he needs to know.


He sits on the couch and waits, eyes on the black clock on the coffee table. Thirty minutes. He's gonna give them that much.


He should have known she wouldn't let last night pass by. Finally a flashback, a lost memory coming back. And she had gone after Lindsey, asking questions about the man in black.

It had been their first fight since they'd gotten back together. He'd screamed at her, the baby had started crying, and Darla had looked ready to break his neck.

Instead she'd gone check on their child. Then come back and gotten into bed, not a word about it. Lindsey soon had followed, and minutes later he'd felt her lips on the back of his neck, her hands pulling at his boxers.

Apparently everything was okay again.


Twenty five minutes... Twenty... Eighteen


Lindsey's kisses are soft, yet urgent. You close your eyes, concentrating on the feeling of his hands removing your clothes, his heartbeat increasing, the scent of his arousal. He's been waiting for this since you accepted going with him. He wouldn't dare to bring it up anytime you shared a bared with him, his arms wrapped around you protectively. He tried to conceal his body's desire every time you were near. His distant desire both amused and intrigued you. And you have to admit the feeling was mutual. But it took you three weeks after Shannon's birth to deepen your kisses and guide his hands places he wouldn't dare to touch.

You're both pretty quiet, hoping the sleeping baby on the bassinet stays that way. You run your hands up and down Lindsey's broad shoulders, kissing him deeply. His lips move from yours to your chin, traveling down your body, pausing the trace the curves of your body with hands and mouth. You're already whimpering softly when he reaches the valley between your thighs. You hiss as his tongue finds your clit, teasing you. Your fingers dig into the covers. He's really good at this.

Suddenly he stops. Before you have a chance to complain he's kissing your lips again, the tip of his cock against your slit. The he's inside of you, flooding with warmth and beat. Your bodies melt into an embrace as you move together. There are nails scratching and blunt teeth biting, adding pleasurable pain to your moment together. You feel your face change, sharp fangs now gracing the skin of your lover's shoulder. You run your tongue against the jugular, but avoid biting him as you feel him come, the moan that escapes his lips enough to make you climax as well.

Afterwards there's only silence at first, then Lindsey's voice, a lullaby for his two girls.


Tears are prickling Lindsey's eyes. Twelve minutes...


It was baby Shannon who brought the memory back. She was already two months old, all big eyes and little hair. Darla was sitting on the couch, watching Lindsey feed the baby. It seemed like a lifetime ago since the birth, a process of pure pain. There was a reason women died in childbirth. They escaped the cycle of life, knowing a child was just the beginning. Being a woman really wasn't fair. She almost felt sorry for the little one. Her baby. Not that Darla cared too much about the child, but there was something about her. Wow. Darla was really turning into a softie.

She looked once again at the girl, almost lost in the deep chocolate sea of her eyes. Darla could feel something coming back at her: brown eyes and brown hair, a beautiful smile, black clothes, deep voice. A name.

"Who's Angel?" she asked Lindsey as he was putting the baby to sleep.


That was the beginning of the end, Lindsey thinks as he stares at the clock. She's not coming back. She remembered and left, going after the real father of her baby. A part of him always knew this could happen. But it hurts just the same.

Seven minutes....

The door opens. He looks up to see Darla and entering the apartment, pulling the baby stroller. Lindsey almost cries of happiness at the sight.

"You're home," she says.

"I told you I was coming early," he replies, walking up to them and kissing Darla's cheek. "Where were you?"

"Out for a walk. I wanted some fresh air."

He nods. Deciding not to push it. She's there and Shannon is with her. That's all that matters. He'll always be afraid of her recovering her memories, of him coming home to an empty apartment, but he can work it out. He'll just have to make his life seemed more worthy than anything out there.

"Do you want to talk about last night?" he offers once they're settled on the couch.

She shakes her head. "It's over. how was your day?" her voice is chipper now, eager to listen.

As he relaxes and starts talking, Darla briefly think of the piece of paper in her jacket. All the info she managed to gather during the day, going into demon hangouts and sewers while the baby sitter looked after Shannon. The same piece of paper she kept examining as she sat on the bus station just an hour ago, before deciding against it and heading back home. An address in Los Angeles and that name.


She pushes the thought away and smiles back at Lindsey, hoping he never realizes how close she was of walking away.


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