Standing in the shower, I let the water wash over me. For a brief moment, I thought of Ryo and his nerve, coming over here and using my shower. I felt like it was just because I had allowed Haru to. A vampire asserting territory or possession. And while Haru was more than welcome to possess me in any way he’d like, there was something about Ryo that was just not right. To deny his hotness would be foolish, for he was very good looking and had a body most girls would kill to have pressed against them. He was sexy and confident, with a swagger and attitude that lent the idea he would be a very good lover. But in all that somewhere, there was a darkness, a bit of sinister lurking beneath the surface, as if he wasn’t just setting you up to be his love object, but perhaps his meal as well.
Now, Haru was the exact opposite. He was laid back and shy. Not so shy that he wouldn’t talk, but he did have a certain bashfulness and quiet demeanor that said a girl would have to stalk him to get him to open up. He was cute as hell, and from what I’d seen so far, he had a nice body. But he didn’t act as if he knew these things. His long blond hair, sometimes nearly white in the light, often covered one eye, affording him a way to avert his gaze from you. His eyes were smoldering dark, as if waiting for someone to bring some light to them, and oh my god, his lips covered mine perfect. Full and moist, they had nearly melted against mine the night before, as if we were the same mold broken in half and being glued back together. A slow sensation rose within my body as the water ran down my chest, gentle as Haru’s fingers had been in my hair. I shuddered. This was not some desire for a boy I liked, this was an insatiable wanting that craved to know everything about Haru, from his mind, to his heart, to every inch of his body. I shut off the shower and grabbed a towel. I couldn’t believe the thoughts I was having, and if someone had seen me naked at this moment, they would have been able to tell from the chill bumps on my skin that Haru excited me in ways I’d never felt before.
Trying to mask my thoughts, I got dressed as fast as I could, hoping no one had snuck in while I was bathing. I slipped into my favorite pair of faded jeans and found the tightest t-shirt I could find in my closet. Ironically, it had a vampire on the front, wearing very little and waving a pirate flag. The band logo VAMPS was emblazoned above. It made me think how much I missed some of the J-rock concerts my dad had taken me to, whenever we vacationed on the west coast. That made me realize I better remind mom about going to see him tomorrow.
I trudged downstairs to the kitchen. I smelled the food cooking before I even got there. This was odd, because mom was no culinary goddess. When I walked into the room, the smell of Asian food was strong.
“What are you fixing, mom?” I asked.
She jumped, startled. “Oh honey, you scared me.” She had her tablet lying on the counter, and I could tell she had been surfing the Pinterest app. “Found this recipe for Yakisoba. Thought I’d give it a try.”
“Cool. Are we expecting guests?”
“No dear. Just you and me. You do like Asian, don’t you?”
“Yeah I do. Don’t you remember? Dad and I used to go to Kabuki restaurant all the time.”
“Oh yes, that’s right.” She tried to smile, but it seemed a little weak, as if her memories weren’t as fond as mine.
“By the way, remember, I wanted to go see Dad tomorrow.”
“Um, yes,“ she replied, with some hesitation. “Dear, do you think we could postpone it?”
“I’m..I’m just not feeling it. I think I’d rather stay home.”
“You don’t want to see dad?”
“I..I miss your father. I just …I’m not ready to go again just yet.”
I remembered the last time we had gone. There had been a certain awkwardness between them, and the conversation had seemed strained. A few minutes into the visit a mild disagreement had come up that seemed to be about my further education after I graduate high school. At the time it didn’t bother me, but now I was wondering if there had been something else being discussed beneath the surface, and if my education was just a secret way to talk about hidden things.
“We can go next weekend,“ Mom said.
“Don’t worry about it, mother. I’ll find another way.”
She stopped cooking. “Don’t you go hitch hiking. It’s dangerous.”
Mom knew my mind well. “I don’t know how else I’ll get there.”
“I said we’ll go next weekend.”
I was disappointed. “No, we won’t. It will be like every other promise you make to me. Broken.” I didn’t give her a chance to explain, or even try to. I stormed up the stairs for the sanctuary of my room, and never once did she try to follow. That was mom for you. Whenever she made me upset, she’d let me rot up here before she ever came to check on me. I slammed my bedroom door, so she’d get the point I was shutting her out in the same way she’d done to me.
I must have fallen asleep on the bed, because when I jolted awake, my stomach was growling and it was dark out. There was still the distinct smell of food in the air, but it wasn’t Asian. It was Mexican. I heard something rustle on the other side of the room. I jumped up and flipped on the lamp at my bedside. Haru sat at my desk, bags of Mexican takeout in his hands.
“I thought you might be hungry,“ he said. “Hope you like tacos and enchiladas, because I have a ton of it.”
I smiled. Another first. No boy had ever brought me food before. I guess most girls prefer flowers, but right now food sounded a whole lot better. “Yes, I’m starving, “ I replied.
He got up and came over to my bed. Plopping himself down on the mattress, he started unpacking the bags. I sat back down beside him. Reaching in one of the bags, he pulled out a warm churro and put it to my lips. I smiled and let him feed it to me.
“I love the taste of Churros,“ he said, and then he kissed me, his lips lingering on mine for so long I thought I would choke on the food. His hands didn’t touch me in any way, but they didn’t need to. His kiss made me feel as if I was being touched all over. When his moist lips left mine, he licked them. “Yes, love the taste.”
I blushed as he fed me another. I reached into the bag and got one myself. I put it to his lips. At first, he wouldn’t open his mouth, but I realized he was just teasing. When his lips parted, I nearly jammed it in there.
He laughed. “Oh yeah?” He grabbed a taco and smashed it against my lips. Some of it went in my mouth, the rest crumbled onto the bed sheet. “Oops,” he said. “I’m sorry.”
“That’s okay.” I grabbed up the broken taco and shoved it at his face. He opened his mouth to take the food, but grabbed my wrist with his hand instead. It scared me a little, and I released the food so it fell back on the bed sheet. I reached for it with the other hand, and he grabbed that wrist, too. Before I could say anything, he was kissing me again. It wasn’t exactly rough, but it was eager, and I opened my mouth against his, letting his tongue play across my lips and teeth. He gently eased me down on the bed, still holding my wrists so they were on either side of my head. I swallowed, feeling a bit nervous. This wasn’t exactly the shy Haru.
“Do you want me to let you go?” he whispered, perhaps feeling my tension.
“No,“ I admitted, and then his beautiful, wet lips were on me again, kissing my mouth, then my cheek, and my neck just below the ear. I swore the room was starting to spin. I’d become so dizzy. As his chest pressed against mine, and I felt the warmth of him emanating from under his shirt, I closed my eyes and let the heat overtake me. A delicious kind of warmth spread from my face and down into my body, settling somewhere within my stomach. He let go of my wrists, and my hands flew to his face, pulling his kiss closer to me. For a moment, I thought about what Angela had said about him making sexual advances on me soon, and that I’d better be ready, but though this was sensual, I didn’t feel he was just a guy trying to put some moves on a girl. His hands settled in my hair, brushed against my face and neck, but never went below that. And yet, I could feel myself wanting him to touch me more. His fingers grazed my throat, and I wondered if he was trying to fight his vampire urges. His lips full on mine now, our open mouths hungry for the other’s kiss, I felt the tension leaving me and relaxed. He bit my lip and I winced, tasting blood. He took a breath and sucked at my lip. I didn’t taste the blood anymore, but he was. It was so sexy, my eyes rolled back in my head, and then without warning, he broke the connection. His lips left me, his hands left me, and he was jumping off the bed.
“I..I’m sorry,“ he said. “Oh God, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to..”
I sat up, wondering what was happening. “Haru, its okay. I didn’t mind.”
“No, we can’t. I can’t.” He ran his fingers through his hair, and looked around the room as if he were seeking an avenue of escape. His eyes wouldn’t light on mine. In fact, he wouldn’t look at me at all. Instead he looked to the ceiling. “I’m sorry,“ he mumbled. A tear ran from one of his eyes down his cheek. “I..I didn’t know.”
“Didn’t know what?” I asked.
He looked at me like someone coming out of a trance. His unfocused eyes were looking at a spot beyond me, as if someone else were there. Then, he wiped the tear off his cheek.
“I can’t do this, Nora. Please forgive me.”
I didn’t know what he was talking about. Do what? Did he mean kissing, making out, making love, drawing blood, what? “Haru, it’s okay. Everything you were doing was okay. I wanted you to.”
“No, we can’t go that far.”
I thought I understood. I mean, I was scared to go too far also. If it was sex he was talking about, I understood the fear. “Okay. But you don’t have to stop kissing me.”
He looked at me. Another tear threatened to fall from his haunted dark eyes. “I don’t want to stop kissing you,“ he confessed. “But…”
“It has been a long time since I have felt this way.” He hung his head. “I..I don’t know what to do.”
“I have never felt this way,“ I confessed.
“Can I…can I just hold you for a little while?” he asked.
He came to me once more and sat back down on the bed. His hands reached out for me in a gentle gesture, taking hold of my shoulders and pulling me into his embrace. His arms wrapped around me. I lay my head against his chest. I could hear his heart beating like a drum in my ear. He began to sing in my ear with a voice that was soft and feminine. It was Japanese , but I didn’t recognize the song. Still, I let the tune take me away to that place where music speaks about our highest hopes and our darkest fears.
In this embrace, we both wept, and yet I wondered if either of us even knew why. In time, we eased back on the bed to lay side by side, his arms still wrapped about me, and yet I felt as if it were I who was cradling him, and not the other way around. I closed my eyes, thinking how perfect this felt, just to be held. I drifted off feeling comforted and safe.
I didn’t sleep long. I knew by the clock on my desk only an hour or two had passed. Haru was awake too, though I wasn’t sure how long he’d been up . He may never have slept at all.
I turned my head to look at him. “Somehow I don’t think this is what you wanted to show me tonight.”
He let a quiet laugh escape his lips. “No, it wasn’t.”
“You can still show me, if you like.”
“It can wait. I think you will need your rest tonight.”
“Why is that?” I asked.
He didn’t say anything for a second. “You talk a lot in your sleep.”
I came up on both elbows, alarmed. “Really?”
“Yeah, you do. But I think it’s cute.”
“What did I say?” I asked, becoming concerned I had blabbed about my innermost feelings.
He patted my hand. “Don’t worry. I’ll take you.”
“Tomorrow. To see your dad. I’ll take you.”
“Oh. That’s what I talked about then.”
He laughed at my relief. “Yes, you did. But hey, I’d like to meet him anyway.”
I gave him a curious look. “Why is that?”
“Well, my Uncle Tomoko, he is a pretty good lawyer. Maybe we can try to get your dad out of there.”
“That would be nice, but I don’t want to get my hopes up. He didn’t have a very good defense .”
“We can try.”
He reached up with his hand and touched my face. “This is going to sound weird.”
“Okay,“ I breathed.
“Would you mind it very much if I watched you sleep again tonight?”
“No,” I replied. “Not at all. Can I ask why?”
He hung his head as if embarrassed. “Listening to you breathe in your sleep helps me to remember what it’s like to be at peace again. Your breath becomes my breath, and it soothes me.”
I didn’t know what to say, but it didn’t matter, because his face drew close to mine. “I want to know what it is like to live within your breath,” he whispered.
To most girls, that may not sound romantic, but to me, it was as if he said he couldn’t live without me. And that was what I had wanted to hear from a boy ever since I was twelve.
“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2017 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.