This chapter is graphic.
I didn’t sleep the rest of the night. How could I? I just wanted to spend the rest of it with Bruno, especially if somehow this was still a dream. But when five o’clock hit and the sun peeped up across the Horizon, our laughter and conversation quieted.
“I have to go.” He said, softly, his eyes sad. He glanced over his shoulder at the orange tint that lay underneath the deep navy sky through my hotel window.
“Where do you go in the daytime?” I asked, holding onto his hand, wishing this moment didn’t have an ending.
“I bought a home back in LA, about twenty minutes from our old apartment. I renovated it to keep out light, and I go there to rest. But since I’m in Nevada for today, I’m staying in a motel.” He leaned forward and kissed my forehead. “You goin back home soon babygirl?”
“We’re leaving today, in a couple hours actually.”
“So am I gonna see you tonight?” He stood up and slipped his black leather jacket back onto his shoulders. I watched as he adjusted his fedora to the side in the mirror.
“Babe I don’t know how I’m gonna be able to keep this from Dave.”
He sighed before leaning across the bed, his face just inches from mine. “Does Dave know who steals the liquor from his collection? Does he know about when you took his pills for a month straight and he nearly died in the hospital for it? Does he know you’re the reason why his fiance found out he had cheated so long ago and ended the engagement?” He raised his brows when I looked away, unable to face the reality of everything I had done behind my assistant and best friend’s back.
“I love you, have a safe flight.” He kissed my lips before he was gone, with no sign of his exit other than the gust of wind that blew my hair back. I balled my fists into the sheets before letting go and breathing out softly. There was a gentle knock at my door, before the knob turned and Dave came in.
“Your door shouldn’t be unlocked boo, you’re famous now…people will try to find you.” He said, his voice tired. “You don’t look like you slept at all.”
I stared at the floor. I couldn’t make eye-contact with him. I felt so guilty. “I couldn’t.” I said, crossing my arms over my chest.
“Aw, honey.” He said, coming over to embrace me, but I leaned away. “What’s wrong?”
“I just want to get home.” I said as I stood up and walked over to my suitcases. The night before I watched Bruno pack all my things in thirty seconds flat, it was amazing. I wondered if he really didn’t have a soul, I had forgotten to ask him that. He did seem to have more edge than I remembered, less of a conscience for anything outside of our relationship. “When’s the jet leaving?”
“Seven. So we should get going now, I see you’ve got everything ready.”
“Look, Roxy, about last night–”
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
There was a pause. “I know what your going through–”
“No!” I whipped around, finally looking into his piercing blue gaze. “No, you don’t know what I’m going through! You don’t know how I feel, you don’t understand! You didn’t want this life, so guess what, you don’t have it! You don’t perform for sold out crowds and have cameras chasing after you on your worst days! You don’t have label executives breathing down your neck everytime your release a single! You–you didn’t–” I took a deep breath, “You didn’t kill the love of your life, okay?”
He stared at me, his expression shocked. “That doesn’t mean I can’t empathize with you.”
“Being homosexual doesn’t qualify you for a hard life David. Get over yourself…and get my suitcase, that’s what I pay you to do. Not be in my business.” I grabbed my purse and left the hotel room, slamming the door behind me. I was too harsh, I knew it; but I was too confused to care.
As I charged down the hallway, I felt my coolness leaving my body. I had kept my cool and been so neutral the entire night, but in all honesty I was fucked three times over and then some. How was I supposed to keep my relationship low profile if he was just as famous as I was, if not more after his death? Not only was I responsible for his death in the first place, but if word got out that he was alive…and a vampire no less! His life would be even more so in danger than before, and if he died again…I doubt he would be returning this time.
I punched the wall, feeling my knuckles scrape against the plaster. I knew I would bleed but I didn’t care as I covered my face and cried. I cried, and cried, and cried. I felt my world collapsing on all sides, and I had no idea who to run to or how to fix things.
The jet ride was silent. I laid down in the bed in the cabin and watched the wall, wishing somehow I could fall asleep to escape my consciousness. All I could think about was drinking alcohol. Man I wish the jet was stocked, I would take shots until I blacked out and get some relief. I dug in my purse and pulled out the small photo I had of Bruno and I. It was crinkled on the edges, but still glossy and memorable of the first day we ever met...
“This your first award show?” Someone asked me. I glanced up to see the singer, Bruno Mars standing over me, two bottles of Aquafina in his hands. He wore a flannel top and ripped jeans and a beige fedora. His sleeves were rolled up to his elbows. But why was he talking to me?
I gave a polite smile, “Yes.” I mean what else was I supposed to say? I was busy texting my mother and updating her about the event that was about to start. I felt movement and he sat next to me.
“Want some water? Your songs are pretty sick and a voice like that needs to stay hydrated.” He held out the Aquafina. I studied it for a bit before taking it.
“Thanks. I was really thirsty.” I opened the bottle and took a sip.
“You know when you drink….you stick your tongue in first?” He observed. I pulled the bottle away from my face and looked at him funny before we both started laughing.
“No, I didn’t know I did that. Does that offend you or something?” I raised my brow, feeling more comfortable after sharing a laugh with him so early in our acquaintence.
“Nah, nah. I think it’s cute.”
I was onto his game already. “You think it’s cute or you think it’s sexy?”
He laughed, “Alright, alright I think it’s sexy but I didn’t wanna give off the wrong impression within the first five minutes of meeting you. Can you blame me?”
I giggled, “It’s alright.”
He shifted a bit and dug in his pocket. He pulled out a black digital camera. “Can I take a picture with you? I wanna show Santa what I want for Christmas.”
I burst out into laughter. “You are so corny!" I thought about it for a second, "Yes.” I took a breath, regaining my composure, “Yes you can take a picture with me.”
He held up the camera and we both smiled, but when he pressed the shutter button, he quickly kissed my cheek, and it caused me to laugh. The photo ended up looking like I was getting ready to sneeze with his lips pressed against my cheek, but I still asked for a copy. It was the beginning of a beautiful thing.
I pulled out the keys to the Los Angeles apartment that Bruno and I used to share, but now belonged to me. I said my goodbyes to Dave, who lived in his own fancy condo further up in Hollywood. I still didn’t apologize to him. I just didn’t have it in me. My apartment still smelled like wood and apple cinnamon. I turned the lights on and kicked my flats off, tossing my keys and my purse onto the coffee table. I entered my kitchen and pressed the button on my answering machine as I grabbed a handful of almonds off the counter.
“Hello Roxanne, this is Rachel…I was calling with a few interview prospects that I received in my email today. If you could give me a call back that would be appreciated, thanks.”
My publicist. I wonder what magazines wanted to ask me a bunch of pointless questions just to get to the one question about Bruno’s death that I would reply “no comment” to again. They were relentless.
“Hey Box of Rox! You haven’t been answering your cell so I called the crib. Hit me up, I miss you!”
My sixteen year old nephew. He lived with my sister, brother-in-law and my mother in San Diego. I needed to call him back later.
“There are no more messages.”
I leaned against the counter, popping a couple almonds into my mouth as I watched the position of the sun. It was low. I had a very large window in my place, floor to ceiling. I also had an amazing view of the city. I walked down the hallway, going past the decorative artwork that Bruno had decided upon. This was his place before I moved in with him. I kept a lot of his original decor here. I gently pushed open the door to the room.
That damn room.
It felt cold now. I was never in here. And when I say never, I mean I locked the door and walked past it everyday until it became habit. It was a large dance studio. All the walls were mirrored, but two out of the four of them were covered with papers that showcased song ideas, poems, story bits, sketches, and anything else inspiring. There was an upright piano in the far corner of the room, and four guitars upon their stands, untouched since his death. I leaned against the doorframe, looking around the room. There were notebooks, opened with unfinished lyrics on the floor.
I walked across the room, my feet chilled by the cool, wooden floor. I sat down and crossed my legs, indian style. I pulled an open book towards me and read off the lyrics the way I remembered writing them:
” Let your fears go, and you might find your way back home.
Let your fears go, you might find that your not lost. “
My phone jarred me out of my trance and I quickly answered. “Why doesn’t your number ever register in my call log?”
“Why would you need it to?”
I paused. He had a point. “It’s dusk.”
“I can’t wake myself a second before. I got up the earliest I could. The apartment is being watched by TMZ since your back in town, and I can’t chance you driving and being followed.”
I closed the notebook and stood up, leaving the room. “So what are you saying? I can’t see you?” I asked, automatically assuming the worst in the situation.
“I’m not saying that….” I could practically hear his mischevious grin on the other line.
“Baby…..why do you sound like you have something up your sleeve?” I knew that tone, he was always plotting something on the side and now that he has added stealth skills, I could only imagine what he had planned.
“Meet me at the 7-11.”
“The one around the building?” I asked, confused. Meeting in a public place, in my opinion, wasn’t a very good idea.
“Yeah, hurry up.”
I turned all the lights out except for the main one that shone out the front of the building. I knew the photographers would be steadily watching that and the minute it went out they would be swarming the doors. I exited out the back way and flipped my hood up, trying not to look too conspicuous as I went the back way to the 7-11. The doors dinged with my entry, and I looked up to see Bruno in the far back corner. Hurriedly I rushed over to him and he embraced me, kissing my lips. Once I was hit with his scent and touch, everything that had been wavering unknowingly in the universe came back into place and I knew no matter how bad this situation was going to get, I was never going to be able to get away.
I loved him.
I punched him in the chest. “This is a public place!” I whispered.
“I’m not about to hide for the rest of my–” He paused, “–eternity. In about a hundred years nobody will know who I am anymore.”
“Yeah, well guess what? It’s been two and a half years, magazines are still asking me about your death, so let’s get the hell out of here before we get caught.” I grabbed his arm and started dragging him out of the store when, to my horror, I saw a lightbulb go off in front of my eyes.
“H-How is this possible?!” The man behind the camera said as he slowly lowered his lens. His face was filled with horror as he blinked repeatedly.
“Fuck.” I muttered in a panic. Bruno gave me one of his beautiful smiles before tilting his newsboy hat down a little bit and stepping in front of me.
“Hey bro.” He said. The photographer’s gaze instantly lost all expression and was blank, as though he were staring into a dark abyss.
“Peter Gene Hernandez what the fuck are you doing!” I whispered as I gritted my teeth, trying to pull him from that spot, but his strength was incredible, he didn’t even flinch. Fucking vampires.
He ignored me and continued, “That’s a nice camera you’ve got there.” The photographer nodded, “Can I have it?” He nodded again and graciously handed over his camera to Bruno as though it belonged to him.
I was personally baffled and was wondering what the hell was going on. The only way I could explain it would be as if the man was being somehow hypnotized.
“You came into the store to buy a few snacks. You never saw Roxanne, and I’m dead, so you absolutely never saw me, got it?” Bruno said, his voice low.
"Uh huh..." The man nodded again and continued to stare ahead while Bruno took my hand and led me out of the store.
“What did you just do?” I asked, stumbling after him.
“I glamored him. It’s mind-control. He won’t remember a thing.” He explained quickly before whisking me into his arms.
Now not to say he was never strong, but I’m twenty pounds heavier than him, and I’ve got a good two inches on him in height so I wasn’t exactly being carried “newlywed” style very often. Just the fact that he lifted me and was now holding me as though I was a pet chihuahua….frightened me a little. I could tell he was a lot stronger now. He was never abusive towards me, but I always knew I had a fair chance at kicking his ass if he got a little too fresh…but now?
Now he could snap me in two and wouldn’t even break a sweat.
I thought there was going to be some method of transportation, but when I felt the wind smack my face so hard, I was tearing…I realized the method of transportation was him. He was taking backwoods routes that were unable to be accessed via car. I tightened my hold around his neck, burying my face in his chest and feeling the bumps everytime he would jump and land with uniformed precision. Within five minutes…and I mean five minutes, he had slowed down to a walk, and ever so gently, he placed me upon my feet.
I looked up at the home in front of me. It was very modern in it’s design. It was completely black and rectangular shaped, with huge stainless steel doors. I followed him inside, and sure enough there wasn’t a window in sight. That’s not to say the place wasn’t bright, the walls were the whitest of white, and the furniture was red and black. There were halogen lamps that were dimmed, just the way we used to have them in our apartment on our special nights in. Not to mention I heard the faint sounds of “Midnight Distractions” by Afterlife playing. Boy, he sure knew how to set a mood. Then again, Libras were often the romantic types.
I guess my jaw was dropped because he playfully tried to stick his finger in and I slapped his hand away, which caused him to laugh. Vampire or not…he was still ridiculously goofy sometimes. “So you can get a house on your own, but we can’t have one together?” I said, slightly offended by how nice everything looked. I wanted to share that with him, a nice home.
“Actually…I wanted a home and kids, but you said we had to wait until you were older…you were eighteen at the time.” He reminded me.
I pursed my lips and crossed my arms across my chest. “Whatever.”
He smiled, which always seemed to break down my barriers. “Aw, come on baby, I got everything all nice for you, don’t be like that.” He uncrossed my arms and held both my hands, walking backwards as he led me into the living room. There was a large, flat screen television on the wall, and a sectional couch, black, and plush. Several red giant beanbag chairs were scattered in the large space, as well as a glass coffee table that displayed three of his twelve Grammys.
“You think we can ever get married?” I asked suddenly.
He pondered the thought for a moment, “In a different country. I don’t have any records here anymore.”
I shrugged, “I’m not complaining if we have a wedding on a beach in Greece!” I grinned.
“Anything for my woman.” He agreed with a nod. I clapped my hands together in delight. “Then we can get a house in Arizona together, a huge one…no windows.” He added with a chuckle.
I gave a sad smile, remembering all the things I had promised him as he was dying, the house being one of them. “Sorry doesn’t even scratch the surface of how I feel about that night babe, I just–”
“Shhh.” He placed his finger over my mouth before kissing my lips. “I’ve got your favorite music on, lights dimmed, I put on your favorite outfit; now girl–” He grabbed me by my waist and pulled me against the front of his body, “–you are gonna give me some tonight!”
I couldn’t help but to giggle, “The last time I had sex was with you…as a human!” I wrapped my arms around his neck, swaying my body with his to the beat of the music. When Afterlife faded and Ashanti's "Only You"replaced it, I knew there was no turning back.
He licked his lips, bringing his bottom one between his teeth as he looked me up and down. “It’s like riding a bicycle, you don’t forget that shit.”
I gave a sly grin. “Mmm…you know the only thing that turns me on more than when you sing?”
“The way you talk. Your slang, your swagger, and how low you voice gets when you want some.” I leaned in and kissed him, deep. I pulled back and shoved him onto the couch. He fell onto his back and smirked. I appreciated him playing “human” with his strength for the sake of normalcy in our sex life. If he didn’t want to fall onto the couch, he didn’t have to. Clearly.
I walked over towards him and straddled him, hooking my index finger underneath his tie, which I loosened roughly and tossed aside. He sat up and I pushed his black vest off his shoulders and kissed his neck. I reached down to the bottom of his white v-neck shirt, but once I grabbed the hem, I heard that familiar clicking noise. Instinctively, I froze, only momentarily. He stopped moving as well, probably in an effort not to frighten me. I pulled back slowly and looked into his eyes, faded with passion.
“If you want to stop–” He started, but I cut him off by leaning just centimeters from his lips. I ran my tongue up his left fang slowly, proceeded along the front of his other teeth and then back down his right one.
“Shit babygirl…” He breathed.
“I want you so bad.” I cooed into his ear, taking his earlobe between my teeth as I ground myself into his lap, continuing where I left off with his shirt, which I pulled off and threw to the side. Everything was in my muscle memory, and my body was so thankful to be alive the way it used to be so long ago. The way he grabbed me and flipped me over, made me grow even wetter, begging for more of his roughness.
“You have no idea how fuckin’ bad I want you.” He groaned, pulling at my track pants with his vampire speed, next followed by my panties. He traced his tongue up my inner thigh and I literally had chills. Now Bruno’s lovemaking skills were amazing before, but something about the way he touched me now just was like he had fire on his fingertips everywhere he touched. My skin was searing and I ached with need to feel his length inside of me. When he moved his tongue up the center of my dripping, wet center and moaned...I damn near lost it. I always didenjoy knowing he loved eating me as much as I enjoyed being eaten.
I lifted my hips as he slipped two fingers inside of me and continued to lick my bud in short, sweet patterns that made my back arch even more.
“Oh fuck baby.” I called out. He firmly pressed his hand against my rising hips and slammed me back down onto the couch with such force, I gasped.
“You don’t move unless I tell you to.” He said in a hard voice. I gripped the soft, black pillow and bit my lip, nodding. “Mmm okay, okay I'm sorry. Please don't stop.”
“I love makin you beg for it.” I felt his hand rubbing my inner thigh back and forth, followed by his tongue. “Mmm babe?”
“Y-Yes?” I asked, barely able to speak because of the impending orgasm that was winding up tightly like a coil inside of me.
“Can I taste you?”
I dropped my head back, wanting so bad to move my hips against the rhythm of his fingers.
“Do it.” I couldn’t believe I let the words slip from my lips until I felt the sharp twinge of his fangs piercing the skin of my inner thigh, hitting that precious artery that lay down there. As much as I wanted it to hurt so I could have another reason to dislike what he was….that shit felt good.
I came right then and there, calling out his name as he licked and sucked at the punctures he had created. My curiosity got the best of me and I propped myself up on my elbows to watch him, and it looked so…sexual. His eyes closed, his hands gripping my thigh as he ran his tongue across my butterscotch skin. I ran my hand through his tangled black curly hair as he finished and I noticed the wounds had disappeared. It was as though he had never bitten me.
He came up and I devoured his lips, taking care to watch the fangs. It wasn’t difficult to evade them, we were so wrapped up in desire that we barely focused on technique of kissing. I tasted the metallic of my blood in his mouth, but it didn’t bother me. I just wanted him, now. And the erection that strained against his black jeans told me he wanted me just as bad. I undid his jeans, and he took them off painstakingly slow, his eyes never leaving my own as he did so. I whimpered, wishing he didn’t have on boxers.
“Fuck, don’t do this to me.” I whined, pouncing atop him and ripping his boxers off him. I moaned, leaning down and running my tongue up his length and licking my lips after wards. I always loved the taste of him. He groaned, biting his lower lip in that god-awful sexy way he always does, and I slowly lowered myself atop his length, swallowing him inside of me inch-by-inch. Once I was completely filled with him, I tossed my head back, my hands positioned atop his abs.
“Wanna see the difference between a vampire and a human?” He asked me, his voice low and rasped. I looked down at him curiously.
“Go for it.” I replied. The wind whipped around my body as I was suddenly on my back, my legs atop his shoulders as he pounded into me at the perfect angle, with the perfect tempo and the perfect force. It was all so perfect I couldn’t even say coherent sentences any longer.
“Fuck…fuck…fuck…fuck!” I panted, my toes curling. He let one of my legs dropped and pushed the other one towards my body more, reaching deep inside me at another perfect angle. I climaxed, again, screaming this time. I hadn’t even seen that orgasm coming!
In another whisk of vampire speed, he had me leaning over the side of the couch as he entered me from behind, giving me no recovery time. His body, sleek with sweat, was pressed against my back as he grabbed underneath my chin and lifted my head back to kiss my neck. His fangs lightly scraped the surface of my veins, but he was eager to lick away the little droplets of blood as he impaled away, his skin slapping against mine to the rhythm of the music. I felt another orgasm lining up to take over my body again. My heart was racing, my eyes shut tight as I concentrated of the feeling of his lips pressed against the nape of my neck, and his length, which was stroking me every which way I could imagine.
“Come for me baby.” He thrust inside of me again as he grunted in my ear and I fell to pieces. I came, my body shuddering as my legs gave out. He kept my hips up as he came right after me. The second he let go of my hips, I collapsed onto the couch, gasping for breath. Literally gasping for breath.
Of course, he was fine. He kissed my cheek before speaking into my ear, “I took your virginity, and I popped you vampire sex cherry. Damn I’m good.” He laughed, running his hand down my back and kissing the back of my neck before standing up.
“Fuck you.” I mumbled, overcome by fatigue. I didn’t even have the power to fight back with his cockiness, I would save it for another time.