Yellow Roses

By Tara Ann Stridh

Yellow roses were scattered all over the floor and black jasmine scented candles were lit. Lindsey McDonald didn’t know if it was day or night; he hadn’t seen the sun in months.

The jasmine scent became stronger and he knew that Darla had entered the room. He immediately backed into the corner of the bed he was sitting on. During the short time he was held captive by Darla he had learned to be afraid of her. Though she tortured him with sex and nipping he was tired and he wondered what her plan for him was. There were bruises and raw bite marks all over his naked body.

In her hand Darla held a CD; she went to the disc player and soon Chopin filled the room.

“The prelude . . .” Lindsey said.

Darla said, “In C minor. The preludes and the nocturnes.”

“So much better than the waltzes.”

“Hmm, you remember,” Darla smiled.

She approached him in a black lace dress and burgundy satin strappy heels. She was always beautiful, he thought and her eyes looked at him lovingly before they glazed over with coldness. He flinched before she even touched him and she smiled again.

“Lindsey . . .” her voice chimed, “don’t try to hide from me.”

Darla stroked the purplish cranberry-blue bruise upon his cheek.

“Sweetpea, what am I going to do with you? You know I hurt you because I’m in love with you.”

She didn’t laugh. She never laughed at him, anymore, and he missed it. He looked into her violet-hazel eyes for a moment, a moment he knew connected them, and she slapped him hard, almost twisting his neck.

All he could do was glare back at her, trying to challenge her.

“Lindsey, do you hate me, yet? Why don’t you hurt me back?”

“Because it’s what you want.”

His voice was like velvet gravel, soft and understanding.

“Why would I want that?”

“You want me to hurt you. Like him. I won’t. I love you. It’s strange, isn’t it, to have someone love you and never judge you once. You don’t have to understand it, Darla, just accept it.”

“What’s strange is to love someone who won’t love you back,” she said. “I don’t need him, anymore, Lindsey. I have Connor. I love Connor more than anything, more than him, more than you, more than blood . . .

“Lindsey,” she said, resting her small hand on his knee and digging her nails into his skin. “Come to me.” Slowly, his body relaxed and he moved closer to her. He leaned in to kiss her; after everything she’d done to him he still wanted to kiss her. Darla turned her mouth away from his and he thought she would hit him again, but she didn’t. Instead she grabbed his thighs, anchoring her nails in his flesh and spread his legs wide. She slid off the bed and on to her knees; he could feel her icy lips near his inner thigh. Lindsey pulled at her fair hair as she changed face and bit into a healing wound.

Then with blood still on her tongue she licked the tip of his penis and purred, “I promise to fuck you before you die.”

Lindsey hardened for her and reached for her hands; she surprised him by reaching back.

She stood up and pushed him back into the satin champagne sheets. For a vampire feeding was like foreplay and Lindsey’s blood always aroused her without much effort. So she pulled her skirt up over her porcelain thighs and gasped as he slid himself inside her because he did it without her approval. And he did it quite violently as if he was finally attempting to fight back.

Darla smiled and caressed his neck with her nails.

Such a pretty neck, she thought, and she so did admire pretty things. She kissed him and tasted his own blood on her metal garnet lips.

Somewhere from another room beneath The Bronze she heard her son yell, “Mother,” and she thrust her hips a little harder.

She decided to be generous and allowed Lindsey to fondle her chilled breasts through the skimpy yet elegant fabric of her dress. Every time he squeezed her she squeezed back and he’d quiver. Sometimes he’d try to pull out of her but she always held him tight and warm. He could feel the heat from his blood flowing throughout her flesh. The warmth crept around her delicate nipples and Lindsey bit at them. Darla smiled and crudely bit into his neck, ignoring the blood smearing her chin. She wasn’t particularly messy but their passion consumed her; she wanted to dance in his blood. She moaned faintly as he bit at her neck, desperately trying to leave some sort of mark or bruise or welt on her body. He’d always wanted to claim her as his, but found that he never could even if she let him.

She began to scream out pleasantly as he raped her neck until she came. Darla waited briefly for Lindsey to come. Then she kissed his lips and as he looked up at her, her eyes softened and began to tear.

“I’m in love with you,” she said softly.

In his mind he heard her laughter. Her fine lips pouted slightly and her eyes almost looked at him as though she was human. Then she grabbed his neck and snapped it in half. She tore her body away from his and wiped her hands on her dress. Staring at his dead body she knew she'd miss him. Part of her wished that she and Lindsey could have had their happy ending but the other part thought it nothing but a weakness. She had to be strong for her son and for herself. She was a vampire and a mother, a strange little pairing, she thought, but nature was wicked and deceitful, especially to women.

Darla remembered what it was like to have a soul when she was pregnant and she missed it sometimes, though she wouldn’t dare tell anyone. She wondered now what exactly her strength was and what kind of happy ending could a girl like her ever have? After four hundred years she was still looking for answers to herself. She knew that somewhere in between blood, love, and motherhood she would find them but she was also scared of them.