"I can't help but wonder about you," Michael whispered as he watched Emma sleep.
He'd met her a month ago at a nightclub and they'd hit it off immediately. He was disappointed to learn, however, she never went out during the day. She had a night job, she rarely got out of bed before eight p.m. and was in bed by no later than seven a.m. the next morning.
He didn't want to believe what his gut had been telling him, but after being with her for a month, he just knew. She'd never said anything to him about her lifestyle and he'd also noticed she'd rarely eat. He'd never seen her fangs, nor had she ever fed from him, but he was convinced she was a vampire.
She stirred and her eyes opened. She turned on her back to face him. "You can't help but wonder what?" she asked, reaching out to stroke his cheek. Even in the dark room, he could see the love shining in her dark eyes.
Michael swallowed hard and prepared himself for her answer. "Are you a vampire?"
Emma smiled, showing just a hint of her fangs. "Yes. Does that bother you?"
"Actually, no." He rolled to his back then swung his feet over the bed and stood. Turning, he glanced down at her, not caring he was stark naked. "I just don't understand why you didn't tell me before now."
Emma pulled the sheet around her and got out of bed. She walked around to the other side so she was facing him. "I didn't know how you'd react, Michael. I didn't want to tell you for fear of losing you."
"But you had to know I'd find out sooner or later."
"How did you figure it out?"
"We've never gone out during the day. You're rarely awake during daylight hours. If you are, it's not for very long and your curtains and shades are always drawn." He reached for his boxers which had been haphazardly tossed on a chair beside the bed when they'd gotten back to her apartment earlier. "When we do go out at night, you rarely eat."
"Those things wouldn't lead you to believe I was a vampire. Lots of people are night owls."
"Night owls yes, but not many people sleep from sunup to sundown." Michael pulled her into his arms. Kissing the top of her head, he realized it didn't matter she was a vampire. He'd already fallen in love with her in the short time they'd been dating.
Emma buried her face in his chest. "So you're not angry with me?"
He pulled away and turned her face up to his. He planted a tender kiss on her sweet lips. "No. I could never be angry with you, Emma." He kissed her again. "I love you."
"Y – you love me?"
"Yes. I think I've loved you from the moment we met. I knew there was something different about you, but I didn't care. You snagged my heart and I don't want you to let it go."
Emma sighed. "I love you too, Michael. I'd been going to the nightclub we met at for weeks. I saw you there all the time and fell in love with you long before we ever met face-to-face."
Michael sat down on the bed and tugged her into his lap. "So tell me, how long have you been a vampire?"
Emma chuckled. "Only twenty-eight years. I was born a vampire. My parents, however, are another story. They met in the 1500s. Dad was a vampire when he met mom. They fell in love and he turned her. I can't even tell you the number of brothers and sisters I have."
"Holidays must be fun, huh?"
"Oh they are. Other than being vampires, we're a pretty normal family. We celebrate birthdays and holidays just like everyone else." She rested her head on his shoulder. "Oddly enough, only two of my siblings have married mortals."
"Really? Only two?"
"Yeah. Most of my family lives in Europe. Seems the vampire population is larger and more accepted in certain parts there. The two who married mortals live here in the states. One in Boston and the other in L.A."
"And your siblings never turned their spouses?"
"Not as far as I know."
"So, can I ask you something else, Emma?"
"Sure." She lifted her head and gazed into his eyes, content with the love and acceptance she saw there. She leaned in and kissed him. "You can ask me anything."
"Will you turn me?"
Of all the things she'd expected him to ask, that wasn't it. Elation, shock and fear ran through her. "What? Why?"
"Because I love you. I want us to be together always, Emma." He smiled down at her. "Unless you don't want to turn me."
"Oh, it's not that, Michael." She chewed on her lower lip indecisively. "It's just that I've never turned anyone before. I've heard the transition can be painful. I've also heard that for some, it can lead to death."
"Well, vampires are the undead anyway, right?"
"Most are, yes. Some, like me who were born vampires, are a bit more vulnerable and they can die. If I turned you, you'd have those same vulnerabilities."
"Emma, I don't care. I want this. I want you. For always."