“Night, Rosie,” Harry muttered, his lips hovering over my mouth. A corner of my mouth turned up into a grin.
“Night,” I murmured, before pecking him on the lips. I sensed Harry wanted more, but I wasn’t risking it again. His eyes filled with disappointment for a second, making my heart sink. He soon flashed me a grin, but it was too false. I forced a smile in return before pulling myself off of the sofa. I bit my bottom lip as I silently shuffled towards the bedroom door. Tonight was so peaceful, just the two of us cuddled up watching a film, but a small thought lingered in the back of my head as I had been dreading going to bed all evening: Samuel would be back.
I slipped into bed, my body tingling as I curled up in Harry’s clothes. I kept my whole body under the covers, believing that it would actually protect me. My chin was on my chest, my legs against my front as I curled up tighter, wanting, praying that it would be morning soon, that sunlight would seep through the windows, the sound of the birds singing would flow into the room.
I must have drifted off, Harry’s pyjama bottoms clinging onto my legs with sweat, because I was suddenly woken by a woman’s scream. I bolted up into a sitting position, flinging the covers off of me as the screaming grew louder, more painful. I noticed the window was wide open again, sending chills down my spine. Goosebumps covered my skin as I shuddered, searching the darkness for anything, anyone. Why hadn’t Harry come in? Surely he would have heard the screaming. I pressed my palms against my ears, but the screams continued in my head, bouncing off the inside of my skull. I shuffled back under the covers, my body now shivering uncontrollably, the screaming endless in my head.
But then it all stopped. My heart felt dead in my chest. ‘Don’t trust it’ I thought. ‘He’ll trick you again. Don’t believe anything he says.’
The sound of dripping soon broke the torturing silence. The drops were hitting something soft, like the duvet. Then a voice, a voice so calm, so familiar to my ears.
“I love you, baby. Never forget that.”
My mum. She was here.
A faint voice in my head told me not to believe it, to accept the fact that she’s dead. But I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to believe that the voice in my head was lying to me, that my mother was alive again.
I slowly poked my head out of the covers, my hands trembling as I gradually pulled down the duvet. I gasped. She was sat there on the side of my bed in her red silk dress. She had the storybook in her hand, beaming down at me. A light emanating from nowhere beamed down on her gorgeous face, emphasising every part of her body. She reached out to me, stroking my hair softly. I could feel her. She was really here.
“Mummy…you came back for me,” I cried softly, feeling her hand softly trailing down to my cheek. Her touch was so warm as I nuzzled my face into her palm.
“Of course, sweetie. I’m always here for you.”
Warm shivers exploded in my body as I heard her voice for the first time in years. Her smiling never ended, that sparkle in her eyes blinding. But as we gazed at each other, my mind racing with the reality of it all, everything suddenly stopped, that sparkle drowning in her eyes.
A dark figure was suddenly looming over her, a figure with no face. She hadn’t noticed it was there, continuing to let her warm smile light up her face. I tried focusing on my mum, forcing the smile to remain on my lips. I wanted to hold onto this moment for as long as possible, praying that I was just imagining this figure. But I couldn’t imagine the long, slim fingers reaching out towards her. The figure stretched its fingers out before they caged over my mother’s shoulders. I wanted to scream out, to fight off this beast seizing hold of my vulnerable mother, but I would have been too late. Before my mother could react, the figure pulled her body towards itself, plunging sparkling white teeth straight into her neck.
She cried out. The figure suddenly dissolved into thin air, leaving its victim to die slowly. My mother’s head flew back with pain, the smile viciously wiped from her face. Blood started oozing from her neck, the colour draining from her cheeks. Her chest jerked as she continued to scream out. I reached out to her as her upper body fell back onto the bed. Her hair brushed against my palm before her dead, unmoving body was laid out before me. I stared down at her, eyes wide with shock. I trembled uncontrollably, visions flashing through my mind all at once. He threw my mother across the room. Her body smashed against the wall. He smirked, knowing that tonight he would have her blood.
It was getting too much to handle now. My skull was throbbing, unable to hold this much tension. My legs were still against my front as I shook my head, not wanting to believe I was being forced to watch this again all these years later. But she looked so real lying before me. I brushed my fingertips down her upper arm, her cold skin shocking me as she laid over my bed. Her head was tilted to the side as the blood stopped oozing from her neck, leaving a deep stain on the covers. My mother’s eyes were open, staring straight at me, silently pleading for me to do something. But what? Tears swelled in my eyes, but I couldn’t tear them away from her body.
“She did taste great.”
My head shot up, connecting with Samuel standing tall at the end of my bed. I gasped, pressing myself against the bed board as blood dripped from his pointy teeth. The drops fell to the covers, making a soft noise as them hit it. Samuel slowly licked his lips, letting his tongue wipe up the blood covering his mouth.
“She was my favourite to kill,” he continued, glancing down at my mother. I gritted my teeth, enveloping my arms around my legs. I knew he was trying to get to me, to mess with my head. I just returned his stare, never looking away, however much I wanted to. “Now, Rosalie, I need you to do a favour for me.” He sneered at me as he rocked back onto his heels, his hands behind his back.
“I’ll do nothing for you,” I spat back.
His grin never left his face, only growing wider. “Ah, well now we have a problem.”
I could hear the taunting building in his voice, telling me that he thought this was just a big joke, that my feelings meant nothing. I stayed silent, refusing to do anything. I watched as he glanced at the bedroom door before gazing back down to me.
“What’s that boy’s name in the living room?” he asked, one corner of his mouth tugged up higher than the other.
“Don’t you dare touch him!” I yelled, ready to push myself off of the bed. But he just laughed, shaking his head at me. When he had calmed down, he strolled around the bed towards me. I kept my chin up, trying not to look as frightened as I felt inside. Once he was stood next to my side of the bed, leaning over me, the grin slowly faded from his face.
“Do this job for me, Rosalie, or I’ll have to do it myself. Either way it’ll happen. Trust me.”
He loved saying that word to me: ‘trust’. He knew I had trust issues. Because of him. His cruel face was inches from mine, impenetrable eyes staring back at me. I could see my reflection in the black of his eyes, my pale face staring back at me. Goose bumps rose on my skin, knowing that whatever this job was Samuel had for me, it included Harry.
“Kill him!” he hissed through his teeth.
My jaw dropped slightly, my vision becoming blurry with tears.
“Wh-who?” I asked shakily, but I already knew the answer.
“Your boyfriend. If you don’t kill him, he’ll end up just like the others, Rosalie.” He nodded to my mother’s dead body still lying on the bed. I swallowed hard, glancing at my mother before gazing back up at him. “You’re a killer, Rosalie. It’s what you were made to do. We both know what happens when you fall for someone. You kill them. You may as well get it over with now, Rosalie. All you have to do is bite him, girl. That’s it.”
“I-I won’t do it,” I half sobbed, shaking my head quickly. Samuel reached out in a flash, holding my head in his hands, stopping me from shaking my head. “I-I…” I stuttered.
“Rosalie,” he interrupted, letting that grin return to his pale face. I closed my mouth, his large hands covering most of my face as I shivered. He leaned further down, his cold breath on my lips as his face grew closer to mine. He stared deep into my eyes, making me feel as though there’s no escape from him, that he’s got control of me. “Kill him or I will,” he ordered.
That’s when the door burst open, but I didn’t react, just stared up at the darkness where Samuel was once stood. I could still feel his palms pressed tight against my cheeks, his words still paining me, burning me inside.
Harry’s fragrance soon encircled me, my side pressed against his chest as he hugged me tightly. I felt him place his hand on my cheek, guiding my head to face him. But my mind was elsewhere, Harry’s touch burning my skin on my face once touched by Samuel.
“Rosie, what happened?” he asked, his voice leaking concern.
I opened my mouth, ready to tell him everything Samuel said, what I had seen, but I eventually shook my head, lowering my gaze.
“I…I don’t know. I can’t remember,” I lied, my heart aching with every false word I spoke.
Harry rested his head on my shoulder, his hair tickling my ear. I let a small smile play on my lips, Harry leaving comforting kisses on my skin. I turned my body so he could pull me into his arms. I nuzzled my face into Harry’s neck, breathing in his sweet scent.
We held each other for so long, like if we pulled away we would lose one another forever. I squeezed him tighter, knowing that one day that may happen if Samuel got his hands on him. I noticed the blood stain on the covers had disappeared. And my mother’s body. It was gone, like I had imagined the whole thing. But I knew I hadn’t. Harry was in trouble and I was the only one to stop anything from happening to him. Tears sprung to my eyes. I wanted to spend eternity with Harry. His touch was always so comforting, so warm to me. But Samuel wanted to take that away from me. Again. My arms suddenly tightened around Harry, feeling as though Samuel was still here, lurking in the darkness, staring at us.
“I’ll never let anyone hurt you,” I sobbed into Harry’s ear. Tears silently escaped my eyes, dampening Harry’s neck. “I promise.”
Harry stayed silent, but I knew he was smiling, believing the words I was saying. Now all I had to do was believe them myself.
I eventually lifted my head from his neck, tears swelling in my eyes. I tried blinking them away, but more just fell down my cheeks.
“I don’t want to lose you, Harry,” I whispered.
Harry gently pulled back, wiping the tears from my eyes. “You’re not going to lose me, Rosie. I promise.”
“Don’t…please don’t promise that. I’ve had enough promises broken in my time,” I sobbed, avoiding eye contact with him. “What if one day I do lose you, that something will happen to one of us? What will happen then?”
“Rosie, what’s this about? Where’s this all come from?”
I stuttered, questioning whether to tell him. I eventually closed my mouth again, shaking my head. “I had a dream, that’s all,” I mumbled, looking away.
Harry cupped my head in his hands, so warm compared to Samuel’s. He pulled my head closer to his, kissing away the tears on my cheeks.
“Rosie, you will never lose me. If anyone ever tries to tear us apart I promise you that I will fight. For you. For us. That’s a promise I won’t break,” he said sternly, each word lifting a weight off of my shoulders. And I believed him, every word he spoke. I nodded my head weakly, tears pooling in my eyes. “I love you, Rosie, and I’ll protect you until the day I die.”
Before I could reply, he ghosted his lips over mine. I could barely feel them, but his hot breath on my lips threw a warm sensation over my body. I felt the beast taking control as I leaned forward for his lisp to be on mine, but Harry jerked his head back before we could touch.
“Soon, Rosie. I promise,” he muttered, pecking me on the lips before lying down on his back. I shuffled closer to him, resting my head on his chest. I sighed heavily, soon not being close enough. I wanted to kiss him, properly kiss him without letting my abilities take over. But Harry has faith in me and that will make me continue the training, to put everything I have into it so one day we’ll have that kiss. And it’ll be special.