Will You Be
Copyright © 2013 by Michael Litzky
After a short time, Sally’s muscles were able to move again and she could breathe normally.
Lavinia’s body still felt warm and her violet eyes still looked down at Sally from just a few inches away. Her face looked healthy olive brown again too. Her nose still looked squashed, but it wasn’t broken open and swollen. Sally couldn’t see any sign of the split-open ribbon either.
It felt so normal lying against her breast that Sally felt a hope she hardly dared to look at too closely. After the fright she’d felt, a proto-desire was stirring that would fan into flames if she let it. She floated on the edge of a chasm and in that chasm was the longing to submit to Lavinia, to throw everything away and say take me! But she couldn’t; Lavinia was dangerous.
Carefully she asked, “What just happened here?”
Lavinia gave her a look that might have prefaced words like “I honored our agreement, what are you on about?” But her face came apart into a shocked, aghast confusion instead.
“We weren’t just fucking, were we? I, I heard you say stop, and I stopped, like I promised. But…” Her mouth closed and Sally heard her run her tongue over her teeth. “Aw fuck,” she said in a voice with no strength in it.
Outside, the insistent voices clamored “Let us in, let us in, you cheat, you slut, you bitch, you got in, let us in, let us in.” The camper rocked gently back and forth.
Sally sat up and ticked off details for Lavinia to confirm. “You’d forgotten you were a vampire. The sun charged you up somehow, but you’re still a vampire. Once the sun went down, you could move again and you thought we were making love.” She raised her eyebrows.
Lavinia wrapped her arms around herself and nodded miserably. “Till you asked, I was in a kind of glow. I felt so good.”
“Baby you are good,” Sally interrupted, responding to Lavinia’s mood rather than the literal meaning of her words. “Dear God in heaven, what you’ve been through, and you keep fighting to stay you.”
The proto-passion Sally had suppressed poured into her speech. “You’re so brave, and you’re my beloved and I want you and I will keep calling you back if you need me and during the day you didn’t try to bite me, maybe you couldn’t but still, you didn’t.
“And,” she went on, mind dancing from scene to scene, “you chose our home! I’m sure you got in because you stayed yourself, not because some Norse god who was probably a Nazi collaborator anyway put magic in your jacket! And you fought your way back when you woke up, this afternoon.
“And here’s something I just thought of! Last night, when you were pulled out of my arms and you were outside, you didn’t try to call to me, didn’t try to get me to come to you. You said you tried anything to get the living food inside but you didn’t even think of using me like that.”
Lavinia looked shocked, and then understanding spread over her face. This was what had confused her when she’d described her first night to Sally. She looked down with a flush of pleasure. “Tell me more, kid, you’re saving my life here.”
Sally felt some wonderful realization about to dawn on her, something she wasn’t quite seeing. It swept away the lingering uncertainties she still felt.
Voice trembling with feeling, she took Lavinia’s warm hands and said “You are my beloved, you are the love I’ve wanted my whole life. I don’t care if you’re a vampire. I don’t care that you’re 52 and I’m 27. I don’t care that you’re a Jewish atheist and I’m a …whatever the hell I am, and I don’t care about the homophobia we’ll face. I would marry you if you’d have me.”
As the word “marry” blossomed at the peak of her outpouring, her heart suddenly hammered as hard as when she’d thought Lavinia was going to kill her.
I looked my death in the face just now, she thought. Positioning herself in front of Lavinia, who looked up at her with surprise, and holding Lavinia’s hands, she said in a voice husky with emotion, “Lavinia Starr. Will you. Be.” She took a deep breath and then hurled herself off the cliff. “My wife.”
The word “wife” sounded scarier on her tongue than the word “vampire” but it thrilled her to the very core. Same-sex marriage was now legal in all but two states; the vampire plague had at least given the haters something to fear worse than two people loving each other. This woman, looking down and blushing in front of her, could be her wife. Was she crazy? That wasn’t something Sally Yan did, that was something other people ….
Blushing? Flushing with pleasure? But to do that, didn’t you have to have –
And suddenly she realized why lying against Lavinia’s breast had felt so normal. She’d heard a heartbeat!!!
Eyes wide as a kitten’s, she said, “Lavinia,” in a breathless voice.
“Yes,” Lavinia said quietly.
Sally was about to tell Lavinia what she’d discovered when Lavinia looked up and met her eyes and Sally realized she had answered her question. She had said yes.
She repeated it now. “Yes, baby. Yes to all of it.” Her face crinkled somewhere between laughing and crying. “Anybody who can put up with all this deserves to be stuck with me.”
They melted into a slippery, passionate kiss. Sally felt Lavinia’s hands on her face. She pulled Lavinia’s face close, their tongues sliding. As they kissed they made hungry sounds deep in their throats.
Outside, the voices still called, You are one of us, let us in, let us iiinnnn….