I’ve decided to share a section from my first draft of one of my works in progress. I’ve also decided to just provide you with the below and nothing else, no context or explanation. I’m trying to be bold, as this is something I’ve held close to my chest for a long time, I’m using the three people who will probably read this as a first step to letting go a little. Someone’s gunna have to read it sometime…
It also doesn’t have a title because I’m been writing it under a nickname header for so long, I can’t currently imagine it under anything else.
Alvis was surprised to hear laughter echoing from the other side of the door, the sound ringing through the deathly still halls. Life. She had so much life in her.
He opened the door to find James and Holly on the sofa, the table in front of them littered with snacks, pizza boxes, as well as tequila and some other bottles he couldn’t quite make out. Alvis blinked as he took in the sight of the glitter that coated the sofa, the table and the armchairs, then he let out a loud, stomach deep laugh when he saw his friend, slumped resignedly at one end of the sofa. Every inch of James’s skin shone with glitter. If that wasn’t enough to dispel the shadows of the last day, the girl popping up from her seat on the opposite end of the sofa was.
Holly eyes were alight, burning so fiercely with life and energy that he found it hard to look at her, busying himself with closing the door and setting down his bag. The room was filled with the scent of her, the sound of her accelerated heartbeat was intoxicating, like he could stand here and get drunk on her humanity. The flame that burned within her. Alvis glanced at his friend who gave him a lazy, cat like blink in return and he wondered whether Holly knew about the gift she wielded.
“We’re being human, apparently.” James said lazily to him, as Holly knelt on the sofa, leaning over the back of it to hold out a bottle of tequila towards him. Finally, Alvis looked into Holly’s flushed face and the smile that cracked him open.
“We’re watching everybody’s favourite fictional glittery vampires. It’s a drinking game. The actual vampires have to do three times the shots though.” Alvis tore his eyes from Holly to glance at James, who shrugged and gestured to the empty bottles on the table, as if to say, ‘just give in’. He observed his friend, some of that frenetic energy James always carried had settled, as though the ‘human day’ really was having an effect upon him. He strode forward, taking the bottle Holly held out towards him, ignoring the thrill of excitement in his gut as she smiled wider when he took it.
“So, this is your plan to torture James in revenge? Vampire movies, shots and glitter?” Holly looked over at James who stuck his tongue out at her, which was one thing on him that wasn’t coated in glitter.
“I think it’s working quite well to be honest.” She replied. James extended his leg so that he could poke her sharply in the ribs and Holly lost balance, so close to tumbling off the sofa but he reached her just in time to stop her cracking her head on the coffee table. Alvis was too focused on the hands he had placed on her waist and neck to pay much attention to what she was fumbling with as he set her upright again. He only realised what she was doing as she let out a cackle, glitter exploding over his face.
“You’re really undermining my heroic moment. I just saved your damsel arse again.” Alvis watched that arse get up from the sofa to retrieve the bottle of tequila he had abandoned when he’d caught her.
“You should have let her fall, at least then this would be over.” James muttered, withdrawing his legs so that Alvis could take the middle seat between them, which he did, watching Holly line up several shot glasses before him.
“Shut up. I thought alcohol would make you more tolerable, but I guess was wrong.” Holly smiled sweetly at James, who held up his middle finger to her. “Come on.” She tapped the table where she’d put separate shots for James. Obediently, he leant forward and drank them, grimacing his way through all six. James glanced from Alvis to the table and laughed.
“You shouldn’t have been watching me mate, you should have been keeping an eye on her.” Alvis turned back to find a sea of drinks laid out for him, Holly’s expression glinting with mischief as she blew yet more glitter into his face.
“There, now you look like proper vampires.” Neither James nor Alvis were able to resist returning that bright smile with one of their own, letting their fangs slide forth and eliciting a surprised delighted squeak from Holly.
“You know we are vampires, not your toys right?” James said, feigning a grumpy expression that looked ridiculous around the fangs and the glitter.
“Huh? What was that? I can’t hear you properly, there must be something in your mouth.” Holly teased, sliding another shot towards James, before taking another herself. Her gaze was surprisingly steady as she fixed her eyes on his, there was a challenge in her expression as she tapped the table again. “Come on then, get on with it.” He felt her flush with heat as he obeyed her command, maintaining eye contact with her shot for shot.
“I can’t believe I outlasted a vampire.” Holly’s vision was a little fuzzy as she looked over at James slumped in one of the armchairs, sound asleep.
“To be fair to him, you didn’t really give him a fighting chance.” She and Alvis were on the sofa, Holly was slouched in the corner with her legs thrown across his lap.
“It was an experiment, to see how much it takes to get a vampire drunk.”
“James is also a bit of a lightweight though, always has been, so your data is going to be a little skewed.”
“And yet, there you sit, still sounding completely sober, despite my best efforts.” She said, squinting at him, Alvis laughed.
“My deepest apologies. I need to stay with it in case there were any helpless humans in need of rescuing.” Holly dug her heel into his thigh, squeaking as he swiftly grabbed that foot and ran his finger down over the heel of it, gentle tickling quickly turning into all out warfare as she kicked and flailed to get away from him. He held up his hands laughing.
“Okay, okay, truce.” Holly slumped back down, flinging her legs back across his lap as she wiggled into the comfy dent she’d formed in the sofa over the course of the day. They lapsed into silence, both half watching the film that had been largely ignored over the course of the evening. Alvis had walked in with a face full of darkness she was glad had now dissipated. They had laughed a lot, James and Alvis taking it in turns to tell stories about the other. Holly had watched the tightness in his shoulders slowly release, realising that the easy laugh she’d heard from him often, wasn’t one that came naturally to him. She caught herself wondering about the weight of it, being the Master’s soldier, being bound the way he was. How could someone go through that, years on end and still be so kind? So steady and calm.
He was idly tracing a hand up and down her legs, seemingly unaware he was doing it. It had been happening all evening, small, unconscious touches. Reaching to tuck her hair behind her ears, fiddling with a piece of her clothing or placing a bracing hand at her waist when she leaned over to get something. It was strangely somehow more intimate than if he’d kissed her. Holly caught herself wondering if he could hear her racing heartbeat, or the heat rising beneath her skin as his hand trailed across her bare leg. Holly cursed herself for wearing shorts, instead of the thick tracky bottoms. She felt like a drowning person, clinging onto that sensation in the centre of a storm of feeling. Touch, casual or not had always been just out of reach for her, never easy, never coming naturally, so this gentle moment was enough to make her feel like she was breaking. Holly had long since stopped listening to the voice in her head that yelled at her that this was a bad idea. Reaching for the remote, she paused the film, drawing his eyes to hers.
“What am I to you?” She felt his body stiffen with tension, hands pausing on her legs.
“What do you mean?”
“I am just an assignment? Is all this,” she gestured to the room at large “just you fulfilling your job?”
“Holly, it’s more complex than that.” He said, sighing. Holly sat up a little more.
“No, it’s really simple, either I am something to you, or I am not. It doesn’t need to more complicated than that.”
“You are something.” He said it softly and Holly let out her breath she didn’t know she’d been holding.
“How do you know where you start and the Master’s commands begin though?” She continued, tentatively. He sighed again, pinching the bridge of his nose. Holly was almost sorry she had ruined the mood but she had to know.
“I used to be sure where the line was, between me and him, now it’s harder to tell. But I can promise you this,” he let out a small humourless laugh, “I was never actually forbidden from caring about you, I guess it never occurred to them.”
“And do you?” Holly knew they were headed into dangerous territory and she didn’t care. There were miserable lines around his mouth and aching sorrow in his eyes as he turned the full force of them upon her.
“Do you think me so heartless that I wouldn’t?” That hurt a little, that he thought her opinion of him would be so low.
“No, I didn’t mean it like that, I just meant,” he watched her intently as she found the words, “in what way do you care about me? Am I just a job? Am I just this thing you’re supposed to take care of? Protect because I am weaker, because of what I might become,” Alvis reached out to touch her arm, stopping her in her tracks.
“When I was first put in charge of your safety, you were just an assignment.” Her heart fell a little at those words but he continued. “The longer I was immersed in the day to day life of simply being human, surrounded by humanity in a way I hadn’t been since I was a ten-year-old, the more I woke up. I cared far more than was good for me. Your life was never easy and even though I knew one day it’d be my job to take it away, I wanted a better life for you, a happier one. You were finally building it and I wanted that for you.” He took a deep breath, looking away from her as he continued. “And then I met you… and, by the Rose, guarding you and knowing you is two different worlds entirely.” Alvis seemed to summon some internal courage as looked up at her again. “You are so utterly, beautifully alive. The difference of being in your orbit, talking to you, knowing you… I care. Probably more than is good for me.” Holly had gone utterly still, except for heavy, fast breaths and spinning mind. How do you answer a statement like that? She opted for sarcasm.
“I had no idea I was so impressive; I’ll try my best not to let it go to my head.” To her surprise he answered with a mischievous grin.
“You forget that I am an empath, I can see your emotions, feel them when they are really strong and I can hear your heart beat.” The grin widened, showing just a hint of those fangs. Holly’s mind flashed to the euphoric feeling she’d experienced when those teeth were on her and couldn’t help picturing them at her neck, during… other scenarios. The glint in his eyes let her know that he’d caught a hint of where her thoughts had drifted.
“That’s cheating.” She managed to get out, voice breathier than she would like.
“I never promised to play fair.” He leaned forward, reaching toward her, or so she’d thought but then his hand moved past her head to something behind her. Holly didn’t realise what he was doing until the last of the glitter came tumbling down on face. She swore but was laughing as he leaned over her, smearing it across her cheeks and mussing it deeper into her hair. His hand trailed from her cheek, down her neck, across her collar and the touch changed. Alvis’s body went taut, his whole being focused on the hand that he ran down her body, thumb grazing her breast before tracing down the curve of her waist to hold her there, her body arching under his touch. His other hand was braced on arm of the sofa behind her head, pinning her beneath him. For a moment they just looked at each other breathing heavy, each waiting for who would take the bullet and move first.
Alvis heaved a sigh and leaned back, not expecting Holly to sit up with him. He was kneeling between her legs, which she wrapped around him, her feet tangling with his, as she reached up. It was her turn to run a hand over the planes of his stomach, the hard lines of muscle that was just a little softer around his middle, tapering into a v that she ran her fingers along. He was looking down at her, chest moving as fast as hers, looking at her with a burning intensity that threatened to set her on fire. Alvis seemed to make a decision, shifting back as though he was about to tuck her further down to lie under him, when his knee knocked the t.v. remote. The loud sound of the movie restarting made them spring apart and James stirred in his chair. Guiltily, Holly suddenly realised James was still in the room and could have woken at any moment. She ran a hand through her hair, hardly daring to look at Alvis.
“That was probably for the best, if you think about it.”
“Thinking had nothing to do with it.” Holly grinned. She could feel herself on the precipice and she wasn’t ready to jump yet. So, she got up from the sofa, enjoying the feeling of his eyes on her as she moved to her door. “Good night then.”
“Good night, Holly.” She threw a glance over her shoulder, surprised to find how hungry the expression on his face was as he watched her go.
There you go. I did it! I shared the thing! Yes, I know there’s a few typos. This is a first draft that’s clocking just under 50,000 words, so I can’t catch every error and if I overthought posting this, I just wouldn’t end up doing it.
You can read more things I’ve written specifically for this blog here (or click below)