Chiara shivered, rubbing her arms despite the fact that they were clad in a black leather jacket. I’m almost to the shop. Just one more street. She said in attempt to calm herself. Passing the bakery and the daycare, she could feel a presence behind her. She sighed and turned around. “Adrian, I know that’s you! I told you not to follow me home!” She exclaimed.
Out of the shadows stepped a burly man. He smirked at her as he held up his knife. Chiara’s glare melted into wide-eyed terror. She turned and ran. She screamed. Seeing as that was the only logical thing to do while running from a dangerous pursuer.
She screamed for help until it was either scream or run. Taking the obvious choice, she finally made it to her shop and fumbled with her keys as the man drew closer and closer. Finally unlocking the entrance, she was pulled away from the door and found a knife at her cheek.
“Such a pretty face. I just wanna cut it all up.” He laughed with malice in his voice. “I think you’d better rethink that.” A voice came from behind them. “Huh?” The man with the knife looked over his shoulder to see another man hidden in the shadows of the streets.
He walked towards them and Chiara gasped. “A-Adrian!” She said. “You were right, I did follow you. But I hadn’t planned on being obvious, or letting you find out. Guess the cat’s out of the bag.” He said. “Shut up! Take even one more step towards me, and I’ll slice her head clean off her neck!” The man warned, pulling Chiara up and holding the knife to her neck.
“Oh, I wouldn’t do that.” Adrian said, walking towards the man with red eyes. “You see, I’m a vampire, and that girl’s blood isn’t on my menu. But it looks like yours is.” Adrian smirked, letting his fangs shine in the moonlight.
The man suddenly trembled with fear, but found he couldn’t move to run away. As Adrian appeared in front of the mugger, he pulled Chiara behind him and punched the man square in the jaw, dislocating it and giving him a bloody mouth.
“Chiara, call the police.” Adrian said through clenched fangs. She didn’t argue. She quickly pulled out her cell phone and dialed the number as her hand shook. The cell phone dropped from her hand and she growled and picked it up again.
“Police department, what is your emergency?” A man asked. “Th-the-there was a man. He, um…he…” She dropped the phone again. “Chiara…” Adrian walked over to her, picked up the cell phone, and sat on his haunches next to her, wrapping his arm around her shoulders.
“Hello? Yes, my friend was mugged. I was nearby and heard her screaming, so I went to see what happened and there was a man holding a knife to her face. I knocked him out and then we called you…Yes…Yes…Uhuh. We’re on the street with the book-repair shop? I’m sorry; I can’t see the street sign from here.” He said.
“We’ll be right there.” The officer said. “Alright, thank you officer.” Adrian said and snapped the phone shut. “Chiara, we’re going inside.” He said. When she didn’t respond, Adrian squeezed her shoulders, shaking her from side to side with a gentle smile.
“C’mon, Chiara, let’s go…If you don’t get up, I’ll kiss you and do various other horrible things to you.” He said in a bland tone. She didn’t respond, just stared at the sidewalk. His smile faded and he leaned towards her, placing his lips on hers.
He sat there for all of two seconds before he quickly pulled away, stood up while picking her up, and walked into the shop. He sat her at her desk and then walked back outside to watch the mugger. The police pulled up and arrested the man, asked Adrian a few questions, then went inside to speak to Chiara.
“Honestly, officer, I don’t think she’s okay to talk right now. She’s in serious shock. She couldn’t even hold her cell phone a few minutes ago.” Adrian said. “Look, boy, I know Chiara; and you’re probably right, but I still want to check on her, alright?” The officer growled and stood near her.
Placing his hand on her shoulder, he received a barrage of screams, punches, and kicks. Adrian quickly pulled her up into his arms and she calmed, clinging to him. “It’s alright, love. Don’t be scared, I’ll protect you.” He crooned in her ear.
He looked at the officer crossly. “It’s fine. Just look after her and I’ll call tomorrow.” The officer said with a sigh. He left and shut the door behind him. Adrian now stood in front of her and stared at her quietly with crossed arms.
“What should I do here? On the one hand, I could simply tuck her into bed and be done with it. Or, on the other hand, I could have a bit of fun…so tempting~” He sighed and shook his head in defeat. “She’d never forgive me if I did something to her right now.” He said and picked her up like a child, letting her head fall on his shoulder.
“Up we go.” He said as he walked to the back of the shop. He set her on the large couch and threw her jacket over her. When he turned to leave for the exit, he felt a tug on his shirt, and looked over his shoulder. Chiara was elevated, using her elbow, and stared up at him blankly.
He turned and sat on his haunches in front of her. “What’s wrong, love?” He asked. She simply stared at him in silence. “…Cat got your tongue?” He chuckled. When he received no answer, his smile faded and he sat down and let her lay on his lap, placing his hand on her shoulder and rubbing her arm.
Chiara woke up feeling a strange comfort she hadn’t felt in a rather long time. Longer than she cared to recollect to. Looking around, she found she was in the book shop. “Jeez…” She mumbled as she sat up. Then she gasped, realizing why she’d felt so at ease. “Adrian!!” She exclaimed.
He smiled mischievously and looked up at the girl on top of him. “Yes milady?” He asked playfully. She huffed and quickly climbed off the couch. Standing up, she turned and was about to walk off before Adrian grabbed her hand.
“Please wait. Please?” He pleaded. She turned to face him, annoyed. “Why should I?” She asked. He looked down, but refused to release her. “There’s nothing saying you should…I’m just begging you to.” He said.
“…Adrian, I don’t know how you can expect me to trust you.” She shook her head and pulled away, heading for the door. “Chiara!” He exclaimed and stood up. The door shut and she was gone. He stared at the door before flopping onto the couch with a heavy breath.
Chiara stormed off to the coffee shop and ordered coffee with dark chocolate added in. “Isn’t that a little sweet for you?” Bill asked as he handed her the cup. “More so than usual.” She huffed and leaned against the wall and took a swig.
“Stressed, huh? What’s up?” He asked. “It’s nothing.” She dismissed the question with a wave of her hand. “Oh c’mon, you can’t fool an old coot like me. Tell me what’s on your mind.” He laughed. Chiara smiled at him and sighed.
“Oh alright. It’s just…men are so stupid. The one guy I opened up to totally betrayed me about a year and a half ago and now here he is, in my life again, and I just…I don’t know if I should trust him.” She shook her head and slumped against the wall.
Bill looked at her with sad eyes and let out a breath. “Sounds like love to me if anything ever did.” He smiled. “What?!” Chiara demanded. “Heh, well, really. You sound like you still like him or you’d have beaten him to death by now.” The old man burst into laughter.
Chiara looked down with a blank expression and took another sip, unable to argue. “Ya know…caffeine isn’t good for you; especially when you’re angry or stressed. It raises your blood pressure.” He shrugged. “Yeah…Can you make me a green tea?” Chiara handed him the cup and he took it back with a smile and nodded.
Chiara walked back to the book shop and stood at the door with her jaw reaching for the ground. That vampire was still here. On the couch. Just sitting there. Taking a breath, she opened the door and stepped in. The vampire’s eyes immediately found her and he stood up.
“Chiara, I-” She held up her hand and he silenced. “I just…I want to ask you…why the fuck you’re here. Talking to me and putting thoughts into my head.” She said with lethal seriousness. Adrian paused and sighed. “You’re still dense?” He finally asked in a light tone.
“Oh for the love of- That is it!” She growled and turned for the door. “Wait, Chiara, I’m sorry! Please don’t go.” He said and grabbed her. Pulling her into his arms, he buried his face in her hair. “I want you…I want to be with you…I know I don’t deserve you, but…Please…I just want a second chance.” He whispered.
Chiara stared down at the floor, almost wanting to close her eyes and shrug him off. But she didn’t. She held his hand and turned her head to look at him. He didn’t move, just held her tighter, nuzzling more into her hair as if it were a blanket he could hide in. “I’ll try…okay? I’ll try again.” She whispered back.