Day two with him seemed like nothing had changed. Lucious would sit upstairs in our room barely speaking two words. Many times he would sit close to the window staring up at the dark sky. Like a statue he was calm and quiet. I often wondered what he was thinking as he watched the twinkling stars and the moon hovering just above the window.
I wasn't inclined to change my schedule for him. I was far too used to spending my nights at the tavern. At the start of the night, I would make my rounds downstairs. Lucious would follow me as I double checked our booze supply and then made sure the tables were in working order for pool leagues.
He was always there, standing behind me, watching my every move like a hawk.
Afterwards, I would normally sit at the bar for hours on end listening to the abundance of new voices surrounding me. It must have seemed quite boring for him, my routine. I often caught him fidgeting in the seat next to me. He would look over his shoulder each time the door opened and then flash me a confused look before returning his attention to the top of the bar counter.
This caused an uneasiness in the bartender as well. He didn't ask me about my new acquaintance and I failed to introduce them in hopes he would just let it be.
But the bar wasn't just mine, per say, it was all of ours. The bartender's, the owners, the waitress's who came in on Friday and Saturday. Everyone who employed their time and energy was an equal part of the tavern's success. And I felt more guilty each day I refused to introduce Lucious to anyone.
A few days had passed, until one evening I was laid back upon my bed with my eyes buried deep within the open pages of a book. Lucious sat still as usual, his eyes focused clearly on the outside world. It was quiet in the room, the only sound was the shuffling as I turned a page in the novel and the beat of the music coming from downstairs.
“Mikael,” Lucious spoke, breaking the peace. “Do you believe in fate?”
I didn't dare lift my eyes away from my book, however I heard him clearly.
“No,” I answered swiftly.
I heard him shift in his seat. Out of the corner of my eye I could see him looking at me in curiosity.
“You do not believe it was destiny which brought us together?” he wondered silently.
I turned the page, a numb look upon my face. “Do you?”
He stood up immediately to walk over to the bed and sit next to me. “Of course, I do. Mikael, something wanted us to be together. If I hadn't happened upon you that night, I don't know where I would be now.”
I grinned at his words and carefully closed the book, my thumb holding the page I was on. “Where would I be if you hadn't taken my life?” I looked up at him.
His desperate eyes turned away from me and I noted his lips curl. He remained silent.
“I would be a forty-five year old man... possibly in the career of my dreams. Traveling from city to city, stage to stage, seeing the world,” I told. “That's where I would be.” I threw the book down on the bed in a temper. “Or having such memories to tell would be well enough.”
“So you are ashamed,” he whispered.
“No, not ashamed, Lucious,” I spoke up. “I just wonder what it would be like if you hadn't found me that night. Don't you wonder where you would be if you weren't given your dark gift?”
“I would be dead.. no different than now.” He looked back at me.
I remained quiet for a moment reliving that night he told me his story. He was right; he may have been dead had Serena not have found him in that alleyway.
Yet, I still did not believe fate had brought us together. If anything, he was a hungry vampire that night.. it couldn't be helped.
After a few moments of silence, he stood and looked towards me. The once troubled expression on his face had disappeared and he forced a smile.
“Come, lets get away from this dreary place for a night.” He held his hand out to me. “It's been days, Mikael, you must get some excitement sometime.”
I smiled back at him. “I'm perfectly happy here.”
Lucious pulled his hand away and stood in shock. “Didn't I teach you to enjoy what you are?” he wondered. “This, this is no life for a vampire.”
“But I'm just fine here, Lucious. Can't you see? This is my refuge, this tavern... is my life,” I answered.
“Mikael, you need to feed. You need to get away from this place. At least see the city every now and again.”
I sat straight up. “The last time I saw the city I was forced into a fight for my life!” I reminded him.
Immediately, he bowed his head to the floor. It must have been the final nail as he stood silently now realizing just how much our journey had left me wounded. I felt safe and secure here at the tavern. Sure I would go out every few days to feed but I hadn't made it a habit to stay away from these walls for long.
He turned his back to me and started for the door.
“That's just like you,” he said softly. “You're the only one I know who can go days without, but I... my weakness is not so forgiving. Pardon me, Mikael, but I must feed.”
Quietly, I reached for my book and laid it back down upon my lap. As he found the door and cracked it, he looked back at me as I turned back to the page I had been reading.
“You will wait for me, won't you?” he questioned, “I shouldn't be gone long.”
“And why would I not?” I answered briefly looking back into his cold, sorrowful eyes.
He flashed me a quick smile before disappearing behind the door.