Streams of innocently pure white moonlight streaked in through the purple curtains dancing on the light breeze drifting in from the open balcony doors of the master bedroom. The fireplace crackled as it fought to stay alive, feeding hungrily on the thick logs tossed past the black iron gate, providing just enough warmth to keep the room at a comfortable temperature. Outside, the crickets strung their usual lullaby in the perfectly organized symphony of peaceful chirping. Inside, two lovers came down from their orgasmic highs within the confines of the large bed kept secret by sheer purple canopy drapes on all four sides of the wooden frame.
Tony lay on his back, heart rate near normal, molded into the satin sheets beneath him. His short, dark brown hair was a disheveled mess and a thin layer of sweat still glossed his body. His rather full pink lips, partially swollen from needy kissing, were parted to a small 'o' as he focused on taking steady breaths to relax himself again; large, soft brown eyes hidden by the protective lids that cradled them.
Next to Tony was Steve, arms securely clutching his thin frame and head on Tony's shoulder with his own eyes tiredly shut. Steve listened to Tony's heart thumping at a declining pace, the oxygen-rich blood traveling through every vein of Tony's body to keep the cells alive and functional. He loved holding the nineteen-year-old boy close to listen to his heart.
Tony didn't care. He knew what Steve was, of course he knew, but he didn't care. He loved Steve anyway.
"The sun will be up in a few hours." Steve whispered against Tony's flushed skin.
"I know," Tony mumbled in a miserable response. He always had to leave before the sun started to creep over the hills so no one would spot him sneaking back into his home. He was engaged, to someone he didn't even know, and soon such actions would disgrace his family because no wasn't supposed to have intimate experiences before marriage; especially not with someone of the same gender. Tony knew what he was doing was risky and a sin, but that never stopped him from sneaking away from his home once the lamps were extinguished and his parents faithful snores began to go to Steve's large manor.
"You need sleep." Steve pressed his lips lightly against Tony's neck in a soft kiss.
"I won't sleep," Tony said, lifting his arm up to trace his fingers absently over Steve's exposed shoulder. "I can't knowing that tomorrow I wed someone I don't know; let alone love." his voice was quiet and pained; just how he felt.
"It's for the better." Steve repeated to him for the millionth time, rubbing small circles on Tony's bony, tender hip with his thumb. "You'll have a life with her and, over time, you'll learn to love her." Tony only frowned.
"I want a life with you." he told Steve almost desperately, feeling the muscles beneath Steve's skin tighten. "I've always wanted a life with you; since I saw you on the bridge fourteen years ago." Steve sadly smiled against Tony's neck.
"You know as well as I that we can't have a life." Steve tried to keep his tone even and controlled. He never intended to fall in love; especially not with a human. "I don't have a life, Tony. Even if we tried, I would only watch you grow old, sick, and die. I can't do that." Tony's eyes squeezed tightly as he dug his fingers into Steve's shoulder, knowing that Steve could barely feel it, if he could at all. Tony was far too weak.
"There is one way we could stay together forever." Tony's voice barely worked, his heart and mind battling each other with polar opposite feelings on the words that slipped his mouth. "Where you wouldn't have to watch me grow old and die."
"Tony..." Steve lightly growled, lifting his arms up to raise his upper body above the boy's and look sternly down at him. "You promised you would never ask that of me. That was the one rule we made, remember?" Tony's eyes slowly opened, almost afraid to look into Steve's; his gut tightening as he saw the shame and worry behind the stern look.
"I know..." he sighed, biting gently on his lip. "I...I just don't want to leave you..." Tony stared down into the black shadows between their bodies, brushing the tips of his fingers over the sheets. "I love you." He could see the light shimmer in Tony's eyes as they filled with tears, purposely avoiding looking at Steve so the older man wouldn't see him cry. Some pains were far greater than others.
Steve supported his weight on one hand, pushing farther into the mattress beside Tony's stomach, and used his free hand to turn Tony's face back towards him. "I love you too," he said, a tear escaping Tony's eye and running slowly down his cheek towards Steve's hand. "That's why I can't do that to you. I can't make you suffer like that."
"How can spending an eternity loving you, making love to you, be suffering?" Tony asked with a low, cracked voice, his eyebrows pulling together. It was times like these that Steve resented Tony's naivety. "I could never love her like I love you; and that's not fair to her. I could never fully love any children we have the way they need to be loved and that's not fair to them."
"Tony..." It was Steve's turn to look momentarily away, taking a deep, unneeded breath. "It's not that easy. You're not alive, but you're not dead; you're forever stuck somewhere in between. There are laws and conditions; things that would control you." He squeezed his own eyes shut. "I could never force that upon someone else."
Tony reached up and cupped Steve's face, turning it towards him. "It's not forcing if I ask for it; if I want it." he whispered with an almost hopeful smile. "All my life I've lived by laws and conditions; I can take a few more. And I'm sure if you teach me how to live, theoretically, that I'll be able to adapt just fine." Tony brushed his thumb over the corner of Steve's mouth, staring up at him with determination. "Please, Steve; I want this. I want you."
"You don't understand." Steve pulled away from Tony and sat back on his ankles. "If I made you like me, you would belong to me. You would have practically no free will; you'd be bound to do what I told you regardless of what it was. Even if I was just temporarily angered and overreacted." Tony propped himself up onto his elbows. "The only way you would ever escape that was if you were to...kill me." he whispered the last part, Tony cringing momentarily.
"You lose the ability to feel pain which, believe me, isn't as great as it sounds. You'll never be warm or cold again; always just numb. After a few days you want nothing more than to die, to feel, but you can't. Death for vampires is rather complicated and essentially only a creator can kill his creation." Tony sat all the way up, sliding his legs around to mirror Steve's position. "Sure, your senses heighten and you become damn near invincible, but you have to watch everyone you love die. You have to constantly change your appearance or location so no one catches on. You have to learn new dialog and styles every few years to fit in properly. You literally have to change who you are." Tony wrapped his arms around Steve's shoulders and laid his head on the man's shoulder.
"I'll do whatever I have to as long as I can feel your arms around me forever." he whispered into Steve's skin, hugging him tightly. Steve was inclined to hold him back, trying not to crush Tony's fragile body. Humans were incredibly delicate compared to vampires, even though humans themselves could be rather strong. "I'll die one day anyway; might as well get it over with."
"If...if I do it...you understand that you'll be bound to me until one of us is killed?" Steve couldn't understand how Tony could sacrifice everything he had to become the horror that Steve was. He would give anything to be able to feel his heart race when he ran or actually need to breathe to continue functioning or feel cold when a snowstorm hit. Tony nodded. "You realize that you'll be giving up your family and friends? That you may have to change your home and your appearance?" Again Tony nodded. "That there are other vampires and other humans out there that will want to dispose of you by any and all means they can?"
"Whatever it takes." Tony repeated, pressing closer to Steve. "Just as long as I'm with you." he nuzzled his face into the crook of Steve's neck; an animalistic display of affection. "I love you, Steve, and will do whatever I have to to be able to stay with you as long as possible."
"It's nasty." Steve spoke into Tony's messy hair. "Changing is painful and very unpleasant; though you'll be grateful for it later." Tony smiled a tiny bit. "And there's no 100% guarantee. There are instances where one really dies or becomes incredibly ill for an unpredictable amount of time. It's incredibly rare for a vampire to get sick, but, when it happens, it's like the human flu times a hundred. It is one of the very few ways a vampire could die if it went on long enough. No matter what though, even if it takes with no complications, you'll be barely able to stay awake for a few days as the process takes roughly seventy-two hours to complete; the pain going away after the very beginning."
"What if I get sick?" Tony asked, trying to stay confident in his decision. He wanted to stay with Steve; he loved Steve.
"Depending on the severity, wait it out or stop the process." Steve answered.
"Stopping it would...would kill me, right?" Steve just nodded. "Is there any way to tell how it will affect me? To be prepared?"
"No." The word was almost inaudible. "There's no way to tell until the first stage, which is essentially death, is completed. Once it starts, there's no going back. You either let it complete itself or stop it and die." Steve buried his face in Tony's hair and traced Tony's spine with his fingers lightly. "Even if I agree, there's still a chance I could lose you." Tony could hear the fear in Steve's voice.
"You won't." he confidently replied, kissing Steve's shoulder. "I can tell; I know that I'll be fine."
"How?" Steve almost let himself cry. Physical pain wasn't really possible for him, at least not easily inflicted, but emotional was still all there.
"Because I've no intention of actually dying." Tony smiled, leaning back to look into Steve's eyes. "But I'll half-die to live with you forever. Sure, I'll miss my family. I'll cry when they die. I'll probably hate you at times for letting me go through this." Steve frowned. "But, no matter what, I'll always love you and thank you in the end for loving me enough to let me stay." he leaned forward again to press his lips gently against Steve's; only the glow of the fireplace remaining as the rooms light source. "We all go through life with regret, anger, shame, pain, and emptiness. But rarely are we able to find something to take it all away and replace it with good; like love, joy, happiness, and hope. You're my something, Steve." Steve smiled again, really trying not to cry.
"You really, fully, undeniably want to do this?" Steve asked, going against everything he promised himself when he was forcibly changed.
"More than anything." Tony answered; only a tiny bit apprehensive. Steve took another useless deep breath, shutting his eyes and exhaling a moment later.
"Alright." he whispered, Tony lighting up a tiny bit more. "I'll do it; because I hate the thought of losing you." Tony smiled and passionately kissed the vampire again.