A normal Thursday night found Detective Mike Celluci in a diner, seated by the window, a cup of hot untouched coffee on the table before him. It had been a relatively slow week for him; not that many cases now that he had transferred to the White-Collar division within the police department. And his personal life had been quiet, ever since that night almost three weeks ago where he arrived home to Vicki and Henry waiting for him, he had not seen or heard from either of them since then.
Vicki for once in her life respected that she needed to give Mike some breathing room, and he really didn't care about Henry, so long as the vampire did not come anywhere near him. Mike was having nightmares about their last fateful and violent encounter, to the point where he had to sleep with a light on, just as a false sense of security.
The bell above the diner door jingled, but Mike paid it no mind, still staring down into the warm brown depths of his coffee, until he felt more than saw someone standing by the booth in front of his. Mike looked up and his heart immediately began doing its best to tear its way out of his chest.
"Detective." Henry's voice was low, his eyes sombre as they looked at him.
It was severely unfair the way in which he looked so regally handsome under the harsh diner lights, Mike thought, still staring at the vampire. Henry stood there dressed in a white henley shirt, black slim fitting jeans with the hem stuffed into black boots, and an expensive looking black peacoat, his ever-present multiple rings and necklaces adorning his slender fingers and neck.
"May I sit?" Henry gestured to the seat across from Mike. He took Mike's silence as a 'yes' and slowly slid into the seat, his eyes on Mike who was now sitting back in his own seat, no longer bent over his coffee.
Mike still had not said anything. There was really nothing to say to his rapist, was there. He knew why Henry did what he did; the only thing to do now was to wait out the vampire and hope that he left quickly.
"How have you been?"
Mike wanted to laugh at the question, and he did, a hollow sounding thing that made Henry wince. "Fitzroy, I am asking nicely; please go away. Leave me alone."
Henry nodded, "I will, but I have something I want to say to you."
Mike quickly looked around the empty diner, only he, Henry, the waitress and another elderly customer were present, not much in the way of help should the need arise.
"Thought you said all you had to say that night." The both knew which night Mike was referring.
"De- Mike," Henry chose to use Mike's name instead of his job title. "I am not here to hurt you. I- I-," Mike had never known the eloquent vampire to be at a loss for words. "What I did to you; how I hurt you, did prove that I am a monster."
At times, Mike could still feel the phantom touches, the pain, the violence, on his skin and within his body. He could taste his fear; fear that he was going to die that night. His heart rate doubled, no doubt the vampire could hear it loud and clear. He was having difficulty catching his breath and his vision was tunnelling. Mike thought he was going to pass out. He was aware that he was having a panic attack and took a deep breath, held it and released it. Mike repeated this until he felt a bit calmer; all the while Henry sat silently and patiently waiting for Mike to come back.
"I am sincerely sorry Mike." Mike scoffed, taking a sip of his coffee as Henry continued speaking. "What I did to you is something unforgivable."
"Yeah, well, I stabbed you in your heart with the luminacion del sol and handed you over to a murderous priest." Mike spun the coffee cup in his hands, not meeting Henry's gaze. "The way I see it, I got off easy. You could have torn me to pieces that night." ‘In a way you did.’ He thought.
Henry was horrified at Mike's words and it showed on his face and in his voice. "I should not have allowed my actions to go so far, angry or not. I should have restrained myself."
"For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." Mike shrugged. "I have no one to blame but myself." He chanced a glance at Henry who was staring at him with disbelief, before averting his gaze once more.
"You've been in law enforcement for years Mike, surely you do not believe in ‘victim blaming’." Mike did not respond. Henry leaned forward on the table, his hand folded together, as he tried to capture Mike's elusive gaze. "Surely you do not believe your actions justifies me raping you." He put it out there, owning up to the monstrous act he committed against someone he once considered an ally.
Mike closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths before reopening them to fix Henry with a steady gaze. "So, you're telling me, had I not done all that, you still would have raped me?" It was Henry's turn to look away and Mike laughed. "Exactly my point."
Both men were quiet, Mike instead of staring back down into his coffee, turned his head to look through the window, though he was highly aware of Henry's eyes on him.
"Mike, we both hurt each other."
"And so, our actions balance out each other's."
"Mike," Henry reached across the table towards Mike who flinched back. He withdrew his hand and straightened up, "you did what you did out of fear for yourself, Vicki and the people whom you though I would hurt or have hurt. What I did was out of anger. I wanted to hurt you. I wanted you to feel what I felt, helplessness, fear, despair. I wanted you to feel as though you were going to die."
As Henry spoke, Mike's heart rate climbed again, and he interrupted him. "Excuse me miss?" He called to the waitress. "May I have a glass of water." When he got the water, he drank it all in one go, and waited until the waitress had refilled his glass and left before speaking.
"Well, you did all that, and more.” He admitted. “I still have scars, in more ways than one, from that night."
Henry’s eyes held nothing but remorse in them. "I truly am sorry Mike."
"Yeah, so am I."
"Where do we go from here?"
Mike looked at his watch and then at him. "Well, I am going home. You? I am not sure, and I really don't care." Mike was getting ready to leave when Henry dropped another bombshell.
"It is not that simple Mike."
"What?" He was distracted taking out his wallet to pay for his coffee.
"Us. Going our separate ways. It is not that easy."
That got Mike's attention and he stopped to look at Henry whose eyes were burning a hole in the table and Mike felt dread build up in him like a dam waiting to overflow.
"What are you talking about?"
Henry sighed, running his fingers through his hair in an agitated manner. "When I drank from you in the church, a bond was formed."
"What does that mean? A 'bond'?"
"From my starved desperation, same as when I drank from Vicki when I was injured, a bond was formed because I was drinking for my survival, not because I was hungry. And,” he swallowed, “it was made even stronger when I raped you."
Mike's stomach began churning, bile rising in his throat as he understood Henry's words. "So, what, we have some sort of mental link right now?"
"More like an emotional link." Henry explained, "if your feelings are very strong, I will be able to feel them. For example, you are extremely anxious right now. I can feel your unease with me being here, close to you and I can feel your racing heart as if it was beating in my own chest." He placed his hand on his chest over his unbeating heart.
Mike slumped down in his seat, "Jesus Christ." He swore. "How can it be broken; this link we have?"
Henry's face said it all. "Short of death, no, it can’t be broken." He was blunt and Mike had to hand it to him, for not attempting to sugar coat it.
"Did you know that this could happen? I mean before you raped me?"
It was Henry's turn to avoid Mike's eyes. "I had only heard about it. However, the few times that I had to drink out of a desperation to survive, I accidentally killed the person. Hence, no bonds being formed."
Mike processed the information he was given. He then got up without a word, donned his jacket and walked out of the diner into the cold night air of Toronto.
"Mike." Henry caught up with him. "I am sorry."
"Stop apologising." Mike turned to face him. "You're sorry, I'm sorry. It doesn't change the fact that we viciously harmed each other, and now some unbreakable bond has formed between us." He huffed in defeat. "How did you find me?" Once the shock of seeing Henry and being informed about the bond finally depleted a bit, it occurred to Mike to ask.
"Fuck." Mike walked off, and Henry followed. "Does Vicki know about this?"
"No, I made sure that you were the first. And we can keep it between just us two, if you so wish it."
"Yeah," Mike agreed. "If you tell her, she will ask questions and I am sure you don't want to answer those."
Henry was quiet, raising Mike's suspicions.
"What? Spit it out."
"Vicki already suspects that something happened between us; more than us just having a 'heart to heart'." Henry clarified.
The night could not get any worse for Mike. It was one bombshell after another, and he was not sure he could take any more.
"You know something Fitzroy," he stopped walking once more, and looked down at Henry. "I honestly do not care." Henry's eyes widened, know it was true when Mike's heart did not skip a beat. "Tell her, don't tell her. Bond, no bond. Just avoid me. The only thing we had in common was Vicki and I am slowly distancing myself from her. Therefore, we should not be seeing each other anymore."
"But with the bond, I will be able to feel when your emotions are strong."
"Then ignore it." Mike was dismissive. "Ignore it and ignore me."
"I cannot do that Mike." Henry argued. "You don't understand, this bond is something serious."
"For you maybe, but I do not feel a damn thing, except for exhaustion." Mike spun on his heel and continued walking. "I am going home, keep your distance and do not follow me." He snapped when Henry was once again beside him, causing him to stop in his tracks.
Mike kept walking, feeling Henry's eyes on his back until he turned the corner and out of his line of sight, only then did he allow a single tear to fall from his eye.