Rose and Gerard talk while promises are made.
He knew then what he had to do. He could no longer deny the fact that he felt something for her. And, hopefully, with a little luck, she felt something for him, too. He just prayed it didn't end as it was foretold. With time, he knew he could grow to love her. He was already so fond of the small brunette woman that slept peacefully in his arms. She already occupied a place in his heart.
Gently, Gerard captured her chin between his fingers, pulling her face forward. His eyes never closed as the distance narrowed. Slowly, he leaned down, placing his mouth over hers. His lips were just beginning to form around hers when he jumped back, surprised.
"R-Rose? You're awake." He gasped, clutching the thick fabric of his comforter. "I thought you were asleep."
Rose smiled sleepily. "Is that why you stole a kiss? Because you couldn't do it when I was awake?"
"No," He fumbled. "I just... Thought the timing was right."
"When I was asleep?"
"How?" She raised an eyebrow, fighting back a smirk. "I wouldn't have known."
"That's the point."
"Do you do this often?"
He shook his head. "I don't have the opportunity."
Rose frowned as she pushed herself up, leaning on her elbows. She let her eyes wander over his face before sighing, falling back down on the bed. "You never did keep your promise, you know."
"The promise you made to let me question you."
Gerard laughed, pushing her shoulder. "You question me all the time! Every morning it's 'What do you eat?' or 'Do you go to the bathroom?' or some other outrageous question."
"Yeah," Rose grinned. "I probably should've realized what you ate from the beginning."
"Should have." Gerard nodded.
"Do... Do you ever get your... Meal from the towns?"
"Meal? Like... " Gerard trailed off seeing Rose nod. He nibbled his lower lip, unsure of how to answer her question. It was so odd for him to have someone to communicate with like this. "Sometimes, we do. But, most of the time, we wait for it to come to us. It would look a little suspicious if we all waltzed into town one day, dragging off people, wouldn't it? Someone might get smart about it."
"So, you don't pick people off?"
Gerard laughed. "Where is all this coming from?"
"Nowhere. It's just that, in books--"
"Books?" Gerard smirked. "Sugar, what have I told you about books? You can't believe everything you read, Rose."
"I know. I know." Rose smiled. "But... I just have one more question."
"One more?" Gerard quirked an eyebrow, smirking devilishly.
"Yes." She waited for Gerard to encourage her before she spoke. "How long can you go?"
"Go where?" Gerard frowned. "What do you mean?"
"I mean, how long can you go before... Before you need to... "
"Oh," Gerard sighed. "I got it." He ran his hand through his midnight hair quickly before eying her oddly. "This question doesn't have anything to do with you, does it?"
"No, I'm just curious."
"Because I told you, Rose. You're safe with me. You know that, right?"
"I know, Gerard. I'm just asking."
He nodded swiftly as he leaned down to lay beside her, placing his head on her shoulder. "On average, we can go a week without... Feeding."
"Does it hurt?"
"Hurt me? No."
"But, it must be difficult."
"Sometimes," He nodded. "But, mostly we don't concentrate on the hunger. It's not like we asked to be monsters, Rose. We don't want to be what we are."
"But, being vampires, it's got to help you sometimes, right?"
"It has its advantages from leading a mortal life."
"Is it always people?"
"No," He flashed a half-smile. "We prefer them, sure, but we don't always have them. We just settle for whatever we can find. Rabbits, deer, elk, moose... It's all the same thing, if you think about it."
"Wait," Rose pointed her finger at the ceiling, angling her head. "The bears. When they disappeared last year... We all thought they migrated."
"Oh, yeah. Sorry about that. Frank's favorite is bear."
"So, Frank... ?"
"Yeah." Gerard smiled. "We've gotten him to calm down some since last year. It shouldn't happen again."
"I see." Rose laughed. She couldn't picture any of them tackling down a three-hundred pound bear. Even the mere thought of it amused her. She glanced over at Gerard, seeing him tense. Although the question popped up in her mind, she wasn't sure how he would react. She knew she wasn't in danger. She just had to know. "So, how long has it been for you?"
"For me, what?"
"Since you... "
"Ate?" Gerard sighed, shaking his head. "Rose, I told you. You're safe with me."
"I know that. I'm just curious, Gerard. You can't expect me to not ask something like that."
Gerard studied her face silently before nodding. He played with her fingers, avoiding her stare. "About two weeks."
"Two weeks? But I thought you said one week--"
"It's not hard to go without it. It just makes us weaker."
"Then, why haven't you done something about it?"
"Because," He mumbled. "You'd be all alone here."
"I'd have the boys with me, Gerard."
"Yeah, but not me."
"So? What's the difference?" Rose argued, crossing her arms over her chest.
"They can't protect you."
"I'm sure they could."
"But, not like I can."
"What does it even matter?" Rose snapped. "Starving yourself to make sure I'm alright is not--"
"I'm not starving myself, Rose."
"No, you're just being stupid."
"No. You're just being a bit--" Gerard stopped himself before he went any further. He didn't want to argue with her. Not tonight. Tonight, he just wanted to have her all to himself, without fighting. "I'll go hunting tomorrow. Okay?"
"I'll see if--"
"No." Rose bellowed. Her voice was hard and firm. She wasn't going to let him do this to himself. Not over her -- She wasn't worth it. "Promise me, Gerard."
"Fine. I promise."
"That I'll hunt tomorrow."
"Do you mean it?"
Gerard smiled as he wrapped an arm around her shoulder, pulling her in close to his chest. "I swear it. And, maybe, while I'm gone, the boys will have another round of Mansion Wars."
"Really?" Rose grinned.
"Probably. They may already be planning their stratagies."
"That would be fun." Rose laughed. She watched the way Gerard easily buried his face in her hair and skimmed his nose along her neck. Was it hard for him? "Gerard?"
"Is it hard for you to be this close to me? While you're so weak?"
"Weak?" Gerard mocked. "Who said I was weak?"
"You said that going for so long without blood could make you weak."
"It can," Gerard nodded. "But, I'd rather spend my last day with you than spend it hunting for a doner."
"Last day? You can die from resisting?"
"No, no." He laughed. "I was just being melodramatic."
Gerard smiled. "Why? Is there something you want to get out of me before I die?"
"Like, what? What can you possibly give me? You've already surrendered your library to me."
"Is that enough?"
"It's more than enough." Rose smiled. "Why, is there something you wanted to give me?"
Gerard shrugged. "I can give you anything you ever wanted, Rose."
"How about... A... Star?"
"No." Gerard pursed his lips, shaking his head. "A star isn't worthy of you."
Rose laughed. "I'm sure it is, Gerard. They're pretty valuable. Much more than me."
"No. You need something more rare. There's millions of stars in the sky, but... " Gerard thought back to his first attempt to make Rose stay. He had said something to her that made her falter. "How about the moon?"
"The moon?" Rose smiled. "And how will you get it to me?"
"Do you have a lasso?"
"You'd lasso it down for me?" Rose smirked, watching on in amusement.
"If you asked me." Gerard nodded.
"Anything I asked for?"
"Mhm." He grinned. "As long as you don't ask for me to cause the untimely demise of someone."
"Oh, no. Of course not." Rose laughed, leaning her forehead against his. She sighed, staring into his eyes. "Would you dance with me?"
"I'm a terrible dancer, Rose."
"I'm sure you're just fine."
"I'd step on your feet."
"It doesn't matter."
"I don't know--"
"You said anything, Gerard."
Gerard sighed. "Is this what you want?"
"Yes." She nodded.
"Alright, then. I'll go tell the cook to prepare dinner."
Gerard stood up to leave when Rose called out to him, "And, Gerard? This time... You're eating, too."
"You can eat food, right?"
"This is what I want, Gerard. Please?"
Gerard shook his head, sighing. He nodded as he walked out of the room, mumbling something like 'You'll be the death of me.' He only wished it wasn't as true as it was. The closer they got, the farther apart they really were. But, for now, that was the least of his worries.
He wasn't sure how he'd get through this dinner. He cannot dance, at all, and that just so happened to be the one thing Rose requested of him. He would've done anything else she asked. Anything but dancing. And he would've done the other things with a smile... Just not dancing. But, he had to. There was a valuable prize out of this if he played his cards right -- And she was sitting on his bed. And he'd do anything to make her happy...
A/N - There. I gave you all a semi-long one. Nothing much happens but, as you can see, Gerard and Rose get closer and the dance scene will be coming up next. And, as requested from a few chapters back, I'm giving you all a closer look at what Mansion Wars is. I don't have much to say this time. So, thank you for reading and, please, don't forget to R&R for me! Thank you!! xoxo - Esther Rose.