Forget Everything You Thought You Knew About Vampires
Unable to stand still, Russell shifted back and forth on his feet on the station platform. He leaned and stared down the track, as if by looking he could make the northbound Seacoast train arrive ahead of schedule. When he finally heard its distant whistle his already stoked anxiety spiked to a new high. The warm wind of excitement whipped around his heart. Abby was here!
He’d imagined this moment for weeks. She would step off the train, looking nervous in this new place, then see him and run to him. Or he would see her and hurry to her and sweep her up in his arms. Or they would run to each other.
Who would be more nervous as he drove her to his house? How soon after getting there would they go to bed?
As the train rumbled into the station Russell tried to spot her through the widows, looking for her face in the squares of light flashing by. He imagined that she’d be looking out, looking for him. He didn’t spot her in the first cars.
The arriving train brought with it a ground fog, and as it squealed and hissed to a stop the night mist crept across the platform. The already cool October night turned brisk.
Russell didn’t notice the change in the night. He was too busy hurrying up and down the platform as the passengers debarked the train, looking to the door of every car.
He still didn’t see her as the last of the passengers stepped onto the platform. Had something happened at the last minute? Was she not able to come tonight?
He was near the caboose. He turned around to walk the length of the train again, to look into the windows. He was certain that if she’d fallen asleep someone would have awakened her, but you never knew.
Russell shouldered his way through passengers heading into the station and those coming out to board the train. As he neared the front of the train disappointment and doubt started to poke at him. He’d been a fool. He should have known this was too good to be true. She didn’t come. What young woman would be foolish enough to pull up stakes and move for a man she barely knew?
His friends were going to think he was a fool. Maybe they already did. Maybe all this time while he’d been reading them those love letters they’d been laughing at him behind his back. Now he’d have to face them looking like a fool. He could just hear Cooley…
Abby was standing on the platform near the front of the train. Russell’s disappointment exploded into fireworks of relief and happiness.
Somehow he’d missed her getting off the train but there she was, wearing a sweater and pleated skirt that made her look like a school girl. A small suitcase sat on the platform near her feet. She was looking around, wide-eyed and anxious, an innocent country girl in a place far from home.
The protective instinct for the woman he loved surged in Russell’s breast. He hurried to her, not wanting her to experience even a second’s more anxiety than she had to. He didn’t want her to be afraid of anything, ever.
Then Abby spotted him coming to her and Russell saw the worry melt off her face, replaced by a smile of relief and happiness. She dashed to meet him as he rushed to her.
When they reached each other Abby squealed her joy and sprang into his arms. Russell held her up so her feet dangled above the ground. They kissed as if they were feeding off each other.
When they ended their kisses so they could breathe again Russell couldn’t let her go. He held Abby crushed to him, feeding his soul off her closeness. He felt that if he could stay just like this with Abby in his arms he’d never want for another thing for the rest of his life.
As he held her close Abby murmured over and over against his chest, “I love you-I love you-I love you.”
Russell was so full of love he thought he might explode. And then his desire for Abby caught up with and galloped beside his love. He said, “Come on, let’s get your bag and go home.”
In the past couple of weeks, since she had taken up residence with Percy and Trudy, Abby had already visited Long Branch so that she could familiarize herself with the area. But as Russell drove them from the train station to his house she pretended to watch the scenery as if it were new to her. But her mind was on other things.
Russell seemed to be accepting of her story about her employers and their requirements of her. Percy and Trudy understood the roles they were to play as her employers, and would follow her instructions without fail. It would be up to her to make sure she didn’t make a mistake, that she managed Russell’s heart properly. She would do that. She would give him so much love that nothing would matter to him more than that their hearts were one, and that they could be together.
This would work for the time being if she were very careful, until she could find a way to tell him the truth.
This could work. It had to work. Russell was the last one; her last hope against an eternity of loneliness.