*Holding a grudge just results in you being alone, at least that’s Sage’s philosophy, especially with a vampiric lifespan.*
Sage was still underneath him when he woke up, but the TV was playing almost silently. He peered at it, one of Sage’s favoured sci-fi series, the one that seemed to have endless incarnations that Leo could never keep up with.
Leo groaned, pressing his nose further into their stomach and inhaling deeply. This was supposed to be the scent of an enemy, of a monster of unfathomable proportions, of someone who he shouldn’t trust. But the wolf inside him didn’t seem to agree. The wolf inside him wanted to press ever close, to sneak under Sage’s loose geeky graphic tshirt and press into their skin. To let his tonuge loll out of his mouth and…
“Hey sleepy,” Sage greeted softly. “I was worried about you.”
Leo grunted something like an affirmation. He had been a jerk to them, he’d yelled at them for no reason and even banned them from coming out with him.
Sage’s hand ran across his back, soothing and petting him, making the wolf inside him languid and happy.
“Sorry,” he grumbled.
“I forgive you.”
“Just like that?”
“Just like that.”
“Grudges are never worth it in the long run. I think humans feel like they are because of the inevitability of death. They always feel like their time is short so holding a grudge won’t take long. But for me…”
“You could live forever,” Leo whispered into their side.
“Are you going to do it alone?”
Sage erupted into a shocked laugh, stomach moving under Leo’s nose, shirt rising up a little where it caught between his face and their side. “What?”
“You don’t have anyone here. Are you going to live your life alone?”
“Is this just you missing your pack?”
Leo shook his head.
Sage’s hand shifted from his back to run fingers through his hair. They took a deep breath. “Groups of vampires are called Clusters. Usually you Cluster with the person who turned you and any others they turned plus any that your equals turned. It’s comparable to a multi-generational household where nobody ever leaves.”
“But you did?”
“I didn’t like it. It wasn’t for me. And I… fell in love.”
Leo pushed up to look at Sage. Their face had taken on a far away quality.
“This was the house we lived in together.”
“But you’re not together anymore.”
Sage turned with a sad smile. “Humans have short lifespans.”
“You didn’t turn them?”
They shook their head.
“Why?” It felt like all the air in Leo’s chest had frozen, or disappeared, leaving him lightheaded and dizzy, as if he could float away at any second.
Sage’s shoulders twitched in a shrug. “It was what it was. That wasn’t… You have to let people chose for themselves. Now come back because this is a good bit and I want to watch it.” They opened their arms and Leo snuggled back into their chest without thought, turning his attention to the aliens on screen as they discussed their own fantastical culture’s relationship expectations.
“Do you miss them?” he whispered.
“Every day. But not quite so much when you’re here.”
I hope you’re enjoying this long form weekly series, because there’s yet more from Sage & Leo the week after next. (Next week is World Letter Writing Day so I’m doing something special for that)
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