“Don’t peek at the dress while I am in the shower, you hear? That is bad luck!” Sam wagged her index finger at Heath.
“No need to peek. I already know you will be the most beautiful girl there tonight.” he told her, smiling.
Sam giggled, kissed him and ran off to the bathroom.
“I want to be the most bootiful girl, daddy.” Abigail told him.
“You will always be the most everything good to me, sweet angel. For as long as daddy will be, you will be my everything.”
“And you are my prince, daddy. Like the one from the book.”
Standing in the bathroom, Sam found herself staring at her reflection in the mirror, trying to imagine what it would be like not to have one anymore. She had met with Leonie and Viktoria to speak about what being turned was really like, especially from a woman’s perspective. There was some good, but a lot of things she knew she would have a tough time adjusting to.
Evidently did vampire women use their cell phones to put on their make up since mirrors would not longer show their reflection. Sam didn’t wear a lot of makeup, but when she tried applying it using the Selfie function of her phone, it was a disaster. The phone kept turning off, she ended up smearing foundation on it and it fell down several time, luckily it didn’t break.
She didn’t like having to eat by herself all the time, since Heath couldn’t, but the thought of potentially never being able to eat again was scary to her. Some vamps, who had been for a few years took some tincture and were once more able to digest food, but not every vampire was receptive to the cure and it did not work on New Breeds. So if Heath turned her, him being a hybrid, who knew what she would turn into. The only person she could ask, she never would. Heath’s ex, Heather, the mother of Abigail. While she was nice enough towards Sam, it just felt awkward.
She had met another of Heath’s exes, Catherine. While generally she seemed nice, she kept staring at her and it made Sam uncomfortable.
Samantha had also learned that the turning process itself had its hurdles. At some point – without warning – you’d just keel over, dead, then your master would stick you in a coffin, were you would transform for however long it would take, then you’d have to relearn almost everything in the new vampire ways for weeks or even months. THAT alone frightened Sam more than anything.
And until she learned the basics, there was not even thinking about learning to be sun-resistant, which with Heath being a hybrid may or may not ever happen for her. Didn’t work for Heath.
How that was supposed to work with her flower shop, which would be their only real income, Sam had no idea. Her hours were just not that flexible she had to be there for opening and closing, there were big windows in the store, which she needed. Even for the turning process itself there were nothing but questions, she had no clue how to swing that. If she closed the shop for days – or even weeks – at a time she’d lose all customers. Her two employees were not capable of running the store by themselves for so long.
Turning would have to wait, but there was one big problem with that. Huge even. Sam wanted a child. BAD.
Somehow for some reason, she had caught baby fever, and could not even manage to walk past a pregnant woman without touching her tummy. The thought of having her own child was all consuming, and Samantha lost all control over it. She woke up longing for a baby of her own, and it was the last thought before she fell asleep at night.
Despite Heath’s horror story with Heather’s pregnancy, Sam felt she was much stronger and more stable than that blonde chick, a pregnancy would not knock her off her feet. So she quit birth control and found herself poking holes in the entire contents of the box of condoms in Heath’s nightstand drawer.
And still: Nothing.
Again and again.
Yes, if she were to get pregnant, Heath would be upset, but he loved her and would get over it.
She wanted a child of her own, now. With him.
She became even more obsessed when Flora, her cat, was behaving odd, then at the vet Sam found out Flora was expecting kittens, and she had a total meltdown.
Even the damn cat had managed to get pregnant, so many of Evey’s relatives were pregnant, just she wasn’t. WHY?!
With each negative pregnancy test, Sam became more and more tense.
And now, here was her wedding day, supposedly the happiest day of her life and all she felt was down and like a failure. And cornered by the mystery of how the vampire life should even work out for her.
While unbeknownst to Heath, Sam was lost in her mental vortex, he had put Abby down for her after lunch nap when there was a knock at the door.
He peeked through the crack he opened and saw Heather with an umbrella, so he let her in. Like him, she was not sun-resistant and while after a beautiful sunny morning it had suddenly become overcast and rainy, it was just not safe for non-resistant vampires to be out.
“Heather, that is dangerous! Why are you out now?!” Heath told her worried as he pulled her inside.
Once he found out that she had just moved into the recently vacated home right next door, after she and Cameron had called it quits, it was but a matter of time that she would show up.
“So sweet of you to worry about me.” she smiled at him, gratefulness and sadness in her eyes confirmed the sincerity of her words.
“Abigail is sleeping. It would really be better if you called ahead next …” Heath was interrupted by Heather.
“Heath – I am not here to see Abby. I am here for you. I have been thinking so much of late. What I am going to tell you, you won’t like, but I had to at least say it. Couldn’t just let you run into an open knife without at least trying. I know tonight is supposed to be the big day. The wedding. Heath, don’t do it. I am begging you. She is not right for you. Not even a vampire. Just don’t do this tonight. It’s too fast – again. You know that was what broke us up. Too much, too fast. Postpone your wedding, let it be Evey’s big day, bow out and just be a guest and slow down. Don’t make this into a gigantic mistake. If in a few months you still feel the same, go ahead and marry her.” Heather seemed very serious.
“Are you done?! I am not your backup plan, Heather. Cameron did not work out, so now you pull me back out of the box in the attic, like an old toy? And try to rain your misery onto my happiness?!” Heath was not amused.
“No, that is not it, Heath. I swear, it is not. Just don’t do it. At least not yet. You two need time. More time. Much, much more time to figure out if this will even work. Don’t repeat OUR mistake with her.” Heather pleaded.
Suddenly they heard Sam’s voice from the hallway. Instead of mad, which could be expected, she sounded factual and calm.
“I agree. She is right. I just came to the same conclusion. Heath, I cannot do this. It is too much. Too soon. We are rushing into something. And I am … scared. I am so very sorry, but … I just can’t. Any of it.”
“Sam, no! It’s just wedding jitters. You will be fine. I hear most brides go through this. Please baby, relax.” Heath held on to her, as if trying to keep her from fading away, when she just looked up at him with sadness and regret in her eyes.
“No! Stop. I cannot do it. I thought I could, but I can’t. I am so very sorry Heath but it’s too complicated. I already called the realtor to take the house back off the market. Luckily it had not sold yet and all my furniture is still there for the staging. I am moving back home with Flora and I need to think. I am sorry. I just need time and I need to be alone for a while. This is too much and too fast. I need to be able to withdraw and think about all this. This is all several sizes too big.”
“Sam, you are my soulmate! This IS right. We are right. We belong together!” he pleaded frantically.
“I … am sorry. I do not know what else to say. I just …. can’t.”
Heath tried and tried to calm Samantha, to change her mind, but she stubbornly disagreed with him, told him about all of her fears and regrets until it all turned into a big fight, ending with her grabbing her cat and leaving.
“I am so sorry Heath. I tried to help avoid this, but it was too late. I should have come days ago …” Heather said quietly after both could to little more than watch Samantha rush out the door, Flora in her arms.
“I need to be alone, please.” Heath said weakly.
“Call me if you need me, ok? I am right next door now.”
Heath said nothing and went into the bedroom.
He had gotten so very close to a regular life. To having a little family. Looking at his phone he thought about calling Evey, or Leonie, or Liam, but why ruin their day too? Whatever needed to be done, could be done later.
It would just be one couple before the minister and the extra bridal table that had been added last minute just needed to be moved again.
Just like that.
And at least Little Leigh deserved to be happy, every second of that day.
He dialed Sam’s number, several times, left messages. Sent her texts, begging for her to reconsider. He even thought of teleporting, but that only worked if you had been invited to the home, which her moving back into her old house now had undone the old invite. And she definitely would not want him to. Teleporting outside on a clear, sunny day like today would be suicide for him and he had to think of his child. While there was not much about his life he currently felt like not wanting to lose, he could not scar his child like that.
There was nothing that could be done. Sam made it very clear, tonight would happen without her and he could not force her to marry him, even if he could, he would not want that. Adding insult to injury, he had to admit she had a point. Once more he had rushed into a relationship. What he should have done was propose to her and just be engaged, then after a few months move in together, then eventually turn her whenever she was 100% ready and then get married. All in due time.
This was all his fault.
While they did not officially break up, he felt more alone right now then ever before.
“Daddy, why you sad?”
Heath winced, he had not even heard his little girl come down the stairs to his coffin room. Quickly he wiped the tears and attempted a smile.
“Daddy is just … ummm…” Yeah, what could he tell his baby? She was expecting a wedding, had been so excited to be the ring bearer and practiced like mad for it. He could not disappoint her.
“Samantha went home sick baby. Means we have to go alone to aunty Evey and uncle KC’s wedding tonight.” Heath labored out, picking up his child and seating her on the small table in front of him.
“But I still get to bring rings?” she asked, her eyes big on him.
“Of course, my sweet.” he smiled briefly, then collapsed into the child’s lap, who clumsily pat his hair like he did with her when she was not well.