Lazy sunlight drifted through the kitchen windows, shining on the tea in Harry’s cup, turning dark amber into liquid gold. He could see the crystals of sugar at the bottom that hadn’t quite melted yet. One more stir of his spoon and they disappeared.
“Did you hear me?”
Draco’s voice snapped Harry out of his blank stare into his breakfast. The sunlight flashed on his glasses and blinded him when he looked up, leaving little stars in his vision as he looked over the table at his boyfriend.
The sweater Hermione knitted for him last Christmas was bunched up unevenly over his collarbone, the bright white shirt beneath the mossy green wool almost too bright to look at with the light through the curtains. Harry blinked away the sleep edging his eyes and the dots still dancing over his vision. He could see the little lines around Draco’s mouth that meant he was concerned and trying to be patient.
“Uh…no, I’m sorry. What were you saying?” Harry picked up his tea and sipped, immediately pulling it away, his tongue burnt.
Walking up a dark, cold alleyway in the middle of the night
in a part of the city that I did not know began to seem like a very bad idea, a
very bad idea indeed. Bleak, dim lighting on the high poles above my head were
he only sources of illumination and they did little to reveal all the puddles
of water and pot holes present on the ground that I kept stumbling into. I was
told to wear nice ‘sexy’ clothes for this. Why was I told to dress
provocatively if I was only donating blood and plasma to a private company? Why
had I trusted my friend when she told me all about this amazing opportunity to
get a lot of money and enjoy doing it as well? She was the type of friend who
always got herself into trouble but I was desperate; student loans, rent, car
insurance, food, it was all really starting to pile up and I needed some fast
cash. The only thing that kept me from turning on my heels and backing out was
the fact that Jazmin was beside me and clearly not worried at all, in fact, she
seemed excited, desperate even, to reach our destination, the complete opposite
to the nervous bubble growing in the pit of my stomach.
FLASHBACK “UGH! Why does everything have to be so expensive!” I said in exasperation,
flopping down onto the scattered notes and homework that shared the expanse of
my bed. Jazmin sat at the small vanity that sat under the window on the side of
my bedroom wall, bathed in the uncharacteristically bright February sunlight
that filtered through my open blinds. I’m not sure if it was the flattering
light or if she had somehow managed to become prettier in the last few months,
but her medium brown hair seemed to shine and glitter with honey colored
highlights and her skin glowed with a dewy radiance.
“AH! Speaking of expensive, here’s all that money I owe
you..” she reached into her purse and grabbed her wallet, snapping it open and
rifling through the many bills that were stuffed into it before handing me two
new, crispy hundred dollar bills. I reached for the money, confused and
disbelieving that she was paying me back after all this time. I had already
resigned myself to not ever seeing that money ever again. I narrowed my eyes at
“Is this real? How did you get this?” she just smiled and
dismissed my suspicions with a wave of her hand.
“Don’t worry, it’s completely real and I didn’t have to walk
the streets to get it either. I just found a new… investment, and it pays
really well.” I didn’t like her pause and nonchalant tone she was speaking
with, I could tell she was hiding the truth, or at least part of it.
“Yes, I can see. How much did that new purse cost you, it
looks expensive, what brand is that? Kate Spade?” I said in a sarcastic tone.
“Well fine, if you’re gonna be that way then I won’t let you
in on it…” she teased.
“Im sorry, keep going.”
completely changed at the prospect of making as much money as she clearly had
recently. She laughed at my sudden change in demeanor and began to explain.
You… directly donate
blood to specific individuals who are… in need, sort of like a transfusion,
through a private company. Their clients and the company are very private and
secretive, they highly value your discretion and expect you to keep all knowledge
that you may learn to yourself. That’s one of the reasons why they pay so much.
You must sign a contract as well. They offer one time donation contracts and
also 1 year contracts. A onetime donation pays 1000 dollars and a year contract
will pay you up to 5000 dollars depending on how many times a year you donate.
They also include healthcare in their contracts and, let’s just say, some
people form a relationships with their Donee. I’ve been donating for a few
months now to the same person. The thing is, their method of donating is a bit
unorthodox, and it may freak you out at first but, trust me, you’ll be safe the
whole time. Since I’m under a… contract, I can’t actually tell you how they
donate but you’ll find out soon…
After she explained and convinced me that nothing was
illegal or dangerous, I reluctantly agreed to try donating, she called someone
and a few minutes later, I was added to the list of donors for tonight’s
session that she was attending. She then spent the rest of the day prepping us
both for tonight; showering, shaving, plucking, exfoliating, conditioning, the
whole nine yards. She did my hair and makeup and put together as sexy of an
outfit that I’d allow, answering all my protests with,
“Trust me, you’ll want to look good for whomever you get as
a Donee. Absolutely every client there looks like they just stepped out of a
movie, they’re so attractive.”
I had to admit, I looked pretty good, less like a tired college
student and more like an extra from the movie Underworld. My hair was half
pinned up and the rest floated around my bare shoulders in soft wavy curls. My
eye makeup was minimal but accentuated the shape with a slightly darker color
in the crease, elongated, winged eyeliner, and lots of mascara. My foundation
had a light, radiant finish and Jazmin had sculpted my face slightly with
contour and highlight. She had finished me with a red toned berry liquid lip
stain and very shiny clear gloss that made me look like I had just bit into a
My outfit was comprised of a tight, black corset that I had
used for a Halloween costume one year, black leather pants that I bought but
never wore, and black high-heeled leather ankle boots. I looked at myself in
the mirror and couldn’t help feel a bit like a piece of meat on display.
Skintight everything and bare shoulders and clavicle exposed. I shivered from
the slight cold that seeped in through the walls and grabbed a long black
cardigan that had silver accents and faux fur trim on the neckline and slipped
it on, wrapping it around my form despite Jazmin’s protests. My dark ensemble
was the complete opposite to her baby pink dress and white kitten heels.
“I like wearing black so I’m not complaining, but why am I
so dark and you’re so… pink?” I asked.
“Well, Jin likes pink, and I like Jin…” she trailed off, a
devilish grin on her pink sparkly lips. “Jin is the one that I donate to
“You make it sound like it’s a sexual experience.” I said,
warily. She turned to me and carefully chose her next words.
“(Y/N), I’m not gonna lie, Jin and I do have sex. The
donation process is very… intimate, I mean, you’re giving someone your life
source to help them right? You get to know them and it creates a bond. Who
knows, you might get some tonight too, if you want.”
“Uh, NO, I do NOT want that!” I exclaimed.
“Okay, okay, just tell them that, it’s not a big deal, they
won’t force you.” She laughed as we left my apartment, finally making our way
to our destination as the sun began to set slowly on the horizon, mixing colors
of burnt orange, purple, and blood red into the rapidly fading blue.
To say that I was nervous and skeptical was definitely and
understatement. What did she mean by unorthodox? Why did it seem like they were
hiding their private business from people? Question filled my mind as I
tightened my Heavy coat around my middle and we walked up to an unassuming door
that held a small square mirror at face level. No, not a mirror, two way glass.
Jazmin pressed a button on a voice-box attached to the side of the building and
spoke into it.
“Hi, this is Jazmin, and this is (Y/F/L/N). She should be on
the list with me as a new donor.”
She released the button and a second passed before a buzz
sounded and the door clicked open, a handsome gentleman held the door open for
us to pass through. I curiously glanced at him as we passed. He was tall and
had white, fluffy hair, a cut in one eyebrow and silver hoops in in the ear on
the same side. I couldn’t see his eyes since they were covered with a pair of
shiny, black, square cut sunglasses even though it was nighttime. His black
suit gave him a slight Men In Black feel and I couldn’t help but crack a small
smile at the image in my head. However, my smile faded when he returned one and
I swear I saw a flash of very sharp looking canines before his face returned to
its neutral state. Jazmin’s voice snapped me out of my thoughts and I turned to
her as she spoke to me.
“I’ll take you to Seulgi’s office so you can get your
paperwork out of the way. She’ll explain what I’m not allowed to and you’ll
sign a confidentiality agreement and a contract with her and then they’ll match
you with a Donee. It should all go by pretty fast if you cooperate and don’t
I had been too busy studying the hall we walked down to
notice her choice of words at first. It was definitely luxurious, marble flooring,
with clean white walls and black accents. The ceiling held ornate crystal
chandeliers every 20 feet or so that sent sparkling reflections on the walls.
The wide hallway echoed slightly and brought Jazmin’s final words back to me.
“…don’t freak out…”
My feet stopped following her as I said,
“What do you mean ‘freak out’? Why would I freak out!?
Jazmin, tell me what’s going on!”
The panic in my voice was doubled by the echoing walls and
I’m sure anyone behind the many doors lining the hall could hear me.
“(Y/N), calm down. It’s okay, shh.”
She held my hand and tried to comfort me in a soothing
voice. The scene reminded me of how a child tries to call to a cat in a
comforting tone right before they capture it. I was the cat in this situation.
Before Jazmin could continue, a door to my right opened and out stepped a very
pretty girl with dark hair and monolid eyes. Something about the way she stared
straight into my eyes without any shame both terrified and entranced me and I
found that I wasn’t breathing. She spoke and it felt like her voice was warm
honey seeping into my skin and making my limbs heavy and languid.
“Hello (Y/N), you’re here to donate your blood for people
who can’t survive without it, for Vampyres.”
As her last words left her mouth, her face split into a
calculating smile, showing her teeth as she did so as her canines dropped down
and elongated into sharp, white points.
As they make their way through January, the little bits of the wedding begin to fit together. “Hey, Phil. I just thought of something.”
“What will our last name be?”
“Hm.” Phil hesitates. “For some reason I assumed we’d just keep my name. You know, I’m kinda the male in the relationship.” He buffs his chest up and deepens his voice when he says this, and Dan laughs.
“Although that was pathetic, you make a good point.” He thinks on this for a moment. “Daniel Lester.” He nods. “Good suggestion.”
The month of February creeps up on Dan and Phil. Each day they live is a day closer to when they’ll be married. The planner is handling everything perfectly, and they have a honeymoon to the Bahamas completely planned out. Everything is great. Except Dan’s part.
All he could think was ‘you had one job!’ because he really does only have one job. And he’s doing a horrible job of completing it. All he has to do is write his vows. Yet he can’t do it. For some reason, he can’t figure out how to say it. He really doesn’t even know what he has to say.
Dan’s spread out on the bed, lacking motivation. He’s made a snow angel out of balls of paper, each one full of discarded vows. Who knew it would be so hard?
“What the hell am I to do? How am I to express my love for this spork when I’ve already done it in every way possible?” He writes this down, but then crumples it up. “Too cliche.”
“You okay in here?” Phil opens the door and stares at the bed. He can barely see the duvet. “You look like a true writer.”
“Thanks.” Dan sighs.
“I’m sure something will come to you?”
Dan sits on the car ride to Phil’s parents’ house, still struggling to write vows. The wedding is in a day, and he’s staring at a completely blank paper. “Phil, what do I do?”
The driver looks over at Dan. “What do you mean?”
“The wedding is tomorrow, and I haven’t written a word of my vows!” He sighs, hopeless.
Phil takes a deep breath. “Dan, why are you marrying me?” Dan opens his mouth to answer, but is cut off. “Don’t tell me. Tell the paper.” Dan writes down three simple words.
I love you.
Well, it’s a start.
It’s mid-afternoon when they arrive, and Dan immediately locks himself up in the Lesters’ spare bedroom. He starts scribbling on the paper. It’s then that he suddenly remembers the meaning of the word vow. Dan writes down lines and lines of reasons why he’s marrying Phil, and all the things he’ll do for Phil when they’re married. And for the first time, Dan’s satisfied with his vows.
He emerges from the room, beaming triumphantly. “Excuse my quick exit. I had to write something down.” He smiles directly at Phil, walking over and sitting down beside him on the couch. “I’ll be around now.”
The day passes quickly. Dan and Phil spend the afternoon talking to Phil’s parents and watching as workers set up the backyard. “Do you think we should go somewhere where we can’t watch?” Dan asks. “You know, make it a surprise for tomorrow.”
“Yeah,” Phil agrees. “Hey Mum, when will dinner be ready?” he yells into the kitchen.
“In a few minutes!”
“There, we can go eat dinner.”
“Good, I’m starving. And your mum is a much better cook than either of us.” They chuckle.
“You’re not wrong.” The dinner is amazing, as expected. They head to bed full and separate. “It’s tradition,” Phil says. Dan sleeps in the guest room he wrote his vows in a few hours earlier, and Phil sleeps in his old room. Well, Phil sleeps. Dan sits awake thinking about the wedding. Is he ready? Can he really promise to spend the rest of his life with Phil? Dan’s never been much of an optimist.
He eventually wills himself to sleep, but only for an hour. Dawn rises and so does Dan. He remains in his room with his phone, unsure of whether or not he should leave. Finally he opens the door and peers around the corner. Phil is nowhere to be found, so he makes his way into the kitchen. “Good morning, Dan.” Phil’s mum is waiting there for him. “Here’s your breakfast. Phil’s getting ready. When you’re done, you can go back to your room and get ready yourself.” Dan takes the plate of bacon and eggs in the shape of a smiley face and grins. Phil’s mum is the sweetest to him. He eats his breakfast graciously and heads to his room to get dressed.
In the mirror, Dan admires himself in his wedding tux. He can’t believe the day has finally come. A knock comes on the door. “Yeah?”
“It’s time!” Phil’s mum calls in, and Dan opens the door. She smiles a caring smile that only mothers have. “You look wonderful. Thank you, Dan. You’ve made my son happy, through all of this. And that’s all I ever could have asked for.”
Dan smiles back softly. “You’re welcome. He’s all I ever could have asked for.” The two step out of the room, walking side by side to the backyard.
“Are you ready, Dan?” He nods and she steps out into the yard, heading to her seat. Dan is left alone. He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath, preparing himself to open the doors and see his wedding. To see the decorated backyard. To see Phil. The music begins to play, and the door is opened. Dan’s eyes open as he takes the first step into the grass.
Phil tears up. He can’t help but admire his soon-to-be husband as he marches down the rose-petal lined aisle. His chestnut hair is naturally wavy, and his eyes glisten in the February sunlight. Suddenly snow begins to fall on them, and Phil can’t help but to catch a flake on his tongue. Dan smiles, doing the same. The few guests giggle as Dan reaches Phil at the front of the crowd.
Clouds block the sun as the snowfall continues. Both boys are more entertained by the falling snow creating a beautiful bed of white on the ground than their own wedding. When it comes time for them to say their vows, each of them are jolted back to attention and pull a few index cards out of their suit pockets.
Phil speaks first. “Dan, you’ve brought me back to life. Before I met you, I was a young writer fighting both cancer and his own brain. I was alone, simply waiting for the end to come. But you came along and made my life worth living again. I want to be with you…” He pauses. “until the very end.” Dan’s tears begin to fall. “Daniel James Howell, I take you to be my husband. I’ll always be here for you, no matter what. For as long as I’m on this earth, and who knows how long that will be, you’ll be number one in my book. I love you.” Dan attempts to pull himself together to read his own vows.
“Phil…” he stutters, attempting to calm himself down from how hard-hitting Phil’s vows were. “From the moment I saw you in the cafe for the first time, I knew you were the one. I loved you from the first time we spoke, and I would never let you go. I take you, Philip Michael Lester, to be my husband…” Dan stopped just as Phil did. They each took a page out of each other’s books, and neither knew. “until the very end. From your better days to your worst, I’ll be here to take care of you. I’m here to fight your battles with you and hold you up if you fall. And even as we pass the very end, I will always feel just as I do today. I love you, Phil.”
“By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you husbands. You may kiss the groom.” A voice speaks from their side, but they don’t pay attention. They’re too entranced with each other at this point to even tilt their heads. All they catch of the phrase is “kiss”, and that’s all they need. The kiss is soft and short, but they both know the longer ones will come later. The thought hits them each at the same time, as they turn and smile to the small crowd of close friends and family. Dan and Phil are finally married.