Story 545 ~ Derrick & Mae


#21

“You really seem to have everything covered.”

“Of course, I want to give you a chance to heal.”

He huffed out an unemotional laugh. “How do you know I need healing? Maybe I’m just some loser.”

“I don’t believe that. I can see it in your eyes, how sad and scared you are.”

“Maybe I deserve it.”

Mae reached over and took his hand, surprising him. “Please don’t say things like that, no one deserves to feel pain.” He started to pull away, but she tightened her hold a little.

“Mae.”

“Just let me, you need it, okay?” She smiled warmly up at him and for the first time in what seemed like forever, he felt butterflies.

“Okay, maybe just for awhile.” In truth he didn’t want to let go, he knew he needed her, even if it terrified him. It was hard to pull away from her. He began to wonder what she would think of his failure, of what he had done in retaliation, of how far he had fallen.


#22

He knew she was eventually going to pry into that and he would tell her when that time came. There was no sense hiding it, she needed to know who she was around and maybe when she knew, she’d have the sense to move on and leave him behind. It would hurt, he was already growing attached but he still felt like he deserved to be punished for eternity for failing his wife. She kept his hand the entire walk, not having to worry much about Arges since he was such a good dog. When Mae dropped him off she didn’t drive away until he was inside which almost made him chuckle. He was half vampire and this woman was merely a human but she was making sure he got safely in the house before she left.

Derrick moved his blanket into the dryer then went ahead and took a shower once he was inside so he wouldn’t get in trouble tomorrow. She had done far too much for him today and he wouldn’t have that again. Mae on the other hand kept thinking about that picture and wished she would have asked at the park. She guessed she was trying to give him a little more time before she tried tugging that out of him. She didn’t want him to pull away from her any harder than he already was.


#23

Derrick 's night was restless, he tossed and turned as his thoughts jumbled together. He hadn’t had a drink since meeting Mae so it was hard for him to get to sleep. His negative, depressed thoughts were countered by those of Mae, of her smile, of the warmth she offered, of her stubborness that allowed her to work her way through the wall he had erected around his heart. He knew he should run away, should lock her out, but a part of him wanted more. He let out a sigh of frustration and grabbed his pillow and placed it over his head. He needed to sleep so she wouldn’t be worried. He didn’t realize he had fallen asleep until he woke the next morning to sunlight seeping through his window.

He got up, feeling a little groggy, but at least willing to face the day. He pulled on a pair of sweats and headed into the kitchen, knowing that even if he didn’t want to, he should eat. He put on a pot of coffee then pulled out the bacon and eggs she had bought for him. Mae was helping in pediatrics today, drawing blood and changing seats or taking some of the children for x-rays or CAT scans. There were a few infants being treated for addiction that she took the time to comfort. This was one of the more heartbreaking parts of her job, but she wouldn’t change it for the world.

She wondered how Derrick was this morning, if he had gone of drinking when he was away from her or if he was still asleep. She sent a text to Reed asking him if he could get Derrick’s number for her out of his file so she could check on him. He agreed, teasing her a little by asking when they were getting married and when they would like to come over for dinner. She smiled as she thought of the park and holding his hand, knowing that if Reed had seen that, she would have never heard the end of it. She also suggested they have dinner Saturday since it would give her more time to work with Derrick.


#24

Reed let her know they were good for that day and they quit messaging so she could check on Derrick. She’d try to text him first since she was still working “Hey, This is Mae Stuart, the annoying nurse. I just wanted to make sure you were alright. Call me if you need to. If I can’t answer I’ll call back when I can. I’m hoping you’re giving up drinking and I know sometimes when urges come it helps to have someone to talk to so you’re not only thinking about your addiction.” She slid her phone in her pocket then went back to her duties around the hospital. There seemed to always be something to do and she didn’t want to stand idly by too long, especially if she needed to accept a call from him today.

Derrick was just watching television, his mind blank and not really consuming what his eye saw. His phone going off pulled him back out of his head. He was surprised to get a text at all but then saw it was from Mae. He liked finally knowing her last name “Stuart” He couldn’t help but think of the adorable little mouse Stuart Little. As much as he knew she deserved better thinking she was cute wasn’t something he had any control over. He decided to go ahead and let her know he was fine “I’m just watching TV” He resisted the urge to tell her she didn’t have to check in, knowing it might only annoy her and he found himself deeply caring if she was upset.


#25

When Derrick realized Mae’s work day was drawing to an end, he made himself get up and check that he looked presentable. He brushed out his hair, realizing he needed a haircut and even shaved. He felt nervousness creeping in, his heart thumping quickly in his chest as he waited. When he saw her pull up, his heart stuttered and he had to force himself not to meet her at the door. He could see she had Arges and the dog happily followed her to the front porch. When she knocked, he took a deep, steadying breath before going and answering. “Hey, you’re up.” She said with that beautiful, warm smile.

“Yeah, I have been since this morning.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “Come in.” He moved out of the way and she let laughed softly as she moved past him and Arges immediately went to investigate. “How was your day?”

“Good, hard. I had to work pediatrics today.”

“Oh, I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay, the kids are always so enthusiastic even when they’re sick. How was your day?” He shrugged and she moved closer and reached up, brushing his hair away from his face. “Did you eat today?”

“Yeah, I knew you’d fuss.” She laughed again and it had his heart tripping over itself. “So what are we doing tonight?”

“I was thinking maybe pizza and a movie?”

“Okay.”

She took his hand, causing goosebumps to cover his skin. “You can say no, it won’t hurt my feelings.”

“No, you’re already here and I…I want you to stay…for dinner and a movie I mean.”


#26

Her smile was once again gentle, even the way she looked at him. She had such a kind, nurturing nature “Great, where do you like to order pizza from?”

“Papa Johns”

“what do you normally get?”

“extra cheese, pepperoni and sausage”

“thats perfect for me too”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah, I normally like mushrooms too but I can live without mushrooms”

“we can put mushrooms on it” she giggled and his heart stuttered again “Okay, I’ll order one”

'you’ve spent too much money on me already, let me" Derrick insisted so she let him order while she browsed different streaming services on her phone. When he was done she asked “so how do you watch movies?”

“Netflix, Hulu, the normal stuff.”

“Want to rewatch Police Academy?”

“Police Academy?”

“Are you trying to tell me you haven’t seen it?”


#27

“Possibly.”

“Pretty sure that’s a movie sin.”

“Sorry, do you think the god of movies will smite me?”

She cracked a smile. “I think he’ll give you a pass, but just this once.”

"I’ll try to be better about watching movies then.

Derrick switched on the TV, choosing the Netflix icon and then finding Police Academy. They went ahead and got it started and he was surprised when she sat right next to him rather than at the other end of the couch. “Arges, come boy.” She called and the dog came running and settled at her feet. His heart was beating a million miles an hour with her this close and for the first time since their meeting, he noticed just how sweet her scent really was. It was shocking the way his senses seemed to focus on her and he felt heat moving up his neck with embarrassment and shame. Did he even have the right to desire her? To want to selfishly keep her close to him?


#28

He didn’t know those answers so he was glad she wasn’t giving him much of a choice so the guilt wouldn’t overwhelm him. He ended up enjoying the movie, along with the entire evening but the next night when she came over Mae decided it was time to bring up the picture, to get to the bottom of his pain “So Derrick, when I was waiting for you to shower the other day I saw that picture on your mantel…who is that” His heart sank a little in his chest when just moments ago she had him smiling. She hated to see the pain in his face but this was something they needed to discuss. “she…was my wife”

“was?” He looked away but kept talking. He had told himself he would tell her the truth if it came up and he’d stick to that “she died a few years ago…some men broke into our home to rob us. He hadn’t known she was still inside, her plans had gotten canceled that day so she ended up home and they killed her…”

“Oh Derrick…I…I’m so sorry” He sighed “and while the topics brought up you should know the other reason why I hate myself” she hugged him and he let her, feeling he should enjoy it before she was afraid of him. “I tracked him down and I tortured him to punish him for taking her life. I…I had so much hate in my heart. All I could think about was hurting him for taking her away. When I was done dragging him through hell I drained him…I drank his blood until he died…”


#29

Mae held him a little tighter and he pushed his face in her hair, too scared to look at her. She must be horrified, she must hate him. “I’m so sorry, so…so sorry.” She said softly. “I can’t even begin to imagine what you must have gone through.” She pulled back, taking his face in her hands and gently wiping away the tears he hadn’t even known were there.

“I’m a monster, Mae and a failure.” He choked out.

“Shh, no you’re not. You couldn’t have known what would happen.”

“I killed a man, I…”

She pressed her lips gently into his, making his crying worse and his arms pull her as close as he could. He knew he should push her away, but he needed her. “Hush now okay? It’s alright, no one blames you, I don’t blame you. I have no idea what I would do if the one I loved was killed. I might lose it too.”


#30

“I hate I couldn’t protect her”

“you can’t be at someones side every second. If you were there, you would have protected her but you weren’t at the house and it’s nobodies fault besides the man that killed her. He deserved what you did to him. I really do feel that way Derrick, a life for a life. You tortured him but she must have been so scared. You put him through what he put her through and there’s no shame in that. You’ve never drained anybody else right?”

“No”

“See, you’re not a monster person or a failure.I think you’re so amazing I feel like I’m falling in love with you Derrick.”


#31

“But…” She gave him another kiss and he hated he was being so emotional. It was so overwhelming talking about what had happened and having her here comforting him, loving him despite the darkness he knew lurked in his soul. “I don’t even know how to be a person anymore.”

“Then we’ll spend every day helping you rediscover what it’s like to live. It’s going to take time and patience, but we’ll get there. Ten steps at a time.”

He let out a little laugh as he wiped the tears from his face. It felt good to get everything out, to have that cathartic release of emotion. “Can you stay here with me tonight?”

“I have Arges at home, but if you want you can come home with me. We have dinner with Reed and Ezekiel tomorrow so it would be easier if we were in the same place.”


#32

“alright” Derrick grabbed a bag from under the sink and threw a couple shirts, pajama pants and another pair of jeans inside then they both went over to Maes. Feeding him, making sure he had his fill of water then giving him a long walk and treats for being so patient with her visits to Derricks. Once her dog was fully taken care of they went to her bedroom “If you think you can behave you can share my bed. I like to go slow, as in you’re really going to upset me if you try to get in my pants”

“I wouldn’t try anything” The thought of holding her excited him, he wouldn’t dare ruin the chance to cuddle with her all night. “good” she smiled, happy he seemed okay with that and was glad herself to have someone to sleep with. They both changed, her in the bathroom and him in the living room then joined each other in her bed. He was nervous to pull her close so was relieved when it was Mae who closed the distance between them and laid her head on his chest “can you sleep like this or will my head feel too heavy?”

“I’ll sleep better than I have in years like this, please stay as you are Mae” shyly he added a question “may I kiss your head?”

“mhm, I said no sex, kisses are fine” He reverently moved to kiss her, taking in her scent as he did it.


#33

“I…I love you Mae.”

She smiled. “I love you too.” She knew it had to be hard for him to say, but she was proud of him for taking that step. She snuggled closer then closed her eyes, allowing herself to drift off.

It took Derrick a little longer to fall asleep. He feared waking up and this being all some cruel, alcohol induced dream. He held her a little tighter, needing the reassurance as he drifted off. The next morning, Mae woke to Derrick spooning her. They had both turned in their sleep, but he had kept her locked to him, his nose pressed into the back of her neck, his warm breath causing goosebumps to crawl over her skin. She tried to move and he let out a little groan as he buried his nose in her hair. She couldn’t help but let out a little giggle and he finally opened his eyes to the sound of her laughter.


#34

He still didn’t let go “Let me brush my teeth and start breakfast”

“How can you be ready to move so early?”

“I’ve been getting up early my entire life” He couldn’t resist asking even though he felt undeserving “just a little while longer.”

“My breath might stink”

“your scent is far too wonderful for that to matter” he sounded so sleepy but so sincere at the same time. He had her blushing as he tightened his hold a little “alright, a little while longer” she answered softly. He was once again showing her he wasn’t a monster at all. Just a man in tremendous pain, a man who had done something terrible but just. They laid there for quite some time before she was much more insistent on getting their day started.

Once she came out of the bathroom he asked “can I shower?”

“Of course, do you need me to help you figure out things”

“I’m sure I wont have any trouble, towels under the sink?”

“yeah” He got up and hugged her, needing her close again to prove once more he was here.


#35

He did take too long in the shower, wanting to get back to Mae. He blushed when she giggled at how overenthusiastic he was upon coming into the kitchen. “That was fast.” She said. “I barely even had time to start breakfast.”

“I just wanted to be with you.” He ran his fingers through his still damp hair, causing it to spike up in places. “I hope I’m not becoming too clingy.”

“Not at all, it’s actually pretty cute.” She wanted to do everything she could to build up his confidence and lessen his anxiety. Starting a new relationship was probably the biggest step he had taken and she didn’t mind his need to be close to her. “Come here.” She said and he moved closer to her. She took his arms and pulled them around her, making his heart flutter. “There, now I can cook and you can smother me in affection.”

“I’m not in the way?”

“Not at all.”


#36

He smiled, happiness flowing through him as he enjoyed the closeness. He couldn’t get enough of her scent or how good it felt to finally feel like less of a monster. She understood his choices, another being actually understood when he thought he would receive nothing but condemnation for his choices after his wife passed. He was also blessed with a new relationship with an astounding woman way out of his league. She was perfect, he could see that plainly and he was determined to try and become worthy of her and this chance she was giving him. He held her all through making breakfast then gratefully ate with her when it was done.


#37

Mae spent the rest of the day taking him out to different places, wanting him to get out more and breathe in the fresh air. Whatever he needed to live again, she would find a way to provide it. Whether it be a hike through the woods or a therapist, she was willing to give it all. “How are you feeling today?” She asked as they strolled hand in hand through the park.

“Better, happier.” He answered, giving her a warm smile. “I never thought I’d feel that way again. I was drowning before I met you Mae, really and truly drowning. I can never thank you enough for saving me.”

“You saved you, you chose to take those steps.”

“But that’s not true. If not for your stubborness, I think I would have finally given up.”

She stopped and pulled him into a hug when he looked ashamed and he pushed his nose into her hair, just letting her scent take him away. “It’s okay, Derrick, I’m glad I met you when I did.”

“Never leave me, Mae.”

“I won’t, I promise.”


#38

When it came time to head over to Reed’s home she knew they were in for a ton of teasing since Reed had called the relationship before it blossomed but it would be good natured and she told Derrick just to laugh since he would just be playing. Arges was excited when she let him in the back seat of her car but when it began to move he laid down like the well behaved dog he was “wow” Derrick was surprised “yeah, he never gives me much trouble. I can take him anywhere”

“Thats amazing”


#39

When they got to Reed’s Derrick was a little surprised when he introduced Ezekiel as his husband. It got a laugh out of Mae that had a blush creeping up his neck. “Did you think he had a thing for me?” She asked as they made themselves at home.

“Well yeah, I mean I was drunk and you two seemed so friendly. I thought Ezekiel was just a friend or something.” Derrick answered, rubbing the back of his neck.

“Don’t worry, it’s not the first time. Mae and I have been good friends for awhile, we even go shopping together sometimes.” Reed said with a smile.

“Still, I apologize for assuming and also for making you take care of me. I won’t be drinking anymore, even if it can’t damage my liver or anything else, I don’t want to worry Mae.”

“A little’s fine, Derrick, just no getting drunk. What if something even worse happened to you.” Mae said.

“Man, I still can’t believe you actually fell for him. I must be some sort of magical matchmaker. Maybe I should test that out next time I’m watching TV.”

“Reed, be good.” Ezekiel said with a chuckle. "You’re going to embarrass him to death.


#40

Dinner with them was over all light spirited and happy. Even though this was the first time he was meeting them Derrick felt like they were already good friends and he was actually looking forward to more dinners over here. They stayed late, to the point Mae was almost nodding off so Reed said “make sure you drive Derrick, she’s too tired”

“I will” he took her keys and soon they were on the way back to her place to rest for the night. Mae smiled when he even wanted to carry her inside “so sweet” she kissed his cheek and he kissed her lips “I want to take care of you too Mae” As he held her that night he actually felt blissful. He’d never forget his wife but he had a new start with an amazing woman, a new place, new friends and a better outlook in general. He hoped that if his wife knew what he was still up to in this world she would be happy for him and she herself was happy where ever she had ended up.

~ The End