Sunday, May 19, 2013

(#Thirty: First Night) Wuthering Nights: Inspired by Wuthering Heights

Chapter Thirty
First Night
    At the Grange, Kate was finalizing new sketches for another play. There was talk of working on designs for the Art direction of a big American film that was being made over summer not far from Hampstead.
    Kate wrote all her fears and longings in her journals, something she had enjoyed doing since her earliest memories were recorded. She placed the journals in a space at the back of her wardrobe.
    Her own pregnancy gave her some comfort, although she couldn’t help but feel somehow the child growing within her was an alien. Occasionally, she went walking across Hampstead Heath holding the tiny hand of Katarina, who had just begun to toddle. Her daughter gave her endless hours of joy.
     As she leant down to pull her child’s knitted hat over Katarina’s lush, dark curls, Kate was struck by her resemblance to Heath. It was impossible for him not to know. Edmund did. He had told her he didn’t care; that they should marry anyway and start a family of their own; that Heath had likely been killed or disappeared never to return. They’d been hunting hybrids back then.  This was a few years before the Vampire Act had been passed giving hybrids the same rights as humans, theoretically.
    Edmund Hunt had been a good, kind, loving husband and father. He doted on little Katarina who adored him. Yet, Kate was haunted by her decision.
    Kate longed to go back in time, to the night she and Heath had run away and they had married as teenagers in love in the tiny church in Chelsea. They had spent barely one night together before the note was delivered that had revealed a possible connection, a lie that changed everything.
   ‘To everlasting love,’ Heath had toasted her in the tiny pub, ‘and my beautiful wife. I love you Kate Spencer and I will love you forever.’
     Kate smiled, knowing she felt the same, knowing that in that moment there was nothing she loved more than secret marriages and the man before her. The love of her dreams sat later on their hotel bed, with its new mattress and sheets. Heath’s perfect chest revealed his hard body, forbidden beauty and immense yet dangerous perfection.  Heath had nuzzled into her wrist as Kate wound her body around his. She was sure he was tempted to bite but he never did. It was almost as if they were the same person. That night, they lay together on the bed, the vial of elixir half-empty.
     ‘It worked,’ Kate said. ‘And you stayed in control…sort of,’ she smiled, rubbing her wrist where the nuzzle of Heath’s lips had left a slight red mark. Heath felt human and invincible, sleepy for the first time in years. ‘I love you,’ Kate said.
     They were simple words but Heath had waited a lifetime to hear them. 
     ‘There is nothing I can say to that, except, I love you more,’ he said, kissing her again. Kate could not believe that was true.
    They bathed and dressed for dinner, contemplating their imminent return to the world as husband and wife. Kate was pale at the prospect and began to look less like the honeymooning bride and more like a frightened school girl as she contemplated their departure from the hotel. Heath took his pills and drank some plasma outside on the balcony.   Kate remembered the note that contained not a shred of truth. The words had been for Heath’s eyes only.
      Kate thought about the truth as she gathered wildflowers with Katarina. Harrison had always played hard and fast with his lies. But of course, the letter he’d written was the reason she and Heath had parted; the reason Kate had sought sanctuary on that skiing holiday; the reason she’d had time alone to imagine herself with Edmund. The tests were arranged and were conclusive. Harrison had lied. But the whole process took more than a month and in the meantime, Heath disappeared.  She was told he had died, most likely from exposure and lack of blood.
      And there he lives, Kate thought, as she glanced over at Hareton Hall from the safe distance of the Arboretum. 
     Inside The Hall, Heath sat listening to his telephone messages on that day.
     He hadn’t seen Kate’s face for a long time. Greta occasionally took Hinton to the park to play with his cousin. Heath didn’t know about this. Kate always asked after them.
      When Hinton turned three, Harrison fled the Guest house, a crazy drunk. He had mostly left Hinton with Greta once Hinton’s desire to bite had become almost uncontrollable. Hinton displayed many of the characteristics that Heath had. A mild form of Magenta sated his thirst. Neither Harrison nor Frances understood the child’s condition and were happy when Greta agreed to keep him with her. After Frances disappeared in Paris, Harrison went mad. He drank all day and refused to hold down any kind of work.
     Heath stepped in and offered to adopt Hinton along with the house and Harrison couldn’t have cared less by then. Although the specialist assured Heath the Spencers were not even a distant genetic relation, Heath knew somehow, he and Frances had once been related. Heath felt closer to Hinton, who ate hungrily in the kitchen. Hinton was blissfully unaware of all that had become of his family. He gravitated towards Heath, a father and fellow bloodsucker. Heath hoped the world Hinton grew up in would be more accepting than the one he’d had to hide in, as he shared a piece of chicken with the child who gnawed hungrily with his first teeth and gave Heath a winning smile.