Kathrine allowed herself one decade a century - just one - to mourn Elizabeth. Ten years to lie on the cold stone coffin, to imagine the flesh now gone, and remember soft hands picking out the tangles in her hair. Ten years to float from memory to sadness and back to memory.
As the centuries went on, as she stopped counting the years she had been immortal, those ten years seemed shorter and shorter. The emotions were just as poignant, the depression just as deep the first ten years after Elizabeth's death, but the passage of time just got harder to keep track of. Her sire came to get her at the end of the ten years, a rare show of kindness on his part that involved keeping meticulous track of the years, but this century the decade had felt like one year instead of ten.
Kathrine had thought it strange when she first saw other vampires with no sense of time. Sebastian had explained it was something that got to all vampires as their life stretched out into eternity. The past didn't matter, there was too much of it, and there was nothing to distinguish the future. They lived for the day, hunting when hungry and sleeping when they felt the sun rise. Most vampires thought themselves superior to humans, but the older they got the more they acted like instinctual animals.
She found it more than a bit ironic.
There was still a good bit of time to go before Kathrine started acting the same, or so she had thought. Her last period of mourning had seemed so short.
She made a mental note to mourn twice this century and to bring something to mark the days so she could feel every one. The pain of remembering Elizabeth was the only thing that made her feel human anymore. She refused to let go of that.