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VA 2 - Blood Jewel, Page 3

Georgia Cates

  I didn’t want to think about it, so I shoved the thought aside and asked, “Are Gia and Lairah being overbearing about the wedding plans?”

  “They have some intense ideas about our wedding,” she laughed. “I think I might want to elope.”

  Now, she was talking my language. “You don’t have to convince me. I’ll take you to Vegas and make you my wife right now if it’s what you want.”

  She quickly said, “Nope. I’m not ready to give up my dream of marrying you at the top of the open arms staircases.”

  I wondered how I could be so lucky. How had I found enough favor with the gods to be given such a beautiful gift as Chansey?

  “Oh, I’m sorry,” she apologized. “I didn’t even ask you if that was what you wanted.”

  “I’ve already told you that I thought it was perfect,” I reminded her.

  She appeared puzzled. “I don’t recall you telling me that.”

  “We didn’t exactly discuss it. When we were at Rachel and Christian’s wedding reception, you told me how you pictured your wedding and I told you that I thought it was perfect. We didn’t get far into the conversation because that jackass, Evan Finley, interrupted us.”

  “Yes, that I remember well. I’m sorry his stupid insults stand out more in my mind than our conversation,” she apologized.

  Just thinking about that jackass had my blood boiling so I thought it was a great idea to steer the direction of the conversation back toward the wedding. “Have you thought about a date for our wedding?”

  She smiled and her eyes lit up. “Yes, I’ve given it a lot of thought and I have a date in mind. How do you feel about a November wedding?”

  No way! That was too long to wait. “I’d be fine with it if this was the end of October. I know four months isn’t forever, but it sure feels an eternity to me right now.”

  “It’s not an eternity and four months barely gives me enough time to plan a small wedding. We haven't even told Granna and Granddaddy about our engagement yet. Have you forgotten that?”

  I definitely had not forgotten that detail. “No, it hasn’t slipped my mind.”

  She laughed and asked, “Are you worried about telling them?”

  “I am a little nervous about it. I’ve never asked to marry someone before,” I admitted.

  She leaned over and bumped her shoulder against mine. “Well, that’s good to know, but we’re telling them we’re getting married, not asking permission.”

  “I know we don’t have to have their permission. That’s not what I need. It’s their blessing I want. I may be three times as old as Grady, but I still want to be respectful,” I said.

  She looked at me and rested her chin against her shoulder as she laughed. “That is so bizarre to me.”

  It didn’t sound like a compliment. “Does my age bother you?”

  “No, I don’t think of you as your actual age. You just seem like a 26 year-old to me.” She sat up and leaned closer to brush her lips across mine. “A very robust 26 year-old.”

  Her kiss and proximity stirred her Agápe scent, leaving me with an intense urgency to be closer to her. I reached for her, pulling her against my chest a little too quickly. I heard her gasp and then I saw the smile across her face, proving the sudden catch in her breath resulted from delight instead of fear.

  She deepened our kiss as she rolled to her back, pulling me on top of her to rest between her bent knees. This was our first private moment since we arrived at the compound and it caused me to be overly enthusiastic. I knew I shouldn’t, but I placed my hand behind one of her knees and pulled her leg to wrap around my waist as I pressed my body into hers. A sigh escaped her lips and she pulled her other leg up around my waist. The thoughts of what I wanted to do to her returned me to my senses and she recognized the look she had become so well acquainted with when things between us had gone a little too far.

  She groaned because she knew what was coming next and locked her legs around my waist. “Don’t you dare stop because you cannot keep doing this to me. It’s totally unfair!”

  I reached for her legs to coax them off of me. “Move the wedding up and I’ll be more than glad to become totally fair. In fact, I’m quite anxious to be totally fair.”

  A thoughtful look came across her face and she said, “October. It’s the earliest I can pull it off even with help from Gia and Lairah.”

  I tugged on her bottom lip with my teeth. “That’s still three months away,” I complained.

  A pouty look came over her face and the little vixen I loved tried to use her power of persuasion on me just like Sebastian said she would. “I know a way to make the next three months pass much faster.”

  “Your name shouldn’t be Chansey. It should be Risky because you are playing with a fire you highly underestimate,” I assured her.

  She dramatically huffed. “Promises, promises. I’m not sure I’ll ever find out if I underestimate you or not.”

  Since I easily talked her into moving the date a month earlier, I thought I might push my luck a little further. “Looks like you won’t discover the truth for months, unless you want to move the date closer.” I took my hand and placed it on her thigh, moving it slowly under her dress as I said, “Come on, let’s do it.” I allowed my to words linger as I gazed into her eyes and then I added, “In August.”

  When I began to laugh, she forcibly slapped my hand away from under her dress to show her unhappiness with my joke. “I can wait if you can. Maybe even until the end of December. I’ve heard Christmas weddings are beautiful.”

  It was clear I had pushed my luck too far with her when she showed me how she could beat me at my own game, so I conceded. “I’ll take the October wedding.”

  She smiled and I thought it was because she was getting her way, but then she told me, “The 16th is when my parents were married. What do you think?”

  When she said the date and I saw her smile, I knew there would be no other day for us to be married. “I think it’s perfect.”

  “I do too,” she agreed.

  “Will you show me their wedding picture when we get back to your grandparents’ house?”

  Her smile was replaced by something different. “I don’t have their wedding picture anymore. All of our photographs were lost in Hurricane Katrina. I have a few random snapshots that family members have collected for me, but I don’t even have a picture of the four of us together as a family.”

  It had been six years since Hurricane Katrina, but I could see the devastation of her loss. “I’m sorry, Chansey.”

  “It’s alright. It took me a while to get over it, but I have my memories and they’re wonderful.”

  She saw the decline in my mood and said, “Nope, Curry Brennan. I’m not letting the past ruin this time together. Let’s talk about something happier.”

  She was right. I didn’t want to waste this alone time because it was so rare. I wasn’t finished exploring our plans for our future so I asked, “October 16th, huh?”

  “Yes, an evening wedding in October at my grandparents’ house couldn’t be more perfect, could it?” she asked.

  I took her hand in mine and placed a kiss on it. “Making you my wife under any circumstances couldn’t be more perfect unless it was sooner. Where do you want to go on our honeymoon?”

  “I want to go somewhere tropical with clear blue waters since that won’t be an option once you turn me.”

  Her words stirred something in me I couldn’t let go, and although I knew it would start an argument, I said, “Chansey, you don’t know that you will still want to be turned after you see the fledgeling transition.”

  Her relaxed posture became stiff and I knew I had spoken fighting words. The anger in her eyes gave her away, telling me she was ready to advance as she groaned, “Are we seriously back to that place, again?”

  I instantly regretted my words and refused to waste this precious alone time going head to head in a battle I couldn’t win today. “No, I don’t want to spend this precious time a
lone fighting about a decision that can’t be made right now, so I’m changing the subject. Have you thought about where we should live after we’re married?”

  She appeared surprised by my question. “I assumed we would live here at the compound.”

  Sebastian was right. She wanted to be at the compound waiting for the first fledgeling to arrive, but it was a good choice for me because living here would allow me to continue my work as a mentor. “Sebastian said that we are welcome to live here. It isn’t far from your grandparents, so you may drive over to visit them whenever you want.”

  I noticed concern across her face. “What’s wrong?” I asked.

  “If we live at the compound, will the others always hear everything that happens between us?”

  I should have suspected her concern since it was the same as mine. “No, Sebastian has offered to have soundproof quarters built for us and the construction will begin immediately so it will be ready for us when we return from our honeymoon. Sebastian is going to contact his contractor and we’ll need to meet with him about the layout before we go back to Pascagoula,” I explained.

  “Won’t that be expensive?” she inquired.

  I wanted to set her mind at rest that she would never want for anything. “I don’t want you to ever worry about money. You are my Agápe and it is my responsibility and honor to care for you completely, including financially. We have an abundance of revenue so I don’t want you to worry about finances.”

  “No more talk of money,” she agreed. “Do you have something in mind for our quarters because I don’t know a thing about plans or layouts?”

  “I’ve built a house or two in my time, so I can take care of the planning,” I reminded her.

  She smiled at me and her expression eased, “Will you always do that?”

  “Do what?” I asked, uncertain of what she referred to by her question.

  “Always take care of everything?” she asked.

  I took her in my arms to reassure her. “I will always take of you and everything you need,” I promised.

  I knew she would need time to adjust to her new role as my Agápe and wife and I wasn’t surprised when she said, “If you do everything for me, doesn’t that mean one of us is unnecessary, meaning myself? What does that leave for me to do?”

  “You are to be loved and love me in return. That’s your only job.”

  She smiled and said, “I don’t guess I can complain about that.”

  I stood and offered her my hand. “Come on; let’s head back to the house so we can look at where we’ll build our new chambers. The contractor should be here tomorrow so we should discuss a plan tonight.” She took my hand and I pulled her against me tightly. Her arms reached to wrap around my shoulders and I rubbed her lower back.

  “I love how you’re trying to convince me to marry you sooner, but it isn’t going to work. You get your way on everything else, so now it’s my turn to have my way. It’s called middle ground and it’s what marriage is built on, so start getting use to it, Pal.”

  “I’m sorry it feels like you are forced to give in more than your fair share,” I apologized.

  “It’s alright for now because it won’t always be that way,” she warned and I knew her words were a promise of what was to come.

  We folded the blanket and then began the walk back to the house. She reached for my hand and said, “I want you to have an art studio. You’re too talented to let it go to waste. Do you think that could be built, as well?”

  My heart smiled at her thoughtfulness and I gave her hand a quick squeeze. “What did I do to deserve you?”

  She laughed as she said, “Just incredibly lucky is all I know.”

  3 Swans, Seekers and Dolls

  We returned to the compound and walked the site by the South wing where the construction for our private world would begin soon. Chansey insisted my art studio be built on the East side with large windows to allow the morning sun to shine on my art pieces. I smiled at her consideration but couldn’t bring myself to mention how the windows would be unnecessary if she was successful in her plan to become a creature of the night.

  Her thoughtfulness sparked an idea and I decided to secretly construct a sitting room for her inside our quarters as a surprise wedding gift for her. I don’t know where the thought originated because it seemed to suddenly pop into my mind like someone else placed it there for me.

  Many exciting changes had occurred over the past couple of days. Although Chansey accepted my marriage proposal, she still didn’t know a lot about the world of vampires and there was much she needed to learn. “Do you think you would feel comfortable joining the others for dinner tonight? If you are going to live in a house of vampires you will need to become accustomed to the sight of blood drinking.”

  She swallowed hard. “Where do they get the blood?”

  “There is a community of humans called Black Swans that know about us and support our cause. Some of the Black Swans choose to become Blood Swans, which means they freely give of their blood supply for our sustenance.”

  She looked thoughtful and asked, “Do you bite the Blood Swans?”

  “I’m sure there are Blood Swans that would like to be bitten, but we do not drink directly from them. There are humans that allow themselves to be bitten, but we discourage it because it is too easy to lose control. There are groups of humans called Seekers that desire the company of vampires and wish to be turned. Seekers willingly allow vampires to bite them as a way of being introduced into the community. Then, there are also Blood Dolls. They enjoy and are addicted to the act of being bitten because of the umm...ecstasy they receive from it. They refer to the pleasure of the bite as The Kiss.”

  “Have you ever bitten a Blood Doll?”

  My answer was not going to please her. “We have all had a Blood Doll at some point in our existence, but it was a very long time ago.”

  The angry versus jealous expression on her face told me she didn’t appreciate my honest answer. “How many have you had?”

  I looked to the ground for help, but found none. “Only one.”

  “What was her name?”she asked, jealously.

  “Her name was Luciana and our relationship meant nothing. It can’t really even be considered a relationship. I drank from her. There was nothing romantic between us because it isn’t like that for vampires. The only thing we feel romantic about is the blood we crave. And our Agápes,” I explained.

  Her hands went to her hips. Uh oh. Not a great sign for me. “Did your relationship with her last a long time?”

  I was probably about to shoot myself in the foot or cause her to shoot me. “Depends on what you consider a long time.”

  She was becoming aggravated with my vague answers and slightly raised her voice as she interrogated further. “Please, answer the question that you are avoiding. How long was Luciana your Blood Doll?”

  “A little more than two years,” I admitted. Although two years was nothing for a vampire, it was rather significant in the life of a human and I knew by the look on her face that my answer didn’t sit well with her.

  She became silenced by my unintentional hurtful admission. Now, she looked at the ground in search of the right words. The silence surrounding us emphasized the beat of her rapid heart before she finally continued, “What ended your relationship with Luciana?”

  “She thought she loved me. I failed to convince her that it was the result of The Kiss she loved, so I ended all contact with her.”

  Chansey took a deep breath. “What happened to her?” she asked.

  “She found another vampire to feed on her and he eventually turned her.”

  This hole I was digging was getting deeper with each question I answered. Chansey took the stance I had unfortunately become quite familiar with when she shifted her weight over to one leg. “Incredible! There’s a second vampire out there somewhere that’s convinced she’s in love with you? You are quite the lady’s man, aren’t you?”

  “Luciana i
s a vampire, but she is not in love with me. She’s a vampire in love with the blood she drinks,” I clarified.

  “Vampires have romantic relationships with other vampires, so how do you know she isn’t still in love with you?”

  “She just isn’t,” I argued.

  I reached for her arm and she stepped out of my reach. “But, how do you know, Curry?” she insisted.

  “I’ve seen her since she was turned and she isn’t interested. Nor am I. I was never interested in her for any reason other than using her for blood when she was human.”

  I cheated and used my vampire speed to catch her before she could pull away from me again. I wrapped my arms around her and kissed the top of her head as I pleaded, “You are the only one I have ever loved in my human life or in my years as a vampire. The only one. Ever.”

  She finally returned my embrace and said, “I’m sorry. I know I must look like a jealous fool.”

  I certainly couldn't fault her for feelings she couldn’t control. “I understand because I have experienced some jealousy issues when it comes to your admirers.”

  “I don’t have admirers,” she argued.

  “It certainly looks like it to me, but why don’t we just call all of it water under the bridge?” I suggested.

  “I think I can agree to that and my answer is ‘yes’ to your earlier question. I would love to join you and your family for dinner tonight. Make mine AB negative,” she laughed.

  “My, Miss Leclaire. You have a choosy palate. AB negative is the sweetest and most difficult to come by.”

  “It’s good to know I’m sweet and in high demand,” she said as she walked her fingers up my chest.

  “Your blood type is AB negative?”

  “All day and all night long,” she laughed.

  I wouldn’t have guessed that from when I tasted her, but I only had a few drops. Maybe it was the Agápe bond throwing it off or maybe I just didn’t have enough to be able to tell. “Chansey, don’t tell anyone that. Always keep that to yourself.”