I feel a hand shacking me, “Babe, wake up. Morgan is asking if we wanna go to a caffe for, and I quote ’delineate a potential future together’.”
I open my eyes, “What time is it?”
“Azazel kindly reply that we would be honored to take her wherever she wants to go.”
“Cool. Now let’s eat, Babe.”
“I’ll meet you in five, my precious.” I kiss his mouth and go grab some clothing.
I’m feeling ready to face the facts. I’m dressed and even put some eyeliner for self-esteem reasons.
It’s five thirty in the afternoon and I know they’re waiting for me.
“Dad, Mom. I’m going now. Don’t forget I’m sleeping at Mia’s house tonight.”
“Okay, honey. Please try and use the face mask as much as you can.” my dad replied.
Finally yesterday they allowed some coffee shops and little stores to open with heavy cleaning measures and social distancing. I called my favorite caffe and they said we could come in but warned that the face mask is obligatory unless you are sitting and eating.
I’m taking two extra face masks because I know that the boys don’t have it.
Now that I think of it, they don’t need one, do they? But I guess that is privileged information and no caffe owner should know about, we should pretend we are all humans.
They wouldn’t let me wait up, so before they call or text I start to descend to the main floor.
My plotting has to work tonight. This is the first time I lie to my parents about my whereabouts.
I hope it works and the boys let me stay at the Mansion, otherwise Mom and Dad will find it weird that I didn’t sleep a Mia’s after all.
I open the building’s front door and see the Mercedes SUV stopping.
I smile and get to the back seat.
“Hello boys!” I beam. Draven is driving and Z is getting out of the car, “what?”
“He missed you and wants to cuddle you.” Draven states and smiles.
As he says this Z gets in the back seat and effectively hugs me, smelling my hair, “Hi babe. Did you rest well?”
I melt, “Yeah. Did you?” I say griping his biceps and kissing his neck.
“Kitten do not play with fire if you don’t want to get burned. Now, tell me where’s this caffe we are going to.” Draven warned me.
I give him my cellphone so he can see it on google maps, “I already told them we are coming at 17:45. They close at 19:00, that should give us time to talk.”
“Azazel come to the front seat. I won’t allow you to do what you want to do to her, right now. Come.” Draven demands but do not take his eyes off the phone.
Z puffs but complies. The car starts and Draven drives slowly.
“Babe, why do you smell so good today?” Z asks.
“She’s horny, Azazel. That is why.”
“I’m sleeping with you at your house tonight. I guess that’s why.” I reply.
“What?” I hear Z but he’s fast shushed my Draven.
“And why would you say such a thing? Were you invited to said house tonight?”
“I won’t need an invitation after the little chat we’ll have.”
The air is so heavy whenever the three of us are together. It feels like there is a storm coming but never hits and so the electricity just keeps building up and up. it’s too much to handle sometimes, luckily Draven is always there to dissipate it.
“All right, Kitten. We will try to be as helpful to you as we can. Don’t think I can’t feel how nervous you are right now.”
I gulp, “I’m anxious. I’ve got all these questions lined up and I’m eager to know the answers to some of them.”
Z turns around in his seat and smiles towards me, “Don’t stress, you can always hug me, Babe.”
I smile back. How come such a big guy can be such a teddy bear? He could crush me in a millisecond, yet, he makes me feel that I’m the one that should take care of him. This person that is thrice my age and thrice my size. Human brain is absurd.
“We’re here, Kitten.” D says and I go through my bag and take out their face masks.
“Here, you have to pretend that you can get sick and have the same worries as any human being.” I give them the masks.
“We are human, babe. Just not JUST human.” Z replies whinny.
“Still have to wear them, legislation says so.” I press.
“You know, legislation four hundred years ago validated slavery. Should we do that too?” Draven darkly says.
“Don’t be an asshole. We’re way beyond that. Put it on or else they won’t let us in and we won’t talk. I need a buffer and that caffe over there has like 10 of those.”
“Anything for you Babe.” Draven sarcastically says as we all exit the car with face masks on.
We stand outside the caffe and I signal the waiter that already knows me. She opens the door and greet us, taking us to a private room out back.
“Babe, why didn’t you tell me this is a cat caffe? I’m so happy.” Z beams.
“Well, I should be surprised. I was certain that I had already seen it all. Now, a caffe with a bunch of cats is news to me.” Draven says avoiding touching any cat.
The caffe has one main area inside, with tables for humans to eat and drink. used to have 10 tables, now has only five. Three of those were occupied.
I called ahead because of the other two areas.
One, is outside but is closed to humans on winter, as they kindly inform me on the phone.
The other room used to have two tables and is where the cats usually sleep. There’s a lot of couches and a sitting area on the bay window. Now it has one table and some cushions are gone.
I asked for this space, the cats can roam around but humans can’t do that now with the new rules. It’s perfect. We’ll have all this area and almost every cat in the shop to ourselves.
“Let’s talk.” I start to sit down with trembling hands, petting the grey cat on my lap.
Draven sits in his chair, fingering nervously, “Let’s talk.” he agrees.
This is the first time I see him nervous. He’s usually so stoic, giving zero clues of what’s processing inside his brain.
I take my list out and start asking, “What do you eat?”
I see Z claim a chair at the table holding a white cat.
“We get blood bags from a contract we have with a private hospital and we eat human food when we feel like it.” Draven says sincerely.
Well, that is one less problem. They can have meals with me, “We should order then.”
The waiter takes our order when I press a button on the table and that gives me time to calm down and ask the next question, “How many people have you killed?” I shakily ask.
Z gasps, “What? I never killed anyone.”
I look directly to Draven and see his nostrils opening wider, “On purpose or by mistake?”
Z is gasping like a fish and I would laugh if the moment wasn’t so tense, “What?”
“On purpose.” I finally say.
Draven has his jaw tense and I almost feel intimidated, ”Thirteen.”
Z is still baffled, I feel my jaw as tense as I see Draven’s, “Would you kill them again?”
“Yes, as many times as it would take.”
“Would you kill to protect me?”
“Even if I was in the wrong?”
Z nods again.
“No.” Draven answers. I smile.
The food arrives and we start nibbling. Z ordered chocolate cake and a caffe latte. I chose carrot cake and black coffee. Draven asked for an espresso and a Portuguese egg tart.
“I want to go north next year, there’s this course that I want to take, so I have to move near that specific University.” I pause, “This is not a question. I’m just stating the facts and stating that even though I would animalistic and irrationally stay forever in your bed, I will get my degree and I want to build a career as an Environmental engineer. That has been my professional goal since I was, like, seven years old and I won’t give that up.”
Z seems sad but Draven isn’t giving me any sign of what he’s thinking.
There’s this silence and then, “I’ve got a little apartment near the University. Where are you planing on staying?” Draven casually says.
“I don’t know yet. I was planning to stay at the campus residence, but they are not that close to the Science and Engineering Faculty. I think I should rent a bedroom nearer it.”
“Think it through, you still have nine months until then, give or take. You know you can stay with us as long as you wish to.” Draven speaks quietly and Z hums and nods.
“I know you for less than a week.” I smile bitterly, “this is not fair. I won’t change all my life’s plans for you.”
“Kitten,” Draven pauses and places his hand in mine, “I’ve lived for long. There were times I wouldn’t want to keep living. I felt alone and a monster. Believe me when I say that you can’t fight this. You can’t fight yourself. Don’t fight yourself.” he places a kiss in my hand, I see a tear sliding down his face, “We’ll live around you if we have to. Don’t deny yourself of the outcome of US. I know it’s scary, but best things in life are scary. Kitten, you will see for yourself. You have more control over your life than you think, you certainly have more control over us than you think.”
I’m stoned. Taking all that in and processing what I should say, but nothing comes out, so I nod slowly.
We continue to eat and hug the cats too tightly until one of them hisses at Z. Cats are so cute but they just do as they please.
I get in Draven’s lap and kiss him, “I was raised to be a strong and independent woman. It will be hard to tame me.”
“Don’t be absurd, cats are not meant to be domesticated, Kitten. They just give us the illusion that we succeeded.” he smiles and licks my neck. I moan.
I sense more than I see, Z tensing, “I want to go to now. I want you to touch me.” I boldly say.
“How illegal, Kitten. I cannot have any kind of intercourse with a minor.” Draven blocks Z as soon as he gets too close. I know because there’s only one arm around me and I feel Draven’s body tense.
I laugh, “Oh but why? How much of a hypocrite can you be? You’ve been fucking Azazel for forty years and he was only a child when you turned him.” I whisper in Draven’s ear.
“I was twenty.” he defends.
“I’m still way more mature than you.” I fight back rising my head and making eye contact. Z looks offended but I see the bulge on his jeans.
“That is true. Well, officially I’m still eighteen. It’s not the legal part of it, it’s the morality. You are a woman.” Draven holds one hand up, “and before you fight me, I know how sexist this sounds, but as a male I’m supposed to protect you and respect you.”
“What a bunch of crap. You’re afraid Z kills me.”
Z gasps, “What?”
“Z, I adore you but he’s right. You have some control issues and I’m just a fragile human.”
“No. He’ll treat you like a porcelain doll. In fact, Azazel is not the one you should watch out for between the sheets. I’m afraid I’ll scar you emotionally when you see how ruthless I am.” Draven replies mournfully.
Really? What a interesting turn of events. Z that is loud and easy-going but not really control himself very well. Still it’s not Azazel that poses danger to my life. It’s the polite and archaic control freak.
That mourning expression again. This is what he’s really afraid of, not that I would run off because he’s seven hundred years and because he’s a vampire king that could snap his fingers and cause a freaking hurricane.
He’s afraid to show his true nature, how he’s really like beyond all the masks and control. He’s afraid to be vulnerable and I get afraid of him, or worst, I mock him. So we are more alike than not.
“Next question...” I start, letting a tear slid down my face, “how often do Z needs intercourse?”
Z gives up and goes to harass some poor kitten with belly rubs.
“He’s needy. Everyday.” he laughs out, trying to light the mood.
I move in his lap, “for how long?”
“Only half an hour, but recently has been two or three, in account of you actually.” he honestly answers, smiling.
“I wouldn’t have the strength to compete with that.”
“Don’t be silly. It is not a competition. I can manage both of you.”
“Oh, I know. The thing is that I want to feel him and see him bellow me too.” I whisper in his hear, sugary tone to my voice.
He laughs, “You dirty dirty girl. You want to ruin him.”
I feel myself lubricate, “Yes and I want you to watch it happen. Maybe help a little. ”
“How many days until you’re eighteen?”
“Thirty-two days.” I frown.
“You can do whatever you want with him. I will wait thirty-two days and then I can take you.”
“You’re very confident about that, Mister.”
“You will do as I say when the time comes, you’ll see.” he says.
I gulp, “Draven, I don’t know what I’m doing. This is new territory for me. I... I’m not afraid, just... trying to figure out this. I’m just lost.”
“We’re a lot more dangerous than a teenage boy. We are also two and that is nor well seen by the current society. I know you don’t give a shit about that but it weighs in. Take a leap of faith." He looks eyes with me, "I'll never underrate your concerns nor your opinion."
"I'm with you." I kiss him.
He gets up. Taking me up with him. I hold him tighter and smile.
“Azazel, let’s go home. Leave that kitten alone and take this one.” he chuckles and passes me to Z as if I weight nothing. He goes out the room. Probably to pay.
I hold into Z, “If you want to, we can come here every week. Just don't drop me.”
He hugs me and I feel safe, surrounded by his coldness, “Yeah, I would like that very much, Babe.”
“I knew you would love it, my little baby.” I chuckle, “Now carry me like a koala to the car, I’ll put your face mask on.” I kiss him passionately and place the black masks on both of us.