She knew she wasn’t supposed to be there as she looked around nervously for any signs of her brother who might have followed her. Jennifer Connelly hid in the bushes across from the mansion where the party was being held. She had to see him. It was an open invitation party and she was surprised that there wasn’t more of a crowd. Thunder rolled through the cloud covered night sky and threatened rain soon. Taking a deep breath, she looked around for Alexander one last time then hurried across the street just as the sky opened up.
The guards were just for show, she knew and as they nodded and rushed to open the door for her as she came hurrying up the drive, they made her nervous and a chill ran down her spine. She brushed a strand of soft, now water logged, long black hair out of her face and looked in a mirror as she entered the parlor and the doors closed behind her. ‘I must find the bathroom first,’ she thought to herself. ‘I can’t let him see me like this.’ Turning around, she saw a server pass by the living room door and headed off to ask him where the bathroom was, hoping she wouldn’t run into the man she was there to see on the way.
Outside, Alexander scowled when he saw the lone figure dart across the street when the rain started. He knew that she had been watching for him and had hidden himself quite a bit away from her. He was thankful that her keen eyesight had not yet developed…it wouldn’t for another year or so. She knew better than to be here, mortals were not to be associated with, they were cattle. He sighed heavily as he too headed for the mansion.
The party at the mansion was a meet and greet with various celebrities. The list did not hold the man that she most wanted to meet, Orlando Bloom. However there was another…Matthew McConaughey. Richard Dean Anderson was there as well, but he was a second to Matthew. After receiving directions from the server, Jennifer headed down a hall to the bathroom without incident.
She went into the bathroom and rummaged through the cabinets after locking the door. She sighed with relief when she found a hair dryer. She pulled it out and shut the cabinet. Laying it on the counter, she plugged it in then rummaged through her purse for her brush and make up bag. Setting the makeup aside, she turned the blow dryer on and dried her lightweight crimson dress with low neck and spaghetti straps.
Then she grabbed her brush and combed through her long black hair as she waved the blower around until it was once again soft and dry. She unplugged the hair dryer and returned it to the cabinet. She sighed heavily and returned to the mirror and applied her make up then unlocked the door and left the bathroom.
Heading back up the hallway she noticed Alexander enter the living room and turned and hurried the other way. ‘Damnit!’ she thought angrily. She turned to enter a nearby room; too busy with her own thoughts of how she was going to avoid her brother when the door opened and she crashed into someone and was knocked to the floor. “I’m sorry,” she said not looking up. “I didn’t mean to, please excuse me.”
She tried to scramble to her feet and a man’s hand appeared in her line of vision to help her up. She took it and was drawn back to her feet. “It’s ok,” the man said and his voice brought her to attention and she looked up. There he was, the man she was here to see. “You were in a hurry?” he asked and she found that she had lost her ability to speak. She swallowed hard and nodded. “Were you looking for someone?” he asked again and all Jennifer could do was nod. “Well,” he said gently and released her hand. “I will not keep you.”
He turned to go and she panicked. “No!” she called and he stopped in his tracks looking at her curiously. He looked so incredible. He had deep brown eyes and curly light brown hair. He towered over her at six feet in height and his body was athletic and well muscled. “I…” she started then cleared her throat. “I was looking for you actually, Mr. McConaughey.”
He smiled at her and turned around. “Were you now?” he asked in a husky playful voice and she nodded. “Well,” he said. “It appears that you have found me. Please, call me Matt. Mr. McConaughey was my dad.” He took her hand gently and started to head back toward the living room. She planted her feet and he was met with resistance. Looking at her curiously he asked “Don’t you want to talk?”
“Yes,” she replied. “But not that way.” His curious expression remained for a moment but then he nodded and followed her down the hall. She checked doors as they went and all of them were locked. Finally she found one that was open then pulled him inside and locked the door.
“What was that for?” Matt asked nodding his head toward the door. Not that he minded; the girl in front of him was beautiful. She was small to him, she stood only five foot, six inches tall and that was with her heels on. She had long black hair that looked as soft as a feather and he found that he was dying to touch it. She was pale and he wondered if that was her natural complexion or if she was not feeling well. Her eyes were gray with a hint of violet in them that he had never seen before.
“I just wanted to be alone for a while,” she said simply. She knew Alexander was looking for her and she didn’t want to make it easy for him to find her. She was glad she had hunted earlier for when she usually faced a mortal like this, it was to feed. She looked around and saw that they were in a study with a small leather couch that was black with gold studs, a green and brass lamp stood in the corner near a large cherry wood desk and was the only light in the room. Dozens of books lined the shelves on the walls. There was an eight paned window that looked out onto the street. She walked over to it and looked out noting that it was still raining.
She heard the creak of leather on leather and a slight sigh and knew without turning that Matt had made himself comfortable on the couch. “Well,” he asked impatiently. “Did you want to talk or not?”
“Yes,” she said in a barely audible voice. She waited a few moments closing her eyes against the rain outside and sighed as she opened them slowly. Turning she said, “I do not have much time, I shouldn’t even be here but I had to see you.”
“I… I don’t understand,” Matt said as he leaned forward and rested his forearms on his knees as he drew his feet closer to the couch. “What do you mean?” He looked at her and noticed a quiet fear in her eyes. He rose slowly and walked over to her. “Are you ok?” he whispered and she nodded not looking at him. He placed his finger under her chin and tilted her head so that he was looking in her eyes. “Are you in trouble?” he asked. ‘Am I that transparent?’ she thought but after a moment she nodded.
Gently, he took her in his arms as he sighed. “Is there anything I can do to help?” he asked softly and felt her shake her head. “Money, a place to stay, nothing?” Again he felt her shake her head. “Do you want to talk about it?” he whispered and still she shook her head. He felt his shirt moisten and realized that she was crying.
She stiffened when she felt the tears roll down her cheeks. What was she doing? She wondered and pushed Matt away. Here she was, a blood hunter, a vampire, breaking the rules of the coven, which endangered her very life, crying in the arms of a mortal. He was supposed to be food. That’s what Alexander had always told her. She knew he was still here… Still looking for her. She knew her brother didn’t have a problem turning her over to the coven even though it would mean her death. “I… I can’t,” she said quietly as she ducked her head hurriedly and dried her eyes before he saw that she cried tears of blood. To her horror when she looked up, she saw that it didn’t matter because there were red spots on his crisp, white button-down shirt.
“But why?” Matt asked not noticing the stains on his shirt. “Maybe I can do something to help… please,” he said in a wounded voice. “We won’t know if you don’t tell me.” He wrapped his arm around her shoulder and ushered her to the couch and sat down slowly pulling her down with him gently. ‘Well,’ he thought to himself. ‘I’m not going to get laid tonight.’
She sighed heavily knowing he was not going to let this drop. She had read about him and found that all the articles described him as extremely stubborn. He reached over and placed his hand on her head gently and pulled it toward him so that her head rested on his shoulder. “I’m being followed,” she admitted quietly as she breathed in his scent, a mixture of soap, and Tide with a splash of cologne. “He is here.”
“Ah,” he said softly. “So that’s the reason for locking the door.” He felt her nod and smiled slightly. “How do you know it is a man?”
“Because he is my brother,” she admitted. “I was not supposed to come here. My…family sent him to bring me back home.”
“You know he is here?” Matt asked curiously and felt her nod once more.
“I saw him when I headed back to the living room when I came out of the bathroom. I had been drying off because I was caught in the storm,” she said quietly.
“Maybe you should go with him,” Matt said quietly. “He is after all your brother.”
She stood up suddenly and walked back to the window. “It would,” she said swallowing hard. She took a deep breath and turned to face him. “It would mean my life,” she said quietly. She knew this shocked him by the look of horror on his face. Suddenly someone tried the knob then knocked on the door. “Jennifer!” she heard Alexander yell. Matt looked from her to the door and back then mouthed the word, ‘hide’. Silently he rose from the couch and went to the door. He turned and watched her duck beneath the cherry wood desk then unlocked and opened the door a crack.
“Can I help you?” Jennifer heard Matt ask when he opened the door and she held her breath and closed her eyes tightly.
“Where is she?” Alexander asked menacingly. He glowered at the man in front of him.
“Who?” Matt asked fining puzzlement.
“Jennifer,” Alexander seethed. “I know she’s here, I followed her in twenty minutes ago and she was looking for you.”
“Well,” Matt said. “I haven’t seen her. I’ve been here alone for the past hour, I’m sorry. I haven’t seen anyone.”
Alexander eyed the man suspiciously. “This is a party for celebrities is it not?” Matt nodded. “Aren’t you supposed to be meeting people…fans?”
“Uh,” Matt said. “Yeah, that’s right.”
“Well,” Alexander said. “Why are you in here?”
“Got mobbed,” Matt answered flatly. “Came in here to escape for a bit.”
“Uh huh,” Alexander said, his voice dripping with suspicion and sarcasm as he peered into the room beyond.
“Oh,” Matt said. “You can look around if you like, you’ll find that it’s just me.” Jennifer gawked in her hiding place beneath the desk. ‘Was he insane?’ she wondered. He was leading her brother right to her. Alexander watched as the man stepped aside and extended his hand toward the room.
“Very well,” Alexander said and brushed pashed him into the room. He looked around but saw nothing out of the ordinary. Jennifer let out a breath and paused as she covered her mouth. Alexander heard her. His eyes darted to the desk and he started to move toward it.
“Are you satisfied now?” Matt asked. “I told you that I was alone here.” He watched as the man paused then with one quick glance around the room and back at the desk, turned to leave. “Listen, if I see her I’ll tell her that you’re looking for her.” Alexander nodded and left the room. Matt closed the door and turned the lock. After a few moments he sighed and said, “Alright, he’s gone.”
Jennifer heaved a sigh of relief then pushed the chair from the desk and crawled out from under it. She looked up and Matt was glaring at her. She swallowed hard. “Do you want to tell me what’s going on now?” he asked in a low stern voice. “He knew exactly where you were…how?”
Jennifer shuffled her feet nervously and looked away. He sighed and came toward her. When she looked up at him again there was pain written on her face. “He… he could smell me,” she whispered.
“Smell you?” Matt asked thoroughly confused. “What do you mean he can smell you?”
Jennifer was quiet for a long moment. Matt sighed and waved his arm motioning her toward him. “Come here,” he said softly. She looked at him uncertainly and he sighed. “I’m not mad,” he said softly. “I just want to know what’s going on. Have I not proved I can help you?”
Jennifer knew he was right. If it weren’t for Matt, Alexander would be hauling her out of the mansion right now. He waved her toward him again and she shook her head. “You will not want me near you when you hear what I have to say,” she said and he looked at her in confusion but nodded. Jennifer sighed and began to pace the floor. She knew her life was forfeit now so what would it matter if she told him?
She sighed and paused in her pacing to look at him. “My name is Jennifer, Jennifer Connelly,” she said quietly and he nodded. She took a deep breath and nervously began to pace again. No one had ever told a mortal about the coven before, that vampires were real. True, mortals had heard tales but the passed them off as fiction, a fantasy albeit a dark one. “I… I’m not like you Matt,” she said at last.
“I know,” Matt answered. “For one thing you’re a woman…a beautiful one at that.” She smiled slightly and shook her head. He tried to move toward her but she backed away holding her hand out to ward him off. He nodded with a sigh but stayed put.
“That isn’t what I mean,” she said.
“What?” he asked. “Not famous? Don’t get mobbed everywhere you go?”
“No,” she said. “But that’s not what I mean either. I mean,” she said nervously.
“Hey,” he said ignoring her attempt to keep him away as he approached her. “It’s ok,” he continued as he wrapped his arms around her. “You can tell me anything, Jennifer.” He held her close and she could smell his scent again.
She shook her head. “No,” she said quietly. “I can’t. I don’t know how, but I can show you.” Slowly she pulled away and saw him looking at her in confusion. She backed away slowly and looked at him. “I’m sorry,” she whispered.
“Why?” he asked. “What are you apologizing for?”
“Because to tell you what I mean, I will end up shattering your vision of who I am… you will never think of me the same again…that is if you live to remember me,” she said quietly.
Matt paled. “W…what do you mean if I live to remember you?” he asked nervously. Jennifer watched as he began to sweat and reached up to wipe his face and she hated herself.
“Matt,” she said quietly. “My brother… he can smell me because he…” she paused searching for the words. “He’s a vampire.” She waited nervously for Matt’s reaction.
Suddenly he threw back his head and laughed. She had been expecting this, hoped for it even. Yet another part of her was angry at his disbelief. “Vampire?” he asked still chuckling. “You’re kidding right?”
She knew her time had come; she needed to show him now. She had hoped against hope that she might find him, that maybe he would love her, help her escape the coven. She knew now that she had been wrong. “Oh, Matt,” she cried and the blood tears flowed once more. This time she didn’t bother trying to hide them. “I wish I was…”
He gasped in fear when he saw the blood running down her cheeks. “Jesus!” he cried and she ducked her head quickly. She knew it was over now… he would not help her even if he could. She had gone against another coven rule and had read the history books kept by the vampire lords. It was within them that she found her salvation; the unconditional love given to a made vampire would make them mortal once again. How could he love her now? And she closed her eyes in defeat.
“How can this be?” he whispered. “I thought vampires weren’t real, just make believe…” he trailed off for a moment then demanded angrily, “Why did you come here? To feed on me?”
Jennifer opened her eyes then and he saw pain in their gray depths. “No,” she said in a barely audible voice. “Never.”
“Why then?” he said, his voice was somewhat quieter but no less angry.
“I came here,” she said quietly. “Because I need your help.”
“My help?” he asked in amazement. “My help?” He saw her nod. “Just how am I supposed to help a vampire without donating blood?”
“By loving me,” she whispered with her head bowed.
Suddenly the door burst open making them both jump. It was Alexander. “There you are little sister,” he said in a sarcastic tone. Without thinking, Matt stepped in front of Jennifer. “I knew it,” Alexander said quietly shaking his head and pointing a finger at the couple in front of him. “I knew you were lying to me,” he ground out as he swept toward Matt and kneed him in the stomach.
Matt coughed as the air was forced from him. “NO!!” Jennifer screamed and scrambled down beside him. She brushed his hair from his face as he coughed again and rolled into the fetal position. Alexander grabbed her by her arm and hurled her across the room. Jennifer watched in horror as Alexander loomed over Matt who still lay on the floor. Matt tried to rise but Alexander brought his arm down hard in a karate chop in the middle of his back sending him to the floor again.
Matt looked over at Jennifer and saw her blood tears lighten. ‘Where they lessening?’ he wondered. ‘Or were they becoming lighter?’ Studying her expression he saw that her crying had not subsided, then that meant that there were becoming lighter… What had changed?
“Alex,” she called but her brother ignored her and lifted Matt to his feet by his shirt. Surprised, Matt found that the man that held him, though shorter than he was, so that his feet didn’t touch the floor. He realized that this man…this Alexander was stronger as well and struggling was pointless.
“I should kill you now,” Alexander spat. Suddenly, Alexander and Matt crashed to the floor as Jennifer hurled herself at her brother. “Bitch!” Alexander yelled and struck her across the face. “You would protect cattle?” Matt looked over and saw that Alexander had struck her hard enough to knock her to the floor. She wasn’t out for the count though she didn’t get to her feet either. “What are you looking at?” Alexander roared bringing Matt’s attention back to his current crisis.
“Alex?” Matt heard Jennifer say and saw the man look her way so he followed suit. “Don’t do it Alex,” she said softly and Matt saw her body shutter with a sob. She stood slowly then and turned to face him. “It’s over,” she said quietly and smiled.
“What do you mean?” Alexander asked then noticed that though she was still crying, her tears were clear. “You’re human,” he said in awe then his anger surface again. “You’re human!”
“Yes,” Jennifer said quietly. “Please Alex, put him down.”
“Why should I?” he asked. “He is nothing but a stock pig!”
“So am I,” Jennifer said quietly and walked over to his side and placed her hand on Alexander’s arm. “If you release him,” she said softly, and Matt realized what she was going to say. “I will return with you.” Matt and Alexander both looked at her in surprise. “I will not fight you Alex,” she said. “But you must do something for me…”
“What would that be?” Alexander asked though he already knew. He lowered Matt to his feet though he still held him.
“Release him,” Jennifer said quietly. “I will return with you,” she said swallowing hard. “Even if it is to my death, if he is spared and never hunted. I knew I was going to die over this. I wanted to die as a human Alex. As I was before I met you.” Jennifer saw Alex relax his grip then nod his head and release Matt.
Matt started to protest, he had too many questions unanswered. How had she changed? He was about to ask her but she silenced him with a gentle kiss. It was brief, over nearly as fast as it started. “Thank you,” she whispered then smiled at him. ‘Thank you?’ he wondered. ‘Thank you for what? I didn’t do anything.’ She smiled at him and he saw the sadness in her eyes but noted that it was mingled with relief. Before he could ask her what she meant, she turned to Alexander and took his hand and they left the room.
He rushed to the door after he saw the last strand of midnight hair pass the doorframe out of sight. “Jennifer!” he cried as he rounded the doorway to look down the hall after her, but she was gone. The host of the party was passing from one room to the other, the only occupant of the hall. He looked at Matthew, then down the hall in the other direction but saw no one. As he pushed the door open to the other room, he looked oddly back at Matthew. Then shook his head and disappeared. Matt sighed heavily and hung his head. “I love you,” he whispered.
Steam filled the bathroom and the hot water felt good against his skin. Matt stood bracing himself with his arms against the cool tiles that lined the shower. It had been three years since that night and he had never seen Jennifer again. He had never mentioned her or the existence of vampires to anyone.
Apparently Alexander had kept his word for he had never seen the man again. He knew Jennifer had given her life to save him. He sniffed as the hot water and steam cleared his sinuses making his nose run then turned off the faucet and shook the water from his hair. He wished he could shake the memory of Jennifer from his mind as easily, but the night he met her was a night to remember for he had loved a total stranger more than his own life and lost her all in one night…
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