The longer I gazed down at the city, the more the sense of wonder ventured into my mind of what this world would look like if daylight cascaded over the sky. Replacing the night and blanketing the building tops with its glow, shining its light on surfaces that were shielded by the darkness, further bringing the beauty of this city to awareness.
I stood near the stone railing, its slabs cold and hard beneath my fingers as it created a barrier from the steepness of the mountain, to look out over the city.
With the quietness of the wind slipping around me, I let my mind wander, returning to the battle that partook a couple of months ago. I remember the way my hands tore through the bodies of those creatures, my nails digging through flesh; one after the other, slaughtering them as their blood coated the surface of my palms in a bloodbath. My gaze tilts down to my hands, images flickering through my mind’s eye and projecting them into the present and onto the surface of them —the quickness my feet possessed to weave through the bodies and the agility and strength my body held to destroy the target, my slender fingers curling around dozens of creatures and crushing their necks; giving them a quick death.
I never found the time to ‘test’ out the abilities that came with being a vampire but only a couple of times. All I could do was revisit the times my body moved and shifted as if familiar with the new knowledge of how my body functioned and to embrace what I have become. From the beginning, I was naïve about things that were contained in this world as they came to life, and to actually exist as one has left a euphoric sensation coursing to the core of my heart.
The scent of fresh grass with the lingering touch of dog beneath the combination, I turn my attention to where its source originated from, the sight of a green-eyed male walking towards us greeted my view. Twisting away from the stone railing, I watch as his steps bring him closer and closer to the place we settled at; a small bench area with a half-sized fountain that centered the middle, stone flooring framing its perimeter.
Audrey had stationed herself with the twins on the blanket off to the side in the grass, her own head popping up at the arrival of the man.
His face brought an air of familiarity with it, as I gaze at him, his name plays among the tip of my tongue.
His lips tilt with a greeting smile, bobbing his head downwards then lifting his eyes after a short second.
“It’s nice to see you, Mrs. Vaughn,” he replies, smoothly as he stands feet away, near the fountain.
I flinch at the name, stricken and quickly reminded of what gave him the impression. Removing hair from my vision, I give him a smile, the action feeling broken across my face.
“You don’t have to call me that, Delano and I aren’t—” I shift my gaze, trying to find the words as of the scenery around me had the answer— “We aren’t married. I would prefer if you call me Kaitlyn instead.”
“Okay,” he agrees, teeth gnawing at his lips before he released them from their clutches. “It’s nice to see you, Kaitlyn.”
Gracing him with a smile, I let the welcoming action bring the atmosphere to a calm wave, the breezy wind and calming rustle of the leaves from the tree lines washing a coat of tranquility among the mist of the circling nature. I catch from the corner of my eye Eileesha sizing Adam with her speculating gaze, accessing him like he was a threat; her shoulders taut and pulling with tension in her tiny frame.
Catching her attention with my eyes, I force the reassurance to shine through my irises, willing her to calm down. She forces air from her mouth, in a quiet, forced huff, the air blowing the strands of blonde hair from her forehead; doing the assigned job with settled limbs.
“I apologize at how long it took us to be properly introduced,” I start up, my feet carrying me a little closer to where he stood, “I’ve had my hands full, lately.”
Adam shakes his head, dismissing my comment, those green eyes crinkling at the corners. “There’s no need for an apology, I understand.”
“Well then, what brings you here, anyway?”
“Delano arranged for me to meet him in his study to discuss matters pertaining to what happened not too long ago.” He mentions, emphasizing the bloodbath with those creatures.
Fiddling with my fingertips in front of me, I tilt a curious head, inclining my ears at the new information. “What’s your relation with Delano?”
His brows raise slightly, caught off guard with the question. “We have an alliance together,” he answers anyway, “the agreement to work together in whatever the matter each applicant is going through.”
“I see. . was there anything else?” I inquire, placing my hand out to keep the light material of the dress from flying up.
I catch his drifting gaze, the attraction he felt but denied revealing to the surface caused his eyes to enlarge, accessing me in a manner that showed interest yet restraint in his abilities. Though his eyes wandered, I felt nothing in return, his stare accompanied with nothing that could set my heart racing; just as a certain induvial did, further putting the thought that I was stuck with this man that conjured my mind, for the rest of my immortal life.
The thought appealed to me more than I let on.
“No there isn’t” Adam speaks, acknowledging my question, “that’s my purpose for today.”
“I’m sorry for holding you up, I’ll let you be on your way.”
No protest on his part at the end of the conversation, he offers me a friendly smile, bowing slightly at the waist.
“A pleasure making your acquaintance, Ms. Kaitlyn.”
And then he was gone. Turning on his heel and walking the stoned path that leads him to the entrance of the castle, the doors opening at his arrival. I stare at his departure back as it disappeared into the building, his lingering words flowing in the air.
A sudden rush of tingles electrified the blood currents in my veins that inhabited the cells that make up my being, singing them with flames that awoke the creature deep in my mind; its purr of awakening quaking my bones and pulling my eyes on the exact location where this presence stationed.
Through the large planed of the window, on the second floor of the building, structured to look over the castle’s entrance and stairway up the mountain— dark eyes boring into mine with the intensity to set me ablaze.
Delano stood in the window, looking down as we held eye contact, the tension in his face and surrounding body is clearly seen from my view. I stretched the thought that he saw the interaction between Adam and me, his once blue eyes taking on the shade of navy, the deepest parts of the sea.
D E L A N O
The grapple of my imagination hooks its clutches onto my awareness, dragging me to the realm of my thoughts, where I roamed aimlessly; the images of a woman running within its vastness. Her brown tresses flowed behind her as steps gracefully fluttered her closer to the forefront of my mind, the slight paleness of her skin reflecting under a glow that illuminated from somewhere my eyes could not see— the dusty brown hue in her eyes, creating a hollowness within them, the depths inviting a warmth filled sensation that set its target on his heart.
I shut my eyes, inhaling the woodsy aroma that floated in the atmosphere, the object beneath my form creaking with protest as I lean back in its structure; trying my best to relax my muscle that pulled taut with my apprehension.
This woman was toying with me. She had to be, I was sure of it. There was no way she was intentionally sending these complicated thoughts and images to ravish the inside of my mind without knowing, she could not be clueless to it. . . or maybe I was simply reaching too far into something that wasn’t a reality at the moment. There were things she processed my being to shudder at its arrival: the years spent roaming and wandering this dimension and the other, there wasn’t a soul that drove my body down a path of the unknown— I acquainted the idea that these things came with the tie of her being my beloved.
Someone I was sure I would not have seen for a while longer.
Air rushes through the seams of my lips in the shape of a sigh, I press the tips of my fingers into my temples before looking down at the object that wrapped around my wrist, reading half past noon. I replenish in the atmosphere the library brought the smell of pressed print onto crinkly, old pages, telling a million tales, and containing the knowledge for the curious.
The sudden thumping on the material of the wood brought me from my wandering, my attention is drawn to the oak door that centered my desk.
“Come in,” I beckoned, my voice projecting from the emptiness the library brought, my senses aware of who stood behind the structure.
The doors heaved opened with a push, swinging widely, their huge construction reaching the tops of bookshelves that lined the space before me. His earthy smell wafted up my nose at the same time his form passed over the threshold, his long strides bringing him toward my desk. Adam walked with an air of authority, this authority ranging from the status he held over his kind, the quick image of him standing before the woman that held my thoughts within her palm; set a scowl across my face.
“King Vaughn,” he greets me, bowing as a sign of respect.
I appoint my own gesture of respect, inclining my chair up to regard him with a straightened back, the rile of an attitude conjuring. “Alpha Adam.”
My hand pops out, offering him the chair that was placed diagonally from me. He took it without a word, settling his frame within its craft, sitting tall and eyes serious; prepared for the conversation at hand.
“How are settlements on your end?” I start off, straight to the point.
“I sent a handful of my people out to send the letters you wrote,” he tells me, voice cool and collective “all we’re hoping for is that your letter to grant us access into their territories reaches them before my group does.”
“I’m positive there’s nothing to worry about.”
“What about the individuals that inhabit your castle?”
“That’s already taken care of, we’ll discuss that further once everyone is here.”
He nods his head, the sudden action bringing forth the drifted scent of Kaitlyn that lingering on the wisps of his own aroma; his confirmed closeness of his person near her sending my mind into a roaring frenzy. There was no more than the rushing thrill of following through with the imagination to bestowing him where he belonged, reminding him that he no longer stood on his land but within my own territory and to keep him away from something the willed the creature inside me free.
Yet, this other part of me shook from its shock at the abrupt rush of anger that and treaded calmly into the situation.
“I could help but catch the interaction between you and Kaitlyn,” I recall to him, resting my elbows on the arms of the chair, “what was that you and her were speaking of?”
His lips pulled into an amused grin, caressing the lobe of his ear within his fingertips, his own frame leaned against the support from the chair.
“Nothing, in particular, she displayed her interest in my appearance in the kingdom and our relation for meeting with each other.”
My eyes crinkle, “What did you reveal to her?”
“That we had an alliance, and I would find out the rest of why I’m visiting from you,” he answered, willing, eyes me with an unreadable expression.
Though he shielded his thoughts from my prying, the beast that resided in his mind keeping me from seeing his true emotions: his actions spoke louder than what laced his words. Rolling my shoulders, the tension inside them crafting into an unbearable mold of heavy weight: I access him with narrowed eyes, resisting the urge to curl my lips over a fang.
“Do not overstep your boundaries while you are in the presence of my family,” I tell him, the warning mingling with each letter that followed the sentence.
“I wouldn’t dare, your highness.”