“Hey, honey.” Alicia smiled as I walked through the door, “Good night with the girls?”
“Yeah, we just sat eating ice cream and watching some lame chick flick.” I sighed heavily as I aimlessly threw my back onto the black leather couch.
Alicia narrowed her eyes at me as her head tilted an inch to the side, “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing.” I lied, feigning a smile as I sat down.
Alicia stood there, folding her arms against her chest as her thin eyebrow raised, “Yeah, and I’m Jack the Ripper. Hallie, I’ve known you for over eighty years, you can’t fool me. What’s wrong? You know if you don’t tell me, Emmett will pry it out of you.”
I groaned in defeat, I couldn’t hide anything from the two anymore. “I don’t know. We’re not leaving for another month, and I’m already feeling homesick. I don’t want to leave.”
Alicia relaxed her arms and gave me a small, sad smile, “We don’t want too, either. However, I already have to mess around with make-up to make me look more like a woman in her forties. You have to mess around with it too. Emmett’s getting questions from all the guys at work, wondering how a man in his mid-forties looks as good as he does. We can’t risk staying much longer.”
“I know. It just sucks, that’s all. All this constant moving is taking its toll. And Masato...”
“You love him, don’t you?” I could only nod to Alicia’s question. “Maybe this time we should retire to the mountains or something. Find us a beautiful landscape to build a cabin on and stay there a little while.”
“You know out of all the problems back then I thought I’d have to deal with as a Vampire, Hybrid, Witch thing...this wasn’t even on the list.”
“I know, love. You don’t regret your choice, though, do you?”
I shook my head, “No. I mean sure certain things suck about this life, but I don’t regret it. Just have to take the good with the bad. There’s always light to be found in the darkest places like Zach used to say.”
“And we’ll always have each other too. We’re going to take you hunting when the idiot gets back. You must hunt and eat before the benefit tomorrow.”
We always had to hunt and eat right before there would be a large gathering of human bodies. If we went without feeding the urge to kill, or we attended even just even a little thirsty, there was no promise it would end well for anyone.
“Okay, I’m going to head upstairs for a little while we wait for the fool.” I sighed, standing up and heading towards the lounge door.
“Okay, and hey, Hallie?” Alicia stepped closer to me and pulled me into her arms. “I love you.”
“I love you too, Mom.”
“You know, you don’t have to call me that when we’re alone.” She chortled.
“No, I know, but I guess I’m used to it. Plus, you are my Mom in ways, just like Emmett is a Dad to me.”
“Aw, darling, and you, our daughter. Go relax a little; he should be home within an hour.”
I nodded, pressing my lips to Alicia’s cheek before I ran warp speed up to my bedroom.
I found my speaker dock, placing my phone carefully on the port and turned on the music before I threw myself onto the plush bed, waiting for Emmett to get home.
“Oh my, Hallie! You look so beautiful!” Alicia gasped, both of her hands held over her heart.
I stood there shuffling, feeling my cheeks warm a little as I stood there in the dress Elise and Daisy helped me pick. The dress was a full length, deep purple, decorated with black appliques that ran around the bodice and down one side of the flared skirt. The neckline was a sweetheart cut that accentuated my small but firm chest finished with a thick, black velvet choker.
My silver hair was in its usual side braid with two trendles curled either side of my face. My make up minimal but done in the way that made me look a little more as if I was a woman in her early twenties.
“You look beautiful.” Emmett, who wore a fitted suit with a black bow tie, stepped forward and kissed my cheek.
“Thank you.” I looked at Alicia. She was wearing a lavender off the shoulder skater dress which fell an inch above her knee, with her chestnut hair styled in loose waves, “You look amazing, too, Mom.”
“You’ll be the belle of the ball and Masato will die when he sees you.” Alicia smiled, “Now, are you coming with us, or are you making your way there with the girls?”
“Daisy hired a limo for all of us to go in. It will be here shortly.”
“Oh, I love a good limo! Do you need to drink before you go?”
I swayed my head to Alicia’s question, “No, I’ll be okay, the hunt last night did the trick.”
“All right, well, as always, I have this.” Emmett pulled a small metal flask from the inside of his jacket pocket. “Just in case.”
Looking at it, you’d assume there was whiskey or gin inside. However, the reality was, it was pig’s blood. Pig’s blood was the closest we got to human blood in terms of smell and taste.
“So, what is it they’re trying to con money out of us for this time?”
“Renovating the children’s playground, Emmett.” Alicia replied with a roll of her eyes, “I won’t lie; it needs it. It had seen better days when we moved here, and now it’s just unused because it’s so rundown.”
Just then, the sound of a car horn sounded outside, and I grinned “That’s them.”
“All right then, let’s go party, shall we?” Emmett smiled.
We stepped into the grand hall of the town’s most significant building. It acted as a city hall during the day, however, in the evenings, it served as a venue for such benefits. You could also hire it to hold a wedding or any other party.
I situated it in the central part of the small town, a vast white building surrounded by over one hundred acres of greenery. Neatly kept gardens, towering trees around the edges, a gravel path that led from the iron gates to the massive white building with too many rooms. It was nothing short of a mansion and was breathtaking.
“I’m guessing your kids will go have your fun.” Alicia sighed as we crossed the threshold into the hall.
Bodies of people from all over town were talking in small groups, sipping on their drinks as we stepped inside. Everyone was dressed as if they belonged to high-class society, all looking classy and elegant.
“We’ll behave, don’t worry, Mrs. Paxton.” Daisy grinned widely at Alicia, who only rolled his eyes in response.
“Famous last words from you three.”
“Oh lay off, Alicia, let them go have their fun. We’ll be around if you need us.” Emmett smiled before he kissed my cheek and Elise dragged me away.
“Hallie, you look...wow.” Masato’s brown eyes widened as his lips curved into a heart-melting grin. His smile was one that could turn even the hardest of women into goo and melt the coldest of hearts. “I suddenly think I should have put on a damn suit.”
“You look good to me.” I smiled widely at him, wrapping my hands in his dyed dark blonde hair and brought his lips to mine.
He’d never been one for suits at these events, so he wore black slim-fit jeans, a black shirt with the buttons undone with a plain white t-shirt underneath. He could pull off the casual but smart look like none other.
“Come dance with me?” Masato held out his hand, and I placed mine in his gladly with a smile.
He weaved us in and out of the crowd until we reached the dance floor, a string quartet playing a classical piece.
I wrapped my arms around his shoulders as his hands rested softly on my waist. “Do you have to leave?”
“Please, Masato, it’s hard enough. I don’t want to leave, but yes, I have too.” I pleaded. I didn’t want to talk about my leaving, not right now.
“I know, I’m sorry. I just have no idea where else I will find someone like you. I moved here; just before my twenty-fifth and god, I gave my mother so much grief over it. I didn’t want to leave Japan, but she took the job, anyway. Then I met you, and suddenly this place wasn’t so bad.”
I sighed softly. He was always the most winsome, and that what made things so much harder, “I’m not that special.”
Masato chuckled, causing my heart to flutter, “Wow, two years, and you still don’t believe me. I guess I haven’t told you enough.”
“No, you’ve told me plenty, but I’m not complaining.” I smiled up at him as I tiptoed to touch my lips with his. I loved how right it felt when we kissed, his soft, full lips against mine as they molded together perfectly.
I’d never felt the way about another man the way I did him. It was like he was the Emmett to my Alicia, the one I’d happily spend forever running around life with. However, he was just a human.
He’d grow and age like every other human while I remained unchanged.
At least in the coven, the men still aged with the use of their power. But it seemed I wasn’t aging at all because of the Vampire half of me.
“Well, maybe things might change.” His face screwed up in thought for a moment. His lips pouted a little as his brows furrowed. “You know, I love you, right? And I’m not just saying that.”
“I know. I love you, too. It’s going to suck leaving the girls, but you? You’re going to be the hardest goodbye I’ve ever had to say.”
Masato breathed softly, “I’m taking you somewhere tomorrow, but it’s a little out of town. Is that okay?”
“It’s a surprise. I’ll pick you up at four, okay? It will take about half an hour to drive there.”
“Okay.” I gave him a small smile before I pulled myself closer to him.
My head rested on his chest, hearing his heartbeat calm and steady. A beat that would drive most Vampires insane with hunger and thirst, but he soothed me, even if it pained me all at once.