Chapter 22: Picking up shopping lingo
That sounded so nice.
So normal, so human… Then again, what exactly was normal about sharing a room with the second most powerful creature in the world? He could probably crush my neck between his fingers and yet there I lie, feeling completely safe in my own personal indestructible cage that was also known as Alexander’s arms.
I soon found myself wondering what would happen if we got married and what our kids would look like. My mind stopped right there when I realised that the act of having kids needed …something beforehand. Something very …unholy.
Maybe lying next to Alexander wasn’t the best place to start having these insane thoughts. Besides vampires couldn’t have children anyway so we were good to- hold on!
I swiped my mind clean and stood up, leaving Alexander in his ‘sleeping’ state. I still hadn’t figured out what that whole thing as about and I wasn’t sure I really wanted to know so I hadn’t asked.
I walked to one of the spare rooms where Cherice’s clothes were carefully stored in the closet to find something to wear for the big meeting. I couldn’t meet the royals in my civilian clothes, I needed something … nice.
I had just found the prettiest little summer dress that would have worked perfectly when I realised something. I couldn’t meet Cherise while wearing her clothes without her permission!
I ran back to our room and burst through the door, “Alexander!” I half screamed hysterically, “We have a problem.”
He shot up and looked at me worriedly, “What’s going on?” He asked as he got out of bed and hurried over to me, “What’s wrong?”
“I don’t have anything to wear.” I admitted softly, “I know there are literally tones of clothes in that closet but I don’t want to meet Cherise or Oberon while wearing her clothes.” I said, sounding quite defeated.
“Oh,” Was al he said, “I see the problem.”
“How good are you at sowing?” I asked desperately.
“Uh… about as good as I am with cooking.” he said apologetically.
I opened my mouth and then shut it again, thinking that this was no time to make my lame ‘you’re not supposed to cook fabric’ joke. “What am I going to do?” I asked no one in particular as I paced the room.
“The answer is staring you right in the face.” He stated measuredly.
I stopped pacing to look at him, “It is?”
He nodded seriously, “It is.”
“Well?” I asked when he didn’t elaborate.
An easy smile broke out across his face, “We have to go shopping.”
I stared at him open mouthed.
“Isn’t this the part where you’re supposed to squeal in joy and run into my arms and kiss me?” Alexander asked when I didn’t react.
“I’m not sure.” I said. “I haven’t ever been shopping before since, you know, we don’t have stuff like that in New York anymore.”
He shook his head pityingly, “You don’t even understand how ironic that is. New York used to be one of the fashion capitals of the world and now you’re telling me that there aren’t even stores? Such a waste.”
“So… we’re going shopping?” I asked, “When? There’s no time.”
“Fear not,” He reassured me as he picked me up, “For you have the fastest vampire at your side.” He winked.
“Are you seriously planning on taking me to the city while I’m in my ducky pyjamas and you’re shirtless?” I asked him with a raised brow. Yes, yes he had been sleeping next to me without a shirt and I was wearing baby blue pyjamas with bright yellow ducks on them.
He looked down at what we were wearing, “Well, technically those aren’t your ducky pyjamas and I like walking around like this.”
I lightly punched him, “You know what I mean.”
He sighed, “Fine.”
So when we were both decently dressed he picked me up again and we flew over the earth.
Shopping, as I discovered, was somehow different from what I’d initially expected. I wouldn’t say it wasn’t fun but it wasn’t like I was having a blast either.
It involved a lot of walking and sore feet since I refused to let Alexander carry me everywhere. Every single human was already staring at us and if they saw him carrying me it would only egg them on, so I walked with my sore feet since I thought it best not to encourage them.
I groaned loudly, “There is absolutely nothing in any of these shops that I can ever see myself wearing.” After about an hour I was frustrated so I dramatically sat down on a bench. Alexander had insisted that I buy at least a few casual things to wear for every day wear and so I had a ton of shoes, jeans of every colour and style and shirts galore, but we had not found the outfit yet.
“I don’t know,” he sat down next to me with a grin, “I still think that bright pink flower dress would have been perfect.”
I pursed my lips, “That… thing was absolutely hideous. You only liked it because it’s s so short.”
“I won’t lie to you by denying it.”
I sighed, “Jerk.” I muttered. I was pretty sure I was digging a hole of depression and falling in to it. I dropped my head into my hands, “I’m doomed.”
Alexander shrugged and looked around casually, his eyes suddenly lit up, “Hey, you want ice cream? There’s a little shop over there and it’ll be my treat.”
My eyes widened, “You have ice cream here?!” he nodded, “No way! I love ice cream!” I was suddenly ashamed of my excitement and it felt like I needed to explain myself to him. “We didn’t have ice cream, you know… no electricity and all that…”
He watched me pityingly, “Sounds rough. So, flavour?”
“Vanilla. No, strawberry! No wait… chocolate, yes I think chocolate would be nice.” I said eagerly.
Alexander laughed, “You make me wonder what I’m missing.”
I frowned, “What do you mean?”
“Everything humans eat tastes like crap to me.” He said with a light shrug, “So, chocolate? You sure?”
“Yes, please.” I said while wonder what the purpose of life would be without good food. “I’ll just go window shopping over there.” I pointed towards a store that looked like they had nice clothes.
“Picking up shopping lingo I see.” He grinned, “I’ll just be a second.” We both turned to look at the line and he sighed, “Make that a few seconds.”
We parted ways casually while I lightly laughed at the silly vampire. When I saw shoes I liked in the window of the store I looked to Alexander who was standing dead last in the que and pointed inside when he saw me watching him. He nodded.
The store turned out to be like a little gold mine where everything was so pretty but unbelievably expensive. I sighed when I picked up a price tag and upon seeing the price decided that the shirt wasn’t as pretty as I’d first thought.
“Good to see someone with a good fashion sense.” A sales woman said to me suddenly with a wide grin while carefully analysing my outfit.
“Uh…” I said awkwardly, “Thanks?” I had just randomly put together some of Cherise’s clothes that didn’t look too bad together.
“Looking for something in particular?” She asked.
“I’m meeting my boyfriend- I mean friend’s family and I want to make a good first impression.” Boyfriend? Really Ash? Where on earth did that come from?
She nodded understandingly, “I see, come, I think I have the perfect little dress for you.”
I trailed after her and once I saw it I never wanted to wear anything else again. It even looked good on me. It was a red strapless dress that ended above my knee and it was gorgeous. The black heels she pared with it even looked good but I nearly keeled over at the price. Eventually I decided to just buy the outfit, life was short and it wasn’t every day I had a rich vampire paying for me.
With my pretty dress and shoes in a nice little expensive bag I exited the store only to find frustrated looking Alexander standing first in the line. I smiled when I walked up to him and he almost looked surprised to see me. His eyes drifted to the bag in my hand. “You’re going to hate me when you see how much of your money I just spent.” I said apologetically.
“At least tell me you’re happy with whatever you got.” He said as he reached for the bag.
“I am.” I assured him and slapped his hand away when he tried to look inside, “No peeking!” I scolded him, “You’ll just have to wait for me to wear it.” I told him playfully.
Alexander rolled his eyes and handed me my ice cream, “So, what do you want to do now?”
“We should probably get going.” I licked my ice cream and I was transported to heaven.
“Take your time.” He told me and we leisurely strolled through the streets.
“So, what is your family like?” I finally asked after a long silence.
“Just your average, demon born vampire family.” He laughed at the horrified expression I had, “They’re not all bad, Ashira, they can be nice when they want to be.
“I’m going to die.”
“At least you’ll look nice.” He commented and I shot him a glare.
“What are you staring at?” I asked with a frown as I looked behind me. Surely he wasn’t staring at me?
“You obviously.” He said like I was the most obvious thing in the world.
Oh, he was staring at me. “Do I look that bad?” I was suddenly worried, I mean, I thought I looked pretty alright, but apparently to vampires I looked-
“Bad? What are you talking about, you look absolutely beautiful.” Alexander said and suddenly he wasn’t standing across the room but right in front of me.
“Wow!” I exclaimed in shock at his sudden appearance. I nearly fell flat of my butt but he caught me easily and pulled my body tightly against his. “Ah…”
He intertwined our fingers and brought my hand up to his mouth and lightly brushed his lips over my knuckles. I swallowed and gave a nervous little laugh when his half yellow eyes met mine, “Can I kiss you?” he almost begged.
I hesitated, “Uh…” it had only been a little more than two weeks since our last kiss but it felt like it happened centuries ago. Was I going to let him kiss me? He was a vampire. He was a blood thirsty vampire, the son of a demon. I shouldn’t let him kiss me, it was dangerous for me and his control was already slipping, given the colour of his eyes, “Yes.” I heard myself say, “Kiss me.”
The feelings that erupted inside of me when our mouths met were the same ones that I had felt the first time he’d kissed me, but this time was it different because I kissed him back.
His mouth was desperate and hungry against my own and honestly I’d never been kissed like that before so I had trouble keeping up. His tongue ravished my bottom lip and I whimpered lightly.
My arms went around Alexander’s neck like it was second nature and I pulled myself up to his level and wrapped my legs around him. He slammed me against the wall and I gasped in surprise. He took that as his chance and kissed me even more fiercely. Alexander licked my neck and maybe I was supposed to find that gross but I let out an embarrassingly loud moan of want.
My hands were roaming through his hair on their own accord while I was half distracted by Alexander grinding himself against me with his hands moving up and down my bare legs- my dress had become immensely shorter in the last few minutes.
My hands suddenly found themselves underneath his shirt and I braced my palms against his muscles. Alexander let out a little purring sound when my hands gently journeyed down his abs.
The need for air suddenly became overwhelming when I realised I’d probably not taken a breath since we’d started kissing. I pulled away from him to suck in a breath and he immediately let go of me and sped to the other side of the room. Breathing loudly I glanced in his direction.
“Sorry,” he said with his chest rising and falling like he was breathing as well, “I forgot you need to breathe.”
I’d never seen his eyes as yellow as they were in that moment and I looked down at my wrinkled dress. I tried to straighten it out with my hands and surprisingly my efforts weren’t in vain.
“So…” I said awkwardly and looked down shyly. My cheeks were probably redder than the dress and my heart was pounding wildly in my chest, “That just happened.”
Alexander licked his lips as he watched me with a predator’s glint in his eyes, “Yeah, do you want to continue where we left off?” he came closer.
In the heat of the moment I almost said yes but I managed to shake my head, “We better not, your brothers are coming.”
He came even closer, “Screw them.” He muttered as he leaned down to kiss me again.
My eyes shut on their own accord but suddenly my common sense kicked in and I pushed him away, “We really shouldn’t, I don’t want to make a bad impression on them.” Alexander didn’t look pleased with my reluctance and I grinned at him as I took hold of his hand to drag him after me, “Come on, let’s go wait for them on the balcony.”
He muttered something under his breath that sounded like, “I wish they weren’t coming.”
“I have to meet them sometime.” I said.
“But seriously, if they were arriving tomorrow…” he looked at me suggestively, “We could have all night.”
I hit his arm when I realised what he meant, “Don’t you even dare think about that!”
He laughed whole heartedly, “That’s my innocent little Ashira.”
I glared, “Damn you.”
The balcony where we waited for his brothers was on the second floor and it overlooked Alexander’s whole estate. You could literally see miles and miles in every direction you looked at it was my favourite thing about his house.
With a content little sigh I sat down on one of the lost looking chairs and prepared myself for a long wait. “What time are they arriving?”
Alexander shrugged, “I don’t know. Whenever their legs get them here I suppose.”
“Oh,” I said, “I thought they would be arriving in a car or something. Sometimes I forget you’re a vampire.”
His eyes widened and he pulled a chair closer to mine before he sat down, “You do?”
I nodded, “Sometimes.” I couldn’t read the expression in his eyes, “It’s stupid, I know, but sometimes you just seem so human.” I sighed, “I wish you were.”
“I don’t. I like myself.”
“I do too, it’s just… I don’t know… at least you’re a nice vampire.” I gave him half a smile.
“So you like me now do you?” He asked with an evil grin and took hold of my hand.
“Yes.” I admitted, “I have decided that I care for you.” His smile was so huge it made me want to smile as well and I laughed at him.
Alexander opened his mouth to say something else but his smile suddenly vanished and he stood up. He sniffed the air, “They’re close.”
I shot out of my chair, “They are?!” I was panicking, oh goodness I wasn’t ready for this, I couldn’t do this.
“Look.” He said with a small nod towards the horizon.
I looked. Not that I saw anything, but I did look. I was about to comment on the absence of whatever he wanted me to look at when two male vampires were suddenly standing on the balustrade around the balcony.
They looked at one another for a moment before the taller one with the scruffy hair said, “I totally beat you.”
The other one glared at him, “You did not! Alex!” they suddenly looked our way, “Who was here first?”
Alexander sighed, “Are the two of you at it again?”
They both shrugged before losing interest in each other as they spotted me sanding half behind Alexander. They jumped down and the one with the scruffy hair spoke, “And who is this delicious smelling human?”
Alexander pushed me behind him protectively and bared his elongated fangs at them, “Don’t you even dare.” He hissed at them.
Instead of feeling absolutely terrified of Alexander, seeing his fangs for the first time and all, I was calm and I just found his protectiveness extremely hot. “Don’t be rude.” I managed to say as I stepped out from behind him and gave him a little glare while he looked surprised. With all the courage I could muster I walked right up to the two men who I assumed were his brothers. I smiled at them, “Hello,” I stuck out my hand, “I’m Ash.”
They watched me hesitantly and the scruffy hair took my hand and shook it “Heskel.” He said, “The youngest of the Redmourn brothers.”
“Nice to meet you.” I said and unable to contain my curiosity I asked, “Are you from Antarctica?”
He frowned with half a smile, “Yes.”
“That’s so cool.” I told him and moved on to the other one.
He shook my hand, “I’m Viktor, Fourth eldest.”
“Or third youngest.” Heskel muttered but Viktor ignored him.
“So what are you to Alex? Blood bag?” he questioned.
I shook my head and for the first time I was proud to tell someone, “Nope. I’m his Promise angel.”
The two vampires were both silent for a moment before Heskel hit Alexander hard on the back. The building actually shook with the force he’d used, “Well what do you know, big brother Alex has finally find his PA. Good for you buddy.”
Alexander brushed his brother’s hand off, “Yeah, yeah.”
Without warning another vampire appeared next to me but he looked more serious than the rest of them. He brushed off his clothes and looked around.
“Hey, Nicolai! Alex finally found his PA! Now you’re next.” Heskel exclaimed happily.
I’d barely managed out my shaky hello when another vampire suddenly appeared and tackled Heskel to the ground, “Jagger! Get off of me you weigh a ton!” he screamed and Alexander pushed through the suddenly crowded balcony to get to me.
“So?” he asked softly when he was standing next to me.
“They’re… not what I expected.” I admitted with a smile, “But I kind of like them.”
His eyes softened, “Good.”
When the chaos was somewhat resolved and everyone had greeted each other and I had been introduced to everyone, another vampire made its appearance.
“Sorry I’m late.” He apologised when he saw that most of the others were already here. “Terrible downpour a few thousand miles south.”
He froze when he saw me watching him with Alexander’s arm around me, “Ash, I presume?” he asked.
I wasn’t shocked he somehow already knew my name, “That’s me. Sorry, but who are you?”
“I’m Norabo.” He said, watching me intently, “Pretty little thing, isn’t she?” he asked Alexander who held me tighter.
“Hands off.” Alexander told him plainly.
Norabo laughed at his brother, “Who ever knew you could get this protective over one human.”
Like a wild breeze a female vampire was suddenly sitting on the balustrade with her legs crossed, “Hello, boys.” She greeted flirtatiously. She was absolutely stunning, her legs were long and her long brown hair fell perfectly over her shoulders. She wore a cream designer jacket with a loose fitting aquamarine coloured blouse and pants that went with the jacket. Her cream heels were at least eight inches high. Even her face looked picture perfect.
“Hello Cherise.” Alexander said and I was taken aback. This woman was Oberon’s PA?! How could I ever compare to that? She was so… and I was so not like that at all.
“Hey Alex.” She greeted him happily along with the rest of the brothers who she named individually.
I had just spared Alexander’s face a quick glance but when I looked back towards Cherise there was a man standing next to her with his arm casually slung around her shoulders.
My eyes met his, it was Oberon Redmourn.
“Oh crap.” I said without thinking.