As the night dragged on, with Ken dreading going back to the hell-house, he decided to take a long swim in a nearby river. A much-needed swim, considering his hard-on hadn’t faded since Teya’s scent had filled his nose. It was a great reminder for him, but would be terrible when around Allen. He soaked for a while, looking up at the night sky full of bright stars. Could it be possible for him to have a normal life? He pondered these thoughts more and more now, wanting the taste of freedom so badly. He had to think of something.
After about an hour of planning, he dried off from his cold swim and headed to confront Allen. The house was as dark as always, filling Ken’s heart with dread. Allen sat in his old-style living room, drinking as if he were celebrating. Ken’s jaw twitched with anger.
“Welcome back, Ken Baby,” Salina slurred, joining in Allen’s dark celebration, and throwing herself at Ken. It seemed she was already drunk. He pushed her off in frustration, eyes narrowing deadly.
“We need to talk,” he said, walking over to Allen. As he walked further into the living room, he saw Rosa sitting not too far away from Allen, as well as the other vampires Ken had grown to respect, if not love. There was Goslin, a child of merely twelve years of age, but was much older than even Ken. She was even older than Grams, an older woman who’d been turned by accident. Neither of them had been turned by Allen, so Ken questioned them even more for even associating with him.
“Speak,” Allen replied.
“The vampire hunters are closing in on us. I went to the university today, and Ross was there, gaining information on all of us,” Ken declared. Allen laughed, but everyone else looked afraid.
“Let them come. He is no match for me,” Allen chortled. Ken chose his next words carefully.
“Yes, maybe not at night, but perhaps during the day. You and Salina have been causing quite an uproar around here. It’s only a matter of time before the vampire hunters or the police track the killings to this house.”
Allen closed his lips and stood in Ken’s face. “You may be useful after all,” he said, smirking. “What do you suggest?”
“I can investigate and keep the hunters off our trail. However, it must be on my own terms. I need my freedom. I’ll conduct business in my own apartment, on my own time,” Ken said, glancing at Salina in disgust. “That is my condition.”
Allen grimaced as he began to circle Ken. He flipped his hair as he began sniffing the air.
“But you won’t be alone, will you? I know that woman you were supposed to kill is still alive. I can smell the soft, wild, spicy scent she exudes. Such innocence,” he said, pinching Ken’s cheeks and taunting him. Ken’s fury was becoming a joke to Allen. However, Salina looked hurt.
“A human, Ken?” she asked. Allen raised his hand to silence her.
“I’ll allow you to investigate and keep the hunters off our trail. For now, you may also have your delicate little food processor around as well,” Allen said, taking a sip of the drink in his bottle. “However, if I find her presence a distraction for you, I’ll kill her. Nice and slow. Hell, I might even have my way with her as well before she...”
“Allen!” Rosa screamed, standing up. She looked down instantly, regretting her outburst. “The sun is almost up, and we should be heading downstairs now.”
Allen took a long sip of his drink before he looked back at Ken. “We have a deal,” Allen said, as Ken looked angrily at him. “Though I make no promises.” With that, he walked off to his coffin in the basement.
“Ken you’re finally getting out huh?” Goslin teased, elbowing him joking. Ken choked back a laugh.
“Not far enough. Even with this deal, he still has me under his thumb. Just like all of us,” he replied. Salina walked over to him.
“You’ll regret not choosing me Ken,” she declared, walked off angrily.
“She’ll be ok. You know that girl has been after you since you were fourteen,” Grams laughed, walking up and kissing Ken on the cheeks. “Good luck, Kid.” Then she walked away as well. Ken looked at Rosa, who wanted to say something, but didn’t know how.
“I better go, before he changes his mind,” he finally uttered. With those being the last words said. Ken walked out the door, safely securing it behind him. A sense of freedom threatened to choke him as the sun began to rise. He ran home in a hurry, excited about the days to come. He heeded Allen’s warning and would have to remain steady if he wanted it to stay that way. His freedom came with a price. One he couldn’t afford to pay. If being with her meant working for the devil himself, he would do it with everything he had. Something inside him wanted Teya Daniels, and he was determined to have her.
Teya’s alarm clock went off loudly. She sat up abruptly, holding her head. The room was spinning, and her body felt feverish. She felt silly, dreaming of him. The man was a half-vampire, for goodness sake. He was dangerous, but so gentle with her. The clock went off again. She cursed as she looked at the time. She was almost late for work at the hospital.
As she rushed to work, she thanked God it was the weekend. Her mind was so frazzled; she couldn’t handle her school schedule at the moment. The morning went by smoothly for her at the front desk, with nothing happening out the ordinary. Of course, the massacre at the school was top news, causing her some uneasiness.
“Um, Teya?” her co-worker asked, nudging her to look up from her computer. Her mouth went dry and eyes went wide. “There’s a man here looking for you.”
By her co-worker’s tone, she was overwhelmed by the visitor. Ken walked in, wearing a black collared shirt and dark blue jeans. Teya bit her lips as her eyes traveled downward. Ken laughed as he spotted her from across the room. He walked up to the counter, causing all the women and several men to watch him. She couldn’t help but blush. This sexy specimen of a man was looking for her, of all people.
“I believe all your co-workers want to eat me,” he said, smiling slightly as he leaned against the counter. I want to eat you, she thought, still unable to speak. Ken grabbed her hand, breaking her out her trance.
“Lunch?” he asked, lifting his eyebrows. Teya nodded and was finally able to speak.
“Ok. Let me go clock out really fast,” she said before rushing off. If she left him there too long, her co-workers would try to rape him. He waited patiently, not concerning himself with the women or men drooling over him. He only saw Teya. The way everyone else saw him walk in was the way he saw her. She was beautiful to him. Whether she realized it or not. She returned to the lobby with her jacket and wallet in hand. Ken offered his arm for her to grab, which she accepted, inspiring jealousy from everyone around.
“What are you doing here?” she asked once they were alone on the street. She sounded happier than she wanted to admit.
“I came to take you to lunch. Is that a problem?” he asked teasingly. Teya’s eyes widened in protest.
“No! I wasn’t expecting it—I mean…” she stammered as Ken laughed. So much joy filled his heart, just by walking in the day with a woman that made him smile. They walked to an Italian restaurant nearby.
“I look terrible, Ken. This is a fancy place!” she exclaimed. Ken looked confused as he opened the door for her.
“And?” he asked. Teya crossed her arms.
“People wear nice clothes here. I’m in scrubs if you haven’t noticed. I don’t want to embarrass you,” she responded, fidgeting with her ponytail. Ken grabbed her wrists and gently placed them on her sides.
“You are beautiful, Teya. I’m not ashamed of you. I don’t care what these people have to say about me being with you,” he replied. The problem was that she cared. He continued to hold her hand as they walked inside the restaurant.
“You seem different today,” she noticed, allowing him to lead the way.
“I feel different. I feel this sense of freedom I never thought I would feel. Because of that, the first task on my agenda is to get to know you better,” he replied. They looked at each other for a long minute before the waitress walked up.
“How many?” she asked.
“Two please,” he replied. The waitress escorted them to a booth, and they sat on opposite sides.
“We’ve come a long way from never being able to see each other again. I’m glad I didn’t run you off last night, what with my...” She paused. Horniness was the word she was looking for, but she was too ashamed to say it out loud. Ken smiled.
“No. You did, however, drink a little too much of the red wine. I’ve already noted you’re a light drinker,” he joked, looking at the menu. Teya covered her face and hid her laughter. The waiter returned and handed them their drinks before taking their order and leaving again.
“What about the Supreme Leader? Is it safe for you to be out here with me?” she asked. Ken leaned against the table.
“Allen and I have come to a compromise. Besides, I couldn’t stay away from you if I tried,” he replied. Teya blushed.
“How is it possible you two could agree on anything? He seems impossible to talk to,” she asked. Ken nodded.
“The man is who he is, no argument there. I agreed to protect them during the day since the vampire hunters are so close,” Teya covered her mouth, terrified.
“In exchange for what?”
“My freedom. I get to go out and live my life for the first time. Teya, I feel alive. And I want to spend it getting to know you.”
“What do you want to know?”
Teya told him everything while she ate her pasta until eventually, she felt flushed.
“So do you have any brothers or sisters?” Ken asked, taking a sip of water.
“I’m not sure. None that I know of, though,” Teya replied, looked at the time. Her lunch hour was just about over.
“I better be getting back,” she told him. Ken nodded and gestured for the waitress. She walked over instantly.
“Check, please,” he requested. Teya turned towards the waitress and watched her giggle as she walked away.
“You’re such a ladies’ man,” she commented, shaking her head. Ken smiled, showing his teeth.
“I hope you are looking at me the way everyone else is. They don’t know the half of what I’m going through,” Ken said, glancing back at Teya. She was staring down at her plate, with sadness in her eyes. She felt sorry for him, and this warmed Ken’s abnormal heart.
“Teya,” he said, reaching across the table and grabbing her hand. She looked up, not unexpectedly, and was captured by his gaze. She couldn’t look away from his piercing blue eyes.
“I don’t want you to feel scared for me. I can handle myself,” he told her. Teya opened her mouth to speak, but all she could do was moisten her suddenly dry lips. Ken handed the waitress the money, along with a tip. She took it graciously.
“Now let’s get you back to work,” he said.
He never took his hand away from hers as they left the restaurant and walked back to the hospital.
“What time are you off?” Ken asked her before opening the door to walk in.
“At six. Pulling twelve hours today and tomorrow. What else do you have up your sleeves, Mr. Santanna?” She asked, nudging him playfully. He laughed.
“Well, I just wanted to make sure you got home safely. How do you get home, by the way?”
“Walk or bus. The apartments aren’t that far away,” Teya replied. Ken frowned.
“Such unsafe transportation. I’ll take you home if you wish it,” he offered. Teya laughed.
“What woman wouldn’t?” she asked. Ken smiled.
“Good. Have a great day, Teya,” he said, and he smiled as he kissed her hand. Teya watched him walk away for a couple of minutes, forgetting where she was.
“Teya, come inside,” her co-worker screamed out, breaking her from her trance.
“Coming!” she yelled back, walking into the hospital.
Ken decided that until Teya got off, he would go to the police station. At first, he thought it was a dumb plan, but it appeared he was onto something. Ross’s scent was very much in the midst of all the other police officers. He was probably gathering information from the police and comparing notes. He followed the scent as close as he could. It disappeared somewhere close to the downtown area. It was the perfect cover to hide the organization. Ken smirked.
“Clever bastards,” he mumbled. He walked the streets, soaking up the sun. He knew this city from start to finish – it was imperative that he learned it. He’d never been in a city for so long, let alone a country. Allen had always moved around, but for some reason, he chose this city to stay the longest. He’d always wondered why, but never questioned the man. He had grown to love the city. It gave him a chance to be with someone he admired. For that, he was grateful. Ken walked back to the house he despised, but didn’t plan on staying long. Just a quick check on them, and then he would leave.
Teya excitedly clocked out and began waiting for her Prince Charming to pick her up. She walked outside and began looking around for him.
“Miss Daniels?” She turned around to locate the voice calling out to her. She gasped when she placed it.
“What are you doing here?” she asked as Markees walked up to her, holding up his hands.
“Whoa, I come in peace. I’m not on duty. I’m just here to see if you need a ride home,” Markees said, gesturing to the car behind him. “My car is right there.”
Teya rubbed her hands together, cold and nervous.
“How did you know where I work?” she asked. Markees moved a little closer to her, causing Teya’s eyes to widen.
“Your school told us,” Markees replied, still trying not to alarm her.
“It’s fine. I have a ride, thank you.”
Ken snarled as he watched Ross’s flunky approach Teya. He stalked towards Teya, his eyes a cold blue.
“Miss Daniels, I’m just being nice. You look frozen out here,” he stated.
“She’s waiting for me,” Ken blurted out, his voice becoming threatening and deadly. Markees’s eyes shot up.
“Ken, I...” she wanted to plead with Ken not to hurt Markees, but instead, he just wrapped his arm around her waist and drew her closer, warming her up instantly.
“I’m sorry. I thought she needed a ride,” Markees apologized. Ken smiled.
“No problem. I’ll get her home now,” he replied. His smile was but a mere show of teeth, meant to intimidate. Teya placed her hands on Ken’s chest.
“It’s ok. Markees is a detective. He’s just trying to solve Leslie’s murder,” Teya informed him, trying to help Ken get more information. Markees shook Ken’s hand, while Ken rudely squeezed to show off his strength. Markees pulled away.
“Yeah, well, since there’s possibly a serial killer on campus, I just wanted to make sure our key witness is safe. It’s dangerous to be walking the streets by yourself,” Markees said, speaking to Teya.
“I won’t. I’ll be careful,” she said, and she nudged Ken playfully. “Let’s get out of here. I’m cold.”
She waved to Markees as they began to walk towards the street. “Do you have to be so intimidating to everyone?” she asked, half laughing.
“The man scared you, Teya. I had to step in,” he replied simply. He hunched over and swept her off her feet, holding her close to his chest. She kicked her legs and blushed.
“What are you doing Ken? Put me down!” she screamed. Ken held her easily.
“Stop fighting and let me do this. You are far too cold, and need to get warm,” he replied. And it was true – she was very warm in his arms. “We could get there faster if I run, but with that hunter around, I don’t want to take any chances.”
He looked down at her now and asked, “Do I intimidate you?” Teya found herself laughing. Ken smiled, confused.
“What’s so funny?” he asked, wanting to join in on the laughter.
“Yes, you did intimidate me. But with you holding me like this, I think you’re just a big teddy bear,” she giggled. Ken burst into laughter, almost dropping her. She grabbed his shirt to keep herself from falling.
“A teddy bear, I am not. Not unless they’re hard-as-steel killing machines,” he replied. Teya blushed again, removing her hand. “You may be as hard as steel on the outside, but as for being built to kill, I don’t see it.” Ken frowned.
“It’s there,” he replied firmly. He put her down once they reached her apartment. Ken’s eyes resembled a predator as he scanned the building for any threats. He waited for Teya to open the door to her apartment before he felt at ease.
“Something wrong?” Teya asked, looking at him through her long lashes. Her brown eyes pierced his gut and groin.
“Teya…” he said, before grabbing her face and leaning in. His lips caressed hers before they began dominating. Her heart began to beat loudly, and she began to feel the butterflies flying in her stomach. His lips took over, building the sexual tension between them. She moaned with pleasure. The connection was explosive. Her lips moved with his in perfect unison, like they belonged together. Before he could lose control any more, Ken inched away, still holding her face, and still caressing her chin.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered. Teya’s eyes looked dazed.
“It’s ok,” she replied. Ken smiled wide at her dazed confusion, but she’d never rejected him; instead, she kissed him back and wanted more. Teya mentally shook her head.
“Want some wine or water?” she asked, pulling off her jacket. Ken helped her out of it and politely hung it up for her. He followed her into the kitchen when he was done.
“So it’s Saturday night,” he noted. “Got any plans?”
Teya turned back to him flirtatiously, and said, “No. What do you have in mind?”
“I was thinking a movie,” he replied. Teya’s eyes lit up.
“A good vampire movie?” she asked. Ken choked back a laugh.
“You are living that life now.”
Ken escorted Teya home after the movie was over. The sun had set, and it was beginning to get dark. He made sure to have Teya inside her apartment before the sun had completely set.
“Well, thanks for the movie, and for lunch, too. It was really nice,” she said. Ken smiled, showing off his cute dimples.
“I plan to take you out again. This won’t be the last time,” he replied, before turning away.
“Ken?” she called. He turned back to face her. With all she had, she ran forward and jumped up to wrap her arms around his neck to give him the warmest kiss. It was a small peck at first, but Ken wanted so much more. He nibbled on her bottom lip in order to gain entrance into her mouth. His tongue slid in between her slightly open lips and began to dance with her tongue. Her taste was so addictive. He couldn’t stop himself from wanting more. His cock had been hard all night as erotic images scanned through his mind in the theater. Erotic images were popping up now, just from her fully giving herself to him.
However, as horny as he was, he wanted to get to know her first. He wanted to make love to her, not just have sex with her. He’d had meaningless sex before. This was not the woman to do that with. Only Teya could save his soul; he could not afford to lose her.
Teya’s arms dropped a little lower, in order to feel his chest. Before she could start to unbutton his shirt, Ken grabbed her hands gently, pulling away from the kiss, and planting small kisses on her knuckles.
“Slow, Miss Daniels,” He teased. Slow? How the hell could she? Her body was on fire. Her lips were swollen with desire. She had never wanted a man in the twenty-one years of her life. She swallowed the hurt of the rejection. Noticing, Ken lifted her chin so she could look at him.
“Don’t do that, Teya. I kissed you first. I just want to treat you right and protect you. I’m not good at this.”
“No, I get it. You are perfect,” she replied shyly. He kissed her hand one last time and walked toward her bedroom.
“It’s almost time for me to go,” he said as he began taking off her shoes.
“Will I see you tomorrow?” she asked. He smiled.
“Yes, I’ll be here in the morning,” he replied. Her heart was pounding loudly. She couldn’t believe this man was real, or how she was acting. It was unlike her to be so openly all over a man. Her very soul reached for his. It was a weird sensation.
“Get your nightclothes together, and I’ll run your bath,” he said, winking as he stood up and walked into the bathroom. Teya wondered how she’d become so lucky. He was spoiling her. He was sexy, but not a womanizer. He’d been a complete gentleman all day, holding doors open, holding her hand, and never touching her sexually. Not even in the movie theater did he try and make a move, although she did want him to. She quickly grabbed her nightclothes.
“Your bath awaits,” Ken said, bowing courteously as he entered the bedroom. Teya smiled and walked inside the bathroom. The room was lit with candles, and the tub was filled with bubbles. She turned back to him.
“Are you trying to impress me?” Teya asked teasingly. Ken laughed softly.
“Forgive me if it’s lacking anything. I never had to impress anyone before. I hope you are impressed,” he replied, closing the door to give her some privacy. She undressed self-consciously, knowing Ken was right on the opposite side of the door. Once Teya relaxed in the tub, Ken burst into the bathroom. Teya shyly covered herself.
“What are you doing?” she asked. Ken shook his head.
“Modest are we?” he replied. Teya looked away from his gaze. Without warning, he launched his hands into the tub and grabbed her feet. Her resulting struggle almost drowned her.
“No, stop!” she exclaimed, tucking her feet under her.
“I just want to give you a massage, Teya I’m not trying to…”
“I know, but no one touches my feet,” she replied. Ken frowned.
“Are you ashamed?” he asked. She shook her head in denial, but Ken could tell she was lying. He folded his arms.
“I know your feet hurt from working all day, Teya. I just want to do this for you,” he told her. Still hesitant about the whole idea, Teya shook her head.
“No, I’m fine,” she asserted. Ken sighed.
“Then you leave me with no choice,” he said, rolling up his sleeves. Teya’s eyes widened.
“OK, OK. I’ll allow you to massage my feet,” she said, placing her foot on the tub for him to access. He smiled.
“Thank you,” he said, and with that, he began to perform a slow, soothing massage.
“Is this how my life will be from now on? You get your way all the time?” she asked. Ken thought about that for a moment.
“I have to admit, I do like getting my way with you. Am I that bad?” he asked. Teya held in a moan as he massaged her foot with magical hands.
“I guess not,” she teased. Ken laughed.
“You can tell me no whenever you want, Teya, unless it’s a matter of your safety. I will not compromise on that.” Teya frowned a little. “But it’s getting late. I want to see you into bed before I go.”
Teya’s heart began to deflate. “You’re not staying?”
Ken held up a huge towel while he faced towards the door, allowing Teya to step out the tub without him seeing. She hesitated at first, but Ken was patient and waited for to take her time. Conjuring up all her strength, she finally managed to get out. As soon as she did, he wrapped the towel around her, holding her close in his arms.
“I wish I could stay, but my duties do come first. I need to tell Allen what I found out today. I’ll be back in the morning if you want me to take you to work,” he told her. Teya just melted in his arms, feeling the separation already. He cupped her chin. “I’ll be right outside.”
He then left her to get dressed in her nightclothes. She soon emerged from the bathroom and sunk into her bed. Ken leaned down and kissed her one last time, unable to help himself.
“Come back to me,” Teya begged. She wanted a promise, fearing he was going to get himself into trouble. He kissed her forehead.
“I’m not going anywhere. You are mine, Teya Daniels. I’m not letting you get away,” he declared, and with that he moved away from her and went out to the balcony, firmly closing it behind him.
Ken arrived at the vampires’ dwelling, not caring about hiding Teya’s scent. She was his, and no one would dare to harm her. He wanted that to be enforced first and foremost. Almost immediately, he felt Goslin jump on his back.
“Oooh, Ken you smell so sweet,” she cheered. “Glad to see ya.”
“I’m only back for a few minutes, Gos,” he replied, before seeing the disappointed look on her face as he placed her on the ground. “But I’m glad to see you,” he said, patting her head.
“Ew, you smell like a woman,” Salina groused, walking into the house and placing her hands on Ken’s chest. She moved back, as if Ken’s chest was on fire. “You kissed her?” she asked. She was shocked, hurt even.
Allen and Rosa walked in next. “Nice to see you, Ken,” Rosa said. Ken nodded once.
“I came to inform you about the vampire hunters. One, in particular, Markees, is walking around the campus. If you catch his scent, go the opposite direction,” Ken said, pulling out a pen.
“You stole his pen?” Rosa asked, her nose wriggling.
“He sure has a stench,” Allen commented as he acquired the pen.
“They know about your little boat ride, too. They have some kind of special weapon on them. I’m working on pinpointing their exact location,” Ken continued. Allen frowned.
“Well, I see you are holding up your end of the bargain. I shall now uphold mine, even though her fragrance smells so nice. I’m tempted to follow that scent you have marked all over your body and bite into her creamy flesh until she begs me to stop,” he sneered. Ken’s face contorted, and his anger and rage were clearly displayed.
“You won’t!” he shouted. Allen smirked.
“Calm your balls, Ken. I won’t hunt her unless I’m provoked to,” he replied. Ken’s chest heaved. He couldn’t trust this devil. He would try to destroy his happiness like he’d done so many times before.
“Is she helping you investigate?” Rosa asked trying to ease his tension.
“Yes. The vampire hunters are working closely with her. She is the only witness they have, but she won’t tell them anything,” Ken explained, wanting to stress her importance to all of this. “She is the key to everything.”
Salina snorted, and declared, “She’s a human bitch.” Ken snarled, pushing to attack Salina until Rosa intervened.
“Don’t speak about her ever again,” he replied angrily, ready to walk out the door. As soon as he opened it, Rodney entered. Ken mentally cursed in his head, but he held his tongue. “I’ll report more information as soon as I have some.”
He pushed pass Rodney just as Salina grabbed his arm.
“Ken, please stay. Think about what you are doing! You belong with us!” she begged. However, he forcefully pulled himself away from her.
“Don’t!” he growled low. “I will never fit in here. I don’t want to be like you or Allen. I want to be free from his clutches, and you’d rather be his captive. You can continue to follow him if you want. I have who I want,” Salina’s arms fell, defeated.
“She’s a human, Ken. Why don’t you understand that? If you care about her, you’ll leave her alone. She’ll only bring you down.” Ken laughed.
“You know nothing about me, Salina, except that I have a penis. I’ll take my chances with her,” he said. Salina trembled from rejection.
“I love you, Ken. Don’t do this to me,” she cried. She began to scream, throwing a fit right there outside the house. Ken shook his head.
“Don’t wear the mask of jealousy, Salina. It doesn’t suit you,” Ken replied, before walking off into the early morning.
“Salina, get in the house!” Rosa called out. Salina’s face was tightly pent with anger as she walked back into the house.