“Oh…uh, I don’t really know where to go with that, Leo. You know I’m attracted to you. Hell, my little lap dance a few minutes ago should tell you that. I’m just really confused about a lot of things right now.”
“Relax, my pet,” he said. “I wasn’t asking you to define our interests in one another. I just wanted to be crystal clear about my intentions. Think of it as one less thing to be confused about, if it helps.”
“Okay, I guess I can do that.”
After an awkward silence, there was a strangled noise coming from the back corner. It almost sounded as if someone had tripped over something, which was a problem since we were supposed to be alone. Instantly on alert, Leo shielded me with his body and looked around for the source. “Don’t move,” he commanded.
Terrified, I just sat there and stared while he zipped through the bar, leaving a trail of wind behind him.
“What the hell is going on, Leo?” I whispered.
He was suddenly next to me again, scooping me up, and whisking me towards the front gate. “I don’t know, but I don’t intend to stick around and risk your safety. I couldn’t see anything and there are too many scents floating around from earlier tonight to pick anything up.” He lifted the gate and deposited me on the other side. “Let’s get out of here. I’ll call my men and have them check it out.”
He walked me to the garage, calling the fanged foursome along the way. I unlocked my car door and threw my purse inside. Turning around to face him, I asked, “What do you think was back there?”
He looked behind him. “I don’t know. It’s probably nothing, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. If anything is in there, my men are fully capable of handling it.”
“Are you going back?”
“No,” he replied. “I’m taking you home so I know you get there safely. I’ll call the hotel on the way and have them send a car to pick me up.”
Okay, normally I would’ve insisted I could take care of myself but I didn’t. My gut was telling me something wasn’t right, and I didn’t want to say goodbye to Leo quite yet anyway. Not because I was lonely or scared, but because I wanted to be near him. He’d made me feel good for the first time in weeks and I didn’t want to let that feeling go just yet.
We got to my apartment and he swept the inside before letting me come in behind him. I wanted him to stay because he gave me this amazing sense of security but I knew he couldn’t because my windows weren’t protected well enough. Maybe I was just being paranoid anyway. Whatever was in the bar, if anything was even there, was trapped inside when Leo closed the gate.
I took his hand into mine. “Thank you for looking out for me, Leo.”
He held my chin in his other hand and softly stroked my cheek. “Anytime, my love.”
I leaned into his caress and suddenly felt this incredible wave of warmth. I felt beautiful, and I felt cherished above all others. Omigod, I was sensing his emotions! I knew it without any doubts, but how was it possible? Was this some kind of vampire mojo, or was it coming from me? Vance said fairies had psychic abilities. Didn’t he? What does this mean? I met Leo’s eyes and felt that wonderful sensation again which made me want to melt into him. I wrapped my arms around his neck and rested my head on his shoulder. My chest was pressed against his so I could feel his heartbeat increase as he held me. It made me smile that I made this supposedly big, scary vampire’s heart race.
He pulled back a little and said, “Are you okay, my love? You look like you’re having a pretty serious debate in that head of yours.”
“No, I’m great.” I stepped back a little. “Hey, Leo, can I ask you a question?”
“Of course,” he replied.
“Why did you buy the bar?” I had to know if Vance was right.
“I own many businesses,” he said.
“Yes, I know that. But why Pixie Dust? I know we turn a profit, but it’s not that big. I figured you’d be into something much more lucrative.”
He wrinkled his brow. “Why are you asking me this, my love?”
“Because somebody said something that concerned me.”
He narrowed his eyes. “And what exactly did they say?”
“That maybe you bought the bar…for personal reasons.”
“Well, that tells me who is feeding these suspicions of yours.” He paused. “What exactly are you asking me, my dear?”
“Did you buy the bar for personal reasons?”
“Yes,” he replied matter-of-factly.
“Did they have anything to do with me?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said. “Does that bother you?”
“I don’t know,” I replied. “I don’t think so. I think I may be…flattered, actually.”
He smiled. “Well, then it seems that Mr. Alexander’s plan has been thwarted.”
I laughed. “Yeah, maybe.” I looked at the time. “I guess you need to get back to check in with your men now, huh?”
“I suppose so. I’m going to check with hotel security and see if they can find anything on video,” he replied. “Before I leave though, I wanted to return something that belongs to you. I think you accidentally left it behind.”
He held out his hand, imploring me to do the same. When I complied, he dropped the little black key fob into my palm. “Oh,” I said feeling a little embarrassed. “Thanks.”
He smiled as he bent down to capture my lips with his own. His kiss was very brief, but incredibly sweet. Despite the earlier scare, I went to bed feeling at peace for the first time in as long as I could remember.
I woke up after dreaming about my encounter with Leo. Not so much about our tryst in the bar, but about being able to read his emotions. I smiled when I recalled his feelings towards me. I honestly thought his intentions with me only involved physical gratification, maybe even nourishment, but definitely not a deeply rooted affection. He surprised me, and not in an unpleasant way.
Getting back to the issue at hand, I knew that I couldn’t put Vance off any longer. I could feel something changing inside of me and he was the only person I knew who could explain what I was going through. I picked up my phone and dialed his number.
He answered on the first ring. “Karli?”
“Hi, Vance. Listen, um, I was hoping we could talk. I have the day off so I was wondering if you could come by for a while?”
“Talk about what?” Okay, so clearly he was going to make me work for this.
“Well, I’ve been feeling…different lately. I think my immortality is getting closer and I was hoping you could answer some questions I had about that.”
“Okay…and then what? Are you going to kick me out of your house again?” Ouch! Yep, he was definitely still mad at me. Okay, take a deep breath, girl; you can do this.
“No! Well, I wasn’t planning on it anyway. Listen, I can come by your place if it makes it easier on you. I’ll even bring some pizza and beer. Does that sound doable?”
“Yeah, that sounds okay I suppose,” he replied. “I’ll be off work around six. You can come by after. Does that work for you?”
“Yeah, that sounds great.”
“Okay, I’ll see you then. I’ll text you my address in a sec. Call me if you have any trouble with directions along the way.”
“I will,” I said. “Thanks for this, Vance. I really appreciate it.”
“No problem, Karli.” Click.
Okay, so that got off to a rough start but I think it ended well. I was hoping he’d had time to simmer down by then, but apparently I wasn’t that lucky. Hey, at least he agreed to meet with me. And as a bonus, I would get to see where he lived. I don’t know why but I found myself awfully curious about his home. I’ve always thought that someone’s house can give you great insight into their lives. He was so guarded all the time that I had trouble reading him. Hopefully, the enigma named Vance would be a little easier to understand after that night. My phone beeped indicating the arrival of his text. I went over to my laptop and googled directions to his house.