I held my breath for an indeterminate amount of time, until I was able to form a sentence again. “What? How? When?” Okay, maybe not a whole sentence.
“I pieced it together after you told me that Vance was the only person who could help you,” he replied. “Well, actually, I suspected it at that point but I didn’t know for sure until the night of your attack.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Well, don’t take this the wrong way, my sweet, but you have an unnatural curiosity about vampires. I could always sense an underlying fear behind your line of questioning whether you realized it or not. That fear, coupled with the timing of your impending immortality and the fact that Vance is part Fae, told me what you are. I must admit, it took me much longer to figure it out than I would have liked. Your rounded ears threw me off for a while, but I knew for sure after ingesting a substantial amount of your blood. Fae blood is legendary among vampires. I couldn’t fully identify the taste that night you hurt your hand in the bar because I had such a small amount. The fairy essence gets stronger as you continue to drink.”
Oh God, I felt like I was going to puke. “How did you know about Vance?”
“I was once close to someone who knows him very well,” he explained. “Vance does not know his secret has been compromised though, and I’d like to keep it that way. I don’t need to give him another reason to dislike me.”
“So you’ve been keeping his secret all this time, even though you can’t stand him?”
“It’s not my secret to tell. Besides, I owe him for a mistake I made a long time ago.”
“What kind of mistake?” I asked.
“Again, my love, it’s not my secret to tell. I’m sorry, I don’t like keeping things from you, but I really have no right to discuss it with anyone.”
“I can’t believe you’ve known all this time, Leo. I’m so sorry I’ve been lying to you. I only did what I thought I had to in order to survive.”
He brushed my hair behind my ear. “I understand, my pet. I’m just glad it’s finally out in the open.”
“Why doesn’t my blood affect you like it should?”
“Are you referring to the bloodlust a vampire typically suffers around your kind?”
“My dear, I wasn’t exaggerating when I said your blood was the most exquisite elixir I have ever known.” His fangs lengthened as he traced his finger down the curve of my neck. “But I’d like to think I have more control than the average vampire. Perhaps the rational part of my brain knows that I could never live with myself if I caused you harm.”
“But you want more of my blood, right?” I asked.
His fangs were fully extended now. “Of course I do,” he replied. “But not for the reason you’re thinking. I want more, for the intimacy of it. No one could ever be closer to you than if they were pulling from your vein while simultaneously pushing inside of you.”
Okay, that little mental image made my whole body ache with need. I guessed that he picked up on that because he was giving off some very carnal vibes all of a sudden. I pushed his hand away. “Leo, please stop distracting me. I need to talk to you about this.”
“Am I distracting you?” he grinned.
“You know you are, so please knock it off. You’re not the only one who can sense emotions, remember?”
He held up his hands in surrender and laughed. “Please go on, my sweet.”
“Okay, so I get that your feelings for me prevent you from succumbing to bloodlust, but what about Vance?”
“What about him?”
“Well, he told me that if a vampire knew I was a fairy, they would seek me out just to experience the high of drinking my blood.”
“That’s very likely,” he agreed. “And?”
“So, why wouldn’t you have gone after him?” I asked.
“Two reasons,” he replied. “First of all, I have never taken blood from a male host since the experience is so sexual. I know that a lot of vampires don’t have a preference when it comes to partners, but mine has always been strictly female. Besides, he is only partly Fae. I doubt his blood would even have the same effect. Regardless, I’ve already caused him enough harm to last a lifetime. I wouldn’t go after him even if his blood did carry the right scent. I do not wish to add more guilt to my conscience if I can control it.”
“What kind of harm?”
“My dear, you know that it is not---”
“Yeah, yeah,” I interrupted. “Not your secret to tell. I get it.” I threw myself back into the couch and sighed. “This totally fucks with my game plan, you know.”
“How so?” he asked.
“Because the more time I spend with you, the more confused I get. I’ve hidden my identity and lived in fear of vampires my entire life. Now I find myself unable to stay away from one who apparently knows what I am.” I turned towards him and grabbed his hand. “Leo, I know that you would never hurt me. I can feel it in my bones. I just don’t know what to think about all of this.”
He started petting my hair. “Don’t think, my love. Feel.” He moved in slowly, giving me a chance to back away. He gently pulled me towards him until our lips met. He remained still, waiting for me to respond. When my lips parted to receive him, he took his time, savoring the moment. His tongue traced the perimeter before exploring my mouth. We tangoed to a rhythm rooted in sensuality and adoration. A half hour had passed and we did nothing but kiss, just enjoying being close to one another.
I somehow managed to break away from him and cleared my throat. “Well, um, I should probably be heading home now.”
“Please stay, my sweet.” He stood up and offered his hand to me.
I took his hand and rose from the couch. “Leo, I can’t. We both know what that would lead to and I’m not ready for that. I need to clear my head and being alone helps me do that.” I raised up on my toes to kiss him on the cheek. “I really do appreciate everything you’ve done for me. I hope you know that. I’m so glad I don’t have to hide this from you anymore.”
“I am too.” He walked me to the door and pushed the elevator call button. When the doors opened he added, “Καληνύχτα όμορφη νεράιδα μου.”
“That was beautiful. What does it mean?”
He smiled. “It’s Greek. It translates to good night, my beautiful fairy.”
I returned his smile as the doors closed.