I got up the next day around eleven after a fitful night’s sleep. I shuffled my feet down the hall into the kitchen and made some coffee. I checked my phone and saw that Vance had left me a voicemail about an hour earlier.
I pressed play. “Karli, it’s Vance. We need to talk. Call me.”
I ignored his message and decided that I needed some retail therapy. I called Erica to invite her along and she agreed to meet me at the mall in an hour.
“Hey, Eri!” I shouted as soon as I saw her in the parking lot.
“Hey, K! You ready to go buy some slutty lingerie and hooker shoes?” Erica was always ready to buy slutty lingerie and hooker shoes. Oh well, I figured. Why the hell not? This could be fun.
While we were trying on some lacy things she asked, “Have you figured out what you’re going to do about Vance?”
“No, not yet,” I answered. “I really don’t want to think about it though. I just want to shop.”
“Sounds good to me!” she said. “Hey, doesn’t this bra make my boobs look great? I think I’m going to buy it!”
Two hours, four new bras, and a pair of shoes later, Erica and I said our goodbyes while standing next to her car. “Make sure you say hello to that big, beautiful vampire for me tonight!” she yelled out the window of her yellow Camaro as she pulled away.
“I will,” I called. “Have a good night off!”
I arrived to work about ten minutes before six. Leo was already set up at his table. I was relieving Kendra so I went to check in with her. “How’s business?” I asked.
“Pretty steady,” she replied. She pulled me down low, pretending like she was getting her purse. “You’re never going to believe what happened earlier!”
“What?” I whispered.
“Well, the new boss, Leo, invited me up to his room to go over all the security details before I came in today. He’s staying in the penthouse, which is amazing by the way! Anyway, Mr. Gorgeous over there was flirting with me shamelessly the whole time!”
“I think you may have misinterpreted his intentions, Kendra. I think he’s just a flirty guy in general.”
“I’d hate to burst your bubble, Karli, but he invited me up to his suite for lunch tomorrow. Can you believe it? Omigod, I have to go buy new lingerie!”
“Oh. Well, I hope you two have a great time then. That’s really exciting,” I said. Really exciting, my ass! Why would he have invited her out to lunch? Why was I so upset by this? Who cared if he dated one of the girls? I checked my phone really quick before stowing my purse away. Shit! Two more voicemails from Vance. He was persistent; I’ll give him that.
Thankfully, we were swamped all night so my shift went by really fast. I let everyone except Leo out through the gate and locked it behind them. “It’ll be just a few minutes before I’m ready to go,” I called out to him.
“Take your time,” he said. “Hey, would you mind grabbing me a scotch while I wait?”
“Sure, no prob,” I said as I was grabbing a rocks glass from the shelf. I turned around to place it on the bar but tripped over a mat and dropped it instead. “Shit!” I screamed.
“Is everything okay?” Leo asked.
“Yeah, I’ll be fine, don’t worry about me.” The glass shattered into several large pieces. While I was picking them up, I accidentally sliced my hand. “Fuck!” I yelled as blood squirted up from my palm. Damn, that hurt! I grabbed a towel and applied pressure as Leo ran over to see what happened. It was pretty hard to ignore the fact that his fangs were in full effect.
“Let me see it.” He reached for my hand but I resisted. He grabbed it forcefully and loosened the towel. Another spurt of blood came out. Oh God! This was so not good! “It looks like you nicked an artery. This isn’t good, Karli.” No shit, Sherlock! Ya think? I’m alone with a vampire while a bloody geyser is coming out of my hand!
“Look, you have two options,” he said. “I can take you to the hospital to get stitches. It will probably take a while to heal though, which will make doing your job very difficult.”
“What’s my other option?” I asked.
“I can seal it shut with my saliva,” he answered.
“My saliva can heal your wound. There are enzymes in it that can instantly repair any damage to your hand as if it never happened.”
“Um, I think I’ll take the first option.” I’d get Erica to perform a healing spell later to speed up my recovery.
“Karli, don’t be ridiculous. I can heal you. What’s the big deal? I’m a vampire, I drink blood. So what? I would have never thought you’d be so squeamish.”
“I’m not. It’s just---”
“It’s just what?” he asked. “Why won’t you let me heal you?” Oh, I don’t know, maybe because I’m afraid you’ll drain me dry?
“Leo, I’ll be fine.” As soon as I get away from your gigantic fangs.
“Give me your hand, Karli,” he demanded. When I didn’t comply he grabbed it anyway. He leaned forward and I immediately tensed up. “Relax, Karli. Look at me. There’s nothing to be afraid of.” I looked into his eyes and felt an instant calm wash over me. Hmm, that’s weird. “That’s a good girl,” he cooed. “Keep looking at me.”
I sat there in silence as I watched him slowly lick the blood from my hand. “Ooh,” I said, surprising myself. This felt really good.
He gave me a knowing grin as he finished. He pulled back and said, “Look, good as new.”
I inspected my hand. “Wow. That’s it? You’re done? That was pretty uh…amazing.”
He licked his lips and gave me a big smile. “Yes, it was pretty amazing,” he agreed. “Your blood is like nothing I’ve ever tasted before. It’s sweet, very different from what I expected. What an exquisite elixir.” Oh crap! Now I had really screwed up. I tried pulling my hand away but he turned it over and placed a kiss in the center of my palm before letting go.
“Why don’t you let me finish cleaning up this mess?” he offered. “We can leave as soon as I’m through.”
Leo swept up the glass while I gathered my things. He lifted the gate and gestured for me to pass while he locked up. “It’s late,” he said. “I should probably walk you to your car since everyone else has left.”
“Um, no, that’s okay. I’ll be fine.”
“No, Karli, I insist.”
He offered his arm and I accepted it out of courtesy. I started fumbling for my keys as soon as we got to my car. I didn’t know what the hell had just happened back at the bar, but I knew that I needed to get out of there fast.
“Thanks for uh, fixing my hand back there,” I said.
“Trust me, the pleasure was all mine.” I started turning away but he stopped me. He leaned into me and cupped my cheek with his right hand. He then dipped his head and gave me the softest, most sensual kiss on the lips. Dazed, I said nothing as he pulled back with a smile. “Good night, Karli,” he said as I stood there speechless.
He stepped back and watched me while I got into my car and started the ignition. He gave me a little wave as I pulled out of my parking spot. I returned the gesture and hit the gas pedal. I looked for him in my rear view mirror and saw him laughing as I drove away. What the hell am I doing? Oh this is bad. Really, really bad!