For the next ten minutes I have a sparring competition with Xavier trying to figure out what his past is all about.
“Why won’t you just tell me where you went?” I ask, knowing this pissed him off mightily.
“It is none of your business,” Xavier growls, he is still reclining on his bed, thirsty.
“I want to know.”
“Be quiet, girl,” Xavier growls more loudly.
“Why are you so sensitive about it?” I ask, seeing his eyes narrow, “Did it have to do with a… girl?” I take a stab in the dark.
Xavier bares one fang dangerously.
I smile cheekily in reaction.
“So it was a girl –” I’m cut off when Xavier’s bedroom door opens. I assume to see the human he ordered to drink from, instead I see a familiar friendly face, “Claudia!” I greet, excitedly, jumping to my feet I run over and give her a massive hug which she returns.
“It’s so good to see you, Jennifer!” she exclaims, hugging me just as tightly back.
“Did you hear the news?” I ask.
“Darrius’ escape? Sure did, he actually just arrived here a moment ago,” Claudia says, looking over my shoulder towards Xavier, “Welcome back Xavier, Johnathan is coming over soon to see for himself that you are alive.”
“Why is the service here so slow?” Xavier growls, dismissing what Claudia said.
“Haven’t you heard?” Claudia replies, annoyed, “We are running short on humans at the moment.”
“So everything basically fell apart once I left?” Xavier gets to his feet and walks over to us.
“You are still as bossy as ever, aren’t you?” Claudia asks, highly amused by this fact.
“I can attest to that!” I say, “I don’t think I’m going to be able to handle Darrius and Xavier together.”
“You’d be surprised how much they argue,” Claudia says to me. We all go quiet as we hear footsteps approach the room. Familiar footsteps. Claudia gives me a wink and puts a hand on my arm, pushing me out of view as she opens the door so I can’t see who is on the other side.
“Claudia? Why are you in here?” I hear Darrius ask this to Claudia, not so pleasantly surprised to see her.
“Jennifer ran away,” Claudia says in mock distress, “She’s gone!”
“Move,” Darrius stalks into the room to confront Xavier, “What did you do to Jennifer, to scare her off?” Darrius sounds furious. Xavier just raises an eyebrow. I peek around the back of the door and can see Claudia barely keeping it together, her hand on her mouth hiding her grin.
“You really believe I’d be scared off by Xavier?” I ask, grinning. Darrius slowly turns around on his heel to see me peeking out from behind the door, “Surprise!” I say. Claudia can’t hold back any longer, she bursts out laughing. Xavier rolls his eyes and crosses his arms over his chest.
“Calm yourself,” Xavier snaps at Claudia, “Young vampires…” he mutters under his breath.
Darrius continues to just look at me and I back at him. One moment he is frustrated, the next he is smiling. He comes forward, tugs me out from behind the door and wraps his arms around me, my back to his front. He kisses my neck and I giggle because it tickles.
He then bites gently down on my shoulder, enough for it to sting slightly.
“Ouch!” I yelp out.
“Don’t hide from me again, darling” he growls in my ear, half playful, half-serious.
“It was Claudia’s idea!” I say.
“Of course it was,” Darrius growls again, not believing me.
“It was not my idea!” Claudia pretends to sound shocked. Johnathan enters the room at that moment with a grin on his face.
“Whatever is happening,” Johnathan says, closing the door, “It is most certainly Claudia’s fault.”
“Ok, that’s it, Jennifer,” Claudia grabs me when Darrius lets me go and tugs me to her side, linking our arms together, “Let’s go, we are going to get you some food.”
“That sounds like a fantastic idea!” I exclaim, grinning. Darrius glares at Claudia, while Xavier looks unamused and Johnathan rolls his eyes.
“Don’t start, Darrius,” Claudia snaps before Darrius can get a word in, “You three brothers should catch up. You’ll know where we are in the meantime.” Without another word she drags me to the door.
Darrius looks after me with lustful eyes.
“I’ll come find you, soon, sweetheart,” Darrius farewells me, an edge of hunger in his tone.
“Goodbye!” I say joyfully as Claudia and I exit the room, leaving the three royal prince vampires alone with each other. When we close the door and walk a fair way down the hall Claudia and I start laughing.
And my stomach starts grumbling.
“You are definitely hungry?” Claudia asks.
“Hell yeah!” I respond, “And Claudia? Don’t ever leave me alone with Darrius and Xavier, please.”
“I’d never let that happen,” Claudia reassures me, “It’s good for them to catch up, they’ll soon be busy with a new issue that’s arisen that we all nearly forgot about.”
“What issue?” I ask.
“I’ll tell you about it all while you eat,” She says, “But we might have another war on our hands; one we have to deal with once every god damn month.”
“War?” I ask, suddenly not so happy.
“Werewolves,” she says.
“When I met them at Oak Meadow they didn’t attack us,” I remind her.
“That’s partly because they only go wolf crazy and blood-thirsty for vampires at a particular time.”
“A full moon?”
“That’s right,” Claudia sighs, “I don’t want you to worry you about it.”
“When is the next full moon?” I ask.
I expected her to say in a couple of days, or in a few weeks.
It seemed like peace wasn’t coming so soon after all.