When we get dinner we spot Maximus sweet talking Isobel, who is looking very much annoyed and not interested in his antics. When we try and make eye contact with them, Maximus just glances at us, not interested by our presence.
“Poor girl,” Claudia mutters to herself and me, as we sit on the other side of the room, “Maximus is relentless when it comes to a girl, especially a human girl; that he really likes.”
“I think humans need more rights,” I state, as I sit down with a plate full of meat and veggies I collected from an open, mouth-watering, aromatic buffet. I couldn’t wait to dig in.
Claudia sits opposite me, we are next to a wall, with a candle in the middle of the table.
“I am one of the few vampires that will agree with you on that one,” she says.
“I don’t think humans should be viewed as slaves, but equals,” I add, “I understand there is a physical power imbalance but that doesn’t mean humans are less superior.” Claudia smiles in response to this.
“I use to be just like you when I was human, I am still pro-human rights however. I just hope one day it turns around and we can live as equals, vampires can be very arrogant,” she admits.
“You’re the only nice one,” I say smiling, before digging into my food.
While I eat she tells me a bit about the werewolves and how the vampires plan around each full moon. It’s pretty simple stuff and I zone out for some of it, too interested in chewing and swallowing this amazing food. When I’ve devoured all of my plate, I sit back against the seat in a slouch, satisfied with a full stomach.
“How are you feeling?” Claudia asks, “You must be so exhausted after everything you’ve been through.”
“I was stuck in a hotel room for so long, I’m not too tired to be honest,” my eyes skitter to the front of the restaurant to see Darrius come into the room, alone. He scans the room and our eyes meet in a heartbeat.
“I guess he’s finished reuniting with Xavier,” Claudia spots Darrius out too, “He’ll probably want your company now, I’ll go find Johnathan and see if everything went okay.” I nod and she gracefully stands up, swishing her long brown hair over one shoulder. As she walks away, she slaps Darrius on the backside as she waltz past him.
He rolls his eyes and comes right up next to my chair, resting his hand on my shoulder.
“Better?” He asks.
“Oh hell yeah,” I say, “I’m so full.”
“Come on up, I need to take you back to my room.” I slowly stand up and give him a questioning glance.
“What’s the matter?” I ask, easily reading the slightly distant expression in his eyes. His mind was on something else.
“I need to lock you up somewhere safe,” Darrius and I start walking from the restaurant and this time I roll my eyes.
“Um, no, you don’t have to lock me up anywhere,” I say, “Claudia told me about the werewolves and while I ate she explained that they have never got into the palace.”
Darrius goes silent and I can feel the annoyance and frustration seeping out of him. It’s not until we are half way to his room that he speaks again.
“Sweetheart,” Darrius begins, “I’m trying to keep you safe, out of harm’s way, out of danger.”
I understand what he is getting at but there is something that really bothers me about that statement. When we finally reach his room, I surprise him by walking past him quickly, turning around and facing him, hands on my hips.
“Darrius,” I begin, and he looks curious, wondering what I have to say next, “I’m a part of a prophecy that is about the human race getting power back against supernatural creatures. I’m making a decision right now, that I want to work towards an equal future for humans and all supernatural creatures. I’m going to make it happen.”
Darrius pauses for a moment, taking in what I said. Then he slowly walks up to me, not breaking eye contact, his gaze is intense. Oh he is irritated, I can tell. I try not to shiver as he reaches up and cups one of my cheeks in his palm, looking down into my eyes.
“You’ll be doing that safely locked up in my room, just for this one night, got it sweetheart?” I narrow my eyes, as he says it in a final tone, like he won’t budge.
“And what will you be doing?” I ask just as quietly.
“Protecting my race from another,” Darrius replies honestly, “I’ll be out in the city making sure the werewolves don’t kill too many vampires, the more vampires they kill, the stronger they become…” He runs his thumb over my bottom lip, his eyes travelling to my lips as he loses concentration in his words.
“You’ll get a kiss if you let me come with you,” I say boldly, tilting my head slightly to the side, out of his touch.
Darrius tries not to smile, amused.
“You are so adorable,” he says.
“I’m being serious,” I state firmly, annoyed.
“Yes, sweetheart, I can see that. It’s adorable,” he smirks, a fang glinting, “Now why don’t you behave and do as you’re told. You’re not coming anywhere with me, darling. You’re going to stay right here.” His eyes start to travel to my lips again and I crack it.
“No,” I snap, taking a step back away from him. Now his smirk fades, “I will not kiss you if you don’t listen to me. I’ve been kidnapped and mucked around by my own race, I will not yet you, of all people, tell me what to do. I love you Darrius, but you have to listen to me.”
Darrius growls and glares at me.
“Words will get you nowhere with me, darling, not when it comes to your safety,” he says, “I’d spend more time with you, to make you understand why it matters so much, but I have to go and organise with Maximus and my brothers how to protect the city tonight from werewolves.” He is about to turn and go but looks at me one last time, “Don’t leave this room, Jennifer, not until I get back. You need to learn to behave.”
“Fine,” I say as convincingly as possible, “Just tonight,” I say, “I’ll stay here, just this once.” Darrius looks satisfied by this comment and he finally turns and walks to the door.
He thinks he’s won.
“I’ll see you in the morning, lock this door from inside,” he says, giving me one last glance over his shoulder. When he shuts the door a slow smile creeps out over my face.
“He has no idea,” I mutter to myself. He so easily believed me when I pretended to cave in to his wishes.
No more little nice girl act anymore. It was about time I started to put up a real fight for human rights when concerning the vampires that thought they owned the human race, and believed they had the right to enslave them as well.
My words might not be able to persuade him, or others.
But actions would.
I already had a plan in mind and couldn’t wait to get it into action.
Darrius wasn’t going to tell me what to do anymore or order me around.
He would soon realise that.
I’d deal with the consequences later.