The morning was uneventful, thankfully. Khryssa was getting ready to go out with Xavier. It was an afternoon date to the opera. They were planning on seeing Khryssa’s favorite, La Traviata. She was dressed simply in a navy sheath dress with a cream belt. The heels matched the dress to perfection. Picking up her clutch, she was ready to go when the doorbell rang. Khryssa ran down the stairs and to the door.
“Hello Handsome.” She smiled at her date.
“I didn’t realize we were dressing to match.” Taking Khryssa’s hand, Xavier kissed her knuckles lightly. He was wearing a navy suit, with a matching shirt and a cream colored tie.
“Let me go change, it will only take a moment.”
“No. You look marvelous. Are you ready otherwise?”
“Yes, I know how you feel about being late.” She smiled.
The chauffeured car took them to the small theater in town. A special showing of the opera was being done there for the local community. Normally, they would have gone into the city for such a show. They sat for the three hours that made up La Traviata holding hands. The comfortable silence shared between the two was refreshing. Every so often Xavier leaned over and kissed the warm skin of Khryssa. Her smile would shine bright enough to light the stage every time he did.
They were walking out of the theater building hand in hand when someone whistled loudly. Khryssa and Xavier turned together, looking in the direction of the sound. A bright light blinded them for less than a second. A reporter had taken their picture. Xavier started after the man, only to be stopped by Khryssa.
“Xavier, it was one picture. I don’t think you need to worry.” She whispered softly.
Fuming with anger, he nodded sharply. Leading her back to the car, Xavier made a call to his security officer. “There was a photograph taken, if it causes any problems shut it down.” That was all he said before hanging up.
“Are you okay?” Khryssa hated it when he became angry.
“I am fine Sweetheart.” Xavier smiled gently. “Where shall we go, the day is still young.”
“How about some coffee?”
“As you wish my darling.”
They enjoyed the café and the conversation. Soon it was time to depart from each other’s company. They both had to be at work in the morning and both of them had busy schedules. With the falling of night, they left each other, wishing for more.
The morning had been busy and the afternoon was proving to be so as well. Xavier was not having any of it. Punching the button on the intercom, he told his assistant to clear his schedule, he was leaving. Walking out of the building, he did not bother to call for his driver. Taking the small black Maserati that he kept at Harcard Industries for just this very reason, he went off to the market district. Parking the car a good distance away, he strolled down the cobblestone street with a plan.
The building was a small, dark and extremely private affair that Xavier disappeared into. The process took several hours. When he finally left the building, the sun had already started to set. Xavier had a triumphant smile upon his lips. This project would take several weeks to finish, but when it was done, he could not imagine wanting for anything else.
Walking the several blocks back to his car, he considered calling Khryssa. She would still be at the office. Xavier decided to wait. He needed to return there as it was. He had almost reached the car, when he noticed a woman standing on the street corner looking somewhat lost. He did not have the time nor inclination to help her.
“Excuse me, Sir?” The woman stepped to him and Xavier’s jacket sleeve a tug.
His brow arched high, she was disturbing him. “Yes?” Xavier got a good look at her. She was an older woman, perhaps in her fifties. The clothing that she was wearing had seen better days and she appeared to be rather gaunt.
“Would you like a kitten?”
“Excuse me?” He was not sure that he heard her correctly.
“Would you like a kitten? She is a sweet little thing, purebred even. We call her Calla. I can’t afford to take care of her.” The woman’s voice changed with embarrassment. “And I need the money.” She took the small animal out of the basket that was in her arms. It was a hairless kitten. Pink with grey smudges on its skin instead of fur, it was a funny looking little animal. The kitten had large blue eyes that looked up at Xavier, just staring at him. It made a little mewl. It was not frightened in the least of the vampire.
Xavier was taken aback. Animals normally feared him. At the very least they did not like him and would try to fight. He reached out to touch the animal. It batted at his fingertip with a tiny paw. It was ugly. It was very ugly, but there was something about the animal that was also charming.
“How much are you asking for the creature?” He began to think. He had no use for a kitten. Xavier knew that Khryssa loved cats. Actually, she loved animals in general but cats had a special place in her heart. There was also the fact that the kitten was named ‘Calla’. That was Khryssa’s favorite flower.
“100 euros would do me Sir.”
“You said that you had papers?”
The woman looked frightened. “Yes, but I don’t have them with me.” The words came out in a rush.
“I see.” Xavier looked at the kitten again and then smiled. “I will tell you what. I will give you 1000 euros for the kitten and if my beloved is pleased I will reward you further.”
“Oh no Sir, just 100 euros is fine. I ain’t trying to cheat anyone.”
“Do not argue.”
Taking the kitten from the woman, Xavier held it gently. It weighed next to nothing. The little creature felt strange without a heavy coat of fur. It was soft and warm, feeling almost like a peach with the little bit of downy fur that it had. He paid the woman one thousand euros. Thanking him profusely, the woman left in a hurry.
“Now what are we going to do with you little Calla?” He made a call to Greta, his assistant. Telling her to go right away and pick up the essentials for a kitten and then to bring the items to the office immediately, he hung up the phone. The kitten started to mewl at him once again, giving a scratch to the kitten’s tiny head, Xavier placed the tiny animal in the inner pocket of his jacket.
Thankfully, the drive back to Harcard Industries was a short one. Xavier strode in past the security checkpoint with purpose. He did not even bother to glance at the guards. He went to the private elevator and swiped the key pass. Taking the elevator down to the lab, he could feel the kitten purring against his chest. It was almost six o’clock. Amelia, Khryssa’s assistant, was starting to close everything up for the evening.
“Amelia, where is Dr. Hart?”
Looking up at the sound of his voice, Amelia stuttered. “Good evening Mr. Harcard Sir. Dr. Hart is in her office; she just came out of the lab and may be indisposed.”
“Thank you Amelia.” Ignoring the warning, he went into Khryssa’s office without knocking.
Khryssa was seated in her chair; she had just finished getting dressed not even five minutes before Xavier came in. Looking up, she smiled.
“Hey Handsome, I was getting ready to call you to let you know I was done for the day.”
His face softened when he saw her. “Good evening Dr. Hart.” He replied formally.
Khryssa chuckled. “How was your day?”
“Busy to say the least, but it was productive.” Leaning down, he kissed her gently. Right as his lips touched her’s the kitten gave a little mewl.
Pulling back, she looked up at Xavier. “What was that?”
“I have a small surprise for you.” Reaching into his jacket, he extracted the kitten from the inner pocket. It curled up in his hands, purring loudly. “Khryssa Hart, may I introduce to you Miss Calla.”
“Where on earth did you find this little darling Xavier?” Taking the kitten from him, she held the little girl gently. Using just the tips of her fingers, Khryssa stroked Calla’s head. “She is beautiful!”
“I had some business in the market district earlier today and a woman was selling her. I have not had an animal be without fear of me since I was a boy. I could not leave her with the woman, who knows what would have happened to her. So, I brought Calla back for you.”
“For me?” Khryssa looked incredulous.
“Yes for you my darling. You need someone to keep you company at night when I am unable to be with you.”
Khryssa kissed his cheek gently. “Thank you.”
“What are your plans for the evening?”
“Well I need to run and pick up a few things for Calla.”
“It is already taken care of Khryssa. I had Greta pick up what you would need.”
“You need to give that woman a raise Xavier.”
“She is well compensated.”
“Xavier, the things that you have her do and shall we talk about putting up with your temper as well?” Khryssa started to laugh.
“You might be correct in this matter.” He smiled and because of Khryssa, Greta would get a sizable bonus tomorrow. “Shall I take you home so that we may make Miss Calla comfortable?”
“I would enjoy that greatly Mr. Harcard.”
Khryssa grabbed her keys and briefcase, only to have Xavier take them from her. They stopped by his office first, and picked up the items for Calla. They carried everything out to the car. Making a mental note, Khryssa decided she needed to send Greta a thank you note tomorrow. Calla rode the way home sleeping against Khryssa’s chest.
“I believe I may be getting jealous of the cat.” He smiled, kissing the top of Khryssa’s head.
“Hm. I think there is plenty of room for the two of you.”
Xavier smiled and put his arm around her. “I am glad that you like Calla. It was done on a whim.”
“I love her. She is beautiful.” Khryssa stroked the sleeping cat, looking upon it with complete adoration.
They arrived at Khryssa’s home, with the help of the driver this time they brought everything in. Fixing the kitten’s food and water bowls, everything was falling into place. Xavier returned from setting up the cat box. Grinning at him, Khryssa was still amazed.
“I never thought I would see Xavier Harcard setting up a litter box.”
“Don’t expect to ever see it again.” He joked.
Letting the kitten wander around some, they decided to sit. Xavier took a seat on the sofa with Khryssa taking the floor. Calla never let Khryssa far from her sight. Running up to her new owner, the kitten climbed her way up to Khryssa shoulder. Hopping up from there, she landed in Xavier’s lap. Calla chose a spot that she could still touch Khryssa. Curling up into a little ball she started to purr and mewl at both of them. Calla was demanding attention.
“I think she knows who saved her life Handsome.”
Stroking the soft little animal, he looked down at the beautiful woman at his feet. “This is the perfect evening, you know that my darling?”
“Yes it is. Would you like a glass of wine?”
“That sounds superb. Bordeaux?”
“I have a 1979 Lafite that is supposed to be wonderful.”
“I would like that greatly my dear.” Reaching down, he stroked her cheek. “I-“Glowering as the phone rang, he answered it sharply.
“Harcard.” Xavier’s features darkened with what the person on the other end was saying. “That is not acceptable. I will be right there.” Disconnecting the call, the anger was apparent. “My darling, I must leave for a bit. Some business I conducted this afternoon has gone awry and I must go into the town proper. I will return in a bit.”
“Is everything okay Xavier?”
“It will be when I am finished.” Picking Calla up off his lap, he gave Khryssa the kitten. She immediately curled up against her new owner with a little huff. Bending low, Xavier gave Khryssa a kiss. “I will see you in a little while.”
“Of course.” She frowned.
“There is nothing to be concerned about. It is just a problem with a recent purchase I made.”
“Good night Xavier.”
“No it is not, I was looking forward to spending the evening with you. I will return shortly.” He gave her one last kiss and disappeared.
“What was that line from the Wizard of Oz about people coming and going around here so quickly?” Chuckling to herself, Khryssa picked up Calla and went upstairs. She got comfortable. Tying her hair back into a ponytail and putting on one of Xavier’s shirts, she went back downstairs. A book in hand, Khryssa curled up on the sofa. The fire was still going and it made the room perfect for relaxing. With Calla was napping against Khryssa's chest, Khryssa started to relax.
Hours had passed; it was approximately eleven in the evening. Xavier appeared once again, this time on the doorstep of Khryssa’s home. Letting himself in, the house was silent. Finally she is getting some rest, he thought. Then noting that the light was on , he followed it like a beacon. Standing in the doorway, he spotted her. Khryssa was on the sofa, asleep. The book was dropped by her side. Curled up against her chest and resting its head at the hollow of Khryssa’s throat was Calla. They were both sleeping soundly.
Xavier did something unusual for him. He pulled the phone out of his pocket, and took a picture of the pair sleeping. The flash went off, waking Khryssa.
“Xavier?” She mumbled sleepily.
“I apologize; I did not mean to wake you.”
“Mmmhmm. Come to bed me, please Handsome?”
“It looks like you already have company.” He said with a smile.
“What?” Then Khryssa felt the kitten. Calla had started to nuzzle against her chin. Chuckling softly, the kitten was stroked with much affection. “I don’t have the heart to move her.”
“Leave her be, I will share you. But only with the cat, of course.”
Picking up Khryssa and the sleeping Calla, he carried them both upstairs. Making sure that they were both comfortable, Xavier started to undress. His eyes were fixed upon Khryssa the entire time. The desire he had for her warmed Xavier’s soul. Climbing into the large bed and pressing against her back, Xavier kissed the nape of her neck. “You still are the most beautiful creature I have ever seen.”
Khryssa made a little sound of acknowledgement, but she was already slipping back into her dreams. Xavier stayed awake. He just laid there watching the woman and the kitten sleep. With hope that the words would permeate her dreams, he spoke softly in the darkness of the room.
“I love you Khryssa Hart. I love you more than anything of this earth or beyond”
Morning came far too early. The alarm started going off at 4:15 a.m. Pinned between a vampire and a kitten, Khryssa struggled to turn it off. Putting Calla back into the little cat bed that was by the nightstand, she sat up and stretched. Xavier was still asleep. Kissing his cheek, it was time to get ready. She had just turned back around when Xavier grabbed her. Pulling Khryssa back into the bed, his eyes were opened. The beautiful blue had changed to a deadly yellow.
He was still asleep, even with opened eyes. Not having bothered to have fed the evening before, Xavier was hungry. He had let himself get into a state that he could not control. He hissed at her. Khryssa saw his fangs; she screamed a blood curdling scream. Using his body to pin her down, Xavier’s weight drove her back into the mattress. It was macabre simulation of their lovemaking. He touched her. Feeling her thighs and stroking up her belly, his lips touched the softness of Khryssa’s throat. She fought him and Xavier just smiled. Trying to get out from beneath him, Khryssa smashed her hands against the side of his head, boxing his ears with everything that she had. At last, Xavier woke from the dream that he was having. He was furious with the strike she had made against him.
She was angry. The darkness of her own eyes flashed with a certain fire as she spoke. “Get the hell out of my home Xavier.” It wasn’t just anger that reared its head; it was the feeling of betrayal. Climbing over him and off the bed, she went to the doorway. “How dare you? How fucking dare you even try that?”
He rose from the bed, the bed that they shared, and rushed to her. His hand wrapped around her throat. At the same time Khryssa was pushed back into the wall. He looked into her eyes. His once again yellow eyes met her dark ones with a fierce glare. His voice roared through the house. It ripped apart the senses.
“I am The Impaler! It would do you well not to forget this Khryssa.” He stared at her with malice. She did not wither nor cringe. This had never happened before. Xavier Harcard tried to control her fully with his gaze. There had never been a time when he could not mesmerize a human. He knew she would be difficult, but not at all? All it did was increase his fury.
“You have no idea who you are dealing with my dear Dr. Hart.” He pushed closer to her. His hips started to grind against her bare thighs suggestively. Even now with his hunger for blood, he wanted to take her. He wanted to plunge deeply into her body and make her his all over again. The hand around her throat tightened. His lips brushed along where fingers pressed. “You are so beautiful my dear.” He kissed the pulse point upon her neck. “So delectable and now I can taste your fury. Your fury is divine my sweet girl.”
She reached out and backhanded him. With the surprise of the new attack he reared back. Khryssa drove the palm of her hand upwards into his nose. They both felt it break. It was not so much pain but the intensity of her anger that stopped Xavier. He knew right then that this had gone too far. His hand dropped from her throat and within a blink of the eye, he vanished into nothingness.
The room was strangely quiet. Khryssa just slid downwards with her back to the wall. Hitting the floor gently, she started to cry. Her only comfort was the small kitten that came to nudge it’s new owner’s thigh.