Khryssa reappeared upon the doorstep of the their home. She looked at him with
ice in her eyes. “You will do nothing that could potentially harm our son Xavier.
If I feel that you even come close, I will destroy you myself.”
He nodded and sighed. “I will prove to you that I am the man that you once thought I was. I would do anything to keep you and Andon from any further pain and suffering.”
Khryssa pulled away from him and stepped over the threshold. Standing in the doorway inside the their grand home, she spoke. “Come in Xavier, you are invited.”
Khryssa and Xavier were seated in his sitting room. Morning was breaking outside and sunlight started to stream though the windows. She was exhausted. It had been over thirty hours since she last slept. Xavier looked like his old self again. She had permitted him to feed upon her.
This was the first time that he had consciously taken her blood without Khryssa causing harm to herself. Since it was the only way he could have returned to his former self so quickly, she obliged.
His hands ached to stroke her body. She had not, and would not, allow him that luxury. The household was starting to move about. The servants were human and of her own choosing. The zombies had been destroyed by Xavier before he had left. Breakfast was being fixed by the family chef. The scent of coffee permeated the air. Jocelyn walked into the sitting room searching for her employer.
“Yes Jocelyn?” Khryssa noted that her voice sounded tired even to her own ears.
“May I bring you anything Ma’am?”
Khryssa nodded gently. “Coffee would be lovely, thank you.”
“Yes Ma’am.” When Jocelyn turned to leave she noticed movement from the other chair. The leather wingback had hidden Xavier from view. “Oh! I am sorry! I did not know you had company.”
“Jocelyn, allow me to introduce my husband Mr. Xavier Harcard to you. “ The woman’s eyes widened. She had heard stories of him. During her employment she had never met the man.
“Mr. Harcard Sir! I am so very sorry. I did not see you there. I did not know you had returned. Please Sir, accept my apologies.”
“It is fine. Jocelyn is it?” The woman standing near Xavier nodded. “It was an unexpected trip home.”
“May I get you anything Sir?”
“No, I am quite alright.”
“Thank you Sir, Ma’am.” Jocelyn left the room in a hurry. She sent another of the household staff in to bring in Khryssa’s coffee.
“I need to wake Andon.” Khryssa spoke quietly.
“May I go with you?”
“No. I do not wish to frighten him.”
Khryssa left the room. Xavier was still sitting there, alone with his thoughts. Perhaps this was not the best of ideas he mused. He stared at the fire. He wanted to be here though. He needed to be near his wife and son once again. Five years had passed. Five very long years for him and there was not a moment that went by that he did not think of his family. Leaning forward, his elbows rested upon his knees. He cradled his face between his hands. There was no place like home, he hoped.
Khryssa was in her son’s room. Bending over the bed, she softly sang to him. “Get up get up get up sleepy head! Morning has come and it is time to raise your little head.”
Andon stretched sleepily and looked up at his mother. He smiled and reached out for her. Khryssa picked him up and held him in her arms. Stroking her fingers through the soft blond curls, she spoke with a warm softness in her voice.
“I have a surprise for you Andon.”
“You father is here.” Her heart felt heavy with those words.
“Dad is here!” The child squealed with happiness. Struggling to get down, Andon squirmed in his mother’s arms.
She chuckled lightly. “Yes my son, your father is home.” She set him down on the floor. He took off running through the corridor.
“Where is he Momma? Where is my Dad?”
“Come on sweetheart, we will go see him.” Holding her son’s hand, they walked through the vast home. The little boy was giddy with joy. Dad was here and he was in a part of the their home that Andon rarely allowed to go. Khryssa pushed the heavy door to the sitting room opened. Andon went running in without her.
“DAD!” He ran over to Xavier. He knew who his father was immediately.
“My boy!” Xavier was beyond happy to see his son. Elated did not even begin to describe how he felt. Picking up his child and swinging him around, Andon held on tight to his father, hugging him with everything he had. Tears prickled in Xavier’s eyes. Pulling the boy into sight, he noticed how much his son looked like him. Xavier couldn't help but to smile.
Khryssa stood back watching them. She had never spoke ill of her husband to anyone. Even after everything that had happened, she spoke of Xavier with the highest regard. This including telling Andon the tales of his father. She always told Andon how much his father loved him and how happy Xavier had been when Andon was born. A sad and wistful smile tugged at the corners of her lips as she watched the most important men in her life.
When Andon was pulled back, he looked at his father and then leaned in to whisper. “You were at the airport weren’t you Dad?” Xavier nodded at his son. “I know, I could feel you there.” There was a mild look of surprise on Xavier’s face and Andon placed a warm loud kiss on his father’s cheek.
Andon’s nanny, Emma, stepped into the room. “Dr. Harcard? Breakfast is ready.”
Khryssa nodded. “Thank you Emma.” She paused. “Emma, you remember my husband Xavier? He has returned home from his business trip.”
Emma smiled warmly to her employer’s husband. “A pleasure to see you again Mr. Harcard, would you like me to take Andon to the dining room?”
Xavier put his son down, and crouched next to him to whisper. “Mom and I will be in there in a moment. Go ahead and save some breakfast for us okay?”
Andon nodded to his father and took off like a bundle of energy to head out with Emma.
“He is a beautiful child Khryssa.”
“He looks like you Xavier.”
“That was not what I meant.”
“I know, but he does look like his father.”
Stepping over to his wife, he wrapped his arm around her shoulders. Xavier felt her stiffen, briefly, and then relax. Kissing her cheek, he whispered against her skin.
“Everything is going to be fine from now on Khryssa.”
“We shall see Xavier. Do not make promises that you cannot keep.”
They walked out of the room, together, and went to the family dining room to be with their son.
Andon had a birthday party to attend that afternoon. It was Saturday and Khryssa was too tired to go. Xavier volunteered to take him, but Khryssa would not allow it. Emma took the boy instead. Attending to some chores that had to be done, Khryssa was showing Xavier the vision she had started for Harcard Industries. It was running like a well-oiled machine and bringing in a record profit. He was impressed.
“I need to sleep Xavier. You can finish up looking over the profit margins and whatnot if you so wish. I have already put in a call to the lawyers so that the company can be turned back over to you first thing Monday morning.”
She raised tired eyes and looked at him intently. “No what? No I cannot sleep. No you do not wish to keep looking over things?”
“The lawyers will draw it up a different way. We will be partners Khryssa.”
“I don’t want it Xavier. I am not a business woman. I have had enough of running your business.”
“Have you always been this damned stubborn?” Xavier quirked a small smile.
“Yes. It was one of the things that you found so charming about me.”
“I still do.”
She nodded. There wasn’t much of an answer to that. “Enjoy your day Xavier.” The words sounded so very formal.
“Where are you going?”
He let her go. With the sound of her voice, it was an easy assumption to make that he was not invited. Stubborn woman! It would be so much easier if I could just charm her. But where would be the fun in that, he thought. Xavier had, from the moment he met Khryssa, always enjoyed the battle of the wits with her.
Khryssa had been asleep for several hours. He crept into her bedroom. It was the same bedroom that had once been theirs. She was sleeping in one of his old button down shirts. Some things never change he thought, and smiled.
Climbing into the bed with her, Xavier watched her sleep. She looked so innocent. His long strong fingers brushed through her hair. She had cut it shorter. It was no longer to the middle of her back. Now it reached just a few inches past her shoulders. It looked lovely none the less. She whimpered in her sleep. Xavier knew she could feel him. Khryssa rolled over, and nestled her cheek against his chest. An arm extended only to curl around him. He swallowed past the lump that caught in his throat.
“Oh my beautiful girl, I am so sorry I harmed you. If I could take all of this back I would. I was wrong. I was so very wrong to abandon you, our son, us - all three of us.” The words he spoke were barely audible.
“I should have stayed by your side at all costs. I was afraid of you. I was terrified you would look at me with hatred for what happened. It is how I looked at myself. That night I knew I was truly the monster you tried to make me believe I wasn't. I knew if I stayed Henriko would come for you and Andon too. I could not let that happen. I could not let him hurt you. He would have killed you or worse.” Xavier continued to stroke his fingers lightly through his wife’s hair as he spoke. “I hope that someday you will forgive me for leaving you. I hope someday that you will realize I never once stopped loving you.”
He started to rise from the bed, and then Khryssa spoke. “I love you Xavier. I forgave you a long time ago.”
It was not easy to startle a vampire, somehow she always managed. Under normal circumstances he could feel her awaken. Xavier had taken her blood just several hours before. Yet the close connection had been mostly severed due to the lengthy separation. He looked down at her. Finally Khryssa opened her eyes and looked into his beautiful blue gaze. Propping herself up on an elbow, she remained watching him.
“How long have you been awake?”
“Since you entered the room.”
“I don’t know if I want to kiss you or spank you.”
“I am too old to spank, so I would suggest a kiss.” She responded rather dryly.
He returned to her side and kissed her gently. Khryssa opened herself to the man she loved so dearly. His hands caressed her, he was remembering every inch of her body and how wonderful it felt. A soft moan of pleasure was muffled beneath their kiss. He pulled her tighter to him. She could feel his need against her abdomen. The door was suddenly opened and an exuberant five year old bounced up onto the bed. They looked at each other and started to laugh, both remembering a time before when children had come rushing into the room. It was the last time they fought and made up. She had agreed to be his wife that day.
Andon climbed over his parents to sit between them. He began chattering about the birthday party. He told his parents about how the party was so much fun. He kept going on what he wanted for his birthday. It made Xavier and Khryssa laugh with delight.
They listened to him for a while. Khryssa left Xavier and Andon to continue the talk while she made dinner. She threw together a casserole in no time at all. It was simple fare, but it was Andon’s favorite. She walked in to her son’s room to find Xavier and Andon playing a game of Candy Land on the floor. Xavier looked up and smiled.
“He has beaten me three times already!”
Khryssa laughed. “Xavier, Andon is doing college work with his tutors already.”
“Is that why he can speak so eloquently?”
She smiled and nodded. “Yes, although I did have to ask my parents if this is what I was like. They laughed and said yes. I believe the comment ‘just you wait’ was added in as well.”
“Is dinner ready?”
“Yep.” Khryssa smiled. Xavier picked Andon up with promises to finish the game after dinner. For the first time ever, the entire family sat down for a meal.
The evening passed quickly. Xavier spent a lot of time playing with his son and getting to know the little boy. His heart swelled with such love. It surprised Xavier, he never felt like that before. His love for Khryssa was similar but completely different at the same time. He had been given sons when he was a mortal. Times were so different then, he never got to enjoy or know his progeny before. Soon it was bedtime for Andon and both parents tucked him in.
“Yes my son?”
“I am glad you are home. I love you.”
Xavier was moved. Could anything be as wonderful as this? He hugged his son. “I love you too Andon, sweet dreams.”
Khryssa hugged her son good night. She kissed the top of his curly head. “Nite nite baby. I will see you in the morning. I love you.”
“I love you too Mom.”
Turning on the small night light, Khryssa and Xavier left the room. He wrapped his arm around her and pulled her close. A gentle kiss, soft and sweet, brushed Khryssa's lips. She smiled in return. He did not press the issue. He knew that things were not completely resolved. That would take time.
“Shall we go to the sitting room?”
She nodded. Although she rarely used the room herself, it was one of her favorite places to be with Xavier. He picked her up and carried her to the great room. They settled down on the rug before the fireplace. Xavier laid on his side upon the floor. He pulled Khryssa down with him, holding her in his arms.
“For what Xavier?”
“Where do I begin? For everything. You never forgot about me. You never forgot about us. Yes, I know you were angry. I know you are angry, understandably so. I would have been in the same situation. You have every right to hate me. For if it was I, I would have been in a murderous rage. You did everything in your power to keep our family together. You publically lied about my whereabouts. Thank you my love.”
“You should thank Gavril as well Xavier.”
He tilted her head upwards so he could see her better. “Why would I need to thank Vlaicu?”
“When you disappeared-“ She closed her eyes when the memory sprang back into the front of her mind. “When you disappeared, that night I had a talk with Gavril. He told me to never forget the love that we share. Gavril said to me that he had known you for centuries and that you never had loved like this before nor ever will again.” She smiled softly. “His final parting words were that you loved me more than you loved yourself Xavier.”
Xavier pulled his wife upwards. He met her with a kiss. His arms encircled her waist and captured her in a possessive embrace. Her slight weight against his chest brought on an even more passionate kiss. When they drew apart to catch a breath, he looked into her eyes and stated quite plainly.
“Vlaicu was and is correct. You are my everything Khryssa Harcard. You and the son that you have given me are the only things that are truly important to me. I love you.”
“I love you too Xavier. You make the night sing for me. You make the day appear that much brighter. Without your touch, there is only darkness. I love you and only you.”
They kissed again. Holding each other in front of the fire, they talked of the last five years of their lives. His was not much to talk about. The conversation turned back to the night that he raped her. They discussed what had happened in detail. He could not remember much of that night. Falling silent for a bit, Khryssa remembered something.
“Gavril said something else to me Xavier.”
“What was that my love?”
“He told me to allow you to feed from me as often as I could. It would be healthier for you in the long term. Is this true?”
He thought about it for a moment. “I have no idea. I have never had anyone I fed from in the long term. We will have to ask Vlaicu. I will contact him shortly. Khryssa?”
“Do you find it odd that I refer to him as Vlaicu and you call him by his first name?”
She started to laugh. “No, I am a physician. I would call any doctor that I had not mentored under by their first name. Where do you come up with these things?”
“I have no idea.” He laughed along with her.
Xavier rose shortly after the question and went to find Vlaicu. The vampire doctor was surprised to hear from Dracula and had not known of his return. Dr. Vlaicu made an immediate house call. For the first time, he brought someone with him.
The crackle in the air announced the arrival of the good doctor. Khryssa rose from her place on the floor. She wasn’t expecting the vampire doctor to arrive tonight. Smoothing down the old button down white shirt of Xavier’s that topped the jeans she was wearing, Khryssa tried to set herself in order.
“Gavril!” She smiled.
“You look magnificent my dear Khryssa.” He embraced her warmly.
Khryssa was surprised to see another woman there in the room. “Khryssa, allow me to introduce my darling Clara.”
The women shook hands. “It is a pleasure to meet you Clara.”
“The pleasure is all mine Doctor.”
“Please call me Khryssa. Doctor is too formal for my tastes, outside of the office.”
Clara laughed gently. It was a musical sound. Out of the blue, Xavier appeared behind Khryssa. She didn’t even jump. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close.
“Possessive aren’t we?” She said, smiling at her husband.
“Of course.” He returned the grin.
“Pardon my manners. Gavril, Clara please have a seat. May I get you anything?”
“If Xavier has any of his prized sherry still lurking around that would be wonderful.”
“The same please” replied Clara.
Turning to Xavier, she lifted a brow, asking silently if he wanted one as well. Xavier nodded. Khryssa went off to get a bottle of the sherry and some glasses. Xavier thought, when he saw his wife leave, there needs to be zombies around here again.
The three of them sat down and started to talk. Inundated by questions from Vlaicu Xavier answered those first. Khryssa returned with the sherry, setting everything on the table. Xavier poured the drinks for all of them.
“Vlaicu you told my wife it would be better for me to feed from her, rather than others. Is this correct?”
Vlaicu nodded. “Yes Dracula. Your constant need to act as human is harmful to your health. You cannot eat like a human, drink like a human, and get so little sleep in the daylight hours.”
Xavier looked miffed and waved his hand. “Yes yes yes I have heard all of this before. What does that have to do with Khryssa?”
“Khryssa has a unique blood type and her blood has very unusual properties. Her blood is to you what those damnable high caloric energy meal replacements are to humans. You only need a very small amount of her blood to survive.”
Khryssa looked surprised at this statement. Vlaicu smiled at her and continued. “By feeding off of her you will heal faster, become healthier, and not need to be a glutton.”
Xavier glared at the vampire doctor with the word glutton. Khryssa and Clara both tried to hide the escaping laughter. “Also Dracula, since you know where Khryssa has been.” It was Khryssa’s turn to glare at Vlaicu. “Since you know where she has been, you also have very little chance of being poisoned or drinking contaminated blood.”
Khryssa tapped her nails against the arm of the chair, considering this statement. “So basically it is similar to a human blood transfusion. I have a compatible blood type to Xavier’s, tastes. I also know that my blood is free of contaminates.”
Vlaicu nodded. They went on to discuss other properties and chemical compositions. Khryssa listened intently. She commented and asked many questions as well. This was her field of practice. Xavier listened, but did not respond until something disturbed him.
“Vlaicu, is Khryssa’s blood like this for any one of our kind?”
Dr. Gavril Vlaicu sat and considered this question. “Will it have the same effect that it does on you Dracula? No. There are a few properties with her blood that are unique to your own system. I have a number of theories on why, but I do not know for certain. It may work the same way on any of your progeny, if you have any. None the less, she would be considered exceptional to any vampire though.”
“Gee, thanks Gavril. I think.” Khryssa shook her head. It was a strange feeling being talked about as food.
Vlaicu patted Khryssa on the hand. “Not to worry my dear, you are not my type.” Clara giggled at the statement her master made.
“Is there anything else you need to know Dracula?”
Xavier shook his head. “No. Thank you Vlaicu, I do appreciate the quick service this time. Clara it was a pleasure to see you again.” Xavier was dismissive now that he was given the information that he wanted.
“You will get my bill soon Dracula. It was good to see you again. There were many of us worried about you. Come Clara.”
Khryssa said her goodbyes to the vampire couple. Then they disappeared.
“What do you think Xavier?”
“I don’t know my love.”
“We should go on up to bed, it will be morning soon. And we are expected in the office tomorrow.”
“Yes Xavier it is we. I am not doing this any longer than I have to.” She smiled, kissing him.
He laughed, scooping his wife up in his arms and carrying her off to their bed.
The morning came far too early. With a rambunctious five year old to get ready, Khryssa rose before the sun came up. Getting Andon ready was something she truly enjoyed. She was running far later than normal. It was seven in the morning and under normal circumstances she would have been at the office two hours ago. Sitting at the breakfast table with her son was not something she was able to do most weekday mornings. She reveled in the feeling.
Sipping her coffee, Khryssa felt Xavier wake. It was still strange having him here again. It had only been a couple of days and she still felt slightly frazzled. Emma came in. She needed to bring Andon to his tutors and then over to the prestigious preschool that he attended in the afternoons for social interaction. Xavier was entering the kitchen right as Andon was getting ready to head into the other room.
“Dad!!” Andon rushed to his father.
“Oof! You almost knocked me over son.” Picking the boy up, he hugged him.
“Will you be here when I get home Dad?”
“I am not sure if I will be here when you get home Andon, but it won’t be long afterwards.” He stroked the boy’s blond curls. Marveling at how soft his silky hair felt, Xavier realized that was one of the few traits that his son got from his mother. Xavier kissed his precious son and sent him off to his professors. “Have a good day Andon. I will see you tonight.”
“’Kay Dad!” Andon took for the stairs with his nanny in tow.
Khryssa looked up at her husband with a smile. “He adores you already Xavier.”
“I have never felt anything like what I feel for him. It is a strange feeling, but a phenomenal one.” He leaned down and kissed Khryssa. “It is similar to how I feel for you my beloved. It's also completely different at the same time.”
Khryssa blushed softly. It caused Xavier to smile once more. He was still able to make his beautiful wife blush. Wondrous.
“Would you like some breakfast Xavier?”
“No thank you. I think I am going to be taking Vlaicu’s words to heart.”
Sliding out of the chair, Khryssa stood next to him. He noticed the form fit of her black suit. The way the blouse and the jacket fitted over the swell of her breasts and how it showed the curve of her waist to perfection, he felt a stirring deep within.
“What are you thinking?”
“How gorgeous you are. It has been decade that we have been together my love and your beauty has never waned. Instead you grow more beautiful by the day.” He did not mention the five years he was gone.
“Flattery will get you everywhere Xavier.”
“I don’t want to go anywhere, unless you are there by my side.”
She kissed him. It was a long and tender kiss. He started to push her back against the table, his hands moving to unbutton the suit jacket. She broke the kiss.
“Enough, I am going to have everyone wondering where I am. I have usually been in the office a couple of hours by now.”
“You work too much Khryssa.”
“Everyone keeps telling me that.”
She turned and started walking away. He caught a glimpse of the red soles of her high heels Xavier mused over the thought of having been gone far too long. He caught up with her instantly. Taking her hand with his, they left for the office together.