Darkness Finds the Heart

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Chapter 26

Xavier and Khryssa strolled into the large building that was the home of Harcard Industries. Employees and guests alike stopped to stare at the couple as they walked in. No one had seen Xavier for five years. Now, here he was, acting as if he had never left. The couple neither greeted anyone nor returned the stares. Getting into the elevator Khryssa swiped her card that would take them to the top floor.

“Funny, you haven’t been here for five years. No one says boo. I go on maternity leave and I get asked for my identification.” She shook her head at the absurdity of it.

“I may be a touch more frightening than you are Khryssa. Or it could be that I did enter in with you.”

“You make a good point.” She took a deep breath. “This is going to be interesting. Are you ready?” The elevator dinged announcing their arrival.


Khryssa stepped out first and walked into the lobby. Upon seeing her employer, Greta turned to greet her. It was just a breath later that she saw Xavier. Greta dropped her coffee in complete surprise.

“Are you okay Greta? Did you burn yourself?” Khryssa’s brow creased with concern.

“No Ma’am.”

Xavier smiled his most charming smile. “Well it is a great and glorious day is it not Greta?” He emphasized the r’s.

Khryssa looked at Xavier. It was very hard for her not to laugh at his antics.

“It is good to see you again Sir. Welcome back.” Greta looked a bit fearful. Dr. Harcard was fairly easy to work for. She was demanding yes, but she was kind and very good to her employees. Mr. Harcard, on the other hand, could be a terror to work for. Greta was able to survive his wrath. She had seen other employees come and go quickly because of his being so difficult to work for.

“Relax Greta; treat this like any other day. Xavier is not back in full force yet. You don’t have to worry about him throwing things for at least another week.” Khryssa knew her husband’s temper all too well when it came to the workplace. There had been several times before Xavier and Khryssa were even married that Great had asked Khryssa if she would please come upstairs and try to calm Mr. Harcard down. It usually worked.

Gazing at his wife with a look of mock anger, Xavier started to laugh. It was a genuinely affectionate laugh at his wife’s teasing. Greta thought this was the first time she had ever heard Xavier laugh like that that before. Apparently his latest business acquisition went very well.

“Yes Ma’am. Do either of you need anything else?”

“I don’t Greta, but thank you.” Xavier replied.

Khryssa looked thoughtful for a moment and then nodded. “Yes, assemble the directors for a noon meeting if you could. If any of them cannot show, I need to know why.”

“Yes Ma’am, right away.”

Grabbing a cup of coffee first and then continuing on into the private office, Khryssa felt herself relax for the first time in a very long time in this room. She took the place behind the desk. It felt rather awkward with Xavier taking a chair on the opposite side. Removing the spare laptop from one of the desk drawers, Khryssa logged into it. She then handed it to her husband.

“What is this for?”

“The menial tasks and general information have all been automated. It is easier that way. The proprietary information hasn’t been. I know how you feel about technology and your intense distrust of it. This way we can work together and you can see what I have done.”

His brow rose upwards. “You have made some significant changes since I have been away.”

“You are correct. Most everyone uses a tablet now instead of handwriting details. There are no more pagers; I replaced them with smart phones. Harcard Industries has become an automated workspace. For the record, those are just a few small things I have done.”

Xavier rolled his eyes at her. He wasn’t sure if he was going to like this new era of technology. Yes, he was fine with it for manufacturing purposes. In fact, he thought it was for the better. In the personal realm, it seemed excessive. With him being someone that thoroughly enjoyed the excesses that life had to offer, it was strange that he felt that way.

Khryssa reached for a small black box that was positioned by her own laptop and clicked a button on it. Faint music was heard throughout the office immediately. Pavarotti was singing Forever.

“Creature comforts my love?”

“Yes. I am so used to working with music playing in the lab, this helps me concentrate.”

For a few hours they discussed what had changed and what had stayed the same. Xavier understood Khryssa's line of thinking and why the changes were made. He commented often and questioned many of the procedures that had changed.

Xavier took a multitude of notes, the old fashioned way. He still preferred to use pen and paper. She tucked back an errant curl, exposing the pale porcelain line of her throat. He felt his hunger stirring and pushed it down, now was not the time.

“Oh. I forgot one thing. Do you remember the dealings you had with the Tokyo branch years ago?”

“Of course, I could not forget that incident.”

“I went there about six months ago. I let them pick out the interpreter as you did. We sat down and discussed many things on the agenda. It was quite an interesting trip.”

“How so?”

“Well, we were correct in surmising that the interpreter was either not taking the nuances correctly or he was lying. Alas, it was not just the interpreter that was lying. The CFO and CEO of that branch were telling the interpreter to lie. They were trying to skim off the top. I have to admit, it was pretty impressive what they were doing. They would have gotten away with it to if-“

Xavier felt his anger flare. There was a perceptible shift in his appearance. Khryssa noticed right away that his eyes were no longer blue.

“Xavier, please calm down. I have handled it. The money was returned and the men were arrested for fraud. It is over and done with.”

“What did you do?”

“They didn’t know that I am fluent in Japanese.”

He smiled coldly. He was not sure how many languages Khryssa knew fluently. Xavier knew that it was more than he did. Nodding his head, his eyes bled back to their normal color. “Good. I am proud of you.”

Canting her head to the side, she was concerned. “What is wrong Xavier? You do not have many powers during the day. Why did your eyes change color?”

He had not even realized that they did. “I didn’t know.” He thought about it for a moment. “I am hungry.”

“Do you need to feed?”

“I am not sure that I can. It is not normal for a vampire to feed during the day.”

She nodded thoughtfully. “Do you wish to try?”


Khryssa came around to the other side of the desk. Removing her suit jacket and hanging it up, the white blouse that she wore clung to her breasts. Xavier pulled her onto his lap. His hands caressed the soft mounds and he started to unbutton her top.

“Xavier, are you amiss in anatomy? My jugular is several inches higher than that.”

“I do not wish to spill anything on your clothing my dear.”

“Ever thoughtful aren’t you?”

“But of course.”

Xavier started to kiss and caress her breasts. Working his way upward to her throat, he could feel his need for her growing and it was not merely the desire to feed. It had been five years since he had been with a woman. This woman was the most enticing her had ever known. Soft sounds of pleasure slipped past Khryssa's lips and his urge grew with each of them.

He could feel his fangs extend. It was a peculiar feeling to have in the daytime. Biting her throat, he drank deeply but briefly. The hunger was sated quickly. Licking the wound clean to catch every last droplet, he sat back in the chair.

“Thank you my darling wife. Perhaps I will not be so terrible to deal with the rest of the day. I am not sure what is going on. Under normal circumstances I cannot feed during the daylight hours.”

Khryssa felt a touch light headed but rose from his lap anyway. She fixed her clothing. Nodding at what he just told her, she figured a call to Gavril was in order. Bending at the waist to smooth her stockings Xavier caught a glimpse of the garter belt she wore.

“Do you always dress like this for the office? Or was this something special for me?”

“I usually dress like this for the office, unless I need to spend time in the lab.”

Shaking his head, she would be the ultimate distraction to any man. “I think I preferred it when you wore scrubs.” He did not like the thought of any other man being able to catch a glimpse such as this one.

“Hopefully that will be arranged quite soon.”

“Although around the our home....” He let the words trail off.

The intercom beeped and both of their attentions turned.

“Yes Greta?” The Harcards spoke in unison. They smiled at one another. Xavier could feel it; Khryssa had to try to be affectionate and caring. It just was not fully there.

“It is almost time for the meeting.”

“Thank you Greta, we will be in the boardroom right away.” Turning to her husband, she spoke. “Ready to rally the troops?”

“Of course my dear, I am always ready to shock and awe.”

He put his arm around her and they walked out of the office together.

Stepping into the boardroom first, all eyes turned to Khryssa immediately. The eight directors of the different departments within Harcard Industries were already seated. The entire group was male. They stood when Khryssa entered.

It wasn’t that Khryssa kept up that tradition of having a completely male staff on purpose, it just turned out that way. Four of the men had been hired since Xavier’s disappearance. A couple of the men eyed Khryssa appreciatively, while keeping it discreet at the same time. Xavier waited until the men sat down again before entering.

“Gentlemen, what a pleasure it is to see some of you again. To the newest members of the group, I bid you welcome.” Xavier smiled. The ones that had worked with Xavier previously got up to shake their employer’s hand. The others reluctantly rose to greet their returning employer.

“Good afternoon. How about we get started?” There was an undercurrent in the air that Khryssa did not like the feel of. Something was amiss. They got started. Xavier was updated upon what was going on with each department. When the meeting was almost over, she understood why she felt that something was wrong.

The team had divided neatly in half. Xavier had his supporters and so did she. Mentally rolling her eyes at this, it did not matter anyway she thought. Very soon Xavier would be back in charge, thank goodness. Once the meeting was over Khryssa spoke to Xavier quietly.

“I am going to go back to the office. You may wish to get acquainted with everyone.”

Xavier nodded. It was a splendid idea. Khryssa bid everyone a good day. She walked out of the room and down the corridor once more. Pausing at Greta’s desk to see if anything interesting had happened while she had been tied up, Khryssa asked if there were any messages.

“Yes Ma’am there is quite a few. It seems that with Mr. Harcard returning, the press has gotten the information. Harcard Industries has not made an official statement as of yet and everyone is waiting for you to decide what you wish to say.”

Khryssa nodded, it was to be expected. “Is there anything else Greta?”

“Mr. Helsing is waiting in your office Ma’am.”

That was to be expected as well. Papa Henrik more than likely knew that Xavier had returned before I did, she thought.

“Thank you Greta.” Khryssa walked into the office.

“Hello Papa.”

Henrik Helsing rose at the sight of his niece. Giving her a hug and looking intently at the younger woman, he then spoke. “Is it true Khrys?”

Taking a seat on the plush leather sofa beside her uncle, she nodded. “Yes Papa. Xavier has returned.”

“Are you okay?” He voiced a bit of his concern.

“I’m-“It was such a force of habit to say fine, she paused and thought for a moment. “I don’t know what I am actually. I am very happy he has returned. Andon is beside himself. It is just rather difficult with the vortex of emotions.”

Henrik patted her hand and gave Khryssa a gentle smile. “What else Khrys?”

Pinching the bridge of her nose, she started to speak once again. “I love him. There is not another man that could ever replace Xavier, but I feel empty It is not him, it is me. The strain of lying, running this company, and raising Andon alone I think got to me.” Sighing softly she continued. “I have my own fears about this happening again. I trusted Xavier and his words implicitly. I never thought he would have left, even after what happened.”

“What did happen between the two of you?” Henrik probed.

She hesitated. If she told her family what happened. Khryssa was not sure what would happen. Instead she told a half-truth on the matter. “He was poisoned. He didn’t know who he was.”

Henrik was shocked. There were very few ways to poison a vampire. Most of the poisons that were used, the ingredients were now extinct. “I see. Do you know by whom?”

Khryssa shook her head; there was no point in telling her great-grandfather about this Henriko person. Besides she wasn’t sure if Henrik would be angry or if he would applaud the deed. “Sorry, we do not know.” Was the lying ever going to stop popped into her mind.

Xavier walked into the office staring at a file in that instant. Looking up expecting to see his wife behind the desk, seeing Khryssa with Helsing instead did not sit well.

“Wellllll, if this is not a surprise for such a marvelous day Helsing!”

“I see you have returned Harcard.”

“What? No welcoming committee from you and the children, Helsing? I am disappointed.”

“Both of you stop it now!” Khryssa growled low at the two men. “I am tired of this. I am so bloody sick and tired at the two of you either being decent to one another and then ready to tear each other’s throat out a heartbeat later. I-“Stopping the train of thought, she closed her mouth. A quick shake of the head and she moved to get something.

“Oh never mind.” Grabbing her purse and keys, Khryssa turned and walked out of the office. She did not say anything to Greta, she simply left. Taking one of the Audis that were in the garage, for company use, she sped off into the afternoon sunlight.

“Let Xavier and Papa fight it out. I am done with this. I am finished. “She spoke out loud to herself. Hitting the accelerator hard, the car was going upwards of 195 km/h. Khryssa handled the speeding sports car well, she did not pay attention until she had arrived at the their home.

The household staff members were not used to anyone being home at this time during the week. Andon and his nanny Emma were at the day care center by now. Khryssa was always at the office. Having just arrived a few days ago, the master of the house was still a mystery to them. Khryssa stepped into the main hall of her home. Upon hearing the mistress of the house enter; some of the shocked staff went to see what was going on.

“Jocelyn, would you fetch me a cognac and bring it to the sitting room?”

“Of course Ma’am.”

“Thank you. Oh is there already a fire prepared in there?”

“Yes Ma’am the fire is tended to around the clock.”

“Thank you.” Nodding, Khryssa walked through the cavernous home with heels snapping across the floor. Removing the suit jacket that she wore, she tossed it onto a chair. Sitting down in front of the fire and closing her eyes, Khryssa could feel the pain behind her eyes. A headache was blooming fast.

The drink was brought out to her. Khryssa did not say a word, just taking it from Jocelyn. The serving girl knew well enough to leave Dr. Harcard alone. She had never seen her ever polite employer behave like this before. Khryssa inhaled the scent of the cognac. It was divine. Louis XIII Black Pearl was one of the most expensive and finest cognacs in the world. Taking a small sip, the beautiful blend of floral notes and a tantalizing array of spices were a delight. Khryssa had never been one to imbibe with alcohol. She savored each small sip, making the drink last. Picking up her cell phone and scrolling through the address book. Khryssa found what she wanted, Mosconi. A call was placed to the delightful Italian restaurant in Luxembourg City.

Hating to use her name to get anything, she did it anyway. The name Khryssa Harcard was recognizable across the continent. Here in Luxembourg, it meant even more. A late dinner was booked. It would be after Andon had already been put down for the night. Tossing the rest of the drink into the fire, she did not even turn when the crystal shattered. Making one more phone call, she spoke to her assistant.

“Greta I need you to do something for me. I need you to give a note to Xavier.”

“Yes Ma’am. What would you like me to tell him?”

“Tell him he needs to return home by six. Dinner will be prepared for Andon already. Andon needs to be in bed with a story at 7:30pm. The lights need to be out no later than 7:45. He should meet me at Mosconi in Luxembourg City at 9:30.”

“Is that everything Ma’am?”

“Yes, and thank you Greta.”

“Of course Dr. Harcard. I will give Mr. Harcard the message right away.”

“Enjoy the rest of your day Greta.”

“Yes Ma’am. Thank you.”

Greta went into the private office to deliver the note. “Mr. Harcard, Dr. Harcard just phoned and wanted you to have this message.”

“Why did you not patch the call through?”

“She just wished for the note to be brought to you Sir.”

Xavier nodded sharply. “Very well, thank you Greta.”

He read the note quickly and frowned. “What on earth is she doing now?” The words were spoken to himself, as Greta had already left. Crumbling the note up and tossing it in the nearest bin, Xavier tried calling his wife. There was no answer on her cell phone, so he tried the home line. He got one of the servants. Asking where his wife was, Xavier was given a bewildered reply.

“She left just a few minutes ago Sir. I am not sure where she was going.”

“Did the driver take her?”

“No Sir.”

A curt thank you ended the call. Xavier threw the phone across the office, ripping it out of the wall. He was not sure why he was so angry at his wife. He just had a feeling that this was the beginning of the end. Greta came running into the office after hearing the loud clatter.

“Mr. Harcard is something the matter?”

Xavier looked across the room to the shattered phone. “Everything is fine Greta. Have someone come up and replace the phone. I am leaving.”

“Yes Sir.” Glancing over to the mess that was created by Xavier, Greta thought Dr. Harcard was incorrect about nothing being thrown for at least a week.

Returning to the their home, Xavier calmed down some by spending time with his son. The evening passed quickly, thankfully. After putting Andon to bed, Xavier dressed for the night. He donned a summer weight tuxedo. Retrieving and putting on a pair of cufflinks that had been given to him by Khryssa. His fingers stroked over the platinum cufflinks. They bore the Harcard Industries crest along with the letters XKA on them, Xavier, Khryssa, and Andon.

The cufflinks had been given to him shortly before Khryssa had given birth to their son. Still fingering the cool platinum, he wondered what news she was going to give him. He assumed it was papers for their divorce. Xavier looked out of his dressing chambers window. Sadness pulled at his heart. He did not want to let her go.

He left the room and went to the waiting car outside. The trip would take approximately an hour. He paused in the great hallway that lead to the outside. Xavier considered traveling by his abilities. With a shake of the head he headed out to the car. The drive would give him a chance to think.

Khryssa stood in the Cristal Suite at Le Place De’Armes. It was a lovely hotel, one of the finest in Luxembourg City. That was not the reason she chose it, it was rather that the staff here were discreet.

Putting the finishing touches on her appearance and then taking the time to fasten on a pair of five carat diamond earrings. The solitaires that had been her last birthday gift before Xavier disappeared. She looked in the mirror. It was strange; she did not quite recognize herself.

Long curls had been straightened. Her hair appeared quite a bit longer without the ringlets. Khryssa's dark tresses flowed downwards like a ripple of silk. Make-up was expertly applied. Dark eyes were decorated lightly with pale shadows. There was not a hint of blush; the only color was the dark wine red of her lipstick. Khryssa had started to put on the pearls that Xavier had given her. The two red rubies that looked like a bite would have set off her skin perfectly. Deciding against it, she wanted her throat bare. The dress was black and cut to below the sternum in a long V. The soft silk cupped the round fullness of her breasts and exposed them just a hint too much. The back was bared nearly completely. Khryssa had started to put on a garter belt with silk stockings but decided against that as well. The bareness of her legs was apparent with the slits on either side of the dress drawing up to the thighs from the hemline that hit nearly to the floor. Slipping her feet into the black heels, the red soles flashed with every step. Picking up the small clutch she carried, the room was warm, ready and inviting. Nodding with approval she went to meet the waiting cab.

Xavier arrived at the restaurant at exactly 9:30. Going inside, he was informed that Dr. Harcard had not arrived yet. He felt his skin prickle. He hated it when people were late. Did she do this just to annoy him? Taken to a small room off to the side, he noticed that theirs was the only table in the room. What the hell was she up to? Taking a seat, and drumming his fingers on the table, he was agitated.

The door opened to the room just after Xavier had taken his seat. He stood out of reflex when Khryssa walked in. The dress left little to the imagination. Yet it appeared to have been made for her and her alone. Black against the pale porcelain of her skin made Xavier smile. Her hair was like silk, he had never seen her with it straightened before. He was reminded of the torch singers of the thirties and forties from the twentieth century.

“Hello Xavier.” She did not come any closer.

“Khryssa, you look magnificent.” He was breathing her scent in and tasting it upon his tongue. There was never anything that tasted like her. She was divine.

She smiled and tipped her head gently. “Thank you. You look delectable as always Xavier.” Khryssa strolled over to her husband. It was a slow snake-hipped walk. Long legs flashed from the slits in the dress drawing Xavier’s eyes to the beautiful creature before him.

“What is the meaning of all of this Khryssa?”

Pausing right before him, she smiled a sly smile. Leaning in, her red wine lips pressed to his, gently. “I am not allowed to take my husband out to dinner?”

“I-“Khryssa cut him off with a press of a perfectly manicured finger to his lips. Her eyes raised, dark and wide to meet his sky blue gaze. He could not resist. Xavier put his hands on her hips and drew her closer to him. He was not delicate about it either. The sweet soft cry of pure unadulterated pleasure swept past her lips. It was a sound he knew so well and had not heard in far too long.

Khryssa did not flinch nor stiffen in his grasp for the first time in what seemed to him to be an eternity. He groaned with need. He wanted nothing more to take her right then and now. Xavier wanted his wife to whisper his name and plead with him for more. Whisper his name she did. Soft lips traced around the shell of his ear with slow seduction.

“I belong to you Xavier. I am wholly and fully your wife. I will never belong to another man, ever. Never forget that and never think otherwise.”

“I thought you were going to ask for a divorce.” His voice betrayed the hurt that had lingered there all day.

“No my love, I love you and there is nothing that could ever change that.” Her hand reached upwards to caress his thick blond locks.

“Let’s go home Khryssa, I cannot take this.”

“Dinner is that difficult for you tonight?” She laughed softly in his ear. It was a rich seductive sound.

“Yes. I need you. I need you bared to me and in my arms.” Xavier shook slightly; the need for her was too great. His body ached for her touch.

“We do not need to go home tonight my wonderful husband.” She gave him a feline smile. “I have a hotel reserved for us.”

“How did you do all of this at the last minute?”

“Besides being married to the man I love, there are other high points of having the last name of Harcard.”

Xavier laughed softly. He was unable to restrain the smile. He had thought she wanted a divorce. He had thought she was leaving him forever. The fear that he had held all day turned into potent desire. Bending down and sweeping his arm beneath the backs of Khryssa’s thighs. Pausing only to drop ten thousand euros onto the table, he held her up in his arms and walked out to the car.

In the car, Xavier pulled Khryssa onto his lap. His blue eyes lit with passion. “Hear my soul speak:

The very instant that I saw you, did My heart fly to your service.”

“Shakespeare’s The Tempest, I am honored Xavier.”

“I would give my life for you Khryssa Harcard.”

She kissed him. Lips warm on his; biting down on the curve of his lower lip she teased the bite with the tip of her tongue. He drew the fabric of her dress apart at the channel between her breasts. His hands cupping the soft mounds of flesh and squeezing, Xavier wanted to take her right now in the back of the chauffeured car. When the car pulled to a stop, they were still lost in each other’s touch. It was not until the driver made a noise that they withdrew.

“Shall we go inside?” Xavier whispered against his wife’s throat.

“Please?” It was more of a whimper than anything else.

Righting the top of her dress, he allowed his fingers to linger there. They stepped out of the car and moved quickly into the hotel. It was opulent inside. The elevator seemed to take forever to come and even longer to take them up to their suite.

Xavier pushed Khryssa into the wall of the elevator. Allowing her bottom to rest against the rail, he moved between her knees. Wrapping her long bare legs around him, she only let go when the elevator dinged their arrival. He had to chuckle when she began to blush.

They took no time getting out of the elevator. The suite’s door was right there, unlocking the door, Khryssa pushed Xavier inside. He tore at the dress with his hands. The silk gave a satisfying ripping sound and fell to the floor. The strands of silk that made up her panties nearly disintegrated in his hands. Groaning low, he dipped his head. Tracing across her bare skin with his lips, he could not believe the way she made him feel.

Gasping for a breath while helping her with the removal of his clothing. “You have bewitched me woman.”

Her laugh was musical and light. He noticed she still had those shoes on. The red soles flashed when she walked to the bed. What was it about those damned shoes, he thought. Khryssa sank back on to the bed. Her hands extended, thighs parted and reached for him.

Xavier paused and removed the shoes off of her and kissing the sole of each foot. He worked his way up her body. No part of her was neglected. Her beautiful painted lips were left for last. Kissing his wife with a passion that he did not even know was possible, Xavier pressed her down into the sheets.

He withdrew from her embrace only to move lower onto the bed. Khryssa tried to pull him back up to no avail. Xavier’s lips brushed lightly over her sex. His tongue finding the wetness, only to part it and taste the richness of his beloved. He devoured her. Kissing and licking, only to back off when he knew her time was nearing. Khryssa reached for her husband. Fingers tangling into the thickness of his hair, her melodic voice singing his name to the heavens. Gliding back up his wife’s body, he looked into her eyes. Neither spoke, they did not have to.

Khryssa felt his hardness. Pushing slim hips upwards against him, she began to undulate and capture his body against her own. Driving down he felt her relax and then clench. The perfect response from her beautiful body, she moved with him. Velvety wetness held his shaft tight, squeezing even tighter in a perfect rhythm.

They touched and talked. They made exquisite love. He showed her with his body how much he loved her. She did the same to him. It went on through the night. Then as dawn was a few moments away from pushing past the horizon, he spoke gently to her.

“Allow me to drink of you my darling?”

“Yes Xavier. There is no need to ask. I am your’s. All of me is for you alone.”

Xavier let himself go in the moment. The crash of pleasure roared in his ears. It hit its crescendo when his fangs broke through her flesh and the sweet wine of her blood filled his senses. Khryssa moved beneath him falling into place with his body. She called out his name as dawn rushed over the horizon and he retreated from her throat. Looking into each other’s eyes, the both smiled a gentle smile of pleasure. He kissed her once again.

“You are the love of my eternity Khryssa Harcard.”

“You are my eternity Xavier. I love you.”

It was then and only then that they fell into the rhythm of sleep. Xavier woke hours later. It was still morning, but late morning. He looked around for Khryssa. Startled that she was not next to him, he got out of bed to look around. He found the door to the veranda open and sunlight streaming in. Grabbing a robe he went out to see.

Sipping a cup of coffee, dressed only in his shirt from last night, her long legs rested on the railing. Looking up, she beamed at her husband. “Good morning Sweetheart.”

Xavier leaned down, kissed the top of her head and gave the ponytail she wore a slight tug.

“I was worried when you weren’t still in bed next to me.”

She moved over on the large lounge and offered him a place next to her. “I am sorry. I didn’t mean to worry you. I just woke before you did and you looked so peaceful. I did not wish to wake you.”

“Is everything okay between us now Khryssa?” He was very serious.

She stroked his cheek; there was a light brush of blond stubble there. It always made her smile to feel it. It made him seem more human. “Yes Xavier. It is.” Setting the mug of coffee down, she reached for him. “I love you Xavier. I was hurt when you left. When you came back I wasn’t letting go of that hurt. I had to do something. Seducing you seemed like the right idea.”

“I never meant to hurt you. I only wanted to protect you. I thought that with my leaving you would be safe and I was wrong. You are my world. I would give up all of our riches. I would give up my immortal life. I would give up everything that I have ever had just to make you smile. I am so sorry my darling.” He meant every word of it.

“I know. I just needed to feel it again. When I got so angry with you and Papa in the office, well I knew we could not continue this way.”

“Where do we go from here?”

“Everywhere Xavier. Everywhere.” She kissed him again.

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