Xavier and Khryssa were heading back to Harcard Industries, still basking in the afterglow of the night before. Curled beneath his arm, Khryssa turned the conversation to work.
“We have a four o’clock with Gabriel Gustavo Sweetheart. Do you have any idea how you wish to handle this?”
Xavier ran his fingers through her hair. He was silent for a bit, considering the options. “You do know that he is a vampire do you not?”
There was a look of surprise writ on her face. “No, I did not. I have yet to meet the man.” More than likely Khryssa would have been able to feel that he was a vampire upon meeting him.
“Yes, he is older than I am as a matter of fact.”
“Would you like to take the meeting alone then?” Khryssa knew that Xavier did not like her to be around any vampire, save for him and Gavril Vlaciu.
Shaking his head, Xavier replied. “No. He is expecting you. We shall give him that expectation. I will be nearby and I believe I shall surprise him. I do not believe he knows of my return. I assume this will be an offer of a merger or to try and lure you to him.” He said thoughtfully. “It is known that you are not a vampire. You appear in print and in live press conferences too often for you to be one of us. His expectations will be to charm you I believe.”
“It will be a non-issue my love. Do not worry.”
The Maybach pulled into the front drive of Harcard Industries. Xavier stepped out and offered his beloved a hand. Sliding out of the car, Xavier pulled Khryssa to him. Enveloping her in his arms, he kissed her tenderly. His voice was barely a whisper.
“I will let no harm come to you Khryssa. Trust me.”
“I do trust you.” Her reply was equally as soft.
Xavier kissed her one more time before ushering them both inside the building. They stepped through the security checkpoint without a problem. In the elevator, he eyed Khryssa’s wardrobe choice. She had packed clothing to include business wear for the both of them. The short skirt rode up her thighs while the blouse and jacket showed every curve to perfection. He knew what lay beneath the clothing. He thought briefly about kissing the bare part of her thigh where silk stockings met with the garter belt.
“I really believe that you need to wear scrubs again my darling.”
Khryssa made an exasperated sound. “Then I need to be back in my own department.”
“I am not sure I am willing to let you leave my side yet.”
She laughed softly. “I would only be a few floors below you Xavier.”
“I rather like you below me.” He smiled at her lasciviously.
Shaking her head, Khryssa smiled up at him. “You are insatiable.”
“When it comes to you my Khryssa, yes I am.”
The elevator dinged their arrival to the private office. Pausing to speak with Greta for today’s update, Khryssa looked to Xavier. “Where will you be hiding?”
“The lounge, I am going to try and figure out this coffee fascination that you have.”
With a shake of her head Khryssa kissed him. “I shall see you soon then.”
As Xavier walked away, she watched him with a look of adoration. Turning back to Greta, she spoke once more. “Greta, I am expecting Mr. Gabriel Gustavo in just a little while. Please do not let him know of Xavier’s return. We would like that to be a surprise.”
“Yes Ma’am. I will keep the floor clear of anyone that might say something as well.”
“Thank you Greta.”
“Dr. Harcard? If I may say something, you look the happiest I have seen you in a very long time.”
Khryssa blushed. She could feel the heat rising in her cheeks. “Thank you. I am happy. He is a good man. I know Xavier is temperamental around here. You and the others do not see the loving husband and father that I do.” She smiled gently. “I have heard the voices of pity for me having to deal with him at home. It is quite comical at times because you all do not see him the way I do Greta.”
“When he is with you Ma’am we see it. It is very obvious how he feels about you.”
“Do you have anything else for me?”
“Just this Dr. Harcard.” Greta handed her employer a thick packet of papers.
Greta smiled at her boss as Khryssa walked into the office.
Tossing the paperwork on her desk, Khryssa removed the jacket and sat down. Going through the facts and figures of a report, she noticed that something was off. Making a quick call down to the lab she questioned the missing hydrogen on a carbon string. It was a clerical error. Breathing a sigh of relief it wasn’t anything more important, she went back to work. The intercom dinged a little while later.
“Dr. Harcard? Mr. Gabriel Gustavo is here to see you.”
“Thank you Greta, please send him in.”
Gabriel Gustavo walked into the spacious office that Khryssa occupied alone at the moment.
Standing when he entered, Khryssa offered a hand. “Good afternoon Mr. Gustavo. Allow me to welcome you to Harcard Industries. I am Khryssa Harcard.”
“It is a pleasure to meet you Mrs. Harcard.” He took her hand and brought it to his lips. Kissing her hand with gentle warmth, he smiled at the woman before him. “I was not expecting such a beautiful woman to run such a versatile corporation as this.”
“You flatter me Mr. Gustavo.”
“Gabriel, by all means call me Khryssa. Won’t you have a seat?”
He sat down in the chair directly across from her desk. Khryssa took her seat as well. Glancing to the man, she was surprised he did not give off the vampire vibe. She knew there was something different about him, but that was all. Inspecting him, she noted that he was only about her height, which for a man would be considered average. He was rather handsome. Dark and swarthy with intense eyes and a broad smile, she could appreciate that in a man. He was not anywhere in Xavier’s league, she thought.
They started a lengthy discourse on some of Harcard Industries holdings in South America, specifically in the department of iron ore. Khryssa listened intently. Nodding when appropriate, she was waiting for the shoe to drop. It soon happened.
“I wish to offer a merger with Harcard Industries iron ore holdings Khryssa.”
“I am sorry Gabriel that was my husband’s pet project. I could not agree to a merger or even a sell out without his knowledge.”
“With Xavier Harcard missing, I would think that the offer would become more palatable.”
“What gives you the idea he is missing Gabriel?”
“It is well known that Harcard has not been seen in over five years my dear Khryssa. He left you alone to run the company. You had sold your own company to him in order to stay out of the business world.”
Gustavo rose from his seat and moved with vampire swiftness over to the side of the desk that Khryssa was seated at. His powers were diminished during the day, but that certain power stayed intact. Running his fingertip along Khryssa’s throat he smiled.
“You would do well under my care my dear. After all, I am not any different than your absent husband” The smile was wolfish.
She did not flinch. While the words were spoken with a mild tone, the hint of anger beneath was evident. “I am not your anything Mr. Gustavo.”
Xavier took that as an opportunity to stroll into the office. “Khryssa is correct Gabriel; she is, after all, mine.” His eyes burned with a dangerous light. “Do you not remember your priestly commandments? Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.”
Gustavo stepped away from Khryssa and turned to the voice. “Well Dracula apparently you are not missing after all. As you well know, it has been many centuries since I was a priest.”
“Apparently the learning did not stay with you.” Xavier replied dryly.
He moved swiftly and grabbed the other man by the collar of his suit, lifting the vampire from the floor. “Tell me why I should not kill you now.”
Gustavo smiled at Xavier. “I would advise you to unhand me Dracula. You would not wish for anything to happen to your pretty little wife now would you?”
“When you are reduced to a pile of ashes, it would be rather difficult for you to do anything.”
“You do not think that my children would not avenge my death?”
“They could try.” Xavier’s voice burned with anger. Even Khryssa flinched at the sound of it. Slowly he lowered the other vampire back to the ground.
“I was afraid that this would be the case Dracula. I had a feeling that you would not leave the beautiful Mrs. Dracula alone with me. So I took a few precautions. Right now your company in Brazil is being threatened with nationalization. I will call off the dogs if you permit your wife to go with me.”
Xavier laughed. It was not a pleasant sound. “You think I would let something as insignificant as that pocket change of a company be party into turning my Khryssa over to you? You must be joking.”
“Oh I have taken other precautions as well. You see Dracula, not only am I threatening your company, right now four of my children are sitting with your child right now. I believe the boy appears to be human. It would take nothing at all to snap his neck.”
Khryssa leaped up and drove her fist into the vampire’s nose. The sound of crunching bone nearly echoed in the office at the force. “Do not threaten my son!”
“Then you must come with me. When you are safely in my grasp, your child will be left exactly as he was.” Gustavo smiled through the dripping blood from his nose. Raising his hands, he pushed it back into place. It had already started to heal.
“Why are you doing this? What is it that you want?” Xavier snarled.
“Why? Because I can do this Dracula. I have heard the stories of your wife. How sweet her blood is. How it is nothing like anyone has ever tasted. Her brilliance is legendary. Besides, Khryssa’s beauty is evident to why any man, human or vampire, would want her.”
“I will go with you.” Khryssa stated abruptly.
“No you will not Khryssa.”
“Our son Xavier, please.”
“He will kill him anyway Khryssa.”
“Oh I may not remember all of my commandments Dracula, but I am a man of my word.”
“I will not leave until Xavier is with my son and they are both safe.”
Gustavo considered this option and nodded. “Go to your son Dracula. When I have word from my children, I shall leave with your wife on my arm.”
“Khryssa.” There was a silent plea in the single word. He could not lose her. He had just gotten her back.
“Go Xavier. Protect him. I will be fine.” There was determination in her voice. It was much more than she actually felt.
He choked out the words. “I love you Khryssa Harcard.”
“I love you too Xavier.” With all of my heart she added silently.
“Enough of this, if you are going to go, then leave now Dracula.” Gustavo then spat out the words with extreme irritation.
In the blink of an eye, Xavier was gone out the door. Gabriel Gustavo stroked Khryssa’s neck smiling at her. “We shall dine together tonight. Dinner will be on you Khryssa.”
Not saying a word, a shiver race up and down her spine. Feeling like she needed to vomit, Khryssa sat down. It took perhaps fifteen minutes, and Xavier called. The very same moment Gustavo’s phone rang with word from one of his children. She could hear the conversation and chose to ignore it as best she could.
“I have Andon. We are at our home. They cannot get to him here.”
Khryssa felt the tears hit her cheeks. Like raindrops in winter, the tears left her cold. “I love you Xavier. Please take care of our son.”
“Do not worry my darling. I will be coming for you immediately.”
Khryssa tapped the disconnect button on the cell phone.
“Shall we my beauty?”
“I am not your anything.”
“You will be soon.”
Gustavo slid his arm through Khryssa’s and escorted her out of the building. His smile was smug. He had left with the prize that he came for.