Darkness Finds the Heart

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Chapter 9

Khryssa and Xavier were seated within the Harcard Industries jet. The captain had just announced that they were free to move about the cabin. Khryssa, having had been up for over twenty-four hours, was napping in her seat next to Xavier.

“Victoria, please bring a blanket for Dr. Hart.”

“Yes Mr. Harcard.”

The flight attended returned with the blanket quickly. It was never good to make Mr. Harcard wait. She started to place it upon the sleeping woman when she was interrupted.

“I will do it Victoria, thank you.”

“Yes Sir. Is there anything else?”

Xavier glanced to his sleeping companion. “Make sure there is coffee ready for when Dr. Hart awakens. That will be all.” He dismissed the flight attendant without so much as a glance.

Victoria left quickly, but not before looking back at the sleeping Khryssa Hart with a wistful gaze. His attention never turned away as Xavier covered Khryssa up with a thick cashmere blanket.

The flight was not a long one, less than three hours. Khryssa had slept for about half of it. Stretching a bit, she opened her eyes. Xavier put down the file he was looking over and closed it, turning his attention to her.

“Good morning sleeping beauty.”

“Hi.” Khryssa smiled.

“You look so amazingly innocent when you sleep. After earlier this morning, I know better now.”

Blushing and chuckling, she smiled. “You are the one that corrupted me.”

“And I will continue to do so my dear.”

Victoria came over immediately with Khryssa’s coffee. She accepted it gratefully and took a sip. “Thank you very much. I am sorry; I did not get your name.”

“It is Victoria Ma’am.”

“Thank you very much Victoria. It is greatly appreciated.” Khryssa’s smile was warm.

“Yes Ma’am.” She left as quickly as she appeared.

“Still not going to tell me where we are going?”

“Persistent are you not?”

“It is a good quality to have when you deal with powerful billionaires or vampires or god forbid – both.”

Xavier laughed. “Touché.” Looking over at his traveling companion he touched her cheek with a gentleness that made her smile. “No. I am not going to tell you. You will find out when we arrive.”

Khryssa glanced at the table where Xavier had been working, there was a black iPod sitting there. Curiosity getting the better of her, she asked. “What were you listening to?”

“Bird York.”

It was her turn to laugh. “Am I rubbing off on you Mr. Harcard?”

“It was inevitable was it not?”

“I suppose, she is one of my favorite of the more modern type of genres.”

“Oh what is your favorite of the classics?”

“You would have to define classics Xavier. Are we discussing the true classics, such as those that would be considered from the Romantic period and what not? I would have to say Puccini or Dvorak. The modern classics would have to be some of Yo-Yo Ma's recordings.”

“You have delightfully eclectic tastes Khryssa.”

“What of you Xavier?”

He had to think for a moment. “I am rather fond of Mozart and Bach. Though there is something about The Beatles that I have always found interesting.”

“The Beatles?”

“You sound surprised.”

“Incredibly surprised would be more accurate.”

“I am a man of diverse tastes.” He protested playfully.

“Now that is not surprising in the least.” She smiled mischievously at him.

Xavier started to speak and the captain came on and cut him off. They should be arriving in about ten minutes at a private airfield. The captain did not give away their destination. Right after landing, Khryssa noticed that Xavier was getting antsy. She placed her had upon his, and asked with concern.

“Is everything okay?”

“It has been a very long time since I have been here.” Unbuckling his seatbelt, he did the same for Khryssa. Xavier wasted no time in getting them both off the plane. They were standing on the tarmac of the private landing strip and before she could look around Xavier slid his arms around Khryssa’s waist. Standing behind her, Xavier nuzzled her ear and spoke. “Welcome to Sighișoara, Romania, the place of my birth.”

Turning in his arms, Khryssa looked at him with shock. This was completely unexpected. Taking her hand, Xavier smiled. He looked almost shy for a moment. This was something he had never done before. Never before had anyone mattered enough for him to even want to explain his childhood to, until he met Khryssa.

They walked everywhere. Xavier explained small details of things he remembered. He had only lived here for a few years, but the town meant a great deal to him. While he was explaining the citadel, Khryssa could see the excitement in his blue eyes. The number of churches was mind-boggling. Xavier explained that he had grown up in the Church. When he was imprisoned, he was forced by his captors to embrace Catholicism. It was just going through the motions, all of it. He had never been, in his heart, religious. Although, he did have faith in God prior to becoming a vampire.

Every so often they took a cab to a destination. Xavier’s Romanian was perfect, of course. Just perhaps a bit more formal than the people that were currently in the region, times do change after all.

“How is your Romanian?”

“I know enough to get in trouble, that is about it Xavier.”

“We will have to remedy that.”

She chuckled at his exuberance and was pulled in another direction. They entered square. Walking around the small shops, Khryssa had always been curious of something. “Xavier? The artwork that depicts Vlad Tepes always shows y-“ She had almost said you, correcting herself quickly. “-him as having dark hair. You on the other hand, do not.”

“My hair was always light. I darkened it with grease and ash to look more like my countrymen when I was younger. When I became immortal, it no longer mattered.”

She nodded, curiosity sated. Slipping her arm around his hips, her fingers tugged at the belt loops of his jeans. “Thank you for this. Thank you for sharing a part of your life with me.”

“It is I who should be thanking you. I never had the desire to share my life with anyone. I do now. I want you to know me Khryssa. I want you to know all of me.” He paused for a moment, frowning. “That does mean the good, the bad, and the horrific.”

She kissed his throat gently, laying her head upon his shoulder. “I want to know all of you Xavier. I want to know everything I can about you.” Looking into his eyes, making sure that he realized the seriousness of what she was about to say. “The bad and horrific do not matter to me. What you once were is not what you are now, to me.”

A light kiss was placed to the top of Khryssa’s head before he could find the words. “I hope that is the truth my darling. I have not been a good man for a very long time, perhaps since I was mortal. Maybe not even when I was mortal.”

Khryssa felt her throat constrict. What was he? Somewhere near six centuries old and he didn’t have the luxury of a confidant or love? She could not fathom what he had done and gone through for all those years.

They kept walking for a little while. Xavier knew the town well, including all of its history from the twelfth century through modern times. Khryssa marveled at the relaxed atmosphere of Sighișoara. Nothing seemed to move overly fast and they moved together was a casual ease.

“Are you hungry?”

“Hm, I suppose I am. What of you Xavier, do you need to eat?”

“No. I actually need quite a bit less- “He cleared his throat. “-food than you think. Therefore, I will be more than happy to dine with you.”

“I believe we have a date then.”

Taking her in a different direction, it was apparent that Xavier knew where they were going. It was only about a ten minute walk when they arrived at a rather non-distinct, but quite lovely, building. There was a sign out front of the building. It was in the shape of the typical Hollywood vampire. Puzzling over what appeared to be a tourist trap, Khryssa turned to Xavier with a questioning look in her eyes.

Xavier brought her closer to him. Looking at the building, rather than Khryssa, he spoke softly. “Yes I know it is an odd place to bring you. This was my first home. This was where I was born. I wanted you to see.”

She kissed him. No words were needed in that moment. That little kiss set something off within him and Xavier pulled Khryssa against him forcibly. Turning her, he backed Khryssa into the wall. Her shoulders hit the stone and she pushed back into him. His hands gripped her hips, seeming as if they would tear through the denim.

Khryssa wrapped her legs around his waist, tightly. Long fingers tangled in his hair while Xavier pushed her shirt up. Pulling back from Khryssa’s lips, he kissed the tops of her breasts and bit the flesh gently. She could feel him, hard, pressing against the apex of her thighs. Wanting and wanton, Khryssa’s hand moved downward and was pressed against the bulge. Gripping gently, she stroked Xavier’s cock through the denim. A brutal kiss was given to Khryssa’s lips once more. Pressing her harder against the stone, Xavier was grinding against her. Oblivious to any other person, his lips traveled from her seeking mouth down to her throat. Khryssa cried out with abandon. It was then they realized they were not alone, a few passerbys had stopped to stare.

“Keep this up and I will take you right here right now.” He rasped against her flesh.

“I don’t think I would argue at this point.” Khryssa’s voice was more of a low growl now.

Pulling away Xavier looked into her eyes. He loved the way her dark gaze drank him in. “Perhaps it would be a better idea to not get arrested.”

“I have bail money.”

He laughed. It was a rich throaty sound. “Come, let’s go in.”

Straightening themselves out, they entered the café. The hostess asked them how many in broken English.

Xavier replied smoothly in Romanian. “Just two, somewhere private please. But first a tour.”

The hostess took them through the whole café. Xavier looked terribly amused by everything. Their hostess went to explain that the home had been completely renovated. The entire tour took only fifteen minutes. Taking them to a corner table in the back of the main room, Khryssa and Xavier were alone.

“What did you think?”

“The rooms have changed dramatically from what I can remember. Much of the history was incorrect, alas.”

“I had the feeling you wanted to correct her on a few things.” Khryssa tried to hide a smile.

“What would you like to eat?”

Glancing at the menu, it was in several languages and she could read most of them. “I have no idea. Why don’t you choose for the both of us?”

Beckoning the waiter over, Xavier spoke fluidly. He ordered zacuscă and dark bread to start with. mămăligă and mititei for their meal with an addition of smântână, they would have beer to drink. Khryssa gave him a quizzical look.

“So what are we having?”

“Typical country food.” He grinned at her. Xavier was looking forward to the meal. “A bean and eggplant spread on black bread to start with. Dinner will consist of what equates out to a polenta type dish with grilled ground meats and a sour cream like sauce. I was going to order coffee for you, but the mititei needs beer. When I was a child mămăligă with honey was one of my favorite things to eat.”

“It sounds wonderful! I am starving now.”

Reaching across the table, he took her hand. “I am glad you are here to share this with me.”

“Me too. This was a wonderful idea. You realize it will be my turn next.”

“I would be honored to trek back through your young life my Khryssa.”

They smiled intimately at each other. The bond that they had shared in the beginning was strengthening. Talking quietly while waiting for their meal, they were interrupted by a man dressed as the worst Dracula movie stand-in ever.

Xavier listened to the man and started to chuckle. Turning to Khryssa he explained what was going on. “Dracula would like to know if the lady would like her picture taken with him.”

Khryssa started to laugh. There was a twinkle in her eye. “And here I thought all this time that vampires could not be photographed.”

“I am afraid that the legends must be wrong, all of a sudden.” Xavier was trying desperately to look serious.

Shaking her head, she replied to their new friend in Romanian. “No thank you.”

“You even got the accent down, well done my dear.”

“I am a quick learner.” She winked at him.

After trying to cajole the couple into a picture, the ‘vampire’ gave up and let them resume their conversation. They were both comfortable and casual in jeans and button down shirts. Stealing glances at each other while holding hands, they looked like a pair of newlyweds on their honeymoon.

“I rather like it here Xavier.”

“I am very glad. It is my intention to make you a very happy woman. I-“Xavier was interrupted with the arrival of their meal.

Digging in, they ate heartily. It was one of the things that Xavier truly enjoyed about Khryssa. She was not the sort of woman that ate plain lettuce and complained about her weight. She enjoyed good food. She liked to eat and try new things. Oh yes, Khryssa gave her treadmill a hard workout daily. She had been running the Marine Corps Marathon and the London Marathon yearly since she was eighteen and was in excellent physical shape.

“So what did you think?”

“It was delicious! What’s for dessert?” She grinned at him. If someone asked her mother, she would have told them that Khryssa had sweet teeth rather than a sweet tooth.

Taking a glance at the menu, Xavier smiled. “Scoverzi! I have not had these since I was a young boy!”

Khryssa knew how old Xavier truly was. It amazed her to see him light up like a child over the food. If nothing else had endeared him to her before, it was this very moment. Fortunately for Xavier, she was already smitten.

Their dessert arrived. The pastry, filled with a sweet cheese, was delicious. Relaxing for a little while longer, they chatted about everything and nothing. Khryssa could not remember the last time she had enjoyed herself so much.

“We should be off Khryssa.”

Nodding, she agreed. She didn’t have her watch on and had left her cell phone on the jet, but given all that they did she knew the hour was growing late. Xavier paid for the meal, much to her protests.

“Xavier you can allow me to pay for things.”

“That would not be the gentlemanly thing to do. Besides, I plan on getting reimbursed from you in other ways.” He leered at her and then started to laugh.

“Pfft!” Swatting him playfully, she looked serious for a moment. “Fine. Tomorrow night we shall have dinner at my place. I will cook for you then.”

Remembering her overly large kitchen, Xavier liked the idea. “Perfect. I will accept that as payment.” He gave her another wolfish grin. “For now.”

Taking her hand, they proceeded to head out of Xavier’s childhood home. They had not quite crossed to the outdoors when their ‘vampire’ friend reappeared. The man held his cape across his body and spoke in heavily accented English.

“Be aware m’lady, vampires roam the countryside at this hour!”

Khryssa and Xavier both started to laugh. With a grin, Khryssa spoke to the man. “I think I am safe.” Giving a wink to Xavier, they headed outside.

Both were surprised to see that darkness had already fallen. Walking hand in hand down the quiet streets and back to the small landing strip, Xavier spoke. “You think you are safe? Who is going to protect you from me?” Grabbing Khryssa, he picked her up. Her long legs wrapped around his waist, holding tight to him. He kissed her. His lips promising something that words could not begin to say.

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