Chapter Two: Ethan
I walked into the large foyer, uncertain of what to expect. My eyes locked on my father, descending the long wide staircase, carrying an unconscious girl over his shoulder. My mother stepped in beside me. Ciara lightly giggled to herself as I tugged at her long wavy black hair to catch her attention.
“What happened?” I asked under my breath.
“She was kind of freaking out, ready to run for it. So your dad put her to sleep.” Ciara giggled again. I’ve known Ciara for over a century, she was like a sister to me, and she was blood-linked to my cousin Derek.
Derek stepped forward, pushing his jumbled blond hair away from his face. “What took you so long to get here?” he asked.
“We ran into some Eretnik,” I replied, watching the lifeless body over my father’s shoulder. He took her into a sitting room and slowly plopped her motionless body on the couch.
Derek frowned. “Eretnik seriously, and I missed out,” he whispered.
Eretniks were nasty looking cannibalistic witch-vampires. Not only would they drink every drop of blood out of your body, but they would also feed on your flesh afterward. The Eretniks was one of our bigger problems in the immortal world, mostly because they didn’t just feed off of the living, but the undead as well.
We all gathered in the same large room. I assumed the woman with the wavy red hair was the girl’s mother. She’d been crying hysterically sense the moment I entered the house. My mother walked over to where she stood. The queen of The Guardians always had a way of calming human emotions.
“She’ll be alright,” she reassured the woman. “I’m sure it’s all so overwhelming for her. She just needs to rest.” She placed a firm hand over the woman’s shoulder. “Let me introduce myself, I’m Stella White. My husband,” she pointed to where my father stood next to the girl, “Cameron White.” Then she turned to face me. “And this is my son, Ethan.”
“I’m Derek Ross, this is my mother Rebecca Ross,” Derek spoke, taking a seat next to the passed out girl, still upset that he missed a good fight. His mother stood by his side.
“And I’m Ciara Willows.” Ciara bounced on her heels. She was always so cheerful. I figured it had more to do with her fairy side, then vampire. She had once been part of The Faya, a group of fairy-vampires. They were good and bad, but never evil, more mischievous, and they were strong. I’d once seen Ciara take out four Eretniks by herself. She left The Faya when she fell in love with Derek and joined The Guardians.
The woman nodded to everyone and forced a smile. “I’m...I’m Linda Sinclair, and this would be my...my daughter, Jessie.” She walked over to where the girl rested.
A human standing in a room full of vampires was sure to get anyone nervous. But come on, it’s not like she didn’t know we were coming. She’s the one who called us here in the first place.
“I’m sorry, I was hoping to have a little more time with her,” she mentioned as she raked her fingers through the girl’s hair. “I never told her what she was, until tonight.”
“She never knew she wasn’t fully human. Talk about being reckless and stupid,” I spat.
My parents quickly stared in my direction, they didn’t look amused. I hadn’t meant to say the words out loud. Somehow that was the problem they seemed to have with me. I was the prince of The Guardians, the first in line to inherit the throne, and yet my mouth somehow always got the best of me. Never did know when to shut up. “Sorry,” I apologized, leaning my back against the wall.
My father cleared his throat. “Forgive my son. He sometimes forgets to think before he speaks.”
Ouch, that hurt!
Linda turned to stare at me, a small smile rested on her lips. “No! He is right. I was trying for so long to protect her. I should have told her the truth a long time ago.”
I was right. I couldn’t help but smile. I was beginning to like this human.
My father placed a hand on Linda’s shoulder, pushing her away from her daughter. “Why don’t we go somewhere we could talk more privately?” he said. “We should let her rest for now. It’s going to be a long journey back to White-Gate Castle.” He walked Linda out into the hallway, my mother and Aunt Rebecca following behind them.
“Ethan, I expect you to conduct yourself in a respectful manner if she wakes up.” My mother snapped before leaving the room.
I rolled my eyes at her. Sure, I could be a little rude sometimes, but come on, I wasn’t a total ass.
Ciara danced over to where I stood, a wide smile spread across her face. “So how many Eretniks were there?” she asked her voice song like.
“Three, mom took out two. I got the last one before he could get away.” I crossed the room to where the girl lay. I studied her peaceful face, her pale complexion, full lips, and glossy long black hair. Okay, I had to give it to her; the girl was gorgeous.
“Pretty, isn’t she?” Ciara whispered behind me, bouncing on her heels.
I hated it when she did that. She had a smug look on her face as if she knew something I didn’t. It drove me crazy every time she did.
“And if she is, what’s it to you?” I snapped back.
“Wow, someone’s in a touchy mood.” She frowned, leaping onto Derek’s lap.
“I am not!” Okay, that was a weak come back, even for myself. But I wasn’t in my right state of mind, not with my parent’s relentless efforts at finding me a blood-link, and the constant reminder that I was heir to the throne. Sometimes I wished I wasn’t the firstborn son, and that my brother Robert was heir. He had all the royals adoring him before he was even turned.
I, on the other hand, had a reputation of getting into unnecessary fights and being a ladies-man. Of course, there was nothing wrong with being a flirt, as long as it wasn’t some other man’s girl.
I traced a finger along the girl’s cheek. Her skin wasn’t cold like mine. It was warm and inviting. I felt my cuspids pull out from my gums. She might be a dhampir, but it didn’t stop the human blood from flowing through her veins, which made me want her more.
I licked my lips, a sign I knew all too well. Her heartbeat, her blood, her scent.
I wanted it!
Derek pushed my hand away from the girl’s cheek. “What do you think you’re doing?”
I snarled at him. “Do you smell that?” I licked my lips again. “Her blood smells so sweet, like vanilla and strawberries.” I bit down on my bottom lip. It was all I could do not to sink my teeth into her neck.
“I think you need to take a few steps away from her,” Derek replied. I heard the concern in his voice. He actually thought I was going to do something to her.
“Like now, bro. You need to step back.” Ciara appeared at his side, ready to take me down if she had to.
I ran my nose along the girl’s neck, inhaling her scent one last time. I wasn’t going to hurt her. I had more self-control, then most believed. But damn, she smelled amazing. I couldn’t help but want to get closer. I turned my head to stare at her perfect face one last time. A pair of frightened deep blue eyes met mine. And that’s when the hit came, sending me tumbling to the floor.