Life is hard.
Full of pain and suffering. It seems that it has no end and will continue to be so forever. Cruel men rise to power and greedy men wallow in gluttony without regard to those who suffer beneath them. Oh, my beloved, will there ever be a day, where good truly triumphs over evil? Where sorrow won’t drown the happiness of the people seeking it?
My only hope for the world, is you, my beloved. Your kindness and sweet nature ease the burden I bear. I want to help these people, but I see it as an impossible task. You give me the strength I need to keep going. You are my light in these dark times.
My hope, my life…
After our talk, Pat follow me to Landon’s office. I’d just raised my hand to knock when the door flew open and Landon was standing right in front of me. I gasped and my heart skipped a beat at the sight of him. He was in his business suit, tailored for his tall frame, and made him look even more delicious and attractive than ever before. His shoulders seemed massive and his muscles seemed to strain against the white material of the shirt. The red tie matched his now brown eyes--- and all I wanted to do was grab it and pull him into me.
To kiss him…
But that would melt my resolution and I’d be like clay in his hands. And I had to think clearly about this. I knew what I was getting into and I had to have my wits about me.
No, horny-ness aloud!
Without a word though, he stepped aside and let me in. He didn’t say anything, as he trailed behind me. His expression showed a wide range of emotions. Worry and fear the most dominating ones.
“I know why you want me,” I blurted out before he got to say anything. I turned towards him, seeing the surprise in his expression.
“You do?” he asked, his eyes so wide, I could see the red in them.
“You want me to be your pet, right?” I said, remembering what Pat had said. But to now my surprise, he looked stunned.
“Erm, t-that…,” he muttered nervously scratching the back of his neck. “I mean---I-I wouldn’t mind--- do-do you?--- Want to be my pet?”
He looked at me, almost confused. He even tilted his head a bit, as if thinking he’d heard me wrong. And now, I’m confused too. At why he’s confused…
Is anyone else confused?!
I groaned, not knowing what to think anymore.
“I don’t know,” I sighed, rubbing my temple that slowly started to hurt. “Right now, it’s all very confusing and… a lot!”
I hated how hurt I felt. How I’d let myself fall in love with a man that could never give me the same in return that he asked of me. I loved him and he loved me, but… He could never make me his.
A beloved was a vampire.
And I was a human!
The thought alone of him with another woman sent a spiral of pain shooting through my body. It whirled around my heart, squeezing it until I felt out of breath. Until I didn’t feel alive anymore. The thought was unbearable and although it hadn’t happened yet, I hated her. I hated her with a passion and fire I didn’t even know I possessed. It burned in my blood and---
And the feeling of betrayal!
How could I feel betrayed by Landon for something he handed done yet? But no matter what reason or logic I applied, it didn’t change the fact that part of the burning pain in my chest was betrayal. That one day he’d leave me for the woman who was meant to be his. To know, it wouldn’t be me, was…
“Yeah,” Landon’s soft voice brought me out of my thoughts. Landon was looking as uncomfortable and on edge as I felt. He slowly brought his hand down and dug them into his pockets. And the thought struck me again:
Did he even care?!
“Was it all just to get me to agree to this?” I blurted out the thing that had been bothering me ever since my talk to Pat. If he knew, this was only something temporarily, did he even care what happened to me? 99,9% of my body told me it was impossible. Because--- well, this was Landon. As in, that’s the explanation! But there was that 0.01% of my stupid brain, that insisted on protecting my heart. To be on guard and be suspicious. And no matter how I hated that infuriating small part of doubt, I HAD to ask!
“The dates, the movies the meeting the parents, was it all…?”
“What?! No! No, absolutely not! Lexi, I-I meant it what I said!” Landon instantly cut me off and stepped forward, taking my hand into his. Before I knew what happened, he’d pulled me into him, forcing our bodies to press up against each other. His other hand curled under my chin, forcing me to look up into his soft and warm gaze. “I’ve never met anyone like you before,” he said softly, caressing my cheek in a gentle motion that made sparks dance across my skin. “I like you---”, he continued, but cut himself off, as a hot, red blush tainted his cheeks and--- suddenly he wasn’t able to look into my eyes anymore. “Actually, scratch that! I fucking love you.”
I felt my heart plummet when I heard him say it. Sure, he said it before, but it was a “life or death”-situation. I didn’t really--- but the more I thought about it, I realized that the situation hadn’t changed anything between us. He really loved me!
And I loved him!
I blinked, looking up at him, while he slowly regained the ability to look at me again. And he smiled when his eyes met mine. At first, I didn’t understand why--- but then I realized, that it was probably because I was smiling! My eyes were moist and my throat was uncomfortably tight.
I was happy! But…
“I really do love you, Lexi, and I want you to be part of my life,” he continued, stroking his thumb across my skin, turning up the intensity of sparks. “You can decide for yourself what it will be like, but I won’t let you go!” He said it with such force and determination, I literally lost my breath. “You’re too important to me, I--- I can’t let you go.”
And I felt so confused. Again! Because all I wanted to do, was to throw myself at him. Say yes and take whatever I could get. But essentially, I was assigning myself to the same fate as Pat. To be able to look but not touch.
Could I do that?
Not to mention--- what if he met his beloved WHILE he was with me? Would I even be able to survive being cast aside like some old rug once that happened? He might not what it, but from what Pat told me, it was like fairytale love: love at first sight! An instant connection and a burning desire to have and to hold…
“But you’re immortal,” I blurted out. Say what?! That was so not what I wanted to ask!
“Perhaps,” he admitted, allowing some air to come between us. Instantly I felt cold but quickly realized, that he only did it, so he could look down at me better. “If I was a pureblood vampire, I’d be immortal or die, once someone puts a stake through my heart. But I’m also a part wolf and wolves age naturally.” Suddenly he frowned. “I wonder if I’ll then age for eternity.”
I laughed. I couldn’t help it. It was a sad attempt to lighten the mood, but it worked.
“I still can’t believe I’m talking about this like it’s an actual real thing,” I admitted, relieved that some of the fear in my body had eased. “You’re not supposed to exist outside of TV-shows and kinky romance novels.”
I sighed, looking up at him. He didn’t reply but bit his lips nervously. Then he sighed and pulled out something from his pocket. It was a long black silk-like strand with something gold attached to it.
“You need to wear this,” he said, holding it up to me. My eyes widened when I recognized, what it was.
“A collar?” I exclaimed and for some reason, my hands went up to my throat. The thought of that uncomfortable-looking thing curling itself around my neck was enough for me to lose my breath.
“It’s security. Sort of,” Landon immediately reassured me, looking as panic as I felt. “You need to keep it with you at all times and promise me,” his tone turned stern and his eyes harden to a point, where they almost looked black. “You’ll keep it with you at all times! It will save your life!”
He was serious! Come to think of it, this was the first time I’d ever seen him serious--- and darnation, he looked scary SHIT! (Yes, I cursed! Sue me!) He looked one part angry, one part murderous and one part completely inhuman! His eyes were narrow, and his jaws clenched tightly together, daring me to defy him. And suddenly, I understood why he would be able to sit at the top of an empire like Stone Pharmaceutical if that’s the look he gave his competitors and investors.
“And if I don’t?” I asked. I didn’t want to defy him – nor was I scared of him (this was still Landon, people!) – but I felt myself growing more and more curious about this. I remembered Pat saying something about this, but I didn’t realize it was for protection…
“You’ll be killed or worse,” was Landon’s blunt answer--- and my jaw dropped. Say WHAT?! As if sensing my growing distress, his eyes softened, and his tone grew gentler. “So, I’d really appreciate it if you don’t take it off.”
“You don’t joke around, do you,” I gulped, literally feeling more and more uneasy about the consequences of NOT wearing the pretty bling. And while that happened, I realized that I also was angry. Seriously?! I had to walk around like some stray dog because I knew about vampires? What kind of messed up--- Oh, yeah! The kind of messed up, that regarded humans as PETS!
Now I remember…
“No,” he sighed and had that look in his eyes again. As if he carried the weight of the world on his shoulders. My fear and frustration subsided and all I wanted to do, was to step closer to him. Hold him and let him know, that everything was going to be ok. That somehow everything would work out…
Before I knew what I’d done, I had stepped closer to him. My arms were around his middle and as if it was calling to me, my head rested against his chest. I could feel the tension leave his body. His arms wrapped around me and just like that, he held me. For a moment the world just melted away. It didn’t matter that he was a vampire-werewolf hybrid or that I was human. That he was rich and I didn’t have a penny to my name. At that moment we were just two people in love. Two hearts beating together and every other love-cliché out there.
We were us!
“Lexi,” he whispered huskily and his breath fanned over my hair. “You’re mine, you hear me?” He said it so firmly, it almost sounded like a threat. I couldn’t help but gasp, stepping back and look at him. But there was not the slightest hit of deception or indecision.
He meant it!
He gave me that sad smile again, before he leaned over and kissed the top of my head.
“I’ll give you time to wrap your head around all of this, but I’m not letting you go,” he said again, caressing my cheek. “You’re the best damn thing that’s ever happened to me and I’m not letting you walk out of my life because of fear. I won’t let you.” He shook his head, a dry and humorous laughter leaving his lips. “Trust me, I’ve let fear hold me back all my life, but I’m not letting it get in between us. I will fight for you, Lexi.”
Oh, sweet momma! Could this guy get more perfect?!
His hand rested possessively on the small of my back, pulling me close to him, while I let his words sink in. It’s overwhelming, heartwarming and jaw-dropping, all at the same time. It’s a commitment, a promise, and a law all in wrapped in one cute, huge giant vampire-werewolf mix.
It was a promise! His words that sent shivers down my spine and made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.
He would kill, to keep that promise…
I gulp, shaking my head. It’s all too much! I-I couldn’t think straight. Heck, I couldn’t think, period! I couldn’t even understand all these contradicting feelings coursing through me. The part of me, that felt complete with him, drawn to him! And the feeling that warned me of heartbreak, sorrow and a love already doomed because we were two different species…
I took a step back, needing to be away from his body, his heat and his scent just to be able to grasp reality. A brand new reality at that. A reality that involves vampires, werewolves and freaking human pets!
“Landon,” I breathed, trying to somehow get control over myself--- and my emotions. “Give me three days!” It was the best I could do on short notice! “Then we’ll talk. Ok?”
I looked up into his eyes--- hating that there was a pained expression on his face. And only made worse by the fact that it’s there because of me!
He took a deep breath, folding his arms around himself – almost as if wanting to protect himself – before he nods.
“Ok,” he said dryly, trying to give me a reassuring smile. “We’ll talk.”
Before I managed to so much else, he presses a button on his desk and a tall, secretary looking woman walks in.
And just like that, he tells her to escort me out!
I can’t help the feeling of disappointment that slips into my blood. I know, I was the one wanting to spend some time away from him, but… Did he have to make it so cynical? I didn’t say anything about it, trying not to take it personal, but--- I can’t!
It hurts because it feels like goodbye. I know what he said, and that feeling like this is stupid, but---
Oh, goslings and ducklings, what have I done?
When I entered the lobby, all I wanted to do, was turn around and rush back up to Landon. The three-minute ride was enough to clear my head.
I can’t live without him!
I need him in my life, more than I need my next breath! Without him, it feels like all light has been drawn out of me. All happiness is gone. The pull inside my heart is almost physically painful now, begging me to turn around and back to him…
But just as I’ve made up my mind to go back up to him--- there’s a big, hunky thank of a male standing right in front of me. He gripped me harshly, looking at me with an unforgiving and cold gaze. And for a second, I could have sworn his eyes flickered red! My heart dropped and instantly I couldn’t help but wonder if he was one “other”?
As if sensing my thought his eyes narrowed and his grip tightened. My heart sank.
Landon wasn’t kidding!
I quickly reached for my collar, flashing it for him. He glanced at it and--- and smiled. Genuinely! Shocked, I had to manually close my mouth again. I know Landon doesn’t lie, but…
“Have a nice day, miss,” he said, letting go of my arm, before giving me a slight, respectful nod and returned to his post. Looking at him, I didn’t want to stick around. I bolted out the door and hastily walked home.
My life has officially turned upside down…