After having the lunch of my life, getting back to work seemed--- boring! Yes, for the first time in my life, I thought work was boring!
I started working at the firm when I was about 14, doing small chores here and there. When I was 17, I made my first million by launching a new refining technique and when I was 22, I was the CEO. My private life was concentrated around my family and the few friends I had, while my love life was--- What’s the word? Oh yes, none existing! I wasn’t good with women – or people in general. I could sell a pitch, bark orders, and seal a deal within an hour, but…
Yeah, I was what you’d call socially awkward.
And I knew it! It wasn’t something that I laid in bed beating myself up about. I’d always been like that… Which made me wonder, why someone was amazing as Lexi would want to go out with me?
I grinned. Just thinking about her made me smile. It was borderline stupid, really. I was acting like a hormonal teenager, with a crush. My stomach had been invaded by a hoard of butterflies and I couldn’t wipe off that stupid grin that seemed to be plastered on my face. My wolf was contently wagging his tail, counting the seconds until we saw her again and even the beast in my blood seemed to be at peace.
And not only did she have a calming effect on me and my beasts, but she seemed to have a magnetic effect on me as well. My entire being craved her…
“Hmm?” absentmindedly I turned towards the voice and came face to face with a tall, Viking-looking man. His sandy blond hair was pulled back into a ponytail and his eyes had an icy blue color, that made most women week in the knees. His beard was styled in a roguish manner that made him appealing and wild at the same time, looking like every Scandinavian girl’s wet dream.
“Did you want something, Peter?” I asked, rather stupidly. But I couldn’t help it! I had no idea what he was trying to present to me on the whiteboard.
“Well, I’ve been trying to present to you our investments for this quarter, but your head is in the cloud somewhere,” Peter huffed in annoyance and crossed his arms over his otherwise broad chest, while his eyes flashed red. “Something you need to get off your mind? Or someone?” He quickly added and wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.
I picked up a pen and threw it at him, knowing he’d catch it.
Peter was a vampire and my best friend – of sorts. He was my dad’s most trusted vamp and a liaison between Sin City and Black Lunar. I’d grown up with him coming and going in our home like an uncle that worked abroad. The older I got – and my interests in the company grew – he remained my right-hand man while I took over running the day to day business.
He caught the pen and walked back over to me.
“So, it is a someONE,” he grinned stupidly and sat down on my desk. His blue eyes were gleaming with mischief and amusement. Like everybody else, he knew I was a lost cause when it came to dating and women. “Is she cute?”
I groaned, leaning back in my chair. I knew I could talk to Peter about everything – like I said, he was my best friend and because of his place in our home, he was family too.
“How is it, I can run a multimillion pharmaceutical company, hundreds of clinical trials and dozens of lawsuits while also being the leader of the biggest, secret vampire clan in our nation, and yet,” I sighed. “I can’t talk to a girl without making a fool out of myself?”
I glanced up at Peter. His previous amusement was replaced with something that looked like sympathy.
“You were let down hard again?” Peter asked like it wasn’t anything new. Probably because it wasn’t…
“Actually, on the contrary,” I replied and turned towards him. “She agreed to go on a date with me.”
“Ok,” he muttered – and I instantly sensed the same skepticism in him, that I had myself – even when I hated it. “How did you meet?”
“She’s the maid,” I replied, hoping it didn’t sound as bad as when I said it to myself. “And I met her while being hangover in bed.”
Peter snorted and miserably tried to stifle a laugh. I sighed and rolled my eyes at him. I don’t know if it was the vampire or the wolf but being half of both turned a lot of parts completely human. While I could shift to a wolf and had a vampires’ natural god-like looks, I had also twice their vulnerability. Even small amounts of silver were potentially deadly for me and my sister and I only needed to sniff wolfsbane before I went off into dreamland. I didn’t complain though, since I also had some of their good traits. Like being exceptionally strong and fast – even faster than LJ and most vampires.
But getting drunk and get a hangover--- I really could do without! And to make matters worse, my brothers’ favorite past time, was getting me high on shit…
“Yeah, I’d get her checked out, if I were you,” Peter continued in a more serious tone and crossed his arms over his chest like he always did, when there was something he didn’t like or when he suspected foul play.
“I’ve been thinking the same,” I said, although I hated to admit it. “But what if…?”
“Then you’ll say it a required for all employees to have a background check,” Peter injected before I even got to voice my worries. “You DO also have a multimillion pharmaceutical company to think about, Master!” He emphasized the last word, reminded me of my duties in the dark. I rolled my eyes at him. I hated being called that. Most of the vampires – if not all of them – called me Master Stone, although I wasn’t their official master. I led them in my Dad’s place, yes, but…
According to vampire tradition, I could take the title, because of my biological father. But like so many, I didn’t want anything to do with the man that created me. He was a monster; a murderer and a rapist. Without a shadow of a doubt, I knew that the only father I had, was Levi Stone.
But the blood in my veins…
Sometimes I would catch myself caring for them. For the vampires. I could feel them in my blood. I could sense their needs, emotions, and state of mind. I could hear them laugh and cry, fight, and makeup. I could sense their hunger – a hunger I had within myself and I helped them satisfy it. They came to me with their problems and they listen to my advice.
And I liked it…
I liked taking care of them; sensing them as my children almost and guiding them. Keeping them safe and out of harm’s way. I felt a part of them as they felt a part of me. I’d give my life to protect them…
I wanted to be their Master…
Levi Stone was my father. The Alpha of the Black Lunar Pack. A man I loved and respected. A man everyone within the pack looked up to and would die to protect. A man of power and awe…
It was my destiny to follow in his footsteps.
“Get one,” I sighed, letting go of my thoughts and took Peter’s advice. “Her name is Lexi Smith.”
“I’ll get someone on it,” he promised, scribbling her name down on a piece of paper and quickly put it into his pocket. Then he turned back to me: “And will you NOW pay attention to who we’re making you filthy rich?”
“Oh, the burdens of being a genius,” I joked, pushing him off my desk. “Sure, lay it on me.”
“MOM! I’m home!”
I threw off my jacket and dragged my feet into the living room, where mom’s bed was placed in the corner of our small, one-bedroom apartment. The hospital bed didn’t fit into the bedroom, so we had to get rid of most of the furniture in the living room to make room for the bed.
“Hey, love,” she smiled at me and turned off the TV. “How was work?”
Leona Smith was a beautiful woman, with bright blue eyes and a smile, that could light up the room. But unfortunately, the pain medication she was constantly on, made her look older. She had dark circles under her eyes and bones were protruding out from her small frame. I hated seeing what once was a fun, lively, and active woman tied to a bed like this…
About a year ago, she had an accident at work, that required surgery for her to get back on her feet. But her workplace suddenly refused to pay for the surgery, claiming their health insurance didn’t cover that kind of injury. So, to get her the operation she needed, we needed to empty out all my college savings and mom’s lifesaving. But what was supposed to be a routine operation somehow managed to make things worse, making her practically paralyzed from the waist down.
We complained to the management, but in the end, they didn’t take responsibility and now we were here. I sometimes felt like I was up against powers that were towering over me like gods. I knew that we were within our right to get compensation, but I was battling giants. They simply outgunned me--- and it frustrated me, to stand by helplessly and see the woman who raised me waste away like this.
There was a chance she could get better – another operation, but… I needed a miracle for that to happen. A miracle and a huge amount of cash…
“Good,” I replied and gave her a kiss on the cheek, before I climbed up to her, settling at the foot of the bed. I grabbed a big pillow and held it close to my chest, as I started to tell her about my day. “I was asked on a date.”
“Another one,” my mother rolled her eyes, knowing I was asked on ‘dates’ all the time. Translation: cheap sex for rich men. “What did he offer you this time?”
“Actually,” I muttered, nervously fiddling with the pillow. “I said yes.”
“Alexia Olivia Smith!” my mother exclaimed shocked, her eyes wide enough to drop out of their sockets.
“Mom, cool your trunk, will you,” I grinned and then I told her everything that had happened, leaving her holding her stomach from laughing so hard. “I really don’t think he’s so bad,” I finished, hugging my pillow as I felt my face turn hot. “So, I said yes.” I glanced at her, meeting her knowing eyes. “You think it’s a bad idea?”
“You work cleaning his house,” my mother replied, shaking her head. “I think it’s a bad idea on so many levels, I won’t even begin…” she trailed off her words, finishing the sentence with a flushed movement of her hand. I must admit, seeing it made my heart cringe in pain. I don’t know what it was, but ever since I first met Landon, I had this--- magnetic pull toward him. Like something inside me, called for him. The air sizzled with electricity when he was in the room and my breath got stuck in my throat every time, I met those haunting red eyes…
“But,” my mom then continued, with a kind smile, eyeing me from where she was sitting. Much to my relief. “He seems like a ‘once in a lifetime’ kind of young man.”
I couldn’t stop the smile that spread across my lips. I don’t know what it was, but yeah! I felt stupidly, annoyingly attracted to him. Schoolgirl-teen-crush with EVERYTHING! And it really didn’t help the situation, hearing mom laugh at my red cheeks and a flushed face.
I groaned and hid my face in the pillow.
“Oh, well,” she smiled at me, knowing me well enough to know exactly how I felt. “Where’s there’s a will there’s a way, isn’t that what they say?”
“You don’t think we’re too far apart?” I asked, glancing at her from my hiding spot. “In class, I mean?”
“If he’s falling for my daughter, I’d say he has excellent class,” she shrugged – purposely ignoring the question I asked.
“You know what I mean,” I laughed before I continued: “He makes the kind of money during his lunch break that someone like me can only dream about in my wildest fantasies.”
“Oh snick-snack,” Mom snapped, waving her hand like she was waving away an annoying fly. “No one cares about stuff like that anymore.” She then took a deep breath. Carefully, and with a movement, I could see caused her pain, she leaned forward, gripping my hand in hers. Instantly I leaned toward her, meeting her halfway there. “Listen, Lexi,” she said softly, caressing my cheek with a gentle smile. “If you follow your heart, it will lead you on the most amazing journey this life has to offer. Never forget that.”
I felt tears wield up in my eyes and my heart swelled with joy. Without a word, Mom knew how I felt. She gently squeezed my hand a little before she kissed my forehead and I gave her a hug.
“I love you mom,” I whispered, cuddling next to her and enjoyed feeling her warm embrace around me.
“I love you too, sweetheart,” she replied, holding me in her arms.
We stayed like that for a while, until I snapped the remote from her and turned on some TV. We laughed at some ridicules Spanish soap-opera that we didn’t understand before I went up and made us some dinner. Instantly my mind wandered back to Landon and the amazing lunch he made. For everything I found holy, I couldn’t stop smiling.
I was actually looking forward to our date on Wednesday…