After dinner, and another glass of wine and socializing, I walked Ryan out around eight-thirty.
“You don’t have to take off so early.” I said as I closed the door behind me.
“Seven-thirty is kinda late, isn’t it?” Ryan chuckled, “Especially since we ate at four-thirty.”
“Nah, not for us.” I said, crossing my arms as I walked with him to his truck, “We’re kind of… night owls.”
“Oh?” Ryan pulled his keys out of his pocket, “Well, like I said, I’ve got to work early tomorrow, and I don’t want to impose.”
I nodded, tucking my hair behind my ears. “It uh… It was great of you to come, I hope you enjoyed yourself.”
“I definitely did. Your family is great.” Ryan said with a genuine smile.
“You don’t have to lie.” I shook my head with a grin, “We can be pretty… Intense.”
“Well, I’m not lying, I really had a good time tonight. Thank you for the invite.”
He cocked an eyebrow at me and a grin slowly crossed his lips.
“Are you asking me on a date?”
“What?” I asked, wide eyed, “Uh, n-no. No, I just meant that… Uh, w-well-”
Ryan let out a booming laugh and shook his head, “I’m just playing with you, Charlotte.”
“Asshole.” I rolled my eyes.
“But if you were asking me on a date…” Ryan grinned, “Actually wait.”
“Huh?” I furrowed my brow.
“Charlotte, would you like to go on a date with me?”
“What?” My jaw nearly hit the ground, “You… You’re a-asking me out? On a date?”
“I am.” Ryan said with a nod, “I’m a great guy, your mom even said so.”
I chuckled, shaking my head slightly, as I leaned on the hood of his truck “You’re seriously asking me out?”
“I am.” Ryan nodded, standing in front of me. “We’ve known each other for a while now.”
“Ryan…” I bit my lip, “You’re a great guy, but I’m not… I’m not ready to date anyone.”
“You were literally about to get gang banged not too long ago.”
“Pfft.” I shook my head, “That… That was drunk Char. Sober Char is very… Dignified.”
“Oh really?” He laughed.
“Yes, really.” I joined in laughing.
“Well then, I look forward to seeing sober Char… On Saturday.”
“Alright, not a date.” He tilted his head playfully to the side, “Two people getting to know each other in a nice, dimly lit restaurant.”
I couldn’t help but smile. “Look… Ryan, I’ve got a lot going on.”
“Everyone’s got baggage, Charlotte. I’ve got skeletons in my closet, too.”
I sighed and gave him a nod, “Alright. Saturday.”
He gave me a smile, “Alright. I’ll pick you up at a reasonable dinner time, because I’m normal and don’t eat dinner at eight or nine o’clock at night.”
I let out a genuine laugh. “Alright, what time?”
“Six works for me.”
“Then…” He leaned in, “It’s a date.”
I turned my head to the side, avoiding his attempt at a kiss, “I don’t kiss before a first date.”
“Not a date.” Ryan grinned, “and I wasn’t going to kiss you.”
“I was going to get you to move so that I could leave.”
“Oh.” I giggled, stepping to the side.
Ryan got into his truck and rolled the window down, “That was a lie. I was totally going to kiss you.”
I laughed, shaking my head.
“I’ll see you Saturday.” Ryan winked.
I watched Ryan drive away, a a small smile on my lips. It wasn’t a date, not to me. To me it was just dinner with an acquaintance, a friend. I was nowhere near ready to date, but I’m not one to say no to a free meal.
Vanessa sat beside me on the sofa, my arm around her as we all sat around talking. Vanessa is so god damned perfect, and she did so well tonight. She was so nervous about meeting everyone, but she came out of her shell quickly, and she and Lydia were getting along great. Charlotte walked into the living room after walking Ryan out with a small smile on her face, and I knew then the she had feelings for the guy. She could deny it all she wanted, but a twin knows. Charlotte’s smile immediately dropped when she saw me smirking at her, and she scowled, rolling her eyes. I wriggled my eyebrows at her as she plopped down into a chair, refusing to look at me, and struggling not to smile.
“So, Vanessa.” Vinnie said as he rocked a very fussy Colton, “Where are you from? We couldn’t really talk when Ryan was here, didn’t want to give us away as vampires.”
“Yes, I would also like to know.” Aunt Gaia said, cocking her eyebrow in that suspicious curiosity way that she does.
“I’m from Venezuela.” Vanessa said softly.
“Vanessa from Venezuela.” Vinnie said with a grin and a nod.
“Hmm.” Aunt Gaia’s eyes fluttered to dad, and then Vinnie. “I know a few vampires in Venezuela, who are your parents, I may know them.”
Vanessa stiffened and she looked at me, fear all over her face.
“Who are you parents?” Aunt Gaia asked, more sternly, this time dad and Vinnie were both looking at Vanessa intently.
“Umm, Bartolomé and Luisa.”
“Rodrigo?” Dad cocked his head to the side, “Not familiar to me.”
Vanessa sighed, biting her lip.
Vinnie stared at Vanessa. “Your last name’s not Rodrigo, is it?”
“Yes it is.” I said with a nod.
Vinnie looked at me briefly, before his eyes shifted back to Vanessa. “What’s your last name? Your real last name?”
“Vinnie, she told you-” I growled.
“Not talking to you.” Vinnie growled with a snarl, “I’m talking to her.”
Aunt Gaia slowly stood up, her eyes narrowed. “de León?”
I looked at Vanessa, who was looking at her hands. “What?” I said softly.
“Your parents are Bartolomé and Luisa de León, aren’t they?” Aunt Gaia said smoothly.
“Vanessa?” I shook my head.
Vanessa looked up and nodded, her lip trembling.
“Motherfucker.” Vinnie hissed.
Aunt Gaia shook her head. “How did I not notice, you look just like your backstabbing mother!”
“What-” Mom looked between Vinnie, Gaia and dad, who was now standing up.
“Her family is the Venezuela thieves.” Dad said softly to mom.
“I don’t understand?” Lydia cocked her head to the side as Vinnie handed Colton to her and stood up.
“Her family… her people are responsible for thousands of vampires going missing across the world!” Vinnie growled, “They kidnap vampires and sell them to hunters!”
“What?” Mom hissed, staring in shock at Vanessa.
“I-I don’t… I mean, I never-” Vanessa said shakily.
“We’ve been trying to find them for at least fifty years.” Gaia said calmly, “Perhaps Vanessa would like to have a talk with us.”
“Oh, she’s gunna talk to us.” Vinnie growled, taking a step forward.
Vanessa whimpered, flinching back and I wrapped my arms around her protectively.
“Stop.” I warned Vinnie.
“Stop? Stop?! Do you remember when you were a kid and we were all fucking kidnapped in Switzerland?!” He pointed at Vanessa, “She is responsible for that! Her family is responsible for that!”
“No, she’s not.” I growled, “She had no part in it, she was a kid!”
“Her family did. You sold us out, didn’t you? Got the weres to sniff us out and brokered us? Where are they? Where are you people?” Vinnie took another step forward and I jumped up, blocking him from Vanessa.
“Don’t.” I growled, my fangs descending.
Vinnie glared at me and shook his head as dad walked over and put his hand on his arm.
“Vin.” Dad said quietly.
“Whatever, man. I know who she is, and who her family is-”
“No you don’t.” I hissed, “You don’t know anything about her.”
Vanessa sighed and stood up.
“Hey, are you okay?” I asked her softly.
“Y-yeah… I umm, I’m going to step outside for a minute if that’s okay.”
I nodded, kissing the top of her head, “Of course. If you want to leave, we can.”
“No. No, It’s okay, I just need a minute.” Vanessa cleared her throat and looked at Vinnie, “I’ll talk to you about my family. I’m not like them, I swear. They don’t even know where I am.”
Vinnie gave her a nod with a clenched jaw. “Good. We-”
“Tomorrow.” Aunt Gaia said sternly to Vinnie, “Not tonight. Dionne and I need to get Theo home and to bed. We will meet tomorrow afternoon and talk. Calmly.”
Vinnie grunted, nodding. “Fine. Tomorrow.”
Vanessa nodded, her hand slipping into mine. “Okay.”
I sighed as I walked outside of the house, wrapping my arms around myself as I walked over to the end of the driveway. I knew I couldn’t keep who I was a secret for long, and I knew that once it was out it would start shit. But I also knew that Christopher wouldn’t let anyone hurt me. Not the way my parents hurt me. I closed my eyes and felt tears prick the corners of my eyes at the memories of being a child, growing up in the cold, dark tunnels under Caracas, listening to my family’s evening chants before they’d go out and hunt for innocent humans to feed off of. It was always cold and dark, and I hated it. Especially when we’d leave and go to the mountains and meet with the hunters. So many hungry eyes on me when I was a child. We’d watch sacrifices of the chosen vampiric children and women. My parents would laugh as the children cried, and the women begged to be freed. I watched my best friend Josefina get gutted by the hunters while we all stood in a circle, watching the hunters take parts out of her, and inject her with fluids. My parents would never offer me up, not as a child. I was going to be trained as a breeder, like so many of the young females once I turned eighteen. Five girls were being sent out to different areas of Europe for training, which consisted of us being forced to reproduce with male vampires that were set up for us, and we were supposed to send the children back once they were born to the family, replacing the loss of ourselves with the children, and to freshen up the stock with different bloodlines to sacrifice. I was supposed to go to Spain and match with a male there, but when I got to the airport, I got on a different plane that brought me to Mexico, where I didn’t know anyone, and eventually took on a new identity and went to school, eventually going to Los Angeles and began nursing school. If my family ever found me, they’d kill me… But I missed them. My parents weren’t loving, but they were all I had, and once in a while they would tuck me into bed lovingly, usually after the sacrifices and tell me that they would never sacrifice me, that my duty was to be a breeder and strengthen our family.
I stopped and smiled softly running my hand over the rough bark of the oak tree that stood on the front lawn, the initials CM carved into it, along with a multitude of small etchings that I assumed the siblings had all done when they were little. I ran my finger over another C that was carved into the tree, and squinted to try to read what was beside it, but couldn’t make it out.
I turned to see a young woman crossing the street with a smile.
“Hello.” I gave her a nod.
“Are you okay? You look a little… Lost.”
“Oh.” I nodded, “I’m okay, thank you.”
“Yes.” I gave her a smile.
She returned the smile and looked at the house, “You a friend of the Montgomery’s?”
“Sort of… I’m uh, well this is the first time I’m meeting them… Umm, I’m dating one of them.”
The woman nodded, her eyes travelling over me from my feet to my face. She smiled at me.
“So, you’re my replacement, huh?”
“Sorry?” I shook my head in confusion.
Her smile turned into a more sinister one and she chuckled. “You’re with CJ?”
She let out a bark of a laugh. “Wow. I figured he’d come home for Easter, he was talking about it for months, so I decided to come home and try to… Wow. He moved on quick.”
“I’m sorry, who are you?” I asked.
“Cleo.” She nodded, “I’m CJ’s fiancée.”
I blinked a few times and shook my head, “You’re his ex-fiancée.”
She shrugged, “we’ll see.”
“Excuse me?” I felt myself getting angry, “What does that mean?”
“It means…” She took a step toward me, “That I’m going to get him back.”
“Like hell.” I hissed, “We’re together.”
“Bonded Souls?” She sneered, “Yeah, he told me that I’m his Bonded Soul. We were together since we were fifteen, you really think I’m going to let him go?”
“It’s over between you two, and he’s much happier with me.” I hissed, taking a step closer to her, “He told me all about you. That you’re a slut, a whore, a cheater.”
Cleo scowled at me, drawing in a deep breath.
“He isn’t yours anymore. He’s mine.”
She laughed, crossing her arms, “Yeah… For now.”
I glared at her, wanting nothing more than to tear into her flesh.
“All it’ll take is two words and he’ll come crawling back to me.” She smirked.
I cocked my eyebrow, “And what are they?”
My eyes widened in shock and I looked at her stomach, and then at her face.
“I’m not, but… CJ is desperate to have a family of his own, he’s practically begged me numerous times to start one, but I always said it wasn’t the right time. He sucks in bed, doesn’t he? He could never fuck me hard enough.” She took another step toward me and giggled, “But when I want him back, he’ll come running.”
I stared at her in shock at the disgusting things she was saying.
“There’s no way he’d believe your lies.” I glared at her, “There’s no way he’d go back to you.”
She laughed, “Girl, you must really be stupid. He’d come back to me so that we could be a family.”
“No he wouldn’t.”
“Just you wait and see. CJ is mine. He always has been, and always will be. I’ll get you out of the picture.”
“No you won’t.”
“You’re just a pussy to get his dick wet while he waits for me-”
My fist made contact with the side of her face instantly, sending her falling back onto the ground, gasping.
“You bitch!” She gasped, rubbing her cheek.
“Stay. Away. From my boyfriend.” I say calmly, holding back my anger, “Stay the hell away from him. You broke him, hurt him, used him. I’ll be damned if I let you get anywhere near him. If I so much as smell you again, I’ll kill you bitch. Don’t Fucking. Try me.”
Cleo stood up and took a step back. “This isn’t over, bitch. This is nowhere near over.”
I glared at her as she walked back across the street, “Whatever you say, bitch.”
Vanessa looked shaken up when she came back inside, her face red she was panting.
“You okay?” I asked, pulling her into the empty front sitting room, “You look-”
I was cut off by her lips pressing against mine hard. Her arms wrapped around my neck, her tongue parted my lips as she kissed me deeply. I kissed her back with equal heat, wrapping my arms around her waist and groaned.
“When can we leave?” She panted, pressing her breasts against my chest. “I’m so fucking hot.”
My eyes widened slightly, not used to hearing her curse outside of the bedroom.
“Uh, w-we can go anytime.”
She nodded with a grin, biting her lip. “I want you so much right now.” She mewled.
I felt my cock twitch slightly, the sweet scent of her arousal reaching my nostrils. Thank god the scent of arousal was only noticed by Bonded pairs, and not other vampires, because they’d all smell Vanessa.
“What has gotten into you?” I smirked, running my hands down her back and rested them on her ass.
“I love you.” She said softly, running her fingers through my hair.
Her words were music to my ears and I smiled at her.
“I love you, too.”
She kissed me again and her scent became almost too much for me to bare, driving me crazy. I pushed her away slightly with a groan and took her hand, walking out into the main living room.
“Hey guys, we’re uh…” I cleared my throat, “We’re gunna head out.”
“What?” Sophie jumped up, pouting, “You’re not staying here?”
“No, we have a hotel room.” I gave her a smile, “But we’ll see you tomorrow.”
“But…” Sophie sighed, “We were supposed to go to the movies.”
“We will.” I chuckled, pulling her into a hug, “I promise.”
“Okay.” Sophie grumbled, “I can’t wait for you to move back here this summer.”
My eyes widened and I slowly looked at Vanessa, who stared at me, at first in shock, then in anger as her eyes narrowed slightly, the scent of her arousal instantly disappearing.
“Yes, oh my god.” Mom smiled, “It will be so great having all of our kids back here.”
“Uh…” I tilted my head toward Vanessa and gave mom a pleading look.
“When are you coming back to apartment hunt?” Dad asked, “We can look around at places if you can’t get the time and send you pictures.”
Mom elbowed dad who looked at her in confusion, then his eyes widened slightly as I assume she told him through their portal.
Charlotte grinned in amusement, stifling a laugh in her hand and the crossing her arms smugly.
“You’re moving back? To New York?” Vanessa said calmly, though I could sense the anger in her words.
I went to speak but she smiled and spoke up.
“It was lovely to meet all of you, and I look forward to tomorrow, but I am a little jet lagged, and think an early night is in order.”
“Of course.” Mom returned her smile and pulled Vanessa into a hug, “It was so great to meet you, and I can’t wait to get to know you better.”
“Neither can I.” Vanessa said softly.
Dad gave Vanessa a hug, looking at me apologetically as I grimaced at him in return. Charlotte pulled me into a hug and whispered, “You didn’t tell her you were transferring to New York Pres?”
“Not yet.” I groaned.
“Call me in the morning so that I know you’re alive.” Charlotte whispered, “Because if looks could kill, you’d be dead.”
I pulled away and looked at Vanessa who was glaring at me and gulped.
Yep. I’m a dead man.
And I sure as hell am not going to be getting laid tonight.