After fixing Kendra her cheese and crackers, Tobias poured her a glass of milk and a glass of orange juice. Putting it all on a tray, he took it back to the bedroom to find she was still in the shower. After putting the tray down on top of the bed, he walked to the bathroom door.
The door was open, so he tapped on the door frame, saying, “Kendra, I left you a tray on the bed, and I also laid your laptop on the end of it. I shouldn’t be gone long, but if you need anything, call me, alright?”
“Alright. I love you,” she said as she poked her head out the curtain to look at him.
“I love you too. I’ll be back before you know it.”
Stepping quickly to the shower, he gave her a quick kiss and left the room. He needed to leave before he could start thinking about her in the shower too much.
Arriving at his parent’s home he tapped on the door before entering. He called out, “Hello, anybody home?”
“Ah, mein Sohn, my son, I’m in here.”
Following the sound of Mutter’s voice, he found her in the kitchen.
“Guten morgen Mutter, Good morning Mother,” Tobias said.
Turning from the stove, she gave him a big smile.
“What brings you by so early today? I wasn’t expecting you until this evening when you were to come to meet Brianna. She was very disappointed, by the way, when dinner was canceled. She was looking forward to meeting you,” Mutter said, a disappointment of her own in her voice.
“I apologize for that Mutter, but you are going to have to cancel on her again, at least for me,” he said. “I suppose she could meet Bruno, or perhaps Felix.”
Mutter wrinkled her nose. “Nein, mein Sohn. She would not work for either of those two. Nein, I picked her especially for you. So, tell me why you do not wish to meet her?”
She leaned against the counter then and crossed her arms.
“Well, you see Mutter, I found meine Geliebte. She…”
Mutter squealed like a little girl and moved to hug him.
Tobias chuckled at her excitement.
Switching to German, his Mutter began to speak fast, saying, “Well, why didn’t you say so? I am so happy for you Tobias! What is her name, where is she from, what is she like?”
He shook his head at her rapid-fire questions. He quickly interrupted as she paused to take a breath before she could ask more.
“Calm down, one question at a time please,” he answered, also in German. Then continued by saying, “You have already met her, she is Kimberly’s sister, Kendra.”
Mutter backed up then. She wore a solemn look on her face as she gripped his arms tightly. Then, in a worried whisper, she asked, “The hunter? Oh, Tobias… are you sure she is the one?”
“Ja, I am sure. I met her almost a week ago now, but I didn’t know who she was, and she kissed me,” he told her as he shook his head at the memory. “I never thought a hunter would be brave enough to get that close to a vampire without a weapon, but she did, and….” He felt his eyes close at the memory of that first kiss and could almost smell his beloved’s sweet gardenia scent. “She smelled so lovely, like gardenias Mother. Never have I smelled anything as heavenly as that scent was that night.”
He opened his eyes to see his Mutter staring at him with a shocked look.
“I never thought I would see the day my little Tobias would have that look on his face. I have wanted to see it on all my children’s faces for so long,” she whispered once more, still in German.
“What look are you speaking of Mother?”
“The look of pure love and adoration for another. Now, continue your story,” she pressed.
“I was shocked but never expected to see her again. So, I tried to put her, and her kiss, out of my mind, yet I couldn’t seem to do it. Then Kimberly invited me to dinner and said her sister would be there. Her sister ended up being my mystery hunter. We got into a bit of a fight and I stormed off. I am sad to say that it never even crossed my mind that she could be my beloved. So, when she called me sick I…well, I acted like a heartless beast causing her to hang up on me.”
She narrowed her eyes at him. “What did you do?”
“I refused to go help her, I told her to call her sister to help because it wasn’t my responsibility to do so,” he admitted. “After hanging up though, I began to feel bad for what I had done. So, I called Leo. He, of course, forced me to go with him to see about her. When we got there, she was in the grips of the bonding, but I still refused to admit she was my beloved because she is a hunter, and…” his voice faded as the guilt of what he had done to her last night once more consumed his conscience.
“And… what, son?” Mother asked harshly.
“Human,” he admitted with a heavy sigh. “Well, Leo, being Leo, forced the issue and made me hold her. This, of course, proved she was my beloved when my touch didn’t harm her. Having proved his point, he then left us.”
“Now things are good between the two of you though?”
He shrugged, still not wanting to admit his problem with biting. He didn’t want to see the disappointment on his Mutter’s face.
Mutter gave an annoyed sigh before demanding in German, “Out with-it Tobias! I can read you like a book. There is something you are not telling me.”
Shifting nervously from one foot to the other, he stared at the floor, unwilling to look her in the eyes. He knew he needed to talk about it. Him, as well as his Bruders, had always gone to their Mutter for everything when it came to advice. Most of the time, if they did go to their Vater he sent them right back to their Mutter.
This though was something he wasn’t sure he wanted to tell his Mutter because it had to do with intimacy.
“Maybe… maybe I should go talk to Vater.”
Mutter raised an eyebrow at him.
Tobias watched as her cheeks turned pink as if she suddenly realized what he was needing to talk about.
Mutter cleared her throat then and said, “If this has something to do with your love life, then, by all means, go talk to your Vater. You’ll find him in the garage.” She turned back to the stove and he heard her mumble in German, “Times like this I’m glad they aren’t girls.”
So, he slowly made his way to the garage because this was one conversation he really was dreading. Once he was there, he stood just outside the door for a long time. He was trying to build up his courage to go inside and face his Vater.
He might be over one hundred, but it still hurt to think about his Vater looking at him with disappointment in his eyes. Finally, having stalled long enough, he opened the door and called out, “Vater?”
Vater rolled out from under the car and stood with a smile. “Tobias, it’s good to see you, mein Sohn.” His smile suddenly dropped though, and he looked worried as he asked, “I know that look. What have you done?”
“You are a grown man, Tobias, it’s not like I’m going to give you a whipping for it,” Vater told him.
Tobias chuckled. “Ja, well, you never did that anyway. I believe that was Mutter’s job.”
“Eh, it was. Still is if I decide you need it,” Vater said with a wink. “Although are you sure it isn’t your Mutter you should be speaking with? She’s much better in the advice department than I am.”
“Ah, well, I… um…” Tobias stuttered. He didn’t know how to even begin, and his feelings of embarrassment and guilt didn’t help.
“I’m thinking this must be something serious the way you’re acting, so just get it out there,” Vater encouraged.
Tobias swallowed hard and wiped his sweating palms on his thighs. Then he told his Vater of what he had done when he was twenty-five. He then continued by telling him how he had ended up killing a woman four years later.
Vater became still and pale as Tobias talked. Halfway through the tale, he sat down in a chair close to the wall.
By the time Tobias was finished speaking his Vater had dropped his head down into his hands.