After straightening their clothes, they walked out of Leo’s office hand in hand.
“Edna, cancel anything I had going on today, please, I’m going home,” Leo said as they passed the front desk.
“Yes sir,” Edna said looking at them puzzled.
Camilla let out a giggle as they passed Edna.
Leo looked at her and asked, “What is so funny?”
“Poor woman. She’s probably trying to figure out how I went from, our fathers are friends, too, holding your hand, in just over an hour.”
Leo let out a small chuckle as he opened the door for them to step outside. Placing a pair of sunglasses on his nose, he took a deep breath.
“Good afternoon Mr. Vogel,” a young man said. As he passed them, he gave their entwined hands a puzzled look.
Leo just nodded at him.
“An employee?” Camilla questioned.
“Ja, sales probably,” he answered.
“You mean, you don’t know?” She asked him incredulously. Her dad knew most of his employees by their first names at Smythe Enterprises.
Leo shrugged before he stopped and turned to face her. He pushed his sunglasses onto the top of his head and took her hands in his as his blue eyes locked onto her green ones. With a glance around the busy sales lot, he softly said, “I’m not very… tolerant of humans, little one.”
“It might be best not to have this conversion here. Let’s go get my car,” he suggested.
She nodded as he pulled his sunglasses back down. Then she remembered something and exclaimed, “My car, Leo, I left it at Subway!”
“Then let’s go get it, little one. I can leave mine here overnight if need be.”
So, without another word, they took off down the street, walking. Once they got her car from Subway, they headed for Leo’s house. When they arrived at Leo’s house, Camilla looked around as she got slowly out of the car.
Leo lived in a nice neighborhood of mid-sized homes and meticulously kept yards. His yard thought was a riot of color because he had flowers everywhere.
“Wow, Leo, you must genuinely like flowers,” she whispered.
“Nein, not really. It just gives me an excuse to be outside. I don’t like to just sit still when I’m outdoors, I need to be doing something. Mutter accuses me of having “outdoor ADD” when I’m outside.”
She took notice of his brick home with blue shutters and wrap-a-round porch as she asked, “What’s outdoor ADD?”
He chuckled as he opened the door and held it for her.
Stepping inside she sighed at the feel of the cool air on her hot skin.
“When inside I can sit still for hours doing nothing but reading or listening to music. However, when I’m outside, I can’t sit still for more than a few minutes at a time,” he explained.
“Ah… I understand. Now, explain about your employees.”
Leo motioned her to the left.
Stepping through a doorway, she found herself in a sitting room. The walls were a light cream, the chairs, and couches a dark brown leather, the drapes tan with gold thread shot through them. So, sitting down, she looked at him expectantly.
He sat down next to her and took her hand. “I’m the oldest of the five Bruders,” he began. “Bruno, who you met today is next, then Tobias, Falco, and last is young Felix.”
“No sisters then?”
“So… how old are you exactly?”
“I’m 196, but to humans, I’m only thirty-six,” he replied.
“Oh…” she almost wheezed before taking in a deep breath. “Well, I’m an only child and I’m thirty-two.”
Raising her hand to his lips, he kissed it before he continued by saying, “Being as old as I am, I was born at a time when drinking from the vein wasn’t a big deal. Bruno and I were raised feeding from the vein only. It was how things were done and that was that.
“Tobias, however, was born in 1850 and was raised mostly on the vein.”
“Ja, I say mostly because by that time my parents were trying to find alternatives. It wasn’t much before Falco was born in 1902 that other means were found. Even then most vampires refused to stop feeding from the vein, and if no one was killed in the process, not much was said.”
“So, um… you bit people?”
“Ja, I did, for most of my young life,” he explained. “See, that’s the thing Camilla, I liked it and didn’t want to stop. Oh, I knew I could be killed for it, but I didn’t care. I was young and stupid, and the taste of warm blood was… I guess you would call it addictive. It was my food and my drug combined. Anyway, when I get too close to a human it… brings back memories, memories of that time.”
“So, basically, it makes you hungry?”
“Basically,” he agreed. “Little one, my hearing is one hundred times better than yours. Even now, I can hear your heartbeat, your blood rushing through your veins. It calls to me, to my thirst so Ja, I’m standoffish to my employees. It’s not because I’m stuck up or snobbish, which is what they think of me, but because if I’m not…”
“Then you want to attack them and bite.”
Camilla sat there, rubbing circles on the back of his hand with her forefinger. She chewed the inside of her cheek as she thought about his words. She felt her cheeks heat up at where her thoughts took her. Still, she asked, “So… how come you haven’t attacked me? Well, with something besides kisses anyway?”
Leo reached up, and with a finger, he tilted her face up. Gazing into her eyes, he huskily whispered, “Trust me, I want to. I know though, that once I do, the sweetness of your essence will ruin me for the taste of another.” Then, he scooted closer, his hand going behind her head and pulling her ever closer to him. “Kiss me, Geliebte.”
Their lips met, moving together as if they had been kissing for years. He tasted of mint, and she was addicted, couldn’t get enough. His tongue slid across her lips, she opened for him like a thirsty flower, and he was her rain. Their tongues tangled and teased as moans filled the silence.
Leo lifted her onto his lap and her hands moved to unbutton his shirt once more. He didn’t bother with her buttons; however, he just ripped her shirt open and buttons flew everywhere.
“Leo, I liked this shirt!”
“I’ll buy you a dozen just like it,” he promised. Then he pulled her back in for another kiss.
Leo felt as if he was on fire. Desire was running through his veins and only his Geliebte could quench it. He needed her to the point of pushing her down on his couch. Realizing how far he was taking things, he groaned and pulled back from her.
Nein, I can’t, not like this because I don’t even know how she feels about me. Deep breaths, control Leo, you need to take control, he chanted in his head.
Looking at her, he saw her swollen lips, and desire glazed eyes. He saw her chest moving rapidly as she panted for air and gave her a chaste kiss on the cheek.
“You truly know how to leave a girl breathless, don’t you?” She asked as she ran a hand over his crew cut. Poking her lip out in a pout, she huffed. “Why is your hair so short?”
He tilted his head sideways at the out-of-the-blue question. “Easy upkeep I suppose, why?”
“Why do you call me beloved? You called me that even in my dreams. Well, you called me Geliebte, which I looked up and found out it means beloved in German.”
“For a vampire, the ultimate dream is to find our beloved, or soulmate, the other half of ourselves. Very few of us do, so most give up after about a hundred years,” he told her pulling her close.
“You know, I told my father I was leaving to find my soulmate,” she said as she rubbed a hand up and down his neck. “Even when I was fourteen, I knew deep down that you were mine. It’s funny really because when I had that first dream, vampires were never even a blip on my radar.”
“So, you weren’t one of those girls who dreamed of all things that come out after dark?”
She lifted her head from his chest to look at him. “No, not really. Don’t get me wrong, I loved a good story about those things. Shelly and I watched many a movie about them. Shelly loves a good “bump in the night” thriller. Me though? I was more the Prince Charming and Cinderella-type instead of Beauty and the Beast.”
He snorted, “Beast?”
She giggled. “Yes, beast. Not into fairytales huh?”
He felt the urge to roll his eyes at her. “Nein. All Bruders, remember?”
Her eyes lit up. “Only the best friend a girl could have. I’ve known her since we were five. She’s stuck with me through everything. I think my secret dreams would have driven me crazy if I hadn’t had her to tell about them.”
“Maybe it’s time for you to tell me about these dreams.”
Camilla nodded her head in agreement.