Ravyn's Nights - Book 2

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Chapter 50


Five years after having left America once again, Sean and Claire seemed to be settling nicely into life in England without the stresses of living in a territory under attack. They did of course still worry over Haven’s fate and all the other things related to that prophecy, but it was much easier to try to push that out of their minds now that they were so far removed from the reach of the serpent themselves.

Their life in England this time around was a much simpler one than they had enjoyed running either their theatre or their club. But they both agreed that simple was still preferable to stressful. Sean was once again working as a minstrel for hire to various noble families around London; and Claire had actually managed to start her own shop as a dressmaker, with Prince Hollister’s help, of course. They lived in modest quarters above the dress shop and were once again able to live in peace, even if that peace had been slightly uneventful.

Though on this particular day in 1765, there was one notable event that would greatly change that simple life Sean and Claire had grown accustomed to. While they slept that day, their servants received an invitation for them both to come to the house of a wealthy noble for some sort of get-together that evening. The note stated that Lord Daniel Denbourough and his wife Anastasia were acquainted with their friend Aidan and had heard of Sean’s talents as a minstrel as well as Claire’s talents as a seamstress. They wished for Sean to perform at their ball that week and for Claire to design the gown Anastasia was to wear.

After reading over the note the two looked to each other thoughtfully “not often that we get to work together” Sean smiled down at her.

“We should probably contact Aidan before deciding whether to go, though” Claire stated warily, which only caused a wry smile from Sean.

“I suppose caution is always a good thing” he agreed nonetheless as he watched as Claire moved back to their bedroom for the silence required to contact her childe through a method much quicker than simply sending a messenger.

After several minutes, Claire returned to the main portion of their home to find Sean making last minute changes to a few of the songs he had written in recent nights “well Aidan confirmed that the two are friends of his” Claire replied as she moved to take a seat next to her husband.

“And yet you still look wary” Sean pointed out as he looked over at her distracted expression.

“He said they’re Kindred” she offered.

Sean raised a brow at that fact “not only nobles, but Kindred nobles?” Sean repeated “I guess some of our kind has done rather well to repair their livelihoods since the nightmare of Mary II’s reign” he stated thoughtfully.

“I suppose” Claire responded with obvious distraction.

Sean furrowed his brow a bit “Did Aidan happen to say what clan they belong to?” he questioned, as them belonging to another clan would likely cause difficulties.

“They’re actually part of our own bloodline, apparently” Claire responded.

“How so?” Sean asked, his interest piqued.

“Hollister apparently made another childe after Haven” she reported.

“This Lord Daniel is Hollister’s childe?” Sean asked with a bit of his own wariness.

“No, Hollister made Haven; then he made Thomas apparently, four years later” she supplied “and Thomas made Daniel, and Daniel made Anastasia” she passed on the information that Aidan had supplied her with during their telepathic communication.

“Anastasia, his wife?” Sean repeated, seeming to cling to that piece of information with an obvious curiosity.

“I guess that’s part of why Aidan told them about us. He must’ve figured we have some common ground” Claire offered.

“I should say so” Sean smiled slightly “another member of our line was apparently too in love to leave his soul mate behind, either” he restated as he placed a kiss over her cheek.

“Well Aidan didn’t confirm that they were soul mates” Claire returned, though couldn’t help the slight smile at Sean’s words nonetheless.

“If he’s Toreador, and he embraced the woman he loved; I think it’s a logical assumption” he teased her with another kiss. Though Claire still looked somewhat distracted “so what has you worried, dear?” Sean had to ask as he set aside his songs to turn his full attention to her.

“That would make Daniel the same generation as you; and Anastasia the same generation as me” she stated quietly “though I suppose they were embraced after us. I think Aidan said 1677 and 1681” she added.

“And?” Sean furrowed his brow again.

“That would also make Daniel the same generation as Awsha” she added more quietly, “and embraced only five years after her.”

Sean allowed a slight laugh “and I’m the same generation as both Awsha and this Daniel. You can’t just assume he’s anything like her” he told her, though gently.

“But if he is… I won’t be able to read him, and he’ll be nearly as strong as you” she looked up at him worriedly.

“Are we doing battle?” Sean chuckled slightly “because I don’t think that was mentioned in the invitation” he teased as he looked back at the paper again.

“Well we have to worry about these things, don’t we?” Claire defended her slight paranoia.

“If they give us a reason to” Sean smiled as he gave her a reassuring kiss “right now it seems they only have a desire for our talents though. Not quite that nefarious as of yet” he added with another smile.

Claire simply sighed again, wishing she could push away that paranoia. But she was finding it more than difficult now that she had actually managed to enjoy five years of peace, and honestly did not wish to give up something that rare just yet.

When their carriage pulled up to the Denbourough home, both Claire and Sean were caught by its size and elegance both “so, he’s my cousin is it?” Sean asked as both their sets of eyes moved over the home as they slowly stepped from the carriage.

“The way our family keeps growing, it is getting difficult to keep track” she offered with the same wide-eyed appraisal of the home as they warily moved toward the doors.

“I wonder if I can get him to put me in the will” Sean teased as he reached for the gleaming door knocker.

“I’m sure a lot of vampires make wills” she returned wryly as they heard footsteps approaching the inside of the door.

“Way to dash my dreams” he teased her again, just as a servant nodded for them to enter the monstrously large home.

They were quickly led to the large ballroom where the lord of the house himself had just finished nibbling at the wrist of one of his many servants before turning to greet them with a smile “Sean and Claire Beringer” he stated in that velvety accent as he moved to take their hands “pleasure to finally officially make your acquaintance.”

As with nearly all members of their clan, Daniel was beyond attractive, with chin-length brown locks, piercing blue eyes, standing a mere three inches shorter than Sean, at 6’1” and possessing a body that looked more like a sculpture than anything a human should legitimately possess.

“Officially?” Sean had to ask as he shook Daniel’s hand and watched as he kissed Claire’s. though his eyes moved over both of them with equal appreciation, his aura immediately taking on a desire-filled glow.

“Yes, Tasie and I did see you before when you last lived here in England. However, we never got the chance to speak, as you were onstage at the time” Daniel offered, causing Sean and Claire to both display a bit of tension “both onstage” he clarified as his eyes moved to Claire again.

“At the club?” Sean easily followed his meaning.

“Why do you think I was so very interested in meeting you both even though it’s been what? Eighty years?” he stated with another grin as his eyes moved over them each once more.

“So, you didn’t call us here for the reasons stated in your invitation, after all?” Sean had to ask, as Claire was remaining quite quiet.

“Oh of course. There will be a ball with pretty people in a few days and we want pretty music and pretty gowns for that. That much was true” Daniel assured them “but those weren’t the only reasons my love and I wished to make your acquaintances” he told them with another smile.

“You wanted to meet us because of the club?” Claire finally spoke up.

“Well, because of how interesting your relationship seems to be. As well as how much it does have in common with the relationship Tasie and I share, or so I’m hoping” he stated in the same tone that was equal parts charm and desire.

“I’m guessing Aidan must have told you some things about us” Claire asked with continued wariness.

“Enough to pique my interest even more than your stage performance already had” he agreed.

That was when his lovely wife glided into the room. Her Spanish heritage was immediately apparent, as was her beauty. She looked so similar to Erica that it was eerie. The only real difference was that her hair was much straighter, more like Claire’s. But beyond that she had the dark complexion, dark eyes, and an equally beautiful body as she stood at an even more petite height of 5’2” which made her even shorter than Claire’s 5’4”.

“Anastasia my love” Daniel greeted her as he turned to take her hand in his as she approached “our guests have arrived” he added as she moved past him to look up at Claire and Sean with just as much desire as her husband seemed to be showing ever since setting eyes on them.

“They’re even more beautiful than they were onstage” she stated with a pleased smile “so nice to finally meet you both” she told them with that Spanish lilt.

“Pleasure” Sean managed as he mirrored Daniel’s greeting to Claire and gently kissed her equally cool hand.

“I surely hope so” she returned as she gave his body one more look before turning her attention to Claire who did look ever so slightly thrown by this couple’s seemingly shared attraction to both she and her own husband “Come, we must get started on that gown” she told Claire as she moved to place an arm around her and began leading her from the room.

Sean looked after the two women with a slight apprehension before Daniel’s voice claimed his attention once more “care for a drink while the ladies get acquainted?” he asked as he gestured to the servant who still stood quietly nearby.

“Sure” Sean returned as he forced his eyes back to his host as the servant took an obedient step towards him, immediately tilting her head to offer her neck.

Sean cast one more wary glance at Daniel, who simply took a seat while he watched Sean with that same smile. Sean then paused only a moment before sinking his fangs into the pretty young servant’s neck, as the pleasure of his Kiss immediately hit him and her both. When her pulse finally began to slow, Sean moved back and wiped at his lips as he took another long moment to try and recover from that pleasure.

“Oh I can see how interesting this friendship may indeed get” Daniel stated with another grin as he gestured for Sean to take a seat as well.

When Sean had finally fully recovered from that Kiss, he had to speak up “Daniel…” he began.

“Sean” he returned in the same sultry tone as he turned in his seat to face him.

“I can’t help sensing that those other reasons you had for wanting to meet us are of a more carnal nature” he dared.

Daniel just allowed another slight chuckle “you are quite perceptive” he teased before moving on “and yes, after seeing you two doing the things you did on that stage, and seeing how devastatingly beautiful you both are, of course I had to find out all I could about you both, and your marriage” he added.

“And what exactly did you find out and from whom?” Sean returned as he continued to watch the other man closely. Though the subject of the conversation did do well to make it even harder to ignore how attractive he and his wife both were.

“I spoke with both Hollister and Aidan, and they explained as best they could, exactly what sort of relationship you and Claire have. And after hearing that, we were overjoyed that we had yet another thing in common with such beauties as yourselves” Daniel stated simply, his aura and thoughts showing literally no other motive than a desire to make Sean and Claire into rather passionate consorts. Though, he was the same generation as Sean, even if nearly a century younger, so there was always room for certain thoughts or feelings to be harder to interpret.

Sean just shook his head at the bluntness with which Daniel continued to speak “and you assumed that because of various…similarities…Claire and I would be interested in the same sort of…friendship?” he decided on.

“Well, you do both find each of us attractive, so what reason would there be not to indulge in said friendship?” Daniel continued, proving that he could read them rather well too.

“Just because all four of us are attractive, and in less than traditional marriages…” Sean began, but soon his voice fell short as Daniel moved his fingers to gently trace Sean’s arm through his coat. Taking another moment to find his train of thought again “I’m afraid there may be one thing that Aidan probably should have told you and most likely didn’t, considering” Sean attempted as Daniel’s fingers moved against the material of his clothing.

“And what would that be?” Daniel stated as his fingers moved down to ever so slightly caress the back of Sean’s hand then instead.

Another moment as Sean cleared his throat “Claire has a bit of difficulty with the idea of…”

“Of what?” Daniel asked with a raised brow, considering he knew what Claire was willing to do onstage with her husband, as well as knowing that she had been Aidan’s lover while being Sean’s wife. Needless to say, he was having a bit of difficulty determining any line that Claire possibly had trouble crossing.

“She’s not that fond of the idea of us being intimate with other Kindred” Sean attempted to explain Claire’s take on intimacy, odd though it was in comparison to her willingness to take mortal lovers into she and Sean’s bed.

“Well that is rather strange” Daniel replied, his fingers stopping their motions against Sean’s hand at last.

“My Kindred sister: She used her powers against me. Claire has had a few trust issues since then” Sean attempted that ever so short explanation.

“Just Claire?” Daniel latched onto that part of the statement.

“Well, it hurt Claire more than it hurt me” Sean stated simply, forcing himself not to bring up his second encounter with Awsha, which had been more than devastating to he and Claire both.

“Well, the best way to counter a bad experience is with a more meaningful series of good experiences, is it not?” Daniel stated plainly, to which Sean did not have much of an argument against after all.

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