Because I Crave Your Kisses! (Book 4)

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Chapter 6

“Alright,” Veronica agreed, giving him her full attention.

So, Bruno began by explaining, “The bonding is the supernatural part that draws the beast to his beloved. If she doesn’t accept him right away, it causes problems. I don’t know why. All I know is that is the way it is. Anyway, if you and I are apart for more than a couple of days and I haven’t marked you, you will become sick.”

“Why? Wouldn’t my becoming sick make me less apt to want you?”

Bruno shrugged. “I genuinely believe it’s just another way for me to know for sure that you are, in fact, my beloved. My Bruder, Tobias, refused to believe that a hunter could be his, so he denied it. When she became sick, and his touch was the only one she could abide, it left no him no doubts that she was his.”

“What do you mean his touch was the only one she could abide?”

“It’s one of the symptoms created by the bond. Anyone’s touch but mine will feel as if it is burning your skin until you are marked. The other symptoms are nausea and body aches. Honestly, you will feel as if you have the flu, including fever.”

“Oh. Well, what is a mark then?”

“Yeah, the mark,” he muttered with an internal groan. How am I going to explain the mark? She has a problem with seeing blood anyway, and now I’m supposed to tell her it requires her taking mine. I’m going to have to do this very carefully, so very carefully.

Veronica stared at Bruno as he nervously rubbed his neck. She wasn’t sure about this whole beloved thing, and it made her slightly nervous. She’d have to admit, though, he was cute, and he was someone she would date if asked.

I think his bright blue eyes are what caught my attention first. They almost seem to glow with a light from within when he looks at me with happiness. How I know it’s happiness, I don’t know, but somehow, I just do. Then there is his dark brown hair, so short and almost spiky on top. It looks natural, though, not gelled up the way most guys fix theirs these days. He has a full beard, which I’m not a girl how generally likes beards, but it’s short and neatly trimmed, so I’m not bothered by it either. I’ll admit, it does look good on him.

Bruno cleared his throat, bringing her from her thoughts. She gave him her full attention.

“The marking is twofold. First, it will mix your scent with mine, which lets other vampires know you belong to me. Second, it’s literally is a mark on your neck, right about here,” he said as he pointed to his neck, right below his hairline, “The mark is physical proof that I have claimed you.”

“Um… well, what does it look like, this mark you’ll give me?” She asked. “How exactly will I get it even?”

“It will look like a falcon and will have my initials, BV, on it,” he told her as he shuffled in his seat, looking uncomfortable. “The way you receive it is through the exchange of blood. I bite you, then give you a bit of my blood in return.”

He gave her a sharp look before pulling her into his lap. If the concerned look he now had was anything to go by, Veronica knew she had paled at his mention of blood.

“I know you said you have a problem with seeing blood, but… We can do the exchange in the dark, so you won’t see anything if you like. I’ve heard that the taste of my blood to you will be delightfully sweet, kind of like honey,” Bruno whispered as he held her close.

“Blood tastes nothing like honey, Bruno,” she informed him, feeling slightly nauseous at the thought of drinking his blood. Why would he even think I’d believe it would taste like honey?

"Nein, not normally it wouldn’t,” he agreed, kissing her on the side of her head. “This is different than licking your wound to stop the blood flow if you are hurt, though. I promise it won’t taste like blood to you, and it will be sweet. I need you to trust me on this.”

She gave a slight nod. She did trust Bruno, which was odd since she’d just met him today. Then, remembering something he’d said, she decided to question him. “So, you said that if we don’t do this, when I go to work tomorrow, and someone touches me, it will hurt?”

He held her gaze steadily. ”Nein, not tomorrow because it usually takes a couple of days for that to happen. I…” he sighed and looked sad. “I will admit that I had hoped you would want to bond with me tonight. I finally found you after waiting so long, and I want everyone to know you are mine and that I’m yours.”

“Bruno, you can’t be more than thirty, so it’s not like you’ve been waiting that long. Typically, most men don’t really become interested in settling down until they’re almost thirty anyway,” she said as she rolled her eyes at him.

“Veronica, I’m a vampire,” he reiterated for her. “We began to crave our Geliebte when we turn twenty, and I’m one hundred and seventy-six years old. I stopped my aging at thirty-four, so I genuinely have been waiting for you for a very long time.”

She felt her mouth drop open when he told her he was one hundred, seventy-six. ”Oh, my!” She began to stutter, “You… you’re… but…?”

Bruno gave her a rueful smile. ”Ja, baby, I really and truly am that old. Now you see why I want so badly to make you mine.”

Veronica just sat gazing at him. She thought how at twenty-eight-year-old she was still single and hadn’t had a serious boyfriend in two years. This reminded her of how lonely and restless she had been in the last few months.

Recently Veronica had been feeling the urge to settle down, but with no man in sight, that hadn’t been a possibility. So, maybe Bruno came at just the right time. But what happens if he marks me and I never feel anything for him? Are we just stuck with each other then?

“Bruno, what happens if I never have any feelings for you?” She asked him softly, not wanting to hurt him but needing to know.

Bruno turned his head away from her, and she heard him take a deep breath. “I-I suppose I’d have to let you go.”

“What would happen to you, though?”

“The beast in me would have no will to live. I would begin to age, most likely at a fast rate so that I would die quickly,” he whispered. “My mark would fade with my death, and you would forget I ever existed.” He then placed her on the couch and stood.

Veronica sat and watched him as he walked the room and into the kitchen. She frowned as she noticed how his shoulders drooped and how slowly he seemed to move. It was as if all the life had drained from him. Do I genuinely mean that much to him? She looked down at her hands, laying in her lap, and sighed in confusion.

“You have broken him, you know, by not accepting him. He would do anything for you, and with just a few careless words, you have taken all hope of life from him.”

Veronica looked up to find Felix in the doorway glaring at her.

“Even as young teens, we dream of what it will be like to find the one who completes us. Sure, it has become almost a myth, a story to tell little girls at bedtime, the thought of a true soulmate, a Geliebte. Most never find one and must settle for one who mostly completes them, but it is still something we all dream of having.

“When Falco found his true soulmate, it gave the rest of us a hope we had not had in an exceedingly long time. Then, Tobias found his Geliebte, and next, Leo found his. It was almost unreal that three brothers had found what most vampires had stopped longing for centuries ago, yet it happened. None of us ever dream of finding one only to have them not want us, yet this is what you have done to my Bruder.”

Veronica sat silently, staring at him.

“Perhaps it would be best if you go home. I think you’ve broken Bruno enough for tonight,” Felix finished, a snarl on his face and his eyes a dark gray with a tint of red.

Veronica wasn’t sure what the eye color change meant, but it probably wasn’t a good thing. So, she stood up and, taking a deep breath, said, “I didn’t mean to hurt him, I-I just…”

She felt a pain in her chest, which caused her to bring her hands up and press against it. I seriously don’t mean to hurt him. So is leaving him the right thing to do? The pain in her chest grew worse at the thought, which told her that leaving Bruno wasn’t an option. It seemed as if her heart wanted him, even if her head was unsure.

Raising her eyes and focusing on Felix, she whispered, “No, I-I can’t leave him, it isn’t right.”

Felix stared at her as if trying to read her mind, finally saying, “You hurt him more and, woman or not, you and I will have problems.”

Then he left as quietly as he had come.

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