To Fear the Dawn: Chapter 7
For the most part, Reginald was satisfied with his life in Strangetown. He was feeding well every night, and his vampiric family was growing by leaps and bounds. He had, truly, more than he had ever hoped for.
Yet he still wanted more.
He wanted a mate. He wanted a lover. He wanted someone to whom he could give the power to create others like him. More than anything, he wanted this, yet it was proving difficult to bring to fruition. Not only must the woman be beautiful and suitable, but custom dictated she fall in love with him as a mortal prior to becoming Turned.
It had to be thus; otherwise, she would not be a mate to him, but only another of his progeny.
The vampire thought. Perhaps he was going about his search the wrong way. He had been looking for a potential mate among his intended victims, but perhaps he needed to approach the task from a different angle. Perhaps he needed to use the eyes of a lover, instead of the eyes of a predator. After all, if his mate needed to fall in love with him first as a mortal female, he would need to treat her in the manner of a mortal male. Yet that could come later. After he had found her and brought her to his demesnes.
Reginald left his home after sunset with a renewed determination. Tonight he would go to the Downtown district and search... not for victims, but for a consort. He had a feeling this night was to be different from all the rest. How, he could not say, but he knew it all the same.
Charity truly had no idea where she was intending to go when she left the Curious home after Vidcund and Pascal’s argument. All she knew was that she had to get away from them. Not only to give herself some space, but to give them a chance to work things out. She hoped they weren’t fighting more, but at least if they were, she wasn’t there to see or hear it.
She drove aimlessly around the nearly empty streets without stopping for a long while, hearing her cell phone ring but ignoring it. She wasn’t ready to talk to any of them. She didn’t know what to say to them and she really didn’t want to hear anything they had to say to her. Not yet.
She sighed. She’d had no idea things would get this complicated.
When she first started working for the Curious brothers, she had been very attracted to Vidcund. She thought she had indicated that to him, but he obviously hadn’t picked up on it. Or had he? Now, she wasn’t so sure.
What was it Vidcund had said? That Pascal always made sure he was the only one who was ever alone with me? Well, I do remember before they began working on that special project, they worked the same shift at the lab, and it’s true. Pascal didn’t ever let me be alone with Vidcund at all.
Had Pascal somehow sensed how Charity felt about his middle brother? Was that why he had kept them apart? She wondered about that now. It hadn’t seemed that way at the time, but looking back it seemed so obvious.
She had been alone with Lazlo a lot before the research project had started. He worked a completely different shift than his two older brothers, having been promoted before them, but it wasn’t quite the same. Lazlo was a wonderful friend, she cared about him deeply, and she knew the feelings were mutual, but there just weren’t many sparks of l'amour between them.
That was fine with Charity, however. It had been fantastic hanging out with Lazlo and the children in the house without the undercurrent of romantic tension in the air. She couldn’t say that when it came to Pascal and Vidcund, especially Vidcund.
Yet it had been Pascal who had indicated his feelings to her first. He had made them very clear, and he had also made ample opportunities for them to be alone together. Not that we'd been together very much, Charity reminded herself. Since Pascal was her employer, she had felt extremely awkward being with him in spite of her attraction to him, and the two of them had not romantically progressed much past what Vidcund had walked in on. She was thankful for that now.
Charity sighed again, her thoughts wandering. She wondered how it would have been if Vidcund had been the one to stay with her after dark while the other two worked at the lab. If he would have been the one to approach her romantically first. Would she had felt so awkward about it then?
Stop thinking like that, she told herself firmly. It didn’t happen that way, and here I am. Now that it was all out in the open, she wondered, how could she ever face any of them again?
Maybe I should just quit working for them, she thought miserably. The twins are nearly fully trained and Orion is a straight-A student. I’m sure they could cope without me now that the children are older.
Yet sudden hot tears sprang to her eyes at that thought, blurring her vision. She wiped them away, but more came, and her stinging, streaming eyes made it impossible to keep driving. She pulled into the parking lot of a nightclub called PURE to have a good cry, and once the vehicle was parked, she allowed herself to let go.
“Damn it, damn it, DAMN IT!” she yelled, pounding the steering wheel with clenched fists. Then she leaned her forehead against it wearily and let the tears drip slowly into her lap while she berated herself in her thoughts. How did I let things get so messed up? Why didn't I just tell Pascal how I feel about Vidcund and leave it at that? Why, Why, WHY? She lightly beat her forehead against the steering wheel.
Yes, there was no escaping it; it was her fault things were in such a complete mess.
Recklessly, Charity got out of the car and headed into the club. She knew her employers... she was careful to think of them in that way now... wouldn’t approve, but she didn’t care. She needed a drink, and besides, as many deaths as there had been in Strangetown, none had happened in public as of yet. She felt reasonably safe.
That is, until she felt a sudden presence behind her.
Before Charity could turn around, she was enveloped by something dark and swirling. She smelled the intoxicating scent of myrrh and felt herself swiftly pulled close against a muscular body by powerful arms...
Then she knew nothing more.
To Be Continued...