Vampire Agápe 01 - Blood of Anteros, page 19
“Do you they understand I will kill them if they come near her?” I asked, needing to know they fully understood the dangers of going against orders.
“They understand completely,” he answered.
“I need to be with them, so please excuse me. This will be a difficult time for them, as you may remember.” Sebastian hugged me and added, “It’s good to have you home.”
“It’s good to be here.” I couldn’t bring myself to call it home because it no longer felt like my home. Sebastian nodded in understanding and I was grateful he wan’t hurt by my words.
Thatcher offered to show Sully his new quarters, leaving me with Solomon. “So, how are things between the two love birds?” he laughed.
“Everything is fine,” I responded, without offering up any details.
He snorted and said, “It didn’t sound so fine when you pulled into the drive. I don’t have to tell you we heard your argument.”
“It wasn’t an argument, it was a conversation and, no, you don’t have to remind me you could hear every word, so don’t,” I warned.
“Come on, Curry, I need some details. Tell me what is it like.”
“What is what like?” I asked, knowing what it was he was asking me to explain.
“What is it like to want her and not her blood?”
It was so many things I couldn’t put a label on it. “It’s different and scary and amazing all at the same time.”
“I remember how powerful desire was when I was human, so how is it different with her as your agápe?” he quizzed.
“It’s even more incredible because I love her so completely, I can’t imagine my existence without her now.”
“What was it like to do the nasty with her?” he asked anxiously.
He was my best friend and it was none of his business, but I said, “I haven’t been physically intimate with her.”
He hit me in the arm with his fist and asked, “What are you waiting on, dumb ass?”
“The vampire in you is thinking for you, but I am living as a man in a man’s world. It isn’t like being a vampire and doing what feels good to make yourself happy at the moment and I want to do things the right way which involves waiting on physical intimacy until we are married.”
“You’re kidding me, right? You have to be yanking my chain because I have no idea how you could have been given the green light and stall out like that.”
“No, I’m not kidding you in the least. I have already bought her ring, I’m just waiting for the perfect moment to ask, after I speak to her grandfather.” I took her ring in it’s box from my pocket and popped it open for Solomon to inspect.
He took the box from my hand to survey the token of my love for Chansey and said, “It’s impressive, but you mean to tell me you have been bonded with your agápe for 21 years, and you want to remain pure and marry her, so you don’t break the rules of man when you are not even a man?”
I was tiring of defending my feelings and my decision. “I don’t have to explain my motives to you, but that’s exactly what I am telling you and besides, I’m not even sure it’s a possibility.”
He attempted to embarrass me. “Trust me. I saw you with her and you looked human enough to me to get the job done.”
“Well, I guess I’ll find out when we’re married, won’t I?” I said adamantly.
“Brennan, I do not understand you. How can we be best friends when you are so weird? You are the luckiest vampire I know and you’re not even taking advantage. You’re crazy for not hitting that every chance you get.”
“It is a shame you are a vampire because you would be every woman’s dream if you were human,” I joked.
“I know, I was thinking the same thing,” he laughed.
“Well, maybe someday you will be gifted with an agápe, then we’ll see how you feel about things,” I suggested. An agápe would do Solomon some good.
“Yeah, right. What are the chances of that happening? Chansey is the first agápe I’ve known of in, uh, ever.”
“It could happen, I would never have guessed in a million years I would be gifted an agápe. You’re a good person so you could find yourself sporting a new little agápe on your arm one day.”
“I won’t be betting on it, but if I do find myself with an agápe, I promise you I won’t be just sporting her on my arm,” he jested.
“We’ll see about that, but tell me about these two new vampires in the house.”
Solomon began, “It’s the same as always. They were turned and left by their sire. Lance has been here a month and he is doing very well. Elliott has been here about six weeks and isn’t doing as well as Lance, but we still have high hopes he will make a turn around. We haven’t given up on him yet.”
“Should I be concerned about either of them with Chansey in the house?” I questioned.
“Sebastian has ordered both of them to remain in the basement until she leaves and they have both agreed. They know the consequences of otherwise,” he explained, but if one of them decided he couldn’t resist, it wouldn’t matter if an order was in effect or not.
“I will never be at ease knowing there are two undisciplined vampires in the house. I can hardly stand her being out of my sight right now although I know Gia and Lairah are with her,” I explained.
“Gia and Lairah are almost finished fluffing and puffing her, but I have to know one thing. You are going to sleep in the same bed with her while you’re here, so how are you going to be so close to her and not give in to what you are intended to do when you and I both know Gia and Lairah aren’t going to put her in an old T-shirt and sweats? You know we don’t have that kind of sleeping attire in this house.”
“They wouldn’t do me like that, would they?” I asked, knowing all along they would definitely make things difficult for me.
“Want to bet? They don’t know you’re practicing abstinence and all they’ve talked about is how romantic it must be to have an agápe,” he said, emphasizing the romantic part and continued, “They would love nothing more than for you to get it on with her.”
Depending on how Gia and Lairah handled the situation, I could have a problem on my hands because Chansey needed no encouragement.
“Maybe you should go back there before they have time to plot too much,” he suggested.
“That’s probably a good idea,” I agreed.
I wasn’t half way down the hall to my quarters when I smelled burning candles and the sweet, floral aroma of Gia’s and Lairah’s fluffing and puffing. I knocked gently on the door and was granted permission to enter. Chansey was seated on the bench at the foot of my bed wearing a low cut satin nightgown and matching robe while Gia sat behind her, combing her hair like a doll.
“We aren’t ready for you,” Lairah said.
I had to love how she said “we” and it let me know that Chansey must have opened up to them, making me very happy. “Well, dawn is approaching and Chansey needs her rest,” I said sternly.
“Anxious much?” Gia hinted.
“No, I said Chansey needs her rest. It has been a long night for her and she has normally been asleep for hours by now,” I scolded.
“Okay, we get the picture. We’re out of here, party pooper,” Lairah said and stuck her tongue out at me as she walked by.
I saw Gia’s wink and Lairah’s nod at Chansey on the way out the door and I wondered what that was all about, but with them, it could be anything. I waited until the door was shut to ask, “What was that all about?”
“I don’t know what you mean,” she said and stood, to be seen better, in the satin nightgown and opened robe. “They were just trying to be helpful since you wouldn’t let me get my own things.”
I knew what my sisters were up to and Chansey was happily in on it. I decided, in this moment, that I might regret the sudden bond they had formed against me. It didn’t matter what they were up to because I wasn’t budging and I asked, “Do you feel better?”
“Yes, I feel incredibly better, about everything
I was referring to the bath but she was referring to something entirely different. “I’m so sorry I was angry about Gia and Lairah because now I see they are like sisters to you. I should have believed you.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about them earlier,” I apologized and added, “All of this misunderstanding could have been avoided if I had just told you sooner.”
“I think we both see our faults and it’s a good lesson for the future.”
“While we are on the topic of sharing, there is something I need to tell you about what we do here.”
“What do you mean?” she asked.
“We don’t just live her. We have a purpose at this compound, something I haven’t told you about,” I told her in an attempt to prepare her.
“I’m ready, so give it to me,” she said.
“The six of us run this compound as a haven for vampires in need of discipline and control. Some are newly turned vampires abandoned by their sires, while others are simply out of control. We take them in, train them and show them our way of living,” I explained and then added, “Undisciplined vampires in the house are very dangerous for you, so you can’t be left without one of us to protect you because we currently have two in the house. They know you are here and are ordered to stay downstairs until you are gone. You have never been around an undisciplined vampire, so you don’t understand how different they can be. They wouldn’t hesitate to kill you.”
“So, they choose to come here?” she asked.
“Some do and then there are those forced to come here. Not all vampires agree with our way of existence, but we all agree that an undisciplined vampire is dangerous, so they are given the opportunity to come here and reform.”
“What happens if they can’t be reformed?” she asked.
“They are destroyed,” I answered.
Her eyes became large with surprise. “Destroyed? You mean you kill them?”
“We do. I understand it sounds very harsh, but failure to conform them is much harsher. Chansey, they are killing machines and can wipe out a large population of humans in a small amount of time when they go on a spree. There is no other choice and it is what must be done,” I explained.
“It just seems so sad.”
There was so much she didn’t understand about the life of a vampire and I feared she would eventually be forced to see the depths of how terrible it could be. “The life of a vampire is incredibly sad. The whole immortality thing sounds like a good idea, but what good is living forever when you have no one to share it with?”
“You have me to share your life with now,” she said and I immediately thought of how temporary our situation was because I had forever and she didn’t. The look on her face told me she had the same thoughts and I decided to change the subject before she steered the conversation toward how I should make her a vampire.
“It’s very late and you need your rest.”
“I am incredibly tired. Will you lay with me until I’m asleep?”
I nodded and joined her on the bed. I laid next to her while she rested her head on my chest, and true to her words, she was exhausted and asleep within a matter of minutes. When I recognized my own fatigue, I closed my eyes and within minutes joined her in slumber as I lightly dozed.
The sun had yet to make it’s appearance, so it could not have been more than mere minutes when I awakened. I slowly opened my eyes and my vampire vision recognized an outline in the shadows of the room. I streaked across the room, grabbing the figure by the neck and slammed him to the ground.
“Who are you?”
“I’m Lance. I wan’t going to do anything.”
“Why are you in my room when you were ordered to not enter the upper level of the house?”
“I wanted to test my reaction to your human. I swear, I wasn’t going to harm her and I knew you were here to protect her if I couldn’t control myself,” he pleaded.
Chansey was sitting up in the bed with the covers pulled to her chin. She spoke from across the room and said, “Don’t hurt him, Curry. He was just curious.”
I continued my chokehold around his neck and said, “His curiosity could have gotten you killed and I have destroyed others for much less.”
“He meant me no harm and knew you would protect me, so there was no real danger for me.” She didn’t realize just how wrong she truly was at that moment.
“I suggest you return to your quarters in the basement and do not dare emerge again until you have been given permission to do so,” I ordered.
“I understand and I’m sorry I disturbed you,” he apologized.
He left my quarters and Chansey asked, “Is it always going to be like this?”
“Like what?” I questioned.
“Are you always going to be scanning for danger with every step and ready to pounce?”
I returned to the bed and sat next to her, taking my hand and placing against her cheek. “I will always be ready to protect you,” I reassured her.
“Why must it be that way?” she questioned.
“It has to be that way because if I fail to protect you, I will lose you forever and I won’t take that chance,” I explained.
“You might resent me one day because you are forced to constantly protect me. It’s going to become monotonous.”
I couldn’t deny that protecting her was going to be challenging, but it was a challenge I was up for. “I could never resent protecting the most precious thing in my world.”
She leaned in and placed her forehead against mine and said, “But it doesn’t have to always be that way.”
I knew where this conversation was headed and I didn’t plan on discussing it again. “You are not going to convince me to turn you, so don’t waste your breath. There is much I am willing to give you, but immortality doesn’t make the list,” I said, possibly a little too sternly.
Her eyes shot daggers in my direction before she dramatically turned her back on me. Her heavy sigh was another clue of her unhappiness with me and I didn’t try to speak to her further because I knew my words would not be well received. It was a decision she would eventually come to accept, I hoped.
Chansey was still asleep when Sebastian opened my bedroom door and motioned for me to join him. I gently rolled off of the bed to avoid waking her and followed him as he led me to his sound proof office. He stood to the side of the doorway for me to enter, then shut the door behind me. I sat in the chair across from his desk while he walked to the other side and was seated in his deep burgundy leather chair.
“Solomon and Thatcher are with the new ones, so you need not worry about Chansey’s safety.”
“I am not worried. I knew you wouldn’t ask me to leave her side if you didn’t have a plan of protection in action.”
“I hear we had a disturbance early this morning,” he informed me.
“There was definitely a disturbance, but I don’t think Lance had malicious intentions. You know I would have killed him if I believed otherwise.”
“I don’t doubt you would have ended him if you thought he meant ill will toward your agápe. Lance is different from others we have had here. He has a false sense of security and doesn’t take well to authority. Although he has done extraordinarily well, he worries me because he believes he is ready to leave and I don’t see that level of achievement in him yet, but he is not the reason I asked you to join me. I would like to talk to you about Chansey.” The fact that he had brought me into his sound proof office was the first clue he meant our conversation to be kept between the two of us. “What I’m about to tell you goes no further than this room.”
“I understand completely,” I said, giving him my oath of secrecy.
“I would like to discuss your decision to keep Chansey human,” he said.
“Come on, Sebastian, not you too. I need someone to give me a little support here.”
“I do not wish to discredit your feelings about changing her, but I’m not certain kee
“I’m willing to hear you out, but I want you to know that I can’t think of a single thing you could say that would make me change my decision,” I warned.
“Do you remember when I explained about the agápe and I told you I had only known one in my 400 years as a vampire?”
“Of course, I remember.”
“Her name was Ella and I met her when I had been a vampire for almost 200 years. Incredible circumstances brought us together, when I agreed at the last minute, to attend a performance of Macbeth with a fellow vampire at the Covent Garden in London. We were waiting for the show to begin when a young woman and her father were ushered to sit next to me and my companion. As deemed appropriate for the time, her father was seated next to me, but I couldn’t resist the temptation to lean around him for a better view of his daughter. Her beauty stole my breath, and when her eyes met mine, she lit my world on fire. That was the night I fell in love with a human, my agápe.”
“She was a month shy of her eighteenth birthday when we were brought together on that night. I unexplainably began to see a gradual return of human characteristics in myself after that night, but it was nothing in comparison to what we have seen in you. I never suspected an agápe, but didn’t have an explanation for what was happening to me, so I began to research the history of vampires and was shocked to find that the legend of the agápe was the most likely answer. I knew the danger she faced by sharing a relationship with me, so I fought the urge to pursue her, although I couldn’t resist watching her from afar. It was only a few months before I gave in to my irresistible desire to be with her. I loved her so much I thought I would explode from happiness when she told me she had dreamed of me and knew I was the one she had waited her whole life for. She was never frightened by me and always embraced what I was. We were married by human standards three months after meeting because we could not be together in those days without a marriage. She begged me to turn her, but I refused because she was so young and healthy and I wanted her to enjoy and experience life in a way I never could. We argued about it often, but I was forced to regret my choice the day she fell from her horse and died instantly from a broken neck.”
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