Vampire Agápe 01 - Blood of Anteros, page 20
I heard the sharp, deep gasp before I realized it had come from me and Sebastian continued, “What I want you to see is that Ella didn’t have a Marsala or a Zoyah hunting her and she was still taken from me. You can spend every second of Chansey’s life protecting her from Marsala and Zoyah, but in the end, that might not be what gets her. I get to spend eternity regretting my decision, so please choose carefully. Don’t make the wrong decision because eternity is a long time to live without your beloved one.”
“I thank you for sharing your experience with me, and please know, I don’t take your words lightly.”
“Now, unless my ears have failed me for the first time, I believe you have some mending to do with your agápe.”
“I‘m afraid you’re right,” I agreed.
“Good luck with that,” he wished.
“Thanks, but I think I’m going to need more than luck.”
I left Sebastian's office with a new outlook on reasons to turn Chansey but was it enough to change my mind? I definitely had a lot of thinking to do but first, I had apologies to make.
I returned to my bedroom and found my beloved still sleeping in my bed. I carefully laid in the same spot I had occupied the previous hours and wondered what dreams were in her mind and if she would still be angry with me when she woke.
My presence in her life had been accompanied by so many dangers in such a short time and I wondered if I was unrealistic about my ability to always keep her safe. My heart winced at the thought of an existence without her and I was forced to consider the option of turning her. The agápe side of her made her so confident in her desire to become like me, yet she knew so little about how monstrous we were. I couldn’t allow her to make this decision without knowing all the facts, so the time for her to see it all had arrived.
I don’t know how long she had been awake and watching me while my mind was busy making plans how I would show her the real world of immortality and how ugly it could be. My eyes caught hers and I said, “Good morning,” in hopes of gaging her anger with me.
“Good morning,” she replied dryly, her way of showing me she was still angry with me.
I attempted to provoke a neutral conversation by asking, “Did you sleep well?”
“I did, your bed is very comfortable. Did you sleep well?” she asked.
“No, I didn’t, because I had a disagreement with someone that means the world to me and I’m worried because I think she is still angry with me.”
“Is she still angry with you because you were being a stubborn jackass?”
I laughed and said, “I’m afraid so.”
“Maybe you should tell her that you are sorry for being such a buffoon and I’m sure it would help if you told her that you’ll try to see things from her perspective.”
“I’m sorry and I will attempt to see things from your perspective. Can you forgive the stubborn jackass I am?”
“Of course I can forgive your stubbornness, but I need you to discuss things with me instead of demanding everything be done your way because you said so. I’m not a child and I don’t like being treated like one.”
“There are some things I have come to know while we have been here and I have made a very important decision I need to tell you about.” She sat up straight in the bed, eager to hear the words she hoped to hear. “I have decided to consider turning you, but there are conditions.”
“Anything, I’ll do anything you want me to do.”
“Don’t say that yet, because you haven’t heard my conditions.”
“You’re killing me here, tell me what your stipulations are.”
“I want you to come stay at the compound and observe the training of a newly turned vampire. If you still wish to be turned after the duration of the training, I will agree to turn you and teach you the discipline you will need to live among humans.”
She interrupted and said, “I want to start right away.”
“I wasn’t finished with my terms of agreement yet. I have another stipulation.” I left the bed, walked to my dresser and removed the black satin box from the top drawer where I had hidden it after she fell asleep. I returned to the bed and pulled Chansey to sit at the side of the bed before I dropped to my left knee and opened the box for her to see the token of my affection. I discarded the thoughts of what an imperfect proposal this would be and said, “Chansey Rose Leclaire, we are bound to one another by no choice of our own, but I couldn’t love you more if I had chosen you for myself. Taking you as my wife is my choice and I want to share our lives together as husband and wife for all the world to see. Will you marry me?”
Her smile reached her eyes while she took a deep sigh, released it and said, “I, too, couldn’t love you more if I had chosen you for myself. I don’t want to wait any longer to be your wife. I want the world to see I am yours and you are mine, so my answer is yes, times infinity, I will marry you.”
I removed the ring from the box, took her hand in mine and slid the platinum and diamond ring onto her finger, confirming it was a perfect fit, just like our love for one another.
About Georgia Cates
Georgia is a lifelong Mississippi girl. She is a wife, mother of two daughters, labor and delivery nurse and avid lover of anything paranormal and romantic. Like others that enjoy a great paranormal romance, she is easily bored by the tale of an ordinary, obtainable romance and was inspired to create something new and refreshing called The Vampire Agápe Series. She is ecstatic about the debut release of Daughter of Anteros, and when she isn’t tied up with her family and delivering babies, she is working feverishly on the second edition in The Vampire Agápe Series.
Connect with Georgia
For updates on the release of the second edition to The Vampire Agápe Series, stay connected with Georgia at http://georgiacates.com/ and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and visit her goodreads page.
Anticipated Release of Blood Jewel (The Vampire Agápe Series II) is tentatively scheduled for May 2012.
Please enjoy an exclusive excerpt from Blood Rites, The Second Book in The Grey Wolves Series, by Quinn Loftis.
By: Quinn Loftis
First I want to thank God for blessing me with a creative spirit. He has blessed me beyond measure. I also want to thank my husband for all his support, for the teasing that he gives me for writing teen paranormal romance. I like to remind him that at least he's never bored being married to me. I also want to thank a friend who has been a blessing to me, Melinda Senter, for her help in the creative editing. Her wicked sense of humor and eye for details has truly been a help. I also want to thank her for the beautiful cover art she has created for me. I want to thank Rachel Carr for being a fantabulous editor. I have been so blessed to get to know Rachel and her help has been invaluable. Thank you also to Jennifer Nunez for also editing and encouraging me to keep writing. Thank you to all my beta readers and reviewers. I cannot express my thanks for all your feedback and help. Finally, most important in many ways, thank you to everyone who has taken a chance on an unknown, self published author and purchased my book. Thank you for the reviews good and bad. Thank you for taking your valuable time and spending it with my characters and their story.
“You know I will look ridiculous in that, right?” Jacque asked Sally while staring at the red dress her two best friends had hanging on the back of her bedroom door. “I mean, why don’t you just sew a hood on it, put a basket of cookies in my hand and send me off to see grandma?” Jacque asked sarcastically, if not somewhat dramatically. She didn’t understand why Sally and Jen insisted that she wear a dress for the bonding ceremony. She had repeatedly reminded them, and would again, that it wasn't a wedding. Since the challenge everything had been moving so quickly that she didn’t really have a chance to veto their decision and nobody else seemed eager to jump to her defense. So, alas, she stood in her room with her two best friends wreaking havoc on her life, trying to tell her she was goin
“So how did things with Fane go last night?” Jen asked, pulling Jacque out of her thoughts.
That simple question reminded Jacque that the challenge had only happened yesterday. It felt like it had been days ago, but it had merely been hours. Last night after the challenge, Fane had come to her to plead forgiveness for making her believe he had died during the challenge. He'd really thought that she would not understand why he made that decision. Jacque was not going to deny the fact that it hurt, but she understood the reasoning behind it, and if it kept Fane alive that was all that mattered.
“It’s all good,” Jacque said nonchalantly.
The two girls stopped simultaneously and stared at Jacque in disbelief.
“I chewed Fane up like a chew toy and spit him out. Sally about smacked him into next week. And that's all you have to say to us? Hate to break it to ya, wolf princess, but that ain’t going to cut it.” Jen folded her arms across her chest and began tapping her foot. It was very obvious that Jacque would not be leaving this room until she gave up the goods. She figured they did deserve it after all they had done for her. Go on, Jacque, throw them a bone she told herself.
“Fane came to my room and sat on the side of my bed while I was still sort of asleep. I woke up to him kissing my cheeks, my nose, my chin, and then my lips. I was sure I was dreaming, but it seemed way too real. Then I freaked out. I decided I must have jumped off the deep end after the week from 'folk lore stories come to life' hell. I was seeing my dead mate sitting on my bed.”
Before Jacque could go on Jen interrupted. “Ok, that’s all fine and dandy, but I want the main course, not the before-dinner rolls. Main course, Jacque, get to it.”
Jacque rolled her eyes. “I have to build up to the main course or else it’s not really the main course. However, for the sake of your sanity I will speed it up. After I realized he was indeed real, he hugged me and I accidentally groaned in pain.”
“Oh, hell. He went into possessive, jealous, I-no-longer-have-a-brain mode, didn’t he?” Sally asked sarcastically.
“Point to you. He saw the bruise on my stomach and nearly went all werewolf kung-fu on his pack. I can’t believe ya’ll didn’t hear him yell. But I got him to pipe down when I pulled out the 'I’m bruised because you played dead' card. Works every time.” Jacque winked.
“Nice,” Jen and Sally said, bumping fists.
“Then we kissed. A lot. Yep, there was a lot of kissing. Oh, and there was purring. But all clothes stayed on, Jen, sorry to spoil your fantasy.”
“You are so not sorry to spoil anything. At least tell me if he’s a good kisser,” Jen whined.
Jacque looked at her, emerald eyes narrowed with a wicked gleam. “My sweet, sweet Jen, he’s a good everything.”
“Ok ladies, both of you back into your corners. Jacque's getting hitched today so there has to be a cease fire.” Sally indicated the corners she wanted Jacque and Jen to stand in.
“I am not getting hitched, there is no ring involved.”
“Says the wolf princess who’s never been bonded to a werewolf before,” Jen pointed out.
“Details, details,” Jacque quipped.
She suddenly felt claustrophobic, like the room was beginning to get smaller. It reminded her of Alice in Wonderland when she eats the cake and begins to grow until the room is so small she is squished into it. She needed air. Jacque walked over to her window and jerked it open. She felt the summer heat hit her face, and even though it was blazing hot, it was refreshing and helped clear her brain from all the worries that were slowly stacking up on shelves in her mind. Each deep breath she took felt like it was slowly pushing each stack of worry into a trash bag. Breathe-she pushed worry about leaving Coldspring into the bag, breathe- next was worry for her mom, will she come to Romania or stay here, breathe- worry for her friends, breathe- worry about the bonding ceremony, breathe- worry about the blood rites, breathe. Finally the shelves were clean, and there in her mind amongst the empty shelves was Fane.
“Hello meu inimă, doing some spring cleaning?” Fane asked her, using their bond.
Jacque couldn’t suppress the smile that followed; she should have known he would be listening. Especially since she was more emotional than usual. Well, that was really not a fair statement because she had been emotional for the past 5 days. Meeting your werewolf mate tends to do that to a girl.
“Just needed to put things in their place, how are you?” Jacque felt the warmth he was pouring into her mind, the love he wanted her to feel and it only made her want to be in his arms more.
“You keep saying that wolf man, when does soon become now?” Jacque teased him. “Now go away. Isn’t it bad luck to see your mate before the bonding thingy?”
She heard him chuckle.
“No meu inimă, you’re thinking of it being bad luck for the groom to see his bride before the wedding. I can see you all I want. In fact I could come rescue you from those two if you want.”
“That’s okay, they mean well, they are just a little rough on the execution. What time is this shin-dig starting?” Jacque asked.
“It starts as 1:00 p.m. I’ll see you there Little Red.” Fane’s voice faded out of her mind and she could feel his humor. Oh wasn’t he just too cute, picking up on her two best friends’ idea of a sick joke, to turn her into the little girl who almost wound up as the wolf’s dinner.
“My, what big eyes you have, wolf-man,” Jacque said out loud, unable to stop her sarcasm from boiling up.
“The better to see you with my love,” Jen chimed in.
“What big ears you have!” Sally continued their comic relief.
“The better to hear you with my love,” Jen followed.
“What big teeth you have!” Sally mocked, her hands on either side of her face.
“The better to eat you with my love,” Jen cackled, but she wasn’t finished. True to Jen form she added her own twisted sense of humor. “My, what big -”
Sally slapped a hand over her mouth, quickly realizing where Jen was going with that statement. Jacque started laughing so hard she had tears running down her cheeks. As soon as Sally removed her hand Jen quickly added, “Thebettertoeatyouwith,” before Sally could re-cover her mouth.
Jacque abruptly stopped laughing, “You already said that,” she said, confused.
“So I did, my sweet, innocent flower,” Jen started to explain but was once again thwarted by Sally.
“Jen, shut it. Jacque, just allow yourself to ponder on that statement at a later date in time,” Sally told her, sounding everything but the part of June Cleaver.
“Ok, moving on from our weird impromptu skit. I get it, you want to dress me up all pretty for this ceremony and I can either play along or you two will make it hell for me. That’s what the red dress is about, isn’t it?”
“You’re smarter than you look, Sherlock,” Jen said as she stood up. “We will give you your real dress if you promise to play nice. Otherwise you’re going to be Little Red washed out Riding Hood, cuz that red really does nothing for your skin.”
“Gee, thanks for that keen observation, Watson. Fine, you win, bring out the big guns.”
Jen stepped out of the room and was back before Jacque could ask her where she was going. She came back with a hanger with what she presumed to be her dress hanging on it, but she couldn’t tell for sure because it was covered in one of those zipped clothing protectors. As Jen hung it on the back of Jacque’s bedroom door, effectively covering the dress that would have made her the living version of a sick fairy tale, Sally began to unzip the bag while humming the bridal march song.
“Cute, Sally, that’s just real cute,” Jacque told her sarcastically.
“Watch it Red. I’d hate to have to incorporate more of the famous fairy tale into your ceremony, but I’ll do it if you force my hand,” Sally threatened as she pulled the dress out from the hanging bag.
Jacque’s breath caught at t
“Hey wolf-man, they even thought of you and provided cover for my markings.” Jacque sent the thought to Fane.
“How very thoughtful of them, Luna, although you can’t honestly think I would have allowed you to come in that dress without the jacket,” Fane answered.
“You are so lucky that you aren’t with in my reach right now because that little comment would have earned you some retaliation and it still might if I’m not feeling generous later,” she scolded him.
His only response was a soft chuckle in her mind and she thought she might have felt his hand caress her face. Geez, Jacque thought, he is going to be the death of me.
“Could you please stop talking to your hunky wolf and tell us what you think of the dress?” Jen said, snapping Jacque out of her thoughts.
“How did you know I was talking to him?” Jacque asked.
“You always get an intense look on your face, so I figure you are either constipated or talking to Fane. If you aren’t talking to Fane then you ought to see a doctor because you are constipated a lot,” Jen explained. Sally was cracking up at Jen and Jacque was giving Jen an un-lady like hand gesture.
“I have to admit, you guys have outdone your selves,” Jacque told them. “It truly is beautiful and tasteful and the jacket was the perfect touch. Thank you guys so much. Oh crap, I think I’m going to cry,” Jacque said, much to her chagrin.