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Blood jewel, p.9

Blood Jewel, page 9

 part  #2 of  Vampire Agápe Series


Blood Jewel

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  She smiled mischievously and stepped inside to put her arms around my neck. “Well, then I must be your genie in a bottle because I just made your wish come true.”

  I shook my head at her. “Nuh-uh. You haven’t yet, but we have the rest of our lives for you to try.”

  “I’m more than glad to start trying right now,” she informed me.

  There is was...her intoxicating scent calling me to her. What if I did take her right now? What if I grabbed her from where she stood and carried her to the bedroom and gave in to what we both so clearly wanted? It couldn’t be wrong if it was what we both wanted, right?

  I recognized my old self-pleasing vampire thinking and turned it off like a switch. “Six days until you are my wife. After that, you may do whatever you want to me. What’s mine is yours, remember?” I reminded her.

  She walked past me and sat on the sectional. “I’ve waited 22 years for you, so I guess I can wait six more days,” she reasoned.

  “I waited a little longer than 22 years for you, so I think you can make it if I can,” I reminded her as I sat next to her.

  She leaned toward me for a kiss. “Not my fault you’re older than dirt,” she laughed. I could still feel her lips curl into a smile as she gently placed them against mine, but they didn’t stay like that for long because they became a little too eager as they left my mouth and began to trail down my neck.

  I gently pulled away and said, “Hey, you shouldn’t disrespect your elders like that.”

  She leaned back and looked at me with a raised eyebrow. “We’re in trouble if you think this is disrespect. I haven’t even begun to disrespect you the way I plan to.”

  She didn’t play fair at all. “No, I was talking about you calling me older than dirt.”

  “So, I can’t put that in my vows? I promise to love, honor and cherish you even if you are old as dirt?”

  We had a wedding in six days and I hadn’t given any thought to our vows. What kind of husband did that make me? “Do you want us to write our own vows?”

  “We are somewhat of a unique pair. I think our vows should be, also. What do you think?” she asked.

  I didn’t need to think it over because I totally agreed with her. “You’re right. Ordinary vows alone would never cover what we will be pledging to each another.”

  “I’m going to be busy the next several days and you probably won’t see much of me,” she warned. “I have to go dress shopping and see to some of the arrangements. Gia and Lairah are doing most of it over the phone and online for me, but I don’t feel right about them doing it all. I appreciate their help, but it’s our wedding and some things I want to take care of myself.”

  I reached into my back pocket and pulled out my wallet. I didn’t know if she would have trouble using one of my credit cards so I handed her a stack of cash. She opened her mouth to protest and I placed my finger to her lips. “Don’t say a word about not taking my money. You are mine to care for and this is part of the way I do that.”

  I pulled her closely to hug her. “I know you’ll be busy this week and I completely understand. Do what you need to do this week with the wedding and spend as much time as you can with your grandparents. We have the rest of our lives to be together.”

  She scooted closer. “Have I told you how wonderful you are and how much I love you?”

  I laughed and said, “Umm, not in the last four hours.”

  She leaned her head back to look up at me. “You are amazing and I can’t tell you how much I truly love you.”

  I kissed her on her forehead. “You better be finding a way soon if we’re writing our own vows.”

  ≈ ≈ ≈

  The days flew and each one behind me brought me closer to becoming Chansey’s husband. I sat on my sectional with a pen and pad each one of those days and tried to write my vows, but I was experiencing a severe case of writer’s block. Nothing could be clearer to me than my love for Chansey, but I wasn’t able to find the words to express the depth of my love for her.

  There was a knock at my door and I opened it to find all of my family members on the other side. “The whole crew has arrived. It’s time to party.”

  “I can’t believe you’re all here. Why didn’t you call to tell me you were coming?”

  “We wanted to surprise you,” Chansey said from the back of the crowd. “I knew you were disappointed when you thought they wouldn’t be at our wedding, so I moved the time back so they could all be there.”

  I kissed her forehead and said, “You are phenomenal.”

  “Yeah, I sort of am,” she laughed. “But it’s your wedding, too. There’s no way we could do it without our family there. The humans will just have to get over the late ceremony. It’s our wedding, so they’ll just have to think we’re weird. I don’t care.”

  We visited with our family for a while, but they didn’t stay long because Chansey and I still had last minute details we were sorting out about the wedding. “How are you coming with your vows?” I asked.

  “I wrote them the first night we were back from New Orleans. How are yours coming?”

  I didn’t want to tell her I didn’t have the first word, yet. “I’m still working on them.”

  She saw my troubled face. “Are you having a hard time with them?”

  “A little bit,” I admitted.

  She rubbed her hands up and down my arms. “Take a deep breath and relax. Don’t try to write fancy words to woo people. Pretend it’s only the two of us and say the things you want me to know. This is about you and me. Forget about everyone else.”

  I felt a sense of calm and relief wash over me in a way only Chansey could make me feel. “Two more days. Can you believe it?”

  “I can hardly wait,” she squealed. “Since we have to leave Pascagoula, are we driving to The Savannah Compound after the wedding?”

  I grinned and said, “Nope. We’ll be in Savannah soon enough. We’re going to get away from all of this craziness for a couple of weeks so we can just have a little fun.”

  “Yay! Are you going to tell me where you’re taking me?” she quizzed.

  I thought about leaving her in the complete dark about honeymoon, but then I thought about how well she would take that and decided against the idea. “You told me that you wanted me to take you somewhere tropical on our honeymoon, so you better pack a swimsuit because you’re getting your way, but that’s all I’m telling you about it.”

  Her face was full of anticipation. “I wasn’t expecting to go anywhere special because I didn’t think you would be able to book anything on such short notice.”

  I thought of how I surprisingly was able to book the reservation to the honeymoon suite that someone has just canceled. “This place sort of landed in my lap, so I guess it’s destiny for us to spend our honeymoon there.”

  “Destiny seems to have a way of finding itself into our lives, doesn’t it?”

  “It’s done a pretty good job of bringing us together, so far,” I agreed.

  10 Forever Times Infinity

  Friday arrived and we did a very brief rehearsal that night with the pastor and our two members of the wedding party, Shelby and Solomon.

  Sol was acting weird with Shelby before and during the rehearsal and I didn’t know what to think about it. He flirted shamelessly with her the way a human would and touched her even when the opportunity didn’t present itself.

  At one point, Chansey turned to me and gave me that WTH look and all I could do was shrug in answer. I didn’t know what was going on, but I intended on finding out as soon as possible.

  The rehearsal was over quickly because our ceremony was going to be very simple and Sol suggested we go out together as a foursome. Shelby was obviously thrilled with the attention Sol was giving her and I couldn’t wait to get him alone so I could find out what he was up to.

  Chansey cut her eyes at me as she and Shelby went inside to change for our foursome and I gritted through my teeth, “What are you doing, Sol?”

carelessly shrugged and said, “What? I don’t know what you mean.”

  He was lying. He knew exactly what I meant. “You’re flirting with Shelby. A lot. Why are you doing that?”

  He shrugged again and it pissed me off because this wasn’t a game. Shelby was Chansey’s best friend. “I don’t know why. I just want to for some reason and I like the way it feels. I like Shelby.” He raised an eyebrow at me and said, “She’s hot.”

  I shouldn’t have to explain this to a vampire older than me. “To Shelby, it looks like you’re trying to get a date with her. Leave her alone because she has a boyfriend.”

  As if a boyfriend should matter. She was human. That was reason enough for him to lay off.

  He laughed and said, “I think that’s news to her because she told me she was single.”

  He had no business discussing her boyfriend status. “Does it really matter if she has a boyfriend or not? She’s human and you’re...not.”

  “Chansey is human and you’re not,” he argued.

  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “What the hell is wrong with you? You know that Chansey isn’t completely human. She’s my Agápe. I didn’t randomly choose to fall in love with her. She was born specifically for me. You can’t force it if that’s what you’re thinking. It’s not your decision to make.”

  Solomon ran his hands through his hair. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s happening to me, Curry. I became so restless last week when you and Chansey came to the compound. With all of the talk about Agápes and marriage, I thought...”

  He wanted to tell me, but I could see the doubt on his face. He was afraid. “It’s okay. You know that you can tell me anything and I won’t judge you.”

  “God, this so stupid,” he grumbled. “I thought your sudden arrival with Chansey was some kind of preparation for me. Like maybe I should be expecting someone like Chansey to walk into my life.” He looked away and said, “I even tried to put my hand in sunlight one morning and burnt the hell out of myself.”

  He shook his head and said, “I’m stupid, I know. Please, don’t tell the others. Gia and Lairah wouldn’t be able to stop laughing their asses off at me.”

  He looked so sad and miserable and I wanted to do or say something to make him feel better. “If there isn’t an Agápe out there for you, you can always find companionship in another vampire.”

  He stared at the ground. “I don’t mean this the way it is going to sound because I know all vampires are not evil, but that’s not where I want to find companionship. I prefer to live without a mate if I have to find it in a vampire. I know that sounds like a hateful thing to say about my own species.”

  Some might be offended by his opinion, but I wasn’t. I completely understood. “I don’t think there’s anyone that would understand that better than me.”

  He looked up at me and said, “I don’t want the family to know how I feel.”

  He looked so guilty for admitting his true feelings. “I won’t tell any of them.”

  He laughed at himself and said, “I can amuse you further. I came here hoping that I was going to find an Agápe at your wedding. I thought Chansey could be the connection to bring us together. I thought Shelby was the one, but nothing happened when I saw her so I touched her in hopes of feeling something. Still, nothing happened. It’s not going to, is it?”

  I slowly shook my head. “No, not with Shelby. You would have immediately felt something different about her if she were your Agápe. I’m sorry.”

  He kicked at a rock on the ground and sent it flying across the lawn. “Yeah, me too, because she’s really hot. Curry, I haven’t told you, but I am very happy for you and Chansey. I’m glad you found each other because you deserve happiness.”

  I looked toward the door in anticipation of the girls coming out at any minute. “You deserve happiness, too. Who knows? Maybe there’s an Agápe out there waiting for you to find her.”

  “Nah, I don’t think so. The best thing for me at this point is to get to Savannah and get to work. It will take my mind off these foolish ideas I’ve had.”

  I watched Chansey and Shelby come out of the front door. “Well, you’re not going to Savannah right now because you’ve got a date.”

  “Umm,” he said as he began to think of an excuse to get him out of the mess he created with Shelby.

  The girls were walking down one of the staircases off of the front porch and I told Sol, “Don’t umm me because you got yourself into this all on your own. You’re going out with her and you’re going to show her a good time. You owe her that much for trying to sentence her to eternity with you. That’s that.”

  I quickly turned my attention to Chansey. “You look stunning, Love.”

  I turned to Sol to cue him and he took the hint after a few seconds. “Shelby, you look beautiful.”

  She smiled and said, “Thank you, Solomon”

  We discussed our options, but decided to keep with what seemed to be a tradition around here and go to the casinos since there wasn’t anything else to do. The environment would be neutral ground for Sol. He could talk to Shelby and have a good time with her, but it wasn’t private enough for him to explore any of his earlier ideas about her.

  Although he seemed to accept that Shelby wasn’t intended for him, I still wasn’t positive about where his head was and that was a painful place for him to be. I didn’t want to see my best friend in such agony and I hoped he was right about Savannah. Maybe it would give him the peace he deserved.

  ≈ ≈ ≈

  It was late, or rather early, when we got back from the casino. Sol found a dark place in my basement apartment to sleep the day away, but I never went to sleep because I was too excited about the wedding. I spent the entire day thinking about how Chansey was going to be my wife and how I was finally going to be her husband tonight.

  After I showered and shaved, I unzipped the bag containing what Chansey had chosen for me to wear. I was glad when I saw it was a casual, light khaki suit with a white shirt and no tie. My girl knew me well.

  When I took the suit from its bag, I found a folded notecard with the initials CLR on it. I opened the card and it read:

  Meet me at the top of the open arms staircases.

  8 p.m. Sharp. Don’t be late.

  With all my Love, C

  I smiled as I looked at the front of Chansey’s monogrammed notecard because those initials would be all wrong in a matter of a couple of hours. I should have gotten her new personalized notecards. I’d put my sisters on that task for me so they would be ready for her when we got back from our honeymoon.

  “What are you grinning about?” I heard from across the room.

  “Nothing,” I lied as I sat the card on the bed.

  Sol sat on the bed next to my suit. “It’s okay for you to happy, Curry. You’re not being unkind by being happy, but you are being unkind by lying to me to protect my feelings. I’m not fragile and it’s pissing me off that you think I am.”

  “I know you’re not fragile. I just didn’t want to rub my happiness in your face. I thought that might piss you off more,” I explained.

  He took a deep breath as he leaned forward, propped his elbows on his knees and pushed his hands through his hair. “Will you tell me about it? I mean what it’s like.”

  He didn’t have to explain what he meant. We both knew what he was asking. “When we get to Savannah, I will tell you about it if you still want to know.”

  He looked up at me. “I don’t know why I would want to know about it, but I do. Is that weird?”

  He told me to not lie to him. “Yes. It’s a little disturbing that you would want to know about my sex life, but I’m trying to convince myself that it’s only out of curiosity.”

  He got off of the bed and walked toward the bathroom. “Well, I guess I’ve never really been normal anyway. This disturbing weirdo is going to take a shower.”

  I sat on the sectional in my apartment and nervously watched for the hands of the clock to tell me it wa
s time to meet Chansey at the top of the staircases.

  Sol broke my intense concentration on the clock when he came out of the bathroom dressed in a khaki suit and white shirt like mine. He held his arms out and announced, “Dude, I’m shocked. Don’t take this the wrong way, but I love Chansey. She didn’t put us in monkey suits like I expected.”

  “I know. I was glad when I saw what she picked. I don’t think I’ve worn a tie in the last 22 years.”

  There was a gentle knock on the door and I had to calm my heart by telling it that it wasn’t Chansey. I opened the door and found a smiling Anna on the other side. “I wanted to check on you since I haven’t heard a peep out of you all day long.”

  “I had to tie him down to keep him from running off, Mrs. E. He has a severe case of cold feet,” Sol announced to Anna from across the room.

  “Thank you for not allowing him to escape, Solomon. Chansey would have been quite upset about that,” Anna laughed.

  I felt the need to rationalize my lack of an appearance. “I didn’t want to risk running into Chansey. Everyone knows it’s considered bad luck to see the bride before the wedding and I’m afraid she would have freaked.”

  Anna reached for my face and smiled at me as she cupped her palm on my cheek. “Such a considerate young man. Chansey is very lucky to have you to love her and protect her. She was born especially for you and I know you will never allow harm to come to her.”

  I didn’t know how to respond to Anna and I wondered if she saw the bewilderment on my face. Her choice of words could be purely coincidental, but it didn’t feel that way. It felt more like she knew exactly what Chansey was to me and she was trying to let me know she did. Impossible.

  “Now, I know that you don’t have a mother or sister to do this for you, so I guess that I’m going to have to do,” she said as she held up a small white calla lily boutonniere in her hand for me.

  Still shocked from Anna’s statement, I was unable to speak but managed to step forward to offer my lapel to her. I watched her aging hands as she pinned the flower to my jacket and she said, “There. Looks perfect.”

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