“Certainly Colleen, come on in and have a seat. Is everything okay? Are you getting along with everyone?” He already knew the answer to that, Ryan had reported that she was excellent and a great addition to the security team. Still, better to hear it from her.
“Yes, everything is good. I enjoy working on the team for the most part. My problem isn’t that really, it’s the fact that this whole thing with Katrina and Kelly has made me do a lot of thinking. I need to make a change.”
Josef leaned back in his chair, he rested his elbows on the arms of the chair and steepled his fingers in front of him. “Okay, tell me about it.”
“I have only been working for the cleaners for 30 years or so; I was a cleaner in Kansas City before I came here. I transferred here a dozen years ago thinking that the change might do me good. But over time I’ve realized that it’s not for me and I’d like to go back to school. I’m a nurse, or used to be. I was turned by a doctor during the Civil War after I was attacked by a dying man. He didn’t realize what he was doing. After the battles we would go out into the fields and search for wounded soldiers and when I found him he was hallucinating and stabbed me in the stomach. Dr. Green found me and knew that I was dying. He revealed what he was and asked me if I wanted to be turned. I said yes, I just didn’t really understand it. I don’t regret it really, but after so many years a person gets bored. I have been a nurse off and on since then. In the late 40’s I studied to be a doctor and finished two years of med school but then the Korean War broke out and I enlisted to work as a MASH nurse. After I came back I’d had all I could take of blood for a while, blood of the wounded or dying that is and so I just drifted. But now is the time to go back and finish what I started. Besides, we need all the family friendly doctors we can get; when I think of the humans that befriend us, I think it’s important to be able to help them so that they don’t have to constantly worry about revealing too much. I want to specialize in blood related diseases and illnesses.”
She took a deep breath as she finished her statement and sat quietly as Josef digested her words. Her hands were clasped in front of her and he noticed that she was picking at a fingernail, evidently worrying about what he thought. What he thought was that she was right, they did need more doctors among them and she had a head start; not that any of those credentials would do any good now, but there were solutions for that. It was certainly more difficult nowadays; in the old days they just used someone’s identify that had died at birth or as a very small child. It wasn’t that easy now.
“Colleen, I think you are absolutely right and I’ll do all I can to help. Logan Griffin should be able to help you with identity and credentials, the boy is a genius. What about money? Med school is very expensive these days.” He knew that for a fact because he was currently paying UCLA a few hundred thousand dollars in tuition for several of his girls who were med students. Still, it was more than worth it. He wrote down Logan’s contact information and handed it to her saying, “Just give him a call and tell him that I sent you. I hate to lose you Colleen, but every vamp needs to trust when it’s time to make a change.”
She accepted the card Josef had given her and looked at it gratefully. “Thank you Josef. I feel terrible since this is so soon after I started working for you. I’m more than fine for money; I’ve put lots away over the years. I’ll continue working for you until everything is settled, if that is okay?”
“Absolutely. Ryan will be sorry to lose you because he has spoken very highly of you but he will understand as well. Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.”
She nodded and stood up, offering her hand to Josef. He shook it firmly and met her eyes with a smile in his sherry brown ones. As she left the room and closed the door he sat back down and made a call to Logan, to tell him that he was to spare no expense to help her and that he understood it would take a bit of time away from Katrina. It was a priority to help his people because loyalty couldn’t be bought.
With that thought in mind he placed the call; the young man was about as loyal as they came and trusting too he thought, remembering their conversation about sex. Maybe a bit too trusting and Josef would have to work on that.
“Logan?” Josef, listening to a rapid shut down of some god awful music in the background.
“Yes, sorry Josef,” he said, noting the name on the phone. “Are you calling for an update?”
“Not exactly, but if you have something now is the time to spit it out.”
“As a matter of fact I do,” Logan answered sounding extremely pleased. “A friend of mine at Homeland security saw her crossing into Mexico two days ago.”
“Great, just fucking great,” Josef muttered. He was definitely getting a headache, or what passed for one in a vampire.
“Well actually, it is. He got a tag number for her which I traced and found the name she was operating under currently and it’s one we didn’t have. AND, it gives me a lead to search for through the banking system and credit agencies. Also, and this is a biggie, he has photos of her and the car. He will email them to me from home on a secure server.”
Vampire headache number 469 was immediately gone and replaced by a grim happiness. “Logan, you are indeed the man!”
“So will you call me Lando Calrissian now?” the young vampire asked.
“No. Does Audrey call you Lando?”
“I didn’t think so. Let me know when the pictures get here Logan,” he emphasized and then hung up. He had a silly smile on his face though, the young vamp was entertaining, that was for sure.
A short while later Colleen hung up the phone after talking to Logan. He was going to arrange a new identity for her after they got as many of her old transcripts as were available. That would determine what they needed to get her back into medical school. For the first time in a long time Colleen settled into her freezer with a smile on her face; maybe life was going to get a whole lot better.
At the appointed time Carl entered Quigley’s Mirage, a small upscale bar that he had never visited before. He spotted Cami sitting in the back in a large circular booth and headed that way. There was a lively jaunt to his step at the sight of her; even coming from work she looked lovely he thought.
She wore her long blonde hair down loose and it swung around her shoulders as she stood up to greet him, holding out her hand shyly. Again, it was chilly and it struck him too was a vampire; so how did this go he wondered.
He had thought about Mick a great deal the past couple of days. Many of the old standard myths about vampires seemed to fall away when he considered Mick. He’d seen him outside during the day several times and at Josh’s funeral he’d been covered in bruises and abrasions. That had puzzled Carl a great deal, but maybe it didn’t matter all that much because evidently vampires could get hurt too. He’d seen him drinking wine and eating cake at the wedding, although only when he and Beth did the official cutting of the cake. Carl wondered if he slept in a coffin or if that was folklore as well? The thought of Beth sleeping in a coffin bothered him a great deal actually. Or Cami too; was that where she actually slept? It was a sobering thought and he quickly pushed it out of his mind.
When he reached her he not only shook her hand but leaned down to lightly kiss her cheek. She smelled wonderful, some type of exotic floral scent, light but entrancing he decided. Or maybe that was Cami herself because he certainly felt drawn to her.
“Hi,” he said, as they sat down in the booth. It was about the best he could get out as he stared at her in the understated lighting of the bar.
“Hi yourself,” she answered. “Did you have any problems finding this place?” She thought about it for a moment and then laughed. “You’re a cop, so I suspect not!”
Her laughter was soft and melodic and it made him smile; hell, everything about her made him smile. “No problems.” He glanced around the room and nodded approvingly. “Nice place, quiet which is unusual for a bar.”
“Yes, one of the reasons I like it; you can actually talk to someone in here and not have to shout. What would you like to drink Carl?” she asked as the server stopped at their table.
“Um, Dos Equis Amber?” he asked the server. She nodded and then looked at Cami, waiting for her to order.
“I’ll have a Grey Goose martini, dirty,” she stated and then as the server walked away she wanted to duck under the table; a martini had an olive in it. How did she explain not eating it? If she ate it could she keep it down long enough to make it to the bathroom? A shiver crept up her spine and goose bumps ridged her arms, making the short blonde hairs raise noticeably.
“Are you cold Cami? Would you like my jacket?” Carl asked as he immediately noticed her reaction.
“No, I’ll be fine Carl, just a – I felt a chill for a moment but I’m fine now. So, you knew Lani and Beth in college Lani tells me. I’ll bet those girls were hell on wheels back then. Got any good stories to share?” she asked with a smile, hoping that it would take his mind off of the goose bumps which were finally settling down.
“More than I care to remember actually,” he laughed, recalling a few times when things had gotten a bit out of hand. Still, they were good memories and always made him smile.
The server set their drinks down on the table after first placing cocktail napkins down. The bottle of Dos Equis was frosty cold and the server set a frosted glass down next to it. At his nod she poured the amber brew into the glass and he smiled with anticipation. He watched Cami pick up the tiny sword that held a large olive and an onion and scowl at them both.
“Don’t like them?” he asked. She was lightly chewing her bottom lip and looked up at him, a startled look in her eyes.
Carl reached out and took the skewered garnishments and popped them into his mouth with a grin. “Sorry,” he said with a laugh. “You looked like you despised them and I love them. Hope that was okay?” He watched her and she seemed relieved. He believed that vampires probably couldn’t eat food and he wanted to make the evening as relaxed for her as he could; if that meant eating the onions and olives he’d do it all night if necessary.
Her eyes sparked brilliantly for a moment and she grinned. “Yeah, I detest them and forgot to tell them not to put any in the drink. Thanks!” she said, more relieved than she could express. He had unwittingly done the perfect thing. He was such a gentleman and very kind as well. She was afraid to let herself get close to him, but she felt as if she was swirling around, caught in a miasma beyond her control and it scared her, a great deal.
Despite her beautiful exterior, Cami was very inexperienced where men were concerned. She had never really dated anyone; her Victorian upbringing was so ingrained into her that she shied away from men whenever possible. Born in 1881 into a world of privilege and rank, surrounded by over-protective governesses until she was 21 years old and she married Edmund Stanton, she knew nothing of the world. On their honeymoon cruise they were attacked by a pirate ship of all things. The captain of the ship was a woman named The Red Wench and she quickly took a fancy to Edmund, whose stunning good looks made him a ready prize. Cami was kept below deck for days, only being fed barely enough to stay alive. One night Edmund was allowed to see her and the look in his eyes appalled her; his eyes were silvered and burning with a lust that she didn’t understand.
She was his wife and when he bid her to come to him she went; her eyes held in thrall by his. He held her close for a moment and she saw tears in his eyes and he said, “Please Cami, forgive me. When this is done, run away my darling, don’t hesitate. Your life as you knew it is over.” With that he sunk his newly revealed fangs into her neck and drank of her, deeply and she felt her life ebbing slowly away. When she awoke she felt a burning hunger deep within and she looked around frantically for something to satisfy it.
It was night and she was alone on a beach in the Caribbean; she later found out that it was Tortuga. She was covered in blood and she ran to the water, anxious to wash it away in the frothy waves that raced to shore. She was hungry, more hungry than she ever had been before and needed food. Or so she thought. The memories flooded back to her and she acknowledged that if it hadn’t been for another vamp that found her and took care of her she likely wouldn’t be alive today.
The evening with Carl passed quickly and very comfortably. He walked her to her car afterwards, his hand protectively resting on the small of her back. The touch was light and sent tingles tracing playfully up and down her spine. It was a feeling she was definitely not accustomed to; she also decided that she liked it a lot.
“Do you like baseball?” Carl asked as they stood by her car.
“Baseball?” she asked. “I um, yes I like it.”
“I have two tickets to Saturday nights Padres game, in San Diego. Would you like to go with me? As I said, it’s a night game, under the lights, so it should be cooler.”
“I’ve never been to a game Carl, only seen them on tv. I sounds like fun though.” She found it interesting that he specifically pointed out that it was at night, but thought it was just good luck.
“Okay then. I’ll pick you up around six and we can drive down in plenty of time for the game. Would you like to stop and eat on the way or grab a hot dog and beer at the ball park?” The question was asked with a mind to her reaction; for a night date a meal would usually be included and he had decided that she couldn’t eat regular food. He’d eaten three of the garnishes for her drinks and she seemed happy to let him but they were going to have to find a way past the eating thing.
“I – I have food allergies Carl, so I normally only eat at home, where I can control everything. I’ll be glad to share a beer at the ball park though, if that’s okay with you?”
Carl grinned and nodded, “That’s more than fine Cami,” he told her, happy that the food issue would now be put aside. He wouldn’t ask or push for more answers from her, in her own time he hoped that she would tell him; he’d be patient. He liked her so much; this whole evening had been wonderful and he couldn’t wait for Saturday.
They stood awkwardly for a moment, both wanting more connection and neither knowing how to make that happen. Carl finally stepped forward and bent to kiss her cheek again, pulling her closer to him. He felt her arms wrap around his waist and heard her inhale deeply.
“You smell wonderful Carl; I don’t know what you’re wearing but it’s nice,” she told him, the words murmured against his ear.
He chuckled and said, “Not wearing anything, but I’m glad you think I smell nice. I can definitely say ditto.”
She took a step back and pushed the button to unlock her car door. She looked down at the pavement, afraid to meet his eyes.
Carl noticed the gesture and placed a gentle finger under her chin and raised it just a fraction, until electric blue eyes met chocolate brown ones. “Goodnight Cami. I can’t wait until Saturday.” He opened her car door and waited while she sat down and fastened her safety belt. He heard the engine of the Mercedes purr to life and caught one last look that she gave him through the window.
Yes, he most definitely couldn’t wait until Saturday.
Beth sat cross-legged on the floor of the living room with Mick kneeling behind her. His hands rested lightly on her shoulders and she let out a sigh as she felt his head next to hers, his breath sending erotic ripples down the skin of her neck. Just being this near him was all it took to get her aroused and Mick smiled as he scented her need. He wasn’t faring any better himself but that wasn’t the object of this exercise.
“Okay Beth – close your eyes and I want you to sense me, feel me in the room behind you. Then tell me where I am.”
“Well Mick, if you don’t know where you are I’m afraid I’m not going to be much help,” she teased. She turned her head and tilted it upwards for a kiss, which he gladly gave her. “Seriously? You want me to figure out where you are without looking?”
“You’re my mate Beth, it will be much easier than you think. Just think of your senses as – as fingers reaching outwards. Listen, and picture me in your mind. You can do it; I really think you can. Let’s give it a try, okay?”
She huffed out a frustrated breath; this wasn’t what she had in mind when Mick had sat her down on the floor. A quick vision of rolling around with him in front of the fireplace made her grin broadly. Maybe if she…
“Uh uh, not until after,” he told her, knowing exactly where her thoughts were going. “After,” he said, his voice nothing more than a breathy whisper in her ear. With a deep groan she closed her eyes and prepared to ‘find’ him behind her.
She closed her eyes and pictured him, trying to reach out to him. Her still mostly untrained vampire hearing couldn’t pick up a single sound but still she tried. She let her mind reach out, mentally searching the room and suddenly she knew where he was. “You are behind the stair case Mick! Come on out and let’s play now,” she laughed.
Suddenly he was beside her, laughing. “I told you, it wasn’t even hard was it?”
“No, it wasn’t!” she said as she grabbed the front of his forest green Henley and pulled his face down for a kiss. “Now I want my reward!” Her lips captured his and for a long moment they were both lost in that deluge of sensation.
He finally broke away from the kiss because if he didn’t then they were going to end up exactly where she wanted them to be. The same place that they seemed to end up most of the time. Not that he was complaining but training had definitely taken a back seat to sex and there was still so much she needed to learn before they could go home and she had constant interruptions.
“Not yet Beth. C’mon, again. It will get easier each time.”
“It wasn’t hard that time. Again…really?”
She found him, time and time again, each experiment easier than the previous one. “Okay, I’ve had my lesson! Now I want a different kind of lesson teacher,” she cooed into his ear and it was his turn to shiver with desire.
“I love you Mick; I need you.” Her words were like molten fire that set his soul alight and he stared into the intense silver blue of her eyes, losing himself to their shimmering gaze. “Now,” she whispered and Mick realized that she had already shed her clothes; he didn’t know when or how but he gazed at her alabaster beauty with wonder, with awe. Her soft rosy pink nipples drew his eyes to them and he reached a finger to trace lovingly across an already aroused bud.
“I love you my Beth, I adore you…” he trailed off as his mouth claimed hers in a scorching kiss. She opened to him as his tongue sought entry into the warm depths of her mouth and stroked across hers, causing her to suck in a deep breath. The kiss went on and on, his tongue tasting the sweetness that was his Beth before it swirled more demandingly, plundering deeply into her. He knew her mouth, intimately, as only a lover can and he reveled in the knowledge of how he made her feel.
It only took but a moment for him to remove his own clothes and she watched him with hungry eyes, eyes that ate up every inch of him. She reached out to stroke his hardened length, caressing it tenderly as delicate fingers traced over the veins and slipped across the tip where a small drop of dew glistened. She spread it over him and thrilled as he moaned softly.
His fingers reached out and tangled in the cascade of silken tresses as her mouth found him, laving her tongue around him and pulling him deeply into her mouth. Over and over her heated mouth traced his hardness until he was breathless with need. No one had ever made him feel like this; it was heaven and it was hell. He needed her, needed to bury himself in her depths and find that sweet release that only she could provide.
He pulled away from her and settled between her legs, nudging against her warm and wet opening with his hardened shaft. His lips found her nipple and drew on it as it blossomed to aching perfection with his devotion. Her breath was ragged as she wiggled her hips and her hand slid between them, guiding him home as she thrust her hips upwards, taking him into her with a sigh. Her body gripped him tightly, enveloping him with greedy heat. Her hands played in the shaggy dark hair that that already clung damply to his skin.
He thrust into her slowly and it spread liquid fire through both of them. The headiness of it filled them both, driving them onward. Her body clung to his and they were both lost in the sensation of joy as they reached the plateau, the please of it a thundering crescendo of passion. They each turned their heads so that they could find the place that they had each marked with their love, their devotion.
As the last flittering wings of ecstasy brushed against them both they stared into one another’s eyes. Nothing else mattered except for what each saw in the other’s eyes; together they made magic.
As Carl drove home after his date with Cami he thought about their date and eagerly anticipated the next one. He still didn’t understand completely what vampirism was, the real facts about it, but he was willing to learn. What surprised him was that they seemed to be everywhere, if you knew how to look. How on earth had they not been discovered before? They were real and while there might be similarities between them and movie vampires, there were also differences. What was Beth like now? Was she a vampire as he suspected?
When he got home he got online and started searching for Mick’s address in Seattle. He didn’t have a clue where to look, other than the fact that Lani had mentioned at the wedding that Mick’s house was apparently on Puget Sound. It was a starting place anyway. He searched for over an hour, in Seattle and all the small towns around the area but couldn’t find Mick St. John anywhere or a Michael either. He frowned as he broadened the search, looking for PI’s there.
His search was fruitless; he needed more information and that meant that he and Lani needed to get together for that lunch date soon because he was going to Seattle to make sure she was okay. He would find them, he was determined.
To be continued…