Thank you Lynn for the wonderful picture! You help to bring the story to life. Also, thank you Lady LaLa!
Chapter 20 Sealed With a Kiss
Cami or Carl got much sleep that night; they were both very much aware
of the other person with only 15 feet and a very thin wall separating
them. Cami heard him toss and turn and even get up a couple of times
and wander around his room. He stood at one point in front of the wall
and she crossed her fingers, hoping that he would open it.
didn’t. She tried not to be disappointed. She understood that he
didn’t want their first time to be here where others could hear them.
She wondered why he was so worried about that though. She thought back
to her relations with Edmund and they were very quiet, nothing said,
only a bit of heavy breathing on his part. At the time she wondered
what all the fuss was about. Didn’t seem like there was much to the
physical act of love as far as she could tell.
She didn’t really
remember how it had felt, not really. It had hurt the first time, that
she remembered, and the blood too, but her mother had told her to expect
that. From then on there really wasn’t anything memorable. Edmund
would kiss her and tell her it was okay for her to find pleasure in the
act too and she figured that since it hadn’t hurt any more that it was
as good as it could get.
Orgasms? She heard people talking about
them all the time but you can’t really miss what you never had she
thought. Listening to people talk about sex, whether in person or on
television, it was all the same; the pleasure that people shared in the
sex act. Orgasms, multiple orgasms, whatever that meant. Everybody
could have ‘em, they said, and it was okay to give them to yourself too.
Honestly, this modern century seemed really self-absorbed,
particularly when it came to their bodies and sex. She didn’t know what
to expect or think about it all.
She did know one thing - when
Carl held her and kissed her she felt as if she would swoon from the
pleasant feelings that enveloped her and it just seemed like there had
to be more to it than that. She really hoped that Carl had read and
heard a lot about how to make it happen, that mystical thing called an
Had Carl known her thoughts he wouldn’t have laid in his
bed alone and to hell with anyone else in the house for that matter.
All he knew was he needed to touch her, taste her and melt into her
body. Nothing but that would do, he thought, as he shifted positions
once again but the damned hard on wouldn’t go away. He tried thinking
of every grisly murder case he’d worked, anything to get his mind off of
Cami and only ended up feeling disgusted with himself because it didn’t
You are one sick puppy Davis. Just go to sleep!
was their habit the boys woke Logan up Saturday morning by jumping up
on his chest. They never pounced on Audey; he was glad of that but
without fail they scared the crap out of him. Would he ever get used to
it, he wondered.
He opened one eye when he felt warm and smelly
kitty breath in his face. Travis was rubbing his cheek against Logan’s
bristly chin and Plato was watching it.
“Good morning boys,” he
mumbled. “Get down now and I’ll get you some breakfast, okay?” When
neither cat moved he added, “I can’t get you food if you don’t move.”
The staring contest began.
Audrey opened her eyes and saw what
she usually saw in the mornings; the boys demanding breakfast from Logan
and as usual they weren’t helping. They ignored him, whether on
purpose or not, she couldn’t tell.
“Alright you two, get down
NOW!” she said with a wave of her hand. Both cats looked at her and
immediately jumped down and sat on the floor, waiting for Logan to get
out of bed. “Honestly, Logan, you have to be firm with them. If you
don’t make them get down they won’t. And I thought we closed the
bedroom door last night?”
He frowned as he looked at it, thinking
the same thing. “I guess we didn’t. Unless of course one of our kids
is a genius and figured out how to turn the door knob!” he laughed.
Travis watched for a moment, looking from Logan to the door and then
started licking his paw and washing his face.
“Yes, sure they
did, Logan,” Audrey laughed, sliding out of the bed. “Feed the boys and
then join me in the shower, okay?” she asked with a wink.
“S-sure,” he stammered. He knew what that meant, Audrey wanted some sweet Logan lovin’ and he wouldn’t argue with that!
hour later the boys had ate and headed outside for their morning nap in
the sunshine and Audrey and Logan lay in the bed, both of them wearing
silly grins as they tried to catch their breath.
“Hey Audey, let’s do something special tonight? Okay?”
“Sure. What do you want to do?”
wasn’t prepared for that question. He might be a genius at computers
but at real life he still struggled. Then an idea occurred to him, a
great one he thought. “How about we go to the Santa Monica Pier, like
we did before? That was a wonderful night,” he told her, as silly grin
on his face as he remembered the kisses they’d shared on the beach.
“Oh, Logan, I love that idea!! Yes, let’s do that! In the meantime, it’s Saturday, what shall we do with the day?”
“I don’t know, so far it’s started off pretty good!” he laughed.
think so do you?” she giggled, straddling him and then collapsing into
laughter as he started to tickle her. They broke apart quickly with
four furry feet landed on the bed with a thump.
“Seriously Audey, a good strong lock on the bedroom door at the new house, okay?”
Her kiss was the best answer he got.
the early afternoon Carl and Cami walked hand-in-hand through the
gardens at Heroku’s home, enjoying the peaceful serenity of the grounds.
Here and there they heard fountains running, the tinkling sounds of
water sounding like gentle music to the couple. Finally they came to a
stone bench and they sat down, smiling at one another before Carl
captured her lips for a long awaited kiss.
“It went well this morning?”
“Yes. Heroku said I did well. It - it was disturbing though, I must admit.”
these years, Carl, I’ve drank my blood out of a glass. Strangely
enough, it seemed normal to me. To bite a person to get it didn’t seem
right. Sounds silly, doesn’t it?”
“You’re a vampire, Cami. I’d think it was in your nature to bite.”
think, but no, it wasn’t. I have to admit that there was a certain
hedonistic thrill to it though. I wouldn’t want to do it often.”
“You’re afraid you could come to like it?”
head tilted down and her toe scuffed at the rock deck below them.
“I…maybe. I know I’m a vampire but that seems so- so base, you know?”
smiled, hoping that she wouldn’t catch it. She was a vampire and so
would he be eventually. He didn’t know how she felt really but he would
someday. Right now there was no frame of reference.
can’t pretend to truly understand that yet, but someday I will. Just
know that I love you and accept you regardless, okay?”
“Yes, I know that. Carl, how is your family going to accept this?”
stared ahead for a moment, his eyes focusing on some long distant thing
or place that she didn’t understand. They’d never really talked about
his family but she assumed he must have one.
“No one left but a
couple of cousins now and I’m not really close to them. All my close
family are dead,” he told her and his voice cracked for a moment as he
She wished she’d never asked him because whatever the story was it hurt him. “I’m sorry Carl, I shouldn’t have asked.”
it’s okay. I’ve been meaning to tell you we just, well the moment
never seemed right. Now is a good time; it’s time to let it all go.”
nodded and sat motionless, listening to his steady breathing as he
organized his thoughts. “My dad was a Viet Nam vet, fought in the Tet
Offensive and survived, something that was a miracle in itself. Over
4,000 Americans and their Allies were killed and almost 20,000 wounded,
my dad being one of them, and that’s not even including the South
Vietnamese losses. It was devastating and yet the American Politicos
said it was a turning point for us, that victory was assured because of
it all. Yeah, like that happened,” he said, looking at Cami for a
She reached out and touched his face for a moment and
smiled, encouraging him to talk. He sighed and continued, wanting to
get it all out. “My dad, when he came home was a changed man my mom
always said. I wasn’t born then so I don’t really know. My brother
Theodore, Teddy, was born in 1970, almost a year after dad got home. I
wasn’t born until 1978. Teddy idolized my dad, I remember that, but not
much else because my dad took his own life in 1982; I barely remember
him. But Teddy always wanted to be just like dad and vowed to join the
army after he graduated. Did too, in 1988 and all was well until the
Gulf War. Teddy was sent to Kuwait in March of 1990. Two weeks later
he and his platoon crossed over to Iraq and their caravan was attacked
by Scud missiles; they were all killed.”
She saw a tear slip down
his face and she tenderly brushed it away. Carl grabbed her hand and
kissed it and held on tightly. “Mom was never right after that. I was
almost 14 by then and while I didn’t understand a lot when my dad died, I
did when Teddy was killed. Mom and I moved into my grandmother’s house
because mom could no longer cope with life. She was never the same
after that. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer when I was 16 and
died right before I started college. I didn’t know it when Teddy died
but he left his government insurance policy to mom to use to send me to
college, and she did. When she died that and her money was what enabled
me to go to school for 4 years and not have to try to work all the way
through it. In my sophomore year my grandma died. I’d gone down to San
Diego for the weekend to see her and she seemed just fine. The next
morning I got up saw her out on the porch, sitting in her rocking chair.
It was her favorite thing to do, morning and evening everyone could
always find Ms. Lillie out on the porch, rocking away. Except that
morning she wasn’t rocking. By the time I found her she’d been dead
about an hour. Died peacefully, sitting there in the cool morning air.
I know that’s exactly what she wanted.”
“So much death, Carl.
I’m so sorry.” It occurred to her that maybe he wanted to become a
vampire to escape all that himself, but she knew that wasn’t really the
reason. He couldn’t change his past and living forever wouldn’t change
“It’s just how life is, Cami. People die, all the
time. It hurts, it hurts so damn bad but we can’t change it; we have to
find a way to go on, to become stronger and learn our lessons on how to
be better people.”
“Maybe, possibly I
guess. There’s good and bad of both. Each of us chooses our own course
in life; so far I’ve chosen to fight the bad guys, to make the world a
bit safer. Now I’m changing my destiny; by being a vampire I’ll not
only get to share forever with you, but I’ll have other abilities to
fight the bad guys with, Cami.”
“That’s really important to you isn’t it?”
“Yes, it is. The bad guys are getting ahead and it has to stop. I’m going to be one bad ass vampire that is going to help.”
The only answer she had for him was a loving kiss. It was enough.
the housekeeper had told Catherine that Josef Kostan was on the line
she was a bit surprised. No, correction, make it shocked. They’d seen
one another off and on during the years at various social events, the
last time at the dedication of the sports complex at her alma mater,
Hearst College. It had been amazing to see him, like the 30 odd years
had slipped away. He didn’t look a bit different except back in 1972
his hair had been longer. Still the same boyish good looks and charm
“Josef, this is a surprise,” she said and heard him
chuckle on the other end of the line. “I don’t know whether to be
delighted or afraid.”
The chuckle grew a bit louder and he said, “Which would make you happier?”
“Oh, I’m not touching that one! So, why are you calling me?”
“I need to have a meeting with you Catherine; it’s important and it’s not something that we can discuss over the phone.”
eyebrows rose in alarm. “Are you in need of my legal services Josef?”
She was positive he had a crack team of lawyers at his finger tips.
“No, but this is personal. What’s your schedule like on Monday? Any time you are available, I’ll make it work.”
she was afraid and her heartbeat started beating wildly. If she would
have thought about it she would have remembered that he could hear it
but she didn’t. “Hold on for a moment, let me check my PDA.” She was
quiet for a few minutes and he could hear the stylus moving on the
screen. “How about 2:00 Josef; will that work?”
“Yes, 2:00 pm my office, in the conference room. I’ll see you there Catherine.”
heard the line go dead and felt shaken to the core. She didn’t know
what was going on and now she’d have to wait 2 days to find out.
Whatever was wrong she hoped that it didn’t bring trouble to her door.
and Audrey parked and made their way to the pier which was pretty quiet
on this Saturday evening in late October. It was a cool night which
most likely accounted for the lack of crowds but it was okay, Audrey was
bundled up in a warm denim jacket and he was wearing a sports coat of
all things. It made her smile to see him, fussing over his hair at the
house as they got ready to go.
The boys had looked at them with
interest as they got ready to leave and Logan was sure that Travis was
pissed by the look on his cute little feline face. “Tough luck, buddy,”
Logan said in vamp tones and Travis’ ears laid back. He knew exactly
what Logan had said.
Logan threaded his fingers through Audrey’s
as they strolled along the pier, wandering in and out of the arcades and
shops. His left hand kept patting his jacket pocket to make sure the
ring was still securely there, something he was worried about. Better
to worry about the ring than what he was going to do.
Would she say yes? She would, wouldn’t she?
What if she didn’t?
bought her a hot dog and a coke for dinner and they stood at the
railing overlooking the waves as they made the race for the shoreline.
There was a light breeze which kicked up the waves a bit, making them
look foamy and luminous in the moonlight.
“You know what?” she asked, smiling at him as she threw her trash into a receptacle. “I think I’d like some cotton candy!”
“One cotton candy for the lady, coming up! Pink or purple?”
I think,” she said with a laugh at the silly rhyme. She watched him
pay for the treat and they found an empty bench and sat down so she
could eat the spun sugar confection.
A huge smile lit up her face at the first bite and she giggled. “It doesn’t matter how old I get, I still love this stuff.”
I remember it too.” He pulled a small bit of it off the paper cone and
popped it into his mouth. He felt it quickly dissolve on his tongue
but couldn’t taste it at all.
“Can’t taste it, huh?”
“Nope, not even the sweetness. No big deal. O positive tastes better than cotton candy any ole day,” he joked.
She laughed and poked him in the ribs. “I guess I’ll find out someday, huh?”
eyes opened wide, in surprise. He’d always supposed that she would be
turned someday but this was the first actual mention of it. “I- uh,
yeah, I guess,” he said softly.
Audrey could see how
uncomfortable he was and let it pass for now. Right now they were
taking steps to build a life together and that was enough for her.
“Hey, I’m going to restroom and wash up and then how about taking me for
a spin on the Ferris wheel?”
His eyes brightened; this was
exactly what he wanted, this was his moment. “Okay, I’ll go and buy our
tickets Audey. See you there!”
She stepped into the restroom and
he hurried over the guy running the Ferris wheel and bought the
tickets. “Hey, I’m gonna ask my girl to marry me up there. Can you
give us a couple of minutes topside?”
The guy looked at the young
man with a wide grin. It wasn’t exactly an unique place to propose and
he’d seen it a few times over his 20 years of running the big wheel,
but he had a kind heart and said, “Sure. Slow night, shouldn’t be a
problem. And I think your young lady is heading this way. She sure is a
pretty one. Congratulations!”
“Hi,” she said as she walked up the steps to the platform.
man fastened them into the car and set the lock in place before
stepping back and giving the lever a gentle push. It stopped soon after
to let someone off and to take on two new passengers but the four of
them were the only riders. The cars made a couple of rotations and as
the swept past the operator the second time he gave Logan a wink.
Their car stopped up top and they heard him call out, “Just a little problem here folks; I’ll get you moving in a minute or so!”
other couple were locked in an embrace and likely didn’t even know they
were stopped. Audrey looked around her, at the lights below and the
ocean with the moon hanging over it. She sighed and leaned against
Logan, loving being next to him.
“It’s beautiful isn’t it?” she asked.
“Yes, the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”
blushed as she realized he was referring to her. Her small face dipped
downwards, a bit embarrassed. She wasn’t beautiful, she knew that but a
part of her thrilled to the knowledge that he thought so. Logan, her
“Audey, I love you so much. I never thought I’d find
someone like you. Someone who would see me for who I am and still love
me. I’m such a geek, a nerd, and yet here you are paying no attention
“Logan, I’m kinda the same way, you know. My past has
isolated me in many ways and I never thought I’d find someone to love me
and understand me as well. I guess we’re both lucky.”
my world Audey, my life. I can’t imagine forever without you.” He
reached into his pocket and pulled out the velvet covered box and opened
it, showing her the ring.
Her eyes sparkled with delight when
she saw the ring and she knew that right now was the moment she had
waited for; it seemed like forever to her.
“Audey, will you marry me? Be my mate forever?”
Tears started running down her face and Logan had a moment of panic. She hated the ring, she hated him. He was a fool.
Logan. YES!” she exclaimed loudly and threw her arms around him,
kissing him crazily. Her hand was shaking badly while he put the ring
on her finger. It looked beautiful and he kissed it and then her palm
gently, rejoicing in the happiest moment of his life.
operator watched the young couple up top. Well, the young man had done
well apparently. He pulled the lever and the wheel started moving
again. He let it circle a few extra times and he couldn’t hold back a
smile every time they passed him; he felt a little bit like cupid
It was a good feeling!
To be continued…