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The Gift (Part Eight)

             HHHHe wasn’t happy to have them in his home uninvited. That was a safeguard only provided to the living unfortunately. He was less happy that they had supped on his staff. It took time to carefully screen and vet discrete domestic servants. However, Gabriel was enraged that they had come to threaten Jocelyn. He didn’t know how they’d learned of her; it was a minor detail and it didn’t matter at this point. What did matter was that she was in danger. Masking his emotions would be a useless exercise; they were as skilled psychics as he was the eldest, Franco, likely more so. They knew.

“She should have been dealt with the first night she became aware of your nature. Why have you delayed?” Franco asked.

“I wish her for a companion.”

“You want a mate.”

Gabriel shrugged as though there were no difference. In truth, the difference was quite significant. Admitting he wanted to take Jocelyn as a mate, something Gabriel had never done, suggested Jocelyn was unique. And Franco could possibly take an unhealthy interest in Jocelyn; an interest that Gabriel could not allow.

“A companion. I’ve been solitary for some time. She’s attractive.” He lifted his shoulders and carelessly dropped them again. Then Gabriel deliberately allowed himself to picture Jocelyn naked knowing Franco’s tastes leaned toward men.

“Why not just turn her? Why bother with the lengthy seduction that risks exposure to us all?” Vampires do not govern the actions of one another with just one exception – exposure. A small body of elders on each continent is responsible for maintaining the secret on that continent. They have a large network of informants. One of their kinds that get careless is given the option of either becoming careful or moving on. If they do neither, the offender simply disappears. Humans that discover the truth are turned or consumed. Keep the secret or become a secret.

They stayed longer than necessary. Franco continued to ask repetitive questions in an attempt to trick Gabriel into revealing something. He didn’t bother hiding his intent. They came when they did, before Gabriel had fed and left the remnants of their own meals in plain sight to torment him further. They wanted the hunger, the anger, to make him careless, possibly violent. He saw the truth of it. Franco wanted him to.

The ancient misogynist hoped Gabriel would go directly to Jocelyn and in Gabriel’s current mental and physical state, take or kill her. Her body wanted his. He knew this. He felt it when he invaded her mind while she slept. He had ridden her orgasm with her. It would be simple to trick her mind into saying yes to what her body wanted. But he’d never have her heart. His own thumped. His member throbbed. His fangs pierced his bottom lip. He shouldn’t go near Jocelyn until he’d slated the worst of the thirst.

So why, he asked himself, are you standing outside her door?



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