The moon was bright, stars aglow and the air crisp and fresh as I walking home from Ezio and Melissa’s, somewhat tipsy, stumbling down the sandy path between our houses. Blaine had to go to work, Dave called begging him to help at the bar for a few hours.
I unlocked the dark door to the dark hallway and walked into the dark kitchen to make some really dark coffee. I did not feel like going to bed alone without Blaine. I had thought with Liam and the dogs at Vivian’s for the night, he and I would come home and the real party would start. Sure I could have gone to the club with him and watch him work, but I would also have to watch women hanging on him trying to get themselves some of my husband and just wasn’t feeling so Zen today.
Coffee went through fast, and I decided on some chick flicks in the living room until Blaine would be back. I opened the door and something was off. I halted. My vampire-Spidey senses just went haywire. I took another step and saw a human form on the couch to my right, not visible from where I had been before.
“Who the FUCK are you and what are you doing in my house!?”
I kept my cursing down to a minimum normally, but was not afraid to use it if the situation called for it. This one screamed for it. And more.
“Oh, what harsh words. I am sure …” a female voice, an arrogant one at that now responded, I could hear a smile in her tone. I’d end that notion. And interrupted her.
“My actions will be much harsher, you bitch, if you are not out of here PRONTO!”
The woman stood up and was now right in front of me. I looked down on her, I was tall she wasn’t, but despite it I could sense she was dangerous and not to be taken lightly.
“Hmmm, you still smell like him. Delicious. And even threw in a little Italian for good measure.”
“You best not be referring to Blaine!” I warned, and realized that it did not match the last part of her words.
“Blaine?” her tone was derogatory and she let out an arrogant short unamused laugh before continuing “I would never stoop down that low. I am talking about a man. A fine specimen of man. And I believe you just saw him.”
“Ezio? Oh come on. It’s YOU! In my house. You really do not learn, do you bitch? And how the hell did you get out?!”
“With lots of patience and tenacity. Same way I will get the other thing I desire.” she purred.
“What would that be? A punch in the face? Cos you are almost there!”
“Pity. You are kinda pretty, and smart, you could really make something of yourself if you wanted to. But it’s easy to tell whom you spend your days with. He is rubbing off on you. Not very flattering, but then again, why do I care. You are merely incidental. But you could be useful. If you choose to be.”
“You are still talking and still in MY house.”
“Oh, I’ll be gone in just a jiffy. But I wanted to leave you with some food for thought. A proposal, if you want.”
“Out. Now.” I was fuming on the inside but purposely made my words sound bored, to portray myself as uber-cool when I had the suspicion that she was more than I could handle, if it came down to it. A LOT more. What I did do, because as she pointed out I was smart, at least sometimes, was to cast an inner spell to seal my thoughts off. Meaning no vampires could peek. I know, party pooper, me.
“You do not even want to humor me by pretending to listen, while I pretend to be nice to you?”
“How about we skip this. I never works in the movies, you can offer me fame and riches and we know I would still decline so since my repute of being impatient precedes me, I’ll just see you to the door now.”
“Very well, as you wish. But remember this moment later on, when you may have been able to avert disaster.”
“How? Is there a button to retro-actively abort your ass?!”
She shook her head and poof, gone. Oh Blaine, you REALLY need to teach me how to do this.
I sat down, wondering what to do now. Had it been wise to taunt her? When I worked with Ezio he used to say you needed to come across like you had all the answers and needed nothing, without being too arrogant or unapproachable, to avoid people pulling one over on you. That was kinda what I had done here, but still felt I blew the deal.
Not knowing how dangerous this situation was, I needed to do something now, not later. Just what?
All of them were involved and needed to know. Just in what order? Let’s use logic. Blaine was busy and far away and I did not have good enough reason to pull him from work for just a few words. I could tell him later, he’d be back in a few hours anyway. Caleb lived in Forgotten Hollow, and he was the new Elder, so a big boy and he could take care of himself. So Ezio and Mel.
I went up the small pathway in the human – nay – vampire equivalent of a stretched gallop and as I was running I saw a silhouette up on the raised deck. Had to be Ezio so I rushed over there. It was and I was relieved the other thing I had been pondering, namely to tell him and Mel or just him, had been made for me.
“Ezio!” I said with urgency and even though vampires had not much to be afraid of, it was still possible to startle us. I had startled him.
“Viktoria!” he sounded surprised and alarmed as he stood up “what is it, dear, you look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
“I think I have. Guess who was in my house when I got home?”
“By the looks of it not someone you wanted there.”
“Your stalker is back?”
“Gawd Ezio, how many people do you know by that qualifier?!”
“Merda! How?” (Merda = Italian for ‘shit!’)
“I don’t know. Which is why I am here. I doubt she’ll be playing cat and mouse for long. She is back with a vengeance. So, Mr. big business, what are we going to do now?”
“Call Blaine and have him meet us as Caleb’s. I’ll write a note for Melissa. I’m driving!”
We sat around the large living room at Caleb’s home. It was just him, Ezio, Blaine and me. His wife and children were resting. Or gave us privacy. Grace, Caleb’s wife never really got involved much.
“That is not good. Not good at all.” Caleb brabbled mostly to himself after I had told him what happened. Blaine was fuming. Knowing him, it would be best not to leave him alone with her. Don’t think for a second that me being a vampire had any effect on him being overly protective of me. He would shred her. While I admit I kinda loved that thought, there were those strict rules, a code, vampires had to abide by or face dire consequences. She broke code, several times, but that did not automatically gave us lynching rights. It was up to Caleb to call an official action. Usually that meant capturing the perpetrator and bringing them before a council of Elders. Yeah, it was as tedious and complicated as it reads. Just offing her would have been much easier, but unfortunately out of the question. Although Caleb looked like he would not have hated that either. I had to grin at him, he noticed and winked at me, before telepathically telling me that dreaming was allowed. Yeah, he was a sweet guy with a sense of humor, if you caught him just right. For the most part he was just mellow. But make no mistake. He could also be a very dangerous force to reckon with.
“Anybody got any ideas so far?” Ezio’s patience had run out.
“We cannot do anything rash, but I agree, swift action is needed.” Caleb addressed him.
“Big hole in the ground, dump the bitch in and unload a truck of fresh garlic and a tank of holy water on it and done.” Blaine growled, making me burst into a brief laughter. Oops.
“Thank you Blaine. I’ll be sure to take that into consideration.” Caleb grinned.
“Caleb, how could she have gotten out?” I asked, sincerely now.
“I have been wondering that myself. The only thing I can come up with is the shift from my dealings with the Count. Hard to explain but I basically may have cause something like waves, when I teleported with him.”
“Vik, let it go, I already said to much. Again. I need to keep an eye on you, girl. You seem to have that effect on me.” he shook his head, grinning.
“Hey buddy…” Blaine grinned at him shaking his finger.
“Gentlemen, while I tolerate your bachelor-esque ways normally, can we please focus here?! We are no further than we were an hour ago! And may I remind you, it is my family under some dubious threat here!” Ezio was not amused.
“I have an idea, Ezio. You will have to bear with me while I do a little more research, but I should have a solid plan before sundown tomorrow. Come see me again then, same time. You as well.” he pointed at Blaine and me.
Oh goodie, more plotting. I thought. All I wanted was a raunchy night with my husband, uninterrupted by dogs or a toddler and what I got was some 007 stuff, vampire edition.