After chatting with young Reule for what seemed like moments, Durand appeared in the kitchen and grinned at me. “I’ve been looking for you for hours, Naomi. I had no idea that Re would have already kidnapped you,” he explained with a relieved tone to his voice.
I mentally rolled my eyes. Humph. Leave it to a guy. Ditching me then claiming to have been looking for me when he was probably off playing with Liza. Oh yeah, vampire, I’ve got your number.
Whoa! Was that jealousy in my mental tone? Uh-oh. No way, it could be that. I didn’t know this creep.
Frowning, I leaned on the base of my hand and growled, “How was your meeting with Liza?” I didn’t mean to reveal my jealousy, but I couldn’t help it. The guy was hot as hell and had some super sexy vampiress creeping around with him. Hello? Even though we weren’t romantic I believed that I had a good reason to be a bit jealous. Geeze. The guy was saying we were mates. Shouldn’t that mean something?
Durand reached his hand out to grasp mine, but I slid it inwards to my body. He frowned. “We were just in a meeting, Naomi.” His eyebrows drew together.
“Will I be able to see my family sometime soon?” I wondered only to have Reule grip my shirt. He didn’t want me to leave. How cute was that?
Serious, Durand stated, “No, Naomi. You are not yet strong enough. If you tried to touch them, you would shatter them. Do you want to kill your family?”
Oh! Low blow from the vampire. I flashed my fangs. “Well, maybe if someone wouldn’t have smashed his teeth into my neck without permission then this wouldn’t be a problem? Why couldn’t you have just dated me like a boyfriend would?”
Durand shook his head, sending those gorgeous locks around his perfectly chiseled face. “Mates are much more important than boyfriends. Boyfriends can leave. You are mine, Naomi. Forever.”
Angrily, I rose up and snarled, “That still doesn’t explain why you weren’t a gentleman to me. Did you ask if I wanted to be a vampire? And if you did, did you make sure that I wasn’t saying something when I was drunk?” My hands slammed down on the table, crushing it beneath my flat palms.
Reule grasped my pant leg and tugged as hard as he could. He nearly uprooted me from the floor. Trying to get me to leave? Why?
Rising, Durand took a step towards me and interrogated, “Why now? Why weren’t you like this earlier? What’s your problem, female?” As he took another step forward, tiny Reule was pulling me away from the kitchen and to the hallway where I heard whispers.
Without knowing so, we had gotten a crowd to congregate in the dining room and hallway. People peered in. Maids whispered to one another. Felix leaned against the entryway and grinned. Two more of Durand’s mini-me brothers were pushing away at servants to get a look in at Durand’s latest conquest.
Little Reule wrapped both arms around my left leg like he was a ball and chain; he attempted to move me towards the dining room for a hasty escape. Although, I didn’t oblige, I mentally thanked the little guy for looking out for me, but I was a full grown female! I could handle myself around this brutish jerk that decided to bleed me out and leave me in a hole to kill some random group of humans.
Yeah, humans! I used to be one of those. Why didn’t he ask? Come on, leech; give me the answers.
“My problem? You don’t think that I have an excuse to get pissed at you for killing me and putting me in a hole to wake up hungry for blood?” I took a half step forward, forgetting the innocent child around my leg. “If you would like to know something about women, Oh-Great-Master, we don’t like sleeping on big problems!”
Durand reached out for me, but Reule pulled me one step out of his grasp. Sinking his claws into what was left of the kitchen table, Durand flashed his long fangs. “It seems that my fledgling still does not know her place,” he hissed.
Laughter was heard in the background, but neither of the three of us turned to see Felix snickering like a schoolgirl. Instead, we recognized it when Reule cried, “Don’t you touch her!”
My eyes grew wide when the little boy traced between us and put both arms out like he was going to be my shield. He stared up at his older brother with his tiny fangs flashed but didn’t move no matter the depth of Durand’s snarls.
“Get out of the way, Reule! She is my fledgling and mate. You cannot separate me from her. It is code.” He reached towards me, but the little boy didn’t budge an inch.
Instead he said something that made Durand freeze like an ice statue. He howled, “Do you want to kill her like Dad did to Mom?” The child still stared up at his brother as the entire mansion fell silent, including the creatures outside. It was like the aftereffect of a bomb. Once the ears stopped ringing and everything was gone, all became infinite silence. Not even a single heart could be heard beating.
Amazingly, it was not Durand who was the first to move after the ten minute pause. It was not a maid. It wasn’t me. It was not even Reule who looked near tears. The person it was? Well, that person was Felix.
The male gripped the tiny boy and held him by his throat. His other fist rose in a flash, but the two other brothers of Durand held his hand from striking the boy.
I stared at the scene just inches away from me. I couldn’t believe it. What could have happened that would make an older brother want to punch his younger brother? There couldn’t be anything in the world that dramatic? Could there be?
Pinching the bridge of his nose, Durand was the first to calm down. He muttered, “Let go of Reule, Felix. He didn’t do anything wrong. No one did anything wrong here.” He turned to everyone that was staring in a dead silence. “Everyone, nothing happened here. Go back to work. None of this had happened tonight.”
Something about his words. They were more than just a voice commanded comfort. They were like a song, something that could get the people watching to actually forget what had just happened. What kind of power did this vampire have over all of these people?
They became brainwashed after his statement. The only ones that still seemed shocked by this whole interference were Felix, Durand’s two brothers, Reule, and me. Reule had traced to hold my pant leg but with less strength than before. Felix was bent over the counter and resting his thumb against his jaw. Durand was looking out one of the various full length windows that showed off the beautiful backyard scenery. Their two other brothers were sitting in the chairs in front of what had been a gorgeously crafted table.
Me? Well, I on the other hand was still in the same position as I had been the entire time. My legs were braced to snag Reule out of Felix’s grasp, and my hands were stretched out to flaunt my painted claws. I looked like I was photo bombing a typical picture.
Durand looked at me curiously, and so did the other males once the place cleared out of the dazed people. “Why have you not forgotten everything?” Reule asked as he tugged on my pant leg.
I looked at him with a raised eyebrow. “Why would I forget what just happened?” I turned to look at the boy. My eyes reflected a mother’s concern. “Are you okay?” I brushed down his black collar to gape at the fact that the red hand print around the boy’s throat was already gone.
“Yeah, I’m good.” He grinned at me and held my hand. “You’re a really cool fledgling, Naomi. My big brother was smart when he mated you.” The boy looked to Durand who wasn’t paying any mind to either of us. “Let’s go to my room.”
The little vampire appeared sitting on top of his coffin as I appeared in a desk chair where a computer had the screensaver of Dracula moonwalking down a Transylvanian sidewalk. Ah. Leech humor. The young boy wagged his feet in the air and stared down at the floor. He looked serious in thought and out of place in the norm of his bedroom.
“I bet you’re really confused about all of this,” he murmured and tossed me a sad smile. The expression looked so old on his young face. How old was this little boy?
Instead of asking, I nodded and watched him chew on his lip. His fangs were gone. Retractable. Well, that would explain a lot since mine only hurt on occasion.
“Uh… My mom and dad are Durand’s and my other brother’s same mom and dad, but Felix has a different dad. His dad wasn’t a vampire. He was an in-incu-incubus. Anyway, my mom was mated to my dad, and she kept Felix a secret. One day, Felix ran out of his bedroom in a hunger rampage, and my mom couldn’t hide my big brother anymore. Our dad thought that Mom was cheating on him, and killed her in a violent rage.” He went silent, and so did I. What could I really say to that?
The little boy curled up and looked so scared and frail as I watched him. My heart ached to see him like that. As much of freakish monsters the both of us were, I couldn’t leave him to curl in a ball and stare at the floor like that.
Just like what I used to do with my younger brother after every time my parents would argue, I sat down beside Reule who stared at me like I was from outer space. “Don’t move, little guy. I’m used to taking care of younger brothers,” I whispered as I scooped Reule into my lap.
Awkwardly, he settled against my body, resting his head against my shoulder. “Nobody touches me, Naomi. You’re very warm like my bear, Acrylic,” he mumbled and wrapped his little arms around me.
“You named your bear Acrylic?”
“Yeah. It just sounded cool.” I smiled against the silk of Reule’s blonde hair. He nuzzled against my neck. “Could you make me a promise, Omi?” My mind rocked at my new nickname, but I nodded, attempting to ignore the fact that my brother called me the same thing. “Don’t be too hard on my big brother. He’s never talked to a full blooded human before. He doesn’t know what to do with your kind.”