Part 2 of the Vampire story (2)

I decide, I will venture, out of Chris’s room, and down stairs, in search of food. I open the door, and as I do, there is a tremendous noise. Chris is in my mind, are you okay? I say yes. Then he sees I am in search of food. I pull the door closed, and the sound stops. Then as I round the corner, to go down the staircase, I run into Chris’s chest. His arms, go around me, and he lifts me up. I am face to face with him, and his lips are on mine. Then, my stomach interrupts. It growls. Chris’s lips leave mine, he sets me back down, and takes my hand, and says follow me. As he leads me to the kitchen, in my mind, he says, you are starving my love. Then he looks down at me, saying you are very adorable in my giant clothes. I smile back up at him. As we walk, he informs me, “My bedroom door, has an alarm. I had it added, so if anyone entered the room while you slept, I would be alerted. The passcode is your birthday, the keypad is on the right side of the door. Coming and going.”

As we enter the downstairs, I see out into the yard. I see two very large guard dogs, making rounds, in the yard. I also see a very high strong fence. I really take the time, to notice the scenery, and realize, I know this place. Chris sees in my mind, and says, you recognize the estate at the end of your street? I say yes, in my mind. He then feels my confusion. He says, out loud, it was so I could be as close as possible to you. I had to keep you safe, my love. Had I needed to, I would have revealed myself, to keep you safe. I was trying to wait for the right time, to tell you. I suppose, the right time never actually came in my eyes. It got to the point I had to tell you, to keep you safe. Chris then adds, I never wanted to lie. I was scared. If you found out what I truly was, this monster, you would no longer love or want me. I tug on his hand until he stops, he looks at me. I tell him, “Chris, you are no monster. You care about people, you always try to be a good man. I would have loved you regardless.” Chris then smirks, and says, “That is easy to say now”. I cut him off.” Chris, I was scared you would find out what I was. That you would leave me. My husband, before I divorced, he called me a witch. I thought it was true. I was just as scared as you.” Chris then hugs me, and says I am so sorry my love. He then begins walking, and says, “Let’s get you fed.”

We walk into the kitchen, and Chris leads me to one of the bar stools, sitting at the island. The kitchen is very large, and modern. Chris says, “I had the entire house remodeled, and brought up to date. I added security cameras, an intercom system, the fencing, a detached garage, and I converted the storm cellar. He then asks, what I would like for breakfast.

Chris states, “Wait, I know, French toast. I smile at him, and he begins, getting everything ready to make it. While he is busy, I ask, where the plates, and things are, so I can set everything up for us to eat. He says, go peek around the wall. I follow his instructions, and find a very beautiful table set for two. I return to my seat, and Chris resumes talking. Chris says, “After, you got up, I dressed, and headed down here, I set it up.” I smile at him, and he smiles at me in return.

As he beats the eggs, he begins telling me more about the estate. Chris says, you can go anywhere you choose on the estate, except the cellar. That is where Deirdre is, she is but merely bones, but she could still harm you. I then inform Chris, “I will not venture out of the house on my own, the dogs.” Chris walks to the wall where the intercom is, and presses a button marked yard. He asks, Neil and Alaster, to please come to the kitchen, but please do not change before you do. He then sets the egg mixture he was beating, down, and walks over and removes the pan he had been heating, and shuts off the burner. He then comes, sits by me, and takes my hand. Suddenly, the two large dogs appear in the kitchen with us. Chris can feel me tense. He feels my fear, and says, okay guys, change please. And just like that, Alaster and Neil are standing beside me. Chris tells me, it is sort of a cloak, for humans. A hunter can make you see, only what they want you to. Alaster adds, unless we are in our hunter form. Then you will see that no matter what. Suddenly, Neil transforms into a rabbit, and is hopping around the kitchen. Alaster, changes to a cat, then just as quick, Alaster resume, his human form. Alaster adds, we actually shape shift into the animals that humans see us as at times. That way, we can fly above, or fit into small spaces. Neil then squeezes between my chair legs. To demonstrate, he then rubs against my foot. Alaster adds, it can also be merely a veil, like when I sat on your front porch Leigh, keeping guard. Human’s seen me as a mouse, however, I was still a man sitting there.

Chris asks Alaster, and Neil to join us, as Chris resumes cooking. He pulls a tray of bacon from the oven and begins frying the French toast. I go and retrieve our coffee mugs, and plates from the other room, and ask Chris where I can find more. Alaster says please, let us, you need rest. I tell him, and everyone, I am fine. I promise. Chris then tells me where to look, and I set up four place settings. Neil grabs the half and half, from the fridge, and the sugar bowl from the counter, and places them on the island. Alaster, then walks around, and retrieves the coffee carafe. He fills all of our cups, and returns it to its home. I take Chris his cup of coffee, and he takes a big drink. I then go back and make mine, and start drinking on it.

After breakfast, I tell Chris, I need to make a trip to my house. I really needed to collect a few thing, like my boots, good luck charm, and some more clothes. Chris asks me if he may escort me. I tell him, if you think I need an escort, then yes you may, giggling. His arms go around me, he leans down, and kisses me. He looks me in my eyes, and says yes, I think you need an escort, if it is me, wherever you go.

We are in route to my house, Chris has given me my suit of clothes from the night I arrived, freshly laundered, to wear home. We are joking and playing. He tells me, as we arrive, Leigh, you will have to invite me in. I tease saying, what if I don’t want to, as I open the door. Suddenly, someone reaches out, puts a hand over my mouth and pulls me into my house. Chris is frantic, as am I. I feel his emotions. He wants to rip this man’s head from his body. The man’s face then transforms, his fangs are out. He is getting ready to sink them into my neck. Without thinking, and moving faster than lightning, Chris is across the threshold. He immediately pulls me from the man’s grasp, and sets me in my chair. Then he picks the man up, and throws him outside. He tells me to please stay put. I try to listen, however, that is not a strong suit of mine. I peek out the window. John is out there, holding the man. Chris walks up and does what was in his thoughts. He literally rips the vampire’s head from his body. Then he plunges his hand into the man’s chest and rips out his heart.

Chris:

Alaster arrives, a few minutes later. I am still upset, and confused. Leigh is sitting beside me, comforting me. I ask, how, could I enter Leigh’s house without an invite. And come to think of it, how did Nic? Or the one who was awaiting our return just now? John sits racking his brain. Then says, I checked every name on that list, I matched face to name. I say, maybe Nic, compelled Leigh, I then turn, facing Leigh, I look deep in her eyes, and say, you will now kiss me. Leigh kisses me. Then she says, you didn’t have to say that out loud. I try again, I say, Leigh, you will go to the kitchen and get me a glass of water. Leigh, then replies, not without you asking me, I am not a servant. Alaster, then moves closer and looks in Leigh’s eyes, he says, Leigh, you will go to the kitchen and get Chris a glass of water. She gets up as if she is in a trance, and makes me a glass of water and brings it to me. She then sits, and resumes speaking. As if she never moved an inch. Chris, why would you speak to me in such a manner? She never realized she had been compelled by Alaster. I then explain to Leigh, what has occurred. I tell her, vampires cannot compel you, but a hunter can. Alaster states it is because she is the Essence.

Suddenly I feel as if there is so much that the hunters have chosen not to share with me. Alaster says, he had known since Deirdre’s time that the Essence cannot be compelled by a vampire. Nic had tried to compel Deirdre, and she would not do as he said. That was when he became angry, and turned her. Right then and there, dressed for your wedding. She never wore anything but wedding dresses from that point forward. Alaster adds, we cannot share all of our vast knowledge with you Chris. There is just too much, I apologize though, I should have told you of this. I suppose I didn’t, because in my mind, the fewer who knew the safer Leigh was.

Leigh:

I scurry around, bag in hand, collecting everything, I need for at least a week, at Chris’s. He has informed me, until they figure this mystery out, how vampires can come and go in my home, with no invite, I will be required to stay with him. I grab my bag of jewelry, my good luck charm, hanging from the nail in the bathroom, my cosmetic bag, and a few more odds and ends. I then pull out another duffle bag, and stuff in several pairs of jeans, two non-sports bras, and a few t-shirts. I decide, I can wear Chris’s t-shirts to bed. I zip up the bag, and walk over and place it beside the other one, on the bed. I then pick up my throw, from the foot of my bed and fold it, and place it on top of my bags. Chris appears at the bedroom door. He sort of states, I have blankets Leigh, if you were cold, you could have told me. I tell him, it’s not that, this has special meaning to me. It’s my security blanket, so to say. He smiles at me and walks over and picks it up. Chris then kisses my nose. Reaching back down for my bags he asks, “Are you ready my love?” I nod, then we head back towards the front door. As we walk out of the house, Chris asks, me, would you, like to just pack up here and move in with me? I honestly don’t know what to say at this point, and he feels my inner turmoil. He says, you don’t have to decide today. I thank him, and promise to think on it. He grabs up my hand, with his free one, and we head down the road to his home.

We arrive back, at Chris’s estate, and head straight in the house. I walk up the stairs, and head to Chris’s room, he is following very close behind. He sets my bags on one of the club chairs, and tosses my blanket on the bed. I walk over, and stretch it out, he then is in my mind. What is so special, about this blanket? I tell him, it was a gift from my grandmother, when I married. It was made from my baby blanket, and other keepsakes from my mom. He smiles at me, and says, I like that Leigh. I add, it is about all I have to remember her by. He says, I am very sorry Leigh. I say, it is okay. It has been many years. He walks over and puts his arms around me, and kisses me on top of my head. I look up into his eyes, he bends down to kiss me. His hands, move into my hair, I back slowly up to the bed, and sit, as we continue kissing. I lay back, and Chris has no choice but to follow, to keep his lips on mine. He is on top of my body, he then uses one of his hands, to pull both of my hands above my head. He holds them there, I see in his mind, why. Last time, my nails, they caused the animal in him to surface, even though he was only in shadow form. He leans up on his other arm, and looks at me pinned there, by his body, totally defenseless. He then resumes kissing my mouth, moving down my neck, when he reaches my throat, I hear him let out a low growl. He then rolls over off of me. I immediately, crawl on top of him, straddling his waist, his face has started to transform. He tries to hide from me, but I won’t let him. My finger, goes up to his lips, tracing around them. His mouth slightly opens, I touch the tip of his fang. My mouth then goes to his lips, and I kiss him. I then bite his bottom lip hard. Hard enough to draw blood. I lick the blood from his lip, then I kiss him. He rolls back, face still transformed, fangs out. I place both of my hands on his face, and pull him towards me. I then ask him, “do you want to drink from me?” He freaks, and rolls off of me. His face resumes his human shape. He is upset, and says “why would you ask me that?” I say, “why not?” He says, I almost killed you last time. I said, no you didn’t. You drained most of my blood, but I was okay, I heal remember. Besides, John drinks from Tammy. He says, yes, but her blood is not yours. Yours calls to vampires. John was extraordinary on more than one occasion around you. You know as a new born, he fought the urge to hurt you and won. I say, I know. You will as well. I tell him, I know what to expect this time. I will be in your head, before you begin, and I will stay there. I say, please, and he looks into my eyes. He says, I can never tell you no. Even if what you ask is not good for you. I smile and say, good. I then pull off my t-shirt, and lay back on the bed. Chris pulls his off as well, and returns to me.

Chris:

Leigh fell asleep in my arms. Her mind is still with me, so I know she did not pass out. I was able to control myself, with her help this time. As I drank, from her chest, I felt her energy building in my body. I felt her blood healing me, making me feel knew again. I felt as if I could be human again, if I chose. Then it became too much for her, and I stopped. Leigh said to me, Chris, I am beginning to feel weak. I reluctantly pulled myself away. Then I made myself realize, if I hadn’t stopped, I might have killed my beautiful Leigh.

She smiled up at me. My face, resumed its human form, as she kissed my lips. I lean back, and look where I had fed, all that remained on her beautiful upper chest was two tiny scars. I said, honestly, Leigh, hiding my marks is easy on you, with a hint of laughter in my voice. Leigh smiled at me, and pulled me back to her. She playfully wrapped her legs around my body, and asked, if I had anything else on my mind. I then see what she is hinting at. I smile down at her, and say, not yet my love. I am fully satisfied at this moment. I ask her, what about you? She says, you know I want you Chris, in every way possible, but I don’t want to rush. I know you are old fashioned, in a sense. I have seen, you have had very few women in that sense, even though you are a thousand years old. She smiles, and says, we can wait. Then she pulls my lips back to hers. I roll over, and pull her on top of me. Her head goes to my chest, my arms hold her very tight, and then she is out.

Leigh:

As I wake, from my peaceful slumber, I see, I now have on a t-shirt, and am covered up. Chris is curled up around me, keeping me safe. I ask, you awake? He replies yes. I tell him, human needs are calling, I will be right back, so don’t move. He says yes ma’am, teasingly. First thing I do is wash my face, and brush my teeth. I add more deodorant, then, quickly go pee, I wash up, and add a bit of my chapstick. Then I head back to bed.

I crawl in the bed, on top of Chris, I am in a good mood. I ask what time it is. He says, you mean what day? He tells me, you were out for nearly twelve hours. He then informs me he and Alaster, have determined, anytime, my body or mind deals with trauma, I sleep. I sleep for very long periods of time. I begin kissing Chris’s chest. In-between kisses, I ask him quite curiously, what do you do while I sleep? He says, mostly I lay here and watch you, as he tucks a strand of hair behind my ear. At times, I have to get up drink, take my meds, and deal with business matters. I think Oh My Gosh, Chris, my job. He smiles, and says, you don’t have to worry about it. Your job is there if you decide to go back to it, but for now, you are mine. He then rolls over, placing me under him. He kisses my nose, and tells me, we must feed you. I protest, saying I am not really very hungry, even though it is a lie. He smiles at me and says, as much as I would love to, we can’t spend the day in bed. I poke my bottom lip out a bit, and look up into his eyes. He quickly turns his head playfully, and says, Ms. Kearney, your tactics are ruthless! I giggle at that. He rolls off of me, and is on his feet, before I can try anything else.

I crawl from the bed, and start towards the chair which contained my bags. To my surprise, they had disappeared. Chris sees in my mind, my query. He says, go look in my closet. I open the door, to his closet, and find, not only my clothes, but new ones as well. He says, Tammy and my assistant, Amy, have been shopping, while you slept. Amy, had already bought things at my request for you, your sports bras and boy shorts. However, your uh.. Chris was embarrassed, your normal bras. She said they take sizing or something. I giggle. I then walk over and place my arms around him, and squeeze very tight. He smiles down at me. He says, when you are ready, you and Amy, or Tammy or all three of you can do that shopping. I laugh, and say, or you can take me. He smiles and sort of stumbles on his words, whatever you choose my love, as his lips go to my forehead. He then added, “Now get a move on, you have visitors downstairs.”

I go into the closet, and choose, a pair of my jeans, and a new top, it was a button up, and sort of tailored, I thought, it may actually be flattering on me. I grab a light jacket, and one of my two normal bras, I had brought. Chris had hung them in the closet as well. I then go and look in my drawer, and find new socks added to my bras and boy shorts. I lay out my clothes on the bed, then begin stripping. Chris, is in the bathroom, brushing, combing his hair, doing whatever it is a vampire does in the morning. I pull my t- shirt off over my head, then, I remove the sports bra, I had fallen asleep in. I am standing in nothing, but my boy shorts, when Chris emerges from the bathroom. He stands, sort of frozen in space. Staring. My hands go immediately to my chest, to cover, and then he snaps out of it and turns his back. He apologizes, I do as well. I tell him, I’m sorry Chris. I thought you would be longer. He says, I am sorry for staring. Then he says, no, I’m not. He says, Leigh, you are beautiful. Your long hair draped over one shoulder, standing there almost nude in front of me. He says you look how I would picture an angel. I ask, with surprise in my voice, you picture angels topless? He says, no. I can’t explain it. You look so heavenly to me. Your beautiful flawless skin, your glistening lips, your soft Auburn curls, framing your face. You are so much more than the word beautiful can describe. I tell him, you can turn, I am descent. He walks over and goes to his knees at my feet, as I am putting on my socks. He takes the socks from my hands, and sets them on the bed. His body slides between my knees. His lips are on mine, his hands, go to my face, then in my hair. I feel what he is feeling, and there is no human word, to describe it.

We head down stairs, and into the kitchen. No one is there, and I hear nothing. However, Chris does. He says, everyone is outside, at the back of the house, near the garage. He hears my stomach growl, and tells me sit. He then walks to the stove, and picks up a plate, sitting on a warming eye, and brings it and sets it in front of me. He says now, be a good girl and eat. I ask, are you not joining me? He says, I will sit with you, but I don’t really need to eat. He sees I am disappointed. He makes me a cup of coffee, and grabs a glass of juice for me as well. He then makes himself a cup of black coffee and sits by me. He reaches over, and steals a piece of bacon from my plate. I smile at him, and say in my mind, thank you. He leans over and kisses my nose.

After I eat, we head outside. As we round the corner, to the garage, I see John’s jeep. I can hear talking now too. I hear Tammy and John, as well as Alaster, Neil, and someone else, a female. As we near them, Chris, introduces me to his assistant Amy, the female I heard. Then Tammy tells me of her news. She says, the night of my birthday, after you left, I got my present from John, thanks to the generous gift you and Chris gave me. She tells me, John turned me! Tammy then engulfs me in a hug. Chris, reminds her, be gentle, you are still a newborn, and can harm Leigh easily, without meaning to. She then loosens her grip on me and whispers, is that too tight? I whisper back, no, I am okay. She then releases me, and Chris pulls me towards himself, in a very defensive manner. I notice, Tammy looks different. The same, and yet different. Looking at John, I see now, what I did not notice months ago, when he first turned. They both now looked like they belonged on a movie set. The porcelain white smooth skin, the eye color change to a beautiful brown, the ruby red lips. They were utterly beautiful, just like my Chris. Chris sees in my mind, all I am taking in. He sees, as I try to think back and remember the change in John. For the life of me, I can’t though, it feels like I have gaps in my memory. Chris then says to me, those are from the Hunters compelling you to forget something’s that were rather traumatic, involving vampires. I look up at Chris and smile.

Copyright 2015 ML Steele

Part 2 of the Vampire story (1)

Book 2

Leigh:

The last words, he said to me, were “Leigh, I am a Vampire.” I am still sitting here in shock. He can’t be serious, I mean, vampires don’t really exist, except in the movies. Chris resumes sending messages, explaining things to me. The game, we are in, it was created by vampires, a way to meet people. The chat app, another place, for meeting people. The charm on your necklace, is actually something, with my scent, imbedded in it, to mark you as mine, so no other vampires would bother you .It also protects you from evil. It prevents evil from reaching you. Think back to the day at the beach, when you got home. You were in the mudroom. Those men who could not enter, it was because of the charm. They were in fact vampires. At this Chris says, dammit, Aedam compelled you to forget that. The incident, at John’s last night, those were vampires as well, they were after you .Please Leigh, talk to me, yell at me, something.

I couldn’t speak, I texted, “I am here.” Chris then asks, “Do you hate me, do you want me to go and leave you alone?” I quickly reply “NO!” I am just in shock, this can’t be real. He types, Leigh, it is real. I am a Vampire.” He then types, “Can I come to your house? There is so much more, I need to tell you, and in person, I think is best.” I sit there a moment, trying to comprehend it all. As so many realizations occur to me. I then state, “You are in Canada, how, when?” He says, “I am closer than you know.” I think about things Chris has said to me, even tonight, when I asked about him getting sweet tea in Canada, he never said yes, he danced around the subject. I type, “bring John with you, please, I don’t want to be here alone with you”. Chris says, “We will be here in five minutes.”

John arrives at my house and knocks. I open the door. John immediately says, if you do not want us to come in, we won’t, however if you do, you will have to invite Chris in. Chris comes walking up behind John, as our eyes meet, my knees buckle, and I feel dizzy. John is quick, and catches me before I hit the floor. He picks me up in his arms, as if I am a feather, and places me on the couch. He gives me a couple of minutes, and then asks, where I want to talk. I say, I think, maybe a drive. John says, that will be just fine. I will ride in the back of your truck, so you and Chris can have privacy, but if you feel you need me, just holler. I say ok, to John, and grab my keys.

I hit the alarm button, unlocking my truck and shutting off the alarm. In my mind, I think Chris loves me, why else would he give me things to keep me safe? John, hops up over the side of the truck and sits up against the cab. Chris, opens my door, and I sit. He asks me to scoot to the passenger side, I agree, knowing John is close, and in my heart, I know he doesn’t want to hurt me. Chris, then slides behind the wheel, and closes the door to the truck. He puts the key in the ignition and cranks it. He reaches over and switches on my radio. He is very familiar with my truck. I then ask, how long have you been here? He said, from now on, I will be one hundred percent honest, about everything, but I have had to bend the truth a bit up until now, to keep you safe Leigh. I swallow, hard, and again ask more forcefully. “How long have you been here?” Chris says, I have been here, since our first date. I then say, you and John both put the alarm on my truck. He says yes. I said you were the reason the dog was upset, the first night? It was you I kept feeling watching me. He said yes, again. He then asks, what do you want me to do, to prove, what I say is true? I sit there quite for a few moments, then I ask, how do you, you know? Do you kill? Is that what I was suppose to be? Your meal? He sort of laughs a bit, a rather strange laugh, and says “No Leigh, you were never, going to be my next meal. First off, I try never to kill. The guilt from doing so, is more painful to me, than you can imagine. Second if I do kill, it is never for me to drink, it is out of the need to protect someone. I always try to drink blood from a blood bank. I purchase it for a very large sum of money. If I have to drink from a human, I am gentle. I hide the bite mark, I make them forget. He then says, there is so much more, I need to tell you. I ask, can it wait until tomorrow? He says, yes, it can. I say I have a way for you to prove what you are to me. I tell him pull over. He does, not realizing, my plan.

As my truck comes to a stop, I open the door, and hop out. Chris, is by my side of the truck, before I can even close my door. I holler back to John, you can stay put if you like. He holds a thumb up over the cab of the truck. I then move into the headlights, and tell Chris, holding my arm out, if you are a vampire, drink. He has a look of sheer terror on his face. He says, what if I can’t stop Leigh? You and I have a special connection. Part of what I need to tell you tomorrow. I say, John will be here, he won’t let you harm me. He pleads, can I not do something else? I say no, you want to prove to me what you are and this will allow me to trust you again, after all the truth bending over these last few months. I say this is required. He looks towards the truck, and says in a whisper “John, please come here.” John hops from the truck, to us. I am shocked, but I keep a straight face. I question John, you heard us? He says awesome, ain’t it? I blush, at the thought, of all John has heard in the last few months.

Chris then says, to John break my neck if I do not stop. John smiles his crooked grin at Chris and says, will do. They both then pull out their pill bottles and pop one, to try and ensure they are in control, of what is about to happen. I look at Chris, unable this time, to hide my surprise. I ask, breaking your neck, won’t that kill you? Chris smiles his mischievous smile, at me and says, not a vampire. It will only incapacitate one of us for an hour or two.

I stand there nervous, not sure what to expect, with my arm outstretched to Chris. I tell him, I’m ready in his mind. He walks towards me. His hand touches my skin. It feels like an electrical current, flowing between us. My skin feels so alive. His body closes in on me. He takes my arm to his mouth, I feel his lips, kiss my arm. The feeling, is indescribable. Suddenly, I feel small needle pricks, in my skin. With a sensation similar, to when I gave blood. I feel almost high, as he siphons the blood from my arm. He has taken too much, suddenly, I start to feel faint. I go to Chris in his mind, please stop, I am … I pass out.

I come to in a bed, somewhere, I am not familiar with. A man, I don’t know, talking to John and Chris. They are talking about me. I lay there and pretend I am still out, to try and listen to them. Chris walks over to me, sits on the bed by me, and says, I know you are awake. I open my eyes, and look up at him. I ask, where am I? Chris says, you are in my home. He adds, Leigh, I am really sorry, I drank so much from you. I look down, two tiny pinhole scars are all that remains of where he fed. I say, it is okay, I insisted you do it. He says, you don’t understand, you and I, we share a special connection. You are the Essence, the Healer. You and I have connected because we truly love one another. In the beginning, I thought it was something I was doing, to allow me to be with you in shadow form, us being able to touch, feel each other, be in each other’s minds. I thought it was a side effect of my meds I take, my ADHD meds I told you of, however, Alaster informed me, it is you. It is all you.

I try to hide. I turn my back to Chris and the others. He is in my mind, immediately, asking what is wrong. I tell him, I am a freak, I am sorry. I understand if you don’t want me here. I try to pull myself up from the bed. Using his hands, and as little force as possible, Chris sort of pushes me back down. He is in my mind. I love you Leigh, I always will, no matter what. He reaches over, and pulls me up into his arms, and hugs me. He begins to snicker, and says in my mind, I am a vampire, and you are worried I wouldn’t want you, because of your unique gift, which has allowed us to be together the last few months, something that allows us to be more intimate than anyone else in the world, has ever been. He hugs me tight, and kisses my head. He then smiles down at me and asks out loud, if I need or want anything. I look up at him sheepishly, and ask, “Is there any human food around here?”

At Chris’s request, John heads out of the room, to make me something to eat. Chris then places some pillows, behind my back, and leans me up against them, asking if I am comfortable. As he stands, I say yes, thank you. He then motions for the other man, to come over and meet me. He says, Leigh, this is my personal physician, Dr. Domminik Eisenhauer. The man says, please call me Domminik. I hold my hand up to shake his, and say pleased to meet you. He says, you as well, Ms. Kearney. I say, Leigh, just Leigh. He says, alright, Leigh, nice meeting you as well. He says you were out for quite a while. I smile up at Chris. He looks so beside himself. Domminik, then says, Chris, she will be good as new, by tomorrow. Then speaking to me I don’t suggest moving much from that bed today. I blurt out, what time is it? Chris says, its noon, Tuesday. I freak, I say oh no, I missed work, and I didn’t call. Chris says calm down. He then texts a message to someone, and suddenly, Alaster is in my room. I am confused. Chris says, I bought your bank, and put it in Alaster’s name. Neil, is, one of Alaster’s men. I told you, I have a lot to tell you. I pinch my arm, to see if it hurts, it does, I can’t be dreaming. I lean back on my pillow, and close my eyes. Chris asks, are you okay Leigh? I say yes, just absorbing. He says, before I tell you more, you should eat. I open my eyes, and John has returned to my room. With a large tray of food. Chris takes the tray, and places it on the bed between us. He says eat, I will as well. I look at Chris, rather astonished, I never have actually seen him eat, or drink, for that matter. I ask, are you able to eat human food? He laughs, and says yes. He tells me what his ADHD meds, really do. I then agree, to share breakfast, with him.

Chris makes me a cup of coffee, and hands it to me. I take a sip, it feels really good on my throat. I say thank you, it’s perfect. He smiles at me. He pours himself a cup, and as he does, John ushers everyone else from the room, closing the door behind them. Chris, then asks, what do you feel like eating? I say, maybe some toast. He butters a slice, and says, grape jam? I say please. He hands me a small plate, with two slices of toast. He says, how about a slice of bacon? I agree to that as well. I start to nibble on my toast, and Chris starts talking. Leigh, I never wanted to lie. It hurt me every time I had to. I hope you know now, you can trust, I will always be honest. I reach over, and grab his hand, his eyes meet mine. I say, Chris, I know. I feel our connection, I know in my heart, you have only wanted to protect me from day one. He smiles at me. I set my plate on the tray, my hand goes to his head, and I gently pull his face towards mine. I whisper, Chris, I know you love me. I love you too. He slowly closes the gap between us, we are so close to one another, I feel his breath. I look up into his beautiful eyes, and then I move forward. My lips, softly touching his for the first time. The current flowing between us, I feel like my whole body is on fire. I feel what he is feeling too. I feel as his need to feed grows. I pull back. He smiles at me. I smile back, he then, sets our coffee on the tray, and moves the tray to the floor. He slides into bed beside me, and says I have been dying to have your head on my chest, my fingers running thru your hair. I turn facing him, and kiss his nose. Then I scootch down in the bed, so my head will be on his chest, right at his shoulder. He rolls towards me, and puts his arm around me. He playfully says, you could be in trouble. While he plays with a strand of my hair. I smile and say, how much trouble could I be in? He laughs. He then pulls me on top of him, my legs on either side of his body, my hair, cascading over one shoulder. He says, I could sit and stare at you forever. You know that. I bend down, and kiss him again. This time, as his urge to feed grows, I do not back off. I feel what he feels, until it is unbearable for him. He rolls over back on top of me, and pulls away. I look closely at him, I see how his face has started to transform. His fangs, now showing. He starts apologizing. I tell him, don’t worry about it. You are okay. I am okay. He closes his eyes, and concentrates for a minute or two, and his face resumes, its natural human look. He kisses my forehead, and says, I think we should feed you more. I agree, to appease him.

He reaches down, and picks the tray up with one hand, placing it back on the bed. He hands me my coffee and my plate back. I resume my nibbling, and sipping on my coffee. I start to ask questions. Chris, if my charm protected me, and they were unable to see me, why did you have me hide when we were at John’s that night? Chris replies, because my love, I wanted you as close to me as possible. I wanted to feel as though I were protecting you. Chris then says, let me just start, from day one.

We spent the next few hours, him telling me everything that has happened, since that first night of our meeting on the game. Every now and then, I interrupt, asking a question, or declaring a realization, before he could tell me. When he was done, I was nibbling on some grapes, and had moved on to drinking glasses of ice water. He said, does everything make more sense now? I say yes. It does. I then, embarrassedly ask, Chris, do you, have, a uh bathroom, I could use, I think it embarrassed him as well. He then says, Leigh, I am so sorry, I don’t, think about humans needing to use a bathroom. Please forgive me. I smile up at him. He says, it is this way. I scoot to the side of the bed, and carefully stand, I start to fall back, onto the bed. He is there, holding me up, before, my body moves an inch. He says, I will help you to the bathroom, then you can just call if you need me, okay. I agree. I lean on him, and we walk. His arm, carefully around my waist, helping hold me up. He takes me in the bathroom. And tells me to grab ahold of the vanity, for support. He then walks out, turning the light on, and closing the door behind himself. He hollers in, there are toothbrushes, towels, anything you may need, in there. I yell back, thank you. First things first, I was dying to pee. After, that, I washed my hands, and was going to wash my face, as well. I grabbed one of the new toothbrushes and tooth paste, and brushed instead. I finished brushing and added my toothbrush to the cup on the sink. I then, decided, a shower, was what I wanted. However, a bath, would be much more feasible in my current state. There was a stack of towels, by the large bath tub, a tray, with shampoo, soap, bath salts, etc., a very large fluffy robe. I had everything, I needed, well except for one thing. I closed my eyes, and pictured a bath, myself, in it. A knock came at the door. I said, come in. He smiled at me. I said, would you mind, helping me? He says, not at all. He helps me to the side of the bath. He hands me a towel to cover myself. I place it in my lap. I reach down, and pull the sides of my shirt up, trying hard to look graceful as I do. However, graceful isn’t one of my qualities, and my hair gets caught up in my shirt, and I sort of am all tangled up. I have to sit there, and let him get me loose. He smiles down at me, and kisses my nose when he is finished. I then stand, with Chris’s assistance, and unbutton my shorts. His hands come up, around my waist, he pulls me towards him, his mouth kissing my stomach. He then proceeds, to slide my shorts down over my ample butt and hips. He then opens my towel, which I had layed down when I stood, and wraps it around me. While his hands are at my back, he reaches back and unhooks my sports bra. He then helps me get my arms out of it. He places all of my clothes in a pile on the floor. He reaches over and starts the tub to filling, adding bubbles to it. He then takes my hair, and pins it up for me. When my bath is finished filling, he shuts off the water, and asks, if I am able, to do the rest, of my undressing. I smile at him and say yes. He then starts to leave, saying if you, but I interrupt saying aren’t you going to stay with me? He smiles and says, yes. He keeps his back to me, and says, tell me when you are in. I hold the towel up, with one hand, and slide my boy shorts down with the other. I step out, and using my foot kick my boy shorts to my pile of clothes. I then tell Chris, you can actually come and hold my hand, as I get in. He turns, and walks over. He holds a hand out, and mine goes to his, the electricity still present. He puts the other hand, on the small of my back, to steady me. I step up onto the first step, very carefully. Chris moves in close behind me. I step up on the second step. He says, wait one second. Reaching down, he pulls off one of his socks, while steadying me with one hand, then, he pulls off the other. With his long legs, he steps over the side into the tub, fully dressed, and tells me, put your weight on me as you come down into the tub. I sort of slip and fall into his arms, water, splashing everywhere. I look up at him, he is smiling. He helps me to get my feet steady, then, he lets go of me with one hand. He pulls up on his t-shirt, with one hand, pulling it gracefully over his head, where it is hanging on one arm. He grabs me with his free hand, and proceeds to pull the shirt the rest of the way off. He flings it, and it lands in my pile of clothes. He tells me, to turn, and face away, from him. I follow his instructions, his hand on me, steading me the whole time. He slowly eases his way down into the tub. Holding me around the waist, lowering me with him. He is seated, snuggled in behind me. I feel his body pressed against mine.

I will close my eyes, so you can remove your towel, Leigh, Chris says. I laugh a bit, and say, I kind of think you have seen me in the shower, before. He says, I know, but this is different. I say, I suppose, and add thank you. With much difficulty, I get the towel off, but I can’t bring it up out of the tub with it being wet, and I am weak. I let it slide to the bottom of the tub. Chris, feels it with his feet, and says, “leave it, I will clean up in here later. Now, lay back on me and just relax.” I do as he says. He reaches up, and carefully pulls the pins from my hair, and places them on the tray by the tub. He takes a deep breath of my hair. Ummm coconut. The scent is still strong. We start to talk again. He asks, what I think of everything. I tell him, I am still in a bit of shock, but I know you love me. Chris says, yes I do, all the way up to the moon, and back down again.

After my bath Chris helps me dress, in a pair of his shorts and one of his t-shirts, and return to bed. I am completely wore out. He crawls in beside me, and wraps himself around me. I lay safely in his arms, as he begins to sing to me. I am asleep in no time. I wake Sunday morning, starving, but feeling fully recovered. Chris, is in bed beside me, however, I know he has not been there the whole time, I slept. I hop up out of bed, without disturbing him, and head straight to the bathroom. I take care of everything I need to including showering and shaving my legs. I walk into Chris’s room, towel around me, to see he is no longer in bed. He is not even in the room anymore.

I haven’t any clothes here, so I go to his chest of drawers. I see taped to the front of the top drawer, a note, saying Leigh’s. I open it and find, sports bras, and boy shorts. No clothing, however. I grab a bra, and a pair of pink boy shorts, and close the drawer. I then, decide to search thru Chris’s remaining drawers. Next one down, has, Chris’s boxers, and socks. I grab a pair of his socks, and close that drawer. I open another, it has pajama pants. I search thru, and find a warm pair of flannel ones with a drawstring. Last drawer, I find t-shirts. I commandeer, a light blue one. I walk to the bed, and throw, everything onto it. I drop my towel, and pull on my bra and boy shorts. I then dash back in the bathroom, and find one of the new deodorants. I quickly swipe it under each arm, and leave it sitting on the counter, then I head back to resume dressing. I pull on the t-shirt, it almost goes to my knees. Then I hold his pants up, they are at least a half foot too long. I sit on the bed, and pull them over my feet. I stand, and pull them up over my butt and hips. I tighten the drawstring until I am sure, they will not fall down. Then I sit again. One leg at a time, I roll them, until they reach my ankle. Then I add Chris’s socks to my feet.

Copyright 2015 ML Steele

My latest story/ First story ever written info

Hello all. I do actually have a good bit of the second and third parts of the vampire story done. I wrote more than 100,000 words in less than 6 months when I did this. I may finish it up, if anyone actually likes this one. Who knows. But it is here for you all to enjoy. Please remember this is fiction, and lives in my head. Enjoy reading MLSteele 🙂

Before Hidden Secrets was revised… The very first draft (10 End of First story)

to what happened today. I enter her dream, and pull her out of it. I then help her to calm and relax. She returns to a peaceful slumber. I message John to come and sit with me, because I will not leave Leigh’s mind again, while she sleeps, and I need him to keep watch out. I enter her dreams and stay, until she wakes, Friday at noon.

Leigh:

I roll over, and look at the clock. Twelve. It is to sunny outside, to be night time. I think, I have only slept a couple of hours, then I pull out my phone, to message Chris. I see, it says, today is Friday. I freak out. My mind goes to Chris’s. I ask him, “is it really Friday?” He says “yes, it is.” He adds “you were utterly exhausted.” He then asks, “How are you feeling?” I say, “I am fine, why do you ask?” He says, “Do you not remember not feeling well yesterday? You called out of work until Monday. You said you felt your mind was in a tunnel, I could sense something was off through our connection.” I say, “Honestly yesterday, is nothing more than a blur. I feel well rested, and really good today, though.” Chris asks, “Will you still stay home today?” I say, “I suppose, since I have the day off, already and I have slept most of the day away.” He then asks what I would like to do. I say “first thing, I would like food, I am starving.” He says, “me too!” He asks “if he can take care of a few things, before we decide what to do?” I say “yes.” He says “you can still reach me here, in our minds, but I won’t be answering my phone messages, for a bit.” I say “okay, then I say, I am going to go and find food.” I tell him, “I love you Chris.” I mean that, too more than he will ever know. He says, “me too Leigh.” Me too. Then we are back on our own. The lovely glow still present in our minds, showing one another, but we are both on our own.

I crawl from bed, and first stop off at the bathroom. I brush, pull my hair back, wash my face and go pee. Yes, I am at least part human, and I do have to go pee at times. Then, I wash up and head to the kitchen. My plate of toast, still sits where it was yesterday. I start my pot of coffee first, then I proceed to clean up. I wash all the dishes, and wipe everything down. I then, decide, to make myself, a couple of fried eggs. I put a couple of slices of toast in the toaster, and grab the pan for frying my eggs. I grab my coffee mug, and start my cup of coffee, as my pan is heating. I take two eggs from the egg carton, and crack them in the pan. Then I wash up and grab a pancake turner. Chris appears in my mind, showing me his breakfast. He is eating the same thing as I am making. I tell him, great minds, eh? As I snap a photo of mine frying in the pan. When he receives it, he smiles at me, in my mind.

As we sit and eat, I realize, tomorrow is the night of Tammy’s party. I bring it up to Chris. He asks me, if I thought, I should go, seeing as I was so sick yesterday, and all. I tell him, “I will go, I have to be there, for Tammy, and John.” He tries more, to persuade me not to go, but my answer never changes. Finally he gives up, and decides to change subjects. Chris asks, “How should we spend the rest of the day today?” I tell him, “I feel amazing, and would honestly like to get out in the yard, and begin my fall garden.” He seems a bit hesitant. He asks, if maybe John could come over and help me out? I tell him, honestly I don’t need help. It is only a bit of digging, and pulling of weeds. No reason to have John come and waste his day here with me. He says, okay, grudgingly. He asks if he may come out with me, into the garden. I say, if you want to. And he knows, in my heart and mind, I would love nothing more.

We finish breakfast, and clean up our dishes. I then head to my room, to change into a pair of my old holey jeans, and a t-shirt. I pull my hair back into a loose braid, and hang my good luck charm around my neck, tucking it into my t-shirt. I love to wear it there. Close to my heart. It may be weird, but it smells how he would smell to me. And it is a lovely scent. Very masculine, and clean. Maybe it’s merely in my head, but I feel so much closer to him, having it around my neck.

I head to the backdoor, and voice message Chris. “Headed out the back door.” I slide on my work boots that are in the mud room, and grab my gloves off the shelf. I then unlock, the door and step out into the beautiful fall sunlight. I close the door behind me, and head out to the shed. I open the door, and jump out of my skin. John is in there, looking thru my gardening tools. I ask him, “What are you doing? Rather loudly and with a bit of irritation in my voice.” John says, “Tammy and I thought, you might like to spend the day with us.” I demand, “Chris put y’all up to this, didn’t he?” John says, “No, it was Tammy’s idea. She wanted to come and see how you were doing after, I told her you had called out of work until Monday.” He then says, nodding, towards the front yard, “here she comes.” Tammy came walking in our direction, waving and smiling, and dressed for yard work. I say “good morning,” to Tammy “or maybe I should say afternoon, seeing as I slept most of the day away.” She laughs, and asks how I am doing. I say, “good”, I then realize, I haven’t heard from Chris, so my mind touches his. He is there, his lovely glow. I assume, he must be busy, and resume talking with Tammy. I apologize, “my mind drifted.” Tammy says, “Don’t worry, mine does it too.” I ask if they have eaten, or if they would like a sweet tea, or anything, they both said, they had just ate, and urge me to get started. Chris enters my mind, saying, he would owe me, but something from work came up. He asks if I am terribly upset? As I kneel down and begin to pull weeds, I say, “no,” in my mind. “Honestly I haven’t talked much to Tammy, since my foot got injured, and it will be nice to catch up.” Chris says he loves me, and then he is gone. Only our lovely glow that links us remains.

John, Tammy, and I dove in hard, and got the area, roped off, and turned over. John was amazing at the manual labor, honestly I was glad he had came, because we got more done than I could have ever imagined. All the weeding was done, and the compost had been turned in. John had more strength and stamina, than Tammy or I.

As we finish up, I ask John and Tammy if they would like to have dinner with me. Tammy says, they would love to. I say, why don’t y’all run home and shower and change, and I will as well. We can meet at the BBQ place in town. My treat. They say, okay, then I hug Tammy first, and kiss her cheek. Telling her, thank you. I repeat with John. Then, playfully John hugs Tammy and says thank you. He then dips her, kissing her very intensely on the lips. I blush, for my sake, and hers. Then he rights her, and takes her by the hand, and says, we will see you in a bit Leigh, as they head out.

I message Chris of my dinner plans. He responds by saying, I’m sorry, I got sidetracked today. I tell him, not to worry, we can’t be with each other always, as much as either of us would love it. He says, I know. He asks if he may accompany me to dinner tonight, so he can at least spend a bit of time with me. I tell Chris, “there is nothing at this moment, I would like more.” Then he sees in my mind. One thing would, having him beside me, tonight. He smiles and says, “I love you, and I agree.”

Chris:

I messaged John with Leigh’s plans, of working in her yard, and asked him if he and Tammy could spend the afternoon with Leigh. It gave Neil, Alaster and myself, time to get John’s safe house ready for tomorrow night. I wanted to be sure we were prepared, for whatever may happen.

Leigh:

I finish dressing, and putting my hair into a tighter, more formal braid. I didn’t bother with any makeup, other than a bit of chap stick and a little mascara, my nose and cheeks had gotten quite rosy, from the sun today. I decided on jeans and a tank top, with a light jacket. The weather, was still nice, but having gotten sun, I was feeling a bit chilly. I added my good luck charm to my neck, it was visible in my tank top. It looked very lovely, in my eyes. I then decide it is picture time, I snap a quick photo of myself, and hit send. Chris’s reply comes after a few minutes, while I am collecting up my keys and bag, and about to head out the door. Chris, tells me, “Leigh, you look very beautiful tonight. You have such rosy cheeks.” I say, “it is only normal everyday me, with a bit of sunburn.” I then begin to giggle. He replies, “I am very fond of normal every day you!” Chris then asks,” would you do me a favor, snap a pic of your necklace, you are wearing?” I say “sure,” and flip the view of my phone so it is facing me, then I snap a photo, it contains, my neck, my top of my chest, and my necklace. Chris says, “Leigh, that photo is absolutely breathtaking! I love the beautiful little dusting of freckles, on your chest, I have loved them from the first photo you sent showing them. That is very lovely, what you have done with the charm I sent you.” I blush, and reply thru voice message. “Thank you Chris, you made me blush, again, although with my pink nose and cheeks, you could never tell.” I add, “I love the charm, it means so much to me, I keep it near my heart.” At that, Chris says, “I love you,” I say “me too.”

I return to Chris’s mind, “heading out the door.” He says, “I am here with you.” I step out, to find, a car and driver, waiting in front of my house. John pops out, I ask, “what are you doing here?” He says, “Chris set this up, dinner too. He told me he owed you for today, and this was his way of apologizing.” I voice message Chris, “you didn’t have to do that.” He replies, “I know, but I wanted you to know I miss you, and I wanted you to spend more time with John and Tammy. Especially, since, I have work, that came up again.” I reply, “Chris, you don’t have to try and buy me. I am yours. Forever.” He says, “That wasn’t my intentions. I just wanted you to know, I love you, and, you should get use to being driven around, because, Leigh, I have money, most places we go, we will be driven, by others.” I apologize, to Chris, I say, “I am sorry, I’m not use to being taken care of by anyone”. He smiles in my mind, and tells me “you will get use to it, I love you, all the way up to the moon, and back down again.” I tell him in my mind, “I love you, all the way up to the moon, and back down again.” I say “thank you.” He says, “Enjoy your evening my love, I will be here in your mind, but may not answer my phone.” I reply “okay, I miss you so much Chris.” He says “I know, me too,” then he is gone.

Chris:

When John informed me of their dinner plans, Alaster and myself, figured a way, to keep Leigh safe. Aedam would be their driver, for added protection. Since it is evening, I went and checked out the restaurant. Anyone on staff, could be a vampire, and after dark, any vampire can walk freely. Since the time change, it gets dark quite early. I decided to actually sit and eat, observe, the atmosphere.

Alaster arrived a few minutes after I had. He first checked other entrances, and called and placed some of our newer vampires on guard duty around the building. Then, he came and joined me. As we dined, we observed, a few vampires, coming and going, they were in other groups, mainly large groups of humans. No one stood out, as if they were scoping out the place to come back later. We finished up dinner, I paid the bill, and asked to meet the manager. Yes, I know it is bad, but I used compulsion on him. I needed to make sure, he wasn’t a vampire. I also searched his mind. When I was finished, I made him forget what I had done. I also stuffed a hundred dollar bill in his jacket pocket, to help ease my guilt for doing it. I know it had to be done, but it did not make me feel any better.

We head outside, I climb into Alaster’s truck, to sit and watch this evening. Alaster took my motorcycle back, and informed Aedam, and Neil of this evenings plans. Neil would be having dinner at the same time, as the others. A dinner date. He would bring along a female companion, who was a vampire, for more security, that way he would not be forced to join them, if Leigh seen him and asked.

Leigh:

We all pile into the car, and head for the restaurant. There is a dark glass partition between us and the driver. We sit and talk, on the short drive there. Then John and Tammy, get a bit lost in each other’s eyes, and kiss. Chris’s mind touches mine, and he sees how happy I am at this moment. He sees, my image from earlier, once again, and knows, the only way I would be happier, is if he were sitting beside me in the car. I feel his love, it is the best feeling in the world. He tells me he loves me, and to be sure and have some ribs for him. I smile to him in my mind, and tell him I love him as well. I tell him, don’t worry, I will!

Tammy blushes, and apologizes, for them being so wrapped up in each other. I tell her, not to worry, I say, “my mind had drifted to thoughts of Chris,” and I smile. She smiles back at me, I add, “I have sort of been monopolizing a great deal of John’s time, lately. I apologize for that.” She tells me “don’t ever worry about that, we both understand, and we want you to feel and be safe. So, never worry over that, please.” I lean forward, and grab Tammy’s hand, and squeeze it, I have tears welling up in my eyes, and a warm loved feeling all over. Chris feels it and I feel his presence stronger, I feel him sitting beside me, I feel his hand, on my back, rubbing.

We arrive at the restaurant, and the chauffer steps out, and opens our door. First John exits the car, he scans the parking lot, and surrounding area. Then he gives Tammy his hand, and helps her from the car. Last, I scoot forward, to exit, and Chris grabs me around the waist, and pulls me in for a kiss. Our lips meet, and there is such electricity flowing between us, I can hardly believe he is only here in shadow form. His lips release mine, and I open my eyes. He is staring straight into them, as I do. He tells me, “have a good night out my love, I will see you soon.” I whisper, “I love you,” and he is gone. I then grab John’s hand, and get to my feet. It appears to go unnoticed, by all except the driver, that I took longer than I should have to get out of the car. The driver looks at me rather odd, as I walk past him, and head into the restaurant.

As we enter the restaurant, we are seated immediately. All the way in the back, a booth, against the brick wall, John and Tammy take the side against the wall, they can see everyone, coming and going. I am on the opposite, with my back too everyone. Before I sit, I throw my bag so it lands beside the wall of the booth, then I remove my jacket. As I do, I scan the restaurant. I see, our boss, Neil. He is accompanied by a very lovely tall slender blonde. He sees me and waves, I wave in return. I then sit, and tell John and Tammy, “must be a popular place tonight, our boss is here, and it appears he is on a date.” Tammy cranes her neck around me to sneak a peek. I too, turn in my seat, Neil is lost in his date’s eyes, and doesn’t notice us. I turn back around, to lay my jacket on top of my bag, however, I have to lean across Chris, he has joined us for dinner in shadow form. I then feel his leg against mine, his body, pressed as closely to mine as possible. He is in my head, telling me, “put your hand closest to me, under the table.” I do as he asks, I feel his strong hand, take mine, and hold it. Tammy and John, continue talking, never knowing Chris is here with us.

The waitress, finally makes her way to our table. We all order sweet teas, then she takes time with each of us, getting our specific dinner orders. After she finishes, she heads back to the kitchen, and we resume chatting. Then, a short while later, the waitress returns, bearing drinks and dinner plates. I release Chris’s hand, as the waitress, sets my plate in front of me. His hand, then goes to rest on my thigh. I smile to him in my mind. I reach over, and grab the sweet bbq sauce, and squeeze a small lake onto my plate. I then hand it to Tammy. She copies my actions, creating a small lake on her plate, as well. John, however, grabs the hot and spicy, I ask, “when did you switch from the sweet?” He said, “oh a couple of months ago.” Tammy says laughing, “I know, if I didn’t know better, I would think he was pregnant, the foods he now eats.” Both John and I laugh as well. Then we all begin to eat.

We finish eating, our dinner, and the waitress, returns to clear plates, and ask if we saved room for dessert. We all decline dessert, having eaten so much delicious bbq. She steps away, for a moment, and returns with the receipt, where Chris has paid. She hands it to John, and wishes us all a good night. We wish her one as well, and as John stands, he sees Neil headed our way, with his lovely date. Tammy, stands, as well, and I am about to, but first, my mind goes to Chris. I tell him, “I love you, see you soon.” “I love you too Leigh, see you soon”, Chris replies. Neil is now beside me, standing, he looks down at me, with an odd look on his face. I reach over Chris, to grab my bag and jacket. Chris’s hand goes to my back, holding me in a hug, his lips graze my cheek, and he whispers in my ear, “I love you Leigh.” He then releases me. When I look back at Neil, he no longer has the strange look on his face, it has been replaces with a warm smile. I then get to my feet, and Neil says, “I would like to introduce you to my date.” He says, “Leigh, this is Melisa.” I reach my hand out and say, “pleased to meet you.” She then notices my necklace, and her hand, goes up to touch it. When she does, her hand, as it touches the charm, she screams. Neil apologizes, and ushers her out. Chris is still with us, and in my mind, he says, “she must have an iron allergy like mine.” I shutter, at the thought. I could hear it, it sounded as if she was burned by it, when it touched her skin.

We head out of the restaurant, back to the car. Our driver, holds the door open, as we climb in. First I go in, I sit on my side, next is Tammy, she returns to John’s and her side. John pokes his head in and says he will be back in a minute, he wanted to check on Neil’s date. Tammy and I sit together, chatting.

Chris:

I felt Leigh’s feelings of being loved, tonight, on the way to dinner. She literally had a golden glow about her. Similar to the one Alaster and the other hunters get, when they take their true form. She felt so warm, and magical to me.

I honestly worried, if anyone would be able to see me, besides Leigh, I know Alaster had, that day, in Leigh’s bedroom. However, when I sat beside Leigh in the car on the way to the restaurant, neither John nor Tammy could. I had informed John earlier, I would be with Leigh, and to ignore me if they could see me, but text me immediately.

After dinner, as they got ready to leave, Neil and Melisa came by Leigh’s table, and by the look on Neil’s face, I knew he seen me. John had noticed Neil’s reaction, and whispered, as Leigh leaned across me to collect her things, ignore Chris, if you see him. It is apparent, all hunters are able to see me, when I am, in what Leigh and I call my shadow form.

Then when the girls got in the car, Neil, John, and I talked, as we stood in the parking lot by Alaster’s truck, out of the view of Leigh and Tammy. Neil said, “you were a shadow, a mere outline of a man, and yet, Leigh had to lean across you. She could not reach thru you.” I say, “I know, we were actually sitting holding hands, most of the evening”. Chris says, “Alaster or myself, can’t explain it, he thinks, it is because of the magic present in Leigh, and the love we share, that allows it. I have to agree with him, because it has never happened before.” Neil smiles, and says, “I have to admit, that is amazing.”

Leigh:

The drive home, was rather quick and uneventful. John walked me up to the door, and inside. He checked around, making sure doors and windows, were still locked, that everything was how it should be. I seen him back to the front door, and told him goodnight, as I gave him a hug. I waved to Tammy, and then I closed and locked the door.

I turned off the lights in the living room, kitchen, and mudroom, on my way to my room. I pulled my phone out, and messaged Chris, in and locked, going to take a quick shower. No reply, so I grabbed my towels, and headed into my shower. I was rather quick, in case Chris messaged. I then brushed and dressed. I turned on the tv and muted it, after I shut off the bathroom light. I crawled into a nice warm bed, and to my surprise, Chris was in it, in his shadow form. I cuddled in closely, and his arms wrapped around me. I was asleep in seconds. I was truly exhausted from all of the work, today.

Saturday morning, and I woke at eight. Tonight, is Tammy’s birthday party, and I am very excited to get to see everyone. Chris was in my head, immediately. Trying once again to persuade me to not go. I tell him, again, I am going. He then asks if he can at least send a car and driver to take me to and from the party. I tell him “no. I just want to drive there, have a good time, and relax for a while.” With all that has been happening, I really want to, do this. He stops trying for now, and changes subjects.

We are still in bed, spooning. Chris runs his hand, from my thigh up to my ribcage. Then, he slides it under my cheek, and turns my head to face him. Our lips meet. His fingers are in my hair, and his palm rests on my cheek. With him in shadow form, there is such electricity, I cannot imagine, how it would feel, were his flesh lips to touch mine. Our lips touching, sends such fire through my body. Our kisses, grow more and more intense, he rolls me to my back, and he is on top of me. His hands touching my face, his body pressed against mine. My hands, pulling him closer to me. I wrap my legs, around his body, my nails, go to his back. Suddenly he disappears. Chris texts, “I am sorry. I got a business call.” I reply back thru text, “it’s okay, I really should be getting out of bed anyways J”. I text “I love you Chris.” He replies, “and I you, Leigh.” Then I crawl from my bed.

I wash up, dress, and start my day. I head towards the kitchen, phone in hand. I make myself a bowl of oatmeal, and some coffee, and sit at the table. I text Chris, “so what are your plans for the day?” He does not reply, so I decide, to go and game, while I eat my breakfast. It has been quite a while, since I have signed in. Immediately, I check, to see if Chris is on line. His green light is off. I decide to play it safe, and stay out of GC. I go into our safe house chat. I see, that we have a new member, in our safe house. His name, is a screen name I am sure. The Hunter. I say hi, and leave my friend code, in safe house chat, so he can friend me, if he chooses, when he is on again. I then decide, to heal so no one will know I am on. Namely Nic. I start healing, and then think to myself, I really should take down my picture of me, and post something else as my Avi. I decide, I will have John or Chris photo shop a pic of me and Chris together, and use it. Then maybe, Nic will see, I am spoken for. I go in and delete my current photo, and use, what we call on the game, my grey. It is the avatar, that comes with the game. You get to choose between six. I chose the fierce looking girl, in cut off jean shorts, hair in pig tails, donning a gardening tool, as her zombie fighting weapon. I go back to healing, using all of my stamina, then I sign out. I text Chris, asking if he would mind making me a photo of myself, and him together, using photo shop, or something. He was then in my head. He seen the reason, I wanted it, and he liked the idea. He said he would get one for me asap. I decided, to start cleaning up the kitchen, and start a bit of laundry to wash. Chris, then appeared, in his shadow form, in my big comfy chair. He cleared his throat, to let me know he was here. I dropped the sheets I was loading into the washer, and went running in there with him. He pulled me onto his lap, pulling my head, to his chest, his hand, went to my back, and started caressing it. He started singing to me. We sat there like that, not moving an inch, outside of his hand, for a few hours. I cannot tell you how good it felt. I felt as though I were glowing.

After he finished the current song he was singing, his lips went to my head. He then said, “I have used up much of your day. I am sorry”. I said, Chris,” don’t be sorry. I cannot imagine anything, I would have loved doing more, unless, maybe you were actually here with me.” I blush, as he sees in my mind, what we would have been doing. He says,” I agree, that would be good as well,” with a bit of teasing in his voice. He releases me and says “back to work. I know you have a lot to get done.” When I stand to go, he playfully smacks me on the butt. I turn around, but he is already gone. I go to his mind immediately, and he knows, I am blushing. He feels it, and smiles. He then says, “I love you Leigh, See you soon.” I say “me too Chris, See you soon.”

I head back to work, loading the washer, and starting it. I head to the linen cabinet, and as I go to grab another set of sheets, my left knee, hits a nail, that is facing out of the door jam. The cut isn’t bad, in fact, it almost immediately stops bleeding, and begins to heal. However, a little pink scar will remain, for a few days, I am sure. I grab the sheets, and some pillow cases, and head to my room to make my bed. I throw them onto the mattress, then walk into the bathroom, to clean the blood from my leg. Once done, I wash up, and resume the chore of making my bed. I accomplish it, and so much more. I then look at the clock, and realize, it is time to get my things together and get showered. I go to my closet, and rummage thru. I want something more special, than just plain jeans and a t-shirt tonight. I pick out my clothes, and lay them on the bed. My favorite pair of blue jeans they have beautiful hand sewn detailing down the leg, and a beautiful pink satin shirt. It has a strap, on one side only. I go and search thru my chest of drawers to find my clear bra straps. While I’m searching, I receive a message from Chris. “What are you doing right now?” I reply, “Actually, I’m digging thru my bra drawer, trying to find my clear straps. LOL” Then, a voice message arrives. “Sounds like fun,” he says, with a hint of interest. He then says, “I can’t talk you out of going, can I?” “No Chris,” I voice message, “There is no reason, for me to not go.” He says “okay, will you please wear your good luck charm, I sent?” I say “yes, if it makes you feel better, then yes, I will”. He replies, “thank you, yes, it does.”

We talk until I find my straps, then I grab a pair of boy shorts, and socks and add them to my suit of clothes on the bed. I go in the bathroom, grab my bottle of perfume, and spritz all of my clothes. I then grab my towels, and phone, and head to the shower. I tell Chris, “I’ll be back soon, Shower time!” He asks, “May I join you?” I blush, but message, “yes, you may.” He said, “I promise, to be good.” I laugh into the phone, unable to talk. I then text, “we will see. LOL”

I begin, to undress, first, my shorts then my shirt. I start the shower, and pull the curtain closed. My phone dings, it’s a picture Chris has sent me. His shoulders, neck, and lower face. I am speechless, his skin is pale, but he is beautiful. His being here in the shower, in shadow form, it does not do him justice. He is so beautiful. I catch myself, imagining him above me, the weight of his body on mine. My phone dings, again, pulling me back to reality. His message says, “Before you get in, put our songs on, and listen to them, while we shower.” I text,” they are already on J.” I take my necklace off and hang it on the nail above the door. I step into the warm water of the shower, pulling the curtain closed behind me. I dunk my head into the stream of water, closing my eyes, as I do. When I open my eyes back, Chris is standing in my shower. He is just standing, looking at me. I pick up the shampoo, squeezing a small amount of it into my palm. I turn my back to Chris, as I start to wash my hair. His hands are in my hair too, I feel them. He turns me to face him. Then he reaches down, and tilts my head up, his lips touch mine. He feels so real. My eyes close, as I get lost in our kiss, I open my eyes, after our kiss ends, and he is smiling down at me, almost a tiny laugh. I smile back and dunk my head under the water stream again, to rinse. Next, I grab the conditioner, and squirt a large amount in my hand. I run my hands thru my hair, his hands fall on top of mine, as I do. Our hands, move all my hair, to one shoulder, leaving the other, bare and exposed. His mouth goes to my shoulder and begins softly kissing, moving his way up to my neck. He is kissing my neck, moving around slightly, sort of nibbling one could say. Suddenly, I feel his teeth graze my neck. Then he is gone. Suddenly, my phone dings. “I’m sorry, I was interrupted.” I type “its ok,” with my wet hand. I resume my shower, and after a moment, he is there, again, watching me. I begin, lathering my right leg up from ankle to hip, then, I take my razor, and shave very slowly, as he stares, at me. Watching each long stroke of my hand. I finish, my right leg, and start on my left, lathering. He is behind me again, up close, his hand takes mine, as I start slowly shaving my leg. We were almost finished, when the razor hit the scar on my knee. Blood begins to run down my leg. He disappeared again. I quickly finish showering, and hop out. I wrap a towel around my hair, and one around my body. Then I look in the medicine cabinet and find the gauze. As I wipe the blood from the cut, I see the wound is already closing. No bandage is required. I then, voice message, Chris, “Are you okay?” His reply came in the form of text. “Yes, I am. Work call.” I say “ok”. I add, “Us being able to connect like that, I love it. It’s as if we are truly together. Even though you are a mere shadow, I feel everything about you. Your hands in my hair, lips on mine, even your teeth grazing my neck, it felt so good.” He says, “I know. I can even taste the sweetness of your skin, on my lips.” Then changing subjects, It felt like, for his comfort, he tells me, give me ten to fifteen minutes, then voice message, please. I reply, “Okay.” I grab my necklace, and pull it over my head, it falls around my neck. Then, I proceed to start to dress.

Chris:

I want to tell Leigh, so bad, what I am, that she is the reason we can connect the way we do. But I am scared, I am afraid, she will be upset, and leave me.

Her skin is so beautiful, I was kissing her neck, but I got carried away. I grazed her with my teeth. My fangs, started to come, I had to leave her side. I relaxed, and returned to normal, then I returned to her. We hit the scar on her knee, my face changed, I couldn’t let her see me. She was terrified of Nic, when he was in vampire form when she hid in the closet. I must tell her. Tomorrow. After her party. I must find a way.

Leigh:

I stand in front of the mirror in my room, adding a touch of color to my eyes, my cheeks are still rosy from the sun I got yesterday. Then a bit of chap stick, I rarely wear lipstick, my lips are full and fairly nice colored. Besides, I can’t stand the feeling of it on my lips! Tonight, I am wearing my hair down, I took the time, to tame the frizz, and I have many soft curls, hanging half way down my back. I add mascara, and then, decide, picture time. I snap a few, making silly faces, at Chris. I send those, and he messages me immediately, back, with silly pictures of himself. He has made his hair stick up on top of his head, and made silly expressions. We are both laughing. I then text, “okay, a real one.” I snap a quick pic without looking, and hit send. He receives it, and immediately replies. “Leigh, oh my, you are beyond breathtaking. I think this is the first time, I have seen you with your hair that way. It is so very beautiful. You are beautiful! I love you!” I blush, and text, “thank you Chris, you aren’t so bad yourself ;-)!” He laughs at that. I then tell him, I have to hit the road. Chris asks to keep me company. I agree, I love having him with me, constantly. I grab my keys, Tammy’s present, and my bag. I have stuck my phone in my jeans pocket. I step outside, and lock up the house. I walk to my truck, and unlock it, turning off the alarm at the same time. I slide behind the wheel, and throw my bag into the passenger’s seat. I set the small gift box on top of my bag. I take my phone out, and place it on the seat beside me. I start the engine, and turn the radio on, low. I then decide, I feel like singing to Chris, “Home, by Phillip Phillips” is playing. I decide, this is perfect. I begin singing!

Chris appears in my truck as I sing to him. He is in shadow form, he moves my bag, to the other side of himself, stuffing the gift down inside of it. He wants to be as close to me as possible, I feel the same. He sits staring at me as I finish up singing to him. After my lovely rendition of Home, Chris decides, he will sing to me as well. He chooses a new song, one I have never heard. He sings, “Cause all of me loves all of you Love your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections…” When Chris finishes up singing to me, he tells me, “It’s John Legend’s song, All of me.” I tell him, “It is a very beautiful song Chris, I think that is the first time I ever heard it.” Chris tells me, “you will hear it much more,” with a smile touching his lips.

I arrive, at the party, and am greeted immediately by John, and Tammy. I give them each a hug, and kiss on the cheek. I reach over to the passenger seat of my truck, and pull out Tammy’s gift, and hand it to her. I say, “I know, you have had your eye on it for a while.” She looks at John, and then at me, and then she tears into the gift wrap. She opens the small box and is speechless. She then says “this isn’t the same ring! Mine I had picked was so different, plain. It was a match to John’s necklace.” I said, “Chris, had it altered. If you don’t like it, we can put it back.” She said, “No! I like it, I more than like it, I love it!” She has tears in her eyes, and tells me, as she slides the ring on her finger, “you don’t know what this means to me.” I tell her, “I hope this gives you a small hint as to what you mean, to me and Chris.” She smiles, and I smile, then she grabs me around my neck, and hugs me tight! I then, reach back into my truck, for something else. Hidden in the glove box, is a second small box. I remove it, and turn and hand it to John. I say “it is also from Chris and me. A sort of thank you, for everything you have done for us over the last couple of months.” His expression is blank, as he opens the box. Tammy squeals in delight, “They match!” I ask, “If he likes it.” He shakes his head, yes, and says, “thank you Leigh.” He takes the ring from the box, and slides it on his finger. Then Tammy takes his hand in hers, and they kiss. Feeling a bit like an intruder, I start to walk up the path.

After a few minutes of walking, I pause, and yell over my shoulder, “where are we having the party?” “It is going to be in the safe house,” John says. As he comes running to catch up with me. “I can’t wait for you to see the changes, I have made” John adds. He is more excited, than Tammy, I think. I wait another moment, so Tammy can catch us. Then we walk in. Everything, looks amazing. There is a huge stage, John has added, the place is now triple the size it was, last time I was here. There is a very large banquet table set for fifteen, and all of John’s recliners, and tvs have been moved into one corner, so there can be dancing after dinner.

We walk around chatting, Heather and David, from our game are here, we stop by and chat for a few minutes, with them, before Neil and Alaster, join us. Everyone is catching up, it feels as if we have not seen each other in ages. Eventually, John goes over his mic, and announces, if everyone would please find a seat at the table, dinner is about to be served. Tammy sits first, John has her seated at the head of the table, seven of us on each side. John sits at Tammy’s right side, David to her left. I sit by John, and Alaster takes the seat by me. Heather, sits by David, and Neil by her. John then introduces the live band, a surprise, for Tammy, and dinner is served.

After, dinner, it’s time for the cake. Two rather big guys, bring it in. It is huge, at least three feet tall white with beautiful flowers of fall are all over it. John picks up his mic and asks everyone to please join in singing Happy Birthday to the love of his life, and wonderful partner. We all sing, then the cake is served, along with Champaign, for toasting. After that, everything is cleaned up, and the floor is open for dancing. More guests begin arriving. John and Tammy are the first and only couple, on the dance floor. The band is playing Tammy’s favorite slow song. As it plays, I think of Chris, our minds meet, and he knows how I wish he were here to dance with.

I fall back, behind the crowd, and sneak my way out, heading towards the lake, behind the safe house. I start, texting Chris, he asks if I am having a good time, I say yes. I then switch to voice message, as I walk towards the lake. I pick up a couple of stones, and toss them into the lake. Chris, asks, “Why is it so quiet, if you are at a party,” he sees in my mind, as I say, “I sort of snuck away, down to the lake.” He disappears, for a few seconds, then he texts, “get to John, now. He is on his way out to meet you.” I ask “what is wrong, I’m alone out here?” He says, “No you are not. Just please, do as I ask.” I am frantic now, how does he know I am not alone? Did John say something was out here? “Oh My Gosh,” I say “it’s dogs, isn’t it?” Chris doesn’t reply, he only says, “be as quiet and quick as possible. My heart is pounding! I feel light headed. I walk, as fast as I can, Chris comes to me in my mind, “Hide Leigh, now!” I listen, and duck behind, a large bush. In my head, he tells me “slow your breathing, or you will pass out.” I try hard to concentrate, on him, and slow my breathing down. I look up, and see John headed my way, Neil and Alaster are as well. Behind them, the two big guys, who brought in the cake, follow. Chris, says to me in my mind, “when John is near you get up and run. Don’t look back, just run for your truck, and get in. Lock it and head home, do not stop for anything. When you get home, get inside, and lock your doors. I will message as soon as I can. And Leigh, no matter what you do, please do not remove your good luck charm!” I don’t respond, all he can feel is my sheer terror. He tells me, “Leigh, my love, you are doing great, just a little longer. I love you.” I feel as if I am frozen in my spot. Suddenly, John is within a foot of me, and Chris, says “now Leigh, go.” I jump up, and run to John. I look back over my shoulder, and that is when I see them. At least twenty big guys, heading our way, quick. John says, “Look at me not them. Remember what Chris told you. Get to your truck, and get home.” I nod, and run. I run as hard and fast, as I can, in cowboy boots.

Chris:

I headed to John’s as soon as Leigh did. I sat out on the pier, most of the night, listening to their party, wishing I was there beside Leigh tonight. Then the slow dance, and her mind met mine, she wished the same, she pictured us dancing very slowly. Her head on my chest, our arms wrapped around each other. Then she started heading my way. I knew, I needed to hide, quickly. I went to the woods, at the edge of the lake. It would have been so nice, to spend a few minutes, lost in each other’s minds, alone, in such a romantic spot. However, it was not meant to be. I caught their scent, then I heard them coming. There were many. They were still off in the distance, but moving fast. A group of vampires, coming for my Leigh. I texted John, told him to come and bring reinforcements. I told him, I will tell Leigh, to get to her truck and get home. John says we will be there in seconds.

I could hear, the other vampires were close, close enough to hear her walking. I told her hide. I did as well. I was two feet away from her, ready to attack, if I had to, even if I would have had to reveal myself to her. I would not let anyone harm her. As soon as John got to her, she was up and gone. Then, I went into action. I transformed into a killer. Taking down the first five vampires in the pack. Neil and Alaster, transformed, into their true hunter form, once again, in front of my eyes. They were wielding, their beautiful swords, made of iron, and adorned with yew wood. I had to duck, as Neil swung, taking the heads off five vampires. John, and the other two young vampires, each took down one. Alaster, moved with such grace, and finesse. He took down five vampires as well, with a single swing of his blade. Suddenly, heads are falling to the ground, and Alaster is moving on to more. Neil begins, stabbing each body thru the heart. I see, they are in control, so I take off on foot, following Leigh, Making sure, she stays safe. I would not allow her to be harmed. I will protect her even if it cost me my life.

I go to her mind, as she drives. “You are safe, Leigh, please, slow down, and be safe.” She is frozen, with fear in her mind. I start singing, in my mind to her, I feel her start to slow, and awake from the trance she seemed to be in. She then, starts twenty questions, in her mind, “who were they, how did I know they were there, what was going on, then she switched to they will kill John, Alaster, Neil and the others, then they may come for me.” I tell her, “please, Leigh just get home.”

Leigh pulls into her drive, and quickly, gets out of her truck. She runs frantically to her house, forgetting to lock her truck. She unlocks her doorknob, and then struggles with the deadbolt. She gets it unlocked, and slams the door open, she steps across her threshold, and quickly slams the door back shut, locking it, immediately. She then slides down the door, and sits, she begins to cry. I am sitting on her truck, listening to her. I go to her in her mind, I sit beside her. I put my arm around her, and tell her everything will be okay. I lean over, and kiss her head. She looks in my direction, and says, “How do you know?” I tell her, “Please trust me”. She says, “I am trying Chris, honest, I am.” I tell her “I know my love.” I ask her, “Did you lock your truck? Leigh says, I don’t know. I tell her, “Hit the alarm. It won’t hurt anything if you have already.” I hop down, and head towards her porch. I text Leigh, “when you are done, go get in the shower. Okay.” She texts back,” okay.” She says, “by the way, I am in and locked. And so is my truck.” I type, “Good girl.”

Leigh:

I make it back to my truck, I hit the alarm, right as I grab for the handle. I jump behind the wheel, and lock the door, as it closes. I manage to get the key in the ignition. I keep thinking, don’t look back! Don’t look back! I throw the truck into gear, and tear out of the drive way. I speed down the road, trying to get home as fast as I can. I feel frozen with fear. Soon, Chris, enters my mind. He tries to calm and reassure me. Then he starts to sing his song to me, thru his mind. I start to calm, but then, my mind starts racing, who were they? What did they want? What about everyone who was there? Will they kill them? Will they come after me? Chris, says, “Please just get home, it will all be okay. I doubt it, but he says to trust him.”

I arrive back at my house, I am a total mess. I am scrambling to get in the house as quick as I can. I close the door behind me, and lock it, then, I slide to the floor at the door, and cry. Chris enters my mind, and soothes me. He sits by me, and puts an arm around me. When I calm, he asks if I locked my truck. I can’t remember, I hit the arm button, on the keychain, beep beep. Now it is. He then tells me to take a shower. I let him know, I am in and locked, and so is my truck. Then, I head to my shower.

As I walk towards the bathroom, I turn on light switches, I am scared, really scared. I grab towels, and text to Chris, “getting in.” He messages back, “play our songs, please.” I hit the button, and the music starts. I strip off my clothes, and step into the shower. I turn the water on, and it is rather cold. It shocks me to the here and now. As it warms, I relax into it. I close my eyes, and Chris is with me. Fully dressed, shoes and all, he is standing with me watching me as I wash away the makeup, and all of the stress of the night. I turn and face the showerhead, and his hands, go to my shoulders, rubbing them. He feels so real. He turns me around, and kisses my forehead, he says, “I will stay with you all night, in shadow form.” I say “thank you.”

I finish showering, and step out. I quickly brush, dry off, and dress. I leave my hair down, and head to bed. I message Chris, telling him, “I am crawling into bed.” He says “just finished changing. I am crawling in with you.” He is in the sitting position, and in my mind, “tells me to lay my head, on his lap.” I scoot over close. He tells me “I will keep a watch out for you, so you can sleep.” He then starts to play with my wet hair. I kiss his thigh. He tells me “he loves me”, and I him. I drift off to sleep, as his touch calms me.

Chris:

I message John, and tell him to bring me clean clothes, and a couple of blankets. I am sitting camped out, right outside of Leigh’s bedroom window. I change quickly, in the woods, and give John all of my things, he puts them into a bag he brought for me. I then tell him, “Leigh is ready for bed. I need you and the others to patrol the area. No one in or out, without my knowledge.” John replies, “will do.” I tell him, “thank you John, I mean it, thank you.” John shoots me a crooked smile and heads off.

Leigh:

I awake, at noon. I still am not quite sure, what had gone on last night. I don’t understand what those men wanted from me. I had never seen them before. I felt better, having Chris, keep me safe all night long, even if he wasn’t actually here. I am still a bit shaken, from all of the events that have occurred, in the last couple of months.

My mind touches Chris’s, seeing if he is awake yet. He feels me, and asks immediately. “How are you this morning Leigh?” I reply, “still a bit shaken, I don’t understand any of this.” He says, “I know.” He then takes my mind off of things. He tells me, “Today, we will spend our whole day inside, together, agreed?” I say “yes, agreed.” He then tells me “you will have a knock at the door in about five minutes. It will be John, let him in.” I say “what are you up to now?” Chris says, “I am trying hard to take your mind off everything.” I then say, “okay, I will open the door for him.” A slight laugh in my voice.

Knock, knock. “Just a minute John,” I yell running to the front door. I open it and he is standing there, with a picnic basket, a vase of flowers, and a canvas bag containing movies. Inside is a note. I recognize Chris’s handwriting.

My dearest Leigh,

Today, is our anniversary, and I would very much enjoy, if you would consent to a picnic in your living room with me. I have prepared, a picnic, just for you, to include your beverage of choice ;-), sweet tea. There are finger foods. Things, were I there, I would feed to your beautiful mouth, myself. I can hardly wait until the day we can actually meet in person. I love you Leigh, more than words could ever describe. More than any other man has loved any other woman in any great love story ever written. I love you all the way up to the moon, and all the way back down again.

Forever yours Love, Chris

I voice message immediately, John still standing at the door, holding everything. I have tears of joy running down my cheeks. I say, ou want to meet me in person?” He says, “yes, Leigh. How else will you become my wife, if we do not meet in person.” I am speechless, try as I may to respond. John steps through the door, and takes my phone, and messages, telling Chris, “she can’t speak, she is happy, but words, will not come.” Chris then tells John, “set it all up and head out. Make sure she locks up when you go.” John replies, “will do.” He hands my phone back, and I text, “Chris, are you sure, you want to meet me?” He replies, “I have never been more, sure of anything in my whole life, Leigh.” I was secretly wishing for this the whole time. Now that it is an option, I am scared, what if he does not find me as beautiful, in person, what if I am too curvy for his taste, what if I am to tall or not smart enough for him. My mind was going thru endless thoughts, I took a deep breath, and said to myself, there is only one way to find out. I voice message. “Okay, I agree,” I whisper, as loud as I can.

John finishes setting everything up. He then smiles and gives me a hug. I ask him, “You are okay, aren’t you? After last night and all.” He says,” yes, not a scratch on me.” I hug him again, and tell him to give Tammy my love, and apologies for last night. He says, “No apologies needed. You did what you were told. She understands. Honestly she does.” I thank him and kiss his cheek, he then heads to the door. He opens it and steps thru closing it. He then pops his head back in, and says “bye sweetie, be safe. Oh and Chris said lock this door when I leave!” With laughter in his voice. Then he was gone. I text Chris “we are all alone.” He types “are the doors and windows all locked?” I reply “yes.” He says “good.”

Chris then voice messages “I have you to myself, do I?” I say “that you do”. He replies, “This could mean trouble for you.” I laugh, and say “how much trouble could I be in, you are like a million miles away.” He snickers and concedes. Then he says, “What are you wearing?” I say, “Really?” With both surprise and intrigue in my voice. I then respond, “I am still in my pjs.” Laughing myself. He says, “Well, I suppose they will do. Give me about five minutes to get back in mine.” I say “okay, I need to pull my hair up and wash my face anyways.” He says, “Wash your face, but please leave your hair down.” I reply, “ok.” I head to my room, and quickly change into my cute pj shorts, tank top and matching sports bra. I then run in the bathroom, and pull my hair back, while I wash my face. A quick sweep of mascara on my lashes and a swipe of chap stick on my lips. I let my hair loose from the clip holding it up, and it falls, in soft curls, around my shoulders. I then stand in front of the mirror in my bedroom and snap a photo. As I hit send, one arrives of him. He is adorable. Beautiful. He has messy hair, I imagine running my fingers thru. A well groomed stubbly face, his lips, so red, with a perfect bow on his top lip. His beautiful brown eyes, feels like he is looking straight at me. I feel like I am seeing him for the first time. My heart beat quickens. My cheeks flush. I feel a bit lightheaded. I sit on the edge of the bed, and message. “Are you really real? Am I dreaming?” He replies back, “I could ask you those same questions. Leigh, you are simply beautiful. I have never in my lifetime seen anyone who compares to you. Not just in looks, but your heart, it is pure. You are beautiful from your skin to your soul.” I blush, and text him, “Chris, I love you. Then I think only love is not a strong enough word. I more than love you.” Chris is in my mind, he says, “I know what you mean, I feel the same way.” Then I text, you made me speechless again. He voice messages, “shall we have a picnic?” I type “yes, please.”

I head back to the living room, and sit on the blanket in the floor. I lean back onto the pillows, John placed for me earlier today. Chris snaps a photo of himself, and sends it me. He is sitting in the floor, too. Matching blankets, and pillow cases. I snap a quick one of myself, and hit send. He messages, “Pour yourself a glass of tea, in the wine glass in the basket.” I follow his instructions. He then messages, “take out the plate, look thru everything and make your plate.” I ask, “Whatever I choose?” He says “yes, whatever you choose.” I look thru there are grapes, apple slices, strawberries dipped in chocolate, tiny sandwiches, I open a few and look inside. A peanut butter and jelly, turkey and Swiss, and ham and American. I message,” let me guess which one you will not be eating of the sandwiches.” He messages, “go ahead and try.” I say “peanut butter and jelly.” He says nope, “I eat all three kinds”. I say, “But you said you don’t like it.” He says, “I said I don’t like it much. However, a pb&j, everyone loves that.” I laugh, and continue looking.

I snap a photo of my plate all fixed. I say, I am kind of hunger. I chose one of each kind of tiny sandwich, a few apple slices, a small bunch of grapes and 4 of the large chocolate dipped strawberries. He says, “Good, I like a girl who eats.” I laugh at his comment, and ask, “Okay, where is the pic of yours?” His photo comes thru, his plate is piled high, with food. He says, “I am a bit hungry myself.” His glass, is filled with what appears to be tea, as well. I ask him, “What is your drink?” He says, “It’s tea. Just like yours. Sweet Tea.” I laugh into the next message, saying “did you have to make it yourself, all the way up there in Canada?” He said, “Well not exactly.” He then tells “me to open up”, and sends a photo of his hand, with a grape in it, as if he were going to feed it to me. I tell him, “sorry if I nibble your finger as well.” He makes a sort of growling noise, in his next message. I quickly say, “I was only kidding.” He says, “I think we should watch a movie, a comedy.” I was worried, what I said, bothered him. I text “ok.” He asks me, “What is wrong?” I type “nothing.” He says, “I know something is, please tell me.” I text, “what I said, bothered you, but you wouldn’t just tell me that.” He replies, sort of laughing. “That is because of how it bothered me. It was in a good way. Trust me. Please. I had to take my mind off of the thought of your mouth, your teeth, touching the skin of my hand, the sensation, I would feel, Leigh, it’s almost unbearable.” I blush, and say, “why couldn’t you just say, that to begin with? You think I don’t have thoughts of you like that?” He replies, “Because that isn’t being very gentlemanly.” Then he says, “really, you do.” Totally shocked at what I had said. I say, “Yes Chris, you bother me in a very good way.” He goes silent. I ask, “Are you okay?” He types, “I am speechless.”

We eat, and watch movies, comedy after comedy. He takes my mind off of everything, unusual that has happened in the last few weeks. We are lost in our own world, sitting together, curled up on a blanket, Chris is with me in shadow form, he is engrossed in our latest movie. I reach my hand up and stroke his cheek. He feels so real to me. I can feel his cool skin, the stubble on his face. I lean in and kiss his cheek. He grabs me, and pulls me towards him, we sort of roll and end up him laying on top of me. He pins me to the floor, and just sits, there staring down into my eyes. He then says, “I will love you forever, no matter what happens, Leigh, I promise.” I tell him, “I will love you forever as well Chris, no matter what happens.” He looks away. I hear a faint whisper, “I hope you will after tonight.” Then he is gone.

Evening is on us, I send a voice message, “what would you like for dinner tonight?” He says, “I don’t know, what do you feel like?” I say, “Maybe Chinese?” He says, “I will have John bring you some, what are you in the mood for?” I reply, “What is your favorite?” He says, “I think, probably beef and broccoli, but then again, I like sesame chicken with pork fried rice.” I say, “throw in an eggroll, and I am all yours!” He laughs, and says “that sounds like a really good deal.” I blush, and text, “Thank you.” He says, “Give it about 20 minutes, and he will be there.” I say, “Don’t forget my fortune cookie!” He says, “I will be sure and tell him that.” “Thank you Chris,” I reply.

Once again, there is a knock at my door, I peek out, and John is standing there holding up a large bag, of Chinese takeout. I open the door, and ask, “Are you feeding an army?” With a bit of laughter in my voice. He says, “Chris told me what to order.” I say, “Are there fortune cookies?” He say, “Yes ma’am, I made sure.” I tell him, “come on in.” He says, “I am suppose to drop it off and head out.” I say, “Oh you are busy. I am sorry to be such an inconvenience.” He says, “No, you are no inconvenience. Just Chris’s orders, so to say.” I look at him odd. He says, “Go text him, and don’t forget to lock.” I reach up and kiss John’s cheek. He smiles, and puts on his sunglasses, and walks away.

I close and lock my door, then I text Chris. I ask, “What’s on your agenda, now?” He messages back, “you, me and Chinese!” He is laughing. I laugh into the phone, messaging him back. I set the bag, on the counter, and open it. Inside, I find, my Chinese food, candles, and my fortune cookies, two to be exact, one for me, and one for Chris. He messages, sending a photo. His plate is massive. I don’t think, I have ever seen so much food on anyone’s plate in my life. I message, “you must really love Chinese.” He says, “Honestly, yes, I do.” He then asks me “where my plate pic is.” I say, “I have to make one.” He says, “Hurry, or I will eat all of your eggrolls.” I growl into the phone. He messages, “did you just growl at me?” I said “yes, I do that, from time to time, so get use to it.” He laughs into the phone, “saying you are adorable!”

I grab a plate, and glass, and set them on the table, I then place the candles, and light them. I fill my glass, with tea, and make my plate of food. I snap a pic, first of me munching on an eggroll, then one of my plate and table. He messages back, “you are so cute, when you eat.” I blush, and laugh into the phone saying “thank you.” He says, “You ready to sit and eat with me?” I say, “Yes.” We talk throughout dinner, we share photos. Finally it is fortune cookie time. I tell him, “Open mine first.” He opens his, for me, and I open mine. Mine reads, “A time of change is soon upon you.” His for me read, “Love is closer than you know.” I say interesting, he agrees, and says, your fortunes, sound good, shall we read mine? I say yes, Very excited! I say me first. “You will have to make a very difficult choice for love.” He says, that sounds a bit stressful. He says, ok here is mine. “You will marry an auburn haired girl, with beautiful green eyes and freckles.” I say, “That is not what it says.” He teases, saying, “No it is not, but I like it much better, than any other words of wisdom, a fortune cookie could give.” I say, “Read it Chris,” so he does. “The right choice, ensures life.” I say, “That is rather cryptic.” He agrees.

After, we eat dinner, I am sitting on my couch, in the living room, Chris had a business call he had to take, so I am texting him. We are chatting nothing important, just being together. I tell Chris, “It has only been a few months since we met, and yet, it feels as if we have known each other, our whole lives, even longer. Like we have known each other for all of time.” Chris texts, “I know. I feel it too.” Suddenly Chris appears, on the couch beside me, in shadow form. I motion for him to lay his head in my lap. I sit, running my fingers thru his hair, as he talks. He then, gets serious, sits up, and looks me straight in the eyes. He says to me, “Leigh, there is something, I really need to tell you.” I am sitting here, thinking the worst, he is a serial killer, he has been lying the whole time, he is a woman…. The thoughts were endless. He finally says, “Leigh, I am a Vampire.”

Copyright 2015 by MLSteele

 

Before Hidden Secrets was revised… The very first draft (9)

I stepped from my truck and gathered everything from the day up in my arms. I was still barefoot, and would have to splash thru a few mud puddles, to get to the door. Days like today, made me glad my floors were not carpeted. I quickly ran to the front door, and opened it. As I stepped thru the door, I hit the alarm on my truck. I pushed the front door closed behind me, and hung my bag on the hook, on the back of the door. I then took my shoes and socks off the top of the picnic basket, and set them in the floor. I would steam the floors later, I wasn’t worried about the mess I left now. I had stuffed my phone, and lovely new good luck charm in my pocket, before leaving my truck. I was reminded of this, as my phone started dinging, with message after message from Chris. I walk to the kitchen, and try to turn on the light switch, it is rather dark in the interior of the house. No luck, the storm must have knocked out the power. I leave the basket on the table, and head to the mud room, to leave the blanket, and hang my wet clothes, from the clothes line stretched from one side, of the room, to the other. I stepped thru the opening, into the mudroom, when I hear the front door, slam open. I look up, and see them, as a flash of lightning lights up my living room. Three men, standing in my doorway. The three men, who had installed my television service. I walked over, leaving a trail, to the back door, of wet foot prints. I unlocked it, so it would appear I had gone out it. I then, grabbed a towel off the clothes line, it was from the last time I had washed my truck. I threw it on the floor, and dried my feet hurriedly. I then kicked the towel, under the sink, and stretched out the blanket, to cover me. I hid in the corner, halfway under the sink. I pulled the blanket over my head, and pulled my phone out. I switched the sound off, and started texting John. I said, “Please John, come as quick as you can, three men are in my house.” He said “I will be there in minutes.” Then Chris was in my mind. “What is wrong?” He sensed my fear. I showed him with my mind, what was happening. He told me “sit still, don’t move.” He asks, “do you have your good luck charm?” I said “yes, what good will it do?” He tells me “hold it, imagine it is my hand.” I then hear a crashing sound. It came from my room. I could hear, one say, “we have the jewelry, get the girl.” They see my footprints, and were trying to follow them into the mudroom, however something stopped them. I heard another one say, “why can’t we enter?” Just then, John and another man, burst thru the back door. I could hear scrambling, then the front door opened and shut, and all was silent, but the storm. I tried, to reach out to Chris, with my mind, but the connection was not there. I did not know what was going on, I sat on the cold tile floor and waited imagining the worst.

Chris:

I took lead on the way home, so I could check out Leigh’s place before her return. Once all was clear, and John said she was turning onto the dirt road, I headed on up the dirt road to our compound at the end of her road. Yes, I wondered, if you had figured out yet, the house, with the guard dogs, that is the estate we bought.

I had just pulled my bike, into the garage, we had built off the back of the home, when John informed me of the men entering Leigh’s yard. I used the intercom and called for Aedam in the house to meet me on the road, and come armed. John informed me, “There are three of them. They passed right by the gate, and Leigh’s truck, both of which contained your scent”. They were ignoring the fact, I had marked her, as mine. I messaged Leigh. I gave her a few minutes, to get in, still no response. I went to her mind, when I felt her fear. She messaged John to come. I told John, we would be there any second. I brought Aedam to help John inside, because I knew, I could not enter her house. John said, “They just walked thru her front door.” I told him, “she is hidden and she has her charm on her.” I wasn’t sure, it would work, but I hoped, and yes, even prayed it would. I told John and Aedam to go thru the back, I would wait here, at the front. I had closed my mind off to Leigh. The rain, was still coming down in sheets, and the lightning, lighting up the darkened sky. Then I seen them, coming rather quickly out the front door. I was there in less than a second. I ended two of them, right then, and there. My hand, ripping their hearts from their chests. The third, I grabbed by the neck, picking him up. John and Aedam, exited the front door of the house. I asked John, to go and sweep the house, and lock the back door. Tell Leigh to stay put, until you come and get her. He was gone. Aedam, grabbed up the two dead vampires, in one hand, and with the tip of his sword, collected their hearts. We headed to the woods, across from Leigh’s. I asked the vampire, as we walked, who sent him, and why. He would not answer. I started to shake him a bit, and when I did, a bag, fell to the ground, out tumbled Leigh’s Alexandrite jewelry. I say out loud, you plan on making more day walkers. At this point, I am beyond enraged. I ask one more time, my question, who sent you? I did not mean to, but I ended up pulling his head straight off, before he could answer me. I was upset at myself, now we could find out no more information. Aedam, walked over, and stabbed his sword, into the corpse’s heart, then collected the body up, skewering his head, with his sword. After that Aedam headed into the woods, where he had been digging a shallow grave. He threw the last one in, and buried it. I picked up the bag of Leigh’s jewelry, and handed it to John. I begin to explain to John, how to compel Leigh to forget all, but what we choose for her to remember of this afternoon. I start telling him the logistics, and what he must say. Sensing his nervousness, Aedam speaks up, “Hunters can compel too.” I ask him “if he would mind.” He smiles and says “no.” He adds, “I think it best I do it anyways.” I tell Aedam,” I want her to think they were only after her jewelry. Try not to alter, much else of the afternoon.” Aedam responds, “I will do my best.”

I went and sat under a tree, to shield a bit of the rain from me. I then open my mind to Leigh, as I calm. She is frantic, when our minds meet, she is relieved. Then she just sort of goes blank in hers. I start to sing her song to her. I sit down beside her, in my mind, and put my arm around her. She says, “Chris, you are wet.” I ignore it, and ask if she is okay. She says “yes.” She then tells me, “they could not come in here with me they said, why could they not?” I say “I don’t know,” and I secretly breathe a sigh of relief, the charm worked. I can hear, John is back, and calling for her, I say “go to him. I need to get changed, then I will message.” She says “okay,” and my mind is alone, again.

John leads Aedam into the house, he goes, and talks to Leigh. He helps her to forget, things we wish her to not remember. Then, Aedam, and I head back to our compound, talking as we go. I ask Aedam, “how is it that John can see Leigh, and enter where she is, and yet the others could not?” Aedam said it is simple, “John meant Leigh no harm. He was there to protect her, he is also not an evil being. The charm, is mysterious, and protects its carrier, in a very unique way.” I say, “that it does, and I am very grateful for it.”

Leigh:

I walk out of the mudroom, carrying a flashlight, to light my way. I have a million questions to ask. First from my mouth, “are ya’ll okay?” As I walk into the kitchen, I take a box of matches off the top of my fridge, setting the flash light down, I light the candles on the table for light. I then sit at the table, John joins me. John says “yes,” and then he introduces, his friend, Aedam. I think to myself, he has a very strong Irish accent, just as Alaster and Neil from our work. Aedam, then asks if he may sit with us, too. As he sits, he reaches over, and tries to take my hands. I pull away until, I look up into his eyes. Then I willingly give him my hand. Next thing I remember, John and I sitting at the table alone. He is talking, “I think they just wanted your jewelry” he says. I say, “but it is only costume jewelry, why would they?” He then says, “Leigh, I think it is real, and with the settings and all, I bet you have a quarter to a half million dollars with what is in this bag.” I get lightheaded. I say “you are joking?” He says, “No Leigh, I am not.” He then pulls out his necklace from under his shirt. It is a piece of the Alexandrite, in a gold setting, attached to a leather cord. I am very surprised. He then tells me, “Tammy has her heart, set on the matching ring, in the antique store in town.” I then hug him, and say, “I know what to get her for her birthday!” The events of the last hour, are gone, only a distant memory remains. My other questions, have all disappeared, thanks to Aedam, who I have forgotten as well. I then ask John, “You feel like a cup of coffee?” He says “sure.” He adds, “First, why don’t you go shower and change? I will hang out and clean up a bit in here for you.” I agree. He says “first things first, let’s get your lights back on, I bet you blew a fuse.” I show him using the flashlight, where the breaker box is, and the shelf with the spare fuses.

I then head to my room, having left the flashlight with John, I grab a candle from the kitchen table. As I walk around my bed, to put my jewelry away. I step on something sharp, and faintly remember, the crashing sound of my mirror breaking. I feel the blood, pouring from my foot, the glass is in deep. I yell for John, just as the lights, turn on. He is headed my way, but stops suddenly in the hallway outside the mudroom. He hollers, “Leigh, are you okay?” I say “yes, but I cut my foot. I stepped on a piece of glass, it’s pretty deep.” He says, “I can’t come in there, I’m squeamish around blood.” I tease, “Really?” Then I say, “Seriously I am going to need help getting the glass out”. He says, “Give me a few minutes.” I say “okay, I will just sit, and try to message Chris”. He replies, “Okay.” I then hear John on the phone, whispering to someone. I text Chris, “you done yet?” He says, “Just finishing up. What are you doing?” I say “sitting on my bed, blood pouring from my foot.” He disappears, and I hear John’s phone ring. I text, “I am okay, it’s not too bad.” He doesn’t respond. I hear John say, “I know, Tammy is on her way, she will be here any second. I am in the kitchen. Will do.” Then I hear him walk to the cabinet, and get a glass, then the water turns on. I ask, “Is everything okay?” He struggled, it sounded like to say the word yes. Then Chris texts, “just stay put, John has messaged Tammy, she will be there shortly to help you.” I say, “I didn’t realize blood bothered John so much, teasingly.” Chris, says quite seriously, “it does me as well. I can handle seeing my own, but someone else’s…” I say, “It’s okay.”

I hear the front door open, and Tammy calls out “I am here.” I yell “I am in my room.” She says “give me a minute to take care of John, Sweetie, and I will be right there.” I hear them whispering, she tells him, “go walk around outside until I call you.” I hear the front door open and close, then Tammy appears at my bedroom door, pulling her scarf back in place around her neck. “So,” she says, “I hear you cut your foot,” with a sympathetic smile on her face. I say “yes, when those men broke in earlier, they broke my beautiful mirror, Chris got me.” She says, “That is replaceable, you are not.” She walks over, and grabs a towel off the shelf. Then she brings it and sets my foot on it. She says, “This is going to hurt pretty bad.” I say, “Give me a second.” I go to Chris, using my mind, and tell him, “she is fixing to pull it out, please sing to me.” He starts immediately, he is laying behind me in the bed, were he truly here, he could not see anything. Tammy sits in the floor, and carefully pulls the long shard of glass from my foot. It was too much, I pass out. The glass was in more than three inches, and left a gash half of my foot in length. Tammy grabs my phone, as it dings, with her left hand, and holds pressure with the right, on my cut. It is Chris. He asks “what happened.” Tammy voice messages, “she passed out. She is okay, it’s a pretty bad cut, but I think the pain was too much.” He says, “Can you handle it?” Tammy responds, “I got this.” She then says, “I will message back, when I get it bandaged.” He says” thank you,” and is gone.

Tammy continues the pressure, on my foot. Finally, she decides, it has been long enough, so she should check to see if it is stopping. To her astonishment, when she takes the towel away, the cut is almost healed. She wraps it in a bandage, and tapes it, then she gets the broom, and dust pan and cleans the mess up. She places it all in an old plastic bucket in my mudroom, and pours bleach over it to kill the smell of blood. She then, collects all the towels up, that have blood on them, and throws them in the washer, adding laundry soap and bleach, and washing them. She then messages Chris, “Leigh’s foot is almost completely healed.” Chris is not really shocked at this. He says, to Tammy, “it honestly does not surprise me.” Tammy, then, removes the bandage, and the cut is closed. She cleans the blood, off my foot, with peroxide, and then dries it with more gauze. She adds a fresh clean dressing, and tapes it in place, so I do not know it has healed. After that, she throws everything away, then she wipes everything down once more with a bleach solution, to kill the blood smell. She ties up the bag, which contains everything else that has blood on it. She leaves me laying in the bed, and goes and collects the bucket from the mudroom, and carries it and the trash bag, out to the can at the road. She sees Chris and John walking around the yard, talking. She tells them, how I am, and lets John know, he can return, when he feels ready. Then she heads inside, and washes up, and starts to clean up the mess from today’s events.

As I come to, I hear John talking, he is telling Tammy goodbye. At least I think it is Tammy. I hear him say, “thank you, I don’t know what I would have done. It was calling to me. I have never felt that before. Once Tammy gave me a drink, I was better, I was mad at myself, but the craving had passed.” I wonder if I am still dreaming, John’s conversation sounds so odd, to me. I decide to, go to Chris’s mind. I say “I have missed you.” He says, “You are awake.” Chris then says in his mind, “I have missed you as well my love, give me a minute, okay.” I say “okay.” After a few minutes, he asks, “How I am feeling?” I say “tired.” He says, “I am not surprised, you had a very eventful day.” I hear the front door close, and John calls, back to me, asking if he can come in. I say “yes, just give me a minute.” Chris, sees, in my mind, and says, “I will let you two talk, message me after he leaves.” “I will,” is my response, then I whisper, “I love you” to the room, before John comes in and sits on my bed. I hear, “I love you too Leigh.”

“Leigh, you okay,” John asks me. I say yes, “he says, your cut, it wasn’t so bad, once the glass came out, just keep it covered for the next twenty four hours, and don’t wet it, so it can close. Then you should be okay.” I say “yes sir.” He then says,” Leigh, I need to ask you something.” I say “okay.” He says, “You have to think hard, and be sure, okay.” I say “okay,” very curious, as to what is going on. He says, “Who else, has been inside of your house, since you bought this place.” I said, “Why?” He said, “Because, I think, others may come for your jewelry.” I laugh, “no one knows, I have it, well, actually I did wear it to work, but before that, it was packed up.” John isn’t laughing. He says, “Please Leigh, I need to check anyone else out, see if we need to worry.” I say, “Okay.” I tell him, “Follow me.” I get up and put weight on my foot. It is a bit sensitive, nothing, unbearable. I head to the kitchen, John follows close behind, in case I need his assistance. I pull out a folder, and say, “everyone should be in there.” He says, “Any food delivery guys, or girls?” I say, “Only you have come in, the pizza guy never did. He stopped at the door.” I ask, “what about the coffee I promised you earlier?” He said, “Sure if you feel up to it.” I head to the kitchen sink, when I notice, everything is clean. It is as if this afternoon never happened. I say “thank you John.” He said, “oh don’t thank me. It was Tammy. She cleans when she worries, and you sort of gave us a scare.” I apologize, to John, “I am sorry.” I then look up at the clock on the microwave. It says it is ten o’clock. I ask, “is that right?” He says, “yes, it is. You were out a while.” I then start to make coffee.

John hung out till about midnight, making notes, of names, and dates, of people who had been in my home. We also, drank our coffee, and chatted. I told him, I would go to town, tomorrow, to replace my mirror, and to pick up Tammy’s gift! He says, she will love that. I only hoped, it was still there. With someone after mine, and the one in town, on display in the window of the antique store, I had a feeling, it would be gone. I made a mental note, to take my earrings with me. And make a trip to the jeweler if need be. I asked John, Tammy’s ring size, he said, “a six.” He then said, “I think it is time, for me to head home.” I said, “I am sorry to have kept you so long this afternoon.” He says, “it is okay, I would stay all night if need be, but you need rest.” I tell him, “Yes I do.” My eyes then meet John’s, and I tell him, “thank you, and please, thank Tammy for me.”

I shut off the coffee pot, and walk John to the door. He tells me lock up behind me. I say, will do. He smiles. He then heads out. I shut the door, and lock it. A chain has been added to it. I slide it on as well. I walk thru, shutting off lights, on my way to bed. I pause at the mudroom, and check the back door, before I shut that light off. I then proceed to my bedroom. I sit on the edge of my bed, my mirror, no longer here, and message Chris, “Getting ready for bed.” I add, “I have to skip a shower, until tomorrow, for my wound to close.” I then tell him about my trip, I am planning into town tomorrow. About the birthday present, I plan for Tammy, and getting a new mirror. He says, “Sounds like a day of adventure.” I say, “I hope nothing like the one I had today.” He laughs, an odd laugh. He then asks, “if he can hold me in bed?” I say, “I would love that.” I tell him, “give me ten, I need to brush and change, then I will crawl in.” He says “I will be there waiting.”

I decide, to peek at the cut, curiosity got the better, of me. I slowly unwrap it halfway knowing what to expect. I have always healed quickly, from cuts, scrapes, and bruises. No blood is present, on the bandage. I know in the back of my mind, nothing is going to remain, but a scar. I finish unwrapping it, and pull the gauze away. Nothing. Just a long scar, stretching from my toes, halfway down my foot. A pink line, an inch wide. It had been a bad cut, but like everything else that had occurred this afternoon, only a faint memory left. I stood up on it, it was still a bit tender. I carefully walk into the bathroom, and throw away, the bandage. I wash my hands, and brush. I then strip my clothes off, and pin my hair up. I grab a towel, and shower off quickly. I step out, and dress, hurriedly. I couldn’t let Chris know about my unusual behavior of healing quickly. I had a flashback, of my husband, I had fallen thru the sliding glass door. I was covered in superficial cuts on my face, hands and arms. The look of sheer terror on his face, the next morning, when nothing remained, but tiny pink scars. His words, echoing in my head, “What are you a witch? You freak!” That is the day I left. Never looking back. The next Monday, I filed for divorce.

I pushed those thoughts from my mind, I grabbed my phone, and messaged Chris. “Crawling in now.” He said, “Good snuggle in close, I have warmed the bed for you.” And truth be told, my bed, was warm. I closed my eyes, and snuggled into Chris’s chest, laying my head on him. He kissed the top of my head, and held me tight. I could feel his arms, around me. I could feel him in my bed. He made me feel safe. I whispered,” I love you,” then, I was asleep in his arms.

My dreams, were not all pleasant tonight. I had dreams of me falling into the glass door, and men in my house, and of Chris, running away saying, “I don’t love you, you witch. Only a witch can do the things you do.” I woke up several times, scared, crying. And each time, Chris had been there. Holding me, comforting me in my mind. Making me feel better. This last time I fell asleep, I dreamed of Chris, it was as if he had entered my dream, and controlled it. My mind went to his love for me, to him singing to me, him loving me, him holding me while I slept. In this dream, he accepted the strange things that happened to me. He said, “it was a part of me, and he loved me from my hair to my toes, and everything between, and nothing would ever change that.”

Chris:

The fear, I felt, knowing Leigh was there, with John, her foot pouring blood, just feet away, it made me feel physically sick. John is a young vampire, and the task at hand, to keep from feeding, maybe more than he can control. I called John as soon as Leigh told me. I felt her pain, it was extreme. But it was nothing of what she would feel, if John could not control himself, and fed. I told him, to stay away, from Leigh, to take another pill. I offered Aedam to come and help. We were already in route, we would be there in seconds. He said, he had called Tammy, and she, too would be there any second. I felt a bit better. I told him, he should feed, when Tammy arrives, just enough, to take the edge off. He said he would. I could hear the panic in his voice.

I myself, took another pill, to help me, as well, because when I was in Leigh’s mind, the smell of her blood, I can’t describe it. I have had her blood, in the blood bags. It draws vampires in, the mere scent, calls to us, it is so enticing. And the euphoric high, I got, from drinking it, it is indescribable. Alas, I am getting off topic. I then returned to Leigh’s mind, as Aedam and I ran, to her. I told her to stay put, and anxiously awaited Tammy’s arrival. Finally, after what seemed an eternity, Tammy arrived. As soon as she was with Leigh, I left our mental connection, only for Leigh to return, moments later. She asked, if I could sing to her, to calm her, and help manage the pain. I then felt, all of her pain, I opened my mind, and was engulfed in it, doing so, allowed me to focus, and the smell of her blood, totally left my mind. I started to sing, I was laying behind her on the bed, in shadow form. I could not see what Tammy was doing, however, when she removed the glass, Leigh’s mind left mine. I messaged, immediately. Tammy told me, she had passed out, she was sure from the pain. I was as well. I left Leigh in Tammy’s capable hands, and I started talking to John. He needed reassuring. He was upset, his face had started to change, his fangs appearing, all he could think of is trying not to hurt Leigh, and trying not to break his promise to Tammy. I told him, “I think your love for Tammy, is what saved you, more than anything else.” He smiled slightly at me.

Leigh:

I awake the next day, around, ten in the morning. I still feel Chris in bed with me. I don’t want to open my eyes. He has me cuddled in tight, to his chest, holding on to me, like he will never let me go. My mind drifts to his, “are you awake?” He is, he responds in his mind, “good morning beautiful. I would ask how you slept, but I was with you all night, and know. I hope you at least got some rest.” I show him in my mind, flashes, of my last dream. He sees, and says, in his mind to me, “It is true. I will love you for all eternity. From your hair to your toes, and every part between”! I smile at him in my mind, and tell him I love him. He feels the warm glow his words have caused radiating from me. I then say, “We can’t stay in bed all day.” He says, “I know, I have meetings again, it is Sunday.” I laugh, and tell him, I love him in my mind, then I am gone. I start sending voice messages. I tell him about my plans for the day, and he asks me to please take John with me, especially since my foot is injured. I agree, to keep the fact it is healed, hidden. We chat, while I dress, make coffee, and do dishes, then it is time for his meeting. He says, “See you soon Leigh, I love you so very much!” I say “See you soon Chris, I love you too, more than humanly possible.” And I mean it. Because honestly, I know, I am not totally just a human. How could I be? The way I heal. He adds, “That makes two of us. I love you more than is humanly possible!” I giggle, into his next message, and then I am gone.

I arrive in town, John sitting beside me in my truck, I say, “first we should pop in the antique store, and see if they have the ring, for Tammy.” John says, “That is a lot of money Leigh, are you sure?” I say, “Let me do this, please. It is for you both. You will be just as happy as she is.” He agrees saying, “The ring will mean more to both of us, than you know”. I say “then let’s go.” I walk with a slight, fake limp, so John isn’t aware my foot has healed. We enter the store, and ask about the ring. The clerk, tells us, someone had been in just that morning, to buy it. I am disappointed. I ask John, if he recalls, what it looked like.” He said, “He would take time that night, to draw it up, and after work tomorrow, he would then go with me to the jeweler.” I told John my intentions, of using one of my earrings. He tells me I can’t do that. I say, yes, I can, and I will. I say, let’s see about a new mirror. He then confesses, “Chris made me promise not to let you buy another. He is having your’s fixed”. I smile, and say “really?” He says, “Yes. Please don’t tell him I told.” I say, “I won’t your secret is safe with me.” He says, “Shall we do your grocery shopping?” I say “sounds like a plan.”

We head into the store, and are fairly quick. He walks beside me, in sort of a defensive manor. Like he is trying hard to protect me. Laughing I say, “Am I that fragile?” He laughs, and apologizes. He said, “After yesterday, I am just a bit on edge.” I said “it is okay, I was mainly picking.” He smiles down at me, and we continue our shopping.

An hour later, we arrive, back at my house. John helps me get all of my bags inside the house. Then as he is bringing the last bag inside, his phone rings. He answers, and steps back out the front door. After John finishes his call, he asks me, as he walks back in and sets the last bag on the kitchen table, if he can borrow my truck for a few minutes. I say sure. John informs me, your mirror is ready. I smile at him, he says you stay inside, okay. I say I promise, then he tells me lock up till I return. I say yes sir, teasingly.

I message Chris, and ask how his day has been. He says terrible. Filled with meetings, and I have been away from you. I say, I know. I ask, if we can spend tonight together, just the two of us? He says, that sounds perfect. He asks what I would like to do about dinner? I say, I honestly have not thought about it. He says, let me take care of it. You are injured still, and have had a busy day. I agree. He then, says, I hope you like what I had done to the mirror. I tell him, “I am so excited!” He tells me he can feel it. Chris says, “I feel your emotions, your feelings, most of the time, without you ever saying a word”. I say” I know, it works both ways.” He laugh, and says, “This could be a bit uh problematic…” I say “really? How?” He says, “Because, my thoughts are not always pure of you Leigh, and neither are my emotions.” I blush, and say, “I know, I have seen in your mind,” a hint of laughter in my voice. He is embarrassed now.

John arrives back a few minutes later. He is carrying my mirror, as he comes to the door. He knocks and yells out, it’s me John. I respond, saying give me a couple, I’m on my way. Still acting like my foot is sore. I open the door, and he has my beautiful mirror, but it is covered, in brown paper, as if it were a present. He sets it down, in the living room, and asks, “You ready to open?” I exclaim “yes!” He says, “Give me one second, Chris wants to be on speaker, when you do.” I say “okay,” and stand their anxiously waiting!

John’s phone, is ringing on speaker, when I hear, Chris’s beautiful voice, come across the line. He asks “are you ready to open it, Leigh my love?” I say “yes.” I’m so excited, honestly I’m shaking! He says, “go for it!” I rip the paper off and to my surprise, it is a totally different mirror. It is so beautiful. It is the same style, but this one, someone had taken the time to carve intricate detailing. It was absolutely breathtaking! I see, carved, down one side of the frame, as if it had been there when the mirror was made, Chris Loves Leigh. I tell him it is beautiful, that I absolutely love it. Chris says he is very happy that I like it. Then he asks John to show me Tammy’s gift he got. Chris says, “it is from both you and I, Leigh.” John pulls out, a ring box, I hold my breath, as he opens it. Inside, is a very beautiful, Alexandrite and diamond ring. It is what appears to be a solid white gold band with a large Alexandrite, attached in the center. It has four large beautiful diamonds, surrounding it. When I look on the inside of the band, to check the size, I see there is an actual opening, in the band of the ring, which allows the Alexandrite, to touch your skin. I comment, that is a very unusual setting. John says “yes, but it is exactly what Tammy wants.” I say “then it is perfect!” I then thank Chris, and say she is worth that. He says “she is worth that and so very much more!” I reply, “that she is.”

Chris, says, he has to head out, but he would message me soon. He tells me he loves me, and I him. Then he is gone. I turn to John and ask “shall we put the mirror in place?” He says “will do.” I ask him to put it where the old one sat in my room. He picked it up in one hand, and carried it, as if it were weightless. I hobbled behind him, continuing the charade of my injured foot. He set it down, and moved, to the other side of the room. I went over, and ran my hand down the beautiful lettering, then fixed the curtain, behind it. As I did, I noticed, on the back, the initials, CESM and the date, 1875. My mind thinks not possible, then I shrug it off and think, must be a great grandfather.

After John finishes up, I tell him he can go home for a while. I apologize for taking up so much of his time lately. He says “that’s what I’m here for” and winks at me. I see him to the door, and then lock it up behind him. I head back to the kitchen, to find something for lunch. I pick up the ring box off the kitchen table, and open it. I take out the beautiful ring, and slide it on my pinkie finger, I have rather big hands for a girl. My mind wonders, to thoughts of me and Chris, and thoughts of marriage. Chris then appears in my mind, “what are you doing beautiful?” I say, “Trying on Tammy’s ring, however it only fits my pinkie. He states, “Take a pic, please and send it.” I say “okay.” I pull my phone out, and snap a pic of my hand and hit send. I then slide the ring back off and place it back in the box. I head to my room, and put it away, in my top dresser drawer, with all of my other jewelry. My new hiding place since the break in. Chris finally messages back. “That looks very lovely on your hand Leigh”. I say, “thank you.” I then tell him, “Whoever designed that, has beautiful taste. It is absolutely gorgeous.” He says, “I agree, I have never seen a more beautiful hand in my life.” I blush, and giggle, saying “I was referring to the ring.” He says, “I know, but the ring pales in comparison to the beauty of your hand”. I tell him, “you are making me glow!” He says “good.”

I grab an apple from the fridge, and munch on it, while Chris and I chat. Chris asks, if I want him to surprise me for dinner, or if I want input? I say truthfully, I would like, a hamburger. A homemade one, with bacon and Colby cheese, lettuce, tomato, bread and butter pickles, and ketchup. And maybe, some homemade fries with ketchup and mayo mixed for dipping. He laughs, and says, you have a very precise order. I say, yes I do! Chris asks, would you like a sweet tea with that? I say absolutely! I am giggling into my messages I send, at this point. Chris then says, I think that can be arranged.

Thursday morning, and I am up and showered, dressing for work. Chris, had a meeting first thing this am, so he couldn’t be with me. He said he hoped to be done, before I leave out on the road. I am finishing up my last touches of makeup, and hair, then I head to the kitchen, to make my travel mug of coffee, grab my bag, phone and keys, then head for the front door. I unchain and unlock the door, then I remember, I forgot my good luck charm, hanging in the bathroom. I set everything but my phone, on the coffee table in the living room, and head to my room, to grab it. When I return, a man is standing in my living room. I ask him if I can help him. He seems to be in a daze. I slide my charm around my neck, and stand there frozen. I go to Chris’s mind, at least I try to. I can’t, our connection is not present. I pull my phone out, and text, after switching the sound off. I text Chris and John. The man just stands there, smelling the air. The man finally states, “I know you are here! I can hear your breathing.” I am petrified, I am clearly visible, to him. He is looking straight at me, and yet it seems straight thru me. I stand there, not moving, staring at him. He is big, at least six feet four. He is very muscular, he is very rugged, but not in a good way. He has a presence about him that is horrific. I could feel death was near him. He was not a good person.

The man was becoming more and more agitated, as he stood, taunting me. My phone vibrates suddenly, scaring me even more. It is a text message, Neil, he is wondering where I am. I should have been at work, ten minutes ago. I message, “I really need help, there is someone in my house, I am, in danger.” He tells me, stay put. He or Alaster will be here soon. I am very grateful, someone is on their way. Neil then texts, telling me Alaster, is in route. He then asks, if I am hidden? I say, “I am standing in plain view in the kitchen, but he can’t see me. Why can’t he see me?” Neil says, “He is probably high on drugs or something. Please Leigh, listen to me!” Neil then requests I go and hide in my closet. He asks, if I have my good luck charm with me, and in the midst of everything that is happening, my mind does not recognize, the fact that he should not know, that I have it. I respond, telling him, “yes. That is what I had forgotten. I left the front door open, when I went, to go and retrieve it from my bathroom.” He says, “Don’t think of that now, slowly and carefully go to your closet, and hide.” I follow Neil’s instructions, and as I move towards the closet, the man follows. He is calling out, for someone. Someone named Deirdre. I finally reach the closet, and I slowly twist the handle. I step thru, and squat down. I curl up into a ball, and wait. The man, comes to the closet door. He opens it, he cannot enter. His face, it is not the face of a man, and his teeth. They are the teeth of something that drinks blood! I am petrified, at the sight of him. He looks as if he just stepped out of some horror movie! I hear someone calling from the front of my house, and realize it is Alaster. I hear his thick Irish accent, but I cannot make out the words. Suddenly the stranger, turns and goes in Alaster’s direction. I try to go to Chris’s mind. Our connection, still is missing. Even, when we are not in each other’s heads, talking, there is always this sort of faint glow, present, that connects us. And at this moment, there is nothing, but my own thoughts and worries, building in my mind.

Chris:

I now know, it was merely a trap. We thought, we had Nic, cornered. I planned on meeting him, face to face. Confronting him. I had brought, John, and four of my new day walkers along along with me. I had left two newborns, watching Leigh, protecting her. We should have already been finished and on our way home, when she got ready to leave for work. However, that didn’t happen. As we entered the warehouse, I closed my link to Leigh off, and then, once the door closed, shutting out the daylight, that is when they attacked. Twenty newborns, not day walkers, put here for the reason, of keeping us occupied. Nic new me. He knew, a group of newborns could never take out anyone as old as I.

I was not concerned, with my men, handling themselves, around these young vampires. I had been training them, how to fight other vampires successfully. Recently I showed them how to defend themselves against other newborns. A newborn, hasn’t the knowledge that a vampire who has lived for centuries, does. They come at you straight forward, full force, with the thought of ripping out your throat, or your heart. They never think to incapacitate the opposition, and that can mean the difference in living and dying.

I switched into killer mode, and took down, the first group, practically on my own. Then a second wave hit. By the third wave, I told John and the others, get to the doors, and get them open. They did as I asked, and the newborns, started burning. It took them a few seconds to realize they could not go in sunlight I told the others, run, and then I took off too. Once we exited the building, we set out for Leigh’s on foot.

We arrived at Leigh’s house within minutes. Alaster, was in his true hunter form locked in mortal combat, with Nic. When Nic seen us he took off, running away, I started after him. Alaster stopped me. He said, now is not the time Chris.

Alaster, then says, I will go and check on Leigh, once I transform back to my human form. I think to myself, I can only imagine how Leigh would react to seeing his true hunter form. I go and sit on the ground, at the back of Leigh’s truck. I open my mind to her. She is hidden. She is cold. And she feels absolutely alone. Her mind is blank, and she has retreated somewhere, else. I close my eyes, and go to her. I open the closet door, in my shadow form, and pull her up, from the tiny ball form she is curled in. I pick her up in my arms, holding her tight. I take her and set her on the bed. I crawl on top of her, keeping my weight off of her. I begin singing to her. My mind inside hers, trying to bring her back to the here and now. I kiss her forehead, and stroke her cheek, with my fingers. She starts to return. She does not realize it is me at first. And she freaks out. She is hitting and kicking, and screaming. Alaster comes running in, and stops at the bedroom door. He can see my shadow form, laying with Leigh. Trying to soothe her I am repeating, it is me Chris, Leigh. Leigh calms as she realizes, it is me, and not the other man. She then begins to cry. I roll off of her, and pull her up onto my lap. Alaster, standing at the door the whole time, watching. He doesn’t make a sound. I try to calm her. I hold her tight. I sing to her. I wrap her hand in mine. Finally her mind opens. She shows me what happened, using her mind. I see Nic, enter, I feel her terror. I see as she stands in the kitchen, him in the living room, he can’t see her, but he taunts her. He follows her to her room, he is calling for Deirdre. He opens the door. His face, he is in vampire form. She starts to go inside of herself at this point. Then she hears Alaster, he is speaking in his native tongue, uttering a prayer to draw the evil, Nic is from Leigh’s home. Leigh cannot understand him, however the man does, he turns, walks in the direction he came, leaving her alone. She then tries to connect with me, but I am not there. She worries, had I died, what with my medical condition and all. She is way beyond terrified at this point. And she goes completely inside herself, and that is where she stayed, until I brought her back out.

Alaster gives me a few more minutes with Leigh, then he clears his throat, interrupting our connection, and I am back behind the truck, and Leigh, is sitting on her bed. I return, to Leigh’s room, but I am standing in the corner, watching Alaster. He asks if he may enter her room. She tells him he may. Then he walks over to her. He squats down in front of Leigh, taking her hand, he looks deeply into her eyes, and he says, all you will remember of this morning, is you woke up, not feeling well. You called into work, and will return on Monday. When I finish speaking, and leave the room, you will get up, and change your clothes, you will return what you are wearing to the closet. You will wash your face, then you will go and make yourself something to eat. After this point, your day will resume, in regular time. Then Alaster, stands. He walks from the room, and straight out of the house. I continue, watching Leigh, she is in what appears to be a trance. Alaster then sends John in to return Leigh’s things from the coffee table to their original homes, so she hasn’t a clue, her thoughts were altered. John returns moments later, everything in place, as if she never even thought of going to work.

While John is inside, Alaster and the vampires who had gone with us to the warehouse this morning, scout out the area. They are searching frantically for the two newborns, who were watching Leigh while we were gone. Alaster discovers their bodies stuffed inside Leigh’s trashcan at the curb, hearts ripped from their chest. Alaster calls the others to come and remove the bodies, then he has one of them scrub out the trashcan to remove the blood, while the others, are digging a shallow grave, across the street. Alaster is busy searching the bodies for their Alexandrite jewelry, however his search is in vain, apparently Nic had taken it after he had ended their lives.

Leigh:

I am in the kitchen, when Chris enters my mind. “What is wrong my love?” I say, “I don’t really know. I called out this morning. I felt sick, I feel like my head is in a tunnel. I feel really disoriented.” Chris, can feel in my mind, something is off. He says, “maybe after you eat, you should sleep more.” I tell him, “That really sounds like a good idea.” I ask him, if he will come and lay with me? He says, “I should be all yours today, unless an emergency arises.” I say “good.” I take a couple of bites out of my toast, and suddenly, I can barely hold my eyes open. Chris’s still in my mind, he says, “go on to bed. Just leave this.” I listen to him. I walk back to my room, and pull the covers back, and crawl into the center of the bed. Chris crawls in behind me. I am asleep, before my head hits the pillow. Chris lays there, stroking my hair, holding me close, taking care of me.

My dreams are pleasant and peaceful starting out. Beautiful dreams of myself, and Chris. Then suddenly, Chris, is not with me. There is another man, at least I thought he was a man, but when I see his face, it is that of a monster. His teeth, are fangs, I feel the black aura, surrounding him. He is calling for someone. He thinks I am her. I am crying in my sleep, and tossing and turning. Suddenly Chris is in my mind, while I sleep. He is protecting me from this thing. He slowly starts to wake me. As I wake, I show Chris in my mind, of my dream. He calms me down, and I drift back off to sleep. This time, it feels once again, as if Chris is directing my dreams. I fall into a very deep sleep. I do not wake again, until Friday at noon.

Chris:

I sit quietly at Leigh’s back door, while she sleeps. Alaster is sitting on her front porch. He is able to make himself invisible to the human eye, if it becomes necessary. We plan on staying here, every second of the day. I know, I must tell Leigh, before the weekend is over. It is becoming far too dangerous to keep her in the dark. She can barely keep her eyes open. I tell her go and sleep. She barely makes it to bed, before she is out. I lay in bed with her, in my mind. Stroking her hair, and keeping her safe. She is dreaming of beautiful things. Then, I get a phone call. I am only gone a few seconds, and her mind takes her dreams back

Copyright 2015 by MLSteele

Before Hidden Secrets was revised… The very first draft (8)

Chris

I cannot even begin to describe the feeling I got, when I heard Leigh screaming on my message. Utter terror, in her voice. I closed my eyes, and went to her using my mind, whispering, hoping she would hear me. I had John wait nearby, when she informed me she was going for a walk today. I felt her fear, before ever hearing her message. I texted John, “get to her, now!” I then played the last message she sent. Which covered me in chills, as I heard her scream. John got to her in seconds. He scanned the area, no one was around. However, someone had just been there. John picked up their scent in the wind, as he went to get the whiskey from his jeep. And for those of you who have not already realized, yes, John is a vampire. When Leigh and I met, she told me about her good friend, John, and after his help, with our first date, I went and seen him, and talked to him. That night, he became a vampire. He wanted to protect her. He volunteered. Tammy, his girlfriend, knows. She understands. She helps. She actually is who John used to transition, her blood. That is her one rule for him. If he drinks from a human, it has to be her. He was thrilled, to meet this demand. He finds vampire life agrees with him. Especially since he has his “high blood pressure meds” to help him curb his cravings for blood, and his Alexandrite necklace, which allows him to daylight walk.

Leigh

I woke up very early today. I know yesterday was a bit upsetting, but I am determined, to get it out of my head. I text Chris, “good morning Sunshine, what are you doing?” He replies back immediately, “lying in bed. Thinking about you.” I say “really? What were you thinking?” He says, “About those adorable freckles on your chest, and nose. How I would love to play connect the dots, using my lips to connect them.” I blush, then text, “someone is in a very good mood today.” He says,” yes, I am. Come to think of it, why are you texting, Leigh, instead of using voice message?” I text because, “I tend to blurt things out when I talk and I don’t want to tell you what my surprise is.” He asks, “Does it involve us leaving the house?” I say “yes, and about a forty five minute drive.” He says, “is it really necessary?” I say “yes, it is.” He asks “will you at least tell John where you are going? That way if you need help, he will know where to find you.” I reply, “Why would I need help?” Chris, teases, saying, “Well there could be wild dogs.” I quickly text, “don’t kid about that! It isn’t funny.” He apologizes, then changing subjects, I think, to hide his embarrassment over his bad joke. Chris tells me, “He received his letter from me yesterday.” I say, “Wow, that was quick”. Chris says, “Yes, it was. And really cute, the money order, you put in it.” I say, “well, Friday was my first payday, and I got a significant raise, when the new owner took over, so I figured, I could pay you back for the mirror and my truck.” Chris, then sort of growls at me, playfully, and says, “I had hoped you would forget to pay me back.” I said, “sorry, but not a chance in hell.” He laughs into the phone, and I say, “Yes, I will tell John where I am going.” He says, “Thank you Leigh.”

I arrive at the beach and first thing I do is voice message Chris, “We have arrived!” He says “I thought I was going to go insane, forty five minutes of silence.” I say I know what you mean. He snickers and says at least we survived. I laugh too. I ask, “You want to know where I brought you?” As I pull the picnic basket and blanket from the truck, setting them on the ground. Then, I pull off my shoes and socks. I stick them in the floor of the truck, and shut the door. Then I lock it up. I stuff the keys in my shorts pocket, pick up my basket and blanket, and start walking. I voice message, “we are on our way on foot.” It’s still fairly warm out, so I wore shorts and t-shirt, today. I however, added a thin wind breaker, because the wind here can get very cold, coming off the water, at times. I head up the stairs, to the boardwalk. Chris messages, “I think, I will explode, if you don’t tell me soon.” I say “we can’t have you exploding, here.” I send the message, then snap a beautiful picture, of the Gulf of Mexico, and hit send again. His response, is immediate, “Leigh, that is very pretty.” I say “pretty, that is absolutely breathtaking!” He then says, “Do me a favor, snap one of you.” My hair is blowing everywhere, what isn’t contained by my small sun hat, and I am wearing sunglasses, so I look like a giant bug, but I snap one and send it for Chris. I hit the send button, and he replies back, almost immediately. “Now, that is breathtaking. The beach, he say merely pretty.” I blush like normal, and tell him thank you. I then ask, “You ready to go for a walk?” He says “sure.” I snap a photo of my feet and legs, as I step from the wooden boardwalk, onto the beautiful white sand. He replies back, “those are such adorable feet you have.” I giggle and tell him, “I am very glad, you think so.”

I record the sound, of the waves, washing against the shore. I take photos, of my footprints, as the water washes them away. I take photos, of the crabs, birds, sand dunes, and seashells. I then get an idea, and tell Chris, “Give me a few, to get the blanket set up.” He says “ok, but hurry. I get impatient, and worry when I don’t hear from you.” I say “I will be as quick as I can.” Then I stuff my phone in my pocket, and begin. I quickly lay out the blanket, and set the basket on it, then, I start to make a video of the beach, and myself, talking, and drawing in the sand. I write out the words, I LOVE YOU in the sand, I also write out, Leigh Loves Chris Forever. I close up the video, with a face shot of me, telling him how much I wish he were here with me, to enjoy the beautiful warm sun I say, “I love you Chris,” then, email it to him. I then message Chris, “check your email, please.” He messages back, “okay, give me a couple.” While he is doing that, I use the time, to set up our picnic. I set out two plates, on small wooden trays, I had in my basket. Then I add wine glasses. I set a bunch of grapes, some crackers, and string cheese on each plate. Then I take out a small bottle of chilled ginger ale, and pour it into the wine glasses to make them look pretty. I snap a picture, and send it to Chris. It has been several minutes, and I still have not heard back. I message again, “Chris, are you there?” I then enter his mind. He feels me and says, “I am sorry Leigh, I just kept playing it over and over. I love that, it is the best gift in the world.”

Chris:

As soon as Leigh told John where she was headed, we set out to follow her, both John and I, on our motorcycles. With our helmets on, we can even ride up near or pass Leigh on the road, and she never even realizes it is us. I let John go on ahead of us, so he could scout out the beach, before Leigh arrived, and alert me to anything he found. John said all was clear, there was absolutely no one else on the beach at that time. I told him to walk up the beach and wait a little ways, out of sight. I told him I would stay behind her a bit, hopefully all would go well. John said, will do, and was gone.

I watched as Leigh pulled her truck in, I parked at the opposite end of the parking lot, and she never even noticed me. As she and I messaged, I watched her take her shoes and socks off. I seen her beautiful Auburn hair, shinning in the sun, from under her cute sun hat. I wanted so bad, to run up and take her in my arms, and kiss her beautiful lips. I stayed close enough, had she needed me I would have been there in a flash, and yet far enough, that we could use voice message.

Leigh:

Our morning, together, progressed into afternoon. I see a storm, moving in from the ocean, and message Chris, letting him know. I say, “I am getting packed up and heading home, a storm, is moving in.” He says, “is there time for you to make me another video, before you leave?” I say, “Anything in particular, you want, recorded?” He says “yes, you.”

I head home, forty five minute drive ahead of me, Chris, is in and out. I am hoping I get home before, it starts to pour. I decide to turn on the radio, and listen to a bit of music, while I drive. Time goes by pretty fast. I am ten minutes, from home, when the thunder and lightning begins. I pull up to my mail box, as it starts to sprinkle.

I open my mailbox up, and inside, I find two letters from Chris, and a small box. I am so excited, I message Chris, “what did you send me, as I rip into the box?” He says, “it’s nothing big, just an Irish good luck charm, I have been carrying it in my pocket, for a while, I picked it up in a street market. It made me think of you. You can throw it in your bag, or carry it in your pocket, for good luck.” I tell him, “I love it!” It is my favorite gift, he has given me this far. I tell him, “thank you Chris”. I can hear him smiling, as he says, “your welcome Leigh.”

After tucking my letters into my bag, I pull up into my driveway, rain now pouring down. I am still holding onto the beautiful little charm, when I put my truck in park. I message Chris, “heading in, give me ten minutes.” He replies, “okay.” I then decide, I will send another, voice message of the storm, while I sit waiting on the rain to slack off a bit in my truck. I hold down the record button, and first say, “I wish you were here beside me in my truck, I would be kissing your lips.” I then giggle and tell him. “Storms are so romantic!” I am quite, then. I record the rain, pounding on the roof of my pickup truck. The thunder, rumbling like a drum, the only thing I could not share are the flashes of lightning. That are lighting up the storm blackened sky. I finished my recording, and hit send. Then I message, “heading in now, it has let off a bit. I will be back soon. I love you.”

Copyright 2015 by MLSteele

Before Hidden Secrets was revised… The very first draft (7)

Chris:

“Once we acquire the land and home, which should be tomorrow, we will need to build an iron room, for containing Deirdre’s body, until the ritual,” Dr. Alaster says. “I will contact my coven back home, have a few, more men, come and visit the compound, increase security. We will need guards, on her coffin room, constantly. We will also, have you Dr. Alaster, Aedam, and Neil when he is not with Leigh at work, who can actually enter the chamber. No other humans can be allowed. No one is invited in, except for those I say,” Chris reiterates. “Agreed,” says Dr. Alaster. “One more thing, everyone needs to take the pills, you and Amy take, the anti-compulsion ones,” Chris adds, speaking to Domminik. Dr. Alaster, says, “thank you for the kind offer, but myself, Neil and Aedam, cannot be compelled, due to our bloodline.” “Good,” I reply, “no other humans can be allowed, even in the fenced in yard, of the Estate. We need enough day walkers, to keep guard of the whole area.” Dr. Alaster, asks, “How can we make more day walkers if we need them?” Domminik reaches over and holds up my hand, saying “we will need more of this, the stone is Alexandrite. It is rare. A group of vampires, back in the spring of 1834, were working in mines in Russia, Chris being one of them. When the stone was discovered, by the human laborers.” Chris takes over the telling of the story. “Needless to say, I found one of the stones as well, without anyone’s knowledge, I slipped it into my pocket. Then the work crew leaders, blew the whistle, signaling the work day’s end. Everyone assumed it was dark out, our shifts usual time for leaving. However, it was a trap. Someone had discovered there were several vampires on the work crew. As we neared the mouth of the mine, we saw the intense sunlight. Those who left the mine, burned. Those who refused, were met with an iron pick ax thru the heart. Right as they were ready to swing on me, I decided, I would take my chances in the sun. For some reason, unknown to me, I reached my hand in my pocket, and grasped the stone as I stepped from the darkness into the first sunlight my skin had seen in almost a thousand years. Nothing happened. The guards assumed, I was a human, and left me alone. I went home, and began making myself a charm for my neck. A ring would have been noticed, and removed. I fastened it to a piece of leather, long enough to keep it hidden in my shirt. And from that day on, I day walked.” “Very interesting, it contains Iron”, Dr.Alaster says, “and yet it does not burn your skin. I assume the gem in your ring, touches your skin.” “That it does,” Chris admits, “on the inside of the band, is an opening.” “I do not understand it,” Dr. Alaster admits. “Nor do we,” adds Domminik, “We only know, it works.”

I walk over to the hook on the back of the door, and pick up the coat, I had worn in Ireland. I reach inside the outer pocket, and pullout, the trinket, still wrapped in my handkerchief, and hand it to Domminik. As he opens the cloth, Domminik asks, “what is this, and what would you like me to do with it Chris.” I tell him, “It is a trinket, for protecting Leigh.” Dr. Alaster, cuts in, exclaiming, “It is no mere trinket, walking over, and picking it up from Domminik’s hand, it is An Cloc Cosanta, a luck stone, it protects the owner, from evil! We Hunters’ dipped in iron, and adorned with the shamrock as the book of Healing stated to do. The stone alone, will protect her if it is gifted to Leigh by its current owner. Dr. Alaster then states, “I currently am the owner.” Chris asks, how can I become the Luck Stone’s true owner, so I am able to gift it to Leigh? Dr. Alaster says, it will require a ritual from the book. You will be require you to touch and hold the stone again, burn you, as it may, for it to truly work. Once you have received it from me, then you may gift it to Leigh.” Domminik says, I can make something to lessen the pain, Chris says “No! I will take the pain as is to ensure, it will work for Leigh.” Dr. Alaster, adds, “Doing so, burning your flesh with it, it will take on your scent, and hide hers from those who try to track her.” Domminik says, “at least let me have a bag of blood ready to heal you once you are done.” Chris says, “in my weakened state, I think that is a good idea.” Domminik returns, and has the bag of blood, next to a hot water bottle, bringing its temperature up for Chris. Dr. Alaster, asks, “Are you ready?” Chris says “as ready as I will ever be.” Dr. Alaster says, “You must hold it until I finish the prayer, I must bless it with my lips, a kiss, and then you must do the same. Then you will be able to give it as your own to Leigh, and it will protect her.” I say “I hope you are right.” Dr. Alaster, says, “I am Chris,” with a strange look on his face, “I am.”

I stand, bracing for the pain, I know what is to come. Last time, it barely touched my skin, and it was like a piece of metal, that had been sitting in a blacksmiths fire, for days, melting my skin. Dr. Alaster, starts the prayer, he places the iron stone in my hand. The pain, is almost unbearable, my mind escapes the present pain my body must endure, and retreats to thoughts of Leigh. Her beautiful face, her adorable birthmark, us in bed, I am listening. I repeat what he tells me to. Then he kisses it, he motions for me to kiss it, then it is done. Domminik hands me a new cloth to store it in. I wrap it up, and Alaster, brings my hand holding the stone to his nose. He says, “you can smell your scent very strong, I am positive, it will work.” I feel weak, and almost fall. Domminik, pulls the bag out, and pokes a straw in it. I empty the bag of blood in mere seconds. I am feeling better, better than I have felt in so long. I ask Domminik, for another bag, he quickly goes and retrieves it from the fridge, I tell him no need to warm it. I then freeze. I ask, where did you get this blood? Domminik asks, what do you mean, as he texts for Amy to come and join us. Amy is walking thru the door, when I ask, where is this blood from, as in what city? Amy replies, from the local blood bank here, why? Chris says, “Because the way I feel after drinking it, I think it may be Leigh’s.” Amy then says “I will talk to the director of the hospital and see if he can find out.” I tell Domminik, “Please, go mark the rest of the bags that have this code.” Holding up the bag. He immediately heads back to the fridge. I then, devour the second bag. I feel almost human again.

Amy returns, a short while later, she confirms, the blood is Leigh’s. She said the director, informed her, Leigh gives blood, more frequently than she should, but her counts are always high enough, her body, seems to repair itself. She gives two bags of blood, a month, and would give more, if the hospital would allow her to. Everyone, but Alaster, is astonished. Dr. Alaster, then asks, “How long do we have until Leigh enters her thirtieth year, of life.” Chris says, “She is twenty eight now. So, two years? Right.” Dr. Alaster says “no, not age thirty, her thirtieth year of living. Once leaving the womb, she was in her first year of life, the day she was born. She is currently in her twenty ninth year of life”. Chris says, “So we have a matter of a few months.” “You must tell her soon,” Dr. Alaster tells Chris. “I know. I will.” Chris replies.

Leigh:

The next few work weeks go well. I have been moved into a large comfortable private office on the third floor. I set my own schedule, and take breaks as I need. I don’t think I could have imagined a better job, if I had tried. Neil, has added a security team as well to our bank. John, received one of the positions, since his other job is nights, over the weekends, and fall is creeping up very close, so his main business, diving, will close until next spring. There are two guards, armed, on each floor, two at the main entrance, and two at the elevator. John oversees them all, however he, does not carry a weapon. I feel as if I am now employed at Ft. Knox.

Chris and I, have spent every free moment we can together. Even while I am at work. I am allowed to use my phone, any time. We chat when we can, thru our app. I receive emails from him on my work computer, and my phone as well. It is as if he is just sitting there with me, every moment of the day.

I am thinking, this Saturday, I will take Chris to the beach, using our chat app. It has been so long, since I have been, and the temperatures have dropped, so it will be beautiful to walk on the beach. I can take pictures, and voice message sounds of the beach, to him. I am very excited, it will be our first date, I get to plan.

Friday, is on us. I message Chris, “good morning handsome.” He replies back, immediately “good morning beautiful. How did you sleep?” I tell him “better, than you can imagine.” I then tell him, “I sent out a letter to you Wednesday. Having received your beautiful love letter earlier this week. You write as if you are from another century. However, don’t expect mine, to be as beautiful, as yours, please. I am not that eloquent with written words. It will pretty much be like you sitting here talking to me.” “Then I will love it Leigh, I promise,” Chris says. “I love who you are, and if I were able, I would be right there in bed with you, at this very moment.” I blush, thinking of what we would actually be doing were he lying in bed with me. I then say, “I am ten to seven shift today.” Trying to take my mind off of the thoughts of his body. He says “that sounds a bit late, to get off on a Friday night.” I tell him, “It’s not like I have anywhere I need to be. You and I can chat, and I have security to walk me to my truck.” He replies “very true. And this way, you can take your time and lay around a bit.” I say, “I could, or I could actually get up, and have my coffee, and a bit of breakfast, then go for a little walk, and enjoy the beautiful weather, we are having. It is the first day of September, fall will be here in a couple of weeks, and the temps have already started dropping.” I hear fear in his voice, as Chris asks, “Where will you walk?” I reply, “Don’t worry, I doubt I meet anyone. There are only three houses on my dirt road, the one right beside me, with that dog, and then an old couple, who live at the very end.” He says “okay,” but I can still hear the fear in his voice. I hop out of bed, and head to the bathroom, to brush, wash my face, and pull my hair back. I have been sleeping with it down most nights, lately. I pull it back into a loose bun first, then I wash my face quickly. Finally, I brush my teeth. I turn off the bathroom light and head to the kitchen. I set the coffee pot to brewing, then I run dishwater. I put my coffee mug, and the dishes from the counter in to soak, while I go and dress. I head back to my room, and grab a pair of yoga pants, t-shirt, and socks. I throw them on the bed, and pick up my phone, where I had left it, when rising. I had a few messages from Chris. I play them all. By the time I get to the last one, he is sounding a bit distressed. I message, quickly, telling him, “I set my phone down, while I was washing up and making coffee.” His reply came immediately. “It’s okay, I just tend to have things run thru my head. And they always tend to be the worst. Like did you slip and fall and hit your head, should I message John and have him check…. I do apologize.” “It’s okay Chris. I understand, I tend to do the same.” I then message him, “I have to dress, and drink my coffee. Then, you could join me for my walk, if you want to?” Chris, replies, “I would love to, however, I have a meeting in ten minutes. I would like to see pictures, and maybe some voice messages from your walk, when my meeting ends.” I tell him, “I would love to, then, you can still walk with me that way.” He laughs, and says “yes, I can, in a way.” He then messages, “I really have to go, now. I love you and I’ll see you soon Leigh.” I reply, “I love you too, and I’ll see you soon Chris.” Then Chris types, “Be safe my love!” And he is gone.

I wash all the dishes, while I drink my coffee. I then wash my mug as well, once I finish drinking. I wipe everything down, pull the plug of my dish pan, and rinse the sink. I throw the dishrag, and towels from the kitchen in the laundry hamper, as I head to the back door. I grab my phone, and house keys, and then step out the back door, taking the garbage from the kitchen as I go. I set the bag of garbage down on the step, while I lock the deadbolt, then I pick it up and head for the driveway. I stop off at the trashcan, near the curb, throwing the bag in. I tuck my keys in my inside pocket. I head out, walking at a slow pace, just enjoying the scenery, the fresh air, and the lovely change in temperature. This seemed to be one of our hottest summers in a long while, and the cool breeze, and drop in temperature, was welcomed by most. I start off by snapping a photo of me in daylight, for Chris. I send it, immediately. I then decide I will snap a few photos of the scenery. Lovely trees, a small creek, the sunshine, and sky. I send all of them as well. Then, I start talking, sending him voice messages. Just mindless chatter. Talking about the weather, the beautiful day, that I have a surprise in store for him tomorrow. I receive a text. “Beautiful pics, my love. I will listen as soon as I am able.” I text back, “nothing to important, just my mindless chatter.” He replies, “OOOH!! I can’t wait. XO” I type “XO” and resume talking.

I walk to the end of the road, by where the old couple use to live. It was a beautiful estate. Around, fifty acres, a very large old plantation house. Now there was a heavy fence, around the place, large what appeared to be guard dogs, came running up to the fence. I screamed into my phone, not realizing it was still recording. I then turned, and ran, as fast as I could. I felt someone following me, but I was to scared, to turn around. Just then, Chris appeared in my head, “make it to your truck, just make it back to your truck.” I ran harder and faster. I searched my pocket, finally finding my keys. I hit the buttons, first the panic then, the unlock. I opened the door, and jump into the passenger’s side, hitting the lock button, as I close the door, behind me. I look up and see a man, run into the woods, across the street. Chris messaged, “what is wrong, why did you hit the panic button?” I couldn’t talk or type. I tried to say I was okay, but the words froze in my throat. My hands, shaking so bad, I could not type. Suddenly, John’s jeep, came speeding down the road, towards my house. He barely got it into park, when he flew out of the jeep, faster than anyone, I have ever seen. He opened my truck door, and pulled me from the passenger’s side. He then called Chris, she is okay. Terrified, but okay. Chris then tells John to put the phone to my ear.

Chris’s voice, then comes across the line. “Leigh, are you okay?” I shake my head, yes. John hollers out, loud enough for Chris to hear, “she is shaking her head yes.” Next Chris asks, “Can you speak?” I try to talk, but nothing comes out. I shake my head no, John relays to Chris once again. I nod my head towards John, as Chris says to give the phone back to John. John understands my motion and puts the phone back to his ear, as he puts a small amount of distance, between himself and me. Then he and Chris talk for a few minutes, out of my ear shot. John walks back in my direction, as he puts his phone on speaker, I hear Chris tell him, to take me inside, and get me a drink of something. He says, “stronger than sweet tea.”

John, takes me by the hand, and leads me to his jeep, he leans over and shuts it off. He reaches in under his seat and pulls out a bottle of whiskey, saying for emergencies. I am without emotion. I feel frozen, he slowly leads me to the door of the house. I hand him the keys, in my shaking hand. He hits the alarm button on my truck, locking it up, before unlocking the front door of the house. I walk inside. He tells me to sit, he goes to the cabinet and takes out two juice glasses. He opens the bottle of whiskey, and pours us each a shot. He then walks back to me, and hands me one. He says, “Drink it down fast. Don’t stop till it is empty.” I nod. I take the glass and drink quickly, it takes my breath, and burns as it goes down my throat. He walks to the kitchen, and makes us each one more. Then he returns and says repeat. Down it goes. He then tells me, go wash your face, and then come back. I follow his orders. When I return, I am doing better. He then, takes out his phone, and dials Chris. He hands it to me. “Leigh,” Chris says. “Are you okay?” I stammer out the word “yes.” He then asks if I am able to talk. I say, “I think,” with much effort. He asks, “Can you tell me what happened? I received your message, your scream.” Chris is frantic. I slowly speak, I tell him, “it was dogs. The old couple who use to live at the end of the road, they are gone, I suppose. The place looks like a fortress now, with big guard dogs out in the fenced in yard. They scared me, and I took off running. I am sorry I screamed. I didn’t realize I was still recording.” He tells me with much love in his voice, “Leigh, don’t be sorry. Please, continue.” I told him, “I felt someone or something was after me, I just knew one of the dogs had gotten out. Then you were in my head, telling me, to get in my truck. I made it, hit the panic button, and got in. Then I looked. I seen a man, running into the woods across the street. Then John arrived.” Chris, told me he felt, relieved, I was okay. He told me he loved me, then asked me to give the phone to John.

I thought of work, I told John, “I have to call work”. He said, “I will, I need to let them know I will be late as well.” John then told me, “go take your shower, I will wait here until you are out.” I tell him “okay, and thank you.” I walk thru the kitchen, heading towards my bedroom. I push the door closed, and sit on the foot of my bed. I begin to cry. I text Chris, “I am sorry I scared you. I wish you were here with me at this very moment”. He replied back, “relax, and imagine me in your shower, I will be there with you.” I say “okay.” I turn my music on, grab my towels, and head into the shower. The water is warm, when I enter, and I duck my head under immediately. My eyes close, and when I open them, Chris is here with me. He is wearing dress pants, dress shirt, and a tie, his feet however, are bare. I smile at him. He walks towards me, and I feel his arms go around me. I am startled, by the feel of his arms, and I move away. Chris disappears. I blink several times, thinking the whiskey is making me feel what is not really here. I open my eyes once again, he has returned. Smiling, he steps to the back of the shower, and just is with me. Making me feel safe.

I step from the shower, feeling much better. Chris’s presence has calmed me, well, that and the whiskey. I dress quickly in a dress for work. I pull my hair up, even though it is still soaking wet, then, I head back to the living room, phone in hand. John tells me, “you can go change, Neil said take the day off, he will have another accountant cover your shift today, you can use a personal day.” I thank him, and tell him to please tell Neil thank you when you see him today. He said “will do.” To lighten the mood, and make me feel better, John tells me, “I am planning Tammy’s big 40th birthday, we have some major planning to do!” I tell him, “count me in, I will help you anyway possible.” He asks, “You will be there, won’t you.” I tell him, wild horses couldn’t keep me away. He tells me, she will love you being with us. I smile. He then asked if there is anything else I need? I say, “thank you John, but I think I am good, now.” He heads towards the door, and I follow. I give him a hug and tell him thank you again, then he heads out. As he walks away, he takes his phone out, and starts to text. I close the door and lock it. I then head back to my room, to change.

I am feeling rather cold, and decide, to hunt out a pair of my winter pajama pants. I find my favorite pair, flannel, with tiny snowmen on them. I put them and a t-shirt on. I then, hang my dress back up. I take my hair down, it is still quite wet. I decide, to snap a pic and send it to Chris. I say now “I get to spend the day, relaxing.” He messages back, “you look very cuddly.” I say, “thank you.” He asks, “You get the day off?” I say “yes, Neil said after what happened, to take the day off.” Chris says, “that was very kind of him. I reply, “Yes it was.” I then decide, to ask Chris, a question. “Chris, I have a question, but I don’t want you to think I am a freak, okay.” He says “okay.” I say, “When, I was upset, you told me to go take a shower, and imagine you with me, and you would be there?” He says “yes.” I said, “Well, how do you do that? I felt you touch me. How? And when I was running, you were in my head, whispering to me to get to my truck. How?” Chris replies back, “I don’t know. I feel you with me at times too. Like, when I was really ill. I felt you lay with me, I could feel the warmth of your body healing me. I could feel your lips kiss me, I could hear your heart beat. I don’t understand it either.” I say, “You think it is because, we truly love each other, with all of our hearts?” He says, “Maybe. I can honestly say, I have never felt what I feel for you before. And this has never happened before.” I say, “me too, but I really love it.” Chris says, “I do as well.”

We are both aware of our unique connection we have. It I am sure, is because we love each other. That, and the fact, I have always, sort of had a sixth sense about things. I mean when my girlfriend from high schools mother passed away, I knew, it was coming. I didn’t understand it at the time, only that I knew she would die. Occurrences, like that, had been happening since I was a teen. I chalked up part of what was going on to that. The rest, had to be because of our love, I had no other explanation.

Copyright 2015 by MLSteele

Before Hidden Secrets was revised… The very first draft (6)

Leigh:

My first morning, of work, and Chris, cannot be with me. I have left him one message, very early, this morning, when I awoke…a nightmare. Chris could not stay the whole night with me, because of his trip. I dreamed of people hunting me, trying to take me. I woke up feeling like I ran a marathon. I messaged Chris, telling him of my nightmare, not what it was, but that I had one. I fell back asleep, finally, for a few hours, Then when I got up to get ready for work, I tried going back into our chat, but it was having server problems again.

I decide, I should head to the shower, I grab my towels, and my phone, and head in. I close my eyes, and imagine Chris with me. I feel so close to him. I feel his love for me. I wonder, if he is showering at that moment to. I know, I have to hurry, I do not want to be late, my first day. I shut the shower off, and step out. I check my phone. No messages. I dry off, and dress. Today, I wear, my most favorite dress. I feel very confident in it, I apply a bit of mascara, and eyeliner, a touch of eye shadow, some chap stick. My hair, I comb it out straight, then, while it is still wet, I twist it up into a bun, on the back of my head. I look in the mirror, very professional I say. I then walk over to my chest of drawers, and pick up a small pair of studded earrings from my jewelry box, and put them in my ears. I stand in front of my new, old mirror, and snap a picture of myself. I try to send it to Chris, thru the app, but it fails. I decide to keep the picture until later, and I email, a good morning before I head into the kitchen, and make me a cup of coffee to take along in my truck. I then grab my lunch, and head out the door.

I run into John, outside of the bank. “Hi John, fancy meeting you here.” He says, “Yes, what are the chances? It being the only bank in town and all.” I laugh, he does as well. I give him a hug, and tell him,” I’ll see you later,” he grabs the door handle, and opens it, “he says after you ma’am.” I said “oh, you really were on bank business.” He said, “yes, payday!” I laugh, as I walk behind the counter, and tell him bye over my shoulder. He says” bye” back, then he proceeds to get in line at the teller window.

I head into the manager’s office, and she takes me to the time clock, she tells me how to clock in, and then leaves me with my trainer. I start off, learning the basics. Where things go, bank procedure. She logs me in on the bank computer, and tells me to set my own new password, once she finishes showing me how to set everything up. She shows me how to verify checks for cashing, how to pull up accounts, how to do money transfers. It takes hours. Finally at one clock, she says it is time for lunch. We head back to the time clock, and clock out. Then we head to the employees lounge. There are several other girls in there, eating, salads, drinking diet soda. I pull out my phone and look for messages. Nothing, still. I am a bit concerned, not having heard from Chris since late last night, before falling asleep.

I am able to get back in our app, so I send the photo, and a quick hello. I tell him I miss him and I love him, and I hope to hear from him soon. I then put my phone away, and eat. I don’t have much of an appetite, and end up only eating, my apple, and drinking my water. I head back, clock back in, and get back to work. The rest of the day, time flies by quickly, next thing, I know, it is time to go home. Before I am able to leave, however, the bank manager calls a meeting, she tells everyone, that she has been asked to go work at a different bank, in a neighboring city, that is actually closer to her home. She also tells us, our bank is going to have new owners, in the morning. Expect change. I think to myself, great, I will end up losing this job, before I have a chance to prove myself. I put the thought out of my mind for now.

Once the meeting is over, I head out to my truck. I hit the unlock button, and crawl in. I drive home, feeling a bit down. I stop and check the mail on my way in, my yard, no mail. I pull up and park. I hop out of my truck, grab my lunch bag, my coffee mug, and my purse. I hit my lock button, then the alarm button on my truck. Beep, beep. I unlock the door to the house, and head inside. I close it and lock it behind me. I head to the kitchen, and set all of my work stuff on the table, and hang my purse on the back of a kitchen chair. I then, head to my room, stripping, as I go. I pull my hair down, throwing the bobby pins in a soap dish I have set on the counter. I grab towels, and my phone then crawl in a hot bath. I open my phone, expecting nothing again. I have a message in my chat, and, I have an email from Chris. I lay in my bath reading his email to me, over and over. I feel like he is with me. I feel his love for me.

I finally crawl out of my hot bath, and dry off. My makeup is gone, my hair clean. I pull it back into the braid, I will wear to bed. I put on some pjs, and decide to go find me something to eat. I head to the kitchen, I open the fridge, and scan for food. Nothing looks appealing, so I decide, a slice of pizza, will have to suffice. I walk to the cabinet, remove a plate and wine glass. I will be eating alone, tonight. My first time, since our first date. I take a slice of pizza out and set it on the plate, then I place it in the microwave to warm. I retrieve the ginger ale, from the fridge, pour myself a glass, and return the bottle back to the fridge. I grab my glass and my plate, from the microwave, and sit at the table. I take a sip of the ginger ale, it feels good, going down my throat. I take a small nibble of the pizza, it tastes so good. I pull out my phone, and turn it on, opening our chat app. I leave Chris, a few voice messages, telling him about my first day of work, how my bank is being bought out, and taken over. How, I could end up losing my job. Considering, I am under my ninety days, and the new owner, may choose to bring in their own people, to run it. I also, tell him how much I miss him and love him.

I finish eating and decide, to get an early night. I am both mentally and physically exhausted, in part from not being in much contact, with Chris. I set my plate and glass, on the counter, and head to the bathroom, to brush. As I stand brushing, my mind drifts to Chris, and him saying, you are even beautiful, when you brush. I smile to myself. I finish up, and turn off the bathroom light. I crawl into bed, and using the remote, I turn on the TV. I mute the sound, and turn over and snuggle my pillow close. My mind drifts to Chris, once again. I close my eyes, and can feel him laying beside me…his skin is so cold, his breathing, barely existing. He does not know I am here, his eyes are closed. I am very worried, about him. I lay here with him, snuggling as close as possible, trying to warm him. Then suddenly he wakes, and is gone from the bed with me. I receive a message, almost immediately, from Chris, telling me of his rare illness, and him being sick today, and needing a blood transfusion. I think to myself, that is why he was so cold. He asks me to forgive, him not messaging. I tell him, please, no forgiveness needed. I love you. I just wish you had told me sooner. I then tell him, I think it is time, for this, and I text him my address.

I tell him, “tonight, you will lay in my arms, your head against my chest listening to the beat of my heart as you sleep. Feeling the warmth of my skin on yours. I will warm you. I will heal you Chris.” He messages back to me, “I love you Leigh, Thank you.” He tells me, “my doctor, Domminik, he is giving me something to sleep.” I whisper, “I love you too Chris,” into the darkness of my room, as I lay in bed physically by myself. I close my eyes, he is with me, I snuggle him into me, and kiss his forehead. He sleeps. I am soon to follow.

Morning comes, and Chris is feeling much better. I can feel it. Our connection is so unique to me. I think it is the love we share for each other. It makes things seem so real to me. I know, it is only in my head, but it still feels real. Chris then texts letting me know he feels better, and he is not able to talk at the moment, only text. I text back, “it is okay, I must rise, shower, and get ready for work, anyway.” Chris, tells me, “he loves me, and will see me very soon.” He adds, “I am counting the seconds, until you return to me my love.” I message him back, “Me too Chris. I will see you soon, I love you.” Then I am gone.

I crawl from my bed, and head to the shower grabbing a towel on the way. I stand facing the mirror, and pin my braid I slept in up, so my hair doesn’t get to wet. I turn on the shower, then pull off my sleeping shirt and shorts, and leave them in a pile on the bathroom floor. I step into the shower, the water has not warmed. I am hit by the freezing water, and shocked fully awake. I bath very quickly and hop out of the shower. I wrap my towel around me, and go immediately to my closet, to choose my clothes for the day. A long flowing skirt, and tailored sleeveless blouse are my choice. I grab a bra, boy shorts, and stockings from my chest of drawers, and begin to dress. As I sit, and pull on my stockings, I decide I will wear my hair in a loose French braid, with small tendrils falling loosely around my face.

Once I am dressed, I return to my seat on my bed. I then brush out my hair, and get it as smooth as possible, before I braid it. After my hair is finished, I grab my makeup bag and add a touch of color to my eyes and cheeks. I finish with a swipe of chap stick to my lips. Then, I stand, looking in the mirror, and say to myself, almost finished. I walk over and grab a light jacket, off the coat rack in the corner of my room, then I head towards my jewelry box, in search of my accessories for the day. I search through, looking for my favorite set, earrings and a choker. They have been in my family for more than a century. I had seen pictures of my great grandmother in the 1920’s, wearing both the earrings and necklace. Only back then, the necklace had been a headband, she wore around her short hair, and the earrings, mere screw ons. I had also seen, a picture of my name sake, my great-great grandmother wearing the same earrings, and headband, only in her photo, it was a band around, a lovely hat. The Kearney women, had been altering this beautiful piece of velvet, white gold, and unique stones, for more than a century. I was the most recent one to alter it. It had skipped my mother’s generation, and passed directly to me, due to her early passing. My grandmother gifted the items to me on my twenty first birthday. I got started altering them immediately, turning the earrings to pierced backs, and removing a portion of the fabric from the headband, and attaching an adjustable white gold chain. I finished the task, that evening, and then wore it out with my friends, to celebrate, with the spirit of all of the Kearney women in my accessories. That was the night, I had met my husband. I quickly close off that door in my mind, and return to the present.

I stand in front of the mirror, and place each earring post thru the single hole in my ears. The earrings, are white gold hands, holding a tear drop shaped carrot of the unusual stone. I have always assumed, they are well made costume jewelry or gems of no value. The Kearney family was not noted for wealth. The beautiful necklace, contained six more of the large stones, also held in place on the lovely black velvet, by the white gold hands. There is a sort of rick rack design at the top and bottom of the fabric, also made of white gold, this had been added when it was worn as a headband. The stones, were amazing. They went from a beautiful green in daylight, to a lovely raspberry red in incandescent light. They reminded me of my grandmother’s mood ring, I often wore as a teen.

Once the chocker, is fastened, I really look at myself in the mirror, and decide, I am ready. I grab my phone, off the bed, and snap a photo, and send it immediately to Chris. His reply came just as quickly. Every time I see you, you are even more breath taking. I blush. I then listen to his next message. He teases, saying, we have matching taste in jewelry, I stand there a bit confused, until the photo arrives. It is his hand, and on it, a beautiful white gold ring, with a stone matching those in my jewelry. I reply back, that we do J He replies back, with a J. I ask him, how he is feeling. He says, much better. I tell him I am very happy to hear that, you gave me quite the scare yesterday. He apologizes. I say “please, Chris, there is no need for apologies.” He says “okay.” But I can tell by the tone of his voice, he still feels bad. I change subjects, and tell him, wish me luck, ok. He says, “You don’t need luck.” But I heard him whisper good luck quietly to me, then, I love you Leigh. I whisper back, to my empty bedroom, I love you too Chris, then I message, “I really must go, or I will be late. I’ll try and message at my lunch.” He says “ok, I will see you soon Leigh.” I say see you soon Chris.

I grab my coffee, bag, and lunch, and head out the door. I arrive at work, expecting the worst. However, when I walk thru the door, I am greeted, by the new owner, and his manager, he brought with him. The owner introduces himself, as Alaster and his manager, as Neil. Addressing us all he says, “I don’t believe any of you will be able to pronounce our last names, so that is how you may address us. First names.” He laughs at this. I can tell by their accents, they are Irish, and I get a bit excited, knowing of my heritage, this may be the closest, I ever come to Ireland. Alaster, then explains, he will be going over many details, in our personnel files, as well as interviewing us, to determine, which position best suits us. I get excited, thinking, I still have a shot. I have been in accounting, for years. He then announces, “I will start with the newest employee, and go backwards.” He says, “I need Leigh Kearney, to my office first.”

As I pass through the door, Alaster, asks, “You are Irish?” I reply, “I am of Irish descent, on my mother’s side.” He replies, “Your last name?” I tell him, “it was my mother’s maiden name, and I took it, after my divorce,” looking down at the floor, as I talk. I am very nervous. I look up, and he is smiling at me. He then says, “I see yesterday, was your first day, how did you enjoy your job?” I tell him, “It was good. I am getting the hang of things.” He then asks, why I took a teller position, when I had so much experience in accounting. I tell him, it was what was open. He then asked, what I would say to a new position, a job title, my own office on the top floor, with Neil’s, and triple what I was currently making, as a teller? He then looks in my file, and says, actually more than triple. The position, starts at one hundred thousand a year. I get a bit light headed, I say, very nervously “what exactly do you expect me to do for that kind of money?” He says, “accounting. Can you handle it?” I say, “But there are senior accountants here already, shouldn’t they be offered this job first? I am new.” He says, “yes, you are new here. But your accounting skills are not, and you know what you are doing. We have done our homework. These meetings with everyone, a mere formality. Besides, everyone will receive, pay raises. The staff here, was grossly underpaid.” I smile, at them both, and agree, to the terms, of the job. He says, “you will be required to work eight hours a day, five days a week. The shifts, can vary, just be sure, you are here for an eight hour shift, minus your lunch break. You can pretty much choose what time you want to take lunch, you may spend it in your office, logging in and out on your computer, instead of using the time clock, actually, everyone will be switching to a computer time clock. We are bringing this company up to this century.” He and Neil laugh at this. He says, “you may have and use your cell phone, during work, you will no longer, be dealing with the public. Can you handle all of this?” I say “yes, yes, I can.” I am so happy at this moment.

Copyright 2015 by MLSteele

Before Hidden Secrets was revised… The very first draft (5)

We hear the chime of the front door, then two men, enter the room we are in below the bar. They are introduced, as Aedam and Neil. I note in my mind, they too are in remarkably good shape. We all shake hands, then Neil, moves behind the table, and takes a painting from the wall. He proceeds to open the hidden wall safe. He pulls out an unusual trinket, and an iron dagger, adorned with a wooden handle. Neil hands me the trinket, as I take it in my hand, I drop it. It has burned me. I then pull out my handkerchief, and wrap it up placing it in my outer coat pocket. The two men look at me in terror, then at Dr. Alaster. He tells them “it is okay, I will explain everything to you soon.” Neil takes the knife, it is carefully wrapped and placed in a box. The box is locked and I am about to be given the box and key, when Dr. Alaster, yells “no, It is Iron as well. Place it in one of the potato sacks from behind the bar.” Aedam responds, “Yes sir, Dr. Alaster.” “Wrap the key in this,” Dr. Alaster requests, handing him a clean bar towel.

Dr. Alaster, then asks me, “is there room, on your aircraft, for the three of us, and….. Deirdre’s coffin?” I reply “yes, plenty, but why?” He says, “Because we must protect, both Leigh and the remains of Deirdre until the ritual is complete, Deirdre’s body is in fact part of the ritual. And we are bound by the curse.” Neil asks to see the Book of Healing, I hand it to him quickly. He opens it to the ritual, showing me what must be done. Neil says, “no one knows, what will happen once the ritual is complete.” I then say, “I agree, it must be done. I will bring you back with me. Once we enter America, we will have to figure out where to keep everything, I am currently staying in a hotel. We cannot hide a coffin, and all of us in a hotel, in her small town, besides, we need a proper estate, to appear as very wealthy business men. I will be in contact, once we board the airplane, with the bank there. I am planning on buying it. Also, I need to find a suitable residence, without anyone having knowledge.” I think to myself, Dr. Alaster, you may, be very useful.

Everyone boards the plane, and we get the coffin, safely aboard, and anchored. Then we all go, and sit in the lounge part of the plane. I use the intercom to call my assistant, Amy. She arrives, with drinks for everyone. Mine, however, is different, than everyone else’s. It is in a travel cup, so the content of it cannot be seen. I had texted Amy, to have it ready and waiting, when I boarded the plane. Today had been a long day, and my meds seem to be wearing off, sooner than what they usually do. I tell the other men, “please don’t be offended, I do not hunt, for the blood I drink, unless I am truly desperate. I continue explaining, I do not kill humans, if I must drink from one, I take only enough, to curb the thirst, then I compel them to forget what I have done. I leave a couple hundred dollars bills in a pocket, as well, you could say to appease the guilt I feel for having to take without asking. I use a location, that is easily hidden, and I try to make it as painless as I can. This, holding up the glass, is from a local blood bank. Amy pays a very large sum, to get it for me. I do not ever relish taking what isn’t mine.”

Dr. Alaster and the other men quietly begin speaking, amongst themselves, as I begin drinking. I ask them, to please excuse Amy and myself for a moment or two. There are a few things, I need to talk with Amy about. They all nod, acceptingly, and resume their conversations, lowering their voices even more, as to not disturb us. I ask Amy, “if there were any messages, due to my phone not working, since leaving the plane.” She said, “I did get Leigh’s number taken care of, I texted it to John as you asked. Then a little while later, John texted me, when he couldn’t reach you. He said Leigh arrived at the bank safely, and had not left as of then.” I sigh with relief. Dr. Alaster, sees the concern in my face. He says, “You truly do love her.” I say “yes, and we have never even met in real life.” He smiles at me, a very genuine smile.

Addressing Dr. Alaster, “I say, I need something from you. I want you to pose, in a way as me. You will use your name, because I do not want mine, known. Leigh, the “Essence” is not aware, I am as close to her as I am. She believes, I still reside, in Canada, however, since our second day meeting, I have been a few minutes away, so I could protect her. I am about to contact, the local bank, that is where Leigh works, and purchase it, for Leigh’s protection. I will put it in your name, with Neil as the new manager. That way, we have someone with Leigh, when she is at work. And I can make a new position in the bank, so Leigh is not dealing with as many people. Because, currently any vampire, who can day walk, could walk in and take her.” Dr. Alaster, says, “you are not going to tell her, then?” I tell him, “not just yet. I think the longer she is kept in the dark so to say, the better.” He says, “then we shall do what you ask.” I thank them all. I ask Amy, “to start searching Leigh’s town, for suitable estates. It needs to be very large, one where we can keep Deirdre away from anyone who visits, and for all of us to reside, together.” I begin speaking to the men again, “currently I have several vampires, watching Leigh, to and from work, and at her home, etc. Now that it is confirmed, she is the “Essence”, I need to step up her security. Dr. Alaster, you will have to invite, me into our new home, and any other vampires, I ask you to, no questions asked.” Dr.Alaster then replies, “I understand.” I assure him, “I will not allow anyone, to harm you or your men.” Dr. Alaster, then replies, “we have had to handle the vampire, in the past, in our lifetime, we can take care of ourselves, but I appreciate the sentiment, none the less.” I tell them, “anything they need, all they need do is ask, myself, or Amy. Money is no object.” I inform them, “We will stop off in New York, as soon as we hit the states. Amy will take you three shopping, you need to fit the part of a multibillionaire, Dr. Alaster. I will stay with the plane, and Deirdre.” They agree to go. I then ask Amy, to bring in dinner, for the men, and I excuse myself, so I can message Leigh, alone.

I go into my sleeping quarters on the airplane, and sit in one of the chairs. I text Leigh, “how is your first day going beautiful? My business meeting is over, and I am on my way back to Canada. I will have a short layover in New York, for refueling before heading into Canada. Leigh, I miss you more than you can imagine. I love you. XO see you soon.” I wait a few minutes, to see if she replies. No response. I then message, one of my men, he says, she is still at work. I say okay, and tell him, don’t let her out of your sight. He says, will do.

I return to the lounge, the men, are eating, I pull out my pills, and take another. I do not understand, why I still am feeling the burning thirst. I then ask Amy, to bring me another glass of human blood. She asks am I feeling okay, I tell her, what is wrong, she says, I will message Domminik, and alert him, to meet us at the airport. Just in case. I thank her, and hope the feeling will calm, with the extra meds.

Neil and Aedam, leave Dr. Alaster, and me alone, Neil went to check on Deidre, Aedam helped Amy, in the kitchen. I think Aedam, likes Amy, a bit. While they are out, I decide to tell Dr. Alaster of my “meds” I take. I tell him, “I have only been taking them for a few decades.” Dr. Alaster is astonished. He says to me, “I was wondering how you were able to walk amongst humans, and consume our drink with such ease”. I say, “They have a side effect. I am able to connect with Leigh. I can actually feel the warmth of her body, next to mine, I can hold her. I think she feels it too. I think if she tried, she could see me too. I believe last night, she heard me speak, with many miles between us. I was in bed on my plane, flying here, she was at home, in her bed. I whispered to the darkness, I love you Leigh, goodnight. She was laying with me, in my mind. Then, she whispered me back. I love you Chris.” Dr. Alaster states, “I think it is because she is the Essence, and your connection to each other. I don’t believe, your meds have anything to do with it, honestly.”

We arrive in New York, it is evening. Amy grabs her purse, and heads off the plane with the three men. She tells me before leaving, Chris, try to rest some while we are gone, please. I tell her I will, I need to try messaging Leigh, again as well. She tells me if I need her, to just text or call. I ask how much blood is left on the plane, she says 4 bags. I say that should be enough. She looks very concerned.

I head back to my sleeping quarters, again, once they have left the plane, and I have it secured, for Deirdre’s protection. I open my phone, and there are message from Leigh. My phone, did not send a message alert, and I cannot get in the app. I decide to go to email, so I can send Leigh another message thru it instead, however when I open my email I find a beautiful message, waiting from my Leigh.

Dear Chris,

I wanted to say good morning to you. My app has been down since I awoke for work today. I am missing you already, I hope your business trip is good, and we are able to talk to each other really soon. I love you, more than you know. Wish me luck, I am grabbing my coffee, and heading out the door to my first day of work at my new job. See you soon Chris, XOXO

Love, Your Leigh

My heart melts. I feel better already, she stabilizes me for the moment. I decide, I will type her a message too.

My Dearest Leigh,

I love you too, more than life itself, and I have missed you more than you will ever know. You have been constantly in my thoughts today. I miss your adorable nose, your beautiful freckles, your lovely smile, and every other beautiful part of your body. I hope your first day, was great, I hate that I was not able to talk with you this morning, or much at all today. It makes my heart hurt. I Love you Leigh, and I will forever. See you soon, XOXO                      Love, Your Chris

I pushed send, and then, I think to myself, I should go and check on Deirdre. I walk back, to the cargo hold, where her coffin, is being stored. I lean over, and pull up on the straps that are holding it in place, tightening it back up before takeoff. When I do, the top of the coffin opens, revealing her head. She has not decomposed. She appears to be in a peaceful slumber. She is in fact, my Leigh’s twin. She is dressed in what appears to be a white wedding gown, a dagger, resembling the one in the box, sticking out of her chest. A blood stain around it. I feel the need for human blood again, stronger, than ever before. I head back towards the kitchen area, I go to the fridge and pull out a blood bag. I stick a straw straight in the bag, as if it were a child’s juice box. I begin drinking, slowly, I head back to the cargo area, it feels as if I am being drawn there. I do not hear the others, as they board the jet. There is a noise behind me, as I stand in the cargo hold, I am heading towards Deirdre’s coffin, I turn suddenly. It is Dr. Alaster. He is standing, defensively. He asks what I am doing. I am in a trance it feels, I look down, and see, the pilot, is in my hand, I am dragging him. A straw stuck in his neck. I fall to the floor. The next thing, I remember, is waking in my bed, back in my hotel room. Domminik, standing over me.

First thing I am alert enough, I ask for my phone. Domminik, asks me first, “Chris, can you tell me what happened?” I say, “the last thing I remember, is craving the blood, and going to the fridge in the kitchen, and getting a blood bag because I was alone on the plane.” He asks, “you do not remember, the pilot?” I say, “no, what about the pilot?” He tells me, “Chris, you attacked him.” I turn paler, than the white I already am. I lean forward, and throw up. I then say, “I what?” He says, “Chris, you heard me correct, he will recover, thanks to Aedam and Amy’s quick thinking.” I feel great relief. I cannot handle the guilt of taking a human life. Domminik, then asks if I knew how the coffin had been opened, and why. Dr. Alaster, had entered my room at this point. I tell them, “I was tightening the straps, on the coffin, because I knew we would be leaving soon. When it popped open. I then elaborated, she is my Leigh’s twin, I seen her, lying there, perfectly preserved. In her wedding gown.” The doctors look at one another. Then Dr. Alaster speaks. “Chris, I think she is interfering with your mind. She is nothing, almost, but bones. She is still alive so to speak, I was not able to kill her, only put her in a sort of deep sleep, her body without blood, the last five hundred years has in a way evaporated, mostly.” I state, “you Dr. Alaster, you are the blessed hunter.” “Yes, Chris, I am. Neil and Aedam, as well. There were three Hunters originally created,” Dr. Alaster states. I am still a bit dazed, and do not say anything, however, the others continue talking.

Domminik, hands me my phone, it is already night, I open my app, many messages, from Leigh, are awaiting. Before, I can read or listen to any, I text her, “I am so sorry, I got sick, and passed out. I have a rare blood disorder, and I must have needed a transfusion. I am so sorry. I am ok, my doctor, is here, with me now, I am in bed. I can’t say I am sorry enough. Please forgive me.” Leigh’s reply comes immediately, “Chris, oh my goodness, are you okay? Why did you not tell me before? There is no forgiveness necessary. I love you. Will you be ok? Honestly?” I reply “honestly, I do not know. I hope I am, I think I will be, but, I don’t know.” Leigh, then sends a message. “I think it is time I give you this.” Her next message is a text. It is her address. I tell Leigh I love her, she cuddles me in close, holding me tonight, keeping me warm. I tell her “Domminik is going to give me something to help me sleep.” Then, I hear her whisper she loves me, as I am given, the injection, and am out for the night. I wake in the morning, next to Leigh, feeling much better, but I am very weak. She has healed me, and with a bit of blood, I should be go

Copyright 2015 by MLSteele

Before Hidden Secrets was revised… The very first draft (4)

Chris:

I have already started getting use to having Leigh to myself at night, she calms the animal in me, helps me to relax. Laying here, in my bed, you will think I am crazy, but I can go to Leigh, in a way. I am nothing more than a ghost, so to speak. It really is hard to describe it, to you, without you having experienced it. I think it’s a side effect, of my “ADHD” meds. I can really feel her. I think, if she tried, she could feel and see me as well. The connection between us is so strong. I feel the warmth of her body next to mine, I can feel the softness of her skin, the taste of her lips, I can snuggle her in and make her feel secure. I am able to enter her dreams, and insure, she is safe there as well.

My meds were created by my personal physician Dr. Domminik Eisenhauer. Truthfully, what they are, is a pill, to help curb my lust for human blood. They allow me to be in contact with humans, consume their food, and drinks, and feel sated, until the pill wears off. Then I must feed. I have my assistant with me, Amy Donaldson she knows what I am, and helps me. During my travels, she goes to the local hospitals, and presents them with documentation, of my rare disorder, which requires home blood transfusions. Between the documentation, and a large cash donation to the hospital, she gets what I need, no questions asked. When you have lived as long as I, money becomes no object, I have more than any human could use in a thousand lifetimes. So, for the right price, many humans will do just about anything for a vampire. No compelling required. And for those of you who are new to the vampire world, compelling is sort of persuading a human to do what you want thru mind control. I try never to use it.

I have discovered why the other vampires, are so interested in Leigh, She is suspected to be the “Essence.” The one being, who can shift, the life of every vampire in the world? The private chat rooms are buzzing. The places vampires go to lure in their victims. The digital age, has made hunting, on foot, for those who still drink from humans, obsolete. Why hunt, when you can meet someone in a chat room, gain their trust, meet for drinks, Then if all goes well have her back to your place, and she is your nightcap.

I have not verified the information that Leigh is, the Essence or seen the special, heart shaped birthmark, which is only revealed to a vampire, but the way I am drawn to her, I can think of no other reason. What I feel with Leigh, is indescribable. It’s as if we were created for one another.

Monday, when she starts work, I will to, in a way, a quick day trip to Ireland, poking my nose in the right places. Talking to the right people, and hopefully I will confirm one way or other, if Leigh is in fact the “Essence. “If she is, I will have to arrange more protection for her, to ensure her safety.

Leigh:

I wake up, roll over, and look at the clock. Seven in the morning, the time I will have to wake for my job. I turn the alarm off instead of hitting snooze. I grab my phone, from its cradle. Chris has left me a message. I try to open the app, but it is having connection problems. I am so worried and upset. I think, I’ll try our game. I sign in, and he is online. I whisper to see if he is actually there. He doesn’t reply immediately, so I figure, I will game a bit, see if he messages me back. I start to hunt, when I get a whisper. “You are up early,” from Nic. I reply, “Yes, work, just popping in for a few.” He says, “okay, I have missed seeing you on.” I reply, “I’m sorry, I have sort of just started a new relationship, and don’t have as much time as I did before.” He says “that is to bad. LOL” I think to myself, is he trying to flirt? I type “LOL” back, then tell him, “I have to head out, or I will be late.” He says “okay, talk to you later.” I say “Bye.” I then send Chris, a whisper, “I can think of no option, but to give you my email address.” I then type it in, and tell him “send me an email, ASAP, our chat app is down. XO.” I hit send, then I sign out. Ten minutes later, I get an email. It is from Chris.

Dear Leigh,

I am very glad, you allowed me to have your email. I too have been trying to get back into our chat app, but it is having server problems .By the way, save the email address this came from, because it is mine. Also, I will give you my cell number, you don’t ever have to use it, but I want you to have it just in case. 1-123-234-3456.We can correspond this way, with just messages, quickly back and forth, like in our app, or long letters. I have been really wanting to write to you long letters. I wanted snail mail, but this is better than nothing. Here you can decide, if you want to keep messages, or delete, unlike our app, which only keeps our history for thirty days’

I wanted to tell you good morning first, today. That is what the message in our chat app, was. I said good morning, beautiful. I hope you have a great day, today, and go look on your front porch when you are dressed.

With much Love, Chris

I crawl out of bed, very curious, now. I dress quickly, and then, I run in the bathroom, wash my face, and brush my teeth. I head towards the front door, excited a bit! I peek out thru the curtained window, and see, my beautiful, antique free standing mirror. The one I planned on buying next time I was in town. I open the door, and struggle to bring it into the living room. I set it down. There is an envelope taped to the mirror. I pull it off, and inside, are a set of keyless entry keys, and a note. I open it, and in John’s handwriting, “Surprise!!” I hope you don’t mind the gifts. Your truck, is now set up with keyless entry, and an alarm. It also has a panic button. The big red one in the center. Don’t be afraid to use it. If you don’t like them, let me know, and I will have John take the mirror back, and have him return your truck to its previous state. See you soon, Xo Love Chris

I run out to my truck, barefoot, and try the buttons. Beep, beep. The alarm is set. Then I try to open the door, and the most awful noise starts going off. I get a ding from my phone. It is Chris. I push the button, to turn off the siren, then I try to open the app. This time it opens. He has left a text, after the good morning one. “Leigh, are you ok? When your alarm goes off it sends a message to my phone.” I reply, “yes, I was trying it out…LOL!” I then type, “I will pay you back for both. I will keep them, but I will figure a way to pay you back!” He then typed, “You could just say thank you Chris?” I voice message, “thank you Chris,” and add, “It was a very generous loan!!” A tiny bit of laughter in my voice. He replies, “We could exchange addresses. Then you could mail me a check?” I say, “Nice try, but not just yet.” I then say, “Seriously, thank you Chris, it means a lot you care about me so much.” He then says, “I love you Leigh.” Without thinking, I say, “I love you too Chris.”

I head back in the house, and lock up, once in. I message Chris, and tell him, “in and locked.” He says “good girl.” I tell him, “I am going to take my mirror to my room.” He replies back, “should I have John come and help you?” I say “its ok, I think I can manage.” He then messages, “too late. He will be there in ten. Wait for him to arrive”. I reply back, “Yes Sir.” I am in a very playful mood today. While I wait on John to arrive, I decide to make coffee. I get it started, then I run my dish water. Just then, a knock at the door. “Hey, it’s John.” I shut the water off, and dry my hands on my kitchen towel. As I do, I holler “just a minute.” I open the door, and John is standing there, grinning from ear to ear. I tell him, “Come on in John,” and he steps across the threshold. I ask “can you get the door, I was just fixing to have coffee, would you like a cup?” He replies, “sure, just black,” as his phone dings alerting him to a message. I say “sure thing.” I make our coffee and set it on the table, but before either of us can take a drink, John asks for a glass of water. He says, “I have to take my meds, first, Tammy forgot to remind me this am.” “She just text?” I inquire. He says, “Yes.” I say, “You should set an alarm, on your phone, I have asked Chris to, for his meds,” as I get up and make him a glass of ice water. I hand it to him. He says, “high blood pressure.” I respond saying, “ahhhh.” He says, “that is actually a good idea.” He tosses the pill in his mouth, and says bottoms up! Once, he gets his meds down, he says let’s get the mirror in place, then we can drink our coffee, and chat for a little while. I say ok, and get up and tell him, this way. I have him place it close to my window, so it sort of reflects the light and makes my room, that much brighter. I tell him thank you, as he heads back to the kitchen, I say “I’ll be in there in a second”. I then snap a picture of myself, and send it to Chris. Then I head to the kitchen.

Chris’s reply was immediate. “I really like that mirror,” he says. “I have finally gotten to see all of you.” Today, I was dressed in cut off jean shorts, and a tank top. My usual around the house attire, for summer. He asked, “What is that peeking from your shorts on your thigh?” I blush and tell him, “it is my tattoo.” He then asks if he may see it. I tell him John is still here, and we are in the kitchen, and I am being rude. He says ok, I will let you and John catch up, but I expect a picture later. Chris then types, “Xo see you soon Leigh.” I type “Xo see you soon Chris.”

I apologize to John, for being so absorbed in my phone. He tells me don’t worry about it. You deserve a bit of happiness. I tell him thank you. He says anytime, and smiles. I ask John, if he would like any breakfast, he says no thanks, Tammy fed me before I left the house. I say okay, and we drink our coffee, while catching up.

I see John to the door, give him a hug and tell him thank you for the help, and for visiting. He says, glad to help, anytime. I laugh, then I say I miss you and Tammy. He says, I know, us too. I lean up and give him another hug, and he heads out. He says, come see us soon. I tell him, I promise. He winks, and continues walking, while he puts his sunglasses on. I stand at the door, and wave until he has left my yard, then I close and lock the door.

I pull out my phone, from my pocket, to find a message, from Chris. “I miss you, more than you can imagine. Xo see you soon. I love you.” I reply back, “I miss you too, and I think I miss you more, more than you can ever imagine.” I am still in a very playful, teasing mood. “Xo see you soon, I love you too!”

I reach up and open the curtains, in the living room, before I sit down in my chair. I then roll the leg of my jean shorts up to reveal my whole tattoo. I snap a picture, and hit send. His reply comes very quick, a voice message. “I think I miss you more, and that is final.” He says with a hint of laughter in his voice. I reply back to this, “Yes Sir!!” He receives my picture, and immediately says, “That is a very beautiful thigh, Leigh. And I love the tattoo!” I blush. He asks, “Is there any special meaning behind your tattoo?” I say, “Actually, me and my best girlfriend, got matching ones, on my eighteenth birthday.” Chris replies, “Really? Very interesting. That poses another question Leigh, when is your birthday?” I respond immediately, “when is yours?” He says, “Ok. I will go first. Mine is June 18.” I sit there a moment, and then I text, “mine is June 21. And before you ask, I will be twenty eight years old, on my next.” He laughs, and says, “A spring chicken!” I say “ha-ha.” He then asks about my birthmark, below the tattoo. I am so embarrassed, I continue texting. “Yes, it is a birthmark, I will take a clearer picture, for you.” He says, “It looks like it’s heart shaped.” As I focus, on taking the picture, I see, it does. I voice message, “yes, it does. You are the first person to ever notice that.” I hit send, and await his reply. He says, “That is very adorable. And maybe the reason, you have never noticed it, is because it is upside down to you.” I laugh, to myself, and voice message, you can hear the laughter still in my voice, “maybe!!”

Chris, then voice messages, “I have an idea. Since, I missed your birthday this year, you could say the gifts I gave you this morning, were belated birthday gifts.” I say, “nice try, not both, they were to expensive, I say, maybe the mirror, no, maybe half of the mirror.” Laughter in my voice. Chris then concedes.

Chris:

If I still had a heartbeat, that photo of Leigh, would have stopped it. She is the most beautiful creature, I have ever seen. No makeup, her hair, a mess from where she had slept, jean shorts, gorgeous milky white skin, and barefoot. She was absolutely breathtaking.

I am very happy to hear, she too can see the heart. That is a good sign, that she is not the “Essence”. Monday, I will have more answers, I hope. If she is, however … the vampires will not stop, until she is turned, or ended.

Leigh:

I ask Chris, how we should spend our day together. How about we cook together, he replies, “Are you any good at French toast?” I ask him, “can you cook?” He replies, “I have not killed anyone with my cooking”. Then he laughs, I do as well. I then say “yes, I love French toast, as a matter of fact. Do you want bacon with it?” He says, “you read my mind.” I take out my cast iron frying pan, I take a picture, of myself, holding it, and send it to him. He sends one of himself, as well, he is using a stainless steel pan, with a ceramic finish. He tells me, “I sort of have an iron allergy.” He laughs while he says this to me. He asks, “Before, you start, will you set your table? I will set mine at the same time.” I tell Chris, which end, of my farmhouse table I will sit at. I set a wine glass, filled with water, a coffee mug, filled with my coffee, a plate, silverware, and a napkin. I also have placed candles on the table and lit them, before snapping a photo. I hit send, and his photo, comes thru at the same time almost. He is sitting opposite me, at a farmhouse table as well, also he has placed and lit candles on his. Our tables are almost identical mirror images. Only our coffee’s show whose is whose. I say “great minds, huh?” He snaps a photo of himself, he is smiling at me and texts “yes.” He then types, “I really do love you Leigh.” I type, “I know, I love you too Chris.”

We proceed to make our French toast, bacon, and coffee. Then, we sit and eat together. We are talking the whole time, mainly voice messages, and photos. I tell him “open up,” and snap a photo of a bite of French toast, as if I were feeding him. He replies, “You are a good cook Leigh.” I grin, and tell him “thank you.” He says, “I think today we should just spend the day here, at home, maybe game a little, definitely snuggle, watch TV, or read? What do you think?” I reply, “Sounds perfect, to me Chris.” “Good,” he replies.

We finish eating, and do the dishes, “together”, then we decide, to head into our game, for a bit. We both have been neglecting our game, since we have spent every moment possible with each other. I am first to sign into our game. Then, across the top of my screen, I get a message, saying I have a new message in my chat app. It is Chris, he says, he has a few business calls to make before signing in. I tell him, “I will see you soon Chris xo.” He types, “See you soon Leigh, Xo.”

I head back into the game, and decide, I really should work on healing players, or Chris will never catch up with me. I pop in GC and say a few quick hellos, to fellow players, Nic, being one. I start healing players, when I receive, a whisper. “Hi Elecktra77, how are you?” I say, “I am good, how are you Nic.” He says, “a lot better, now that you are on.” I reply “really?” I’m kind of nervous, and don’t know exactly what to say. He tells me, go look in your safe house chat. I go in, and he is now a member of my safe house. I was a bit dumbfounded. “I think you are the most beautiful girl who ever walked this earth, Elecktra77,” Nic had left that message, in safe house chat. He then whispers me, “I am going to give you my cell number, if you want, text me. Or you could, download the “Chat” app, and we could talk there, I have a private room.” I am a bit irritated, now. I tell him, “I am flattered, but, as I told you before, I am not interested.” He says, “No pressure,” and then signs out. A few minutes later, Chris signs in, and whispers, “how are you doing? Get much done? Level on me again?” I tell him of the things Nic has done. Chris, asks me a favor, “Leigh, please, invite me to your safe house.” I say “okay, but please do not get jealous, we all joke, and flirt mildly with each other. Okay.” He says okay, and I send him an invite. He accepts, and joins. Suddenly, Nic is kicked from our safe house, and Chris, has been made an officer. He whispers saying, “That should fix the problem.” Chris, then adds, “will you heal me awhile, I feel like I really need to hunt.” I tell him “I would love to.” He says, “wait, first, let’s spam safe house chat to remove Nic’s messages from the newsfeed, it is true, what he wrote, but I do not want any part of him here with us.” He then feels, how he has made me feel.

We gamed, for about two hours, Chris gained five player levels. He is creeping up on my player level slowly. No more whispers came from Nic. I thought, maybe that would fix his new “thing” he had for me.

“I am thinking, an early dinner, and maybe a hot bath tonight,” I text to Chris. He texts back,” sounds good to me too. I will be flying out tonight, though. I think around eight. Don’t worry, I have a bed on the plane, I can lay in so we can sleep, together. I don’t want to miss even one night with you, if I can help it. J” I reply back, with a “:-P” He laughs and voice messages, “you sticking your tongue out at me? I say “maybe!” I then voice message him a raspberry sound. I said, “Now that was me sticking my tongue out at you!” He tries to do it back, unfortunately, his raspberry sounds like a flat tire. I say “you better stick to texting me one,” he can hear me giggling. He tells me, “I think instead, I will practice!”

Dinner time, is on us, when I get a knock at the door. I ask who it is, then I message Chris, telling him, “Pizza delivery guy is here, I didn’t order a pizza.” He laughs, and says “I did. Just go to the door, and pick it up, don’t invite him in.” I laugh, and tease, saying, “You think, I want the pizza guy to come in so I can have my way with him.” He says, “Well…” I laugh at his reply. I head to the door, stopping first and taking a five dollar bill from my purse. I open the door, and he hands me the pizza. I try to give him the five, but he refuses. He says, tip was included by the man who ordered it. I smile and thank him. He turns and heads back to his car. I watch as he pulls out of my driveway. I toss the five back in my purse, and head into the kitchen. I set the pizza box on the stove, and wash my hands. I then message Chris, “so, do you have pizza too?” He says “yes, I do. Matching! Have you looked yet?” I tell him “no.” He then says, “Go and open the box.” I look inside, and find, a ham, bacon, and pineapple pizza with extra cheese. I message, “you talked to John didn’t you?” He said,” John took care of ordering it, but it is my favorite pizza. I thought you should at least give it a try, I can have him order something else, if you prefer.” I tell him, “no, this is perfect, it’s my favorite too.” He sends me a “;-)”. I laugh, and say, “You did a typo. It is supposed to be, :-).” He said, “No, it is correct, I was winking at you.” I smile to myself, and type “;-) back at you.”

Chris tells me, turn all the lights off, and close the curtains. I follow his instructions. He then tells me, to turn on the TV. I am, wondering what we will be watching. I tell him “so much, for my hot bath and early night, with a bit of teasing in my voice.” Chris quickly says, “You can, do that if you would rather.” I text him, “I would much rather spend my evening eating pizza and watching a movie with you, than alone in my bath! LOL” Chris then voice messages, “I could join you in the bath as well.” I blush out of embarrassment, and text, “the movie and pizza are just fine.” He then messages, a hint of laughter in his voice “That sounds good to me, too. Next time you take a hot bath, though I will be with you, just so you know. Now, go make your plate of pizza, and grab a drink.” He sends me a picture, of his massive plate of food, and a wine glass, with what I am sure is wine. I take a picture of my plate, two slices, and a wine glass of ginger ale. I send it. His reply comes, “what are you drinking? That doesn’t appear to be sweet tea.” I say, “yes, you are right, definitely not sweet tea. Pizza and tacos require soda. My favorite, ginger ale.” You can hear me giggling. He has a touch of laughter in his voice, “I see.” I ask “what we will be watching,” he tells me, “I thought, you could choose, just tell me, what show you want to see.” I ask him, “even a chick flick,” he says “yes, even a chick flick,” still laughing a bit. I finally decide on Sense and Sensibility. I am in the mood, for a love story. I comment to Chris, how I love Colonel Brandon in the movie He, Is such a good man. “That he is,” Chris replies “that he is.”

The movie ends, I tell Chris, “time to get showered and into bed.” He says, “Yes, I have to get a quick shower, and head to the airport. Once I am there, I will message you.” I say, “Okay.” Chris asks, “Will you listen to our music, while you shower, and think about me?” I tell him, “I always do.” I send him a ;-). He replies, “I do as well. ;-). See you soon Leigh, I love you XO.” I type, “See you soon Chris, I love you too XO.”

I grab my towels, and head to the shower. I slip off my shorts, tank top, bra and boy shorts. I pull the curtain closed, and start the shower to warming. I turn my music on. I reach my hand in the temperature is perfect. I step into the shower, submerging my head into the stream. It feels so good. My mind drifts to Chris, I start to wash my hair, and I close my eyes. My imagination is really good, I think to myself. Because when I opened my eyes, Chris appears in my shower with me. He stands there, just watching, listening to the music as I wash, and rinse. My eyes keep going to Chris’s. I hate to, but I know I must leave my shower. The time is getting late, and I must wake so early in the morning. I shut off the water, and step out. My phone rings. It is that number, from Salem again, only this time, I recognize it. It is Nic’s. I quickly dress, and message Chris.

I text, “hey, Chris, can you message me as soon as possible, please?” I hit send. I didn’t trust my voice, to say the words. For fear I may cry. His response comes immediately, “what is wrong Leigh.” I say, “I just got a call from that Salem number again, only I now realize who it is. I don’t think I told you, but Nic he gave me his cell number. That is who is calling. I recognize the number. Not that I saved it, but I sort of have this thing with numbers.” I was scared, and I was rambling. Chris says, “it’s okay, my love, please calm down. You know I will not let anything happen to you. I will protect you with my last breath. Please do not worry, okay.” I tell him, “I will try,” but he hears the fear in my voice. He then asks, “are you ready for bed yet?” Trying to change the subject and get me to relax a bit. I say, crawling in now. He said, “Good. I just arrived at the plane.” Chris then says, “We will talk, while I board, and get into bed.” I say “okay.” He says, “Can you believe, I actually drove to meet the plane, in my pjs?” I laugh a tiny strange laugh. He is trying so hard to make me feel better. He tells me, “Lay facing me tonight, your beautiful head, on my chest, my arm around you, keeping you safe. Now lay one of your legs, over mine, and really cuddle in tight, close your eyes, and imagine my fingers, playing in your hair.” I interrupt him saying, “My hair is braided.” Chris says, “Then, please sit up and unbraid it.” I say “okay.” He then says, “thank you.” He says “you smell amazing, the coconut!” I tell him “thank you, and I’m all done unbraiding it.” He laughs, and says “it is still quite wet.” “I know,” I reply. He says, “Okay, back how we were, I want to hold you as long as I can tonight.” I say “yes sir, teasingly.” He tells me, “I really do love you Leigh, and I will protect you, I promise.” I tell him, “I know you will try Chris.” I then say, “me too. I love you all the way up to the moon Chris, and back down again.” He says, “Close your eyes, and snuggle in closer to me.” I can actually feel him holding me, our connection is so strong. I feel his lips press into the top of my hair, and I hear a whisper, “I love you Leigh, goodnight.” He then messages, “Good night beautiful.” I whisper, back to the dark, “I love you Chris, goodnight.” Then I drift off to sleep, in Chris’s arms.

Chris:

I think I heard Leigh, whisper to me tonight. My eyes were closed as we lay there in our own beds, “together.” I could hear her heart beating. I could smell her shampoo, I could feel the wetness of her hair against my skin. I longed to protect her, to hold her, to keep her safe. I know her past it doesn’t allow her to feel as if she can trust a man’s promise, but I will fulfill mine, or die trying.

I immediately texted four of my men and put them on Leigh’s house. They are to stay with her, constantly. She can’t know yet, she has to be kept in the dark, until the time is right. I am convinced in my head, Leigh is in fact the “Essence” already. I am sure that is why we are drawn to her the way we are. I hope I am wrong, that it is in fact some other, harmless reason. Why we all seem obsessed with her. I would never harm Leigh, I want to have her in my life, forever. I honestly plan on telling her what I am…One day, and maybe, she will consent to being my mate. I know, that sounds, so odd, but in my eyes, a mate is for life. A mate, goes beyond what anyone could ever imagine. Yes, I want her as my wife, but what marriage has become, in modern day, a marriage can end, as quickly as it begins. I want her for all eternity, for better or worse, as long as we both live.

I am not sure of, Nic’s intentions, however. He could want her to be his next meal, he could want her as a human blood slave to toy with in any way he chooses, at his discretion. He could even want to turn her, to be his partner. I think the latter is less likely, but, I do not know him that well. All I know, is he scares Leigh, which leads me to think his intentions are less than honorable.

Early morning, and I am preparing to leave for my meeting. We arrived in Ireland, only a few hours ago. As I head out the door, I leave instructions, for Amy “I would like to have Leigh’s number changed, and please, have it unlisted, and unpublished. Also, place it in my name, then text John the new number, to give to Leigh, so she will feel comfortable, and safe. I don’t think she is ready, yet to give me such personal information as her phone number. Hopefully, doing this, Nic will realize, she is mine, and leave her alone. I don’t want to kill him, but if there is no other choice, I will do what is needed to protect Leigh.” Amy replies, “yes sir.” I say, “Thank you Amy. I truly do not know what I would do without you.” She smiles, as I get into the car that is waiting for me at the airport. As I am driven towards my meeting, by the chauffer, I try to use my phone, to message Leigh. No Service. I am very upset. I have no way of knowing, what is going on in the States, until I return to the plane.

I am greeted, by a local, doctor. Not a medical doctor, mind you, a philosophical doctor. Someone who is knowledgeable on local folklore, and can help me find answers I hope. His name, Is Dr. Alastar Óhír. He is a man in his late forties, and in remarkable shape, for a scholar. He introduces himself, and I myself, tells me, “call me Dr. Alaster, or just Alaster, everyone does.” I say to him, “please call me Chris.”

We head to a local pub, to talk, Dr. Alaster, unlocks the door, and we walk in. He makes us coffee, and I ask for a glass of water, as my alarm on my phone goes off. Leigh has asked me to set an alarm on my phone, to help remind me to take my pills. I say “meds”, and hold up the bottle. He then, hands me the glass of water. He asks, why I am interested in such things, as Irish folklore, and the “Essence,” I tell him, all in good time. With a smile touching my lips. He smiles, a strange smile back, and hands me my coffee, and a spoon. I tell him, I don’t need a spoon, I take mine black, he withdraws the offer of the spoon, and I take the ceramic mug from his hand. As it goes to my lips I smell a strong familiar scent, iron. I set the mug back on the table, and search his mind. “I apologize, I never like entering a humans mind, uninvited, but I did not fly all this way for trouble,” I state. I see, his intentions are to see, if I am in fact a dearg-due , (the Irish word for vampire), he means me no harm, I look through, more thoroughly, it is safe to tell him, my suspicions. I leave his mind, and he apologizes. He said,” you are the first to sense the iron, in many years.” I said “yes, it repels vampires. Had I not smelled it, before I drank, it would have burned me, everywhere it touched.” I add very clever, “using an iron lined cup, for the coffee.” He asked, “would you like a normal cup now?” I say “yes.” Then I add, “I mean you no harm, or anyone in your town, for that matter, unless they try to harm me.” Dr. Alaster says, “I just want to know.” I smile, and say, “Then I will tell you. I think I have found the “Essence”, well maybe. She has the heart shaped birthmark, but she could see it, so that means it isn’t her, right?” He replies, “I wouldn’t dismiss anything when it comes to the “Essence”.” Dr.Alaster asks, “May I ask her name?” I reply “only her first that is all I know.” “Okay,” is his response. “Leigh,” I say, he drops my cup, and it shatters. He demands “you know what Leigh means in Celtic, don’t you?” I say “no, what?” He says ““Healer” the “Essence” is the one who is able to heal those who are “red blood sucker” what you Americans call a vampire.”

Dr. Alaster asks, “do you have a photo of the birthmark?” I nod, “yes.” He says, “May I see it?” I pull out my phone, and thumb thru my photos of Leigh… I come to the one of her thigh, I zoom in a bit, so he can’t tell what part of Leigh’s body it is on, out of modesty for Leigh. He says “I see, a circle, no heart.” He then asks sort of states, “it is located on her leg?” I say “yes, and you can’t see the heart?” My question goes unanswered. He says “I think you are right. I think you have indeed found the “Essence.” I exit my photos, and return to my home screen Leigh’s face picture is my wall paper. He sees it, and says “it is her.” He hands another mug of black coffee to me. I smell it, just to be sure before I take a drink. He says “come with me.” I follow him into the backroom, leaving my coffee on the bar. He pulls out his cell phone, and makes a call. “It is time,” is all he says. He hangs up. Then he speaks to me, “we have been protecting the items needed for the ritual for centuries. We have recorded everything that has happened since the first hunter was created, in journals passed from grandfather, to father to son.” He then pulls out a large old book saying, (The Book of Healing), “We have kept it safe and pure.” He turns to the center. It is a picture of Leigh, only it isn’t Leigh. She is someone else. He then proceeds to tell the story, of a young woman named Deirdre Ógallchobhair. Deirdre was seduced by darkness, she was transformed into a vampire She would come and lure young men away, and feed on them so to say, drink their blood. It took a hunter, who was blessed to come and end her. As the hunter incapacitated her, she put a curse on him and all of his children, his children’s’ children, and so on. They would carry the secret, and protect her remains for all eternity, until the “Essence” arrived, releasing her from her place in hell. We are the descendants of the hunter. I sigh. He then says, “Deirdre, turned into pure evil. The twin, one could say, will be pure good. Her birthday, is she born under the Gemini sign?” I reply “yes, she is. June 21 to be exact.” He lets out a gasp. “That is the summer solstice, she was born on a very powerful day.” He says “I am positive, the girl, is the “Essence.”

Dr. Alaster, then asks, sort of nonchalant, “what do you intend on doing with her, is she aware?” I tell him, “I don’t intend on killing her if that is what you mean. I love her. And no, she isn’t aware.” He asks, “You love her, how?” I tell him, “not all vampires kill. Not all are evil. I am drawn to her, it is as if we were made for each other. I cannot explain, the feeling, only that I am pretty sure, it is love.” He then asks how old I am. I tell him, “I am, as near I can tell, five hundred years old.” He then looks thru a large stack of books, until he finds the one he searches for. He says, “What is your full given name?” I tell him, “Ethan Christopher Sebastiano Malatesta. Why?” Thumbing thru the book, he says, “You are much older, than you know. Ah, here is the entry.” Dr. Alaster begins to read. “There were two half brothers, one with your given name, the other, Nic Dracul Dimir. They were born to the same mother, different fathers. You, Chris, are the younger. Nadia, your mother, lost her first husband during a plague outbreak. She then wed your father, an Italian noble. He tried his best, to treat both you and her eldest son the same, but Nic was a teen, he was rebellious, he left home, cursing your mother, you and your father. He soon disappeared, no one knew where he was, or what had become of him, until your twenty fifth birthday. Your family, was traveling from Italy to Spain, by horse and carriage. As night fell upon the carriage, evil did as well. The driver was first. His throat ripped from his body, blood pouring everywhere. Then your father, realizing something was wrong, crawled out the carriage window, up into the driver’s seat. He got hold of the reigns, and as he got the horses stopped, it attacked him, ripping his throat from his body. It then ripped the door from the carriage. You went at it, sword in hand, however, not iron. It grabbed the sword, and broke it in two. Then it picked you up, that is when you realized, it was Nic. He held you in one hand, and grabbed your mother up with the other. He made you watch as he drained your mother’s body of blood, drinking every drop. Your streaks of grey, they occurred that night, the shock of what had occurred. Then, he turned to you, for your turn. He bit into you, and began, sucking your blood. However, something stopped him, no one knows what. He didn’t drain you. Instead, he turned you. He fled, leaving you on that deserted stretch of dirt road. Somehow, you found someone to drink from, and you turned.” Alaster closes the book, and sets it back on the table.

Copyright 2015 by MLSteele