Cara paced excitedly while she waited for Roddy to answer the phone, and glanced again at the ‘flier’ from the library on her laptop screen.
“Come on, pick up,” she chanted, and was suddenly even giddier when he answered.
“This better be good, missy. Barty was…anyway, what is it?”
Ignoring Roddy’s overly-petulant tone, she squealed. Then, just to further annoy her close friend, she squealed again even louder.
Knowing it had to be something good since Cara was not a squealer, his put-upon aggravation was suddenly forgotten as he asked with badly-masked curiosity, “What?”
“Large multi-level building filled with physical and virtual media, yeah, I know it,” he snarked. Then with building excitement, he asked “What about the library?”
A small squeal echoed through the phone. “They’re sponsoring a lecture….”
Roddy inhaled sharply. He loved the kind of lectures backed by “their” public library as much as his friend did. “No. What kind?”
She held out for a dramatic pause before announcing, “Hissssstory.”
He could almost tell she was wiggling her toes with excitement. “What kind of history?”
“The true kind,” she sang.
“Cara, if you don’t spit it out I’m going to come over there and eviscerate your closet.” She laughed knowing that he hated some of her business-casual outfits and pretty much all of her ‘lazy day’ options.
“Ok, ok, I take it you haven’t read the email from the library yet, have you?” She couldn’t believe it – this kind of thing was right up her alley.
“No, hang on…”
She did, and a minute later she heard him emit his own squeal.
“Over 2,000 years old?!”
“I know! Isn’t this the most awesome thing ever? I didn’t know that TSO even had conference facilities, though.”
Godric heard Cara’s tinkling laughter from where he sat dangling his bare feet from atop her apartment roof, and smiled. Thursday night could not come soon enough.
“Are you sure this is what you want to do? You still have time to cancel…”
Godric knew Eric was only concerned for how this evening’s talk would go, and while he appreciated his child’s concern, now was not the time. He already had enough butterflies in his stomach to taunt a lepidopterist as it was.
“Eric,” he intoned strongly, “enough.”
Knowing that tone, the tall blond bowed deeply as he eyed his Maker in the mirror they were sharing. “Yes, Master.”
Despite the serious expression his face, Godric’s eyes suddenly twinkled. “And we’ll have none of that Master nonsense, either, my child. I know you’re concerned, but, as they say, I’ve got this.”
Eric chuckled as intended; it always tickled him to hear his ancient Maker use current colloquialisms…as well said Maker knew.
When Godric had informed him of his “library plans,” he was worried and concerned, yet was also oddly anticipating the event. His worry and concern stemmed from the knowledge that so much could go wrong, and there were likely to be too many people involved to easily contain and glamour them should any such…misfortune…occur.
His odd anticipation for the event involved a shapely brunette who he prayed would attend for his Maker’s sake. He’d never known Godric to spend any amount of time thinking about a female, much less wooing her.
During his earlier times with his Maker, feeding and fucking was a simple matter of convenience and glamour. Scout, isolate, grab, glamour, feed, fuck, heal when necessary, and leave. Although females of a breeding age were always preferred, the sex of the target was generally irrelevant, and babies, children, and pregnant women were the only taboos.
Through the centuries as times improved, a point often debated between the two vampires, it became easier to glamour a small family holding in an exciting or pleasant location to allow them to “stopover” for an extended visit. They would happily use the mother, aunts, and older daughters of the household, and sometimes the more presentable males, for weeks at a time before moving on to other locations and experiences. Battle sights and small wars were always interesting, as were some courts.
Somehow, he didn’t see Godric extolling the virtues of feeding and fucking their way through most of Europe and the Mediterranean, much less various parts of the African and Asian continents, to a group of curious library aficionados.
He mentally shrugged and hoped Godric knew what the fuck he was doing. At least he had backup here at TSO if needed, even if it had taken the better part of two nights to convince his Maker to hold the “lecture” at a conference facility here rather than at the public fucking library.
He hid his smile as he watched the ancient vampire with the youthful appearance by his side attempt to tame his short dark hair. For centuries upon centuries he’d worn his hair in a simple fashion reminiscent of a bowl cut after Eric himself had all-but shorn the filthy, foul smelling dreadlocks from his head soon after rising, but lately he had seemed to tire of the style, and had even taken the time and energy to force his hair to grow almost an inch longer.
So much effort for a brown-haired blood bag, he considered with a scowl. At least he was wearing shoes without a hassle.
Godric tossed the brush to the bathroom counter after sweeping his hair back and to the sides, then nodded to Eric. “I will feed before approaching the gathering. Perhaps that will remove the scowl from your face?” His eyes, lighter blue with excitement, met his child’s own bright blue eyes in the mirror before glancing back to survey his attire of well-fitting light brown cargo pants and a long-sleeved beige button-up shirt with the top three buttons left open. As he preferred loose, comfortable clothing (or no clothing at all), he was as “dressed up” as he was going to get.
As he exited the bathroom, he rolled his sleeves and considered exactly how he would play the “lecture” he had in mind. He disliked speaking in front of large crowds as they were often rather annoying, but Eric’s dayperson, who he was using to liaise with the library, had stated that they weren’t expecting a large crowd tonight.
Apparently “library aficionados”, as Eric jokingly termed them, could be a bit leery of gathering near a vampire bar, which he thought was quite absurd considering that they were supposedly of a more open mindset. The fewer people, the fewer foul odors bastardizing his Cara’s scent, he thought.
He loved to watch her eat, so he had quickly ordered a light buffet catered for the short event, and had approved of the menu himself. He of course had no idea what meats, cheeses, and dessert foods tasted like during this era, though, and he was a bit concerned about what ‘assorted tea sandwiches’ were made of when he knew for a fact that tea was to be sipped and not eaten. But when he considered that he’d never known that chickens even had fingers, he had gladly turned the whole sordid affair over to his grandprogeny. So long as there were different coffee choices and no stench of cabbage or Brussels’ sprouts, he was happy.
A glance at the clock on Eric’s desk spurred him to send a small bit of urgency to his child via their bond, and they soon left for the Holding Pen – an area on the first level below ground where well paid and well ‘compensated’ donors for hire were kept for both local and visiting vampires.
Twenty minutes and a vaguely satisfactory feeding later, Godric approached the door to the conference room. For the first time, his Mate would see him.
Cara’s heart sank. Why did Roddy and Bart have to bring Bart’s annoying, handsy, bratty younger brother with them? Talk about ruining a moment, she fumed. She just hoped he’d gotten the point when she slapped his face, hard, after the last time he’d groped her ass. She’s slapped him again on principle after he’d tried to blame it on the semi-flamboyant Bart.
Roddy grimaced and shrugged his shoulders when he caught her glare. Bart loved his only brother, but had yet to realize that he was the only one who did. Cal’s only redeeming quality was that he fully supported Bart and Roddy being together.
As they waited for the rest of the attendees to arrive, she looked around the small group already gathered and noticed quite a few unknown faces. Finally, when it seemed that all who were going to show up were present, a man she didn’t know invited everyone to partake of the refreshments and take their seats.
After filling their plates and grabbing their drinks, Cara choosing coffee of course, they chose one of the tables covered nearest the front of the mid-sized room. She happily sat beside Roddy, with Cal sitting on the other side of Bart…who was sitting on the other side of Roddy. She’d never loved an empty chair more.
Cara and her two friends were surprised by how nice the conference room was prepared: round tables that could easily seat five were scattered about the room, a nice catered buffet with hot and cold beverage station was set-up along one wall, all the tables were covered with fine linen tablecloths and napkins. The plates and hot beverage service were of fine china, and the cold beverages were served in sparkling crystal glassware. It all struck Cara as extremely extravagant given that the event was free.
Just after everyone had gotten settled, a door to the side of the room opened, and in walked the most unconventionally attractive male Cara had ever seen.
She guessed he was of average height, but it was hard to tell with the tall blond guy beside him, but his hair was dark, and looked soft enough to run her fingers through. His skin was pale and seemed to glow slightly, just like the blond guy’s skin. There was something indefinable about him, something she just couldn’t put her finger on but she knew was there. He walked to the center of the front of the room to stand behind the podium already in place, and when he looked out over the crowd, his brilliant blue eyes met her own.
She couldn’t smile, couldn’t look away, couldn’t even blink…there was a feeling about him, something that she recognized, but didn’t. Finally she let a slow, warm smile spread across her face, and was rewarded by receiving the same from him.
“Hello. My name is Godric, and I will be your speaker this night. As you may know, I am well over 2,000 years old. My age is most likely closer to 2,100, but after so much time has passed, age becomes nothing but a number.”
Throughout the course of the evening, the warm, rich tones of his voice caressed her mind and the timeless cadence of his speech flowed through her body. Afterward she was certain she couldn’t have said what was discussed if her life depended on it, but she wouldn’t have traded that time for the world.
When she moved her gaze from the front of the room as he ended his talk, she realized that the “lecture” had lasted well over two hours, double what had been intended, but judging by the smiles on everyone’s faces, no one had minded a bit. Well, no one except Cal, it seemed, given the scowl on his pseudo-handsome face.
“Welcome back,” he smarmed as she looked around for Roddy and Bart.
Instead of answering him, she chose to stand and stretch her legs as she watched Godric and the man she now knew to be his vampire child being swarmed by a small crowd of admirers while the rest filed slowly out the door. She finally spied Bart and Roddy who had wandered over to chat with a friend of theirs.
After a small stretch, she reached back to grab her shoulder bag, and Cal for some reason thought that would be the perfect opportunity to corner her between the table, the chair, and his rather large body. When she turned back around, she found herself almost nose to chest with him, and tried to take a step back, but couldn’t.
She sighed. “What do you want, Cal” she asked in exasperation.
“What’s your deal? I tried to talk to you a dozen times tonight and you never answered me once,” he complained peevishly.
“That’s because I was here to hear the speaker speak, not you,” she replied nicely but firmly.
“Well, now that that’s all over with, let’s go somewhere so you can listen to me talk,” he suggested with what he seemed to think was panache.
Cara didn’t want to imagine a worse way to spend an evening.
“No, I don’t think so, Cal. I’ve told you how many times that I’m just not interested in you that way? Can you even find the point to get it already?” Nice obviously wasn’t working with his thick head.
She gasped as he cruelly grabbed her elbow and yanked her back as she moved the chair to get away from him.
“Come on, Cara, why do you gotta be such a bitch,” he whined.
She couldn’t figure out if he even knew how hard he was squeezing her elbow, but it didn’t matter. Pain was pain.
“Ow, let me go, you ass. You’re hurting me,” she cried quietly. She didn’t want to cause a scene if she could help it, but if he didn’t let go right then, well, she knew for a fact that her voice could easily be heard across a football field, no matter how few people might be left to hear her.
“Let. Her. Go.”
The three words were quietly said in a level tone of voice coming from close behind her ear, but the manner in which they were stated raised the hair on the back of her neck.
“Why should I?” Cal’s petulance came through loud and clear.
She whimpered as he automatically tightened his grip.
A very well toned arm immediately shot out and grabbed Cal’s wrist and, from what she could see, with one twist Cal went down to the floor. His hand was dangling at an odd angle from the rest of his arm.
In a blur of movement, she found herself standing beside the tall blond guy whose name she couldn’t remember, and Godric, whose name she definitely couldn’t forget, was looming over Cal, who was whining and crying about his broken wrist.
Cara couldn’t hear them, but apparently Godric didn’t like something that the idiot said because his hard, white hand was suddenly around Cal’s neck, and oh, fuck…he was squeezing.
**A/N: I have decided to NOT use or mention real businesses or facilities in my stories because I want to neither provide free publicity (what if a place I mentioned sucks?) nor be sued. So, if I ever mention a business or facility and it comes about that it’s a REAL entity, then oops…my bad – the mention was entirely unintended.**