Cara waltzed off to her car with a smug yet curious grin gracing her lips. She would never in a thousand years be able to describe exactly how she knew that Godric’s watchful gaze was the one she’d so often felt following and observing her, but somehow, in her gut, she just did. The instant his ancient blue-gray eyes, somehow both serious and twinkling at the same time, had met hers as he began speaking to the gathered crowd, she was instantly able to put a name to that peculiar “somebody’s watching me” feeling, and the beautiful vampire’s name was Godric.
As she entered her car and shut the door, it suddenly dawned on her that the way she often felt in TSO…the…he…he’d been watching her in there, too!
Well, shit, she snorted as she started her engine. If she had to have a freakin’ stalker, though, she didn’t guess she could ask for a better one. Certainly not a better looking or smelling one, at any rate. Or a better kisser, either, but she resolved to not think about that part until she got safely home. Those lips of his deserved her full and undivided attention.
And to think he’d been watching her! She wondered how long he’d been at it before she’d sensed it. It couldn’t be normal that she felt safe rather than violated and pissed off knowing he’d been stalking her, but…she did. The thought of those gorgeous blue-gray eyes keeping track of her…
Great…attack of the killer earworm, she thought as she drove out onto the highway humming The Police’s “Every Breath You Take.”
As weirdly intriguing as it was to think that he might be interested in her in any way, and as attractive as he was…and as experienced as he was at giving toe-curling kisses just after almost killing the fool who had been harassing her…she didn’t realistically want to become romantically involved with Godric. He was vampire, after all, and no matter how beautiful he was or how talented she just knew he’d be in bed, she was no one’s “pet” or blood whore, and she was adamant about never becoming one.
When she wondered if he might stop by the next night, she purposefully squelched the almost primal joy she felt at the thought and concentrated on making a list of questions to ask him. Just because she wouldn’t let herself jump his beautiful old bones didn’t mean she couldn’t pick his intriguing old brain.
The way he looked at her, though… Something about it warned her that his pursuit might not be so easy to deny even if she really wanted to…which she didn’t…but she did…
She eventually arrived home and wondered how she’d gotten there – her brain had been racing 90 miles an hour during the entire drive, and not one single thought had been about the mundane act of driving! Shaking her head at her own self, she exited her vehicle and, for no reason that she could think of, actually remembered to lock it up for once.
Keys in hand, she approached her apartment door, and at the exact second she realized she felt that undeniable sensation of being watched, she heard that smooth, silky voice she’d already memorized.
“I’m proud that you remembered to lock your car door, Cariad.”
Cara gasped as she turned around on the balls of her feet to face the ancient vampire she’d felt such odd things for earlier.
“Godric! I…I didn’t expect to see you tonight,” she cringed as she stated the obvious but couldn’t think of anything else to say just then. “And my name’s Cara,” she corrected with confusion.
She knew his name, and she spoke it! And the sound of her voice, even when conveying her surprise and confusion, flowed in a warm stream down his spine. For easily the hundredth time since leaving TSO, Godric reminded himself that he was well over 2,000 years old and that he should start acting like it instead of a whelp seeking his first roll in the leaves.
From the moment he had accepted her invitation, his heart had soared. His mind had tried to keep his hopes and reactions in check, but it hadn’t worked all that well. He was going to see his Cara – and she would know of him! He would see her face to face, and speak words with her, to her, not to the night air and the distance that was needed to separate them. He would breathe in her scent, feel the sun from her smile, perhaps even touch the warmth of her skin.
No matter how many times he strongly admonished himself not to get his hopes up, the longer he tracked her car the more he imagined. Would she actually invite him in? Would she call his name and know him as a friend, or as a potential lover? He wondered what he could do to get her to run her fingers through his hair even as he silently landed beside the building in which she lived.
“I fear I could not resist your invitation,” he admitted with a small, slightly fangy, smile, his face subtly glowing in the dim outdoor lighting. “And yes, your name is known to me.”
“You’ve been following me, haven’t you, and watching me at TSO, too,” she blurted suddenly. At that point she wondered if he’d think it odd if she went back to the car to look for her brain; apparently it had relieved itself of her skull somewhere along the way.
Godric watched in bemusement as a multitude of fleeting expressions crossed her face, each more curious than the last. Finally he saw her shiver slightly, and decided to move things along.
“I will gladly discuss with you anything you wish, only, this night air is a bit too cool for your warm skin. If you do not yet feel comfortable inviting me into your home, we can arrange to meet elsewhere.”
Although he kept his expression purposefully neutral, his heart couldn’t help but sink when Cara didn’t immediately invite him in, choosing instead to ponder her options. But what did he expect, he castigated himself. Too soon! It was much too soon! To her, not only had they just met, but the meeting had ended somewhat disastrously…well, possibly in her opinion at least. He had taken a bone-deep satisfaction from protecting his woman and defeating, shaming even, his enemy. Allowing the fool to live had not set well with his fangs.
Still, it was much too soon. But he couldn’t help it. When she’d saucily issued her parting shot, he simply had to take her up on it. Such spirit! His Cara was so deliciously feisty! After he had recovered from his shock, his throaty chuckle was laden with satisfaction and lust as it echoed momentarily down the hallway. Her car had no more than left the parking lot before he and his achingly hard cock were in the air. He could just imagine…yet again…the kind of lover she would be.
But, he once again reminded himself as his mind spun quickly through alternatives he would not yet take, it truly was too soon.
“I read somewhere that not only does a vampire have to be invited into a human’s home, but that they can be uninvited right back out. Is that correct,” her voice, slightly strained yet faintly excited, interrupted his musings. She’d seen how that lovely sparkle in his eyes had quickly dimmed as she contemplated her options, and felt the strangest need to bring it back to life. His eyes, ancient yet oddly young, truly seemed to be windows into his soul.
Those eyes she adored were now staring surreptitiously at her chest as the night breeze was, indeed, quite nippy. Happily enjoying the benefits of a vampire’s strongly enhanced peripheral vision, Godric willingly explained, “Yes, a vampire must be invited into a human home, and yes, a vampire can also be uninvited.” His eyes shined with hope at her question and arousal from her pert nipples. “If there is one vampire in your home and you wish him or her to leave, all you must say is, ‘I rescind your invitation’. However, if there are two or more, you have to say the vampire’s name or all within will be expelled.”
He said the words as casually as he could and pretended for all he was worth that he didn’t feel as if his entire future was potentially based on the next words she spoke. Her words, he realized heavily, could redefine his meaning of true joy, or true nothingness. He strangely did not resent her for having that power over him. He just hoped she let him in. If she didn’t, he sagely tried to convince himself, there was always the next night. And the one after. And the…
Cara subconsciously bit her lip as she weighed her choices. She really did want to invite him in…in more ways than one…but she simply wasn’t raised that way. Her brain urged caution – even if he were human, the muscles in his arms and shoulders hinted at a very strong body. Her hand twitched as she remembered the feel of his muscles moving beneath her palm. His firm, strong hands gave proof to hard labor of some sort in his past, as well. Since he was vampire, so she knew she had no hope of putting him in his place if he decided to get too handsy. But there was something about his eyes that drew her in, something that promised safety, and maybe some laughter and fun, too.
She suddenly came to the decision she’d known all along that she would make: she would let him in. She wanted answers about why he was, well, stalking her, and she had so many questions about his life. That talk he gave had been too vague and broad for her taste. Nope, she highly suspected that there had never really been any doubt; it had simply been a case of “I don’t really know you yet” nerves at most. And besides, he was just too pretty to leave standing on the porch.
Once the matter was resolved, she selected the house key, opened the door, and with a sweet grin invited, “Godric, please come in.”
**A/N: “Cariad” is supposed to be Welsh for “love” according to the interwebs. **