(…the next day…)
Cara woke up alone. For just a moment she thought the incredible events of the night before were just another fuck-hot dream…till she stretched. Oh…yeah…so not a dream… She groaned as she got up for a badly-needed trip to the bathroom.
Once there, she decided that a nice soak in the tub…the tub that started it all…was definitely in order.
She thought back over last night’s events as she ran her bath. She was tempted to check for a Buffy-esque HellMouth somewhere close, or at least cracks in the foundation. Last night was just that impressive. Monumental. Cosmic, even. Twice…with many, many smaller earthquakes.
So that happened.
Shaking her head as she lowered herself into the warm bath, she realized she liked the slight, lingering soreness between her thighs. Just as she liked how Godric had stroked her hair and back as he soothed her off to sleep at some point early that morning. Just as she apparently liked every freakin’ thing else about him.
She sighed later as she got out of the tub. There was no way to tell what time it was since he’d made off with the alarm clock, and her cell phone and purse were somewhere…downstairs?…she hoped.
Cara shrugged. She had to get dressed, but she still didn’t have any of her clothes up here with her. What, was she going to cook dinner for a bunch of Weres – in someone else’s home – in a bathrobe? But there was no way she was going to put on those nasty, bloody, gory disgusting clothes from last night, either.
After she put on the robe, she noticed a note lying flat on the bathroom counter. With a secret smile, she opened it.
After the undoubtedly exhausting events of last night, both cursed and blessed, I hope you will sleep yourself out. To that end, I bade Elise help Sarah, so do not feel you must rush yourself.
When you do rise for your day, check your closet. There you will find a few changes of clothing to tide you over for a few days until you and Isabel can go shopping. I expect you to let me know if you need anything at all.
Thank you for the most deeply satisfying night of my existence.
Clutching the note to her breast and refusing to think about how very…satisfying…the night before had been, Cara approached the huge closet with trepidation. She hated when people bought clothes for her – they never fit right, the colors were usually wrong, and the styles were generally too…stylish. Being a “jeans and t-shirt” girl was hard work when the world wanted “fashionistas”…
She opened the closet door and a grin spread slowly over her face. Jeans, khakis, loose t-shirts, plain and button-up knit tops, sweaters, a couple of loose flowing skirts, fleecy work-out gear to lounge around in, and several cardigans were hung neatly in small groups.
Under the clothing sat three pairs of her favorite type of slip-ons in coffee, tan and ivory leather, two different pairs of the expensive type of sneakers she would never purchase for herself, a couple pairs of flats to match the skirts, and two pairs of comfy slippers.
A few changes of clothes my ass, she mumbled with a grin as she continued trying not to remember just how “deeply satisfying” the night before had been.
On the table in the middle of the huge closet were three large department store bags. Giddy with relief at the practical wearability of her new clothing, she sat on the chair near the table and happily investigated the contents of the bags…and blushed scarlet at the thought of poor Beck having to buy her bras and panties…very pretty sets of bras and panties at that. The last bag even had socks and some silky, lacy sleep sets, too.
Cara snorted: there wasn’t a receipt or a price tag to be found.
As she got dressed, she noticed everything fit exactly right. Sneaky Godric…he must have looked at her sizes.
When she arrived in the common rooms, the first thing she noticed was that the Weres were in the middle of dinner. The second thing she noticed was that Godric was in the den and in deep conversation with Isabel, Scott, and Gervaise. The third thing she noticed was how his gaze followed her every movement.
His face didn’t change expression when he caught her eye, but it didn’t have to. The look in his eyes was plenty hot enough. Cara smiled, blushed, ducked her head and strode straight for her coffee machine.
Coffee…yeah, that’s it…coffee…, she chanted to herself. Pretend you don’t see him tracking your every movement… Coffee initiated, she glanced around the kitchen and Sarah and Elise nodded to her. They obviously had everything under control.
And that’s when she noticed that every single Were sitting around the large table was looking at her…and sniffing?
A few minutes later, Sarah and Elise appeared by her side. At least they waited until she downed half her cup of coffee and a couple too many Advil before they started with the talking.
Well, Elise did. Sarah simply leaned over, sniffed her, and, with a knowing grin, quietly declared that it was about damn time. Elise grinned widely at that.
From his position in the den, Godric silently agreed. Now there would be no question of who she belonged to, and all supes would know the dangers they would face should they bother her in the slightest. It was deeply gratifying knowing he now had the legal right to give final death to anyone who so much as touched her.
Cara flushed, then looked Sarah straight in the eye…and winked. She then calmly finished her coffee and went to make another cup. Her only hint was a bit of a breeze before strong, cool arms pulled her close to a firm chest.
“Did you rest well?” Cool lips grazed her ear.
Embarrassed by the PDA but enjoying the close contact, Cara relaxed a bit into his embrace and replied, “Quite well, actually. Somehow, and I can’t imagine how it happened, I ended up pretty tired last night. You wouldn’t know anything about that, would you?”
A satisfied, masculine chuckle tickled her ear. Through his blood, Godric could sense Cara’s slight discomfort with his public display of affection, but that was something he was certain she would overcome in time. After her calmly proud reaction to Sarah’s words, his pride demanded he touch her, and he freely admitted to himself that the scent of him on her…in her…was addictive. He buried his nose in her neck and inhaled deeply. She wore his scent well.
She finished preparing her coffee, save for the milk. That would have required leaving his arms, which she was strangely loathe to do. Instead, she turned around to face him.
She gladly noted that his young, strong face still had a healthier pink cast from her blood the night before. She couldn’t help but return the small grin teasing his lips; he was just so cute with the tips of his fangs peeping out. Then she got trapped in the heat of his dark blue gaze. Oh yeah…last night definitely happened.
His face became much more serious. “I am sorry you needed to take pain relievers. I should have given you blood afterward to heal you.” He kissed her cheek in apology. “Next time I will be much more careful.”
He silently chided himself for not having thought to see to her comfort. Granted, his blood and her long sleep had completely healed all her wounds to the point that she appeared even younger than before…years younger, oddly…but, still, the thought of her suffering from his rough handling chilled him.
Blushing scarlet and praying all present Weres were suddenly very hard of hearing, Cara whispered in Godric’s ear, “Hush, you. Last night was kind of…intense, but even if it hadn’t been, it’s been years since I had that particular kind of exercise, so I’d have been sore anyway. And even so I don’t think some of those muscles have ever been used before,” she trailed off with a quiet feminine laugh.
Her breath caught at the look of pure, male satisfaction he gave her. Godric started an almost-silent purr as he scented her sudden arousal and the felt the spike in her heartbeat.
She ghosted her hands up his arms and rested her palms on his shoulders. Leaning up on her tiptoes, she placed a chaste kiss on his cheek. She might have trailed her nose along his throat on the way back down.
She cleared her throat. “Anyway, thank you for the clothes, but that’s way more than just a few changes.” She laughed. “Where I come from, we call that a small wardrobe.”
He shrugged negligently. “I am sure they will come in handy, yes?”
“Definitely, especially since someone magically knew exactly what sizes and colors and styles to get. Thank you,” she repeated the phrase and kissed his other cheek.
He pulled her closer and claimed her lips for an impromptu proper kiss. Cara was mostly glad he kept it short considering they were in public.
As she pulled back, he asked, “What made you feel apprehensive earlier?”
She bit her lip as she tried to remember, which drew his focus to her mouth. A moment later, he smoothed his finger over her lower lip to ease it from between her teeth…which in turn trapped and lightly nipped his finger. His burning blue gaze flew to meet hers as his fangs elongated. There was no mistaking his deep growl when she lightly sucked on his fingertip before releasing it.
Her face reddened most delightfully. “You started it.”
“Keep it up, ma petite, and I will gladly continue it.” He loved her blushes and the sparkling humor and desire in her eyes. Well pleased with her willingness to not only accept his caresses in public but to initiate some love play of her own, he gathered her in his arms. He tucked her beautiful crimson, smiling face into his shoulder, firm in the belief that his were the only eyes meant to see her thus.
It had taken all his determination to leave her bed just before sunrise that morning. Although he would have been safe in her quarters, he did not want to subject her to sleeping beside what, to all intents and purposes, amounted to a corpse during the day.
Plus, as much as he desired her physical companionship at all times, he knew she needed her space and time to come to terms with their relationship.
And…it gave her a chance to miss him. You cannot miss what is not gone.
He just was not so sure he could leave her bed again.
“Oh, I know what you’re talking about!” She leaned back to look up at him. He raised his brow for her to continue. “I read your note.”
A brief look of horror crossed his face. “My note caused you anxiety?”
“No, no, not at all,” she hurriedly reassured him. “Ok, maybe a little,” she decided to tease him a bit. “Your handwriting is better than mine’ll ever be…” she trailed off with a cheeky grin.
“Imp,” he growled as he tickled his fingers up and down her sides a few times in retaliation. He loved when she laughed freely; it was a sound he wanted to hear often.
Gentle revenge accomplished, he held her close again and, completely ignoring the Weres (and a few vampires) grinning at their antics, asked her, “So, what was the problem?”
Still laughing, Cara decided to take pity on the ancient vampire and answered his question. “It was the thought that someone else had picked out clothes for me, that’s all. In the past I have had some horrendous experiences when other people bought clothes for me. I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl who prefers comfort over fashion,” she ended with a shrug.
“But,” she continued when she saw the concern on his face, “what’s in that closet is exactly what I would have chosen for myself, so…kudos to whoever selected it.” She grinned up at him sweetly. “It’s…all…perfect,” she stated with a quick peck on his lips between each word.
More relieved than he cared to admit publically, and completely enthralled with her obvious affection, Godric simply stated, “I am glad to hear it.”
Cara basked in the sweet, sexy joy shining from his eyes.
He placed a quick kiss to her forehead, then his face then became serious. “I have news regarding the Weres.”
She looked up at him for a moment, then said, “Gimme a sec, ok? I need milk in my coffee and coffee in my tummy before bad news rises…” She trailed off with a grimace.
Godric snorted, then loosened his arms but kept on hand on her hip as she finished preparing her coffee. After downing a rather large sip, she sat the cup down, folded her arms about her waist, leaned against the counter, then proclaimed herself emotionally ready for whatever Were news he had.
Grinning slightly at her antics, he placed a hand on the counter on either side of her hips, and leaned in to speak very quietly.
“DesChamps said his trackers caught the scent of the two who escaped, and followed them to a house on the other side of the city. After Ryan and Alaric return from their errands, a group of us will…obtain…these Weres, and take them to a secure location.”
He felt her fear spike, and thought he knew the cause. “Do not worry, ma petite. Most of the guards will remain here. You will not be left unprotected.”
She shook her head. “It’s you I’m worried about.” She raised a hand to cup his cheek before she even realized what she was doing. “Don’t get me wrong – I’ve seen you fight, but still. Those wolves are cracked!”
“Yeah, cracked, meaning crazy and unpredictable. There’s something seriously wrong with them, at least that’s how it seems to me,” she whispered back.
He stared at her for a long minute, then turned his face to kiss her palm. “Come with me,” he barely whispered.
She grabbed her cup and followed him into his study.
Instead of sitting down, he led her over to the farthest corner of the room, pulled her to him with hands on her hips, and leaned forward to whisper quietly in her ear, “I believe that is because they have been using V. Somehow vampire blood harms a Were’s mind even worse than a human’s. I smelled it first in Anderson’s blood, and then last night in the wolves’ blood.” He leaned back just far enough to meet her shocked eyes.
Cara knew the widely-publicized negative side-effects of using V…she could only imagine how much worse it would be for Weres. Eyes wide, she placed her cup on a near-by table and rested her hands on Godric’s chest. She mouthed into his ear, “So that means another vampire could be behind all of this.”
Godric nodded, his face serious.
He shook his head and pointed to his nose. She nodded, her eyes never leaving his. “But…who would be so foolish?”
He simply shook his head. “Sadly, there are several. We will discuss this situation in more detail later. Secrecy is imperative.” His gaze turned hot. “For now, however, we need to look as if we have been…busy.”
Cool firm lips captured hers in a kiss as immediately passionate as any they had shared the night before. It wasn’t long at all till Cara was pressed against the bookcase by the horny vampire pressing himself against her.
At first too surprised to do much, Cara slowly wound her arms around his waist and then, in sweet retaliation for the swiftness of his “attack”, bluntly grabbed his high, firm ass…and pinched. At his startled laugh, Cara broke away and gasped for air as she grinned.
“So perhaps next time you would appreciate a bit of fair warning?”
She laughed. “Usually, but it’s not necessary. I just like breathing, that’s all.”
“Ahhh, yes…you humans and your silly survival needs.” He feigned aggravation, which was totally belied by the twinkling in his eyes as he stole a long series of quick, thorough kisses.
After a particularly ardent kiss, he reluctantly eased back from her and sighed. “Unfortunately I have business that I need to tend to this night and…Oh, I need to give you your first week’s pay.”
Using his natural speed, he went over to his desk and was back in front of Cara before she could even step a foot forward. He held out the check to her. She looked at the amount, and he frowned when she took a step back.
“Godric, I can’t accept all that.”
“Why?” He felt her reluctance, and found it curious. Humans and vampires both enjoyed financial recompense.
“Because that is just way too much,” she stated calmly.
“I do not understand.” For a moment he looked truly bewildered. Then he regained his focus. “This is the amount we agreed upon, yes?”
Cara decided that he really did look kind of scary when he lowered his brows like that.
“Yes, we did but…”
He interrupted. “Then this is the correct amount.”
If he thought a scary face and a serious voice would resolve the situation, then he didn’t know Cara.
She picked up her coffee cup instead of accepting the check. After taking a sip, she began. “Godric, you’re absolutely right; that is the amount we originally agreed upon. But that was before I moved into your house, and before I started eating your food and all the other stuff I use since I’m staying here. And it was certainly before you had to buy me all those clothes. Today is also the second time I haven’t even worked a full shift. I can’t take your money when I haven’t earned it.”
He stood a little straighter. “First of all, I moved you in with me for your own safety. Not only do I owe you protection for saving my child’s life, but I desire your presence in my home. This part of your case is now closed.” He cocked his brow in just the right semi-arrogant angle. Cara had to smile behind her coffee cup.
Godric waited, obviously expecting an answer.
Cara snorted, then let her smile shine through. “Ok, ok, I’ll grant you that. Next?”
Not doubting for a moment that he would win this argument, Godric inclined his head benevolently.
“As for your second objection, of course you eat here and use whatever facilities you desire. It would defy logic for you to do otherwise. I will see to all your needs, Cara, and food and clothing are simply the most basic. Correct?” He pinned her with his blue gaze.
Why did intractable arrogance have to come in such an attractive package, she mentally sighed. No matter how Cara thought about it, she couldn’t fault his logic, but she still felt like she hadn’t earned her paycheck. So, she would deflect him with honesty. Hey, sometimes it even worked.
“Godric, I just don’t feel like I’ve done much to earn it, that’s all.” He started to speak, but she placed a finger over his lips.
“You’ve been absolutely wonderful to me, and I really do appreciate it. But there’s no way I’m going to feel comfortable accepting that much money. And yes, I have a sneaking suspicion that you’re rich as Croesus, but that is irrelevant to me. I want to be paid what I’ve earned, but only what I’ve earned.”
She jerked her finger back when he suddenly nipped it. He grinned wickedly.
“From my understanding I am actually rather more prosperous than Croesus was reported to be, but that is for another tale.” As he pondered his next words, he felt a burst of happy excitement from Cara. It seemed she had a solution to this situation. Interested yet resigned, he raised his brow.
“I suspect you have an idea, yes?” He kissed her forehead, truly hoping he could accept this idea that had her so excited.
“Yes, I do. Hold onto that check till this time next week and I’ll take it then. The way things are going I’m only going to be working about half-time anyway,” she laughed. “This is only fair, you know.”
“I know nothing of the sort, but if this arrangement pleases you, then so be it.” His eyes twinkled just a little too much as he continued, “I shall simply compensate you in other ways.”
Cara’s jaw dropped. His devilish grin and flashing eyes told her she might have been better off just accepting the unearned money.
Her impending tirade was delayed by the ringing of Godric’s phone.
Godric’s face lit up at the perfect timing of the interruption as he answered the ring. The brief conversation was too fast for Cara to follow. He put his phone back in his pocket, wrapped his arm about her waist and, after handing her the coffee cup, walked her toward the study door.
Before opening it, he wrapped his hand around Cara’s waist and whispered in her ear, “Ryan will return soon, but we still have to wait on Alaric.” Then his lips covered hers in a short but extremely thorough kiss.
Godric kept his hand wrapped possessively around her waist as he walked her to the kitchen before rejoining Isabel in the den.
As Cara made herself another cup of coffee, she thanked Elise profusely for helping out…again. Elise stated quite firmly that she didn’t mind kitchen duty one little bit, especially since the cold, rainy season had settled in with a vengeance. She did leave soon after the conversation, however, since her shift was over.
As Cara and the remaining female Were began the nightly clean-up ritual, she noticed Sarah glancing at her kiss-swollen lips with a smirk. Cara promptly stuck her tongue out at her causing them both to laugh.
Deciding to use the dishwasher instead of washing the dishes by hand as per usual cut the cleaning time in half, she told Sarah to go on over and check on Chad if she wanted.
Finally alone, Cara popped in her earphones and worked happily cleaning up the kitchen. The beautiful night sky caught her attention as she stood looking out the window in front of the sink. The dish cloth in her hands was soon forgotten as she gazed up at the twinkling heavens, watching for falling stars so she could wish for things that might make her happy.
She wished she knew what forever was, where it was and how to get there, but knew herself well enough to know it was an impossibility. Godric seemed to fit the description, but even with all his patience…
Feeling a certain someone’s gaze, she schooled her features and stopped looking for wishing stars. She was just glad the Weres had eaten a bit neater than usual tonight.
Eventually Isabel wandered into the kitchen to visit for a bit. At some point Ryan had returned, but they were still waiting on Alaric’s call, and so Isabel was getting restless. While Cara didn’t blame her a bit, she herself was dreading the whole thing. Stupid psycho v-wolves.
Someone’s phone rang, then about two minutes later she found herself being backed up against the kitchen wall. After an intensely thorough kissing and groping session, she had to wonder how her legs ended up around his waist as she slowly lowered her feet to the floor. Her memory was kind of hazy…maybe it was lack of oxygen?
While her face was flushed and her eyes were sparkling, he knew she was apprehensive on his behalf. Although he thought her worry wasted and adorable, he would never tell her so; that she cared enough to fret over him at all was a miracle.
“Ahh, ma petite, what do I have to do to take your worries away?” He was holding everyone up, but that could not have concerned him less. He did not often exercise the clout due his superior position, and besides, this was Cara.
“Either don’t go, or come back really soon?” She rested her hands easily on his waist and tried to keep her tone light. Being overly-concerned about him, verbally at least, would imply she had little faith in his fighting ability. And while she knew beyond any doubt that he could take care of himself and everyone else going with him, she also knew those Weres were insane and that “unplanned events” could happen.
“After we leave, take yourself a nice warm bath to relax, then try to sleep,” he suggested. Opening her mouth to not quite agree, Godric quickly captured her lips in a deep, searing kiss, then raised his head slightly. He loved how her eyes would mist over and her face would flush from his kiss. He tried desperately not to notice the aroused spike to her scent.
“When I return, I will come find you.”
“Yeah? You will?”
“Ooookay,” she reluctantly agreed. “But you do have to leave them alive, ya know.” Her eyes twinkled.
“I do? And why would this be, ma chere,” he replied, happy to jest with her.
“So you can find out important stuff like who sent them and what their deal is,” she over-patiently explained. She loved playing with him; he actually understood her humor.
“I do know of these things. You realize that I am over 2100 years old…” He quirked that brow, his blue eyes gleaming with merriment and the promise of an upcoming battle.
“Which means you’re really too old to go out fighting like this, right? You can barely move your body anymore. I mean, your eyesight can’t be as good as it used to be, you surely can’t hear as well as you used to, and your bones have to be getting brittle by now…”
His fangs dropped and his eyes burned a bit brighter as he growled, “I will be very glad to show you just how well I move my body, Cara-mia…”
Cara just had to giggle at her own teasing. “Please be sure you do, Mr. Sexy Vampire Beast.” She threw her arms around his neck and hugged him close for a long minute as she relished his own tight embrace. Then she kissed his cheek, told him to be careful, and went back to the sink.
He was still growling lightly when they left.
Shortly thereafter, Cara finished up in the kitchen and went up to her rooms. After a bit of exploring, she located the clean linens and changed her sheets, then filled the tub for a nice long bubbly soak.
After she rolled up a small towel to cushion her head, Cara leaned back and luxuriated in the nice warm bath. Long, soaking baths had been a treat before moving in with Godric…she stalled out on that thought. Had she really moved in with him? She guessed she must have, considering that she and all her boxed-up stuff were in his house. She wondered if she’d be able to go to her apartment tomorrow and rescue her poor mostly-dead plants. Woah…where did that thought come from? Realizing that she had, at some point, indeed moved in with the ancient vampire must have fried her circuits.
There was so much she didn’t know about him. Hell, there was so much he didn’t know about her. They’d barely spent any time together, and what time they had spent together, well, their mouths were too busy doing other things to talk.
She had to admit that if a great relationship were based solely on sex, they’d be great together, no questions asked.
But sex, no matter how earth-shattering, was just dessert to the “main meal” of a great relationship. She understood that things were by nature different with vampires, though. They were only awake during the dark hours of the night, which really cut down on time to spend talking or just hanging out…things that brought humans slowly closer together and gave them a solid foundation.
Everything seemed to move so fast in vampire time because they had so little daily…nightly…time to spend on any one thing. On the one hand, she couldn’t believe she’d fallen into bed with him so damn fast, but on the other hand, it just seemed so…natural. Perfect. She certainly didn’t want to hit rewind and go back to not being with him.
Although he hadn’t said the words, she knew that he’d “claimed” her, whatever that actually meant. She knew she should ask for a much more thorough explanation of the whole thing, but…she wasn’t sure she really wanted to know. Knowing would probably make leaving so much harder than it already would be. He was so damn cute with the tips of his fangs peeping out between his lips. Damn sexy vampire beast.
She hrumphed and decided to get out of the tub before she turned into a prune.
After drying off and lotioning up, she chose the pretty pink lacy sleep set with the thin shoulder straps and short shorts. She decided to put an alarm clock on her shopping list, and drifted off to sleep wondering how Godric was doing with the v-wolves.
Several hours later, a freshly-showered Godric quietly slid under the covers and took a sleeping Cara in his arms, and smiled in satisfaction when she immediately slid her arms around him as she nuzzled into his chest and sighed in her sleep.
*Well…how do you think their relationship is progressing? I’m planning some lemon pie, or maybe a bit of lemon tart?, for the next chapter. What do y’all think?*