(…the night after the fight, continued…)
Cara gasped, startled into instant stillness. She couldn’t believe the sudden contact – he was so close! Her free hand flew to his waist as she caught a whiff of something deliciously dark with faint tones of musk, leather, and pine. She could have sworn her mouth watered.
She raised her head as Godric’s strong hands turned her closer into his hard chest. His jaw clenched as his throat worked to swallow convulsively. Burning dark-blue eyes seared down into wide brown eyes. Lips tight, nostrils flared, his young face looked made of stone.
Finally, after a long tense moment, a massive shudder shook his rigid frame and he released her. Immediately he flew to the other side of the kitchen.
“Oh, s-sorry about that,” she stuttered, then cleared her throat. “I tend to turn on a dime. Guess you can tell I’m not used to having people around.” She tried to pretend her hands weren’t shaking. She knew something significant had just happened, but her brain couldn’t seem to catch up.
Godric said nothing as he tracked her with his hot blue gaze.
Blushing furiously, Cara shifted into autopilot and turned toward her coffee machine. Long silent moments passed. “Coffee. Yeah, that’s what I was doing. Making a cup of coffee,” she finally reminded herself. She forcefully expelled the breath she was holding while the machine loudly completed its short brewing cycle.
The tense silence continued as she turned to the fridge…got the milk out…added milk to her coffee…returned the milk to the fridge…stirred her coffee…took a sip…set the cup down…
“We are not people.” Godric suddenly ground out, his voice strained, low and hoarse. “The first and most important thing for you to know is that I am vampire. I am no longer human.”
Cara refused to look away from her caffeine, but did straighten her shoulders and nod as she waited for him to continue.
“I am a creature driven by instinct.” He sucked in a hiss of breath. A moment later, he continued. “My strength is far, far greater than yours, far greater even than most other vampires because of my age. I could easily end you with a flick of my wrist. Your speed and reflexes are incomparable to mine. My senses are exponentially sharper than your own. Now that I know your scent, I could track your steps a week after you take them.”
She jumped when his hand lightly clasped her shoulder barely a second later.
“It is unlikely you would hear me if I did not allow it. I am no longer human, Cara. I am an animal,” he growled. “I scent your blood and my mouth waters and I want to sink my fangs deep into your veins and drink. I hear your heart beating from across this room and my mouth waters.” He paused, then took a long, unnecessary breath. Exhaled.
“I drink blood, Cara, human blood, and I want yours more than you would care to know.”
Heavy silence lingered until his hand moved on her shoulder in a soothing motion.
“I do not speak of these things to frighten you,” Godric finally spoke quietly, regretfully, near her ear, “but I need you to understand that I am not human. I have been, and can be, appallingly vicious without pause or regret. I need you to realize that, fundamentally, I am different from you. Never would I harm you deliberately, but you must be aware of the risks inherent with my kind.” She sensed him inhaling deeply just before he jerked back.
Cara considered all this for a long moment, then slowly covered his hand still lingering on her shoulder and gave him a gentle squeeze.
“I don’t know a lot about vampires, but I do know a few things about nature.” She paused a moment to collect her scattered thoughts. “Nature totally believes in the old “survival of the fittest” adage because it works. And it…it stands to reason that the stronger the species, the stronger the instincts.”
After taking a deep breath and gathering her courage, she turned to meet his somber blue gaze.
“Your kind and my kind, we share a world. Yes, I can see that you guys are…predators…of my kind, but I also see that you guys aren’t necessarily cruel or insane or whatever. I don’t see why we can’t get along, ya know?” She bit her lip as she tried to find the words to express her thoughts. “I believe that knowledge is power. So, I think it would be to my benefit to understand vampires better.”
“You…you are not afraid of me,” he asked in stunned disbelief, his eyes wide with shock.
Cara shook her head. “No,” she replied slowly. “I’m a lot of things, but for some reason I’m not afraid of you. I’m…astounded? Confused, maybe?” She inclined her head a bit as she searched for the words she wanted. It was surprisingly hard to think with him so close.
He slowly glided the tip of his finger down her jaw as he gazed deeply into her eyes as if he were trying to know her soul.
“I’m fascinated with the power you hold, but I’m in awe of your strength in holding back from using it. I know you drink blood, and I’m quickly figuring out that a big part of being a vampire involves so many other things that I don’t have a clue about.” She paused, thinking. “I have to admit – I can’t stand the thought of drinking someone’s blood, but then, I’m human. That’s just not something we’re prone to doing.”
She grinned shyly and shook her head. “But I know that you guys have to eat, so there’s that. How DO you stand that nasty-smelling blood substitute, anyway?” She asked with a repulsed scowl on her face as she, hopefully nonchalantly, turned around to retrieve her coffee from the counter behind her.
She had to get away from that fingertip grazing along her jaw. His closeness…that contact…it was too much.
Godric took a polite step back as he gaped at her in amazement. He could not believe this turn of events. His luck, her courage, fate, fortune, chance…whatever it was, he was absolutely flabbergasted.
Just moments ago, he had been on the verge of attacking her. When she turned so abruptly and he stepped into her, the exquisite scent and inviting warmth from her body had instantly overwhelmed him. Every feed and fuck instinct he possessed had snarled to life.
He hoped she would never know just how close he had been to… It had been many centuries since he had come so close to losing control. He would think on this later.
“Cara-mia, you honor me with your trust, but I worry that you do not truly understand the threat my kind holds for your kind.”
She sipped at her coffee before replying. “There are all kinds of threats, Godric. Yours are just more obvious that most. I believe that, like with humans, there are vampires who choose to be good by not abusing their power, and there are those who aren’t so considerate.”
He nodded in agreement, then sighed. “But you must know that vampires are not like humans. We are completely different.” His grave persistence annoyed her.
It was like he was purposefully trying to portray vampires in the worst light possible, and that didn’t sit well with her innate sense of fairness. Plus, she was really tired of being so serious for so long. Life, well, hers at least, was too short for such things.
“I completely disagree with such a broad and biased statement,” she replied with a soft grin.
She wondered if she would ever tell Godric how adorable he was when confused. Whoa, she halted her musings. That sounds a lot like future-talk…
“Because I sense a great deal of humanity in you, of course, and I’ve learned the hard way to trust my intuition.” She met his confused gaze directly and tried to clear her face of all humor. It mostly worked.
Catching on but still wanting to open her lovely eyes to reality, Godric replied, “So you do not believe that vampires are vicious, devious, calculating, manipulative creatures capable of the most depraved acts imaginable?” He sounded vaguely exasperated.
“I believe that all people, vampire and human alike, are capable of those things. But we’re all just as capable of humor, fun, kindness, silliness, love, honor, passion, and gentility, as well.”
“Cara,” he sighed, “vampires are not people.”
She covered her mouth with her hand. “*cough*bullshit*cough*”
“What…what was that? What did you just do?” The suddenly mischievous twinkle in his eyes belied the earnestness of his query.
“I disagreed with you in a very non-confrontational way.” She was so relieved that he was willing to change the subject.
“Why did I disagree with you? Or why did I opt for non-confrontational?”
“Yes, so answer my questions.”
“What if I don’t?” Twinkling brown eyes peeped up into gleaming blue eyes.
“Then I will have to take measures to ensure your cooperation.”
“Oh, yeah? Like what, vampire?”
“I will take your coffee hostage, human.”
“Oh no! Not my sweet innocent coffee! You wouldn’t dare!”
~breezy blur of color~
“Godric, give me back my coffee!”
“Answer my questions, Cara.”
“And what questions were those?”
“Why did you disagree with me, and why did you choose to do so in a non-confrontational manner, of course.”
“You remembered all that?” She reached for her coffee. He stepped back.
“Of course.” He grinned wickedly. “My memory is infallible.”
*hrumph* “You’re mean.” She didn’t know the affect her sparkling eyes, blushing cheeks and twitching lips were having on Godric’s…equilibrium.
“I prefer determined, but it is your choice, of course.” He placed his hand over his non-beating heart and gave a gallant bow.
“Ok! Ok!” She finally succumbed to her amusement and laughed happily. “Have a seat.” She indicated a chair at the small kitchen table. “And…gimme back my coffee!” His quirked eyebrow did strange things to her heartbeat as he slowly met her laughing demand.
She thought he wore his arrogance deliciously well.
*Love me some sly, playful Godric!*