(Cara’s snit after the visit the night before)
“Nope nope nope nope nope!”
Cara stomped through the apartment en route to her precious coffee machine.
“Sooooo not gonna go there,” she forbade herself as she slammed the wretched coffee cup into the machine and stabbed at the button to start the magic.
The events of the previous night weighed heavily on her rest-deprived mind. Godric was so…he was too…ugh.
The unfortunate fridge door got ganked open; milk got sloshed into the cup; the poor fridge door got slammed shut.
She chugged half the coffee in one gulp. Then complained bitterly about how the coffee was never hot enough to counteract the cooling effect of the milk. Then drained the rest of it.
Then made another cup as she glared at the kitchen table.
“Dammit.” She fumed to herself. “Why did he have to be so…so fucking everything!?”
With a frustrated sigh, Cara finally plopped down on her sofa. After indulging in yet another round of irate self-pity, she finally shook her head and attempted to think reasonably.
And promptly gave up.
His eyes were just too damn blue.
Serious, sly, ancient, sparkling, sexy blue.
And the man?…vampire?…MALE…ugh…he had a damn DIMPLE. Right there. In his cheek. Right where she could see it every freaking time he smiled. Which, after they sat down at her kitchen table, happened quite often. And was utterly enthralling every single fucktastic time.
“Yes”, she concluded, “Godric was pure sex. Sex on wheels and anywhere else he wanted it.”
“And that wasn’t the worst of it,” she grumbled. “He’s so…interesting…sly…debonair…patient…intelligent…wise…laid-back…”
She jumped up to practice her pacing.
“And why did his sense of humor just have to be so perfect on top of everything else? URGH!!!!!” Certain her neurons were screaming in agony, Cara decided it was time for a shower.
Normally she detested water when she first woke up, but this day was NOT going well. Might as well add to her suffering!
The shower didn’t help. Much whining, grousing, fuming and sighing ensued. Pacing got more practice.
Which, oddly, also didn’t help.
Finally, she wound her snit down and decided to make a plan. She named it “avoidance”.
She instinctively avoided getting too close to anyone, but especially to emotionally attractive guys. She had no problems admiring from afar since it helped keep her from becoming too involved.
Romantic entanglements never failed to fail miserably and always led to someone getting their heart stomped on, ripped out, ground up and buried. And besides, with her history?
No thank you. Been there, done that, wore out the T-shirt and threw it away. “Love” was nothing more than a glorified power struggle.
“So why,” she pondered dejectedly, “do I keep remembering the smoldering heat in his beautiful eyes? That delicious dark leather and pine scent of his? His incredible intelligence and humor and sly wit? And why did I keep dreaming about his dark burning gaze?”
Maybe she should buy him a pair of sunglasses.
No, this was not going to be a great day.
Her job search resulted in a rather good sketch of his strong jaw line.
Her kitchen floor was swept and mopped to the unintentional recollection of the timbre of his rich, velvet voice soothing over her skin.
She over-watered her plants to the memory of his cool, strong hands on her shoulders and her cheek against his broad, hard chest.
Dusting was vaguely accomplished to the memory of his strong, handsome, young face.
He might have initially appeared to be a teenager just aged into manhood, but from memory, she knew he was indeed a man full grown.
She had no problem with his appearing younger than she did. She had no problem with his being a vampire. She had many problems with the way her heart looked at him.
When he left, she hadn’t wanted him to go, but she was desperate for him to leave. It was an awful feeling. He didn’t act like he wanted to leave, either.
Giving into the memories on purpose this time, she flopped back on her bed and sighed as she cherished the feeling of his cool hands cupping her cheeks as he said his goodbyes. The phrase “parting is such sweet sorrow” ghosted through her mind as she remembered the longing in his eyes as he gazed down into her face, his thumbs stroking and soothing over her skin. Her heart still thrummed in delicious anticipation at his promise to “call upon” her again soon.
Cara exhaled sharply as she re-clarified her course of action: determined avoidance accomplished by deflection.
She couldn’t afford to get involved with anyone. Instead of longing for what she couldn’t have, she had to focus on what she needed. Necessity trumped want every time. She needed a decent job. She needed insurance. She needed to keep it together, and she needed to pick up some milk.
Maybe he hadn’t been as much into her as she thought. Maybe she was reading all the signals wrong? She’d been known to do that before. Maybe he wasn’t really looking at her “like that” at all – maybe he was near-sighted? Far-sighted? Could a vampire have bad vision?
Except…there was no mistaking the intent in his eyes. When he focused on her, she could absolutely feel it.
Her memory skipped back to the one part of the evening that she really didn’t want to remember. In retrospect, she thought she really ought to have been more frightened than she’d been at the time. Those were some pretty intense moments, but in the end, nothing had happened.
During her brief research into their culture she’d found vague mentions about vampire instincts, but even then she could tell that the articles barely skimmed over the facts about their real nature. She didn’t know why, but at the time of the “almost oops” as she was calling it, she hadn’t felt like she was in true danger. In the end, he was much more shaken about the whole thing than she was.
Until she’d managed to lighten up the situation, he really had looked…agonized…about the whole thing. His hands had even been shaking.
Yes, she admitted to herself miserably, he was definitely interested in her, and yes, she was definitely interested in him, too.
He was such a wonderful conversationalist. Intelligence, humor, kindness, and wit were extremely sexy in her book, and he had them in glorious spades. She didn’t know how long he’d been a vampire, but she guessed by all the knowledge he possessed he must be pretty old.
The tantalizing references he’d dropped about some of the places he’d been and history he’d seen were addictive. When he found out she was interested in such things, more curious tidbits of information followed…almost as if he were dangling the proverbial carrot before her nose. Seductive, devious male…
She’d artfully dodged his more personal questions and observations, and there had been quite a few indications that he wanted to get to know her better. She still wondered how he managed to get her to give him her phone number. Oh, yeah, he’d mentioned that Isabel wanted it…
He seemed more than willing to talk about vampires in general, which had helped keep the conversation flowing quite nicely. She hoped, though, that he’d gotten the point that her privacy was her own.
But in the end, it didn’t matter. Her current problems combined with her trust issues and her commitment issues and…yeah, it wasn’t going to work. Sure, she’d miss hearing him talk in his warm, soothing voice about the places he’d been…and the history he’d seen…and the fascinating, sometimes funny, things he’d done. Of course she’d miss his wicked sense of humor and the way his burning-blue eyes sparkled with devilry and wit.
But, she knew that if she were lucky, he’d figure out for himself how unlikely a pair they’d make and that would be the last of him.
So why did her pulse quicken come dark?
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