I popped to just inside the forest and turn to see Eric standing where I left him. He is still just as beautiful even from this distance. He only stays a moment before he shoots into the sky just as if he was an arrow shot from my bow. He is out of sight in seconds. It feels as if he ripped my heart from my chest and took it with him. It is disturbing how attached I am to this vampire already, after just one night. One absolutely incredible night mind you. But still just one. I am in so much trouble.
I feel a shimmer in the air around me and know I am about to be joined by another faerie. Must be Grandfather sending someone to check up on me. After the pop, there stands my cousin Claude in all his insolent splendor. He is my only male cousin, one of three triplets. His sisters Claudine and Claudette round out the trio. “Good evening, Claude. Here to make sure I am well, I presume? You are so thoughtful cousin,” I say smiling sweetly. He hates me, so I enjoy goading him. Of course Claude hates everyone but himself so I am not too put out about it.
“Ordered to, is more like it,” he growls.
Claude is a shock even to a faerie’s eyes. He is so blindingly gorgeous, it almost hurts to look at him. His hair is as black as tar and twice as shiny. His skin is smooth, flawless, and as tawny as a field of wheat. His nose is perfectly straight and not too big or pointy at the end either. Just the ideal size and shape. Bright, glowing green eyes observe the world with barely contained malice. They are edged with long lush lashes and topped by superbly arched brows. He is a good height and very well built, though not as nicely built as Eric. In my opinion anyway. All the young fae girls fawn over him back in Faerie, much to his disgust. Claude likes his lovers to be of the male persuasion. To me he is too perfect. Not to mention he is a complete arse. Apparently I like my men more rugged. Tall, blond-haired, blue-eyed and of the vampire persuasion evidently help too. Who would have thought?
“Grandfather insisted I check on you when you did not return earlier this evening. I decided it would be best not to interrupt your little frolic with the fanged blonde giant, so I waited patiently for you to finish. I must say you have excellent taste in men cousin, even if you like your sex on the dangerous side,” he says with a very smug look on his face.
I thought Eric took my heart with him earlier, but since it is now stuck in my throat, I guess he did not. I immediately have an arrow pressing into Claude’s throat. “If you dare breathe a word of this to anyone I will hurt you, Claude, and you know I can. It is my business and mine alone. DO. YOU. UNDERSTAND. ME. DEAR. COUSIN?” I signify my threat by pressing my arrow deeper into his skin with each word. He hisses at me, but backs off. He knows I can best him any day. While I have spent most of my life training to fight and kill, Claude has spent his lounging around being waited on.
“If you want to fuck with a vampire and get yourself drained, be my guest. What do I care?” he spits hatefully.
“Claude!” I threaten.
“Fine, you little bitch! I will not tell anyone of your romp with death itself,” he snarls.
“That includes Grandfather,” I demand. He violently rolls his eyes with a huff, “Grandfather too.” I swear he is worse than a spoiled child!
“And by the way, Eric is NOT death!” I yell, surprising even myself.
“My my, so touchy,” he sneers.
“Shut up, Claude. I have had enough of you for one night. Let us just go home. I will check in with Grandfather myself,” I sigh.
“Fine with me. I have much better things to do than check on your mongrel ass. Bye, mutt,” he says, wiggling his fingers at me and leaving with a pop. Grrr, he is such an arrogant bastard!
I turn and look back longingly to the lake once more. If only Eric and I could have stayed in our private, and very pleasant, bubble forever. I suppose the sooner I leave, the sooner we will be back together. I close my eyes and imagine his handsome face smiling down at me one more time before popping back into Faerie.
I land in my favorite spot, down by the river that runs behind the palace. I am not yet ready to explain my whereabouts to Grandfather. He will feel that I am home and safe. That is good enough for now.
I am still fuming from my spat with Claude. He is such a selfish prick. Excuse my language, but it is nothing but the truth. He is right about one thing though. I am a mongrel and a mutt, at least to all the full blooded faeries around here. While they are pure bloods I, on the other hand, am a half blood. Half faerie, half human. All the full blooded faeries hate me for it. If you are not pure, you are filth. It is why my Mother wanted to keep my brother and I in the human realm. She knew we would not be treated well. She was right.
My Mother, Einin, was the full fae granddaughter of Niall Brigant, the King of Faerie. Her Father, Fintan, was Naill’s first born son. He died within days of Einin’s birth in the vampire-fae war. Her Mother also died giving birth to her, so Niall raised Einin as his own, just as he has me. She became the daughter he never had. Grandfather Niall says that I look just like his lovely Einin. I think that is why he loves me so. I remind him of her and probably her father before her. I am all he has left of either of them. He loves that and my essential spark, of course. I barely remember my Mother now, only her golden hair and smiling blue eyes.
I am told she was always drawn to the human realm, staying there more than in Faerie. She fell in love with my Father, Corbett Stackhouse, a human, and married him. Grandfather was not pleased, but knew she was happy so he let her live and love in peace in the human realm. She had my brother Jason three years before I was born. They say he looked just like Uncle Dermont, Grandfather’s youngest son. We lived peacefully and happily on my Father’s farm with my Gran until I was seven. That is when he showed up.
Appius Livius Ocella. The vampire that killed my family and left me an orphan. And apparently the same vampire that killed Eric’s maker and turned him into his own personal slave. A few years before Mother met Father she had caught the eye of a vampire while in the human realm. It was Appius. It is told that he fell madly in love with her, but she did not return the sentiment. She did have an affair with him, but only out of boredom.
How could a full fae and vampire have an affair and her survive it, you ask? My Mother was blessed with an extraordinary gift. No other faerie has ever been known to possess this gift. She could not only mask her scent, she could even influence the smell and taste of her blood. So much so that she could make it smell and taste like any creature she wanted. And Eric thought popping was handy, ha! That blood power would be very convenient to a half blooded faerie vampire hunter like me.
Nevertheless, I am thankful for the ones I do have. I would never have experienced the night I had with Eric if it was not for my masking ability. I will forever be grateful for that! A blush rises to my cheeks just remembering the things he did to me. The things he made me feel, the way he worked my body into a frenzy. My core begins to ache and I feel a distinct wetness begin to dampen my leather pants. Of course that is when Grandfather decides to pop over and have a visit with me. Just lovely.