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VAMPS...LYCANS...WITCHES...DEMONS...SHAPE-SHIFTERS...ROMANCE...AND THE DELICIOUSLY EROTIC...:)

A Kiss Between Midnight & Dawn; Sephoroth's Return...

Boom
Anjulie䜀 (Anjulie)
0:00/3:14

Blurb;
De' Luna should have known when she saw him in Brander’s reading he was too good to be true.
Just the name Rue implied it!
With looks like that he was a walking orgasm.
And those cerulean baby blues, mixed with that crooked grin; spelled danger with a capital D...

America 1803...

South Carolina...

Providential Olantation


        “No if ye want it done, then do it yerself Cullen.” Rue snapped as he looked out over the plantation.

   “Then yer father will cut ye completely off. The both of ye. Ye cannot continue with this fancy Rue. He’ll not tolerate it for much longer!”

Cullen was his father's solicitor, but a good friend to him as well.

He'd been more of a father to Rue than his actual father had been, and he trusted his advice.

   “And what if it is not my wish too Cullen, what then?”

   “Unfortunately because of yer father's illness, ye have no choice. The business must go to someone, and since ye are the oldest; the responsibility falls to ye.”

   “I do not want the business of slaves Cullen, can he not see that!” Rue yelled as he walked to the other side of the terrace.

   “There is no one else son. This plantation is worth a vast fortune. Do ye not see ye nor yer brother will ever have to work again? If not for yerself, then do it for the slaves. What do ye think will become of old Moses and his family if ye do not?”

Rue sighed then.

Basically he had no choice.

Kellen was still too young.

  Although 20 seemed old, enough to Rue, but his father would never go for it.

Rue wanted a life so much different from this.

  He knew the slave trade was booming, just by the way his neighbors kept twittering on and on about the new ships arriving everyday.

This sickened him.

To rule over another man was God’s place only.

The owners just didn't get it; because any man in bondage will do whatever it takes to set himself free, and the up rising of Gabriel Prosser three years ago in August of 1800, was evidence of that.

Prosser set out to free himself along with about 1,000 other slaves.

  His plot was to kill most of the white residents and take the town of Richmond, Virginia.

Luckily, for town’s people, a sudden thunderstorm caused the slave revolters to disband. Three other slaves revealed the plot, and Gabriel Prosser and thirty-six of the slaves were identified, tried, and executed.

Rue believed as long as one man was able to rule over another, the desperation of freedom would always come back to this. Not to mention Denmark Vesey’s attempt to overthrow Charleston three years ago as well. Vesey wanted a full-fledged war using armed slaves to kill white slave owners in the city of Charleston.

  Many of the plantations here needed slaves to keep them running, but he was ghastly opposed to it. Nevertheless, what choice did he have, this was his father's business. However, when he was old enough he did make sure there was no violence, raping of the slave women, nor beating of the men.

  He had no choice in the matter, but he would make damn sure these men knew where he stood. Moreover, if not, then they could just get the hell off this plantation.

  He sighed again as he looked to where the slaves quarters were.

  Melina waved and he smiled, but he didn’t wave back.

She was a beautiful woman.

  Long curly black hair and hazel eyes.

  He knew her father had been white, just by the caramel color of her skin and the hazel eyes.

  He’d threatened every man on his father’s plantation with death if they touched her!

  When the time came, she would be his and his alone. At one point, he’d even fancied himself in love with her, and he guessed his father noticed it; because every time he looked for her, she was off at some other plantation doing work. Now that his father was sick, he could love her the way he wanted to, and propriety be damned.

   “Are ye listening to a word I've said Rue?” Cullen asked and he sighed again.

   “Yes Cullen, and fine. It seems I have no other choice in the matter.” Rue muttered and left Cullen standing on the terrace alone.

Three

Weeks Later...

      Three weeks passed. Rue looked at his brother, then sighed, because he knew the vultures would circle soon. He loved his father, but not as much as Kellen did.

  He looked around the cemetery and realized his father did not have one true friend except Cullen.

  Most of these people were business partners, but nothing more.

This was not the life he wanted.

When he died, he wanted no repeat performance of this. He sighed again as he placed his hand on Kellen’s shoulder, and he looked at him.

   “We shall be fine right Rue?” He whispered and Rue shook his head.

  He watched as they placed the box in the ground, put his arm around Kellen’s shoulder, and they both walked off; leaving the hypocrites where they stood.                                                 

                                         *** 

   “But Rue, ye must. It’s what yo pappy wanted.” Melina whispered as Rue touched her shoulder.

   “I know, but I hate it. This is not what I wanted to do with my life Melina! I'm 25 years old, and I'll be stuck here till I die just like him!” Rue wailed, then got up from the bed to pace.

   “But if you don't do it, what’ll happen ta the slaves Rue?” Melina cried as she sat up.

   “We could run away together!” He said going back to the bed kneeling next to it taking her hands in his, and Melina giggled.

   “Mmmm hum. Now I knowed you jus being addle Rue. No you gotta stay here and do what’s right. What good wud runnin off do anywey? Not to mention what bout Kellen?”

   “I know, I’m just speaking nonsense.” Rue countered as he plopped on the bed.

   “Good, now come back to bed. Yo brutha gone be lookin fo you soon anywey.” She said grinning, and Rue had to smile.

He loved his Melina.

She always knew how to sooth him no matter what.                                      

Nine Months Later...

Slave Quarters...

        Melina felt as if she was being ripped apart as the scream left her throat.

   “She aien’t doin well Master.” Maris said shaking her head as she looked at Rue.

   “The babe be turned, and she cain’t push him out right. Gracie is tryin to turn him. It’s best if you go wait up at the house Master. Moses wull come git you when it’s done.”   Maris replied, but Rue shook his head.

   “No, I'm staying here with her.” He countered and walked to the bed and took her hand.

   “You...know...you shouldn...t be here Rue.” Melina wheezed as another series of pains wracked her body.

   “I'm staying.” He whispered smoothing the saturated hair from her face, and she nodded.

   “Okay, Melina I turned him, but you gotta push now!” Gracie yelled.

Melina shook her head.

   “I cain't Gracie.” She moaned.

   “Melina, you must or you'll both die.” Rue coached.

He suddenly got behind her and sat her up slightly. Melina bore down, then pushed with all her might.

   “I see the head!” Gracie shouted, Maris frowned at her, then positioned herself between Melina’s legs to receive the baby.

  “Oncet mo Lina, you can do it!” Maris shouted and Melina shook her head again.

   “Yes ye can my love, one more time.” Rue said as his embrace on her tightened, and she screamed.

The baby’s wail erupted the silent night, and Rue smiled kissing her forehead.

   “Ye did it Lina.” He whispered and she smiled.

   “Put her back on the bed boy, I got ta clean her up. Here, yo son.” Maris said as she handed the baby to Rue.

He looked down and gasped.

If no one told you, you would never know he was part colored.

The downs on the top of his head were blonde, and he stared up at Rue with cerulean blue eyes, just like his.

   “Lina, Lina honey look at me.” Maris called, and Rue looked to the bed.    

              “Melina, look sweetheart we have a son.”

   “Take care of him Rue, keep him with you please. Don’t let them take em.” She whispered as the single tear rolled down her cheek.

   “I will. I promise!” He swore, then kissed her forehead.

She smiled up at him and sighed one last time.

   “There wusn’t nuthin we could do Massa. The babe wus jus too much for her.” Maris whispered, Rue nodded, then got up shocked.

   “I'll take the babe.” Maris countered as Rue started for the door.

   “No he’s my son. I promised her.”

   “But you cain’t! He’s colored.” Maris cried shocked.

   “And my son.” Rue stated menacingly, and Maris took a step back.

   “Yes suh." She replied and he left the slave quarters with the baby.

        The Big 

House...

   

 “How’s Melina?” Kellen asked as Rue came in, and he shook his head blinking rapidly.

   “Bother, I'm so sorry Rue. I know how ye felt about her.” Kellen said as he got up and embraced his brother. “Let’s see, my nephew. Ye know father would be turning over in his grave right about now?” Kellen grinned, and Rue smiled slightly.

Melvin Ashcroft believed coloreds were good for one thing, work.

   “My god Rue, if one did not know Melina, they’d swear he was white.

  “I know, I thought the same. But look, he looks just like her.” Rue replied smiling as they both looked down on the baby.

   “And what shall ye call him?” 
               “I’ve not a clue. Ye?”

   “Hummm...let’s see.” Kellen said pensively as he handed his brother a brandy.

   “But ye do have to send for a wet nurse.”

   “I know, I’m still reeling Kel. Melina is dead. My brain can’t seem to wrap around that.”

   “I know, and I’m so sorry.”

   “Moses?” Rue called, and he suddenly appeared.

  “Yah suh.” He answered as he bowed.

   “I want Melina buried in the family plot.” He stated, and Moses eyes threatened to pop out.

   “Suh?”

   “Ye heard me Moses, and let me know when the men are ready. Also, send one of the girls to the house. My son will need a nurse.” He said looking up from the baby. Moses shook his head, bowed then left.

   “Ye know the people around here are gonna call ye crazy right? A slave buried in our family plot?”

   “Yes, but I care not. Do ye have a problem with it Kel?” Rue asked his brother frowning.

   “Of course I don’t. I know how ye felt about her; I'm merely saying is all.”

Gretchen walked into the room and curtsied.

   “Suh, you wanted a nurse?”

   “Ye may use the room at the top of the stairs on the left of the hallway. When he’s fed, place him down for the night and I’ll check on him later. Ye and yer son may move into the room next to his.”

   “Yes suh.” She replied and walked off with the baby.

   “How about Cerulean?”

   “What?" Rue asked confused.

  “Cerulean...the babe?”

  “It’s rather unusual don’t ye think?”

   “Yes, well his birth is rather unusual too ye might say.” Kellen laughed.

   “Why not.”Rue grinned nodding.                                                           

       Eight

Months Later...

    “Has Jones found out what’s been killing the cattle Kellen?”

   “Not yet, and he’s even camped out for days too.”

   “Ye think it might be some of Timmons’s people?”

   “Not sure, but from the way they were butchered someone’s definitely trying to leave us a message. Not to mention, the fact that they were completely drained.”

   “Shite, we can’t afford another slaughter like that Kel. The tobacco floats this entire plantation, but we need the cattle as well.”

   “I know, I promised Jones I’d watch with him tonight.”

   “Are ye sure?”

  “Yes, I'll be fine. Jones is an excellent marksman.”

   “Fine, just let me know when yer leaving Kel.”

   “Will do.” Kellen grinned as he walked towards the foreman’s quarters.

As Rue walked into the house, he heard Gretchen’s voice.

   “Cerri no!” She yelled as Cerulean wobbled to stand against the table, then picked up his father’s cigar and put it into his mouth.

Rue laughed, picking the grinning baby up.

   “What a naughty boy ye are then. Just like yer father huh?” He said, the baby gurgled, and Rue kissed him.

   “I'll put him down Gretchen. Ye can go tend to Manny.” He smiled and walked towards the stairs.

  As he walked into the nursery, he looked at the rocker, pulled the curtains back so he could see the stars, then sat down.

   “Look stars.” He whispered pointing up at the sky. Cerulean paused from chewing on Rue’s fingers to look as if he understood him completely.

   “Yer mummy loved the stars.” He said, and the baby grinned.

Rue kissed his forehead, settled him on his chest, then began to hum to him patting his back.

   “He's mine, just like I swore he would be Lina.” He whispered as he looked out the window. 

   After some time, he looked down and realized Cerulean was asleep. He smiled, then placed him in his bed. Rue kissed his forehead one last time, then walked from the room.

  He needed to find his brother, and see about those damn cows.

Why his father ever invested in cows, he would never know.

   As he walked out of the front door, he smelled a metallic scent.

   What the bloody hell was that?

  He frowned as he walked towards the slave quarters.

Maybe Moses knew what it was.

  As he drew closer, he smelled fire. He paused shocked as he saw the men heaping bodies on the fire.

   What the fuck?

  Something caught his attention, and he saw it was Kellen.

The woman had him by the shirtfront, his entire body suspended in the air.

   “Rue...get Cerri!” He screamed, and the men saw him. “Go Rue!” Kellen screamed, and to Rue’s horror the woman sank her teeth into his throat.

Rue ran for the house then.

  As he skidded to a stop in the foyer, he saw both Gretchen and Manny lying on the floor.

   “No! No! Cerri!?”He yelled and took the stairs two at a time.

When he reached the bedroom, he paused.

He knew already he was too late.

  He took a deep breath, the sound of his own heartbeat pounding in his ears as he walked to the bed.

To his shock, Cerulean wasn’t in his bed.

   “Looking for this?” She purred, and he slowly turned around.

She was holding Cerulean by the tail ends of his blanket.

Rue made a move towards her, and was grabbed by two men.

   “See we mostly bother no one. Nomads if ye like, but we will defend our own.” She snarled as her eyes began to swirl.

  What the hell was she?

Rue asked himself.

If he could just keep her talking, maybe he could get close enough to grab Cerri.

   “Ahmmm no. He’s mine. I haven’t tasted infant blood in centuries.” She grinned, let her teeth graze the baby’s neck, and he wailed.

  “Please don’t...he’s just a baby...my son. Whatever ye want, just take it. Just don’t hurt ma son!” He cried, and she looked at him.

   “Yer son? I thought the holy white southerners of this state were above mixing with the mongrels?” She grinned.

   “Gwyneth. Get the bloody fuck on with it. The sun will rise soon. We don’t have time for yer games!” One of the men spat, she was suddenly next to Rue, and the man.

   “Don’t rile me Manix; ye’ll not like it if ye do.”

  “"Why are ye doing this?” Rue shouted.

   “Because yer man...what was it? Ahh yes...Jones killed my brother.” She replied as she cooed to Cerulean.

   “And what has it to do with me?” Rue questioned frowning.

   “Everything, for ye are his master.”

   “He only works for me. I am not his master!”

   “Was he not under yer leadership nonetheless? So ye have taken my brother, and I have taken yer’s.” She smiled, then someone threw Kellen into the room.

Rue struggled to get lose of the men’s grip, but couldn't.

   “Well, at least not for long. Now, yer turn.” She smiled, and he was instantly looking into her eyes.

How had she moved so fast?

   She threw her head back, and he moaned as her teeth sank into the soft flesh in the curve of his neck.

  Just when he figured he was near death, she released him, and he sank to the floor.  She continued to caress the baby.

   “Who...who are ye?”

   “Why lovie?” She asked laughing.

   “So I’ll know who to kill later if I live.” He whispered, and she threw her head back laughing.

   “We shall see love, we shall see. I’ll be waitin.” She countered, and the last thing Rue heard was her laughter, and Cerulean’s cries.        

   Seattle

Washington 2008...

    Brander's Books & Things... 

 

   I walked into Branders just as the day seemed to turn even grayer, and just a bit colder. I immediately went to the coffee shop and ordered a caramel Americano. The girl at the counter said it would take a few minutes, so I could go get whatever I was looking for. I nodded and went to the horror section.

I loved the paranormal.

I thought about Jeff then.

 He always ripped me for reading this stuff. Then he’d tell me the legends of long ago of his country, and I never got tired of it; because each time he told it I learned something new.

  I laughed as I picked the book up and looked at the back jacket.

Humm, this one sounded good.

Vampires.

I thought as I put it under my arm and looked at a couple more.

   “Dé Luna...Caramel Americano.” I heard the girl say over the speaker, walked back to the counter, paid, then sat down with my books.

  I took off my coat, then decided to get a piece of coffee cake even though my thighs were screaming not to.

  As I sat back down, I felt someone staring at me. I turned to the side, and there he sat.

  My breath caught, and my mouth formed the letter O.  I composed myself and pretended to look at the back of the book; so I could have a better look at him.

Oh, my, God. 

He was so handsome. A slight smile played on his lips, almost as if he knew what I was doing.

  He had light brown hair to his shoulders, and from where I sat what looked like cerulean eyes.

I frowned then.

Could someone really have cerulean eyes?

What was cerulean anyway?

I suddenly thought about that.

I guess you could say like a blue silver?

  His facial features where very strong both chin and jaw, and what looked like maybe a two days growth on his face. He had a piercing in his left ear, a gold hoop and a stud above it. My, God, he was an orgasm just waiting to happen, I suddenly thought; and I felt my cheeks turning red.

Where the hell had that come from?

That was so not like me!

  I glanced at him quickly, then back to the book. When he smiled, his eyes seemed to sparkle. He had a book in front of him as well, but no drink.

  Guess he didn't do coffee?

I inconspicuously looked him up and down, and from what I could see, because he was seated, was delicious. He smiled again, and I looked away smoothing my bangs over the side of my face. I’d kept my bangs long just for that.  

I glanced at him again, this time our eyes locked, and he grinned.

I quickly looked away thinking Fuck, so busted.

  I saw him get up from the corner of my eye, and prayed he wasn’t coming over to me.

He passed me by and I sighed my relief. However, I watched him pass. He smiled again, nodded, then walked to the other side of the bookstore. I watched until he was out of sight.

My, God he was handsome, but I shook my head.

No, I was not ready for that.

I breathed a silent “Whew!”

  I had turned down so many dates in the last four years, I’d lost count.

  Who wanted to date someone who looked like me anyway?

  Stop!

  I yelled at myself. 

I got up, put my gloves and jacket back on, then walked to the counter. I paid for the two books, then left the bookstore.

Pennington

Park...

      I stopped in the park for a while, and just watched the children play. I chuckled as three of the smaller ones tried to build a snowman, but his head kept rolling off. I laughed out right, when they gave up on it and decided to make snowballs instead; then started throwing them at the bigger kids.

It’d been a long time since I’d had a snowball fight.

I thought laughing.

        “Hay, its Ms. Grainger!” Albert Finnegan one of my students shouted, and they looked my way.

        “Get her!” Billy Cox screamed, and I jumped up from the bench laughing. 

I ran towards the snow pile skidding to a stop, then stooped to pick up some snow. I felt a snowball tag me in the back as I rose, then laughed. I looked behind me, and Selena Mendez was laughing.

            “This means war baby!” I shouted, made a snowball, then hit Billy Cox in the chest.

             “Ahhhh!” He screamed, and they charged me laughing.

I couldn’t get them balled fast enough, so it was pretty brutal.

  Finally laughing, I hugged each of them, then told them was captured and done.    They laughed and ran back to their play.

  I took a seat on the bench gasping for breath, and realized I was so out of shape. Kids were so resilient, I thought smiling as Debbie Chang got smacked in the face with a snowball,  shook it off; then charged  Micah Jones and tackled him to the snow laughing.

  I sighed, to be that young again.

No cares, no worries, but to just be a child and spend your day throwing snowballs looked really good from where I was sitting.

  I suddenly felt someone watching and turned sharply.

However, when I did, there was no one there.

I rubbed the back of my neck.

Don’t you hate that eerie feeling which makes the hair on the beck of your neck stand on end?

I would swear someone was watching me. I Shook it off, then turned my attention back to the kids smiling.

  I was turning 34 years old in six mouths, and I already felt as if I were forty.

My mom continues to tell me I need a husband, and Jeff would have wanted it that way, but every time she says it, I feel like slapping her.

I just need more time, I tell her and she just shakes her head sighing. I sighed myself , got up from the bench waving to the kids, then laughed as they screamed bye.     

                                 *  

  Rue watched her smiling. 

He was longing for a snowball fight himself.

It’d been at least 75 years since he’d had one. He’d laughed as they charged her, and she screamed jumping around to get the snow out of her back. The blonde boy screamed, and the war began. Rue couldn’t help laughing. He moved behind the tree just in time, so the snowball missed him.

The little girl noticed him, he put his finger to his lips grinning, and she nodded going back to the fight. Rue thought about that.

Thank the lord he wasn't a pervert, because children were so trusting.

He thought about Cerri and his heart, if he’d actually had one ached. He noticed the smaller mixed race boy laughing with the blonde curls and blue eyes, and sighed.

  It was exactly as he pictured his son looking.

She suddenly screamed stop, laughing.

She hugged each of them, then surrendered.

Rue smiled as she sat back down on the bench. She turned his way, and he stepped back behind the tree.

Shite, that was close.

    He thought, then peered around the tree again. She was faced the other way.

    He watched her wave to the children, then head out the park. He stepped from behind the tree then.

Was he a freak for following her?

No, he laughed to himself.

She just intrigued him.

He told himself as he walked out the park then too. To his surprise, the children shouted good-bye to him as well, and he laughed waving back.

Tower  Arms...

        As I walked home, I decided to call Jen and see what she was doing tonite. 

    When I came through the door, the phone was ringing. I caught it on the fourth ring.

    “Hello?”

    “Hey. It's me. Whatcha doin tonite?”

    “Nothin, I was just about to call you to see what you were doing.” 

   “I'm goin to this poetry reading tonite, wanna go?”

    “Hell no, you know how I feel about poetry.” I cried laughing and she groaned.

    “C’mon...you might like it. And who knows you might see someone ya like.”

    “I'll go, but I'm not lookin.”

    “You know Dé it’s been four years now. He wouldn’t want you spending the rest of your life pinning away for him. He’d want you out there, living it.” She said and I blinked back the tears.

    “I know, and I’m trying Jen. I promise I am. Who knew your brother would be my complete world.” I whispered and she sighed.

   “And you were his babe, now no more talk of sadness. I'll be there to pick you up at 7:30.”

   “Okay, but why so early?”

   “Because it starts at eight, and the fucken vultures will be there by then.”

  “Vultures?” I laughed.

   “Yeah the guy reading is sooo hot, you would not even believe. He’s actually got a set of groupies who follow him around.”

  “That’s just crazy. Okay, see you at 7:30.” I grinned and was about to hang up, when her voice caused me to pause.

   “Dé I know you don’t want to, but it’s at Simian’s.”

  “Crap, so that means I have to actually put some clothes on?” I whined and she laughed.

  “Yeah. I’ll see you at 7:30.” She laughed and hung up.

  I looked up at the clock.

It was only 1pm, good. I had enough time for a nap.

  I ripped off my clothes, then snuggled down between the blankets again. 

What else were you supposed to do on a snow day?

I got up and set the clock for 6:30.  That would give me at least an hour to get dressed.  I got back into the bed and sighed.

Mmmm, now this was what I’m talkin bout!

I could feel myself drifting already.          

                             ***  

   I was somewhere between sleep and wakefulness, when I heard someone call my name. I sighed yes, and he appeared.

My, God, he handsome.

    He pulled me to him, and the kiss he laid on me made my toes curl. He touched my face, and I drew away from him. He pulled me back smiling, then kissed first my eyelids, the side of my face, only to rest his lips in the curve of my throat. 

     He laid me back on this humongous bed, then eased himself down with me. As his hands caressed my skin, a deep moan left my lips. He smiled and brought his lips back to mine, then lowered his head, as his lips touched my skin I screamed.

      God, what was he doing to me?

Just the slightest touch from him, and I felt this enormous heat sear my body. His lips went from mine, to my throat, to my breast, then back up to my throat

          “I can make this disappear. All ye have to do is ask.”  He whispered, as he sucked the skin in the curve of my neck into his warm mouth and I sighed. I felt a slight prick then. He drew back from me..

   As I looked up, it was into those cerulean eyes!

I suddenly jerked awake gasping.

     I fumbled for the light, and the clock on the bedside table said 6:26. I sighed, rubbed my eyes, my neck, then got up.

What the fuck was that?

What a weird dream.

     I guessed I should stop reading that stuff.

I sighed shaking my head.

I went to my closet and pulled out the black dress. Simians’ was kind of swanky, and I wondered why they would have a poetry reading there. 

                                          *** 

 When I finished dressing, I went to the closet, got out my long coat, then went to the window.

Yeah, just what I thought.

It was snowing.

Bob the weather guy should be slapped twice for this hot mess.

 Sunny skies my ass!

    I looked at my face in the living room mirror then. I’d curled my hair, so it pretty much covered that side of my face. Only the very end of the scar was noticeable, and if it was dark enough in there, you couldn’t see it at all.

     I sighed again as I put my coat on, as I heard Jen coming up the stairs. I opened the door and she smiled. Sometimes it hurt just to look at her. She and Jeff were twins, so certain expressions looked exactly alike.

        “Hey, like the hair.” She said smiling as I locked the door. 

My hair was to my butt now, and the only reason I hadn’t cut it was because of Jeff. He liked it long.

My mom is Peruvian and Creole, and my dad German. I guessed I must have taken more of the black blood, because unless I straightened it my hair curled. Nevertheless, what most people noticed were the hazel eyes. Black hair made hazel eyes stand out.

     That was completely weird, because both my parents had brown eyes.  My mom said her mother; my grandmier had hazel green eyes. My mom is from New Orleans, or Nworlens as they said it, and my dad California. How they got together, I would never know.

       I moved to Seattle Washington after I graduated from graduate school, because I’d always wanted to try living somewhere different. We’d lived in New York, New Orleans, and Chicago when I was a kid, so I wanted to do something entirely different.

       I’d been here for six years now, and was at Mel’s Coffee house when I met Jeff and Jen. We hit it off instantly, and later that week when he asked me out. I was surprised. We'd just gotten engaged when the accident happened.

        I shook myself.

Not tonight.

I'm gonna think happy thoughts, I said to myself as I got into the taxi.

        “Why so quite?” Jen asked grinning.

        “I’m good. So why is it a Simians’? Isn’t it a bit swanky for a poetry reading.”

        “Yeah it is, but I told you there’s something about this guy which just screams sex!”

          “What?” I laughed. “You never said that.” She grinned sheepishly.

          “Oh. I didn’t? Well I meant to, and he does. You’ll see.” She replied as we got out of the taxi and headed towards the restaurant.    

          Simian’s Upscale

Bar & Grille...

     The bouncers let us in with a smile, and I was amazed at how crowded it was.  It was mostly woman too.

     We walked to the back, took a booth, and as Jen took her coat off I was surprised to see she wore a dress. I looked at her and she smiled.

          “I’m second.” She grinned.

           “Second, for what?”

            “I'm on after him. And if my mangers knew they'd kill me.” She responded nodding to the stage.

I gasped as I saw the man come on stage.

Whoa, he was hot!

            “Oh, yeah he’s way hot too. That’s Kellen; his brother’s who these ladies are here to see. Kellen’s a musician. Moreover, from what I hear pretty big in England. He’s tryin to get his feet wet here. I wrote a new song and I wanna try it out.” I looked at her again and she grinned.

     Jen had just been sighed to one of Seattle’s hottest record labels, and I remembered when she called me up screaming.  I laughed because she was so excited, so I screamed with her.

      As I listened to the song, I realized he had a very nice pleasing voice. He would make it big here too I thought, because he sounded like James Morrison. When he finished he took a bow, and the women in the crowd went wild. I laughed as I watched the men grudgedly give him applause too.

With a face like that you could just feel the “Hater Aid” flowing.

     The lights dimmed, and Jen came onto the stage. I’d been so engrossed in the song, I didn’t even notice when she’d left.

         “This song is for a very special friend of mine, who’s like a sister to me. This is for you Dé.”

    She called out, and I could feel my face turn scarlet as everyone in the restaurant turned to look my way.

I was gonna kill her later!

      It was a beautiful song, and I had to dab at the corners of my eyes. I could tell from the way she sang it, it wasn’t just to me. I felt as if I could feel Jeff's presence. She blew me a kiss when she was done, and the crowd cheered and whistled.

Jen was awesome. If I had a sister I’d want her to be just like Jen.

      The lights dimmed once again; there was complete silence as if the crowd held their breath, then a spotlight on a solitary chair.

       He walked out, and I nearly choked on my drink.

It was the guy from the book store!

         “What, told you he was hot.” Jen suddenly whispered as she took a seat next to me.

         “I just saw him today at the bookstore.” I whispered back, as he sat in the chair.

      He cleared his throat, and as he spoke I swear to you I felt a hand caress me, and from the looks and sighs of the other women present so did they.

         “One of the most exquisite times of nightfall is moonlight, so I thought I’d share what moonlight means to me.” He said, then looked directly my way.

I took a deep trembling breath.

       Encase you didn’t know, Dé Luna means the moonlight. Most of my friends just shorten it to Dé. Your guess is as good as mine is why my country ass mother named me that.

       Someone put a mic stand in front of him, and a book miraculously appeared out of nowhere. As I looked around the restaurant, I was surprised to see they were at capacity and mostly women.

When the hell had that happened?

It was wall-to-wall females! 

      “The first one is by, “Lelly John”, but I've elected to change a few of the words to both.”

    He said smiling, then he looked in my direction again. Jen and I’d taken a back booth, but I swear to you it was like he was looking directly at me; which should have been next to impossible because of the huge ass spotlight!

He cleared his throat again, then spoke; 

“Moonlight shining on her pillow, as she lies asleep.

Is her skin...cool to the touch as it rests upon my cheek

The shooting stars that are her eyes...dance and glimmer just for me.

The cool and quiet night is wise.

With you...O night I flee. In my world of ancient dreams, that have been dreamt before.

My love for you...O mortal seems another ancient door.

People love for days and nights, and shall forever care.

But you, my heart, eternally with no other love compares.”

    When he finished, I'm telling you the entire place was about to swoon. I had to take a few deep breaths to steady myself as well.

       “Shall I go on ladies?” He asked, they applauded, then threw roses at him. I grinned shaking my head.

My, God, he was such a P.I.M.P 

“The next is “Moonlight Nights”, by Bernard Howe;

The clear sky seems to glow...with the moon so big and bright. Lighting up our hillsides...with iridescence light.

The shadows hide amongst the trees, whilst I listen to the gentle breeze. She is a night time opera in front of me, a magical moment under a grand marquee.

For now I know that no other woman alive, could ever produce the

kind of splendor that she does in me. One in which a heart beats faster,

one which makes my heart surrender.

The beauty within her eye light fills me with a passion, a deep delight. Lakes sparkle from smile to rarest smile, a beauty no one could ever ignore. How can the light of her eyes have such a glow, a warmth so bold to comfort my cold soul. A beauty from heaven to help us believe, that a man can truly love a woman body and soul, a knowledge that can make each of us whole... 

      I suddenly felt lightheaded, and grabbed for the bottle of water in front of me.

Damn!

       I really needed some fresh air.

I thought, pointed to the door and Jen nodded. When I got outside, I heard applauds again and smiled.

Well he sure as hell knew how to work em. I thought laughing. I took in the night, and as I looked up I saw it was a full moon. The crisp night air stung my face a little, which was weird because it’d been raining earlier. As I looked up again, you could clearly see the moon shining. The night was cold, but it was better than the stuffiness of the restaurant.

        “Didn’t like the reading?” Someone asked, and as I turned, I was surprised to see him standing there with a bottle of water. He smiled as he offered it to me, and I shook my head raising my own.                

“Actually, they seemed to love it, but then I guess you already knew that huh?” I replied, and he grinned.

             “But did ye like it?” He asked, then took a step towards me. Instinctively I touched my face and took a step back.

He frowned.

               “It was fine.” I said, as I made sure my hair was covering my face as I turned away from him.

He had a very sexy voice, I thought.

There was a slight southern drawl to it, but I couldn't place it. Nevertheless, it seemed as if he was British as well, because he’d said Ye and not You.

                “It was for ye.” He whispered, and I turned to look at him. He took a step towards me again, and I looked at him.  He was directly in front of me now. As I looked up into those beautiful eyes of his, I sighed.

               “Why was it for me?” I whispered back.

Before I realized it, my arms were around his neck.

                “Hay dude!” Someone shouted, we broke apart, me turning my back to him.

What devil was wrong with me?

I’d never kissed someone I’d just met in all my life!

                “Breaks’ up man. The cougars are chanting.” The guy said laughing, and I must have turned six shades of red as I turned back towards them. He nodded, but didn’t look at the guy; he was still looking at me.

                “Stay.” He said quietly, and I stared at him open mouthed.

I nodded, because for some reason words left me. He turned walking back into the restaurant. I swallowed the lump in my throat, reached in my pocket, then took out my cell phone.

I really needed to go home.

I called Jen then.

                “Hey, where are you? I can barely hear you!” She shouted into the phone.

              “I’m outside, but I think I’m just gonna head home. I’ve got a headache.” I yelled into the receiver.

              “Okay, I’ll come by later.” She yelled, I said okay, then hailed a taxi.

On the ride home, I felt so guilty.

     That kiss had taken the breath from me, I couldn't help it. He’d touched something in me I wasn’t ready to let out. Jeff had only been gone for four years. 

No, I couldn’t do that to him.

I whispered vehemently as I closed my eyes.

     As I did, the guy’s image filled my head and I shouted no.

The taxi driver looked in the rear view mirror as if he thought I was crazy.

        “Sorry, just thinkin aloud.” I grinned sheepishly, then he stared at me for several moments before the light turned green.                                          

Salle de 

Ľamour …

      As Jobey opened her eyes, she immediately knew she wasn’t in Kansas, as they say anymore. She instantly felt the presence of someone else.

What the hell, she frowned as the fire place lit.

   “I’ve always liked the look of it… it seems to just set the mood no matter what. Don’t ye think? One would think I would have issues with it, but surprisingly; I’m rather quite found of looking at it.” He said.

Jobey gasped as she turned to see him in the far chair with a brandy sifter in his hand. Her eyes widened, and she took a step back.

She knew that fucken sifter anywhere.

There was an engraved S on the foot of it, in what looked to be blood.

   “Sephoroth?” She whispered, and he smiled.

   “Umm…yes love. Miss me?” He whispered, sat forward, and Jobey screamed. The entire left side of his face was deeply burned, but she knew those eyes anywhere.

   “Surly you didn’t think after two thousand years love, a little fire would expend with me?” He asked, then took a step towards her.

She gasped, because he was instantly standing in front of her. She screamed as she felt his fangs sink into her neck.

   “You owe me my sweet.” He whispered as he jerked her body into his, just before his fangs sank deeper.

                                        

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