Inside the Mind of a Vampire: Volume One
|After||The Awakening (chapter 1)|
|Before||Damali's Journal: Volume Two|
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Inside the Mind of a Vampire: Volume Two
Raven had just left him and he could feel her presence, even here, as he stood in front of his grandmother’s house. What else did Raven want? He’d screwed her; he’d fed from her. That was all there was to the thing.
But when it came to Damali, the distraction Raven presented got on his last nerve. He could feel his shoulders relax as soon as Raven’s vapor essence vanished—good riddance. He needed a few moments alone to get himself together and to develop a plan before something else jumped off.
The attraction to Damali was unfinished business long before any new vampire madness had occurred. The Vampire Council wanted her, Nuit wanted her, he wanted her—everybody had an agenda. Fact was, he didn’t start this mess with the so-called, Neteru, but he’d damned sure finish it—his way. What was a Neteru anyway? He’d heard the definition, but what did it really mean?
All he knew was that, she was supposed to be his woman, but was so stubborn that they always fought about everything. Then she’d flip the script on him and try to give him a conscience. It was way too late for that. But wanting her, well… that part had never changed. Think. If he was all-powerful now, there had to be a way in. He’d already conquered her heart, and her body was… He’d seen her first, had to tap it once, had to be the one to break her in; the Universe owed him that much. Carlos smiled and remained invisible. That had to be a part of the deal. No way he could just walk from her.
Suddenly he became very still and allowed his mist form to blend further into the night. Who was he fooling? He needed to stop playing with his own mind. Damali was way more than some conquest. Had been since the day he laid eyes on her. A man didn’t hang around hoping, protecting some woman just for mere conquest. The thought was sobering. Girlfriend had more than his nose open, always did… she had his heart, and that vulnerability frightened him almost as much as what he’d just witnessed.
Day one, her eyes and voice had slayed him. Day one, her gentle but fiery spirit had awakened something within him that he didn’t even know existed… and he’d been willing to wait for her on her own terms… yeah… hoping and praying and being more strung out by her than any product he’d ever moved. But tonight, his sweet addiction transcended the emotional or spiritual connection—at the moment it was physical and complicated by everything he was trying his best to forget. All of it was linked. She was like a pair of handcuffs, a merger of mind, body, spirit that he couldn’t break away from to save his life. He needed to get real and deal with that.
The more he cared about her, the more he wanted her, and the more danger she was in, the more intense his secret claim on her became… which only stoked the physical ache to hold her in his arms to the point of being unbearable.
Think, hombre. Frustration almost made him materialize in the middle of the street as he began slowly pacing, feeling trapped by the effect she had on him. Denial was useless. He was crazy about her. Prayer lines would keep him out of her guarded compound, for now, but she’d have to leave the safety of it at some point and patience had always been his virtue. She’d already made him wait five years for her. Timing and strategy was essential. But he, oddly, didn’t want to turn her—just love her hard… they way he’d needed to for years. Communication through touch. All he wanted was to just get next to her and explain all this madness. Carlos chuckled sadly. That was not all he wanted, but even if he couldn’t make love to her, just a moment to stare into her eyes to let her know she’d been so right about everything, might be enough… if he could make her know that no matter what he did or had to do, he wasn’t a monster… well, at least not toward her. He’d never be that to her… just like he’d never allowed her into his predatory lifestyle while living. She had to know that. Yet, even that was probably not all true, either.
It was too confusing. He wanted the total package from her, and keeping all of those things in separate compartments was nearly impossible now that she was broadcasting her hidden feelings in hot, wireless fidelity. Had he only known it was like that for her. Missed opportunities were twisting a knife in his groin. Memory lane was a wicked bitch. Focus.
Carlos closed his eyes and listened to the stillness around him, reaching out for her. Damali was asleep now. Good. Her breaths were deep, long, and steady, sending vibrations past the compound walls… heavy REM. Just sleep, baby. Just a few minutes alone together, he wouldn’t bite her, he had that much control… he was almost sure he did, didn’t he? He was a Master, they’d said, right? He had to pull himself together.
But mid-thought something happened. A mental door opened and Damali’s dreams came through it full force. Carlos cocked his head to the side. Raven had simply taken the edge off the heat, but Damali’s dreams were dousing it with gasoline. She didn’t care if he bit her? She didn’t even know he’d turned! She was fantasizing that he had? Could take a siphon? The temptation made his hands shake and he thrust them into his pockets, considering. Her mental torch made his desire flare again, but this time it was nearly out of control.
That, he did not expect. And he definitely had no idea how strong Damali’s innermost thoughts were. Okay, he was beginning to gain a healthy respect for this being called a Neteru. Incredible… But she still had no concept that he was out there in this situation—in this condition, so close but yet so far.
He felt mild panic surge within him, as he became painfully aware that he couldn’t get inside her head without her consent or get past the barriers the Guardians had erected. She was too strong for that. But if she was ripening, was jonesing for him like that, the Wi-Fi signal was in the air and his kind had principality over the airwaves, possibilities still existed. He shuddered. No. He couldn’t make her what he was. She’d just called him by name in her mind—it was an invitation, the only thing he needed to cross a mental threshold. Damn, if he’d only known she felt like that while he was living.
Stunned by that new reality, he stopped pacing for a moment. Ain’t that a bitch… Okay, he could walk this off. Damned barriers that her mother-seer had put around her were worst than Latex! This was crazy—she could think beyond the walls, but he couldn’t psychically siphon her? Couldn’t deliver a dream-state passion nick? He wasn’t gonna turn her, just nick her. Oh…man… that old doll, Marlene, was no joke. If he wasn’t so messed up, he would have laughed. But it wasn’t funny. He sipped air refusing to give up the struggle. She’d opened her legs for him and had rolled over on her stomach… had called him by name in her sleep… was writhing against the sheets like she wanted to move against him. Aw hell no, he wasn’t walking away from that. Couldn’t. It wasn’t an option. She had him wide open in the middle of the damned street! Baby, why didn’t you tell me?
And why did Damali have to shudder and release another hard gasp in her sleep… shit… Carlos could feel his shirt sticking to him as sweat beaded on his brow, a trickle of it rolling down his temple. He opened his eyes and began pacing again.
His first night out as a newly turned vamp and the most fundamental skill at his disposal—a dream seduction—had backfired on him? If Nuit or the old boys ever got wind of this novice shit he’d never hear the end of it. Worse, yet, they’d call him a punk and would think they didn’t have to negotiate with him. This was dangerous. Made no sense. Just like the way her skin felt like butter and the way she smelled… that fragrance she trailed, and her voice… made absolutely no sense… Same way it made utterly no sense that The Light would send something that hot to hunt the darkness. But, then again, they’d also made the sun—and that shit burned, too, like a mutha. He suddenly laughed to keep from crying.
Carlos rubbed his hands over his face, trying to will away the next shudder that was about to claim him. He needed to feed, had to shake this thing, had to get this woman out of his nose. Had to distance his heart. But how was that possible when he could smell her in his palms as they slid down his damp face? He could literally hear the pulse between her thighs thud in his ears. And he immediately stood very, very still as she arched, convulsed, and woke up breathless. Only then did he start breathing again.
All right. He’d been schooled the hard way. Pull her out of the damned compound. Period. Don’t screw with her barriers—the Guardians had some formidable shit around her. Don’t go in without a plan, no more freelancing without a strategy. This little incident would stay tightly confined within the black box of his mind. He was cool. It was all good. Was just doing a test run at the wall. He needed to put up his own barriers against her. He couldn’t let a woman make him act like this. He had a rep to maintain. But right now, he was putty in her hands… in her mind.
Carlos raked his fingers through his hair as she stood and went to the bathroom. Cool water splashed against her flushed face. Water… he studied the possibilities, being a water sign, a Scorp. Now he was really bugging. In that joint, it was probably Holy water in the pipes and he’d fry. For a few seconds he allowed the thought to wash over him… Oh, yeah, she had him over the top to where he was ready to risk his own survival to be with her. Insane. Dracula went out the same way—assassinated by old man Van Helsing and a young boy, messed up by a two hundred year old love jones for some woman. But it was his woman. Only took two Guardians to hit a wise Master, with some years under his belt, that had lost perspective. Brother was old school, too, and got smoked. Tonight, he could dig it. Yeah, I’d come out of my lair, too, for that. Carlos shook his head. He wasn’t even twenty-four hours old, and didn’t stand a chance against a full team around Damali.
He chuckled at the hopelessness of it all. If he could just be a drop of water right now, though, running out of that tap… He looked up at the moon and put his trembling hands behind his back. This was ridiculous. The shakes would stop in a few. The hard-on would go down if he thought about something else. Use logic, use fear, use the fucked up position you’re in, use reality to get your head together, he told himself. He just had to breathe slowly. Find a point out on the dark horizon to stare at and chill. But one thing for sure, he now had respect for the power of the Neteru.
His gaze went to his mother and grandmother’s house. Hell… his old lover, Juanita, was visiting… trying to be helpful, being a good girl and grieving with them like a wannbe wife. How many times had he told her it was over, that she needed to move on and let sleeping dogs lie? Now why did she have to be over there tonight? Poor substitute, but she beat a blank.
Yeah, baby, come on outside and help a brother take the edge off.
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