Dante awoke with a roar, his fangs descended. In full blood lust he felt the need to …
He stopped, not blood lust, but her. The mystery woman, he’d been thinking of her in his dreams.
The thought pulled him up short and he shook his head.
He didn’t dream.
“I do not dream.” He said aloud.
Pushing back the velvet drapes around the bed he stood and padded barefoot to the en suite. The room was small; compact, baring a toilet, shower and washbasin, although he only used the shower. Stripping off he stepped under the hot spray and let the water cascade over him for a long time before picking up the sponge and loading that with shower foam. He began rubbing the sponge over his body, loving the feel of his muscles moving under his skin, feeling the blood pumping round his veins feeding those same muscles with oxygen. He rotated his neck feeling resistance in the muscles, not much but enough to have him frowning.
“Dream.” He murmured again. “How the hell could I have a dream?”
He moved the sponge lower, washing his flat well muscled stomach feeling again the ripple of muscles under his touch. Not a gentle touch like hers would be, no, his was harsher. He closed his eyes as he thought of her and how she would be in his arms, in his bed. Her long hair twisted around his fingers as she lay under him. Her lips swollen from his kisses and that pulse point in her neck throbbing like a drumbeat as he took her.
Dante sucked in a hot breath as he imagined covering her body with his own. Touching her smooth satin skin with his fingers, his mouth devouring hers. Would her eyes meet with his and with the abandon of desire shinning in them or would she look away shyly, her cheeks suffusing with colour as she blushed. Would she call his name as they made love?
A hundred more thoughts ran though his head as he stood under the shower his hand clenching the sponge as a foam of white bubbles escaped and ran over his fingers. He watched fascinated as the slow trickle of them dripped downwards mixing with the hot water and going into the circular drain.
He didn’t even know her name. How could he not have found that out, he asked himself. It seemed like such a glaring oversight not to have a name that fit with that face and that body.
Once more his thoughts drifted to the lush succulent body that had been sheathed in scarlet which if it were true would be an odd choice for the innocent maiden he thought and with a groan he teased himself for the old fashioned mindset that came with being from the time when men ruled the marital home along with everything else.
Dante cursed as his thoughts drifted from misogynist viewpoints to the marital bed or more importantly, her bed. He imagined laying her down on soft cotton sheets, feeling her temporary fear shiver through her limbs before she would wind them around his body and welcome him as a lover. Her kisses would be soft and gentle until he teased more response from her. She would sigh and he would feel her breath drifting across his skin like an intimate caress.
As he thought of her, of how she would look lying under him with pale golden candlelight on her pale skin he found his body hardening in reaction. How could this be? This unbidden lust he had for her. He should walk away and forget her.
Climbing out of the shower at last he roughly towelled himself dry and discarding the sodden towel on the floor he moved through into his bedroom and dressed before stepping out of the room and down the stairs. Walking into the kitchen he moved over to the fridge and took out a bottle of blood.
“Sir?” Jarvis called hurrying into the kitchen from the small parlour on the side.
The man was adjusting his clothes, doing up his jacket and straightening his tie. He looked surprised to see him there, which made Dante frown as he realised that he was up early, the sun having only just gone down.
“Nothing for you to worry about.” Dante told him pulling the cork from the bottle and looking into the ruby depths. He sighed and took a long drink.
“Sir,” Jarvis murmured quickly.
“Fine, ok.” Dante muttered looking at his manservant. “I’m acting a little out of character.”
“Sir,” Jarvis repeated.
“Is that your way of telling me that you are worried about me Jarvis?” Dante said wryly.
“If you are infatuated with this woman and consider yourself acting out of character do you think it’s wise to remain in the area?” Jarvis asked him refraining from adding his usual ‘Sir’ to the end.
“Wise?” Dante asked.
He grinned, amusement dancing in his deep blue eyes.
“Maybe not.” He continued before downing the contents of the bottle. He fastidiously wiped his mouth before collecting the keys of one of the cars and walking out of the front door. “Don’t wait up for me.” He cautioned.
Dante stood outside her apartment watching the lights get switched on inside and the curtains get drawn across the big windows. He waited a heartbeat before walking to the door and knocking on it, ignoring the doorbell.
An aching amount of time later and the door partially opened, the security chain still on.
“You again?” she muttered accusingly.
“Yes it is.” Dante agreed with her. “I need to talk to you.” He told her.
He could smell that sickeningly sweet cloying smell of jasmine again and realised that it was her perfume. It was too heavy for her; she should have something fresher, younger. This was an old maids perfume.
“Well I don’t care what you need, if you don’t leave I’m calling the police.” She murmured and pushed the door closed.
He heard the metal of the bolt rasping against more metal as it was pushed in place and stood looking at the painted panels of the door. If he closed his eyes and focused he would be able to hear her heart beating the other side of the wooden barrier and tempted though he was he resisted the urge to do just that.
“You’re still there aren’t you?” she called softly.
“What do you want with me?” she asked.
“Open the door and I’ll tell you.”
Beth looked at her hand as she reached to do just that before correcting the movement and pulling her hand down to her side.
“No.” she cried out.
“Please.” Dante said.
He started in surprise at his tone of voice and the note of begging that had entered it.
He was Dante De’allango from Venice, Italia and he. Did. Not. Beg. His pride stung he turned and walked down the three steps to the grey pavement away from her and the situation when he paused and turned back to look in surprise at the opening door behind him.
“Who are you?” she asked slowly looking at him.
Dante returned her look just as slowly. She was wearing jeans that were skin tight and emphasised her long legs and a white loose top and her luscious hair was pinned up on top of her head.
“My name is Dante.” He told her slowly, his voice as soft as lovers caress.
“I’m Beth.” She said back.
Stepping out barefoot on to the step she reached out a shaking hand towards him touching his skin.
His skin was warm because he’d fed before coming out but more than that she had believed him when he said he was a vampire. Every survival instinct in him was telling him to leave and disappear into the dark night and never see her again. But he knew he couldn’t.
“Hello Beth.” He said simply. “I think that we have a lot to talk about.”
She shivered suddenly before looking down as if surprised that she’d stepped outside barefoot and turned moving back inside. He followed standing at the door and looking in on her.
“You can’t come in unless I invite you?” she asked seeing that he’d stopped again.
“Better sit down then.” Beth murmured pointing to the step. “I’ve got the feeling this is going to be a long conversation.”
“Invite me in,” Dante said looking into her eyes, “Please.” He added.
“Not yet.” Beth told him straight back.
Dante nodded gravely and sank down to sit on the step. He met her rueful gaze before she too sat down just inside the open doorway of her house.
“How old are you?” Beth asked.
“Over three hundred years.” He said back.
“Do you..” she stopped. “drink blood?”
“I need to ask you a question.” He said when she’d fallen silent.
“Are you untouched?”
Beth started looking at him in shock. She had been looking at his hard muscular body when he’d asked the question, noting how the muscles in his legs had been emphasised when he’d sat down. Not to mention the amazing blue eyes and blond hair.
She found she was blushing just as much over the way she had been inspecting him as for the question, noting the old fashioned phrasing of it.
“And if I am?” she asked back injecting a haughty note into her voice.
“I believe that you are.” He said and added silently, it’s the only explanation for why I can’t stop thinking about you.
“So wait?” she muttered. “Let me guess, vampires can only suck the blood of innocent virgins?” she snorted at the comment. “You guys must be starving in this century.”
Dante laughed at her comment, a full belly laugh. He hadn’t laughed like it for at least a hundred years and found himself turning his head and looking into her eyes. She wasn’t beautiful but there was something so amazingly striking about her. The hair looked just as good down as pinned up and her eyes glowed. He couldn’t help but notice how tiny and delicate her neck was, made of such fine bones, and that pulse point was screaming out to him. Looking back up into her face he smiled, a soft curve on his handsome lips before reaching forward and stealing a kiss from her.
He felt the pain begin immediately as he crossed the threshold of her doorway uninvited. A slow burning sensation coursing through his veins towards his equally slow beating heart, if he didn’t stop and retreat to the safety of outside the pain would consume him, stopping his heart. He would die for a kiss from her. The shock of the thought brought him back to reality and he pulled away gasping feeling the pain slowly recede. He was too focused on himself to notice what his kiss had done to her.
What was he thinking? He asked himself.
With a muffled curse he stood and moving faster than a human could see disappeared from her doorstep and from temptation.