We’re into our 3rd chapter of Crimson Awakening. I hope you’re enjoying Ren and Lena’s journey.
It was early in the afternoon. The club was closed. For the first time in a long time, Ren was at the club early. He had to get everything set up, because he wasn’t planning to be there that night. That night, he was going to wine and dine, Yalena. He had to win her heart before he told her who he really was. He was nervous. How weird was that, a vampire nervous? He could make her love him if he wanted to. What had he to be nervous about? But he wanted to win her heart. For some strange reason, she enticed him. No other prey or vampire had caused such emotions or such arousal in him.
“Ren, man; do you really think that this is such a good idea? After all how do you know that she is the first bloodline. Maybe she’s just another feeder.”
“Is that not how we all start? And is that what Marc is to you and Marcia? Is he just food”?
“No, you know that. But Marcia and I only feed from a few people. It’s hard to explain. We are attached to him, but it’s hard to say if it is love of him or just his blood. We love the taste of it. And unlike our other three feeders, he doesn’t seem to want to be one of us. He just wants to be with us as long as he can. But Yalena, she will want it all. Can you not see it in her eyes? She wants you, and only you.”
“Yes, I see it. That is how it should be. That is how I want it to be. I just hope that she will still want me when I tell her what I am.” He pause for a moment. Lost in his thoughts. “I want her for a companion. Just for me. It doesn’t even matter if she’s the first line or not. You make sure it’s still known that she is off the menu. She will be mine.”
“We need her to be the first line, things are getting rough around here.”
“You let me worry about that.” As Ren was walking into the cellar to get drinks for the bar that night, there was banging at the door.
“I’ll get it, Ren.” Cell was not expecting to see Marc at the bar so early. He was happy until he realized Marc had not come to satisfy him.
“Is Ren here? I must speak with him.”
“He is. What do you want with Ren?”
“I must talk with him about Lena.”
“You can try, but I don’t think it will do any good. Ren, Marc is here to see you.” Ren came up the steps with the box of liquor in one hand and a glass in the other.
“Hey man, you’re going to see her tonight. Why are you drinking the reserve? You haven’t fed since she started coming to the club.”
“And I am not feeding tonight either. It’s not time yet. What do you want Marcus?”
“I don’t want you to see her. Don’t make her part of this.”
“That is exactly what I intend to do. Don’t worry she will be well taken care of. She will be my queen.”
“No!” Marc caught himself and lowered his voice. “She is innocent. She doesn’t belong in your dark world.”
“Is your world not filled with it’s own darkness? Besides, I believe that’s up to her, isn’t it? You seem perfectly happy with it.”
“I am, my love is here. But it’s so restrictive. It ends when the party ends.”
“She won’t have to deal with the club if she doesn’t desire it. I won’t take her away from the life she lives now, unless she wants me to.”
“Yeah, right. You know she will sink right in. I am begging you, please leave her be.”
“And if I don’t, will you tell her tales of the club and make her afraid of me and the life I live?”
Marc lowered his eyes from Ren’s gaze. He knew he wouldn’t do that. He was too afraid of what Ren would do to him if he chased Lena away. Maybe she would come to her senses after Ren told her. Fat chance; she was already smitten by him and all they did was dance and have brief chats, Mark thought.
“So what’s your decision Marcus?Will you let me have her? You won’t tell her before I am ready.”
“It’s up to her I guess.”
“Good boy. Now go to Cell’s room. I believe Marcia’s waiting for you.”
“Tell her I will see her at her apartment tonight. I have to get back to work.”
“I will. Don’t worry, Yalena will be happy with me.”
“Of course she will.” Marcus gave a faint smile and headed back into the sunlight. That’s what he was afraid of, that she would be happy. He knew being apart of this world had changed what ever he would have done in his life. He didn’t want that to happen to Lena. He trudge back to his office at work, some what disheartened.
“Cell, I’m going.”
“I promised her the whole day. I’m sure I’ll be back before everything has ended. Find me a sweet one and keep her. I will need to feed when I return. And don’t taste her or let anyone else taste her.”
“Yes, your majesty.” They both looked at each other and laughed. “I’ll see you later tonight.” With that Ren put on his sun glasses and walked through the steel doors and out into the sun. It was a beautiful day to spend with his mate. Or at least he hoped that she would be.
Ever so often when Ren walked in the sun light he had to chuckle. He remembered how many times he had seen movies where the vampire burned to death in the sun light. If people only knew it wasn’t that easy to kill them. Of course they would be even more terrified. He would never tell any human. He walked briskly through the Village to Soho where Lena lived. He wondered if he would let her invite him in today. He would try to avoided that for a while. At least until he was sure that he could control himself if she got really close. He would relish the taste of her sweet blood when Lena did allow him to feed and lay with her. The thought made his mouth water, his fangs lengthened and he had to regain his composure. He swallowed deeply as he took the first step to ring the buzzer.
“Lena, it’s me, are you ready?”
“Sure, be right down.” Lena grabbed her Dooney & Burke bag and her jacket and headed out the door. He was here. She was so excited her heart was racing. She swore it was pounding so hard, any one standing next to her could hear it. Lena tried taking deep breaths in the elevator as it went down. She had calmed down a bit by the time she opened the door to where Ren was standing. They both smiled as she opened the door. And for a strange moment they both seemed enchanted. His smell over whelmed her and Lena couldn’t seem to catch herself. Lena wasn’t sure what was going on in his mind, but he seemed rooted to his spot as well.
“You look beautiful, Lena.” He figured he would say something, but he was having as hard of a time as she was. He was trying to gather himself together. He so wanted to take her upstairs and have his way with her. But how would he explain his overwhelming desire to ravage her. It took her a moment to find her voice.
“Thank you. You look handsome.”
“Thanks. So what do you want to do.”
“I got you for the whole day?”
“As promised. I am here ’til you get sick of me.”
“I doubt I would get sick of you. How about the MET? I thought we could go there since you said you know so much about art history.”
“You got it. Shall we try to get a cab.”
“Ok.” You know what was so funny about that? As soon as he said it, it was right there. That was weird. But Lena figured it happened by chance.
They had a good drive to go uptown. Sitting in the car with him seemed to make his smell stronger. It is hard to describe his smell, kind of like a frankincense but sweeter, some how. It overwhelmed her in such a small space. Lena didn’t understand that. After all she had been close to him at the club and while it was wonderful it didn’t over power her. Lena decided to open the window just a little to get some air. Maybe then she could dispel the urge to give him a lap dance.
“Are you okay?”
“Yes, just needed some air.” He nodded and smiled, but he seemed to be feeling the same way. He cracked the window on his side and slid toward it. She wondered what was going through his mind and if he was feeling the same urges. No man had ever made her feel as though she couldn’t control her emotions or her hormones. Lena took a piece of chocolate out of her pocket book and began to nibble. That seemed to release the tension.
“Is it that bad?” He asked as he laughed. “Come here.” Lena did as requested and sat as close to him as possible with his arm around her. “I have never had such a strong attraction to any woman in all my life. You must be some lady.”
“Yes I am. Then, I could say the same. No man has ever enticed me as you do. Things going through my mind a lady doesn’t speak of.”
“I wasn’t expecting such honesty from you,” Ren chuckled at her response.
“I don’t believe in facades, or lies.” He smiled but didn’t say much else. Every once in a while she noticed he would turn towards her and take a deep breath as he closed his eyes. Lena smiled and rested her head on his chest. That seemed to make him a little uncomfortable and he began to shift in his seat, so Lena sat up. She thought maybe she was pushing it, until he took her hand in his. His skin was so smooth and soft, yet his hand felt cool, not warm. Lena thought back to the club and how his hands felt. She had not ever noticed before. Well, at least they weren’t cold.
They finally made it to the museum. He helped her out of the cab and they walked hand in hand up the steps and through the doors. Lena figured she would test him to see if he was really a gentleman, so she pulled out her wallet when they reached the cashier.
“Please, when we are together Lena, I will take care of you. Besides, it’s a little insulting.”
“I’m sorry, I have dated all kinds.”
“That’s fine, just don’t do it again.” His reply was stern; which caught her off guard. He sensed that and gave a slight smile and squeezed her hand before he paid the cashier for the two of them. After they passed the cashier he took her hand and pulled her in to his arms. “I want you to understand. I am an old fashion type of guy. I believe that the man is suppose to take care of everything, even if it is one date. A man should prove to the woman that he can take care of her. Therefore when we are together I pay for whatever we are doing. Is that okay or are you one of those liberated women who won’t let anyone do anything for you?”
“It’s cool, I know to put my independent self on the back burner as soon as a man assumes his role.” He winked at her and they entered the hallway that led to the Asian exhibit.
“Isn’t this beautiful. I love Asian art.”
“Yes it is beautiful. Have you ever been to Asia.”
“No. Have you?
“Yes, Hong Kong and Shanghai, China as well as Japan.”
“Wow, that is cool.”
“Next time I go, I’ll take you with me.”
They walked and talked their way through the museum, laughing and squeezing each others hand as they went. From time to time he would put his arm around her and squeeze her shoulders. He told her about Greek and Roman art as well as some of the classical period. There was always a joke to go with it. They took their time walking through the museum. Lena wanted the day to last as long as possible, and she kept thinking that it was too good to be true. He was sweet, smart, handsome and rich. How Lena love that day. She wasn’t sure how long she could keep him at bay though. She wanted him so badly and it seemed that the feeling was mutual. Lena knew that she only had one quick denial in her. If he asked more than once Lena would be all his. They spent most of the day in the museum. By the time the two left it was dark.
“Would you like to go get something to eat?”
“Yes, I’m famished.”
“Ok, I know a great place. It’s not too far. We can walk there.”
They walked a little further. It was a good thing she had worn her comfortable wedge heels. Otherwise, he would have had to carry her to the restaurant. Thank goodness it wasn’t far because as a whole, Lena was getting tired. It was awhile before he said anything. Yet, he didn’t let go of her hand for most of the day. Now his arm was around her waist as he held on to her hand. It was great to be next to him. “Here we are.”
“Really, this is my favorite restaurant. My friends and I do lunch here.”
“Really? Have you ever had dinner here?”
“Actually, now that you mention it, Marcus always convinces us to go somewhere else for dinner.”
“Well, that’s ok; it means I am the first to take you to dinner here.” He held the door for her to enter. The young lady to her right greeted them.
“Good night Mr. Arias. Good to see you.”
“Ms. Charleston, how are things going here tonight.”
“Quite well sir. Your table is ready. Right this way.” She led them to a candle lit table towards the back of the restaurant. When she reached the table she could see that the small section of the restaurant was dimly lit by the candles all around the room. It was beautiful. That small section was reserved for them. All the guests were made to sit in the front and the elevated section of the restaurant.
“Mr. Arias; I am Robert, and I will be your waiter tonight. The pinot griot you ordered, sir.” He showed Ren the bottle; Ren nodded and Robert proceeded to pour a glass for each of them. “I am told to tell you that your appetizers and food will be sent out as requested.”
“Thank you Robert.” Lena was speechless. He had all this set up for her? Wow, he was definitely pulling out all the stops.
“You really are trying to impress me. You come here quite often?”
“Not really, just once or twice a day.” Lena had such a puzzled look on her face that Ren chuckled. “I own this restaurant,Yalena.”
“Oh…Really.” He nodded in response. “Cool.” It was quiet for awhile. Lena began to sip on her wine and fill her mouth with the palatable appetizers he had them bring to the table. Lena loved the restaurant, even more at night. But that could have something to do with the company she was keeping. He was trying to impress her and he had succeeded. Now that he had let her know he was rich, she wanted to know about the man behind the money. He must have sensed her train of thought because he reached for her hand to bring her back from where ever she seemed to be.
“So have I succeeded in impressing you?”
“Let me guess. You want to know about the man behind the money.”
“Yes, more than what you have told me so far, of course.”
“Let’s see, I am much older than you”
“Really? By how much?”
“That depends on how old you are?”
“Hey, I thought we were going to talk about you?”
“Yes. Just answer the question.”
“Twenty – six.”
“Well that makes me about nine hundred and fifty three years older than you actually.”
“Ok Ren; not funny. There is no way you’re that old.”
“No? Well I am older than you by ten years.”
“Does everything have to be so difficult?” He gave a full smile and for the first time she noticed his beautiful white teeth. Lena thought that his eye teeth were particularly pointy and long. “You have gorgeous teeth, they’re so white.”
“Thanks. I have had a wonderful day with you, Yalena.”
“I enjoyed the day too, Lorenzo. You are really fun to be with.” He leaned over and took her hand in his.
“The pleasure is all mine. You are a lot of fun,” he replied as he kissed the back of her hand. Lena felt sparks where his lips had touched.
Lena enjoyed the dinner with Ren. She thought that the wine and the food were absolutely delightful and so was the small chocolate dessert he picked out for her. They talked for a long time. He finally told her what it was like to grow up in Argentina. He told her about Argentina’s history as though he was actually there. He seemed to finally relax with her and that was great. Lena had enjoyed the restaurant, even after she noticed that he ate very little of anything. All he did was nurse what Lena thought was a bloody mary.
It had been a long day, but so beautiful. Lena didn’t want it to end, but she knew it had to. They left his restaurant pretty late and he got them a cab to her apartment. It was rather quiet in the back of the cab. Quite serene. She was able to sit very close to him, his arm around her and she rested her head on his shoulder.
“I had a wonderful time today, Ren.”
“We did this part at the restaurant,” He replied with a smile. “Can we go out again tomorrow, then?”
“Sure.” They stopped at her apartment building and Ren paid the driver before he got out of the cab and came around to let her out.
“I would like to walk my lady to her door to make sure she gets home safely.”
“That’s fine. Your lady, huh?”
“You noticed that?”
“Yes, and we shall see if you’re worthy of being part of my life.” Lena couldn’t help but smile as she stepped into the elevator in front of him. He was definitely making his agenda very clear. They got off the elevator at the seventh floor and walked to her apartment.
“Number five, huh?”
“Yes, it is the number of the Egyptian goddess of love. I like the number five. My second favorite number of course is seven.”
“Great number. Let me have your key, so I can open the door for you.” And that he did. She lingered at the doorway and looked into his eyes. They seemed so intense now.
“Well I guess this is good night; even though I don’t want it to end.”
“I don’t want it to be over either, my love. You can invite me in.”
“Mmmm, no, not tonight. I don’t think I could control myself and that would break my three month rule.”
“Three month rule?”
“Yeah, I have to be seeing a guy for at least ninety days or three months before I bring him into my home and my bed.”
“And how long have we been seeing each other?”
“Eighty five and a half days.”
“Eleven weeks, two days and twelve hours.”
“You’ve been keeping track.”
“Yes. I didn’t think it would take me that long to kiss you.”
“You haven’t…” Lena didn’t get to finish saying that he hadn’t kissed her before he leaned over and pulled her to him. He lightly placed his finger on her lips. Then he pulled her closer as if they couldn’t get close enough. He held her face in one hand and held around her waist with the other. His tongue teased her at first as he licked her top and then bottom lip; coaxing her to open her mouth. It was a good thing he held her tight because her knees began to bend and he had to hold her up if he wanted to finish their kiss. His lips were soft and full, and his kiss sent shivers through her. After they stopped kissing he didn’t let go. He just held her close to him. She couldn’t find her voice so she just smiled.
“I will count the hours until I kiss you again.” He smiled and kissed her cheek before he whispered in her ear. “You have no idea how strong the urge is to ravage you.” Then he turned away. Lena was left leaning on the wall. She could barely breathe. She wanted him to come with her to her bed. Lord know’s it had been over two years since she let a man touch her. Lena wanted him to touch her, however she didn’t call him back. And she wouldn’t refuse him again.
Lena stepped into her apartment and leaned on the door after she closed it. She was on cloud nine, no doubt. Lena was feeling nothing like she had imagined. She was happy to have some time alone with him outside of the club. Lena was definitely falling in love. He was handsome, loving and warm. He was tall, dark and handsome. But Lena couldn’t help but think she had met him before. Maybe in a dream.
Crimson Awakening: The 1st Line and The Return of Queen Yalena can be purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Nobles and several other cites.
All comments are welcome.