This doesn't have a very good title. But I have a self-proclaimed issue with making titles. This story is going to appear in All Romance Ebooks at some point, but I have no solid date.
This takes place after the (currently unpublished) second book, and just before Keila's birthday. Which is May. Yay for Tauruses!
Enjoy, The Movies.
Pioneer Place was normally a bustling mall, but no one else was at the theater tonight. Not that a psionicist and a vampire would stand out in the downtown Portland crowd, but it was nice that we weren’t having to make our way through a bunch of people. Time to just be a normal couple, on a normal date, without having to fend off sex mages or vampire coup d’etats.
Varick held my hand, dressed for the warm spring in just slacks and a button down shirt. I was still getting used to seeing him in public without coat or blazer, or some multiple of layers. Even when we were at home, he usually wore a vest over his shirt. I hadn’t asked him why, just figured it was a callback to his warrior days in his youth.
The vampire squeezed my fingers, smiling when he caught me staring. “Something, mein Keila?” He kept his voice low, German accent thicker tonight. His mouth was still flushed from our kisses in the elevator, but his pale skin never really got dark.
I turned my head away, smiling playfully. “Nope.” My birthday was two weeks away, and giddiness was already rising. Only my twentieth, but I was looking forward to celebrating with Varick. “Nothing at all.”
He stopped, tugging my hand to bring me into his arms. Dark blue eyes glittered as he smiled, clasping his hands in the small of my back. I’d braided his waist length hair before we left, but milky strands were coming loose, framing Varick’s lovely face.
We simply stared into each other's eyes, content to be in the other’s presence. Three months since the Moira incident, and we still couldn’t get enough of being together. I’d even taken to wearing his shirts to have his smell against my skin.
Neither of us had said the “L” word yet. Nor did we want to. It’s wasn’t that kind of relationship. Maybe. Yet.
“Liebchen is lovely tonight,” he whispered, eyes tracing my face. My long black hair was loose and wild, clinging to the silk shirt. I wore burgundy, he navy, though my pants were black denim instead of his black linen. Same height, same breadth of shoulders, similar shaped eyes, we looked very good together.
“So do you,” I said, blushing. Lacing my fingers together behind his neck, I felt complete. Helping people, or fighting killers, or keeping my little family safe didn’t seem to matter when we were close.
The vampire leaned in, kissing me. There were just never enough kisses in the world, not from someone as skilled as Varick. Firm but soft, he claimed my whole being with just his mouth. I sighed, and his tongue passed through my lips. Varick’s hands tightened on my back, and I shivered. I could spend the rest of the night like this and be content.
However, we were here to see a movie. Neither of us went to the theater often, so this was a treat not to be missed.
No matter how good it felt to breathe his breath.
We parted, reluctantly, and proceeded to get our tickets. The selection of movies was slim, but there was an action film we could get in to. Arms around each other’s waists, we started toward our theater.
“That smells so good,” I moaned, closing my eyes, breathing deep the aroma of popcorn. The open lobby was redolent with the smell, almost as if they pumped it in through the vents. Any stronger, and my hair would carry the scent for a week.
Varick turned for the snack bar. “Then you shall have some.” He never thought twice about buying me something I expressed the vaguest interest in. It was sweet, and I was growing used to being spoiled. Very soon, I wouldn’t think twice about accepting whatever he gave me.
The vampire couldn’t eat, so any snacks were just for me. Up close, the popcorn smelled even better. I stared down at the glass drawer full of fluffy pieces, amazed at my rumbling tummy. Not often that I felt truly hungry like this, not now that the vampire consistently fed on me. Varick stepped away, though still within arm’s distance.
“What can I get for you?”
I met the eyes of the guy behind the counter, and my breath was stolen. He couldn’t have been but a couple years older than me, but the open innocence in his face made him look much younger. Bright smiled, with a lovely face, he was something to behold.
“Uh,” I said, blushing. Smiling to cover my silliness, I placed my order. “Large popcorn, large Cherry Coke, no ice.” His eyes were great, just barely Japanese amidst otherwise Saxon features. Senses expanded, and I drew in a taste of his rich aura. He was a little more than human, but I couldn’t tell what. Breaking eye contact, I focused on his name tag. Chad.
“Coming right up,” he said cheerfully, grabbing a bucket. Chad had a lovely baritone, and I hoped he was a singer in his off time. Something that made use of that voice. “Seeing that Roberts movie?”
“Oh no,” I replied, looking back up. “No no.” We laughed at my vehemence, and my blush deepened. Empathy discerned that Chad liked my laugh. “Can’t stand romantic movies. I need some action to get me going.” Nope, no double entendre there.
He nodded, pumping butter into the half full bucket. A single dimple puckered his right cheek, teeth bright against his lips. “Romance films are so formulaic. Although, so are action flicks, really.” Chad went back to scooping popcorn.
“But at least there are explosions, and car chases, and fun things to watch,” I countered.
“All right, you got me there.” Chad’s eyes twinkled as he added more butter. “What about horror films?”
I took the bucket from him, moving to the soda fountain. “I like them foreign and creepy.”
“Exactly. Less boobs and gore, more cerebral fear.” He tipped his head, short hair flopping to the side. “Not enough people appreciate that.”
“I suppose not.” My mind went blank, and I had no idea what to say. Small talk was one thing for me; flirting was another thing entirely. “Easier not to think.” I couldn’t believe I was flirting. All I needed now was a giggle and a hair twirl.
Chad handed me my drink, our fingers brushing. “Anything else?” His aura spiked with the need for me to stay here and keep talking to him.
It would be so nice to flirt with a stranger, to know my beauty and intelligence were appreciated. To banter back and forth with someone, to break the ice and see what happened. It was all ego talking, but it felt damn good to be wanted.
But I was already wanted, by someone who appreciated all things I was, and accepted every dark aspect of myself. By someone whom I was in more than a casual relationship with.
I flushed, head to toe. “No, that’ll do it.” Grinning shyly, I turned to see Varick already paying for the goodies. I kept blushing, vision swimming, and hurried to his side.
We walked away, and I kept my head down, cheeks burning. I had gorgeous lover who wanted me very much, and I’d been flirting with some guy with nice eyes. Right in front of the German, as if he hadn’t been there.
“I preferred mein liebchen’s smile to her blush.” Varick laid a hand in the small of my back.
My brows creased with a frown, and I looked up. He’d stepped away from me, and I’d forgotten the vampire. Chad acted like he’d never seen the white-haired man with me. “You wanted to see him flirt with me?” It was like cheating that he could disappear so thoroughly from people’s awareness.
Varick nodded, sapphire eyes crinkling. “Indeed. You are lovely when you smile.”
“So why let him talk to me like that?”
The vampire held the door open for me, arching an eyebrow. “It made you smile, did it not?”
A giggle rose as I thought about Chad’s eyes, and I stepped into the dim theater. “All right, you’re right.”
Varick stepped close behind me, breathing in my ear. “And another man touching my woman just makes me want to claim her.”