***This takes place directly after the final words of All Hallows Blood. For the newcomers, get to know Keila and Varick a little on my page. General set up: they had their grand adventure, but then Varick disappeared for two months. It's Christmas Eve, and Keila has decided she can live without him. He shows up with a black rose and a kitten.***
I clung to him, unbelieving. Varick was back, in my home, squeezing me to him. I hadn't been forgotten, hadn't been abandoned.
Entshuldigung, mein liebchen. His voice echoed inside my head, making me aware I'd opened myself to him. My heart raced, but I made no move to pull away spiritually. There was matters to attend, and I needed you to be safe.
Tears stung my eyes, and I held him tighter. I started to speak, but the lump in my throat killed the words. Varick stroked my hair, suffusing me with calm.
Chris and Simy were pointedly ignoring us, and for that I was glad. I needed a moment to settle and adjust. This certainly wasn't the reunion I'd anticipated.
"You didn't even call," I finally whispered.
Varick stiffened, and I felt his guilt. He pulled my head back by my hair and kissed. "I am sorry. And I know an apology will never be enough." He kissed me again, lingeringly. "I am unused to having someone else to think about. It only occurred to me yesterday that you might be worried."
The movie played in the background, and the kitten rubbed against my feet. I didn't let either distract me from my thoughts.
He didn't mean that I shouldn't have worried, or that I didn't mean anything to him. I tasted it through the joining of our spirits; the vampire just didn't think of two months as a long time to not communicate.
I stared into his dark blue eyes, letting the understanding sink in. Varick was an eight hundred year old vampire. Not entirely human, and not exactly mortal. Time was relative, and he had seen plenty of it.
"Never shall it happen again." He sealed the vow with a kiss.
Kissing him back, I let him know he was forgiven. Of course he was forgiven. There may have been worry and pining, but I'd also been happy. I'd gotten back on my feet, worked my way out of depression's bonds, and learned to accept my new family's support.
Varick not coming back wouldn't have changed any of that.
But he had come back. He'd brought me gifts and an apology and, judging by the way he growled as the kiss deepened, a raging desire.
Desire that was echoed in my heart. Two months had not quelled our interest in each other. His ozone and rainy night musk still turned me on, made me want him. His kiss still made my knees weak.
Chris cleared his throat, and I remembered that we weren't alone. Blushing furiously, I stepped away from Varick. He showed no signs of embarrassment, but he didn't press his point. Our connection dimmed without physical contact, but not before I caught an image from him; the boy watching while he bled and pleased me.
"You're bad," I hissed, eyes wide.
Varick was unrepentant, and curled one corner of his mouth to reveal fang. "Only because of you," he whispered.
I rolled my eyes, and continued in hushed tones. "Yes, I'm the bad influence."
He lowered his eyelids, cupping my face in strong hands. His nails were still a little long, and they grazed my skin. "Did you forget what I said or did you not believe?"
The intensity of his words and gaze took me by surprise. Definitely not the reunion I'd thought about.
"You mean when you said I make you lose control?" I bit my tongue ring, my gut twisting. My pulse raced as I remebered how passionate he'd been once he'd let go. The non-stop touches, all the caresses, the heavy looks.
Varick pulled me into the kitchen and around the corner, out of sight of Chris and Simy. Once in the shadows, he pressed me against a counter and wedged a thigh between my legs. Not quite kissing me, the vampire unleashed some of his hunger.
"I would have you right now if it did not embarrass you. Not calling did not mean you were absent from my thoughts." The vampire tipped my head to the side, and I clamped down on my tongue ring to keep from moaning. "I still have every intention of exploring the mystery of you."
My new kitten jumped onto my knee, preventing me from doing anything foolish in the kitchen.