"Love for the Unloved" Contest Entry

Title: Dazzling

Your pen name(s): onePushyFox

Featured "B-list" Character(s): Kate and Garrett

If you would like to see all the stories that are a part of this contest visit the "Love for the Unloved" C2 Community:


A/N: I do not own Twilight. No copyright infringement is intended.

"You have to be fucking kidding me."

I didn't mean to say it out loud, but as I saw the unexpectedly familiar vampire sprint up to the house, the words inadvertently escaped my lips. Nothing had been as I anticipated since we came to Forks and had been introduced to Edward and Bella's biological child, but there was no way I was prepared to see this man again.

Garrett Reinhart.

Of course my brain recalled exactly how long it had been since the one time we had met: two hundred fifty-six years, three months, five days, twelve hours and thirty-seven minutes, give or take a few seconds. Not that I had been keeping track. Immortal brains were just good at remembering that sort of thing.

He was still as handsome as he had been that night in Paris; truly unforgettable, with or without the aid of my flawless memory. He was tall and leanly muscular with golden hair he wore longer than most and, of course, blessed with the same pale beauty that marked him as an immortal.

Oh, how the Parisian women had adored Monsieur Reinhart. My sisters and I had heard his praises whispered around us as we stalked the ballrooms of polite society: so handsome, so mesmerizing, so dazzling. Tres aveuglyment; it was the same term men were applying to us.

Whether my sisters paid any attention to the hushed conversations of the women around us, I couldn't tell. Normally, Tanya and Irina were far more focused on their prey than on the petty dramas of aristocratic ninnies. But it was the word that caught my ear: aveuglyment. Was he one of us?

I walked down the long wall of glass-paneled doors that led from the ballroom to the gardens beyond. I had already sized up the men at this party, and I wasn't particularly interested in any of them. I was considering slipping out into the night to take my chances elsewhere when I overheard that word again.

"Dazzling is what everyone calls him, but really, how handsome could he be?" came the bored tones of a buxom young matron. "Have you seen him, Marie?" she murmured to her companion.

"Oui, Gallia," replied her tall friend in a smug sotto voce, "and the rumors are quite right. Dazzling is the only way to describe his perfection."

This caused the first woman's head to snap up in attention. "Where did you see him?" she hissed with fascination.

"At Comtesse Fouchoute's ball only last night. He was flirting with the Comtesse, of course, the old hag," she said in a bitter aside, "but then he looked up, straight at me, and, Mon Dieu! I thought he would devour me on the spot with those dark eyes of his." She fanned herself a little, coyly.

"Oh, Marie," whined the first lady. "What does he look like then?"

Obviously warming to the topic and her friend's undivided attention, Marie smirked a little as she continued. "Gorgeous, of course; tall, blond and his figure, oh!" she kissed her fingertips in approval. "He doesn't wear a wig," she continued with a roll of her eyes. "Those colonials are so fiercely independent. Honestly, though, he doesn't need the wig, his hair is so fair, it almost looks powdered. But, Gallia," Marie paused for dramatic timing, "it is his face that is so arresting. He looks like some statue from antiquity. Every plane of his face exquisitely defined …"

I stopped listening to the gushing Marie. It sounded like Marie would soon be bringing this nomad pleasure, although not in the way the naïve chit imagined. While I pondered the fact that this nomad was certainly not someone my sisters and I had met recently, another part of my brain registered that my sisters had picked out their prey for the evening and were currently whirling around the dance floor with two exceedingly attractive Frenchmen.

With any luck, we would be leaving Paris tonight. We had been hunting in all levels of Parisian society for the past few weeks, working our way up to the men we preferred, nobility. By necessity we saved the best for last. If we were to remain anonymous, as our lives demanded, then we would need to disappear after we feasted on this last, best offering.

A sudden gasp to my right claimed my attention. It was the woman who had spoken before, Gallia, and I could hear her heart accelerate with excitement. Gah, it made my throat burn in agony, but I pushed that sensation down. I didn't feed on women unless I had to, and I wasn't so thirsty as to want any part of that idiotic twit flowing in my body. Following her gaze, I saw him.

Well, I thought, at least I had to give the tall woman some credit. This man was exquisite, even for our kind. I felt the electric current that ran through my body spike low in my stomach, as if in desire. Desire? I had never felt the hum of lust for one of our own kind before. Like my sisters, I had a predilection for the warm flesh of human men, my sexual satisfaction being heightened by the soothing heat of feeding. But this…it wasn't warm, it wasn't cold, it was simply…intense.

He turned and he must have caught my scent. He started to make his way toward me through the ballroom steadily, ignoring the humans in his path as if they had been pigeons in the square. The women next to me, the ones who had been discussing him only a moment ago, sucked in a collective breath as he approached them, only to let it out in shared, disappointed huffs when he sauntered past them and approached me.

He took my hand as if we were well acquainted, bowed over it and then turned it in his own exposing my wrist. Slowly, never taking his ebon eyes from mine, he kissed it, slightly flicking the point where my pulse had beaten long ago with his tongue. I raised a pale brow. Well…that was… surprising. And erotic, truth be told. I wasn't used to men being so forward with me, but for some reason, it suited him.

Without saying a word, he tucked my arm in his and led me around the dance floor, where several couples could be seen promenading and engaging in discreet conversation. I told myself that I followed him out of surprised interest. It was curious for one of our kind to act so directly, especially in a public venue. But truthfully, I was also attracted to him, and that fact made a difference.

"You must forgive my forward nature, mon ange" he purred, not bothering to lean down since he knew I would hear him. "I'm fairly new to this life, and I haven't learned all the social rules. But when I saw you, I simply couldn't stay away." His eyes searched mine, looking for something, perhaps acceptance.

I looked away, annoyed with myself for caring what this nomad thought or needed. Who was he to me? "It's not really de rigueur," I said in a bored tone. "Even humans don't drag off women they haven't been properly introduced to." I planted my feet firmly and turned to stare at him, ire evident on my face. "What do you want? I've no time for the games of a newborn."

He should have cowered. He should at least have been taken aback. But the arrogant bastard actually smiled! It was a glorious, wicked smile that made my stomach flutter; until my annoyed sensibilities woke up. It was just a smile, he was just another immortal. I should move on before we started to attract attention.

But I didn't want to move on. I wanted to drag him off and see what other things his mouth could make me want, make me feel. As if he could read my mind, his smile stretched even more devilishly across his face.

"Hmm…" he paused in thought, "what do I want?" His eyes roamed up and down my figure, then stopped when they met my own. "I think tonight I want to talk to someone who knows what I am. I don't want to play the game just now, especially not any tedious newborn games," he grinned mischievously as he threw my words back at me.

"And I want to know who you are and why you were standing on the edge of a ballroom all alone when you should be at the center of a group of worshippers." My eyes widened a bit at his bluntness. "Not that I mind, by the way. It would be rather inconvenient if I had been required to slaughter my way through a throng of men to get to you." He smirked a little, and I grinned in return despite myself. He was funny.

"I'm one like you," I replied vaguely, "and I'm not particularly partial to worshipers, thank you very much." I nodded towards the room full of beating hearts. "They're warm, I'll grant you, but they don't provide much intellectual stimulation."

He paused to play with one of the curls from my wig that cascaded down over my shoulders. He tugged it gently, then placed it back in its original position atop my corset-enforced cleavage. Zing. There went that electricity again. Had he seen it arch, dark violet, over my pale skin, almost reaching out for him? Humans couldn't see the color, but vampires had better eyes.

"So it's stimulation you're after, mon ange?" His tone sent currents moving up and down my body. It was a wonder my clothing didn't catch on fire. "Oh, I think I can provide that," he continued in a husky baritone. And with a slight tug on my arm, he escorted me through the doorway that led to the gardens outside. In a moment we were running swiftly through the woods, until we got to a clearing by a stream.

The running had cleared my head of the seductive haze he had woven about me and felt wary, alone, with this unknown vampire. I didn't feel threatened exactly; it was just the natural cautiousness of our kind. I stood very still, waiting for him to make the next move. He shrugged out of his coat and laid it on the grass, motioning for me to sit. When I did, he joined me.

"You never told me your name," he whispered. He was looking at me in the most disconcerting way, as if he had been searching for me for quite a long time. Why on earth was he doing that?

"You never told me yours," I parried. "Who are you? Don't you have a coven to keep you out of trouble?"

"I'm Garrett," he replied genially, picking up small stones and tossing them idly one by one into the stream. "And, no, I don't belong to a coven right now. Not anymore." I raised my brows questioningly and he continued. "I had belonged to one in the colonies, but…" he sighed, "it didn't work out. They're great men, Nathan and Elias, it just… they never wanted to leave the New World. They said they'd seen enough of the Old World over the centuries. But I never had, so…" he made a deprecating gesture with his hand, "here I am."

I watched him as he spoke. I wondered how new to this life he was – a decade maybe? He acted like one much older; so controlled, so confident and clearly comfortable with others of our kind. The ones who changed him had helped him adjust to this life remarkably well.

I let my hand drift aimlessly over the velvety grass. I had been an immortal for over a thousand years, and still I reveled in the comparative softness of the world around me. The feel of the lush earth soothed me as I tried to determine this immortal's interest in me. He had been so unfailingly direct; I decided to be so as well.

"And why the interest in me, Garrett? Have you met no other nomads in your time on the Continent?"

His grimace quickly told me that his past encounters had not been particularly pleasant. "I've met a few, but none that chose to live…civilly. You and your sisters appear to be the exception. I've been watching you for days, and despite the obvious, you blend in so well. It sometimes amazes me how far humans will go to deny that which is right in front of their own eyes!" He let out a throaty laugh, then shook his head softly as his face returned to its previously serious mien. "I was not turned by barbarians, nor was I trained by my makers to behave that way. I was surprised that was not the norm for the vampires I have met."

I sighed in compassion for him. It was almost unconscionable how savage and unrefined so many nomads were. Of course, we couldn't ever completely blend in with our prey, but that didn't mean we had to stand out more than necessary. Oddly, some nomads took great pride in being as inhuman as possible in appearance.

Covens were more civilized as a rule, although there were always exceptions. I immediately thought of our mother, Sasha, who had taught us how to behave among our prey. She had taught us to think of them almost as livestock. The more we took care to keep them comfortable in our presence, the easier fulfilling our needs would be.

I felt the sting of unshedable tears welling up behind my eyes at the thought of my mother. Her loss would be an open wound in my heart forever. Then I felt Garrett's hand tilting my face up to his, his eyes filled with kindness.

"What is it, mon ange? Did I say something wrong?" he whispered as his thumb gently stroked my cheek. I leaned away from his hand and shook my head gently. I hadn't felt this vulnerable in centuries, not since the Volturi… No, I was not going to relive these memories now, not with a stranger at my side.

"It's nothing." I forced a polite smile onto my face as I rose and began to slowly stroll around the glade. "Yes, it's true that many of our kind don't observe the social niceties," I said, picking up the thread of our conversation. "But there are many more like us. I'm sure you'll come across more, especially if you continue to travel in the cities."

"Is that what you and your sisters do? Travel in the cities?" He continued to sit on his coat, turning a single, long blade of grass over in his fingers. He seemed unaffected by the awkward moment. I appreciated his ability to gloss over it. It was a skill that would serve him well, both with humans and those of our kind.

"Mostly, yes." I wandered among the trees, touching their feather-soft bark, enjoying the rustling sound my stiff skirts made. We were silent for a while, but comfortably so.

"And what do you do, mon ange? For stimulation?" he asked suddenly.

"I beg your pardon?" I wasn't shocked, just not able to immediately follow his thoughts.

"You said earlier that you don't want to be worshipped. If it's not adulation you want, what do you desire?"

With that one word, desire, the electricity began to shimmer over my skin again. He looked up then, and I could see it in his eyes as well. He walked toward me with a lazy, human-like gait. I stood back against a tree, leaning on it, even though I didn't need the support, not physically. He put his hands on it, bracketing my head with his arms, leaning in toward me in a way that would have been menacing if it wasn't so thrilling.

No man had ever acted this way with me. I had always been the aggressor with my sexual partners, stalking them, seducing them and ultimately sucking them dry during the apex of passion. But this, playing a coy, submissive role, was different…and undeniably erotic.

I inhaled deeply, tasting his essence on the air. His scent held none of the honey and freesia that marked the other vampires of my experience. Instead it was comprised of wheat, cherries, grass, wood smoke and lily of the valley. It was utterly intoxicating.

He lowered his face to my own, pausing infinitesimally, almost as if asking for permission. A smile flirted on my lips at the thought, but then his mouth was on mine, erasing the smile along with my wits. Thankfully my hands were behind me, gripping the tree, or in that unguarded moment I would have shocked him senseless. I could feel the electricity pumping through my hands into the tree so forcefully that soon it would explode. Rather than allowing that to happen, and possibly setting the glade about us ablaze, I snapped the tree in half, pushing it back and away from me, pushing me into his chest.

I curled my arms about his neck, snaking my hands up and into his hair. He kept it long, pulled back into a queue by a leather thong, which I quickly pulled out and tossed aside. His hair was so gloriously silky. The tactile sensation helped me rein in the current running through my body. The last thing I wanted to do was shock him, literally and figuratively, with my hidden talent.

His lips were different from those I had kissed in the past; stronger, firmer. It was incredibly liberating not needing to hold myself back for fear of breaking him like my former fragile lovers. I poured myself into the embrace, reveling in the slide of my tongue against his, not fearing that my venom would poison him.

He growled into my mouth as his hand shoved roughly into my hair beneath my wig. He pulled on it, hard, forcing my head back and exposing my neck which he licked from the tip of my collar bone to the back of my ear, in one, long, wet swipe. I gasped with pleasure. I should have known in that moment he was ruining me for human men. No mortal would ever be able to touch me with such force, such power; no mortal would ever dominate me the way this man was.

Did he know? Could he somehow have been aware of my sexual past, of the way every tryst had to be carefully orchestrated, every motion tightly contained? Did he somehow realize how centuries of rigid control had made me long to let loose, to bend to another's command, to have pleasure pressed upon me rather than the other way around?

If he did, he never said. Rather, he grasped me roughly by the shoulders and threw me down into the grass. His eyes glinted wickedly as he stood above me, stripping completely nude. When he was done, when the silver moon glinted off his marble white flesh, he knelt down and began to remove my clothes. Slowly, piece by piece my body was uncovered. He teased me lightly with his hands, brushing them over my skin as each article of clothing was removed, all the time holding me down with his body.

I tried to take the reins, running my hands up his ribs and attempting to roll him onto his back. He chuckled darkly as he used his hips to pin me down again, pulling my hands up over my head and holding them tightly in one of his own.

"Oh, no, mon ange. If you're not going to tell me your name then you'll simply have to take what I'm willing to give." His body slid over mine sensuously. "Besides, I can tell you want this," he hummed sinfully as his mouth travelled down my throat a second time. "When was the last time you let anyone else be in charge?"

Before I could answer, he bit my shoulder, not hard enough to break my skin and burn me with his venom, but hard enough to show me that he could if he wanted to. I couldn't help but wonder what that would feel like. My speculation was interrupted by his breath ghosting over my breast, causing my nipple to harden.

He lowered his mouth to me and ran his tongue between my breasts. I arched up into him wanting more, desperate for more. He laughed quietly, using his hips to push me down again, running the tip of his tongue around my breast in ever tighter circles until it was almost touching my nipple but not quite, just close enough to make me moan out loud in frustrated lust.

"Please," I begged.

"Please, what?" he countered cockily. I could tell he was getting turned on by how desperate I was becoming, and I was a little annoyed that he was getting pleasure from my torment. I wanted to push him off me. I wanted to push him down into the earth and run my body over his and make him feel helpless and restless and needy. I wanted to take control but not more than I wanted this demon lover orchestrating my every quivering response.

"Please, this?" he taunted as he flicked my nipple with his tongue, causing me to cry out. "Or this?" he continued as he flattened his tongue against me using the pressure of his mouth to build the sensation to a heightened degree.

"Yes!" I sobbed. "Both!" My head tossed back and forth, causing my ornate wig to fall completely off, my own pale blonde hair spilling out in its wake.

He was relentless, licking, sucking and using his teeth to drive me absolutely crazed with need, all the while holding me pinned, helpless and completely at his mercy. Eventually, he moved on, trailing heated kisses over my ribs, slowly, inexorably downward.

He released my hands at this point, but we both knew I was too far gone to challenge his dominance again. It wasn't as if he was hurting me in any conventional sense of the word, and if he stopped I would have lost my mind.

At least that's what I thought until his tongue flicked over my navel, and I realized what was next on his agenda. Then, when he parted me with his mouth, his tongue gliding up my slick wet folds, I was completely lost; not a single coherent thought remained in my head.

It was his groan that woke me from my stupor. I could feel it vibrate up through my center, eliciting yet another wave of pleasure. I couldn't keep the smirk off my face. I might be lost, but he was too, damn it.

"Mon Dieu, you taste as good as you smell, woman," he growled before he continued running his tongue over me. He let it linger on my clit, rolling my swollen flesh gently before he slid his fingers inside me.

"Oh, oui," I whimpered. His fingers, so long, were pushing up, high inside me and then curving back to hit that perfect spot. No one had ever found that spot on me before, only I knew it existed. I touched it when I needed release and the man I was with didn't last long enough to provide it. It was so sensitive that it only ever needed to be stroked twice to send me over the edge into oblivion. He found it. He stroked it.

Once, and I was so close I was trembling. Then he stopped, returning his attention to my clit, kissing and sucking it, making me writhe and moan.

Again he stroked it, and I could feel my orgasm building throughout my muscles, coiling up inside me. Again he stopped. This time he blew cold air over my swollen flesh, causing me to squirm desperately.

Finally, when I was afraid I wouldn't be able to take any more, he begged, "Now, mon ange! Let yourself fly." He pressed his fingers so deep inside me that I screamed out in ecstasy, my muscles convulsing around his hand, my palms pressed firmly to the dirt below sending out wave after wave of electricity.

I was limp with the strength of my orgasm, so boneless with sweet release that there was nothing I wouldn't give this man. He turned me over, kneeling behind me, pulling my hips up to meet his own. I turned my head to look back at him, and my hair spilled back over my shoulder. He stroked it gently, then gathered it up, wrapping it around his fist.

"Tell me you want this, mon ange" his voice was rough with his own need. "Say that you want me to take you, or I won't." I realized then he craved this too. As much as I wanted him to own me, to use my body for his pleasure, he needed my submission. It was the gift I gave to him, the power I had; he wouldn't do it without my consent.

"I want it, Garrett," I breathed back, "Whatever you want, I want." His hand gripped my hair tighter, pulling my head back until my chin pointed toward the sky.

"I won't be gentle," he warned one last time, "I don't want the soft and easy path to heaven." He ran his hand over my ass gently and then slapped it hard to punctuate his point.

"Allez-y," I snarled, telling him to just do it already. I was so frantic to have him, to feel his cock inside me, that his delay was making me angry. I yanked my head down a bit, forcing him to pull back all the harder to gain control.

"Diantre," he groaned as he slid inside me. I arched my back, pushing my hips into his to take him in more fully, reveling in the feeling of being utterly filled. He held still, buried inside me, both of us taking a moment to enjoy the sensation of completeness. Then he moved.

As he promised, he was not gentle. He rode me mercilessly, pushing me again and again to the edge of the cliff and then refusing to let me fall over. He slapped my ass and pulled my hair and made me tell him over and over again how much I liked being his to use, his to control. I begged, I moaned, I cried out in frustration, but nothing moved him. He was utterly focused on drawing out each iota of pleasure.

Finally, I could feel his climax building. He was gripping my hips, pounding into me furiously as I gasped his name. I was so close. As long as he kept this rhythm up I was going to orgasm, soon and hard.

Suddenly he pulled my hair hard enough to fling my body up against his. He wrapped one arm around my chest another around my waist as he rammed into me those final few times. When he bit my neck, I fell over the edge. He was right there with me, our bodies convulsing together in shared pleasure. When it was over, we fell to the ground.

When I finally became lucid, I realized that he was out cold. I was confused at first but then realized I must have shocked the hell out of him when I came. He was going to be out for a while. And suddenly I was happy for that.

I had never had to talk with a man after sex, never had to look one in the eye and make whatever pleasantries one made after the act was complete. I had absolutely no idea what to say to this man. What I did have was the overwhelming urge to flee.

So I did.

I dressed hurriedly, no small feat for the amount of clothing I had been wearing. I waited until it was clear that he was coming around, and then I ran, past the stream and the trees, away from the party and back towards the city, to the small townhouse my sisters and I shared.

They were both there, of course, well fed and almost rosy from trysts of their own, packing up the few things they planned to take with them. Neither Tanya nor Irina asked me what had happened that night, nor questioned me when I stopped to hunt on our way to Strasbourg.

That one night with Garrett had changed me, whether or not I wanted to admit it. I no longer played the role of the succubus with my prey; I no longer desired the dominant role. My feeding became more sporadic. Without the sexual high, the whole experience was off. When I heard about Carlisle and his ability to feed off animals, I tried it. Despite the difference in flavor, I found it far more palatable.

My sisters and I actually came across Carlisle when we finally moved to the new world. We became close with him and his family over the years, occasionally living as one large coven, although Tanya's lust for Edward always brought those times to a quick end. Still, we respected Carlisle, considered him our brother. When he called on us to come to witness for his family, we came, no questions asked. After our previous failure, when we chose to honor Irina's vendetta with the werewolves over the Cullen's plea for help with the newborn army, we knew what we had to do.

We clearly weren't the only ones who respected the Cullen family. Dozens of vampires came to be witnesses. As we watched them arrive over the first few days we were there, as we watched Edward and Bella introduce Renesmee over and over again, it never occurred to me that Garrett might show up as well.

Thank God he was discreet. He stared enough that I knew he remembered me, but he didn't say anything. When he eventually came over to talk to my family, he spoke first with Tanya, which was good, since I was completely floored by his unexpected reappearance.

Several nights later he followed me out of the house and into the dark of the evening as I was going to hunt. Tanya had gone earlier with Carmen and Eleazar, but I hadn't wanted to join them. I knew I was a coward, but I was afraid that Garrett was going to join them, and I still wasn't comfortable around him. I avoided him mostly since he'd arrived. I knew he noticed, hell even Tanya had noticed, but I couldn't seem to stop myself.

"Are you going to the city, then?" he asked nonchalantly, sauntering up behind me.

I turned to him and assessed him warily. "No…I don't hunt in the cities anymore. But you know that." I couldn't decide if he was playing with me, but I was thirsty and not in the mood. I started to turn away but he caught my arm and held me.

"Yes, I know that. I've learned quite a bit about you since I arrived, like your name. It's nice to finally know it, Katrina." He was searching my face for something, some reaction, but I couldn't tell what it was he hoped to find.

"I go by Kate, actually," I murmured, averting my eyes. His voice was starting the waves of electricity to crackle throughout my body. How was it that simply hearing this man's voice affected me? It made me want to flee.

"Kate," he whispered thoughtfully. "It doesn't suit you. It's too plain…too hard." His hand came to my face, his thumb sweeping gently over my cheek. "You are neither plain nor hard."

I jerked my head away, stepping back from him. "You're wrong," I returned harshly. "And I don't know what game you're playing, but whatever it is, I'm not interested."

I sped through the forest behind the house, heading north to where the Cullens often hunted larger game. I ran as fast as I could, but not fast enough to miss his whispered, "You said that last time, too, mon ange."

After I had fed, I realized that I was making a fool of myself. He was just another vampire, here to help the Cullens, and that should have made us friends. Yes, we had spent an amazing night together, but it wasn't as if we were mates. It was a one night stand, just a couple of centuries before the concept caught on.

When I returned to the house, Bella approached me for help learning to harness her shielding power. She was so anxious about the upcoming confrontation that she monopolized my time for days, but I was more than happy for the distraction. She had an incredible power, and it would be an amazing asset, but I just couldn't find the right way to motivate her.

At first I thought protecting Edward would work. As his wife she would stop at nothing to protect him, our kind knows no stronger bond than that between mates, but despite her honest efforts, I was still able to shock him.

I was getting frustrated with her, and myself, when finally it occurred to me that Bella was different than most of us. Despite the strength of the bond she and Edward shared, for her nothing would be more precious to her than Renesmee.

Edward heard my thoughts of course, and warned me away from my idea, but I was confident it would work. And it did. The look on Bella's face when she thought I would electrocute Renesmee was feral. She would tear me limb from limb if I hurt her child and gleefully dance around the pyre of my ashes. That was the emotion I needed to tap into.

When it was over, and Bella had proved that she could stretch her shield after all, she was wiped out and needed a moment to recuperate. It was then that Garrett decided to approach me, this time with questions about my power.

"They say you can put a vampire flat on his back," he said, clearly interested despite Edward's warning. I've already knocked you senseless, I thought to myself, but clearly he didn't know how I had incapacitated him the last time we met. Suddenly, the idea of having him in my power again was very appealing.

"Yes," I responded simply, struggling to keep the sly smile from my face when I asked if he was curious.

He shrugged, saying he'd never seen such a thing and that it might be an exaggeration. If only he knew how much I actually downplayed my power. I'm not a sadist, but I've had to defend myself in the past, and what I could do wasn't some parlor trick. It was deadly.

Still, I shrugged back. I told him it was possible he was right; it was possible that my power only worked on the weak or the young. Perhaps he could withstand my gift. And perhaps pigs could fly. I could jolt him hard enough to make him wish for death, and I knew it.

I held out my palm innocently, an invitation for him to see for himself. That was all it took. He clearly could not refuse a challenge. He touched me with his index finger, and I pumped the level up a bit. In a fraction of a second his knees had buckled and he toppled backward, much to my amusement.

When his eyes opened again, I expected him to be angry. I could have given him just a little shock, but I dosed him pretty good, and most vampires wouldn't have appreciated the humor in that. Then again, Garrett clearly wasn't the most normal of our kind. He looked at me and smiled. He actually smiled, with a look of wonder on his face that made him seem actually impressed.

"Did you enjoy that?" I couldn't help wondering if perhaps there was something wrong with him.

He shook his head and laughed a little as he stood. "I'm not crazy, but that sure was something."

He looked at me, and images of that night together filled my head. I couldn't keep the seductive tone out of my voice as I responded, "That's what I've heard."

He walked towards me, and everyone else fell away from my consciousness. All I could see was him. I wanted him so intensely in that moment. There was a commotion somewhere near the house, but I couldn't be bothered to pay attention; my sole focus was Garrett.

"Why didn't you tell me you could do that?" he whispered as his hands slid around my waist.

"It's not like we spent a lot of time talking, Garrett," I teased back softly. I reached up, twisting his long queue of hair around my fingers. He reached back, capturing my hand in his own.

"Let's not waste anymore time, Katie," he murmured. He turned me with him, leading me away from the house full of vampires, away from all of our troubles. We ran to the ocean, to a cave by the tide pools that was secluded behind a spray of vegetation like a verdant waterfall. Standing there, with the green light filtering in through the plants, with the sound of the ocean relentlessly grasping at the shore, he pulled me into his arms again and kissed me.

It wasn't soft or hard or slow or fast, or anything in particular, but still it was everything. How had I not realized so many years ago how perfect this man was for me, how well we fit together? With him I didn't have to be careful or strong, I could just be me. I kissed him back, with all the pent up passion of the past two hundred fifty years, with every ounce of myself.

Our tongues met and tangled in a slow, sweet rhythm. It was different, not new, because I perfectly remembered every detail of our only time together; rather it was inevitable. I knew how he would touch me, confidently, firmly. I knew that I could let myself go, and he would ensure that I felt nothing but bliss.

I bit his lip, hard but playful, and he snarled, then smiled. "Sweet, sweet, Katie. God, woman, it's heavenly to be able to use your name. I've spent far too long wondering about you." His mouth trailed down my throat, where his tongue was doing wicked things to my collar bone. "Do you know how torturous it's been to want you so badly and have no idea how to find you?"

He'd longed for me, too? All these years, watching my sisters enjoy one man after another, seeing Carmen and Eleazar's passionate love for one another, I had felt so alone. I yearned for Garrett, pined for the one man who had ever given me such complete pleasure. No one else had ever come close; no one had ever had a chance.

But now, I was in his arms, surrounded by the delicious smell of him, feeling his hands roam possessively over my body, and I was finally, finally about to release two hundred and fifty years of pent up sexual frustration. I was tired of waiting for a lover I never thought I would see again. He was here and I was ready.

So when he gripped my hair roughly enough to pull my head back to a near awkward angle, I moaned. When he sank his teeth into my neck hard enough to leave the sting of his venom behind, I gasped with pleasure instead of pain. I was frenzied with desire, and I needed him, now.

I ran my hands up under his shirt, pulling him closer, reveling in the feel of his body next to mine. I wanted to drive him crazy too, make him feel the fire that was burning me. I pulled back, gliding my thumb over the button of his jeans, sliding my other hand down inside them until I had wrapped it around his long, hard cock.

He looked at me, eyes hazed with lust. "Oh, Katie," he moaned, "are you trying to kill me, woman?"

"I only want a little taste," I said with the most innocent expression I could muster. Then I chuckled darkly as I knelt down in front of him, yanking his jeans down to his knees with one hand, holding his rock hard length in the other.

I licked my lips and plunged his cock into my mouth, all the way back. He groaned, and his hands came up to either side of my head, holding me still for one moment. As his hands relaxed into my hair, I struck up a rhythm, slow and steady, back and forth.

He moaned my name, and I could tell he was close. His hands, loose in my hair before, tightened and suddenly he was in control. He set a new pace, fast and furious, and I had to focus to relax my throat as he pounded into my mouth.

When he came, buried to the hilt in my mouth, he let out a strangled cry, "Mon ange." I swallowed every drop of him, enjoying the burning sensation as his venom spread down my throat. Idly, I realized this was what humans must feel when they drink whiskey. No wonder they enjoyed it.

I tipped my head back, delightedly taking in his blank expression as he recovered. There was no way I was going to be able to keep the proud smirk off my face. I didn't even try. When he regained his senses and saw my cat-that-ate-the-canary smile, he clucked his tongue teasingly.

"Oh, my sweet Katie, how on earth will I ever repay you for that?" Before I could even offer a cheeky suggestion, he had thrown me up against the stone wall of the cave. My shirt was ripped from me, and his mouth was covering my breast. Licking and sucking and teasing my nipple into a hardened, aching center of need, he tugged it with his teeth until I whimpered with desire, then paid the same homage to the other.

As he was driving me crazy with pleasure, he was sliding my jeans off me. I kicked them to the side, along with my panties, thankful that I'd at least have something to wear back to the house after this, even if I would be topless. He stood back and let his eyes roam over me hungrily as I leaned against the wall of the cave, completely naked.

"God you're perfect," he growled as he knelt down between my thighs. Taking one of my legs and throwing it over his shoulder, his tongue delved deep inside my already wet flesh. He relentlessly teased me with his mouth and fingers until I was moaning his name, cumming so hard that purple arches of electricity were bouncing off the cave's walls.

As I was lost in that haze of pleasure, he was already spinning me around to face the wall, pulling my hips back to meet his own. I braced my hands against the stone surface in anticipation as he slid inside of me. I arched up, desperate to get every inch of him inside of me, needing to feel him all the way to my heated, aching core.

And it was as perfect as the first time. He wasn't gentle. He pulled my hair and gripped my hips hard enough to bruise me if I had been capable of such a thing. He ground his body into mine with a strength and a passion that burned us up. Again and again he ran his fingers across my clit, his touch maddeningly insubstantial, until I was twisting and grinding against him, anxious to build up the friction I needed to provide me release.

When he was finally close, his fingers returned, but this time they weren't gentle. As I felt his body tightening behind mine, he took my swollen flesh between his thumb and forefinger and pinched it hard. I screamed as the sensation poured through me, planting my hands firmly against the wall so the electrical pulses that accompanied my orgasm were directed into the earth and not Garrett this time. The wall lit up in a dazzling display, the rock itself conducting my unleashed electrical current in unearthly orange and blue streaks.

As we slumped together in a naked mass on the floor, my head came to rest in the valley of his shoulder. There were so many things I wanted to say: that I loved him, that I would follow him anywhere, that, if he would have me, I would be his for eternity. And I wanted to hear him say the same to me. But there would be time for that later. Instead, we sat there in silence, listening to the ocean make love to the shore.