So we're really sorry for making you wait. We're busy with out own lives right now and our own individual chapters. I don't know when we'll post again. To keep yourselves occupied you can check out the stories on ArtimisLuna and Vinesonwroughtironbars. These are our individual accounts. Enjoy!

Chapter Eighteen

Cabanas and Starlight

After lunch the girls stole Zoey away for the rest of the afternoon. They sat out on a blanket in the grass chattering away like girls do. Zoey sat behind Pearl and worked on braiding her hair.

"You spent quite a bit of time with Zachariah last night." Zoey commented.

"He's interesting. Besides, Darla and Sam were no better."

"That is true. Zachariah is cute though. He seems very sweet."
"Oh, he is. He saw me to my room last night and bid me goodnight by kissing me on the cheek."

"Oh my, how long has it been, Pearl?"

"How long has it been since what?"

"Since you had a romance or even sex?"

"Too long." Pearl laughed.

"Never too late to start." Zoey chimed as she worked on the braid.

"I know, Dear. Let's not rush things. Now tell me, I saw you and Charles."

Zoey cut her off.

"Nothing is going on between us. Well Charles thinks there's something but I'm merely playing the game that Kalona wants me to with Charles. He says it will wear off soon. I'm just Charles's infatuation of the week."

Pearl had to agree.

"Gretchen seemed pretty pissed off this morning. Any clue why?" Pearl asked.

"Why do you assume I had to do with it?"

Pearl turned her head around and looked at Zoey.

"Ok, she was spying on Kalona and I. Kalona went to take a business call and left me to be surprised by Gretchen. It was a bitch fight."

"Ug. She's so hormonal."

"Tell me about it."

Just then the sound of sweet music could be heard pouring from the castle.

"Kalona is composing again." Emmeline chimed as she turned around to see the open French doors.

Kalona sat near the doors on a chair. He was armed with a cello, and the sight of him with the instrument was absolutely breathtaking. He held the instrument in a sensual way and dragged the bow across the strings as if he were making love to the cello.

"I bet that he's composing that piece for you, Zoey." Tabatha sighed in wonder.

"Maybe." Zoey squeaked as she finished off Pearl's braid.

Zoey then laid down on the blanket and stared up at the clouds. She thought about Kalona touching her as he had in the morning.

"Let's play a game." Darla piped up.

"A game sounds like fun."

As Kalona played upon the cello he stared out at the girls on the grass, keeping his attention mainly on Zoey. He was composing this piece just for her. He poured his heart and soul into the piece and made the cello moan in longing for Zoey. His piece ended when the girls began to squeal. He saw that they were running barefoot in the grass chasing one another. They looked like they were having a splendid time. He heard Zoey's laughter, which was like music to his ears. She looked like a goddess as she sprinted across the yard.

"Tackle the fledgling!" Tabatha exclaimed and then leapt at Zoey.

"Ah!" Zoey playfully squealed as she dodged being pulled down.

"Darn it, you're quick." Tabatha laughed as she got up.

" I have to be!" Zoey chimed as she leapt over a fallen log.

As Zoey chased after Darla she squealed with delight.

"This feels !"

"What the fuck?" Darla retorted.

"! You know, from Mary Poppins."

"You watch too many musicals!" Darla exclaimed.

"I do not!"

"A lady educated in theatre is a lady of the world." A familiar voice laughed hardily.

"Afternoon, Charles." Darla greeted.

The girls all stopped their play and snickered as Zoey turned bright red.

"Afternoon, Darla, and good afternoon to you, Priestess." Charles bowed.

"Good afternoon, Charles. Not to be rude, but what are you doing on the island?" Zoey asked with a quick glance over her shoulder at Kalona.

"Just checking in, did you get the flowers?" He asked now taking her hand.

Just as he was about to draw it to his lips Zoey pulled her hand away.

"Yes, they were lovely." She sighed and then her voice was icy cold and she didn't bother to mention that she'd thrown his flowers in the trash. "But I didn't give you permission to touch me."

The girls had not seen her like this and so they did not know how to react.

"Forgive me, Priestess." Charles pleaded with his eyes.

"Are you here for any other reason but attempting to woo me?"

"Not truly, but I'd like chance to win you over. What would you say to dinner tonight?"

"I'd have to refuse because Kalona has something special prepared for me tonight."

"My surprise is better."

"We'll just have to see about that. Another night maybe for I adore Kalona's surprises and will have no other but his this evening. I imagine tonight to be a surprise that I cannot miss."

Hope sparkled in Charles's eyes.

"I won't let you down, Priestess."

"Only time will tell. Goodbye, Charles."

"Farewell, Priestess, farewell."

Charles watched the group of girls walk away from him. His eyes were fixed solely upon Zoey who made her way back to the castle. Then they disappeared through the double doors and it was time for him to leave.

The sun was setting on the day when Zoey stared into the mirror in her room. Kalona had something special prepared for her and he had not given her even the smallest hint as to what it was. She dressed in an evening beach gown, for she knew that they were at least going for a walk on the beach. She remained barefoot and tried to look as natural as possible. Something had changed between them today, but it was a good change. They were progressing towards the next step that the both so badly wanted to make. She was dressed in a simple lavender full-length dress that was strapless. With a sigh of content she walked away from the mirror and then out the door, hoping that tonight would be the night.

At the bottom of the staircase stood Andrew looking proper as ever.

"Good evening, Zoey." He said with a knowing smile.

"Good evening, Andrew. Um, do you know where Kalona is?" She asked while looking around the room.

"Yes, I do. I'll take you to him." He offered her his arm, she sighed knowing that she should be use to this proper way of living during these sorts of events.

She hooked her arm through his and then let him guide her to where her fallen angel was. As they walked together she focused on the noises around her. She hoped that Kalona's odd mood had passed due to his musical release.

The grassed moved swiftly as the fabric of her dressed rubbed against it and slightly dragged. The sound of the waves crashing calmed her greatly.

"Are you all right, Zoey?" Andrew asked when he took notice of her odd behavior.

He knew that she wasn't usually this quiet.

"I'm fine, really."

He stopped walked and waited for her to give him a real answer.

"You're my mom's friend and so I care. You're cool. Something is bothering you, it's all over your face."

"Look, Andrew, it's nothing. Thanks for caring but it's nothing really."

"It's never nothing, so just spill. Kalona is acting weird, too."

"Look, he just started acting weird once I got the flowers today."

"It hurt his pride, Zoey. Did you even act like the flowers weren't a big deal? Did you stare at them or did you pass them by and then straight at him?"


"Thought so, just show him that it's him you're after."

With that they continued to walk down to the beach where Zoey saw a lovely cabana set up on the shore with a table and two chairs and a blanket beside it. Then there was the most breathtaking sight of them all. Kalona stood barefoot in the sand in black dress pants and a white button down that was a bit see-through and was only buttoned up halfway. Kalona's hair hung down just like she liked it. He stood with his hands behind his back and when he saw Zoey his eyes lit up and he smiled. Zoey smiled with content and excitement. She had been aching to see him ever since they parted after lunch. Not only did she want to make sure that he was okay, but she wanted to be back in his embrace.

When they reached the cabana Andrew slipped his arm away from Zoey's and then walked away.

"You look extraordinary tonight, Zoey." Kalona swooned as she took her time walking towards him with an angel smile on her face and a twinkle in her eyes.

"As do you, Kalona, my dearest love." She chimed as she gently placed a hand on his chest. "All I could think about was you while we were apart and how I wanted to be with you."

She knew that she was laying it on thick, but thick was what she needed right now to boost his confidence.

"Really, my love, thinking of me all afternoon? Not about any of your suitors or admirers?"

Her brow creased in frustration. Kalona softly put his finger on the creases and pretended to smooth them out.

"If you're going to mope about other boys liking me and not trust that after what we've been through that I don't see any other man in my life but you, I'll just go back to the castle and eat dinner alone in my room."

She dropped her hand from his chest and then turned to leave. Kalona grabbed her, but not harshly, by the wrist.

"Wait, Love, I'm sorry. I'm being stupid aren't I?"

Zoey turned to look at him and crossed her arms over her chest.

"Incredibly." She replied.

"I'm sorry, Zoey. It's just. You seemed so happy to get all those flowers. I thought maybe you were tired of just me."

"Oh, Love." She crooned and then reached for his arms and pulled them around her. "They're just flowers. They barely know me. You have to understand that I'm a High Priestess and half the time people send High Priestesses that kind of stuff merely to get on their good side. I bet you that half of the men that sent me flowers were just doing it for that reason. Besides, there isn't a man on this Earth whose arms I'd rather be in at this very moment than yours."

She stood on her tiptoes and pressed her lips to his. After a few short kisses she parted her lips and whispered.

"Do you believe me, now?"

He groaned and then crashed his lips upon hers. "Yes."

Before their kiss got too heated she pulled back smiled. "You know for the first time last night I was jealous when I saw you dancing with other women. I see the way other women look at you, they way they want you."

"But Zoey, when they look at me I'm looking at you, wanting only you."

"That is how I am when other men look at me."

He bent down to kiss her again and she accepted the light peck.

"You really didn't have to do all of this, Kalona. We could have had dinner inside and I would have been just as impressed and felt just as wanted and loved."

"I know, but out here I have you all to myself without anyone to interrupt."

He took her by the hand and led her over to the whicker table and pulled out her chair for her.

"Thank you." She murmured.

Just as he was about to go sit down at his seat he rushed back over to her side.

"I almost forgot." He chimed as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a thin silver chain with a small silver heart on it

"I made this for you today. Tabatha told me that you kept looking at anklet's when you were on the mainland but the ones that you kept finding you thought were too expensive."

He let her see what the heart said.

"Aw, Kalona. It says I love you and it's in silver too. Aw."

"Nope, it's white gold. And I do love you."

"I love you, too."

He knelt down in he sand and gently grabbed her leg that she said she wanted it on. With his skilled hands he undid the clasp and put it on her. He kissed her ankle and then stood up.

"Thank you, Kalona. I love it."

He smiled and then went back to his seat. Their dinner has already been plated in front of them and it looked delicious.

"I tried my hand at cooking with a little help from Emmeline and Victoria."

"It looks delicious and smells heavenly. You really are going all out tonight. If you weren't you I'd think you were up to something."

She put her napkin in her lap and then reached for her wine glass.

Cheers." She chimed and then clanked glasses with Kalona.


She picked up her fork and twirled it in the pasta that had basil, freshly diced tomatoes, and shrimp. She lifted it to her mouth and once it entered almost moaned in pleasure. It was one of the best things that she had ever tasted.

"Kalona this is so good." She practically moaned and then went in for another forkful.

Kalona was happy to see that she ate. When Zoey first came to the island he feared that she was going to be one of those "salad eating chicks" who lived off diet drinks, salads and cardboard cookies. Zoey appreciated food and he couldn't wait until it was safe for her to travel to take her to foreign places and sample the foods of the world. He knew that besides here and the Council's island she had never been outside of Tulsa.

"I had Thomas make a quick trip to the mainland to go to the market. After I got a little briefing this morning from Pearl on the needs of a fledgling to have an easy completion of the change. We should all be eating healthy anyway, but we're changing the menu so that all meals are healthy. Except we couldn't find it in us to get rid of desert."

"Aw, Love. You didn't have to do that."

"Yes, I did. Zoey, you're living here. This is your home. At home you should have things that help you grow and make you strong. You're part of this family and families are willing to take one for the team to make one of their members stronger. I talked to the others and they all were happy to do this except for one, you know who I mean. You're going to make it through the change and we want to be here for you every step of the way. We want to do whatever it takes to give you the upper hand."

"That's so sweet, Kalona. Thank you. I swear if you weren't sitting across the table from me I'd kiss you."

"After dessert we can do as much of that as you like."

Mmmmmm. That sounds better than dessert."

"You'll just have to wait."

When dinner was over Kalona smiled and asked.

"So what did Charles want?"

"He invited me over for dinner. He wanted tonight but I told him that you had something special planned for me and that I love your surprises. He also doesn't know that I threw his flowers in the trash."

"You did what?" He laughed.

"Threw them in the garbage where they belong."

"That's not very nice."

"Neither is he. He's trying to shake you."

"Are you going to dinner?"

"Not alone of course. I think I'll give him a surprise when I bring either Andrew or Pearl along."

"Not me?"

"That would be too obvious. He'd think you were will seem like I'm just bringing a friend along casually with me."

"Smart girl."

Kalona got up from his chair and went to sit down on the blanket that had a plate of chocolate colored fruit by it.

"Come here." He lured her with his finger.

Quickly she got out of her chair and hurried to his side. He laid out beside her and she laid out as well. He took a chocolate covered strawberry and put it to her lips as he wrapped his arm around her shoulders. She took a bite out of the strawberry and blushed because of the sensual smile on his face. Kalona then bit into what was left over and took a grape from the tray after she was finished chewing. He placed it between her lips and growled sensually as her lips wrapped around his fingers. She almost choked on the grape because she thought it was too funny.

"What's so funny?" He asked faking a hurt expression.

After she finished chewing she had to contain her laughter.

"Where did you get this idea?"

"You don't like it?"

"It's not that, this just seems so…so…"

"Stupid." Kalona laughed.


"I saw it in a movie once. It was supposed to be sensual."

"You want sensual. Then that's what you'll get."

She drew his face down to hers and wrapped an arm around his neck. Their lips met slowly at first and caressed tenderly. That was until Kalona tangled his legs with hers and Zoey felt his massive hard on against her thigh. Kalona wrapped his free hand around her waist as she reached up to put her hand on his cheek. He licked her bottom lip asking for permission, which she thankfully granted. Their tongues intertwined as they battled for dominance. Zoey loved the way that Kalona tasted. What she loved even more was his hand roaming down her back until he cupped her left ass cheek. He gave it a squeeze, which caused Zoey to moan. Then his hand roamed lower until he was pulling up her dress. When his hand made contact with her bare thigh she began to kiss him more fiercely. All he heard was the sound of their lips kissing and Zoey's moaning. He knew that she could feel his hardness against her. They were spooned, his front to her back. As he dared to move his hand move his hand up higher to her hip he realized that there wasn't any fabric or undergarment.

Zoey chuckled as Kalona gasped when he discovered that she wasn't wearing underwear. She wanted to give him easy access for she was determined to do it with him tonight. She pulled him down further so his upper body was now on top of hers and her head was on the blanket. Zoey let go of him and then moved her hands to the buttons on his shirt. She made quick work of undoing the buttons and then pulling off his shirt. Lustfully she ran her hands across his chest, feeling every muscle that she could. Slowly she slid her hand down his chest until she reached his pants. She popped open the button and pulled down the zipper. Kalona helped her pull down and kick off his pants, leaving him bear for he wasn't wearing underwear. Kalona then slid his hand back up her dress and helped her pull it off.

"Kalona." She gasped as he moved his head to her breasts.

He had lost the fight to go through with the plan he had made up to make love to her for their first time. There were going to be roses involved but now it would be blankets and sand. As he put his mouth on her right nipple Zoey moaned. He could smell her arousal and it intoxicated him. He positioned himself between her legs and looked up at her.

"Please." She begged.

Just as he was about to enter her he felt something wet touch his leg. Zoey seemed to notice the wetness too but it was by her hand. They looked around and noticed that the tide had come in and was about to wash over them. When the wave tried to coat them Zoey squealed and got up and grabbed her clothes. Kalona got up and grabbed his as well. They pulled on their clothes as they ran onto the grass, and then collapsed as they laughed.

"With my luck I should have known that would happen." Zoey laughed as she curled up next to Kalona.

"Everything has its reasons. I guess I didn't think about the tide."

"So, it was fun."

Kalona buried his face into the crook of her neck.

"Do you want to spend the night?" He asked, his voice now sweet and tender."

"Yes." She replied as she hugged him closer.

"Then why don't you go get changed for bed and make yourself cozy in my bed. I'll be up in a few minutes. The boys and I will bring everything side." He pecked her on the lips and then helped her up.

"I'll be waiting." She whispered in his ear and then ran off.

Zoey had changed into a nightgown that went to her knees and was sleeveless that was made out of Egyptian cotton. This time she put on panties because the sea now had ruined the mood. She had taken off her necklace but kept her anklet on. She was sitting now on the edge of Kalona's bed. She was browsing songs on his iPod on his nightstand that was hooked up to an iHome. Just then Kalona walked in looking handsome as ever. He smiled at her and then headed to his set of drawers for something to change into.

"I'll be back in a minute." He chimed and then disappeared into the bathroom.

As Kalona changed into a pair of pajama pants and t-shirt he thought about how good Zoey looked tonight. She was out there sitting on his bed waiting for him. He realized at that moment that she looked young. Not young like a child but young. Though his own body looked young his was incredibly old. It was just then that he heard the song playing that explained everything he felt.

"I touch your hands

And my arms grows strong,

Like a pair of birds

That burst with song.

My eyes look down

At your lovely face,

And I hold a world

In my embrace."

Kalona opened the door and walked out to his lovely angel as he began to sing.

"Younger than springtime, are you

Softer than starlight, are you,

Warmer than winds of June.

Are the gentle lips you gave me."

He crossed the space between them and sat down on the bed beside her. He took her into his arms. He pulled her onto his lap and held her to his chest as they stared into each other's eyes.

"Gayer than laughter, are you,

Sweeter than music, are you,

Angel and lover, heaven and earth,

Are you to me.

And when your youth

And joy invade my arms,

And fill my heart as now they do,

Then younger than springtime, am I,

Gayer than laughter, am I,

Angel and lover, heaven and earth,

Am I with you!

And when your youth

And joy invade my arms,

And fill my heart as now they do,

Then younger than springtime, am I,

Gayer than laughter, am I,

Angel and lover, heaven and earth,

Am I with you."

Gretchen had been sitting outside the door the entire time and she had heard Kalona sing to Zoey. Kalona had never sang around her, nevertheless to her. She envied Zoey with a passion. She would find a way to get what she wanted. She needed to win him over. She smiled evilly.

"Oh, Kalona." Zoey swooned and then drew his face down to hers.

Kalona reached towards the bedside table and turned off the music.

"Oh, Zoey." He crooned as he rested his forehead against hers.

"I adore your voice, when you sing and when you talk."

"As do I yours, my love."

He pressed his lips tenderly to hers as he stroked her hair.

"I love you." Zoey murmured against his lips.

"As I love you." He replied as he lowered them down onto the bed.

He broke the kiss and laid his head down on the pillows at the headboard. He pulled Zoey on top of his chest and smiled up at her.

"This feels right, this moment right here, you and me." He breathed as he ran his fingers through Zoey's hair.

Zoey kicked her feet like scissors as she looked down at him.

"It does feel right because it is right." She whispered causing him to smile.



"Mm. I like it when you call me that."

"Then I'll call you that more often." She giggled.

He smiled childishly at her. Then his eyes turned soft.

"Does it bother you, how old I am?"

"No, not at all my love. I don't really think of you as old. I don't really think of you as having an age. How old are you?"

"Too old to count. I've lived too many centuries."

"Does it bother you how young I am?"

"No, Zoey, not at all. You're such a free spirit. I think it's what makes us fit. We can fill each other's cups. You've taught me so much when I thought that I knew everything."

"Then why do I still sense worry in your face, Honey?" She asked using the word that made him smile.

"It's just, what will your parents think. You're grandmother knows and so your parents must know or will soon. Why didn't you call them? You could have. You know I'm not trying to control you but I think right now talking to your grandma is the only safe thing unless you want to talk to your family. Neferet could find a way to listen into House of Night phone calls if she went back to shake my men off her path."

"I understand, Honey. As for my parents, they wouldn't care they don't care about anything."

"What do you mean, Sweetheart? They're your parents, they love you."

He could tell that something was wrong. There was tension pulsing through her body.

"It's hard to talk about."

"Try, for me, please."

She nodded but knew she wouldn't cry.

"My biological abandoned my mother and I when I was two. Haven't heard from him since. My mom and I were happy for a while, just the two of us. I spent a lot of time with Grandma, and still do. Mom was a free spirit. Well that was until she met John, or as I like to call him, the step-loser. That man is dumber than a doornail. He's also incredibly biased. He's part of the People of Faith. He brainwashed my mother I swear. She was so open-minded and accepting of everyone. Then she met him. She became as closed-minded as he is. They got married and I got hell. I got marked. They got mad. My mom tried to tell me I was just sick and that they were gong to get the family doctor. I ran away because I knew I needed to get to the House of Night. I didn't know how and I didn't know what to do so I went to my Grandma's lavender farm and she took me to the House of Night after I passed out and saw Nyx for the first time. Grandma always came on parents' night. She supports me in everything I do and she is always there when I need her. My parents came it was a disaster. He tried to tell Neferet that our faith was wrong and that Nyx was a fraud. It was absolutely embarrassing. So step-loser doesn't give a shit about me. As long as my mom is married to that asshat she wont care what happens to me. He made her choose and she chose him."

Kalona wrapped his arms around her and held her tight.

"I'm so sorry." He whispered as he wrapped his wings around her.

"It's ok. She's happy so that's what matters. Now I get to be happy."

"Yes, now you get to be happy."

"Can we change the subject? I don't like talking about this." She laughed.

"Oh course, my love. I have a question for you."

"What is it, Honey?"

"Are you afraid of my children?"

"The raven mockers."


"Only a little bit. I mean one killed Professor Anastasia and one attacked me."

"I'm so sorry about that. I can't apologize enough. My point is, would it bother you if they were let out of their isolated area in the castle and were allowed to roam the island freely?"

"They shouldn't stay captive because of me. I can learn not to be so freaked out by them."

"I promise. They wont hurt you."

"Go let them out now. Tell them they can be free to roam. I'll wait here." Her voice became playful. "In your bed."

"I'll make it fast. It's rude to keep a lady waiting."

As he got up he heard Zoey sigh from loss of his contact. He knew that she secretly liked to be wrapped up in his wings. He pulled back the covers once he was off the bed and helped her under them. As he walked around the room turning off lights he couldn't help but feel his heart swell with love at the sight of her snuggled up in his bed. It looked so right. She cuddled one of his pillows as she would him. He wanted to be back in her arms but he had a task to take care of.

When he got to the isolated section of the castle where his children were, he smiled. He opened the door and smiled even more when he saw the raven mockers lounging. Each of them had their own room but just like any other person they liked to relax together.

"Father." Haemon greeted him.

"Good evening, Haemon." Kalona chimed.

Haemon wasn't quite sure as to why his father was in such a cheery mood. It was very much unlike him.

"I would like everyone's attention!" Kalona boasted joyfully. "Tonight is a joyful one! For you all are no longer to be isolated. The island is yours to roam again."

There was a loud cheering that made Kalona even happier. One of his sons approached him, Damien.

"Father, issssss sssssshe sssssstill here?"

"Yes, and now I must retire to my bed where she awaits me. I love her so. She is sweet and tender like spring but strong like an ox. She is independent like any High Priestess should be."

"Are you happy, Father?"

"Yes, very happy."

"Are we allowed to go near her?"

"Yes, my son. Just don't do anything to scare her."

"Of course, Father. Rephiam hasss not returned."

"I am aware of that. I worry."

"Would you like me to go back to Tulsssssa to search for him?"

"No, it's too dangerous. They think we are enemies. They have every right to think that. We killed innocent vampyres."

"I understand. Father."

"Now, if you'd excuse me, I have a wonderful woman waiting in my bed and it's rude to keep a lady waiting."

When Kalona returned to his room he was welcomed by the peaceful sight of Zoey resting her head on the pillows with the blanket pulled up to her chin. Her eyes were closed but she fidgeted so he knew she wasn't asleep. Kalona crept over to his side of the bed and slipped under the covers so that his front spooned her back. He wrapped his strong arms around her and he felt her wiggle closer to him.

"I'm back." He whispered in her ear.

Slowly she turned her head to look at him, and then smiled.

"I missed you."

"I missed you, too."

Zoey yawned but it wasn't a rude and noisy one, it was soft and almost childlike. He smiled and then whispered tenderly.

"Go to sleep, Love."

And she did. Just like that.