The pain that shocked her system was indescribable. It sent a fire that swept through her and consumed every fiber of her being that she felt her convulse again, over and over under her body went limp from exhaustion. She heard the familiar and loving voice of Damien, encouraging her, reminding her that he was right there and then…she hurled. Violently. Until there was nothing else left but dry heaves. A few minutes later she felt herself being lifted, her clothing removed-something she struggled against until she was reminded that it was no one else but Damien- and then her body relax as it hit the deliciously warm and sudsy water of her tub. The side of her neck ached, and she was aware that Damien was careful not to brush up against it too much. The wound was raw and the creature that did that to her, that vampire had clearly wanted to do more than kill her. Her eyes snapped open at the realization, and the tall, shadowy outline that defined Damien, spoke in soft tones to her, reassuring her that they were alone.
Guinevere was the creature’s name, and she only knew that because another one had saved her. Another vampire. And, now here she was with Damien. He cleansed her tenderly before scooping her into his arms and wrapped her in the plush robe that he had discovered in the huge walk in closet. Her mother’s. Kennedy made a mental note that maybe it was time to get rid of some things. Her parents were never coming back and all of their reminders did not help. He propped her up on the bed and she could feel him staring at her. “I don’t know what happened,” she whispered. Between the pain and the awakening fear, she did her best to fight back the tears that flooded her already bad vision but it was too much. She almost died again. “I was at the park with Hubert and she came out of nowhere,” she stammered. “She said I was the reason why you looked at her with disgust…” ‘Guinevere,” he growled. “It was Guinevere.” “Who is she and why?” She could sense Damien fidgeting around in discomfort, and it was then that she realized that there was still much more she did not know about this man or vampire. “I am a prince,” he stated with no emotion. “Guinevere is to be my bride-not by my choice. I want nothing to do with her-““-So you are engaged?” Kennedy said feeling like she just got punched in the stomach. “Yes,” Damien said dryly. “Courtesy of my father who is the King.” “When were you going to tell me?” Kennedy could barely speak, not without giving away the fact that her heart was breaking. “I have been working on finding a way out…” “I see…” “She won’t come for you again,” Damien said quickly taking her hand. “My sister Lucinda took care of that.” “And how did she know about me? How did both of them know about me?” “Guinevere caught your scent even after I showered last night. Her family has a legendary ability to track virtually anyone or anything which made them incredibly skilled…hunters. I did not know that she would find you so quickly if at all but I clearly underestimated her ability. Lucinda had been following Guinevere because she never liked her and she too had caught your scent mixed with mine…and she was able to save you. She saved you because…because of me…” Damien allowed his last statement to trail off as he studied Kennedy’s heartbroken expression. Tears streamed down her lovely brown face like a spring rain and gently wiped her face with his palm, collecting each tear as if it were a precious diamond. He could feel the pain-not just the physical pain of the attack but the emotional turmoil that she suffered. Because of him. She was an intelligent woman. She was independent. She was not some feeble minded nor emotionally needed woman who yearned for basic companionship. She trusted him; something that he did not want to lose. As Damien continued to study her, he realized only a woman in love would allow any of this. He could feel it in her smile and the way her heart would beat erratically and frantically in his presence. Kennedy felt his gaze and put her face in her hands. This was too much. The man that she lov- the man that she…she… “I love you Kennedy,” he blurted out. The man that she was in love with was about to be married to someone else. Life sucked. Balls.
“Did you hear me,” he said. “I love you.” She had heard him the first time but could not find the strength to say it back. He had struck a chord and the floodgates reopened and more crystal tears poured down her face and her soul cried out for the release. “I love you too,” She finally managed to say. “Hopelessly in love with you…” And then she sobbed until her very soul was tired.