After the party.
The sound of footsteps outside her bedroom caused her to close her eyes tightly. A moment later she knew someone was standing by her bed.
“Casey I am so sorry.”
Anna’s soft voice broke the silence. Part of Casey wanted to open her eyes and speak but another part of her could not. She remained still until at last she heard Anna turn and leave the room. As much as she loved Anna it would be impossible to talk to her now. So many thoughts were going through her mind she needed time. Her mind and body were both hurting.
Gerard was surprised when Anna came out of Casey’s room so quickly. He’d been waiting in the hallway.
“She won’t talk to you?” he said softly as they made their way towards their room.
“I believe she is pretending to be asleep." Anna whispered in a voice filled with sadness.
“Maybe she really is." Gerard answered. “It’s been a fuckin’ long day for her.”
Anna knew in her heart Casey wasn’t asleep yet in a way she was happy Casey hadn’t stirred. What would she say to her? What could she say?
They entered their bedroom and both went directly to their bed. Gerard pulled Anna close.
“It’s okay, Sugar.” He whispered in the darkness.
“She became involved." Anna’s voice was dull and lifeless.
Unlike Anna, Gerard had witness much more of what had happened. He’d purposely tried to keep her from seeing the truth. “It was her choice.’ He answered knowing that much was true. However what he’d seen was still haunting him. Marcus had treated Casey badly and for that he would answer to Gerard the first opportunity he had to speak with the Pure alone.
“I am afraid.” Anna whispered her voice suddenly full of emotion.
“You’re afraid because His Excellence is coming." Gerard said stroking her back as he held her tightly.
“I fear our lives will soon change.’ Anna admitted.
Gerard too held this fear.
Casey was again staring through the darkness at the ceiling when she heard the door open again. She quickly shut her eyes before she realize who had entered her room. A moment later she felt her body being lifted from the bed. Marcus had thrown off the blanket and scooped her up into his arms. Casey clung to him as he quickly carried her down the hallway to his room. Once there he placed her on the bed. She opened her eyes and saw once more his eyes had returned to normal.
“Why were you in that room?” He asked.
“Anna told me that was my bedroom." She answered slowly.
Marcus rubbed his forehead as he sat down on the bed beside her. “You will share my bed.”
Casey knew she had to push him to make him understand the truth. “I wasn’t sure if you wanted me to."
He exploded, “Fuck it Casey. Just stop. I know damn good and well you know I want you in my bed. Stop playing games.”
Slowly she sat up looking at his face in the soft light of the lamp that had been turned on. “I know you want me in your bed but more than that you want me in your life.”
“Damn it” Marcus sighed. “Look I’ve decided. After His Excellence’s visit I’m taking you home.” The words were forced but he had realized it was the only thing to do.
“I am home.” Casey said softy. “When I am with you, I am home."
“How can you say that?” He stated at her in disbelief.
Casey pulled her knees to her chest hugging herself. “Because it’s true.”
“After what happened downstairs you still want to be with me? Are you crazy?” He said shaking his head.
Casey smiled slightly. “Well maybe. For years I believed I was.”
“This isn’t funny.” Marcus exploded. “I’m taking you back for your own good.”
She titled her head looking directly into his eyes. “I know you really think that’s true but it’s not.”
“Why else would I be doing this?” He asked staring at her.
Her smile was beautiful. “Because you are afraid.”
He’s eyes narrowed. “Casey, I fear nothing.”
Much to his annoyance she laughed. “Oh yeah, the Pure fears nothing. Except what can’t be.”
He knew she was repeated his words. Words that had been pulled from deep within in his soul.
Casey reached out to touch his arm. “Marcus, I understand.”
He shook his head. “No, you don’t. I can’t have this feeling for you that you want to believe. I can’t.”
“Because it would be terrible to love me?”
“I love you because of our bond.” He said automatically.
“You felt something for me before the bond.” Casey said softly.
“I didn’t even know you.”
“And I didn’t know you but once we actually spoke, once we truly looked into each others eyes..” She paused “I knew it was real.”
“Oh shit.” He stood and began to pace. “No, you’re wrong. A Pure does not feel the love mortals share. It is impossible.”
“Jacob is a Pure.” Casey reminded him. “And he feels that love.”
“We aren’t discussing him.” Marcus said quickly.
Casey smiled, “Only because you don’t want to admit that truth. As a Pure it’s hard for you to admit you could be wrong about what you always believed was fact.” She paused then asked, “Do you know how Anna and Gerard first met?”
It was apparent by the look on his face he’d never heard the story so Casey continued. She sighed, “Marcus you are so close to them and you don’t know.”
He frowned, “I just assumed she saw him and wanted him.”
Casey rolled her eyes. “You know better than that. Anna is unlike you, she just doesn’t see something she wants then takes it.”
“Okay, so she’s told you the story?”
“No.” Casey said shaking her head. “Aunt Claire told my mom. Gerard was a very young boy when Anna first saw him.”
Marcus’s eyebrow rose, “How young?"
“Pretty young.” Casey smiled, “But she said she knew when she looked into his eyes that Gerard was her soul mate.”
“Oh shit.” Marcus muttered, “That soul mate thing.”
“Anna believed in soul mates because Jacob had told her the possibility of finding hers was real.”
“Yeah, well that whole soul mate thing didn’t work out so good for Jacob.”
Casey knew he was speaking of Judith. “Maybe he didn’t find his true soul mate until he met Katherine.”
“You said they are still together. Are they happy?” Casey asked.
Marcus realized there would be no point in lying. “Yeah, they’re happy together. Shit, I’m shocked they are still together.”
“Because he found his true soul mate.” Casey said softly.
Marcus stated pacing again. Part of him wanted to believe in what she said was true. So many times he’d wondered what it would be like to find someone to truly share his life with for all time. That thought however brought up even more emotions he didn’t want to deal with.
“You are afraid I’m wrong.’ Casey said sadly.
Marcus wasn’t sure what she meant. “Wrong about the soul mate thing?”
“No, wrong about the fact I believe I will be allowed to be turned.”
There she was in his head again. When he turned to face her she saw the look of confusion on his face. She could not only see it, she could hear it in his mind, feel it in her body. “Marcus, I love you.”
He stood staring at her forgetting to breathe knowing on some level he didn’t need to pretend anything he wasn’t around her. His voice shook when he spoke. “I can’t say the words.”
Once again a beautiful smile covered her face. “You don’t need to say them out loud. I heard them downstairs."
He walked back over then slowly sat down. “You heard those words in my head after I’d brutalized you. Is that truly the kind of man you want to be with?"
“I understood what you were doing downstairs. The moment you realized the truth about how you feel for me your anger took over.” She shuddered slightly. “It was so intense. You wanted to hate me.”
“Yeah, I did.” He lowered his head. “I really did.”
“And when you couldn’t…” Her voice trailed off.
He reached out to run his finger gently down her cheek, “Part of me still wants to hate you. You’re confusing the shit out of me. I don’t like it.”
“Because you’ve always been in complete control.” Casey said knowing the truth. “As a Pure that is what you believe is most important.”
“It is important.”
She nodded, “Yes, of course. And you’ve loved being that way. You are Marcus the Pure known for his infamous parties. The Pure who had gone through your existence being in control of not only yourself but many others.” She paused, “Others like Anna and Gerard. I could feel how pleased you were you could tell another Pure no, that he could not have them.”
He wasn’t sure he liked where she was going with this. “I do that to protect them.”
“Yes, I know. But why?”
“Why?” Now he was really confused.
“Because they are bound to me. They belong to me.”
Casey sighed, “Yet, you let the love they share for each other be more important than your wants. When Jonathan was looking at Anna I could feel how protective you felt towards her.” He stated to speak but she held up her hand to stop him. “Not because she belongs to you but because you love and want to protect her.” She smiled, “You feel the same way towards Gerard.”
He studied her face closely, “And the fact that I feel that way towards a man doesn’t bother you?”
Casey shook her head, “Not at all.” It was the truth. She took a deep breath, “But the love you feel for them isn’t nearly as intense as what you feel for me.”
His first thought was to deny what she said was true but when he looked into her eyes he understood there would be no point, she knew. “Casey, for the first time in my existence I feel lost.”
“And?” She prayed he would admit the truth.
Marcus lowered his head, “I am afraid. Afraid about this feeling I have for you. Afraid that if I allow myself to believe it’s true it I could lose it.”
“If I am not allowed to be turned.”
“Yes.” He said looking up. “What if you’re wrong? What if you are not allowed to become a Healer?” His voice shook, “What would I do if I lost you?"
Casey quickly scooted towards him. She placed her arms around him then whispered, “You will never lose me. You are my soul mate.”
Marcus closed his eyes wanting desperately to believe.
Slowly Casey scooted back towards the center of the bed. She smiled when Marcus looked over. “Let’s snuggle.”
His eyes grew wide.
Casey laughed, “Oh Lord. You’ve never snuggled?”
The woman was driving him mad. “No, guess I’m just not a snuggle kind of guy.”
She patted the mattress beside her in invitation. “Only one way to find out.”
He shook his head but a moment later was laying beside her.
“You could lose the robe.” She whispered playfully tugging at the garment he’d thrown on before going to her room.
“Casey if I lie naked next to you snuggling won’t be on my mind.”
She kissed his cheek then whispered. “I need to feel your skin next to mine.”
He groaned then quickly struggled out of the robe. When he was again lying next to her she slid her leg over his then put her head on his chest. “This is nice.” She purred. Suddenly she lifted her head in shock, “Dead puppies? Why are you thinking about dead puppies?"
Marcus sighed, “Gerard once told me it’s a guy thing. I guess when they don’t want to think about sex they try to think about something bad. He said he’d think about dead puppies.”
Casey’s laugh was musical. Feeling his need pressing against her she said softly, “Guess it isn’t working.”
“Hey I’ve never had to try not to think about sex before.” He moaned. “I’m trying.”
Casey wanted to think about it as much as he did but first she had questions she needed answered. “Marcus, tell me about the drink that was served.”
“What?” Why in the hell was she asking questions about what happened downstairs, that was the last thing he wanted to think about.
“I want to understand everything about your world." She answered softly.
Marcus sighed, “It was a very old blood.”
“Like aged fine wine?"
He shrugged slightly, “Yeah, I suppose you could look at it that way. It is expensive so usually only Pures are able to serve it."
Casey nodded. “About Anna and Gerard.”
‘You really want to talk about this?"
“I really want to understand.” Casey answered. “Was it strange she fed from the blood bound first?”
“You mean before having sex?"
“Yeah, I noticed the sex and feeding seemed to happen at the same time for everyone else.”
Marcus was uncomfortable discussing this but it was obvious she insisted on understanding so he explained, “Feeding without sex at a party isn’t all that unusual but because Jonathan watches Anna so closely I was concerned.”
“So why did she do it?”
“Gerard always makes sure it happens that way. He knows how difficult it is for her.”
“Oh” Casey said, “I understand. Once she's had enough blood her Healer nature is stronger so it’s easier for her to act the part of a Healer.”
“Yes.” Marcus said slowly, “Anna still fights the Healer blood’s effects. I don’t know for sure but I believe something that happened during her mortal life make her this way.”
Casey spoke softly, “Because she finds it hard to separate love and the act of sex.”
Marcus sighed, “Suppose that’s true.” He paused, “For true Healers sex is just something we enjoy. It has nothing to do with love.” When Casey grew silent he wished he could hear her thoughts. “I’m sorry but that is the truth.”
“Are all the women here blood bound to you?"
The question caught him off guard. “Yes.” He answered slowly. “But they also serve Gerard and Anna.”
“They feed from them.”
He wondered what direction her mind was going in now. “Yeah.”
“But they don’t have sex with them.”
Now she seemed to be going into a line of questioning he knew he wasn’t going to enjoy. “I doubt it.”
“I doubt it too.” Casey said softly. “Tonight Anna may have watched that woman with Gerard but when he came it was with her."
Mortal’s opinions of sex never ceased to amaze him. “And that’s okay?"
“They both know they must appear to be like other Healers. But the actual moment of ecstasy they share with each other.”
Marcus realized she was right. The only time he’d ever seen Anna actually have sex, actually orgasm had been the night long ago she’d brought a then mortal Gerard to his party. He shook his head trying to quickly erase that memory before Casey could pick up on it.
“Do you understand why I did what I did?’ She asked softly.
Again she was confusing him. “What?”
“When I defied you.’ She clarified. “I could not stand the thought of that woman’s mouth on you.”
Automatically his arms tightened around her body. “I tried to warn you what would happen.” He said sadly.
“I know. But….” Her voice grew softer. “I heard your thoughts, I know you wanted me to feel that I meant nothing more to you then the others. I just wanted to prove to you that you were wrong.”
“So in turn I abused you.” He ground out. “I fucked you while I drank from another.”
Casey leaned up to look into his face. “Yeah, you did fuck me. That’s all it was, it was angry and you meant to hurt me.”
He closed his eyes.
“You thought that if you could make me hate you then you could hate me.” She reached out and touched his cheek, “Open your eyes.’ When he did she continued, “But it didn’t work. I meant what I said, I belong to you but you belong to me.”
Marcus was lost in her eyes. “I have to know. Are you going to speak to His Excellence about being turned?”
Casey could hear the fear in his voice. “I’m not sure the time is right but if it is then yes, I will speak to him about it.” She was watching his expressions closely. “But I need to you tell me it would be something you want."
“Casey, you can hear my thoughts.”
She nodded, “Yes but I still want to hear you say it out loud.” She smiled slightly, “I mean I know this seems sudden.”
He shook his head, “No, not sudden. Since that day in the cemetery I’ve been drawn to you. I just didn’t understand the feeling.” His hand came up to brush the hair from her face, “But I understand it now.”
“And understanding it, you’ve decided it’s what you want?”
His voice was strong and sure. “I want you by my side. I want you to be a part of my life. If it is allowed I want to be your Maker.”
Casey smiled then leaned her head back down to rest on his chest. “That is what I want more than anything else.” As she said it her hand trailed down his leg.
Marcus groaned, “Woman, you really need to stop that. Thinking about dead puppies ain’t helping.”
Her hand moved lower. “Then stop thinking about dead puppies. Think about making love to me.”
“Making love.” He repeated slowly. “That’s something I’ve never done.”
Casey smiled knowing he was now acknowledging the difference between sex and love.
Suddenly he sat up. As Casey watched he moved his body down the bed.
“Marcus what are you doing?” Her breath caught when he leaned down to kiss her lower stomach.
“I know what I did earlier hurt you.” His fingers gently spread her legs. “I will heal your body then I will make love to you.” To prove his point he carefully pried open her lips exposing her to him. When his tongue darted out to trail up and down her slit she marveled in the pleasure. Again and again he continued the action until the pleasure began to build to something more, much more.
“Marcus.’ She whispered his name as her hips lifted off the bed to meet his mouth.
He lifted his head and smiled. “Little One, I want to do this for you. I want to give you pleasure.”
“But I want to feel you inside me.’ She said breathlessly.
“When you are ready you will,” he promised before lowering his mouth again to make love to her.