My whole body was humming still from him being that close. My brain was racing faster than my pulse as everything that had happened in the last hour of my life started to digest. “Okay. I need some space. Please, everyone just go find something else to be doing and let me think.”
Troy nodded to all the inquisitive looks around the room and bodies started moving toward the door.
I pointed at him. “You. Stay. There will be questions.”
Quinton looked hesitantly from his leader back to me. “I’ll just be outside if you need me, Daxx.”
My heart bonded with this gentle creature at that moment. Reaching out, I placed my hand on his arm. “Thank you, Quinton.”
His brown eyes were shining when they looked up from my hand on his arm. Carefully he patted it and then gave a brisk nod to Troy and left.
Troy’s eyes were appraising me carefully. “If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were some sort of miracle.”
“What? I think you have prophecy and fairy tale mixed up there, big guy.”
He grinned and shook his head. “Never mind, it’s complicated.” He continued to lean there and look at me.
Suddenly feeling warm, I shrugged out of my jacket and then looked down when I remembered I was only wearing a thin spaghetti strap top that left a lot of skin bare and showing. Looking back over at him, I watched his eyes that were red again checking out the flesh that was exposed. “So, are you a vampire or something?”
His red eyes moved back to my face. “Not exactly, but we’ve been referred to as such for centuries.”
Nightmare returning… “You drink blood?” I reached for the handle of my raptor, needing to feel its familiar handle in my grip.
“Worse,” he whispered as he straightened up and moved back toward me.
I swallowed and thought long about what could possibly be worse than sucking the blood from a body. I had no suggestions to offer up.
“We drink your essence.” He stopped in front of me.
Slowly looking up the large chest in front of my face, I searched his red eyes. “My what?”
He leaned down closer and I swallowed again.
“Your essence. Your spirit.” He said slowly.
Looking down at me again I watched his eyes brighten and fangs lengthen. I curbed the insane thought of touching one with my finger tip to see if it was as sharp as it looked. I believed the worse part now, just looking at him.
“We bite…” he touched the side of my throat with the back of his hand, “right here and drink your essence.”
“And I die.” Where was the run reflex that should have gone with that statement?
“Only if we take it all quickly, which as it turns out is bad for both parties…” he touched my throat slowly again and then whispered. “You don’t need to fear me, little Daxx, part of your power is I can’t take a damn thing from you unless you consent.”
I leaned back and looked up at him. “Really?” My heart didn’t seem to slow down at the thought of being safe from his bite. “Good to know. Now back away so we can get down to playing twenty questions.”
Reaching out, he touched my hair between two fingers and then backed up. He went over and sat down on the couch and motioned to the chair across from it.
With a lot of hesitation, I sat down and leaned back. There were questions and too many to narrow it down to the most important.
“You seem to be accepting all of this better than I thought you might when you first stepped in the door.”
Looking around the room, I weighed what he was saying. “Looks can be deceiving. I don’t know why I’m not screaming for you to send me home, but that doesn’t mean I’m buying into all of this yet either.”
“So, you’re what, King around here?”
“More or less.” Leaning further down onto the couch, he tilted his head and watched me. I was trying not to notice how soft looking his hair was as it fell to the front of his shoulder. “Would you like a quick history lesson then, maybe it will clear up some of your questions.”
I snorted. “The only thing that will clear up my head right now is a bottle of JD and a long nap.”
He grinned. “That’s more procrastination than clearing.”
“Whatever works, right?” Closing my eyes, I tried to zero in on one single thought and couldn’t find a way through the fog to focus. “Okay.” Opening my eyes, I looked back at his patient ones, to see they were hazel again. “Start slow and we’ll take it from there. Explain this place.”
“I can explain my existence. Pure bloods are born to this side. Every five hundred years’ twins are birthed by the queen, one will rule day and the other night…”
“Wait, so they rule for five hundred years?” Seriously?
I blew out a loud breath. “Wow, that’s some great longevity there.”
“So, you’re one of the twins, aren’t you?”
He inclined his head. “I am.”
“You have a twin?” Two of them that looked like him… that was, well, awesomeness in its purest form.
“How long have you ruled?”
He smirked, like he knew how I was going to react to his answer. “Close to one hundred and sixty years now.” A sober look crossed his brow. “To answer the next likely question, I’m two hundred and sixty years old.”