Once on the street, she headed straight for her car which she had parked a block or two away. Once she was locked inside her car, she felt slightly safer, but she knew she needed to get as far away as possible before Dante realized she was gone. He was entirely too interested in her. And she did not need a vampire interested in her.
Morgan sighed deeply in relief as she parked in the garage at her condominium. It seemed as if she was indeed able to evade Dante, at least for now. She’d have to make arrangements for someone else to deliver her jewelry to Paula’s for a while. Paula’s shop is the only connection Dante has to her. Morgan was glad she had the foresight not to mention that she made jewelry. If she had, then all he needed to do was go into Paula’s store and read the display. Her name and telephone and website were all listed on the tag of every piece of jewelry. Now, all he knew was her first name. She wished she had been thinking ahead and had given a false name, but there was nothing to be done about it now.
Morgan usually liked to sit on the balcony overlooking city lights, but tonight she closed the drapes securely and made sure all the doors were locked. Dante had her spooked. He was a little too interested in her and that did not bode well for her health.
She had no idea what myths of vampires were true and what were false. He obviously did have some sort of power of compulsion. She had felt him using it on her. Luckily, it seemed she had some amount of natural defense against it, but that didn’t mean she was immune. And she certainly wasn’t immune to the charms of his body. Just thinking about it was making her hot. It was an odd feeling since she rarely had anything to do with men in a sexual way. It was incredibly difficult to get involved with someone when you could hear their thoughts of all the ways you needed to improve yourself to be their idea of perfect.
After fixing herself some dinner and sorting through her notes from the day. Morgan dressed for bed in her usual long black silk gown. Even if she couldn’t have a man appreciate her, she knew how to appreciate the finer, more feminine things life had to offer. She loved her silks and sexy lingerie, and she wasn’t going to worry about whether there would ever be someone else to appreciate her in them. She flipped off the lights and sank into blissful slumber.
The shrill sound of the telephone startled Morgan awake and as she answered she eyed the clock and was appalled to see it read 3:47 am.
“Hello,” she answered groggily.
Randall anxiously asked, “Are you okay?”
“Randall, do you have any idea what time it is?” she asked in a very tired but annoyed voice.
“Of course, but I just got your message and you sounded distressed. I thought it best not to wait and to call you right away,” he answered reasonably. (Author's note: Morgan had earlier left voice mail messages for Randall)
Morgan shook her head, realizing he really didn’t see anything wrong with calling her in the middle of the night. She decided to have a little fun with him while learning what she could.
“Randall,” she asked in a sly voice, “know any vampires?”
There was an obvious pause, and Morgan knew that he did.
“I do,” she continued in a slight taunting lilt.
“I’ll be right there,” he said firmly and hung up.
Morgan rolled over and sighed. It seemed like she would be getting company. She wondered at his reaction a bit though. He seemed upset, more than she would have thought given that he had never mentioned the existence of vampires before. If he were worried about her, she would have thought he would have warned her before now. She pulled out the matching silk robe and tied it about the waist before finding the marabou slippers that completed the look. As she was slipping them on, the doorbell rang.
Morgan’s eyes widened. He got there too fast. It hadn’t even been five minutes since he hung up and he lived a good twenty minutes away. She realized he must have shifted and ran over. It told her he was really worried. She checked the peephole just in case, and sure enough, a large wolf was sitting in front of the door.
Morgan unlocked the door and let him in, making sure to lock it behind him before going into the bedroom for a change of clothes for Randall. As she came back out with the jeans and a t-shirt, Randall was striding towards her. He stopped in front of her and began sniffing her neck and shoulders intensely.
With a slight laugh, Morgan said, “If I had known you were going to do this, I would have let you do it as a wolf. I’m sure it is more effective that way.”
Randall frowned, “I didn’t want to scare you. Where did he touch you?”
“Who said it was a he?” Moran asked, curious about his mood. He was much more serious than she had ever seen him.
Randall continued to sniff down her arms and replied, “You wouldn’t be here if it had been a woman.”
Morgan blanched at that thought. He was serious. She slid her injured foot out of the slipper and lifted it up, “He was touching my foot last.”
Randall bent down and held her foot in both of his hands as he thoroughly sniffed the entire thing.
Morgan decided this was definitely the weirdest thing she had ever experienced.
Randall set her foot down and bowed his head briefly before rising and really looking at Morgan’s attire. “I know he’s not here now. Was he here? Or were you expecting him and he didn’t show?” His tone was even, no censure, no accusation.
Morgan’s eyes flashed fire and hurt as she replied, “Drop dead, Randall. I ditched him in Old Town.”
At that Randall’s eyes widened. “You ‘ditched’ him?! You ‘ditched’ Dante?!”
Morgan backed away from Randall as she read the shock and fear he was projecting. She had managed to rebuild her defenses but once he had touched her she was weakened enough to easily read his thoughts. He was horrified at what she had done, but was also proud of her. He seemed to hold Dante in a very respected position. He feared him and his powers, and he was pleased she had managed to get away from Dante apparently unscathed.
“Well, he wouldn’t take no for an answer and I couldn’t think of how I was going to avoid telling him where I lived. He seemed intent on becoming my close personal friend. I really didn’t want that.” Morgan said reasonably before practically yelling, “And why didn’t you tell me that there were vampires!”
Randall’s eyes showed the guilt he was feeling, but he only said, “Let’s get you packed. You need to get out of here as soon as possible.” And he began steering her into the bedroom to begin the task.
Morgan let him push her along, but she sat down on the edge of the bed instead of packing and said, “I am not running away for a few days. It will solve nothing and I have a business to run.”
Randall pulled a large case out of the closet and replied, “No, you aren’t going for a few days. You are going permanently. Now get dressed. I’ll drive you to Richmond and you can catch a flight from there.” He continued over to the dresser and began removing items to place them into the suitcase.
Morgan’s mouth dropped open at his words. “You can’t possibly be serious. I can’t just move! This is my home, Randall. My whole livelihood is here. Dante doesn’t even know my last name. I‘ll just avoid Old Town for a while.”
Randall continued to fill the case and replied, “Your livelihood won’t matter if you’re dead and Dante won’t stop until he finds you. He’ll pick up your scent and follow it to wherever you happen to be.”
“I thought the whole scent thing was just for wolves.”
“No, sweetheart, he made sure he sampled yours and that you had his on you. How do you think I knew it was Dante?”
Morgan cringed a bit at that. “Maybe he’s the only vampire around here,” she ventured hesitantly, already knowing that wasn’t the case. Randall was scared for her. He was trying to protect her from Dante.
Randall gave her a skeptical look at that. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about them, but they usually keep to themselves and you aren’t usually out on the streets in the evenings. When you do manage to drag your butt out at night, you’re usually with me. I know where to avoid.”
In case anyone ever reads this, please feel free to comment. Thanks.