"Well, Harry also failed to mention how quiet you could be," he cracked first.
Both El Diablo and Banshee purred loudly as I refrained from smiling but knew this was another first for him. I wasn't fitting whatever baby vampire profile they had. I still waited. Mitch was restless and paced around picking things up in the room and examining them, as if they were going to talk.
"So, you getting this vampire thing down are you?" his tone had changed. The back of my neck was prickling and I felt like ants were running up and down my body. Something was off about his question. I couldn't put my finger on it. But I knew this wasn't a good turn of events. He was now scary. Mitch was more than he seemed but I didn't know why. Then I noticed his eyes had more flecks of yellow then they had earlier. Something was being pulled from me.
Just like that I jumped out of the way. He was lightning fast and nearly on me before I was fully off the mattress. His hands were grasping and just missed me. The cats arched out of the way and leaped to the other bed. I was at the door and pulling it open when his palm hit the wall next to me. I ducked and slid my leg rapidly over the floor in a hard sharp sweeping motion.
I missed hitting his legs as he now was the one to jump back. My fangs had slid down when I had moved and I arched my back and then flexed away as Mitch pounced again to the spot I had just vacated. I rolled faster than I knew I could and Mitch followed laughing and missing. The cats watched and had some comments. I popped up and whirled the direction I had just rolled from and Mitch was not expecting that, I found as he faltered.
Harry walked into the room with me crouched ready to pounce back and rip Mitch's neck with my bare teeth.
"Ah, I see you two have met." Harry closed the door and leaned back to watch what we were going to do now that we had an audience.
I stood slowly and casually brushed off the cat hair on my pants. Without a word I returned to perch on the bed next to El Diablo and Banshee. They had jumped back to their bed during Mitch and my little unplanned exercise session. Mitch still had his fangs out while mine were already well-stowed. I couldn't do subservient but I knew better than keeping lethal weapons out in plain sight.
Mitch started laughing while his teeth recessed ever so slowly. His eyes were still far too golden for my comfort but with Harry here I wasn't as worried.
"Harry, you definitely didn't prepare me for her," Mitch shot me a look and laughed. I petted the cats and feigned indifference. My neck still had hairs standing upright proclaiming me to be a little bit apprehensive about Mitchell and his intentions towards me. Harry did go a long way to soothing those fears but not as much as I wanted. I noticed the tip of Banshee's tail was twitching back and forth. Without being told I knew that was not a good kitty trait. It was an agitated motion and probably meant carnage could follow.
"And how exactly did you make it here so fast?" Harry asked disregarding Mitch's off the cuff comment.
"I drove, naturally," he just grinned.
"In a blizzard?" Harry pushed for some more information.
"Like I had a choice?" Mitch was nearly as obnoxious as Harry could be.
"Always," Harry met and matched the tone.
"It wasn't so bad. I just drove down the middle of the highway. It wasn't like there were a ton of folks out in the elements. My jeep handled it fairly well. Beside I couldn't wait for you to come to me. Your driver is losing his focus. He could cause problems if left unchecked." Mitch answered solemnly.
I guess Art's mental breakdown wasn't being dismissed easily.
"So then why did you come to see Gwendolyn before me?" Harry was a bit upset at Mitch I gathered. This was going to be interesting.
Mitch laughed deeper than before and I saw his fangs were gone. He had resumed his fidgeting and pacing around the already small room. To add into the tensions I could hear the couple next door had begun their sex marathon. I had serious doubts they were married to each other. But then I wasn't even tempted to drain them to find out. I wondered at that. Ever since I had been changed I had been pushed by wanting blood. Now I was content to watch these older vampires pull at each other in a tug-of-war over me. Their sheer energy was pushing down my hunger and in effect controlling me. I now got why Harry was asking Mitch to train me. There was something about them that created feelings of safety and subservience. I wanted to please them. I hated that feeling.
Harry had walked into the room and lifted up Mitch's coat and dropped it back down awaiting a response. Harry and Mitch were equally matched in stubbornness and I wasn't about to get in between them in any way -- physical or mental. There was something in the air that was hypnotic. It was like watching a documentary on some rare exotic species squaring off during a turf war or something. Then it dawned on me. It was like watching males fighting for mating rites. Hearing the steady rhythm of the headboard on the adjoining room beating against the wall just sharpened that image in my brain.
Shaking my head quickly I tried to dislodge that idea floating in my mind. I wondered which of them would crack first. Unfocused for a moment a muffled moan floated over from the neighbors. And just like that I was now tuned into the people in the room next door. I felt the anger the woman, Helen, had at the bad manners of her companion, Ernie. He certainly tried but obviously after all this time was clueless to what she wanted. I could nearly taste her need and fear. She was afraid he wouldn't like her anymore if she told him he was bad in bed. She was sore and wanting to be home in her own bed. They were married but usually slept in separate bedrooms at home. Ernie had a new job opportunity in another city and decided to treat Helen to a road trip. She wished she had stayed home and had worked on her newest cross-stitch pattern. Helen would have had more pleasure for sure. More mundane thoughts of the pleasures Helen found in her carefully crafted home and all the creature comforts she didn't have in the motel. She was worried about the storm and how long she would have to stay with Ernie. Other minor fears and dreams floated.
I sucked in a deep breath and said, "Okay, guys. Stop the games and one of you teach me to keep other people's thoughts out of my head or I will walk out that door now."
I was firm and sincere in my words. I would go mad if I kept hearing this sort of nonsense floating around my mind every time I was near humans. Besides, with the little mind reading act, I had my hunger washing over me again. I wanted to bathe in the blood of the sheep and become something more.
"Damn," Mitch bit out looking at Harry, "Why the hell did you teach her to do that?"
Harry said, "I didn't teach her. She instinctively knows how to track and disable humans. She is a natural hunter." He was proud of this, I could tell. It didn't keep me from sliding off the bed and heading towards the door.
Carefully the cats leapt to be at my side. I was heading over next door to explore those options. I figured I could make the woman, Helen, feel something she would really like. I nearly purred with the idea of slaying them both. My thoughts must have been visible for Harry to read because he paled.
"Gwendolyn, stop." Harry wasn't the one to speak but rather Mitch. He lost some of his swaggering posturing as he figured out I wasn't bluffing.
"Why? So I can watch you two puff up some more and beat your fists on your chests to show me which one of you is dominant?" I found myself sneering at them, and startled by my own words. This was odd behavior for me. Normally I didn't confront and I certainly didn't challenge strange men, even if one was supposedly now in charge of me. I guessed that being a vampire had switched some of my thought processes a bit from the usual human kind of me. Not like I could do much to change anything now. If I could just keep myself from getting harmed in their little territorial fight I would be okay. My sense of self-preservation was certainly intact.
"You're right, Gwendolyn," It was Harry trying to calm me. He stood with his hands upraised in a stopping motion between me and the door. I hadn't even seen him move. Both the cats were on each side of me and waiting to see what I was going to do. My mind briefly pondered if they could take a vampire. Quickly I dismissed that notion as there were two of them and I barely was able to move fast enough to keep out of Mitch's way. Somehow I instinctively knew the odds weren't in my favor. And I did sort of have a soft spot for Harry. Probably because he had rescued me from whatever there had been planned for me back at home. And his being my maker more than likely added into that instinctive feeling of concern.
I found myself wondering if I would have to physically get away from Harry and Mitch to find myself again. That thought sacred me a bit so I slammed it deep into my skull in the special quiet little corner where I kept my deepest thoughts. It joined my nightmares and whispers of hopes. Both Harry and Mitch were waiting to see which way I was going to jump. I felt like going next door still but now saw the stupidity in that idea.
I spun on my heel and said, "Fine, keep me here. But who's watching Art?"
Harry laughed, "He's out for a while."
Right, Erika drugged him. These folks played for keeps that was for sure.
"Harry, I came here first because she drew me." Mitch finally answered the question.
Both of us were startled by that answer. I didn't think Mitch was replying because Harry forced him but instead to get me to listen to him. Harry must have agreed because he said, "She did that to me too. We knew she was a new kind but this is even more than we had hoped."
They were talking about me like I wasn't even in the room. Also they were talking about me like I was an experiment. Neither feeling was helping me in any way. Add in that there now was the undercurrent of an unspoken conversation scenting the air. Harry and Mitch were communicating without talking. I knew this like I knew Helen was now falling asleep next door dreaming of a pattern she saw in her new piece of cross-stitching.
"So you're my new teacher, huh?" I arched an eyebrow at Mitch while strolling closer to him than I had since our little tussle. He grinned at me with a look of superiority that totally irritated me. Without a conscious thought I jabbed him in the middle of the chest saying, "Don't ever attack me again!" I punctuated that remark with a closed fist to his stomach.
Harry yanking my hair hard and me falling on my backside came as no surprise. What did surprise me was all Mitch did was just start rubbing his stomach saying, "Fair enough."
The cats defended me instinctively with sharp claws and teeth. Both Harry and Mitch were attacked as one. Banshee went for Harry and El Diablo leaped up on Mitch. They each drew blood and I yelled, "No, back." They turned and rubbed me while talking. I hoped I would survive their response.
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