Cherishing Destiny (A Dangerous Destiny) (9 page)

Sara relaxed a little. “Of course, I mean it.  You saved my
life, but it’s more than that.  I just want to help you like you’ve helped me.” 
And I want to know what your teeth would feel like on my flesh
.  She
didn’t say that part, but she thought it, and it made her warm in places she
wouldn’t have expected when thinking about another woman. 

“Thank you again, little dove, you honor me.” Aurora
inclined her head at Sara.

Wow, sometimes she sounds so formal and elegant
, Sara
thought.
And all I was thinking was how hot she was.

Oh my god, these people are so out of my league.

Thirteen

Alex rode up to the remains of his garage and dismounted. 
He went first to the Rover where he had been able to squeeze into the passenger
side just enough to check the console.  This time he just reached in the
window.  The oversized, walkie talkie style CB was still laying on the seat
where he left it.  He tried it again but got the same squeal as before.  He
turned it off, but put it in the bag he had tied to his saddle horn.  He could check
it again tomorrow. 

He could smell the decay as he pushed through the debris to
where he had covered old Nate’s body with a tarp.   There were fallen beams
making it hard for him to maneuver and he was reduced to dragging the body by
an arm underneath some of the beams to get it out. 

When he got Nate outside, he rolled him in the tarp and
carried him to the walnut grove.  He remembered that there was a shovel in the
shed, so he retrieved it and buried Old Nate under a tree.  He found some wood
and fashioned a cross, tying the pieces together with some baling wire.  

Crosses didn’t bother Vampires.  He thought he remembered
that the story began circulating around in the twelfth century that crosses
would burn Vampires. 

He brought the horse around from the garage and mounted. 
He sat there thinking that he should say something, but he couldn’t think what.

The wind was whipping around more strongly than it had been,
and it was blowing almost straight into his face making his eyes sting and
hiding the scent of the man approaching.  He was completely unaware, and he was
just going to turn and leave when a voice came from the trees right behind him.

“Get down from that horse and don’t try anything, mister.”

Alex turned his head and saw a big man with black hair and
gray eyes pointing a crossbow at him.  He smiled. “Hi, Ryan”

“Mr. Lake?” Ryan lowered the crossbow. “I didn’t realize it
was you. I’m looking for Sara.” Just then he noticed the fresh grave and
cross.  “That’s not…”

“No, it’s not Sara. It’s old Nate, I’m afraid.” Alex turned
the horse toward Ryan and moved up next to him.

“Old Nate? I’m sorry to hear it.  He was a nice old guy.
Look, Mr. Lake, I’m not looking for any trouble.  I just came for Sara. Have
you seen her?”

“Sara is safe with Aurora and me.  We are looking out for
her.” Alex said a bit of protectiveness seeping into his voice.

Ryan bristled a little. “She’s my little sister, and I need
to make sure she is okay.”

Alex, feeling insulted, shot back with, “I can assure you,
she is fine.  And where have you been for the last couple of years, Ryan?”

Ryan looked at the ground and muttered something that
sounded like, “hunting in the mountains.” 

He gave up all pretense of acting tough and said, “Please,
Mr. Lake, will you tell me where she is? I need to see her.”

Alex rolled his eyes and sighed. “Fine, we’re at the first
farm you come to about two miles East of here.”

“Thank you, Mr. Lake.  I will get there as fast as I can. 
Please, tell her that I’m on my way, and I’m sorry I didn’t get here sooner. 
It’s so crazy out there.  I couldn’t call, and I was so afraid something might happen
to her.”  Ryan seemed to be spilling out all of his anxiety and gratitude.

“Alright, Alright.  Sara is fine.  You will see for
yourself. Just be calm.” Alex tried to assure him.

“Right.  I’m okay. Thanks again.”  Ryan relaxed a little.

Wow, Weres are such slaves to their emotions
and their hormones.

Ryan walked over to the gravesite. He said goodbye to old
Nate and crossed himself.

Alex raised an eyebrow in mild surprise. “You’re Catholic?”
he asked.

“Naw, just seemed like the right thing to do at a nice old
guy’s funeral” Ryan grinned sheepishly.

“Oh,
wow. That’s rich,” Alex exclaimed, completely
amused by the young
Were.

 
“Come on with me.” He held out
his hand to Ryan, and when he took it, Alex pulled him up onto the horse behind
him.

They were trotting down the path, and Alex asked, “Did you
say you were hunting in the mountains?”

“Yeah” was all Ryan said.

“That gives me an idea,” Alex said half to himself. 

They rode in silence until they were almost to the barn,
and Ryan spoke again.

“Hey, can I ask you something, Mr. Lake?  Are you wearing
my coveralls?”

 

Fourteen

Alex crouched in front of the crude map he drew with a
stick on the dirt floor of the barn.  Ryan mirrored his posture from the
opposite side of the map.  He didn’t mind that his view was upside-down because
he knew the areas that Alex was describing intimately and he was having no
trouble picturing the route.  

To see both men together this way, was a portrait of opposites,
but it couldn’t be denied that there were many similarities between them, as
well.   Alex was classically handsome, almost beautiful, with his golden
features and pale skin, and Ryan was sexuality in a bottle.  He was dark where
Alex was fair with skin tanned to a luscious bronze.  His hair was short and naturally
a little spiky, no products needed.  The black shadow of stubble on his face
made him appear just a little wild and dangerous.

Both men were tall, within about an inch of each other, at
around 6’4” and 6’5” and they had similar builds.  Alex and Ryan, each
displayed fit, muscled, physiques with broad, hard chests, wide shoulders, and
narrow hips.  They boasted well shaped legs and rippled abs and their corded
arms look as if they could crush rock.

They also seemed a lot alike in the way they carried themselves,
totally confident and comfortable with their bodies.  It was obvious, though,
that Alex was the more serious and brooding of the two, his brow furrowed with worry
so often.  Ryan was much more likely than Alex to flash his sparkling teeth in
an easy smile. 

That smile was in evidence the moment Alex and Ryan walked
through the door, and he spotted his sister, Sara.  She ran at him and jumped
straight into his arms.  He caught her easily and held her tight with his eyes
closed and a wide grin that didn’t leave his face for at least fifteen
minutes.  It was still there when Sara introduced him to Aurora, who had never
met him even though he had lived on the Lake estate for almost a year at one
point. 

Back then, Alex had told Aurora about his brief encounter
with Ryan, mentioning that Sara’s stepbrother was a
Were
and that he
didn’t believe that Sara knew anything about it.  He never mentioned how good-looking
Ryan was though, she mused. 

Aurora found herself looking at his perfect smile and
wondering what it looked like when he let his
Were
canines down.  Vampires
were inherently sexual creatures and there was no stopping their lusty
thoughts. 
Weres
weren’t much different in that respect, she thought as
it was obvious to her that Ryan was trying terribly hard not to stare at her
breasts in the thin cotton rag-bag t-shirt she wore. I guess that’s only fair,
she decided when she found herself checking him out while he wasn’t looking. 

Alex noticed Aurora appreciating Ryan’s body and raised an
eyebrow at her.  She just grinned at him and shrugged, and he rolled his eyes. 
As usual, they conversed without saying a word. 

Alex and Aurora had been with a lot of people over the
centuries, both together and separately, but there was no jealousy or anger.  It
was in their nature to use others for feeding or pleasure.  Only another
Vampire would trigger a possessive jealousy in either of them.  That was also
something instinctive, and they had little control over it. 

Alex and Aurora did make one agreement with each other when
they said their vows and became man and wife.  That single promise was that
they would save the ultimate act of love-making only for each other.  Nothing
else was sacred to them, and they indulged in all other pleasures at will. 

So, as far as Alex and Aurora were concerned, Ryan was not
off limits.  Unfortunately, though, because Ryan was not human, feeding on him
did not provide any benefits other than the enjoyment.  So, for the time being,
Aurora was not seriously contemplating any kind of tryst with Ryan.  She had
just been appreciating his attributes, and at the moment she was noticing
Alex’s attributes much more. 

Aurora was leaning over Alex’s shoulder to see the map he
was explaining.  He wanted the group to take the horses into the Adirondacks. 
They had a little cabin in the West Canada Lakes Wilderness area that they
hadn’t been to in at least 20 years, but Alex was hoping that it was still
standing.  The area was so remote that it was only accessible by a couple of
Jeep trails that were far from easy.  He felt, after seeing the destruction and
violence in town, that they should find a safe place to stay, like a base of
operations that they could work from to try and contact the Vampire council.

Aurora listened to and agreed with the plan he proposed,
but now he was just talking details and she had become thoroughly distracted by
the feel of his shoulder moving under her fingers while he gestured and
pointed.  His hair smelled of the fresh straw they had been sleeping in, and his
usually impeccable fingernails had dirt under them.  She found that it was kind
of a turn on to see him living rough for the first time in ages. 

She was feeling the stirrings of arousal, and she knew that
the cause was partially due to Sara and Ryan.  The pheromones emanating from
the
Were
and the human were acting upon her senses like a drug. 
Weres
were a bundle of instincts and emotions, and Ryan’s hormones would be screaming
at him to mate almost constantly, so his affect on her was not only understandable,
but practically expected.   Sara, on the other hand, was a bit of a surprise.  She
was getting more intriguing by the day. 

Sara was leaning over Alex’s other shoulder looking at the
map too.  Like Aurora, she had her hand on his shoulder, but being so much
shorter, she had to stretch further to see it, and her breast was planted
firmly up against his back.  She was also breathing in the scent of Alex’s hair
and skin, and her breath was coming faster.  She was flushed and hot and to
Aurora, Sara’s arousal was exciting. 

If he had chosen to pay attention, Alex would not have been
able to help but notice that Sara desired him.  However, he was totally
distracted with his own plans and did not notice her intimate proximity, even
though he had always found her attractive for a human.  He was worried because
he felt responsible for them, and it was good that he felt that he was taking
action finally. 

For the first couple of hours after Alex had returned
bringing Ryan with him, Ryan had been telling them all what he knew about what
was going on, and it only strengthened Alex’s determination to get them to the
cabin.   

“It’s only been a couple of days, so I haven’t been able to
get in touch with everyone I would like to, yet.  I honestly just needed to see
that Sara was safe, first,” he told them, explaining that this was the reason
his information was incomplete and vague. 

“The whole thing started with sunspots,” he said.

“We know the part about the coronal eruptions,” Sara
interrupted impatiently. “Skip ahead.”

Ryan looked at her a little surprised.  “So, you got that
the lights were the effects of the geomagnetic storms?”

They all nodded. “Continue,” Alex urged.

“As you could see by the intensity of the lights, those
storms were a lot more powerful than they were predicted to be.  The power grid
was affected, and radio signals are completely disrupted.  Even sat phones and
such won’t work.  It seems likely that the satellites, communications and
otherwise, are fried.”  He stood and paced. Gesturing with his hand toward the
door, he said, ”You’ve seen what the weather is starting to do. The wind around
here has been getting stronger, and more unpredictable by the hour, and I heard
that there are storms, like rain and hail, in some places not too far from
here.”  He seemed to realize at that moment how agitated he was becoming, and
he stopped pacing and rubbed his hands on the front of his jeans, over his
thighs.  “The earthquakes happened everywhere, and everything shifted all at
once. I know people that are still trying to figure that one out. You saw what
the earthquakes did to most of the buildings.  I don’t know anything for sure,
but, some of this information, like the stuff about the earthquakes, is
reliable,” Ryan said.

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