Of Bats and Wolves
Begun: April 23, 2011
Completed: June 26, 2011
Hey, guys... I added something to chapter 19. Please reread it.
Who said vampires and werewolves couldn't get along?
Caomhan had tried to come to grips with the brutal nature of his existance, until Ari blew into his life. She's a werewolf who's past is locked away from her, in Scotland for the help of Thor, who is Caomhan's "child" and manservant. Neither of them is willing to let her go and she's going to have to choose...
Caomhan glared out at the sun from inside his manor house. He knew he could venture into it without harm, but certain old superstitions still held him inside until early evening. I've gone soft, he thought, stalking away from the window.
It had all started with that girl in the Carpathians. Ari, he thought wryly. Another mark against me. I let that girl get under my skin over a hundred years ago. It didn't help that he was more than certain he'd left her for dead.
"Stop it," he scolded himself aloud, entering his library. "No use crying over spilt blood."
But she was different, the voice in his head whispered. That darned voice. He'd never had a problem with guilt before her.
"Oh, for the love of the Gods, would you stop your moping?" his manservant said, hurrying out from between the stacks.
"Thor, why ever would I do that?"
"No need to be sarcastic, my lord."
"You know, calling me 'lord' was old several centuries ago."
"Is that what this is about? You're feeling old?"
Caomhan sighed and settled into his chair in front of the fireplace. "I don't know, Thor, alright? Ever since that girl..."
"This is about her again?" Thor threw his hands in the air and sank into the chair opposite his employer. "Sir, I've been your manservant for six centuries now, and I don't think I've ever seen you feel guilty about what we have to do to survive before now."
"Has it really been six centuries?"
"Give or take fifty years." Thor grinned, showing off the fangs that Caomhan was responsible for.
Caomhan swore softly in Gaelic. "I need out of this house!" he said.
"Then get out. It's not that difficult, Coamhan."
He stood. "You know what, Thor, I think I will. I'll be back, eventually."
"Just don't expect me to have dinner on the table."
The two men laughed. "Hardly. That would be very hard to explain, should someone come calling."
Arianne Lupei couldn't believe what she'd gotten herself into this time. Hadn't she learned her lesson in Iceland? Or before that, in Norway? Instead, she'd landed herself in the same sitiuation, yet again.
Back against the wall, literally, Ari sized up the two goons who had her trapped. They were large men, with bright red hair and the look of someone who'd had too much to drink. She adjusted her corset, drawing their attention away from her face while she thought of what to do next.
"Now, now, boys," she said, bringing their gaze back to her face. "You wouldn't really hurt a girl, would you?"
"Ye put Angus through the wall," the oaf on the left said. "I doubt we could do much damage to ye."
She snorted. "Angus? Was he the idiot trying to buy me a drink and look down my top?"
The oaf on the right nodded. "Aye, that was him."
"Then he deserved it."
Both men clenched their fists, as though to hit her. Ari tensed, ready to duck. The need never came.
"Gentlemen," a soft lilting voice said, causing the two oafs to pale and try to make themselves look meek. "I trust you weren't planning on harming this young lady."
"Of course not, my lord," they said, their voices full of fear.
They slunk away, leaving her with her "rescuer". He looked familiar for some reason, though Ari wasn't entirely sure why. Suddenly, his scent hit her and her fangs, dispite her desire to keep them hidden, sprung forward.
Caomhan couldn't believe his eyes. It was her, the girl he thought he'd killed, the only death that had every bothered him. "Ari," he breathed, stepping towards her.
Confusion flashed in her eyes before she managed to school her expression. He took another two steps toward her, unblinking. It was impossible. Even if he hadn't killed her, she should be dead, or extermely old. The wind shifted then, blowing her scent into his face. Intoxicating, he thought, leaning in to smell her.
"Do I know you?" she asked. "Wait, are you the guy who saved me in Prague?"
A glance at her face told him she truly didn't recognize him. "Nevermind," he said, his heart falling. "I mistook you for someone else. My name in Caomhan Niallsen."
"Do you have a last name, Arianne?"
"Yes, but I'm not going to tell you."
Caomhan laughed and Ari smiled slightly, fangs hidden. Shaking her head, she hitched her duffle bag up.
"As enchanting as it is to talk to you, I need to be going," he said, bowing from the waist. "I shall hope we will meet again."
She watched him walk away. Dang, she thought. Shaking off the rest of that thought, she headed back into the pub. She dug in the pocket of her jeans and pulled out the scrap of paper with the name of the estate she was in Scotland to visit.
"Does anyone know where Niallsen Manor is?" she asked, reading off the name and hoping she'd spelt it correctly.
"Aye," the bartender said, leaning forward on his elbows. "It's two hills over. Ye can't miss it."
"How long does it take to walk there?"
"About twenty minutes, dependin' on yer stride."
"Twenty minutes is good enough for me."
Caomhan was going to strangle Thor. He'd arrived home to see his manservant setting the table for two, lighting candles, and humming. When questioned, Thor smiled and said he was expecting a guest. A girl named Arianne Lupei. He growled low in his throat and charged at his friend.
Before he reached him, though, a knock sounded at the door. "Looks like I won't kill you just yet," he growled, forcing his fangs to retract. "Answer it."
Thor did as ordered, pushing his blond hair behind his ear as he did so. As soon as the door was open, Caomhan saw a feminine figure throw itself at his manservant. A breeze carried the scent of Ari into the foyer. He issued another low growl.
"Oh, right," Thor said, untangling himself from Ari. "Ari, darling, this is my... cousin, Caomhan."
"We've met," she said. "Nice to see you again, Sir Cheesy."
Thor laughed. "Caomhan, allow me to formally introduce Arianne Lupei, a dear friend of mine."
Unfortunately, the look Thor gave the girl was far from that of a friend. Caomhan would have to move the strangling up to right after dinner.