He’d stopped Evelyn before she got what she came for. He didn’t understand how he let it get that far, but there was no way he was ever considering doing anything that would make Zoe not want to return home to their bed where she belonged.
The cold water had become his best friend. For hours he stood under the spray letting the beads of cool liquid roll off his muscles and seep into the pores of his skin, draining the sexual tension building in his body day in and day out; he longed for his wife.
He dreamed of touching her every day for the last four months. Her scent drove him crazy and everything reminded him of her. But the house was silent now; cold and empty and he felt just as literal inside. If Zoe ever did return, he’d show her the man she married and never give her reason to leave his side again…if.
He turned off the water and walked back into the bedroom. He could still smell the sulfur from Evelyn’s presence and it stained the side of the bed where Zoe lay. He grimaced as he finally stripped the bed of the covers he’d let remain perfect; holding the shape of her body within each thread.
He tossed the tainted fabric to the hamper and grabbed fresh linen from the closet. “You’ve become a house husband?” Karver’s voice sliced through the silence Drake had become accustomed to.
“What do you want?”
Karver looked around. “She still hasn’t come back huh?”
“Did you come to point out the obvious or does your trip to the surface have an actual purpose?”
“Am I sensing a little anger in your voice, Drake? I know you can’t hate me for what happened. It was after all your doing!”
“No, it was yours. Thanks to you telling her before I could she refuses to hear what I have to say about this thing.”
“So she has no idea why you’re doing it?”
Drake glared at him.
“Women need security; if you’d have been upfront about everything she may have been more willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.”
“Alright…I’m looking for my harpy. Has she been here?”
Drake again looked at him before shutting the door to the closet. “Did you send her here, Karver?”
“No. So I take it that she has come over?”
Drake nodded and walked the sheets into the bedroom and made the bed. “She tried to force her way into my bed.”
“I fear she has an agenda, Drake. Something against me and I need you to get it out of her anyway you can.”
“No. I’m not sleeping with her. I’d never hurt Zoe like that.”
“You’re the master of your own torture chamber; I’m not asking you to bed her, hell rip her wings off, just get what I want! I’m not allowing what happened in my home to take place again. Any demon found even thinking about betraying me will meet their end.”
Drake nodded; assured his threat extended to him as well, but he wasn’t concerned about his well-being, just that of his family. “You’ll have your answers.”
“I knew I could count on you Drake.” His body seemed to vanish into thin air as he made his flashy exit.
“Zoe, did you hear?” Carissa exclaimed running up to me. “Giovanni was attacked last night while leaving work!”
I looked over at his table and found him surrounded by four of our co-workers. He smiled in my direction as I made my approach. “Alright, that’s enough of my harrowing tale; get back to work people before I start firing you!”
The crowd laughed as they all dispersed and he moved me closer to the filing cabinets. “How are you doing?”
“You’re the one with the busted ribs and black eye and you want to know how I’m doing?”
He nodded and waited for my answer.
“I’m fine, Gio. How are you doing?”
“Sore, but I’m well. I hope you don’t mind, I kind of embellished what happened.”
“Yeah, according to the buzz around the office, I was attacked for rescuing a damsel in distress. I’m a hero.”
“I’m not so sure that’s embellished, but no I don’t mind. I again want to apologize for what happened. I never intended for you to get involved with my drama.”
“Well, I don’t mind it at all. I’m just concerned about you.”
He ushered me towards the paint room. “You said there was a child involved?”
“My son, Chris; he’d never do anything to hurt him though.” I continued setting up my paints.
“Just be careful, Zoe. Next time I won’t be such a fall guy.”
I looked over at him. “Oh yeah, I have six years of prize fighting under my belt as well as a 2nd degree black belt.”
“Honestly, I was thinking about you. I didn’t want to hurt him or upset you in anyway.”
“Gio, I don’t know how they do things across the creek, but when someone is kicking your ass, it’s ok to throw a punch!”
He laughed. “I’ll keep that in mind next time.”
He took a seat near the window and watched as I painted.
Once again, Billy was taunting CJ. Today he decided to show Vanessa how daring he could be. During recess, he ate dirt; during arts and crafts time, he ran with scissors after making her a picture full of hearts; and during naptime, he stood up and danced.
But CJ didn’t let him impress her. When he tried to show off his dance moves, Chris pantsed him causing his face to turn red and he once again wet himself.
Vanessa moved closer to Chris and he smiled at Billy as they rested together and Mrs. Grant took him to be cleaned up.
“You’re being bad, Chwis,” she whispered in his ear. “You’re not staposed to use magic!”
He levitated her a little and made her laugh. “Our seekwet,” he said as they lay down to sleep.
Drake found his way to Evelyn’s bedroom. As he walked inside, he noticed she was not in the room until he felt her hands on his back again.
“I knew you’d return. Don’t worry I forgive you, but you’d better be prepared to show me just how sorry you are!”
“Back off, Evelyn, that’s not what I’m here for.”
“Fine. Let’s play your way.” She slipped into human form and strolled towards the bed as she teasingly undressed.
“How can I help you, Drake?” she asked as she stood partially nude in front of him.
“What are you up to?” He watched her and listened to try to detect deceit in her voice.
“What do you mean? I’m not up to anything.” She smiled. “Mordonna!”
The silver haired demon walked up behind him. “Drake,” she smiled, tapping his shoulder gingerly. “How are you?”
“I heard about your wife, messy business. I hope she makes her way back to you soon.”
“Thanks,” he said through clenched teeth never letting his gaze drop from Evelyn.
“Hello Love,” she said air kissing Evelyn as she approached. “How is my favorite harpy?”
“I could be better,” she smirked at Drake.
“And time will improve,” Mordonna acknowledged her gesture.
Drake ignored the exchange between the two, but was trying to sort out what if anything was going on.
He continued watching them; they seemed content with whispers as if he couldn’t hear them from where he was standing across the room.
He began overheating and he excused himself. In the hall, he gripped at his chest; his entire body lit up as if he were about to implode again.
Confused he hurried to the Lichhouse and dropped to the floor, waiting for the moment to pass.
When he stood, his eyes sparked red and he appeared to be well. Karver came in behind him.
“Any news on Evelyn?”
“None,” Drake said not recognizing his own voice which was deeper and hollow in tone.
“I’m quickly losing patience, Drake. You haven’t seen me at full power, trust me, it’s not something you want to experience.”
“I’m working on it,” he replied still speaking in the new voice. “You’ll have your results soon.”
After Karver exited, he returned home and checked himself in the bathroom mirror. The veins in his face were throbbing and present around his eyes.
He ran water over his face to cool off, but nothing seemed to work.
He clenched his fists tight and shut his eyes to end the rage he was feeling. The house phone rang downstairs and he ignored it, assuming it was a telemarketer once again. They would be a great outlet right about now though.
“You’ve reached Drake and Zoe”, he heard her voice announce on the machine. He ran down to listen. “We’re not in right now, leave a message at the beep.” There was a brief silence before “Let go of the button, Drake.” “I did.” “No, baby you’re still pressing it,” she laughed. “So that recorded too?” “Drake! Release it!” “Fine, but you have to give me another way to keep my hands busy!” “Drake!” she began giggling uncontrollably before “BEEP!”
Drake stood in front of the device smiling. But that happiness quickly faded as he remembered she was not in the house. He let out a low growl before stomping towards the door.
He drove around the town to try to release the steam building between his ears. He passed by the park and stopped. There was a couple walking hand in hand down the path of wildflowers. They looked happy, and that happiness was getting to Drake.
The woman was dressed in jeans and a halter top, but it was the way she wore her hair that caught his eye. The long brown strands cascaded around her shoulders framing her face perfectly. And those eyes, those pretty hazel eyes she looked at her husband with burned memories into his mind of glances he’s missed in those four months of his own wife.
He watched as they kissed again and parted ways. The man walked to his car while the woman disappeared down into the subway. He parked his car and followed her.
She disappeared down the stairs quickly and he gave her a few moments before descending. The sounds of the traffic above echoed down the dimly lit tunnel. The small area shook as a train sped by causing the lights to flicker on and off.
He found her just a few feet ahead of him walking towards the benches on the opposite side of the passageway. They were alone and that silence made the rhythm of her heartbeat even louder. He caught her scent, Chanel, he’d know that smell anywhere. It’s the perfume his wife wore and her mother before her. He stalked behind her, quietly creeping closer with each step.
“Hello?” she called behind her feeling the air shift in the room. “Is anyone there?” she looked down towards the hall and found it as empty as when she entered.
She turned back towards the bench and was met with Drake’s snarling face. The veins were still present, beating quick and hard. His eyes were blood red and his lips quivered from the smell of her terror.
“Oh, excuse me sir,” she said, fear immediately present in her eyes as she realized he was not in a talking mood.
“Please, take my purse but don’t hurt me!” she offered as she backed away.
He looked down at her finger, the engagement ring and wedding band glinted under the dimmed lights of the tunnel.
“Don’t worry,” he said stroking her cheek.
“This won’t hurt too much,” he smirked as he forcefully bit into her neck. She screamed and he stifled it with his hand as he continued feeding from her greedily lapping up her warm vein juice with a monstrous appetite.
He felt her heartbeat begin to slow and her body went limp in his arms.
He laid her on the bench and watched her lifeless body; she looked angelic but he felt no remorse.
His eyes finally returned to their normal hue and the veins were no longer visible. He looked at what he’d done; her blood dripped from his lips and he tried to think back to what caused him to attack her. The guilt slowly started in on him and he leaned over her to apologize.
“Did you catch the game last night?” he heard a male’s voice behind him. He turned towards the sounds and saw two men heading in his direction.
He jumped down into the tracks as a train passed overhead and disappeared in the darkness, wiping the blood from his mouth. “What are you doing, Drake?”
Gio returned from his office with blueprint sketches for one of the construction designs he was commissioned for. He worked quietly on the nearby drafting table as I continued the painting from the previous morning.
He started humming and it made me giggle.
“What’s so funny over there? You’re not a very musical person?”
“Oh I am, with actual music and rhythm. I wouldn’t exactly call what you’re doing ‘musical’.”
“Ouch, well aren’t we the sassy one?” he laughed. “I wasn’t aware you were also a critic.”
“I’m sure there are a lot of things about me of which you aren’t aware.”
“I don’t know. I may surprise you.”
“I don’t like surprises.”
“There! I’m done with the first, would you like to see, Gio?”
He stood from his seat and walked over to take a look. “Great job!” he stood closer than he needed to and I could feel the warmth of his breath on my neck.
“It’s really beautiful,” he whispered. I turned and met his eyes and he smiled. “You really are talented, Zoe.” He leaned into me as he spoke.
“Thank you, Giovanni.” I grimaced at the large purple bruise around his eye.
“It just looks really painful.”
“I’m sure it looks worse than it is.”
“Well either way,” I kissed his cheek. “Hopefully that’ll make it heal quicker.”
“It will indeed,” he smirked and held my gaze for a moment.
“Am I wearing lipstick now?”
I nodded, “Yeah, sorry I’ll get it.”
“No, it’s ok; I can take care of it.” He walked towards the sink and caught his reflection in one of the picture frames. He touched his cheek lightly and smiled before rubbing it softly with the cloth.
My phone rang, “Excuse me,” I stepped away from the easel to answer.
…“Mrs. Steele…? I heard the voice of Chris’s teacher on the other end.
“Yes, Mrs. Grant, how can I help you?”
…“We have a slight problem with Christopher, would you be able to pick him up now…?”
“What’s wrong? Is he hurt?” panic began setting in as I rushed to gather my things.
…“No, but he is disrupting the class and I cannot teach…”
“What’s he doing?” I started thinking of all the things that could go wrong with his magics good and evil and his affinity for biting.
…“I’m not sure, I think it’s best if you saw for yourself…”
“I’ll be there shortly!” I ended the call and grabbed my bag. “I have to go,” I said over my shoulder.
“It’s my son; I have to go get him from daycare, something’s happened.” I began dialing Vincent’s number.
“I can take you,” Giovanni answered.
He raised his hand to stop my objection, grabbed my bag from the table and escorted me out the door.
We arrived to Kiddie Kare within ten minutes and I rushed inside as Gio found a place to park. When I got to the classroom, Chris and Vanessa were sitting in a corner away from the other children.
I walked over and he immediately jumped into my arms and gave me a bright smile. “Oh no you don’t, what have you been up to?”
Vanessa laughed as I spoke to Chris; acting as casual as she could as well.
“Mrs. Steele? Can I speak with you privately please?”
I sat Chris down and walked over towards the window with her. “Chris and Vanessa have very disruptive attitudes. I won’t be able to continue teaching them if this continues.”
“What did they do?” I questioned.
“Well, this may sound funny, but Chris was…well he was making stuff float. I didn’t see it but the children keep flocking around him to see this magic or whatever he calls it and they are not paying attention to the lesson.”
“Float?” I feigned amusement but Chris could sense what I was really feeling and he directed his gaze to the floor as I glanced over at him.
“He takes after his father, he likes to be flashy,” I smiled.
“I don’t think I’m flashy at all!” Drake said as he walked into the door.
“Daddy!” Chris yelled hopping out the chair and helping Vanessa down as well.
“How’s my little man?” Drake asked tickling Christopher.
“I did bad,” he said behind a smile.
“See what I mean? I’m sorry about this Mrs. Grant I’ll talk to him about his behavior and he won’t do it again,” I said looking at him.
She nodded and I walked back to Chris and took him from Drake’s arms before exiting to the parking lot. Giovanni was leaning against his car waiting for me.
“You came with him?” Drake asked watching me approach my ride.
“Drake what do you want?” I asked looking at him for the first time. “What’s wrong with you? Your eyes…” the veins were well pronounced around them.
“I’m fine,” he said turning his back to me.
“Can I take you home?”
“I came with Gio.”
He turned back to face me. “That wasn’t what I asked you.” His voice was deeper and took on a new tone.
“Drake what has gotten into you?”
“Nothing; just take care of Chris, I’ll see you later,” he replied as he darted towards his car.
I buckled Vanessa and Chris into the backseat and gave Gio instructions to Vincent’s house. “Thank you again, Giovanni.”
“Anytime,” he smiled as I grabbed Vanessa and Chris from the backseat.
I rang the bell and a blonde in a French Maid’s costume answered. “Oui?” she giggled.
“Is Vincent here?”
“Where did you go you little minx?” he mused from behind her dressed in his leopard print underwear.
“ZO! You’re here! With the kids! Uh…,” he gave me a sheepish smile.
The “maid” scurried off to get dressed as if she were used to disgruntled wives finding her with their husbands and Vincent escorted me inside. “What’s going on?”
“Chris was casting magic at school and his teacher called for me to come and pick them up.”
“He what?” Vincent smiled at him. “Did you call? I’m sorry, I would have come.”
“Well, I was going to call but Giovanni…,”
“Well from the looks of things, you had your hands full already. Anyway, here is your daughter; can I have a ride home?”
“Let me get dressed. Unless you prefer that I drive you like this? No? Yes?” he smiled. “I’ll be right back.”
Chris and I had a long conversation once we got in. After a while I figured it was no use, he didn’t seem to be listening and I was slowly losing my patience. I kicked myself for encouraging his magic use and blamed myself for what happened at his school.
“Daddy!” he yelled and pointed.
“Daddy?” I followed his gaze out the window.
“Drake what the hell are you doing in the tree?”
“Listening to you talk to Chris about his use of magic. Can I come in?”
I backed away from the window and he jumped inside. “Do you think you can reach him? He doesn’t seem to pay attention to what I am telling him.”
He sat with him and started in on the same topic.
Chris nodded his head in agreement and went to playing with his toys.
I walked down to the kitchen to fix his dinner.
“I think he’ll stop,” Drake said walking in behind me.
“I hope so. I knew this would happen. I’m just glad that the teacher didn’t see.”
He came up behind me and wrapped his arms around my waist. “Is there anything else I can do for you?”
He kissed my neck as his hands ran down the front of my body.
I turned towards him and smiled. “Thank you for helping him. I hope it works. I’d hate for him or Vanessa to be kicked out of school.”
“I wouldn’t worry about that baby, he seems fine. Besides it was only a small levitation spell.”
“Yes, a small spell with the potential of being huge and exposing us to the school and everyone else. I don’t want Chris to have to go through that right now. Not after…”
“I know. I’ll keep an eye on him and make sure he stays out of trouble.”
I smiled at him. “I love you, Drake.”
“And I love hearing those words from you, even more now.”
My arms wrapped around his neck and I pulled him into a kiss.
His hands started warming up the small of my back, making me scream in pain. He immediately withdrew his grip.
“Drake what’s happening to you?”
“Nothing, Zoe,” he said turning his back again. “I have to get going. I’ll see you later; kiss Chris goodnight for me.”
He rushed out the front door and to the car. His eyes were glowing red and he growled at himself, “CALM DOWN!”
On the way home his body overheated again causing him to swerve violently on the road.
He tried to maintain control and keep the car in his lane, but the car jerked and pulled to the side hitting a fire hydrant and jolting to a stop.
A woman standing nearby in medical scrubs hurried over to help.
“Are you ok, sir? Do you need me to call you an ambulance?”
“No, I’m fine. I just have to feed,” he said noticing her wedding band.
He charged at her and hid behind a row of bushes as his fangs ripped into the soft flesh of her neck.
He stood over her; his eyes still a bright red and he watched as the light in her eyes slowly faded.