Lunch was cold cut sandwiches, chips and soda. Despite my earlier protestations, I did give Hans bonus points for including condiments. They didn’t get me turned on, though, so he was still a kinky bastard for presuming that they would.
Hans and Emma chatted easily while they ate, and I managed not to say anything stupid by only responding to direct questions and keeping my mouth too full to blurt out inane randomness the rest of the time. Fortunately, Hans provided a good build-your-own sandwich platter.
After lunch Emma proposed we play some board games, and since I didn’t have a better way to kill time I agreed. I missed my manga, but there was no sense in dwelling on that loss. I added a fire safe to my list of essentials, though, and tried to figure out what should be in it.
Important documents like my birth certificate, probably. A copy of my insurance policy, of course. Some light reading and a change of underwear, definitely.
The games were fun, I guess. I’ve never really been into board games because most of the time they’re social things and I avoid crowds. That said, I do like things with set rules because then I know what to expect. On the other hand – despite always doing my best to act like I’m not – I am a little competitive and kind of a grumpy loser. I realized that from playing video games with Fumiko. I won’t play her games anymore unless it’s in a co-op mode or we’re on the same team.
Again I let Hans and Emma do most of the talking. They kept it light and didn’t pressure me to join in. I figured they were just still being careful not to stress me after last night. I was grateful, regardless. I kept having to check my teeth to see if my ruthless desire to win was a me thing or a vampire thing.
I blamed being a vampire.
Time passed surprisingly fast, and after a while Emma excused herself to go upstairs and find the phone number to order pizza for dinner. Once she was gone, Hans leaned toward me.
“How are you holding up,” he asked. “You’ve been quiet – are you feeling hungry again?”
I shook my head. “No fangs yet,” I said. “I think I got hungry again so quick earlier because of being in the sun; maybe some from when I used vampire-speed in the hospital.”
Hans nodded. “That could have contributed,” he agreed. “You should probably refrain from pushing your supernatural abilities until you’ve gotten an idea of how your hunger builds without extra stressors.”
I smiled at him. It was cute how he thought I had a baseline without stress. “Yeah,” I agreed. Then I fidgeted. “Um… can I ask you something?”
“Of course, Abigail,” Hans answered.
“It has to do with Emma,” I warned him.
Hans nodded for me to continue.
“Okay,” I said. “First of all… when you walked in on us, that didn’t bother you? Really?”
Hans chuckled. “Well, it would be a lie if I said I was unmoved – but I wasn’t upset, if that is what you mean to ask.” His grin turned wolfish. “The scene did leave me with a certain anticipation for the next time we found ourselves alone.”
I swallowed. Hans’ gaze and accent sent shivers down my spine. I couldn’t help but notice that we were alone now. But there wouldn’t be time to do anything before Emma came back. Although, I wasn’t wearing panties. Would that speed things up?
Probably not enough.
I laughed shakily. “Okay,” I said. “Good. Because Emma really wants me to be comfortable drinking from her, and I really don’t want to take advantage of her. So she suggested that after I drink from you next, I take just a little from her. Just enough so that I can feel how she feels about it.”
Hans frowned thoughtfully. “I wouldn’t have thought of that,” he admitted. “But then, I don’t feel that empathic link she described when you feed on me.” He shrugged. “If it does work differently with a full human, then that may give you the insight she wants you to have. And on this count she is the most experienced of all of us, so I have no objection to trying her advice.”
I breathed out. “Okay,” I said again. “The thing is, I wasn’t kidding about how feeding on your curse gets me all… aggressive and riled up. So if we do this, I’m probably going to pounce all over Emma in front of you, and I wanted to make sure you’d be okay with that, too.”
“Ah,” Hans said in realization. “That’s how Emma’s suggestion connects to my walking in on the two of you.” He chuckled at my confused expression. “Sorry,” he told me. “Sometimes your leaps of logic aren’t quite so obvious.” Hans grinned. “Not that I mind. I appreciate a mysterious woman – and the occasions I manage to understand her. To answer you, though, I will not be upset if you ‘pounce’ your girlfriend in front of me.”
I scowled at him. How could Hans always be so relaxed and easygoing? “Good,” I told him severely. “Because it’s not like I don’t want to pounce you, too.” My scowl deepened. I’d felt the instincts and desires that drove Hans’ curse. Calm and relaxed be damned – in retrospect it was amazing enough that Hans wasn’t some sort of territorial sexaholic violence-junkie. “Because I’ve been promising myself that I’d screw you senseless since sometime last night,” I finished while I was distracted by other thoughts.
Maybe I got dosed with ‘in-heat’ by the curse because I was female. But that didn’t explain why Hans wasn’t a territorial murder machine. So it had to be something else. Was the ‘cursed’ persona and Hans’ persona really just two entirely different entities? That was a kind of creepy thought. I’d always thought of a werewolf’s curse as something that just drove someone temporarily crazy and turned them into a monster. Was I actually dating a schizophrenic? Or would this count as multiple personality disorder?
“Well,” Hans said laconically, “I’ll certainly keep that in mind.”
I blinked. What had I said? I hadn’t been paying attention. Damnit, me! I tried to roll with it. “Good,” I told him. “I’ll be upset otherwise.”
Hans’ eyes sparkled. “And we can’t have that,” he agreed. “I’ll do my best to rise to the occasion.”
I narrowed my eyes. Had he realized I’d lost track of the conversation? His tone seemed suspiciously loaded with innuendo. “You’d better,” I said. “I don’t settle for second best.”
Hans’ grin widened. “I look forward to the opportunity to prove myself,” he assured me.
“Alright,” I said. “I’ll make sure you get one.” I realized that I had no idea what I was promising, so I scrambled to change the topic. “I’m glad you’re really not bent out of shape about earlier,” I told Hans. “I think Emma likes the risk of being caught – but it’s not a risk if it’s not a risk, so you’re probably going to wander in on us again sometimes.” Oh, why did I think this was a safer topic?
“Is that so?” Hans asked casually.
“Yeah,” I said. “In fact, the first time we kissed she offered to take pictures for me to give my boyfriend, so I really do hope you’re into that.” Although I was pretty sure guys were universally expected to be, if they were straight. I think that had to be some kind of crazy societal rule, because it didn’t make sense to me. “I’m dating an adventurous, flirtatious, promiscuous, polyamorous exhibitionist who’s prettier than me,” I told Hans. “You’re welcome.”
Hans started to say something, reconsidered the wisdom of contradicting me about Emma being prettier, and said “Thank you,” instead.
I glared at him anyway. Just so he would know that I knew that he’d been about to try and flatter me. I’m no one’s fool, and I wanted to make sure he knew it, no matter how charming or sexy or kinky he was.
But I stopped after a few seconds because he was charming and sexy, and even though he’d brought spicy mustard down for lunch I didn’t really get the impression that he was going to lurk around trying to catch Emma and I making live softcore porn. So once I knew he knew I knew, I smiled instead. “Sure,” I said instead. I wondered what was taking Emma – I didn’t know what to say next and I could’ve used a distraction.
A distraction for Hans, I mean. I was already pretty distracted by the idea of Emma’s reaction if I ever suggested to her that Hans was lurking around in hopes of catching us being indecent.
“So now that that’s settled,” I said, “How do you feel about turnabout?”
Oh, crap. Why was I baiting Hans? Why did I always bait Hans?
Hans grinned. He took exaggerated care in looking around to make sure we were alone. Then he beckoned for me to come closer.
I swallowed. I knew it was a stupid move, but I got up and went over anyway.
“I’m not concerned about it,” Hans said once I’d stopped in front of him.
I blinked. I hadn’t been expecting that.
Then I shrieked when Hans lunged. He swept me off my feet, scooping me up with one hand and setting my butt on the edge of the folding table.
It was a good thing I’m so light – for once being scrawny was an advantage. I clutched at Hans’ shirt for support, regardless. He cupped my chin with his free hand and tilted my face up toward his. “You,” Hans said. “When we’re together, I’m concerned with you. Emma is a lovely young woman and if she enjoys the occasional exhibition of her sexuality, I’m not going to complain. But when I’m with you I’m not going to be worrying about if I’ve been with you as often as you’ve been with her, or how likely we are to be caught at our intimacy.” He stepped forward, forcing my legs to part around his hips and trapping my hands against his chest when he leaned forward.
“I’m going to be too busy demonstrating the enthusiasm you asked for to be bothered with anything other than eliciting your own enthusiastic response.” Hans’ lips tilted in a slow, seductive smile. “Understood, Abigail?”
My lips were parted. I was breathing way too hard for someone who doesn’t need to breathe. I managed to nod jerkily.
Hans wanted me. I wanted him back. That was all he cared about.
Well, that and the taking.
I swallowed a giddy giggle. I’d been promising myself that I’d screw Hans senseless as soon as I got the chance, but apparently that was only going to happen if he didn’t fuck my brains out, first.
Hans’ thumb caressed my jaw. “Good,” he said in a tone of voice that sent a shiver down my spine and made my libido beg for violation. My hands twisted the fabric of his shirt and I pulled myself up to kiss him. His hand cupped my head and drew my lips to his. Hans’ kiss was hard, fierce, hungry. Here was the passion and uncontrolled desire I’d expected.
I didn’t need to breathe, but Hans did. His fingers tangled in my hair. He pulled my head back to break our kiss. It also made me arch my neck, and I gasped as Hans’ mouth descended to peruse the length of my throat. My trapped hands twisted in the fabric of his shirt as his lips and teeth and tongue grazed along my skin. I whimpered and Hans growled softly in response.
I heard the door at the top of the stairs open. Emma. If Hans heard it too, he gave no sign of it: his mouth covered mine again.
Then the doorbell rang.
We both heard that.
Hans took a half step back and cocked his head to listen.
“I’ll get it,” Emma called down the stairs. I heard her footsteps turn and head back to the living room.
“Are you expecting anyone?” I asked Hans in confusion.
Hans shook his head. “The directors are vampires,” he said. “I wouldn’t expect whoever they sent to have even left before nightfall.”
“Huh,” I said. That was really good time for a pizza delivery, then.
Then I heard Emma open the front door.
And then I heard her scream.