Maurice Ch. 09bykalamazoo707©
I had to have heard him wrong; I could have sworn that he said that I was his mate.
"What did you just say?" I asked.
"I said that you are my mate." he said watching me carefully.
My first response was "hell no!" then several things came to mind at once, the first thing being was this like another Micah Lannister where the sun moon and stars came into play? The second thing was why I got pissy when he said that he found his mate, my thought was that he was supposed to love me. Did I love him? Hell I hadn't even thought about it, it's like I told Annie, I know that he and others risked themselves for me and I appreciate it and yes I was worried about him when they left him alone with Micah but that doesn't equal love. I decided to be as blunt as he was.
"How do you know this? Did we sneeze at the exact same moment?"
He looked at me and laughed but I wasn't joking, I couldn't go through another Micah Lannister scenario.
"No Regina, it is nothing like that but if you wish I will be more than happy to explain it to you."
The question was did I want to hear it? And what would happen if I did? As if reading my mind Delgado spoke.
"If you tell me that you want to know then I will tell you everything so be warned, what are your wishes?"
I excused myself to the ladies room, I needed a few minutes to think, maybe I needed the evening to think but then I started to think about some of the things that Annie told me. Like what? That I could have a good thing with Delgado if I would just let myself but the vampire thing.... Remember when I said that I would brood for only so long and then deal with the issue? Well I had brooded long enough and obviously Delgado wasn't going anywhere until we talked about this.
I washed my face and hands and went back to the table where fresh drinks were waiting. I sat down and didn't say anything for several minutes.
There it was said, she was surprised- her initial reaction was "hell no!" But not surprised if that makes any sense and I had to wonder if Annie had spoken to her or if she was already coming to her own conclusions, maybe it was a combination of the two things. I had to know so I asked.
"Has Annie spoken to you about this?"
When she hesitated I had my answer, I really needed to speak to Gremlin and Annie about her helping me. I didn't want her to help me, I wanted to win Regina on my own but what's done is done.
"What did she tell you?" I asked.
"She basically that I should give you a chance because you care about me and she wants me to be happy."
"What she said about my caring for you is true." I said.
"But you don't know me!" she exclaimed and there was my in.
"Regina, you have been through a horrible experience and you have done well at recovering from it. You talk with your brothers and Annie and accept what they are and for that I commend you." I said.
"But...." she said.
"But you just made a very interesting statement, you said that I don't know you and that is true but you won't allow me to get to know you. I could understand your reticence when we were in New Orleans and even for a time afterwards but that threat has been taken care of. I have given you six months to readjust to your life and with the exception of a few emails and cards, I've left you alone."
She was giving me a very wary look but she said nothing.
"I am going to issue a challenge to you; I want you to spend time with me. We can do whatever you like, whenever you want with the only stipulation being that we must talk and I don't mean superficial idle conversation although that does serve its purpose."
I felt like a kid playing truth or dare. Unwittingly he touched upon my competitive streak, what he wasn't saying was that if I said no then I was a coward and he still wouldn't leave me alone.
"If I agree to this- by the way how long are we talking about?" I asked.
"A month." he replied without hesitation.
"A month?" I asked. I was thinking more like a week.
He gave me one of those looks; you know the one that asks, "What's the matter? Scared?"
"As I was saying," I continued, "If I agree to this, and at the end of the month I decide that I don't want to see you again, it ends there. Deal?"
I should have known by the way that he smiled at me that he had no intentions of losing.
"I agree." he said, his eyes twinkling, "The month starts now." he said.
"I thought that you were only here for a short time." I replied.
"For a vampire a month is a short period of time." he replied.
She is so mine she just doesn't realize that she's already lost. I might have to thank Annie after all; I think that she softened Regina up for me.
"I'll tell you what," I said, "this evening we'll get all of the superficial nonsense out of the way, tomorrow we will begin to get to know each other in earnest."
I started by asking her the basic getting acquainted questions such as favorite color and things like that. I encouraged her to ask me anything that she wanted about myself and vampirism. By the end of the evening I had come to several conclusions with the most important one being that other than Annie she had no real close friends. She had people from her job that she on occasion went out to dinner with or to some social function but for the most part she was a loner.
My guess is that the Lannisters had something to do with that; it was a case of keeping her isolated so that when the time came for her to leave few people would miss her. I believe that they only allowed Annie to get as close as she did because they needed her to get Regina to New Orleans.
I also found out that her relationships with males were.... Lacking. Again I think that the Lannisters had something to do with that but she was free of them and still she hadn't socialized with the opposite sex. I didn't ask her why, that was a topic for another day.
"Surely there is something that you would like to ask me." I said.
"Well, yes but I don't want to be rude." she replied.
"Please, ask." I said. "I won't be offended, I give you my word."
So I can ask him anything......
"Why don't you look like a normal vampire?"
"Define normal." he replied.
"You know.... Like Micah." I replied, "Or even Gremlin although he is a little green."
"Genetics." he replied, "No one understands it but my genes have somehow mutated. It is because of the mutation that I can be in the sun. My height and body build are a result of the same mutation, am I upset or feel that I have been cheated? No I don't, for one I happen to like myself and for two even if I hated myself what would it change?"
"The night of the vampire tour, why were you there?" I asked.
"I really don't know, I was out and about and saw your group. I must tell you that I was surprised when you spoke to me although I knew why."
"Really?" I asked.
"It was my appearance, I look very non- threatening but I also noticed something about you." he said, "You were very frightened and instead of showing fear you became belligerent and rude."
"You knew that I was scared?"
"Yes I knew but I didn't know why or of whom, it was that night that I figured out that you had been to New Orleans before and that you had met one of my kind at some point." he said.
Jeez, he had me figured out in one meeting.
"There's more." he said, "that night you were going to walk down an ally and I tried to stop you, do you remember?"
I remembered, I was so mad at Annie that we were in New Orleans and then she insisted on that damn vampire tour that I was going back to the room and was going to take what I thought was a shortcut.
"What about it?" I asked.
"That was the first time that I saved your life." he replied.
"What do you mean?" I asked.
He told me about Baron and what would have happened if he hadn't been there, at best I would have been used and killed at worst I would have been used, passed around, turned and then left to fend for myself.
"It was then that I knew who you were." he told me.
"But you didn't say anything."
"No but you wouldn't have believed me anyway, you were much too frightened and angry."
We spent the rest of the evening talking about that trip, maybe it's what I needed because by the end of the evening I was more relaxed. I wasn't thrilled to find out that Delgado had compelled me and took me to his house but it was there that he started putting the pieces together. I also was less than thrilled that he planted memories but he didn't know about the Lannisters.
I looked at the clock, it was getting late and I had to be up early for an early appointment. Delgado paid the bill and led me out of the restaurant where the car was waiting. I know that it looks like that I was accepting the fact that I was supposed to be Delgado's mate but he jury was still out, in other words I wasn't convinced. However, I was certain that Delgado was on the up and up, it didn't take me long to realize that he could have compelled me at any time to be with him.
One point for team Delgado.
The conversation is flowing much easier and I found myself wishing that I had done this much sooner, we would be living as husband and wife by now if I had. Talking about that week in New Orleans was like a cathartic for her, many misconceptions were cleared up and she was satisfied that I am not anything like the Lannisters. I took the opportunity to tell her that I marked her for safety and that I would always be able to find her, surprisingly; she didn't as get angry as I expected her to.
I wasn't ready for the evening to end but she had to rise early for work, as I drove her home, I asked her what she would like to do the following evening.
"I have no idea." she replied.
'No worries, tell me tonight or you can call me at the hotel." I replied.
I walked her to the door of her home and kissed her hand and wished her a good night's rest. All in all it was a very productive evening.
There was another thing that I wasn't thrilled about, being marked by him. I didn't like the idea of his knowing where I was at all times although if he hadn't marked me I would be Mrs. Micah Lannister by now. I did ask if I could be unmarked and wasn't surprised when he told me no but he assured me that he made a point of not following me.
"Are you saying that you really have business here?" I asked.
"I really do have business here." he replied, "If I were here just to see you I would have told you that."
I had the sense that he wasn't lying about the business part of his trip but I do believe that I was the main reason for him being here. How did I feel about that? I really don't know.
There were four voice messages all from Annie waiting for me when I got in. I was really tired but I did need to tell her that I would go back to New Orleans for the baby's birth. The only thing was I knew that I would be on the phone for a good hour at least and I really didn't want to talk about my evening with Delgado. I decided to send an email telling her of my plans and promising to call her later in the weekend.
I sent the email and got ready for bed, day number one was over.
One week later
I've seen Delgado every night this week. Everyday there were fresh flowers delivered to my office and boy were the tongues wagging! I kept my mouth shut; it was no one's business but mine. One day I was sitting in my office, It was Wednesday, the lightest day of the week and the day that I tried to get caught up or get ahead in my paperwork. I was deeply engrossed in entering a report on a client when someone tapped on my door.
"Yep!" I hollered.
"There's someone here to see you." the receptionist said.
"Who is it?" I asked thinking that I had forgotten an appointment.
"I don't know but it's a man and he's kinda cute in an odd way."
It had to be Delgado. Now here's the thing, I was actually sort of glad to see him.
"Send him back." I said as I fixed my clothes.
He walked in carrying a bag of food whose odors made my stomach growl.
"Do you have time for lunch?" he asked.
I shut the door to my office and we had a very nice lunch together for which I thanked him. Now, up until this point no one from work had ever seen him and I was so not looking forward to the many questions that I knew were going to come as soon as he was out of the door.
Toward the end of lunch he asked me if I would like to go dancing on Saturday night. I shrugged and said "what the hell? Sure."
What I wasn't realizing or acknowledging was that it was getting easier and easier to be around him and I was thinking less and less about what he was which was his intent.
Annie was calling me nightly for updates squealing like a school girl every time I told her that I was still seeing Delgado.
"Maybe you'll come back and stay! That would be so great all of us together again." She said.
I hated to rain on her parade but I had to tell her to chill and that I wasn't moving to New Orleans.
"I'm only staying long enough to do what we need to do for little Gremlin and then I'm coming back home."
"You just might change your mind." she said.
Her heart is softening; I feel it and see it in the smile that she tried to hide. Our conversations are beginning to flow as a hot knife through butter and she answers my emails in more than one word answers. This has been one of the best weeks in my long life and I cannot wait until Saturday night when I can hold her in my arms and hopefully I might even get to kiss more than her hand or cheek. Just thinking about her body being pressed against mine made my heart beat faster and my poor cock which hasn't been touched in a while grow stiff.
The house is almost completed but the rooms will be left undecorated, I wanted to give her the option of decorating the house however she wanted. I also had to wonder if she wouldn't be in my bed wearing nothing but that diamond before the month was up, one could hope.
After that first lunch Delgado brought lunch everyday sometimes bringing enough for everyone, the tongues still wagged and someone even asked me point blank about him. I finally got angry and told them to mind their own damned business and to leave mine the fuck alone. After that the whispers happened behind closed doors or when I wasn't around which was fine by me as long as they left me alone.
When Saturday night came I realized something, I was looking forward to seeing him. What that meant I didn't want to know and didn't want to think about. I didn't know where we were going so I dressed dress/casual even putting on a little perfume behind my ears and on my wrists.
Since I hated being late I was actually ready thirty minutes early and took the time to do some thinking. The first thing I thought about was Eddie and Danny and how they came to be what they were. They were given no choice in the matter. In retrospect none of us were given a choice but what was important was that I had them back, what they were no longer mattered. Then I thought about Annie who had never been afraid to tell me where to shove it, she was happy and having a baby, she was going to be a good mom. I felt a little twinge of jealousy at that and that surprised me simply because I had never seen myself as a wife let alone a mother. Then there was Delgado himself who was still unremarkable in his looks and as someone said cute in an odd way but he had a presence about him. But what I really liked was his kiss my ass attitude, he was perfectly comfortable with himself and with what he was. I had to appreciate and like a man who didn't whine because he didn't fit the mold of what people considered to be attractive. Now me, I had to look at my reaction the night that he told me that he found his mate-I was hurt and angry. If I didn't care for him at all why would I have reacted like that? The truth? I'm not ready to say yet,
I found a place that had both dinner and dancing and made our reservations and asked for our own private server.
"We don't do that." The person who identified herself as Angie said.
"I understand that this is an unusual request but I am willing to pay." I replied going under the assumption that money talks.
"We just have enough staff for tonight and I won't make the rest take an extra table just for you." she replied.
I sighed wondering whatever happened to customer service.
"Are you telling me that you don't have one employee who isn't asking you for extra hours?" I asked.
I knew that she did just by the way that she hesitated. I could have compelled her to do whatever I wanted but I wouldn't. I didn't compel unless I absolutely had to and what I wanted this woman to do for me wasn't a must but a want.
"I'm sorry but I can't do what you're asking." she replied.
"I would like to speak with a manager please." I said as politely as I could.
"Why?" she asked, "he's going to tell you the same thing."
"Be that as it may, I would still like to speak to him."
Several minutes later the manager, Walter was on the phone.
"Yes sir, what can I help you with?" he asked his tone pleasant.
I explained what I wanted and asked if there was anyway in which he could help me.
"You do understand that this isn't something that we normally do." he said.
"I understand and I am willing to pay the server myself."
He was hooked; he would have no problem with an extra worker if he didn't have to pay them. He took my number and told me he would call me back within the hour. Twenty minutes later my phone rang, it was Walter.
"Alright Mr. Delgado, I found someone to be your personal server for tonight."
"Wonderful! What's the person's name?"
"David, he's happy for the hours, what time do you want him here?"
"Five and could you please have him call me when he gets there? I have specific instructions that I would like to go over with him. Oh and please tell him that his pay begins when he gets there."
"Is there anything else that we can do for you?" he asked.
"Yes as a matter of fact there is, I would like a table to the back but not too far to the back, can that be arranged?"
"Of course." he replied, "and thank you for choosing our restaurant for your special evening."
Now that is what I call customer service! Chad at the jewelry store and Angie could learn a thing or two from Walter. That done, I still had some time to kill before I picked Regina up so I went for a walk. Just because I felt like it and because I wanted to see if the people at the jewelry store had learned anything I went back for another visit.
I walked in and within seconds someone was greeting me with a smile and a cheerful hello. Apparently they took my little talk with them to heart. I didn't buy anything this time and continued my walk after exchanging pleasantries with the manager. It wasn't until four that I headed back to the hotel to get ready for my evening with Regina.
I took a moment to call New Orleans to check on things and was pleased to hear that all was well. Gremlin and Annie had moved to their own home and were busy preparing for the arrival of their child and the other two couples were preparing for their wedding now that they knew Regina was coming.
I wondered how New Orleans would feel to her now, whether the old fears would resurface. I would know in a few weeks.
No one bothered to look anymore when Delgado came to pick me up; we and his car were old news. He looked nice in his blue open at the neck shirt, dark dress slacks and shoes; actually he looked..... Handsome. As with each date before this one.... Yes I'm fully aware that I said date, he brought me flowers and waited at the door for me to put them in water. Up until now he had never been inside of my house, he seemed surprised but pleased when I invited him in to wait.