The Dawn of Wynter Ch. 02byelle137©
Wow. I have received such amazing feedback from all of you, and it just makes my day knowing that you truly enjoyed reading this story! The adventure is only at the start and I hope you stick with it to the end! Lots of fun stuff planned for Zara and Co. I don't have an editor, so if there are any errors in spelling or grammar please accept my deepest apologies. I try to read it over at least three times before submitting! This is a slower chapter, so bear with me! More action and answers to come! Enjoy!
Chapter 2: A New Player
Zara was swimming in the vast outdoor pool just outside her wing. She had chosen the South Wing because of the gardens and pool that were just outside her bedroom window. The estate had other pools, but hers was the largest, and the most utilized of them. She merely had to slide open the large glass doors and the water was at her feet. The sun was bright today and she was still shaken from the encounter with Philippe the night before so she decided a swim would be good to calm her. She pushed her muscles through the water, enjoying the feeling of weightlessness. Losing track of the number of laps she had done, she decided to simply stop and float. Her eyes were closed and the water drowned out any sound as it pushed against her ears. It was bliss for her, the silence and calm. That was until the sudden shadow that was cast over her, blocking out the sun caused her to turn and look up.
The sun was behind him, making it difficult to see who it was, until he knelt down and Zara was face to face with Philippe again. He was in a pair of shorts and a tank top, but she could tell they were of the finest quality, even for casual wear. He was smiling as his eyes took in her bikini clad body. He made no effort to hide his obvious appreciation.
"Good morning, Monsieur Desmarais," she replied indifferently, closing her eyes once again and resumed floating in the water.
"Please, call me Philippe. Mr. Desmarais makes me sound like a pompous old fart," he chuckled, "Do you mind if I join you?"
She opened her eyes again, and straightened up in the water. She briefly considered saying no, as she wanted time to clear her head and this was where she usually came to do just that. For some reason, Zara always felt at home when she was in the water, whether it was a pool or the sea. She knew, however, that Philippe and Kai were doing business together, and that she should be kind to Kai's business associates.
"I suppose as it is your current home at the moment, you don't have to ask."
"Ah, but I was not asking for permission to swim...I was asking if you mind if I do...I feel as though I was interrupting you."
"Yes, you were," she replied tartly, "maybe you are unaware, as its your first day here, but there are other pools on the grounds, you don't have to share with me," she continued as she turned to swim to the other side of the pool. If she had to share it, she wanted to be as far away from him as possible.
"Yes, I was told, but none have a beautiful woman gracing the waters. I enjoy such company."
She snorted, "I doubt I'm the usual type of company you seek, Philippe." At least not the kind you're looking for, she thought. She could tell he was a serial womanizer. Most of her kind was. Philippe's stunning looks and French charm were a devastating combination as it stood. Throw in the fact that vampires had a never ending blood lust and need for sexual release and the result would be what stood before her.
She heard him laughing lightly and turned to see what was so funny, but her breath caught in her throat as she took in the site of him, bare-chested with only swimming shorts to cover his long muscular legs. The man could put an Armani underwear model to tears, and he knew it. The sun shone off his tanned, toned skin and his dark silky hair. She found her mouth suddenly dry, and she realized she was staring...no ogling at him.
"Like what you see?" he asked his voice teasing.
She snorted, "Don't flatter yourself, our venom works wonders," she muttered to herself, but she knew he could hear.
"True, but I was a great specimen to begin with," he said, once again chuckling before he dived into the pool, sending small rolling waves from where he broke the water. He swam towards her and stopped when he was close enough to touch her. He pushed his hair out of his face and let out a contented sigh.
"You and Kai have one of the most beautiful homes I have ever had the pleasure of staying in."
"I'm glad you think so," she said dryly while back pedaling to put a bit more space between them. He simply swam forward. God he looked so sexy with water dripping down from his hair, the sun shining off his toned body. She shook her head, scolding herself for her lack of control around him.
"We only met yesterday Zara, but I get the feeling you do not like me very much."
"I don't know you, Philippe, surely you can understand if I take my time warming up to you," she was still swimming backwards, trying to distance herself from him. She did not want any contact with his body, not after last night. What passed between them scared her and intrigued her at the same time.
"Kai and I have been friends for quite some time now, if you don't trust me, trust him. And Stefane. I think you will find we have much in common."
Her back hit the edge of the pool and Philippe closed in, his arms coming down on either side of her, resting on the stone edge of the pool.
"You know, last night was quite...interesting..."
Her head shot up and she looked into his eyes. So he had felt it too?
"What your witch friend, Antoinette did to Kai and Stéfane," he continued, "I have never seen a witch do such magic."
No, she was the only one who had felt anything. Perhaps it had all been her own power?
"Yes," she smiled, "Antoinette can do amazing things, I suggest you try and stay on her good side."
"Hmm, I will remember that. I would never want to part with any fraction of my body," he said while pressing himself a bit closer to her, his face so close she could feel the heat of his breath on her. He leaned in as if to kiss her but she ducked under his arms, and swam to the stairs to her right. She didn't like being quite so close to him. She turned before climbing out and fixed him with a serious stare.
"I don't know you Philippe, but you should know I'm not someone who will fall to her knees with one look from you. And don't ever try that again."
As she made her way up the stairs she heard him say, "I definitely like what I see."
She turned around and stared at him, her anger rising, "Pig!" she spat. She let her power wash over her as she drew on the strength of the water, forcing it to roll fiercely like a wave and brought it crashing down on his head. He was sputtering and pushing his hair from his face as she turned around and grabbed her towel from the chaise before heading to her room and forcing the glass doors shut so hard they trembled, threatening to shatter.
She closed her curtains so he could not see into her room. The nerve of the man! She had only met him yesterday and he was already trying to get into her pants so to speak. She was more wound up than when she started the day. It wasn't just pent up anger; she hadn't been with a man in so long. She thought of how amazingly skilled Philippe could be in bed before she let out a frustrated groan and made her way to the bathroom. He could have been Zeus himself, she would not sleep with a man like Philippe. The house could barely hold his ego, she thought, chuckling to herself. If she couldn't swim, she would at least try and relax in her tub. It was large enough to be a kid's pool, she thought. She stripped off her bikini and ran the water for the bath pouring in bath soap and a lavender scent. She climbed into the large white claw foot tub and relaxed as the hot water worked its magic on her tense muscles. She heard her door open and close, but didn't pay much attention, thinking it may be Antoinette.
"I definitely love what I see right now."
Her eyes flew open and Philippe stood in the doorway of her bathroom, leaning arrogantly against the frame. She could not believe the nerve of this man. She had just told him not to try anything with her only a few moments ago, yet here he was invading her personal space while she was naked in a bath tub. She felt her fury growing, but stopped herself and decided to play his silly little game. He probably thought she would never step out naked in front of him; that she would sit there and argue until he left. Zara was not the type to sit and wait, and she definitely didn't have any qualms about revealing her body. She was a vampire, and with that came a confidence and vanity which allowed them to be the creatures they were. Sex and nudity didn't bother them, and while she held an unusual amount of humanity for such a creature, this was an area she had learned to use to her advantage in rather tight spots.
She stood up in the bath and watched with satisfaction as his eyes went wide with shock. The soap clung to her body, and her long hair stuck to her skin, covering parts of her. She stepped out of the tub and made her way over to him, swaying her hips to tease him a bit. She got so close his tank top was catching droplets of water from her hair and body.
"Philippe," she whispered in his ear, "I thought I told you, you have no chance with me..."
She took a step back to see his expression. He was still shocked she was standing naked in front of him, his eyes wide; it was kind of cute seeing such a confident man stare at her with puppy dog eyes. He seemed to realize he was gaping at her like a teenage school boy, when he cleared his throat and masked his face with his usual suave demeanor.
"I thought you should know I don't give up so easily. You are too gorgeous not to be with someone like me. At least once," he grinned.
She let out a loud laugh, "You have enough confidence and arrogance for the entire male population on this planet."
"Come now chèrie, I promise it will be like nothing you have ever experienced before, une expérience magnifique," he said, his hand trailing along her collarbone, sending small shivers down her body. Damn that felt good, she thought, une expérience magnifique indeed. She killed that thought immediately, scolding herself for falling for this dominating alpha male bullshit. Yes he was sexy as sin, but that didn't excuse his behavior. She grabbed his hand from where it rested on her collar bone and twisted it roughly and began pushing him out towards the main doors of her bedroom.
"Philippe, maybe I did not make myself clear the first time, I am not going to sleep with you. Don't ever come into my bedroom again and don't ever think you can touch me in such a way ever again."
She felt a few of his fingers crack under the force of her grasp before she opened the doors and flung him out before slamming them shut and locking every entry into her room. She heard him curse behind the door as he reset his fingers. Serves him right, she thought. She felt a shiver of cold run along her spine and she realized then exactly what she had done. She was naked! In front of Philippe! She started laughing at the look he had in his eyes. Men, she sighed, so predictable. Why was that cocky bastard even here? She'd spoken all of two sentences to him since he arrived and he was pursuing her like she was fresh meat. Surely a friend of Kai's would realize not to even attempt to tread those waters. She made her way back to the bath, but it wasn't quite as warm as before, she tried to relax nonetheless and think of anything but Philippe Desmarais.
Kai sat in his office with Philippe gazing out the large windows overlooking the grounds. It had been a week since Philippe had arrived at their home. They had just been discussing Kai's training and the people he would soon be working with.
"You will meet much opposition from Dymas and Iffret. Their very nature is to oppose the majority decision. It's built into their DNA," Philippe snorted.
"I can handle them," Kai replied confidently.
"Yes, I think they don't quite know what to make of you, I however, know much better," he smiled knowingly, "I am eager to see how they react to you once you fully join us. I must warn you however, not to underestimate them Kai. They haven't lived this long for nothing."
Kai merely nodded his agreement. He was beginning to get antsy, eager to join the ranks. He had been working towards this kind of position all his life. His whole body practically hummed at the idea of so much power at his fingertips. There were only a few more weeks before he joined some of the most powerful vampires on the planet, the Vykaryan, as they were named.
His thoughts suddenly turned to Zara. He had yet to tell her of what his future held. He knew she would be worried, possibly even angry at him for withholding the news for so long. He cringed at the thought of her fury. He had to tell her eventually and the more he put it off the angrier she would be. He chuckled at the thought of her kicking his ass again. It was a game they had played their entire lives, and it never seemed to get old. They always strived to best each other. So far, Zara was winning.
Philippe turned to face him, his face questioning the small chuckle Kai had given.
"I was merely thinking of how Zara will take all this news. I don't think my body will ever get used to her absolute love of destruction," he smiled.
Philippe smiled back in return, thinking of the green-eyed beauty, the image of her walking towards him naked and dripping in water filling his head. He stopped himself there, for his body was already beginning to react to the image that was forever burned in his skull. He shook himself mentally and tried to focus on what they had been previously discussing.
"That is another thing we will have to discuss Kai. You will all be under much scrutiny for the next few weeks. In fact I believe there are people in place now watching you," he said walking over to the window again looking out, trying to spot the expertly hidden trackers he knew were somewhere on the grounds, "You must not draw unwanted attention to yourselves, lest they question your sister's unusual characteristics. "
"Unusual characteristics?" he asked, playing stupid.
"Come now Kailan, I know your sister is no average vampire. All you had to do was see her in action the other night at the club and it is plain to see," Philippe smiled, "at least plain enough for someone as old as I."
He had almost slapped Kai for his foolishness that night, forcing his sister's true nature to expose her. If any other member of the Vyrkaryan had been there they would have reported Zara's unusual display right away. How she had managed to stay under their radar for so long, he had no idea. Perhaps his friend had something to do with that. He knew she was extraordinary, and how his kind would be intrigued by her.
"Yes, she is not your average vampire," he agreed letting out a heavy sigh, "Look Philippe, I've been meaning to discuss this with you. I know the Vyrkaryan would be intrigued by my sister, I know you yourself are curious. I'm kicking myself for causing her to show herself so openly in front of you already. I consider you my friend first and foremost, before a Vyrkaryan, therefore I ask you to keep this to yourself. They would cage her like an animal and kill her if she was deemed a threat to our kind. I can't allow that, she is all I have. Until I am pledged I cannot steer away their attention."
"Yes, I know, and trust me Kai it is my last wish to see any of you harmed. You must tell her soon, or risk her exposing herself openly. I cannot interfere then, and neither can you."
Kai sat silent for a moment. He had been ecstatic at having this opportunity. However, the more he learned about the Vyrkaryan in the past months, the more he worried about his sister. They had spent so long hiding her capabilities, and by some strange cosmic force he was now asked to be a part of the very type of organization they had been avoiding. He felt that if there was some type of God out there, he was having a good laugh at this situation. He wished there was some way he could contact Xander, he always knew what to do and exactly what to say when it came to protecting his sister. Yet as much as he wished for his advice, he resented him for abandoning his sister, for not continuing to teach her and help her become the extraordinary woman that was aching to burst free.
Philippe too had fallen silent. He wondered how Kai would react to the members of the council and vice versa. Both parties were eager to move on with the transition, yet there were arrangements to be made, and until his colleague was done making those arrangements, they all had to wait. All in time, he kept saying to Philippe. He almost rolled his eyes at his friend's cryptic words. Time could work both ways. It could be a healer and a destroyer, and Philippe was anxious of its results in this situation.
Just then Kai let out a frustrated groan. "This waiting is killing me! Why can't we speed up this process, surely they can see I'm more than ready!"
"Patience Kai, and in the meantime, we just have to be extremely careful, that is all."
"I don't know about you Philippe, but two weeks is an awful lot of time for shit to go wrong. There are too many variable and waiting has never been my strong suit."
Philippe let out a loud laugh, "My dear boy, it will have to be. More than just your life depends on it."
Zara sat in the kitchen, staring absent mindedly into the gardens, sipping on her now stone cold coffee. She had been tip toeing around the mansion all week, trying to avoid Philippe, and she had been unsuccessful. It seemed although Kai was keeping him occupied with business, he found a way to track her down in the vast estate. She had briefly considered staying at a hotel or one of their downtown properties until he left, but her pride wouldn't let that man run her from her own home. She was drawn to him with such intensity that she wanted to both pull him in and keep him away. She was torn, her emotions pulling her at both ends of the spectrum. How was it possible to be attracted to someone, yet uneasy by that attraction at the same time? She found him arrogant, rude and pushy. How the hell could she be attracted to that? She was terrified after their first meeting, turning to Toni, asking her if she had felt anything in the room. Toni had simply nodded at her and remained silent on the subject since. It had been such an intense rush of emotions and energy that ran through her body that her first instinct was to hide away. It was enough her own abilities scared her; she didn't need his engulfing her too. Her terror soon turned to distaste for the man, especially after what happened poolside and in her room.
She wondered if Philippe knew what she was truly capable of. She would catch him staring at her, as if contemplating something. Other times, it seemed he was toying with her, his energy more potent, as if he was purposefully trying to drown her in his power. It was then that she thought, maybe she was just being paranoid. Philippe was simply an old vampire that much she could tell. That explained his dominant persona, or so she told herself, and the power she felt rolling from his every muscle.
The more she thought on it, however, the more curious she became. How was it possible to feel as though she knew him, yet she had only met him a week ago? What was that pulse that ran through her when he touched her? She had been asking so many questions, she felt she might go crazy. It was just this morning she decided to stop being so silly, this was her home, she would not cower away in a corner just because of Philippe Desmarais. She would put Philippe out of her mind. She explained everything with the fact that she had been without her enchantment for a few hours that night; her powers growing more potent from being dormant so long. It was the only explanation to the whirlwind of emotions and senses she felt in the span of five minutes in the same room with the handsome vampire. So lost within her thoughts, she didn't sense Stéfane striding into the room. She jumped slightly when she felt his hands on her shoulders.