tagNonHumanKismet Ch. 03

Kismet Ch. 03


© 2018

Welcome back to my world of the dhampir. The story has become a bit of a rom-com and could be thought of as an adult fantasy. One caution though, readers under the age of eighteen are discouraged from reading this material as it contains adult language, situations, and in some cases, explicit sex (although not yet) <grin>.

And, as I've said before, you would gain a greater understanding of the nature of this relationship if you read the earlier chapters, but, as always, it's your choice and I'm just the scribe while these characters really tell their own story.

My 'spin' on the vampire myth is most likely unique among paranormal authors. I find the ability to explore human foibles in a character as complex as Zoe (whom you will meet in a few minutes), appealing. I am attracted, as an author, to strong female characters and a dhampir woman seems to fit the bill nicely, yet, they are mostly human and subject to matters of the heart, which makes this more a romantic romp with fantasy underpinnings...but I digress. As always, a big shout-out to Axelotto for editing my work, his expertise saves me from embarrassing myself on a regular basis.

Thank you for selecting my work, I hope you enjoy it... dreamweaver594


After leaving a corporate cellphone store where the prices and contracts were too restrictive, Tristan turned to Zoe. "Let's forget about a cellphone for now and concentrate on looking for an apartment," he said as they walked to his car.

"I did some research last night and our first appointment is a half hour from now." He reached into the backseat and handed her several sheets of paper with pictures and data about the apartments he'd found. "The first one looks a little small online, but at least it's affordable." An image of the first listing nearly filled the page.

Zoe shuffled through the papers. "Is it close to the college?"

"Not really, but it does have off-street parking, so that's a plus."

Forty minutes later they left the agent, the apartment was as tiny as it appeared online, and there were odd stains on the carpets.

"Let's hope the next one is better," Tristan muttered as he started the car.

Zoe scrunched her nose. "I can still smell those cats. Yuck."

The next two appointments proved little better, one was too expensive when the utility fees were added and the other was too far away from his school or his work. He was beginning to feel discouraged, even if it was the first day they looked. There just weren't that many places in his price range close enough to work and school on the market.

The final appointment was an ancient looking brownstone near his school. There wasn't any off-street parking, but the listing looked promising online. "The pictures show a small apartment, kind of bare bones with a little kitchenette off the living room. It has the two bedrooms we're looking for and a single bath," he said handing Zoe the listing sheet.

She leaned in and whispered to Tristan as they walked up the front steps to greet the rental agent. "This place feels right to me." Tristan shrugged and looked ahead to the listing agent.

"Mr. Rogers?" The rental agent nodded as Tristan extended his hand. "Hi, I'm Tristan Walker, we spoke last night on the phone."

The agent, an older gentlemen dressed in slacks, a button collared shirt, and running shoes, shook his hand then looked at Zoe.

"Oh, this is my friend Zoe Erduran. She's helping me look."

Mr. Rogers nodded and led them up the stairs to the second floor. "It's just become available. Both bedrooms are on the small side and the kitchen is a bit dated but it's clean and everything works."

At the top of the stairs Mr. Rogers opened the apartment on the right and gestured for them to enter. "The bathroom is down the hall, there's no bathtub, only a shower."

Tristan and Zoe walked down the hallway to the bathroom. It was small; and the walls were tiled with old subway tile in a pale green color, probably done in the 40's. At least it wasn't pink. The shower looked okay, but the curtain needed to be replaced. It could work. Comfortable for him, cozy if Zoe decided to live here too, which seemed to be her intent.

Tristan led the way back to the living room. "The bath is okay and the shower will be fine."

Tristan surveyed the small living room area adjacent to the kitchen. The hardwood floors gleamed in the sunlight.

"Sorry about the carpets. The last tenant had pets and they were so badly soiled we had to remove them," Mr. Rogers said apologetically.

Tristan nodded. "Not a problem, sir, after what we've seen today, hardwood floors are a blessing, and easily remedied with area rugs."

Mr. Rogers looked relieved. "The rent includes all utilities, including trash collection. It might get a bit warm this winter when the downstairs tenants crank up the thermostat. The building has a one zone steam heat system so you may have to crack a window from time to time."

Tristan looked to Zoe who nodded enthusiastically then he turned back to Mr. Rogers. "Sounds good. I think I'll take it. When can I move in?"

"As soon as your deposit check clears. It's Monday today, how about next Saturday?"

Tristan nodded and pulled out his checkbook. He tore his deposit check out of the checkbook and handed it to Mr. Rogers then shook his hand. "Great, see you Saturday morning."

Tristan followed Zoe out of the building. She nearly skipped to the car. He wondered why she seemed so full of energy. "What's up, Zoe? You seem so happy."

"That apartment, its perfect." She turned to Tristan when she reached his car. "I'll ask Uncle Emil for help with a bed and a dresser."

Tristan grinned at her and shook his head. "And why is that?" He asked knowing full well what her answer would be.

Zoe put her hands on her hips; her eyes sparkled a challenge in the sunlight. "Well, it's close to work, it seems clean, although a good scrub wouldn't hurt. And it has two bedrooms, one of which is going to be mine."

Tristan's eyes gleamed with mischief. "Is that so?"

"What?" She stood with her arms folded across her chest, daring him to defy her.

She was already rearranging the furniture, he thought privately. "Nothing," he said, attempting to sound innocent. He walked around her and opened the passenger door. "How about we go shopping for furniture at a thrift store next weekend?"

"Really? That sounds great," she said, happily opening his passenger door. She buckled her seatbelt. "Thanks." Crisis averted.

On Saturday, Tristan asked Paul and Frank, a couple of his friends from school, to help him move out of the dorm and into his new apartment. Zoe met them at the front steps of the building as they backed their pickup across the sidewalk.

"Hey Zoe, this is Paul," Tristan said as he walked around the back of the truck and then he pointed to his other friend, "and Frank; they're a couple of my friends from the dorm." He pulled down the tailgate of the truck.

Zoe shook their hands then started to reach for the large dresser in the back of the truck but Tristan held her shoulder. Suddenly, his words drifted through her mind as he kissed her on the top of her head. You forget that to these guys you're just a cute girl who shouldn't be able to lift anything more than a few garment bags let alone run a dresser up two flights of stairs without breaking a sweat.

She nodded sheepishly and grabbed some boxes filled with his clothes.

The truck was emptied quickly and most of the boxes and bags ended up piled in the middle of the living room floor. Fortunately, with extra effort, the dresser and the bed made it into the first bedroom. While Frank and Zoe finished unloading a few boxes from the truck, Paul helped Tristan set up his bed frame.

Zoe was quiet the whole time Tristan's friends were there. She found things to do in the kitchen or bathroom that kept her away from them. Even so, she garnered a few curious glances from both of Tristan's guests; she was, after all, rather pretty.

"This place looks nice," Paul said surveying the living room and kitchen combination. "A little small, but nice."

"It is, but compared to what else is out there at this price, it was a no-brainer," Tristan replied.

Paul nodded as Frank returned from the bathroom. "Are you both going to live here?"

Tristan shrugged and smiled. "Sometimes. So far, more me than her."

Frank nodded. "Cool." He turned to Zoe who stood in the kitchen unpacking a box of dishes. "Are you taking classes at the college?"

She offered Frank and Paul an awkward smile. "Not yet, maybe next semester."

They both nodded.

Tristan needed to change the subject. "Hey, let's go get something to eat...my treat," He added gesturing towards the front door.

Frank and Paul returned to their truck and followed Tristan and Zoe to Zappy's, a local burger joint, and only a couple of blocks away.

After lunch, Tristan's friends headed back to the college. "Thanks again," Tristan said with a wave as they pulled out of the parking lot. He needed to remember that he owed them both a six-pack and several bags of chips.

Tristan leaned over and nudged Zoe with his shoulder. "You were kind of quiet."

She rubbed her temples and offered him an awkward smile. "Yeah, well, I'm still not used to being around people, besides, I'm feeling kind of odd this afternoon."

"Odd? Do you need to lie down?"

"No. I'm okay. I might be a little tired after that move, is all."

Tristan nodded and started his car. "Let's go back to the apartment and put a few things away, then we can go out and look for a cellphone for you, okay?" She sighed and nodded. It was obvious that she was putting up a good front regardless of what was wrong. No matter, if she tells him, she tells him, he wasn't going to force anything out of her, even if he tried.

Late in the afternoon, Zoe followed Tristan into MetroPCS, a discount cellphone store. "They're sort of an off-brand place but they offer no-contract phones for a lot less," he suggested as he pointed at a large sign advertising low prices. Inside, several employees, eager to help them, quickly met them at the door. Tristan smiled politely. "We just want to browse first." He leaned over and whispered. "You have a silly grin on your face, what's up?"

"Nothing, I just like shopping with you." She moved to another display and then suddenly, she grimaced.

Zoe's face felt flush as red crept up her neck. She grabbed Tristan as she began to tremble.

Tristan turned surprised. The tremors quickly grew into convulsions and her eyes began to glow as her fangs emerged. He wrapped his arms around her and hugged her close, burying her face against his chest. Her trembling was becoming more violent but Tristan resisted the shaking with his kinetic abilities; he enveloped her and hugged her tightly, hiding her true nature and keeping her safe.

"She's having a medical issue, we need to leave," he said calmly as he swept her up continuing to hold her close. An employee opened the door for them as he dashed outside with Zoe in his arms. Another employee pulled out a cellphone to dial 911. "Don't bother, she'll be fine before they arrive, it happens all the time." The employee nodded still looking concerned.

Across the street was a small city park; no cars were on the road so he carried her across quickly. Tristan found a secluded bench and sat down with her still cradled against his chest.

The shaking continued then slowly began to subside and Zoe regained consciousness. "Where am I?" She looked around and then tears began to trace across her cheeks. She was no longer in the cellphone store, why was that? She started to sob as she realized what had happened, bloodlust, fuck. "Oh God, I'm so sorry. I-I couldn't control it, it just started and everything began to spin..."

"Shush, shush. It's okay. You're safe. We're across the street in a park. No one saw anything, I made sure of that. You're fine...okay? I pulled you close to my chest and told them you were having a medical issue, which would soon pass, and it did. I think they understood." He stroked her hair.

She buried her face in his chest and cried. "It came on...so fast," she said between sobs. "I usually...can tell, especially...if it's a big one like that."

Her sobs faded and she looked up meekly. "I guess I was so caught up in the apartment thing that I just ignored the signs. Thank you for saving me."

He nodded and hugged her tight then set her down on the bench next to him. "Anytime," he whispered.

"You're like my gallant knight," she whispered as she wiped her eyes.

Tristan's face felt warm. He needed a plan to prepare for the next surge. "How long before the next time?"

"Two hours, maybe more, maybe less, I'm never certain." They needed to act fast if they were going to avoid another incident like the cellphone store. The next time they might not be so lucky.

Tristan stood up. "It's nearly dark. Let's go to a department store and find you something provocative to wear. Then we need to go to a club. There are several places on the East side of town where you can look for a likely candidate."

"You sure?"

He nodded then grabbed her hand and pulled her up. He kissed the top of her head as they moved towards the street with his arm around her shoulders. Once again, she felt so safe in his arms. Was he the 'one'? She slipped into the passenger seat and sighed. Whatever would she do without him by her side, what an unusual thought? He's a human, dhampir women rarely fall in love with human men, and the thought shocked her.

I've lived nine years on the streets by myself. But, that's just it, I was by myself, alone, and there was no one I could rely on. Her anxiety diminished with that thought, she had Tristan now, and it made her smile.

After a quick run through Macy's where she found a pretty silk wrap dress with a plunging neckline, they arrived at Clancy's, a club that catered to the young and the reckless; people more interested in 'hooking up' than looking for fancy dining with any sort of sophisticated atmosphere.

The deafening thump of the bass reverberated across the street as Zoe led Tristan towards the dance club. Once inside, Tristan leaned down to her and shouted to be heard above the driving music. "Let's get something to drink first, then you can 'circulate', so to speak." He smirked and led the way to the bar. The place was perfect, lots of would-be Asses, as she liked to call them for her to chose from.

He ordered a beer and she ordered a soda.

"I'll keep watch from here," Tristan said as he leaned against the bar.

Zoe smirked as she slid off the bar stool and offered him an 'air kiss' then she turned towards the people dancing in the middle of the room. As she walked away she glanced over her shoulder with an exaggerated wiggle and a smirk.

Tristan crossed his arms. She was such a tease.

Not long after she disappeared into the crowd she emerged with a lecherous looking business-type. His receding hairline tagged him in his late-thirties, and he had the leer of someone most likely looking to cheat on his wife considering the ring on his left hand. He was still wearing his tie and sweating like he just stepped out of a sauna. His left hand dropped to Zoe's waist then slid further to her butt.

Tristan wondered how many children the lecher had at home and sadly shook his head. Well, he wasn't going to get what he expected, not with her.

She grabbed his hand off her butt and led him towards the door. Mr. Business followed behind her almost panting with anticipation. Tristan snorted with a smirk.

She winked and nodded her head to the left. Follow us outside on the left. Zoe's thought drifted through his mind as she went by. They disappeared into the throng of young people flooding in through the front doors. A moment later Tristan followed.

He walked to the left and within minutes discovered Zoe struggling with her lecherous lothario. She sat on a park bench in a secluded area near the club; her prey was precariously balanced on her lap. Tristan stood in front of them and laughed. Mr. Business was clearly under her spell, but so drunk he was barely manageable.

"Sure, funny to you, but this guy's like a big bag of Jell-O." She struggled with his legs as they flopped once again onto the brick walkway. "Here, stop laughing and help me."

Tristan leaned down with a chuckle and lifted Mr. Businessman's legs up onto the bench beside her. He held them while she twisted his body and maneuvered him so that his neck was exposed. She paused a moment and turned to Tristan. "Aren't you going to keep watch?"

He shrugged and turned to look both ways down the sidewalk. "Looks clear to me."

She frowned. "Look better, we can't get caught, you know that."

She barred her fangs and sunk them deep into the base of her would-be seducer's neck. She closed her lips around the bite and began to draw his blood through her fangs. "Yuck," she muttered as she continued to take his blood. Zoe's thought drifted through Tristan's mind. He reeks of alcohol and it tastes terrible.

He looked closer at what she was doing; a mild sucking sound emerged from her bite. "Are you drawing his blood through your fangs?"

Her response drifted into his mind. "Yes, right into my blood stream."

He glanced again over his shoulder at the sidewalk by the dance club. What about diseases, blood-born stuff? He stood and glanced towards the front of the club.

Her eyes sparkled with delight. Dhampir blood has antibodies powerful enough to counter all that stuff, even AIDS.

Wow, that's impressive. Tristan stepped away towards the sidewalk to get a better view of their surroundings. Zoe was still vulnerable; a single misstep could spell disaster for them both.

Near the front of the building several couples were locked in an amorous embrace. He smiled subtly as he watched them pull at each other passionately.

After a few minutes, she licked her bite wounds to seal them. Zoe pushed her prey's body onto the sidewalk in front of her then turned to lift him up and toss him back on the bench like a sack of potatoes to sleep it off. She walked up behind Tristan, stumbling slightly in her high heels, and wrapped her arms around him. "You, my dear, are my true gallant knight," she slurred, sounding giddy and definitely intoxicated.

He turned in her arms and tilted her head up to look into her eyes. "I think you're a little tipsy, kiddo. Lover boy must have been way beyond the legal limit." Across the way, her would-be lothario was soundly snoring. "Do you want to stop somewhere and get a cup of coffee?"

She traced a finger along his chin and smirked. "I can think of something else I'd rather be doing, but a cup of coffee might be nice for starters." She leaned up and kissed him on the lips then stumbled and fell into him, her arms wrapped around his body. "Hmm, that's better, darling. Shall we go?"

Simply put, she was blotto, moving quickly towards dead drunk; there was no way around it. She must be a lightweight when it comes to alcohol, good to know. Tristan helped her to the car and leaned her against it while he unlocked her door. As he opened it up she nearly fell into the passenger seat with an "Ugh."

He leaned down chuckling. "You okay?" She nodded and he tucked her skirt in to close the door.

After he slipped in behind the wheel he reached over and buckled her in. She took that opportunity to give him another sloppy kiss on the cheek. "Moo-wha," she said grinning. She wore a sappy expression and gave him two thumbs up. "Never better." He started his car and headed out of the parking lot.

Zoe's face was pressed against the passenger window, and after several minutes on the highway she turned to Tristan with a frown. "I thought we were going to a coffee shop."

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