Anton has loved Cynthia for close to a hundred and thirty years. He's a made-vampire, a monster not good enough for her. He's flitted in and out of her very long life ever since he was created. Now, she helps keep Earth safe from the magic of multiple realities, and he's been a bounty hunter for years.
Anton decides to win his lady, and brings her a present, a little green, furry creature he rescued from a marketplace in Mexico City. She lets him into her headquarters--and the next thing either of them know, they wake up in bed together, bonded for life and covered in scratches and love bites. What happened?
Reliving the memories and admitting to the love and passion they shared is a sweet victory at a time when the world may be falling down around them all.
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November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from Memory Lapse by Elaine Lowe
Usually, when Cynthia Margate awoke, her thoughts were clear as a blank scrying pool. She spent a moment in meditation upon her day, visualizing each task and responsibility, and then climbed out of bed. Even for someone practically immortal, time was too precious to be spent lounging about.
But this morning, Cynthia woke groggy and slowwitted. Her eyes remained shut as her first lazy thoughts centered on the state of her body. She ached all over. She was no stranger to the occasional necessity of physical force, but these pains were of a very different nature. Her skin tingled. Her mouth tasted of blood, but as she moved her tongue over her teeth to check for wounds, there was nothing but her very bruised lips to account for that metallic tang.
She had been well and thoroughly kissed. And bitten, from the sting she felt on her neck, her buttocks and her breasts. Her sex throbbed, giving every indication of a highly satisfactory encounter. But the lassitude she felt in every bone did not explain the slow, listless drag of her mind.
That she could not remember how she'd gotten into this state was troubling. Perhaps her partner could fill in the blanks. His arm rested across her stomach, their legs intertwined. He was curled into her, his head resting against her neck, the softness of his hair tickling her ear. His scent, that touch of spice and ozone, and she knew before she opened her eyes that she had finally lain with Anton Boroi.
She fought against the glue that kept her eyes sealed and she blinked several times to clear her vision. The afternoon light filtered in through her curtains, striking Elliot's precious prism hanging in the window and sending dots and rainbows of illumination scattering throughout the room. In the lovely cacophony of light, she and Anton were entwined, his body wrapped around hers as though he was scared to let go of her.
It was an odd sensation. She had never awoken with a lover. Even with her husband Jacob, so very long ago, he had left her in the night, keeping fast to Victorian sensibilities. With other men or women, she'd left in the night, taking her pleasure and leaving before risking too much attachment.
She did not quite know what to think of her current situation or her inability to move. She surveyed what she could see of Anton without moving too much; the firm, wiry muscles of his arms and legs were beautiful, his skin pale against her own, stained with scratch marks and a livid bruise on one wrist. His biceps showed three deep puncture marks, which should have healed.
Despite the lack of coverings and the slightly cooler body temperature of a vampire, she was warm and comfortable and had no real desire to push away from him. She could credit that to whatever mind-altering substance remained in her system and her significant level of dehydration, but she was honest with herself enough to acknowledge some of it was due to finally being in Anton's arms. She had imagined it far too often, and if he ever realized how often, he would be insufferable about it.
Her last clear memory was opening the front door to his smirking face. He'd lifted up some kind of crate and given her a silly line, calling her Cyn. He was possibly the only person in this world she would let call her by a nickname. After that, there were only flashes. Her lab, them in the hall kissing frantically, being shot at by Ive and Jak--shot at by her own team of all the bloody things--a ball of fire and then writhing on the bed, her teeth in Anton's throat.
Just those flashes of memory alone set off a throbbing headache, and as she clenched her eyes shut, a tidal wave assaulted her mind. Blazing bright and stomach churningly real, visions erupted that she'd long ago buried too deep, so deep they could no longer invade her nightmares.
She was naked and cold and angry. It had been a hard two years since she'd first set foot in this reality, years of getting to know her father and battling the sexism of the age to attend university. She'd never expected to be kidnapped by idiotic humans who suspected she was more than human. Coming home in a hired hansom cab, she'd been taken and now she was strapped naked to a cold granite altar, waiting to be sacrificed to a ridiculous statue in an ugly ballroom draped in black fabric and splashed with pig's blood.
The stench of the blood and cheap tallow candles made her want to retch and laugh all at the same time. She could escape, if they ever removed the iron manacles that made her magic weak. But there was no time. There was a commotion at the door and they'd brought in a bleeding Anton, her stupidly brave best friend, who no doubt had tried to rescue her single-handedly.
"This one is from Romania! No doubt an errant child of the Blood God. He will be pleased with a dual sacrifice tonight!"
The half-drunk silver robed "priests" had laughed and sang an off-key dirge to their dark god.
One had hovered over her as they bound the struggling Anton to a table they'd pushed upright. They'd ripped his clothes off him and they'd begun carving patterns in his flesh with a knife. Anton hadn't screamed, he'd done nothing but look at her, determination in his eyes. Her tears had fallen for both of them.
"I will make this up to you, Anton, we will get out of here and all these fools will..."
She'd been slapped, and then Anton had hissed and screamed curses in Romanian while the head priest had giggled, drunk with power. "I think it's time to silence this fool. Bring in the breath of the Dark God. Let's see her insult the Sons of Night once they see the dust of death work its power!"
Cynthia had suddenly known that for all their idiotic prattle, they could really kill Anton, and she could not allow that to happen. But iron kept her trapped and she watched as a gray powder was blown in Anton's face and rubbed into the pattern of symbols carved into his chest.
Anton stopped struggling and turned ghostly pale, even stopped breathing, his eyes growing dim as she watched. She screamed, her throat hoarse as all the surrounding men cheered and applauded their infernal god. They all turned back to her, chanting in badly conjugated Latin, the leader holding a knife over her nude body.
But she could not think to free herself. She looked to Anton, tears clouding her vision, so she wasn't sure when she saw movement that she wasn't imagining it. The scars on his chest faded to nothing, revealing smooth pale skin. Then his head came off his chest, his eyes blood red and his mouth full of sharp fangs.
"Vampire?" she whispered. It was impossible. It was inconceivable.