Breaking and Breakfasting

Dakota Apartments - Serafine's Apartment


lc01.jpg mb02.jpg dg01.jpg
Serafine Roche Bryn Blackwell Gideon Hastings

Somehow, they managed to make it to the bedroom. Not fast, and not easily, and a doorway, a floor rug, and a bookcase got christened along the way. The doorway survived, the rug is going to need cleaning, and it's a good thing the bookcase was braced to the wall, though there are several (knock off) pieces of art work that didn't survive intact. It's thrilling and a huge turn on when Bryn finally breaks that too calm and controlled reserve, ripping control from her and taking her as he will. As they drift off tangled up in one another and the badly twisted bed sheets, Serafine thinks he might just apologize in the morning, but she'll worry about that when it happens, if she lets him apologize at all. She does have ways of saying thank you and distracting him; there are a few tricks left up her sleeve that he hasn't seen yet.

The vampiress doesn't sleep the way her lover does. Sleep recharges her, but her body doesn't need it to recharge. That's why she wakes quickly and easily when she hears the faintest of rustling movement in her apartment. It's past sunrise, she can feel it in her bones with that supernatural sense of daylight that seems to be innate to her kind. Protective. Necessary.

Her preternatural senses come alive, heart stopping and breath no longer required. She gently unwinds herself from Bryn, rolling out of bed and hitting the floor with the grace and quietness of a cat. Feline grace and superhuman, though not quite vampiric, speed carries her to the doorway, where she cocks an ear to listen and delicately sniffs the air.

The predator in her bristles, eyes shifting to black and veining up. The scent has the ring of familiarity, but it's not Kieran or anyone else who would have reason to be in her apartment.


It was an extremely 'wild' evening for Bryn. He rarely loses control, and that Serafine was able to bring that out in him is a bloody miracle. The pieces that have broken are going to be replaced once he wakes enough to put in a call to have them delivered. He will also send over a cleaning woman that works for the Priory and will be able to keep her mouth shut about anything she might see.

The alacrity with which the vampiress leaves the bed has Bryn reaching for her. There's a half-awake groan when he misses her. Slowly he begins to wake himself up in the hopes of catching her before she leaves the room.


She hears and senses Bryn stir. The change in his breathing, in his heart rate, all tell her that he's stirring to wakefulness. Her initial instinct is to go and glamour him back to sleep, wanting to protect him, but almost immediately, she recalls that she can't. Also, that he wouldn't want her protecting him and that he can well protect himself.

Flexing on the balls of her feet, she glances back at the bed. Then in a blink and a displacement of air, she's back by the mattress, whispering in his ear. "Someone's in the apartment."

She's slipping away again, toward the door while he digests that.



Bryn waves a groggy hand over his face and reaches for his pants. Pulling them on as quickly as he can, careful of the zipper as he's not got anything underneath. "Serafine," he calls after her.

"If there is someone in the apartment, do you not think that you had better put some clothing on?" The sorcerer is cautious, but the last thing they need is a burglar standing around ogling Serafine.


Serafine is so surprised by his words that her features shift back to human. It's very clear that the woman does not think that clothing are a primary consideration at this point in time. She bites back the response on the tip of her tongue, and then to appease him, she yanks her robe off the back of the door. It's short and just to the side of opaque, and she barely cinches the belt before gliding out of the bedroom and down the hall.

If it is a burglar, seeing some skin might be a good distraction, but she doesn't think it's a burglar.


Bryn runs a hand through his hair as she finally turns back to tie a robe on. It's not what he'd like her to be wearing when she's running through her apartment to find the intruder, but at least she covered up the bits that he'd rather she left covered.

He is not long behind her. After a few seconds, he casts a cover spell on her so that she can move around undetected by whomever, or whatever happens to be in her apartment.


There is a tray on the dining room table. Muffins, bagels, and scones. Proper scones from a proper bakery that knows how to make them. There is also cream cheese and clotted cream, because the only to enjoy scones is with clotted cream. Fruit completes the spread of food, and the coffee in the automatic coffee maker begins to brew as the young vampire and her sorcerer lover preceed into the hallway.

A ceramic kettle of tea is set upon a trivet on the coffee table, and as Gideon settles into the arm chair facing the television, he locates the remote and turns it on. Crossing one leg over the other, his tea cup and saucer are picked up and held in a refined and elegant manner, his gaze fixed upon the London Olympics.

"I suspect magic," Gideon says casually, not looking around. "I heard you and scented you, and now I do not. Fortunately, I am not a burglar, though I do suspect that you would have managed to startle one intent on burglarizing."


That voice. Serafine stops in the doorway of the living room and blinks. It takes a moment for her to believe that she's seeing what she's seeing.

Her shoulders relax and some of the tension leaves her body. Not all of it, because she's not quite sure how she's going to explain the Ancient Vampire sitting comfortably in her living room as though he owns the place. Then again, Gideon does everything with an air of belonging and ownership.



"You broke into my apartment?"


There are two things Bryn notices as he comes down the hall. Proper scones, and clotted cream. Add to that the scent of tea, and he nearly laughs. If it were a burglar, he'll have to remember to thank the man for delivering breakfast. It would be the most thoughtful robbery ever.

"You suspect correctly," Bryn replies, dissipating the spell. "One can never be too cautious in New York City. I fully suspect that I will need to have an alarm system installed for you, Princess. I will contact someone and find out the best company in the city."


"Good morning, Gideon. I presume that you have been here for a little while. At least inside the building. How long did it take you to find someone to let you in to the apartment?"


"Breaking in, as you so crudely put it, Serafine, presumes that there was the need to 'break' anything. It was insultingly easy to gain access to your building. Beyond that, I have had the occassion to, what's the vernacular? Crack easier security systems than the one you have installed."

Gideon glances back now, taking in the pair. If he were human, his eyes would tell him what his senses and previous observations have picked up on: the pair are lovers, and given the condition of the flat, quite enthusiastically so. Their comingled scents still linger in the apartment, and the fingerprint bruises on the sorcerer's body tell their own tale. Not that it is any of Gideon's business, nor will he comment on it. Observation only.

"Bryn, I'm older than you family line, do you doubt my resourcefulness?"


"I brought breakfast. Muffins, bagels and proper scones. Do you know there is one bakery in this entire bloody city that makes a proper scone and not that sugary cupcake concoction that Yankees - no offense, Serafine - believe to be a scone?" He pauses and sips his tea. "Unfortunately, the bane of our existence is being trapped indoors during daylight hours no matter how awake we are. It does not mean that we cannot discuss your neophyte and non-disintegrating body issue. I am intruding, I freely admit to such, so I offer breakfast in return. I have also put on a pot of coffee and brewed a proper spot of tea."


Serafine's jaw works soundlessly for a moment. She's not sure which she's more flabbergasted by: Gideon being in her apartment and so nonchalant about it, or Gideon and Bryn knowing one another.

"Yes, a new security system. Definitely." Those are the first coherent words she manages to say as she adjusts and tightens the robe. It's not modesty per se; Serafine truly lacks such except as a human convention. It's more a respect to Bryn, whom she knows doesn't want others to see what he thinks of as his.

"You two know each other?" Green eyes dart between her lover and Gideon.


"Gideon, I fully suspect that you are older than dust." Yawning, Bryn reaches toward a scone and drops it on an empty plate. A few spoonfuls of clotted cream are added, and then he moves toward the teapot. He honestly seems unconcerned that Gideon is in the apartment. Almost relaxed. He's well aware that if the elder vampire meant them harm, they would never have woken. He would have masked himself to ensure that they were unaware of him being within the apartment.

"Bloody hell. It has been forever since I have had a proper scone. You will be leaving me with the name of the bakery before you leave the city."

Once his breakfast has been procured, he glances back at Serafine. He'd forgotten that she's only in a robe. A disapproving look is sent to her, but he answers her regardless. "We are well acquainted, yes. Gideon tends to have information that I am often lacking, and vice versa. It only makes sense that two people who enjoy finding things out would cross paths."


"I do think you should go put on some clothing, Serafine."


"No, dust has a few years on me, though he might have been at my nameday." It's said with Gideon's typical dry wit, utterly dead pan and the spark of humor has been known to surprise many. He finds it amusing that it is the sorcerer who is at ease in his presence while the young Karneros hovers in the doorway still. Then again, no matter how human Serafine may be, she is her Maker's Child, and has either inherited or learned some of his paranoia or dislike of being 'out of the loop.' Likely both.

«It is a small world, mademoiselle,» Gideon reminds her in the French Creole she grew up speaking. He waves a hand toward the breakfast. "Please, help yourself. I promise to clean the kitchen. There is even a bottle for you in the refrigerator."


Stranger things … have not happened. Serafine is certain of it. Still, she's off center now and out of sorts and she hates feeling that way. She tugs a hand through her hair, once again glancing back and forth between the two men. Then without another word, she turns and heads back toward her bedroom to put on more appropriate clothing.


Bryn seems to relax even more when Serafine listens to him and goes to put some clothing on. He may not be fully dressed himself, but it is less unusual for a man to be wandering around without a shirt. This may be the vampiresses home, but he does not want to have to pull Gideon off of his girlfriend.

"It is indeed a small world," Bryn agrees. The French is quite a bit different than he's used to, but it's easy enough for him to understand when he thinks about it.

While he would much prefer to eat at the table, he simply settles onto a chair and begins to enjoy the scone.

"So have you uncovered something about our neophyte, or were you simply bored with your lodgings and figured on surprising Serafine?"


Gideon observes the exchange between the lovers, what there is of it, quietly and without comment. He has noted over the years of acquaintance that Serafine is a contrast - strong willed and stubborn, but easily backing down and taking direction when they come from her Maker. He has only observed it in the presence of Collins, and her response to Bryn does bear recording in the back of his mind.

The old vampire would laugh if he knew the directions of Bryn's thoughts, though he can infer. Though he's had countless lovers over the years, Gideon has never bedded Serafine Roque. Not through any lack of interest, even ancient vampires have carnal needs from time to time, but merely because she is still so very young to his way of viewing things, and her Maker is extremely possessive. He can handle Kieran Collins, but sees no need to muddy those waters, just yet. In another century or so, he may revisit the prospect, but not currently.

"I have discovered something connected to the neophyte. Surprising Serafine was merely meant to be an added bonus."


In her room, Serafine makes very quick work of stripping out of the robe and finding something to wear. She doesn't make a special effort, so she ends up in a pair of yoga pants with a loose t-shirt, and gathers her hair back in a messy ponytail. There's a moment where she frowns in the mirror and almost changes her clothes, wishing to look more presentable. Then she remembers that she didn't invite Gideon and decides that college casual will have to do.

She returns and gets a cup of coffee and a muffin, walking to the living area where she settles onto the couch to eat. Though she's grateful for the blood, and she'll thank Gideon for it later, she doesn't feel as though she needs it yet.


"Perhaps you should call ahead next time? Lest she come out here with a stake, and wind up getting hurt in the process." Bryn frowns at the thought. He doesn't think that Gideon would dare hurt Serafine, but there are things that vampires are wont to do that he's not privy to.

"That is only partially less distracting," he says to Serafine when she returns. "That is a good look for you, Princess."


"What did you find?"


"This sort of prank is only good once every few decades or so. Otherwise it becomes predictable." Gideon takes another sip of his tea, and there is the slightest hint of a wry smile on his face. "You need not worry, Bryn. I am fully capable of disarming one such as Serafine with minimal fuss, bruising nothing more than her pride." He will not admit it because he is not supposed to do such or show such favortism, but Gideon is fond of the youngling vampire, and finds her Maker to be most intriguing as well. The pair have potential, and watching and nurturing such has never been a bad thing.

He nods politely to Serafine, noting that she did not claim the bottle of blood. A very subtle cursory glance is swept over Bryn, noticing now the faint bruising around his pulse point that can easily pass for a 'hickey.' The vampiress is full of color, flushed and clearly well fed. Another tick mark in the back of his mind.

"I visited with Denham. Charming fellow. I do believe he gets along better with the corpses than he does humans. Do you recall the other body, the one that was charred?"


"I'm not that easy to best," Serafine objects, mostly on general principle. Gideon is ages older than her, and she knows that there is no way she could possibly get the drop on him in a fair fight. She juts out her chin and takes a bite from her muffin. A few crumbs drop into her lap, but it's her living area and her couch.

A surprised look is darted toward Bryn when he says what he does, and then he's given a coy, flattered smile, before she turns her attention to Gideon

"You went back to Denham without me?" Serafine asks with a frown. She shakes her head. "He's prickly. I'm used to handling him … and what charred corpse?"


"I am certain that he does these days." Not that Bryn was aware of the man before coming to the city, and he has no right to comment on the man's life. Still, he's fairly certain that Denham's failed marriages account for the fact that he's so good with corpses.

"The charred body that was found in the sewers by a tabloid reporter and a young werewolf." Actually, Bryn believes that the man actually stepped in the corpse.

"They have yet to identify the remains."


"Serafine, I doubt that there are many in the city that can resist that lovely smile and southern charm," Gideon speaks plainly and gives her one of his rare smiles. There is nothing flirtatious in it or suggestive. If it can be classified at all, it is the fond smile of an elder mentor toward a young student. "It is a double edged sword, however. Your ample charms also lead to pleasant sorts of distracting thoughts. I needed to be certain that Denham was focused."

Finishing the tea, Gideon sets the cup and saucer aside temporarily. "I asked him to re-examine the body based on the new information from your neophyte. Given new parameters to work with, he discovered that the body was in a similar halfway state. It was assumed before to be caused by the burning, but now, with this new evidence, we can theorize that the burning was done to hide the true state of the body."


Serafine straightens in her seat, visibly preening under Gideon's words. It is quite the compliment coming from the ancient vampire, and Serafine well knows that.

"Was it staked through the heart? Wouldn't Denham have noticed that before a re-examination?"


"Extremely distracting," mutters Bryn. Just sitting in the main room is reminding him a great deal as to what happened the previous evening which is distracting just as much as she is. "Denham does not need to be having distracting sorts of thoughts about Serafine."

His brow raises slightly as he listens to Gideon's words. "A botched kill of another neophyte. Which means there were two, and could potentially be more. We may not be dealing with just one pair."

Cursing, he starts to reach for his mobile, and finds that while he's got his pants on, his mobile is still back in Serafine's room. He'll have to fire off a text to Kevin later.


Gideon tilts his head, giving a curious look at the sorcerer. If he wishes for men (and women) to not have distracting thoughts about Serafine, then he may as well lock her in a tower. The nature of her bloodline ensures she is desirable to her prey, but beyond that, the Karneros pride themselves on choosing the most beautiful and sensual of humans to fill out their ranks. Being Karneros added to her attraction but did not create what was not already there.

"Indeed, which is why I did not feel it necessary to take Serafine along."

The elder vampire turns at Serafine's question. "It was not staked. I believe The Priory has the first autopsy report, which stated that the victim was stabbed through the heart, and also had his throat cut. In this case, there were no fangs and no sign of vampiric change."

Leaning forward, Gideon pours himself a fresh cup of tea. "There is something more going on here than has been discovered so far. I begin to feel that we are working with something more than a rogue vampire and untrained neophytes. There is organization and intent behind this. These bodies that are being discovered may well be a plea for help."


Serafine chews another bite of the muffin and swallows. "A breadcrumb trail? From a vampire who can't make and manage his or her own neophytes?" She supposes that anything is possible, though she's never heard of a vampire creating a Child under duress.

Then again, she's never heard of half-vampires who don't transition fully, either. "But, are they really vampires or … something else?"


Bryn does not necessarily wish to lock his Princess in a tower, but he does wish to keep men like Denham from ogling her as much as possible. There is a reason why the man has never had a successful relationship. "You would also have less compunction in regards to glamouring the man should it be necessary, if Serafine was not along."


"Ashcroft has determined it is not a military group. It may be a private military securities company though, which will take a bit to get information on. We have several on it already." Kayla, primarily, with the hopes of her hacking into one of the systems undetected.

"That was my thought as well. It was either a warning, or a plea. There would be no other reason for the body to have been left by Flanaghans."


"Assuming that there is a master vampire involved, the Master's Sheriff is the perfect individual to whom to make such a plea. Kostas might be difficult and believe he is protecting his position, however, Collins is more than a pretty face. He is shrewd and far more intelligent than even the Master of the City grants him credit. His business sense and saavy would demand that he addresses such a thing." Gideon places the tea cup to the side, and rises to seek out a plate with a scone and clotted cream.

"Then you're suggesting that this alleged master vampire knows Kieran?" Serafine asks.

"Knows of him, Serafine. Knows well of enough of him to know that affronting his public facade is the way to get his attention," Gideon explains. "Anyone with in-depth knowledge of the workings of your Maker's mind would be someone close to him and we know how very few he allows that … privilege." Beat. "James and Gwendolyn would not be involved in such a thing, and they are across the pond. It reeks of amateurishness and child's play of the sort that is far beneath Ysabel."

Serafine frowns, going through the vampires of the City in her mind, and the ones Kieran and she have met over the years. "Someone who wanted the Sheriff's attention." Someone angry or desperate. Not very comforting.

"I am going to remain in the City to assist in solving this problem." Gideon returns to his seat. "I will offer my assistance to Kostas and Collins, though I suspect Kostas will only accept grudgingly. Fortunately, I do not have to answer to Kostas or swear fealty and am welcome to investigate this without my hands being tied."


"Might be is an understatement. Kostas has dragged his feet on this issue since before I arrived in the city. He is either privy as to what is going on and does not wish to share, or thinks that the matter is beneath him and his court."

Bryn frowns, before he turns to Serafine. "There is not a vampire in the city who has not heard the name Kieran Collins, and knows his place in the society here both publicly and as Kostas' Sheriff. It only makes sense that they seek him out."


"If Kostas does grump about it, Gideon, you are more than welcome to say that you are consulting for the Priory, so that he does not throw vampire politics in your face and demand that while you remain in the city you are one of his, age be damned."


"He's afraid that it's a threat to his power base," Serafine remarks with a frown. She hates the stance he's taken because it makes Kieran look weak, and that is her first concern and loyalty.

"By not responding, he is a threat to his power base, and he makes those around him look weak." Gideon voices her unspoken thoughts. He gives the vampiress a nod and a look intended to soothe. "Fortunately, your Maker's reputation preceeds him. I do not think it is that much of an issue where he is concerned."

Gideon frowns and leans forward, attention fixed on the young vampiress. "You do need to curb your reactions, Serafine. I can read it very clearly that your loyalty is to Collins and not Kostas. That could be dangerous for both of you if others were to figure it out as well." He holds up a hand to stop her from speaking, "However you feel about Kostas does not matter. Your Maker is part of his Court and you swore abeyance when you came the City. You are as intelligent as you are beautiful and I know well that you know how to play your part in these politics." It's a scolding yes, but a gentle one. A reminder that Kieran may not be able to protect her from everything. Particularly not if he is being punished as well.

Relaxing, he sips his tea and lifts a brow. "I daresay, it would be more fun working with the Priory."


"We happen to be a rather fun group of people," Bryn comments dryly. The only one that he can say without a doubt would be any fun would be Kayla.

There are things he considers about the vampire politics, and part of it is that Kostas is getting old and bored with his position. Hence his lack of wanting to do anything about the little annoyances and allow the humans to deal with them.

But it has now brought in interested parties from higher up, which really means that he should be worried about his place in the hierarchy of things.

"Allow me to speak with Ashcroft. He may demand a meeting, and be adverse to hiring outside contractors, but I know he will agree that having an extra vampiric eye on things would be a boon at this point."


After conversation winds down, Gideon sees himself out. He offers no apology for invading Sera's space, but she isn't expecting any. Were it anyone else, she would be concerned about them venturing forth during daylight hours, but there's little doubt that Gideon has made arrangements and will not be harmed. Closing and locking the door behind him, Sera returns to the living area. She bypasses her seat to sink down beside Bryn.

"You know Gideon." It's not a question, just a reiteration of what's been said.


"You get along with Gideon." Very few get along well with Gideon, be they human, vampire, or other. Unless he has an interest in one, he has an air that is somewhat off-putting and dominating. He has an impressive presence, though it is not the unsettling sort that Sera gets from Kostas.


"Why would I not get along with Gideon?"

Bryn sips at a cooling cup of tea, rather nonchalantly. He is not perturbed as much as he might have been had Kieran appeared early in the morning. While Gideon's methods could be questioned, he did provide a great deal of useful information.

"We are cut from the same cloth, Serafine. We both find puzzles to be very intriguing, and know that knowledge is one of the greatest forms of power available to any individual. I have worked for, and with him on several occasions. He is a good contact to have in the vampiric community."


"Because he shows up uninvited and breaks into my apartment." Breakfast not withstanding. "It seems like the sort of thing that would annoy most people."

Did it annoy her? No. Well, yes, but not enough to give a satisfactory reaction. Sera is accustomed to Gideon popping in unexpectedly, and she thinks that it's one of his perverse bits of twisted humor. He likes testing her and Kieran. Why them, Sera isn't certain, but she's convinced that's what he's doing.

"I can see the two of you squinting over old books together."


"There is that, but he seems to respect my boundaries thus far. Granted, that is likely because he is not as able to break into my flat." Bryn tosses her a boyish grin and leans in to whisper, "There is a spell to keep vampires out, you realize. We could spell your flat so that you must invite them in before they are able to gain access."

Reaching out, he brushes his fingers over her arm.

"Can you now? There is every distinct possibility that we may have done so in the past."


Serafine scrunches her nose. "It's an old joke of sorts. I think he likes testing mine and Kieran's boundaries."

Biting her lip, she remembers too late to repress how she reacts to him, and her eyes close partially at the touch, a soft breath inhaled.

"Yes, the two of you do seem to share the same … single-mindedness when it comes to research." Serafine leans over and kisses his cheek. She smiles against his skin - she likes the rough stubble, and the unshaven look on him - before drawing back. Then she's lowering her eyes, speaking softly, "Thank you for last night." It was intense and passionate and wildly out of control. Something that Serafine wasn't certain she would experience with Bryn so early in their relationship.


"It has been my experience that Gideon enjoys testing which boundaries he can. It keeps things lively for him in his old age." Bryn considers it, and does find it amusing that Gideon either assumed the sorcerer was here, or that Serafine would have someone human around that would need to eat.

"Some of us more than others, I think. That is to say, I must research while I can. I am not over a millennia old."


"You have no need to thank me, Serafine."


"No, you're not," Serafine agrees, leaning in to nuzzle at his neck before simply resting against him. "I rather like being the cougar." She giggles, because they both know it's only in the chronological sense of their ages.


"I do," Serafine tilts her head back to look up at him. "I don't want you think that I take this, or us for granted."


Rolling his eyes at her, Bryn pulls her up into his lap. "Good lord, if you are a cougar I do think I should have been fancying them long before now." Beat. "I mean if they all look like you? I have been missing out."

Taking a deep breath, he shakes his head. "I know that you do not, Serafine."


The vampire trills a laugh, settling comfortably in her boyfriend's lap. She brushes a kiss under his chin and rests her head on his shoulder. "Good, because I don't want you to think that. I don't know what it is … but there is something about you. About us… "


"And last night? That was amazing." Leaning back a little, Serafine peers at him. "You've never expressed yourself like that before."


"What are you thinking, Serafine? That we fall under the soulmate principle?" Bryn chuckles, and then tickles her ribs. "We do need to talk to Kieran about this before you go thinking that we are a part of it as well."

He clears his throat. "Yes, well, I do not typically like to express myself in such a manner, but truth be told I have been dying to spank your bottom since the very first time you sassed off to me."


"No," Serafine laughs. She bites her lip, then sighs. "Yes. But also … I just enjoy being with you. Close to you." Her fingers play a nonsensical, tuneless instrument over his side and along his abdomen. "When you first told me about it, and suggested it could be the thread that ties Kieran and Brooke together, I felt … neutral. I can't describe it any other way. Normally, in the past, when Kieran's gotten too close or too involved, I've been jealous and possessive and ready to swoop in and remind him that he chose me and why and drag him off with me again."

She turns and presses a kiss to his sternum. "I didn't feel that way. The more I thought about it and tried to figure out what I was feeling, the more I realized that I just felt happy for him, if that's the case. I know that we have a connection that we'll always have, but I don't feel threatened by Brooke. For the first time ever I feel like there could be someone else in his life and it doesn't have to be me, and I think it's because of you. Because of what I feel for you."


Pressing another kiss to his chest, she beams a sweet little smile up at him. "You don't like it? You seemed to like it a good deal to me." Serafine walks her fingers up his chest. "Maybe I should sass you more often."


Bryn smirks a little as she admits it. He did consider it briefly when Gideon first told him of the principle, but he's not sure if it is what it is, and there are very few tests the two of them can do to see if it is the case. "So what you are saying, Princess, is that you are quite happy with our relationship. You may even go so far as to say you love me, simply because you have no dire need to sweep your Maker out of the city and away from Brooke."

His voice is a little teasing.

"I am glad that you do not feel threatened by Brooke. I am glad also that you are happy for your Maker, because if it is the soulmate principle, then he will likely become increasingly enamored with her, and she with him. It is a dangerous thing. She could become a weakness for him, and you will have to watch out for that."


"The problem is I do like it. I just do not like to show it, Serafine. Most women would balk at my desire to do things like that."


"Haven't you figured out by now that I'm not most women?" Serafine traces her fingertips lightly along his collar bone. Her eyes cast down demurely. "I like it Bryn." Biting her lip, she looks up at him, "I like it when you take control and I liked the spanking."

Sighing, she shifts in his lap, wiggling around so that she can see him properly without craning her neck, going back to his earlier statement. "I would. I do." Her fingers comb through his hair and sweep it back from his forehead. "I love you."

Saying the words cements it in her soul. She hasn't wanted to say it for fear it would jinx things or wouldn't feel right, but everything clicks and it feels perfect saying the words.

"What about us?" Serafine draws a finger over his jaw and down to his lips. "Will you be a danger and a weakness when I become more enamored with you?"


"I do believe that I have come to that realization now, Princess." Stroking his fingers over Serafine's cheek, he actually colors slightly. "Do not get too used to it. It is not something that will happen every time."

The shifting is not helping with things at the moment. Groaning, he lifts her and shifts her weight just a little to the side. "I love you too, Princess." He had just been teasing her, but now that the words have been spoken he does realize how true they are.

"Do you have as many enemies as your Maker? I do not think that it will be a problem for you, but chances are that any human that you spend a great deal of time with could become a weakness for others to exploit. We have very limited life spans, Serafine. Any threat to what is yours could be seen as a weakness."


"I'd hardly expect it every time," Serafine twitters a soft laugh, kissing the underside of his chin. "I did enjoy watching you lose control and come unraveled like that. It was hot. If I were human I'd be happily sore today." Another spray of kisses. "Not all the time though. I'm all for slow and appreciative too."

A little happy sigh is exhaled and then she throws her arms around him with a squeal. "It's crazy, though, isn't it?" That they've barely known each other four months and Serafine has no doubt that she loves her Welshman.

"No, I don't make enemies the way Kieran does. He had a knack for pissing people off and making them want to stake him."


Smiling both smugly and playfully, Serafine tilts her head. "Are you admitting to being mine, then?"


"I do not like to lose control," Bryn admits. He tends to play a little rough when he does, and while Serafine can handle it physically, he doesn't want her looking at him differently because of it.

Chuckling at the squeal, he rubs his hand down her back. "Is it? Sometimes when something is right, you just know." It is crazy, and while part of him wants to declare it's the soulmate principle, he just doesn't have enough to go on to determine it.

"I should rather think that you are mine, Serafine, and I do not like to share. I know that I have to, for your survival, but that does not mean that I like it. If I could find a way to keep you from having to feed in that manner, I would."


"Like I said, you didn't seem to be not liking it last night." Serafine winks and taps a playful kiss to his chin. She's not pushing things, and she can understand why Bryn might be hesitant to let that part out, or acknowledge that it's there. At least seeing him in that mode has let her know that they are far more compatible than she could have imagined.

His words of possession send a shiver down her spine and Serafine licks her lips. Some women would balk at such words, but she likes being claimed. It's the feral, primal part of her that understands that sort of claim and raw possession. The vampires leans against him and sighs, "It could be entirely possible if it were possible for me to only feed from you that way, ever… but if it were possible, I'd think someone would have figured it out by now."


"We can test it if you want to. According to my source, in the soulmate principle, the blood of the human is meant to be more filling and last longer than a normal feeding. It is perhaps the only way we actually have to test it, as I have my charms."

Bryn clears his throat a little, holding her close. He knows he should be working on the case, what with the new information they've been given but right now he wants to spend time with Serafine.

"Though, I really would not ask it of you, Princess. You could wind up hurting yourself if you feed improperly, and while I know you can skim the lust at a nightclub or off of those around you, it is not the same as fully feeding it."


"I don't need to test anything. I know that we belong together." Lifting her head again, Serafine cups his cheek in her hand and draws his gaze to hers. "I know that I've lived my whole life and unlife just waiting to find you. Even if you hadn't told me about the soul mates principle, I'd have known that that's exactly what this is."

She trails her fingers down to his lips. "I wanted you that first night we met Bryn. Not just to feed or fuck, but I was drawn to you. It felt like the whole world just stopped when I saw you and there was nothing else but you. When you touched me? My entire body seemed to wake up and come alive. Like all these years I'd just been dormant and one touch ignited everything and set me on fire. You were this beacon in the darkness Bryn and all I could think about and all I wanted was to get closer to you. To touch you. To know you. To be with you."

Trailing off, she laughs softly. "Listen to me, I sound like one of the heroines in my books… but it's really what I felt. What I still feel."


"Humor me."

Bryn smiles at her boyishly, and nips at her fingers. "I feel it too, but humor me. We can have a control if you like. A donor that is willing to feed you. Allow the researcher in me to have a little fun with this, so that I can fill the Priory records with the veracity of the claim."


"But never for a moment think that I do not feel the same, Princess. I have never been drawn to anyone the way I was when we first met, and it was not just appreciation for your beauty."


"All right, then. I'll humor you." Serafine giggles and pretends to be surprised by the nipping at her fingers. "Though I stand by my declaration that it's not necessary, and it doesn't matter either way."


"You hid it well."


"That is part of who I am, Serafine. When working with other supernaturals it is best to hide one's feelings, and remain as neutral as possible. As you were meant to be a work contact, that is precisely what I did."

Even if he showed up in her Gallery not long after, buying artwork for a hotel room.


Serafine pouts a bit. "Yes, you made me feel as though I was losing my touch." Her fingers curl and sweep through his hair again, turning the tousled mop back from his forehead. He looks quite delicious to her this morning. Hair mussed, unshaven, wearing her mark on his throat. "I thought either that or you were gay."

She throws a smirk at him. "Kieran suggested it too. He said it was the only reason you'd not give me a passing glance."


Bryn blinks, and then laughs in amusement. "Serafine, I can assure you that I am not gay. Was he perhaps asking for himself?" Holding his hand up, he grins. "Never mind. I do know that he prefers his men blonde. Though that does bring up quite a few questions about just how twisted a vampire he is, considering his brother."


"You were not losing your touch. I just do not like to rush things."


"Oh, I know you're not now, sugar." Serafine leans up and kisses him playfully. "You've demonstrated that time and time again."

It's her turn to blink before she laughs again. "How do you know … never mind." Kieran's fluidness and flexibility are things that Serafine stopped questions within years of her turning. He has some quirks and preferences, but those can be traced back to Ysabel. "Ysabel . . . messed them both up quite a bit. Kieran doesn't like to share." Almost two hundred years by his side, and Serafine still doesn't have the whole story."


"I know you don't."


"I do my research, Princess. It is necessary to do so. Once I knew who your Maker was, and that he was also Ysabel's Child, I felt it necessary to get as much information on him as possible, to ensure that my seeing you would not come back and bite me on the arse." Bryn teases a hand over her thigh, exhaling a sigh. He very much doubts that he's going to actually get any work done right now.

"Ysabel is a manipulative cunt. I have no doubt that she ruined both of them." Though if part of the soulmate principle is correct, Brooke will wind up bringing out more humanity in Kieran.

"We should contact Kieran. Set up a meeting with him to give him that information."


"Yes, you are quite the researcher. Intelligence is attractive on a man, did you know that?" Serafine rests her head on his shoulder for a moment, giving a soft sigh at the hand on her thigh.

"She is," Serafine frowns. She's not fond of her grand-sire in the least.

Looking up at him again, Serafine nods. "Did you want me to call him now? Then maybe I should head back to bed and let you do some follow up or research?"


Bryn glances at the nearest clock and nods. "If you think he would be awake now. Just to set up the meeting. I know that he cannot come over just yet. Perhaps tonight or tomorrow night would work best for the both of you?"

Grinning at her he tucks a curl behind her ear and leans in to press a kiss to her cheek.

"I would have to head back to the Gramercy. I did not happen to bring my laptop with me last evening. Perhaps I should get a tablet."


"It depends on what he got up to last night." Serafine twists and slides gracefully and reluctantly from his lap. Spending time with him, cuddled together on the couch, is pleasant and enjoyable, and leaving him, even for a few minutes, is disappointing. "Tonight he has a 'business meeting' with Brooke. Tomorrow night would probably be better."

"Maybe you should. Get a tablet or start bringing your laptop. You could have a drawer and some closet space too." She glances back at him over her shoulder, "I promise to stay out of your way when you're working. I'd be sleeping or working too."

Her phone is in a charging stand near the entry to the small hall leading to the bedrooms and bathroom. Kieran doesn't answer and the call rolls to voicemail. Sera leaves him a short message that Bryn found something on that topic and that they need to get together and discuss. For good measure, she fires off a text message as well.

Returning to the couch, she settles in next to Bryn again with a long, contented sigh.


"A business meeting? So he took my advice to hire her then?" It will likely wind Bryn up in hot water with Regina, but it's not as if he's not been in trouble with a Coven matriarch before.

There's a blink of surprise, and then he laughs. "Shall I bring my toothbrush as well? A razor perhaps?" He's teasing her now, but it can't be helped. It's rather amusing to think of him having a 'drawer' of things. Keeping an overnight bag in the car is generally a better idea. That way if he needs to go unexpectedly, he's not leaving behind something he may need to use on a case.

"I will consider it, Princess. If you consider leaving some clothing and essentials at the Gramercy in the spare room. You will have an entire dresser and closet."

He pauses.

"I will also give you the keycard to get into the penthouse on the off chance you need a safe place to get away to."


"I suppose it's possible. I think that it's mostly a cover to find out where things stand between them." Kieran likes Brooke far more than he's let on so far, but given the soul mates principle, if it does apply to the pair, it makes sense. "Not that Kier wouldn't hire her. He is still interested in dating her, too."

"Yes." Bryn might be teasing but Serafine is not. The more she thinks about it, the more she's warming to the idea of him having a little more 'presence' at her apartment. Just a few pieces of clothing, maybe one or two of his suits, just so it doesn't feel as though he has to run out in the mornings or afternoons after they've spent the night together.

It's not like their relationship is secret anymore.

"Maybe not the razor, unless you wouldn't use it much." Serafine strokes his cheek. "I like the rugged, unshaven look on you."

It's Sera's turn to blink, surprised at the reciprocity of the offer. "I will." Beat. "I'll do it. Keep some of my clothes and essentials at the penthouse."

Her heart skips when he mentions the keycard and she leans up to sweetly kiss him, leaving that as her only answer.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License