Anya found herself in a sudden spin, one of the maids had come to her and told her the Baron was waking and that he would probably feed but would be with her shortly.
The past few days had been a whirlwind, a gruesome and bloody whirlwind and she found herself constantly darting from one side of the fence to the other.
This would be the first time since this whole mess had begun she’d spent any “social” time with her husband. Before he had gone to bed he had promised they would discuss anything she wanted when he woke, he’d said the next few weeks would be busy for them but tonight they would talk and decide what she wanted to do.
The problem was she didn’t know what she wanted, so much about this world terrified her but in almost equal amounts it intrigued her. For all she’d witnessed the most unsettling feeling was that she was actually starting to get used to it.
The door creaked open after a light knock and the Baron entered the room.
“Evening” she smiled.
“Merry Christmas Anya” Vincent smiled, he looked nervous perhaps even more so that she felt but despite all the things he had to worry about something in the way he looked at her let her know this worry was because of her.
“Merry Christmas” she replied watching as he approached and took a seat. “Did you feed?” she asked.
“No” he chuckled, “I … came straight here”
“Aren’t you hungry?” she asked.
“I’m old” he reasoned, “I don’t need to feed every day”
“Where you worried I’d look to make you a meal?”
“No” she blushed, “though rumour has it you have fed from me in the past”
No it was the baron’s turn to look embarrassed; no it was more than that. Mortified would be a closer and more accurate word. “Accidently” he promised.
“Allard told me” she nodded.
“So Anya have you considered your options?”
“Yes” she nodded, the truth was she’d considered lots of things. Allard had said he would accept anything she decided and while part of her wanted to stay part of her was still struggling to absorb everything she’d been told. She did not want to be a single mother, nor an outcast and yet the thought of this life and all it seemed to hold was equally as terrifying. “I think I want to leave” she whispered.
He nodded, clearly very disappointed. “And go where?” he dared. “Back to your fathers?”
Biting her lip she shook her head. “I think I’d like a house… somewhere to be alone. To think… but perhaps somewhere you could visit me?”
“You don’t think you could stay here?” he asked almost pleading.
“Not now” she admitted, “I need some time to think… perhaps I’ll come back, but I need … I want to get used to things”
Nodded in acceptance he seemed suddenly lost, as though not quite sure what to do, nor what to say there was a long uncomfortable pause. “What do you want to tell people?” he asked “Your father?”
“Need we tell him anything at all” she reasoned. “I just need time… I want you to visit… “ she added quickly.
“Visit as what? A friend, a provider …. “
“I don’t know” she interrupted, reaching out to him.. “At least … I need to work it out… it’s all very confusing.” she didn’t honestly know, she didn’t want to say goodbye to him but at the same time the thought of continuing as if nothing had happened, seemed overwhelming.
“I don’t want to you to go” He reasoned, “I’ll leave you alone if you ask it, but stay at the house please?”
Studying his face she looked for some sort of clue and indication that what he was made him the monster she’d once believed him to be. Instead all she saw was a lost man, begging for his wife not to leave him.
“What about the baby?” he asked.
“I don’t know” she replied in all honesty.
“I want to be a father” he reasoned “Perhaps I don’t have a right, perhaps you don’t want me too but I want to help you if you’ll let me”
Bursting into tears she didn’t know what to say but before she had chance to say anything at all she suddenly found herself being pulled up onto his knee, his lips touching hers.
“I’m not a monster” he begged when their lips parted, “It is not wrong for us to be together” She tried desperately to catch her breath; his eye’s focused intently on her. “I love you” he promised.
She had half expected the kiss to feel different, somehow feel dead but it hasn’t. It had felt as it had always felt Loving and warm.
“You’re dead” she muttered.
“Am I?” he asked, “What is dead? I love, I feel I hurt… I can die… surely that means I am not dead… at least not dead as you know it. I am just different….that’s all… please let me love you?”
“You kissed me” she mumbled, unable to even think about love and whether or not she could allow a dead man to love her “Why did you do that?”
“You wanted me too” he reasoned.
“No I didn’t” She protested “I didn’t say a word. You read my mind?” she hissed and then suddenly quieted as she realised she hadn’t even thought it.
“No” he reasoned, “Anya know you, I can read you …. Like a book, I know so much about you and I don’t need to read your mind to do it”
“I can read aura’s” he explained, “It’s like a halo it surrounds you, it tells me how you feel… but not what you think. I can’t read your mind, I haven’t been able too since Isabel… “ his voice trailed off. “The point is… I’ve gotten to know you, I know you better than anyone else. I have Isabel to thank for that. Over the years I’ve gotten used to pulling thoughts out of people’s heads but I can’t with you… so I’ve had to watch, learn … get to know you in a way I’ve not done in a long time… I might not know what you think but I know how you feel and that lets me know more about you, than your direct thoughts ever could”
He smiled, “I know that you’re scared and confused but also intrigued, I know you didn’t find the kiss unpleasant though you expected too. I also know that you don’t like parsnips but are too polite to tell the cook. That you don’t like to talk till after your first cup of tea” he smiled. “And that right now you feel confused about me… but not half as confused as you are about yourself…. Shall I go on?”
Smiling she nodded, he was right she was intrigued.
“I know you hate being the middle child, that you always felt forgotten at home. Your father loves you but he focus’s on Christopher and sometimes you used to wish he noticed you more”
“No.. I …” she started to protest. It wasn’t true.. at least it wasn’t really true.. her father paid her attention but yes perhaps sometimes she wished he paid her more.
“I make you feel special” he reasoned, will all sincerity “You feel important here and you like that…” she was going to protest again but he put his finger to her lips to quieten her. “It’s alright Anya…You Are special… at least your special to me”
“What else do you know?” she dared.
“I know you like it when I play with your hair and kiss your neck and yet.. you don’t like it when I slip my hands across your breasts” Blushing vigorously. She was less well-endowed than her sisters or even Maegan and she was shy about them.
Suddenly she realised she was still sitting on the Baron’s lap, she was just about to move away when she found him kissing her again, if was different this time more.. eager not eager like the clambering boys she’d kissed in the past in the life that seemed so far away from this one. It as though he wanted to show her just how much he needed her.
Losing herself for a moment she could feel his strong hands on her waist. She’d always found him an oddity, he had the appearance of a man physically weak and yet he’d always seemed so strong to her.. he’d never struggled to lift of carry her and in the heat of passion he’d always seemed to hold back as though concerned he’d break her. Of course it was things like that which now suddenly made more sense.
“How strong are you?” she asked next time he let her, though the question came out somewhat more flustered than she intended.
“Strong enough to carry you wherever you want to go” he chuckled. “Though judging from your aura you don’t want to go far right now”
She blushed; her eye’s suddenly darting towards the rug by the fire. Remembering what Maegan had said about rugs, right now pushing him down onto it did not at all seem like a bad idea.
Dead or not, right now she felt alive enough for both of them.