Jacques watched Nevio for a few minutes admiring how the light glowed against his sharp features. They could say what they wanted about Nevio but Jacques couldn’t deny that he found the vampire attractive.
Shaking his head he stood. “I’ll agree to the change in the contract. I would enjoy going on Underson’s expedition. I haven’t gone on any digs or exploration parties before it will be good experience.”
“Excellent. I’ll do my best to stay out of the way. I might even find things to occupy me while we’re there.”
Questions burned on the tip of his tongue but Jacques kept them to himself. He didn’t wish to know what the vampire got up to. It would be better in the long run if he stayed in denial. He had no wish to get involved in vampire politics or whatever he vampire leader was getting caught up in. Best to mind his own business.
“Okay. Can we schedule the times I give blood so I know when to be around?” Although he didn’t leave the vampire mansion without notice he wasn’t always close to Nevio and didn’t want to be at his beck and call at all times. He preferred to be in denial about his place in Nevio’s life. If they were mates than Jacques was more than a blood source and he expected to be treated as such.
“If it’s all right with you I think I’d prefer my feedings in the afternoon. How about we make a standing appointment around lunch time. That way you can eat right after in case I get too exuberant.”
“All right.” Jacques stood. “In that case I’ve got some work to do. I’ll see you later.”
Disappointment crossed Nevio’s face. “I want you to know you are always free to seek me out. I’d like to get to know you past just for feedings.”
“I’d like that too. However I do have some homework to finish. How about we chat after you take blood tomorrow. You can talk to me while I eat.”
Nevio’s blinding smile took Jacques by surprise. “Excellent. Have a good evening, my sweet.”
Jacques waved goodbye as he walked out the door. Between one step to the next he transformed into his lion form. Despite what he told Nevio, Jacques had had enough being human it was time for some fur.
A few startled gasps had people rushing out of his way. He didn’t bother hiding his lion grin it only made people move faster. The front door stood before him, closed.
Jacques sat on his rump and gave the impediment a ferocious glare, but the wooden surface appeared unfazed.
“Run into a roadblock kitten?” A cheery voice asked.
Jacques responded with a low, unhappy growl.
Zio approached, carefully stepping around him. “Don’t maul me and I’ll get it for you.”
He flicked his ear at the vampire. No sense making any promises he didn’t feel the urge to follow through with.
“Somehow that isn’t reassuring,” Zio said as he opened the door.
Jacques ran through giving Zio a playful swipe of with his claws tucked in.
“Funny feline,” Zio scolded.
The sun against his fur sent Jacques in raptures of boneless pleasure. Prancing over to his rock he sprawled out. When life became too complicated nothing made things better as fast as a spot of sun and a place to lay. The sounds of bees buzzing a merry melody followed Jacques into sleep.
He woke up to someone screaming. The sound pierced his eardrums and had him jolting to his feet searching for danger.
“Lion!” the screamer shouted.
Jacques blinked at the woman standing in front of his rock wearing a filmy short sundress and wedge heels. She smelled human and the bite mark on his neck confirmed his belief that she was there for food.
“Dina, hush,” Zio said. He grabbed her arm and pulled her away from Jacques resting spot.
“But, there’s a fucking lion.”
Jacques sat on his haunches wishing he had popcorn to appreciate the scene a bit better.
“Yes, that is Nevio’s mate. He is a lion shifter.”
“The master has mated to a beast.”
Jacques snarled, no longer finding the conversation amusing.
“I wouldn’t call him that,” Zio pulled the obnoxious woman a few steps away, out of swiping distance. Drat.
“But he is!” She insisted stomping her shoe.
“What are you doing out here anyway?” Zio asked.
Jacques had wondered that also. Her outfit wasn’t made for tromping around outside, not in those heels.
“Someone told me Master Nevio’s mate was outside. I wanted to meet her.” Her expression proclaimed she wanted to do a whole lot more than that and it was probably unpleasant.
Jacques transformed into his human shape. “I hope you aren’t disappointed,” he drawled.
“You’re a man!” she shrieked.
“And you have no volume control.”
Zio snorted. “Come Dina, you’ve already disturbed Jacques. Better not make things worse.”
Dina tossed her luxurious blond hair that she probably had spent hours fixing to fall in a certain way. “What can he do to me? I’m the most desired donator in the entire mansion.”
“I can have you blackballed by my mate,” Jacques snapped. He hated people who thought they were so much better than anyone else no matter the reason.
“There’d be a riot,” Dina said, but her confident expression had faded a bit.
“Well there ’s only one way to find out.” Jacques turned and walked back to the mansion.
He didn’t know how long he had been napping but the stars were more prominent than the sun right now.
“Wait, wait, I’m sorry.” Dina tottered after him on her tall heels. “Don’t have me banished.”
Jacques turned to face the pleading woman who appeared more desperate than demanding at the moment. “Fine but don’t take that attitude with Nevio or he’ll kick you out.”
She nodded frantically.
Jacques didn’t know if he trusted her sudden change of heart but he decided to take her at face value. If she caused trouble in the future he would take care of her then. His inner ‘king of the jungle’ agreed with that plan.