It’s been so long! (Catnapped Part 18)

I have to say I didn’t notice the passing of time. As much as I swore I would catch up this year I can see I’ve already failed that goal. I’m going to have to try and make it up one day at a time. My writing has been off for a long time now. I’m working really hard this week and for the rest of the year to reestablish my connection with my fans that has fallen by the wayside during the hectic process of life. Below you will find the latest edition of catnapped. I’m hoping to get a few of these out a week. With the summer and my kids out of school I think it will be a good test to my commitment to blogging.

***If you are missing part of this story a search on the word catnapped should bring them up.***

“You can’t ever leave him.”

Jacques spun around to face the speaker. The vampire Zio leaned against the opposite wall watching him with a careful expression as if expecting Jacques to turn into a bomb and explode.

“What are you talking about?” There was no getting around it; vampires were weird. Zio’s comment almost sounded like they were continuing a conversation they had never started.

“I mean it. You can’t ever leave Nevio. I don’t mean like leave the house or go off shopping for a day. I mean permanently. He needs you.”

“Is there a reason you’re mentioning it now? I signed a contract promising to be his blood supplier and I’m studying from home. I’m not planning on going anywhere.” What would make Zio believe Jaques planned on going back on his word?

“Even when the contract ends you can’t leave. It was a stupid idea any way to even have a written agreement. You two are mates. Contracts shouldn’t exist between mates.”

“Then why did I sign one?” Jacques huffed. He tried to remember what he knew of vampire mates. “He’s not going to die if I leave or anything.”

“I probably said too much.” Zio turned to walk away.

Jacques growled, grabbed Zio’s shoulder and spun him back around. “If you didn’t want me to know something you shouldn’t have followed me. Now if contracts don’t work between mates the only reason to make me sign one is to keep me here until Nevio convinces me to be his permanent mate. Is that right?”

“I can’t say what our leader might have planned. The only thing I know is that there are few leaders that have a mate and stay in power. They are too easily toppled from their leadership if you take out their mates. You and Nevio are bonded for life.”

“Then why did you tell me I have to stay if you don’t want him to keep me.”

Zio sighed as if Jacques annoyed him. “It might not be good for a leader to have an obvious weakness. It would be worse if you left.”

“I’m getting mixed signals here,” Jacques complained. He held back a frustrated scream. If this kept up he’d have to escape to the pack house for a few days to work out his building aggression. “I’m doing everything requested of me. Leave things alone.” A low growl worked up his throat. When Zio paled even more for a vampire Jacques inner lion all but purred with satisfaction.

Jacques left Zio standing in the hall. Breakfast before homework sounded like a good idea.

A collection of humans sprawled around the kitchen in various levels of clothing and awareness. Among the dozen at least half appeared to have not gone to sleep at all. Jacques nodded to them but didn’t speak as he headed for the fridge.

“You’re not allowed to do that,” a young man commented in a bored voice.

“Allowed to do what?” Jacques frowned.

“Get food out of the refrigerator. We have to wait for the chef.”

His stomach growled. “When is the chef going to show up?”

The unnamed male shrugged. “He gets here around eight sometimes.”

Jacques checked his watch. “I’m not waiting two hours.”

He opened the fridge. A quick scan revealed some roast beef. “Yes.”

The smell of rare meat filled his nose and a happy noise escaped.

“You’re not human are you?” A girl asked, twirling her blond hair.

“Nope.” Jacques grabbed a plate from the cabinet above then a knife from the butcher’s block. “I’m a lion shifter.”

To his surprise several voices made sounds of amazement. He arched an eyebrow at the group. “It’s not like I did anything incredible. I was born this way.”

He sliced a piece of meat off and put it on the tray just as a tall, broad-shouldered man stomped into the room wearing chef whites. “What are you doing in my kitchen?”

“Getting something to eat.”

The chef’s nostril’s flared and he immediately lost his aggressive stance. “Are you Jacques?”

“Yes.”

“Do you need anything else? I was alerted you left your rooms and was about to make you a meal.”

“A glass of milk would be nice.” The iron in the meat would satisfy his inner beast. Apparently he hadn’t been eating enough beef lately if he craved it this much. Of course his last hunt had been before he came here.

“How come he gets special treatment? We have to wait.” Asked a sulky man in silk night clothes.

“He’s Nevio’s mate.” The chef stated handing Jacques a glass of milk, then some tableware for his beef.

“Thanks.” Jacques clutched his glass and plate tight before leaving the room. Uncomfortable about standing in a room with a bunch of humans who would knife him for a chance at the vampire leader.

Humans generally came to a vampire coven either because they needed the money that donating blood offered or they were addicted to a vampire’s bite. Either way they wouldn’t appreciate Jacques high ranking.

Jacques turned a corner and stumbled as he avoided running into a person coming in the opposite direction.

“Good morning Nevio,” Jacques said. His nerves jangled uneasily as the morning sun cast a movie star glow across Nevio’s cheekbones.

“Morning, my lion.” He glanced at what Jacques was holding. “Not a balanced breakfast I see.”

Jacques shrugged, careful of his milk. “My lion wished for meat this morning.”

“Best feed the beast then.” Nevio grinned exposing his sharp teeth. “I know I always like to.”

A giddy giggle burst from Jacques mouth. “Sorry I don’t know where that came from.”

“Don’t worry it was adorable.” Nevio kissed Jacques on the cheek leaving a slight tingling on his skin. “Eat, my dear and I’d like to talk to you after your schooling today.”

“Um, okay.” Later he would castigate himself over his complete lack of confidence when confronted with a sexy vampire. He didn’t know when his emotions regarding Nevio started to change but he had to get a grip if he planned on remaining here. No one wanted a slightly hysterical shifter to be the other half of the vampire leadership.

RJ’s Autism Awareness Blog Hop

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Every year RJ Scott does a monthly Autism Awareness blog hop. Part of that tour is to mention some autism facts. Mine was taken from the National Autism awareness Fact Sheet.

Autism Fact “Autism greatly varies from person to person (no two people with autism are alike)”

I’m happy to participate in this event because as some of you might be aware of my younger son is on the spectrum. The fact above couldn’t be more true. I have met many children with autism and their struggles are different for each child. Autism is considered a spectrum for its ability to manifest in many ways. Some have only minor learning disabilities while others can’t speak at all. My son is luckily highly functional but that doesn’t prevent him from having to struggle to get his ideas out. Often he has problems collecting his thoughts enough to convey what he wants to say.

After many years of effort by various teachers and at home my son has learned many valuable coping mechanisms and has made impressive improvements. We are very proud of him.

RJ told me that animals are the focus of this year. In our house we have three cats and a dog and although my son doesn’t do a lot of interacting with them other than to grumble when they take the spot he wanted on my office couch, I know he appreciates their innate companionship. I see him sliding his fingers through their fur when one of the cats plops down beside him and enjoying their fluffy texture.

CONTEST

Share your favorite pet or child story for a free copy of one of my ebooks and a $20.00 GC to Amazon or your favorite ebookstore.

Winners!!!

Wednesday is almost Monday right!!! Since it took me so long to pick a winner for hubby’s birthday contest I decided to pick 2!

 

The winners were randomly chosen and they are (drum roll)

Susana Perez

Veronique Cummings

email me at amberkellwrites@gmail.com to claim your prize!

 

Catnapped – Part 17

I know ! I did another one! *buffs nails*

*******

Jacques stared at the computer trying to understand what the instructor was asking. Holding back a groan he poked at the keyboard key.

“This is why I’m not taking computer science.” Jacques has never been computer friendly and taking his classes online hadn’t improved his skills any.

“You can always email your instructor with any questions.”

Jacques toppled out of his chair, his butt slamming into the floor. “Ouch.”

Nevio smirked. “I didn’t mean to startle you little lion.”

Jacques snarled. “I’m not little.” He stood with as much dignity as he could muster as he pulled himself to his feet.

“What appears to be the problem?” The vampire leaned over the computer chair to see the screen.

“I don’t like computers.” He offered an embarrassed smile. “I should’ve considered that before I agreed to distance learning.” To be honest it had been the last thing he had worried about. He had been more concerned about the blood sucking part of their arrangement. He stepped back until there were a few feet between them.

“I’m sure you’ll figure it out, you’re a smart fellow.” Nevio’s hot gaze slid across Jacques in a visual caress.

“D-did you need me for something?” Jacques forced his voice steady. He didn’t want to seem like an idiot.”

“Yes. It’s time for you to do your part of the agreement. I require blood.”

Jacques self-consciously rubbed his neck. “Of course. Yes. Um, where did you want to do this?”

Nevio’s smile re-defined predatory. “Normally I prefer a soft mattress and silken sheets but that might be too much for you the first time.”

Jacques nodded. “Maybe on the couch.” He pointed to the leather sofa set against the wall.

“That’ll do,” Nevio said after a long silence.

Eventually he had no doubt he would end up visiting those silk sheets but he wasn’t quite ready yet.

He allowed Nevio to take his hand and lead him to the couch. “You don’t need to be nervous. I do this all the time and no one has ever died from the blood loss.”

“I can’t tell you how reassuring that is.” Jacques tried for a dry tone but to his own ears he sounded more grateful than sarcastic.

“I can take blood from your wrist instead of your throat. As a shifter your inner animal may rebel at having a predator at your throat until we get to know each other better.”

“Thank you.” His lion had already begun growling.

Nevio cupped Jacques cheek in one cool hand. “I want you to be comfortable with me. I know it will take a while for you to get used to this arrangement but we will be together for a long time, my sweet cat, and I want you to enjoy our time together.

Jacques couldn’t deny Nevio’s sincerity. He settled back and offered his wrist. “Here you go.” He looked away not wanting to watch.

“Afraid of blood?” Nevio asked.

“Not particularly I just don’t want to see it. I do the same thing when they take my blood at the doctor’s office.” He never liked to see his blood leaving his body, his inner lion was protective of his body.

The prick of teeth against his skin had Jacques sucking in a breath before a languid heat poured through his body like a cozy blanket. Maybe he had read too many stories about vampires, he refused to call them romances, but they all involved overwhelming sexual sensations. Jacques felt none of that. Instead a rush of homecoming wrapped him in its embrace. He sighed, tilted back his head against the couch cushions and relaxed.

Nevio continued to suck at his wrist for a few more minutes before detaching his teeth and lathing the wound with his tongue in a motion sexier than anything Jacques had ever experienced.

“Wow.” Jacques whispered.

“I’m glad you enjoyed yourself.” Nevio leaned closer and kissed Jacques cheek. “I’ll have some orange juice brought to you and some cookies. Even with your shifter genes I took a lot. I’ll have to learn not to indulge myself so much in the future. You are a heady meal, my adorable one.

Jacques offered a sloppy smile as his head spun. His emotions spun in a wobbly circle. “Thank you.” At this moment he didn’t know if he was thanking Nevio for the juice or the head rush but the vampire just nodded before leaving again.

“I hope we both get used to this,” he muttered after Nevio left. If he became this overwhelmed with each session he wouldn’t be getting much else done. He rubbed his eyes and tried to remember what he was doing before Nevio came. A glance at the computer had him groaning. “Maybe it’s not to late to drop out of college.”