In the meantime, here is a teaser of Chapter 4 for those of you who can't wait.
He was wide awake and pissed. He had been reduced to begging the nurse from the night shift to stop the IV drip for it made him less in control of his thoughts or his dreams. Draven didn’t like that one bit, even if his dreams involved a really sexy naked doctor doing all sorts of acrobatic acts.
It didn’t help either that the sexy naked doctor looked like a specific blonde Head of the OB/GYN.
With a sigh, Draven tried to think of something else and assessed his injuries instead. He was half considering ripping the damn cast off his right arm but was unsure if it had completely healed yet. Instead, he used his left fingers to try and squeeze through the gap between his skin and the cast; feeling for his bone.
“Just what the hell do you think you’re doing?” said a very irate voice. Draven didn’t even bother to look up. That voice had been plaguing his dreams the whole night; moaning and whispering lewd suggestions. Besides, when did she even enter the room?
“You were too busy trying to take the cast off that you probably didn’t see me,” replied Amber, moving around to take a look at his chart. Immediately his head shot up, giving her a warning stare.
“Put me on drugs again and I swear I will bite you,” he scowled. Amber stood rigid and for a moment, Draven caught a flicker of pleasure on her face before it was replaced with a look of amusement.
“Try me,” she dared, staring him straight in the eyes. Her heart was beating fast, hoping that he didn’t call her bluff. They stared at each other for a whole minute. He blinked first.
“Right, thought so,” she said, putting his chart down and moved casually to sit by his side. “I know I promised not to come here anymore but I couldn’t help myself. Plus I wanted to make sure they were giving you enough fentanyl for the pain.”
“Why is this hospital administering fentanyl instead of morphine? This is such a simple procedure!” he said accusingly. Fentanyl was almost a hundred times more potent than morphine!
“You think they didn’t try? Vampires must have blood of steel or something. Your chart showed that they were short of administering an elephant tranquilizer to put you under.”
Draven didn’t say anything but grumbled silently to himself.
“Anyway, that increased dosage gave you a good rest didn’t it?” Her voice was gentle, trying to be supportive.
If you considered getting a hard on every hour a good rest, he thought. And the worst part was that he couldn’t even relieve himself because firstly he was in dreamland and secondly jerking off with his left hand was awkward.
Her sudden laughter shook him away from his thoughts. When he turned to look at her, she had tears in her eyes.
“Seriously Vampire… you need to be around women more and not just those you feed on. Don’t you worry, the nurses and doctors here are used to seeing male erections at every hour of the day.”
Draven frowned. He must have looked confused somewhat for she explained, “I know the nurses on this floor are attractive and thus the erections? I don’t blame you,” she said with a laugh. Draven continued to stare at her in disbelief. Obviously she was mistaken.
“You don’t happen to be a gymnast on the side do you?” he asked.
“Hell no. Whatever gave you that idea?”
“Nothing. Why are you here anyway?” he added quickly, hoping that she wouldn’t see the blush on his cheeks.
“My shift starts in thirty minute, thought I’d drop by since you haven’t had any visitors since yesterday.”
“I do not need you to babysit me. You can go now.” His voice was calm but inside he was just a little shaky. Was it pathetic to feel upset that his brother and niece had not visited him?
He felt her pat his left arm softly. “No it’s not… Alaron and Fiona had some things to settle. They’ll probably visit in the evening.”
Annoyance flashed across his face. “Can you stop that?”
“What?” she asked innocently.
“Listening to my thoughts!” he exclaimed. “Honestly woman… and get off my bed!”
She got up but didn’t move away from him. “I can’t! You’re thinking so damn loud that I cannot differentiate it from your normal speech.”
“Then don’t talk to me!”
“Fine!” she retorted and grabbed her purse from the visitor’s chair. Why was he being such an ass? She just came by to bring some fresh flowers to cheer him up. It wasn’t just that he intrigued her but he was by default also a part of the MacFarlane family now. They were supposed to be working together for god sake!
She snatched the small bouquet of carnations that she had placed on the chair with the intention of placing it by his side table. But on second thought, narrowed her eyes angrily at him and threw the flowers towards his face.
“What the…” His left hand tried to block the bouquet but his aim was way off and it smacked him straight in the face. “I hate that woman,” he snapped but she was already gone.
She was intolerable! Coming in here, poking into his thoughts, being nice to him… just what the hell does she want?
Grumbling to himself, he tried to think of other things but found his thoughts wandering back to the she-wolf.
Remembering the kiss from the previous day, Draven suddenly sobered up. Was she making implicit moves on him? God no! Werewolves do not seek out mates from the Vampire community and vice versa. Period.
What if it was just sex? Okay, that made more sense. If she wanted to sleep with him, why didn’t she just say so? It wasn’t as if he was a prude… okay so maybe he couldn’t remember the last time he was with a woman… but you can’t forget how to have sex, could you?
A headache was brewing slowly and Draven’s left fingers unconsciously began rubbing his temples lightly. What the hell was he thinking? Was he contemplating sleeping with that woman?
This needed sorting out immediately. He needed to talk to her seriously and with as much civility as possible.
Sitting up straight, he turned to look at the various machines connected to his body via tubes. There were catheters for various fluids going in and out of him. Did they really think he was that incapable of anything? They even connected a tube to drip urine from his bladder. He broke his arm not his dick for crying out loud.
He began pulling out all the tubes, ignoring the warning sounds that alerted the nurse into his ward. She came promptly within the minute, fighting with him over them.
His left hand touched her cheek gently and suddenly she was walking out of the room with a confused look on her face.
“Okay, that still works,” he breathed out. Basically he erased the part about the alarms going off so she forgot why she had gone into his ward in the first place.
“Now, it’s your turn.” He peered at the cast warily and wondered which was the best and most efficient way to cut it off. However, after much debating he decided to keep it on. “You might prove useful for empathy points from the wicked Doctor,” he said, patting the cast before sneaking out of his ward.
Thankfully, no one stopped him or asked him any questions. It was possible that he had been isolated from the other patients and staff because he was considered an ‘unnatural’ patient in the medical centre. He was thankful that the antiseptic smell of the place was overpowering his own scent. At least that gave him some cover.
“Culzean, what the hell are you doing out of your bed!” she cried the moment he entered her office. “Oh my god you took out your tubes!”
“Please restrain yourself Doctor,” he said coldly, stopping her from getting up to inspect him. “I came here to talk. Civilly,” he said, emphasizing the last word.
“I start work in two minutes,” she replied grumpily but leaned back in her chair nonetheless.
“Okay,” he breathed deeply. “Be honest with me Doctor and I will try to be honest with you. No peeking into my thoughts,” he warned as an afterthought. When he was sure that she was listening, he continued, “Are you in any way desiring to mate with me?”
Amber’s eyes widened. He was so direct! She wanted to divert her gaze away from him but knew that it would scream ‘yes’ without her even saying a word.
“No,” she said instead, trying to keep her voice as calm and confident as possible. She deliberately cleared her mind and thought only of an empty white box; hoping it would provide him no chance to read her.
Draven considered her answer carefully and did his best not to read her mind. He had promised himself to be civil with her and that meant no mind reading.
“So the kiss meant nothing to you?” he asked suddenly, watching the way her eyes went all cloudy and defensive.
“That… that was a mistake. Didn’t I say so yesterday? So no, it meant nothing. You should leave now. My first patient is up in a while.”
He was looking at her intensely with his dark brown eyes. Was she telling the truth? It was really very tempting to take a peek into her mind.
Instead, he replied blandly, “I see.” He covered the distance between them in two steps and moved his face within an inch of hers. “I’m not reading your mind so I hope you’re not lying.”
A small explosion went off in her head as his lips covered hers. She knew it was hopeless to resist when it was what she wanted desperately from him. She let him urge her lips apart, rasping her tongue against his with a wild hunger. Her fingers raked through his hair, bringing his head closer to her, feeling her body pressed against his.
For a nerd, he sure has a hard upper body, she thought.
I do work out. She heard him correct her. It was a good thing that he didn’t pause to reply her verbally because she really didn’t want the kiss to end.
“Ehem.” There was someone clearing his throat behind them.
“Shit!” she pushed Draven away with all the force she could muster and wiped her lips using the back of her hand. “Oh Mr. Andrews, I’m so sorry that you had to see that. It was very unprofessional of me,” she began to apologize.
I’ll take care of it.
“Hi, Mr Andrews,” said Draven, holding up his hand for a handshake. The middle aged man eyed him suspiciously but took his hand and shook it. Amber watched the man’s eyes turn glossy for a minute before returning back to their usual green hue.
“I’m sorry,” he suddenly apologized, looking at Draven in confusion. “Were you saying something? My mind was somewhere else.”
“It happens,” said Draven with a smile before making his way out.
What the hell was that?
I made him forget he saw us kissing.
He gave her a small wink before closing the door but he did not walk away immediately. He stood outside her door for a minute before deliberately calling out to her in his mind.
What! You’re still here? I need to work. Get lost!
What time is your break?
One o’clock for lunch.
Okay. Come by my ward.
It was slightly after 5pm when Alaron and Fiona came to visit him.
“Oh… my… god…” was the first thing that came out of Alaron’s mouth the second he entered the ward. “You did NOT!” His expression was a cross between amusement and jealousy.
“Did what?” asked Fiona from behind him. A minute later, her eyes were wide open; staring at Draven in disbelief.
Somehow his brother and niece’s shock didn’t seem to bother Draven much for he was leaning back in his bed with his eyes closed, humming a tune from The Beetles.
“Honestly, this place needs to be fumigated,” said Alaron, desperately opening the windows and turning up the speed of the fan.
Feeling just a little awkward, Fiona sat at the edge of Draven’s bed and patted his left arm lightly. “How’s the other arm?”
His eyes fluttered open and he smiled. “That’s not what you want to ask me.”
“Well, it’s embarrassing. So let’s just concentrate on the arm. Is it healing?”
“Yes. In fact, Alaron come here and help me get this stupid thing off. I can’t think with it on.”
Alaron moved to the right side of the bed and peered at his brother’s face. “Hello Major Tom, are you receiving?”
At Draven’s annoyed look, Alaron chuckled, “Oh he’s receiving alright. Plus it’s not that you can’t think with it on but that you can’t fuc…”
“Don’t tease him like that Al!” Fiona cut him midsentence with an embarrassed flush. “And Draven you are not taking that cast off until the doctor says that you can!” chided Fiona, trying to give both men a stern glare.
“It’ll be fine, my dear… I just needed the bone to be aligned and then I can heal it on my own. It has been more than 24 hours so I think it should be fine.”
Fiona looked at him doubtfully before shaking her head. “I don’t believe you. And don’t think I don’t know why you’re so eager to take that thing off!”
“That goes to show that he is thinking straight, no pun intended of course,” said Alaron winking at Fiona. “Judging from the reek of this room, I’d say you did pretty well even with one hand in a cast. Way to go Bro.”
Draven rolled his eyes. “For the hundredth time Alaron, I hate to be called that!” Feeling self conscious, Draven sniffed the air. “Do you both have extra sensitive noses or what? I can’t smell a thing and the nurses definitely did not smell anything either.”
“Of course you’re not aware of your own stench,” said Alaron.
“Okay enough you two, it’s time for you to feed,” said Fiona, taking out a couple of blood bags and removing the clipper on the transfer tube.
“My blood type?” asked Draven. Fiona gave him a harsh look. “Okay, just checking. Don’t be angry, princess…”
“I’m not angry,” she replied but stuffed the tube into his mouth with much more force than intended. “Drink,” she instructed, holding the bag for him.
“Anyway, Eian and I were discussing last night on how best to fix the problem of the bookshop,” she said slowly. “And we came up with two options. The first is that we restore the current shop to its exact state, including purchasing all the books that are supposed to be in stock. The second option is that we move the shop to a more upscale location and let her start rebuilding it from scratch.”
Draven watched her intently, reading her mind in advance but he asked his question anyway. “What’s the catch?”
“Fiona…” He gave her a warning look but Alaron answered instead.
“Eian won’t let her work in that old dump anymore… what? It was a dump okay?” said Alaron when Fiona gave him a murderous look. “So if we pick the first option, you have to erase all of Erika’s memories pertaining to all of us.” His voice was monotonous but they heard the slight emotional inflections in it. “The second option, which I would prefer is to suggest to her that she sold her shop ages ago and is planning on opening another one in a much safer environment. Best of all, Fiona can continue working for her!”
And you can continue dropping by I suppose?
“Erasure of memory is best. Trust me. You can suggest an idea into her but there is a chance that she might fight it someday and overcome the suggestion.”
The atmosphere in the room suddenly became tensed. Fiona looked away; Alaron shuffled his feet and stared at the floor.
Draven listened to their thoughts silently and considered the situation. If it were up to the council, the human would have her memory modified and these two would be under house arrest for the rest of their lives… and he? He would be imprisoned and forced to go cold turkey without blood for decades. A shiver ran down his spine at the thought of that.
“Okay children, that’s enough mopping. I’ll take a look at Erika tomorrow and assess her state of mind. If she can handle our secret, then we’ll take her into our protection. If not, then I will take away just the event when she saw us fighting in the store. Is that alright?”
“Yes!” exclaimed the two at the same time. Draven shook his head then glanced up at the clock beside his bed. It was 7:30pm already. How time flies.
“Alright you two, time to go home,” he said.
“But we just got here!” protested Alaron. A heartbeat passed before he narrowed his eyes at Draven. “You have got to be kidding me! Ok, ok. We’re leaving.”
“Why?” Fiona was puzzled.
“Someone has a hot date at 8pm.”
“Oh!” She blushed slightly then took the empty blood bag from Draven’s chest and placed the other one by his bed. “I’ll put it inside the holding box to keep it warm for you. You’re… going to need it,” she whispered shyly.
“Thank you,” he replied, giving her a smile. “Fiona my dear, could you do me a favour?”
She looked at him dubiously. What favour could he possibly want from her?
“Could you suggest to the nurse or doctor that perhaps I could be discharged tomorrow?”
He could see that she was struggling between saying yes and no.
“Please? The sooner I’m out, the sooner we can settle Erika’s problem.” Her nod was tentative at first but then she nodded confidently and smiled.
“We’ll leave you then… and uh, come by tomorrow morning. Have a good rest Draven,” she said as they started towards the door.
Draven was waiting for her, but this time he wasn’t in his bed but leaning by the window, looking out at the vast expanse of forest. He supposed that this was a peaceful place to recuperate but he had to get out of here soon. The place was suffocating him and he didn’t like being around Werewolves too much. Their scent was too enticing; even more than humans and it took a lot of his willpower not to have a taste.
An irony perhaps, considering that he was about to have sex with the she-wolf who just entered his ward.
“Hi,” she whispered. “I told the nurse I was just going to be in for a while… so I don’t think I should stay here too long in case she gets worried and comes in.”
“I’ll take care of that,” he said, moving towards the door. Amber quickly cut in front of his path and placed a gentle hand against his chest.
“No, don’t…” Whatever she was about to say was forgotten as his mouth claimed hers; his left hand eagerly running down her body, pausing briefly to squeeze her breast with enough pressure to let her know his intention.
“We’ll just let her walk in and catch us then,” he whispered against her lips, pressing his erection suggestively on her stomach.
“Oh god… I want…” Once again he kissed her words away; the passion leaving her breathless. It took all of her self control to push him away for a second. “I need to talk.”
Draven looked down at the woman in front of him; tilting her face upwards to study her eyes. “Okay, talk.”
She tried to look away but the intensity in his gaze stopped her. There was no way around this. She had to tell him the truth.
“Draven Culzean… you are my mate.”