I hadn't slept well in what seemed to be ages. I could trust very few people, and that bothered me. The one person I thought I could trust was miles and hours away. I worried I'd awake to find an intruder in my haven. Perhaps I was becoming paranoid...but that didn't mean my enemies were imagined. I finally fell asleep just after sunrise.
It began when we left the manor--as he had in Paris, he asked me to walk with him. I was led to
the terrace and down a granite staircase to the lush garden below. Behind was the bustle of the casino,
quite out of place next to the green, fertile topiaries and bushes and flowers we were now passing. It was
a strange silence that held the air until he spoke.
"You're so beautiful, Mae..." I could feel his eyes travel up and down my body. "I...I would very
much like to kiss you right now but I would not dare to risk offending you as I did in Paris..."
For some reason--the grandeur of the European setting, the flattery, or even his persistence--I
relented as he leaned in, and our lips met. As I pulled away moments later, I could tell he would have had it
linger, but he had felt me tense in his embrace. He took my hand, putting my arm through his, and we
began to walk again. I shared my thoughts...keeping to the safer topics of mundane issues such as the
hassles of travel, the beauty of the country...leaving out my most inner demons. I felt more at ease than
I had in Paris and when we reached the sea I could feel almost every inch of tension leave my shoulders.
"I spent my childhood near the sea," I reminisced with a smile, "the sight never fails to calm me."
He met my eyes and it seemed as if he was searching their depths for my soul. He led me to
a jutte over the water and helped me to a seat. I couldn't help but notice a feral red glint to his eyes. It
chilled me. He took his coat and set it in front of me like a blanket. He sat beside me and once again I felt
his predatory gaze fix upon me.
He asked me to be his for the night.
I was silent for a moment, gathering my thoughts. "I..until recently...Marshall...I'd only looked
upon as an elder--possibly a mentor. I am flattered, and I have to admit being drawn to you...but...my
affections are secured elsewhere. It wouldn't be fair to let you believe otherwise."
I turned, my confused gaze fixing on the waters of the Mediterranean.
He pulled me to him. It was not the reaction I'd expected. "I am not as naive as that...to believe
that this would continue always. Nor would I expect it, Mae...as my duty is to my marriage. But my wife and
the Camarilla do allow for mistresses and...and I wound find eternal favor in you. If you would grant me this
one night. Then, perhaps, when you think of me, it will be as more than just a mentor because I can be all
that and more...whatever you would have of me, I will be."
I took this in...somewhat offended that he thought I was the type of girl to do the "one night
stand." It's true that I was...but the point was that he had that assumption without really knowing me.
"Love," he started again, "is a mortal term that I shed years ago. But what affection I have
would be yours and you would always be dear to be afterwards."
He kissed the back of my neck and--briefly, before I pulled away--the orgasmic rush of the Kiss
flowed through me. I shuddered with pleasure as I moved and turned to look at him. I'm sure that my eyes
betrayed my anger. I could feel his grip tighten before he released. Rage took control of his features before
I looked away.
"I've given you an answer--please don't pursue it further."
My usually cordial and polite tone was laced with venom. I moved my hand up to the small gold
cross I was wearing. A necklace. Glancing down at it, I suppose I hoped he might take the cue that I was
religious and not interested in this sort of thing. I'm a horrible liar.
The dream began to differ from memory as he surprised me by grabbing my shoulders and throwing
me to the ground. I couldn't move out of the way fast enough, but I managed to turn to my back before
he reached me. His reddish eyes fixed on mine and he sneered. I felt his fangs sink into the soft flesh of my neck.
I woke up. I'm sure, if I were still human, my heart would have been racing. I knew beyond the
shadow of a doubt where that dream had been leading. It didn't match with my memory of the trip to
Monaco. It struck me then that my memories could be false. I knew that one of the more complicated
powers of Dominate could rebuild them...it was a power I myself didn't have yet. What if...what if that's
what had happened? Sir Richard had, after all, made a comment about Duran being something of a "serial
rapist." I hated to admit it...but I could be a victim and not even know it.
The dream had shaken me, for sure. If I couldn't trust my own memories, what could I depend
on? I really didn't think that I remembered falsely...but the possibility was there, nagging my subconscious.