Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A History Mystery: Day Eight / Part Three

The Personal Journals of Morgan Victoria Beauchamp

Friday, October 31

As much as my appearance seemed to affect Jean Baptiste, his appearance nearly made me faint. So close was his resemblance to my pirate from the eighteenth century, I felt as if I were staring at an apparition come to life. Was it not said that the veil between this world and death was at its thinnest this night? Was this, in fact, the real Jean Baptiste answering the call of my obsession after all these years?

From black boots and breeches, white shirt and lacy cravat, and deep wine red coat, even the dashing wide-brimmed and feathered hat, the only indication of the modern man was the lack of a powdered wig. His black hair was pulled back and tied with a black satin ribbon. Polished and sophisticated, I’d never seen a better costume. My blood warmed and thrummed through my veins so strongly I raised a hand to my throat, feeling the pulse under the thumb that covered the love bite on my neck. I hadn’t had time for the makeup Carlo had suggested.

“Come in,” I gasped and gave my best rendition of a short curtsey. Jean Baptiste swept off his hat with a grand flourish and bowed deeply.

He straightened and stepped in, closing the door behind him. Candlelight flickered, adding an air of authenticity to the setting. He stepped close to me and cupped my nape, his gaze roving over me as if trying to memorize or remember something from the past. “You hair, down like this, is very much more pleasing than the hairstyles of the period.”

His fingers sifted through the curls that had defied my attempts to put it up. Instead, I’d tied pieces back with lengths of ribbon and Mardi Gras beads of clear crystals. Definitely a departure from authenticity. But now I was glad of it. If it earned his approval, nothing else mattered.

“Dinner is nearly ready,” I managed to say. The look in his eyes told me he didn’t hunger for anything so mundane as the roundsteak parmesan I had warming.

“I would have made reservations, but I wanted to be alone with you. Thank you for cooking for me.”

The kiss he placed on my lips guaranteed my willingness to cook for him in the future. I’d cook anything he wanted, as long as I knew we’d be together all night. I wondered what he liked for breakfast, but didn’t get the chance to ask.

Mesmerized by the look in his eyes, I found myself at the table with plates of food and glasses of wine before us. We held long conversations without saying a word. He fed me, we shared wine and sweet kisses until I felt my blood running hot and heavy. I wanted to tear up the ball tickets. I didn’t care. This night was for us and us alone. The need to mix with crowds was the one thing furthest from my mind.

“Dessert?” I asked at long last.

The sensual smile he gave me turned my knees to jelly and I doubted I could walk the three steps to the kitchen to exchange dinner plates for dessert of moist dutch chocolate cake with four layers, all frosted with deep dark chocolate of course. The best aphrodisiac in the world in my opinion. Clichéd I’m sure, but sometimes clichés exist for a reason, usually because they are the best way to do something.

Jean Baptiste followed me and as I reached for the coffee pot, he assembled the cups and saucers, one hand on my hip.

“Did you know I find a woman trussed up in stays to be incredibly sexy? Like unwrapping the best gift in the world.” His soft breath teased my bare neck and I felt it flow down my chest to where the corset finally started, just bare centimeters above my nipples. If I’d thought the red dress on Monday night had given me cleavage, this costume outclassed it by miles. “And once she’s unwrapped from the many layers of fine linen and lace, I then like to truss her up another way.” The whisper brushed my bare shoulder and his lips lightly kissed the spot before feathering up my neck.

I was powerless in his arms. I wanted what he promised.

“But first, we must talk.” He pulled away and picked up the coffee cups.

Cool air roused me from the erotic haze, but barely. Just enough for me to carry the plates of cake to the table. “What is there to discuss?”

“Morgan,” he took my hand, “there are things you don’t know about me. Things you must understand. I wish I could give you more time, yet I doubt even a week would be long enough to make lifelong choices, but this night is here and a year is too long. It must happen tonight.” His dark eyes seemed as if they were trying to send me a message, but I didn’t understand.

“What choices?” And why was Halloween crucial?

Jean Baptiste lifted a fork and fed me a bite of the richly decadent cake, watching each movement of my mouth, the way I chewed, swallowed, then licked my lips. His pupils dilated in the way I knew so well. He was captivated and it mattered not to me who seduced whom, as long as seduction was the game.

“I want you to be with me so much,” he paused as if considering his next words carefully, “but you must choose freely… by midnight. I’ll give you until then to think about this.”

Nodding my head, I tried to show my encouragement. “Okay. Midnight. I promise to think carefully about what you are going to tell me.” I couldn’t help smiling a little. He wanted to be with me. The very thought made my heart trip out an ecstatic tattoo.

“This is no laughing matter,” he snapped, his frown ferocious, and I had a glimpse into how Jean Baptiste from the eighteenth century must have dealt with unruly crew members aboard The Gilded Lady.

“Okay, I’m serious. I’m listening.” I tightened my grip on his hand.

Dark eyes shimmering with deep emotions locked with mine. “I’ve never known another woman like you. You’ve grown to become a part of me. I feel as if my blood is yours and your blood is mine.” His thumb rested over the veins lining my wrist. “Our hearts beat in tandem. Our minds think alike in so many ways. My soul is in your keeping and the only way I’ll get it back is if…”

“Yes?” I softly urged when he hesitated.

“If you join with me for eternity.”

Eternity. Such an odd word to use. Powerful. Final. Frightening in its promise.

“Eternity. Certainly. I’m drawn to you as well. I feel as if I’ve known you forever, as if we knew each other in a past life and have found each other again in this one,” I said.

“You may not be far off, but what I’m talking about does not involve a civil ceremony. Not even a religious one. I’m talking the blending of our souls, our essences, our very blood, to become one in a way no humans can ever experience.”

I must admit, his choice of words was beginning to concern me. Mattias’ warnings of vampires came back to me in answer to the word humans. But vampires don’t exist. They’re of myth and legend, like werewolves and faeries. I shook my head in confusion. “I get the whole soul mate thing. Honestly, I feel that way too, but you’re confusing me… I’m sure it’s Halloween, Mattias’ paranoia, New Orleans’ love of the paranormal, but I’m starting to wonder… I mean, I know unexplained things happen, but… according to legends, what you’re talking about sounds like…” Lord, I didn’t want to say the word and have him laugh at me. I gulped in a fortifying breath then spit it out. “Vampires.”

Not only did Jean Baptiste not laugh at me, his eyes stayed steady, the expression upon his beautiful face grave. My gaze shifted to his mouth, his beautiful talented mouth that knew how to draw out my deepest passions and there, I saw a tiny drop of blood, as if he’d bitten his lip. My hands grew icy, my heart began to pound and all I could think about was licking that drop of blood from his lower lip. I wanted to bite that lip and suck in the blood calling to me.

A loud sound from the street broke through the haze enfolding me and I jumped to my feet. Jean Baptiste released my fingers from his hand and I backed away as realization sank in.

Vampires are not of myth and legend.

Vampires are real.

Jean Baptiste is a vampire.

My hand flew to my neck to cover the site of his love bite. His mark, where he had bitten me.

My God!

I’d been bitten.

What did it mean? Was Mattias right? Did I have this taint now? Had I been turned? My thoughts raced through the last few days, my days sluggish, my nights productive, my pale face and sensitivity to light, sound and scent…

My hand grasped my throat, as if I could make myself breathe better. Surely my lack of oxygen wasn’t entirely due to the corset, but rather the tall man now standing beside my table. No. Not a man.



Maithe said...

Phewww! This is getting reeeeaaaalll good. *L*

Go for it Morgan! Come on, he's hot! *L*



Morgan2x said...

hehehehehe you tell her, Maithe! But keep reading...