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   Chapter 11 10.

On Her Knees By Chyna McCartney Characters: 22677

Updated: 2018-02-09 11:17

I stepped into the room, seeing the familiar blond vampire lounging on the edge of the bed. Giovanni's beauty still managed to take my breath away. He was dressed in another expensive suit: completely black and paired with a tie that was a shade of blue that matched his lovely eyes. He smiled at me as he stood up--a gentle, heartwarming smile that lit up his cherubic face and I smiled back.

"Good day, Teryn, " he said in his smooth baritone, stepping toward me and pressing a gentle kiss to my knuckles on my left hand.

"Hi, " I murmured, still staring at his face. The feel of his skin against mine sent tremors of pleasure down my spine.

Subconsciously, my body recognized that this was what I had been missing this past week: his touch. He held onto that hand, intertwining his fingers with mine.

"I have something for you, "I told him and reached into the top of my dress.

His ocean blue eyes observed my movements intently as I retrieved the parchment that I had stuffed into the tight bodice.

"These are the floor plans for the entire building, " I informed him, handing them over.

"How did you get these?" He asked, staring at me with amazement.

I shrugged, pulling him with me, by our intertwined hands to the bed. He took a seat with me, his thumb rubbing small circles on the back of my hand. I had never held a man's hand before-- well except for my father's. I really like holding Giovanni's.

I was unnaturally comfortable with him and for the moment I allowed myself to enjoy this feeling.

"I asked for it. All the girls here have chores to do during the day and there were a few places on my list that I wasn't sure how to get to. I asked the manager for a copy of the floor plans; 'told him I was familiar with architecture which is entirely the truth.

His name is Antonio by the way. I haven't been able to find out the name of the person who actually owns this place though."

The entire time that I was explaining this to him, he stared at me with some strange expression on his face. It wasn't so much weird to me as it was unfamiliar. He seemed genuinely intrigued and entranced by me and my methods. No one had ever looked at me that way.

I pulled my hand away from his gently, not wanting to hurt his feelings...or rather not wanting to hurt mine.

' This won't work, ' I told myself. He was a vampire-- relatively more decent compared to the others that I'd met, but still, a vampire. We were food to them. I wasn't sure that they were capable of feeling anything for their food. Besides, he had already made it clear that he was with someone else.

For a moment, a bit of sadness crossed his gorgeous face but he recovered quickly. "Thank you, " he murmured.

"I have questions, " I told him, standing and leaning against the bed post just to put some distance between the two of us. The closer I was to him, the stronger the desire was to touch him. "Will you answer them?"

Giovanni smiled and leaned back, his palms flat on the mattress behind him. "I will try to."

"How did I get here?" That was the question of paramount importance to me. If I could just figure out how we got here, then maybe I could get back home.

"What do you mean? I would think that if the men who brought you here were trying to be inconspicuous, they would travel by boat rather than a plane. Weren't you aware of that?"

"No.. I mean yes. Of course I knew we were brought here on a boat but that's not what I mean. We docked near a bridge on a beach. They blindfolded us and carried us over their shoulders but I can remembering hearing their feet on the bridge. Then we were moving through the sand and then... then nothing for a few moments. There was no sound, no movement. Just an eerie stillness for a while and then we were suddenly near a highway or a busy street or something."

I shook my head sharply. Even saying it out loud, it sounded improbable. "But that makes no sense. I saw the forest that was due north of the bridge before they covered our eyes; it was thick. We should have been walking through for at least a mile before we met civilization. It didn't even sound as though we passed through it. What happened? Can vampires teleport or something-- like instant transmission?"

"You are very observant, " he mused, watching me. "But what is this in-stant trans-mission?" He enunciated the words, each syllable rolling off his tongue in that lovely Italian baritone.

"Dragon ball, " I blurted out without thinking. "Its a..a term from a cartoon series.

" Great Teryn.. just babble on about the characters from your childhood. That'll have him falling for you in no time, " my subconscious chided sarcastically.

Giovanni chuckled and it was a deeply musical sound. "A cartoon?"

"Just answer the question, " I snapped back, embarrassed.

Instantly he composed himself and nodded. "Yes, of course. Well, I suppose it is a kind of teleportation. They walked through a portal with you to get you here."

"Where is here?"

"My ancestors called it In Umbrā; Latin for in the shadow. Simply put, this is the dark realm. "

A realm? I raised my eyebrows at him.

Noticing my confused expression, he stood up from the bed and answered my unspoken question. "Yes, another realm; a world beneath the shadow of the one you're familiar with. We are able to traverse between our world and yours by traveling through portals-- tears in the fabric that separate one dimension from the other. I would wager that the one those men took you through was somewhere in Donegal, Ireland. That particular portal would take you directly to the part of town where this club is located.

Of course, if you would like for me to give you a more detailed explanation, I would be happy to discuss the physics behind it with you."

I just blinked at him, digesting that information one fragment at a time. I always hated physics. If he explained it to me that way, it would never make any sense to me.

He took two steps toward me, cautiously as if he were testing how I might react if he got too close to me.

"Our kind has existed for millennia. It's not possible for us to exist with your kind and not run the risk of being discovered. So we have lived in a world beneath the veil of your own. Of course, carelessness on our part has led you humans to make your own assumptions about our existence."

I nodded. I guess I was satisfied with that answer. If nothing else, it sounded genuine.

"You are not shocked? You do not think that response to be ludicrous?" His dark brows knitted together in confusion.

I thought about that for a moment. The existence of portals to an alternate realm? Sure it was a bit outlandish, but it wasn't enough to completely unnerve me. Before my parents died, science fiction and

he replied.

I scoffed but he made no move to reply.

Instead, he pressed his head into the crook of my neck, his cool lips caressing my skin and I made no move to put any distance between us. For what seemed like forever, Giovanni held me in the circle of his strong arms, only his gentle breaths whispering against my skin.

"Giovanni, " I called, breaking the silence.

"Mhmmm, " he hummed against my skin.

"If it was within your power to do so, would you get Melanie out of here for me?"

His shoulders stiffened against me but he didn't move. For a moment I thought he wouldn't answer me.

"I promised you that I would get you and the other girls out once I brought sufficient evidence to the council." His eyes were wary as he held me away from his body, staring down at me.

"And what if I can't find the information you need." I could here the anxiety I felt, ringing in my voice. I knew that we didn't have forever to wait in this place.

"You will, " he retorted, confidently. His thumbs rubbed at my waist in an effort to soothe me.

"But what if I don't. She won't last long here. She can't survive this; she's not strong enough. They'll break her down ."

The blond man sighed heavily, averting his gaze away from my face to the bed, covered in the black linens.

"I do not believe that it is as simple as you imagine it to be.

The going rate for an hour with one of you is $5, 000 and the price triples for every hour beyond the allotted time. They're not going to just give one of their assests up, Teryn. They may not act like it but you girls are valuable to them. You girls make a lot of money for them.

I doubt that they'll just let me buy her from them and I can't just whisk her away without there being consequences."

" So you won't do it because you want to protect your own skin?" Anger lanced through my accusation.

He repaid my glare with his own. "I am no coward Teryn. I am more powerful than any of the vampires here. I do not fear them; I am only thinking of your well being.

Do you think they do not know how protective you are of her? Who do you think they will blame if she is to one day disappear? You are the only one who cares for her here. Even if I managed to buy her freedom, the only link I had to her is through you."

I didn't answer, seeing the logic in his line of thinking. This will only fall on me in the end.

"These men are evil; far worse than our kind inherently are. They will not take being out smarted lightly. They will not hesitate to hurt you."

His blue eyes bore into mine, willing me to agree and drop the subject but I couldn't.

"She can't stay here Giovanni, " I pressed. "Please. Just do this one thing for me."

He closed his eyes, concealing his exasperation and pressed his forehead to mine. "I will see what can be done." He replied dismissively and I whispered a thank you to him.

Pressing another tender kiss there, he let me go. "I must leave you now. We will meet again in a week."

I nodded and his muscular frame disappeared from the room in a few strides, taking all the warm sensations with him.

'This was going to happen, ' I told myself. To a small degree, my anxiety about my agreement with Giovanni had dissipated. If this entire thing blew up in our faces-- if we were caught and there were dire consequences as a result, I would at least have had the opportunity to get Melanie away. At least there was some assurance that she would not be an indirect casualty in the aftermath.

I was concerned for the other girls as well but no one here's life was more at risk for being associated with me than Melanie's was. Even if they couldn't prove it, they would automatically assume that she was involved.

Turning the handle, I opened the mahogany door, prepared to pay Antonio another visit. I didn't have any other 'customers' aside from Giovanni. Although talking with the blonde vampire didn't really put me in the mood for doing reconnaissance.

As strange as it was to admit it, I found myself missing his presence now that he was gone. I wanted him to hold me again. This place was so cold. I wanted the feel the familiar warmth that washed over me whenever his cool skin touched mine.

But since that was not possible at the moment, I conceded that I could settle for doing a little snooping.

As soon as I had stepped into the hall, a hand covered my mouth and I heard Marcus' voice close to my ear as he pulled my back against his solid chest. "Time to pay up, little human."

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