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   Chapter 43 42.

On Her Knees By Chyna McCartney Characters: 17680

Updated: 2020-01-30 23:44

It was a love nest--bodies intricately weaved together. Toes and legs curling around each other into a mess of hands and arms. At some point, during my unconscious stupor, I must have turned over, my face pressed to his bare, chiseled chest. Giovanni didn't stir or rouse from his position but, I could feel that he had been awake for a long time.

The way his fingers combed through my hair was casual---a very relaxed exploration.

"What makes you stir, tesorina?" His voice was like the tolling of distant church bells at the first sign of new light from a rising sun. The sound brought an extraordinary sense of clarity to me, invigorating every muscle fiber in my body.

"Only the promise of new day, Mr. Moretti, " I pecked one pale corner of his smooth chest, careful not to linger for much longer.

Yet somehow, even the barest touch for me seemed to be enough to ignite that familiar flame within him and he looked at me with glowing sapphires for eyes.

"And what plans do you have for this new day?" he asked.

I cupped the left curvature of his sculpted face with one of my palms and murmured against his lips: "Exploratory plans--for you; for your home. I want to know all there is to know. I feel like I know nothing about you and if I am to stay here, I think it would only be fair that we both understand each other."

His gleaming sapphires twinkled. "You wish to stay here?" Giovanni asked, obviously overcame with mirth but still appearing a bit cautious.

I gave the barest shrug of my shoulders. "I don't know where else to go. My parents are dead. I have no other family--no siblings, aunts, uncles or living grand parents. I'm past the age of legally being considered a ward of the state, so if I were to go back to my world now, to the human realm, I would be homeless and destitute. I would have been better off in that god forsaken brothel. You're the best option I have and all of this"-- I made a sweeping gesture to the grandeur of the room around us and by extension, of his home a whole-- "this is far more than I could ever hope for."

"What of your foster parents?" he asked.

"They're dead, " I snapped back. "Just as dead to me symbolically as my biological parents are dead in the literal sense. Even if I am somehow able to forgive them for selling me into slavery and prostitution, I could never trust them again and I find it extremely difficult to fathom the idea of living with people that I cannot trust."

"Does it then follow that you trust me?" His question challenged me, and I surprised myself by immediately having an answer for him.

"I do, " I responded matter-of-factly. "Despite the whole, lying-about-being-in-a-committed-relationship thing, I feel for some reason, that I should trust you and trust for me, is kind of hard to acquire for another person."

Giovanni spoke close to my lips, looking me deeply in the eyes. "I will endeavor never to break that trust." He kissed my forehead softly. "But as for the matter of understanding, I would venture to take a risk and say that I do understand you to a significant degree."

There was a playfulness to his tone that I couldn't quite understand. Again, I could sense a kind of overconfidence that seemed alien to him, given his usual personality.

"And how is that?" I asked.

The proud vampire rose so that he was sitting more upright, his back pressed to the headboard with the coffee colored sheets pooling around his waist. He squared his shoulders, "You are my paramour as I have explained it you. We are bound to one another. Trust follows logically, I would think."

I scoffed, "I don't believe that trust is innate. It has to be earned. Its not something that is owed to you on the basis of mystic connection."

"Well, perhaps I may explain it this way, I believe that understanding is the foundation of your love for someone ." He retorted in a softer tone.

My heart all but stopped beating completely when I heard that four letter word and as if he sensed my shock and distress, he immediately began to back track.

"Perhaps, love is too strong a word. I care for you, Teryn. I have a great deal of affection for you. It would disturb me deeply if you were insulted or violated by anyone, especially myself."

"Those all seem like synonyms for love, " I breathed, not daring to look at him. No matter how he tried to reword things, the idea that this stranger, this beautiful creature was confessing some kind of love for me... it almost seemed to be too much to handle.

"Well perhaps it isn't love at all, " he cleared his throat, trying but failing to sound nonchalant. "Consider it to be just and old man's romanticizing of a bond he never thought he would or even could have with another person after all these years. What do you human's call it? Wishful thinking?" he asked rhetorically.

"Perhaps I think wishfully of our predicament and my feelings are not genuine at all--"

"I believe that they are genuine, Giovanni, " I replied. Stopping his self deprecating rant. "I believe you do love me and whether or not, I am comfortable hearing that should have nothing to do with it."

"But it has everything to do with it, Teryn, " the vampire snapped, suddenly frustrated. "I do not wish to go on loving you when it is something

w doesn't it?"

"A lot about me?" Giovanni asked.

"About Marcus and Armand. About the brothels. How vampires might turn their fixation with dominating and inflicting pain into an enterprise that no one in this region seems to be in the least bit motivated to put an end to. It explains how they might devote all their efforts into ensuring the profitability of that enterprise, diversifying their capital and protecting their ventures, even at the expense of human life. It would explain why so many women had to die, would it not?

I added in a very bitter tone: "To fuel some vampires' intense pursuit of his favorite hobby?"

Giovanni sighed and pulled me closer. "Teryn, I promise you that I will do everything in my power to destroy this heinous institution. I am fully committed to that end."

"Its not your commitment that I doubt. Its the people who need to be convinced in order to make such an executive decision-- those are the people whose commitment I question. Matthias Drake is the physical embodiment of narcissism, Giovanni. He is an absolute asshole. I cannot see it being possible, even with irrefutable evidence, that he would come to a decision that is in our favor and rewards the hard work we have done up to this point."

"Then he will need to be made to see things our way, my love." His answer was final and dismissive and he led me back to the entrance of the library.

"I don't understand. How will you do that? Are you planning something, because if you are, I feel that I have every right to be included in it. I do have nearly as much to lose under these circumstances as you do."

"Teryn, " Giovanni chided, demanding my absolute attention. At this point, we were standing again in the marble-tiled hallway. The light of the setting sun streaming in from the open windows reflected off of his sapphire eyes as he looked down into mine.

"I will figure everything out. You have done exceptionally more than I have asked of you and I that is all that I will ever ask of you. The rest is in my hands. I have the resources to tackle this. Please Teryn, let that be enough. It must be enough because I cannot risk your safety any more than I already have."

I sighed and nodded reluctantly in acquiescence, even though I was still not convinced that he would not still require my help. I was moved by the fact that he wanted to protect me at all costs but, this wasn't just his cause to champion anymore. I wanted to tell him that he didn't have to fight alone anymore but, I simply didn't know how to articulate that without trampling over his innately masculine desire to be my knight in shining armor.

Despite being determined to revisit the matter, I chose to keep quiet.

In response, Giovanni leaned down to kiss my forehead before turning to address his silent enforcer, Kira who I would never have noticed had Giovanni not addressed him.

Kira stood dressed in his usual inky black attire: composed of an overcoat draped across a sweater with a raised collar and matching black tactical pants. His body was flush against a nearby marble column.

Once the vampires stood facing each other, Kira addressed Giovanni with a nod and the simple greeting: "My Lord." To me, he bowed, "My Lady."

"Will you assist me in making dinner reservations?"

To Giovanni's request, Kira again nodded with absolutely no emotion in his hard, obsidian eyes. Without objection, the silent vampire turned and headed in the opposite direction, beckoning without words, for us to follow.

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