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   Chapter 24 The Attacker

I Thirst For You By JMFelic Characters: 17316

Updated: 2018-09-13 21:34


Birthdays.

Birthdays, being a joyous occasion, should be celebrated with a smile, but to Amanda, it never came.

Well, it did, when Arissa, Dayana, Lady Granger and Sir Jerome greeted her a 'happy birthday' later that evening, but her smile didn't reach her eyes. It was dull. Incomplete. Lifeless.

She managed to thank them one by one, putting a face that masked the disturbance in her heart; showing as if she was excited for the coming visit of her friends, Noman and Matteo, and a group dinner with Pamela and Heather. And somehow, she seemed to fool them.

She had mauled on the facts after her little quarrel - or if it was even called one - with Cord from morning 'til afternoon. Mauled on it over and over again, but as a result, it only gave herself a headache and another batch of questions.

Who was the witch that cursed his family? That cursed him?

Was there another way for that to be broken?

And considering her blood had an effect on Cord, was she the key to that then?

Why were they unable to steer clear from each other despite knowing they were enemies? What was she even feeling towards him? How about him? To her?

She knew for sure that desire was one of them. Attraction. The need for their skin to touch. But was there another emotion on the mix?

In the end, she felt defeated, unable to find the answers to her questions.

Maybe then, when Cord decides to show himself to her, that she can ask the questions, but that's if he has the answers to it, or that's if he even wants to answer them. She was grateful he was honest to her that time, but somehow she wished he hid truth. At least it would have spared her conscience from grilling her.

As she stepped outside of her room, she experienced a little bit of enlightenment. Much of the residents of the castle were unjustly cursed together with the Vitalis Family. They didn't deserve it and for that, she felt a sense of pity on them. However, that part of her that feared them didn't die out. She was after all a witch. A witch that held not only an ability that they desired so much, but a special blood that may or may not be their key to salvation. Heather, Pamela, Diana and Sir Jerome were vampires but they seemed safe enough. She just didn't want to take any chances.

"Oh my God, Cait! Happy birthday!"

Noman was the first one to talk when they saw each other in the main foyer. Matteo was behind him but he remained silent, nailing his eyes on Amanda who accepted Noman's big hug.

"Thank you Dom, " she said, smiling a little, and then her attention drifted on his back.

"Hello, Cait, " Matteo spoke, walking closer to her and then opening his arms for an embrace.

"Matt..." Amanda accepted his warm hug like she did with Noman, but of course, there was a bit of awkwardness there.

"Happy birthday."

"Uh, thank you."

They both withdrew and immediately, Matteo raised a brow, confused.

"Where's your present?" he said.

"Present?" Amanda parroted, genuinely clueless. She looked at Noman who just shrugged his shoulders.

"The necklace, you didn't wear it, " Matteo reminded and for that, Amanda's mouth parted a little, realizing she had actually forgotten all about the amulet.

"Uh, it's...it's in my room. I'll wear it later."

Matteo bobbed his head. He pulled a silver box no bigger than a matchbox from his pants pocket and handed it to her.

"Then you should take this too so you can wear both of them together."

Amanda didn't need to ask what was inside it. It was already obvious and for that, her heartbeat spiked up realizing he was subtly reminding her of his proposal.

"No, that's not really necessary Matt, " in haste, she cooked up a reply.

"Take it Cait. I insist."

Matteo's eyes were cold and unyielding all of a sudden.

Noman, although clueless of the content in the box, saw the tension between the two so he wisely shoved himself in between them and expressed:

"All right! All right! It is way too early for that Matty. We should have dinner first and celebrate!"

Amanda silently thanked his interruption. She nodded and grabbed Noman's right elbow.

"Ye-yeah...please let's go."

"Excuse me Miss Cait, " Dayana saw the opening to announce herself, "Mistress Heather and Mistress Pamela are waiting for you in the south wing rooftop garden."

Amanda smiled at her. "Yes, please lead the way Dayana."

As they climbed the grand staircase, Noman leaned towards Amanda's ear and whispered:

"You know what, I was just about to invite you for some booze in this castle's garden to celebrate your birthday, but oh my, I was surprised when Matteo told me about your invitation this morning."

The said man was following them, silent, but Amanda swore she could feel his steely gaze on her.

"I'm glad that you seem excited about my birthday Dom, " she expressed with a sigh whilst watching the stairs ahead.

Without warning, Noman gripped her waist. "Wait, " he said and he would have paused from walking to stare at her face if not for Amanda pushing him forward.

"Oh no, " he expressed, shooting rounded eyes on her profile. "Something is bothering you, I can feel it."

Amanda re

..." she started, aiming to tell him an alibi, but to her relief, Pamela spoke up.

"By the way, Heather, where is your brother?"

Amanda couldn't be sure if it was deliberate but she was thankful the topic now was diverted on another person.

"Oh my, I almost forgot about him, " Heather shifted in her seat, slightly turning to face her left side.

"I thought he was supposed to arrive here early, " Pamela stated.

"Yes, yes, he did." Heather nodded. "He just didn't want to interrupt our meal so he just stayed behind the shadows."

Then, she fully turned her head to a part of the garden where it was bathed in darkness.

"Am I right, Garett?" she said and immediately all eyes were focused on that particular area.

To Amanda's point-of-view, she saw first this Garett's clothing. He was wearing pants and a button-up shirt, black, with a full print of an inverted cross in the right chest area. Then, she noticed his nose - Roman, symmetrical, as expected of any male living in the Vitalis Castle; eyes that were a striking blue; pale lips that faintly curled upward; and then, followed by the rest of him that screamed of vampire.

Or a hot vampire in Noman's mind.

"Yes, it would be disrespectful of me if I crash your joyous party, so I decided to hide myself for the meantime. And besides, I'm not hungry for food. I'm hungry for something else, " Garett spoke, his eyes landing on none other than Amanda.

When he arrived in their table, he bent low to kiss his younger sister in the cheek. It was a sweet gesture, a nonthreatening one, but to Amanda, her blood immediately boiled. What she saw under his shirt, near his collarbone, was a tattoo of two inverted crescent moons. A significant clue she couldn't just dismiss. She clenched her fists to stop its sudden shaking and slowly stood up.

"I'm...I'm sorry..." she stuttered a little, trying her best to act calm and composed. "I'll retire first. I..." She looked at the man again and locked eyes with him for a second. In that moment, she was certain she glimpsed wickedness there. Wickedness that she saw in her attacker's eyes that night in the pond. The same ones that she saw in the Circuit murderer too. "I don't feel...well. Please, enjoy the rest of the evening."

"Cait, wait!" Matteo shouted when Amanda bolted out of the pergola without looking back.

Noman stood up wanting to follow her but Matteo shot an arm to stop him and said, "No, let me. I'll talk to her."

Amanda moved as fast as she can, passing through the pathway of the garden and into the hallway connecting the rooftop. She didn't care how rude she was with her friends, leaving them behind with only a meager explanation. All she wanted was to get away, create as much distance from the man who she recognized as her attacker.

Yes, attacker.

And realizing that made every nerve in her body tense, her breathing irregular and her heartbeat erratic.

Memories of that night in the pond flashed in front of her - the lightning movement of the vampire's attack, how tight he held her shoulders as he began to sink his fangs into her flesh, the freezing feeling as he began to suck on her. It caused so much haze in her mind that it blocked her focus on the path ahead.

Then, she bumped into a hard chest. One hand shot to capture her waist while the other reached to secure her left wrist.

"Amanda."

"Caitlyn!"

Cord and Matteo called out in unison.

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