MoboReader > Werewolf > I CRAVE FOR YOU

   Chapter 17 Counting Down the Minutes

I CRAVE FOR YOU By JMFelic Characters: 18506

Updated: 2019-06-17 00:14


(Minutes earlier...)

Under the Master's order, Jerome fetched the Vitalis doctor again from her laboratory. Mera immediately knew why. The odd couple were going to New Zealand by tomorrow and most likely, her Master was getting impatient with the cure of his so-called attacks.

Truth be told, she was working like crazy to find it, but it wasn't just that easy. She needed both Science and Medicine to come up with an answer, and even that not-so-common Metaphysics too. They were vampires after all. Everything was out-of-the-ordinary for them.

If she were to be honest with herself, she'd say Cord had given her another absurd task along with one other previously requested. It was to find a cure for their curse without requiring Amanda's blood sacrifice. She hadn't gone far into her research with that one. It was a challenge and one that she was willing to take. After all, she had her immortality to do all kinds of experiments.

"I've heard you're drinking often now. How many times exactly?" she asked the moment she stepped inside Cord's throne room.

The latter was alone just listening to the beautiful heartbeat of Amanda when the doctor walked in. He glanced up and from the shadows of his dais, he gave her an answer.

"Twice, thrice a week." The drink in question was next to him, on a coffee table that Jerome placed earlier. He couldn't stomach watching it, let alone drinking it, but he knew he had to.

"Make that daily, Cord, " Mera suggested, giving him a serious stare.

Cord cocked a brow and scoffed.

"Why are you regulating my meals now?"

"It is the only way to ensure that you don't hunger for Ms. Amanda again, " she replied pointblank. "It is a basic concept of Nature, Cord. The more full you are, the less likely you crave for food. Unless..." she routed her eyes on the crimson liquid and cringed her nose, "You prefer her blood."

Cord didn't show any reaction, but answer he did without missing a beat.

"I always prefer Amanda's blood. I crave it."

"But you don't have any choice. Do you want her to die?" she bit out.

She already expected his answer, so she had no choice but to be frank. Besides him being a hardheaded vampire, she was well aware of his apparent preference of the witch's blood. Back then, they didn't know the owner of the said blood bags. Now, they do. To her, it was a cruel twist of fate. For her master and for all those affected with the curse.

Cord was silent for some time. It was a no-brainer question. Of course, he didn't want Amanda to die, but something on Mera's words made him think thoroughly.

"You know what my answer is, so yes, I'll drink daily, " he stated, giving the doctor a cool stare, "every morning and evening even, but still, my diet doesn't answer why I'm having these attacks."

She released a long sigh in response.

"I'm still looking into it Cord, but by my initial assessment with your blood through a microscope, the cells are responding to an outside contamination, and when it does, it shivers and shrinks, hence the seizures and the pain you're feeling."

"What is this outside contamination you speak of?" he asked.

"It is unfortunate to say that I don't know it yet, Cord."

A muscle on his cheek ticked. He paused for a moment, honing his attention on Amanda's heartbeat. It was growing closer and louder. And with the scent of her blood, he knew it was only seconds before she breaks through the throne room double doors.

"We are running out of time, you know that, " he stated, double meaning in his words.

Mera heard Amanda's heartbeat too and understood him.

"I know. If you don't want to harm Ms. Amanda, then I suggest you don't accompany her to New Zealand. Stay here. Let Pamela and Calvin be her guard, " were her final words before the doors swung open.

"Cord, may I speak with you privately?" Amanda announced, disregarding the presence of the doctor.

"Of course, " he stated and with a final glance at Mera, he signaled her away.

Both women nodded at each other before the latter waltzed out of the room.

"You are avoiding me again?" Amanda started as soon as the door closed. She stayed at the base of the dais, choosing not to climb up just to touch him. The last time she was in this hall was when she still didn't know Cord was a vampire. She didn't know when he said 'honeysuckle sweet' he was pertaining to her. And she didn't know then that he was exercising fasting and that he was very hungry...for her.

"Only temporarily, Amanda. I can't harm you again, " Cord stated, choosing to sit on his throne too instead of giving her a kiss.

Amanda crossed her arms and gnashed her teeth. "You do know what tomorrow is, right?"

"Yes."

"Then, will you accompany me or not? I could always take Jonathan with me if you're that worried with my safety."

Cord quickly shook his head.

"No, I will come with you, Love, " he stated and then, despite his restraint, he stood up, climbed down the dais and neared her, "but I'm going to have to impose a no-kissing, no-touching, no...making love rule."

His eyes were on her, feasting her, unclothing her all the while he walked in circles as if he was laying claim on his prey.

Amanda felt the heat rush through her. She felt cognizant with every step he took; felt cognizant with the heat of his gaze; but utterly feeling ambivalent over what he just said. Were their self-restraints really that strong?

"I am torn, Cord. You know I want to touch you, kiss you, and make love to you. Are you sure that's a wise decision to make?"

He replied by stopping in front of her and giving her a fixed stare. It meant 'yes'.

Amanda chuckled lightly in response. "Huh, your ridiculous rule will definitely fit when you meet my step-father."

"Meeting your step-father for his approval is the least of my worries, Amanda, " he remarked. "I need to think about your safety, both from me and our unknown enemy."

He stepped closer to her and reached out to lightly touch the plane of her neck where he made two puncture marks three days ago.

"I really am sorry about what I did to you."

Amanda touched his face too and pressed her chest against his.

"Cord, give yourself some slack. Do you think I would have stayed here if I believe you truly pose a threat to my life?"

A smirk broke out from his lips then.

"You did that in the past, " he reminded, remembering her jumping out of her room's balcony into the garden below just to escape him.

Amanda nodded. "And I can do it again, but I didn't."

"Why didn't you use your powers on me that time? You had the freedom to do so."

Her hands traveled down his chest and placed a palm on top where his unbeating heart lay.

"I didn't want to hurt you, " she stated and then hauled a deep breath. It was time; time for her to say the damnable words a witch wasn't supposed to say to a vampire. "I...love you, Cord."

The latter, upon hearing it, clenched his teeth tightly. He squeezed his eyes shut and took in a deep breath of his own.

"Damn it, " he said after some time. He looked at her again with warmth, with love. He wanted to touch her, but he kept still.

"You're making it hard for me, my witch. You don't know how much I've yearned to hear those words from your mouth. And to hear it now, tempts me to shower you with kisses."

"Then, kiss me and make love to me again, Cord, " Amanda offered.

Cord steadied his breath.

"You really are testing my self-restraint, Amanda, but no, I can't."

She relented, nodding and giving him a smile, but deep inside, a prick of disappointment hit her.

"I'll respect your decision, Cord. I just wish this is the right thing for the both of us, " she said, managing to hide the disappointment in her voice. "I'll see you tomorrow then?"

Cord nodded.

"I'll be counting down the seconds, Amanda."

*

*

*

Amanda and Cord's plane landed twenty-five hours after at the Wellington International Airport. It was an arduous flight, one that he definitely disliked but being at the Premium Class of the plane at least lessened the stress of flying.

The last time Cord was in New Zealand, it was over seven hundred years ago via a galleon ship. He was on a rampage then. He stepped out of the ship with all the crew and passengers sucked of blood. Mera, Calvin and Pamela were with him to handle the damage.

It was the one story he disliked to share when Amanda asked, wanting to kill time during their flight.

Once they arrived, they headed straight to Heather's pre-booked hotel, the Wellington Best Point Hotel. It was the one nearest to Amanda's house, at least a thirty-five minute walk.

After check-in, Amanda met Noman at a cafe near her house some time past ten in the morning with her luggage in tow. Noman watched her with an arched brow as she approached.

"Where's your lover, Cait?" he speedily asked, taking the wheeled luggage for her.

"Around here somewhere, " she stated, shrugging her shoulders.

Noman tossed her a confused look. "What do you mean by that?" The last update he received from Amanda via text, she stated that she was flying with the Vitalis Master, and seeing Cord's lack of presence now demanded further explanat

ion.

"We rented a hotel room for his one-week stay here in Wellington. I insisted that he should take a rest while I see you and father, but he declined. Said he'd rather guard me from afar."

"Wait, you aren't going to introduce Master Vitalis to your step-dad now?" Noman queried.

"No, " Amanda shook her head. "I decided we three should have a dinner date tonight at the hotel's restaurant. That's the time I'll introduce Cord to him."

Noman's mouth hang. "Are you sure that's wise?" he said, "I mean...does Master Vitalis even eat, you know, human food?"

Amanda chuckled at his innocent response. Clearly he was influenced by the modern definition of vampires.

"He does, only just a few bites. He drinks wine though aside from...you know what. What I'm worried more is his demeanor. You know him. He comes off as distant as a first impression."

"Well, he'll have to man-up if he wants your step-dad's approval, " Noman remarked. He was right, well at least for normal men.

"I doubt he cares for such human interactions like that, Dom, " Amanda pointed out. This earned her a grin from her best friend.

"Wow, it's going to be an interesting dinner then."

He tsk'd and shook his head in dismay.

"Damn, he should have brought Jonathan as your bodyguard again."

Amanda, knowing that he was really hoping for it, gave him an apologetic smile.

"I'm sorry if he didn't."

Noman sniffed and bobbed his head.

"That's fine. Now, I have a second reason why I should transfer residences."

"Wait, what?" Amanda was taken aback. "Are you planning to return to Spa and actually live there for good?"

He beamed his eyes at her in giddiness. "Sounds great right?" he said. "My family lives there, so why not?"

Amanda nodded at him. "Wow, I'm happy for you, Dom, but don't forget you'll have to do your best to capture Jonathan's attention."

He pulled out a cheeky grin and nudged her at the ribs. "I have a strategic plan that will ensure success, Cait."

She whistled in response. "Wow, so confident of you."

Noman lifted his hand in the air and hailed a cab. A few seconds later, one neared them and from there, they headed straight to the O'Malley Residence a few blocks away from the cafe.

"Hi Dad!" Amanda cried out once she stepped inside the vestibule of her family's house.

It was a three-storey building built with the Caribbean theme in mind. The floors were made of dark blue marble while the walls were ivory white. It was situated inside a compound that housed a flower garden and a customized pool.

Amanda stretched her arms wide open to receive her step-father, giving him the brightest smile she could make.

"Caitlin! Come here! I'm so happy you're finally here!"

They embraced but it was only brief because her step-father held her steady by the shoulder and scrutinized her up and down.

"Let's see what that crash did to you, " he stated.

Amanda angled her head to the side and indulged him with his scrutiny.

"I'm fine, Dad. Some scratch and bruises, nothing more."

"Janus said it's a miracle you survived the crash, " her step-father stated. "Looking at you now unscathed and all makes me really think a miracle really has happened."

Amanda gave him a reserved smile. At the back of her head, thoughts of Cord sprang out.

"Yes, I think so too, " she breathed out.

"God, I'm very thankful you're alive, Caitlin, " Mr. Arnold stated whilst sandwiching her right hand with his own. "The Company won't be able to find another one like you who has that magical touch to fix engines."

Amanda grinned and rolled her eyes heavenward.

"Dad, you're talking about cars again."

He gave her a sheepish smile in response. "I apologize, Cait."

A few steps behind Amanda was Noman giving them a piece of their time for themselves, but when he saw the chance, he immediately stepped in.

"Hi Mr. Arnold, " he greeted, giving the older man a wide smile.

"Noman, hello, " Mr. Arnold replied. "I trust you took care of Caitlin here while in your hometown?"

"Yes. Yes, Mr. Arnold." He gave Amanda a knowing look. "Actually more than that. She got the best care there is in this planet."

Amanda shot him a pointed glare in response.

"Hmm, sounds a great story to hear over lunch, " her step-father stated.

"Indeed, " was Noman's secretive reply.

The trio left the vestibule and entered the dining area. They talked about many things like Amanda's time in Spa, the race and her eventual crash. Of course, she didn't include her experiences with the Vitalis Family, the biter, the visions she saw before the crash and Cord's shadows saving her thereafter. It was better that her step-father was blissfully unaware of it. To keep those things a secret was her only option.

"So, what's this 'best care' Noman talked about?" Mr. Arnold asked.

She had been looking for the right opportunity to speak to her step-father about Cord. She certainly didn't want to give him a heart attack. With his question now, it seemed this was the right time.

"Yeah..." Amanda cast her eyes downward. "I actually want you to meet someone over dinner tonight."

"A man, eh?" her step-father smirked. "It's damn about time you find someone, Cait."

"My thoughts exactly, "Noman chimed in.

"His name is Rexcord Alexander Vitalis, Dad, " Amanda started, gathering up the courage to speak about him without blushing. "We...met in Spa before the race. His family is well-known in the country."

"Hmm, very strong name, " Mr. Arnold bobbed his head in agreement. "I hope he lives up to my expectations."

"Oh, he sure will, Mr. Arnold, plus more, " Noman interjected. Amanda awarded him a kick under the table.

"Hmm, with Noman's comment, now I feel very excited, " Mr. Arnold remarked, clueless of the two's sneaky glances.

"We'll have dinner in his hotel restaurant, Dad. Does seven in the evening sound good?"

"Seven it is, Sweety, " Mr. Arnold agreed. "I can't miss this chance to finally meet a man who has captured your attention. But you know, this news would likely devastate Matteo."

Amanda's eyelids fluttered, caught off guard by his statement.

"Oh, well...he's fine with it, " she managed to say whilst routing her eyes on her now-empty plate.

Her step-father gave her an arched brow. "Oh really? Last time I checked, he was trying to woo you."

"Uhm, how about you, Dad? How's our business going?" She quickly diverted the subject. Apart from being uncomfortable talking about Matteo, she just didn't want to remember his many transgressions against her.

Mr. Arnold, somehow suddenly remembering something, showed a surprised face.

"Oh right! I was supposed to tell you the good news, Caitlin."

"What good news?" Her curiosity was stirred.

"Speaking of Matteo, since three days ago, I had officially sold the Company to him."

"What?!" Amanda's mouth dropped. "But you loved your Company! You love working. You love your cars! Why would you do that?"

"Woohow, cool down, Sweety. One question at a time please." Mr. Arnold leaned back against his chair and waved his hand in between them.

"What's going on, Dad?" she asked.

Noman, on the other hand, kept himself silent, choosing to listen to their father-daughter conversation, but he was definitely as surprised as Amanda's was about the development.

"I decided to sell the Company to him because it is the right thing to do, " Mr. Arnold explained. "I am getting old, Caitlin. I want to use the rest of my days traveling. Plus, Matteo is the best choice. He was my only choice. Luckily, he accepted when I offered."

"But dad..." Amanda gave him a sad look.

"I know, Caitlin. Being with cars, racing, smelling the fuel are all my element. It is my life, but I also want to try different things. Look at you, you have moved on. You found a man worthy enough to be introduced to me. Like you, I also want to move on to another chapter of my life."

Amanda remained silent. She didn't know what to say. On the one hand, she liked the notion of her step-father traveling. Even though he didn't express it, but she knew the death of her mother had affected him greatly. Him traveling would fill in that void.

On the other hand, she didn't approve of Matteo managing the business. He was good with his job, true, but if anything, she'd love to manage it herself. Race cars, racing and engines were her element. But then again, with her final decision to move in with Cord in Spa, she wouldn't be able to fulfill her obligations as the CEO so, even though with a heavy heart, she decided to accept her step-father's decision.

"I understand, Dad, and I'll support you, don't worry, " in the end, she finally relented.

"Wow, just like that?" Her father seemed to be taken aback. "You're not going to fight your rights to own the Company? I thought you love it?"

"I do, but..." Amanda trailed off. She looked at Noman who in turn gave her a boost by nodding. "Remember the man I'd like you to meet?" she continued, eyeing her step-father again.

"Yeah, what of him?" Mr. Arnold replied, his shoulders now looking tense.

"You see, I plan to move in with him in Spa, " she paused and gave him an innocent smile. "For good."

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