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   Chapter 22 Femme Fatale

I CRAVE FOR YOU By JMFelic Characters: 14877

Updated: 2019-07-07 00:50


Three consecutive knocks on the thick door informed Amanda that Noman had arrived. She opened it without delay and led him inside. She studied the reaction on his face when he entered, expecting it to be priceless.

It was.

"What did you do to Master Vitalis?" Noman turned around and shot her a stunned look. The cracked wall was screaming for his attention and it was enough for him to tell there was fighting earlier.

Amanda managed to act coyly before answering, "I may have used my powers on him, Dom."

"What?" he blurted out. "Why?" Then, labile as he was with his mood, a grin formed on his lips then. "Did you use your powers to do kinky stuff?"

"What? No!" Amanda cried out, feeling suddenly embarrassed, but his teasing was a good distraction to lessen the grave mood in the room.

"Lately, we have problems with his vampire side going rogue, Dom. Earlier, it happened again. I didn't want to put myself or more importantly, the guests in this hotel in danger, so I have no choice but to fight him."

"Wow, that would have been a sight to see, " he remarked. He stared at Cord again whose boots were resting on the head pillows instead of the foot of the bed. He was knocked out good. Clearly, his best friend had done a good job protecting herself. Pride filled his chest at the thought of it then.

A femme fatale, that's what she was with all her beauty, grace, curves and those killer heels.

"He has lost consciousness, Dom, and I think it will be two days or more before he can fully recover."

"Okay, " Noman smacked his lips and nodded, understanding her words. "So, what do you want me here for?"

Amanda chewed the inside of her cheek. "I need you to look after him. I need to go to my father's office to witness the transfer of ownership to Matteo."

"What?!" Noman exclaimed, surprised for the second time.

Amanda first thought his unfriendly reaction was because he didn't want to be left alone with a vampire, but she was wrong when he continued.

"You're letting your family business go?! You and your father were doing great with it. Why?" It seemed he was more concerned with her family's business than babysitting a vampire.

"Yeah, father decided it was time to let go of the business and create a new chapter of his life, " she answered. "Despite my hesitation, I supported him."

Noman routed his eyes on the floor, contemplating on her words.

"Well..." he sighed after a few minutes, "Matty is the best fit for the role, so I have no complaints."

"I think so too, " Amanda agreed, keeping the thoughts of Cord's proposal earlier in the back of her head. "So, are you okay if I left you here for awhile?"

Noman considered for a moment. "Shit, here I thought you just want me to do your hair or have me pick the right dress for you, but okay...fine, although, " he paused and looked at Cord again, "I can't say the same for the Master. I have a marking pen in my bag. I might use it later if I get bored, Cait. His face would look better if he has a crown of flowers drawn on his forehead."

"Oh Dom, " Amanda chuckled despite herself. The thought of the Vitalis Master having a drawing on his face was funny, but she also worried for her best friend's well-being. "Don't say I didn't warn you." Cord would be furious for sure.

Noman just shrugged his shoulders and dismissed her warning. "You go ahead. I'll be fine here, but order a three-cheese pizza for me with onion rings and lots of garlic in the restaurant. You know, just in case."

"Dom, Cord isn't afraid of garlic if that's what you mean, " she replied with a roll of her eyes, "but yes, I'll order them for you and more."

He grinned at her. "You're the best, Cait."

*

*

*

Half an hour later, Amanda arrived inside the office lobby. The receptionist, Shauna, flashed a smile on her way, the kind that was warm and friendly. Amanda returned a smile whilst she walked towards her step-father's office.

Once there, she found him busy leafing papers bound with a slider. He tossed a look on her way and Amanda graciously beamed at him.

"Hi Dad." She neared him and placed a kiss on his cheek.

Mr. Arnold raised an eyebrow and studied her.

"You two good?" he asked.

Amanda didn't need for him to elaborate.

"Yes, Dad, " she nodded.

"Good, " Mr. Arnold sighed and returned to leafing the pages of the contract. "I'm actually warming up to that guy, Cait. It would be a shame if you let him go."

Amanda narrowed her eyes at him and crossed her arms over her chest. "Is it truly you or the wine speaking? Because I'm pretty sure you drank it all to yourself, Dad."

Mr. Arnold looked guilty for a moment. "It'll be a waste if I don't."

"Right, " Amanda rolled her eyes heavenward. She rounded the table and claimed a vacant seat across him. "Where's Matteo?" she asked, suddenly feeling anxious. The plan was for Cord to accompany her when meeting him, but with the recent events, it was not to be. Surely, he would understand the situation she was in now.

"He's coming. Get yourself comfortable while waiting, " he answered.

Amanda gave a short nod and decided to remain silent. From her clutch bag, she fished out her cellphone and texted Noman, giving him an update.

'I'm at the office now, Dom. I hope you're still alive there.'

She added a winking emoji just to add a little humor and then pressed 'sent' to his number. A couple of minutes later, he texted back.

'I'm enjoying my pizza here, Sweety. They taste divine! And oh, if you want to know, I placed the garlic cloves around your handsome vampire. You may want to change the sheets later when you sleep here.'

Amanda stifled a laugh after reading his message. Damn him. He really was so engrossed with those silly old myths about vampires.

'I'm sure to do that, Dom, ' she texted back with a smiley emoji.

The opening of the door caught her attention, so she looked up. Matteo's handsome visage greeted her then. He was dressed in a black suit and pants with a tie that matched his dark blue wrist watch. Overall, he looked exactly like a CEO of a multi-million company.

"Caitlin, " he entered the room with languid strides. His gaze was on her and it was sticky.

"Matteo, " Amanda straightened her back and she would have stood up if not for him stooping low to plant a kiss on her cheek. She was taken aback at first, but nevertheless accepted it. They were in front of her step-father after all and it was expected they act like the usual before all the witch-mage-vampire drama appeared.

Mr. Arnold, on the other hand, stood up and shook hands with him. They spoke about casual topics before turning to the highlight of the afternoon.

Amanda stayed silent while she watched them exchange signatures with their attorneys. When all was done, she stood up and extended a hand to him for a handshake.

"Congratulations on acquiring Racetech, Matt. The CEO position looks good on you."

Matteo awarded her a dashing smile. He accepted her hand and shook it, but afterwards, he brought it smoothly against his lips and kissed it exactly just like he usually would.

Amanda was torn between pulling her hand or keeping a straight face.

"No doubt the CEO position looks good on you too, Cait, " he replied, still holding her hand. "I thought you're going to fight for the ownership. Why didn't you?"

"Change of heart, " she replied quickly and this ti

me, she pulled her hand from his hold.

"Oh, really?" he said, lifting a brow. "That vampire has nothing to do with it, I hope."

Amanda inwardly hissed. She could sense the silent menace in his words as he talked about Cord. It wasn't a surprise. Their feelings were mutual. Cord hated him too.

"Matt, do you have time?" she asked, disregarding his words. She didn't have time to indulge him with his dislike for vampires. "I need to ask you all about my kind." She wanted to learn more about being a witch; to know their history, understand their powers, and maybe in the process, find a way to break Cord's curse. The last tidbit, she hoped, wasn't too obvious on Matteo.

"Hmm, that'll take time, Cait. How about we talk it over dinner later?" he stated, taking advantage of the situation.

Cord would likely get mad if she'll agree, but Amanda didn't have a choice. Matteo was the only person who knew about witches and even lived with them for hundreds of years. He was clearly her go-to person and to ignore this chance would mean to ignore the knowledge of undoing the curse.

"Dinner is fine, Matt, but promise me, you'll behave, " Amanda replied, keeping her guard up. After all he had done to her, it was better she remain cautious.

*

*

*

Meanwhile, on Cord's suite, Noman was having the time of his life munching on the snacks Amanda left for him. He sat on the sectional sofa available inside the room with the flat screen television turned on to the Fashion TV channel. He wasn't interested with watching it though. He just wanted its company. The room's silence was deafening and he wanted the noise of the TV to overlap it.

Although it had been five hours since Amanda left, he wasn't bothered. The Vitalis Master, just like she said, would be unconscious for the next few days. He had free time to do whatever he wanted inside the room.

With that said, the laptop secured in his duffel bag earlier was now flipped open in his front. He was too engrossed checking the Instagram feed that he failed to notice a definite change on Cord's status. His pointy finger flicked first, then both of his hands clenched. He was slowly turning conscious...

Inside Cord's thoughts, he recollected as much as he could about the events earlier. He remembered transporting himself inside his hotel room, writhing in pain as his seizures increased. He remembered his dark side standing on the threshold of his consciousness, waiting for a crack in his control. Cord used the same memory of the younger version of Amanda as support, choosing to stay silent despite the older version's constant questioning. It had been successful in his last attack, maybe now it would be the same. But then, a woman's echoing voice cut his focus.

'My shadows...'

The words lingered inside his mind. It brought chaos and confusion. It brought his shadows to wildly dance inside his body until his control snapped and his dark side emerged.

After that, he had no recollection as to what happened next, but he certainly remembered the anger and hatred he felt for the witches; he certainly remembered how thirsty he was for their blood.

By the time he was able to take back his consciousness, he found himself falling to the mattress, an intense sore on his chest manifesting and an icy cold sensation spreading all over his body. He heard Amanda's quickening heartbeat loud on his ears some distance away. It was reminiscent of the time when she still feared him.

But why would she fear him?

Then, he pieced together all available clues. Everything clicked. He lost his control, his dark side emerged, and Amanda had to fight him off.

A swell of pride hit him. She exactly did what he instructed and for that, he was pleased.

He would have stood up and congratulated her for this, but his body felt heavy and paralyzed—an adverse effect of being hit by her petrifaction spell. His mind went blank thereafter, darkness beckoning him, and with this momentary helplessness, all he could do was succumb to the call of sleep, hoping that Amanda would stay for him instead of going to her step-father's company...

Back to the present, Cord moved slightly on the mattress. With his sensitive nose, he immediately noticed a different scent inside the room. It wasn't Amanda's, but it sure wasn't unfamiliar too.

He cringed then when he realized it was from her best-friend, Noman. But why would he be here, he thought. The answer came instantly in his head.

It seemed Amanda didn't stay inside the hotel. She actually continued with her first plan and went alone to her family's company. Noman, judging from his presence, was his babysitter.

Cord pressed his lips together, feeling disappointed.

Amanda, leaving, would have been a understandable move; however, Cord now believed that they truly had an enemy in hiding. That echoing sound of a woman was clear proof. Amanda could be in real danger if she wasn't already considering Matteo was present in the office too.

He had to act fast and be by her side.

He cracked his eyes open with every intention to intimidate Noman into spilling out the company address. He could spear him a cold gaze and use his beguiling ability. Surely, the man would squeak.

However, as soon as the light of the room touched his eyes, a stunned expression painted his face. His eyesight was back and this was despite him being a vampire still.

He knotted his brows and clenched his teeth. What was he to feel then?

Should he feel happy? Or feel wary? The timing and the suddenness of his eyesight returning sure looked suspicious.

However, Cord couldn't ruminate more on it. If he could see in full color, then this was good. He would take advantage of it.

Silently, he surveyed the room, his attention falling on every corner until it settled on Noman behind the laptop screen. It seemed he was too engrossed with what he was doing.

Cord huffed.

Straightening his spine, he rose from the bed all the while making eye contact with his babysitter.

Noman, on the other hand, gawked as soon as he saw him conscious. He placed both of his hands on each sides as if bracing himself for an attack while his eyes flicked to the useless garlic cloves on the mattress.

"No need to be afraid of me, Mr. Ashgar, " Cord stated, standing before him oozing with power, confidence and impatience. "I am now of sane mind. I won't harm you."

Noman swallowed, feeling his throat suddenly dry from all that gawking. "Caitlin said you'd be unconscious for the next two days or more, how come you're awake now?"

"It doesn't matter, " he dismissed, his voice controlled and sharp. "What I want from you is to tell me where Mr. O'Malley's company address is."

Noman nodded instantly. "Sure, sure! You want to follow Amanda there? I'm certain she'd love to see you uhm...awake and normal."

"Normal?" Cord scoffed. "That's a rather ridiculous word to describe me, Mr. Ashgar. I'm still waiting."

"Oh, right!" Noman immediately jumped up from his seat and grabbed his laptop. "Here, let me show you the address." He quickly typed the information on Google Maps and showed it to Cord.

"You won't miss it. The building is built in glass and metal sheets, is shaped almost like a race car and is colored boldly in red and blue, " he informed.

Cord gave him a brief nod before vanishing on the spot. No 'thank you.' No 'see you later.'

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