“I’m back!” she grinned, closing them in.
Brandi screamed around the gag in her mouth as Carmen set to work.
The night of the impromptu dinner loomed and unaware of what Shane was dealing with in regards to David, Carmen was standing in nothing but her bathrobe staring into her closet. She couldn’t decide what to wear.
“Well this is just perfect.” she groaned, slapping her head in disgust. Her hair was still damp from her shower. Growling in annoyance, she turned and poked her head into the hallway.
“Shane! Dressy or casual tonight?” she called out, hoping he would hear her in that part of the house.
“Shane! Dressy or casual tonight?”
Shane sat up in his leather chair. For the first time in ages, he was stumped on how to answer her. He had the worry of David now trying to extort him, for god knows what over Carmen, and he had to be the Master Chef of Haven for this casual barbeque. He wondered what to wear himself. He sat silently for a moment, then sung out.
“Impress me!” Heh, that’s the spirit, don’t give a direct answer. He even smiled at himself for that one. But looking down at himself, he knew he had to change. So, he got up out of his chair, and headed up to his room to change.
Opting for jeans and a checkered shirt to match the blue of his eyes, he came back downstairs, and headed to the kitchen, as outside, a van had pulled up from the gourmet meats company. One of the service representatives brought a chiller box to the back door and Shane went out to sign for it, as the cool of the evening breeze toyed with his golden hair.
“Thank you so much.” Shane handed back the clip board, and took the box of meat cuts inside. Placing the box on the counter, he took a quick peek under the lid and nodded happily. Enough there to feed an army, and some. They wouldn’t go hungry that was for sure. Shane checked the fridge for salads, and other grocery items that Carmen could use, and shut the fridge after pulling out some garden vegetables and setting them out on the bench.
Staring out at the pristine cooker bbq that he had never used, he wondered if he still had a knack for it. Bending down, he pulled open a drawer, and found in a plastic packet, the kiss the cook apron that Louisa had bought him long ago. Holding it in his hand a moment, his thoughts turned to her, and a darkness clouded his eyes.
“I have to learn to let you go.” He thought to himself, as he took the apron out of the packet, and placed it over his neck.
“‘Impress me!’ he says. Ugh! Men know nothing.” she snorted, digging through her things. She pulled out a matching top and jeans and placed them on her bed. “Eh…casual it is. Just hope I don’t spill anything on them.” she muttered, removing her robe so she could get dressed…
25 minutes later…
Hair dried and styled, makeup subtle yet sexy and Carmen pronounced herself ready. She slipped on a pair of flats and headed downstairs.
Stepping into the kitchen, she had to bite her lip to keep from laughing. Shane was actually wearing a “Kiss The Cook” apron as he marinated some steaks at the counter. Oh this was too delicious to her sense of amusement and she began to giggle.
When Shane looked up from pounding the meat with the tenderizer, wearing the apron, what he saw was a vision in white. Carmen looked simply…amazing. Shane seemed to forget what he was doing for a moment, and was almost gobsmacked.
“Now…that is what I call impressive. Just..don’t get too friendly with the ketchup bottle.” Shane said with a wink. Going back to finishing marinating the steaks, he asked off the cuff.
“Why not chose some music, and I’ll fix the outdoor lighting, get the fire started.”Shane appeared to have things all under control. Or…did he?
Little did Shane realize that the covens were now preparing for a vampire war showdown, between Shane and David. A fight for the role of leadership in Haven. Shane was not without his supporters. Some of Haven’s elite in the A list circle were sired by Shane himself. Loyal without fault. Three had decided to take the opportunity this night to show up and discuss the future of their group, unaware that Shane was playing house with Carmen. Misty Whiteside, Bianca Roco and Jarvis McQueen all arrived in seperate sports cars, each getting out, and wearing dark sunglasses, as they strolled to the front door. Dripping in jewels, designer threads and looking every part A listers, Jarvis was first to ring the bell.
“He’s gonna burst a blood vessel, Misty.” Jarvis said, giving her a sly grin, as he took off his sunglasses and pocketed them
“Let me finish this call, J. No…no I don’t want the Ferrari in red….I want pink!” She snapped her phone shut and grinned. “He’s cute when he’s mad.” Biana looked solemly as she leaned against Jarvis. “We should have called first. Wait…I can smell steaks.”
Jarvis sniffed the air and then beamed. “He’s throwing a party. Wohooo. I bag the lilo in the pool.” The two other vampires looked at him like he was acting like a kid. “What?” I like to party.”
Together, they all waited.
“Very funny.” she snorted.
“Why not chose some music, and I’ll fix the outdoor lighting, get the fire started.” He stated just as the doorbell rang.
“I’ll get that.” she stated, turning to head for the door. She was excited at the prospect of seeing her friends again.
Dyna and Booker pulled into Shane’s driveway and noticed the congregation at the front door. Dyna looked at Booker.
“What do you think?” she wondered.
“Probably invited some co-workers or somethin.” Booker stated.
“Well let’s go join the party.” she grinned, unhooking her seatbelt.
The two of them arrived behind the three vampires, just as Carmen opened the front door.
“Uh…who are you?” she asked, seeing three unfamiliar people standing at the door.
“That’s what we’d like to know.” Dyna spoke up behind the group.
“Uh…who are you?” Carmen asked, with Dyna standing in behind them with Booker, also confused by who these people were. Misty placed a hand to her chest and said. “Misty Whiteside….Mayor’s daughter and Home coming queen.”
She said with a slight air. Bianca coughed and then took out a large packet of Doritos and popped them open with a bang.“Bianca R. My dad is in Haven Hospital…he’s an actor. I was adopted after he slept with one of the extras from the Bahamas.” She took a bite of a corn chip, then offered the packet to Carmen with a shake. Jarvis smiled brightly and offered his hand to Carmen “I’m Jarvis…you know…Jarvis McQueen. That’s all you need to know.” The three then waited to be allowed entry. We are friends of Shane’s.” Jarvis added, and the two girls both nodded enthusiastically.
“Yo Shane…can we come in or what?!” he yelled out. This was heard out the back, and Shane turned around suddenly, then realized what was taking everyone so long.
“Friends of yours?” she asked, eyeing him carefully. He looked pissed and she didn’t know why. Turning back to them, she stepped aside. “You may as well come in. Shane was throwing some steaks on the grill.”
She waited until everyone was inside before closing the door. Ignoring the newcomers for the moment, she turned to Dyna and Booker and hugged them. “It’s so good to see you. I’m sorry if this was a bad time.” Dyna greeted.
“Yeah, Carm, we can come back another time if you’d like.” Booker suggested, looking between her and Shane. Carmen turned to look at Shane.
“Your call. Or I can take Dyna and Booker out and you can have your chat with your companions.” she suggested. She got the sense that something huge was happening but didn’t want to pry.
If she followed him he would escort her into the den, and then close the door, so no one could hear them. Leaning against his desk, he ran his fingers through his hair.
“Those three…are my sires. Sorry for not telling you earlier. But…we have a bigger problem. Remember David?” Shane looked at her, then pushed himself off the desk and strolled towards her. “Has he ever said to you, “you know the drill?” Well, if you do, he is out to get…me…you. He knows about us. Figured it out.”
Shane’s hands reached to cup her face, an intensity in his eyes she would have never seen before.
“I’ll fucking die again…then lose you. I swear it.”
“I just need a word with Carmen.” He looked at her and his eyes were begging her to understand. He seemed worried.
“Carmen?” Dyna asked, also looking a bit concerned. She kept her eyes on Shane as she spoke to her friend.
“Go ahead, Dee. I’ll be there in a few minutes.” she stated. Dyna nodded and took Booker into the kitchen, worry for her friend etched all over her face.
She followed Shane into the den and waited as he closed the door. He leaned against the desk, running his fingers through his hair. She stood near the door…but it may as well have been miles that seperated the two of them at that moment. She was concerned for their future.
“So…you want to explain what that was about?” she asked in a quiet voice. He seemed to sigh and sank further against the desk.
“Those three…are my sires. Sorry for not telling you earlier. But…we have a bigger problem. Remember David?” She nodded her head. He stood up and moved toward her. “Has he ever said to you, “you know the drill?” Well, if you do, he is out to get…me…you. He knows about us. Figured it out.”
“And this concerns him, why? I kind of gathered from the fight at the cabin that he was working for you in some way. And I admit, myself using him to investigate you was not my brightest idea, but I was a desperate woman. Why does he want to hurt you? Hurt us? Why does he care?” she wondered. The whole thing was confusing to her. What the hell was David’s gameplan?
Shane’s hands on her face brought her attention back to him and there was an intensity in his eyes she’d never seen before. It made her breath catch in her throat. She placed her hands over his, worry in her eyes.
“Shane? What is it? What’s wrong?”
“I’ll fucking die again…then lose you. I swear it.” he whispered. Her heart, as dead as it was, lurched in her chest. She’d never seen him act this way, not even with Louisa and she had to admit to herself that it frightened her.
“You won’t lose me, love. This I so swear.” she whispered, leaning forward to press her lips against his.