The 13th Witch
by Beyond Blonde
As Kassie looked out from the watchtower of the castle Drake said, "The heads you see impaled upon those stakes are quite real. And serve a very useful purpose. The tourists think they are fake of course. But the reality behind that little illusion is that those are the heads of some of my enemies. Now, with their mouths sewed firmly shut, and their eyelids removed, they sit upon those stakes and help guard this castle. Everything they see, I see. Everything they hear, I hear."
Kassie gazed upon the impaled heads and said, "I suppose replacing them with surveillance cameras is out of the question? " She gazed more closely at one of the heads and realized it was the head of the vampyre who had hours earlier had sank his fangs into her throat then said, "And you put his head here!"
"Absolutely out of the question my dear. They are far more reliable than surveillance cameras. Though a bit gruesome, they are the most effective means of surveillance there is. And you damned straight I put his head here."
Kassie sighed softly and replied, "I was afraid of that."
As Drake watched Kassie ponder his words he said, "Would you like a hit of the eternal doobie my dear."
Kassie gazed out at the heads impaled on the stakes and replied, "Yeah, I think I would." Drake grinned, snapped his fingers then stuck the eternal doobie that had appeared in them between Kassie's lips. She took a long hit of the doobie. After a moment she exhaled then said, "Well I guess I will have to live with those."
As Kassie inhaled again Drake grinned and replied, "Good girl. I knew you would be reasonable about this. I have several home bases. This castle is the most secure of those. I created, and have carefully cultivated the lore and legend surrounding this castle over many centuries, and am fully utilizing that carefully cultivated lore and legend, along with the tourists who come here now."
Kassie exhaled then said, "You are the legend and lore."
Drake merely smiled and replied, "No, I am the reality behind that legend and lore."
Kassie nodded and replied, "Hide in plain sight."
Drake chuckled darkly and replied, "In a manner of speaking when it comes to the prey. However, I do not hide from my bloodthirsty children. Many know of this castle. The heads on those stakes gives mute testimony though as to what will happen to those who come uninvited to my castle." He paused for a moment then said quietly, "Kassie, I do not like wanton wasteful violence or unnecessary cruelty. But I do have enemies my dear. The majority of which are my own bloodthirsty children. As long as they leave me alone and obey the law though, I leave them alone."
Kassie exhaled and said, "What is the law?"
"Thou shalt not do anything to endanger the species."
Kassie grinned wryly and said, "So sayeth the King."
Drake grinned as he shook his head then replied, "No dear, so sayeth their Dark God."
Kassie laughed and replied, "Excuse me. So sayeth their Dark God."
As Drake listened to the sound of her laughter he smiled and fell even more deeply in love with Kassie. She brought a sense of joy and fun into his life that nothing else ever had. It was that sense of joy and fun that had attracted him to her as he had read her work. As he had done his homework on her and learned more about the woman behind the words he had found himself falling in love with that woman. The depth of his feeling for what he then thought was a mere mortal woman that he had never even touched had amazed him. It was in fact that depth of feeling that caused him delay going to her until he could no longer stand not to. He had delayed that night as long as he could by doing his homework on her from afar, hoping he would discover some fatal flaw that would change his feelings for her. But he had discovered no fatal flaw. Instead he had found a woman that fascinated him as no other ever had. She filled his waking thoughts and haunted his dreams. Still thinking her a mere mortal he had finally gone to her. Telling himself that he was just going to add her to his list of gourmet meals. Knowing deep within his coal black heart the whole time he was lying to himself. But Kassie had turned out to be the salvation he had long thought lost to him for all eternity. And he had instantly understood why that destiny had eluded him for so long. He had not gone to Kassie because she was his salvation. Love had pulled him to her. Now he understood it was that love that was both their salvation.
Drake shook his head and with a wry grin, "But for all my power and intelligence, I'm dumb ass Dark God at times my love. I've searched for you for so very long. Damn near turned the world upside down a time or two in my hunt for you. Never knowing until now that as long as I was searching for you for the reason I was, I would never find you."
Kassie simply smiled softly and said, "Of course you could not find me then. You found that High Priestess and seduced her so long ago not because you loved her, but because you wanted the gift of immortality. Then you began to search for her again not because you truly loved her, but because you were seeking salvation and escape from the curse laid upon you for trying to destroy her."
Drake nodded and said with a wry grin, "Oh what a tangled web we weave, especially when it is ourselves, we are trying to deceive."
Kassie nodded her head and replied, "Those are the most tangled webs of all."
Drake smiled at her then said, "They once called your kind The Wise Ones, for a very good reason my beloved witch." Then he bent his head down and kissed her until she was breathless. As he wrapped his arms more tightly around her and held her close to him he gave another wry grin as he thought about how devious The Powers That Be had been in solving what had seemed like the perpetual paradox. They had tormented him for centuries dangling salvation in front of him, but always keeping it just out of his reach. Then, when he had given up all hope and decided they had taken it from him entirely, it had come to him in the guise of writer whose words would completely enchant him. Suddenly his wry grin turned into a smile of wicked delight. He bent his head, kissed the top of Kassie's head and said, "Hold tightly to me my beloved, I want to show you something else."
As Kassie clung to him they vanished from the watchtower. They reappeared in the library. Drake kissed the top of her head again, then as he loosened his hold and stepped back said, "You'll like this room my beloved word witch."
Drake stepped back, then to the side so she could see the room. They were standing in the center of room with seemingly endless rows of books. Near them was a black leather couch, and a coffee table with a sleek 17" silver PowerBook sitting on it. Drake took her hand and begin to lead her towards the couch, telling her as he did, "This is our private library off limits to all tourists. You will find the library very useful for doing research my beloved word witch. I have stocked it with everything I could think of that would be useful to you. And of course there is a section devoted entirely to your work." Kassie was momentarily rendered speechless by both the size of his library, and his words. His private library was much larger than some town libraries. Drake sat on the couch and pulled Kassie down onto his lap. When he had her comfortably arranged on his lap he said, "I converted several of the rooms next my bedroom into a private library long ago so I could read and work undisturbed. I think you will also find it a useful place to do both my love."
Kassie grinned back up at him and replied, "Oh I have no doubt I'll find it a very useful place to do both." She turned her head, pointed to the PowerBook and said, "Yours?"
Drake grinned and replied, "No. It is yours. It's a G4 my beloved. With an 80 Gig SuperDrive, and over 2 Gigs of Ram installed. The battery on this baby never needs recharging. The computer always runs totally cool, and the AirPort gets you instantly on the net when you boot up from anywhere in the world at speeds that will blow your little blonde mind." Drake paused, and his grin widened as he snapped his fingers. The PowerBook vanished from coffee table and reappeared in his hand. He handed it to Kassie and said, "Here, boot it up, type in your password, and take your new baby for a test drive."
Kassie laughed as she took the PowerBook and replied, "This kind of shameless bribery will get you nowhere."
Drake smiled and said, "I know. That's one of the many things I love about you."
Kassie sat the sleek silver PowerBook on her lap, raised the lid and pressed the power button. Then blinked in surprise when after a blazing fast boot up she was confronted with her familiar desktop."
Drake chuckled and said, "Welcome to your new PowerBook Kassie. Yes, everything, and I do mean everything that was on your other computers is on this one. I'm sorry about your other computers, but for security reasons they ceased to exist the moment you pressed the power button on this one. I know that is an unwelcome shock to you, but please believe me my love, it is for your safety that it was done. And you will love this new PowerBook. On my blood oath I promise you that. In fact, why you haven't already bought yourself a decent PowerBook puzzles me."
Kassie was quickly opening files to make sure everything from her other computer really was on this one and as her fingers flew across the keys said, "Because my other computer did what I needed it to."
Drake laughed and said, "Well so will this one, and whole lot more."
After establishing everything she needed really was on the PowerBook she looked at the dock, pointed to the fanged death's head icon with the cursor and said, "What's that?"
Drake grinned evilly and said, "Your security system. It is the same program I designed and use on my computers."
Kassie moved the cursor away from the fanged death's head icon and said, "I don't want to know." She wanted to hit him over the head with the new PowerBook for toasting her other computers, but she was quickly falling in love with this sleek beautiful machine.
Drake's grin widened and he said, "By the way, you should send Joseph an e-mail. You know, let him know you are okay. Tell him I said hello, and have fun tracing the e-mail."
Kassie looked up at his evil grinning face and said, "Only if you promise me doing so won't fry his computer, or harm him."
Drake's evil grinned widened and he said, "On my blood oath I swear it my love."
Kassie looked at him for a moment, then typed out a short e-mail to Joseph. As she clicked the send button she said, "You better keep your promise."
Drake chuckled and said, "I will my dear. Nothing will happen to his computer, or him."
Kassie looked at him and said, "And where does my e-mail trace back to?"
Drake grinned evilly and said, "This one will eventually trace back to his own computer."
Kassie looked down at the sleek silver PowerBook that seemed to mold itself to her lap and fingers, studied the fanged death's head icon for a moment, then looked up at Drake and said, "The hackers must love you."
Drake laughed and said, "Admit it my darling, you are already in love with that computer. I knew you would be the moment you used it. It is a dream machine my dear, worthy of the one who holds it in her lap. It has all the programs you enjoy using on it, as well as a host of other applications. Including the latest version of your favorite graphic program. If you click that library icon in the dock, you can type in the subject or name of a book and if we have it, the program will tell you exactly where the book or books are in this library. "
Suddenly Kassie grinned and said, "Yes you bastard, I love it."
Drake laughed as he settled her more comfortably in his lap and watched her fingers dance across the keyboard as she explored her new computer. The modified PowerBook in her lap that was replacing those obsolete machines she had been working on would be much handier for her to use, and help to keep her safe. It was computer nerd's wet dream. And a hacker's nightmare. The on button scanned the fingerprint of the person pressing it as it was pushed down. The computer would only boot up completely if the fingerprint matched that of Kassie or himself. The mail alert went off, and Drake grinned as she checked her e-mail. Then chuckled as he read Joseph's reply and said, "Tell him for a phenomenal fee I will install a slightly modified version of that program on his computer.
Kassie whipped out the reply then went back to playing with her graphics program. She laughed as her fingers flew and said, "It has so many more bells and whistles than my version, it will take forever to learn them all."
Drake grinned and said, "Nonsense you'll have them figured out in no time. And speaking of time, your lunch will soon be ready."
Kassie played with the new graphics program again for a few moments, then closed it out and shut the computer down. She leaned over and sat the Powerbook on the coffee table, then snuggled back into Drake's lap and smiled up at him as she said, "It is absolutely fantastic." She reached up, gently stroked his face and said, "Thank you."
Drake smiled at her, took her hand in his and after kissing the palm said, "You are more than welcome my love." He rose from the couch, gently set her on her feet, then smiled and said, "We'll walk through the library and I'll show you the entrance into our bedroom. Your lunch should be arriving there very soon." He smiled when she leaned down and grabbed the PowerBook before she took his hand. Drake led them through the seemingly endless rows of books, pointing out certain books he knew she would find interesting along the way. He was very pleased with the way Kassie had accepted the forced replacement of her old computer. Of course, even without the modifications any Mac owner would love the new PowerBook he had given her. However she was handling having him hack and toast her other computers with amazing grace. He had actually intended to give her the PowerBook on their third date. But in between having her reveal she had a part time gig moonlighting as a supernatural crime fighter, that her next assignment was to hunt down one of his bloodthirsty children with some extremely unsavory feeding habits, then completing that assignment, it had slipped his mind. At the end of the library he stopped before the paneled wall then placed his hand on the center panel and slid it aside.
They stepped through the opening and Kassie heard a soft whisper as it closed behind them. Drake's bedroom was actually a suite. The bedroom contained a fireplace with a comfortable couch in front of it, a king sized black lacquer four poster bed with a heavy red draped canopy, matching end tables and dresser, a huge walk in closet, a flat big screen televison mounted on the wall opposite the end of their bed, a state of the art stereo system incased in an antique cabinet. There was also a bathroom that contained among other things, a sunken tub complete with a whirlpool. There was a dining area with a round table, four chairs and a small refrigerator, There was also a den with a desk and couch in it. The sleeping area also had access to a balcony that overlooked the western part of the estate. The dining area had a balcony that overlooked the east side of the estate. Kassie heard a soft knock, and Drake motioned her towards the dining area as he went to the door. She sat the PowerBook on the dresser as she went by it then went into the dining area and sat down at the table. Drake strode in moments later carrying a huge silver tray. As he sat it in front of her he pulled the cover off the tray and said, "A feast fit for my Queen."
Kassie had to agree the meal that sat before was that. On the tray was half a Cornish game hen marinated in Italian dressing then sprinkled with garlic salt and lemon pepper, cornbread stuffing, creamed peas with pearl onions, twice baked potato, freshly baked bread rolls and iced tea. As Kassie began to eat Drake leaned back in his chair and snapped his fingers once. A PowerBook similar to hers appeared in his lap. His was encased in black metal, and in the center of the apple was a pair of fangs. While Kassie consumed her feast he took care of a little business and sent Joseph an e-mail that included an address he could reply to Drake at.
Kassie was just finishing her meal when he closed the computer sitting on his lap and snapped his fingers again. The computer vanished and Drake grinned at her and said, "Are you ready to see a little more of our castle my Queen?"
Kassie grinned and replied, "But of course my King."
Drake laughed and said, "Then let's visit the stables next my love. I want to show you Wind Dancer's new home. I would like us to move him and Precious here as quickly as possible to ensure their safety. I could make arrangements for a private jet with facilities for Wind Dancer, and we could go pick them up tomorrow." Drake knew how much that horse and pet timberwolf meant to her, and would feel much better when they were here. He was very pleased when Kassie agreed to move them here tomorrow. Drake snapped his fingers, pressed a button on the cell phone that appeared in his hand and said, "Ingrid, please make arrangements for having Wind Dancer and Precious flown here tomorrow." He paused for a moment, said, "Thank you Ingrid." He pressed another button, tossed the phone in the air and snapped his fingers. As the phone vanished into thin air he rose from his chair and said to Kassie, "We can go pick them up tomorrow afternoon." He smiled, walked around and took her hand then said as he led her towards the bedroom door, "Now let me give you a tour of the stables. There is a hidden tunnel to them from this room, but we will take the normal route to them today and I'll show you around the tunnels later."
He opened the door and they walked out into a long hallway. At the end of the hall was a winding flight of stairs that led up to the floor they were on. Kassie did notice some surveillance cameras along the hallway and the stairs. As they descended the stairs she said, "Well I'm glad you have regular cameras and not heads keeping an eye on things inside."
Drake chuckled and said, "Well the cameras do a fairly good job in here. Though I do not rely completely on them."
As they came to the end of the stairs Kassie noticed a chain across them, and a large black man sitting in a chair at the bottom of the stairs. He rose from his chair, reached over and unhooked the chain as he heard Drake's reply and smiled at them both. He nodded once at Drake and said, "Good to see you Sir."
Drake smiled at the large black man who Kassie couldn't help but think reminded her quite a bit of the big black man that greeted people in the MIA movies at their headquarters and said, "It's good be home Bob." As they reached the end of the stairs Drake paused before Bob and said, "I would like you to meet your new Mistress." He turned his head towards Kassie for a moment then nodded towards Bob. "Kassie this Bob. He helps keep the tourists down here where they belong."
Kassie smiled at Bob and said, "It's a pleasure to meet you."
Bob smiled back at her and replied, "The pleasure is mine Mistress Kassie."
As Bob put the chain back across the bottom of the stairs they strolled into the foyer hand in hand. Drake made a left turn and said, "The quickest and easiest route to the stables from here is through the kitchen."
Drake opened a large wooden door and Kassie saw a huge kitchen bustling with activity. She noticed the appliances were all state of the art. A chef was standing over the stove stirring a large pot. Kassie let go of Drake's hand and walked over to the chef, smiled at him and said, "I would like to thank you for a most delicious lunch. Everything was sheer perfection."
The chef beamed at Kassie and replied, "You are most welcome Mistress Kassie. I am very glad you enjoyed it. I would like to thank you for the hours of enjoyment you have given me. I have become a big fan of yours since the Master introduced me to your work." Kassie blushed and smiled back at the chef as Drake took her hand and led her through the kitchen. As they made their way to the rear door of the kitchen the chef watched them with a beaming smile. It had gladdened his heart to see the way the Master had looked at Mistress Kassie.
They exited the kitchen and headed towards the stables. Drake was smiling and happily talking to Kassie as they walked along the path leading to the stable. Inside the castle the servants were already chattering about Kassie and the Master. Many of them like Bob and the chef had worked for Drake for a long time, and were especially pleased to see him looking so happy. Some knew more than others about the Master, and therefore knew Kassie's safety was utmost on his mind at the moment. Some were here now for the specific purpose of keeping her safe. But every long term servant there who truly knew the Master, was now fiercely protective of Kassie. They would become even more protective of her over the next few weeks as they met and were charmed by her. Some could already feel the change she had brought to the castle in the few short hours she had been there. It was as if the deep dark pall of unhappiness that had always seemed to cling to the castle walls was already receding slightly. Bob and the chef, as well as a few others had seen the Master's face, and had been pleasantly shocked to see happiness in it.
As the castle continued to buzz with the news of its new Mistress, Drake and Kassie approached the stables. Kassie was delighted to see several other horses in some of the stalls. She turned to Drake with one of those smiles of hers that melted his stone cold heart and said, "He will be around other horses!"
Drake smiled down at her and replied, "Yes my love. We keep a few horses here. Most of them belong to some of the servants who like to ride. The servants pay a small reasonable fee boarding fee each month, and the horses are cared for as if they were my own."
As Kassie gazed up at Drake she suddenly saw a vision of him returning one night and hearing the muffled sobs of a child. Saw him standing over the child's bed. Then sitting on it with a sobbing child in his arms crying, "My pony going bye bye. Momma cannot pay. Cannot pay. Pony go bye bye. Why Mr.? Why is my pony going bye bye?"
Despite the many burdens he bore, the child rarely ever cried. Drake had admired his stoic quiet acceptance of his lot in life. Curiosity as to what had made him cry had brought him to his room that night. When he discovered the reason for the flood of heartbroken tears his initial reaction had been anger. His anger was not directed at the child, but at the petty greed which had caused the flood of tears. That this child who so gracefully accepted his burdens should lose the pony that brought him so much happiness because of such petty greed angered Drake beyond all reason for a moment. Then she saw Drake stroking the child's head and saying, "No. You are mistaken little one. I promise you on my blood oath, your pony isn't going bye bye. Your pony is coming here tomorrow to live in my stables so he can be closer to you."
The child had looked at him with wonder and said, "Pony come here?"
Drake had dried the tears still in the eyes and on the face of the child with the handkerchief that had appeared in his hand and said, "Yes little one. Tomorrow your pony is coming here." A cold hard look came over Drake's face and he had said, "I am personally going to go pick your pony up." Then his face softened and he said, "Then I will bring your pony here to you. But you must stop crying now little one, and go to sleep so tomorrow can come." Drake had laid the boy back in bed and gently tucked the covers around him.
The vision vanished, and Kassie found herself once more gazing into the cobalt blue eyes of the vampyre who had comforted and mended a child's heart and world.
Drake had not sent Kassie that vision, and was in fact embarrassed when the look on her face had made him peek into her mind and see it with her. He looked rather sheepish as he said, "The child you saw is handicapped. He owns a horse that had been trained for him to ride. Even though I pay my servants a more than excellent wage the mother of the boy was having trouble paying the ridiculously high boarding stable fees they were charging her. She is a live-in servant. The pony brings the child great happiness." Drake shrugged his shoulders and said, "I saw no reason why the pony should not live here with the child. One of the other servants has a son who did a few odd jobs around here for a little extra spending money. He offered to help care for the pony. Jimmy is now in charge of the stables. When I discovered other servants had horses and were having trouble paying the expensive boarding stable fees around here even on the more than excellent wage I pay them, I decided their horses should live here as well." Drake shook his handsome head and said angrily, "Only the rich can afford the damn outlandish fees these boarding stables around here charge. They do not want to do business with "common" people like my hard working servants." Drake paused then said more quietly, "Look Kassie, I may be worse than my old friend Beezie himself, but I am not petty. There was simply no sane reason why that child should lose his pony, and my other servants struggle to pay outlandish boarding fees when I had a fucking stable full of empty stalls. It was a simple act of logic."
Kassie simply smiled that smile of hers as she reached up and stroked the side of his face and said, "Of course dear. A simple act of logic. Now show me the pony and the other horses."
Drake grinned back at her and replied, "Well six of them are new arrivals that belong to some of your Royal Guard who will be accompanying you when you go riding. Those six will stay far enough away from you not to interfere with your ride, but close enough to protect you. Young Jimmy is busy rounding up extra help to care for their horses."
Kassie was to find out as time went on that Drake had committed many simple little acts of logic. He had never really given any of them a second thought after he had done them. There were never any strings attached to them. They were such small things to him. So easy to do. He did not realize the fierce loyalty some of those simple little acts of logic had instilled in those he had performed them for. Drake knew he had the best protection magick, money and fear could provide for Kassie. What he did not realize was no amount of magick, money or fear could have provided him with the loyalty his simple little acts of logic had. Woven into the shield that was around Kassie was a network of humans and other creatures that would protect her with a fierceness that would surprise Drake. A network of humans and other creatures who because Drake had once performed some little act of logic without hesitation for them, would lay down their lives for Kassie without hesitation. The meekest among them would become a raging beast to protect her. Many of the humans woven into the shield protecting Kassie knew or suspected Drake was a vampyre, and that other vampyres were what posed the most danger to Mistress Kassie. They were using vampyre lore and legend in some ingenious ways to tighten the net of security around Kassie.
Kassie could feel the shield growing stronger with every passing moment as they strolled through the stables. She felt it in face of young Jimmy when he had come in to tell Drake extra help had been found and hired. She felt it when they had returned to the castle. She saw it now in the face of the chef as they went back through the kitchen. In a young boy washing dishes and in the face of Bob as he rose from his chair with a smile and unlatched the chain at the bottom of the stairs. She felt it again when Drake's laughter echoed up and down the winding staircase after she leaned over and whispered in Drake's ear that Bob reminded her of that guy in the MIB movies. As Bob heard the Master's laughter he smiled and felt the dark pall recede just a tiny bit more.
They continued strolling up the stairs hand in hand chatting about going and picking up Wind Dancer and Precious tomorrow afternoon. As soon as the door to their bedroom closed behind them Drake pulled her into his arms and kissed her until she was breathless. Kassie rested her head on his chest to regain her breath and snuggled against him. He wrapped his arms more tightly around her and held her close to him. For a moment, shadows of tenderness softened the harsh planes of the vampyre's pale handsome face as he held Kassie close to him. Those that knew him well, knew that the creature who held Kassie so gently in his cold hard embrace was the oldest and most powerful creature walking planet earth right then. He was also the most dangerous. He showed not the slightest drop of mercy to his enemies, and not even heaven could help the prisoners he took. Even his old pal Beezie was sometimes awed by how cold blooded he could be. Yet for all that, he was also capable of performing random acts of kindness he called simple little acts of logic. But the truth was there was no real streak of human kindness in Drake. Though the rest of his species still did retain varying degrees of humanity, there was no longer anything truly human left in him. Over the last few thousand centuries he had become an aloof omnipotent best left to his own devices.
Kassie understood very well that what was holding her was not human. Understood on a more profound level than anyone else exactly what the creature who was holding her so tenderly truly was. He had haunted her dreams in this lifetime, and many others. Through her dreams she had watched it grow and evolve into what it now was. She had seen him in all its countless forms. Knew him in some ways better than he knew himself. And loved him with a passion that had once been her downfall. She still loved this creature who held her so tenderly, but she must not let that love be her downfall again. She had betrayed and gone against the laws of Magick for it once before when it had been a mere mortal and she a High Priestess. Her punishment for that had been long and brutal. She had done her penance though. Learned and grown from her long ago mistake. She would not make the same mistake twice. She could not help but love the creature holding her. That was part of the curse levied upon her long long ago. But she would not betray the Magick for him again.
Drake understood what was going on in Kassie's mind while he held her without reading it. Just as he had come to understand the Magick that was in Kassie's soul, and deeply buried in the souls of others like her depended on her staying true to that Magick. She had betrayed and gone against the laws of Magick once before for him, and paid dearly for it. He would not ask, nor allow her to do that again. When he had first discovered Kassie was a true witch he had thought her the only one left. Something sent especially for him to fulfill a long ago prophecy. Kassie was not his private little gift though. She held the key that would unlock the Magick in the hearts and souls of others like her.
The onslaught of one God religions like Christianity had pushed aside The Ancient Ones and their Magick for many centuries now. He had come to believe that the last few true witches left on planet earth had gone up in smoke during The Burning Times. But in a final act of irony some of the New Age folk had begun to worship and bring life to The Ancient Ones again. He had mistaken Kassie for one of the New Age witches that were popping up across the world like magick mushrooms. He had fed from a few of those New Age witches, and though he found them very palatable, they left him with a terrible hunger and longing for the real thing. They were a bittersweet taste of something he had thought was now forever lost to him. He had stopped feeding on them because they did create such a longing in him for the real thing. At first he had delayed actually going to Kassie partly because he knew more than any other she would awaken that longing in him again.
He had finally gone to her because he could no longer stay away. That a mere piece of prey had enchanted him so was something he had not liked admitting to himself. He had had other mortal women of course. Had even been aroused by some of them while they were still mortal. But never had a mortal woman aroused him the way Ms Kassandra B. Badbh had. And she had done it without ever laying a hand on him. He had hated himself at times for wanting her so badly. Soundly kicked himself as he e-mailed her requesting an autographed photo. Berated himself for acting like a love struck mortal fool as he framed and placed the photo next to other ones he had found on her web page and printed out.
Suddenly he felt Kassie go completely still in his arms and he instinctively knew she was having another vision. He was surprised to see as he peeked into her mind that even though she had been no where near his, she was seeing a vision of the dresser by the bed as it had been moments before they had entered the castle together for the first time. As the vision vanished and Kassie relaxed in his arms Drake grinned down at her sheepishly and said, "I made them vanish just before we entered the bedroom. I didn't want you to think I was a stalker or something."
Kassie gazed up at him first in surprise, then burst into laughter and said, "Oh heaven forbid that I might think you were a big bad stalker!" Drake laughed with her as he pulled her to him again then kissed her soundly. As Kassie tried to catch her breath he swept her up into his arms and strode towards the bed with her.
For the next few hours they would lose themselves in each other and experience pleasure and emotions they had never experienced with anyone else. And the ties of blood and love that bound them together would be stronger than ever.