Friends and foes. Lovers and enemies. Sometimes they are the same. Sometimes they should be the same but those involved are too stubborn. Our #1lineWed THEME for the day is *ENEMY*. I found this snippet in the current WIP. And I’m glad because I’d marked the chapter this is snipped from as needing final edits. Yeah, nope. It was written before certain twists appeared in the story so now I’ll be working on some revisions. S’all good. And I gotta say, as big a pain as this book has been? There’s a lot I love. Also, a note on the soundtrack. The song for this chapter? Daughtry’s “What About Now.” Ya might wanna listen while you read. 😉
Memory was an odd thing, especially when filtered through centuries rather than decades. Humans marked their existence by remembering the huge, life-altering events. Colleagues of his at the University of Chicago could relate in great detail where they were on that November day when John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Or on April 19, 1995—the Oklahoma City bombing. And 9-11. The whole world remembered that date. He remembered Pearl Harbor. Hiroshima. The Hindenburg. Titanic. He wondered how the true immortals kept track of all those history-shaping events.
He took another sip, swirled the smooth whiskey around his mouth, settled a bit deeper into the chair. Dawn was still a few hours away but Chicago could almost rival New York with its skyscrapers and the lights. Almost.
A song drifted up from the street below. He closed his eyes. Sade strutted from the shadows, all long legs eating up the space to the cell where the cops held him. Yes, she had the look, the one Roxette was singing about. Sinjen pushed out of the chair. He didn’t want to remember.
Twenty minutes later, he occupied a table in the corner of a noisy bar. His waitress passed him her phone number as she served his drink. The slip of paper sat on the table top drinking up the ring of moisture left by a previous occupant’s drink. Women checked him out with hungry eyes. Men reacted to his presence in two ways—some wanted to be him. Others wanted to prove their manhood by taking him down. He sipped whiskey, watched, winced as music, voices, and sports on the various TV screens all clashed.
He didn’t want to be here but anyplace was better than his apartment. Too many memories there. Too many memories of her. Sade Marquis. The bane of his existence. The reason he opened his eyes every night. His phone buzzed in his pocket. Withdrawing it, he glanced at the screen . SADE CALLING. He thumbed the IGNORE button and laid the phone on the table.
Another song started to play. Another memory he didn’t want to remember. Another reminders of what he wanted to forget. His phone beeped. Voice mail. He wanted to ignore it, wanted to delete it without listening.
Holding the phone to his ear, he listened to the recording. Her voice sounded husky, like they’d just made love. “What about now?” she said. “Is it too late?”
The walls closed in. Time to go. He left cash—and the soggy napkin—on the table. Warm darkness folded around him as he walked back to his apartment building. Chuck, the night doorman, snapped to attention as he held the door. The normally garrulous man looked like he was about to swallow his tongue. Sinjen didn’t give him an opening, not that it would stop the human under normal circumstances.
Chuck didn’t follow him to the elevators, instead halting at the concierge desk. The leggy blonde manning the desk arched a brow at the doorman but her attention remained focused on Sinjen. The corners of her full mouth pulled up into a knowing smile but nothing about her drew more than a passing glance. He was only interested in one woman.
Even riding in the elevator brought back memories. He focused on the security camera hidden behind a fancy scroll-work panel. Sade had spotted it immediately. Until that ride up to his apartment, he’d never even considered the presence of security cameras. He was aware now. Always. No matter where he was. Because of her.
One of his neighbors was waiting for the elevator as the doors opened. He nodded to the woman, ignoring her interested gaze. He would need to feed sooner than later, but he’d find someone else, someone with no complications. He slipped into his apartment, ignoring the flashing light on his answering machine.
Still restless, Sinjen refilled the Irish crystal glass with Jameson and resumed his position out on his balcony. Feet up on the railing, lounging in the cushioned chair, he looked like a man who controlled his world, a man in charge, a man who could relax in the knowledge of that control. Anyone who knew him—few, indeed—would recognize that he was about to snap.
There were few moments in his long exile from life since Mathias first turned him that Sinjen hadn’t wished for a heart and the emotions that lodged there. As he stared at the cell phone, Sade’s pleas echoing in his memory, he was glad that feelings no longer chained him. Did that make him a coward? Likely. Did he care? Not one whit. He’d wanted her the moment she strutted into his life. He’d been patient, had hunted, had seduced, had claimed. And he’d wanted to keep her. Until he couldn’t.
Sade was human. She would age. Die.
He was vampire. He would not change, except to grow colder, more distant. Until an enemy managed to stake him or he walked into the sun to end his existence, he would not die. They’d argued over something of no consequence, or so he’d thought. Sade didn’t think when her blood was up. And even as a Templar, he hadn’t been a saint.
Oh, the things that are about to happen! And there are enemies lurking. Writers, any enemy words to share? Readers, do you enjoy a friends-to-enemies story? Or do you prefer your enemies to all be the bad guys?