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Chapter One Will you please tell me why are we eating here? I asked, studying the menu.

My best friend Kimmy had chosen an elegant restaurant in downtown New Orleans for our girls night out. The linens covering the table appeared finer than the sheets on my bed. I looked over at the multiple utensils resting next to the dinner plate and suddenly became nervous. Growing up I was never given more than one fork to eat with. Just go with it, she replied, noticing my uneasiness. She glanced toward the front door and nibbled at her bottom lip. Who else is coming? I eyed her suspiciously. We discussed the evening on the drive over, and at no time did she mention that another person would be joining us. She smiled at me. Her bright blue eyes sparkled, seeming so unfamiliar. She wore an elegant black dress that fit her curves just right. Her brown curls were pulled back into a twist on the back of her head. Kimmy wasnt one to get dolled up just for me, she had to have ulterior motives. Although being all secret and mysterious is considered sexy nowadays, you really shouldnt keep things from your best friend, out with it, I placed the menu down and crossed my arms across my chest. She sighed and gulped, Okay, but promise you will keep an open mind? I opened my mouth to say something but decided against it. I simply nodded and rolled my eyes at the theatrics. I still was waiting for an explanation for the restaurant choice. Kimmy was a vampire so her diet didnt include eating food. Okay, so Ive been seeing this guy for a month now and I wanted you to meet him, she answered, fiddling with the napkin in her lap. Thats great, Im glad that you met someone. You didnt have to take me out to tell me, I was still confused. I was missing a piece to the puzzle. Yeah well I figured you cant get overwhelmed, her eyes caught mine, in public. Overwhelmed. As in I couldnt get too angry or else I would blow up and kill innocent people. Look I know that my situation is complicated but I would never get mad at your happiness. I love you. Well thats a relief, she seemed to settle down and relax. I chuckled softly, you thought I would be mad because you have a new boyfriend? Well, she smiled brightly showing her true beauty, hes different. I dont know Emily I think he could be the one.

My mouth dropped. Kimmy was never the kind of girl that would stop her life for one man. I dont think I had ever known her to be a one man show. When we met she was dating two guys and the humanities professor. Now she was talking about this mystery guy being the one? I smiled and placed my hand over hers, Im so happy for you. Her smile slowly faded as she pulled her hand back. Hes here. Her fair skin paled even more than normal. I gave her a sideways glance. Have you decided what you would like to have this evening? The waiter showed up in the nick of time. Kimmy spouted off something with chicken in it. I couldnt keep up with what she had ordered. I felt as if this girl was a stranger to me. And for you maam? he asked, his Louisiana accent thicker than most. Um, Im just going to have this, I said and pointed to the first thing I figured I could eat. Very nice choice maam, his voice drowned out as he began to walk away. So where is this guy? I asked as I looked over the giant dining room. For Kimmy to date a man he had to possess two required attributes. Hot and sexy. Of course this was easy for her, she was absolutely gorgeous. Men flocked to her like ants on a candy cane. Just please dont blow up, ok? Kimmy asked, her voice wavering. Kimmy, why would I- My sentence was cut short when I saw the familiar face across the room. Oh dear lord, please dont tell me this. I scanned the room for a nearby exit. She had chosen the restaurant wisely. Windows covered the walls all around. There possibly was an exit through the kitchen but the door was blocked by a group of chatting waiters. I felt like a caged animal. Fear took over as I glanced around the restaurant. A family of four sat next to our table laughing with each other. A couple that looked like they were on their first date, a set of older women, and various others were scattered around the room. None of which could sense the approaching danger. You promised, dont you dare run. Kimmy stated softly, her voice cracked. We didnt shake on it, I forced out through clenched teeth. The room was spinning, I didnt know if I could make it out before he had time to walk over. With every step he took the less air my lungs would take in. Is it getting stuffy in here to you? I stammered, patting my sweaty brow with a napkin. Please stop Emily. Kimmy begged. Her eyebrows tightened together in obvious disapproval.

How could you do this to me? I snapped. I was going to throw up if I didnt move quickly. She didnt have time to answer. The man stood behind the chair next to my best friend. Confidence radiated from him making me even more uncomfortable. Emily, I am so pleased that you could find time in your busy schedule to meet. His snobbish English accent sent a fire through me. Andrew Stanfield I forced out as I sent a look of death direct to Kimmy. It was difficult to speak as rage pulsed through my veins. He smiled and took his seat. He snapped his napkin obnoxiously loud and allowed it to float down landing across his lap. The waiter came over and filled his glass with red wine without saying a word. I had to constantly remind myself to breathe. I looked through my purse desperately until I remembered that Kimmy had asked me to leave my cell phone in her car. Now I knew why. I was stuck unless I hitched a ride home. How is your move coming along? Andrew asked in disinterest as he messed with his dark hair. He couldve just as easily asked, hows the weather? I couldnt find the words to answer him. A noise had caught my attention as well as a few customers nearby. I had multiple eyes on me. Kimmy mouthed the words stop. The glassware, forks, spoons, plates they were all shaking. If we had been anywhere else I would have sworn we were having an earthquake. I placed my hands on the table and the shaking ceased. Did you expect differently my dear? Andrew whispered into Kimmys ear. He didnt need to whisper, I could hear a pin drop from across the room. Andrew, Kimmy warned softly. Like a mother scolding her small child. Do you need some fresh air Emily? Andrew asked. The smile on his face said that I was entertaining him. Pull it together Em. I breathed in deeply and forced a smile. Thank you for your concern Andrew but I am fine, I lied. My insides were boiling but I had to refrain myself. I wasnt able to control my magic yet. Thankfully our food came and I focused all of my attention to the plate set before me. I didnt know what it was, and it tasted awful but I ate it like it was a delicious cuisine made by Emeril Lagasse himself. So Em, have you started packing yet? Kimmy asked, clearly trying shift the conversation. Ive packed a few boxes, Im going to try to get as much as I can packed before the movers come, I explained, forcing down another bite. The garlic was overpowering and made me nauseous. Oh, thats right. Your daddy is using the governments money to move you down the street. Andrew voiced his disapproval.

Pookie, a move from Baton Rouge to New Orleans isnt quiet down the street, Kimmy tried. Yeah plus, Pookie, this for an investigation, its not like Im moving by choice, the statement was almost the truth. I didnt want to move away from my friends, family, and gorgeous boyfriend but I needed the help of a dark warlock my Grandfather. He had worked out a deal with my father. I would receive training from my Grandfather and in return I would help him with some problems he was having within his coven. Doesnt seem like this investigation warrants the need of an underprivileged inexperienced Bastard child, Andrew stated, taking a sip from his glass. He spat out the word bastard as if it was acid in his mouth. Andrew, Kimmy gasped. What you think that we need a blood sucking parasite like yourself? I tried to keep my voice down, but between the anger boiling through my system and keeping my powers intact I could only do so much. Emily, Kimmy started again. I knew my comment would offend her as well, but my anger was not only pointed at Andrew Stanfield. She knew this would happen. Im sorry Kimmy I tried, I answered, standing as I threw my napkin on the table. The table shook violently, crackling as if the napkin was a ten pound boulder. I stormed off, the vibrations following close behind. I began walking down the street unaware of where I was or where I was going. I felt lost and alone without my cell phone. My heels clicked loudly against the brick sidewalk. The smell tugged at my insides, a mix between old trash and recent vomit. A loud whistle from nearby made me feel even more nervous. I knew I could protect myself, and I felt sorry for any poor soul that tried to take me on. A car came into view down the side street, the headlights lighting the way. It began to slow down as I came into view. Great, I always knew Andrew would be the death of me, I spoke my fears. The car pulled up to the curb and stopped, the window came down and a familiar face caused tears to burn my eyes. Hi babe, where you headed? His deep voice sent shivers down my skin. Axle, I cried out moving my feet as fast as my heels would allow. He stepped out of the mustang just as my arms wrapped around his body. I guess saying told ya so would be a little immature at this point, right? he joked reminding me of our earlier conversation. He voiced his concern the moment I accepted Kimmys New Orleans dinner invitation. He knew Kimmy in a fancy restaurant was a dangerous set up. I should have listened to him, but I thought maybe Kimmy was just going through a weird phase.

Andrew Stanfield is Kimmys boyfriend, I explain hopping into the passenger seat. He threw the car into drive and took off, Hmm, cant say I didnt see that one coming. Why would you think that? I asked. Ive just seen them around the office being a little cozier than two coworkers should be, He answered turning onto Canal Street. What about us? I teased. We are the exception. I never thought of Kimmy ever having a serious relationship, I stated sadly. Even though I had only known Kimmy for a few years, we had been through more than most friends had in a lifetime. I felt as if I was losing my best friend. She was my sister, we were soul mates in another life. I knew I should be happy for her, but I felt like I needed to protect her from that evil slim bag. Hey, it will work out. Maybe Andrew isnt the back stabbing asshole we have all grown to hate, Axle tried. What does she even see in him? I asked. Although he had a nice build and a pretty face his personality made him hideous in my eyes. Axle shot me a sideways glance, maybe she needs this. What a douchebag boyfriend? No, what I mean is Kimmy is alone in the world now. We dont have any vampires working in the office besides Andrew. Ezra is still around but hes human now so he cant really help her and Riley has gone back home. I can kind of relate to her, it would be nice to have another werewolf around to talk to. I thought about what he said, he definitely made it easier to understand Kimmys senseless love for the leech. Ezra was my ex, sort of. We were never really a couple. We couldnt be around each other for more than five minutes without fighting and it was exhausting. A few months prior I discovered another ability of mine, I can turn vampires into humans. A little nibble on my neck and boom, they slide right down the food chain. It came with a price, and since I had done it twice now the consequences were making my life a living hell. I placed my hand on Axles thigh, his muscle tensed under my fingers. Im sorry Axle, I know you think you are some terrible creature, but you are amazing. You are the cherry on my sundae, the corn on my cobb, the battery in my vibrat- Got it babe, thanks, he interrupted, grinning. What Im trying to say is youre incredible, I cant imagine my life without you, I finished. I love you too Em, he answered with a wink. Hearing the words on a regularly basis never seemed to dull the effects they had on me. My lips turned up in a smile, the butterflies tickled in my stomach. I felt a strong connection to Axle,

I knew I loved him but for some reason I couldnt bring myself to declare my feelings out loud. I used to blame my parents; they never taught me what it was like to love. Then one day I decided that it was childish to place the fault completely on their shoulders. Since then I have tried instead to change our relationship, and work on my own problems. When are the movers coming? Axle changed the subject. I was thankful of how understanding he was about the love situation. Next week, Ive tried packing but for some reason I just cant seem to make myself do it, I explained truthfully. Well this is a big deal.Hhe smiled at me. I could sense the pity he felt. It was unwanted, I was nervous about the move but one good thing was that I was bringing help. Dee-Dee and Maggie were both friends and witches; they stated that they could also use help learning how to hone into their gift. Axle this is something that I need to do, I answered. I know sweetheart, Im just not happy about the entire situation, he stated sadly. I smiled, The way you drive, New Orleans is only an hour away. He answered by swerving in and out of traffic quickly. I didnt know how the man stayed out of trouble. We arrived back at my apartment a little after ten. You want to stay over? I asked leaning in for a goodnight kiss. He growled, Boy would I love to, but I cant I have to be at work early to talk to Robert. I leaned in, my lips inches from his. I would make it worth it, I teased. Yeah Ive given up any hope for that, He chuckled. I pouted, sighing, I know. We just dont have very good luck. I dont know what it is, bad luck or an act of God, He answered. We had tried many times to do the nasty, but for some reason every time we got hot and heavy something always came up. A few weeks before we were making out on my couch when suddenly my cat attacked Axle, if he wasnt a super healing werewolf he wouldve needed stitches. Before that, a fire alarm went off in the building. We had even tried getting a hotel room, some drunk dude walked in on us while we were almost naked, killing the mood. Hey, its ok. It will happen there is no pressure, His hand caressed my cheek, the softness of his touch tickling my skin. You are so great, I stated. His succulent lips found mine, kissing with unforgiving passionate and filling me with a genuine need. A gentle ache below grew as I pushed myself closer to his solid chest. His hand crept down my side stopping just above my pants. I could taste desire thick on his tongue. His phone began ringing loudly

interrupting our goodbye. He grunted, pulling the phone from his pocket. He looked down at the device and sighed. Its Kimmy, he informed. I shook my head, just ignore it. You cant ignore her forever. I know, I just need tonight to think things over thats all, I replied. He walked me to my door, I tried talking him out of it, but as usual he refused. It was a sweet manly gesture, but it wasnt necessary. For once in what seemed like forever, no one was out to get me. I wasnt the target and I could pretend that I was just a normal girl. He kissed me once more before leaving. I felt pain tugging at my heart was I watched him walk away. My cat greeted me as I closed and locked the door. I picked him up, scratching behind his ears. Oscar, did you protect the place while I was gone? I asked him. He responded with a loud meow. I rewarded his bravery with a treat and watched as he pushed it around with his paw. I grabbed a beer from the fridge, popping the top as I staggered over to my couch. Cardboard boxes leaned against the wall reminding me of the upcoming move. Weather I was ready or not, this was going to happen, I needed to come to terms with it. I closed my eyes for a moment and fell asleep. I sat up quickly the next morning feeling alarmed. I looked over at the clock and jumped. I was late. I showered and dressed quickly, scolding myself for the stupidity. Once I arrived at work I ran in full speed, waving at the front guard. I tripped as I rounded the corner into the office. I looked around to see who caught my embarrassing entry. The room was completely empty. Pulling myself together I neatly placed my things on the desk. I glanced at the clock, I had barely made it in on time. I couldnt imagine everyone else being late. I heard voices coming from Roberts office and stepped closer to investigate. This isnt a good idea Robert, Axles voice drifted. Axle, she needs this. Henry is going to help her, Robert responded, sounding annoyed. We cant trust Henry, she needs protection, Axle argued his voice raising. It wasnt like Axle to speak against Roberts decision. She will have protection, Dee-Dee and Maggie are going with her, Robert snapped, his exasperation growing. I just think it would be a good idea for, Axle started but was interrupted. No! My final answer is no, Roberts voice boomed, shaking the pictures on the wall. I grabbed the nearest desk to steady myself. Axle growled, I heard a loud bang and then pieces of wood hitting the ground. I scrambled back to my desk. Axle stormed out of the office without glancing in my direction. Emily? Robert called out from his office, What are you doing here?

I stepped into his office and sat down, noticing that one chair was missing. In the corner lay pieces of the shattered chair. Kimmy has my phone and I forgot to set an alarm, but I wasnt late. He chuckled, Emily, today is a holiday. I sighed, slapping my hand over my forehead. The excitement from the weekend had turned my brain into mush. I completely forgot. So how did you know I was here? Im a very powerful warlock Emily, I know all. Whoa, I replied, in awe. Well that I have this GPS tracking thing on you in case you ever get kidnapped again. He smiled, turning his computer screen so I could see. You areI couldnt think of the word so instead I grunted. Would you like to know where its hidden? he smiled. Not really. He shook his head, looking me over. So how much of that did you hear? I didnt hear much, I answered. Truthfully I didnt know what was going on. Axle wants to go with you, he explained. This took me by surprise. Axle had mentioned before that he wanted to join me in New Orleans, but I never thought he would take it to Robert. And you told him no? I knew his answer, but I hoped he would explain why. You are going undercover; Axle could blow it and put you in danger. He wouldnt be able to keep his emotions under control. I cant risk that. Although he has a point, he stated, running his hand through his scruff. The dark circles under his eyes gave away his lack of sleep. The stress was breaking him down. So what did you have in mind? I asked softly. I didnt want to push him even further. He bit his lip as he thought for a moment. I could almost see the light bulb go on in his head. Im going to send Ezra with you. I shook my head back and forth. Bad idea Robert. Why, he is human now. We could pass him off as your boyfriend, he answered. Yeah, you think youre going to be able to explain that one to Axle? Besides, I can protect myself better than Ezra could. Hes human now, remember? He sighed, realizing I was right. Fine, Gavin will go. He can even join the coven with you, it will be perfect. I sighed giving up the fight, Yay me

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