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“I know,” she answered, her eyes fluttering closed.

But they both knew they would. It was a matter of time.

Chapter Thirteen

Samantha mumbled to herself as she punched in the code to get into Cian's apartment and twirled the keys in the lock. It was nearly sundown and she was anxious to set up the white candles and flowers she had bought. A nice bottle of Chardonnay was tucked into one of her bags and she figured they could have a romantic night together. No talk of the wedding, just the two of them enjoying the night and relaxing. They both needed it desperately.

Work was a real drag on her mental well being of late. Working on solar energy projects was extremel

y interesting at times and utterly dull at others. Cian wanted to be on the cutting edge of alternative energy resources and she supported him one hundred percent. Though it wasn't as if she had a choice. She was in charge of the tiny company that was trying to carve its niche out of the growing market.

Her comfortable cotton skirt, decorated in bright flowers that would have made the Brady Bunch proud, swung around her knees as her flip flops smacked against the floor. Her hair was up in a ponytail and her tank top had an absurdly cute flower on one strap. She felt adorable.

The apartment was growing dark as the sun slowly sank down behind the city and she strained to hear if Roberto was upstairs. She didn't hear his classical guitar music, so she shrugged and moved to the dining area to set up her fresh flowers and candles.

Her parents were giving her a hard time, per the usual, over Cian and asking why he never came out to their barbecues or game watching parties. Her excuse that he had an allergy to the sun had the whole family cracking vampire jokes. Little did they know they were right.

Setting the bags on the table, she began taking out the stainless steel candle holders she had found on sale. They were really beautiful and she admired her reflection in them before setting them down. Cian wouldn't mind them, though he shunned mirrors, since he said he could see himself through her eyes. She wasn't exactly sure what that meant, but it seemed to comfort him, so it made her happy.

The silence of the apartment began to weigh on her so she walked into the kitchen and turned on the radio. Twirling the dial, she found the country station and danced her way back to the table singing along with Patsy Cline. She liked the oldies. They were the goodies.

Funny how it had all come to this. She was engaged to marry a vampire and it seemed okay to her. Never in her life would she have believed it to be true. When she had realized what he truly was, the whole world changed in that moment, and everything became possible.

She set the flowers down on the table and pulled out the clear vase she had bought. It caught the light of the setting sun and she knew she was quickly running out of time. Cian would be up very soon and she wanted the table to look perfect. Going back into the kitchen, she began to run cool water into the vase as she tapped her toe to the music.

Tonight, they would laugh and hang out and it would be perfect. She wouldn't feel this terrible nasty nagging feeling in her stomach anymore. It had bugged her all day. No matter what she had done to make sure everything in her life was as it should be, she had felt that something was amiss. She had even called Memaw to make sure her grandmother was still alive in her nursing home. That call had trapped her into fifteen minutes of explaining to Memaw who she was, that the war was long over, and that the bad man Hitler was dead. But it had been worth it to hear the old woman's voice.

Behind her, the machinery to Cian's secret compartment whirred to life and she heard the wall began to slide up. Abandoning her vase, she ran out of the kitchen and across the apartment to leap onto the bed and snuggle with him as she always did.

She was almost to the bed when a raven-haired woman sat up and swept her thick hair back from her face. Samantha stumbled to a stop, her mouth dropping open, as she took in the woman's tattoos and peculiar looks. She wasn't sure if the girl was pretty or not, but she was damn sexy with her hair falling around her face and her tight tank top hugging her breasts.

“Hi,” the young woman said with an East Texas inflection.

“Hi,” Samantha said, not sure what else to say.

Cian rolled over onto his side and slowly dragged himself upright. “Sam?”

“I'm here, baby,” she said, and walked toward the bed, confusion clouding her thoughts.

“Um” was all he said, and rubbed his face.

“I'm Amaliya,” the stranger in her fiancé's bed said, and rolled to her knees. “You must be Sam. Cian told me all about you. ”

“Really?” Samantha hesitated. “Well, good. Maybe he can tell me about you. ”

“She's a vampire,” Cian said groggily.

“Obviously. ”

He never looked quite this bad when he woke up and Samantha was worried. He looked a little pale. “I took her in last night. She's new to my world. ”

“In other words, completely stupid about what I should be doing,” Amaliya said. Realizing that Samantha was uncomfortable, she crawled out of the bed and stretched. “He's going to teach me to be a good vampire. ”

“Something like that,” Cian muttered. He pulled himself out of the bed.

Samantha went to him and he wrapped his arms around her and kissed her softly. She found comfort in his touch, but his skin was colder than usual. “You need to feed, don't you?”

He nodded and she ran her fingers through his hair. It grew out really fast and already it fell over his brow. He looked scruffy and she rather liked it. But at the same time, he seemed distant even though he held her close and snuggled into her.

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