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The heat builds between vampire and VanHelsing
Blood Feud ~ Chapter Three

Panic triggered an adrenaline rush through Gabi's blood. She knew someone was watching her, waiting like some evil, ancient hunter. She couldn't seem to catch her breath. Her heart pounded in fear. Sweat dampened her skin causing her tank top to cling all too revealingly.
    It had to be her imagination, didn't it? Of coarse it was. She'd been dreaming about Lucian Valenko nearly every night for the last two weeks. If not dreaming, then she was wondering what his kiss would be like... or even better, the feel of his smooth skin against hers.
    Tonight, he'd been outside her window. She could have sworn she saw his piercing eyes watching through the window. The light from the street lamp has caused his satin smooth skin to glow. Gabi had seen the sardonic twist of his full lips. She watched him stroke his well-clipped goatee.
    The only problem was that he was right outside her second floor window. There was no balcony. There were no trees either. The maple had broken in a rainstorm several years before and hadn't been replanted. It wasn't a big deal. People did float in dreams, didn't they? There was a suspension of the normal laws of physics. It had been just a dream, right?
The man was devastating. He was ruining her concentration. Even her work, which she normally loved, couldn't keep her attention for long. He seemed to creep into her thoughts at odd times through out the day, without warning. No man had affected her this way, including Bailey.
"Honey, are you okay?" came her mother's soft voice from the doorway. Elaina VanHelsing knocked softly and pushed her daughter's bedroom door open. Gabrielle sat upright in the bed. Every muscle was tense and ready for fight or flight.
"I'm fine Mom."
"Well for being fine, you sure look upset. You don't normally cry out in your sleep." The older woman crossed the hard wood floor and the rag rug. She sat next to her daughter on the bed, stroking her soothingly.
"I didn't mean to worry you." Gabi whispered.  She must have made quite a disturbance to wake her mother when her room was at the other end of the hall.
"I was all ready awake. You know me." Elaina assured her. She rarely slept more than a few hours at a time. It was quite common for her to rise in the wee hours of the morning and return to bed a few hours later.
"Maybe it was something I ate." Gabi answered. Her voice sounded as tired as she felt. What sleep she had gotten obviously hadn't been very effective. Her terrible dreams and twisted sheets were sure signs of that.
"Very cute Honey." Elaina teased her daughter. The poor excuse wasn't enough to send her from her daughter's side.
"I'm okay, Mom. I'm going back to sleep."
"If you need me, I'll be downstairs. A good talk always helps me relax."
"Sure Mom."
There was no use in trying, sleep was far away.  Hoping a warm shower would rinse her tension away, as well as the sweat caused by her all too vivid dreams, Gabi grabbed up her robe and padded into her bathroom.  All the water did was remind her of Lucian's warm gaze. 
She'd never been overly sensual or even comfortable with her own body before.  Now she wondered what the urbane, sophisticated man she was dreaming about would think of her nude form.  Could such an ordinary work of flesh and bone catch his attention?
Her hair was nice, long and so dark as to be nearly black.  It waved just so and rarely gave her any problems.  She could wear it down or twist it up.  At least, Gabi's few friends told her they envied her hair.
Her eyes were an aqua blue and tilted slightly, giving her a constantly inquisitive look.  Her lips were almost too large for her face.  She rarely bothered with makeup, other than a brush of lip-gloss and a quick visit with eyeliner. 
Just the thought of him caused her skin to tingle and her nipples hardened in response.  No man the likes of Lucian Valenko would take notice of her pale skin or average features.  Real life wasn't like that.
Gabi could swear she smelled his cologne.  She shivered as if his very breath caressed her nape.  How could her normally dormant imagination be running away with her like this? 
She could practically fell his strong hands on her, the scrape of his well-kept fingernails down her spine causing her breath to catch.  The touch felt intimate and comforting at the same time.  Certainly nothing she'd experienced before.  What the hell was wrong with her?
Gabi gave in and headed downstairs after her mother. It felt like old times, as if Gabi was a child. The two women had always been exceptionally close. They chatted over a lazy weekend breakfast and went to watch an old movie on cable while the sun came up. It might have begun early, but all in all not a bad start to the day. If only she could shake that eerie feeling of being watched.

"I'm serious Adrienne!" Gabi now figured everyone in the restaurant could hear her, but didn't care.  Addi was her best friend and confidant since childhood.  If she didn't believe Gabi, no one would.
"You think he was floating outside your window?  And he was in the bathroom with you, but you can't see him?  Maybe it's just good old fashion wishful thinking." Addi replied, silver eyes dancing. 
"I'm sorry I said anything." Gabi snapped.  She was sorry now that she'd interrupted their lunch with her worries. 
"You just need a man.  This Lucian certainly seems to fit the bill.  Sexy, rich, and mysterious ... what more can you ask for?" Addi continued, batting her lashes. 
         The blond beauty nearly had a waiter tripping over his tongue as he moved past their table.  Unable to turn up an opportunity to flirt a little, Addi blew the teenager a kiss and her easy laughter filled the air.
         "I think someone has been following me too.  It's odd, I just feel someone watching me at all hours; work, home, even here."
"Whoops.  Maybe you do have a problem.  I guess even rich, sexy men can be perverts." Addi agreed, finally taking her friend serious. 
         "I can't prove it." Gabi admitted.
"Women can feel these things sometimes." Addi answered softly.  She let her finger twist in her silver blonde hair in a nervous gesture she'd had since childhood. 
         "It's like I can't get him out of my head." Gabi gasped.  The dark circles under her eyes were sharp contrast to her cream skin.  It was obvious she hadn't slept and Addi didn't like it.  No one messed with her friend like this and got away with it.  This guy had better be the real deal.
         "We'll figure it out.  Don't we always?"
"I guess we do." Gabi answered, the familiar smile finally appearing.  It was wonderful to speak her mind to her best friend, but Gabi wasn't sure it would solve her problems.  She still felt Lucian there, even if she couldn't see him.

"What the Hell do I do Ivan?" Lucian asked. He was totally unlike himself today. His hair was disheveled. His eyes were bloodshot. His tie was loosened instead of in its normal, crisp Windsor knot. Even his thoughts were scattered, refusing to adhere to his normally well-developed patterns.
"I've never seen you this way, Lucian. Not in over a hundred years." Ivan answered. He took off the unnecessary glasses, as useless as any prop, and rubbed his slim nose. His dark eyes were as sharp and well focused as Lucian's, as any of their kind. They merely helped him play the part of Lucian's friend and second in command.
Moonlight Industries had come on the scene when the Internet first came of age. They dabbled in everything from computer chips, import/export, art galleries, pharmaceuticals, and five star hotels. It had made them very rich men and financed any number of their personal interests. Thanks to new technology, neither one had to appear in the light of day.
She's VanHelsing's progeny!" Lucian bellowed like the wounded animal he was. His fangs bared in an extremely rare fit of temper.
"Then why do you care if Illia and his ilk play with her?" Ivan asked calmly. Though he knew very well the answer he felt it better to play along.
"You'd think at this age I should be able to explain it. She is lovely in some innocent, sweet, nearly nauseating way. Of coarse, there have been many beauties, haven't there?" he asked.
"There certainly has." Ivan agreed. There had been Countess', Ladies in Waiting, Duchess', and endless fair maids. Too many to count.
"Damn it Ivan! You're not helping."
"I'm sorry Lucian. You have to admit ... it's amusing."
"I fail to see the humor."
It really would have been hysterical if Ivan didn't realize his friend was feeling real pain ... emotionally at least.
"You have been the biggest hound on three continents. Now you're shorts are in a knot. To top it off the cause is a lovely, young VanHelsing." He chuckled.
"Well, thank you for your understanding."
"Blood Suckers aren't known for their deep displays of emotion. But then, you are living proof to the contrary." The younger vampire teased.
"You know too well that you have my undying loyalty. Literally. You know that I feel your pain."

"Sir, I have someone demanding to talk to you." A distinguished voice informed over the intercom. It was well past dinnertime and both men were shocked that a visitor was requesting entrée. Their nocturnal friends weren't the kind to use the front door. They kept a full time receptionist and security on staff in spite of that.
"Who Lydia?" Lucian asked, startled. It wasn't common for him to be so easily rattled, however that was par for the course tonight.
"A Gabrielle VanHelsing." She informed.
"And now the fun begins." Ivan announced with a smile.

© Copyright 2008 S. L. Britton (jovidiva at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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