He pointed to his ear indicating that she should listen. “You hear that?”

“Yes, those little punks. They should know better than to come between a woman and her chocolate.”

“I’ll buy you more.”

She stomped her foot. “I don’t care about the chocolate. I want to talk to you!”

He turned his back on her and headed down the stairs. “So you can tell me you hate me again? I can never get enough of that,” he said dryly.

“Would you please stop?”

“No, just say what you need to say and get it over with. I’m warning you I will snap if you tell me you hate me one more time.”

Madison slammed into his back when he stopped suddenly at the bottom of the stairs. He turned around to steady her. “Are you okay?”

She didn’t hear him. Her brows pulled together. “What is that sound?”

Chapter 27

“Crying and by the sound of it somebody’s doing a piss poor job of faking it.” He knew who it was of course. The scent of cheap perfume that tainted the air told him.

He beelined for the closed parlor doors and yanked them open. Eleanor sat on the love seat looking at a loss while she watched Candy sob theatrically into her hands.

“Mama, I need to come back just for a little while. I promise. Things just went a little badly.”

“Emma, things didn’t go badly for you. It’s all over town that he found you in bed with another man,” she said in a strained voice.

“But what did he expect?” Candy wailed. “He left me alone every day and I got lonely.”

“Work, Emma. It’s called work. That’s where he went. If you had kept your job then you wouldn’t have been so bored.”

She sniffed. “They fired me.”

“Please tell me you didn’t get caught stealing again.”

Emma sat up, wiping at her eyes. “Just a misunderstanding. They simply miscounted.”

“I really don’t know what you expect from me, Emma,” Eleanor said, sounding exhausted.

“Well, I was hoping to come back here for a little while. I just need time for myself to refocus and find myself, you know? I just really need to get in touch with who I am so I can get on the right path and do something with my life.”

“You really expect to come here after you left your children high and dry? You didn’t even care where their next meal came from. For all you knew these last five months they could have been on the streets scrounging for food.”

“Oh mama, you’re being so ridiculous. I knew you would never let them go hungry.”

“I’m sure you did,” Eleanor said tightly.

Emma stood up, smiling and probably thinking she'd won. “I’ll just go get my stuff. Since those people moved out I’ll take a room at the other end of the house, you know so I can have some privacy.”

“I wouldn’t bother getting your things.” Ephraim’s deep voice echoed in the small room.

Both women turned to look at him. Eleanor looked embarrassed while Emma’s eyes ran over his na**d chest, hungrily. Neither woman could see Madison. She was in the foyer, leaning against the wall and trying to reign in her temper. Her eyes were squeezed tight and her tongue ran over her fangs, trying to send them back the way Ephraim showed her. It wasn’t working. With each word that left Candy’s mouth her temper flared.

“Hey, Ephraim, looking good,” Candy purred. The red in Eleanor’s face deepened.

“As I’m sure you’re well aware, I purchased the house off your mother months ago so you can stop badgering her.”

“Oh?” She sat back down and crossed her legs slowly as she leaned back, giving him free reign to look her over.


“Well, maybe you and I can come to some sort of….arrangement?”

She was going to kill her. That was it. Madison was going to bitch slap her mother. After all the years of sacrifice this was how she repaid her eldest daughter by hitting on her man? She opened her eyes and took a deep fortifying breath.

“Madison, what’s-whoa!” Chris came to an abrupt halt in the foyer.

“Wow! Can I get contacts, too?” Joshua asked excitedly. “That is so cool!”

“Maybe later, little man.” Chris tried to play it off.

“Oh, fangs too! Cool!”

“Oh no,” she mumbled, wincing at her brother's excited expression.

“Yeah, she looks cool, huh? Why don’t we go upstairs and play a video game?”

“In your room? You have the best games. Da- I mean Ephraim won’t buy me any of the cool ones.”

“Sure, in my room.” Chris herded the boy to the stairs and threw Madison a look that inquired if she was all right. She nodded.

She closed her eyes again. That was too close. Thank god it hadn’t been Jill. She would have flipped out into hysterics.

Ephraim didn’t say anything for a long moment. He was too busy listening to the conversation in the foyer. That had been a close call. They would have to be told sooner or later what they were and what Chris was. It was imperative for their own safety that they had the facts. But they were children and Eleanor knew nothing of the real world that she lived in. She had no idea that she shared this world with the likes of him. She would soon enough.

Emma was on her feet again, walking towards him. “Why don’t I go pick out my room and you and I can discuss the terms of my stay?” She licked her lips invitingly.

“Don’t you have any pride, Emma?” Eleanor asked disgustedly.

She shrugged uncaringly. It seemed she was done playing nice for her mother. She saw a new mark. From the look on her face and her body language she had every intention of getting what she wanted however she wanted.

Ephraim gently pushed her away from him when she stepped too close. “Emma,” he said it because he knew how much she hated it, “I’m with your daughter so your little offers are wasted.”

Candy laughed haughtily. “She’s just a girl, Ephraim. You need someone with experience, someone who will please you.”


His jaw clenched tightly until the muscles jumped. “Come on, Ephraim. Let’s go talk about it. Shall we?” She reached for his hand. He drew away and stepped back.

In a restrained voice he addressed her. “Emma, let’s be perfectly clear, even if I wasn’t with your daughter you would never catch my eye.” That didn’t seem to disturb Candy. She continued to smile knowingly at Ephraim. She seemed to think her charms would work at attaining what she wanted, free room and board and maybe some cash.

Tags: R.L. Mathewson Pyte/Sentinel Fantasy
Source: www.StudyNovels.com
Articles you may like