He was looking at her like he could see her, really see her. Without a word, and much to her embarrassment, he yanked up her tee shirt and pointed a flashlight at her navel.
“Hey!” she said as she tried to shove her shirt back down.
He ignored her as he ran a finger over the birthmark below her belly button. “You’re unmated,” he said.
Okay…….This night was just getting weirder and weirder. What next? Would he check the bottom of her foot to see if she was a chocoholic?
She finally managed to shove her shirt down and took several steps back and nearly tripped over her bag.
Keeping her eyes on the four new people, two men and two women dressed in black fatigues, she bent down and quickly reloaded her bag with shaky hands. They made no move to stop her, but just watched her as if they were waiting patiently for her to finish.
When she was done she stepped back, too afraid to take her eyes off them. She didn’t feel like being anyone else’s late night snack again and she had no idea if these people were like whatever the hell those three guys were.
“Well, um, thanks. I’ll just be going now,” she said, taking several more steps back.
The man who helped himself to her navel took a careful step forward. “We need to talk to you,” he said slowly as if he was afraid of frightening her off.
She cleared her throat nervously, taking another step back. “Sure. Yeah, that sounds like great fun, but right now I have somewhere to be.”
“I’m afraid that I must insist that you stay,” he said more firmly the same moment his three friends broke off and started moving towards her.
“Okay, I guess I could-,” she suddenly pointed behind them, “Look! Behind you!”
The four of them shared a bored look before looking back at her. She smiled sheepishly.
The leader of the group folded his arms over his chest and tilted his head to the side to study her. “You really didn’t think that would work, did you?”
She made a pinching motion with her thumb and index finger. “Maybe just a little?” It had worked on Angela Briggs in the fourth grade when the much larger girl cornered her against the building and demanded her lunch money and her shoes.
He sighed wearily as he pinched the bridge of his nose.
Chris muttered a few choice words and rolled over onto his stomach. He opened one eye and groaned when he saw the time. It was barely one in the afternoon. What the hell was wrong with people that they couldn’t let a man sleep?
“You’ve left me no choice,” his brother warned.
“Fuck off, Josh,” Chris mumbled into his pillow.
Joshua sighed heavily as if interrupting Chris’ sleep somewhat pained him when they both knew he got a kick out of messing with his older brother.
“I must do this for the good of the family,” Joshua announced, sounding as if he were fighting back laughter seconds before ice cold water was poured over Chris’ head and back.
Chris came fully awake in less than a second. Two seconds later he was off the bed and chasing Joshua out of his room, uncaring that he was only wearing a pair of soaking wet boxers and that their grandmother would most likely slap him upside his head. He was going to kick the shit out of his brother this time.
Laughing and unconcerned about his impeding ass whooping, Joshua ran down the long hallway taunting Chris as he went.
“Aw, did Chris get wet?” Joshua asked in a syrupy sweet voice as he easily sprinted down the long hallway.
“What’s going on?” Marc, their little nine year old brother, asked from the safety of his doorway.
“I woke the bear!” Joshua happily announced as he easily ducked Chris’ mad grab.
Chris was pissed, beyond pissed actually. For the past two weeks he’d been stuck in Chicago helping take down several large nests of vampires who got their rocks off by draining kids. After two weeks of planning, fighting, and living off adrenaline he desperately needed his sleep. Everyone in the family knew that after a long mission he wasn’t to be bothered until he got at least twelve hours of uninterrupted sleep. Just like everyone knew not to bother Dad until after he got in a long shower and four hours with Madison.
They weren’t rules to be f**ked with.
The last time someone came between their father and a shower and Madison was three years ago. They’d just pulled up to the house after four long weeks of hell in Mexico. During the entire two hour ride home from the airport Ephraim absently scratched at the phantom crud he felt all over his body. The time he’d spent locked up in a dudgeon still haunted him even two hundred years later. His father required three long hot showers a day or he was one cranky Pyte.
Chris had barely thrown the Jeep into park when his father jumped out of the car and bee lined for the shower and Madison, who was probably already in the shower waiting for him, when a Jehovah’s Witness made the mistake of picking that moment to approach him with a handful of pamphlets. Chris still cringed to this day when he thought about what his father did with those pamphlets.
Still laughing, Joshua headed downstairs using six years as the state’s top high school and college Cross Country runner to his advantage by making it down to the foyer before Chris could blink and headed towards the dining room and probably safety. Without slowing his pace, Chris put a hand on the second floor railing and propelled himself over, landing twenty feet bellow and mere feet from his prey. Without any pause, he took off after Joshua who had the good sense to stop laughing.
“Oh f**k!” Joshua yelped as Chris gained on him.
Joshua might be one of the fastest long distance runners in the history of New Hampshire, but Chris was a Sentinel. He had natural ability and years of honing his skills on his side.
“I was kidding! Oh, shit! Don’t kill me!” Joshua shrieked as Chris launched himself at his younger brother.
The two of them slammed into the double doors of the dining room, breaking at least one of the doors from the sounds of it. Chris rolled midair so that he could protect his brother from the impact. They landed hard on the freshly polished hardwood floor. Chris barely even registered the impact. He hit the floor with Joshua in his arms and in one smooth move had his brother on his stomach, both arms pinned behind his back and the elastic of his boxer briefs yanked higher than should be humanly possible.
“You bastard!” Joshua’s scream ended in a high pitch.
“Next time let me sleep,” Chris said, and just to make sure Joshua understood, he yanked on the underwear again, causing Joshua to scream like a girl.