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Fated (Chapter 2)

He's a vampire? Everyone knows vampires don't exist. They're mythical creatures, like unicorns and werewolves. I glanced at Stefan's face skeptically and waited for the punch line. After studying his solemn face for a moment, it started to sink in that he was serious. He was a vampire, the stuff of legends.

A nervous laugh escaped as I considered his words. A vampire?!? I yanked my arm away from him and jumped up from the bed to frantically pace the room in search of my robe. I couldn't help but wonder why I was worrying about a robe since he'd seen every part (and I mean every part) of me intimately. If nothing else, it gave me something else to do besides think about the supposed nonexistent creature sitting on my bed. Nervously chewing my bottom lip, I continued to pace, spotting my robe on the chaise lounge chair. I pulled it on and tied the belt tightly around my waist. Now that I was dressed, I had a million questions to ask him but no idea where to begin.

"Josephine, please let me explain," Stefan begged, pulling his large frame up to a sitting position, his blue gaze intense as he watched me continue to pace the room.

"You're a vampire. And you chose me for dinner? Is this what you do, Stefan? Pick up unsuspecting women, seduce them and then…bite them? Or kill them?" I asked, feeling traitorous tears burn my eyes. A tumble of confused thoughts and feelings assaulted me. Was I just another woman he'd seduced, used for sex and was going to throw away? The urge for me to emotionally shut down was tempting.

"Is that what you think? That I chose you for dinner? Josephine, I have been waiting for you for many years. And here you are," Stefan murmured, reaching for my arm, the weight of his hand stopping my rapid pacing. "Please. All I ask is that you listen to me for a moment. I beg you."

Sighing heavily, I let my eyes close as I considered his pleas for me to listen and my situation. I'd found a vampire that claims he's been waiting for me for years. I'd willingly brought him home with me and had sex with him. And not just sex, but 'mind-blowing sex that made me want to lose my mind' kind of sex. I took a shaky, deep breath in and exhaled slowly. When I opened my eyes, I felt slightly calmer. I noticed that he was still sitting motionless with his hand on my arm, like a beautifully carved statue. My earlier resolve to shut down was crumbling.

"You can explain in a minute but I have questions. How old are you?" I asked uneasily. His eyes met mine for a moment, his expression dark and his mouth was set in a narrow line. The silence between us grew tight with tension and a cold knot gripped my stomach as I waited for him to answer.

"How old am I now or how old was I when I became a vampire?" Stefan questioned softly, the accent in his voice heavier than before. The self-assured, swaggering man I'd met on the beach was gone, replaced with this subdued and hesitant version of himself.

I promptly decided I preferred the confident, cocky version to one sitting before me now.

"Humor me. Both," I blurted out, sitting down nervously on the edge of the bed and tucking my legs underneath me.

Stefan stood and his naked form was impressive even in the shadows of my bedroom. I watched his back muscles tense as he walked to the opposite side of the room and braced his arms against the window frame, his blond head falling forward. My eyes unintentionally started tracing down the toned expanse of his back and lingered over his taut ass.

In spite of the situation I'd gotten myself into, my desire for him coiled in the pit of my stomach. I already had feelings for him that had nothing to do with rational thought or reason.

"My human life ended in 1070. I was 33 years old when I became a vampire," Stefan glanced at me over his shoulder, pushing off of the window frame. He averted his eyes and focused on the floor as if deciding what to say next.

I sat in a stupor as I mentally worked the math out in my head. He was 975 years old?! My poor mind had gone into a state of overload. To give myself a chance to recover, I started firing off questions about vampire legends.

"Mirrors?"

"Myth."

"Sunlight?"

He sighed irritably. "Another myth. It is bothersome to our eyes more than anything. Sunglasses help."

"Garlic?"

"Unpleasant to smell. No worse than any other human food. Do you have more vampire legends for me to dispel?"

"One more. Do you sleep in a…" I hesitated, rolling my eyes at my own absurdity. I'd just had sex with this gorgeous creature in front of me and now I was going to be shy about asking him questions? I really did need to look into mental help.

"A coffin? No. I sleep when I want to sleep. Day time. Night time." Stefan finished my sentence and dropped beside of me, his hand rubbing up and down my arm. I settled against his shoulder, both physically and mentally drained. After a moment I felt the weight of his head rest lightly on top of mine. "I truly did not want you to find out this way. There really is not an easy way to break this to someone, Josephine."

"If you're a vampire, why didn't you bite me? And why tell me anything?" I cringed after I asked that question. I was glad to see my lack of internal filter and verbal diarrhea was still working properly.

Stefan laughed softly, his chest moving against me. I heard a soft click. "Josephine, look at me."

Raising my head to look at him, I gasped when I saw the proof I couldn't deny. Fangs. My dream man had blond hair, blue eyes, a face like an angel, a body like Adonis and fangs. Sexy fangs. My fingers unconsciously lifted and started to reach out to touch them. I realized what I was doing and nervously dropped my hand into my lap, clasping my hands together. Stefan smiled, his fangs retracting and disappearing before my eyes.

"As strong as my urge is to bite, making love to you was more important. The way I tasted you earlier was better than simply biting you." Stefan waggled his eyebrows, causing a blush to spread across my face.

"Is biting me something you want to do?" I asked curiously, feeling moisture pool between my legs as I thought of his fangs slipping into my skin. Stefan immediately noticed my arousal, his nostrils flaring and his eyes darkening in response.

"Ah, Josephine. Biting you is something I would enjoy. You would enjoy it as well. But I will only do it with your consent," Stefan paused and his hand smoothed my hair behind my ear. "To answer your other question, I told you because I have been looking and waiting for you for over 200 years. You are more perceptive than I had assumed you would be."

I was torn between wanting to run for Georgia's villa and having my way with him. Or both.

"I need a minute. Maybe ten," I stuttered, walking from the bedroom into the bathroom and closing the door with shaky hands. I sank down on the cold tile of the bathroom, my head in my hands. I alternated between hyperventilating and dry sobbing.

Minutes passed. I lost track of time as I sat huddled on my bathroom floor until I felt ready to face him again. My legs were still shaking when I finally stood up and turned on the tap, splashing my face with cold water. I patted my face dry and took a moment to look at myself in the mirror, wondering what I'd gotten myself into. With no real answer coming to mind, I let out a tired sigh and walked back into the bedroom. Stefan had put his jeans back on and was standing at the window again, his hands shoved into the front pockets.

"You and I have much to discuss. It is late and you are tired. Can we resume this tomorrow?" Stefan asked, his face heavy. His eyes never left the window, refusing to look at me. He'd heard my meltdown and he was still here waiting for me. That had to mean something.

"I want you, Stefan. I don't care what you are. I just want you," I said aloud before I could stop the words from falling from my mouth. "You, Stefan. Only you."

His eyes quickly darted to mine in surprise. Wanting to prove my point, I boldly untied my robe and let it pool around my feet. I took small, tentative steps towards him, my gaze never faltering. I stood inches from him, moving my hands over his long arms and across his chest.  He closed his eyes, dropping his head against his back and he groaned loudly in approval.

Grasping his biceps, I pushed him backwards until his legs touched the bed. I gave him a gentle shove and he fell back against the mattress, his broad torso spread across the middle of the bed. Before I lost my nerve, I straddled his hips and my hands traced down the muscles of his chest, brushing through the fine blond hair around his nipples. I leaned down to let my lips lightly caress the curve of his jar and let my breasts press against him.

"I desire you more than anything, Josephine. You must believe me," Stefan murmured, his voice melodic. His hands drifted across my lower back to encircle me in his arms, pulling me tightly against him until our faces were so close that I could feel his cool breath wash across my face.

"Stefan, I want to believe you. I want to believe you've spent 200 years looking for me. Anyone that I've let get close to me has left me or lied to me. And all of this is almost too much to believe. "

"Then I will have to prove otherwise. I will make it my mission to explain everything to you," Stefan assured me, gently stroking my back. I relaxed against him, giving myself over to the delicious feeling of his smooth skin against mine.

He pulled away from me and placed me gently on the bed with my head on the pillow. He stood to unzip his jeans, quickly removing them to rejoin me in bed. He gently rubbed his fingers over my cheek, kissing me chastely. My lips eagerly attempted to deepen the kiss as I pressed closer to him, my leg hooking over his thigh. His large hand gripped my leg and he lifted his mouth from mine, shaking his head regretfully.

"As much as I want you Josephine, we will not make love again until we talk." Stefan leaned to kiss my forehead. "Tomorrow."

"Tomorrow," I agreed and let out a sigh of disappointment. He wrapped me in his arms and before I drifted off to sleep, I could swear I heard him purr.

***

Watching him sleep, I lightly traced his face with my fingers. I was expecting to wake up this morning and find last night to be a figment of my imagination. Not only was he real, he was still here this morning.

I struggled to remove myself from the giant that had wrapped himself around me. Finally freeing myself, I grabbed a tank top and shorts and headed down the hall to the bathroom. I slid the door closed slowly and stood with my back against it, my breath coming in excited gasps when I my earlier thoughts came rushing back. Last night was not only real, he was still here this morning! I sighed at my giddiness and tried to fight the smile that threatened to break over my face, taking a few moments to go through my morning routine. I quickly got dressed and headed down the hallway to the living room. I pulled back the curtains to my patio and opened the door to head outside on my back deck.

It was a beautiful morning, the sun was warm and I couldn't resist tilting my head back to enjoy the heat as it spread across my face and shoulders. I closed my eyes and drew in a deep breath of warm air. I made short work of spreading out my mat, hoping that when all else failed, yoga and meditation would help make me feel more centered. Right now, I'd try anything to make my brain stop over-thinking the events of the last 24 hours.

I couldn't have been more wrong. It was a struggle to clear my thoughts during meditation and I grew angry when my mind kept wandering back to the sleeping vampire in my bedroom.  Finally giving up on meditating, I began my yoga routine. I was half way through when I could feel eyes watching my every move. I was in the plow pose when he finally cleared his throat to get my attention. Slowly lowering my legs, I fixed my gaze on him.

"Yoga?" Stefan questioned curiously, leaning against the frame of the open door. He was shirtless and his eyes were covered with sunglasses. His body was pale in the sunlight and the fine blond hair on his chest and arms shined beautifully. I shook my head to try to clear the thoughts about his arm and chest hair before I spent an hour waxing poetic about it.

"I've been practicing yoga for three years." I shrugged and rolled my yoga mat up. I suddenly felt shy and self-conscious in his presence, my earlier excitement waning as my insecurities reared their ugly head.

"It looks…interesting. You are very flexible," Stefan smirked, crossing his muscular arms under his chest.

Ah, the confident Stefan was back this morning. I could see his eyes through his sunglasses, raking down the length of my body and obviously enjoying my skimpy shorts and tank top. I brushed past him to go back into the house and grabbed a bottle of water from the small refrigerator in the kitchen with Stefan following silently behind me.

Sinking down onto the couch, I rested my head on the cushion behind me and closed my eyes. I felt the couch move under his weight as he sat beside of me and I listened as his fingers drummed against his muscular thighs.

Opening my eyes, I focused on his long fingers as they impatiently tapped away. It was clear that Stefan was edgy and ready to talk. I wasn't ready to discuss anything, despite my promise that we would. His fingers stilled and he suddenly tensed beside of me, his head slightly turning to the side as if listening to something or someone.

"Your friend is here to check on you," Stefan whispered in a grudging voice. How had he heard her? I had to strain to make out the sounds of the key in the lock and the door opening quietly.

"Knock, knock!" Georgia shouted, closing the door behind her. She bounced into the living room with her hands on her hips, quickly evaluating the situation in front of her. It didn't take a psychic to know that Georgia was curious, relieved and wanted details in no particular order.

"Georgia, you're as fucking subtle as a groin kick," I grumbled and rolled my eyes in aggravation. This day was getting better and better by the moment and it was still only morning.

"Georgia Turner. You came to check on Josephine. As promised, she is in perfect condition," Stefan said as he stood up, leaning in to kiss my forehead before heading down the hallway to the bedroom. I watched as Georgia's eyes took in his retreating form and felt a small jolt of jealousy course through me as I could sense the lust radiating from her. He returned to the living room with his shirt and flip flops in his hands, a grin tugging at the right side of his mouth.

"Yes, I can see," Georgia pursed her lips, trying to be discreet as her eyes traced over the muscles in his chest. "Your ass is safe for now, big blond and sexy."

Stefan pulled the t-shirt over his head and slid his feet into his shoes. He glanced at Georgia with a mixture of amusement and annoyance in his sparkling blue eyes. "Georgia, I sense either you and I will either be great friends or we will constantly be at each others' throats. For Josephine's sake, we should attempt to be friends."

The double meaning of his words was unmistakable to me. I instantly had a mental picture of what Stefan meant about being at her throat and felt a cold shiver run down my spine. She had no idea she was testing the patience of a vampire that could literally and figuratively rip her throat out.

Georgia tapped her finger on her chin, her eyes twinkling. "I suppose we could be friends. You're much too pretty to maim permanently."

Stefan crouched his six-foot-four frame down in front of me. He put his finger under my chin to raise my eyes to look into his. A beautiful smile broke over his lips, making his face almost glow.

"You need to talk to your friend. I have issues that require my attention," Stefan murmured quietly. "I will be back in a few hours. Will you be safe?"

"Stefan, I managed to stay safe for 28 years. I think I can manage for a few hours," I retorted indignantly as he rose to his full height.

When had my life turned into concerns about my safety and having cryptic conversations with secret vampires? Oh, that would be last night when I brought one home and had mind-numbing sex with one. That's when it happened.

"I will see you soon, Josephine. Until we meet again, Georgia Turner."

"You need to stop calling me by my full name, smart ass. It's just Georgia."

He gave her a dry smile, slightly inclining his head. Stefan winked at me, quietly leaving the villa. I heard his car start, the purr of the motor disappearing as it got farther away from the house.

Georgia settled into the chair across from me and scrutinized me.  I mentally prepared herself for the laundry list of questions she had ready for me.

"Well honey, I have to give you credit. You know how to pick 'em. Tall, blond and delicious." Georgia was just getting warmed up, rubbing her hands together as her eyes gleamed. "So, how was it?"

Crossing my legs, I looked at the ceiling in exasperation while making a calculated decision to play stupid. I knew it would do two things simultaneously: stall her questions and piss her off. "How was what?"

Georgia let out a loud sigh, taking the time to adjust the ponytail that was perched high on the top of her head. "Darlin', let's not play stupid. You're much smarter than that and we both know this. So make it easy on momma and tell me the details."

I pursed my lips. "It was wonderful. End of story."

Georgia stood up, padding around the living room and glanced out the window. "He said he's coming back here in a few hours. Care to share why that is?"

I could feel the muscles in my shoulders tensing. I wasn't ready to have a conversation with her about Stefan, what his coming back meant or what potential we had as a couple. Did we have potential? I never thought I'd be worried about having a relationship, but here I was thinking about having one with an almost millennia old vampire.

What a difference a day makes.

Now it was Georgia that crouched down in front of me, her dark blue eyes concerned. "Honey, we talked about this last night and you insisted you didn't date or mix with men. Mr. Hunky McHunkerson sweeps in last night, brings your home for some wonderful 'whatever', and he's telling you he'll be back in a few hours. You have to see why I'm confused, sweetie," Georgia paused, patting my leg. "This isn't like you and I just want to know that you're okay with all of this. You are okay with all of this, right?"

I couldn't help but smile at Georgia. She was one of the few friends I'd managed to keep over my years of travel. She could drive you to the edge of drinking heavily, but she was fiercely protective of her friends. She reminded me of a momma bear with her cubs.

"To be honest, I don't know what the hell is going on, Georgia," I whispered, averting my eyes from her perceptive gaze. I swallowed hard and licked my lips nervously. "I like him and he likes me. Not to mention he's different from other men."

"He's not from around here and I'd keep that one on a short leash, girlfriend." Georgia grinned, standing up and heading for the front door. "I'm heading into town. Call me later?"

"Absolutely," I agreed, watching the door close behind her and releasing the breath I didn't realize I'd been holding. I was exhausted from my conversations with Stefan and Georgia. I was going to take a shower, eat lunch and take a nap and not feel the least bit guilty about it.

***

The feel of fingers trailing up my legs, soft and cool stirred me out of my sleep. Stretching, I opened my eyes to see a very naked Stefan stretched out beside me on the bed like a giant lion, his eyes and hands focused on my exposed legs.

I couldn't resist just staring at him for a moment, noticing all the little things I'd missed last night. His flawless skin was stretched taut across his cheekbones and his nose was slightly crooked. His lower lip was slightly fuller than the top and currently his teeth were biting into it, as if the task at hand required all of his concentration. His golden blond hair had fallen over his forehead, shielding his eyes. My attention focused on the dip between his collarbones and I suddenly had the urge to put my mouth there. Or possibly my tongue.

"Someone is awake." Stefan's voice jerked me from my thoughts. He lifted his head and smiled slyly at me. I sleepily smiled back, stretching like a cat.

"Hey. You're back already," I murmured, my head still thick with sleep. Running my fingers over the skin on his arm, I lightly scratched him with my fingernails and watched as his eyes flickered from the sensation.

"I could not stay away for long. You have made me an addict and I can only think of you," he replied, lowering his head to brush his lips against the skin on my legs. "You have on too many clothes."

My body jolted, going from groggy to wide awake in the matter of seconds. Desire slowly spread over my body and wetness began to flood between my legs. He noticed my arousal and he blurred into action.

He yanked the sheet away from the rest of my body, eying my tank top and boy cut shorts with displeasure. He pulled the shorts off of me with one swift tug and his hands moved up my body to slowly roll the tank top over my breasts and head, tossing it across the room. He reclined on his side next to me, his muscles flexing as his fingers drifted around the circle of my breast, sliding down my stomach to the swell of my hips. His head leaned down to pull my nipple into his mouth, rolling his tongue around it until it pebbled tautly. A delightful shiver of wanting ran through me as his mouth moved to the other, repeating the sensual dance.

"What should I do with you? There are so many choices." Stefan looked me over seductively and a tiny moan escaped from my lips. He spread my legs open wide, his fingers rubbing against my clit and spreading the wetness over my folds.

"I could do this." Two long fingers disappeared inside of my wet pussy, slowly slipping in and out, his darkened eyes fixed on my face as he watched me writhe from his touch. I let out a sharp gasp as he slowly continued his ministrations, his movements deliberate and determined.

"Oh god. Don't stop," I whimpered, clutching his muscular arms with my hands. I heard his ragged sigh of satisfaction from my response. He lowered his mouth to my neck and his lips moved down my throat, his tongue cool and wet against my heated skin.

"Never," Stefan whispered. My hips frantically rocked against his hand, his fingers stroking and curling inside of me while his thumb rubbed tight circles around my clit. My inner walls clenched around them and I boldly cried out in pleasure, begging for his cock.

Even though he was the one that had mentioned addiction, my need for him was like a drug running through my veins. I didn't care about anything right now except wanting more of him.

"You never have to beg," Stefan murmured, his voice deep and raspy. He moved between my thighs and my leg wrapped around him, guiding him to me. With one quick thrust he buried himself inside of me, his hips thrusting slowly as he lowered his body against mine, my aching nipples pressing against the hardness of his chest.

He sucked my lower lip into his mouth, nipped it with his teeth, then closed his mouth hard over mine. My other leg moved to wrap around his hips and a growl rumbled in his chest, hissing as his cock slipped deeper inside of me, our bodies moving together in a frantic rhythm.

He raised his mouth from mine and gazed into my eyes. "Josephine." His soft lips descended down my neck, his tongue swirling over the pulsing hollow at the base of my throat.

A broken sob escaped my lips as he continued to plunge into me, filling me with full, heavy strokes. He lowered his mouth to my breast, his tongue circling my nipple and his sharp fangs scraping lightly against my skin.

"Fuck, Stefan…bite," I wailed hoarsely. The speed of his thrusts slowed for a moment as he raised his hooded eyes search mine. "Do it!"

Stefan eyes locked with mine as his lips closed over my right nipple. I cried out when his fangs sank into my breast, the sting painfully exquisite. I exploded into a million pieces around him as he drank from me, my climax triggering his own. He shuddered as he emptied inside of me, his hips thrusting erratically as he rode out his orgasm. I clung to him desperately until he stilled against me and retracted his fangs from my breast.

He fell to my side and pulled me with him so we were facing each other. His lips hovered over mine, his breath cool against my face. I kissed his lips, his chin and down his neck lazily. He hugged me tightly, nudging his head against mine like a cuddly, dangerous cat.

We were lying in a tangled heap of arms and legs on the bed. My hands were absently stroking patterns on his muscular back, smiling as I felt the muscles ripple underneath the movement of my fingers. Closing my eyes, I snuggled against him and marveled at how he felt against my skin, cool and like velvet-covered steel.

His voice was quiet and distant when he finally spoke. "I broke my promise. I said we would not do this again until we talked."

"Yeah, it was horrible how you took advantage of me like that," I said sarcastically. "It's not like I put up any kind of fight," I murmured, running my nose against the soft skin of his neck.

Stefan smiled against my temple, then placed a light kiss in its place. I closed my eyes and tightened my arms around him, mentally willing him to stay. I didn't want whatever we had to end.

"Josephine, I do not want this to end," Stefan whispered against my face. He pressed light kisses along my cheekbone and sighed with contentment.

Shocked at his similar words, I turned my head to look at him and felt my face soften into a smile when I saw the honesty shining in his eyes. I moved a shaky hand up to stroke his face, the slight stubble scratching the tips of my fingers.

"I don't either, Stefan. So it's time for you to tell me everything. Even the things I don't want to know." I leaned in to place a kiss on his lips. He closed his eyes and brought his hands behind my head to bury them in my hair. I hadn't meant for the kiss to deepen, but I was powerless against him as he hungrily explored my mouth with his tongue. He slowly broke away from me, a satisfied smile on his lips. He knew the power he had over me already.

Sneaky bastard.

"I will tell you everything I know and answer any question you have, Josephine. But first you need to tell me why you are here in Bali. And then, you need to tell me what you are," Stefan murmured, tightening his grip against my arms. He already knew me well enough to know that my first instinct would be to run.

My eyes widened, my panicked mind a jumble of questions and emotions. How much did he know? And more importantly, how had he figured it out?

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