(no sex in the book, but it alludes to sex..)
First Chapter Excerpt
"But don't you see, Kitra? I am a horrible person!" Catherine gushed as she gestured wildly at the lifeless human lump on the floor.
"He is getting death-funk on your glorious carpet, but otherwise I just don't see the problem," she retorted flippantly. "He was a liar and a bad person and you handled it. Why are you so freaked out?" Kitra flopped back onto a chair. A moment later, she kicked her legs over the arm of the chair, lazily bobbing her hooker-heel clad foot.
"Why can't I control this? I didn't want to kill him. I wanted him to see he is being bad and fix it. How can anyone learn anything if I keep killing them?" Catherine paced the floor at a more furious pace than before. She feverishly rubbed her hands together and then balled her fists up.
Kitra huffed from her cozy spot. "First of all, slow down." She eyeballed Catherine's feet and made a face. "You're going to catch the carpet on fire and Adriel is never going to forgive you. Second of all, was he really going to learn and change, love? Do they ever?" Kitra continued her lazy pose and tossed a tiny smile at her friend. Her red hair hung over the side of the chair, brushing the floor delicately with each bob of her foot.
Catherine stopped pacing and let out a sigh. "No, I suppose you're right, but I have to learn to get a grip on this or I am really going to just hide myself in a dark room to save humanity and myself." She crossed her arms over her chest. A mix of disappointment and sadness blanketed her expression.
"Humanity is bogus and you are doing the world a favor by ridding them of asshats. Trust me on this one." Kitra grinned as she gestured to the lifeless pile on the floor. "Plus, look how energetic you are right now! He must have had a whole bunch of life left in him. So you are turning his negative, lying, blah-ness into more years of you being badass. I vote yes for this on every level." Her giant blue eyes always seemed to shimmer when she was thinking of mischief.
"You see the good in every situation, don't you? Annoying, that." Catherine's gaze bore into her friend's skull.
"Yes, well it's just a gift. What can I do?" She shrugged and jumped up from her lazy position before grabbing Catherine's hand and tugging her into a quick hug. "I love you and you are a good person. Well, do I call you a person still? You're technically a person. You're not a mutant or something. Whatever, you know what I mean. You rocked in real life and now you're epic in the afterlife or whatever you call this. Get over it. Now grab his feet, let's dispose of the body together."
"Well, I guess only real friends can say things like that," Catherine chuckled.
"That's right, Cat. I am your real friend. Now meow your way over here before I get out the chainsaw and make a real mess on the carpet. I don't have all day." Her menacing grin made Cat leap into action quicker. She knew Kitra was making a joke, but was also fully capable of going through with her small threat.
"And you harassed about me ruining the carpet. How would you explain that to Adriel?" Cat jested.
"I'm the boss of him; he just doesn't realize it at this current point in time. I don't owe anyone an explanation. I do what I want, when I want. If he has a problem, he can try to battle me. I wouldn't suggest it, but he can try," she winked and grabbed the man's hands.
"Well, it’s the thought that counts, right?" Cat grinned. "I'm sure he would not ever agree to a woman being the boss of him."
"He doesn't have to agree with me. I can't force him to be right, but we know the truth. The only women in history he will listen to are standing in this room." She tugged at the corpse's hands and signaled Cat with her head. "Ooh, he's already cold. Nice. He must have been a serpent inside. Were you a snake in life, Ice Boy?"
"What a nice way to put it. I think I will keep that in mind, too. Might help with my residual guilt," Cat agreed as she grabbed his feet.
"Well, hopefully something will work, 'cause you are way too stressed to be such an awesome ruler of the shadows and all. I wish this guy was a vamp so we could just toss him in the fire," she gestured to the huge fireplace along the back wall. Its blaze casted beautiful shadows and light around the room.
They giggled as they gathered the body, easily walking to the door leading to the patio that led to the backyard, and simply tossed him in the backyard with minimal effort.
"What if we had normal human strength? That guy was easily three-hundred pounds. We would have needed to call in reinforcements, then threaten to kill anyone that told, or worse. See? It's good that we have each other." Kitra winked at her friend.
Catherine burst into a fit of giggles. "Only you would be happy that we can dispose of bodies so easily."
"Yes, well, I am sure I will need to add to the collection by the end of the week, so it's a bonus."
"It's one of your favorite parts of my lack of control," Cat groused as they walked back into the house and headed into the kitchen. "Tea?"
"Oh! I would love some. Yorkshire?" Kitra asked sounding hopeful.
"But of course. Only the best for my guests," Cat announced with a wink. She walked into the kitchen and rounded the island to put the kettle on.
"You called, Miss?" Cat's butler, Joe, asked as he entered the kitchen. His cheeks were flushed as if he ran all the way there from the other end of the immense house.
Kitra's eyes widened a bit before she chuckled. "One day I want to learn how to do that. Geez. It must be so cool to be you."
"I did, yes," Cat answered Joe. "There is a body in the back. Please take care of that," she ordered softly.
"As you wish, Miss," Joe went to leave the room. Suddenly he turned and faced Kitra. "My apologies, Miss Grayson. I saw you there, but lost my manners. It's nice to see you as always." He bowed his head to her and then vanished through the back door silently.
A blush rose to Kitra's cheeks before she turned back to Catherine who was eyeing her intensely.
"Well, isn't he the gentleman?" Kitra asked, partially breathless.
"He is something. Gentleman isn't truly what I would call him, but I'm pleased he found his manners before I found my patience lacking." Cat was busying herself by pulling teacups from the cabinet, but Kitra could hear her annoyance.
"Is something wrong?"
"I don't understand why Adriel feels I need some sort of babysitter. I am not a livewire or threat to him or anything. After all of these years, he still treats me like I'm a pet or something. It's very annoying." She grunted and slammed her hands on the counter, shattering the delicate cups she forgot she was clutching. "Oh dear. I didn't mean to do that."
"Here, I will help you clean it up," Kitra offered. She reached to start picking up broken pieces and Cat swatted her hands away.
"Joe will get this. There is no need to injure yourself for my silly mistake."
"I don't mind helping and you seem very agitated," Kitra explained calmly.
"Maybe it's things like that. I might be more than nearly a century years old, but I am still a baby in this world. I've not yet found a way to manage my emotions and still don't understand my own strength." She took a few steps to the left and sat on the stool at the end of the counter. "I am just frustrated. I want to do things on my own time and I feel like someone is always watching me."
Kitra walked to her friend and patted her shoulder lovingly. "You don't want to be treated like an infant. Gotcha. Want me to talk to him for you?" she offered.
"No, I think it's something I should do. It might seem silly to everyone else, but my independence means a lot to me."
"It's not silly at all. Have you ever thought that maybe he just has Joe here as protection for you? You do realize he is in love with you, right?"
"Joe?" Cat's eyes flew fully open in shock.
"No, silly. Adriel." Kitra rolled her eyes and huffed.
"Oh, that. Yes. I know he cares for me. He created me so, of course, he is a little more caring and attentive. I assume that's how all sires are," Cat stated.
"Uh, no. Most sires create and run off like bad baby daddies or something. Sometimes they will stick around and train the new vamp, but that's rare. In this case though, he changed you, took you in, gave you everything you could dream of, and tries to keep that up to this day." She gestured around the grand kitchen. "This house, all the furnishings, this is not you and you know that."
"Yeah, I do. He says that I need to live rich so that I claim a richer life experience or some such nonsense." Cat was getting annoyed the more she spoke of Adriel. "He needs to stop babying me. I'm a grown woman. On top of that, I'm a powerful vampire. I don't need my own personal slave to follow me around."
Her friend sensed her discomfort. "I vote that we have some tea and wait for Joe to finish handling our light work, and then I will drive you over there on my way home so you can have a nice little chat with Adriel. Plan?" Kitra offered with a grin.
"Very well," Catherine responded, nodding in agreement. "Could you please pass me a few other cups from the cabinet? It seems I am too violent for such a job tonight." Her giggle tickled through the air.
"I feel this occasion calls for cookies, too," Kitra announced as she bent to rummage through the cabinet.
"Too true! Cookies are always the answer to anger or frustration," Cat agreed. "I can get those. Even if I drop or crush them, they will still taste good."
"No problem. I already found them," Kitra announced as she proudly stood up with giant container in her hand. "Did you plan to have a cookie party without me?"
"Of course not. Those are in case I have surprise guests or something," Catherine explained easily.
"Yeah, 'cause you have people just swing by and stay for a while at a vampire's house."
"You don't know, Kit. I can be very accommodating and sweet when the need arises."
"I have no doubts on that, but I don't know if anyone could even be able to make it inside before Joe handled them or you sensed them and took them out," Kitra chided. When she realized her comment upset her friend again, she added, "Not that you would ever need to do that. I mean, who just walks up to a giant, glorious house without being invited. It's best if everyone assumes you're a snob. That's how we keep away stalkers and potential love interests."
Catherine giggled. "You sound like my father. Except he would sit on the porch with a gun and ask boys how fast they could run. When they would answer, he said he would give them a ten second head start. It was the most horrible way a person could act, but so sweet at the same time." The gold that flickered through Cat's eyes told Kitra that a good memory was making her happy. She decided to be quiet and give Cat that moment of happiness.