I sat down the street from her bungalow in my new Mustang. Of course I wondered if Shelby would think I’d given up on her, with her not knowing I’d bought this car, one almost matching hers. It was my surprise to her. Yeah, it took all my savings, but it was worth it. Making myself what she deserved and needed. After four months of teasing one another, the time was coming to be together. Things were coming together.
She stopped, as usual, when she saw the envelope propped up next to her door. Her wide eyes roamed around her. She slid into her own Mustang, clutching the envelope in her perfectly manicured fingers. This set of pictures were exceptional and clearly impressed her. I hoped she’d drive safely while she looked at them on her way to work.
The way Shelby held onto that envelope… I needed something of hers to hold onto like that, just in case she wanted to tease me longer. Women were like that.
I waited until the lights in the houses around hers started turning off for the night, in case she had any nosy neighbors, then crept to her bedroom window. It slid up with ease. I’d have to talk to her about locking up her place. It’s too dangerous to leave your windows and doors unlocked these days.
Her bedroom smelled like that perfume of hers. Cherry blossoms. I had bought a bottle of it after what happened in the club, but it didn’t smell the same without her sweat mixing with it. I’d have to give it to her later so it smelled the way it should.
It was hard to tell what to take. I wanted her to know I was there, to notice something was missing, but I didn’t want her to be afraid that some stranger broke into her house to rob her. She needed to know it was me.
The nightlight in her bathroom turned my attention. It was so obvious then. A pair of panties hung over the hamper rim. Exactly what I needed.
My fingers clutched them just as Shelby’s fingers had clutched the envelope of photos—not too hard, I didn’t want to ruin the silky fabric—and brought them up to my face. Goddamn, that scent. Her scent.
Not much went on in my brain at that point. I should have left, teased her more, but, instead, I eased myself down on her bed and imagined her legs wrapped around my head.
The sound of the front door closing woke me up. Shit. There goes the teasing. I grabbed the panties and hid in her closet, cracking the door open so I could watch Shelby and whoever she brought home that morning.
But there was no one with her.
I held my breath as she as she sat on the bed and pulled her t-shirt over her head. God, that perfect body. I could have stared at it all night, watched it while she slept, but…
Before I knew what the fuck I was doing, I opened the closet door. “Shelby.”
“Jesus. Jared.” She held her shirt up and backed up into the pile of pillows. “What are you doing here?” Tease.
The look on her face was the same as it had been the night we kissed. Confusion and wanting. She wanted me, I knew. I sat next to her on the bed, holding the panties up. Poor thing must have been overwhelmed by that wanting, as stiff as her body got. “I needed something of yours. You have all those pictures of me, and it just wasn’t fair, you know.”
A breath left her. “The pictures…” She hid her face in the shirt. “I had a stalker before…”
Stalker? No, that’s not what I was.
Shelby let her hands move down to her lap and sighed.
My eyes landed on her breasts.
“Annelie—Morgan Starr, that’s her stage name—didn’t like this idea, of what I was doing, but she let me go ahead anyway. She thought it might help me learn. Deal with the past and the future.” She caressed my chin and tilted my face up to meet her look.
“Learn?” I’d been so long since I’d been that close to her. Did her eyes always reflect light like that? And had her skin been that fair?
Her hands moved up my shirt and pulled it over my head. A shiver went through me. Had her skin always been that cold?
“Mmmm. I always liked muscles, ya know, the quarterbacks in high school.” Shelby smiled, drawing blood as she ran a tooth along her bottom lip. Her tongue cleaned it; I watched as the cut healed.
My stomach dropped. Despite the sweat that ran down my face, I froze, not understanding the fear, primal fear. “Shelby?”
“Oh, Jared, I wish I could feel bad, like I did after I killed my parents, when this first started.” She slid like a panther over me, straddling me, holding my arms above my head with strength someone that petite shouldn’t have. “The hunger was so bad then, but I never meant to kill them. I really didn’t.” Red tears ran down her pale cheeks; she wiped them away with the back of a hand. “That’s when others brought me to Annelie. She helps us learn.”
“What’d you mean?” My chest ached as I tried to breathe, my heart was pounding so hard. “Helps who?” I swallowed painfully.
“Vampires. New ones, like me.” Shelby nuzzled my neck, her nipples grazing my skin. “The other girls couldn’t see it, but I knew what I could do. Knew I could groom ya. And, aw, baby, look at ya. I knew ya’d make yourself… perfect. For me.”
“I… I…” Black closed in around my vision.
“Shhh… Calm down, baby.” She sat up, put her palm to my chest, and locked eyes with mine. “I don’t want ya up and dying on me now. Not after all that work.” Everything in me relaxed without my trying, like she had control of my body as her hands moved over it. “We’re going to spend a lot of time together.” Her sharp teeth pierced my skin; the pull at my blood followed. She came up, blood—my blood—on her lips, eyes closing in pleasure, then opening to mine. “All this time, ya had to know: You were meant for me.”