In a never ending life, one must go to much higher extremes to feel alive.
Anjasa is hundreds of years old, and though she’s still beautiful and cunning, she’s tiring of the routine. Her life takes a terrifying — yet thrilling — turn when she’s kidnapped by a noble, and finds herself relying on the dark stranger who promises her his aid.
Neither the noble, nor the dark stranger, are what they seem. Certainly they’re not human.
But vampires? Even the long-lived Anjasa believed them to be only myth.
Can she survive the night, trapped in the manor between the two blood-sucking fiends?
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Anjasa wasn’t so down on her luck that she had to dwell in the slums outside the walls, but she was running low on coin. Out, in fact. She’d spent freely in her time there and lived well. She was alone in the human city of Normevor, the “jewel” of the North, some old books called it. It hardly compared to the eternal beauty of the lands of her youth. Not for lack of trying — the human cities had a sort of gritty appeal, she had to admit. Normevor was large, a semicircle on the edge of a great lake, edged with a mighty, protective wall surrounded by many impoverished peasants. At its heart towered great noble structures of marble and shimmering glass and stone.
The contrast was jarring to elven sensibilities, but then, she too was often seen as jarring to her people’s sensibilities.
The tavern she sat in was one of the nicer ones, as far as human taverns went, and so as she fished into her pocket for coins she realized the place had tapped her of the last of her money.
The thought reminded her of how reckless she’d gotten to even be paying for her own drinks, when a bat of her lashes typically got a line of men willing to pay up for her. Men like the handsome young noble she found herself seated across from. Though this particular fellow stared into his drink thoughtfully, his shiny suit looking every bit as fancy and expensive as he wanted it to. White, trimmed with black, and sporting shimmering gold buttons. Humans had odd tastes in fashion by elven standards, but he filled it out well.
The only thing about him that looked less than coiffed was his hair. His golden brown locks were shaggy and dishevelled, like he’d run his hand through it in frustration a few times too many.
She’d been too lost in her own concerns, and the idea of having to strike up conversation wasn’t one she relished. But then, she was used to doing what needed to be done, all else be damned, and her ruby lips curved into a smile.
She was a middle aged woman, still in her prime, and her bouncy black hair framed her face lovingly. The depths of her green eyes were almost eerie. The tan of her skin made it stick out all the more. Leaning forward, the tops of her breasts practically spilled out of her tight, red dress.
“Lookin’ for me in that drink?” she teased, her eyes holding such mischief.
The young human blinked and looked up, though he didn’t make it past her breasts. He found himself staring at them a bit blatantly until he shook off the dumbfounded look on his face and at last met her gaze. “What?” He had been a million miles away. Obviously, for how had he not noticed her sooner with those amber eyes of his?
Her lips quirked but she never moved from her position, her breasts so exposed, just barely contained by the tight material. “You seem much too thoughtful for this place.”
With another bat of his lashes — and a dip of his eyes to her generous cleavage — he hesitated. “You wouldn’t normally catch me in a place like this.” He stated it a bit critically, but then softened, deflating a little. “Sorry, madam,” he back pedaled in his refined voice, “I’m not terribly good company right now.” As he drank of his ale, the look he gave told her all she needed to know. He was drinking the sort of swill better suited for peasants.
She leaned back, her legs crossing seductively, “And where would I normally catch you, if I want to find you another night?”
The young nobleman’s cheeks reddened — actually blushed! — and he looked down into his drink to avert his gaze from her long, shapely legs, and her generous bust. “Ah, w-well, he stammered a bit. “Truth be told, madam, I, well…” he ran his hand over his golden brown hair again, the thick mess of it looking surprisingly appealing like that. “A club up the road,” he confessed, and she knew which one he meant. The swanky nobles club. It cost a small fortune to get in, however, and someone of the nobility has to speak for you.
Anjasa knew the place. It had a reputation for corrupting the young nobles of the city.
“And what happened tonight?” she grinned as she stood up, walking over to join him. She moved fluidly, the sway of her generous hips pleasing below the tight nip of her waist. “Did you get kicked out for being too rowdy?”
The young man shook his head and seemed stubbornly insistent upon not saying anything further. Then she slipped into the seat beside him and his inhibitions vanished. “No, nothing like that,” he dismissed; a bit of embarrassment brought a deeper hue to his cheeks. “Not tonight anyhow,” he cleared his throat and sat up a little straighter in his seat. She could read him like a sign printed in elfish; his natural inclination to compose himself in front of her as his interest rose. “Though maybe if I had spent fewer nights there I’d not be in the predicament I am,” he lamented.
“I know, the ale is horrible,” she teased, drawing her lower lip into her mouth and biting it seductively as she stared at him a moment.
She could sense he was more than just sitting stiffly already, with the way he was staring at her. He struggled to clear his throat and regain some composure. “I’m sorry,” he apologized again, sounding rather sincere, “I’m not exactly the wealthiest noble in town. Not any more.” Perhaps he’d thought her a prostitute soliciting him, or else a woman after a noble entanglement for wealth and prosperity. Regardless, he looked downright adorable with his apologetic expression.
She grinned and looked around them, her head tilting to the side, “Honey, if you think I’m a gold digger in a place like this, I must be a really shitty gold digger.”
He looked around at that, and though the place was an upper scale tavern for merchants and the other wealthy of the city who weren’t nobles, her words seemed to sink in. He smiled crookedly, which looked simply satisfying on his face, and nodded. “Sorry,” he repeated, peering up at her beneath his dishevelled bangs, “I shouldn’t assume. I… I just didn’t want to waste your time with false hope.”
Of course, a noble down on his luck still probably held more wealth than the vast majority of the city, certainly enough to pay for some drinks and a good time for her. But the circumstance of relative prosperity wasn’t something the young man seemed to grasp. Typical, of course. A noble with a purse full of coins and an opulent manor could think himself a pauper just because he lost his rights to a township.
“So come on, you’re not even drinkin’ your sorrows away very fast,” she smiled down at the mug. “And the ale is weak as water. Why don’t you tell me your troubles and we’ll order up a proper bottle of something.”
He dipped his head down in a bit of embarrassment again but nodded to her request all the same, with only a momentary flicker of his eyes to her breasts. “Okay,” he mused, “I figured I should get used to this peasant rot now,” he added with some humour, “but I don’t think I can stomach it.”
That was enough to confirm for her that he was not as bad off as he thought. People truly down on their luck had to scrounge for coin for the cheapest of ale. He had chosen an actually decent blend, despite his complaints and melodrama.
The man raised his hand though and got the barmaid’s attention, ordering a fine bottle of Sylvarin wine from her homeland as he gave her a pleasant smile.
She smiled and her eyes brightened as her hand went to her hair, fixing an out of place strand among the large, bouncy waves. “I guess it’s pretty obvious,” she reflected, referring to her elven heritage.
With a shrug of his stately shoulders, he said with some amount of modesty, “It doesn’t take the refinement of a noble to notice the ethereal beauty of a fair elven maiden.” He managed to make the words sound like he was reciting a poem, and perhaps he was. She wasn’t a master of human poetry, after all.
The wine was uncorked and poured up before them both. The barmaid — though buxom — did not garner any of the now-entranced noble’s attention, despite her efforts. Anjasa had a corner on that market, she could tell.
Yet she appeared calm and confident; she was used to preferential treatment. Her thumb and finger rubbed down the stem of her glass wantonly, “So tell me. What is so horrible that you’re reduced to having to sit with me instead of some empty headed — ” Anjasa stopped herself and grinned. “Some stunning noble woman.”
That elicited a laugh from the handsome young man, despite his attempts to hide it. He licked his lips and tried his best to straighten his hair, “Ah, first.” He cleared his throat, “Allow me to introduce myself, madam. I am Sir Loren Faro.” He then coughed, deflating just a bit, “Or at least, I was to be.”
“Well, it’s a pleasure,” she smiled and dipped her body down to show off her cleavage once again. “Sir Loren Faro,” she said with a bit of an exaggeration to her tongue motions. “I like that. I think that’s what it shall be. I’m Anjasa.”
Her banter made him smile just a bit, though she could see the tell-tale signs of gloominess trying to fight it. She won out of course. “That’s a lovely name, Anjasa,” he repeated sweetly and raised his glass. “To you then. A beautiful elven lady with a name as exotic as she looks.” He was neither fae nor dainty like many noblemen were. It seemed his current soft-spokenness was something brought on by melancholy rather, evidenced by the increasingly firm tone to his voice.
She brought her glass up and clinked it delicately, “So what’s happened? What ragamuffin could hurt such a handsome and charming man as you?”
Tipping back the drink, she made a soft moan of appreciation before lowering the long stemmed glass back to the table.
Loren shook his head, setting that thick head of golden brown hair to swaying gently. “No. I’m afraid I just…” he sighed softly. “I lost my inheritance.” He paused then added, “In a competition I mean, not like… down a drain.”
“You bet your inheritance?” She whistled lowly as she looked over his body. “You must be huge,” she paused a beat, “-ly confident.”
That succeeded in bringing another blush to his cheeks, but he poured her up more of the familiarly expensive wine and shook his head. “Not… no, not exactly,” he said. “My father, he ah,” he cleared his throat. “He disapproved of my habits and set me against a cousin in a competition over who would retain his inheritance.” He looked down in his drink glumly. “I went drinking the night before.”
She had to suppress her laughter, and she licked over her lips. “Well, we all get cock…y from time to time. So who’s this cousin and how’d he even get chosen for the possibility, huh?”
Loren shifted in his seat slightly, and she knew his blood was rising from the way he looked at her, even amidst his tale. “Like I said, my father,” he cleared his throat again, “he did not care for my habits, and uh… the company I kept. He felt it a good lesson to make me compete for my inheritance, and I thought I had it in the bag but…” he shook his head glumly. “His name is Zarach. You’ve probably not heard of him,” he said with an irritated exhale. “He’s an extended member of the family, far removed. Family doesn’t even own land. Well,” he screwed up a corner of his lips, “they don’t until my father passes… which could be anytime now. In the meantime, they use that scrap of paper to humiliate me.” He brought his glass of wine back up and sipped sullenly.
“Well,” she leaned forward thoughtfully, her finger rubbing along the seam of the wineglass. “Can your friends do anything to help you out?” Her foot brushed against his pant leg casually as she recrossed her legs. “Surely they would like for you to be back in that other bar with them.”
He forced his gaze away from her in some measure to maintain control in his melancholy. “I doubt it,” he intoned sullenly. “I thought of plans to get that testament away from my cousin, but,” he shook his head sadly. “I couldn’t do it. And if I were caught… it’d be worse than my current predicament.” He peered about distastefully at that, though looking back at her soft, supple body soothed him.
“Well,” she mused thoughtfully. “You’re not alone any more, are you? You’ve fallen into the lap of a guardian angel.” Her lips spread into a smile, and she ‘absent mindedly’ pressed her breasts together for a fleeting moment, fanning herself. “It’s warm in here, don’t you think?”
The blatant stare he gave to her breasts as he nodded would’ve been embarrassing for anyone. “Aye,” he tugged at his collar just a bit then drank some more of the wine, finding it far more agreeable than the ale. “You’re… you’re not like other women, are you?” he asked her with a curious gaze. “I mean, not even the elven women I’ve met.”
“Well, everyone starts to look the same if you only spend time in the same places,” she grinned as she tipped back the rest of her wine. “But no, I doubt I’m like the other elven women you’ve met.”
He managed to tear his eyes away from her tits to stare into her emerald gaze. “You’re probably like… a princess back home or some such I bet. An ambassador to Normevor?” he guessed, rather incorrectly. She noticed his free hand rubbing at his thigh instinctively, unable to get to what it really wanted to touch, she had no doubt.
She smiled calmly as she shook her head, “No, nothing so glamorous. Just here trying to experience new things. You don’t realize how different humans and elves are until you surround yourself in their culture intimately.” Her words were like honey as her foot stroked up his leg again, lingering. “So what types of things did your father disapprove of? Drinking?”
His leg twitched at her touch, but pressed back to her foot. How he wanted her! It practically oozed out of his pores.
“Aye,” he nodded then grimaced a bit. “And… women,” he admitted with another blush of his cheeks. “He didn’t care for me associating with anyone but the most prim and proper noble ladies,” and she could tell from his tone that he didn’t share the sentiment. “Obsessed that one would woo me and I’d plant a child in her and there’d be some bastard to contend with.” He rolled his fetching eyes.
“Well, I imagine that’d be your problem, not his,” her lips quirked, her brows rising slightly. “Did any manage to disappoint him so?”
His brows rose and he stared at her wide eyed. “Huh?” Then getting her meaning he shook his head, “Oh, no no.” He drank down more of the rich wine, “I was not so daring as my father seemed to think I was. He took the club’s reputation a little more seriously than he should have.” He cleared his throat and lowered his face, glancing to her from the corner of his eyes, and she could tell he was desperate not to embarrass himself further in front of her.
“That’s an even bigger shame,” she lamented for him, “I can’t have any more children, but if I could, well, I’m sure there are other arrangements besides making off with an entire inheritance,” she smiled coyly. “Still, if I were you, I’d just be filled with spite. You’re taking it quite well, considering.”
Loren looked a little overwhelmed, but he took the compliment with a half — smile and a nod. “Thanks,” he said, looking to his empty glass, “I, uh, please, excuse me if you think this rather forward of me, madam Anjasa, but,” he cleared his throat yet again, seeming to have developed quite the habit. “But would you care to join me for an evening with some more fine elven wine, since I seek to enjoy the last of my privilege before being cast off?” The hope in his beautiful amber eyes was palpable, and stood in contrast to his strong jaw and masculine good looks.
“Are you a poet as well as a noble?” she smiled amiably before giving a soft nod of her head. “And I think that’d be delightful. Do you have a place nearby?”
Her acceptance seemed to nearly floor him, and he delayed a moment before nodding abruptly. “Y-yes, I do,” he stood up and quickly ordered another bottle. “It’s just down the road,” he smiled pleasantly. “It’s my family’s townhouse; it’s mine… for the time being.”
Taking the bottle of wine, he extended his arm to her in a gentlemanly fashion.
She threaded her arm through his, and even in her heels she was a good half foot shorter than him, “I’m sure your father can be made to see sense.” Her fingers stroked his arm. “You’ll be back to high class soirees before you know it.”
“I’m afraid it’s a bit late for him to change his mind,” he lamented as he led her down the cobblestone street of the city. It was night and the people they passed by her of the respectable sort, thanks to the merchant class status of the neighbourhood. “He’s been unconscious for days. The healers say he’s not likely to come out of it before… before he passes.”
“And what of your cousin? He doesn’t happen to have a fatal illness just itching to see him out in the next day or so?”
The building he took her to was one of those nice, rectangular structures. Old, by human standards, with some lovely carvings. He led her into the dark interior. She judged immediately that even before this incident he was definitely out of favour with his father, for there were no signs of servants and what furniture there was laid beneath protective cloths.
“He is hale and hearty,” he replied with some sadness as the heavy door clicked shut. “Sorry for the state of things,” he apologized, guiding her towards the stairs. “I’ve only kept the room up above set for myself.”
She followed after him, hand still around his forearm while schemed. He was a handsome man, and she would have eagerly spent the night with him at any other time, but a man down on his luck was all the easier to manipulate. Should she save him from his sorrows, his gratitude would be enough to buy her a small villa…
Anjasa’s smile widened at the thought, “Well, just who knows about this deal?”
The townhouse was still in good condition, despite its obvious disuse, but when he took her up to the main bedroom she could see the antique furniture was clean. Any one piece would be worth more than most peasants made in a lifetime. As turned on the lamps she caught sight of a large canopy bed and double doors opening onto a balcony.
“My cousin and I,” he said glumly, setting the bottle down on a dresser which contained a number of glasses and previously emptied bottles. “He plans to humiliate me by springing it unannounced after my father passes, I’m sure,” he said heavily.
“Well, if three know a secret, there’s only one sure fire way to keep it hidden,” she offered morbidly as she looked over the bed with obvious interest. It had been a while since she’d been in such an opulent room, and the sight made her smile.
Meanwhile the young nobleman blinked and stared at her, a little surprised at her remark. Obviously having trouble reconciling such a harsh statement with his preconceptions of her, it was perhaps only that generous hourglass figure that distracted him enough to let it go without question. “Wine?” he offered, turning to uncork the bottle.
“Absolutely,” she spun about to look at him with a light expression that belied her previous statement. “So, do you have copies of the will?”
Popping the cork off with a bit of carelessness, undoubtedly brought on by too much drink already, he began to pour up the glasses. “Copies?” he repeated with some confusion, loosening his collar and handing her the one fluted glass. “Oh yes. One for me, one for my cousin,” he nodded before taking a sip. “Not that having a copy does me any good. All it says is I can’t have any damn thing. The fewer copies of that, the better. Preferably none,” he remarked dryly.
“I think we could make it so,” she agreed as she sipped from her glass. “After all, his word against yours won’t carry much weight, will it? You’re the son. His true heir.”
He stared at her, looking a bit surprised by her idea. “Take it?” he repeated with a furrowed brow. “I mean… that would sort of solve everything, wouldn’t it?” he mused, his collar undone low enough to show a bit of that chest hair so common on human men. “But they would never let me near it,” he said as he sat down on the edge of the bed facing the balcony.
“Well, it’s not like they know me. And I do look quite the diplomat, you know, once I get out of these clothes,” she teased, her lids descending part way and making her look even more enticing. She’d been drinking the entire night, but she’d been at this long enough to how to handle her liquor.
Sitting there mulling over her words, he looked a bit dubious. Or perhaps it was just the fact that his mind — judging by the bulge in his crisp pants — was elsewhere, and he had come there with intentions on her that didn’t involve conspiring.
All the same, he brushed his hand through that thick head of hair again and mulled it over. “Well… maybe. But it’ll be locked in a safe or something, I’d imagine.”
She nodded thoughtfully, taking a step towards him and let her hand fall to his exposed chest. “I’m sure in the morning, when we’ve sobered up, we can come up with a plan. After all, you must surely know your cousin well — he must seem so predictable to you. He probably uses his own birthdate for his code or something.”
Loren blinked and his eyes trailed up her curvaceous form, resting at her breasts yet again rather than her emerald gaze. “I…” he laid his glass aside, the feel of her fingers upon his chest only troubling his ability to think even further. “You’re a very special woman after all,” he admitted with some astonishment in his voice.
Anjasa’s smile grew and she shook her head modestly, “I simply hate to see something so cruelly stolen from someone. Your cousin did nothing to deserve it,” she dismissed with affection, ignoring the fact that he’d done even less.
He blinked repeatedly, as if doing so could chase away the fog of alcohol. Though coupled with the tantalizing stroke of her fingers on his chest, moving through his peppering of brown hair there, he couldn’t seem to focus entirely. “If I can get my inheritance back,” he began and licked his lips, staring blatantly at her rather generous breasts, “I’ll owe you. A lot.”
“For now, how about we just chase cast worries to the side,” she purred smoothly, her eyes half lidded. Her stare was seductive, cunning, but most of all, it was hungry. She wanted him, for all his upset fears and worries.
Anjasa had never been shy about chasing what she wanted, and wasn’t above sleeping with men — and women — for money. Yet this was pure, manipulative desire on her part. A swank place to stay for a night, and a new, rich, boy toy. “You just lay back for me.”
The crisp white and black trimmed outfit he wore had weathered his drinking well. It creased a little as he reclined back immediately, as if her very words had kicked out some suspension beneath him. “Gods,” he swore as he looked up at her with his amber eyes, “if Father knew what an elven vixen I’d met…”
“He wouldn’t be able to do a damn thing to stop you,” she finished as she straddled his hips, leaning over him and letting her large breasts fall towards his face beneath that stunning red dress. Her black, full hair framed her exotic, tanned features and she licked over her lips slowly.
With that longing gaze of his on her bust he nodded. “He couldn’t stop me,” he reiterated and very brazenly he lifted a hand. He was not a small man, did not look the type to be meek, and perhaps the way he reached up and squeezed one of those large mounds then was proof of that true self poking out of his melancholy.
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