Forbidden Alliance A Werewolf's Tale
Author:Danae Ayusso

My boss…uncle, didn’t care that I called into work. He assured me that we didn’t have anything on the books to do anyway, and that he would have most likely sent one of us home early. He promised to call my parents to let them know that I was safe, and was just having one of those days. Uncle Joe was human; he married my dad’s sister who was a werewolf, so he was pretty easy going about that type of stuff. His biggest argument with my parents was to just let me be a girl, to be a kid; he felt that I was being forced into a life I didn’t want and was not entirely ready for.

Usually I’d argue with him and side with my parents, but at that moment I was feeling that Uncle Joe was right, and my anything but stable breakdown that morning was testament to just how not ready for the world I truly was.

Tanis sang loudly with the radio as he drove. He wasn’t bad, but his Britney Spears sing-over was five octaves lower than his normal voice and it made him sound like a strange pre-op transsexual or drag queen with his balls tucked much too tight.

It was hilarious to say the least.

I knew that Tanis was only doing it to cheer me up. He threw his dignity out the window while we waited for the first ferry. He told me of some of his exploits from when he was younger, and they always ended the same way; in utter embarrassment. Most boys would have done whatever it took to bury the types of stories that he was telling me in order to save face, but each had me laughing, and I was rather confident that was what he was trying to accomplish.

Not many would have done that…no one would have done it.

The drive to his house seemed exceptionally long due to the unfamiliar area and my nerves. Once he had turned onto the long winding driveway, which was bordered by thick woods on both sides, making it exceptionally scary and horror movie’esque, I started to get even more nervous.

“Your mom… I mean, she isn’t going to try to sample me or something, right?” I nervously asked.

Tanis roared with laughter, nearly driving off the road in the process. “No. But tell me something, Duckie, why would you ask that about me mum yet you have never asked that about me, and we have been together a lot as of late?” he asked, overly amused.

I scrunched my nose up while I thought about it, chewing on my bottom lip in the process. “It’s only been twenty-four hours,” I countered, trying to stall for time.

He cocked an eyebrow, looking over at me with an amused look on his face.

“Whatever,” I snorted and he chuckled. “I trust you, as strange as that is for me to say. And since I don’t know your mom, I’m apprehensive. Besides, when you take someone home and your mom or dad doesn’t approve, the worst they get is kicked out of the house with the warning to never return or they’ll be running on three legs. With vampires it could be different. Is she going to chase me out of the house with her fangs?” I asked before making fangs with my fingers in front of my mouth. “Get out! Grrrr out,” I hissed, attacking his shoulder with my finger fangs.

Again, he roared with laughter. “Oh my god. You are going to have to do that to me mum. She will think it is bloody brilliant!”

“Ha ha, no. You didn’t answer my question.”

“I hate to point this out to you, Duckie, but I do not think you actually asked anything,” he pointed out.

True, I hadn’t.

“However, I will humor you, funny bird,” he said. “She will not chase you out of the house with fangs, stakes, holy water, crosses, or silver bullets.” He laughed again. “I think that she will find you amusing, just as I do. She is a very easygoing person who is filled with more love and compassion than ten vampires put together. She is amazing; you will love her. Everyone does,” he assured me with a smile.

There was warmth in his eyes and expression as he talked about his mom. I wondered if I looked the same when talking about my parents or brother. I hoped I did.

When the trees thinned, their house came into view and I cringed; three or four of my house could have easily fit into it.

It was a magnificent home with three stories of cedar, stone and glass, a large six-car garage, and a wraparound porch. It fit into the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest and it was unlike anything I had ever seen before.

It was honestly beautiful and beyond words.

Add another thing to the long list of problems with trying to pursue this sexy vampire: he’s out of my league on so many levels that it’s not even funny.

“What has you gutted now?” Tanis asked when I hadn’t made any attempt to get out of the SUV once he parked it in the front of the house.

“Just noticing something,” I whispered.

“What?” he anxiously asked.

I laughed once, humorlessly. “Mr. Ashton, you are way out of my league. You’re fancy French cheese with a name that I can’t even pronounce and I’m government cheese that’s comparable to Velveeta’s ugly redhead stepchild.”

Tanis laughed. “Duckie, I have no idea what in the bloody hell you are going on about, but let me show you around.” He was around to my door before I registered that he had even gotten out of the SUV, and he offered me his hand.

Reluctantly I took it and reveled in its temperature and velvety soft texture. To my surprise, and relief, Tanis continued to hold my hand as he escorted me up the front steps and through the large double glass doors that marked the entrance.

“Mum, I am home!” he called out, pulling me through the large slate foyer.

My eyes wandered around the area taking it all in; soaring twenty-four foot ceilings, a large glass and wrought iron chandelier marked the center of the expansive foyer with a matching spiraling stair case that wrapped along one wall. There was a library to the left and a formal sitting room to the right, both adorned with leather furniture and breathtaking woodwork and light fixtures.

“Hello, Son,” a woman called said from the top of the staircase. “What is this? You have brought company?” she asked as she effortlessly floated down the stairs at a human pace.

The woman wasn’t what I was expecting, to say the least.

Instead of a pale, older-looking woman, that looked, well, to put it bluntly, like a vampire, I found myself staring at a slightly shorter than I, younger, dark-skinned Tunisian beauty. I couldn’t help but stare at her, she was beautiful; light green eyes, thick black hair that hung to the top of her hips in a single braid, long, thick lashes, dark skin that was flawless, she appeared to be in her mid-thirties, if that. She was wearing a bright teal, silk sari that sinuously wrapped around her body, showing her amazing figure.

Tanis smiled at her. “Mum, may I present to you, Miss Jay Dee.”

She nodded then her head tilted to the side as she stood in front of us, her dark, heart shaped mouth twisting into a slight pout as she regarded us. Her eyes moved over my face many times, her brows pulled together, and her nostrils flared as she inhaled deeply.

I don’t stink, do I?

“Ma’am,” I said with a slight nod of the head, feeling slightly awkward, and offered her my hand.

Her face relaxed some and she smiled, taking my hand in hers and turned it over, pushing the sleeve of my hoodie up, and looked at my wrist.

Shit! She’s going to bite me!

“It is good to know you, Miss Jay Dee,” she said, looking up from the inside of my wrist to my face.

Tanis smiled wide. “Me Duckie, may I introduce to you me mum, Sabirella.”

I forced a smile as I pulled my hand away from hers.

“You two skipped school today?” Sabirella asked, turning her attention to Tanis, but her eyes kept flickering to me.

He nodded and shrugged at the same time.

Oh so helpful, Tanis!

“The school called,” Sabirella continued. “I was a bit worried. Is everything well, Son?”

Tanis nodded. “It is simply brilliant, Mum. Me Duckie was gutted on the way to school and needed to take a well overdue break,” he explained, causing me to blush.

What in the hell? Now his mom has to think I’m some type of spaz that is trying to seduce her vampire son into…well, whatever it is that chicks seduce vampires for.

Concern washed across her face. “That is not good. Are you well now, Dear?” she asked, motioning us towards the kitchen.

“Yeah,” I mumbled under my breath; my face felt like it was on fire from embarrassment.

I am so kicking his ass for this!

“Miss Jay Dee, I remember when I was your age,” Sabirella continued. “The teenage years were always the most awkward.”

I snorted. “How many centuries ago was that?” I asked the obvious.

Tanis laughed and Sabirella looked at me curiously, one of her delicate black eyebrows arching, “I see. Nine, if you must know. Unlike my sons and daughters, I vividly remember my human memories. That was your next question.”

I nodded, it was.

“So you know what we are. That is against the rules, and my darling precious one knows it,” she scolded.

“My parents are the alphas of local pack,” I quickly explained and she smiled wide. “They adopted me when I was little.” I nervously twirled a lock of hair around my fingers, trying to figure out why this beautiful, nearly thousand year old vampire, was looking at me like that. “Everyone was warned to play nice in the sandbox, so to speak,” I offered.

“Interesting,” Sabirella said, sounding overly amused, and continued to smile, her brilliant white teeth and fangs stoodout against her darker skin. “Interesting indeed. Aldri så gale er godt for noko.”

I cocked an eyebrow. “Huh?”

Softly she laughed and turned her attention to Tanis. “My precious one, I am going to lie down after I call your father. Let me know if you need anything,” she said.

“Thanks, Mum,” Tanis said and quickly kissed her on the cheek and she vanished. “Showoff,” he mumbled under his breath.

Her only response was laughter which floated through the air from the second story.

Tanis turned and looked at me; my eyes were wide, mouth hanging open. “Sorry about that, Duckie,” he said with a chuckle. “Mum is very amusing.”

“How did she do that? Just vanish like that!” I demanded, trying to keep my voice down.

He motioned me towards one of the seats at the eating bar and I sat as he ducked his head into the large stainless steel refrigerator. “That is a complicated answer,” he admitted.

“Enlighten me, Obi-Wan,” I hissed.

Tanis rolled his eyes. “Duckie, I will let the Star Wars comparison slide...” he looked up at me and smirked. “Patience. Use the force. Think.”

I fought to keep from giggling; that was one of the sexiest things I’d ever heard.

“To answer your question,” he said with a chuckle, “just as no two people are alike, no two vampires are alike. Some of us eat,” he said and motioned towards himself before he started putting together some sandwiches. “And others, like me mum, can materialize and dematerialize into a mist or a wisping of clouds. It is rare but useful, and absolutely brilliant on Halloween and Christmas...she enjoys messing with the others when they are all to pot, howling and passing through walls, pretending to be the Ghost of Christmas Past. It is bloody brilliant.”

“I have no doubts,” I dryly agreed.

“Typically, those who can change their material state are immune to the totems which give us the freedom of day walking. It is always give and take, remember that, Duckie,” he scolded for some reason so I nodded to pacify him. “That is why mum is in the house and wanders around at night. This was a drastic change for her, moving to where there is no nightlife. Before too long, I fear, she will need to take a trip to Vegas or New York before she gets cranky.”

“I heard that!” Sabirella called out from upstairs, and it was followed by a chuckle.

“Interesting,” I said and forced a smile to try to hide how disturbing that was. The knowledge that a person could just disappear and reappear at will was unnerving.

I tried to distract myself by looking around the spacious kitchen, but it did very little to help put me at ease.

The kitchen was easily three times bigger than my bedroom, and donned professional stainless steel appliances, expensive iridescent glass tile in various shades of teal, blue and silver, the maple and dark cherry cabinets were adorned with beautiful crown molding, and the large bay of windows by the sink gave an unrestricted view to the expansive backyard.

“I didn’t know this house was out here,” I mumbled under my breath before turning my attention to the vampire who was watching me curiously.

“You do not say?” Tanis said, sounding suspicious, his brow furrowing in confusion. “Toran said that it had been on the market for some time due exorbitant asking price.”

That was a possibility, but I thought I had known of nearly every house in the area. When you run around for hours at a time playing hunter and prey with your best friend, you tend to stumble across every out-of-the-way place.

That wasn’t one of them; I would have remembered it.

“What are you making?” I asked, admiring what he was plating.

I was starving.

“Lunch,” he said as if it were obvious before setting a plate in front of me. “Panini with fresh mozzarella, I made the mozzarella meself,” he smugly informed me, “fresh basil, avocado, olive oil, marinated tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste. And on the side is a toasted walnut spinach salad with fresh strawberries, and a blueberry vinaigrette. I was not entirely sure what you were in the mood for so I went with what I was craving.”

“It looks delicious, thank you,” I said and smiled when him he joined me, setting a bottle of water on the eating bar in front of me. “You like to cook?” I asked.

Okay, that was a super dumb question.

He chuckled. “Yes. When I discovered that I could still eat food and not just blood, I was ecstatic. Finally, thanks to me new parents and coven, I had the financial means to afford all of the foods that I had always wanted to indulge in. Food is me passion, the thing I splurge on the most. Me sister likes clothes, Steffen likes his electronics, Abigail loves her jewelry, Toran his gardens, Mum enjoys spoiling her favorite,” he said and motioned towards himself and I rolled my eyes—mama’s boy. “But food is me passion. As ridiculous as it sounds, I would gladly pay a king’s ransom for an amazing meal.”

I laughed. “That’s really sad,” I informed him.

He looked at me and scoffed. “I suppose you are correct. However, at least I know what I would spend the brass on. You, however, lack the imagination. I offered you whatever you would fancy for your birthday, and yet you wanted something for someone else. That is just as ridiculous as me food fetish.”

This vampire is so damn delusional.

“Not really,” I countered. “What is wrong with wanting stuff for others?” I asked, then shoved a forkful of salad in my mouth.

Damn, this is good.

Tanis slowly chewed his bite of sandwich, trying to find an argument.

After drinking a half bottle of water, he nodded his surrender.

“Me Duckie, you make an inarguable point. However, it would bring me much happiness to buy you something for your birthday. Yet sadly, you will not permit it. It saddens me greatly,” he whispered the latter and pouted his bottom lip out then pretended to wipe a tear away.

Somehow Tanis was even sexier when being an ass.

“You are ridiculous,” I mumbled and shoved the sandwich in my mouth.

While Tanis cleaned up, he hummed under his breath and there was something unbelievably sexy about it.

“Are you done undressing me with your eyes?” he asked conversationally with his back to me as he washed the dishes in the sink.

“Not really,” I admitted then cringed. “Do you have a shirt I can borrow that doesn’t cost five grand?” I quickly asked, trying desperately to change the subject.

He laughed. “Maybe. That means you would have to take a look in my room, alone, with me.”

“Well duh,” I said, putting on my best valley girl voice and flipped my hair over my shoulder.

Tanis turned and looked at me, shaking his head in resignation.

No matter what he threw at me, I always threw it right back at him.

“So like, do I totally get to see you with like no shirt on since you saw me without a shirt on?” I asked, twirling a lock of hair around my fingers.

His amused expression turned into something else, something that was going to get me in trouble; a mischievous smirk pulled at the corners of his lips, and his silver-streaked-blue eyes sparkled with excitement. “If you wanted me topless, Duckie, you only had to ask,” he informed me and pulled his shirt over his head and flung it at me.

I was about to tell him what a jackass he was, but the word never found their way to my lips as my mouth fell open with a slight popping sound.

I’d been around bronze, muscular boys my entire life; it never really did anything for me. However, seeing Tanis’ lightly tanned skin, smooth muscular chest that had the perfect amount of definition that lead to his lean muscular abs that called out to me to pull my fingers down, again and again and again, made my heart race.

“I didn’t know you had a tattoo,” I blurted out, trying to find a coherent thought.

Tanis chuckled. “Yes. Me more human body holds ink rather well. I thought a Japanese inspired piece would look lovely on me arm this time,” he said, looking at his arm. “Last time it was M.C. Escher's Relativity, however, it was suggested by Abby and Steffen, a few hundred times, that I needed to find my zen-like calm with the universe so I opted for this one in order to shut them up.”

Could he get any sexier if he tried?

“You look ill, are you well, Duckie?” he asked.

I swallowed loudly. “Yes. Shirt?” I whispered with a forced a smile as I fought to keep my eyes off of his amazing body…it was a battle that I never stood a chance of winning to begin with.

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