March 6 at 11:00 PM
Photo courtesy of Shonna Clark
Lawson slipped inside the room, hanging his bloody coat on the brass veneer. He stripped off his stained shirt, and wiped specks of blood from his spectacles. As he checked his glasses, he noticed a telescope by the window. Though in desperate need of a bath, he resisted the urge, and crossed the wood floor.
Peering through the eyepiece, he stared off into the distance. Mist snaked in and out of the foliage, the recipient of a recent downpour. The hunter scanned for signs of the witch or her brambles, but saw neither.
Suddenly the door opened behind him. He jumped back, catching sight of the naked body exiting the adjoining bath. "I am terribly sorry, my lady." Lawson turned his head aside. "I did not anticipate you here."
Olivia made no effort to cover her voluptuous form. "What troubles you, Mr. Parker?" She dried herself with a towel.
"Speak," she commanded. "Are you curious how I stand in the sunlight without a care?"
Lawson glanced at her blue eyes, avoiding the temptation of lowering them any further. "Then you must be..."
"Mortal?" Olivia chuckled. "I was before the twins, but now...my body is changing..." She dropped the towel to the floor, and pressed closer. "I am a vampire through pregnancy only; I've never been bitten." She combed her red tangles with her fingers. "It is frightening; already I have fangs, and indulge in the daylight less each day, but never at dawn. Still, the hunger has not seized me." She traced a finger over the scars on Lawson's chest. "Eventually it will get the best of me, but there is hope."
"Mrs. Vangley, I must be going." Lawson turned.
Olivia held firm. "Having a mortal child can disrupt or reverse the transformation."
"I would imagine it might also kill you."
"Small is the risk for salvation. Are you my savior, Mr. Parker?"
Lawson hesitated. "Mrs. Vangley, I-"
"I felt your eyes upon me from the very first moment. Do you not want me, my love?" She brushed her body against his.
"Under such pretense, no."
"I am scared, Lawson. In truth, I do not wish to become a vampire," Olivia whispered. "Take me with you when you leave Vissorouy."
"I am sorry; that I cannot do." He removed her hands from his chest.
"Please." She pressed her lips against his. "I have a ship, we can leave together, no one will know. I can have you released from your duties, and without fowl play. And there is something more...I know where she is."
"Who?" Lawson asked.
"Your daughter, Elena."
Lawson's heart melted. "You would take me to her?"
"Better still: I shall deliver her to you. Here we are, the two of us, yours for the taking." She bowed.
"And what of your two sons?"
Olivia's face darkened. "They are murderers, like their father."
"Still they are your sons, and they will come for you, as will he." Lawson shook his head. "Lord Vangley would kill me if he knew that I-"
Olivia pressed a finger to his lips. "Consider the possibilities."
"No." he pulled away. "I am sorry, but I cannot do this."