Until the Sun Falls from the Sky(4)By: Kristen Ashley
In the presence of my frost, he grinned. His grin made his beauty shoot off the charts. Therefore, I lost the frost and stared.
He turned to my mother and stated, “The rumors are true.”
My mother shook her head, giving me a reproving look but she spoke to Cosmo. “I’m afraid so.”
“I like this,” he muttered and turned to inspect my face then his green eyes moved the length of my body then back to my face before he continued, “Lucien will like it better.”
I felt my body still at another reference to the unknown Lucien. Before I could open my mouth though, my mother spoke.
“Do you think so?” she asked hopefully.
“Oh yes,” Cosmo answered, not taking his eyes from mine.
“Who’s…?” I began but a female vampire joined our group.
She was tall, thin but curvy, dark curling hair, beautiful blue eyes and she was wearing a strapless dress with a slit up her right leg that ended high on her hip at a graceful drape of material.
“Finally. Leah,” she announced upon arriving at our small group. Before anyone could say anything, she lifted a hand and snapped her fingers.
A waiter bearing a tray of champagne flutes appeared at our sides. Cosmo took a glass and handed it to my mother then another which he handed to me.
As he did this the female, her gaze on me, begged Cosmo, “Please tell me this will be interesting.”
Cosmo, also watching me, affirmed, “This will be interesting.”
I was losing patience.
On any day, even a good day, I didn’t tend to have a lot of patience. But in these extraordinary circumstances I had almost none. Therefore this wasn’t a surprise.
This meant I was also losing my temper, something which also happened easily and, unfortunately, frequently.
“Can someone please tell me what everyone is talking about? Who’s Lucien?” My voice was still cold and now also sharp.
At my words I felt my mother turn to stone in horror at my side. Cosmo grinned. The female examined me for a moment then she threw back her head and laughed.
“What’s funny?” I snapped.
She stopped laughing but, even so, it still danced in her eyes as she replied, “I’m Stephanie.”
“That’s lovely, you being Stephanie and all, but that isn’t an answer to my question,” I told her.
“Leah,” my mother said softly in her mother tone, this one also sounding slightly alarmed.
“Leave her be, Lydia,” Cosmo ordered gently. “No harm will come to her.”
I felt my eyes grow wide. No harm would come to me?
What did that mean?
I thought this whole farce was about urbanity and civility. How could harm come to me? Other than the harm that would come to me if I was selected, of course.
“She is a Buchanan, after all,” Stephanie added before I could form a question.
“Yes. There is that and, of course, Lucien,” Cosmo put in and Stephanie turned to him.
“Where is Lucien? I thought he’d never miss her arrival,” Stephanie asked Cosmo.
“He’s going to be late. He’s having some difficulty with Katrina. She’s…” Cosmo paused and glanced at me before looking back to Stephanie, “not happy about him attending this particular Selection.”
I watched, with no small amount of unease, as Stephanie’s face grew hard. “What would she have him to do? Starve?”
“I think in this instance,” I watched Cosmo’s eyes shift to me again before returning to Stephanie, “she would.”
“Whore,” Stephanie spat with such fierce, terrifying emotion, I couldn’t help myself, I stepped back.
“Calm, Teffie, you’re frightening Leah,” Cosmo warned.
I felt it important to save face. I mean, I was frightened. Stephanie was scaring the shit out of me, but I didn’t want them to know that.
“I’m not frightened, I’m annoyed,” I announced. “No one has answered my questions.”
Cosmo’s eyes came back to me. “You’ll get your answers soon enough, love.”
That didn’t sound too good.
Cosmo moved to my mother and took her elbow. “Let’s get you something to eat, my love. I distinctly remember you like to eat.”
As Mom moved away with Cosmo I heard her reply in a voice filled with fond laughter, “I remember you like the same.”
Cosmo laughed. I couldn’t help it, I grimaced. I mean, even if it was my Mom, it was still gross.
“You’ll like it too,” Stephanie said and my eyes shot to her.
“You’ll like it too,” she repeated.
“What?” I asked, even though I knew.
“The feeding,” she replied.