The group of five adjourned their monthly meeting on an amicable note.
It had been held this time at Caine's Nightclub as the rota decreed, on the higher floor — away from the loud music and flashing lights. Now though as they prepared to go their separate ways they stood on the balcony overlooking the revellers below.
"Ah Caine!" Christian sighed. "I always thought we two had been assigned the wrong venues." Christian had his eyes fixed on a trio of young women dancing together. His brown eyes glinted silver as he smiled showing the barest hint of white fangs.
"Control yourself Christian!" Caine snapped. He also looked to the group below and his frown deepened. He beckoned to a heavy set bouncer loitering discretely in the background.
The man stepped forward and looked to where Caine pointed. "Those girls look to be underage. Go and escort them out and find out who admitted them in the first place."
The man gave the barest of bows, a habit Caine had been trying to break him of for decades now.
Mark and Andrew both bid the others a formal farewell and left, leaving Caine, Christian and Caine's brother Mathew standing watching the crowded floor below.
The commotion at the entrance caught their attention and both Christian and Mathew let out low whistles of approval for the young woman who entered as a vengeful goddess, full of wrath and indignation. She was so tiny; not only from their viewpoint but in actual fact.
But even from that distance and with the dimness of the nightclub allowing the flashing lights to blind all. To the three on the balcony it was as though she was stood naked before them, under a single bright light.
They could see the gold of her hair. They could see the electric blue of her eyes blazing with fury at the moment. They could see the lush red of her lips; the hour glass figure with the tiny waist and curve of her hip and breast.
Caine watched transfixed as she stormed through the crowd searching; she was with the group as Eddings his bouncer reached them to escort them out.
He saw as she waved her arms at him the blood pumping through her veins.
Again the two men at his side gave low whistles in appreciation of this stunning creature.
"Ah Caine!" Christian sighed again. The silver in his eye glinted brighter than before and Caine's hackles were up in a heartbeat, - if he'd had a heartbeat.
"Mathew will see you out Christian. Good fortune to you and yours." Caine gave the formal farewell and waited just long enough for the other two to acknowledge him before he was off.
He glided unnoticed through the throng — all hot and sweaty from their lively gyrations. He was at the entrance by the time Eddings had shepherded the feminine group to the outer doors.
"What did you think you were doing?" the rage in the light melodic voice oozed power. A power Caine had never felt before as he slowed his advance on the group.
"The man who allowed them in will be disciplined miss, I can promise you that." Eddings was trying to calm the situation, but the woman did not seem to want to be calmed.
She rounded on the young women, - girls; and in particular one girl with hair the same golden colour and eyes of the same electric blue. The younger girl was taller than her sister (for sisters they obviously were), and there was a tragic air to her as she stared down at her older sibling with defiance and misery.
"And you Sam I thought more of you than this." Her anger vanished into such disappointment that Caine could empathise with the younger girl as she crumbled.
Her sister took one last hard look at her sobbing charge and pulled her into a comforting embrace.
Again the atmosphere changed dramatically from charged and stressed to consoling and soothing.
Caine stepped up to the group and the woman saw him for the first time.
He blue eyes widened in fear as she saw him for what he was, the monster beneath his skin.
He felt his soul swelling into life, trying to break free of his body; he felt his heart beat falter and begin a hesitant beat; and his blood started to pump for the first time in over two hundred years, he sucked in and his lungs filled with air, for the first time in centuries. For one brief, glorious moment, as their eyes locked; Caine Stevens, leader of Alpha group of the Vampire Sect Cirius — lived and breathed.
The woman blinked and her eyes fell away and Caine's heart stopped and the blood flow stilled and he went through the agony of death again.
The speed and force of it took his breath, - if he'd had a breath left to take. It rooted him to the spot as he fought for a composure he'd learnt MANY years ago.
"What are you?" his mind screamed out scraping against HER mind.
"Hush now, you'll frighten them." It was as though she had whispered to him. Her thoughts reaching out to his to sooth and calm him and take away his pain and fear.
She turned away from him to lead her charges to the kerb to wait for one of the cruising taxis.
"Wait!" he called out, as he strode towards her, - them. "I'll give you a lift." The three younger girls turned to him in surprise, obviously wondering who he was and where he'd suddenly come from.
SHE just looked at him warily. "I don't think that will be necessary."
"Yes it will." he looked her in the eyes again, but his guard was up this time and his expression told her that it was pointless to argue.
She gave a resigned little sigh. "Oh well, if you're going to insist."
"I am." He confirmed abruptly as he caught the eye of his bouncer and communication passed between them.
The heavy set man gave a single nod and slipped away.
Moments later an expensive looking car with darkened windows, pulled to the kerb and Caine open the rear door as one of his employees climbed out from the driver's side.
The three young girls all scrambled into the back of the car leaving no room for the older one.
She gave an impatient little grunt and climbed into the front passenger seat, leaving Caine to close her door for her and walk around to the driver's side.
He climbed in beside her and switched on the engine.
"Right then, where to?" he asked lightly as though the air of subdued misery was not suffocating him. "And my name by the way is Caine Stevens, and I own and run that night club."
"Huh! Maybe you should talk to your staff about letting in minors," she accused.
Caine frowned as his annoyance resurfaced but he bit it back and shot her a sidelong look.
"They are hardly minors." He'd been more than a little relieved to realise that the three young women were at least seventeen or eighteen, even though they appeared younger; at least that meant he wouldn't have to deal too harshly with his employee. "And it would be only common courtesy to let me know WHO I am chauffeuring around," he chastised gently.
She sat side on studying him while he drove the car.
"Sophie." The soft whisper brushed along his nerve endings causing his hair to actually stand on end.
"And who are you?" the steel power in his voice made Sophie move away as far as she could in the confines of the car.
"I ... I'm Sophie," the uncertainty she felt, oozed across to him and he had to fight not to pull the car over to the kerb and take her into his arms and comfort her.
Caine shook his head in confusion. He'd NEVER felt such an urge to protect.
"You know what I mean," he snarled in a low voice; trying to keep their conversation private from the trio in the back. "Back there." He jerked his head indicating the place they'd just left. "What did you do to me?"
Sophie shrugged uncomfortably, still trying to come to terms herself, with what had happened in that split second when their eyes had met and her life had changed forever — AGAIN!
"I don't know." She mumbled softly, trying desperately to deny the power she felt coursing through her.
She stared in front of her not really registering anything for a moment.
"Left Sophie! We need to turn left!" Sam's anxious voice brought her reeling back to the here and now as she forced herself to concentrate, and give him directions to the home of Sam's two friends.
Caine gave a frustrated sigh and opened his mouth to speak.
Sophie leaned a little towards him and lowered her voice. "This is so not the time for this!" she hissed.
Again he felt the static charge as it rippled from her and ran straight through him. He was beginning to feel like a dead engine that someone was trying to kick start! It was a feeling he most definitely did not like!
At her quiet directions he was soon pulling up outside a darkened house and two of the girls scrambled out from the back of the car. "We'll call you tomorrow Sam!" they whispered in unison just before they closed the door with a quiet thud.
"Wait please." Sophie murmured as the two girls walked towards their front door. "Make sure they're safely inside before we leave."
"Of course." He'd kept the engine running and stared out into the darkened street. He could see the nightlife as it scuttled under the hedges and in the grasses, could hear the sounds all around that seemed to bypass the woman next to him.
"Right! We can go now," she said turning to look at him.
Caine gave a noncommittal grunt as he pulled out onto the road once more.
Five minutes later he was pulling up outside another darkened house. As he looked up to one of the bedrooms a slight flicker of the curtain caught his eye.
"I'll see you both safely inside." He informed her as he unbuckled his seatbelt.
"No!" She sounded afraid and her sister looked at her in surprise. "That won't be necessary." Sophie tried for a calm reasonable tone and hoped that she'd succeeded when her sister climbed out from the back and shut the door behind her.
For a moment the two of them were alone. Isolated and bound up close by the restrictions of the car.
"I'm coming in with you." He told her firmly.
"No you're not."
She rested a hand on his arm and Caine braced himself.
He didn't know whether to feel relieved or disappointed when nothing happened.
"There's someone in there, I saw movement."
Sophie gave an exasperated little sigh. "Of course there is — my sister Sarah."
He looked to the house just as Sam reached the front door as it was opening. Another blond girl stepped into view and spoke briefly to Sam; looking over Sam's shoulder to the car and frowning as they conversed.