Saturday, December 20, 2014

Prologue - THE VAMPIRE WILL SEE YOU NOW by Cassandra Lawson

     Justin was in his own personal Hell; the crowded hallway of a college campus. One of the things that sucked about being the Draksel family doctor was the need to attend medical school again with a bunch of humans. Still, saying he hated everything about it would be a lie. Learning about new advancements in medicine and doing research was exciting. Since it had been over one‑hundred and fifty years since he’d become a doctor, a lot had changed. Each time he went through medical school he learned something new.
     Despite the fact that he preferred to avoid humans, he even enjoyed his time as an intern. Part of that time could be avoided, but he kind of got off on the long hours and stress. There weren’t many patients to see in his day to day life because his kind didn’t get sick and injuries severe enough to need medical intervention were pretty rare. Most of what he did was fang removals and prenatal care. Working in emergency rooms gave him a chance to actually practice medicine. There was a thrill involved with saving a life, and the humans working alongside him experienced the same rush. For a short period of time, they had something in common.
     What he hated was pretending to be a human in his twenties, which often meant pretending to respect doctors who were well over a hundred years younger than him. He might look that age, but at around two‑hundred years old he hated trying to act it. At least he didn’t have to deal with the undergrad crap again. As he looked around the crowded college campus, he was thankful for his hacker brother. Isaiah would make sure he had the stellar transcripts to get into the medical school of his choice. Before computers, that had been a lot harder to do. While it had been nothing a little mind control and breaking and entering couldn’t solve, it had still been a pain in the ass.
     The only thing he had to do was get recommendation letters from professors and Isaiah would handle the rest. He’d already picked the professors. Now, all he needed to do was head to their offices, add a little compulsion to his voice and they’d believe they knew him well.
     Walking through the crowds of humans barely old enough to be called adults was annoying at best. He was working his way toward the exit that led to the courtyard when a blonde brushed her ample breasts against his chest and smiled coyly at him. With so many people around them it might have been an accident, but he doubted it.
     Batting her eyes, she didn’t move back at all. “I’m so sorry.”
     “No problem,” he said and put his hands on her shoulders to keep some distance between them when he stepped back.
     “Is there anything I can do to make it up to you?” she asked. Her breasts pressed against him again and sex was obviously among the things she’d do to make it up to him.
     There’d been a time when Justin might have taken her up on that offer, but that had been many years ago. Humans gave him energy and nothing more. The drama wasn’t worth it, and there was always a lot of drama involved with humans.
     “Not interested,” he said.
     She huffed and stormed off with her ass shaking back and forth.
     Justin had checked the schedule for the instructor he wanted to visit today before heading to the campus so he could avoid those types of encounters. Unfortunately, the professor had car trouble and wasn’t on campus yet. That left him contemplating his options. Was it worth it to wait, or should he just come back another day? In an ideal world, he could visit all of the professors in one day, but it took a lot of energy to create the memories he needed in the minds of the professors. Even two in one day was too much.
     With nothing to do but wait, he headed toward the courtyard, slipping his sunglasses on before he walked out of the enclosed hallway. As he scanned the courtyard a hot looking human with a very determined stride caught his attention. A hundred years ago he wouldn’t have looked at her twice. Back then he’d liked his women curvy and soft, like the little piece of fluff who’d rubbed against him.
     Justin shoved his hands in his front pockets and leaned against the wall to watch her approach. Dressed in shorts and a tank top, the woman’s lithe well‑toned body was on display. She was tall for a woman. With her high‑heeled strappy sandals, she was probably almost as tall as him. The way those straps wrapped around her ankles made him think about how sexy she’d look tied to his bed. He shook his head to clear it.   He’d never been the type to go for that sort of thing before, but something about this woman made him want to do all sorts of things to her body. She had an olive complexion and sexy amber eyes that had a catlike quality to them. She wasn’t wearing a lot of makeup or one of those annoying pushup bras women seemed to go for. If she wasn’t so young, he’d be tempted to take her home for a few hours and experiment with that bondage fantasy. Then he let out a sigh. Hot or not, she was way too young. The girl couldn’t be much older than eighteen.
     A skinny blonde approached his hot woman. Logical or not, he was feeling possessive.
     “Where the hell are all of your books, Caitlin? Don’t tell me you’ve given up on your plans to become Dr. Mendoza,” the blonde said in a raspy voice.
     Justin was even more intrigued after hearing that his fantasy girl wanted to be a doctor.
     “Hardly,” she said with a haughty snort. “Three of my classes have an eBook option this semester. Thankfully, one of them is my anatomy class because I would hate to have to carry that one around. I bought the print textbook to use at home, but it’s huge. I can already tell that class is going to be stressful enough.”
     The blonde shuddered. “Stressful and gross. I’d hate dealing with dead bodies.”
     Caitlin waved off her comment. “I love dissections. What annoys me are the idiots in the class. Half of the giggling bimbos in there should be singing If I Only Had a Brain.”
     “Hey! I resent you insulting us bimbos,” the blonde said with a flip of her hair.
     “Oh please,” Caitlin said with a dismissive wave of her hand, “I was referring to the real bimbos, not the wanna be bimbos like you.”
     “Bitch,” the blonde said with a smile. “So what’s up with the clothes? You look like a streetwalker.”
     Caitlin looked the blonde up and down, obviously taking in her skimpy attire. “Nah, too easy,” she said.   “Some little twit spilled her juice all over me in class, and I had to go change.” She gestured to her clothes. “This is not what I want to wear to impress my professors.”
     The blonde snorted. “Please, you wear jeans most days. I was just teasing about you looking like a streetwalker. Nobody will notice the shorts.”
     Justin almost laughed. How could anyone miss those impossibly long legs? People would be staring at them all day.
     “I gotta run,” the blonde said. “I have a creative writing class in a few minutes.”
     “Is that the new major?” Caitlin asked.
     The blonde shrugged. “Who knows? I’ll catch you later,” she said over her shoulder as she sashayed across the courtyard.
     Justin pushed himself off of the wall he’d been leaning against and followed Caitlin. Yes, she was too young, but he couldn’t seem to stop himself. She made her way over to the soda machine and bought a Cherry Coke. Justin couldn’t remember the last time he’d had one of those, and it sounded really good. Then he looked at the machine and saw the red light next to that button was on. She’d taken the last one. Well, convincing her to give it to him would be easy, and it would give him an excuse to talk to her.
     “Hi, Caitlin,” he said from a few feet behind her.
     She looked startled when she spun around but quickly masked her reaction into one of utter disdain. One perfectly arched eyebrow rose, and she eyed him from head to toe, clearly finding him lacking. “Do I know you?” she asked in a bored tone.
     His lips twitched. Damn she was full of fire, and it was testing his self‑control, making him want to do something impulsive and stupid. “That Cherry Coke looks good,” he said.
     “Was there a point to this conversation? Or were you just trying to be the creepy guy on campus?” she asked with no emotion.
     Knowing she wasn’t affected by his looks made her even more fascinating to him. It’s not that he was arrogant, but he knew women found him attractive all the time. With his dark brown hair, bronzed skin, and muscular frame, he was confident in his looks.
     Even though he had no intention of seeing Caitlin after that day, he felt a driving need to spend a little time with her. Sex was still off limits, but he wanted to talk to her. Justin looked at her and pushed the compulsion into his words. “You want to give me that Coke and then sit down and talk to me.”
     He watched as her eyes narrowed. Something was definitely off.
     She opened the can and took a long drink while he watched her swallow. Staring at her long neck, he was suddenly so hard that he hoped she wouldn’t look down. “I don’t think so, prick,” she said. “Hopefully we won’t have this conversation again. Come to think of it, hopefully we won’t have any conversation ever again.”
     Justin watched in stunned silence as she walked away, her ass swaying back and forth.
     He was so aroused he thought he might embarrass himself. Excitement like he hadn’t felt in decades hummed through his body. This was even better than he’d expected. She was still too young, but that was the woman he could see spending the rest of his life with.
     Once he’d made his way back to his car, he dialed Isaiah’s number.
     “Change of plans,” he said. “I need you to get me registered as a student here, and I need to be in every class with a student named Caitlin Mendoza.”

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