By the time I had calmed and settled down I was not sure where I even was anymore. I was wandering in a park of some kind, but it was a human made one. There were paths and lamps, humans jogging and pets running. I would have to find out where I was before I could worry about getting back home. (Tracking my own path there was not interesting when there was a new place to explore.) It was early morning and while the sun weakens us, it was not like a human was going to know that or be a threat to me even so.
Someone caught my attention just then. There was a strange, pale man casually leaning against one of the light poles watching me. He was lighting a cigarette – nasty habit. His interest seemed strange since I didn’t belong here, or even know where here was. I tried to ignore him as I walked on, hoping to find the exit so I could discover where I had ended up.
Unfortunately, walking towards the exit led me past the pale stranger. I couldn’t shake the feeling of being watched as I passed him. Still, why was he staring so intently? That’s when it hit me. He wasn’t human! He was like me, a vampire. Great. But, why hang out in the light, at a park? While hunting, parks were often favoured but not with this many people and not in the light. I couldn’t manage to not look at him but refused to make contact. Except, then he did.
He shoved away from the pole, smirking at me as he looked me up and down carefully. I didn’t know if he had void eyes or if he might be another aberration, his shades were too dark. What truly took me by surprise was when he signed instead of speaking to me. “Who are you?”
I stopped and stared blankly for a moment but automatically signed in response as my mind raced. “My name is Anya. Who are you and why sign?” Other vamps though my signing with Declán was bizarre and a waste of time, so why was he signing instead of talking?
His smirk grew into a full on grin, though it still seemed devious somehow. “Jason. At your service miss.” He paused to give me a small bow extending his hand to me. Cautiously I extended my hand to his. He took it gently and bent to kiss the back of it. Straightening, he continued, “Why not sign? I always do. I usually don’t have such beautiful hands to watch,” he teased. Okay, this guy was just plain weird. And they think I’m strange.
“Nice to meet you Jason but I need to be on my way.” Why is he not speaking? Vampires aren’t deaf. It’s not possible – is it?
I started to move off again but he deftly manoeuvred into my path again. Seemed he was not interested in if I wished to talk to him. Harrumph.
“What’s the matter? You look lost. Just thought I might help.” The smirk was back, though there was something compelling about him. Perhaps just the novelty of signing with a non-human. Looking me over, again annoyingly obvious, he continued, “You are beautiful.”
“I look confused. Since you obviously aren’t interested in moving out of my way, maybe you would tell me where I am?”
“You are in my park. The park I like to go people watching.” He gestured around as if I hadn’t seen the park I was standing in. “But you mean a general where, yes? You are in a suburb of NYC.”
“That far? Oh well, won’t take that long to get back home. Thank you for your help.” I again started to move off on my own. Again, he didn’t seem to want to allow that. What was with men lately? Really!
“Don’t run away. Your Master won’t mind you hanging out with a rogue.” The casual stance and smirk were slightly grating but I had never met another vampire that signed. He had made no attempt to speak the entire time. My curiosity was peaked but I so did not need more man troubles.
“My Master?” I replied, face clearly showing my confusion. Communication isn’t just about the signs but about the whole face and body too. Considering I was always so animated, signing with him could get interesting. But what was he talking about ‘Master’?
He looked puzzled for a moment before he shrugged. “Your House leader. You’re not rogue. You’re too . . . interesting.”
I couldn’t help the laughter that burst out of me then. He was trying to convince me to not run home to my House leader? How funny. Seems he didn’t find my laughing at him to be nearly as amusing as his comment had been to me. His smirk faltered and his lips turned down into a scowl. “Why are you laughing?”
Sobering my face as best as I could manage I tried to explain, “No one rules me. I am the head of my House. Thank you. I didn’t mean to offend you though.”
Startled, he quickly took a few steps back from me. His features had gone wild. I had to wonder at his reaction. When he thought I was just some stray he was all into smirking and interrupting me . . . now he looked nearly afraid. “You are that Anya? Wow. The one that nearly destroyed Marcus’ House?” He started looking around quickly like he was worried he would be attacked any moment now.
“Sorry for bothering you. Where is your guard?”
With a smirk of my own I replied, “Marcus? He is lucky he was not there that night or he would not have a head to lead with. As to my guard, Nicholas and Declán are home.” Being he had no choice about following me he was probably still there. “I don’t really consider them my guard. They are my . . . boyfriends.”
Jason took another step back before continuing. “You really hate Marcus. Glad I’m not one of them.” A sudden coy smile played across his lips. “Did you say boyfriends? As in more than one?”
This creature was more and more entertaining all the time. With a grin of my own I tried to explain, “Yes, and yes. How do you know of me but not them? And can vampires be deaf?”
Now it was his turn to laugh. He had that slightly muted sound to his voice that most deaf had, intriguing. “Yes, it is possible, just rare. Just as if a human loses their eyes and then is ‘gifted’ they stay blind, a true deaf person will be a deaf vampire. As to your question about your mates . . . I was told you had a human and a vampire mate but I just thought it was a story to make you more intriguing. Like you need any help to be fascinating?” If I didn’t know better I would swear he was flirting again.
Hum . . . “I should be going. I need to get back before they think I was kidnapped. You wouldn’t like to meet either when angry,” I added as I began to move around him again. There was something unsettling about this conversation, even if the fact he was deaf was so intriguing. But I needed to get back before something bad happened. I shouldn’t have left Nicholas and Louie together . . .
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