A/N: Ahem. Me, procrastinate? Never!

Alright. Sorry about not updating. Again. Really, I am. I keep meaning to update, but never get around to it.... Hopefully this chapter will make up for it. Also, I plan on updating more frequently. All of my stories.

Oh, and for the record, my username is from a song by a band called Bad Religion. Very good song, go get it.

Review, pretty please. Review responses at the end of the chapter.

Chapter 5
Your Voice Again

I shifted in the big, plush chair. Again. For the millionth time. No, there wasn't anything wrong with the chair. It was actually a very nice, comfortable chair. I just hated not knowing what Kale and his vampire friend, introduced as Brant, were saying. They spoke in the strange, twisting language that I had heard earlier.

Brant hadn't seemed a bit surprised when Kale had come back dragging me along behind him. He had simply nodded, black hair falling in front of black eyes. I was quickly settled into a chair on the side of them room as they conversed over something hanging on a wall. I couldn't tell what it was through the shadows.

After nearly an hour of listening to their twining hisses, the conversation came to an end. Brant gave a curt nod, turned, and swept from the room. I stayed in my seat as Kale looked over the thing hanging on the wall one last time then strode over to me. He took my hand in his own and pulled me up, wrapping an arm snug around my waist.

"What are you doing?" I touched the arm but couldn't bring myself to pull it away. So warm...

"We're leaving now," Kale gazed at me a moment. "I want to make it clear to them all that they are not to touch you."

"What..." I frowned, staring through the darkness to where the door was. "Why were they acting like that before?"

"They wanted to turn you full vampire," Kale frowned. "It was a mistake on my part to leave you down there. Brishen would never purposefully hurt you, but he is known to be easily side-tracked. I'm sorry, Brendan. I assure you, I don't plan on something like that ever occurring again."

"They were going to..." I paused, stuck on his first sentence. "Drink my blood?"


"But why did they just-," My words stumbled and I blushed at the memory of their touches. "None of them even made a move to bite me."

"They were trying to seduce you," Kale said simply. "Blood is enough to fill them with hunger, but when I fed you my blood you adopted some of my power. Blood and power combined is a strong aphrodisiac for vampires. They felt the need to seduce you first. Being aroused brings out a hidden power in the blood, strengthens it."

"Er," I blushed even more fiercely.

"Come now," Kale laughed softly. "It's time for us to leave."

I followed without protest, my side pressed close to his. My right hand clutched at the arm around my waist, holding on nervously, and my left buried itself into the back of his black satin shirt. We were so close I could smell him, lavender and honey mixed together and oh-so-sweet. The urge to bury my face against his neck was strong, but I managed to resist.

I ignored the eyes that followed us as we descended the creaky stairs, but my hands clutched slightly tighter. Memories of their hands, mouths, and bodies on mine were still far too vivid. I pressed closer to Kale. His lips twitched up in a hidden smile before falling away as he glared a warning to the others in the room. They all immediately turned away, busying themselves with conversation.

"Kale!" Brishen broke through a small group of people, his hair a mess and his lips a bright, kiss-bruised red.

"Brishen," Kale's eyes flashed slightly. "So glad you could join us."

"Look, Kale, I'm really sorry," Brishen's voice was painfully sincere as he turned to me. "And I'm sorry to you, too. I didn't mean to leave you to them, really. It was an accident. Arabella came up to me and I just-"

"Arabella?" Kale asked sharply, eyes boring into Brishen's, who looked very frightened.

"Er, yes," he said, biting his lower lip. "She kind of... Distracted me. You know how it is. I can't resist what's offered... I'm really sorry."

"Don't worry, Brishen," Kale said, eyes softening the slightest bit. "It's not your fault. I should have known better than to leave Brendan in anyone else's care."

Indignation rose in my chest at being referred to as if I was an object that wasn't there, but it was squashed down by fear of speaking up. Kale already looked ready to kill, and I didn't doubt that he was able. The murderous look grew even more and his arm tightened around me as Arabella passed by, throwing Kale a knowing smirk. I thought I could feel his chest rumble with a growl.

"Come on, Brendan, time to go," Kale's voice was harsh and his movements even harsher as he suddenly jerked me forward, his pace an angry storm.

I did my best to keep up and not stumble, but didn't dare make a noise. I didn't like this part of Kale, and undoubtedly being on the wrong side of his anger was worse than being in the presence of it. Still, I felt rather like a foolish kitten following at the heels of my master. I didn't like the idea one bit.

When the hallway door closed, drenching us in darkness, Kale came to an abrupt halt. His arm loosened around my waist, his hand stroking my side apologetically. I felt my own anger melting away.

"I'm sorry," his deep voice enfolded me like a warm blanket. "I didn't mean to be so rough. Are you alright?"

"Yeah," I nodded and moved nervously closer. "I'm fine. Can we please go? It's really dark..."

"Of course."

We started forward again, slower and more relaxed this time. I found that I truly didn't mind his arm around my waist. It was warm and comforting, and his smell was intoxicating, if I was truthful with myself.

"It's snowing outside," I said, eyes wide, after the door leading outside was opened to reveal deep drifts of snow and still more whipping harshly around. "A lot."

"A strong snowstorm, yes," Kale replied, eyes glinting with amusement. "We need something to lighten our mood anyway."

Suddenly, before I could protest, I was picked up in strong arms. Kale leaped from the door into the snow, swung me around once, then let me drop on my back to the ground. I grunted in surprise and stared up, Kale's grinning face a beautiful obstruction to the grey of the sky. Snowflakes landed on my face and lips then melted, seeping between my lips and into my mouth. They were cold and sweet, like sugar. Like lavender and honey. I found my own lips lifting into a replying smile, my fingers curling into the snow beneath.

When the snowball hit him, Kale's mouth opened into a surprised 'o', his eyes blinking in bewilderment. I laughed and surged to my feel, Kale already scooping up a handful of snow and packing it. A snowball hit me at the same time as did a series of thoughts. I was having a snowball fight. At midnight. In the middle of a snowstorm. With a vampire. I let loose another laugh and couldn't keep down the ecstatic grin as it was echoed by Kale. His laugh was deep and joyous, loose in a way that I didn't know he could be.

Half an hour later, I barreled into the house, mansion really, stilling grinning giddily. Kale followed close behind, smiling softly. I couldn't remember feeling so happy in a very long time. I hadn't had any real fun since Tory was born, when my mother had begun spending all our money on alcohol. That thought dampened my mood considerably, but I forced it from my mind. I would send things for Tory tomorrow, if I could.

"You're shivering," Kale observed.

"I'm a little cold," I said, smiling cheekily at him as he placed a warm hand against my face.

"That you are," he smiled again, a gentle glimmer in his eyes. "Come on, let's go and make a fire."

"A fire?" I followed obediently as Kale started up the stairs. "There aren't any fireplaces in the rooms we go in."

"Then we'll just have to find a room that has one, now won't we?" Kale tugged my hand gently and I quickened my pace. "Any suggestions?"

"Tomato soup," I looked up at him hopefully, all of a sudden very aware that he was several inches taller than me.

"I meant a room for the fire," Kale smiled softly as we reached the landing. "But tomato soup is a reasonable request. I'll make you some after we make a fire, if you'd like?"

"Really?" I could feel my eyes widen, not caring if I was acting like a child, hopping from foot to foot; I had always loved tomato soup but hadn't had it since Tory was born.

"Of course," Kale nodded. "Now come on, I know the perfect room for the fire."

I trailed happily behind, humming as I gazed around the semi-familiar corridors. I had walked through them many times in my wanderings, but had yet to remember what led where. I briefly wondered where my vampire captor had been as I wandered his house. Maybe he had a coffin under the house, deep in the depths of the basement. I glanced at his elegant yet soft features, bright blue eyes, shining black hair. I scoffed at myself and bounded up to his side.

Kale glanced at me strangely, his eyes unreadable. I felt suddenly self-conscious.

"What?" My mouth asked of its own accord.

"You have been very," Kale paused, measuring his words. "Pleasant, today. It was unexpected, is all."

"Oh, that," I beamed. "Well, you've been real nice and all, even if you have kidnapped me. I figure I might as well have a good time while I'm here."

Kale's eyes widened slightly at the words 'good time' before falling unreadable again. I frowned, then realized what those words could have meant. I could feel my cheeks heat up. Luckily, at that moment we reached a simple wooden door with a brass knob and roses carved around the handle.

"That's one of the locked doors," I said automatically. "There are a lot that I can't open."

"Yes," Kale nodded. "Many are locked."

"You have the keys to them?" I watched as he touched the brass knob. The door suddenly sprung open.

"I am the master of this house," Kale smiled at the look I was casting the door. "You have a lot to learn about magic, Brendan."

I didn't speak, unsure of what to say. I wondered if all the doors were locked the same way, so only Kale's touch could open them.

"Come on," Kale pressed a warm hand to my back.

"Why are you so warm?" I heard myself asking, wondering when my mouth had decided it was independent.

Kale paused, his blue eyes searching me strangely as had happened so often today. "Why wouldn't I be warm?"

"Well, uh," I blushed, feeling suddenly stupid. "You know, in the stories vampires are always cold." I scuffed my foot against the silky, plush red carpet of the room.

"There are many truths to those tales, I won't deny that," Kale said, ushering me easily into the cold, stale room. "But there are also many myths. Now, what do you think of this room?"

I wondered at the sudden change of subject, but ignored it to glance around the room. Bookshelves filled to the brim lined one wall and half of the connecting ones, the books and various knick-knacks dusty and forlorn. The carpet was thick and bouncy beneath my feet, the deep burgundy matching well with the rest of the room. Two long wooden tables were placed near the bookshelves, a few books set randomly on the surface. Straight ahead was a window looking out to the snowy city. To our right was a fireplace, a large black chair facing it, and a rug on the stone hearth.

"It looks like it comes from a movie," I touched the bookcase to the left of the door that marked the end of the long line. "It's amazing. But it kinda smells funny. And it's cold."

"That's easily taken care of," Kale said, leading me over to the chair. "Sit here. Take your shoes off, they're soaked."

I settled onto the black chair, sighing as it enveloped me. I almost didn't want to bother with taking my shoes off, I was so tired, but my socks were icy against my toes. I used my feet, pushing and prodding at my wet shoes, struggling to kick them off, my eyes closed. I stopped as I felt an obstacle, preventing me from moving. My eyes opened to meet faintly amused blue.

"By all means, relax," Kale chuckled, the deep sound reverberating in the silent room, as he began to deftly unlace my shoes. "Don't expect this to become a regular occurrence. You've had a stressful night, so today is a special circumstance."

I grinned at him, wiggling my toes as one shoe and sock came off. He pressed a warm hand to my foot, then started on the other shoe. When finally both my feet were bare, Kale stood. He reached over to the side of the chair and pulled up a thick green blanket, setting it on my lap.

"I'll go get you some warm clothing," he said. "Undress and stay under the blanket. I don't want you catching cold."

"What about the fire?" I struggled to hold back a yawn, suddenly oh-so-tired.

"Not even a vampire can make and keep a fire without wood," he smiled tenderly, touching a finger to my cheek. "I'll be back soon."

I watched as Kale turned and left the room, his slim body fairly gliding. I wondered drowsily how he could be so strong yet look so smooth. I remembered his grace during our snowball fight, how he had managed to dodge my throws so easily. I suspected that, after the first throw, he had let me have the hits that I had. I could still see the fluff ice soaring down on us from above, dotting his hair with white.

My eyes blinked blearily open as I felt a hand stroke through my hair. I stretched slightly, smiling up into pretty blue eyes. My clothes, I realized sleepily, were still on. Oops.

"S'rry," I yawned, letting my head rest against the soft hand cupping my cheek. "Fell sleep, di'n't I?"

"Yes, Brendan, you did," Kale softly brushed a stray hair from my forehead. "It's alright, though. You've had a long night. Go back to sleep."

"'Kay," I nodded, closing my eyes again.

"Goodnight, dearest. I promise to make tomato soup tomorrow."

I smiled, clutching onto warm fingers, and fell into the depths of sleep.

Open eyes, close us,
Slide beneath the city,
And the feet in the streets above us,
And your voice again.
-Underworld "Skym"
A/N: Yay, another chapter finished! What do you think? Review!

Reviewer Responses

whatev.: Not Chuck Palahniuk. Not sure who that is. My alias comes from a very good song by Bad Religion.

lifeisbeautiful: My faithful reviewer. :D I'm really sorry the chapter came so late! I just kinda... procrastinated. But it's finally here! I hope you like this chapter.

slashysecrets: Thanks for the review! Sorry this came so late, though.

Walter Dash: Thanks so much for the review! :D I hope you're still reading, but if not, it's my own fault. Sorry this came so late!

D.H. L'Orange: Thanks so much for the review! I hope you like this chapter as well as you did the others. Sorry for it coming so late though.