“I could try,” Vincent said a small grin creeping up on his face.
“No way in hell is that happening,” Drake replied.
“So what? You let her remain in a coma rather than letting me kiss her?”
“What are you even doing here? Why aren’t you with Sarah?”
“Sarah kicked me out, can you believe that? Out of my own house; she said she was sick of seeing my face so I left to give her space. Zo asked that I do what I can to please her, so I am. That’s why I was at your place. I was coming to ask that she go and sit with her.” Vincent moved closer.
“Back off Vincent, I’m not letting you anywhere near my fiancée. You’ve done everything you could think of, including using Black Magic, to sway Zoe away from me. I’m not opening any possibilities for you to get what you want. You just keep your hands and your thoughts away from her.”
“Fiancée?” Vincent looked down at Zoe’s hand. “When did…?”
“Last night, before she fell asleep.”
“Well congratulations are in order I suppose. I guess she wanted you after all.” Vincent stood up and walked towards the fireplace. “So you think there is a chance she’d love me more? Is that the reason you won’t let me help?”
“No Vincent. In fact I’m positive she’d never choose you which is another reason you have no grounds to kiss her since we know it won’t work. Zoe doesn’t love you. I’ve told you that before. Her concern was only because she thought of you as a friend, but that quickly changed when she saw you for the snake you really are.”
“Zo does love me…” Vincent paused; a look of pure evil crossed his face as he toyed with the idea of showing Drake Zoe’s confession. He had power over Drake and he liked it, but he knew Zoe would not approve.
He walked back towards the couch. “I want to help. I want to save her like she’s saved me and I’m not asking for permission.” He kneeled down in an attempt to kiss her.
Drake stood up, anger boiling behind his eyes. He pushed Vincent away from her and followed it closely with a blow to his jaw. Vincent retaliated sending his foot rocketing towards Drake’s chest and both men went crashing to the ground.
Drake was up quickly and charged Vincent, tackling him into the wall. They began a brutal and bloody fist fight; Drake steadily gaining ground on Vincent. Drake kicked him to the ground again and was immediately on top of him swinging with both lefts and rights.
“You’re weak Vincent. This is what happens when you stop feeding on humans. I can kill you right here and now.”
“I don’t think so,” he replied as he regained his footing. Vincent kicked upwards and threw Drake off of him. “I may have stopped feeding but that doesn’t make me any less capable of kicking your ass!”
Teresa watched in horror as the men ripped and punched at each other, tearing flesh from their bodies and painting the room in blood. “Stop it! This isn’t helping anyone!” she yelled. Her pleas fell on deaf ears as the two struggled for control.
Vincent knocked Drake’s feet from under him and his arm landed in the fire place, setting him on fire.
Without hesitation, he once again charged at him and began landing vicious blows to his stomach as Drake was trying to put himself out.
Drake grabbed him around the neck and threw him to the other side of the room, finally putting out his burning clothes.
Vincent came charging back at Drake; both of their faces cut and bruised from the vicious blows from each others’ hardened fists.
“STOP IT!” Teresa yelled again as Drake went flying for Vincent’s midsection knocking him to the ground once more.
“Core go round,
Power be bound
Interrupt the nature’s course
Time slow down,”
She cast a spell to slow their actions; if they refused to listen, she’d make them bend to her will instead.
“Drake, as much as it pains you to hear it, I think you should let Vincent try. If you want her back, pursue all methods,” Teresa encouraged.
“No, Teresa. There is no fucking way that’s happening. Ever; figure out something else.” Drake turned to look at Vincent, “We’ll settle this later.”
He picked Zoe up and carried her back to the car.
“Anytime,” Vincent sneered wiping his lip and smearing the blood into the corner of his mouth.
Drake’s phone rang as he drove Teresa and Zoe back to his place. “Hello?”
…“Drake? Have you seen Vincent…?” Sarah asked without a hello.
“I left him downtown. Why? Are you ok? Is the baby ok?”
…“We’re fine, just hungry!…”
“I’ll be right there, Sarah.” Drake turned the car around and headed to Vincent’s place.
“Teresa can you keep an eye on Zoe, please? I’m going to check on Sarah,” he said exiting the vehicle.
Sarah was sitting in the chair next to the baby’s crib folding clothes she’d bought for her little girl.
“Here,” Drake said handing her a plasma juice. “What were you craving?”
“Oh the cravings are gone. I just want blood and lots of it,” she smiled weakly as he kneeled beside her.
“How’s the baby doing? Is she still kicking a lot?”
“Not at the moment, I think Venus has finally gone to sleep.”
Drake smiled. “If my opinion matters at all, I’d like to voice my dislike for Venus.”
“Really? You know how long I’ve been thinking about that one? Do you think Zoe would like it?”
“I don’t know, Sarah, Zoe’s kind of…the storybook got her. She’s asleep and I don’t know how to wake her.”
“Asleep? Like Snow White asleep or Sleeping Beauty asleep?”
“Yes, Snow White took a bite of a poisonous apple from the Wicked Witch, while Sleeping Beauty pricked her finger on a spindle of a spinning wheel. Both were curses from witches and both were broken with the power of true love’s kiss.”
“Yeah, that’s what Teresa said but my kiss didn’t wake her.”
“What the hell are you doing here?” Vincent asked walking up behind him.
Drake stood up. “I’m taking care of your responsibility,” he replied. “Is there anything else I can get you, Sarah?”
She shook her head no. “Ok, I should be getting back to Zoe then. I’ll see you later.” He turned and exited the room and got back to the car.
“Drake I’ve figured something out. True love’s kiss is the key but that’s only if this spell came from the Wizard that locked you all in the same storybook.”
Drake thought for a moment as they pulled up to the house. “It wasn’t the Wizard. It was Genevieve. Her last words were ‘the belle has forty winks, she too receives eternity’. So this isn’t a storybook spell?”
“No, it’s not. Which means you can’t break this and without Zoe, neither can I. She’s the main facet of the magic within our coven, the true link to the source.”
They walked inside and Drake carried Zoe upstairs to the bedroom.
“So what do we do?” he asked joining her in the living room.
“I’m going to try calling on the coven. It may take some time to gather everyone. I’ll see what I can find out.”
Teresa took a seat on the floor and began her trance. There was a burst of red light behind her, “Zavier,” Drake said to himself.
Zavier emerged from the swirling red mist and walked towards Drake. “We should talk,” he said with an evil grin.
Drake led him upstairs away from Zoe and Teresa. “What do you want?” he asked closing the door to the TV room.
“Zoe owes me something and I am here to collect.”
“Incapacitated?” Zavier cut in. “I’ve seen. I don’t care. We made a deal and I need her to make good on her end right now,” he sneered.
“Did you wait until she couldn’t do as she promised before you asked?” Drake said clenching his fists as the realization of Zavier’s true plan came to light, he knew what was coming next.
“You know, I don’t take kindly to being ‘leashed’”. His eyes flashed red, “You thought you could play me? I warned her not to try anything! Get me what I came for or I’ll collect in other ways!” he growled.
“I…” Drake’s patience was wearing thin. He cussed under his breath at the deal Zoe struck. He was stuck and Zavier knew it.
“You have an hour, Drake. If I don’t get what I want, Zoe’s deal gets rewritten and trust me, you won’t like the results.”
Drake ran down the stairs as Zavier disappeared. Teresa was still trancing and he began pacing around her.
“Drake you need to move. You’re disturbing the area.”
“Did you get anything?” he asked still pacing.
“No Drake, I’m still working on it. The anger around you is distracting, you need to move.”
He sighed and walked into the kitchen. Moments later, Teresa finished and called to him. “The consensus is the same, Laurie. Since Zoe is out, we can try calling her to see if she can either wake her or provide the connection the coven needs to the source to get to Genevieve.”
“Let’s get to work,” he said walking up to the bedroom. Teresa lit a circle of candles and summoned the spirit of Laurie Vale.
Laurie stood over her daughter, reached down and removed the ring from her hand. She grinned a little when she noticed the one on her ring finger. “Who did this to her?” she asked with a pained expression.
“Genevieve Dumas,” Drake answered.
“Genevieve? I thought she was locked away. Are we ready to begin, Teresa?” she asked watching her setup the summoning circle and pentagram. She placed the ring on and became corporeal.
The two seasoned witches sat together and entered into the storybook once again.
Together they began hunting for Genevieve. They approached a small cottage and entered inside.
“Well, well, well if it isn’t the fearless leader of the Vale coven herself! And what have I done to be graced with such a presence?” Genevieve sneered as stood near a table.
“You’ve placed a curse on my daughter. I came to give you a chance to remove it before I make you a smudge on that nice white rug beneath you!”
Genevieve laughed. “That frail and pathetic mystic was your kid? She had no idea who I was! And reading a spell from an unknown magical source? Tsk, tsk! Have you not taught her any better than that, Witch?”
“I don’t have time for your games, Genevieve. Remove the curse or I’ll remove you, last chance!”
“Oh stop with the dramatics. I’ll remove her curse, provided you remove my binds in this cartoon playland. I want out!”
“You know that’s not happening Genevieve!” Laurie stood her ground.
“Fine, then I hope your daughter is at least wearing some cute pajamas!”
“Have it your way Genevieve.” Laurie and Teresa’s eyes went completely white and Genevieve began levitating as the Vale coven witches began summoning her demise.
“Wait! Wait! Stop! I’ll remove the curse,” Genevieve pled.
“Too late,” Laurie said. “I gave you a chance, I don’t give seconds, especially when my children are involved.”
Genevieve fell clutching at her chest before taking her last breath.
“You’ve always disliked her, Laurie. You were just itching to do that weren’t you?”
Laurie smiled and they returned to Drake’s. “She’s still sleep?” Laurie placed the ring back on Zoe’s finger regaining her ghost form.
“I think she’s fine now.” Drake walked over to the bed, pulled Zoe into his arms and kissed her a very passionate kiss.
“Mmm,” I smiled. “Good morning Drake Steele.” His gorgeous blue eyes were smiling at me.
“More like Good Evening, it’s a little after 4pm now,” Drake said kissing me again.
“What? Why did you let me sleep so long?”
“Hi Zoe,” Mom said approaching me.
“Mom? Teresa? What’s going on? Is Maggie ok? Sam?”
“They’re fine, sweetheart. We came for you.”
Drake and Mom explained everything and then she started gushing over the ring on my finger.
“Have you set a date?” she asked brushing the hair out of my face.
“Not yet Mom,” I giggled. “He only asked last night.”
“Dad will be thrilled!” She gasped, “Are you pregnant?”
“No Mom, not pregnant.” She started blinking in and out.
“Oh, I have to go sweetheart. Let me know when you set a date. And get to working on grandkids!” she disappeared shortly after.
“Thank you for everything, Teresa.” I smiled.
“Thanks Teresa and I’m sorry about my outburst earlier.”
“Don’t worry about it, Drake,” she smiled. “I got to see Laurie again. It was nice.”
“I’ll walk you out,” Drake said following her out the door.
I started stretching and headed for the door deciding to watch TV or something and I heard Drake’s feet pounding up the stairs. He rushed into the bedroom and snatched me into his arms.
“Oh no you don’t,” he said kissing me. We fell onto the bed and he held me tight; placing kisses up and down my face, neck and chest. His facial hair tickled me and I giggled as he worked his mouth over my flesh.
He looked up and smiled at me before sliding a hand around my waist. “Do you want me to shave it off?”
“No, never; I love it.”
His other hand started rubbing up and down my inner thigh, my back arched as the tenderness of his touch caused goose bumps on my arms. “Mmm, that’s nice,” I said enjoying the way his fingers toyed with the outer seam of my shorts.
“Steamy!” Zavier’s voice came from the foot of the bed.
Drake jumped to his feet. “Zavier!”
“Oh so you do remember me?” he grinned. “You’re late!”
“Late? Late for?” I asked standing next to Drake.
Zavier charged at me and pinned me against the wall. His eyes went red as he snarled, “You and I are now different business partners.”
Drake started towards us.
“Don’t be stupid, Drake. I’ll rip her head clean off.”
He turned his attention back to me, “I’ll call upon you when I’m ready, and you had better be,” he growled at me.
He threw me to the ground and disappeared.
Drake came and picked me up. “What was that? What is he talking about?”
“He came looking for what you promised and gave me an ultimatum he knew couldn’t be met.”
The next three months, I was at Zavier’s beck and call. He had me conjuring dark magic and creating the perfect realm for him to reign in all the while I felt myself being drained of the energy from my source again.
I dragged myself into the bedroom and fell onto the bed. Drake stood over me; he could do nothing but watch as Zavier made me his magical vending machine, forcing me to wreak havoc on innocent people and spill blood for him on a nightly basis.
It was my own fault. I should never have thought I could con the first vampire. I rolled over and propped a pillow behind my back and my cell rang.
…“Zoe! Zoe! It’s time! Please help me!”… Sarah’s desperate cries screamed on the other side of the phone.
“Relax Sarah try and remain calm, Drake and I will be there shortly, ok?”
“Sarah’s gone into labor. It’s time,” I said running out to the car.
Drake and I rushed over to pick Sarah up and drive her to the hospital.
“Where the hell is Vincent?” Drake asked as we drove downtown.
“I…don’t…know,” Sarah said through spasms of pain.
We arrived at the hospital and Sarah was rushed into the maternity ward.
Drake paced the length of the waiting room. I think he was mostly pissed at the fact that Vincent was nowhere to be found than the idea that Sarah was giving birth.
I dialed Vincent’s number, twice, and received no response.
“I should have killed him when I had the chance, Zoe. He is such…” he continued pacing and stewing more the longer he thought about it.
“Sarah may be in there for a while. Why don’t you go look for him?” I suggested.
“Because he should already be here! It’s not my job to look out for him!”
“Think about Sarah.” Drake stopped pacing, kissed my cheek and stormed out to find Vincent.
He pulled up to the Ritz-Simarlton hotel after tracking his scent for half an hour.
He walked up to the counter and compelled the desk clerk to get Vincent’s location before quickly making his way to the penthouse suite.
Vincent had invited one of the strippers from Teasers to join him in the hotel room for the night. Sure he promised he’d hide his sexual escapades but that never meant he’d stop the trysts with these women altogether. How could he? It was one of the only pleasures he had in this eternity.
Drake burst into the room without bothering to knock. “You inconsiderate, egotistical asshole!”
Drake stood at the foot of the bed as Vincent continued making out with his flavor of the week.
“Come in, Drake. Wipe your feet,” Vincent said. He rolled off of the girl with him and she went running from the room.
Drake turned his back as a nude Vincent stood up to grab his clothes.
“What do you want now, Drake? Or did you just want a peek at a real man?”
Drake grit his teeth, the man really knew how to get under his skin. “Sarah’s at the hospital giving birth to your baby girl while you are…”
“It’s time?” Vincent finished dressing. “Why didn’t anyone call?”
“Zo. How is she?” he said glancing at the missed calls on his cell phone.
Drake stepped towards him with his fists raised and Vincent rushed for the door, smirking at the rise he got from him.
Drake and Vincent joined me in the lobby as we waited on word from the doctor.
“Is there a Drake Steele here?” a nurse asked standing near us in the lobby.
“That’s me,” Drake said standing.
“Miss Sarah Brooks is asking for you. Follow me and we’ll get you scrubbed up.”
Drake followed her through the back and Vincent came to sit closer to me.
“How have you been?” he asked.
“Yeah Zo?” he smiled.
“You smell like sex. I don’t want to know where you were when Sarah went into labor and I won’t bother asking why you weren’t ready for when your daughter was about to be born into this world. What I am curious about is why you are asking how I’m doing when Sarah is having your child and you don’t seem a bit concerned about why you weren’t asked to watch her be born.”
“I was with a girl, Zo. Sarah kicked me out of the house again and so I went and found a release for my…”
“I really didn’t want to know that.”
“I figured it’s what Sarah wanted. You asked me to be considerate of her feelings and I thought that was what I was doing. I would love to be able to see what’s happening in there. My first child; my only daughter. Drake’s the better man for the job, though I’d never tell him that. She asked for him, everyone usually does.” He paused and I saw a bit of sadness in his eyes. “I saw you called twice…well after Drake pointed it out. I’m sorry I didn’t answer. Are you mad at me?”
“No Vincent. I’m beyond that. I just really hope things don’t continue like this after little ‘V’ is born.”
“Yeah, you still haven’t settled on a name for her. So that’s what I’m going to call her. Besides, it’s fitting in a number of ways. The V for her first name, the V for what she is and the V for the mark she’ll have on her neck.”
He smiled. “She’ll be beautiful. I can’t wait to hold her.”
Drake walked back out to the waiting room, “She wants to see you, Vincent.”
“Has she…is she here?”
“No, not yet.”
Vincent stood up and slicked his hair before following the nurse to the sterile room. He was dressed in scrubs before escorted to Sarah’s room.
She was lying perfectly still on the bed facing the door. “Sarah,” Vincent said approaching. “Hey beautiful, how are you feeling?”
“I can’t believe you could actually ask me that! What do you think it feels like having a small person with your head trying to rip her way out of my body?”
Vincent glanced over at the corner. Solace; he’s second home. Oh how he’d love to stand in the corner now.
“I’m sorry Sarah. I didn’t mean it like that.” He pulled a chair up to the bed and sat with her.
They waited until she was dilated before wheeling her to another room and Vincent followed closely behind her.
A few hours later, Vincent came rushing out with the news. “She’s here! She’s so small and so adorable!”
We followed him to the Baby monitoring room and stood behind the glass. The nurse wheeled her bed closer to the window and picked her up for a better viewing.
I watched Vincent as he made googly faces at Little V.
“That’s my daughter, Zo. That’s my beautiful baby girl.”