[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]
.So why couldn’t they enjoy themselves?“Won’t Uncle Nick be angry if you begin missing your curfew too?”Her eyes checked his watch, sure enough, it was that late.Now she totally understood Brianna’s habitual curfew breaking.It was hard to get home on time.Especially when she had a boyfriend whom she’d much rather stay out with.“But I don’t want to go home,” she grumbled.“I don’t think I want your Uncle angry with me.I believe I’m already on thin ice with him.”“You haven’t done anything for him to be angry about.”“Danielle, I’ve put you in more danger than you’ve seen in your entire life.”“I don’t blame you for that.”“But your Uncle will if anything happens to you,” he admonished.“You said everything would be fine, and we have Scooby and Shaggy tailing us.How could anything happen?”Ethan ruptured into boisterous laughter concerning her dynamic duo choice, but remained determined.“I’m not going to push the limits with Nicolas tonight, Danielle.We’ll spend all day together tomorrow and the next day and the next.Well, except for during school.Otherwise I promise to be around—a lot.”She exhaled loudly, blowing her hair from her face.“Okaaay,” she agreed morosely.* * * * *Ethan walked Danielle up to the front door at an appropriate time of night for their return.He kissed and hugged her goodnight.She pushed the door open as he descended the steps, but then Uncle Nick noticed Ethan leaving and called out to him.“Ethan! Please come in for tea!”Ethan halted his stride to the Jaguar, and smiled up at the risen moon.“I would love to.Thank you, sir!” He nimbly bounced up the steps, snagged her hand and pulled her inside after him.When they got seated and the tea had been served, Uncle Nick began the conversation.“Ethan, I must apologize for my outburst at your home.I hope you can forgive me.”“Yes, of course, it’s already been forgotten,” Ethan said graciously.Then it seemed Uncle Nick attempted to lighten the mood further with a comment he meant as a joke—or did he? “Thank you for bringing Danielle home at a decent hour, even though it is later than in the past.Truthfully, I’m relieved you’re keeping her out after dark.I was beginning to fear my niece was dating a vampire,” he said in a tone laced with mirth.Danielle nearly spat out her mouthful of tea, but managed to collect her composure before Nick noticed.Ethan didn’t even flinch, he only smiled and chuckled softly at the joke and then glanced at her with a gentle reproving look for almost giving him away.She bit her lip, stared down into her tea, and began stirring it nervously.“Clearly I’m not.I daresay, you wouldn’t want to be face to face with a vampire at night, now would you?” Ethan said with a similarly playful tone.Danielle widened her eyes at his antique way of stringing words together.She felt he came close to giving himself away when he used words like “daresay.” Luckily, it seemed Uncle Nick didn’t notice, and she thought maybe it was just one of those “proper British” things.“Definitely not.That would be quite hazardous, for sure,” Nick concurred.His supportive reply made her wonder again about her uncle’s belief in the existence of vampires, and she couldn’t stop herself from questioning again.“Uncle Nick? Do you believe in vampires?” she asked, even knowing she shouldn’t feed this hazardous topic.She checked with Ethan to see if she’d angered him with her question, but he remained as calm and patient as usual.“I don’t know, love, but I think it certainly is a possibility.There are many things we don’t know about in this world.”“True,” she agreed softly, and couldn’t help but be grateful to Ethan for sharing many of those hidden truths with her.When they finished with the tea, she walked Ethan to the front door.She stepped outside with him, and shut the door so they could talk candidly for a moment.“I’m sorry for asking that.It’s just that he was the one who got me thinking about vampires when I first moved here and before I ever met you.I wondered then if he believed in them, and I still wonder that.Sometimes I would like them to know, so they’ll be careful.But I—” Ethan silenced her by pressing his lips to hers.He spoke when he leaned back.“I’m not angry with you.You continue to be my rarest possession, and I will always cherish you.Don’t worry about your family.Your uncle is a wise man.He thinks they could exist, and with that amount of knowledge he will be safe.”She smiled when his eyes caught onto hers and held for a few quiet moments.“It’s nice to be able to look into your eyes at night,” she said.“And it was a pleasure to be able to have tea with you and your uncle—at night,” he said.“The moon is a welcome sight for me now, thanks to you and your valiant bravery.” He slid his fingers along her cheek as he spoke.“No, it was thanks to you and your incredible self-control,” she argued.“I guess that is one thing we’ll never agree on.”“Agree to disagree?” she offered.“Yes, agreed.”He gave her a second goodnight kiss for the night, but it was cut short by a vampire.“Come on, Ethan, enough with the smooching.Let’s go already.” Cedric and Max had emerged from their hiding places, drawing closer, but kept their enchanting eyes narrowed.“What’s the matter, Cedric? Not getting a decent salary for your work?” Ethan asked without looking at Cedric.“Paid!” He laughed.“You’re funny, Ethan.We do this because we like you for reasons I can’t fathom at the moment,” Cedric ranted.This caught Danielle’s interest.“They’re not paid?”“They’re all volunteers, and trust me, they’re the only ones who can be trusted with this.Old vampires don’t need the money, as they’ve had plenty of time to accumulate wealth.Only a young vampire could be bought off.Beon will not allow any youthful vampires around us, and if they’re not paid then we have a better chance of them doing it for honest reasons.” Ethan explained.“But what if someone else bought them off?”“That’s why Beon has chosen old guardians whom he’s known for many years and can trust.”“Oh.How old are you, Cedric?” she asked.“I’m younger than Ethan, he’s an old fogy.I’m only eighty-four,” Cedric stated as if he was clearly still in his youth.Ethan cringed and chuckled at Cedric’s joke.“And you, Max?”“Truthfully, I’m quite a bit older.I’m six hundred and sixty-seven,” Max announced, puffing out his chest like a proud rooster.Danielle laughed, though she was astonished by the huge number.“You’re ancient! You all are!”“All right, time to go, Ethan [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]