She tried stifling a yawn as she rooted around her purse for her keys. He’d just healed the bite marks a few minutes prior. Her body seemed to have learned that that always marked the end of their sessions and thus the endorphins and adrenaline that kept her wide awake began to wear off. She did note, however, that she’d been getting better lately about staying up so late.

Naps were heavenly.

She had just about made it to the door when she heard his footsteps approaching on the stairs, causing her to pause. He usually stayed upstairs until she’d left.

“Oh good; I was afraid I had missed you.”

She looked at him expectantly, not sure what to say. It was in the moments like this where their not-normally-defined relationship left her at a loss for words.

“Are you available on Thursday?”

Well, she wasn’t expecting that question. Normally she got an e-mail on Monday’s with the schedule for the week. If she could make it, then great. If she couldn’t, then she’d just miss out that week. It was the first time in the few months that she’d been seeing her that he’d actually asked about her availability.

“I can be, if you need me.” Alyssa would surely understand it.

“Excellent. I need a companion to accompany to me to Thursday’s fundraiser. I’ve learned the hard way to go unattended.”

She bit back a sympathetic laugh. Those functions were not the friendliest to single attendees. Even more so if they actually liked you. For all they were for about philanthropic causes, they also were an unofficial ton, a way for the socially acceptable to see and be seen. She’d even met her ex …

Her thought didn’t finish as another took over.

The one that told her that he was asking her to accompany him. In public.

Like a date.

Not a date.

But close enough to a date.

Oh my god. Her mother’s friends were going to be there.

Wait. Was her mother going to be there too? No. She was out of town visiting relatives. Phew.

“I’d be happy to go!”

She hated these events. But how could she say no?

“Excellent. I’ll pick you up at 8:30.”

Oh. Right. It was being held near her place. Wait

“You have my address?” she asked, sounding surprised.

He shrugged.

Although she did her best to stay out of his actual night-to-night business – she knew she was better off for not knowing – she did know enough that something like obtaining her address would be a breeze for him. For all she knew, he’d done a complete background check on her. And really, if she were fair, she did kind of find him without asking his permission so she guessed they were about even.

“You know the dress code?” he asked in return.

She nodded. “I’m all set. Haven’t been to one of these things since my divorce, but I can’t imagine that things have changed.” Her mom had been nagging her to start going again for months now. Maybe this would get her to shut up. She still didn’t think it’d quite counter the fact that she’d be seen as a vampire’s consort, but really, as far as she was concerned, that wasn’t a problem of hers. She had no real desire to marry another socialite, nor any reason to. She had the settlement from her ex, not to mention that now she was of age, her trust fund was entirely hers and her parents were no longer able to touch it, even if they wanted to.

She’d made sure of it the second she’d gained control of her money. It was the one smart thing she’d done while married. So including her son, she guessed that that made exactly two good things her ex had done for her in their brief time together.

“I guarantee you the only difference between soirees like this from when I was human and now is that the skirts no longer have hoops. I’d say no one is fainting from their corsets but there have been a few close calls from an older woman who continues to insist upon layering Spanx.”

Now she did laugh. “Ms. Blythe?”

He considered and nodded. “That would be her.”

“She really does wish corsets would come back into style. She says they’re more comfortable.” Though she didn’t believe her, she did know the lady liked to do reenactments and that her dresses were always the most period authentic. It had driven her mother nuts.

He smiled. “I’ll take her word for it.”

And then, as quickly as it had appeared, the smile disappeared and his tone returned to a more business-like one.

“Thursday, then.”

“I’ll look forward to it. Good night, Master.”

She stepped out into the brisk early morning air, letting it invigorate her in preparation for the drive home.

A date. In front of her mother’s friends.

As it sunk in, like really sunk in, her eyes went wide.

It was a good thing she was dating someone already technically dead, because soon, she would be too.

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