They sat at the table. James sat by Diana’s side and not at the edge of the table as he used to. Dave took the place in front of Diana, so he could stare at her. Diana felt he heart race in fear, Dave’s eyes were set on her like a prey. He had this evil smile that terrified her. Dave was hearing her heart beating fast, he had this will to jump on her neck and he knew he would, one day. Dave was determined to take something away from James, something he loved and nothing like killing Diana.
“Why is your heart beating so fast?” Dave decided to ask. He loved to cause some reaction. James’ gaze landed on him and he jaw clenched. Diana just had the confirmation of her suspicions, Dave was also a vampire and Constantine was a bit fearful.
“My lord…” Constantine turned to James. “I think it’s better if we leave you alone with your friend.” He suggested. Constantine had a feeling Dave was a provoker and thought Diana knew nothing about their true identity.
“There’s no need.” Dave shot at him. “I will enjoy your company and your daughter’s very much.”
Constantine looked at him thinking that maybe he wouldn’t but he didn’t dare to say no to Dave. With a nod of consent, he sat back on the table and they began to serve themselves. Suddenly, silence took care of them and nothing was heard, just the sound of the cutlery and plates. Diana was pleased James was sat by her side, but she knew that meant he was afraid of something. The scent of his cologne was driving her insane and she didn’t know at one point if her heart was beating fast because he was that near or because of Dave’s insistent glare and evil smile whenever she looked at him. Maybe a mix of the two. She was disquieted by James’ proximity for sure.
“How long have you known lord Smith?” She decided to break the monotonous silence.
Dave was more than pleased that she was making him questions. Playing with James was his favorite hobby and when his toy was Diana things were even funnier. “Many, many years…” He said vaguely.
Diana nodded. “Where from Scotland are you?” She turned to James.
“Glasgow.” He said looking down at his plate. Diana watched him. Since when was he trying to look so human? Dave had food on his plate but wasn’t making the effort, she noticed. Was that all pretence for her father? Her father knew the truth and so did she, so there was nothing to pretend about.
“He never told you that?” Dave asked pretending to be nice, but there was this sarcastic tone in his voice.
“No.” Diana said. “I didn’t know that.”
“Have you ever been to Scotland?” Dave asked her.
“I have never been out of England.” Diana replied.
“Maybe you have family in Glasgow…” Dave teased. James tensed again and looked at him. Constantine watched the two men and how they interacted.
“I don’t think so. My family is from here.” Diana told him.
“Maybe ancestors…” Dave shot. James tensed again.
“Enough!” He shot at Dave. Diana noticed how the subject was bothering him.
“I don’t think so.” She forced a smile. Her first intuition was revealing to be true. She didn’t like Dave, not even one bit.
“What is it James?” Dave giggled.
“Let her have her dinner in peace.” James told him. Constantine kept quiet, Diana raked her eyes from James to Dave and vice versa. The two men gazed at each other in silence, it seemed like they were daring one another.
“I think you’re bothering lady Davenport.” James told him.
“I was just asking her if she had any ancestors in Scotland. It might happen. Don’t know why that is bothering?” Dave teased James with a soft smile on his lips. Diana saw James’ eyes narrowing and his chest came up and down fast as he breathed.
“My lord, is everything alright?” She asked him. James looked at her. His eyes changed expression in seconds and he nodded.
“Yes.” He said in a low tone. “Just eat so you can leave.” He said. Diana felt sad, he was telling her to go.
“Are you engaged?” Dave asked. James tensed again.
“Not yet.” She said.
“I thought you were.” Dave insisted. James was almost feeling physical pain if that was possible for him. First the agony of Dave touching the truth and his secret and now the fiancé subject.
“She is going to marry lord Jack Byron.” Her father said as if the confirmation had been informed to him already. Diana looked at him surprised and James did too. “They seem to like each other and we, the parents, have arranged the details.”
“Father!” Diana yelled and tears probed in her eyes. James narrowed his eyes again, this time at Constantine.
“We have talked about it today.” Constantine told her.
“Seems like we have to make a toast.” James got up and Diana looked up at him surprised and irritated at the same time. James’ semblance wasn’t friendly though, he was so serious she thought he was going to explode. Dave’s laughter echoed in the dining room, but he got up too. He seemed to be enjoying that moment too much.
“To Diana.” Dave said.
“Hope you’re happy.” James told her. Diana didn’t need to hear more. She just turned around and left the table running.
“Diana!” Constantine called her but she didn’t stop. Tears fell down her face, and it wasn’t the news. She was surprised indeed but she knew she would end up marrying Jack, it was James’ words that hurt her. Hearing him wishing her happiness was too much. Her heart ached with hurt and despair. She closed herself in the room and crashed on her bed sobbing.
Constantine left the table right after to search for his daughter. Dave looked at James and then noticed how he began to pace around the table like a caged wild animal. He smiled.
“I can’t say I feel sorry for you…” Dave told him.
“Fuck you!” James shot. Dave laughed loud.
“You’re so furious…but you know? I don’t understand James…if you love her then why let her go?”
James placed his hands on the table and bent over Dave’s face. “That is something you will never understand. I love her so I want her to be happy. She will never be happy with me, the way I am.”
Dave rolled his eyes. “Where have I failed?” He cried. “Where have I failed since you are so sentimentalist? You’re a vampire!” Dave yelled.
“EXACTLY!” James yelled louder.
“We are selfish. We own the things we want!” Dave told him. “Just transform her!”
“I won’t do that to her.”
Dave approached James and put his lips near his ear. “So you’re gonna live to know that another man has her. Another man will touch her and kiss her. Another man will make love, probably every night, to the woman you love. He will make her moan…” James turned around and grabbed him by the collars, Dave began to laugh loud. “I pity you…” He said shaking James’ hands away.
“Don’t.” James told him firmly. “I might live tormented by what you’ve done to me but at least I am still able to care for someone.”
“You’re a predator! The fiercest one I’ve ever made, don’t give me the shitty talk.” Dave told him.
“And even…” James looked him in the eye. “I still care enough to let her go.”
“You’re a pussy James!” Dave yelled as James left him alone. “A pussy!” Then alone his lips curled on a smile. “I love the way her heart beats…” He felt his fangs appearing.
Several hours later, when the palace fell into absolute silence, everyone was asleep, Diana got up and changed for her night gown. She was going to her bed when a soft knock on her door forbidden her to do so.
“Open the door.” James hushed on the other side. Diana’s heart began to race when she heard his voice. A bit with trembling hands, she opened the door.
“What are you doing here?” She asked him. James pushed her aside and got in. He looked upset and even confused. Diana closed the door.
“I don’t want you to go out in the garden at night anymore.” He said.
“You don’t give me orders.” She told him.
“Actually I do.” He looked in her eyes. There it was, that will to kiss her.
“Is that because of your friend?” Diana asked him.
“Yes. He’s dangerous.” James responded honestly. “Please Diana…”
Diana sat on the bed and looked up at him. “What do you care?” She shot.
James crouched in front of her. “Just do as I say.” He said not answering her question.
“You know? You’re so damn funny.” Diana shook her head. “You tell me horrible things and then you poisoned Jack and now you’re trying to protect me?”
“Just because I don’t want to marry you doesn’t mean I don’t care about you.” He said. He was a master at pretending, at faking his feelings. She blinked her eyes with tears in them again, he noticed.
“You don’t care I am going to marry Jack? You don’t care that he kisses me? That he makes love to me?” James got up in a rampant and turned his back at her.
“I wished you all the best for your marriage.” He said forcing his voice not to shake.
“Look at me…” Diana commanded by turning him around to her. “Look in my eyes…” She asked looking deep in his eyes. She leaned her body against his and he stepped back. Diana stepped forward and stood on the tip of her toes. She approached his face to his and James didn’t move, even faster she pressed her lips against his. Even if he didn’t want to, he responded to the kiss. He missed her scent so much, he couldn’t even tell. His arms wrapped around her waist and he pulled her against his cold body. Their tongues entangled and her fingers dug in his hair. He felt himself drowning in an immense will to lay her down on that bed and do her, but his arms got hold of hers and he pulled her away.
“No.” He said though he was burning for her. Her tears fell down her face.
“If I marry Jack you will never touch me again. Is that what you want?” She cried.
“I told you to marry him and be happy. I mean these words.” He said feeling his legs still a bit weak.
“Once I am his I won’t be anyone else’s James.” She insisted.
“Marry him. I don’t want you.” He said firmly. “Don’t insist Diana. You must stay away from me, even more now.”
“Who is Dave?” She asked him. His sudden need to protect her had something to do with him for sure.
“He was my maker.” James told her.
“Why was he asking me if I had any family in Scotland. I thought that was weird.”
“He likes to tease people. Let that go.” James told her,. But somehow she felt how that bothered him. There was something behind Dave’s provocations.
“I love you James.” She told him once again. He looked at her and went to the door.
“But I don’t. Bare that in your mind.” He said as cold as he could. He closed the door and heard her cry. James fastened his pace towards his room and once there, he fell on his knees desperate.
“You’re such a fool!” A voice made him look up. Dave was there. “All you had to do was a bite and then let her taste your own blood…”
“Get the hell out of here and leave me alone.”
“Or the truth…the truth would definitely put an end to all this…” Dave murmured as passing by him.
“Leave me alone!” James shouted. Dave loved to torture him.
“It would.” Dave smiled. “She would never look at you again.”
“Leave me the fuck alone.” James yelled again.
“I wonder if she tastes as good as Ida…” Dave laughed. James jumped on him and pushed him against a wall.
“I will kill you.” He menaced.
“You know what happens to a vampire that kills another vampire…” Dave said calmly.