Read Called to Order Online

Authors: Lydia Michaels

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Erotica, #Romance, #Paranormal, #Romantic Erotica

Called to Order (6 page)

BOOK: Called to Order
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Chapter 6

The car sped off and a shiver ran down Adam’s spine. His senses prickled along his skin, and his nose tickled at the sweet scent of honeysuckle, only there was another scent mixed with it that he couldn’t place, something more masculine. It was her. It had to be. And she was getting away!

The intersection was deserted. The eerie quiet of this normally bustling world was only interrupted by the low click of the traffic lights switching from green to red. An animal burrowed nearby, sensing a predator was close. Rather than influencing the creature out of its hidey-hole where its blood pumped erratically in anticipation of the chase, the small creature was given a reprieve. Adam ignored the urge to hunt out the animal and feed. He suddenly had a deeper hunger to follow his mate.

He cut across the vacant road in the direction the car had gone. Her fragrant scent lingered, but was slowly being diluted by the overpowering odors of exhaust. He wished he were more familiar with English vehicles. The car was white and in need of repair from what he could discern from the repetitive clanking that jangled from the undercarriage. He didn’t know what kind of vehicle it was and regretted this. In his travels he had seen thousands of similar white automobiles.

The taillights of the vehicle faded in the distance, and he increased his speed. The blackness of night was fading into muted grays as dawn approached. The open thoroughfare offered no cover, so he had to keep his speed slow, no more than that of a mortal. He ran at a paced trot after his mate, his booted feet pounding a tattoo over the vast pavement.

He reached another intersection and paused. Raising his face to the sky he breathed in, hoping to pick up a trail of her scent. Suddenly there was a loud honk followed by the whoosh of a car speeding past him, so close the wind from the vehicle ruffled his clothes. “Get out of the road, asshole!”

The momentary distraction caused Adam to lose his mate’s trail. He cursed himself for not seizing her the moment his brain registered her scent. He had been just about to feed and then find refuge for the day when he heard a car idling at the intersection. He was so focused on holding onto the fine thread between him and the animal he hunted, that he did not, at first, allow the car’s presence to distract him. Then his spine began to tingle, and his eyes begin to dilate. His gums throbbed as his fangs instinctually fought to elongate, something Adam usually had complete cognitive control over. Before he even processed the familiar scent seeping from the windows of the white car, he involuntarily emitted a predatory growl. This was no growl a bunny in the woods would provoke.

His body reacted before his mind could process all the information being sent to his brain. It was a sensory overload that made no sense. When he turned to see what it was that caused such a reaction, he felt as though a Clydesdale had kicked him in the chest. His mate was looking right at him. His mind worked at rapid speed to process what he was sensing. Her scent was as thick as syrup in the air, yet tainted with an odor he could not place, an aroma resting on her skin not being emitted from her blood, not wrapped in the essence that was her. For some reason this new scent was offensive to him. He felt his hands ball into fists and fought the impulse to snatch her out of the car right then and there.

Then there was, over the rattling clink of her idling car, a tiny click in the distance. He briefly glanced away, identifying the sound as the mechanism inside the traffic light that made the colors change. Another sign that he had found his mortal, his instinct to protect her had quadrupled. He was attuned to even the slightest shifts of energy, checking for any signs of danger. However, his protective instincts forcing him to identify the source of that small click caused him to break eye contact with his mate. That millisecond of distraction was enough to sever the fragile thread between him and his mate.

He felt her withdrawal like one would feel the removal of a layer of flesh. The moment she drove away, his fangs punched through his gums, and a growl rumbled through his chest. He should not have hesitated to grab her. She was his, and she would not escape him.

Adam roared in frustration. He had lost her scent, lost her car, and dawn was rapidly approaching. His body was hypersensitive at the moment, sensing even the tiniest vibrations of the world waking up and moving about. A vibration too slight for a mortal to detect, but the slight change in the earth’s rhythms caused by the motions of man was enough to inform him that the presently empty road would soon be swarming with automobiles and humans. He needed to find a resting place.

Adam walked into the Holiday Inn just as the first fingers of dawn began to stretch between the strips of stores and complexes that dotted the now-busy road. The streets buzzed with traffic, and there was an overwhelming hum of angst coming from the drivers. His telepathy was not as honed as his sibling’s, but he could still glean a sense of emotion in some cases. However he had never been able to read others with the clarity he did now. He sensed an almost universal feeling of urgency and dissatisfaction coming off the mortals in waves at this early hour. The slower a vehicle passed him the more specific the emotion. At first these foreboding emotions did not make much sense to Adam, then it occurred to him, these mortals were heading to work and anxious for the weekend.

Amish did not necessarily have weekends. There were no days of the week that the livestock did not need to be tended to or fed. Their days always started at dawn and ended at dusk. The Order made exceptions of course. Because of their dietary needs, they did not break their fast like the more traditional orders just after the first milking. Rather than resting, they spent the predawn hours readying the stock for chores and worked through the morning mealtime.

By noon, most farm business was underway, and they typically worked under shade for the hours that the sun was at its strongest. Evolution had gifted them with the ability to walk in daylight. However, they had learned, that the more hours spent under the direct rays of the sun required more blood to sustain their strength. It wasn’t that there was a shortage of blood on the farm, only that it was more efficient for them to work a more adjusted schedule. Typically by four o’clock during the planting seasons they would return to the field.

Supper was held at dusk and usually consisted of fresh meats and vegetables for the younger members and gestating members of The Order and distilled blood for the elder members. The elders could digest food, but did not obtain as much nutrition from it as the younger members. It was said that the body’s dependency on supplemental nutrition weaned around age one hundred and even in the years before that, their kind could go days without eating so long as they fed regularly.

Adam regretted not feeding before dawn. He would have to find a donor before he returned to his search that evening. He was anxious now that he had seen her. He was close and pleased with his progress thus far. Perhaps claiming his mate would not be so difficult after all.

“May I help you?” A woman in a man’s suit jacket asked from behind the counter in the reception area of the hotel.

“I am in need of shelter for the day.”

Without looking in his direction, she checked what Adam assumed was a computer as her fingers moved over a tray of lettered buttons. “Smoking or non?”

“I do not smoke.”

“Will you be staying with a guest?”

“No.”

“Do you require any handicap-accessible amenities?”

“I do not understand.”

“Will a standard bathroom be acceptable?”

“Yes.”

“I have a king suite, a double king with sitting area, and a double queen available.” Adam said nothing. She looked in his direction without changing the angle of her head. “Sir? Do you still want the room?”

“Yes. A simple room will do.”

“I’ll put you in the double queen then. And how long will you be staying with us?”

“Just the day.”

“And what credit card will you be using?”

He had heard of credit cards. They ran tabs for the English. “I will pay cash now.”

“Well, we will still need a credit card for security purposes. A bank Visa will work. Unless you damage the facility or order room service you won’t incur any charges.”

“I do not have a credit card.”

“Sir, it’s our policy that our guests are required to provide—”

“You do not need a credit card in this instance. Cash will be fine.”

The woman’s eyes glazed over slightly as she said, “Cash will be fine.” She blinked several times. “That will be one o’nine ninety-nine.”

Adam reached into his bag and withdrew the manila envelope that held his money. It was a cumbersome stack, and he made a mental note to divide his funds into two sets later that day, one for pocket money and one for the remainder of the money. He placed two hundred-dollar bills on the counter and realized the woman was gawking at the green-filled envelope. She then seemed to take in his appearance for the first time, her gaze pausing on his wide-brimmed hat.

“You’re not from around here, are you?”

“I am from Lancaster.” He slid the two hundred closer to her.

“Well, between you and me, you may want to stop at a bank while you’re here. It ain’t smart walking around with that kind of money. You could get robbed.”

“I’m sure I will be fine.” He gave her mind a gentle push to complete the transaction and forget his appearance and anything unusual she may have noticed.

The woman asked for his name and made some more clicks on the computer then slid a plastic card across the counter. Adam tried not to react when he noticed her claws. The woman’s fingernails were so long they curled, and they were decorated like a calico cat. He took the card and his change, thanked the clawed woman for her time then headed to his room.

Adam’s slumber was restless. Rather than the peaceful dreams he had become accustomed to, he had fleeting visions of ledgers and clocks. There was a sense of imperativeness he could not shake. He saw hands wrapping a black cuff of some sort around a frail arm and more clocks and dials he did not understand. Then the dreams shifted.

He saw a brick building with dark windows. The perimeter of the structure was littered with trash. There was a glowing sign next to a green door, but he could not make out what it said. The door opened, and he moved into darkness.

The images were so rapid and inconsistent he did not glean much from any of them. The only consistency among them was a subtle mood of company. He felt as though he was not seeing these images alone. That made no sense.

The broken dreams continued throughout the day until Adam’s restless mind grew too tense and forced his body to wake. It was not quite dusk, so he spent his afternoon performing his daily ablutions, sorting his money, and reorganizing his bag. He had switched on the television again out of pure curiosity. The machine seemed to make time pass faster than normal, and he was growing impatient.

Rather than the mustached man who had spoken to him the day before, today he watched an English man and woman interact. The woman was blond and dressed in men’s pants. Her shoes were unnaturally tall with spikes at the heel. The man wore a dress shirt and necktie. They spoke briefly about divorce. Divorce was not permitted among the Amish. It was grounds for excommunication. Among The Order, separations between man and wife only took place when a spouse was called to their destined true mate. Only then and in the rare instance of a spouse dying were members of The Order permitted to remarry.

Adam studied the plush furniture and noticed technologies his home did not possess. The man, called Nick, made mention of preparing breakfast for the woman whom he referred to as Sharon. Cooking and baking was considered woman’s work to the Amish community. Adam did not know how to do more than heat a basin of water in the kitchen.

Suddenly the woman began to caress the man’s face and in the next moment she was kissing him. Adam sat entranced as the man called Nick began to untie the woman’s blouse and remove it from her shoulders. In the next instant the man’s shirt was gone and the woman ran her hands over his bare flesh. He pressed her into the upholstered chair and began to kiss the soft flesh of her belly hidden by her undergarment.

BOOK: Called to Order
9.72Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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