Take My Hand Chapter 8

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            Jocelyn was apprehensive, but she acquiesced none the less. She trembled slightly as Carson pulled her into his chest, wrapping his arms tightly around her. His chest was cool to the touch, yet the knowledge that she was so close to him set her body ablaze. How easily this man could make her quiver in anticipation.

            “Ready?” Carson asked, hugging her close.

            “As I’ll ever be,” Jocelyn replied with little enthusiasm. She squeezed her eyes shut as the floor dropped from beneath her feet, tangling her trapped hands in Carson’s sweater as a slight squeal escaped her tightly closed lips. She tucked her face into his chest as the world spun around her.

            “We’re here,” Carson softly told her.

            Jocelyn’s head continued to swim uncontrollably, her thoughts jumbled and incoherent amongst the dizzying spinning of her head and the nauseating effect the transference had upon her already tremulous stomach. She would have fallen to the ground with as weak as her knees seemed had Carson not been firmly holding her to his chest.

            “Jo, are you okay?” Carson asked in concern when she continued to squeeze her eyes shut and her death grip on his sweater did not loosen.

            “I will be as soon as the world ceases this maddening spinning,” Jo said, her voice trembling.

            “Jo, I’m so sorry. I didn’t think it would bother you so much. Here, sit down for a moment,” Carson said, pulling out a chair in the empty restaurant.

            Jocelyn slowly sat down and leaned her head on her knees. Carson was kneeling in front of her, carefully petting her head and soothing his hand down her back, clearly at a loss as to what to do. Suddenly, he stood and walked swiftly from the room, returning is a moment’s time with something cold for her to drink.

            “Here, drink this,” he said, offering her the Coke.

            Jocelyn raised her head, testing to see if the room had stopped spinning. She slowly sipped the Coke and felt the carbonation bubble down her throat and land in her stomach, where it instantly cooled her entire body and caused her to shiver. A cool sheen of sweat had broken across her forehead and Carson gently used a cloth napkin to dot it away as she set the Coke back upon the table. She smiled at him reassuringly as her world righted itself and her stomach caught up.

            “Thank you,” she said softly.

            Remorse was evident across his face as he continued to smooth her hair back and dot her skin gently. He said nothing, refusing to look her in the eye, but Jocelyn could see that he was beating himself up that he had made her sick.

            “Carson, look at me.” Jocelyn placed her hand under his chin and lifted his gaze to her own. “I’m perfectly fine, Carson. You had no way of knowing that would make me sick as I’m sure it does not affect you that way.”

            “Are you sure you’re okay? You were so pale,” Carson returned, concern still evident in his voice.

            “I’m perfectly fine,” Jocelyn said with a slight smile. “My body just didn’t have time to catch up since we moved so quickly. My human system simply isn’t used to that,” she said, laughter in her voice. “Speaking of, what exactly did you do to me?” Jocelyn asked as Carson relaxed slightly, pulling the other chair around to face her as he sat down.

            “It’s called dematerializing. It’s vampire transference. I just think of the place I want to be and I am able to see it clearly in my mind as though I am already there. If I see that no one is about to see me suddenly appear, then I imagine my body forming there. Before I know, I have travelled there.”

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