I stared straight into Francis’ eyes as he smirked softly back at me. The only thing keeping him from a full on smirk to egg me on was the Claudette character who stood between us. The smothering atmosphere I’d felt earlier coming from him was present this time as well. It had to be one of those vampire things, I decided.
Though the vampire spoke I didn’t hear anything until he turned to face me. “What do you demand if you win?”
A laugh went through the crowd. How could they even pretend a human would win against a trueborn vampire? It was just crazy talk. Yet the vampire Claudette stared at me patiently as he waited for an answer. I looked to Francis who gave me a small wink as he licked his fangs. He’d already said what his prize would be; my blood.
What could I possibly want from him? My mind worked quickly as it decided on an answer. “I’ll have the same as he requested; his blood.”
Words of outrage came from a handful of the spectators but the quite hum of the rest talking assured me that it wasn’t to insane of a request. I stared straight into Francis’ grey eyes waiting to see his reaction. At first his face remained blank before his lip twitched the slightest bit in annoyance. The idea clearly irked him but he quickly covered it up with a nonchalant smile and a shrug. “I see no reason not to agree.”
Claudette nodded. “Then you shall begin. It is imperative you remember your vows not to kill.” As he said this he surprised us both by staring directly into my eyes as though the reminder was aimed at me and not the cocky trueblood vampire I was about to face. I wasn’t sure whether to take it as a vote of confidence or a warning about not getting too carried away and breaking the rules.
Nonetheless I responded with a nod and a small swallow of nervousness as I flexed my fingertips. Matthew’s blood warmed my nerves as I watched Claudette walk from the circle. The moment he stepped from it the heavy atmosphere lifted and I could move freely once again.
It didn’t take Francis long at all to lunge for me. Not even a second had passed before he was inches away from me, his hands outstretched. I tried to react but it was too late. His hands collided with my chest before I could move out of the way. They latched around the flimsy straps of the black dress that Matthew had picked out for me and pulled. Surprisingly they held, the thin material thankfully stronger than it appeared to be, and I was jerked forwards towards him. Not even a second later his lips were on mine as he kissed me fiercely.
What the hell! All of my body screamed out in anger and I moved to push him from me. I’d agreed to fight him; not to continue the sexual harassment that had been cut short earlier. Not even a second after my hands landed against the smooth material of his fine dress shirt he’d released me. As I pulled my mouth away from his, my anger boiling, he pushed me backwards with surprising force. I tumbled back with the grace of a plate that had just been dropped.
My ass hit the floor painfully and had my hands not shot back behind me to prop myself up my back would have surely smacked into the ground followed by my head. A roar of laughter rang out making the experience all the more painful. The throbbing of my tailbone quickly disappeared as an unusual urge to growl ran through me. On instinct I turned my head quickly and my eyes found Matthew without even knowing where he’d been standing. Our eyes met, his emerald ones burning with anger, and I was surprised to see he was standing in tense stance, his fangs bared and his breathing growing.
The anger he felt shot into me ten times stronger than what I’d felt at my own humiliation. It overpowered the pain that pulsed up my tailbone into my back and instead I launched to my feet, tackling Francis to the ground. He hit it with aloud thump, all of my weight going with him. I landed, straddling his waist between my decently toned legs. However strong I was normally didn’t seem to apply as instincts took over and I grabbed a handful of his collar. I jerked his head up towards mine basking in the utter surprise that laced all of his features. That’s right. I just knocked you on your ass you ass. I thought smugly.