Hey Guys, This is Chapter 9 written from Pierce's point of view. Hope you enjoy it!

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Where is Waverly? It's only my first day as her bodyguard, and I have failed miserably. First, I almost got eaten by sharks and she had to save me. And now, I have searched this entire yacht, from the gleaming engine room to the opulent staterooms, and Waverly is not on board. My invitation to have her meet me before the party was an utter failure. She refused it. In truth, I should be happy she isn't attracted to me. Makes my job less complicated. Speaking of jobs, what am I going to tell her dad? To get away from the noise of the party and contemplate my next move I needed to be alone, but Shelly Sharkweather kept buzzing after me like a mosquito. I have finally managed to escape to the aft.

The yacht floats in the middle of the bay, thumping against the water, out of sync with the muses up front who are performing a song in ancient Greek. A shooting star catches my eye as it whizzes past Orion's belt. No one ever talks about one of the best parts about being a vampire-a telescopic view the night sky, but without the telescope. Tonight the Milky Way is a delicate silvery cloud, a bridal veil of celestial lace stretching across the heavens. Jupiter's stormy red eye keeps watch, and the rings of Saturn are icy pinks and greys.

I scan the shore, but even with my vampire sight, I can't locate her. I close my eyes and reach out telepathically to see if I pick up any communications from her brain. But there is only silence.

Then I smell her! Relief courses through my veins. She smells like everything red and rich and cool. Like life. My stomach growls. I slap my abdomen. "Silence," I command. Of course it answers by growling again. Vampires have many powers, but we are still servants of biology, the same as humans. Perhaps even more. And here I am worrying about my appetite when Waverly obviously has an open wound, or I wouldn't be smelling her like this.

"I'm bleeding, which is a very, very bad idea when you're going to a party with a sexy vampire, who may or may not have stood you up."

Her inner voice is so clear, it's as if she is standing next to me. And I only had a drop of her blood. I am way happier about her calling me sexy than I have any right to be. I grab the rail and scan the water. There she is, about twenty feet away, her head above the surface, iridescent green hair floating around her.

"Wait, did I just use the word sexy to describe Pierce?" Waverly thinks.

"I believe you did," I say. I can't resist teasing her. I'm rewarded with an increase in her blood pressure. She will have a hard time getting aboard without help, but I need to get her on deck so I can see how badly she is injured. I have to offer assistance in a way that doesn't seem too obvious or pushy or demeaning. I am not allowed to tell her I'm working for her father. I should say something calming like: Don't be alarmed. I'm here to help. I can fly down and rescue you." But instead I blurt out: "Too late, Waverly. I already know that you think I'm sexy." Why does she have this effect on me?

"I was thinking you are snoopy, not sexy," she says. "Your blood-enhanced mind-reading must be wearing off."

"No, it lasts a good twenty-four hours," a chuckle slips out even though I know it will only make her mad. Once again, I can't help it. "And your mind is one of the most interesting places I've ever been. A shining garden of contradiction." I use poetry to cover up my attraction. She can't know how I feel about her. I have a job to do, and nothing can happen between the two of us.

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