| I laughed and looked at the computer screen.
On it was a macro of a yellow rose complete with thorns. And of course,
there were little drops of blood dripping from the thorns. I typed,
"Wolf, love, you are such an idiot, you know."
Thirty seconds later, a reply appeared on the screen, which made me laugh even harder. "Me?? You dare to call me an idiot?"
I typed, "Most definitely, love. But you are a most lovable idiot."
I didn’t have to wait long for a response. "That’s more like it," it said, along with several little cyber-kisses.
I typed in a smiley-face, and then I happened to look at the wall clock. Damn, I thought, it’s late. I typed in, "Wolf, I have to sign off for now. The twins will be leaving soon. They’ve been on vacation from school, and I have to go take them to meet their flight. Besides we’ve been chatting for almost three hours…..don’t you have anybody to kill tonight?"
A response was not long in forthcoming. It said to my great delight, "FUCK YOU!!!!"
I typed in quickly, "Now, now, Wolf, you know that sort of language offends my delicate sensibilities. You’ve been hanging around my Danny for much too long."
He responded, "Yeah, right….delicate sensibilities my ass." I laughed out loud at this, but the script continued, "Oh, BTW, FunkyKhiken says hello."
Smiling at Louis’ absurd login name, I typed back, "Tell him that GoofyGrl is sending him a huge cyberhug, and that goes for you too, Wolfkiller. Same time, tomorrow night, love?"
"But of course, ma chere," came the response
from the other end, "and when you sleep, dream of New Orleans and me."
The response was simple, but telling…. :)=
Dirty, rotten bastard, I thought with a smile. He knows exactly which buttons of mine to push. In fact his methods had worked not once, but twice. I typed back, "Just for that, Wolf, you will have to pay the penalty, and you know what that is."
The returned response was, "I await your punishment with anticipation. I’ve been a very bad boy."
I laughed, cyber-kissed him, and logged off.
I leaned back in my chair and pondered over everything that had happened to me in the past few months. I’m just totally surprised that my heart didn’t stop from all of the shocks I had received.
First, I discovered that in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, the undead walked the streets in the form of the vampire. Second, I was shocked to learn that my not-so-dead husband was one of their rank.
As you remember, my name is Jamie Stephens, and I was once married to Daniel Molloy. For twenty years, he had supposedly been dead, but I learned that he wasn’t exactly dead, but he wasn’t exactly alive either. I was overjoyed at the fact that my love was still in existence, but I had been furious at him for keeping that fact from me.
But my most intriguing experience had been in meeting The Vampire Lestat, as he likes to call himself. He had been the one who was directly and indirectly responsible for my meeting up with Daniel again. He was the one who had come to my hotel room after I had fled the townhouse where I had seen Daniel alive. He was the one who had comforted me, and yes, made love to me, and literally sent me to the moon. And over the past few months, he had become one of my closest friends, along with his beloved companion, Louis.
Ever since I had come back home, I had been in constant contact with them, either by computer or by phone. Before I had left New Orleans, after they had discovered my secret (I felt my face flush at that), they had promised to visit when the twins were not at home.
"Hey, ‘Chelle, Mom’s been talking to Wolf again," I heard the voice of my son, Michael, behind me.
"Again?" I heard my daughter, Michelle, say, "Mom, that’s already the third time you’ve talked to him, and it’s only Tuesday."
I laughed, delightedly, "Oh, do be quiet, you rascals," I scolded, mockingly, "I guess ya’ll missed the lesson I gave on respecting your elders."
They grinned their identical smiles at me, and said simultaneously, "Of course." Michelle added, "We were learning ‘1000 Ways to Drive Your Mother Absolutely Nuts.’"
"Well, you’re A+ students, then….ya’ll found way more than 1000 ways to drive me nuts," I said, getting up from my chair. "Are you ready to leave? Got all your stuff together?"
"Yes, ma’am," they chorused, in exasperated tones.
Two hours later, I arrived home, exhausted. That they had such a late flight was bad enough, but it was late, at that. So we had to lounge about the airport for an hour. We had a quick snack, napped, and read, while waiting for the twins’ flight. They were headed back to school in Boston. Both Michael and Michelle had scholarships at Harvard, and I was so proud of them. They were about to begin their final year. My Michael, with his dark hair and violet eyes, was majoring in music, while my Michelle, with her brown hair and green eyes, was majoring in medicine.
Finally the flight arrived, and I held back my tears until they boarded. I didn’t want their last image of me for a while to be me crying. I hugged and kissed my kids until final boarding was called and they were forced to board the plane. I cried most of the way home. My tears were both happy and sad. Happy that they were close to achieving their degrees, and sad that they were growing up so fast. It had been just the three of us for all of their lives, since Daniel had "died" before they were born. Even now that I knew that their father wasn’t exactly "dead", I was still hesitant to divulge their existence to him.
I unlocked the front door and walked inside. The first place I went to was the kitchen. I was still hungry, even after eating all of that not-so-cheap food at the airport. I fixed myself a quick bologna sandwich, poured a glass of coke, and walked back towards my bedroom. I went inside my room, but suddenly stopped short. Someone was lying there on the bed, watching me. To my utter surprise, it was Armand.
"Armand," I said, warily, "what brings you here tonight?"
He rose from the bed and strode towards me. He took my drink and sandwich out of my hands and laid them on the nightstand. He turned to face me again, and said, "We need to talk, preferably away from Daniel."
I tried to look calm, but inside I was a mass of nerves. I swallowed hard, and said in a rough voice, "About what?"
He seemed to sense my nervousness and pressed in closer to me. He said, simply, "About why, even when you’re not there, you are all that Daniel can talk about."
I looked confused, and voiced it, "But I thought we hashed this out in New Orleans. He and I both knew that we could never recapture the past. What has happened to bring you all the way to Texas, Armand?"
He leaned in even closer to me. "What I really want to know is……," he broke off.