What do you get a vampire for Christmas?

          Moira scoured half a dozen stores before stepping into Macy’s, but she'd grown desperate and the Big Red Star gleamed in the mall like a beacon of hope. At the moment, she stared at a gray argyle sweater, which would look good on Kiernan—in a garbage bag he'd still look amazing—but it didn’t have the right amount of oomph.

          “Here’s an idea, sugarplum,” Tandy said. Poor thing was probably bored out of her mind. “Why not get yourself something he will like. Get it?”

          She got it. In a flash, they were out of the Kingdom of Celebrity Endorsements and standing in front of every woman-loving person’s heaven. If she failed to find something in Victoria’s Secret to raise his…ahem…Christmas spirit, then this entire venture was a lost cause.

          Before meeting Kiernan Shaw two years ago, she never would've bought something from here. If she came to the mall, she passed by the push-up bras and frilly underwear with jealous disdain. She pretended that paying outrageous sums of money for something no one saw was the dumbest idea when all she wanted was a good reason to own something that nice. Reason accomplished. Now to find something that’d make their first Christmas extra special.

And to thank him. The last year proved one of the most difficult as she made her transition. At times, she suspected she behaved like a drug addict coming off a favorite vice, except with enhanced strength and speed, but he’d been by her side exactly as he’d promised, and she couldn’t have been more grateful. With his help, she managed to do things like go Christmas shopping with her best friend and not worry about accidentally turning an innocent into a snack.

          Tandy’s loud snort pulled her back to the here-and-now. She held something that looked like it’d lost a fight with an angry tiger and fingered the missing crotch of the low-slung leopard print bottoms. “Here it is!”

          Moira cupped her hand over her mouth to keep from laughing. “Oh yeah. He’d never be able to resist that.” If he could even figure out what it was….

          They perused more racks, cracking jokes and silently judging the women who actually looked at these “creations” like they were legitimate wardrobe choices. Toward the back of the store, she found a possible contender. “What do you think of this?”

          Tandy took the hanger and held it up against Moira’s torso, sucking in her bottom lip like she always did when she was thinking. “I think this one could work, sugarplum. But you’re going to need a couple of things to go with it.”

***

          The last year had definitely changed everything, especially the way Moira could celebrate holidays. Gone were well-wishes accompanied by lots of wine and champagne, replaced by the synthetic blood she’d learned to create—and somehow she’d managed to flavor some of it to take out that…iron-y taste. Blegh.

          She topped off two glasses of chocolate AB+ and sat them on the bedside table. All around, she’d placed battery-operated candles, real fire was way too risky, and replaced their bedding with something more luxurious—the softest Egyptian cotton sheets she'd ever touched and a gorgeous embroidered comforter set. They needed more of the finer things in life. No point in living forever without enjoying everything the world offered.

          She checked her reflection in the full-length bathroom mirror, grateful that the whole “No reflection” part of vampire lore wasn’t true. The slip fit her like a glove, the ruby color highlighting her ivory skin and bright red hair. A pair of white stockings enveloped her legs and led down to a pair of knee-high black stiletto boots. She adjusted the straps on the garter.          

          After placing the Santa hat on her straightened hair, she sat on the bed and waited.

***

          Kiernan clutched the velvet box in his pocket like it was his lifeline. For the unconventional love of his afterlife, he’d scoured Albany for the most unique piece of jewelry available. After all, what good was forever if she looked like everyone else?

Turning the doorknob to their apartment, he shook his head. She was like no one else he’d ever known.

          “Moira?” he called, their home uncharacteristically silent. She almost always had music playing, saying it was a result of Tandy’s all-hours painting routine, and she’d introduced him to some interesting artists and songs. Then it struck him—she was still out with said best friend, shopping. Some of the tension in his shoulders eased, and he took a deep breath to relax. A hot shower would wash away the rest of his anxiety, and maybe he’d concoct a better speech than the one currently in his mind.

           When he walked into the bedroom, though, he was taken aback by the array of tiny tea light candles all across the room. As his vision settled, he made out the figure lying on the bed, a shit-eating--one of his favorite “modern” words--grin on her perfect pink lips. Bedecked in something that couldn’t pass as actual clothing, she wore a Santa hat on her head and the sexiest black boots he’d ever seen. He swallowed against his suddenly dry throat.

She held up a sprig of mistletoe above her body. “Merry Christmas, babe.”

          It most definitely was.

          Like a cat, Moira stretched and shifted, swinging her long legs over the side of the bed. The whisper of her heels against the carpeted floor the only sound in the room, she sauntered to him, the mistletoe still in her hand. “I have a game in mind.”

          “Do you?” He clutched the ring box harder.

          “Mmm-hmm.” She took his hand in hers and pulled him back toward the bed. “Wanna know the rules?”

          “Absolutely.”

          In the candlelight, her skin took on a warm glow, much like before her change. Every year, when the weather turned cold, he’d think about the night they met two years ago and how she’d changed his life yet again. How blessed he was to have her and how lucky they were when the change didn’t turn her feral. Right now, though, his mind wasn’t on any of that. 

          He stretched out next to her, traced her curves with his fingertips, but she swatted his hand away. “None of that. Yet.” With a wry smile, she presented the mistletoe yet again. “The rules are simple. Anywhere I hold this, you kiss.”

          “Anywhere?”

          “Anywhere.” The huskiness of her voice went straight through him. He shivered in anticipation.

          “Seems simple enough.” Snatching the infernal plant from her fingers, he twisted it in his hands. “I assume it works the same for me?”

          With her enhanced speed, she took it back. Amazing how she’d progressed in the last eleven months. “I’m sure it will,” she said with a devilish grin. “Later.”

          Admittedly, he loved these  games she concocted. Loved pleasing her. The hell of the last two years had been completely worth the pleasure she gave him.

          “So….” She held the mistletoe above her lips. He leaned in and cupped her chin with his hand, pressing his lips to hers. A soft sigh escaped her. “That was your practice run.”

          “I’m ready,” he teased.

          “You better be.”

***

          This had sounded like a much better idea at Victoria’s Secret, but Kiernan was definitely game. From the way his gold eyes darkened and his canines had dropped, he was putty. She wondered if he knew he produced the same effect on her.

          After the “practice run,” she decided to test his self-control by dangling the plant just above her left collarbone. As he reached across to kiss her, his hand brushed her breast, sending a jolt of lust coursing through her body. “No touching,” she murmured. “Against the rules.”

          “I already loathe these rules, love.” His breath hot on her skin, she clenched her thighs against the ache between them.

          For a little while longer, she managed to trace a path from her lips to her navel without losing her mind and calling an end to the game. Truth be told, she needed him. Now. Or five minutes ago. She’d been a good girl all year. Time to collect.

          Almost as a dare, she held the sprig between her legs. “Here.”

          He smiled at the command, and without a word, knelt in the appropriate spot. Rather than kiss, he tongued her throbbing clit through the fabric. Sweet God everything he did was a thousand times better now than it had been when she was human. More intense. More mind-blowing. She threaded her fingers through his hair and pressed his face harder against her, and he complied. No one had ever taken the time to pleasure her like he did. As he told her once, her pleasure was his. She’d never doubted him.

          She sank into the soft pillows. Orgasm built in her core, pulsating in her pussy, her thighs, the base of her spine. Just a few more seconds….

Then he pulled away. When she opened her eyes, he twirled the mistletoe between his thumb and forefinger. She narrowed her eyes. It was so on.

 

          He was not prepared for her to pounce. For a few seconds, he’d enjoyed his small victory, but the thud of his body against the floor knocked his prize from his grasp. Adorable how she thought she'd overpower him; as her Maker, he was still stronger. He rolled her onto her back and pinned her down with his weight.           “You’ve still quite a bit to learn, love.”

          And she didn’t care. She looked at him with amber eyes filled to the brim with lust, love, adoration, and a thousand other things he couldn’t name but felt for her in return. “I’m a quick learner, you know.”

          He did.

          “And I know that you,” she said, running the tip of her finger down the center of his chest, “are very…easily…distracted.”

          Shifting her weight, she twisted her hips and he spilled to the ground. Then she sat atop him like a queen on her throne. A sexy queen with a provocative wardrobe….

          He ran his hands up her sides and cupped her breasts. “I’m not the only one,” he said, pulling down the straps of her slip. As much as he appreciated the wrapping, he wanted the present. Then he unhooked the straps of the garter and maneuvered the garment over her head. The boots would definitely stay on. “And I think I owe you.”

          “That you do.”

          Grabbing her hips, he pulled her forward, until her pussy was just above his lips. He licked from her soaked entrance to the top of her swollen clit and lapped at her juices. She tasted so good, so perfect, as though made just for him, and he’d never stop loving the taste of her or the way she gasped and moaned at each flick of his tongue and brush of his fang. Sweet, beautiful Moira. All his.

          She rocked back and forth against his mouth, breathy sighs and quaking limbs the harbingers of her orgasm. The last year, during her war with her vampiric nature, they hadn’t had much time for intimate moments like they’d shared on their date. Thank God they had the rest of eternity to make up for that.

          Lost in her, he barely noticed her leaning back or the sound of his zipper being undone. Only when she’d taken his erection in her hand and started stroking did he re-enter reality. He brought up his knees to serve as a backrest for her and continued laving at her while she brought him so painfully close to orgasm he lost his concentration.  “Moira,” he groaned against her.

          A breathy chuckle was her reply. The minx.

 

          One moment, she straddled Kiernan’s face, and in the next, she was on her back gazing into lust-filled, almost feral eyes. The tip of one of her fangs brushed against her tongue. She adored the tender moments between them, but tonight, she wanted to fuck. Hard.

Lucky for her, so did he.

          He crushed his mouth to hers in a kiss that spoke of his claim. As her Maker, he owned her. Paid for her with blood and loyalty. Lightheaded, she struggled to match his ferocity. It’d been nearly a year since that morning on the rooftop, when they’d celebrated her serum giving them the opportunity to enjoy the sunlight together, and in the moments they could steal when she’d tempered her bloodlust long enough to feel normal, he’d been gentle to avoid setting off her defenses by accident. Time to reward him for it.

          One small bite to his bottom lip. Nails scratching his taut back muscles. She pulled his tongue into her mouth, held it between her teeth, and sucked, taking immense pleasure in the almost-pained groans he made. He answered by ramming two of his fingers inside her. She bucked against his hand, and then flipped him onto his back again. His muscles flexed beneath her; no way in hell she intended to let him on top.

          While she rode his hand, he grinned like the cat that’d swallowed the canary. The flickering LED candles cast dancing shadows across his face, but his eyes glowed with a light of their own. She slowly unbuttoned his shirt and undulated her hips in that way he enjoyed, but his attention remained on her, and he licked his lips, seemingly remembering her taste. As her orgasm built, she undid the last button, moving the fabric away from his chest. He sat up for her to remove the shirt, pressing his fingers further into her, and she cried out, scratching his arms and back. Again. Thank God he healed quick.

          Kiernan nipped the sensitive spot between her neck and shoulder. “Enough of this,” he breathed into her ear. Shivers hardened her nipples to painfully tight buds. With his fluid grace, he picked her up and deposited her on the bed. He was inside her before she had a moment to comprehend.

 

          He’d dreamed of being inside her again since they’d made love under the sun, and somehow, she felt even more exquisite. She dug her nails into his hips and slammed her body into his, hard, rough, her ragged breaths filling the room, though she didn’t need to breathe. “Harder,” she demanded. And he obliged her. Hands bracing against the headboard, he fucked her the way she craved. The way she needed. Not caressing her was painful, but they’d have plenty of time to catch up on lost touches. At that moment, he’d sell his non-existent soul for her pleasure, endure the pain and fury of their year apart to hear her scream his name.

          And she would. 

          From the way she writhed and panted beneath him, she only needed a slight push. He dipped his head to one of her breasts and took her pert nipple in his mouth, sucking it the way she’d sucked his tongue earlier. She balled the sheets into her fist and came with his name on her lips, inner muscles choking his cock. That blissful tingle started in the base of his spine, worked its way to his balls, and he followed with a hoarse cry of his own. The headboard cracked beneath his palms.

          “We can get another one,” she managed. “Maybe a sturdier one.”

          “My love, I sincerely doubt they make one sturdy enough for you.”

***

          Moira rested her head on Kiernan’s chest. The lack of a heartbeat no longer bothered her, especially since hers didn’t beat, either. Pressing a kiss to his heated skin, she had no idea how she’d gotten so lucky. They weren’t perfect apart, but together, they made one hell of a team. Without Tandy’s insistence to take a chance, she wouldn’t be with the man she loved more than anything or enjoyed a dreamless sleep. Optimism felt kind of weird, but she found herself liking the fit.

          “I have something for you,” he said in a voice laden with sleep and contentment. He reached for his pants and wrestled in the pocket. When he removed a brushed velvet ring box, she knew that if her heart could still beat, it would’ve stopped at that moment. “Not exactly how I wanted this to go, but I couldn’t think of a better time….” He flipped the box open.

          Nestled onto a bed of creamy satin sat a ring. A ring. A. Ring.

          With a stunning black lotus flower-shaped setting, encrusted with diamonds tracing the petals and in the center, a brilliant blue diamond.

          Breathe, Moira. Oh, no wait. You don’t breathe anymore. “Kiernan….” Oh my, God, seriously. A ring. We’re going to be together forever anyway. I’m going to murder Tandy for introducing him to Beyoncé.

          But Beyoncé is kinda catchy. And fabulous, and—.

          “Moira?”

          She blinked, once, twice. “Um, yes?”

          He sighed. “You haven’t heard a word, have you?”

          “No. I was too busy spazzing out and singing Beyoncé.” And staring at that ring. “Please, restart. I’ll be a good girl and listen this time.”

 

          Good girl or no, he’d worked too hard on this speech not to use it. “In ancient Egypt, a blue lotus was viewed as a symbol of rebirth.” He took the ring out and slipped it on her finger. “I thought that perfectly described what we’ve endured over the last two years. First, your giving me new life when you fell in love with me, and then your rebirth as my companion. I scoured this city and what seemed like the entirety of the internet to find the perfect ring because the road ahead of us won’t be perfect. I wanted you to have a visual reminder of what you mean to me.”

          He wiped a stray tear from her beautiful face, streaking a small amount of blood on her porcelain skin. “It’s incredible,” she said. “I’ve never even seen a ring like this.”

          “That, love, is the point.” And thanks to Tandy, it fit like it’d been made for her. “I had a wonderful elf helping me.”

          “I have the odd feeling it’s the same elf who helped me. I’ll have to thank her when I see her this weekend.” Sliding her body against his, igniting his desire yet again. “Until then, you’re all mine.”

Moira and Kiernan are still two of my favorites, and I had to write a story for them! A Christmas story with some paranormal romance flair. It's their first Christmas together, and they're both pulling out all the stops. 

This Time This Christmas

© 2013 by CATHERINE PEACE. c.peace@live.com