"You've never told anyone what you really are here, Cairo," I murmured as he held the front door open for me. "Cara thinks you're a vampire-Faerie mix. Can I poke and ask if she's right?"
He smirled and closed the door after himself. There was a mischievious glint in those bright eyes of his. "She has the Faerie part right. My mother ran away from the Unseelie court because she was a kidnapped Seelie aristocrat. My father was a powerful Blood Mage - a vampire warlock. He met my mother and the fell in love. After I was born, my mother was spirited away by the Unseelie, then forced to marry their brutal king. My father raised me and taught me to hate all Unseelie kinds of Fair Folk. He went to find my mother in the Otherworld and got himself killed doing it but it gave my mother the opportunity to escape and go on the run with my baby half brother and unborn sister." He shook his head. "My siblings grew to be strongly Seelie. My brother Zayel works as a litigator in Santa Monica, New Mexico, and my sister Luna got married about five years ago to the Alpha in New York City. My mother is trying to find a Blood Mage called Archer who specialises in raising his fallen brethren. She is obsessed with it and endangers her life in her search for him but I want my father back as much as she does."
He spoke as we walked down the long path to the gates, hands in his pockets, eyes on the gravel. I could barely imagine Cairo having siblings or even a living family. A lawyer brother and a housewife sister who have a half vampire brother is probably one of the most dysfunctional things I had ever heard.
"Do you have any family, Jess?" he asked, meeting my eyes.
I shook my head and looked away. "Not that I know of. I was aised by wolves in the technical sense of the word. Prime Alpha Romeo adopted me with his wife because they couldn't have kids and they wanted to raise a child. I was brought up in a lot of places because they always moved at least once a year. because of that, I know sixteen human and twelve Otherworld languages."
He let out a low whistle. "Wow. I only speak three uman and two Otherworld dialects," he muttered.
"Do you know any Faerie languages?" I asked out of pure curiosity.
"Just Seelie and a little basic Unseelie. Don't you know any?" he smoothed.
I shook my head. "No. But I know alot of Mer, Demon and Spiritual languages. The non-corporeal ones are easy to mispronounce and turn into something rude, especially when ypu're reading in English and translating to doppleganger spirit speech."
A ghost of a smile drifted over his decadent mouth. "I'm fluent in Spanish, Polish and Lithuanian, which helps in England. Which human languages are you good with?"
"Chinese, Korean, Polish, Persian, Greek, Spanish, French, Japanese, German, Russian, Lithuanian, British Sign Language, Romanian, Swahili, English and Arabic. Romeo and Petra always called me omnilingual because I always took so well to a language," I said with a nostalgic note in my voice. "Romeo and Petra were my parents emotionally but I've always wanted to find my biological ones."
He regarded me with a strange look as I opened the wrought iron gates wth my key code. I wanted to know what was on his mind.
"What's wrong?" I asked as we walked through the gates. "You just suddenly tensed up for no reason I can notice."
He chuckled. "I was just thinking that you're so young and yet you know more that some of the older vampires at Passage," he smiled, his smile dazzling. Could anybody be more handsome?
"I don't really know that much," I mused. "In my opinion, knowing something isn't just about reading a book on it. You have to experience it and know what it feels like before you truly know it."
He nodded and smiled. "You know, you're exactly right, Jess."
I shrugged. "It's just a matter of opinion. Like knowing yourself isn't about knowing what you like. It's about knowing who you are and what you want your place to be in the world."
Cairo nodded and let a little smile curve his lips. "Have you ever done something illegal?" he asked with a devil-may-care grin.
"I stole a T-shirt from Hollister and never told anyone. Why do you ask?" I said, but I knew what he was up to.
"Well, little Rose, do you want to do something very illegal and get away with it?"