Chapter Twenty-Three: Red


          "Rise and shine, Olivia."  Jonathon kissed my cheek as sunlight streamed across my face.

          I looked up at him, frowning, and shaded my eyes from the light.  "What time is it?"

          "9am.  Your cell phone has been ringing for a while now."

          "I slept for an entire day?"  I gasped.

          "Must've been the jet lag."  Jonathon shrugged, slipping off the bed and wandered in to the bathroom. 

          "Maybe.  I don't think I've ever had such bad jet lag."  I yawned.  "Wait, when did you wake up?"

          "I napped for a while yesterday, ordered supper - which I honestly tried to wake you up for - and I woke up about an hour ago."

          "I didn't get up for food?"  I could feel my eyes getting bigger.

          "No.  Not even the slightest reaction."

          I tapped my chin as I swung my legs over the side of the bed.  "Not cool."  As if on cue, my stomach roared.  "I'll get dressed quick and we should go down for breakfast."
          "Okay.  Check you cell before you shower." It was an order and a suggestion in one sentence.

          I flipped open my cell and skimmed through the missed calls and my now full inbox.  Marley had of course called about a million times before texting a few angry messages. I rolled my eyes and joined Jonathon in the bathroom.  He was brushing his teeth, I always found his little human actions to be so interesting, but he went about it as if it wasn't strange at all.  I didn't even wait for him to leave before I peeled off my clothes and climbed into the glass walled shower, which just so happened to have several wall jets.

          My Mother is so high class; she thinks I need to be too.

          I didn't even bother checking for Jonathon as I clambered out of the shower, searching around for a towel to wear, and pulled my hair back out of my face.  The red was beginning to fade now, my roots coming in as blonde as ever, and I felt a slight amount of anxiety well up in my chest.  Pushing it away, I grabbed myself toothbrush and went about brushing my teeth before I decided that it would be a good idea to get in contact with my mother.  I texted her back, even though I knew she was most likely already awake, I just didn't feel like calling her.  I informed her that the plane ride had been pleasant, and the hotel room was fabulous, but we were heading for breakfast and I was starving so I wouldn't answer my phone if she called.  That seemed satisfying enough and I walked out in to the bedroom where Jonathon was standing over his bag, looking for a shirt to wear.  The second he heard me enter however, he looked up to look at me and the tiny towel I had wrapped around myself. 

          "Very nice."  He nodded with approval.

          "It's all the rage in Tokyo."  I smirked and darted back in to the bathroom to spit out the toothpaste in my mouth.

          My second entry in to the bedroom went better.  Jonathon was gone so I darted for the dresser and pulled on my underwear and a pink bra, black knee high socks, my blue jeans and a lavender turtleneck. 

          "I'm starving, are you done yet?"  Jonathon whined.

          "Yes, let's go!"  I beamed.



          "Here you are, enjoy the buffet."  Our waitress smiled as she placed down our drinks.  As she left I got up to go to the breakfast buffet while Jonathon guarded the table.  I piled high three plates of pancakes, fresh fruit, hash browns, bacon and eggs and managed to carry them all back to the table without dropping anything. Of course, I intended to share.

          "You really are hungry!"  Jonathon's face dropped.

          "For me AND you dummy."

          "Thanks, Olivia."  He gave me a warm smile then descended on the pancakes.

          "I really didn't wake up last night?"  I asked between mouthfuls.

          "I figured you were tired."  Jonathon nodded as he ate.

          "Strange."  I sighed.

          "So when do I meet your friends?"

          "Probably for supper tonight, why?"

          "I would just like to be prepared."  Jonathon shrugged, dropping his arm on the back of the booth.

          "Well I'll make sure I get a hold of them and fill you in before they get here."  I smirked, nudging him with my shoulder slightly. 

          Jonathon poked at a pancake for a bit before he turned his face down so I could see his eyes.  He angled my chin up so he could kiss me, and I felt a wave of heat surge through my body.  Once the kiss broke he went back to eating, just another one of those things I found so weird to watch. 

          "Don't you find those little mundane things you do, awkward?"  I bit my bottom lip and watched his eyes.

          He took in a deep breath and then shoveled pancakes and bacon in to his mouth quickly before he chugged back his orange juice.  "Not really.  I didn't spend that much time in HAEDES, most of my time was spent among humans.  Watching Celone, learning to fit in with everything. It's no different than when Skylar or A.J. go shopping, or brush their hair, it's just something you do because ..." His voice trailed as he lost his train of thought.  "Why are you asking me this?"

          "Just curious, but it's nothing."  I leaned over the table and kissed his cheek and then quickly retrieved back to my seat to my breakfast.

          Jonathon let his fork drop to the table beside his plate, soundlessly, and took up my free hand.  His eyes seemed a little distant, searching around in his head for some memory that he had misplaced.  "I'm not that much older than you, y'know.  Everyone always suspects that I'm my Father, since every male in my family dating back to the 1500's has been named Jonathon."

          My eyes locked with his, I almost choked a little on the piece of bacon I had just bitten off.  I had, like he suspected, thought he was several centuries old, and up till now I hadn't felt weird about it.  The thought of him being closer to my age however, seemed to put me off, and my legs itched to move away.  "Oh?  So, then how old are you?"

          "I'm not even a century old, but for your friends, let's say 19.  I know it's a little weird, but I just didn't want you to think I was older than the moon." 

          "I never thought that.  I just ..." I really didn't know what I thought, just that Jonathon was older, stronger, bigger, and well-versed in the demonic world.  "How long did you spend in HAEDES?"

          "A few decades that was until, Lucien killed my Father, took my sister as his apprentice and made me a deal much like hers.  He told me that if I watched over his daughter, and taught her to be more like him, then he would let me live.  Celone helped me escape, and we've been on the run ever since."  Jonathon turned his face away, looking around to see if anyone was listening in on our conversation. 

          "Was Celone's mother, human?"  The words tumbled out of my mouth, my brain on pause, and I had no chance to take them back.  I snapped my hand to my mouth, instantly sorry I had asked the question, but Jonathon didn't seemed to be shocked or appalled that I had asked. 

          He nodded in response.  "She was.  Celone looks more like her Mother than Lucien, she's not the first half-demon, but she'll definitely be the last." 

          I scrunched up my nose and watched him, expecting him to elaborate.  "Why not?"

          His eyes were angry, irritated too, and I had to sink back a bit to escape a bit of their intensity.  "The Society made it a Law that any demon found mating with humans, Hunters, or any were-being would be instantly put to death." 

          A whimper passed by my lips, and I nuzzled my head in to his shoulder, his arm wrapping around me pulling closer to him.  That's awful!  How can the Society make it a rule that you cannot be with another unlike yourself?  That's practically racism.  I found myself fuming, angry with a group of people I had never met in my life.  "That's awful." 

          "Not entirely."  Jonathon rested his chin atop my head, his breath mussing with a few fly-aways.  "Lucien killed Celone's mother after she was born, trying to undo the awful thing he had done.  Celone is a big weakness on his part; he either wants her dead or by his side ruling over the world.  Getting either will be quite impossible."
          Ah, so Celone is his weakness ... not humans.  I guess that makes quite a bit of sense actually.  "Agreed.  I promised I would keep you two from him, and I won't go back on that."
          Jonathon smirked.  "Allow me to show my gratitude."  He tilted my face up to his and kissed me, that same warm kiss that sent a wave of heat through my limbs.  It was quite pleasurable, much better than feeling the tingling of tiny lightning bolts shooting through my chest every time, like when Michael would kiss me.  Now there's a bad place to go. 




          I was in the process of eating my eggs when Becca came sauntering around the wall of the restaurant, searched the tables and her eyes fell on me.  She jumped with a start and waved, walking quickly towards where Jonathon and I were sitting. 

          "Olivia!  I'm so glad I found you.  Aly has been talking my ear off all day trying to find out when they get to see you.  Please, just tell me so I can shut her up."  She grinned, sliding in to the opposite side of the booth where Jonathon and I were sitting. 

          "Um ... I was thinking for supper possibly.  Would that be okay?  They can all come swimming too if they want."

          "Oh that sounds lovely! I'll get a hold of her right away.  I have to get back to the front desk to start my shift."  Becca pulled out her cell phone before she slid back out of the booth.  "I'll find you two later," she glanced at Jonathon for a second but shook her head and waved good-bye as she half-ran back to her post.

          "She seems very friendly, and possibly a little suspicious."  Jonathon tapped his chin, stubble I hadn't noticed before carved out his chin.

          "Suspicious?  Why would you say that?"  I gave him a hard stare.  Glancing back over at the way Becca had left.

          "You didn't see the way she appraised me.  Some mundanes have the ability to see us, for what we really are.  Most of us don't look any different than them, but sometimes it's just the eyes that sets them off."  Jonathon shrugged and sunk in to the booth, the hand that was across the back of the bench ran through my hair.

          "Oh no.  Do you think she could figure it out?"  I bit my lip; my eyes searching pass the door of the restaurant.

          "Doubtful, they may be able to see it, but they usually just pass it up as their eyes playing tricks on them."

          I allowed my body to relax in to his, letting the heat off his skin radiate through me, sinking into my bones and muscles, calming the fluttering in my chest.  It was strange how easily I could make myself comfortable with Jonathon, not at all like Michael where I was constantly worrying about him.  Marley was absolutely right, I was using Jonathon, but I was doing it for all the right reasons.  I hope.



          "Shopping?"  I looked up at Jonathon over a magazine I was holding, perched on the couch, not really paying attention to the TV playing in the background at all.  We had only come back to the hotel room so we could think of something to do until we heard back from my friends, but so far all he wanted to do was stay in the hotel room and mess around.  I wasn't having any of that, I mean I would but I really wanted to get out and move around. 

          "I guess so."  He shrugged in defeat and dropped down on the couch next to me, pulling the magazine from my fingers.  He flipped through a few pages, snorting, making different sounds of intrigue and disgust, before he flopped it on to the coffee table and hoisted me off the couch and flung me over his shoulder.  "Okay Red, where to?" 

          "First," I was laughing so hard, and the blood was rushing to my face, so it was very hard to get out a sentence.  "Could you put me down?" 

          A booming laugh filled our room and his grip on my legs tightened.  "Not a chance, I'm carrying you all the way down to a taxi like this."  I could almost hear him smiling, which only made me laugh harder, and that made it quite difficult to breath.  "Okay fine, don't pass out on me." 

          He placed me on my feet, holding out his arm to steady me as the blood rushed down from my head back to my other vital organs.  I was still giggling, holding my stomach from where his shoulder had dug in to it, wobbling and trying to get my shoes on.  It must've been quite the site, because he kept smiling, all the way down to the taxi.  Although, we stayed on our respective sides of the car, not really touching or talking, and that was how it usually was between us.  Striking up a conversation usually meant subjects that weren't public-friendly, and could potentially land us in a lot of trouble.  So together alone we were great, together in public we were quiet and distant, but we were both great actors. 

          The taxi pulled over in front of a large shopping center, and together Jonathon and I got out, paid and walked in to the mall full of people.  He wound my fingers with his, pulling me along through the crowd, holding on to me so tight that my fingertips were turning blue.  He was pretty determined not to lose me, and the first store we turned in to was American Eagle. 

          "Will this do for our first stop?"  Jonathon leaned over me, appraising the store. 

          "Sure will."  I beamed, and instantly I was the one pulling him through the store after me.  Picking up different things from the female side for me, and then forcing him to try on a few things just to change up his wardrobe. 

          It went back and forth like that through every different brand store we went in to.  We'd look over a few things, end up taking half the store in with us to the change room, but only come out with two or three items. It didn't really matter though, there were enough stores in the large mall that by the end of our four-hour shopping day, I had spent well over five hundred dollars, and had forced Jonathon to carry every single one of my bags. 

          "I think that went well."  I giggled, carrying only three bags with me, while Jonathon was piled high with about nine or was it twelve?  Either way, he really didn't seem to mind, but walked all that much more quickly to get a taxi back to the hotel.  I wasn't really in the mood to go back, honestly I wanted to go for lunch or go to the zoo.  I just wanted to stay out, to be moving, to keep my thoughts occupied so that nothing snuck up on me. 

          "Why don't I just rent a car?"  Jonathon shoved all the bags in the trunk of the taxi, and stopped to lean over the back end to watch my reaction.

          "You'd do that?" 

          "Yes, it would save us a hell of a lot of money."  Jonathon walked over to the driver seat where the cabbie was punching in a few things in to his GPS unit.  "Would you mind taking us to the nearest car rental place?" 

          The cabbie nodded and signaled for us to get in, I didn't have to be told twice, so I buckled up and watched as we turned out of the mall parking lot and onto a series of different routes.   He took us back to the airport; where there was a car rental place built right next to it.  I heard Jonathon growl just loud enough for me to hear, and yet quiet enough not to scare off the poor cab driver.

          The cab waited for us to find a car, which ended up being a nearly new BMW, Jonathon's choice.  He paid for the next two days in cash, loaded our stuff in to the back and paid the cab driver.  The owner of the rental place showed us how to use the navigation system, seeming very proud of himself all the while.  Jonathon rolled his eyes, barely paying attention while I sat in the passenger seat quite engrossed with the lesson. 

          "You thought he was cute, didn't you?"  Jonathon teased as we pulled out of the parkway. 

          I barked out a laugh, clasping a hand to my mouth to cut off the horrid sound.  "Not at all.  He must've been at least 50, and he reminded me of a teacher I have at school."  A thought donned on me, and I turned all the way in my seat to stare head on at Jonathon.  "Did you ever go to school?"

          His one eyebrow raised a slight amount, and then he rolled his eyes and shook his head.  "Olivia... I'm in school with you now." 

          I shook my head.  "No, no!  I know that, you definitely school me in gym class.  What I meant was, when you were younger did you go to school?  Like I went to elementary school, I had this really arrogant teacher in the third grade, which thought she could yell at us for everything.  Drove me nuts.  Guess it was better than my kindergarten teacher though."  Involuntarily, I sighed, sinking back in to my seat. 

          He was watching me from the corner of his eye, probably thinking up an answer to give me that would satisfy my curiosity.  "I had classes.  They weren't like the ones you most likely had; math, science, English.  Well actually, I did have a few language classes, some German a little Italian, but mostly I had demonology lessons.  Learning the different classifications, rankings, and I had a lot of weapons and mat training.  I did have an art class though, my Mother made sure that I was well educated for the human world, she loved it."

          "Your Mother loved the human world?" 

          "Absolutely.  Not all demons think humans are worthless, without them, the first demons would never have been born."

          "Oh right.  Rape, lust, thievery ..." I clamped my mouth shut.

          "No, you're absolutely right.  You're forgetting some more sins, but I'll let it slide just this once.  What about your kindergarten teacher now?" His hand reached out and took mine, intertwined, resting on my thigh. 

          "That's why my Mom and Gabriel aren't together anymore, she had a fling with my kindergarten teacher when we lived in New York."  I rolled my eyes. 

          "Whoa, wait.  You lived in New York?"  The car slowed a bit for traffic, his head spun around trying to find an opening to change lanes, and for a moment the car was quiet.  My cell phone went off, ringing loudly in my pocket, and I fished it out, flipped it open and pressed it to my ear.


          "Eh Olive, it's Aly."

          "Oh hi!"

          "So, Becky tells me you wanna do supper at the hotel and then go for a swim?"

          "Yes, that's what I said."

          "I hear you have a boy with you.  Is it ---"


          "Sorry, Nate is trying to listen in on our conversation, you know how nosy he is."

          "True.  So, supper at 8?"

          "That will work.  Just a warning, I already told Becca this - Nate bugger off! - but there will be quite a few of us - I am serious Nate!  I'm trying to have a conversation here! - Ugh, he and Natalie want to know if your stud muffin will be joining us?"

          "He will be.  Please don't call him that again."  I snorted, trying not to picture Jonathon dressed up as a giant cupcake.

          "Sorry, Natalie said it, not me.  But yes, it will be me, twins, Molly and Jay, Connie and Becca.  Sorry about the Connie thing, but Molly insisted that she come along with us, those two drive me nuts!"

          "It's alright.  Are Jay and Nat still dating?"

          "You bet they are - Nate for Christ sake!  If you try to steal this phone from me --"  Aly's voice cut out and then there was the sound of wrestling, and possibly the sound of two people growling at each other.  Jonathon gave me a strange look; he could obviously hear the conversation I was having, so there was no real point in trying to be sneaky.

          "Um... Aly?"

          "No, Nate!  Hey bug, can't wait to see you tonight, it's been forever.  Aly is a little tied up right now, and I'm hiding in a closet, so I'll talk to you later.  Kisses."

          Laughter bubbled up and exploded from my chest, and bent over in my seat, fighting the restriction of the seatbelt, and just laughed.  "Bye Nate."  I clicked the phone shut and glanced over at Jonathon who was shaking his head and navigating his way in to another parking lot. 

          "Will A&W do, bug?" 

          "Hell no!  No one but Nate will get away with that one."
          He ran a warm hand through my fading red hair, and his lips met my forehead.  "Alright, Red it is." 

          "Oh brother."  


The End

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