When the Clock Strikes

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When the Clock Strikes Page 4

by Joanna Mazurkiewicz

  ‘No need, La Caz. I want to get straight into my questions.’

  I nodded, and he cleared his throat. Williams took a pen and paper ready to take notes. I tried to look relaxed, but I had to admit, it wasn’t coming as easy to me as usual.

  ‘We found a syringe with blood in the exact spot where my niece had been kidnapped. I asked the lab to run a check. It turned out that this syringe has been produced by your company, furthermore it contains fairies’ blood,’ he said, arching his eyebrows. ‘So my first question is, do you produce medication like that here? And second, how do you do it?’

  I wanted to punch someone right now, but I had to be calm.

  Fairies blood. Damn it. Someone must have started experimenting with my Magic Shot, adding their own supplements.

  ‘Yes, the injection that you’re talking about is called Magic Shot; the mass production only started yesterday. The injection helps vampires to deal with their thirst for blood. It kind of supplements our food, the blood. I came up with this idea a few years ago. The blood is freely donated by humans, and I’ve hired a dozen wizards, who add magic to the recipe.’ I explained this in my usual confident voice. I wasn’t sure how it came out, but Taylor didn’t look satisfied.

  ‘If production only just started, then what was that shot was doing on the streets? I presume that whoever got the girl dropped it accidentally while he was abducting her. I don’t know, maybe it’s just a coincidence?’

  ‘Mr. Taylor, I’d be happy to show you the production, but let me also tell you that a few weeks ago one my vans had been highjacked. The driver was killed and the first batch of Magic Shot that I was planning to test has been stolen. That means that someone has gotten my product.’

  ‘Stewart,’ Taylor barked at his subordinate. ‘Get on the phone to the office and check this. I’ll go with La Caz for a little tour around his factory.’

  He was ordering me to show him the production. Which meant I failed to convince him, but I was willing to cooperate.

  A few hours later, his subordinate confirmed that what I said was the truth. The investigation was still pending on the stolen van, and Julia’s father seemed to remember the case. He was very interested in the production of the shot. He checked the donors and the wizards and in the end he left looking satisfied.

  He’d spent a good few hours in the factory and questioned me in detail about everything. I didn’t mention Julia. It was too early and I didn’t want to give him the impression that I wanted something from his daughter. She probably didn’t have a chance to talk to him about this yet, but after our heated conversation in her office I was certain that she would mention me.

  When he finally left, I sent Julia an email stating that I was persistent and she wouldn’t get rid of me until she said yes. I also said I was planning to help her to find her cousin.

  I told Porter to take care of business and left. Things were falling apart and I couldn’t concentrate on work. I went to the gym again, ran for about an hour, and then went home.


  On Friday I still had nothing new about the shot. No one was talking, and my people failed to bring me any vital information. Thoughts about Julia had corrupted my mind to the point that I couldn’t function. I had a hard-on every five minutes. Since Isabelle, I’d avoided getting involved in a real relationship, keeping things to sex only. I had my routine and women who wanted to sleep with me. But now I didn’t want other women; I only wanted Julia.

  In the evening I called one of my mates, Nigel, and asked him to find out if Julia was going to be in any public place this weekend. She was a career woman and she gave me the impression that she liked to socialise. I paid Nigel a small fortune to find me something good. He was a skilled wizard, and he knew a few hags who could gain certain information using old voodoo spells. It wasn’t a wasted effort because around midnight I found out that Julia was having a dinner date with her human girlfriend. I paid Nigel extra to make her friend forget about that dinner. I would show up instead.

  She was going to be pissed, but I had to get her on my side and make her realise that our attraction was mutual. Or else find something in her that would turn me off and allow me to forget about her.

  On Saturday night I drove to the address that Nigel gave me. What I was doing was illegal, but Julia didn’t need to know that. She must have liked Asian cuisine because I checked on the restaurant where she was going to meet with her friend and it had great ratings.

  I walked inside feeling strangely excited about this dinner. The Asian waiter took me straight to her table.

  ‘Good evening, Julia.’

  Chapter six

  Yep, I managed to piss her off in a matter of seconds.

  She looked up and saw me, but I didn’t give her a chance to start protesting. I winked at her and sat opposite. She looked around, completely disorientated.

  ‘I’m afraid that your friend is not going to join you for dinner,’ I said, taking the menu from the waiter who just appeared by our table. ‘You’ll have me instead of her.’

  She brought her hands to her lips and started questioning me. ‘What are you doing here and why is Ella not coming? What did you do to her?’

  Yep, I managed to piss her off in a matter of seconds.

  ‘Not to worry. Your friend is fine,’ I replied, scanning the menu. ‘She just forgot that she had a dinner with you today. She will call you tomorrow.’

  ‘How did you know where I was having dinner today? What did you do to Ella? Have you been following me?’

  I could see Julia wasn’t going to stop with all these questions. Her face was tense, her pupils dilated. She stared at me like she was ready to slap me. I noticed a tiny sparks began to arc through her fingertips, leaving traces of energy that erupted through her bare arms and ruby cheeks. She was fuming and her energy was growing. A glass the waiter carried blew up nearby; someone screamed, and she flinched. At that moment I realised what was about to happen and I touched her palm.

  ‘Calm down. I’m not going to hurt you. I just want to talk,’ I said, drawing her hand into mine, trying to calm her power down. She closed her eyes for a moment, breathing loud and fast, probably trying to decrease her energy. She looked beautiful. Her snowy hair gleamed, her skin shimmered, and I wanted to run my hand over her arm, but she pulled her hand away quickly. It looked like she had trouble with control of her power whenever I was around.

  ‘So you decided to stalk Ella, and then you glamoured her so you could find out where she was meeting me today?’ she asked.

  The waiter approached us, looking nervously at her. ‘Can I get you anything to drink?’

  ‘Could we have a bottle of George Duboeuf Chiroubles to start with, please?’

  ‘Right away, sir,’ muttered the waiter. Julia’s eyes widened with amazement. I was a wine connoisseur and that bottle was suitable for this evening. I wanted to impress her, hoping that she would enjoy herself in my company.

  She was just about to protest when I stopped her. ‘Julia, I told you I’m not patient. We are both adults and I’m asking you to spend a few hours with me this evening.’ I paused, relaxing. ‘Besides, your friend won’t remember anything at all, so no harm done.’

  ‘Your vampire tricks might leave a permanent mark on her health. She is only a human and so far I’ve been able to keep her away from the paranormal world. How did you even know that we were going out together?’

  ‘Let’s just say I have well-gifted friends, wizards who are able to gain valuable information for me.’ I chuckled. The waiter brought the wine to the table and asked us if we were ready to order. Julia didn’t even look at the menu, but I knew what she would like.

  ‘I’ll have spice crusted hake with Colombo curry sauce and for the lady, Tandoori spiced chicken, cashew nut korma, and rice pilaf, please.’ The waiter nodded and vanished as quickly as he appeared. Her jaw hung open. I liked her looking so startled. That could only mean that she was impressed.

  ‘Right now, I know that you n
eed to go to visit a mental unit because this isn’t normal,’ she said.

  ‘I told you I’m very persistent and I want to get to know you. You brought this on yourself. We could have avoided all this drama if you had just said yes.’

  ‘Do you always get what you want?’ she asked, tasting the wine. She didn’t spit it back up, so she must have liked it.

  ‘Yes, I do get what I want,’ I replied, and continued staring at her lips, wondering if she would let me kiss her today. ‘May I just say that you look very beautiful this evening?’

  She laughed. ‘You don’t look so bad yourself, Mr. La Caz.’

  ‘So, Julia, tell me about your energy. How often do you lose you control of yourself?’ I asked, tasting the wine and still watching her blue eyes.

  ‘Only when someone gets on my nerves,’ she replied.

  I gave her a lazy smile. ‘Then you can’t control it?’

  ‘Sometimes I can; sometimes I won’t. Reading people’s thoughts can be useful at times.’


  ‘And if one vampire won’t leave me alone, I can just use my energy to kick him in the crotch.’ She chuckled, seeming more relaxed.

  I shifted on the chair, clearing my throat. ‘I am sure that won’t be necessary. I like your independence and smart mouth, so stop playing with me and tell me, how long have you been living in London?’

  ‘Oh no, Nathaniel, you forced your company upon me tonight, so I’ll be the one who’ll ask questions,’ she said and took a generous sip of the wine.

  ‘So you are curious about me then?’

  She rolled my eyes. ‘Just tell me straight. You just want to taste my blood. Everyone knows that vampires love fairies’ and elves’ blood.’

  She could read me but I couldn’t fool myself. She was just another woman that I felt attracted to.

  ‘Do you always get straight to the point, Julia?’

  ‘Yet again you answer with a question.’ She sighed. ‘Can you just tell me what you want from me?’

  ‘We have all evening to talk about my desires, Julia. As I mentioned before, I want to get to know you. So tell me a little about yourself.’

  ‘I’m twenty-two and, as you already know, I studied journalism in London and I have been working for Paranormal Personnel for over two years and I enjoy what I do. Happy now?’ she asked, irritated

  ‘So why did you choose journalism?’

  ‘Because I thought being a reporter would be cool, but in the end I couldn’t find a job in that field, and I ended up in recruitment.’

  ‘Interesting,’ I muttered.

  ‘What is so interesting?’

  ‘Well, you had a dream to become a journalist, but during this economic climate everyone somehow has to survive, so you killed your dream and decided to go into a different profession.’

  ‘I didn’t kill my dream. I just changed my mind about what I want to do,’ she said.

  ‘So if someone offered you a journalist position, would you turn it down?’

  ‘What is this, quiz night or something?’ she asked, sounding bored.

  I drew a breath, studying her closely. ‘Always so impatient, Julia?’ I asked smiling, but she didn’t look like I was amusing her so I continued. ‘Fine, I’ll get straight to the point, as you wish. Are you seeing anyone at the moment?’

  ‘I think that you should start answering some of my questions, Nathaniel. I know everything that you told my Dad about Magic Shot and I want to know—did you tell him the truth?’ she asked, appearing to be already tipsy. Maybe she didn’t drink that much. I kept watching her, dwelling on that desire that settled in my stomach.

  ‘I told him the truth. Listen, I know that you’re worried about your cousin. Let me help you find her. I’ve more contacts in the city; I know people who might have answers.’

  ‘How on earth could you help me find her if my Dad can’t?’ she asked.

  ‘Your father is a professional, but he doesn’t have any leads. Let me ask around. I can get to the places where police most certainly won’t,’ I whispered.

  She had to get it that I wanted to help her; it wasn’t all about trying to get to her pants. All right maybe it was, but her cousin’s life was on the line.

  ‘I’ll think about it,’ she said. ‘Now, apart from trying to convince me that you want to help me, I want to know why you came here tonight?’

  ‘You never give up, do you?’ I asked, laughing. ‘I’ll tell you what I want from you, but let’s eat first.’

  I’d only had a light lunch and was pretty hungry, plus I was trying to distract myself from her amazing scent and that body, so I focused on eating. We consumed our meals in silence. The food here was out of this world. I had to remember to come back here in the future.

  ‘So you can eat normal food and walk in the daylight?’

  ‘Yes. I wasn’t sired like other vampires. My mother gave birth to me, and I age as any other ordinary human,’ I explained.

  ‘But you want to drink blood?’ she asked.

  I narrowed my eyes and parted my lips. ‘Yes, I have craved blood, and my senses are sharper than those of ordinary humans. Some days I don’t have to sleep at all. So, I am like you—half magical and half human.’

  She didn’t say anything. Instead she drank more wine. I guessed that she didn’t consider this as a date, but she looked like she warmed herself to me a little. Presumably I had no chance for a kiss tonight, but I had to continue to behave.

  We polished off our main course quickly, not leaving anything on our plates.

  ‘Delicious. I’m surprised that I have never been in this restaurant,’ I said.

  ‘I discovered it accidently with Ella, when we were hiding from the rain,’ she told me and asked the waiter for a glass of water.

  ‘So I guess that you enjoy spicy food?’ I asked.

  ‘Yes. When I was younger my parents lived next to an Asian couple. They always used to bring us homemade curries and since then, I fell in love with Asian cuisine.’

  ‘I love good food, but I have to admit that I love blood more.’

  ‘Okay, your time is up.’ She pushed away her empty plate. ‘Get to the point and tell me: what do you want?’

  Maybe it was because I hadn’t fed from anyone for a while, or maybe it was because I was just so drowned in her, but I leaned towards the table and said, ‘I want to be locked away with you in my bedroom. I want to undress you and I want to make love to you all night until you beg me to stop. I want to bite into you and drink from you. I know it’s wrong, but I can’t control my response to the intoxicating smell of your blood.’

  Chapter seven

  Okay, so she was a good girl and she didn’t sleep around.

  Julia didn’t break from my intense gaze, and I was trying to guess what was going on inside her head. I heard her breath stop, and her eyes widened even further, sending an icy shiver down my back. My dick was fully erect now and I wanted to kiss her, not caring for the world if she would have slapped me for that or not. But I didn’t do it. Instead I sat back, watching her with a smile on my face. My old me wouldn’t never have admitted to a woman that I was desperate to make love to her.

  ‘Are you on crack cocaine or something like that?’ she gasped, cracking a joke, but I didn’t find it funny.

  I kept my expression unreadable. I really just wanted to touch her lips. ‘I’m insulted, Julia. I don’t take drugs. And since that meeting I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you.’

  ‘Right,’ she said, her face flushing. ‘Why didn’t you just say you wanted to fuck me and drink from me? That would have been so much easier.’

  ‘I’m a gentleman, Julia, and I wanted to show you that I had the best intentions,’ I said, running my hands through my hair. When she said it like that, then, yeah, I sounded like some ruthless predator. I could sense she was a woman who could bring out a softer side of me, the one that I tried to hide.

  ‘Well, let me tell you something, Mr. La Caz,’ she began
, moving closer to me, igniting a fire in my chest. ‘I’m not a slut. I would never agree to sleep with you. I don’t sleep with men after meeting them randomly at some business function. I don’t date vampires or half vampires. And last, I would never allow you to drink from me!’

  I didn’t change my serious expression. She was taking long deep breaths, looking satisfied with herself.

  Okay, so she was a good girl and she didn’t sleep around.

  Maybe I underestimated her, but she was so hot when she was angry.

  ‘You can ask me anything you want, Julia. I haven’t got secrets. I was trying to ask you to dinner, but you declined.’

  She shook her head and laughed. ‘Nothing is going to change, Nathaniel. Even if I ask you questions, you still won’t get me to bed, and you won’t drink from me.’

  ‘Okay, let’s forget about what I said. I want you to ask me questions, Julia,’ I pleaded hoarsely, feeling that maybe I shouldn’t have told her what I was looking for.

  ‘So I assume you don’t have a girlfriend if you make that kind of proposition to a woman you don’t even know?’

  ‘I’m single and I don’t date, Julia, but I enjoy casual sex with beautiful women.’

  ‘Have you ever been in a long-term relationship?’

  ‘Yes, it was a long time ago and it’s just the past to me now.’

  ‘How old are you, then?’

  ‘Twenty-seven,’ I responded, already bored of her game. She was right, I didn’t date, and I wasn’t planning to commit, so why I was considering seeing her? ‘Are you going to quiz me all night?’

  ‘You wanted me to ask you questions,’ she said, frowning.

  ‘What else do you want to know?’

  ‘I think I’ve heard enough and I still don’t want to sleep with you. If you don’t do dating, then I’m afraid we are wasting each other’s time now because I’m a traditional woman,’ she said, probably hoping that she made herself clear, that our relationship was strictly professional. Except she was giving me mixed signals, flushing every time I stared at her lips. I supposed I was also giving her mix signals. I shouldn’t be here if I was only looking for a one night stand, but Julia was causing absolute turmoil inside my head. I couldn’t even admit to myself that I wanted more than just sex with her.


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