A/N: My notes say 55 chapters, 42 of them written. Thanks for still reading.
Asher slid into the room only seconds after Anita had closed the door behind her, leaving Jean-Claude standing in the middle of the sitting area, staring blankly into space.
Silently the blonde vampire slid an arm around his old lover’s waist from behind and spoke over his shoulder, “That is as close to an apology as she will ever get.”
The other vampire nodded once. “I know.”
With a sigh, Asher pressed his forehead against Jan-Claude’s neck, speaking into his hair, “And yet you love her.”
A short laugh. “We cannot pick who we love, mon ami. And you love her, aussi.”
Did Asher love Anita? There was never a doubt. She had been the first person in centuries who had looked upon his scarred face with something other than disgust or pity. For that he loved her.
“Oui,” he admitted as he directed them both toward the nearest sofa. “But I am not interested in her anymore.”
Jean-Claude looked up, surprise flitting across his pretty face. “Non?” He asked.
“Miss Summers?” The younger vampire guessed.
“She is fascinating. Every time she answers one of my questions she hints at so much more that I want to know about her.”
The two men sat down, curled into each other as much as they dared since they had met again after years of anger and separation. “You sound enchanté.”
“I am. I have no doubt that she could keep me busy with nothing but her stories for a century.”
Asher laughed. “Ah, yes, the big but. But I am afraid she will not let me in. All she gives me are scraps.”
“Then invite her to dinner. Ask her on a date and make your intentions clear.”
“You don’t mind?”
“Anything that ties her closer to me is a good thing.” Power. That was not what Asher had been talking about at all and they both knew it. But it seemed even close to two years after they had made up, there were still things they did not touch upon. Their love was one of these things. Julianna was another. Not once had they mentioned her name. No when they were alone. Not when it was only the two of them.
Pushing away from the other vampire Asher made an annoyed sound at the back of his throat. “Power,” he said, “It is always about power with you these days, mon ami.”
“Oui.” Jean-Claude made no move to defend himself, sitting quietly and bonelessly even as the blonde vampire stood and left the room on soundless feet.
He hated that they were so insecure around each other, so hurt by each other that they could not even muster the passion for an argument anymore. Without Asher’s hate to spur them on, without Julianna’s love to ignite their passion for each other, be that in bed or a fight, they were hollow.
Maybe it was a good thing Asher was courting Elisabeth. Maybe it was a good thing they did not want the same woman anymore. Or maybe Jean-Claude was just becoming bitterer with every year that passed in this limbo. The limbo between having Anita and losing her, between loving Asher and hating the mere sight of him for the pain it brought, between being Master and being threatened at every turn by outsiders.
Maybe, maybe, maybe. He closed his eyes and sat there, alone, for the rest of the night.