Samantha had gotten more comfortable and was ready to relax. However, she needed real food for that and so she went to the kitchen in Sebastian’s lair for that. A portion of the coven were non-turned humans and an assortment of people. So she was fine. Starrfire and Raven were walking by when she waved. It was odd seeing the couple here. Maybe they had wanted to check in?

“So, what’s up guys? With you… I’ve not caught up on things.” Sam looked between Starrfire and Raven expectantly. She purposely ignored Sebastian when he walked in… for now. Sometimes that actually paid off with her Chosen wanting her attention later.

Quietly Sebastian leaned on the counter and watched their daughter and her Chosen. The couple seemed to be acting strangely.

“Um.. I suppose things have been okay. We were going to go get Evan when he calls. He and Avery and Ashley are welcoming his sister right now. I think you guys know that, though.” She chewed her bottom lip and dug her nails in to stave off reacting to just Evan’s damned name. “That makes all her children home now.”

“Russell too?” her father asked as he watched them both like hawks.

Starr’s eyes went to Sebastian and he shook his head. But Raven, sometimes the opposite of his own ways, took the answer on a different angle. Okay. He just looked up as innocent as he could and then took another gulp of his soda water.

“He’s off doing his stuff. He’s always busy. And Starr’s been busy carting people back and forth since then.” Raven leaned her head on Starr’s shoulder as she watched Sam make sandwiches, “Can I have one of those? Seems I’m a bit hungry.”

Starr laugh-coughed with the drink in his mouth on that one. He covered his mouth and turned quickly so as not to show his grin. “Sorry…I’ll clean it up…” he was looking for a towel and also grimacing from the burn up his nose.

“Um… sure Rave. What do you want on it? I love a lot of smelly stuff, so onions and pickles and cheese. But not everybody likes that.” She pointed to Sebastian.

“Sounds like a great mix to me.” She smiled for her dad’s girlfriend or fiance whichever they were going by now.

Sebastian mentally spoke to his own love, ~ Oh she’s hungry alright. I just don’t think that sandwich will be enough. ~ Even though his daughter had tried hard to hide it, he had been alive a lot longer than all of them. He’d seen those reactions before. His gaze went to Starr and he felt like the young man knew it too. She’d done the same with him. Raven would fight herself and deny it until she couldn’t or Starr didn’t let her anymore. It wasn’t a question of loyalty, though she would still see it that way.

~ Maybe they’ve been around human and lycan culture a bit too long? ~ Sam asked her love quietly. ~ Dragons tend on the multiple side both in their own matings and outside of it from what I’ve been learning. Vampires are very ambiguous, but loyal to their Chosen over everyone else, at least, that’s what you and some of the ones I’ve interviewed before I met you have said. ~

“You know, Evan asked about you when I was giving him his official physical,” Sam looked at Raven. “He asked about your beliefs and your relationships. I uh, of course told him that was not my place to comment on someone besides him. But I thought you should know.”

“Thanks..” Raven answered as she took her sandwich and stared at it on the plate like it was alive.

“Mmmm… Rave asked him to join us for our Dante’s run,” Starr looked over at his Chosen. He wondered if Russ knew. Sometimes Starr felt bad about knowing more about Rave than Russ, but then, he had worked harder on their relationship. So in the end, that bad feeling disappeared. Dante’s would be hopping tonight, what with the twins not only celebrating the brother’s freedom, but also the birth of the sister’s baby.

“That should be interesting.” Sebastian looked from the young ones to his love though technically they were older than Sam so it was quite comical to think on. “Feel like visiting the club with them my dear?”

Raven’s eyes went wide.

“Don’t you dare dad!” When Starr laughed, Raven set her plate down and swatted him on the shoulder. “You’re as bad as he is Starrfire of Morias.” She grabbed up her sandwich and took a bite only to regret it when it tasted like cardboard in her mouth. She chewed and swallowed only to have to keep from up-chucking it a minute later.

~ Do you need to feed? We can excuse ourselves, ya know? We’ve got to get ready for tonight, anyway, I was just waiting to share a shower with you is… ~

~ Yes.. a shower with you would be fabulous babe. ~ Raven pushed the sandwich to him and smiled, ~ Eat up you’ll need it for that shower. ~ She turned to the sink and tossed up the bit she’d eaten into the garbage disposal before washing it down and turning it on. Turning everything off she dried her hands and turned back to the others.

“You aren’t human nor lycan child. When are you going to understand that – either of you?” Sebastian looked from his daughter to Starrfire.

~ foot…mouth… ~ Samantha cautioned. She’d seen Sebastian do this before. But she just continued to eat her sandwich.

“What do you mean, either of us?” Starrfire asked.

Moving from the counter to Raven, Sebastian brushed a hand over her cheek and looked at Starr.

“What I mean is being loyal to one another is one thing, but trying to be monogamous is something else. Vampires have been polyamorous for centuries, so have dragons. Have you even tried to find your dragon mate Starr?”

“Uh…I’m not actively seeking to hire someone for that role,” the dragon decided to try and keep it to the lighter side. But the man was beginning to rub him the wrong way.

“No? You remind me of Gabriel Kennedy. Perhaps you’ve been around him too much and he’s wearing on you or it’s the lycan. I say Kennedy because you’re father is doing the same thing. He’s losing himself and trying to be something he’s not. That won’t work well for long, trust me.”

~ And there it is… ~ Starr grumbled to Raven.

“You can fight yourselves all you like and be miserable for it or accept what you are and enjoy life and all it brings.” Sebastian had moved to be right in Starr’s face. He doubted it would change the dragons mind, he was determined that Raven was all he needed to live and be happy. The irony was that Starr was a full blooded dragon and should feel the urge more than Raven did considering she was half human.

Starrfire cleared his throat, before tossing the sandwich in the trash bin to the side. It was a practiced artform, in his opinion. He looked down, at first, not meeting Sebastian’s challenging gaze, but when he looked back up, his eyes had shifted and he smiled overly-sweet at the man.

“I respect you. And I respect Gabriel. And I’m learning to respect my drakkar after years of abandonment issues. So trying to compare me to my father, considering the choices he’s made over his long life, is not only incorrect and rude, it’s condescending. If I were more like a lycan, I might have you throttled up against a wall right now. If I were more like a human, I might have a stake out threatening you with it. I’m more like… I don’t know… a dragon. I will mate who I want to mate, when I want to mate them. Raven is my Numero Uno and gets to help me out by keeping my head on straight for those decisions. So far, I’ve not met a dragon that gets my yards-long hard enough to mate. But you know what? I’ll make sure you’re the third or maybe the forth one to know when I do.” Starrfire turned and looked at Raven, his hand held out. “About that shower?”

Raven looked at her father and actually smiled at him as she kissed his cheek, “I know you mean well daddy, but Starr and I, we got this. We hit our bumps but we got this.” She waved at Sam and took her dragons hand. The way that Starr stood up to her father had made her smile even more.

As the couple left them, Sebastian leaned his hip on the island and watched Samantha eat her sandwich.

“Well that was interesting. But with the way she reacts to just talking about him, I guarantee it won’t be long before Evan is part of that group.”

“I was pretty much aware of that before your part of the conversation, dear.” Sam took another bite so she wouldn’t say anything else that might get her into trouble. But she winked for him, to be sure he knew she was not being mean to him.

With a grin on his face Sebastian walked to his love.

“What about you? Are you ready for us to be more?” He wouldn’t turn her until she was ready, but he wanted her for more than just a girlfriend.

“More? More than what we are? I mean, what are we in your opinion and what’s the next level, Sebastian?” When she used his name rather than his pet names, she was telling him that she was being serious within a conversation. He had referred to her as his Chosen. Had she misjudged that? She simply wasn’t turned. There were others in the coven lair who were human and yet Chosen. Starrfire was dragon and yet… Chosen. She put the sandwich down and took a drink of her water to be sure and wash away as much as possible. She had used a red onion, too. She wondered if she still had a can of mints in her bag.

It was the Coven lord’s turn to draw in a big breath as he faced his love.

“To become my Chosen officially. To be acknowledged by all that you are my Chosen.” He pulled her hand to his, “I want to give you a ceremony before my coven in the lair.” He kissed the center of her palm, “We exchange blood before them all and then they all will treat you as my mate. Once you are ready for the change I’ll bring you over. You will only be a vampire after that – on your terms, and you will feel all of us after that.”

“All of you?” Samantha was mystified.

“The Coven members.. you’ll be able to talk to them like we talk.” He caught her gaze, “Which means if you’re ever in need and can’t reach me then you can reach out to them.”

“And you are wanting to do this? It doesn’t have anything to do with what you just said to Raven and Starr, does it?” Samantha asked, a bit of worry in her thoughts.

“Excuse me, what do you mean by that?” His brows are furrowed.

“It’s just… Gabriel and Senias have gotten close. And then you said everything you did earlier about how Senias is lying to himself and … “ Sam closed her eyes and then opened them. “I guess I’ve just never thought I’d be in this …. situation. So, I’m asking if this is about just me… and are you sure?”

“What I said has nothing to do with this moment right now. I was using them as an example because it fit the problem. If Devon and Eva had fit I would have used them.” Sebastian paced a few steps right in front of Samantha. “I’ve already introduced you to our mutual friends and to my friends as my Chosen. If I wasn’t sure I wouldn’t have asked you now. But if you’d rather wait I have thousands of years to do so.”

“I don’t.” she spoke it quickly. He stopped and so she continued. “You know… have thousands of years.” Samantha continued to look into his eyes. “Tell me what it takes to be your Chosen. What do I need for the ceremony?” Sam asked.

Sebastian smiled softly, “A nice dress and yourself. It is much like a human wedding ceremony except a few changes. We will exchange vows, but we also bleed for one another. After our vows we will sit and all our coven will make a blood pledge to you. Our coven then usually serves us a meal. But you aren’t vampire so we can skip that and enjoy dancing until you are ready to retire.”

“The dress doesn’t have to be white, but it can be. It’ll be at the lair with the entire Coven present so.. you can only have a few of our friends at it.” Sebastian knew the second part would be the hardest for her. Only having a few present on her special day would be rough, but Sebastian hoped he could still make it lovely for her.

“Why?”

“Because anymore than a few will likely cause trouble and I don’t what your evening ruined. Our ceremonies tend to be very different to outsiders who’ve never experienced one. You must also remember lycan don’t do well in enclosed spaces.”

“I only have one person in my family, and there’s no way he would accept me dating a vampire, little on joining with one.” Sam swallowed and with a soft smile, she whispered, “I’ve made a few friends along this journey, but only 3. Yes, one of them’s lycan, but if she can’t do this, I’m fine with that. I understand.”

“I think all three would be delighted to be at your ceremony.” Sebastian chuckled as he kissed her. He wrapped his arms around Samatha’s waist and drew her close. “So are you ready for this? I won’t turn you for the ceremony. Like I promised, sunshine – no turning until you are ready for that.”

“I’m ready for the ceremony.” Samantha moved her arms around him and closed her eyes. “I think I may be ready for both. So long as you’re the one and you’re gentle with me. Something I never thought would come out of my mouth…” she giggled.

“After the ceremony, we’ll start getting you ready to turn. And, yes, before you ask it is better to prepare first so it isn’t quite as bad a shock to you and your system.” He was so happy! Hopefully everyone else would be as thrilled – if not, to hell with them.

Sam let her body melt against his.

“I love you, Sebastian.” She couldn’t imagine herself ever being as lucky as she had been this past year. She was so quirky and wild…most men would be intimidated or want nothing to do with her at all. She’d finally found a match that loved her for who she was and she didn’t have to compromise at all. And she loved him…adored him. He might have seemed off-putting to other people, but he was her fellow geek scientist and he had a sense of humor and a laugh that just made her smile. And so what if she kind of coveted those things that he usually hid from other people. She didn’t feel one bit guilty for being selfish over him like that. What would the future bring? Who knew? They’d figure things out as they faced them. He would have waited on her for as long as she needed, she knew that was the truth. But Sam knew the ravages time made to one’s body and mind, especially one like hers. It was time. Yes. It was time.

“I love you too Samantha.” He looked around and then once assured they were still alone he pulled her closer and kissed her. As it ended he purred for her in that dangerous little way she seemed to love so much. “Want to go home and let me make love to you or would you rather we go back home and fuck like there’s no tomorrow?” He could be her slow, sensual lover or the wild and rough lover. He always made it her choice when it came to sex.

“How about fucking and then love making? After all, we missed the main event this month. I think it’s only fair we make up for it on our own.”

“Mmmm.. I think we can do that.” Sebastian gathered her close and shadowed them to their bedroom.

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