Xander's Chance (Chapter Three, page 1 of 10)


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California sunlight and an ocean breeze streamed in through open windows of Xander's spacious condo. The floors were pale stone, the walls something called latte, the furniture in light woods and cream, highlighted by teal and lemon pillows and tasteful throws.

Definitely not him. Ingrid hired an interior decorator when he leased the condo a few months ago. The brightness of every room made his sensitive eyes squint. He almost fired Ingrid that day for the bright colors, until he saw the master bedroom.

It was sensual, dark and cool: black walls and obsidian wood flooring covered by jewel-toned rugs, mahogany California King bed with the finest maroon silk sheets and a dark gray comforter so soft, it was like sleeping in a cloud. Even the scent of the room was a dark mix of oak and amber. The room was never fully illuminated by the red lights embedded in the ceiling.

It was him from ceiling to floor.

His sensitive ears picked up the sound of the television coming from the living room, but it wasn't this that woke him. Jonny tripped his senses again.

Xander rose and dressed quickly. Jonny disappeared then re-entered Xander's territory a moment later.

He went to the hospital. The scent of blood was subtle, detectable only by a vampire like him. Even with his belly full, Xander's senses were nearly ensnared by the scent of food. He forced his attention away and walked slowly down the hallway, towards the room where the girl had been - and where Jonny had appeared twice this morning.

The Black God was gone. Xander sensed the girl in the room alone.

Jonny was up to something. Xander didn't like it, though he wasn't at all certain what the boy-god was doing. He moved within range of the girl's room, intent on raiding her mind for information.

He paused a few feet away, before the door was whipped open.

Xander stared. The girl wasn't alone; she was with a woman, one that was completely invisible to his senses.

Impossible. He stayed where he was, rigid. In all his years, he'd never met a human capable of slipping by his senses. He was within range to hear her thoughts; all he heard was the girl's. The woman's mind was completely shut off from him.

Not even the Gods were able to elude him like that.

Jonny just so happened to rescue a girl connected to someone immune to mind magic, someone who was likewise invisible to the extended senses of a vampire. Why?

Xander watched them, eyes traveling over the woman's ultra feminine shape in appreciation. She was of above average height with long, dark blonde curls loosely captured at her neck. Her toned hourglass shape was clothed in jeans and a snug t-shirt and pink house slippers, as if she'd left home in a hurry. Too young to be the teen's mother, she was nonetheless affectionate. She hugged the girl and fluttered kisses across her features, until the teen protested loudly enough for Xander to hear.

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