last chapter guys. boohoo. i debated about splitting this one into two chapters, but decided to keep it and put it up as one mondo chapter. i know the ending's a bit rushed, but just go with it.

i'll put up the next story when i have more than two chapters written for it. for all you calcxjessica fans out there, they will be pretty prominant, although not the main characters.

thanks for all the reviews! i'm always amazed when people like my work.

see you next story!


I awoke with a groan, feeling as though I had been used as a punching bag for a gang of ninjas, or something.

"I think she's coming around," said a smirky voice.

"Mrrph," I said, not even opening my eyes. I wiggled my toes. They seemed to work. I moved my leg. It seemed to work, too. That's good. I had felt for sure I had fried out my brain circuits.

"Marla, I can't even begin to say how sorry I am," I heard Kate start. "We stopped paying attention, and it almost got you guys killed. I mean, neither you nor Raquelle had even an inkling of threat this past week, although now it makes sense, but we had left two people to watch over her, and we were just going to get some drinks and come right back when that demon attacked and we got distracted. In our defence, it was a demon, but still."

I held up my hand as if to ward off the flow of words, glad to see that my arm still worked.

"It's okay, Kate," I said wearily, opening my eyes and sitting up. I was surprised to see myself in the Torres' living room. I was doubly surprised to find my glasses sitting on my nose. The last thing I remembered was them spinning off into the night. "Is Callum alright?" I asked, gingerly touching my jaw, still sore from being punched, and adjusting my frames.

Kate shot Damien a guilty glance, one that made my throat close in worry. "Well, he was quite injured," she started, still shooting glances at her mate. "He had lost a lot of blood both from the initial injuries and his body's natural healing, and was out of his head with concern for you. He wanted to heal you, but one, he could barely move, and two, he probably would have killed himself trying to help you and we knew that you wouldn't want that. That, and when Damien tried to help heal you, he started going ballistic. So we had to –"

"Knock him unconscious?" asked a dry voice from the doorway.

"Callum!" I exclaimed, wincing my way off the couch and limping into his arms, relief sweeping over me in a wave that almost made my knees give out. He flinched slightly as my arms came around him, and I immediately leapt back.

"What's wrong?" I asked, concerned.

He put a hand on his abs, but smiled. "My ribs are just taking a while to heal, that's all."

"I didn't knock you unconscious," Kate protested, her hands on her hips. "I put a sleeping ward on you. There's a huge difference."

Calc raised an eyebrow at her from where he was reclining in one of the chairs, flipping through a magazine. "There is?"

"Yes," Kate argued, sending him a death squint. "Knocking someone out has such a… devious sound to it."

"You okay, now, though?" I asked Callum.

He nodded, rubbing a thumb over my cheek. Instantly, the pain there disappeared. My eyebrows lowered into a frown. "They gave me blood as I slept," he explained before I could give him flak about healing me before he was better. A half-grin split his face. "Ribs are just hard to heal."

I started to put my hand up to his chest gently, but stopped, staring at my own appendage as if it were alien to me.

The green lines now swirled up the back of my hands and down each finger. My eyes traced them back towards the inside of my wrist, all up the inside of my arm, until they disappeared under my armpits and into my torn and dirty shirt. I held both arms in front of me, not believing my own eyes.

"What the fuck?" I demanded of no one in particular. When did this happen?

Calc made a rueful face. "Oh yeah. Perhaps we should explain."

"Uh, yeah!" I said, anger starting to cause my face to flush.

"Well, simply put, you finished off Raquelle's spell," he said with a shrug. "Raquelle was a nature witch, the last on the list of elemental witches, although she must have had a victim that we haven't heard about yet. However, because, you finished the spell, not her, you received the powers that she wanted."


"Congratulations!" he said, slightly sardonically, with an amused look on his face. "You're now a superwitch."

"But I didn't even want to be a normal witch," I exclaimed, my anger melting away into exhaustion. Fuck it all; I didn't even care anymore. I guess at least I wasn't braindead. Or insane. I was sure I was about to be lost in the voices, until they were blocked from my mind.

You saved me, didn't you? I asked Callum, understanding dawning on me. You were the one who separated the voices from my consciousness.

Of course, he answered. We can only really deal with one crazy person in this relationship.

Very funny, Mr. Funnyman, I said sarcastically. Are you still doing it?

No, he replied. I had to drop it when they knocked me unconscious. And now you don't seem to need it anymore.

"Why can't I hear the plants as loudly as I did at first?" I asked Calc.

Calc shrugged. "That's really more of Heidi's department, but I assume that it was such a shock to your system originally, that your mind couldn't handle it. They're still there, right? Your mind has just adjusted, that's all."

He was right; they were still there, murmuring in the back of my mind like white noise. It wasn't even like before, either. I could not only hear their thoughts, I could feel them. The tree outside was looking forward to when the sun came back. There were several bushes fighting for the same chunk of space for their roots. The magic was still there too, swirling around lazily like the water in a pond, just under my skin.

I gasped, my brain smacking me with remembrance. "What about Justin? Is he okay? Where is he? And what the hell is Alanna anyway?" I felt incredibly guilty for not thinking of my brother sooner.

Don't stretch yourself too thin, my little warrior, Callum said, stroking my chin gently with his fingers. His healing spread through me, and I unconsciously stood up straighter. Even my feet didn't ache as bad.

"Alanna?" Calc asked, sitting up, actually looking interested for once. "Alanna Phaerson?"

"Yeah, I think that's her last name," I frowned.

He burst into laughter. "Oh, that is priceless. She's going to drag those lizards into this century by their tails."

"Sorry, I think I misheard you," I said, adjusting my glasses and blinking at him. "Lizards?"

He shrugged. "They prefer to be called Drakes, but all in all, same thing."

"I am sure the Phaersons would love to hear that," Damien murmured, and Kate shushed him, giggling.

"Drakes?" I repeated incredulously. "Like, dragons?"

"Yeah, dragons," Calc affirmed.



I collapsed onto the arm of the couch. "Dragons," I said, my mind stuck on auto.

But Calc had stopped listening to me. "Oh, Arthur and Joanna have a precious thing in their daughter. First, she wants to go to a human school. Then she has a human boyfriend. Then she turns him into one of them." He laughed again. "I would love to be a fly on the wall at their place now."

"Dragons?" I asked.

"Dragons," he repeated, grinning sunnily at me.

"Alanna said that she was taking my brother to rest, then they disappeared," I said in an almost accusatory tone.

Calc nodded. "They can move between planes much easier than we can. She probably took him to the Drakes' home, which is neither here, nor now, for that matter. Don't worry. He'll be safe, especially with Alanna at his side."

"What about my dad?" I asked. "He'll be freaked out if Justin doesn't come home."

Calc gave me a smug look. "I'll just phone and pretend to be Alanna's father. It's not a school night, right? So there should be no reason why Justin isn't going to go out and party with his girlfriend."

I'm sure there was something wrong in there, but by that time, I was just too fricken overwhelmed to care.

"Speaking of home," Kate piped up, "your car's back from the shop. It's in the driveway."

"Oh, thanks," I said, reeling from everything.

I swung my gaze back to Calc. "It's over, right?"

He nodded.

"Thank you all very much for everything you've done, but I think I need to go sleep on everything before I have a mental breakdown," I said, rubbing my forehead wearily.

"Understandable," Kate said with a sympathetic glance. "Tell you what. Damien and I'll drive you back to your apartment, then I'll get your car dropped off for you tomorrow."

"'kay," I nodded. Then I frowned. "Did you guys find my shoes?"

Wearing a newly acquired pair of flip-flops from Kate, we were escorted outside by the couple where a trace of light blue was starting to form at the eastern edge of the sky.

"I think I can drive," I said, reversing my initial agreement. "I don't want you guys to end up extra crispy." That was my excuse, but deep down, I just wanted to control something, even if it was simply my own car.

"No, it's alright," Kate said. "We don't want you to. You were in a very perilous situation, and the last thing you need is to get behind a wheel."

I prickled at that, taking it as a shot against me, but Callum's fingers came to the back of my neck, and I forced it back down, gritting my teeth against the urge to tell Kate off.

"Fine," I said, trying to keep the snippishness out of my voice. Some of it must have still been evident, as Kate gave me an assessing squint. I swallowed my ire. "You're right," I continued, sounding civil despite my internal grumbling. "Thank you for offering."

I leaned on Callum's shoulder the whole ride home, being careful not to aggravate his ribs.

What are you thinking? Callum asked, tracing the lines on the back of my hand with the tip of his finger.

Can't you read my mind? I asked, slightly teasingly.

He looked me in the eye, and I lowered mine first, my temporary good mood lost.

I killed her, I said finally. Nobody's actually said it, but that's why I have these now, right? I held out my arms. I pushed her into the earth, and she died.

I bit my lip fiercely, hugging my arms around myself as if I were cold. Shouldn't I feel worse? I caused her life to end. Is it wrong only to feel guilty about not feeling guilty?

Raquelle should have died a long time ago, Callum said, running his thumb soothingly over my eyebrow. She was being kept alive by unnatural means, even for people such as us.

I shook my head, not understanding.

I overheard Calc talking about it just before Kate warded me, he explained. Raquelle stole the life essences from life force witches and added them to her own in order to extend her life.

She killed people to live? I asked, wondering why I was shocked. She had no problem killing me to achieve her goals.

He nodded. So you didn't so much kill her as returned her to the state she was actually supposed to be.

That does make me feel better, I said, a hint of a smile tugging up my lips.

"Here we are," Kate announced cheerily.

"Do you want to come up?" I asked politely although inwardly I was sending her psychic projections to decline. "I can at least give you your flip-flops back."

"No thanks," Kate declined, apparently receiving my brain signals. "We'd best be heading home, at least before that sun comes up any more. Besides, I still have to personally thank my favourite vamp." She grinned at her mate.

I made a gagging motion at Callum, whose lips twitched.

"Later then," I said, climbing out of the car.

"I don't know what I want first, food or a shower," I said to Callum as we headed up in the elevator.

"I'm thinking about food for myself," he said, brushing some dirt off of his sleeve, which was very amusing as his shirt was filthy, and ripped beyond repair. I'm not even sure what happened to his jacket.

"Alright," I said as the elevator door opened, and Callum began to dig around in his pocket for the key.

"I'm surprised you still have that," I noted as he found the key still attached to the Bahama key chain.

"Deep pockets," he said, flashing me a charming grin.

I rummaged around in the kitchen, finding three packages of Twinkies as Callum dug out two bags of blood. We were almost out of food, as I was returning home the next day. I began scarfing down the Twinkies as Callum poured the blood into a glass and chugged it down, apparently too hungry to even be self-conscious about it.

The tears didn't show up until I had started in on my second Twinkie. I didn't know where they had come from, they just started running silently down my face.

By the time I was starting in on my third snack, I couldn't even see Callum's face through the water in my eyes. The Twinkie was like a rock in my throat and it took me several swallows before I could get it down.

"Marla?" I heard Callum ask, worry evident in his voice. "What's wrong?"

"I don't know," I sobbed, breaking down. The weight of the day just crashed down on me, and I couldn't keep it in anymore. "You're okay, Justin's okay, I'm okay. Why the hell am I crying?"

Callum's arms reached around me and pulled me into his chest, where I buried my face and bawled into his filthy shirt. I kept telling myself to stop it, but I have might as well been telling myself to stop the world from turning.

I could tell my tears were freaking Callum out a little bit, but he still ran his fingers through my hair, careful not to pull on the knots that he came in contact with, and murmuring something nonsensical, but still soothing, his gentle lilt like a lullaby.

My body finally just ran out of steam and emotion, and I merely stood there and breathed hard into his chest, feeling hollow and empty and swollen, but strangely much better. I just felt so at peace standing there, eyes closed, wrapped in Callum, that before I knew it, I had fallen quite asleep.

The sound of Callum's shower woke me up. I was lying in our bed on top of the covers, although a blanket from the living room had been tucked around me. I frowned, not remembering going to bed. Callum must have put me there and covered me up. I let a smile drift over my lips. God, I loved that man.

Now he was taking a well deserved shower. What with me freaking out and crying all over the poor man, then falling asleep on him of all things, he was a probably a little stressed out himself. I should probably make out with him. Er, make it up to him. Hell, I wanted to do both.

Wicked thoughts started popping up in my brain, and the weak willed woman that I was, I had no control over them. Truth be told, I just wanted my mate. Plus, I needed a shower too.

I quietly slipped into the bathroom, closing the door softly behind me. Little nervous-excited butterflies were flipping around in my stomach as I listened to Callum move about behind the curtain, but I forced myself to think of mundane things as I stripped off my clothing.

I saw my face in the mirror, and made a grossed out expression. My makeup was smeared to hell. My hair was a complete mess. The green lines swirled up my neck, in front of my ears, and up to my temples. I really needed a shower.

"Marla?" Callum exclaimed, turning in surprise, his fingers still in his soapy hair as I entered the shower behind him.

"I thought we could save on hydro," I said, feigning innocence as I tested the water with my hand.

"I'm glad my mate is such a thoughtful economist," he murmured, his eyes like rich melted chocolate as he slid his soapy hands over my hips, his thumb stroking the silvery-black mark beside my belly button. I scuttled forward and reached up into his hair, lifting it into a soapy mohawk. It didn't really work; his hair was too long and flopped to one side.

"Your hair's too long," I pointed out, sliding beside him so that the spray of the shower drenched my hair and face. Opening my mouth, I let the water coat my dry tongue, drinking my fill, and allowing the water to wash my face clean. I turned back to Callum and wiped my knuckles under my eyes.

"Makeup gone?" I asked, still wiping my face with my fingertips.

Callum had a disbelieving look on his face. "You are really here to shower?"

"Of course," I said. "I'm filthy." I wiped my eyes again, and saw that no more black was coming off onto my hands. "How about now?"

"Yes, mostly."

"Good stuff. You should rinse out your hair before it gets in your eyes."

As Callum did as I instructed, I had a look at myself. The marks on my arms didn't stop at my armpits, but continued down my sides, over my hips, down the backs of my legs, over the tops of my feet and to my toes. Freakazoid, for sure.

"Better?" Callum asked, an eyebrow raised at me.

"Much," I replied. "You can't have soap in your eyes if I'm going to kiss you. I mean, then you will associate my kissing with stinging and probably not want to do it again, and that would make me sad."

His lips twitched. "Me too."

"Although I'm sure that you might not want to kiss someone who looks like she might conduct photosynthesis if she goes into the sun," I said, sneering at my marks.

He took my chin in his hand and lifted my head. "Don't," he said sternly. "Your marks are what make you you. If you weren't a witch, you wouldn't have been able to pull me out of that tree, and I would still be suffering alone in the darkness…"

I bit my lip, and placed my hand over his mouth, stopping his words. "I'm sorry. I'm glad to have them, if that means I have you."

Callum paused for a minute, then a slow smile spread over his mouth.

"What is it?" I asked.

"I think that is the first time I've ever heard you apologise," he said, kissing my fingertips.

"Not true," I protested, tingles travelling down my spine at the feeling of his lips on my wet skin. "I think I apologised after I cried all over you that first time."

"Right," he murmured, lightly nipping the pad of my index finger. "I had forgotten."

I gave him a frown, not completely appreciating the teasing while I was trying to apologise. Especially when it was accompanied by actions that made everything in me tighten in lust. "Anyway, I am sorry. I don't mean to remind you of that time."

"Marla, you brighten my life to the point where that time in the dark is like a fading dream."

"Well, that's cause I glow like a nightlight," I muttered, a flush of happiness warming my cheeks in spite of my commands.

Callum kissed my wrist, and I shivered at the doubly vulnerable action it was.

Only for me, he said, his lips trailing up my arm, kissing the green lines that were already starting to glow. You never glow so bright as when you are with me. You can never lie to me, Marla, he continued, his lips at my shoulder.

Oh yeah? I countered as he spun me around so his mouth could find the ones on the back of my shoulders. How about 'I don't love you, Callum?'

His fangs nipped the corner of my shoulder and neck. It doesn't count when it's so blatantly obvious it's untrue.

I laughed, and reached my arms back to loop around his neck. Callum's hands snaked forward and cupped my breasts. I leaned my head back against his chest and closed my eyes as his fingers made me forget there was a world outside the big ivory tub.

As he suckled my neck, his other hand slipped down to gently cup the area between my legs.

"Oh Callum," I called softly, holding onto his head a little more firmly, as I tried to push myself harder onto his fingers. He didn't touch me, but seemed content to make me squirm and wriggle, the drive for pressure causing me to go insane.

"Callum," I begged, not even caring anymore.

"I love that tone in your voice when you say my name," Callum whispered in my ear harshly. His fingers finally separated my folds, stroking my creamy core.

"Oh god," I gasped out, my hand fisting in his hair, while my other hand gripped his forearm where it lay across my belly.

Callum's tongue traced my ear as his fingers continued to stroke and probe, making my knees threaten to give out.

"Callum," I said again, half because I knew he loved it, half because I needed him now.

He growled a response and pushed my top half forward so that I had to support myself with my hands on the edge of the tub.

His fingers dug into my hip, and then he was surging in, filling me, making one of my hands go to the wall in front of me to brace against his movements.

The shower beat onto my back, the water running over my shoulders and dripping off the tips of my hair. My entire consciousness condensed down to a simple in, out. Breathe. In, out. Callum. In, out. Oh god. In, out.

"More?" Callum asked harshly.

"Oh, yeah," I replied hungrily. Callum increased his tempo, and my fingers curled on the tile wall. I bit my lower lip, but even that didn't seem to stop the whimpering noises escaping my throat.

"Callum, I'm so close," I cried, my eyes squeezing tightly shut.

In response, he grabbed a handful of my hair and pulled my head to one side, sinking his teeth into my neck and slamming into me in one final forceful thrust.

"Oh Callum!" I yelled as my body exploded in pleasure. "Oh, fuck!" Callum held me to his chest as I shook and he drank and tremored. His pleasure ran into my mind and amplified it so much that couldn't tell where his ended and mine began.

It took several seconds for me to hear the shower over the pounding in my ears. Callum took his teeth out of my neck, but didn't disconnect us quite yet.

I think my knees are going to give out, I said, even my mind voice a whisper.

Callum chuckled, and tucked his arm under my knees, managing to lower us both to the floor of the tub. I turned on my side and let the shower cascade down on us like warm rain.

After a few seconds, I propped myself up on my elbow, resting my cheek on my fist. I traced my finger around his chest, tracing lines in his damp chest hair, completely recovered.

"So I'm still not sure what happened to my brother," I said conversationally. "I totally trust that he's going to be okay, Alanna loves him too much to let anything happen to him, but I kinda want to know where he went. Did he go back in time? Did he go to another place?"

Callum cracked opened an eye to give me a look that spoke volumes.

"Oh right, down time," I said apologetically. "Sorry."

I laid my head down on his arm again and watched an amusing little pool of water collect on his shoulder. Soon, it was too big for water tension to hold, and it broke, running down towards his armpit. I caught it with my tongue and followed the trail back up.

It tasted like freshness and Callum. I began to make little slurping kisses across his collarbone towards his throat. I heard his heartbeat pick up again, emphasised by the fact that mine did the same.

Good God, Marla, Callum moaned, you will be the death of me. I know he didn't really mean it, especially when he cupped my rear, urging me on.

You're immortal, remember? I teased, taking one of his nipples between my teeth. He hissed in pleasure as I apologised for the bite by laving my tongue over the nub.

I made my way down his chest, my mouth worshipping every muscle it could find, his hair tickling my nose a little.

I made him spread his legs, and I settled between his thighs.

I kissed each thigh in turn, and licked my way into the crease of his leg, ignoring for the moment his unabashed erection near my cheek.

I scraped my teeth very gently over his hipbone, and watching in amazement as his arousal twitched.

"Jesus Christ, Marla," Callum gasped, his hands clenching into fists and pressing into his eyes.

I took that as a good sign.

"Mm, you like that?" I asked, my teeth taking their gentle scraping to the area right below his belly button. I don't know what suddenly made me all bold, perhaps the shower, its warm spray still cascading over us, perhaps the leftover adrenaline from earlier. Whatever it was, I sure as hell felt sexy and teasing and tempting and just plain good.

I wrapped my hand around the base of him, marvelling at how well it fit, as if we were made for each other. I cocked my head slightly as I paused, a frown causing my eyebrows to lower. I ran my lower lip through my teeth.

"If you're having second thoughts, love," Callum began hoarsely.

"No, no, it's not that," I said, still frowning although I was overjoyed by his use of the endearment, "I'm just not sure where to go from here. Most of my books just say something like 'And she took him into her warm mouth,' or something to that effect and don't actually give any detail."

Callum looked torn between laughter and torture.

"Other than biting it, I don't think there is much your mouth can do that won't feel good," he said, laughter and arousal warring in his voice as well.

"I figured as much," I replied, and leaned to touch the tip of it to the tip of my tongue. Callum's groaned sent a shiver through me, all the way to the tips of my toes. My tongue flattened and swept over the top. His flavour was intriguing, a mixture of Callum's musk and clean shower water. He let me explore for a good while with teeth and tongue and hands, and although his hands twitched occasionally, he curled them into fists at his side, completely letting me take the lead and go at my own pace.

Callum's hips instinctively cocked as I wrapped my lips around him in an open mouth, sucking kiss.

God above, Marla, he cried in my mind, as his hand tangled into my hair.

He can't help you now, I replied teasingly, continuing my sensual assault as the water cooled our superheated skin.

Little succubus, he returned, mock angrily.

I do seem to tucker you out, don't I? I teased, finding a little nitch in the tip that I enjoyed flicking with the tip of my tongue.

Callum growled, and moved backwards away from me. I let out a little mew of disappointment, pouting, and he moaned, but didn't let me continue. He stood, and before I even knew what was happening, he had picked me up in his arms, bridal style.

He turned the shower off so fast, he nearly broke off the knob. I laughed.

"What's going on, honey?" I asked, nipping his wet shoulder. "Did I bruise your fragile male ego?"

"You, darling," he said, giving me a frank look, as we made our way, dripping wet, to the dark bedroom, "have the annoyingly bad trait of having more sexual stamina than I do. So, I figure the only way I'll be able to get any sleep is to exhaust you."

He dumped me on the bed, quite unceremoniously. I scrabbled backwards as he flicked on the bedside lamp until I was propped up on the pillows and looked up to the find him watching me with a definite predatorial gaze.

"I think five will do it," he said, his black eyes alight with hunger.

"Five what?" I asked, slightly nervously as Callum crawled on to the bed after me.

He didn't answer at first; instead, taking my mouth in one of his bone melting, soul scorching kisses that practically evaporated the water off our skin.

He pulled back slightly. "That's how many times I'm going to make you scream my name," he said against my mouth, licking my lower lip.

I have a little moan as his tongue invade my mouth again, inviting my tongue into a little duelling dance that left my nipples tight and my groin hot and achy.

His fingers slipped down to where my thighs were shifting restlessly, dodging past my half-protected defences and stroking me with a boldness and knowledge that made me gasp.

"Callum," I moaned as his lips moved to my neck.

"That doesn't count," he whispered against my skin as he licked and pulled it with his teeth. "It wasn't a scream."

His fingers continued to plunder and touch all the spots that made my hips flex and my muscles spasm reflexively around his hand.

My arms locked around his head, holding him to my neck as I gasped in his ear.

"Right there… right there…" I commanded breathlessly. "Oh, god… I'm almost… almost…" Callum's fingers touched something deep inside me, and I exploded. "Oh, Callum." My arms tightened around his head as my body jerked in climax.

One, he whispered in my mind as my body relaxed and his fingers withdrew.

"Callum," I protested weakly as his mouth slid over my breast in a teasing little suckle, "you can't possibly expect me to…"

I ended on a gasp as his mouth slipped lower to press a kiss on the very centre of me. I tried to pull my sensitive flesh away, but Callum had a firm lock on my thighs.

I had thought his fingers were amazing, but they were nothing compared to his lipsmouthteethtongue.

"Oh dear lord, Callum!" His name burst from my mouth again as his tongue swept over that sensitive bundle of nerves, causing as rush of liquid heat to meet his taste.

My entire body was clenching, from my curled up toes to the muscles in my abdomen. My left hand was braced on the headboard behind me and my right was clutching the bedspread like an anchor to reality.

"You can't… I can't… holy…" I gasped as he forced me back up into the realm of pleasure. Even his stubble, rubbing against the sensitive skin of my inner thigh was making my insides coil tighter and tighter. My hips had taken a mind of their own and were rocking against the restraints of his hands. The whimpers from my throat were almost a whine by now as I tried desperately to achieve release again.

"Cal… I… Oh fuck," I panted, my eyes closing on their own accord.

Are you going to come for me? Callum asked.

My body answered for me, having finally reached its limit. His name was torn from my throat again as well as several other unladylike words as my back arched high and pleasure ran like electricity to my brain, short circuiting everything in its path.

I collapsed, the blinding green of my marks fading slightly, but still not sated. I knew exactly why.

I grabbed the back of Callum's neck, pulling his head up to mine, and kissed him hard, tasting myself on his tongue.

"Fuck me now," I demanded harshly, before kissing him again.

I love it when you talk dirty, he told me, invading my still tingling parts with a forceful thrust.

It wasn't slow and romantic or anything, but every single touch we gave was an attempt to show our feelings. And when his fangs sunk into my chest right above my heart, I couldn't even attempt to hold out any longer, and gave myself to him, mind, body, soul, heart, everything.

Callum! I cried in my mind, my throat closed up in pleasure, my eyes rolled to the back of my head.

Just a little more, he grunted. I whipped my head forward and sunk my blunt little teeth into his shoulder. Although they weren't as sharp as his, they drew a little of his blood.

Apparently, that was all he needed, as he gave a final shout and slammed into me, his climax spilling into my mind, triggering another one of mine.

We collapsed simultaneously, out of breath and completely numb with the aftershocks of pleasure. I probably couldn't have moved even if the bed was on fire. Callum managed to shift over to a drier spot on the bed, and pulled me along with him. I curled into his chest, and he turned off the bedside light.

You win, I said, my eyes already closed. Five times.

Whoo-hoo, he replied tiredly, sounding so American, I couldn't stop the corners of my mouth from turning up.

I love you, I murmured to him. Just so you know.

I love you too, he replied. Now go to sleep.

Mm, make me, I slurred drowsily, and promptly fell asleep.

"Have you seen my other shoe?" I asked, busy trying to stuff my dirty clothes back into my suitcase.

"Right here," Callum said, holding it up from where it had been kicked under the bed.

"Thanks, honey," I said, slipping it on my foot, before putting that foot squarely on my suitcase in order to close it. "I think that's it."

I stood up, and put my hands on my hips, looking at the still rumpled bed. We had made it, but the fact that we had slept wet on it had made it sort of impossible to look pristine. A hint of a smile crossed my lips. What a way to wrinkle it, though.

Callum was also looking at the bed, but he had a very thoughtful look on his face.

"What is it?" I asked curiously, moving to his side.

"Nothing," he said, shaking his head, but I heard Alyssa's name in his thoughts, and immediately became even more suspicious.

"Like hell, nothing," I said, glaring at him, crossing my arms across my chest. "Looking at the bed and thinking about your ex-girlfriend doesn't exactly count as nothing."

"It was just a passing thought," Callum protested. "You needn't be so suspicious."

"Well, I can't help but be a little suspicious, especially when you won't tell me what it is," I said testily, turning away. "I'm sorry I wasn't as good as her, if that's what you're thinking. But, in my defence, I'm not a whore."

Callum grabbed my shoulder and spun me around, threading his fingers through my hair and holding my head so that I had to look into his eyes. "Alyssa cannot even begin to compare to you, in bed or out of it." A wicked smile spread over his face. "If you have doubts on that account, please, allow me to prove it to you how much I love to make love to you."

"Well, that's good," I said, a hint of a blush creeping up my cheeks. "If you weren't thinking about that, then what were you thinking about?"

He shrugged. "As I said, a passing thought. I was just noting that no matter how many times Alyssa called it 'lovemaking,' it wasn't. But you could call it anything, and lovemaking would be what it is."

"That's cause I love you, dickface," I told him, whacking him in the shoulder.

"I know that, love," he said, his hands moving down to wrap around my waist. The wicked smile had returned. "Want to prove it?"

It was another hour or so before we finally dragged all of our luggage downstairs.

"Kate said that it was parked in lot five-oh- holy shit!" I exclaimed as I saw the car parked in the spot.

It was the same shape as my Fox, but it looked as though the entire frame had been redone, topped off with a brand spanking new metallic blue coat of paint.

"Is this the PM? What happened to you? You got one hell of a makeover," I said, running my hand over the roof. All the interior had been redone as well. "Are we sure it's the right car?"

"Try the key," Callum suggested dryly.

I stuck the key in the door, and sure enough, it opened. I unlocked all the doors and threw my luggage in the back.

"Remind me to thank Kate," I said in awe, turning the key and listening to the engine turn over with a gentle purr. "The PM has never sounded so good."

I drove out of the parking lot and had one last look at the apartment where we had stayed. It looked like a rundown building with all the wild growth.

"They're going to have to hire a few gardeners," Callum said dryly, but I could feel the amusement in his mind.

"I don't think so," I said slowly, feeling something in the magic in me stir as I sat there.

I closed my eyes and concentrated on how the plants were when I first came. I could feel all the trees and grass and plants listening to me, and respond to something in what I was saying unconsciously.

"Wow," I heard Callum say, impressed.

I opened my eyes to find that the plants were now all their normal size. The magic receded back into my blood.

"That was interesting," Callum said, as I drove off again. "It was like the plants ungrew. Your powers have certainly increased."

"Yeah," I mumbled. "It's going to take some getting used to." I smiled. "But at least I don't have to invest too much in pruning equipment."

"Especially when I plan on making you grow many more gardens in the future," Callum said with a look that made it quite clear as to what he was referring to.

I blushed, then laughed. "That has to be the strangest analogy for sex I've ever heard."

He laughed too. "It's a gift."

"Bet I could come up with a better one," I challenged.

"Oh yeah?" he asked with a raised eyebrow.

"I'm home!" I called out as I entered the door, dropping my luggage off inside the door and toeing off my shoes.

"Marla!" Justin came into the entrance.

"Justin!" I yelled back, running over to him and giving him a hug. "You okay?"

"Yup," he said. I looked at his eyes, but they looked completely normal. He made a face. "But, I think we should talk."

I nodded, knowing it was true. "We should."

His head cocked a little sideways. "What's up with your face?"

"Thanks, bro," I said sarcastically.

"No, I mean these green things," he said, touching my head right in front of my ear. He looked rather surprised to see that they were a part of my skin and didn't rub off. Maybe he had thought that I had drawn them on with a crayola marker?

I sighed. "I'll explain in a sec. Is dad home?"

"No, he had to run out for a few minutes. He'll be back soon. Alanna's in the kitchen."

All three of us walked in to see Alanna sitting there looking completely normal, a glass of milk in her hands. She was slowly spinning the glass, looking nervous or bored. I couldn't tell which.

"So?" I asked, getting the ball rolling, sitting down. "What happened after you two left?"

Justin and Alanna exchanged glances. Justin was the first to speak. "Um, Marla? There's something about Alanna that you might not know."

"She's a dragon?" I asked dryly.

They both looked at me, shocked.

"Calc told me," I explained, spreading my hands. Callum sat down beside me, across the table from the other couple.

Justin cleared his throat nervously. "Yes, well, I am too, now."

There was a moment of silence.

Then, "What?"

Justin nodded. "It gets better. Apparently, only the royals, such as Alanna, have the ability to change humans, and in doing so, Alanna has declared me her consort."

"Consort?" I asked, tripping over the word. I'm pretty sure my eyes were bugging out too. Holy crap, this was getting weird.

"Hey," he said, eyeing Callum meaningfully, "you're one to talk."

I lifted my hand. "I know, I know. But still. Does this mean that you're going to be royalty?"

"Yeah. Prince, I think. It's pretty informal here, but they have this whole other realm that the rest of the drakes live on, where it's pretty structured."

"It'll be hard," Alanna said softly. "A royal hasn't changed a human in around a hundred years, and Justin'll have to put up with a lot of snobbishness for a while, but no one can ignore a ruler forever."

He shrugged and put his hand over Alanna's. "I'll deal, if I'm with you. Besides, I'm immune to most diseases and magic now."

"Ah," I said, my mind reeling.

"And you? You said you were going to explain those marks."

"You're just trying to change the subject," I protested, giving him a glare and stabbing my forefinger in his direction.

"So sue me," my brother shrugged. "What happened to you after we left?"

"I fought with Raquelle, and accidentally finished off some spell she had started, which made my abilities spike exponentially," I said wryly. "My marks seem to reflect that."

"They're kind of cute," Justin said with a grin.

"We're going to have to tell Dad," I said with a warning look against the 'cute' stuff that he knew full well I hated.

We stared at each other for a couple seconds, before yelling in unison, "Shotgun not!"

"Dad already knows you're a witch," Justin said. "So to tell him that you have some new powers probably won't be too bad."

"Yeah, but I'm also soul-bonded with a vampire with whom I'm not complete without," I argued. "That might be a little hard to swallow."

"Any easier than the fact that I'm now a drake whose mate is in line for the throne?"

We argued for it for a little bit more, the argument growing more heated with every passing minute. Alanna and Callum didn't interfere, but started to shoot us worried glances when my marks started to glow slightly with anger, and Justin's pupils narrowed into slits.

We both shut up suddenly, though, when we heard the front door open.

"Hey kids, what's happening?"

We rolled our eyes like we always did when Dad tried to sound 'cool.'

"Dad…" Justin started, looking at me nervously. "I think you need to sit down. Marla and I have a couple things to tell you."

Justin and I continued to make 'go!' motions at each other, neither of us wanting to start first.

"Alright, guys, what is it?" Dad said, folding his hands on the table. "Marla, you go first."

Justin made a face at me, and I stuck my tongue out at him.

"Um, Dad?" I said. "You know how I told you that Callum was my new boyfriend, right? Well, that might not have been, uh, entirely true." I told him everything, starting with the dreams I had had when we moved to St. Bastien, and ending with me finishing off Raquelle's spell and amplifying my powers (leaving out some more, er, intimate parts, of course.)

The only reaction Dad gave through the thing was a slow tightening of his lips.

"You couldn't have waited until she was twenty-one?" he asked Callum.

"I'm sorry, sir," Callum apologised, "but no."

Dad sighed. "Well, I'm not too happy about that."

"Wait, wait, wait," Justin protested, holding up his hand disbelievingly. "That's it? Marla just told you that she was Joined to a vampire of all things, and you're just unhappy about the fact that she's not twenty-one yet?"

"Soulmates are soulmates," my dad shrugged. "At least I know that he'll never hurt her."

"You have my word on that, Mr. Rosetti," Callum said seriously.

"But…" Justin looked terribly confused.

"Justin, you don't live with a bunch of witches without learning at least a little about the other world. Plus, one of my best buddies at work is a vamp."


"Justin's a dragon," I piped up, wanting to get a little bit of the conversation back on him.

"Really?" my dad asked, eyeing him resignedly. "I should have realised that my children wouldn't grow up to be normal people with my family's history. What's the story around this one?"

"He almost died protecting me, again," I said, giving him a glare. "And Alanna had to change him into a dragon to dispel a spell that was killing him."

"But you're okay now, right?"

Your father's taking this remarkably well, Callum said to me, as Justin explained to him exactly what had happened after the concert.

Yeah, that's really surprising, I replied, sliding my hand into his underneath the table. The more Justin looked excited, the more excited Dad seemed to be too, and finally they agreed to go meet Alanna's parents and see Justin's new home.

I laid my head down on Callum's shoulder as Alanna took their hands and they disappeared without so much as a 'See you later, Marla!'

"I guess I'm old news now," I said with a smirk.

"How long do you think they'll be gone?" Callum asked, pulling me onto his lap and running his nosed across the back of my neck, under my hair.

"Not long enough for your post-sex nap," I teased, unable to repress a shiver.

"I do not take naps," he protested, laughing all the same.

"Power sleeps, then?" I suggested.

He laughed again and nipped my neck. "I love you, Marla Rosetti."

"Even though I have issues with my mom?" I asked, turning around so I straddled his lap and putting my arms over his shoulders.


"Even though I tend to take offence easily and have dependency problems?"


"Even though – "

Callum cut me off with a kiss. "I love you, Marla Rosetti. You and all your problems."

I smiled and kissed him back. "I'm just warning you, 'cause I love you too, Callum Sinclair, and I never intend to let you go."

"Oh good," he sighed and kissed me again.

"Hey, this isn't makeout point, folks," I heard Justin say. "Geez. I come back to grab Alanna's coat, and I'm subject to outrageous PDAs."

I smiled against Callum's lips, and gave my brother the finger.