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The Undead Next Door (Love at Stake 4) - Page 66


"I see that Simone and Inga didn't make it," Heather whispered to Jean-Luc. The two models had teleported back to Paris after the runway show.

He grinned. "What a shame."

"Did you ever find out where Simone was sneaking off to at night?"

Jean-Luc nodded, still smiling. "You won't believe it. She was fishing."

"For men?"

He laughed. "For fish. In the river. Apparently she likes to fish, but doesn't want to admit it."

"Weird." Heather figured Simone liked stabbing the worms with the hook. She was suddenly grabbed for a big hug.

"I'm so thrilled for you!" Shanna Draganesti squeezed her, then stepped back. "I've never seen Jean-Luc so happy. You're good for him."

Heather felt her eyes tearing. She'd never felt so happy, either. "Where's your little boy?"

"I left him with your daughter and Fidelia." Shanna pointed at their table. "He was hungry, and Fidelia was sweet enough to fix him a plate of food. She's a hoot."

Heather smiled. "Yes, she is."

"Oh dear." Shanna shook her head. "There he goes again."

Heather's mouth dropped open. Constantine was floating up to the ceiling. Bethany squealed with delight.

"He's just showing off," Shanna muttered. "He loves the attention."

Heather pressed a hand to her chest. "But he - he's a mortal."

"With a Vamp daddy." Shanna smiled at her husband.

Heather turned to Jean-Luc. "Did you know about this?"

He was watching Constantine with a stunned expression. "No. I'd heard that our DNA was a bit different, but I didn't realize..."

"Oh dear." Shanna gave them a worried look. "I hope this won't stop you from having your own children. Constantine is a very loving and sweet child."

"I'm sure he is." Heather watched him descend to his chair. He was giggling along with Bethany. "Does he do anything else?"

"His main talent appears related to healing," Roman explained. "Everyone who comes in contact with him feels better afterward."

"Oh." Well, that wasn't bad at all. Heather watched the little boy stuff some crackers in his mouth.

"Constantine is so special that we decided to have another one." Shanna grinned. "We're expecting!"

"Oh my!" Heather hugged her. "That's wonderful!"

"Congratulations, mon ami." Jean-Luc slapped Roman on the shoulder.

Roman smiled. He looked handsome in the Echarpe tuxedo Jean-Luc had given him as a present for being best man.

"I'm very proud of you, Jean-Luc. You've come a long way." Roman slanted a wry look at Heather. "Did he tell you that I taught him how to read and write?"

"No." Heather curled her hands around Jean-Luc's arm and leaned against his shoulder.

"And I taught Roman how to fight," Jean-Luc said. "He was a slow student."

Roman snorted. "I was reluctant to kill. My mission has always been to save lives."

"Isn't he wonderful?" Shanna hugged him. "I have more news. I've decided to change over eventually, probably about ten years from now. I want the children to be old enough to handle it."

"Excuse me?" Heather wasn't sure what she meant.

"Shanna has agreed to become a vampire," Roman said quietly.

Heather's heart lurched. She released Jean-Luc's arm. "Oh. Con-congratulations." Good Lord, the woman wanted to be a vampire!

Roman and Shanna moved on to see how their son was doing. The rest of the reception line flowed by in a daze.

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"Are you all right?" Jean-Luc whispered. "Do you need to sit down? You look pale."

"I - I think I'll sit down."

Jean-Luc led her to the table reserved for them, then he dashed away at vampire speed and returned with a plate of food and a cup of punch.

"I wasn't sure what you liked." He set the food in front of her.

"This is great, thank you." She popped a grape in her mouth.

He sat beside her. "You were shocked by Shanna's announcement."

"Yes. It never occurred to me that we have another...option. I can understand her wanting to be with her husband forever, but she'll have to give up her days with her children."

"I know." Jean-Luc took her hand in his. "I would never ask you to do it."

"But you hope that I would."

He lifted her hand to his mouth and kissed her knuckles. "Let's take it one day at a time. Or rather, one night at a time."

She smiled. "I would like to have children with you. Even if they do end up floating around the nursery."

He squeezed her hand. "Good. I want more little girls who look like their maman."

She ruffled the black curls on his head. "I want a little boy who looks like his father."

He leaned over to kiss her. A flash of light caught their attention.

"Gotcha!" Gregori was holding a digital camera and grinning.

The music started with a waltz.

"The first dance." Jean-Luc stood and held out a hand. "I'd like to dance with my wife."

Heather stood and let him escort her to the dance floor. Everyone clapped. Heather just hoped she wouldn't trip and fall on her face in front of everyone.

The music slowed.

"No waltz?" Heather asked.

"We can do one later." Jean-Luc slipped his arms around her waist. "For now, I just want to hold you close."

"Sounds good." She wrapped her arms around his neck.

They swayed gently in time with the music.

Jean-Luc kissed her brow, then rested his cheek against her temple. "I love you. I will always love you."

With a sigh, she closed her eyes. "I love you, too."

His grip tightened. "From now on, we battle our fears together."

"Yes."

"Are you afraid of heights, chérie?"

"A little. Why?"

"Open your eyes," he whispered.

She did. "Good Lord."

"Look! Mama's flying!" Bethany stood, pointing up in the air.

Heather tightened her hold around his neck. They were floating up to the ceiling, gently rotating. The long train of her skirt swirled in the air.

"Jean-Luc," she breathed. "You naughty man."

He chuckled. "Stay with me, chérie. I will take you places you've never dreamed of."

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