Lying Through Her Fangs
He extended his hand to me and I took it after a momentary pause.
“Let’s go.” With a tug on our connection, he pulled me after him as he traveled to the end of the mall and the other major department store housed there.
Winding through the various racks and displays, a curvy blonde smiled as she saw us approach. She was an enchanting combination of Swedish coloring and business savvy standing in small heels and a severe black pant suit.
After they quickly hugged, he introduced us.
“Fran, meet Xylia. Xylia, Fran is the best personal shopper that I’ve ever come across.”
“Hael, I’m the only one you’ve ever met so keep it down to a low roar.”
We shook hands and then she surveyed my form in a way that had me thinking she knew exactly what I would appraise for. It was strange and calculating, worse than any of the vampires that I had met in my many years.
“Size six or a very tailored eight, depending on designer. Shoes, possibly a seven. Am I right?”
My smile was genuine, “Seven and a half on the shoes but perfect on the rest. You’re good.”
She inclined her head slightly, “In my field, every detail counts. So, what brings you to us today?”
Hael answered her, “Xylia has a business event and needs a sexy dress. She couldn’t find anything suitable before running into me so I prayed you were around to solve the crisis for us.”
“I can certainly do my best,” then she gazed back over me. “I have your sizes, shape, and coloring so now I need details about the function in order pick to pick something suitable for the occasion.”
Hael let go of my hand and my palm instantly felt the loss of his human heat. A vampire could get spoiled by such warmth after years of sleeping alone in the serpent cool shell of our skins.
“It’s in a historical hotel downtown, mostly indoors but with a small seating area outside. Dinner and dancing with a cocktail hour. The attendees will be upper brass and all supporters in our foundation. Think of it as a celebration and promotional engagement in one.”
“Then I know what to start you off with. Come with me.”
She waved us toward a single white door set in between the lingerie and the formal wear departments. She unlocked it before she waved us inside. It was like the inside of a small boutique and where she brought clients for a more individual session. There were two dressing rooms with shuttered doors and a large three way mirror in between. Walls of charcoal lavender and chairs of black velvet were the only other adornments as the clothes were to be the focus of the room.
“Have a seat. Would either of you like a drink? I have sodas, bottles water, and can make a small pot of coffee.”
“I’d like a bottled water. Xylia?”
“No, thank you. I finished my coffee right before being brought over here,” I smiled at Fran for her thoughtfulness.
“I’ll get that water for you, Hael. Xylia, are there any colors you absolutely hate or any attribute that you don’t want shown off?”
I had no idea why I looked at Hael but the amused grin on his face had me turning back to Fran.
“Bright orange makes me shudder and I’m fit enough to attempt any suggestions you have.”
“Fair enough. I’ll be back with some dresses in just a few minutes. If you need anything in the meantime, just hit the buzzer on the wall by the dressing room and I’ll be right back in.” She nodded and softly shut the white door behind herself.
“Wanna take bets on what she’ll bring back in?”
“What do you know about shopping for dresses?” I eyed him and fought my grin.
“I’m a red blooded male who looks at the covers of magazines.” He had a hand to his chest.
“And seen all the lingerie fashion shows at Christmas.” I added.
“Of course, I can’t let my Man Card go for missing that one.”
I snickered at his look of honest appeal. Sure, he was red blooded all right. Type B was my guess.
A knock came at the door and a petite red head teenager came in with two bottles of water. Hael reached out for them and the girl blushed to match her hair as he gave her a breathtaking smile when she passed them to him. It was adorable. She skittered from the room before she could utter much more than a giggly word of thanks.
“You sure you don’t want one?” He asked me.
“I’m fine, really.”
His long fingers twisted off the lid and he drank the cold fluid. I watched the way his throat worked and a pulse jumped at the side of his neck. His heartbeat became obvious in the still air around us and I closed my eyes.
“Are you okay?”
I popped them back open and focused on the bottle instead of the virile man.
“Fine, just saying a prayer that this works out.”
It was only a couple of minutes later that the door opened and Fran came in with layers of fabric over her bent arm.
“I’m sorry for the delay. There were a couple of dresses that I had to hunt down in your size after the shipment came in yesterday. They aren’t due to go on the floor until this weekend but I get to break the rules when it comes to my clients.”
She put them in the dressing area closest behind Hael’s chair and she stood by the doorway like a general awaiting his troops.
Going in, the door clicked as she shut it behind me.
“Any undergarments or shoes can be selected after the dresses are narrowed down. If you don’t like this round of gowns, then I’ll see what else can be collected for you.”
“I appreciate this, Fran.”
“Think nothing of it. I love putting perfect items together. Just call out when you’re about ready. I can even zip up anything that you can’t reach.”
Hael interrupted, “Why can’t I have that job? You two just met.”
“You’re just a sore loser,” I answered and grabbed the first hanger.
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Both mortal and maker fight for the power in her touch, but only one man can have her body.