A Bloody London Sunset - By Jaz Primo Page 0,1

whom he cared dearly.

His life partner, though the official title was “mate,” was a tall, red-haired vampire named Katrina Rawlings. At least, that was her name until the time again came to change identities and localities, yet another of the many issues with which eternal beings had to contend. Katrina, whom he had affectionately nicknamed Kat, was the love of his life. A rush of warmth and pride flowed through him merely at the thought of her and of all she meant to him.

He smiled appreciatively, pulling a silver chain from beneath his pressed blue dress shirt, and gazed at the sterling silver heart-shaped pendant engraved with the inscription, Caleb belongs to Kat. He warmly recalled how Katrina had given it to him as a Christmas gift. She had a matching pendant, though inscribed differently. When he had first viewed Katrina’s pendant, he had been shocked to see that hers was inscribed with Caleb is mine, which had caused him to gape incredulously as he re-read his pendant’s inscription to note the seemingly singular theme of the set. She had laughed while flipping her pendant over, revealing the additional inscription, Kat belongs to Caleb. He chuckled, recalling how much she had appreciated his initial shocked reaction to her little joke. However, he was relieved the pendulum swung both ways.

A knock sounded outside his open office door, and he turned to see a young, dark-haired student. He could not recall the young man’s name, but recognized his face as one of his morning history students. Slipping the pendant back inside his shirt, Caleb greeted his visitor with a welcoming smile. He recalled the recent memo from the campus president, Dr. Patrick Beaumont, emphasizing that improved student retention began with a positive, welcoming demeanor from all faculty and staff. While only the second week of the spring semester, the battle had already begun to advise students not to drop out from classes. And the faculty was charged with encouraging their students to that end. The economic conditions in Georgia were especially poor, and the state’s colleges were fighting for improved enrollment numbers to justify funding increases.

The student, Tim Dominguez, wanted some advice on how to handle some schedule change requests that involved moving from his morning section to one of Caleb’s two evening sections. Caleb momentarily thanked fate that he was teaching both of his evening classes on Tuesday and Thursday night, giving him ample evenings each week to enjoy activities with Katrina. After advising Tim, he leaned forwards in his chair to sort his notes for the next day’s classes. He failed to notice the light fading outside as the winter’s early sunset approached.

Setting his notes aside, he raised his arms over his head to stretch and yawn. Then his cell phone rang. The caller was a stately mannered, English vampire named Alton Rutherford, who was both a close friend of Katrina’s and her former mentor. Alton was not yet someone whom Caleb considered a close friend, but the vampire had earned his respect, admiration, and appreciation for all he had done for them in recent months. Additionally, he was advising Caleb on how to help Katrina through a tough emotional experience following her battle with Chimalma. He felt particularly fortunate to have survived that dangerous adventure in mid-December, just days prior to the Christmas holidays. Alton had been instrumental in helping with that challenge as well.

“Hi, Alton.”

“Hello, Caleb. I hope I haven’t called at an inopportune time,” the vampire countered in his crisp English accent, sounding entirely like a titled nobleman.

Caleb knew virtually nothing about Alton’s past, including how old the vampire might be. Alton had never actually indicated he was from royalty or noble birth, though it was not a stretch to think he might be. When they had first met, Caleb had referred to him as Sir Alton, to which the vampire corrected, “Just Alton.”

“Caleb?” Alton asked.

Caleb broke from his reverie. “Not at all, Alton,” he stammered. “It’s always a pleasure to hear from you.”

The vampire chuckled. “Very kind of you to say. I’m calling to find out how your recovery is coming along.

Caleb frowned. “I’ve been doing much better, actually. It’s just…”

“Yes?”

“Well, we’ve been getting along fine. It’s just that she’s stopped feeding from me for some reason.”

Silence.

“Really?”

“After the night she accidently attacked me, she stopped,” Caleb explained. His thoughts drifted back to when Katrina had been immersed in a series of aggressive and violent endeavors following the unexpected appearance of Chimalma in their lives last December.

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