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Authors: Regina Morris

Enduring Service

Enduring Service
The Colony [3]
Regina Morris
Regina Morris (2014)

Colony Agent Sulie Metcalf, the President’s private physician, has been in love with the same human man for nearly thirty years. She refuses to allow herself the joy of true love because her feelings are unrequited by her human boss, Jonathan Dixon. As Dixon’s retirement looms near, and his memories of Sulie and the last thirty years of his life are about to be erased, does she confront her fear of intimacy and take a leap of faith before it’s too late? Dixon has decided to retire and enjoy what time he has left. When his best friend Sulie, a vampire team member, is kidnapped during a medical emergency, Dixon realizes that retirement means giving up everything, and everyone, he’s known for the last three decades. Will he risk his life, and his heart, to save her?

ENDURING SERVICE

By Regina Morris

Smashwords Edition

Silkhaven Publishing, LLC

ISBN: 978–0–9914034–0–0 (ebook)

ISBN: 978–0–9914034–1–7 (paperback)

Library of Congress Control Number: 2014900012

Copyright (c) 2014, Regina Morris

This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real places are used fictitiously. All of the characters, organizations, places and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or are fictitiously used. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without the written permission of the author Regina Morris and the publisher Silkhaven Publishing with the exception in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

Printed in the United States of America.

Silkhaven Publishing, LLC does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third–party Web sites or their content.

The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the internet or via any other means without the permission of Silkhaven Publishing, LLC is illegal and punishable by law. To obtain a copy of this novel, please purchase only through authorized electronic or print editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials.

DISCAIMERS:

This novel is for mature audiences only. Violence, sex, and nudity are described in this book and the target audience is for individuals 18+ years of age.

Even though the story takes place in and around Washington, DC, the White House, and the president of the United States, this book is a romantic comedy and not a political thriller.

Vampires Exist Among Us

They can be our neighbor, best friend, our child’s teacher…

They alter their aged appearance based upon the amount of blood they consume. They move to a new area, drink a lot of blood, and appear young. Slowly they limit their intake of blood and age, right in front of our unsuspecting eyes. After decades, they fake their death, move, and do it over and over again.

Most live quiet lives in an effort to blend in.

Some, however, want power and control.

The Colony is an elite group of vampires sworn to protect the president of the United States from these rogue vampires.

Chapter One

Sulie let out a huge yawn as she watched the apartment window from her parked car. She couldn’t fight her fatigue. Her insane schedule had taxed her body. Between her shifts at the hospital and her responsibilities as a member of the Colony, which is the secret vampire task force for the White House, she needed a break. She wondered how human women could physically keep up. It wasn’t like she had a career and a family, but two careers seemed enough — at least for now.

She had awakened before dawn to give the president his yearly physical before leaving for Camp David. As the president’s private physician, she would be accompanying him once again. She cringed at the thought. The man was a letch when it came to women, especially blondes. Sulie looked all of twenty–two, with long blonde hair curled in locks. She inwardly cursed herself for getting hair extensions, and not cutting and dyeing her hair before the trip.

The upcoming trip was routine. The only exception being the president’s latest health kick. His recent health craze pleased her since he had finally begun to follow her health advice. The man had already lost a good twenty pounds, and only had a few more to go to meet his goal. In preparation for being more physically fit, the president had even modernized the gym at Camp David. He packed an iPod filled with workout songs to bring with him so he could continue his daily workouts while on vacation.

Sulie’s packed bags had already passed through security checks and had been loaded onto Marine One, the president’s private helicopter which would take them to Camp David. The trip was not business related, and should—in theory—be relaxing, but she always hated going to the retreat. Again, she would have to dodge the president’s advances, or ignore the man’s parade of women. The Secret Service would be discrete, as always, with the president expecting Sulie to compel any humans to forget anything less than proper. She hated doing that. She was a trained doctor and soldier, not the man’s personal cleanup crew.

Sulie sighed heavily as she again glanced up to the apartment window. These presidential trips used to have a silver lining — a silver–haired lining named Jonathan Dixon. He was the retiring Director of the Colony and had always accompanied her when she traveled with the president. The Director served as the human liaison between the president and the vampire team who had protected all the presidents since Lincoln’s assassination. Dixon had served in that role for thirty years. Sulie liked the new replacement Director, but he was no Dixon.

Nobody was better than Dixon. He was the best Director the team ever had, and the one person in the world that Sulie trusted, depended on, and loved with all her heart. Her stomach twisted in pain at the thought of his upcoming retirement.

With his retirement, Dixon’s memories of the last thirty years would be wiped away. He would forget her and everything they ever did together. Dixon had known the outcome when he accepted the assignment and was willing to fulfill his last duty to the team. She couldn’t let that happen. Not before she told the man how much she loved him. Even if he didn’t love her back, at least he would know how she felt.

They were both scheduled to attend the president’s press conference, but that was still a few hours away. This was the time. This was the place. She looked down at the now empty bottle of scotch laying in her lap and felt the slight buzz of its effects. It had taken the whole bottle for her to muster the courage to do what she needed to do, to say what she needed to say. There was no turning back.

Grabbing her purse, she opened the car door. A cool breeze brushed against her face, causing her hair to caress her neck. She took in a deep breath as she stood up from the car. The glass bottle from her lap tumbled to the concrete street and shattered, spewing bits of glass onto her Italian leather heels. She clung onto the car door and took more deep breaths. Other than wine, she had never been much of a drinker. And even then, she never allowed herself to get tipsy, which she was now.

She entered the apartment building and found very few people about. Sunday. The day most people went to church. Walking across the lobby to the stairs, she heard the clicking of her heels as they echoed off the tiled floor. At least no one was going to witness her inability to walk a straight line.

The two flights of stairs challenged her, but she got her second wind when her foot hit the last step. Apartment 26E. She was very familiar with the apartment. It was the last one at the end of a short hallway; six apartments total per floor. As she approached the wooden door, she again felt the butterflies in her stomach. At the very least, the carpeted hallway had silenced her shoes, which helped ease her anxiety.

She rotated her neck and rolled her shoulders before knocking on the door. She wanted to appear relaxed and calm, even though her heart raced. How should she tell him? The hour she had spent in the car practicing her speech gave her several well rehearsed approaches, but then again, she had worked on the speech for decades. Could she handle a rejection from Dixon? It would make the little time she had left with the man awkward, but she needed to take the risk. She only hoped she wouldn’t see pity in his eyes as he let her down.

She knocked once again at the door, a little louder this time. When she heard Dixon approaching, she took in a deep breath and remembered to smile, her fangs showing slightly.

The door flew open, and she gazed into Dixon’s panicked eyes.

“I’m glad you’re here,” he said. “I need you.”

Chapter Two

Sulie dashed into the small, sparsely furnished apartment. Immediately, her nose wrinkled at the scent of stale food. “What’s wrong?” she asked, glancing at a stack of empty pizza boxes and takeout containers on the dining room table.

Dixon closed the door and walked past her to the kitchen. The mortal man was in his mid–sixties and more than a century younger than Sulie. Over the years, his salt–and–pepper hair had grayed. His waistline had widened slightly, but his 6’1” frame carried the extra weight just fine in her opinion. He wore bifocals, but still had the most beautiful green eyes she had ever seen. She inhaled deeply and took in the subtle scent of his aftershave as he walked past. The man had aged well, just like a fine bottle of wine.

Fumbling through his medications in a cabinet, Dixon pulled out a small, empty bottle with a dropper top. “I’m out of Devolixion,” he said, reading the label, his voice nearly breathless. “I called the pharmacy, but even when I spelled out the medication they said they couldn’t fill the prescription.”

A slight smile crossed Sulie’s lips. “It’s fine,” she said, reaching into her purse. “I brought you a three–month supply.” She handed one of the bottles to Dixon and stored the other two in his cabinet.

She watched as Dixon smiled and let out a sigh of relief. The man had no idea how adorable he was. He could lead the team of vampires when it came to missions with the president, but ask him to keep track of anything personal and he became a mess. Sulie thought the man needed a woman in his life. She knew Dixon had been married several times, and she suspected that he had given up when it came to matters of the heart. The few dates he did go on, well, they never amounted to much — one way or the other.

Now was the time. All she had to do was to confess her love, but why were her knees suddenly shaking? Noticing the butterflies in her stomach, and feeling queasy from the scotch, she decided to have a seat in the living room.

There was a couch, an unmatched chair, and a huge television in the room. In the middle stood a table, stained from years of abuse, which desperately needed coasters. Several technical journals lay on the table, well–worn with turned down pages and highlights. The man was always reading dry reference manuals. She wondered how he didn’t put himself to sleep with them.

The dry cleaning she had picked up for him days ago still lay in its plastic bag and draped over the overstuffed leather chair. As she shifted the laundered clothes aside so she could sit, she caught her reflection in the small mirror that hung on the wall. Her reflection appeared fuzzy because of her vampire nature, but clear enough for her to recognize the image as her own. In preparation for this day, she had spent the entire day before at the spa. The hair extensions were an easy choice, especially since she knew Dixon liked long, flowing hair. The manicure and pedicure would probably go unnoticed, but were pleasant, and the facial had been nice.

She sat down and noticed Dixon yawning as he squirted some Devolixion into his coffee cup. He stirred the drink as he walked to the couch, leaning heavily on the armrest as he took his seat.

“Dixon, it’s nearly eleven o’clock. Why are you so tired?” she asked.

Slouching, he rubbed his eyes. “I don’t know. Maybe because I’m late taking the Devolixion?” he asked, looking down into his coffee mug.

“No,” she said quickly. She moved onto the couch and, taking his hand, she used her special ability to read him medically. A simple touch was sufficient for a good diagnosis, but she ran her hand up his arm and allowed it to travel to his face. Caressing him tenderly, she continued diagnosing him with her special ability.

He closed his eyes as her fingers danced along his brow. “Your hair looks nice. Did you do something different to it?”

“It’s springtime. I figured it was time for a new look,” she lied. She wanted to admit that she changed her look just for him, but she wasn’t quite ready for that discussion. She needed to find out what ailed him first.

“It’s pretty. I like the bouncy curls.”

She smiled as she accepted the anticipated compliment. Dixon had a fondness for the Farrah Fawcett look from the show “Charlie’s Angels” in the ’70s, and Sulie had adjusted her hairstyle a few times to mimic the woman’s tresses. She did the same thing in the ’90s when Dixon commented on Rachel’s hairstyle in the “Friends” show. Each change in hairstyle had earned her a compliment from the man, but, unfortunately, nothing more.

After a brief pause, he added, “But short looks good too, like the hairstyle you had over a year ago at Easter. Still, this one is… different. I like it.”

Sulie loved how attentive to detail Dixon was. His photographic memory allowed him to remember many fine points. “Thank you, Dixon. Now hush so I can finish examining you.” Her hands dove into his lush hairline.

After another moment of her caressing the nape of his neck, she announced, “You’re anemic.” She studied his tired face. “How long have you been this tired?”

“What? Um… I guess I’ve been tired for a while now. I don’t know.” He motioned with his hands over his body. “I’m falling to pieces. I did do some training exercises with Brandon yesterday, which wore me out.”

“Brandon is less than half your age,” Sulie said about the man replacing Dixon as Colony Director. “Your anemia could be a result of the ulcer you have. Probably a lack of iron in your blood. I better taste it so I can be sure.” Her fangs were not fully extended, but she rubbed his fingertip across one of the two sharp points in her mouth. A drop of blood pooled, so she licked the small wound and quickly sealed it.

The warm sample was small, but enough for an accurate reading — even better than having lab work done. At the very least, they got the answer immediately without having to wait.

She grimaced as she tasted his blood. “It’s weak. Not much hemoglobin.” She licked her lips clean. “You have a lack of iron in your system. Let’s go have some lunch. I suggest you order a steak and I’ll prescribe some supplements for you.” She glanced up at him. “I’ll cook fish for when you come by tonight to play poker.”

“You’re treating me like one of the babies you deliver,” he laughed as he wiped her saliva off his hand and onto his pant leg.

“More gentle than a heel prick for a newborn,” she said, noticing his actions. It wasn’t like he had brought out antibacterial gel and sanitized his hand, but the gesture still hurt. During the exam, she had picked up no signs of love from the man. No raised heart rate. No increase of perspiration. No elevated endorphin level. No sexual arousal. No nothing.

Sulie looked away to hide her teary eyes. Human beings were easy to manipulate with a simple compelling, but she wanted Dixon’s love to be genuine. Even without her oath to the president, which forbade her from compelling select government officials, including the Colony Director, she couldn’t compel Dixon — not even in a moment of weakness. His mind had been altered when he had accepted the office of Director. No vampire could compel him.

So, she would remain just a friend to Dixon. A well trusted friend. Perhaps declaring her love would be the catalyst for him to see her in a new light. Unfortunately, professing her love was not something she wanted to do once they sat in a crowded restaurant. She also didn’t want to rush the subject. The man was sick and he needed to eat. It could wait until after the president’s Camp David trip. But after that, she would tell him. There would still be plenty of time.

“Steak probably isn’t a good idea. You know I avoid red meat because of my cholesterol. You’re the one who prescribed Devolixion to me in the first place.”

“I prescribed Crestor for your cholesterol,” she corrected him.

Looking down at his coffee mug, he said, “I thought Devolixion was also for my cholesterol.”

“Don’t avoid red meat today,” she said, changing the subject. “This afternoon you’ll enjoy a steak and we’ll talk about your diet. I want you to eat foods that are rich in iron for a few days.”

He finished his coffee and stood up. “I’m feeling a little better. Let me grab my coat, and then we’ll head out.”

She wasn’t surprised that he felt better. That was a nice side effect of Devolixion and one reason she made sure he took the medicine every day. Thankfully, she had anticipated his need for more and could mix–up another batch of the fictitious drug before heading over. Medically speaking, what she was doing was unethical, but no one ever said love was fair.

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