- Ben De Santis
- Teddy Granville
- Darius Zan
- Adam Draecon
My Great-nephew Teddy is finally coming home, although it seems that his socialite mother Dana may be making a rare and unexpected appearance as well. Always too busy to be with him as a child, I have no idea what she wants with us now. Teddy grew up in my care at Italus Santa Fe and is like my son, but it seems Dana may be coming to finally stake her claim.
It feels so good to be back home with Aunt Agnes along with Bart, and Vito who are like my older vampire brothers. Agnes also surprised me with accommodations at Ben and Matteo’s Dude ranch to satisfy my childhood cowboy fantasy. While enjoying lunch I met Ricki Donahue and after one glance, that sexy wolf took my breath away. Struck by love at first sight, my fated red hot shifter and I are lost and there is no turning back.
My handsome dream man just claimed me, and who would have ever guessed that my fated one is a witch? This morning I met his mother Dana, who turns out to be gorgeous, self-centered, and a genuine bitch on wheels. Now it seems that Teddy’s father Derek James is back on the scene after thirty-five years and has no clue about Teddy. Dana’s first sweet comment about me is that wolves are rough trade and like to bite, but not in a nice way however, she thinks I’m cute to look at.
Teddy told me he did some research on Derek James his warlock father, and discovered he is now divorced, has always been in love with me, and is on his way here. The problem is that I never told him that he has a son. And now that he’s mated to that handsome Ricki, I have no idea how Derek will react to the news that he has a son, and that his son has a live-in pet.
Spoiler Alert: While this is book 2 of a new series, it is intertwined with the Desert Vampire series and contains spoilers for that series, and for book 1 of this series.
“Well what a nice surprise this is! Talk about wonderful news, Teddy Granville, my great nephew just texted me and he wants to come for an extended visit to see us. It seems he just finished his book tour in France and wants to see me, you, and Annie to de-stress for a while and catch up,” I told Louisa over our morning coffee as I picked out a freshly baked Raisin Scone.
“It will be good to see him again after all these years, it has been how long again?” Louisa asked me.READ MORE
I had to stop and think about it for a long moment as it truly had been way too much time.
“Let’s see, the last time we saw him was when he graduated from college, and I was his only blood family member there in attendance. That had to be what, fourteen years ago? I can’t believe it has seriously been that long, but since we are in touch all the time, I guess that’s why it doesn’t seem like that much time has passed,” I told her.
I was also thinking back to how unsupportive his socialite mother Dana Granville has been throughout the years. Her whole attitude has just been throwing some money at the kid and be done with it.
She never shows up for personal events like this.
She does, however, call him often for a friendly chat to tell him what is going on with her, and I genuinely believe she loves him. But personally however, I think she should have spent more time with him through the growing years; after all he is her precious son and only child.
“His father, who she did not name, never married her, as you know. Once Teddy was born, his mother Dana was more than happy to let her Auntie Agnes, me, raise him rather than see him in a boarding school and I was certainly on board with that one. When she first mentioned it as I’m sure you remember, I put my foot right down about that, but she was too involved with her own busy social life to ever visit him as he grew up with us. He was born while she was at Italus Santa Fe, and as you also know Dana is an American, but his father Sexy Man as was listed on his birth certificate, was British, so he at least has dual citizenship to fall back on.”
It was just fortunate that he was a well adjusted boy, and knew that I, and all of us were there for him and we always had lots of love together and so much fun.
I was however simply appalled one time when I needed to have his birth certificate and it was then that I saw that Dana had put down Sexy Man, as his birth father, a bitchy thing to do to a child I thought.
Since he left the graduate university, he has been constantly writing self-help books for witches that are less magically accomplished than most to put it politely, otherwise called major and dangerous fuck ups in the magic department, and a danger to anyone else involved with them.
He has traveled the world over, to unravel some spectacular messes and has recommended permanent binding in some cases where intentional abuse of power was attempted to be hidden by feigned incompetence.
Most of the time it tended to be a bored married couple that were sick of each other, and one tried to let the other one have it permanently and was caught red-handed by their own magical signature.
As expected, since he has been gone, I’ve kept him well informed of the antics and the delightful people around Italus, and of course our move to the new Italus compound in Scottsdale, Arizona.
When I mentioned the new people, we recently met, that we’ve grown to know and love at The Ranch nearby, I believe that is what pushed him over the edge to finally back come home for a visit.
He’s always had a true fantasy about the old west, cowboys big time just like our Ben over there, however riding a horse, not so much. However, he sure sounds like Ben all over again, with his cowboy fantasy that no one is supposed to know about, but of course everyone does.
Teddy is a city boy but grew up under my care while living in New Mexico at Bart and Vito’s Italus Santa Fe compound and loved every minute of it. When he finally went away to college in Britain, everyone was certainly sad to see him go, but we all realized that he needed to have his own life away from us, and he knew we’d all always be here for him if he ever needed us.
“So, when is he coming? I know Annie will be thrilled as he was the little boy she never had, in reality all of us,” Louisa asked smiling.
“According to his text, he’s in transit right now. He asked me if he could stay at The Ranch, a kind of fetish of his as you know. I’ll have to ask Matteo or Ben if they have an accommodation, but I’m sure they will help us out. I’m certainly glad he didn’t ask a month ago when all their extravagant wedding hoopla was in full progress, once again joining the De Santis and Desterra witch lines with Ben and Matteo getting married, and the place was packed,” I laughed.
“Has Nero decided to move here permanently yet? He and Zelda sure seemed to have hit it off,” she asked, and I smiled, pleased for them.
“I believe what you are seeing is a continuation of an old romance that began before Zelda married into the Desterra family but never mate bonded and saving her life. He married Jiana after Zelda tied the knot. Something happened back then, and no one is talking about it, but they each went their own way and never spoke until during the recent troubles. The first time they saw each other a short time ago, it wasn’t just a little peck hello, and even Craig commented on it.”
“Well at the wedding I did notice they were all over each other once the champagne started to flow, eating each other’s faces as Craig pointed out. While the guys went on their short honeymoon, it seemed that Zelda was staying with him at The Ranch. Ricki of course was scandalized in the most delicious of ways and has started a private blog on it and any other topics that happen to pop up, thrilling Craig who much to Vito’s dismay, joined right in,” Louisa told me giggling.
“I always thought that Craig was a piece of work when it came to gossip and speaking his mind, but Ricki? I think he has everyone beat hands down. There isn’t one person I know of that isn’t following his newsletter tirades. Why, he could make someone drinking a glass of water into a hot innuendo without batting an eye and is hilarious about it. And not to mention the time he asked the rhetorical question of who was bruising Zelda’s hot pink lips that looked like a ripe sweet juicy peach,” she laughed.
“I heard Craig was thrilled to promptly show it to her, more than happy to cause a big scene, and then he called her Little Peach Bottom, his own adopted Grandma! I found out that she stormed right over to The Ranch, and zapped Ricki a good one just missing his family jewels and told him to mind his fucking business! Well that drama was actually over after a few civil and obligatory glasses of champagne of course, and now they can’t get enough of each other,” I giggled.
“I know that Matteo had a conversation with Ricki when he was drinking with Olivia after the wedding, and said Ricki was going to start a pool to guess who would want breakfast in bed with who. He then promptly turned to tip his glass at Zelda and Nero but jumped out of the way just in time since Nero wasn’t so amused when he heard him,” I snickered.
“I happened to see that too, and the look on Nero’s face made it clear he wasn’t impressed at all. He then leaned over to his grandson Matteo, who right away asked Ricki if he could have a private word with him. Ricki looked on the subdued side for a little while as you know after that. However, Craig came over and true to form, set him off all over again by taunting Zelda shamelessly, who adores Craig and feels he can do no wrong, at least most of the time,” she laughed.
“It was evident that Nero definitely wasn’t on the same page with that one being as serious as he usually is, and it was certain when he asked Vito if he had a moment. Within ten seconds Craig suddenly went blank and was pissed off the rest of the evening and would not speak to Vito. I would imagine Vito heard about it later big time, as Puppy seems to wear the pants in that family, at least in the bedroom, but maybe not the pants,” I snickered, after having heard about Craig’s extreme prowess.
“Oh, then you didn’t hear about what happened later. After Vito basically ordered him to shut it, since it was nearing morning, he just also ordered him to bed to catch a break from all his racket. Well, go to bed is a loose term and Craig was mad, so he just crawled into one of the closets in an unused utility room near the garages in the basement level, so he could avoid sleeping with Vito. When Vito went to check on him as he always does without fail, Craig wasn’t there where he was supposed to be. The sun was then up without an answer from Craig since he was out cold. All hell broke loose at the mansion, and it was several hours before they finally found him, curled up and asleep in the utility closet behind some large boxes,” she told me.
“Oh no, I didn’t hear about it one, no. What happened after that,” I asked, knowing how frantic Vito probably had been.
I then leaned in closer while knowing that it certainly couldn’t have been much fun for Vito.
“Well Vito of course carried him right back to their bedroom and when he woke up, he was still angry, told Vito he wanted to go and live with his parents. He said enough was enough of him treating him like he was his child instead of his lover and married mate, and it was a real screaming match with fangs and all from what I understand. He liked to have a good time and didn’t need a keeper or another father since he already had a great one and Vito needed to fuck off. Well as you can imagine, Vito tried to calm him down and shut him up, but Craig wasn’t having any of it and told him he is a grown man and wasn’t going to take any more of Vito’s control freak stuff, Sire, or no Sire. Vito didn’t want to command him as he thought it would only make things a whole lot worse and was afraid Bart was going to step in soon, as Vito was sure he was sensing his upset vibes being his Sire and all. I’m sure he was right because Craig was fuming and not thinking straight. Well much to Vito’s dismay Bart heard the commotion and came in to see if he could help and got himself told off as well. Craig grabbed a few things and started for his parents’ home. Vito stopped him of course, and fed him since he was hungry and unreasonable, and was really getting out there and potentially dangerous. By that time Joffre was around and upset. He chimed in that if Craig or he was doing something that someone else didn’t like, they didn’t have to tattle on them like little troublemakers, just ask them to stop. Bart told Joffre it was probably better that he stayed out of it and mind his own business, and boom it really hit the fan!
Joffre let him have it with both barrels about being a control freak just like Vito, and if this all kept happening, he wanted a divorce!”
“Oh no. Well if I can put in my two cent’s worth, I can see both sides here. Craig does tend to get out there sometimes, but that is just his nature and doesn’t mean anything by it as he loves to have fun. He’s such a loving man, so kind and gentle, and is only teasing. On the other hand, Bart, and Vito both are centuries older. At times it must be like raising kids to them. Joffre and Craig were on their own for several years and are used to doing things as they please, and while relationships are hard at the best of times, I think, and this is between us, that Bart and Vito need to lighten up a bit and relax. If you remember, we all went through the same stage with our sweet Teddy.”
“Agreed, but I think they are trying to protect their mates and keep them out of hot water with someone like Nero for example who doesn’t take any crap from anyone. The way Craig was teasing Zelda, who is used to it and thinks it is mostly funny, and Nero, who is not, well there could have been a major blowout. If Nero had decided to act without going to Vito first, and he had possibly zapped Craig in anger, it could have been an awfully bad thing indeed. For as you know, no one touches Vito’s mate, or Bart’s for that matter, and lives to tell about it afterward,” she reminded her.
“I believe you are absolutely right, which reminds me, when Teddy gets here, I need to let him know what he will experience around here, so he is prepared and won’t be caught off guard and be offended somehow,” I smiled imaging what Craig was going to have to say about him.
I can just imagine my staid and now very British nephew jumping straight into the supernatural zoo, and I can’t wait until he meets Craig.
“I also heard that things didn’t work out for Felix and Ricki and that Felix took it pretty hard. It didn’t surprise me that much, as I had a few long talks with Ben, and he said that many times Matteo made it truly clear that Ricki was done with relationships. Ricki was only trying to be nice to Felix who sadly took it the wrong way, so I guess he was right. I know Felix was talking about leaving because he was so hurt, but thankfully Matteo stepped in and talked to him, and convinced him to stay. It seems that Felix took Ricki’s concern for something more and started to have serious feelings for him,” she told me.
“That’s rough, especially when you consider all he’s been through lately, and he’s been alone and lonely since his parents were killed. At least he has Lila off his back now, and for good. I know that Matteo wanted him to stay and make his home with them, and it seems Felix is very sharp with accounting and such, so Matteo put him to work. Do you know if he’s still thinking about taking off?”
“I don’t think so now, especially since he has a job he likes and people that care about him. He had a few long conversations with Matteo and Ben and knowing them they made him feel better about himself. I believe he was more embarrassed than anything else, and who wouldn’t be? From what I was told, they all sat down and had a long talk including Ricki. Felix and Ricki talked it over and they came to an understanding and that it was fine to be just friends. Ricky told him that he never intended to hurt him, but he just wasn't the type to settle into a relationship yet, but still wanted to keep him as a close friend. They finally managed to smooth things over between them. I still think that his feelings are a bit touchy with his bruised and tender ego in spite of the fact that he and Ricki were never sexually involved in the least; it was only Felix’s imagination and longing coming into play here.”
“I think it would be at least for a while, but I kind of wondered at the wedding reception when it seemed to me that Felix was being a bit clingy to Ricki. It was evident to all there that Ricki was trying to be nice but kept moving away from him. From what I heard about it, they never got together sexually as was just mentioned, so that had to make breaking it off somewhat easier. Personally, I would think that Ricki would be more than thrilled to have a very handsome and kind man like Felix around, but I just guess everyone has their own story,” I said, shaking my head.
From the first time I met him I thought Felix was an exceptional and sweet man, and that he certainly had a lot to offer. He’s obviously smart, a little too trusting, and naïve perhaps as we found out, but that isn’t always a fault. He is wealthy in his own right thanks to his parents, and cares deeply about those he trusts.
I know that Craig formed an almost instant bond with him. I am also familiar with how he loves everyone, but I think Felix struck a chord and needed someone that would be good to him and that was right up our Craig’s alley.
Before we finished our chat, Louisa told me that Craig was terribly upset with Ricki for hurting Felix and was ready to tell him off big time. However, then the others explained the situation and he calmed down once he understood what was really going on between them, specifically Felix had a crush on Ricki that wasn’t returned.
“I guess I’m going to go call Ben and see if I can work something out for Teddy to stay at The Ranch. I sure hope they have a place for him but knowing those guys, they will work something out for him,” I said, getting up to leave.
I briskly walked back into my suite, and then gave Ben a call, and he answered on the first ring.
“Agnes, what a nice surprise. What’s up?” he inquired, and it was good to hear he was genuinely pleased to hear me.
“I hope this won’t be a problem with me asking, but my Great-nephew Teddy Granville wants to come for an extended visit, but I don’t know the exact time he plans to be here just yet. He’s always loved the southwest and cowboys and such, so he asked me if I thought he could stay at The Ranch while he is here. He’s heard a lot about it from me and is dying to see it. Hopefully, some cowboys or at least sexy rugged men will be running around out there while he is visiting here,” I laughed, and heard him chuckle in return.
“I don’t handle the accommodations side of things but hold on for a sec and let me ask Olivia, she’s right here,” he answered.
I could hear him walk over to the other office, but I couldn’t make out what they were saying to each other, other than hearing Olivia giggle, probably Ben must have told her about the rugged men part.
“Agnes? I just talked to Olivia, and she said it would certainly be fine, and it seems that Matteo has been holding the cabin open that was originally slated for me. So if he wants his own space, it is his. If push came to shove, we could put him in our house as an alternative since Nero is unofficially staying with Zelda full time as of a few days ago. But please, you didn’t hear that from me,” he snickered.
“Oh my, wait until Craig figures this one out! That is wonderful news, and we’ll work out the rate once he arrives here. I’m so relieved about this because I’m expecting him to arrive at any time since he last told me he is already in transit,” I explained to him and was waiting for what came next.
“Don’t be silly Agnes, we would never charge you or your family period and that is a hard stop. After all that you have done for us, we can never repay you. We are thrilled to have him here with us. I may even be able to dig up a hot cowboy or two to keep him happy and maybe teach him how to ride, even if it is only a horse,” he giggled, and I just shook my head grinning at having such wonderful friends.
“I’m more than sure he’d be thrilled and will have to go clothes shopping. I know he’s wanted to visit here since we all moved to Italus Scottsdale, and I understand how much he has missed the vast southwest desert while working in Europe. He’s been employed almost constantly since he left school while freelancing. Now that he just turned thirty-five, his mother’s family trust fund set up for him when he was born, is finally available to him so believe me he is more than flush with money. He’s done very well on his own too, so this will be the icing on the cake so to speak. A lot of icing I might add,” I told him.
He laughed along with me knowing how lucrative personal trusts can be, probably having heard of the ancient Granville fortunes.
“He sounds like quite the catch for someone having brains and money and all, a nice combination for sure,” he returned.
“Don’t forget looks. He’s almost six feet tall, dark chocolate brown eyes, and very wavy dirty blond hair. He is exceptionally trim but can’t see a thing without his glasses with no spell correction possible due to an archaic unbreakable family curse from what I understand, on his father’s side. I can proudly add, one of the nicest and kindest people you could ever want to meet,” I included, being so fond and proud of him.COLLAPSE