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In retrospect, this wasn't her fault; she didn't want to be here.

 

Juliette sighs, looking down at her watch, trying to keep her eyes from roaming her surroundings. After all, coming here was the last thing on her mind; she was practically dragged out of her condo by Ben. Juliette would have rather stayed home, content with spending the night in Calliope's arms, watching dumb tv shows.

 

Instead, she's standing in the middle of Ben's fraternity house party, unsure where Ben had slipped off to and strangely out of her depths again. It all felt familiar, like some underlying atrocity would happen the longer she stayed here. 

 

The sign says,  All Welcomed , so it doesn't seem so out of the ordinary as the house fills with rowdy college students looking for cheap thrills and endless alcohol. 

 

"I haven't seen you around here before." 

 

Juliette doesn't turn around, pretending not to hear the voice as the bass booms into the evening. Everything was so loud, just too fucking loud. Her senses began to stir, fangs itching to retract, throat dry, skin so sensitive a simple touch would send her into an uncontrollable bloodlust. A hunger only one person could satisfy, but Calliope was not here, so she would try her best to hold out for now. 

 

***

 

Two hours pass before Ben shows his face again, his shirt untucked while buttoning his pants, a lovesick smile on his face. 

 

"Lettie, are you okay?" 

 

Juliette doesn't answer, eyes glazed over as alcohol-induced students stumble past her, their blood calling out to her like a siren's call. All she had to do was follow anyone and drain them dry; it was that simple, that easy. 

 

"Lettie?"

 

Julliette head shoots up, peering at Ben as if he had just appeared, so unaware of her surrenderings. His heart thumped loudly in his ribcage as he witnessed her forlorn expression. 

 

"Huh?" 

 

"Do you want me to take you home?"

 

"No!" Juliette answers too quickly, "Cal's not home yet." 

 

Ben nods, pulling her to her feet before leading her onto the makeshift dance floor. He had to distract her, so he took her hand and spun her, tearing a giggle from her lips as a Kehlani song blasted from the speakers. Juliette only knows because Cal loves her music, often blaring it from their surround sound.

 

"Why, Miss Fairmont, I do declare. You to be the prettiest peach I've ever seen." 

 

Ben delights in her laugh, twirling her again as he checks their surroundings. He should stop leaving her alone so much, but damn, Alex gave him a run for his money. 

 

"Do you mind if I cut in?" 

 

Turning, the duo stared at another woman, skin a golden brown and standing around the same height as Juliette; maybe she was a tad bit taller. Someone Juiellte knew all too well by the tattoo lining her forearm. The same hunter tattoo Calliope had on her forearm. 

 

"Tess?" 

 

Juliette looks toward Ben, nodding solemnly, pushing him away with a force she doesn't use often. Turning back to Tess, Juliette prepares herself, knowing that her thirst will have to wait as she stares at Calliope's ex.

 

"I see Cal has mentioned me." 

 

Juliette hisses her disdain at the smirk on the woman's face; Juliette was suddenly hungry for something else, jealousy coursing through her veins now. Her usually bubbly persona is tucked behind cold eyes as the song shifts again to Drake and Tess reaches for her hand. 

 

"Why are you here?" Juliette questions, dodging her hands. "We don't need to touch to dance." 

 

"Why so jumpy? Afraid, I brought the cavalry with me." 

 

"I wouldn't put it past you," Juliette pauses. "After all, I know you'll try anything to get Calliope back." 

 

"You sure you want to have this conversation."

 

"What conversation? All I can see is Calliope's future and her past. I make her happy, goodbye." Juliette turns to leave, looking for Ben in the crowd of bodies.

 

"Did the little bloodsucker lose her human?" 

 

Juliette pushes the growl back in her throat, head whipping around to stare at Tess. 

 

"I suggest you leave unless you want to die tonight?"

 

"Is that a threat?" 

 

"It's a promise."

 

Juliette fights to keep her fangs hidden, her body switching to autopilot as she swerves further into the sea of bodies. She can feel her keeping up but staying at a distance. Juliette had no clue if this was about Calliope, but would she die trying to figure it out? No. If Tess wanted a fight, Juliette sure as hell would give her one, just not in a room full of people. 

 

Walking out the front door, Juliette breaks into a full sprint, Tess on her ass as she runs down Romero Bleuvard, past wandering eyes. Rounding a corner, Juliette stumbles into a halt, facing a dead end just as Tess comes bounding around the corner. 

 

"And look at that... you've nowhere to run." 

 

"Is this about Calliope?" Juliette questions, fangs finally being freed from their confines. "Are you upset because she chose me?"

 

"That would be a simple answer, but no; this is about your family killing mine." 

 

Juliette winced, "I had nothing to do with that," she replied. 

 

"You're sister's still in prison, and psycho brother, well, I can't find him, so you'll have to do." 

 

"This will hurt Calliope."

 

"She'll get over it." 

 

"Wow, you don't learn from your mistakes, huh?" Juliette quipped, eyes wide with delight, "Cal doesn't like snitches, and she doesn't like anyone who gets in the way of our relationship." 

 

"It won't be much of a relationship when you're gone." 

 

"You can't kill me, and you know that." Juliette crouched low, sizing Tess up in an animalistic way. She stepped forward menacingly, her hunger slowly taking over. 

 

"That doesn't mean I can't make you hurt," Tess answered, stepping back defensively. Juliette lunged, grabbing Tess's hand, recoiling when the silver rings touched her skin. 

 

"Dirty tricks. What you're not good enough to take me on without pure silver."

 

"Shut your filthy mouth, bloodsucker."

 

"Calliope sure does think my mouth is—"

 

Juliette dodges the silver tip stake in Tess's hand, kicking her back until they are several feet apart. Tess races forward this time; fist held high as she swipes right then left; Juliette ducks low, fist colliding with her abdomen, sending her back wheezing. She's had years of practice, early morning training sessions before morning sex, even if she preferred the latter first.

 

"I won't stand here and listen to you talk about my friend that way." 

 

"Friend? I'm sure you've lost the right to call her that. Is this even a guild-sanctioned mission?"

 

"What they don't know won't hurt them." 

 

Juliette brings her knee up, gripping Tess by her cream-colored jumper, pulling her down in a harsh blow. Tess cried out, holding her stomach, winded, arms sliding around Juliette's waist, pushing forward until they both go tumbling to the ground. Using her weight, Tess pins Juliette to the ground. Her hands wrap around Juliette's throat, relishing how ivory flesh burns; Juliette crying out into an abyss of stars and darkness. 

 

"You think this is going to make Cal want you?" Juliette struggles out. "She'll never want you." 

 

Tess squeezes harder, Juliette struggling to breathe, and the edges of her vision blur. Sure she would pass out, and she knew Tess couldn't kill her outright, but she knew nothing would stop her from trying. 

 

I'm coming.

 

She hears the words as clear as day in her mind, Cal's panicked voice echoing in her mind. No, Calliope couldn't— shouldn't see her like this, as if she was some struggling damsel; her girlfriend always warned her to stay ready. Pushing up, Juliette uses her vampiric strength, rolling Tess onto her back, pinning her down, ready to sink her fangs in. 

 

"Go ahead, Bloodsucker; I want to be with my family anyway." 

 

Juliette should care, but she's starving and has been all night, so she pushes Tess's head to the side and drinks from her. Tess tries to struggle, but Juliette doesn't want to play games anymore; she's done toying with this woman. She could kill her before Calliope got here, and no one would ever know, but she doesn't. She retracts her fangs from Tess's skin, sated, for the time being, grabbing Tess by the jaw and then leans close enough to whisper. 

 

"I don't know what you thought you would accomplish here, but I won't be so nice next time," Juliette warns. 

 

"You know I won't stop."

 

"Then you have a death wish."

 

"Jules?" 

 

Juliette looks up, eyes narrowing in on the opening of the alleyway. Calliope stands stoic in the moon's dim light, staring at the two of them, eyes wide as Juliette stood up, her mouth a crimson red. 

 

"How did you find me?"

 

"Ben texted me; then I retracted your steps in my head." 

 

"Are you okay?" 

 

Cal grabs her jaw, inspecting the charred flesh that slowly began to heal. Looking back into the alley, Juliette notices the shift in Calliope, eyes peering back at Tess in disdain. 

 

"What are you even doing here?"

 

"Babe, come on. Let's leave her and go."

 

"No, she hurt you." Cal spit, eyes ablaze with a fury Juliette hasn't seen in such a long time. "I will make her pay." 

 

"Cal, no. We already talked. She won't be bothering us." 

 

Calliope turned, staring back at Tess, "Let's not have this problem again," she snarled.

 

Calliope spun on her heels, pulling Juliette into her, wrapping her up in a tight embrace, then leading her away from the dark alley. 

 

Juliette wants to speak to say something, but she knows she doesn't have to; she can sense what Calliope is feeling. She could feel the anxiety wound so deep in her begin to simmer away, allowing Cal to lead her toward the Dodge Charger parked down the block. They move in silence, Cal turning back periodically, eyes looking over her before she opens the door, ushering her to get in. Slamming the door shut, Cal runs to the driver's side, sliding in and then taking off. 

 

They don't talk, neither speaking as Calliope drives down a long dark road, Juliette playing with her thumbs as the melodic sound of Rihanna engulfs the car.

 

I was good on my own that's the way it was 

That's the way it was 

 

"You drank from her?" 

 

You was good on the low for a faded fuck 

On some faded love

 

Juliette doesn't respond at first, glancing out the window at the sky above. Talking was pointless; Calliope knew she was a terrible liar. They also knew she would not last long when Calliope watched her closely. Studying her every mannerism, looking for her tells. 

 

"Yes."

 

She can hear the slight hiccup in Calliope's heartbeat as it thumps wildly, causing her to shift, watching as Cal grips the staring wheel before pulling the car off to the side of the road. 

 

"Into the back." 

 

It's not a statement; she knows the difference in Cal's tones by now, so she knows this is not up for debate. She can feel the pain, guilt, and worry mix into one, like a boiling pot ready to spill as she gets out, moving toward the backseat. 

 

"Cal?" 

 

"Jules." Calliope acknowledges, sliding into the backseat, patting the spot next to her. Juliette climbs in behind her, spinning to face her.

 

"Cal, are you upset?" 

 

"No. I will never be upset about you having to do what's right for yourself." Cal noted, pulling her into another hug. Juliette rarely sees Cal act in such a manner; she is always the rock, her protector, sturdy and unmoving, always what Juliette needs. She knew that Calliope would give her the moon if she could. 

 

"Does she taste better than I do?"

 

Cal cannot be for real, Juliette thinks, eyes wide and mouth gaping. 

 

"No." 

 

"Show me. I want you to show me I taste better." 

 

Juliette doesn't hesitate, pulling Cal down into the backseat of their car. She helps pull Cal's jeans down, running her fingers down Calliope's tense muscles. Listening to the slight tremble in her breathing as she surges forward, fingers tracing the outline of her lips, begging for Cal to suck on them. 

 

"Open, please." 

 

Her eyes roll back as Cal opens her mouth, taking two digits in and coating them before sliding down her body again. Calliope's body arched up, and she let out a shaky moan as Juliette laughed softly against her throat. 

 

"You're already so wet, Cal," Juliette whispers.

 

 "Only for you, Jules." Cal moaned in return. 

 

Calliope had never felt a sensation like this; her body vibrates along to the music, hands cupping Juliette's face as they continue to kiss. Her heart thudded loudly in her chest and exited through the fingertips tangled in Juliette's hair. Goosebumps erupted wherever the shorter woman touched; only Juliette could make her feel this way. Juliette descends. 

 

Calliope bucked her hips, fist slamming into the leather seats; the other fisted into golden brown tendrils as Juliette swiped at her clit. God, why was Jules so good with her mouth? Calliope feels them first, one finger then two, before Juliette adds her tongue into the mix. 

 

Speechless, Calliope's toes curl at the feeling of Juliette sucking wet folds and then blowing on her overheated sex. Being like this now, in-between Cal's legs tonight brings back the memory of the first time Juliette went down on Calliope, a truly iconic moment between the duo. Her hips have a mind of their own, though, bucking into Jules's mouth, encouraging her to keep up her ministrations because she is close to peaking. She wants to speak, but her mind will not permit it, so she depends on her loud moans to uplift Juliette further until she begins to spasm.

 

Body tensing in jubilation as her thighs lock around Juliette's head, keeping her in place as she rides the waves of pleasure out. Sated, Cal unhooks her legs and then pulls Juliette up until they are staring face to face once more. 

 

"I hope you don't ever doubt my love for you." 

 

"I never doubted before." 

 

Calliope rolls her eyes at the look Juliette gives her, neck craning and features unbelieving as she licks her lips.

 

"No one will ever taste as good as you. You've ruined me, Calliope." 

 

"I love you."

 

Juliette doesn't answer, doesn't have to, because she knows Calliope knows that her love is eternal. 

 

"I'm sorry I wasn't there either." Cal apologizes, "I won't make that mistake again." 

 

"I should stop letting Ben drag me to parties. They don't end well for me." 

 

"Maybe you should." Cal chuckles, pulling her jeans back up, "Why don't we have a house party when we get home?" 

 

"If you think you can handle it." 

 

Cal nods, then kisses her, "You know I'm about that life."