A Human Touch (Politics Bite)
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Copyright ©2014 Adera Orfanelli
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Jamison Turaunde stopped in the hallway and steeled himself for what he'd find beyond the silvery doors to the council chamber. On Aora-34 he'd dived in the planet's oceans and found creatures with knife-like teeth and powerful jaws called courakas. Within that room lived the two-legged variety, and they all at one time or another had wanted his blood.
He tried to reassure himself with thoughts of synthetic blood, how technology had improved, and surely a human ambassador wouldn't have been appointed to the council if there were any danger. The thoughts failed. He'd been appointed at the council's request, a way to bridge the growing gap between the humans and vampires in the Nochte group of stations. He had to trust they wouldn't do anything that would land them in one of the gossip blogs.
He strode to the door. It took only a moment for the scanner to read the chip in his wrist and identify him. The doors slid open. A din of conversation filled the room. Small groups of vampires spoke amongst themselves, some standing in the corners, others sitting at the table. The room grew silent.
Jamison stood there, wishing he'd been better briefed on protocol. None of the thirteen chairs around the oblong table was marked. They wouldn't be, as they were for the council members. A table sat in the corner with one empty chair. His, he wondered, though he knew it had to be. With a slight nod to the room, he headed for the empty chair.
"Don't let them intimidate you. Some of them never got past the humans-as-chattel stage," a husky voice said at his shoulder.
He turned to see a stunning female vampire standing next to him. He recognized Alexis Thorne, the youngest vampire on the council. Her long, blonde hair cascaded over her shoulders. With her pale skin and ruby red lips, she looked like an angel, though he knew she was no saintly presence.
Her navy suit and pumps might appear modest, but from the stories on the Bite of Politics blog, she was far from it.
"I'll remember that," he said with a smile. He needed to take his seat. Others were moving to their chairs, but with Alexis standing beside him, he had the desire not to appear subservient to her. In her pumps, she stood nearly as tall as his six feet. Awareness sizzled through his body. He imagined having those endless legs wrapped around his hips while he fucked her.
"See that you do." She smiled, perhaps a little too knowing, then moved to one of the chairs close to where he was to sit.
That was nice, he thought as he watched the council members sit. They put his chair not just outside the actual council table, but also where the lowest-ranking members of the council sat. There also weren't any other tables or other ambassadors in the room. His isolation, his status as a human in a room full of vampires, stood out in stark relief, reminding him of how token his position really was.
The council meeting commenced and not once was he asked for the human opinion on any of the topics. In fact, humans weren't mentioned at all. When the meeting was adjourned, he wondered why the hell he'd even been appointed, except that the vampires wanted it, so it was done. And he was chosen because he'd worked well with the vampires before.
He waited until the room was nearly empty before standing to leave. Alexis was still there; he'd been aware of her the entire meeting. He nodded, a polite nod of one professional to another, as he passed, never mind the lust singing through his veins. Some held that vampires had a specific allure. Right now he couldn't refute the claim.
He headed for the lifts, wanting to head back to his apartment and review the data crystals sent to him. He'd only gotten through a fraction of the material sent to him. Maybe if he reviewed more information he'd know why he was here.
He was here to represent the interests of humans. The lift doors opened and he stepped inside.
A slim hand reached inside the doors. "I'm glad I caught you." Alexis stepped into the lift and allowed the doors to close.
Interesting choice of words, he thought. Caught was certainly an apt description, for he found himself fascinated by the pale skin at the base of her throat. Her pulse fluttered against her skin. In his years working with vampires, he'd never once given a thought about their pulse. Until now, when he wanted to press his lips against the skin.
"I'd like to talk to you about some ideas I have for enhancing human-vampire relations. Are you by chance available for dinner tonight?" Alexis asked.
Again another odd choice of words. Usually when a vampire asked a human to dinner, the human was the meal. Somehow he didn't think Alexis had that in mind. "I am," he said.
"Good. I'll send you the details via com. I normally dine in the private room at Anthetas." The lift stopped and she stepped out, pausing on the other side of the doors. "I look forward to dining with you."
The doors closed and Jamison exhaled. Something about Alexis left him nearly speechless. A hint of her perfume, something with woods and musk, filled the lift, and he breathed it into his lungs. His cock ached for release...