This was another big change in my life since I’d found out about vampires. Although Marshall owned a fleet of cars and a private jet, he usually traveled using teleportation. I preferred to drive since teleporting left me feeling dizzy, but my sister assured me that would change after I was claimed and made the change into a daywalker myself.
Everleigh quirked a brow at me instead of answering. “It’s your call.”
The Bancrofts lived one town over from us, so it was only a ten-minute drive to Stephan and Bronwyn’s house. Driving over was the logical choice, but for some reason, I found myself saying, “Let’s teleport tonight.”
“Yay, we’ll be there in no time,” my sister cheered as she did an adorable little dance and grinned.
Marshall nudged her toward their room. “Now that we have an extra ten minutes, I think I should help you pick out the perfect stole to use tonight.”
I laughed softly and shook my head as I headed toward my closet to retrieve a champagne-colored satin wrap that would look great with my outfit and dress it up a little. Then I wandered over to my vanity to touch up my makeup and hair since I had extra time with my brother-in-law “helping” my sister in the bedroom.
It wasn’t until I was dabbing a bit of gloss over my lipstick that I heard their voices in the hall again. Closing my eyes for a moment as I let out a deep breath, I whispered, “Three years isn’t long compared to how long daywalkers wait to find their consort, but a Christmas miracle would be much appreciated.”
“For fuck’s sake, Liam,” my younger brother by three years, Braeden, grunted. “It’s just family. I think you can remove the gloves.”
Jareth, who was ten years older than me, smacked Braeden on the back of the head. “Leave him alone. Or we’re going to start in on you and the rooms in your house that are growing old and dusty because you refuse to let anyone go in there.”
“Low blow, brother,” Braeden mumbled.
“Seriously, though,” Jareth said, turning to me. “They do make you look like a bit of a dandy.”
“With all that reading you do in that big publishing company you own,” I drawled, “I would think you’d have modernized your insults.”
Our youngest brother, who was seven years younger than Braeden, rolled his eyes. “How am I the youngest yet the most mature?”
“How are you the youngest and the most uptight?” Braeden gibed, but his attention was stolen when a bell rang, announcing dinner. He was gone before I could finish a blink. Ren followed at a measured pace, ever the studious, respectable gentleman.
I took a step to follow but paused when I felt Jareth’s hand on my arm. “You know we tease because we love you,” he said with a grin.
“Yeah. I know that. Until you decide to pour an entire shaker of salt in my blood before it was delivered. I question your brotherly love a little at those times.” I started walking toward the dining room again.
Jareth laughed. “Eternity is a long time, brother. What kind of life would that be without a little fun?”
“Payback’s a bitch.”
“Liam.” His voice went serious, and it brought me to a quick halt, worried something was wrong with him.
“What is it?”
“It’s been over five hundred years. Don’t you think it might be time to at least question whether she really was your consort?”
“No,” I stated emphatically before striding into an opulent room with several round tables that were quickly filling up with guests.
I spotted Marshall, my old friend from university, and assumed the pretty brunette he was making eyes at was his relatively new consort I hadn’t yet met. He saw me and lifted his chin in greeting, then gestured to one of the two empty seats at his table.
Nodding, I headed that way, but as I passed my cousin Athan and his wife, Selene, I scowled playfully. “I don’t recall Marshall joining the family.”
Selene looked a little guilty while Athan and his brother Stephan, who had just walked up in time to hear my complaint, both grinned and shrugged.
“Liam,” Marshall called out jovially when I arrived. He jumped up, and we gave each other a man-hug before he turned and gestured to the petite, violet-eyed daywalker sitting next to him. “This is my Everleigh. My love, this is my old chum, Liam.”
“Nice to meet you,” she said with a sweet smile.
“You as well. And congratulations,” I told both of them. “I’m sorry I haven’t had a chance to meet you and celebrate your mating before now. My work keeps me busy.”
“I understand.” Marshall sat back down, and I started to sit on Everleigh’s other side since the only two open chairs were there.
“Oh, would you mind scooting down one? My sister is with us. She just ran to use the restroom.”