Nicole Argeneau followed her family through the museum. She really wasn’t into history, but she loved her family and wouldn’t hurt them for the world. It was also quite comical to listen to them bicker over historical events because they all had a different version. It is like witnesses to an accident. Although they all saw the exact same thing happen, their versions were different. This happened more with her father, Etienne Argeneau, a video game designer, and her Uncle Bastian, who ran the family business. They were the oldest of the group and had many memories of the great events of world history. Her mother, Rachel, a doctor, and Aunt Terri, a historian who worked at the museum, mostly just listened to the bantering because they had been turned by her father and uncle only about 200 years ago. There were times however, when Aunt Terri would jump into the argument and add her own information. That was the case now as they gathered around the display.
“No, Etienne, that’s not what happened. I should know, I was there,” retorted Bastian.
“No you weren’t! It was Lucern! You were in England bartering with the clan about a rogue vampire,” Etienne argued back.
“I’m going to say that both of you are wrong because neither of you were there!” Terri interjected.
Rachel snorted at the look on her husband’s and brother-in-law’s faces. “Let’s just agree to disagree on this,” she stated not trying to hide her smile.
Nicole couldn’t resist adding her own comment, “Or, I could just call Uncle Lucian and let him settle this. I’m sure he can actually remember what happened.”
The men turned to her with glaring stares. “Or not,” she mumbled before walking away with her head down. She left the adults to continue their argument while she meandered around the ground floor running her fingers along some of the statues. She was so engrossed in the feeling the cold stone left on her skin, she never noticed the young woman walking toward her with an armful of scrolls. Nicole turned, taking a step backward to look up at the statue, and walked right into the path of the woman.
A squeal erupted from the woman as a Nicole tried to catch herself. It was futile. They both found themselves in a pile on the floor with the scrolls scattered and rolling away. Nicole was quick to recover. “Oh my God! I’m so sorry! Are you okay? Are you hurt?” she rattled off quickly pushing herself up and looking at the brunette lying beside her.
Pushing herself up on her elbow, the brunette began to grumble, “Jeeezzz, you really need to look where……you …..are…..uh….” Her voice trailed off as she looked up into the most beautiful face she had ever seen. Her voice caught in her throat. Her breath was shallow and quick. She couldn’t tear her eyes away from the gorgeous and most unusual set of eyes she had ever seen. They were dark brown with a hint of yellow surrounding the pupil making them seem to glow.
Nicole was at a loss for words. Her voice died away as she looked at the beautiful brunette sitting on the floor beside with her hair all array cascading over her shoulders. Her skin was olive in color and so soft looking. Nicole yearned to touch her face. Her hand was actually moving in that direction as she stared into the most gorgeous hazel eyes she had ever seen. But the moment was interrupted when her family came bounding around the corner to see what had happened to Nicole.
Both women blinked rapidly breaking the spell. Nicole stood reaching a hand down to help the woman to her feet. “I’m sorry. Are you okay?” Nicole asked again.
“Nicole are you okay? What happened?” her mother questioned taking in the sight before her.
“Yeah. I’m okay,” she answered quietly.
“Waverly, what about you?” Terri asked noticing her young apprentice was the one involved in the commotion.
“Uh, yes. I’m fine, Mrs. Argeneau,” Waverly assured her.
“Waverly,” she heard the red head whisper beside her. She cast a glance and smiled nervously at the red head beside her. Her nerves only seemed to increase when the red head smiled back showing deep dimples on her cheeks.
“Waverly, I see you’ve managed to meet my ne..cousin, Nicole. This is her par……her cousins…..Etinenne and Rachel. They are in town for a few days and I thought they would enjoy a tour around the museum,” Terri explained.
Waverly extended her hand to each member of the group. “And you know my husband, Bastian,” Terri added.
“Of course. It’s nice to see you again, Mr. Argeneau,” Waverly commented and gave a little wave.
Bastian nodded his head. Waverly was quiet as she looked at the group. Nicole looked very much like the other red head of the group. But, Rachel didn’t seem to have the spark Nicole did. There was something about Nicole that set Waverly on fire. She had never experienced anything like it. Her heart was still hammering in her chest as she began to gather her scrolls.
“Here, let me help, please. It’s because of me these are all other the place,” Nicole said as she began helping Waverly. With her arms full, she said, “Where are you headed? I’ll help you with these.”
“No, really it’s okay,” Waverly said trying to take them from the red head.
“Please, let me help. It’s the least I can do,” Nicole all but begged catching her mother’s attention. Rachel watched her daughter follow the short brunette like a puppy after its owner. She smiled to herself.
“What are you grinning about, my love?” Etinenne whispered in her ear.
She turned her face toward her husband and kissed her cheek. “I do believe our daughter is smitten.”
“What?” he gasped. “She is only a baby!”
“Sweetie, she is 95 years old. She is hardly a baby,” she scolded her husband.
“I don’t care if she is as old as Bastian, she is still my baby!” he huffed.
Rachel smiled at her overly protective husband. She might look like her mother, but she was very much a daddy’s girl. In fact, she had most of her uncles wrapped around her finger, especially her Great-Uncle Lucian. She had managed to talk him into letting her join the Enforcers. Rachel didn’t like it, but it was Nicole’s choice. Not her own, nor her father’s. Nicole had worked hard for almost 50 years learning everything she could about being an Enforcer and working in the realm of humans. She had gone through the police academy here in American twice with honors, once in England with honors, and graduated top of her class from the FBI just a few months ago. She had argued with her uncles and father for years about her decision. After proving herself time and again and intervention from her aunts, they reluctantly agreed to let her at least try. It was too dangerous for her to work in the human career field as a police officer. If she were to get hurt in the line of duty, she could expose them all for what they were-----vampires.