Sharon’s Notes: Meeting your spouses’ family is terrifying. You want to make a good impression because these people are important to the one you love, but also because they can make your life miserable. In most cases there isn’t a danger of being shot. Well, maybe in my family. My husband is a brave soul. Warning: Over protective family.
“Your family hates me.” Jack couldn’t stop fussing with his tie.
Anise sighed. “They don’t hate you, they just don’t know what to make of you.”
“They look at me like they want to stake me.” Jack got out of the car and straightened his suit again.
“They don’t want to stake you.” Anise grabbed the pie from the back seat. Her husband raised an eyebrow at her, and she sighed. “Okay, maybe Graham wants to stake you, but he’s a psycho, and everyone knows it. We only keep him around because we’re afraid he’ll start killing civilians if he didn’t have keepers. The rest of them just don’t know you.”
“I’m going to be a vampire at a hunter’s Christmas party.” He rubbed his forehead. “This is a horrible idea.”
“You’re my husband coming with me to a Christmas party with the people who I’ve come to think of as family.” She put the pie on top of the car and walked to Jack. When she wrapped her hands around his lapels, he met her eyes. “Hey, if you want to go, we can go. I’ll call Polly and tell her I’m not feeling well. We can go home, I’ll make myself sick by eating this entire pie, and we can binge watch something all night.”
He took a deep breath and smiled. A stray hair was hanging by Anise’s chin, so he tucked it behind her ear. “No. I’ll stop being a chicken. I’m just nervous. It’s just that these people are important to you, so their opinions actually matter.”
Anice planted a light kiss on his lips. “It will all be fine.”
With one hand she grabbed the pie off the car and with the other she grabbed Jack and led him into the hall the hunter’s had rented. She did not mention to him that they hadn’t had the party at headquarters because they knew she was bringing him.
“Anise!” As they opened the door, Rupert walked towards her, arms extended for a hug. Anise gave her mentor a big squeeze. When he turned to Jack, his smile faltered a little, but the vampire stepped forward and offered a hand.
“It’s good to finally meet you, sir. My wife has told me so much about you.” Jack gave his best closed lipped smile, the one that hid his fangs.
The senior hunter hesitated for a moment, and the entire room was focused on him. Graham in particular was grinning like the lunatic he was and fingering a large hunting knife at his waist. Rupert glanced back at the other hunters, then at Anise’s pleading face. He sighed and took Jack’s hand. The room relaxed.
Anise broke into the brightest smile and went to put her pie on the buffet table. The buzz of conversation started up, and Rupert pulled Jack close like he was going to give him a hug too and whispered in his ear.
“Look, I know my girl loves you, so I will play nice. I also know that she plans to become a vampire for you. I don’t like it, but it’s her choice. You better make her deliriously happy.”
Jack swallowed hard. “That’s my plan, sir.”
The hunter grinned a toothy smile that would have made the vampire jealous if he wasn’t terrified. “Good, because if you ever hurt her, we’ll stake you out for the sun. Even if it’s a hundred years from now, and it’s our descendants, we will kill you. Understand?”
“Good.” Rupert thumped him hard on the back. “Now go mingle, and stay away from Graham. He might stab you accidentally.”
“Yes, sir.” Jack almost ran to Anise’s side.