He considered letting the answering machine pick it up. These days it was either tele-marketers or someone asking a donation for some benefit. Something moved him to the receiver and he picked it up, settling it casually on his ear. The moment he did, he sensed the woman on the other end. His sensitive hearing picked up the anxiety in her breathing.
He pushed aside the rush of need in his blood, blaming it on his previous thoughts. "Hello?"
"Is this a Mr. Macguire?"
Her voice, that tone—Aidian blinked, refocusing his efforts on the present. "It is and who might this be?"
"My name is Leontine Cavanaugh. Your name was given to me as a person who might be interested in the preservation of the old library in town."
He was not half as interested in the old building as he was in this woman. But if they came as a package, he was all ears. "I'm sorry, you said your name was—?"
"Leontine Cavanaugh," she responded rather succinctly, as if she hadn't the time to piss around with details. And that was fine with him in view of how his body was responding to the sound of her voice. In all of his days of wandering, there had only been one other woman by that name. It couldn't be coincidence.
"Is that Gaelic, Ms. Cavanaugh?" Aidian asked. He turned to face the picture window that gave a view of the sleepy little town below. Scattered in the pitch black of night was a sprinkling of miniature lights-evidence of the tiny community that existed at the base of his mountain. She was down there, somewhere, maybe in a hotel room seated on the edge of a bed.
A delicious throbbing caused him to shift his stance, bring his mind back from his torrid thoughts.
"Yes, I suppose it is, Mr. Macguire. Though I've never really looked into my heritage before. I've always meant to, but, well, I haven't found the time."
He sensed the regret in her voice. He sensed everything about her, much to the discomfort in his jeans. That would teach him not to go commando. "What is it you want from me, Ms. Cavanaugh?" he asked, praying she would invite him to her room. He ran his tongue over his teeth, flicking the sharpened edges of his elongated incisors. Other parts of his body were responding with the same enthusiasum.
"We would appreciate your support in a small gala fundraiser we're giving at the library in a few weeks."
He detected the gentle swallow that followed her query. Her anxiety fluttered over the wire. Could this be his Leontine? Finally, after all these years? He'd attended enough past-life sessions to understand the possibility existed. Hell, he was a living example of it. But without aid of the curse. Was it still possible?
He fought the urge to speak to her mentally, delve quietly into her subconscious, and see for himself if she remembered him.
"That is most generous of you, Mr. Macguire. Do you believe then in the preservation of our past?"
The question came out of left field. He offered a quiet chuckle. "You've no idea, Ms. Cavanaugh, just how much."
"You're a very interesting man, Mr. Macguire," she said softly.
"How is that that, Ms. Cavanugh?" There was something very erotic in the formality of their words. Eerily familiar, of an era gone by where addressing a man or woman in such a way was commonplace. Yes, stealing kisses beneath a willow, while the lady addressed you by your proper name, causes more than a mans blood to rise.
"So few here in town know about you and yet, you are so generous in preserving what means most to them."
"I love books, Ms. Cavanaugh. Is that so unusual?"
"So, I understand. Based on your sizable contribution of books on ancient Celtic lore and Gaelic legends, I assume you have a deep love for the old country."
The hairs on the back of my neck bristled. "For a woman who has not researched her lineage, you sound almost wistful when you mention the old country."
Her gentle laugh stroked his frustrated mind.
"I suppose its one of those places one feels a kinship to, but for whatever reasons, you cannot get there. Have you ever felt that way, Mr. Macguire?"
"Many a time," I responded, my suspicions deepening that my Leontine's soul, was buried somewhere deep inside this woman. "Perhaps we could meet and discuss your plans for the library?"
"That sounds very nice, Mr. Macguire, but unfortunately our meeting will have to wait until the gala. I'm catching a flight out tonight. I have a brother in London who is getting married."
"Excuse me?" I gripped the receiver, a breath from transporting myself to her side.
"Oh, I'm sorry. It slips out sometimes."
Aidian sucked in a deep breath, the muscle of his jaw ticking under the strain as he fought not to seduce her right then. It would be so easy. A simple willful thought and he could be there, taking the receiver from her hand, placing it in the cradle. He'd start first with the slow thrum at the base of her neck, just below her ear, still warm from the receiver. From there he'd peel away the blouse he was sure she wore under a business jacket—black, he guessed—with a pencil skirt that hugged her hips. He could almost hear the gentle rasp of the skirt sliding over her stockings at the insistence of his hands. And the sublime joy of finding old-fashioned black lace circling her thighs.
"Do you wear black stockings, Ms. Cavanugh?" he pried taking a precarious step in the direction of his thoughts.
There was a silence on the other end of the phone. He felt her pulse quicken, her body temperature rising steadily. Damn. Aidian steeled himself against the desire to work his mouth up those silky thighs and draw her stockings down with his teeth.
Part III; Wednesday