The Prince's Hybrid Slave

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Chapter 12

“Take it to the dungeon,” Silas gnarled. Nodding, Zander hoisted the unconscious beast over his shoulder. Ushering me away from the carnage, all I could think about was my former life. “Come on, sweetheart. Let’s get you out of here.”

One look back, and my stomach lurched. This was unequivocally my fault. Walking up the wooden steps, I could smell the wretched beast. Breaking away from Silas, I followed the bloody smell. Hot on my heels, Silas caught me at the door, stopping me. Growling at him, I struggled to free myself. “Let me go, Silas! That thing will pay!”

“No way,” he said. “You are in no condition to go into that room. Killing the wolf will, in no way, change what happened. It certainly will not bring back your family.” Conceding to the truth, I softened. “Why don’t we go upstairs to Grace?”

Walking upstairs, we followed the scent to my room, where Grace was lying deathly still on the bed. Her young, gentle face looked so pale. The gashes over her chest and arms were still raw from the attack. There was so much blood. But there appeared to be a stark difference between Grace’s wounds and those that littered the bodies of the others. What was it though?

“The doctor is on his way. I can hear her heart rate slowing.” Looking up, a tear slipped from Veronica’s eye.

On my knees, I whispered in Grace’s ear. “Can you hear me? I need you to wake up, okay? There is no way that I can lose you too. Wake up, honey. I still have stories to read you, and you still need to tell me Raquel’s secret ingredient for her biscuits. I’m begging you, Gracie. Wake up.” My head dropped. The tears flowed so freely, I was concerned I’d be incapable of stopping. When I raised my head slightly, I saw the little girl was clutching something white. Pulling the crumpled paper from her tiny hand, I hesitated to unfold it. Opening it, my eyes set upon words I didn’t want to see.

“What is it?” Silas asked. The two of them gazed at each other, confused.

Passing Silas the note, my eyes remained trained on the child. In that moment, I realized why the child was still alive. Looking carefully, there was hesitation in the wounds. Whoever did this to her didn’t want to. “Everyone was supposed to die, but someone hesitated with Grace. No witnesses was more than likely the goal, but here we are.”

“She could still die,” Silas responded.

Shaking my head, my mind couldn’t even fathom the idea of Grace dying. “Her wounds started deep, but it’s almost as though there was some kind of reason the job wasn’t finished. A second guess, as it were.”

“But why? She’s a human child servant. What makes her life more valuable or different than the others?” Veronica asked.

“Regardless, she delivered a message,” Silas said, with the blood-stained note in his hand. Already knowing what the note said made my blood run cold with anxiety.

“Which is what?” Veronica pressed.

“Micheal has Alina.” He paused for a moment, turning to me. “And he wants you.”

Before another word could be uttered, Zander burst into the room, doctor in tow. “The doctor is here,” he said.

Silas and I moved out of the way, so the doctor could examine the poor little girl. “Tell me what happened,” the old man asked.

Silas answered, “We don’t know for sure. All we know if that my entire kitchen staff was murdered by wolves. Several guards included.”

The doctor chuckled slightly. “Not everyone, Your Majesty.” He put his bag of tricks on the bed and continued to examine Grace. “Lucky for this little girl, she’ll be just fine.”

I sighed in relief. Silas wrapped his arm around my waist, holding me tightly. “How do you know, Doctor?”

“Oh, this little girl is a wolf herself,” he replied, nonchalantly.

The four of us were dead silent. How could that be? There were never any signs. Normally, a wolf would show signs at young age. Increased body heat. Quick healing. Substantial amount of strength. To my knowledge, Grace showed none of those attributes. But, having lived her life in the kitchen, we’d never know. She was never around her own kind.

Our silence amused the doctor. “Did none of you know this? Your Majesty” Silas shrugged, completely unaware. “My suggestion would be to let her rest. Her wounds are already starting to heal. Limit her movement when she wakes, and make sure she eats plenty.” He reached into his bag again and pulled out bandages. “Please, Your Majesty. I have to bandage the child.”

Nodding, we all withdrew from the room.

“Explains why the wolves didn’t kill her, but why attack her at all if she’s one of them?”

Shrugging, I offered the only explanation I could. “Maybe they didn’t know.”

Immediately, Veronica shook her head. “No, wolves always know their own kind. They can smell it on a person before the person in question even knows they’re a wolf.” Clearly, she had experience with werewolves. “They may have hurt her, but I’m sure that was because they were ordered to kill everyone. Obviously, they couldn’t abide murdering their own.”

Suddenly, Zander had a revelation. “Wait! Where’s Alina?” His panic was evident, and he started to run.

“Don’t bother,” Silas called out to him.

Zander stopped dead in his tracks, whipping around to look at this brother. “Why?!” he asked through clenched teeth.

Pausing and looking over to me, Silas nodded. Perhaps, he’d take the new better from me. “Because Micheal took her,” I answered. “Another reason that Grace was spared. She delivered the message.”

Zander roared and punched the granite wall. “How do we get her back?”

Veronica piped up. “Isn’t it obvious? We take the fight to him.” She was already looking for a fight.

Putting his hands up, he was hesitant to continue on our current path. “Wait a minute now. We don’t know what he will do to her if we attack.”

“Zander, we don’t even know if she’s alive. Our only option is to attack,” Silas replied.

The three of them started bickering amongst themselves. As I listened to their nonsense, I kept replaying every time I was in that vampire’s presence. I remembered every moment when I was one of the kitchen staff. All these memories flooded my head. Hearing Grace’s giggle when Raquel would discipline Alina or me. Zander and Silas fighting brought me back to the present. Veronica and I remained unmoving. The two brothers hissed, ready for bloodshed.

Focusing for a moment, I found the pillar closes to them. Pulling my fist back, I threw it as hard as I could. Once my flesh hit the granite, immediate silence fell.

Mouths agape, all three stared in silence.

“Holy shit,” Veronica said, in disbelief.

Turning on my heel, I left the three of them behind in the great hall.

“What the actual fuck?” Zander said.

Both the guys followed closely behind me. As we walked, I contemplated the display I just showed them. Perhaps, the intensity of my punch was a symptom of being a vampire now. Glancing down at my hand, there was no sign of my bare flesh coming into contact with the granite pillar. Pumping my fist, I inwardly smiled. My thoughts were then interrupted by Silas.

“Um, Marnie, how the hell did you do that?” Silas asked curiously.

I chuckled at him. “Well, you see. I’m this nifty cool thing called a vampire. I’m told they have a lot of strength.”

Zander chimed in. “True, but we are both much older than you and could, maybe, put a dent in that thing a fraction of the size you did.”

As I was about to answer, we reached the door. “Why don’t we discuss this later?”

The men agreed. “Duly noted,” Silas said. “Let’s get this over with.”

Immediately, the sweet smell of blood grabbed my senses. Zander must have roughed up the wolf before he joined us upstairs. He was struggling against the chains, searing his flesh. The smell burned my nose the more he fidgeted. I couldn’t believe how unreal the sight of this wolf was. All four of his limbs and his neck were strung up with silver. Blood covered his naked body. Wounds peppered his slightly tan skin. My senses were reeling and I wanted nothing more than to pounce.

Zander planted himself in the far corner as back-up. Silas and I approached the wolf head on. Staying a step behind, I wanted as much room for reaction time as possible. Looking over my shoulder to Zander, he waved his hand as if to say, ‘have fun’. His signature smirk was all over his face.

Silas landed a blow to the wolf’s jaw before speaking. The deep cracking sound made me slightly queasy. I didn’t think that was possible anymore, “Why were you sent here?” he snarled.

The wolf just spat blood in Silas’s face. “Go to hell, dead man.”

Roughly grabbing his hair, Silas hissed in his face. “Oh, I can promise you’ll arrive there long before me. Now, tell me why you were sent here.” The wolf’s lips remained sealed in a tight line. There was no way he would give up his master. Watching his fist raise again, I gently laid a hand on his arm.

Raising an eyebrow, Silas understood. Stepping back, I moved forward. “Do you want me to loosen the silver? Does it hurt?”

“It burns so much,” he whimpered.

“Tell me your name.” My gentle tone put him at ease.

“B-ben,” he huffed out. His energy was beginning to fade.

“Quick,” Silas whispered behind me. “He’ll pass out before we get anywhere with him.”

Nodding, I gazed back to Ben. “Focus. Look at me, Ben.” Gently cradling his head between my hands, his eyes bore into mine. “Why were you sent here?” I hoped my approach would work better than Silas’s.

“All I know if my master told us that we had to come here and make a statement. He mentioned something about a girl.” His voice began to waver slightly.

“Y-your master?”

Peering over my shoulder, Silas pointed to the tattoo on the Ben’s upper arm. A crest with two serpents and a wolf with a dagger through the heart in the middle. “Look.”

It was an odd crest for a vampire. “Is that the crest of Blackmore?”

“No, the Blackmore crest is a sword wrapped in vines. Only a wolf clan would have a wolf on the crest.”

“Wrong,” Ben said. “This is the crest of Blackmore created by Count Micheal Blackmore after the passing of his father, Claudius Blackmore. Right around the time that vampires decided to go ape shit and wipe out humanity. Or really, anyone deemed different.”

“What does that have to do with Blackmore?” I was more curious than anything.

“Micheal Blackmore is the only descendant of the Blackmore house remaining. His father before him ended the slave trade of werewolves, and others, allowing them to live in peace. Those in the employ of Claudius Blackmore were treated with the same respect as humans. He had great respect for all races, unlike his psychotic offspring.”

“What else?” I pressed.

“He finds the mixing of species….despicable,” he uttered, trying to stay awake.

“I don’t think he can stay awake for much longer,” I said to the men. “Do you know who you were supposed to come after?”

He chuckled slightly. “Seeing as how you’re the only girl here, I take it that’s you. But, he said you were a slave, not a vampire.” His eyes started to close. “Guess he’s shit out of luck.”

Ben passed out then, but he left us with some valuable information. I felt terrible for him. He was under orders, with no choice but to obey. Surely, he was now in loads of trouble. He had given away his true purpose, and nowhere would be safe for him.

Once Ben was unconscious, I turned realizing who else we could speak to. “There is someone else who’d have information,” I suggested. Though the idea made me want to vomit, we had no other option.

Silas raised a brow. Zander flashed a smirk of approval and started toward the door.

“What do we do with him?” I asked, hoping to avoid a snarky response.

“Leave him to rot,” Zander gnarled.

Rolling my eyes, I turned to Silas. “He’s a werewolf, Marnie. We can’t take any chances. Unless he decides to betray his master, which few do, then he must be killed.” Feeling defeated, I dropped my head. I, more than anyone, understood the life of servitude he was forced to live in. “This is the way it has to be. I’m sorry, but it’s too risky for us.”

Nodding, I let it go. Looking at the unconscious wolf made me feel bad. He looked no more than twenty-five, barely starting out in life. He’d only known being controlled by a psychopath. No one had been kind to him. No one treated him with the respect he deserved. He was alone in the world. Now, he was stuck in chains.

Opening the door to the other cell, Julia was unconscious and chained to the wall. The flesh around her wrists and ankles was completely seared. The black and red rings were so severe that she wouldn’t be able to heal. It was satisfying. I couldn’t help but smirk seeing the sorry state she was in.

Zander took point for this interrogation. He whipped his hand harshly across her face. She started to struggle against the chains when she saw us. Growling and snapping, she tried to get at us. Zander hit her again. Silas remained steadfast in between us.

“Wakey, wakey, whore!” Zander said.

She continued to growl and spit. “What do you want?”

“So, we have a few questions.”

Her eyes were filled with venom. “Well, well. Look here. If it isn’t the precious slave bitch!” Julia spat back.

Silas hit her as hard as he could before anyone blinked. “Do not address her!” he snapped. Hissing, her gaze remained trained on me. “Don’t even look at her! Just tell me what you know about Micheal Blackmore.”

Whipping her head toward Silas, she bare her fangs. “Why should I tell you anything?”

“Because it’s the difference between life and death,” Silas snarled.

Scoffing, the woman wasn’t a fool. “Oh, please. One of you will kill me anyway, so what’s the difference?” An evil cackle escaped her lips. “Just fucking get it over with. I got nothing to say to you people.”

“Please, just kill the bitch already, Silas.” Zander was egging him on.

Right when Silas raised his hand to her, I dashed in front of him. “Wait!”

“For what? She’s useless!” Zander responded angrily.

“Julia?” I asked quietly. Her eyes met mine. They were filled with anger, resentment, and hatred. “Why did you try to kill me? I was more curious than anything. “Was it because of Silas, or was it because you were paid to? Your life was luxurious before you came here , to what end did you do all this?”

“Don’t get too close,” Silas whispered behind me.

The stare-down lasted for a moment until she finally gave in. With nowhere to go, she conceded. “I was paid.” Two distinct growls came from behind me. “One more thing,” she continued, “I was planted in this house. Coming from a rich family, I was tired of being the perfect child. He gave me a purpose again.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

A maniacal laugh ripped through her body. “You people really don’t get it, do you?”

Silas grabbed Julia by the throat. “What the fuck is so funny?”

“Blackmore sent me here to kill you!”

The three of us were shocked.

Why would he do that? What was the point of sending in a mole? Murdering Silas would be the worst offense she could commit. The council would string her up before she could blink. Being Amia’s daughter or not.

The room was filled with rage. I thought about how long she had been in this house, watching, waiting, preparing to kill Silas. I always knew she was a snake, waiting to stick her venom into him. It must have been worth her while. Now, it means nothing. She’d be dead soon.

My mind raced as I saw Silas lift his hand to decapitate her. No way. She was mine, I pushed him as hard as I could muster. Silas’s body cracked against the wall when I shoved him. “No!”

Baring his fangs, rage emanated in his eyes. “What the hell are you doing?”

I readied myself in the event he wanted to strike. “This is mine,” I hissed. Relaxing his body, he nodded, knowing exactly what I wanted. I turned to Julia, meeting her gaze, dropping my fangs. “You should have known better than to mess with me, you stupid whore.”

“You won’t win. You’ll all die,” she seethed.

Before she spoke again, I wretched her head from her body, watching her turn to nothing at my feet. Though covered in the whore’s blood, I felt powerful. The person who tried to murder me was gone. Gazing down at my blood-covered hands, vindication coursed through me. Julia was nothing more than a memory now.

Coming back to myself, I turned to look at the two brothers behind me. Silas seemed proud. Zander smirked as he looked down at the bloody mess.

“Come,” Silas said gently, wrapping an arm around my waist.

“Now, I don’t know about you, Silas, nut that gave me a stiffy,” Zander said, jokingly. Silas gave a low growl. “I’m just kidding, you big stick in the mud.”

“I didn’t know I could do something like that.” My voice was low, nearly under my breath. “But it feels good.”

Silas chuckled, understanding what I was saying. “You’re one of us now. You can do that and then some.”

Of course, Zander ruined the moment. “I don’t know, brother. The amount of power it takes to actually do that doesn’t seem like the power of a newborn.” He paused for a moment. “I’m not disparaging the fact that the whore is finally dead, but how long did it take us to fully perfect something like that?”

“Shut up, Zander,” Silas sniped.

The three of us went upstairs in silence. When we reached my room, we saw Veronica sitting at Grace’s bedside.

Upon seeing us, Veronica stood in shock of my appearance. “What the hell happened to you?” she said, pointing at me.

Noticing my reflection in the mirror, I discovered just how bloodied I had become, from my face down to my boots. “Oh, crap. I didn’t realize.”

“Well, what happened?” she pressed.

“She killed Julia,” Zander replied, with glee.

“Holy shit,” Veronica gasped.

“How’s Grace doing?” I readily changed the subject to take the focus off myself. Veronica went silent, staring at the poor girl. “Veronica!” I said, a little louder.

Snapping out of her trance, she answered, “The same. No improvement.”

My poor Grace. She was an innocent bystander in this mess. She watched two people who loved her dearly, massacred. There weren’t any words, and I would have no words to console her when she came to that realization.

“Shouldn’t we focus on getting Alina back?” Zander inquired. “I mean, Blackmore has her. We know where he is, don’t we?”

Silas shook his head. “Actually, we don’t know where he is. He already vacated his mansion. You know he has at least three more home all over the country.” It was obvious he attempted to quell Zander’s need for blood.

Tempers flared. “We can’t just sit here and hope he doesn’t kill her. I won’t let her die. Clearly, none of you care about her.”

Hearing that accusation made my blood boil. Lunging, I pinned him to the wall, baring my fangs. “Don’t you ever say that again! She was my best friend, long before she was ever your pet!”

Shoving me to the other side of the room, I caught myself before hitting the wall. Charging at him again, halfway through, Silas extended his arm, flooring me harshly. “We don’t have time for this.” He was annoyed but helped me up. Glaring at Zander and I, he raised his voice. “But she is right. You have no idea what their relationship is, and it’s presumptuous to think yours is more important.”

Pushing me out of the room, Silas closed it behind him. “Why don’t you get cleaned up?” There was concern and worry in his face. Nodding, I submitted, not having the energy to fight. “Use my room,” he suggested.

Quietly, I trudged over to his room so that I could get the whore’s blood off me., The warm water cascaded over my tired bones, Honestly, it felt like I had been turned a hundred years ago, but it had only been a couple days. In those days, people I loved died, and stained my hands with blood. Finally, I understood the immense power of the vampire. Water running over me, I stared at my hands, wondering how I was able to decapitate Julia. Zander’s words replayed in my head, over and over. How did I have the kind of power for someone so young?

Dressing quickly, I trotted back to my room to see Grace. Veronica was steadfast at her bedside, gazing thoughtfully at the child. There was a sweet, small smile on her face. The wheels in her head were turning.

“Hey,” I whispered, startling her. “Oh, sorry,” I apologized.

She grabbed her chest, letting out a small laugh. “No, it’s alright. I didn’t hear you come in.”

“Are you alright?”

“Hmm, oh, yes. I’m fine.” Obviously, she was lying, but I didn’t press her.

Despite her lie, I continued. “I can see something is on your mind. The hamster is running on the wheel, so to speak. What is it?”

Shaking her head, Veronica was resistant to telling the truth at first. After a bit, she blurted out her true feelings. “I’ve always wondered what it was like to have a child. Give birth. Be maternal.” She paused. “I’ve been a vampire my entire existence. I’ll never know what it’s like.”

My heart broke for her. None of that had ever occurred to me. I’d been forced into slavery at a young age, then became the pet of a prince. Having a child, or family, never crossed my mind. Then I realized, I would never be able to either. The price of immortality.

“Uh…where is Silas?”

“In his office,” she responded.

Approaching the office, I heard the men’s voices clear as day. Rather than walk into their conversation, I eavesdropped momentarily. The brothers were in a heated debate.

“We have to strike, Silas. Waiting around is getting us nowhere.”

“Have you been paying attention? We need allies. There is no way he can fight him, as we are. He’s as old as we are, if not older. He also has wolves at his call. We cannot beat that. I don’t think he should go about this half-cocked.”

“Send Marnie.”

“No fucking way! I will not let the woman I love die!”

“But you’re willing to sacrifice the woman I love to die just because you won’t act?!”

This madness needed to end.

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