Five Months Later
Wendy paced the hall as Damon leaned against the door jam of Chase’s bedroom, examining Chase’s near lifeless body convulsing on his bed. He approached the bed and placed a cool hand on Chase’s forehead and then moved his hand to his neck, using two fingers to feel for his pulse.
“I’m afraid that there is no other option. Their link is almost severed and if that should happen, we will lose them both,” he addressed Wendy, his brow furrowed in concern.
She stopped pacing immediately and rounded on Damon, “I can’t do THAT. There has to be another option to save them.”
“Our options are limited dear child. Jax has been unreachable, Guin is bedridden at headquarters and Liam is, well you know.”
“We will find another way, Damon!”
It was his temper that flared this time. He turned his head to Wendy with pure rage in his eyes, “I will not lose my daughter because you are too feeble minded to look past the sex to see the bigger picture. If you have another idea, I am all ears, but if not, it will happen whether you like it or not.”
Words escaped her so she stood there and gaped at him. How dare he speak to her that way. How dare he tell her that he was going to force her to let her boyfriend have sex with the woman who was supposed to be her best friend. She turned away. The mere sight of him made her want to dig her nails into his eyes and rip them from their sockets. She started for the door but had been blocked by the sudden appearance of Graten in the door.
“Good evening,” he greeted them curtly.
“Oh, what do you want?” Wendy barked.
“Here I thought Faerie’s were supposed to be sweet and docile creatures,” he teased, raising a questioning brow toward Damon.
Wendy ignored his quip and pushed past him. They both watched as she stormed off down the hall. Her tantrum made Graten grin.
“Who pissed in her pixie dust?”
His question brought traces of a smile to Damon’s face that quickly disappeared as Chase began to cry out in his weakened state.
“I’m afraid her lover and my daughter are very near death and the only thing that can save them is to strengthen the power that binds them.”
“So basically, one of them needs to get laid,” Graten replied sarcastically.
“Not quite. The ideal scenario would be for them to be together, but it really only needs to be Saraid. She is the one who holds the power that solidified their bond.”
“And let me guess, you suggested the idea of the two of them having sex to her and that is why she is fuming? Cut her some slack, it can’t be an easy thing to be asked to get used to.”
Damon sighed, “It’s not that I don’t sympathize with her situation, but they could die, and she still refuses. I will not lose my daughter and I will do whatever I have to do to keep her alive.”
Graten clapped a hand on Damon’s back and said, “I can’t even pretend to understand what you are feeling right now. Saraid is a good woman and we are all better off with her breathing.”
Damon looked at Graten and then to the door, “Follow me my friend.”
Graten followed Damon’s lead, not bothering to ask where he was taking him. As soon as he turned left, he knew their destination. Damon opened the door to Saraid’s room and stepped aside for Graten to enter, shutting the door behind them.
The woman on the bed looked nothing like the woman he met in Purgatory. Her skin looks pale, damp, and pasty. The paleness a perfect contrast to the purple around her sunken eyes. He felt an emotion he had never felt before as he looked over the woman who could both make him feel accepted and insecure at the same time.
“Holy shit, she looks worse than death.”
Damon nodded his head in agreement, his face wrinkled with concern, “Do you think you could help her? I know it is not a common request, but I am desperate. I haven’t had nearly enough time with her.”
“I don’t know. She made it very clear that she didn’t want me back in her bed. She said she had too many people in her life to even think of adding another.”
“I’m not asking you to permanently attach yourself to her. I am asking you to simply save her life by feeding her succubus.”
Graten rubbed the stiffness from his neck as he stared awkwardly over Saraid’s bed toward Damon, “The last time I checked that requires me to have sex with her. I don’t know that it’s possible to have sex with her without getting attached in some way.”
Damon sighed and shook his head, “You love her. Everyone claims to love my daughter, but no one is willing to do what it takes to save her life.”
He looks to be on the verge of tears and the sight is just too much for Graten to bear. How could he explain to Damon that it wasn’t because of his love for Saraid that made him think twice about this, it was the thought of Saraid’s reaction to it. If he did this would she hate him? Would she be grateful?
“I’m just afraid she will never forgive me. I could very well save her life and still lose her altogether,” the threat of tears came on and he blinked them back, “but I would rather have her alive and resenting me than dead so I will try.”
“Thank you, my friend. I will never be able to repay you for this,” Damon breathed enthusiastically.
“Don’t thank me until it works.”
Damon came to stand in front of him and extended his hand out to him. Graten happily accepted the gesture and waited through the awkward silence. When a few moments had passed he didn’t know what else he could possibly say so he opted for, “Are you intending to watch?”
He was slow to understand what he meant but as soon as it came to him, he stuttered, “Oh, I’m sorry. I’m leaving.”
He waited until the door closed behind the man before he began to nervously remove his clothes. It was an uneasy feeling, knowing that he was about to be intimate with a woman who is barely coherent, but he meant what he said to Damon. He would rather live with her resenting him than to live with her dying.
He mounted the bed beside her, half expecting her to jolt awake and kick him back out of it. He slid under the covers beside her and whispered her name, looking for any sign that she knew he was there. He reached out to tuck a stray strand of hair behind her ear and whispered, “Please don’t hate me for this.”
Letting his hand stroke, the flat of her back, wincing at the feel of her bones protruding through the fabric of her nightgown, he leaned down and placed a kiss on her cheek. A warmth began to develop where his lips met her skin. He took that as a positive sign and moved his lips to her mouth. That same warmth greeted him again, a little bit stronger this time. Damon was right, this is what she needed. He continued his kiss, moving his hands up and down her frame hoping to augment the warmth he felt. He could feel the warmth thrumming just below the surface causing him to deepen his kiss that she had still not reciprocated.
Just then her lips twitched ever so slightly, giving him just enough to keep going. His hands fisted the fabric of her nightgown and began to pull it from her body until she lay completely exposed beside him. He pulled her gingerly into his arms, being sure to touch every inch of her nakedness in desperation.
“Come on Saraid, wake up. I don’t want to do this to you, not like this,” he pleaded.
The warmth seemed to have transferred from his body to hers all in that instance jolting her from her slumber. Her eyes were wide and frantic as she looked up to Graten’s face in confusion.
Her body went rigid and cold, right before she vanished from beside him. He jumped up, pulling the linens from the bed as if she had somehow disappeared within the mattress.
“Saraid,” he screamed, “What the hell? Saraid where are you?”
Graten threw the mattress from its foundation, not wanting to believe what he had just seen. What he feared had come to pass and now he will never forgive himself. He has to find her and tell her the truth about what’s happening to her. She is too good to live alone forever.
He dressed in a hurry and rushed from the room, not stopping to explain as he passed Damon and Wendy in the hall. His portal to Purgatory lays just beyond the wood line and he needed to get there before anyone came along to stop him. He knew that Damon and Wendy would think the worst considering how he just left and Saraid being nowhere to be found. They would probably think he kidnapped her somehow or even worse, killed her. He had to find her. Everything will work out if he can just find her and explain.