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Chapter 2: Victoria

Blood was everywhere. There was so much, and it covered every inch of visible skin. I could feel it dripping from my face down to my shoulders and onto my chest. I wanted to wipe it away, but my body would not cooperate. Even trying to turn my head to inspect myself to see if I was wounded and if any of the blood was mine was unsuccessful. I could feel the blood on my skin, cooling and becoming tacky, and I could feel the long handled blade that was clasped tightly in my right palm. Once I recognized what it was I wanted to release it, but my hand would not obey me. My grip on the blade was so tight that there was no chance of the blood that coated me would cause my fingers to slip. I wanted it to slip. I didn’t want to hold it, to complete the task that it was set on. As hard as I tried I could not get my fingers to relax.

My arm raised in a high upward arch, preparing for the down stroke. I screamed, but the sound only reverberated through my head. My mouth was set in a vile grin, the corners of my mouth curving upward wickedly. My hand started the decent and the blade swung downward, sure and fast. I felt the blade hit flesh and begin to part it, the sound of flesh tearing, and suddenly I jolted upright.

Remnants of the dream clung to me, my breath wheezing in and out of my lungs like I suffered from asthma. I quickly swiped hands down my face neck, and arms, searching for the blood that had coated me in my dream. I was clean, nothing but sweat making my skin feel sticky, and I sighed with relief. The blood had been so real though, so real I could taste it. As soon as the thought of taste had crossed my mind I gagged, which only made the taste of sickeningly sweet coppery pennies so much worse. My stomach rolled, threatening to expel anything that could have been in it. My mouth felt gummy and dry, and that made the cloyingly, mouth coating taste so much worse.

I gagged again, feeling bile rise in my throat, and I knew I had to move quickly before I emptied my stomach onto my bed. I scrambled out of the bed, climbing roughly over Daemian’s sleeping body. He grunted as I climbed over him, my knee connecting with his back. I felt bad but I couldn’t slow down to say anything for fear that I was going to lose my stomach before I could get any words of explanation out. It woke him and he called out to me as I raced to the bathroom, my black and burgundy hair flying out behind me at my speed. I didn’t turn back at his call, the churning in my stomach demanding that I release its contents immediately. I heard Daemian call out to Marcus, but I had made it to the toilet and started throwing up, not hearing if Marcus responded, the sounds of my retching echoing through my bathroom.

I heaved dryly after my stomach was emptied. It hurt and my body felt feverish, a light dew of sweat coating my body. Daemian had gotten Marcus up and they had both come into the bathroom with me, Daemian’s long fingers holding my hair up and out of my face. I could feel them hovering, not sure how to help me. When my stomach was finally settled enough to stop heaving I flushed the toilet and I sat, quite ungracefully, on the floor in front of the toilet. I was too weak to try and carry myself back to the bed yet. Marcus got out a washcloth for me and wet it, and the cloth was blessedly cool. It made quick work of the sweat that covered my face, and I felt almost instantly better.

“What happened Vic? Are you ok?” Marcus asked as he hovered next to me. I handed him the washcloth. He tossed it into the laundry basket in the corner without even looking.

“A dream, a bad dream,” I felt a sob rise in my chest, and I closed my mouth quick, clasping my lips together, trying not to let the sound escape my throat. I tried squashing the feeling of terror and dread that was trying to work its way up out of my mouth. I was not about to have hysterics over a dream, no matter how real it felt, no matter who it was I was trying to plunge a knife through.

They both stared at me expectantly, concern painted across their faces. I didn’t want to talk about it, but I wasn’t going to hide it from them, because that would just cause them to worry more. So I told them. I was back in Christian’s family cemetery, the shroud covered sacrifice laying on the alter in front of me. This time I was aware inside of my body, but I still had no control over my actions, my limbs not responding to my mental commands. When my hand pulled the shroud off of the body, it was not the small woman from before, it was Jason. He was bound and could not move, but he was struggling and aware. I was filled with horror at seeing him on the slab, knowing what my body intended to do, and knowing that there was nothing I could do to stop it.

I covered my face with my hands as I said Jason’s name. I did not want Daemian or Marcus to see the look on my face as I said his name. I didn’t want them to see the emotions that played out on my face as I imagined the dream and how my hand holding the blood soaked blade had carve up his chest and tried to sacrifice him. I hated that the image evoked such a reaction, so much emotion, but I couldn’t help it. The wounds on my heart from him were still too fresh. I didn’t want them to see that though and inadvertently hurt them, especially Daemian. I wished I could be numb to it, but that would only come with time, or so I hoped. The cynical part of me knew that I was never going to be free from Jason as long as either of us lived. That was the purpose of a Mated Pair.

There was a part of me, a much larger part than I wanted to admit to, that was still very much in love with Jason, that craved him still. It was a part of me that I kept hidden in the deepest parts of my heart. Not to mention my power craved his. I think that was supposed to be one of the perks of being a mated pair. As addictive as the use and absorption of power was being dark, having a mated pair was like having your own everlasting battery. I didn’t crave power in general the way I had when I was younger, when Daemian had first introduced me to the darkness. I didn’t feel the need to consume power the way I had back then because my power was now connected to Jason’s. It was like and eternal loop that never needed to be replenished.

It was like a drug addiction, the darkness was. Like a person addicted to heroin, or meth. It was almost the same principle. The more and more you used, the more and more you needed it, and you would do almost anything to get it. And not only that, but it would eat away at your soul the way that drugs would eat away at your body. But, having a mated pair, craving the connection to their power, was completely different. It was still an addiction of sorts, but it was like being addicted to drinking your daily eight cups of water. It didn’t break you down in any way and was actually good for you.

The other part of me though, was so hurt and angry that it over shadowed almost everything else when I thought of Jason. Like a cancer. This part was eating away at me, causing me to be angry and irritable anytime Jason was on my mind. It did not help that I was dealing with Christian on a regular basis. He and Jason looked so much alike, even their voices were similar. It made me so mad just looking at him sometimes. Not to mention the fact that Christian was a piece of shit. He always had something to say, trying to rile me up. Mentioning Jason to me all the time and dropping hints and inuendoes that he would fuck me if I’d let him. Bile rose in my throat and I scooted closer to the toilet just in case. I shook visibly, trying to dispel the thoughts of Jason and of Christian, lowering my hands to finish telling them the dream.

I told them that my body had been covered in animal blood, like someone had sprayed me liberally with a mister, and about the pile of animal corpses that littered the alter. I told them how my body had moved as if possessed, and I was just a passenger inside my own body. The hand that was mine but wasn’t mine used the knife on Jason’s chest carving an “x”, and the creepy voice that came out of my throat with words that were not mine. I told them about how my arm raised and started the downward thrust, with me waking up just as the blade bit into Jason’s chest, the taste of blood in my mouth. Just the thought of evoked a gag from me and I had to lean over the toilet again, my stomach discarding more of its contents.

Once the heaves stopped racking my body, Marcus crawled up to me, hugging me to him. Daemian held back, a strange look on his face. Daemian hated anything that had anything to do with Jason. The first night after I embraced my darkness and Jason abandoned me for it, I had been ok. The touch of Daemian and Marcus had kept the pain at bay for that first night. After that it really sunk in that my mate, the one that was supposed to stick by me no matter what, had abandoned me, and I started having nightmares. They varied. I sometimes dreamed about Jason leaving me, and the pain of that would feel fresh every time, screams and tears waking me. Sometimes I would dream that Jason was trying to kill me, his hands around my neck, to keep me from getting any darker, and I would wake up choking and gasping for air. There were a few other scenarios but those two were the ones that plagued me the most.

I knew it killed a piece of Daemian that I was hurting so much, and that there was nothing that he could do to help make it any better. I did my best to hide it from him, because none of this was his fault and I hated hurting him. Daemian knew that the day would come when Jason would finally come for me, to try and take me back, and he feared what I would do.

Jason was my Mated. My soul mate, and we were meant to be together in some capacity. There were no written rules that said that a mated pair had to be together romantically, but it was never heard of that a Mated Pair hadn’t been lovers. I knew this was a major concern for Daemian, and I was not able to ease his mind. Daemian was scared that I was going to throw him away the second I could have Jason back. I tried to convince Daemian that as much as I felt towards Jason, I would not abandon him like that. I still saw the flinch and the pain in his eyes the second Jason is mentioned. I knew that I would always long for Jason, because he was the other half of me, of my power, but he was not the only man that held a piece of my heart. I had no intention of giving up Daemian and Marcus, even if some way, somehow, Jason came back into my life. I was not going to abandon them the same way Jason had abandoned me.

Anger rose in me and I stood up abruptly. Daemian looked up from me from his spot on the floor, a tinge of sadness in his eyes. He probably thought that it was at him, and it was slightly. I was tired of having to justify myself and reassure him. I didn’t get a choice on who my mate was. I was also angry because I knew that Jason would have demands if he ever came back into my life, if I let him back into my life. He would want me to drop Daemian and Marcus. I knew it and it made me mad just thinking about a fight that I might have to have in the future. It was ridiculous but that’s where most of the anger stemmed from.

I softened my eyes and smiled at him, running my fingers through his sleep tousled skunk hair, before turning to the sink to brush my teeth. Once the taste of blood and vomit was cleared from my mouth I decided it was too early to be up and went to get back into bed, motioning for the men to follow. Marcus climbed up into the bed with me, eagerly cuddling up to my side, one of his legs hooking up over mine so he could get as close to my body as possible. Daemian didn’t join us, instead he turned, going for the bedroom door that led to the living room and kitchen.

“Where are you going?” I asked, pouting, “I need cuddles,” I patted the empty space on the bed next to me.

“I was going to go make you some tea, to help settle your stomach,” he said with a chuckle, but the smile didn’t reach his eyes.

“Oh, ok. That sounds good thanks, babe.” I didn’t acknowledge the look in his eyes because I could tell he didn’t want me to. Making me tea was the excuse he needed to get a moment to himself to get his emotions under control.

Brewing tea usually only took five minutes, but I like my tea really strong, so it takes longer. So after about 15 minutes, Daemian comes back into the room holding a purple mug of steaming goodness. When he looked up from the mug to Marcus and I, he saw that Marcus had dosed off. When his eyes met mine, I made sure that he saw all the love and appreciation I felt for him. I watched his body relax slightly, and the flinch that had been in his eyes faded away bit by bit.

Daemian handed me the mug, and I grasped it, my cold fingers tingling from the heat. I lifted the mug to my face, as Daemian climbed into the bed next to me, letting the steam from the cup waft into my face. I expected the minty herbal scent that I normally associated with my favorite tea. The smell that hit me though was foul and turned my already upset stomach into knots.

“Oh my god! What is that??” I exclaimed. Marcus popped his head up in confusion, sleep making his features soft, seeing the mug in my hand and the look of disgust on my face.

“What? Is it the tea?” Daemian asked, reaching for the cup, taking it from me. The smell hit me again and I gagged, and he looked at me like I was crazy as he took a whiff of it. “I used your favorite tea, and the box was new. It smells fine to me.” He took a sip of it, “It tastes fine too. Maybe your stomach is still upset.” He shrugged and handed the cup back to me when I reached for it. Maybe I had been imagining it, my dream had been full of dead animal bodies, and maybe that was still in the back of my mind.

I took the cup back and raised it to my lips, and before I could take a sip, the smell hit me again. Like a sack of bricks to my gut. It was like someone had mixed in rotten meat with the herbs and tea leaves. A wave of nausea washed over me, and it was all I could do not the throw up right there in the bed. I tried to hand the cup of steaming liquid off gently, but the urgency of my stomach made me thrust the cup at Daemian and jump off the bed, scrambling to make it to the toilet.

I heard both men shouting as I darted to the bathroom, the tea must have spilled all over them and the bed, which I felt bad for, but I didn’t have time to worry about it because I was heaving again. I retched as I leaned over the toilet bowl and a fevered sweat broke out on my brow again, my eyes watering, sending tears down my face. My knees started to crumple out from under me from exhaustion, but a pair of strong hands caught me before I fell to the floor. Daemian was there, his hands holding me up as I continued to dry heave, my body no longer having anything left to expel.

Once my stomach settled enough that it wasn’t trying to exit my body through my mouth, the heaves stopped, my body shaking slightly. Daemian lowered us gently to the floor, pulling me in to cradle me against his chest. I was facing the sink and the mirror, and I could see Daemian’s face, and only the top of my head. Marcus was still out in our room, probably changing the sheets and blankets. I just sat there, trying to catch my breath.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with me today, Daemian. I know there was nothing wrong with that tea, and I really wanted to drink it.” My voice wavered, like I was going to cry, and I got annoyed with myself. Was I really about to start crying over some tea? I shook my head, in confusion. Was I really that upset over the dream? It was Just a dream. A shitty one sure, but still just a dream. That couldn’t have been it.

“We can get more tea, Vic, it’s OK. I’m just glad it didn’t spill on me when you tossed it at me in your rush. The sheets and the blankets were the only victims.” He chuckled and smiled at me, but I could still see the undercurrent of concern that shaded his eyes.

“Sorry about that. I would rather tea spill on the bed than my throw up on the bed.” I said with a little laugh.

“Same.” Daemian laughed and snuggled me closer to him.

We sat there for a little while, just enjoying the closeness of each other while my stomach settled. Daemian was combing his fingers through my hair absent mindedly, and I was enjoying the tingles it sent through my scalp, basking in the attention. I was just staring off into space when my eyes happened to lock on an item under the sink. It was one of my favorite shades of purple, which it probably why my eyes had been drawn to it. It was a box of tampons. A thought crossed my mind and I jolted upright, my heart picking up pace and it felt like the breath in my lungs was being squeezed tight.

“You ok, baby? Are you going to throw up again?” Daemian sat up with me and was searching my face, trying to predict what I needed.

“My period is late.” I must have whispered it or mumbled it because Daemian looked confused.

“What? I don’t understand.” Confusion and concern dominated Daemian’s face, and his hands were gripped tight on my arms. I cleared my throat and tried again.

“My period is over a month late.” My voice was steady as I said it, but internally I was losing my mind. The word “pregnant” was flashing in bold red letters all over my brain and I wasn’t able to think any other coherent thoughts for a moment. I couldn’t be pregnant. Just couldn’t be. It was impossible.

“Whoa! What? Are you sure?” Daemian’s face was almost comical in its shock. Like an over done anime character.

“Yeah, I’m sure. My last period was,” I counted out the weeks in my head, “early July. I’ve never been Late before, Daemian.” An inner monologue of panic began in an endless seeming stream. Pregnant? Could I really be? Am I ready to be a mom? I can’t be pregnant, I am so not ready. This was not supposed to be possible. Who the hell would be the father? If my last period were in July that means that Jason could be a possible father. How would I raise a kid in this situation? The inner questions and doubt just kept going. I felt like I was starting to hyperventilate, and I was feeling dizzy, the nausea threatening to come back.

“Vic calm down. Take a deep breath. It may not be what you’re thinking. I read somewhere periods could be late because of stress. You’ve had a lot happen in the last two months. More than most people have to deal with in a year, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that were what it was. It does not automatically mean there’s a bun in the oven.” Daemian was rubbing his hands up and down my back, trying to help calm me down. He words helped immensely, and he was right. A lot had happened, and periods could be late because of stress. I had ample reason to be stressed with Christian breathing down my neck and trying to use me to his own ends, and everything that happened with Jason definitely did not help.

“You’re right. I know your right.” My breathing slowed a tiny bit, “I shouldn’t panic. There’s no reason to panic yet.” My racing heart started to slow, and my breathing was starting to return to normal as well.

“We should do a test though. Just to be on the safe side. So that way we know what the actual situation is.” Daemian was being so sweet and calm, when I know he had to have been freaking out almost as bad as I was. I nodded my agreement to getting a test. He was right. It was the smart and logical next step. “You know, even if you were, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. No matter what happens, or what life throws at us, I’m never going to leave your side as long as you want me there, and I’m sure Marcus feels the same way. I know we would be able to handle it together.”

I felt the tears starting to form, and I held my eyes open wide to keep them from falling. Daemian was so good to me. He was always on my side, no matter what. I leaned in and kissed him on the mouth, clinging to him and pressing as close to him as I could. I loved this man so much, I couldn’t imagine ever not wanting him with me.

“I’ll always love you and want you by my side, Daemian. I need you.” I caressed a hand down the side of his face and started into the depths of his cold blue eyes. They were anything but cold as they gazed back at me. The way his love shown in his eyes made my heart beat wildly. I pulled him and put my face against his neck, breathing in his clean citrus scent and listening to the beat of his heart, loving that it beat for me.

Something else occurred to me and I almost screamed in panic, my adrenaline spiking and throwing my body into fight or flight mode. My heart started beating fast and crazy again, sending the fragile muscle pounding against my rib cage. If I were pregnant, what would Christian do? He would try and find a way to use it to his advantage, not caring what kind of danger it would put the unborn child in. Daemian must have felt the sudden increase in my heart beat, and he pulled back from me in concern.

“Daemian. What are we going to do if Christian finds out? What if he tries to hurt it?” Daemian’s face paled for a moment, understanding at my panicked heart beat settling into his eyes. Christian was a foul human being, if he was still even considered human. I knew it, Daemian knew it. I was worried because I knew for a fact that Christian would try to take it. Either to use it against me or to kill it and steal its power. The whole situation would escalate if he thought it could be Jason’s child, because that would make it his grand-child. I shuddered at that thought and pushed it away. I hoped that if I was pregnant that it was either Daemian’s or Marcus’s. Only we would be able to claim the child then.

“We kill him.” Daemian’s eyes grew dark and stormy, it was almost scary how intense he was. “Hopefully, it won’t come to that, and we can hide it from him if that becomes necessary.” I must have had a crazy expression on, and he laughed, “we could be freaking out for nothing though, so let’s not worry about it until we have to.”

He was right, like usual. I took a couple of deep breaths and tried to slow my breathing, hoping that my heart would slow with it. I didn’t want to have hysterics if it was all a moot point any way. Test first and then panic, depending on the results. Marcus chose that moment to peak his head in the door, concern making a little ‘v’ between his eyebrows.

“Everything ok in here?” Marcus asked.

“Yeah, everything is fine. We should go to the store. There’s a few things Vic needs. You should come with me and keep me company. We can talk on the way.” Daemian’s tone made it obvious that he wanted Marcus to come with, and I was grateful. He would fill Marcus in, and I wouldn’t have to see his look of excitement. I knew Marcus was going to be excited about a possible baby, and I didn’t want him to see my reluctance.

“Sure, sounds good. I’ll get dressed really quick,” and he darted back out of the door.

I breathed a sigh of relief. Daemian knew that I was going to want some quiet time to think about the situation at hand, and he was creating an opportunity for me. I had a lot to think about and to sort through. He was always anticipating what I needed, and I loved that about him. As I thought that, I decided that Daemian deserved to have someone think about him like that and planed on talking to Marcus about doing something special for both him and Daemian.

Daemian kissed my hair and stood up, pulling my body with him. I smiled as he pulled me into a tight hug. My heart fluttered wildly like it usually does when he held me like that. It made me feel safe, the way his tall frame curled around my smaller one, with his steady heart beat pounding loud and reassuring in my ear. He let me go and moved toward the bath tub, reaching for the facet and turning on the hot water.

“While we’re running to the store I want you to relax. Take a nice hot soak and try not to stress out.” He dumped some bath salts into the tub and turned to face me. He leaned in and gave me a quick peck on the cheek before darting out of the bathroom, closing the door and trapping in the warm, fragrant steam that was starting to build on the air. He was so cute sometimes.

I chuckled to myself as I lifted the over-sized t-shirt I used as a nightgown over my head. I stepped up in front of the mirror and stared at my naked body, looking for any visible changes. I caressed my hands over my stomach. There was no changes that I could see, but then again it would be much too early to see any differences if I were pregnant. My stomach looked the same as always, not toned but relatively flat. My breasts however, seemed rounder, more full, and I could tell that the normal rose bud pink of my nipples had darkened slightly.

My heart skipped a beat and the panic I was feeling earlier tried to rise again, but logic squashed it down. I was strong, in both my body and in power. I was not going to be a victim of this circumstance. I didn’t know why I was so worried about Christian, my power surpassed his in every way, and he telegraphed his plans on his face before he spoke them, so I usually knew when he was up to something any way. Let him find out and try something, I would be more than happy to destroy him. The thought of Christian’s demise soothed me, and I grinned to myself, my body finally started to relax, the tension that had been building in my shoulders loosening.

The tub, when I finally stopped looking at my body and slid into the waters depths, was warm and soothing. The bath salts that Daemian had dumped in for me were fully dissolved and spreading their lavender and citrus scent throughout the room on the currents of steam.

My muscles slowly loosened, and I closed my eyes, letting the silence fill me with peace, almost like meditating. My mind wandered, think about some of the things that had happened over the last two months. The whirlwind that had been the romance between Jason and how that had ended was the main thing that I thought about. It dawned on me that I had only known him a month before everything had blown up, and I really didn’t know Jason, as a person. Had I actually loved him? Or had I been seduced by the idea that he was my Mated? Was it just the physical attraction that made me think that I loved him, or maybe my power telling me that I should be with him? I knew I still had feelings for Jason, but were those feelings love? I was coming up with more questions than answers and as I pondered them, the steam and warm water started to get to me, causing me to dose off.

I woke up in the bath still, the water shifting because Daemian and Marcus were sliding their naked bodies into the water with me. I blushed, catching myself staring. They were both beautiful. They were both tall, but Daemian was the taller of the two. Daemian’s hair was a mixture of black and white stripes, kind of like a skunk, and blue eyes like a husky puppy. His body was sculpted and toned from his many hours spent at the gym, and his skin was a smooth milky caramel color. The only thing braking all that tan skin was the black rainbow rose tattoo that rested over his heart.

Marcus was also built like Michelangelo’s David, his skin was pale, all peaches and cream. His eyes were the color of grey winter skies. His hair was a chocolate brown and wavey, and I loved running my fingers through it. It was soft and fine. He also bore a black rainbow rose tattoo over his heart, any it matched the one that I also wore over mine.

We had formed a bond and had decided to mark it on our skin. My rose always seemed to pulse when I saw theirs. I watched them as they slid down into the water with greedy eyes. They were mine and I loved them. I let them see the love and desire in my eyes, and I watched the way it effected them in turn. Daemian’s desire always answered back red hot, and Marcus was like a predator. I sometimes had to guess if he was thinking about eating me or EATING me.

Marcus reached out for me first, pulling my body up against his, my back to his chest, his semi erection firm against my buttocks. I grinned and wiggled a little against him, and he grunted at me. Daemian sat in front of us, not touching, but enjoying watching Marcus rub his hands along my skin.

“So Daemian and I bought a pregnancy test. I was a bit confused as to why we would need it, but after you getting sick this morning it made sense,” Marcus said quick and to the point.

“You got one already?” I asked Daemian, flutters of anxiety pulsing in my gut.

“Yeah, I figured I’d get one and you could take it when you were ready.” Daemian shrugged, “There’s no rush to find out. That is unless you want to know as bad as I want to know.” And he tried to make an innocent face. I laughed out loud and it felt good, the tension that I had started to feel drained away as if it had never been there. I decided not to mention the fact that Jason could be a possible father if I was pregnant, based off of the time line and everything that had happened between us.

I knew that Marcus would be understanding, he never got jealous of Jason. He was very logical and had even told me once that he didn’t care about the past with Jason because he knew that a Mated pair was drawn to each other, like opposite sides of a magnet. Their powers gravitated to each other, and that usually lead to physical and emotional connection, or at least that’s what the stories had said. There hasn’t been a true mated pair in almost two hundred years. Daemian on the other hand hated the thought of Jason in any capacity. Just the mention of his name was enough to put him in a funk. I understood how he felt because it was enough to put me in a funk too.

“I was thinking something though,” Marcus said hesitantly.

“What were you thinking?” I asked as I leaned my back firmer against him, turning to look at him, our faces so close they almost touched. He looked at me and then looked at Daemian, worry and apprehension flashing through his eyes.

“Well, based off of the time line here, if you are pregnant, doesn’t that mean that,” he paused and looked at Daemian again, his face paling slightly, “Jason could be a potential father?” He looked like he wanted to take it back and based off of the look on Daemian’s face I wished Marcus hadn’t asked it in front of him. It was crazy how he voiced the exact thing that I had been thinking though.

Daemian’s face darkened with anger and he got up, water sloshing over the edge of the tub, and got out. He was really upset at the thought, and I understood why. If I were pregnant to Jason then it would be inevitable that I would reach out to tell him. If he were a father he would have the right to know about his child. Daemian yanked a towel off of the rack and stormed out of the bathroom.

“Damn,” Marcus said with feeling, his hand coming up to palm his own face, “I’m sorry Vic, I shouldn’t have said anything. I forget that he gets so worked up over it. You’re with us now, and I don’t see you leaving us. I’ve told him this and he still acts this way.” Marcus sighed and rubbed his temple. Marcus could see short bursts of the future if he concentrated, like a premonition, so when he said he couldn’t see me leaving them, he meant he literally could not see me leaving them.

“That’s because I’m not going to leave you guys, no matter how this turns out. I love you both, and I know I love you both. I don’t even know if what I felt for Jason was real love or just our connected powers telling me that I should love him.” I said as I stood up, grabbing a towel for Marcus when I grabbed one for myself.

Marcus took the towel from me without a word and stepped out of the tub with me. I didn’t want Daemian to get himself worked up and upset at Marcus because of an offhand question. I dried myself and walked out into out bedroom nude. It was no longer just my room, they had moved in with me and were living there full time. The space had become just as much theirs as it was mine.

The air outside of the bathroom was cold and my nipples hardened at the chill that shivered down my spine. I looked around for Daemian, but he wasn’t in the room. So I sat on the bed a moment, trying to gather my thoughts and think of a way I could smooth things over with him. I wanted to try and find a way to convince him that even if this possible baby could be Jason’s, it was not going to change anything about the way that we lived. I was not going to suddenly up and leave Daemian for anything. We were separated once, and I was not going to allow that to happen again.

I noticed that the door to my room was open, so I got up, motioning for Marcus to stay, and made my way, still nude, out into the living area of the house. Daemian was sitting on one of the stools that lined the island in the kitchen, giving me his back. He had dressed, putting on black sweat pants and a white t-shirt. I was kind of sad to see that he dressed but knew now was not the time to be thinking with my groin. I watched him tense when he heard my footsteps, but that didn’t deter me. I crept up behind him and tried sliding my arms around his waist from behind. He stopped me with hands on my wrists, to keep me from holding him.

“Don’t Victoria. I just want to be alone for a while.” Daemian’s head was down, and the amount of emotion in his voice nearly broke my heart.

“Well that’s not what I want, and I know deep down that’s not what you want either.” I slid my arms from him and walked around the island, so that I could see his face, but not touch him. He looked up at me then, and he noticed my lack of clothing. His eyes filled with lust and desire for a moment, and then filled with sadness. I started to tear up watching his facial expressions change. “Don’t do that, Daemian. I know what you are thinking, and it breaks my heart.”

“What? What am I thinking then?” His voice was wavering, like he was on the verge of tears himself.

“You’re worried that if I am pregnant and the baby just happens to be Jason’s, that I’m going to leave you and fall right back into his arms.” I said it calmly, but I really wanted to scream. He didn’t say anything because we both know that I was right. “I swear to you, Daemian, I will not ever abandon you. I will always want you by my side no matter what we have to face. I will always want to face any oncoming challenges with you. If I could have chosen my Mate, I would have chosen you when we first met. No contest.”

Daemian looks up at me, and I did my best to let him see the truth in my eyes. I meant every word that I said. Jason may have been the other half of my soul, but that didn’t mean I had to love and be with that half. I love Daemian, and I wanted to be with him through it all. Not that I didn’t feel the same way about Marcus, but Daemian held a special part of my heart, always had.

“Victoria, I-” he cut himself off, standing abruptly, knocking the stool over. He paid it no attention as he rounded the corner of the island and pulled me into his arms. I went gladly, standing up on my tiptoes so I could wrap my arms around his neck, out bodies separated only by the thin material of Daemian’s clothes. We stayed like that for a while, but Daemian pulled back first to look at me in my eyes. “I’m sorry that we keep having to have this conversation. I just get so jealous that I can’t think.”

“Jealous of what, Daemian?” I asked, confused. I was certain that he was talking about Jason and not Marcus, but I asked just to be sure.

“What is so special about him that he gets to be your Mated? Why couldn’t it have been me?” I saw tears gathering in his waterline and slowly leak out over that edge. I lifted a hand to palm his cheek, my thumb swiping the precious liquid away.

“I don’t know, Daemian, but, if there would have been a choice, you know I would have picked you.” I kissed his lips gently and pulled back with a wry grin. “The universe has a sick sense of humor and tried pairing up the kids of two enemies, like they were trying to recreate Romeo and Juliet. Little did they know that I would be so uncooperative.” He rolled his eyes at me and I saw a small smile peak out. “Come on, I think Marcus might be having an anxiety attack by now because he hurt your feelings and is trying to think of a perfect way to apologize.” This made Daemian actually laugh out loud and took my hand, leading the way back to our bedroom.

Marcus was still naked when we went back into the room, and his brows were drown together in concern. When he heard the door click closed his eyes snapped up to look at us. His eyes landed on me and my nude body first, taking in all my exposed skin as if he had never seen it before, before his eyes sought out Daemian’s. He was up on to his feet and crossing the room to us before we managed to even say a word, pulling Daemian in for a long, thorough kiss.

“I’m sorry Daemian. I asked that stupid question without thinking and I shouldn’t have. I know that it bothers you,” Marcus was holding Daemian close and looking into his eyes. Daemian smile gently at him and lean in, placing a gentle kiss on Marcus’s upturn mouth.

“There’s nothing to be sorry for. You didn’t ask the question with the intention of hurting me. I know I’m extra sensitive about Jason. It’s not your fault.” Daemian kissed him again and leaned his forehead against Marcus’s. “I’m the one that should be sorry. You and Victoria take such good care of me.” at the mention of me both of them turned to face me, and I was taken aback at their beauty. My heart raced and I felt a flush bloom on my cheeks and travel down to the tops of my breasts.

“Let’s go back to bed guys.” I turned and crawled back into the bed, loving the feeling of the clean sheets as they slid against my naked skin. I watched them watch me, and I knew what they were thinking based off of the looks in their eyes, and what I was thinking was not too far off.

Marcus grinned and slid his hands down Daemian’s body, fingers creeping up the edge of the shirt Daemian had thrown on. Daemian took the hint and whipped the shirt up and over his head in the amount of time it took me to blink, and they were chest to chest. My body pulsed with excitement and I hunkered down on the bed, more than happy to watch my two men enjoy the touch of each other before they both came to me.

Marcus slid his hands into the edge of the sweatpants Daemian was still wearing and started to slide them down Daemian’s buttocks. My cheeks flamed as I watched, my body responding to the visual stimulation. My nipples hardened and I lifted my hands to my breast to lightly run my fingertips over the hardened buds. My heart was already starting to beat fast in anticipation.

Daemian leaned toward Marcus and captured his lips, his arms circling Marcus’s back like steel bands. Marcus tried to push Daemian’s pants lower but didn’t have the range of motion to do it because Daemian was holding him so tight. Daemian grinned with his mouth against Marcus and I saw the bright pink of his tongue snake out and lick along Marcus’s mouth. I watched as his body melted against Daemian’s as he opened his mouth to the other man.

I pinched my nipple as I watched Marcus lift his hands and slide them into Daemian’s skunk striped hair, gripping it and using it as a handle to deepen the kiss. Daemian groaned in his throat as Marcus sucked his tongue into his mouth, and at the same time grinding his hips against Daemian’s. My thighs clenched together as my core thumped with desire, and I could feel my wetness start to pool between my legs. The men pulled back from their kiss and turned to face me.

My heart skipped a beat as both their eyes landed on me and I felt the flush that had started to fade return full force. They came for me then, bodies moving with liquid grace, and the speed of predators. I gasped when they were both suddenly flanking me, and each had a mouth on my breasts, their blue and grey eyes looking like cold skies as they both looked into mine. Both were already hard and ready to take me, and I cried out at just the sensation of all potential pressed up against me.

“No foreplay, please, I want to feel your bodies inside me.” I breathed as Daemian set his teeth into my nipple.

“As the lady wishes,” Marcus grinned and put a hand on my shoulder, nudging my body to turn over to face Daemian.

Daemian’s face was so serious and focused, color high on his cheek bones. I liked that even though we were no strangers to each other’s bodies, he still blushed like the first time he had seen my body naked. He slid an arm between my legs to lift and hold one up, exposing my hot, wet opening as it pulsed, hungry to be filled. He spread my wetness around coating both entrances between my legs. I felt him press against the core of me, my bodies juices making it easy for him to press into me, to fight against my tightness. He pushed, his length slipping in one wet inch at a time. It was maddening, but I did my best not to squirm, but I did not hold back my sounds of pleasure. Daemian loved that I wasn’t afraid to tell him how good he was making me feel.

While Daemian worked to sheath himself inside me, Marcus was gently probing my back entrance, planning to also enter me there, but not wanting to cause any unnecessary pain. I felt the wetness of my body being used as he pressed his fingers there, first one and then more, slowly loosening the tight space to be able to accommodate his body. Daemian finally reached the end of me and stayed there, body not moving as he felt Marcus at work. I was panting, fingers griping and releasing Daemian’s shoulder, my nails leaving little half-moons on his skin. Daemian pressed his mouth to mine, his tongue sliding against mine, and licking my lips, trying to taste every little bit. I was trying not to writhe with the sensation of being stretched so full and Daemian’s consuming kiss, because I knew it was going to be so much more intense once Marcus entered me.

I felt Marcus’s rock hard length start to press there and I held my breath. Slowly, as to not have it start to hurt, he pressed into me, and slowly worked his way deep inside of me. Daemian remained patient, body still hard and pulsing inside me. Marcus was finally able to work himself fully inside of me, and he paused too. The sensations of being so full that way were so intense that I was whimpering and panting, like a dog in heat almost. I blushed at the thought, my body pulsing and clenching around their bodies.

They both started to move at the same time and the whine that was on its way out of my mouth turned into a deep guttural moan. I felt stuffed, and they were hitting spots inside me that were already threatening to throw me over the edge of my orgasm.

“Hold your leg up high for me Vic,” Daemian moaned into my ear. I did it without hesitation, hooking my arm under my leg to hold it up. With his other hand free, Daemian reached down to circle the hard, erect little nub that rested at the peak of my nether lips. I almost orgasmed at the slightest touch.

Both men continued to pound into me as Daemian’s expert fingers continued to make me feel like I was going to blow. My spine bowed as my climax hit me unexpectedly. My body spasmed between both the men, Marcus and Daemian moving their bodies in and out of mine faster and faster. My orgasm continued as they continued to fill me.

“I’m close,” Marcus said, teeth gritted.

“Me too,” Daemian growled, his pace picking up even more speed, and Marcus speeding up to keep pace with him.

I felt another orgasm starting to build, my body thumping and pulsing for it. Daemian’s orgasm hit him first, his final thrust was hard and deep, hitting the end of me, and Marcus followed right after, slamming into me. It was the last little bit that I needed to throw me over into my orgasm again, and I screamed it, turning and screaming it into the pillow under my head, my nails digging into Daemian’s shoulders.

I was still pulsing with waves of pleasure as both me drew themselves out of my body, and even that sent shock waves of pleasure through me. My chest was heaving, and I could feel the puffs of Marcus’s breath on my neck as we all laid there and tried to remember how to breath normally. Daemian was the first to move, reaching for some cleansing wipes that we had started to keep by the bed for such occasions. Sex with more than one partner was messy sometimes.

We cleaned up somewhat and laid there, Marcus behind me with his arms wrapped around me and gripping Daemian’s back, squeezing us tight together. Daemian had his leg thrown over mine and trailing over Marcus. We were satisfied and I felt the edges of sleep pulling at me. I dosed off in a cocoon of warm bodies and arms and legs, the panic and tension that I had been feeling earlier floating away on a river of sleep, sweet nothingness and dreamlessness swallowing my consciousness.

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