Family Ties - (Book 3 of the Marvelous 3 Saga)

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13 - Night of Terror

“Where is your brother?!” Elijah snarled as he tore the head off of one of the ferals.

“Um... pretty sure Peter was in his room last time I checked,” Cole said, tossing a feral’s dismembered arm to the ground.

Elijah looked at Cole angrily. “You know which brother I’m talking about, Cole. Don’t feign ignorance with me.”

Cole exhaled as he aimlessly kicked one of the feral’s stilled corpses on the ground to make sure it was dead. “...He went to look for Kiara...”

Elijah dropped the feral he was strangling to the ground and looked at Cole tensely. “Are you telling me Kiara is not home? And that she’s out in this bloody mess?”

“...More or less...”

Elijah scowled in irritation. He took out a match and lit the remaining corpses on fire. “We’re done here. Let’s go find your brother,” Elijah said firmly. He swiftly leaped to the top of a roof with Cole following after him.

~*~

“No, please don’t! Don’t come near me!” Kiara said, stumbling backward.

“Kiara, it’s okay,” Alexander said, taking another step towards her. He immediately stopped advancing when he smelled her fresh blood. Covering his nose with his hand, he turned his head slightly. His eyes darkened while he tried to calm himself.

“No! No, it’s not okay! I just- and it- did I- did you see what I just did?!” She started hyperventilating as she fell to the ground on her knees, desperately trying to rub out whatever evil spewed from her hands. “That thing! I’ve seen it before! In my dreams or... in real life. I don’t remember. I can’t tell what’s real and what’s not. And- I didn’t- I just screamed and it-”

“Angel, try to calm down,” Leo said, stepping around the dead feral.

“I don’t know what happened! I don’t know what I just did! I didn’t mean to-to-” she stammered anxiously.

“I know, Angel, it’s okay,” Leo said, kneeling down next to her. His ears twitched and he looked up as he heard loud snarling. He looked far past her with his perfect vision to see there were more ferals coming their way and fast. “Shit,” he said angrily.

“What is it?” she asked, turning her head to see what he was looking at.

“No, Angel, look at me,” Leo said, turning her head back around.

“You have to get her out of here,” Alexander said tensely. “...I’ll deal with them...”

Leo looked up at Alexander who was staring at the ferals coming their way. Alexander’s nails elongated as his fangs slowly started to descend.

“A-...Alexander?” Kiara said, trying to figure out what she was looking at.

“Take her and go!” Alexander yelled again.

Leo quickly turned to Kiara. “I’m gonna get you to safety. But you gotta keep your eyes on me, okay Angel?” he instructed her.

“I don’t understand what’s going on,” she said, looking at him with fear in her eyes.

“You just gotta trust me, Angel. Can you do that for me?” Leo said seriously.

She nodded frantically before he picked her up in his arms and started to run in the other direction. “Wait! Leo! We can’t leave Alexander!” she said.

“We don’t have time, Angel,” Leo said, rushing off with her.

“Alexander!” she screamed for him over Leo’s shoulder.

“I’ll find you, Kiara...” Alexander said just barely loud enough for her to hear. She squinted, trying to make out his features that became blurred the further away Leo carried her.

~*~

Leo pulled up to his house on his dirt bike with Kiara tightly holding onto his waist for dear life. “We’re here, Angel,” he said over his shoulder.

She pulled her hands from around his waist and took his helmet off of her head. As he helped her dismount the bike, she looked up to see a large house made of logs, smack in the middle of the woods.

“Really? You guys seriously live in the woods? What is wrong with white people?! Leo, this is literally the beginning of every horror movie... ever. And I’m black. Meaning I’m the first one to die.”

Leo chuckled as he grabbed her hand and led her to the door. “Don’t worry, Angel, I’ll protect you,” he teased, giving her hand a playful squeeze.

Kiara followed Leo into the large house that smelled of pine cones and smoked wood. “Damn, your home is beautiful. Cozy. But... Why is it so big? Isn’t it just you and Nick? Does Levi live here too?”

“My whole pac- I mean... I have some other relatives that stay around sometimes.” Leo immediately scanned the house, realizing no one was home. It concerned him.

Kiara’s eyes roamed the large carpeted living room with the gigantic fireplace. “There’s a lot of wood...”

“We built this house ourselves,” Leo informed her as he walked her upstairs to his room. “My whole family I mean.”

“Wow! Well, you already look like a lumberjack so I guess it’s fitting,” she tried to joke.

Leo smiled down at Kiara but frowned when he saw the apprehensive and forlorn look on her face. “Sit down, Angel.” He directed her to sit down on his bed. She played with her fingers that were still stained with blood as she anxiously scoped out his room. It was decorated with athletic gear, sports posters, and a large window that looked out over the forest. Her face flushed and a small smile painted her lips when she noticed a picture sitting on his desk of her and Leo as kids.

Leo went to the bathroom to grab a wet towel and walked back over to her. He sat down next to her and noticed her hands were still shaking uncontrollably. “Relax, Angel...” he said softly, taking her hands in his. She tried to control her hands but her leg started to bounce instead, causing him to chuckle.

“How did you hurt your hands like this?” he asked, wiping the blood off.

“When I fell,” she said. “And, when I...” She glanced at him before quickly looking away as tears brimmed in her eyes. “Leo, I don’t know what is going on with me. I thought I could handle seeing things that weren’t really there or hearing voices that were just in my head. But, this... I don’t know what this is,” she trembled.

“Hey, it’s okay,” he said, taking her into his arms. She sobbed against his chest as he tightened his embrace around her, comforting her. His hormones involuntarily elevated as he breathed in her intoxicating scent. The effect she had on him was often unbearable.

“Is Alexander going to be okay?” she said, pulling away from him. “We shouldn’t have left him like that. What if he gets hurt?”

Leo sighed in frustration as he grabbed the towel and started to wipe the blood away from her forehead. “Alexander will be fine. He can take care of himself,” he said tightly.

“Are you saying that because you really believe he’ll be okay or because you don’t like him and you don’t care?”

He looked at her for a brief second before going back to cleaning her wound. “Both.”

~*~

“Marshala! Over here!”

Marshala spotted Rhea and a couple of other sister-witches from her coven huddled by the side entrance of the town hall building. She quickly walked over to join them. She eyed a few children and parents laughing as they went about trick-or-treating unbeknownst of the creatures prowling their town.

“Have none made it over here?” Marshala asked.

Rhea shook her head. “There were five earlier, but two guys from Nick’s pack were already here to take them out. Elijah and Cole took out a herd a few miles east before they could make it over here. And Nick and Levi and a few others from their pack are dealing with a herd southwest. We’ve been preparing to put a protective layer over the town. All amulets have been placed. But... we were waiting for you. To make sure you were safe. I’m glad you made it. Are you okay?”

Marshala nodded. “I’m fine. Let’s set up quickly before any more of them make their way over here.”

The women entered the town hall building and descended the stairs to the basement. They dispersed to execute their routine, setting up candles and drawing a pentagram at the center of the floor.

“Have you heard from Kiara?” Rhea asked worriedly.

“Isn’t she home?” Marshala asked.

“No... I tried calling her. But, she’s not picking up,” Rhea said.

“We’ll go look for her after we’ve finished this,” Marshala said, trying to mask her concern. Rhea nodded as she grabbed Marshala’s hand, joining the others in a circle. They closed their eyes and began to chant when they heard screaming outside.

Marshala slowly opened her eyes. “No...” She let go of their hands. “Finish it!” she ordered them before she ran back up the stairs.

“Marshala, wait!” Rhea cried out.

Marshala quickly exited the building from the basement to see two injured teenage girls screaming and running from a feral charging at them. “EISSINDEI!” She lifted her hand and the feral squealed as it went flying backward away from the girls. “Hurry!” she said to them. “Go home! Don’t come back out until morning!”

Marshala angrily approached the feral that was writhing on the ground. She raised her hand again and finished her incantation as she watched its body disintegrate in front of her. She stopped to catch her breath when she heard more snarling and looked up to see more ferals headed her way.

“Oh, God...”

~*~

Alexander’s hands were dripping with blackened blood. He dodged another feral and ripped its spine from its body before it landed on the ground with a thud.

“And you say I’m the messy one.” He looked up to see Elijah and Cole leap down from the rooftop of the hospital. Cole looked around at the dead ferals on the ground. “Good job, brother. This all looks... fucking disgusting.”

“Yea, kind of like your face,” Alexander snapped irritably.

“Man, that was weak. Even for you,” Cole smirked.

Elijah approached Alexander and firmly grabbed his chin with his hand. His blue eyes constricted as he looked into Alexander’s enlarged red pupils. “Your energy is drained. You need to feed. Are you alright?” Elijah asked.

“Yes, I’m fine...” Alexander said wearily.

“Why are you here, Alexander? At this hospital?” Elijah demanded.

Alexander looked down and away from Elijah’s authoritative gaze. “I... I was looking for Kiara...”

Why were you looking for her,” Elijah said tensely.

Alexander could hear the anger in Elijah’s voice and he knew what it meant for him. “...Elijah...”

“Why must you make this so exceedingly difficult, Alexander? How many times do I have to tell you? I am losing my patience with you and your persistent defiance.”

“As much as I love hearing you scold Alexander for once and not me, we still have more of these ugly-looking things to deal with,” Cole said, pointing to more ferals headed their way.

Elijah sneered before setting his cold blue eyes back on Alexander. “Cole and I will deal with them. You’re too weakened to fight anymore. Stay here until we return. I’m not done with you,” he said icily.

Alexander looked despondent as he watched his brothers attack the ferals charging towards the hospital.

~*~

“What was that thing, Leo? Do you know?” Kiara asked as she watched Leo bandage her hand.

He took a deep breath. “I don’t really know how to explain it to you, Angel. And it’s not really my place...”

“If you know, you should tell me. I don’t want to be left in the dark about things that are affecting me. I’m terrified right now,” she pleaded.

“I will protect you with my life, Angel,” he said, grabbing her face between his hands. “You have nothing to fear.”

“I’m not scared for my own sake, Leo. I’m scared about what I did. I don’t want to hurt anyone else. I... I killed that thing... monster or not, I still...”

“Hey,” he said, lifting her chin. “It will be okay. I promise. Everything will start to make sense soon.”

She looked into his eyes and felt that warm feeling flood her body again. He took one look at her lips and immediately attacked her mouth. She fell backward on the bed with him on top of her, nestled between her legs.

“Leo!” She squealed into his mouth as his hands roamed up her waist and underneath her shirt. His mouth sucked rabidly at her lips before attacking her neck as he aggressively grabbed her hips. He held her thighs firmly against his waist and rolled his pelvis against hers.

“Fuck, Angel…” Leo didn’t know how to be gentle with Kiara. In his mind, she was soft and fragile and he wanted to treat her as such. But every time he was around her, he felt this uncontrollable desire to take her. He was so worried he’d scare her off with his aggression, especially since he only just revealed his feelings for her. But all those concerns seemed to disappear the moment his skin would make contact with hers.

He heard her moan underneath him and possessively grabbed her ass, pushing his erection into her. She held onto him tightly as she panted in want against him. He could feel her heat, even through both of their jeans and it drove all his senses wild as he struggled to stay in control. He was interrupted by loud howling in the distance and immediately opened his eyes as he glanced out the window behind her. “Dammit...” he muttered.

He pulled back from her as she looked up at him confused. “Why do you look so confused?” he asked her.

“This...” she said, gesturing between them. “... is kind of confusing. You telling me you love me is confusing. My body responding to you the way it does... is really confusing. That creature that attacked me earlier is super confusing. This whole night is hella confusing. I, in a nutshell, am very very confused...”

Leo chuckled as he ran his thumb over her chin, admiring her plump lips and already wanting to suck on them again. “When am I gonna start getting some answers, Leo? I feel like you’re keeping things from me...” she said, searching his eyes.

“Soon, Angel... I promise...” he said hesitantly. He heard the howling again and sighed. “I have to go.”

“Should I leave too? I feel like I should go find Alexander and Elija-”

“NO!” Leo said sharply, startling her. “No, Angel, just... just stay here, okay? I’ll be back soon. I promise.” He leaned forward and gave her another intense kiss on the lips before he left her alone in his room.

~*~

Leo started off jogging into the woods before he ran full inhuman speed. He stopped short when he felt something creeping up behind him from in the trees. He immediately spun around, violently grabbing a feral by the throat and slammed it on the ground with a splat.

“Nice of you to finally fucking show up.” Leo looked up to see Levi kick a dead feral off the high boulder he was standing on before jumping to the ground next to him.

“What’s going on? Why are there so many of them?” Leo asked.

“Don’t know yet. But these things are crawling all over town. We’ve been killing them off for an hour now,” Levi said. Leo looked up to see Nick on top of the boulder, ripping the head off of a feral and tossing its body over the large rock. He went to approach him when Levi grabbed his shoulder. “It’s been a long night, Leo. He’s really fucking pissed. Tread carefully, cousin...” Leo looked at Levi curiously before climbing the rock to his brother.

“Where were you, Leo...” Leo had barely reached Nick when he heard his brother’s low-rumbling voice. “And don’t fucking lie to me.”

Leo stopped a minute to think before speaking. “I was with Kiara... She’s at the house.”

Nick turned around and looked at Leo like he had three heads. “Have you lost your fucking mind?! What the fuck did we say about keeping your damn distance?!”

“I can’t keep my distance from her, Nick. No more than you can keep yours from Marsh-”

“Don’t you fucking dare!” Nick said, grabbing him by his shoulder. He shoved his brother hard against a large tree. “It’s not the same fucking thing, Leo! So, don’t you dare!”

Leo looked at his brother who was breathing heavily, fury aflame in his eyes. “Nick, you can’t keep me away from her anymore. I’ve already told her how I feel about her. In fact, I’ve already kissed her.” Nick sneered in irritation and let go of Leo as he walked away from him.

“And she kissed me back. She responded to me. Her entire body responds to me every damn time.” Nick waved him off, ignoring him as he descended the rock to where Levi was. “I can feel her. I can smell her. I can practically taste her. You know what I’m talking about,” Leo said, following him. “She even spoke Russian.”

Nick quickly spun around on Leo. “What?!”

“She did. She told me to ‘take her’ in Russian. And I would have, but I controlled myself. You claim I don’t have control, but I do. I can handle this, Nick.”

Nick rubbed his face in frustration, growing more irritated with Leo. “Please tell me you didn’t fucking mark her.”

Leo scoffed. “So, what if I did-”

“Leo! I swear I will kick your goddamn ass! Did you mark her?!” Nick barked.

Leo grumbled irritably. “...No.”

Nick sighed with relief for a brief moment before his anger returned. “You’re so fucking impatient! Goddammit, Leo! Self-control INCLUDES obeying the orders you’re given!”

“Well then I guess we all fail that shit,” Levi joked.

“Not the fucking time, Levi!” Nick snarled at him.

~*~

Marshala was growing tired as she kept more of the ferals away. Her energy was diminishing as she used her power to put another one down.

“Marshala!” She looked back to see Rhea running towards her. “It’s done! We finished!”

“... Good...” Marshala said exhaustedly.

“Are you okay?” Rhea said, coming to her side.

“I’m fine... We have to get everyone home and inside,” Marshala instructed. Rhea nodded and turned to walk back into the building when a feral charged from behind the wall, prepared to bite her. Marshala quickly pushed Rhea out of the way as the feral bit down hard on Marshala’s shoulder, almost ripping her arm off.

Marshala cried out in pain. She conjured a spell and pushed her hand blazing with fire against the feral as it chomped down on her arm. The fire from her hand immediately disintegrated it.

“MARSHALA!” Rhea ran to her side as Marshala grabbed her profusely bleeding shoulder. “Oh my god!” Rhea panicked. “Marshala! Your arm! It’s-”

“I’m fine, Rhea. Get the sisters home. Tell Nicholas about the ferals in the town. We have to make sure we’ve gotten them all.” Marshala’s breathing was haggard as she groaned from the pain in her arm.

“I’m not leaving you!” Rhea cried out.

“Rhea, GO! I’M ORDERING YOU TO GO!” Marshala barked with authority. Rhea stared at her god-sister with tears in her eyes, conflicted on what to do. She wanted to stay and tend to her, but Marshala was the high priestess for a reason. She quickly nodded and ran down the stairs to gather the other women.

~*~

Alexander watched his brothers put down the last feral before Elijah lit a match, setting the corpses on fire.

Elijah wiped his hands with a handkerchief before returning to Alexander. He looked over his brother’s sunken face and stark red eyes. “You need to feed, Alexander,” Elijah said.

Alexander still felt the chill from the coldness in Elijah’s words. “Elijah... I’m sorry for defying your orders… but you know how I feel about Kiara. I can’t just-”

“Do not attempt to justify your insolence by describing to me the matters of your heart, Alexander. I know first hand,” Elijah said sharply.

Alexander sighed and looked down, feeling distraught. “I love her, Elijah...”

Elijah looked at his brother, a mix of sadness, anger, and empathy all rising within him. “I know, Alexander. I know that you love her. But I can’t take the risk... You remember what happened with Lisa.”

Alexander’s head shot up. “That was a long time ago, Elijah!”

“Indeed... And yet you still carry that pain within you...” Elijah said. Alexander’s eyes started to well up with thick, viscous blood tears as his throat tightened. Elijah looked at him sympathetically. “You think I don’t feel that too?” Elijah said. “I feel the pain of all those who are dear to me and that I love-”

Suddenly, Elijah stopped speaking as his bright blue eyes grew big.

“Elijah?” Cole said.

“Marshala!” Elijah breathed out. He quickly took off without saying another word to either of them.

~*~

Marshala struggled to wrap her bleeding shoulder with a cloth. She had managed to drag herself home and weakly searched her medicine cabinets. She winced as she tried to grab a vial before it fell to the floor broken. “Dammit...” she groaned in pain. She slid down the wall and leaned her head back, breathing heavily. Her vision started to go from the blood loss.

The door to her house flew wide open as Elijah kicked open the door. “Marshala!” He looked at her frantically as he pushed against the invisible barrier of the doorpost. He eyed the door frame angrily before setting his blue eyes back on the injured woman he loved. “Marshala, invite me in!”

She struggled to keep her eyes open and tried to make out his fuzzy form as her vision blurred. “Dammit, Marshala! Invite me in so I can save you!” he said angrily with desperation in his voice.

She eyed him warily before nodding. “... Come in...” she breathed out weakly.

Elijah was next to her in seconds as he knelt down on the floor. He brought his wrist to his mouth and tore a small hole in his flesh. He raised it to her lips while he gently cradled her head with the other hand. “Drink, mon coeur...”

Elijah shuddered as he felt Marshala’s tongue make contact with his skin. She licked softly before her plump lips clung to his wrist. His eyes darkened as he watched her drink from him. He pulled his wrist away from her mouth once he felt her heartbeat strengthen. He carefully wiped the remaining blood from the corners of her mouth as she looked up at him. “Elij-”

“Shh...” He placed a hand underneath her knees and her back as he picked her up in his arms. His eyes never left her face as he carried her upstairs to her bedroom. He looked around, quickly taking in all the details before gently placing her down on her bed.

Marshala did not protest as Elijah proceeded to remove her clothes from her body, leaving her in just her bra and panties. He grabbed a wet towel and sat down on the bed next to her as he wiped away the blood from her arm that was nearly fully healed. He looked from her arm to her face and could see conflict in her brown eyes. He cupped her cheek with his palm and gently caressed her face, his eyes focused on her lips.

“You should go... Elijah...” she said to him softly.

He looked at her tenderly as his hand descended to her neck. “Is that what you want...?”

She looked at him for a moment before turning her head to the side away from him. He used his finger to turn her chin so that she was facing him again. “If you want me to leave... tell me... and I’ll leave,” he said, staring into her eyes.

She bit her lip nervously and he could feel her pulse quicken. His hand ran gently down her chest, over her stomach, and rested patiently on her pelvis. His finger rubbed the waistband of her panties, and he felt her tremble with want underneath his touch. “Marshala...” he said, looking at her. “...do you want me to leave...?”

Two fingers sneaked underneath the waistband before descending to her slit. He stroked her softly as she purred, closing her eyes. He slid his finger between her lips, and she lightly gasped. “Your arousal is giving me the answer I want...” he said, gently pinching her clit between his fingers. She moaned as he slowly removed his hand.

She opened her eyes to see him slipping his finger into his mouth as he looked at her ravenous. His eyes darkened as his tongue darted out to lick her arousal from his finger. “... but I still need to hear it from your lips, mon coeur... shall I go?”

She bit her lip nervously as her eyes shimmered. “...no...”

Elijah’s eyes probed her for a moment as if he were waiting for her to change her mind. Then he quickly shed his coat and shirt all in one movement. He mounted the bed like a cat, straddling her between his legs. He lowered his mouth to hers and stole her breath with an impassioned kiss he so desperately needed from her. He ran his tongue over her lips before slipping it between her lips, eagerly seeking out its partner to rekindle a subdued love.

Even after all these years, Elijah still had to remind himself to allow her a moment to breathe whenever he kissed her. He was always so hungry for her that it took hearing how her lungs contracted for him to remove his lips from hers. He gravitated towards her neck, wrapping a hand underneath the small of her back as she arched into him. “Do you still trust me, mon coeur...” he whispered against her neck as he ran his tongue over her vein.

“No...” she panted.

He smirked as he ran the tip of his fangs along the curve of her neck. He promptly ripped off her panties before she even realized it and discarded the torn damp piece of cloth to the floor. He immediately cupped her sex, causing her to gasp. He arched his hand, particularly teasing her sensitive nub as he felt her squirm underneath him. He moved his palm in gentle circles, feeling her wetness coat his hand before he sunk his fangs deep into her flesh.

Marshala moaned in ecstasy as all of her senses came alive at once. Elijah groaned as he drank just enough to remind himself what she tasted like before he removed his incisors from her neck and licked his lips. He removed his palm from her core to unlatch her bra from around her. “Do you remember the last time I touched you like this, Marshala,” he said as he tenderly massaged her breasts in his hands. He slid his palms down her waist as he lowered his head and kissed the swell of her breast.

“Yes...” she said.

“Do you remember what I said to you...?” He took her dark nipple between his lips and softly suckled her.

“You said... that your heart will always be welded to mine...” she answered.

He curved his tongue, twirling it around her nipple as her panting increased. He moved down her body, running his hands along her skin. He softly kissed down her torso before he directly faced her core. He fondly nuzzled the side of her thigh with his nose as if reuniting with an old friend and kissed it. “And what did you respond…?” he asked.

His tongue teasingly ran over her slit as he felt her legs quiver in his grasp. Marshala moaned as she felt Elijah glide his tongue between her lips, gently sucking her nub. She bucked against him as his tongue signed his name along her folds. “Marshala...” he said, trying to get her to refocus. “What did you respond...? Remind me...”

She deeply exhaled, trying to concentrate while he firmly gripped her waist and dipped his tongue into her apex. “I said that... one day I’ll die, along with my heart.”

Elijah smirked against her slit. Using two fingers, he pried her open and flattened his tongue against her, sending her into a fit. “Oh god, Elijah!” she cried out as she gripped his hair. The muscles in her thighs tightened around his head as she came hard in his mouth. He licked her up, letting no drop go wasted and kissed her bud.

He quickly discarded his pants and crawled up towards her again, looking into her eyes. “And what was the last thing I said to you...” he said, caressing her face.

She felt his hard erection pressing against her opening. His bright blue eyes flickered between her eyes and her lips. “You said... that...” she struggled to speak as she felt her emotions clogging her throat.

He smiled with love and tenderness to see that she still cared so deeply for him. “Finish, mon coeur... what did I say...”

A tear slipped from her eye as she looked up at him. “... you said that you would die with me...”

He wiped the tears from her face and took her lips again. He thrust deep into her as she heaved underneath him. Elijah cradled her face in his hands as he intensified his kiss. He grabbed her thigh and raised it to his waist, deepening his thrusts as she panted and gasped. She whimpered underneath him as he played with her clit while driving into her. He could feel her starting to drip down his leg and his hunger increased twenty-fold. He moved his mouth to her neck, licking the blood dripping from her puncture wounds. He sunk his fangs into her tender flesh and she gasped with pleasure.

Elijah drank slowly from her as he felt her tighten around his shaft. She clawed at his back, drawing blood as she cried out her release. He slowed down his stroke as he looked at her before picking up his speed again. “Elijah,” she whimpered as more tears fell from her eyes. He peppered her face with light kisses, kissing her tears away.

His eyes darkened as he felt his own release coming. His balls tightened and he gripped her tightly as she winced in pain. He grunted as he came hard.

Elijah slowly relaxed, enjoying the high of his orgasm as he looked tenderly at Marshala. “I would rather die a thousand deaths... than live a life without you...”

“Don’t say such things,” she choked out as more tears fell from her eyes.

He rolled over next to her and pulled her into his arms. She nestled her face into his chest as his fingers stroked along the soft skin on her arm. “A life without you is not worth living, Marshala...”

~*~

Marshala woke up to the sound of banging on her door. “SHAL! OPEN THE DAMN DOOR!”

She rubbed the sleep out of her eyes and looked over to see a finely written letter on her dresser: Car, vois-tu, chaque jour je t’aime davantage, aujourd’hui plus qu’hier et bien moins que demain. - Ton Elijah (For, you see, each day I love you more, today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow. - Your Elijah). She read the note over several times before she jumped from the banging on the door again.

“SHAL!”

She stuffed the note underneath her pillow and got up from the bed, wrapping the sheet around her naked body. She paused to do a quick masking spell to remove Elijah’s scent and hurriedly descended the stairs to open the door before Nick could break it down. “Why bother knocking now when you’ve broken in here so many times before?” she said irritably, opening the door.

Nick immediately rushed inside, picking her up in the process. “Nicholas!” she blurted.

After placing her down on the couch in the living room, he ripped the sheet off of her and immediately started searching her body. “What happened?! Where are you hurt?!” he said angrily as he ran his hands over her bare legs, arms and stomach.

“Nicholas, I’m fine!” she said, shooing his hands away.

He looked down at her lying naked on the couch. His jaw tensed as his eyes scoured her body for unfamiliarity. “...Was he here?” Nick said tightly.

“Nicholas, please...”

“How did you heal, Shal? Rhea told me you nearly had your arm gnawed off! But you’re perfectly fine. Was she lying to me?”

Marshala could see the anger in his eyes. He already knew the answers to all the questions he was burning to ask her. He grabbed her chin and turned her head to the side, inspecting her neck. He peered intently as if trying to see what he knew had been there.

Marshala was secretly thankful that Elijah’s bites had already healed from his blood, otherwise, Nick would have lost it. He looked at her intensely as his hands continued to roam her naked body. He ran his palms over her breasts and down her stomach before wrapping his hands around her waist. He turned her slightly to inspect her backside and the back of her thighs.

“Nicholas, would you stop it already! I’m not a piece of meat. I told you, I’m fine,” she said, pushing his hands away.

“I know he was here, Shal. Did he touch you? I swear I’ll fucking kill him!”

“Nicholas,” she said, rubbing her hand over her face. “Please calm down...”

“You haven’t answered any of my questions!” he said impatiently.

“There were a few ferals attacking the town... One of them caught me off guard and took a swipe at me, but I managed it,” she said.

“So, who helped you, Shal? Witches don’t heal like we do. Don’t lie to me.” He was slightly trembling as his eyes flickered to its angry amber. She knew she had to tread lightly. “Shal! Was he here?!” he snapped.

She slowly exhaled. Managing his jealousy and anger was an increasingly difficult task. “Yes, he assisted me, Nicholas. Shouldn’t you just be happy I’m alive?”

He growled angrily as he quickly got up and started pacing her living room. “Don’t pull that shit on me! Of course, I’m happy you’re okay! I felt it, Shal! I felt you. Your pain. Right in the middle of tearing a feral to fucking pieces. I damn near had a heart attack when Rhea confirmed what I felt. I immediately rushed here. I thought I lost you! So, YES! I’m fucking ELATED that I don’t have to tear this damn town to shreds. What I’m not happy about is that he was in your fucking house! That means you invited him in! Dammit!”

“What else could I do?”

“I should have been with you!”

“You were protecting those who needed you, Nicholas. You’re a leader for a reason. We all signed up for this. Please, don’t beat yourself up over it. I’m okay,” she said, trying to calm him. She watched him pace as his muscles tensed. She could feel his anger sky-rocketing.

He suddenly stopped pacing when he turned and looked at her. “...Why are you naked?”

Marshala felt her blood run cold as she hesitated to respond. Her hesitation was all he needed to send Nicholas into a blind rage. “FUCKING HELL, SHAL! YOU SLEPT WITH HIM?!”

She groaned as she plopped backward on the couch and covered her face with a pillow. “It was a lapse in judgment...” she muffled into the pillow.

“Lapse in judgment my ass! How could you let him fuck you?!” Nick’s eyes nearly lit up in flames. “This is what he does! That manipulative demonic bastard! I’ll fucking kill him!”

He stormed to the door but she quickly got up and twirled her hand, closing the door shut before he could leave. “Shal...” he rumbled with anger. “I’m really fucking pissed right now. Open the damn door before I take this anger out on you.”

“Then take it out on me,” she said, wrapping the sheet around her body again. “I’m just as responsible as he is.” He watched her angrily as she cautiously approached him. He was practically vibrating with rage. “Nicholas, please,” she said, hesitantly touching his arm. He looked down at her hand on his arm before glaring angrily back into her eyes. “I’m not supposed to be with either of you, remember?” she said. “The treaty-”

“Fuck that treaty,” Nick snapped. “That’s not what I wanna fucking hear, Shal. You’re mine. Not his. MINE!”

“I’m sorry...” she said, looking down. “I didn’t... I didn’t mean to hurt you...”

He tried to calm his anger as he looked at her apologetic face. Her eyes were unable to meet his and it bothered him severely. “Fucking look at me, Shal,” he demanded. She struggled to lift her eyes to look him in the face. “Why didn’t you tell me you still had feelings for him?”

She sighed, wrapping her arms around herself. “I guess... I didn’t want to admit it to myself...”

He wrapped a hand around her waist and pulled her to him as she stumbled into his arms. “Do you love me, Shal?”

She gave him a dirty, offended look. “What kind of question is that?!”

“Just answer it. I need to hear you say it.”

Marshala exhaled and stared into his eyes. “Yes, Nicholas... I love you.”

He grabbed the back of her head and ferociously kissed her. He completely dominated her mouth as his hands aggressively squeezed her backside through the sheets, nearly lifting her off the ground. He bit down on her bottom lip, sucking on it until it was puffy and sore. “I need you to understand one thing, baby...” he said gruffly in her ear. “I only tolerate him and his kind... for you.”

He pulled back and looked her fiercely in the eyes. “I will not hesitate... to tear every single one of those damn bloodsuckers to shreds. And I will enjoy every fucking minute of it.”

She feared the serious look in his amber eyes. “Nicholas-”

He quickly silenced her with another aggressive kiss as she sunk deeper into his arms. “I wasn’t asking for a response, Shal. Just remember why I’m doing this... any of this...”

“I thought you were doing it for all of us,” she said hesitantly.

He chuckled darkly as he shook his head and let her go. “I’m doing it for you.” He headed to the door before he stopped himself and turned back around. He grabbed the end of her sheet with one hand as he tugged it between his fingers. “And let’s get one final thing straight because I damn well will not be repeating myself.”

He yanked the sheet forward, pulling her towards him. She stumbled into his chest before she locked into his heated gaze. “This,” he said, forcefully grabbing her ass, “is mine.” She shook her head as he maneuvered his head to get in her face and lock eyes with her again. “Look at me, Shal,” he demanded as he tightened his grip. She sighed in exasperation as she looked up at him. She rarely saw him so furious.

“I don’t give a fuck how old Elijah is. I don’t give a damn how long he’s walked this fucking earth. His name, his prestige, his power, his strength doesn’t mean jack shit to me,” he said to her. “I don’t care about your fucking history with him... you’re mine.”

“Nicholas..”

“You’re mine, Shal! One of these days, I’ll get it through that thick fucking head of his.”

He pressed his lips to hers again, nearly sucking the oxygen out of her as he lifted her off of her feet. Wrapping his hands around her thighs, he lifted her onto his waist and massaged her backside. His hardened manhood pressed against her. “We can’t do this right now, Nicholas,” she said breathlessly. “We have to get everyone together.”

He groaned as he reluctantly placed her feet back on the floor and let her go. He took a step towards the door before looking back at her. “When this is all over... I’ll remind you who you belong to,” he said heatedly before he walked out the door.

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