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

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25 - Soul Bond - The .OO1%

“Help!”

Sarah frantically ran down the hallway with a bloody, torn shirt exposing her bra as her heels clacked loudly on the floor. “Help! Somebody, please help me!” she cried as she kept looking behind her. She stumbled around the corner feeling at the walls.

She attempted to run for the exit when she felt herself get yanked backward. “Nooooo!” she screamed at the top of her lungs as she got tossed to the floor like a rag doll. She scrambled backward on her butt, crying hysterically, as she looked up at the menacing man with red eyes and sharp claws. “Please!” she sobbed as he slowly approached her. “Please don’t! I don’t wanna die!”

The man smirked as he licked one of his fangs. “That’s quite unfortunate for you, beautiful. Because I’m famished.” She let out a bloodcurdling scream as he pounced on her and sunk his fangs deep into her flesh.

Kiara shook and immediately dropped the blood-stained notebook.

“Are you alright?” Marshala asked, touching Kiara’s hand.

“Y-yea,” Kiara said. “It just... still takes some getting used to... this premonition thing.” Kiara looked up at Marshala and Nick standing outside Nick’s truck. She had perched herself in the backseat when Marshala asked her to see if she had any visions when touching Sarah’s notebook.

She looked over at Elijah, Alexander, and Cole standing on the other side of the truck, keeping a considerable distance away. She thought their dislike for each other was quite childish. Nick refused to enter the house just as much as Cole protested Elijah letting him in. Marshala seemed to be the only one of sound reason who compromised just discussing the matter outside.

“Did you see anything?” Nick asked.

“I saw Sarah,” Kiara said sadly, trying to think. “I saw her... get attacked. Fangs... red eyes... lots of blood.”

Alexander sighed with regret as Cole sucked his teeth in annoyance. “So, it was a vampire,” Elijah frowned.

“No surprise there...” Nick grunted with his arms crossed over his chest.

“Did you get a look at his face?” Marshala asked.

“Yes... but I’ve never seen him before. He doesn’t look like any of the vampires that attacked us at the school,” Kiara said, biting her lip.

“Can you describe what he looked like?” Elijah asked.

“He had light brown hair... a pretty soft chin... a terrifying grin. It almost sounded like he had an English accent,” she said, trying to recount.

Alexander quickly looked at Elijah. “Him?”

Elijah furrowed his brow in concentration. “Not him... but definitely someone that works for him...”

“What was the message left for her?” Alexander asked Marshala. Marshala’s eyes shifted nervously as she stepped back.

“Shal...” Nick said, bracing her back and causing Elijah to immediately tense up. “You have to show her...” Marshala looked up at him with regret before she looked at Kiara inquisitively.

“I can handle it, Marshala,” Kiara assured her. “Can’t be worse than finding my aunt murdered.”

Marshala sighed as she took out her phone and scrolled through her images. She found the pictures and held the phone up to Kiara. Kiara looked at the image on the phone and her shoulders immediately slumped. “Damn...” Kiara muttered as she swallowed hard.

“This is how she was found...” Marshala said softly. Sarah’s head lay on the floor a few feet away from the rest of her body. On the wall, a message was written in Sarah’s blood: Time’s running out, little witch: 5/6

“Time until what? And what does 5/6 mean?” Kiara asked anxiously.

“We’re looking into it. I already have Levi and Leo on a search,” Nick said. “For now, the Dean has agreed to keep this under wraps so as not to cause any major panic among the student body.”

“But aren’t students’ lives in danger?!” Kiara said frantically. “I’m the one that got Sarah killed. They were after me, right? Maybe I should transfer. I don’t want-”

“No, Kiara,” Nick said, cutting her off. “We’re not going to let these assholes get the best of you. If anything, it just means we need to accelerate your training.”

“Accelerate how?” Kiara asked.

Nick looked reluctantly at Elijah who sighed as he stuffed his hands into his pockets. “You’re going to train with us,” Elijah said. “Nicholas and I both.”

Kiara’s eyes bulged. “What?! Oh hell no! I’m not finna die training with you two.”

“Kiara-” Elijah started.

“I’m still sore from training with Leo and Levi. And just remembering about my training with Alexander and Cole makes my head spin with how many times I ended up on the ground,” she said exasperated.

“That entire rant was so erotically suggestive, that I’m not even sure what you’re talking about anymore, little thing,” Cole smirked. Alexander angrily shoved Cole in the shoulder as Cole laughed out loud.

“Training with us will be different,” Nick said. “You learned the basics from the boys. You were going to train with us eventually. We’re just speeding things up a bit.”

Kiara looked at Marshala as if she were almost pleading for help. “We’re not that bad, Kiara,” Elijah chuckled.

“Head Vampire and Alpha Wolf training an amateur witch like me... right... not bad at all,” Kiara said, rolling her eyes.

“Give yourself some credit, Kiara, you’ve been improving a lot,” Alexander spoke up. She looked at him and immediately felt warm all over from both his compliment and his gaze.

“It’s for the best, Kiara,” Marshala chimed in. “Nicholas and Elijah have been doing this for a really long time. They’ve both taken on vampires and wolves alike. Considering these increasing threats on your life, the most logical thing to do is work closely with them.”

Kiara sighed as she stepped out of the car. “Alright fine... Can I nap first?”

“No,” Nicholas and Elijah said at the same time.

“Well damn...” she muttered.

“Let’s get started,” Nick said. He grabbed a bag from out of his car and led her near the forests.

“The forests again?! Really!? What is wrong with you people?! Y’all never heard of a Planet Fitness or a Boston Sports Club?!”

“Quit your whining and let’s go!” Nick yelled back at her. Kiara huffed as she quickly followed after him. Alexander felt his chest tightening as he watched Kiara follow Nick.

“I want you two to look for any potential suspects of this... vampire that murdered the young mortal girl,” Elijah said to Cole and Alexander. “Vampires know I have dominion over this territory. It should be rather easy to spot him who does not belong.”

“Sure thing, boss,” Cole yawned.

“What? No!” Alexander said abruptly. Elijah looked at Alexander startled. “I want to stay here with Kiara. I need to keep an eye on her,” Alexander said.

“Alexander, she’ll be just fine with me,” Elijah said.

“I need to be here, Elijah!” Alexander said more tensely. “I can’t... I can’t be away from her like this anymore. It’s starting to hurt whenever she...” Alexander trailed off not knowing how to continue.

Elijah looked at Alexander peculiarly when suddenly his eyes widened. “Are you... feeling her?” Alexander looked at Elijah somberly before averting his gaze.

“Wow... you guys really are the same,” Cole rolled his eyes with a smirk.

“When were you going to tell me about this?!” Elijah said irritably.

“I’m telling you now...” Alexander sighed.

“Alexander, this is very serious! You should have told me when it first started!” Elijah said annoyed.

Alexander could only shrug with regret. “Just let me stay with her. Please. I need her.”

“I understand that need, Alexander, but... this is of the utmost urgency. You and Cole must handle this until I am done with her, do you understand?” Elijah asked. Alexander looked pleadingly into Elijah’s eyes, hoping he would change his mind. But Elijah was unwavering. Alexander tried to repress his anger as he stuffed his hands into his pockets. “Don’t be angry with me, Alexander. I will mention to Marshala what you are... dealing with.”

“Sure,” Alexander muttered.

“And this is precisely why you need to go out with me more,” Cole said, wrapping an arm around Alexander’s neck. “You’re too wrapped up with her, brother. You need some fresh blood.”

“I don’t want fresh blood, I want her,” Alexander said irritably. He shoved Cole’s arm off of him and walked in the other direction.

Elijah watched the two of them walk off. “...Not you too, little brother...” he sighed remorsefully.

~*~

Elijah eyed Marshala in his kitchen, packing up her things. He couldn’t help his eyes roaming over her body as he felt that same intense hunger invade him again. As always, his hands led his actions as he wrapped his arms around her waist. He found it increasingly difficult to control himself around her. “And where are you off to?” he said, pulling her back against him. He peppered her neck with kisses as she felt his erection against her backside.

“Elijah,” she said impatiently. “I have to go.”

“Stay, mon coeur,” he said softly in her ear. “I miss you... desperately.”

Marshala quickly turned around in his arms and looked up into his bright blue eyes hooded with desire. “You know I can’t...” she said, moving away from him to his dismay. “I figured you guys will have your hands full with Kiara,” she said. She glanced out the window at Nick with Kiara in the back. “I need to go see Gina. Hoping she can help me answer a few questions.”

“Gina...” Elijah said coldly. “That’s twice now that you’re going to see her.”

“Don’t start, Elijah. I just need some advice.” Elijah went to speak. “Unbiased advice,” she added quickly.

Elijah furrowed his brow. “The last time she gave you advice it was to stay as far away from me as possible.”

“That was years ago,” Marshala said. “She was just trying to protect me.”

“Do you honestly think that I would ever hurt you,” Elijah said, getting upset.

She looked up at him and smiled with her eyes. “I trust you with my life, Elijah...” Elijah’s tension immediately melted away as he felt himself falling into her deep brown eyes. In all his centuries on earth, no one affected him like Marshala. She truly owned his heart. She pulled her bag over her shoulder and headed for the door. “Call me if you need me,” she said.

“Marshala,” Elijah called out before she could leave. “Alexander… he can... feel Kiara...”

Marshala stopped in her tracks and glanced back to look at him with wide eyes. “You’re kidding...”

“I wouldn’t joke about this, mon coeur...” he said, locking eyes with her.

Marshala scoffed unbelievably as her eyes shifted frantically, trying to think. “But... with Leo... and she’s... that’s nearly impossible...” Marshala said with disbelief.

“It happened with us,” Elijah said.

“We were a fluke, Elijah.”

“Then what does that make them?” he asked.

Marshala frowned as she tried to think. She looked back up at Elijah to see him giving her a knowing look. “I don’t know... but I’ll find out,” she said before quickly walking out the door.

~*~

“Twice in a month now you’re visiting me. That must be a record. When are you going to start visiting me because you actually miss me and not just to use me for my infinite wisdom and knowledge,” Gina teased as she poured Marshala a cup of tea.

Marshala gave Gina a sarcastic look as she took the cup. “You know that I adore you, Gina.”

“Debatable,” Gina smirked as she set the teapot down. Marshala rolled her eyes.

“I’m worried,” Marshala said, looking into her mug. “Kiara is receiving more threats against her life. William is ramping up his scare tactics. He’s targeting my students! We have another dead student on campus! His lackeys left her a message this time, in public for all to see...”

“What was the message?” Gina asked.

“Time’s running out, little witch: 5/6.”

Gina pondered. “Well, we can only assume the time he’s referring to is the time till her death.”

“Great...” Marshala muttered as she sipped from her tea.

“The 5/6 may be in reference to the number of generations in the LaFleur family,” Gina said, sitting down on the floor in front of Marshala. Marshala looked at her confused. “There have been approximately 6 generations since Melissa: Esther, Geraldine, Rachelle, Madeline, Candace, and Kiara. He’s killed 5 generations. Kiara’s the 6th.”

“God! What the hell is wrong with him?!” Marshala said, putting her head in her hands.

Gina looked at her friend with remorse. “Considering all of this… you need to stop pussyfooting around with her. The best way for her to learn is to throw her into the lion’s den.”

“She’s already training with Nicholas and Elijah,” Marshala said.

“I am referring to her connecting with Melissa,” Gina said quickly.

Marshala frowned. “No one has spoken to Melissa in years... I’m not so sure Kiara is ready yet...”

“That is not for you to decide, Marshala,” Gina said. “You underestimate her. She is junior to her powers but that does not mean she is weak. William is not going to wait for her to become perfect. She needs to connect with Melissa to break the curse. That’s the most important thing right now. It’s the entire basis of your treaty. Stick to the plan. Your plan. If there’s one thing vampires and wolves both can agree on, it is their dislike for broken promises. Especially promises made by witches...”

Marshala deeply exhaled. “I just wish she didn’t have to go through this.”

“I understand your fondness for the girl, Marshala. But thousands of lives are riding on her being able to break this curse.”

“I know,” Marshala sighed as she got up. “There is... one other thing. But well, it’s probably nothing, I’m sure Elijah is just confused. I was certain Alexander only had a crush.”

“What is it?” Gina asked.

“Alexander. He... he can feel Kiara,” Marshala said hesitantly.

Gina smirked as she leaned back against the pillar. “You mortals are oh so very interesting. First you and now Kiara.”

“I’m sure he’s mistaken-”

“Of course he’s not,” Gina said, standing to her feet. Marshala watched Gina walk over to one of the shelves and light a candle. “There’s a .001% chance of a wolf and a vampire having the same mate,” Gina said, lighting an incense. “I can’t even fathom the chance of it happening to two witches who know each other with the same vampire family and the same wolf pack. 1 in 10 million maybe?”

Marshala groaned as she put her head in her hands. “How could this have happened? I mean I understand with Nicholas, Elijah, and I. But I wouldn’t wish this sort of stress on Kiara. Leo is so much like Nicholas, so I get that but... I had no idea Alexander was that into her.”

“Leo imprinted on Kiara at a rather young and tender age. As far as he was concerned, Kiara always belonged to him,” Gina said. “As for Alexander... well... you could thank Evangeline for that one. The Blackbournes have always had a fondness for witches, as you can tell. Or...”

Marshala looked at Gina questioningly. “It’s pure obsessive sacrificial love,” Gina shrugged.

“Oh please, Gina.”

“Are you not in love with both Nicholas and Elijah?”

“That’s different-”

“How, exactly, is that different?”

“The blood treaty,” Marshala said quickly.

“You were in love with both of them before the treaty, Marshala,” Gina said. “You need to accept this. Regardless of how they both feel about each other. Hate each other’s guts as they may, you are all tied to one another. A soul bond is extremely powerful. That’s something you will never be able to change.”

Marshala sighed in frustration. “I just don’t want her to suffer the way I have.”

“Alexander and Leo are younger than Elijah and Nicholas. Less narcissistic. Less stubborn. Less belligerence. Vampires hate wolves and wolves hate vampires. The real question is... do they love Kiara more than they hate each other.”

Marshala pondered Gina’s words knowing very well the thought was absolutely absurd. The hatred between the Volkovs and the Blackbournes went beyond mere species loathing. It was much more personal. “If anything, Marshala, use their soul bond to protect Kiara,” Gina said, interrupting her thoughts. “They can both already feel her. Use that. Anything that will help her connect with Melissa.”

Gina grabbed a small box and handed it to Marshala. “She needs to get away to connect. Away from her home. Away from school. Away from the city. You know Melissa favors solitude. These should help Kiara to make the link,” Gina said.

“Thanks, Gina. Your help is greatly appreciated as always,” Marshala said gratefully.

“And tell Elijah I still don’t like him,” Gina said quickly.

“Gina...” Marshala smirked, shaking her head.

~*~

“Mercy! Uncle! White Flag! I give up! No more! Thanos, snap me away!” Kiara groaned as she lay flat on the ground with her arms and legs sprawled out. Her chest rose and fell as she breathed heavily.

“Kiara... you’re being ridiculous,” Nick said, walking towards her.

“Says the wolf with super speed and super strength and never-ending stamina! Boy, you have been working me like a damn dog!” she said exasperated before she immediately burst into laughter. “Get it? Dog? Cause you’re...”

Nick gave her an unamused glare. “Nevermind...” she said, looking away.

“I’ll give you a moment to rest before we start up again,” Nick said. He lent her his hand and pulled her to her feet.

“Can we not though? I really just want to sleep... for like a week,” she whined as she followed him to his car.

“Sleep is a luxury now, Kiara,” he said, pulling a bag out of the car. “You’ll have to learn to adjust to this kind of life.” He handed her a sandwich wrapped in foil before leaning back against the hood of his car and taking one out for himself. “You need to eat to keep up your stamina or you’ll pass out,” he said, motioning to the sandwich in her hand.

She unwrapped the foil and couldn’t help but smile. “This is like the cutest thing you’ve ever done for me, Nick,” she chuckled.

Nick rolled his eyes. “Just eat.”

“So, is that what you had to do?” she asked, biting into the sandwich. “Adjust to a new kind of life when you became alpha?”

“I was already making that adjustment before I became alpha,” he said. “We’ve been fighting this war since I was a child. Lost a lot of people over time.”

Kiara eyed Nick. She realized he was concentrating a little too hard on what was in his hands as if he were trying to mask his emotions. “... I’m sorry, Nick,” she said sympathetically.

“Don’t worry about it. That’s just life,” he said, shrugging it off. “That’s why it’s important that I train you. It’s my responsibility to protect the people of this town, especially those I care about.”

“Are you saying you care about me?” she smirked.

“Kiara, don’t start with me...”

“You looooove me, don’t you? Just admit it! Go on!”

“You’re making me regret everything,” he groaned.

“I’m like the Batgirl to your Batman. The Rey to your Luke Skywalker.”

“Fucking hell, Kiara...”

“Oh, come on! I’m like the annoying little sister you’ve always wanted,” she teased.

“Well, you’re definitely annoying, that’s for sure,” he smirked.

“Well damn, sir! You didn’t need to come for me like that!” she laughed. Nick smirked at her as he finished the last bite of his sandwich.

“Alright. Break is over. Let’s get started,” he said, hopping off the hood of his car.

~

Elijah watched Nick train Kiara in the densest part of the woods. Nick definitely wasn’t going easy on her, but she wasn’t backing down either. Elijah was beyond impressed with how much she had improved.

Elijah thought back to Alexander. He was always harsh with his brothers, but it was only to protect them. Elijah was never bothered by a quiet and remote life, especially after decades of being on the run. But Cole and Alexander made it clear that being cooped up in a large mansion was not for them. It was the only reason he decided to allow them to enroll in the university.

It frustrated him that Alexander seemed doomed to head down the same heartbreaking and agonizing path he did: being in love with the same woman as his enemy. Elijah wanted Marshala to himself. Just as he knew Alexander wanted Kiara. But like Marshala, Kiara’s feelings were split. And just as he had to do with Marshala, Alexander would have to keep a considerable distance from Kiara for her safety.

Elijah chuckled sadly at the irony. If only he and Alexander could be more like Cole. If Alexander felt even the slightest bit for Kiara that Elijah felt for Marshala, Elijah knew he had to do everything in his power to make sure Kiara survived. Or it would truly break Alexander, even unto his death.

Kiara quickly dodged Nick before conjuring a strong wind and sending him flying backward. Her eyes widened in shock and she leaped for joy. “YES!”

Nick grinned as he stood to his feet. “Your response time is improving. Good.”

“But it is your response time to a vampire that matters most,” Elijah said, appearing in front of Kiara. She screamed, startled and stumbled to the ground.

“Dammit, Elijah!” she grumbled.

“You should have felt me coming,” Elijah said, helping her to her feet.

“I was in the middle of celebrating a win!” she said.

“You won’t have time for celebrating when you’re facing a vampire. You need to be quick and alert at all times,” Elijah said sternly.

Nick eyed Elijah with an unfriendly gaze before he looked at Kiara. “He’s right. We need to shift from response time and work on how you can counteract a vampire,” Nick informed her. Nick stood next to Kiara as Elijah quickly disappeared.

“Sometimes a vampire can make it seem as if they are everywhere at once,” Elijah’s voice echoed in the forest as Kiara frantically looked around for him.

“Don’t panic,” Nick advised. “Separate the noise and pinpoint his voice.”

Kiara tried to focus when she felt a sudden shift in the air. She immediately raised her hands just as Elijah approached her. She nearly caught him before he abruptly flipped her onto her back. “No chaser, huh,” she groaned. “You guys are going to kill me.”

“We’re trying to keep you from being killed, Kiara,” Elijah said, helping her up.

“It may seem difficult at the moment, but it will pay off when you don’t have to worry about a bloodsucker ripping your throat out,” Nick added.

Elijah’s eyes flickered up at Nick in annoyance. “Nor shall you have to worry about a mutt mauling you to death,” Elijah said coldly.

“That’s hardly an issue when she has my pack protecting her. The wolves have always been allies to the witches,” Nick said, folding his arms across his chest.

“And my clan hasn’t?!” Elijah said angrily. “Neither of us has ever harmed any of them.”

“Now when you say us are you referring to your family? Because last time I checked your father was trying to wipe out her entire bloodline,” Nick snapped back.

“So, guys... about that training...” Kiara said, looking between them apprehensively.

“You underestimate how strongly Alexander feels for Kiara. He will protect her with his life,” Elijah said flippantly.

“But can he protect her from himself?” Nick asked. “Leo would die for Kiara. And he sure as hell wouldn’t put the rest of her friends and family in danger.”

“You have no idea what Alexander has had to forego to protect his love!” Elijah said angrily. “You couldn’t possibly begin to understand.”

“Oh right! As if Leo wants the love of his life being manipulated by a serial killer that has only brought her heartache and pain!” Nick snapped back.

“Why do I feel like we’re not actually talking about my Leo and Alexander here...?” Kiara muttered.

“You don’t deserve her,” Elijah said angrily as his eyes flashed blood red. “You never did. And you never will!”

“You keep telling yourself that every time you see her with me. You’re no damn good for her! And I won’t allow you to manipulate her anymore!” Nick said with bared teeth as his eyes glowed amber.

“Guys...” Kiara said nervously as she started backing up. “Maybe... we can calmly... talk this out?”

“I’M NO GOOD FOR HER?! SHE WAS MINE FIRST, NICHOLAS!” Elijah shouted.

“AND THEN YOU FUCKING KILLED HER BROTHER, ELIJAH! SHE’S MISERABLE BECAUSE OF YOU!” Nick shouted back.

Elijah instantly leaped at Nick, grabbing him around the neck. They smashed into a high tree before smashing into another tree. Kiara stared wide-eyed in complete utter shock as she heard loud thunderclaps that echoed throughout the forests from how hard they were hitting each other. Her eyes could hardly keep up with them as they moved at the speed of a bullet from one location to the next, breaking trees in half along the way. She quickly pulled out her phone when she saw a car pull up on the side.

“WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!” Marshala shrieked as she ran towards Kiara.

Kiara ran to meet her. “They just started arguing and then,” Kiara looked up to see Nick and Elijah still going at it.

Marshala growled angrily as she backed up and put her hands together. She shouted an incantation and the entire forest lip up white as she spread her arms wide. Nick and Elijah immediately went flying in opposite directions, both landing hard on the ground.

“ARE YOU TWO KIDDING ME?!” Marshala shouted angrily. She was beyond livid. Elijah sat up with a scornful look on his face as his fangs slowly retracted. Nick groaned in agitation as he ran his fingers through his hair, trying to calm himself down.

Marshala stormed over to Elijah and grabbed his face within her grasp. She looked him over, making sure he wasn’t cut. “He didn’t scratch me...” Elijah muttered. “He knows better...”

“That if you die, then I die, then he dies?! And yet you both thought it was so smart to fight each other?! And in front of Kiara?!” Marshala said angrily.

“Mon coeur...” Elijah said remorsefully, trying to calm her.

’Head Vampire’,” she said mockingly, backing away from him. She looked at Nick who felt too guilty to look her in the eyes. “And ‘Alpha Wolf’?!” she said angrily. “This is the behavior of a leader?!”

“Shal... baby-,” Nick tried to reason.

“I don’t wanna hear it! I can’t believe you two! Stop acting like damn children!” she snapped. She grabbed Kiara’s hand and stormed away, dragging the poor dazed girl along.

~*~

Kiara cautiously watched Marshala who was still fuming as she pulled items from her kitchen cabinets. “Marshala?” Kiara said apprehensively.

“What?!” Marshala blurted as the windows immediately flew open. Kiara looked at her startled. “I’m so sorry, Kiara,” she said apologetically as she rushed to close the windows. “I didn’t mean to blow up on you. I’m just...”

“I get it. It’s okay,” Kiara said. She waited a moment, watching Marshala sift through her cabinets before finally speaking up again. “Why do they hate each other so much?”

Marshala stopped what she was doing and deeply exhaled. “Wolves and vampires have always hated each other, Kiara.”

“But... it seems a bit more... personal with Nick and Elijah,” Kiara said. “It seems a bit over the top... even for something like fighting over a woman...”

Marshala rabidly chewed at her bottom lip before turning to face Kiara. She leaned back against the counter and looked into Kiara’s eyes. “Kiara... have you ever heard of a... soul bond?”

Kiara looked at her curiously. “Soul bond? Not really... is it like what Leo and I have? Where I’m his mate?”

“Yes, it is like that. Except, well... you are also Alexander’s mate...”

Kiara’s eyes bulged as she looked at Marshala like she was crazy. “Wait what?! Vampires can have mates too?!”

“They’re not that much different from wolves, despite how much they hate each other. But yes... And it’s extremely rare for a vampire and a wolf to have the same mate. I’m talking... .001% rare....”

Kiara looked at her confused. “So, there’s a 1 in 100,000 chance of a vampire and wolf having the same mate, and I just happened to fall into that .001%?”

“And me... unfortunately...” Marshala sighed.

“Why unfortunately?”

“Kiara... wolves and vampires are extremely possessive creatures. They’re both dominant by nature.”

“I don’t know, Marshala. You seemed to have Elijah and Nick pretty subdued back there,” Kiara smirked.

“That’s because they know they messed up and they can feel my emotions. They hate making me feel bad and tend to back down when I get that upset.”

“They can feel your emotions? Like you can all feel each other?”

“It’s part of the soul bond,” Marshala nodded. “It’s not nearly as strong as it used to be and tends to come and go. Kind of like our relationship...”

Kiara frowned at the forlorn look on Marshala’s face. She bit her lip as she tried to digest her words. “So... I have this same thing with Alexander and Leo? But I don’t really feel them like that? Maybe I’m defective.”

“That’s because it isn’t complete. Leo marked you. Alexander, well... he hasn’t...”

“Please tell me marking me doesn’t entail biting me...” Kiara said. Marshala gave Kiara an anxious look. “Seriously?! What the hell, man!” Kiara said, throwing her arms in the air. “What is up with all the biting?!”

“It’s better than being scratched,” Marshala said.

“That’s true,” Kiara sighed. “But I don’t know. Alexander seemed so adamant about not feeding from me last time we spoke.”

“There’s a difference between biting your lover and feeding from them. Both still acts of possession and ownership,” Marshala explained.

“Which Leo will not like...”

“Of course not,” Marshala sighed.

“Well, it’s not like we need to complete this soul bond or anything right? I don’t really need Alexander to bite me.”

“So, that’s the thing...” Marshala sighed. “Gina thinks it may be the best way to protect you. Leo and Alexander can already feel you. Once Alexander completes the soul bond, you will all be one.”

“I don’t understand,” Kiara said confused.

“They’ll not only be able to feel you but also get to you quicker. Most importantly, you can draw strength from each other the same way I draw from Nicholas and Elijah,” Marshala explained.

“Dude, this is some freaky deeky ish if I’ve ever heard one,” Kiara muttered. “I don’t know if I like the sound of this.”

“Kiara... I know this is a lot, but we need to break this curse. And you can’t break the curse if your life is constantly in danger. Besides, it’s not like either of them will ever leave you alone anyway. Don’t you feel the pull between the two of them?”

Kiara sighed. “I do... all the time. It’s strong because I love them both, but... they hate each other...”

“You can temper them,” Marshala insisted.

“I honestly don’t know about that. Last time they almost ripped each other’s heads off before those other vampires attacked us.”

“So they were fighting,” Marshala said with a raised brow. “That’s not what you told Nicholas.”

Kiara’s eyes widened, caught in her lie. “..I..”

“It’s fine, Kiara,” Marshala chuckled. “Like I said.. you’re mated to Leo. Protecting him. Defending him is going to come naturally. Even if it’s against his own brother.” Kiara flushed over as she looked down. “I’m not expecting the two of them to get along. Trust me I know very well. But your life’s on the line. I’m sure they’ll understand,” Marshala said, walking to the counter to grab a box.

“Marshala...?” Kiara said softly. “Earlier.... when Nick and Elijah were fighting, Nick said... that Elijah killed your brother?” Marshala visibly shook as she took a minute to collect herself. “I’m sorry... I shouldn’t have brought it up,” Kiara said quickly with regret.

Marshala turned to Kiara and plastered a fake smile on her face. “It’s alright,” Marshala said. “If you were ever wondering why the wolves don’t hesitate to claim us as their mates but the vampires do... well that’s one of the reasons why...”

Kiara frowned as she looked down. “So, that’s what you and Rhea meant when you said people tend to die...”

Marshala swallowed down a sob as she placed the box on the table. “Conversation for another time, Kiara. Something I’m not ready to discuss. We need to focus on your meeting with Melissa.”

~*~

Kiara eyed Leo’s mark on the back of her thigh. She gently ran her finger over it and felt an erotic tingle shoot up through her body. “God, Leo, you horny little...” she muttered, looking it over. She heard the sound of motorcycle engines outside. Peeking out of the window from Marshala’s bedroom, she saw Leo and Nick pulling up on their bikes. She immediately started to sweat with anticipation. She hoped Marshala knew what she was doing.

She walked out of the room and looked down the stairs to see them both walking through the door. “Angel,” Leo said with a bright smile and sparkling blue eyes, looking up at her at the top of the stairs.

“Hi, Leo,” she said, flushing over. He quickly walked up the stairs to meet her and pulled her into a tight embrace.

“I missed you, baby,” he said, grasping the back of her neck. She barely had time to respond before his lips had possessed hers.

“Leo,” Nick said, motioning with his head for them to leave. Leo smirked as he grabbed Kiara’s hand and led her the rest of the way up the stairs.

“Y’all betta not do nothing nasty in my bedroom,” Marshala shouted.

“We’ll go to the bathroom,” Leo shouted back.

“LEO VOLKOV!” Marshala snapped.

“Kidding, kidding... sorta,” Leo snickered before they disappeared.

“I’m sick of you wolves,” Marshala muttered. She glanced at Nick who was giving her big apologetic blue eyes. “Don’t look at me like that, Nicholas,” she said annoyed, walking away from him.

“Tell me you forgive me, Shal...” he said. He grabbed her arm and pulled her forcefully against him.

“Get off of me, Volkov,” she said, trying to push him.

“Come on, baby, I’m sorry,” he groaned. He buried his face in her neck and massaged her backside, squeezing her cheeks within his palms.

She felt the sensual stroke of his tongue against her neck as he pushed his manhood against her. His pants were extremely strained. “You’re so frustrating, Nicholas,” she moaned. “You can’t just grope me up anytime you want to get out of something.”

“You think all I’m gonna do is grope you?” he chuckled. “Oh, Shal..” He quickly pushed her up against the wall. Marshala barely had time to protest before Nick’s lips were planted against hers, his tongue seeking dominance as he started to tug her pants down. She felt his hand slip down her panties and he audibly moaned out loud as soon as his finger slid between her lips.

“Nicholas,” she moaned out.

“Shal, I just need to feel you, baby, that’s all...” he groaned as he pushed a finger inside her. “Shit, you’re so fucking wet.”

With a gasp, she lifted her thigh to his waist as he pushed in another finger and increased his pace. She grasped at his back as she felt her climax steadily rising. She never understood how Nick was able to push her to her peak so quickly. “Oh god, Nicholas!” she gasped.

“Fuck yes, Shal. Come for me, baby,” Nicholas growled into her neck. He fingered her harder and the lights started to flicker around them. Marshala tried to stifle her moan as she came all over Nick’s hand. She panted desperately, feeling extremely dizzy as he removed his finger agonizingly slow. He brushed against her swollen clit before he lowered her leg and pulled her pants back up. She looked up at him to see him licking his fingers with a satisfied grin on his face.

“Fucking hell, Shal... you taste so damn good. I’m so tempted to bend your sexy ass over the table and take you right now.”

Marshala scoffed as she pushed him back. “You’re absolutely ridiculous!” she said, walking past him when suddenly the doorbell rang. Nick instinctively growled, already sensing the unwanted presence outside. “Please behave, Nicholas!” she said, giving him a stern look.

Marshala hesitantly opened the door to see Alexander and Elijah standing outside. “Glad you guys could make it. Come in,” she said a bit nervously. She was hoping Elijah wouldn’t be able to tell what her and Nick had just done. But the way his face morphed from stoic to aggravated was a clear indication that he could.

Elijah stepped into the house and eyed Marshala peculiarly. He looked at Nick who had quite the smug look on his face as he finished sucking on his fingers. Marshala gave Nick a threatening look before she nervously shouted for Kiara.

Kiara quickly stumbled into the hallway laughing hysterically with Leo. She turned to see Alexander at the bottom of the stairs looking beyond angry as his eyes flickered between blood red and their friendly blue. “Alexander!” she said caught off guard.

“Kiara...” Alexander said tensely as he glared at Leo behind her. The tension was thick. Kiara walked downstairs and looked at him. She debated giving him a hug but the rare cold look in his eyes indicated that wasn’t a good move. The last time he had that look was on the field right before they fought.

Kiara looked at Marshala and mouthed “help me!

“So, I did ask you all here for a reason,” Marshala spoke up. “Would you mind taking a seat?” She waited for them to move into the living room and couldn’t help but sigh in defeat. The Volkovs and the Blackbournes took opposite sides of the room, none of them sitting. Kiara stood behind Marshala, leaning against the wall and keeping her eyes down. She never felt so uncomfortable.

“Kiara’s been improving a lot with all the training she’s received, and I appreciate you both for taking the lead on that,” Marshala said to Nick and Elijah. “But William is only getting more emboldened in his threats. We need to break this curse and fast. It’s time for Kiara to make the link. She and I have already discussed. She’ll need to leave the city for this.”

“And... you want us to go with her?” Nick asked.

“I need you both here to handle the threats to our town. And... I think Kiara should go with... Leo and Alexander instead,” Marshala said.

“What on earth?!” Elijah said startled.

“That’s a bad fucking idea!” Nick blurted.

“It’s what needs to be done,” Marshala insisted. “Plus, I’m sure neither Leo nor Alexander would allow Kiara to go with anyone else.”

“Fuck no. But that doesn’t mean I want the damn bloodsucker there!” Leo snapped.

“As if I want your flea-ridden psychotic ass anywhere near her!” Alexander snapped back.

“Oh my god...” Kiara sighed in exasperation.

“I’ve already lectured your brothers. Do I need to lecture you too?” Marshala said quickly. Leo grumbled to himself as Alexander looked up at the ceiling just to stifle his frustration. “I need your buy-in with this,” Marshala said, looking at Nick and Elijah. “You know how important this is.”

“Fine...” Nick said, rubbing his temples.

“I suppose...” Elijah said, looking at Alexander.

“Thanks for the enthusiasm,” Marshala said flatly. “With that being said, before you guys leave...” Marshala glanced at Kiara who looked so anxious she was ready to run out the door. “I think it’s time you three completed your soul bond.”

Elijah and Nick immediately looked at Marshala like she had lost her mind.

“Our WHAT?!” Leo shouted angrily.

“Oh fuck...” Alexander groaned.

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