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

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26 - My Lover, His Foe

“Leo!”

Kiara ran after Leo who stormed outside after Marshala’s ridiculous proposal. “No fucking way!” Leo growled.

“Leo, please wait!” Kiara said, rushing to grab his hand.

“Marshala has lost her damn mind!” Leo snarled. He abruptly spun around on her, causing her to jump back startled. “I fucking refuse! I’m not sharing you with that goddamn-”

“Leo, please, it’s not about that,” Kiara said quickly. “This is for me. To help protect me. That’s it.”

“You have no idea what you’re talking about!” Leo snapped at her. “That’s not only it! It means tying you to him! It means making you his fucking mate! There’s no way in hell I’m letting that leech have you!” Leo was practically vibrating with anger. He felt mortified. It was like a nightmare coming true as he felt the love of his life slipping between his fingers. He had no idea what to do with himself. He had so much rage he wanted to release with one particular person in mind to release it on.

“Leo...” Kiara whimpered as she wrapped her arms around his waist and wafted her face into his chest. “Please...” He slowly relaxed at her touch. Despite his rage, her softness did not leave him indifferent. Her scent was intoxicating as it filled his nostrils. “Leo... I’m really scared of all of this. I don’t know what to expect. I just know that... there’s a lot riding on this... on me. And I can’t do it without you...” she spoke into his chest as she kept her arms wrapped tightly around him.

Leo didn’t like hearing the worry in Kiara’s voice. Her desperate pleas were all he needed to calm down. He comfortingly wrapped his arms around her and rested his cheek on top of her head. “I’m sorry, Angel...” he said softly. “You know that I would never abandon you, baby... I would never let you go through this alone. I just... I don’t want-...”

Kiara waited for him to finish but she was glad that he didn’t. She squeezed him tighter and lifted her head to look into his eyes. His thumb tenderly stroked her cheek before he lowered his lips to hers. He kissed her softly to reaffirm his support and love for her.

“I love you so much, Leo,” she said, breaking their kiss to gaze into his eyes. He ran his thumb over her bottom lip and smiled as he felt himself warm over. He loved hearing her say it.

“... I love you too, Angel...”

~

Alexander didn’t know what frustrated him more: the fact that Kiara ran outside after Leo to temper his anger or that he would once again be tempted to give in to his desires.

Alexander wanted nothing more than to mark Kiara. To finally claim her as his own. But he knew he wouldn’t be able to stop there. He wanted to taste her, feed from her. Her scent so easily stimulated him that it was growing more difficult to control his hunger. He frequently caught himself imagining what she would taste like as he made love to her. He felt himself hardening at the thought and had to chase the thoughts away.

He glanced over at Elijah and Nick who were still arguing with Marshala. He thought it was a valiant effort on their part. But in all the years Alexander new Marshala, he knew she was not one to change her mind after making a decision.

“You’re out of your goddamn mind, Shal!” Nick said furiously. “We are not putting them through this shit! I will not allow Leo to suffer like this!”

“Nicholas, it’s the only way. Kiara needs both of them, not just one if she’s going to be able to keep herself safe and stay alive long enough to break the curse,” Marshala argued. “And the more she can draw from them, the easier it will be for her to control her powers.”

“There has to be another way,” Elijah insisted. “This is precisely what I wanted Alexander to avoid.”

“I have faith in my protégé that she can handle something like this. Don’t you?” Marshala asked the two of them.

“NO!” they both said simultaneously.

Marshala shook her head. “Well then, I guess she’ll have to carry the weight for the both of them,” she said, walking past them.

“Shal!” Nick called out before she could walk away. She turned around and looked at the two of them impatiently. “You’ve seen this happen before,” Nick said with grit in his voice. “This. Doesn’t. WORK!”

“It has to. For her sake,” Marshala rebutted.

“They hate each other!” Elijah protested. “You cannot force them to go against their nature, Marshala. It will tear them apart.”

“Oh really?” Marshala said, folding her arms across her chest. “Well, perhaps they actually love her more than they hate each other and can actually grow from this. I know! Crazy idea right?!” She turned on her heels and stormed away from them, leaving them both to feel the harsh sting of guilt.

~

Alexander tried to occupy his mind with other thoughts as he leaned back against the wall. He immediately opened his eyes when he heard Kiara walk through the door only to see her holding Leo’s hand. He quickly averted his gaze so as not to further provoke his already bridling anger. He contemplated running off before he ended up beating the hell out of the wolf.

Kiara felt conflicted. She had just gotten through reassuring Leo and now Alexander was clearly infuriated. She took deep breaths and bit her lip, wondering if she should try to talk to Alexander too when Marshala grabbed her hand. “Come with me,” Marshala said, pulling her into the kitchen.

Kiara followed Marshala into the kitchen and leaned back against the table. She watched Marshala shuffle through her cupboards. “Marshala... maybe this wasn’t such a good idea...” Kiara sighed. “Alexander and Leo... they-”

“They’ll get over it,” Marshala said. She pulled a few herbs out of the cabinet and placed them in a cloth.

“Did Nick and Elijah get over it?” Kiara said sarcastically.

Marshala turned around and glared at her. “Little girl.”

“Sorry...” Kiara said, looking away.

Marshala sighed as she leaned back against the counter. “This is the most difficult part about being a witch, Kiara... maintaining the balance.”

“I just don’t like being stuck in the middle like this,” Kiara said, picking a piece of lint from her shirt.

“Get used to it, hun. When a vampire and a wolf sink their teeth into you... there’s no escaping. You’re theirs for life,” Marshala said. She turned around, wrapping the herbs into the cloth, and placed them on top of the box she received from Gina. “You remember the spell we practiced?” Marshala asked.

“Yes...”

“Make sure you do it immediately after Alexander completes the soul bond. It will lessen the potency of the link,” Marshala instructed. Kiara nodded her understanding. “Kiara,” Marshala said cautiously. “When Alexander completes the link... you will all be connected. That means they will not only be able to feel you even more, but they will feel each other, and you will feel them. You must be careful. All of you.”

“I understand,” Kiara sighed. They walked back into the living room to see it was empty. Kiara followed Marshala outside and saw Elijah and Alexander talking near a tree while Nick and Leo loaded up a jeep.

~

Nick placed Kiara’s backpack into the backseat and glanced at his younger brother. Leo’s veins were bulging out of his neck from how angry he was. “Listen...Leo...” Nick started. Leo glanced at him with sharp amber eyes and a scowl on his tense face. Nick let out a deep breath, already feeling bad. “Come on, Leo... you know I didn’t want this for you... Why do you think I always got on your case about slowing it down with her? You fell so hard so fast. I didn’t want you to get hurt.”

“I thought you were just being a hypocritical prick,” Leo muttered. “Or a selfish sadist.”

“Damn, Leo...”

“.. sorry...” Leo sighed.

“Look... I get it... believe me I get it. This is the last thing I wanted for you. I feared that you would find yourself in my shoes. I just wanted her to be yours and yours alone. But that’s not the case and you have to deal with this. Try to remember that this is for Kiara’s safety. It’ll be easier for you to keep track of her and protect her as she focuses on breaking this curse. And she’ll be able to feel you now. You’ll be even closer than before.”

“But so will he...” Leo said, glancing at Alexander talking to Elijah.

Nick sighed with defeat. He felt it increasingly difficult to give Leo advice on an issue he himself could barely grasp. “Just remember to stay focused on Kiara. She’s your girl. Your mate. Her life is in your hands right now. And you want to keep her safe, right?”

“Of course, I do,” Leo said frustrated. “But-”

“No ‘buts’. That’s it. It’s all about her. Keep. Your focus. On her.”

Leo deeply exhaled before nodding. “Alright... alright I got it.”

~

“Since your mark will be completing the soul bond, it will be extremely painful for her,” Elijah said.

Alexander furrowed his brows in concern. “I don’t want to hurt her, Elijah.”

“You won’t have the choice, brother. It will hurt her regardless. You’ll have to... distract her... from the pain...” Alexander caught the suggestive look in Elijah’s eyes and nodded his understanding. “I have to be honest with you, Alexander. The hunger will come and you will not be able to resist feeding from her. I can guarantee you that.”

Alexander felt stuck as he looked at Elijah, soaking in his words. “I was afraid you would say that...” Alexander sighed. “I don’t know if I can do this, Elijah. I don’t want to bring her any more harm.”

“She’s your mate, Alexander,” Elijah said firmly. “Without you, she will die.”

Alexander swallowed hard as he glanced at Kiara talking to Marshala. “How... how do you control it? With Marshala?”

Elijah looked up at the sky to ponder. “I think about her children.”

Alexander looked at Elijah startled. “What?”

“I think about her children. Or the ones she should have and would have as long as I keep her alive. I think about how I would ruin her life if I drank too much from her and killed her, depriving her would-be future children of their mother. Or worse, forced her to become a vampire and live the dreadful life that I do. I think about how I don’t want that for her... and that’s how I control it,” Elijah said.

Alexander frowned. “I don’t know if I can think that far ahead, Elijah. Imagining Kiara with children? She just confessed that she loves me-”

“Then focus on that,” Elijah said. “Focus on how much you love her, Alexander. Do not allow your hunger to overrule your affection for her.”

Alexander again glanced at Kiara. She looked ethereal, but he could tell she also seemed unnerved and unsure. He promised himself he would do everything in his power to protect her. “I’ll do my best,” Alexander said finally.

~

“Don’t forget that you have to reach out to Melissa at midnight. Not a moment sooner or later,” Marshala said, hugging Kiara.

“Right, right, I got it,” Kiara said, opening the car door. She crawled into the backseat behind Alexander and looked out the window to see Leo staring at her confused. She then looked into the rear-view mirror to see Alexander giving her a ‘wtf’ look. “What?” she asked both of them.

“What are you doing?” Alexander asked.

“I’m getting settled in!” she said.

“Why aren’t you sitting up here?” Alexander asked.

“Leo is sitting up there,” she smiled sweetly.

“Like hell, I will!” Leo growled.

“Kiara, get up here,” Alexander demanded.

She looked at them both like they were crazy before she stretched her legs out and lay down on the entire backseat. “But there’s just so much space back here. What if I want to nap?” she said innocently.

“Kiara!” Alexander snapped.

“What if I start cramping and I need to lay down?” she continued. “Are you guys going to let me stretch out on you in the front seat? That’s not very safe.”

Leo and Alexander both groaned in frustration. Marshala had to cover her mouth to keep down her laughter. She knew what game Kiara was playing at. The girl was beyond bold.

Leo reluctantly climbed into the passenger seat. “We’ll see you guys later!” Kiara said, waving at Nick, Marshala, and Elijah as Alexander drove off.

“They’re going to kill each other,” Nick said with his arms folded across his chest as he watched the jeep take off.

“They will not,” Marshala said, rolling her eyes.

“They most certainly will,” Elijah sighed as he walked away.

~*~

The ride was so long that Kiara had the stereo bumping to Beyonce’s Lemonade on repeat. Alexander and Leo drove in silence growing more frustrated by the second just to be so close to each other.

Kiara thought for sure they’d warm up once ‘Formation’ came on, but all it did was induce a flurry of questions as a confused Alexander wanted to know what was so special about Red Lobster and Leo made her explain why anyone would carry hot sauce around.

“Alexander, can we make a stop? I need to use a restroom,” Kiara said.

“Again?” Leo asked annoyed.

“Excuse me!” Kiara said, offended. “We can’t all just whip it out and piss on a bush, Leo!” Alexander pulled over to a small gas station off the freeway and Kiara immediately hopped out of the car.

“Angel, you can’t just go in there by yourself,” Leo blurted.

“It’s a gas station, Leo! I just have to pee!” Kiara said, waving him off. With much aggravation, Leo got out of the jeep and followed her inside. Alexander struggled between getting out to follow her just because he didn’t trust Leo around her. But something told him to keep watch.

“Excuse me! Hi! Do you guys have a bathroom?” Kiara said to the store clerk as she did a little impatient dance.

The store clerk glanced up from the magazine he was reading and eyed her up. “Restroom is for paying customers only,” he said.

“Ugh! Leo, can you buy something, please? I really have to go!” she said, giving Leo a pleading look. Leo put a 20 on the counter and the clerk motioned to the bathroom with his head. “Thank you! Leo, can you get a Snickers? And a Kit Kat! Oh and Skittles please!” she said, running down one of the aisles.

Alexander tapped impatiently on the steering wheel when suddenly he got a whiff of a strange scent. His eyes immediately darted the area for hostiles, but he didn’t see anything. He quickly got out of the jeep and his nails elongated as his eyes scanned the area for the unwanted presence.

Leo roamed through the empty aisles as he waited for Kiara. His eyes instinctively flickered amber when he felt a strange shift in the atmosphere. He immediately ran outside to see Alexander looking around. “What is it??” Leo asked.

Alexander looked at Leo hesitantly. “We’re being watched...”

Kiara walked out of the bathroom, fixing her sweater and bumped into someone. “Woah!” the guy said, catching her by the waist.

Kiara stumbled backward. “Sorry! I didn’t even see you!”

“Apologies... I should have been more careful...” Kiara looked up at the man with the strong English accent. He had short light brown hair that was a drastic contrast to his pale white skin. And stark blue eyes that nearly matched Alexander’s. He looked vaguely familiar.

“You... you look so familiar,” she said confused. “Do I know you?”

“I think I’d remember a pretty face like yours,” he smiled charmingly.

Kiara looked at him warily. “...right...”

“The name’s Andrew,” he said, smiling with all his pearly whites. He held out his hand for her to shake, but something told her this guy was to be avoided at all costs.

“Um... nice to meet you. If you’ll excuse me,” she said, ignoring his hand and walking past him.

“Do I offend?” he said, quickly grabbing her arm. Kiara’s mind immediately flashed to a girl screaming followed by the splatter of blood against a wall. She quickly yanked her arm out of his grasp and looked at him startled. “Something wrong?” he asked.

“I’m sorry, I have to go,” she said, rushing towards the door. But before she could open it, in seconds he flashed in front of her.

“I just want to talk, little witch,” he said, quickly grabbing her hand. Her eyes grew big as she squeezed his hand tight until it turned red from the heat she conjured with her magic. He shouted in pain as he clutched his burnt hand and fell to his knees. She quickly ran out of the store, looking for Alexander and Leo. She saw Leo ripping the head off of a feral while Alexander was breaking the spine of another over his knee.

Alexander turned around to see her running frantically towards them. “Kiara!” Alexander said meeting her. She ran into his arms and he could feel her trembling. “What’s wrong? Are there ferals inside?”

“Va-vampire. In. Store,” she said, trying to catch her breath from all the adrenaline. Alexander’s eyes bled red as he disappeared in seconds into the store.

Leo ran up to Kiara and pulled her into his arms. “Angel, baby, are you okay?” Leo said worriedly.

She nodded quickly. “He was so fast.” Kiara looked at the dead ferals on the ground in confusion. “I don’t understand. Where did they come from?”

“I don’t know, Angel,” Leo muttered as he held her close. He looked up to see Alexander walking out of the store.

“There’s no one in there but the clerk,” Alexander said. “He said you were the only one in there, Kiara.”

“I wasn’t!” she blurted. “There was a vampire, I swear! He was so fast, but I burned him when he grabbed me and... how did that clerk not see him?! I swear he was there!”

“I believe you...” Alexander sighed as he looked around. “He might have charmed the clerk. These ferals were lurking around the corner. He may have used them to distract us so he could get to you. We’re taking back roads from now on. The road we’re on is too visible. Stay on alert.”

Kiara climbed back into the backseat, but this time Leo joined her so she could rest on him. Alexander tried to ignore the jealousy building up in him as he caught Leo stroking her arm while she slept on his chest. He tried to remind himself to just focus on the task of getting Kiara to their destination safely so they could get this assignment over with.

~*~

The jeep pulled up to a heavily secluded part of the forests. Kiara hopped out and looked up at the tall hill they would have to climb to get to the designated house waiting for them.

“Yea... I’m gonna die,” Kiara said, looking at the foreboding hill. “Did you guys know that LL Cool J was the first black person to survive a horror movie? Deep Blue Sea. 1999. I almost cried. I was like ‘wow, he did that.’ That’s not gonna be me though.”

“Angel, you’re exaggerating,” Leo chuckled. He pulled her backpack out of the car and closed the door shut.

Alexander grabbed a large tarp and threw it over the jeep to hide it. “You have nothing to worry about, Kiara,” Alexander said, sidling up next to her. “There’s nothing scarier than us.”

“Touché...” Kiara said. They started their hike up as the forest became alive with sound.

~

“I need a minute!” Kiara huffed. She plopped down on a large boulder, trying to catch her breath. She looked up at the two of them to see they were completely unfazed. Leo looked at his watch as Alexander glanced around to make sure they were alone. “How are you guys not tired?!” she blurted.

“You already know the answer to that question, Angel,” Leo said. “Do you want me to carry you?”

“If she’s going to be carried, it should be by someone who’s actually fast,” Alexander quipped.

Leo immediately turned red. “You got some big fucking balls on you, you know that, Blackbourne?!”

“Come on, Kiara, I’ll carry you,” Alexander said, giving her his hand as he ignored Leo.

“You really think you’re faster than me, asshole?!” Leo said, getting in Alexander’s face.

“I know I am,” Alexander glared at Leo.

“Guys...” Kiara sighed.

“Wanna fucking bet?!” Leo growled angrily. “First one to the top of that hill. Put up or shut the fuck up.”

“You really wanna embarrass yourself right now, Volkov?” Alexander mocked.

“What are you? A little bitch? Cause you know I’m right?” Leo snarked.

“Fine, you fucking mutt. Top of the hill. When I beat your ass, I don’t wanna hear shit from you for the rest of the fucking night,” Alexander threatened.

“Fine!” Leo shouted.

“Fine!” Alexander shot back.

“Gu-” Kiara started, but they were both off in a flash, leaving her behind. Kiara just sat there dazed, in total bewilderment that her two lovers just left her. “I know these jerks did not just leave my black ass in these damn woods by myself! Are you kidding me?!” she said exasperated.

Alexander and Leo both reached the top of the hill, glaring at each other. Alexander’s eyes bled red and Leo growled with his amber eyes glowing like the sun. “You’re fucking slow!” Alexander taunted Leo.

“I got here before you!” Leo snapped. Both of their ears perked up when they heard Kiara yelling angrily from down the hill. “Oh shit. Angel,” Leo said once they realized that they had left her. They immediately ran back down to find her fuming.

“You both suck so much butt!” she shouted at them.

“Kiara, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean-” Alexander started.

“How could you guys leave me?!” she cut him off.

“Angel, I was just-” Leo tried to speak.

“Did you guys get out all that machismo?! Did you find out whose dick is bigger?! UGH! Freaking men, I swear!” she said angrily, pushing past them. They finished climbing the hill, making frequent stops for Kiara to catch her breath. They persistently offered to carry her, but she was still so angry they ditched her the first time that she refused any of their help. She told them she’d rather them suffer by dealing with her ‘slow human mortal pace.’

When they finally reached the top, Kiara looked in awe at the abandoned log house they would be staying at. It was beautifully sculpted and caught all the rays of the setting sun. Marshala had told her this was one of the few houses that witches retreated to when they needed to make connections that were often hard to make otherwise. It gave them the ultimate seclusion they needed from the rest of the outside world. Kiara looked out over the edge where the house was built and was in awe of the view.

“It’s beautiful!” Kiara smiled. She turned around to face Leo and Alexander who still had the look of guilt on their faces. She rolled her eyes and sighed. “I’m not upset anymore, guys. Stop looking at me like that!” She took out the keys Marshala gave her and stepped into the house. Her mouth almost dropped to the floor at the beauty within. It was quite big with a large center couch and table in the living room. The floors were wooden and a huge fireplace sat just beneath a wall made of rocks. An aged chandelier dangled from the wooden ceiling above them.

“For a house on a hill in the middle of nowhere, this place is really nice,” she said, looking around the living room.

“I’m going to check the perimeter,” Alexander said, walking back outside.

Leo inspected the lower level rooms, meanwhile, Kiara walked up the stairs to the second floor. There must have been hundreds of aged markings on the walls. The place felt exceedingly heavy with magic. Normally, such a feeling would make her feel nervous, but for once Kiara felt... at peace.

“Everything seems fine. No sign of ferals, vampires...” Alexander looked warily at Leo “...or wolves...”

Kiara stood on the stairs watching the two of them glare at each other. “Well... it’s getting pretty late,” Kiara said, breaking them out of their angry glare fest. They both looked at her. Alexander swallowed hard, knowing what that meant while Leo let out a frustrated groan. “...Marshala said we... should finish the soul bond... before-...” Kiara was afraid to finish her sentence as Leo seemed to only grow angrier. Then the realization of what they needed to do hit him.

“Fuck this shit!” Leo snapped as he stormed outside.

Kiara sighed with exhaustion as she quickly followed after him. “Leo, I thought we talked about this!” she said, following him.

“I can’t, Kiara!” he said, spinning around on her. “I’m not gonna fucking stay here and listen to that son of a bitch fuck my mate! Alright?! I don’t wanna think about it. I don’t wanna hear it. I sure as fuck don’t wanna see it. Just get it over with. I need to blow off some steam. I’ll be back in half an hour.”

She watched him storm off and felt her shoulders get heavy. She felt beyond awful about the situation. She reluctantly walked back inside and closed the door. Leaning back against it, she sighed heavily.

“We don’t have to do this...” Alexander said softly.

Kiara looked up at him and could see a mix of hunger and apprehension in his bright blue eyes. He looked as conflicted as she felt. She walked up to him and grabbed his face between her hands as she softly kissed him. He wrapped an arm around her waist as his mouth moved sensually against hers. Crouching down slightly, he lifted her into his arms and carried her upstairs to the bedroom.

~

Kiara stood in front of the floor-to-ceiling mirror. Even though a shirtless Alexander was standing right behind her, she saw only herself. “...it’s so...strange...” she said. “How do you know if your clothes look good or if there’s something on your face?”

Alexander let out a deep amused chuckle. “Years of experience...”

Kiara felt Alexander’s arms wrap around her from behind. In the mirror, it looked as if her sweater was unbuttoning itself. She could hear Alexander lightly breathing in her ear as he slowly unbuttoned her sweater. He peeled the garment off of her body and tossed it to the floor, leaving her in her bra. He cupped her breasts within his grasps and she loudly exhaled as her eyes closed and her head fell back against his shoulder. His grip was firm yet gentle as he massaged her with purpose.

She felt his lips caress the skin on her neck as he left hot sensual kisses along the curve. “Are you sure you want to go through with this...?” he whispered in her ear.

Kiara swallowed hard. “Will it hurt?”

Alexander took a moment to think before answering. “Yes.”

Kiara’s eyes popped open and second-guessed her decision, but Alexander was already pulling her bra off of her before he turned her around. He cupped the back of her neck and pressed his lips against hers as he kissed her intensely. His tongue invaded her mouth as she moaned out from his abruptness.

Alexander spun her around and pushed her over the dresser as he pulled her pants down. Kiara felt nervous with how quickly Alexander was moving. Using that vampiric speed again, she had a hard time keeping up with him. Seconds after he tossed her pants aside, she stood in only her panties as he kept her leaning over the dresser. His tongue left a hot trail up her calf till he got to the back of her knee where he sucked fervently and made her knees buckle.

He pressed a palm against her ass to keep her steady as his tongue continued to travel up the back of her thigh. Kiara could feel herself getting wetter with anticipation. She wasn’t sure whether to be excited or terrified. Alexander stood to his feet and slid a finger along her slit just over her panties. He rotated his finger in circles, making sure to soak her panties with her arousal. He kissed her shoulder and felt his hunger steadily rising as her scent bombarded his senses.

“Did you bring extra underwear?” he asked her lowly.

Kiara was confused by the question. “Well, yea, I-” She heard a loud tear as Alexander ripped her panties off of her body. “Alexander!” she squealed.

She saw him bring the ripped cloth to his nose and deeply inhale. When his eyes opened, they were a deep blood red. Kiara immediately felt frightened as her fight-or-flight switched on, and she jerked ready to run from him. But Alexander quickly blocked her and turned her around to face him. She looked at him wide-eyed, as his blood-red eyes stared back at her.

“Are you afraid of me, Kiara?”

She hesitated to answer. She felt completely thrown off. She was extremely terrified, but the way his hands roamed her body made her feel something else entirely. She leaned back against the dresser, her bare backside meeting the edge as Alexander’s hand slipped between her thighs. Her breathing shortened as she felt him nudge her thighs apart. He slipped two fingers inside of her while his thumb pressed firmly against her clit. She tried to breathe, but his movements were so quick and so firm she barely had a minute to process.

“I asked you a question, Kiara... are you afraid of me?”

His demeanor was so much more demanding. Not at all what she was used to and a stark contrast from her soft Alexander. “A-at the m-moment, yes. S-sorta? I don’t know,” she panted as his thick, unrelenting fingers worked her over.

“Why?” he asked. “Because I will hurt you?”

Kiara was startled by the question, but he didn’t give her a chance to respond. He pulled her towards him to ensnare her lips in another fiery kiss. A fire lit up in Kiara’s belly as she felt herself already reaching her climax. She let out small gasps and moans as she came hard from Alexander’s unyielding fingers. But he didn’t give her a minute to process. In seconds, Kiara found herself lying flat on her back on the bed as Alexander continued to pump his fingers into her.

“I don’t want to hurt you, Kiara... you know that don’t you?” he moaned. He tenderly kissed down her neck and over her chest. His hand movements went from probing fingers to his entire hand erotically palming her dripping wet core. “Kiara?” he asked again after she didn’t answer.

“Y-yes, I know, Alexander,” she gasped. Her hands immediately grabbed the back of his head as she felt his lips encase around her nipple. He sucked hard until she heard the pop of his wet lips teasing her. His hand never leaving her wetness. She had no idea what this man was doing to her. His lips scoured down her stomach until she felt his hand push her thighs up.

“I don’t ever want to hurt you, iubita mea... I love you too much...”

Kiara sucked in her breath as she felt Alexander’s tongue plunge so deeply into her it jolted her entire body. He curled his tongue as his lips sucked at her clit. She felt like he was trying to suck the soul out of her. He was unapologetic about how far his face was between her legs. He seemed to revel in feeling the pressure of her thighs against his head. She could hear him moaning as the ferocity with which he ate her out caused her body to rock the bed.

“A-Alexander, oh god!” she breathed out as she tried to catch her breath. She felt him slip a finger into her second hole and she squealed, trying to escape him. He pumped into her while his tongue entirely canvassed her heaven. She wiggled underneath him, but his hand was like cement, keeping her still and at his mercy. She wanted to tell him to slow down, but she was already coming again before she could utter the words. She let out a loud moan as she felt her head get extremely light and her lower extremities completely heat over.

She felt his tongue licking up her juices before his lips kissed along her thigh. He tightly squeezed her thigh and plunged two fingers inside her again. “Alexander!” she squealed. She couldn’t believe he was going at her again so soon. Each time more intense, more aggressive than the last. His fingers continued to pump into her, without relenting as his lips still scoured her thigh. She felt his lips linger on a particular spot on the inside of her thigh as his fingers picked up the pace. She once again felt her body start to quake as she met her third orgasm since they started.

But then came the pain.

Kiara cried out in agony as she felt a remarkably sharp pain on her thigh. It was excruciating. It felt like a large needle injecting poison into her. It was extremely hot and burned like hell. Tears fell from her eyes as she tried to bear through the pain. All of her senses seemed to be in a frenzy as her body responded to her orgasm while also reacting to the harsh pain in her leg.

She felt Alexander peppering her thigh with kisses to soothe the aching. His tongue ran several times over the painful mark he left before tenderly kissing it again.

~

Leo eventually stopped running once he was certain he was out of earshot. He couldn’t stand to hear the moans of his mate receiving pleasure from someone... something he hated.

He tried to remind himself that all of this was necessary. That it was the best way to protect her and keep her safe. But every time he thought about it, he just imagined Alexander making love to her. He pictured him kissing her, touching her, running his hands all over the body that belonged to him. He thought about Alexander being deep inside Kiara. Making her moan. Making her come. And it infuriated him. His eyes glowed bright again and his teeth bared as he instinctively punched a tree. It cracked in half and the top half tumbled to the ground.

“Shit...” he sighed. He ran his fingers through his hair, trying to calm his anger. Every nerve in his body screaming to tear Alexander apart and take Kiara for himself.

Stay focused on Kiara. This is about her. Not about you.

His brother’s words echoed in his mind as he tried to calm himself down. “It’s about her... this is for her...” Leo said as he continued walking.

~

Alexander continued to kiss Kiara’s thigh where his mark was permeating. He could hear her whimpering in pain on the bed and felt awful for what he had done to her. He wanted to wrap her in his arms and apologize over and over again, promising never to make her feel that pain again.

But then the worst came. The hunger.

It was so much more intense than he had ever felt in years. He swallowed down his own saliva several times just to fight down the urge. “Alexander...” Kiara said, running her fingers through his hair. “Come lay next to me.” That was the last thing he thought he should do. He argued with himself mentally. But the way she pleaded for him made him cave, and he crawled up the bed towards her.

Kiara was a bit taken back by the blood-red eyes, but she was training herself to embrace it. Embrace him. “I’m sorry, Kiara,” he said, searching her eyes. “I was trying to distract you from the pain-”

“It’s okay, Alexander,” she said, smiling up at him. “I’m okay...” He smiled down at her as she brought a hand to his face, caressing his cheek. Kiara looked into his red eyes and grabbed his face, pulling him down to kiss her. She felt his hands wrap around her waist as he tightened his grip on her. But for Alexander, the hunger became overwhelming.

He impatiently shimmied his pants down and his large erection smacked against her pelvis with a loud thump. Her nimble fingers wrapped around his shaft as she began to stroke him. And her touch sent him over the edge.

He grabbed his manhood and slid it against her core that was already dripping wet from how many times he made her come. Without hesitation, he plunged deep inside of her. Kiara squealed loudly as her body jumped from the suddenness. She was used to Alexander taking things slow, but this was not the case.

“Goddamn, Kiara,” he groaned from the vice-like grip she had on his shaft. He immediately started pounding hard into her as her body rocked against the bed. Pulling her leg up to his waist, Alexander angled himself to go balls deep. But Kiara was beyond tight. It made it difficult for him to go further without hurting her. With each thrust he went harder, trying to get her used to his girth. She panted helplessly underneath him as he rocked against her.

She smelled so good, Alexander could barely contain himself. He lowered his lips to her neck and ran his tongue along the light green vein distinct from her dark brown skin. It looked so enticing. It almost felt like it was teasing him. “Alexander...” she whimpered as she rounded her hands across his back.

Her vulnerable cries only egged him on, and before he knew it he was sinking his fangs deep into her soft flesh. Kiara felt her entire body flood with a warm rushing sensation. Every single one of her senses went into overdrive. Suddenly Alexander’s thrusts felt even more intense than before and they were already making her head spin. Her entire body responded to his. A wave of goosebumps coated her skin. Her head felt light as an intense euphoric feeling came over her and she felt herself coming again. She could hear herself moaning and calling his name but it sounded distant and faint.

Kiara’s taste had exceeded all of Alexander’s expectations. Every muscle in his body had tensed up when her blood met his lips. His eyes nearly rolled to the back of his head from pleasure and his hunger increased. He firmly gripped her backside and deepened his stroke the more he drank from her. Her whimpers, her moans made him come undone as he made her climax again, this time him coming with her. The love they made was unrelenting as they created a creamy mix between their pelvises that started to trickle down her leg.

The euphoric sensation that Kiara was feeling slowly started to dissipate. She had met another orgasm before it started to feel painful. “A-Alexander,” she said weakly. She tried to push back against him, but his grip on her backside and at the back of her head only tightened as his movements became more aggressive. “Alexander. Alexander, stop...” she breathed out as she struggled beneath him. She began to feel dizzy and her limbs became weak. He was taking too much.

~

Leo tossed a rock into the river as he grumbled angrily to himself. He had resorted to flooding his mind with images of Kiara. Her smiling face always warmed him. Her cheerful voice was like music to his ears. He thought about giving her children and tried to imagine how many kids they would have, what they would look like. He started making a list of potential baby names. Then somehow his mind soared back to the time he took her from behind in the shower. He immediately felt himself get hard at the thought and it only frustrated him.

His mind was in a frenzy. But anything to keep from thinking about... that. What the vampire was doing to his mate. All of it felt so wrong. He didn’t know what to do with himself.

And then he felt it. The soul bond was complete. He was even more infuriated than before because then it confirmed what he already knew. His eyes glowed amber, getting ready to morph just so he could get further away and not be tempted to tear Alexander apart.

But then the pain came. The weakness. The fragility. And he heard her cries.

Leo quickly turned around and looked back at the house with wide-eyes. “Angel!”

~

Leo rammed into the front door, nearly knocking its hinges off. He ran up the stairs skipping 4 steps at a time and barged into the bedroom. He saw Alexander feeding from a limp Kiara and immediately pounced on him, ripping Alexander off of her body.

Leo threw Alexander into the wall, causing it to dent with a large crack. He shoved Alexander’s shoulder back, pinning him to the wall. Alexander’s eyes were a deep blood-red that matched the blood dripping from his fangs and staining the corners of his mouth. “You fucking piece of shit!” Leo shouted. He went to attack Alexander. But Alexander punched Leo, sending him flying across the room and into a lamp that broke once he crashed into it.

“Guys, stop!” Kiara said weakly, trying to cover her naked body with the bedsheets. Her blood stained it as she pressed it against her neck. Alexander quickly pulled up his pants and charged at Leo who met him halfway. They both slammed into another wall, making a huge hole that crashed into the closet. “You guys!” Kiara screamed as she watched them struggle.

“You tried to kill her!” Leo growled. His nails elongated and he shoved his claws into Alexander’s bare chest, penetrating the skin. Alexander was hardly affected as he smirked condescendingly at Leo. He cocked his head to the side as if challenging him. Leo dug his nails deeper until they both heard a scream. They looked towards Kiara to see bloody marks on her chest, encircling her right breast. She weakly fell backward on the bed.

“Angel!” Leo shouted. He yanked his nails out of Alexander and rushed over to her. Alexander quickly got up and knelt on the side of the bed opposite Leo. They both looked down at the bloody marks around her breast as she struggled to breathe. Leo looked at her chest confused before he looked at the claw marks he made in Alexander’s chest to see it was the exact same thing. “Fuck! Shit! Fuck, Angel, I’m so sorry!” Leo freaked once he made the connection. “I didn’t mean- I totally forgot that-”

“Just breathe, Kiara,” Alexander said. He held her hand as he looked at her with fear and guilt in his eyes. He eyed his deep fang marks on her bleeding neck and felt like losing it on himself. He tore a hole in his wrist to have her drink from him and she winced at the pain in her own wrist.

“No fucking way!” Leo snarled angrily, pushing Alexander’s hand away.

“She needs to heal!” Alexander snapped back. “You almost killed her!”

“And just what the fuck did I catch you doing?!” Leo shot back.

“Guys, please? Bleeding out over here,” Kiara breathed out.

Alexander glared at Leo who finally sighed in resignation. “Fine...” Leo muttered. Alexander held his wrist out for her to drink from. As she put her lips to his wrist and drank, her wounds started to heal. When her breathing finally regulated, she opened her eyes and looked at the two of them. “Are you okay?” Leo asked.

“Yea,” she said, struggling to sit up. She quickly covered her naked chest with the bloodstained sheets.

“I’m so sorry, Angel. I didn’t mean to hurt you,” Leo said with guilt in his voice.

“It’s okay, Leo. I know,” she assured him. “Marshala told me I had to do a spell. Maybe that’s why I could feel it so much. The potency of the link is too strong. We have to finish.” Kiara crawled between them and off the bed as she went to put on her clothes.

Leo eyed Alexander and curled his lip up in anger. “I fucking swear if you hurt her agai-”

“Leo! Please don’t start again!” Kiara said exasperatedly as she hiked up her jeans. Leo grumbled to himself as he got off the bed. He stormed out of the room and down the stairs. Kiara shook her head and went to exit the room when Alexander quickly grabbed her hand. She looked at him and could see so much guilt and sadness in his gaze as blood tears pearled in the corner of his eyes.

“I... I am so sorry, Kiara,” he choked out. “I didn’t mean... you know that I would never-”

“It’s okay, Alexander,” she said, touching his face. “We’ll get through this. The three of us. It’s just a little bumpy right now.” She gave him a soft peck on the lips before she rushed out of the room and down the stairs.

~*~

Alexander and Leo silently watched Kiara work her magic. Seated on the floor in the middle of the living room with her eyes closed, an ancestral chant fell from her lips. She had burned some incense and herbs in a small bowl between them. As she continued chanting, she took a switchblade and poked a small hole into both Alexander and Leo’s fingers before poking one in her own. She mixed their blood with her own, within her palm, before the candle quickly went out. She sat staring at the candle before she looked at the two of them. “That’s it,” she said. “Let’s see if this worked.”

Alexander used one of his long fingernails to slice across his wrist. Kiara winced as a red line soon formed on her own wrist but not on Leo’s. “Crap...” she sighed. “I know I did it correctly. So, why didn’t it work...” She tried the spell again, this time having Leo test it out. Although this time she didn’t physically bleed, she still felt the pain. “Why does it feel like I’m making this worse?” she groaned. “Sorry, guys. I practiced this spell so many times already with Marshala. I have no idea what I’m doing wrong.”

“Maybe we should head back,” Leo insisted.

“It’s not enough time. 3 hours till midnight. I have to make the connection with Melissa or I’ll miss my chance,” she sighed.

“Then we’ll worry about it after,” Alexander said. Kiara nodded as she stood to her feet. She picked up the switchblade when a vision flashed that made her stumble backward and lose her balance. “Kiara!” Alexander said, maneuvering quickly behind her to catch her before she fell.

“Angel, what’s wrong?” Leo said, grabbing her hand.

Kiara rubbed her forehead, trying to chase the images away. “Something... something’s coming. I think we were followed.”

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