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

All Rights Reserved ©

30b. - Down in New Orleans Pt. 2

🔥🔥

“Shit.” Leo groaned when he walked into the pool area with a bottle of Jameson to see Alexander sitting by the edge of the pool. “What the fuck? I didn’t even know you’d be here.”

Alexander smirked. “And yet here you are. Missed me already?”

“Fuck off,” Leo said, plopping down next to a snickering Alexander.

Alexander paused. “I’ve been thinking about what Marshala said... about protecting Kiara from my father. If I see him... I’m ripping his heart out of his chest.”

“What if he kills you first?” Leo asked.

Alexander looked down. He tried to keep that thought at the back of his mind. “If he kills me first... at least I will die protecting her...”

Leo eyed Alexander with respect. “That’s a promise?”

“That’s a promise,” Alexander said.

“What are we promising here?” Leo and Alexander looked up to see Kiara in a silk black robe tightly wrapped around her body.

“Angel, what are you doing here?” Leo asked. “We have a big day tomorrow.”

“I missed you guys,” she said, walking up to them.

Alexander shook his head with a grin. “You should be asleep Kiara.”

“But I really... really missed you...” she said, biting her bottom lip. She opened up her silk robe revealing a sexy black bra and matching black thong. Alexander’s lips parted in awe as Leo impatiently grabbed her hips and yanked her down onto his lap.

“Holy shit, Angel,” Leo groaned hungrily into her neck. He immediately cupped her breasts within his palms. She arched her back, poking her chest out as Leo peeled her bra down. Her dark mocha mounds spilled out as he possessed them in his eager grasps again.

Leo moaned his want for her, pushing his erection into her lower back. She opened her eyes to meet Alexander’s dark, famished gaze. His jaw was tense, his eyes barely recognizable. “Alexander?” she said curiously.

“Come here,” Alexander said sternly. The sharpness in his tone sent a tingle down to her core as she leaned forward, wrapping her arms around his neck. Their lips quickly met as Alexander enveloped her body in his arms, his hands working the latch of her bra.

Leo pulled her robe off and tossed it to the side. As Alexander held her, Leo thumbed the string of her thong. He slipped his finger between her cheeks before he tore it off. “Leo!” she said irritably.

“Honestly, Angel, I don’t even know why you had it on,” Leo smirked as his finger probed between her cheeks.

“You should have just come with nothing on at all,” Alexander grinned, tossing her bra.

“I couldn’t just walk in here naked,” Kiara chuckled. She stood on her knees and ran her fingers through Alexander’s jet black hair. He smiled up at her as he palmed her ass with both hands. “You’re lucky I came at all,” she added.

“Is that right?” Alexander grinned. He pulled her cheeks apart and massaged them in his hands. His face nuzzled between her breasts, running his tongue between them. “How about we make you come again, and again and again...”

“If I let you,” she teased, trying to wiggle out of his arms.

“Don’t play with us, Kiara,” Alexander said. He spun her around to face Leo. “You know how that ended last time...”

She sunk back into Alexander’s lap as she looked into Leo’s eyes that were already glowing amber. Leo crawled towards her before she put her bare foot up to his chest. “Down, boy...” she smirked, dragging her big toe down his chest. “You think just because you guys are a wolf and a vampire, you get to do whatever you want to me?” she teased.

Leo grabbed her foot and raised it to his lips as he stared into her eyes. “We get to do what we want to you... because you’re ours,” he smirked. He kissed up her foot, along her ankle and down her calf. He slowly ran his tongue along her thigh until he got to her apex that was radiating a moist heat. Kiara’s breathing picked up as Alexander gently moved her hair to the side, exposing her neck to him. Meanwhile, Leo’s lips hovered over her heaven. “Fuck, Angel... were you wet for us all this time, baby...” Leo said, nudging his nose against her sensitive bud.

Alexander ran his tongue along the vein in her neck. “Well?” he said. He wrapped his arms around her and grabbed two handfuls of her plump chest. He gently massaged them in his grasp as she arched her back, breathing heavily. “Were you?” Alexander asked.

“I’m always wet for you...” Kiara breathed out. Her chest rose and fell with anticipation. She twitched as Leo blew slightly before flicking her clit with his tongue.

“Did you touch yourself, Kiara...” Alexander breathed into her ear as he nuzzled the back of her head with his nose. He eyed the large vein throbbing in her neck as he licked his lips with a raging desire.

Kiara whimpered from their teasing foreplay. “Guys...” she pleaded.

“Answer the question, baby,” Leo chuckled as he nibbled on her thigh. “Did you touch yourself...”

“...yes!” she squirmed. “Please stop teasing me!”

Alexander chuckled. “I’m surprised Leo even held out this long after the way he was acting earlier.”

“Shut up,” Leo smirked before his starved lips met her wet ones. “Well worth the wait..” Kiara squealed as she felt Leo French kiss her wet puffy lips just as Alexander bit into her neck. She instinctively clenched her thighs around Leo’s neck. “Keep them open, Angel.” Leo’s lips tickled her core when he spoke as he pulled her thighs apart. She desperately panted as his lips wrapped around her nub. He nestled his face further between her thighs and licked her more aggressively, making sure not to leave any part of her untouched.

“Fuck. She tastes- dammit. Hold her,” Leo groaned impatiently. Alexander’s hand slipped from her sore breast to her damp thigh as he held it up to give Leo more access to her. Leo parted her lips with two fingers before flattening his tongue and slowly dragging it up her slit.

“Leo!” Kiara gasped. Her head felt dizzy from the way Leo attacked her womanhood, sucking before any drop could escape. She tried to catch her breath as Leo crawled from between her legs. His amber eyes burned into hers as he wiped her wetness from his mouth. His eyes immediately darted to her heaving breasts before he leaned in. “Leo,” she said, putting her foot to his chest. “You nearly sucked the soul out of me,” she said as Alexander laughed.

“Yea... and I’m not done,” Leo grinned.

Kiara eyed the bottle of Jameson next to them and picked it up. “You guys were drinking without me?” she pretended to pout.

“You don’t drink, Kiara,” Alexander said. He slid his hand down her stomach before he cupped her core, hot and wet from Leo’s tongue assault.

“Sometimes...” she panted breathlessly. Leo watched as she poured some of the Jameson down her naked chest before he quickly leaned forward, licking the liquid off of her skin. She heaved as Leo possessed her pert pebble into his mouth, sucking her like she was his life support.

“Goddamn, Kiara...” Alexander breathed out. He thrust two thick fingers inside of her, feeling her tightly clench around his probing digits. “You’re dripping, iubita mea...”

“I think she needs something else...” Leo said, trailing his tongue from her navel to her neck. “Isn’t that right, Angel...”

Suddenly, Kiara abruptly pushed their hands away and scrambled from between them, escaping their possessive grasps. They looked at her surprised as she walked to the edge of the pool. “You guys got it all wrong,” she teased. “I just came here to swim.” They watched her dive into the pool before they both quickly shed their clothes and jumped in after her.

~

🌹🌹

“I’m pretty sure Kiara snuck out to go find Leo and Alexander,” Marshala said, shaking her head. Nick sat behind her on the bed, massaging her shoulders. “She can’t seem to stay away from those boys.”

“Not surprising,” Nick smirked. “It’s not like they can stay away from her either. Sound familiar?”

Marshala chuckled softly. “I think they’re worse than you two.”

“In terms of control? Yes. They’re going to break that girl,” Nick snickered. “In terms of putting our woman first... not so much...” Marshala could hear the guilt in Nick’s voice and fell silent, surprised by the turn of the conversation.

“Shal...” There was a softness in his voice that Marshala rarely heard, if ever. He sounded tender. Vulnerable. “What’s going on, baby? You’ve been... distant...”

Marshala slowly exhaled. “It’s nothing, Nicholas.”

“You know you’re a bad liar, right?” Nick smirked as he squeezed her shoulders. Marshala rolled her eyes and went to speak when her door opened and Elijah walked in.

Elijah and Nick exchanged glances as Marshala groaned in frustration. “I really don’t have the energy to listen to you two bicker,” she said, throwing Nick’s hands off of her shoulder.

“We haven’t even said anything,” Nick laughed.

“Yet,” she muttered as she tried to crawl off of the bed.

“Mon coeur.” Elijah blocked her as he sat on the bed in front of her. “I’m not here to argue with Nicholas. I’m here to unravel what has been plaguing your mind. We can both feel it. We don’t want you to suffer in silence.”

Marshala looked between Nick and Elijah surprised, still expecting them to start tearing each other’s eyes out. “Talk to us, Shal,” Nick insisted.

Marshala’s eyes fell. She still didn’t feel the time was right yet to tell them about her pregnancy. Not with everything else going on. “When William visited me...” she started. “He had this witch who... dissected my mind. I thought she was looking into my memories. My past. But then... I saw these horrific images.”

“What kind of images?” Nick asked.

Marshala tried to swallow down her anxiety. “Death... pain... hopelessness. Everyone was dying if they weren’t dead already. And I just... I keep seeing this vision every time I sleep. I don’t have the power of premonition. I don’t know what this is.”

“It’s probably William playing mind games with you,” Elijah said. “He has many witches who do his bidding. They probably planted something in your mind.”

“Maybe one of the Durand witches can help,” Nick said.

Marshala looked down, feeling unsure. “It just... it felt so real. I can’t imagine losing the people I love.” She looked between the both of them as a tear slipped down her cheek. “I can’t imagine losing either of you...”

“Mon coeur,” Elijah said, wiping the tear away with his thumb. “You will never lose me.” Elijah looked at Nick behind her. “You will never lose... us.”

Marshala blinked at Elijah as his finger trailed down her neck, over her chest and across her stomach until he reached the waistband of her jeans. His fingers quickly unlatched them as she looked at him confused. She felt Nick press up against her back and wrap his arms around her as he started to unbutton her shirt from behind. “... what... are you guys doing?” she asked hesitantly.

“Comforting you,” Nick said, kissing behind her ear as he peeled off her shirt.

“By stripping me?” she said with a cocked brow.

Elijah hooked his fingers into the loops of her jeans and pulled them down. “By kissing you,” Elijah said tenderly, caressing her dark mocha thighs with his lips.

“Fucking you,” Nick grinned. He pulled her bra off of her and tossed it over his head.

Elijah locked eyes with her as his lips teased the waistband of her panties. “Loving you...” he said, pulling her panties down with his teeth.

🔥🔥

Kiara giggled as she felt Leo grab her waist and drag her under the water. “Leo!” she squealed as she came up for air. She tried to swim away until she felt herself get grabbed from behind.

“Now, where are you off to,” Alexander teased as he spun her around to face him. He entangled his fingers in her wet hair and forced her mouth open with his tongue. She tried to keep up with him as his hand gravitated to her core like a magnet. She squealed, jumping in his arms when she felt him thrust a finger into her puckered star.

“Alexan-” she panted breathlessly.

“You don’t know what you do to me, Kiara,” Alexander breathed in her ear as he pumped into her, bringing her to her edge. “Allow me to show you.”

🌹🌹

Marshala arched her back and bit down on Nick’s lip, drawing blood as she squirted her essence all over Elijah’s mouth. She tried to squirm back away from Elijah on the bed, but Nick’s death grip on her wrists held above her head was unrelenting. She moaned into Nick’s mouth as Elijah’s tongue continued to lick up every drop that slipped from her cunt.

Elijah tightly gripped her thighs, holding her still. “I’m not done with you, mon coeur,” he groaned. He rubbed his nose against her bud as her juices coated the tip of his nose. He deeply inhaled her scent and let out a famished sigh.

“Not even close, baby,” Nick whispered in her ear. He sucked on the soft flesh of her neck. His hand palmed her chest as he teased and pulled her taut nipple.

🔥🔥

Kiara clung tightly around Leo’s head, his face nuzzled into her bosom as he pumped two fingers into her throbbing core. His other hand tightly gripped her waist, as he sucked her nipple into his mouth. He felt her trembling in his embrace and pushed her back against Alexander who was gently fingering her anus. The only barrier between them was the water that sloshed around them.

“Oh crap! Le- Al- this- fuck- I-” she stammered as she felt her climax peaking for the 5th time that night.

“Are you going to finish a sentence, Kiara?” Alexander chuckled, nibbling on her ear.

“Alexander!” Kiara snapped.

“You know I love it when you say my name,” Alexander said, kissing the back of her shoulder.

“Mm, here’s a fun idea... Let’s see who can make her scream his name the most,” Leo grinned.

🌹🌹

Marshala screamed into the pillow before it was ripped from her face. She looked up into Nick’s eyes that flickered with mischief. “What did I say? I wanna hear you fucking scream, baby,” Nick said. Laying down next to her, he pumped his fingers into her dripping cunt.

“Or moan...” Elijah said from her other side, nibbling her ear lobe. “Either way... don’t deny us the pleasure of reaping the rewards of pleasing you...” Elijah left love bites on her shoulder and neck as he worked down her chest. He nuzzled the soft plumpness of her breasts and toyed with her hardened Hershey kiss nipples. “She’s addicting,” Elijah groaned as his tongue traced her curves.

“She’s fucking perfect,” Nick smirked. He lowered his lips to hers and thrust his fingers deep into her heaven, massaging the sensitive bundle of nerves that sent her into a fit. Marshala panted desperately. Her whole body spazzing from her orgasm. She watched Nick put his fingers to his lips and suck his drenched fingers clean. “Fuck, baby... you know I need more than this...” he grinned.

🔥🔥

Kneeling on all fours, Kiara’s fingers slipped along Leo’s shaft. His precum provided the perfect lubricant as she stroked the hard velvety member that dwarfed her hand from its size. She bit her lip as she watched Leo throw his head back in ecstasy, his hips matching the rhythm with which she stroked him.

She went to tease him for the look on his face when she squealed from the tongue that plunged deep into her puckered star. “Fuck! Alexander!” she panted as she nearly collapsed. Alexander gripped her hip with one hand as he pushed her back down further.

“Spread for me, Kiara,” Alexander groaned. He pulled her cheeks apart and eyed her rosette puckered with anticipation. “You know what I want...” Kiara thought she was going to pass out as she felt Alexander slide his tongue up the crack of her ass before tonguing her down.

🌹🌹

The bed creaked loudly as Elijah rhythmically thrust into Marshala. She wrapped her arms around his neck, holding on for dear life. Her legs had been wound tightly around his waist as she straddled his lap. His head hitting her spot with a vengeance as she whimpered each time he stretched her further. He cradled her head and softly kissed her, a stark contrast to how his body took hers.

Marshala cried out in ecstasy as she reached her climax. She hadn’t had a moment to come down from her high before Nick pulled her off of Elijah and pushed her onto all fours. “You ready for me, Shal,” Nick said, gripping her waist. He immediately rammed into her before she could respond. Her cries were quickly silenced as Elijah grabbed her chin and pulled her into a fiery kiss.

🔥🔥

Kiara’s moans and the rhythmic slapping of skin to skin as Leo pounded into her and Alexander took her from behind echoed in the pool hall. It was wrecked with water, scattered towels, and a broken window.

Kiara still didn’t understand how she survived them having their with her in the pool, on a chair, and against the wall. Now they were on a soaked towel on the drenched floor. She was wedged between Leo laying beneath her and Alexander kneeling above her as they took her doggy style. Alexander wrapped her hair around his fingers and pulled her head back before he sank his fangs into her again. Her whole body shivered with delight.

Her body felt as bad as it looked. Bite marks all along her arms, legs, hips, butt, and thighs. She looked like she lost a fight. Her voice rang in the air as she met the umpteenth climax for the night. She braced herself for what became their routine when they both gripped her hips and waist and pushed themselves deep inside her, spilling their seed till they were sure it was hitting her womb. She knew Leo fucked with purpose.

She collapsed on top of Leo, trying to catch her breath before she felt Alexander roll her over between them. He wrapped an arm around her bruised waist and nuzzled her nose until she kissed him. “Fuck, Angel...” Leo breathed heavily. He smacked her ass and the sound reverberated off the marble walls.

“Are you okay?” Alexander asked. He softly caressed her hip as he looked into her eyes. “Were we too rough with you?”

A smile came to her face as she shook her head. “You guys might have broken me.”

Alexander smirked. “Does that mean you’re too sore for round two?”

“ROUND TWO?!” she blurted. “That was like... ROUND EIGHT!”

“Mortals,” Alexander smirked as Leo chuckled.

“We’ll give her a 5-minute break,” Leo teased. He palmed her ass and slipped his finger inside her sore and wet cunt, eliciting a groan from her. “Then we’re coming for that ass again, Angel.”

🌹🌹

“Take it slow...” Elijah said, glancing behind Marshala at Nick.

“Shit, I know, Elijah, damn...” Nick muttered as he massaged lube along and inside her rosette. Marshala bit her lip in anticipation, wondering how in the world she let them get this far with her.

“Stay with us, mon coeur,” Elijah said, catching her attention. She refocused to see Elijah smiling at her tenderly. “Marshala... there is no greater love than the one I... we have for you,” Elijah said, stroking his shaft. She sucked in her breath as Elijah slowly eased into her.

“And from now on,” Nick said into her ear as he eased into her second hole. “I… we put you first, baby.” Marshala felt her emotions in her throat as her stomach warmed over. Then, her eyes tightened from the foreign and absurd feeling possessing her body.

“Your arousal is so strong, mon coeur,” Elijah said hungrily as his eyes reddened. “But if you want us to stop at any time...” Marshala shook her head and gasped as they started to move in-sync. She never thought the day would come when they’d be close like this. She craved it. Their wholesome love. A tear slipped down her cheek as she swallowed a sob, remembering her visions.

“Shit, Shal,” Nick panicked. “Are we hurting you?”

“No, no,” she said, wiping her face. She looked at Elijah who peered at her concerned. “Tell me you love me,” she said. “Tell me neither of you will ever leave me. Promise me.”

Elijah’s eyes softened as he ran his thumb over her lip. “We love you, baby,” Nick said, kissing her neck.

“And we will never... ever leave you,” Elijah said before, capturing her lips in a passionate kiss.

~*~

Kiara nestled her face further into Alexander’s naked chest, trying to avoid the sun. He instinctively wrapped his hand around her waist and nuzzled the top of her head. She felt something hard poking her backside before Leo slipped his hand around her thigh. He pulled her flush against him and sighed sleepily. It was then that she realized how sore she was. Struggling to sit up, she pulled herself out of their possessive grasps. She saw Leo on her left with a huge erection and Alexander on her right, trying to blink the sleep out of his eyes. She looked around and cringed in embarrassment. The pool was wrecked.

“Crap...” she said. The window was broken. There was pool water all over the floor. And their clothes were scattered everywhere.

“Mm, Angel,” Leo groaned as he grabbed her thigh again. “You smell so good, baby. Come back down here so I can taste you again.”

“Leo!” she laughed as she slapped him in the chest. “I think y’all did enough of that last night.” She quickly scrambled to her feet, searching for her robe. “We have to get out of here before someone sees us.” Alexander sat up and in seconds gathered their clothes before he handed her robe to her. “Thank you,” she smiled. She stood on her toes and kissed him on the lips. He quickly wrapped an arm around her waist and firmly squeezed her backside before she could pull away. “No more, Alexander!” she laughed, pushing him back.

“That’s not what you were saying last night,” Alexander grinned.

Kiara rolled her eyes and slipped on her robe. Leo pulled on his jeans and boots and held his shirt in his hand as Alexander stood in his jeans, leather jacket, and a simple white tee. “Crap... now I wish I had come with more clothes,” she said, realizing how much more dressed they were compared to her.

“We’re not complaining,” Leo winked. They sneaked out of the pool area and just as Kiara reached for the door to her hotel room, Elijah stepped outside.

“Kiara!” Elijah said, looking at her surprised.

She jumped back with a squeal. “E-Elijah!” she said. “H-hi!” Elijah looked at the three of them curiously. Leo’s face was completely flushed while Alexander avoided eye contact.

“Elijah, don’t forget-” Nick said, stepping outside of the room. He froze in place when he saw Leo, Alexander, and Kiara standing in front of him.

“...Nick?!” Leo blurted.

“What the fuck?” Nick said, confused. “What are you doing here? And why’s your shirt off?”

“Oh me?” Leo said startled. “My shirt... it’s off because. I-”

“Went swimming,” Alexander said quickly. “We went swimming.”

“Right!” Leo said.

Nick looked at his brother skeptically before staring at Kiara who was trying to hide behind Leo. “Kiara... where are your clothes?” Nick asked.

“Someone stole them!” she blurted. “While we were... eating?”

“Swimming,” Leo corrected her.

“SWIMMING!” she blurted. Alexander closed his eyes shut in annoyance wondering why he was the only one who knew how to keep it together.

“Uh-huh...” Elijah said, looking at Alexander.

“What are you guys doing here?” Leo asked, directing the attention back to Nick and Elijah. Suddenly it was Elijah’s face that tightened as Nick anxiously scratched the back of his head.

“We had a meeting,” Nick said. “Leadership meeting. Head vampire... Alpha wolf... stuff.” Alexander cocked a brow when suddenly Marshala walked outside with a bed sheet wrapped around her naked body. She jumped startled to see everyone gawking at her in shock as the realization started to sit in.

Marshala flushed over with embarrassment. Her gaze landed on Kiara who had huge eyes full of excitement as her mouth dropped open. “MARSHALA!” Kiara squealed with glee. Marshala quickly grabbed Kiara’s hand and yanked her inside the hotel room before closing the door on the men.

~*~

Leo’s eyes darted from the road to Kiara, sleeping between him and Alexander in the front seat of his truck. Her head rested peacefully on Alexander’s shoulder as she lightly snored.

They were all still reeling from the embarrassing scenario that played out just before they left the hotel. Nick attempted to speak to Leo about it, but all they could do was exchange awkward glances. Leo found himself becoming more comfortable in Alexander’s presence rather than with his own brother. At least with Alexander, there were no questions. They just... got each other.

“I’ve got this really weird feeling,” Leo said randomly, breaking the silence.

Alexander looked over at Leo in the driver’s seat. “About?”

“I don’t know... I just do,” Leo said, staring at the road.

Alexander looked at Leo for a brief second before he squeezed Kiara’s hand and kissed her forehead. A slight bump in the road that led to the Durand coven in the rural parts of New Orleans woke Kiara up. “Are you okay?” Alexander asked. Kiara nodded with a yawn. She stared out the windshield as they pulled up to an old-fashioned house next to a green river and lots of land.

“Sister Alice!” Marshala smiled brightly as she hopped out of Nick’s truck with Nick and Elijah trailing after her.

“Marshala!” A beautiful dark-skinned woman with short brown hair and wearing a long wrap dress came rushing out of the house with arms open wide. They immediately embraced.

“This is Kiara LaFleur,” Marshala said, pulling Kiara in front of her. Kiara looked at Alice and smiled awkwardly.

“We’ve... heard so much about you. Welcome.” Kiara noted that Alice’s voice was warm and friendly but her smile was not. It came out more like a grimace. Alice glanced up to see Nick. “Is that THE Nicholas Volkov? Who used to visit me all the time but then all of a sudden became ’Alpha Wolf’ and figured he was too good for me,” Alice teased.

Nick smirked knowingly as he walked up to Alice and warmly embraced her. “Come on, Alice. You know I’d visit more often if I didn’t have a pack to run.”

“Mmhmm,” Alice grinned. “You Volkovs are full of excuses. Now, where is my adorable little Leo?”

“Hey, Alice,” Leo said from behind, startling her. Alice turned around and looked Leo up and down wide-eyed.

“Well, I’ll be! Not so little anymore! Nicholas, what the heck are you feeding this boy?” Alice chuckled. Leo blushed as he embraced her.

“Shit, nothing. The boy can feed himself. Though... lately his diet seems to be consisting of something else...” Nick said, giving Leo a mischievous grin. Kiara immediately flushed over as she hid behind Marshala.

“Nicholas!” Marshala snapped.

“Chile... I don’t even wanna know what that means. But knowing Nicholas, it was probably dirty,” Alice said, waving her hand dismissively. “Y’all come on inside.” Marshala, Kiara, Leo, and Nick followed her into the house when she noticed Alexander and Elijah keeping their distance outside. “Don’t be a stranger, Blackbourne.”

Elijah looked up at her warily. “Forgive us. We... we did not want to intrude, Ms. Alice. We know that our kind is not...well-received...”

Alice rolled her eyes as she sat down in an armchair in the living room that looked out onto the patio. “Lillian, come on in here. Elijah and Alexander out here lookin’ like some lost puppies trying to find you.”

“Lily’s here?!” Alexander perked up.

“She just finished cooking,” Alice smirked.

Suddenly, a shorter, thicker woman in a food-stained apron ran into the living room. Her eyes grew big with excitement when she saw Alexander and Elijah outside. She let out a screech and a fierce wind blew around them. “ALEXANDER!” Lillian shuffled down the steps and nearly tackled Alexander as he caught her soft, round body in his arms.

“Hi, Lily!” Alexander smiled brightly.

“How’s my favorite Blackbourne,” Lillian said, pinching his cheek.

“Well, hello to you too, Lillian,” Elijah smirked sarcastically.

Lillian looked at Elijah and cocked a brow. “Oh... you.”

“Ouch,” Alexander chuckled.

Elijah shook his head with a smile. “What did I do now, Lillian?”

“You’ve got me attached to another Richardson. As if Steve Richardson wasn’t enough before he died, bless his soul, that little angel. His son is even more adorable. I just wanna dunk his cute little behind in my coffee,” Lillian dramatically sighed as Alexander chuckled.

Elijah grinned. “I thought you’d like him. Was Christopher able to help you find a property for your school? He seemed like the most appropriate.”

“He did more than that. He gave it to me at a quarter of the price! He’s my favorite Richardson right now. And Alexander is my favorite Blackbourne. That leaves no room for you, I’m afraid,” she teased.

“Look how quickly she’s replaced me,” Elijah scoffed as Alexander laughed.

“You better believe it,” Lillian teased. “We’re best friends now. We even took a picture together at the school opening.” Lillian pulled her flip phone out of her pocket and showed Elijah and Alexander a picture of her and Chris Richardson.

“He’s gotten taller,” Alexander smiled fondly.

“And more handsome,” Lillian said, wiggling her eyebrows.

“I am so confused right now,” Kiara butted in. “Who is this Richardson person?”

“He’s... a friend of Alexander’s,” Elijah said hesitantly.

“He’s Elijah’s kin,” Alexander clarified.

“Ooooh,” Kiara said thoughtfully. She thought back to her conversation with Melissa about Elijah’s mortal family.

“Well, while y’all catch up. Kiara,” Alice said, turning to her. “Do you know who we are?”

Kiara hesitated to respond. “You’re… a NOLA witch...and-”

“They’re THE NOLA witches,” Marshala said. “The Durand Coven were among the witches that were hunted down and persecuted during The New Orleans Witch Massacre. There were those who fled to safety, like your family and mine. And then there were those who stayed to preserve our history.

“Our ancestors were the ones who stayed,” Alice said, looking into Kiara’s eyes. “To welcome you back when the time was right.” Alice leaned in. “Is the time right, Kiara?”

Kiara swallowed hard and looked at Marshala. Marshala nodded for her to speak. “I... I know how to break the curse,” Kiara said apprehensively.

Alice looked at her curiously. “And just how did you find that out?”

“Melissa,” Kiara said. “Melissa told me.”

Alice and Lillian exchanged uneasy glances. “Give us a moment,” Alice said as she grabbed Marshala’s hand.

~*~

Kiara sat on the couch in the living room, watching Marshala and Alice speak in the kitchen. Her throat tightened when they both looked at her before talking again. She quickly got up and walked outside to get some fresh air. She played with her fingers and looked at the ground. She couldn’t understand why she felt so anxious all of a sudden.

“Kiara.”

She turned around to see Alexander and Leo walking towards her. She breathed a sigh of relief and ran towards them. “You okay, Angel?” Leo asked as he caught her in his arms.

“Of course,” she chuckled nervously.

“We can feel you, Kiara,” Alexander said with concern. “What’s wrong?”

Kiara dropped her arms from around Leo and held herself. She looked down with apprehension. “I don’t know... I guess I’m just... nervous maybe? What if I mess up, or something goes horribly wrong?” she said, looking at them.

“You’re going to be okay, Kiara,” Alexander said, stroking her cheek. “Don’t doubt yourself.” She looked up at him and gave a small smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes. “Ai, come here, iubita mea,” Alexander said. He wrapped her up in his arms and hugged her tight. “You know that we’ll be with you the whole time.”

“You don’t have to worry, Angel,” Leo added. “We’ve got your back.”

“Thanks, guys,” she said, trying to calm her anxiety. She tried to muster a smile before Marshala walked out with Alice and Lillian. Several other witches trailed behind them.

Alice walked up to Kiara. “We’ll take you to the tomb of your ancestors,” Alice spoke with a serious face that left Kiara confused. Kiara looked at Leo and Alexander for reassurance as they both gave her comforting smiles.

Marshala fell in step with Alice as they headed towards the cemetery. She looked around at the witches following them and furrowed her brow in confusion. “Alice? Where’s Amy? I also haven’t seen Roger or Lya. Are they on vacation or something?”

Alice’s face tensed slightly. “Something like that…”

~

Nick leaned back against a large tree a few feet away from several witches gathered around Kiara. They congregated in a small cemetery where many of the witches who died during The New Orleans Witch Massacre were buried. He could see they were having a heavy discussion. Leo and Alexander both watched Kiara intently from a distance. Nick’s eyes darted from them to Marshala smiling warmly as she held Kiara’s hand.

But Marshala was the only one smiling. Kiara looked terrified. He glanced at the other witches’ faces to see they looked rather anxious. Almost afraid. “Something feels... off,” Nick said.

Elijah glanced at Nick. “You noticed that as well?”

“I thought it was in my head, but... something doesn’t feel right...” Nick said.

“Just keep a keen eye,” Elijah said, staring back at Kiara and Marshala. Elijah watched as Lillian inconspicuously slipped away. She headed towards him with a grim look on her face. “What’s the matter?” Elijah asked.

She pulled his arm and dragged him behind a tree. “You should not have brought her here,” Lillian whispered.

Elijah looked at her confused. “Why what’s-”

“She’s too dangerous!” Lillian snapped.

“Lillian, I can assure you that Kiara is of sound mind. Nicholas, Marshala, and I all trained her ourselves.”

“To be strong and powerful. But did you train her on control?” Lillian asked.

“She can control her power-” Nick started.

“Not controlling her powers. Her aether,” Lillian cut him off.

Nick and Elijah exchanged confused looks. “Her... what?” Nick asked.

Lillian sighed. “The aether. Dark energy. Few witches have it. Powerful witches. Witches who are angry. Resentful. Witches who have succumbed to darkness.”

“There’s nothing dark about Kiara,” Elijah protested. “She is full of pure joy and happiness that has become quite infectious to our family.”

“I’m talking about Melissa!” Lillian blurted.

Elijah looked at her confused. “I don’t understand.”

Lillian sighed with frustration as she tried to find her words. “Elijah, Kiara IS Melissa! Or at least... she is harboring her spirit within her. She emanates her in every way. When she thought Evangeline died, Melissa succumbed to the same aether that we are sensing from Kiara. If this is the case, then Kiara is a threat to us all.”

Elijah and Nick exchanged unnerved glances. “Perhaps you are mistaken,” Elijah defended.

“There is not a bitter bone in her body,” Nick added.

“Kiara has lost her entire family,” Lillian said. “Her bloodline was completely wiped out. She takes on not only the power of the witches that were murdered before her... but their pain, their suffering, their anger... their hate. If that is released the result would be... apocalyptic.”

“She has shown no signs of this,” Elijah said.

“Perhaps you have just not seen it. Who spends the most time with her?” Lillian asked.

“...Leo and Alexander,” Nick said. “She is both of their mates.”

Lillian looked at them surprised. “Just like you two?”

“Yes,” Elijah said curtly.

“Then you must warn them both. Take them out far by the cabins where the witches cannot hear or see you. Your presence makes them anxious.”

“Just a fucking minute,” Nick said. “What exactly are you expecting them to do?”

Lillian looked at Nick. “I think you know the answer to that, Nicholas...”

“Lillian!” Elijah blurted in utter shock. “That-”

“Won’t be necessary IF they can keep her in control,” Lillian said. “But, if not...”

“This is fucking bullshit!” Nick growled angrily as he stalked away.

“Lillian...” Elijah said, trying to fight down the lump in his throat. “You can’t honestly-”

“Elijah, she’s one girl,” Lillian said.

“Whom we love,” Elijah said sharply. “She is part of our family. There has to be another way.”

Lillian smiled sadly. “Maybe...”

~

“What do you think they want to talk about?” Leo asked as he walked alongside Alexander to meet Nick and Elijah.

“As long as it’s not about our, you know... night of debauchery...” Alexander sighed.

“UGH! They better not bring that shit up!” Leo groaned. “Can we fuck our woman without them having to make a damn soap opera out of it? Shit.” Alexander smirked at Leo before they finally met up with Nick and Elijah. “What’s up,” Leo said, leaning back against a tree.

Nick looked at Elijah apprehensively before clearing his throat. “We wanted to talk to you about... Kiara.”

Leo rolled his eyes with a groan. “Listen, Nick. I don’t care what you and Elijah do with Marshala, so you really shouldn’t care what Alexander and I do with Kia-”

“What? No,” Nick said quickly. “That’s not what I’m talking about. We received a warning... from the Durand coven about Kiara.”

Alexander furrowed his brow. “What about her?”

“They have reason to believe she poses a dangerous threat on a... fatal level,” Elijah said.

Leo laughed. “Do you hear yourselves? This is Kiara we’re talking about. She’s a damn girl scout. She’s only ever fought against other vampires.”

“We don’t fully know her capabilities,” Elijah said.

“Seriously, Elijah?” Alexander said, getting upset. “You’re acting like you don’t know her at all. Like she isn’t the sweet girl that stayed with us and made us a family again. Kiara is not capable of what you’re thinking of. She’s pure. Innocent.”

“Alexander,” Elijah sighed. “I know that you love her. But you cannot allow that to cloud your judgment.”

“Just what the fuck are you asking of us right now?!” Leo snapped.

Nick rubbed at the back of his head. “You need to control her, Leo. And I don’t mean her powers. If she becomes... a threat...then you might need to-”

A loud snap could be heard from the sound of Nick’s jaw cracking from how hard Leo hit him. Nick went flying backward, smashing into a tree and cracking it in half. Leo growled angrily as his eyes glowed a bright amber. He stalked towards his brother with a snarl on his face. “DON’T YOU DARE FUCKING FINISH THAT SENTENCE!”

“Leo...” Nick sighed. He rubbed his jaw and cracked it back into place.

Alexander looked at Elijah in shock. “You... you can’t be serious!”

“Alexander,” Elijah said.

“YOU’RE A FUCKING HYPOCRITE!” Alexander snarled. He grabbed Elijah by the collar and shoved him backward, slamming him into a boulder. “YOU’RE A GODDAMN HYPOCRITE! THIS IS KIARA, ELIJAH!”

“I know, Alexander! You know I care about her!” Elijah said. He tried to calm his maddened brother who stared at him with sharp fangs and blood-red eyes.

“Bullfuckingshit,” Leo growled as he pounced on Nick. “Would you do the same with Marshala?! Would you be fucking okay killing the woman you love?!” Nick fell silent as conflict danced in his eyes.

“It would be difficult...” Elijah said finally. “But... Marshala would want us to if it meant saving others.”

“You’re a fucking liar, Elijah,” Alexander snarled as he slammed Elijah backward. “You know goddamn well that you would let the world burn if it meant saving Marshala!”

“Alexander...” Elijah sighed.

“I love her, Elijah!” Alexander shouted as he slammed Elijah back again. “With every fucking breath I breathe, I love her! And I would rather die a thousand times over before I let anything happen to her!”

Elijah felt his heart drop as he watched blood tears stream down Alexander’s enraged face. He had never felt such pain from his brother. “... you have a duty... Alexander...” Elijah said softly.

Alexander looked at Elijah incredulously before he let him go and stepped back. Leo could feel Alexander’s distress and tried to swallow down the abundance of emotions. “Whatever happens to her, happens to us,” Leo said, wiping his face.

“No,” Elijah said, eyeing Alexander. “In a soul bond between a witch, a wolf, and a vampire, the death of the witch is not enough to kill the other two. But... there will be unbearable pain-” Suddenly, Alexander let out a bloodcurdling scream as he fell to the ground. “Alexander?!” Elijah said startled.

Leo growled in agony as he tore his shirt off, falling to his knees. “Leo? Leo! What’s wrong?!” Nick blurted frantically. He tried to grab him, but Leo shoved Nick off.

Leo and Alexander exchanged terrified glances. “KIARA!” they both snarled before Alexander quickly took off and Leo transformed into his wolf mid-run.

~*~

“KIARA!” Marshala screamed as she banged on the hot barrier of energy, keeping her trapped within its dome. She tried to use her magic to try to break it down, but nothing seemed to work.

“Please! Please don’t do this! Please!” Kiara cried out as she doubled over in pain.

“ALICE!” Marshala screamed. “STOP THIS! YOU’RE MAKING A BIG MISTAKE!”

“It’s the only way, Marshala!” Alice said. She held her hand out in Kiara’s direction and increased the electric shock to Kiara’s body. “We have a duty to protect!”

“Please stop! Please! It hurts so much! I can’t- I can’t- Marshala! Please help me!” Kiara was in full hysterics as she curled up into a ball in the energized barrier dome that surrounded her. Her body contorted in anguish on the ground.

“KIARA!!!” Alexander shouted as he and Leo’s wolf arrived. They both ran for Kiara, but an energy barrier abruptly surrounded them in their own dome, prohibiting their movement any further.

“Alexander! Leo!” Kiara cried as she crawled towards them. She touched the barrier blocking her only to go flying back and landed hard on the ground. Blood spurted from her mouth as she screamed in agony.

“LET HER GO!!!” Alexander growled as he and Leo’s wolf slashed at their barrier.

“I’m sorry, Alexander,” Lillian said regretfully as she increased the shock with her magic. Kiara and Alexander both screamed out in pain as Leo’s wolf howled. They collapsed to the ground as Leo involuntarily transformed back into his human form.

“YOU’RE KILLING THEM!!! ALICE!! YOU’RE GOING TO KILL THEM!! STOP!!! PLEASE STOP!!!” Marshala begged desperately through her tears.

“They won’t die with her. We’ve made sure of it,” Alice said, keeping her eyes on Kiara. “He wouldn’t allow Alexander to die with her.”

Marshala looked at her confused as tears streamed down her terrified face. “...He?!”

In seconds, Elijah appeared in front of Alice and roughly grabbed her by the neck. “RELEASE THEM!” he snarled at her with blood-red eyes.

“I... I can’t,” Alice choked out. Nick growled ferociously in his wolf form and slashed at the barrier imprisoning Kiara’s helpless form.

“Release them or I will snap your neck!” Elijah demanded.

“Now, now, Elijah... is that any way to treat our friends?”

Elijah felt his blood run cold at the voice that had haunted his dreams for decades. Alexander looked up through his blood-red eyes and swallowed hard as his teeth gnashed in anger.

Elijah dropped Alice to the ground as she gasped for air. He turned around to meet the cold blue eyes of William Blackbourne. “...F-...Father...?”

“Hello, son,” William smirked. “Oh, how I’ve missed you...”

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