33 - Father Dearest
“Ow! Leo! You’re such a cheater!”
“How am I a cheater?”
“You’re using your freaking super-human wolf strength!”
“Alexander, am I cheating?” Leo asked.
Several weeks of rest and recuperation had flown by since the trios resurrection. Kiara lay nestled on her bed between Leo and Alexander back at the Blackbourne Manor. Kiara and Leo had introduced Alexander to the strange human phenomenon known as ‘thumb war’. Alexander still hadn’t grasped the purpose of the game despite Leo and Kiara going round after round.
He looked at Leo’s thumb on top of Kiara’s and shrugged. “It looks like he beat you fair and square, Kiara.”
“WOOOOOW!” Kiara said, offended. “So, that’s how it is? Alright, coo. Gang up on the witch, is it?” she said, slapping Leo’s hand away. She went to get up off the bed when Leo grabbed her waist and pulled her back down between them.
“You’re such a sore loser, Angel. It’s so cute,” Leo laughed. He playfully pinched her waist and kissed her neck.
“I’m not a sore loser! I’m just... competitive,” Kiara rolled her eyes and looked at Alexander. “You’re supposed to be on my side.”
Alexander chuckled as he grabbed her hand and tenderly kissed it. “Weren’t we supposed to be discussing what changes we’ve felt since the rebirth so we can report back to Marshala, Nick, and Elijah?” he asked.
“Oh right...” Kiara said, squinting. She sat up on the bed between them and maneuvered so that she was facing them. “It’s been weeks and nothing has changed. I don’t really feel any different,” she said. “Just hungry... like... all the time.”
“That’s probably my fault,” Leo said, putting his hands behind his head. He casually lay back against her pillow. “Fast metabolism. And we Volkovs eat... a lot.”
“I guess if anything, it just seems the connection among the three of us has only gotten stronger,” Alexander mused.
“I didn’t think that was possible...” Kiara pondered. “Is that why I feel like I’m in a perpetual state of horniness?”
They both looked at her surprised. “Are you right now?!” Leo asked, excitedly.
“No,” she said quickly. “Well, yes. But-”
“Angel, if you wanted us to fuck you all had to do was ask,” Leo smirked as he pulled her back down between them.
“I didn’t ask because I swear one of these days you guys are going to break me,” she whined. “You guys have never been more inhuman than when you’re destroying my walls.”
Leo laughed out loud as his hand sneaked underneath her shirt, lightly running his fingers between her breasts and up her sternum. “Think you’re exaggerating a bit, Angel,” Leo teased.
“It’s definitely not an exaggeration,” she said, biting her lip.
“But you’re a phoenix now,” Alexander smirked against her neck. His fingers trailed down her abdomen and over her jeans. They danced between her legs before sensually rubbing against her core. “You can handle us, can’t you, iubita mea...”
“Debatable...” Kiara moaned. Leo’s lips latched onto her clavicle and sucked so hard he left another mark. Alexander put more pressure as he rotated two fingers in circles, causing her to squirm between them. “Guys...” she groaned as her breathing quickened.
“Why don’t we test out that theory,” Leo said, sitting up. He quickly unbuttoned her jeans and tugged them down along with her panties before she could protest. Alexander immediately slid two fingers between her puffy lips, spreading her wide as Leo groaned in hunger.
“Fuck, Angel...” Leo’s tongue left a wet trail up the side of her thigh. His member hardened at the way Alexander’s fingers stimulated her small nub as she got wetter with each thrust of his finger.
Alexander’s gaze darkened as he watched Kiara’s eyes close and her mouth part slightly as she came apart under his sensual probing. He wanted to kiss her, lick her, and bite her all at the same time. The sensation was intense. He knew it wasn’t just his hunger that he was feeling but Leo’s as well.
Kiara panted as she felt Alexander slide his wet fingers up her stomach and underneath her shirt. He eagerly tugged at the buttons when Kiara heard a loud tear and a gentle breeze on her bare chest. “Seriously?!” she said, popping her eyes open.
“Oh... sorry, Kiara...” Alexander said regretfully as he pulled her torn shirt away.
“You guys have a seriously bad habit of ripping my clothes. I’m not made of money, you know,” she said as Alexander easily unlatched her bra and tugged it from her chest.
“Stop wearing such delicate clothes then. Or stop wearing clothes altogether,” Leo joked. He nudged her thighs further apart and nestled between them.
“Leo!” Kiara said with exasperation as Leo hooked her thighs over his shoulders.
“I’ll buy you another one,” Alexander smiled. He gently turned her head and pressed his lips against hers. Kiara moaned into Alexander’s mouth as she felt Leo claim her nub with his lips. Their moans making their own melody within the four walls of her room.
She felt her body heat up to scorching temperatures as she writhed within their grasps. As Leo’s tongue curled inside of her, Alexander drew teasing circles around her pert nipple as his mouth claimed every moan that escaped her lips.
“Goddamn, Angel. You taste so fucking good,” Leo groaned as his lips scoured her heaven. He held her thighs firmly against his head and tightened his grasp in such a way that caused Kiara to go into a fit, and she instantly came.
Leo and Alexander both pulled back in surprise. “Are you okay?” Alexander asked.
“That was... really quick,” Leo said with a tinge of disappointment in his voice. “You alright, Angel?”
“Sorry...” she said, covering her face in embarrassment. “You did something... or touched something that... kind of sent me over the edge...I don’t know what. That’s never happened before...”
Leo sat back, wiping his mouth, and looked at her curiously. “I did?”
Alexander saw her instinctively reach behind her thigh. He gently rolled her over onto her stomach to get a better look. “...was it this?” he asked, rubbing his finger over the back of her thigh just below her backside.
“Oh god!” Kiara moaned intensely. She stuffed her face into the pillow as another orgasm hit her.
“Hmm... It’s your mark,” Alexander said to Leo.
“That’s strange. I don’t remember it having that strong of an effect on her before,” Leo said, eyeing the back of her thighs. “Is it the same with...” Leo’s thumb rubbed over Alexander’s mark on the side of her thigh. Kiara’s body jerked on the bed as she stifled another groan into her pillow.
“That’s an odd side effect...” Alexander sighed as he helped Kiara roll onto her back again. “It may be that your senses are more heightened like ours. Sound, sight, taste, smell... touch.”
“So... we can make you come just by touching our marks?” Leo smirked mischievously. “Things just got a lot more interesting...” he winked at her.
“You better behave, Leo!” Kiara warned. “Ugh, are you telling me if I’m not careful I could accidentally have a random orgasm on like... the bus or in the library? As if my life wasn’t complicated enough as is. Why did you guys have to mark me there anyway?”
Leo grinned mischievously at Alexander who shook his head with a smirk. “Well... the logical answer is that you’re thicker there. More muscle mass so the bite is less painful,” Alexander explained.
“Okay... what’s the real answer?” Kiara asked curiously.
“The view of your ass,” Leo grinned.
“You guys are perverts,” she laughed as she threw her pillows at them.
“Can you blame us?” Leo chuckled. He crawled on top of her and used his tongue to trace up her bare stomach. He wrapped his hands around her hips and possessively squeezed both cheeks. “You have a glorious ass, Angel.”
“Bitable... kissable...” Alexander smirked. He leaned over her and kissed her neck as he teasingly pulled on her nipple.
“And so damn fuckable,” Leo grinned, nibbling on her waist.
“KIARA! LEO! ALEXANDER! GET YOUR ASSES DOWN HERE! WE GOTTA GO!” came Nick’s voice from the downstairs kitchen.
Leo groaned as his head fell against Kiara’s stomach in frustration. “And I thought Elijah was irritating...” Alexander sighed.
“Welcome to the club, Blackbourne,” Leo muttered. He rolled off of Kiara and onto the bed. “I swear I can’t stand his cockblocking ass.” Kiara chuckled as Alexander pulled her up and onto his lap to help her back into her clothes.
“Maybe we can be quick...” Alexander said, pulling her chest flush against his. He wrapped his arms around her and reconnected her bra in the back. “What do you say, iubita mea...” His hands impatiently roamed down her waist.
Kiara smirked in amusement. She stood on her knees and wrapped her arms around Alexander’s neck, running her fingers through his soft black hair. “Nothing is ever quick with you two, Alexander.”
“We went over this, Angel,” Leo teased. “We can be quick... if you can just. keep. up.” He slapped her ass hard, causing her to jump in Alexander’s arms.
“OW! LEO!” she said, tackling him.
“They’ve been holed up in her room for hours every day. What are they even doing?” Marshala said, leaning back against Nick as he held her in his arms.
“Like you really need to ask that question?” Nick said with a quirked brow as he ran his palms over her stomach. “They did come back from the dead so to speak... I’m sure they had some... catching up to do.”
“She at least needs to eat!” Marshala said exasperated.
“Leo came downstairs at one point to grab a few snacks from the cabinet,” Elijah said, pouring hot water into a small teacup. He handed it to Marshala. “I figured it was far too much for him to eat alone.”
“You’d be surprised at how much a Volkov can eat,” Nick smirked.
“Great... This baby is going to make me as big as a house then,” Marshala sighed.
“And you’ll still be gorgeous as fuck,” Nick said, tightening his arms around her. “Besides, the bigger the better. More cushion for the pushin’,” he grinned as he playfully pinched her backside.
“Nicholas!” Marshala laughed, shaking her head.
“More cushion... for the... pushing?” Elijah said, confused. “Is that some sort of... New English colloquialism?”
“Your age is showing, Elijah,” Nick smirked. “But yes... I guess this is what happens when you teach a bunch of college kids. You pick up their language.”
Alexander abruptly flashed into the kitchen with a squealing Kiara over his shoulder. “Alexander! Oh god, I’m gonna throw up,” Kiara groaned as he put her back down on her feet.
“It wasn’t that bad, was it?” Alexander asked, concerned.
“It was all bad! All bad, Alexander!” Kiara blurted. She leaned on the table trying to stop her head from spinning.
“What’s wrong?” Marshala asked.
“We were just discussing how to get Kiara used to our speed,” Alexander said. He grabbed Kiara’s waist to help her steady herself.
“Might have to try another method,” Leo said, walking into the kitchen. He watched with concern as his mate tried not to throw up.
“That’s not even the kind of speed we were talking about!” Kiara blurted before she covered her mouth again. “I hate you both.”
“I don’t even want to know,” Marshala said, waving her hand dismissively.
“Alexander,” Elijah said, getting his brother’s attention. “We need to head out. Go get your brothers.” Alexander nodded before he quickly disappeared.
“We just got word back from Ben as to where he’s holding William,” Marshala said. “Kiara, are you sure you’re up for this?”
Kiara took a deep breath before she looked up at Marshala. “I’m ready to get this over with.”
“So... who exactly is this Richardson fella?” Kiara asked. She was lying on Leo’s lap in the backseat, scrolling through her phone while Cole and Alexander sat up front. They drove behind Marshala, Nick, Elijah, and Peter in the car ahead.
“He’s Alexander’s mortal pet,” Cole snickered.
“He’s not a pet, Cole,” Alexander said, rolling his eyes. “The Richardsons are Elijah’s mortal family, Kiara. Elijah didn’t want to risk being recognized, so he would often send Cole and me to go check up on the youngest of his family: Chris, Charlie, Natalie, and Arthur.”
“And so you’re friends with this Chris person?” Kiara asked. “Isn’t that risky?”
“Yes, but it wasn’t on purpose,” Alexander said, looking out the window. “The Richardsons don’t necessarily dabble in good business. Their work is fairly dangerous for mortals. The brothers have a tendency to... rage out and many people end up dead. Cole and I have tried to get them out of a few binds here and there when we could. Without them knowing, of course. But Elijah didn’t want us to interfere too much.”
“That Charlie is a fucking psychopath,” Cole snickered. “My kinda guy.”
“Of course, you would think so,” Kiara rolled her eyes. She scrolled through her phone and peered intently. “Hmm... they’re kinda cute-OW! LEO!”
“What was that?” Leo smirked down at her with a quirked brow as he firmly massaged her thigh.
“Aw, baby... are you jealous?” she teased.
Leo’s eyes darkened as he looked down at her. “Very...” he said, stroking her over her jeans and between her legs. “Do you want to see how jealous I can get...” he said lowly. Biting her bottom lip, she quickly grabbed his hand and brought it to her lips with an apologetic kiss accompanied by doe-like innocent eyes. “Tease...” Leo smirked down at her. “How do you even know what he looks like?”
“He owns a huge conglomerate of properties in Pennsylvania. He’s all over the internet,” she said, turning off her phone. “Besides... you know I only have eyes for you two,” she said, smiling up at Leo.
“Unless this threesome is going to turn into a foursome, you guys can shut the fuck up or get a damn room,” Cole said.
“Cole!” Alexander snapped.
“The fuck?!” Leo said angrily.
“Are we there yet...” Kiara groaned as she covered her face in embarrassment.
Both vehicles pulled up to a large estate that took up nearly the whole block. “I think it’s hilariously hypocritical that this ancient asshole still resides in one of the oldest Beaumont households, though he claims to reject his name,” Cole scoffed.
“Vampires are stubborn creatures of habit,” Alexander shrugged as he carried Peter on his back.
As the group approached the large door, it opened just before Elijah could knock. Eddie, Ben’s right-hand man, greeted them at the door with an unfriendly look on his face. “... Elijah...” Eddie said coldly. He looked behind Elijah to see everyone else. “And I see you brought the whole motley crew with you.”
“Is this guy important to the plot or can we kill him?” Cole said impatiently.
“We’re here to see Ben,” Elijah said sternly.
“Let them through,” a voice came from inside. Eddie reluctantly stepped to the side letting them all in. Elijah caught Ben standing by a large fireplace reading the contents of an old book before he looked up at them.
“That was rather fast,” Ben said, closing the book.
“We’d like to get this over with,” Elijah said, looking at Kiara. “Kiara is ready.”
Kiara nodded as she stepped forward. “The sooner the better. While I still have my wits about me.”
Ben eyed her curiously. “So, she is a phoenix witch. Interesting ...”
“You can tell?” Kiara asked, surprised.
Ben scoffed. “Of course. Follow me.”
Kiara sidled up next to Marshala as they trailed behind the Blackbourne brothers while the Volkov brothers followed behind. “How are you feeling?” Kiara asked.
“Me?” Marshala said, surprised. “I feel like I should be asking you that question.”
“I’m not the one who’s pregnant,” Kiara smiled.
A huge smile painted Marshala’s face as her cheeks warmed over. “I’m excited,” Marshala said. “I... never saw myself as a mother. In fact, the thought terrified me. But now...” She glanced over her shoulder at Nick and Leo speaking to each other. Nick looked up at her with his bright blue eyes and gave her a warm, comforting smile. “... I’m excited about the future...” Marshala said, looking back at Kiara.
“I am too,” Kiara said, touching Marshala’s belly. “I’m excited to see how this family... our family, will grow...”
Elijah fell in line with Ben as he held his hands behind his back. “How is Alice?” Elijah inquired.
Ben took a quick breath as he kept walking forward. “She is well. I saw to it that she, Amy, and Lillian were safe. They were rather regretful for the part they played in William’s plans.”
“We harbor no ill feelings towards them,” Elijah said. “William is known for how he manipulates others and uses families against each other. I am glad they are safe now.”
Ben hummed in acknowledgment. Elijah eyed him before opening his mouth. “Don’t, Elijah,” Ben said quickly.
“Please, Ben. From one friend to another,” Elijah said. “Do not allow love to pass you by for the sake of your stubbornness and pride. Mortals are fragile creatures...” He looked back at Marshala who was laughing with Kiara. “But they are the most precious thing this world has to offer...”
Ben sighed. “...I will consider your words, Elijah... if you promise not to bring it up again...” Elijah shook his head in amusement.
They walked down a long corridor as the house slowly transitioned from its regal pristine image to something darker, colder, and less welcoming. They could hear voices before Ben brought them to a tall black gate that he unlocked. “Here you are,” he said, motioning them inside.
Kiara stepped inside and immediately felt uncomfortable in the dark cave-like cellar. Ben walked towards a wall and quickly lit a match. He placed it on a slightly soaked ledge that immediately lit up with fire around the perimeter bringing light to the room.
“I swear Sherlock Holmes here is so fucking old school. He’s worse than Elijah,” Cole muttered to Alexander.
“William is chained up behind that door,” Ben gestured. “But first-”
Kiara jumped startled as a hyper Makiko jumped in front of her. “Makiko!” Kiara said, surprised.
“Gina,” Marshala smiled as she saw her friend emerge from one of the closed doors. The two of them embraced.
“I’m glad things worked out,” Gina said, holding Marshala’s arms. She glanced at Leo, Kiara, and Alexander. “This... I did not foresee. And I’m glad. I feel relieved. For all of you.” Gina walked up to Leo and Alexander. “You both have my respect for the sacrifice you made.”
“Thank you, Gina,” Alexander smiled.
“She’s worth it...” Leo grinned. He glanced at Kiara whose cheeks warmed over at his words.
“So... do you still have the power to time travel like Doctor Who or was that a one-time deal?” Kiara asked as Gina approached her.
Gina looked at her confused. “Doctor who?”
“Yes, Doctor Who,” Kiara said.
“That’s what I’m asking you! Doctor who?!” Gina said impatiently.
“No, Doctor Who,” Kiara said.
“I’M ASKING YOU!” Gina snapped in annoyance.
“That’s the name of the show, Gina,” Makiko laughed hysterically. “The name of the show is Doctor Who! You have to be patient with her, Kiara. I’m still trying to get her into Twitter.”
“I’m never getting into that,” Gina huffed. “Anyway... enough with the questions. Marshala said you found a way to remove the blood bond. I’m truly intrigued since a blood bond is impossible to destroy without all those affected being destroyed with it.”
Kiara slowly exhaled as she turned to Cole, Alexander, Elijah, and Peter. “I know how to remove the blood bond from William, but... I need to tether the bond to someone else...” Kiara said.
“That’s not necessarily a solution, Kiara,” Elijah said with concern in his voice. “Who exactly do you plan to tether the bond to? How many people?”
“And to tether us all to a different person?” Cole asked. “That’s sloppy and even more dangerous.”
“The risk seems far too great,” Alexander sighed.
“Well, we can’t just keep William alive and locked up here,” Marshala said.
“Nor did I intend to,” Ben said to Elijah. “Keeping him alive is not an option.”
“Maybe if you guys just let her speak,” Leo interrupted. Kiara glanced at Leo who nodded at her reassuringly.
“Leo’s right,” Nick said. “Kiara, what did you have in mind?”
Kiara chewed on her bottom lip. “The four of you are already so close... The most logical thing to tether the bond to is... among yourselves.” A silence settled around them as everyone digested her words.
“That’s possible?” Cole asked.
Kiara nodded. “It is. The four of you are already brothers. You’re close. You’ve lived with each other for decades. You know each other better than anyone else. It wouldn’t make sense to tether you to a human, like Marshala or me because our lives are finite. And the only other immortal vampire you guys unanimously trusted is now dead. It only makes sense that you guys are linked to each other rather than to anyone else.”
“But, that still puts you and Marshala at risk,” Alexander said.
“Even worse, instead of the death of Nicholas and I or Alexander and Leo compromising your lives, you’re adding two other people to this gamble,” Elijah protested. “I will not allow that.”
“We were already at risk with William,” Marshala said.
“That doesn’t mean this is better!” Elijah snapped.
“If William dies, the Blackbournes die, Leo and Nicholas die, Marshala and Kiara die,” Gina said. “If the Blackbournes die, the Volkovs die, Marshala and Kiara still die. Random third party person dies, the Blackbournes die, the Volkovs die... Marshala and Kiara STILL die. It doesn’t matter which way you slice it. Marshala and Kiara will always be the most vulnerable in this arrangement.”
“We get that, and we’re okay with that,” Kiara said quickly. “Right, Marshala?”
“Of course,” Marshala chuckled ironically. “This has already been my life. Nothing changes here except more certainty. Just don’t be reckless.”
“Well then, we’re all screwed based on Cole’s behavior alone,” Alexander said sarcastically.
“Oh fuck you, Alexander,” Cole said, flipping him off.
“We trust you guys,” Kiara said, holding Marshala’s hand. “All of you.”
Elijah looked at Nick for a rebuttal, but Nick only sighed. “This is the best option we have, Elijah. Even if you still hated me, I know there’s no one else who would protect Marshala the way you would.”
“Keep it in the family,” Leo added as he locked eyes with Alexander. “You trust your brothers don’t you?”
Alexander furrowed his brow. “...of course, but-”
“And I trust you,” Leo shrugged. “That’s all that really matters.”
Another uncomfortable silence followed before Gina spoke up. “So then, it’s settled,” she said. “The blood bond will be removed from William and spread throughout the four Blackbourne brothers. The Volkovs, Marshala, and Kiara are only affected in terms of life or death. They are still connected to Alexander and Elijah through their soul bond meaning you would still be connected on a deeper level emotionally, mentally, and physically.”
“That sounds like hell,” Cole scoffed.
“Eh... It’s not that bad,” Leo grinned at Alexander who smirked in kind. Kiara raised her eyes to the heavens.
“Well then... This is truly the tying of families, isn’t it?” Ben pondered. “And your family continues to grow, Elijah...”
“There are some perks to this,” Kiara said quickly. “Since Marshala and I are the only ‘mortals’ in this, we do by extension have our lives prolonged a bit. So, that’s nice.”
“Oh, so I can die at a very wrinkly 120 instead of a slightly wrinkly 80?” Marshala joked.
“The fuck, Shal?!” Nick snapped angrily.
“I find no humor in that!” Elijah scowled.
Marshala looked at them startled. “Sheesh! Sorry!”
Ben led them into the dark room where an unconscious William was held, dangling from his arms held up. Alexander’s jaw tensed in anger and anguish before Kiara gently touched his hand. “It’s okay,” she said as he looked down at her. “It will all be over soon...” Gina, Marshala, and Makiko lit candles in a circle surrounding Peter, Cole, Alexander, and Elijah. “I need a dagger and a sample of William’s blood,” Kiara said.
Nick pulled out a dagger from his pocket as Ben handed Kiara a blood-soaked cloth. Kiara looked at him startled. “I might have gotten out a few decades of anger,” Ben said nonchalantly. Elijah looked at Ben surprised before he smirked.
Kiara knelt down in front of the four brothers. “I need your blood as well,” she said. Elijah held out his arm first as he rolled up his sleeve. Kiara carefully sliced into his skin, getting a bit of blood onto the dagger before his wound quickly healed. She wiped his blood on a separate clean cloth before she reached for Cole’s arm next.
“You know, this is usually the start of some really kinky foreplay for me, little thing,” Cole grinned. Leo let out a snarl as Alexander elbowed him in the gut. “OW! Shit, I was just kidding. Fuck,” Cole muttered. “Kiara, if you’re ever thinking of switching Blackbourne brothers, it’s not too late.”
“Cole...” Elijah sighed.
“I can still kill you before this bond happens, Cole,” Alexander said coldly. Kiara rolled her eyes as she quickly sliced Cole’s arm.
“Come on, Peter,” Elijah encouraged. He nudged Peter who looked rather apprehensive.
“Don’t be afraid, Peter. I promise, I’ll be quick,” Kiara said, holding out her hand. Peter hesitantly gave her his arm, and she quickly pricked a small cut, getting some of his blood on the blade. Kiara finally grabbed Alexander’s arm as she smiled at him fondly.
“Wait-” Alexander hesitated. “I just... are we sure about this? You’re the most important person in the world to me, Kiara... I... I can’t help but want to think more on this... this is binding.”
Kiara sighed. “You all took me into your home before I knew what I was. You were the family to me that I never had. I’m alive... because of you. I’m grateful to all of you for loving me. And I love you. All of you.” She looked into Alexander’s eyes. “And I trust you. Alright?”
Alexander slowly exhaled as he gave her back his arm. “Alright...”
Kiara made a cut in Alexander’s arm, and Leo absentmindedly rubbed the same spot on his arm as he watched them from the side. “Now, I must warn you,” she said finally. “There may be some... side effects...”
“You’re telling us this NOW?!” Cole blurted.
“There are usually side effects after a big spell like this,” Kiara said quickly. “It’s not usually a big deal, and it takes a while to happen.”
“Am I going to grow a second head?” Cole asked, frantically. “Am I going to turn purple? These are important questions, Kiara!”
“It’ll be fine, Cole! Don’t worry,” she chuckled nervously.
“Don’t worry, she says!” Cole said, looking at Alexander. “What is wrong with your woman?!”
“Hush, Cole,” Elijah said quickly. He watched Kiara start to speak in a different language. The candle flames around them grew higher and more fierce as her eyes turned a bright jade green. She clutched both cloths in her hand as a fierce wind whipped around the room.
Leo suddenly clutched his chest as he felt a sharp pain hit his sternum. Nick quickly came to his side. “You okay?” Nick asked, concerned.
“Yea,” Leo said, breathing heavily. He looked up at Kiara. “She’s just drawing from me. She’s fucking powerful. Shit...”
Alexander immediately grabbed his head as he cringed in pain. Several images, not his own, flashed in his mind of Elijah, Peter, and Cole. He cradled his head and glanced to the side to see his brothers were in pain as well.
When Peter cried out in agony, Marshala tried to run to him. But Gina quickly stopped her. “He has to do this on his own, Marshala...” Gina said. Marshala sighed as she stepped back remorsefully.
All of the candles finally went out when Kiara stopped chanting, and all four brothers passed out. Leo instinctively rushed to Alexander’s side.
“You alright?” Nick asked, kneeling down in front of Cole. “Are you hurt?”
“No, I’m fine... Shit... It’s like a... really bad hangover,” Cole groaned.
“What the fuck kind of liquor are you drinking?!” Nick laughed.
“Shut up, Volkov,” Cole grinned as Nick helped him to his feet.
“Elijah!” Marshala said, grabbing Elijah’s face.
“I’m alright, mon coeur,” Elijah sighed as he sat up. He saw the anxiety in her dark brown eyes quickly turn to relief as she pulled him in for a deep kiss.
Kiara picked Peter up and held him on her waist. “I’m sorry, Peter,” she said, wiping the blood tears from his cheeks. “Are you still in pain?”
Peter merely shook his head as he wiped his eyes. “Just tired...” he said weakly.
“How do you guys feel?” Gina asked.
“Fatigued,” Alexander sighed as he leaned on Leo.
“Hungry...” Cole muttered.
Nick held out his hand as Elijah looked up at him gratefully. “Nothing we can’t handle,” Elijah said, taking Nick’s hand as he stood to his feet.
Suddenly, a deep chuckle could be heard drifting in the air. Kiara looked up to see William’s entire body shaking as his chuckle transformed into a boisterous laugh. “Pathetic,” William laughed as he threw his head back. “Absolutely pathetic.” Everyone looked up at William who had a sinister smirk on his face as his eyes burned red. “I should have killed you, bloody witches, first,” he said, glaring at Marshala and Kiara.
Nick grabbed Kiara and Marshala and pulled them both back behind him and Leo. “You think this is it?” William said with a cocked brow as he looked at his four sons. “You truly believe this is how it ends? You think you can get rid of me so easily?”
“You’re goddamn right it is,” Cole snarled. “We’re fucking done putting up with your shit.”
“You don’t own us anymore,” Alexander said tensely. “We don’t belong to you.”
“We never did!” Peter snapped from within Kiara’s arms.
William looked at them startled before he burst into laughter again. “You think a mere blood bond is what binds you to me?” William chuckled. “All these years under my guidance and my sons are still fools.”
“WE ARE NOT. YOUR. SONS!” Elijah growled angrily as his voice reverberated off the walls.
William quirked an amused brow as he eyed them all. “You are mine. Every single one of you. Are mine. Cole. Peter. Alexander. Elijah. You will always be mine.”
“I’m sick of hearing his shit,” Cole snarled. “Let’s just end thi-”
“What would you be without me, Cole?” William said, interrupting him. “Dead. Helpless. A waste of human flesh. Who found you in the gutter battered and bruised beyond repair? Who saved you from a miserable life with mindless mortals you called parents who beat you within an inch of your life? You were nearly dead when I found you bleeding outside that bar like a dead rodent cast aside without a moment’s thought.”
Cole’s jaw tensed as he swallowed hard. A glimmer of emotion flashed in his eyes as William locked him in a mocking gaze. Cole saw several images flash in his mind of a violent life he tried desperately to forget.
“I saved you!” William growled. “I made you the immortal you are. I trained you! Sculpted you! Brought you into this world. You are a god because of me!”
“You abused us!” Elijah snarled as anger trebled in his voice. “You tortured us! Broke our bodies and our minds and our souls over and over and over again!”
Kiara felt Peter trembling in her arms and looked to see blood tears running down his cheeks. She glanced at Cole, Elijah, and Alexander to see that they all had blood tear-stained faces that barely hid the anger bridling from within. Their eyes reflected decades of torment, fear, and pain finally resurfacing.
Kiara looked at Marshala. “I can end this,” Kiara whispered to her. “He’s messing with their heads again. I can just kill him.”
“No,” Marshala said quietly, keeping her eyes on William. “This isn’t your fight, Kiara. They need to end this themselves. The only reason Nicholas, Ben, and Gina haven’t interfered is because they know the Blackbournes need this. It’s not our place...” Kiara glanced at the others to see the same look of resolve on their faces. She glanced at Alexander who looked overcome with pain and anger. She felt her heart breaking for him.
“I’m disappointed in you, Elijah,” William scoffed. “You were my first masterpiece after Evangeline. You were supposed to be my right hand. You were ruthless. A natural killer. And the most brilliant of my creations. We could have ruled together. I had so much hope in you.”
“I never wanted this,” Elijah said coldly. “I never asked for you to turn me into what I am. You never gave us the choice. You ruled through violence and fear. You think you created a family, but you didn’t. Evangeline did.”
William looked up at him with a smirk. “And now the bitch is dead.” Peter let out a loud snarl as he twisted out of Kiara’s arms. He ran towards William before Alexander quickly grabbed him. William threw his head back in laughter, greatly amused. “Honestly, Peter, I wasn’t nearly as hard on you as I was on your brothers,” William smirked. “If anything, you should be grateful.”
“We’re done here, William,” Alexander said, tightly clutching an angry Peter. “Your manipulation and scare tactics won’t work on us anymore. Right, Cole?” Alexander looked at Cole who still seemed a bit shaken from the traumatic memories that William brought out of him.
Cole apprehensively nodded as he tried to pull himself together. “...right...”
William shook his head. “And Alexander... one of my most prized possessions. I had hoped to do more with you, but you had always shown too many... human tendencies... no matter how many times I tried to beat it out of you...”
Leo tensed up in anger, clutching his fist before Kiara quickly grabbed his hand to calm him. William noticed Kiara and Leo and let out a dark chuckle. “I have truly failed if you still ended up with Melissa’s spawn and a fucking wolf. I’ll make sure they both die a most painful and brutal death.”
Alexander’s teeth bared as his nails elongated and his eyes burned an intense, bleeding red. “Get. her. out.”
Leo knew Alexander was talking to him alone. He quickly grabbed Kiara’s hand and led her outside. “Wait,” Kiara said quickly. “Wait, Alexander!”
“You too, Nicholas,” Elijah ordered. Nick eyed Elijah warily before he grabbed Marshala by the waist and accompanied her outside.
“Release him,” Alexander snarled, keeping his eyes on William.
Ben looked at the brothers startled. “I understand your anger. But he is still a rather old vampire with a superior amount of experience and skill.”
“Not to mention, if one of you dies, you ALL die!” Gina said irritably.
“We are aware,” Elijah snapped. “Release him.”
“And then get the fuck out,” Cole snarled.
Gina looked at Ben with frustration in her eyes. But, he only sighed as he motioned for her and Makiko to move towards the door. Ben walked over to Elijah and spoke lowly in his ear. “I hope you know what you’re doing, Elijah...”
Ben pulled an old lever just as William fell to the ground on his hands and knees. He gave one last look at the irate Blackbourne brothers fuming with rage. Despite his concern for their lives, there was something distinctly different about this time. Perhaps it was the blood bond already taking effect. Or perhaps it was because there was no Evangeline to talk them out of killing their creator. They had an actual family this time, and their lives were on the line. Ben walked out and closed the door behind him, leaving William to his fate.
“We can’t just leave them in there with him!” Kiara said frantically.
“Alexander knows what he’s doing, Angel,” Leo assured her. He wrapped his hand around her waist and pulled her body flushed against him. “You trust him, don’t you?”
Kiara looked into Leo’s reassuring blue eyes that were tinged not with fear but the pain and anger that Alexander felt.
“...yes...” she sighed reluctantly.
“Now that the outsiders are gone,” William stood to his feet and rubbed his wrists. “Perhaps we can finally stop with the theatrics.” William moved swiftly. In seconds, he had all three brothers lying on their backs. He glanced at Peter who trembled violently with anger. “This was rather foolish,” William snickered. “Clearly, nothing has changed.”
He stalked up to Peter and reached for him. “Enough with your tantrums. We’re leavin-”
William heaved as his body slammed into the wall in front of him with his arm bent backward. “The only way you’re leaving here... is in fucking pieces,” Alexander snarled in his ear before he tore William’s arm in half at the elbow.
William growled in anger before he pushed himself backward, ramming Alexander off of him. “The audacity!” he snarled at Alexander, his eyes burning red.
Alexander smirked a toothy grin at William as he let his bloodied arm dangle from his fingertips. “Oh, I’m sorry... did you need this?”
William charged at the three of them as they all dodged out of his way. But he was too quick as he grabbed Cole and slammed him up against a wall. “Seems I need to re-educate you boys on respect!” William said, trying to jam his claws into Cole. But Elijah was already on him as he wrapped his arm around William’s neck and peeled him off.
William squirmed before his body jerked and he screamed in agony. Elijah’s hand was coated in blood as he ripped out a kidney and plopped it on the ground. “You won’t be needing that either,” Elijah snarled as he tossed William on the floor. The three of them cornered him as they dealt blow after blow until he collapsed onto the ground. His body streaked with lacerations.
Alexander’s nails elongated as he went to finish William off before Cole grabbed his arm. “I need this,” Cole grunted as he stalked up to William. Cole leered over William and grabbed him by the shirt as he lifted him up to his face. “Before you die,” Cole said lowly. “I want to make sure you know that I would have rather died than suffer the life you forced me to have with you.”
Cole pulled back his fist and garnering all the pain and anger he had been keeping inside of him all those years struck William so hard in the face, his nose caved into his skull. “You did not create a family,” Cole snarled. He punched him in the face again, fracturing William’s jaw. “You created an eternal living nightmare.” He pulled William’s battered face close to his again. “We hate you. We’ve always hated you.”
Cole punched him in the face several more times until William’s face was almost unrecognizable. “I’m done.” Cole stood to his feet as he dropped William’s body to the floor.
Alexander grabbed Cole’s bicep before he could walk away. “Cole...” Alexander said softly, noting the blood tears forming at the corner of Cole’s eyes.
“I’m alright...” Cole said. “Just finish it.”
Alexander locked eyes with Elijah who nodded his approval. He kicked William’s severed arm to the side before he crouched down in front of him. “I want you to suffer slowly,” Alexander sneered as he grabbed William’s ankle. William grunted as he heard cracking, the bones in his ankle splintering before Alexander tore his foot off. Blood seeped onto the ground as Alexander tossed William’s severed foot over his shoulder.
William still chuckled, and it only pissed Alexander off. “You were supposed to be the most human of my sons,” William said as he coughed up blood.
Alexander gripped William’s other arm at the elbow and squeezed tight. “There is nothing more human than the rage and hatred that I feel for you,” Alexander snarled as he tore William’s other arm off. “You will pay for what you did to those witches. To us. To Melissa and Evangeline.”
“What did I do besides love you?” William scoffed.
“Love?!” Alexander blurted with disbelief. “You call your decades of hunting us down and torturing us love?!”
“You may disagree with my methods,” William said. “But I did what I did out of love. And for a time, you loved me too. I was all you had, Alexander.”
Alexander’s eyes shifted as he glared at William. A man he had once called ‘father’. His Adam’s apple bobbed with uncertainty before he felt Elijah grab his shoulder and pull him up. “Don’t let him get in your head, Alexander,” Elijah said. “His abuse ends here.”
“Ungrateful,” William said. “All of you. Ungrateful. Your immortality is a gift.”
“It’s a curse,” Elijah quipped. “And the only thing we will thank you for is when you take your last breath.”
“So, which of you will it be?” William scoffed. “Which one of you has the gall to finally end your Father. The one who made you great? You’ve prolonged this, and I assume it was for a reason.” Elijah, Cole, and Alexander stood in front of William, watching him as if they were arguing with themselves on what to do. William smirked. “Because you can’t...I told you... you will always be mine.”
William suddenly jerked as his eyes widened in shock. He looked down to see Peter had pounced on his lap with his hand shoved deep inside of his chest cavity. Alexander, Cole, and Elijah looked at their brother in shock. “...Peter?” William said startled.
The red tint in Peter’s eyes matched the blood tears trickling down his face as he peered up at William. “For our mother... for my brothers...” Peter said before he tore William’s heart out of his chest.
William jerked and struggled to breathe as he stared up at his four sons, all looking at him with no emotion in their cold glare. He took his last breath and fell over on the floor coated with his blood.
There was a lingering silence before Cole walked up to William’s lifeless body, looking it over. He hesitated for just a second before he raised his foot and stomped on William’s head several times until his boot finally hit the floor. “Insurance...” Cole said, turning to face Elijah and Alexander. They both smirked at him.
“It’s finally over...” Elijah sighed as he picked Peter up in his arms.
“...then… why-” Alexander choked out before he looked at his brothers. “...Why do I feel so... hollow? So empty? Why am I not overjoyed?”
“...well... because he was a huge part of our lives,” Elijah said. “Terrible... but significant. He was our maker... I feel the emptiness too, Alexander...”
“I hated him,” Cole muttered. “But, I still feel like I lost someone... important.”
“Both he and Evangeline are gone...” Alexander said, trying to figure out his conflicted feelings.
“But we still have each other,” Peter spoke up. The three of them looked at him and smiled sadly.
“You’re right,” Elijah said, affectionately ruffling Peter’s hair. “We still have each other.”
“Alexander?! Cole?! Are you guys okay?! Elijah! How is Peter?! Come on!”
They looked to the door where they heard Kiara banging. “And Kiara apparently,” Elijah grinned.
Alexander rushed to the door to open it, and Kiara nearly fell over before Alexander caught her in his arms. “Alexander!” she cried desperately. She wrapped her arms around his neck and tackled him onto the ground.
“She was rather impatient...” Ben said, stepping into the room. He immediately made a face of disgust upon seeing the bloody mess they made.
“I’m okay, iubita mea,” Alexander chuckled. He held her against him and inhaled her scent. Kiara grabbed Alexander’s face and kissed him intensely.
“Wow... this is so gross,” Makiko said, peeking inside.
“Holy shit...” Leo said, looking around the room. “I don’t think you guys did enough. Are you sure he’s dead?” he chuckled.
“I mean the son of a bitch doesn’t even have a head anymore,” Nick said, eyeing William’s body.
“I’m just going to stay out here then,” Marshala said with disgust. “Elijah, you can come to me if you wan-”
“Gladly,” Elijah grinned. He rushed out of the room and immediately took her body into his arms. Marshala barely had a second to realize he was heading towards her before his lips were already claiming hers.
After Kiara burned the remains of William’s body, Ben had ordered a few of his vampires to dispose of the ashes as everyone headed back home. Kiara and Leo could feel a shift in Alexander’s mood that concerned them both.
“You guys are finally free!” Marshala sighed with content. “What do you say we celebrate with a nice dinner at my place maybe? I’ll even let you Blackbournes feed on a rabbit or something,” she joked.
“Hard pass,” Cole muttered. He coldly brushed past Elijah and Alexander, bumping them both in the shoulder as he walked away.
Elijah and Alexander shared a somber look. “I’ll go,” Alexander said quietly as he turned to follow after his brother.
“What’s that all about?” Marshala asked.
Elijah gave her a faint smile. “...we... are mourning, mon coeur...”
Marshala looked at him confused. “But you guys hated him. He abused you.”
“We know,” Elijah sighed. “It’s complicated...”
Kiara held onto Leo as she watched Alexander leave with Cole. She looked up at Leo and could see the same concern etched on his face. “He’s hurting... What do we do?” she asked.
“...give him his space...” Leo said.
Alexander walked up to Cole lying on the roof of a hospital. Cole’s long ombre hair was spread out around his head as his big blue eyes stared up at the sky. “He still won... didn’t he...” Cole said.
Alexander stared down at his brother as he shoved his hands into his pockets. He didn’t know what to say because he felt the exact same way. Cole’s eyes shifted from the sky to Alexander who had already averted his gaze. Cole let out an ironic chuckle. “Shit, that son of a bitch really fucked us up.”
Alexander sighed with a shrug. “I had dreamed of what it would be like to finally kill him... not as satisfying...”
“Expectations versus reality. Ain’t that a bitch,” Cole scoffed. “Why the fuck does my heart ache over that piece of shit? He’s in my damn head!”
Alexander sat down next to him as he stared over the horizon. “We just... need to start new…”
“Fuck that,” Cole said, standing to his feet. “I refuse to mourn that piece of shit.”
“Just leave me the fuck alone, Alexander,” Cole snapped. He leaped from the roof and took off in a flash.
Kiara sat on her bed wearing a long t-shirt and panties, typing away at her computer. She was the only one in the manor. Elijah took Peter to Marshala’s after Cole disappeared, while Nick and Leo went to take care of wolf pack duties. Leo had offered for her to stay at his place until he was done. But she insisted on staying at the Blackbourne Manor in case Alexander returned. She didn’t want him to be alone while grieving. Leo agreed that was for the best and promised to visit her once he was done.
It was her intent to catch up on all the schoolwork she was devastatingly behind in whilst playing hero. But her mind had been overly preoccupied with worry for Alexander. She tried to focus on her computer screen when she heard a noise and looked to her door to see Alexander. “ALEXANDER!” she squealed, rushing off the bed.
“Kiar-” he said bracing as she jumped on him.
Kiara hugged him tightly, feeling relieved to have him back. But she could feel the apprehension and grief in his hug. “Hey...” she said, gently grabbing his face. His eyes still shined blue but his tear ducts were stained with blood.
She bit her lip as she tugged at his leather jacket, pulling it off of him and dropping it to the floor. Her hands roamed down his firm and tense chest before sneaking underneath his shirt to feel his abs. Tugging on the hem, she lifted his shirt as he pulled the rest over his head.
Alexander eyed her peculiarly as she slowly worked her hands down his waist till she got to his hips. She unbuckled his jeans and tugged them down, making him step out of it. She took his hand and led him to her bed as she pushed him to sit down. Kiara got on her knees and ran her hands over his thighs as she eyed the large tent protruding from his boxers.
“Kiara,” he said hesitantly, grabbing her chin before she could go further. “You really don’t have to.”
Kiara gave him a warm smile. “... I want to make you feel good, Alexander...”
Alexander searched her eyes before she moved his hand and released his erect member. His breathing hitched as her hand barely wrapped around his thick shaft. She slowly worked her hand up and down before leaning forward to lower her mouth over the head.
“Fuck,” Alexander groaned the minute her soft warm tongue clung to his shaft. Kiara worked her tongue around his length, as she tried to swallow him whole. She teased his head with the tip of her tongue before curling around him entirely and enveloping him with her warm mouth again. “Goddammit, Kiara, that’s-”
Kiara picked up her pace as she felt Alexander’s thighs clench. She teased his jewels with her fingers and heard his breathing quicken as he neared his release. Alexander gently grabbed the back of her head, entangling his fingers in her hair as his entire body tensed up. His fangs descended and he let out a loud groan as he released himself inside of her mouth. Alexander’s head felt hazy. He struggled to open his eyes when he saw Kiara wipe her mouth as she gave him a sensual look.
“How’d I do?” she teased. Alexander grinned as he gripped the back of her neck and pulled her in for a deep kiss, tasting himself on her lips. “I just want to be there for you, Alexander...” she said against his lips. He smiled at her as she stood to her feet. “I’m going to text Leo.” She grabbed her phone and headed to the small sink in her bedroom. “He wanted me to let him know when you got back,” she said, washing her face.
“He was worried about me?” Alexander inquired.
Kiara gargled, rinsed, and wiped her face before she looked back at him. “We both were,” she said.
He smiled fondly as he held his hand out. “Come here...”
She walked over to him when he grabbed her waist and pulled her onto his lap. She knelt on the bed, straddling him between her thighs. His palms ran up her waist as he tugged on her shirt, pulling it up over her head. He sighed with content to see she had no bra on and immediately took one of her nipples into his mouth.
Kiara wrapped her arms around Alexander’s head as he pushed his face into her chest, nuzzling her breasts. “... you’re so soft...” he moaned as he gently sucked her nipple between his lips. Kiara felt goosebumps as his lips caressed the swell of her breasts. His grip on her waist tightened as she started to rotate her hips. She instantly felt his erection grind against her core.
“Alexander,” she breathed out.
“The things you do to me, Kiara...” he groaned. Alexander fully enveloped her body in his arms as he moved his hips to meet her movements. As his lips released her nipple, his tongue trailed up her chest before he latched onto her shoulder. His hand descended beneath her ass and his fingers rotated slow circles on her clit over her panties that were dampening by the second. “God, you’re so wet...” he sighed.
She felt his same probing finger hook into her panties before he tore it off of her in one swoop. He dropped the torn damp cloth to the floor. She groaned in annoyance before she felt him lift her by her hips and ease her down onto his erect manhood. She took quick breaths as he gave her just a second to adjust before he started moving in her.
Kiara felt tears form in her eyes as a sudden sadness and a stroke of grief came over her. “Alexander,” she breathed out as his movements sped up. “You’re still in pain... I can feel it... How do I make it better?”
Alexander massaged his fingers in her hair. He pulled her body flush against his, her supple chest pressed against his firm pectorals as he whispered in her ear. “...just love me, iubita mea...”
Kiara gasped as she felt Alexander thrust deep inside her as she started bouncing on his lap. His grip on her was firm and tight despite how roughly he was pumping into her. He buried his face into her neck before she felt the erotic, pleasurable pain of him biting into her shoulder. She felt her entire body warm up with an indescribable heat as Alexander fed from her. His strokes slowed with a fierce intensity as his head hit her sensitive g-spot over and over again. Her eyes turned a bright jade green as her entire body shook with the force of her orgasm.
Kiara felt hazy as Alexander pulled out of her and tugged her down to lay on him. He wrapped his arm around her waist and softly caressed her cheek, kissing the top of her forehead. He could hear her lightly snoring.
Leo lifted Kiara’s window and jumped in. He saw her naked form sleeping next to Alexander who was wide awake. Alexander glanced at Leo who stepped into the room closing the window behind him. “...hey...” Leo said, looking at Alexander concerned. “You good?”
Alexander nodded. “Just... deconstructing...”
Leo sighed as he sat down on the bed. He looked over Kiara and ran his hand over her hip. “Grief with you vampires is one hell of an emotional roller coaster,” Leo said, caressing her bare backside. “Made rounding up a few strays significantly more difficult.”
“Sorry about that,” Alexander said.
“It’s no big deal. If you need to talk... I’m... you know...” Leo said. Alexander gave him a small smile and nodded. They both looked down to see Kiara waking up as she yawned and stretched like a cat in Alexander’s embrace. “Hey sleepyhead,” Leo grinned down at her. “You should sleep like this more often.”
Kiara smiled up at Leo with bright eyes as he lowered his head to kiss her. His tongue snaked into her mouth as his hand massaged her upper thigh before she quickly pushed him away. “Oh my god, Leo! Why do you smell so bad??” she said, covering her nose.
“I’m a wolf!” Leo shrugged. “I was in the forest for like a good hour. Did you expect me to smell like roses?”
“I’m not kissing you again until you shower,” she said, turning her face into Alexander’s waist.
“Bullshit,” Leo scoffed. He grabbed her by the waist and threw her over his shoulder. “You can just shower with me, baby.”
“LEO! No! No! This is not what I signed up for!” she said, hitting his back.
“What happened to that unconditional love, Angel,” he smirked as he smacked her bare ass, causing her to squeal. “Mm... this ass is begging to be eaten,” he said, squeezing her cheek teasingly.
“I’ve barely recovered from Alexander,” she whined.
“I wasn’t that rough, was I?” Alexander asked, concerned.
“Eh, she can take it, right Angel?” Leo smirked as he nibbled on her thigh. Kiara immediately moaned out as Leo felt her shiver over his shoulder. “Did... did you just come?” Leo asked, surprised.
“My mark,” Alexander smirked.
“...oh shit, I forgot... Sorry, Angel. And you’re so fucking wet. All the more reason to shower,” Leo said, heading out of the room.
“But, Alexander!” Kiara whined.
“Oh right,” Leo said, turning to Alexander. “You coming?”
“That’s not what I meant, Leo!” Kiara laughed as she playfully poked him.
Marshala sat on her bed, laying back against Elijah’s chest as he gently rubbed her stomach. The room was rather humid from the intense love they made. Nick walked into the bedroom wearing only a pair of sweats as he dried off his hair after a quick shower. “Feeling better?” Nick asked.
“After that... yes,” Elijah said, kissing Marshala’s temple.
“I’m convinced Shal’s taste could cure all diseases,” Nick grinned as he crawled on the bed towards her. Marshala rolled her eyes with a grin as she tugged on Nick’s ear. “But you’re still stressed,” Nick said, looking at Elijah.
Elijah looked at Nick and sighed. “I’m still not comfortable with this... blood bond... We need to take precautions. Come up with a plan. Kiara and Marshala are still too much at risk,” Elijah said.
“Elijah, we’re fine,” Marshala said.
“I agree with him, Shal,” Nick said. “We need to start thinking about our future. Things are different now. We need to be prepared.”
Marshala exhaled as she looked at Nick. “Any ideas?”
Nick locked eyes with Elijah before smirking. “A few...”