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

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34b. - What Is 'Normal'? Pt. 2

“You’re back!”

Kiara turned around from her locker just in time for her to catch Rhea in her arms as she nearly knocked her over. “I missed you so much!” Rhea said excitedly. “I was so worried about you and Leo and Alexander. I heard you broke the blood bond! You’re so damn badass right now!”

“Well, I had a little help,” Kiara smirked as she readjusted her book bag over her shoulder. “Couldn’t have gotten this far without the help of you and Marshala. Who is the size of a balloon by the way.”

“That’s wolf pregnancies for ya...” Rhea chuckled. “She still refuses to find out if she’s having a boy or girl until birth, but I’m really hoping it’s a girl. There are way too many men in the Volkov family as is.”

“Here’s hoping,” Kiara snickered as they walked down the hallway.

“I heard the Blackbournes killed William too,” Rhea said somberly. “And that they’re not taking it so well...How’s Alexander?”

“He’s better,” Kiara said. “I think going back to school and focusing on our studies will help him to get his mind off of it.”

“Hopefully,” Rhea said. “Ava tried reaching out to Cole, but he’s been distancing himself from her. I might try to get in contact with him.”

Kiara looked at Rhea surprised. “You and Cole talk now?”

Rhea smiled. “Sometimes. He loves being a pain in my ass.”

“He’s a pain in everyone’s ass,” Kiara smirked.

“Any plans tonight?”

Kiara shrugged. “Studying, studying, and more studying?” she laughed. “I’m so behind in my coursework, but a couple of my professors are offering for me to take exams for a large percentage of my grade so... silver lining.”

“That’s good,” Rhea said. “Leo is back at it with football. He really didn’t want to. He and Nick had a whole falling out about it. But he is the quarterback so...”

“Why was he so against it?” Kiara asked.

“Said he wanted to spend more time with you,” Rhea smirked.

Kiara felt her cheeks warm over. “I should go visit him during practice.”

“I think he’d like that,” Rhea smiled.

~*~

Leo sat on the bench in the locker room with his shirt slung over his bare shoulder as he looked at the ground. His mind was preoccupied with the long conversation he had with Alexander about taking Kiara away for a bit for a mini vacation. Alexander had seemed frustrated and adamant about isolating themselves with her for some time for reasons he never shared with him. But Leo agreed. They wanted nothing more than to just spend time with her alone, which was extremely difficult considering how far behind she was in her studies. As badly as they wanted her away from everyone else and to themselves, they had to be considerate of her needs.

“Hey, quarterback.”

Leo looked up to see Jenny in her short cheerleader outfit strolling towards him. “Hey... ah... Jill?”

“Jenny!”

“Jenny! Right. Sorry,” Leo said sheepishly.

“Where ya been, quarterback?” she asked teasingly as she stood in front of him. “Your team has been a mess without you.”

“Yea, my bad,” Leo sighed as he rubbed the back of his neck. “Been kinda busy with family affairs and whatnot.”

“Mmm,” she said, sitting down on the bench next to him. “That hot brother of yours, Professor Nick, getting on your nerves again?”

Leo chuckled. “Eh... It’s a bit more than that...” He thought about how he basically died twice trying to save the woman who owned his heart. He still couldn’t believe how much they went through, let alone survived.

“I get it,” Jenny said, interrupting his thoughts. “My mother can be a pain in the ass sometimes. Like she has the nerve to tell me that I have to spend my summer vacation in Italy instead of Spain because it’s more ‘cost-efficient’. Like what the hell, right? Parents can just be so fucking annoying, ya know?”

Leo looked at her strangely before he laughed. “Sounds like rich girl problems.”

Jenny laughed with him as she touched his arm. “See, that’s what I like about you, Leo. You’re so funny.”

Leo eyed her hand on his bicep and respectfully pulled it out of her grasp. “Thanks. Hey, I gotta go. I think they need me back on the field,” he said, getting up. Jenny bit her lip and eyed him with hooded lids as he pulled his jersey over his tightly sculpted chest. “See ya,” he said, grabbing his helmet.

“Wait,” she said, grabbing his arm. Leo turned around and looked at her. “This school has been through so much,” she said. “You know with two students dying on campus. The university being shut down for weeks after a break-in. Some of the students are traumatized.”

Leo furrowed his brows. “Yea, I know, it sucks. But that stuff won’t happen anymore. I promise.”

“How can you promise something like that?” she asked.

Leo chewed on his bottom lip. “I just do.”

Jenny looked at him curiously before she stepped closer to him. “What this school needs is a pick-up in school spirit. And what better way to do that than with our highly-esteemed football team.”

“I’m doing my best, Jill,” Leo said annoyed. “I need to get to practice.”

“Jenny!” she said, tugging on his arm.

“Right, right. Jenny.”

“I’m not talking about just winning games, which I’m sure you will. I mean giving students something to aspire to. Like... a power couple.”

Leo snickered. “That’s kinda superficial, but sure, if you think so, go for it.”

“I’m talking about US, Leo!” she blurted. Leo looked at her startled. “You’re the hot star quarterback with a winning streak, and I’m the gorgeous head cheerleader that knows how to get our student body pumped,” she said. “That and... I really like you, Leo.”

Leo sighed. “Sorry, Jil- I mean... Jenny. But I’m not really interested.”

Jenny looked at him appalled. “Excuse me?! I have NEVER been turned down!”

Leo raised his brows. “Well, there’s a first time for everything. Besides, I’m in a relationship already.” She scoffed as she released his arm in disgust. Suddenly, his phone went off from the bench. Kiara’s picture and name popped up. Leo’s face immediately lit up with excitement. “Speaking of,” he said, quickly grabbing his phone.

Jenny’s eyes nearly bulged out of her head. “Are you serious?! HER?!”

Leo’s eyes narrowed. “Let it go, Jill. There are plenty of other guys around here that I’m sure would love to date you.”

“Jenny!”

“Jenny! Shit. Sorry...” He turned around and headed outside as he put his phone to his ear. “Hey, Angel... I miss you too, baby.” Jenny’s nose flared as she watched him leave.

~*~

“Normally, we don’t allow students to do this amount of work in such a short period of time, Ms. LaFleur. But Professor Volkov said that you had extenuating family circumstances preventing you from completing your assignments,” Professor Erin said.

Kiara nervously nibbled on her bottom lip. “Yes... I’m really sorry, I-”

“It’s alright,” Professor Erin said, cutting her off. “You’re a top student in my class, so I will not question it. And I would hate to see you fail. Don’t let this opportunity pass.”

“I won’t,” Kiara said. “Thank you.” She walked out of the lecture hall feeling a bit more stressed than before. Her mind was running frantically with how much she needed to accomplish in such a short amount of time to successfully finish her program.

“Penny for your thoughts?”

Kiara looked up just in time to trip before Alexander caught her. “Sorry,” she sighed as he helped her steady herself.

“Are you alright?” he asked, grabbing her book bag.

“Yea, just... a little stressed is all. I swear I think I preferred fighting ferals...” she muttered as Alexander laughed.

“I believe in you, Kiara,” Alexander said. He wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her close. “And I’ll be here to support you along the way.”

She looked up at him and smiled as he lowered his lips to hers and softly kissed her. “Nice shades,” she smirked. She pushed the dark shades up to his forehead to reveal his gorgeous light blue eyes.

Alexander groaned. “My eyes are still too sensitive to the sunlight. Can’t wait for this side effect to pass... and this...” he said, running his fingers through his long, shoulder-length hair.

“Why? I like it,” Kiara said, entangling her fingers in his long raven locks. “Makes you look even more dark and mysterious,” she smirked. “And the stubble on your chin gives you a nice rugged look,” she said, rubbing her lips against his jawline. “Doesn’t bother me when we kiss.”

Alexander grinned naughtily as he roughly pulled her body flushed against his. His hands palmed her backside, squeezing softly as he caressed her lips with his. “...even when I’m eating you out?” he whispered hoarsely.

Kiara pulled back and looked at him surprised. “Alexander!”

Alexander chuckled as he grabbed her hand. “Come. I’ll take you home.”

“Actually, I wanted to go see Leo for practice. Wanna come?” she asked.

Alexander sighed. “That team is flooded with wolves, Kiara. Leo might like me, but it doesn’t mean they do. I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

“Oh, come on, Alexander,” she said. “Who cares what people think? All that matters is the three of us.” He smiled at her warmly as she slipped her hand in his and led him outside.

~

“22! 84! 22! 84! Hut hut! HIKE!”

Leo ran backward and firmly gripped the football as he eyed his players on the field. He spotted his wide receiver and seamlessly hurled the ball in the air with such precision as it soared. The wide receiver caught the ball and ran as fast as he could scoring a touchdown.

Kiara and Alexander walked down in the bleachers and sat a few feet away from the majority of the students watching. Kiara leaned over on Alexander’s lap as he wrapped his arms around her and kissed her temple. She noted the way a few people were looking at them, but she ignored it.

Leo could immediately sense Alexander and Kiara’s presence and looked up to see them far up in the stands. His face lit up with a smile as he waved to them. Alexander gave him a head nod as Kiara eagerly waved. “Doesn’t anyone ever get suspicious of how fast he is?” Kiara asked as she watched Leo run down the field.

“He’s holding back significantly,” Alexander said, rubbing circles on her waist. “Even his throws have little to no effort on his part.”

“It must be hard trying not to give yourselves away,” she said.

“That’s why you’ll never see me playing a sport,” Alexander chuckled.

Leo ran down the field, scoring another touchdown. “WOOOOOOOOO!! GO LEO!!” Kiara screamed, clapping her hands. Leo looked up again to see Kiara cheering him on, which he thought was adorable since it was only practice.

“I see you’ve got more members in your fan club now,” one of the players teased. “Jeez, Playboy Volkov gets all the ladies.”

“Save some for us, will you, Leo?” another player joked.

Leo rolled his eyes. “You guys can have all the women you want. That one’s mine.”

“She’s pretty hot,” one of the players said. “A little close to the dark and brooding fella though.”

“Didn’t you hear? Leo likes to share his bitch with other shitbags now.”

Leo spun around, searching for who the comment came from to see someone from his own pack giving him the dirtiest look. “Shit, Volkov. That true?” one of the other players asked. “Can I get a turn with her?”

“NO!” Leo barked angrily as he kept his eyes on the wolf testing his tolerance. “She’s not some fucking piece of meat for you to try. Call her a bitch again, and I’ll punch you so damn hard you’ll swallow your fucking teeth!”

The wolf looked at him with a sinister smirk. “Yea?” he said, glancing up at Kiara and Alexander. “The bitch sure looks like she likes giving up the pussy to anyone nowaday-” He wasn’t able to finish his sentence before Leo immediately charged at him as they both tumbled.

Leo’s eyes burned bright amber as he snarled and punched the man hard in the face. “I will fucking kill you, you piece of shit!” Leo snarled at him.

“You’re supposed to be next in line to lead us, and you’re letting a damn bloodsucker fuck your slut of a mate! You’re a weak piece of shit! Whoring her out to that damn leech!” the man snapped back.

Leo let out a disturbing loud growl as his teeth bared. He pulled his fist back before violently punching him in the face again and then again until the man’s jaw cracked. Several players tried to pull Leo off as the man tried to crawl away. But Leo easily threw them off. His nails elongated and dug deep into the man’s leg, hitting the bone to keep him from getting away.

Kiara looked on startled as Alexander quickly stood to his feet and peered closely. “What’s going on?!” Kiara asked, frantically.

“Shit...” Alexander muttered. “Stay here.” Kiara barely had a minute to respond before Alexander disappeared.

Leo straddled the man underneath him, dealing bone-cracking blows to his face. His nails dug deep into the man’s chest as he continued to hit him until his bloody face was completely unrecognizable. “THE FUCK, VOLKOV! STOP!” several players shouted. But Leo blocked them out. All he could see was red. All he felt was rage as he punched with the pure intent to kill.

“Leo!” Alexander said, grabbing him and pulling him off. Leo growled as he shoved Alexander off of him. He went after the man again, but Alexander quickly moved in front of him and held him back. “You’re going to kill him, Leo! Stop!” Alexander said.

“YOU DIDN’T HEAR WHAT HE SAID!” Leo shouted.

“Fuck him!” Alexander snapped. “He’s not worth it!” Leo snarled as his eyes burned amber. Alexander could feel Leo’s chest heaving with anger as he trembled with the rage he felt. “Come on,” Alexander insisted. “You’re freaking our mate out.”

The tension in Leo’s shoulders relaxed a bit as his face fell. He quickly looked behind him to see Kiara staring at him with worry in her gaze. Kiara swallowed hard at the way Alexander and Leo were looking at her. She had no idea what happened, but she hadn’t seen Leo that pissed since the soul bond link. She watched Alexander walk with Leo off the field and inside. She ran off the bleachers and back inside the school.

~*~

“I’m not apologizing for what I did!”

“I’m not asking you to, Leo...”

“Then why the fuck am I being punished?!”

Kiara stood outside of Nick’s office, listening to what sounded like Nick and Leo arguing. She figured this is where he would be after he left the field with Alexander. “You can come in, Kiara,” she heard Nick say.

Kiara hesitated before opening the door. She saw Nick leaning back against his desk and Alexander and Leo sitting in the chairs in front of him. The three of them looked at her, but it was Leo’s expression that gave her the most pause. “...Leo..?” she asked softly. “Are you-”

“I’m fine, Angel,” Leo said abruptly. He ran his fingers through his hair, trying to calm himself down.

“What happened?” she asked. “Why did you freak out like that? Did that guy say something to you?”

“She doesn’t need to know,” Leo said before either Alexander or Nick could say anything.

Kiara furrowed her brow. “What am I? Chop Suey?” she asked. Alexander gave her a platonic smile as Leo grumbled to himself.

“You should head home. I hear you have a lot of studying to do,” Nick said.

“Ugh... thanks for the reminder,” she said, rolling her eyes.

“I’ll take you home,” Alexander said, getting up.

“Leo,” Nick said, looking at his brother.

Leo sucked his teeth as he stood from his chair. “If I see him again, I will kill him. I don’t give a shit if you kick me off the damn team or out of this fucking school. I’ll fucking kill him.”

“I’ll deal with him,” Nick said. “But you need to be more careful, Leo. If that was a mortal you were wailing on like that, you’d be dealing with more than just game suspension.”

“Whatever,” Leo muttered. He walked towards the door and grabbed Kiara’s hand, pulling her outside.

~

Kiara sat in the backseat watching Alexander drive. In the front passenger’s seat, Leo stared out of the window, absentmindedly clenching his fists with a scowl plastered on his face. “You feel... really angry, Leo,” Kiara spoke up. “Can you at least tell me what happened? You guys know I hate being left in the dark like this.”

Alexander glanced at Leo whose nose flared and jaw tensed with anger. Alexander sighed before looking at Kiara through the rear-view mirror. “Many people don’t approve of our relationship, Kiara,” he said.

“Interracial? Because I’m black and you guys are white? This is the 21st century,” she scoffed.

“Not that kind of interracial, iubita mea...” Alexander said softly.

Kiara looked at them through the mirror and deeply exhaled her frustration. “Of course...”

~*~

Marshala sighed as she got off the phone with Nick. She wasn’t at all surprised that Leo had managed to get himself in trouble so soon. She heard a sound and looked up to see Elijah standing in the entrance of her kitchen. “Elijah,” she smiled.

“Mon coeur...” he smiled tenderly.

“What are you doing here?”

“Why wouldn’t I be here?” he asked curiously. “Nicholas and I are making sure to keep a careful watch over you.”

Marshala chuckled as she stood from the table. “I’m pregnant, Elijah, not dying.”

“You don’t need to be either for us to make your safety our number one priority,” Elijah said. He flashed to her side and easily picked her up in his arms.

Marshala looked into his blue eyes and smiled as he leaned in to kiss her softly. “Elijah?” she asked as he carried her up the stairs to her room.

“Yes, mon coeur?”

Marshala hesitated, not wanting to ask him the question that had been plaguing her mind. “Does it bother you... that you and I can’t... have...” She struggled to finish her sentence, but Elijah already knew what she intended to say.

“No,” Elijah said, gently placing her on the bed. “Vampires can’t have children, and I’m okay with that.” She looked up at him with a flicker of sorrow in her brown eyes. He placed his hand on her large belly and gave her a warm smile. “But I will love and protect this child as if it were my own,” he said. Marshala smiled with relief as he lowered his head to ensnare her lips in a passionate kiss.

~*~

Kiara laid on her bed between Alexander’s legs bent at the knees, her back pressed against his chest. His fingers absentmindedly played in her hair as he read from a book in his other hand. She looked up from her textbook to see Leo lying horizontally across her legs as he kept his eyes on the book underneath his crossed arms.

Everything felt perfect. She had convinced them to stay with her while she studied, but mainly so she could keep an eye on Leo and make sure he was alright. Her eyes trailed along the curves of his muscles that flexed ever so slightly as he turned the page of his book. Leo’s lip curled into a grin even though he was still reading, before Alexander’s voice startled her as her back vibrated from the deepness of his voice.

“You’re supposed to be studying, iubita mea,” Alexander said, tapping her waist with his thumb.

“I am studying!” she said.

“The scent you’re emanating, and the way you’re looking at me says otherwise,” Leo grinned. He finally turned his head to look at her. “I thought you were a good girl, Angel.”

Kiara rolled her eyes. “Okay, there’s not much I can do to control my scent, alright!” she said as they both laughed. “If I’m horny, it’s both of your faults. Besides, I already know everything I’m reading anyway, cause I’m a boss.”

“Oh really?” Alexander said, snatching the textbook out of her hand. “Perhaps we should test you a bit then.” Alexander and Leo shared a knowing look before Leo sat up in front of her.

“What do you say, Angel? Pop quiz?” Leo smirked.

“You said that so naughtily that I just know you’re up to no good,” she smirked. “But sure. Let me wow you with my knowledge,” she teased as Leo laughed.

“Hmm, let’s see,” Alexander said, glancing over the textbook. “The enzyme cofactor for decarboxylation reactions in the synthesis of biological amines is... what?”

“I feel like you just spoke another language,” Leo said, making Alexander laugh.

“Kiara understood that, right iubita mea?” Alexander said.

“PLP,” she said quickly.

“A girl is smart,” Leo grinned. “That was correct though... right?” he asked, looking at Alexander.

Alexander chuckled. “Yes. But this is clearly too easy for her. I say we kick this up a notch.”

Kiara shifted nervously as Leo leaned forward and hooked his fingers in her shorts before he slowly pulled them down off of her. “This is cheating. I already don’t like this,” she said.

“Oh, you will,” Leo grinned as he tossed her shorts over his shoulder. “Next question.”

“Hmm,” Alexander hummed. He reached around her and slowly pulled down the zipper on her sweater. “What are the first two degradation products in the breakdown of heme?”

“Um...” Kiara said slightly distracted by Alexander gently squeezing her plump chest. Leo stroked the inside of her thigh with his thumb as he kept his eyes on her. “Biliverdin and… Stercobilin?”

“One of those is correct...” Alexander said, rubbing circles over her erect nipple. “Biliverdin and...”

Kiara’s breathing hitched as she felt Leo’s tongue slide along the inside of her thigh. “Come on, Angel, you know this...” Leo said as he rubbed his nose against her panties that were steadily growing damp. “Fuck, you smell good...”

She whimpered as Alexander pinched and twisted her nipple between his fingers. “I’m waiting, Kiara...” he said.

“...Biliverdin and... Bilirubin,” she breathed out.

“There you go,” Alexander smirked as he kissed her temple.

“Give her a hard one,” Leo grinned as he pulled her panties down with his teeth.

“I already feel a hard one pressed against my back,” Kiara groaned as she clutched Alexander’s thigh next to her.

Alexander grinned, readjusting himself behind her. “... See what you do to me?” he whispered heatedly in her ear. He nibbled on her earlobe, eliciting a moan from her. “A hard one,” Alexander repeated as he wrapped a hand around her waist. His fingers gently ran over the warmness between her legs. “Which DNA contributes to the structure of nucleosomes?”

Kiara felt her mind go blank the moment Alexander’s finger touched her nub. She nearly lost it as Leo pulled her forward and slid his tongue deep inside her. “Oh fuck!” she gasped out loud.

“I’m not a biochem expert, but that didn’t sound correct,” Leo chuckled from between her legs.

“I’m afraid that’s incorrect, Kiara,” Alexander said, rubbing gentle circles on her clit. “...want to try again?”

Kiara panted as Leo dipped into her again. He curved his tongue upward, hitting her spot at the same pressure point that Alexander was probing her. Her head fell back against Alexander’s chest as her chest moved up and down, breathing erratically. “Guys!” she whimpered. “I’m g-gonna co-” she started before they both removed themselves from her hot and wet core.

She looked at Leo startled before she snarled. “You’re both evil!” she fumed as papers on her desk went whipping about in the air.

They both laughed as Alexander soothingly kissed her neck. “We’re still waiting on your answer, iubita mea,” Alexander said.

“Get it right, and we’ll let you come,” Leo grinned as he nibbled on her inner thigh.

Kiara groaned as she threw her head back against Alexander’s chest and sighed. “Which DNA contributes to the structure of nucleosomes...” she repeated thoughtfully. “... slenoidal … supercoiled?”

“You’re a genius,” Alexander smirked, tightening his embrace. Kiara bit her lip as she was immediately blasted into euphoria via Leo’s tongue and Alexander’s fingers. She panted desperately and let out a loud cry before Alexander quickly covered her mouth with his palm to muffle her sounds.

“Your beautiful moans are for us and us alone,” Alexander said hoarsely in her ear. He pushed his finger deep inside her and curled upward making her squirm in his grasp.

“Goddamn, you sound so fucking hot, Angel,” Leo groaned as he sucked on her labia. “Come, baby. Come for us.”

Kiara moaned into Alexander’s palm as her thighs clenched tightly around Leo’s head from the intensity of her orgasm. Alexander removed his fingers from inside her and brought them to his lips to taste her while Leo licked her clean. Her body relaxed as she felt Alexander soothingly caress her arms as she came down from her high.

Leo crawled up towards her and pressed his lips against hers, aggressively working his tongue into her mouth so that she could taste herself on him. “See how fucking good you taste,” Leo groaned against her lips as his hand palmed her damp core.

“Please, just take me,” she whimpered as she bit down hard on his bottom lip.

“Yea?” Leo groaned. He pushed her further into Alexander’s chest as he pressed his face into her neck. “You want us to fuck you, baby? Is that what you want? You want us to tear that pussy up?” Kiara breathed erratically, no words escaping, as Leo’s palm against her core picked up the pace.

“Words, iubita mea,” Alexander said, kissing her jawline as he massaged her breasts. “Is that what you want?”

“Yes! Dammit! Yes!” she begged.

Leo suddenly pulled back from her and gave her a teasing grin. “Tempting, but...” he grabbed her textbook. “You should probably finish studying.”

Kiara’s eyes widened in shock before her nose flared in anger. “Both of you, get out!” she shouted, kicking Leo off of her.

“Whaaa?” Leo laughed as he fell off the bed.

She scrambled off of Alexander and pulled the sheet to cover herself as she pointed to the door. “You damn tease! I should shank you both! Get out!” she demanded.

“Kiara,” Alexander chuckled, trying to reach for her.

She used a quick wind to push them both back, and they looked at her surprised. “Out! Out! Out!” she demanded as she threw a pillow at them. “And you owe me when I’m done,” she snapped.

Alexander grinned at her as Leo picked his shirt off the floor. “We’ll make it up to you,” Leo winked before they both walked out.

~*~

The next couple of weeks Kiara spent studying. Leo and Alexander helped her for at least the first 30 minutes before things turned nasty and she had to remove herself from them completely. She had spent the whole afternoon in the library before her big biochemistry exam. She walked up to her professor and handed in her exam, feeling slightly unsure of herself.

Leo and Alexander waited outside the lecture hall, eager to find out how she did. “Is it really a crazy idea to just... run away with her. Get our own place,” Leo said, watching students walk by.

Alexander looked at him surprised. “Yes.”

Leo rolled his eyes. “But why?”

Alexander shrugged. “Kiara is... young. Younger than both you and me.”

“You worried about what our families will think?” Leo asked.

“I’m worried about what she might think,” Alexander sighed. “Kiara may be supernatural like us, but she’s still a mortal. And mortals tend to want... mortal things, like... getting married and having children. And I can never give her any of that.” Alexander looked at Leo. “But you can...”

Leo looked at Alexander strangely. “What are you saying?”

Alexander exhaled as he ran his fingers through his long hair. “I don’t know... I just... hate that I can’t be what she needs. She deserves the world, and I don’t think I can give it to her. Vampires are loners for a reason...”

“You’re talking bullshit, Blackbourne. Just shut the hell up,” Leo said irritably. “We’ll figure it out.”

Alexander lowered his eyes when he saw Kiara come bounding out of the lecture hall with a test in her hand and a huge smile on her face. “I GOT AN A!!” she squealed as she jumped on Leo.

“Fuck yeah!” Leo said, catching her in his arms. He held her up by her ass, her legs wrapped around his waist as they kissed each other ferociously. “We knew you could do it, Angel,” Leo said as she slid down.

“I’m so proud of you, Kiara,” Alexander smiled as he wrapped her up in his arms. Kiara sighed into Alexander’s embrace as she hugged him tightly. He tilted her chin up, his light blue eyes probing her dark brown ones before he tenderly kissed her. “Not a doubt in my mind,” he smirked against her lips.

“Thanks, guys,” she said, pulling back. “One down... three more to go,” she chuckled nervously.

“Piece of cake,” Leo grinned as he picked her up on his back. “Time to celebrate! I believe you said we owe you?”

“I still have class, Leo!” she laughed as he ran down the hall with her on his back.

Alexander shook his head with a chuckle when he felt himself being watched. He looked up to see a few of the student wolves giving him a dirty look. He gave them a threatening look of his own, causing them to step back before he followed after Leo and Kiara.

~*~

“It’s honestly disgusting. I mean, what a slut.”

Kiara stepped out of the bathroom stall to see Jenny speaking to a group of girls. She ignored them and walked over to the sink to wash her hands. “Speak of the devil, here’s the nasty whore now.”

Kiara looked at Jenny with a raised brow. “Excuse me?”

“Fucking two guys at the same time?” Jenny scoffed. “Don’t you have any self-respect? Is your vagina open for business to just anyone and everyone?”

Kiara chuckled dismissively. “Listen, little girl. This isn’t high school. My life is none of your damn business. I don’t have time for you.”

“But you sure have time to get gang-banged,” Jenny said with a raised brow. She held up her phone to show a short video clip of Kiara jumping on Leo and kissing him before hugging Alexander and kissing him as well. It was the moment right after she had gotten back her exam results. “So, you’ve tainted not one guy but two, including our star quarterback? Could you be any more of a nasty ass hoe?”

Kiara took a deep breath as she tried to calm herself. “This trick really recorded me like the creep she is. Heavenly Father... give me strength,” she said to herself before she looked at Jenny. “I know there’s not much going on in that big ass head of yours, so I’ll say this slowly. Back off... and leave me alone.”

“Does Leo know you’re basically a walking venereal disease?” Jenny persisted. “Poor thing probably has to get tested now.”

Kiara’s jaw tensed as she walked up to Jenny and got in her face. “You do realize I’m not scared to hit a bitch.”

“Not at all,” Jenny said snidely. “You people are the violent type after all.”

“The fuck you say?” Kiara snarled at her.

“You heard what I said,” Jenny leaned forward and spit in Kiara’s face. “Ghetto ass slut.”

Kiara didn’t give Jenny time to move back before she quickly grabbed her hair and yanked her forward. Her hand balled into a fist and before she could rethink her decision her fist on reflex had made impact with Jenny’s face not once but twice.

“OH MY GOD!” Jenny screeched, clutching her nose as she stumbled backward. “She hit me! She actually hit me!”

Kiara’s nostrils flared in anger and her eyes flickered green. The water from the sink spurted and soaked Jenny and her mob of girls. A fierce wind blew around them making the girls slip on their heels before they fell to the floor with a plop. The girls scrambled to their feet, screaming like their hair was on fire.

Kiara’s snarl quickly fell once she realized what she did. “Dammit, Kiara...”

~*~

Kiara sat in a chair, anxiously kicking her leg and biting on her nail, avoiding the question she was just asked. “I’m waiting for you to answer me, Kiara.”

Kiara glanced at a very pregnant Marshala sitting at her desk. “Shouldn’t you be on maternity leave or something?” Kiara said.

“Kiara!” Marshala snapped.

Kiara groaned. “Yes, I hit her. And yes, I used magic. I’m sorry, it was reactionary. My smack-a-bitch instincts jumped out.”

“God...” Marshala sighed as she covered her face. “Kiara, you need to be more responsible than this.”

“It was an accident! I know I was wrong, but she initiated it! Her racist ass spit on me.”

“But you hit her, Kiara! Twice! You broke her nose!”

Kiara sighed as she sunk further into her seat. “Right...”

“Outside these walls, when it comes to the supernatural, you’re incredible. You’re fierce. You’re a hero,” Marshala said. “But here, in the mortal world, there are rules, Kiara. And there’s only so much I can do to protect you from them.”

“Marshala, I didn’t mean-”

“It doesn’t matter,” Marshala said, putting her hand up. “Kiara... this world has set you up to fail. You are a black woman. You cannot afford to make these kinds of slip-ups. It doesn’t matter what she said. It’s how you responded to it. We’re always expected to be the bigger person. I know it’s not fair, but that’s just how it is.”

Kiara swallowed hard, waiting for Marshala to finish. “...You’ve been banned from campus indefinitely,” Marshala said reluctantly.

“WHAT?!” Kiara blurted. “What about her?! Why am I getting all the blame?!”

“You can still take your exams. Rhea will hand in your assignments on your behalf. I’m sorry, Kiara. But Jenny is part of a very powerful family that is a large stakeholder of this school. I did what I could to lessen the punishment. If it weren’t for the fact that she made racial remarks and spat on you, you’d probably be getting sued or worse,” Marshala said.

Kiara’s jaw tensed as tears brimmed in her eyes. She jumped to her feet and grabbed her bag. “Kiara,” Marshala said sadly.

“Thank you, Professor,” Kiara said, wiping her face. She swung the door to the office open to see Leo and Alexander standing in front of her.

“Kiara?” Alexander said, immediately feeling her anger and distress.

“Angel, what’s wrong?” Leo asked, reaching for her.

Kiara merely shook her head as she ran past them. They both turned to follow her before Marshala called after them. “I called you two here for a reason,” Marshala said quickly. “Please sit down.” They both shared uncomfortable looks before they reluctantly stepped into her office and sat down. “Kiara got into a fight. She’s been banned from campus indefinitely,” Marshala said.

“WHAT?!” Leo blurted angrily.

“Why??” Alexander asked. “What the hell! That’s not-”

“It’s not really up for discussion, guys. I’m just telling you like it is,” Marshala said. “What I want to talk to you about is your relationship with her. I’m glad that she has you guys. You make her happy, and I can tell the love you guys have is powerful. But you have to understand that not everyone is going to approve of what you have. Not everyone will get it.”

“We don’t give a damn what vampires or wolves think,” Leo said tensely.

“I’m not talking about your people, I’m talking about mine. Humans,” Marshala said. “You have to understand that this world is significantly harder on women than it is on men, especially black women. We’re already stereotyped as being hyper-sexual and Jezebels. You guys are free to be as affectionate as you want... at home. But not here.”

Alexander immediately looked down. He was angry with himself for not being more careful with her in public. “Shit...” Leo muttered. “We just... had gotten so comfortable with each other... we didn’t think...”

“I know,” Marshala said sadly.

“This doesn’t impact her grades, does it?” Alexander asked, quickly. “She’s been working so hard.”

Marshala smiled, loving that Alexander was still concerned about making sure her education wasn’t affected. “Thankfully, no,” she said.

“What else can we do to help?” Leo asked. “Besides... keeping our hands off of her at school.”

“Well, for one-” Marshala stopped short when she felt her seat suddenly get wet.

“Marshala?” Alexander asked. “Are you okay?”

“Well, my water just broke, so no not really. Please get me out of here,” she said frantically.

Leo and Alexander both looked at her with wide eyes. “Okay, don’t panic,” Alexander said. He shot up from his seat and rushed over to her.

“HOLY SHIT!” Leo freaked.

“I just said not to panic!” Alexander snapped at him.

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