Author’s Note: Trigger warning for sexual assault.
☽ KIRA ☾
Time no longer meant anything to me. It passed like the whispering winds on the plains of the midwest, unyielding as it matched forever forward. Moonlight and sunlight marked the passage of days from a decrepit window in one wall of the cell, high above my head. I was surrounded by stone walls, broken only by silver bars that stood formidably across from that single window.
Emptiness was all I had felt for centuries. The rage had died long ago, replaced first by fear, then loneliness. Finally, there was nothing, all at the hand of my former mate. My hope of escape had dwindled because only a second chance mate could free me. But how could they find me if few knew I was still alive and trapped in a cage?
A millennium ago, the last of my children died in the throes of heartache. They were designed for soul bound mates, but as the world expanded some of them rejected the missing piece of their souls for another, all in the name of lust and what they thought was true love. As heartbreak drove the rejected ones mad, they rampaged across settlements before being taken down at the tips of silver swords. Dragon slaying was never just a fairytale.
With their true mates and missing soul piece dead, the remaining dragons slowly fell into heartbreak until they too had gone mad and also met their end at the tips of swords and spears. For the first two hundred years after the last of my line died, my mate begged me to give him more children, but I couldn’t go through the pain of watching them die again.
We were King and Queen of the vampire race and I felt that was enough. I didn’t know then how wrong I was. The King snapped, going on rampage with his vampire brethren, leaving humans, witches, and werewolves under his control after long and bloody fights for dominance. Three hundred years of slavery to the vampire race followed, and I sat on the sidelines and watched it all, believing my love would change the King’s heart.
There came a day when I knew he would never change, when he drained an entire village of people for the pleasure of it. He had truly gone mad and I could no longer sit idly by and watch him destroy the world. I used my magic to sever our bond and left his side, seeking a werewolf pack who were causing him all sorts of trouble. I pledged my loyalty to their Alpha and Luna, promising my magic to help them in whatever way was necessary.
Despite that, I couldn’t kill the King, and now I paid for that lapse in judgment nearly every day.
My only visitors to the dark place I had lived in for five hundred years either sought to harm me, or tried to soothe the wounds left by the first. I knew I wouldn’t die here, because my body kept stitching itself back together, leaving jagged scars everywhere he touched. A thin collar of pure silver encircled my neck, inscribed in runes that kept my dragon and my magic at bay.
ᛙ◟ˎ⠃ ᚽᛁ◟ᛁ, ⠃⸝ᛍᛁᛍ ╵ᚽ⸝⸌⸌ ⸜ˎ⸍ ި⸝╵╵
“From here, magic shall not pass”
I had created the collar myself in a desperate desire to save my children. If they couldn’t shift into dragons, they couldn’t rampage upon settlements and die at the tips of swords. Instead, they just withered away, starving themselves in their madness.
☽ ☪ ☾
Anxiety settled over me as I sensed someone coming to my place of isolation. Dark-haired, tanned, and purely beautiful in every way beauty can exist, Nikolai Grey, King of the vampires, appeared at the top of the stairs. Hidden beneath his beauty and dark green eyes was true cruelty. Judging by the bulge in his pants, the pain he would inflict on me today would be the most intimate of all.
A smirk graced his full lips as I lowered my gaze and his voice was like pure silk as he spoke, dancing over the space between us and wrapping around me like a vice.
“You’re allowed to stare at it. It is for you,” he said, darkly.
Once upon a time that voice soothed my fears and whispered sweetly to me of love. There was no love there now, only primal need and a sense that he owned me. There was some truth to the second part. He owned me in nearly every way. Only my heart wasn’t his any longer, a fact that he had taken out of me at the end of a whip many times before.
I didn’t answer his statement as there was no need. The only response he sought was one where my body betrayed me and gave into his touch. I had stopped fighting it long ago, letting the venom from his bite work its way through my body and carry me off to a place of bliss. The less I fought, the faster he left me to my prison of solitude once more.
The lock clicked in the silver gate, and he entered, gliding over the stone floor with ease. His presence immediately made the space seem smaller and more suffocating. As the gate settled back into place, he started giving orders he expected me to obey without question, orders I hadn’t fought in at least half a century.
“Stand up,” he spat out.
I slid up the wall I had been sitting against until I stood, a full half a foot shorter than his six-foot frame. I avoided his gaze, keeping my eyes downcast. In two quick strides, he was in front of me. A hand slipped around my throat as he used his thumb to force me to meet his eyes.
“You always try so hard to pretend you don’t enjoy this,” he murmured.
“You cheat, with your venom,” I spit back, a modicum of hatred seeping into my voice.
He laughed as his smirk darkened and he tilted my head to the right before running his nose over the most prominent vein in my neck. I shivered involuntarily; the feeling working its way down my spine and straight to my core. My body was already betraying me. He left kisses as soft as snowflakes up and down my neck as he pressed his hardened length against me.
There was a pinprick of pain as teeth sliced into the delicate skin of my throat. A gasp slipped past my lips as I reached and wrapped both hands around the arm he was using to hold me by the neck. There was a moment of instinctual panic before his venom roared through my body like an unchecked fire.
Vampire venom was like a drug to its victims. It made you soar higher than anything man could ever make. Many members of the other species had become slaves to it, offering themselves as walking blood bags to any vampire they came across just to chase that high. It was a feeling of bliss. All the pain, all the emptiness of your life left your body and your mind and all you felt was pure ecstasy.
I went limp against Nikolai and he smoothly picked me up with a hand under my rear end and pressed me more firmly against the wall. As the venom muddled my senses, I couldn’t help wrapping my legs around him, all desire to push him away gone as I tried to pull him closer. I’m supposed to hate this man, hate what he’s doing to me, but my thoughts are incoherent and warped. I helped him further by pulling my dress up past my waist as he unbuttoned his pants.
“Good girl,” he whispered against my neck and I preened under the words. My hands slid down his arm and fisted in his shirt as he thrust into me in one smooth motion. The cry that tumbled from my lips was involuntary and I would feel shame for it later, if I remembered doing it.
“Always so ready for me,” he groaned as his hips moved at an agonizing pace.
Everything was going so painfully slow I felt I might come apart as my body reached for more. My grip on his shirt and my legs around his waist tightened as I tried to make him go faster, to give me what I thought I needed.
“Nikolai, please,” I gasp out. It’s not a protest against his assault on my body, but a begging plea for release.
He let go of my throat, knowing that he had me and slid his hand down my body to my hip. His pace quickened and roughened as he slammed into me. The only response I could give was desperate whimpers that turned into moans against my frayed will.
Resting his forehead against mine, he watches my eyes as his pace quickens even more. They’ve glazed over because of his venom, but they’re still a beautiful icy blue despite how many times he’s tried to snuff the light from them. Something coiled inside me, ready to snap and my moans stumbled out louder. I was so close to release I was being driven crazy.
His hand moved from my hip to the space between us and his fingertips danced over the bundle of nerves that lived there. Just as he slammed into me once more, he pressed down on the little button of pleasure and it sent me sailing over the edge. A scream tore itself from my throat and he smiled.
For a moment, but only a moment, I saw my Niki, the man I once loved. In my delirium I tilted my head forward to kiss him but he ripped his face away from me. His hand returned to my throat and pinned me against the wall once more. His pace was brutal, no longer concerned about the pleasure that made my blood taste sweeter as he sucked on my neck once more. Another orgasm is ripped from me as he finds his own release.
“Fuck Kira, you’re such a good little whore,” he moaned.
I flinch, and the fog of the venom clears. I’m reminded once more that the old Nikolai Grey is gone and in his place is a sadistic man who would kill me if given the knowledge how. A knowing smirk spread across his face as he dropped me onto the hard floor. I hurried to fix my dress, but my movements were slow and uncoordinated. His venom still coursed its way through me.
It took me a long moment to notice we were no longer alone. Blue eyes bore into me with worry as Nikolai ordered him to have me ready in case he wanted me again. The King then left, whistling in contentment as he walked out of my cell and back down the stairs.
The man with the blue eyes and hair so blonde it’s almost white knelt beside me, helping me straighten my dress. The absurdity of it all made me giggle in my still drugged state. The King’s assassin was helping me fix my dress.
Lucah Rossi was his second in command, and my only friend in this deity forsaken place. He had remained my protector long after the King threw me into my tower, too loyal for his own good. He worked tirelessly to find a way out for me, something I was eternally grateful for. But, I also wished he would stop before Nikolai caught him and killed him for it.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t stop him this time,” he whispered as he slid a needle into my arm and hung a bag of fluids to restore the energy taken from Nikolai’s feeding.
He sat beside me like he always did as I nodded my head, too high and tired to do anything more. Sometimes Nikolai didn’t come for weeks at a time. I never knew the details as to why, only that Lucah was responsible. Somehow he kept the King away from me. I never asked how because I was sure it involved an abundance of live blood bags and I didn’t really want to know.
“The werewolves will be here today for their treaty resigning, maybe one of them will be who we have been looking for,” he said.
Every one hundred years the other species met with the King to negotiate a treaty that was signed five hundred years ago at the end of a war that cost many lives, but left everyone with relative freedom. I had helped start that war and I had been the one to end it, sacrificing myself in exchange for Nikolai’s signature, bound by blood magic. I hadn’t counted on being collared when I presented him with the piece of parchment that would change the world. My intentions had been to finally kill him but I wasn’t fast enough.
“We’re never going to find him, Lucah. I don’t know why you keep trying,” I replied.
“Because you’re my Queen. Finding your second chance mate is how I free you,” he answered.
Eons ago, when I made the silver collar that now encircled my neck, I wrote a spell that would break the runes. It required the blood of one’s mate to work. I had been waiting centuries to see if fate would give me another chance at the missing piece of my soul. Every time visitors came to the castle Lucah found a reason to lead them past my tower, knowing if one of them was my mate, he would sense me and demand to claim me.
Regret seeped out of Lucah like a tidal wave washing over me. It was caused by the knowledge that he had not found the one yet, and that it wasn’t him. Many times I wished it was him, but fate clearly had other plans and didn’t care for my fickle desires. Still, he remained hopeful that even after all this time had passed, one day he would find the one who could free me.
“What will you do if a werewolf reacts to my scent?” I muttered.
“Let him seek you out, so we can be sure. Remember to tell him to find me as soon as possible,” he answered.
“Only if he’s here Lucah, only if he’s here,” I replied and drifted off to sleep.