I wanted to kill him, shred him to pieces for all he had done, yet here I was licking him, curing him, just because she had asked me to. Talk about the power of love! Disgust settled in my stomach like a lead ball, making me sick.
The asshole had started moving, his breathing was ragged, but audible now. His pulse was still weak, and his vitals not stabilized. I turned him around to see that the gash at his back was bleeding profusely.
“Dante?” I said, hoping he’d get the clue.
“Eww, you gotta be kidding me, no thank you very much,” he said, shrugging it off. “We can take him to the hospital, and our great doctors can do the rest. Yes, I like that idea,” he grinned. “It will be no trouble, no need to thank me dear Sierra, I’m already on way there, so...” he kept talking.
I saw the pleading urgency in Sierra’s eyes, a worried frown creasing her forehead. Damn it! She was worried over the dickhead. I went back to licking. Then I stopped, call it instinct, or bad luck, but I looked at the skin below the gash, touched the writing in ink, bent to look at it in detail, trying to comprehend what I was really looking at. It was a tattoo of some sorts, but definitely not a man made one. I cursed, punching the floor right where his body started stirring. “Screw this, what the hell is this?” I raged, shaking him. “Wake up, asshole, you’ve got lots of explaining to do.”
“Seth, don’t,” Sierra stopped me.
“Oh, he is now fine, kitten, believe me. But, soon he won’t be. Do you know anything about this?” I asked, showing her the writing.
The nameSierra Trancelliwas carved at his back, visible to the whole world.
“Oh,” Sierra said. “He has tattooed my name at his back.” She looked uncomfortable. “Well, he was in love with me, it’s nothing,” she said, fanning herself, feeling a sudden surge of heat. Then she lapsed into silence.
“No, Sierra it’s not as easy as that. You see, this is not the handy work of a tattoo artist, it is the work of the witch.” I raged against the unfairness of it all, this asshole was not only in love with Sierra, he was mated to her, just like me. This was a mating mark, and there was no erasing it.
“Huh?” Sierra said.
“You are his mate,” I said slowly as I got up.
“No, you are mistaken. That can’t be,” Sierra objected.
“It is true,” whispered a conscious Baran. God knows, how long he’d been listening to our conversation. “I wanted to tell you, but...” he said, averting his eyes.
“I don’t understand,” Sierra said. “How?”
“The neutralizers are all mated to a human, that’s what happened when Abby destroyed the light in us and we received her essence in return.”
“Oh my God,” Dante muttered. “This is bad, so bad.”
“But, what will happen to all the Drakons who were mated to you as humans? Now that your light is gone, what will happen to them?” Sierra asked.
I already knew what would happen to them. Abby had not only shaken the harmony in here, she’d created a new one. It was obvious that the neutralizers were expected to replace the Drakons, once they were destroyed. And, I had a pretty good idea how she was planning to hasten our fall.
Baran was silent, but I didn’t need him to answer that question. “They will go mad, Sierra. Just like in Rawonia, the Drakons whose mates have turned into neutralizers will all go mad, “I said.
“Whew, this time I’m not the one getting the madness,” Dante joked, trying to lighten the atmosphere. But, nothing was helping with the tenseness in the room.
“What the hell are you doing here asshole?” I asked, trying very hard not beat the hell out of him myself. “How did you even get here in your state?”
“What do you think?” he mocked. “I still got some friends who want to see me alive. They must have brought me here through the window. They know she’s my mate after all.”
“What happened to you, Baran?” Sierra asked, with a concerned expression. “Was it Abby?”
He nodded briefly.
“Well, join the Drakon club, buddy. You just switched sides,” Dante said. “Although the mating thing will be a problem with Seth,” he commented thoughtfully.
“Shut up, Dante,” I snapped.
“Can we reverse this? I mean can we get those lights back?” Sierra asked.
“I don’t think so. Abby must have used them all up. Her magic requires light, and she used so much in other universes to stop you.”
“Great, that’s just great. No wonder she wants to explode the world to devour all the lights like a glutton,” Sierra said.
Indeed, I too remembered the words of Rawonia’s heart, she’d claimed that Abby wanted the lights of all humans which would eventually burst out of them if they failed to unite with their Drakon mates.
Baran looked confused, obviously he was in the dark with many things. But, the words that came out of his lips were a shocker to us all. “That is not true. At least, not anymore,” Baran said.
“Oh?” I said, mockingly. “Then how else will she get their light?” I asked, and I immediately knew. It was a simple, yet effective plan. ” She will turn other humans into neutralizers,” I muttered to myself.
“Yes, that’s how she is planning to supply her energy need.” Baran added.
Apparently, even Rawonia’s heart didn’t know about this.
The same turn of events in Rawonia were shadowing us here, the madness, the fratricide. I had to find a way to detect the Drakons who were vulnerable, the ones who had lost their mates. They would be uncontrollable once they got the madness, once more I would be faced with heartbreaking decisions. But, first and foremost I had to stop the surge of neutralizers, any increase in their numbers would mean another lost mate. The vicious cycle had to be broken. And, all of these had to be addressed. But, right now, one thing bothered me the most. How would I get rid of this asshole who was now hovering over my mate?
“This is a fiasco,” Sierra stated. “We have an absolute chaos in our hands, unless we find a way to shift back the neutralizers. Perhaps, Rawonia’s heart can help, if I can manage to find her prison. How do I even do that, oh my God I don’t know, ” she said, at the verge of tears. “Do you know where it is, where Abby keeps her?” she asked Baran.
“Only Abby knows that. She’s got trust issues,” he said.
“I sure hope you are not our bait, asshole, thrown in here to learn our secrets,” I said, trying to detect a glimpse of panic, or shock on his face. But, there was none. Still, I would be cautious when he was around, he had not earned my trust. I doubted he ever would.
“Dante, take him to the hospital, or the headquarters, anywhere away from here,” I said.
“I guess a checkup would do him wonders,” Dante smirked.
Baran lifted his head in act of defiance. The nerve of him, if he thought I’d leave him here with my mate, he was in for a wakeup call. I was shaking with rage.
But, then he gave up, and got up on shaky knees, his eyes glued on Sierra’s as he followed Dante, who was whistling.
“Ssh, be quiet, don’t wake up my parents,” Sierra said, as she let them out.
“Now, we can have that talk,” I said.
“I’m so scared,” she said. “How do we do this? There is so much to do, find the magical prison, my heart, Elvan’s body, and a way to prevent the Drakon madness, as well as stop Abby from recruiting more neutralizers,” she said, almost hyperventilating as she listed everything. “This is impossible,” she said. “Impossible.”
Okay, so we were having a different kind of talk, it seemed. She was scared all right, constantly fidgeting with her hands, chewing the inside of her cheeks. I didn’t want her to worry, not with her heart condition. All my anger washed away, seeing her like this. “It will be all right, Sierra,” I said, taking her hands and stilling them within my own. She was shivering in my arms, like a little kitten in the cold — my beautiful little kitten.
“How?” she asked, opening her eyes wide.
“I know because we’ve been through so much together. We can accomplish anything, I want you to believe in us,” I said. I hated the thought that she was also mated to someone else, and that she had a choice. That manipulative slimy and scheming jerk had left his scent on her, knowingly. And, now he had appeared out of nowhere to confuse her, to win her heart. But, I pushed all that aside, with force. I would believe in us, too.
“I do, I love you so much,” she said, hugging me tightly. Her arms around my body felt so damn good, how I wish I could act on it.
“And, him?” I asked, rather quietly.
“Only you,” she affirmed.
My number one priority, always, was to cure her which would also mean I could start acting on my impulses, I thought with a smile. And then I would accomplish all the other things.
Could I now cure her, I wondered, now that I had shifted? It was a slim chance, but worth trying. I lifted her shivering body in my arms, and put her gently on the bed. “Just let me,” I said, lifting her shirt. She sighed, smiling, enjoying my touch. “I want this, too,” she said. I started licking her where her heart was located. The feel of her skin beneath my tongue, her taste, her scent, all intertwined, and I was in heaven.
“Mmm,” she moaned, her arms pressing me to her chest.
Damn, I was not feeling any change, I could not make her already stopped heart beat again, I could not bring back the dead. She was literally dead, except for Rawonia’s heart which was the only thing keeping her alive. The thought made me flinch. I got up, scared I would lose my control with her.
“No, please don’t tell me this is it,” she protested, frustration in her voice. “Not again, please.”
I chuckled, I couldn’t help myself, this was a replica of the scene in Rawonia. She was so funny in her torment, and I knew what she was going through. Though I was far more experienced, and controlled, keeping away from her went against every instinct I had.
“What was that, huh, what was that?” she asked, almost in a fit.
“I was licking you. To see whether I could help with your heart. It didn’t work.”
“You mean, oh God, are you saying that was just...that kind of a licking?” she groaned. “I hate you,” she said. “I want you damn too much,” she whispered, immediately afterwards, embarrassed with the declaration.
“Me, too kitten.” I added. “The time will come. I promise you.” And, it would. I believed that. But, now the time had come to use Dante more effectively. “I’ll see you tomorrow, get some rest now,” I said, already making plans. I had to talk to Dante. I kissed her lightly, and then leaped out of the window.
I was tired, my energy was almost depleted, I tried to clear another chunk of wall with my scratched and filthy hands, torn, and bloodied fingernails. My dirty and tangled hair lay over my shoulders, falling over my forehead as I was trying to open another tunnel. I didn’t know how much longer I would survive this, I was famished, and extremely weak, I could hardly feel my heartbeat. My only food included the delicacy of the few bugs I found here and there, their taste vile, and disgusting. The first time was the hardest, seeing the creature’s legs and wings move in my palm, its large eyes looking at me, and still finding the nerve to open my mouth and close it, trapping it inside my mouth. I had retched with the first taste, its innards, blood and fluids filling my mouth. I had swallowed the rest without chewing, holding barely on to what was now my only nourishment and protein supply.
Elvan was still lying on the floor, not in her original location as I had tried to move her to bed, but lifting her body had been beneath my energy level, so I had just left her like that, right beneath the bed. I had tried numerous times to talk to her, but she had been unresponsive. I had been so close to giving up, and yet I hadn’t, which is why I was digging another tunnel, this time out of this room. I crawled back, could barely throw myself in bed, my eyes drooping with weariness.
I woke up, my body shaking, my head dizzy. What was going on, was this an earthquake?
“Sierra, my God, Sierra,” she said, and then I saw it was her hand shaking my body all along. “Thank God, you are awake. Where are we?” Elvan asked, looking frantically around. “I tried the door, but it’s locked.”
“Elvan?” I asked, trying to clear my sleep muddled head.
Elvan was awake, I couldn’t believe it. I jumped at her, hugging her, crying. “You are awake,” I said. She looked confused. “You’ve been unconscious since I found you here,” I explained.
“Me? You mean you’ve been here for some time, and I’ve been unaware?”
“Where are we?” she asked.
“I don’t know, I’ll tell you what I do know,” I said, and she listened, without interrupting.
At the Hospital, a few minutes ago...
“Baby, you want me to massage your legs? Are they hurting?” I asked, worried.
Elvan looked at me in reprimand, “Yeah I want a massage, these legs are killing me, God knows what is wrong with them, arthritis, osteoporosis, hell it could be just old bones for all I know. Just lying in this bed is killing me, but you are not touching these legs because they are not mine.”
“As you wish, love,” I chuckled. “I could lick you all over, just saying.”
“No, thank you very much. Sierra...she’d better not hear that,” she warned, looking around reflexively to make sure Sierra was not in the room.
“Sierra has got her own problems now, believe me sweetheart. I feel bad for Seth, that neutralizer has him all riled up. I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes.”
“Yeah? Well, at least he is looking at his pretty Sierra every day, instead of an old woman,” she pouted.
“I may be looking at an old woman, like everybody else, but what I am seeing every day is my beautiful mate, the most beautiful mate one’s eyes could ever behold, don’t doubt that,” I said.
She closed her eyes, trying to hide her teary eyes. I reached to her face, my fingers wiping away a few defiant drops. I held her face gently, but before I could say anything else, her body dropped like lead, her vitals going nuts in the monitor above her, the monitor beeping non-stop.
“What’s going on, Elvan?” I shouted, trying to wake her up, but she was not responding. “Nurse, nurse, someone help me,” I yelled, panic gripping me.
The door opened, and a nurse entered, her eyes checking the monitor. This is impossible,” she murmured, and then checked Elvan’s pulse. “I don’t understand,” she commented, putting on a sad expression.
She was silent afterwards, her face not giving anything away. “I am so sorry,” she said, in the end.
“What are you saying?” I said, gripping her wrist.
“Your grandma is dead.”
“No,” I screamed.