Chapter 42: A Call
“Run away with me, Little Dove.”
I watched her look back at me in a bit of a shock. I wouldn’t have blamed her if she did tell me that she needed time to think; however, I didn’t have the luxury of time with her anymore. Well, I couldn’t give her the luxury of time as...I could no longer be seen with her. When her father told me to stay away from her, I knew that even if I did decide to do as he wanted me to, that would require one of two things: me leaving this house or her being watched forever. Realizing this, I felt as if I had ran out of options, and all that I knew was that I didn’t want to live without her.
Putting myself and my desire aside, I couldn’t leave Celic alone because it would crush her. I never once doubted her strength, because Celic may have been the most pampered of all, but she is a strong woman capable of surviving if she had to go off on her own. That, however, did not mean that she would live her life happily, and that is all that I wanted for her: happiness.
She was the single, purest thing in my life. For that, I felt the need to protect her gentle heart, even if it cost me giving up walking the worlds invincible.
“Okay.” She finally whispered, a fear lingering in her soft voice.
That was all that I needed to hear. I took her into my arms, holding her closely.
“Close your eyes and focus on me.” I whispered.
She seemed hesitant for a second but quickly held onto me as her gaze wandered to meet mine. I planted a gentle kiss on her forehead, shooting her a small smile as I reverted my gaze to met her own.
“I love you, Hunter.” She whispered before closing her eyes and nuzzling her face into my chest.
I held her tighter, placing my hand on the back of her head as closed my eyes and focused on the magic drifting from my fingertips and spiraling from my body to hers.
The shifting of the atmosphere was almost instant and her breathing quickly became heavy. It made it difficult for myself as well, but my focus was on making sure that I kept her with me and safe. As one atmosphere became absolute, she gasped and clenched onto the back of my shirt tightly.
Her body trembled as a pair of whimpers escaped her lips.
“Little Dove.” I whispered as I focused on keeping my own breathing at a steady rhythm.
It was merely seconds after my breathing was stable, but it seemed as if she was still suffocating. Releasing her from my hold, I cupped the side of her face, her eyes instantly locking with my own.
“Breathe. You’re okay.” I tried to calm her.
The way that she looked back at me...I knew that looking into her eyes calmed her until she managed to match her breathing with my own.
“Thank you.” She breathed out.
With that, she planted a soft kiss on my lips and hugged me tightly for as long as I’d allow her to.
Then, I did the most selfish thing I could’ve done: I took hand in mine and walked away with her without giving her a chance to change her mind. I knew that every second that went by was one second more that her father had to realize that Celic was not the obedient child that she was before Silver broke her heart. Celic realized that she could never be happy stuck in a place with no freedom. She had many distractions that made that fact not so important for a little bit, but it was never going to be enough. Maybe she had yet to realize the reality of it, but I doubted that her father was so ignorant that he didn’t realize it when he noticed that she was no longer playing by his rules the way that she was meant to play by them.
Tarlac is wise. So much so that I never once doubted that he had no idea that I would come back for Celic. I never once doubted that he was waiting for me to return for her and perhaps ready to put up a fight. What I knew he’d never expect was Celic actually leaving with me.
It wasn’t long before Celic and I were sitting in my car and I was driving as fast as the car would allow me to.
“Where are we gonna go?” Celic asked shortly after I had gotten us onto the freeway, heading where I had yet to figure out.
“I don’t know yet.” I hesitantly admitted.
I had parted my lips to speak again, intended on asking her if there was any specific place she wanted to go until I could figure out exactly where to take us; however, before I could say word, my cell phone began ringing.
A sigh passed my lips as I drew my hand into my pocket and brought my phone out into my sight. I furrowed my eyebrows at the screen as I read the caller ID: Erebus.
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Celic leaning closer to me, trying to glimpse at the screen.
“It’s my brother.” I confirmed to ease her curiosity.
With that, I tapped the screen to accept his call and drew the phone to my ear.
“Hunter…” Erebus’ voice trailed off.
I’d found it odd enough that he called, and I was certain that something was very wrong at the mere sound of his voice.
“What’s going on?” I asked, my concern being clear in my voice.
“I screwed up.” He mumbled.
“What did you do?”
He let out a heavy sigh, more than likely trying to come up with the words to tell me whatever it was that was bothering him so much that he put his pride down to call me.
After a long pause, he said, “I need you to come here, now.”
“Hunter, please.” He cut me off. “A-And bring that girl, Celic? T-Tarlac’s daughter.”
With that, he hung up the phone.
“Is everything alright?” Celic asked quickly after I drew the phone from my ear.
I didn’t know what to say or what to make out of the very vague conversation that I had just had. It was so unlike Erebus to ever call me for anything, much less to ask me for help.
Something’s really wrong…
“My brother needs me…” My voice trailed off as I turned my head to look at Celic and finished, “And you, apparently.”
“Oh… Are we going to stay there?” She asked curiously.
I shook my head, furrowing my eyebrows as I turned my sight back to the road.
“Of course not, Little Dove. They’ll find us there.” I breathed out.
“Where are we going to stay then?”
“I-I don’t know. A hotel, somewhere, I guess.”
I knew that her not knowing was making her nervous, but the more she asked, the more the feeling of uncertainty grew within me. After this business was done with my brother, I knew that we had to find somewhere to go, because as I stared off into the road ahead of me, I realized that we’d only be able to travel at night. Celic is just a vampire, a Pureblood vampire, but a vampire nonetheless. She could not travel during the day as I could.
Definitely didn’t think this through…
“Hunter?” She called again, pulling me out of my thoughts. “Do you think they’ll use your family to get to us?”
That...that made me feel sick to my stomach. I hadn’t realized just how selfish my decision was until she said that. It wasn’t just my life on the line, it was my family’s as well. They...the Seekers new that if they had any chances of ever finding me without me wanting to be found, their best shot would be to threaten my brother and—or my sisters.
“No, I don’t think so.” I tried to be optimistic. “They may go looking for us there, but I don’t think…”
I had paused mid-sentence, coming into realization of just how much trouble we really were in. If...when Tarlac went looking for Erebus, Silver would be there.
Unless he already is…
I swallowed hard, shooting Celic a small smile.
“Don’t worry about it, alright?” I calmly stated.
I spent the last couple of hours driving to Erebus and thinking about turning around and going elsewhere. I never did have the heart to completely forget about my family, but in that moment, I really wish I had. I never even got the chance to enjoy the little moments of freedom that Celic and I had—if that was what you could call us running away was.
One night...I just wanted one night. As I held Celic’s hand in my own, I hoped that my brother wasn’t as selfish as I was. I hoped that my brother would be the same one that I always looked up to as a kid, the same one that would never call me to go to him knowing that Celic’s father would take her away from me and kill me.
As I parked my car outside of the gates of my brother’s home, I thought about what I’d do if I was, in fact, walking into my death.
It was Celic’s long sigh that broke the silence between us. When I turned to look at her, she had already been staring at me with a sadness that I had never seen in her eyes before.
“If they’ve caught us, it was n—”
“Don’t.” I cut her off.
Suddenly, I had became angry...really angry.
I opened the car door, stepping out of the vehicle. As I slammed the door shut behind me, I saw that Celic had gotten out of the car and before she could so much as take a step away from it, I found myself standing just a couple of inches away from her.
“Don’t you dare say goodbye to me!” I snapped at her, pushing her against the car.
I had planted my hands beside her, keeping her from so much as trying to move away from me.
“No one is taking you away from me…” I growled as I lowered myself to her.
A shaky breath passed her lips, and her eyes bored into my own in a mix of fear and desire.
“I don’t give a damn if I have to pretend to take you as a goddamn hostage.” I spat. “I did not spend the last century making everyone hate me just so that once I found the one that I needed, she was ripped away from my arms. And I sure as hell didn’t spend the last few months putting back together what Silver broke just to have you torn apart again.”
For a while, she was speechless. I wasn’t sure whether it was because she was afraid that by saying something she’d make me even angrier, or because somehow the way that I had approached her and talked to her made her want me—I could smell her arousal.
“I-I’m sorry.” She breathed out heavily.
In one swift movement, I took her into my arms and pulled her to me. I held her closely, taking in her scent and appreciating the little time that we had with each other, should that be our last.
“I can’t lose you.” I whispered.
She knew what she meant to me as I did to her, and with this, she brought her lips close to my ear and whispered, “Once we get in there, do what you have to do."