Chapter 44: Single-Sided
What seemed like the longest drive of my life had been filled with nothing but silence.
In several occasions, Celic had tried to converse with me, but I simply wouldn’t allow it. There wasn’t anything that I had to say to her. I wasn’t trying to upset her or make her regret her decision to leave with me, but when I stood in the same room as her and Silver again, watching her nearly run after her, I couldn’t help but think about regret on my behalf.
When we finally settled into the room that I had rented us in some fancy hotel, I sat at the edge of the bed, drowning myself in my own thoughts as I waited for Celic to finish what I knew would be a long shower. I wasn’t sure what I’d say to her, if I decided to say anything at all.
I can’t force her to love me, and I can’t force her to want me more than she wants Silver. If anyone deserves anything, it’s Celic and her choices.
“What’s wrong with you?” Her voice drew me away from my thoughts.
I shifted my gaze to meet her, eyeing her as she stood at the doorway in black panties and a white tank top. When my eyes finally met hers, she asked, “Hunter, did I do something wrong?”
No, Little Dove. You did nothing wrong.
After a moment’s pause, I gently asked, “Do you still love her?”
She didn’t seem fazed by the question, and she didn’t react very much to it. It was disappointing.
When I lowered my gaze, bowing my head just slightly, a soft sigh parted her lips. I saw the bathroom light suddenly go off, and she walked to me.
“Silver? Yes, of course I do.” She said as she sat next to me. “She’s my best friend. I’ll always love her, but not the way that I love you.”
She took my hand in hers and I shifted my gaze to meet her own.
“I ran away with you for you and me, not me and her.” She softly explained.
I believed her, and in that moment, I felt like a complete idiot. I should’ve known better. Celic would never lie, especially not about her feelings. She is the only person that I knew that was never ashamed to feel or speak of the way that she felt. She is stronger than I’d ever be.
“I’m sorry.” I sincerely apologized.
With that, she moved to me, pressing her lips against my own. Of what I thought would only be a gentle kiss, she quickly turned to a hungry and desperate one. Without hesitating, she threw herself onto me, straddling me as her hands reached for my shirt and pulled it from my body.
It was hard to control myself once her lips began trailing soft kisses down my neck. I felt my member harden and press against my jeans as she began to rub her core against me. I wanted to have her, so badly, I did.
However, the more I thought about it, the less I wanted to have her tonight. I didn’t want to make love to her with the thought that we’d get caught tomorrow. I didn’t want to love her knowing that the reason she’d be so willing to let me is because she believed that as well.
No, I’d love her all she wanted once I knew that we were safe. I’d take her as many time and as hard as she wanted me to once I knew that she was safe.
“I know what you’re doing…” I whispered.
Using her willingness to my advantage, I laid back and flipped myself on top of her. With this, I picked her up and moved us till her head rested on the pillow, and resisting her as best as I could, I lifted myself off of her and breathed out, “Not tonight.”
She furrowed her eyebrows at me, confused by my actions.
“When I know that we’re both safe,” I explained, “then we can love each other as much as we want.”
I knew that she understood my reasons, but it didn’t seem enough for her.
“I’m making you mine tonight.” She whispered.
She placed her hand behind my neck, and before I could protest, she pulled me down to her and murmured into my ear, “Not for us but for them.”
I felt her fangs gently brush my neck, and I involuntarily took a sharp breath as she pierced my skin. She took her unoccupied hand and gently ran it down my back as she drank my blood and created the single-sided bond between us. I never resisted and I didn’t want to, even if it meant that she had total control over me now.
“Celic…” I softly moaned into her ear as my body fell into a wave of euphoric shock.
As good as my blood may have tasted to her, she knew that she had to stop before she completely drained me. I wouldn’t have minded if she did, but if she did, I’d need far too much blood to recover, and that meant leaving a very long trail of corpse that would lead her father straight to us.
A part of me wanted to protest when she retracted her fangs from my neck. It wasn’t until she planted another kiss on my lips, that I realized that she intended that I be the only one marked tonight.
“Good night, Hunter.” She mumbled as she gently pushed me off of her.
She turned on her side, facing me, and with a small smile on her lips, she closed her eyes and allowed herself to fall into a deep slumber.
You never cease to surprise me…
I caressed the side of her face, admiring her gentle features. I felt a warmth in my heart that I had never felt before, and it oddly had everything to do with the mark that now resided on the side of my neck.
This mark… Seen by anyone else, this mark did not mean “love”. It did not mean love because I did not return it to her. When a vampire bites another and marks them, they are claiming ownership, and without the recipient of the mark returning it to the giver, the mark grants the giver ultimate power over the recipient. It is a common brand for the significant slaves of Purebloods.
Unlike the intentions of those who single-sidedly mark their inferior beings, Celic marked me for the same reason I’d have marked her if the situation was reversed: her father.
As cruel as this mark may be if unequal to the owner, should anything happen to the owner’s subject, the owner would greatly suffer. In some cases, the owner suffers so much that the pain of the subject having been destroyed will kill the owner.
With ultimate power comes ultimate sacrifice. This is why it is only common among Purebloods—a Seeker would never risk that kind of torment over a subject that can be easily controlled in other ways.
My eyes widened as the thought of Silver returned to my mind.
I was careful to lift myself off of the bed in my attempt to not wake Celic. Unlike her, I didn’t need sleep.
I grabbed my cell phone out of my pocket and scrolled through my list of contacts until I came across Erebus’ and I stopped. I stared at the screen, thinking about how I’d explain to him that the woman he’d been keeping as a pet is actually Andrew’s granddaughter.
I couldn’t let him sit there defenseless. There was no way that Tarlac wasn’t going to go looking for me at Erebus’ house, and I felt ultimate remorse and pain as I realized what I’d just done to my family. However, there was no way that I could take it back.
I’d selfishly gone too far.
I rose my phone to my ear, waiting impatiently as the phone continued to ring.
I’m so sorry…
“What is it?” Erebus’ voice broke the final ring, my heart sinking to my stomach as I came to the realization that that may have been the last time I’d ever hear his voice again.
“Hey um…” My voice shook. “Tarlac doesn’t know that I brought Celic with me.”
“Okay? You took her home right after. Don’t worry about it.” Erebus’ voice held a hint of annoyance.
“That’s the thing, Erebus… I stole her.”
There was a long pause. I hoped that he’d realize what I meant because I didn’t want to spend that moment explaining to him what exactly it was that I’d done.
“What do you mean you stole her?” He spat.
“He found out about me and her and he told me to stay away from her, so I asked her to run away with me. I didn’t take her back.” I briefly paused, and finally, I breathed out, “I’m not taking her back, Erebus.”
“What?!” He snarled. “Hunter, they’re going to come knocking at my door, assuming that I know where you took her!”
I nodded, letting out a shaky breath.
“I know.” I said. “That’s why I’m not telling you where I’m staying.”
“Hunter…” He growled.
I knew that he was about to scold me. I knew that he was about to tell me everything that I didn’t want to hear, everything that I couldn’t hear, at that moment.
“Listen,” I cut him off. “There’s something that you need to know. Hope i—”
“Why do you insist on adding to the problems that I need to fix? Stay out of trouble: that’s all I asked you to do!” He yelled. “I have too much to deal with right now.”
He hung up…
I slowly pulled the phone away from my ear. I shut my eyes in despair as my blood ran cold at the sound of Celic sitting up on the bed and saying, “Your brother’s going to die, isn’t he?”
Not more than a few hours had gone by before I was back on my feet, doing as others demanded me to.
I hated him.
I hate him.
I wanted nothing more than to rip his heart out of his chest and watch him come crashing down onto his knees. I wanted to watch the “oh, so great” King Erebus fall, even if it meant spending eternity running not only from my family, but from his as well.
But, there was one person that I couldn’t betray: Kevin.
She was the only innocent thing in my life, and I could never hurt her. I never would hurt her because up until the day that I met her, I never knew what it was like to be liked by someone without caring who or what that person was.
A soft sigh passed my lips as I finished changing the bedsheets of Erebus’ bed. When I turned to pick up the ones that I had removed, the most unpleasant feeling of another’s presence made my skin crawl. I immediately halted, and my eyes shifted from the sight of the ground up to the one person I hated more than Erebus: Cam.
“Even someone like you can’t beat me.” She gloated.
I wished very much that she’d stayed away from me, for her sake. If there was anything that I got out of whatever Erebus and I had, it was blood. And blood for me meant terrible news for her.
The moment I caught her part her lips to speak, I moved to her so fast that she gasped and jolted when her eyes finally adjusted to the sight of me standing but a mere inch before her.
She was a great actor, but only when she had everything planned out. Judging by the look of terror on her face, I knew that she questioned whether or not she was sure when she stated, “You can’t hurt me. Erebus will kill you.”
I chuckled, watching her as she slowly backed away until her back met the wall. “I can hurt you, and Erebus won’t kill me. He can’t.” I said as I slowly stepped closer to her until my smallest breath fanned her face. “You haven’t beat me, and you never will.”
A sinister smirk broke upon my lips, and I whispered, “Here you may know me as Hope, but back home, my name is Silver Synn.”
Her eyes widened, and she gulped loudly. I knew that I had her right where I wanted her, and though a part of me knew that I may have ruined everything, I didn’t care. I was done letting her step all over me as if I was less than I really was.
“Now, go cry wolf, sheep.” I mocked. “After all, at this point, that’s all you can do.”
I shrugged my shoulders with smug superiority and gave her my back as I turned to pick up the bedsheets that I had left on the floor. The best thing that I could do at that moment was act like Hope until the sun came up.
Then, I could run like hell.
“Liar.” Cam breathed out as I turned back to face her.
“Oh, yes,” I nodded. “That, I am.”
“Who gave you permission to order her around?” Erebus’ angry voice echoed as he emerged into the room.
My eyes snapped to him. I took one long look at him before I realized that he hadn’t heard a word that Cam or myself had said, and I quickly looked away. I wouldn’t look at Erebus not only because I didn’t want to, but because Hope would simply bow her head and walk out of the room without a word.
And, that is what I did.
As I stepped out quietly, I heard the door slam behind me and Cam’s voice penetrate the walls as she very confidently continued trying to push everyone she came in contact with.
“What are you gonna do about it?” I heard her say.
A growl erupted from Erebus’ throat, and he spat, “That child won’t save you forever. You’ve got a few months left before I rip that cold heart of yours out.”
“I’m the mother of your child.” She argued.
He scoffed. “How much of a mother can you really be?”
Without intention, I abruptly halted at the sound of Erebus’ words. It seemed that my body continued to betray me, just as my very instincts did. I felt a tug in my heart, a small hope of what I didn’t understand came over me as I continued to hear Erebus’ conversation with Cam.
I may have been standing at the end of the corridor, but I could still hear his voice as if I was still standing with the room of the same walls as him.
“All because of that little slave of y—”
“Her name is Hope.” Erebus cut her off. He growled, “Disrespect her again, I dare you. Pregnant or not, I won’t hesitate to kill you. You’re utterly worthless to m—”
“They’re coming…” Genesee stated as suddenly appeared before me. She took my hand in hers and practically dragged me to my room.
I was completely taken aback. I furrowed my eyebrows at her, questioning her as she began frantically throwing all of the clothes with my scent on them in a bag.
“They’re coming,” she breathlessly said. “You have to go!”
“Who?” I asked as I moved to her. I grabbed the bag out of her hands and placed my own on her shoulders, forcing her to stop.
“The Seekers. Hunter...he...he…”
“He what?” I began to panic as I continued to urge Genesee to talk to me.
“Genesee what’s going on?”
She took a deep breath, calming herself just enough to say, “Hunter took Celic. Mardel saw them on patrol… They’re gonna kill us all.”
“What..?” I muttered.
My heart sank, my blood ran cold. My lips had just slightly parted to say what instantly became irrelevant the moment that Tarlac’s angry voice silenced Erebus’ mansion.