Chapter 48: Betrayal
A sharp, stinging pain shot through my entire body as I took in a single deep breath.
It felt as if I had been asleep forever, and the strength that I had regained had slipped out of my fingertips like butter. Though I knew I was awake, I could not lift my eyelids nor could I move a muscle.
At first, I wasn’t sure of whether I had dreamed that Erebus had nearly drained every ounce of blood from my body or if it actually happened. But, when I realized that I found myself unable to move and unable to breathe with ease, I knew it wasn’t a dream
It was a nightmare.
I tried to stay calm, taking steady deep breaths until I was able to clench my hands into fists. Slowly lifting my eyelids, I hardly recognized the ceiling through my hazy vision. Each and every one of my senses had been minimized due to the immense loss of blood.
I furiously blinked my eyes, my vision slowly clearing. My gaze was set on the golden-brown colored ceiling, shifting elsewhere ever so slowly until I’d found myself studying the deep crimson colored walls that brought a sense of familiarity to me.
I’ve been here before...
I pushed my elbows back, shifting my body slowly as it came heavy to my arms.
This is Erebus’ room...
I’d sat up, exhaling a shaky breath. As I bowed my head, studying what I could see of my body, I noticed I had been changed out of my maid “uniform” and into a baby-blue tank top and black yoga pants.
“I’m so sorry…”
My eyes shot up, my gaze meeting the man that I had not cared to notice sitting in the room with me since I awoke.
The instant my eyes locked with his compelling hazel ones, the feeling of submission hit me harder than I ever thought possible. I felt unnaturally drawn to him, almost as if he actually owned me. This feeling...it was single-sided. I felt no direct connection to him, but it felt as if he had full control over me.
What the hell?
I hesitated, bringing my hand up to meet the left side of my neck. My breath hitched in my throat, realization dawning over me as I ran my fingertips across the puncture mark.
He claimed me…
My blood boiled, an anger rising within me unlike any other. My breathing instantly became erratic, my lips parting as my fangs elongated. I could feel the tears begin to build at the brim of my eyes as I furrowed my eyebrows at him.
“How could you?!” My eyes desperately searched his face as the tears I had attempted to hold back fell.
A shaky breath passed his lips, and a hint of guilt flashed in his eyes. He stood from the chair he had been sitting on and out stretched his arm to me, motioning for me to take his hand.
“Get away from me!” I snarled as I scooted farther away from him.
That was it. Not only was I back to where I started, but now I couldn’t leave. Not unless he removed it.
I’m at a worse place than where I started...
Why the hell would he? He got what he wanted. I’m his. Completely his. This bond...it was single-sided. I didn’t mark him... At his command, I’d do as he pleased. He had utter control of me.
I have lost my freewill.
Before he could take another step closer, I pushed myself off of the bed. I felt a slight discomfort in my arm, my eyes catching the attention of the needle buried just above my forearm. My eyes immediately traced the tubing attached to the needle till they met the blood bag positioned on the nightstand.
“Shut up!” I scowled, my attention snapping back to Erebus as I ripped the needle from my arm. “Haven’t you had enough?! You enslaved me, beat me, tortured me, humiliated me, fed off of me, and marked me! What else do you want from me..?”
He said nothing, but I could see some hurt in his eyes. I knew he felt guilty, maybe even remorseful.
“Hope, please… Just let me —”
“You have no idea what you’ve done…” I cut him off, my voice trailing off. “Do you have any idea of what you’ve done?!”
“Don’t call me that! That’s not my name!” I snarled. “That’s not who I am…” My voice had cracked at the end, tears endlessly drowning my cheeks.
“What do you mean?” Erebus’ eyebrows furrowed at me, looking at me with a questioning look.
I said nothing, wiping the tears from my face as I stormed out of his bedroom. I felt and knew that I was completely defenseless at this point. All I could do was tell him the truth and at his terms, because if he really wanted to know the truth, all he had to do was command me to say it.
I wouldn’t be able to resist. Not with his mark on my neck.
It was merely seconds before I found myself standing in my bathroom, staring at myself in the mirror. I’d pressed my nails against the mark, intending to attempt to try to scratch it off. However, just as the thought crossed my mind, the mark burned me with a searing pain that shot through my entire body.
I yelped, slamming my fist against the counter. My gaze had just briefly shifted, and when it reverted back to my reflection in the mirror, I saw Genesee standing just outside the bathroom, staring at me with a look of despair in her face.
Then, I really found myself unable to bring myself to stop crying. I felt so angry. The thing I feared most happening, happened. Now, I was stuck in this house as nothing more than his entertainment.
He has her. Why does he still want me here..?
When I turned back to face Genesee, she quickly shut the bedroom door behind her. Though she didn’t say anything, I could tell how sorry she was just by looking at the pitiful look on her face.
“What am I supposed to do..?” I sobbed as I moved to the bed and sat. A shaky breath escaped my mouth as my gaze met Genesee’s.
“I want to go home!” I screamed.
I was in a panic, unable to contain myself.
My hands had balled up into fists, my gaze never faltering as I stated, “I don’t care if I have to expose myself. I don’t want to stay here any longer.”
“You’ll get us killed.” Genesee’s voice shook, trying to convince me to do things differently. “You gave me your word you would get out on your own.”
I bit off more than I could chew.
I let out a deep sigh as I tried to calm myself enough to think beyond desperate thoughts. I knew I was out of options. The only thing I could do was tell Erebus who I really am and hope he believed me. I just didn’t want to have to look at his face right now.
None of this would have happened if I hadn’t lied...
“Look…” Genesee lowered her voice as she took a few steps closer to me. “I don’t know what you’re going to do about that mark, but…” she hesitated. “I-I can help you get out.”
She nervously shifted her weight from foot to foot, sighing.
“I’ll bring enough blood bags for you to regain your strength, but I need you to give me your word that you’ll be out of here as soon as the sun rises tomorrow.” She gulped, her attention shifting to the ground. “And if you get caught, it was all you. I had nothing to do with it.”
She hates me, and I can’t blame her.
I knew that Hope wouldn’t want to talk to me and she wouldn’t listen unless I made her, and I thought about how great that would be but also about how much less of a chance I’d have of ever having her look at me the same way she did that one night. I didn’t mean to mark her. Seeing as I did, I hoped she would give me a chance to keep my word. I was going to make it up to her. She was upset right now, I knew that.
I’ll find a way to make her listen.
I laid back on my bed, sighing. Her scent remained within the sheets and I found comfort in it. I just wished she were still laying here.
My little hope…
“Don’t call me that!”
“That’s not my name!”
“That’s not who I am…”
So...who are you?
I always knew that she had never been completely honest with me, but she’d never admitted it until today. Who was she? That was the million dollar question that I was dying to have answered.
All in time…
Almost on queue, I shifted my attention to the doorway as the door opened. My eyes met the blonde woman stepping into my bedroom, closing the door behind her.
Didn’t she get the fucking hint?
Just moments after I had bitten Hope, I told her to leave. I didn’t want to have anything to do with her anymore.
I don’t want to have anything to do with her.
I pinched the bridge of my nose, sighing in frustration as I muttered, “What do you want, Cam?”
She hummed, bringing her hands together in front of her as she approached me. “I just figured you could use some company.” She taunted.
I could use some company. Just not yours.
Taking hold of my hand, she pulled it away from my face before straddling me.
Even when pregnant, she won’t stop being what she is…
A growl emitted from my back of my throat as she placed her finger on my chest and seductively traced figures with her fingertip.
“You know…” my eyes searched her as she spoke. “I can help you get your mind off of her.”
I arched an eyebrow, briefly glancing at her belly. “Oh, really?” My gaze shifted back to meet her’s. “How so?”
She leaned closer to me and began planting gentle kisses on the side of my neck.
Another deep sigh escaped my lips, “Cam…” I spoke as my hands snaked down her sides.
“Hmm..?” She nearly moaned, her hands trailing up to my arms, squeezing my biceps.
I couldn’t help but chuckle in amusement as I felt her rub herself against my crotch. She really was entertaining.
My hands found her hips, firmly grabbing her before pushing her off of me, forcing her on her back.
“What the hell?” She snapped as I sat up.
I shrugged. “Truth is…” I stood from my bed, my gaze reverting to meet her’s. “You were hot when all you did was show up and we fucked, but now that I’ve gotten to know you...you just don’t do it for me anymore.”
I nodded to the door, demanding, “Get out.”
She let out a grunt in frustration before slipping out of bed and stomping to the door. “You’re going to regret this.” She spat, swinging the door and stepping out, making sure to slam it behind her.
“Somehow, I highly doubt that.” I mumbled as I ran a hand through my hair.
I had moved to the other side of the bed, taking hold of the empty blood bags resting on the nightstand. I tidied up my room a bit before heading out, finding myself on a course to the kitchen. All the while, I couldn’t get her out of my head.
Who is she, really?
I had no intentions of allowing my little Hope to remain weak. I knew that if I wanted her to at least listen to what I had to say, I’d have to give her a reason to and I’d gotten the idea of feeding her all over again as I emerged into the kitchen.
Then, I saw Genesee standing with her back facing me, her hand deep into the large chest refrigerator.
Odd...What the hell is she doing?
I knew that she wasn’t in there looking for blood for herself. She never had to feed off of blood bags because I’d given her and many of the vampires within my empire to feed off of the humans.
I stood a few feet behind her as I watched her take four blood bags in her hand before carefully allowing the door to fall into its resting position. Eyeing the blood bags in her hand, she sighed. She seemed nervous and uneasy as she turned on her heels, now facing me.
Her attention remained on the floor as she reached into her pocket and pulled out the key to Hope’s bedroom.
The second she had done so, the feeling of betrayal shot heavy through my chest.
As she took a single step forward, she raised her head. Her gaze instantly met mine as a gasp escaped her mouth.
Anger and disappointment overpowering every other emotion I was feeling as I found myself clenching my hands into hard fists and growling at her.
I could see the shock in her eyes as her body began to tremble in fear. Taking a single step back, the blood bags slipped from her hand. The second they impacted the floor, she flinched.
“Erebus…” Her voice shook.
I shook my head, my hard glare fixated on her. “I have known you my entire life…” I spoke through my teeth, a slight humorless chuckle emitting from the back of my throat.
“And this is how you choose to break my trust?” I scoffed, trying to lose myself just as I did when I hurt Hope.
For a while, she remained silent.
I was unsure of whether she was thinking of an excuse or utterly speechless that she had nothing to say. That was until she spoke.
“She’s a pureblood. She’s strong and beautiful. She deserves better than this…” Her voice trailed off as she reached for the blood bags laying on the floor, tossing them on top of the counter. “She has done nothing to deserve wh—”
I growled, snarling, “That is none of your business, Genesee!”
She flinched at the aggressiveness of my tone, but didn’t hesitate to nod in agreement. If there was any part of the person that I thought was Genesee was still true, she spoke with her feelings in the air, even if it wasn’t the best thing she could do.
“Are you going to kill me?” She whispered.
I never got to answer, Zeus emerging into the room alongside the regular patrol group. They’d come look for her, ready to take off to fulfill their duties as demanded.
“Gen —” Zeus’ call came short, my eyebrows furrowing as he questioned, “What’s going on?”
Neither I nor Genesee said a word, and not that we had to. The evidence was still out in the open and it didn’t take a genius to put two and two together.
“What have you done..?” Zeus’ voice trailed off.
Genesee ignored him, still looking at me and arguing, “She’s a pureblood… That means something to us! You taught us to respect those superior to us, yet we’ve all treated her as if she is anything but that.”
“You had no right…” I growled. “She’s mine!”
“No…she’s not,” she fought. “She is a pureblood vampire with extraordinary gifts that none of us could ever hope to fully understand. Erebus...she’s not a slave.”
I eyed her, hurt instantly washing over me. The punishment for her betrayal would be death, but no matter how much I would have wanted to...I couldn’t do it. I’d known her for as long as I could remember.
“Would you like to take her place then?” I challenged her.
Her mouth fell ajar, tears gathering at the brim of her eyes in hurt and disbelief. “Erebus… I—”
“Leave us.” I cut her off, demanding for the others to clear the room. “Now!”
Each of them left without hesitating, except for one—Zeus. I knew he cared for her deeply, even if they both liked to pretend that no one knew what was going on between the two of them.
He stood there, staring at her with mixed emotions in his face. He never said anything though and neither did I to him. He refused to leave until I glowered at him. He was hesitant, but obeyed and left silently.
“She is not who you think she is…” Genesee’s voice has lowered. “Her na—”
“Take them to her.” I cut her off. I wasn’t having any of it. I didn’t want to hear what she had to say and nor did I care. “I want you out of here as soon as the sun sets. I’ll give Enos a call. I’m sure you would be of good use to him.”
“No… Erebus, please!” She tried to reach for my hand, but I’d backed away before her touch could so much as graze me.
“If you are not out of here by sunrise tomorrow, I promise you you’ll wish you were a slave.” I threatened, tossing the empty blood bags I had been clinging onto before turning on my heels and taking my leave.
The second I had stepped out of the room, I heard Zeus enter, asking her, “Why..?”
I didn’t stay or listened any further. It hurt me to have to do what I did, but I couldn’t let her stay after her betrayal. Then, everyone else would think they could get away with the same. And, I knew that in exiling her, I would lose Zeus as well. He never left Genesee’s side. Wherever she went, he went.
All in a day, I’ve lost so much…
As I neared my bedroom, I noticed Kay standing before my bedroom door. Her hair had been braided into two, she wore her usual white bunny slippers along with her light pink nightgown. Clinging onto her teddy bear, she brought her unoccupied hand up to meet the door.
Her sniffles echoed through the hallway as her knuckled rapped lightly against the wooden door.
“Kay?” I questioned as I came to a halt merely a foot away from her.
“Big brother…” Her voice faltered, her attention slowly shifting to me.
I could see the tears at the brim of her eyes, her cheeks wet from the ones that had already fallen. “I ha-had a ba-bad dream...” She struggled to speak through her hiccups.
I crouched down to her eye-level, wiping the tears off of her face. “It’s just a dream, Kay,” I tried to calm her. “It’s not real.”
She shook her head, her lip quivering as her gaze met mine. “C-Can I s-sleep wi-with you? Pl-Please?”
How am I supposed to say no?
I let out a deep sigh, taking her in my arms and picking her up. She was quick to wrap her arms around my neck as I opened the door to my bedroom and took her inside.