M A D D I E
My coughs echoed in the hallway, the force of them racking my body and causing my knees to tremble, my throat burned with each one that traveled up my chest and out my mouth. My chest was hurting like my ribs were closing in around my lungs and rendering my breathing to a minimum.
I felt like death.
Every joint in my body ached and threaten to buckle under the weight I strained on my body with the steps I took to make it to my personal sanctuary; my bedroom.
It was nothing more than a few doors away but every step felt like I had rocks weighing me down, making the walk difficult than it already is. I just wanted to lay down and sleep, hoping for the pain to go away as I sleep the world away. Nothing could compare to the pain of this disease that’s twisting my insides terribly.
I had no medication or anything to help me through this pain, even if I did, it would have been too late. My days are slowly becoming numbered, each day being a struggle itself as I suffer toward the end. Though it happened weeks before, Adrian’s offer still rings in my head, a constant mantra in my head; the thought of it still made my skin crawl and stomach to cave in.
It was my only option for survival but I didn’t want it.
The hallway began to blur in and out, the length of it seems to stretch farther than it originally was, the ground began to sway under my feet, knocking me slightly off balance as the pounding in my head increases. It wasn’t long before my balance was taken away from me and wasn’t my own.
I become dead weight as I tumble to the floor, my shoulder making the first contact before the rest of my limbs followed. I heave out a breath, my aching too much for me to move, I just wanted to lay here and rest— resting seemed good at the moment. My eyelids fluttered close on their own, the rug beneath me bring little comfort but not enough to make me relax.
I don’t know how long I lied there, immobile on the floor, the sound of the outside world moving in as the trees rustled and the distant sound of animals scampering about; it wasn’t until I began to doze off hoping this was the peace that craved when my name was called.
I didn’t open my eyes or move a muscle at the call of my name, I like still, even as a presence drops down beside me and hands start to frantically roam over my body; turning my face in the opposite direction, toward them.
“Go away,” I mumble, opening my eyes to slits to see Adrian’s face hovering over mine as his eyes stare down at me in concern.
And that look does something to my heart.
His body visibly relaxes at the sound of my voice as if it confirmed something for him, yet the concern still lingered and soon determination was at the frontier; blazing its strength. It wasn’t long before I was being lifted into his arms, and carried off.
“Put me down.” I croak, my struggles feeble and pathetic.
My muscles were too weak to push him away, yet I still tried, my hands pressed against his chest to put distance between us; him touching me meant that I felt things, things new and some things old. His touch brought flames to my body that overpowered the aches I felt, finally giving up when he didn’t respond: I give in to his touch.
I relax in his hold, taking deep breaths of his scent that always seemed to consume all my senses. It made me aware of him, what he is, what he does and how he makes me feel— the whole reason I want nothing to do with him.
Adrian momentarily stops to open the door to my room once we arrive and carries me inside and towards my bed where he pulls the covers back and gently settles me down. The mattress adjusts to my body and laying here makes me sigh in relief.
I make note that Adrian doesn’t move but a couple of steps back, watching me, opening my eyes I meet his gaze head in, his expression dark and lips thinned.
He doesn’t speak and just stares down at me, his eyes flickering across my face, really taking in my weak, pale state. His shuts his eyes briefly before lowering himself to his knees when he opens his eyes emotions so intense swim around and glare at me from their confinements, they leave me breathless.
“Why won’t you take my offer?” the slight plea in his voice is new and frightening at the same time.
I clench my hands together at my side, turning my gaze away from him and look up at the ceiling.
“Because I don’t want to drink your blood.”
“It can he—”
“I know what it can do!” I exclaim, “I know what it can do. . .” I repeat quietly, my mind reeling back to the time Delano made Kaitlyn drink his blood.
My mind also recalls the drastic change in her body and how fast she became healthy. Something in me didn’t want to get better, it wanted to suffer, to deal with the pain, not find an easy way out- even if it was already too late to do anything.
“Maddie, this isn’t—”
I exhale through my nose, “Why do you want me to drink your blood so badly?” I ask, keeping my face on the ceiling as I narrowed my eyes.
“If you haven’t noticed, I’m not a vampire where I can enjoy the taste of blood.”
In a swift motion, he was hovering above me with eyes the color of night, his arms on either side of me.
“I want you to drink my blood because I don’t want you to die. Not now, not ever.” he hisses, staring me deep in my eyes. “I’m just giving you a choice to drink my blood or not before I decide for you and just shove it down your throat.”
My grin is viscous as I glare up him, “There he is. I was starting to think you were püssy-ing out and actually starting to care for me.”
“Oh baby,” he purrs, leaning down until our noses touched, “You don’t know the beginning of it. Caring isn’t the only thing I feel for you.”
D E L A N O
Her absence shouldn’t have bothered me.
We’ve went longer without seeing each other, but in the end we would always cross paths or end up in the same room together and knowing that I couldn’t go see her left a bitter taste in my mouth and left my nerves on high. I had the answers for which she seeked, but I don’t know what was holding me back from following her as she walked down the hall, the twins nestled in her arms, the image left me breathless and frozen in my spot. A part of my brain zapping my heart into overdrive with a distributing thought that this could be soon be her, leaving me and taking our children with her. Forever.
That really unsettled me; so much so that I turned my back and walked in the other direction, my hands clenched by my sides, my dug further into my palm, drawing blood as the smell drifted into my nose.
’Keep it together.’ I hiss at myself.
“Wait, Delano!” Abel called after me, “What are we supposed to do with Victoria?”
“Whatever you have to. I don’t care, she is not to go near Kaitlyn.” was all I said before I turned down another hall.
The sound of my shoes bouncing off the walls as my feet carries me to the staircase that lead me to the second level and in the direction of the castle’s office where I know my parents would be. I arrive at the double oak doors, pressing my hands against the surface and push them inward, the door swinging as they open and reveal what lies within.
“Mother, Father,” I begin, greeting them both as I walked inside, the doors shutting behind me.
Mother smiles at me from beside my father who looks on with a dull expression, completely different from his wife’s, it didn’t take long for Mother to reduce back to her motherly self than her cold queen facade after a few months of my staying, she was only happy that I decided to come back.
She beckoned me forward, I moved to her side, leaning down and placing a kiss on her both her cheeks. Rather than her heavy attire, she wears a silly silver gown, the sleeves of it hanging at the wrist as she reaches up and brushes my cheeks with my fingers.
“What was that ruckus below us?” Father speaks, tone hard and voice thick.
I pull away from Mother and lower myself at an empty seat, crossing my less. “Seems Victoria pissed Kaitlyn and got her neck snapped in return for putting her hands in our children.”
A feeling tugged at my chest as the entire scene replayed in my head as I tried to hold back the smile that yanked at the edges of my lips. I knew this feeling was satisfaction and pride that was swelling in my chest, Kaitlyn snapping Victoria’s neck was something I longed to do but refrained from doing so. It didn’t take a genius to see that she nearly killed Kaitlyn, the trauma is what causes her to go into labor early; stopping any further movements. My suspicion of Victoria only grew.
“A mistake on her part, the girl is still newly changed and she just gave birth,” Mother shakes her head.
“The whole reason we should get rid of her,” I add, clenching my jaw.
“She learned her lesson.” Farther commented the conversation before moving on, “Have you gathered the information I needed you to?”
“Yes.” I rid my body of any emotion, as I speak, “Eileesha did a perimeter check with Abel and found tracks that circled the barrier of the outskirts leading to the castle.”
“They’re getting bolder.”
Father’s expression darkens, he leans back him his chair, cupping his chin while settling his dark gaze on me. Pure rage ignited, flames ready to burst from the seams, but he kept it under control. Mother reached out and grabbed his free hand that wasn’t holding his face and squeezed his fingers.
I sigh, “A shifter confronted them and said he had some information regarding the rebellion.”
Father’s eyes narrow, “How don’t you know he’s lying?”
“I would know, Father.”
He stares at me, my face matching his, the same moment a knock resonated from the door.
The doors opened and Abel stepped in, disheveled and a bit battered, his alert eyes glanced from me to Father before he dipped into a bow.
“Your Majesty,” he mutters, voice deep and hoarse.
“What is it you came for.”
“Well, I came to say that Victoria has disappeared.”