(The Murderous) Beauty and the Beast (Who Fell In Love) ~Book #3 in The Hands of Fate and The Cosmos

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Bonus 1

Every one of her senses, except sight, came to her all at once. It had been so long since that scent wafted into her nose, literally ages, but she knew it anywhere. If Grey was precise, she was in the exact cell she and Raphaellie had become one for the first time.

She was laying on her side, and could hear Tadhg raging in a cell near-by, promising a swift and certain death to the Council. A deep sigh within her cell, one that sent tingles shooting down her spine, bounced off the damp walls. “Tadhg, wasting your energy will do no good. Calm down; મારી રાણી જાગૃત છે (my Queen is awakening).

Grey tried her best to suppress the flush of her cheeks. She willed her eyes to open; wanting to see her soulmate’s face. On the first crack of her eyelids, they slammed shut immediately. Inhaling deeply, she tried again, peeling her eyelids back slowly to adjust to the light, or lack thereof, of the cell. She heard Tadhg's complying grumble, then silence.

The grey floors greeted her first, covered with a fine layer of dust and soot that tickled her nose. If she sneezed, the pounding in her head would increase, and would be vexing to deal with, seeing as she wanted to get everyone out of here as soon as possible.

She tested the mobility of her body; first wiggling her fingers and toes, then rotating her wrists and ankles, hissing softly as they strained against the constricting shackles. She pulled her shoulders back, keeping in her groan of pain as the joints cracked. ‘Alright Grey, we need to get out of here.’ she told herself, as she pushed off the ground, shutting her eyes again as her head spun.

Inhale. Exhale.

Inhale. Exhale.

‘Open your eyes.’

She peeled her eyelids back again, and relief flushed through her system as her eyes took in the massive bulk of her soulmate across the cell. He smiled softly at her, his eyes completely green and filled with love. “મારી રાણી,” he murmured, “હું રાહ જોઈ રહ્યો છું જેથી લાંબા સમય માટે તમે.” (“My Queen, I’ve been waiting so long for you.“)

“મારા પ્રિન્સ...” was all she could whisper as her throat clogged with emotion. (“My Prince...“)

Her Raphaellie had returned to her, and she may never see Raphael, or Dimitri, or Andrei again. But that minute feeling of loss could wait; she needed to flee with everyone, and find Serilda, or a way to Raveen. Doing both would be absolutely stellar.

She wanted to crawl over to him, but one glance down at her shackled hands and feet left her reconsidering. They were on so tightly, biting into her skin and nearly cutting off circulation. She inhaled deeply, and exhaled slowly. Okay. Let’s do this.

Grey clenched her fists, digging deep into her reservoir of magic to help her break free. Something sprung up, but it certainly was not from her reservoir. She recoiled, and it simmered down.

‘The crystal...’ she trailed off, remembering that Alice had given it to her as a means of getting to Serilda. Her best friend failed to mention that it would amplify her powers.

With that new knowledge, Grey shut her eyes and focused on her reservoir of magic, her fists clenched tighter. That same kick of magic sprung up again, and she embraced it, allowing it to flow freely through her veins and strengthen her.

The shackles popped off her wrists and ankles, dropping to the ground with a soft clink. Raphaellie watched on with startled eyes, but a smirk on his lips. “You never cease to amaze me, ખૂબસૂરત (gorgeous).”

A corner of her mouth quirked up. “Save your sweet talking for when we’re actually safe.” She would have uttered his surname, but that would have been disastrous. Who knows, they could be listening in on them at this very moment.

Grey slowly rose to her feet, her eyes sweeping the walls of the large cell. Even having done that, there was no feeling of security. She cautiously walked towards her soulmate, whose eyes dilated with each step she took, until they were almost black as she crouched in front of him.

“મારી રાણી..." ("My Queen...") Raphaellie whispered, brushing his nose against Grey's. She hummed softly, brushing her nose against his again.

'If only she would remove these ridiculous binds...' Raphaellie thought to himself, 'a reenactment of all those millennia ago would be well underway.' It was ironic, how they were placed in the exact cell he had lost all self-control and brought his Guardian down with him. She was just too enticing to ignore any longer; and now, despite their situation, the same hunger he had felt for her then was ripping up his insides now.

Grey wanted to blame the ghost of Sidra when her hands trailed up his muscular thighs, squeezing them gently as she traveled up, then brushed against his groin, and traveled slowly up to his chest, but she knew that it was all her doing.

'Gods above Katherina, think of the situation you're in right now!' the serious, battle-hardened solider in her chided, but the sex-starved, wild woman within her ignored the scolding, and urged Grey further.

Far enough to straddle him; far enough to press her pelvis against his; far enough to grind her pelvis against his. Sidra would be so proud of her.

A deep, throaty growl bubbled past his lips. "Release me woman..." She couldn't fight off the grin that grew even if she tried. Grey moved again, and Raphaellie raised himself off the ground to meet her. She leaned closer, brushing her lips against his before whispering, "No, not yet."

Grey stifled the frustrated growl with her mouth, hungrily tasting his lips as if she hadn't eaten in ages. Which was mostly true as she felt her stomach grumble. But that did not matter, because her soulmate was kissing her back with as much fervor; a man starved for millennia.

Her hands moved off his chest, where his heart pounded as quickly as hers did, up to his face, where her thumbs gently stroked his skin, and finally up to his fluffy hair, where she wove her fingers through and gripped it tightly, the movement of her hips increasing. Raphaellie groaned low in his throat, keeping in time with his soulmate's quick, hungry movements.

She was selfish. She was so incredibly selfish for wanting this, and telling herself that she needed it so she would feel better. But deep down, she knew that it was the most selfish thing that she has ever done. That didn't mean that she would stop. Not when she was so close to falling off the sweet precipice of pleasure.

Her mouth never left his, knowing that she would give them away if they pulled apart for even a second.

It was so close, she could taste it on her tongue. She knew Raphaellie was following right after her with the way he kept tugging on his restraints and growling and groaning under her. Grey forced her eyes open, and the bright green ones of her lover stared right back at her, swirling with love and lust and hunger.

Staring right into her lover's eyes is the way she came apart.

Their breathing calmed, and their foreheads were pressed together, gazes still locked. "Will you release me now?" Raphaellie asked breathily, and Grey chuckled, trailing her hands up to his wrists. Her eyes fluttered shut, and she called on that kick of magic again to pull his shackles apart.
His arms encased her instantly, and his lips dragged across her cheek, down to the crook of her neck, placing a sweet kiss there. "We need to leave." Raphaellie whispered, and Grey nodded, detangling herself from him.
They rose to their feet, stretching out their muscles. A heavy hand smacked against her rear, squeezing roughly as Raphaellie whispered in her ear, "I am far from finished with you." Grey glanced at him, a smirk pulling up her lips. "I would hope so, Your Highness." He nipped at her ear, and squeezed her rear again.
Together, they walked towards the bars of the cell, and Grey cautiously wrapped her hands around it. Nothing happened. Raphaellie followed suit, and the same result occurred. Either the Council was testing them, or they really hadn't though this through. Grey hoped that it was the latter.
Calling upon the extra kick of magic, Grey tugged at the bars of the cell, and they popped off with a groan, squeak and a snap. She stared at the metal in her hands, then up at her soulmate. "That was sort of easy." She murmured, Raphaellie nodding slightly.
The lightness of her body told her that she was divested of her weapons, and she slid the cylinders of metal into sheaths, turning her attention back to the bars of the cell. She continued to pop them off until Raphaellie was able to comfortably free himself.
Wasting no time, Grey quietly walked to the next cell, being greeted with a pacing and mumbling Tadhg. "Your Highness." Grey said softly, and his head snapped towards her so quickly she feared that his neck muscles cried out from the movement. "It's always a pleasure to see you, General." He spoke softly, mimicking Grey.
She stepped forward and began pulling at the bars of his cell, and soon enough, Tadhg was free and hugging her tightly. She returned the gesture, then set off to the other cells, freeing her trapped siblings and embracing them, taking in their familiar scents. Even the Countess, Ursuline herself was trapped behind the bars of the dank prison, and squeezed Grey tightly once she was released.
Grey looked around her, her hackles raised. "Everyone okay?" She asked quietly, and was greeted with nods. Her senses were spread out, assuring her that the coast was clear, but it did nothing to soothe her; it did nothing to soothe the crippling sinister aura that oppressed them. Her home was no longer home. And everyone else sensed it too.
"Gather around me. Hold onto my clothing and to each other." Doing as they were told, Grey was surrounded, the warmth of their bodies warding off the chill of the atmosphere. She pulled the crystal out of her hidden pocket, and gripped it tightly in her hands, ignoring the shaking and sweating of them. The magic of the crystal was so familiar and comforting, and it eased her eyes closed.
She was Alice's companion, just as Trouble was Prince Alexavier's. They were like a puzzle piece, but not in the way soulmates were. Once they were together, bound by an oath, magic flowed freely and continuously, feeding off each other. Serilda and Trouble would use the magic to shift into various creatures, while Alice and Alexavier would use the magic to fight, or heal, or whatever is necessary.
Her hair was colourless, but her eyes were trapped galaxies. She was as tall as Alice, and almost as muscular as her, but she was straight and narrow compared to Alice, who curved and filled out the clothes she wore.
As the image formed, the crystal began to glow, increasing in intensity as the image of became sharper, and even became animated; the woman holding out her hand to Grey, calling her name. With a short exhale, Grey reached forward, pulling everyone with her.
They vanished without a trace.

~Happy holidays!~
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