Chapter 113 - Darkness
Belvare turned his attention from Rowan to Alena, but Rowan kissed the skin of his neck as she would a lover. She ran her hands over his naked torso as if he were Marcus, in a pretense that she desired Belvare above all others. Even in his intoxicated state, their ardor surprised Belvare. The monster questioned, but the man didn’t.
He led them to the love nest he prepared, and the monster screamed for the ceremony of it, but the man shouted for it to begin. The beast reared and stumbled, only to fall deep within the man, but he remained aware. They were very conscious of its malignant presence lurking so close.
The knowledge that they might defeat Belvare, created a rush of expectation, and hope that made them almost careless, but some sense remained.
Belvare brought Rowan to the thick column of his neck, where his artery pulsed beneath the skin. She could smell the strength and power of him, but beneath the surface, she detected something mildly repulsive.
Rowan’s heart raced, and her body reeled with the urge to take what he offered so arrogantly. She wanted to rip and tear at his skin as Rowan experienced a potent feeling of power over him that almost made her understand what drove others of their kind to kill and maim.
She allowed her teeth to sink into him. The hot rush of arterial blood had the familiar metal tang Rowan expected, but it was unusual in some inexplicable manner.
The spell of his blood drew her along, immersed her, and she became lost in his memories as if someone opened a door into his mind. Rowan didn’t even realize that she instinctively tore the puncture wounds wider.
Belvare lay back, and Rowan followed him down. She knew that when Alena also bit into him, her sister experienced the same rush of emotion and power that Rowan did.
The monster sluggishly realized there would be no exchange. Alena and Rowan tore Belvare’s arteries even wider, and his blood spilled on the golden sheets, aided by the strong, slow pump of his heart. In his arrogance, he waited too long. Belvare tried to shove them from him but strengthened by the legacy of their blood and his; he failed.
For the first time, they let him see the whole truth of their line, and lineage as well as that of Marcus. They allowed Belvare to experience their bond, and he struggled, but only inside his mind. His preconceptions had blinded him to the truth. They were strong enough to hide their true thoughts from him, but they also had help from a power greater than theirs.
Belvare struggled to comprehend how he never sensed the outside interference. Already his blood thickened in his veins. Rowan and Alena noticed it. They knew that soon one of them would have to stop.
Belvare had one more trick up his sleeve. The while he spun for them had drawn them in. He made it impossible for them to let go and compelled them to drink his blood to the dark dregs. He would die, but he would take both of them with him, and the children already showing in the curve of their bellies.
The essence of the poison became more prominent in the thick, unhealthy blood that carried the distinct tang of rotting meat. They opened their eyes, and they were mere inches apart. They knew they would die together, and it comforted them. They each reached across his chest with one hand and their fingers intertwined as they accepted their fate. Belvare would die, and their sacrifice would not be in vain.
A loud noise barely registered as a muffled thud in their fast-growing delirium and caused no reaction inside the void that rapidly swallowed their lives.
Strange flashes and memories stormed through their darkening perception as if from some other place. Dreams of the lives they might have had, and the people they could have been. These hallucinations pushed at the darkness, lured them to follow the light, and it carried something familiar with it, that encouraged them to fight.
Belvare shuddered, brought forth a massive effort to repel them, but they did not budge. The realization that he could not budge them, angered him. His fury strengthened him as they became weaker.
Something skidded across the floor and crashed against a wall with enough violence to register, and they vaguely wondered if Belvare summoned help. More muffled noises barely disturbed them. It didn’t matter what he did; they were dying, and so was he.
It startled Rowan when someone violently tore her off Belvare and dragged her away. She fought with the last of her strength but barely moved her attacker. The darkness had already settled in her mind, and her eyes stared sightlessly at nothing. Belvare’s scent overpowered her sense of smell, and she didn’t much care who this newcomer was. He came too late to save his master.
Rowan sensed a tug at her awareness of Alena as their enemy tore her away from Belvare. The link with the Dark One remained, and as they faded away, they felt him rally. It shouldn’t be possible, but he fought the darkness, and they had nothing more to give.
They came to the brink of victory and lost. Only Robert had the opportunity to orchestrate their end; they concluded as the poisoned blood took its toll.
Rowan would not accept that their sacrifice was for naught. Her mind reached for those strange images of the life she never had, and something inside of her revived. Her eyes opened, no longer sightless, and she frowned, Belvare was not where they left him.
With a mammoth effort of will, Rowan turned her head, and when she located Belvare, she froze in horror. The emotions that stormed through Rowan, dragged Alena from her stupor for a brief moment, but then she sank back. She ingested more of the forbidden blood than Rowan.
No! Rowan’s screamed inside her mind but managed only a gurgle that brought out some of the cursed blood.