Chapter 77 - Gift
“You know about my bond with Alena?” Rowan guessed, and Marcus nodded. They feared his reaction if he found out, but he didn’t seem to mind, and it caught her off guard. Marcus always surprised her, and she wished she had forever to explore the depths of him.
“One day, I will discover all of your secrets. I will discover every last one,” Marcus promised Rowan as he took her mouth in a kiss that robbed her of her breath.
All of her instincts warned her that they were in danger, but the sun was up, and they wouldn't be able to leave before nightfall. Marcus barely gave her a chance to breathe, and within moments she forgot all about secrets, danger, sunlight, and villains.
This was entirely different than the first time they made love. The feelings in Rowan boiled to the surface in a torrent she couldn’t contain, and she suspected it had something to do with fully experiencing her vampire for the first time. It had been terrifying, horrifying, but also liberating in some odd way.
She always feared if she let go just a little too much, she would lose control, and some part of her worried that she would become like some feral beast. Even as Marcus coached her on a path far removed from her controlled responses of before, some small voice in her mind acknowledged that she enjoyed letting go of the tight restraints of her moral code, but another bit of her knew she would never willingly cause such destruction again.
The high, and the freedom it revealed, may have appealed to some dark part of her soul, but the person she was, couldn’t live with what she did. Rowan learned the limits of her restraint. She understood what it felt like to be out of control and having discovered these two things; it changed everything about her.
She nipped Marcus’ shoulder hard enough for a single drop of blood to rise to the surface. He growled low in his throat but smirked at Rowan when he pushed her back to look at her.
“You don’t want to go there, little girl,” he teased, and she laughed up into his eyes. Marcus was proud of her. The night before he suspected this thing wouldn’t break her, but it might do irreparable damage. Rowan proved that instead of destroying her, this experience strengthened her, made her more at ease with her vampire, and he loved that.
He looked into her eyes, and he couldn’t wait to explore this new Rowan right along with her. Marcus didn’t move, and when she got impatient, she leaned in to kiss him, which was precisely what he wanted her to do.
Rowan woke alone, and for a moment she experienced a feeling of desolation and then it passed. A secretive smile touched her lips as she remembered the incredible night she spent with Marcus. He patiently allowed her, nay encouraged her to explore the parts of herself she would never have dared before. Her cheeks heated at some of those memories.
Marcus had been both gentle and fierce, passionate, and reserved. This time he didn’t take the lead to overcome her hesitation. He coached her out of her comfort zone to discover things about herself that she didn’t grasp, and allowed her to temper herself when her ardor got the better of her. She learned more about being a vampire, in one night with him, than she did in her entire life.
Rowan may hate Victor, but he gave her one gift she wouldn’t deny. He gave her strength, and it had nothing to do with physical power. His strength and Marcus’ guidance took the gaping, raw wound caused by the events of the previous night and made it whole.
It hadn’t been the first time, and it wouldn’t be the last time she had to be true to her nature, but Rowan decided, for this child in her womb, it would not define her.
Rowan got out of bed, and she dressed for battle. They were not safe in this place. She didn’t know where Marcus and Alena were, but it was time to leave as soon as she found them.
This chapter in her life was over. The watchers proved that their moral code didn’t mean much. Rowan strapped on her weapons and glanced at herself in the mirror. Even she saw that something about her had changed. She was different. The Watchers tried to destroy something in her and instead did her a favor.
Rowan gathered her things and noted that Marcus already packed his possessions as well. She decided one thing for certain, the Watchers may not be an enemy, but she would see them as an adversary. Rowan paid her debt, and they nullified her regard for them.
Having seen their true nature, Rowan understood that they only helped her in the past, to use her skills and her power. She was never one of them. They always saw her as a dangerous animal; a necessary evil.