Chapter 13 - Crazy
Two weeks have passed after the incident at the courthouse and I'm now back at the castle. Although I didn't have any bruises or injuries from what happened, I still can't forget about it. Every little sound makes me jump and my heightened hearing doesn't make it easy to relax. I tried to sleep in my room but just the thought of being alone made me run across into Asher's.
Asher, of course, has no problems with me sleeping next to him every night. He's become extremely protective and doesn't let me leave his sight for too long, even if Vito and Corbin are with me. It took some time for me to reassure both Vito and Corbin to not feel guilty, as they felt like they had failed me as my guards. Corbin was especially distraught when he got back from visiting his family, feeling like if he had been there guarding me with Vito then perhaps it wouldn't have happened.
I don't blame anyone, mainly because I don't even know what happened. I didn’t see who trapped me in the room and struck me into the wall. But I do feel that Asher knows something, he just won’t tell me. Maybe it's because I haven't recovered fully and he doesn't want to cause me more stress?
Sighing, I step into the library with Vito and Corbin taking up their usual posts outside the door. I feel the safest here and when I'm with Asher, so every day I find myself wandering back in and spending hours reading a book.
But today, something is off.
As soon as I step in, it's like something is pulling me to the left of the numerous bookshelves. I don't realize when I slide the ladder, stopping it without really thinking about it. I'm relying more on how I feel than what I'm thinking. But there's an urgency inside me to get a book; like an itch I'm dying to scratch.
Climbing the ladder to the top, I pull out a book without searching for it. I knew exactly where it was. I flip the cover and frown at the title; Vampire Gifts. Jumping off the step, I land perfectly on my feet. Flipping through the book, I don't take any of the material in until I stop at page 220. The chapter is about the gift of teleportation which piques my curiosity.
"If you learn to teleport properly, you could leave the kingdom. You could go back home, back to your life...to your family." A voice whispers inside my mind, freaking me out so much that I drop the book.
This isn't Ivanna or Zoya, it's a different voice. My heart starts to race as I wonder if I'm going crazy. I didn't think that and the voice addressed me directly. I hurriedly climb the ladder and place the book back in the shelf, backing away from it once I got off.
"Shouldn't you practice? A vampire who hasn’t mastered her gift yet, how pathetic." That same feminine voice cackles in my mind, making me whimper and clutch my head.
"Who are you?! Leave me alone!" I yell as if I'm talking to my beasts, only I receive no reply from the voice.
I search for Zoya and Ivanna, feeling them in my mind but they don't talk to me when I call them. It's like I hit a wall every time. I growl in frustration, wondering why they have cut me off. My body starts to shake the more I remember what happened two weeks ago, especially because this voice sounded the same as the one I heard that day.
"There you are!" I scream in fright, turning only to see Asher walking towards me with a frown. "I've been looking everywhere for you, what's wrong?"
I run and hug him to me tightly, hating how weak and scared I feel but also needing his comfort. Maybe he won't think I'm crazy if I tell him. But, what if he doesn't believe me? Suddenly, I get the overwhelming urge to keep it all a secret.
"N-Nothing, I just didn't expect you." Something forces me to lie to him, I don't even register myself talking.
The slight tremble to my voice has him cupping my face and forcing me to look at him. His eyes widen at the tears brimming my eyes, pushing me to sit on the couch. Crouching in front of me, he takes my hand, his thumbs rubbing soothing circles into my skin as if to calm me down.
"Hey," He coos softly, wiping away a traitorous tear. "What's wrong, dragostea mea? You can tell me." (My love)
"I feel –" Something stops me from admitting that there's a voice in my head and that I can't control my actions sometimes. I struggle mentally, trying to speak but eventually giving up when I realize that anything I do is futile. "I feel...scared."
Technically it wasn't a lie, but it isn't what I wanted to say either. My shoulders slump as tears of frustration escape me, closing my eyes when Asher wraps his arms around me. My head rests in the crook of his neck, his hand stroking my hair.
"Darling, I'm right here. You don't have to be scared." He hushes, pulling me up so that he can press a firm, assuring kiss to my lips. "You can tell me anything, okay? I don't care if it's in the middle of the night or if I'm in a meeting, whenever you feel scared just come to me."
I nod tiredly, allowing him to pick me up bridal style. Wrapping my arms loosely around his neck, I cuddle into him as he carries me to his bedroom. He lays me down on the king-sized bed, taking off my shoes before joining me. Yawning, I turn and shuffle closer before he chuckles and wraps his arm around my waist. I'm half on top of him, enjoying him rub my back and stroke my hair. His lips occasionally meet my cheek or the crown of my head.
"Ingerasul meu." He whispers just as I slip into a dreamless sleep. (My little angel)
"Ayla!" I wake up with a start at the sound of someone shouting.
Jolting, I open my eyes to find Asher hovering above me with a worried look. Frowning in confusion, I sit up. I don't remember what I had dreamt about but my heart is racing, my skin is drenched in sweat and my body is shaking.
"You were having a nightmare again." He explains, brushing my hair away from my face that was stuck to my skin.
"I'm sorry." I bite my lip in embarrassment, this is the fifth time in two weeks that I've had a nightmare.
"It's okay, do you remember anything?" He asks, nodding when I shake my head.
The unusual thing about my nightmares is that I can never remember what they were about. Usually when a dream is bad enough, I tend to remember it in the mornings. Sighing, I get off the bed and head towards the bathroom, telling Asher that I need to shower. My clothes were sticking to my skin and I felt disgusting. After grabbing another set of pyjamas, I step into the bathroom and strip. Turning the water to cold, I scrub off the sweat and wash my hair, instantly feeling better. Eventually, I get out and dry my body before putting my clothes on. Leaving the bathroom, I throw my used pyjamas in the hamper.
"Ayla." I hear Zoya's voice, relief flooding me at the sound of her voice.
"Hey, why were you and Ivanna ignoring me earlier?" I frown, towel drying my hair.
"I felt tired, so I went to sleep." Ivanna replies and Zoya says that she felt the same, a hint of confusion lacing their voices.
"Oh...okay." I nod to myself before realizing they can't see me.
Something happened to make them fall asleep and I strongly suspect it has something to do with the woman speaking to me. If the human is in danger or feels off, the creature(s) wouldn’t ignore it and will become immediately alert. I must tell them about what happened in the library.
"Ayla." But before I can say anything, I'm brought out of my link when Asher calls me, amusement in his eyes.
"Sorry, I was talking to my beasts." I smile sheepishly, watching his brows furrow.
"Do they have names?"
"Yes, Ivanna is my wolf and Zoya is my vampire." I grin, sensing them perk up.
"Can I meet them?" He asks, curiosity shining in his warm brown eyes.
"Who do you want to meet first?" I chuckle at his confused expression. "Hybrids can shift into one of their beasts or combine them both."
"Oh!" He hums thoughtfully before shrugging. "Zoya?"
I nod and take a deep breath, the transformation from my human form to vampire is more seamless than shifting into a wolf. But I'm not a fan of my body temperature dropping instantly, it makes me feel nauseous for a moment. Opening my eyes, I see Asher looking at Zoya in awe. She's stunning with her crimson coloured eyes and black hair, pearly white skin and slim build. When I first turned and laid eyes on her in the mirror, I was blown away.
"Beloved." She whispers, almost as if she's in a daze.
"Hi, Zoya. It's nice to meet you." He smiles, taking her hand and pressing a kiss on her skin.
"Hi." She greets shyly, making him chuckle. "You are very handsome."
He laughs at that, thanking her. "And you're very beautiful."
You would think Zoya would be confident because of her appearance but it takes her time to trust people and get comfortable around them. She has a reserved and shy personality; a bit like me. Although she has been watching Asher through my eyes, it will take several meetings for her to ease up around him. I can see that he understands, watching him talk to her gently and making her laugh.
Throughout their talk, her fingertips roam across his skin. It's like she's trying to commit everything about him to memory. He captures her wandering hand and intertwines them, rubbing the pad of his thumb across her skin. I feel her happiness over the action as she whispers to me that he's so cute.
Sighing, she rolls her eyes when Ivanna starts to get jealous. "Ivanna wants to see beloved now."
"Don't want to leave me?" He teases, making her blush as he presses a kiss to her temple. "See you soon, Zoya."
"Bye." She whispers and quickly pecks his cheek before letting Ivanna take over.
Ivanna pounces on him as soon as she's free, sending them both tumbling to the ground. I sit back with a shake of my head, my wolf is very bold and cheeky. She licks his face, making him laugh loudly as he runs his fingers through her dark brown fur.
"I'm happy to see you too, Ivanna." He grins, sitting up on the bed as she climbs off him.
Ivanna communicates to him through the mind, his eyes widening at the unexpectedness. Werewolves have both a mind link and a bond whereas vampires only have the bond with their soul mates. He seems to have adjusted easily and I can hear his thoughts like they are my own.
She circles around him, loud purrs escaping her. "Mate is...sexy?"
Zoya and I burst out laughing at her unsure tone, I'm assuming she heard someone say that word around me at one point. She growls at us, whining and settling her head in Asher's lap. He comforts Ivanna, showering her with love and affection. Zoya is the more serious one whereas Ivanna is wild and reckless. But when it comes to controlling them, Zoya is harder to deal with and very unstable.
"Hunt witch down! Protect mate!" She stands unsteadily, giving him a serious look.
His features soften, a soft smile on his lips. "I appreciate that but I can't let you get hurt, Ivanna."
She whines, settling down again on the blanket. They talk for a little while longer and eventually, Ivanna hands control back to me again. I shift into my human form, Asher immediately dragging me across the bed by my ankle. Yelping, I swat his chest when he chuckles. Straddling his lip, I wrap my arms around his neck.
"So, how did you find them?"
"I like them, some of your traits can be found in them but you three are also so different. But, it's weird - kind of like having three different soul mates." He chuckles, making me laugh and nod in agreement.
"Yeah, I guess so." I shrug half-heartedly, understanding how uncommon it is.
"But I wouldn't change it for the world." His warm brown eyes meet mine, full of love, care and promise.