Chapter 4 - Found
I wake up suddenly, gasping for air. Looking around as I catch my breath, my shoulders slump when I recognize the familiar surroundings of the abandoned cottage. So, it wasn’t a dream.
Standing, I make my way to the door and step out. My body is sore from sleeping on concrete and I’m starving, my stomach growling lowly. Wrapping an arm around my tummy, my brows furrow in confusion when I find it to be dark still. The sky is now filled with clouds that are a dark grey but there is no sunlight to be found. It’s like the clouds are a blanket and even if the sun wanted to slip past, they wouldn’t let it.
Trying not to burst into tears, I start my trek to find a way out of this forest. I come across a stream, the same lake I teleported to last night and more clearings. Confusingly enough, I don’t hear any animals. It’s eerily silent with only the wind caressing my cheeks. Feeling paranoid, I increase my pace.
I all but shout in relief when I break through the treeline after what seems like hours of walking. There are fields upon fields of grass in front of me with a narrow road in between them. I start making my way towards it. It’s bordered by stone walls on either side and I lean over it to see nothing but greenery on either side. No hint of civilization meets my eyes. Sighing, I decide to walk along the road and pray that somebody will drive past and give me a lift.
After what I believe to be half an hour or more to have passed, I suddenly hear a loud noise in the distance. Looking back, I see multiple black cars driving down the hill and I stop walking. I wave my hands in the air, trying to catch their attention as they drive past, yelling that I need help and pleading for them to stop.
Thankfully, one of them does and the rest follow suit. I walk over just in time for the door to open and see a tall man get out. Immediately, I feel this strange sensation in my body, like something is pulling me to him. His chocolate brown eyes roam over me in curiosity but when our eyes meet, that’s when everything changes. His shine bright red and all I hear are my beasts, Ivanna and Zoya, murmuring the word “mate” in realization.
I step back in shock, an action that he doesn’t seem to appreciate. He snarls, marching towards me and pulling me flush against his chest. I bite my lip when the skin contact feels like my body is rejoicing; as if I had been missing a piece to the puzzle my whole life. He has no body heat and it immediately makes me shiver, realizing that he’s a vampire. I stare up at him, still reeling from everything that’s happened and now this.
“I’ve finally found you, my beloved.” He murmurs low enough for just us to hear, staring down at me in awe.
The bright red orbs die down to a warm brown which eases my nerves a little. He has dark brown hair, light stubble and his build is very muscular. All his features are sharp and angular, it’s like he was carved to perfection. He’s dressed in a black suit with a crimson colored tie and handkerchief. It looks like he’s just come back from an event.
“Come on.” I’m brought out of my admiration when he tugs on my hand and starts pulling me towards the car.
“I-I have to get back.”
He stills, turning back to me with a confused expression. “What are you doing all the way out here anyway?”
I’m about to explain when I notice everyone standing around us and listening in. Remembering that I can’t tell anybody about my gifts, I shut my mouth. He catches on and orders everyone to get back in their cars and that he’s driving alone with me. I get into the passenger seat while he starts the car and follows the others.
“I’m Asher Antonov, what’s your name?” He asks gently, noticing my panicked state.
“Ayla Romanov.” I murmur, watching his eyes widen in realization.
“Vulcan and Aurora Romanov’s daughter?” He asks, making me nod in confirmation. “How did you get here?”
I freeze momentarily before relaxing. Surely my own mate wouldn’t manipulate my gift? I think I can tell him and trust him to keep the knowledge to himself. Besides, he has his own gift that I will soon know about.
“I...I teleported. I’m still learning, something happened and I ended up here. I don’t know where I am, I don’t know how to get back or –”
“Hey,” He soothes, grabbing my hand and rubbing circles into my skin. His cold temperature is enough to distract me. “Breathe, okay? It’s going to be alright.”
“I’m sorry,” I whisper, slightly embarrassed. “I’m just really scared...about everything.”
“I know, but you have nothing to fear.” He smiles gently, before focusing back on the road. “You are currently in the Vampire Kingdom; a hidden realm between Romania and Ukraine.”
My eyes widen and I slump helplessly. How on earth did I manage to teleport to a different realm?! How did this happen? I wonder to myself. I have yet to master the ability to teleport to long distances, then how did I teleport this far?
“I’m so confused...” I whisper to myself, staring at the greenery that quickly turns into buildings as we drive through what I assume is a city or town.
“Don’t worry, we’ll figure things out when we reach the castle.” He replies, entering a road that seems to be leading out of the city.
“I’m the King of this kingdom.” He chuckles at my shocked expression, patting my knee. “And I think that’s enough information for now, you’ve been through enough already.”
We sit in silence but I’m restless with the need to get back home. I don’t feel comfortable here, being alone in another realm. Although Asher makes me feel safe, I can’t help how I feel.
“Asher, will you help me? I know my parents must be so worried, I just want to let them know that I’m okay.” I turn to him, confusion filling me when his smile drops.
And when he turns to me with a grave expression on his face, I have a feeling I won’t like what he has to say.
Vulcan Romanov’s P.O.V.
“I gave you one job!” I roar at the line of warriors crowded in my office, the glass I held shattering against the wall.
“A-Alpha, we searched e-everywhere –”
“Well, go back and search harder!” I snarl, intense rage wreaking havoc inside my body and mind. “I don’t care how long it fucking takes you, don’t come back until you’ve found her!”
“Vulcan.” A firm voice calls, making me turn to see Aurora standing by the door.
I slump on my chair, rubbing my temples as I try to calm my beasts down. Both Ruxin and Vladimir were screaming inside my mind, constantly repeating the words “find pup!” Aurora and I have turned the house upside down looking for Ayla, we’ve called people she knew just to see if she went to their houses but there is no sign of our daughter. She has disappeared and I’m not sure whether she’s in America anymore.
“Go get something to eat and rest up, all of you. We’re grateful for your help.” My mate instructs, a sad smile on her face.
“Aurora –” I growl, wanting to demand that they get back to work.
She glares at me and I sit silently, seething as I watch my men thank her and walk out the door. Closing it after the last warrior leaves, she makes her way towards me and settles herself on my lap. I pull her flush against my chest, holding her tightly as I inhale her scent deeply.
“They should be out there – I need to be out there with them looking for my little girl.” My voice is hoarse, on the verge of breaking.
“Vulcan, we need to check in with Kaden and see if she teleported there. If not, you need to contact Jezabelle and get her to help. The kids are freaking out and want to find her, I need you here.” She cups my face in both hands, resting her forehead against mine.
“She hasn’t been trained fully. What if someone hurts her for who and what she is? Ayla’s out there alone, she needs us!” My breath starts coming out in short pants, the need to find my pup overwhelming me.
Memories of what happened to me when people found out that I’m a hybrid come rushing back into my mind. If something like that happens to my daughter, I will never forgive myself. I should have protected her better – trained her harder. I shouldn’t have been lenient whenever she became tired of practicing her gift.
“Vulcan, calm down!” She whispers, tears streaming down her cheeks. “We will find her, okay? First, we’re going to contact Kaden, then Jezabelle. After we’ve explained the situation to her, Indigo and Vanessa can watch over the kids while we go and look for Ayla.”
“You are not going anywhere, I can’t lose you too! I’m going alone!” I snarl, hating the way she glares at me.
“I am not going to sit here and twiddle my thumbs, she’s my baby too. I’m going with you and that’s final!” I sigh in defeat when I realize she’s going to be stubborn about this.
Nodding tiredly, I press my lips against hers and taste the saltiness of her tears. “We’re going to find her, we’re going to bring her back, and I’m going to rip anybody who’s hurt her to shreds. I promise you, mate.”
Moon Goddess help anyone who decides to hurt my pup.