That sound stood different from the round of cheers and hollers. A feminine sob caught his attention, causing him to snap his gaze toward his left.
The silver-edged spikes of the whip connected with his skin on the back, peeling away a chunk of flesh as it left. A hiss of pain slipped out of his lips as a sharp pain shot in alarm.
He heard it again. Muffled and choked out. Another sob. His bloody gaze swept around the crowd, searching for the source. He could only smell the Vampires. Interesting.
The whip connected again. This time, he purposefully made a noise of pain. Loud cheers erupted from the crowd and it was all he could do not to roll his eyes. While it hurt like hell he never gave them satisfaction by making a sound before.
As expected, the sound came again in the form of a strangled cry and his blazing Amber gaze connected with deep topaz blues. Aluxious sucked in a sharp breath when the whip cracked again.
Tears trickled down her cheek as someone tried to pull her away. His nostrils flared, trying to separate her scent from the others. A vampire, he was sure. But young and naive. That would work.
The lycan masked the wisp of a smile and looked away. He could work with that sympathy. If he played his cards right then that would buy his freedom. Hope bloomed within as his gaze flicked to her again.
He roared when the whip connected for the seventh time that night. Not that his scream would lessen their blows. It would warrant more. They always beat him bloody and raw, until he could no longer stand. But he needed her attention. Tonight, things were different.
Killian’s face twisted as he laughed out. Oh, how much he’d love to dove his claws into his chest. He’d take his time killing him. In fact, he’d kill them all given a chance. They’d kept him weak by injecting a lethal concoction of wolfsbane, nightlock and a few other herbs that were only found in Barrmount Hills.
Aluxious closed his eyes, focusing on the pain as his beast, bristled its fur. Weak. But still, battle-ready. His body coiled with tension as the whipping continued. Hatred and fury deepened in his heart, turning it darker.
It was the need for his vengeance that kept him alive. They expected him to give up, but he didn’t. He wouldn’t. An alpha never gives up. He was born into a long line of pureblood Lycanthropes. The defeat wasn’t something they accepted easily. As long as he breathed he would fight with every fiber of strength in his cells.
The body wasn’t strong anymore. It couldn’t keep up with his mind. They’d planned his torture in a way they only allowed time for his skin to heal itself, only to cut him open as he bled. Night after night they brought him out to the throne room as they took turns, whipping him. Sometimes when they didn’t get the satisfaction of his cries, they resorted to other torture techniques.
It was working. His beast was cracking. Little by little. He was giving in to the madness of their primal nature as time went on. Only they hadn’t realized it yet. Aluxious clenched his jaws as his body swayed. His eyes closed, not wanting to see the satisfaction in their eyes as they admired their handy work.
They’d pay. They’d all pay with blood and their lives. When he escaped, he’d bring death and destruction right to their doorstep. There won’t be any escaping then. He’d spare none.
Reyna slipped through the dark corridors of the dungeons with extreme care. The potion would mask her scent for a little while. She’d mixed the specially concocted potion on their foods earlier. They’d be sleeping like a baby. But she had to be careful.
Her body shivered when his masculine woodsy scent teased her nostrils. Alluring and dangerous. She knew his kind. They killed without second thoughts. And they were the enemies of her kind.
Their war went on for sons and they almost wiped out their races, until the Gods intervened. Now they stayed the hell away from each other. Only...Killian, her brother had other ideas.
A ball of emotion rolled down her throat. The scent of his blood thickened. The stench of poison leaked out of him. Reyna wondered why she was even here. She shouldn’t be doing this. But when he roared in pain, she couldn’t stop herself.
She’d been watching him for weeks. When Killian brought in the ferocious beast one night during their celebrations, her heart stopped for a moment. No vampire had managed to catch a beast before Killian. How he did that was a secret until she caught wind of that poisonous concoction in his blood.
For weeks, she battled with her own self, trying to convince he was her enemy. But the more blood poured out of him, the more they tortured him, she found herself hurting for him. No one deserved the tortures he went through.
Her heart thudded against her ribs. With a hand over her chest, she advanced toward the cell that held their prisoner. If her intel was right, he was an Alpha. The king of Lycans. His people were searching for him everywhere. Only no one realized he was captured. Yet.
Reyna jumped when she heard a low warning growl. The beat of her heart became too loud for her own ears. This wasn’t going to be easy.
She paused when he came into view. Arms and legs bound to the thick magically reinforced chains, he slumped, one eye swollen shut and the other half open. His knees trembled as he forced himself up. His matted hair hid most of his facial features. It was brown and long. She thought it’d have looked silky and short once upon a time.
Every attempt failed, but the beast kept trying. Such a fighter. She felt pride fill her chest. His eyes reminded her of burning embers. Killian couldn’t vanquish the fire behind them, no matter how hard he tried.
She worried her lip, contemplating and trying to talk herself out of it. In the end, she just squeezed her tiny frame through the gap between the reinforced bars. His lips peeled off, flashing her a fang. Sharp and deadly.
She stopped in her tracks. “I’m here to help you.” The words came out bolder than she felt. She locked her knees to keep upright. Something about him unnerved her. Despite his state of weakness, she felt the authority of his beast.
A rumble vibrated in his chest. Swallowing her own fear, she tiptoed toward him. His half-shut eye opened fully and he snarled. She raised her hands, palm facing him in a gesture to make her intentions clear. She meant no harm. In fact, she was the only person in the entire vampire kingdom, who could help him. Because once the deadliest concoction enters the victim’s bloodstream, there was no turning back.
“I can’t stand watching them hurt you anymore,” she said. “My blood is the antidote against the poison they keep injecting you with.” Reyna forced her body to relax and straightened her shoulders.
Reyna flinched. Spittle and blood flew from his mouth. His voice was barely an echo of the thick baritone, he once had. Did he realize he was dying? His beast was dying from within.
“My brother did a mistake by violating the rules of the ancient. I’m going to right his wrongdoings.”
“He will die.”
“You’ll do no such thing.” She jutted her chin and locked her gaze with his. “I’ll heal you, help you escape this hell hole, and will ensure a safe passage to your kingdom. In return, I demand that you pardon my brother and his sins.”
The beast sneered at her. Low growls reverberated around her. His head tilted, giving her one of the best smiles that promised death. Disgust and hatred for her kind rolled out of him in waves.
“The poison has been in your system for too long. I’m your only chance of survival.” She braved a step toward him. “Kill me and rot here forever. My brother will see to that.”
Bullshit. Her blood would not only heal him, but would also give him an energy boost to escape the dungeons by himself. Considering she’d taken care of the guards, he’d meet with no resistance. He didn’t have to know that.
Summoning the courage, she raised her wrist to his face. She was risking it. One bite could end her. But she has come this far. With a determined gaze, she said, “Take my blood.”
He stared at her for a long minute and just when she thought she’ll have to force him somehow, he bit her. Razor-sharp fangs cut into her veins, sucking her life source. She choked on a yelp of pain.
Before she could blink, something strong and steely gripped her hip, pulling her flush against his body. Pain blinded her and just as it came it stopped.
Reyna blinked, finding herself pressed against his body. He lifted his head, her blood dripped from his chin. She realized he was standing upright and had a leg wrapped around her waist. Fuck. Both his eyes were open and staring at her––
With a growl, he closed the distance. She should’ve pushed him away and run. She should’ve shouted for help. Instead, on instinct, she bared her neck. His fangs buried itself in the crook of her shoulder.
Reyna gasped as a hot flash of pain washed over her. Tears sprang free as she bit her lips to silence the scream. But soon the pain stopped. Something warm began to spread in her veins.
With another gasp, her eyes rolled back to her skull. Suddenly her nipples tightened as pleasure shot from every fiber of her body. Her hips bucked against him and distantly, she realized something hard pressing against her hip.
A sense of awareness spread to her lower half. This was several folds intense than the first time she explored herself out of curiosity. This was strong and possessing.
A scream of pleasure tore out of lips without warning and her body spasmed. Her hands flew to his biceps. Her hips bucked uncontrollably. When he dislodged his fangs from her throat, her knees almost gave up.
His leg released her and she staggered to the iron bars, clutching then as if her life depended on it. That was...That was––
When their gazes locked again, she saw the lust in his eyes. His arousal is evident. Reyna swallowed. She’d just had her first orgasm at the hands of a man in the dungeons. And he’d made her come just with his bite.
“You must leave.” His voice was stronger, clearer. “Someone’s coming this way.”
She nodded. The horror of what happened dawning on her.
“Don’t worry. They won’t smell you down here. Their senses aren’t as strong as the Lycans.”
Reyna found herself backing up, squeezing through the bars and getting the hell away from him. This man-beast-was dangerous. She should stay the hell away from him.
Aluxious watched as the young Vampiress scurried out of his cell like a little mouse. He could still taste the sweet nectar of her blood. How close she’d come to her death. Not today. But soon.
Her blood was an antidote to the poison she said. He’d felt the change as soon as the first drop hit his bloodstream. His beast stretched its limbs, so eager to be let out. He could feel the strength returning to his bones.
She hadn’t lied. She called his captor, her brother. That explained the sudden rush of power. Purebloods possessed unique powers. Consuming their blood would give a short span energy boost.
He was right to assume she would be young. She hadn’t fanged yet. Probably in her early twenties. Her dormant powers would bloom at the first taste of blood.
He threw his head back and almost howled. The beast was back. The scent of her arousal clung thick in the air.
He lied to her when he said someone was coming. No one would come tonight. The Vampires were usually busy fucking after a weekly torture session like that. They’d leave him to rot before returning the next week.
This time he was ready. Aluxious rolled his neck. Wide topaz blue gaze blinked in his memory. Oh, how much he wanted to kill her. His beast thirsted for her blood. The blood she willingly offered. The blood that healed him instantly. For that, she’ll get to keep her life.
And soon... she’d return. For my bite. He started formulating a plan.