Demon Gates (Helena Hawthorn Series #2)

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Make Me Yours pt. 2

This was definitely Alexander’s apartment.

The hunter dropped the bags on the bed and rummaged through her belongings. She turned around, presenting Helena with a silver dagger. “Here. This should give you an edge when you’re in a fight.”

“I don’t know how to use knives as weapons.”

Maya placed the heavy-hilted object in Helena’s palm. “It’s kill or be killed in this world. Don’t be a child and keep it close. You’ll need it.”

“You say that as if it’s a certainty.”

“I have lived with you for a week. I can already tell that unless you learn to keep yourself safe, you’ll be dead within a year.”

Helena studied the dagger in her hand. The blade was thin and sharp. The handle was much heavier than it looked, but it wasn’t unpleasant as the metal warmed in her hand. “Thanks.”

“Don’t mention it. Keep it with you at all times. We’re in their territory now. Hunter groups were driven out of Vienna a decade ago. Vampires roam the streets without having to look over their shoulder.”

Maya’s pained expression made Helena ask, “You care a lot about other people, don’t you?”

“You’re wrong. I do this because I like killing,” Maya retorted, heading for the door. “Let’s get going. We’ve got to do some training.”

Once they changed, and Maya informed Ben of their plan, they left the building. A waft of algae from the nearby river greeted them. Helena hadn’t noticed the smell earlier. She had been too absorbed in the architecture, but now it caused her to wrinkle her nose.

“You’ll get used to it,” Maya replied.

“How did you know?”

Maya shook her head. “It’s because your thoughts are written on your face. You should try developing a poker face.” She jogged the way they came from earlier, and Helena followed.

“Was it that obvious?” Helena called after her, catching up.

“It’s one of the reasons why I like you. You are honest and don’t deceive others. Sometimes, I wish I was like that, too.”

Helena snorted. So far, honesty hadn’t gotten Helena anywhere. It did quite the opposite by inviting trouble, one after another, to her doorstep.

They ran until the shadows swarmed the streets and the street lights came on, bathing the footpaths and roads in orange light.

Maya stopped abruptly in front of a pitch black alleyway and held out her hand, halting Helena mid-stride. She pointed into the unlit area next to an office building.

“What is it?” Helena whispered, although her eyes were already adjusting. Two figures were standing next to each other—a couple. The man held a woman in his arms in what seemed to be a passionate embrace. Only when Helena squinted, she made out the details. His face was buried in the woman’s neck, and her body was limp against his large frame.

“Vampire,” Maya whispered and ducked. She lifted the hem of her tracksuit bottoms and drew a small gun out of a holster. “We’ve got to stop him.”

Helena’s eyes bulged. “Are you serious?”

“Consider this to be part of the training. Try to distract him while I come in from behind.” Maya jogged off before Helena could offer a word of protest.

A heavy feeling budded in her stomach as she watched Maya vanishing into the shadows. She grabbed the dagger taped to her leg and hid it behind her back.

With each step, her breathing grew heavier and cold sweat broke on her damp spine. Helena stopped, what she hoped was a secure distance away, and gripped the dagger. She cleared her throat.

The vampire’s glowing grey eyes zeroed in on her, and he dropped the woman without a shred of concern for her landing. The vampire said something in German which she didn’t understand.

He took a step towards her, and she took one back, her heart hammering in her ribcage.

“I-I don’t speak German,” she said.

The vampire chuckled and extended his arms as if he was ready to envelop her in a welcoming hug. She knew better than that. Most of his features were hidden by the shadows wrapped around the alleyway. His clothes merged with the dark, and her stomach was close to hitting the floor.

She swallowed. The voice in her head kept screaming for her to run, to get away from this creature. It was a bad idea to be out here without Lucious or Alexander to take him on. Why am I so weak? She wanted to be away from them and now she had the chance to break out of the endless cycle of dependency.

Behind the vampire, Maya was closing in but not fast enough. He seemed too busy enjoying Helena’s shivering to notice her advance.

When he stopped in front of her, Helena’s breath hitched and her mouth went dry. Who was she trying to prove wrong? She could die here.

She turned on her heel, trying to escape. The vampire was faster. He grasped her by the ponytail and yanked her back into his arms. From up close, Helena watched his mouth falling open. Cool dark liquid stained her right hand where she gripped the hilt of the dagger.

The vampire barked something in German, and his face contorted in pain. The glow in his eyes faded.

She stumbled backwards once his hold on her hair loosened. Her chest heaved when she realised what happened. She struck the vampire with the dagger before Maya could get close enough to take him out. The silver hilt protruded from his chest as he fell to the ground like a sack of potatoes.

“Wow. You did it. You killed your first!” Maya cheered.

Helena couldn’t move. Her body was frozen by the memory of Andreaz’s body turning to dust and the torment she underwent in the Council’s prison. She glanced over her shoulder, searching for any bystanders who may have witnessed the scene.

Maya grasped her by the shoulders. “Don’t look so worried. We can dispose of him after I make sure the girl is okay.”

Helena focused her attention on the woman lying limp against the wall then stared at the dark liquid on her hands. She wiped the blood on her shirt, eager to remove the evidence of her actions from her skin.

Maya ran up to the woman and checked her pulse. She pressed her ear to the victim’s chest.

“She’ll live,” Maya said. She smeared some vampire blood on the woman’s neck and rose. “Let’s get the vampire out of the way.” She scanned the surrounding area. “We can shove him in the trashcan and torch it.”

“You want to burn the remains?”

“Yeah.” Maya removed the dagger from the body with ease and lifted his torso by looping her arms under his. “Some help would be nice.”

Helena grabbed the vampire’s booted feet. This man had to be a newborn vampire since he didn’t change much after death. His weight remained over two hundred pounds, making it difficult to manoeuvre the body. After five minutes of adjusting their stance and lifting, they tossed him into one of the large bins at the end of the alley.

“Back up, I’m going to light it,” Maya ordered and fished out a lighter from her pocket.

“Won’t this attract unwanted attention?”

“That’s a good thing. That girl needs to go to a hospital and since we’re not carrying her there with you covered in the vampire’s blood, it’s best to bring the police here.” She clicked the button and lit the vampire’s blood-soaked shirt and the thrown away newspapers on fire then shut the lid.

As they sprinted back to the apartment, Helena spent most of the time avoiding any source of light while passing people by. A few streets away from the alley, she ended up twisting her T-shirt and tying a knot under her chest. She shivered as the evening air brushed her exposed skin.

Once they reached the building, Maya wiped the dagger on her tank top and handed it back to Helena who tucked it behind her back and out of sight.

At the apartment, Helena heard Alexander’s and Lucious’ voices coming from the living room. She forgot about the stains on her clothes and rushed in, searching for the voice of the man she had not seen in days.

When his eyes found hers, a sudden chill washed over her. Lucious stopped communicating with the others and strode over. He dragged Helena behind him. His hand gripped her wrist hard enough to make her wince.

She wanted to tear away from him, but couldn’t do it. It was her fault that he was hurt, and she needed to know if he had recovered from his descent.

He pushed her into the bedroom and slammed the door behind him, locking it to prevent the others from entering.

“I was gone for five days, Helena, and this is how you act? You’ve become friends with the hunters, enough to hunt my kind!”

“What? How do you know about that?”

He ran his hand through his dark hair. His pale face remained a perfect blank. “When I arrived, I sought you out and found you killing a vampire with the female hunter. Should I also expect a silver dagger to the heart when I am not looking?”

“I was defending myself,” she retorted and crossed her arms. “We didn’t plan on finding any vampires during our training. It was an accident.”

“You did not seem too rattled when it happened,” he said, taking a menacing step forwards.

She glared at him, standing her ground. “Don’t talk to me like that. I’m not the one you should be keeping an eye on. Your girlfriend made that pretty clear.”

Lucious frowned. “What are you talking about? I am not involved with anyone.”

“The gorgeous brunette with an hourglass figure and eyes darker than black, ring any bells?”

His expression darkened. “What did Zafira tell you?”

Helena flinched at the mention of her name. A fire burned in her chest, and she couldn’t contain it any longer as it shaped into another kind of anger. “Oh, it’s Zafira. I forgot her name. Glad you could refresh my memory.”

Lucious grasped her shoulders. She tried to push him away, yet he wouldn’t budge.

The coldness in his eyes vanished, and his features softened. “What is the meaning of this, my dear? Are you jealous?”

No words came out of her mouth. She couldn’t deny it. The mental image of Zafira being with him irked her. At the same time, she didn’t want to come between two people. “I don’t want for another misunderstanding to happen.”

Lucious cupped her cheeks and leant in, pressing his lips to hers. The tenderness with which he kissed her rattled her resolve, and she sighed. Her mind raced a mile an hour, finding faults in her enjoyment of the moment they shared. Because of that, she pressed the tip of the dagger to his chest. “We can’t do this, Lucious.”

He eyed the silver weapon and moved in, slicing his shirt and piercing his skin. Blood slid down the blade, and she gasped.

“Is this what they taught you? Not to trust me?” His words stung as he spoke them with bitterness. “Enough of these charades, my dear. End it here and now.”

Shaking, she tossed the dagger aside. It clanked against the hardwood flooring. She couldn’t hurt him anymore. The fact he stood here with her now, without bloodlust in his eyes, proved how hard he worked. Her tears fell, dampening her cheeks as she pressed her lips against his. She discarded any and every thought that could hinder the peaceful sensation as it coursed through her and the link.

He wrapped his arms around her and pushed her against the wardrobe’s door. The warm brush of his fingers tickled her exposed skin as he undid the knot on her T-shirt. He lifted the material over her head, leaving her more exposed than she had ever felt in front of him.

Helena hugged her sides, uncertain what to do next while she battled the images of Andreaz’s hands roaming her body. She shuddered when Lucious’ fingers caressed her collarbone.

“Are you afraid of me?”

She bit her lip. His concerned eyes were glowing blue. This was not Andreaz. He was long gone and would never return or hurt her. With a shaky laugh, she willed her tense body to relax.

Lucious gently took her hands and lowered them. “What is the matter? The link is full of your fear.”

“I’m not scared of you, it’s just—it’s Andreaz. I can’t help remembering the time he tried to…” She choked on the last words, unable to finish her sentence as more tears flooded over the edge.

He wiped them away with the sleeve of his black shirt and drew her into his chest, surrounding her with his warmth and scent. “How far did he go with you? I never asked because I felt it was not my place, but I have changed my mind on the matter.”

“Not far. The demon saved me. I don’t know why.”

“I never thought I would say this, but I am grateful to him for doing so,” Lucious whispered into her ear and kissed the top of her head.

“Do you love me?” She did not dare look up at him. Her heart erratically danced in her chest, and she counted the seconds in her head, awaiting his reply.

Lucious led her to the bed where he seated her on the edge and went down on one knee. His hands held hers. “I do not know what I feel for you other than the need to protect you and keep you from harm. If that is love, so be it. I never had an experience where I sought love or a relationship with another. This is similar to the emotion I feel for Anna and different at the same time.”

Helena gazed into his sorrowful eyes. “You’ve never been in love?”

“If I was, I was too busy seeking revenge to notice.”

“What do you mean it’s similar to what you feel for your sire?”

He gave her a faint smile. “Anna is a like a sister and a mother to me, but, with you, I have the urge to hold you close and never let go.”

Helena’s heart swelled. She tightened her hold on his hands and knew what she wanted. So, she planted a soft kiss on his cheek. “Tonight, make me yours, Lucious.”

“Are you certain it’s what you want? Once I take you, I won’t let another have you.”

Helena gave a nod of approval which was enough for him to lose control of his shields and flood the soul-bond with his excitement and apprehension. He consumed her with a hungry kiss, blocking out the world, the demons, the hunters, and their troubles.

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