Alice watches as Julius and Jacob converse a few feet away from her. His grey eyes glance at her as if he could feel her watching. His lips bunches up to one side in a smirk and Alice feels an inkling of hatred towards him. Jacob hold an empty canteen, that was filled with a dark liquid. She had watched as he had tossed his head back to drink it, knowing right then she didn’t want to know his true nature. But Alice watched them interact, as they walk around little camp they made for the day. She observes how they walk with an inhuman grace, something she never saw in any human. The trees around her sways with wind, and she could hear bird singing in the trees all around her as she studies the males before her.
She remembers the words Jacob had uttered to her; how they were not human. She could guess what they were, just by facts stated in myth and legends. Vampires. The fear of the fact those creatures of myths and legends are real, frightens her to the core. Alice eyes them as they draw closer, deep in conversation about their plans moving forward.
“How far is Davis and Keiser?” Jacob asks.
Julius shrugs, his face giving no emotion away. His dark short cropped hair is ruffled from the warm breeze that passes over them. “I don’t know. We haven't made it to Black Ley Forest. After that, we will be an hour ride from them,” he replies.
Alice listens, but keeps her questions to herself. She's worried they will quit talking if she interrupts. As if hearing her thoughts, Jacob meets eyes with her. He presses his lips in a thin line, whiting the edges. Julius sees the expression and looks over at her again.
“She can listen. I doubt my father will let her go in a good amount of time for her to remember anything.” Julius mutters.
“Why me?” she breathes out in a rush. Jacob looked at her with pity, but another emotion fills his green eyes. At least, something human lives inside him.
“Our king ordered us to find you. You were taken from him a while ago.” Julius states. Alice's eyes narrow. She crosses her arms over her chest, staring at the ground as many questions crowd her mind, but she can only think about one thing.
“Then who are my parents?” she snaps, her tone deep with disbelief.
The cruel handsome male smirks, which enhanced the brutal beauty of him. His grey eyes sparks with mystery and anger, like a thunderstorm. “Tamara and Lukas were scavenger humans who wandered our woods. They became awed by the beauty and wealth of our kind. So, they stayed and become blood slaves,” Julius spoke, his deep voices resonate through her, each word cutting deeper than the last. “So, Alice, your last name isn't Malik.”
Her eyes widen, but something in her heart knew he was telling the truth. The way she never looked like either of her parents, but also the deep-seated feeling of being out of place, like she didn't belong. “Then who do I belong to?” she asks.
Jacob glances at Julius, doubt written all over his face. Neither of them looked inclined to answer. The blonde male rolls his eyes, looking back at her. “We just know your last name is actually Cram,” Jacob responds, his eyes resting on the other male.
Julius's jaw twitched and his eyes darken. He looks away from them, crossing his arms over his chest Alice couldn't help but capture how attractive he was. His strong jaw line, the fullness of his lips. He is a true vampire.
“Since the sun is almost set, we leave now. We wasted two days and my father is expecting us. So is the other two,” Julius declares, his grey eyes pinpointed to the south.
The words shocked Alice. She remembers the myths and legends about vampires, how they can't walk in sunlight. The thought these two men are mythological creatures and they are taking her to a whole kingdom filled with them frightens her. She stood there, absorbing everything in quiet shock. Alice knew the moment she shows any emotion containing fear would allow Julius to devour her. So, she calms down her heart beat and her breathing. As if sensing her thoughts, Jacob and her connect eyes. His held a whirl storm of emotions and Alice couldn’t decipher them.
“Hmm, we’ll just suffer through it. We won’t die with the sun setting, of course. We’ll be under the black of night in about three hours,” Julius muses, looking up at a patch of the sky. Alice is keened to try and run, but as of right now, she has nowhere to go. She is deeper in the woods than she has ever been, and she was unconscious for half their trip to where they are now.
“Here’s to a sun burn,” Jacob mutters softly.
Julius just singes him with a glare before his eyes flicker to hers. His face went perfectly smooth, avoid of any emotions as he looks at her, like he did when he was introduced to her tied to a tree. He went rigid, his nostrils flaring as he was scenting something. Cursing, he sprints to the horses and yanks the one next to it, towards her. “Get on,” he spits at her. Jacob is there, pushing her up the stallion’s side, before launching himself over his. Julius does the same, yanking on the reign of hers to follow.
“What’s going on?” Alice asks, her voice abnormally loud in the silent forest. Jacob shushes her, his green eyes on Julius, who refused to look back at her. They ignore her question, their eyes searching the forest around them as they move. “What is going on?” she asks with more force.
Julius halts, enough to let her horse grow closer. Faster than she could see, he backhands her, gaining a pained yelp in return. Blood seeps between her fingers as she holds her face, stunned and in pain. Jacob bites his lip and turns away. “When we hush you, human, you are to be quiet!” Julius hisses softly, his voice barely a whisper. Alice only manages a nod and Julius stirs his horse again, galloping toward the front. Alice felt tears as they fall down her sore cheek, a small cut in the middle.
“We are being followed,” Jacob whispers, loud enough where Julius can hear. He gives a nod in confirmation, before gesturing his second to join him. It left Alice by herself, behind the creatures, and she knew she has this one chance to break for it.
Her eyes spy the only problem. The reign; which Julius held in his fists. But Alice took horseback riding classes and she knew where the clip would be and how to undo it. Slipping her hand around the neck, she found the base of the clip, just below the chest of the horse. She presses the button, hearing the soft snick.
Realizing the creatures in front have heightened senses, Alice sat straighter in her seat, eyeing the tense back of Julius has he talks to Jacob about the oncoming threat. But they seem to put it off as an alert from the enemies, for they never look back at her. She figures out when the reign falls limp in his hand, she has to be gone. Alice clenches the leather reign in her left hand, while her right hand holds the side of her face, slowly crusting as her blood starts to dry. Alice pulls her hand away, grimacing at the sight of her blood on her hand.
As if scenting her blood, Jacob peeks over his shoulder at her, his green eyes dark with hunger. Seeing the thin cut on her cheek bone, he grimaces and turns away. Julius just ignores her, though Alice could spy the tension grow thicker in his shoulders. As they kept their backs to her, Alice slowly slacks the reign, letting them get further and further from her. Once she was almost at the end of the reign, she lets go.
With a burst of speed, she digs her heels into her stallion. The male huffs and takes off in a sprint, she hears Julius curse and yell at Jacob. A giggle came to her lips, freedom a breath away. She hears horses take off after her, so Alice coaxes her horse to go faster. The adrenaline is high as it pumps through her blood. Her heart stops as dread sets in. Her blood. Alice automatically puts a hand to her face, the crusted blood that stuck there. In a hurry, she licks her sleeve, reaching it to her face to wipe it off.
Her stallion gets hit in his side, a pained yelp escaping the animal. It was too sudden for Alice to make a sound before her stallion fell and her with it. She groans in pain as she lays on the ground, the darkening sky sparkling over her. Thunderous footsteps echo toward her and she knew it was Julius. His eyes were black like a bottomless pit. Alice wants to throw herself down them as he stands over her. Her shoulder burst with pain as he crouches and grabs her shoulder to hurl her up.
His jaw is tight with tension and Alice could see Jacob is jogging to catch up. Once he realizes what Julius has done, he slows to a stop. Alice just ignores all common sense as this monster grabs her. Julius leans in to her face, his eyes slowly turning back to his stormy grey. His breath hit the side of her face, making her cringe from the nearness of him.
“Next time,” he draws out, making sure each breath he took hit her, “make sure you aren’t running from vampires, sweetheart.” He drags his finger down the side of her cheek, where the dried blood stuck to her skin. Her sleeve on her left arm was soaked with salvia, her viable attempt to wipe it off. “Get back on your horse, Alice,” he snarls, his face fills with uncaged fury.
Alice pants as undeniable fright fills her veins at the sadistic bastard before her. Jacob sends her a look full of sympathy as she shoves herself off the ground. Her back aches with the force he had thrown her off the horse. A bruise is spreading along her shoulder. Limping slightly, she makes her way to her horse that stood on its hooves a few feet away.
Growling in frustration, Alice yanks herself onto the saddle, her muscles screaming in protest. Jacob looks away and whistles, calling his and Julius's horses. The male himself snorts and settles on his horse when they trot to him. The stallion she sat upon rears its head and stares at the back of Julius. Smirking, she pets the head of her horse, inwardly trying to figure out a name for her.
Jacob rides beside her, most likely to keep her from running again. The reign is clipped in place and tied to his. The blonde hair is an attractive guy up close, but there was a history of anger and hunger that is drawn on his face. The bright green eyes held a haunted look as he looks after his leader. His hair was ruffled from the breeze as they rode, some fell forward over his eyes.
Jacob senses Alice looking at him as he looks back at her. His green eyes widen and his lips twitch. “Why are you staring at me?”
Alice feels the blood rush to her face as she turns away. “Just trying to figure out how a guy like you fell in with a guy like him.” she mutters, her eyes pointing at Julius.
His eyes shuttered, but his eyes went back to Julius. He seems to be quiet, like he was thinking. After a while, Alice thinks he may not answer, but then he spoke with tenderness, “We were kids when we found each other. Julius was ten when he had problems with his family. So, he ran away. I was already in the Outlaw Village and that’s when I saw him. I recognized him and knew he came from the King. So, I started to terrorize him.” As Jacob told the story, Julius started to lose all tension; all the muscles in his body are relax. He continues on, his green eyes falling to the stallion he is riding. “Julius wanted to kill me. I found out later when I realized he was a runaway. When I confronted him, he told me to forget who he belonged to. He was never going back. I helped him and he helped me become who we are. Over the course of years, we helped a few others who are completely loyal.”
Alice raises her eyebrows. “He ran away?”
“If you knew his father, you would understand,” Jacob replies. “The Outlaw Village isn't the best place to grow up. Since I was old enough to start remembering, everything was suffering and anguish. No one had enough food to survive, so we all died one by one. My family was one of the first to vanquish. Then Davis's and Keiser's.”
“What about Lintel's?” she asks, noting that he wasn't around since she woke up. They haven't mentioned him either. And caught up in the curiosity, she never asked.
Jacob's jaw jumps as he bit his lower lip. “Lintel was one of those who came into our group that we didn't know where their loyalties lie,” he explains, his eyes darting up to Julius, “We took him to appease our king, but he was a traitor to our kind. We just found out after you were knocked unconscious. Julius dealt with it,” he says.
Alice stifles the urge to glance at the back of Julius, wondering how he dealt with it. “So why are you doing this for your king if he left?”
“We want the best for the Outlaws. So many of them are out on the streets for something that shouldn’t be an excuse. Dropping a dish, breaking it. Dumping a bucket of water on the floor,” Jacob explains, irritation fills his voice. “There are too many people on the streets than inside the walls itself. We’ve lost so many good people, now we are ruled by the powerful and terrible.”
“That sounds horrible,” Alice mutters, earning a nod from Jacob, “But what does this have to do with me?” Julius raises his hand to stop them, as they near him. His back is tense, the muscles sliding under his skin. The black shirt he wears enlightened his slim body.
“We come from a terrible kingdom, Alice,” Julius states, his voice devoid of emotion, “so don’t get your hopes up about when we get you there, you may not walk out.” Jacob send shim a glare, but the male ignores him. “Keep up,” was all he says.