Warrior Princess: The Vampi Kingdom

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Chapter Fourteen

Julius paces the floor, his best friend laying on the bed, stretched out. His clothes are clean, and his brown hair is drenched from a fresh shower. Julius took one after him and ordered Jacob to make Callista take one. Jamie has clothes for her when she gets out. The memory of last night rises his anger level. Her lips and her bright silver-blue eyes wide as they took him in. The window above Jacob's bed has sunlight flickering through, distracting him from the memory. Davis and Keiser are probably pissed for waiting so long.

"Where the hell was Callista last night?" Jacob asks, his voice dripping with sarcasm. Julius almost flinches, but there is nothing to hide from. They almost kissed and if he could read his best friend, it isn't jealousy. Just curiosity.

"She followed me to where I was training with Mikael," he informs, sending him a playful glare, "Shit went down before she got there though."

Jacob sits up, his green eyes lighting up. "Oh? What does the lover of the Chief have to say?"

"Mikael made him stay in Silver Village while he fought in the war that cost him his life." He answers.

Jacob tilts his head, standing from the bed. It caused it to creak. It is a sharp sound that shoots through their ears. They cringe, grasping their ears. "God damn, Fae. They need to oil their beds every now and then," he curses. Julius smirks, shaking his head. He drops his head and stops his pacing. Jacob sees and puts his hands down as well. "Gabriel wouldn't have forced him to stay behind if he knew something."

Julius nods, the same words escaped his lips last night. He saw the hatred of being here when the love of his life was killed. His father had a plan on setting loose wild coyotes filled with iron blood. He created a formula that he could mix in a drink of any kind and the iron would mutate as blood. It took out a huge portion of the Fae armies.

"Who gave him warning?" he asks softly. His eyes meet Jacob's, and a muscle jumps in his cheek, giving the answer. He closes his eyes briefly; and utters an inwardly thank you. The danger Jacob would be in the moment Mikael found out they knew what his father planned and did. But it saved millions in the upcoming. "Damn, Jake. If they find out..." he let the sentence trail off, letting him fill the blank.

"I know." Is all he says.

A knock on the door has Julius spinning and opening it, without saying anything. He feels his breath leave, his heart clenching at the sight before him. Callista wears a tight shirt that dips in the front, with ripped jeans, showing off her sun-kissed skin. Her dark hair is slick with water, dripping onto the floor. Her blue eyes snap up and meet his, her lips parting. He swallows harshly, letting his breath in. Jacob pushes pass him and smiles at her, showing kindness. Julius feels his guard come down and frowns at her.

"We need to get going." He snaps, ignoring the rush of blood pumping her cheeks. He slides pass her and heads down the stairs. Today, Jamie is not at her usual spot and fury blinds him as the sounds above float to him. Jacob ducks his head, his hands clenching at his sides. Callista's eyes turn bright as anger races through her own.

He shakes his head and gesture them to continue. Jamie burned her bridges; they'll do the same. The outside hit him like a wave, the intense heat radiating. Callista steps out and a small gasp escapes her. His insides clench at the sound and he curses the gods for creating her. Their horses stood at the very end of the stall, all fed and rested. He pulls the reigns and helps Jacob get Callista on hers. Julius saddles on his and Jacob beside him.

"Let's go," he whistles, indicating the horses to start. A figure cuts his path and he reign in his horse. Leilani focuses her violet eyes on him, and he feels the urge to look at Callista instead. Frowning to himself, he fights the urge. He meets her eyes and raises an eyebrow.

"You skipped War Conference yesterday." She mutters, fidgeting under the weight of eyes. Her confidence strikes and she levels her chin by looking down her nose at Callista.

"That meeting was for Fae Commanders, Leilani," he snaps, "I had no business."

She wears a light blue dress that floats about as she walks, the heat singeing her skin. Sweat coated her body as she strides toward him. His eyes travel with her, too frightened of the human beside him. Her soft, petite hand touches his arm and he tense. Her eyes meet his, him on the horse and she lower. "Come back this time."

He grits his teeth, the promise of what she indicates high. He knew the danger of messing with her as Chief. "I cannot promise that." She bares her teeth and drops her hand. He flicks the reign and they start leaving, Callista in the middle. The human doesn't even spare the Chief of the Silver City a glance.

∞†∞†∞

On the road again, Julius puts as much distance between him and Callista. Jacob fell back some time ago, and they spoke in low voices, though every word vibrates through him. The path took them by the water's edge, that is a direct point toward the Kingdom. The trees around them grow darker, as the canopy grew thicker above them. The deeper they go into Black Ley Forest, the more supernatural everything seems. Small yellow flowers burst open, sprinkling white particles as they pass by. Julius could hear the small gasps of awe escaping Callista.

They pass an old tree, with a small door carved at the bottom. The little head pokes out and smiles brightly at the human in between them. Dwarves love pretty things, even people. Humans are rare and so is their beauty. Callista has the genes and he tugs in the reign of her horse a little rougher. The dwarf's mousy blue eyes meet his, and he loses his smile. Julius smirks, awakening the fear inside them of his father. Even miles away, dwarves are forced to follow his father's rulings. And he uses it to his advantage.

"Get back in your hut, dwarf." Julius snarls lightly. He feels eyes burn into the back of his head, knowing the human is staring at him with displeasure. I am not here for your pleasure, Callista. Only for my father's.

The dwarf curls his lip at him, disgust radiating from his pudgy eyes. "Yes, Ambassador."

Julius feels his insides freeze, a cold sludge filling his blood streams. Jacob's stare is razor sharp and he uses everything within him to not flinch away. He meets the dwarf's stare head on. "I moved that fast? From outlaw to Ambassador for the king?"

The dwarf rolls his eyes and shuts the door of his tree hut. They had stopped while they spoke, but not inclined to answer Jacob's questions, he reigns his horse to start walking again. He feels his best friend's fury behind him like a heat wave.

∞†∞†∞

Three hours later, and they are at the end of the Black Ley Forest. The river heads off toward the north, heading to another Fae location, but they have to head west, to the kingdom. He looks around the huge clearing, the open sky blue and cloudy. Callista and Jacob stop speaking as Julius makes no move to start his horse. The trees around them are gnarled and twisting into an arch, indicating an entry to the forest. A black horse is tied to a post on to the side, and Julius does a double take as he recognizes the horse. Hoping off his horse in a graceful movement, he strides toward the horse. It bucks up, startled as he comes up to it. Furrowing his eyebrows in confusion, the male walks around the horse, saying soothing words to get it to trust him.

A footprint, heavy by the looks of it, is situated about a foot away from the horse. He raises his eyes and sees more, but none look like Davis's or Keiser's. The dirt is smudged all around it as if someone tried to cover their tracks. It couldn't be Davis, for he is the best vampire tracker other than Julius.

"Jacob, get Callista away," he calls suddenly, the situation hitting, "It's a trap!" He turns around to get out of there, but an arrow pierces the air and catches him in the shoulder. He crashes into the dirt floor; a mushroom of dirt explodes around him. He coughs and grasps the arrow shaft, his hands shaking. Blood seeps around the arrow, flooding his hand. Something sickening sweet fills the air and his eyes widen.

"Julius!" Jacob yells, the name bouncing through the forest. His figure comes into view, smudged with dirt. Callista is nowhere in sight as his second command helps him to his feet. Grunting, he keeps a steady hand on the arrow shaft.

"Jake. Do not panic to what I am about to tell you, for I only have five hours," Julius grabs his best friends as a dizziness spell crashes down on him, "The arrow is dipped in Maldom. If they get you, we are in big trouble."

"I am not leaving you," his second in command snarls, wrenching away from his grasps. The dust has settled around them, leaving the clearing open, so when his snatched himself away, he bumps into the male behind him.

"Don't worry about going anywhere anytime soon," the male smiles, showing a canine set of teeth. Julius sways, nausea rolling in his stomach. Werewolves. The male in front of them has a pair of jeans on, with a button-down blue shirt. His hair is in an unkempt black mess with hazel eyes. A few others circle them, surrounding them in a circle. The wolf before him radiates power, but not enough to be an Alpha. The Beta is just as important to a pack. "We captured the thing that led us to you." He gestures to behind them and sees a protesting Callista as a muscled wolf holds her steady in front of them. Her silver-blue eyes are wide in fear as she took in the scene before her.

"What business do you have of stopping the Ambassador of the King?" Julius snarls, not allowing the pain of his wound distract him of the cost this could be to their trip. Jacob tenses as the words drop around them and the werewolf's gaze drops slowly.

"I have a message for your king, Julius Flynn," the wolf purrs, sliding around the other vampire and stands in front of him, "We are a rebellious group called the Moon Light Weapons. We need to be heard. Where else to start then attack the Prince of Vampi, the Heir?"

Baring his fangs at the wolves, he shook his head. "My father took apart the lively hood of how you wolves became a community. He strips ranks if he didn't believe it suit his needs. He murdered mates when their love became too powerful. Nothing you do or say to me, will make a difference to my father. He started war for this land, for control. You think hurting me, giving me an insignificant amount of Maldom, will change that?"

The Beta looks uncertain as the wolves around him mutter. The rumors of how cruel his father is, is just rumors of stories told by others. Julius could hear the story and strip it bare, leaving them with the true stories. Unfortunately, most of them are true. All their eyes turn golden, the signal of the pack mind, communicating between pack members. Either the Beta is taking charge to turn the tide, or the Alpha getting a report.

The Beta's eyes are the first to return to their normal hazel. He stares at the wound and smirks, a victory still hours away, but coming soon. The other's eyes drain to their normal colors and look wary as they eye the Beta. Julius sways again, a heavy feeling settling amongst his head.

"This isn't over, Julius Flynn." The wolf growls, backing away. They morph, a vicious sound of bones breaking and reforming. The clearing is filled with dark wolves, all snarling at the vampires and the human. They disappear in a blink of an eye. Callista stands some distance away, her heart clamoring into the clearing. Her blood level raised, and Julius closes his eyes, holding his breath so the intoxicating smell doesn't hit him.

"Callista, they are gone." Jacob states, moving so he stands close to her. "For now," he adds as a second thought. She visibly shudders and shakes her head at him, her eyes expanding in horror. Julius tilts, his head swimming as the poison starts to circulate more.

"Jacob, is he okay?" Callista asks, her voice soft with concern. Jacob curses, turning to catch him, jostling his shoulder.

"No, he isn't," a voice interrupts them, causing Callista to whip around. Two males stood at the edge of the clearing. The one on the left has red hair; and Julius smiles as he remembers the only male to confidently wear his natural color with pride. The other one is someone Julius is relieved to see as his brown eyes meet his. "He got shot with an arrow, dipped in Maldom."

Callista's eyes flicker to his, concern beating there, before being buried. "Maldom?"

"It is an herb dangerous to vampires. Indigested, it is fatal. If we touch it, we get burned and that is all." Jacob explains, moving them slowly to the two men at the clearing. Davis and Keiser look at him in worry, the danger he is now in.

Davis bites his lip, moving to help Jacob. He inspects the wound and swallows harshly. "Guys, the Beta dipped it in enough poison for it to kill him within hours. Where is the nearest healer?"

Julius leans on his second in command as a wave of dizziness presses down on him. The trees swaying with him as his eyes roll back as a pain began to move within his arm. Clenching his hand around the fabric of Jacob's shirt, he hisses out a breath of pain. Concern flashes through his company's' eyes as they watch him fall deeper into his death. The black abyss pulls him in and he loses consciousness.

∞†∞†∞

His eyes slowly open, a light swing back and forth above him as people walk back and forth. He sits up, careful of the stiffness of his body. The room is big enough for eight cots, four against one wall and another four against the other. Nurses walk between each patient, cooing sweet words and feeding them medicine. A nurse with blonde hair and nymph green eyes turns to his bed and meets his eyes. She stops, her mouth opening in a gasp.

She brings a hand to her blue scrubbed chest. "You startled me," her voice came out in British accent, that tilted the S's. Her lips form a quick smile as the reason of her startlement settle. "You weren't supposed to wake up for another day. Your friends already made plans to come see you then."

Julius nods slowly, his throat dry and cottonlike. The nurse offers a glass of water beside his cot. He takes it and drinks in a low portion careful to observe his surroundings. The town and different accents are familiar to him. The wooden walls of the infirmary are thing, cracks peering through to the outside. He sits all the ways up, his back groaning in protests and the strained muscles. He heard the echoes of men screaming, wailing in pain.

"Where am I?" he croaks out, his voice gruff.

The nurse smiles, taking the cup and filling it again by a table. Her face is worn with horror and sadness. Julius feels a split second of worry, as he knows the timetable his mission holds. Now more than ever. He remembers the feel of her lips brush against his and he sucks in a deep breath as a tidal wave of emotions. The nurse comes back over, getting disapproval looks from her companions. Do they know who I am? He wonders, the eyes watching him narrow.

"You are at a war infirmary, due to the Vampire King's declaration. The Sadistic King." she drawls on, her nymph eyes watching as the words fell.

His eyes fell to behind her, the words declaring she knew who he is and what he represents. "You know."

The nurse bobs her head, her fingers dancing over his as he grabs the cool glass of water. "Yes, and no one else does. You are my secret as well as your company. Though these War Generals will get pretty pissed when they see the human girl."

Julius shakes his head, his strength coming back in small doses. "She stays safe. She is for my father."

The nurse's eyes darken, a sight to behold as the Fae light disappears behind the darkness. She inches closers. "Excuse me?"

He inclines his head to meet her eyes directly, no remorse for the words about to leave his mouth. "She is my sacrifice for a better world. My father never asks for a mortal, unless it is to kill them. I have made many mistakes this week concerning her, so I will not beat around the bush any longer."

The nurse's lips twitch, a wicked gleam bleeds through the darkness. "You almost fell for her."

The words made his jaw clench and his eyes zoom in on the ground. He pushes himself off the cot, his body feeling better. He shakes his head, eyes still on the ground before him. "Never speak of it again. She is a mere human who will be forgotten."

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