Chapter Twenty: A Slave to Love
Dinner was interesting, to say the least. Akira, Wolfric, and Malique sat at the head of the table with Darius, his harem scattered all over.
Akira looked around and found that there were too many to count. She looked at Darius, who was watching her.
“How many do you have?” she asked.
Darius did not have to ask what she was talking about. He cleared his throat and looked into the crowd of women.
“At my last count, it was fifty-two.”
Akira spat out a mouth full of water across the table.
Malique looked at his shirt, which was splattered with water.
“Sorry,” Akira choked out, watching her Vampire Warrior.
Malique looked up at her and smiled. “No worries, little one. Won’t be the last thing you spit on me,” he said, then winked at her.
Akira blushed, and Wolfric placed his hand over hers in her lap.
“My father had over a hundred,” Darius said with a shrug. “I guess that’s why my mother hated him so much,” he said, tapping his finger against his chin. “Or maybe it was because he hit her.”
“What?” Akira shrieked.
Darius looked at her, a sad look in his eyes. “Sorry,” he said, then went back to eating.
“Uhm, how do you not have a hundred kids?” Akira asked.
She looked down the table at the few women who could share the master’s table. How is he going to change? This is all he knows.
“There is a pill I take that keeps me from getting any woman pregnant,” he said, then looked up at Akira. “I will stop taking the pill if I am your chosen mate.”
Akira stared at him, dumbfounded. She does not want to have his child. What if he grew up and asked for a harem like his daddy and grandfather before him?
“I think that’s a long way away,” Wolfric said, squeezing her hand.
Akira looked up at her Wolfie. She wants him to be her chosen mate. What if he is not? She seriously has no say in the matter.
“Of course,” Darius said with a nod.
They finished dinner and moved to the main hall, where all the women gathered once again. Akira stood between Wolfric and Malique as Darius stood in front of them so he could talk with his harem.
“How did he get so many to follow him here?” Akira asked.
Wolfric snorted, “that’s one of his gifts. He got it from his father. He can manipulate a woman into thinking she wants him.”
Akira’s eyes opened wide. “Is that how he got me to kiss him?”
Wolfric nodded. “I saw through it. That’s why I called out to you; to break the spell.”
She frowned. “If he did that to me before, how will I know what’s real?”
Darius had been listening to his Havent and her Wolf Warrior and turned to face her. He felt shame for what he had done to her. If he had known…
“I will never use my influence on you for that again, my little Psychi,” he said, looking deep into her eyes. “I promise you that.”
“Why did you do it?” she asked, watching him.
He sighed, “I didn’t know who you were, what you were to me. I only knew that I had to have you.”
She frowned. “And now?”
He smiled. “And now. I still want you, but only when you are ready. I will not force anything on you, Psychi.”
She sighed. Should she believe him? He winked at her, then turned back to face his women. Akira almost gagged. Over fifty women at his beck and call. And all under his spell.
“He doesn’t keep them under his control,” Malique whispered into her ear. “Once they are here, he lets them go, and they choose to stay or go. Most choose to stay because it is a far better life than living on the streets or with an abusive father.”
Akira nodded. At least he gave them a choice.
“Good evening, ladies,” Darius said, looking out at all the women he would be saying goodbye to.
Funny—he felt nothing. No sadness, no remorse. Just pure joy every time he looked into his Psychi’s eyes.
“Tonight will be your last night here in my Palace. I am happy to say I have found my soulmate. We will be searching for the rest of her Warriors, then we will settle down in one of their realms or here,” he announced.
The women gasped in surprise.
Akira felt the women glare at her and hid behind Wolfric. She should have gone to her room. She did not like being stared at with such hatred. She may be a badass when it comes to fighting, but she has not been around this many people in more than five years. And to have every eye on her, well, that gave her goosebumps and made her want to run in the opposite direction.
Besides. Who is she going to fight? They look like they could not hold up a sword, let alone fight with one. And she is sure she could knock them out with one punch. But there are fifty-two of them and one of her. Akira looked up at Wolfric and Malique.
Three, four if Darius stood at her side against his harem.
“I will have my men take you all to town and find you accommodations for one month. After that, you are on your own,” Darius said with a grin, then turned and looked at Akira. “How was that?”
“One month?” Akira asked.
Darius shrugged. “They’re beautiful women. It will be easy for them to find a new master or whatever they want.”
“You must be well off to pay for fifty-two rooms for a month.”
Darius grinned. “Can’t you tell by my home?” he asked with a wink.
Akira scoffed, and Wolfric pulled her to his side.
“We have been traveling for days. Akira is exhausted,” Wolfric said before his little Havent said something she would regret later.
Darius nodded. “Of course.” He smiled at Akira, then left them and went in search of his guards.
Wolfric and Malique led Akira to her room and helped her into her nightclothes and into bed. They each kissed her goodnight and left the room to talk with their new Warrior.
Akira sighed and closed her eyes. It did not take long for sleep to take over.
~ Akira woke to a nose in her neck. She sighed as she turned over and opened her eyes. She screamed and jumped back away from the man in her bed.
“Why all the screaming?” Darius asked, covering his ears.
Akira rolled out of bed and took three steps back. “What are you doing in my bed?!” she demanded.
Darius smirked. “I am your mate, am I not?”
She shook her head. “You’re my Warrior.”
He laughed as he got out of bed. “Same thing,” he said, then stretched.
“You can’t just come into my bed,” she said, watching him move over to the door.
He turned back to her and smirked. “You will be all mine soon,” he said with a devilish grin, then opened the door and left.
Akira shivered. Something did not feel right.
“Akira!” Wolfric shouted as he and Malique barged into her room. “We heard you scream.”
Akira ran into her Wolfie’s arms and cried. “Darius was in my bed.”
Wolfric chuckled and wrapped his arms around her. “He’s one of your Warriors. There is nothing wrong with him being in your bed. It’s like if you woke to Malique or me in your bed.”
Akira shook her head. “No. We haven’t bonded yet—he’s too creepy,” she said with a cry. “And he said that soon I will be all his.”
Malique sighed and rubbed her back. “He means that you two will bond soon.”
Akira shook her head. She felt that it had a whole different meaning. They helped her dress for the day, then walked her down for breakfast.
They ate with Darius again. Akira kept quiet as the men talked. Darius’s men had already taken the women to town, so they were alone.
Wolfric started choking, and Akira looked at him.
“Are you okay?” she asked worriedly.
Wolfric shook his head and held his hand to his throat.
“What’s wrong?” she asked, jumping to her feet when his face turned blue. “Wolfie!”
Malique started choking, and she turned around to find his face as blue as Wolfric’s.
‘What was going on?’
“Ah, the poison has finally set in,” Darius said with a chuckle as he watched the two men try to breathe.
“P-poison?” Akira asked, her heart racing out of her chest. ‘No, he didn’t.’
He nodded. “Yep. But since you are a healer, I know you can help them.” Darius got to his feet and picked up his sword.
Akira placed a hand on each of her Warriors and focused on the poison in them. Her hands glowed amber, like her eyes, and she was about to heal both her Warriors when she felt Wolfric’s lifeforce ripped out of her soul. Akira cried out in pain as she fell to her knees. She looked up at her Wolfie and screamed when she saw his head was no longer on his shoulders.
“NO!” Akira screamed as she watched Darius move to Malique.
Akira jumped to her feet, but before she could stop Darius, Malique’s head rolled off his shoulders.
“I don’t know much about Upirs, but I do believe he can’t live without his head. And you are not powerful enough to bring back the dead. That is unless you want Draugars on your hands,” he said with a smirk.
“How could you!?” she screamed.
“I did tell you that you would be all mine,” Darius growled deep in his throat as he yanked Akira toward him. “You will be mine for eternity,” he said with an evil laugh.
He yanked her arm and dragged her to a large room full of crazy toys and chains.
“I did tell you this would happen.”
Akira looked at the corner where Brynhildr stood, shaking her head at her.
Darius chained her to the wall and smiled as he ran his hand over her body. “All mine,” he sneered.
“Never!” she yelled in his face.
He took hold of her face and growled. “You will call me Master!”
“I will NEVER call you Master,” she snarled.
“As you wish,” he said with an evil look in his eyes. “Slave,” he said, picking up a whip and smirking. “You will learn your place.”
Akira screamed as he lifted the whip above his head, then brought it down across her breasts. ~
Akira sat up, screaming louder than she had ever screamed in her life. She could not stop. She could not breathe—but the scream would not end.
Akira continued to scream. Her eyes tightly closed as she screamed with all her might.
’How could this be? How could her Wolfie and Mal be dead? NO!’
The screaming continued until something pressed to her mouth. It was not a hand or cloth—it was lips. And it was not Darius. They were familiar and comforting.
“Wolfie!” she cried against his mouth. Akira pressed herself against him and deepened the kiss. “You’re alive,” she said with a cry.
“Of course I’m alive,” Wolfric said, holding her back. “The question here is, are you okay?”
She shook her head, then nodded and pressed herself against him, sobbing as she held onto him as if her life depended on it.
“I have never heard her scream like that before,” Malique said as he sat on the bed behind her and rubbed her back.
“Malique,” she said with a cry as she turned from Wolfric and slammed her head into Malique’s chest.
“Oof,” Malique said when she knocked the air from his lungs. “What happened?” he asked, wrapping his arms around her.
She sobbed against her Vampire and drank in the fact that her Warriors were both alive.
“Is everything okay?”
That voice, she will never forget that voice.
Akira pulled away from Wolfric and Malique and jumped out of bed.
The three men watched Akira lunge for her bag.
Wolfric and Malique thought of it too late as Akira pulled her sword from her bag and ran at Darius with it over her head, ready to strike him down.
“Akira!” Wolfric and Malique shouted as they chased after her.
“Woah,” Darius said, catching her wrists.
He frowned as he stared into her deranged eyes, holding the sword inches from his head.
“What’s wrong, Psychi?” he asked, confused.
“Don’t call me that!” she screamed in his face. “You lost your right to call me that!”
Wolfric took the sword from Akira’s hands and pulled her away from Darius.
“Maybe now is a good time to go? We have her, and we will tell you anything you need to know in the morning.”
Darius nodded and frowned. Something has hurt their Havent, and that hurt him. He growled to himself. Someone or something has hurt his Psychi.
And he is going to find out who—before they can hurt her again.