Over Before It Began
I watch her leave and intend to follow but nearly as quickly as the door closes Dustin excuses himself and follows. My body tenses my mind runs riot. Is he trying to hurt her? Touch her? What difference does that make to me? She is a part of a plan, anything in between is not for me to get involved in. Why is it that I stand up and push back my chair loudly without even thinking about it. I don't excuse myself to anyone. Those here are surprised enough that I have even come to this. I keep in touch with the council when necessary but not any other time.
I open the door and close it behind me, turning my head i don't have to look far. Turning my head I spotted them just down the hall. Dustin doesn't have a hand on her which makes me release the breath that i didn't even realise i was holding comes out raspy. Dustin is standing towering over her. Her small black heels don't give her much extra height and I can see the way her body is tense. That the things he has said have set her on edge.
My fists clench. This man did something awful to me. He took Ali, I can only imagine the things he did to her after that. His father is the assistant. Now Cadence wants to use this opportunity of panic. He wants the councilmen that don't abide him wiped out and he will make sure that those that then step up are ones under his control. Emery is going to be taken and with that a pinch of guilt in my stomach tightens.
"Dustin. I believe your father is about to speak." I say walking towards them. Trying to keep my pace slow and steady though I want my fist to meet his face I want to push him away from her and stand between them. Making it clear that he can't touch her. He will not touch her.
"Dimitri, just the man." He smiles down at her but it isn't one of warmth before his evil black eyes turn on me. Instantly I want to put my fingers around his throat and rip it clean off his body. "You've taken an interest in my dear sister haven't you Dimitri. Though of course i can see why."
His large chubby long fingers reach out and take a lock of her hair twining it around his fingers. She lowers her eyes to the floor is it in shame? My chest heaves my stomach tightening and bile rising to my throat as he touches her. The scenario is all too familiar. Back then I couldn't do anything, not that I didn't try. Now I can't because it affects too many lives.
"You don't like it do you Dimitri? Does this situation feel familiar at all to you?"
I grate my teeth as he speaks, holding my fists to my side with an amount of force I didn't know I was capable of. I see the way his hand tightens around them strands and the way it pulls at her scalp. Yet she doesn't flinch doesn't make a noise. Standing brave and beautiful in a way that I can only admire.
"Dustin." I grind out through closed teeth. My body has sweat forming all over it. My fangs itch to tear him limb from limb. Ripping chunks of his flesh away from him, bit by bit slowly as I take my fill. But this revenge is not only for me but to protect others. At her expense.
"What Dimitri? No people are holding you back from protecting her?" His eyes move to Emery again before back to mine. "You are not going to protect her either?"
I step forward. "You have no right to bring up Ali. None."
The quiet gasp has me turning towards Emery. Her eyes have risen and are now looking into mine. Something close to hurt sits in them for a moment before she blinks and it is gone.
"It's time I return." She says her voice holding a tone as though she is holding everything back. Locked away every emotion in such a way that she is gone. Even from me. Why does that hurt? "Dustin, everything is a game to you. Me just some toy that you have spent ten years torturing. Like a doll you pull the arms off and put them back in again just to do the same again tomorrow. Dimitri obviously whatever fucked up situation you've had with Dustin. I have no part in it. I want nothing to do with either of you. Obviously Dustin remains my father's sired son and for that I have little choice. With you I have."
Her voice is final and with a firm flick of her wrist she moves his hand from her hair. She ducks between me and Dustin. Making sure not to touch either of us and for the first time since our eyes met yesterday. Her body gives off nothing but indifference to me. Why does that affect me so much? Why does it hurt right in the centre of my ribs as though I've lost something? Like a panic moment for a parent. Turning around and seeing their child not standing with them.
"Emery." I reach out attempting to touch her wrist but she elegantly as the princess she is moves it away from me.
"Dimitri, anyone would think you've found your better half but that can't be true can it? I thought that was Ali?" Dustin's sarcastic tone. The pain in my chest as I see and feel the distance growing between me and Emery. Even her physical form, that is retreating but came to a short halt. The guilt that follows that pain because i shouldn't feel it. It should be all about Ali. About revenge and with all that my fist finally comes through the air and connects with Dustin sending him flying into the opposite wall completely off his feet.
Ali. His other half? His soulmate or mate if we use the term of the wolves. How delicate her name sounds. How beautiful I imagine she was and so perfectly matched. Created for Dimitri, made to be his true person. The one out there for everyone. I say i don't believe in it. I do for other people just not myself. I was created. There it is, I was a lab creation, i wasn't born and made by two people who are madly in love or by a one night stand. From heated desire that two people couldn't keep themselves from shedding clothes and fucking one another. I can't have someone out there designed for me when I am a design myself.
Yet when I hear his fist connect with Dustin's face. Anybody would think I should turn and cheer as I hear the thump of Dustin's head against the far wall. I should spit on him as his body lands hard with a heavy thud to the ground. Yet the pain in my chest makes me want to bend forwards and place my hand over it. He didn't punch Dustin for me, it was for his love. The one Dustin obviously took away or did something with. That pain is like something I have never experienced.
That pain keeps me numb. My back straight and eyes forward throughout the rest of the informal meeting. I feel him watching me throughout leaning forwards as though he can make my eyes meet his. I won't. As the meeting comes to an end I stand and the flow of people before us begin to exit. Dimitri hovers.
Turning to both of my guards as my father and Dustin continue to speak with others.
"I want you both, either side of me. I don't want to speak with anyone. Make that clear please. Those instructions follow from this moment forth unless I state otherwise."
They both look confused because I never ask for anything but they nod as they are my guards of course, they'll follow my instructions. So dutifully as they fall into place caging me between their over six foot frames. I begin to walk and they follow suit but have to keep their steps much shorter than usual.
I walk around the opposite side of the table to which Dimitri is hovering but I don't have to look. Not that I could with the guards in the way. I can feel him, like he is a part of me somehow moving closer. At the door one of the guards holds it open the other staying protectively behind me. I slip through and they are both back either side. Yet when his large roughened hand takes mine i freeze. The guard to my right reacts first. I don't learn their names anymore, finding it easier than becoming friendly and them being sent away again. Just another form of Dustin's torture.
"You do not lay your hands on her." He says, forcing Dimitri away from me, I don't turn to watch instead begin moving again.
Needing to get out of here away from this. I keep my back straight and face holding no emotion even as turmoil seems to be colliding through me.
"Emery just talk to me. Listen, I know I shouldn't have punched him…" He sounds sincere. But again Dustin's manner would look the same to most people. I don't know this man even as my body cries to deny the fact. My brain has taken over finally and is seeing sense through the dense fog of lust.
The guard on the lefts turn now to get involved as the one on the right continues to usher me away. I block out what is being said. I refuse to hear the words Dimitri calls out to me as I move away and he stands restrained by one of my guards. Once finally back to my suite and inside the second guard not yet returned I turned to the other.
"Do you hear it?" I ask and he looks down at me still standing with his arms behind his back.
"Hear what princess?"
"You've been with me now for a little over two months. I can count every single time Dustin has done something to me in that time. I do not blame you nor want you to feel remorse. I want an honest answer. Do you hear it? What he does? The way I have to beg him to stop after all the fighting?"
I look up into the strong set jaw and the scar cutting through his eyebrow just into the soft tissue of his upper eyelid.
"Yes. We hear it." His tone holds anger.
"You were a ranger and for you guarding someone would not involve allowing such things. Were you threatened upon arrival? After the first time or before you even came?"
"It is well known within our ranks that to guard you and step in has meant disappearances and the others a worse fate." He doesn't say it but for a proud man. A ranger, the elite of us vampires in their ability to kill and protect. The worst thing could be done to them is have no one to do those things to. A rogue. No place. No authority.
"Why did you take this job?"
"Because I believed I was able to do it." He holds my eyes but I see guilt flash through his.
"Don't let it wear you down. I may look small and fragile but he hasn't got what he wants from me in ten years. I must be stronger than I look." I smile at him but he doesn't smile back.
"You are truly a strong princess and I don't doubt it. Strength is not only in someone's physique though most rangers are large for the scary aspect. Those smaller ones are agile little bastards. Mind my language."
I grin and he does smile. "Strength comes in many different shapes and sizes."
"I will say though, princess. It isn't physically. I worry you will lose. Mentally after ten years of this. I don't see how you wont."
His words hit me like a strong gust of wind. Is he right? Do I give up more often? Quicker even? Was all this just a part of Dustin's plan. Long term gain in the fact i would eventually be so mentally abused i will cave.
"You can go to the door now. You know how father likes the inner quarters private." He nods and begins to walk away. "Thank you. For being so honest with me, i won't ask your name or probably even speak to you again now for some time. For your safety you understand but thank you for these few minutes and your presence."
He turns looking at me for a minute more than necessary as though trying to evaluate something in his head. Before a short nod and leaving the suite. I stand for a few minutes in that exact spot taking in his words.
Every person who takes his role after him will know what my life entails. Will already have forewarning and just how sick is that. My father is a king. My actual father. Not sired like Dustin. I look nothing like him and he has given no explanation to who my mother is or the DNA of hers anyway. I know what I am because I lived in the lab. State of the art and comfortable with tutors of course but still a lab. White coats doing their test on me regularly.
Whoevers DNA is mixed with fathers to make me is strong and not a vampire. I know it without it being confirmed. I feel it inside of me like a butterfly waiting for release. Cadence has always told me my blood is special that another vampire must not taste it. That also gave away a hint as to the other half of my DNA.
"Emery." Dimitri calls from the balcony. Not his side of course he stands looking at me through the floor to ceiling reinforced glass doors. His eyes pleading with me to give him a moment. I stand still, arms to my side and no emotion on my face. "What happened in the hall. What Dustin said…"
Of course it is about Dustin. Not about the fact I told him I want nothing to do with him. I scoff internally as I hold myself poised for the emotional blow. Turning readying myself to stride away. He slams the base of his fist into the glass so I stop but don't look at him.
"He was right. Ali was my soulmate. From the moment i met her. I had never felt anything so strong, potent. She was beautiful and we spent nearly a hundred years together and I still didn't feel I had my full of her." Ouch. I shouldn't feel it. I have no right to as he speaks about the woman he loves with such tenderness. He is a man I do not know. I met him yesterday but from the moment I did it was like something clicked into place. Like I did know him. But I don't, I remind myself. "I didn't protect her and I didn't protect you. Twice now I haven't. I wish I could. You have to believe me on that."
His voice breaks off towards the end. Almost like it pained him to admit but he couldn't help but say it. I turn and without thinking move towards the glass door. His eyes widening but not leaving mine.
"I wish i could stop what he did. What he continues to do to you. Take back every moment of it. I want to fucking kill him and not only for Ali but for you. It's so fucking wrong." He shakes his head and his slightly too long brown hair moves with the action over his forehead. "I don't know you yet i feel like I do. We haven't kissed yet your lips are all i can think about and feel like i know exactly what they would be like. You are driving me insane."
I put my hand up against the glass spreading my fingers without knowing why and I didn't want to question it. He does the same on the opposite side. His so much larger it could be compared to a father and child's hand as though making a comparison on size. The glass is strong enough to withhold a blow even from a vampire standing between us. Yet I can feel my palm tingle all the way up to the tips of my fingers.
"Emery talk to me." His husky deep voice commands and I let my hand fall back to my side even as I stare deep into the warm green eyes of his. "Don't…"
I take a step back and another watching his lips form a thin line. He is annoyed and looks almost hurt. Which would be funny because my chest hurts as I continue to put distance between us.
"Emery, I need you. Meet me tomorrow during the ball. As the waltz begins, meet me on the rooftop. Emery…" He bangs his fists onto the glass moving along it trying to follow me until he runs out of balcony.
I don't look back and nor do I give in to the weakening of my knees. Instead I walked into my room closing the door behind me. Closing myself off, least for the night.