Razed

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Chapter 22

Laurissa felt a tug on her tendril and noticed she lost sight of Lord Dunkan. He is walking the parameter of his leash to her.

“Should you not be entertaining your guests, Lord Dunkan?”

“Not tonight, my dear.” His tendril is under duress.

“What is your burden?” He did not answer. “You are mated to me. You are to be open to me.” She reminded him.

She heard a chuckle as she had used his words against him. “Hum, that little tune you learned.”

There is something very wrong. It almost worried her. She began humming the new lullaby quietly through the tendril. Lord Dunkan seemed to relax instantly. The males seemed to be looking longingly at the females. It is distasteful to watch. The stench of lust threatened to suffocate her.

“Stay very still, my dear. They do not realize you have been watching.”

“As you have through me?”

“Yes.” His cold dark voice sent chills to her. He is testing their loyalty. “Please keep singing.”

It was the first time he asked her to do something. She was shocked. She began gently humming the tune while watching the room.

After a time, one male stood and approached Keres. He is of average height and build, and his complexion is the same for most of the humans that live in the area. Light sandy hair and light eyes. He stood in front of Keres and whispered something in her ear. Laurissa did not hear it. Keres lowered her eyes in response. The male took a finger and lifted her chin.

Lord Dunkan hurried to his home. His fury frightened Laurissa. Her heart raced as she watched Lord Dunkan run toward the manor. No one touches his females without his permission, especially in his house. Someone was going to die. Laurissa fought to keep calm. She knew the male had just overstayed his welcome. She did not want Dunkan’s wrath focused on her.

Just as the male locked lips with Keres, Lord Dunkan calmly walked through the door, leaving it open, and walked to the male. Laurissa could feel the discipline he used to control his rage. His tendril screamed for a release as he approached the vampire. He would not make a scene in his own home. He is more civilized than that. If he allowed his emotions to control him, the vampire would be ready to fight him. Keeping a calm demeanor keeps the male unguarded and easily controlled.

Lord Dunkan wordlessly gripped the back of the vampire’s neck, who still pinned Keres against the wall and threw him out the door, then left the room, closing the door behind him. The room went eerily quiet. Thana looked at Laurissa with a smug look as if to prove her point. Lord Dunkan would not have heard anything until the male went to Keres. It was because Laurissa was watching that he knew what was happening. She had to do something, or he would kill the vampire. Breaking rules in a house can lead to death. A simple kiss should not warrant death.

“You know the rules! It is not a time to take advantage of my hospitality.” Lord Dunkan’s growl could be heard both through the tendril and the wooden door.

The familiar sound of the sword coming out of the sheath and a scream pierced Laurissa’s mind. The scream came into the walls, and everyone looked toward the door. Lord Dunkan’s rage is unbearable. Laurissa, practicing Lord Dunkan’s discipline, calmly stood, went outside, and then gently closed the door behind her.

Lord Dunkan stood just outside the door with the sword in his hand. She could make out the fine muscle definition in his arms. His rage and tension worried Laurissa greatly. He ignored Laurissa as she approached him. His entire focus is on the male who is laying the gravel path on his side. He is looking up at Lord Dunkan with his hand outstretched as if to shield himself from the sword.

“My Lord, do you need this vampire for your business goals?” She projected calmly through the tendril. She did not want to be subject to the sword’s power.

“Stay out of this, Laurissa!” He growled.

She stepped closer and touched his shoulder. She could feel his body tense under her hand, and his tendril relaxed slightly. The posture change is so slight that Laurissa could see the difference because she is connected to him. “He has done nothing you would not have granted him to do. We are to make your guests welcomed.”

Rage at her convictions fueled him. He pulsed power and forced Laurissa to the male. She landed on top of him and quickly stood up. The male stayed on the ground. Laurissa glared at Lord Dunkan, daring him to continue. She no longer feared Lord Dunkan. Her own rage fueled her courage. She will not allow this to continue. If Lord Dunkan wished the vampire dead, then she wishes the vampire to live. She will make Dunkan regret ever enslaving her.

“What does it matter what I do to this vampire?” He said verbally.

Lord Dunkan could see the battle rage within her. It is beautiful to behold. Her defiance is inexcusable, of course. This will have to be dealt with later.

“Does he deserve death?” She answered, mimicking his voice.

The coldness of her voice could not be forgiven. He is master here. Lord Dunkan pulsed power. Sharpened daggers cut through her. She fell back from the force and tripped over the vampire on the ground. The male vampire’s eyes met her’s as she began to stand once again. He is furious and afraid. She could see the conflict to fight Lord Dunkan or submit. She understood the fear. Lord Dunkan is not a vampire to trifle with. She had an advantage. Lord Dunkan will not kill her. She ignored the pain and again stood before Lord Dunkan, shielding the vampire.

“Cast him from your home. He did not kill Keres. He did not steal from you. It was a kiss, nothing more. If he truly deserves death, I will stand aside.” She said verbally.

Lord Dunkan’s rage diminished instantly, and laughter came out.

Lord Dunkan approached Laurissa then knelt down to the vampire. “You will be sent out like a female. You are a disgrace.” He stood and cupped Laurissa’s cheek. “You are right, my dear. There are worst things than death. You have just disgraced a master of a house in the southern reaches of our region. This is most excellent.” He kissed her lips hard, then turned and laughed as he walked back to the manor and sheathed his sword.

Laurissa examined her wounds and found them to be healing. “Are you well?” She asked the male under her feet.

“Do not speak to me!” He growled and stomped away.

She felt the ungrateful rejection pierce her heart. She did not understand why he was angry with her. Perhaps he is angry at the whole situation. At least he is still alive.

“Wait! Have I wronged you?”

The male returned to her with a red hue glowing in his eyes. She could feel his rage emanating from him. “You should have allowed him to end my life. Learn to stay out of the affairs that do not concern you, girl. Be thankful you belong to him. You would be dead if you were mine.”

He turned away and pulsed power, then disappeared into the darkness.

Laurissa sat on the foundation of the doorway, frustrated. Why are males aggressive toward females? She will not allow any male to treat her as if she is worthless. She has not discovered her true self as of yet; however, she is a living being, and every living being deserves to be free and respected.

Laurissa sighed to herself. She must focus on freeing herself before she can study the vampire.

“My Lord, since the humans disgust you, allow me to bring you food?”

“No. You will not feed on anyone, my dear.” Lord Dunkan is sitting in the sitting room politely talking to his guests.

“Then perhaps allow me to bring one to you?”

Laurissa could feel Lord Dunkan’s annoyance as he excused himself from the group and went outside.

“Follow me, my dear. I shall feed you in Madwell.” Lord Dunkan projected as he passed her.

Laurissa quietly followed Lord Dunkan. His determination not to allow her to feed on her own perplexed her. She saw no reason why he demanded she continued to feed off him other than his pleasure. Tonight he should be entertaining his guests, not living in a fantasy.

“I have my reasons, my dear. You will not feed on anyone without my consent. Your fangs are for my enjoyment. They will not be tainted by the human filth.”

She thought to bite a human just despite him.

Lord Dunkan heard her thought and turned to look at her. Laurissa’s hatred toward him continued to grow. The raging storm within her deep blue eyes called for his death. He only smiled, showing his fangs.

Laurissa could feel the fury in his tendril. His smile is not genuine. She stepped back and prepared for the lashing. She will defend herself the best she can.

“If you feed off a human without my consent, I will rip your fangs from your mouth. You will know pain like none other.” He grabbed her neck “I will continue pulling teeth while you are conscious until you are toothless. You will not have a choice but to rely on someone to feed you or die. Do you understand?”

He has only not continued through with his threat once. Everything he has told her has happened. She believed he would do as he warned. If she is to free herself, she will need to be able to feed herself.

“I understand, my Lord.”

Lord Dunkan released her and continued into Madwell. The town is alive with laughter, singing, and dancing. Laurissa followed Lord Dunkan as he walked to town, looking for one to feed on. She watched Lord Dunkan many times while he hunted. This time she will see him, not just through the tendril. They did not find a human walking the streets alone.

Lord Dunkan led Laurissa to the wealthy part of town and entered a home, and projected an illusion. A mother, a father, and two young children played a game around a kitchen table. The scent of the children hungered Laurissa.

Lord Dunkan approached the woman and fed off her, then approached Laurissa.

“Come to me, my dear.” He said as he embraced her and held her head to his neck. Laurissa embraced Lord Dunkan and drank heavily and quickly. She did not want to give him pleasure. He pulled away with a soft moan.

“It does not matter how you feed, my dear. Your bite is what I truly desire.”

If it was her bite he liked, then he shall have her bite. Laurissa bit hard into his arm then quickly bit further down until she reached his wrist. Lord Dunkan pulled her hair back and hit her face knocking her down.

“I did not give you permission to continue. You are not a beast. You are a vampire, and you will act as such!” He pulsed power and left to the manor leaving Laurissa alone in the house. She quickly left before his power over the humans broke and continued to the manor.

Laurissa took her time returning to the manor. It was a beautiful night out, and she felt very alive. She had a small victory. Lord Dunkan did not realize she was biting him in the manner that she did. She felt his surprise flicker then turn to anger. It infuriated him to know a female took him by surprise and was able to sink her teeth in him several times before he comprehended it. Not only did a female vampire catch him off guard, but a young female was also able to bite him before he could stop her. Laurissa smiled to herself as she walked into the manor.

One of the males noticed her and stared. Laurissa remembered her blood stained gown and smiled seductively at him as she approached him, then turned at the last moment toward the hall that led to Lord Dunkan’s chambers. Males are all disgraceful. She will make them understand females are not whores to be taken advantage of.

As she opened the door to Lord Dunkan’s chambers, she saw him sitting at his desk with a scroll and quill.

“You play a very dangerous game, my dear.”

“What game is that, my Lord?” She asked innocently and peered at the scroll.

“You will learn not to tease a male vampire. The results are very unfavorable.”

She did not respond to him. It does not matter what males think. She could see the scroll on the desk is a map of an area she had never seen. It had pin marks in several places. One of the pin marks named the town she discovered the night she tested her speed and stamina. Next to the map was a decree with Rowland’s name on it.

“If you want to know what you see, simply ask.” He projected.

“What is the decree?”

“Nicholas hid behind a female in a battle. He will be an outcast. Rowland will become master of his house.”

“He did not hide behind me. I stopped you from making a mistake.”

“Yes. And I am ever grateful. Living as a disgrace is much worse than death.”

“He did not hide!”

“He did not stop you. He is now socially that of a female.”

“This is unacceptable!”

“Really? I am curious why you think so.” Lord Dunkan put the quill down and gave Laurissa his full attention. His blue eyes glowed with passion.

“There should not be a gender better than the other. If you are so powerful, why do you keep me here? You know females have abilities that can compliment a male. We do not have to be ruled. All vampires can work together for a better society.”

Lord Dunkan started laughing. “You are delusional. Yes, females possess a power I do not understand. That does not mean you are stronger.”

“I did not say females were stronger than males. We are simply different and can compliment you. We could be your partner.”

“Females are simply made to satisfy our needs.”

“Then why turn females at all?” Why not just command human females to toy with.”

“It is impossible to love a human without damaging it. The vampire are simply too strong for them. If you wish, I will command a female for me so you can study it.”

“That will not be necessary.” Laurissa said with disgust. She could not stand by and watch the monster in front of her ravish an unwilling victim.

“I thought not. Each house has a selection of females. Some only allow males as is their choice, but most will find a female and use her as I do here.”

Lord Dunkan sat up from his chair and breathed deeply. “You must feed Zillah if you are to get your answers. Come, I will take you.” As he walked around the desk, he noticed Laurissa’s gown. “Perhaps you should change first.”

“Yes, my Lord. Have you told the others of our arrangement?”

“Our arrangement?” He amused, “You mean that you are mated to me?”

“Yes, my Lord.”

Lord Dunkan chuckled, “Not yet. That will be announced tomorrow.”

“Thana will not be pleased.”

“It does not matter what any of them think. They belong to me, not the other way around.”

Laurissa thought there was a better way to govern a house.

“I would really love to hear your thoughts, Laurissa. I am intrigued that you think you know enough to judge me.”

“Your actions tell me you have always known your evil tendencies. It is why you told me from the beginning I would grow to hate you. You already know there is a better way.”

“Still, I wish you to educate me.”

“As you wish.”

Laurissa left the room and into the sitting room, ignoring the stares and out of the manor.

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