Laurissa led Master Kissar into her room and walked to the center of the room. Master Kissar latched the door behind him. His eyes glowed menacingly. Her disrespect toward him will not go unpunished.
“Well, darlin. Show me what you have.”
Laurissa took her gown off and laid it on the chest, then walked to Kissar. She refused to touch him. She watched him and read his body language. He is nervous and held something back. His pulse quickened and visually fed off her body. She thought about taking some of her blood back. It would be easy to do. Laurissa shrugged and folded her arms. “What do you wish?”
“I would like very much to see what you have.”
Laurissa unfolded her arms and fanned them out as she sighed with annoyance.
“Oh darlin, you would be a joy to play with. Your fire burns brightly. You must have enchanted Dunkan to still be so bold, let alone alive. Perhaps I shall help him.” He began walking around Laurissa, studying her body. Laurissa kept a watchful eye on him. It is a skill she learned painfully. Never take your eyes off your enemy. Master Kissar is threatening her and circling her like a predator. She will not be easy prey.
“Ask me to touch you.”
“If you wish to have sex, Master Kissar, I will oblige. I do not play games.”
Lord Dunkan’s laughter erupted in her tendril as Kissar’s hand struck her jaw, making her fall. His fury filled the room.
“Ask me to touch you!” He growled.
Laurissa stood up and silently looked at him. He struck her again. She allowed the pain to go through.
“Ask me to touch you.” He hissed with a clear warning that would be the last time he requested her to submit.
Laurissa once again stood up and gave a glare that made Kissar hesitate.
“Strike me again, Master Kissar, and I will leave. I will bed you as you will, nothing more.”
Master Kissar backhanded her again, and this time he followed her to the floor. “Do you like being beaten?” His hand went to her head as he sat on her chest and sent a dagger tendril to her mind. “You will beg me to touch you, girl!”
Hot searing pain went through her mind and down her spine. Laurissa flinched and grabbed the pain. He touched and fondled each strand of her tendril. Laurissa’s body stiffened under him, but still, she did not cry out or ask him to touch her. Master Kissar touched her imaginative strand and sent Laurissa to a dark cavern chained to a stone wall. The chains hugged her body tightly so she could not move. A glowing orange light appeared around the bend of the cavern.
“Call for me, darlin. Ask me to touch you.” She heard in her mind. Master Kissar’s voice had returned to the cheerful vampire she met at the dinner table.
“I have already invited you.” She projected.
“That is not what I asked for.”
The glowing light revealed itself to be molten rock, it flowed slowly like a lazy stream. It will reach Laurissa in minutes. She can hear it hiss as it burned the ground and cooled at the surface. The heat is intense. Her skin felt as though she stood under the sun too long on a hot day.
“What will it be, darlin? Burning alive, starting at your feet, or asking me politely to touch you.”
Laurissa wondered where Kissar was and how she got there. She does not recall going unconscious. Only Lord Dunkan has been able to communicate over a long distance because of their bond. Laurissa looked around for the vampire and only saw the lava quickly flowing toward her. The heat of it threatened to suffocate her.
Laurissa looked within at her tendril and saw a sickly green tendril touching hers. It wove past Dunkan’s black tendril and was touching her imaginative strand. This is not real. She struggled in her mind to release from the green tendril. She formed a dagger and sent it to destroy Kissar’s tendril. Laughter rang through her mind. She imagined hundreds of daggers attacking the green one. Kissar howled and let her go. Her chambers reappeared with Kissar on top of her chest.
“You dare attack me!”
He pulsed power, and his shirt and trousers were off instantly. Laurissa tried to stand up before he returned. He kicked Laurissa, making her roll over, then mounted her.
“Females are not to defend themselves. You are to submit to me and do as I ask!” He became violent with his thrusts as he flowed his power into them. His hands went to her neck, blocking her airways. Laurissa’s body felt like it was being torn from the inside and her vision began to cloud. Laurissa remembered Dunkan being able to cut her with his power. She imagined a ball of power and threw it out. It hit Kissar. It did not damage and only encouraged him in his rage. He bit into her neck and drank heavily. She knew she would not last much longer.
You can kill a young vampire by draining him of his blood. Draining an older vampire of his blood will only weaken him.
He planned to kill her. The little strength she had left is leaving her. The room is getting darker, and her lungs are burning for air. With the last bit of strength she had, she imagined a ball of daggers and threw it. This made Kissar let go of her neck.
“You will die for this!” He began kicking her. The hits were precise from one who knows how to torture the body. They were too rapid for Laurissa to respond or fight against. Her lungs continued burning for air. Each kick prevented her from taking a breath. She is too weak from the blood loss and lack of air. She did not have a choice but to allow the assault to happen. It suddenly stopped with a loud growl. A growl she knew to be Dunkan’s. She did not see why Kissar stopped his beating as darkness closed around her.
Lord Dunkan is furious with the both of them. He could feel Laurissa’s distress through the tendril. Once Kissar threatened to kill her, Dunkan went to her room and grabbed Kissar by the neck, and threw him against the wall.
“That is enough Kissar! If my mate is too much to handle, you will send for me. I am the only one who punishes my females.”
“Then kill her Dunkan.”
“Not yet. She is still of use to me.”
“She attacked me!”
“The way I understand it Kissar, she defended herself. How far were you going to trap her in her mind? I saw the cavern.”
“I did not plan to kill her.” Kissar relaxed his posture and sighed. “Laurissa is insubordinate. She has a fire I have never seen. No female has defied me. Allow me to work with her. Between the two of us, I believe we can break her spirit.”
“It is her fire I am studying. As I said, this one is very special. Now you see why.”
“If she grows stronger Dunkan, she will destroy you. You play a very dangerous game.”
“Oh yes, I am aware. You may stay in this room if you wish. I will tend to my mate. Would you like me to send another?”
“No, that is quite all right. I am weary.”
“Very well. Good night, Kissar.”
“Good night, Lord Dunkan.” Kissar said with respect.
Lord Dunkan picked up Laurissa’s bloody body and took her to his chambers. She will need to feed to heal. Her wounds are great. It was late in the night, and most of the house is quiet. Every vampire is in a bed chamber, either asleep or still in the throes of passion.
Lord Dunkan quickly went to Madwell and retrieved a human and a loaf of bread. He actually felt sorry for Laurissa. If she had been born male, she would have her own house by now. As it is she deserved death on numerous occasions. Normally, he would have allowed Kissar to kill the female who disrespected him in such away. However, Laurissa is still a project he planned to work on.
He remembered seeing Laurissa’s power when she was new and was saddened by it. Females with this kind of power do not live long in his house. He had to make exceptions for Laurissa to keep her alive long enough to do what must be done. Unfortunately, that meant allowing her disrespect. Punishing her does no good. Her fire will not allow her to submit. She would rather die. Under the circumstances, he cannot oblige.
Lord Dunkan returned to his chambers and touched Laurissa mind. “My dear, you must feed. You must wake.”
“My body is too fractured. I am too weak.” Came the reply.
She is indeed very fractured. She looked like a herd of wild cattle trampled her. She would have died if she were human. Her body is in tremendous pain. His stomach lurched at the pain he felt through the tendril. He had no choice but to darken his tendril. If Laurissa cannot gain consciousness within three days, she will die. The fire in her and her long-forgotten promise of fighting to live has made her a warrior. Kissar is right. Laurissa will be feared if she lives long enough.
Lord Dunkan examined her body closer. Kissar had drained a considerable amount of blood. He wanted to make sure Laurissa was weak enough to feel her punishments. Her body is too broken for the amount of blood she has left to heal properly, which is dangerously low. New vampires cannot be drained of their blood completely and live. These wounds are lethal to her where it would only cripple him.
He sent his power into her tendril once again to give her what she needed. He braced for the wave of pain she felt. Every bone in his body screamed as if they were shattered. Her grief threatened to suffocate his heart. Her mind cried out to him for help. She knew she would die without his help. He would help her. He has invested too much for her to perish. Her time with him is not yet finished.
“Wake, my dear.”
Laurissa’s eyes fluttered open. Her mind fought the consciousness. The storm is replaced by fear. They begged him to allow her to live. It is the closest to true submission he has ever felt from her. The night he cradled her while she grieved was different. She held on to him while she fought her battle. This time she begged him to fight for her. She latched on to him, hoping he would save her. To see the desperation and the acceptance pierced him where she should never have been able to touch him.
“Feed, Laurissa.” he said softly. His voice sounded foreign to him as it reflected strange emotions swirling around his mind.
Lord Dunkan brought a wrist and placed it on Laurissa’s mouth. She would need pure human blood straight from its vein. Lord Dunkan needed her to heal quickly. Feeding off his veins satisfies her hunger and gives her the nourishment she needs to survive, but the power one feels from feeding off a human is like none other. She needs the power he loses to heal. Virgin blood seems to have more power than the soiled human. He has plans for the virgin. This is the only way. It has to be done.
Laurissa’s face is very swollen. He feared she would not be able to feed.
Laurissa forced her mouth open. Popping and grinding noises came. Her jaw had been broken in several places. Those pure fangs that have never seen the filthy human skin will now be tainted.
Laurissa fed slowly and painfully until she could take no more. Even with his power, her mind refused any more activity. Laurissa went unconscious with the human still in her mouth but very much alive.
Dunkan thought about making Laurissa turn the human. He would wait a day or two to allow her to heal. It will take a couple of feeding sessions until she recovers fully. Lord Dunkan continued holding Laurissa’s limp body and wondered what attracted him to her. He truly wished to be mated to her to the fullest. This is no longer about studying her.
’Bah’ What silly nonsense! He will most certainly continue his study. He did not love her. How could he? She is a wild disrespectful girl who has tried, on numerous occasions, to kill him.
He began to respect her more than he has ever respected any of his females. Why? Was it the way she seemed desperate to hang on to her life? Was it her plea he saw in her eyes? Frustrated with himself for getting caught up in silly notions of love and mating a female, he let go of Laurissa and took the bread. He commanded the young virgin to eat. Once he was done, he curled up next to Laurissa to sleep.
Dunkan woke a few hours later with the sun shining through the window. His house is full of chatter as the males and females gathered in the sitting room.
Laurissa’s body already showed signs of healing. The swelling had gone down, and the bruising faded but did not disappear altogether. Multiple cuts looked like old scars. Once she feeds again, she will heal fully. Lord Dunkan dressed and went to the sitting room to make an appearance. Today he will spend the day with his mate—a joy he was denied last night.
“Good morning, everyone. I trust you had a pleasant evening.”
“Indeed, Lord Dunkan. As always, you have been a gracious host.”
“Thank you. I must ask for leave of absents today.”
“Lord Dunkan, if I may. I feel we are all in agreement when I say we should be leaving to our own houses. There is much to prepare for. We will come here at this time in one month for a progress report and to sign the contract.”
“As you wish. Winter is on its way. I suggest taking the weak first. I prefer not losing any humans. Thank you all for coming. I look forward to next month’s visit. I will prepare my progress report as well.”
Lord Dunkan turned and went back to his chambers, then undressed and curled up behind Laurissa. Her wildflower scent radiated off her. He could never get enough of her fresh scent. He closed his eyes to rest until Laurissa woke.