Chapter 18: Are you taking legal action against me?
The strange thing about waking up on a dark place with a throbbing headache was that no matter how hard you try to convince yourself you’re having a mere nightmare, it doesn’t work.
My brain felt like it was high on oxygen and floating around somewhere outside my body. My limbs felt like jelly that the fridge just never managed to get to set and my skin, goodness don’t even get me started on that. It was grimy, bloody, sweaty and salty tears painfully stung my scraped cheeks.
My body twitched sickeningly and my muscles screamed in pain when I tried to push myself into a sitting position.
Where was I? What happened after that vampire drank from me? Everything was a bit hazy.
When my eyes finally adjusted to the darkness, I realised that I was sitting in my bed, safe and relatively alright. I was alive at least.
Did the vampire put me in bed?
I was so confused.
“You’re awake.” A man’s voice said and I jolted in shock.
Alexander was next to me in seconds and he gently took my face in his hands. I stared at him, “I had the weirdest dream.”
His beautiful green eyes saddened and he pulled me into his chest face first and threw both of us on the bed. And there I laid, safely in his arms while he repeatedly whispered things to me, “I’m sorry, Ashira, I’m so, so sorry. Don’t be afraid I’m here with you.” He softly ran his hand over my throbbing right cheek.
“Ouch.” I finally said softly since he was sort of crushing me half way to death. “What are you apologising for anyway?”
His grip on me loosened and he looked right at me, “He took you.”
“Who did?” I asked, confused. What was this crazy vampire going on about now?
“Devon.” Alexander said slowly, almost like he was afraid of what I would say, “You don’t remember anything about that?”
I shook my head. “No, just that I was attacked in the hall.”
Alexander stood up and pulled me to my feet. My legs protested and I wobbled unsteadily, “Woah!” I exclaimed when I started to fall over and he caught me. “Thanks, I don’t know what’s wrong with me.” I said unsurely.
Alexander said nothing as he scooped me up in his arms and carried me to somewhere else in my room and put me down. “Stay here.” He ordered gently as he let me go and I heard him move away in the darkness.
The light clicked on eerily and I faced myself in the mirror. I gasped when I saw the confused and injured girl staring right back at me.
I hesitantly touched my cheek and my eyes slowly went down the rest of my body. The whole right side of my body was bruised and a strange yellow-purple colour. I was covered in what looked to be a layer of dust and blood. My hair was dirty and it was stuck to the blood in my neck. There were fierce scratches on my arms and legs that looked like they’d recently been healed.
I looked awful!
It looked like I’d fought in both world wars without taking a break in between!
I slowly turned around to look at Alexander with wide eyes, “W-what happened to me?” He glanced at me but looked away the moment he saw me and didn’t answer. “Alexander?” I asked as I limped closer to him, “What happened? Please tell me, I don’t remember any of this.” I gestured to myself.
“I…” he said softly, sounding ashamed, “I wasn’t here to protect you and Devon took you.”
My breathing became uneven, “W-what?” I felt like crying. “W-what did he do to me? Why would he do this to me?” I was trembling.
Alexander wrapped his arms around me, “There were cuts all over your body, he drank your blood and you were losing even more of it but I healed you.” My trembling increased. “Don’t worry you’re safe, I’m right here to protect you now.” He gently rubbed my back as I started to shake even more.
“Tell me what happened.” I near sobbed, “Please! I don’t understand why I can’t remember.” I firmly gripped the back of his shirt and clung to him like my life depended on it.
He held me even tighter, “Please don’t cry, Ashira, I hate seeing you cry.”
“Tell me.” I said softly as some of my calm returned when I found comfort in his arms.
He sighed, “You were unconscious the whole time. Zaiden came to me and told me that you wanted to see me so I came to you. When I got here, you were gone, your blood on the walls, on the floor, soaking the carpet.” He held me tighter, like he thought he could protect me from the horrors hat had already taken place. “After half an hour of searching for where Devon took you, Nicolas –one of my nobles- managed to track you down. Long story short, Devon had you tied up in one of the storage rooms where he threatened to kill you. So, I saved you. You were out cold and he threw you against one of the walls when he started feeling threatened and that’s why…” He trailed off and trailed his fingers softly down my right arm, the bruised one, “He took you because he wanted revenge.”
“For what? What have I ever done to him? I’ve never even heard of him!”
“He took you to get to me.” Alexander said grimly as he buried his head deeper in my neck, “I’m sorry, this is entirely my fault, I should never have gotten you involved in this.”
“What did you do?” I asked him, “What crime could possibly make him angry enough to do something like this to a complete stranger?”
He stayed silent for such a long time I thought he wouldn’t tell me, but when he eventually did his voice was filled with regret, “When he was human he was a strong, dependable and brave person and I wanted him as one of my nobles. I asked him if he wanted to be a vampire but he refused, saying he couldn’t leave his family behind. So…” He chuckled darkly without any humour, “I took care of that problem. Something I’ll regret for the rest of my existence.”
I pulled out of his arms, “What do you mean you took care of that problem? You mean you killed his family?” I asked, completely outraged, “I would want to kill you too if you did something like that to me!”
“You have to understand Ashira,” he said, “I was different then, the world was different then. I was still blinded by my father’s way of seeing the world and controlled by him.”
I scoffed angrily, “I don’t think even in that time people went around killing other people’s families.”
Alexander sighed, “I thought I didn’t have a choice. Back then I couldn’t understand how he could choose a weak woman and a child over this life, but now…” he looked at me intently, “I can understand. I can understand it completely.”
I crossed my arms angrily, mad now that my fear was settled, “You just called me a weak woman.” I told him accusingly.
He hesitated before he smiled, “That’s why I have to protect you, love.”
My cheeks reddened slightly and I looked away, “Anyway, moving on.”
I could forgive him easily for killing the family of that man only because of what he’d said, only because I believed what he’d said.
He’d said that he’d been controlled. How powerful would a creature have to be to control a royal vampire? I shivered in fear and looked at Alexander with caring eyes. What had this kind man gone through in all the hundreds of years before I’d known him?
Alexander’s face turned serious again, “He didn’t know I had anything to do with it and so, not having anything to hold him back any longer, he asked if I would turn him. Everything was going wonderfully, I had the noble I wanted, he had a new ‘family’ so to speak, and everything was great.”
“I have a feeling there’s a ‘but’ coming.” I said.
“But,” He said with an adorable wink, “He found out that I’d killed his family with my bare hands and well, not even his dedication towards me or his common sense was strong enough to stop him from trying to kill me.”
My hands flew over my mouth, “He tried to kill you?” I asked, absolutely horrified.
He watched me amusedly, “You seem surprised that someone would try to kill me. Tons of humans had tried before Devon and millions tried to kill me after him.” He shrugged nonchalantly, “That’s life. People try to kill me.”
I nodded, “And to be fair, you have killed plenty of them…” That was the first time I realised that he’d probably killed millions of people. I looked at him uncertainly, “Have you?”
“Yes.” It was a simple, straight, honest answer. “Anyway, he hasn’t stopped trying to kill me since then.”
“How long’s it been?” I asked, eager to hear how much older he was than Zaiden.
He shrugged, “I don’t know. It’s hard to keep track of time when you’ve been alive for as long as I have.”
“And how long is that?”
“Will it creep you out to know that I’m about one thousand nine hundred and forty years old?” he asked evilly.
I stared at him open mouthed, “No way!”
He grinned and bent down to whisper in my ear, “Way.”
I pointed at him, “You’re so old!”
He grabbed hold of my outstretched hand and spun me closer, “Yes, yes I am.”
“Ouch.” I said again when my pained right side came in contact with his body.
His eyes saddened once more and he reluctantly let go of me. I wished I’d just kept my mouth shut. I glanced at myself in the mirror again. “I look like crap.”
“I am so incredibly sorry Ashira.” Alexander said for what felt like he millionth time.
“Don’t worry about it,” I said, “It’s over, you can stop apologising now.” I paused for a moment and then I remembered about everything that had happened the last time we’d seen each other. He’d kissed me and told me that he was in love with me. “I see you didn’t give yourself over to women and alcohol like Zaiden said you did.”
His eyes widened a fraction before he flashed me a smile, “Apparently the thought upset you.”
I glared at him, “You are a jerk Alexander, a real ass hat.”
“I don’t try to be.”
“I know.” I said, “I suppose I have to forgive you for lying to me, now that you saved my life and all, even if it was your fault you had to save me in the first place.”
“I would appreciate that.” Alexander said with half a smile.
“Alright then, I forgive you for not telling me that you’re actually one of the most powerful vampires on the face of the earth.” I nodded firmly to finalise what I’d said and he watched me with his signature amused smirk. Suddenly I didn’t have anything to say to him and we awkwardly stood there in a relaxed silence while he looked at me and I inspected myself in the mirror.
Alexander suddenly moved forward and took my hand, “Let me court you.” He said intently with his eyes boring into mine.
My mouth dropped open, “What?”
He swallowed nervously, “Let me court you.”
“What does that mean?” I asked feeling clueless, “Are you taking legal action against me?”
He laughed, “No. It means I try to make you fall in love with me. We go on dates, have small talk, introduce me to your friends, maybe you’ll even give me a kiss on the cheek or something…” he added the last thought so hopefully it made butterflies erupt inside my chest.
“We date?” I asked hesitantly.
“No.” he shook his head, “I just get to openly flirt with you and you have to take it with a smile.”
I snorted, “I already do that!”
He merely grinned and looked at me lovingly, “Please, Ashira, let me court you.”
“Why do you want to court me?”
“Because I want you to fall in love with me.”
I bit my lip. I should tell the royal blood sucking liar to go to hell, “Fine, court me.” Wait what? Why did I say that?
His eyes brightened, “Really?”
Go to hell you- “Yes, court me and make me fall in love with you.” Seriously, where were these words coming from?
“Alright then.” He said eagerly, “Let’s start with me telling you that I think you’re the most beautiful girl I have ever seen in my whole existence and that is a really long time so…” he trailed off awkwardly.
My face started heating up, “You think I’m pretty?”
He took hold of my face and pressed his lips against my forehead and muttered, “Stunningly gorgeous, my love.”
I shivered, my body suddenly wanting him. I laughed nervously to distract myself, “Even when I’m all dirty and covered in gross yellow bruises?”
He stiffened and slowly put his head down on my shoulder, “I wish I could heal that, I don’t want you to have to be remembered of what happened.”
Without thinking it through I wrapped my arms around him, “I’m just glad you saved me, you’re my hero now.”
“The hero gets the girl?” He asked hopefully.
I hesitated, he was a vampire, the son of a demon. How could he be the hero?
“Maybe.” I answered and I really didn’t know where that word came from either…