There were voices all around me, but I couldn’t hear them. Everything was muffled as I sat in the meeting with the Alpha Avery, the Elders, Connor, Teagan, Elijah and my mates. I took a position in the back of everyone and all I could focus on was my hand as it twitched. It’s like my body couldn’t stay still no matter what it did. Gritting my teeth, I clamped my other over my restless one and squeezed tight, hopefully the pain would distract me. Taking a deep breath, I looked back up to everyone talking back and forth and immediately a sickening feeling came over me. My stomach rebelled but I held back my nausea.
The image before me wavered and it was replaced with something I wished to never see again. There was a cold sensation crawling around my neck, it burned as it lay there. Reaching up with shaky fingers I felt metal circling my neck. My eyes widened.
Replacing the men in the room with me were familiar women in black. They were all discussing new batch of men they were planning on taking for sustenance. I flinched as I noticed I was standing in the corner being as quiet as possible. There was an empty tray in bruised and shaky hands. I shrank back hoping none of them noticed me.
“Which reminds me, I’m starving” one of them women said.
Slowly I watched her species signature cloudy blue gaze rise towards mine. She approached me, a sway in her hips as she came to stand before me. By this time my whole body was shaking in fear.
“Please, no” I whimpered.
“Aw, how cute” she purred as she reached up and caressed her gloved hands down my cheek. “You’re just so adorable I can’t help myself.” She whispered close to my ear.
“Essy, leave the boy alone.” A familiar voice said. If anything this voice just made me tremble more. It was the one I hated the most, the one that caused me the most pain.
“He’s mine, hands off”
“Oh, come on, can’t I have just a little of the puppy?”
“No, if I let you have a taste then you’ll just want more.” The one that made me call her mistress cocked her finger at me, beckoning me to come. With unstable legs I wobbled past the first woman and came to stand before mistress. With a dangerous smirk I watched her raise her gloved fingers up to her red lips and bit the tip of her middle finger with her perfect white teeth. Slowly the glove slid off her hand and out of her mouth, landing in her lap.
My breath was starting to come in gasps as I stood and stared at that hand coming closer and closer. I didn’t move, I didn’t dare. She wouldn’t trust me to roam free if I ran away from her. I had to endure the pain, I had to take the pain as she fed her insatiable sadistic appetite. I was the only one who could be called a pet in this whole dungeon of horror. I was the only one that gained the trust of a Siren. Closing my eyes I shut off everything, emotions, feelings.
Endure, endure, endure.’ I chanted as I felt my wolf coming to the surface to protect me like he always did. I owed him everything as he took everything that was done to me. He minimized the pain, he kept me sane as they tortured me, pushing me in the back and taking the forefront.
But as I weakly stood there waiting for the pain, her fingers inches from my face, my wolf was no longer there, and I was mentally thrown forward just as her cold fingers touched down my cheek to my neck. Snapping my eyes open my body stiffened as I began to convulse in agony and a scream was torn from my mouth.
“Lakota!” my ears were finally filled with sounds but unfortunately it was my own cry.
“What I’m trying to say is-” dad’s argument was interrupted by something that made my blood run cold. Everyone in the room snapped towards the scream that rang through out the room and in every member’s head. Lakota shot up from his chair to fall to the floor in seizures. Gasping I was next to him in seconds catching him before his head could hit the ground.
“Lakota!” I screamed.
“No!!” he cried. It was like he was fighting someone. His eyes were open, but I was quickly noticing they were blank. He wasn’t in this room with us.
“Lakota, come back” I exclaimed.
“What’s happening?!” Cyrus demanded as he came to kneel on the other side of our mate.
“I don’t know” I ground out through my teeth.
“He’s having a flashback.” Teagan suddenly said. Glancing up I frowned,
“I’ve had many of those damn walking nightmares before.”
“Please stop” Lakota suddenly cried out, his hands were buried in his hair as he withered on the floor. Quickly I took his hands in mine to prevent him from ripping at his hair anymore.
“How do we stop it?” Cyrus demanded almost desperately. Teagan glanced at him with a flat look,
“You don’t.” he said grimly.
Gritting my teeth, I looked helplessly at Lakota who was withering. It was like he did back in that damn hut with the seer. Once again, I was powerless to stop his pain and it pissed me off. Reaching down I cradled him in my arms trying to stop his body from seizing to much.
“Why?” I breathed, “Why does this keep happening to you! Why can I never do anything to save you from pain.”
“Gale” Cyrus whispered.
“What?!” I growled.
“This isn’t your fault, don’t blame yourself for this. This was done way before we were ever in the picture.” He tried to reason with me
“Still it’s no excuse. My main instinct is to protect my mate and I’m doing such a shit job at it!”
“Me too but there are some things that are out of our reach Gale.”
“That’s bullshit!” there was a rise of heat in my blood, I could feel it searing my insides.
“Gale calm down.” This time it was my father trying to reach me. I could feel him right behind me.
“You are useless to your mate in this state. Losing your temper will not help him now.”
He was right, sighing I closed my eyes all the while tightening my hold on Lakota. Taking a deep breath, I let out my rage as best as I could.
“Okay” I whispered.
Abruptly Lakota stopped moving and I looked down at him.
His blank stare was slowly fading, and awareness was becoming noticeable in his gaze. Suddenly he sat up, his eyes wary as he glanced at all of us.
“Lakota?” I said softly.
“No!” he tore himself from my arms and ran towards the door.
“Lakota!” getting to my feet I tried to chase after him, but a hand grabbed my arm. I snapped my head around to find the one they called Jim. He had such a worried expression it made me pause a moment.
“Running after him now won’t solve this problem Gale.”
“Like hell” I angrily snapped my teeth at him.
“He suffers too much for a few words to bring him back from this.”
“Then what am I supposed to do?!”
“We” Cyrus came up beside me. I looked at him a second almost too shocked to speak. He really did pull a one eighty on me from just a few weeks ago.
“Teagan has more experience with what he’s going through, so I suggest asking him for advice. But from what it looked like to me Lakota had no idea where he was, just like Teagan said, a flashback and a seriously terrible one at that.” Jim let my arm go once he knew I wasn’t going to bolt from the room.
“Now, we all know this poor boys past and I’m sure it’s not a pretty one at all. I’ve been told that he would always be in his wolf form before coming here from Kyle and Levi. Am I right Cyrus?”
“Yes, even when he was with me only on occasion would he turn back into his human form. But since being here he wouldn’t revert back to his wolf state as much as he use to. It could have something to do with Gale being his mate too.”
“And then the Seer took his wolf,” Jim touched his chin in thought. “Now he’s experiencing physical flashbacks…”
“It’s his wolf” Heath suddenly intervened. We glanced over at him.
“His wolf?” I asked.
“Since he’s no longer here to protect Lakota, he’s vulnerable.”
“I don’t understand” I stepped towards him. Heath sighed,
“In extreme situations such as what Lakota must have gone through, a wolf will take over his human counterpart. Lakota being in wolf form all the time is proof of that. It was like the wolf was his security blanket. He probably took all Lakota’s pain into himself. Blocked out all that would hurt him mentally and physically… to an extent. But now that he’s not there Lakota is forced to endure all that was done to him over again.”
“Why would he be reliving these moments again!?” Cyrus growled.
“I’m sure they never left Cyrus”
“What?” this made us both stop breathing.
“His wolf has been preventing Lakota from experiencing these flashbacks all along. He’s been taking the abuse and sparing his human all this time.”
“The flashbacks never stop, they just come and go as they please.” Teagan said suddenly. “Anything can trigger them, and nothing can stop them.”
I bit down on my bottom lip, my fangs were slowly descending, piercing the flesh easily. How long will I be able to stand this… no I can’t. I can’t stand Lakota being hurt, it’s to much for me to bare. He suffers without me. He hurts without me. He cries without me. I bit into my lip harder before licking the wound closed. Turning around till I was facing the door I spoke,
“Then I’ll just have to take on his wolfs role and be his safe place.” Glancing over at Cyrus I watched as his eyes widened.
“That is ‘our’ job as his mate after all.” And with that I left to go find Lakota.
I marched down the hallway following Lakota’s scent throughout the house. The past was the past and it was going to fucking stay that way if I had anything to say about it!
I am Prince Gale Dartanyanoff, the future King of the Vampir, and I will protect my loved ones with all I have. Even if it’s from themselves.