Chapter 6- I will never leave you
“Hey,” Kara could hear a distant voice calling her it seemed airy and unfamiliar. It wanted her to wake up but the darkness was so comforting, so consuming.
“You are safe now,” a woman’s tender voice said as Kara started to open her heavy eyes. She looked at the woman sitting beside her. Her wavy red hair fell around her face like a curtain of cascading fire. “I’m Kendra,” she said looking into Kara’s azure eyes with her green orbs.
“Where am I?” Kara choked out in a raspy voice as she raise her head to look around but it felt heavy and groggy so she gave up.
“You’re in my tent, at the campsite outside the village,” Kendra said taking a cup of water from a nearby table and putting it to Kara’s lips. Kara drank and gave the woman a grateful smile, or at least tried.
Weakly, Kara raised her right hand to her forehead. “My head hurts... I was with... Yenive at the stream,” she said wondering how she had gotten from the stream to the camp. “I was looking at her drawing and- ” The memory of Yenive being shot in the back came rising back to Kara. She sat up quickly trying to get out of bed. “Where is she? She was injured!” She said in panic but Kendra pushed her back down. Kara slumped back down, not because she wanted to, but because her whole body was sore.
“She’s okay. She is resting and healing. Now, I suggest you do the same, you used a lot of power from what Marko told me.”
“Marko...” She closed her eyes as she remembered all the fighting and bloodshed. But most importantly the kiss they shared. She could almost feel the caresses and the beating of his heart as if he were with her now. She raised a hand to her mouth and put the tip of her fingers on her lips.
That’s when she smelled it... the blood. Kara looked at her hands and body, noticing she had been given new clothes and cleaned, but not completely. Some of her nails had dried blood under them, a reminder that you cannot wash away wrong doings like you do the dirt off clothes.
How can I be thinking about a damn kiss when I basically massacred those rogues? They were trapped in the ground, prisoners of my power and I crushed them. They may be monsters who kill indiscriminately, but it was I who lost control. Kara thought as a tear escaped her eye.
At that moment the flap of the tent opened and the bright light of the setting sun blinded Kara for a moment. The tall and prominent figure of a man stepped in saying, “What have you done to make her cry?” In a dangerously deep voice that could only be Marko’s, she could almost hear a growl in the question.
“Nothing!” Kendra said looking from him to Kara. “She just started crying!”
Kara sat up on the bed to look at his grey eyes, but quickly looked away.
“You should not be moving,” Kendra said trying to push her back down, but Kara was having none of that. She swiftly pushed her hands away and continued her weak assent to her feet.
“Kara,” Marko said with a warning in his eyes, she met him with one of her own. Once on her feet Kara walked up to him stopping only a foot from him. “Kar-” His words stopped when the palm of her hand connected with his cheek. The force of the slap made his head turn, although it seemed to her like he did so more than necessary, she would have probably hurt herself if he hadn’t. He turned his head back to her, his eyes glowing a pale blue, the wolf’s eyes. The expression on his face shifted from one of shock, to anger and then confusion.
“You could have done anything else to stop me. Killing me would have been the best, but really, a kiss?” She narrowed her eyes at him. “Don’t think of me as something to toy with Marko.” She moved pass him saying, “I’m going to my room.” As she stepped outside she wondered if she even had a room to return to, she didn’t even know how long she had been asleep.
When she stepped out the evening sun once again blinded her. Her eyes focused on the camp, she noticed how most of the soldiers were looking at her as she walked past them. Some of them even bowed their head like they did to Marko, which she found it strange but surged it off. Instead she concentrated on keeping her feet beneath her.
“Kara!” She heard Marko call as he came marching to catch up with her. “What did you expect me to do? You were out of control.”
“But you didn’t know what would happen.” She stopped walking as she neared a barrel; she put her hand on it using it as support. Her head hurt, her muscles ached, and most of all she felt an unforgiving sadness and shame at having spilled so much blood in that manner. “I could have hurt you... everyone here,” she said looking at the men nearby, anywhere but him. “These men need you, they need your guidance. So stop concerning yourself over me. Go take care of your sister, and take care of yourself.”
“You don’t understand.”
If she were a werewolf she would have growled at him. “What’s not to understand?” She slowly turned to look at him to find those wolf-like blue eyes gazing into her again. “You drink blood. So go to Kendra and drink,” she hissed at him angry to even have to say the words.
The direct orders she had given him would have seemed more authoritative if it wasn’t for the weak sound of her voice. But the fact that in her weaken state she still had the gull to say them made it all the more clear to him that she was meant to be his. The one woman that could ever have complete control over him.
The pain in her watering eyes made his wolf stir with resentment towards himself. He wanted to take her in his arms and comfort her until she forgave him, not that he felt bad for kissing her. He wanted to see her smile again just like she had when she was petting Froy before leaving the camp earlier that day.
Kara took a deep breath wiping her tears away. She turned in the direction of the village intending to leave, but did it too fast and lost her balance plummeting to the ground.
“Are you okay?” Marko said coming to her aid, but before he could touch her she put a hand out to stop him. “Let me help,” he demanded.
“I do not need your damn help!” She yelled. The barrel she had been holding onto made a cracking sound. She looked at it in fear of losing control again. “I need to go,” she said gathering herself.
“And I will help you,” said Kendra coming over from behind Marko to help her up from the ground.
When Kara didn’t protest he narrowed his eyes. “So you will take her assistance but reject mine?”
Kendra glanced at him with a serious look in her green eyes. “Arguing like this does no one any favors, especially you Marko. I will take her to her home and see to it that she rests, that is the most important thing right now.” She then turned her attention to Kara “Come on.”
Marko watched as they walked away with a look of defeat on his face.
She hates me, she really does. Marko thought. My stupidity of not being able to recognize my own mate before blood bonding with her has led to the pain she is in. Furious, he called for the men who had been in charge off patrolling the perimeter. Turns out that they were the men that attacked Kara the first day he met her. They still had bruises on their faces from the beating he gave them later that day. Now he would give them the highest disgrace of all, one that was worse than a beating. “Turn in your weapons and leave, you are here by banished from this army. You shall return to the kingdom and explain your wrong doings, failure to do so is punishable only by death,” Marko said, his eyes cold.
“My Lord, please,” one of the men protested, his face looked pale and horrified. “We would forever be -”
“Dishonored? Humiliated?” Marko said squaring his shoulders and crossing his arms. “Do you fools not understand what the other option was? You disobeyed a direct order by attacking an unarmed woman, and then when you were supposed to be keeping watch of the perimeters you are found instead sleeping like a bunch of bears. Sleeping on the job is unacceptable, by doing so you have put this village and your fellow comrades in danger. Perhaps without you three this army will do much better.” The man in front of him flinched at his hard words. “But what is unforgivable is that by doing so you have not only put your kingdom’s princess in peril, but also its future queen, twice.” Marko noticed as his voice carried out to the other wolves around the camp. He narrowed his eyes at the three men in front of him letting his wolf side come out to speak his mind. “I wanted to kill you all, I still do” The men fell to their knees, their eye glued to the ground. “But what kind of man would that make me? Killing you will not make me a better man and it will gain me no favors with my mate, but I will not tolerate your presence. The fact is... I am being kind.” The last he said with a deep growl as he turned and walked away to go see Yenive.
As Kendra helped Kara walk to her house, Kendra couldn’t help but notice the mean looks they received from the villagers. They entered Kara’s house and were not surprised to be met by the landlady’s suspicious glare. She took in Kara’s weakened state and almost smiled to herself murmuring something that sounded like. “I told you to stay away.”
Kara glared back at the woman sitting by the fire, feeling her anger start rise. “Hey don’t let it get to you,” Kendra said opening the door to her room and leading her inside. As she closed the door Kendra flicked her finger at the fire making it rise and die out. Tontra looked at the fireplace baffled by its sudden death. Kendra closed the door behind her with a big smile on her face, but when she turned to see Kara doing anything but resting, a frown replaced it. “Kara, you need to rest.” Kendra said moving to her side taking the dress she was holding away from her grasp. That’s when she noticed what she was doing “You’re packing. Why are you packing?”
Kara looked at her with tired eyes and said. “Because I am leaving this village as soon as I can. I am a danger to these people. I might not like them but I also do not want to hurt them, or anyone else.”
“By anyone else you mean Marko,” Kendra said as she set the dress aside.
Kara looked away from the redhead woman and sat on the bed, her legs could no longer support her. “What is the matter with that man? He is irresponsible, he puts himself in danger. Doesn’t he understand that?” She let out a frustrated grunt and continued. “I even slapped him and he still comes after me, how can I make him understand? How can I make him stay away?”
“Actually, you can’t leave.”
“What do you mean I can’t?”
“I have a feeling you don’t know,” the woman said slowly.
“Tell me what you mean, Kendra.”
Kendra sighed. “I can’t tell you, this is something that you must come to understand on your own.” She looked into Kara’s eyes. “Just think about what you feel when you are near him.” Kara opened her mouth to protest but Kendra continued “And don’t tell me you feel nothing… Anger counts.”
Kara looked to the floor, unsure of what to make of Kendra’s words. What she thought and felt in his proximity? Well he is more than pleasing to look at to say the least. His smile was enchanting and his eyes… well they seem to be out of this world. And his lips... Now the thought of them made her heartbeat race. She had to admit she was not that angry about the kiss, in fact she wished he would do it again.
After some time Kara said. “I still need to pack though, I actually got kicked out yesterday. I will stop at the nearest village to rest and keep moving.”
“You can’t possibly be thinking of traveling still. Kara you used too much energy and I know you are not only tired.” The woman sat beside her “You’re in pain, physical pain. You must rest, try to sleep. I will pack your belongings only because you need me too, not because I condone your travels,” she said getting up from the bed and moving to the drawers. Kara looked at the woman wondering how a stranger could show such genuine concern for her
Kara sighed getting under the covers of the bed. “Fine, do you know who it was that shot at Yenive and I back in the forest?”
“No, Marko said they found blood. It was human, but apparently no one from the town was involved. He said it smelled like northern blood but that’s all we know for now.”
“Northern men? Why would they want to kill me? I have no riches, and no claims to any lands,” Kara said confused.
“You have power... and people willing to help you,” she said with a smile. “And people who tell you to go to sleep already.”
“Alright, alright.... I will, but answer this,” she smiled as Kendra sighed. “When Yenive and I were being chased in the forest she said that Marko could feel my panic and anger. How is that possible?”
Kendra’s lips tightened into a thin line. “Because he gave you blood… he seems to be linked to you.”
“But it will fade away right?” Kara said suddenly felling panicked at the idea of him knowing what she felt like all the time.
“How would I know?”
Kara puffed looking up at the ceiling then she gasped. “Is that the reason he hasn’t fed? He has some sort of infatuation with me, because he gave me blood?”
“Well, I would not say infatuation, and as for the blood, I tried to forcefully feed him but his body rejected it…As in it made him sick, he vomited it back,” Kendra completed in a whisper. She looked at Kara who had was looking back at her with big doe eyes. “This has never happened before... You need to talk with him-”
“I can’t possibly do that, I leave tomorrow.”
Kendra chuckled. “We’ll see.” It wasn’t a challenge but it made Kara suspicious of the woman. “You do not have many belongings do you? Because I finished already.”
“I move frequently, having to many belongings is not good for travel,” Kara said absentmindedly letting her head fall back on the pillow. The softness of the cushion and the heaviness of her eyes slowly made her close them.
“Good night” said Kendra’s voice as she drifted into sleep.
“I will never leave you,” Marko’s reassuring voice raced through her head. They were the same words he had said to her in the forest before he kissed her. That kiss... “I will never leave you,” his voice came again.
Kara turned around looking for him. But what she saw terrified her to the bone and a loud scream left her body. She fell to her knees, tears falling freely from her face. Before her laid a field of corpses, soldiers. Men laid bloodied, arms and legs were scattered across the field. Some bodies were half covered in fur as they had started the transformation but were met by a premature death.
“I will never leave you,” his voice came again and she frantically looked around. She saw what looked like a mountain of bodies and she knew, she just knew he was in there.
She quickly got on her feet, ignoring the warmth of the blood that now covered her legs. Her feet moved under her on their own accord, jumping bodies, sometimes tripping over them. By the time she got to the small mountain she was completely covered in grime and blood. Her heart was beating fast as she grabbed the first body and pushed it aside, letting it fall with a wet thud on the blood covered ground. She did the same again and again until she saw it, it was the hilt of her silver sword.
“I will never leave you.” The tears ran unchecked down her face as she removed one last body. There he was, lying in his own blood looking up at the sky. Half of his face was covered in blood making his black hair stick to it.
“Marko,” she whispered as she fell to her knees beside him. She looked him over seeing her silver sword impaled in his abdomen. A cry left her body.
Had she done this?
“I will never leave you,” he said again, his grey eyes never leaving the sky.
She touched his face moving his hair away. “I’m here,” Kara said sitting so that he could see her face.
His stardust eyes looked at her and he smiled. “I’m here,” she said again.
He closed his eyes with an expression of pain. ”Mine," he whispered before going limp.
Kara stared at him horrified “Marko.” She shook him “Marko!” She slapped his face. She called and called but nothing happened. He didn’t open his eyes.
“No, no, no, no,” she whispered before a painful scream left her body.
He was dead.
Kara sat up in bed breathing hard, tears falling onto the sheets. She put her hands over her eyes wiping away the wetness. She looked to the corner of the room where the sword her father had given her leaned, shining in the light of the high moon. She stood up, wrapping the bed sheet around her and heading out into the night.