*A/N: TRIGGER Warning! This chapter contains nonconsensual forced intimacy. Please skip if you are uncomfortable reading!
Xander growled as the guard yanked me up by my leash. I gasped at the tight tug on my throat and clumsily stood to my feet, eyes meeting his angry gaze. The guard chuckled and handed Fin his leash to hold as he stayed planted on his knees. I felt him press against my back, feeling his body stiffen against me. His hardness grew and pressed against my back, causing my spine to straighten. I stepped to move away but his arm snaked around my waist and yanked me hard against him, causing me to yelp. Xander growled and lowered his stance, preparing to fight.
“I can see why you want her young prince. Her scent truly is irresistible. And that body...“. The guards hand drug down my waist and my outer hip before grazing back inside my thighs and hovering on my sex, firmly holding his hand against it.
I bit my tongue to keep from screaming as a tear dropped down my cheek. My eyes held Xander’s feral gaze in terror. In an instant, the guard was knocked backwards, tripping over Fin as Xander launched to push him away from me. I stood in shock at his quickness before finally turning around to see the guard laying unconscious on the floor. Xander’s fists were covered in his blood from where he’d beat them into the guard’s bloodied face.
Xander’s eyes cut to Fin who stood silently watching. “Get back to your cage and tell no one you saw me take her, understood?”
Fin nodded shortly and walked away, quickly headed for the pet’s room. Xander flashed to me and scooped me up before heading straight for his room. I had to shut my eyes to keep from being dizzy from the movement. Once inside, Xander gently placed me on the edge of the bed before flashing to the closet and bringing me one of his tee shirts. His hand reached behind my neck and unclasped the collar, tossing it on the floor with a snarl. As I slipped the shirt over my head, he walked over to grab the bottle of dark amber whiskey along with two glasses and brought them to the bed. He poured my glass and handed it to me as I met his pale blue eyes. They held sorrow and pain deep inside. My own emerald green gaze matched his as we drank silently.
Finally he spoke, low and strained. “Emma, I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I will find a way to get you out from my father’s hold.”
I nodded and took another long drag on my glass, finishing it and holding my glass up for a refill.
He continued as he poured. “If I thought he would care, I’d mark you right now as my mate! But he’d just break it and do what he wanted anyway.”
My eyes widened. “What do you mean?”
He paced in front of me, dragging his hand roughly through his hair. “If a vampire marks someone as his mate, that’s a signal for all others to never touch her. She belongs to only him. She would also mark him to say the same thing. If the two mark each other at the same time, the two souls will join and they become one. But, if someone wants her, it is possible to break it. A stronger vampire can try and erase the bond, but it’s very rare and extremely difficult. But my father has done is once before. He could do it again. And then you’d be connected to him alone.”
I sat listening, trying to absorb his words and hold myself together. “So I’d be mated to your father?”
He shook his head sharply. “No. But you would be connected to him. Everyone would know you were his alone. You would only be mated to him if you completed the bond, which isn’t possible since he’s already mated to my mother.”
“When did he break a bond before?” I asked breathily.
Xander stopped pacing and ran his hand down his face before draining his glass and placing it on the table. Quietly, he answered, “When he took my mother from her mate.”
My eyebrows shot up. Xander’s face was scowling and I could see this was difficult for him to discuss, so I decided to let him continue at his own pace. He walked to the bed and sat next to me. My hands instinctively reached over to take his, my fingers rubbing gently against his knuckles.
“My mother was young and caught my father’s eye while he visited one of the neighboring kingdoms. She was the daughter of another bloodline and already mated to someone before she had fully matured. After negotiating with her father, he agreed that if the bond could be broken, he’d allow it. So he broke it and brought her here to complete the bond.”
I listened intently. The queen seemed content in her role here, and even had an effect on the king with a comforting touch here and there. How could she be ok with such a monster? But then I realized, she wasn’t given much of a choice. She had to work with the hand she’d been dealt, just as I did now.
“Xander, you have to take me back before someone sees I’m gone. Asher’s already promised punishment if I disobey in any way. I can’t let you be hurt because of this. I’ll be ok. I can take it. I’ve dealt with worse.” My voice came out more broken than the confident tone I’d planned.
His hands squeezed mine and his pale blue eyes shot up. “They’ll have to kill me for me to send you back to be his pet. I won’t leave you to whatever he has planned.”
I shook my head and blinked back the tears. “Why are you doing all of this for me? Why would you make me your mate just to save my life?”
His hand cupped my cheek and he pulled his forehead to rest against mine, breathing deeply. “Because you’ve come to mean more to me than you could ever know Emma, and I will keep my promise to protect you at all costs.”
I felt myself shudder at his statement and brought my hand up to grasp his, leaning into his hold. Taking a calming breath, I spoke shakily, “I’m going to go back to the pet room. I won’t let you have yourself punished or killed for me. Whatever path I’ve been set down is out of our control. Xander, you can’t battle your father for me.”
He stiffened and snapped back to look at me. “Like hell I can’t. I’d turn you myself right now if you’d let me just go protect you from him.”
I gasped as I thought about his words. He was willing to mate to me as a human, for life, or turn me and forever have me connected to him, not knowing how my blood could effect him or even cure him. I shook my head, blinking away tears threatening to escape down my cheeks.
He leaned in, gently kissing my forehead, whispering against my skin, “Talk to me my inger?”
I shook my head, finally letting the tears fall. “I just don’t know how I got here. I don’t know what happened...”
“I’m sorry Emma. This is all my fault. I should have just let you go.” His brows furrowed in frustration.
“No...I mean, I just don’t know why I’m here. I shouldn’t be here, but I am! And now you’re going to give up your future or even worse your life to free me. This is just so messed up Xander!” I pulled away, standing from the bed. I began to pace in frustration.
He stood and grabbed onto my shoulders gently, searching my eyes for a clue to my outburst. “Emma, I need you to tell me what you mean. I don’t understand.”
I shook my head shortly. I couldn’t tell him this, could I? He’d think I was insane. Who would believe some girl touched a tree and fell back into the past? I opened my mouth, deciding to tell him the whole story as the door abruptly swung open as four guards stormed into the room. Xander snaked his arm around me and shoved me behind him as he crouched into a fighting position, a loud growl erupting from his chest.
“Easy there prince. You’ve been summoned. We’re to bring the both of you to the King’s suites immediately. Willing or not, you’re coming,” the head guard barked.
Xander held his stance, gripping me firmly, deciding if he could take on all four of them. One of them moved to the right of us, drawing Xander’s attention away as another flashed to his blind side, snapping a silver collar around his neck. He hissed in pain and bucked the guard away from him, clawing at the collar burning his flesh. My hands instinctively flew up to try and remove it, but they were immediately seized as the fourth guard flashed to my side. I looked up to see his fist coming down against the side of my face. The room went dark.
A muffled voice brought me back to reality as I struggled to come out of my unconsciousness. My cheek throbbed just below my eye and I was struggling to regain clear vision and hearing. A blurred tall figure stood towering over me. I blinked repeatedly and my eyes finally began to focus. The King stood in front of me scowling.
I looked around the room to see Fin standing behind me as I lay on the floor in the middle of the room I’d been in before. His face was strained and he wouldn’t meet my eyes. My eyes continued searching the room until they landed on Xander’s, piercing into mine as his brow furrowed. The silver collar remained around his neck, and was now attached to two silver chains connected to cuffs at his wrist and ankles attached to the chair by the window. Every movement showed the pain on the his face as the silver burned against his skin.
His eyes snapped to King Asher as he spoke gruffly. “What were you thinking Alexander? She belongs to me to use at my pleasure. She is the cure, and has the mark of the prophecy. She is said to end our worlds. I won’t release her until I’m finished and only then will she be granted the freedom to die.”
Xander growled lowly as he glared at his father. “I won’t stand by and let that happen and you know that. She agreed to willingly come and cooperate and I promised her my protection. She’s more than some stupid prophecy that may or may not even be true!”
His father flashed in front of him, leaning down to speak eye to eye. “I can assure you it’s true, and she is no longer your concern. She belongs to ME.”
Xander growled, straining against his chains but stopped as his pain grew. His eyes shot to meet mine, anger and sorrow swirling in his pale blue depths. My own gaze matched his, understanding there was nothing he could do.
Asher looked between us and smirked. “So he’s fallen for you then has he? That didn’t take long.”
Xander snarled in response, warning his father. I held my expression still, trying not to react as Asher closed the distance between us. I couldn’t help the shiver that ran down my spine as his finger stroked my jawline.
“Stand,” he commanded.
I quickly stood to my feet and swayed slightly as my head rushed. He leaned in as his lips brushed against my neck before inhaling deeply. “If I hadn’t seen the results of biting you already, I’d sink my teeth into you right now. Your blood smells irresistible.”
Another low rumble was heard from behind Asher. He snapped around to face Xander and snarled, “How else can I make you see that she no longer is yours?”
Xander stared daggers into his father but did not make another move.
“You’ll thank me for this one day. She will only weaken you. You’re not strong enough to resist her blood. You’d be human within a month.” Asher held Xander’s eyes before speaking over his shoulder, “Fin, it’s time for you to do your part. I guess he needs to see that she belongs to me.”
I gasped and turned to face the king who was glaring down at Xander. “I will do as you’ve asked. There’s no need for this. I swear it. I understand my role.” My voice came out in a whisper, pleading for him to let me go.
His eyes met mine, cold and calculating. “I’m afraid your understanding is not what I’m after today. Alexander needs to understand the punishment for trying to take something that doesn’t belong to him.”
Xander’s eyes welled with tears as he looked into mine, his face changing from regret to sorrow, and finally to anger. “I’m sorry...” he mouthed.
Asher nodded to Fin as a guard walked in front of me, placing two silver cuffs onto my wrists, handing the chain to Fin with a lock and key. My eyes pleaded with his, but he could not meet my gaze. He walked me over to the long table against the wall. In the middle I saw a silver circle bolted onto it and he looped my chain through before clasping the lock shut. Moving me to the end of the table, I could see that there was nowhere for me to go. He stepped behind me and placed a hand gently on my hip while the other held my shoulder.
He leaned in and whispered into my ear closest to the wall, his voice shaking to match his hands. “Please, don’t fight against me Emma. I’ll try and be as gentle and quick as I can. I don’t want to do this. I’m so sorry.”
“Proceed,” Asher said gruffly.
I heard Fin breathe a heavy sigh as he released his hand from my hip. I wasn’t sure what to expect until I heard him grunt, but not in pain. This was a sound of pleasure. My eyes snapped over my shoulder to see that he was trying to prepare himself. My stomach knotted tight inside of me and I began to breathe heavily, feeling as if I was going to suffocate. I couldn’t go through this, not again. And not from someone I’d actually somewhat began to trust. He’d tried to be my friend, but even now, there was nothing he could do. If he refused, the king would punish him and have someone worse do it instead. If it had to happen, at least Fin would try and be gentle. At least it would be someone I knew. I tried to calm my mind, preparing myself. It was someone I knew and trusted. I could get through this. If I could just block everything out, it could be just like being with a friend. I knew he would try not to hurt me. I knew he’d make sure I was ok.
If I could get through the others, I can certainly get through this.
I focused hard, trying to block every other person in the room from my thoughts, even Xander. I felt Fin grip against my hip once more, silently letting me know he was ready. His hand moved from my shoulder to between my shoulder blades, running down my back to gently place my body forward, hinging at my hips as my chest laid against the table. I closed my eyes and inhaled one last calming breath before I felt him press his manhood against my opening. He pressed in slowly, inch by inch to allow me to prepare, but I couldn’t help it as my body tensed and a gasp escape my lips, my fingers clenching into the chains securing me. My breath caught at the first thrust and I fought back the urge to fight against him. He was being as gentle as he could be without disobeying the King. Any lighter of a touch and he’d be replaced with someone less gentle simply to inflict pain on me. He began to consistently move in and out of me as his hands gripped against my hip, holding me in place for him. His fingers shook as they dug into my skin. I knew this was just as hard for him as it was for me, but my mind raced, begging me to reject the foreign touch inside of me. I kept my inner turmoil locked down as I pulled hard against my chains, biting down onto my tongue hard to keep my mouth shut to keep from screaming. Just a few more thrusts and I felt him shudder, moaning as he gripped hard against my hips. His swollen erection was pulsing inside of me as he emptied himself into me. A feral growl came from across the room and my eyes snapped open to see Xander’s eyes swirling black in anger, piercing through mine and into my soul.
I finally let the tears fall from my eyes as I held his gaze, mouthing “Don’t. I’m ok Xander.”
He struggled against his chains, hissing at the pain, but made no more moves to stop it. His eyes never broke from mine as the blackness faded and was replaced with sorrowful ice blue pools.
I tensed as Fin released my hips and pulled away from me. My eyes shut tight again as I pushed myself away from the table, trying to stand tall in spite of the violation. I opened my eyes to see the King staring at me intently, studying me, before walking back over to Xander and sitting in his chair just behind him. He nodded to Fin and he moved to unlock the chain from the table and remove my restraints. I rang my wrists at the relief, feeling the ache from my pulling. I stood frozen as I felt Fin’s seed begin to seep down my inner thigh. I fought the urge to snarl at Asher and kept my gaze locked on Xander’s.
“Well, she’s a strong one. I’ll give you that Alexander.” The king looked to the guard at the door and nodded shortly. Xander’s jaw clenched tight as the guard walked over to me, placing the leather collar and leash back around my neck and pulled me toward the door. One brief glance over my shoulder showed Xander’s expression turn feral as the King leaned in to whisper to him. Before I could hear, I was yanked through the door as it slammed shut behind me.
The walk back to the cages was deathly silent. I stifled the tears that had fallen and I could feel tension rolling off of Fin. As we entered the cages, I held the chaos in my head at bay, waiting for the guard to shut the door and walk back down the hall. As I heard his footsteps fade, the dam broke. Tears began to pour out of me, pooling in the floor below me as hard sobs racked my body. I pulled my knees hard against my chest, rocking back and forth as more tears streamed down my cheeks.
I heard Fin shift to face me, his hands gripping the bars as his eyes filled with tears. “Emma, I’m so sorry. I had no choice. Please...can you ever forgive me? I’m so sorry. I tried not to hurt you. Please Emma...”
I buried my face into my knees and turned away from him before laying down onto my side. I couldn’t speak to him, not yet. I knew he did everything he could, and it was much better than if some awful rough stranger had been ordered to, but it still happened. Something was still taken from me against my will. I knew I could forgive him, but not tonight. I let more sobs escape as my entire body convulsed in the emotional pain coursing through me. Finally, darkness overtook me, filled with horrible memories from past and present.