“Up you get,” Darrius growls, coming to stand beside the table. I push out my chair and stand up, Darrius instantly grabs my arm and starts dragging me from the table towards the exit. John follows and Claudia bounds to her feet to catch up.
“What’s going on?” I ask, annoyed he is dragging me from the room without telling me what the King told him first.
“We don’t have much time, darling,” he says, giving me a cold look. But I know that look is to do with whatever the King said and not to do with me. I frown and put a hand on his hand which is still clenching my arm.
“Darrius,” I say quietly, “You don’t have to pull me along, I’m coming,” he frowns and reluctantly lets me go. I walk beside him and John and Claudia trail behind us.
“What’s happening with the werewolves?” Claudia asks, exasperated.
“You know?” John asks and she nods.
“Maximus told us.”
“We have to meet with them tonight in Oak Meadow just so they can meet with Jennifer,” John explains.
“Just to meet her?” Claudia asks sceptically.
“Yes, they can’t do anything to harm her in Oak Meadow anyway,” John wraps an arm around Claudia’s waist and pulls her into his side as he walks just behind us. Darrius sees the question in my eyes and he reaches up and gently pulls one of the black locks of my hair between his fingers.
“Oak Meadow is a neutral ground for supernatural beings,” Darrius explains with a strained tone, like he is barely holding back his anger, “I don’t want to show you to the werewolves but we have no choice. However, they shouldn’t be able to hurt you there.” I nod but I’m still confused.
“So where are we going now?” I ask him.
“To one of the meeting rooms, where we can discuss with some of my friends how we will protect you in case they decide to lure us into a trap,” I nod and follow him into to a room very similar to the conference room where the King had ordered Darrius to drink my blood to prove I wasn’t a danger to him. Inside the room are two waiting vampires, a man and a woman, standing by an oval shaped table.
“Owen and Leah,” Darrius greets, coming to stand opposite them, he puts a hand on my back, “This is Jennifer,” they give me a once over, like they are not that interested in who I am. Owen has brown hair and brown eyes while Leah has complimenting blonde hair and green eyes. They are obviously a couple, a dangerous one…. They are wearing black tight suits with weapons lining the belts.
Claudia stays with John next to me and Darrius.
“So what’s the plan?” Claudia asks, looking wearily at Leah and Owen.
“We’ll stay hidden while you guys meet the werewolves, how will you approach?” Owen asks.
“Jennifer will stay with me at all times,” Darrius says, his hand slowly trails up my back where he rests it on the back of my neck. I tense for a moment and then pull away from his touch and turn to face him.
“I don’t want to keep on pretending I’m your quiet little human slave in front of others,” I say, “I want to act as my own person, because that is what I am,” Darrius’ eyes narrow, the dark glossy blue of his eyes glints dangerously and I just cross my arms over my chest defensively.
“It’s safer for you that way –” Darrius’ growled reply is cut off by Claudia.
“Maybe she has a point,” she says, “If she comes across as independent, then the werewolves will know she is happily staying with us. If she comes across as your silent slave, then they’ll think she is unhappy, vulnerable and easy to persuade to change sides. She has to be seen as an independent thinker. A strong girl,” I smile at Claudia’s reasoning but Darrius doesn’t look too happy about this.
“Please, Darrius,” I ask nicely, and he just looks at me with annoyance.
“No,” he snaps, like it is a final decision. I fume, my cheeks getting redder. It was so damn hard to get my way with him. I hear Leah snicker.
“You should do what he says, little girl,” Leah says mockingly to me, “Humans should be the slaves of vampires anyway. It’s only natural.”
“Shut up, Leah,” Claudia hisses and Leah just glares mockingly back.
“I’ve never understood your soft spot for humans,” Leah says, giving Owen a grin. He smiles back. The tension in the room hikes up a few notches and I see Claudia’s fingers curl, like she is barely holding back on striking out. John puts a firm hand on her arm and pulls her back into her side.
“It’s not worth it, darling,” John whispers to Claudia, just as the door to the room swings open. We all look to see Maximus stride in, a smile on his face.
“How are my old friends?” He asks, coming in with his hands spread out wide, “It’s so nice to see you all together again.” Claudia rolls her eyes and I give Maximus a funny look when he winks at me. Darrius automatically grabs my hand protectively.
“Owen and Leah will stay hidden,” Darrius explains, “Which leaves you and the rest of us to escort Jennifer out to meet the werewolves,” Maximus’ smile spreads into a grin and he stops before us all, hands on hips.
“Don’t worry, Jennifer darling,” he says sweetly, “I’ll protect you with my life, now that I know you love Darrius,” I gape and I feel Darrius’ hand tighten in mine. I look to see Darrius give me a curious smile.
“Why did he say that, sweetheart?” Darrius asks, my cheeks grow redder and I nervously lean my weight from one leg to the other.
“Uh…” I start.
“Prick,” Claudia mutters, glaring at Maximus.
“I don’t know what he is talking about,” I say.
“Yes you do, darling,” Maximus drawls.
“What did he say to you?” Darrius asks.
“Nothing, I don’t know what he is talking about,” I explain.
“Little liar,” Leah decides to add in and I blush even more.
“What the hell?” I decide to snap at Maximus, “Why did you say that?” He shrugs and this time winks at Darrius, who chuckles in response. Great, they were having some sort of best-friend silent exchange I couldn’t figure out because I didn’t know them well enough yet.
“Are we ready to go then?” Claudia decides to say, trying to change the conversation for me.
“Babe,” John says, smiling, “We’ve got another nine hours before the sun starts to set. Now that we’ve got our plan, we have to wait for night to fall.”
“I think I need to go shower,” I decide to add in randomly, “Darrius? Your room is around the corner, you don’t have to follow me,” I try and tug out of his hand and he holds my hand more firmly.
“You’re not going anywhere,” he whispers darkly.
“Why?” I ask, exasperated. I needed some time to think.
“You’re forgetting something, sweetheart,” he says.
“My breakfast,” he states. I open my mouth to speak but I don’t know what to say. Owen and Leah start to head out.
“We’re going, we’ll meet later,” Owen farewells, quickly exiting with Leah.
“See you later, Darrius, Jennifer,” John says. Claudia gives me a smile and walks out with John.
“I’ve got some stuff to do,” Maximus says last, while laughing he exits the room and shuts the door and in a matter of seconds I am left alone with Darrius. Oh god.
“Why did they leave so quickly?” I ask, turning to face Darrius.
“To give us some privacy,” Darrius suddenly releases my hand and takes a step in front of me. He grabs my waist instead, leaning down until his nose is touching mine, “How are you feeling?” He asks.
“About what?” I whisper, scared now that he is so close.
“Can I drink your blood or are you going to freak out?” He asks, smiling like he knows no matter what I say next, he will get what he wants.
“Well… I really want that shower…” he gives me a funny look.
“Trying to get out of it, darling?” He asks.
“Yes,” It comes out as a squeak and I manage to take a step back away from him, out of his hold, “I really need that shower, Darrius. I haven’t had one in days!” he takes a step closer towards me and I quickly take more steps backwards.
“Are you trying to run from me, sweetie?” He asks, bemused at my attempt to run away.
“I just really want this shower, Darrius, please… just give me some time?” He slowly walks towards me when my back hits the door and I fumble for the door knob.
“Jennifer, sweetheart, you can’t run from me forever,” I twist the knob and open the door. I’m about to turn to walk out the door when he suddenly uses his vampire speed to close the feeble distance I created between us and he grabs both of my wrists and halts me from leaving. I gasp when I look up at his amused but hungry expression.
“Darrius…” I whisper, “Please,” I beg him with my eyes to give me some space and he hesitates. Very slowly he lets go of one of my wrists and brings his hand up to trail his fingers gently down my cheek.
“Just this once,” he whispers back, his voice coming out in a growl, “Next time I won’t let you run away so easily,” He quickly releases me and I stumble back out of the door way. I really feel like prey being stalked by my predator and I don’t have it in my heart to wait around any longer to see him change his mind. I barely nod, looking away from his hungry, zealous eyes, I make my way down the hall, feeling him watching me as I walk nervously away.
I barely got away that time.
How the hell would I get away next time?