Oak Meadow is a wide oval surrounded by a forest, with a lone oak tree in the centre. I’m wearing a dark blue dress that comes down to my knees and to me it looks the same shade as the night sky. Out here in the meadow the stars were easily visible. Out in the distance, I see the werewolves in human form. There are only four of them.
“Are you scared?” Darrius whispers to me, his arm still around my waist. I shake my head, no. I was tense for a completely different reason. I wasn’t scared of the werewolves, not really. I was more worried about how Darrius would react when I did what I had started to plan in my head.
Maximus runs forward with vampire speed to greet the werewolves while Darrius and myself, with Claudia and Johnathan in tow, walk at a normal pace. When we finally reach the werewolves I notice they are dressed like any normal human. Three males and one female face us, three of them grinning at something Maximus has just said. The leader, the one with a light stubble and long wavy brown hair steps forward with his hand outstretched past Maximus towards Darrius.
“Prince Darrius,” The werewolf growls out, and Darrius refuses the man’s hand and just smirks back wickedly. Darrius being Darrius, aka a prick, was not going to help this situation. It was time to put into motion what I had planned.
“Christian,” Maximus says towards the leader of the vampires, trying to lighten the mood, “This is Jennifer,” Maximus motions to me, held closely by Darrius. I tense a little more and then inhale a big breath. I quickly walk forward out of Darrius’ hold and reach out my hand towards the werewolf.
“Hello,” I say, it comes out a bit quiet because I am nervous so I force on a smile, “I’m Jennifer, are you a leader of the werewolves?” I ask. Christian reaches out to shake my hand. I hear Darrius hiss behind me and Maximus gives me a wink as Christian grabs my hand and shakes it firmly.
“Yes I am one of the leaders, Jennifer. It’s nice to know I can shake your hand without being killed,” Christian smiles, “So you are the girl that defies supernatural creatures?” I nod, liking Christian already. He seemed non-threatening and easy to be around.
“She sure is,” Claudia says happily and I quickly look over my shoulder and my eyes widen a tad as I see that her and John were both very close to Darrius. Claudia has a hand behind Darrius’ back, on his belt while John has an inconspicuous brotherly hand on Darrius’ shoulder. You wouldn’t know it just looking at them, but I knew they were holding him back from coming to get me. He would probably start some massive fight with the werewolves. Especially in his bad mood. Darrius has a deadly scowl on his face as he glares at me. I can’t help it, I take the opportunity to smile cheekily back. When his scowl deepens I look back towards the werewolves.
“You wanted to meet me,” I say, more confidently now, “Is that all you wanted to do?” Christian shakes his head, looking down at me. Christian was tall and bulky, a big werewolf, towering over everyone here, including Maximus. Maximus tenses beside me, his hand close to his belt where his knife is as Christian crosses his arms over his massive chest.
“You claim to be the human from the prophecy, but you have to prove it to us,” Christian explains, eyeing me sceptically. I raise an eyebrow.
“Oh?” I ask. Christian motions to the werewolves behind him. A woman and a man grab hold of the third man and pull him forward, making him kneel before me. He’s got scratches along his cheeks and neck. His clothes are dirty.
“What do you want her to do?” Maximus asks for me, suddenly sounding not so welcoming. Instead, there is an edge to his voice. An edge of danger.
“This werewolf,” Christian growls out, “Is a betrayer to our kind, he was giving information to the witches about us, and the punishment for betrayal is death.”
“Death cannot happen on this meadow, you know this,” Maximus says.
“Any death or violence that happens with malicious intent? No it cannot happen here. We’d all die from the witches curse cast upon this ground. But this is different. This is justice, there is no malicious intent involved. It is also an opportunity to see if her blood really is a poison,” Christian explains, “Do you have a problem with what we ask?”
“Jennifer?” Maximus asks me, and I’m surprised for a moment. Finally, I had some say it what was going on. I smile, happy that I finally have some power.
“Yes, I’ll do it. But is that all you want?” I ask.
“He won’t be getting anything else,” Darrius growls behind me. Christian looks amused as he glances over at Darrius.
“He is very protective of you, why?” He asks me. This I did not expect and I knew it was not a part of the plans to reveal that Darrius was the one bonded to me through the prophecy.
“He, uh, he is just a little… uh –” I struggle to find a way out of it but John saves me. He walks up to my side and puts a hand on my shoulder.
“She’s very strong-willed, you see,” John explains for me, “I’m Prince Johnathan, by the way. Nice to meet you,” The ‘nice to meet you’ part doesn’t come out very convincingly but Christian just shrugs, “Darrius, my brother hasn’t fed all day. I’m trying to teach him control by uh, not feeding. Jennifer is often under his protection and Darrius isn’t use to human’s who try and assert their independence. He is just a little grumpy, that’s all.” I hear Darrius growl behind us in response and Christian shrugs.
“Okay then, let’s get on with it,” Christian says, looking back to me with interest.
“Maximus, you do it,” John says and Maximus nods, coming over with the same knife he used to get some of my blood in the car. I hold out my wrist for him, the werewolf kneeling at my feet starts shaking in fear and I hesitate for a moment.
“You don’t have a choice,” Maximus gruffly mutters to me, grabbing my elbow and making a quick little knick in my wrist once more. I bite my lower lip from the pain and shakily hold my arm over the werewolf. I watch as a couple of drops of blood fall from my skin and hit the werewolf’s cheek and forehead. I quickly pull my wrist back and cover the wound with my hand, gaping when I see the blood start sizzling through his skin, then through bone, then through –
I look away, tears coming to my eyes. The werewolf doesn’t scream, he just silently accepts his death, falling onto the ground. He starts convulsing, bumps start appearing all over his body. A reaction to the poison. I look reluctantly back around to see Christian’s eyes have glazed over and there is a tick in his cheek, he doesn’t like what he sees happening before him either. Justice or no, the man was now dead, lying still on the ground.
Maximus sighs next to me and puts a hand on my shoulder, giving me some comfort. John does the same on my other shoulder.
“It’s over now,” John mutters to me. I nod, reluctantly and then glance back to Christian.
“So it is true,” Christian mutters, the smile lost from his face. He doesn’t look too happy to see me anymore. His welcoming aura dissipates into nothing, like it didn’t exist in the first place. I frown in response.
“Darrius,” I hear Claudia hiss behind me and before I know it, Darrius has me by the arm.
“You got what you came for,” Darrius hisses at the werewolves, “Don’t dare to threaten my family again, next time we won’t be so diplomatic,” he starts dragging me backwards away from Maximus and Johnathan. I turn around and walk quickly beside him to keep pace with his quick strides. Maximus, Claudia and Johnathan follow behind us, saying goodbye to the werewolves. A few more steps and Darrius suddenly halts. I halt too, looking up at him worriedly. He had a dark look in his eye, he was beyond pissed… he comes closer and leans down, he puts an arm around my waist, one behind my knees, picking me up.
“What the –” before I can finish, Darrius runs back to the car at lightning speed, cutting off my words. He stops right by the car, I’m still holding my bleeding wrist and my hand clutches onto his shoulder, my eyes wide, “I didn’t know you could run that fast…” I trail off as Darrius puts me back on my feet.
“You obviously don’t know how to behave,” he growls out, dark blue eyes digging into my own for answers as to what just happened… aka me walking away from him, speaking for myself. He quickly grabs my wrist and brings it up to his lips, he licks the wound clean and follows the trail of blood that has bled down my arm to the crook of my elbow, closing his eyes in pleasure as he tastes my blood. I stay still as he cleans my arm with his tongue, groaning.
“Darrius,” I say quietly, “I had to stand up for myself –”
“Don’t speak,” he whispers, looking up into my eyes, he reaches up a hand and brushes my hair away from my neck, holding it in a tight grip behind my head. He gives me a calculating look as his gaze moves from my eyes down to my neck. Then he pulls my head back with my hair, exposing my neck even more.
“Darrius,” I start, gripping both his upper arms, trying to halt him.
“You can’t stop me this time,” he says quietly, staring with entranced eyes at my neck, where my pulse was beating fast, “Don’t ever do something like that again, Jennifer. I don’t want you in danger like that,” I want to say I wasn’t in danger, but who was I to know? I didn’t know anything about the werewolves. All I knew was that Christian seemed kind enough towards us… at the start at least. Darrius leans in without warning, his lips brush over the skin on my neck, “Relax,” he whispers, “And keep still,” I gulp, it wasn’t like I could move away with his hand holding my hair so tight.
I close my eyes, waiting for the inevitable.
His fangs sink into my neck the next moment and I feel my life-force drain away as he drinks his fill. The more he takes, the looser his hand becomes in my hair, and after a few moments he pulls out, licking the wound clean. I open my eyes again. That time the pain wasn’t so bad.
“You can let me go now,” I say quietly, wanting some space. Instead he brings his hands to my neck, gently tracing the skin with his fingertips. He looks down at me, licks his lips clean and then suddenly smiles, fangs still a little red from my blood.
“Jennifer,” he says my name again, “Don’t forget it.” I narrow my eyes at him.
“Don’t forget what?” I ask. He leans down until his nose brushes mine, he presses a quick deep kiss to my lips and I start to hear footsteps from the forest close by. Everyone was coming back. We pull away from each other at the same time, but he grabs hold of my arms again. Gently this time.
“Don’t forget that you’re mine, sweetheart,” he whispers, then more loudly states, “I don’t want you in danger. Next time I ask you to behave, you behave,” I sigh and look to the side, away from his possessive eyes to see Claudia and John coming towards us. Maximus is talking to Leah and Owen behind them.
“What are you doing, Darrius?” Claudia asks, exasperated, “Leave the girl alone.”
“I’m reminding her how things work around here,” Darrius smiles and Claudia halts, taking in the blood still left on his fangs. She opens her mouth to say something back but then just chooses to roll her eyes. She grabs John’s hand and tugs him towards their car.
“Come on babe,” she says, “Let’s go home.”
“That’s a wonderful idea, let’s get in the car, Darrius,” I say, trying to change the topic, get his mind on something else besides lecturing me about behaving. I wasn’t a freaking pet!
“This time you are sitting next to the window. I’ll be in the middle,” It only takes me a moment to figure out why Darrius says this. I nod, smiling to myself about Darrius’ protectiveness when it came to Maximus. He lets my wrists go to open the door to the car and he hops inside first. I follow, sitting next to the window. Maximus, Leah and Owen are still talking outside the car.
“Darrius,” I say, turning to face him, “No matter what you say, I’m going to do what I want.”
“Jennifer,” he growls back, playing with a stand of my hair, “I wouldn’t test my patience right now, sweetheart. I want to believe you’ll do everything I say,” I pull on my seat belt, getting comfortable.
“I’m my own person and I’m not your pet. You should get use to that fact,” I say confidently back. Darrius pulls on the strand of hair he is playing with and I wince, glaring at him from the quick sharp pain.
“Behave,” he growls, but this time more playfully, with a smile and narrowed eyes. I roll my eyes in return. Drinking my blood calmed him down somewhat, I noticed. Maximus, Leah and Owen slide into the car next and I hear Maximus sigh as he sits on Darrius’ other side.
“I see what is going on here,” Maximus glares at Darrius and gives me a wink. I can’t help it, I laugh. Darrius snarls back at Maximus and Leah and Owen groan. This time Owen is driving.
“Let’s get back so I don’t have to put up with these three and their antics in the back seat any longer,” Leah snaps from the front, “Hit the gas Owen.”
“Agreed,” Owen starts the car and starts backing out of the park.
“You will behave sweetheart, if you want to stay alive,” Darrius suddenly decides to say, an undertone of menace in his voice.
“Why?” I ask.
“Because the werewolves won’t be the only ones that want to meet you,” he explains. Of course, there were more people that would want to meet me that would most likely want me dead or hate me or fear me for what I was.
I sigh, that meant I would have to put up with Darrius and his possessiveness even more. If he would act anything like he did tonight with other supernatural creatures….