Chapter 20 – He was here
“Paige!” I could hear his voice, it rung through my ears echoing through my heart. The guilt once again surfacing, he was actually here, Tantore actually came for me. My hand was searing, my wrist radiating heat all over my body. His voice made it intensify, the pain increasing. I wanted to look up, to meet his gaze, to try and explain myself, but I could not. Holding my wrist in my hand I cried out as the pain continued growing worse.
Hearing the shuffling of bodies and flesh on flesh I could not even lift my eyes to see what was happening around me. My heart aching, I somehow knew they were shoving at each other, Tantore and Kiba. A darkness settling across my mind as unease set in. Somehow, I could feel them both, could sense them both. Their presences and their current emotional turmoil that bubbled alongside my own.
Air whipping past me, it was clear a body was thrown across the room. Another body taking the opportunity, closing in on my own. I a heartbeat I was captured. An arm circling my body, a giant hand I knew all too well dropped to my wrist covering my mark. Almost too weak to move as the onslaught of the roaring fire grew worse, I sunk into the arm seeking refuge. Tantore’s muscles flexed as he protectively wrapped his body around my own. His fingers gripping my chin, “did he force you, are you hurt little one?” I watched with blurry eyes as his chest heaved, as if he were about to explode, his anger pulsating off him.
He was the source, I could feel it. He was burning me, he was the reason I was burning alive like I was an uncontained flame, spreading wildly across a forest. Clenching my teeth together, I dropped my head in defeat, I could no longer go on like this. I could not move, I could not feel anything but pain. It was like I had eaten the hottest chilli on the planet, just the heat moved through my whole body, invisible flames engulfing every inch of my skin. The only relief coming as Tantore’s skin was physically touching, grazing against my own.
Hearing a growl, I could somehow sense where it was directed, and that was at Kiba. He also neared where we now sat on the floor, my body limply laying in Tantore’s arm. Words passing between them, I could not hear them, I could not hear anything soundly. Though I needed to speak, I need get through. “You left me, you said you would not leave me.” My words were but a whisper, my eyes closed, yet I knew I had Tantore’s full attention from the second I opened my mouth.
I could feel his gaze attached to my face, as his hand moving gently to stroke at my hair. Kiba’s presence growing closer, I could feel Tantore stiffen around me. “You Wild Beast! You marked and mated my female!” The venom in his words caused my body to jolt almost upright as adrenalin pumped through me. I did not know if the fact that he cared so much made me happy or sad. At the same time I wanted to protect, to speak for Kiba. Kiba had helped me since he found me. He saved and took care of me for the short period we had known each other. Straining my neck, I tried to look his way to see the reactions, to stop this.
Unable to utter another word, I felt so thankful when I heard Charlotte’s voice pierce through the cave bouncing off the walls. Growls cutting off at the sound of her voice. “Stop! How could you both do this to her, the poor girl does not even know what this world is. You have abandoned her and marked her. You marked and mated her and now she is in pain, real pain. Yet you two fight amongst yourselves and point blame instead of working together to help her. She would be better off returning to Earth, you are making her suffer!” Her words had grown so loud they were a scream by the end. The tenseness in the cave increasing tenfold. “No Derik! Its not right, they are hurting her.” Charlotte protests continued, drowning out as she was no doubt removed from the cave.
A grunt sounding, I could hear the mumbling of a deep voice I knew to be Kiba’s as footsteps swiftly left the cave. Unsure what was happening, I still struggled to keep my eyes open to focus. I started concentrating on the only thing I could. The heartbeat of the man holding me. Nuzzling deeper into his hold, I needed the contact, it was the only medicine I had. Voice softer than before, “Paige, I did not leave you. I have been searching for you for since the second you disappeared, I…” A growl falling from his lips, “I am sorry I was so late, but little one, I was waiting for you to call me. Touch the mark remember.” A heavy sigh escaping him, I felt a tightness in my chest.
“Paige, you need to trust me now. This heat will just get worse, let me take the pain away, let me help you?” Nodding my head as much as I could manage, I felt him lift me entirely off the floor, his arms holding me tightly against his body before I was placed on something soft. “Paige, I promise I have not and will not ever leave you. If we are ever separated again, I will find you always.”
Lips growing closer to my own, I could feel his warm breath air across my face steadily. It was just like last time, I did not even need to look down, but I knew exactly what was waiting for me between his legs. This time it was not fear and insecurity plaguing me, it was need, excitement.
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