Prey

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Interlude of Thought

“So,” Lady Emily sighed, looking up into my face, “you’re the one Aric killed our father for?”

I sat, silently afraid, looking into her eyes. I didn’t know if she was angry with me because of her father’s death or not.

Was she thinking of ways to punish me for Lothaire’s death?

It wouldn’t take much to snuff out what was left of my life if that’s what she planned on doing.

“Can she walk?” she asked Aida instead of me, and honestly I was grateful. My throat was still raw despite the healing that had been done.

"Yes," the other woman replied stepping forward, "but she's still very weak."

"What did he do to her?" the vampire asked standing to look at the human slave.

"When she arrived, she'd been violently used," Aida replied sadly. "I cannot speak to specifics, but from experience I can only imagine what Lord Lothaire did."

"Yeah, I don't either," Lady Emily sighed, pushing herself to her feet, "come on Liberty, follow me."

Emily led the way through the halls of the tower littered with the carnage of battle. Blood splattered the walls, doors had been kicked in, and glass and ceramic shards littered the floors.

I could still hear screaming in other parts of the tower telling me that the fighting wasn’t over yet.

I hurried to be closer to the vampire walking ahead of me hoping that she would protect me if we ran into a violent confrontation.

When she stopped by a door that had survived the onslaught, I almost ran right into her.

When she pushed it open, I heard Aric’s voice, a sound I never thought I would ever hear again.

“Fuck,” he said as Emily stepped inside.

“Yeah, you’re fucked,” she said, “but at least you’re not alone.”

Seeing her walk further into the room, I felt the urge to follow, to see for myself if it really was Aric and not my mind playing tricks on me.

Barely able to summon the courage to look through my lashes, I saw him. So tall, so strong.

I heard him call my name before he crossed the room pulling me into his arms, his lips leaving kisses all over my face.

I stand there, still and silent, afraid that one single move will wake me from this wonderful dream and I’ll be back hanging in Lord Lothaire’s chamber.

Emily tells Aric to give me some space, but I can’t let him leave me.

Reaching out, I grip his hand so tightly my own joints hurt, but I won’t let go, I can’t.

When he learns what his father did to me on the plane, he’ll hate me, he’ll never want to touch me again.

I hear Aric ask about Alfie and discover that he is Henry’s pet, the Emily mentions Aida.

“Aida,” I breath, thinking how much I owe to her. She’d put herself in danger more than once to help me stay safe and sane.

I can’t believe I’ve only been away from Aric for a day and a half, it seems like a lifetime and then some.

How is it possible that Lothaire was the father of Aric and Emily? They were nothing like him.

Yes, Aric could be violent and scary, but it was never malicious. He never hurt me on purpose and whenever he did, he was quick to show me how much he regretted doing so.

I didn’t know much about Emily, but when she found me with Aida, she spoke to me gently and with respect.

~~~~~~

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