SHE WAS STILL GATHering her wits. Too much happened all at once, and she didn’t know what to believe at this point. She knew one thing for sure, that bastard of a boss raped her. Even worse, she wasn’t strong enough to fight him off. She just submitted. Stood there and let it happen.
As her stomach curdled, and her skin crawled at the thought of the incident. She wanted to puke again. She needed to puke again. There was nowhere for her to, though.
Things were moving too fast. Perhaps it wasn’t the memory but the motioned sickness. Lily didn’t think she could move so quickly, yet...
“Forgive me. I know you’re probably sick, but this is the quickest method of travel I can give. Your wounds are pretty severe.” God, how his voice was smoother than silk. It could soothe even the most rowdy of beasts. He pulled her close to his chest.
His scent enveloped her, and she could barely contain a moan. He smelled like campfires and winter nights. Oh, it was lovely.
“We have a healer who should be able to help you. Once you’re feeling better, The Triad will want to see you.”
“The Triad?” Her voice was rusty and sore. Her heart started to pound in her ears again. Relax damnit!
“They’re my masters. They sent me and my brothers to you.”
Lily snorted. “You’re joking right?”
He abruptly stopped. “I would never joke about my masters. They are the reason so many lives have been saved. Why your life was saved.” He looked down at her, and those brown eyes were golden, flames flickering in their depths. His warmth was overwhelming. “We’re here.”
Lily looked away from him. Oh, the sight that met her eyes. Somehow, the magnificent structure remained hidden in these woods. “Wow.”
The walls were constructed with aged brick. A tower seemed to reach for the skies, begging to graze the clouds. The roof tops were rugged, and worn. Windows were dark, cobwebs yearning to be cleaned. Lily wondered when it had last been cleaned. “Your masters live here?”
“Yes, they do. Is that an issue?” He cocked a shockingly, dark brow at her. He was daring her to give her disapproval.
“It’s beautiful. Could use a woman’s touch,” she softly joked. Lily looked away from him, feeling the angered heat of his gaze.
“Can you walk from here?”
In honesty, Lily didn’t know if she had much strength for anything. Between her anxiety attack and the incident that followed suit, she didn’t know how she was still conscious. Surprisingly though, she was wide awake. She was gazing upon this majestic castle that seemed hidden in the middle of the Missouri woods.
It finally hit her. She didn’t know where she was exactly. They were moving so fast, she couldn’t take in any of her surroundings. When Lily needed to get back to the retreat, she didn’t know how.
“Where am I?” She gulped. Lily took in the scenery around her. Nothing but trees. Pines reached upwards. The stars glittered so brightly around the moon. She could practically see the galaxy.
“Does it matter? No humans are here to defile you.” Those eyes bore through her. “Isn’t that what you want?”
Yes it was. She wanted to be away from civilization. She needed to be away from her boss. What he did to her... She could feel the bile making its way up her throat. “Yes?” Lily squinted her eyes with her questionable answer.
“Then enjoy the luxuries you’ve been brought into.” Gently, he placed her on her feet. “Come, I’ll take you to the healer. She’ll ensure you’re well before you meet the masters.”
Masters. That word numbed her. Who were these people?
THEY WERE LOSING patience. This was a tedious process. Mating season was approaching very quickly, and yet they would be left out in the frey again.
None were worthy enough to call themselves suitable for them. None would be capable of withstanding the shared power of the triad. They would die. Too many had died.
Still, so many women presented themselves at their feet. They begged for an audience—for attention. It bored The Triad. They’d seen thousands of beautiful women throughout their lifetimes, and still, none were enough to peak their interests.
A petite redhead female knelt before them. She really wasn’t much. She looked like she had just a little too much time in the sun. Her skin was bronzed, and the patches on her cheeks proved she worked too many long days. “Masters.” She bowed her head. “I am Aurora of the Chimarian Tribe.”
Chimeras were interesting creatures, but monstrous. After the discovery of the tribe, the immortals banded together to make them outcasts. They were abominations to the closed minded, but miracles to those that sought chaos. The Triad were neither.
“Beautiful girl,” Elias commented. The youngest of the three, he was slightly less regal. Nonetheless, his taste in women was remarkable. Countless bed mistresses, and yet somehow never produced an heir with any of them. Perhaps his particular taste was for women without reproductive capabilities.
“Perhaps to you,” Caspius retorted. He looked over at the young Elias, his black as night eyes boring into the immortal. “We have a Chimera already,” he directed dryly to the female before them.
“You misread my intentions, masters. I wish to become your mate.” She rose to her feet. Aurora was slim built. Her waist was barely there. The curve to her form was prominent. She had a long, slender neck, that was graceful outlined by those fiery waves of hers. Emerald like eyes were shielded by thick lashes.
“You misread us, if you think that we are interested in you.” The ill-tempered Donte rose to his feet. He left his throne, taking measured strides to the woman. “We have a Chimera in our ranks. I doubt that you would be as useful as she is.” His nostrils flared.
“I am here to be your mate!” She raised her voice. “Not to join your bullshit clan.”
Donte wrapped his fingers around her throat. “We do not accept you. You’re denied.” He flashed a pair of sharpened fangs. “Unless you’re offering yourself as dinner, I suggest you leave our clan home and do not return.” Ocean blue eyes turned to rubies, and those fangs elongated.
Aurora wiggled her way free from his grip. “I will bring war to you.”
“And you will die like all the others,” Elias nonchalantly replied. He waved her off.
Still the woman lingered. She stood her ground, proud in her stance. “I’m sure your pathetic ranks couldn’t stand against my clan. None of you could.”
Donte was in her face. He could feel the heat of her trembling breaths. “Chimeras that flaunt their abilities are no more abominations than the ones that shun immortals with greater power.” The ruby red of his eyes flickered with such darkness. “We prefer to avoid war. We welcome outcasts with open arms, and give sanctuary to the injured. You are neither, nor are you fit enough to be our mate. Leave." His nostrils flared as he menaced over her.
“Masters,” a melancholy voice called from afar.
The Triad looked away from the red head. “Lucius, what?” They said in unison, surveying him.
“The female you had us retrieve, she’s with the healer.” He was such a tortured looking immortal. It was always odd to the Triad to have a depressed Phoenix at their side, nonetheless he always got the job done.
“Then let her stay there. An injured female is no good to us,” Caspius replied. He rolled his eyes.
“She’s human,” Lucius added. His expression seemed unchanged. He never paid much heed to the coldness of Caspius, and it was probably because his own was just as equal.
“You brought food? Then she doesn’t need to be in the infirmary. Bring her. I’m hungry.” Donte quickly glanced at the chimera. As lovely as she was, he didn’t believe that she was worth wasting his appetite.
“You might want to be gentle with this one. She is much more delicate than the other’s I’ve brought at your request.”