THERE WAS SOMETHIng about her. There was something about how this woman fit perfectly against him. Oh, how her curves enticed his every desire.
Caspius found himself memorizing her every feature. He took note of every delicate imperfection that made her appear more and more angelic. He ran a finger over the plumpness of her lips. They were so soft. So luscious.
Ours. His beast growled. It stalked back and forth, yearning to reach out and touch her. If Caspius let him out, she’d be marked against her will. An unwilling mate was not a mate at all.
Let her be. He snapped. She’s fragile.
“Fragile indeed,” Donte grumbled. “Can’t even withstand the strength of her abilities.” He rolled his eyes. “Stick her with the witches, and leave her there.”
“With power like that, wouldn’t it be best to put her with the psychics? They’ll train her offensive abilities. She’d be more useful to us,” Elias chimed in.
“We have plenty of psychics. Honing her arcane abilities would better suit us. There’s no one else here that is capable of speaking with the dead, let alone wringing secrets from them.” Caspius could see the flames of ruby flickering in the depths of Donte’s eyes.
Through the millennia of their friendship, Caspius was able to learn a few things from Donte. The first, he was a fierce protector and friend, and a veil of an enemy to have. The second, his thirst for blood was unmatched. He was quick to get his hands dirty, and showed absolutely no mercy. Last, he craved power. It didn’t matter what he did to get it, he would have it. That was why he only insisted on keeping outcasts, juveniles and killers in their home. Though the weak were still welcomed.
Caspius stood to his feet, holding Lily close to his chest. Her scent filled his nostrils, and he had to swallow a growl. This woman was going to be the death of him.
The moment he sensed her presence, both him and his beast knew she was it. She was the mate that the Triad had been looking for. They both knew that she was everything that could ever be hoped for. Yearned for.
“She’s not a tool, or a weapon. She’s our mate.” Caspius looked at Elias and Donte.
Donte chuckled. “Please. She would not suffice.” He folded his arms across his chest. “I’m still thinking about making her my dinner. Perhaps I’ll keep the little thing as a pet, play with her a bit, then let Elias have his way with her.” He gave a half smirk. “She’s not worthy.”
Caspius tightened his grip on her. Wrong. Caspius’s eyes narrowed to two thin slits. Before his beast could come to the surface, she shifted in his arms.
Lily buried her face into Caspius’s chest. Her soft, sleepy breaths burning through the material of his shirt. It made him burn. For fuck’s sake, this woman was here for only a few hours, and somehow she was driving him crazy.
Ours. His beast purred. The sight of her, sleeping was a beautiful thing to behold. She was an angel, delicate and lovely.
“She is pretty, though,” Elias tuned in. He swaggered over to him, his gaze stuck on Lily. “It’s a shame she’s a newbie. She’d be a more useful mate if she knew how to control her abilities.” He poked her arm. “However, her curves are quite delectable. I wonder what she’d be like laying in my bed.” He licked his lips.
“Didn’t you hear what Lucius said? She was raped. The last thing she needs is to be defiled by your sick, twisted ass,” Caspius growled. “You two may not accept her, but I do. We’ve waited too long for her to be born. Now that she’s here, you deny her.” He looked down at her.
Her brows furrowed, and moaned softly. Lily’s head thrashed back and forth. All at once, she went limp. An ungodly chill consumed her body.
“Fuck!” Caspius held her closer. “She’s cold as ice.”
“I don’t hear her heartbeat. Maybe the cocktail killed her.” Donte shrugged. “Good riddance.” He gave a devilish smile.
Lily screamed. A pulse of energy flushed through the room. Lights flickered, the remaining glass windows broke. Walls crumbled and the ground cracked.
“Fuck,” Elias cursed. He pulled a glass shard out of his chest. “Are you sure she’s dead? That doesn’t seem like dead to me.”
“She was momentarily. Her heart is in rhythm again.” Donte looked at Lily. “Interesting creature.” He smirked.
She shifted in his arms again, a pained moan escaping her lips.
“What the hell was that?” A brassy, male voice said from behind. “This place is a wreck! I’m not cleaning this up.”
The Triad turned to face the voice. The familiar face of a kobold greeted them.
It was odd for a kobold to deny its nature. They were often domestic sprites, that preferred the household chores. Granted, if they were neglected or mistreated they’d become quite malevolent. The Triad always assured that the kobolds that lived with them were well taken care of and showed a much more tender side than most got.
“Who made this mess?” The kobold asked. “Was it her?” He started towards her, mesmerized. “She’s powerful! One of the masters is holding her. Is she the mate?” A sort of joy filled his eyes. “Should I alert the others?”
“No need. She’s not worthy.” Donte replied. “She is a new resident. Please, alert the psychics and witches that she will require training.”
“Will she be sleeping with the witches or psychics?” The Kobold cocked a dark brow.
“Yes,” Elias said.
“No. She will be sleeping in my room,” Caspius interjected. Sparks of gold flickered in his eyes. His nostrils flared.
“Let her sleep with them. They’ll keep her better company.” Donte shook his head at his friend. “She’s not the mate. She’s not ours. Whatever your beast is telling you, is wrong.”
Caspius growled. “No. She is ours. She is it. She’s everything that we’ve been waiting for. My beast is not wrong. You are. A shifter knows its mate.”