Walking into a clearing of trees, I saw a familiar silhouette and rushed forward. I knew I had a sword in my hands this time, and I knew what I didn’t want to do. But as I felt my damp palm grip the hilt, I had no control over my own body movement. The thought of having to kill him was the only thing strongly placed in the forefront of my mind.
Blood on my hands. That’s all I saw as I realized in the next instant; I had done the job. I was on my knees, leaning over a still body, just feeling the heaviness of his blood on my hands, staining them a maroon red; it made me shudder deeply.
I remember seeing his eyes water with pain, and remember seeing him gasp in air that wouldn’t help him breathe. I remember him telling me that it was okay, and I argued that it was never okay. But I didn’t get to go through all the motions this time around, because he knew they were already ingrained into my mind.
As I slowly woke, I could still feel the rough edges of a hilt in my hands. I remembered the dream so vividly I wanted to scream. I wanted to hurt the man that forced my hand into giving Dagon his fate. I wanted to murder Zane myself for doing this to the both of us.
All those thoughts were shoved to the back of my mind, and the haze I felt come over me in my dream came full force on me now. I could see Dagon lying with an arm outstretched where I once was cradled. I saw the way he breathed evenly. In-out...in-out; his lungs fully functional, for now.
I watched this all with the murderous haze that was wrapped so tightly around me at this point; I didn’t think even Dagon could save me. Although I’d rather him save himself...from me. I didn’t want to do this, but that was a thought so small in the back of my mind it quickly passed.
My throat was raw with the scream that was being shoved down my throat. Stepping forward, I raised the point of the sword to his chest...and waited for something.
That something woke up in the next instant, and Dagon stared at the blade with wide eyes. As he began to move the sleep-fog out of his mind, an understanding dawned across the sharp, smooth features of his face. Looking up the sword at me, I pushed the sword closer with hands that wouldn’t listen. Dagon took in a sharp breath, waiting for what was to come next. When nothing did, he shifted so his elbows gave him support to rest on. In doing so the sword tore open his jacket and a firm, wide chest appeared underneath. This time I wanted to whimper.
“Camira,” Dagon spoke with a husky, determined voice. He began to slowly shift, making the murderous haze spike with awareness. “Camira, baby.”
He was gentle with an ounce of firmness to his voice. I stayed strong, with a spine so rigidly straight I figured it might break at any moment.
Somehow the man I wanted – no needed – to kill, stood a swords length away. At this point his only choice was to talk to me. I was so close to the edge, that it took time for his voice to penetrate the thick blanket of fog.
When it finally did, after I’d nicked him with the sword, my arms began to shake and my fingers went stiff, no longer able to hold onto the heavy sword. Dagon saw the reaction and pushed the sword to one side, off the target of his body. Immediately it fell with a loud crash to the ground, and the sound snapped me out of it. Dagon stood a foot away as the shock of the sword dropping turned into ravaging fear.
The shaking in my hands moved up my body, and if Dagon hadn’t been there the tremors would have pushed my to the ground with unwavering force. Dagon pulled me firmly into his embrace and soothed the fear inside my heart.
“It wasn’t me,” I shudder, my jaw locked and my teeth hitting harshly against each other, as if I just had a bucket of ice thrown over my head. I’m not sure how Dagon’s been able to hold onto my quaking form, but as his heat reached my perspired skin, my jaw became somewhat loose.
“Shhh,” Dagon soothed against my ear, stroking my hair like a child who had a nightmare. “I’m here, shhh.”
I listened to his voice for a long time and repeatedly said, “It wasn’t me,” while he reassured me that he understood. I swear I said it a hundred times, but in a way it soothed me too.
At one point when we both thought his soothing touches had worked, I shuddered so forcefully that tears and huge gasps came rushing out. My mind wasn’t done grieving and panicking at the possibility of losing this wonderful man. Saying it wasn’t me once again, because I was so overwhelmed, I ran my hands up under his jacket and hid my face in the scent of his chest.
“Camira,” Dagon said my name soothingly, no longer sure what to say. At this point I was self-conscious of myself and pulled away, sniveling. “No, its okay,” Dagon said softly, knowing I wasn’t completely done. I wanted to be done though, I felt so whipped after the overload of emotion. I just wanted to curl up into a ball, with Dagon’s heat surrounding me, and fall asleep.
But when I saw the nick that was bleeding a small trail of blood down his abdomen I broke again, and started to hyperventilate ñ harsh air breathing in and out, like a needle to the eye.
Absently I heard Dagon swear as he led me down to the earth and positioned me with his chest against my back. “Breathe,” he said easily while letting out a breath.
It took me a while of wheezing, but soon enough I could find the deep rhythm of his breathing, and felt it across the top of my hair. It should have been stirring, my stomach clinching with need, but there was nothing of the sort on my mind. I only worried whether this torture of sharp breaths would ever end.
Once I calmed down enough that I wasn’t in danger of passing out, Dagon turned me with gentle ease and just for good score placed my palm against his heart. The shredded jacket blocked full skin-to-skin contact, and I wanted to shove it aside. But when the beat of his heart bounced off my palm, I stilled and looked into Dagon’s eyes.
Staring with unwavering irises, Dagon spoke what my heart needed to hear. “I’m still here.” Instinctively I looked down at the small wound that was already scabbing over when Dagon lifted my chin, breaking eye contact with the horrific reminder of what I had almost done. “I am still here.” He finished in a firm staccato voice, leaning closer with every word, and our lips touched in a hot caress on the very last.
Minutes later, after just holding each other, his touch blocking out the bad memory from thirty minutes ago, Dagon spoke up. “Who’s doing this to you, Camira?” it was said softly, but the way he stated my name at the end of the question, made me think there was little daggers, like Kenna’s, stabbing holes into that calm.
Tension built from my core and vibrated off me. “No one.” I had no need for him to worry.
“Camira,” Dagon’s voice sharply pierced the air, and any other woman would have flinched away, but I knew the anger that simmered inside would never threaten to hurt me.
I intended to look on with strong confidence in my eyes, but when I made eye contact, and I see the stone that hardened his facial features, I could only whisper, “Zane.”
He literally growled with all the fierce protectiveness he had in him. “I’m going to kill that bastard.”
The last thing that snuck through to the back of my mind, before we started our day, was whether that would even be possible considering Zane may kill him first...through me.
"Calder?" I asked, stroking my fingers along his muscled chest.
"Yes," He replied, kissing the top of my head, breathing in the scent of my fiery red curls. "What's on your mind?" Calder finished, knowing I was thinking too hard for just lying next to my mate. This was supposed to be relaxing. I inwardly scowled at that thought.
"Well." I stopped all of the sudden, unsure of how to broach the subject. For some reason it felt sensitive.
Calder tucked his chin to his chest, looking down at me in bed, as we lay there intertwined. "What's bothering you?" He asked quietly, sensitive to my feelings.
"It's a personal question?" I tried to state, but it came out like a question, unsure.
The leg that he had placed between mine rubbed against the sensitive skin of my inner thighs. I gasped in response. "There's never anything personal between you and I." Calder took my chin between his fingers so I would look at him instead of his cool chest I was snuggled against. "Nothing. You hear me?"
I nodded but muttered anyways, "It feels personal," looking away and stretching my neck to kiss his beating pulse, calm and alive. It took me a while, but I was finally able to ask the question after a sharp gulp of confidence. While I asked, Calder soothingly petted my mane of hair. "W-why were you sent to the underworld?"
There was a slight confused pause, but I could feel his muscles tense up in anticipation. I rolled my eyes slightly, and reworded it. "Hell."
It took him as long as ten minutes to reply, and I began to accept that he just wasn't going to answer. But when he did, I stilled and no longer paid attention to the way his hands absently aroused me. "It was my mother."
"No." He spoke roughly. Then his chest, pushing against my tight breasts, heaved and his tone was accepting. "I'll tell you."
Once again it took awhile as Calder worked through the memories of whatever plagued him.
Once he had it all in line, I could see it when his face braced for the impact of reawakening memories, Calder began. “It was my mother. Her name was Shanna,” his voice caught, but he kept going, feeling my touch along his cheek. “She was a gentle woman who was married to a harsh man.” There was a pause as memories of childhood bombarded him. “She was always the one who picked me up when Jax pushed me down.” I noticed the way he called his father by his first name. I understood that his father didn’t deserve the gift of that beloved title. His next statement was so harshly said that I shivered. “He raped her and then killed her.”
I knew he was finished but I didn’t understand. “Well, what about you?”
Calder answered in a flat tone. “I was born from a different father, one I never knew.” There was the sad, unknowing in his voice that made my heart break.
Calder finished, sounding distant; “I blamed myself from the age of thirteen when I knew I was old enough to understand and too young to have a say.”
There was a long pause, but that one pause was filled with so much emotion a dam in my heart wanted to burst. Then I told Calder something that came from the deepest part of my heart. “Calder, listen to me,” I demanded, repositioning myself so my upper body was above his and I leaned down to see his face in the dark.
Our noses almost touched with an intimacy I wouldn’t ever brush aside with this man. And just for a second, either because it was oh-so-tempting, or just to get his full attention, I rubbed my nose against his. Calder’s chest vibrated in response.
“The man you are today is not the man you grew up in the presence of. Just because you had a bad example for a father doesn’t mean you can’t teach yourself how to be different.
I and all of my sisters, even though it’s hard to see with Kaia, respect you. I on the other hand adore you so much it fills my heart to the breaking point.” Petting him delicately but with sure fingers I trailed them down right before the bulge between his muscular thighs. I watched my hand stop there and a smile cracked my face. Then I looked at my mate with so much love I don’t think I could have held it in.
“Kenna,” His voice was filled with gratitude, and his eyes showed the arousal he had while watching me make tiny circles at the spot I had stopped. Torturing the pleasure he needed from me; the good pleasurable kind. “I don’t think I could have kept living with out you, if you ever left me.”
I smiled with wicked intent, and replied, “Good, because I will tie you down if you ever decide to leave me.”
Paired with the wicked gleam in my eyes, Calder understood my intentions, and as I pulled him into an open mouthed kiss he gripped the rungs of the head board, a move we’ve had to work up to for a long time, and we pleasured each other until the sun was high at noon.