I SMELL FEAR

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RETALIATION

“Steady.” Delacourte said.

Sintia didn’t consider herself to be a short person, reaching 1.7 meters tall, her wardrobe of stilettos and a favorite knee-high Christian Louboutin boot giving her an extra few centimeters. If anything, her shoe collections made her slightly above average in society, just not where Delacourte was concerned.

Yes, he was tall and filled it well, she wasn’t blind. But when Delacourte had pulled out a large gun he had called a Desert Eagle pistol and had stood behind her, engulfing her, she had felt small. His chin almost reached the top of her head, his powerful big arms wrapped around her with ease, his broad chest, and stomach a solid warm wall behind her.

Delacourte smelt like fine exotic spice, sandalwood, and oh his cologne, it was a rare sexy scent that would have many a woman turning their heads in a crowded street for a second greedy sniff.

“You got it?” Delacourte’s large hands dwarfed hers as she battled to hold the heavy gun upright.

“Good grief, are they all this heavy?” Sintia asked trying to keep her arms out straight, but the top of the pistol was heavy and she unconsciously leaned back trying to balance its weight thumping into his chest. Delacourte chuckled and his warm breath cascaded down her neck, raising her hair on its ends making her heart skip a beat. How was she to focus surrounded by him?

“Every weapon is different, these, are just a family favorite.” He said brushing his lips against her right ear, she shivered again, her stomach doing cartwheels. “Raise it up, point to the branch.” Came Delacourte’s sultry deep voice softly into her ear again. She stopped focusing on the target a couple of yards away breathing shallowly as his warm hands covered hers, guiding the pistol to the said target.

He was so warm, how was it that he was always warm in this snowy weather? She had lost the feeling of her fingertips many a time since arriving in Russia, but his whole body was like a furnace she wanted to climb into.

“See it?” He asked and she could have sworn his tongue and bottom lip touched her earlobe, oh gods, how was she to focus with all this attraction, she had a live weapon in her hand and she couldn’t care less about shooting a dam branch.

“Uhm, that one?” Sintia asked gulping silently as he released her hands sliding them up her arms to hold her forearms steady.

“Yup. Now control your breathing, don’t panic or close your eyes.” He said his hold on her forearm tightening slightly.

“What are you doing?” She asked turning her head to face him, forgetting how close they were her nose brushed his cheek and she pulled back ever so slightly.

They both froze, face to face and so close she couldn’t help but stare up into his hypnotic blue eyes. She watched Delacourte part his lips slowly about to say something then stopped, as a small frown crossed his features, as if disagreeing with himself over something, and before she could breathe in or even remember how to breathe, his lips were on hers.

He let go of her arms, one hand wrapping around her middle as the other cupped her jaw and neck pulling her into his chest. He deepened the kiss instantly, consuming her soul again with his hungry kisses, it seemed impossible but this kiss was more devastating than the first they had shared, she hadn’t thought it possible to be so thrown off balance by his touch. His hand slipped down from her middle gripping onto her hip as he claimed her tongue slipping a hand into her hair pulling on it, kissing her with such need her knees wanted to buckle.

The world around her disappeared as her arms lowered forgetting the weight in them, her hands relaxing, her skin was on fire all over again, her heart a mess.

A deep growl escaped him as he pulled away abruptly, letting go of her hair and waist grabbing her arms lifting them back up faster than she could comprehend.

“The gun’s safety is off; you could hurt yourself.” He said gruffly taking a deep breath in. Sintia blinked looking from him to out over the valley, her world had just been rocked off its axel and he had just slapped it back up worried about his gun, what the hell was that?

He finally released his breath, his body shuddering slightly as he backstepped just a little so his waist no longer touched her. Sintia tried her best not to giggle, she knew that was no spare gun in his front pocket.

She smiled coyly to herself realizing she did affect him; good it was beginning to feel one-sided.

“I’m, hold your forearms,” He turned his face away clearing his throat, “To uhm,” He became quiet then let go of her arms taking a step back wiping his lower lip with his thumb. “Fuck.” He chuckled turning away.

“What is it?” Sintia bit her lip trying to hold her smile as she looked over her shoulder at him adjusting his jeans with one hand as the other scratched his jaw, he looked at her with a sexy grin sweeping her head to toe before licking his lips. Oh, she loved this, he looked to be in lustful agony and it had been from her kisses.

“Nothing, you look good holding my gun.” He said taking a deep breath before clearing his throat again, walking back up behind her. “Now, the Desert Eagles have a tiny kick, well will for you, I’m holding your forearms to balance you, now aim for the branch, and hold the gun the way I showed you.”

Sintia placed both hands on the heavy pistol aiming it at the branch, biting her inner cheeks to keep from smiling. It was now time to focus, she slowed her breathing watching the snowflakes drift between her and the target slipping her finger over the trigger.

“Don’t close your eyes.” He whispered into her ear. “When you ready.”

She nodded counting internally to three, his breathing calming her as she pushed down on the trigger.

He hadn’t been lying, the pistol had one hell of a kick knocking both her wrists backward.

“Don’t drop it.” Delacourte warned steading her arms.

“Holy shit.” Sintia called out lowering it slightly looking to see if she had hit the branch. “Where did it go?”

Delacourte let go of her stepping out and around, catching sight of her eyes, he was curious to see how she would react to shooting such a weapon, and his heart skipped a beat.

Sintia was glowing with excitement, curiosity, and a sexy confidence that had his mouth pulling into a small smile.

“What?” She asked blushing at the look on his face.

“Nothing, now let’s see if we can spot what you hit.” He said looking towards the branch, “Not too bad.” He nodded pointing to a swinging broken branch off another tree a couple of meters to the left. “Want to try again?”

“Yes please.” She smiled stepping forward, legs apart, raising the gun again aiming for the branch, “Like this?”

“Perfect, need me to hold you?”

“No, I want to see if I can handle it.”

“Very well.” He smiled folding his arms nodding at her, “When you ready, aim for the same branch.” He said watching her focus as she aimed and fired, he watched her take a step back ensuring she wouldn’t slip in the snow then turned to see where the bullet had gone.

“I can’t believe the power of this thing!” She said smiling at him, “Hurts my wrists a bit though, but still fun.”

“Obviously, you will need something smaller like a colt or a brownie gun.” He smirked looking out over the valley searching for her second hit.

“Or a bullet in the head.” Came an uninvited voice.

Delacourte whipped around pulling his other Desert Eagle from the back of his coat pointing it to the intruder with lightning-fast reflexes.

“Who the fuck are you?” He growled scanning the seven men entering into the clearing, he side-eyed Sintia who to his astonishment was mimicking him, pointing his gun at the men. “Come to me.” He whispered to his side at her, how had he not sensed the threat he growled to himself scanning the men.

“Or come to me honey.” The man laughed wiping blood off his cheek looking from Sintia to Delacourte. “Wow, looky here, a royal wolf and a human?” He asked sarcastically, “I would never have guessed, an Alexeyev prince bending the law, your type are usually always so proper, always follow the rules.” His hand gestured a straight line licking his blood-smeared lips. “Unless she was to be a forbidden snack you keep a secret.” He winked at Delacourte before looking back at Sintia. “Is that why he brought you up here? Are you a snack? Care to share her Delacourte?” The man spat blood out to the side wiping his bust lip, his eyes hooked on Sintia.

“He asked, who the fuck, you are?” Sintia demanded raising the gun higher, pointing it to the man’s head. She couldn’t believe what was happening, who were these intruders covered in blood ruining her day, they looked as if they had just been in a deathmatch and were ready for round two. She was so confused, a snack? They were talking about her as if she was food how mental.

“Your delicious.” She heard the echo of Delacourte’s previous words to her, they suddenly didn’t sound so sexy as a chill crept down her spine. Sintia side-eyed Delacourte, his face hard as his eyes seemed to assess the situation.

“And you obey him and his demands?” The trespasser asked as a flash of gold crossed his eyes his face darkening for a second, she blinked unable to process what she had just seen, it was as if a demon had just pushed forward, with a mocking sharp-toothed smile before vanishing back behind the mask of a normal man, covered in blood, with, a gun.

“Is that what you climbed this mountain to ask? If I was some, snack?” She shot back at the man trying to not feel the tremble taking control of her hands, she could not freak out, not now.

The man looked back at his men throwing his head back with a laugh not fazed by her gun pointed right at him.

“Come to me.” Delacourte whispered to Sintia again while the men laughed. She took a hesitant step nearer not lowering her aim. He nodded slightly, encouraging her till they stopped laughing looking back.

“Stop right there, can’t have you any closer to him, my little snack, we warned him to stay away from you, our Alpha has plans for you.” The man said sizing her up.

“Alpha? What the hell…” Sintia began to ask.

“She is not part of this.” Delacourte snarled cutting her off, taking a step forward to get the focus back on him, “Let’s bring the attention back to me...” He said in the same tone taking another step forward to keep them focused on him.

“We did warn you to stay away from her if she meant nothing,” Came a voice cutting him off. Delacourte frowned as a man stepped out from behind the crowd, Delacourte’s nostrils flared as a familiar drunken stench overpowered the blood, dirt, and hatred of the Molchalin wolves.

“You could have saved her by just staying away, proving she meant nothing, but now, especially after your little kiss.” The slightly intoxicated voice said.

“Travis?” Delacourte asked in disbelief. “You supposed to be dead!”

“Yes, well shooting blanks doesn’t quite have the same effect.” Travis winked looking from him to Sintia taking a deep breath in towards her, “My oh my, but you still smell just as good.”

“Don’t!” Delacourte warned shifting his aim onto Travis.

Travis looked between the two slowly, the confusion on Sintia’s face, the unreadable wall on Delacourte’s features. “She still doesn’t know?”

“Know what? And why are you looking at me as if we have met?” Sintia asked.

“Oh, but we have, how is your arm?” His grin broadened as he licked his lips. Sintia looked down at her arm not dropping her aimed one as a shiver ran through her, his whiskey eyes were dangerous and so familiar.

“What has that got to do with anything? What the fuck is going on?” Sintia snapped her voice raising slightly, how did he know about her arm? He said it as if he had orchestrated her attack himself. She couldn’t grasp the truly crazy situation or the fact that they were all holding guns, their lives a single finger twitch away from ending.

“What’s going on is that his majesty and brother killed some of our best men, and dumped them on the side of the road like roadkill.” Travis sneered looking at Delacourte.

“Molchalin were hunting on my lands, broke my laws, you lucky more of you are not dead.”

“Hunting? Is that what you calling it in front of your little human?” The man alongside Tavis asked.

“Call it whatever the hell pleases you, the law is set, your dead men faced the consequences.”

“You killed a group of men?” Sintia asked a tremble in her voice looking at Delacourte with shock.

“Ripped them apart by the necks with his wolfy teeth.” Travis answered her holding his throat in a demonstration.

“So, the Molchalin is who turned you, and obviously one of them is amongst my men, it’s the only reason you are still alive.” Delacourte frowned looking away from Sintia back to Travis, he couldn’t deal with her horrified eyes right now, he had to trust she would stick with the devil she knew rather than the bastards that stood before him hungry for a kill. Travis had been the new turn who had bitten Sintia and refused to give up who had turned him, escaping he killed three of Delacourte’s guards and as a result was hunted down to be put down. Clearly the execution orders he had given to his men had been lost in translation or, there was indeed a spy amongst his men.

“Took you long enough.” Travis smiled.

“Think someone like you wouldn’t have enemies under your nose? How naive.” The other said with a small chuckle.

Sintia heard the rumble from within Delacourte’s chest at the disrespect, it sounded beastly, almost unnatural, she had no idea what was going on, only that whatever these men were talking about had a double meaning she couldn’t put her finger on. Where the hell were her guards?

“Where are Rod and Don?” Sintia asked changing the gun into her other arm, the dam thing was getting heavy, how they still had theirs pointed was insane, the weapon felt like a ton of bricks.

“You mean the obstructions blocking our way up to you?” The other man smiled at her, “They scattered about, piece by bloody piece.”

Sintia shivered at the look in his eyes, his lips were pulling in something that was supposed to be called a smile, yet it was unnaturally wide with… Where those sharp teeth extending out?

She blinked repeatedly at the horror before her as he continued to explain how he killed her guards, the world seemed to slow down as fear began to steadily increase her heart beat, what the hell was in her champagne, her eyes were playing tricks! Gods help her! These men were just men! They had to be!

Delacourte side-eyed her picking up on her panic, the fear from the man’s words, getting the sense of her wanting to run away. Good guy or not, her fear excited his wolf, the wild hunter in him wanting her to run, this was no time for games though, any other day if they were alone, safe.

“Breathe, no time to lose your cool, fear is not your friend here.” He accidentally mind-linked to her. Sintia jerked her head towards him, eyes wide and Delacourte felt his own enlarging, shocked at what he had just done.

“Sintia, breathe, you can’t run, they will kill you.” He mind linked to her again moving his lips as if it was a whisper. Sintia’s frown deepened her eyes thinning as if trying to figure out if the words were from his lips or not.

“What are you saying to her?” Travis asked cocking his gun taking a step towards Delacourte “Stop, if she runs, I will bite her again.”

“Again?” Sintia asked snapping her attention back to the stinking man.

“Travis, stop.” Delacourte warned, “She doesn’t have to be a part of this shit.”

“Oh, but she already is.”

“What did you mean by bite me again?” Sintia demanded aiming the gun at Travis’s head as a cold chill began to crawl down her spine.

“I think the time for talking is over, after all, you must be eager to join your brother.” Came another Molchalin

“What?” Delacourte asked scanning the men again, the blood on them not his brothers.

“In heaven, or hell, heck I don’t give a shit which corny line you want to listen to, he is dead, you still left, and when your father returns, he will be the last.” Travis said impatiently getting hyped up waving his gun around dramatically as he spoke.

Delacourte bit his lip notching his chin up trying to hide a smile.

“Are you, are you fucking smiling? Is this a joke?” The other Molchalin man asked in disbelief.

Delacourte’s nose twitched before he coughed a laugh, “My apologies,” He chuckled dangerously, his eyes darkening “You can’t kill me, and you sure as hell can’t lay a claw on my brother.” He finished off with a snarl the lift side of his lip raising with distaste.

“He is dead you hear me!” Travis shouted the veins in his neck taking strain, “Your house is in ruin, now our new pissing grounds, your staff dead, and your brother blown into a million pieces buried beneath it all!” Travis continued to shout.

Sintia watched in stunned silence at the two men, the man called Travis a few seconds away from exploding revving up the men with him, and looking to Delacourte she sucked in a breath. She had never seen such a fierce face on him, his perfectly chiseled face was a dark war zone, his frown deep, jaw set, blue eyes a hurricane grey, his aiming arm holding the gun seemed more powerful than the actual weapon. Looking at him in that moment he seemed otherworldly, a long-forgotten beast come to life, he seemed larger somehow.

“He is not dead; I still feel him.” Delacourte snarled. Sintia’s mouth nearly fell open watching Delacourte speak, she could have sworn sharp teeth moved beneath those gorgeous lips she had just been kissing, impossible.

“Perhaps you feel his last moments.” The other Molchalin man said raising his phone’s screen showing a live feed. Delacourte felt the color leave his face, the footage was from a camera atop some car parked outside his house, or what was left of it; half of it was up in smoke and flames, the other a collapsible mess, and through the haze, he could see and hear shots being fired in all directions.

Sintia looked from the phone to the men in confusion as they all stared at each other in a long silence that seemed to drag on and on, no words were exchanged but she could have sworn their eyes said a thousand things.

“Sintia, I need you to close your eyes.” Delacourte commanded.

Sintia looked at him in shock, she had never heard such a deep strained voice come out of him before.

“What do you mean?”

“Just obey!” Delacourte snapped looking at her, his eyes a piercing crystal blue. “Close your eyes, and don’t bloody move!”

Sintia’s heart went into overdrive as she heard the other men chuckle uncocking their guns, packing them away, she couldn’t understand what was happening, but the powerful commanding tone Delacourte was using was enough to force her to obey, she hesitantly lowered her weapon keeping her eyes on him, he nodded approvingly before reaching out and handing her his other gun.

“If all goes wrong, I pray you know enough from such a short course with me.” His voice came out rough, his accent heavier than ever.

Sintia took the other gun looking at a barely contained raging beast behind his eyes, a fury like no other mixed with slight hysteria, she had so much to say, so much to question, yet his stern terrifying eyes warned her otherwise.

“Don’t worry little pup, she won’t need them once you dead.” Came Travis’s mocking tone. But Sintia wasn’t listening to him, she was transfixed on the man in front of her, asking her again to close her eyes and not move, she had never been more terrified in her life as she raised her weaponised hands up to cover her eyes, his rapidly rising and falling chest the last thing she saw as he turned away.

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