A Forever Love Ch. 05byDaniellekitten©
Something cool pressed against Kinlye's forehead and she smiled, mumbling the name of the man she longed for. "Christian."
The coolness was gone and she reached out, for the first time opening her eyes, to find him. There was only a dim light coming into the room from well covered windows and she blinked, trying to see. The pain only made itself known when she tried to lift her head and she moaned, her hand going to her head.
"Where am I? Why do I hurt?" she asked aloud, not expecting an answer. Hearing her own voice had a calming effect upon her and made her feel a bit better.
"You're in my room here at the inn, Kinlye."
Kinlye squeaked, pushing away from the big man who rose from the chair beside her bed, his hand going out to her. "Y-you shot Christian," she cried out in horror as the memories surfaced. "You killed him!"
"I doubt it," Matthew sighed. He shook his shaggy head. "Vampires are notoriously hard to kill. That bolt probably did little but slow him down a bit. He should be fine."
"W-why did you shoot him?" She curled into a ball at the far corner of the bed, flinching back from his hand.
"I won't hurt you, Kinlye. I had to stop him. He was going to hurt you. They're evil. They always have been, they always will. I couldn't let him do that to you, Kinlye. You're too good, too sweet." He shifted in the chair again, his hand touching her gently. "You'll understand soon enough, Kinlye."
"Understand what?" She moved closer again to the wall to keep his hand off of her.
"I'm going to make you like me. Then you'll be able to see what I have and you'll know how evil they are. Then you and I will be together and I'll no longer be alone." The wistful eagerness in his tone was hard to ignore and she felt her heart give a little toward the strange man. She pushed herself up, making sure she was still well covered with the blanket.
"I don't want to be what you are, Matthew." She said the words gently, hoping that she could get through to him. "I love Christian and he loves me. Can you understand that?"
"The evil that rots within his breast has no concept of the term love. It is foul and loathsome. I've seen its deeds first hand. Rape and murder, that all the demon vampire wants for his life. How can you claim to love something so foul, sweet lady?" Matthew shook his huge head, his eyes glowing in the dim light of the coals that heated the room.
"Not Christian." Kinlye sat up even further, her hand held out as she beseeched the big man to listen to her. "He's good and kind. He rescued me when my stepbrother wished to perform acts that would besmirched my honor. He gave me a place to stay when I couldn't go home. He was sweet and kind to me, Matthew. Rape is not something he would ever consider."
Matthew shook his head. He could not think of any way for Kinlye to see what a vampire could do to her life except to share a bit of his magic with her. "I need to touch you. I won't hurt you," he hurried to add when he saw her head shaking. "I just want you to see what I have. It won't hurt, Kinlye. I promise."
There was still doubt in her eyes but she held still as he rose to sit on the side of the bed, his big hand coming out to cover her eyes, the other touching the back of her hand. "Now you will see."
Flashes of images flowed through her head, each one faster and more confusing until suddenly, she was no longer in this room. She stood in the bailey of a large keep, a rake in her huge hands. Her body felt strange, too big, too clumsy and then she realized. She was Matthew. She was seeing his memories first hand, living them for herself. A thrill of fear shook her and she tried to deny what was happening, but Matthew would have none of it.
"See for yourself, Kinlye. They can't hurt you, they won't even see you."
Her feet moved her forward, and she leaned the rake against the side of the Keep, slipping inside the open doorway. The smell of meat roasting made her stomach growl and she realized that she hadn't eaten since breakfast, early this morning. Perhaps she could con cook out of a plate.
A scream forced her to turn her head and she watched in horror as a young girl, barely more than 18 summers, was chained naked to the wall of the great room. The lord and his men laughed as coarse and belittling remarks were made about the girl. The size of her breasts were argued over and the lord, himself, rose from his high backed chair to stride across the room. He cupped one soft globe, his thumb moving across her nipple until it rose high and tight. Then he ducked his head, his mouth opening to suckle on her pale pink treasure.
The girl, her face flushed from terror and embarrassment, tried to get away from the Lord, but it wasn't allowed. His other hand came up, mauling her other breast and the slid down to the forest of hair that covered the softness of her sex. He thrust his fingers into her, laughing at her screams and at the way she kicked out. She was doing anything she could do to end this torture, to get this man off of her.
Kinlye was shocked when the lord loosened his codpiece and freed his cock. It was huge, erect and so hard it seemed to quiver. "What..." she whispered in terror for the girl, wanting to turn away. But Matthew's body didn't allow her and she watched as the lord grabbed the girl's legs, prying her thighs apart and stepping between them. He lifted the girl and gave a sudden lunging thrust into her, tearing her hymen and forcing at least half his length into her.
The girl screamed, her head falling back against the wall, her eyes wide in shock. She kept shaking her head as if to deny what was happening to her and her hands fisted, pushing against the Lord's wide chest. He kept thrusting, seating himself fully inside of her, enjoying her squirming and spouting his enjoyment to his men.
Kinlye glanced at the men with disgust as they pushed and shoved each other to get in line behind the Lord, in pursuit of their own pleasure upon the once virginal loins of the girl.
"What ho?" one man shouted. "My lord, save some of that for your loyal men."
He glanced back at his men and for the first time Kinlye became aware of something strange. His eyes were hard with an evil bent that changed the shape of his face. His fangs were visible and his mouth opened wider than she'd thought possible. His face was white, the darkness of his facial hair shockingly different. "She's mine," he growled, his voice raspy harsh. Then he turned, letting the girl see the monster that rode her. Her screams were ear splitting and then they gurgled away as the Lord bent to his treat, tearing out her throat and drinking of the sweetness of her blood.
His hips jerked as he found the pleasure he sought of her flesh, his cock pulled free to spurt his bloody cum over the girl's white thighs. Then he pulled away, the gaping wound in her throat, gleaming as what little blood he'd left in her was pushed out by the beat of her heart. Kinlye watched as that blood flowed slower and then slower until, as the second man pushed his foul cock inside of her, the girl died.
She gagged, her huge hand going to her mouth as she turned and rushed out of the Keep to sprawl on his knees next to a trough of water kept for the horses. He vomited up what little was in his stomach and then the retching spasms continued until he forced his mind away from the atrocities he'd watched being committed. He reached one shaking hand into the trough and splashed his face with it before going to the communal water pump to fill a tin cup there and used it to wash out his mouth.
Forgetting any thoughts of hunger, he found his way into the stable and bedded down in some sweet smelling hay, the normal sounds of the horses easing him in the smallest of ways.
If it hadn't been for her, for his Lady Caprice, he'd have left that night, sneaking away like a villain in the dark to find himself a new home. But Caprice was there and he could never leave her alone with the terrors and travesties he'd witnessed.
Kinlye tried to force her eyes to open but she heard Matthew's mutter. "Not yet. You don't believe yet." And he firmed his grip upon her.
Tears streaked down her cheeks from under his hand but she quit struggling. He wouldn't let her go until he was ready. She opened her eyes, her insides shrinking from seeing any other horror.
His lordship had bid him to go to the village and fetch the Miller and his wife and family. The family comprised of the two sons who worked the mill with the Miller and a younger daughter, a beautiful girl who was a joy to her father and a help to her mother. He hated himself for having to do as the Lord ordered but he had no choice. That choice had been taken from him the day he'd sworn an oath of fealty and allowed the Lord's brand to be burned into his flesh.
He'd gone and brought them back to the Keep, his heart heavy in his chest. If it weren't for Caprice and his love for her, he might have fought that bond he'd made to his lordship and run away right then. But he couldn't, he wouldn't leave Caprice her alone, not for anything in this world. He shook that thought away, standing behind the Miller's family, his great height making it easy for him to see and hear what was happening in front of the Lord's chair.
"Your taxes are late, sir."
"The wheat crop was poor this season, my lord. We haven't had the work..."
The lord raised his hand, cutting him off mid sentence. "So, if some tyrant were to ransack the village you would understand that the grass yields were low this year and as such, I couldn't ride my mighty horse to protect you and your family?" He held up his hand as his men laughed and picked up his tankard of ale. "Perhaps your problem is that you have too many mouths to feed?" He took a sip of the ale and then sat the tankard down. "Is that it?"
"N-no, my lord. I have two cows, both fine milkers and a horse."
Once again, his lordship lifted his hand. "Do I look like I milk cows?"
"N-no, my lord."
"I have a fine war horse, you've seen him, haven't you?"
"No buts, Miller. I find that I feel the need to make an example of your family for the next family that decides to have too many children that they can't afford to pay their taxes. But I will be lenient. Choose."
"Choose?" The Miller's lean face looked as confused as his voice sounded.
"Yes, choose. Which member of your family shall I kill as payment of your taxes?"
"Kill? No, my lord." He fell to his knees. "Please, lord, I'm begging you. Do not do this."
"I'm giving you a choice, Miller. Choose or should I just kill them all?" He nodded and his men grabbed each member, including the Miller's wife, swords now pushing at their throats.
"Choose me!" The Miller watched in horror as his wife stepped forward, her hands out toward their lord. "I would rather die myself than see him choose between our children, my lord."
His lordship rose from his chair and walked forward to where the woman stood. She was short, stocky, a white apron covering a well worn dress, her hair tucked up under a mob cap. She stood under his scrutiny, her eyes pleading. "No," he said, the back of his fingers touching her chin. "You are brave, ma'am, and I feel for the pain that you will soon be feeling, but I cannot allow your husband such an easy way out. It must be his choice and you are not a part of those he must choose from. Go back and comfort your children. Your husband had the money to pay the taxes and he used it instead upon a whore in the next town where he went to sell his flour. He was weak, and sinful. Now he must choose."
Tears filled her eyes and her chin quivered. She sent dagger filled looks at her husband and then went back, drawing all three of her children into her embrace.
"Choose!" His voice roared through out the hall.
"M-Meghan," the Miller stuttered. "Please lord, make it quick."
The master moved towards his chair, turning his back upon the Miller. When he turned back, horror-filled screams erupted from their throats. He was monstrous as he sat down upon his high back chair. "Meghan," he crooned. "Come to me, child."
The girl untangled herself from her mother's embrace and fearlessly walked toward the monster that was her lord. She stood before him and took his hand, coming to sit upon his knee. "This is your choice and now I bid you watch as I suck the life from this darling child's body."
"No!" the Miller's wife cried again, but she was held back, forced to watch as the lord turned his face toward the girl, opening his mouth so wide as to look unnatural. Then he sank his teeth into the girl's throat. She flinched but once, and he gulped her sweet blood until none was left. Then he lifted her, taking her back to the Miller.
"You will take this child to bury amidst the graves of my bravest warriors. You will dig the grave yourself. My men will be there to make sure that you bury her deep and then cover her body with rocks. Then you will go to your home and collect my cows and my horse and bring them to my stable where you will care for them. Then, you will go home to your wife and beg that she can find some forgiveness for you. If not, you will leave this town, not her. Is that understood?"
"Yes, my lord." He took his daughter's body, feeling her cold, dead skin against him. He couldn't look the man in the eyes, not those eyes.
Matthew nodded at his lordship, knowing without words that it would be up to him to make sure that the Miller did as he was ordered and then to wait to find out if the Miller's wife would forgive her husband his infidelities and the death of their daughter, or if he would be escorting the man to the city limits. But he knew he'd never forget the sight of that blonde haired little girl step up to the monster that he was beholden to and let him lift her to his lap. It was a horror that would live upon his soul.
"Now do you see?" Matthew took his hands from off of Kinlye's face, seeing the tears that flooded the woman's eyes.
"I see that you worked for a horrible man, Matthew. I can understand why you feel the way you do, but Christian is not like that and you can't just lump him into the same boat as that monster." She wiped her eyes on the edge of the blanket that Christian had put over her while she slept. "You need to take me back."
"No." Matthew shook his head fiercely as she glared up at him. "He'll hurt you."
"You're hurting me now." She wrapped the blanket around her, tucking a free end between her breasts to hold it and then scooted around him and out of the bed. "You've kidnapped me, after assaulting me, how is that different then what your lord did, Matthew?"
* * * *
"Christian!" Rafe slapped at his brother's cheeks, trying to rouse him. A groan assured him that Christian was rousing and the lump on the side of his head was quickly healing. When he finally opened his eyes, Christian was completely healed and jumped up, out of his brother's arms. "Where is she?"
"Who, Kinlye?" Nikky stepped forward, the tiny pantalets and chemise in his hand. "She's not here."
"It was the werewolf," Christian said, rubbing at the place where the bolt had skimmed his skull. "He's taken her."
"Dammit, Rafe. Can we do the questions and answers later and go find Kinlye now?" He was heading toward the door before Rafe even answered. A tiny tuft of hair caught his attention in the ruin that had once been French doors and he plucked it up, bringing it to his nose. He inhaled the almost rank scent and then handed it to Rafe who then handed it to Nikky.
"The things I do for you, Christian," Nikky groused before lifting the hair to his nose. A moue of disgust crossed his face and he glanced at Rafe. "Why does it always have to be werewolves?"
"Would you rather gargoyles?" Rafe asked, smiling as his mate shuddered even harder. "Then quit complaining Nikky. Kinlye's alone with the animal."
Nikky rolled his eyes but shut his mouth and he had his nose to the freshening wind. He was the best of the three at tracking and he caught the scent almost immediately. He headed out the back gate, Christian and Raphael behind him.
The stench of the wharves in London confused him for an instant and he stood to one side of the road, his head raised to the wind. The salty smell was buried under the aroma of dead fish and dirty humans and under all of that was the scent they hunted, the scent of the werewolf. Nikky followed it down a back alley, ignoring Rafe's questions and jabs about the state of his olfactory. He leapt to a pyramid of crates and then in through a broken window, the sounds of drinking and revelry below.
"In there," he said to Christian. "He's got her in there." He clasped his hand on the vampire's shoulder. "She's still alive."
Christian sighed, one outcome easily pushed from his mind. "Follow me."
The door was locked but it was easily broken and he pushed it open, the sight of Kinlye standing on her own, wrapped in a blanket comforting him more than a little. "Are you all right?" he asked, taking her hand as she rushed to his side.
Her smile lit up his world and he caressed her face with a touch of his fingers. "Go back there and stand with Nikky, Kinlye."
She shook her head, shocking him. "He doesn't know what he's doing, Christian. He was trying to protect me from you."
"Yes, and I don't want him to ever try to do that again, love." He nudged her gently behind him, sighing when she refused to move.
"No, Christian. He's confused. He thinks that you're like the other vampires he's known before." She touched his face, drawing his eyes from the hunched over form of Matthew to her own countenance. "You can't hurt him for trying to help me."
"He took you from me, Kinlye. You can't think I can let him get away with that."
She smiled gently into his worried gaze, seeing the anger that roiled just below the surface. Her hands rose, one going to the side of his face where the bolt had struck him, the other touching his chest. "Can't we just go home? Please? He's a confused man, Christian. I don't think he's known a kind hand in his life."
"Caprice," Matthew muttered. "Caprice was kind. She loved me."
"Wait a minute," Rafe said, his hand going to Christian's arm. "Caprice Haversham. Wasn't she the one that was taken captive and killed by a were?"
"Yes, she was. That was forever ago," Nikky agreed. "Her father put out a reward for the capture and return of her killer, alive." He glanced at Matthew, noting the way the man just sat hunched there, defeated.
"Haversham was a cruel and torturous master," Christian said slowly, his eyes going from the woman in his arms to Matthew. "Caprice was the only thing he'd ever loved."
"He'd have killed her." Matthew's words were softly spoken. "Instead, I ended up killing her."
The word seemed to confuse Matthew and he stared up as Christian moved slowly closer to him.
"How did you kill her?"
"She wanted to mate with me, to be my true other half. My blood killed her."
Christian nodded. He patted Kinlye's hand that was on his arm, giving her a smile of reassurance. "So it wasn't purposefully done. I'd thought as much. Haversham's a monster." He held his hand out to Matthew, taking his to shake. "I appreciate you trying to keep Kinlye safe, Matthew. I won't hurt her."
"No, but you'll kill her. You'll make her into a demon like you."
"I love her, Matthew. I love her the same way you loved Caprice."
"And I killed her."
"But with me, she'll be reborn. She'll live forever. She'll be forever young, forever beautiful, forever in my arms, Matthew."
"No!" he shouted, rising suddenly. Christian stood back, pushing Kinlye toward Rafe. "She'll become a demon, be evil like all your kind are!" He growled low in his throat and the crackling of bones was suddenly loud in the room.