Blood Bonds Pt. 08byphoenixphair©
Shane Mashburn stretched his arms over his head, cracking his back and neck, looking around at the open water with a sigh. It was a calm night, or it had been before that weird wave of darkness overtook them a little while ago, leaving him shivering and disoriented at the helm for several minutes.
The stars twinkled brightly, obscured now and then by the big banks of clouds that rolled in like waves over these warm seas. The waves had picked up a little, rocking the boat in a lulling motion that made him yawn more than once.
Absently rubbing at a stray smear of blood off the cockpit console with the heel of his hand, he looked out onto the open deck below, admiring his new ship. He, Javi and Jean had commandeered it from the old owners two days before, and he felt it was much nicer than the tub of shit they'd started out with.
It had been his idea back on Fiji to stake out this remote stretch of ocean, to just sit back and wait for the lost and inexperienced— and invariably rich— captains of these big luxury yachts to get confused on some idiotic sightseeing detour to explore the thousands of little islands in the area. All they had to do was wait, work on their tans while they monitored radio traffic in the area. The local law enforcement was slow to respond to some rich idiot lost in usually calm waters, so he and his boys had hours to find and "rescue" the hapless sailors.
The previous owners of his new ship had been a nice family from Cape Cod. A braveheart father who he'd popped in the head with a bat in the middle of the night as he'd slept in the very chair where Shane now rested. The mom, she was hot enough. Not as tight as she could have been, but then she'd had the two kids, so he wasn't gonna hold that against her. The son, another fucking hero, had been taken out by Jean and his blades as he tried to rescue his poor, old mom. Dumbass.
Now the daughter, she was a keeper. Or at least she would have been had Javi not gone so hog wild with his fucking knives and sliced her up so much that she bled out while Jean was skull-fucking her. Shane smiled. At least he'd gotten to her first before Javi cut her hands off. She'd been the best pussy he'd had in months, eighteen, virgin, tight as a fist. She'd had the hottest scream as he thrust into her the first time, the gag in her mouth barely muffling her cries of agony when he had to slam into her dryness like fifteen times before he was in all the way. He sniffed his fingers, getting the faint whiff of the raspberry-scented shampoo from her long blonde waves.
The memory of her big blue eyes looking back up at him through a well of tears, pleading with him silently for mercy was enough to get him hard again just thinking about it. He was just reaching down to free his pounding dick, give himself some relief when the ship lurched hard at the stern, the bow coming clean off the sea before crashing back down in a spectacular spray of black water. Shane was thrown clean out of the chair, erection smashing painfully against the consol, head cracking hard against the window in front of him. When he recovered, shaking himself and dragging his bruised and aching body up using the chair, he just stood still, listening intently, eyes wide, heart pounding. It was like they took a hit from a giant cannonball, though the ship didn't seem to be taking on water. It was, in fact, eerily still; the air going dead calm like they were in the eye of a cyclone.
A muffled scream from below made him jump. He listened for a minute, eyes darting around in the darkness, turning to look cautiously down into the black pit of the hallway leading to the cabins below. Pleading, begging, more cries of agony and terror floated up from below.
Fucking Javi. Something smashes into the ship, and the little brown freak probably doesn't even notice. He was watching one of his damned snuff films again. Shane liked a good rape as much as the next guy, but that Javi was one sick fuck. Last week his crazy home videos, probably the one with the brat boy had woken the other two from a deep sleep. Shane had found Javi jacking off like mad at the recorded image of himself slicing open the kid's throat, volume turned up to the max.
The sound system on this tub was incredible, Shane had to admit, but the fucking sharks were starting to circle their bow. Freaky fish around here were like dogs, coming to the smell of blood and the sound of screams in minutes. He would have thought Jean would have told Javi to turn that shit down, but then again that crazy fucker was probably watching too.
All of a sudden, the screams ceased. Finally. He was going to tear that little asshole a new giant asshole.
"Javi!" he bellowed, rubbing his head as he tried to peer into the pitch black. "Javi! What the fuck! I was sleeping! Turn that shit off!"
The sharply accented retort Shane had been expecting didn't come. No sound emanated from the darkness.
"Javi!" he hollered, his face screwing up with concern. Fear lit through him for some reason he couldn't figure.
"Javi?" Quieter this time, voice wavering. "Jean? The fuck is going on down there?"
No response, just the gentle lap of waves against the bow. He knelt down, straining his eyes, squinting into the black abyss. He could hear a faint, very faint, rustle now. Like heavy fabric sliding against itself, but not that exactly. A strange metallic whisper.
He shrieked as something big and dark and menacing shot past him in a blur out of the maw below. He was bowled over backwards, soaring through the cabin and smacking the back of his head on the console once more.
Gagging, gasping for breath, he tumbled onto the deck, fighting his way to his feet once more. He uttered another hoarse shriek when he felt fire, looked down to see that his chest was deeply scored with four deep slash marks that cut him open form the bottom of his ribs on the right to his shoulder on the left, shredding the light tee he'd been wearing.
"Oh, God!" he garbled, staring in horror as blood welled from the razored cuts, staining his shirt.
"You think He'd be on your side even if there was a God?" a smooth, velvet smooth, chocolate smooth, gorgeous voice asked. He shot backwards, tripping over the chair and ending up on his ass once more, eyes frantic to find the speaker.
Seeing no one, he scrambled up, grasping tightly at the streaming slashes, but no amount of pressure was slowing the blood. Breath rasping, he stumbled forward, looking out the window. Starting violently, he ducked suddenly, then peeked just his eyes up until he could see them.
As his hand fumbled for the gun he knew was somewhere, he studied the deck below. Two men lounged causally on two of the soft lounge chairs. One wasn't much larger than Javi, blondish, with a weird white glow to his eyes. The other was a big guy, really long blue hair, blue glowing eyes, pretty in a masculine, Eighties Hair Band kind of way. Neither seemed concerned about their surroundings, simply laying back, soaking up the clear moonlight.
"Hair Band?" the same voice snickered. "Oh. I will never let him live that down."
Shane spun on his knees, hand catching the gun at the last minute. Perched in a low crouch improbably atop the narrow back of one of the captain's chairs, a beautiful young woman in pure white, bare feet, smiled at him.
Bringing the gun to bear on her, a slow smile creeping across his own face, Shane chambered a round. She seemed harmless enough. Strikingly pretty, her body hard to read in the low crouch, but promising. Big tits. Hair that would be a true pleasure to wrap his hands around and yank as he fucked her from behind.
Then he saw the blood dripping off the fingers of one hand. His blood. She followed his eyes, then her smile deepening, she extended a set of two inch talons from her bloodied fingertips. They were jet black, some kind of metal that shone like a dead calm ocean in deepest night. The blood from her fingers ran down their lengths, dripping delicately onto the seat below her. The gun dropped to the deck with a deafening clatter.
In her other hand, she loosely held Javi's knife, dripping blood from its tip as well. Idly, without taking her eyes from him, she held it in both hands, then with one claw on her bloody hand, carved a single symbol into the grip of the knife, the metal easily scarring the ivory. She repeated the elegant character on the steel blade, the silver-blue metal no match for that midnight sheen.
Then, with skill that put Javi's training to shame, she flicked the blade in his direction, smile never leaving her face. A slurping gasp caught in Shane's throat as he was thrown across the cabin, steel going through his shoulder, embedding into the bulkhead, trapping him like a pinned fly, feet dangling off the deck.
"What the hell are you, bitch?" he hissed, doing his best to look menacing as he tried to squirm free.
Her lovely mouth quirked into a frown, but she didn't reply. He screamed as a gigantic pair of red and black bat wings appeared behind her, opening to the limits of the suddenly cramped bridge. She only cocked her head to the side, seeming to be listening intently, her face purely angelic in its serenity.
Heartbeat. Shane realized she was listening to the frantic trip-hop beat his heart was generating.
"Are you an angel?" he asked, face going slack.
"God, I hope not," she laughed, flashing long white teeth, wings folding behind her. "I doubt you'll be seeing any angels anytime soon, Mr. Mashburn."
"You're a demon, then? Come to take me to hell?" he sputtered, his bowels letting loose despite himself, though he was helpless to control it.
"I certainly hope that's where you're going," she said sweetly, though her voice deepened. Her nose wrinkled at the stench of him. "I've never died, so I don't know any more than you do."
"What are you?" he whispered, tears forming in his eyes. He could taste blood bubbling up his throat. The sounds of the screams from below deck returned to him with shocking clarity. Javi. Jean. It had been her, this creature. She'd killed them. Horribly by the sound of it.
"Just a killer like you," she said softly, almost gently. "Though much better at it. Any last words?"
The last thing Shane Mashburn saw was a blur of matte darkness, a burst of crimson. The last thing he heard was his own garbled shriek. The last thing he tasted was his own blood. The last thing he felt was searing heat, then ever-deepening cold.
"Feel any better?" August asked as Talera sauntered down the steps from the bridge, wiping blood off the tips of her claws with a hand towel.
"Not really," she said with a sigh.
"The thirst isn't radiating like it was," Arkon commented, continuing to stare at the moon, playing with the winds, idly making the breeze blow one way then the other.
"If I drained that big boy over there," she snorted, indicating the mammoth luxury cruise ship several miles off that they could all hear. "I don't think it'd really help."
"You can control it," Arkon said with a shrug, slanting her a look.
She rolled her eyes, tossing the towel overboard, sheathing her claws. Throwing one leg over August's chest, she sat down on his stomach, leaning down to kiss him passionately. Arkon vanished in a flash of wind. Three splashes echoed over the still waters a moment later.
"Sharks here are amazing," the Originator said calmly, amusement in his tone as he appeared back on the lower deck, leaning against the railing, eyes on the water below. The knife she'd retrieved was embedded into the wood next to his hand.
He turned his attention back to the others as August let out a low moan. The incubus' teeth were sunk into her wrist, eyes closed tightly. Turning her head to look back over her shoulder, Talera grinned at Arkon, holding her other arm over her head, wrist falling back enticingly. With a slight grunt, she hid her wings, just as he took her other hand.
The blood that hit his tongue was like pure fire. Wine. Lust. Love. Passion. Energy. Darkness.
Just as the cosmos started to open before his closed eyes, Arkon released her, fighting to catch his breath. August released her as well, licking the wounds like a giant sapphire panther.
"I don't need to make that a habit," he muttered in his native tongue, rubbing his eyes, which were glowing so hard they burned. "It's addictive."
She only smirked seductively at him.
"Make eyes all you want," he shot at her, though he couldn't quite contain a proud smile. "Denarus and his sheep on the Council are going to have your head. No doubt they know what's happened by now."
"I'd like to see them try," she hissed, baring her fangs.
"It has to be hard to bite with that many big teeth," August mused, still drunk with her blood.
"Not really," she replied, looking down at him, clicking the fangs at him. "I'll show you later."
"Kids," Arkon sighed, then held out a hand for patience when Talera glared at him. "I don't care when you were born, Dragon. In this body, you're a twenty-year old girl. So you're a kid. Get over it."
She only shrugged, mock-snarling a lip at him.
"Don't underestimate them, neither of you," the Elder warned, face going dead serious. "You may have been invulnerable before, but even you don't know what's happened to you. Take a few days, at least a week. Hunt to the Unclaimed Territories. Push yourself. See what you can do. But do it discreetly. I want to give the warmongers time to cool off a little before you come back."
"But—" she started to say, but he cut her off.
"No one will dare hurt your pets—okay, I'll stop calling them that— until they know exactly what they're up against with you."
He straightened, looking at the sky.
"I'm going to get some rest," he said. "Bless you both."
With a bow, which they both returned, he vanished into the dark clouds. Looking down, he watched as a giant black shape rose out of the water like a sea serpent, surrounding the yacht with a spiked tail. With a crunch, the ship snapped in half and was drug underwater, its white hull disappearing into the depths. He could hear August's laughter echo up from somewhere below. Shaking his head, Arkon smiled and broke into the white mists, leaving his two most treasured, and eccentric, children to themselves.
Sarah sighed, looking down into her drink, swirling it slightly, watching the half-melted ice cubes clash in the amber of the rum and Coke, the sickly sweet scent rising from the whirlpool. She wished she'd ordered an apple martini instead. She looked up, catching Kevin wince as he tossed back a double of Scotch. A faint smile tickled her lips as he grimaced.
"That's disgusting," she commented.
"An English Alpha can't be caught nursing a piña coloda," Ana snarked from her position leaning against the balcony, looking down. Her long white skirt rustled in a blast from the air conditioners, the streaming ties on her flimsy top whirling around her sultry form.
The floors below swirled with activity, people of every conceivable bent had gathered for the night, anticipation, excitement, fear lay heavy in the air, palpable over the thundering music and roar of conversation.
Just as Sarah finished the last of her drink, the door to the suite opened and the redheaded bartender sauntered in, handing Sarah the desired appletini and passing Kevin a beer. At Sarah's raised brows, her chocolate eyes going from the drink to the woman, she shrugged.
"I have Fae blood," she offered in a light, musical voice through a bright smile. "Just a little telepathic. Enjoy."
"I wondered," Kevin muttered, nostrils flaring as he took in the departing scent. "Smells like flowers."
Sarah managed a slight smile, then went back to inspecting her drink, absently gnawing on the crisp little slice of apple she'd fished out of the chartreuse liquor.
"Love," Kevin said, coming over and sinking down beside her on the couch. "She'll be here—"
"How do we know that for sure?" she cut him off, tears forming in her eyes. "I ran from her, Kev. She was in pain, letting us see her for what she really is, trusting us—and I ran. Took off like an idiot. And it's been days. Nine days. What if I never see her again? I deserve it."
"Sarah," Ana murmured, coming back in and sitting on her other side, leaning over to wrap her arms around the crying girl's shoulders. "She's not mad at you—"
"How do you know that?" Sarah retorted, all but sobbing now.
"You know it too. Because she loves you. Because what she is? it's unbelievably rare. And so, so, so old. She's been around long enough to know that that's the reaction she should expect."
"Hell, girl," Kev put in, placing a huge hand on her knee, covering half her thigh. "I freaked out too. How do you think I feel? Lessa fainted. At least you had the sense to run. Shows a strong survival instinct."
Snuffling, wiping her eyes on the serviette from her drink, Sarah managed a ghost of a smile.
"You guys are so full of shit," she mumbled. "Strong survival instinct my ass."
"It's true," Kev said, grinning tenderly at her.
"Seriously, though, why has she been gone so long?"
Kevin met Ana's eyes, a look passing between them that Sarah caught.
"What? We're not going to do everything like this from now on are we? Keep things from the fragile human? Don't start that."
"It was blood lust," Ana said finally. "You didn't see the look in her eyes when she changed back. For a just a second, we were all fair game. The others talked her into going off with Ash, because I think another half second and..."
"It would have been bad," Kevin finished, squeezing Sarah's knee. "She's got it under control now."
"We hope," Ana snorted.
"She'd never come back if she were a danger to us, you know that," he said, giving her a hard look.
"I know, I know. I think I like her a little more dangerous. She's always so Zen around us. From what I hear, most of the time, she's a—."
"Icy bitch," a deep voice volunteered from the doorway.
Pershing smiled broadly at them as he strode in, clapping Kev on the back and exchanging handshakes with the women. He sank down onto the chair across from them, slanting a lecherous smile at the fairy bartender as she appeared with a double of Jack Daniels and the bottle. She only rolled her eyes and walked out.
"She's good to you kids," he snorted, tossing back the drink and pouring another, leaning back in the chair, sipping it thoughtfully. "Before she met you three, let me tell you, she was a handful and a half. 'Bout five years ago, I got into it with her the first time I met her and got my dumb ass handed to me on a silver platter."
The three on the couch stared at him raptly, watching him as he grinned, taking the shot and leaning forward to pour another. He sat forward, resting his elbows on his knees, flipping his heavy black hair over his shoulder, smiling to himself.
"I was in August's private club in New York. Drunk off my ass," he chuckled. "She walks in on Andrew's arm. Dressed in a dark grey suit, with that silver hair all around her. Looks like a ghost. The hottest ghost I've ever seen, but a ghost... anyway, I didn't know who she was. And normally, we can tell what anyone is by scent. Hers is... complex. But —and now it's clear why— not something I've ever encountered before. So I didn't know what she was either.
"So, to show that I'm the big, bad wolf I think I am, I decide to introduce myself. In the worst way possible. Walk right over to her, snatch her around the waist, and lay a big whiskey kiss right on those...fucking amazing lips. Then I step back and introduce myself and say 'never seen you in here, baby. Tell me your name so I can get to know you better.' The place goes... Dead. Silent. No one even blinks. She's just looking at me in complete shock. Andrew is shaking his head, rubbing his temples, muttering something about not starting a war by taking out the Pershing Alpha over a kiss. It wasn't until the entire place cleared out in three seconds that my brain catches on that I might be in trouble..."