BloodBorne Ch. 07bypurefire©
Xan knew things would go too far if she didn't stop him. "Enough," she gasped as she tore her mouth from his. She placed a shaky hand on her chest to calm herself. The ferocity of her heartbeat both amazed and amused her. The man certainly knew how to make her lose her resolve.
"Now tell me that you don't want me."
She shook her head to clear her thoughts. Frustration clouded her judgment as she realized that his touch affected her more than she cared to admit. "Liam, stop. I don't want to do this, all right?"
"Yes, you do, Xan."
She did, but she couldn't afford to admit that. "Well, maybe two-minute fucks aren't my idea of a good time." The rage that colored his face would have made her take a cautious step back if the island wasn't behind her.
"You and I both know that it was a lot fucking longer than two minutes," Liam said as he took a threatening step forward. He couldn't decide if he should throttle her or kiss her again but he did know that he would not allow her callous attitude. "And you enjoyed yourself. Thoroughly." Her unconscious flinch gave him a small bit of satisfaction. "Don't fucking lie to me."
"Don't tell me what to do, you self-serving son of a bitch!" The involuntary gasp made Xan close her eyes in shame. She turned toward the doorway and somehow wasn't surprised to see everyone but her sister standing there. How much had they seen? Did it even matter? Once again, she was completely humiliated. "Asshole!" Without thinking, she lashed out and kicked Liam hard in the shin before storming out of the kitchen. Luckily, the small crowd parted to accommodate her dramatic exit.
From his spot near the door, Draco laughed knowingly. "And here I thought finding the love of your life would have mellowed you out a bit."
* * * * *
Sherlaine was annoyed. As he paced the length of his hall, he almost laughed at the outcome of his brilliant plan. Of course the infernal Brethren would have been with the human. It couldn't have been one or two, could it? That certainly would have helped the idiot demons he had in under his employ. Their sheer numbers alone should have been sufficient enough to take down a small army. "I want their heads on a pike!" he shouted. Though there was no one in the room with him, he knew that he was heard; the sound of frenzied running told him as much.
Now he had to think of a new brilliant plan. Good luck with that, he mocked. With the Brethren breathing down his neck, it would be near impossible to get his hands on the woman. He only knew one person who had the ability to breach their protective shields, but he was currently banished to another dimension. Not that it would have mattered; Zaide was able to breach force fields -- provided he could see them. Knowing the Brethren, they also had masking spells on their safe houses. They could be in the building next door and he would never know.
"Did you capture the woman?"
Sherlaine paused mid-step at the sound of Saveena's voice. "Does it look like I have her?" Her condescending laugh sparked annoyance within him. Had he not been in need of her services, he would have drained that sinewy body of hers of every drop of blood.
"It seems your trackers have led you on."
"No, Saveena, they did not." He resumed his pacing as he spoke; it was the only way to keep from ripping the mocking expression off her face. "They were able to lead me to her in minutes."
"But she is not here."
"Because she is under the protection of the Brethren!" One of the back windows shattered from the force of his anger, but he ignored it; he was too busy pacing to care. "How am I to drain her if I cannot get my hands on her?"
Saveena walked forward to sit on the high-backed chair near the fireplace. She enjoyed watching him panic; it was rare to find a demon as controlled as Sherlaine in such a state. "You are aware that you do not need to drain her."
Sherlaine stopped pacing at the statement. "You mean to tell me that I could have had one of those idiot hench-demons scratch her and that would have worked?"
"You'd need a little more blood than that, but yes, that is the basic theory behind it." Saveena gasped at the invisible ring that tightened around her neck threateningly. "Sherlaine..."
"I want answers, Saveena, not a runaround. Now tell me what I need to know." A wave of satisfaction rolled over him at the sight of panic on her face.
"A vial full," she gasped as she desperately scratched at her throat. "A vial full during the ritual will open the door of your choosing." She gasped as her airwaves were suddenly opened. As she panted for breath, she glanced at Sherlaine. She remained silent as she watched him resume his pacing, formulating a plan to get what he wanted. "How will you get the blood?"
"By capturing the woman of course," Sherlaine looked over at her and laughed at her shocked expression. "Did you really think I would simply let her go, knowing the potency of her blood?" With a wave of his hand, he repaired the damage done to the blown out window and said, "No, a woman so valuable must be mine."
"But what will you do when the reason behind your mission wants her for himself?"
"What are you talking about?"
"Surely you don't believe that every demon who's heard about Zaide thinks you would not do everything in your power to set him free."
Sherlaine stood and looked at the demon as she sat warily on his chair. He laughed as he regarded her; she refused to make eye contact, which told him that she not only accused him of plotting a rescue mission, but she needed proof that her accusations were true. "My reasons for opening the portal are none of your concern, Saveena." He glanced down at the fresh scars on his arm, the scars that came from the woman as she tried to fight him off. "All you need to know is that my efforts will rid us all of the Brethren permanently." He smiled as he fingered the pink marks.
Finally, a break.
* * * * *
"Come here you worthless dog!"
There was nowhere to run; he'd been cornered. He pressed himself against the wall, hoping he wouldn't be seen if he made himself small enough. He prayed to the gods for protection as he crouched low in the corner. If he found him, if he got his hands on him, there would be hell to pay. He'd noticed the missing loaf of bread and knew who took it.
"Where are you? Come here!"
He crawled beneath the table, hoping that the wine would wear off before he was found. Based on the many goblets consumed, he'd have to spend the night hiding. The doors were locked; there wasn't enough time to escape, even if he made it to the only escape route. So he hid, knowing that he was much too large for his age, that it was only a matter of time before the gods ignored his pleas and sent him to his fate. He prayed he had more time.
"Think you can hide from me!"
He gasped in fear and surprise as a large hand gripped his ankle painfully. He tried to hold on to the table leg, but he'd been pulled too quickly; he only managed to scrape his nails against the wooden leg, splintering the tips of his fingers in the process.
He wasn't fully exposed before the first blow met its target. He screamed in agony as the blows kept coming; kicks to his back and legs, worsening the bruises that already lined the contours of his skin. There was no stopping him once he started; he simply brought his arms up to protect his head and waited for the pain to end. Soon enough, he would have been beaten enough to fall into the blackness that soothed him.
The kicks stopped and for a moment, he thought the gods took mercy. But then he heard the scraping of the small spiked club as it was dragged across the floor. "No!" he screamed as he tried to crawl away. The pain searing the very heart of him was forgotten as he desperately fought for sanctuary. He didn't make it very far; his ankle was seized once more and he was dragged into the middle of the room. "Please! I was hungry!"
"So you eat my food!"
He screamed in agony as the club came down hard against his back. He felt every sharp end pierce his skin. Like small stabs of a hot blade, the club battered his tender skin again and again.
"You aren't worth the dirt I shit on you filthy animal! You eat what I give you when I give it to you!"
"I told you to finish expanding the cage before he took anything else."
The sound of the melodic voice froze him in place. This was the first time she'd ever spoken during a beating. This was the first time she'd stayed to watch. Why didn't she stop it? Why didn't she protect him? He reached toward the sound of her voice, hoping that she would be his saving grace. "Please, make him stop..."
"How dare you address me!" she spat at him.
"How dare you address me!" she spat at him.
He cried out when she added a kick of her own. His nose snapped clear in half, gushing hot blood all over the hem of her skirt.
"Dirty animal!" she screamed as she kicked him again.
"Please," he continued to beg. The blows came from both sides; hot pokers piercing his skin on one side and agonizing strikes on the other. The darkness was approaching, but not nearly fast enough to end the torture. "Please. Mother, please..."
"I told you not to call me that!"
Blinding pain shot through his head as she grabbed his hair and slammed his head against the floor. She repeated the action again and again; bursts of light floated in front of him. He was losing feeling in his body. Would this be the beating that finally killed him?
"Ivelda, you must not kill him! We need him!"
Though he could not see, he heard her jump back, panting as she shook the hem of her dress. "Yes. Yes, Emregon, you're right. We need him for the fight." She skirted her way around him and pushed his tormentor away. "He will heal in the night."
He heard her kneel beside him and through the haze of blackness taking over him, felt her lean in close. He tried to call out to her, to plead for her healing touch, but the darkness was too heavy. He was falling fast, much too fast to save himself. Forgive me, mother. Forgive my selfishness. He groaned as he fought to speak.
"He will heal, Ivelda, and when he does, he will make amends for his thievery."
"Yes," Ivelda agreed. "He will win and we will shower ourselves in riches. Like the good dog he is, he will obey. Or we will cage him until he starves to death."
Liam jerked awake, reaching for the other side of the bed as he did. He felt around for her, hoping that she would be near him, but the empty side of the bed was cold. Lonely. He sighed and rolled onto his back, fighting to ignore both the emptiness inside of him, and the angry pounding of his heart. He was alone. With a sigh, he sat upright and threw his legs over the side of the bed. He then rested his head in his hands; the nightmares always ruined his nights. There would be no sleeping after this; how could there be; he'd just relived one of the most brutal beatings of his life.
Liam fisted his fingers in his hair as he expelled a tired breath. The room was dark, and while that darkness would have once calmed him enough to push passed the emptiness inside him, it only enhanced the pain inside him. It was like a balloon; filling and expanding as hot waves of loneliness seeped within him. He didn't like it. He didn't want to be alone.
He wanted her with him.
Liam wasn't sure if she'd accept him, but he had to try. He didn't bother to put a shirt on; he figured no one else would be awake; nor would they care that he only wore a pair of boxer briefs. He wasted no time leaving the room and navigating the dark halls that led to her sanctuary. With every step, the balloon of loneliness inside him deflated until there was only the shell of the man who desperately needed the light of the woman he desired. Liam stood outside her door, unsure of how to proceed. For all he knew, she could have been asleep. He couldn't burst in and drag her out of bed; Xion was with her and Xan would surely wake the entire manor with her mad ranting. What good could she do for him then?
Against his better judgment, Liam lightly rapped on the door. A second later, he cursed himself for his stupidity. She'd deny him and after knowing the long night he had ahead, he didn't want to face the rejection. He turned to walk back to his room, muttering under his breath. He was some kind of an idiot, going to the one person in the world who'd throw mud in his face. "You really are a worthless piece of shit," he grumbled to himself. And he was; he was an asshole and a piece of shit. Nothing would change that.
He whipped around at the confused whisper that came from behind. He watched as she scratched her messy hair while slowly closing the door behind her. Though she only wore an extremely oversized t-shirt and men's boxers, she was a sight to behold, especially with the flush of sleep on her cheeks.
"I thought I heard something." She crossed her arms over her chest as she padded toward him. "What the hell are you doing outside of my room," she frowned when she was given a clear view of him, "in your underwear?"
Liam met her halfway and stood quietly in front of her. In the semi-darkness of the hall, her eyes looked like black orbs, slowly sucking his soul within their depths. Her light scent wafted to him, and he was renewed. When had she become so much to him? When in the hell had she broken through his defenses and embedded herself within every cell of his being? He was never going to find the taproot of her hold on him, and the fact that he didn't care suddenly angered him. It wasn't fair; she had this unbelievable hold on him and he had to pull teeth to simply get her to admit that she wanted him. "Why in the fuck did I save you that night?"
"I was fucking fine before you came along. My life was shit, but hey, guess what, I was fucking used to it. I wasn't expecting anything more than killing some dumb-ass demons. I was perfectly fine being alone. But no, you have to come along and fucking cheat at that Dymos and get me involved. And now I can't fucking get rid of you if I tried." She was too shocked to retaliate, he was happy to see, and her silence pushed him to continue his tirade. "You were right all along; you are the worst fucking thing that ever happened to me."
"I'm what?" She couldn't ignore the agony that ripped through her at his words. Had she pushed him so far away that he wanted nothing to do with her? The simple possibility that she had filled her with panic. It wasn't supposed to be like this. She'd been so stupid. "Liam, I..."
"You're brash, you curse just as much as I do, there is nearly nothing feminine about you, and if I chose you, there wouldn't be one moment of peace in my life." He shook his head in disgust as he picked at her qualities. He couldn't help himself; he was hurting and wanted her to feel his pain. He wanted her to know what her constant rejections felt like.
Xan hated that she was too hurt to become angry. "Why are you saying all of this?" Why was he making it his life's work to rip her to shreds? She may have deserved the anger, but his cutting words were another story.
"Because, Xan, you're the last thing I should want, but that doesn't stop me from needing you. And only you." He cupped the back of her long neck with his hand as he rested his forehead against hers. "Infuriating personality and all."
She almost laughed in relief. He wasn't telling her to go to hell. He was actually making a case for himself, and while she hated to admit it, he'd finally won her over. She could deny him no more. "Congratulations. Not only are you an asshole, but you're a stupid asshole."
Liam ignored the insult and said, "I need you, Xan. I need your callousness, I need that annoying glint in your eyes when you yell at me." He felt the tension in his chest ease when she laughed softly. He couldn't stop himself from kissing her tenderly; she needed to understand. "I need your strength and your fearlessness. I need the way you keep me in line." He kissed her again and sighed as she melted him into him. "I need the way you make me feel, even when you piss me off. I need you to need me the way that I need you, Xan."
Though her heart raced dangerously, she embraced the elation coursing through her. "Liam..." She wanted to assure him, to convince him that she'd stopped running, but no words came; he'd left her speechless. With that simple little speech, he'd touched not only her heart, but the very depths of her soul. With that simple little speech, he'd made her fall in love with him.
Her soft sigh told him everything he needed to know. With one last kiss, he pulled her against him, reveling at the sound of her breathing against his ear. "Come to bed with me, Xan."
God, how she wanted to. "Xion..." Her sister would have another panic attack if she woke up alone.
"I'll walk you back in the morning. Just come with me." He ended any protest she could have given with another soft kiss that completely disarmed her. "Please." There was a moment of silence as she contemplated his words. For a moment, Liam was sure that his words had no effect on her and that she would leave him in the hall. He silently prepared himself for it and came to the decision that he would not come to her again. He would leave her alone.
But then the most amazing thing happened; she leaned up and kissed him, taking his hand in the process. She wasn't leaving him. With a sigh of relief, he led her toward his room. They said nothing as they walked down the hall. Her hold on his hand tightened as they approached his room and he smiled at her shaky breaths. She was either nervous or excited, both feelings that coursed through him as he walked with her. When they entered his room, he closed the door behind them and turned to look at her. She focused on only him, enslaving him with her deep brown gaze once more.
Liam wasted no time; he pulled her into his arms and felt her pulse pounding over her skin. He paved a burning path of kisses along the column of her throat up to her ear, taking the sensitive lobe between his teeth to tug gently. She shivered at his touch and leaned into him as his lips moved to the sharp but delicate line of her jaw. Soon, his lips captured hers again and he tightened his hold on her, tilting her head back as he angled his head to probe deeper. His assault was slow and deliberate, and soon, she was clinging to him desperately, moving her tongue along his. She gasped when his fingers bit into her hips, and Liam felt a change in her; her kisses became frenzied and she pressed herself harder against him, almost pushing him into the door. The hard pebbles of her nipples rubbed against his chest, and though her t-shirt created a temporary barrier between them, his stomach still cramped in anticipation.
His hands were all over her; her hips, the curve of her bottom, her face. Then his hands weren't on her at all and Xan let out a frustrated breath when he pulled away from her. She would have protested had he not practically ripped her shirt off her body a second later. The cool air of the room combined with the hot look Liam appraised her with sent shivers down her spine. She felt her breasts swell, and a dull ache began to form within them. She shuddered when he reached out to cup them; the heat from his hands both eased and increased the ache. Bolts of pleasure shot down her stomach and pooled between her thighs.
Xan wanted to close her eyes and fall into the pleasure building within her body, but she couldn't look away from Liam's intense stare. She leaned into his touch, placing her hands on his strong shoulders for support. A sigh escaped her when he kissed her again. She gave him a puzzled look when he abruptly pulled away. "Liam-" Her unspoken question was answered when he dropped to his knees in front of her, pulling down the boxers as he did. She stepped out of them and stood proudly before him, keeping her hands on his shoulders simply because she was unsure of what to do with them.