Kissed by Lightning Ch. 12bySilverDawn©
To the people left:
I've struggled writing this chapter. Trying to take all of your comments into careful consideration as well as trying to still be me.
I hope I've found a middle ground.
This past sunday, my aunt passed away. It's been difficult but I tried to pour myself into my work. So It probably came out a little gloomy.
I know there's a lot of things I have to work on, grammar, plot, structure etc. I also admit ch. 11 wasn't my best piece of work. :) Hopefully this chapter can make up for some of that.
I won't give up.
I feel like... I always let go before I even try hard enough to accomplish my goal, But I can't do that here. Not with this. So please, Don't let me go. Keep commenting, giving me your honest feedback, have a little faith. At the end of the day, It's all of you that give me the strength to keep attempting.
It's a little sad, I guess that's my only warning. Everything else should be ok.
Thankfully, There's one special person I have to thank for sticking by me.
This is the first chapter he edits for me and I want to send him lots of hugs and kisses. :)
He's working to get his PHD, so I know he's busy and I appreciate all the constant help.
I'm not the easiest of students to work with.
There are things that we don't want to happen but have to accept, things we don't want to know but have to learn, and people we can't live without but have to let go.
– Author Unknown<1center>
Raven gazed over the group coming in with a frown.Three male wolves escorted a young female. She wore gray sweats and a loose off-the shoulder long sleeved shirt. Her feet were bare. Her black hair flowed down to her hips in rivers of curls. She kept her gaze down, but he could see a set of thick dark lashes accompanied by a nasty-looking bruise on one side of her face. Her pale skin seemed translucent in the fire light but had a sickly look to it. Her body was also thinner than was healthy for a girl her build. Her arms were by her sides, clenched in fists. His eyes narrowed to slits as he saw her trembling.
The group stopped several feet away from the table while everyone held their breaths. Raven's gaze left for a second to watch the three witches walk towards the girl. His eyes lingered longer than he'd have been willing to admit on the caramel-skinned priestess.
Cole broke the silence as he whispered the girl's name. "Stefani."
Raven saw the girl stiffen and her head jolted upwards, searching for his voice. Raven, Luciano, and Katrina stood without even thinking. Her red eyes blazed against her pale complexion, and they watered as she found the male restrained by the alpha. Raven's mind was working miles per hour as he looked down at the young girl before him. She couldn't be older than days by the look of it. What was a wolf pack doing with a vampire infant? All three vampires shared a look of concern.
The witches approached the girl, their movements were swift and smooth, barely noticeable. As they came at her, she back away. "Cole!" Her voice had a panic to it that he understood. He looked at her clinically now. The signs were clear to someone who knew what they were looking for. This infant was starving. The question remained, how close was she to crossing the edge.
"They just want to help, Stefani. They just need to see." Cole's throat was dry as he spoke. He yanked his arm from Rain's grip and moved towards her. Hale and Faust blocked his way and restrained him. Stefani's panic rose. She felt the hunger rise as she soaked up the scents in the room. She looked desperately at Cole who was guarded by his family. She swallowed hard while wrapping her arms around her chest.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you, witch." Katrina spoke, the seductive roll of her voice whispered through the room. Stefani tried to back up further but the witches disregarded the comment and surrounded her in a loose triangle, while the priestess stood in front of her.
"We just want to help." Lithinia's voice was calming but Stefani shook her head in fear. Raven stepped forward. His mind still processing what was happening.
"We just need to look into your memories. Then we can start to heal you." Syfien spoke as she closed her eyes.
"Cole! Don't let them do this to me. Please!" Stefani's mind was racing as her body trembled under the pain. Everything was happening so fast, she'd barely just entered the room. Tears filled her eyes, and she watched helpless as the black-haired lady reached her hands up to touch her face. Stefani was concentrating so hard on not lashing out that she was immobile. Her eyes drifted to the table of wolves, and the tears slid silently from her eyes.
"It never ends." Her voice trembled as the witches' warm hands touched her cool, battered skin. Stefani hissed under her breath trying to move back, but the woman's grip was tight.
"Please don't do this!" Stefani begged. Shutting her eyes tight and gasped when a strange light engulfed her mind. The witch and Stefani's minds faded into the light.
Cole pushed his brother back, growling loudly. He heard her pain and every protective instinct in him told him to get to her. His mother stepped out and placed a hand on his chest. She looked up sadly at him, forbidding him to go. He crumpled.
Rain stood by his chair, his hands clenched into fists. Hearing her desperate tone tore at his soul, but he knew they needed information that only her mind contained. He bit the inside of his lip so hard he tasted blood. He looked up and met the apprehensive gaze of the Elder Vampire. A dark emotion crossed in that gaze that made his spine stiffen.
For several minutes nothing happened. The witches seemed frozen to the ground. Then two screams pierced the silence.
Stefani's body shook as another scream was ripped from her body. She fought against the waves of sensations and images that slammed into her consciousness. Fury rose within her. Image after image battered her, while the hunger intensified. The witch had her palms planted tightly against the sides of her face, and her body trembled almost violently. The two witches around her were kneeling, trying to buffer the pain their priestess was funneling.
"Priestess, that's enough!" It was Syfien who shouted first. The waves of emotion their sister was funneling were muted, but enough got through their bond to take away their breath. The deeper Lithinia moved through the girl's memories, the tighter her mind compressed. She had always been a fighter, never one to leave something left unfinished: she dove deeper with determination. She was too deep to realize how much pain the girl was experiencing.
Stefani's knees wobbled under her unsteadily as she struggled to maintain her balance. Then Varcolac's laughter ran through her ears as her last moments in the dungeons began to flood in, and she roared in fury. Her eyes snapped open. Her pupils dilated and thinned into slits over her blazing red irises. Stefani felt her body pulse, she felt the odd shifting sensation on the top of her gums, and she hissed. She didn't know what she was doing. One moment she was weakly trapped in the hands of the woman, and the next she was planting her own hands on the woman's chest and shoving her so hard that a pulse exploded from under her feet, and the woman's body was crashed above the fire place.
It only took the vampires one heartbeat to start moving. Katrina rushed to the priestess' side while Luciano pushed the other witches back to safety. The Elder moved fast towards the girl but none of them were prepared for her speed. She moved away from them, and slammed into the glass wall behind the piano in less time than it took for them to react. All of this happened in seconds. Only a vampire's sensed could have followed. As the group around them finally caught up with their stilled figures, he sensed the horror and confusion that grew in the room.
The women were pushed behind their mates or their fellow males. Cole pushed his mother back as Rain helped pick up the unconscious witch. Katrina ran her hands over the females' head and mumbled something beneath her breath. All eyes were trained on the girl that was somehow suspended at the glass wall. Fear filled the room with an uneasy scent.
Raven held his brother back and approached the girl slowly. There were tears leaking down her cheeks. Her eyes were unsettling as they gazed down on him.
"Little one. You must find control." His voice was hard. He hadn't dealt with a newly turned vampire in centuries. He let out a hard breath as his brother growled. He noticed the way her eyes were glazed over as her mind relived distant memories. The girl wasn't reacting to anything he was saying. He cursed.
"You are scaring the wolves, little one. They think you are a monster! Prove them wrong and come down."
Stefani felt his voice breach her numbed mind. She looked up at the wolves and saw their protective stances; the fear radiating off them; Cole's stunned gaze; Rain's efforts to pick up the broken witch. Finally her human mind seemed to wake up. The pressure at her temples eased, and she fell forward onto the piano. The sound rang loudly across the room. She grunted from the impact.
"Luciano, No!" Raven cried. Before Stefani had a chance to get up, a hand wrapped around the back of her neck, yanking her back and dragging her to her knees. Her mind spun while she was forced to rock back on her aching knees. She was disoriented for a second before her vision cleared, and she saw a polished set of shoes before her. She knew they were vampires. She had sensed them the moment she walked into the room.
Her eyes were unfocused, and her mind felt like it was caving on itself. Filled with knots of painful, grieving memories, her hunger beat at her to the point where she couldn't feel her own body. Her eyelids fluttered rapidly. It was like her body was going into some kind of shock.
Cole wanted to rush to her the moment she came down, but he sensed that he wasn't what she needed at the moment. Everyone in the room had a sickening feeling in their gut that wasn't fear. Watching the devastated girl, however horrifying she looked, was in clear agony because of something they collectively decided to do. Their actions weighed heavily upon them. The unconscious witch was in the protective embrace of her sisters, and the brown-haired female vampire walked back towards her kin at a normal pace to avoid startling anyone in the room.
Raven knew that it was crucial to figure out her parentage before moving forward, but he also knew they were running out of time with every passing second. A turned vampire's sire was the biological base to her survival. It dictated how strongly an infant could react to hunger. "Who is your sire, Little one? Who created you?"
"He called me that, too. He said I was his Little one. Always his." Stefani's whisper was cold and void of emotion. Her body quickly shutting down. Rain's fist clenched at the phrase. Tears continued to leak down her cheeks even as she felt the hand tighten around her throat. She was simply too heavy and numb to react to it.
"Who?" The man behind her spoke, and she found his voice oddly soothing.
"Varcolac." She whispered so softly, she barely heard her own words. Disgust rolled through her as she spoke his name, and it rocked her back with pain. She hunched over and choked on a sob, her hands reaching out to grasp the man's pants. Raven stiffened, his gaze connected with his brother's gaze as Katrina reach their side. Luciano's grip tightened. Stefani didn't react when it became harder to breath, a big part of her hoped he'd take her life and end her suffering. She was a coward. Her eyes watered painfully.
Raven waved a hand. Katrina stepped around to Luciano's side and placed her hands on top of the hand restraining her neck.
"Brother!" Luciano hissed. Raven only nodded in response. Luciano looked down to meet Katrina's eyes, momentarily softening his expression, and he let go of the girl.
Raven crouched down to meet her eyes.
"She is not responsible for her sire's actions. She is a child." Katrina whispered. Her eyes warm as she regarded the broken girl before them. She looked up, sensing everyone's stare on them. She wished the wolves would just leave, and she said so, only to get several growls in response. Their horror was clear on their faces. They could never understand a vampire infant. Katrina leaned down, as well, and ran her hands through the girl's hair.
"Oh god! I'm sorry." The girl sobbed and repeated uncontrollably. Her hands covering her face in shame.
Cole and Rain walked forward like zombies, unable to keep away when she suffered so clearly.
"The young witch will be alright. She just needs to rest. No blood, no foul." Katrina whispered soothingly. Her healing abilities allowed her to peak at the girl's state, and she frowned in concern and shuddered.
"Do we have any blood bags left?" Raven met Katrina's eyes, and she pressed her lips tight and shook her head. "We were expecting a fresh delivery tomorrow morning." He nodded. He didn't understand his own desire to help the little female before him. He was a cold-blooded killer, one of the most feared Elders within his society who usually hated becoming involved in situations like these, but there was something odd about her that reached some place human inside of him. He couldn't turn away from her.
Raven ripped off his tie, followed by the flying buttons of his shirt, and he shoved his jacket and shirt back. The most startling thing about his sculptured back were the pulsing, unusually dark, henna tattoos that seemed to dance artfully and intricately over his back and arms and coiled inwards towards his stomach. They seemed to darken and shift. Even the oldest member of the wolves didn't know what to make of the symbols.
"Elder?! What are you-?" Katrina's panic was clear, making Cole and Rain hurry to them faster.
Raven glanced to the side as his brother appeared gripping his wrist tightly.
"You can not do this!?" Luciano hissed.
"You will remove your hand at once, Civilian!" He spoke in hard tones, letting his Elder power enforce the command. His brother released his hold unwillingly, glaring at his older brother.
"Do not forget who I am, Romanus." He whispered and turned his gaze back on the sobbing infant. He didn't understand the compulsion himself, but he couldn't let her suffer this way. Everyone flinched at the power that rolled off him in massive waves. It felt like a fog had settled over the room.
Rain reached the Elder's side, and Raven had to force himself not to lash out at Rain for his stupidity.
"She is malnourished, Rain! To the point of starvation! How long has she gone without feeding!?" Raven was running his hands over the poor girl's trembling body, inspecting the level of her hunger. As his skin touched hers, he felt her agony swell up stronger as a wave of icy fear left her.
He dragged her up to his body, bringing her cold hands up and behind his back to touch his pulsing tattoos. He released his energy, forcing her body to calm down. He knew she was past the point of starvation, and her mind simply couldn't function. Rain growled behind him. Another male was touching his unmarked mate, and the thought had his wolf crawling under his skin ready to kill.
Raven oblivious to this, hoped his energy would calm her hunger, which he did by releasing his energy through contact with the tattoos. It flowed freely into her body, one of the perks of reaching Elder status.
"Brother, let me. She just needs to feed. It doesn't need to be yours." Luciano crouched down. Raven noted the frown on his brother's and Katrina's face. He wanted to protest but did not want to reveal too much information on vampire biology in front of foreign company.
"She'll bleed you dry before she comes anywhere near being satisfied. My blood will calm her down the fastest" Her body trembled within his arms, and he had an urge to tighten them around her. Luciano shook his head with a grunt.
"I don't want any." Her croak left her as a breathless sob. Rain and Cole were at a loss, they both knew there was a lot of context lost to them. Rain cursed. He hated being last to know, especially when it concerned his mate.
"We'll make you better soon, Little one." Katrina's voice was soothing but she kept glancing nervously over at Luciano as he tightened his rolled up sleeves and moved closer to the girl.
"No! I don't want it!" She sobbed and started struggling. Raven was startled even as he tightened his arms around her. The hunger must be driving her to the point of no return, and even then she fought against it. He smiled sadly at her strength.
Luciano held up his wrist to his lips but Katrina's hand shot out and held it before he could pierce the skin. He was about to say something when she leaned over and used her own fangs to make a deep gash in his wrist. Their eyes met and heat bubbled over them. Katrina looked away sadly before he could question her, and the sobbing brought him out of his trance. He noticed everyone looking at them and blushed.
His brother shifted the girl so she was cradled to the side of his body, still touching his markings but giving him access to feed her. His eyes met her watery red ones, and he felt his heart soften a bit. To him, she looked like an infant with sorrow clinging to her like a cape.
"Drink." He cooed at her, bringing his wrist to her lips even as she pushed away.
It was Rain who finally crouched down behind them, placed his hand on her head forcing her to look up sharply. He almost broke down from that pain filled gaze. He leaned down and kissed her forehead. "Feed." He ordered. She seemed like a lost child to him. It angered him that he hadn't noticed the signs and had nearly let her drown in the pain that must have been consuming her.
Her head lifted unwillingly, and she leaned down to Luciano's wrist, looked up at him for permission before sliding her throbbing fangs into his skin. He murmured in reassurance, trying to ignore the sting.
Raven watched her intently. Her body still trembled, and her gaze was frozen to his wrist. Her mouth sucked greedily but gently from his brother.
"Katrina, begin the healing." She nodded, immediately placing her hands on the girl's shoulders and arms, closing her eyes. As words left her lips faster than anyone could understand, her hands began to glow a soft green. She let them move easily over the girl's body, healing her wounds.
Luciano let his weight drop onto his knees as he felt his strength leave him. He was going to stop her when he felt her fangs leave his skin, and her small tongue licked at his wound affectionately. He looked down at her and smiled. She cooed like a baby, and her eyes glazed over as she kissed his wound closed. He thanked her softly. She even cuddled closer into Raven's embrace, ignoring her body's trembling.
The fire in her chest was no longer threatening to consume her, but the painful ache of hunger was still there. Her head dropped back, and she looked up into Rain's warm eyes. Her chest stung painfully, but she sensed it had nothing to do with hunger.
Raven let out a sigh. Bringing his hand forward, he brushed it over her tender cheek, which Katrina had healed. She looked up at him. That bruises that had been on her face were now just pink marks that would continue to fade.
"She will last brother. You don't need to do this." Luciano's breath was short as he struggled to gain some strength back. He'd let her drink more than he had intended to.