New Kingdom: Australian Court Ch. 04byMicKay©
Unedited. I will post a better version as soon as I receive from editor. Thanks to those who have helped!
Gabriel stood waiting for the attack. Listening to the approaching sounds, he ascertained the locations of the enemy and waited. He evaluated the threat as a notable enemy but had no concern for the night's outcome. Five brothers of the Third Creation would have no difficulty overcoming this attack. With the additional troops, he knew their victory would once again be swift.
Each brother led a small group to intercept the enemy vampires. With the exception of Heron, each also had a mate who remained close to his side. Gabriel knew exactly where Alena stood but reached back to feel the soft skin of her hand. He was once again amazed at the strength he derived from her.
He looked up at the noise and cringed when he saw the attackers. The pitiful creatures were hideous in appearance but had even more disturbing spirits. As slaves to a higher power, they were merciless hunters that existed for blood. Gabriel could see evidence of their abuse from the various scars and amputations.
Assessing them once more, he informed his brothers that these men and women were truly living corpses who needed to be permanently laid to rest. He received four votes of agreement when the first struck.
Joshua allowed Nola to pin him to the bed as she made her playful demands on their future. He had notified the guards that she would be staying with him and were not to be disturbed. For the last several hours, they had taken advantage of being alone, not knowing when this would happen again.
"No," he repeated with a laugh.
"Tell me," she demanded as she clasped his hands above his head. "I'm not some cave woman who will be knocked over the head, dragged around the world blindly following you to the ends of the earth."
"A cave? No. But blindly follow me? Yes."
"You're just a little arrogant," she complained sitting back on her heels.
"I prefer to think that I'm confident," he answered flipping her swiftly beneath him. "But the truth is that I don't know when I will change you. I know Antony must be with Emma now and I can't swear that I will have that I will have that freedom."
"So," she said wiggling beneath him, "you promise that it will be soon. Promise that you won't forget or find another girl or move on with your family or..."
"Nola that could never happen. It's not the way of my people. If there's something I could give you to prove..."
"Just your promise. I trust you," she added stroking her fingertips down his chest." I just don't want to lose you."
"Can't happen. Losing you would kill me," he explained in a serious tone. He captured her hand and kissed each fingertip and added, "When the others return, they will know that you are mine. Our ways are permanent."
"How will they know?"
"I wonder if any human has ever asked," he responded with a laugh. "You know that my people have intense, uh, senses."
"What will they sense?"
His smile faltered as he stared into her eyes. With a gentle touch, he traced the curve of her jaw and savored the texture of her porcelain skin. He watched her frown in frustration waiting for his explanation.
"It shouldn't be like this?" he whispered.
"Like what? With a human? I told you that I want to change, Josh, I want to be with you forever."
"I know. And you will. I meant that I wish we could have more time and not rushed in one night."
"I have a feeling," she replied snuggling closer to his big frame, "that we will need to appreciate every minute we can have alone. We may have forever but I'll be sharing you most of the time. So let's start making the best of it."
Joshua moved over Nola quickly and removed their remaining clothes. He may have recently been considered a boy but no one could deny that he was now a man. As nature ruled his actions, he started to claim the only woman who had ever caught his attention.
Inexperience was overridden by love as the two eagerly sought their relief. While tempted to release his control, Joshua remained consciously aware of his superior strength and held himself in check as he explored her body. Tenderly he kissed and nipped at her fleshed savoring the shudders and sighs he earned for his effort.
Nola moved her hands over his shoulders, arms and back admiring this man who now belong to her. A small voice asked her why she was not afraid of this person that had so quickly developed from a young person into the grown man he was now. She quickly answered that only his physical body had changed. His soul was still the person whom she would have forever.
Their joining was slow and mutually decided. He would touch and she would respond. She reciprocated the pleasure when she touched him. When he finally broke through the last flimsy barrier of her flesh, Joshua waited letting her set the pace that would continue their mating.
Nola hesitated for only a moment shutting her eyes and taking a deep breath. Her body quickly adjusted to his invasion and begged for more. In a timeless gesture, she rolled her hips forward inviting him to continue. She was quickly granted her silent request.
She moaned as he moved in a steady rhythm against her body. Sneaking a glance at his face, she watched him strain against the temptation to release his control. She watched him as his breaths became more labored. Suddenly she realized what he needed.
"Joshua. Drink. Please."
Suddenly, his dark eyes were staring into hers. In a flash, she saw him open his mouth full with elongated fangs. Sharp pain was quickly replaced by unsurpassed euphoria as he fed from her neck.
Abigail gradually woke from her comfortable slumber. The inviting warmth of her surroundings beckoned her to snuggle in for more sleep but her bladder demanded immediate relief. Slowly she moved away from the heat source and cringed when her sore muscles rebelled. Instantly her eyes flashed opened finding the source for her comfort and pain.
Alex had formed a cocoon around her smaller frame with his arms and legs. In the dark, Abigail could see the smug grin on his sleeping face. A wave of emotions flashed through her mind as she tried to determine the reason for his pride.
Carefully she untangled his limbs from her body and rose from the bed. Her body ached like nothing she had ever felt before but yet she knew that she was not injured. She tenderly probed the flesh inside her thighs and realized that her muscles were tight and sore. She refused to investigate further.
Taking a deep breath, she paused as various aromas filled her nostrils. There was definitely blood in the mix. Her rising panic only falter a little when she realized that it was her own blood and not Alex's that she smelled. Her injuries could be hidden and would heal quickly. She would never forgive herself if she had hurt him.
The other scent confused her. It was a musk similar to one she had often noticed in her mother's room. Yet, it was different. It was a unique bouquet consisting of interesting ingredients. She inhaled deeply trying to identify the sources and paused when reality answered her questions.
The simple recipe consisted of two ingredients: Alex and Abigail. She closed her eyes as images of their union flashed through her mind. Her heart raced as every touch and taste was quickly remembered. Opening her eyes, she realized that her aches had quickly changed from the result of sore muscles to that of a physical need only this man could satisfy.
Resisting the urge to wake Alex, she leaned over the bed to place a kiss to his lips but paused. She realized that his smug grin was a reflection of own expression. With a feather light touch, she pressed her lips to his and then quickly raced to the bathroom.
Alex's mind was moving through a fog. Unlike the scenes of horror movies, this fog was the bright and inviting effects displayed in ethereal scenes. He would find his angel here. He could feel her near but could not see her or touch her. Just when he was getting impatient, he felt a movement in the white cloud pressing close. He felt just a little arrogant when his angel gently kissed his lips.
Too quickly, his angel was gone. She took the bright scene with her leaving him alone in the darkness.
"To hell with this," he complained in his dream state.
Alex woke with a start reaching across the bed to find a warm but empty space next to him. Listening for evidence of her location, he soon heard the sounds of water spraying against the shower tiles. He wondered if she would consider him rude for joining her in the stall.
"There's only one way to know for sure, mate," he said quietly as he leaped from the bed.
Antony watched his mate carefully. Her change was complete. During the last hour, he had watched her connect the links in their lives and happily embrace her new destiny. Tenderly, he shifted her body until she was cradled in his arms. Ignoring the various intrusions in his mind, he watched. His waiting had come to an end.
Emma's eyes snapped open. The once gray irises were now threaded with silver. Her hair glistened with streaks of gold. And her skin would reveal flawless perfection under the most intense scrutiny. Her mate smiled at the realization of her new cravings. She wanted him, blood, and, something else.
"What the fuck?" he demanded as she leaped from the bed.
"We need to go and help the others," Emma answered searching for her clothes. "They need our help. Abby needs our help."
Too late, Antony realized that he had only ignored his brothers' voices beckoning to him. He had failed to block them; therefore, he had failed to block them from his mate.
Gabriel gathered his group together and quickly assessed their damage. Other than minimal blood splatter, which had once belonged to their enemy, everyone appeared unscathed. One of the enemy vampires had been captured but was growing more restless as dawn approached.
Although he hated their opposition, Gabriel was unable to be cruel and watch the creature suffer. He had swiftly ended the vampire's life and decided against future prisoners. He would need to send trackers to find the leader of these pitiful beings.
As he faced the eastern sky, he reviewed his decisions and felt confident that he had made the right choices. The dread in his gut kept nagging at him. His brothers would soon begin their new assignments in whatever services they could provide to the New Kingdom. He too would become an advisor to the new leaders of his people.
Dropping his gaze, he stared into the dark grove that separated him from one of those leaders. His daughter was safe from those who had captured her but she was now alone with that human male. The nagging in his gut confirmed that this issue would torment him forever.
"Wait here," he called to the group. "I will return with Abigail in a few hours."
Abigail was not sure how she knew but she was not surprised when Alex suddenly joined her in the shower. After soaking under the spray of hot water for a few minutes, her muscles had relaxed considerably. Waiting for him to make the first move, she remained still with her hands pressed against the wall letting the water pour over her back.
Alex's stroked one finger down her spine tracing the ridges under her skin. He stopped at her lower back and waited for her response. He smiled when she turned to look over her shoulder. Her face was even more beautiful than he remembered. Before he could move, rational thought screamed in his mind.
What was he doing? If they could only have these few moments, why not enjoy them? Did she understand that they could not be together? If not, then was it fair to continue this short lived affair with her? None of the answers mattered. He was a dead man the minute Gabriel Philandros found them.
"Please stop," Abigail whispered.
Alex quickly pulled away his hand wondering if he had hurt her.
"Not that," she added with a giggle. "Please stop thinking about my dad when we are, you know, here, like this."
"I, uh, was, well, I wasn't....damn," he stuttered before finally stopping to catch his breath. "How the hell did you know what I was thinking?"
"Your heartbeat and breathing change when you think about him," she answered. "And no I can't read your mind. But you shouldn't worry. He's not going to harm you. He's just dealing with these changes like my mother had to deal with them earlier."
"So it's possible that he might not hate me?"
"Oh I wouldn't say that," she answered turning to face him. "He definitely does not like you. And that was before, well, this."
"Thanks," he said pulling her into his arms. "I feel much better."
"No love lost."
"You've made it clear that you could never love me," she answered pulling away. "No love lost."
Alex watched in silence expecting her to reach for a towel and exit the shower stall. He was shocked when she merely wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled his head close to hers. Before their lips touched, he wondered how he had managed to find the girl of his dreams. She was beautiful, independent and accepted his rules for this affair.
He should be rejoicing at his luck. So why wasn't he?
"Emma," Antony called from the door, "Phillip has transportation scheduled to leave in a few hours. We have sunlight issues with the new ...what the hell are you doing?"
His mate surfaced from a mountain of clothes, shoes and luggage. A frown was settled on her brow as she continued searching from something in particular. Without answering his question, she reached into the closet and withdrew another box quickly dumping its contents onto the growing pile.
"Whatever you need, I'm sure we can buy."
"No," she finally said. "You can't."
"Because, oh thank god, it's the sentiment of the item and not the item itself," she explained standing to her feet.
Antony looked at the box in her hand and shook his head in confusion. The first few hours with his mate had yet to be anything that he had anticipated. She held a child's toy, protected in the manufacturer's packaging, close to her chest as though it were her greatest possession.
"It's not the gift," she explained. "It's the giver." Placing the doll on the nearest flat surface, she turned to Antony and smiled. "So, we have a few hours? Great."
He smiled as she jumped into his arms. Now this was what he had anticipated.
The rising sun announced the dawning of a new day to most people. Joshua realized that this day would be the first of his new life. His sister had embraced their destiny with conservative enthusiasm. If he had to be honest, he had avoided it. Now, with Nola cuddled to his chest, he realized that today he would begin his life as a leader of New Kingdom.
For a brief moment, he envied his father's decision to drop the burden he had carried for so many years in exchange for time alone with his mate. Of course, his father had paid his dues and Joshua's responsibilities started today.
When Nola shifted and murmured in her sleep, he thought about the life they would have together. Once he could arrange some time for them, they would begin the process that would ensure they would have forever. He listened to the noticeable differences between their heartbeats and for a brief second wondered why hers echoed in a rhythm faster than usual.
Alex smiled as he watched Abigail ready the room to its former condition. As the sky lightened to a pale gray, she had removed the bed linen, cleaned the bathroom and retraced their steps several times. Except for replacing the disturbed dust, she had returned the house to its previous state of abandonment.
"Ok, I think we're ready," she said turning to him. "What? Are you laughing at me?"
"No. No. Not at all. Well, ok, maybe just a little."
"If it was your home, you would appreciate the extra work," she explained walking toward the door. "And it's best that we not leave a trail."
Alex followed her through the door and paused to check the locks. They decided to take the key and contact the owner once they had returned to the mansion. He looked at the large porch that wrapped around the house and noted that a few repairs would have the home in premium condition. Moving along the path, he watched Abigail pick up the realtor's sign that had fallen in the unkempt lawn.
"It's such a lovely home," she said staring at the sign. "You were right. It has a perfect yard for kids but a family might not know it's on the market."
"I'm sorry about that," he finally said.
"The comment about kids. It doesn't need kids to be a nice place to live," he explained nodding towards the large house.
"No," she said shaking her head. "It definitely does. "
"I just mean that it would still be a great place for someone without kids," he tried to explain. "It would be a great for you." He felt uncomfortable as she continued starting at him in confusion. "Abby, I meant you like the home and you should have it because you like it and not leave it because I made some thoughtless comment about a big yard for children. Just because you can't have children..."
Alex stared in silence trying to gather his thoughts so he could better explain his apology. The longer he considered the situation the more confused he started to become.
"I've never heard of a female vampire having children," he finally said. "But then, you're not exactly a normal vampire are you?"
"Alex, what are you talking about? Where are you going? Are you ok?"
"I don't know," he mumbled. "And that's my answer to all three questions."
As they walked away from their temporary shelter, Alex was vaguely aware of her small hand reaching for his.
Several miles away, the sunlight announced the end to another day. As the household staff scurried away for their unnatural sleep one person remained awake in the house. He moved through the rooms quietly neither searching nor finding anything particular.
Passing through the foyer, he stopped to gaze at his reflection in the large mirror. His fathers had died before witnessing his strength and stature as a full grown man. With little concern for modesty, he opened his robe and viewed the new musculature of his lean body. He smiled in arrogant approval. The child was gone, replaced by a man who would soon rule the world.
"My lord," a voice said behind him. "I have distressful news."
"Of course you do, Matthias," he responded without looking at the messenger. "Well go on. Remind me how I can never depend on any of you to complete a task."
"But my lord, they were attacked. All were killed."
"All?" he asked finally facing the man. "All?"
"Well, not everyone but certainly all who were guarding the first point."
"At the mountain," the young man stated. "You have an annoying habit of dramatically exaggerating the situation."
"But my lord, so many of your loyal servants are dead."
"Loyal?" the man asked with amusement. "In a deranged way I suppose they were but still, they were hardly more than expendable resources."
"Forgive me, lord. We've lost so many in the last few weeks that I fear for your safety and for our future."
"Once again, you are failing to see the accomplishments we've made. Yes, we have lost many but we will make twice more. If one competent vampire could accomplish this final task, we would have everything."
"They almost succeeded. Certainly the next attack will bring her to you."
"No," the young man corrected. "No more attacks. Change of plans."
"Excuse me? What changes?" Matthias demanded.
"Ah, and I now have the answer to my first question," the young man responded walking into the closest sitting room. "My fathers failed with you Matthias."