When Worlds Collide Ch. 11byJazCullen©
She reacted instinctively, blurring towards the vampire and the Were, slipping under Sandro's outstretched arms and catching Lacey around her waist. Her momentum kept her free of the vampire's grasp as she launched them over the banister, her free hand stretching out towards Mara's falling body.
She screamed her rage as the vampire crashed hard into her back. Lacey slipped from her grasp and started to fall too, and Rhianna felt tears of fury flood her eyes. They were both going to die now and it was all her fault. She screamed Mara's name again, sobbing as she watched her friends falling to their deaths.
Lacey felt herself falling, heard Rhianna screaming for Mara. She knew she was going to die. Rafe would go insane with grief if she did. She wasn't scared for herself, she was scared for her wonderful wolf. There would be no coming back for him from this crippling blow. Her own wolf howled loudly and suddenly Lacey felt different. The change startled her and she opened her mouth to gasp and instead howled loudly. Lacey flipped in the air and stared down at the large white paws before her, her mind slightly shocked at the sight. She had shifted!
Lacey shimmered as Rhianna stared at her. One moment she was human and the next the most glorious white wolf was before her, Lacey's unusual green eyes staring back at her. She made her choice, trusting in the Were's healing ability to save her friend.
She had seconds to catch Mara, very few precious seconds. She reached out, forcing her tired body to move faster than she'd ever moved before. She had no idea where Sandro currently was and she didn't care. Her hand caught Mara's outstretched arm and she pulled hard, wincing as she felt Mara's shoulder dislocate.
Mara screamed loudly at the pain but there wasn't anything to be done about it. It was the lesser of two evils. Rhianna managed to slide her body beneath her friend a split second before they hit the ground. She moaned in agony as her bones broke as she connected with hard floor. She tried to cushion most of the impact, to keep Mara protected in her firm embrace but she heard the other woman cry out in pain and knew that she had more damage than just the dislocated shoulder.
Lacey landed with a thump, automatically rolling over and howling as her leg snapped painfully hard. She managed to get to her feet and was relieved to feel that it was only one leg that appeared to be broken. She limped painfully over to the two woman lying on the floor, her head whipping around to search for the vampire. Sandro was walking slowly down the stairs as if he didn't have a care in the world.
Lacey spared a glance at Mara and Rhianna. Mara's face was pinched white with pain and Rhianna was trying to gently dislodge her from her body so she could force herself up. The pain on Rhianna's face was telling. She probably hadn't recovered from her first round of battle with Sandro. Which left Lacey the least battle scarred of the three. She was under no illusions that she could defeat the vampire, but if she could buy some time then maybe someone would come and help Mara and Rhianna. She growled loudly and placed her body between her friends and the approaching vampire.
Rhianna's mental scream of anguish rocked through Demetri and Caleb at the same time. She had unconsciously projected her fear mentally and the force of her emotions stopped them both dead in their tracks.
"Annie," Caleb groaned turning instantly towards the house.
"Mara!" Demetri screamed bursting past Caleb as he raced towards the house, his heart pounding frantically in his chest. He had to get there in time. Nothing could happen to Mara. Fear he had never before experienced in his life welled up inside him as he flew through the wolves and into the house.
The sight that met him chilled him to the bone. Mara was lying cradled in Rhianna's arms, her face so white for an instant he thought she was dead and he wanted to die too. Then she moaned softly and his breath hissed out loudly. Rhianna didn't look in any better shape than Mara. His head whipped around to see Sandro playing with a large white wolf. His gut instinct was to go to Mara but he was tasked to protect Lacey and he was in no doubt that the wolf Sandro was baiting was her.
"Go to Mara," Caleb hissed streaking past him and crashing into Sandro spinning him away from the white wolf.
Caleb's heart had faltered when he'd seen Mara and Rhianna lying in such pain on the floor. His woman was hurt and he wanted to go to her but he knew she would recover from her injuries. Mara didn't have the healing abilities his Annie did. It was crucial Demetri attend to her immediately. His gaze locked with Rhianna's and she managed a tight, pain filled smile. "I'm fine, love," she whispered in his head. "Protect Lacey."
He couldn't speak, couldn't let his fear and anguish sound in her head when she was being so brave. He smiled gently at her before turning to Demetri and telling him to go to Mara. Then his eyes hardened and he turned his deadly gaze to the vampire who was responsible for all the pain and death inside the house.
Caleb couldn't remember the last time he had felt so feral, so intent on ensuring that he brought the maximum amount of pain to another living creature. His woman's pain filled eyes hovered in front of him, Mara's chalk white face haunted him as he plunged his talons deep inside the vampire's chest cavity and raked them downwards to his groin.
"Did you like hurting my Annie?" he hissed in the other man's ear. "Was causing her even a second's pain worth it? Did you really think you could just waltz in here and hurt our women, kill our friends and not have to suffer the consequences of your actions?" He pulled his talons out and then plunged them back inside as the vampire howled in agony. He really didn't want any answers to his questions, he just wanted the vampire's pain to exceed everything he had meted out inside the house.
Demetri heard Sandro's anguished cries but his eyes were fixed on Mara as he knelt down beside her. Her eyes were closed but her breath hissed out sharply. He was afraid to touch her in case he caused more pain. His ripped his eyes from Mara and looked at Rhianna. She was watching him anxiously, her lavender eyes full of pain and something else. Guilt?
For a moment he felt a savage satisfaction that she was suffering. He had given her his heart to protect and she had failed him. His rage rose up swiftly as he glared at the little redhead, his eyes condemning her to hell for not protecting his woman. He watched her eyes fill with tears, saw the sorrow on her face and his rage instantly died.
She was just a youngling. She was barely even that, more of a newborn. She didn't deserve his anger. He was the responsible one. He had left Mara human for too long. He had let her remain in the city when he should have forced her to leave. He had placed her safety in the hands of people who couldn't protect her, no matter how much they truly wanted to. "How badly are you hurt?" he asked gruffly reaching out and stroking Rhianna's face gently.
"Mara," she answered, her breath hissing out in pain.
"How much blood loss have you had, Annie? Do you have the reserves to heal her because I can't afford to give up any if I don't have to." He would do so if it was required because he would never leave his woman in pain but he'd prefer to retain his own blood so he could do what needed to be done.
"A little," Rhianna answered. "I've enough strength to heal Mara. I've been too frightened to move her in case I hurt her any further." Her tears spilled over as she stared up at him pleadingly. "I'm so sorry, Demetri. I tried to protect her, I swear I did."
"Hush," he whispered soothingly, his hand gentle against her face. "I know you tried. She would most probably be dead if it wasn't for you. I'm going to move her now so be prepared to slide out from under her. Are you able to do that?"
She nodded slightly, grimacing as the movement shot pain through her rapidly healing body. She hoped she would be able to move as swiftly as Demetri wanted her to. She didn't want to let him down again. Despite his comforting words she had seen the moment of rage on his face, his first instinctual reaction to Mara being hurt whilst in her care. She didn't blame him for it because she felt the same way. She should have protected her friend better.
Demetri very carefully raised Mara's broken body slightly and Rhianna wriggled out with a painful breath, watching as he reverently lowered his wife to the floor. Mara groaned in pain, her eyes flickering open.
"Demetri," she whispered softly, her voice weak. "I'm not dead." She sounded so surprised to find herself still alive and Demetri sucked in a deep breath, relief washing through him that she was conscious and talking normally, that she hadn't hurt her head and caused any irreparable damage.
"But you did let yourself get hurt, wife," he answered softly. "And I did warn you what would happen, that I would not be responsible for my actions if you did so ." He leaned forward and kissed her lips gently, a tear sliding down his cheek to land on her face. "I'm so going to make you pay for this, Mara Bozic," he promised, his hands shaking as he framed her face gently.
Mara choked out a pained laugh. "Bet you will," she murmured softly. She could feel how badly he was shaking. Could only imagine what was going through his head. She had no doubt he would make her pay but she would live with it. She had been so sure she would never see him again, that she was destined to die in this house. She could handle the crushing pain to her body because it meant she was alive.
Demetri moved back from her, placing an arm around Rhianna's body to help her move closer. It was blatantly obvious the little redhead was nowhere close to being healed herself and needed the help to move.
"Annie is going to heal you, Mara," he said quietly. "Do as she says. I'll be back for you soon." He kissed her again gently and dropped a quick kiss on Rhianna's head. "I forgive you, Annie," he said so low that his wife wouldn't hear the exchange. He didn't want Mara worrying about anything and she would worry if she thought there was some discord between them.
Rhianna turned surprised eyes to the dark haired vampire. Surprised because she never thought she'd ever hear him utter the word forgive, especially when it came to something as important as Mara's life. He gave a small smile. "I've been hanging around you too long," he said lightly before he rose to his feet.
He strode over to Caleb and Sandro and paused for a moment to watch his friend toy with the other vampire. He stepped up and halted Caleb's entertainment. "One question, Sandro. Did Graves rescind his order to you?"
The brief flare in Sandro's eyes was all he needed to see. Demetri felt the murderous rage bubble up inside him again and this time he didn't dampen it down. He turned to look at Caleb. "If you've finished?" he asked with a slight smile tugging at his lips.
His friend wiped his bloodied hands on what was left of Sandro's tattered clothing. "Be my guest," he answered coldly turning away and crossing quickly to check on Lacey. She appeared to be okay though nervous of him because she was in wolf form. He kept his distance so as not to spook her, speaking soothingly. "Everything's going to be fine now, Lacey. I'll send a Were in to help you with your change. Just stay where you feel comfortable. Sandro will not hurt you anymore."
Caleb moved away from her, heading over to Mara and Rhianna as he heard Sandro start to howl loudly. His woman was tenderly cradling Mara's head, her bloodied wrist to her friend's mouth as she fed her blood to her slowly. He could hear the pain in each laboured breath Rhianna took and his eyes darkened furiously as he knelt behind her and gently ran his fingers down her back and up her ribs, feeling for the broken bones.
He didn't count them because he knew it would send him to that dark place he strove never to enter, the killing place where he lost everything that made him the man he was. She was healing but slowly. He knew she would be fine but he wanted to return to Sandro and rip him limb from limb for what he had done to his precious woman.
"At least your head is still where it should be," he whispered, kissing the side of her neck gently.
"The rest of me will be fine too, Caleb," she sighed softly. "How's it going out there?"
"The pack have decimated the humans. We've managed to keep most of the vampires away from the compound. Not the most important one obviously." He frowned darkly and looked back to see Demetri ripping Sandro's left leg from his body at knee level. He turned back to Rhianna and kissed her neck again.
"He came in the back window. Caleb, the Weres that were out back," Rhianna's voice faltered, her eyes looking upstairs to the dead Weres on the landing.
"We'll check on them, love," he soothed her, knowing she would feel for each and every Were who lost their lives this night. "Just stay inside with Lacey and Mara." He scented the air slightly and looked out the front door. "Nors!"
The huge red haired vampire appeared in the doorway his expression disgruntled. "What? I want to get back out there. It took me forever to find someone who would take the little bitch from me." He was furious he was away from the fight but he had stayed with the girl until one of the Weres had finally shifted and taken her from him.
"I need you here, Nors," Caleb said firmly. "We've already almost lost the reason why we're all here. I need you to protect them just in case any other vampires get through."
Nors took in the scene before him. The youngling obviously belonged to Caleb, the human woman could only be Demetri's woman which meant the white wolf was the bitch they were assigned to protect. He turned his gaze to the dark haired vampire and smiled as he watched him dismember Graves' sidekick.
"Hell, Caleb. I wanted a shot at Graves," he grumbled even as he entered the house properly and knelt down on the floor beside them. His keen gaze could see the youngling was in pain, that giving her blood to her friend would slow down her own healing. He ripped his wrist and pressed it to her mouth.
Rhianna hesitated looking back at Caleb who nodded reassuringly. With a groan, Rhianna sank her fangs into the vampire's wrist and began to pull at his blood. He was an ancient which meant his blood would heal her quicker and she wouldn't suffer too badly from feeding Mara her own blood.
Caleb stroked her curls lightly, fighting down his instinctive need to rip her mouth from Nors' wrist. This would heal her quicker and it was something he couldn't do for her personally at the moment. He stifled down his jealousy at her feeding from another and kissed the top of her head tenderly. "Listen to Nors, love. Do as he says at all times."
He stood and looked back at Demetri. His friend was about done and he sighed with pleasure as he watched him rip Sandro's blond head from his shoulders and dumped it unceremoniously onto the floor.
Demetri stared down at the dead vampire for a long moment and then turned around slowly. Caleb sucked in a deep breath as he stared into his friend's black eyes. Demetri had crossed over, anything that was remotely human gone completely leaving nothing but pure vampire behind.
Caleb felt the pull of the vampire within himself, the instant need to let go and join his friend in his most feral state. He fought it down because he didn't want his Annie to see him like that.
Demetri watched Caleb, a cold smile crossing his hard face as he flexed his talons loosely at his side. "This ends now," he said in a dangerously quiet voice. "Everyone dies, Caleb."
To be continued...