A Forever Love Ch. 08byDaniellekitten©
They strolled along, down toward the market. Christian couldn't help but chuckle over the way Kinlye's eyes shone.
"They are so pretty." Kinlye reached out, her hand going through the aura of a couple of the vendors. "Did I look like that to you?"
"Your aura was a brilliant white, Kinlye. There aren't too many of them. You were sweet and kind and virtuous and it shone so wonderfully around you. It's the reason that I found you in that doorway so easily even when your stepbrother tried to hide you away. He couldn't hide your aura." He lifted Kinlye's hand, touching his lips to her skin. "Close your eyes, love."
She did as he asked, allowing him to lead her along. "Christian, what are you doing?"
"Reach out with your senses," he urged. "Let the auras seep into your mind."
"But I can't see them with my eyes closed."
"Yes, Kinlye, you can. Just open yourself to those around you. Let them in, feel their energy. You can do this, love. You can."
"Well, you have more faith in my abilities than I do. All right." She sighed and he couldn't stop the smile that touched his lips. Sighing was another of the human traits that she would carry with her until she got used to the undead ways.
"Just relax," he whispered. "Let the energy in. Let it fill you until you find the aura that teases your senses. That's the aura which will feed you the best."
Kinlye grinned. "So the auras are the equivalent of an immortal's menu?"
Christian laughed. "I guess you could say that." He stood beside her as the customers in the market ebbed and flowed around them. Then he heard Kinlye gasp. Her eyes shot open and she grabbed his arm.
"My stepmother." She was shaking so badly that she could barely squeak out the words.
Christian pulled her close. "She can't hurt you, Kinlye. I won't let her, I promise."
"She could take me away from you," she whispered, her eyes flicking from him to the short, squat woman who was moving toward them like a ship plowing through the waves. Christian pulled Kinlye behind him, feeling her fingers grasping at his arm.
"Over my dead body," he whispered back to her.
"Kinlye Haverstone! Where have you been? Your brother has been hunting for you day and night!" The woman's aura was a murky brown, which was the equivalent of what was in her soul.
Christian stood between her and Kinlye, blocking the woman from grabbing Kinlye's arm and dragging her away. "Excuse me, madam. I think you are a little confused. You have no business here, with me or with my wife."
That statement shocked the older woman and she blinked like an own before shaking her head. "Kinlye may not marry without my permission, so whoever you think you are, you are sadly mistaken. Please take yourself off and leave me to deal with her. I promise, she won't cause you any more damage, sir."
Kinlye was panicking. She would have to go with her stepmother and then end up being slapped and pinched and fighting off the unwanted advances of her stepbrother. She gripped Christian's sleeve harder, pushing herself against his back. "No," she whimpered.
Christian reached behind him, taking Kinlye's hand in his and pulling her out from behind him. "You have no tie to Kinlye anymore. After your treatment of her, I wouldn't be shocked if she wanted to go to the constable. You and your son have behaved abominably and you should apologize."
As he spoke, Christian let his teeth show and the red of his eyes change their shape and color. A low growl started in his chest and he looked the part of the monster that lived within him. Kinlye's stepmother gasped, her hands going to her mouth.
"Kinlye, I am terribly sorry. We shan't bother you again," the woman rushed to say. She glanced once more at Christian and then spun upon her heel, racing away from the couple. Kinlye turned to look back at Christian, her mouth open in surprise.
"What did you do to her? She wasn't one to accept defeat quite so quickly or easily, Christian." Laying her hand gently against his cheek, she smiled up at him.
Christian took her hand, pressing a kiss in the center of it before curling her fingers to form a fist. "I didn't do anything, love. Perhaps she had an epiphany, or maybe she just realized how foolish it would be to cross me. I wasn't about to let you go with her." He drew her hand down, letting it rest against his chest. "You're mine, Kinlye and I refuse to let anyone harm you in any way, shape or form."
"Possessive, hmm?" She smiled and took a single step closer to him. "I think I like you this way."
"That's good because I won't be any other way. I love you. Let's get you fed, I have this strange urgency to have you in my bed before too much longer."
"Ahh, so it's my body that you love, not my mind." She sighed heavily and rolled her eyes. "Oh for the days that I was wise enough to stay away from men like you."
"Oh and now that she is free of worry, she's got a sarcastic turn. Now are you wanting to feed or do we need to take you home now?"
Even as he spoke, he heard the grumble that came from her belly and he dipped his head, brushing his lips over hers. He didn't care about the people who stopped and stared at the two of them, only to turn away and titter and gossip behind their hands. The only thing he cared about was his Kinlye. He took her hand and placed it upon his arm, sliding his other hand on top of hers.
"All right, we were discussing auras. You saw the color of your stepmother's aura. The murky browns and dense black colors are the ones that you should stay away from. Light blue auras are the easiest to control. Look at hers," he said, pointing to a young woman whose aura pulsed with pink light. "She was just dallying in the alleyway, Kinlye. Her blood is full of endorphins. It will be sweet, unlike anything you've tasted before. And we know she isn't ashamed of making a coin upon her back. I will approach her and then lead her into the alley, you follow."
Kinlye nodded. She hadn't worried about learning this when she'd thought all it meant was flexing her teeth and biting into a human. But there were many rules and techniques of finding the perfect 'donor'. She stopped him before he could take two steps away from her. "Y-you aren't g-g-oing to..." She couldn't finish the question.
Christian lifted her chin, pulling her up so that he could see her eyes. "No, Kinlye. You are the only one I want to be with in that way. I love you, I will never demean that in any way." He dropped his head, kissing her again. "Remember, follow after you see me take her down the alley." He watched her until she nodded and then turned toward where the girl was leaning against the brick walls of one of the shops at the market place. He spoke briefly with the girl and then took out his purse, shaking it so that she could hear the coins clinking. Then he followed her, glancing back at Kinlye.
Kinlye started to follow him. But then a huge male body moved into her way. She looked up, about to excuse herself when she noted the man and the blackness of his aura. "David."
"Yes, my dear little sister. Where have you been?" His hand wrapped around Kinlye's arm, yanking on her and pulling her away from the alley and the safety of Christian's arms. "I guess it matters little, girl. Now that you've been out of the house and of mother's protection from those who used to offer money for you, I guess I might have you now as well."
"No..." she cried only to shriek as David forced her arm behind her back. "Leave me alone." The words were an order but her tone was one of fear. This was the worst nightmare she could ever dream of and the worst part was in knowing she wouldn't wake up from this terror. She struggled with David, ripping her arm out of his grasp. With a gulp of fear, she took off running, feeling the world blur around her, everyone else looking like they were standing still.
Her hunger was gone. The only thing she wanted right now was Christian. But he was back there, behind David and the threat he posed on Kinlye. She moved with little thought, finding herself outside of town gates. She ran even further, stopping by the stream that had been one of her refuges when she lived with David and his mother. Next to the stream, she dropped down on a soft, grassy knoll, the small stream burbling happily along. Tears escaped her, dripping down her cheeks and off her chin. "Christian," she sobbed, her despair written upon her face.
She fell back against the soft grass, her eyes growing heavy as the emotional fear and the need for the man she called her mate took its toll. Her eyes closed and she curled up underneath the soft shawl Christian had wrapped her in not that long ago. She slept, hated and feared images chasing her through her dreams until she woke, her entire body one tense muscle of fear.
Fingers touched her face. Gentle fingers, stroking her cheeks as a soft voice sang a child's lullaby. Her face turned, needing to see the person behind that song and the caress. She cried out his name, throwing herself into his arms. "Christian, oh, thank God you found me."
"I thought you were going to follow me into the alley. When I came out to find you, who was the first person I saw but your hateful step brother. He tried to blackmail me, of course that was after I proved I'm a much more qualified fighter than he is. When blackmail didn't work, he tried bribery. I finally told him that if he didn't leave you alone, he would have to deal with me. I showed him a bit of the monster inside of me and he turned tail and ran the opposite way, Kinlye."
"Monster? What monster?" Kinlye laid her head against his shoulder, letting him support her.
"What can become of us if we don't take care of the beast inside, Kinlye." He dropped a kiss on the top of her head. "Now that we have those two out of your life, we should take care of your beast, my love."
"I've never seen you look beastly." She lifted her head, gazing up into his eyes. She saw him shake his head then sighed. Then his eyes turned red, his fangs pushing out from under his lip. His brow became heavier and he truly did look fierce and scary. "How do I do it?"
Christian cocked his head to the side and then lifted his finger to his mouth, letting one of his fangs slice through it. He waited for the blood to drip off his finger before holding it up, under her nose.
"Oh," her eyes fluttered closed and she inhaled deeply, taking her hand in his and holding it close to her face. "That smells...glorious." She opened her eyes and Christian grinned.
"You're terrifying." He let her lick the blood off of his finger, the back of his hand stroking over her throat. "Shall we go eat?" He helped her to her feet. "Now you just need to relax for a minute to let go of the beast, Kinlye. If I were to take you back to town looking the way you do, the jig would be up."
"So am I really frightening?" Kinlye licked her tongue over her teeth, feeling the length of her fangs. The world looked a bit different, even more so than when she'd first noticed the auras. Now, with the eyes of the beast every bush, every trail, every blade of grass that hid some woodland creature or insect glowed. She could see every insect and the shape of a rabbit that hid in its burrow, trembling with fear as it caught the scent of them.
She could smell Christian as well. His was a spicy scent, a scent that she could smell every moment for the rest of her life. Kinlye never wanted to be separated from him, ever again. With him, there was safety and caring and love. Definitely love. She could see it in his eyes, feel it in the touch of his skin upon hers, and hear it in the sound of his voice. He would love her forever and it still wouldn't be long enough. Not for her.
Kinlye stared up at him, feeling her eyes change again until she could see normally, or at least normally for a vampire. Her hand lifted, touching his face. "Never leave me," she said softly, looking into his eyes. "Never stop loving me."
Christian laughed. "As if I could. You've got my heart in here. A man cannot survive without his heart, I can't survive without you." He touched his hand to the space between her breasts. "I knew from the first moment I met you that I had finally found a home. You gave that to me."
"I would have said that you gave me a home, Christian, remember?" She laughed up at him, leaning against him with her head tucked under his chin. "You are my home."
He held her there, his eyes closed in contentment. Nothing was more important than this woman. He kissed the top of her head before pulling back slightly. "I have this insatiable need to be inside of you, Kinlye. So I think we should find someone to eat and then go home. I'm going to make love to you all night until even our undead bodies are too tired to move."
"Hmm, I think I like that idea." She took his hand. "Lead on."