tagNonHumanFeral Ch. 07

Feral Ch. 07

bytheDuskyGirl©

Eva raced through the forest, branches tearing at her exposed flesh and clothing.

She could hear Nick crashing through the brush behind her. Good. She'd likely need the wolf.

Struggling to concentrate as she ran, she attempted to get a handle on Tianna's location. She could feel her friend's panic—panic that was tinged with terror. The feeling was overwhelming, clouding Eva's thoughts, inhibiting her ability to think clearly. And so she ran, allowing her instincts to guide her.

And then Ethan was there beside her, his long tempered strides keeping pace with her. "I'll get her." He threw her a glance. "Go back to the manor."

"Forget it," Eva tossed at him and sped on. His hand closing roughly around her arm and nearly jerked her shoulder out of its socket as he halted her in her tracks.

Furious, Eva yanked at his grasp. "Look, mutt," She hissed. "Now is not the time to get in my way."

Ethan glared at her and snarled. He could feel the undercurrent of power just under her warm flesh where his hand was wrapped around her upper arm. "There's another wolf in these woods. Maybe more than one. I can't be responsible for you."

"You won't be!" She tugged at his unyielding grasp. "We don't have time for this!"

Nick crashed through the brush, stopping short when he saw them. His gaze switched between the two, taking in the tension in their faces and Ethan's hand wrapped around her upper arm. "What's going on?"

The witch's dark gaze met Ethan's. "Please, Ethan. There's no time."

He perused her a moment before releasing her wordlessly. He spun abruptly and took off.

Nick instantly tore after him, leaving Eva to summon the strength to keep up with them.

She took off after the wolves, following as best she could but they were too fast and were soon out of sight. So she focused on Tianna. The wolves could follow Tianna's scent, she could follow the pull of Tianna's fear. It was unsettling. She'd never felt Tianna so frightened. Her friend didn't scare easy and the near blinding terror was causing Eva's heart to beat erratically in her chest.

And then Tianna was gone.  Eva stumbled, reeling from the sudden loss. She had experienced some distance from Tianna's emotions before, but never had she been so abruptly and completely cut off from her friend's feelings. It scared her. It was as if Tianna had simply disappeared. Pushing herself on, she didn't even want to think what the sudden disconnect meant.

"Ethan!" she raced in the direction they'd gone. "Nick!" Nothing. The woods were quiet around her.

Breathing hard, Eva came to a halt. She had lost Tianna and the wolves were now moving too quickly and silently for her to follow.

Eva felt ill, nausea roiling in the pit of her stomach. She couldn't let anything happen to Tianna. Tianna was the only family she had. She swallowed thickly, apprehension swelling in her chest. She was going to have to try something different, something she'd never tried before.

She bent to pick up a fallen twig about the thickness of her index finger. She snapped the limb between her hands, her breath shallow. "Blood of my blood," she murmured. "Sister, bring me to you." Clenching her teeth so hard she though she heard her jaw pop, she dragged the edge jagged edge of the branch over her palm, splitting her flesh open. She choked back a cry of pain as she closed her fist and her eyes drifted shut. Blood seeped between her fingers. "Blood of my blood," she whispered. "Bring me to you."

Eva felt power crackling through her chest painfully. She cried out in agony as her knees buckled and she fell forward onto her hands and knees. She sobbed as pain ripped through her. She had no business attempting a spell this powerful —this taxing—but she could think of nothing else. She had no choice. She curled her fingers in the dark rich soil beneath her palm, the connection she needed. Her life's blood seeped into the soil and she watched through blurred vision as the blood spread from beneath her palm in spindly rivulets over the ground.

"Blood of my blood," she gasped. "Bring me to you."

She collapsed on the forest flood, darkness taking her over.

***
The wolf crouched over his unconscious prize. Goddamn, she smelled good. He hadn't wanted to slug her but she'd left him no choice. She'd run and then she'd fought him, snarling at him and then tearing at him with her claws.

He took her delicate jaw between his thumb and forefinger and turned her face slightly. He grimaced. A bruise was already beginning to darken her lovely flesh. Shame.

His gaze roved over her dark hair; it was mussed and littered with twigs and leaves.  The delicately arched slash of her brows crested her closed thickly lashed lids. She had high cheek bones and sinfully full pink lips. Awake, she was glorious—enraged and fighting him. He could see Dominic Moore's ferocity in her. Out cold, she was damn near angelic.

His gaze moved lower, over the generous mounds pressed against the revealing little tank top she was wearing. A tantalizing slice of skin was bared to his gaze above her low slung pants. He smoothed his hand over that exposed swath of skin. She was stunning, intoxicating. No one could begrudge him just a taste.

He slid is hand under her top. His hand nearly spanned her waist. He dragged his fingertips over her ribcage as he leaned over and brushed his lips over her cheekbone, moving toward her lips. Just a taste.

Just as his lips hovered over hers, her eyes sprung open. He jerked back. Her eyes were liquid black, no hint of white. Her lips parted, revealing elongated canines. "Get. Off. Me."
  
He cocked his head, staring down at her in consternation. Her voice was different, as if she spoke with two tongues. The effect was eerie.

When he made no move, she roared at him. "GET OFF!"  Her small hands were pushing against him fruitlessly. It made him smile. He liked a bit of fight in his women. Suddenly there was a surge of energy exploding through his chest and he was flung violently away from her and sent sailing until into a tree trunk. The massive evergreen creaked and shuddered under the impact and he crumpled at its base.

He groaned, rolling onto his hands and knees. He saw her rise with uncanny fluidity. The air crackled with electricity. He felt it buzz through him, making the hairs on his arms stand on end.

She was staring at him with those dark eyes, her face impassive. "Listen, motherfucker," she growled. "I am not that chick." That voice again; it was like two voices pitched together. "Care to try again?"

Snarling, he lunged at her only to have her lift her palm to him in an almost casual manner. Before he was within three feet of her he was hurled back once more, skidding across the ground.  

"Asshole," she muttered almost absently.

He pushed himself to his feet. "What are you, bitch?" he spat.

A small smile curved upon her lips but she said nothing.

His ears perked up. He'd wasted too much time. They were coming for her already. He fixed his hard glare on her. "We're not done, bitch." He jutted a finger at her. "Remember that."

Her smile broadened, putting gleaming white teeth on display.  "Looking forward to it," she purred.

He turned and sprinted into the forest just as Ethan crashed into the clearing.

"Tianna!" He grabbed her by the shoulders, his stomach clenching when he looked into her blank pitch black gaze. What the fuck?

Nick was next to him. "Ethan? What's wrong with her?" He leaned in and looked into Tianna's face. "Shit, man."

She smiled at him lazily. "Ethan."

Ethan frowned at the strangeness of her voice. "Tianna!" He shook her roughly. "Snap out of it! Tianna!"

Suddenly she slackened, her legs seeming to give out and he caught her against him. Her head dropped forward onto his chest.

Ethan smoothed his hand over her hair, riotous and strewn with leaves and small twigs. She shuddered in his arms. "Tianna?"

She lifted her head with some effort and her head lolled back. She stared at him with that lovely chocolate gaze of hers. "Ethan?" her expression was quizzical. "What happened?"

Ethan looked into her face. "You don't remember?"

Tianna blinked rapidly. "There was a wolf. He chased me." She winced, working her jaw gingerly. "I think he knocked me out," she murmured. "And then Eva was in my head. It was like I was just watching but she was in control. He was leaning over me and then...then Eva was in charge."

"Eva," Nick groaned, turning to the woods as though expecting her to appear. But he couldn't hear her—didn't see her— but he could smell her on Tianna's skin as if she had just been there.

"Find her," Ethan said gruffly, hefting Tianna up into his arms. "And get back to the manor. Fast."

Nick nodded wordlessly and took off.  It wasn't difficult to find her. He was becoming far too familiar with the scent of her blood for his own comfort. He found her sprawled in the forest floor, unconscious. Again. He could feel the residual magick permeating the air around her like a heavy shroud.

Quickly kneeling, he tugged her onto his lap. "Eva," he tapped her cheek lightly. "C'mon, babe, wake up."

But she didn't stir. Her flesh felt cool to the touch. She was far too cold. Even her lips bore a slight bluish tint. He was starting to panic. He listened carefully. Her pulse was thudding dully and far too slow. It was then he noticed her bloodied palm and the jagged wound that spanned its surface. It was bleeding profusely but not enough to knock her out. The magick in the air around her was so strong it made him dizzy. Whatever she had done to Tianna, it was powerful stuff. Likely it was too powerful for her to be attempting in the first place.

"Shit," he cursed and hurriedly shifted her weight in his arms as hauled his t-shirt over his head and wrapped the material tightly around her hand. He grimaced. She was too still, too silent. Her skin shouldn't feel so icy beneath his fingertips.  He pressed his fingers to her throat for her pulse. Her heart beat slowly, dully beneath his fingertips. Her breath was shallow. Unease curling in his gut, he lifted her into his arms and took off back toward the manor.

 ***

Tianna wriggled out of Ethan's arms when they stepped into the manor kitchen and he carefully set her on her feet though he took a firm hold on her wrist. He met her apprehensive gaze steadily. "We need to talk to Aaron about this."

She nodded absently. Her voice was low and wavered a bit when she spoke. "Is it okay if I shower first?" She held up on hand, examining the dirt caked beneath her nails. "I'm a wreck."

Ethan eyed her critically. Her skin was smudged with dirt. Her hair was tangled around her face. Her scent was a confusing mix of Eva and the scent of a foreign werewolf. He noted with burgeoning rage that a bruise was beginning to form along her jaw line.

He saw her flinch at the dark expression on his face and he abruptly released her. The cocky arrogance he'd come to expect from her was nowhere to be found. He rubbed at the back of his neck. "Yeah, sure. Go ahead. Just meet us in the study when you're done."

The girl nodded mutely and left him in the kitchen.

Ethan went to the study, unsurprised to find Aaron sitting at his desk. Aaron glanced up at him when he entered. "What's all the commotion? Our guests giving you trouble already?"

Ethan shoved his hands into his pockets and he met his alpha's hooded gaze. "A werewolf came after Tianna in the woods. Nick's getting Eva. I just brought Tianna back."

Aaron's dark gaze was ominous. "A stray? On our lands?"

Ethan's expression mirrored Aaron's. "He attacked her but she managed to escape somehow.  I think..." his brows knitted together as he processed everything. "I think Eva somehow managed to inhabit Tianna's body."

Aaron's brows shot up. "Inhabit?" The Alpha's expression was troubled. "What exactly do you mean by that?"

Ethan cleared his throat. "I think she kind of possessed her. Tianna's eyes were dilated with magick and she smelled like Eva. I mean, the other wolf's scent was on her but mostly she smelled like Eva."

Aaron leaned back in his armchair and let out a low growl. "That's some advanced magic. It would take a lot out of the witch to pull off something like that, even a seasoned well-taught one. How is she fairing?"

"We lost sight of her in the woods when we were tracking Tianna. Nick is looking for her now. I don't think—"

"AARON!!" Nick's shout seemed to reverberate through the manor, breaking into Ethan's words.

Aaron was on his feet immediately and both men were in the foyer in seconds. Nick stood there bare-chested, Eva held in his arms, the scent of her blood heavy in the air. Nick's eyes were fervent with worry. "She's so cold. She won't wake up and the blood..."

Aaron moved closer and gently smoothed Eva's eyelid upward. Her eye was dilated and unseeing. He placed his palm on he brow. She was chilled.

"Christ," Aaron muttered. He fixed Nick with an intent look. "Take her upstairs. Keep her warm and comfortable. I need to make a call."

"A call?" Nick sounded uncertain. "This is beyond me, Aaron. I checked her vitals She hasn't lost enough blood to be effected like this."  

Aaron nodded, already retreating. "It's not biological, Nick. It's something else. There's someone in Shendaken who might be able to help."

Nick cradled Eva to his chest and swiftly made his way upstairs to his bedroom. He shouldered open the door, holding her gingerly before carefully setting her upon his bed. She didn't stir and he reluctantly left her side to retrieve a first aid kit, basin, bar of soap, and a damp hand cloth from the bathroom .  

The bed dipped under his weight as he seated himself next to her, setting the basin on the bedside table. He took her bound palm into his lap and unwrapped his bloodied t-shirt from her hand, grimacing as the material stuck to the wound.

Ethan was in the doorway leaning on the door frame. "Looks like she's going to need stitches."

Nick winced. "Yeah."

"Aaron doesn't want anyone venturing out too far away from the manor just yet. I don't think we're going to be able to take her to the hospital." Ethan shrugged away from the doorway. "Looks like it's up to you."

Nick nodded absently as he carefully probed the jagged edges of her wound.

Ethan exhaled heavily. "I'm going to go check on the other walking disaster."

Ethan left then and Nick sighed. He dipped the cloth into the basin and lathered it before gently cleansing her palm and washing away the blood. He checked the wound for any debris, finding none.

"I'm sorry, little witch," he murmured as he threaded the hook needle. "This is probably going to hurt."

She moaned and tossed her head as he deftly closed the wound but thankfully did not wake. He bound and bandaged her hand gently. Her skin was yet cool to the touch, her breathing labored.

Nick smoothed his hand over her brow, brushing her hair back from her face. As his palm drifted to cup her cheek, she moaned and turned her face into his touch. As her teeth began to chatter, he scooted onto the bed and hauled her against his side. "Just hold on, little witch." He shook his head ruefully, though worry was curling icy tendrils in the pit of his gut. "We have got to stop meeting like this."

***
Ethan knocked lightly on Tianna's door but the girl door didn't answer. Hands on hips, Ethan stifled a low growl. "C'mon, Tianna. You can't stay in there forever." He pounded on the door. "Tianna!"

Nothing. There wasn't the slightest hint of movement on the other side of the door. He tried the handle. Locked.

"Tianna," he growled. "Open this door now"

Nothing.

With a scowl, Ethan gripped the door handle and twisted it violently, breaking the knob off in his hand. He shoved the door open only to find the room empty. "Tianna?" He followed the sound of the shower running to the bathroom door. "Tianna?"

Damnit. Why didn't she answer him? He pushed open the bathroom door and crossed the room to draw open the shower curtain.

"Damn."

Tianna was sitting in the bottom of the shower, hugging her knees to her chest. She was fully clothed and her dark hair was wet and plastered to her face. She didn't even seem to register that he was there as she stared sightlessly as he drew the curtain away and reached for her. The water was frigid.  

"Jesus, Tianna." She didn't resist as he lifted her out of the tub.  He set her on her feet and yanked a towel from the rack and wrapping it tightly around her. She trembled and her teeth chattered noisily.

He lifted her into his arms and he moved into the bedroom. He seated himself in the large armchair, keeping her on his lap and held her tightly against him as he rubbed a hand vigorously up and down her arm to warm her. Surprising him, she leaned into him burying her face against his neck. She exhaled a shakily and he felt her breath hitch.

Ethan back into the chair, feeling an odd sense of satisfaction settle over him. Her trembling had begun to  cease and her breathing had become more even and deep with sleep. Ethan lightly dragged his fingers through her damp hair, combing through the wet tangles.

She felt too good. Damnit. He knocked his head against the back of the chair. Of all the women to suddenly be attracted to...Dominic Moore's stubborn arrogant daughter.... The girl was nothing but trouble.

He heaved a heavy sigh, continuing to comb his fingers through  her hair. Not good. Not good at all.

***  
Nick stood stock still, despite the almost overwhelming urge to cross the room and tear the dark haired man's esophagus from his throat.

A male witch, a stranger, was sitting on the bed next to Eva. One hand was upon her brow, the other pressed against the bare skin of her stomach. Her white t-shirt was bunched up under her breasts, and her chest heaved with rasping tortured sounding breaths.

Peter and Aaron stood nearby; clearly ready to stop Nick should his emotions happen to get the best of him.

When Eva had yet to rouse herself, Aaron had sent for the warlock. Nick had recognized him immediately from around town. He didn't like that the warlock had been in his midst and he had never once sensed a thing. And he certainly didn't like that the man had his hands on Eva as she whimpered and squirmed under his touch.

***
Ethan started awake, Tianna still asleep in his arms. A distinct feeling of unease crept over him. There was no sound that he could pinpoint that was the reason for his abrupt waking but something was off. His hairs were standing on end, as though an electrical current were washing over him.

Eva. It was odd having a witch at Greystone. He wasn't used to being overpowered by anyone, especially not by some mere slip of a girl. Her presence was definitely unsettling. It was almost as if he could feel her approach like some odd ripple in the fabric of the air around him.

Of course Tianna came with along with an equally troublesome friend. Likely, nothing was ever simple or uncomplicated with Dominic Moore's daughter.

It was Eva's scream that had him out of his wrenched at his attention, quickly followed by Nick's enraged roar that had him out of his seat and gently depositing Tianna upon her bed.

He ducked into the corridor and raced down the hall to Nick's room. The scene before him stopped him short. Nick was straining viciously against Aaron and Trent's hold, his eyes aglow and his elongated canines gnashing as he snarled. His gaze was fixed on Eva.

A dark haired man was leaning over Eva, his hands pressed against her flesh as her body arched up off the bed and she let out another scream full of agony.

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bytheDuskyGirl© 27 comments/ 26842 views/ 58 favorites

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