Redemption Ch. 05byElianna©
"Get off me."
Even though her voice was level, he could sense the tension, the anger that was boiling below the surface. He was surprised she wasn't screaming yet. Drinking from her was probably not one of his best moves, but he couldn't change it now, and without taking the time to analyze it closer, he knew he would do it again. So he growled and pulled her closer, nuzzling against her neck possessively, delighting in the incredible sensation of her soft body beneath his.
"Kieran," she said again.
He could hear her heartbeat, feel her hands trembling, her body was hyped up, agitated, panicked. She had good reason. He fed from her. It was the simplest and yet most sacred of acts between vampires; a bonding, a claiming. He was linked to her. He would know exactly where she was, he'd smell her scent from miles away, and feel her presence. He should feel guilty. There was no remorse, only... immense satisfaction. His body was literally tingling with everything that was Mara, and it felt incredible.
"Get off me, Kieran," she said her voice betraying her agitation this time.
"No," he growled back rubbing his lips on her neck right over spot he bit.
Mara's body tensed even more beneath him.
Yeah. She was pissed.
"I said, get the FUCK off me!" she screeched.
Her power followed quickly behind her words, sending his body flinging off hers by an invisible force. Kieran swore as he crashed to the floor. He'd forgotten she was developing her powers of telekinesis. He stood at once, but she'd managed to roll out of bed and was dashing towards the bathroom quickly.
He growled and dashed to block her way. "Mara stop."
"Get out of my way, you ass!" she cried.
"No. You need to settle down."
"Me? ME!" she screeched. "You fed from me. You fucking fed from me!"
"Yeah," he admitted. "I'd say I'm sorry, but I'm not. Everything about you is incredible, including your taste."
She stared at him, her face flushed, her eyes literally burning with anger.
Okay. So it wasn't the right thing to say, even if it was true.
"You arrogant prick!" she snarled lunging for him.
He wasn't quite prepared for her violent reaction. In fact, it didn't seem he was prepared for anything when it came to this woman. She dashed forward seemingly as though she was going to claw his face like any distressed female might, but instead she dipped her shoulder, put her weight behind her arm, and punched him in the gut with enough force to send him to the floor seeing spots. He fell to his knees gasping and coughing. He was barely coherent enough to sense her walking around him to the bathroom door, closing it behind her and turning the lock with a flick.
Wow. She packed a hell of a punch.
He sat for a few moments, collecting his rather turbulent thoughts. Okay. So she wasn't happy. He'd half-way mated with her without her consent; of course she'd be a little pissed. In fact, if she'd done it to him, he'd be furious. So why wasn't it bothering him more? Why did the little demon inside of him feel strangely satisfied with itself?
He grumbled to himself rubbing his gut a little as he stood.
"Mara," he called. "You're being ridiculous."
He heard her sniff in irritation.
"You're hiding from me in a bathroom!" Did she realize how childish that was? "The only reason I'm letting you is because I don't want to have to replace my door." No. He definitely didn't want to have to replace anything. He liked his apartment.
"Well I'm glad you think so highly of your door," she snarled back.
He thought about that. She was insinuating something, he could hear it in the tones of her voice; a sarcastic inflection. Why were women so unreasonable?
"Mara," he tried again. "You need to quit hiding in there and come out here!"
"Oh," she retorted. "Once you're done fucking me and drinking my blood, you're back to bossing me around like I'm one of your servants. Good one, Kieran. I bet that wins all the ladies."
Ripping the door off its hinges was starting to sound better and better.
"I just want to talk to you," he called.
"Talk?" she cried. "There's nothing to say. You fucked me. You bit me. You've got the control you wanted, now. Was that your plan all along? Seduce me so that I'd be distracted enough so you could get a good bite in? That way you wouldn't have to worry about me running?"
He froze. Where did she come up with that? Were all women crazy?
"Very clever, Kieran." She was on a roll now. "Use my blood as a means of control; just like Francisco. Except he was more of a gentleman, he never pretended he cared."
That was it. He grabbed the handle of the door and yanked hard. The cracking and splitting of the wooden frame as he literally ripped the door off was incredibly satisfying as was the surprised gasp of the annoying woman hiding in his bathroom. He charged through the splinters and grabbed her roughly.
"You have no idea what you're talking about." He wanted to shake her, to kiss her, to be inside her yet again. Somehow he had to show her...
What? That he liked her? That she meant something to him already? Impossible. He barely knew her. Right?
She looked up at him with wide brown eyes. There was something almost cartoonish about her surprised expression. Like those big-eyed animals that always seemed to befriend fairytale princesses and melt peoples' hearts. Mara was just like that. Skittish, cautious, almost afraid of her own shadow.
He was suddenly aware that his large hands were wrapped tightly about her arms. Even though her body was firm and athletic, he recognized the size difference between them. He was hurting her. He released her at once and stepped back.
She remained frozen, staring at him with those huge, shocked, beautiful doe-like eyes.
He took a deep breath and ran his fingers through his dark hair in irritation. What the hell was wrong with him?
He stared at her in silence. For once, he couldn't think of anything to say.
In the living room, his cell rang.
He stared at wide-eyed woman before him. He really couldn't form a coherent thought when it came to her.
The phone stopped. Then it began to ring again.
Finally he closed his eyes and sighed. He turned, walked through the splintered doorway and into the living room and grabbed his phone.
"Montasse," he snarled angrily.
Nasir watched the red-haired human on video as she sobbed beneath the hungry and horny vampire who was simultaneously feeding from her and fucking her with gusto. He knew she'd be a great addition to his collection of human men and women that he whored out for the pleasure of other vampires. This one was more stubborn than some of the others. She still fought and screamed and cried when her customers visited her, almost as if she thought that one of them might take pity on her.
It seemed her current customer actually enjoyed her broken little sobs. He was licking her tears.
Yeah. Most of the vampires who paid Nasir for these services were sick fucks. That's what happened to those who never died; they developed interesting...idiosyncrasies.
Nasir was eager to oblige them. He sought out the humans that would please his customers; men with beautiful, strong bodies that could tolerate a sadistic client who enjoyed the taste of human blood filled with adrenaline from pain. Women to fit every fantasy; bodies built for sex, blonde, brunette, light skin, dark skin. The new red-head was quite popular. They always liked the reds. He hoped this one lasted longer than the last girl. Her struggles weakened her faster, so he doubted she had more than a few weeks in her. He sighed and made a mental note to start seeking for another one.
He reached for his phone to make the call and start the search, but it rang in his hand before he could dial.
"What," he demanded flatly.
"It seems Montasse witnessed the abduction of your last girl. He's suspicious. I don't doubt he's initiated an investigation."
Nasir remained silent.
"The three who captured her have been punished for their indiscretion."
"We'll make sure none of the evidence leads him here."
"You're such a comfort to me, David," Nasir said, though his voice betrayed none of the emotions his words held.
Nasir ended the call and stared at the now unconscious redhead. Her customer was getting dressed without sparing her a second glance. What the hell had Kieran been doing in Manhattan on a week night? And why was he initiating a search over a stupid, worthless human?
How could one ill-tempered street rat still be a thorn in his side after all these centuries? How many times had he chastised himself for letting that stupid boy live? With the ancient and powerful blood of Darian Moiree, the dream-walker, flowing through his veins he was a force to be reckoned with. Nasir hated him even more for that. Perhaps it was time to finally do something about that retched street rat from Damascus. Revenge could be very sweet.
A wicked smile cracked the usually impassive face of Nasir Ahmed. Once again he pulled his phone from his suit pocket.
"On second thought, don't hide the traces of the abduction too much," Nasir said.
"You want Montasse to find you?" he asked almost incredulously.
Nasir's eyes narrowed slightly in irritation. "Yes, slave, that's exactly what I want."
"Of course," replied David, his voice low and humbled. "I'll leave just enough to make it appear as though they tried to cover their tracks and were slightly stupid about it."
Nasir looked back up to the many screens that monitored his clients as they satisfied their urges. This time his eyes zeroed in on a muscular young man whose wrists were manacled and chained to a beam in the ceiling. He watched as vampire circled him with a cruel looking whip in his hands. This wasn't a leather flogger, but a weapon with barbs on the end of each strand. Using weapons cost extra, of course. He stalked the dangling human in the dark room with cat-like grace and cruel menace. Nasir could almost smell the fear of the victim as he looked about wildly, trying to locate the hunter in the darkness with his inferior eyes. The show was intriguing. The tormentor was well-trained in the art of cruelty and anticipation. He could imagine the sound of the cruel whip as it whistled through the air and his eyes glinted with wicked delight as the human flinched and cried out when the barbs ripped through his skin.
"Did they find anything?" Anna demanded when she emerged from the bathroom, her hair wet from her shower.
Cael sighed and shook his head. His Little One had a one-track mind sometimes. "There's a folder on my desk, love."
She nodded mutely and went to fetch the file. He couldn't help himself as he stared at her rear as it brushed against the satin robe. Her body was still wet underneath so the garment clung to her enticingly.
"You're such a pig sometimes," she teased without turning around.
He grinned, flashing his fangs.
She returned from his office with the folder in hand and sat on the couch staring at the documents intently as though she'd been doing this for years. Was it only her third day? Of course, Anna always surprised him. There was something a little different, maybe even a little odd about her. In the vault he'd gotten hints of it; her vivid imagination, her incredible will to live, her strange ability to form a mental connection between the beeps of a keypad code to the tones in a Chopin Nocturne.
It made sense. Cael believed that God, or whatever people wanted to call it, had a purpose. Anna had been destined to be his mate, and therefore their meeting was equally destined, as was everything else that had happened to her. Thinking of all the things that had happened to her made him furious once again; it wasn't the first time he had a problem with God's ways. It grated on him that this beautiful, tender-hearted woman, destined to be his, was also destined to suffer so much. Long life was bad enough without the extra pain.
As always, though, Anna's agony had been replaced with determination. Just like in the vault, when her impending death only strengthened her will to live, Anna channeled her suffering. The pain of the red-haired woman drove her to search even harder.
He sighed and poured them each a glass of blood. He chuckled to himself as Anna wrinkled her nose a bit. She'd been feeding from warm, live victims, and the taste was quite different chilled and without the adrenaline from the hunt.
"You're sure you can't find a nice male who'd be willing to let me bite him?" she whined without looking up from her reading.
Cael growled a little. "The only male you'll be biting from is me, Little One."
Finally she looked up and grinned at him flashing her lovely fangs. "Are you offering?"
He chuckled. "Drink your glass."
She sighed a little and reached for her glass, once again gluing her eyes to her file. She took a sip, wrinkling her nose. After a few sips, she drank steadily unable to keep her hunger from taking over. Young vampires found it more difficult to control themselves during a feed. She absently put the empty glass on the coffee table and turned another page in the file, reading quietly.
He decided to give her a few moments to absorb the information, and opened his own reading for the morning. His people always provided him with a daily report of how the country was running, the recent developments among the powerful vampires globally, and a run-down of how his conglomerate was faring. It was a comfortable feeling to be sitting in silence with the girl reading the "paper."
She finished first and put the file on the coffee table, stretching after sitting still for so long.
"You'll need to get dressed for court this morning," he called to her.
"Court?" she asked arching a brow curiously. "Like you on a throne hearing your vassals whine kind of court?"
He chuckled. "I am a king, love."
"Yeah, but..." she seemed at a loss for words once.
"A dress would probably be appropriate," he added.
"What about Alexis?" she demanded, bristling for a fight.
"If you take too long getting ready, you probably won't have time to get your people on the ground searching for her," he answered.
Her beautiful blue eyes softened just a little. With a quick nod, she stood and hurried back to the bedroom.
Anna hurried to make herself presentable. She really didn't give a damn about going to court today, and it irked her that he expected her to take part in the royal charade. She dried her hair, put on makeup and slithered into a nice, dark blue sheath dress with matching heels. She whipped her hair back into a twist at the base of her neck and called herself good to go.
"Hmmm," Cael purred as he finished buttoning his jacket. "Not bad, Little One."
"How much time do I have?"
"About a half-hour."
She nodded. She already knew what she wanted to do.
"Do I really have investigators?"
Cael nodded. "I made you a promise."
She felt her heart melt just a little in her chest at that. She knew Cael didn't want her chasing her dreams, but he'd managed this compromise. Though she didn't admit it to him -- he probably already knew what she was thinking, anyway -- that one promise made her feel more loved than any of his other words and gestures. Maybe love wasn't the right word. The more she thought about it, she realized that she felt...respected. He respected his tiny, young, erratic and stupid Little One enough to do this for her.
He closed the distance between them and pulled her close. "Never stupid, Anna," he whispered kissing her lips softly. "Everything else is pretty close though."
Yup. He knew what she was thinking all right.
He kissed her once more on the lips and smiled. "Do I have lipstick on me now?"
She laughed. "Kissable lip-wear," she answered running her fingers over her lower lip and showing him the make-up free skin as proof.
His eyes glinted a little deviously and he kissed her a little more seriously.
Anna let out a little whimper of protest, and then pushed him away. "You'll muss me."
"I enjoy mussing you."
She rolled her eyes. "So..." she said changing the subject, which was difficult the way he held her close. He smelled absolutely incredible. She'd have to raid the medicine cabinet to find what cologne he wore. "What about my investigators?"
He chuckled and let her go. She was sure that the only reason he did it was because her heart was fluttering maniacally already and her rather shaky control was slipping. Being a vampire was difficult like that. She felt everything more intensely and it was hard to reign in her emotions and physical desires. Like everything else vampire, it seemed control got easier with age.
"You're doing a good job, Anna," Cael said gently. "You're far more restrained than I ever imagined you'd be."
She laughed at that. "You mean you thought I'd be absolutely rabid?"
He looked at her seriously. "Yes. You were temperamental even as a human."
Okay. So he was right. Everyone had their little flaws, didn't they?
"Here's your cell," he said. "I've called a few of the investigators already and they'll report to you. You can program in their numbers when you meet them. I'm sure you didn't take a look at your contacts list yesterday, but Kieran's and Darian's cells are in there as well as a few others. Kaira is my secretary, and you'll recognize Dorian's number, too. I've also programmed your other five bodyguards in there, who you'll probably meet over the next few days. Of course, I'm on speed dial."
She nodded and flipped through the contacts list quickly.
"You've got about twenty minutes with your investigators. They're waiting in the living room for you."
Anna nodded and touched his cheek gently. "Thank you."
He kissed her fingers. "Hurry up. Let's not be late for your first public appearance."
Anna walked back in the living room to see three FBI-looking vampires sitting in the living room rather uncomfortably. She instantly guessed that they weren't used to associating with Alexander LeGaulle on such a personal level. She hoped they were good. The minute she walked in the room they stood and actually bowed. Did people really bow to her? Huh. That was weird.
"I'm not really comfortable with all of that yet," she admitted to them. "So let's just sit down and talk, okay?"
They looked uncertainly at her and then followed her instructions. Anna felt a little uncomfortable, too. She wasn't used to ordering people around. She as an accountant, after all.
"Well, I don't know what you were told, so, I'm going to tell you the truth. I don't think Alexander wants word of this getting out just yet, so I hope you'll keep this a secret."
"I guess I'm a dream-walker," she said shrugging. "But I don't have the 'control people's subconscious' ability as far as I know. Instead I have visions and the dreams. My visions are really...powerful. Actually," she shuddered a little, "they're awful. When I'm awake they're incredibly real and so far they've only been of disturbing things. Right now I'm having a vision about a human girl who was abducted. I believe that Kieran has initiated an investigation on this, too, since he witnessed the event."
"Yes, Miss," said a clean-cut blond man with chocolate eyes. "We were part of the investigation on his team when we were selected by the Ancient One to assist you."
Angel felt her heart flutter once again. Cael was very thorough. God she loved him!
"Perfect. Well, I spoke with her in a dream yesterday. Her name is Alexis Murray." She handed the file to the blond vampire. "She said that she's approximately two hours out of the city. She's being used for blood and for sex. In my dream, her fingers were already cold, so I think we're running out of time." She looked at them imploringly. "I'm doing my best to find her and if I have another vision during the night I'll call you at once. That's why you've been selected. You're going to help me chase down my visions, and right now, that means saving Alexis."