Reese Ch. 05bykalamazoo707©
Alex paced the entire length of her large one bedroom apartment. She was experiencing feelings that she thought that she had laid to rest. Guilt was at the top of the list. The guilt wasn't about being with another man- she had been there and done that. It was about Rob's death. He had wanted her to go on that trip with him.
"Come on, it'll be good for us," he coaxed. "On the way back, we can go to France or any place that we want."
She had been tempted and was actually going to go until she got a phone call from work. It wasn't a command, but a request for a favor. If she agreed, it would look good in her file. So instead of going with her husband, she took a flight out to Paris, France. He had been disappointed, but it was short lived when they agreed to meet in Paris. She wiped away tears as she remembered kissing him goodbye. She could feel his hands on her ass as he pulled her tight against his erection and ground against her. In that moment, she almost changed her mind and went with him.
She continued to pace as she remembered their last time together. She ended up missing her flight and took one that left the next day. They made love several times that night and each time, she almost decided to go with him. It was Rob that put her internal argument to rest.
"Alex, it's alright. I'll only be there for a week and I'll meet you in Paris."
"I should have gone with you," she murmured. "I could have protected you."
She pulled on an errant strand of hair and then tucked it behind her ear. She didn't think that she could do it again. She didn't think that she could allow someone that she cared about risk his life alone. The problem was that he told her nothing other than that there were other vampires involved.
"Think Alex!" she said to herself. "You're a damned intelligence officer!"
She wracked her brain trying to come up with a way to inconspicuously get information and came down to one option- the woman who was following her. She had to know something that would help her get started. The other question was when and where whatever was happening was going to take place. She glanced at the clock and decided to call Reese. Maybe she could talk him out of his plan. The phone actually rang before she reached it.
"Whatever you're thinking of doing, don't do it," Reese soft baritone said. "You gave me your word that you would stay out of harm's way."
When she didn't speak, he continued.
"I know that this must be difficult for you, but Alex; you mustn't interfere. This is something that I have to do and I must do it alone."
"Tell me why," Alex demanded. "Tell me why you have to do this. Explain to me why you can't let this go."
Reese patiently waited for her to finish before he replied.
"Just as you took an oath to protect your country from harm, I made an oath to avenge those who have been taken from me. I must finish this and when it's over; we can begin our lives together. I promise that I will tell you everything. Until then I need for you to trust that I will come back alive and that you will stay safe."
Alex didn't say anything- she didn't want to make that promise. She knew what would happen if she didn't. Instead of one guard, there would be more.
"Will you at least tell me when this thing is happening?" she asked.
"Soon," Reese replied.
"What kind of backup do you have?" Alex asked trying to glean any information from him that she could.
"I have enough," Reese replied.
"You're lying!" Alex yelled into the phone. "You're going to do this alone!"
"Shut the hell up and listen to me," she hissed. "You are committing suicide because of something that you think you have to do. Alright, I get it- you can't let it go, but does it have to be now? How long have you been looking for these people? A long time right? You hunted them down one by one. Why can't you keep doing that? I could help you without exposing myself if that's your concern. I have contacts that you don't have."
"They will all be in one place," Reese said. "That may never happen again."
"So what?" Alex challenged. "They're immortal aren't they? It isn't as if they're going to die of old age or disease. Think about what you're doing."
"Cara- sweetheart, I give you my word that I will return..."
"Bull shit! You can't make a promise like that! And don't you dare treat me as if I'm some woman that needs to be coddled with assurances!"
Reese took a deep breath and tried to ignore the tingling in his groin. He liked the fact that she wasn't afraid to challenge him and could only imagine what making love to her after a fight would be like.
"Talk to me!" Alex yelled into the phone.
Reese took a moment to really listen not to her words, but the emotion behind them. There was genuine concern, fear and even a little love; but there was something else- guilt. But he didn't know why. He hadn't asked her about the details of her husband's death and wondered if that had anything to do with it. It was something that he had planned to ask her about later when he told her about his wife and children, but it looked as if it couldn't wait.
"Alex, I am coming to you and we'll talk face to face. I promise you that I will tell you as much as time allows. May I come to your apartment?"
"I'll be here," Alex replied and slammed the phone down so hard that the table shook.
Elena tried to stay in her small room as much as possible. It really didn't matter-they always found her. She was to the point where she realized that she was better off being on the move. Her latest visitor had just left with a friend. Both of them had satisfied smiles on their faces with their only regret being that they could only use her mouth and hands.
She took a long hot shower and brushed her teeth so hard that her gums bled. She could have cleaned her mouth with a thought, but emotionally; she needed to go through the physical motions of it. She was surprised at how much it really helped. She removed the soaked black string from around her waist and replaced it with another one. She was about to leave the room when the door opened.
"The master wants to see you," a male guard said with a hint of regret.
"What does he want?" Elena asked.
"How would I know?" the guard replied, "but I know what I want," he said rubbing the front of his slacks that contained a huge bulge.
"We'd better go," Elena said. "You know that he doesn't like to be kept waiting."
The guard hesitated. He was clearly debating whether a suck off by Elena was worth his master's anger.
"Let's go,' he said gruffly. "We have an appointment when I bring you back to your room."
Elena's stomach roiled with nausea at the thought. Since the time of her demotion, she had developed empathy for those that she used to help Cristiano abuse and torture for entertainment. She even felt for the new slaves that were in the process of being trained. It struck her as funny that when she was being trained she distanced herself from the others. After all, she was Cristiano's mate and had her own personal trainers both male and female. They were hard on her, but she didn't think that it was horrible. Now she knew what they had gone through. Cristiano made her go through a shortened version of the training program often retraining her himself.
"You have become complacent," he snarled after he claimed that she gave him a less than satisfactory rimming and blow job. After paddling her until she couldn't even cry, he made her practice on him for hours. When he grew tired, he called in some of the male staff. That day she had to be carried back to her room and even then she was used in every way possible.
As she followed the guard to Cristiano's suite, she wondered what new humiliation he had devised for her. There was nothing to punish her for- she hadn't... she quickly changed her line of thought before it went any further.
"You almost fucked up," Cristiano whispered in her head. "It's unfortunate that you didn't exercise this kind of control before."
Elena flinched at his almost reasonable tone. She knew from experience that this was when he was the most unpredictable. Anything could happen when he was like this and that included him granting her clemency. She had seen him forgive slaves before and then restore them to their previous positions. Of course that occurred after a punishment, but punishment was a small price to pay to be forgiven.
They stopped in front of the door that led to Cristiano's suite. Elena tried to stop the pounding of her heart and tried to hope for the best. She jumped when she heard Cristiano's voice boom an "enter!" the guard opened the door, stepped aside and motioned for her to go in.
Cristiano stood by the large picture window in the nude. Even though she was nothing more than a slave, Elena enjoyed the view of his strong back and tight ass. She remembered how she loved to run her hands through the long dark hair that fell mid back and how he had loved having it yanked on while he came. She took a step back when he turned to look at her with glittering dark eyes. Without being told to, she dropped to all fours and crawled to him stopping when she was close enough to touch him.
"What is this I hear about you taking measures to avoid performing your duties?" he asked mildly.
Elena grimaced. She wasn't here to be forgiven. She was in trouble.
"My lord, I have serviced all who requested it of me," Elena replied with her head bowed.
"Is that so?" Cristiano asked as he reached down and grabbed her roughly by her hair. "I have been getting reports that you hide in your room and only come out during the time when there are few out and about. Are you saying that this isn't true?"
"I- I only wanted a little time to myself so that I could bathe..."
"So it is true," he interrupted. "Don't bother with excuses or lies because I know that it's true. I have seen it myself. The unfortunate thing is that I was actually considering granting you clemency."
Even though it hurt, Elena looked up at him and knew that he was lying. He was toying with her. He laughed when he saw that she hadn't fallen for his ruse. He released her hair with a shove that sent her sprawling.
"What am I going to do about you?" He asked as he walked around her in a slow circle. "It seems that you still haven't learned your place so here is what I'm going to do; I'm going to give you a chance to redeem yourself."
Elena's heart leapt at the mention of the word 'redeem'. Maybe she would get off lightly.
"There are many who haven't experienced the talents of your mouth," Cristiano said as she stood in front of her with his rigid cock in his hand. "I plan to rectify that. In fact, I'm going to go a step further- I'm rescinding the order that only your mouth can be used. For the next twenty four hours, every part of your delectable body is available for use. The gala is a little more than a week away so you'll be healed up and will be nice and tight by then."
"Cristiano- my lord- please! I apologize for my failure..."
He wasn't listening. With one hand he grabbed an arm and began dragging her to his bed. Before she knew what was happening, she was on the bed face down. Tears ran down her face as she realized what Cristiano had planned for her. Even as she began to beg for forgiveness, he rammed into her unprepared ass with a grunt that grated on her nerves. After what seemed to be an eternity had passed, he came with a bellow and then a grunt. He lay on top of her for several minutes before moving. There was a time when she felt comforted by his weight, but not now. All she felt was disgust and hatred. Finally, he rolled off of her
"Get out," he growled not looking at her. "Get back to your room and prepare yourself. You have fifteen minutes."
Elena stumbled from the bed and past the guard that was waiting for her. She already knew who would use her first. Once again a prayer came to her unbidden. This time instead of not completing it; she prayed and hoped that god was listening.
Reese hung up and tried to decide what to do about Alex. He knew that she wouldn't be able to keep her word and stay out of harm's way. He did concede that she had made a few valid points. The biggest one was why did it have to happen now? She was right in saying that he had an eternity to find them- but... he wanted it done. He wanted it done so that he could go away with her on her on the back of his bike to parts unknown.
As far as he could see, he had two options. Include her in on the plan which was unthinkable or lock her away somewhere until it was over but... what if he let her in on the planning? It would make her feel as though she was doing something and as she said, she had contacts that he didn't have. He didn't like it. Alex wouldn't be satisfied with just being in on the planning. Before he left the house, he called Leo and left a message for him. Maybe if he told her that he had back up she would settle down and keep her promise to stay out of the way. Even as he thought it, he knew that it was wishful thinking. That left locking her up but she was his mate, not some pawn in his mission.
"Shit," he cursed as he recognized that his only option was to talk with her and hope that she kept her word. He gave brief thought to compulsion but quickly discarded the idea. For one thing, he wasn't sure that it would work and even if it did; he didn't know how long it would last. Then there was the anger and trust factor to deal with if he either locked her up or compelled her. He knew that if she were in serious danger he would do what he had to do to keep her safe. "I wonder..." he mused.
Leo called just as he was about to leave. He quickly told Leo what he wanted making sure that he understood that it wasn't a demand for repayment; but a request.
"I know that you say that I owe you nothing," Leo said, "but I do. All of us do. Most of us want to help you if you'll allow us to. All you have to do is tell us what you need and it will be done."
"You don't know what I want," Reese said.
"It doesn't matter," Leo replied.
"What if what I ask you to do cost you your life?"
"Then it does," Leo replied. "I lived to see Paolo Ross die for what he did to my wife. That is all that I want and if I die helping you, I'll see her again now tell me what it is you need from me."
Although it was the answer that he had expected, Reese was touched. He also understood where Leo was coming from. It was how he felt before he met Alex. It was the one thing that had kept him going for all of these years. His conscience wouldn't allow him to let Leo make such an important decision without thinking about it.
"I don't know yet," Reese said. "Take tonight to think about things and I'll call you tomorrow evening."
"I don't need to think about it," Leo replied, "but I will do as you ask."
Reese hung up and got ready to leave. He stopped and made another phone call- this time to Lewis, Edgar's father.
"What do you know?" he asked without saying hello.
"Nothing more than I've already told you," Lewis replied. "How is my son?"
"Did you speak with him today?" Reese asked impatiently.
"Then you know how he is," Reese said with growing impatience. "Call me at this number as soon as you know anything and I don't care what time it is or how minor the detail. Do you understand? I want to know everything as soon as you know."
"I want to talk to Edgar again," Lewis said firmly.
In response, Reese hung up waited. A few seconds later, the phone rang. He answered before the ring had a chance to finish.
"The next time you call this number it had better be with information about the ball," he said coldly and hung up. He waited another few seconds before leaving. Lewis had gotten the message.
Vangie looked at Donatello from the corner of her eye. He was anxious about the ball, but he was even more nervous about talking to Emilio. She knew that he didn't like the man, but this went far beyond dislike-it was pure hatred. Finally she asked him about it.
"Why do you hate him so much?" she asked one night as they were waiting for their computers to finish the security checks.
"I don't hate him," Donatello replied a tad defensively.
"Yes you do," Vangie challenged. "Now tell me why. If we're going to work with him, I want to know everything about him including anything that you think might be a weakness."
"I have no real reason as to why I feel toward him as I do," Donatello said after a several minutes had passed. "He wasn't any worse than the rest of us except for his blatant disrespect for life. I was no angel as you know, but him? He was an arrogant prick who felt that he could take any female that he wanted even if she was attached."
"Who did he take from you?" Vangie asked putting the pieces together. Donatello's hatred was due to nothing more than male jealousy.
"It doesn't matter," Donatello said as he checked the progress of the computer systems check.
"It matters," Vangie countered.
"Her name was Calandra which is Italian for skylark. She once told me that her father chose that name at her birth when he first heard her cry. He said that her cry sounded like that of a beautiful bird. Her family was prominent merchants in our city and I should have known better, but I pursued her. Her father was Humberto Albertini and as I said; they were very prominent."
"Was she beautiful?" Vangie asked.
"Yes- she was, but not as beautiful as you are."
"I wasn't asking because I needed reassurance," Vangie said matter of factly. "I just wanted to know what she looked like."
"She was small like you," Donatello said with a smile. "Her eyes were a beautiful brown; her hair was as dark as her eyes. Like you she was curious about everything and had no interests in things that were considered ladylike. Her skin was pale and without blemish and no- I never touched her as a man touches a woman. Does my description suffice or do I need to continue?" Donatello asked teasing her.
"That will do," Vangie asked. "How did you meet her?"
"I saw her walking through the city with her servants," Donatello replied. "I was but a poor student at the time and I knew that I didn't stand a chance with her, but I wanted her. I made my way to her small group and did something to catch her eye. For me to initiate conversation with her was impossible, but she could speak to me. I made myself trip in front of her and made a show of being hurt. Her reaction would tell me what kind of person she was. Immediately she started to rush toward me, but one of her servants stopped her. I can still hear her asking if I was hurt. I told her no and thanked her for her concern. What is your name? She asked. I couldn't believe it! It didn't matter that she was being polite- she asked me for my name. I was so surprised that I stuttered over my words which made her laugh. I was instantly smitten."
"Where does Emilio fit into all of this?" Vangie asked.
"It you'll be patient- I'll tell you," Donatello replied teasingly. Vangie loved a good story. "After that first meeting, I looked for her. If I saw her, I did something to draw attention to myself. She would always speak to me in that same soft, sweet voice that she did the first time that we met. It wasn't long before I realized that she felt the same way about me, but what could we do? I was still a long way from completing my training and I wasn't about to take her away from her home with no means of supporting her. But more importantly, I wasn't from nobility, but Emilio was."
"Wh.... Sorry," Vangie said when Donatello looked at her. He hated to be interrupted when he was talking.
"Anyway, I found out that she was to marry. At the time I didn't know who it was, but when I found out; I tried to think of a way to get her away from him."