When Worlds Collide Ch. 11byJazCullen©
Graves hissed loudly. "Lacey?" he barked out.
The other vampire shook his head. "The black haired one," he answered.
Graves pursed his lips. So the cunt lawyer thought she could escape the oncoming battle, did she? She, who had instigated this whole thing by poisoning his woman against him. "You followed them?" He held his breath as he waited for Aben to confirm that he'd had the brains to follow the bitch, letting it out slowly when he did so.
"There are only a handful of young dogs there, Sir. Mostly older ones and their young. It appears to be an attempt to evacuate the weaker of the pack members."
A chilling smile crossed Graves' beautiful face as his eyes flashed with delight. "Take a couple of younglings with you, Aben. Slaughter the entire camp. Not one dog lives. Am I clear on that?"
The other vampire grinned with excitement, his brown hair swaying as he called to two younglings instantly. "What about the bitch? Do you want me to bring her back to you?"
"Kill her," Graves said softly. "Only make her suffer, Aben. Keep her alive until the very last. Make sure she sees everyone else die first and before you rip out her throat, tell her I warned her what would happen if she fucked with me. Make sure she knows in no uncertain terms that I am responsible for her death before you end her life."
The feral glitter in Aben's eyes made Graves' smile grow wider. He was a particularly vicious vampire, delighting in inflicting pain. Graves has no doubt that Jennifer Swift would scream herself hoarse by the time the brown haired vampire was done with her.
He watched the three vampires disappear into the night before he turned to find Sandro. "You know what to do?" he asked quietly. "I'm trusting you with this, Sandro. Don't let me down."
"It will be as you command, Sir," the blond vampire said reverently, his big body thrumming with excitement. He turned to slip away into the night, halting when his boss called him back.
"The conversation with Demetri in my office. It didn't happen," Graves said quietly, catching his gaze and holding it until he saw understanding cross the other man's face.
"But you've told everyone," Sandro said, his tone shocked.
"That was before Lacey turned me into a laughing stock by mating with a dog," Graves hissed furiously. "Demetri Bozic isn't going to compound my humiliation by holding me to ransom by the balls too. If anyone on his little 'list' gets in your way, kill them."
Sandro nodded, accepting his orders with a smile. Killing Lacey would be so much easier if he didn't have to be careful around any of the other women involved with the enemy vampires. He spun around and vanished into the night.
Graves watched him go and then strode into the forest. "Kill everyone," he ordered loudly. Vampires and humans began to run, blending into the trees as he hissed loudly, his talons growing to wicked points, his fangs dropping to graze his lips. "Here I come, Lacey," he whispered softly. "Better start running now, little dog, because if I catch you I'm going to rip your fucking heart out, bitch."
The vampires dropped from the trees so fast the first of Graves' younglings went down without much of a fight. The defensive line ignored the humans, concentrating on keeping the attacking vampires away from the compound as instructed.
Nors hissed and ripped the head from a youngling, his eyes burning with excitement as the fresh scent of blood filled the night air. The sounds of screaming began to fill the night as his red hair swayed in the wind. He dropped the dead vampire and launched himself at the next one coming at him. As he ripped out the man's throat his eyes were scanning the dark forest trying to catch a glimpse of Graves. His fury at the ancient was boundless, his need to kill him consuming him. He knew he was merely one in a very long line of people who wanted to kill the other vampire but he wouldn't forgo the opportunity of doing it himself if he could find the slimy bastard.
He despatched the vampire in his hands and leapt onto the back of another who was gaining the upper hand against one of his people. He ripped the head from the vampire's shoulders and dropped it negligently to the ground. There was no sign of Graves which meant he was up to something underhand.
"Where's Caleb?" he ground out to the vampire he had just helped. The other man didn't speak, merely nodded his head backwards. Nors headed in the indicated direction.
Caleb turned as Nors approached, his hands bloody as he finished with the youngling in his hands.
"Graves is up to something. There's no sign of him," the huge red haired vampire announced when he reached him.
Caleb frowned slightly, looking around for Demetri but seeing no sign of his friend. He hissed in annoyance. If there was one person who could outmanoeuvre Graves it was Demetri and he couldn't find him among the heaving mass of feuding vampires. A startled whimper caught his hearing and he turned back to see Nors holding a struggling Were by the throat.
"Nors!" he barked loudly and his friend dropped the struggling animal to the ground. The Were shifted immediately, transforming into a young woman who looked barely old enough to have remained at the compound. Caleb immediately dropped to her side, brushing her short blonde hair back from her face as she struggled to catch her breath. "Shh, you're safe, little one," he said gently. "What are you doing here child? You should be at the evacuation site."
She stared up at the vampire with frightened eyes before she swallowed hard. She knew she had done a foolish thing coming back to the compound but all her family had stayed behind and she didn't want to be apart from them at the evacuation site. She thought she recognised the beautiful vampire before her. She thought he was Caleb, her Alpha's friend but the large red haired vampire beside him stole her voice from her she was so frightened of him.
"What is your name, child?" Caleb tried again, struggling to keep his impatience out of his tone. It was clear the young girl shouldn't be there. She was no warrior, just a frightened child barely passed into womanhood. He had to find out why she was there and how best to get her to safety.
"Ashleigh," she whispered softly. "And you're Caleb?" She sighed with relief when he nodded gently, and stroked her cheek lightly. Her brown eyes suddenly filled with tears. "You have to help them, Caleb. Please! I came back to be with my family who stayed at the compound. I saw the vampires arrive. They know where the evacuation site is. They sent vampires there to kill everyone!"
Caleb struggled to keep his expression neutral as rage raced through him. He gently picked the girl up and turned to Nors. "Protect her," he ordered holding the girl out to his friend.
Nors glared at him but accepted the burden being passed to him. "What am I supposed to do with her?" he demanded looking down at the frightened face staring up at him.
"Protect her," Caleb reiterated, sparing a gentle smile for the girl. "You will be safe with Nors. Do as he says. I will arrange protection for the evacuation site. How many vampires went, Ashleigh?"
"Three," she answered, her voice a little stronger as her fear scent decreased slightly. Caleb nodded and then turned and vanished into the war zone surrounding them.
Nors stared down at the fragile little thing in his arms and snorted loudly. "Protect her," he muttered darkly under his breath as he peeled away from the fight and ran quickly towards the compound.
Caleb finally found Demetri. He knew he would find the twins close by and he wasn't proven wrong. He paused and watched as his three friends waded into what had to be a minimum of ten vampires trying to get around them. He was relieved that he didn't have a weak stomach because watching those three take apart Graves' lackeys was not a pretty sight.
"Graves has sent three vampires to the evacuation site," he called to Demetri as his friend finished ripping out the throat of his last victim.
"Fuck!" Demetri spat furiously, his eyes turning into chips of ice. "Alexei, get over there and protect them!"
"Why me?" Alexei hissed loudly, his big body coiling with anger as he glared at his friend.
"Oddly enough, I trust the Weres safety more in your hands than I do his," Demetri barked sparing a quick glance at Andrei. His friend was smiling as he used a couple of severed heads as missiles, lobbing them in the direction of the oncoming vampires. Caleb followed his gaze and fought down a shiver. He had initially been surprised at Demetri choosing Alexei for the task but watching Andrei, he could now understand. The seemingly more congenial vampire was obviously a lot less stable than his brother.
Alexei hissed in annoyance again but straightened up. "I told you I wasn't going to be bloody babysitting," he grumbled loudly, holding up his hand when Demetri took a step towards him, a snarl on his face. "Alright, I'm going!"
Andrei laughed softly at his brother's disgruntled expression. "Be quick about it and you can come back and join in with the fun," he teased before he streaked away and launched himself at a youngling who had gotten too close.
Alexei spun on his heels and blurred into the trees. If they were just hearing about the vampires then they would be on the evacuation site before he got there. He was tasked to protect the dogs so he would do so to the best of his ability, no matter how abhorrent he found the task.
The human army streaked into the compound, loud battle cries ringing from their mouths. Rafe idly watched them thinking how stupid they were to announce their position like that, then he sprang forward and landed on the first available man he came across. His teeth sank into the man's neck even as his claws raked at his stomach. The kill was quick and clean, the man forgotten instantly as he moved onto the next one in line.
The sounds of screams began to fill the night air as the pack descended on the human males. There was short bursts of gunfire, loud whines of pain but everything was a blur to Rafe. His rage at being denied Graves filled his soul. He took that rage out on the men before him, scything his way through them with murderous intent. They were here to take his mate from him. They were here to lay their filthy hands on her and hurt her.
One by one men fell before him without a sign of regret on his part. . Once he would have hesitated, once he would have felt crushing guilt for taking a life but not now. Not when they wanted to harm his Lacey, to hurt his very reason for existing.
The pack was holding strong against the humans. It was a pretty uneven fight even with their guns. The men moved too slowly. It didn't matter how much training they had, they would never be able to outthink the pure, animal instinct of the wolves.
Rafe watched his Alpha take down another man, Mike and Pete close by savaging their own opponents. The pack moved as a unit, tightly defending the house. Rafe looked for a vampire, any vampire so he could kill it dead and feel some satisfaction that he had at least managed to kill one of Graves' cronies. But there were none in range. Caleb's line must be holding to keep them at bay.
He saw Loretta disappear around the back of the house and wondered where she was going. She had broken the line of defence. His attention was diverted by a sharp sting to his shoulder. His large head whipped around and he saw the sharp knife sticking into him. The man before him grinned for a second and then gargled in terror as Rafe ripped his throat out. He shifted briefly so he could pull the offending knife from his shoulder and then shifted back to wolf form. The wound wasn't bad. It would probably heal within minutes. He completely forgot about Loretta as his rage sparked again and he once more turned to dive into the thick of the battle.
Loretta picked up the foreign scent and stiffened, her eyes intent as she stared off to the right. She couldn't see anything but something itched at her and she turned to regard the fight. The pack was holding strong so she streaked towards the nagging scent which was irritating her, rounding the back of the house just in time to see a huge blond vampire drop a dead Were to the ground.
She howled loudly, reacting instinctively as she launched herself at the bloodsucker, her claws raking down the vile creature's back. The strength of the vampire stunned her as it reached back and grabbed her by the scruff of her neck before she could sink her teeth into his neck. Her body flew into the air as the vampire pulled her over backwards and slammed her into the building. Bones crushed instantly and her breath wheezed out painfully.
"Mmmmm, a female," the vampire crooned softly. "Did you really think you were up to the task of taking me on when I've just killed three of your little male dogs?" He sounded amused and even laughed softly when she tried to snarl at him and it came out as a tortured whimper instead. Loretta knew she was staring death in the eyes. She tried to send out a mental call to her Alpha but she was suddenly flying through the air again, crashing hard against a large tree. She felt the pain of more bones breaking, knew her body was shattered beyond healing.
Sandro watched the wolf bitch slide to the forest floor and smiled. He turned his cold gaze back to his task at hand, uncaring if the bitch still lived. His prey was so close to him now. He could smell her scent, smell the taint of dog on her. He laughed lightly and sprang upwards, crashing through the closed window.
A sharp pain in his chest surprised him when he entered the room. His eyes fixed on Lacey and another woman standing close to the door before he looked down at the small hand sticking inside his chest. His head turned lazily to the right and met the eyes of a little red haired youngling who was currently hissing at him like a little kitten. His lips curled into a small smile as he reached out and snapped the bitch's wrist cleanly in half.
Rhianna screamed as her wrist shattered. "Run!" she cried out in agony, her words cutting off as the blond vampire's large hand wrapped around her throat.
"Sandro!" Lacey screamed, her voice thick with fear for Rhianna as she watched her new sister dangling helplessly in his cruel grasp. "It's me you want, Sandro. I'm here. Come and get me!"
Rhianna tried to scream at Lacey to run again but the vampire's talons were digging painfully into her neck. She knew she was seconds away from losing her head, seconds away from breaking Caleb's heart. She kicked out hard, catching Sandro in his groin. He dropped her instantly, moving away from her and heading towards Lacey and Mara.
Rhianna knew his releasing her had nothing to do with her weak kick. The vampire was responding to Lacey's challenge. She dragged herself to her feet as blood poured down her throat and she threw herself onto the vampire's back. She tried to dig her talons into his eyes as she sank her fangs into his neck.
He roared in pain and crashed backwards, pummelling her against the wall and driving the breath from her body. She lost her hold on him and slid down the wall with a tortured groan. Rhianna waited for the death blow. She was too badly injured to avoid it. It would take a little time for her wounds to heal to allow her to fight back. But Sandro was turning away again, striding quickly from the room, following Mara and Lacey's retreating figures.
Mara prayed Graves' edict still stood, that the vampire would stop short of hurting her. He had disabled Rhianna so quickly. They wouldn't stand a chance against him. She didn't even know if Rhianna was still alive. The sight of the three snarling wolves at the head of the stairs gave her some hope as she grabbed Lacey's arm and pulled her to the side. They couldn't get downstairs with the wolves blocking the way so they huddled close to the banister, Mara placing her body in front of Lacey's.
Lacey tried to get around Mara but the other woman wouldn't let her. If she could reason with Sandro, talk to him, maybe she could stop the coming bloodshed. Her wolf was howling loudly inside her and she wanted to let her out but she didn't know how to, no one had shown her what to do.
"Stay behind me," Mara hissed softly. "We have to believe that he's more afraid of Demetri's wrath than he is of failing to achieve his task."
The vampire was on the landing now, the wolves attacking him simultaneously. He went down under the three snarling beasts and for a moment Lacey thought everything was going to be okay, that the wolves would be able to stop the killing machine coming for her.
Then one of the wolves howled in agony and she saw Sandro's fangs retract from the animal's neck. "Oh God, no!" she groaned in anguish as she watched the Were die instantly from the vampire venom injected into his blood stream.
Tears rolled down her face as the other two wolves met a similar fate, their anguished howls filling the house briefly before they too lay silent as Sandro rose back to his feet, his eyes intent on the two women. His flesh was torn from the wolves bites and their claws but it didn't appear to hamper him any as he smiled slowly.
"You didn't need to kill them!" Lacey screamed at him.
"No, I didn't," he laughed. "But I wanted to. And Richard was most keen that you suffered greatly, Lacey. I'll be sure to tell him how much anguish these dogs' death caused you." He took a step towards them and Mara swallowed down the bubble of fear which was building inside her.
"Stay back!" she ordered, her voice only slightly shaky as she held her hand up. "Demetri told you to stay away from me. If you want Lacey you're going to have to hurt me and you know he'll gut you slowly if you touch one hair on my head."
The blond vampire's smile widened but he halted his step for a moment, meeting her frightened eyes. She really was rather pretty. He could kind of see the appeal she had for the other vampire. He cocked his head to the side as he perused her thoughtfully for a long moment.
"Richard changed his mind," he said with a cruel smile on his face, watching the colour drain from the human woman. He so loved the scent of fear and the two women before him were suddenly bathing the area with theirs. It was so intoxicating he was tempted to play with them a little longer.
He stepped towards them again, smiling as they backed away from him. This was so easy. He didn't even need to touch the silly little bitch, her own fear was going to be her downfall. He slowly corralled them to right where he wanted them to be and then paused again. He watched Lacey's eyes and saw her decision to move a fraction of a second before she did so. Perfect!
Rhianna dragged her healing body from the bedroom, trying not to look at the dead Weres. She didn't have time to mourn them, to think about the sacrifice they had made for them. Her quick gaze took in the precarious position her friends were in and her heart stopped. "Sweet Jesus, no!" she screamed just as Lacey darted to the right coming out from behind Mara to place herself in front of the vampire.
In slow motion Rhianna watched Sandro move, batting aside Lacey easily as he loomed over Mara. "Boo!" he said softly and Mara instinctively stepped backwards, meeting clear air. A look of horror crossed Mara's beautiful face as it registered in her mind that she was at the head of the stairs. An instant later she began falling backwards.
"Mara!" Rhianna screamed in anguish as she watched her friend fall.
Time still moved in slow motion as Rhianna heard Mara start to scream in terror and the blond vampire spun around to reach for Lacey who was lying stunned at his feet. Mara or Lacey? She couldn't save both. Whose heart was she about to break, Rafe's or Demetri's?