A Long Walk Home Ch. 14byJazCullen©
The fire of his blood rushing through her was an aphrodisiac like no other. She pulled again, her movements becoming more frantic as she raced towards completion again; knowing this time would be the best because he was with her every step of the way.
She had barely sealed his wound when she was once more flipped onto her back and he was taking her with long, hard thrusts. Her legs wrapped around him and she moved sensually against him, her ragged breathing matching his as he thrust harder and faster.
Lights danced before her eyes and she screamed his name as her world splintered completely and she was just a mass of sensation. She could hear him roaring out her name as he emptied himself inside her, his body shuddering with pleasure as they became one for a brief, precious moment.
"We didn't do that for almost three days?" The incredulous note in Rhianna's voice, as she gasped the words out between laboured breaths, had Caleb laughing loudly as he cradled her close to his body.
"Rest assured it won't happen again," he chuckled softly, relaxing in the afterglow of their lovemaking and the joy of having his Annie back in his arms.
She snuggled into his arms as he pulled a blanket over them and then dropped a lazy kiss on her parted lips. "You're right, love. It's hard to take a step back but I know I have to. Gard knows I'm here for him if he needs me."
He knew how hard it was for her to admit that and he kissed her again, this time a soft, gentle meeting of lips that conveyed just how much he loved her. "It'll work itself out, sweet one. Everything always does. He knows we're both here for him."
He closed his eyes and hoped fervently it would work itself out. It would crush his Annie if Gard was left alone, mated to a woman who rejected him. He would never find happiness if that happened and his woman's tender heart would ache for eternity for him.
You're going to meet her?" Freya's quiet question followed him as he slipped out of the Alpha's house.
"I'm going to the gallery," Dayton answered truthfully turning to look at her. "I'm hoping Rayne will show up but I don't know if she will." He saw no point in lying to her. She wouldn't like it but it was something she would have to come to terms with. He had every intention of convincing Rayne to stay if he could find her.
The cold mask was securely in place, her green eyes devoid of all expression as she looked down on him from the doorway. He could almost see the thoughts whirling inside her head. He wondered what she was thinking in that moment.
The mask vanished and a look of confusion crossed her face. "Why does this make me feel so angry, Dayton?"
He walked back up the steps until his face was level with hers. "You know why, Freya. You're just not in the right frame of mind to accept it yet." His voice was gentle, his hand reaching out to caress her cheek gently. "There's no rush. And you have nothing to be concerned about regarding Rayne. So why don't you kiss me goodbye and then head back in and spend some time with your family?"
She blinked slowly at him and then hesitantly leaned forward to brush her lips gently against his. Apart from that night in gallery, Dayton had always been the one to initiate the kisses they'd shared. This time he asked her for one, holding himself still as she brushed her mouth experimentally against his, feeling strange being the one in control of their small intimacies.
She didn't understand what his cryptic words meant but she did understand the need to taste him because it was all she could think about. His arms came around her and she deepened the kiss as he responded greedily to her, desire coursing through her body as their tongues duelled erotically.
He gently disentangled one of her arms from his neck, his mouth never leaving hers as he trailed her hand down his chest, over his stomach until he pressed her intimately against his groin. Her hand flexed against his hardness, her fingers curling around the throbbing erection straining against his jeans.
"That's why you have no need to be worried about Rayne," he breathed against her lips. "One kiss, Freya, that's all it takes from you to make me hard as steel, desperate for your touch."
A soft moan escaped her, liquid heat flooding between her thighs as his words washed over her and he groaned as she rubbed her hand against his body. He was so hard, so thick and long. She wanted to free him, to sink to her knees and taste him in her mouth.
He groaned again and reluctantly pulled away, his eyes so dark they looked almost black. "Remember that when your emotions become confused," he said gruffly. "Think one kiss and remember. I have to go now. I'll be back as soon as I can."
Freya held herself still, her breathing slightly ragged as she stared deeply into his eyes, reading a promise in their depths. "I will be here waiting," she finally said. They were simple words, appearing innocuous but it was a huge statement for her. She wondered if he realised that.
"My room's the second on the left on the first floor," he answered with a small smile.
Her heart fluttered and she turned her head to look back into the house. "That one?" She pointed to the room two doors down from the top of the stairs.
His smile widened. "That one," he confirmed with a glint in his eye.
She turned back to face him, her expression thoughtful. "Now I have a location to wait." She leaned forward and kissed him again, a gentle kiss that was a brief meeting of lips. Then she turned and headed back inside, closing the door behind her.
Dayton didn't know whether to laugh or cry. She was slowly coming to trust him and that filled him with such joy but his cock was now rock hard and extremely painful because of her kisses and he couldn't relieve that ache until after he'd found Rayne and helped her. With a rueful smile, he dug out his cell phone and dialled Rayne's number as he headed towards his Jeep.
The call went to voicemail but he'd been expecting it to because of their last conversation. He waited for the beep. "Dinner. I'm buying. Gallery. No need to dress up unless you really want to." He terminated the call and climbed into the Jeep. At least her last picnic hamper would get a second use even if she didn't show up. He headed out of the compound and away from his mate. He hoped he'd reassured Freya enough. He guessed he'd find out when he got back.
Rayne listened to the message for a second time and closed her cell. She wasn't sure what she was going to do. She'd barely moved out of her apartment since she'd fled from Gard. She was afraid he would be looking for her and decided that staying in one place would minimise the chances of him picking up her trail.
Her earlier conversation with Dayton had left her reeling. She was so happy for him and wanted to go to him, to see the life in his eyes as he let go of his past and embraced the future. But he had been angry with her too because she'd talked of leaving. He'd said some harsh things but she couldn't fault him for doing so. She was a coward, running from Gard even though she didn't even know why she was.
The children needed her. The pack needed her. They had offered her a home, something she'd craved all her life. And all she wanted to do was run as far away as she could. Even her cat was mad at her for leaving their mate.
She sighed deeply and threw herself down into her large, overstuffed armchair in her small sitting room. Dayton didn't sound angry any more in his voicemail and she did want to see him. Making her decision she dragged herself out of the armchair and walked the block and a half to the gallery.
The door was locked but the wall lights were on, the rug she'd brought the last time in the middle of the room. She let herself in with her key just as Dayton walked out of the back office. Instantly she could see the change in him. He looked so much more relaxed, younger even now that he wasn't holding his emotions in so rigidly. The smile he gave her lit up his entire face and she felt tears well up in her eyes. He looked happy.
"Wasn't sure whether you'd come or not," he admitted moving over to the rug and kneeling down on it. "You caught me off guard this afternoon. I'm sorry I came across so harsh."
"We've always told each other the truth," she sighed softly. "Even if we haven't always wanted to hear it." She sank down beside him and accepted the glass of champagne he handed her.
"To new beginnings," he toasted, clinking his glass to hers.
She stared at him wondering just whose new beginnings he was referring to. He held her gaze for a moment and then he rummaged in the basket again and began laying out the food.
"You were right, you know," he said as he worked. "About Freya. Did you know, Rayne?" His eyes met hers again and they positively shone with happiness.
She gasped loudly, shaking her head. "You and Freya?" She had known they had the power to heal each other but she hadn't expected them to be mates. Suddenly she understood the full importance of Dayton letting go of his past. "Where you with her; when you called the first time? Was she the friend you'd borrowed the cell phone from?"
He nodded and stuck a cracker into a salsa dip. "I'm taking it slow because she's not used to the whole love and adoration thing," he smiled taking a large bite out of the cracker and crunching enthusiastically. "She's coming to trust me so it's only a matter of time before we complete the mating."
Rayne was stunned at his news but pleasantly so. "Won't she have to...heal you so you can complete the mating?"
He laughed softly and took another sip of his drink. "Already taken care of as I was stupid enough to fall into a pit and sever my femoral artery. Freya found me and healed me. She's already had a bite out of me too and I'm still alive so we know everything's fine on that score."
She drained her glass and held it out for a refill, shock rippling through her as he casually spoke of almost dying, being healed by his mortal enemy before allowing her to bite him as he decided she was going to be his mate. All in a matter of days? It was making her head spin.
"Day, don't you think this is all happening too fast?" She couldn't keep the concern out of her voice.
"Not any faster than you finding your mate in Gard and then pissing off with your tail between your legs."
The stem of her champagne flute snapped in two, the bottom part piercing her palm and drawing blood. Her body went rigid with shock as her eyes locked on his. He was watching her intently, daring her to lie to him.
"How did you find out about that?"
He rose and headed into the office, coming back out with a first aid kit. "Rafe said Gard admitted to having contact with you. He speculated it could have been something romantic. Gard being your mate seemed the only logical explanation to me."
He removed the stem from her palm and quickly used the tweezers from the kit to pull out any glass shards before she healed. She cleaned her hand with some antibacterial wipes and cleaned up the mess she'd made as he put the kit away and returned with a new glass for her.
"What's got you spooked, Rayne?"
Her head dropped and she stared sightlessly at the rug. "I don't know," she whispered. "He calls to me, Day. Everything about him makes my blood pound in my veins and my heart beat so fast I'm afraid it will burst out of my chest. My cat claimed him during the heat of passion. I claimed him before I even got into his bed. And then something frightened me. My gut told me to flee and I couldn't stop myself from doing so. I made out it was just a casual fuck and that hurt him, made him mad. I haven't been back to the compound since."
Her misery was so strong that he reached out and pulled her down beside him stroking her cheek gently as they faced each other. "Well, speaking from a male perspective I can understand why he wouldn't have been too impressed with that parting shot," he said with a touch of amusement in his voice.
"You know you can't run from your mate, Rayne. You know we need you in the pack. Come home with me. I'll help you reach an understanding with this Gard if you need me to. You're not alone. I've told you that before. You'll never be alone as long as I live. And you have a mate waiting for you now too."
She shivered and closed her eyes, looking so vulnerable that he barely recognised the woman he'd known for over five decades. Finally her eyes opened and she nodded her agreement.
"How does Freya feel about us?" she asked suddenly. The vampire didn't strike her very much as the sharing kind. If she was going to be staying then she needed to know the lay of the land.
A smile crossed his face and his eyes danced with amusement. "She's as jealous as hell," he admitted smugly. "A sure sign that she's feeling the mating pull and will soon be mine."
Rayne snorted and rolled onto her back, muttering a curse under her breath. "Glad you're finding it so funny. I'm really not looking forward to having an Ancient vampire looking to rip my head off because she thinks I'm after you."
He laughed loudly and jumped to his feet. "All the more reason to mate with Gard; so she doesn't see you as competition. Come on, let's get back. I've got a hot date lined up for tonight."
Still muttering under her breath she helped him tidy up and Dayton was relieved to see the old Rayne appearing. He'd barely recognised the woman who'd first shown up at the gallery. He hoped this Gard character was going to treat her well because he'd have him to deal with if he hurt her in anyway. Not that he'd be able to do much against an Ancient vampire. Apart from sic Freya on him. That thought had him smiling, as did the one that she would be waiting for him in his room when he got home.
"Shift your ass, Rayne."
She arched an eyebrow at him and dumped the hamper in his arms before grabbing his car keys from the desk. "I think I preferred you when you were a manic depressive," she said snippily. "I'll wait in the car."
Grinning, Dayton tossed the hamper in the office and closed and locked up. He was excited to return to the pack and also excited to have Rayne returning with him.
It didn't take them long to get back to the compound, Dayton all but bounding up the steps into the house. He sensed immediately that something was wrong and he stiffened as he saw the strangers in the sitting room. He knew they were vampires rather than Weres and it was easy enough to guess which two were Caleb and Rhianna and which was Gard.
Rayne walked in at the back of him and froze instantly. Her startled gasp was loud in the silence, her eyes strangely not on Gard but on the other two vampires.
Rafe stood from the sofa and motioned them to come in. It was only as they entered that Dayton noticed Freya leaning against the far wall, her eyes on Caleb Cullen but quickly swinging to his as he entered. He immediately wanted to go to her, Rafe's words from earlier causing him to want to protect her.
"Rayne, Dayton, you haven't been formally introduced to my sister Annie and her partner Caleb. I believe you already know Gard, Rayne." Silence greeted Rafe's introduction.
Dayton was torn between going to Freya and staying beside Rayne. She was so still at his side; he could barely hear her breathing. His eyes met Freya's and she nodded slightly, letting him know she was okay.
"I know you," Rayne suddenly whispered, her gaze still on Caleb and Annie. "How can I know you?"
Rhianna stood, walking towards her and stopping when she close enough to reach out and touch her. Her lavender eyes seemed to glow in the lamplight flooding the room and then a tear slid silently down her cheek.
"It's her," she said softly, her voice catching. "I'd recognise those eyes anywhere. Even as an infant your eyes were already remarkable, that thread of silver captivating around the green of your iris. You've walked alone a long time, Sarayne."
Rayne's knees buckled and Dayton caught her before the vampire could lay hands on her. He immediately blocked her from the other woman, the huge auburn haired vampire growling loudly in the background.
"Annie, what the fuck?" Rafe bit out. "You said she was in no danger."
"She isn't," Rhianna cried, confusion crossing her face.
Dayton was easing Rayne further away, holding her tightly as he growled a warning at the room. "You used me to bring her here?" he roared furiously at Rafe, all his instincts to protect coming to the fore.
"Everyone calm down." Caleb's quiet tone didn't lessen the impact of his words. It had the desired effect the room falling silent for a moment.
Rayne appeared to be in some kind of shock, her gaze unfocused as Dayton held her close. "Rayne, talk to me," he demanded choosing to ignore the others. "Come on, snap out of it. Anyone would think you were some weak lily-livered woman the way you're carrying on." His tone was derisive, designed to catch her attention.
It worked as she slowly focused on him, blinking almost in slow motion as she gathered her wits about her. "I remember, Day," she choked out. "I was so young I shouldn't be able to remember it but I do. Mama was crying. We were in a cold, dark place and Mama was holding me so tightly and I could hear Daddy crying too. Then a pretty lady came and she took me and passed me to a man. I wanted Mama so I reached for her but she was holding another me but it wasn't me."
Her breath caught in a sob and it was only his strong grip that held her up as the memories assaulted her. "The man took me and ran away. I was crying because I wanted Mama but he wouldn't take me back no matter how much I cried. He ran for a long time and he kept falling down but he didn't drop me. Not until the last time he fell down."
Her voice turned hoarse her breathing ragged as she pushed around Dayton staring first at Rhianna and then at Caleb. And then she turned to Gard, met his hard, lavender gaze and she crumpled to the floor with a cry of anguish. "You left me," she wailed staring at him in disbelief. "I was a child, a baby and you left me alone in the middle of a dark forest. How could you do that, Gard? How could you abandon me? Leave me helpless?"
The vampire moved, hissing a warning as Dayton tried to intervene. The tension in the room exploded and Rafe immediately came to Dayton's side as Freya leapt across the room to land in a crouch in front of him. Her talons clicked together as she dared Gard to come anywhere near her wolf.
Gard ignored her and the others dropping down beside Rayne and pulling her into his arms. He said nothing, merely held her as she wept agonising sobs, his arms so tight around her he was afraid he would mark her soft skin. But he couldn't let her go, not when her heart was breaking and he was the cause of that anguish.
Fury oozed from every pore in Rafe's body as he glared at his sister. "You'd better have a good explanation for this, Rhianna. Because if I don't like what I hear I swear to God you will no longer be welcome in this compound."
"Back off, Rafe." Caleb's voice was like a bucket of cold ice being thrown over the entire room. "Don't you blame her for this or use emotional blackmail against her. You and I will have a serious issue if you do."
"Stop it," Rhianna moaned softly. "Both of you." Her eyes turned to her brother with a silent plea in them. "None of us mean any harm to Rayne. You wanted answers for her. Well, the answer is she is Sarayne, the first born hybrid child, the one we tried to save when her parents were destroyed by The Council. We told you our history. We believed the child perished when Gard came back to try and help us. She was less than eighteen months old at the time. How could we know she would retain enough memories of then?"
Rafe glared at her a moment longer and then he frowned deeply and looked down at Rayne. "Is she strong enough to cope with this, Dayton?"