Her Heart, His Prey Ch. 04 Pt. 1bySongsofaSiren©
A NOTE FROM ME:
I am so sorry. To everyone who wanted me to continue, this is for you (to those who didn't, well, too bad). School and family have kept me away from you all for far too long, so I'm only just now getting the first part of chapter four to you. It's not much, but it is something.
If you notice any errors or mistakes, please don't try to hard to find ways to criticize me for them, because I scarcely had time to look over this part before submitting. But you get answers. You get so many answers, and maybe a little confrontation between Marlow and some guy named David. Charlotte's bringing out her claws in this partand so am I. I have clearly neglected you all and for that I am sorry.
But I'm still here. Nothing could keep me away from you all (I swear, if I die my ghost will probably continue writing for you).
Hugs and kisses,
After the Breakup
I sat on my lopsided sofa, still wearing my dress from the rehearsal, tears running unashamedly down my face. David and... Charlotte? How could she do this to me? What the hell was she thinking? She was only eighteen, and... and...
Oh what was the use? Charlotte was far prettier than me. She was tall, her long legs caught the eyes of men every time we went out, and she was far more sociable than I. Cathia was the closest friend I had, and other than her I could probably count all of my "friends" on my fingers. I blamed my job. Being a photographer meant you didn't get to spend much time in one place, so I was out travelling quite frequently.
Although our faces were shaped the same, she had endearing, chocolate brown eyes. Mine were a yellow-green that, while attractive, were nothing of notice. Her blonde hair was beautifully styled, kept short in a way that made her look more mature. I'd never had the heart to cut my long hair. It reached my waist now and still held its curl, making me look like a little girl.
It was so embarrassing, having to go back into the rehearsal, having to announce that the wedding was off to my entire family, and various members of his while he was off gallivanting around with my younger sister doing who knows what. I could still see my grandmother's shocked face, Cathia's wide eyes, as I walked quickly off the stage, almost running through the French doors that led out of the fancy building. I hadn't let myself cry until then, and I'd almost had to pull over twice while driving because I couldn't see anything. After making it through my front door, I had settled here and not moved since. It felt like too much effort to move any of my limbs at the moment.
A knock sounded at the door then, and I almost ignored it, figuring it would be a relative or someone else I really didn't want to talk to. But I knew better than to just leave them hanging when they knew I was here. It's not as if I would be in the mood for clubbing after what had just happened. Pushing myself to my feet, I made the seemingly endless trek towards my front door. I wiped the tears from under my eyes before opening it.
Charlotte threw herself at me, throwing her arms around my neck and practically squeezing the life out of me. I gasped, staggering backwards as her tall frame dwarfed me. "Marlow, I'm so, so sorry! I swear I didn't know it was David, I've barely ever seen him before and I didn't know how different he would look! Please don't hate me! I promise I'll never see him again! I know how much you love him and I would never do anything like that on purpose!"
Throughout her speech, I had managed to stay upright by holding onto the doorframe for dear life. "Charlotte..." my voice was hoarse, the suddenness of her intrusion sending me into yet another state of shock.
"You have to believe me, Mar, I didn't even know at first! I swear I didn't recognize him, he looked so different in the photos!" her voice was so high pitched that my ears began to ring, and I pushed her back to gain some breathing room. I also didn't really want to hug her or anyone else right now.
"I believe you," I cut in. Truthfully I just wanted her to stop talking, to just let me relish in the pain that was my heartache. And I realized she was right. We hadn't talked much ever since I had gone off to pursue my dream job and she had gone off to stay with our grandparents while taking classes. David and I had been separated frequently because of my job, so a lot of the pictures I had shown people were from when we first started dating. I guess the ones I did send Charlotte were taken a while ago, and I guess he did look sort of... different—his hair was definitely longer. And yet, as much as I loved Charlotte, she didn't always seem to be the most observant person around, and whether or not she actually even looked at the pictures or tried to remember his face was a complete mystery to me.
"I'm a horrible sister!" Charlotte sobbed. "I'm sorry, I'll just go. I just wanted to let you know how sorry I was, Mar." I knew she was leaving to go right back to him. David had explained how it was. As soon as you saw your mate it was like a switch was flipped. You were never the same after. You were drawn to them, and nothing could keep you apart. Not even if they were about to marry your own sister apparently...
"It's fine, Char. I get it. It wasn't meant to be. Go off and get married in Vegas for all I care. Just be sure to ask him about his super big secret." With that I ushered her back out the door, slamming it in her confused face. I felt bitter before, but now I felt bitter and mean. Sure he had torn my heart out and gnawed it to pieces like the wolf he was, but I had just thrown him under the bus and yelled at my sister after the first time I'd seen her in almost two years other than the funeral.
I flopped back onto the couch, bringing my hands to my tearstained face and grimacing when they came back stained with my dark mascara. I probably looked like a train wreck and then some.
Not even a minute later I heard another knock on the door. "Go away Charlotte!" I yelled at the door like the bitch I was.
When it opened to reveal a very grim looking, sweats wearing, ice cream carrying Cathia, I couldn't help but let the tears fall again. Now I really did feel like a bitch. "Oh, sweetie..." she came in and gave me a hug while pulling me off of the sofa. "Come on let's get you out of that dress and all that makeup and into something more comfortable."
His glowing eyes stared at me over his shoulder as the noises came closer. He seemed worried, but also protective. "My sister wants to-?" I began, but suddenly the door banged open, and...
There was my sister. My eyes widened and I backed up so that I was half-sitting on the arm of the sofa, my non-broken arm braced again the wall behind it while the broken one hung limply in my lap. "Charlotte?" I asked quietly, staring at the malformed version of my new and improved sister.
Charlotte's eyes were glowing brightly, just like Cassian's were, only hers were more orange than gold. Her teeth were elongated and bared in a way that almost completely animalized her face. Her head whipped around wildly before her eyes landed on me, a distraught expression flitting across her face. She howled again, so loud it was earsplitting. "Damn it, David!"
David arrived at the door only a millisecond later, gazing at his mate with pride and annoyance, his eyes tired. "Charlotte, I told you not to run off!" There was irritation in his voice, yes, but mostly a tenderness that, for some reason, didn't seem to instantly send a pang of hurt right to my heart as it had before.
"You told me you were going to leave her out of all this if I came here!" she growled back at him, eyes flashing. I could see her hands, balled into tight fists as she whirled on her mate. Cassian was still crouched in front of me protectively, as if to make sure she didn't draw too close in her out of control behavior, especially after what the vampires had apparently done. I could tell Cassian was very on edge about this. "And who the hell are you?!" she turned on Cassian. I held back the urge to tell her off for yelling at him like that. Gods, what was wrong with me?
Cassian finally righted himself, looming over her smaller form, earning him a growl from David as he threatened his mate. "I am your Alpha, little one, and you will do well to respect me," he spoke carefully, each word emphasized in what I was quickly learning to be his "Alpha voice". His authoritative tone had Charlotte stop in her advance and David lower his head in respect for his superior. She gave him a confused look before taking a step back with a whimper, moving lower to the ground in submission of her Alpha. I was torn between racing from the room in fear and rushing to her side to console her.
Instead I chose to do the ever-useful, cower in fear on the sofa,
"I'm s-sorry Alpha, I didn't realize-!" Recognition flashed in her manic eyes, and I wondered at the insane world I had just dove into—well, more like belly-flopped into. Dives tended to be graceful, and my introduction to this world was a far stretch from grace at this point.
I was brought back to the scene before me at the sound of Cassian's voice. "Shh," Cassian rested his hand on the top of her head and drew her back up to her full height. "You're new to this, little one, you will adjust." David moved over to his mate and pulled her to him, turning her face to his.
"You promised," she whimpered to him. David gave her a sorrowful look. I began to feel severely excluded from this affair, but I got the feeling I would've felt more awkward if I had been directly involved.
"I'm sorry, Char, I wouldn't have done it if I'd had any other choice." Charlotte buried her face into his shoulder and I found myself turning away from their heated embrace. I could feel Cassian's eyes on me as I stared at the wall, trying to discern if it was painted dark blue or black. Anything to take my mind off of my current predicament.
"Why did you do it then?" Charlotte lifted her head, looking in between David, Cassian, and me. Her eyes were still glowing brightly and I tried to control my fear and mistrust when she looked at me. I couldn't see my sister in those eyes and it frightened me. It made me wonder if she would ever truly be the same girl I had grown up with. "Why did you bring my sister back into this mess?"
"That is between me and your sister," Cassian replied softly, interrupting the exchange between her and David. Charlotte locked her eyes with mine and I held her strange gaze, trying not to look horrified at her altered appearance. Her blonde hair was disheveled and I was positive I didn't want to know what turning felt like if she felt as haggard as she looked. She really was acting like a wolf, too. It was utterly bizarre to see my sister scenting the air like a dog.
"Do you want to be here, Mar?" she asked me. Her voice sounded odd, and I realized it was because of her teeth, or were they fangs? Either way, I felt very uneasy as I blatantly stared at her.
I suddenly felt every eye in the room on me and I shifted uncomfortably in my odd position on the sofa. "Uh, if it makes you feel better, Char, then yeah I want to be here." Cassian seemed to visibly relax as did David. My sister, however, did not.
Charlotte put her hands on her hips, fixing me with a glare. "What kind of bullshit answer is that, Mar?" She took an aggressive step forward.
I heard Cassian give her a low growl as he moved into his protective stance again. I tried not to notice how good his butt looked while doing so, and then blushed when I failed, looking elsewhere in the room. I had never analyzed furniture so much in my life. "You may be new, Charlotte, but you will respect my mate," Cassian growled. David eyed the two of them warily and I slowly lowered myself back onto the actual sofa still cradling my hurt arm, shooting Cassian a scowl as he told my sister of our supposed relationship.
Charlotte's jaw dropped. "Mate?!" she screeched. "What the hell are you talking about?!" She looked at me again in shock, but this time fixed her glare on Cassian. "If you even think to take advantage of my sister I swear I will not be the only angry bitch coming after your hide, Alpha or not!"
Instead of growling again for her impertinence, this time Cassian did something that surprised everyone. He laughed. He threw his head back and laughed like it was the funniest thing in the world. I almost fell off the sofa at the outburst.
Charlotte narrowed her eyes at his reaction, clearly displeased. "I'm glad you are amused by my sentiment Mr. Alpha, but I suggest you heed my threat because it is not an idle one!" Cassian sobered, still trying to suppress a grin as he glanced between me and my sister. 'I'm beginning to see the familial resemblance,' he joked, throwing his thoughts my way. I winced when he first entered my head, but rolled my eyes at him. His back was still facing me, but I got the sense he could figure out what I'd done.
"May I ask you something Charlotte?" he asked, tapping against his head as he did so. Charlotte nodded uncertainly. A surprised expression crossed her face and I assumed that this was the first time she had ever mentally conversed with another were. Her surprised demeanor only lasted for a moment because in the next she smiled.
Then she gave me a mischievous look. I raised an eyebrow at Cassian, who smiled innocently at me. "What did you say to her?" I ground out. He merely gazed impishly at me, as if he had no idea what had just occurred. Sighing I readjusted myself back onto the sofa, wincing as my arm brushed the side cushion.
Cassian fixed me with a concerned stare. "It's broken," David stated, either hearing or guessing at Cassian's thoughts. Cassian frowned at me.
"I thought it was only sprained. It didn't seem to hurt her that much."
"Well you can guess why that is. Anyway, she's supposed to be wearing the brace, but I guess we'll just have to get her a real cast. I figured she would've gone to the hospital by now, but she ended up being brought here." He fixed Cassian with a pointed look. "She should at least have stopped using it-"
"I haven't been using it-!" I protested even as I realized with a grimace that it wasn't true—god what the hell had I been thinking earlier?!—but I was cut off again anyway.
"-but I guess we'll just have to fix her up with something better now that she's here," David finished. Cassian nodded approvingly, flashing a concerned look in my direction.
"No!" my voice sounded whiney. I hated being made a fuss over, but I hated making a fuss even more. "Can't I just wear the brace and promise to be careful?!"
"No." All three of their voices rang out at once. I jumped, looking at them all in surprise and mild irritation. Shaking my head, I glared at the floor as they all continued on as if I weren't there. They made arrangements for my stuff to be brought here and I realized with a start that I'd never see my place again. At least, I wouldn't if Cassian had anything to say about it. I scowled to myself.
'Domineering bastard...' I thought to myself.
'What was that?' Cassian's voice in my head caused my scowl to deepen.
'Nothing,' I thought back. I hadn't noticed I was projecting. I'd have to be more careful. I wondered if he'd heard my comment about his butt from earlier...
I heard footsteps come towards me, and I looked up to see Cassian standing there. Lifting my feet up, he sat down on the sofa before resting my feet in his lap. I gazed at him evenly, ensuring that he couldn't read anything into my expression. He moved closer, resting a hand on my knee while I clutched my arm to my chest.
Still I had no reaction. Or, well, no change in my expression. My heart felt like it was about ready to jump out of my chest.
When he shifted so close that I was practically sitting on his lap, I made a disgruntled noise, but he quickly covered my mouth with a hand. Brushing his thumb across my lip and gently reaching over to take my injured hand in his grasp, prying it from my own grip. He was so gentle I didn't even feel any pain. I stared at him, speechless as he leaned closer to me. "Please let me take care of you." His voice was warm and endearing, drawing me in like a moth to the light.
'You are much prettier than a moth,' he thought to me. My face, of course, turned bright red as he heard my thoughts again. So much for being careful...
I sat frozen, stunned by his gaze and the ache I began to feel in my arm. I hadn't realized just how bad it had gotten. There was so much, too much in fact, going on. I hadn't had time to focus on any physical pain. I was too fixated on the emotional, or maybe the vampires were just that powerful in their compulsion and I had fallen right into their cold, pale hands entirely without thought of my own well-being.
Slowly I opened my mouth. "I don't like people touching my feet," I said dumbly. This, for some reason, caused him to smile at me. A genuine smile, not like one your parents would give you when you were four and told them you could sing or play the piano. I, however, wanted to kick myself repeatedly and then hide in a cave forever. Really, Marlow, could you have said anything more completely idiotic than that?
"Oh girl, you've got it BAD!" My sister's voice made me jump, reminding me that there was an audience to our exchange, and my eternal embarrassment. I blushed deeply, turning my head away from Cassian's eyes and the power they held over me.
"Knock it off, Char," I muttered. Their stares, both her and David's, bothered me. Cassian's eyes moved over to Charlotte, and he raised an eyebrow in question.
"She doesn't just talk about her feet issues to anyone, you know. You should feel special," she told him, still laughing. I could hear David snickering, and I pulled my feet from Cassian's lap, crossing them underneath me.
I agreed finally to getting the cast when I found I couldn't take the staring anymore. I swear they'd done that on purpose. Fixing me up with a cast didn't take too long. David had insisted on taking me down to the small infirmary they had in the southern end of the estate. I grumbled about it the whole way, but Cassian insisted. Since he was an Alpha, David had very little say in the matter.
Although, when David sent Cassian away, I realized that he apparently had a double motive. He wanted to talk to me. I grew tense as he turned towards me and where I still sat on the padded table in his small office. The cast made my arm feel heavy but it no longer hurt so I dealt with it. David's eyes on me were another matter.
"Marlow, I wanted to apologize..." he began before clearing his throat.
"Are you serious?" I asked him, irritation coursing through me. "You're going to apologize now?! After everything that's happened?! After I've been kidnapped and lied to and here for...for... I don't even know how long I've been here!" I was almost shouting now, throwing my hands in the air and almost knocking myself in the head with my cast.
"You've been here for about five days," he told me softly. I couldn't hide the rising panic I felt. I was an animal trapped in a cage. I couldn't leave, couldn't escape. Freedom was no longer a right for me, but a privilege. And right now I had no privileges.
"I thought it was only two?" I asked dryly. Don't go crazy, don't go crazy... it was my mantra now. I could not handle a panic attack among other things right now. This alone was bad enough.
"After Cassian bit you, it... took a while for you to come out of it. It's completely normal!" he added swiftly before I could freak out about something else. "A lot of times, when one mate takes blood from the other to heal, their body shuts down because it used part of their soul to heal the other."
"He took part of my soul?!" I shrieked. David looked about ready to knock a few walls down with all the aggravation I was currently causing him by not allowing him to finish any of his thoughts. But it wasn't as if he were handling the situation any better than I was.