Hypnotic Ch. 09byCia81©
Dav wrapped a towel around his waist. "I asked Benny to bring some breakfast and some clean clothes for us. Wait here, and I'll bring you something to put on."
I rolled my eyes, knowing Dav just wanted to keep Benny from seeing me. I shrugged, turning to the mirror. There was a mark on my shoulder from Dav's bite, a faint bruise surrounding the small punctures that were just small, red marks in the center. I ran my finger over them, enjoying the tingly pleasure from stroking the sensitive skin. I leaned forward to get a closer look at the partially healed mark.
I was starting to heal really fast. Way faster than a human. A trip to see Dr. Bakier and Dr. Pannar was probably a good idea. Vertebrobasilar migraines were nothing to mess around with; I'd already gone blind once. Plus there was the whole freaky healing thing with Bob's clan.
The sound of the door opening distracted me, and I turned to face Dav. Even though I'd had several orgasms in the last twenty four hours I could feel my body reacting to how hot he was, even dressed. His clothes showed off his body perfectly, a pair of dark jeans and a button up shirt that hugged his shoulders and his trim waist. His eyes flicked down and then back up to my face, his smile turning into a bit of a leer. I could feel my cheeks heat up as I reached for the clothes in his hands.
Dav chuckled. "Benny brought some food from Temptations, including some of those muffins you liked so much last time."
"Sounds good." I pulled on the track pants Dav handed me. "These can't be your pants, I don't have to roll them up about five times."
"No, I had him go by your apartment to get some of your clothes too."
I pulled the green t-shirt over my head. Looking down, I saw the logo for my favorite band. I'd bought it when I went to a concert with Matthew. My stomach clenched, and I leaned against the counter as tears filled my eyes.
I still couldn't believe my friend was gone. He'd been my best friend for so long, ever since Isiah moved away.
"Ellis?" Dav stood behind me, pulling me to his chest. "What's wrong?"
I shook my head. "I can't believe I forgot about my best friend; how horrible is that? He died because of something I asked him to do, and I haven't done a thing about it."
Dav's arms tightened around me. "You stopped the man responsible from hurting anyone else. You might not have been able to save Matthew, but you kept Mishtar from hurting more humans in his plan to create a war."
I sighed. "Still, I feel responsible. Have they found his body?"
"I don't know," Dav said, "but we can ask Velaku later. I want to take you to the hospital after we eat; the doctors know we'll be coming."
I turned in his arms and met his lips in a soft kiss. "Thank you for taking care of me."
"You're my mate; I'll always take care of you."
My stomach rumbled; I smiled wryly when Dav grinned down at me. "Good thing you ordered breakfast."
The Falcons Velaku sent really were good. Even though I knew they had to be there, I couldn't see them. I couldn't exactly search the skies, but I looked in the mirrors whenever I could as Dav drove us to the hospital.
The tests were invasive, time consuming, and annoying as I was examined, poked, injected with fluids, and scanned. At least I didn't have to talk about my sex life with my boss since Dr. Pannar couldn't make it. Dr. Bakier was certainly excited when he found out about my fangs. It took me a little while to figure out how to drop them down, but finally figured it out when Dav helped me.
Of course his help also gave me a hard on I could do nothing about. I grimaced at the taste of the plastic film over the vial I had to bite to give the venom sample.
When the doctor found out that I'd bitten Dav, my mate was subjected to a blood draw as well.
"Now tell me about this ceremony you mentioned," Dr. Bakier said as he settled behind his desk. I'd finally been allowed to put my shirt back on and we were sitting in his office. "Do you mind if I record this? Dr. Pannar might have some insights and this way you won't have to retell the story."
I shook my head. "That's fine, I don't mind."
I fidgeted in the chair, not sure of how to describe what had happened. It seemed so farfetched even to me, and I was there. How did I explain the connection I felt to the circle of men or the bolt of electricity that shot from me to Bob without mentioning how it happened and the whole battle between the two groups?
"Just start at the beginning of the ritual," Dav suggested. He reached over and linked our hands together.
Dr. Bakier's expression changed from polite interest to shock as I spoke about the feeling of power that had risen from the whale Carthera as they chanted and how it seemed to channel from the circle, through me, and into their Alpha to heal him. I could see him struggling to believe what I was saying, and I could tell when he didn't quite get there.
He leaned forward on the desk, tapping his fingers together. "You say you saw the flesh visibly knit?" I could hear the skepticism in his voice. I felt Dav's anger through our bond, clearly he could hear it too. He opened his mouth to snap at the doctor, but stopped when I squeezed his fingers.
"I did; it was amazing. Look Dr. Bakier, I know how strange it sounds but you're talking to a human male who is mated to a Carthera. I've got scales on my back and somehow grew a Jacobson's organ and a set of fangs complete with venom glands. There is more possible in this world than I ever dreamed of."
He sighed. "You're right, I'm sorry. Not much is known about Carthera, not nearly as much as I wish we knew." He sat back in his chair, rubbing one hand on his chin.
"I don't know if there is much we could do to figure out what happened though. Any side effects might show up in the tests we ran today, but I frankly have no idea what they might be. Until we know more I'd avoid doing anything like that again if you can help it. You need rest, and as little stress as possible.
I barked out a bitter laugh. "I'm a nurse, not a miracle worker. I don't plan on going around offering instant healing services. I don't think I'll be working at the clinic anytime soon anyway."
"I know Dr. Pannar contacted your brother, but he hasn't come in yet," Dr. Bakier told me, "maybe you could talk to him. It would really help, though as I understand it, he is also mated to a Carthera?"
I nodded. "A tiger."
"Hmm, not sure how helpful it would be to test him, his baseline wouldn't really be human either, but it would be interesting to see if he is making as many drastic changes as well."
I shrugged. I had seen his fangs and stripes, but I wasn't sure. It wasn't like we'd had a lot of time just to chat. "I'll see what I can do when I talk to him. Things are . . . complicated, right now."
It was a little frustrating to walk out of the doctor's office not knowing anything, but I knew tests took time. It was my body changing and not knowing what else could happen was nerve wracking, to say the least.
I knew my doctor's final suggestion to stay away from any stress and relax until the test results were in was the excuse Dav would give me if I had pushed, but I didn't even try asking Dr. Bakier when he thought I could go back to work. I knew that my mate was going to keep me hidden until the last of Mishtar's men were found. Until then, I had savings enough to keep my bills paid, for a little while at least.
I wasn't sure I really minded anyway. I wouldn't turn down time alone with my mate and if he was with me he wasn't out hunting down the bad guys. Though I knew he was good at what he did, and I knew that it was selfish, I didn't want him to put himself at risk.
I considered saying something on the way over to Velaku's. I know Dav didn't want me worried, but how was he going to keep them from telling me about the men looking for me? I spent the drive over to the eyrie in silence, just trying to work out my own feelings about the situation. Things had been so crazy with Bob after the attack that I hadn't really thought much about what had happened at the safe house during the attack itself and the things I had done.
"Isiah?" My mouth dropped open. "What are you doing here?" I had half-expected for Elalera to answer the door, even though she was gone now.
My twin pulled me into a hug. "Did you really think I would leave without saying goodbye to you?" He looked a little disturbed when I shrugged. "I know I've been gone a lot, but I'd think that you'd know I would be here if you needed me to be."
I stepped out of the hug. "I know, I guess I just didn't expect to see you here. Where's Ahsran?"
"He's in the office, with Velaku and Natham."
I looked at my mate as he stepped into the house. He'd stopped to speak to the Falcon guards just outside Velaku's house. I'd never seen guards there before, the eyrie the Falcon clan lived in was very defensible, but some of the attackers had been bird Carthera.
Dav dropped a kiss on my head, holding his hand out to my twin. "Isiah."
Squeezing me tight for a minute, Dav let me go. "I'm going to go to the office. Would you mind getting me something to drink? I know Velaku always has good coffee." He turned to walk away.
My muscles tensed, and my earlier acceptance of the situation disappeared. I couldn't hold back an irritated hiss. The look on Dav's face would have been funny if I hadn't been so irritated with him. I knew he wanted to protect me, and I didn't want to be involved in hunting down the bad guys or hurting anyone, Mishtar's death weighed heavily on my conscience even if he was a murdering traitor, but I wasn't a child.
"You need to stop trying to manage me, Dav. I'm not some easily panicked weakling that needs to be shielded from all the bad things. I know there are Carthera looking for me. Don't you think that I deserve to know the whole situation? How am I supposed to stay safe if I don't know what is going on?"
"I'll keep you safe."
"Damn it Dav!" I exploded. "You can't be with me every second of every day for the rest of our lives! I may not like violence but unless you're going to give up your work for Velaku, there is always going to be something or someone that might be coming at us. You need to stop bullshitting yourself and trying to bullshit me. I've come to terms with the fact that being in your life means that things won't be easy, but I'm willing to stick it out.
"I may have to learn to carry and shoot a gun. I'm going to have to be wary of Carthera that might be angry with you, or want to control you by taking a shot at me. I fucking killed a man once already! If you haven't faced that reality yet, you damn well better start. Your life isn't peaceful and mine isn't anymore either! If I'm willing to accept that to be with you, then you need to accept that I'm your equal partner in this, and stop trying to hide things from me."
"Ellis . . .." Dav paused. I could feel his shock through the bond, but his face was closed off. I couldn't tell what he was thinking.
"Think very carefully about what you're about to say to me, Davis," I warned. I couldn't help the tremble in my hands from the emotions surging through me so I clenched them into fists. Isiah glanced between me and Dav, his face carefully blank.
"I, ah, I'm gonna go make sure that coffee is fresh in the kitchen." He melted away, moving swiftly out of the hall and out of sight. I felt a moment of grim amusement, just because we were twins didn't mean we didn't fight over the years. I was harder to anger than Isiah, but once I was upset I stayed that way for a while.
I took a deep breath and faced my mate, meeting him stare for stare. "What's it going to be, Dav? Are you still going to try to hide things from me?"
"I was just trying to make sure you don't get stressed. You don't need to know about all this; you need to stay calm and relax as much as possible." His calm argument repeating my doctor's instructions did nothing to cool my temper.
"You think knowing my mate is hiding things from me will make me less stressed? You think knowing people are after me but not knowing who they are or what they are capable of is calming?"
Dav shook his head. "You wouldn't know those things if you hadn't eavesdropped. That's what you did, wasn't it?"
I refused to feel guilty for that. "You're damn right I did! I'm an adult; I've been on my own for years now and taken care of myself. I am not going to let you wrap me up and hide me away to keep me safe. I'm going to live my life normally."
"You're not normal, damn it!" Dav's voice rose. I could feel his anger stirring through our bond but mine was still stronger.
"No, and we both know why don't we?" I turned away, seething. I didn't know why I had gotten angry so fast but the look on my mate's face betrayed his shock when I said that. I shook my head, unwilling to say anything else. I didn't want to fight with Dav and I knew I would say more that I would end up regretting if I didn't stop. "I'm leaving."
I started to walk to the door and Dav grabbed my shoulder, pulling me back. "You can't go back to your apartment, Ellis, it's not safe."
I refused to turn around. "Fine, I'll go back to the bar and my little safe room where I can hide away like a good little weakling."
"I never said you were weak."
I shook my head. "No, you just treated me like I was." Somewhere in the last few days, it had settled in.
I'd killed someone. Not an accident but on purpose. I'd wanted him to die.
He would have killed more of my family and friends if I hadn't. It didn't make the sick feeling go away, but I realized that I could be strong; I could protect those I loved, I could protect my mate. The way Dav was treating me made it obvious that he didn't think I could.
I wouldn't put up with it; I couldn't go back to the way I was before.
"No, Davis. I want to be alone. Just let me go." I could feel his pain, his anger, and his confusion through the bond, but I was too lost in my own to deal with anything else right then. We both needed some space.
I pulled away from him, opening the front door. There were two guards there. "Can one of you call someone to drive me back to the city?"
The one on the right looked behind me at my mate. I almost lost it again when they didn't call someone right away. Dav must have given them some signal that it was okay because the guard straightened and pulled out his phone.
The bar was open when I got back. Benny wasn't working the front door yet since the bar wasn't crowded, so I hoped I'd be able to avoid him and the other staff on my way down to the safe room. I headed toward the stairs up to Dav's apartment. I'd just go up and get a few things, then head down to the safe room. I knew Dav kept his fridge stocked, and as my anger waned, I realized that I was hungry. It had been a while since the muffins that morning.
I opened the door to Dav's apartment after keying in the code to the lock. I was halfway through the living room when a voice stopped me in my tracks.
"How convenient. Here I thought we were going to have a hard time finding you, but you just came waltzing right into our hands."
AN: I'm sorry for the long delay. I have been dealing with an asthma flair, and whooping cough, and a kid with bronchitis, and then spring break for both my kiddos... all back to back and mixed up. I'm feeling quite a bit better, though I have a few more weeks of whooping cough ahead. I hope you enjoyed this update, you shouldn't have to wait nearly as long for the next one; I'm finally back to writing! Thanks for your patience.