New Kingdom: Australian Court Ch. 03byMicKay©
Their kiss deepened as he adjusted his position and pulled her close. Slipping his fingers beneath her bra, Gabriel found the soft flesh waiting for his touch. Teasing her soft skin, he groaned against her mouth when she grinded her hips closer to his. He pulled away and cradled her face in his palm. Stroking her cheek with his thumb, he smiled when she revealed the white teeth elongated by her passion.
Angling his neck for her advance, he felt the hot passion surge from her bite into his body. The blood she took was compensation for the passion she returned.
For a moment Gabriel considered that they were not just another couple in love. Nor were they just another pair of mated vampires. What they had belong to them alone.
"Thanks for the food," Abigail said wiping her hands on the tail of her filthy pink robe. "I don't suppose you have a change of clothes with you."
"Nah didn't think I'd need them," he answered fingering the slashes in his shirt.
"How are your injuries?"
"Gone," he answered lifting the tattered shirt over his flat abdomen. "Not a scar or a bruise. See?"
When she remained silent, he looked at her face and caught her staring at his torso. Apparently her mother had never told her that staring at man so openly was not a good thing. Her eyes were wide open as her gaze roved over his pectoral and abdominal muscles. He had maintained his physic through training as a hunter and women had always shown appreciation for his body but he was speechless with Abigail's assessment.
He braced himself when he noticed her hand inching close. Did she have any idea what touching him would do? Her fingers, soft and warm, gently traced a path down his sternum and over his belly. He held his breath as she flattened her palm near his navel. No vampire should have this effect on him.
Abigail rose to her knees moving closer to him. She clutched the hem of his shirt and pushed it up and over his head. Tossing the shirt aside, she returned her fingers to his body now exploring the tattoos on his biceps and chest.
Alex inhaled a deep breath and waited. Unable to speak, he wondered at how a simple touch, so innocent, could be so devastating to his resolve. The sound of his heartbeat pounded in his ears accompanied by another rhythm, fast paced but steady. He realized that it was her heartbeat and his was racing to match it.
"Abigail," he whispered having no other words to share but wanting to ... what? Stop? Hell no. Give her a chance to stop? Not really.
Her eyes flickered to his just as the remains of twilight faded to black. Alex slowly reached for her while rising to his knees. With his hands at her waist, he waited for her to make the next move. He could barely see her head tilt as she moved closer clutching his shoulders.
"Bad idea," he told himself. "Gabriel will definitely kill you. Rouge vampires are hunting you. And why couldn't we have a place with a hot shower and comfortable bed?"
When her mouth made contact with his, he lost all hold of his sanity. At some point, he took control of the kiss pressing her body against him. Her soft skin, beckoning to be stroked, was hidden beneath the thin robe. He reached between their bodies and tugged at the sash at her waist.
Her soft flesh contrasted with his hard body but the merging of the two created a perfect blend. She shivered against the friction of his calloused hands stroking her untouched skin. When she surrendered a small moan, he felt his passion soar.
Slipping the robe from her shoulders, Alex stopped when something penetrated his senses. A sound had broken their silence. Was it her? Was she having second thoughts? Breaking the kiss, he searched the dark for a sign from her. Then he heard the sound again.
A snap of twig underfoot, a flutter of a breeze on a windless night, and the essence of someone near moved him into action. He pulled Abigail's robe over her shoulders and reached for his sheathed blade. Without a word, he tried to let her know the danger lurking nearby.
A shrill giggle pierced the night. They had been found. Alex had tried to cover their tracks and hide them the best he could. Then he remembered the blood stains on his torn shirt. Certainly the scent of his blood had been an easy road map for their hunters. He shook his head in self disgust.
Before he could move, Abigail leaped to her feet. Quietly, she moved to the edge of the makeshift door and peered into the night. Without making a sound, she returned to Alex and pulled his head close to her mouth.
"Three," she whispered in a hurried rush. "Two in the trees and one on the ground. We fight together," she finished with a quick kiss to his lips.
With no more discussion, they moved out of hiding and into the open night. Abigail leaped into the air grabbing a tree branch and swinging close to the vampire in her sights. Only the movement in the shadows alerted Alex to the one on the ground. He withdrew his blade and prayed his hunter's skills had not been put to sleep during a moment of passion.
The dark figure rushed at him. His pulse raced as the form moved closer. This one had not been a young adult when changed but rather a full grown man. Apparently, stronger hunters had been released to find Abigail. The shadow leaped and tackled Alex to the hard ground. His blade was knocked out of his grasp. As he blindly searched for the weapon, the vampire chose to follow the critical mistake of playing with his food.
A razor sharp claw grasped Alex by the head without breaking skin. Turning Alex face toward his own, he waited for the human to beg for his life. With pale eyes shining in the night, the vampire bared his fangs and hissed at his prey. The mockery was his fatal error.
Grasping the blade, Alex twisted his wrist and quickly swiped the lethal metal through the air. The vampire's head rolled to the left as its useless body fell to the right. Jumping to his feet, Alex futilely searched for Abigail in the dark night.
A dull thump hit the ground at his feet. He acknowledged the lifeless form as one of the enemies and looked up when Abigail dropped from the air to land in front of him.
"I lost one," she whispered in the night. "He may have returned to their camp to...."
She stopped when a large figure moved out of the night and right into Alex. He groaned from the impact but remained on his feet. Unable to swing his arm, he looked to the area where Abigail had been standing. He felt her rush through the air and tackle his captor.
Momentarily losing the hold on his prey, the large vampire struggled to grasp onto Alex while he was falling. He managed to claw into the flesh of the human's thigh but unable to regain his hold. The small bitch had proven to be fighter. He ached to crush her small body within his claws. But his orders had been clear. She was not to be harmed. Tossing her to the side, he sat up from the ground in time to see the glint of the steal swinging toward his neck. His last thought consisted of one word. Freedom.
"Oh, god, you've been hurt," Abigail cried crawling to him. "Let me see."
"No time now," he answered helping her from the ground. "They found us. We need to run."
Together they ran through the trees, silently praying for safety but listening for the next attack.
Joshua sat on the bed snapping his cell phone shut. He had taken a risk but knew it was the only choice his people had. Small arms wrapped around his neck as he leaned into the welcomed warmth of the soft body.
"He's making arrangements now," he explained. "Should be here tomorrow by late afternoon."
"Are you having second thoughts?" Nola asked.
"Not at all. Even Phillip thinks it's a good idea but then he will agree with anything to get out of babysitting and see some action."
"It's a very good plan. Why are you so quiet?"
"I don't know. It is wise to use like versus like but in this case Abigail won't be happy that I'm using her new citizens to fight."
"You don't seem so worried about her now."
"She's with Alex," he replied. "He's the best person to keep her safe right now."
"How do you know? Can you communicate with her?"
"I feel her emotions again. She's not afraid. I can tell you that much," he said with a laugh.
"I will let the household staff know that they should prepare for more guests," Nola said rising from the bed and squealed when Joshua flipped her back to the mattress. She bounced against the soft bedding as he mounted over her.
"What are you doing?" she demanded with a laugh.
"Trying to explain what Abigail feels right now," he answered and descended his mouth onto hers.
Gabriel cradled his sleeping mate as he watched the night fall onto their camp. He gazed at Alena's peaceful face and wondered how many days remained until they could retreat away from this world. Stroking his fingers through her hair, he suddenly stopped when his senses went on alert. There was no sound or sight of intruders but he could feel their presence. It felt as though the mountain had come alive.
He gently nudged Alena and silently let her know what was happening. He quickly regretted bringing her to the front line but felt the power of her blood strengthen his body. She rose from his lap and let him know that she was strong, alert and willing to follow his orders. Together they moved toward the others and waited for the invasion.
Alex grasped Abigail's hand as she continued to guide them through the dark night. There was no moon to give him the faintest glimpse of their surroundings. He trusted her to lead them safely through the trees and vegetation. She would tug on his arm when he needed to climb over a fallen tree or move to the left or right. His thigh hurt like hell. He had tied off the wound with her sash and wondered how she managed to protect herself with an unsecured robe.
They had been moving for hours hoping to increase the distance between them and the vampires. He knew they had not been followed but his wound and her presence would be a beacon to those that wanted her. He had to convince her that they needed to return home. They could not win alone.
Alex was about to call it quits when Abigail suddenly stopped. He looked around but could barely see more than her figure in the darkness. She slowly moved forward never releasing his hand.
"Do you think it's safe?" she asked with a whisper.
"I don't know. What the hell is it?" he asked in frustration.
"A house. Quiet. Empty. No one has been here for awhile."
"How can you tell?"
"Smell. I'm getting good with these senses. My father would be proud."
The reminder of Gabriel made Alex groan with dread. He knew they needed to return to the others but seeing the girl's father was not going to be a pleasant experience.
"There's a sign," Abigail answered releasing his hand. "It says 'For Sale' but it's fallen on the ground and covered in mud. Shall we take a look?"
"Planning on buying something soon Abby?" Alex asked following her voice up the driveway.
"Only if it has a lovely garden," she responded. "Or a place to put one. And a pool."
"Well I have to insist enough property for a proper training field. And a basketball court. And acres of yard for the kids," he added and then cringed. The kids? Where the hell did that come from?
Abigail only laughed and reached for his hand. Contrasting against the darkness, the white house appeared to have two stories that were surrounding by covered porches. The grass was tall and unkempt assuring them that no one had taken care of the property for some time.
"Probably a summer home," Alex commented. "Too expensive to maintain and no interest due to the economy."
"Lucky for us," Abigail murmured. "Now if only the wonderful owners left some food, clothes, and a bed. Would it be too crazy to hope for hot water?"
"Maybe not. Most homes on the market have electricity and water for a better showing. Let's just hope we're lucky."
Abigail guided him to the porch and let him reach for the door. He twisted the handle but was not able to open the door. He tried again but had no success.
"It is locked?" she asked over his shoulder.
"Yeah. There's a key cabinet here but without the code...." He stopped when she reached around to jerk the cabinet from the door.
"I'll leave a note with an apology and directions to contact my father for payment," she said and then peeled apart the small metal casing. A key instantly appeared in her hand which she handed to Alex.
He opened the door but waited for any signs of occupancy. Although the owners had abandoned the upkeep, he was not sure that other squatters had not used the back door or various windows to breach the house. When only stale air greeted him, he moved into the foyer reaching for a light switch.
The interior of the house appeared to have been well maintained until recently. A thin covering of dust rested on the few pieces of dark furniture and hardwood floors. Abigail stepped around Alex and inspected the home with appreciation.
"This is actually quite lovely," she said moving into the living room.
"Isn't this a bit of a downgrade compared to what you're used to?"
"Ha! What I'm used to is a bedroom which I shared with my brother until recently and a television in the next room. Joshua was attacked once in the maze and I'm a prisoner for life!"
"I remember you being a prisoner recently because of your own actions."
"Whatever," she mumbled and proceeded into the next room. Flipping the light switch, she discovered another room, empty, but apparently designed as a music room. "Couldn't you imagine having a normal, peaceful life in a place like this?"
Alex remained silent as he watched her move from room to room. She acted like a child on Christmas morning but looked like a filthy little orphan dreaming of having her own home. He let her enthusiasm seduce him for only a moment until he could see them, together, sharing their lives in this neglected house.
He shook his head and sought some form of reason. He returned to the door, with key in hand, verified that no neighboring lights could be seen in the distance and shut the door between them and the world. He looked at the house and the neglect suddenly disappeared as lights were turned on throughout the place. As charming as it was, he knew that too many lights could betray their location so he followed Abigail turning off the lights in her path.
"We need to find some supplies," he reminded her.
"They've left very little furniture and the cupboards are bare. Do you think we'll find any food or clothing?"
"Maybe they have boxes that will be moved or given to charity after the house sells. Let's look in the garage."
From the kitchen, they tried a door that appeared to lead into the garage and found a room full of cardboard boxes. Alex hit the light switch and illuminated the room from overhead fluorescents. Boxes of all shapes and sizes were marked in large letters identifying the contents by room or names.
"I found the bathroom," Abigail announced. "Now if they left us a bar of soap."
"We don't know if we have water," he said as he ripped into a box labeled with a man's name. "Water is necessary for drinking, bathing and ...."
"Yes we do," she interrupted. "I checked in the kitchen. We even have hot water. And soap," she added displaying a plastic bottle.
"Keep looking," he said after reading the bottle's label. "I'm not leaving this house smelling like cucumber melon."
"Apparently beggars can be choosers," she responded but kept searching the box. "Ok, I have a bar of something that certainly contains lye."
"And a bottle of shampoo, razors, a package of children's toothbrushes and one sample size tube of toothpaste. I love these people."
"You probably should have reserved judgment until after you saw these clothes," he said snapping a multicolored cloth that appeared to be men's slacks. "And that's just the beginning. Check out our lovely women's collection."
The underwear he held was large enough to wrap around Abigail's frame several times. There would be no way Abigail's hips would hold these up.
"Apparently the lady of the house was big and beautiful," Alex commented with a grin. "No deal? I'll keep looking."
"I can just wash my own," she offered carrying her load towards him. "Unlike you, my panties don't have a problem smelling like cucumber melon."
Laughing as they searched, they were able to find bath towels and bedding of which they took extra just in case they would not find mattresses in the bedrooms. Another box from the kitchen contained a few plastic containers of fruit and vegetables which they agreed would carry them through the next day. Alex found a basket to carry their bounty and resumed their search for clothes.
"Didn't you say they had children's toothbrushes? Maybe they have some children's clothes that you can wear."
"I can look," Abigail offered."Have you found something for you?"
"Not yet. Apparently the man of the house is as small as his lady is large. I am not wearing tight jeans."
"But you want me to wear children's clothes?"
"My anatomy can be damaged," he playfully complained.
"You could always borrow the underwear that you found earlier."
"Do I look like I need a parachute?"
"Alex! Be nice!" she said and then returned to the box holding the woman's clothing.
"What do you care? They're strangers," he said watching her.
"We may meet them one day," she explained while tucking the garment deep into the box. "I don't want them to know how we invaded their privacy. Hey, I might have found something," she said pulling out a large shirt. "At least for a cover."
They continued through their pursuit until Alex had found a t-shirt and a pair of cargo pants, covered in paint, but posing no threat to his anatomy. Abigail now had a pair of black leggings and a small t-shirt that would serve better as a bra than a top but she was happy to lose the filthy robe. Although she had protested, she finally accepted the shoes that Alex insisted she wear. Her feet had adjusted to the rough terrain but precaution against glass and insect or animal bites would be smart.
They returned the room the same order they had found it, minus a few items, and left the garage in search of showers and beds. Alex insisted on checking the doors and windows on the first floor and then continued their trek in the dark house. They reached the second floor and found two bedrooms which shared a bath and the master bedroom with an en suite bath.
"You take the master," Alex offered and moved down the hall before she could complain. "I can shower in here."
"More rooms to clean," she countered. "Besides we only have one bottle of shampoo and one tube of toothpaste. We can share."
Alex nodded in agreement wondering if she had noticed that only the master suite had a bed. He followed her into the room appreciating the simple décor along with the furniture that had been left for display. The danger that they had escaped still lurked in the darkness outside the walls of this home but for now they were safe. He motioned for her to use the facilities first as he collapsed in the chair.
He listened to the sound of water beat against the tiles as Abigail prepared for her bath. Since arriving in Australia, neither had enjoyed one decent night of sleep. Maybe they would collapse in the big bed, respect each other's territory and return to their normal lives tomorrow. Why did that plan sound so unappealing?
Abigail quickly washed and rinsed her hair deciding to not repeat as advised on the shampoo bottle's directions. She poured the shower gel into her hand and scrubbed the dirt from her body. She hurried through the routine so Alex could have the facilities as soon as possible. At the thought of the man sitting in the next room, her skin prickled under her own touch. Suddenly it felt odd to bathe herself as she had so many times before. She continued in a rush and rinsed herself free from soap and grime. Stepping from the shower, she realized that she had only brought a towel with her. Her clothes were in the bedroom with Alex. Snarling at her tattered robe, she wrapped the towel around her body and stepped out of the bathroom.