A New Look 10

Grigore took a look at the wound. Human butchers got you. Their poison is working fast. I will get it out and close the wound, but you will need blood. And lots of healing. Three days worth.

The hunter growled My child is due to enter this world any day, I can’t afford... he groaned as he tried to sit up

"Lay still," Grigore said. "You will not do your lifemate or child any favors if you are not healed properly. Your lifemate will inform you if your child is ready to enter this world. For now, touch her mind and let me heal you."

I dairy came in with some herbs before he could reply “here are some herbs from the garden...I know these are good for poison” she said handing him the tray with three bowls holding different herbs

"Thank you, cisitri," Grigore said, his eyes softening when he looked at her. "I need you to grind them up and make a strong pultice. I need all three of them."

She nodded and went to her grandmothers grinding table and started to grind the herbs. When she heard the ripping of fabric as gregore removed the hunters shirt she glanced back a regretted it instantly. The wound was deep and discoloring, it looked infected and dark blood oozed out of it. She covered her mouth with her hand as her stomach churned. She quickly left the room

Indira, I need your help, said Grigore. I need you to try and keep watch with more than your eyes. Use your senses as best as you can. You need to tell me if there is any danger while I am inside this man's body to heal him.

He felt her fear im so new I am not good enough to protect you.... She said even though she was puking in the other room

I will be the one protecting you, he said with a chuckle. You are acting as a warning system. You will be in no danger if I can help it.

Slowly the door opened and she came in with her eyes glued to the floor not looking at him " ok..."

"Close your eyes," he said, instructing her as he continued his work, "and let your senses span out. What can you feel without touching? What can you hear with more than your ears?"

She went silent, and closed her eyes. Whispers started to evade her, soft and low. Yet they were not words, yet she understood "death....life.....happy....scared...." She said as images of nature flashed through her mind. She started to sweat " anger....hunger...." Her heart started to race as she saw a dark shadow moving through the forest " searching....thirst" she said touching her throat

That's too much, he said gently. Do you feel danger to anyone here? Feel for the intent to harm, and I will deal with it.

"No...here is....pure...sacred ..except for...." She said and started to sway the ground is.... Cold in the garden.... something is buried that doesn't belong"

I will look into that later, he said. You can help me find it. For now, I need you to go to the basement and get the bottles of blood. I will need more than you can provide if I am to heal him as much as I want. And I do not want to feed from you unless absolutely necessary. After what he read in the diary and ledger, he would only feed on her in emergencies or while making love, where he could not avoid it. She had been used for blood for too long and he would not be part of that cycle.

She opened her eyes and and left the room. When she came back her hands were empty "it's bad....it smells bad ..I can go get more " she said in a soft tone

What do you mean? he asked.

She opened the bottle and blood smelled old and bad "it's not right..." She said letting him smell it

He sighed and said, When I return to my body from this first round of healing, I will need to feed from you. I will then go out hunting and bring back some fresh bottles. You will need to destroy the ones here.

She nodded and waited by his side and moved her hair aside

When he returned to his body, he swayed slightly. He got up and took her to the other room. He did not want the other man to see this intimate moment between them. He rubbed his lips along the silken skin of her neck before biting down.

She moaned softly and it was music in his ear, his mouth burst to life with her blood, it was rich and hot as it went down his throat. He felt strength hit him hard. His muscles burned with strength

Strength filled him far faster than even the most ancient of their hunters could provide, even when coming from a strong bloodline. His arms tightened around her possessively. It took far strength to stop feeding than he wanted to admit, and he knew that it was more than the call of a lifemate, or even his need for blood, that made it difficult. Her blood was a drug to any who fed from her, directly or otherwise.

He closed the wound and said as he sat her down, "What did you do before you told me about the bad blood?"

She looked at him with glazed eyes and he realized she was in a way high like if she was on a drug " I was feeling sick...so I took my medicine...if I don't I get very I'll and can die..." She said pressing herself into him

"I sense no illness in you," he said, honesty ringing in his voice. "Show me this medicine."

She swayed like she was drunk but lead him to the room. She opened the cabinet and rolls of vials where stored that had two herbed filled clear pills in each one

He took one and popped it open before throwing both jars into the fire, saying, "Those are not to heal a person directly, Indira. They are to make one's blood have a more potent healing ability."

She looked confused "no...I...I need that..I've always been sick"

"Indira, I have never, not once, smelled a disease upon you," Grigore said, taking hold of her shoulders gently. "I do not believe you have ever been truly sick. I read her diary, cisitri, and... when you feel ready, you can as well."

He knew what it would do to her, but he also knew that the choice in reading those dark pages had to be hers alone. His stomach twisted just thinking of the pain and betrayal Indira might feel from reading Astrid's diary.

She took a step back and shook her head " no ..I am sick...maybe...maybe being converted cured me"

"While that can happen," he said, "it is not so in this case. A lifemate cannot lie, Indira. You were never sick."

She looked hurt, deeply hurt " do you know what you are saying to me....please stop....it's not true..." She said in a begging heart breaking tone

"I do know what I am saying," he said. "I also know that it is what I learned directly from Astrid's diary. It is on her bed now. If you wish to prove me wrong, it will remain there when you feel ready to read it."

She frowned at him " why...why would you say this....are you angry at me...my grandmother loved me she would lie!" Her stress rose quickly and with it he heard a storm form over the area and the house started to creak, blood tears started to roll down her face

Her tears tore at him but he said as gently as he could, "I am not angry at you, Indira. Never you. When you are weak from blood being taken, I have no doubt you looked and acted sickly. I tell you this because you deserve the truth, not to hurt you." He sighed. "You have no reason to trust my words, I know this. However, like I said, lifemates cannot lie to each other. You know Astrid, her handwriting. You would know if the diary is hers better than anyone. Would you not?"

She cried harder "its because i do trust you that it hurts so much! I believe you even when everything in me tells me not too!" She said in a uneven tone "I can feel...your not lying to me.." She said sobbing and putting her hands in her face as she started to shake.

"Then you also know that it hurts telling this truth to you," he said, "but that I am doing this for your own good. I would not keep this from you. It effects so many people, but you most of all. So, when you are ready, read the diary and we can talk about what our next step will be."

The storm calmed outside "gregore....hold me" SHe asked in a uneven tone tone removing her hands from her face
-------

Xayvion smiled and said, "I see. Well, I suppose that you will need a lesson in what I can do." He went to the fire and put a flaying knife into the flames. "You see, I enjoy this kind of game. You fight, I break. Broken toys listen better. And you will break. Didn't I see that you had children as well? I bet the little girl will taste delicious."

Her rage alone aloud her to break on of the chain off her wrist, even with her mind broken. She reached for him and missed him by a inch.

He smiled and said, "I see. They are your weakness as much as the prince. I wonder, will your son and lifemate die slowly or quickly as I fley the skin from their bones?"

The other chain snapped on her wrist and as she stood so did the ones on her ankle did, she was inches from him with only the chain on her neck holding her, he watched her eyes turn into her wolves, auburn gold and angry

Xayvion smiled and said, "I know where they live because you were not strong enough to keep me out of your head, remember that, Ana? You lead me to them. Should I go collect your children now or will you behave?"

He could hear the creaking of the chain on her neck as it threaten to break , she bared her fangs at him for her answer, he could feel even with her broken mind her will was strong. She would not be broken easily and he loved a challenge. Her body was fit yet feminine and she stood maybe 5’6 at most, he saw many scars on the parts he could see.

"Perhaps I should take after my brother," said Xayvion. "I need to find out how to deal with you, my pet."

He used a spell to reattach the chains before using the red hot knife to slowly cut into her, taking off skin.

She roared in pain but kept her gaze to his, her eyes burn with hate and anger, sweat covered her body but she never left his gaze. A clear challenge.

He sighed when the physical torture didn't work but then remembered some of what he saw in her mind. He sat down in a leatherback chair and put his elbows on his knees, and his hands together in a ball at his chin.

"You must hate him," he said, noting the skeptical look on her face. "Antony. My brothers were the same, always so... manipulative. I could never tell if they meant what they said or planned to stab me in the back. Hell, I don't remember a time we weren't together, so how do I know if this is really who I am or what they made me into? How can one love another after knowing they have messed with your mind so thoroughly that you completely change?"

She made a confused and untrusting expression "stop...." She said with a growl "it won't work..." Yet he saw the fight in her eyes

"Then, tell me something," he said, leaning back and looking disinterested. "What does it feel like? Hating the man you love? I mean, he destroyed your mind to fit his image of the perfect woman. And your brothers? You want to become part of their family and yet they never tried to look for you. Your pack and the Carpathian people? They never came to look for you or really brought you into their fold. Even Bethany isolated you because she is human, something you could never be. What must that feel like, being so unwanted by the world? Not even good enough to attempt to find or understand?"

She flintched and growled even though she looked away "I belong to this world just as much as everyone else...I'll find my place but you.....the only place you belong is hell" she said in a low dark tone

"Really?" he asked. "So, you harbor no hatred for what Antony did to you? Or being tossed aside like garbage by Lycans and Carpathians? They call you a hero now, but what about tomorrow? Or when that vampire was sleeping with you? You tried to become one of them, but they called you a traitor until you saved them. Simply by coming here instead of Antony, they will shun you again." He picked up a book as if she meant nothing to him either. "Antony changed you because you weren't his ideal. Your bothers never really looked for you. Your 'pack' only took you in as a tool. The humans would kill you if they knew what you are. And the Carpathian people will always suspect you, never really accepting you. You aren't a Jaguar or a Mage. It sounds to me like there isn't any place for you to go."

" And you...what place do you think you have in this world..." She said not looking at him with her head down

"I will always be a mage first," he said. "I bear the mark of the High Mage even now. I am far too powerful for the mage community to go up against. About 80% still follow me and my brothers' lead. I will be welcomed with open arms. Now that I have gained more power, mages will rise up and rule as we were meant too. I have my place as a leader. What place do you have again?"

Slowly she looked up at him , her face stained from blood red tears " to destroy pathetic creatures like you who don't belong in this world"

"That's not a place," he pointed out. "That's a duty. A thankless job. In the end, the lone hunter has no one." He looked at her. "But me? I can give you a place." He let the chains fall away from her hands as he held out a silver collar and chain. "Put this around your neck, Anastasia, and we will leave this land. Let me be your leader and you will have a place."

"You are not a leader , you are a tyrant " she said spitting at him

"But I have a place in this world," he said. "I have people who accept me for who I am and follow me. What do you have? Children who will be ashamed of you, a lifemate who wants to change you, brothers who do not care for you, and a world of people who do not accept you." He went to her, stopping right at the point where she could reach the collar he held out and nothing more. "But I am giving you a place, and you will be accepted for the powerful woman you are. Put on this collar and we will leave this land. Follow me. That is all I ask."

She met his gaze "why do you want me" she said and he knew is answer would change the game depending on what it was

"Because I do not want an imitation of you," he said. "I want the real Anastasia, and today, I saw her. Who would not want that?"

She glared " I'll rephrase ...what do you want to use me for..."

"To be honest, I have no real desire to harm the Carpathian people," he said. "That was Xavier's thing. However, I will not deny the threat that they are to my plans. But, come with me, and I will leave this land and the Carpathian people will never hear of me again except in whispers and as a legendary boogyman."

" Your word...in blood...I want a blood oath from you" she said in a serious tone

"You are willing to perform blood magic with me?" he asked, raising an eyebrown. "Even knowing that, should I die, you do as well, but I will live if you die?"

"Yes" she said without hesitation

He took out a ceremonial knife and began chanting. He slit his wrist and then hers, both healing after a moment through magic. He gathered their blood into a silver bowl and mixed some herbs into it. He then went to a cage and took out a black bird from it. Though it screamed, Xayvion carved out it's heart and added it to the bowl as well.

When it was finished, he handed the bowl to her and said, "Drink all of it and the oath complete."

She drank it without hesitation and immediately felt the chains bind them. Her stomach felt like it was on fire. Xayvion said something, but the storm raging in her ears made it hard to comprehend. He had a dark, uninterested smile on his face. She doubled over, but he covered her mouth so that she was forced to swallow her own vomit. When that reaction was over with, she began to scream in pain and the world narrowed for a brief moment. She curled into a fetal position but nothing seemed to stop the pain.

When she stopped, Xayvion said, "Yeah, it's painful, taking death into oneself for a blood oath spell. But you are now mine. To you, my word is law, Anastasia. That is what you agreed. And I agreed to leave this land and the Carpathian people alone. Now, to finish, you must place this around your neck." He held up the silver collar and chain. "If you do not, the blood now sitting in your stomach will eat you alive, and it is far worse than any vampire blood or even Death by Silver. I suggest you hurry."

She growled but did not fight it she held in her cry as the silver collar went around her neck. The moment it did she shifted into a half form. A humanized verse of her wolf. Something that looked dark a sinister and knew it was not her design but his, he had tainted her wolf as well

"This is you, Anastasia," he said. "You are now the Dreadwolf. The herald of the damned. I must admit, I did not expect you to reak of death or to look like a Skinwalker in this form, but I must say, I do like it. Yes, you will be the omen of death to my enemies and a warning to all others. I wonder, what will your wolf form look like?" When she turned, he giggled and it sent shivers down her spine. "I must say, I like this form as well. Yes, a direwolf of old with skeletal face. This is your natural form. As a human, you will blend in and can destroy my enemies, but as a wolf, you will warn them of the danger getting to close to me may bring. If they are too stupid to stop their search, then your upright form will be the last thing they see before death takes them. How do you like my gifts, Deadwolf?"

She growled deep, it echoed and fog seemed from her snout, she felt cold and dead. She wanted to rip him apart to say this was not her but a part of her had given up, he had been right, she didn't belong anywhere. But at least her suffer could save the people of this land, the people who would take care of her children and Anthony when she was gone. All she needed to do was live so he could "you said we would leave these lands....so we go, now" she said in a strained tone

"I will begin the preparations," he said. "It will take some time, but I will keep to our agreement. I will not harm a Carpathian."

As he left, she knew what he meant now. He would not be the one to battle Carpathians should they attack. She would.

When he left she howled in pain and anger as she let the pain of the silver effect her. She shifted to her human form and thrashed on the ground and gripped at it. She pulled on it so hard her fingers started to bleed and burn until it was to slippery to touch. She could feel it sinking deeper in her skin. The pain was mind number, she tore the room apart in a a fit of anger and pain, her blood smeared everywhere in the room.

Moments later, Xayvion returned with someone else and said, "Oh, dear. Someone is upset. River, care for your new sister. Help her to understand that what we did was a gift, not a burden. And take away her pain as well. I must continue preparing for our departure."

Ana growled "she should not be here " She said in a dark tone

"I'll admit, she is not quite healed enough for this, but she does my bidding and I thought seeing an old friend would do you and her some good," he said.

"I am already bound to you...take this off of me, i care not about her or anyone else" Ana growled

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