Time on the Road/Lifemates/What Now? 2

Ion nodded, his heart beating fast, but not making a sound.

Dom turned to mist and went to see. Once outside, he turned into a small bird and observed. The Carpathian prowled around, smelling him and Ion entering and exiting, and probing the minds of animals. Dom knew he was so deep inside the bird, the Carpathian wouldn't know it was him. However, despite seeing nothing strange, he came back and probed harder. Dom didn't react and the Carpathian left. After it was safe, Dom returned to Ion.

"They know we are here," Dom said, helping Ion pack. "We need to leave."

He nodded and started packing in a hurry

Dom turned into a large wolf and had Ion get on his back. They ran for miles when a scent hit Dom. He slowed and began sniffing around. Ion, you came through her... three weeks ago. The scent is nearly washed away. Snow began to fall. We have to find you some place to stay. We will follow the trail if we can, but... the snow will remove it completely and even I will be unable to find it again.

"if I was attacked this way do you think it's wise to go?" he asked

Right now, we have no choice, said Dom. We need to find shelter fast. That cave!

They went inside, but Dom instantly ran. Ion's scent was there, along with death, which did not bode well. He found another cave, not inhabited and set about warding it. His face a mask.

"you ok my friend?what's on your mind?"" he asked knowing him to well

"There was death in that cave," said Dom. "And your scent. If I stayed too long, I would relive the events, which I avoid. Tracking is not only my job, as you know, but my ability. I track through scent, but if the scent is strong enough..." He looked at his friend. "I did see a battle, and as you and I are close, I saw you. You were losing your battle, but I did not see who you fought. That is all I know. I don't know if you were tortured there, or if you tried to save someone. I do know that the way you were fighting showed you were fighting to live."

"should we go back?" he asked

"No," said Dom. "We will stay here for now. It is easy to defend and warm."

he nodded and started to settle in " what should we do in the mean time"

"Keep preparing," answered Dom. "We have time now that my father isn't here, but we must be ready for anything."

Suddenly he felt a presence outside the cave. one he could not hide from....the prince.

Dom placed himself between Ion and the prince and said, "I did not expect you here. To what do we owe this pleasure?"

"I need you to track someone. Erik and Meghans 's daughter Annabelle. In return I'll keep your father from taking you back home'" he said already knowing him to well "I'll see you at the school tomorrow and sundown he said in a tone letting him know it was not not up for debated

"As you wish," said Dom with a bow. "Where should we start?"

"i will tell you at the school" he said? and then disappeared

"who was that I've never heard you talk like that before or bow" ion said

"The prince of the Carpathian people," said Dom. "It was drilled into me even as a babe to put his life above my own. There was no other choice. Even your life is forfeit for his by default. This is because, without him, the whole of the Carpathian race dies. So, he must be protected at all times, even from himself if necessary."

""do you want that? do you want to follow him? "" he asked

"Do I want to go to the school so soon?" Dom said. "No. However, Xavier is someone I greatly respect. He is one of the youngest princes we have ever had, and has endured great hardship on behalf of us, his people. He is a true leader. I could never do even half of what he does. That's why I ran from my home, Ion. I know I can't live up to Xavier's reputation or standards."

"how does a whole race relay on him being alive? I don't understand" he said

------

Landon gathered his lifemate to and healing her wrist. He sliced open his own wrist and put it to Alessia's mouth. He helped her to feed, distancing her from the act. He held back the moan that came so deep, he never knew such a place existed. When done, he stood between his mother and his woman.

"You have suffered at the hands of vampires, mother," accused Landon, "seen their evil first hand. You have even told us kids about the trauma and dark things you did because they nearly destroyed your mind. Yet, you presume to lecture and injure my lifemate for doing the same. We don't know what she has been through, how traumatized she could be."

"She isn't acting like a mindless puppet through trauma," said Erik, protecting Meghan. "Landon, do not try to pass blame."

Landon took Alessia's hand. "We have yet to learn about her."

"She is of sound mind. Your mother has lost children because of evil, and has comforted too many women who suffered the same fate. Now, your lifemate has cause more pain than any dark mage or vampire ever has. By all rights, her life is forfeit and those couples are wanting her to suffer. Just as a vampire stole Agatha from her, she stole nearly 100 children from their parents. Who would you call a monster in this situation."

"I will take her punishment on her behalf," declared Landon "Even if it is death."

"I will not hear such talk" Xavier said walking in. As they all greeted him the all noticed he did not once look at Allessia "River is here, she is putting the souls to rest and is helping the make it to the afterlife so they can be reborn" He said in a emotionless tone "I suggest you too go help her, you know how she gets around people and Draiden is worse then her" he said plainly "as for you too" Xavier said looking only at Landon "you are to escort your...woman to the north tower, she is not to leave that room and neither are you until the council discuses this matter" he said in a stern tone

Erik nodded and escorted Meghan out. Outside, everyone could hear that Meghan was crying, feeling the pain of every mother and reliving her own pain. But they still went to aid one of their oldest friends.

Landon picked up Alessia, making sure she was covered, before turning to Xavier and said, "Xavier, before any sentence is passed up on us, I request that we look into her memories from the past fifteen years. It has come to my attention that she had been kidnapped and abused by a vampire, possibly others. This will explain her actions. I also want the time needed to finish binding her to me."

"you have three days "he said and turned to leave. Landon knew the prince well he could see he was exhausted

Landon nodded and went to the room. He sat her on the soft bed and placed himself at the door. The windowless room looked incredible, but it was all lost on him.

"Let's talk," he said.

She was silent and curled up on her side away from him

"I can enter you mind, Alessia," said Landon. "Either I relive every memory through you forcefully, or we talk about it. In the end, you and I will finish the binding ritual because this space will demand it. We are locked in, prisoners because of your actions. If you explain to me why you tried to kill our people, or show me what happened, I can speak on your behalf."

"I don't need you tosoeak for me" she said quietly

"Should I go looking for the answers I seek, then?" he asked. "Know, you would not be in any pain, and I would learn everything. I would see every memory, even of your grandmother."

"do what you want it does not matter anymore" she said giving up. She was waiting to die and nothing more

Landon said, "I simply want to learn about you. You are my lifemate, the other half of my soul. I have looked for you for more than a thousand years. But, if you wish me to look, I will." He made her look at him when he got to her, to look in her eyes to see her memories more easily. "However, not even death will keep me from following you, so dying is not an option."

He entered her mind, spreading warmth. What he saw first was heartwarming. His parents bringing Alessia toys, her grandmother showing her how to garden, and playing with her pet rabbit. But then, her memories became dark.

There was blood everywhere the sound of her crying as a child echoed his ears through her memories. Someone was pulling her away from her dead grandmothers body. Her little bloody hand reaching out to her "grand mama!!" The next scene was her in a cage. It was dark and cold and she laid curled up on a hard cold floor sobbing quietly. Her memories started shifting and becoming blurred until he was pushed from her mind "don't bother....you won't see much" she said

He wanted to shake her. He wanted to force her to see the truth. But she looked so broken, lost.

"Your grandmother was a lovely person," he said. "I would have been honored to have met her. The way you saw my parents, as good people, that should never have been tainted. But why did you want to destroy us? What happened to you after you were taken that made you decide to do this? I felt you giving up on life, seeing your plan as a failure, and that you are now a monster. What could be the harm in telling me how you came up with your plan?"

"it does not matter do what you want to me I don't care anymore"

"If you didn't care, you wouldn't have kicked me out of your mind," Landon pointed out. "You care about something. Show me what I need to know. You are my lifemate, and as such, anything that happens to you happens to me. If I don't know why you made your decision, how do I know if I can give you aid or not?" He smiled. "But with my help, you can do it the right way, where true justice is served, and not misguided revenge."

"your people might have not killed her directly but you are responsible just the same. I am not misguided you are"

"I have fought those monsters most of my life. And we are not responsible for their choices. They chose to lose their souls, Alessia. I have chosen to keep mine. They gave up honor for a single moment of feeling anything. I personally didn't care if I lived or died." He stroked her cheek tenderly. "But that changed the moment you appeared in my life. Now, you decide for me. Life or death. At the end of these three days, if you are not fully bound to me and I can't provide enough evidence to save you, as well as show why you decided to kill us all, you and I will be put to death. And it won't feel nice. They would treat us like vampires simply because you would explain why."

As she was not fully bound to him, a white lie couldn't hurt. The most the prince would do would be to force her to finish the binding ritual and painfully enter her mind. He had been gentle as he didn't want her hurt in anyway, but going through all of that would be the same as being branded a vampire to her.

She sat up and looked at him "bond with me then but you won't like the answer"

He pinned her to the bed and said, "I've only said the words. Are you willing to exchange blood with me? Merge our minds and bodies, placing so much trust in me?" His hand moved down her side. "You would make love to me, showing me that you would place my happiness above your own, just as I would for you? Can you say, right now, you would love me from this moment on?"

Her skin burned under his touch and she felt heat form between her legs and the scent of her sweet arousal filled the air between them "I've been in love with you since the moment I saw you...." she said sincerely. He could see from her mind she was telling the truth " I had the room rigged with explosives...at any point I could have set then off..but I didn't and I let you take me...and I hate myself for it"

------

Maddox laughed and said, "It is fine. I can't either. Just stay on the bed. Though, I do have a question. Do you believe I am real now?"

She was silent for a moment "yes...so now im even more scared' She said honestly. As she looked down at him "Maddox.....dont leave...even now your to far away from me" SHe said in a tone that made his heart jerk

Maddox reached up and touched her hand, saying, "I can touch your mind. I promise, no matter what, you will always be with me. Your necklace, remember. My parents passed the necklace to me. Touch it, and you will feel me. Besides, after nearly seeing you die in my arms and being helpless to keep you with me, I don't want you away from me either. The only reason you are to be out of my sight is if I am needed in destroying a vampire. I cannot see you in such pain again. And I don't care if you hate me for it, even when making a kill, you cannot leave my mind. But you can not be in danger, ever."

"I don't want you to be in danger....you don't really have to fight do you? can't we just go somewhere....we...we can make a home far away were it can be just us she said in a soft yet almost pleading tone"

Maddox said, "Serenity, I thank you for caring for my safety. I'm a healer, a hunter, and a teacher, but they are not all of me. I will always be your mate second. But could you tell me to stay behind when I am needed? To tell me to not to be true to myself and hide with you when there are monsters that can harm you?"

"your...mine second?" she said in a heartbreaking tone and letting go of his hand. He could feel her walls start to go back up. Pushing him out and from her mins as she turned over leaving her back to him

He made her look at him as he said, "You are always first. But if there is a battle, how long do you think it would take before it reached us? You can not be harmed, Serenity. I will always fight to protect you. If we ran, I would feel unworthy of you, less of a man. I know you want me far from anything that can harm me, but I must protect you. Without you, I cannot exist. So, I ask again, if I am needed in a battle, would you stop me from being who I am?"

She looked away from him and was silent

"Serenity, it is in my nature to protect you," Maddox went on. "If I am not needed, I will stay with you, but I will protect you. However, I will always come back. Always."

She didn't say anything I never come first....and now I will lose himshe thought to herself "teach me how to fight she said out of no where"

Maddox sighed and said, "If you want to, we can begin training tomorrow. But if you can't make a kill, you will be putting us both in danger in battle. And when we battle our enemies, you are not to leave my sight."

She could feel that it went against his nature to allow her this. He needed to protect her, and she had asked to be in the heart of danger. He would always fear her dying in battle, his first instinct to protect her first and foremost. But if she needed to protect him in return, he could do no other than make her happy.

"tomorrow then...but...i need something now" she said and he saw her cheeks turn pink. The thoughts in her head would make any male life materials or otherwise react the way he did

He growled and kissed her deeply. He lifted her up once more before impaling her on him as he merged their minds once more. But he wanted to do more.

"I'm going to say the words again," he said. "I need you to listen to them with your very soul. I claim you as my lifemate. I belong to you. I offer my life for you. I give to you my protection, my allegiance, my heart, my soul, and my body. I take into my keeping the same that is yours. Your life, happiness, and welfare will be cherished and placed above my own for all time. You are my lifemate, bound to me for all eternity and always in my care." He kissed her neck. "They are more than words, Serenity, they are a vow, a need. I can do no other than cherish you, love you, and make you happy. You are the air I breath, the blood in my veins, my very soul. No matter where I went, you were with me, and we had yet to met. Every vampire I destroyed, I thought that it was one less threat to take you from me. Every time I went to ground, I tried to envision you, and you exceeded all expectations. You are so strong and good and pure and beautiful, I feel I should not even have the right to look upon you. You are a queen and I a peasant. When I see you cry, my world crumbles. When you smile, it feels like there is no evil in the world. When you speak, even when you are angry, I hear a song. Your laughter is my favorite music." He placed his head on her chest. "This here, your heart beat, is the most beautiful symphony in the world. I get lost in your eyes all the time. You are my home, the only thing I need in my life. Do you understand, Serenity? I will always return home, because there is no place I would rather be."

she teared up and giggled I just wanted a shower" she said jjokingl stroking his head "but I'll take what you said instead....i needed it more" she said wrapping her body around his. Her lips grazed his neck and he felt her fangs brush his skin. Without saying anything she bit in softly

"A shower, huh?" he asked, taking her to the springs. "I see. We can continue talking there."

He lowered her into the bubbling water. On her sensitized skin, it felt like thousands of tongues lapping at her, heightening her pleasure.

She bit down harder and moaned as the water and his blood teased her. She was not taking a lot just small amounts she was savoring him more than feeding.

Maddox pumped into her harder, losing control again. This time, when they came down from the high of their lovemaking, the rock pool they were in was utterly destroyed and water flooded the room.

"You have got to stop driving me crazy," he laughed. "Otherwise, any house we do own won't last very long."

"sad as it is about this beautiful pool I'm not sorry"she said resting her head on his shoulders "this is new to this to me and I don't want it to end" she said suddenly stiffening in his arms. For a moment he could not reach her mind.

"S-Serenity?" he asked, fear coursing through him. "What's wrong?"

She suddenly started to shiver in his arms and he can touch her mind once more though he knew she was keeping something from him "nothing...im just tired....can.....can we go home...i want to go home...with you"she said the words so softly and sweetly it touched his heart. She had been fighting him since there union, trying leave him and now she called it their home.

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