"The prince already knows," said Valcan. "He shared your pain. He entered your mind to determine what occurred. He knew what you did and found that I was the guilty one."
“I won’t let it happen no one will touch you!” She said and he felt a magic barrier go up around him. He felt the magic on his skin. She sway and fell backwards from her seating position
"You do not need to protect me," he said. "It won't kill me, nor will it change who I am. You've seen human tattoos. It is the same thing, just the meaning behind it is different than me liking the design."
She didn’t answer him, her body went to sleep almost instantly, he could tell the magic stayed
He placed her back in the ground before telling Xavier, She has put a barrier upon my skin. I could take it off, but it would take several days, in which time she would rebuild it. I will have to endure something other than a tattoo for my failing if that was your intention.
I would not brand your skin for this, you did break the rules and there will be a punishment but I am not without understanding, you were overwhelmed by new emotions that had been lost to you years ago, we will discuss your punishment later, for now I need you to make sure she stays asleep while also checking on her progress
Very well, said Valcan. Her skill with spells is incredible but unfocused. She casts without conscious thought. That has never been the case before. Her power is immense and could overwhelm her if she is not careful. It seems to be growing quickly as well. She did not utter a word to put the barrier upon me. She is the only mage in history to do so since Genativa in the 8th century BC.
What did you find out about the sister, what line did she come from
She has not mentioned her sister, he said. If she wakes up again, I will ask.
You were there with her sister when she passed, what did she say or what did you notice, any small detail might help, I’ll also contact the de la Cruz ranch to have them go check the area again
Her sister was not Carpathian but did have a lifemate, he said. He died alone in South America. This was a good 2-3 centuries ago while I was away. I could not get a scent from her or the clothes to tell you what bloodline she was from or her lifemate was from. Her magic felt like it may have come from the line of Dark Mages, or an off-shoot thereof. Perhaps the line tracing back to a cousin of the Three High Mages or something similar. I would not be surprised if Paige had the Mage Mark on her and it hid for some reason.
Check her body thoroughly without waking her and keep me updated, also test her blood to see if it is different
He looked at her shoulders and found a faint mark that seemed to be emerging, but it was too early to tell what it was. Valcan sent the image to Xavier. He then bit her wrist and sipped before closing the wound, leaving no mark behind. No change in the taste of her blood, but there is a tingling sensation as it goes down my throat that is new.
Put a seal on her to contain her magic, it means it’s still building
It took a moment but Valcan did his best. It is done. I could not shut off what was already free, but I have stopped it from emerging further.
Good now go hunt, the mage will take your place while you do, I have things I need to do, contact me if anything changes
Valcan enclosed Paige in the ground and went to hunt. He was about to enter a village when a group of society members surrounded him "May I help you?" he asked. They didn't talk to him. They instantly attacked him. As he took care of some of the lackeys, hun shots echoed the area as they shot at him. The leader tried to put a silver stake through his back and through his heart. It took a total of ten minutes to end all of them and send their ashes into the air. Yet, he still felt where the stake shattered on his back. Right over his heart. He bent down and got the leaders phone, his last message was from a private number that told him a time to be at this exact spot. He reported that immediately to the prince. Something didn’t sit right because everyone going in or out of the school has to inform the guards at the gate who then write it down. Which meant they had a mole. He quickly hunted and returned to Paige. He opened the earth to look at her. His savior. If not for her ward on him , that stake would have went through, though a human wouldn’t have been strong to get to his heart that way, it still wound have hurt him keep this ambush to yourself, we are in progress of finding the mole and don’t wish to alarm them into hiding said the prince are you injured?
No, he said. Her ward saved my life. I will keep it quiet for now, but she will eventually learn. We are lifemates, after all.
Rest now but not next to her
I slept safely five feet from her, he said, but it was not a comfortable rest by any means. Will five feet suffice this night?
since you put the seal on her you may sleep next to her but if she wakes up you are to put her to sleep immediately is that understood
He took the salve he created and began to put it on her wounds, saying, "I am new at caring for a woman. Especially one that needs me the way you do. I will make mistakes, like the barrier. But would you have listened if I chased you? No, because I am not your alpha yet. You should know, not all alphas are cruel and demand obedience. Some rule with love and earn respect, which leads to his or her orders being followed." He finished with the balm and moved her hair from her face. "I will take the barrier down now, but running is dangerous. I only wished to heal you." He picked her up and she felt the barrier go down. "We have a bed here. I'll sleep out in the hall to protect you and give you two time to be together. If you need anything, tell me."
She wiggled in his arms trying to get back to her daughter, but when his smell hit her noise she stopped, he felt her hunger, it was a primal need, she was use to being starved
He grabbed a box and opened it, saying, "Until we know more, you are free to drink from these bottles. Feed as much as you need. Make sure your daughter does as well. There are about 16 bottles here. That should end your hunger for tonight." He looked her in the eye. "In exchange, I would like your name."
She frowned and then flinched when bullocks face came into her head telling her the old her was dead “number one” she said touching the brand on the back of her neck
"Not the name he forced upon you," he said. "The one he tried to destroy. The one he tried to make you forget."
He felt her getting upset “I don’t...remember....please at least let her eat” she said in Begging tone
He hugged her to him and said, "I shall help you remember. The bottles are yours. But I expect your true name when you remember."
He moved away from her, opened the bottles one by one so that she and Lily could feed.
She watched him “I don’t have to kill anything?” She asked in a Skeptical tone
"My people and I prefer not to kill while feeding," he said. "It turns us men into beasts if we have not found our lifemates. Women have never been able to bring themselves to do it willingly, and feel sick when forced. You do not have to kill any living creature to feed."
She started to cry silently as pain and guilt slammed her heart “i want to die..why did you stop me”
"Because I would have died with you," he said. "But now you have a reason to live. To watch all of your children be freed from monsters and brought back to you. Feed, grow stronger, and help us find them. If you do not listen to me for your own sake, then do it for them."
She watched him silently for a moment. He could tell she was confused by him saying he would die, but she was still scared to take the blood though she desperately wanted to find her children. She was scared he was tricking her somehow and that at any moment he would hurt her or her daughter. She suddenly took a submissive position at his feet “I’m not smart...please tell me what to do so that I may please,you” she said in a shaking tone. Serenity’s words ran through his head again and he knew in this moment he might have to do something he really didn’t want to do.
"What I want is for you to come to trust my judgment and trust me," he said. "I have not done anything to harm you physically and I have made one mistake only out of concern for your welfare. For now, feed. Once you are better feed and healed, we will talk more about what is expected of you. Feeding and your true name are what would please me. Calling you Number I makes you an object, and the thought sickens me."
“If I tell you my name will you let my daughter go?” She asked in a low tone
"She is already free," he said. "You have freedom as well, but there are conditions that will be revealed later. I would like for you to come to care for me as a man of honor, perhaps even love me, and for your children to see me as their father. I will not force that on you, however. Until you are fully healed, however, you should stay here and listen to me. I'm your healer."
“I don’t understand.....” she said in a low tone “why would you want to heal a monster?” She asked “I don’t want to be a monster anymore.....I can’t live like this anymore” she said in a shaking tone
"You are no monster," he said. "Would you call Lily a monster? No, the only monster was the one who tortured you and forced himself on you. He was a Sange rau."
She looked confused “a sange rau?” She asked in a low tone
"The mixing of vampire and rogue lycan," he said. "Very dangerous and wholly evil. But you and your children are Guardian of all. Their opposite. You are not evil, though male Guardians can be dangerous if we need to be."
She started to get more stressed “vampire.....Lycans....” she shook her head “no...” she said hugging herself “I want to go home.....I want this nightmare to end, they are dead he killed them I have no family left “ she said starting to panic and he saw images of her slaughtered parents go through her mind, her ears rung with their screams
Apollo....your not fully bonded yet, you might need too... Maddox voice began
Only if she tries to harm herself, Apollo said. Right now, she needs to breathe and calm down.
Apollo made her look at him and said, "Follow the rhythm of my breathing. Listen to my heart and have yours match it. It is instinctual. You have Lily and me and everyone here. We can be your family if you let us. You are not alone."
“Your monsters too!” She yelled baring her fangs “your all monster! And you made me one!” She yelled pushing him away and stood up on shaking legs, the motion reopened the deep bites on her legs “you killed my family and took me away...” she said holding onto the wall and using it to try and walk away from him, but her legs threatened to give out because of her injuries Apollo dominate her now! I feel her intent it’s not good said serenity suddenly
Apollo pinned her to the wall. He had moved so fast, she had not had time to see him move. He pushed his way into her mind, difficult since she was a guardian, but he made sure not to hurt her. He stared into her eyes, her eyes captured by his and unable to look away. What he saw sickened him more than he was already. Kidnapped from her family's home. Raped daily, giving birth several times just so he could brand them and make them into tools or worse, toyed with. His anger rose when the thing bit into her and caused her pain. He pulled away from her mind. He had to show her. He lowered his head to her neck and bit down. Her blood was spicy, yet mellow. He didn't want to stop.
She cried out, her mind expected pain but it’s wasnt pain she felt which sent her mind into a spiral. Her cry became a moan and her nails dug into his arms. There was a part of her that liked it but the bigger part of her won, she felt sick by what he was doing, she hated being bit, it was her biggest fear, but she didn’t want to make him mad, she released his arms and stopped fighting him. Tears ran down her face silently and she whimpered and rested her head on his shoulder. She just gave in and accepted his advances
He closed the wound, leaving no mark, and said, "Now, you bite me."
Her fear slammed into him hard, he saw her eyes wander to look over at her daughter and then back to him and he felt her resolve to do as he said, thinking he would hurt her daughter if she didn’t “I.....don’t know how I’ve always been forced” she said in a low tone “I don’t want to hurt you if I do it wrong”
He said, "Let your fangs grow, like you did earlier. You are feeding, not killing. I will stop you when you have had enough."
She shook her head “please I don’t want to hurt you....” she said in a shaking tone “I always kill when I eat”
"Not eat," he said, "feed. And you can't hurt me. It is an impossibility. I will stop you before it gets that far."
She gripped the wall with her shaking hands and opened her mouth slowly and leaned toward him. She was scared and didn’t want the pain that would come. She looked for a good spot and her eyes focused on a part on his neck, she could hear the pulse echoing in her ears and it was like trance took over. She bit down slowly, almost missing the vein but she got it. Her mouth exploded with his flavor, it was light fire that warmed her entire body. Something snapped in her and her arms wrapped around his waist and she turned him so his back was against the wall and her body was pinning him there. Her hands gripped is back
His own hands pulled her to him and bunched in her hair. He threw back his head, pleasure coursing through him. However, he and to make her stop now. He pulled her from his neck and kissed her hard and deep, pushing her back until she fell onto a bed. He pulled back when he felt the blankets.
"We cannot," he said, closing the wound. "You are too injured. This is your room." He waved his hand. "And this is for Lily, if she wishes to sleep there. Here, you can sleep in a bed and still heal properly. I will go to ground after you both have fallen to sleep. The wardrobe in the back corner has all sorts of outfits for you both to wear."
Her body felt frustrated and she didn’t understand why “do you....do I not please you?” She asked “I....I have been trained properly if you give me a chance..” she said and started to move into a sexual position
He stopped her, hiding his pain from her, and said, "That is not it at all. I want you, so much that it hurts. But I will not have you hurt and hungry and weak when we come together. I want the real you, Cassandra."
She froze when he called her that Cassandra is dead you are number one now bullocks voice echoed in her mind “stop...please don’t call me that...I’m not her anymore “ she said turning on her side
"You have always been her," he said. "Number One never existed." He sighed. "I freed the woman, but she has yet to free her mind from his hold. Cassandra, if you keep thinking you are his possession and call yourself Number one, you will never be free of him. His hold will be eternal. But if you acknowledge the lie and refuse to give into it, you will free yourself. It will take time, I know. I will guide you when needed. The woman I saw in your memories was a fighter, willing to do what it took to get free of a madman. Do not let that woman be caged by him any longer."
She didn’t say anything she just curled up into a ball “you don’t understand “
"I understand that he killed your family just when things started to look up," he said. "I understand that he forced himself upon you and made you bear multiple children just for his sick game. I understand that he forced submission upon you when you were at your weakest and then used your own nature against you. Vampires, rouges, Sange rau, they lie and manipulate outcomes so that they always win. Hunters like me put an end to them."
She remained quiet, she cried silently, her mind split in two, half of her thought this wasn’t real that it was a mind game he was playing that at any moment she would wake up and be back in her cage, he had tested her like this before, to see if she would stay loyal “please stop.....” she said
He thought for a moment and took off his shirt, saying, "I had to examine your body in order to heal it. It is now your turn. Touch, examine, do what you must."
She shook "no I can't...I don't touch anyone but my master "
"I gave you an order, Cassandra," he said sternly, his eyes glowing.
Something stirred in her that wasn't fear that she couldn't place. Slowly she sat up and he helped her because she was still weak and very hurt. Slowly her hands came up and touched his chest. He was warm under her touch, not cold like Bullock . Slowly the slid up , she watched his reaction like she was scared she would do something wrong.
He shook with the force to stay still. A low rumble lay in his chest, showing that just laying her hand on him gave him pleasure. His muscles were well-defined under tanned skin. He had few scars that showed he fought and won. He looked as if he were standing there calmly, but under hand, his heart beat wildly.
They came up to rest on his shoulders then slowly slide down his arms, when she got to his elbows she moved her hands off of his arms and onto his waist
"Do you wish to examine my legs as well?" he asked, his voice sounding strained.
She shook her head slowly and moved closer until she straddled his lap, her hands sliding to his back, her body inches from his he her eyes were closed
She felt strength in him, yet his arms going around her told her he was gentle as well. When she touched the base of his neck, he shook. He did this again at the base of his spine. Yet, he never hurried her or pushed her beyond her own limits.
She leaned in, her chest against his, her nose and mouth rested on his shoulder, he felt her warm breath on his skin as she took in his scent
"Are you enjoying yourself?" he asked.
She nodded slowly as her hands traced the muscles of his back. He felt her start to relax, like this was calming her. Her thoughts died down and her body relaxed. Slowly her hands rested on his waist and he realized she had fallen into a human sleep
He picked her up and placed her in the bed, saying, "I'm glad you feel safe enough with me."
He then went to Lily and placed her in her bed. He lay on the couch next to the door, placed mother and daughter into a deep sleep, and then followed them.