Truth be told

Alessia glared at him “look just because everyone else stabbed you in the back doesn’t give you the right to take it out on me! I defended you! I trusted your judgement and put it in action so they could see you were right” she said yelling back “and just for the record you wouldn’t know a lie from a truth even if I spelled it out to you!”

"Then, why do you hesitate to tell me where you learned this information?" he asked. "Don't tell me it was taught to you again. I know it's not the truth. I have been honest with you this whole time, Alessia. I expect the same in return."

“I don’t need to explain myself to you anymore” she said in a cold tone “you served your purpose, your prince will die and there is nothing you can do to stop it” she said backing away from him “now why don’t you just go back to feeling sorry for yourself and...”

"So, Xavier was right in all the things he did," Landon said. "I have called my father. Whatever happens to us, know it is on you. But also know this, Xavier was saved this night and your plan failed." He went to the bedroom, but not before saying, "I thought I had found an angel but she turned me into a worse monster than the vampire. She turned me into her."

“You were already a monster, you all are and if he didn’t die tonight fine, we already know he has a lifemate and he will never get a chance to bond with her, he will die and you all with them” she said “besides” she said crossing her arms with a cold grin “you should be grateful to have such a talented lifemate, i was able to trick all of you, who do you think got those students out, or who helped the grounds keeper keep Scarlett occupied, i out bested your best, a dragonseeker...a guardian, at the end of the day it shows power is nothing if you are not smart enough, and none of you are, I mean you were in my head for Christ sake!” She said laughing coldly

With a wave of his hand, he paralyzed her. He could hear her screaming in his mind but he ignored it. He searched everywhere until...

Father, Alessia has a parasite in her brain, he said. She said there were others in the school. Every teacher and student must be examined. We have an infestation on our hands and it is causing even lifemates to betray our people. And... he sighed, I'm sorry. I let my fear for Xavier blind me to the manipulation of the parasite through her.

Destroy it, we will talk later, but be warned, depending on how long she has had it she might not remember anything

Using his own light, he made a laser and destroyed the parasite. The whole time, he heard her scream as if in pain until it was gone. He returned to his body and caught her as she fell when he released her body. He carried her to the bed. Part of him wanted her to remember the good they had, but the other part of him didn't want her to remember because of the pain she was forced to cause.

He felt almost a instant shift in her, warmth spread through him so hard it was like he was able to breath for the first time. He knew this was the missing price, from the very beginning even though he had bound them something felt off, he thought it had been because of how she came into his life, but now it was clear that was not the case, it was because he never true.y had all of her to begin with. Fear filled him as he realized that meant she had been under control since the day they meant, which meant if she doesn’t remember anything that when she wake up her world was going to be turned upside down.

He was grateful yet worried. He didn't know how much she would remember of her life, what she would think, how she would react. He knew that, no matter what, even with them starting over at square one, he would not abandon her.

She looked almost peaceful on the bedbug he could feel her soul shifting and changing as her mind became her own. The anger he had grew accustomed to from her was fading, her soul was becoming warming, her he felt pain from it, sadness, fear. It was like a damn had broken and the water was hurrying to catch up and take it’s natural place. After a long hour and a lot of thinking as he watched her she bolted up with a startled cry and gripped her head

He went to her and said, "It's okay. I'm here to help. My parents are Erik and Meghan Daratrazanoff. Do you know who they are? They were friends of your grandmother's. I'm their son, Landon."

He smelled her blood as red tears started to stream down her face. Suddenly she swung her legs of the bed and turned her back to him, he could see her shaking but her mind was closed to him so he couldn’t tell how she was feeling

"Would you mind talking to me?" he asked in a gentle tone. "I would very much like to help you if you would allow me."

She didn’t speak, her hands gripped the mattress tightly, when he went to speak again she got up and ran over to the warded door and slammed into, she kept doing it, hurting herself in the process

He got between her, stopping her and he said, "Alessia, stop! I can't bear to see you hurt yourself like this! Talk to me!"

His tone was filled with worry. He couldn't seem to get through to her. He called for his parents for aid. But the informed him they were unable to come at the moment, but his father gave him advice to bring her back to reality the way only a lifemate can. By touch, scent, mind link and whatever other means Necessary before she has a mental break

He took her into his arms so that she could rest her head on his chest. He enveloped her. He entered her mind as gently as he could. He had to help her. It was a need. He didn't make up memories. The Alessia before was a fake. This was his woman. And he had to get to know her. The real her.

His fears were brought to life, she remembered everything, through her mind he could see she was helpless to watch her voice drowned out by the parasites. She had been aware the whole time and was helpless, she was only able to watch as her body and voice were controlled by someone else. She felt not only raped but destroyed “let me go!” She cried and pushed at him as hard as she could “don’t touch me!” She said and felt how his touch made her feel yet in her mind he was a rapist to her

"I want to help," he said, colors and emotions stronger than before, "to make up my failing you. You know you are my lifemate, what that means for my people. I will not touch you in any way that makes you uncomfortable because that is not what you need. Right now, I'm your healer. When you are ready, we can try to find a way through this. But please, let me distance your memories so that you can process them much more easily."

“No! Stay out of my head and let me go!” She said frantically trying to get away from him. She was like a wounded animals trying to get away from a predator, fighting for her life. She started to have a panic attack, her body reaching such a mount of stress she started to induce a miscarriage

He moved away from her and said, "Your mind will fragment. Would you rather my father do this? It would not be until tomorrow and we are both stuck in this cave until we are let out." He noticed he no longer had the urge to be outside but felt comfortable in the cave even though he was caged inside. "I'm the only healer that can aid you at this time. I'm sorry."

She leaned against the wall holding her stomach and slid down the wall. She started screaming in anguish as everything came down on her, she was free but the damage was done “years!” She cried out hitting her head

"No one will blame you for being under the control of another," he said. "I have no excuse and will gladly take any punishment given to me. I should have known better. You are an innocent."

She started to laugh “innocent...innocent?!” She laughed like she was breaking “tell that to the bite mark on my groin!” She said “or the people I killed or seduced!” She said and blood started to form between her legs

"Did you want to kill them?" he asked. "Was it a choice you made? Or did the parasite make it for you?" He went to the kitchen and made something. He brought back a cup of hot tea. "Here. It's all-natural so your body will accept it." He set it on the table and walked back to the other side of the room. "Please, drink. It will help."

“You must hate me too...the landon I watched would have forced me to let him save his precious child” she said with a disgusted tone throwing the tea at the wall, the cup shattering

"Would it change your opinion of me if I did?" he asked, cleaning the mess before bringing her a fresh cup. "This isn't going to hurt you. It will help steady your mind and relax your body. So, in a way, it will help our child."

She didn’t take it “stop saying that!” She said covering her ears “it disgust me to have this thing growing inside me! I don’t want it for the first time in years I finally get a choice to kill willingly and I....”

"Alessia," he said in a pained tone, "I know what happened was wrong. I didn't have the knowledge to look for a parasite. I want the chance to start over. But please understand, the baby is an innocent too." He set the cup down and knelt in front of her. "You have every right to hate me and every society member from your memory. But I am sorry for what I did. Knowing or unknowing, I should have looked. I could have at least saved you much grief."

“All of you are just as bad as the society! None of you helped me! Your all weak!” She said moving away from him until her back hit the wall “I want it out! Even babies are not innocent when it comes to your kind, they will grow up to be monsters!” She said covering her head and gripping her hair “monsters...” she said scratching her neck so hard it started to bleed. She had been fed on before, by something nasty, her brain was blocking it out but she could feel the pain, it’s hot breath and cold touch

"Not all of us are monsters," he said, stopping her hands. "Remember Erik and Meghan? Your grandmother was good friends with them. They would bring you toys to play with."

She slapped his hand away “don’t act like you care! No one cared! No one came!” She said and slapped him hard across the face “I won’t be used any more! Not by you or the society or by the monster siphoning off my body!” She said and she started to punch her stomach hard

He stilled her hands and said, "Alessia, stop! The only one getting hurt right now is you! It pains me to see you like this. And I do care. It's the reason why I haven't made you go to sleep. You need to feel like you have control back in your life. I am giving you time to sort through the memories, the pain, all of it. All I want to do is make that easier on you by distancing the memories. But if you continue to harm yourself, I will be forced to put you to sleep. Your health and safety come first."

“That’s a lie! No one cares about my health and your forced to by some magic tie!” She said pushing him down and straddling him, her hands wrapped around his throat “if I kill you I can be free! A half life is better then this one” she said and started to squeeze but her hands started to shake before she got tight enough to actually hurt him “I can...” she said and tears hit his face but her hair hid her face from him

"I would choose you even without it," he said. "The real you is honest and not hiding. The real you doesn't make me feel trapped in this cave, or feed anger that should have never been. You cry when you are upset, feel anger over the injustices done to you, and feel pain over the crimes you were forced to commit as a puppet. You feel. Part of me felt you, Alessia, and that allowed me to tie our souls together. If the imitation were my true lifemate, I would be a vampire right now, not a Carpathian."

“You claim to feel me yet you didn’t help me....” she said still holding his throat, her nails digging in “I don’t want this...I never had a choice...” she said in a low tone “ever since that night I was those in the dark and no one helped me...yet I’m a lifemate...I’m still being used” she said in a shaking tone “what did I do to deserve this life.....” she said in a low tone

"You can use me the same way you say I am using you," he said. "For companionship, love, comfort, anger. Whatever you need in that moment, I am here to aid you. I can't harm you, but I can make life worth living if you give me the chance."

“I don’t believe you....your all selfish” she said with shaking hands, she finally looked up and met his eyes “but if you want to prove it then take out the monster inside of me”

"I cannot," he said. "I want to prove my true feelings but... I put your needs first. You needed to talk. In tackling me... the baby is gone." She heard the pain but saw no regret. "You are important to me. The child was a month long in it's development. Even then, we were not ready. I knew three days ago. Your body was rejecting the child and I could not stop it."

He saw it then, the pain in her eyes, she already knew too “it...it was being feed on...” she said in a shaking tone “I couldn’t....” she said in a cracking tone, her hands loosened and she moved away from him, she hugged her legs to her, looking at the blood “I......”

"Allow me to lay you in the bed and heal you," he said. "Then, you may go to the hot springs to bath. I will not enter if you do not wish it."

She shook her head “I want to stay here with...” she bite her arm, trying to take her mind off the emotional pain she felt I cold only watch that thing eat it..

He put his arm around her. I'm sorry. I should have been a better lifemate to you and found that thing before any of this happened. I have failed you in the worse way and I have no excuse. I will not ask you to forgive me. We are at step one again, but this time, it will be the real us. He leaned his head back. The way I acted, the things I said... I'll have my father look at me tomorrow. I will sleep apart from you in case I harbor one of those things. It would be young and unable to control me as it had you. A full-scale look into the students and teachers at the school is taking place to find others. I pray we save the others like you, the ones forced to do the society's bidding.

“You don’t have one...” she said in a low tone releasing her arm. Slowly she stood up on shaking legs and began to walk towards the bathroom

"What's wrong?" he asked. "Do you need any aid?"

She stopped “please....what don’t you understand...your lifemate died along time ago...I get released from me cage and stuck into another, I don’t have what it takes to fight anymore...once I get cleaned up you can do whatever you want to me, fuck me, mess with my mind, I don’t care anymore” she said not looking back at him with a defeated tone

He went to her and picked her up. He had to hold her, cradle her to him. She looked so lost and alone, he had to try and comfort her, he took them both to the hot springs and set her down. Once there, he began to wash her hair, his hand gentle on her scalp as the warmth seeped through her skin.

She didn’t say anything, she didn’t fight him. He knew no matter how clean she was on the outside she felt so dirty on the inside. He did feel her body start to relax “I’m sorry” she said suddenly

"For what?" he asked as he began to braid her hair.

She didn’t say anything for a while, after about ten minutes and in a very low tone, almost like a whisper she said “for existing”

"You don't need to be sorry for that," he said. "Those who have hurt you should be sorry. I know I am one of them by not finding that thing sooner and for what happened between us while it was controlling you. For that, I apologize. But there would be no light without you. Despite everything, I am glad you exist."

“I hate myself for feeling the way I feel...every time you would touch my body...every time we....I felt betrayed, like you were cheating on me in the worse possible way. I hate feeling that way because you were not mine to begin with, can you imagine, looking through your own eyes while another man fucked me..”

He held in his growl and said, "I don't want to imagine that kind of hell. I am sorry you lived it. But I was always yours. When it was destroyed and the real you came forward, I felt more complete. Would you like me to say the binding words to you? To show you what I say is true?"

“Would it really make a difference if you said them again.....” she said in a low tone

"It will strengthen the ties between our souls," he said. "Perhaps even add new ones."

She didn’t answer, slowly she leaned back until her back was against his chest and she nodded

He said, "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 felt it. He knew by the stiffening in her shoulders she did too. The ties had been there before, but because of the parasite, they had been loose. Now, they were tied together as they were meant to be. What he said had been true. Saying the words again strengthened the bonds they already had and created new ones. He massaged the back of her neck to relieve the tension there. He meant every word and he would always put her needs first.

She leaned back fully against him, her head resting on his shoulders, he could see the teared slowly sliding down her face yet no sound came from her “the memories....don’t distance them, I already am broken from the last she said in a exhausted tone “besides....distancing them won’t help how filthy I feel inside....nothing will, for years I had that thing crawling around inside me” she said tensing “I’m so tired....”

"Now, you have me to lean on when things get too hard," he said. "One day, you will see that you do not need to carry the filth of another. It is not yours. I know it doesn't feel like it right now and it will take time to get there. Take one step at a time at your own pace. Okay?"

“Why is it out of everything I was force to endure over the years you being with....not me was the worse, I can’t get it out of my head” she said sitting up and gripping her head “my heart shattered every time you would touch my body or look and me with those lust filled eyes and it felt like I died the day you said you loved me...” she said and started rocking “I thought.l,the day you said those words...I would finally be rescued, that you would know...” she said shaking as she tried to hold in her emotions

"Can you truly love what was not real?" he asked. "I was also in a fog, but not as thick as the one you lived in. I made my choices. I thought I was talking to you, my true lifemate. With you, I can see more clearly. I had emotions and colors, but they were darker than they should have been. I should have looked. Perhaps it was my soul speaking to you, going past the imitation." He didn't want to hurt her further but had to know. "Did you ever manage to come to the surface? To get close enough for our souls to come together?"

He saw her flinch and go stiff “no” she said in a low tone and he knew she was lying. She started to move away from him “no...I”

"Alessia, lifemates can't lie to one another," he said. "Tell me, when did you come out? Because if you had, then that means that I felt you once and everything I did after was to bring you back to me. Conscious or unconscious knowledge of that, it means I wanted you the whole time."

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