And So It Begins... 3

An Hour Later...........

Antony slumped against the wall. Erik's not going to let me out of his sight for a month after this. He stood up, but the pain would not let him remove his hand. He had managed to get their poison out of him, but the bullet in his side was stubborn. His limited healing didn't allow him to deal with it. Pushing it out caused more muscle to be torn up, but leaving it in meant that he had sharp metal trying to cut through his body anyway. He managed to get to Bethany's mother's room before he had to stop with the pretense.

"You look like hell," said Drayden as he ushered people away.

"Just rusty," said Antony. "My woman is in the room. She and her friend are grieving."

"I will send for Erik."

"No. I'd rather see how my woman will react."

"Your indecision appears to be somewhat mollified for the moment."

"Then I must have cast an illusion, because that is how I got injured."

Drayden opened the door. "Can you come get Antony? Convince him to allow me to call his second. He's being stubborn because of his woman being here."

He was greeted with ana shoving him out of the door way and closing it behind her, Ana growled and drayden "are all carpathian men this stupid, there is a unaware human in there" She said in a nasty tone "Carpathian bussiness has nothing to do to me, i wont say this nicely again, leave me alone or i swear i won even consider the possibility of me being your princes mate, if you all dont leave now i will reject him"

Drayden looked at Antony and said, "You got your answer. Now, I am no longer asking. I will take you to your second and you will get that torture bullet out of you."

When they were gone, Ana helped Beth finish things and she finally said her final goodbye to her mother. After everything was finished the rode in silence back to ana's place. Once there ana tucked beth into her bed, she knew she was exhausted. It was only after she was asleep did she allow herself to think about the prince and what he had said. For the rest of the night and into the morning she thought about what she was going to do.

"These fears come from the subconscious knowledge that your life is changing," he said. "Perhaps, if you enter my home of your own free will, you and I can start talking and you can get the answers you desire and it will disperse your fears."

She was in deep thought for a moment and he gave her the privacy of her thoughts though he wanted to touch her mind. after a few minutes she said "ok but you have to promise me that if I saw I want to leave you will let me"

"Only if it is safe to do so," he said. "I will not have you hurt because of baseless fears."

She studied him a moment longer before nodding "ok" she said and he opened the door. She waited for him to go first

He shook his head and repeated, "Do you enter of your own freewill?"

"yes i...." She met his gaze and he saw her tense "your eyes they are..."

"I have typical eyes for my family," he assured. "Hard, icy, ringed with silver. Rarely, some are green, but it is not always so. My mother had light, green-gray eyes, and they seemed to bore into those she looked at, as if she could see their soul. It would be an honor to be as amazing as her."

they are defiantly not normal eyes yet i find them so beautiful....get ahold of yourself meghan your in danger here she thought to herself "i see.." was all she said as she walked into the dark house. All she could see was darkness but she could smell him natural scent all around like the house was filled with it

He pulled her back out and said, "You must say it allowed for the security system." His grip was gentle but unbreakable. "There is no other way."

"I come in by my own free will..." She said in a shocked tone by his touch

He released her and allowed her to enter the house. The ground shifted and she wanted to run, but he had already closed the door, keeping her in the interior. She looked around and noticed that it really looked like a cabin... an upscale cabin, but still, a cabin.

"There are rooms upstairs," he said. "Pick one for the night. I still have some work to do this night. The kitchen is well stocked. If you need anything, let me know so I can get it."

"wait your not ging anywhere...the only reason i agreed to come in is to have my questions answered" She said folding her arms over her chest

He looked at her, his eyes softening as he said, "No, I'm not leaving but you are exhausted and hungry and thirsty. When I tell you these things, I want you to feel as comfortable as possible." He pointed to the study. "I will be in there, handling paperwork for my job. Do not worry."

"dont worry?" She said in a exasperated tone "what happened tonight gives me every reason to worry! my animals were not themselves...there was a voice in my head!" she said in a upset tone "and now you tell me as long as i come into your home you will tell me what the hell is going on but your not! screw my hunger and your paperwork, start talking or im leaving" she said in a harsh tone as her emotions went wild

He sighed and said, "The animals were reacting to evil and it compelled them to attack. The voice in your head was that of great evil." He raked his hand through his hair. "Keep an open mind, ma petite." He looked her in the eye. "It was a vampire."

at first her face fell to confusion and disbeilef. he felt that warm feeling again and he felt a brush of her on his mind " really believe that, your serious" she said in a tense toned "which means either your crazy or.."

They are very real, ma petite, Erik's voice said in her head. I hunt them, like a police force, and bring justice to them. One of them may have sensed you and your ability to touch the minds of animals or your gift of empathy. If I had not been watching the reserve as I do many nights, I would have been too late to save you.

She almost stumbled but when he reached out for her she slapped his and away and sat down on the nearest chair "please dont do that..." she said holding her head "this much"

"I did say that you wouldn't like what you heard," said Erik. "It is too soon to tell you everything and you reject this new angle on the reality you live in."

"I meant don't speak in my head" she said letting go of her head and looking up at him "I want to hear the truth and sometimes the truth is hard to believe and unpleasant, I'm not saying I believe you a hundred percent but i am willing to listen so please continue....just not in my head"

His lip twitched, like he was trying not to smile, before he said, "I am a Carpathian. Vampires are males of my species that chose to give up their souls for a momentary rush. They thrive on pain and fear that comes from their victims. They drink the blood of their prey until the body is empty of blood, enjoying the adrenaline laced blood like an addict with drugs. They can't go out into the sun, at all, or it burns them. They foul the earth, nature shying away from them for their unnaturalness." He looked at her in the eyes, capturing her there with a look that almost willed her to believe him even when she didn't want to. "Carpathians are the opposite of them, but we likewise can't go out into the sun and sleep in the ground. We can stand early morning or late evening sunlight, but it becomes difficult the closer we are to the darkness or the older we are. We have to build up a tolerance for it before we can enjoy it, despite the feeling of a thousand needles waiting to stab one's eyes. We also feed on blood, but we are respectful and do not kill those we feed from. We keep the human calm and make sure there is no trauma."

"ok..." she said in a uneven tone "why did I need to say that phrase before coming in here...was that part of you being a Carpathian? like a vampire needed to be invited in but some twisted version?" she asked "what exactly did i give your permission for by entering our home?" she asked in a suspicious tone

"You are not my prisoner," he said. "It is merely a way to keep me in power of my domain. You said that you trusted me to care and protect you while you reside in my home. The shifting you felt was power being moved from you to me. I need not fear you killing me in my sleep."

"your not human i doubt i am the one that poises a threat..i saw the way you moved.." she said in a scared tone "I felt you...your a predator, i know a predator when i feel one"

"Yes, I am a predator and a danger to many people," he nodded. "A male is always a danger after they reach 200 years. He loses all color and emotion. The darkness in him grows. He hunts friends and family that have turned vampire, and that killing puts holes in his soul. The only thing that can save him when he starts to fall is his lifemate. The one woman in the world that holds the light to his darkness. He can bind her to him. She returns what he lose and heals his soul by filling him with her." He pulled Meghan to him and put his hand along the back of her neck to hold her close. "She is his greatest treasure, the only thing he asks for himself. Only here."

She tensed in his arms "what are you doing...let me go" SHe said in a low tone as her heart began beating rapidly in her chest from fear and the heat spreading through her body that made her confused "you cant just say your a predator and dangerous and then hold me like said i was in no danger from you"

"You are the safest person in the world, ma petite," he whispered as his head began to lower. "The only person I cannot harm."

Everything in her was a contradiction, her mind said his actions where saying the opposite, but what she was feeling from him was intense but it was not evil. But he was in some kind of trance she could tell. he was overwhelmed with emotions so much to the point she was overwhelmed by the sensation of them. She was being consumed by his emotions and needs. His emotions began to drown out her own thoughts the more he lowered his head. Her heart still pounded in her chest as his desires and feelings slammed into her. He was fighting to remain in control, she could feel it, yet she could not, She was more sensitive to him then she had been to anyone on her entire life, including her animals. She closed the distance but instead of kissing him and different need grabbed a hold of her, she bit deep into his shoulder, breaking his skin.

He blinked and looked at her as best as he could. He shouldn't be surprised. It was what he had intended to do after kissing her. She jumped ahead. She wasn't feeding though as her human mind wouldn't allow it. He entered her mind and distanced her so that she began to take his blood into her body. He had to stop her and finally got to kiss her.

His blood was still on her lips and her mind was fogging yet the more he kissed her the more alert she became, yet she didn't stop him or try too. His desires and emotions were mixing with hers, overwhelming her, his emotions were winning. He was older, stronger, more dominate. She moaned against his lips, the sound should have embarrassed her but it felt like her body was on fire

Lava raced through his veins. He kissed down to her neck and ran his tongue over her racing pulse, preparing her. Then his fangs sank deep and he nearly took them to the ground, his knees giving out with how good she tasted. Light and bubbly, like the finest champagne. Sweet, tangy, with a hint of spice. His arms pulled her closer and his hands found bare skin, the satin fire under his rough palms. He didn't believe in heaven, but if he did, he was sure it would be like this. And Mon Deus, he didn't want to stop. His control seemed nonexistent with her.

She bent to his will and desire. She didn't want him to stop and she no longer had a care in her head. Her own voice was had been drowned out and a new side of her emerged, born from his emotions and need. She griped at his clothes and muscles, wanting to feel what was underneath. Her hands pulled on his shirt until she found a opening and slid her hands under. His skin was hot and smooth, she wanted to explore it, taste it

He closed the wound and said between kisses, "If we don't stop, there will be no going back. We will be tied together for all time."

She couldn't make out what his words met tied together.... the words echoed in her head and she felt herself drift further into his emotions. Erik felt her brush his mind until their minds were fully connected. His desires and emotions instantly amplified "I take you as my lifemate.." she began startling him as she started to say the binding words

He slammed the block between them. It wasn't enough to completely cut off his emotions from her, but it was enough to allow her to regain her own mind. He moved back "I'm sorry," he said, once the room was between them. "I shouldn't have let that happen."

She quickly sat up and covered herself with her hands, her distress filled the room. Her breathing was quick and tears stung her eyes "you....what did you do!' she yelled as her hand covered his bite mark

"My emotions are raw after being gone for so long," he said. "Colors nearly blind me. I have not had time to learn how to function with them. In the moment of holding you, I lost control over them and you, with your empathic abilities, got swept up in the tide of them. But I will not allow that to happen again. You will come to me of your own free will or not at all. I must be your choice, and I will not claim you until it is what you want. I will keep my emotions in check from now on."

"claim me...i dont understand" She said holding herself "please tell me ..."

"I can say words imprinted on my soul before my birth that will tie our souls together for all time," he said. "It only works if a male finds his true lifemate. You hold the other half of my soul and if I say the binding words, you would be tied to me for all time, in this life and the next."

She looked at him like he was talking in tongues "book..." She said in a uneven tone "a book do you have a book that will answer my questions about your kind and this lifemate stuff" She asked

"No," he said. "Each person is different and each couple is different. What works for one may not work for another. All it boils down to is this," he looked her in the eye and she felt as if she were being pulled into the deepest part of his soul, "you must love me enough to know that, without a shadow of a doubt, you would choose me. Erik Daratrazanoff, the man. If you cannot give that to yourself and me, I will be in danger, as will many others."

"you cant expect me to understand when all you give me are riddles and vague answers...i feel like im breaking and my world is shattering...please there must be a better way to learn what i need to learn so i can comprehend all this and make a choice"

"I'm giving you the answers I was given when I was a child," he said. "Of course, my mother came up and told my father to quit it and 'just tell him to go on a date with his woman when he finds her'. Unfortunately, you were in danger, so I didn't have the time to do it properly. You are still in danger. But I would like to get to know you, starting with your name."

"You already know it" she said slowly standing up, in doing so he got a glimpse of her panties that were soaked with her exotic juices

He then looked at her shirt and saw a name tag. He went stonefaced and said, "In all the excitement, I didn't notice the name tag, Meghan. Then, tell me about yourself."

She swayed a little "I..." She seem to grow pale "don't feel well"

He was suddenly beside her and helping her to the couch to sit down. She had blinked and he wasn't across the room anymore. That would be an impossible move!

When she felt his warm hands around her she looked up at him "you fast" she said in a fading tone

"Lay down and stay still," he said. "I want to examine you."

He didn't wait for her reply. He shed his body and entered hers. His white light began to look her over, to figure out what was wrong with her. With him inside of her like that, she caught glimpses of things she didn't understand. But the most vivid was the moment he heard her speak and saw her. His world had changed and everything in him became focused on her.

He found evidence the vampire and being messing with her a long time, Her stomach line was scarred from vampire blood, yet he knew she had no memories of such things. A wave of pain forced him back into his own body

He looked at her and asked, "Have you met anyone recently? Someone who seemed charming but sent off alarm bells for you? Ones that said that he was dangerous and hiding something evil?"

"thats a lot of people...." She said and turned her head and vomitted "what did you do to me..." She asked in a pain filled tone. When she turned her neck he saw something move under her skin

"You were touched by a vampire," he said. "They would feel completely evil, despite the appearance they presented. Not a shred of good in them. I will go looking again and find the cause. I will rid you of this pain, Meghan. I can do not other."

"dont...touch" she began and curled up into a ball and stopped talking "please//make it stop"

Erik entered her body again and looked around her stomach and esophagus again. There it was a nasty parasite, a mutation of a mutation. It looked like someone took one of the parasites that his grandfather and mother's time and made it work on the human host. She was rejecting his blood because of it, but her body wanted to accept it. She had very little blood in her as it was from his feeding.

He targeted the parasite. It hissed when the light hit it. It was dense and took a long time to destroy. By the time he was finished, she didn't have any blood left in her stomach and she was shivering hard. Still, he didn't rest. He began working on every area the acidic blood had touched, repairing it. He found that her blood had destroyed the vampire blood but not without injury to her veins and several arteries. But they only seemed like burns, nearly healed. He didn't want them to scar, but was glad that her womb and ovaries were undamaged. When he came back, he fell to the ground due to how tired he was. He didn't have time to rest. He had to hunt. He thought to himself, I'm going to suggest that the Savages of New York produce and ship their blood-in-a-wine-bottle idea. This is ridiculous!

He forced himself up by using the coffee table as a crutch. He walked out and hunted for himself and Meghan. When he returned an hour later, he saw Drayden and Antony on his doorstep.

"What have you done this time?" Erik asked. "You shouldn't be hunting, Antony."

"My woman was in danger," was all he said.

"My woman needs to feed, then I shall deal with you," Erik said. "Drayden, go feed. He and I will both need blood. On top of that, this new bullet in his mind, it poses a threat. Can you get my cousins in here? They are better at research and things of a scientific nature than any other I know. Sheila would be the best but she is in Ireland at the moment. Get Jackson, he is nearby." Drayden nodded. "Alright. I'll tend my woman while you get him to the master bedroom."

They entered the house and Erik went to Meghan as the other men moved quickly. Erik pulled Meghan into his lap and cut open his chest. He pressed her to the ruby line.

"Drink, ma petite," he whispered. "I need you strong."

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