Authors: Ashley Nemer
he hadn’t moved, not a finger, a toe, nothing. It’d been over twenty-four hours; she should have shown some signs of consciousness. Walking over to the bed, he ran his fingers down her arm, looking for any sign of response. Nothing. He picked up her wrist and checked for a pulse, the faintest of beats being detected. He set her arm back down and went back to the storage room. Opening the storage cooler, he pulled out two pints of blood --and brought them back into the house. Gathering up the IV drip supplies as well, he headed back to the bedroom.
He looked over her arms for a vein large enough for the needle to safely stay in. Not seeing one on her left arm he moved to the right. On the inside of her bicep he felt a good vein, one that was large enough to handle the needle. Hanging the bag of blood on the headboard he hooked the line up to it. He then sterilized her skin. and put the tourniquet in place. Gently slapping the area a few times to get the vein to show, he carefully inserted the needle into her arm, The blood coming back into the syringe assured him it was a good vein. He took the IV line, attached it to the needle and the blood began flowing in. He taped the line down to her arm and put it back next to her side.
Looking down at her he noticed tears had dried on her cheeks. Wetting a wash cloth with warm water, he applied it to her face, softy cleaning away her tears. He noticed her eyes had started to open slightly. He could see the light violet shade sparkling though. He thought to himself, “What are the odds that she also controls fire?” He reached his hand down and brushed a strand of hair out of her face. “Wake up my sleeping Algula; it’s time to join the rest of the world.”
While Nikole was in her comatose state, she couldn’t communicate with anyone. All she was left with were her thoughts. She could hear a voice off in the distance, one she didn’t recognize. Why couldn’t she wake up? She opened her mouth to make a noise but nothing happened. This person didn’t act like he heard anything she was trying to say. She tried to concentrate on Zayn, seeing if she could establish a mental connection to him, calling out, “Zayn, please hear me. I don’t know where I am. Please come save me. I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you. Zayn, please…” She knew it was useless; he wouldn’t hear her. She knew the chance he was within 10 miles of here, wherever here was, was one in a million. She hadn’t thought about her abb in a long time, after seeing him gutted when they fled their home, but right now, right now, all she wanted was her abb to hold her and tell her everything was going to be ok.
She ran out of the castle and through the field, laughing and pretending to soar though the air. King Tamman watched from a distance. The sight of his little girl carefree and full of life brought a smile to his face. Nikole ran to the tree on the outskirts of the castle walls. She started circling around it. Tamman wasn’t sure what she was looking for. He slowly started walking in her direction to see if he could help her with whatever she was doing. He stopped when he saw her put her foot on the trunk of a tree.
Her little hands gripped for something to grab onto. Her arms wrapping around the trunk as she pulled herself up, trying to climb up the tall tree. Tamman could hear her grunting and growling, forcing herself to move inch by inch up the large tree trunk. He laughed to himself, proud that she wormed her way up. She got about twenty feet off the ground when all of a sudden he saw a squirrel coming down the trunk, headed right for Nikole. Tamman heard her scream and watched her start to fall. Her little arms flailed as she fell flat on her back.
Tamman’s heart shattered when her cry broke the tranquility of the day. He jogged over to her side and picked her up in his arms. Her little head tucked into his chest, her tears flowing down her cheeks. “It’s okay, Princess. Don’t worry, we all fall and hurt ourselves.”
Her tiny little face looked up at him, the violet in her eyes sparkling. “Abb, I got scared. I should be strong and tough like you, but I fell.” Her little world was shattered. Tamman engulfed her in his big arms. Holding her tight, he cooed at her, calming her, soothing her worries.
“Nikole, baby, everyone falls; everyone gets scared. Even I get scared. I’m scared that one day I won’t come home to you, Zayn, and your omm, scared that one day I will fall and not be able to stand, but you have to push through that. You are only eight; you will have many times in your life that you fall. You have to just believe in yourself. Promise me you will always believe in yourself. Never fall and lay there. Always fight. We are Kadins, fighters. We never give up. We never give in, Nikole.”
She batted her eyes, wiping her tears, and looking up at her abb. “Do you understand baby girl? It doesn’t matter how many times you fall, as long as you stand back up and fight.”
She nodded her head and wrapped her arms around his neck. “Yes Abb, I get it. I always stand up.” He set her back on the ground and pointed to the tree. “Let’s go climb that tree. You can ask for help, but never quit. Come, we will climb it together.”
He saw more tears running down her cheeks. He checked to make sure the IV was still secure and no bruising had started. He took the washcloth and slowly cleaned her face again. He didn’t understand why she was crying. The pain should be better now that she was receiving blood. He looked at his watch; four hours had passed since he started the IV. “Come on, wake up. Please.” He brushed his thumb across her cheek and he noticed that she twitched. “That’s it, come on, respond. Wake up.”
Slowly she started moving her eyelids. Blinking away the tears, she looked up into the stranger’s eyes. Turning her head, she looked around the room, trying to understand what and where she was. Nothing looked familiar. She tried to speak, but nothing came out. Her throat hurt from the screaming she’d done. When she began to panic, the stranger placed his hands softly on her shoulders, making sure to touch the spots that did not have any skin damage.
“Shh, calm down. You are safe. No one is going to get you here. No one knows where you are. My name is Alec and you are staying in my home.
ayn woke up from his sleep. “Nikole,” he called out. Nothing, silence. “Nikole!!” He knew he heard her voice, maybe he had been dreaming. She sounded like she was in pain, calling out for help, his worst fear coming to life. Looking around the room, seeing the daylight breaking through the blinds, he realized he had finally slept. Sitting up he saw the time. He couldn’t believe how late he’d slept. Going to his closet and changing into a more suitable outfit, he left his room in search of news.
On his way out of his room he stopped for a moment, looking at the door to the room Adara was using. He wondered if she was still in there, if she was able to sleep. It felt weird wondering about her when Nikole was missing. He should be focused on his okht, not his okht’s best friend. He moved closer to the door, running his hand over the wood. Should he knock? He should leave her alone. What was wrong with him? He needed to go searching for Nikole, yet he wanted to be here, with her. He slowly tapped his nails against the door, waiting for an answer.
“Come in,” Adara called from the room. He slowly opened the door, peeking his head in, he saw Adara lying on the bed. Taking a deep breath he pushed the door all the way open and walked in. Basking in her beauty, Zayn became aroused and his need became wanting. He knew what he wanted to do with her, knew how good it would feel and how much he needed the comfort during this time. Gazing over her body, his eyes focused on her lips, soft full lips. He should leave, just turn around and walk out of the door. There wasn’t a logical reason why he was here. She was Nikole’s best friend, but he felt drawn to her, her body, and her smile. Looking at her, lying on the bed, relaxed and calm, he started to speak.
“I, uh, I came to see…” He was unsure of what to say. She was just lying on the bed in white cotton top and cut-off jeans.
“Sire, did you need something?” Zayn’s attention snapped to the side. One of the servant girls was standing in the bathroom. He adjusted his body language and moved his hand to hide his erection from the view of the servant. “No, I just needed to see Adara for a moment. I’ll come back later.” He nodded to her and turned to leave.
“Wait, Zayn, can you stay a minute?” He turned at the sound of Adara’s voice. Slowly he moved forward. He looked over at the servant and motioned her out of the room. He waited to speak until she left.
“I hope that you slept well. Is there anything I can get you, Adara?” Zayn moved to the end of the bed, taking a seat at the foot and resting his back against the bedpost. Adara sat up, folding her legs underneath her body.
“I didn’t get much sleep. My mind kept, well, drifting.” She looked him over, trying to decide if she wanted to speak with him about what she thought about all night. Zayn could tell she was holding something back, but what?
“I thought I heard Nikole’s voice last night. Actually, it woke me up. Clearly I was dreaming, but it seemed so real. She seemed scared. I just didn’t want to be alone after waking up to that,” he told her, hoping if he opened up she would too. “I panicked this morning when it all happened. It seemed so real, like she was here. I just keep thinking, what if she is right around the corner and we keep missing her? I could never live with myself if I found out that was true.”
“I’m sorry, I am sure that was very hard waking up like that. Are you okay, do you need anything, Zayn?” Looking at him with worry in her eyes, she moved to the middle of the bed, reaching her hand out to touch his face lightly. He leaned into her touch, her soft fingers on his cheek. “I know you love her, and I know you need her home. We will find her and bring her back.”
“I just wanted to wake up with someone to lean on. I woke up and looked around and felt completely alone.”
“You don’t have to be alone, Zayn. I’m here for you through all of this. I won’t leave your side. I promise.”
He took her hand in his, stroking her soft skin with his thumb. “That means a lot to me, that you would do that, stay here with me. Are you sure that you don’t need anything. More clothes maybe?”
She shook her head. “No, someone already brought me a couple changes of clothes, but thank you. Have you eaten, Zayn? You look a bit pale…”
He felt his need grow at the mention of eating. “I am a bit hungry.”
Adara looked at his complexion and took a breath before speaking. “May I offer myself to you, my liege?”
His eyes met hers; he could feel the pounding in his fangs as they extended down his gums. “Are you sure? I mean, we have people for that, you don’t have to.”
Adara pulled back. “You don’t have to. I was just…”
Zayn cut her off before she finished her thought. “I would love to feed from you.” Her golden eyes looked at him, desire evident.
He moved up the bed to her, inhaling her scent. His hand rose to her cheek, the pad of his thumb skating over her soft skin. He could feel his heart rate speed up. Opening his mouth as she tilted her head to the right, leaning onto his hand, he dropped to her neck and licked her vein. He could hear the blood running under her skin. His fangs scrapped along her flesh and in one swift movement he penetrated. Her blood spilled into his mouth, the warm sweet taste of her mixing with him. His eyes rolled back in his head as he savoured every drop of her. Adara’s hands traveled up his arms and down his back, pulling him to her, holding him tight. She let out small moans as he pulled from her. Her body wanted her to respond to the desire he was causing. Closing her eyes, she pictured them together, becoming one. Feeling him retract his fangs and licking the wound shut, she sighed.
With his lips covered in her blood, she couldn’t resist kissing him. Tasting herself in their kiss made her mad with need. Her tongue pushed in, and finding his, they danced together. Zayn wrapped his arms around her and pulled her onto his lap. They both got lost in the moment, lost in the need and companionship. She finally broke the kiss after seconds turned to moments and moments turned to minutes. “Zayn … I…”
There was a loud knock at the door and they both jumped back. Wiping his mouth, he looked at the door. Adara let her hair down and covered her neck with it.
Nasir opened the door and took in the scene just for a second. “Sire, we need you downstairs. Please, if you could come.”
Zayn stood quickly and followed Nasir, but before he stepped through the door, he turned, looking over his shoulder at Adara, and bowed his head before shutting the door behind him
ominic left his hotel and pulled into the parking lot of Impact, noticing only two vehicles sitting out front. That was a good sign. He needed alone time for what he had planned with this new person. Exiting his car, he grabbed his black bag from the trunk and walked around to the back of the building. Finding the employee entrance shut, he jiggled the handle, locked. Setting his bag down he unzipped it. Reaching inside he fumbled though the items, moving past the rope and tape. He pulled out a leather pouch. Kneeling on the ground, he took the lock-picking set and started working on the door. Hearing the pins release inside, he turned the handle, and the door slowly opened. Putting his kit back in his bag, he picked up his things and stepped inside.
Softly shutting the door, he took a pair of gloves out of the bag and slid his hands into the tight fitting leather. He reached into his side pocket and pulled out his knife. Walking down the hallway into the back of the club, he slipped through the kitchen and around the wine storage. Hearing footsteps approach, he hid in the shadows as a big man walked in carrying a case of beer. He watched as the man opened the cooler and started putting in the bottles. Dominic quietly snuck up on the man, taking the knife and unsheathing it along the way. He could smell the man’s sweat from working in the heat. Disgust built inside Dominic from being that close to filth. Three feet behind him, Dominic stood, ready to strike. He took his left hand and stepped closer, then, covered the man’s mouth with his hand. As he pulled him tight to his body, the man started to resist, striking his elbows into Dominic’s ribs. Kneeing his victim’s right leg, hitting the common peroneal nerve with his right knee, the man buckled. Dominic’s right hand came up to the guy’s throat with the knife. In one fluid motion the knife penetrated his skin, as Dominic slit his throat from left to right. He lowered the body to the ground, blood spilling out from the neck. He patted the man down, looking for a weapon. Finding a colt .45 stored at the small of his back, he grabbed it. Putting the man’s shirt back in place, he noticed the lightning bolt on his arms.
“Fools, always trying to play God.”
He grabbed his bag and headed out onto the main floor. Looking up the stairwell, he decided to start there. Taking two steps at a time, he climbed in silence. His two hundred and thirty pounds of muscle swiftly gliding through the air. Looking over the lip of the stairs, he saw the man behind the bar. The same man Zayn brought to the building. Waiting for him to turn his back, he moved to the bar and hopped over the counter. Pulling out the Colt .45, he pointed it at the man’s head and pulled back the hammer. The sound echoing in the silence
“Do as I say or you die. Turn around slowly.”
Kevin’s body stiffened before he started to turn, his mind racing, trying to figure out how to get out of this situation. “What do you want?”
Dominic took his right hand, gun in his grip, and struck Kevin across the face. “Did I say speak? Now move to a chair. NOW!”
Kevin started to back up out of the bar area till he found a chair at the nearest table and looked up at the dark man. Dominic dropped the bag on the floor next to Kevin’s feet. “Open the bag and get out the tape.”
Kevin moved his head down to stare at the bag then back up to the man. Hesitantly, he reached down, opening the bag. He fumbled around until he found the roll of duct tape. The sight of the other items made him sick to his stomach. Setting the duct tape on his lap, he looked back up at Dominic.
“Wrap your legs and one arm to the chair with the tape.” Dominic instructed. Kevin did as he was told, taking his time trying to think of a plan. While Kevin was busy taping himself to the chair, Dominic reached for the bag and pulled out the rope, knives, and gag. Dominic looked back to Kevin. Seeing his body semi-secured, he grabbed the rope and tied down Kevin’s free arm then wrapped the rope around his body and chair, securing him in place.
“What is your name, and how do you know the King?” Dominic asked as he moved back to the bar where he spread out his knife collection.
The clinking of them sent chills down Kevin’s spine. With his heart racing, panic set in. “My name is Kevin, and the King’s okht is a customer of my bar. That’s it.”
Dominic picked up a knife and a sharpener. He ran the knife over the sharpener as he enjoyed the sound that the metal on metal was creating. He stalked toward Kevin with a menacing look in his eyes. “You know how I know that you are lying to me?” Dominic brought the knife up to Kevin’s face, running it over the sharpener before pointing it at his nose. “I have video footage of you and the King in the building where the Princess was being tortured. Now, what would the King be doing with a little bar owner if you were not someone important?” The knife sliced across Kevin’s left cheek as Dominic laughed.
“Let’s try this again, Kevin. How do you know the King? And remember, I’m the one with the knife.”
Kevin stared at the end of the knife, beads of sweat running down his forehead. Kevin shifted his eyes to the stairwell, praying for Zeus to come up. Dominic looked over his shoulder then back to Kevin. “Looking for your friend? Well, he is dead on the floor in your storage room. It’s just you and me. Now talk!” Pressing the knife to his cheek, causing blood to drip onto the knife, Dominic gave a mad grin.
“Nikole and I have exchanged blood. The King was hoping I could track her, but since it had been too long I was useless.” Kevin lowered his head in shame. He had just betrayed his king and his friend and his lover.
“Now, are you sure that’s all? You’re not keeping something else from me?”
Kevin shook his head no. He felt sick to his stomach. “Good.” Kevin looked up at him, trying to figure out what he is going to do with him. “Will you let me go? I gave you what you want.”
Annoyed with the situation, Dominic laughed at Kevin and lowered his head to Kevin’s eye level. “You people really are fools. No, I’m not going to let you live.” Kevin made a noise of protest when he felt the blade on the right side of his neck, being pulled across. His mind flashed to Nikole, her taste, her smell, and her touch. “I’m so sorry Nikole.” He felt his death coming; he didn’t get to die a hero, a lover, an abb. He died alone, as a coward, his greatest fear. Kevin’s head fell forward, the blood pouring from his throat.
Dominic searched Kevin’s pockets and found his cell phone. Opening it and checking out the call history, he saw Zayn’s name and sent a text message to the King.
“Kevin’s dead. You’re next.”