Psych! You all thought I would leave you hanging until next week? ROFL. Just kidding! Here's the deal. This installment is LONG. This part alone is 73 pages and I'm not done. So, in true Night fashion, I've split it up for you. :) You are all most welcome.
The next part will come sometime next week and that will truly be the end of this story. *sniff* A little sad, but what comes after this will keep you all busy. Happy little readers all around. *throws glitter*
Hope you like it!!!
For those of you that haven't entered yet, be sure to visit my Wicked After Dark Blog Hop post. 4 gift cards, 25$ a piece, up for grabs! Woot! Check out the other bloggers also. There are some amazing giveaways going down until November 1st! Get on that! Click, click, click.
So, on with the show. But first up: PLAYLIST!!! Hop on your itunes or whatever music program you fancy and rock on. ;)
Lots of hugs for my readers!
XOXO NIGHT TEMPEST
Knox and Isaac Chapter 5 Playlist
(Labeled by scene for your listening pleasure)
Sick, Sick, Sick - Queens of the Stoneage (Cade and Micah Fight)
Diamonds - Rihanna (Isaac wakes up to a problem)
If I Had A Heart (Fuckbuttons Remix) - Fever Ray (Isaac Feeds Knox)
Ribbons of Light - Kids of 88 (The Royals get info on Knox/ Dan and Rowe talk with Nova)
Into the Black - Chromatics (Knox talks to Rowe)
Roses - White Ring (Knox wakes up Isaac)
Tear You Apart - She Wants Revenge (Isaac turns the tables)
Turn It Off - Phantogram (The boys come home)
It Gets Dark - Holy Ghost! (Houston! We have a room dilemma)
Unstable - Anberlin (Henri's new situation)
KNOX AND ISAAC CHAPTER 5
Micah was pissed. No. Scratch that, he thought. He was enraged. Their night had started with a candlelit dinner on the beach, a little steak, a glass of wine. He’d hoped his mate could enjoy himself enough to end things with dessert. And then, Cade, naked, rolled under his under body in the sand, but no! Cade just had to go and check up on Isaac for the thousandth time since they’d arrived. Their adult son! He wanted to take that phone and throw it in the ocean, lost forever to the calming waves.
Micah had got up from the table without a word. He’d thrown his napkin down and strode up the sandy beach to their private villa, closing the doors behind him. Now, finally in silence, he screamed his frustrations to the beautiful place he’d booked just for them.
“Just once! Just once I wanted to have some time with you, something special, romantic!”
“Micah?” The glass door closed softly.
Eye’s on fire, Micah whirled around. “What!”
“I’m sorry. I just haven’t been able to get a hold of him all day and no one else knows where he is. Please don’t be mad.”
“Mad? No, Cade. I want to hurl you across the room! This is our time together—you and me. Not our son’s and not the Royals. Is it so hard to give me your attention for a few days? Is it that fucking hard to show me you give a shit about us! Do you even know why I planned this trip in this first place or even care that you’re on vacation with your mate?”
“Micah, I do—”
“No! You don’t care, Cade. You just don’t. I love our son more than you will ever know, but he is not the only love in my life. You are my heart, my soul and you act like I’m nothing more than a jacket you put on every day—something you can take off and throw on the bed. I have needs! I need you and you don’t even care!” Micah slammed the cabinet door to the wet bar, the wood splintered right off the hinges—clattering to the floor.
“Micah, take a deep breath and—”
“Don’t you dare patronize me! I have tried to make this work.” He waved between them, throwing back more than a shot of tequila. “But you, you ruin everything. You try to be this perfect person, the perfect father, because your own was so god damn invincible! You know what my father was like, Cade?”
Cade’s heart beat so fast, he was losing the ability to think. He had never seen Micah so mad in all of their mated life. He shook his head, pushing himself into the wall because he was actually frightened for once. He, this strong warrior, he was scared.
“Yes,” he whispered.
“Then why do you act just like that son-of-a-bitch? Always criticizing Isaac just like my father did to me—why can’t you be like so and so? Why can’t you just be fucking perfect like the other children? Why do you refuse to let me plan your life for you? You want to be your own person and make mistakes for yourself, be different, Isaac?” Micah put his hands up in mockery. “Oh, no, we can’t have that. You.” He pointed to Cade. “You might never tell him to get the fuck out our life like my father did, but you will definitely push him out of our lives one day. In my book, it’s the same fucking thing. The day you push my son away from me is the day you don’t have a mate anymore. Do you understand me, Cadence Hightower? I will leave you, for good. It will kill me! But I will do it!”
Cade pushed off the wall, begging with his eyes. “I would never do that!”
“You are already are!” Micah roared. “He loves that man and you don’t care. You find ways to push Knox away from our son when he obviously loves Isaac back. He might be a fuck up, made mistakes more than most, but I would trust that god-damn vampire with my son any day of the week. You just don’t like what you see on the outside—he’s rough, a bad boy that’s into the heavy, dirty kind of sex. You can’t stand to think you’re son might be into that. Your perfect, clean cut, ideal little Isaac wants the prince of darkness himself. But you know what, Cade? He’s not this little kid anymore. He wants to play around, live his life and he wants Knox. Get the fuck over it.”
Cade found confidence in his welling anger over the mention of Knox’s name. “That mother-fucker won’t touch my son. He hates Isaac!”
Micah narrowed his eyes, walking slowly towards Cade. “I bet Knox was just waiting until you’re gone. I bet he’s got his hands all over Isaac right now. And you know what else, Cade? I don’t give a rat’s ass.”
“What!” Cade’s eyes swirled silver. A growl rippled his lip. “We’re going home right now.”
“No.” Micah’s eyes matched his mate’s. Swirling. Deadly. “You’re not going anywhere. You’re going to give me this. Even if I have to tie you to that bed, you’re going to satisfy me and starting making good on all the shit you’ve put me through.”
Torn between arousal and anger, Cade tried to avoid a violent confrontation with his mate. He went to step around Micah, but was whirled around until his face was flat on the floor. “You’re done demanding things of me. Do this, Micah. We’re going here and there. You are my mate and it’s time you got the memo. Right now, you are no one’s father or friend. You are my husband.” The shirt on Cade’s back was torn in two. The hand around the back of his neck pressed him harder into the floor.
“This body, your mouth, is mine to use. You don’t want to talk this out, let me romance you? So be it. You don’t want to sit with me for fifteen minutes without that phone because you have more important things to do? Then I’ll fuck you so hard you have no choice but to lay in bed with me for the next five days.” Micah leaned down. “Because after I’m done with you, Cade, you won’t be able to even think, let alone move. And if you so much as think about that fucking phone, I’ll fill your damned mouth so full, there’s no way you’ll be able talk on it.”
“Micah,” Cade hissed. He squirmed. As much as he tried to flip over, Micah had the upper hand. Cade swallowed. Fuck. He closed his eyes.
The linen pants he‘d chosen for tonight were ripped down his legs. His throbbing cock met cool tile and he shivered. Naked, waiting, Cade realized how selfish he’d been. He’d hurt Micah so badly that this was the only way he had to show his love now. Cade hadn’t listened to anything Micah had said. His mate was right. He was being like Micah’s father—dictating, self-absorbed. Did Micah hate him now? Did he even love him? Did Isaac?
When he felt Micah’s naked body press into his, tears leaked from his eyes. His heart hurt with Micah’s pain. Feeling it like it was own, he wanted to turn around and hug his mate, show him he was sorry. But he deserved to be used like this—like he had used Micah, walked all over him. Their mating was so one-sided and Cade was willing to make it up to Micah, to be thoroughly dominated to show his mate he felt his wrongs.
No loving preparation, nothing more than a drop of moisture roughly rubbed over his entrance and Micah thrust into him. It hurt but Cade took it all in. He screamed—the pain, the pleasure of Micah entering him was all too much. On top of it all was Micah’s ever present anger, this hopeless void in his chest. When Micah’s fingers pressed down on his hands, his mate’s body slamming into his, he closed his eyes and let his heart open between them. It was the only means of apology he had left. Because his voice was too busy screaming Micah’s name.
Knox lay in bed, wide awake and sleep deprived. Maybe an hour into his blissful slumber, he had been slapped in the face with a small hand. He now held Isaac’s arm still for the umpteenth time. But low and behold, his mate wrenched his arm free, rolled over to stretch out his limbs—taking up three quarters of the bed.
“Isaac,” Knox groaned as a hand slapped his arm, a foot knocked against his.
Never having shared his bed with anyone other than Nova when they were little, Knox had no idea what to do. He was tired, so very tired, but he couldn’t bear to wake Isaac. On the other hand, Knox’s body was weak from stress, a hunger that food had nothing to do with and the sex with Isaac only hours ago. He finally rolled over and covered Isaac’s body, hugging his mate’s limbs to him.
“No more,” he whispered. “Please.”
Isaac made a noise, upset with his lack of space but soon cuddled closer and settled down. Knox fell right to sleep but he was still hungry. Waking up was going to be like the worst hangover of his life. He’d have to do something about feeding soon, very soon. But he didn’t want to scare Isaac, never wanted to upset him again.
Thunder roused Isaac out of a dead sleep. Another boom rocked the house, the sky lit up white with a streak of lightning. Rain poured down outside the window as his phone buzzed right off the edge of the nightstand. He went to grab it but noticed something about the arm hanging loosely over his side. Icy cold skin rested over his waist. Isaac turned to see Knox so relaxed it was eerie. His eyes were shut. His face was peaceful, more youthful than he had ever looked to Isaac before.
“Knox,” Isaac whispered, putting his hand on his mate’s chest. So cold, he pulled his hand back, Isaac knew immediately something was wrong.
“Knox,” he said a little louder.
No answer. Even after a vigorous shake to his arm, there was no response. Isaac went into a panic. “Knox!”
Scared to death that Knox still wouldn’t wake after a scream like that, Isaac almost fell off the bed to grab his phone. His fingers shook as he dialed the one person he could trust in this situation—the one person that wouldn’t ask questions about where he was or what had happened up until now.
When the phone picked up, Isaac was near tears. “Isaac,” she gasped. “Honey, are you alright?”
“Isaac, talk to me.” Maggie went on alert.
“He won’t wake up,” Isaac sobbed. “He was fine and now he’s so cold. Oh my God, Knox, please wake up.”
“Honey, listen to me. Take a deep breath. Everything is going to be okay,” Maggie coached, knowing exactly what the problem was. Isaac’s gasps for air told her how bad Knox’s condition was. “I need you to go find something sharp that will cut the skin.”
“What! I’m not going to cut him.”
“Not him, you. His body is going into shock because he hasn’t fed properly in days, this bad, probably over a week. He needs blood, honey.”
Isaac hopped off the bed, then slithered right back onto the mattress. He pressed a soft kiss to Knox’s cheek. “Be right back,” he choked.
Then he was off again. Phone to his ear, he ransacked the small kitchen for anything other than a butter knife. Not even the slightest bit scared of cutting himself, his eyes drifted to the wall where a set of cutting knives hung. With a grunt of success, he pulled the smallest one free and ran back to the bedroom.
“Where will the cut work the best?” He looked between the blade and his mate.
“Wrist will work or around the neck, but not your throat! Do you hear me?” Maggie covered her chest with a hand. “A small cut, honey. Please dear God, don’t go deep. Just enough to rouse him.”
“I’m not an idiot.” Isaac looked at the phone, sighed and closed his eyes. “Sorry, Gran, I’m just freaked out.”
“That is exactly why I said as much—things happen when you’re scared. It’s okay. Do you need to come to you? Or do you, you know?”
“I’m good. Thanks, Gran,” he muttered on autopilot. Isaac didn’t have time to get sentimental. He bit back tears and slid his thumb across his phone, ending the call and tossing it to the floor.
Wanting Knox to surround him, more than a grab at his wrist, Isaac put the knife to the side of his neck. Like a whisper of pain, the knife sliced easily across his skin. A line of red quickly trailed down his creamy skin. His fingers ran through the warm liquid, gathering a little to paint across Knox’s lips.
“Wake up, Knox. You stupid, stupid... Just please!” Isaac leaned down, straddling his mate’s chest.
Knox stirred, but it was more like a shake of his body than anything else. A tongue peeked out of his mouth to taste the blood offered. Isaac pressed his chest to his mate’s, pulling his hair back to allow Knox better access.
“Please, Knox,” Isaac whispered. He shimmied up a little until the wound was pressed tight against Knox’s lips. “God, please.”
Lips like ice opened over his neck. Knox’s tongue seemed foreign, so cold. But Isaac closed his eyes in hopeful prayer, ignoring the scary feeling that fluttered in his stomach. He was all alone with a vampire who was starving. Knox could easily kill him if he clamped down and took too much. But it was worth the risk to Isaac. He’d done this once before and he would gladly do it again. He would do anything for his mate.
In his head, Knox smelled the familiar scent, knew the taste on the tip of his tongue. The beast inside demanded to be let free—to take what was offered and not care about the consequences. Yet, his heart felt the innocent fear wafting off the body on top of him. There was love too, indecision with a whole lot of determination. He inhaled deeply. His lungs filled with heavenly air, the weight on his chest staying motionless.
Knowing deep down that he had to be gentle, but still not connecting the why, Knox lapped at the blood leaking into his mouth. His fangs grazed over the skin, noting a wound that was not of his doing. This upset him. Who had marred his beautiful… the taste became very familiar. He knew this flavor. He knew that scent! Heart racing, his lips sealed over the wound and his fangs sunk deep.
A voice cried out—high and sweet, so pure it aroused him. The flavor of beauty washed down his throat. Only the heavens would give him something this perfect to feast on. His arms locked around the body above him. Warm skin, so very warm, was buttery soft under his fingers. He clenched, sucked another mouthful into himself with greed.
The heavy throb between his legs yearned for release. Rubbing himself into the body harder, Knox heard that sweet voice cry his name. Fingers dug into his shoulders and it was as if he could hear another’s heart latch on to his. His eyes stung even though they were tightly shut—tears, tears for the body above who now had a name. Isaac, it came like a whisper in his mind.
Muscles stronger in his body, each pull amplifying his strength, Knox gasped against his mate while his release rode a crashing wave of pleasure. His body tensed. His eyes flew open to see his mate’s face. Isaac was shaking so hard. His pupils were dilated from the best kind of high. He choked mid cry and came between them. Quick, hard, and sated—it wasn’t how he wanted it to go. Their first feeding was supposed to be this grand event, special. He had probably traumatized Isaac for life.
Coming back to the world, Knox didn’t know if his voice worked. Instead of words, he held Isaac tighter. He was scared to move, scared of what he’d just done. Had he been so out of it that he’d forgotten to feed? No. He’d known he was hungry and wanted to save it for this weekend together with Isaac. Yet when the time came, everything moved so fast and he feared upsetting Isaac anymore. God, he really was a coward.
Another strike of lightning lit up the windows. Isaac didn’t even bother to look. He only had eyes for the man watching him back. Suddenly freezing, he wanted nothing more than to soak up Knox’s heated touch. He was overwhelmed with all the feelings invading him. Stress, love, confusion, relief—all of them fought to be set free.
“I felt you call to me,” Knox finally croaked. “I felt the bond.”
“You looked dead,” Isaac whimpered. “You were so cold. I thought you were dead. Why didn’t you tell me?” His body refused to move, limbs growing heavier with every breath. He felt as though he were out of his body.
“Isaac, I’m so sorry.” Knox winced as he rolled over. He might have regained some strength, but his muscles hurt to move. The pain was nothing compared to the withdrawal on Isaac’s face.
“S’okay,” Isaac slurred. His fingers drifted over Knox’s jaw, sleep shutting his eyes. “Love you.”
Bundling Isaac in his arms, Knox buried his face in his lover’s thick, dark hair. “Love you so much. I’m so sorry,” he repeated. His shoulders shuddered. His emotions all over the place as Isaac’s mind cleared, heading deep into the world of sleep.The rain still pouring down, Knox allowed
himself to shut his eyes. What could he do to make it all better? Why couldn’t they just have a normal love story? Why did everything have to be so complicated? The answer, he was a fuck up. Before he joined his mate in sleep, Knox vowed to do everything in his power to show Isaac he was worthy. No more pushing aside his needs. No more fighting between them. No more drama. Knox wanted his mate to know how much he cared. And he did, a lot.
“I apologize for disturbing you all, but this couldn’t wait.” Maggie closed the conference room door behind her. “Isaac called me.”
Rowe rose from his chair. They’d been trying to find Knox and Isaac all night. Nanette had been on the missing list as well, until this morning, when she’d called Chloe and King. With one of the children safe, Rowe found only a small victory. It was enough to let him breathe for another hour. But he was worried to death about his best friend and Isaac. A long time coming, the pair could either accept their mating or… he didn’t want to think about the other option. He just wanted to know they were safe.
Dan grabbed his hand, pulling him back to down to his seat. Their fingers twined together and the prince cleared his throat. “What did he say?”
“They’re together.” Maggie took a seat next to Nina.
“And?” Nina raised a brow at the worry on Maggie’s face. “What is it?”
“Knox went into shock. He hadn’t fed. Isaac called me, said he wouldn’t wake up.” Maggie rubbed her hands together.
“What!” Rowe tore out of his seat, rounding the table to grip Maggie’s shoulders. “Where are they? I know you know, Maggie. You know before everyone else!”
“Don’t you manhandle me!” She shoved the prince off her with a growl. “He hasn’t called back since I told him what to do. Isaac is probably taking care of him as we speak.”
“He’s going to feed Knox unsupervised? Bloody hell woman! He could be dead!” Rowe narrowed his eyes. “I will ask you one more time, Maggie. Where are they?”
“Rowe!” Dan pushed out of his seat. “Don’t threaten her. I know you’re stressed. We all are. But you need to calm down. If Mags doesn’t want to say, fine. But—” Dan looked around, a sudden idea occurring to him. “Someone else might.”
Dan and Rowe looked at each other. “Nova.”
Maggie groaned. She put her head on the table as Nina rubbed her back. The queen leaned down with a hidden smile. “Seems we all have a secret to keep, don’t we, Maggie?”
“Unfortunately.” Maggie sighed as the prince tore open the door to the conference room and stormed down the hall.
“Fucking kids are running crazy around here—missing, partying, acting a damn fool in my home. Why do we want this, pet?”
Dan ran to catch up to his mate. “Because we love good drama.” He smiled.
“Pet, why are you smiling? Cade’s son is missing, possibly dead. Now is not the time to be all cheerful.”
“Isaac isn’t dead. Knox knows better. Even on the brink, he’d never hurt his mate.”
“I want to know for sure! We can imagine all we want, but if Cade comes back and finds his son dead, expect the apocalypse. Four horsemen conjured from the fires of his anger, battle axe and red eyes, possibly leading an army of the dead—that kind of apocalypse.”
They took the stairs up a floor, the library tucked far in the back now that Nova had expanded his collection. Dan shook his head with a grin. “You guys take him way too seriously. He’s strong. Yes. But he would never hurt us, Rowe. Even Knox, sure he’d beat the shit out of the guy, but he could never kill him. Family is everything to him. And whether Cade wants to admit it or not, Knox is part of this family.
Cade has been living this life in his head, this perfect life. He’s going to crack when he finds out Isaac and Knox are together now, but he’ll come around. All he wants is for Isaac to be happy at the end of the day. He’s just having a hard time letting Isaac choose that happily ever after because it’s not the same as his. He can’t come to terms with the fact that Isaac isn’t a child anymore and he’s lost all hold he has over him. He can’t mold his future anymore, make decisions, but more importantly. He thinks that if he loses Isaac to Knox, Isaac won’t love him anymore.”
Rowe stopped short. “Where did you come up with all of that?”
“Cade has always been a control freak to a point, afraid of change. He’s sensitive. He depends on others whether he wants to say admit it or not. Micah and Isaac are his world, Rowe. He knows he’s having problems with Micah and he’s scared that if he lets go of Isaac, his son won’t come back. He’ll be left alone with his mate, who will blame him for everything. Isaac is the only thing tying him to sanity right now.
That’s why I ignore his comments, his volatile actions. He’s my friend. I don’t condone how he goes about holding himself together but I put up with it, because when he cracks, he’s going to need me. I won’t push him away after all we’ve been through together. He was there for me during a very dark time in my life, before I had you to get to me by. When he finally breaks down, I’ll be there for him, Rowe. And I hope like hell you will to.”
“If we weren’t in the middle of yet another problem, I’d been turned on by your sexy psychotherapy mumbo jumbo.” The prince narrowed his eyes. “You read everyone like an open book when the rest of us are all blind, love.”
“You can save your libido for later.” Dan grabbed his mate’s hand. “For when I read you.”
Rowe barked a laugh, following Dan. “Pet, I am as open as I’m going to get.”
“Trying to tell me something?” Dan waggled his brows. “I thought I was the open one?”
Growling, Rowe yanked his mate to him. “That dirty mouth is going to get you in trouble, pet.”
“I like trouble.” Dan ran his hand down Rowe’s shirt with a wink.
“Hello?” Both the prince and his mate turned to see Nova in the doorway. “I’m sorry to interrupt but you’re, and excuse me for sounding rude, but you’re distracting me from my reading.”
“Well excuse me, Axel junior. Can’t a man feel up his mate in peace?” Rowe put his hand on his hip.
Dan shook his head. “Rowe, aren’t we here to see Nova? What’s the problem?”
“Here to see me, whatever for?” Nova clutched the book in his hand to his chest. He darted his eyes around like a deer in the headlights.
“Trust me, Nova. I’d rather be tongue deep in my mate right now, but unfortunately shit has already hit the fan. Now we’re left to clean up the mess before the parents come home.”
Elbowing his mate, Dan scoffed. “Tongue deep, really? You have no filter, Rowe. Swear to God—”
“Benefit of being a prince, pet. I don’t need a bloody filter.”
“By tongue deep, do you mean? Oh. Right. Uh, I don’t really. Uh,” Nova stammered. “Did you need me for something?” He blushed, averting his eyes once again.
“You know, for such a large male, you’re as timid as a mouse. You should get laid, cure that right up.”
“Rowen! Knock it off. How is he going to help us if he dies of a heart attack?” Dan pushed his laughing mate away to approach Nova. “I’m sorry for his behavior. I know first-hand how crude he can be.”
“Oh that’s rich. You love how crude I can be. Why just last night he—”
“Enough!” Nova held his hand up, startling both the Royals before him. “You require my services?”
“So he does have balls. Fancy that.” Rowe made a noise in his throat before laughing again. “I’m sorry, Nova. I just can’t help myself sometimes.”
“Yes. Well. Might I help you? So you can go about your day?” Nova turned, entering the library. Hiding would be more of accurate.
Following, Dan and Rowe shared a look. Nova was definitely nervous underneath that blush and it had nothing to do with Rowe’s sexual innuendos. “You know why we’re here, don’t you?”
“I cannot say that I do.” Nova put the book on the table, hiding his eyes behind his hair.
“Nova, where is Knox?” Rowe crossed his arms.
“In the city I believe. Working I would guess.” Nova still didn’t look at them.
“Mm, I think our dear Nova is lying. What do you say, pet?”
“I’m afraid I have to agree with you, Rowe.” Dan sighed. “Nova, we know you know about Isaac and Knox. How could you not? He tells you everything, doesn’t he?”
“I vowed to keep his secrets and I will not betray him,” Knox’s younger brother blurted, facing his prince and Dan. “Please, don’t make me do this.”
Exasperated already, Rowe growled. “For heaven’s sake, Nova, you aren’t a part of the round table. There is no cloak and dagger revenge for telling the truth. Harry Potter is not going to step out of the closet and wand you to death. Your brother could be in serious trouble, dying somewhere. We need to know, Nova. Please.”
“Now you’ve got Rowe using manners. I don’t think it gets any more serious than that.” Dan smiled.
“What has happened to my brother?” Nova took a step forward.
“Tell me where he is first and I’ll tell you what I know.” Rowe crossed his arms.
Stricken that his secrets could let his brother die, Nova gasped. “Alright! He was to take Isaac to the cabin at Bennett Wharf this weekend. Maggie gave him the—”
“Oh, no she didn’t, that sneaky little woman!” Rowe turned around, marching into the hall. Ignoring the rest of Nova’s explanation, he shouted, “Magdelena, you have some explaining to do!”
“My brother?” Nova put a hand to his chest, pleading with Dan.
“Come on. I’ll tell you on the way.” Dan grabbed his hand. “When Cade gets back, it’s our turn for a fucking vacation,” he muttered under his breath.
Knox sat on the edge of the bed, feeling completely renewed. His stress level was another matter entirely. As Isaac slept soundly, Knox had woken up to the sound of both their phones going haywire on the floor. Now he held a phone in each hand, watching as one stopped ringing only for the other start. Rowe, Dan, Maggie, all of them had called at least a dozen times in the past few hours.
Knowing he had to answer one of them, he waited much like a slot machine for the right name to come up. Which one of them did he feel comfortable enough to talk to? Which one of them wouldn’t gripe his ass into another universe? He had so much to explain, so much to get off his chest. Now it was time to fess up. The trickle of his lies would eventually leak to Cade. It was now or never.
Isaac’s phone lit up with Rowe’s picture. Knox sighed, sliding the screen to life. “Hi.”
“Isaac? Dear God, are you alright? You’ve got Maggie in tears! You should have called her back.”
“Rowe, it’s me.”
“Knoxtian?” He heard a deep intake of breath, relief from his best friend. “Thank God.”
Knox looked at his mate. He must have been so terrified to have to call her, thinking his mate was dead. “He called Maggie?”
“It doesn’t matter now. How are you feeling? How is Isaac?”
“Fine and fine.”
“That’s it, fine?” Sarcasm dripped from Rowe’s response. “What were you thinking? Taking Isaac off on some impromptu getaway without feeding first? And without telling anyone where you were! You scared us all half to death!”
“Oh, it’s like that huh? I get no say in your health and well-being or that of my friend’s child? Or is it that you’re getting defensive because you’ve been lying to your best friend for over two decades? Hmm, which is it, Knoxtian?”
Knox shut his eyes. “Both.”
“Oh,” Rowe replied, a little shocked. “I wasn’t expecting your admittance so quickly.”
“Me either,” Knox murmured. “But everyone already knows, don’t they? I can’t really lie anymore.”
“Yes, and why would you want to, Knoxtian? Why have you from the start? I am your best friend. You and I have been through centuries of history together. I have held you while you bled. I have cried in front of you when no one else knew I was even capable of such emotion. I have been there for you, and you were there for me, just the two of us for so long. Granted things are different now, but have I ever pushed you away just because I have a mate? Is that why you didn’t come to me when you found your own?”
Knox knew he hadn’t exactly betrayed Rowe, but it felt the same in his heart. Rowe was right. They had shared everything up until Dan came into the picture and he in turn now had Blaze and Nova. The weight of his lies became heavy on his shoulders. His vow to Isaac to become a better person started here.
“I’m sorry if I hurt you.” Knox gripped his thigh. “I… I thought no one would understand. He was just a baby, Rowe. It was so hard. Then there was Cade and –”
“Knoxtian, let me make this perfectly clear. Baby or no, Cade would have understood if you told him in the beginning. Yes, it was a rare situation—something that would have took time and care to handle but he would have welcomed you into life like that, Micah also. But you’ve lied for so long. You’ve pushed Isaac away publicly so many times that Cade will find it unbelievable that you love his son like a mate should.
He is going to be very angry, most likely violent. I can’t lie to you, Knoxtian. I have no idea how it will all play out. But I hope for your sake, because I do care for you like my own brother, that you are still alive when all is said and done. You can’t pretend anymore. You can’t keep secrets from us and have others lie for you. It creates a break in the trust we’ve worked so hard to create. It burdens your family, your friends.
If you love Isaac and he loves you, it’s time you showed the world what that means. No more hiding, Knox. You’ve been given a gift that most of our race is desperate to have. Don’t let your insecurities or your imagination take that away from you. Fight for your mate and take responsibility for all the consequences coming your way. It won’t be easy but I know you’re strong. Strong enough to fight your way back from starvation without killing, strong enough to fight by my side and strong enough to love—even though it scares you shitless.
Come home, Knoxtian. Come home with your mate.”
“I’m sorry, Rowe. Please, just a little longer. I want some time with him.” Knox looked to his side, running a finger over Isaac’s arm.
“I’m not a bastard, Knox. I just need peace of mind and I want to see you both when you get home. We have a lot to discuss before Micah and Cade return. I’ll give you until tomorrow morning. Be home for breakfast. If you aren’t back by then, I’m sending the boys for you.”
Knox actually chuckled at the thought of the Guardians bringing him in. What a show that would be. “Tomorrow morning. I promise,” he added quietly.
“I’m serious, Knoxtian. Tomorrow before breakfast or I send in the boys and let me tell you, I don’t think King will be very appreciative of leaving his pregnant mate right now. Watch yourself old friend and watch over Isaac while you’re at it.”
Knox growled deep in his throat. His body tensed then relaxed when he felt his mate roll over in his sleep to touch him. Shit. The vampire turned around to see Isaac on his stomach, palm flat to his thigh. They really were bonded. Even in his sleep, Isaac knew when he was needed.
“I will protect my mate and don’t you dare insinuate otherwise. Prince or no prince, don’t piss me off, Rowe.”
Rowen snorted. “It’s surreal, isn’t it? One day you find yourself fascinated by this other person. Quickly it develops into blatant need until you are so consumed by everything they do that it scares you shitless. Then when you finally admit to yourself that you can’t live without them, you panic. You think. I’m responsible for this life now. All their hopes and dreams, their baggage, all of it is yours to protect. It’s a big job and a very trying one at times, but, Knoxtian?”
Knox threaded his fingers through Isaac’s, feeling exactly what Rowe was saying. “Yes?”
“Nothing in the world compares to a life with your true mate, nothing.”
“I know that now,” Knox whispered.
Rowe continued to say something but Knox hung up the phone, letting it fall back to the floor. Suddenly captivated by him as he slept, Knox felt his mate’s sleep softened skin. He leaned down to smell his own scent all over Isaac, a scent that pleased his beast immensely. Relaxed into the sheets, Isaac looked very much like a child but Knox knew better. No child or boy would be able to handle what had happened between them last night.
Smiling, Knox blanketed Isaac with his body, skin to skin as he ground slowly into his mate. Lips to shoulder, the vampire sucked the skin into his mouth until he felt the ass underneath him start to move. Isaac’s lids were heavy with hours of deep sleep. But his body was fully awake, already pushing back against Knox. A hand planted next to his face, Isaac slowly moved his lips to kiss it. He moved up the wrist, biting gently until he heard the growls of his mate above.
Many nights Isaac had dreamed of waking up to Knox in his bed. He’d yearned to have a mate to touch him awake, to hold him. After thinking Knox was possibly dead only hours ago, to now have his mate feeling up his body was a dream come true. He didn’t want to talk or cry anymore. He wanted to just be with Knox. One day, drama free where the two of them did nothing more than make up for lost time. New to the passion, the sexual intimacy of another man in his bed, Isaac wanted to discover more of the bond between him and Knox.
Knox had felt him in his head, his heart. Could he feel Knox as well? Isaac closed his eyes as the vampire pressed his chest into his back, rubbing, covering him completely. His mate’s breath stole his concentration. Their bodies danced sensually on top of the sheets. Another part of him was elated to know Knox was breathing, moving because he had given the most sacred of gifts between mates—blood.
Why had Knox refused to feed until he was half starved? Why wouldn’t he just ask? Isaac thought. Had he done something wrong or did Knox think he wasn’t ready? He opened his eyes to stare at the head board. No. Maybe he’d just forgotten about his own needs because he’d been stressed out. That had to be it. Isaac pushed away his petty concerns to enjoy his mate. He’d already told himself there would be no more drama between them. When Knox was ready to talk about it, he’d talk and he would be there to listen.
“I didn’t mean to scare you,” Knox rumbled in his ear. “I am so sorry I put you through that.”
Isaac lifted his head, arching his back to rest his head on Knox’s shoulder. “Just touch me,” he breathed. “I don’t want to think about it right now.”
Knox hefted Isaac up, sitting back to pull his mate in his lap. His hands slid down his mate’s chest, down his thighs and up again. “I thought you weren’t ready. It’s all so new to you. I’m sorry for thinking otherwise. I should have just asked. I should have never—”
“I’m your mate.” Isaac maneuvered himself to face Knox. His eyes were confused, not angry. “I want to give you life. Do you understand how happy that makes me? That I can do that for you? That no one else will ever do that for you again? That it’s just you and me now? Stop being scared that I’ll break or wilt.
I’m not scared of you, any part of you. I want to feel your fangs inside of me. I want to feel how much you want me. I want to be tied up, pinched, bit, and spanked because seeing me like that turns you on. Truthfully, it turns me on too. I don’t want you to hide from me. I want to be the one who you share your secrets with, the one you tell how you’re feeling because you trust me.
I want to explore that other part of you that you don’t show to anyone else. I want you to know me, see me as a man and not a child anymore. I want you to know my likes and dislikes, my fantasies, everything that my mate should know. I want you to feel.” Isaac took Knox’s hand and put it over his heart. “I want you to feel how my heart races for you, and only you. Do you feel that, Knox? Do you feel how much I love you? How I would do anything for you?”
“Isaac,” Knox whispered.
“Do you? Can you accept that, us, all of this? Not just the sex, Knox. Can you be part of this bond when it isn’t just the two of us anymore? Will you be on my side when we go back to the compound, when it turns into us against the world? When we have to face my fathers? Will you say you love me then?”
“What if they refuse me after what I’ve done? What if they make you choose? I can’t live with that on my conscience.” Knox threaded his fingers through Isaac’s, feeling his heartbeat against every fingertip.
“I would choose you. I always have.”
Overcome by that simple declaration, Knox pulled Isaac to him roughly. His eyes shut tight. He refused to cry but he couldn’t stop his body from producing tears. “Then fuck the rest of the world. It’s you and me, Iz. It’s always gonna be you and me.”
Isaac clutched Knox’s back, feeling tears against his cheek. “You and me,” he repeated.
“Love you so much, Iz.” Knox sniffled. “God, you have no idea how good it feels to say that.”
“Yes, I do.” Isaac pulled back, wiping his eyes. “Because you have no idea how good it feels to hear it.”
Knox pushed Isaac against the sheets. Dark hair fanned out on the pillows and blue eyes stared up at him in wait. “I love you,” Knox growled.
“Say it again.” Isaac spread his legs wider.
“I love you.” Knox bent down to take a nipple in his mouth. Fingers soothed over the back of his head, a small gasp from his mate.
Pulling the nipple with his teeth, he let it go. “I love you.” He flicked his swirling eyes to his mate, seeing the need well deep within Isaac’s gaze.
Overwhelmed with emotion, Isaac clung to Knox as he mate kept saying those three words over and over. “I love you.” He heard again. Knox moved lower to take his cock into that heavenly mouth.A warm, wet suction combined with the knowledge that it was the man he loved, made Isaac moan. He opened himself, let go of his inhibitions and what ifs of later to truly
feel Knox for who he was and not just the mouth that consumed Isaac’s every nerve. It was then that he got what he’d been missing all these years. Not just words but a resonating feeling of being wanted wholly by the man he’d sought after his entire life. He could feel his mate in his mind, in his heart, all over his body. Nothing was more erotic or intimate than that.
Isaac basked in the new bond. He pushed back against Knox, testing the waters between them. Even though his mate was definitely more dominant, would the vampire allow him his needs as well? True to his word, Knox did love him. He let Isaac thrust deep into his throat—a smooth, long cock that hit him just right. Pleasuring his mate was something he hadn’t expected to be so into. Normally he was the one demanding pleasure but this coupling was different. None of the rest of those sexual encounters mattered anymore. He wanted Isaac to see what he was giving up to pleasure him. How his needs did matter and always had, but he’d been too much a coward to show it in the past.
Tilting his head, he grazed his fangs down Isaac’s length slowly. Watched his mate hold still, fists clenched within his hair. Beautiful. Knox mused while lowering his mouth until he reached the base of his mate’s cock. Creamy skin caressed by his own two hands, he felt Isaac’s torso twist under his predatory ministrations. His lips enclosed over the smooth skin of his mate’s testicles, slipping one into his mouth and over his tongue.
Isaac was almost out his mind. Only minutes of Knox’s touch had him teetering on the edge. Between his gasps and the flutter of his lashes, Isaac pondered a dangerous idea. He wondered just how far Knox was willing to go to show his love. How far could he be pushed and what were his limits? The idea sunk deep into Isaac’s mind. He knew he’d let Knox do whatever he wanted and find pleasure in his mate’s painful sexual desires, but could Knox allow himself the same? Had he ever tried it?
Once Isaac thought about it, the idea wouldn’t go away. Something inside of him had been unlocked by Knox. Some part of him wanted to punish Knox, yet, bring the vampire pleasure for all the little things he’d done wrong over the years. He wanted to prove he had a masculine side, a bit of power in his smaller body. Was it wrong to want this? He wondered. Was that how this was going to work from now on? He let Knox dominate him while he was teased, yet pleasured over and over?
With all the strength he could muster, Isaac pulled Knox by the hair, dragging his lips up until they were face to face. Knox growled, lip rippling and eyes swirling. Swallowing back his fear, Isaac wrapped those long bangs around his fist, jerking Knox’s face up further.
“Lay down,” he commanded—breathy but deep. The voice was foreign to Knox’s ears.
Yet, his cock responded to both syllables like the words to a spell.
Yet, his cock responded to both syllables like the words to a spell.
Large, formidable, but moved onto his back by his tiny dancer, Knox was struck speechless. In a cat-like move, Isaac bent from his knees, face down to Knox’s stomach—ass in the air and back arched low with a dangerous flicker within his blue depths. His tongue sluggish as it traced the defined line running up his mate’s torso, Isaac ended his journey right below the chin. His tongue curled back into his mouth. His eyes darkened with a plan that had yet to be fulfilled.
Slender fingers coaxed Knox’s arms up above his head. Smooth and slow, they tickled over the dip of his armpits, moving listlessly over his triceps before those fingertips dug into the hard muscle of his biceps. Slightly calloused palms cupped the swell of his forearm, sliding up while Isaac saddled his hips. Fingers locked around Knox’s wrists and it was then that he realized what was happening.
“Is this…” Knox cleared his throat, unsure. “Is this what you want?”
Hair fell around him, blocking out the gray cast from the windows. He smelled Isaac everywhere, inhaling so deep, he almost forgot to let it all out. In the dark, Knox still saw his mate’s eyes. He knew without an answer what Isaac wanted.
“What if it was?” Isaac kept his eyes narrowed, to hide the fear of rejection behind them. He forgot that Knox could feel his emotions, but only for a second. “I mean—”
Knox crossed his wrists above his head. “You don’t have to explain yourself, Isaac.” Letting out a shaky breath, Knox nodded. “If you need this, I’ll do it.”
Isaac sat back, rubbing his ass into Knox’s sculpted abdomen. “Have you ever experienced what total immobility at the hands of another man feels like? Trusting them with your pleasure, your safety because you know you’re in good hands, that they love you completely?”
“No,” Knox grunted. It took every ounce of willpower not to grab onto his mate as Isaac ran hands down his own body.
“Then you don’t know how incredible it is. You have no clue what you did to me last night—how it feels, how consuming you are. But now, I want to consume you,” Isaac murmured, lost in the scene of Knox’s submission. He, Isaac Hightower, had Knoxtian Montesego, the great vampire warrior on his back. A thrill ran down his spine. His tongue wet his lips as he bent back down to take his lover’s mouth.
“I want to do bad things to you.”
Knox’s lusty growl answered. He fisted his hands above his head. Fuck! His mate was so damn hot, all devious and dark. He lifted his head as Isaac toyed with the distance between their mouths.
“Kiss me, you little brat.”
“What if I want to kiss you here instead?” Isaac grinned, dipping to lick Knox’s neck. “Or here?”
He sucked his mate’s collar bone, nipping the skin between his teeth. “Or how about here?” He nuzzled deep into Knox’s neck, biting down to leave a mark.
Knox’s growl became constant, his hands sweaty as he fought with himself to keep them still. Fangs descended from his gums with a dangerous ache. If he was going to keep this position, there was only way to make it happen. For Isaac’s sake.
“Chain me up,” Knox snarled. “I can’t hold this. You’re just too—”
Isaac gasped off of Knox’s neck. The taste of his man’s sweat coated his tongue. His eyes dilated with lust—darkening the blue within them. He hissed in an inhale of air. He felt something demonic take hold of him at his mate’s words. He wanted to bite his nails in Knox’s skin. He wanted to knead muscled flesh within his hands. He wanted… fuck!
“Do it, Isaac!” Knox’s breathing became erratic. He knew that look---the look of power, lust. Like something possessed your soul, wanted more. His hands twitched, his wrists popped from the clenching of his muscles.
“As you wish,” Isaac returned.
He pressed his body into his mate’s to reach for the chained cuffs that still hung from the bed. One by one, he captured them within his clutches, greedily bringing them back to Knox’s wrists with a heavy stare. Letting go of his inexperience, Isaac attached each cuff with a tight pull, watching Knox lose it the entire time. Chest heaving, he sat back to take in the glorious sight.
“You’re mine,” he hissed. Ass rubbing over Knox’s torso, Isaac sucked on his bottom lip. “Always mine.”
“Fuck!” Knox pulled on the chains.
His eyes were almost red with lust for his mate. Isaac’s small, sexy body writhed on top of him. That cock dripping and hard, begging to be tasted. But he couldn’t go anywhere, couldn’t do anything about it. It was all up to Isaac now.
“I bet you want to taste this, don’t you?” Isaac ran a finger over the head of cock, swiping a bead of liquid up to bring to Knox’s lips.
“No bite,” he instructed with a grin as he slipped his finger inside, groaning when lips wrapped around his digit to suck it clean.
“Does it taste good, Knoxtian? Hmm? How do I taste now?”
Golden eyes flicked up to him, a ring of red encompassing his beastly stare. Knox was barely holding back. “You taste like mine.”
Isaac hummed with approval, rewarding Knox with a deep kiss. He traced fangs with his tongue, feeling the shiver of his mate’s body underneath him. “And you taste like me.”
“Isaac,” Knox warned.
The vampire once again realized that he couldn’t follow through on any threat he made. He was chained and was about to be used in the best kind of way. Inexperienced or no, Isaac had become something darker than he expected. Sexier, almost like… a vampire.
“Isaac, are you okay?” The thought made verbal almost scared Knox. His thought process had been ditched without his permission.
“Why? Do I not look okay to you?” Isaac slithered off his mate’s body with a grin. He wanted to find out what was happening over on the dresser, the secrets Knox had kept under that black cloth all night long.
“You look—shit, you know how you look.” Knox closed his eyes tight, took a few breaths to keep the devil out of his voice.
Isaac didn’t respond. He was too busy gaping at the items laid out on the dresser. He picked up ten inches of rubber and stared at it. Where the fuck did he think that was going to fit? Isaac threw a glance over his shoulder, one of bewilderment.
“Really?” He waved the rubber at Knox who groaned. He dropped the dildo onto the floor. A laugh escaped him. “That would involve some serious foreplay my friend.”
“It vibrates,” Knox offered. He winced as he realized how foolish that sounded.
“Does it?” Isaac bent down to pick it up again. He smirked, twisting the end until it moved in his hand. “Well, well, well. Seems it does.”
“Isaac, don’t even think about it.” Knox pulled at the chains.
“You were thinking about it for me.” Isaac raised his brows.
“Yeah, but I don’t—”
“What? Get fucked?” Isaac licked his lips.
“Maybe you should try it. You might really like it.” Isaac turned it off for a second and in a greedy move, put it on the pile of toys, grabbing the entire bundle to bring to the bed. “I’m not really sure what I want to play with yet. Call me stingy.”
“Isaac, I swear to God. If you even think about putting that in me—”
“You’ll what? Yank on those chains until the bed comes down around you?” Isaac pushed Knox’s thighs open, bending to kiss his cock with narrowed eyes.
Knox let his head fall back onto the pillow. He groaned so loud, Isaac could feel it rumble through his body.
“Relax, Knox. I just want to play. Turnabout is fair play and all that.”
“You are so not innocent. I don’t care what they say! You are the devil.” Knox lifted his head. “My own mate!”
“And you love it.” Isaac licked Knox’s cock until he got to the head. “You love everything about me, just like I love everything about you.”
“That is beside the point.”
“No. It is the point.” Isaac took his finger and pressed it against Knox’s entrance. “Tit for tat my sexy mate.”
“Isaac!” Knox roared.
Yet, his legs lifted to accompany Isaac’s tongue, which traveled south of his cock, over his balls and to his heavenly ring of muscle. Hot, so hot, Isaac’s tongue painted circles over his entrance. His finger wet between his lips before pressing at Knox’s entrance, Isaac looked up.
“You like that baby? Feel good?” He sniggered. He was enjoying this way too much. His big, manly mate melting over his touch—it was too good.
“Isaac,” Knox breathed. His eyes were shut. His toes dug into the bed. Never in his life had he let another man touch him there. It felt, fuck it felt good, better than good.
Driven by the bliss riding his mate’s body, Isaac grabbed the vibrator from the bundle and turned it on low. He spit on the head of the rubber monster, coating its surface with his hand, wetting it completely. He grinned, pressing it against Knox just to get a reaction.
“I’ll take that as a yes.”
“Isaac! No!” Knox pulled at his restraints. He’d never meant to actually use the toy for penetration, only stimulation. That thing was huge!
Isaac snorted then laughed out loud. “I had you going, didn’t I?” He stuck his tongue out, rubbing the vibrating rubber into his mate. “Feels good though, doesn’t it?”
“You little brat, I thought you were really going to.” Knox relaxed a little. His head rested back against the pillow.
“I’m going to,” Isaac purred. “Just not with that.”
“What?” Knox tried to peek but his legs were urged up upon Isaac’s insistence. “Oh,” he groaned as a tongue replaced the rubber. A finger pushed against him—wet, demanding.
“I’m just as man as you are. I may not look it, but I promise you. I am.” Isaac pushed the finger in, listening to Knox’s hiss. “I want to punish you for everything you’ve put me through but I know you’ll enjoy this too much for it to be punishment. Say yes, Knox. Just say yes to me.”
Knowing exactly what Isaac meant, Knox fought with himself for a few minutes. The finger sunk deeper, twisting around to loosen him up before pulling out a little. It burned, but more importantly it felt really good. Isaac felt really good. How could he say no? This was his mate and Isaac was right. He had no choice.
“Fuck me, Isaac.” He bit his lip. “Fuck me like a man.”Isaac wished to God he had fangs. He wanted to bury his teeth deep in Knox’s neck while he took him hard. The
urge alone triggered something inside of him. Soon, his body told him, very soon. Overcome by the need to be inside of Knox yet still kind of nervous, Isaac pulled his finger out of his mate.
He reached up to kiss Knox softly, pulling away before he lost his nerve. His cock rigid, ready, he gripped himself and positioned the head against his mate’s entrance.
“This makes us even.” Isaac narrowed his eyes. Knox looked into the eyes his darkling mate. He looked like sex made human.
With a tilt of his lips, his mate shook out his long dark hair, eyes falling back on the prey Knox had become. “I’ll give you exactly what you need, Knoxtian Montesego.”
Knox choked on words. His response was between a scream and a loud exhale as Isaac fought his body to gain entrance. His mate, his little Isaac was filling him inch by inch. His mind refused to believe the truth. He was the top. He controlled Isaac’s pleasure. This was not how it was supposed to be. But his heart and body gave in completely, craving the cock inside of him—to go deeper, to move in and out.
Isaac held his breath. So tight, he thought. No hand or fist had ever held his cock like this. He could feel Knox’s muscles gripping him to the point of no circulation. His balls brushing against hot skin made him shiver and groan. A scent surrounded him, choking his senses. Knox. It was all Knox—sweaty, salty, almost a taste on his tongue. He licked his lips to see if it was real. His tongue came away with the flavor his mind had conjured and he thrust in all the way.
Knox hissed through his fangs. His back arched to greet the length inside of him. He wanted more. He couldn’t stand it. He wanted to touch his mate. He wanted to rake his nails down that flawless back and make Isaac scream how he felt. But being chained up, letting Isaac take control. It was hotter than anything he had ever done to dominate another.
“Yes,” Knox encouraged, trying to breath. “Yes!”
Isaac exhaled, shook from head to toe as he pulled back. He nodded at the vampire whose eyes were narrowed to slivers. Inhuman gold glowed between his lashes. Knox was the most beautiful kind of darkness. The kind Isaac would cherish forever. He snarled back, slamming home between his mate’s brick-house thighs. So much power in those muscles, he thought, clutching them to his hips. So much energy between them! He threw his head back and opened his mouth in victory.
Knoxtian Montesego was his man. And only he would ever fuck this ass. He laughed to the ceiling, breathing so heavily, he thought his lungs would burst. Moving his hands under Knox’s ass, he began to move. In and out, his length disappeared, reappeared into a heat he imagined only the blazing sun could provide. His hands dug into his mate’s fleshy backside, bringing them closer. He used every ounce of his strength to give it to Knox the way a real vampire would. It was hard to keep such a vigorous rhythm but his body obliged. Months of dancing had shaped his muscles, tightened his core for such an occasion.
Knox was struck with emotion—his beautiful mate taking his virginity like a god above him. Never before had he been on his back for another man and never would do it for anyone but Isaac. The pain had subsided. He was too focused on the way his hips moved against another body—the ecstasy of skin against skin, his ass being pleasured by Isaac’s, inexperienced, yet talented cock.
He really, truly loved Isaac. He gave up a part of himself to show his mate how much he cared. No. He corrected. He didn’t give it up. He shared it. Change was something he hated. But with Isaac, it was okay, because together they would change for the better. Life was starting to look up with his mate inside of him. The universe felt whole as their bodies collided. Knox’s guttural moan sealed the way he felt. Isaac lit up his insides as something sizzled below—that cock brushing something akin to paradise in his body.
Isaac felt the shift of emotions. His heart demanded to be closer to his mate. With a deep thrust, he pressed his chest to Knox’s. His lips seared over his mate’s. Sucking in Knox’s gasp, Isaac took it into his body as if his mate’s breath formed words to roll around on his tongue.
“I love you,” he rasped before taking Knox’s mouth.
He continued to move deeper and deeper, barely pulling out—more of a rocking motion. They both groaned at the hard rub of skin, the way Isaac’s cock hit all the right places. He was going to come. He wasn’t sure how much longer he could last. His body betraying after only a few seconds more. He arched his back up and slammed in as hard and fast he could manage. Thighs shaking, he let out a cry and came undone with a squeeze of Knox’s muscles. Legs like steel gripped him in a deadly embrace as Knox simultaneously felt the flood of release deep within him. Hot, so fucking hot, he opened his mouth to take in Isaac coming apart. So beautiful, much like a work of art made real, Isaac twisted back to stretch his body—to ride out the pleasure blowing his mind.
Breathing like a wild animal, he pulled back, sticky below to consume Knox’s cock with a vengeance. Cuffs bit in his wrists as he pulled at the chains—Knox was stimulated to the point of explosion. A scorching tongue guided Isaac’s mouth up and down with hard suction. He wanted to take his mate’s seed deep in his throat. To taste that sweaty, salty flavor on his tongue—to coat him with a victorious release that he had created.
Fisting the base of Knox’s cock, Isaac squeezed in hopes of milking it into his mouth. Success came when Knox’s breath hitched, caught in his throat as his mind went black.
“Isaac!” He roared, the canopy above bent towards him—metal bending under his strength. It creaked, blending into the sound of his verbal release.
Jets of hot liquid filled Isaac’s mouth, pouring over his lips. He sucked greedily at the head, pulling more of his mate’s taste into his self. Knox couldn’t move. He was spent. He was taken. He was in love.
It wasn’t until he felt the chains at his wrists fall to the side that he managed to open his eyes. Once again, Isaac curled into his side. No words were needed, only arms around each other to seal their coupling. What they had just done defied all norms. It brought them closer together. It made them mates, for real. They stared at the ceiling and the twisted metal above while their breathing attempted to even out.
“Fuck,” Isaac gasped.
“Fuck yeah,” Knox returned.
Rowe paced the Great Room nervously. His nails bit down to the quick, a dirty habit he couldn’t seem to control as he made another turn in front of the others gathered. His collective family sat on the stairs or leaned against the banister watching him move. Maggie would call breakfast at any moment and Knox and Isaac still had yet to show face.
“It’s almost nine,” Rowe suddenly declared. “They should be here by now.”
Dan grabbed Rowe’s hand. “Relax. So what if they’re a couple minutes late? It’s just breakfast and you know how it is when you’re first—”
“This is different and you know it. All of it is different!” Rowe looked down at Dan. “He held it back from me the entire time.”
“But you also knew for a while now. You could have confronted him a long time ago, Rowe.” Dan put a hand on his hip. “That’s kind of unfair.”
Nova stood from the stairs. “You knew? How is that possible?”
Rowe scoffed and turned on his heel. “He has been my best friend since before Christ. How could I not know? It’s the lying that angers me, putting this entire compound on the fritz because he’s scared of Cade.” Rowe shook his head. “Preposterous!”
“No love.” Dan chuckled. “He’s not the only one scared of Cade. That’s why you’re freaking out. You’re just as scared as he is.”
“Am not.” Rowe looked away.
Dan turned his mate’s chin towards him. “Are too.”
“I hate it when you’re right.” Rowe narrowed his eyes then let his shoulders slump. “It’s going to be a disaster, pet.”
“And who is the prince here, you or Cade?” Dan smiled, slinking a hand around Rowe’s waist. “Pretty sure it’s you. I’m also sure that if things get heated, we have more than enough man power to break it up. Cade is only one person. He isn’t a god. Besides, you don’t even know how he’ll react. Let’s start the day by ending the drama here. Cade will only feed off of your anger if you don’t accept Knox and Izzy. We should be happy for them. Not pissed off.”
“Ugh, fine. Let’s all put on our cheery little faces, shall we? Hannah. Emma. Say one word to Knox and I’ll have your heads shaved.” Rowe pointed a stern finger. “I know what you’re thinking.”
“Actually…” Hannah hopped down the steps.
Emma trailed behind her. “You don’t.”
“We’ve known for a while too. Not officially until a few days ago, but we knew.” Hannah swept a hand through her bob.
Emma leaned against the banister. “You can’t fault us for being angry with Knox though. He was a total douche bag. And Isaac wasn’t ready for him yet. Haven’t you noticed how independent he is now? He has a job, a life and interests other than Knox.”
Hannah nodded in agreement. “Yep, what we did might seem a little… insensitive. But we have our baby bro’s best interests at heart.”
“Ditto. Knox was an asshole and Isaac needed to step his shit up for him to see it. And, oh, did he see it.” Emma giggled.
Frank groaned. “Don’t remind me. I don’t even want to think about his dads flipping over that shit. I’ll admit, he was good, but—” Frank waved his hands to clear his head. “His dads are still going to go ballistic. I would—seeing Hannah and Emma like that. Yeah. Buddy, I’d polish my shotgun.”
The twins looked at one another, bursting into laughter. Frank growled, flexing his hands. “I can’t wait to meet the lucky sons-of-bitches you two get hitched to. I’m totally serious about some shotgun action.”
“Please tell me you’ll bust out some Enya when you go all terminator. Now that would be epic.” Hannah doubled over laughing, leaving Rowe lost in the dark. He looked between the family members and his equally confused warriors on the stairs.
“Hannah!” Frank rose.
His eyes shot to the resounding creak of a door while mid step. The double doors were pushed open by two guards. They moved out of the way as more guards brought in a few bags. Behind them, trailed Knox and Isaac who were holding hands and staring straight into the faces of the others—ready for anything.
Axel grinned, a rare gesture and looked to his twin. Cage’s face was hard as steel. He took one look at the newly mated pair and stood. “Fuck this. I’m out.”
“Dude. Chill.” Axel maneuvered himself between Cage and their father.
Cage ignored his father’s heated look, those dark brows narrowed. He pushed past King and disappeared behind the stairs, going outside before he did something stupid. He was not about to sit there and make nice with Knox, who had tried to kill him. Or look Isaac in the face after their last encounter. He had better shit to do. Such as be all alone and lonely.
“Don’t think about him right now,” Knox whispered to Isaac.
He knew it hurt Isaac to see Cage act like this. He also knew the reason behind Cage’s immature angst. Confused, taking it out on other people—they weren’t all that different, he and Cage. Knox gripped Isaac’s hand instead of running after the little shit. He guided his terrified mate into the pit of no-return until they stood before Rowe and Dan.
“Thanks, but the welcome wagon wasn’t necessary.” Knox pulled Isaac closer.
True to his word, he stood by his mate and didn’t flinch at the looks surrounding him. Isaac on the other hand, was holding his breath. His eyes darted around. No Nan. Cage had taken off at the sight of him. Axel offered him a small smile of apology. Frank wasn’t looking him in the eye. The twins were unusually silent. Chloe looked ready to smother him with kisses. King had a shit eating grin on his face. Hill was stoic but there was a sparkle to his eye. Nina took the steps down with Nova’s hand. She was smiling ear to ear while Nova looked guilty as all get out.
Dan sighed and put his arms out to Isaac. “I don’t bite.”
“Yeah.” Isaac looked down but accepted the hug. “I know.”
“It’s weird right now. I know,” Dan whispered in his ear. “Give it time, Isaac. But know we’re all happy for you both.”
Isaac pulled back slowly with a nod. “Thanks.”
Rowe stared off with Knox until the prince broke down. “It wasn’t my idea. They all followed me down here.”
“Because you didn’t think I would show up?” Knox twined his fingers with Isaac’s again.
“No. Well, yes.” Rowe huffed. “I wasn’t sure what you would do. It’s been a long night, Knoxtian. I’ve had kids, I mean members of the family missing for hours on end. I’m stressed out. So, forgive me for being a little high strung.”
“We weren’t missing, Rowe.” Knox sighed.
“I wasn’t just talking about the two of you, you know. Apparently, love is in the air.” Rowe threw his hands up.
“What?” Isaac looked up with a frown.
Rowe clucked his tongue. “You know damn well who I’m talking about. She’s your best friend.”
Isaac looked around again. “Nan? Where is she?”
“You don’t know?” Dan swallowed. Oh, God. Couldn’t they catch a break here?
“No,” Isaac whispered.
He instinctively huddled into Knox’s body. Nan in love? Why didn’t he know about this? Why hadn’t she said anything last night? Oh shit. She’d called him but he’d been too busy. What if she needed him?
Knox leaned down, feeling his mate’s panic. He pressed a kiss to his hair. “Relax.”
Dan and Rowe leaned back at the gesture. They’d never seen Knox gentle, caring like this. It was weird.
“Nan is mated, Isaac.” Nina smiled. “Something is in the air indeed.” She looped her arm through Nova’s.
“Mated?” His heart raced. “With who?”
“Jaska!” Chloe did a little bounce on her toes. “It’s Jaska.” She sighed.
King growled, planting hands on her shoulders. “You are going to shake that child loose before he’s ready. No bouncing.”
“Sorry.” She bit her lip. “But she’s mated!”
“Jaska,” Isaac murmured. “But he’s been gone for so long. How could she know that?”
“There is such a thing called the phone.” Hannah smiled. In an uncharacteristic move, she swept past Dan and hugged him. “Don’t be upset, Iz. Be happy for her.”
Isaac couldn’t himself but lean into her hug. She’d never been hands on and he needed all the acceptance he could get right now. She ruffled his hair, moving back. Nan still on his mind, he accepted a hug from Nina as well. He could slowly start to feel his emotions get the better of him. Knox by his side in front of all the Royals. Nan now mated without him knowing. Cage hated him. His dads were gone and probably would hate him when they returned. All of it was taking a toll.
“Breakfast!” Maggie declared to the room, walking in as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening.
Everyone stared at her. The moment was broken. She looked right at Isaac with a knowing smile to her eyes—an acceptance, a warm look that made him want to run to her.
“Well,” she said. “Are you all going to just stand there or are we eating?”A few mutters
, a happy squeal from Chloe and the group started to disperse to the dining room to give them some space. Knox caught his brother’s wrist before he could pass.
“I’m not mad if you said anything. It’s okay, Nova.”
“I betrayed you. They said you were unwell and I told them your secret. I promised you.” Nova looked away. “Please, forgive me.”
“Nova, I’m not angry. Not in the least. You were trying to help.” Knox pulled his brother to him. His arms wrapped around Nova’s shoulders. He held him for a few seconds. “You did good, Nova. You did real good.”
“You knew too?” Isaac sniffled, wiping his eyes before the water works started.
“I am so sorry for lying to you too!” Nova jerked around. “You must think I’m horrible.”
Isaac flicked his eyes to Knox. He smiled at the warmth directed his way. “How could I ever think you’re horrible, Nova? You’re my brother.”
Nova’s face lit up with joy. He smothered Isaac in his arms. “This is the happiest day of my life. Another brother! You make me so happy, Isaac.”
“Can’t breathe,” Isaac gasped.
“Alright, bro. I think he gets it.” Knox chuckled, pulling his little brother off. “How about we get some grub? I’m starving.”
Isaac nodded. “Yeah. I worked up an appetite.”
“Don’t you even start with me, Hightower.” Knox shot him a heated look.
Isaac grinned. “I guess I’ll just have to refuel. For later I mean.”
“You little brat.” Knox pushed his mate past a confused Nova. “Nova. Breakfast.”
“Right,” Nova muttered. He followed the newly mated couple to the dining room, still confused by their secretive ramblings.
Knox and Isaac stood in the middle of the hallway, trying to decide wordlessly which rooms to go to—his or his. Isaac wanted nothing more than to shower and sleep for the rest of the day next to his mate. The thought of being home, with Knox, thrilled him. He secretly wanted to cuddle and watch TV but he wasn’t going to push Knox with the lovey dovey stuff. It would unravel eventually. Right now, they had to choose a room.
“This is stupid,” Isaac grumbled and went to his door. Knox grunted unhappily but followed. “I mean, we have a few days to figure it out, right?” Isaac opened his door and stared, letting the door slowly creak into the wall.
“What?” Knox frowned at his stilled mate. He looked into the room. “Oh.”
The room was bare. A couch and a coffee table was all that was left. “What the fuck?”
Isaac stormed into his living room, passing the couch to his bedroom. He threw open the door and squeaked in horror. “Where is my stuff!”
“Isaac, calm down. I’m sure it’s all somewhere.” Knox tried, receiving a dirty look for his efforts.
Shaking from head to toe in anger, Isaac rushed into his closet, hoping like hell his trunk was still there. Dresser drawers were opened and empty. Hangers fluttered as he moved throughout the closet. It was all gone. His trunk with his lingerie, all his beautiful lingerie, was gone.
“Oh hell no!” He kicked the dresser. “My trunk is gone.”
“You’re what?” Knox had a hard time keeping track of Isaac as he moved in a flash.
“And my white boots! I love those boots. Oh my God, who would do this? I’ve been robbed!” Isaac screamed through his teeth. “My trunk!”
“O-kay.” Knox snapped his arm out, catching Isaac by the waist. “Take a deep breath. You have not been robbed. Let’s go find Mags. Everything will be okay.”
“I was robbed,” Isaac whispered.
“You were not robbed. How could anyone make away with all your stuff in a place this heavily armed? No one took your stuff.” Knox ran a hand through Isaac’s hair. “Come on. Let’s go see what see what happened.”
Sad eyes looked up at Knox. “My trunk.”
“Yeah. You got me intrigued. We’ll find your precious. Alright?”
Isaac slapped Knox in the chest. “Jerk.”
“Brat.” Knox pulled Isaac up for a kiss. “We’ll find the trunk. Chill.”
Isaac rested his head on his mate’s chest. He couldn’t let the entire compound know what was in that box. They would never look at him the same way again. Look what happened to Cage when he somehow figured it out. The guy hated him now. His stripping routine getting around was one thing but this was deeply private. He hadn’t even told Knox yet.
They headed down the hallway and saw a familiar face heading towards Knox’s room.
“Gran!” Isaac ran after her.
He followed her into the room. His things! All his glorious things were either still in boxes or being put away by George and a few helpers. Maggie set the box down.
“I think that’s it for now everyone,” she chirped. The three maids stopped what they were doing, with George’s insistence, and filed past them without a word. “I had hoped to have it finished by the time you arrived but there are not enough hours in the night to keep me busy.” Maggie blew a stray hair out of her eyes.
George brushed her arm in a composed yet compassionate way. It was so obvious what they were trying to hide, but Isaac smiled. To see his Gran so happy tugged at his heartstrings. Knox was a little irritated that Maggie had somehow gotten into his room without tripping his security. Not just that, but how everyone had been viewing his room all day as if the whips and toys on the wall were nothing but pieces of art. He growled under his breath but held it together because Isaac was obviously happy now that his things had been found. Now there was something that actually did make Knox happy—his mate’s things in his room. Correction, he mused, their room now if Isaac was willing.
“I hope you don’t mind,” Maggie continued. “It just seemed right to have your things in here.”
“I, uh, I guess.” Isaac looked down, unsure of Knox’s reaction.
Knox watched Isaac look away. He put his hand on his back. “Thank you both. That was nice of you.”
“Nothing to it. It was all rather easy seeing as how you have a large closet. I never realized how large it was before.” George made a sound in thought.
“That’s because you’ve never been in here dear.” Maggie patted his shoulder.
“True. Very true. Well, we’ll be out your hair.” George offered Maggie his hand and she blushed. “Should we expect you for the next meal or would you like something brought up?”
“We’ll call you.” Knox plastered on a smile.
He sensed Isaac’s unease growing. He knew his mate just wanted to be alone with him. Truthfully, Knox did too. Maggie was right, there just weren’t enough hours to go around and he wanted every minute he had with Isaac before Cade brought the whoop-ass back with him.
Maggie spared Isaac a little look, patted his back and then they were gone. The door shut, leaving the two of them together, alone in their room for the first time ever. It wasn’t like the cabin on the Wharf. This was home now. Isaac was his home. They would share everything together. Everyone would know what they did on a daily basis. Whatever, Knox pulled Isaac to him. They were ready for anything. It would just take time to feel it.
“Wanna find that trunk?” Knox grinned.
“Um, are you okay with this? You’re room being taken over?”
The vampire pulled his mate up his body, settling Isaac’s legs around his hips. “Our room.”
“But I know how territorial you are, your security system and your things in a certain way. Now all my boxes are in here and my clothes are in your closet.”
“Our closet,” Knox corrected.
“And I know I move around in my sleep and you don’t like pillows and blankets like I do.” Isaac gestured to the bed with only silk sheets. “And I have my favorite TV shows and like to cuddle and you don’t. And—”
Isaac looked up. “What?”
“I want to see that trunk. Then I want to take a damn bath and then, I want to put those pillows over there on the bed.” Knox turned his body so Isaac could see the mound in the corner. “And sleep all day with you. Maybe watch some whatever on TV in between. Sound good with you?”
“Really?” Isaac looped his arms around the vampire’s neck.
Knox let him slide down his body “Really. Now what’s in that damn box of yours?”
Isaac bit his lip, shying away from his mate. “Trunk,” Isaac corrected. Maybe it’s not in here. We should wait until later. I’m tired and want to clean up.”
“No you don’t. Where is it?” Knox stalked forward as his mate backed away.
Isaac looked around, spotting the black trunk immediately but played stupid. “I don’t know.”
Knox followed Isaac’s quick glance, raising his brows. “You don’t, huh? So if I was to just to over to this trunk here and have a peek, you wouldn’t mind?” He started walking but his mate cut him off.
“That’s just blankets or something. No big deal.” Isaac’s heart raced. He knew that if Knox opened that box, there would be no sleep for either of them.
“Nice try, tiny dancer,” Knox leaned forward and whispered.
“Knox, come on. Please?”
“No way.” The vampire knelt down, flicking the latches up. He turned to Isaac with a grin. “I’m going to like this, aren’t I?”
“Too much I’m afraid.” Isaac eased a few steps back. His heart raced as the lid was lifted.
Staring into the trunk, Knox wasn’t sure what to do first. Growl, take Isaac right there on the floor, or beat his chest with his fists. His hand dipped into a sea of leather and lace—red, black, any color he could think of. Garters, thigh highs, tiny shorts and thongs galore, Knox just kept right on staring.
“I’m not trying to be a girl or anything. I just like it, okay? It’s not a big deal.” Isaac blushed hard.
“Not a big deal?” Knox turned around on his knees, holding a gold pair of underwear with black lace. “How is this not a big deal?” He decided not to give away the tidbit of information Cage had so rudely shared last week and tried another approach.
“When I saw you on stage last night? When you were wearing those fucking thigh highs and moving like sex with legs—that was so hot, Isaac. You are so hot. Everything about you makes me to scream. But this—” Knox held up the underwear with a finger. “This is the hottest fucking thing I’ve ever seen.”
“Oh.” Isaac shivered.
Knox looked his mate up and down with hunger. “Do you sleep in them?”
“Not usually,” Isaac whispered.
“What if I wanted you to?” Knox growled, fisting the underwear in his hand.
Biting his lip, Isaac backed up until his legs hit the bed. “Then I would. I guess.”
“What else would you do for me?” Knox smirked. Something along the wall caught his eye—something that was a purposeful punishment for Isaac’s naughty behavior yesterday. Wicked things danced in his head. His mate in his bed, thigh highs, locks with leather—mm yes.
“What do you want me to do?” Isaac crawled backwards onto the bed, his cock already hard in the sweats Knox had given him to wear.
With a grin, Knox stood up. He had a game plan now. Isaac was right where he wanted him. Tit for tat as his mate had said. Dropping the underwear, he passed the bed. “Come on, let’s take a bath.”
“What? I thought we were going to…”
“I’m tired,” Knox lied, yawning for emphasis. “Come on.”
Maybe he was going crazy, but hadn’t Knox just been all down for a good roll in the sheets? Isaac looked at his mate with confusion, watching Knox fill the giant tub in the corner of the room. It did look inviting, glowing red then blue like a hot tub. Warm water caused steam to fill the air, bubbles from multiple jets beckoned Isaac forward. Maybe the vampire wanted to play in the tub, Isaac hoped. Slowly he shed his clothes in an attempt to attract his mate’s gaze.
He was a little miffed when the vampire removed his clothes quickly and sank into the tub with a sigh. “Would you rather take a shower? Or are you going to join me?”
Putting a leg over the edge, Isaac faked a smile. “No. This is good.”
Isaac sunk into the bath, completely understanding why Knox had chosen the tub. It was heaven. Water already hit his chest and he closed his eyes. He wanted to touch Knox, but for some reason, he felt like his mate didn’t want him to.
Knox chuckled. “Come here.”
Eyes opened, Isaac stared at his mate. Knox crooked a finger at him. With a blush, he moved into the vampire’s arms. Warm, slick, hard muscle invited him closer. Hands brushed his wet-tipped hair out of his face before grabbing a bottle of shampoo from the corner.
Isaac leaned back, flinching as Knox pressed a button on the wall. A TV folded away from the wall towards them. Some reality show filled the silence. Isaac smirked, letting his mate lather his hair. How normal was this, Isaac sighed. He leaned into his vampire with a smile on his face. What had he been thinking? Of course Knox wanted to touch him. Then why did he get this sneaking suspicion that his mate had something else up his sleeve?
Knox felt Isaac’s ease flowing between them. He continued to massage the soaping bubbles into the head under his hands with a shit eating grin. Payback was not going to be a bitch, he smiled wider. It was simply going to be loving torture.
Henri stepped outside of the bar and into the fresh air of the night. Gabe was still sleeping back at the apartment and he’d wanted to get out for a bit. A one room flat was not his idea of a good time. Gabe snored also. So there was that too.
He smirked, checking the one way street for signs of traffic before jogging across. There little undercover charade would only lead to trouble. He knew that, but so far so good. Small delivery jobs for Hightower paid decent too. Not that he had to worry about his cash flow, but Gabe didn’t need to know his other assets. He didn’t want his traveling partner to get lazy. Money was money to him and he liked to work unlike his brethren.
“Lot of spoiled brats,” he muttered under his breath.
Just as he was about to turn the corner towards the apartment, he felt eyes on him. Not the man at the newspaper stand on the corner. Not the waitress trying to power walk home from her evening shift. Not even the dealer he sensed in the alley as he passed. No. These eyes were unknown to anyone but him. The same eyes that had followed them all around the world—eventually leading them back to the safety of the city.
Henri knew what followed them this whole time, but he had refused to give up his secrets to Gabe. They weren’t after his young protégé. They were after him. An unsettled feud from long ago had come back to haunt him. The reason for his nomadic tendencies was because of the tail that trailed him in the dark. As innocent as he was, they refused to listen. So he ran like a coward instead of further trying to clear his name.
But was he a coward for trying to live his life in peace—an age old internal battle that he had yet to conclude. Instead of fighting with himself, Henri cut to the right quickly. A small alley between two buildings would end the trail for his follower. He refused to lead one of them back to his apartment, back to Gabe who had done nothing wrong.
He crouched low to the ground, hands up and eyes narrowed. He was ready for the attack he knew was coming. Fangs dropped in his mouth as a shadow blocked all light from the alley. A large figure cloaked in a trench. A fedora capped off his bald head.
“Fuck,” Henri swore. He’d never thought in a million years that Yasha would send him. Henri was a skilled fighter but not this good.Milky white eyes stared down
at him, glowing softly in the dark. Henri stood slowly, hands still at the ready. “What do you want?”
The man pulled a card from his pocket, extending it to Henri with a black gloved hand. “You have two weeks to give up Gabriel. When I have the boy, your business will be settled.”
“Gabriel? No fucking way, you snake. I’ll never give him to you.” Henri tore the card in two, flicking the pieces back at the man. He knew this was his end. No one talked to this male that way and lived to tell the tale. He only hoped he had taught Gabe well enough that his protégé could run from this kind of trouble. Maybe go to Ghost for help, finally giving in for a shred of safety.
The man sighed uncharacteristically and took off his hat, taking a few steps into the dark alley. “You will get no other chance at true freedom, Henri. I will kill you for your wrongs. No one will miss you. No one will mourn your ashes. You are nothing more than a rat, a traitorous rat.”
Milky whites flicked to Henri. “I could kill you right here. I could pull your organs out of your mouth one by one,” he hissed. “Cut you down the middle and filet you with my fingernails. But, today is your lucky day. I am on strict orders to deliver this message. When your two weeks are up, then I am free to do whatever I want with you, just like I did with the others.”
“Others?” Henri backed away.
A fang filled mouth smiled back. “Come now, don’t play dumb with me boy. Thierry. Anton. Marquis. Rowena. Ferrier. Your friends, all of them put down like dogs.”
“I never sided with them and you know it!” Henri fisted his hands in rage. To even think of grouping him with a lot of traitors, boiled his blood.
“The evidence proves otherwise, Henri. Rats always lie.”
“So do snakes, Kerobos.” Henri bared his teeth. “You won’t ever have that boy. He is mine.”
“No. He is Yasha’s son. Gabriel belongs to him.” Kerobos pulled another card from his pocket, throwing it at Henri. “Two weeks. If I don’t secure the boy from your own two hands by that time, then I shall come to make a puzzle of your body parts. Have a good evening, Henri.”
Kerobos put on his hat as Henri looked away from the snake eyes on the back of his head.
“Yasha’s son?” Henri breathed. “That can’t be.”
He trembled. The card between his fingers with a simple phone number printed on one side. When he looked up, Kerobos was gone. The smell of his own fear filled his nostrils.
In the beginning, people believed a serpent had led Eve into temptation, this biblical taboo that had started it all—the devil incarnate made real in the form of a slithering beauty. That was all a lie. The female had wronged on her own, damning her people with her own greedy hand. The humans needed a scapegoat for their imperfections.
The serpent was another story. He was a man, a vampire that had nothing to do with the devil other than his DNA. But that didn’t stop humans from gossiping for the sake of their religious causes—giving the disciples words to fill their pages and sermons for masses with talks faux beasts that appeared as reptiles in the night to tempt them.
The man they had dubbed the serpent of the garden had the right markings. He had the vengeance of hell itself—a fury and a blade hand that no one could rival. He was a monster to all who knew of him. Why wouldn’t the humans title him the devil’s right hand? It all made sense, didn’t it?
More importantly, Henri drew in a breath along the brick wall. How did Yasha come to tame such a warrior for his own use? Even more importantly, Kerobos, the vampire serpent, was now in the city. And he was coming for them.
To Be Continued…