Home > Disarming (Reign of Blood #2)(17)

Disarming (Reign of Blood #2)(17)
Author: Alexia Purdy

“But I don’t want to be your ‘bonded mate,’” I muttered. “No offense, but this isn’t possible.”

“I know that.”

“So can I fight it? Is it possible to break a bond once it’s formed?” My question hung over us like bricks. I doubted he even knew the answer.

“I don’t know, April. I wish I did, really.”

I gave him a tiny nod, knowing what he asked of me. If I didn’t give him my blood, we would die here. I would never see Jeremy again. On the other hand, if I did give him a drink of my blood, I might have a new unwanted boyfriend, even though I didn’t want it to come to that at all. I sighed; we were at an impasse.

I can fight it, fight the connection, I told myself. I’m strong-willed and stubborn; if anyone can do it, it’s me. I’ll just have to stay far, very far, away from Christian.

“So if I let you take my blood and you break us out of here, what guarantee do I have that you won’t leave me behind? I can’t even stand up.” I was afraid to look up, afraid to see the wrong thing behind his eyes. But I couldn’t stop myself and glanced up.

As his two-toned orbs flickered over to me, a twinkle of hope flashed in them. “Once I have blood, I’ll feed you some back. I swear it. You’ll be like new then, and stronger. Then we both make a break for it, leave this place. I won’t leave you behind, I promise.” He looked serious, and I wanted to believe him more than anything.

“Will you promise me something else?” I whispered as the tendrils of pain began to snake back in.

“Yes, of course.” The words felt like waves of softness rustling over my skin, almost soothing. I shook it off, my body already twitching from the impending agony. “If I can’t control our connection, if I start to think you really have become my mate, would you please leave me alone and stay far, far away from me? Please?” I wondered if he understood what I asked. I hoped he would. I needed him to.

Christian’s face fell, and a look of doom painted itself across it, leaving his features solemn and dark. The sadness he emitted made me want to cry, and it made me doubt he could even do what I asked. Would he say no?

An eternal moment later, he whispered back. “I’ll do what you ask. But I have to help your mother first. I have to atone for the things I’ve done before I leave. Okay?”

Another bout of pain seized my chest, and a sick wheeze seeped from my throat as I tried to breathe through it. Every cell in my body was on fire. Every inch and hair follicle protested and seized. I barely noticed that Christian was also having a hard time with this episode of torturous agony as he sat writhing at my feet. I couldn’t think, couldn’t breathe. I didn’t want to endure it much longer. I knew whatever it was he needed to do, I was going to let him, for it was the only way out of this mess.

The pain receded, like a calming tide washing away. It left us both heaving from the intensity of it. As my breath slowed, I waited for him to continue, though he looked incredibly pale from this last assault. If we waited any longer, it was going to be too late.

“I have to take your mother to Rick, figure out what went wrong.” He gasped for air and let himself fall into bed next to me. His breathing came ragged and harsh. “I think the end is near, April.” His whisper reached my ears, sending me into a panic. Closing his eyes, he became very still. With what little energy I had, I slid down next to him.

“Christian?” He didn’t respond, his eyes fluttering in and out of consciousness.

Crap! I hoped I wasn’t too late. If he died, I knew that I would too. I had to do something.

I brought my wrist to his mouth. His lips seared like fire from the feverish heat that consumed him now. It gave him a slight blush on his pale, porcelain skin. He looked peaceful with his eyes closed, lost in some other place. I had to wake him, let him drink from me before it was all over.

“Christian! Wake up! Here, drink.” I shook him, willing him to awaken. This can’t be happening. “Please…”

Just then, his eyes fluttered open and rolled around until they focused on me. I offered my arm once more, waiting to see if he had enough strength to feed. “Come on, you need blood now.”

He looked like he nodded ever so slightly as he reached up, his hands shaking ferociously as he fought to curl his fingers around my thin wrist. Bringing my skin back to the warmth of his lips, I braced for the agonizing bite. His fangs flashed as his lips parted. Then, faster than I could imagine, he sunk them into my wrist. I gasped, the brief pain replaced immediately by a calm, soothing euphoria. What dirty a trick to make the hunters soothe their prey with the bite that ended their lives. I felt the warmth of my blood gush into his mouth, his tongue swirling over the fluid hungrily as he sucked harder and harder.

Would he kill me? Would he bleed me dry?

As if to answer me, he let go at that very moment. I groaned at the receding block of pain, feeling the sore ache of the wound hit me as his fingers dropped from my skin. I watched in suspended surprise as his sallow, pale skin morphed into perfect, smoothed out flesh, a blush of color growing on his cheeks. Even his hair shined as though revived with life. I didn’t feel better yet and let my head drop to the mattress in a tangled mess of black, stringy hair.

“April?” Christian’s voice echoed in my head, too far away to respond to. I wanted to let him know that I was going to nap, to let my dreams take me away into some warm, quiet place where there was no pain, where my father waited for me.

“April! No, you’re not, stay with me hun,” I heard him grunt as he bit into his arm, letting the red, silky fluid drip from the bite and splatter onto my dried, cracked lips. “Drink, April, it’s your turn to get better.” He pressed his wrist to my parched mouth. The spill of wetness swirled over my tongue as the echo of euphoria returned. It was sweet and slightly sticky but tasted amazing, like the perfect food.

April….

I didn’t know who it was that whispered to me as Christian’s life blood flooded and swirled inside, fusing my own with this elixir. All I knew was that it was exquisite; its warmth penetrated my cold limbs and sent an electrifying surge through me. My strength was returning, and my fingers curled around his skin to pull him closer. I drank his blood desperately, wanting more and more.

“April… April, that’s about enough.” Christian jerked away, leaving me wanting. I fought the urge to pounce on him once more and finish my drink. It took all my willpower to clear my head of the strange fogginess that surrounded my thoughts. I was feeling more like myself once he pulled away, especially with the fatigue, pain and fever receding into oblivion.

“Wow!” I wiped the drips from my chin and studied Christian. He was smiling widely, his long hair hanging down over his face as he looked down on me. “I feel so much better! I never thought….” I stopped, wondering why his lips looked so enticing right now. The pull to get closer was overwhelming, yanking me like a leash strapped to my neck.

Leaning into him, I slipped my hands around his neck and pulled him toward me. I wanted to kiss his lips, hard and desperately, let the warmth of my skin penetrate his. The taste of metallic blood mixed in our mouths, left over from our drinks. Desire flooded through my body, demanding payment and wanting to feel his hands on me. His lips were equally hungry and insatiable. We kissed and ran our hands over each other, tugging and pulling our bodies even tighter together, as though we could fuse into one being, as though this was everything we needed.

No, stop!

A thought screamed in the back of my head and made me pull away from the trance with a jolt, back into the present. I snapped my eyes open, finding Christian still so close, kissing my neck and nipping my earlobe. I shoved at him, giving him a swift push which sent him tumbling onto the cement floor. He recovered quickly, his vampire reflexes already returning in full force. Looking at me, a surprised confusion replaced the wild eyes and desire spilled off of him in waves.

We sat there in silence for what seemed like hours. I was horrified by these feelings running so unchecked and turbulent inside me. I wanted him… badly. I wanted him like I had never wanted anything before. I shook the thoughts away and tried to focus back on the task at hand. We had to get out of there before we consumed each other to death.

“We have to go. Now,” I demanded, hoping he could focus enough to remember his promises. He gave me a nod, slowed his rapid breaths and stood up. He walked to the bars, took hold of two of them and pushed and pulled at them until the metal screeched in response and bent away. He was certainly powerful, probably more so than Rye. I wondered if the withering sickness had left him different, even more changed than he had been before. It left me apprehensive of what I had gotten myself into. What would his changed blood do to me?

He motioned me to follow and I jumped to my feet. The blood coursed through me, making my movements fluid once more, warming my insides as I felt it continue to strengthen me. I slid through the warped opening easily and hurried behind him, down the hall and out the unlocked prison ward doors.

Chapter Nineteen

Intentional Things

Rye

THE LAST OF the shattering glass settled around his boots. Miranda sat unmoving, her face tight but not one bit surprised. He had shoved their glasses off of the table, enraged and frustrated. “I can’t believe you let her go alone.” Rye’s rage was cracking his voice, and his face changed shades of purple so fast he looked as though he was going to implode.

“I didn’t let her go alone, she went on her own accord alone. I’m not her keeper.” Miranda tilted her head, narrowing her eyes down to her now ruined breakfast. “And neither are you, for that matter.”

“That’s not the point!” Rye’s rage surged, and it took everything he had to keep it wrangled. He slid down onto the bench across from her, not registering the stares and whispers from the other vampires eating in the cafeteria. He didn’t care. They could stare all they wanted. All he wanted was to know what had happened to April. No word, no appearance for days from her, had him on the edge. Her mother and brother were also hysterical. April could take care of herself, but it was not like her to disappear without a trace for so long. “Do you know what the maps were for?”

Miranda gave him a shake of her head and sighed, looking tired but upset. “No, they were blueprints, not really maps. I know I should’ve asked, but you know how she is. She didn’t want anyone to know. I figured she had told you, so I didn’t ask. How was I supposed to know she was up to no good?” At that she stood and marched over to the broom and dustpan in the corner of the room. Returning to sweep up the mess, she avoided his burning glare.

Rye slumped. He knew she was right. April was an adult, and she had the right to privacy and her own doings. Still, something was not right. He knew it. Where are you? His thoughts held her in his mind’s eye, making him feel as though the roof was falling onto him. Maybe he had suffocated her with his constant badgering and she had pushed him away for that very reason. Maybe she would have told him if he had not been so relentless to have her become his mate or be by her side all the time. He groaned at these thoughts and watched Miranda dump some of the mess into the nearest garbage can, feeling suddenly guilty that she was cleaning up the mess he had made.

“Give me that, it’s my fault.” He motioned for her to give him the broom. She studied his face briefly before handing it over. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to take it out on you.”

She nodded and smiled, her old self returning to her face. “It’s alright. I’m worried, too. I should have been more inquisitive. It might have helped her now if she’s in trouble.” Her grin faded at that statement, her eyes shining with unshed tears. He gave her a nod and finished cleaning. After breakfast he would search again for any signs of April. He had avoided looking at the Wynn, since Blaze had told them to leave it be. But now, five days after she had gone missing, he was at his wits end. He’d go against Blaze’s command and check out the Wynn for himself. There was no other place she could be. At least he hoped that would be the place. Even if the underground city was not under the Wynn, she had to be near there, he could feel it in his bones.

Finishing up, he headed to his quarters to grab his gear, hoping to not run into Blaze along the way. He would surely stop Rye from leaving if he discovered his plans. If he didn’t find April soon, it could mean only one thing.

He couldn’t think that. Not ever.

Rye grabbed his duffle bag and began arming himself, strapping on the gear that he rarely used. The feral threat was still there, but not so much now with the humans exterminating them on The Strip. However, if April had been caught by the humans and couldn’t escape, he might as well be prepared to take them on. He opened his case of guns, knowing the humans would most likely be armed, too. There was no telling what he’d be up against. He grabbed his handgun and stuffed a few magazines onto his belt compartments cargo pockets, and into a zippered vest he wore to hold more ammunition.

Pausing briefly, he wondered if the humans had any idea about his kind, the hybrid vampires. If they didn’t, they’d think of him as another human. If they did, they’d be sure to be on their guard. It grated his nerves a bit, not knowing what he was up against, but he didn’t allow it to hamper his determination to find April. She needed him, he could feel that in the pit of his stomach. Maybe, just maybe, with this, he could prove to her that she needed him too, in more ways than one.

Leaving the hive was easy enough; no one questioned him and his suited-up-for-war threads. Being third in command had its perks, namely that no one asked him what he was up to for the most part. Only Miranda and Blaze had any authority to do so, of course. Speaking of Miranda, he spied her waiting near the hive entrance, also fully armed.

   
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