Hey! Sorry about this late update. My job keeps me super busy! Anyway, I am on break and got the writing bug to write this chapter. Yay! Here is chapter 17; Enjoy:
Ten minutes later, I found myself sitting in a room full of extremely pissed off vampires which was not something that I found to be very comfortable. At all. The fact that none of them, except for maybe one, seemed to be angry at me didn't make me feel any better either. We had moved from Damien's office and back into the living room. I was sitting on the sofa with Jessica next to me. Tristan sat next to her.
Jerrick had arrived a few minutes after he had hung up with Tristan and he sat in the chair across from us. Damien sat on the other side of me. His big body shoved up way too close to my own, in my opinion, but judging by the nasty glare he had on his face, I have no intentions of telling him that.
"Let me see the scars on her."
The sound of Jerrick's order made me take my eyes away from Damien to stare at him. I was confused for a moment. He couldn't possibly expect me to take off my dress with so many males present, could he? Hadn't he already seen the scars when Tristan had called him earlier?
My eyes met his across the room; his eyebrows were raised questionably. I didn't need him to speak to understand that he was very serious in his request, but he did so anyway. "Casey, I don't have all night."
I glanced around nervously, not liking the idea of being topless in front of three men. Even if it would be for just a moment. It was hard enough doing so in front of just one male.
I opened my mouth; not really sure why because arguing with him would get me nowhere, I was sure of that, but Jessica beat me to it, "Did it ever occur to you that she might not like the idea of being shirtless in front of three men?!" she asked, "She could barely handle it when it was just Tristan a couple minutes ago."
Jerrick seemed almost taken aback by Jessica's words, but he couldn't say anything in retaliation because Jessica just kept on talking, "I know you're old and were around during a time where women just did what a man wanted without a second thought, but times have certainly changed. Women don't just-"
"Jessica!" Tristan snapped, interrupting her.
She turned to glare at him, "Oh, shut up, Tristan. You're the same as him. Granted, it's not your fault that you grew up in a society that thought women were inferior to men and should just do what they were told and smile prettily while doing it. Though, right now, it is your fault that you still have those prejudiced thoughts in your head especially with me around." she tsked him.
I tried hard not to laugh, but it was difficult. I managed to stifle a snort and turned it into a hasty cough when all eyes turned back towards me.
Jerrick glanced towards her with one eyebrow raised, "You certainly picked an…"he paused, clearly looking for the right word to describe Jessica, "…interesting woman to take as your mate, Tristan."
Jessica narrowed her eyes at him, but I spoke up before she could say something else. "It's okay, Jessica."
"At least one of the females in this room isn't completely unreasonable." Jerrick noted.
Jessica snorted, "She's not being reasonable, Jerrick, she's just terrified of what you will do to her if she doesn't comply."
"Well, then she's smart." Jerrick said, "And, if you were as smart as her, you would keep your mouth shut since I am starting to lose my patience."
I could tell that Jessica wanted to respond to that, but Tristan laid a hand on her shoulder and that seemed to quiet her. At least for a moment, "Fine then… at least let me stand and block the view from the rest of you. And for the love of God, can she have a pair of pants first?" She asked motioning to my dress. "I don't think she wants any of you to see her in just her underwear."
I was glad she mentioned that. I had been so nervous. I had forgotten that I was still wearing my black dress uniform.
Jerrick raised an eyebrow, "If you insist, you may block her from our view, but I have no sexual intentions with the girl."
"And I've already seen her naked." Damien admitted from across the room.
I shivered at those words; I had already guessed that he had seen me based on what I was wearing when I woke up upstairs earlier, but it still scared me and made my uncomfortable. Had I had anything in my stomach I may have actually thrown up at the thought of him touching my body and seeing me with no clothes on.
"As for the pants…" Jerrick glanced towards Damien expectantly.
He rolled his eyes; a very odd expression as it seemed too human of him. He did get up though and marched from the room. He was gone only for a moment, but he did return with a pair of pants which he unceremoniously threw at Jessica. She snatched them before they could smack her in the face and glared at him, "Watch it, asshole."
"Tristan, you better watch your mate before I do something about that rude little mouth of hers." Damien threatened; he glared daggers at the female who was glaring daggers right back.
"Oh, I would like to see you try." She spat.
"Jessica!" Tristan glared at the female.
I really liked this girl. I was also jealous as I wished I had the nerve to act that way; I was afraid if I spoke to Damien like how she was doing, I would just get myself killed and I was way too young to die.
Jessica handed me the pants and helped me put them on. It wasn't until they were on and buttoned that I realized that they were clearly Damien's as they were several sizes too big.
"We don't have all night, Casey."
Jerrick's impatient voice knocked me from my thoughts and I turned to stare at him.
"Oh for fuck's sake, Jerrick, be patient. She just put those pants on, which by the way, are way too big for her, but you already knew that and don't care, right?" Jessica glared at Damien.
"Jessica…" Tristan warned; his voice was low and laced with a barely veiled threat. Clearly she was starting to anger him. If the low voice didn't do it then the threatening glare he was sending her certainly did the trick.
"Fine," Jessica humphed, "Come on, Casey… I am sure that you want to get this done more than I do."
I didn't reply to her comment even though she was very correct in her assumption.
"Move over there, will you?" Jessica told Jerrick, nodding to her empty seat on the sofa.
He raised an eyebrow at the order, but followed her instructions without a comment.
Jessica pulled me so I stood in between the sofa and the chair with my back facing the three men who were all currently sitting on the sofa.
The air was cool against my exposed flesh. I felt slightly more comfortable with Jessica standing in front of me. Once my back was completely exposed, I took both the bandages and dress in my hands and used them both to cover up my chest. The temperature in the room seemed to drop a few degrees and it grew quiet; so quiet that I could probably have been able to hear a pen drop.
I don't know what I was expecting after I was topless. I stood there with my eyes tightly shut, trying to breathe in and out through my nose. I didn't realize how tense I was until I felt a pair of hands land lightly on my back and I jumped several inches in surprise. Jessica had to grab hold of my shoulders to steady me before I toppled to the floor.
"What the hell have you done to this girl that has caused her to be so skittish, Damien?!" Jerrick voice was close to my right ear and I jerked slightly when his hand traced lightly down my scarred back. His touch was soft, but the skin had not quite healed over yet so it hurt a little when he pressed a little too hard.
"She came to me like that."
"No… she came to you obedient albeit, a little scared, but obedient. Now she's acting like an abused puppy; scared of everything."
"I haven't abused her, if that's what you're implying."
"Hm… these scars on her back tell a different tale." he noted as he continue to trace his hands up the and down the length of my back scars. His fingers lingering longer than I thought was necessary, but I was too scare to admit that.
"I don't see why it concerns you how I punish my slaves, Jerrick."
"It concerns me because it makes me look bad when people see how the slaves I sell end up. I don't sell torture slaves, Damien. I am not in that kind of business. My slaves are not meant to be abused or overly punished unless they severely deserve it. From what I am told, you gave her so many lashes for her interactions with another slave, a male."
It wasn't a question.
"She always tends to get a little mouthy towards me." Damien replied, "I've given her several warnings prior to the lashing, but she kept pushing her luck with that mouth of hers."
"I am not at all surprised by that. I would get a little mouthy towards you too, asshole." Jessica spat; her voice full of hate and anger.
"Sorry, Tristan, but I couldn't control that one."
It was silent in the room again. I shivered as it was starting to get cold in the room. Being half naked surely did not help.
"You have still left several obvious scars."
"The scars will heal once the infection is gone. I already gave her my blood" I tried not to gag at that admission, yes I had known he had done it, but to hear him admit to it again still disgusted me, "and it has already done its job on the inside and it will do it job on the outside once the infection is gone. I called the doctor to look at her and he prescribed some antibacterial ointment that should kill the infection in a few days."
Hmm.." was Jerrick's reply. "Casey, you can put your shirt back on and you can leave us. I will come get you when I have made my decision."
"Jessica, you can leave with her." Tristan popped in.
She opened her mouth; clearly ready to argue, but Tristan must have had a look on his face that prevented her from forming words because she promptly shut her mouth again. Instead, she busied herself with helping me wrap the bandages back around my body and putting the shirt back on. I could tell with her sharp movements that she was not at all happy being told what to do.
"Where do you suggest we wait while you make your decision?" she asked.
"My office across the hall should suffice. Don't touch anything." Damien suggested.
Jessica narrowed her eyes at him, "Oh don't worry… I won't touch anything. Wouldn't want to catch whatever asshole syndrome is plaguing you today." She spat before she grabbed my hand and pulled me from the room.
I could feel three pairs of eyes on me as we left the room and the door was promptly slammed behind us.
Jessica rolled her eyes "Stupid men… always trying to control everything. Let's go… You look like you're about ready to collapse from exhaustion anyway."
We crossed the hall into Damien's office. Once inside, she pulled me towards the lone couch in the room.
"I don't know how you can put up with that crazy man, Casey." Jessica, shook her head, sitting down next to me on the sofa "When I was in your shoes with Tristan, he acted that way towards me and I would piss him off one way or another by fighting him every chance I got."
I looked at her like she was crazy… she probably was. "Because I would rather not die." I almost wanted to end that sentence with a "duh", but I thought that was a little immature.
She snorted, "Damien won't kill you."
I looked at her incredulously, "Have you not seen the scars on my back from his whip?!" I asked.
"Of course I have, but he wouldn't have paid so much for you just to kill you, Casey. It makes no sense," she said," Tristan didn't pay anything for me and believe me, I was probably ten times worse than you," Yea I totally believed that, "And I am still here."
"Tristan kidnapped you?!" I asked, my eyebrows raised, "And… you actually stayed with him?!"
Jessica shrugged, "Love works in mysterious ways, you know."
I just looked at her with my mouth gaping open in shock.
"Oh, please… don't give me that look, Casey," she grinned, "I can already see the same thing happening to you."
"I hope you are not instigating that I –"
"Oh, I didn't say it was you, did I?" Jessica asked, "Damien may be an asshole, but having dealt with Tristan and his awful ways of showing he cares, I see the same thing in Damien. Though, he is not nearly as extreme as Tristan which is good because I wouldn't wish what he did to me on anyone else." she shuddered.
"W-what did he do to you?"
Jessica looked at me for a long while; it was such a long stare that I was wondering if she was ever going to answer my question. Just when I opened my mouth to change the subject, she opened hers.
"It's quite a long story, Casey, so I can't tell it all to you, but I can give you the short version, if you would like."
I nodded; I had really just wanted to talk to her while we waited to relieve the boredom of having to wait, but I found myself genuinely interested in hearing Jessica's story.
I listened to her, riveted as she explained how Tristan had kidnapped her and used her to help the vampires to take over the world. I listened, almost disgusted as she told me the things he had done to her. Thankfully, she didn't go into great detail and when she was done, I had a feeling that she was leaving some things out, but I honestly didn't want to find out whether I was right or not since the things she had already told me were bad. I couldn't imagine anything worse.
"And you fell in love with him after all of that?" I asked, shocked.
She looked almost sheepish, "Yes… like I said, love works in mysterious ways."
"I could never…" I shook my head.
She nodded, "I said the same thing, Casey… several times... and look where it got me. But, once again… I didn't say anything about you, did I?" she asked, "I see how Damien looks at you when he thinks no one is looking. Including you."
I didn't know whether I should be shocked or terrified by that revelation. Instead of addressing my overall fear of that little revelation, I instead chose to ask a question, "If you know this, why do you give him such a hard time?"
She snorted, "Casey…you will learn very quickly that I like to make people – mostly men though – lives a living hell. Believe me, I gave Tristan all sorts of hell and I still do." She grinned proudly at me.
I knew she wasn't lying since I had seen it firsthand already.
"No offense, but I don't believe you." I started, "I can't. He's a vampire and I'm a human."
"That didn't stop Tristan."
"You're a vampire…"
"Not until recently I wasn't. I was only turned because I was about to die and Tristan didn't have much of a choice."
I shook my head, "No."
"No? No that I wasn't turned?" she chuckled, "I think I would know that I was turned and why, Casey."
"No… not that. I can't accept what you are telling me about him. It makes no sense."
She shrugged, "You don't have to believe it, but that doesn't mean it's not true."
I didn't know what to say to that. I was confused as to what she was even talking about as Damien had never shown any sign that he felt anything towards me. I know there was that kiss, but that was a dream and surely didn't count. The idea of that vampire having feelings for me was just completely unheard of.
Jessica's voice knocked me out of my thoughts, "Look, Casey… why don't you go to sleep and get some rest while we wait? You look exhausted and God only knows how long this will take."
I was in no way tired, but I agreed anyway. Mostly because I was hoping if I fell asleep, I would wake up and this whole idea with Damien would be a bad dream of some kind.
"I'll wake you up when they are ready for us again, okay?" Jessica said as I laid my head on the arm of the sofa and tried to get as comfortable as I could.
I was just about to close my eyes when I realized that I wasn't at all tired since I had just slept before Tristan and Jessica had arrived. Before I could open my eyes, they became heavy and a wave of exhaustion suddenly fell over me.
I was asleep a few minutes later.
I found myself –Alexandra – in bed with Damien.
"My father does not approve of our relationship, Damien." I said. "He would rather me marry that disgusting duke, Thomas." I shuddered at the mere thought of him. Though, I had no idea what made him so bad as I had no memories of him.
"I know, my love… that is why I have come to see you so soon after my last visit. We should elope together."
I gasped, "If we get caught… they will certainly kill us."
"It will be worth it, my sweet." Hearing such a term of endearment coming from his mouth shocked me. "Give me a week and I will have plans in place for us."
With those words he leaned in and kissed me.
The scene morphed into a new scene. For the first time, I was no longer Alexandria, but an outsider watching from afar. I was staring at a small little house made of wood with a small wooden porch with a single rocking chair.
It was nighttime. I guessed it to be around eight or so as there were lights coming from inside the house. The light was flickering, so I knew it was from candles.
My eyes were drawn to a dark figure who was making its way slowly to the house. I watched as the figure knocked heavily on the door. The door was answered and even though I was far away, I could see who answered it.
I could also tell that she was several months pregnant.
The dark figure smiled at the sight of her, but the smile turned to a frown when a man came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist. That frown eventually turned into a scowl.
I jumped in shock when the figure yanked them both from inside the house. Alexandria screamed as she was grabbed and screamed louder when the figure yanked out the male's throat with his teeth. Her shout was cut short when her neck was unceremoniously broken. The figure – which I knew now to be a vampire – dropped her lifeless body and brought his attention to the male.
I had to turn my head away at the sight of him drinking the male's blood. The sight made me want to throw up. I made slight gagging noises which seemed to draw the monsters attention to me.
The monster with red, rage filled eyes turned to stare in my direction. I had to hold in another gasp because I recognized him even with blood covering most of his face and running freely down his torso.
It was Damien.
I jerked awake, but whether that was from Jessica gently shaking me awake or the revelation during my dream, I had no idea.
Regardless, I found myself lying on the loveseat; my head laying on one armrest and my feet handing off the end since I was too tall to fit comfortably, "Come on, Casey, they are ready for us in the living room."
I nodded as I got up, yawning and rubbing the sleep from my eyes. I had to roll my neck a few times as there was a cramp in it from sleeping at such an odd angle.
Jessica and I wandered back into the living room and I was surprised to see Adrian was here. Obviously, he must have arrived while Jessica and I were in the office waiting for a decision to be made.
I took a seat on the sofa; in the same spot I was sitting before I had been forced out of the room. Instead of sitting in between Jessica and Damien as before, I found myself sitting between Damien and Adrian with both of them too close for comfort. I was especially uncomfortable to be sitting next to Damien after what Jessica had told me about him. One glance at him, proved her theory wrong though if the glare he sent me was any indication.
"After giving it some thought, I have come to a decision about what to do with the girl," Jerrick's voice forced my eyes away from Damien and towards where he sat in the chair opposite of the sofa.
"Based on how you have been treating her, Damien and because you and Adrian share ownership of her as he provided half the money for her, I am making the decision to make you relinquish her to him."
There was a loud gasp; it took me a moment to realize that it had come from me.
Damien tensed as Jerrick spoke; once the other vampire was done speaking he turned to glare at Adrian. The temperature in the room seemed to go down a few more degrees and I felt really uncomfortable being in the middle of these two very powerful vampires. When I tried to move, I was shoved back down by both of them.
"How dare you." Damien spat; his eyes flashing in anger. I was just thankful that glare wasn't directed towards me.
"I did warn you, Damien. I didn't even have to go to the Council to get it done." Adrian shrugged, "But don't worry… it's not permanent."
"What the hell does that mean?"
Adrian cocked his head to the side, "It means that when you are ready for her again, you will get her back… on one condition."
Damien's eyes narrowed so much that they became nothing more than slits, "What condition?"
"She will have to want to come back to you on her own."
What the hell? It took all my will power not say that out loud.
"And… if she never wants to come back to me?" Damien asked the same question I wanted to know, but was too scared to voice.
"Then you will never get her back." Adrian glanced at his watch, "It is getting late and we have a long way to travel to get home. Casey and I will be taking our leave now," he stood up, bringing me with him, "Come along, Casey, it's time to go to your new home."
I was in too much of a state of shock to fight him as he pulled me to my feet and led me from the room. It wasn't until we were outside in the freezing cold that I gained enough courage to speak, "But… I don't get to say goodbye?" I asked.
Adrian stopped long enough to turn and stare at me with an eyebrow raised, "You want to say goodbye to him?" he asked.
"No… I wanted to say goodbye to Anna."
"Sorry, Casey, but we do not have time. We are already behind schedule as it is."
What did that mean?
"Come along now."
He turned away from me and began walking towards a car that was sitting alone on the curb. He opened the passenger door for me and waited a moment as I got in before closing it and making his way over to the driver's side.
I stared out the window as he started the car and began driving down the long drive way. It took a good five minutes before we made it to the main road which he took a right on. The road was deserted; not that I was surprised since humans were pretty much enslaved now, so obviously there would be less cars on the road. A quick glance at the clock on the dash revealed that it was nearly five in the morning. Of course, most humans wouldn't dare go driving out at this time of night (or morning, really).
We drove for maybe about twenty minutes before he pulled over to the side of the road. There was nothing in either direction, so I had no idea what he was doing. I watched him warily as he reached for something in his pocket.
"This is for his own good… he'll thank for me for it later."
I had no time to even start to consider what he meant by that statement since my world suddenly went dark when a cloth bag was suddenly shoved on my head. Before I could move my hands to get the thick cloth off my face as it was making it hard for me to breathe normally, I felt his arms pull my own arms down and tie them in front of my body with some thick and rough rope.
"Right on time." I heard him mutter under his breathe. I had no idea what he was talking about as I was blinded and confused.
I heard the sound of his door opening and the next thing I knew, the passenger door was opened and I was unceremoniously pulled out of the car by my shoulders.
"Now, you stand right here Casey and don't move." Adrian's words were whispered right next to my ear and I shivered. Though, I think the cold had something to do with that reaction.
I heard the sound of the door closing and the sound of the engine turning on again.
He wasn't going to actually leave me here in the middle of nowhere when there were rogue vampires running around, was he?!
I got my answer when I heard the sound of tires on the asphalt as the car pulled away I realized that yes… Adrian had left me tied up, blindfolded and in the middle of nowhere with no explanation as to what he was doing.
Silence had never felt so deafening in entire life.
Interesting developments, hmm? I did not have Jessica go into detail about her experience with Tristan as that is in "Blood Pet" and some of you may have already read it and I do not want to talk about it again. If you have not read "Blood Pet" and are curious, please by all means, go check it out. It is rated R though so be forewarned about that. So... who want to take a guess as to what Adrian is up to? You shall find out in the next chapter. I am off for the rest of the week, so I will try to get it up soon! Also, Happy Thanksgiving to all my American fans! :) Until my next update, see ya and review!