I woke in a dark room on a bed… and promptly screamed my fucking head off.
Hey, it worked, the door opened and someone walked in.
I don't know if you've ever been kidnapped before, but it's the scariest feeling in the world- not knowing who you're with and what they're going to do with you. It sucks. And just because you've been kidnapped before doesn't make it suck any less.
"Be quiet," a voice growled in a thick Indian accent. I couldn't see who it was, but I was sure it was a vampire. My eyes were slowly adjusting, but I still couldn't make out the details. For all I know, it could be Elvis fucking Presley at the door.
Needless to say, I didn't listen. I screamed louder, reaching for a pillow and launched it at my captor.
He caught it easily and threw it back at me, it just barely missed, hitting the headboard with a loud thud. "Shut up, woman."
I didn't. Fear fainted away as I remembered that Quid Moran had been the one who had taken me, but I still didn't shut up, maybe just because I knew the pitch I was reaching was excruciatingly painfully to vampires.
The vampire, who I guessed wasn't Quid Moran, growled and reached for me.
I abruptly stopped screaming before he could ring my neck. "Where's Quid Moran?"
"Muhmat," another, more demanding voice, ordered, "leave."
The lights turned on and I cringed at the sudden brightness. My eyes adjusted quickly and I recognized Quid Moran's face as he stood in front of the bed I was laying on. The vampire that had been ready to wring my neck stomped out of the room.
"What the fuck?" I yelled at Quid Moran. "What. The. Fuck!"
"That language is not appropriate for women, especially one in your position," Quid Moran replied coolly.
"You sound like Aéden," I spat. "Fuck you."
Quid Moran's lips pursed together as he seemed to hold back from saying something. I probably didn't want to hear it anyway. He touched his chin thoughtfully. "So you continue to curse. Aodh is a fool to put up with you."
"He doesn't," I told him shortly.
He smirked, as if he knew he was poking a sore spot. "Ah, I heard. You are fighting with him, right? Let me guess, he's finally realizing you are more trouble than you're worth and will kill you in favor of a more capable assistant?"
I snorted. While that had always been a fear in the back of my mind, that definitely wasn't an issue now. "Wow, you must be psychic," I bit out.
"Or perhaps," Quid Moran continued, his smirk never moving, "it is because he is pushing you away, out of fear for your safety."
I almost spat back something sassy, but stopped for some reason. His words sank in and I scooted back in my bed. "He's still an asshole," I muttered.
"He only does that because he cares," Quid Moran said softly. "I don't know why, though, it's obvious you can't return the feeling. You're a whore; you don't know how to love."
I let out a stream of words that would have left a sailor embarrassed. Quid Moran didn't like it at all, I could tell by the way his face ticked. Of course, if I had done that to Aéden, I wouldn't be conscious long enough to watch anyone's response, but my captor stood inhumanly still and I know he was an even bigger asshole than Aéden. So… my eyebrows drew together as I tried to figure out what that meant for me. "You need me alive," I blurted out as the idea came to me. But why? What was the whole point of this stupid kidnapping? I mean, they hadn't even tied me up or tried to hide where I was. I had recognized this as the Master bedroom in the suite we have lent Quid Moran's party.
Quid Moran's jaw clenched as he stared at me. "Do you know his old lover? Anya?"
I just stared at him, my mood dampening with the new subject. "Yeah, so?"
"Oh, she was a women. The perfect embodiment of what a woman should be," Quid Moran told me with a smile. Almost like the smile the Devil might have when he tells you that you just signed over your soul: cocky, triumphant. "She was beautiful, with the perfect curves and warm smile. Her eyes were quite entrancing, too. I only met her once, but I'll remember her forever. It's a shame what happened to her. She made Aodh so happy. They never fought."
My skin prickled at his words and I knew I was glaring daggers at him. God, if looks could kill, he'd be laying in a thousand pieces right now. But unfortunately they didn't. And all I could do was just glare.
"Anya had a beautiful personality, too. She was nice to everyone, and knew how to love-"
The comment struck like he had just stabbed me in the gut. I tried to keep my expression calm, but my hand clutched my stomach as if I had been physically wounded.
"-she didn't like the laymen, but who does, hmm? And she came from class. Her parents had been rich, giving everything they had to make sure she had the perfect education. It's really no wonder why he still isn't over her yet. I mean, I can't imagine him finding anyone that perfect ever again. She was just-"
"Shut up!" I screamed, feeling my throat spasm in protest. "Shut up! Just shut the fuck up!" I pushed my palms against my ears and shook my head.
"You're just a child," I heard him say.
"And you're an asshat!" I told him, grabbing a pillow and holding it again my chest. My eyes burned, but I wouldn't let the tears out. I was stronger than that. I wasn't just a child. I had been through more than that Anya could even imagine. I wouldn't let his words bother me. "Just tell me why the fuck you're doing this? If it's to hurt Aéden, then you're shit out of luck. He doesn't care. He hates me right now. Which is totally stupid because I'm the one-"
"Enough," Quid Moran said shortly, "I just was Ayaja Patel."
I stopped blabbering and just stared. "Who?"
"You call her Eden Marie," he explained softly. "I just want what's mine."
"She's not yours," I told him. "She works for Aéden now."
"She's mine!" He growled fiercely, slashing the air violently with his hand. "She was promised to me."
"Okay," I drawled, still clutching the pillow to my chest. "Well, why didn't you just kidnap her then?"
Quid Moran laughed, a loud obnoxious you're-so-stupid laugh, right in my face. "Because she wouldn't just walk right up to my car with no one around."
I knew that was an insult, and he was calling me stupid with more than just words, but I chose to ignore it, you know, "be the bigger man" and that shit. "Well. What are you going to do with me then?"
"What do you think I should do with you?" He asked pleasantly, probably still gloating about how stupid I apparently was.
"Let me go and call Nick and apologize for making me miss another date?" I tried hopefully. Quid Moran just shook his head.
"I'm going to trade you for Ayaja," he explained.
"You mean Eden Marie," I told him.
He shook his head curtly, as if he were begging to tire of me. "No, her name is Ayaja Patel."
I shook my head. "No, it's Eden Marie."
His lip criled momentarily before he seemed to resign. "Okay, well, then what is Eden Marie's last name?"
I bit my lip and wonder how that topic had never come up. Eden Marie had insisted several times that I knew her last name, but we had only known each other for a little more than a week, and most of those days I had been unconscious. I would have known if she had told me her last name. "Uh… Marie?" I said with a shrug.
He scowled and shook his head. "Ayaja. Ayaja Patel. That is the name she was given at birth."
I grimaced. "God, no wonder she changed it. How do you even pronounce that?"
He scowled. "You only need to be alive and relatively intact, which means I can still hurt you. And I have no qualms about hitting a girl."
I didn't know what a "qualm" was but I understood the hitting part and that didn't sound good. So, I guess I should probably not push him anymore. "Fine… Ah-yah-jah."
His mouth twitched, but he simply nodded. "It is only proper, to call her by her real name." His hand reached into the pocket of his expensive slacks and with drew a fancy-shmancy phone with lots of important-looking buttons. You know, one of those phones that can do everything short of robbing a bank but doesn't have a single decent game on it? Yeah, one of those things. They pissed me off. I mean, what good is a phone if it doesn't have even Tetris on it? "Call Aodh."
"You mean Aéden?" I asked.
"His name is Aodh," he told me tersely, his voice strained.
"Well, technically it's Aodh Aéden," I told him. "Like one of those two part names. So I guess we're both wrong."
Quid Moran took a deep breath seemingly to calm his nerves. I think I was starting to get to him. "Fine, then call Aodh-Aéden."
"I don't like calling him that, though," I continued, ignoring the cell phone Quid Moran was holding out to me, "it sounds like you're stuttering. 'A-Aéden,' you know? So you don't really know when someone's calling him 'Aodh' or just trying to get his attention – 'ey you. They sound-"
"Just call him," Quid Moran growled, thrusting the phone at me.
"No," I said simply. "I don't want to talk to him."
He dialed a number on his phone and put it on speakerphone. Aéden picked up on the first ring and immediately launched into an angry one-sided screamfest in a language I didn't know. I recognized it quickly as the language he sometimes speaks to Baird with. It sounded a lot different now that he was angry. It made me almost glad I couldn't understand what he was saying.
After he was done yelling, Quid Moran replied coolly, with a satisfied smile on his face. "I have no intention of keeping her, Aodh. I don't want her any longer than I have to keep her. All I want is Ayaja. Bring her to me and I will give you your little monster. Does that sound fair?"
"Let me talk to her," Aéden demanded, his accent thick in his voice. He didn't sound so sexy now, just very angry.
Quid Moran held the phone out to me again, as if hearing Aéden's voice would change my mind. I shook my head. His mouth twitched and he brought the phone back to his mouth. "She doesn't want to talk to you."
"Moran, if you've hurt her-" Aéden growled, a deep guttural sound that no human could make.
"No, Aodh, you're the one who has hurt her," Quid Moran teased, not being able to hide the smile on his face. "She is still angry at you."
There was silence on the phone for what seemed like hours before Aéden said simply: "Let me talk to her."
Quid Moran didn't react this time, but simply pressed a button that took him off speakerphone and handed the phone to me. "Take it," he growled.
I made a face at him, but took the phone. I didn't say anything into it.
"Calleigh…," Aéden's voice breathed into the phone. He paused, waiting for me to answer. I refused to. "Calleigh, I know you're there." He paused again, once again waiting for my response. And once again, I didn't give him any. "I am sorry. I shouldn't have… I shouldn't have said anything."
I just rolled my eyes.
"I am not very good at apologies," he admitted, his voice soft and breathy, like a whisper in my ear. It was too intimate. "But I was wrong, I was selfish. I was not ready for intimacy yet. And lashed out at you for my own shortcomings."
I frowned. So… what? Was I just supposed to let it drop? I mean, I have already carried it out for two days, but it did really hurt me. It was what I always imagined the bullied girl in high school felt like when the popular girls told her she was ugly. It was just the wrong word that struck the right chord.
"Please…" he breathed, sending shivers down my spine. God, he was doing that voice on purpose, I knew it. "I am so sorry. Please forgive me." He went silent again.
Should I say something? I should, he really sounds sorry… no. No! I was still mad, dammit. I don't know why it was so important for me to stay mad, but I was going to. The little voice inside me wouldn't let me give in.
"Calleigh," he pleaded, his voice tight, choked, like he was going to cry. "Calleigh, please just forgive me. Then I could go pick you up, and we will be done with this. Eden Marie is no object, who are we to become involved in her business, anyway-"
"No," I surprised myself by saying. Damn, well, since I had already given myself away. "No, I won't forgive you. And don't try to come and rescue me. If you trade Eden Marie for my safety I will hate you forever. She came to us to keep her safe; we can't just hand her off like nothing. Besides, I don't want to get saved by you. I can save my own ass."
Quid Moran seemed to think that was hilarious and started having a fit, he was laughing so hard.
"See," I put the phone on speakerphone so Aéden could hear his laughing, "we get along so well. I wouldn't mind a couple more days here."
Aéden stayed quiet for a long minute before I heard a heavy breath. His voice sounded almost sincerely sad as he said softly, "Give the phone to Quid Moran, Calleigh."
I shrugged and did as I was told for once, eager to get away from Aéden, even if it was only the sound of his voice. I hated how he was making me second-guess myself. Even worse was the way his voice had touched parts of me that really didn't get too much touching these days. Hmm… that didn't sound as romantic as I thought it would.
"I'll be there tomorrow at dusk," Aéden said. Something in his voice made me look up- actually, no that was wrong. It wasn't something in his voice, it was the fact that there was nothing in his voice. No emotion, no anger, no sadness- nothing that indicated how he felt about this whole thing. Except one little note that got caught in his throat- he sounded defeated.
I looked up at Quid Moran, knowing that he had caught the same thing. He looked at me with a smug grin on his lips. My heart freaked and my mind was going a mile a minute. Crap… this was not good.
I watched Quid Moran excuse himself from the room and practically skip out of the room. My mind quieted suddenly and only one thought passed through as my heart stilled.
What was going to happen to me now?