Hello everyone!

Longest. Chapter. Ever. After 31 pages I screamed "ENOUGH!" Though Claws has almost 13,100 hits! woooo! My baby is getting attention. aww. (does happy dance)

I have come to the conclusion that I need to go through my chapters and do some major editing. I have read back on some of these and couldn't stop my eye from twitching at some of these things.

Okay, for this chapter: There is a lot of stuff talked about, and a lot of Devon's emoing (I can't seem to get him to shake that T_T)

ANYWHO! Thanks so much for the faves, reviews, and alerts. Getting those emails seriously makes me get to work on these. Oh and thanks so much for the patience! Especially after I continuously tried to set deadlines for this chapter and having it backfire...ahem.

Onward with the chapter!

Chapter 15: Decisions and Promises

"No...that can't be true. I mean she doesn't even look like me!" I could feel my pulse and breath quicken as I searched Kenba's face, hating how I was grasping at straws to try to prove that I couldn't be related to Isabella.

He tried to give me a reassuring smile, then quickly squashed it when he saw that it wasn't helping at all. He sighed and started to run his fingers through his hair but then thought better of it once he noticed the caked dirt and remnants of blood on his hands. He lifted his gaze to meet mine, his eyes flicking back and forth as he tried to think of what to say.

"Look, Love. I am not certain of all of the truths to this matter. I need to speak with Hasan since he would know more about Isabella than I would. Maybe he'd be able to get more concrete facts than just my theories." His voice was trying to be comforting, but it did nothing to calm my nerves.

I bit my lower lip as I began to frown deeper, pulling my hands away from his neck and let them fall limply on top of my thighs. I licked my chapped lips and replied.

"Wouldn't it be bad to try to get him to talk about Isabella? I mean she isn't the best subject amongst the family. I don't want to hurt him or any of the others just to find out the facts."

He lifted his hand from my waist and to cup my cheek, but only let it hover just above my skin. I glanced at his hand after he grimaced, noticing the dirt and blood again. I placed my hand against his own, sandwiching it between my face and hand. I figured at this point I was already filthy. What would a bit more flakes of dirt and other unmentionables change?

I gave him a small smile as he began to lightly rub the pad of his thumb against my skin, most likely coming to the same conclusion I did about the dirt. I resisted my urge to pressed my cheek against the touch further,wanting to focus on him. He smiled again at me, this time with real warmth, his eyes shining.

"I love that about you." His voice was soft and welcoming. So much that I finally gave into my urges and tilted my head then towards the touch.

"Love what?" I asked as I fought not to purr.

"I love that you worry about my family."

My smile grew stronger as I looked at him. I cleared my throat to speak. "Well they are my family too, right? And you are supposed to care about your family."

He gave me a nod and tilted his head in the direction I did, his crystal blue eyes angled downward to watch his thumb as it continued to rub against my cheek. His face suddenly morphed back the his blank mask as he spoke again without meeting my eyes. "It will not be a great subject to bring up with Hasan, that is true."

He then moved his eyes to meet my own. I stopped pressing my cheek against his palm, my own hand slipping away to fall back to my thigh. I felt my smile fade as I watched his orbs study me. As if he were trying to find the answers in my eyes. There was a flick of his tongue as he licked his lips before he continued. "But we must speak with him on this matter. It is something that needs to be researched. If you are...related to them-."

He held up the hand that was on my cheek to silence me as I tried to speak. "No Devon, let me finish."

He continued. "If you are related to Isabella and Brookes, than we must find out how closely related you are to them, and what special abilities are lying dormant in your body. The two of them are very powerful creatures. Though I am not certain what particular powers they do possess. They were always secretive when they were in the family. But no matter how secretive they were, they couldn't hide the fact that they were powerful."

I swallowed deeply to try to quench my suddenly dry mouth, not liking the sound of that at all. I reached up my arms to wrap them around his shoulders again when I paused to stare at the state of my hands. They didn't seem nearly as horrible as they looked right then. I swallowed down the bile that was threatening to spill from my throat.

Suddenly having an overwhelming desire to get clean, I leaned away from him and pulled myself to my feet. I looked towards the woods, avoiding Kenba's questioning gaze. "We need to get back. We both need to clean up and speak with Hasan."

I continued to stare out into the woods refusing to face him. I hated how cold my tone sounded, but I didn't want to let any of my emotion slip out. Because I knew that if I did, I would fall apart. I didn't want to look anywhere but the tree outlining the woods. I didn't have a choice but to look at the woods. Because everything around me now had a history. A history that I would love to forget.

It was like one of those scenes from a horror movie, where a character knows there is something behind him, something bad. He knows that he shouldn't look, but it's like some invisible hand turned his head to face the fear. That's what this place was doing to me. I knew that if I did give in, if I did look closely at this clearing I would just remember what I had done.

There was this...thing inside of me that caused me to do things I wouldn't normally ever do. Something that makes my darkest and demented desires to hurt- to kill- overtake me.

Hell, I didn't even know there were these kind of thoughts in me at all. I wasn't like this when I was a human.

Or was I? Did I ever think I wanted my parents to die when they treated me coldly? And David, the first guy I ever felt anything towards. I gave him my most intimate part of me, and it resulted in him throwing me away. Did I want him to die slowly and painfully by my own hands just because he hurt me so badly?


I shook my head and gritted my teeth ignoring that strange and sultry voice that was coming from inside of my skull. I glanced sideways as Kenba slowly stood up, the joints in his body cracking as he stretched them. He didn't look at me, but towards the woods as I had done.

He gave a small nod towards the tree and said, "Yeah I think we should-"

"Kenba! Devon! Where the fuck are you two!?" In the darkness we heard the familiar country twang of Thomas followed by the rustling of leaves.

Just as we were about to reply, Lazarus in his mountain of a man glory silently burst through the dense trees and into our clearing. He was still nude, but for some reason that didn't bother me as much as it had before. The need to get out of here was much stronger.

He paused as he looked over towards us before turning back towards the forest.

"Thomas. I found them." His voice was calm but managed to carry quite far surprisingly.

There was a quiet "Thank god" from Thomas as he footsteps increased in tempo. Lazarus turned back and began to walk toward us when he suddenly stilled, a frown beginning to show on his features. He looked at the two of us questioningly, most likely noting our dirtied states.

He suddenly flared his nostrils as he took an audible inhale and then froze completely, eyes wide. I would have started laughing at the uncharacteristic emotion on his face if we weren't in this current situation. Right now, his face mirrored how I was feeling inside.

He turned his now frightened gaze toward Kenba.

"Yes, it is what you believe you smell. We must hurry back to Hasan. There is much to discuss." Kenba's voice was quiet and flat as he spoke to the ebony man, his face back to his stony mask. Lazarus nodded once before turning his head back to the woods.

"Thomas! Go home now! We will meet you there!" Lazarus's voice wasn't so clam anymore and he practically screamed the last part. There was a pause in the crunching of leaves before the thumps of footstep began again, this time fading minutely each time. Thomas must have heard the tone in Lazarus's voice, because he didn't even question it, just headed back towards home.

As the sounds of Thomas grew distant Lazarus gave a quick glance towards us before darting off into the woods, his massive body merging with the darkness. A rustle from a pile of leaves caused by the wind the only sound from his retreat.

Kenba glanced at me for a second and gave me a small smile, one that didn't reach his eyes. His eyes were solemn with a hint of fear. I felt my gut clench at the sight of his fear. Something must have shown on my face because I watched his features quickly turn back to his blank mask before he bolted into the woods after Lazarus.

I followed, easily keeping track of the flow of white from his hair in the darkness. The trees blurred around us as my bare feet faintly crunched against the fallen leaves of the forest floor. I allowed my body to move for me, my instinct avoiding the trees and dead logs that scattered on the ground.

I was facing forward, my eyes trained ahead as I leaped into the air and landed onto the ground without a sound only to take to the air again. While I was still in that room with Nancy I found out that during these runs it was so much easier to not think about it, to not let your human side rationalize it.

I had grown used to letting my animal instinct take over when I was running. It helped me avoid injuries that the wilderness would love to give me. So whenever I started to run like this, it became a habit to let logic go and just...run.

I knew it was easier just to let go and let the animal do the work, but unfortunately when I did so, it also allowed my thoughts to wander. My body was there, still following Kenba. But my mind was right back in that clearing.

I began to recount all the events that happened just a few minutes ago. The way my mind simply gave up and permitted this strange thing inside of me to take over. The way my body practically purred when it had Curtis's throat bared and pulse waiting to be freed from its fleshy captor. The joy that spread through me as panic inside of my prey froze his muscles.

I could feel that joy rise inside of me again just by the thought of all of it. That joy was quickly squashed, however, when I thought of the worst of what happened.

The memory that ripped the breath from my lungs and chilled my heart to the core was the look on my Kenba's face when he looked at me. The way his wide trembling eyes stared at me as I was about to strike the killing blow to Damian. The look in his eyes will forever be burned into my retinas for as long as I live. My only prayer is that I would never cause him to have that look on his face again.

A cold dread slammed into my gut. If I really was a descendant of Isabella and Brookes then I may not have a choice in the matter. If was related to them, who is to say the thing inside of me wont take over completely and permanently destroy all that I love just to aide the two betrayers? Who is to say I wouldn't maim Kenba just to see that look in his eyes again?

I gritted my teeth and began to ran faster, passing Kenba and racing towards the crunch of leaves in front of me. I ignored the call of my name and just continued to run, only minutely noticing the increase in pace.

No...I wont allow that to happen. I wont let the thing inside of me to take over. I will turn this creature into something the family can use. Something that would be a help to them, something that would bring Isabella and Brookes down to their knees until they are begging for forgiveness. Or a quick death.

Tis scary to think that one could be so ruthless as to torture and destroy one's own blood.

Now that I allowed the voice inside of my head out it seems to have become quite talkative, because I can't get it to stop even if I tried. It resonated in my skull as if it were in surround sound.

"Shut up." My voice was low and filled with an angry growl. I pushed on faster, not even noticing that I was passing Lazarus. I was too focused on trying to outrun that voice. My heart pounded in my chest and my lungs burned as I quickly pulled air in and out. My limbs and stomach began to protest shortly after only to be ignored.

I continued to run. Away from the voice that purred in my head as well as the feeling that kept increasing as the seconds slipped by.


I'm so terribly afraid. But not what I should be. I am not afraid of Curtis and Samantha joining Brookes and Isabella. I'm not even afraid of Brookes and Isabella! I'm not afraid of what they have planned or what powers they have hidden within them.

No, I'm not scared of that.

I'm scared of me.

I'm scared that there is going to be a time when I am going to let myself go again. And I'll do something that could never be forgiven.

But what absolutely terrifies me the most is... that I'll enjoy it.

I'm bone-chillingly terrified that I will enjoy killing. No, not killing. Torturing. I fear that I will love watching someone scream. Someone I'll know. Someone I love.

My heart clenched and my throat and eyes began to burn as swirls of images flashed into my head.

Some of the images were memories from a few moments ago, while others...others were images that my fucked up mind made all on its own. Pictures of people screaming, people bleeding.

People I didn't know but seemed somehow familiar all the same. Males, females, blondes, brunettes, red-heads, old, young, different nationalities, shapes and sizes. It didn't matter who they were. All that mattered is that they bled, that their flesh was being shredded from their bodies, they they felt the pain. The sensory overload was far too realistic, as if it were happening in the here and now.

I could feel the warm liquid and gore spilling between my fingers and down my arms. I could smell and taste the blood, grimacing when a claw sliced open a bowel. I could hear the snapping of bone and the squish as feet pounded on the blood soaked ground.

When the barrage of images and sensations finally ceased I had skidded to a stop and was on my hands and knees purging the contents of my stomach onto the leaf covered ground. I felt the tears that trickled down my face as my throat burned from the vomit and strain.

A sob wrenched from my mouth as I tried to forget the images that I had just seen, the scents that seemed to embed themselves into my nasal cavity, and the sounds that echoed in my head. I was confused as to where that all came from, pissed that my imagination was trying to torture me further, and mournful of all that mindless death and pain.

A hand touched my shoulder. I flinched away from it, as my body trembled on the ground. The warmth of the hand came back and touched my shoulder again, this time rubbing soothing circles along my sweat soaked back.

I hiccuped and slumped, careful to keep my arms straight as I tried to stop the sobbing that continued to leak through my mouth. I wiped my mouth with the back of my hand and closed my eyes, not wanting to see who was seeing me like this.

I felt tired and weak. So very tired and weak.

I didn't protest when someone picked my up and cradled me to their chest. I kept my eyes closed, though by the smell of lavender I knew who picked me up. Of course it would be Kenba. I turned my head towards his chest and inhaled, shivering from the warmth and smell of him. Unfortunately I had to exhale that wonderful scent, and when I did I whimpered.

His arms squeezed me tightly as he pressed his face into the back of my short hair. "What is wrong, my love?"

That caused another whimper from me as I slid my hands around his waist and pressed my face closer to his chest. I didn't even realize I had been talking until Kenba took in a sharp breath air. My eyes finally registered what I was rambling.

"So many bodies. So much blood. It was everywhere. Everyone was screaming, so many screams. I could hear their bones break, could smell their death and decay. And I knew them Kenba. I have no idea why I knew them. I knew them Kenba!"

I jerked my head upwards, forcing him to move his face or have his nose hit by the back of my head. My eyes hurt as I stared at him wide eyed with huge drops of tears streaming down my face. The raw pain in my throat worsened as I mumbled the same phrase over and over, "I knew them Kenba and I don't know why."

Kenba didn't say anything else, just pressed my face back to his chest. I calmed down a few moments later, only occasionally hiccuping as we neared the house. The growing glow from the flood lights caused me to turn my eyes to the side, seeing Thomas and Lazarus.

Lazarus was making it a big deal to not look at me as we came into the light of the outside lights but Thomas wasn't. He was looking at me worriedly as if I would break any moment. His eyes met mine and whatever look I was giving him didn't reassure him in the slightest because his sandy colored eyebrows drew together tightly before he turned away from me to face the house.

We made it to the side door in relative silence, broken occasionally by my pathetic sniffle. Lazarus took a step in front of Kenba and me, and reached for the door knob. But our presence must have somehow alerted some of the family because the door creaked open before Lazarus could grab it.

I heard a mixture of Spanish and French letting me know that the triplets were standing in the doorway, most likely asking about what had happened. The three fell silent the second Lazarus stepped to the side and revealed Kenba and me. I looked at them and any other time I would have laughed at the looks that first appeared on their faces.

They were still naked as the day they were born, except this time when I saw them they didn't have their cocky smirks on. They were staring at the two of us wide-eyed and mouth slightly hanging open. As if they rehearsed it beforehand, the three took a few steps forward in sync and paused, taking a deep breath just as Lazarus had done.

Gertrude squeaked, before she jumped back quickly, a look a pure terror etched upon her face. She moved so fast, but because of her panic it caused her to stumble and start to fall backwards. One of her brothers caught her as she fell. But by the similar look on his face, he wasn't in the best mindset. He stumbled as he caught her and ended up slamming back into the wall just across from the door.

"You smell like her! You smell like her!" Gertrude repeated the same thing over and over again, her thin hands gripping her short hair on the side of her head as she rocked forward and backward in her brother's lap.

The third didn't really react to the revelation except for kneeling down next to the fallen two and placing his hands on each of their shoulders. After he stared at them for a few moments with a utterly blank face he turned his attention to the two of us. His face wasn't blank then.

It was filled with complete and total rage, a rage so loud that it even turned his face slightly red. He looked straight at Kenba and spoke one word.


I blinked at him, noting offhandedly that it had to be Pablo who spoke, since the guy was speaking French. That connection made the foreign word register in my head.

He was asking us "why?" That simple question could have several answers, but he only wanted one.

Why do we smell like Isabella?

I felt Kenba shake his head and growl when it looked as if Pablo was going to protest. I turned towards the man holding me as he stared hard at the younger man. A breath later younger male's hands fell to his side as he stood up quickly. He matched Kenba's growl with his own, determination etched on his face.

After a moment Kenba broke the eye contact and turned to the side before he said, "I will tell you what has happened, but I must speak with Hasan first. If he will allow it, you may sit in with us."

I whimpered as I gripped my hands tightly together around his waist and burrowed my nose harder into his chest. My voice was quiet and low, barely a whisper as it ghosts across his skin, "No please no, Kenba. I don't want them to know. I don't want them to hate me."

The hallway went quiet and I knew that they heard me. Now they would be suspicious of me regardless. I whimpered again and finally turned my head towards the group.

The two triplets had fallen silent on the floor as they looked up at me, tear tracks drying on their faces. Their eyes were searching my face, confusion and worry etched upon their features. Pablo was still standing with his hands clenched at his sides. His face wasn't as angry anymore though as he turned his attention towards me. His eyes still looked slightly angry but now his own version of worry clouded most of the anger.

Thomas and Lazarus made their way into the hall, the door making a resonating click as everyone looked at me. Thomas and Lazarus were looking at the two of us thoroughly, as if they were trying to see something that wasn't apparent. As if they were trying to get answers just by our appearance.

Lazarus flared his nose and locked gazes with me. "You smell of Curtis's blood and Isabella." He paused and took another deep breath before he frowned, "And death."

The hallway was quiet again for a pause before everyone leaned in and tried to get a sniff at me. I wiggled in Kenba's arm, uncomfortable with the animal-like gestures. I realized then that it had to be difficult to lift me, considering how much taller I had become. But then I realized that probably didn't bother Kenba much. He was a supernatural being after all. Though I still felt the need to stand on my own two feet. I was getting tired of my freak out sessions and wanted to get clean.

I turned my head towards Kenba and patted his pectoral with my hand. That got his attention because he turned his gaze towards me. I ignored the rest around me and whispered. "Let's clean up and see Hasan. If he allows them to be with us when we speak to him, then so be it. They need to know and I want to be clean when they do."

He nodded his head once, before he spoke to everyone. "We will let you know what has happened, but first we must bathe. Please let us be so we can, ok?"

They remained silent for a moment before the reluctantly nodded their heads in acceptance, most turning and walking down the hall. Most likely going to Hasan so they could ask to sit in on the meeting. The only one who remained was Thomas.

His face was so serious as he locked eyes with me, reminding me of the time when he was communicating with Kenba about trusting me. I met his stare with my own serious one. Kenba must had sensed the tension because he finally lowered me to the ground.

I felt my feet touch the cold tile floor, but never let my gaze waver from Thomas. There may be something weird inside of me, but I was going to fight it. I wasn't going to let this thing get the best of me.

I was going to protect this family and I was going to prove that to them. I was going to prove my worth to them. Hasan was so generous and accepted me in with open arms. I was going to repay the man with everything I have. I was going to repay all of them.

Starting by proving my worth to Thomas.

I stared at him and let it show on my face how much gratitude I felt towards the group and how much I cared for them. I let it show that I would do anything to protect them just as I would protect Kenba. I let it show that I would never do anything to harm them like those two...no...four traitors did.

I finally let it show that I would make Isabella, Brooks, Curtis and Samantha pay for harming those who are mine. Because the animal inside of me as well as myself saw them as mine, as a part of me. They are my family and I will protect them with my life!

I'm not sure how much of that he actually got from my look, but it seemed to knock him from his staring contest. He blinked a few times as he studied me, his face softening with every second. He finally gave a deep sigh before he took a few quick steps and put his hand out and placed it on my shoulder.

He gave me a small smile and squeezed my shoulder. "Thanks for that."

And with that he walked away. I blinked, confused by the randomness of his words. I turned to Kenba for questions but he was too busy smiling down at me like he just won the lottery. I tilted my head and asked, "What?"

He gave a small laugh and pulled me into a hug. I grunted but quickly fell into the hug, purring from the feel of it. He laughed again and said, "You practically screamed what you were thinking at Thomas and indirectly me. I guess you didn't realize you were saying it aloud. He approves."

I paused in my purring before I sighed against his skin, my muscles loosening even more so. "I'm glad he heard me. I'm glad my thoughts could reach him."

"I don't think you gave him much of a choice, love." He laughed again as I pushed away from him and crossed my arms in front of my chest and scowled.

"Yeah yeah, let's just go shower." His smile turned lecherous as I took a step back.

"Separate showers! We don't have the time for that..." His smile faded quickly before he gave a single nod again. I felt my chest squeeze when his smile went away, but ignored the tight feeling, knowing now was not the time to mess around.

We had things that needed to be done.

"You are right. Let's go." He said, his voice soft but serious as he turned and began walking towards the bathrooms. I followed behind him, hoping that this talk with Hasan didn't end badly.

After finding the showers, I washed my body about five times in scalding hot water, relishing in the sight of the water finally remained clear as it seeped down the drain. Once finished and in a new white shirt and faded blue jeans that actually fit me. (which mysteriously appeared on top of the bathroom counter. Thanks Kenba) I felt a bit better about the whole situation. I met Kenba in the hallway as we planned and began to walk towards Hasan's office.

I followed slightly behind Kenba, looking around the plain white hallway and the beige tiles that covered the ground. I found the whole look with the public areas of the house was a very Spartan way of living, needing only what was necessary. I had always wondered why they left everything so plain, but never got around to asking Kenba or Hasan. I seemed to have something more important happening that needed my attention. Shocking.

I rolled my eyes at my own sarcasm in my thoughts and turned my gaze back towards my mate, becoming very appreciative of his outfit, which only consisted of a black muscle shirt and a matching pair of black sweat pants which were ripped just below the knees. The darkness of the fabric made a startling contrast with the paleness of his skin. It almost made him look like he was glowing as he walked barefoot along the hallway. I forced myself to stop my ogling and settled my sights on his braid, as it swung back and forth like a tail.

After a few moments he slowed and stopped in front of a door at the end of the hallway. I stopped beside him and looked at him as he turned his eyes towards me. I gave him a smile, and reached out to give his hand a squeeze. He squeezed back before he leaned in and gave me a kiss on my temple allowing his lips to linger on my skin before he pulled away and opened the door.

That happy feeling that I felt from getting clean and the kiss was quickly squashed the moment the two of us walked into Hasan's study.

The study was massive, reminding me of one of those aristocratic libraries you see in those Elizabethan style films. The floors were covered with thick planks of hardwood oak, glossed with delicate indentations that were shadowed by the light. Large oriental rugs covered the main walkway areas which made a comforting contrast to the coolness of the floors against my bare feet.

The most notable aspect of the room were the rows upon rows of books lining the walls. The entire room was covered from floor to ceiling with them. Some look to be freshly purchased, while others look like they would fall apart if you picked it up.

In the center wall of the room there was an old fashioned fireplace with a fire crackling inside. The mantle looked to be made from an ivory marble with gold veins running through it and a thick steel mesh guard separating the rest of the room from the flames. Resting on top of the mantle looked to be photos of the family.

Curious about the pictures, I separated from Kenba and walked towards the hearth, wanting to take a closer look.

There were a few leather couches and chairs that formed a half circle around the fireplace, obviously used as a meeting place of sorts. There was one particular chair that stood at the head of the circle of seating, as if it were the main focal point in the group.

I studied the chair, placing my hand against the arm of it. The faded tan suede felt cool and smooth against the skin of my palm. I turned to the rest of the furniture and tilted my head slightly to the side, finding the reason why that particular chair stood out so much. The other sofas and chairs looked fairly new and made of a deep brown leather, where this chair looked well used and well loved, seeing that it was worn in but had no rips of tears seen due to misuse.

I rubbed the suede one last time before making my way towards the mantel to look at the photos residing there.

The furthest one to the right held a picture of Nancy and Lazarus who looked to be standing in the woods outside of the house. The picture was taken around autumn where most of the brightly colored leaves still in the trees. Nancy was giving the camera her trademark smile, one that pulled a smile upon my face.

She looked just the same as she does today: her hazel eyes shining, her hair in that typical bob. She was wearing a pale pink turtle neck sweater and a pair of light gray dress pants, her feet bare. She appeared to have just finished climbing on top of Lazarus's shoulders, giving double peace signs to the person taking the picture.

Lazarus had a small smile on his face as he looked at the camera. His hands were gripping her knees and his body was slightly bent as if he just raised himself up after accommodating her climb. He was wearing a similar sweater but his was a rich black, similar to the color of his skin as well as a matching pair of black slacks.

The two of them looked so happy in that picture, making me realize they had to have been close for some time now. The thought made me happy, knowing that the two had such a strong bond, despite how opposite they seemed to be.

I shook my head and gave a small chuckle before turning my attention to the next picture. This one was a black and while photo of Milo, Hasan and Kenba. The three were walking on a beach towards the camera. Kenba was wearing only a pair of board shorts, his hair looked slightly damp and was freed from his normal braid, billowing slightly in the wind behind him well passed his hips.

Hasan was wearing some khaki pants that rolled up, the bottoms a bit damp from the surf, and a white button down shirt, with the first few unbuttoned. His hair was much longer than it was now, almost as long as Kenba's, and was blowing in the wind as well. I wonder why he cut it? I found the longer strands to be much more fitting for him just as they were for his brother.

Milo was standing between the two in a pair of boardshorts similar to Kenba's, his small hands grasped in one of their hands. He was in mid swing, a huge smile on his cherubic face, his eyes nothing but slits from the laughter. His uncle and father were pulling him into the air, as the two of them looked down at the child, warm smiles on both of their faces.

My own smile widened at the sight before I turned my attention to the next set of pictures. There were three others sitting at the end of the hearth. The nearest one was of Thomas, Milo, Curtis, Kenba and Samantha. Seeing the picture made the smile leave my face as I studied it.

The five were sitting on the leather couches in this study. Thomas was sitting in one of the leather chairs, wearing a zip up sweatshirt (green of course) and some jeans, his feet clad in a pair of white socks, a portion of a big toe poking out from a hole in one of them. Milo was sitting in his lap, his small body completely covered with a white down blanket, a small knit wool cap covering his head with the fringes of his multicolored hair peeking out of the rim. Thomas had a children's book in his hand holding it out so Milo could see it, most likely reading it to him.

Curtis was leaning against the wall beside the hearth, looking at the person taking that picture. He was wearing what looked to be a designer pair jeans and fancy button down shirt and leather jacket. He had a small fake smile on his face; the shine from the smile never made it to his eyes giving himself away. That and the crease in his brow.

I took one more look with gritted teeth at the tall green eyed man before turning my attention to the final two in the picture. I almost didn't want to look at them, knowing that I would not like what I saw.

I felt my teeth grind harder and a pain lance through my chest at the sight, mentally cursing at myself for being right.

Kenba and Samantha were sitting on one of the leather couches, both looking at the person taking the picture and giving a matching pair of joyous smiles. It looked as if they were in the process of getting over a funny joke, their eyes bright and shining with unshed tears of mirth.

I couldn't tell what Samantha was wearing because she too had a blanket wrapped around her, except hers was pale purple fleece (I refused to admit it was the color of lavender), unlike Milo's fluffy down. Her hair was down, but fixed into soft waves. I blinked a few times and leaned closer to the picture before my eyes widened slightly.

She was actually wearing makeup. It was subtle, just a hint of blush and natural shadows and lipstick, but it was definitely there. Whether it was the style of her hair, or the inclusion of makeup I couldn't deny that she was...beautiful in the picture. I tried not to think that the real reason for her beauty was due to the person sitting next to her.

Kenba was wearing a light blue v-neck sweater and a pair of khaki pants. My eyes widened slight when I realized this was the most clothes I have ever seen him in. His long hair was pulled back with the tail of his braid draped casually over his left shoulder and pooling onto his lap. he looked gorgeous like he always did. But the sight of him in this picture felt like my heart was being ripped out.

He was leaning against the arm of the couch, propping his elbow on the leather, a black coffee mug held in his hand. His other hand was wrapped around Samantha as she leaned against his side, her own red coffee mug peaking out from the folds of her blanket. They both looked so content, so damn happy pressed against each other, like they were meant to be there this way.

I rubbed my chest harder as it clenched tighter. He and Samantha had been a couple in the past, and judging from everyone's similar appearance, very recently. That would explain Samantha's obvious hatred towards me.

I studied Kenba's smiling face in the photograph, trying to see if there was any fakeness in that joy, but finding none. He really did look genuinely happy with her, which brings up so many questions.

Does he still love her? Did her betrayal hurt him more than he's letting on? What had changed? If he was as happy as he looked in this picture, then why did he let go of her and come after me?

I let my hand drop from my chest and shook my head, forcing myself to stop thinking about it. It wouldn't help to make my own theories on it. I will just have to ask Kenba the next time we are alone. Hopefully I will get the truth from him once and for all regarding Samantha.

I sighed and was about to turn to the final two pictures on the hearth when Kenba called my name. I turned my head in inquiry to see him waving his hand to usher me over. I felt my gut clench, knowing that confession time is upon me. I clenched my fists at my sides and began to make my way over to them.

Kenba was standing in front of a large oak desk, decorated with stacks of papers and a laptop computer. I had to blink at the computer, finding it odd for technology to be in such a room. Kenba was looking towards me, his face completely blank which didn't make me feel any better about this situation. Whatever he and Hasan had discussed did not produce good results if Kenba was trying to hide what he was feeling from me.

Hasan was sitting behind the desk in a leather victorian chair, his hands carefully petting each arm of it. His face was serious as he looked at at his younger brother before he turned his attention to me. His hair was pulled into a loose pony tail which made the contrast of his navy blue and white-irised eyes stand out better, even with the darker light of the room.

I walked slowly towards them, knowing good and damn well that I was trying to delay the inevitable. I gritted my teeth when I stopped in front of Hasan's desk, standing about a foot away from Kenba and hating that they were silent the whole time I had approached. I looked down at the oriental rug underneath me for a few seconds, trying to calm my nerves. I finally took in a deep breath and raised my head, glancing first at Kenba and then back towards our leader.

Hasan had leaned forward in his chair while I was looking down. His fingers were now woven together and his elbows were resting on the dark wood of the desk. He placed his two thumbs on his chin as he studied me while I resisted the urge to wiggle from the gaze.

After a few moments he finally spoke, his voice different from the cheery tone he had when he welcomed me into the family. Now it was all business and authority. "Your mate tells me that you had a very interesting visitor during the game. Is it true that you met Isabella?"

I blinked as his face didn't even twitch at the mention of her name. Then again his face looked like he was being very careful to remain blank so I didn't question it. I merely nodded and said a "Yes sir."

He nodded back and said, "Is it also true that Samantha and Curtis betrayed our clan?"

I nodded again.

I watched the muscles in his jaw clench ever so slightly but didn't see any other reaction. He said, "Is it also true that Damian is alive, despite the news of his death in the past?"

I nodded again and said without really thinking, "If you call that alive."

After a few more moments he gave a sigh and dropped his hands onto the table, threading his fingers around each other again as he continued to stare at me. I didn't say anything while I looked back at him.

After a pause he said, "I want you to tell me everything that went on during this incident with Isabella. And I mean everything. Do not leave one detail out of this, Devon. I mean it."

I took in a deep gulp and did just that.

I told him everything. I told him about Kenba getting pissed and running away suddenly. I told him about seeing Isabella and the conversation we had. I told him about her strange power she had on everyone. I told him about Curtis and how I defended Kenba. I told him about the arrival of Damian and Isabella's test. I finally told him about the last thing she said as she and they disappeared.

Hasan was silent for a while as he stared at me while I tried to catch my breath. I only realized then how quickly I said everything. I glanced at Kenba to see his face in his usual mask of blankness. He had been quiet throughout my entire explanation. I figured he would have said something if I left anything important out, so I must have been pretty thorough. When he didn't say anything or even look towards me, I turned my head back to face Hasan.

I settled my sight upon his one navy eye and one pure white eye, which seemed to have woken him up from inside of his head. He blinked a few times before he gave a deep sigh and settled back into his expensive looking chair, the antique-looking wood creaked slightly in protest. He lifted a hand and rubbed his closed eyes with his thumb and forefinger before he glanced to Kenba then back at me, looking much more tired than he had before.

"Well, Devon. It looks like you have made yourself an interest to Isabella and Brookes. And before you say anything, believe me. Brookes will find you interesting." He said, as he threaded his fingers together on top of his lap, his face deathly serious.

"There are several problems with this situation." His voice was grave and the phrase 'No shit.' was silently said by the three of us.

"The first problem is this strange reappearance of Damian. I have in my records from a reliable source that he had been brutally killed in a fight with one of the other wolves who had left our clan. The fight was caused by an issue about territory, with Damian wanting to be the new alpha. The fight happened and Damian lost is life in the end. The rest of the details couldn't be found due to some sort of interference."

"That interference had to be Isabella and Brookes. Damian seemed quite content being around her." Kenba said, voice blank and straight to the point.

Hasan looked at him and nodded before saying, "I will look further into it as much as I can. It has always been difficult to find the whereabouts of Isabella. Whenever I find a hint of her she disappears before I can get anything concrete."

I studied his face while he talked about Isabella. I couldn't help but find it unnerving that he could talk about her like she was just some piece of information. Like she was not the mother of his child and the love of his life turned traitor.

He turned back to me, "That is why I think it is very important right now to keep a close eye on you. You have caught the attention the two of them, and that is never a good thing to do."

I felt my muscles in my gut tighten from the words, but forced the fear down and straightened my spine, face going serious. "I will help in whatever I can do. I will make sure to never give them a chance to get to me or anyone else."

His one dark eye flashed white for a second before it went back to its original navy. He gave a small nod and said, "I believe you, Devon. But the topic brings me to another important point."

He leaned forward and rested his elbow on his desk, lifting his threaded hands to his chin again and stared at me.

"The matter of if you are related to them." His two-toned eyes filled with a hardness that froze my muscles as well as my vocal cords, preventing me from saying anything in protest. He definitely deserved the role of leader for that look alone. When he saw that I wasn't going to say anything he continued.

"But before I delve into that topic." He cleared his throat, lifting his head and speaking loudly towards the door. "You all may come in."

I flinched and turned around to face the entrance of his study, staring at door and praying for it not to open. My prayer was predictably ignored as the door creaked open and the entire family (minus Milo) walked quickly into the room, each thankfully dressed. I took a few steps to the side, standing between Hasan's desk and where Kenba now stood. The fact that I didn't even notice him move shows just how much I didn't want this to be happening.

Thomas was the first one to come in. His face looked nervous and strangely a bit eager as he took a seat in the leather chair closest to the fireplace. He was wearing his typical hoodie with tattered jeans and sneakers, his hair slightly damp from his shower, most likely.

Lazarus came in with Nancy hanging on his arm. He was wearing something similar to what Kenba was wearing, though instead of a black muscle shirt he was wearing a black faded T-shirt that fell loosely around his huge torso and a pair black sweat pants, both of which were a lighter color from his skin. How he could find a shirt that was actually loose on him was a shock to me.

Nancy was wearing the same gray shirt but had replaced the sweats she wore earlier with a pair of nondescript jeans. She gave me a big smile and a wave, but her joy to see me didn't reach her eyes. They were shielded and on edge. I realized then that this had to be her version of a blank face, not letting her real emotion through. This situation was bothering her much more than she was letting on. I didn't blame her.

I smiled back at her before looking at the trio who came next into the room. Each was wearing hoodies of different colors and brands, which surprised me. I thought they coordinated their wardrobes.

Gertrude was in the middle as usual, this time wearing a bright pink hoodie with a pair of pink sweat pants, the color toned down slightly from the hoodie. Her cheeks were rosy and eyes were a little puffy. She refused to meet my gaze, obviously upset just by the smell that radiated from her.

I turned to look at the two males standing on each of her sides. The one on the left was wearing a plain sky blue hoodie and a pair of bright green pajama pants that had puffins in the design, his face was also slightly puffy and like his sister, he was making sure he didn't meet my eyes. Had to be Andre.

I looked lastly towards Pablo, who was looking right at me. His face was serious, though not quite as serious as he had been when he was trying to get answers from Kenba. I forced myself to meet his gaze unflinchingly. Though a part of me wanted to run away from it. I felt the need to say something to him, to all three of them. Something to reassure them that I am not going to be like Isabella and Brookes. I actually opened my mouth to speak but was cut off by Hasan's booming voice.

"Now that all of the family has gathered, I have some things that must be discussed." Everyone turned their sights unto our leader as he addressed the room. He was still seated behind his desk, his hands now on the polished surface as he leaned slightly forward to look at everyone.

The others had finally settled when I turned back to them, Lazarus and Nancy standing by the fireplace while the triplets settled in the couch next to Thomas, leaving the other couch and two chairs empty. I wondered offhandedly why Nancy and Lazarus didn't sit down like all the others, looking briefly at the empty couch to the left. I quickly pushed the thought from my head. There were more important things to worry about than seating arrangements.

I turned back to Hasan when no one spoke. He flicked his eyes to me before speaking again.
"I am to assume that all of you heard what was said a few moments ago?"

All of the muscles in my body stiffened again when he said that. I kept forgetting that the members of this clan weren't ordinary humans and therefore didn't have ordinary hearing.

I gave a side glance towards Kenba to find that he wasn't looking at me, but everyone else. I took in a quiet deep breath and looked around him towards the rest. The room was silent for a moment as everyone paused in all movements while they looked at their leader.

After a few breaths there were nods as well as a few "Yes sir"s.

Now, each one of them made sure not to look at me, not even Nancy or Thomas. That alone made me extremely nervous. I turned back to Hasan to see him nod once in reply before turning his attention back to me.

"There is a possibility that you may very well be related to Brookes and Isabella." I really wished he would stop repeating that part. The muscles in my gut are seem to have developed a conditioned response to clenching painfully every time it is mentioned. He continued on as if he didn't notice my twitch.

"Unfortunately, I have no real way of finding out the truth unless I was able to obtain a DNA sample from them to compare. And since I haven't been near them in three years, I don't see how I will be able to do so. So with that in mind, we should take certain...precautions."

I suddenly leaned forward and put my hands on his desk, gritting my teeth as I stared at him over the pile of papers and computer. Kenba moved to stop me but Hasan held up a hand to him, his eyes never leaving my glare.

I spoke, trying my best and failing to not let my anger control me, "If there is a chance I am related to those traitorous bastards I will do everything in my power to use what their lineage has given me to destroy them. I will never let them hurt you and yours again. I-."

Hasan held up his hand to me this time, his face softening.

"I believe you, Devon. You do not need to be making such promises with me. I could feel your resolve the second you walked in here. What I was trying to say is we need to make sure that you can learn how to control that creature inside of you."

His face grew hard again as he slowly rose from the chair. I gulped at the look and straightened from his desk, standing beside Kenba once more. "And if that creature is in any way related to those two, then you will need to know exactly what Brookes and Isabella can do."

He made his way slowly over around his giant desk and came to stand in front of me a small smile on his face. "Come Devon, let us join the others by the fire. This conversation may take a while."

I refrained from stating that it had already taken 'a while'. I was thankful to be given the chance to sit. The night's events were finally catching up to me, and the mention of sitting must have triggered something because all the muscles in my body began to quake from the thought.

Hasan glanced at his brother once and began to make his way towards the rest of the group a few feet away, his limp only a slight dip in his gait. A warm hand on my shoulder made me turn to look at Kenba. He had let some of that blankness fade around the edges of his eyes as he looked back at me. I didn't think he knew that he was showing the signs of his worry.

I gave him a small smile, patting his hand before turning and following Hasan to the group. I ignored how cold my shoulder felt as his hand slipped away.

I wasn't surprised when Hasan sank down into the suede chair that stood out from the rest, figuring that it would be the leader's chair. I looked around awkwardly while Kenba walked over to a chair that was closest to his brother. The triplets were still not looking at me, choosing to either look at the fire, Hasan, or down at their laps. I glanced at Thomas to see him meet my gaze and give me a small sideways grin and a nod.

I smiled back, grateful that at least he understood me after that little encounter we had. I turned to Lazarus and Nancy who were still standing off to the side. As if they planned it, the two turned to look back at me. Nancy gave me a quick smile before she quickly turned her attentions back to Hasan. It hurt my heart to see her trying to hide her feelings from me. Lazarus looked at me for a moment, gave a small lift of one side of his lip, and looked at Hasan as well. I guess that lopsided smirk was his way to reassure me.

It didn't work very well.

I gave a small sigh, figuring I wasn't going to get any other kind of clue as to how everyone was taking this. I made my way over to the empty couch, sitting on the side closest to Kenba's chair. I didn't know what else to do but place my hands in my lap and look towards our leader.

He was sitting comfortably in his throne-like chair, his legs crossed at his knees and his hands palm down on each arm. He glanced at me once I sat down.

"First I would like to talk about the power you experienced from Isabella." He said, then looked at Kenba, "Brother, did you tell Devon anything about it?"

"No, I felt you should explain it, since you have more knowledge about it." Kenba replied.

"I see." Hasan said then looked back to me. "Isabella and Brookes were very secretive people. Throughout the years when they were in our family, they hardly gave anything away to anyone. They only showed us what they wanted us to see. Isabella even acted that way with me, despite our...intimate relationship."

The room was quiet now after that last comment, the only sounds were Hasan's voice and the crackling of the fire. Except for the pause, Hasan didn't seem too affected by what he was talking about, despite the fact that he had to be.

He continued, "We did learn about that one particular power of theirs when they first joined a fight with us involving some hostile outsiders who were trying to take over our territory. Isabella and Brookes couldn't exactly keep it a secret anymore once our enemies froze simultaneously in whatever movement they were making. It was a tad frightening when you witness a person coming at you in full run, only to see them freeze and fall on their face."

He paused for a moment to allow me to refrain from laughing. I tried to cover it with a cough, knowing that it was more than inappropriate to laugh during this talk. It was just hard to stay serious when your mind supplied images of some actually falling on their face. By the very slight twitch at the edges of Hasan's mouth, he thought the same.

He cleared his throat again once I calmed. "It was after that fight that they told us that they had a special type of power that only affects our kind."

I must have looked as confused as I felt because he elaborated. "What I mean to say is, their powers can somehow seep into our brain and control the synaptic messages our nervous system uses to relay command signals from our brain to our bodies' motor functions."

He sighed as I tilted my head to the side and frowned. He cleared his throat and said, "They can control our bodies by controlling our brain."

I blinked as it finally clicked and gave a small "Oh". I heard a snort and turned to see Thomas cover his mouth with his hand, trying his hardest not to look at me. I glared at him and started to yell at him but Nancy beat me to it.

"Oh shut it, Thomas. It took you longer to understand, so you don't have any room to make fun of Devon about it." She crossed her arms in front of her and rolled her eyes in exasperation.

My glare turned into a grin as Thomas started to pout. His face turned serious as he looked back at Hasan, which made me turn to him as well. I licked my lips nervously and frowned as I turned what he said in my mind, "What do you mean by 'our kind'? You mean just our family?"

He shook his head a few times before leaning forward slightly in his seat, "No, not just our family. They can control the movements of what humans call "wereanimals". From what we have seen in the fights they were involved in, they can control relatively any creature that can Change from a humanoid form into that of an animal."

I nodded my head slowly to let him know that I got what he was saying this time before looking down at my hands on my lap.

So those two can control a were-anything's body against their wishes.

I remember that force that surrounded my body like an invisible rope was wrapped around every nerve. I remember pulling against that force, fighting to break free and succeeding in the end.

I looked back at Hasan, frowning. "Have you ever seen any of them break free from Isabella hold on their minds?"

Hasan blinked back at me for a beat before he looked down at his hand while one of the fingers tapped on the arm of the chair it was resting on. He pursed his lips and looked back up at me. "No, I do not believe there as ever been a time in which Isabella hold was broken."

He turned to the others in the room, "Can any one think of a time?"

I watched them look at each other as if they were silently asking the rest. They all turned one by one back towards Hasan and shook their heads with some voiced negatives to emphasize.

I looked back at Hasan, frowning harder, "Then how come I was able to break free of her hold?"

The hand that was tapping the arm of the chair lifted and held his chin as he looked back at me.

"That's the important part. Out of the two of them, Isabella had to be the one who was the strongest in that particular power, since she was the one who normally did it to our enemies." Hasan said.

He paused before he lowered his hand again his face saddening around the edges, "That is also what makes me fear that you may very well be related to them. Who else would be better at breaking this power than those who are of the same lineage? There is a chance that you may have the same power that she has."

I was about to say something in protest but he spoke above me. "Not that I am saying you will use it against us. I think you have made your point quite clear with myself and Thomas. I could hear you screaming at him all the way in here."

I felt my cheeks go warm and ignored Thomas's little snort, continuing to look at Hasan.

He gave me a small smirk before he threaded his fingers together and placed them on top of his crossed legs. His face grew serious once more.

"I just believe that we will need you to go through some training to make sure you can properly use the power if you do have it and the need arises. We worked with those two in the past so we had no choice but to find out how their power works. They couldn't be completely silent about it, after all."

I clench my hands in my lap and gritted my teeth, swallowing down the growl that threatened to spill from my lips. I took in a deep breath and suddenly smiled, knowing that it wasn't a pleasant smile in the slightest.

I looked briefly at Kenba's profile before looking back at our leader. "If I am related to them, then there is a chance that I have that power too. And if I do have that power, with my human side joining in, I might be able to use their own power to take them down."

He gave me a puzzled look and tilted his head. "What do you mean by "your human side joining in?"

I had to blink a few times at him, a bit unnerved how close he reminded me of Kenba just then.

I licked my lips once before responding, "Well you know how you said that power affected only those of your kind, right?"

He gave a slow nod but didn't say anything. I continued.

"Well, I'm thinking that maybe the reason I was able to break the hold was because I was originally human, so the hold wasn't as strong."

I jolted as a sudden idea struck me. I straightened a bit and gave a small smile. "Hey, maybe that's the reason why I was able to break the hold in the first place! Since I'm human and all..." My voice trailed off as I watched Hasan shake his head.

"I wish that could be true, Devon. But given the way Kenba described your eyes as well as your mannerisms, the fact that you were human wouldn't be the sole cause for your resistance to their power."

I slumped against the back of the couch and sighed, rubbing the top of my head with one of my hands as I looked down at my lap.

"You were saying something about being part human could help us?" I looked up at Hasan's question and had to think about what I was saying before.

When it came back to me I said, "Well, if I do end up having those kind of powers then I would be able to both resist their power and attack them at the same time. If I can just train myself enough to resist it."

I finished and looked at Hasan while he remained silent. After a few moments I glance at everyone else, to see a similar look of thought on each of their faces. I turned back to Hasan when I saw him move at of the corner of my eye.

He leaned back, resting his head against the back of the chair as he regarded me. After a few moments of his unwavering stare he turned to look at Kenba, giving him a grin. "If we train your dearest just right, we may have a way to get back at them."

I tensed and blinked at him, my mouth opening slightly in shock and confusion. He was actually going to believe in me? I felt a sliver of hope bloom in my chest as I turned to look at my mate.

He was staring at his brother with a small frown on his face, the muscles in jaw clenching. He flicked his eyes towards me once before he cleared his throat and said, "I understand your feelings on the two betrayers. They have hurt our family greatly, but to put Devon at risk-"

I reached over and patted him on the thigh cutting off his sentence. He looked at me and I felt my heart ache at the obvious fear in his eyes.

I gave him a small smile, "Kenba, I want to help if I can."

I watched him study my face, his eyes flitting around as if trying to memorize it. He settled his gaze back to my own and placed his slightly larger hand on top of mine on his thigh, giving it a little squeeze.

He took a deep breath before speaking, "I am happy that you want to help us, Love. But I fear what may happen to you. We have experienced what it is like to be around Isabella and Brookes. We know what they are capable of. You, my dear one, do not."

He gave my hand a tighter squeeze when I tried to speak and continued. "I know you just had an encounter with Isabella, but that does not mean that you understand how she thinks. She was not taking the situation seriously tonight and was caught off guard by you, Devon. She will be ready for it the next time."

He leaned towards me, turning his torso to face me and cupped my cheek with his free hand. "You were not born of our kind, love. You haven't had to fight as we do. You have not had to fight seriously against someone such as Isabella. I fear that you will not survive if you are given that chance."

I gritted my teeth, trying not to scream at him. I slid my hand out from underneath his and pulled my face back to glare at him. My voice was low when I spoke. "I may have been just a lowly human before this, and I may not be as experienced as the rest of you."

I gave a low growl when he tried to say something, "No, I listened to your spiel, you will now listen to mine!"

When I watched him clamp his mouth shut I continued, "I may have once been a weak human, but I will be damned if I continue to remain one."

I clenched my hands in my lap and took a deep breath, trying to calm down. I counted to ten then looked back at Kenba, my face and voice softer but still firm. "I love you, Kenba. You have given me a family that makes me feel like I belong. I have never experienced something like that before, not even with my blood relatives."

I leaned towards him and cupped his face with my hands, rubbing my thumbs against his smooth and strong cheekbones. The muscles in his body did not relax but I ignored it and continued to speak to him.

"Let me repay you, all of you." I looked at everyone for a moment before turning back to Kenba. "Let me help with something that is within my power. Let me help heal your wounds that these people wrongfully inflicted on you. Let me pay back my debt to this family."

Kenba's eyes shuttered closed as he raised his hands and gripped my wrists hard. I winced slightly but didn't say anything as I watched the conflict on his face, the crease in his brow deepen.

I know he didn't want me out there risking my life, and quite frankly I would love it also if he didn't have to be out there either. I know that what I was asking was hard to digest for him. It's in his very nature to protect his loved ones.

I can feel the need too after all. I feel it when I look at all of these people in this clan.

I blinked out of my thoughts when he pulled me forward and pressed his forehead against my own, his hands still gripping my wrists. His eyes were pressed closed before he opened them to stare deep into mine. The weight of his lightened eyes made me shiver from the sheer force of it.

His voice was low as he gave a small nod against my skin. "I know you want to do this, Devon. And no matter how much I want to stop you, I won't."

His grip tightened for a second before he let his hands fall from my wrists, sliding up and down my forearms as if he were trying to comfort me. Or himself.

He closed his eyes and spoke again, his voice trembling. "Just please be careful out there, love."

I dropped my hands and pulled his towards me, lacing my finger through his. The movement made him look up at me, dread and fear evident in his bleached eyes. I gave him a small smile as I nodded and said, "I will be careful, Kenba. I will be careful as long as you do the same."

He paused at my words, the fear never once leaving his face. After a moment he finally sighed and said "I promise."

The meeting didn't last much longer after that. The others agreed with Hasan, all believing that I would be helpful for me to get some training.

No matter how much I hated to admit it, but Kenba was right. I didn't have any fighting experience in my past, and we were dealing with beings who were more than slightly stronger than a human. I may be stronger than a human now too, but it doesn't matter how strong you may be if you don't know how to use that strength.

Hasan told me that he would start the training session in the morning, when everyone has rested from tonight's festivities. With that, the meeting was finished and everyone set out to get some sleep.

The triplets still wouldn't look at me too much, not that I blamed them. I guess the two were obviously traumatized by their experience with Isabella and Brookes, so much that they still haven't recovered from it. I wish there was something I could do to help them, but I knew it was out of my hands.

Nancy gifted me with a running tackle of a hug, one of which my spine is still recovering from. After she hugged me she gave me a surprise kiss on the mouth and a wink, then skipped after Lazarus who only nodded as a farewell.

Thomas gave me a smile and a clap on the shoulder, following Hasan out of the study until only Kenba and I remained.

I turned towards him, momentarily entranced at the way the light of the fire danced along the features of his face. I glanced that the picture on the hearth, the one of Samantha and Kenba. I swallowed the lump in my throat and prepared to ask him about it. I stopped my thoughts of that when I finally noticed the strange sort of expression he had as he stared at the flames. It was a version of his blank face, but the muscles in his jaw were steadily pulsing.

I frowned at him and was about to say something when he spoke before I could, "Let's head to bed. We need to get some rest as well."

His voice was bland, just as it had been at the beginning of the group meeting, like he was trying to hide whatever emotion was going through him at the moment. He turned, never once looking at me, and walked out of the study.

The tone made me frown harder, but this time I chose not to try to say anything and followed him out.

The journey in the hallway was silent except for the small sounds of our footsteps. I couldn't fight the frown off my face as I stared at the back of his braided head.

He was obviously still upset about something, it didn't take an idiot to figure that much out. But the question was, why? Why was he acting so weird? I gave a quiet sigh and shook my head. If the guy doesn't stop his drama fest by the time we get to where ever we are going or at least tell me what's on his mind, I'm going to confront him about it.

Speaking of which...Where are we going anyways? I blinked and looked around, trying to notice anything familiar. I only found the relatively endless row of the plain tiled hallway with a series of nondescript wooden doors scattered about.

"Why does everything look so plain and...the same here? I mean its impossible to tell one door from the rest." I spoke without really realizing I was saying anything, but looked at the back of Kenba's head anyways, waiting for an answer.

The muscles in his shoulders ticked once before he said in that same bland tone, "The layout of the house is to help with confusing an intruder, in case there is a break in. Every thing looks the same on the outside so the intruder won't know which door to break into. Most of the important rooms are deeper within the household, such as the family's bedrooms and the study. If you don't know your way around here you won't know what to look for."

I started slightly when the hall suddenly branched, Kenba turning into the hidden corridor. I raised an eyebrow and mumbled a, "I see what you mean." before turning the corner with him.

Kenba walked about two doors down until he stopped and grabbed the knob for the door on his left. Without looking at me he turned to the side and said, "This is my room." I gave him a nod as he stared at the door. When he didn't say anything else, I shrugged and took a step towards the door, assuming I would follow him in. I stopped in my tracks when he suddenly looked up at me.

The grip he had on the door tightened as he stared at me, a mixture of pain and anger clearly shown on his face now. The emotions were so raw that I had to take a step back. I squeaked as a sudden blur of white collided into my chest, as he slammed me into the wall across from his door. I gritted my teeth as my vision flashed white from the impact of the wall with the back of my head.

I growled as I opened my eyes and glared at him, ignoring the angered look he had on his face and how his eyes turned white. "What. The. Fuck. Was. That. For?!"

He answered by grabbing my shoulders and spinning me around before slamming my chest into the wall this time. Thankfully I had turned my head in time, only my cheek smashing against the plaster and not my nose. I clenched my teeth and pressed my hands against the wall, attempting to push myself away, but was swiftly stopped by a hand pressing my skull forward along with my spine. I grunted from the force, wincing at the pain that started to grow in my face and head.

I looked back at him but only grunted again when I couldn't see his face from the angle. I growled again and said, "Kenba, what the hell is your proble-?!"

I was cut off but a loud growl as he pressed his warm body against the back of mine, the grip on the back of my head pressing down harder. His voice was low and rumbled against the back of my ear as he whispered to me, "You are weak Devon. Look at you." He pressed his body closer to mine, sliding his hand from the center of my back to my shoulder. "You can't even break from this position. How can you possibly help in this battle? How can you possibly survive?"

I held a large intake of air and stopped struggling for a moment as my chest constricted and my eyes burned. This is how he felt about me? This is how he saw me? I spoke, trying and failing to mask the hurt in my voice.

"I was just caught off guard, you asshole! I didn't expect my own fucking mate to attack me!" I hated how my voice sounded so panicked and shaky.

He pressed his nose against the crook of my neck, nuzzling it almost kindly. My body went from angry and hurt to painfully conflicted at the almost tender gesture while he still pressed me mercilessly against the wall. He said, "We trusted them too and look where it got us."

I froze again realizing what he was talking about this time. I clenched my jaw and hissed through my teeth, "I will never be like her, Kenba. I would never betray you like she did to your brother. I love you."

The words made him twitch behind me. We stayed like that for a minute, the only sounds in the hallway were our heavy breaths. His muscles finally relaxed as he slid his hands around my waist and pulled me tightly against his front, his nose buried into my neck again. I tilted my head to the side and pressed the back of it against his shoulder, laying my hands on top of his arms.

He took in a deep shuddering breath and said, "I know you love me Devon. I can smell it on you all the time." I shivered at the words.

He continued, "I know you do, there is just so much...They have taken so much from us, I couldn't bear it if they..."

He paused again and just continued to breath heavily onto my neck. My breathing picked up as I frowned at the wall in front of me, wishing I could see his face. I squeezed his forearms underneath my hands and turned my face to press my nose against his neck as well. I whispered, "If they what, Kenba?"

His muscles tensed for a pulse before his arms tightened around my torso almost painfully, his hands gripping the fabric of my shirt to the point where I thought it was going to rip. His voice was low and shook terribly but that didn't stop me from hearing it, "I couldn't bear it if they took you away from me."

I paused for a breath then tried to turn around. Kenba prevented me from doing so by tightening his arms around me and shaking his head against my skin. I strained against the hold and grunted at his strength. After a few more tries I finally gave up and whispered against his skin of his neck again, "Let me Kenba. Please."

After a few beats of silence he finally loosened grip and allowed me to turn and face him. I wrapped my arms around his neck and pulled him close, pressing my nose back into the crook between his shoulder and neck. He wrapped his arms back around my waist and held me tightly again, though not quite as painfully as before. I palmed the back of his head, threading my fingers through the loosening hair of his braid and pressed his face back to my neck when he tried to look at me.

I whispered, stopping his protests with my words, "Take in my scent. For that will let you know that I am here. Can you smell that it is me?"

I shivered as I felt him intake in a long hard breath and shuddered when he finally let it out, his breath dancing along my sensitive skin. His voice was still that trembling whisper as he replied, "I smell that it is you, my love."

I took a few breaths of my own against his neck before I nodded and whispered again, "Hear my voice, and know that it is me you hear. Can you hear me?"

He pressed closer to me until my back met the wall again. I let him push against me, though because of the position of his arms around my waist it caused my hips to press intimately close to his. I hissed slightly between my teeth as I found out that he was greatly happy to be in that position.

But for some strange reason the feel of him swollen and ready against me didn't break whatever spell I was causing with my words. If anything it increased the power.

"I can hear you, my love." His voice was a little bit stronger, sounding more like the Kenba I knew.

I pulsed from his reaction, hardening fully and pushing my shoulders back, tilting my hips forward to press harder against his. I wrapping my arms tightly around his neck, gripping a chunk of his hair in my hands as his breaths came faster matching the pace of my own.

My voice was lower and raspy this time, "Feel the warmth of my skin, so that you may know that this is me, in flesh and in blood, and not that from dreams. Can you feel me?"

He slipped his hands underneath the hem of my shirt and slid them up slowly against my back until finally stopping at my should blades. He pressed his finger tips against my shoulder blades, digging into my skin with such intensity that I couldn't help the shuddered breath that spilled from my mouth.

He then slipped one of his thighs between my own, pressing me hard against the wall as he ground his large and heavy arousal against my own. I gave a groan at that and thumped the back of my head against the wall, looking at him with half lidded eyes as he finally lifted his head to look at me. I slid my fingers from his hair and bit my lip as I stared at his pale features.

His skin was slightly flushed and his eyes were shaded from his own lids, but I could still see from here that they have turned into their beautiful sky blue. His mouth was slightly parted as his breath ghosted against my lips as he leaned closer to me.

His voice was as it was when I first met him: powerful and seductive. "I can feel you, my love." He emphasized his "feel" by grinding against my shaft, sending sparks of wondering pleasure up my spine.

I groaned loudly from that, the back of my head and shoulders sliding up against the wall from the action, as I used the balls of my feet to stay on the ground.

I felt my pulse steadily quicken as I licked my lips, enjoying the way his eyes looked down to watch me do so. I placed my hands on his shoulders and gripped them tightly as I said with a trembling breath, "T...Taste me, so that you can confirm that it is my taste on your tongue."

I leaned further towards his face and breathed against his lips, the movement causing contact. "Make love to me, so that I can prove to you that I will never leave you."

He growled once before he slammed his lips against mine. I grunted as the back of my head slammed against the wall again, but ignored the sharp pain to focus on the other feelings engulfing me. His lips were soft and moist as his tongue forced itself into my mouth, pressing down on my own and making it comply to his wishes. Not that there was much fight in following his orders.

His fingers dug harder into my flesh, and I could tell from the slight metallic scent that somewhere there was some broken skin. I moaned into his mouth as his sharpened teeth nipped at my lips and tongue, pressing deeper into my mouth. I purred into his mouth as his hips drove against my own while his thigh forced my legs further apart.

I couldn't keep my feet on the ground anymore and tried to lean against the wall some more so I wouldn't fall over. He must of sensed this because he grabbed the calf of one of my legs and pulled it up above his waist as he adjusted his hips so his bulge was hitting my perineum and stimulating those sensitive nerves of my prostate from the outside.

My growl met his as I wrenched my mouth away from his and banged my head against the wall repeatedly, trying to dampen the electricity that was shooting up my spine and back down to the base of my cock. "F-fuck, Kenba!" I panted, "If you don't stop that, I'll go right here."

He gripped the back of my thigh on my other leg and wrapped it around his waist taking me completely in the air. I grunted from the change and couldn't stop my eyes from rolling in the back of my head as he cupped my ass harshly, his fingers prodding the seam of my jeans. The feeling of his fingers pressing so close to my entrance outside of a layer of clothing sent more of those shock through my spine.

I mewled at the feeling and pressed my face against his neck and whimpered a "Hurry" against his skin. He didn't need to be told twice. By the twitch from side to side I could tell he was walking somewhere. I didn't look up finding the smell of him much more important than our destination. I licked the side of his neck, purring as the grip on my ass tightened when I nibbled from his collar bone up to his ear.

I smirked when I felt one of his hands leave my ass as he cursed under his breath, fumbling with something behind me that had to be a doorknob. I took the opportunity to bite down hard on his shoulder, right where I marked him. The shock from my action caused him to stagger forward as he managed to open the door.

"Fuck! Devon, do you want me to drop you?" His voice was rough and husky, making me purr against the chunk of flesh my teeth surrounded. He growled in response which only made me purr louder, pressing my teeth in a bit more.

He suddenly grabbed the back of my head and pulled me away from his shoulder, causing my teeth to tear his skin. I slipped my teeth from his flesh as he hissed. I looked at his face as I felt the warm liquid of his blood drip slowly from my mouth. I looked at the bite mark on his shoulder and frowned and looked back at him about to tell him off for causing me to hurt him.

I didn't say anything though as I noticed his eyes were looking down at my mouth. I paused in my movement as I watched his pupils dilated and drift down slowly, following the descent of the blood.

I raised an eyebrow at that, confused as to why he looked so mesmerized by it. I blinked at him as the hand supporting all of my weight squeezed slightly pressing the tips of his fingers into the skin of my ass and making me shudder.

I turned my chin a smidge to the side and almost laughed as his eyes trailed it, like the unavoidable impulse cats seem to posses with a shiny new toy. I did smile as I slowly slid my tongue out of my mouth, the lids of his eyes lowering as he somehow became even more interested in my actions.

I brought my tongue across my lips, slowly lapping up the metallic liquid and purred as he gave me a soft growl in response. I leaned forward until our lips were just barely touch and whispered, "You have a bit of a blood fetish."

He only responded by growling and grabbing the back of my head as he slid his wet tongue from the base of my neck to my chin, picking up the trail of blood in the process. He leaned his head back and licked his lips a few times, locking his gaze on my own.

I was mesmerized as I watched his pink organ trace the lining of his lips. I unconsciously bit my bottom lip, my breathing coming a tad faster.

He looked down at my lips before he pulled my head forward and crushed my mouth to his. I whimpered from the metallic taste that came from his tongue as he wrestled with my own. I threaded my fingers through his long silky hair loosening the braid as I pulled on it, which seemed to spur him on further.

I yeled when he suddenly let go of me, causing me to gracelessly fall backwards, my legs sliding away from his hips. I landed in something bouncy and blinked up at the navy colored cloth ceiling, frowning. When it finally registered that I was looking at the top of a canopy bed I was instantly distracted by more important things.

Like the ripping of cloth.

I squeaked again and stared as I watched Kenba pulled at my shredded shirt, his irises bleaching to the point where they were almost white.

I shuffled away from him quickly sliding off of the bed and crouching down on the other side, staring at him as he looked at me like I was his next meal. His eyes had a far off look to them as he looked at me. A small smile formed on Kenba's face while he slowly licked licked his lips.

He shifted his weight before he pulled the muscle shirt off in one fluid motion leaving him in nothing but his black sweat pants which were now hanging dangerously low on his hips. I felt my mind go hazy as I looked at the creamy paleness of his skin, licking my lips unconsciously as I zeroed in on how his hips swayed.

He dropped the shirt without a second glance to it before he lifted one knee and placed it on the mattress, bending forward until he was on all fours, his braid falling to the side of his shoulder. I swallowed hard as I looked at the way his muscles danced underneath his skin, his shoulder blades emerging slightly as he moved one of his hands forward, the rest of his body following suite. I shivered as he emitted a small growl and inhaled deeply before he gave a seductive grin, the white canine in his mouth slightly sharper than before.

"Gods, I love the way you smell right now, love." His voice was pure animal and sex as he crept closer to me. "A hint of excitement, fear, and a whole lot of heat."

I didn't even realize that I had moved until I too was crawling towards him, my clawed fingers digging slightly into his navy silky bedsheets of his king sized bed. We both continued to crawl towards each other, only stopping once we were in touching distance.

I bit my lip as I stared at his crystal blue eyes soaking in all of his glorious features. He broke eye contact with me a breath later as he slid his gaze across my skin. On instinct my nostrils flared as I took in a deep inhale growling as his strong musky scent of arousal flared into my senses.

I licked my lips and spoke, my own voice similar to his, "You don't smell so bad yourself." He gave a deep chuckle.

I closed my eyes and inhaled again, shivering from the wonderful smell and feeling my body emit the responding scent to match. A growl from him made me open my eyes, noticing that he had gotten much closer than he had been before. He pressed his cheek against my own, turning his nose towards my neck and rubbing against it agonizingly slow. I followed his movements, pressing my nose against his neck before lapping at the wound I had made on his shoulder.

"Nothing compares to your scent." he purred, his voice causing vibrations against my skin, ripping a shiver from me as I breathed against the wound I inflicted on his shoulder.

As if we had a single mind, the two of us raised up on our knees. I wrapped my hands around his shoulders, pulling at his braid until it finally fell loose in a water fall of white and blue. I grabbed handfuls of his locks and pulled, bringing his upper body closer to me. He seemed to like the idea, because he wrapped his arms around my waist, almost digging his sharper fingernails into my hips as he pulled them flush against his own.

We both gave a hiss as our erections rubbed against each other. He gave a low growl as the tips of his fingers slid their way into the hem of my jeans. I gave a shuddering breath and said the only thing that was repeating in my mind.


He gave a trembling sigh against my neck, as if he were waiting for my permission. "Lay down for me, love."

I fell back onto the soft bedding without a second to think about it. He didn't waste time either. I felt my hips jerk as he popped the button from my jeans and slid zipper down. He looked down to meet my gaze as he pulled my jeans down my legs. A shiver racked down my spine as the cold air hit my warmed skin. My eyes fluttered for a breath and he gave a panting sigh in response.

He pulled my jeans from my feet, a small thump sounding from their landing somewhere on the floor. His gaze broke away as he stared down at my body, his hand gripping his own pants as he raised his hips and slid them down gracefully. It was my turn to stare as he was naked yet again in front of me, long, hard and waiting. I was thankful at this moment that we both weren't wearing anything under our pants to get in our way.

I wasn't given the chance to look at him for long before he was laying on top of me, forcing my legs apart with his hands on each thigh. I gasped followed by a moan as his hardness pressed against my own. I took in a deep breath and growled as his musk seemed to grow even stronger, intoxicating every inch of my senses.

I felt his sharp teeth nibbled their way up my neck before he gave my earlobe an extra hard bite. His voice was even lower, filled with promises and slightly darkness that had me trembling uncontrollably. "I cannot promise you that I will be gentle this round, my love. You are too enticing tonight."

I gripped his shoulders, making sure to dig my claws into his skin until a few broke the surface. It was my turn to nip at his ear, grinning against his cheek as I whispered, "Promise?"

That seemed to be his final straw before he suddenly gripped my hips hard and pulled them up into the air, exposing every bit of me to the darkened room. I felt the heat rise in my cheeks from the vulnerability, but the look in Kenba's eyes made all the blood inside of me rush to my dick.

His face was feral as he stared down at my hole, the muscles in my ring twitching as he licked his lips. I gulped silently before I gripped the back of his arms. He blinked once, though the feral look remained. He looked back at my face and said one word.


That was the only warning he gave me before he pressed his thumbs into my ass cheeks, spreading them open as far as they could go and pushed himself inside of me. I gave a startled grunt before I forced myself to relax, ignoring the sharp pain that erupted from inside and focusing on the ecstasy that showed plainly on my mates face. His eyes were lidded as he stared down at me, his irises pure white now. He groaned as he slid his hands to my hips and gripped them tightly, pressing me down into the mattress.

I relaxed instantly from that look on his face, as if the look trigger my entire body to become compliant. When I felt his hips meet the back of my thighs, I knew he was all the way inside. I felt my walls pulse around him, as if they were afraid to start resisting, but the rest of my body was more than happy to have him inside again.

He gave a shuddering breath biting his bottom lip. I could feel how much his arms shook from the effort to stay still, trying to give me time to adjust. I started to grow impatient, constricting my walls around him, and dragging my blunt nails up his abdomen and chest, making sure to scrap a nipple. His body shook harder as he gave a matching groan, his eyes almost angry when he looked back down at me

He suddenly grabbed both of my wrists and pulled them harshly over my head, gripping both with one hand, his other returning to my hip. I felt the digits around my two wrists squeeze as if warning me to stay put. I wasn't fighting it.

"You are so damn tight, Devon. You feel so good around me. I'm really on edge right now, love, and you doing that to me is not helping my control." There seemed to be some threat in that comment.

I clenched tighter around him and growled, "Then just let go."

His body tensed for a second before he pulled back, almost completely pulling out of me. I started to protest, wrapping my legs around his hips to stop him. Then my mind went blank from what he did next.

He slammed his hips forward, with a power so strong I slid backward a few inches. The only reason I didn't slide any further was the hand trapping my wrists. The power behind the thrust wasn't the only thing that blanked out my mind. He had managed to hit my prostate the first try.

The contact made my scream sound something that resembled a roar, causing my back to bow and my hands struggle against his hand. My eyes fluttered shut as I yelled. "Oh gods yes! Kenba, right fucking there!"

He pulled back again, alining his hips at the exact spot he hit before, the hand on my hip leaving to join the other, gripping both of my wrists together as he leaned his body closer to mine. He slid his lips up my bowed neck, nipping at my chin as he panted against my skin. I dug the heels of my feet into the small of his back and lifted my hips to meet his thrusts, my hands unclenching for a second when I felt his fingers slide to entwine with mine. I gripped his hands hard then, squeezing my eyes shut as I panted against his lips feeling drops of sweat slid down my torso.

I purred as that wonderful smell of lavender grew stronger with his musk. I opened my eyes for a second to see his hair falling around us like a cocoon. I closed my eyes again when another electric bolt shot of my spine, destroying my focus.

After a few blissful moments he squeezed my hand and spoke in an almost growl. "Devon, open you eyes."

I almost didn't respond, thinking maybe I imagined it until he spoke again, his thrusts slowing to a torturing pace.

"Devon. Open your eyes. Look at me." I did as I was told and looked up into his startlingly white irises, whining to the point of begging from the slower pace.

"Oh god, please. Kenba. Why are you slowing down!?"

He ignored my question, continuing his pace as he looked at my face, looking all over it. It was as if he were trying to memorize every part of it. Seeing him do that made my chest tighten, remembering exactly why this whole session started.

His voice was low as he growled. "You are mine."

He picked up his pace slightly with each syllable. I groaned as I nodded and said, "I am yours."

"You will forever be mine." At this point he was thrusting against me even stronger than before if that was possible. I cried out and almost closed my eyes when he pulled my arms up higher, forcing my attention back to him.

"You will not let them defeat you. You will not let them control you."

He slammed his mouth against mine, shoving his tongue inside and establishing his dominance all over again. I allowed him to do so willingly, moaning into his mouth as he continued to attack my tongue.

He pulled away from the quick abruptly, panting harshly against my mouth. The coiling in my stomach was beginning to become too much, and the strength he pressed against the nerves inside of me made me know I was about to cum.

As if he were reading my mind, he slid one of his hands away from my wrist and wrapped it around my member, stroking hard to match his thrusts. I arched my back again, making sure to keep my eyes open and on him. I started to wiggle in his hold pulling at his hand that had managed to trap my once free wrist again.


"You will not lose this, Devon." His voice was a full out growl now, his dark eyebrows furrowed as he gritted his teeth.

"You will not let them take you away from me."

"Yes!"With that, the orgasm that erupted from me had me screaming to the ceiling, my eyes slamming shut as my dick pulsed and twitched underneath his still pumping hand. While the pleasure continued to overtake me, I felt him pushing in a few more times before warmed filled me to the brim.

We both collapsed against the bed, Kenba pulling out and sliding to the side so he would land on me. We laid there, panting, feeling the coldness of the room against our damp skin.

I didn't protest when I felt his arms pull me, rolling me over so that my head rested on his chest, and his leg wrapped around my thigh. I wrapped my arms around his waist and slid my leg over his, relishing in the warmth.

My eyes grew heavy, knowing that I should definitely bathe before falling asleep, but was too exhausted to care at the moment.

I nuzzled against the his pectoral, squeezing his waist tightly before I whispered, "I promise, Kenba."

I looked up at him to see him staring at me intently. Satisfaction and tiredness obvious on his face. What had my stomach clenching, was the fear that peaked its way around the edges of his eyes. I continued to look into his slowly darkening eyes before I spoke again.

"I promise, Kenba." I repeated, "I promise that I won't let them take me away from you. Just as I promise that I won't let them take you or any of the others away."

He tightened his grip around my shoulders, pressing a few loving kisses on my lips before he whispered, "I will hold you to that, love and I pray that you never break that promise."

I gave him a few more kisses before I slid away from him and grabbed my ruined shirt, wiping away most of the mess from our bodies. After Kenba grabbed some of the blankets that had moved away during our activities, he pulled it over the two of us while I snuggled back down, trying to fight down the growing nausea that was threatening to explode from my chest.

For some reason this talk with Kenba made a bad sense of foreboding pull its way into my subconscious. I shook my head, allowing sleep to overtake me.

Ignoring that nagging voice in my head that told me I should never make promises that I could possibly not be able to keep.

Again with the "DUN DUN DUN!" But yeah. So what did you guys think? That lovin scene was a pain in the butt to write...and I'm still not happy with it. Please let me know!

~Shini :)