"What the hell?" Symphony asked, his eyes moving between myself, Vincent, and Alexander since we were the only ones with a chance of explaining what had just happened.
"Timber... Something happened to Timber," I stuttered, pressing my hand to my chest since I couldn't stop the pain there and looked over at Shane. "Didn't you say he was going to take a nap?"
"That's what he said," Shanre replied, but he seemed as disturbed and worried as I did. I turned abruptly and started towards the dormitory, needing to confirm that my boyfriend was alright and just having a nightmare. What surprised me was that Vincent had not hesitated for a moment and was already half way back to the dorm before I had even turned in that direction. As I jogged across the courtyard, I did not have to turn around to know that the other seven residents of our suite were right behind me, all of us knowing that Vincent would not be so worried if it was just a simple nightmare. He had seemed to have a slightly deeper understanding of Timber's thoughts and emotions than even I did. However, the closer we got to the dorm, the harder it became to block out the pain and what was starting to sound like screams of absolute agony inside our heads.
"Timber?" I called, my voice slightly strained as I stepped into our suite. My eyes immediately fell on his books, dropped on the table next to the door and my worry only increased. He only dropped his books there when he wasn't planning on staying more than a moment. As I started towards our room at the back of the suite, Vincent came out, his face contorted in a mass of pain and confusion.
"He's not here," he whispered, his own voice strained as I knew he was having consciously block the severe level of the pain that was assaulting his sensitive mind. I could have sworn that I felt my heart stop at those words, the claws of fear tightening around the organ so strongly that I could barely breathe.
"If he's not here, then..." Anthony started in a low voice voice behind me.
"Then he's in trouble, judging from that scream," Alexander replied to the unfinished question. "Vincent, I know you've got a stronger ability to read into her thoughts, so do you have any idea what is going on?"
"Give me a moment, I have to block out his screams long enough to see what else is inside his head. And it's not like my blood link is stronger either, it's just my telepathy that is stronger," he replied before closing his eyes. For a moment, a look of deep concentration crossed his face before all colour drained from it. "Whoever is there, is going to die very slowly," Vincent growled in a very low and dangerous voice. I stared at him blankly for a long moment, fear bubbling up inside of me. Whatever he was seeing was filling him with rage and while it took a vampire much more to become enraged, we could be even scarier than a lycanthrope when we were.
"What's happening?" I asked as all the breath rushed from my body. His hands clenched tightly at his sides and I could see his fangs elongating further as his fury mounted. He was actually beginning to scare me with how angry he was getting and it made my worry for Timber's safety mount that much more. His dark green eyes popped open, absolute rage burning within them.
"As soon as I find out who he is, I will kill him." I felt a cold shiver run down my spine at how much darker his voice and words had gotten and I knew he was completely serious. Whatever he had seen had most definitely pissed him off.
"We should try and find him," Shane said softly, backing away slowly from the enraged vampire. I could not say that I blamed him much, as I was thinking it might be a good idea to stay out of the currently seething Vincent's way myself.
"We'll split into three groups and search," Alexander said quickly, understanding the urgency of needing to distract Vincent before he became blind to his anger. "Vincent, Harm, and Symph will take over searching around the dorm. Myself, Claire and Remi will check the school building. Dmitri, Ant, and Shane can check the surrounding school grounds." With a quick nod, we all left, the three groups going in different directions to search for our lost little hybrid.
Two hours later and we still had not found him, although the screams we all heard had stopped coming shortly into our search for him. While I was grateful that his agonized voice had stopped cutting through my mind, it worried me as to why he would suddenly go quiet. I was hoping that the gods had taken mercy on him and rendered him unconscious, but even that did not sit well. Who knew what whoever was hurting him would do with him once he was absolutely incapable of fighting back.
My worry over Timber's safety added to the overused of my senses in trying to find him had left me rather edgy from the mental exhaustion of it all. In two hours we had not found a single trace that he had been anywhere around the campus that morning. I could feel the restless, nervous energy flowing off of the werewolf at my side and knew it was time to call it quits for awhile. We headed back to the suite, hoping that one of the other groups had had better luck than we did.
Stepping into the room, I immediately knew that my hopes were not going to come to realization. Vincent was pacing in the back of the main room, muttering curses under his breath and randomly punching a wall in frustration. Everytime he would hit something, Claire and Harmony would jump at the sound and sever of the other would sigh. It really seemed like this had been going on for awhile now, but part of me wanted to join in on Vincent's nervous pacing. The lack of Timber was extremely unsettling to me.
"I take it you all had no luck either?" I asked softly as my eyes scanned the faces of the five who were sitting there on the edges of their seats.
"Actually, we had a little luck, but it was just as frustrating as having none," Symphony said, his eyes glancing over at Vincent as he hit a door. "Vincent found that the link with Timber was strongest on the east side of the dormitory, but he couldn't get a better fix than that without spewing long lines of curses. Wherever Timber is over there, someone covered his tracks well, because Harm couldn't pick up his scent or even the scent of the blood Vincent said they both should have been able to smell." My frowned deepened at this bit, as it meant that a mage had been involved with whatever had happened with Timber and that he was hurt badly. I almost could not stomach the thought of my little hybrid being hurt that much.
"I'm going to have another look around the dorm," Anthony said as he turned to leave the suite again. To know that Timber was close but unable to be found was hard to deal with, even if he was not the one dating him. We had been entrusted with his safety by my father and at this point, we were sure we had failed in our promise. As Anthony opened the door, he froze, the expression on his face twisting from worry and frustration to total shock. "Timber?" he whispered and every head in the room turned to see if the petite blonde was indeed standing there.
"I'll leave you now, Timber," said a familiar raven haired male. I knew him to be one of the hybrids who lived here before we arrived and was in the vampire class with me. "Just remember, you have until tomorrow." With that the guy was gone, leaving a quiet, trembling Timber standing alone in the hall. Anthony moved aside to allow him to slowly walk into the room and the scent of blood and charred flesh immediately assaulted my nose. The skin of his hands and wrists was also raw and bloody in places.
"Timber, baby, what happened?" I asked, moving to embrace him. I stopped short as he flinched and took a step back from me. He had yet to lift his head and look at anyone, his face covered in a curtain of his platinum locks. "Timber?" His shoulders shook as he began to cry and I once more reached for him, only to be stopped by yet another flinch.
"Timber, talk to us, please," Anthony begged, an almost canine like whine edging his voice. I could not blame him as the scent coming from the boy was almost nauseating. Slowly, he raised his head for his eyes to meet mine and everyone in the room gasped at the sight. His beautiful face... His face had been burned so badly that only his golden eyes were recognizeable to us now. The rawness from his hands was also on his throat and what was left of his lips had been shredded from him chewing on them. The look of fear and horror filled his beautiful eyes, even as they swam with uninhibited tears and mirrored exactly how I felt.
-I'm sorry,- he started slowly, tears streaming down his cheeks and I knew it was hurting him. -I've got to leave this room.- Remi moved quickly to press his back to the door, having no intentions of letting him leave again.
"What happened, Timber? Why do you have to leave?" Harmony asked, moving closer to him. There was no longer a need to ask why he had been screaming the way he was. The visible destruction of his face was enough to make even the toughest of people scream in agony. Vincent had felt it, even if he had not understood at the time what was causing the pain or who, he had definitely felt it and I understood finally why he had been so pissed off.
"Who did this, Timber? Who hurt you?" I growled, unable to control the rising anger in my chest. He backed away from all of us now, his fear and sorrow growing to be able to be felt physically.
-I'm so sorry, Dmitri! Believe me when I say that I don't want to do this... But it's over. I'll be changing rooms tomorrow,- he cried and then suddenly the link was broken. It was like feeling someone cut off a string that had been wrapped around a finger, a sudden release of pressure from my mind. A quick glance around the room told me that it was not just my link that had been dropped as Timber his way to our bedroom.
"Forgive me, mon ch ri, but I simply will not accept this," Vincent said as he blocked Timber's path and wrapped him tightly around the shoulder with one of his long arms. "I promise that this won't hurt at all," he murmured as he placed a hand over Timber's face. Almost instantly, the hybrid's eyes closed and his body went limp in the vampire's arms. I wanted to curse Vincent for his skill in mind tricks, but right then, it was keeping Timber here a little longer.
"Open your mind to me, mon ch ri," Vincent said, kneeling on the floor with the unconscious blonde still in his arms and his hand over Timber's face. "Relax. You're in a safe place where no one can hurt you. So just relax and let me see what you can't say," he muttered in an almost hypnotic voice. He closed his own eyes as his face contorted in fear and then pain. I knew he was going through Timber's memories and by the look on his face, they were absolutely horrible. I was beginning to wonder if I even wanted to know how the boy I loved so much had come to be like this.