Edit 6/23/13 Warnings: Attempted Rape.
Isobel ran beside her mate, the tips of her ears barely topping his shoulder as he loped down the street. She could feel Grady's eyes on them; could smell his panic even from here. The wizard had lied to them.
Killian snarled suddenly, making her realize that she had spoken the treacherous words aloud. He will pay.
Only three words, but they sent shivers down her spine. He wouldn't have let us leave if—
Silence! Killian barked at her, nipping at the side of her neck with enough force to sting with the promise of reprimand if his orders weren't heeded. When we are safe, we may play and banter. We are not safe. You will do as I say or face consequences.
Isobel growled, snapping her jaws at his muzzle, forcing him to move away. Just this once I will remind you that a Lupus de Luna is neither dominant nor submissive. I do not bow to your command, even if you are my mate. The wolf beside her didn't speak, but his displeasure rang clear through their bond.
Luna wanted to bow to him, anything to make him happy, but Isobel refused. If they were to spend eternity with this man ground rules would have to be set. Rule number one: don't boss the Lupus de Luna around. Rule number two…well, she would get around to that one later.
Killian took a sharp left and Isobel yelped, skidding to catch up with him. Why are you so eager to get to the people that want to kill me? She grumbled irritably and the wolf rolled amused amber eyes in her direction.
So I can get back to what I was doing before we left. This time, his voice was softer, without Ulfric's gruff edge. This was her mate. The gentle giant with far too many secrets to be healthy, not the gruff asshole who was on constant PMS. Luna growled at the insult to her mate but it was weak. She knew that it was true, and there was no denying it.
Cheer up, Luna. At least you get the biggest wolf on the block. Isobel teased and that seemed to reassure Luna for she sighed contently and daydreamed about Ulfric. Seeming to pick up on her mood, Ulfric shoved Killian back and nuzzled against Isobel's neck, biting softly to renew his claim. Luna purred, very unlike her usual self, and returned his affection.
Suddenly, Ulfric turned again and this time Isobel didn't have the chance to turn. She blew past and glanced behind her only to find an empty street. Whining, she slowed to a trot and sniffed the air, trying to catch the scent of her mate. No such luck.
Where was he? He wouldn't just leave her here, unprotected, alone, would he? Panic began to rise, trampling her instinct to run as far and fast as she could. Fortunately, Luna had kept her sense of self and took control of her body, jerking into the cover of the trees as a chocolate colored wolf lunged from the shadows of the nearest house.
Isobel cursed but made no move to take her body back. It wasn't even hers to begin with, really. Luna was much better suited to handle four legs and fur than she was.
As if feeling the need to prove her superior agility, Luna curbed around the pines with frightening speed and balance, keeping a wolf sized distance between her and the snarling best fumbling close behind. He was much taller than they were, and bulky with rippling muscle, neither of which were helping him with the closely compacted trees.
Finally recognizing that he was fighting a losing battle, the wolf snarled and launched himself through the air to land heavily on Luna's hindquarters. They tumbled through the forest, a mass of white and brown fur, sharp claws, and dangerous teeth.
The brown wolf landed on top, his chin dripping with saliva as he took her throat into his mouth. Submit, bitch. He snarled when she began to struggle, his teeth digging into her skin in warning.
Luna stilled instantly and Isobel screamed with frustration and fear. What the hell are you doing? Fight back!
Luna growled softly, warning her. There is nothing else to be done. Would you prefer containment or death? Recognizing defeat, Isobel shrank back to the recesses of their joined mind, cowering from the intimidating male. He smelled familiar, sickeningly so.
Luna recognized the scent immediately, her fury rising as the male slowly eased on top of her. If you submit, this will be much more pleasurable. The familiar baritone voice rumbled in her mind. That voice belonged to Leo, the third of the six males that haunted her dreams. And if he thought that she would take this again without a fight, he was wrong.
But Luna wasn't listening. She went limp under his massive form, exposing her neck to the male without complaint. A pleased growl vibrated through his chest and his jaws opened. The sharp teeth were barely out of her skin when Luna lashed out violently, the claws of her hind legs digging into the vulnerable flesh of his belly.
Leo leapt back, snarling with pain and rage. Luna wasted no time to scramble to her feet and dart deeper into the depths of the small forest. Feeling Leo gaining on her and knowing that she wouldn't get another lucky shot, she tossed her head back and howled. Any wolf within a five mile radius would hear her plea for help and, hopefully, one would be kind enough to come to her aid.
Another vicious snarl ripped out from just behind her, echoed by the heavy thump of uneven footfalls. Luna took a sharp right, trying to stall as long as she could. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough.
Leo slammed into her right side, sending her flying through the shadows and into the trunk of a massive pine. Her hind left leg snapped along with a few ribs, the pain excruciating as she slid to the ground with a pitiful whine. It wasn't the worst pain that she had ever experienced, but it still wasn't pleasant.
I told you it would be easier if you submitted. Now you've lost your chance, and mate or not, I will claim you as mine. Gripping the loose skin at the back of her neck between his teeth, he dragged her to a more convenient position for mounting; on her belly with her hindquarters open and vulnerable.
Sniffing at areas that no stranger should sniff at, Luna whined and searched the soft breeze for the scent of her mate. He wouldn't leave her like this. He had to be looking for her, right? For the love of God, if Leo raped her and she managed to get out she'd have Killian castrated.
The idea of rape had Isobel going into hysterics. She screamed and mourned the certain loss of control of her body and soul. This couldn't be happening, it couldn't. She had just found her mate for God's sake! He was supposed to protect her!
But it was happening, a crushing reality that came crashing down as Leo moved over her body, teeth ripping into the flesh at the back of her neck. Luna closed her eyes, preparing to take the brunt of the pain if she could only find a way to spare Isobel of it. The poor girl had already lost enough.
A low growl suddenly rang out, barely audible but absolutely petrifying. Leo paused in the preparation of penetration, suddenly going rigid. He released the skin at the back of her neck and moved to stand over her head with a stance that could have been mistaken for protection when in reality it was a claim on territory.
Luna glanced up and met a pair of livid amber eyes. She whined softly and curled in on herself protectively, gently licking at her wounds. She was no longer concerned about Leo. Her mate had come, and he would punish the stupid man.
Ignoring the pained yelps and the sound of shredding flesh, Luna ceded control to Isobel. She was tired, and if the rest of the night continued as this pace she would need her strength.
Suddenly, all was quiet. Not even the cicadas dared to break the silence as Killian approached Isobel. She paused and glanced up at the massive wolf before her, a warning growl escaping her throat.
Killian flinched and stopped where he was, five feet away. I have failed you already, and we haven't yet been out an hour. Isobel smacked down the instinct to comfort her mate. He did not deserve that. On the contrary, he deserved a broken jaw for cutting things so close.
Yes, you have. She stated simply and returned to her leg, pushing it into a proper position so it wouldn't heal awkwardly.
Killian watched her for a moment before walking forward and laying down behind her, his body molding against hers. Isobel didn't protest. He wasn't trying to gain an apology; he was cleaning her wounds like a mate should. Then again, he'd been doing a really shitty job at being a mate.
Killian licked the wounds at the back of her neck, waiting for one to heal before moving onto another. I don't deserve your forgiveness, He started and Isobel scoffed. That was probably the biggest understatement she had ever heard. But Ulfric was already half a mile away before he realized that you weren't with us. He's hotheaded and doesn't listen to me, only to himself.
Killian hefted a heavy sigh and nuzzled his face into her healed neck. I'm not making excuses. It was my fault, our fault. We are one and the same, both are to blame.
Isobel started to speak but cut off abruptly as her bones snapped back into place. She whimpered softly, waiting for the pain to subside before beginning again. Yes, it was your fault. But right now I need you, so I won't kill you yet. But don't think that I won't do it later.
Killian let out a breath of relief and rested his head on her shoulder, closing his eyes briefly. So this is the mated life? Death threats and sex? He joked softly and Isobel leaned back into his body.
Sure is a bitch, ain't it? She asked and he laughed, making it difficult for her to be angry with him. Huffing irritably, Isobel carefully got to her feet, gingerly testing her back leg.
Killian leapt up and sniffed the healing limb carefully, suddenly going rigid. You smell like him. He snarled and began rubbing up against her sides, spreading his scent. Isobel sighed and consented to wait, allowing him to rub anywhere he liked until he got to her hindquarters. There was no way she was allowing him to screw around back there, literally and figuratively. She snapped her jaws at his muzzle irritably but Killian growled menacingly, warning her.
Isobel shivered at the sound of his slight anger. To have even such a small amount directed at her sent chills down her spine. The need to submit was insistent, demanding, necessary. So she did what her instincts told her to do; lay on the ground, belly up, with her neck exposed. To just lay there would be something any wolf would do, but being his mate, she had to prove herself irrevocably trusting of him.
Killian paused, his hot breath tousling the soft fur over her stomach. He pressed his cold nose there, teeth raking over the thin skin lightly, and then moved away. We've wasted enough time. Let's get this over with so I can address you wounds properly.
Isobel bounded to her feet, keeping as little pressure on her healing leg as possible, and followed him into the unknown.
Killian walked slowly this time, keeping Isobel in his sights at all times. Ulfric had gotten carried away in the desire for blood he didn't realize that the most important person in their lives was currently shedding her own. The insensible wolf was ashamed, as he should damn well be, and currently hiding in the recesses of their mind.
Idiot, Killian growled but the wolf said nothing.
Isobel stayed tight against his side, limping slightly, but she did not complain. Once, twice, three times she stumbled and on the fourth she went down. Her head bounced off the spongy ground and she whined. Killian licked her face and felt her sigh against his nose.
I'm sorry, her pained voice whispered through his mind but Killian shook his head.
I'm the one who needs to be sorry; this is my fault. Shift back, he said, straightening.
It would be easier if he could just carry her. The shift back was much more pleasant than the one into the wolf. The sensation of having his limbs stretched out to their normal length was one of pleasure rather than pain. He knew that it wouldn't feel that way to Isobel for a few centuries, since she was so young, but even now as her muzzle reformed into a face she didn't make a sound of protest.
When she was finished, Killian knelt beside her and sighed at the symphony of colors covering her ribcage and left thigh. "You're too strong for your own good." He muttered and lifted her into his arms, trying to ignore the sensations her naked flesh against his aroused in him.
"Don't get too excited," she muttered threateningly and he laughed.
"I think I've got bigger things to be concerned about, Bells." He teased and she sighed and reluctantly relaxed in his arms, her head plopping against his shoulder wearily.
"Why do you think he was here?" She mumbled sleepily?
Killian glanced down at puddles of crimson surrounding a shredded brown body disdainfully. "You knew him?" She nodded, nails digging into his chest as she gazed down at the body. "He was probably sent to bring you back. Obviously, he had his own agenda to take care of first." He muttered and leapt over a slowly flowing creek to crouch next to a log completely encased in thick mud.
Isobel slid to the ground, her pale feet disappearing under the dark mush with a sickening squelch. She hobbled, precariously keeping her balance while Killian lifted the log to reveal a plastic bag. He untied the knot at the top and handed Isobel a t-shirt before sliding on a pair of ratty jeans.
She wrestled with the fabric to a point that Killian could practically hear the seams ripping. He wrapped an arm around her waist, halting her struggles. When he was sure she wouldn't fight him, he spread her arms above her head, rotating them in a way that required minimal movement, and slid the shirt over her head.
She sighed when he pulled her hair out from under the fabric and smoothed it down her back. "You're still not forgiven," she muttered and pressed a chaste kiss to his lips.
He smiled and scooped her up into his arms again with a sense of redemption. "I will be." He started at a light jog, giving her the time to adjust to the jostling ride before breaking out into a sprint. Even though he wasn't in wolf form, Killian could run faster than any human on his worst day. Hell he walked faster than humans ran most of the time.
It took mere minutes to get to the plot completely encased in police tape. The house built on the dying grass looked to be as old as Killian. The once white paneling had now taken on a grayish black hue, as if it had once been burned, and the black shutters hung on only one hinge if they even remained at all. Filthy cream curtains billowed out of the broken second story window and sent down a breeze contaminated with dust and filth.
Isobel coughed and pinched her nose with her fingers, eyeing the house disdainfully. "Lovely place." Killian grunted his agreement and set her on the ground. He thought about leaving her standing on the sidewalk but when she swayed and wound an arm around his waist to keep herself up he knew that it wouldn't be possible for him to leave her in such a condition.
So he crouched down and glanced at her from over his shoulder, gesturing to his back. She rolled her eyes but slid her arms around his neck and gripped his waist carefully with her legs.
She giggled when he stood and started to walk again. "I can't remember the last time someone held me like this."
Killian smiled at the delectable sound of her giggle. It was his fault that she didn't do that more often.
Maintaining a firm grip on her, he ducked under the neon tape and grimaced at the loud crunch the dead grass made every time he put his foot down. He maneuvered towards the center of the scene, stepping over the little plastic teepees that marked evidence.
"Smell anything, Bells?"
Ever so carefully, she took in a tiny breath through her nose. In an instant her body was rigid, trembling, and ice cold. "He was here."
He? Ulfric's hackles rose at the mention of another man. When he figured out to which man she was referring to, a vicious snarl ripped from him. The man with the orange eyes.
Isobel pressed her nose into his neck and inhaled deeply, replacing any remaining traces of the man's scent with Killian's. He growled his approval and tossed his head back, concentrating on the various aromas surrounding him. He smelled death, sweat, human, gun powder, wolf, vampire, oh and don't forget the piss, why was it always the piss—
Vampire? What business would a vamp have in wolf territory?
Isobel sniffled a little on his back, sensing his confusion. "What is it?" She whispered and tightened her hold on him, making breathing difficult but he couldn't have cared less. If a vamp was in the area, she needed to stay as close as possible.
"Vampire," he snarled.
He could practically hear her frown and waited while she tested the area for the scent. She released a frustrated sigh and shook her head. "I can't pick it up."
Killian walked to the front porch, following the trail. "It's very faint. Only a trained nose would pick it up." Thankfully, she didn't ask how he had gotten such a skill, though he knew she was thinking it. The only skill she should concern herself with the one between his hips.
He stopped halfway to the backyard, frowning. The trail stopped here, but where was the vamp? It couldn't have just—
"Stop," Isobel whispered and Killian froze, waiting for her next command. One slender finger pointed down to the tan grass inches from his big toe. "What's that?" Killian crouched down and scrutinized the necklace beneath him.
Isobel leaned down and picked it up, bringing the strange beads attached to it close to her face. "Are those…" She squealed and dropped it as if it was on fire.
"Vamp fangs," Killian finished gravely and lifted the jewelry up with his pinky. There were six sets of sharp fangs hanging from the black string, crude holes punched through the ivory bones to make them beads.
He inspected it for a moment longer but heavy footfalls broke his concentration. He stuffed the teeth into his pocket and hitched Isobel up higher on his back, preparing to make a run for it when a bright red wolf bounded into sight. Ulfric snarled at the male but he hardly paid him any attention.
When he got closer, Killian dropped into a crouch, growling a final warning. Luckily, the wolf stopped, flaming coat swishing from side to side as strange pale blue eyes regarded him steadily. Recognition flared in Ulfric, and he grudgingly cut of his throaty growl. But the undeniable possessiveness he suddenly felt over his mate didn't fade.
His fingers ran up her thighs, tickling lightly until his palms met the swells of her rear. He pulled her closer into his back, feeling the slight chill of her body against his heat. Isobel practically purred in his ear, nipping at the lobe while they glared at the intruding male.
Brian rolled his eyes and tilted his head in the direction of their house, dark knowledge swimming in the depths of his pale, pale eyes. Isobel buried her face in Killian's neck, shivering lightly.
"He only looks at me like that when he knows something." She whispered and Killian leapt to his feet, taking off at a running start. If there was even the slightest chance that she was in danger he was going to take any measures to prevent it.
Isobel's grip on his neck was weakening, the only sign that she was in pain. Killian picked up the pace, making it difficult for Brian to keep up. But really, who gave a shit about Brian? Killian sure as hell didn't. The man was an attention whore.
Grady was opening the door before Killian could crash into it, a small blessing. But before he could shut it, Brian squeezed through the opening and dashed into the bathroom, bumping it shut with his hip. Killian growled in the direction of the Scot but decided to get Isobel properly situated before dealing with him.
He walked over to the couch and patted her thigh gently. "Bells let go."
She mumbled something under her breath and dropped her legs from his waist. She let out a yelp and dived onto the couch, gingerly holding her leg above the cushions. Grady frowned at her but before he could open his mouth Killian punched him.
The house practically shook with the impact, every hall resonating with the resulting crack. Grady fell into the bookcases, clutching at various novels in a poor attempt to gain balance.
Killian crouched in front of Isobel, growling at his friend. "You knew she would get hurt." Not a question, but Grady nodded as he held his broken jaw in place. "Yet you didn't tell us?" Grady closed his eyes and nodded again.
Killian's muscles bunched as he prepared to have another go at Grady's jaw but Brian took that moment to waltz into the room. "Don't get your panties in a bunch, Gray. There's nothing ye could have done that would have prevented it." Killian's eyebrows rose when he saw the shirt he wore. It was black with a McDonalds M made out of leaves. Under the M was a sign that said Marijuana, I'm Smokin' It.
"Wonder whose shirt that is." Killian drawled and pinned Grady with a dry look. The wizard shrugged sheepishly and, no longer seeing death in his future, got up to browse through the shelves.
"You might want these, princess." Brian tossed Isobel a pair of black shorts. She caught them and sent him a confused look. She squeaked when she realized that her lower areas were wide open and carefully slipped into them.
"Thank you," she said, a deep blush coloring her cheeks. Brian nodded and plopped into the armchair nearest her feet. Killian stood and lifted Isobel's legs, gently placing them in his lap as he sat, putting himself between Brian and her.
Brian recognized the territorial gesture with a lift of his chin and then focused on the wizard. "Ye could 'ave spared yourself all the trouble if you'd just told 'im that she was gonna get hurt." Grady pulled a spellbook from the shelf and turned through the pages rapidly, flipping Brian off over the top of the leather binding.
Chuckling, Brian returned his pale gaze to Killian. "As I said, nothin' would 'ave prevented it. If ye didn't go, she would 'ave died tomorrow at work." Killian stroked Isobel's calf, reassuring himself that she was still there. She leaned forward, careful of her thigh, and pressed her lips against his ear.
"Death at a bar…" she trailed off with a soft smile. "That's so cliché."
Killian chuckled; reassured that she was sitting on the couch with her. Who else would have called their own death cliché?
Killian glanced over at Grady who was having trouble reciting a spell as his tongue lolled out of his mouth. "He still should have told me. Bathroom duty for a month, asshole!"
Grady glanced up at him, newly healed jaw hanging open. "That is totally uncalled for! Do you realize that practically all the hair that gets stuck in the drain is yours? And the toilet! Don't even get me started on the state you leave that in—" He cut off at Killian's glare and sighed, relenting. "Okay, I guess I deserve it. But I'm not happy about it."
Isobel rolled her eyes and placed her head in Killian's lap, propping her feet up on a pillow. "When are you ever happy?" Grady sent her a wounded look that she ignored with a smirk. Killian ran his fingers through her silky curls, their soft texture soothing most of his rage. His head dropped back against the couch and he closed his eyes, lulled into a peaceful tranquility.
"Eh, Killian? Brian said you found something and I want to see what it is." Grady's voice brought him back to the brutal reality of their situation. He sighed irritably and dug into his pocket, tossing him the piece of jewelry.
Grady jumped out of range of the thing as if it were a bullet, gazing down at it fearfully. "Get that fucking thing out of my house." He bit out, nudging it across the floor with a fire poker. Why he had bought fireplace tools when they had no fireplace, Killian had no idea. But the wizard was anxious, and if Grady was spooked, something was seriously wrong.
"Why? What is it?" Killian asked but Grady didn't answer. Instead, he looped the string on the poker and threw it out the front door.
Brian stiffened suddenly, his pale eyes turning even lighter. "It's a dog tag." Brian muttered and Killian growled and pulled Isobel into his lap, her leg momentarily forgotten.
"What's a dog tag?" She asked, her voice shaky as she tried to comfort Killian.
Brian turned to her sharply, pale eyes darkening slightly. "Normally, supes wear them to show a great accomplishment. That," he spat over his left shoulder, in the direction that Grady had tossed the necklace. "Was a twisted version of a dog tag." Isobel frowned when he didn't elaborate and turned to Killian expectantly.
Killian swallowed heavily. "A werewolf wore that to show the rest of the world how many vampires he killed."
Isobel's frown deepened. "I guess I don't understand the importance—"
"Dog tags are earned through cage matches, which are one on one duels between two supernatural creatures without weapons. An average vampire fighting an average werewolf without weapons is equivalent to an adult bull fighting a miniature pony." Grady explained in a bleak voice as he returned to the room.
Isobel swallowed heavily and clutched Killian's hand in hers. "I guess we've got one hell of a wolf on our hands."
Grady snorted, but there was no humor behind it. "That was probably the understatement of the century."