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“I said I was sorry,” Michael said sourly, his eyes resting somewhere above my head. “I didn’t have a choice, I told you that.”
“I know.” I answered. “You’ve explained it to me numerous times now Michael.”
If he took offense at my tone he was doing an excellent job of hiding it. It had been like this for a few days now and I was beginning to wonder just how far I could push him. I knew it was incredibly stupid but I couldn’t help myself. A part of me was taking some sort of perverse pleasure in quietly tormenting him. Maybe it was my release. I could still feel the anger bubbling inside of me and if I didn’t let it out somehow I’d probably do something terminal like trying to throttle the double crossing bastard.
“You were never in any real danger.” He continued tersely.
“So you said.” Liar, I thought instantly.
He was in front of me so quickly that I didn’t even have time to flinch before both of his hands were cupping my face. “I had to Conner, I didn’t want to but I didn’t have a choice. It would have been treason to deny them. They would have taken you anyway and I would have been powerless to help you.” His lips hovered close to mine, almost touching as his fingers gently caressed my cheek and jaw. “It sickened me that I had to let them use you like that. I wanted to kill them all for endangering you.”
It should have been frightening, having him so close, but when I looked back at him all I felt was numb. Perhaps I was finally having a breakdown? It would be just like me to do it so quietly that even I wasn’t even really aware of it.
He looked at me for a moment more before his lips crashed down on top mine. I jumped in shock but made no attempt to push him away. His tongue pushed into my unresisting mouth and caressed my own sensually as he gently pushed me onto my back.
I felt a sudden jolt of panic then. I gave his chest an experimental shove but he didn’t seem to notice. His hands fumbled with my belt and I twisted my head away. “This isn’t the best way to earn my forgiveness Michael.” I told him, very calm and relaxed. Anything else would make him react to me like I was prey.
He groaned into my throat and sat up with a frustrated expression on his handsome face. “You hate me again.” He accused.
I sat up and shrugged. What did I care if his feelings were hurt? “I’m going out.” I said, getting up and reaching for my coat. Winter had arrived in earnest over the past few days and it was hardly warm in the tunnels beneath the city. I wondered what it looked like outside. Probably pissing it with rain. I would have given anything to see it.
“You going to see Louie?” He asked me, all casual like.
“Who else?” I laughed. I saw the serious look on his face and paused at the doorway. “Is that okay?” I asked, a little cautiously because as angry as I felt I still wasn’t a complete imbecile.
He dismissed me with a flick of his hand but called out to me just as I was closing the door behind me. “Don’t come back for a while, I’m going to have company.” He looked at me expectantly, maybe anticipating a reaction. I stared impassively back at him until finally he shook his head. “Go on then.” He snapped. “Get lost.”
“If only.” I muttered, knowing his keen hearing would have heard me and hardly caring.
I probably slammed the door closed a little louder than was strictly necessary. Arsehole! I silently cursed, hurrying up the hallway towards the main hall. I headed towards the mortal quarters and had a nasty shock when a cold a hand locked onto my arm. I looked down into Adams’ huge blue eyes and felt a strong urge to scream. He smiled at me, all innocent and appealing beauty. He really must have been one hell of a hunter with a face like that.
“Hello, Connor isn’t it?” His voice was as charming as his face, soft and soothing. I thought he was English but I couldn’t place the accent. “Where is Michael?”
“In his room.” I said, subtly trying to pull my arm free, though perhaps not as subtly as I’d hoped. His arm wrapped around my waist and squeezed painfully hard. A warning or was it his inability to gauge the difference in our strength? Regardless of which I stopped moving.
“Where are you trying to get to in such a hurry?” He asked me sweetly.
I gasped, fighting the urge to scream for help. I sure as hell knew I wouldn’t be getting any so what was the point of even trying? “I was on my way to see a friend.” I grasped his arm. “Could you release your hold a little?” I asked gently, hopefully.
Surprisingly he did let me go but he immediately stepped into my space, herding me backwards until I hit a wall and couldn’t retreat any further. “You’re not looking too much the worse for wear.” He commented cheerfully as he started running little circles over my chest.
“You know I’m Michaels don’t you?” I suddenly demanded, pissed as hell because he was just groping me. I mean sure, I disliked stating that I belonged to someone else but if it meant he’d back up I was willing to take Ankara escort the hit. “He’s not really one for sharing.” Jesus, did I have a fucking sign on my god damn head that said molest me?
“How could he share when he’s never even partaken himself?” He grabbed my wrist and held it up between us. “From what I’ve heard the first person to sample you was that little newborn Samantha. Tell me Conner, did you like her kiss?”
“Not really.” I said, calm again. How the hell I wasn’t screaming wildly was a mystery even to me.
He caressed the faint scar caused from her fangs, inspecting them thoughtfully. “Have you and Michael fucked yet?”
I nearly pulled my own arm out of its socket as I attempted to jerk free “None of your god damn business!” I hissed, regretting it instantly when he hissed back at me with a flash of his burnished teeth.
“I hear Jonnie wants you.” He said, the smile gone. “He’ll be turned soon. Kerry’s powerful you know, her blood will make him strong.”
“He’s already stronger than me.” I said truthfully.
He smiled at that. “I find myself intrigued by you.” He reached out and touched my hair, cooing softly as he stroked my steadily growing locks.
I tried to pull back but with the wall behind me I had to settle for glaring at him. Maybe if he read my dislike it would mask just how freaked I was. In a world of fearsome and creepy monsters he was perhaps one of the worse. Maybe it was the deceiving innocence he portrayed, or his ethereal face. Whatever it was it sent my escape instincts into overdrive. “I have to go.”
“Go where exactly?” He wondered. “You aren’t allowed outside, you avoid most of the other gang members like they have the plague. Why not spend some time with me? Someone should be enjoying your obvious charms. If Michael doesn’t want you-” he let the sentence remain unfinished as he pressed me back against the wall and ground himself into me.
I was just sucking in enough air to start a full throttled panic attack when Adam was suddenly flying through the air in the opposite direction. I was trying to find my voice when Michael appeared right infront of me, his fangs out and his eyes bright red. I recoiled but he stilled me with two words. “Stay-put.”
I think it was fear that kept me in place, or perhaps he was using some sort of glamour on me. Whatever it was it kept me from doing much more than shiver as Michael glided towards Adam and grabbed the smaller creature by his throat. “If you ever fucking touch him again I’ll rip your damned head off!” He shook Adam, causing the smaller man’s head to whip back and forth violently.
To my shock Adam laughed at him and grabbed Michael’s wrist. An audible crack filled the air and I was sure I was going to spew. I stumbled backwards and both Michael and Adam turned demon blood red eyes on me. “I told you not to fucking move.” Michael snarled, cradling his wrist before turning back to Adam. “Ow.” He spat.
“It’s your own fault.” Adam chided, all soft innocence. “I was only playing with him. I wouldn’t have damaged him.”
“He’s mine!” Michael hissed.
“So you say but where are your claims? The only one to leave a mark on him is the newborn. She has more right to him than you do.”
“Am I under some sort of duration to try him? If I am its news to me.”
“Be serious Michael,” He chided mockingly. He looked back at me and flashed that chillingly innocent smile. “Though I’ll admit that you do have wonderful taste in companions.”
“Find your own.” Michael warned. “And leave him to me.”
He shrugged and caught a lock of his golden hair, twirling it around his finger like a child. I shuddered and had to look away. “As you wish, though I’ll appreciate it if you could refrain from tossing me again. It irritated me.”
“Do not touch him again and I’ll have no reason to.”
“Touch me again and I’ll do more than break your wrist!” He snarled.
They stared at one another a moment more before Adam shrugged and turned his back on us. He sauntered away like he didn’t have a care in the world.
Michael was there almost instantly. He looked so angry. I instinctively backed away and he caught my jaw in a bruising hold. “I let you out and in a few minutes you’re already fucking up.”
“It wasn’t my fault!” I said, a little indignantly, though I was too frightened to do more than whisper.
His arm wrapped around my waist, I was lifted up slightly and then we were moving so quickly that my head started to spin. I was struck by a sudden and long forgotten memory of my childhood. My parents had taken us to the fair one summer and had somehow persuaded me to go on the waltzer’s ride, despite how terrified I was of anything more daring that the teacups. I remembered the way the world had spun around me then. The only constant thing in my life at that moment was my mom. She had laughed and took my hand, letting me know that there was nothing to be frightened of.
We were back in his room and I was lying flat on Ankara escort bayan the bed. I started to sit up but he shoved me back down. “See this?” He snapped, holding his wrist close to my face. “This can’t happen again.”
I wondered if he intended to stop letting me out. God I hoped not. I couldn’t cope with being locked up anymore and the idea of losing my only friend was devastating.
Of course the majority of my fears faded into the background as he grabbed my jaw and forced my head to the side, totally exposing my throat. “Michael!” I cried, hysteria filling my voice because I knew, just knew what he was planning. “What are you doing?”
“Shush,” He commanded. “Just be still, it won’t hurt if you don’t fight it.”
“Don’t!” I pleaded, doing the complete opposite of what he asked as I bucked and struggled beneath him. “Michael, please don’t!” The latter came out as a shriek as his teeth clamped down on me and agony shot through my neck and right shoulder. I screamed, hitting and clawing at him to make him get off. “Stop!” I begged, still bucking though my body soon grew lax and weak. The only noise was the sound of my crying and the soft, slurping noises coming from Michael as he fed. “Are you going to kill me?” I whispered before darkness rushed over and me and my world turned black. ****
“Jesus!” I moaned as I woke up. I pressed my hand against the stabbing pain in my neck and felt a sudden wave of nausea. My head was swimming and for a few blessed moments I couldn’t remember what had happened.
It came back to me pretty bloody fast though as I remembered with painful clarity the exact moment when Michael’s teeth had ripped into my flesh. My fingers encountered two tiny puncture holes and came back sticky with my own blood.
I looked at the blood for a long moment as I tried to fully process what had happened to me. I’d been bitten, obviously. Okay, so I’d been bitten. That shouldn’t have come as such a shock considering I was living with a monster. Logically it had been inevitable that he would bite me eventually. The fact that he had taken as long as he had was in its self something of a miracle. Yet despite that I couldn’t shake off the feeling of betrayal I felt coursing through every fibre of my being. He had bitten me, hurt and taken from me something I had been unwilling to give.
I was feeling about as sick and weak as I could ever remember feeling in my life, which was saying something considering the amount of times I’d come close to starving to death .
I sat up and felt a wave of dizziness. My eyes scanned Michael’s bedroom for any sign of him. He’d gone, thanks god. I noticed a glass of juice, placed beside me on the bedside table and reached for it greedily. It felt glorious as it ran down my throat, soothing the lesser irritation caused by my own screaming.
As I placed the empty glass on the beside table I saw a packet of painkillers and a small bandage. I looked at them both blankly for a moment before picking them up and angling myself out of the bed.
I stumbled to the toilet and paused at Michael’s sink. He didn’t have any ointment, which came as no shock, so I had to make do with water. I turned on the tap and soaked one of Michael’s nice dishcloths in cool water before dabbing in at my throat. I felt a dull sort of satisfaction in soiling it.
I plucked up my courage and looked at the mirror facing me above the sink. My eyes were inevitably drawn to the marks on my neck and for a moment I was memorised by the little trickle of blood that was still flowing down my throat.
The bite had not been clean. The holes were torn and ragged and would definitely scar. I supposed I should have listened to Michael when he told me not to fight him, but then the idea of just lying prone as he tore into my flesh seemed as impossible now as it had been then.
I wiped the small holes dry and pulled the bandage free from its packaging. I winced as I imagined having to pull it off later but I couldn’t go around with blood trickling down my neck so I placed it carefully above the marks and pressed it down until I was sure it was stuck.
That accomplished I proceeded to stare at myself in the mirror. What now? I wondered. Things couldn’t go back to the way they were before. The little illusion of equality we had built between us was pretty much shattered. I wouldn’t be able to hide my fear next time I saw him, which would make him react to me as if I was prey.
“Conner?” A voice called from the other room.
I jumped back from my reflection and spun round. “Yes?” I called back tentively.
“It’s Louie. Are you okay?”
I dropped the dishrag in the rubbish and opened the door timidly. I half expected Michael to be waiting with her but she was thankfully alone. We locked eyes and she flashed me a relieved smile.
“You okay?” She asked again.
My hand almost touched my neck before I let it drop. “Yeah, I’m alright.” I was lying of course.
“Michael told me to come Escort Ankara look after you.” She crossed the distance between us and dropped her hand on my shoulder. “I’ll be honest kiddo, I was only half expecting you to still be alive considering the state me was in when he got me.”
I flinched a little from her touch and she immediately let her hand drop. “The state he was in?” I let out a bit of a huff that turned into a whimper without me meaning it to. “Hopefully he’ll not be too distraught!”
Her hand hovered above the mark on my neck before she let out a very soft sigh. “Did he scare you then?”
“Scare me?” I let out a cold bark of laughter and slapped her hand from my neck. “I thought I was going to fucking die, of course he fucking scared me!” My voice was louder than I remembered ever hearing it before. “What the fucking hell do you suppose I’d fucking feel having that fucking monster rip into my fucking neck!”
She stepped back, her eyes wide and unblinking. “Conner,” She said, but seemed at a loss for words.
I opened my mouth, preparing to yell some more when I abruptly dropped my hand and plonked myself on my arse. “Sorry,” I said, so quietly that I wasn’t even sure she’d heard me.
“No need to apologise to me.” She said as she settled down beside me. “I’ve never seen you angry before. I was beginning to wonder if you even knew how to lose your temper.”
“Well now you know. Impressive hey?”
She smiled sadly at me and wrapped an arm around my waist. “You haven’t come to see me much lately?”
“Yeah, well I guess I thought it was for the best.”
“Oh?” She asked carefully.
“Like you said, you don’t want people to think you’re going soft.” I squirmed out of her hold and stood up as I flashed her a quick smile that I suspected looked more like a grimace.”Look, if you don’t mind I’m feeling a little sick. You can see I’m alive and everything. Would you mind-” I faltered, unsure how to politely ask her to leave. I ended up gesturing helplessly at the door.
“Are you sure you want to be alone right now?” She asked me as she got slowly to her feet. Her hand hovered above my shoulder but she let it drop when I flinched back. “Okay,” She said softly. “I’ll come see you tomorrow kid.”
I watched her leave and felt a sudden pang when I realised I was alone. It was stupid to feel that way when it was exactly what I had asked for. I almost went after her before I reached the door and froze.
It seemed to me that almost every time I went out alone I was targeted one way or another. Whatever it was about me that screamed that I was a single was obviously very clear to everyone I came in contact with.
Frankly I was just sick of being tortured. I couldn’t stay where I was anymore. The fear of trying to escape and being caught was being outweighed by the terror that struck me at the realisation that I was going to die in this place, and it was probably going to happen soon.
So, I was going to try and run. Now all I needed to do was figure out a way how. Obviously I couldn’t ask Louie for help. She had already made her stance on any escape attempts clear. Where did that leave me? I could try and go alone but I doubted I’d even make it out of the basement without being caught. I had a feeling that my face was pretty well known among the gang members and the Others.
There was always Anne. She was my sister and god knew she owed me. It should have been the most obvious thing in the world but I wasn’t sure that if I went to her would she be willing to help me. I wondered if it was even more likely that she would turn me for even suggesting such a thing. I shivered as I imagined what Michael might do to me if he found out I was even entertaining such an insane idea.
Of course there was always the blinding question of what would I do if i did free myself. I could search for my old flat, hide there and keep going as I had before. Slowly starving to death as my mind turned to mush. I would probably go mad eventually, for I had a taste of companionship now and I wasn’t so sure that I could survive on my own again.
I grabbed some of Michaels sheets off his bed and dragged them into the main room. The thought of spending the day beside him was to terrifying to even comprehend. I made a small nest from myself in the corner furthest from the room and fell into a deep slumber.
I woke up feeling disorientated and ill. I could feel eyes on me and when I looked up I found Michael looming close by. I panicked and threw the quilt over my head. I was old enough to know that hiding behind sheets never kept the monsters at bay but I couldn’t bear to look at him.
“Leave me alone!” I shouted, the words undoubtedly muffled by the sheets.
I heard a soft sigh and then hands were lifting me into the air, quilts and all. I was carried a short distance and placed gently upon a soft surface. I didn’t try to fight the tangle of sheets as a large presence settled beside me but I did cringe when a hand wormed its way inside my cacoon and stroked my head. “I’m sorry Conner.” Michael said, his voice sad and resigned. “I know I scared you and honestly that was never my intent. You may not believe me now but I did it to protect you.”
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