Follow your heart - second part
Author's Note: so it took longer than I had thought... *sigh* anyway, here it is. enjoy. :)
FOLLOW YOUR HEART – SECOND PART
He was naked, hanging from the ceiling by his wrists, ankles chained to the floor, facing the room. They’d stuck knives and swords through him, from his palms to his calves, like a grotesque pincushion. Blood had trickled from each wound and was now dried, painting a horror filled picture on his smooth flesh. His lilac eyes were looking at me and I wanted to let it all go, right then, I wanted to kill everyone who has ever dared touch him. I started to tremble.
Anita moved past me and I forced my feet to bring me closer. I had to see, had to understand the immensity of what had been done to him. I thought it couldn’t get worse, but I was wrong. His body had healed the wounds around the swords, his flesh sticking to the metal as if they were made of the same thing. As if in a haze, I heard Anita ask how this could be fixed and I heard Jamil say they had to pull the blades out. Of course, I knew that. I just didn’t want to believe it.
I watched Anita pull the first knife out, watched Nathaniel hiss and his features contort in pain and the weapons still hanging on the walls rattled. I watched Jamil’s hand close around the hilt of a sword, watched the blade being pulled out and Nathaniel’s scream started the tears flowing. He shouldn’t have been made to suffer through this. A knife flew from the wall to sink into one of the snake men. I heard the gasps behind me but didn’t give a damn and neither did Anita. Nathaniel screamed again, a tear escaping the corner of his eye and a sword flew across the room to pin another hissing creature to the wall. Every scream, every whimper of my beloved kitten had a blade sinking into the ones to blame. And it was just a small comfort.
“Take your leopards. Go in peace.” the alpha snake said and I almost snorted. Nathaniel screamed again, my heart clenched in my chest, a hissing scream followed. Mark.
Anita asked about the women, her voice cold as ice. Swanmanes, came the reply. That bastard of a snake actually thought we’d leave anyone to their mercy, as if they had any. Nathaniel’s voice cut through the conversation, tears flowing down his cheeks.
“Don’t. Please, don’t leave them.”
“We won’t.” I whispered.
The snake tried to protest, but Anita’s voice came from behind me.
“Don’t worry, Nathaniel, we won’t.”
“You have no right to them.” Coronus hissed and that was my last straw.
I turned around and leveled my gaze on him. He flinched. I could imagine a hovering, black eyed, half shifted wereleopard witch shooting lightning bolts from her fingers would be a sight most would flinch away from, but I just couldn’t find it in me to care much about it. I grinned nastily, watching him move backwards a bit more.
“We’re taking them with us.” I told him, my voice deeper than normal. I knew I couldn’t kill him, not right then at any rate, though I wanted to so, so much. But he didn’t know I wouldn’t and I delighted in what little revenge I could take for the moment.
Anita moved beside me, her voice angry but resigned.
“You can’t kill him now.”
I waited a few moments, seeing the fear in the man’s eyes go up a notch, before settling back on the ground, reigning my magic in, controlling my beast. My priority tonight had to be getting my kitten to safety. I turned back to Nathaniel, helping him free of the cuffs, hissing in sympathy at is whimpers of pain. He leaned against me gingerly and I wanted to pick him up in my arms, but I knew very well I wouldn’t have the balance for it. Not everything is about sheer strength. Besides, the danger wasn’t over yet. Anita was still talking with Coronus and I needed at least one arm free. I was right to be prepared, because when the snakes attacked I only raised my hand and whispered ‘thicken’, leaving them hanging in the air a few inches away from Anita, then I flicked my wrist and flung them into the wall where they slid down, unconscious. I was done playing nice.
“Can we get out of here?” I asked a slightly shaken Anita. She nodded and headed out the door, a stiffness to her body that attested to the seriousness of her own injuries.
I left the others to free the swanmanes and moved Nathaniel out into the hallway, practically supporting all his weight. Our steps were careful, so as to cause him as little discomfort as possible. I did not want to add to his suffering tonight. He was looking at me with such adoration in those lilac eyes that I couldn’t stop myself from brushing his lips with mine, softly, oh so softly. The smile that tugged at the corners of his mouth seemed brighter than the sun itself.
“You should shift.” I told him. The sooner he got healed the happier I’d be.
“I will, I will.” he hastened to assure me. ”I just... I knew you’d come.” he finished with a whisper and a sweet smile.
I stopped us in the middle of that hallway, looked into his lovely eyes and came to a decision. I just hoped it was the right one. My hand caressed his cheek and he leaned into me, his eyes closing as he sighed.
“Nathaniel, you are mine, if you want to be.” I breathed against his lips, watching his eyes snap open in wonder.
“Yes, oh yes.. please, I want that very much.” he answered, moving his body impossibly close to mine.
I felt like yelling for all the world to hear that my beautiful kitten wanted to be mine, instead I just kissed him, entwining my tongue with his, caressing his lips with mine. I felt my beast uncurl inside of me and reach out to his, fur against fur, purring as our beasts rubbed against one another. I felt lightheaded, melting into him and willing him safe and healed. My beast pushed into him, startling a gasp from his lips and I felt him begin to heal. I wanted him, right there, but I pulled back, looking down at him and realizing we were laying on the floor. When had we gotten there? I was straddling him, feeling him hard and ready between my legs and I willed myself not to blush. He had such a lustful, purely masculine look on his face, a lazy smile that promised all sorts of sensuous things. I jumped as I heard a throat being cleared above us.
“Hate to interrupt you two lovebirds, but do you think you can move?” Jamil teased with a knowing smirk.
“Yeah, yeah, you big log, you’re just jealous.” I teased back, earning myself a playful growl.
We stood up and I slipped my jacket off and placed it around Nathaniel. It was a little tight, but long enough to cover him. Someone whispered a stunned ‘wow’. Yeah, I was a bit in awe myself at my new ability, but I’d think about it later. I had more important things to take care of now, so I entwined my fingers with my kitten’s and headed down the corridor.
Downstairs Anita was greeted by one extremely worried vampire and I winked at her as I caught her eyes. She winked back and for once let herself be pampered and fussed over.
“Ma petite, you are hurt.” Jean-Claude’s voice held every bit of the concern I knew he must have been feeling.
“Yeah, but I’ll be ok. I’d love a bath, though.” Anita whispered against his neck and for the first time I saw the Master of the City shiver. Go Anita.
“A bath it will be then.” he answered, trying valiantly to gather himself.
I turned my eyes to the Ulfric, seeing him fuss over his wounded people. I’d had a bit of a chat with Richard a few days back, about what it meant to be a monster. I really hoped he’d gotten it straight this time. He couldn’t afford to be so lost when he had a whole pack to protect and guide. And sure enough, he took the time to heal Sylvie and Jamil, to be their Ulfric as well as their friend.
Anita headed off with Jean-Claude. I didn’t expect to see the Nimir-Ra anytime today, nor, for that matter, early tomorrow. That was ok, though, I thought with a smile, watching Nathaniel crouch next to a fully shifted Gregory, like two kittens who’d just been pulled out of a sticky situation. Which, of course, they had.. if one cares to put it that mildly. But I didn’t want to dwell on those memories for the moment.
Shang-Da gave us a lift to my car, for which I was extremely grateful. I didn’t relish the idea of fetching it while leaving Nathaniel and Gregory back at the club. Walking down the street with a huge leopard at out sides was also out of the question. Digging my keys out of my jacket was fun, especially considering who was wearing it at the time and the breathy moan he let out for my troubles. I kissed Nathaniel again, getting lost in his warm lips until Shang-Da had to interrupt. I stuck my tongue out at him. What was it with these werewolves and the constant cutting in?
Cherry and Zane were worried when we got home, not having heard from us all evening. I reassured them as best I could, let them know not to wait up for Anita and promised them the full story tomorrow. They headed off to bed with Gregory in tow, and I was left in the middle of the hallway with Nathaniel.
I turned to him with a smile, loving the way his arms went around me as he pulled me tighter against his body. Our lips met again and I couldn’t get enough of the sweetness that was Nathaniel. We broke off only when breathing became a problem. Our eyes locked and I had to back away from him lest I forget everything and make love to him right there.
“Let’s get you cleaned up.” I offered, taking his hand and heading towards the bathroom. My heard beat a mile a minute. This was it.
END FOLLOW YOUR HEART – SECOND PART