Bound in death, p.18
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       Bound In Death, p.18

         Part #5 of Bound series by Lauren DeStefano
 
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Page 18

 

  She fuckin’ enslaved him.

  She came, shuddering, and she ripped the covers with her grip.

  He kept thrusting. Driving into her as deeply as he could go. He’d been kept apart from her for far too long. He’d had too many empty nights, too many dreams of her. He’d woken, alone, lost, bellowing her name.

  She was with him now. Linked, bound, forever.

  There was no escape.

  His release was even stronger this time. His heart nearly burst from him as held her tighter.

  No escape.

  Because, if he lost her again, Alerac knew he’d go mad.

  ***

  “I’ll take his punishment. ”

  The words were soft, almost broken.

  They were her words.

  Jane could see herself, a small figure surrounded by angry vampires. She was staring straight ahead and offering to take someone’s—

  “No! You can’t!”

  Those words…that was Alerac’s voice.

  She looked down and saw a knife hanging from her chest. No, not her chest—Alerac’s.

  This was his memory. She was seeing everything from his point of view again.

  The knife was yanked from him. The silver burned, and smoke drifted up from the wound. Then the blade was pushed against Alerac’s throat.

  A vampire stood there, eyes shining as he glared down at Alerac. His dark hair was swept back from his high forehead. His lips twisted in disgust. “The punishment is death,” the dark vampire said. “He came here, he used you, in order to get into our midst. To attack us from within. ”

  Wait—that vampire had to be the one Alerac had warned her about—Lorcan. That guy was obviously the boss in this little nightmare scene.

  She’d expected him to look like a monster. He didn’t. He was handsome, seemingly in the bloom of his youth. It was only when he looked deeply into Alerac’s eyes that she could see the flare of evil.

  “I-I’ve started turning. ”

  “When,” Lorcan demanded to know.

  “Y-yesterday. ”

  The knife was lifted from Alerac’s throat. His hands clenched as he pulled at the silver manacles that bound him.

  “He used you!” Lorcan snapped. Alerac’s blood dripped from the knife. “And yet you would give your life for him? Why?”

  She didn’t respond right away.

  “Why?” Lorcan’s shout filled the chamber.

  “Because I love him. ”

  Lorcan smiled, but it was a cold and cruel sight. “You can’t die for him, Keira. You have too much value to us. ” A pause. “But you can take his punishment. After all, you were the one to bring him in to our clan. A dog, walking among gods. ”

  “You’re no god,” Alerac snarled.

  Lorcan’s eyes narrowed. “One hundred years. That’s the penalty for treason in our clan. Imprisonment. Starvation. For one hundred years. ”

  One hundred years. How could even a vampire survive that long without some kind of food? Because he’d said starvation—

  “I will take the punishment, but you have to promise me that Alerac lives. No matter what else happens, he lives. ”

  “Why?” Lorcan’s lips were twisted into a sly smile. “By the time you are free, he’ll be long dead. ”

  “Swear it, Lorcan. Vow it to me on the blood. ”

  Lorcan’s gaze returned to Alerac. “I vow it,” he agreed.

  The vampires hauled her away. Shackles were put around her wrists as Alerac watched, and something…broke in him. He lunged to his feet, roaring, as his beast pushed for freedom. He yanked the manacles from the wall.

  The images vanished into a swirl of darkness.

  For once, Jane preferred the darkness. Fear was acid in her gut, churning, destroying.

  But the darkness didn’t last.

  New images slipped before her. The dark haired vampire—Lorcan. She knew him now. Knew him through Alerac’s memories. He was the bastard who had imprisoned her.

  Then he was before her. No, not before her, but before Alerac. Another vision, another one starring Lorcan. He was smiling his twisted, evil grin.

  “I said you would get to live. ” Lorcan bent and picked up the silver knife. “But I never vowed that you would not suffer. ”

  Another vampire yanked back Alerac’s head.

  “I think I’ll start with your eyes,” Lorcan said. “After all, what good is a wolf who cannot see?”

  The blade came toward him. The silver burned and cut and the pain rolled through him.

  In her mind, Jane was screaming. She was crying. She was so desperate to escape that silver knife.

  She didn’t see Lorcan any longer. She saw red—blood.

  Then she saw nothing.

  ***

  “No!” Jane reached for her eyes, sobbing. She’d been sentenced to a lifetime of darkness. She hadn’t meant—

  “Jane?”

  Her breath froze.

  His fingers wrapped around her wrists. “What’s wrong?”

  She didn’t lower her hands. “I saw more of your memories. ” She was sure starting to think that she was far better off without the knowledge of the past.

  The past freaking terrified her.

  Jane forced herself to take a deep breath. Then she lowered her hands. “Lorcan…”

  “You saw him in the visions?”

  Saw him, and would never be able to forget that SOB. He’d enjoyed hurting her—and Alerac. Jane nodded. “I saw what he did…to you. ” She looked into his eyes, those glowing eyes that didn’t belong to a man.

  But to the beast.

  “He took your eyes. ”

  Alerac’s chest was bare. The sheet tangled around his waist. He leaned over her, caging her against the covers.

  Her hand lifted to his cheek. “He took your eyes. ”

  He caught her hand. “Don’t worry, I plan to take a hell of a lot more from him. ”

  Was that supposed to make her feel better? It didn’t. “Is that why your eyes glow?”

  “I lost the eyes of the man. ” No emotion was in his voice. “When a werewolves shifts, the beasts heal our injuries. When I finally healed, the beast gave me even better eyes than I’d had before. Stronger. Sharper. ”

  Finally healed. “How long did it take you to heal?”

  “Long enough. ”

  That wasn’t an answer.

  “It doesn’t matter. ” Now there was emotion sliding through his mask as he eased away from her.

  She thought it did matter. “One hundred years. ” That had been the punishment determined by Lorcan. “You searched for me, all that time?”

  “No. ”

  She blinked.

  “It was two hundred years. After you took the knife and stabbed Lorcan,” a wry smile curved his lips as he seemed to recall the memory, “he got pissed and upped your sentence. ”

  She’d stabbed the guy.

  Good.

  The two hundred years part? Not so good. Yet somehow that didn’t bother her as much as the fact that… “He cut out your eyes. I-I thought you were supposed to be protected. ” The vampiress in her vision—Keira, me—she’d wanted to protect Alerac. Not get him tortured.

  Alerac rose from the bed. He walked toward the closet.

  Nice ass.

  He hauled on a pair of jeans and destroyed her nice view. “You were more important than my damn eyes. ” He turned back to face her. “My pack was coming. We had planned a dawn attack on the vampires. You should have still been there at the keep. They would have gotten you out. Gotten me free. I would have killed Lorcan—”

  “Why didn’t you kill him?” She pulled the covers over her breasts.

  His hand rose and pressed against the tattoo that covered his heart. “Because he was the only one who knew where you were. He sent men to hide you, to lock you up, and then his witc
h killed them. ”

  She didn’t remember meeting any witches, but, even so, the very idea of them was making her plenty nervous.

  “I had to let Lorcan live as long as you were trapped. He was the only one that would be able to free you. That fuckin’ bastard. I dreamed of killin’ him, again and again. ” His accent thickened a bit as his hand dropped. “Now I can. You’re safe, and he’s about to be minus a head. ”

  She hurried from the bed. “All of the other vampires—did you kill them for vengeance?”

  Those images were still in her head, too. Alerac, soaked in blood. Alerac, feeding on them.

  He stared back at her. “They were allied with Lorcan. I thought they might know where you were. ” His lips twisted. “You aren’t the only one who can drink memories, you know. ”

  Her lips parted but she wasn’t sure what to say then.

  “You changed me. ” His voice was low. “I planned to use you. Fuck, you think I like admitting it? Seduce the vampiress, then use her to get inside the castle. ”

  Wasn’t that exactly what he’d done?

  “Something changed. ” He wasn’t touching her. She found that she couldn’t touch him.

  I love you.

  She’d told him that. When they were surrounded by vampires. When she’d traded her life for his.

  But he hadn’t given her the same words.

  “I planned to destroy all of the vampires in that clan, but not you. Not you. I was going to take you with me. ”

  “You’d had my blood. ” And he’d realized that it made him stronger?

  He gave a grim nod. “But more than that, I’d had you. ”

  “Alerac—”

  Then she heard the shouts from outside. Angry. Desperate. In the next instant, she and Alerac were both running to the window.

  The sun was still out, and it should have weakened her when she pressed open that glass.

  It didn’t. Just as it hadn’t weakened her when she’d been on that motorcycle with him.

  Because of his blood? Alerac had told her the truth. It sure seemed as if she’d built up some kind of immunity to the sunlight, thanks to him.

  She saw Zoe and Finn. They were rushing toward the main cabin, with—with Heath between them?

  “What the hell is he doing here?” Alerac demanded.

  “Jane!” Heath shouted, looking up at that same moment. Blood dripped down his face and neck. “Help me!”

  She started to race down to him.

  “No. ” Alerac wrapped his hand around her wrist. “He’s working for Lorcan. ”

  Heath looked as if he were dying.

  Alerac’s gaze found hers. “We’ll see him together. I want to discover just what game the doc thinks he’s playing. ”

  “What if it’s not a game? What if he just needs help?”

  “He sold you out before. ” His eyes narrowed. “As far as I’m concerned, that’s a killing crime. ”

  She glanced back down at Heath’s slumped figure. To her, it appeared as if someone had already tried to kill him.

  And, if Heath didn’t get help soon, he might not survive much longer at all.

  Chapter Nine

  Zoe and Finn dropped Heath on the floor. The doc hit the wood and moaned. A pitiful sound.

  An annoying sound.

  Jane attempted to hurry toward the guy.

  Smothering a sigh, Alerac just blocked her path.

  “Would you stop that?” Jane snapped at him.

  No, he wouldn’t, because he didn’t trust the guy. “You searched him for weapons?” Alerac demanded of Zoe and Finn.

  Zoe glanced up at him. “No guns. No knives. No stakes. ” Her nose wrinkled. “Just a bloody and beat-up human. ”

  “Where’d you find him?”

  “He was dumped on the south side of our land,” Finn answered quickly. “Found him when I was patrolling to make sure Liam hadn’t come back. ”

  Dumped—or delivered?

  “Pl-please…” Heath muttered. “Help…”

  Jane shoved Alerac out of her way and knelt next to the doctor. She turned him over, and when she got a good look at his face, Jane gasped.

  His nose had been broken. His left eye was swollen shut. Blood dripped from his mouth—aw, did the doc lose some teeth?—and gaping wounds covered his throat.

  “He’s…insane…” Heath whispered. “You…you have to help me…”

  Zoe and Finn were still standing close by.

  “You need to be taken to a hospital,” Jane said. She looked over at Zoe. “We’re going to need a car to transport him. ”

  Heath grabbed her hand.

  Alerac tensed. You’re about to lose that hand.

  “N-no, hospital. I’d—I’d have to explain…the bites…”

  “You’re hurt. You need help,” Jane told him. “You could die!”

  “N-need blood…”

  The hell, no.

  Alerac marched forward. He grabbed Heath and hauled the guy to his feet. “Tell me that you’re not this much of a dumbass. ”

  The man blinked at him.

  “You don’t seriously think,” Alerac continued, letting his disgust show, “that you can drag your carcass in here, after what you’ve done, and get blood from Jane?”

  “D-dying…” Heath whispered pitifully.

  “Bull. ” The wounds actually seemed to already be…healing.

  Healing as Alerac stared at them.

  Suspicion churned in his gut. “You bastard. ”

  Heath tried to pull free.

  Alerac wasn’t letting him go. “You were her doctor, her friend, for these last six months. She trusted you—and you…you took her blood, didn’t you?”

  Heath was fighting to get free now.
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