Chapter Thirty Seven
I blink, feeling the car stop. I must have dozed off. The car door opens and I look up to see the man holding out a hand to me.
“Careful of the gravel,” he warns, grasping my hand and pulling me out of the car.
I gasp. The moment he touches me the buzzing in my ears stop and the crawly feeling on my skin disappears. I haven’t felt like this since my magic awoke. His touch soothes it away.
He smiles down at me, his eyes full of shock and wonder.
“How?” I whisper.
“I’ll explain later. We must go inside now, but your friend must wait out here.”
He nods behind me and I turned to see Connor standing by his brother’s car. I frown. What is Conner doing here? Wait. What am I doing here?
“Alex, are you okay?” Connor asks, taking a step closer. “I followed you guys here when you wouldn’t answer me. I thought you might be in trouble.”
“No,” the man holds up his hand, halting Connor’s steps. “You will stay here.” Power radiates from his voice. Conner blinks and nods. It is similar to what Uncle Sabien had done to my father the night my magic came roaring to life. He’d told him to go to bed. Now this man has kept Josh from moving.
“I…” What’s going on? How did I get here? Why am I with the psycho guy from the mall? Ohh, this can’t be at all good.
“Do not be afraid, little one,” the man soothes. “All is well.”
“Who are you?”
“I am Nathaniel Winters.”
I don’t understand what is going on. My head is all fuzzy.
“Alex, Devon is on his way,” Conner tells me softly, the strain evident in his voice. He must be fighting whatever hold Nathaniel has on him. “I called him on the way here.”
“Devon?” I whisper. I look around and recognize the house. We are at the old Monroe House. It had been abandoned in the early 1920’s.
“It will do him no good to come here,” I hear Nathaniel say and try to focus on what he is talking about. “She belongs to us—to me. Come, little one, we must hurry. Let’s go inside.”
I nod. Yes, we should go inside. He pulls me along up the porch steps and I vaguely hear him order Connor not to come inside.
He leads me into the foyer and then to the right. It looks to be a large room, maybe a sitting area. There are other people there as well, watching me. Their faces are full of some emotion I can’t define. They almost look…hungry. It scares me. I take an instinctive step closer to Nathaniel. I feel safe with him. Why I don’t know. But I do. Crap. What is it with me feeling safe with the most dangerous people? I must be more screwed up in the head than even I realize.
“You have done well, little brother.”
The woman who spoke looks young as well. She can’t have been more than twenty-five or so. Long red hair frames a lovely face with beautiful ivory skin and blue eyes. She looks like an angel. Her smile, meant to be welcoming, puts me on edge. There is something almost feral about her. Her eyes, I decide. Predatory eyes. They remind me of the look in the Werecats eyes right before they attacked me.
Attack! Oh no! My mind clears enough to remember that Nathaniel came to the mall yesterday with some friends to attack me. And what did little ol’ moi do? I let him lead me, pretty as you please, into a trap. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I need Morgan. He’d take care of everything. I just need to stay alive until he got here.
There is no answer. I can’t find him, can’t feel him. Panic hits me hard. My stomach knots up and bile rose in my throat as fear races along my veins. The wolf in me tries to surface, but something keeps her at bay, sleeping. This is bad. Very, very, bad.
“No,” the woman smiles at me. “There will be no help coming for you. I made sure of that. You have been cut off from your mate, your compagnon d'âme. The potion you drank at the dance did the trick. You made it so easy for us, sweetling. So trusting you are. A true lamb to the slaughter.”
Potion? I didn’t drink any….oh, crap! The drink Tom brought me. I remember how bitter it tasted. Right after that I got sick and went outside and found Nathaniel waiting for me. Crap, crap, crap!
“No,” Nathaniel shakes his head at his sister. “There will be no slaughter this night, Lorelye.”
“We need her power, Nathaniel. There is only one way to get it.”
“I’ll never let you harm her, Lorelye,” Nathaniel says, his voice hard and full of power. It lashes out at his sister.
“What is this, little brother? How do you think we are to gain her power? It lies in her blood. In order for us to absorb it, we need her blood.”
“She’ll become one of us, but we won’t harm her.”
Lorelye narrows her eyes at her brother before smiling at him. “You always were the weakest of us, Nathaniel. It is of no matter. I will have her power.”
“I won’t let you hurt her.” He pushes me behind his back. “She is my compliment.”
“What?” Lorelye shrieks. “It’s not possible!”
“But it is. Her touch soothes the burning in my blood as mine does hers. It’s a sacred bond protected by the ancient laws.”
He takes up a defensive position in front of me, his feet braced apart.
What the crap? Why does he want to protect me now? And what is all this nonsense about compliments?
Lorelye’s eyes burn with rage as she stares at her brother.
“It doesn’t matter,” she tells him calmly. “Her power will be mine. If I have to kill you to get it, so be it. Mother will be disappointed, of course, but she’ll understand.”
“I’m sure she’ll understand that you tried to kill me once I explain to her that you wanted to destroy my compliment.”
“You’re assuming you’re going to live that long.”
Lorelye smiles wickedly. “Let’s see what you have, little brother.”
My eyes widen at the power levels rising in the room. I can feel it burst over my skin and I’m standing directly in its path. Oh, crap. Devon’s coming, I remind myself. Connor said Devon is coming. He’ll have Morgan with him. I feel myself panic again as I reach out to Morgan and feel only emptiness. They will be here soon.
But would it be before these two crazies destroy each other or me?