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Author’s note: Another big THANKS to anyone who takes the time to read, I certainly hope you enjoy yourself.
A special appreciation if you decide to vote or leave a comment, those who do motivate me to keep writing.
Just a gentle reminder that this is a continuous story and will sometimes flow seamlessly from the previous chapters. I highly suggest reading the chapters in order if you’d like to know what’s going on.
For those of you who have read the entire thing and patiently wait for each update, I promise I have no intentions of abandoning this story, and will continue writing it until its completion. (Although I do occasionally come down with a bad case of procrastination, sorry!)
“Anything?” I asked Silas as I came out of my room.
SIlas had sent someone to investigate as soon as I had returned with news of what I found. He had insisted I take a hot shower and then get some rest, although I hadn’t managed a wink of sleep.
“Nothing concrete yet. Cade and the others are not finished their report.”
I sighed, the tension in me obvious in my crossed arms.
“Give them some time, Makara.”
Nodding, I moved to sit beside him on the couch, mildly aware of the awkwardness present after our conversation the day before.
“She was in my dreams when I was shifting, and when I found her, I thought maybe someone had…maybe she had been…”
I couldn’t bring myself to say the words.
“And if that’s what happened, we’ll find whoever’s responsible. But those caves are dangerous, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was just a tragic accident.”
An accident would be better. Well, not for Emery, but it’s better for everyone else if there’s not a murderer wandering around.
“What were you even doing all the way out there?”
“I just needed to be outside, and once I got there, I just needed to run, I didn’t pay attention to where I was going.”
“Well, you should be proud.”
“Why?” I questioned, looking at him with surprise widened eyes.
“You did great out there, tracking her down with your scent, and then following your nose back home when you didn’t know the way. That’s no small feat for someone who’s freshly shifted.”
“Oh,” I couldn’t help but smile. “Umm, thank you.”
“Come in,” Silas called in response to the knock on the door, moving past me to greet whoever was on the other side.
“Atlar,” he addressed when the vampire appeared in the open door. “What can I help you with?”
“Hello, Silas, Makara,” he spared me a head nod, and turned back to the Alpha. “Silas, I’m about to leave for my meeting with the humans.”
I looked between the two men. I knew it would be more polite for me to give them some privacy, but I was nosey, and nobody was asking me to leave, so I watched quietly.
“I trust Axis is ready to join you?”
“Yes, that’s what I’d like to speak to you about actually. I urge you to reconsider sending Axis. As I explained, this is a very delicate situation with the humans that could lead to war between us and them.”
“The treaty is clear, Atlar. You’re restricted in the same way we are. The vampires aren’t permitted to have any major meetings without a werewolf representative. I would certainly call this a major meeting, wouldn’t you?”
“Of course. But consider for a moment that the humans aren’t expecting a wolf, and Axis doesn’t want to go. He’s intimidating enough on a good day, but what do you think will happen if I show up with a grumpy werewolf enforcer?”
“I am sympathetic to your plight, Atlar, but the rule is in place for all of our safety, we can’t just ignore it when it’s inconvenient for us to follow it.”
“I understand, and I ask only that you consider an alternative representative.”
“I’ll go,” I blurted before I realized what I was saying. Both men turned towards me, shock shaping both of their expressions.
“No, you won’t,” Silas stated, matter of factly before turning back to the vampire.
I moved to stand in front of Silas, unwilling to allow him to brush me off as my father and brother always had.
“We need a representative there, and Atlar needs someone less…abrasive…than Axis.”
“Then I’ll send Bridger, or Cade.”
“Cade’s busy, and I would hardly consider Bridger any less intimidating. Besides, it’s better if I keep myself busy. I don’t want to just wait around here, hoping for answers.”
He watched me intently as I spoke, his hard eyes flicking back and forth between mine. He was unconvinced, but I knew he was considering it, so I pushed harder.
“You keep telling me I’m going to have an important role, but you have yet to give me any tasks.”
He sighed, but remained stubbornly silent.
“Come on, Silas, I can do this. Please.”
“How long will you be gone?” He spoke above my head, directly to Atlar.
“No more than two days,” he responded, a hopeful beat to his tone.
Silas looked back down at me.
I scurried to my bedroom, ecstatic that Silas had maltepe escort agreed.
“She’s your responsibility, vampire,” I could still hear Silas talking, and continued to listen as I quickly packed a bag. “If any harm comes to her while she’s in your care, I promise, you will regret it.”
Within a few minutes, I was packed and we were on the road, Atlar in the driver’s seat, and me in the passenger seat of a sleek black car.
“Well this is awkward,” I announced.
“Why?” he flashed me a sharp smile. “Is it because the last time we were together you had your brother’s tongue down your throat?” I groaned as he finished his sentence. “Or is it that once he left, you confessed your attraction for me?”
“Both of those, actually.”
I stared out the window as he laughed, hoping to hide my red face.
“Don’t worry about it, Makara. It’s a bigger deal in your culture than it is in mine. Vampires live for hundreds of years, and you don’t live that long without crossing a few lines.”
“Well that’s wonderful, but I’m not a vampire.”
“I just mean that you don’t have to be embarrassed in front of me.” He nudged my shoulder with his elbow. Even through the fabric of my shirt, I could feel the warmth of his skin.
He nudged me again, and I moved to swat his hand away playfully, but he was quicker than me, and snatched his arm away before I got the chance. His gaze alternated between me and the road, and when his lips turned up in a devilish smile, I couldn’t help but mirror him.
“Thanks,” I told him, surprised by how comforted his antics had actually made me feel.
“Thanks back. You’re really saving my ass by taking Axis’ place,” he explained when I gave him a confused look.
“Is it really that bad?”
“Yes.” He nodded as he spoke the word. “The humans are afraid right now, and everyone knows how humans get when they’re scared.”
“You mean panicked and violent? What does that have to do with you?”
“Well I’m not just a pretty face, you know, I’m also second to the clan leader which makes it my job to clean up stupid, impulsive messes created by vampires with too much free time and not enough brain cells.”
“Are there many of those?” I asked him, a small smile spreading across my face.
“Messes? Or brain cell-lacking vampires?” He paused for a brief moment, seemingly waiting for my answer, but began again before I could provide him with one. “Actually it doesn’t matter, the answer’s the same; yes.”
A laugh escaped me before I could stop it, a light hearted sound that carried away the weight of the last few days. Atlar smiled at me and a comfortable quiet settled over the car. It only took a few minutes for my head to lean back against the headrest, and my eyes to fall shut.
“I’m glad you decided to come with me,” Atlar spoke as we crossed the threshold of a rather plain looking room. “It’s nice to finally be alone.”
When I turned to face him his lips crashed into mine and I groaned in approval when his arms held me tight to his bare chest. He must have removed his shirt the second we were inside. His hands found themselves under my shirt, deftly sliding it over my head, breaking the kiss just long enough to pull it free. He tossed it aside, annoyed that it had ever interfered with his access.
I happily accepted his tongue as it prodded for entrance, moving to wrap my arms around his neck as he did so. Without warning, his hands wrapped around my wrists, using the grip to stiffly turn me around. I gave a whimpered mewl, unsure if was at the loss of his kiss, the fire his forceful move had lit in my core, or both.
Pressing himself against my back he leaned in, dusting my neck with kisses.
“Do you want to be mine?”
My body, so focused on the possessive, sultry tone of his voice and the light touch of his lips, made no effort to prepare a response. I swallowed thickly, urging my mind to search for the words to express my desire for more. As if he could read my thoughts, he brought his arms around me, his practiced hands making short work of the fastenings of my pants.
My own hands went behind me, fumbling with the button and zipper keeping me from his hard manhood, so close I could barely stand it. He shifted his hips away, giving me more room to work. My excitement threatened to buckle my knees as the button popped open, followed immediately by the wonderfully distinct sound of his zipper releasing as I pulled it down. I reached blindly for the elastic of his boxers, plunging my hand inside the second I found it.
He called my name, the shout nothing like the gravelly utterance I would expect from a man so clearly enjoying himself.
“Makara!” He called again, the contrast between the coolness of his tone and the heat of the situation splitting my eyes open.
I nearly slammed my head into the window as I jolted awake. Atlar stood outside the car, his hand on the driver’s seat, supporting his weight as he leaned maslak escort over to me, shaking my shoulder gently.
“We’re here. And it’s about damn time too. I’ll need a cold shower after that car ride.”
“What?” My sleep addled mind panicked, convinced he knew of his part in my dream.
“I may be a vampire, but I still find the scent of arousal from a pretty girl just as titillating as a wolf would. I don’t know what you were dreaming about, but it sure seemed liked a good time.”
“Sorry,” I mumbled sheepishly.
“Don’t be. You ready to go in?”
“Yeah.” I answered, thankful for the change in subject.
Humans filed out of the large building in front of us, they lined a path from the door to the car, standing ominously still and quiet. Their dark clothes stood out against the red brick of the building, but did nothing to hide the weapons at their sides.
I gave Atlar a nervous look, unsure if this was the welcome he was expecting. He flashed me an easy smile. A man, surrounded by an air of authority, walked along the line of humans until he came face to face with Atlar.
“Atlar, I presume?”
“Yes, sir,” Atlar spoke respectfully, shaking the outstretched hand the man offered him.
“I’m Simon Luxor, Chief of Police for this village,” he introduced himself, his voice deep and gruff in a way that matched his rugged face. “We weren’t expecting you to bring company. Who’s this?” He motioned towards me without looking. A part of me wanted to scold him for dismissing me, acting as though I were an inconvenience to him, but I decided against it. Atlar had already told me how important this meeting was, and I didn’t want to jeopardize anything for him.
“This is Makara, she represents the werewolves.”
If Simon was surprised at the revelation, he didn’t show it.
“I wasn’t aware this matter concerned any werewolves. “
“It doesn’t, not directly anyway. But, the vampires and the werewolves have a standing treaty and Makara’s presence here is required to uphold it. Besides, it might be prudent for the humans to set terms with the wolves as well, two birds with one stone and all that.”
“And what position does Makara hold to be able to authorize such an arrangement?” Simon scowled.
The metallic taste of blood tinged my mouth as I bit my tongue, hard enough to keep the profanity I wanted to shout safely unspoken. The two men spared me a glance and I offered them the most polite smile I could muster, however devoid of actual happiness. Atlar’s gaze lingered a little longer, the corner of his mouth cracked infinitesimally, a sympathetic half grin paired with his soft, kind eyes. I saw an apology there, though anyone not looking for it would be forever ignorant to its presence. I allowed it to soften the edges of my anger, nodding my head almost imperceptibly in a silent acceptance for only Atlar to see.
“Makara is a well respected member of her pack, she has many responsibilities and the Alphas often seek her company. To give her any one title would belittle her importance. But I assure you, as the werewolf representative, she has the authority you speak of.”
“I understand your politics are different from ours,” Simon began with the beginnings of incredulous condescension. “But surely there is a position in our own hierarchy that is equivalent to-“
“There is no equivalent for Makara.” Atlar interrupted him, his tone a warning that the human was pushing things too far. “If, for some reason, my assurance is not enough, then perhaps you should note that Makara is also my mate, and I expect for you to show her the same respect and courtesy you show me.”
His words were slow to register, heavy with the severity of their meaning. Simon looked back at me, as if looking for confirmation. I smiled at him, nodding politely before I even realized what was happening.
I felt a nudge in my mind and opened myself up to my wolf.
“You’ve been quiet,” I thought to her. She pushed through a feeling of intense boredom. “Bored, are you? And what exactly would be more interesting than this?” I regretted the question as soon as I asked it. She showed me images of things from my dreams, replaying how it felt to have someone up against me, snippets of memories of hard bodies and heated flesh. She sent another feeling through me, one that sat low in my stomach and pulsed through my core. Instinct squeezed my legs together, searching for some type of friction, and I was able to pick out the scent of my arousal. I was suddenly glad to be surrounded by humans, until I saw Atlar smirking at me.
“Is that all you think about?” I scolded her, my face red. She flicked her tail at me, prancing around in her amusement.
“Very well,” Simon spoke, breaking me out of my head. “Welcome Atlar and Makara,” he addressed both of us. “The Mayor would like to see you right away, if you’ll follow me.”
Atlar moved towards the back of the car, pressing the button to open the trunk with a ‘chirp’.
“Stop!” mecidiyeköy escort Someone yelled, and when I looked up every human, save for the chief himself, had their weapons trained on Atlar. I froze, unsure what to do, but Atlar flashed them an effortless smile.
“Easy, boys. Just getting our bags from the trunk.” He lifted his arms, showing the men his empty hands, keys dangling from one finger.
“Don’t worry about those,” Simon started. “We’ll have them brought to your room. I assume the one room we prepared will suffice?”
“Yes,” Atlar answered for both of us, dropping his arms and handing the keys over to the chief.
“Excellent, follow me.”
“Before we do,” Simon stopped in his tracks at Atlar’s hesitation. “Might I request your men put their guns down? It’s starting to feel like you might not trust me, and such a thought is a little off putting.”
Simon glared at him momentarily, clearly appraising his intentions, but eventually waved a hand at the aiming officers. With practiced obedience, their weapons were once again holstered, and their arms unmoving at their side.
We followed Simon into a lavishly decorated room. On one side, a leather couch and two leather arm chairs sat surrounding a large oak coffee table. On the other, a magnificent desk, bigger even than Silas’, with an intricate design carved into the legs. Behind the desk was a shelf, lined floor to ceiling with books, all with titles related to human politics, or city planning. I noticed a crystal decanter sitting on a small table under the window, and pushed my senses to pick up the scent of the brown liquid inside, proud of myself when I succeeded.
“The Mayor will be with you shortly. Feel free to make yourselves comfortable,” Simon spoke as he let us walk past him, moving back to the door. I caught a glimpse of two of his officers guarding the door before Simon closed it behind him.
“I want to apologize for that whole mate thing out there,” Atlar started. “I know that’s probably not the way you wanted to get his respect, but he was starting to make me angry, and that’s the only way I could think of to diffuse the situation without pulling his teeth out with my bare hands.”
“That’s okay,” I answered, knowing the simple white lie had served its purpose. “But that does mean that you’ll have to share a room with me now.”
“Have to? Or get to?”
He smiled as colour enflamed my cheeks, and an uncomfortable quiet permeated the room.
“The humans are really worked up,” I mentioned casually, my nerves urging me to fill the silence.
“Yep, that’s how they get with anything new or different. Although the unprovoked murder probably doesn’t help.”
“What exactly happened here, anyway? You never actually told me.”
“Ferris happened. He went rogue, came to the nearest human town and turned four young men, killed another three along the way.”
“Wow. Those were the four you were with at the bar, I suppose? The ones who attacked Cade?”
“Yeah. They’re stupid, and immature, and think that just because they have certain advantages over others, that somehow makes them rulers of the world. A lot like Ferris actually. They’re with the clan now. We’ll see if we can hammer some semblance of control and decent behavior into them. Now we have to hope the humans don’t declare war.”
As if on cue, the door to the office swung open, and a powerful looking woman made long strides to the desk. Simon followed behind her, along with two more officers. The woman sat in the large chair on the other side of the desk, leaving the men to stand behind her. There were no seats for guests, save for the couch set on the other side of the room, so we stood in front of her.
“Let’s get this over with,” she barked.
Simon presented us to the Mayor, introducing her only by her title.
“Before we begin, I’d like to express our gratitude that you would allow Makara and I to stay in your beautiful home.”
“Don’t. I didn’t do it for your thanks, I did it to keep an eye on you. I need to keep my people safe from any more…creatures.” She spoke the word with undisguised disgust.
She looked right at me, and her hard gaze compelled me to respond to her.
“I assure you, we want the same thing. We’re not here to hurt anyone.”
“I should hope not. We wouldn’t stand idly by and allow that.” She allowed a dangerous edge to creep into her voice, raising tiny bumps on my skin.
“What does that mean?” Atlar asked her, his own tone dropping almost imperceptibly.
“It means, that we will not hesitate to use our considerable arsenal, and from what I understand, higher quantity of soldiers to protect ourselves. Preemptively, if need be.” Her barely concealed threat hung in the air.
“Let’s try to avoid that, shall we? We would, of course, respond in kind. Vampires can be dangerous, and humans are rather vulnerable in the mortality department, and they’re slow to heal.”
The Mayor gnashed her teeth together, and I could see her figurative hackles raise at Altar’s challenge.
“They can also be quite resilient-“
“Like cockroaches,” Atlar interrupted her, his own back up in defense at her blatant provocation, showing no indication of backing down. I cleared my throat, hoping to get his attention. He didn’t look at me, so I settled for trying to stare some sense into the side of his head.
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