WARNING: This chapter contains strong language and sexual references.
Xavier waited outside for more than two hours before he saw wolves begin circling the area. He could read their minds easily – Allanna’s father hadn’t gone for the idea of peace, and he’d ordered his pack to make sure she didn’t get out of his house. That meant that Allanna was essentially stuck in her parents’ house against her will.
Xavier sighed in frustration. If only he could get in there to save her! But there was no way he could do that. He was greatly outnumbered, and wolves had strong enough teeth to rip apart the flesh of even the strongest vampire. He’d never stand a chance. And if he died, that wouldn’t do Allanna any good either.
Finally giving in, he decided to confront Mortius himself. He’d changed his mind about his tactic. It would be better to give it to Mortius straight rather than going through Malik. Taking Allanna’s car, he drove toward the swankier part of town.
When he arrived at Mortius’s big mansion at last, Xavier snuck a quick peek at his palm. He could still make out a tiny outline of Allanna’s pentagram, visible through his superior vision. He was as ready as he would ever be.
Summoning up his determination, Xavier reached Mortius’s chamber with no hassles. But that wasn’t surprising – he was certain that Mortius knew he was there. He was expecting him. Because Mortius was an elder vampire, he could read the mind of anyone whether they willed him to or not. It was quite troublesome.
“It’s been a long time, Xavier,” Mortius said by way of greeting when Xavier entered the chamber.
“Mortius,” Xavier said coldly. “We need to talk.”
“Yes, we do, don’t we? Why don’t we start with where we left off? After you once again took that animal and fled. You have quite the courage to come back here, I must admit.”
“I came back here because I have a proposition for you.”
“Proposition? Surely you jest. You have no proposition for me. It’s all for you, and I can tell that simply by reading your mind.”
“Mortius, this war has gone on long enough, don’t you think? You weren’t personally involved when this feud began, yet you enforce some unwritten rule to hate werewolves. What did they ever do to you? Our kind enslaved them centuries ago, so if anyone has the right to hate the opposite species, it’s them.”
“My, you’ve become quite opinionated about werewolves since frolicking around with that little lycan, haven’t you? Xavier, surely you know that werewolves retaliated against us for enslaving them. They sparked the war, not us.”
“Bullshit. If our kind hadn’t enslaved them to begin with, they wouldn’t have needed to retaliate! Mortius, I’m tired of this. So here’s how it’s gonna work. You stop this stupid rivalry, let the werewolves keep their land, and in return, I’ll leave your clan since I know I’ve pissed you off for the last time.”
Mortius raised his eyebrows. Then he threw his head back and laughed. “Xavier,” he said when he managed to compose himself, “I must say, in all my years, never have I heard something so humorous.”
“I’m not trying to be amusing. I’m serious.”
“I realize that, but do you really think I’m just going to let you go? You defied me, you sided with the enemy, and worse than that – you’ve followed in your mother’s footsteps.”
Xavier’s fists clenched at his sides as he tried to restrain himself. He was tired of this asshole tarnishing his mother’s name. And he was tired of taking orders from him. Mortius wasn’t an alpha male, he just thought he was. And it was time he learned his lesson.
But Xavier didn’t get the chance to beat that lesson into Mortius’s face. That’s because he found himself being grabbed by two sets of hands. He turned around to see one set of arms belonging to Cedric and the other to Gloria.
“You won’t hurt my father,” Gloria hissed. “And how could you? You chose a mongrel over me?! Are you mad?!”
“No I’m not mad,” Xavier said sarcastically, “I’m fucking pissed off. Now let me go!”
“I won’t allow that to happen again,” Mortius said as he rose from his throne like a king. “But first, there is someone that would like to see you.”
Xavier snapped his face up as his captors spun him around to face the door, and saw his father approaching him with a disgruntled look in his eyes.
“Son,” he said as he walked forward, “you disappoint me. I’d hoped you’d never follow in the path of your mother. I always had a feeling you might, considering you took her death so hard. But for you to do exactly what she did…”
“Father, don’t you see? Mother just fell in love again. I’m sorry that it wasn’t with you, and I don’t condone her committing adultery, but to kill her? If you truly loved her, you never would have allowed that to happen.”
“Dorian made the right choice,” Mortius said from behind Xavier. “He knew that Vivica needed to be punished for what she did. And now you must also be punished. Gloria, if you’d please.”
Gloria released her hold on Xavier and went to stand next to her father’s throne. A second pair of hands replaced hers on Xavier’s arm. He looked to his side to see his father. Then, to his disdain, he saw Malik.
“Malik,” he said desperately, “you agree with me, don’t you?”
“I’m sorry man,” Malik said with genuine sincerity, his eyes apologetic. “I’ve got no choice here.”
“Yes you do,” Xavier insisted. “This guy isn’t a leader. He’s a dictator.”
“That’s enough,” Mortius said. “Gentlemen, would you deal with that please? The smell is revolting.”
Cedric and Dorian tightened their grips on Xavier’s arms. But they didn’t do what they intended to, which was rip his arms straight out of their sockets. Instead, Dorian glared at the palm that was extended toward him.
“Mortius,” he said with chagrin, “it appears that our little betrayer has been made a victim of the enemy.”
Mortius walked forward and saw the slight outline of the pentagram etched into Xavier’s palm. He shook his head in displeasure before saying, “It appears we’ll have to find something else to do with you. I look forward to finding the appropriate punishment for you. And that mark on your palm will forever be a reminder of why you weren’t granted a quick and slightly more merciful death.”
One week later…
Allanna’s father had clearly stated that she wasn’t to leave the house. Thankfully, he let her go back to her home with Cynthia. Her best friend had been ecstatic to see her again, but she wasn’t too thrilled about what Allanna had told her father. The beta wolves circled the house regularly to ensure that Allanna didn’t disobey the alpha, and even Cynthia had to get involved with that plot. The only way she was able to get to work was because their childhood friend Devan was taking her, since Allanna's car was missing. Apparently Cynthia and Devan had become pretty well acquainted in Allanna’s absence, and he’d driven her to work since Allanna’s car had been missing (in actuality, it had been in the parking garage since Allanna was abducted). He continued to do so now since her car was still in absentia.
Allanna was right in her prediction that she wouldn’t have a job when she returned – going MIA for months wasn’t a good way to keep employment. She was going stir-crazy being cooped up inside all day. She felt like she was still in prison, only this time it was worse because it was her family’s doing. How barbaric could one get?
Allanna was lying on the couch around midnight, feeling utterly depressed while Cynthia worked, when she suddenly felt nauseous. She jumped off the couch and ran to the bathroom covering her mouth with her hand. She then knelt down and threw up in the toilet.
After she finished retching, she tried to catch her breath before flushing the toilet. Why had she suddenly felt nauseous? She had no reason to. She hadn’t eaten anything that didn’t agree with her. She chalked it up to being stress-induced.
Finally standing up, Allanna flushed the toilet and went to wash the acrid taste out of her mouth. She then stared down into the sink, fighting off tears. If anyone had told her in the past that she’d be feeling lonely for a vampire, who had become her true love, she would have laughed in their face and then smacked them. But now, those feelings couldn’t be ignored. She wanted to see Xavier again. She was desperate for his companionship. But how was she going to pull that off?
As she stared into the sink, Allanna had a thought. Cynthia was her best friend, and they’d always trusted each other with everything. Maybe she could talk Cynthia into helping her out. She wasn’t even sure where Xavier was. He hadn’t come back for her, plus her car was missing. She had the feeling that something was terribly wrong.
Staggering out of the bathroom in a stupor, Allanna suddenly felt hungry. Her stomach wasn’t growling but she was having cravings. She opened the fridge and peered inside. She saw some olives and decided to make herself an olive platter. She also found some nacho chips and cheese in a cupboard and began making some nachos as well. When she finished, she sat down to savor her snacks.
As she indulged, Allanna thought about possible tactics for getting Cynthia to be on her side. She hadn’t mentioned that she was in love with a vampire, but surely Cynthia would understand.
As she was thinking this, Allanna suddenly felt sick again. She threw down her nacho chip and hustled into the bathroom, barely making it to the toilet.
“Fuck!” she exclaimed as she stood up again, rubbing her stomach after the painful retching. “What is going on?”
Just then, the front door opened. Allanna hadn’t realized that it was so late. Cynthia was coming home from her shift at the Strip Tease. She walked out of the bathroom and saw her friend standing at the door.
“Hey Cyn,” she said by way of greeting.
Cynthia looked at her friend, then saw the half-finished food on the table. “Hungry?”
“I was craving something.”
“I can see that. How are you doing?”
“Going stir-crazy, but okay except for that. Oh, and I just threw up twice.”
“What? Don’t tell me you’ve got the stomach flu already.”
“No, I don’t think that’s it. I think it’s stress.”
“Stressed about your dad?”
“You could put it that way.”
Cynthia shook her head before sitting down on the couch. Allanna cleaned up the half-eaten plates and went to join her.
“You better not be contagious,” Cynthia warned.
Allanna shook her head. “No, I’m not. Like I said, it’s just stress. My stomach didn’t even hurt and I haven’t eaten anything I haven’t eaten a million times before. I’ll be okay. How was work?”
“The usual. Although now I’m keeping my eyes open for any leeches that may show up to kidnap me.”
“Cyn, I need to ask you something.”
Cynthia glanced to her side and saw the serious look on her friend’s face. “What is it?” she asked.
Allanna took a deep breath and, though she’d planned to be calm and subtle, she found herself pouring out everything in her story at once, beginning to blubber, the words spilling out of her mouth like the tirade of vomit that had done the same thing not long ago.
When she finished, Cynthia’s eyes were wide and filled with disbelief as well as sorrow. For one horrible moment, Allanna thought that Cynthia would transform and try to kill her. But instead, Cynthia’s face softened before she said, “I think you’re crazy to be in love with a vampire, but you’re still my best friend. You’re like the sister I always wanted. Ashlyn’s a little bitch so she doesn’t count. Allanna, I want to help you, I really do, but how can I? I could end up killed or severely punished if I just let you escape.”
“You wouldn’t just be letting me escape. You could have come home from work so tired that you passed out before thinking of asking someone else to take watch. Please, Cyn. I have to see him again.”
Cynthia heaved a sigh and leaned back on the couch. “I can’t guarantee anything, but if you’re sure this is what you want, I’ll do what I can. But it will have to wait for a few days so I can figure out who’s on patrol when.”
The next two days were hell for Allanna. She kept getting sick, waking up in the middle of the night to throw up, and she also had the strangest cravings. She hated seafood but found herself wanting to eat it like it was going out of style. She would just sit down to relax and be overcome with the sudden urge to pee. And worst of all, her period was five days late. She'd always been regular right down to the minute, but not this time. Finally, she told Cynthia about it. Her reaction wasn’t the one Allanna was hoping to hear.
“Allanna, come on. You admitted to me that you slept with the guy, you even went into details about how good it was. Which, by the way, I’m glad you finally had the good experience I’ve been telling you about, but let me ask you this – did you guys ever use protection?”
Allanna stopped to think. She’d wanted Xavier to wear a condom their first time, but he hadn’t had one so he’d just pulled out. They discussed it the next day, but then Mortius had shown up. And they’d ran away from him to the abandoned cottage Vivica and Savek had shared. And they’d had countless hours of sex…
“Uh…” she said as her face turned red.
“Allanna, are you fucking serious? You not only slept with the enemy, no offense, but you didn’t use protection? What were you thinking?”
“We don’t know that I’m pregnant.”
“What else could it be?”
“I don’t know!”
Allanna started sobbing like crazy, which just made the possibility of her being pregnant that much more real. Finally, she and Cynthia went to the nearest drug store to buy a pregnancy test. They were able to get away since Allanna would be chaperoned by Cynthia, though Darius wasn’t too happy about it. But at this point, Allanna could care less what her father thought.
Not wanting to wait until she got back home, plus not wanting the pack to smell it, Allanna went into the store’s dim bathroom and headed into one of the stalls. She opened the box which contained two tests and prepared to use the first one. When she came out, she set it on the counter.
“Now we just have to wait,” she declared glumly.
“Allanna,” Cynthia said skeptically, “if this thing’s positive…”
“Yeah, I know. My dad will kill me. I’ll be the omega. I’ll probably be exiled. Plus I’ll probably spark a war because Dad will want Xavier’s head on a platter.”
“Actually, what I was going to say was, we don’t know what it will be.”
“What do you mean?”
“You’re a werewolf. He’s a vampire. What will the kid be?”
Allanna hadn’t considered that. If she was pregnant, would the baby have more vampire or werewolf genes? Or would it have half of each? Worse yet, would it be an abomination?
Before she could think about that any longer, Allanna looked down at the pregnancy test on the sink. She saw one bar…
…and then another bar. And she knew what that meant before the actual word flashed across the tiny screen.
“Fuck me,” she said as a whole new fear consumed her.