Asher awakened to the sound of rapid pacing, really fast pacing. He opened his eyes to scan the room. They were in his old room in the basement; he and Theo. Theo immediately appeared at his side when he noticed his sentience, clearly irritated by the turn of events.
Asher couldn’t blame him; the vampire was anxious to get back to his lover’s side, as she was due to make her transition soon. Theo had been pulling out his hair and his dangerous eyes were bloodshot and red; and they had a glow to them that they hadn’t before.
“You alright, cousin? You were out a day longer than I was.” Theo notified him and Asher nodded, sitting up against the headboard as his mind adjusted to his new memories.
Theo was without a shirt, where it had gone, Asher had no clue.
He scanned the walls for a mirror, but he knew he would not find one. He looked down at his hands, noting that they were free of scars that had priorly marred them almost completely.
“Your eyes are darker, cousin.” Theo stated, scanning him, his gaze appearing hungry.
Asher blew out a breath, “When was the last time you fed?”
Theo narrowed his eyes on the lycan, “A month ago.”
“You need to feed then,” Asher stated blankly, pulling up his sleeves and holding out one of his wrists for the vampire to feed off of. Theo blinked in shock.
“You don’t have to,” Theo asserted, but Asher shook his head.
“Can’t have you going on a rampage any time soon.”
Theo nodded and quickly bit into the lycan’s wrist, taking several long pulls that irritated Asher’s Beast.
No one other than her!
The Beast’s demand ricocheted through his mind, wracking his mind with his other’s sides irritation and desire for her.
No, no, no! Surely he wasn’t mated to Allegra- he would never have forgotten his mate, there was no way!
But there was no other option- he was certain that the Beast would never have desired a particular woman like he had her.
Asher shuddered at the realization. Wanting to desperately deny the very idea.
But he had known other lycan who had mated; had spoken with them about it, even. They had told him of their Beasts reaction to their mates, a desperate hunger for them- one that they could never have fully satisfied with others.
Theo pulled back from his wrist, cleaning the bite quickly and urging it to heal.
“You think she is your mate? Congrats, cousin!”
Asher frowned at him and Theo chuckled.
“Come now, you should know how well they fucked you up. The fact that you can even remember anything at all, let alone retain it, is quite the miracle.”
Asher blew out a breath, “I don’t like this. I don’t really know her now, at least.”
“Well, you know she was part of Viscera. You should probably ask her about it before you jump to conclusions. Marcelle still hasn’t forgiven me for killing his ex-lover.”
Asher nodded, clearly recalling that interaction between Theo and one of his lovers. It had been amusing as an outsider, but he had no doubt that it would not have been had he been a part of it.
Theo laid down at the foot of the bed, his legs hanging relaxed over the side as he let out a sigh.
It was surprising the vampire hadn’t burst out of the room yet. Incredibly so, given his attention span and the lack of entertainment.
“What have you been doing?” He asked him and Theo smirked.
“Watching you sleep.”
Asher narrowed his eyes on the vampire, “Thanks.”
His smirk widened, “No problem.”
They were silent for a few moments, and it seemed the only sound poured in from the upper levels; an ever present hum that put his Beast on edge, irritating him.
“Why don’t you tell me about her?” Theo suggested and Asher frowned at him.
“You didn’t read it in my blood?”
Theo sighed, “I try not to pry. I only heard what was going through your mind while I fed on you.”
Asher rolled his head a few times before speaking.
“She was the daughter of an old leader of the base. Her brother was a doctor here. They both patched me up a few times.” He glossed over the reality for a moment before his boredom wore out and he spilled his information to Theo.
“I had a flashback, a memory. Though it felt more like a dream to be honest. I was back here, and I didn’t remember anything except since I got transported to this base shortly before she arrived when she was a child. Two weeks after I got here, her family arrived- her mother leaving shortly thereafter. Her name wa-is Allegra. She was sick, though I didn’t really know from what. Something close to anemia- but it was more vampiric than that.
“She would follow me around, it took her a few months to say anything to me, but she soon told me everything she could think of. I remember not thinking too much of it- occasionally I would go on missions, destroy a few towns, and come back and they still didn’t wipe me.
“When I began the memory, I’m in my bed- this one- and she’s crying. Her father was dead.”
Asher took a deep breath, but Theo rose a brow in response, spotting where the conversation was headed, based on the blank expression on his face. He knew the lycan only wore that mask when he discussed his few sexual excursions.
Well, in compare to the vampire’s own, it was few.
“You had sex.” Theo stated and Asher nodded.
There was surprise on the vampire’s attractive features, which even Asher had to admit were certainly attractive. Vampires were almost never unattractive- especially not ones descended from the Family. It made it easier to draw in prey since they had to feed more often than lycan, at least in their earlier years.
Theo sighed, “I am curious.”
Asher raised a brow.
“How exactly did you remain unaware of her position in your life. I mean, from what I know of lycan matings (not a lot, mind you), wouldn’t your… other form demand to claim her? I mean you lycan are certainly not discreet with the mating marks.”
Asher blinked and leaned back further.
Theo looked at him briefly before turning away to look at the ceiling.
“Maybe whatever they kept using on you damaged not just you, but him too.”
Asher released a breath, picking up his tale, “She told me she loved me and I avoided her. The next time I saw her… she was in the clinic getting a transfusion-”
“Those never work well for vamps,” Theo interrupted, “Has to be straight from the source, and it has to be from a stronger body than humans, at least if she was in transition and ‘sick’ for vampires of any species usually means transition.”
Asher nodded, “- Her brother had been going on about how something was killing her, how it wouldn’t survive itself. Gods, Theo.”
He swept a hand over his face and he watched Theo’s eyes widen at the implication.
“She was pregnant?” Theo asked in shock, “But lycan can’t produce children with vampires, of any species that I’m aware of at least.”
Asher shook his head, “I wanted to speak with her when I found out- so I waited in her room for her, even though I knew we would both be in trouble if anyone caught me.”
He paused and met eyes with the vampire with a sigh, “She was so damn happy to see me- like I was her favorite person, which I guess I was. I felt like shit when she got all teary eyes when she spotted me. Because I had just left her alone and avoided her like I had never met her.”
“We spoke and she confirmed it for me herself and she helped bandage me up- I had left the clinic without getting treatment and she knew it, but she didn’t get on to me about it. She stitched up the slash-” He ran a hand over his chest where it should have been, but wasn’t anymore.
The scar had been jagged and Theo had seen it for himself, but he couldn’t spot it now, even though it should have been poking out onto his shoulder beneath the tank top he wore beneath his jacket. It was gone- like it had never happened and Asher pulled off his shirt, and both of them scanned him for all the scars that should have been there-but weren’t. Even the ones where other lycan had slashed him with their venomous claws. Asher scanned Theo as well, but it was harder to tell- Theo had been talented when it came to avoiding direct hits, and his vampire body was better abled to prevent scarring.
“She went to put away the kit she had used in the next room, but her brother started screaming at her- he was angry, but he should have known it went against her beliefs to get rid of ‘it’. She didn’t come back in for a while after he left, I heard her throwing up in the bathroom and when I came in she nearly passed out, so I took her back into her room and stayed with her for a while. I know I shouldn’t have, but I did it anyway.561Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡXnnHVXnRPT
“A couple of hours later Beau came into her room-I stayed in the shadows and he never saw me- and talked to her a bit. He kept going on and on about feeding until she…”561Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡL1jLZpBkQT
He gave a soft laugh, “I really should have noticed it before then, even despite my memory loss- Beau always had bandages on his neck and in the clinic his wound had looked like a bite.”
“She wasn’t human?” Theo asked him and Asher shook his head.
“I think it was the medication’s doing- her eyes looked like the red of the serum they gave her when she was hungry.” He mused softly as a knock came at the door. The soft patter of feet was heard before the door came open after the lock released.
He didn’t remember a lock, but it had probably always been there. He sat up in the bed and they watched as Genny stepped into the room, her hand holding onto that doll. It had a crack in one of its brown eyes, and its hair was patchy in some places, like she had ripped some of it off.
She was sucking on her thumb and the doll was held just above the floor, causing its yellow dress to drift over the stone. She stood and stared at them for a moment, then nodded. She walked over to the edge of the bed and removed her thumb from her mouth and held her arms up in the universal ‘pick me up’ gesture that came from children. Theo lifted her up off the floor and placed her beside Asher on the bed and she grinned a sharp toothy grin at the pair.
“You smell more like us now,” She told Asher and Theo quirked a brow at her. He knew his own system would have eliminated whatever they had injected him with. The only thing he found surprising was that he had passed out.
Genny nodded again with exuberance, her little head going up and down exaggeratingly. “Normal people never live through it.”
“Normal?” Theo fronted and she gave him a look of ‘did I stutter?’. It was off for her young face, but she gave a long sigh and then a nod.
“I used to have a nanny before Maggie was born. I tried to change her, but she died.” Genny’s eyes got glassy as she recalled her nanny.
“Where was your mother?” Asher asked her and she shook her head to clear up her little mind.
“She was taking care of Ann. Little sister was really sick then, but she got better for a couple of years. Then she got worse and now she’s like me.” Genny said matter of factly.
“How old are you, Genny?” Asher asked her and she was silent for a moment in thought.
“Momma said I stopped aging when I was three. I think I was born in 1979. Momma could never tell because she never left the base. She hasn’t aged either.” Genny told them with caution.
She knew he was her daddy; she remembered seeing him before everyone left. Momma had told her the he was her daddy; she also told Genny that she shouldn’t tell him- that the people they lived with would hurt him like they hurt Momma.
Genny thought Momma was awfully brave- Lenora didn’t but Genny did. Genny had been with Momma since the beginning and she had seen those mean men attack her. Genny protected Momma though. She killed the mean men and they stopped coming after Momma after that. Uncle Beau would fix Momma up and threaten them, but Genny always got ‘em.
She stopped when Momma told her to, though- her Momma was always worried about her. But Genny was tough and she protected Momma whenever she could. Daddy had never helped them, but Momma said that it was better that way- if he didn’t know, it couldn’t hurt him.
Genny looked between the two men and smiled at Asher. He gave her a hesitant smile back and she beamed. Genny liked making people happy. It was her job- a self appointed one- but her job nevertheless.
“Hey, Genny.” Theo said and she turned to look at him with big red eyes.
“Where are the people we came in with? Are they okay?” He asked her and she nodded, her little lips pursed.
“Momma says we mustn’t be rude. They’re fine. Lucy and Aggie gave ‘em a canteen.” Genny replied, poking at Asher’s arms.
She let out a giggle when he moved it and Asher smiled at her.
The two men were talking over her, but she paid them no mind, her hands pulling away to sweep her hair out and away from her face. Theo let out a hiss when he spotted a burn on her cheek, drawing Asher’s attention to her.
Her eyes were big and round and her long brown hair was hanging loosely, though it seemed determined to get in her face. Asher let out a hiss of his own when he focused on the burn; a dark brown nasty scar that dominated her cheek.
“Who did that to you, Genny?” Asher asked her and the little girl shrugged.
“One of the mean men tossed something in my face when I helped Momma. It burned, but Uncle Beau made it stop hurting. It doesn’t hurt anymore, see?” She poked and prodded at the scar.
“Mean men?” He followed up and she nodded her head again.
“They used to hurt Momma, but I protected her and they stopped.” She beamed at him, proud.
Theo picked her up when she began to slip off the bed and settled her on his lap. She swung her legs back and forth against his own, watching the two of them with curious eyes. Asher looked infuriated while Theo was stock still and tense.
It was a tense few minutes until they both relaxed again, but Genny didn’t notice, content to be held for a while. She liked being held- only Momma used to hold her when she was younger. Uncle Beau did too now and then, but she barely saw him when she was younger. Daddy had never held her before, but she didn’t blame him. He didn’t know her then, but her Momma had always said that he would when he met her for real.
She hoped he liked her- Lucy and Aggie said that he would because she was the best big sister ever. But part of her doubted them- even though Aggie was the smartest of them.
Aggie liked to help Uncle Beau take care of Momma and their guests- but their guests always ran away from them. Clara would bring them back and Aggie would fix them up again and they would make Momma better for a while. Then Momma would get sick again and Lucy and Aggie had to find new guests.
Daddy and his friends weren’t supposed to be like the usual guests Momma told her. That’s why Genny’s sisters stabbed them with the needles.
Genny didn’t like needles. They made her angry when Uncle Beau used to poke her with needles when she was younger. The mean men kept running tests and tests on her, and they didn’t give her anything to eat- so she had to feed off of her Momma, and Momma just got sicker and sicker and sicker.
Genny didn’t want her Momma to be sick, but Uncle Beau said she’d always been sick and will always be sick.
Genny missed how her Momma would hold her when she was younger- now her Momma couldn’t. She rubbed her eyes with her palms as she began to cry.
Theo stilled again as the little girl began to cry. He had never really been around children- spending maybe a few hours around his younger siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins, etc…- and as such, he had no real idea what to do with them.
He supposed it had something to do with her physical age- that she would be so child-like in personality. In reality, she would’ve been an adult with a family of her own by now if she had aged to maturity. She must feel trapped inside her own body, he supposed.
He felt Asher lift her out of his arms and he looked up to see, this formidable hunter, cradling the girl against his chest as she cried.
Asher had spent time around his younger siblings before this whole thing, more time than most of his other older siblings, well, until he had sworn his allegiance to the Allied Family and away from the whole of his race centuries ago.
Asher looked at him as he gently rocked Genny, trying to get her to calm down. It took half an hour before the girl managed to calm down and for her tears to dry in pale pink frozen rivers down her cheeks.
She leaned back and rubbed her eyes, watching Asher watch Theo. Asher looked down at her and she gave him a soft smile.
“Why so sad?” He asked and she sniffled.
“Mo-Momma can’t hold me anymore.”
Asher thought back to the chamber where Allegra had touched a few of the girls through the glass. She’d been attached to wires, probably more than a few.
Genny’s stomach growled and she stilled, her face blushing.
He could sympathize.
“Why don’t we go to the kitchen?” He suggested and she nodded, scooting off of him so he could stand. He picked her up from the bed and she leaned her head against his collarbone, where the claw marks had once resided.
It couldn’t have been comfortable, but she stayed in the same position as he carried her down the halls and up a flight of stairs with Theo following him through the narrow corridors. As they got to the doorway to the kitchen, the little girl smiled at the vampire shyly from over Asher’s shoulders.
Theo smiled back at her, stepping into the room behind them. Asher placed her down on the floor and she ran to the refrigerator- a surprisingly operational one. It looked to be original, and it hummed loudly in the space. It was not a large room, but it was comfortable enough for a handful of people. Genny ran to the fridge, opening it and pulling out a sippy cup that was filled by some liquid blurred from view by a blue tint on the cup.
She pulled out a canteen of something and ran back over to them, handing Asher the canteen before climbing up and sitting on a tall stool by a bar table. Theo could barely see her chin over the table and he smiled at her. Genny beamed at him, her mouth wrapped around the nipple of it. He turned back to Asher to see that he had opened the canteen. He sniffed the air around it, his eyes taking on a glow as he hesitantly took a sip. He gave a dark chuckle as he pulled away.
“I think this would more suit your tastes. All it does is make me hungrier. I need to go for a hunt, or something.” Asher sighed, his own stomach growling with the need for meat.
Any kind. He wasn’t feeling picky.
Theo shook his head with a smirk before taking a pull of the canteen. Grimacing when the cold taste hit his tongue, his face contorting into disgust.
“Ugh, it’s cold.”
Asher sent him a look of ‘what’d you think, dumbass?’.
He sat next to Genny at the table and the little girl was humming something under her breath.
“What’s that?” He asked her and she looked up at him.
She looked away.
“Momma used to sing it, but I can never remember the words.”
She sipped on the cup for a while as she felt Asher sit down beside her.
“When was the last time you ate something solid?”
She looked at him blankly and blinked, “They never gave me anything ‘solid’. So Momma used to feed me. I think it’s better when it’s warm.”
Theo looked down at the small brunette, “So she just fed you her own blood? There’s too many of you for you all to have fed off of her.”
Genny nodded, and they were interrupted by Clara appeared at the door.
“Clara!” She giggled as her physically older sister twirled her around in a circle. Clara laughed, her voice like metal wind chimes, as she placed her sister back on the stool.
Clara flitted away to the fridge, withdrawing another canteen and drinking a bit from it. She took her sister’s sippy cup and turned away to refill it. When she was done, she handed it back to Genny and they both smiled while Clara patted Genny on the head.
Another young girl stepped into the room. She was tiny like Genny, but maybe a year older physically. Genny’s face lit up when she spotted her younger sister.
The little girl-Mona- stepped further into the room, her mary jane shoes squeaking against the linoleum. Behind her, Cassandra and Jaron entered, Talon coming in shortly after.
Cassandra had removed her jacket and her shirt was in tatters over her chest, revealing her black bra and a flash of skin on her stomach. Jaron had claw marks over the leather of his chest-guard, though it appeared he wasn’t strong enough to break through the hardened leather. Talon was stiff and his plain white shirt was stained with his blood as he had done much the same as the other two, clearly having clawed at his chest- more so due to his already sharpened claws that Asher was sure had come out when he was injected.
Mona pulled on Cassandra’s hand, leading her over to the fridge and handing her one of the remaining canteens for her, Jaron, and Talon, who quickly seized the container and gulped part of it down. Mona in turn had pulled out another sippy cup for herself, pointing at the table with her cup to get the three to sit down.
They sat down across from the vampire and lycan quietly, all of them stiff.
Mona sucked on her cup quietly at the opposite edge of the table from her sister and appeared content to watch them. Her ruddy brown hair was tied back out of her face in two braids, while her red almond shaped eyes peered at them with curiosity shining out.
Cassandra took a hesitant drink from the canteen and handed it over to Jaron. The blood had stained her lips a fresh red, her eyes having turned crimson as well. Jaron’s eyes had done much the same, though they appeared slightly darker, seeming to lighten as he drank.
“Are you two alright?” Asher asked them and Clara looked at him curiously from on top of the countertop.
Did he think they would hurt them? Momma said one should always be polite and courteous till given reason not to, and all of them followed her wishes. It was hard not to, since their mother could slip in and out of their minds without much effort.
Momma liked to broadcast her feelings to them too. Clara liked it because Momma always tried to make her happy. Momma used to sing to them when they were younger, she still did when they were going to sleep sometimes.
Cassandra and Jaron nodded. Talon finally relaxed and winked at Mona and she gave a small smile.
“Mona here, thought we needed to get out for a bit. So naturally, we went looking for food. But I take it, we won’t be finding it by the sound of Asher’s stomach.”
Asher narrowed his eyes on the shapeshifter before chuckling.
Theo nodded and Cassandra noticed how Genny kept glancing at Asher.
“Do you know them?” She asked him and Asher nodded.
“I know their mother. I lived here for a while.”
Cassandra nodded and Aggie stepped into the kitchen wearing a white shirt and overalls. Her own pair of tiny mary-jane shoes clicked on the floor as she approached them with a level of grace that no child should have.
All of them seemed to have that quality- light of feet and grace that extended to all things.
Aggie stopped beside the table and looked up at Theo and Cassandra, her gaze travelling to the rest of them.
“Uncle said he will answer all of your questions now.” She stated, already departing the kitchen.
Genny and Mona hopped off the stools and Genny grabbed hold of Asher’s hand, stretching up to hold on. He gave a slight laugh and picked her up, surprising Jaron and Talon. They had never heard him give a genuine laugh, but the little girl accepted it with a bright smile around her sippy cup’s lid. Clara escorted them down the halls and up to the main floor. Eventually they came onto the main hall and tracked to the main chamber. A few of the unnamed girls were present, but they left soon thereafter to do… whatever they did to entertain themselves.
Their uncle was sitting at his desk in what appeared to be an incredibly uncomfortable chair. He was surprisingly relaxed in the chair, leaning back till only the back legs touched the floor and supported his weight. He was reading a newspaper when they approached him. It was a week behind the current date if they had to guess- with the grainy picture of what the press had deemed was the giant wolf that had attacked Berlin. He looked up at them from behind the desk.
Five chairs surrounded the desk in a circle and Beau rested his seat back on the ground and rolled back in his chair, folding the newspaper back up and sitting it in his lap. He waved an arm over the chairs and they sat, Mona, Genny, and Clara choosing the floor.
After several moments of silence he rolled his eyes, “What do you want to know?”
“What did you inject us with?” Cassandra breached the silence.
“A formula of sorts. A highly potent mixture of the ‘medicine’ they gave my sister, and blood from several sources. Two of them in this room.”
Beau pulled off his glasses and twirled them in his fingers for a moment before putting them back on. His eyes were the most alarming out of all of them. A bright, fierce red, and a hunger that seemed to permeate from them.
“My sister and-” he pointed at Asher, “-you.”
Asher leaned back in the chair he sat in as the others turned to look at him. He looked back at Beau, “Why?”
“Does the why really matter at this point?” Beau dodged, but Theo turned to him with a raised brow.
Beau sighed, “I do not question my sister’s wishes, you would have to ask her. But the odds of that coming out before she wishes is very low.”
“That’s not like you.” Asher said and Beau raised a brow at him.
“Maybe not. Perhaps I’ve learned to be better than that.”
Beau sighed, “Next question.”
There was silence again, but it was comfortable surprisingly.
“What does your sister know about what we’re trying to do?” Theo asked, recalling the twins’ words.
I know a great deal of things. I knew you were planning to leave this world.
Allegra’s voice pooled into the air- stemming from the tube in the center of the room where she was contained. It was calm, free from any judgement.
Asher’s Beast was pleased at the sound of it.
Viscera is not done with you yet, Lukos.
“Was that a threat?” Talon spoke up, his eyes narrowed on the tube he had turned to face.
Of course not. Just merely a warning. Viscera has been trying to reclaim this base for the past year. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why.
Asher narrowed his gaze at the floor before turning to Beau.
Allegra had gone silent and Theo kept his eyes trained on the lycan.
“Funny how this shit keeps coming back-”
“Like whack-a-mole except with self-righteous war-seeking pricks-” Talon interceded, drawing a glare from the lycan.
He held up a hand, “My bad, won’t interrupt again, scout’s honor.”
Asher relaxed, releasing the shapeshifter from his glare and running a hand through his hair.
Why? Why? Why did it always have to lead back to him? Could he not have a time of peace? He needed it, he deserved it, dammit!
Prey, prey, prey… Nearby, smell it, man? We want it! We want it! We want it! Taste it on our tongue. Release me. Need to hunt. Need to hunt. Need to hunt. Prey, prey, prey…
Asher was struck still by the surprising coherency on the Beast while his tongue watered at the scent that he could almost taste it was so close.
He glanced at Theo.
The vampire nodded, tapping three fingers against his knee five times.
Someone is here.
Allegra’s announcement to everyone drew their attention to her momentarily.
More than just humans. Something-someone else. Its thoughts are erratic at best, and I have never sensed their presence before. Beau, bring the girls in!
Desperation sounded in her tone, and Beau rushed off to fulfill her command. Within seconds, the rest of the girls had arrived, each of them scurrying to stand within the shadows cast by their mother’s tube.
Someone was missing, no- two were missing.
A scream shattered the air and Aggie ran into the room, her shoes making her slide feet first to safety. Lenora came last, a clawed hand wrapped around her neck, shoving her into the chamber.
Gods, he knew that woman, she had nearly killed him.
She sneered at them in reply, her perfect vampiric features contorted in disgust.
They had all stood from their seats at her entrance, Cassandra and Jaron making their way to each stand guard in front of the back of the room- trying to prevent the girls from getting hurt.
He could feel Allegra’s gratefulness in the air, but shook it off as he kept his eyes locked on the angry vampiress that he had made the mistake of pissing off, what? Over two-three thousand years ago?
Gods, he was old.
“Found you, fucker.” Annka growled and he placed himself between her and the rest of the group, Theo and Talon standing a few feet behind him to help fend her off if need be.
Are you with the humans?
Allegra’s voice appeared to shock the vampiress out of her anger for a moment, before her features set back in her rage.
“As if I would side with such weak allies,” Annka seethed, her irritation growing till she threw the struggling Lenora into Talon, sending the two of them spiraling to the right.
Asher kept his eyes trained on the immediate threat, “Theo, take down the humans, I’ll worry about your sister.”
Theo snorted, “Just be sure not to scratch up her pretty face, pretty sure it's the only way she manages to make money.”
Annka slashed her brother with her claws as he flitted by, his hellfire blood spattering the metal sheeting of the walls and filling the air with the scent of melting metal.
She turned back to him, “What? Am I not such a threat that you would deign to shift to fight me off?”
He let out a growl but she smiled in reply, enjoying it clearly.
Her gaze flashed behind him and her head cocked to the side at the sight of the girls- a dozen of them by his count- hiding in the shadows.
She narrowed her fiery eyes on him and he forced his Beast to stand down- it wouldn’t do anything to fight in such an enclosed space. He couldn’t risk bringing the walls down around them either.
Annka knew it, too.
She approached him slowly, like a panther hunting down her prey. She reminded him more of a snake in actuality and he let out another warning growl before she roundhouse kicked him across the room and into the tube where Allegra was kept. The glass cracked under his force and as he righted himself he felt the vampiress’ claws wrap around his throat and press him further into the hard surface, which began to quiver against his weight.
Damn her, he couldn’t do much against her unless he shifted, and she knew it.
Allegra reached out swiftly through the glass, skinning Annka’s wrist with her own razor sharp nails. It startled the smirking female, forcing her to drop her smirk and step back, releasing Asher momentarily. Allegra’s hand returned behind the glass, but as he stepped away from the tube, it screamed in protest before shattering.
The milky fluid within flowed out and Asher quickly grabbed hold of Allegra before she landed on the glass shards.
“What is this?” Annka breathed, backing away just as Theo made a reappearance with human blood dripping down his chin and chest to run down to the floor in a trail of drops leading to his location in the doorway.
Asher looked up and found Beau fast enough, growling out a guttural command, “Do something!”
Beau turned to two of the girls, “Clara, grab the blankets from the clinic. Lenora, prepare a cot!”
Allegra was slack in his arms and she appeared to grow colder and colder by the second. She was covered in scratches from the stray glass, her head laying against his chest as if she was asleep.
Protect! Protect! Protect!
His Beast rattled at his chains, demanding release to kill anyone who dared stand against him and his desire for her safety.
It seemed to last forever, but Clara quickly returned to the room with blankets and helped to wrap her mother up while they moved her over to the cot Lenora had prepared by the desk. Annka seemed shocked still, but Asher was still very much on edge as he placed her down.
Her strawberry blonde hair had darkened to a red-brown, but it appeared soft and healthy, despite the grime of the fluid she had been immersed in for heaven knows how long. She was naked beneath the blanket and she had filled out since he had seen her in his returned memory. Probably a result of the pregnancy. Her breast were surprisingly firm and larger than previously, but it was no surprise as she appeared to be much healthier, therefore having gained more weight to sustain herself.
Asher kneeled down beside the cot and wrapped a hand around her face.
“Momma?” Genny stared out from behind Theo’s leg at the body of her mother.
It had been a long time since she had seen her Momma’s body. No wires were connected to her now, having slid off when her Daddy had taken her away from the tube. It worried Genny how her Momma wasn’t awake. Momma was always present, even when she wasn’t. So why wasn’t she responding now?
Beau had busied himself with taking her vital signs, even retrieving a black piece of glass to see if she was breathing, looking for the tell tale cloud over the glass. He let out a breath of relief when he realized she was breathing evenly. Her heartbeat was even as well, Asher could feel it when he laid two fingers against her throat.
Lenora appeared again with a bowl of water and a washcloth and a sponge. She dipped the sponge in the water and began to clean Allegra of the stray goop that clung to skin, and the layer of film that was seated beneath. She cleaned off her mother’s arms and legs, wringing the sponge every once in awhile, the excess water and grime flowing onto the floor and down into one of the drains.
Thank the gods for that, or else they’d all be wading in it by now.
Beau stepped back, swaying side to side with excess energy. He crossed his arms and ran a shaky hand over his face, letting out something like a hysterical laugh. He turned to Annka, then turned away.
“Idiot.” He remarked running a hand over his face once more.
She sneered at him in reply, not in the mood to defend herself at the moment, apparently.
“Why aren’t you doing anything?” Talon asked and the frazzled man dropped his arms and glared.
“Because I can’t.” Beau let out a breath, “It’s going to be hell- she had her consciousness swimming around in each of our heads and now it’s been whipped back and contained to a body once more. You can’t just do that- not with her.”
Asher looked up and dropped his hand from Allegra. “What do you mean?”
Beau quirked a brow, though it seemed more to be the excess energy than anything else as he continued to sway his weight from foot to foot.
“A short summary of what went wrong here? It was nineteen ninety, she was in labor again, but something was going wrong- it had been going wrong for almost the whole pregnancy. The drug they were using became too concentrated in her system-it had changed the girls too, but they themselves had to be treated for the same disease after a couple years after their birth. This time it changed her- and the child. She had already been changing slowly, but it pushed her over the edge, and it happened while she was pregnant, so it happened to the babe too.”
He took a deep breath.
“When she went into labor she had to be tied down and strapped in tight- but she kept breaking free of the restraints- so they kept tieing her down. The labor progressed and she gave birth to the child- but it was older than it should have been, it resembled a six month old as soon it was born. I was the one to hold the child- it was a boy and as soon as I got my hand within range, it chomped down… something must have been coating his teeth, some sort of venom, because I had to pass him over to Ally (who had broken free of her restraints again) and I passed out. When I came to, everyone in the base was dead but the girls and the babe was gone.”
Beau sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose, “Ally was the one to greet me when I woke up- she had killed everyone that couldn’t run fast enough to get to the vehicles. She was covered in blood and I remember praying that I was just hallucinating because it smelled good- really really good. She found me one of the spare bags we kept on hand and I… well let’s say it would’ve been me covered in blood if people were still there.
“I asked her where the baby was but she didn’t answer me. The girls kept mumbling something about him, what was it Clara?”
Clara looked up from her lap at her uncle, “We can’t see baby brother. Where is baby brother?”
Asher looked at her, but she went back to fiddling with her fingers, her gaze back in her lap in contemplation.561Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡp0fxCxrAkJ
“What do you mean you couldn’t see him?” Asher asked her and Aggie answered.
“We could always see him before, maybe not physically, but we always knew where he was and what he was feeling, he… talked to us sometimes. Talked to Momma much more though.”
Asher noticed Allegra’s heart rate pick up and turned his gaze back on her.
Theo followed his gaze and he felt the vampire’s gaze stare into his back. Theo turned back to Beau.
“What made you put her away, in that tube?”
Beau walked around and grabbed a chair, positioning it on the opposite side of the cot from where Asher was bent down. He leaned back and ran a hand along his nose again, taking another deep breath.
“Ally was unpredictable in her new form, closer to a predator than to you or I. She had a tendency to shut off all her emotions without seeming cause, and she would leave destruction in her wake. I… was not much better. It was addicting, thrilling even to hunt with her. We would leave the children with a human woman from the town nearest, and it was her that put an end to it. She managed to convince me to stay away from the town, to lock myself away. But Ally couldn’t. She was the one who kept the girls fed and sated hunger-wise. Prior to all of this she had been doing it with her own blood, but towards the birth she stopped. She found that she could keep them full by sating her own hunger, a hunger which grew and grew till it became near unmanageable.
“On the up side, she had never been healthier. On a good day, when she had just fed, she damn near glowed like the moon. But even she realized that we couldn’t go on like that, the humans in the towns around would notice- hell, they were already noticing, but she had a tendency to mutilate the bodies when she drank from humans and they couldn’t figure out what could be causing such a thing.
“So we made the tubes from the supplies that Viscera had left behind, and she managed to steal the rest of what we needed. I put her away and for almost a month none of us heard from her, but the girls were fine, a little thirsty themselves, but not an unmanageable kind. It had been just the girls and I then; I had killed the nanny in a moment of weakness.”
Beau uncrossed his arms and he began to twitch his leg up and down, up and down.
“When did she first speak to you after that?”
He looked at Asher, “Almost a month to the day I put her away. We knew she excelled with abilities over the mind, but in the tube they began to grow more powerful. At last check, she could hear and manipulate any mind within a sixty mile radius. Not that many here, but the local populations have been growing as of late.”
“Yes, we found that she could slip thoughts so effortlessly into someone’s mind, that they thought it was their own. She didn’t like that at first, but it allowed her to monitor the locals at any rate. She used to talk and sing to the girls in their minds, it made them happy. About a decade ago, she began to be able to project her astral body outwards and manifest it enough that she could be felt when she touched someone. Within the year, she could project it miles away to help lure people away from the road. “ Beau breathed, looking up toward the ceiling.
Jaron spoke up, “So you’re telling me she lured us here intentionally?”
Beau shook his head, “I have no hand in orchestrating her will, and she has not told me her thoughts on any matter of sustenance in the last two years. “
Annka had moved to lean against the far wall, she had even rescinded her claws. Her face was blank, but they could clearly spot her interest in the discussion.
Allegra drew in a harsh breath then, her eyes blinking sharply. They were a bright red, like some of them. Her eyes appeared hazy and when they focused, a shock wave was sent throughout the room. Everyone except the girls were thrown back- they must have been immune to her. In a flash, she was gone and the doors were slammed open and shut within a mere second. Asher rose and he ran after her, leaving the rest of them together in the chamber.
“Allegra?!” He called after her, his eyes barely catching a glance of her ruddy hair as she bolted up the stairs. He knew where she was going though and slowed his pace to give her some space.
“She’s going to her room.” He remarked and ascended up one more flight till he reached her floor and down the hall to the apartment where her family had lived. The door was open and he stepped through.
The furniture was covered in dust cloths in the living room, but the kitchen appeared to be recently used, probably by Beau. The room was clear and clean, and Asher followed the sound of rustling to Allegra’s shut door. He cautiously opened it and stepped within.
Allegra’s form was covered by the closet doors as she appeared to scan for suitable clothing. More rustling was heard, and then the sound of hangers being moved and one pulled off.
“Allegra?” He probed and he heard her suck in a breath before the rustling was heard again and the doors were closed to reveal her in a short floral dress that hung off of her shoulders by thin straps. She was barefooted, but had clearly only thrown on the dress for his arrival.
She probably wanted to take a shower. The grime still clung in places to her skin.
She gave him a soft smile, “Yes?”
He stepped forward, and he watched her gaze travel over him, analyzing him briefly. He was looking at her too, and a wave of apprehension flowed through him- but he was more inclined to believe it was her own by the look in her eyes. She didn’t move as he stopped less than a foot away from her. Her head was tilted up slightly to look him in the eyes.
Say something. Can’t keep her waiting for long.
“Are you alright?” He asked her and she gave a soft laugh.
“Yes, I am. I just need to shower.”
Her reply was nice and even, and he believed her, confident that he would have been able to sense if she was lying.
Most supes could detect deception by scent alone.
His mind reverted back to when they had showered together at her words. He willed himself to stay still, not that eager to get an erection.
No, bad. Bad. Bad. Bad. She doesn’t know you, not really.
He heard her their quiet breathing mingle in the air around them, neither of them truly eager to speak.
Out. Out. Out. Release me, male! Out. Out. Out.
His Beast rattled at its cage and he could feel his desire to be free run rampant through his mind. He didn’t think the Beast would hurt her- but he didn’t want to risk it at the moment.
Out. Out. Out. Release me! Out. Out. Out. She’s mine! Release me! Out. Out. Out.
Allegra let out a soft sigh and stepped around him to head towards the bathroom when she heard no other questions. She stepped into the bathroom and shut the door and his sensitive ears could hear a rustling as her dress hit the floor. The water shut on and a couple minutes later, steam began to slip out beneath the door.
He waited for her to come out, sitting down in one of the two chairs that sat on the other side of the bed, glancing around the room.
It was much the same, except the sheets and bedding were clearly different than before, but still matched the room’s blue color. The only major difference from his memory was the empty crib that sat vacant in between his chair and the second, clearly used years ago when the girls had been younger, and Allegra had not been in the tube.
Her scent still lingered in the air, clearly undisturbed for a long time- almost like she had been here just the night before.
Out. Out. Out. Release me! Out. Out. Out. Mate. Mate. Mate. Out. Out. Out…
His Beast continued to ramble, barely coherent at times.
Her scent poured into the room through the open door as steam rolled in from the underneath the bathroom door.
She made him and his Beast excited and protective, even though he knew that she could probably handle herself now. But still, all he could think of was how she had relied on him before. She had loved him, regardless of what he had done- even though she overheard the nightmarish tales coming from other grunts. He knew then that he had cared about her then- but now it made so much more sense- now that he could detect her as his mate now that he was recovering his memories. Especially now when he could feel his Beast also becoming more and more aware of her as his.
She had been near radiant when she had spotted him then, like he had lit the world. Gods, he craved the feelings that she had given him with those looks.
It was a good feeling- and he craved it once more, hungry for it like he hadn’t fed in years.
A few minutes passed and Allegra appeared in the doorway once again, wearing only a towel. She walked back over to the closet and opened the doors, dropping her towel,
Mate. Mate. Mate. Claim. Claim. Claim.
And tossing on a black dress that had been built similarly to the floral one. It made her skin appear brighter, almost like she was glowing.
She bent over and used the towel to dry her hair a bit, leaving it damp after she had wrung most the water out, leaving her hair long, curly, and shiny. Allegra looked up at them when she was finished, clearly waiting for one of them to speak.
“Why did you run?”
She was silent for a moment, her gaze penetrating him before she blinked and the feeling of her stare abated. “I was overwhelmed, I needed to get out for a bit.”
Allegra sighed, “Now… I suppose I’m fine.”
Her eyes grew glazed for a moment. Within a moment, they were clear again and she sighed, stepping back to the closet and sliding her feet into a pair of flats. She brushed past him, and he blinked, not having noticed when he had moved closer to her. He followed her out into the main room where Genny and Mona were sitting on top of the dust clothed couch. As soon as they spotted her, the two popped off the couch and ran to her.
Allegra kneeled down and embraced her two daughters, who clung to her fiercely.
“Momma?” Genny wondered, “Why did you run?”
“I wanted to get cleaned up first. I can’t be getting my girls dirty when I tickle them, can I?” She teased, tickling the two girls on their stomachs.
Genny beamed and embraced her mother again, while Mona got caught in a fit of giggles at the touch. She fell back onto her bottom and cheeks flushed, she brushed her red-brown hair out of her eyes to smile. She was a quiet child, but she appeared jubilant at being able to touch her mother once more.
Allegra smiled at the girls and Asher watched them interact, wanting to be a part of it somehow, but not knowing how. He felt a wave of comfort sweep through his mind, and it felt like her, like she was trying to comfort him.
Mona looked up from her mother at him, her scarlet eyes analyzing him, then flashing to look back at her mother. Allegra stilled and stood up to follow her daughter’s gaze as it travelled back and forth between them. Her eyes were warm, just as bright as when he had talked to her after he found out she was pregnant.
Baby, that had to have been Genny.
She’s the eldest, that’s what Lucy said.
She said that she was born in 1979, and as far as he could remember, it had to have been around that time that he had conceived a child with Allegra. Allegra, who had no one except for him and Beau, who had loved him without even knowing him.
You didn’t even know yourself then, either.
The small reminder played with his thoughts for a few moments.
It was right. He hadn’t known himself either, and he had no clue how he had even managed to gain her love. Her adopted brother had loved her, he remembered. Beau had followed her around faithfully when they were younger, despite the fact that he was two years older than her. He hadn’t realized it then, but Allegra had something eerily captivating about her.
She hadn’t been ugly before, but not overly attractive. Pretty, he supposed. But as she had gotten older and sicker, the captivating quality had only grown. At first he had thought her stupid to give a damn about him, but she never waned in her adoration of him, despite knowing that he was a glorified killer.
He blinked and came back to reality. Allegra’s warm gaze had turned toward concern, and he could feel her eyes trained on him. The two girls had run off to the kitchen, but entered the room again soon with two sippy cups in hand.
That hadn’t been his real name, but just hearing her speak it in his mind brightened his mood.
“My real name is Asher, Allegra.” He stated slowly.
“Would you prefer I call you Asher, then?”
He went silent, “I like hearing you say either of them.”
She nodded, smiling softly, her eyes bearing some unidentifiable emotion in them. She turned away and stared at the floor for a moment before blinking and walking to the kitchen. He followed her and waited behind the bar as she searched the fridge then the freezer, before finding a blood bag. She pulled out a mug from the cabinet and ripped open the bag with a slash from a single nail, the cold red liquid flowing slowly into the cup. After a moment, she placed the mug in the microwave and heated it up for a couple of seconds before pulling it out and sipping it with her back turned to him.
He remembered how worried she’d been about his reaction towards her thirst. Was she still feeling this way?
He stared at her back, enthralled by the sight, his Beast and himself both.
Allegra didn’t appear to notice, downing the rest of it quickly. He heard the door to apartment behind them open and shut, the girls pattering away into the halls.
He stood and approached her, startling her when she turned around.
Her gasp spurred him on to close the space between them and he felt his heartbeat pick up at the sound of her own.
Her scent became sweeter and almost… darker with a bit of a cutting edge, warming the air around them. He angled his head down over her shoulder and inhaled the scent and it set off his Beast almost painfully within him.
Out! Out! Out! Need! Need her! Now!
Asher grabbed her legs and pulled her up to sit on the counter, running his hands over her legs and up her dress to her waist where he let them sit while he bent his face down to lock his lips over hers.
The taste of blood was thick and heady in her mouth but he could taste the familiar notes of pomegranates and dark chocolate. Allegra’s hands crawled up his chest and around his neck to wrap themselves in his hair as she kissed him back.
It was slow at first, tentative and almost shy for both of them as they reaquainted themselves. Allegra pulled him closer and arched her back, her breasts crashing against him, her fingers playing slowly down his neck and arms to grab hold of his hands and slide them up to her chest.
Her nails pricked at his wrists, drawing blood and quickening their movements as she pulled away to kiss down his jaw and down his neck to nip over his jugular playfully.
He rubbed circles over her nipples through her dress before pulling one of hands away to run over her thigh and up her skirt, drawing a gasp from her. At the opening he delved deeper into her mouth, her sharp teeth drawing blood which only seemed to excite her more.
He pushed his hand up further, attracted by her warmth and running a finger over her though her underwear and she released a moan, her hands running up his chest to envelop his neck, her nails cutting thin lines into his flesh. She pulled away and pulled him closer, her mouth dipping to lick the blood off of his wounds which had begun to heal almost immediately- closing up into pink lines that Allegra cleaned with her tongue.
He pulled aside her underwear and pushed a finger past her lower lips and into her wet heat, pumping in and out slowly. She bucked against his hand and kissed a trail down his neck and over his chest, her hands travelling down his torso to his belt and nimbly unbuckled it. He pulled back for a moment.
“Table, bed, or?”
Allegra’s eyes were glazed over with lust, a dark burgundy that drew a growl from him unwillingly.
She blinked blankly for a moment and appeared to try and make sense of what he said.
“Bed.” She replied with a moan as he pushed another finger into her.
He withdrew for a minute, grabbing hold of the back of her legs and braced her against his waist, gratefully using his speed as a supe to disappear from the kitchen and into the bedroom, kicking the door closed haphazardly with a resounding slam.
Well, he hadn’t meant to kick it that hard.
He dropped her onto the foot of the bed, her form falling to lay in the center. She crawled backwards up the bed and he pushed himself up to sit on his knees between her legs, which were bent at the knee and open to him.
She purred softly as he knelt over her, bracing himself with one of his arms over her shoulder, rising up to nip at his throat, the vibrations of sound coming from her heightening the feeling.
Asher sat back onto his knees after a moment, running both of his hands up her dress to push it up to her waist, revealing her black panties to his eyes and he gently pulled them to the side as he used his other hand to tease at her bundle of nerves and push two fingers into her wet heat.
She ground her hips into his hand, her back arching while she bit out a moan, her lower lip caught between her teeth teasing him unknowingly.
“Scoot back farther,” Asher growled out and it took a moment for her to react, but she did as he ordered and pushed back to lay her head against the pillows, her dark strawberry hair fanning out around her head, her hands clutching her breasts for something to hold onto.
He nipped at her hips and she bucked again as he withdrew his hand,
He trailed his lips down while his hands pulled panties down and away, her legs willingly helping him do such.
He bent down and licked a line down her stomach to her clitoris, circling it repeatedly as she moaned softly. His hands gripped her hips tightly and he briefly moved off the bed to simply brace a knee on the bed frame as he moved to tease and nip at her lower lips and she let out a gasp, her hands moving downward to wrap in his hair.
He explored her for a time, enjoying her taste against his tongue until she moaned out a command.
She pulled him up and they locked lips slowly, soft and relaxed- but it quickly began to desperate when she wrapped her legs around his hips.
Her hands fell back down to his hips and unbuttoned his pants, using her legs to pull them down, Asher kicking them off where they fell to the floor.
She ground her hips against him and he felt his erection become near painfully hard.
Claim her! Take her! Claim her! Take her! Claim her! Take her! Claim her!
He let out a growl and she purred against his throat where she began to nip once more. They had both sat up, her hips locked over his as her legs hung tight around his waist.
“Pull back a bit.” He urged and Allegra did as he asked, releasing him a bit as his hand travelled down to encompass his length and move it to her entrance. She shivered at the feeling and moaned when he rocked them back flat against the bed, his hips pushing into hers as he made his way into her core which clung tight to him as he pulled in and out slowly, savoring the feeling of her encompassing him.
He thrust into her at an even pace, groaning when her hands pull him by the neck down to kiss her. She ground her hips to meet his and cut into his back with her nails, drawing a growl from him as he picked up the pace.
She had become more daring than before, more dominant that he remembered her being, letting out growls of her own when she got frustrated and urged him to go faster, go harder, treat her rougher.
No, she was definitely not as delicate or fragile as she had been before, but when had she changed? When had she become so much stronger, so much more… so much more enduring?
He could not tell you how, perhaps through her natural grace, perhaps through the time he hadn’t remembered yet, but he was certain that she was indeed changed.
She moaned beneath him, kissing a trail down his jaw to the front of his throat, nipping and sucking lightly at his skin.
He blew out a long breath as he felt his end draw near, kneeling back to hold her by her hips and slowly rock them against his as he slowly withdrew and thrust back in to the beat of her heart, which rang low in his ears, making his Beast damn near purr in satisfaction.
But he should have known that he would never have allowed him full control- not when they now knew that she was their mate.
Sure enough, he released a groan as he began to sink lower in thought as his Beast rose up to take more control. He began to just be a passenger in his body, feeling everything, but having none of the ability to do anything himself. No, he was in complete control, and Asher could do nothing to fight against it.
He was surprised by how he held them back from shifting- Asher knew from experience that he had no desire to be anything but in his true form. It was one of the reasons that he, unlike rare other lycan, could only take two forms- a human-esque one and a monstrous giant of a war hound that could bring large cities crumbling down around him.
He always took up the latter form, utterly despising the former in a way Asher had never understood until he was shifted into the latter without the Beast in control.
But no, he seemed to be almost savoring the experience- until Asher began to sense his teeth sharpening and his eyes burning.
Allegra opened her eyes, a dark cherry red that showed confusion, shock, and then interest as she stared into his own.
He wondered what she was seeing.
What was he planning? Why couldn’t Asher hear him?
Allegra’s hands crawled down from her chest to grip the bedding, her nails ripping into the fabric, leaving long strips of tattered blankets and sheeting.
He was enjoying watching her- he hardly looked anywhere else. It was only when he felt her clench around him at her end that he picked up the pace at a rate that no human could go, let alone sustain.
Allegra let out a whine of a moan, sitting up to hold onto his shoulders as he kept going, drawing her orgasm out.
The smell of blood hit the air again, this time, Allegra’s.
He looked down briefly at her, but Asher could only see a bit of his hand- noticing in that small bit that his nails had shifted into claws and tore into her hips in shallow wounds- but it seemed to go unnoticed by Allegra herself who was breathing heavily against his neck, letting out sweet whines into his shoulder that she had nipped at before.
She reached her climax around him and sunk her teeth into his collar, drinking from him in long pulls and triggering his own orgasm.
Asher recoiled in his mind as he sunk his teeth into her collar, not partaking of her blood, merely releasing her after a few moments, licking lightly at the wound, his saliva jump-starting the healing process that her own healing abilities finished on its own as she continued to drink from him, her tongue teasing at the sensitive flesh when she pulled away, soothing the irritated skin.
She kissed a line up his collar, up his throat, and over his jaw to connect her lips to his, a relaxed kiss as Asher slowly rose to dominance in his mind again, his partial shift dissolving as he pulled his claws from her hips as they receded. His teeth dulled back down a bit, but remained almost as sharp before, but less animalistic as his eyes burned again, going back to what he could only assume as his normal shade of blue.
They fell back onto the flat of the bed, Asher releasing her and rolling to the side, Allegra shifting to lay against his side, her breath warming his skin slowly.
He was content to watch her, her eyes closed and her face at ease almost as if she were asleep.
In truth, he was analyzing everything about her, but without his true memories of their shared past, anything he would come up with would be pure theory, even he could concede that.
Where was he for that matter? He had seemed to be lulled to a contented sleep within their mind, and his silence was welcome with Asher. For once, he was free to fall lax with his control- at least until he became sentient again.
“Allegra?” He spoke up and she blinked, glancing up at him, her eyes warm when they met his own.
“Can you help me regain my memories?” Asher watched her take in his proposal, and after a moment his mate nodded.
“I can, but not all of them were pleasant. You might wish I hadn’t.” She released a long breath, “Do you still want my help if that is the case?”
She scanned his face, searching for any sign of apprehension.
He looked away at the wall for a moment then back down at her, “Allegra, is there any way you can preview them to me? Then I can decide if I want them or not.”
She frowned, “I can I suppose, but it would probably just make them stronger and allow them to come back on their own.”
“Perhaps that’s what I need.” Asher stated and she gazed at him for a moment before nodding.
She rolled off the bed and over to the closet, throwing on a robe. She let her voice drift back to him as she looked though her closet.
“You may want to take a shower, it may be a while before you find yourself with the next opportunity. I’ll get you something to wear and something to eat while you shower. I believe they left some of your stuff here before they left. If not, you can borrow some of Beau’s I believe. They’ll be a tight fit, but they’ll do if we have nothing else.”
She left the room and turned on the water in the bathroom before peeking back in. “Soap is under the vanity.”
Asher followed her instructions and when he came out fresh clothes were sitting out on the counter while the smell of soup was wafting in the air from the pot on the stove. It was warm and surprisingly good given it was from a gods know how old number of cans.
He began eating and a few minutes later Allegra stepped into the apartment again, smiling before heading for a turn in the bathroom herself.
Ten minutes later she stepped back into the living room dressed in a pair of white shorts and a loose black v-neck, her wet hair falling to her waist.
He followed her back into the bedroom, which had been cleaned up with fresh bedding. She directed him to lay on the bed and she seated herself beside him in a chair that had been pulled to the bedside, away from its original position against the wall where its second still sat beside the lonely crib.
“Relax,” She commanded, “You won’t feel anything at first, but if you fight it, it will hurt.”
Her warning hung in the air for a moment before she grabbed his hand gently within her own.
Asher nodded and closed his eyes, forcing himself to relax against the pillows, letting his head fall back into their fold. She rubbed soothing circles into his hand, graduating into subtle taps that became farther and farther apart and he felt like he was slipping away into sleep. A single tap sent him spiraling. ns 126.96.36.199da2