It felt like he was sinking farther and farther into an abyss that he knew would be difficult to climb out of. Memories flash by as he sinks, a kind smile, a bullet to the gut, a concerned Allegra, a baby’s cries, Allegra screaming as all he felt was pain.
Asher felt everything he was now begin to slip away. It was terrifying to have only just regained his past to lose it all over again, but he forced himself to trust her with it all.
I will be with you.
Her voice is the last thing he remains aware of before it all turns to darkness.
Lukos breathed in the scent of lemon as he came to beside Allegra on her bed. She was nude beside him, but wrapped in several layers of quilts, her breasts pressed up against his side, her strawberry locks pillowing out beneath her head on his shoulder.
He was missing his shoes, shirt, and jacket but he turned to find them laying out on top of the chair on the far wall. His arm was resting around Allegra and she let out a soft sigh, seeming to readjust briefly in her sleep before resettling herself in the same spot as before. He grabbed the alarm clock next to the bed and scanned for the time.
He needed to get ready, he had another mission today, one of his normal assassinations that didn’t require his other half. It would take two nights, tops.
He unwrapped himself from her and pulled on his boots quickly, not wanting to wake her up.
Allegra had been having trouble sleeping lately, and her body was turning frailer. She was eating more, trying for the baby, and he was feeding her his blood while he wasn’t on missions so that Beau could stock up the blood for when he wasn’t there.
Beau was helping them to keep the secret, but her pregnancy was already known. She now had enough of a belly to be noticed, but at six months, it wasn’t surprising. Now, they were fighting to keep the fact that he was the father a secret, but something had been egging him recently, like a shoe was about to drop and he had begun to try and figure out what he could do when it did.
He pulled on his shirt and zipped up his vest, turning to look at her.
She loved him, a fact that kept startling him every time it came to mind. He had never asked her why or how, but then again, he didn’t think she would have an answer. Part of him believed that this must be a mistake, that she was just young and confused, but every time he even thought about saying it she would cast him a look that spoke volumes about her feeling.
She sighed again and rolled over, away from him and burrowing deeper into the blankets. She mumbled something, but he couldn’t tell what as he left the room. He shut the door quietly and walked into the living room, stilling when he noticed a man sitting on the couch. His leader, the new commander at this base.
“Hound, it would be a lie to say I didn’t expect this.” the man stated, his voice cold and blunt.
Lukos kept a calm facade, the one he took on for missions. He waited at the entrance to the hall, his back facing Allegra’s closed door as he waited for the man to turn around. Valeryevich was a cool, calculating man, but he had been new and still adjusting to the new position. He hadn’t expected the man to be the first to act.
“You know, Hound, the word has been going around for years about a girl following one of our best assets around. Before I came here, I thought that it must be a joke, for our asset to be reduced to a babysitter. But now I see, that the woman is a girl no longer…” he trailed off but Lukos did not rise to the bait.
Valeryevich rose from the couch and faced him. He was a little too young to be called middle aged, but not far off. He had a rising hairline with speckling dark hair and with skin that was too tan even if he had lived in a desert climate his entire life. From what Lukos knew, he had come from their base in South America, but was a native Russian. The Russian he spoke was smooth and effortless, giving ground to the former information.
He walked around the couch and faced the door, leaving more than two feet between them. Valeryevich sent him a raised brow and a smirk. It was menacing, but not overly so, as if he saw an opportunity for something entertaining.
“This has been noted, Hound. But continue as you will, there are no repercussions planned as of now.” Valeryevich taunted.
His commander left the apartment then, and Lukos released a breath. He turned and walked back into Allegra’s room, waking her.
Her green eyes blinked at him sleepily as he came closer, “Lukos?”
She blinked again as he sat down beside her on the bed. She sat up, her form remaining covered by the heavy quilts. Her eyes grew concerned and he ran a hand over his face, not looking her in the eyes.
“They know.” he stated and she inhaled on a soft hiss.
She wrapped a hand over his shoulder, rising up onto her knees and wrapping her arms around him fully in a soft embrace.
“Are you alright? What are they going to do?”
Her voice was heightened with her anxiety and her breathing had picked up, he found himself rubbing soft circles into the back of her hand to calm her down as she leaned flush against his back. Her head was pressed against his shoulder and he felt her relax after a few moments, her breathing evening out.
“I’m fine. We’re fine. For now. I don’t know what they are going to do, but Valeryevich claims that they won’t be doing anything, yet.” He trailed off into his thoughts only coming out when he felt her heart rate pick up again, he turned around and took her in his arms, stilling when she hissed.
He began to pull back, but she pulled her quilts away and grabbed hold of his right hand and pressed it flush against her belly. A moment later, he felt something push back against his hand and he let out a soft gasp at the feeling.
He looked back to Allegra to see her smiling at him with tears in her eyes.
A flash and then all he can hear is Allegra screaming. He’s being dragged into the main chamber by four other men while Allegra’s screams from the clinic can be heard reverberating through the halls. She’s calling for him, begging them to not do it. Not do what?
He’s strapped down onto a cold metal table and strapped in with thick leather that managed to hold true even when he tried his hardest to break free.
He knew what this meant- an end to everything, at least for him. To his memories, to his relationship with Allegra, to his potential relationship with his daughter.
He had asked Allegra to name her Genevieve. He remembered that, wondering what would happen to them now.
This must be the repercussion they thought of; he didn’t want this.
People swarmed around the table in white lab coats, pricking him with needles, taping him down with wires, IVs forced into his arms as they hooked bags of chemicals up to his bloodstream.
He could hear Allegra still screaming behind the loud sounds of the… scientists hustling around him.
Why couldn’t he find the strength to move- this wasn’t normal. He wasn’t- he wasn’t human. They shouldn’t have been able to hold him down. When did they inject him with something to deplete his strength? That must have been why they could manage to inject him with chemicals- his blood should have eliminated that possibility.
He hadn’t even been able to see her. His daughter.
He glared at Valeryevich as his vision began to grey and turn shaky, forcing him to close his eyes shut tight. His body felt like it was on fire and his mind felt like it was being ripping into pieces- eradicating everything that made him, him.
Minutes passed, maybe hours before he was pulled out.
He was disoriented, his memories cloudy and his mind racing- desperate for anything to manifest. Nothing did.
He heard a woman screaming, calling for someone. Lukos? Who was Lukos? Then he heard the sound of soft cries piercing into the air of the base with an echo.
The guards dragged him, pulled him closer to the room where the cries and screams originated. The screams had fallen silent and he heard muffled sobs as he neared the doorway where they came from.
A man dressed in scrubs held a small babe in his arms. A doctor. The sobbing woman was lying in a hospital bed, tears trailing down her face.
“It’s a girl!” The doctor exclaimed and the woman held out her arms for the baby girl.
The doctor wrapped her up in a pillowcase, the closest thing they had to a baby blanket. He was being dragged into the room and the woman looked up, her sobbing picking up when she spotted his weak form.
“Lukos!” She cried, her arms still holding the babe pressed against her chest.
He furrowed his brows at her, desperate for some recollection of her. A man dressed in military uniform stepped into the room behind the guards that had dropped him onto the cement floors. He tried to work up the strength to get up, but found himself too weak to support his own weight.
“A few more ‘treatments’ and he’ll be as good as new, Miss. Black. If you want him, you’ll do what I say.” The military man spoke, his tone threatening as the woman quieted, tears streaming down her face as he was dragged back out of the room and back to the chamber where the metal bed sat that he knew he despised with all of his being.
Another flash and he found himself in the clinic, facing a bedridden woman. A makeshift crib was beside her bed, a tiny babe wrapped in a blanket. They told him her name was Allegra, but he couldn’t remember her. They told him that he was a friend of her late father’s, and that he was to be with her.
Why, they didn’t tell him.
She was lying on the mattress with an IV hooked into her arm and several monitors connected to her fingers. Her strawberry hair was curly, but dried out while her skin looked pale and slightly grey tinged beneath the fluorescent lighting that filled the room. She had pretty features that made her almost look regal in nature and complemented her in ways he didn’t fully understand. She was mumbling beneath her breath as she came in and out of consciousness, until she began to blink away any sleep, her head twisting to look at him.
Was that what they called him when they didn’t call him ‘Hound’? She blinked her pale green eyes at him. Was that a flash of red he spotted?
He could feel something rumbling in the back of his mind- something that felt almost sentient and terribly angry, almost snapping its jaws for release.
She reached out a hand to him and he found himself stepping forward into the light beside her. He was hesitant, but she gave him a smile that tried to wipe the feeling away. They had sent him on a mission as soon as he had awakened, but when it was completed they had left him here, with her. He sat down in the chair beside her, his arm twitchy, his hand tapping against his leg absently. He was anything but relaxed.
He wasn’t comfortable sitting in the center of the room like this, and tried to put his back to the nearest wall. She watched him, withdrawing her hand after a moment. Something akin to apprehension shone in her eyes as she looked at him unblinkingly.
He stilled, waiting for her to speak.
“Are you alright?” She asked him, her apprehension turning into concern.
He didn’t know how to feel about her concern. What was he to her? Why couldn’t he remember her?
He nodded in reply and she let out a breath as a doctor stepped into the room.
His brown hair was cut close to his head, but it was longer than most of the men at the base. Brown eyes flashed to Lukos but they quickly flickered away to Allegra. He approached her bed with a stethoscope and a clipboard, a pen tucked into his coat pocket. His glasses reflected the bad lighting in the room, and something about him seemed familiar to Lukos.
“Beau,” Allegra greeted and the doctor smiled at her.
“How are you feeling, Ally?” He asked her quietly, his eyes casting to the crib briefly.
The babe let out a cooing sound in response, appeared to try and move beneath the blanket she was swaddled in.
Allegra gave a soft laugh, “I’m fine, tired still, but fine.”
“Any weakness?” Beau asked her, stepping closer to her opposite bedside. He tapped the side of her mouth with the pen and she let out a sigh before opening.
He checked her gums, letting out a sigh of his own when he spotted how pale they were.
“You’re not fine, and I’d appreciate it if you didn’t lie, Allegra.”
She rose a brow at his words, irritation sparkling in her eyes. She fiddled with the monitor attached to her forefinger, not saying anything. Beau sighed again and walked over to the freezer by the entrance and pulled out a blood bag, walking over and hooking it up to the IV. Almost immediately, color began to return to her face and she seemed livelier. Lukos could guess that didn’t normally happen.
Beau moved his attention to the baby, checking her over carefully. Lukos watched the babe, stilling further when he noticed her eyes. They were a bright cherry red. Beau noticed and smirked at him slightly.
“Just a birth defect,” He remarked, going back to his work.
Lukos turned back to Allegra and she smiled at him softly. She held out her hand to him, and he took it cautiously, his scarred hand not fully able to feel her own.
“What is her name?” He asked her and she frowned momentarily, her eyes turning glassy before she blinked the tears away.
Months passed and so did more than a dozen missions. He completed them easily of course, and there were very little damages that he had to worry about. The last mission had been different though.535Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡVLmOv1L5EU
He had gotten too close to one of his target’s guards and had been noticed. The guard had shot into the darkness and had managed to hit him in the gut, but he had managed to still pull off the rest of the mission without a hitch before he was retrieved by his handlers.535Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡYMXx40qqih
They had been angry, but Allegra had been even angrier with him. He had grown close with her, but the sickly woman had been damn near radiant when she was infuriated with him. She had been the one to stitch him up, and despite her anger, she had been gentle.
She sighed when she cut the last of the sutures and knotted the thread closed. Allegra practically threw the medical supplies back into the kit and after a moment, and a deep breath, organized the kit once more and returned it to its rightful place. They were in her bedroom, little Genevieve sound asleep in the crib between the chairs by the wall.535Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡfzGjdVTb36
He swore that baby could sleep through just about the end of the world.
Allegra stepped back into the room, her nightgown swaying as she made her way back over to him in the chair. She finished cleaning the blood from his stomach with a wet rag, handing him his shirt when she was done.
She sighed, sitting on the bed facing him. Her skin was tinted pink and she scratched at it lightly while he looked at her.
“It’s the new injections they added, they make me… hot and itchy.” She stated as he walked closer to her.
Her normal citrus scent was quickly evaporating from her; it had been for a while now. At times it seemed to come back , but now she smelled closer to roses than anything else. He was too close to her, he realized this now, but her eyes were not looking up at him, they were burrowing holes into his chest instead. He reached out and ran a hand along her jaw and pulled her up to face him. Her eyes were a bright red, like her daughter’s, but as soon as she blinked the red was gone. He released her and she let her head fall against his chest.
He wanted to know what she was thinking, even more so when she looked at him with so much emotion in her eyes. He wanted to know what she felt, how she felt about him. Allegra felt hot against him and he inhaled the scent of… spices as he ran a hand through her hair. Her breathing picked up at his touch and he traced the mark that rested on her collar bone.
It was shaped like feather and it was near black against her shoulder. At first he had passed it off as a scar, but as he looked at it more and more, he realized how delicate it was. She clawed at her skin and her weight fell flush against him, her breasts pressing against his chest. She tore off the robe she wore and scratched at her skin lightly, trying not to break the surface with her sharp nails.
He stepped back from her, looking at her briefly as the scent of spices grew stronger. He found his own breathing picking up and when she looked up at him, he kissed her.
He couldn’t get rid of the thought of how familiar she tasted, a dark sweetness that left him wanting more. He ran his hands down her back, wrapping them around her breasts and rubbing circles around her nipples. She moaned in response, her hands traveling up his arms and wrapping around his face to bring him closer to her.
“Lukos…” She trailed off against his lips and she spread her legs to bring him closer to her body.
He groaned when he felt her wrap her legs around his hips, grinding herself into him. She seemed hesitant at first, but grew more and more certain with her movements when she saw him respond. His hold on her tightened and she kissed a line down his jaw and neck, nipping at his skin lightly.
He felt her nimble fingers begin to undo his belt and he thrust against her, her nightgown riding up to her hips. He ran a hand up her thigh, smirking when he felt her shudder beneath his touch and still briefly. Her breath was hot against his chest as she resumed her ministrations.
Her skin was hot beneath his touch and he nipped lightly at her throat.
“I want you,” She breathed as he slid a finger inside of her.
He kissed her, then as her fingers finished undoing his pants.
He shouldn’t part of him knew, but he wanted her too much for him to stop.
He wondered what had happened to Genevieve’s father occasionally, but he had never asked Allegra before. She had said that Genevieve’s father had named her, and Lukos had always assumed that he must have been a soldier here, one that was killed.
Allegra was sitting in one of the chairs when he came to her room after his most recent mission. She had Genevieve cradled against her breast, the baby girl’s lips wrapped around her nipple. She looked up when he entered and he felt his face flush slightly at the scene.
He waited and a few minutes later the baby girl yawned and Allegra stood, wrapping herself back up in the robe as she turned around and placed her daughter in the crib. When she turned back around to face him he spotted a line of blood beginning to stain the lilac of her robe.
Lukos approached her and pulled back the edge to reveal a cut right above her nipple where her daughter had been drinking.
He pulled back, “You feed her your blood? Why?”
She blinked at him, the red manifesting in them like a cloud that overcame the pale green he had come to love.
Did he love her? She was the one who was always there for him, who cared about him. He could see in her eyes that she cared for him and he would kill to remember why. He had never given her reason to, but perhaps in her eyes, that was the reason for it. Or maybe he was just going insane and this was all just a hallucination and they had chained him up in a hole and left him to rot like they were thinking of doing when he had first awakened as a clean slate?
As he looked at the red, it suddenly seemed much more like a dream than any form of reality.
She grabbed hold of his hand and held it against her chest. Her heart beat was even and somewhat hard against his hand. It was reassuring and brought him back down to her.
She inhaled hard, “She’s like me, sick like me. Blood is the only thing that keeps me alive, and so it is the same for her.”
She gave a harsh laugh, her gaze sinking down to his chest. He touched her cheek with the back of his hand, shuddering when he felt a tear hit his skin.
For some reason it pained him, that single tear. It brought back the distinct feeling of loss. Loss for what, he couldn’t name. Loss of his memories? His past? Everyone he had probably once cared for? A cause? Or was it that he was going to lose her?
He stilled at the thought.
It seemed cruel to lose the one person he cared for, that cared about him. His only ground in this world that reminded him that he was human and not just some tool, just some means to an end.
“You know, I thought if I ate enough she’d have a better chance? Stupid, stupid, stupid…” She muttered and he held her against his chest.
He looked down at her sickly form, “What about the transfusions?”
She scoffed, “Not the same thing, not enough.”
“What happened to her father?”
He asked without thinking, regretting it as soon as he felt her still, his chest growing wet with her tears again. She let out a sob and he cursed himself.
Fuck, stupid, stupid, stupid. Idiot. Do something!
He tightened his hold on her and she collapsed against him, forcing him to hold onto her weight. He lifted her up and placed her on the bed, counting his blessings that Genevieve was still asleep.
She leaned on him for support, her next words soft and calmer than they should’ve been given her previous display. She took a deep breath.
“Gone. Taken away.”
“What do you mean ‘taken away’? Who took him?” he asked her, but she shook her head.
She seemed desperate to let it go, and so he let her.
Some part of him wished he hadn’t though.
Another flash and he finds himself hovering over Genevieve’s crib, looking down at the baby girl. She’s older now, staring up at him with bright red eyes and a giggly smile. She’s holding onto her toes with one hand while the other holds onto his finger, squeezing it tight.
“Do you want to hold her, Lukos?” Allegra asked from beside him, her strawberry head looking up at him.
He looked back down at the baby girl.
“Yes, but I don’t want to hurt her.” He admitted and Allegra grabbed his hand gently, massaging it to get him to relax.
She looked up at him with her green eyes shining, “You won’t hurt her, here.”
She released his hand and picked her daughter up in her arms. She reached out with her hand for his own but he didn’t give it.
“No, I can’t.”
He didn’t feel right, part of him fearing that he would hurt the small infant, the other part of him not wanting to take the place of her father. He would be a poor substitute no doubt, an assassin as a father? It was laughable almost.
Allegra sighed, dropping her hand and turning away to sit in one of the chairs with her daughter in her arms. He let out a sigh of his own as he spotted the sadness in her gaze.
But he knew getting attached to the baby girl would only be a mistake on his part.
Something was off, Allegra was acting strange, she kept second guessing herself and she seemed hesitant around him, like she was walking on eggshells. It had been going on for over a month, and he was quickly getting tired of it.
He walked into her room, having already decided to confront her after his most recent mission. He entered without knocking, surprising her, and himself when he found her in the middle of changing. The mission had taken a month, and he was shocked to find a noticeable bump at the bottom of her abdomen.
“Allegra, tell me it’s not…” He swallowed, “It can’t be.”
She turned away, her eyes glassy as she went searching for something to wear. She settled on a pair of pants and a loose top, quickly sweeping them on while he composed himself and tried to formulate actual thought.
She kept her back to him for a moment, breathing in and out slowly, as if she was trying to form a response herself. She turned around after a few minutes, her green eyes turning red again.
Allegra watched him for a minute but he was shocked still at his discovery.
“I’m sorry.” She breathed and he stepped closer to her.
He tried for words, but nothing seemed quite right. Yes, he knew that this was bad. No, he didn’t want this for her, for himself, and definitely not for some innocent baby. God, this was bad. What would they say?
“I’m sorry.” She repeated and he met her gaze for a moment.
He inhaled harshly, “I have to tell them.”
“I will,” she began but he waved her off.
“No. They’ll be…” he trailed off, trying to imagine what the consequences would be.
She let out a sigh and grabbed his hand, rubbing circles to soothe him. It didn’t work, not this time.
He sat down in one of the chairs. She looked like she was getting worse he realized. Her hair was darker and dead around her face, the curls no longer bouncy and resilient, but dry and rough. Her skin was drier as well, no longer soft and young, but seeming to age her almost a decade. The dark circles around her eyes were purple and perfectly round, making her eyes seem like they were sinking further into her face. Her lips were chapped as well, though that was more recent.
“When was your last transfusion?” he asked her and she sighed, turning away and running a hand through her hair, a slight grimace on her face.
“Last week, I’ve been trying to supplement it with water and solids, but it isn’t working quite as well as I’d hoped.” She seemed hesitant, and an aura of depression hung off of her in waves.
Allegra ran another hand over her face and let out a long breath. It was harsh, and dry, like she hadn’t had water in days.
A knock came at the door and Beau peeked his head in, not looking at Lukos.
“Ally, they want to talk to you.”
Lukos stood, determined to go in her place, but she shook her head at him.
“It’ll be fine. I’ll be right back. Watch Genny please.” She left without another word, her slippered feet making no sound on the cement floors.
He nodded, more to himself than anything else. He turned to the crib to see Genevieve sitting up, her hands fiddling with her toes as she rocked back and forth with a silly smile on her face. She peeked at him and giggled, her laugh like bells before she broke into a cough. His brow furrowed at the coughing baby and he gently patted her back from his position in the chair. She finished her coughing and went back to beaming at him, pleased to see him.
He felt bad for whoever her father was, or had been, to not know his own daughter. Genevieve was a happy baby, even with her limited interaction with other people. She only saw maybe four or five people regularly on the base and the two others besides Beau, Allegra, and him, were a nurse and a friend of Beau’s that came to visit the apartment occasionally.
He smirked, thinking back to the small doctor who had jumped a good two feet when he spotted him with Allegra and Genevieve.
He looked back up as he heard two sets of footsteps approach the door. One was Allegra, while the other was heavier and booted. Allegra stepped into the room and left the door open for the man to step through. He was a hulking man, as tall as Lukos or maybe taller, with pitch black hair and eyes so brown they looked black. Well, perhaps they were black, because he had trouble looking at him to spot the difference between the pupil and the rest of his eye.
Allegra looked up at Lukos, “This is Russ, he was a friend of my father’s.”
Russ turned his eerie gaze on Lukos, unsettling the war hound. After a moment, the stern look on his face abated and the air cleared of what had been a dark hazy feeling. He sent Lukos a bright smile, but it seemed dark and malevolent. It unsettled him even further, but he gave no sign of it, a mask of calm collection on his face.
“Hello, you must be the man Ally has taken to so much.” Russ alluded and Allegra blushed.
Russ looked too young to be a friend of her dead father’s. He looked to be around Beau’s age in fact, maybe a year or so older. Lukos stood and walked over to the man, holding his hand out to shake. Russ took it, his grip strong with his calloused hand, surprising Lukos with his sheer strength.
He appeared slimmer than most, but clearly was strong enough to hold his own. Russ’ eyes flickered over Lukos’ shoulder to Genevieve who had gone silent when he stepped into the room. Lukos fought the urge to shift over and obscure the man’s view of her.
Something was off about him, but Allegra seemed to trust him well enough.
He nodded to Russ instead and stepped back and sat back into the chair. Russ approached the crib and peered over the edge. Little Genevieve gazed up at him in awe, like she saw something they didn’t in the man. Her red eyes blinked after a moment and she cooed at the hulking man.
Russ turned to look at Allegra as she stepped beside him, “May I?”
He picked up the baby girl and Lukos suppressed the shudder he felt when the man’s arm grazed his own. The man put him on edge, but Allegra seemed almost adoring of him. It sparked an unwanted jealousy in him, but he kept his mask up, not wanting to leave the man alone with the two people he cared most about.
He admitted it to himself. He cared about Allegra and her daughter, much more than he had the right to, at the very least.
Russ cradled the babe against his side, her legs dangling around his waist. He broke into greek, a language Lukos knew little of.
His exclamation seemed to make the baby girl happy, but Lukos was certain it was just the tone he used that garnered her attention. He turned his gaze to Allegra who smiled at the man, grimacing when she felt her lip begin to split. A line of blood trailed down her jaw and she pulled out a handkerchief and wiped it away.
Russ turned to look at her and kept up with the greek.
Lukos wondered what he said, but Allegra clearly knew what he meant. She blushed and looked away with a frown. Russ sighed and placed the baby girl in the crib once more, his gaze flickered to Lukos briefly.
He made a remark in greek before trailing off into english, “Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. Very well, I will give you my own while I am here.”
She blushed again, looking down at her feet before turning her gaze to Lukos. He quirked a brow at her. Later, she mouthed.
He nodded and turned back to the black haired man, “How do you know Allegra?”
Russ turned his eyes to him, moving to sit in the opposite chair, while Allegra sat on the edge of the bed.
“I taught her when she was younger, she knew no other tongue but her mother tongue when they found her wandering around in Siberia.”
Allegra nodded, “I only knew greek, an older form of the language at that, and Russ was the only one they found who could speak and translate it fluently. He taught me english and russian, and a little bit of german and french before he left.”
Lukos quirked a brow at her, knowing well enough that she was not being completely honest with him. He’d ask her when he left, then.
A half hour later, Russ left the room with a few parting words in greek.
“What was he calling you, ‘Adelfi’?” Lukos asked her and she let out a breath.
“It means ‘sister’.” She explained softly.
She laughed, “I’ve tried to explain that it’s rude to speak in another tongue when others don’t know it, but it’s like talking to a wall.”
“I don’t trust him, something is off about him.” Lukos bit out without thinking.
It was becoming a habit of his when he was around her.
She looked up at him, the red overcoming her eyes once again, “You really shouldn’t.”
When he next saw the man, he was in the clinic, giving blood to Beau. The two were chatting amicably in greek, occasionally slipping into english when Beau couldn’t find the appropriate word in greek.
Something about duty and greater sacrifice. Whatever Beau went on about, it seemed to please Russ well enough for him to not give off waves of negativity.
Fights had been breaking out amongst the men in the base since he had gotten there. His aura was like poison affecting them all, all but Beau and Allegra. Lukos could admit that he too, was affected by the man’s malevolent aura, but he knew better than to lash out, if he lashed out, people would die and he didn’t want to risk Allegra being used against him as punishment.
They knew about her pregnancy now, of that he was sure. Whenever he had the pleasure of being around Valeryevich, the commander would smirk at him, like he was planning to use it against them. He probably was, but there was nothing he could do about it, he couldn’t get them out of here, not intact at least.
Russ had begun to work with the commander on some project or another of some sort. Whatever he gave off seemed to be making everyone worse, amplifying the worst of everyone till it was almost unbearable. Lukos was sure to keep near Allegra whenever she left her rooms, only leaving her alone with Beau and as much as he hated to say it, Russ. The man cared about her, he was sure about that.
He entered the clinic after a rough mission, another assassination that had collateral damage in the shape of a few of his handlers after he had been forced to shift. He hadn’t done so often, but this mission had called for it, also calling for him to be in complete control over his Beast, which had become quite vocal in his mind.
He had escaped scathed by three bullets, one in his thigh, one in his back, and the last grazed his neck. His neck wound was already mostly healed, with only a white line and some minimal bruising, but the other wounds would have to be reopened and the bullets removed.
He sat down on the cot at the very back with his back facing a wall while he waited. Beau looked up and nodded at him when he entered and Russ sent a smirk his way.
God, he hated that man.
Russ left soon thereafter, finished with his blood donation. His blood looked darker than it should have been in the bag, almost black, though it seemed to reflect the light in the room like a mirror.
Beau approached him and got to work, slicing open his healed wounds with a scalpel and removing the bullets, each of them clinking onto a petri dish as they were removed. The one in his back was the trickier and hurt like a bitch to get out, but he sat still and silent while the brown haired man worked, not even flinching when he felt the tweezers graze something hard.
“Sorry,” Beau offered.
The first kind word he had ever given him. He nodded in response.
“Ally cares about you too much.” Beau stated and he nodded.
They all knew that she did, and he didn’t know why or what he must have done to earn it, but he wagered it must have been before he had been wiped clean.
She had cared about him from the moment he first spotted her after and though she had never told him why, he had taken it to heart.
“Please… don’t hurt her.” Beau imparted with care, his tone calm, but somewhat unsure.
“I won’t. Not if I can help it.” he stated and Beau nodded.
“But what about when you can’t help it?” he sighed, finishing up his work and patching him back up.
He still wouldn’t, but he knew he couldn’t make that guarantee.
When he came back to her room, he could hear the sound of Russ speaking, this time in fluent english.
“Zaeus grows restless, he yearns to take a host, Alchys-” he quieted and the door came open, revealing Lukos mid-step with his hand reaching out to grab the knob.
He dropped his hand and stilled, his eyes bouncing between an annoyed Russ and a sunken looking Allegra. He stepped into the room, approaching her but stopping within three feet. Her eyes were dark and cloudy and she seemed far sicklier than normal, but her fists were clenched and the air surrounding her seemed heavy and hard to breathe within her anger.
After a moment, she unclenched her hands and after taking several deep breaths, relaxed.
She turned her head to Russ, but he merely quirked a brow at her.
“Leave.” She commanded coolly and his eyes narrowed at her but she did not back down.
He left a moment later, sending a narrowed look at Lukos as he left.
It was quiet for several minutes until Genevieve broke the air with a cry. Allegra blew out a breath and forced her jaw to unclench, walking over to her daughter. He sat in one of the chairs, waiting for her to calm down.
She picked up her daughter and rocked her gently, though he could spot the frustrated tears begin to pool in her eyes.
She blinked them away and sat in the opposite chair, rocking Genevieve back to sleep for a few minutes until the infant was asleep again. Allegra placed her back in the crib, and he could see her note how big her daughter had grown. She was about eight months old now, and her ruddy ringlets were beginning to grow out past her forehead. She brushed a tiny curl out of her daughter’s face with a soft sigh before looking up at him.
Her eyes were almost always red now, making it hard for her to be able to leave her room without reason. They were growing darker in shade as well, becoming more of a crimson that anything fluorescent.
“Who is Zaeus?” he asked her and she blinked at him.
“An old god, Russ is a little eccentric when it comes to the old religion.” she dodged and he narrowed his eyes at her, but she didn’t continue.
“Why did he call you Alchys?”
She sighed, “Alchys is another god, more of a personification that a sentient being. Similar to the primordials, though she predates even Chaos. It was just a dig at my ill health.”
He nodded and didn’t press, but he knew she wasn’t being completely truthful.
The next time he saw her, after another longer mission, she looked far better. She looked healthy and had a silver glow around her, enhancing everything about her.
But all in all, the rest of the base had turned to shit. The commander was in a shitty mood, because no one was focusing on their work and therefore nothing was getting done. The mood of the base was miserable, with only Beau and Allegra being left untouched. Genevieve had begun to crawl in the time that he was away, and she was the first to greet him when he entered the comfortable apartment.
Though he still had his own rooms, he spent most of his time here now, even keeping a change of clothes in Allegra’s chest of drawers.
He received a smile from Genevieve as he entered, and he kept his eyes on her as he heard humming coming from the kitchen.
“Genny!” Allegra called and Genevieve giggled, crawling back to the kitchen where her mother was… cooking? Was that what she would call it?
“Allegra?” he asked, watching her finish slathering chocolate pudding on two cookies.
She looked up at him, a bright smile pasted on her features. She wore a short loose dress, that was two sizes too big, hiding her heavily pregnant body from view. He traced her form with his eyes, taking in her long legs and the tops of her breasts shone off to him. He moved his gaze to her food, sending her a questioning look.
“What? I had a craving.”
She smiled at him again, grabbing one of the cookies and chewing on it thoughtfully.
He stepped into the kitchen carefully to avoid the crawling baby girl and approached her, grabbing her side and pulling her flush against him. Her gasp spurred him on and he felt her drop the cookie back onto the counter and lick her lips.
He kissed her softly and she responded back strongly, opening her mouth to him.
Lukos pulled back when he heard the door to the apartment open and shut, the sound of crashing following. Allegra scanned the floor, searching for Genevieve, letting out a relieved breath when she found her sitting up beneath the table. She picked up her daughter as Lukos went to inspect what was going on in the living room.
A grunt was laying on a bed of broken glass of what had formerly been the table behind the couch, Russ was knelt over him, inspecting the damage. After a moment he sighed, standing back up to his full height.
“Vlákas.” He muttered and the grunt groaned.
Russ turned and peered at him from the corner of his eyes. After a moment, the eerie eyes turned to look fully behind Lukos where Allegra had appeared in the kitchen doorway. Genevieve was slung up on her hip, the baby girl smiling at nothing.
“What happened?” She asked him and he shook his head.
“Just a little drunken fighting amongst themselves. Valeryevich is not pleased, and neither am I.” Russ replied, though the last part smelled like bullshit to Lukos.
Allegra gave a slight hum and tip toed around the broken glass and into her room to lay Genevieve down for her afternoon nap. Lukos prodded the pained drunk with the tip of his boot, stirring him.
“Wake up and get out.” he commanded and the grunt rushed to follow, near slamming the door as he left.
“I like it. You have such a way with fear, it’s masterful.” Russ complemented and Lukos nodded along, waiting for the other man to leave.
After giving another hum to himself he left, shutting the door softly and leaving Lukos alone in the living room with the broken glass. He sighed and found the dustpan, cleaning up the glass as Allegra came back into the living room.
“Thank you,” she sang softly, her bright mood back in place.
She turned on the radio, tuning the dial until she located a station she liked. It was a russian station, but all it played were songs reminiscent of the fifties. She sang along to some nameless song, dancing around the room and back into the kitchen where she retrieved her other cookie, finishing her snack.
She ate quickly, swinging her hips to the beat of the music. He approached her, wrapping his hands around her hips and rocking his own with hers. She smiled against his throat, pecking him softly with her lips.
“I love you, Lukos.” She admitted and he believed her.
It was hard not to when she looked at him like that.
He was on a mission when she went into labor, and she gave birth when he was on his way back to her. Beau was the one to call him, congratulating him on the birth of a baby girl.
When he got back to the base it was a day later and he found them both in the clinic, with Genevieve crawling around on the floor by Beau’s feet at his desk. Russ was nowhere to be seen, Allegra smiling at him tiredly when he came to her side.
He sat down on the chair next to the bed, one of the only actual hospital beds in the clinic. The newborn girl was beside her wrapped in a pink blanket, probably the same one as Genevieve’s had been. She gurgled and rocked in her swaddle, eager to move and explore.
“What do you want to name her?” he asked Allegra and she appeared to think on it for a few moments.
“I’ve always liked the name Mona.” she replied evenly and he nodded, scanning the baby with her dark hair and squinting red eyes.
He agreed, “Mona it is.”
Allegra turned her gaze back on him, her eyes were a tired burgundy.
“Do you want to hold her?” She asked him and he nodded, but apprehension was racing through him.
She turned over and sat up, drawing the rolling crib over and reaching inside to pull out their daughter.
Mona let out a cooing sound, rolling from side to side with her desire to move. She stilled under her mother’s touch, her lips quirking slightly in an attempt of a smile. Allegra held her for a moment, watching him with narrowed eyes.
“You are holding her.” She commanded her voice smooth and warm, but leaving him no way out.
He nodded, more to himself and held out his arms, his right shaking slightly. Allegra smiled at him softly and gently placed their daughter in his arms. She was so small, and so very soft and he got a huge dose of anxiety when he thought of all the ways he could accidentally hurt her. His shaking seemed to make Mona happy and she gave a gurgle in response, a slight bounce in her movements.
He quickly handed her back to Allegra, letting out a breath as he did so. Allegra frowned, but said nothing and he leaned back, finding Genevieve sitting up by his feet and peering at him with her eerie eyes. After a moment she looked away from him and up at her mother who still held Mona in her arms. Genevieve held up her arms at them, then at him when she didn’t get a response. Lukos let out a breath and lifted the a little over one year old up and onto her mother’s bed.
He watched them all together with anxiety still ricocheting through his mind. Something was wrong, and he knew something was about to change.
He’s in the gym when he’s attacked by four of the others. It was a week after he had gotten back and a little over a week after Mona had been born and he was tired, having awakened half a dozen times in the night when Mona was crying.
Allegra had gotten up each time to take care of her, but he would do his best to help her without getting directly involved. He knew she was disappointed and it ate at him how helpless he felt, caught between knowing he didn’t have a clue how to take care of a baby, and the unsettling feeling that this was wrong, that Mona was too good to have come from him.
A kick sent him flying from his thoughts, sending him into the wall he had been facing. His face gave a crack at the collision and he turned to see himself circled by three of the grunts and a higher ranking officer. The officer sent him a sneer, and he could feel the blood pouring down his face from his now broken nose.
He felt the weight still cradled in his left arm and without thinking, sent it careening into the officer’s face. A crunch and he’s down on the ground a weight sticking out of his face. He isn’t breathing.
Shit. He’s in for it now.
The three come at him all at once and he casts one of them into one of the others, and they crash against the wall behind him. The other he missed and distinctly feels it when he gets a punch to the gut. The grunt lets out a groan, his knuckles sticking out in strange places.
Lukos is standing when the others come into the room, one of them shooting him in the arm with a dart. He pulled it out quickly, but not fast enough as he started to feel the drug coursing through him. It made his vision cloudy and made his mind feel hazy and he collapsed to his knees, grunting when he felt a steel toed boot kick into his face.
His Beast was eerily quiet- he had always been within his memory- but never more so than now. It was like he had been removed completely, and it put Lukos on edge knowing that he couldn’t shift to save himself.
When he comes to he can feel himself being dragged and flashes of the last time he was dragged like this come back to him and he tries to fight against the men who held him. They’re too strong, or he’s too weak and he fails as they drag him into the main chamber, pushing him onto the dreaded metal table and strapping him in as they began to stab him with a collection of needles and covering him in wires and monitors.
They shoved something into his mouth to keep him from screaming- but he immediately spit it out as the drugs began to take effect, lighting his blood on fire. Out of the corner of his eyes he spots Valeryevich smirk at him.
He pushed back against the pain.
Stop! Stop! Asher, stop!
He continued, unaware, or too immersed to realize what was going on.
Allegra is screaming.
Lukos squeezed his eyes shut as the agony continued and with one last push, he’s free.
Asher came to, feeling like himself once more. But he was not out of the memory cycle, he was somewhere else. He’s in the apartment, right outside Allegra’s door. The first thing he hears is the sound of her cries ringing in his ears.
She’s crying out, screaming.
“Lukos, stop!” She screamed and he stepped back from the door, scanning the apartment, searching for her.
He turned back to the door, touching the knob to open it but a shock sent him back onto his ass on the cement floors. She’s screaming again, begging him. For what, to stop? Stop what?
Asher stood back on his feet and opened the door to the bathroom, scanning for her even though the screams appeared to come from the bedroom. All that met him was steam and another memory of his own this time.
He stepped into the bathroom, steam meeting him as he entered, Allegra was in the shower and he began to shed his own clothes to join her. He pulled the curtain away, surprising her. She laughed and allowed him entrance, her laugh like bells in his ear. She was happy to see him, but he was not here for her to be happy.
He was here because he was ordered to, nothing more, nothing less. His commander , the one pulling his strings, told him to go to her, be with her. He had said nothing more, but Lukos didn’t expect him to.
He picked her up off the tile and braced her against the wall, surprising her and gaining a gasp in response. He slid a finger inside of her, pleased when he found her already wet. Her breathing was harsh in his ear when he entered her, harder than she was probably used to. He slammed into her again and again and she moaned against him, excited.
Her arms were wrapped around his neck and he pulled them loose once they had finished, exiting the shower and throwing his clothes back on. He didn’t look at her as he left, not even as she whispered his name dejectedly.
Asher slammed the door shut as he stepped back into the hall, desperate to get out, to escape.
Orders, he had been her just for orders?
A wave of nausea hit him as he touched the doorknob again to her room. The screaming had picked up again and he ignored the sickening feeling, ramming his body against the door in an attempt to break it. His head pounded and he pushed harder, backing up and giving it a kick.
It did not break and he left it, walking back into the living room. Genny and Mona were sitting on the rug, playing with blocks. Genny was showing her sister each of the blocks and reading the letters, over exaggerating the sound of them. Mona didn’t appear to particularly care, nodding along, but not really present.
They were as old as they were in reality. No, they must be younger here, they just don’t look like it, he reminded himself.
Mona spotted him, “You shouldn’t be here. No one is supposed to be here but Momma.”
Genny was still prattling on about the blocks, not noticing him in the least. She held up a block into Mona’s line of sight.
“Momma says this one’s A-yuh.”
“What do you mean, Mona?” he asked her and she shook her head.
“You’re not supposed to be here. No one can get in but me, and Momma said only I can.”
“What about the screaming? What’s happening to her?” he rushedly asked and Mona shrugged.
The screaming was still very much present, and it bit into the air, Allegra pleading for him. At him? He couldn’t tell.
The twins entered the room, gliding right through him to their sisters. They were younger here too, but appeared relatively the same.
Aggie spoke up, “Where’s Momma?”
Genny looked up at her, “In her room. Shhh!”
The little girl held a solitary finger up over her lips. Mona had kept her stare on him constantly, but her sisters didn’t notice. She was quieter than most, and if left to it, could go completely forgotten beside her other sisters.
Another younger girl came from the kitchen. She was sick, clearly, and stumbled over to Aggie and Lucy, Lucy catching her before she could fall and setting her on the couch. She was a toddler, and every once in awhile she gave a hacking cough, blood splattering her tiny fist.
“Lenorey is everything okay?” Genny asked her and Lenore shook her tiny head.
“I don feel good, but I still bett-uh than yester-day. I think I’m getting bett-uh.”
Genny nodded and Mona turned her gaze to Lenore, “I’ve seen it, you’ll get better.”
Lenore brightened immediately, “Then I definitely will!”
Having been forgotten, Asher turned away from the girls and approached the door again. The screaming grew louder in his ear, spurring on a quickly growing headache. He touched the knob once more, surprised to find that he could. He began to turn the handle, the screams falling silent as the door came open. He stepped into the room, searching for Allegra.
A sniffling sound came from the far side of the bed and he walked around it cautiously. Allegra was curled partially behind one of the chairs, crying softly into her hands, her form trembling.
“Allegra?” He asked, reaching out to touch her.
She flinched beneath his touch and then it all seemed to fade away in a cloud.
Asher woke up on Allegra’s bed, sitting up to see that the chair Allegra was sitting in had toppled over. His eyes fell onto the floor, locating Allegra collapsed into a ball on the rug, her head cushioned by her hair.
He jumped off the bed and knelt down to her, smoothing the curls out of her face. Blood was streaming down out of her nose and onto the red rug.
The door came open to reveal Theo standing in the doorway.
The vampire’s eyes fell to her crumpled form and then back at Asher.
His brow rose, “What happened?”
He swallowed, “I think- I think I did this.”ns 188.8.131.52da2