“How long?” he growled.
“How long what?” she asked shrugging. If he thought for one second that she was just going to confess, even though he must have seen a tiny glimpse of the markings on her back, then he was a fool.
“Do not play games with me, female.” His words came out stilted as though they had to be pulled from him.
“I am not playing games with you, and I do not appreciate you coming into my home uninvited and unannounced.” Her anger grew with every breath and every second that he stood there staring at her as if she had wronged him. She knew that if she did not calm down Vasile would pick up on her distress so she began to close the bond not all the way but enough―mistake number two.
“Perhaps, you should not leave the door open where just anyone can walk in. You do remember that we have fugitives on the loose who wish our Alpha harm, do you not?”
His condescending tone irritated her wolf; it felt as if its fur was being rubbed the wrong direction. When he took a step further in, she had to force herself not to retreat. She would not become prey to this male.
“I want you to leave, now.” Her voice was rough with the growl of her wolf who was close to the surface, ready for a fight, craving blood, mostly Emilian’s but the blood of the one who wished her mate harm and attempted to claim her against her will would do just the same.
“I do not take orders from you.” He took another step. “Turn around, Alina.” She heard the command in it and felt the power that Emilian must be allowing Serghei to draw on. Lucky for her, neither male was more dominant than she.
“What a coincidence, Serghei,” she said in her most mocking tone. “I do not take orders from you either.”
“But you do from our Alpha, and he has demanded that any female with new markings be brought to him. Turn. Around,” he ordered again.
He moved faster than she expected, grabbing her wrist and turning her roughly. He shoved her forward until her chest and face were pressed against the wall of the cottage. He was strong and his rage was making him stronger. She pushed against him, thrashing her head from side to side, but still he managed to grab the back of her shift and pull. She heard the tear and felt the hot air on her skin from her neck clear to her lower back. She was not scared, she was furious. How dare he touch her? How dare he bare her flesh to his unworthy eyes?
She could feel his anger rising, the fury in him causing his grip to tighten around her wrist as his body pressed her harder into the wall. “GET OFF OF ME!” she screamed.
“You were supposed to be mine,” his whispered words against her ear chilled her even more than a roar would have.
“I could never love you. A man who would put his hands violently on a female does not deserve a treasure such as a true mate.” Mistake number three—she poked an already enraged wolf. She felt him tense even further before he struck. His teeth sunk deep into her flesh ripping a gut wrenching shriek from her. She bucked wildly, trying frantically to get him off, to get his vile mouth from her flesh. He took what was not his and it nauseated her to feel him swallowing her blood. He kept drinking and when she fought harder his teeth sank deeper. The blood seemed to flow quicker and she knew he had pierced her jugular. The huge vein connecting directly with her heart pumped her blood fast and hard into his mouth. She was growing weaker by the second. As he continued to drain her, she realized his intent was not to mark her but to kill her. If he could not have her, then no one would.
She heard another deep voice and vaguely recognized it but her mind was foggy with blood loss and she could not place it. Suddenly his teeth were gone and she was collapsing to the ground. Sounds of violence filled her ears, snarls, flesh tearing, howls of pain rang into the air. And yet she could not help, she could not move, her limbs would not listen to her no matter how she yelled at them to. The last thing she remembered before the darkness swallowed her was the blood soaked ground around her, too much blood to only be hers.
“Something has happened,” Vasile bit out as he stepped away from the group of males he had been training with.
“What is it?” Ion asked.
“Alina, all I know is that she is in pain. She shut the damn bond down enough that I cannot hear her thoughts. We have to go now.”
“We were not planning to infiltrate for another two days,” Nicu pointed out.
“Plans change,” Vasile snarled as he turned in the direction of his mate’s village. He did not care if any of the warriors followed him. He did not care if anyone saw him. All he cared about was getting to his mate and finding out what or who was causing her pain and then killing it.
He ran in his human form, borrowing his wolf’s speed. Trees whipped past him and his feet moved so fast that they barely disturbed the ground beneath them. His wolf urged him to go faster. He obviously was picking up something through the bond that Vasile was not. He pushed his legs even harder, somehow knowing that if he did not get to her very, very soon he would lose her.
The village came into view and he could hear shouts and growls. He passed the meeting hall, ignoring the gasps and the stares, as he headed straight for Alina’s house. The smell hit him before he could even see the small cottage—blood, and a lot of it. As he rounded the corner he saw a large crowd gathered in the yard shielding the door from his sight. He pushed forward and snarled, “Get out of the way!”
The crowd parted instantly as his power filled the air and as one they all fell to their knees. But his attention was not on the pack, it was on the gruesome scene before him as he entered the small home where his mate had grown up. The wood floor was slick with blood, so much blood. Petre’s body laid just to the right of the door, his head twisted at on odd angle and his throat ripped out. Georgeta’s body was directly across from her mate’s. She was lying in a pool of blood that still poured from the huge hole in her abdomen where her intestines had spilled out. Then his eyes found her. In one step he was across the cottage and kneeling by her side. There was so much blood and she looked so fragile that he did not know where to touch that would not cause her to fall apart. He leaned down close to her mouth and heard a wheezing breath; it was weak but she was alive.
She was lying on her side, her eyes closed as though she was simply asleep. Her neck had a huge bite mark that was slowly beginning to heal. But that would not be enough. She needed blood and not just anyone’s. She needed the healing power that was contained within the blood of her mate if she was going to have any chance to survive. Vasile tore his wrist open with his sharp canines without even wincing at the pain. He gently rolled her onto her back, and then lifted her head while at the same time pressing the bleeding wrist to her lips. Blood poured into her mouth but she was not attempting to suck on the wound. He leaned down close to her ear and kissed her gently. “Please, Mina, drink. You cannot leave me. I cannot do this without you.” He reached through their bond, calling to her wolf to fight for her human half, to give her the strength she needed to take his blood so that her body would begin to heal and replace what she had lost. After several gut wrenching moments, he felt her lips latch on.