When Mia opened her eyes again, she was lying in her own bed, her thick down comforter was pulled up to her chin. The world around her was a little fuzzy and seemed to be spinning slightly, but she saw enough to know that she wasn’t alone.
She stared at the long mahogany waves that fell down the back of the person who sat at the edge of her bed. She knew she should recognize them, but for the life of her she couldn’t. Her brain wouldn’t work properly, it couldn’t make sense of the image before you.
“There are a lot of people who are very mad at your right now,” the woman at the edge of her bed said, not bothering to turn around. Mia tried to open her mouth to speak but her mouth was so dry all she could get out a hoarse gasp, as pain shot up her side from even her slight movement.
“Marco said he couldn’t even be in the same place with someone so stupid and he stormed out. Ronan refuses to watch over you anymore if you just plan on throwing your life away like that. And Delilah said she would be back when she calmed down to let you know exactly what she thought of your stupid stunt. Right now the only person not furious with you is Ada and that was because she was there and she heard everything William said. She would have killed tried to kill him you know, if she could have broken free from Aiden, she would have tried to kill him and gotten herself killed in the process.”
Slowly the words and phrases began to make sense to her and the unknown woman at the edge of her bed became recognizable.
“Sarah,” She croaked.
“I’m mad at you too you know, but like Ada, I understand why you did what you did,” Sarah said as she finally turned to look at her friend.
“Had to,” She whispered through hoarse lips.
“I know. He pushed and goaded you until you were no longer in control. But Mia, the whole point is that you should have never let yourself get to that point. It doesn’t matter what he said, or what he threatened. You lost your head and you nearly killed yourself,” Sarah said with a deep frown.
“He’s in the living room, he’s waiting to see you. He’s not happy though,” Sarah warned. Mia just nodded. “What you did was incredibly stupid.”
“I know,” Mia said, with the barest nod that sent out waves off pain in her head. Shutting her eyes, she concentrated on keeping the contents of her stomach were it belonged, inside of. She felt the bed shift as Sarah stood up but she couldn’t bear to open her eyes. Her stomach was rolling and she was afraid she was really going to be sick.
She distantly heard the door open and Sarah say something but she felt too sick to pay attention. A moan escaped her lips as her bed shifted once more and someone took Sarah’s place.
A warm palm covered her forehead before brushing her blond curls away from her face. She opened her eyes just enough to see Nick staring down at her with an emotion in her eyes she never wanted to see, fear.
“We found the letter he left you,” He told her simply. He voice calm, so much so it nearly sounded emotionless. “It was on the top of your garbage. Delilah found it when she stopped by to check on you and Ada when you didn’t answer your phone.”
“She called us all but by then it was too late,” Nick said as he looked away from her to stare at the wall behind her bed. “Sarah was the one to find you. She knew something was wrong before the rest of us and she found you. By the time we got there, Sarah was sitting in your blood, cradling you against her chest and crying.”
“I’m sorry,” Mia said as tears began to gather in her eyes realizing just what her friend had gone threw. She wasn’t like the rest of them. She didn’t belong in their world. To have her be the one to find Mia was probably the worst thing that could have happened.
“Sorry isn’t enough Mia,” Nick said shaking his head, his hands clenched on his lap. “Do you understand what could have happened? You put yourself at the mercy of a man you knew not to trust. What if he had truly meant to kill you? You would be dead now. It wouldn’t have been your unconscious body Sarah had been cradling but your dead one. You scared us all today.”
“I’m so sorry,” Mia said as the tears began streaming down her checks. She tried to lift a hand to wipe her tears off her face, but a sharp pain made her gasp. Nick looked at her sharply, realizing what she was trying to do he threw back the comforter that had been covering her to expose her bandaged body. Both of her arms, from wrist to elbow were covered in thick bandages. Another thick white bandage was wrapped around her left leg and foot.
“You shredded the skin on your arms with your nails for the blood for your weapons. You broke your leg when you kicked Aiden out of your way,” Nick told her, the anger barely controlled in his voice. “Ada was able to patch you back together as much as possible before we got there, but she doesn’t have the experience in healing to do more then seal the wounds. Marco needed to set the leg and brace it before we could move you. Delilah was able to sped up your healing a bit, but they both agree you shouldn’t be moved for at least a week or until you can find a better healer. The sealed cuts on your arms are still raw and any strain will break the skin open again and your leg won’t be able to support your weight so no walking. You were very lucky you didn’t die from blood loss.”
Mia laid her head back against the pillow and stared at the ceiling. Nick was right, sorry wasn’t enough. There was nothing she could say to make up for what she had done. Sarah said she had let him goad her, and she has been right. She should have been able to control her temper better. She should have been able to go cold. Isn’t that what she said was the difference between her and Marco. She could go cold, and he couldn’t. Well she had proved herself wrong. If Nick had been there and William truly had planned to kill them all, they would be dead.
“While you were sleeping we all had a long talk,” Nick informed him, Mia glanced up at him to find him staring down at her with those cold golden eyes she remembered from the time they met again for the first time at Mr. Rosen’s bookstore. Back then he looked like he could have killed her without blinking an eye. He had that same look in his eyes now.
“No one believes you are in the right state of mind to take care of yourself right now,” Nick told her, his voice firm, “Whatever happened to you, whatever your going through but refuse to tell us about, it’s effecting your sense of judgment. What you did today is proof of that.”
Mia could not argue with his words, so instead she just nodded.
“I spoke with my grandfather, and he agrees with the rest of us. You cannot be left on your own and you can’t stay in a place where you will be unprotected for short periods of time in the condition your in.”
Mia frowned at his words, not sure what he was getting at, but nodded anyway because she wanted to know what he was going to say next.
“As soon as Alistair arrives with Sarah’s thing, I will be driving the two of you out to my grandfather’s home where you will be staying until we decide otherwise. Sarah will staying with you until you have recovered enough that we deem you will be fine on your own. My parents will be staying with my sister and her family for the time being until we settle matters.”
“You’re going to take me out there and leave me there?” Mia asked, her heart stricken. No one wanted to deal with her so they were foisting her off on Nick’s grandfather who had been kind enough to take her in.
“You aren’t safe here,” Nick said shaking his head, “None of us can stay and guard your 24/7. There are things going on right now that can’t be ignored. You may not have realized it, but more and more people are disappearing daily. There are no bodies and no sign of struggle, it’s like their just disappearing in to thin air. We know it has something to do with the war Sarah saw coming but none of us have the slightest clue how. We need every body we have right now out on the streets and that’s why you’re going to stay with my grandfather. At least there you’ll be safe behind the house wards.”
“How long do I have to stay there?” Mia asked, she hated the fact that she sounded like she was whining, but she couldn’t help it. She didn’t want to be so far away from town. If something happened, she wouldn’t be able to get back in time. Something could happen to one of them and she wouldn’t be able to stop it.
“We haven’t discussed that yet, but for now, plan to stay there indefinitely until we decide otherwise,” He told her.
“You get no buts, not after what you did today,” He snapped at her, “You could have killed yourself. You could be dead right now.”
“I had to. We were getting nowhere. We needed answers and he was the only one that had them,” Mia shouted back.
“No you didn’t,” Nick snarled as his slammed his fist down on the pillow beside her head, “Don’t you understand, no answer is worth you life.”
Mia stared up at his bright gold eyes in surprise more than fear. She had never seen him this angry before. She could feel the power emanating from his body in heat waves, the air around him sizzling and sparking.
“If you ever do anything that stupid again, you better pray that this time you kill yourself or you will have me to deal with,” With that last threat, he stood up and stormed out of the room slamming the door behind him. A moment later she heard the front door slam too. For a long moment all Mia could do was stare and the closed bedroom door, too surprised by his anger to move. Laying her had back down on her pillow she let out a deep sign, maybe he truly did hate her.
“Is there anything else you need?” Ada asked as she finished packing the last of Mia’s clothes in to the one duffel bag she owned. Sarah sat on the side of the bed supervising as she called it, but really she was babysitting Mia to make sure she do anything stupid to hurt herself further.
“That’s it,” Mia said as she watched Ada zip the bag shut, “Thanks for helping with the packing and for what you did today. Actually I should probably just saw everything.”
“I didn’t do much,” Ada said with a shrug and a big smile, “Not compared to your boyfriend anyway. I thought that William guy was going to absolutely lose it when your boy let a loose a shit storm of lightning bolt in the middle of his club. He nearly brought the place down around our heads. Even William’s little toy Omega couldn’t deflect the bolts fast enough to stop your boy from destroying the place.”
Mia frowned, as she turned to Sarah who was purposely ignoring her. “Sarah? What is she talking about?”
“You weren’t supposed to find out about that,” Sarah said with a glower for Ada, who just shrugged it off. Obviously her new friends didn’t know her cousin well enough.
“Sarah, what aren’t you telling me?” Mia said as she tried to sit up, pain be damned.
“Don’t do that, you’re just going to open your wounds and then Nick will lose it again,” Sarah said as she hurriedly got to the feet and try to gently set Mia back down on the mattress.
“No, not until you tell me what Ada’s talking about,” Mia said, squirming away from Sarah’s gentle hands.
“Fine, but lie down first, before you start bleeding,” Sarah said with a sigh. Mia did as she said because in truth she didn’t have the energy to fit Sarah off any more but her friend didn’t need to know that. She let Sarah settle her back in to the bed and pull the comforter up to her chest again.
“Now, tell me what happened,” Mia said, her voice soft and strained, the wounds in her arms pulsed with pain now that she was still again. Maybe she shouldn’t have moved, but she wasn’t about to admit it. Now when they tried to keep something this big from her.
“You really weren’t supposed to find out about this,” Sarah grumbled as she sat back down in to her place on the edge of the bed, “By the time I found you, you were already unconscious. From what Ronan told me, the puddle of blood beneath us was pretty big, big enough that when they first entered the club they thought you were dead. When Nick saw your still body in my arms he lost it. No one was strong enough to stop him. He brought bolts of lightning down, one after another, basically demolishing the place. Like Ada said, William’s False Omega wasn’t strong enough or fast enough to keep up with Nick’s attacks. He was able to direct most of the bolts away from himself and his master, but he couldn’t do anything else.”
“After his fight with you, William really didn’t have the strength to fight Nick. He may have acted tough but in truth it had taken almost all his power to block your attacks. If you could have lasted just a little bit longer, you would have broken through,” Sarah informed her.
“So what happened?” Mia asked with a frown.
“Ronan was finally able to get through to Nick, to convince him that you were still alive,” Sarah said shaking her head, “Nick stopped his attack immediately to verify that in fact you were still breathing. When he was sure you were alive he turned back to William and told him that if he ever got near you again he would take his life himself and nothing would stop him. By that point, Nick was pretty convincing and William knew he was in a shit load of trouble.”
“Why didn’t Nick want me to know this?” Mia asked with a frown.
“It wasn’t Nick,” Ada said shaking her head, “Nick could care less whether you knew or not. It was Marco and the other guy, Alistair.”
Mia’s frown deepened as she turned to Sarah for answers. Sarah let out a long sigh and shook her head.
“I didn’t know about it till recently. You think I would have seen it but I didn’t. Your cousin and my father have been keeping you and Nick apart. My father specifically told Nick to stay away from you. They’re afraid of what the two of you do when you are near each other. And after what we witnessed today, it’s understandable,” Sarah said, her held out her hand when Mia opened her mouth to argue as if she could see her, “I didn’t say I agreed with them, I just said I understand where their coming from.”
“Mia, what the two of you can do when you’re together is frightening. The power the two of you have alone is pretty impressive, but when you’re together, it’s too much for them to handle, especially if neither of your are in control of that power.”
“What are you talking about?” Mia asked.
“Marco took a look at the video from Books and Beans that day you were attacked. He says all those sparks and lights weren’t coming from you, or I should say couldn’t have been coming from you because that’s not blood magic. But Nick was in the store at the time. If you could effect each other so much that his powers were reacting to your situation, they were afraid what would happen in you were ever in a similar situation.”
“So they think it was his powers?” Mia asked in disbelief, shaking her head, “My cousin is a stupid fool. If that idiot had stopped for a minute to ask me, to even just speak to me about his suspicions I could have cleared them up for him instantly. Those weren’t Nick’s powers, those were mine. Electricity if my secondary magic.”
“You have a secondary magic?” Ada gasped, “And you didn’t tell me?”
“I didn’t tell any one. It was supposed to be a secret, a back up just in case I needed it,” Mia growled. “So they’ve been keeping up apart because of a simple misunderstanding.”
“I wouldn’t quite call it a misunderstanding. You didn’t see what we saw today. Marco might have been wrong about what happened at the Books and Beans, but there still might be something to his theory about your powers when you are near each other.”
Mia was too upset to answer to that. Of all the stupid idiotic things, she wasn’t a child. She didn’t need to be controlled like one. The next time she saw Marco, he would going to be in for earful. When on earth had they started thinking of her and someone that needed to be handled rather than someone they could work with. She knew she had been a little different lately, but she was still capable of making her own decisions, of living her own life. Sure she had messed up today, but it still didn’t give them to right to treat her like a child.
“I know that look,” Ada said with a grin, “Marco is in deep trouble.”
“I thought I knew the two of them better than that, it seems I never knew them at all,” Mia said coolly.
“I know you’re not going to want to hear this but I have to say it,” Sarah said as she laid a gentle hand on Mia’s shoulders, “They were doing what they thought was best for you, of course they didn’t go about doing it the right way, but their men. They don’t understand us as well as they would like to think they do. They’re doing to cave man, alpha male things were they try to control our lives. But Mia, those two honestly cannot help it. They are used to being in control of everything. They didn’t even stop to think about what they were doing because they saw it as doing what they thought was right.”
“She does have a point there,” Ada added. “Marco is a controlling bastard.”
“I’m not a child,” Mia said threw gritted teeth, “I was never a child. Growing up in a blood magic clan doesn’t allow for a childhood. You learn to think on your feet quickly and to not give a damn about anyone else but yourself. I have never needed any one to look after me but myself, and I don’t need anyone to start now.”
This just caused Sarah to laugh. Mia gave her friend a dark look. She held up her hands and said, “I’m not laughing at you, honestly. It just that, I have had, nearly the exact same argument with my father, everyday since I turned thirteen. He doesn’t realize that version of caring is my version of smothering. I know he sees my blindness as a weakness although I don’t. Even with everything I can do, he will always see my lack of sight as a shortcoming I can never overcome. He will always treat me like a child not matter how old I get, and he will always be worried about me no matter where I am. But Mia, that’s just his way of showing me that he loves me. Yes, there are days when I absolutely cannot take it and I’m ready to scream at him, but most of the time I just brush it off as his overprotectiveness and go on with my life with or without his approval. This is what it means to be cared for, to be loved.”
“Nick wouldn’t have been nearly as angry at you if he didn’t care. He was more explosive than smothering, but that’s just how Nick shows he cares. He doesn’t deal well with soft emotions so his worry and fear turn in to anger. It’s been that way as long as I’ve known him and will probably be that way for the rest of his life,” Sarah told her.
“I know you’re not used to this type of behavior, but this is normal with the men in your family.”
“That’s definitely not normal for the men in our family,” Ada said with a smirk. “My own father could careless what happens to me. Usually among our clan, father is just another name for sperm donor.”
Ada’s words brought to mind Mia’s own father Alexander. Mia could never remember a time her father had ever shone any concern for her or her twin. He had been interested in their half-brother, a boy with half their talent. Mia always figured he preferred his son, because there was one person that he could control. But now Mia realized it was more than that.
Mia, her mother, and her twin sister were all Omegas. Her father had been surrounded by powerful women all his life. First his mother, than the woman his mother married him to, and then his twin daughters. Mia even wondered if Alexander had even cared for his twin daughters, or did he just hand them over to his mother to sacrifice their souls so that she could implant other Omegas like herself and his wife in to his own children.
Maybe her father actually had a good reason to drown himself in his liquor and cheap women. It must not have been easy to live with a mother like Theodora, then to bound to a woman who had no more real interest in him than he in her, all for he purpose of creating children who would be strong enough to be a prime vessel for the soul of long dead Omega.
She had always just figured her father was a coward and weakling. But maybe it was just his own way of rebelling. Getting a better idea of what he had been through though did not make her any sympathetic to him. There had never been any kind of relationship between the two of them. He was just as Ada said, as far as she was concerned he was just a sperm donor.
Mia decided to accept Sarah’s word and believe that what she saw as a betrayal by her cousin and a man she looked up was nothing more than just a show of their concern. But she would definitely be having words with them when she was back on her feet. She didn’t think the conversation would go as well with her lying on her back. But she would be letting them know that she was in no way a child, and that it would not be a good idea to keep such things from her. Not just because it betrayed her trust in them, but also because they would make a lot less stupid assumptions is they actually spoke to her about them.
“I think things were a lot more simpler among the clan males,” Mia said with a sigh as she lay her head back against the pillow and closed her eyes, weary from the whole conversation.
“I’m sure they were,” Sarah agreed. “But out of curiosity, what role exactly do the men play among in the family structure for your clan.”
“They are there for sex of course,” Ada said with a snort, Mia couldn’t help but smile at her cousin’s words. “You have no idea just how much pleasure sex can be with a blood magic male. Feeding off them as they orgasm is unbelievable.”
Mia heard her friend gasp and she opened her eyes to find Sarah’s eyes open wide and her cheeks flushed bright red.
“You feed off of them? Like as in your drink their blood?” There was horror in her voice, but Mia could also hear the tones of interest beneath it.
“Of course, but you don’t need to if you’re not in to that kind of stuff. But almost every clan girl has tried it at least once,” Ada spouted off. Mia could only smile as her friend’s eyes got bigger and bigger and her face a deeper darker shade of red. “If you’re not in to whole blood drinking thing, then you can always just cut them and drink in the magic of their blood. The high is almost just as good as if you actually drank from them. And of course it’s the best right at the peak of their orgasm. The high is so unbelievable, it’s like an out of body experience. You don’t know what good sex is until you had a clan male.”
At that point, Mia couldn’t help but chuckle as Sarah’s hands come up to cover her warm cheeks. Her sweet innocent Sarah and her say anything that comes to mind cousin, she thought shaking her head, they were such an amusing combination.
“Oh my god, please tell me she’s joking,” Sarah said as she turned to Mia.
“Why on earth would I be lying about something like that?” Ada asked, truly confused.
“She’s not joking Sarah,” Mia tried to tell her in a calm serious voice, but it was so hard when she was staring at her friend who liked she was about to keel over from embarrassment.
“And have you had sex like that then?” Sarah demanded to know. Mia couldn’t keep the laughter in at that point because the look of pure horror on her friend’s face was just too much.
“Is she some kind of prude?” Ada asked with a frown as she turned to Mia as well, “She’s not like some innocent virgin is she? Is her father going to kill us for talking about sex with her?”
Ada’s words just threw Mia in to another fit of laughter, which actually hurt, she was laughing so hard. It was also at that time that she noticed their conversation had not been as private as they thought as she spotted two bright red males standing in the doorway.
Ada noticed where her gaze was and she turned around to see who Mia was looking at. When she noticed the two males she began to swear under her breath.
“I’m in trouble, aren’t I?” She asked.
“It depends on how much of the conversation they heard,” Mia said, biting her lip to keep her from laughing some more as Mr. Rosen and Nick walked into the room.
“Let’s just leave it at enough,” Mr. Rosen said, his face still glowing as he set the suitcase he had been carrying down next to Sarah.
“Oh my god,” Sarah groaned as she hid her face in her hand, “Could this get any more embarrassing.”
“Did I hear something about hot sex and clan females?” Ronan asked with the largest grin on his face as he walked in to the room as he looked down at his little cousin. Sarah just moaned into her palms and she tried to shrink in to the tiniest ball she could.
“No, but really, is the sex really that good?” Ronan asked as he turned look at Ada and Mia.
“Better than you can imagine,” Ada said a wink.
“Definitely something to think about,” Ronan said, eyeing her beautiful cousin from head to toe.
“Please don’t talk about sex with my cousin, there are some things I never want to think about or imagine,” Sarah begged, her voice muffled as it came out from between her two palms pressed against her face.
“Okay, time for a much needed change in conversation,” Mr. Rosen said, his cheeks still bright red, “Sarah, your mother and Liz packed a bag for you. They think they grabbed everything you will need but if you find that you need anything, just give me a call and I’ll bring it out to you.”
“Nick will be driving you out there and will remain most nights. The only times he won’t be there is when he’s working an active case. He has assured me that the house wards are strong enough to stand up to nearly everything, and his grandfather is prepared to defend you if things get that bad.” Mr. Rosen informed them.
Sarah just nodded that she heard, still too embarrassed to take her hands away from her face or uncurl herself.
“Most of us will try to stop by as often as possible, but with the current number of disappearances, we don’t think it will be good thing to be away from town for too long. Marco has his men scouring the town, and I have my contacts listening for any little clue we can get. But until this thing gets solved, I think it would be best for the two of you to get out of town and stay some place safe.” This time Mr. Rosen looked at Sarah and Mia. Like Sarah, Mia just nodded that she understood.
“Good, well, I’ll be heading home now, trying very hard to forget the conversation I walked in on,” Mr. Rosen said with a groan and a shake of his head which just cause Sarah to moan in embarrassment.
“So Cousin, what exactly were you talking about before we got here?” Ronan said as he walked over towards the bed. “Somehow I think we must have missed the most interesting parts of that conversation, like how it came up at all.”
“Shut up Ronan!”
Mia just chuckled as she watched friend. She was used to Ada and the scandalous things that came out of her mouth, but it seems Sarah would need to get used to it. If this was the way she would always reacted to the things Ada said, Ada would start doing it on purpose just to see what Sarah would do. Her cousin could be a sadist at times.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve see anyone turn that red,” Ronan said with a smirk as he turned to look at Ada and Mia. “But really, is that what sex is like in your clan?”
“Ronan!” Sarah screamed as she reached out to grab one of Mia’s pillows to whack her cousin with. It just happened that the pillow had been holding up Mia’s arm and its sudden disappearance caused a sharp flash of pain that had Mia biting down a scream.
“Sarah, be careful!” Nick scolded as he was at Mia’s side in a minute. She tried to wave him off before he picked up her arm gently, examining it to make sure it was all right and that the wound hadn’t reopened.
“Oh my God Mia, I’m so sorry. I completely forgot,” Sarah said as she turned back to her friend.
“It’s okay,” Mia reassured her, “I’m perfectly fine.”
“No you’re not,” Sarah said softly, “I can see the pain.”
“Sweetheart, pain we can deal with. Pain is a part of our lives. It’s when the pain stops that you really have to worry about,” Ada drawled, “If you’re not in pain, then you’re too far gone.”
“But still-“ Sarah tried to argue but Ada just laughed.
“Darling, we’re blood letters. We cut ourselves one a daily basis. And they ain’t tiny little paper cuts. We have to cut deep if we want enough blood to create a decent weapon in a short time. The only reason Mil’s suffering is because she burned her body out and can’t access her magic. It happens to all of us a time or two. Give her body a couple of days to recover and she’ll be able to access her powers again and she’ll be good as new.”
“Really?” Sarah sniffed.
“We grew up with the Blood Queen, this is nothing. Disobeying Theodora usually meant lashes if she was in a good mood, if she wasn’t, well then you got the blood knife. You don’t know what pain is until you feel the cut of a blood knife,” Ada tried to reassure her.
Beside Mia, Nick stiffened. Mia realized he must remember all too well the feel of the blood knife on his skin. She wanted to comfort him, but she could tell by his rigid stance, that he would welcome no assistance. So instead she just sighed and turned back to her cousin and friend.
“How did you grow up with such a woman?” Sarah shivered.
“You build really strong shields and you don’t care for anyone,” Ada said simply, her voice hollow and empty.
“But you’re here now. That means you must have cared my Mia or you wouldn’t have come,” Sarah argued.
“Amelia is different,” Ada said with a shrug, “It wasn’t so much about caring at the beginning but more about respect. If you earn the respect of a people, then you can lead them anywhere.”
“And how did she earn your respect?” Ronan asked curiously.
“As you know, I’m not one of Theodora’s line. I’m not directly related to her like Amelia, Marco and Delilah. I’m from one of the lower families. Being from one of the lower families means that you aren’t truly related to Theodora at all. You aren’t a true Dragos. Being from the lower families means that one of your ancestors made a blood bargain with the Clan leader and they were given the name Dragos to represent their allegiance to the Clan,” Ada explained.
“I didn’t realize that,” Sarah said softly.
“Most people who aren’t raised in a clan don’t know that. And truthfully, it’s not something we prefer to publicize. After all, if you all have the name Dragos and Rosengard, you look pretty damn powerful if there are a lot of you,” Ada told her.
“But being a Dragos is like a double-edge sword. The name earns your respect and fear from the other blood magic clans. But it also means that you belong to the Clan leader. They can do whatever they want to you and you can’t do anything about it because you belong to them. By you having their name, they own you.”
“How barbaric,” Sarah frowned.
“As bad as it may sound, there were also good points to being a Dragos, one of them being that you would have the protection of the name. If anyone dared to attack you and you survived, then you knew for damn sure that they would survive for long once it was reported what happened to you. Sometimes, Theodora herself would hunt down the fool who would dare to attack one of her own. So as bad as it sounds, there were some good aspects.”
“But still, was it worth it. All the abuse and the fear?”
“Living with Theodora could be challenging, but as long as you stayed out of her way and out of her sight, you were fine. It was her line that you sometimes had to worry about. You’ve only met Amelia, Marco and Delilah. Of them all, they are the best. There are other cousins who are not so nice,” Ada said with a visible shiver.
“Amelia has a half-brother named Regis, he is the child from one of her father’s earlier marriages. The man had no real talent and very little brain. He knows he has no real place among the cousins and he takes his anger out on the lower families. Depending on his mood, he would grab any passing female and drag her back to his room. He would either rape her and then torture her, or just torture her. Sometimes if he was in a particularly vicious mood, he would kill them slowly and painfully.”
“Sound like a great date,” Ronan drawled. Ada just snorted.
“The worst thing about Regis was, that it didn’t matter how strong the girls were, they could be so powerful that they could burn his brain out in a second, but they wouldn’t. It didn’t matter what he did to them, they wouldn’t attack him and he knew it. He would purposefully pick the strong ones just to watch them squirm knowing they could do nothing. After all, he was a true child of Theodora’s line, they were just one of the blood bonded. If they dared to attack him, then they would have to face Theodora’s wraith and anything Regis came up with was a lot better than anything Theodora would do to you.”
“Did he ever try to hurt you?” Sarah asked, her voice soft. Ada just smiled and shook her head.
“No, I was lucky enough to never draw his attention. But I knew others who had to suffer his abuse.”
“What happened to him? Because I’m assuming you brought him up for a reason besides naming all his wonder character traits,” Ronan asked.
“Well, like I said, no one could attack Regis without suffering Theodora’s wraith, well no one but one of her line could dare attack him without fear of her reprisal.”
“So one of her line punished him.” Nick stated rather than asked, his voice serious and firm. Ada nodded.
“Regis was actually pretty good about hiding his activities from his family. The lower families knew, but no one would dare say a word to anyone in his family, not even to one of his cousins for fear that they would turn on the who would dare accuse one of them.”
“So how did Mia find out?” Nick asked, nothing even bothering to pretend he didn’t know who did the punishing.
“She saw her half-brother trying to drag a twelve year old girl back to his room. She had accidentally spilled tea on his boots when he bumped in to her and knocked her down. She didn’t even let him say a word before she pulled the girl from her grasp and told her to leave now. She then turned to her brother and told him their people demanded their respect. They were not toys to be played with. They were blood bonded meaning they were protected in exchange for their loyalty to the clan.”
“Regis was pissed and partly drunk, he forgot who he was dealing with and drew a blade against his sister. She cut him down before he had a chance to move and kept cutting until he was covered in thin light cuts that caused him to bleed out quickly. He didn’t stand a chance against her and he realized it. He begged for his life, telling her he would never do it again. Of course she knew better to believe him so she made him watch as she shoved the very tip of her blood blade through his chest. She snapped the tip off and let her blood flow in to his veins and wrap around his heart. She gave it a squeeze so let him know just how easily she could kill him and she told him that if he even looked at another woman, blood bond or not, if he any dark thought appeared in his mind at that moment, the fist of blood around his heart would tighten. If he made any move against any of the women, then the fist would squeeze and not let up. If he dared to disobey, the fist would squeeze the life out of him and then turn in to a thousand tiny blade and tear his body apart from the inside out.”
“No holding back, huh?” Ronan snorted as he looked at Mia.
“My father’s children are cold heartless monsters that feed off of pain,” Mia replied coolly.
“Pot and kettle my dear, pot and kettle,” Ronan pointed out which earned him a glare from Mia.
“There is a difference,” Mia informed him, “What I have done has always been with purpose. I’m not saying that I was did wasn’t wrong, because it was and I’m fully aware of it. What I’m saying though is that I didn’t do it for some sick pleasure that could only be fulfilled by the pain and abuse of others. What he did was to prove his dominance over these women. What I did was to gather magic. And I didn’t always use pain and fear to do so.”
“Yes, I’m sure you used sex as well from what I heard of your earlier conversation,” Ronan said with a knowing smile.
“Ronan!” Nick snapped at his friend, Ronan just shrugged.
“No, you idiot. I’m saying that you don’t always need to instill fear and pain to gather magic from the blood. You can gather magic from any blood, even that which is freely given. We don’t always kill those we take blood from.”
“No, you just drain them slowly to death,” Ronan muttered under his breath, which earned him another dark look from Nick.
“I can’t believe it,” Ada said shaking her head, “You’re just like the rest of them. I honestly that you would be different, especially after working with us, but you are just as pigheaded as all the other magic users. You’re just prejudiced and nothing we say or do will make a difference to you.”
“Hello, you need to drain people of their blood to use your magic. How is that not a bad thing?”
“We don’t all kill,” Ada snapped back before turning to Mia, “This is why nothing will change. It’s people like him that keeps us from changing.”
“You’re a blood magic user, nothing about that will change,” Ronan roared.
“Ronan, calm down,” Sarah warned.
“Blood magic is just that Ronan,” Mia told him, “We gain power from blood, but it doesn’t need to be some body else’s blood and it doesn’t need to be a lot. Yes, there are a lot of bad people out there, but no, not everyone is like that. It just like your society. Look at those two men who tried to attack me. They weren’t blood magic users but still they murdered many women, raping and torturing them before actually killing them by burning them alive. You can’t just everyone by the mistake of others.”
“Open your eyes Amelia Dragos, people are disappearing daily, if that is not the work of a blood magic user, then I don’t know what is?” Ronan snapped back.
“Ronan, shut up now before you do irreparable damage. You know you’re not mad at Mia or Ada but at the situation you’re dealing with,” Sarah said as she reached out towards her cousin, “You want to blame someone and here are two blood magic users standing before you. Why not blame them? Well you shouldn’t because they’re our friends.”
“I’m so tired of this shit,” Ronan growled frustratedly as he whirled around so his back was facing them, “I’m tired of all this death and all these missing people. I’m tried of all the dark predictions about war coming. I didn’t sign up for this. I didn’t ask for all this shit.”
“And you think we did?” Sarah asked, the disapproval heavy in her face.
“Well she did,” Ronan said as he whirled around to point at Mia. “She is the cause of all this like you said.”
“I never said any such thing. I said she was in the middle of it all, but I never said she was the cause.”
“Well to me, it means the exact same thing. There are days when I wish she never walked in to our lives.”
Mia felt the pain of his words like they were knives through her heart, but she refused to show how much they hurt her. Instead she did as she was taught, show no emotion, let no one see your weaknesses.
Ada had become as still as a statute at Ronan’s words. Her face as shuttered as Mia’s. Sarah kept glancing back at Mia worriedly before turning her angry gaze on Ronan, but nothing she said or did would take back his words. He was finally getting it all of his chest and Mia let him. He deserved to. He was right, he didn’t ask for any of this. But neither did she. She didn’t ask to be reborn this way. She didn’t ask to be forced to live in a world she knew nothing about and was ill-fitted for. None of them asked for this, but yet here they were living it. Ronan may whine and bitch all he wanted, but he wasn’t the only one stuck in this shit, they all were.
Mia’s pain slowly faded to be replaced by anger. Ada was the first to sense the difference in her and her gaze quickly darted to her cousin. Sarah was next as she stopped watching Ronan and now eyed Mia worriedly. She could feel Nick step closer to her, whether it was to offer support or to restrain her she had no idea.
Ronan was the only one that didn’t seem to notice.
“Will you stop being such a damn wussy?” Mia finally snapped when she could take no more, “You think I’m to blame for all the evils of the world, well tough shit. I won’t let you lay all the blame on me. You want to complain about all the deaths and disappearance you have to deal with, well then you shouldn’t have gotten in to your line of work. If you can’t deal with all my crap, well then get the hell out of here. I don’t need you. You think your life is shit, well trying living my life, or Ada’s, or Nick’s. You think you know what hell is, trying being at the mercy of the blood queen and her blood blades for a hundred and twenty-five years. Then come back to me and tell me how fucked up your life is.”
Ronan could only stare at her in shock. His mouth hanging open as the words just spewed out of her.
“You have no idea how lucky you are. Yes, war is coming. Yes, hell on earth is about to descend, but at least you are surrounded by people who love you and will fight for you. All you can see is death in our future, and that is all you will get if you don’t get off your stupid ass and fight for what you believe in. I don’t know about you, but I sure as well am not going to stand by and let this world end. Even if I have to bend my pride and go back to that prick and beg him to teach him, I will do everything in my power to ensure that I give those I love a fighting chance. So if all you’re going to do is whine and complain about how awful your life is and how I’m such an evil bitch, then get the hell out of my face.”
“Holy shit, she finally lost it,” Ada said in the quiet room.
Sarah just giggled, “Well, she does have a point though. Seriously Ronan, if you’re going to be a prick about it all, you probably should leave. I don’t know if I can guarantee your safety after you just insulted one of the most powerful magic users in the world.”
“You are seriously one crazy bitch,” Ronan said shaking his head, but a big smile was spreading across his face while he was doing so.
“I’m so glad I could amuse you,” Mia said icily. She didn’t even realize she had sat up to give her tirade until she realized her arms actually kind of hurt.
“Man Nick, I hope you know what you’re in for with this one,” Ronan snorted, all the anger gone from his voice. It looked like he needed to blow off steam as much as Mia did.
“If you are done being a complete idiot, help me load the car. I want to get out there before it’s too late to head back,” Nick grunted as he tossed Mia’s bag at Ronan and grabbed Sarah suitcase, wheeling it out of the room.
Mia watched him leave, not sure how she felt about seeing him go or about his words before her left. So he just wanted to get rid of them and head back, huh? Well, she would make sure he didn’t need to stay any longer then he had to since her company seemed to so abhorrent to him. Sarah had to be wrong, there was no way he could care for her. After all, she was everything he hated. She was one of the demons from his past. She had been foolish to forget that for even a moment. It was a good thing she remembered before she did something even more foolish like actually fall in love with him. Yup, just in time.
Next: Chapter Seven