Blood Love (God Wars Book 4) (4 page)

BOOK: Blood Love (God Wars Book 4)
13.31Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

All three were around five-six, had dark hair, handsome features and lovely smiles as they slid off my bed, completely naked. Well, most shapeshifters didn't have a modest bone in their bodies—Opal didn't. I didn't even want to start with the werewolves. Yeah, I'd seen Trajan, Winkler and the Grand Master naked. It didn't bother them a bit.

"Where clothes?" one of them asked Bill. They intended to dress me first, looked like.

"Chazi, why don't you and your brothers dress while I pick something out, and then you can help her," Bill suggested. I watched him—he had a grin on his face, the schmuck.

"Sound good," another said. "We dress. You find something for Love."

Lowering my shields, I read them. I wanted to smile. They had a peculiar shortcut through Alliance common, plus another language they only spoke with each other.

There were eight reptanoids—all brothers, but these three felt I was theirs. I read in them why they thought that, and added another task to a growing list I kept in my head. It didn't matter—they were loyal to a fault and would defend my life with theirs. I'd seldom seen that kind of devotion in anybody.

Bill picked out fleece trousers, socks, a soft T-shirt and comfortable underwear. I ended up in the bathroom while Chazi, Perzi and Bekzi dressed me. That was certainly a different experience for me, and I struggled to hide any embarrassment as one lifted me while another slipped my feet into panties and pulled them up.

They gabbled amongst themselves while they dressed me, discussed how things fastened and warned one another not to pinch me anywhere. I felt I had to tell them that I understood what they were saying. "Honey," I tapped Chazi's chin as he smiled at me, "I understand all languages, including the one you use with your brothers. I hope that doesn't upset you."

"You understand?" Chazi's eyes lit up.

"Yes," I nodded.

"We glad." He pulled me against him and tucked my head against his shoulder. "Nobody else understand," he breathed. "This good. Very good."

"We have guests at breakfast," Bill said when three reptanoids herded me out of the bathroom after slipping socks on my feet. "Want to walk or fold?" Bill was almost bursting with something—his eyes twinkled mischievously. I forced myself not to read him.

"Fold; I don't want to faint before I get there," I said.

"Good enough." Bill folded me and my three lion snake shapeshifters to the kitchen.

* * *

The cook's back was turned to us when we arrived, and Bill and Chazi fussed about getting me settled on a barstool at the massive island. I blinked in shock when the cook turned our way—he was grinning hugely at me. Fes. Fes Desh had come. Who had known to bring him?

"Fes," I wanted to weep at seeing him, but I settled for holding my arms out instead. He came immediately and wrapped me in a tight hug.

"Reah told Ashe to come for me," Fes admitted when he pulled away. "I guess she got tired of hearing me ask about you. Nobody ever had any answers," he admitted.

"It's a long story," I said. "Ask Bill."

"He'd rather hear it from you, sweetheart," Bill said. "Kevis says you can have eggs and toast this morning, and some vegetarian yogurt, if you're still hungry."

"Eggs and toast," I nodded. "Please." I was ready for solid food, and my stomach rumbled at the thought.

"I'll make anything you want as soon as you can eat it," Fes declared and went to the stove.

Trajan wandered in and dropped a kiss on top of my head before settling on a chair beside Bekzi.

"Look at this." Gentle hands cupped my face from behind. I went completely still. I knew that voice. That scent.
. I sobbed; I couldn't help myself.

"It's all right, go ahead and cry," Bill soothed after Kooper lifted me off my seat and held me. I gripped the jacket he wore so tightly I ripped it in my fingers, attempting (uselessly) to hold back tears.

"Bree, anybody you can't read won't be hurt by your tears; Graegar said that last night," Bill soothed. Other hands and scents came. Trevor. Stellan. Trevor lifted me away from Kooper and kissed my tears. That had never happened. Ever.

"Teeg sends this and his best wishes," Stellan held out a silk handkerchief.

"Stellan, I missed you so much," I blubbered.

"I know, baby. But that's in the past, now," he crooned before leaning in and kissing me.

Chapter 3


Breanne's Journal

Five-pound weights did me in. Trajan probably should have laughed his head off. He didn't. I was grateful. "Your body has to come back to normal. Gradually increasing your exercise will help a lot," he said. "I'm gonna make you sweat," he added. "But somebody will help you wash it off."

"Sure," I sighed. I lay flat on my back in Trajan's dojo, staring at his face, which hovered far above mine. I'd done three push-ups after lifting five-pound weights for ten minutes.
push-ups. I was a vampire, for Pete's sake. Weak as I was, I should have done better than that.

"The body goes downhill fast if it does nothing but lie in bed," Kevis' face appeared beside Trajan's. "Muscles don't respond well to that."

"Thanks for the medical opinion," I rasped.

"Anytime," Kevis grinned.

"Are you breathing normally, sweetheart?" Bill's head appeared in my line of vision.

"Yeah. Absolutely. Any day, now," I said.

"We can work with you again later," Kooper, Stellan and Trevor appeared on my other side. "In the pool," Stellan added.

"The pool is warm," Bill said. "It would be ideal."

"We get in pool," Chazi, Perzi and Bekzi appeared at my feet.

"Come on," Bill knelt beside me and helped me sit up. "I'll take you to the hot tub. Then you can nap before lunch."

"Okay, who's making these plans?" I asked while Trajan and Bill lifted me off the mat.

"We are," Bill said. "Can you walk, or do you want to be carried?"

"I can walk," I muttered, wanting more than anything to walk away and leave them behind. I needed a hand to steady me, however. I got two. Stellan and Kooper stepped in, with Trevor right behind. At that moment, I wanted to growl at all of them. I was tired, out of sorts and practically helpless. I didn't like that at all.

"Breanne, that reaction is understandable," Kevis said behind me. "Don't let it harm you or those around you. They only want to help."

"She's not used to that—people wanting to help," Bill muttered. "She's used to people using her. She's not used to being loved, either, so we have to do something about that."

"I'm right here," I pointed out.

"We know that," Trajan snickered. "We just want you to argue with us," he added.

"What Trajan is saying is that he—and the others—want your attention. If it takes an argument to get it, that's what they'll do," Kevis informed me.

"Is that what you're doing?" I stopped for a breather and to turn and look at Trajan.

"Baby doll, you're the most important thing here to us, so yeah, we want some attention."

"This one needs attention, too." I whirled to see Merrill and Kiarra's son, Franklin, standing before us, his hands gripping the shoulders of the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen.

Piercing blue eyes gazed blankly at me, while a river of black hair fell about her shoulders and almost to her waist. We were nearly the same height; I saw that immediately. I lowered my shields to read her. This was Kay—the one Bill and the others were so worried about.

The information hit me like blows. So much. So much had happened to this one, and little of it had been kind or with her well-being in mind. I wanted to scream. I couldn't. The best I could do was moan as the images proved to be too much and darkness took me.

* * *

"Dearest, what did you see?" Graegar had arrived, with Barrigar right behind him. Somehow, I'd ended up back in my bed while two Larentii bent over me and the others stood around the bed, looking halfway guilty. I couldn't read most of them, but it didn't take a genius to figure out why they felt guilty.

"Graegar, I saw awful things." I covered my eyes with a shaking hand, as if that would block the visions now buried in my brain.

"Kevis needs to know those things, in order to help Kay," Bill said softly.

"Kay needs
help, Bill Jennings." My retort was harsher than I meant it to be. "Kevis can work with her all he wants after I get done, but without my help, she'll never be close to normal."

"Bree, I didn't mean," Bill began.

"Honey, I know that. I'm sorry. Where's Kevis? I'll tell him what I know, but until I get some strength back, I can't do much for her."

"I'm here," Kevis stepped through a crowd to get to my bedside.

"You can stay. Graegar and Barrigar can stay. Everybody else needs to go," I sighed.

There was grumbling, but I didn't want all of Kay's secrets poured out to everybody. At the last moment, someone else popped in. I should have expected it.

At least Ashe didn't speak, or demand that I spill everything immediately. This would take time, and frankly, I wanted to throw up. Was reading Kay a trigger? Oh, yes. It made me wonder if I'd ever get past my early life and be anything close to normal.

"Kay is two people," I began.

"Huh?" I'd taken Kevis off guard.

"This is difficult for you, isn't it?" Barrigar said.


"Then let me help." Graegar moved aside so Barrigar could sit on the side of my bed. Lifting me into muscular blue arms, he smiled gently at me before tucking my head beneath his chin.

"Now," his chest rumbled with the word, "tell us."

Barrigar and Graegar were sending me energy and emotional strength, and I had no idea how they were accomplishing that feat. It didn't matter—I felt so much better because of it, and might be able to get through what I had to say.

"Kay has two souls inside her body," I said. "One is named Kalia, and she is horribly damaged. The other is named Kay—really—and she's somewhat damaged, too. Kay is more coherent, but Kalia's fears override everything. Right now, that's what is going on inside her body—Kay's consciousness is being squashed by Kalia's terror."

"A walk-in soul? Are you sure?" Kevis breathed. "I mean, I've heard of it, but I've never seen it. Always thought it might be a myth."

"It's true in Kay's case," I said. Barrigar's fingers stroked my face gently, while Graegar reached for one of my hands and kissed the palm. Both Larentii were as warm as a summer day, which was more than welcome—I felt chilled.

"Are they fighting? The souls? Is that why she acts as though she's not really there?" Ashe broke his silence, then. He was terrified for Kay—I could tell from his voice.

"Yes and no," I said. "Kalia is so afraid that she takes over everything with her fear. Kay can't withstand that."

"What makes Kalia afraid, dearest?" Graegar asked softly. He was asking the big question, when he knew how awful the answers might be—for me to tell and for the others to hear.

"Kalia was a sex slave," I said. "She was trained as such from the age of six, and sold to a pedophile criminal when she was nine. She's terrified of women, because women trained her—hurt her—when she was little. She's afraid that any man will ask her to perform, well, you know," I sighed. "There has never been real love in Kalia's life. Obsession and torture, yes. Love—no."

"How did Kay's soul get there?" Ashe asked.

"Kay is from Earth," I said. "She was disfigured from injuries received in a fire that burned her house and killed her parents when she was tiny. She wasn't accepted because of the way she looked." Yeah, I knew exactly how that felt.

"But that doesn't explain," Ashe began.

"I'm not done, yet," I said. "Kay was shot in a bank during a botched robbery attempt. Somehow, her soul was transferred to Kalia's body, just as Kalia was being tortured by Iversti Foculis. Kay has a peculiar talent that Kalia doesn't," I said. What I was about to say made me tremble, and that caused Barrigar to hold me tighter against him.

"What is that?" Ashe's voice was softer. Gentler. As if he'd been told that this upset me a great deal. It did. I had images burned in my brain of the criminal sadist, Iversti Foculis, cutting designs into Kalia's stomach and grinning while she screamed.

"Show us," Graegar suggested. "Just let the images play while you connect with us," he said.

"All right." I huddled against Barrigar and sent the images.

* * *

Ashe's Journal

I saw it. It was horrible. Kalia was chained to a wall, her mouth open in a terrifying scream as Iversti Foculis cut into her belly with a knife. He'd already drawn smaller sun wheels into her flesh. This one was larger.

He laughed while she screamed. Then I saw the sudden difference in her. Kalia's eyes changed and the scream cut off. Iversti jerked his head up—he imagined she'd fainted. That wasn't the case. Kay looked out of Kalia's eyes, and I knew in that moment that her soul had been transferred into Kalia's body.

"You die," Kay hissed, and Iversti dropped to the floor, quite dead.

"How?" I spoke aloud. Yes, Breanne suffered to give these images to me. How could she not? I knew that her past was just as horrible as Kalia's, and at that moment, her terror washed through the images, making my heart speed up and filling me with fear.

That was what she faced daily. The potential triggering of memories so terrible they could be debilitating. Kalia was much the same, although most of her abuse was sexual and not just physical.

"Kay can see most people's aura lines," Breanne sighed while Barrigar began to trill softly.

* * *

Breanne's Journal

"Not just auras?" Kevis asked. He sounded confused.

"There are lines of basic colors that form secondary aura colors," I explained. Barrigar had begun trilling softly, and frankly, it helped me push the awful memories aside so I could explain Kay's talent. "Kay can see the lines," I said. "Not only can she do that, she can change them, too. She can make someone who's sick well. If you were vampire and wanted to be able to eat normally, she could do that. If you were human and wanted to be werewolf, she could do that. Obviously, she hasn't done any of those things. So far, Kay has only used her talent twice, and both times it was to do the same thing."

"What was that?" Ashe asked. He suspected, now, but he wanted to hear it anyway.

"If she turns the aura lines all black, that person dies. She's killed twice. First, it was the gunman in the bank robbery, after he shot her. Second was Iversti Foculis, for torturing Kalia."

"She can do this to anyone?" Kevis breathed, sounding shocked.

"If she can read your lines. Anybody with power she generally can't read. That means Larentii. Gods. Saa Thalarr. Some wizards and warlocks. A few others, maybe."

"The Elemaiya have a term for this," Ashe rose and raked fingers through his hair. "It's a myth to them," he added. "They call the one who holds this power Ri'Kita—the Changer."

"Kalia is a pureblood Elemaiya," I said. "Kay was a quarter." Ashe's head jerked around and he stared at me. "Kalia's parents sold her when she was tiny to those fucking women who train girls for pedophiles," I gritted. "As soon as I'm able, I'm hunting those women down and making them dead."

I didn't add that Hordace Cayetes, the criminal who'd purchased Kalia, was also on my radar, as were several others—Rezil Foculis and Q'And and Q'Ind Ribalo, to name three.

"Dearest, there are others who need dispatching first," Graegar reminded me.

"Yeah." My anger deflated, leaving me beyond weary.

"How soon, Breanne? How soon can you help Kay?" Ashe had turned back to me again. Barrigar increased the volume of his trilling, making my eyes droop.

"Don't know," I whispered before falling asleep.

* * *

"Traje, the next time I start to yell at anybody, punch me in the mouth," Ashe mumbled as he took a chair next to his Second.

"Be happy to," Trajan nodded.

"Try this," Fes set a slice of cake in front of Trajan, before cutting a second piece and offering it to Ashe.

"This smells like heaven," Trajan grinned and cut into the cake with a fork.

"It's really good—one of Reah's recipes," Fes grinned.

"Oh, yeah, this is amazing," Trajan spoke around a second mouthful.

"There's food?" Stellan walked in, followed by Trevor, Kooper and the reptanoids. Chazi, Bekzi and Perzi recognized Kooper as a lion snake shapeshifter from the beginning, and admired him greatly after he'd shifted for them earlier. All of them felt better, too, when Graegar came and explained that Breanne was sleeping and not in pain or distress.

"Have a seat," Fes nodded toward barstools around the island. "We'll all have cake, coffee and talk."

"How we get Bree back?" Chazi began.

"Make feel strong?" Perzi expanded on his brother's question.

"No idea, and I'd like that more than anything right now," Ashe sighed. "Cake's excellent, Fes. No offense, Bill."

"None taken," Bill settled on a barstool and accepted a piece of cake. "I've been to Desh's on Tulgalan, remember? I still want to steal the fish recipe."

"We can make it tomorrow if you want. I just need to get the fish."

"Wait, I just had an idea," Trajan gripped Ashe's arm—hard.

BOOK: Blood Love (God Wars Book 4)
13.31Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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