Wulf's Redemption (Borne Vampires Book 3) (7 page)

BOOK: Wulf's Redemption (Borne Vampires Book 3)
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Starving,
Alex saw them not as men but vessels holding the precious substance he and Kai
needed to live. He felt his fangs drop, his mouth watering in his thirst for
hot blood. For a moment, he could actually see the blood running through the men’s
veins. Deafened by the thunderous beating of their hearts, he realized the
humans were aiming their rifles at him and Kai. A low growl issued deep in his
throat as he struggled to lift his gun and point it at them.

The white-haired man called out in German,

Ich
sehe
dich,
Freunde
. Dawn
nähert
.
Beantragen
sollten
nicht
Sie
Ihre
Erholung
in den Armen
der Mutter?”

“I see you, friends. Dawn approaches. Shouldn’t you
be seeking your rest in the Mother’s Arms?”

Alex
dropped his gun to his side, squinting to see the man was smiling at him. Working
his mouth to speak, he whispered, “Please … save her.”

The
Gypsy leapt off the wagon. He took the lantern hooked on the side and
cautiously approached them. Alex found he could see the Gypsy’s swarthy face
better. There was a familiarity about him, reminding him of someone he once
knew long ago. The Gypsy motioned to the nervous men to come to him.

Strangely,
he switched from German to English, his accent not course as he would have
expected, “My sons, I need you to put Master and his woman in the wagon.
Careful! Do not cut yourself or they’ll be on you with vicious intent. The poor
creatures are starving to death.”

The
tallest, oldest looking of the brothers glanced worriedly at Alex, who glared
back at them. “Father, are you certain they are the ones we seek? Mary has been
known to be wrong.”

“Your sister’s gift is like the surface of a pond.
Ripples can cause her vision to change. Not this time. Mary knew exactly where
we should look for the Master.” Patting his son’s powerful forearm, the man
nodded confidently. “Besides, Michael, I would know Alexander Wulf anywhere.
Remember this?” He showed his sons the tattoo of numbers forever marked into
his skin. “Master saved me and our clan, risked his life so we could escape the
Nazis. We owe him a blood debt. More importantly, we are honor-bound to serve
his family, sworn by my grandfather, pledged in blood and love. Especially to
him.” He pointed at Alex. “Let us be quick about putting them in the wagon,
shall we?”

They slung their rifles over their shoulders and
cautiously approached him as he held Kai closer. The one called Michael
squatted down next to him. “By the color of your skin and the weakened state
you exhibit, you need blood. We will get you what you require at the manor. The
problem I have in helping you is that I will not have my brothers harmed trying
to save you and the girl. Do I have your word you will not kill us?”

Focusing on the muscular Gypsy, he hoarsely swore,
“My word as a Borne and a Slayer, you and your people are safe from me and my
friend.” It took several tries but finally Alex managed to lift his hand out to
the surprise and relief of the big Gypsy, who clasped it his strong grip.

“Come, brothers. We must hurry. The hunters we
encountered ten kilometers back will not dally as we have.”

Before Alex knew it, he and Kai were safe in the
wagon. He heard the older man order, “Boys, keep a sharp eye out. Let’s go,
yip-yip,” he clucked to the horses, who walked on. “Michael, call your mother and
ask her to prepare for our arrival. By the looks of our guests, we will need several
liters of blood to speed their recovery. The girl is in the shadowy Realm of
Death. If we’d not found them today, the poor child would have passed on.”

“Ja, Papa,” Michael replied. “Mary? I need to
speak with Mother. Yes, we have them. Papa wants Mother to.... Ja. Ja.”
Laughing at whatever she said, Michael replied, “Don’t be cocky, little one.
For our guests’ sake, I am glad your gift proved to be correct. Tell Mother
that we will need lots of blood. The woman you saw with the master is dying.”
He paused. “Ja, Papa says it is Alexander Wulf. What? Ja, we are on our way
back to Wulf Manor.”

Wulf Manor?

Grief and rage welled up inside Alex. Still, it
was not enough to keep him awake, and he slipped away into blessed darkness.

He was home.

 

✝✝✝

 

The sting of a needle inserted into the tender
flesh of her arm made Kai jerk away, unable to escape. Fear made her whine like
an animal caught in a trap, as she fought the unyielding arms holding her.

“No! No more dead blood. Please, no more,” she
moaned. Tears leaked out the corners of her tightly squeezed eyelids as she
waited for the dead blood to hit her vein. Why didn’t they just kill her
already?

“Nein!
Kämpfen
Sie
bitte
nicht
uns
,” a girl spoke to her in what Kai thought was
German.

Cautiously, she opened her eyes and saw a Gypsy
girl, who had to be about fourteen or fifteen years old. The girl’s
midnight-black eyes shimmered in the soft light of the table lamp.

“Nein, Miss, we mean you
no harm. You have dislodged the needle. You must let us put it back in your arm,
so we may give you blood. To heal, you need much, much more.”

Confused, she saw the worried faces of about a
dozen women, ranging from teen to a very old, very round lady with intense
black eyes standing around her. They watched their exchange nervously.

“Not dead man’s blood?”

“Nein, Miss. Fresh blood donated by the women in
my family,” the girl reassured her. “My grandmother says the blood your enemy
injected into you is out of your system. Our blood, Gypsy blood, will heal the
damage done to you by the dead blood.”

Relief made her relax against the restraints that turned
out to be sheets. “Thank God. I-I won’t fight you anymore.” The girl inserted
the needle back in her vein and she felt the blood flow into her. She could feel
her body absorbing it as quickly as it entered her and the weakness she felt
was slowly abating.

The women visibly relaxed and began chatting.

“Where is Alex?” she asked, seeing he wasn’t in
the room with her. “Is he safe?” Oh, God, was he dead? “Please,” she tried to
rise, needing to find him. “Is he alive?”

Mary placed her hands on her shoulders, “Ja, Miss
Jordan, he is alive. Master is receiving blood as well.”

“Good.” She settled into the pillows propped
behind her head. “Please, call me Kai.”

“I am so glad you are one of the nice vampires. I
prayed you were not the evil ones.” The girl bit her lip, glancing guiltily at
the woman standing across from her. “Forgive me. I often speak without thinking
first what comes out of my mouth.”

Kai chuckled at the way the dark-haired woman on
her right rolled her eyes heavenward. “I understand completely. I am guilty of
speaking my mind when I shouldn’t, too.” The girl blushed. “I must ask. Have
the vampire hunters been here? Wherever here is.”

The woman answered, her German accent heavy, “Miss
Jordan, you are at Wulf Manor. I am Sarah. Mary is my daughter. The hunters
have been patrolling close to Wulf Manor. We thought they were hunting the
demon vampires, until Mary saw you and Master in a dream. My husband and our
sons went in search of you, hoping to find you first. Praise be, they were
successful.”

Feeling stronger than she had in several days, she
smiled at Sarah. “I am
very
grateful
your family found us first. We’d run into them twice. The last time I was shot
and is why I am the mess I’m in. Well that and the dead man’s blood. Been a
really crappy week.”

Sarah patted her hand. “You are lucky to have
survived. Vampire hunters are careless and do not care if they hunt a Borne or
the Damned, they only like to kill.”

“A vampire’s curse, to be feared, hated, and hunted,”
she replied cryptically.

An old, wrinkled woman shuffled forward and placed
her gnarled, arthritic hand on her shoulder and patted it in the same motherly
manner as Mary had. When she spoke, her old age faded away as she said to her,
“Child, you are the hunter. Your curse will be your weapon against the evil I
have dreamt returned to seek the Master. It bears a terrible need for revenge
and its hunger is insatiable. You must be strong for the Master and for your
very soul.”

Swallowing hard, Kai stared into the old woman’s
kind eyes and saw fear in the dark depths. “I will be. I promise.”

“Good. Sarah, change the bag, Miss Kai needs more
blood,” the old woman instructed as she shuffled toward the door. “Children,
chores need to be done. Let us be about our day.” She shooed the other women
out of the room, personally taking Mary by the hand, leaving only Sarah to
watch over her.

“Sarah,”
Kai asked after the old woman had closed the door, “who is she?”

“She
is Gaeta, my husband’s mother. Gaeta has visions, sees people’s future, their
past. Old magic. Strong magic.”

“Magic?
As in
real
magic?”

“You
will see. You
will
believe.”

“Okay,
that should be fun. I think.”

Smiling
at her, she said, “Rest, Miss Jordan, while I hook you to another bag of
blood.”

While
Sarah worked, Kai closed her eyes and focused on her own power, opening her
mind, hoping to hear conversations — any voices that weren’t her own. At first,
she heard a faint whisper. Growing louder, she thought it was several people
talking, quickly she realized it wasn’t. Only one person. The one man she never
thought she would ever be able to hear since he broke the blood bond between
them.

“Kai, please be
well. Do not die. I cannot hold on, not if you die.”
The heart wrenching sorrow
in his voice had her struggling to sit up.

She
reached to pull out the needle, Sarah tried to stop her. “Sarah, I need to go
to Alex. He’s in a bad way.”

“How
do you know?”

“I-I
just do. Where is he?”

“Here,
let me remove the needle.” After she had it out, Sarah made to bind it with a
bandage, not needing to as she had already healed. “Follow me.”

Swinging
her legs over the side of the bed, her feet hit the plush carpet. She stood
unsteadily, gripping the bed for support. Gritting her teeth, Kai made her
aching body move and managed to follow Sarah out of the room to the foyer.
There was a wide, elegant staircase leading to the second floor, the carpeted
rungs a dark coffee color against golden wood that was polished to a high
shine. She faced the stairs with a grimace and made her legs move. At the top,
she stopped, winded. Forcing herself to go on, she followed after Sarah down a
long hallway. Considering the distance between the doors, she figured the rooms
had to be apartment-sized. Sarah stopped and knocked on the fourth door. It swung
open and a man, perhaps in his late sixties, whose long hair was white as snow,
met them.

“Herrick,
Miss Jordan needs to see the Master. She says it is most urgent she speaks with
him.”

“Come in, come in. We are not able to awaken the
Master. He is barely breathing.” He motioned for Kai to enter the spacious
chamber. Alex lay on the four-poster bed, the emerald green and black comforter
emphasized his pale, ashen features to a disturbing shade of death.

“Herrick, is there a sleeping chamber for….” She
stopped. Unable to read them, to see if they were trustworthy or not, she found
she didn’t know how to proceed with her question.

He gave her an understanding smile and said, “The
Wulf family used the lower cellar when they resided at the manor.”

“We need to get Alex below, to recover.”

Understanding lit his dark eyes. “He needs to go
to ground! Boys, let us carry him downstairs.” Herrick guided his sons in
carefully lifting the unconscious man and carried Alex out the door.

Kai stared at the empty bags of blood. Alex had
enough blood in him, why was he still out? Her gut instinct told her to hurry
and put him the ground. She stumbled after them, feeling the dawn’s arrival and
knew why he wasn’t waking up. His body had taken the choice for him and was
trying to shut down to sleep the sleep of the vampire!

They walked past the foyer and into the kitchen.
Sarah opened a trap door and the men struggled to carry him down the steep,
narrow stairs into the dark cellar. Kai opened a grave, making sure it was big
enough for her to join Alex. He might not approve, but she didn’t care. Alex
needed her.

The tall Gypsy instructed his sons to put him in
the grave. After they had him in it, they hurried out of the cellar. Herrick
shrugged at her inquiring look. “Forgive my boys. They are not accustomed to
such things. They have not seen evil as we have. Unfortunately, my children
will soon encounter it.” He heaved a deep, regretful sigh.

“You have heard the Damned are recruiting, seeking
unwilling as well as those who wish to sell their souls?”

“Ja, we have heard from family who reside near
Berlin. The gypsies are able to keep their youth away from the Depraved, those
not of the Rom are not as fortunate.”

“Faeroes, King of the Borne, has the Slayers
hunting the Damned. We
will
win this war,” Kai said with
conviction.

“You are a brave woman, Miss Jordan.” Herrick
smiled. “Mortals are indeed lucky to have such fighters as you and the Master
aiding them.”

“Please, call me Kai.” Looking askance at him, his
reference to humans as the ‘mortals’, as if it were separate him. “Herrick, are
you ‘different’ from other humans?”

BOOK: Wulf's Redemption (Borne Vampires Book 3)
5.8Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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