I wish the tension in the room left with Gavin, but once he was out, Trent remained still. Corbyn stepped in and we all just sat there in silence for what seemed like an eternity.
“We need to go,” Trent announced and as his hand started to slip out of mine, I found myself clinging onto it, earning an angry kind of confused look from Trent.
“You just got back,” I half whined, and what I was doing - even I didn’t know. I wanted him gone, right? But I also didn’t want to be left alone with Gavin. Nope. No, thank you.
“Dee,” he sighed, gently getting me to stand with him. I thought he’d be upset, but he liked this. He liked me needing him. This I could work with.
“Please, Trent,” I squeezed my arms around him and tucked my face into his chest, “I don’t need a new bodyguard. Just take me with you and then we never have to be apart.”
“It’s too dangerous and you know that,” he made me look up at him but his eyes were scanning behind us like he was thinking the same thing - the interaction with his dad was complicated and suggestive. In no way did I want to be left here without someone I trusted, and even then I wasn’t safe.
Sure, Stone business was dangerous. Wasn’t it always when you were running illegal things like drugs and weapons? Trent’s dad may be at the top here, but that doesn’t stop others from trying to take what's yours. It’s why I’m never allowed out, why there are guards here all the time, and why our house was more like a fortress.
“She could just stay in the vehicle today,” Corbyn half-whispered. This was bad. Even the nugget himself was trying to help me?
“You stay where I tell you, Dee,” I squeezed him tighter as I half squealed because he just gave me sweet, sweet permission to go with them. I needed to get a lay of the land outside now that I was on my own, and I would be shamelessly using Trent’s adoration of me to get there as often as I could now.
We leave before there are any chance interactions with his dad and even though they place me in the back of the vehicle alone, but I can still make out some of what they are whispering about. A shipment went missing, something that came in last night, something that must have been important enough for Gavin to send his son running errands for him like this.
When we pull up, I realize why I’m in the back… child locks, and Corbyn’s sorry excuse for a smile told me who put them on. I smile sweetly back at him. Being locked in the back of a vehicle is still better than being at home.
There are several men waiting on them. I think I recognize one of them, but they are all a little rough looking, and I have to strain to hear anything. Cough, cough… abilities… anytime you want to give me my shifter hearing would be grand. No? Back to straining than because while I don’t think knowing will get me anywhere… I’m nosey.
One of them point around the side of the warehouse, but I can only make out one word for every twenty they speak. Note to self: learn how to read lips. ‘Busy’... blah blah blah… ‘dead’... blah blah blah… and then Nugget notices me leaning in close to the divider like a Mark to hear better and casually turns his back to block my view.
I half throw myself back into the seat in defeat, but as I land, I notice Corbyn wasn’t the only one watching me. There’s one guy leaning against the side of the building with a perfect view of me and the way he rolls his tongue over his bottom lip makes my stomach want to roll too.
Not only is he twice my age, but he's in no shape to be hitting on anything. He looks like he could use about ten baths to be clean, and it wouldn't hurt to chop off all the disgusting little chin hairs I think he's trying to call a beard.
The door to the vehicle opens and Trent is standing there like Prince Charming, arm extended for me and everything. Everyone else has fallen silent when I step out with my back to them and hold Trent’s undivided attention.
I touch the side of his face to gauge his reaction, but that one touch pushes him over the edge. His lips crash into mine, and his tongue sweeps through my mouth with a kind of possessiveness that’s sloppy and theatrical. His hand grips my butt tightly into him before slowly dragging their way up until he’s grabbing my face.
In one smooth motion, he covers my ear with his palm, pressing my open ear to his chest just as a gun goes off. His thumb absently strokes the side of my head until my heart rate slows down to normal.
“She’s mine,” he proclaims, turning me in his arms to see the guy that was staring at me with too much interest already dead on the ground, the gun still raised in Trent's hand.
Corbyn’s at my side as I drop onto my knees and Trent moved forwards.
"One guard is a traitor. That one guard told the competition that we would be preoccupied and then they killed him. They only got one shipment, so how are they going to continue to get information?" Trent looks back at us and shrugs before holding the gun up to the next guy, "I'm just not feeling the loyalty here."
"Sweep it," Corbyn tosses out like he’s bored, and Trent shoots the guy in front of him without even looking away from us. The last remaining guard starts to plead for his life, and it finally occurs to me why I thought I recognized him.
"Wait! I called out and Trent stops but doesn’t move from looking at him, "that's Piper's brother."
The loud bang that followed has me clutching my ears as someone picks me up and half throws me into the back of the vehicle. I scramble to get out, but the door is closed and it’s useless to try to open it. I press up against a small opening, as if there’s a way I can squeeze through the tiny open window that divides the back and the front of the vehicle.
"You didn't have to do that!" I half lay on the seat as I kick the door. My screams ringing out in frustration with every kick and attempt to get out of the back as my chest starts to become so heavy that it’s hard to breathe a full breath of air. The door opens suddenly and I fall partly out of the vehicle, my chest visibly rising and falling and my hair dishevelled all around me.
I wanted out. I was fighting to get out, but now that I am… what am I going to do?
Trent's brows are pressed together, standing over me in complete control of himself, a stark comparison to what I probably look like - a deranged animal at best. Completely out of control I continue to look up at him angrily. I should care more about self-preservation at this moment, but something here makes me bolder than before.
"How long are you going to entertain this?" Corbyn yawns as Trent lifts me to stand in front of him. Freaking… yawns!
Trent’s strong grip catches my hand while I’m mid-spin and halfway to Corbyn’s face. A shiver makes its way up my spine, settling on the base of my neck as he draws closer and his breath glides over my shoulder.
"If they aren't loyal to ME, they don't belong here."
"YOU," I turn quickly to face him, "didn't know that! You didn't even give him a chance to prove himself you just…" I look up and all that’s left is a trail of blood from where they dragged the bodies to goodness knows where, "you just…" I turn away and empty the contents of my stomach to the sounds of Corbyn's annoyance and Trent's huff of disapproval? Embarrassment maybe?
"Giving them a chance is giving them an opportunity to ruin me," he grips my chin, ignoring the vomit that’s likely covering it, "YOU wanted to tag along, well, take a good look, Dee, because this is our empire. Deceit, danger, and death.” Our empire. The sound of cars rolling up doesn’t make his attention draw away from me. He expected them. “Get in the car and don’t say a fucking word.”
I stumble on my first step back towards the vehicle and as he tries to catch my arm, I twist violently to avoid his touch. I don't need to look back to know that I better be fine on my own. He wasn't going to catch my fall to be kind to me. He doesn't want me embarrassing myself now that his men are present.
After a few minutes, the boys slide into the front and his cold vision lands on me. Every time I think maybe, just maybe, there is a piece of the Trent I grew up with left, I’m reminded of how truly wrong I am. His father ruined him, and his mother’s death only solidified his change.
I’m not sure how Trent even managed to drive when he was staring at me through the rearview mirror almost the entire way. The weight of his stare was demanding to be looked back at, but I refused. Building after building flew past the vehicle, people walking out on the streets completely oblivious and seemingly fine with each other’s abilities. ‘Dad said it’s not safe out there, Dee,’ Trent had told me after he went with his dad the first few times, ‘we can only visit Pop’s and then straight home.’ There was water building behind my lashes, but I’m not going to give him the satisfaction of seeing me cry. Tears mean he’s won, tears mean he’s broken me, and I know that’s what he’s waiting for. Well, he’s not getting them, so my traitorous body better get its act together. “Maybe,” Corbyn cleared his throat, “we should send her to that elevation school.” Silence. “You know your mom wanted you to go, and maybe they could help her abilities come out.” Corbyn really didn’t take a clue. T
"Pet, don't make me ask twice. You won't like it." The words were out of my mouth before I can help it. Where did that come from? My dick. It officially thought it was in charge. Bad dick. “I am NOT a pet,” she scowls back at me, but it’s like a little cub trying to do a big bad roar, and her voice sounds just as sweet as she looks and smells. She stands still while I look at her, waiting for her to give in and follow my command, and she does, with her own little flair of false bravado. “Good girl,” I whisper so low I’m not sure she hears it. I can’t help myself. She deserves the praise. Confirmation she heard it comes when there’s a little misstep in her stride and then she quickens her pace.The throbbing problem in my pants wants her to run, but not with this girl. That will cause too many unwanted complications, even if she’s the best eye candy I’ve ever had the pleasure of looking at. Trent has himself a little hidden gem. No wonder he was so uptight about keeping her away
"Get out," I tell him, but Mysterio is just standing there, tall and lean like a tree that could care less about the hissing winds - me, I’m the hissing winds - because it knows it will never get pushed down, "you're going to get yourself killed." Doesn't he have any self preservation? He should value his own life… I value mine, and if he's caught in here, Trent will kill us both. The longer he stands still, the more I realize how much my whole body is on high alert. I can feel the prickles of fear of being left alone here with him. Some of his hair has fallen out of where it's tied back and his muscles somehow seem more pronounced than they were five minutes ago. With thumbs tucked into his pockets, his fingers are tapping against his jeans and he makes this small sound, almost like a decisive grunt as his fingers still and the corners of his lips tip up revealing those canines that shouldn't exist in his human form. He looks deranged. Crazy on all counts with this attractiv
I want to avoid Mysterio's watchful eye so I make my way to the corner of my room where a chaise sat, but of course, his light blue hues drew me in to where he was now sitting on a chair of his own against the door. It's such an obnoxiously large chair that I’m not sure where he actually got it from. It certainly wasn't in here when we arrived, but there he is, draped over it like a lazy prince as he toys with a stick in his mouth. No. Not a stick, well, kind of, but a lollipop. A grape… freaking… lollipop I could smell from here. The sugar was calling my name, but of course, he ruined that too. "Like what you see?" I yank my devious tongue, which was licking my lips on its own accord, back into my mouth as the heat in my cheeks is making it unbearable to even face him anymore. Do I like what I see? On both accounts, yes. Twisting the chaise around so that I could sit on it without facing him wasn't easy, especially when his low chuckle sounded at my expense, but when it was do
"Behave,” Trent half snaps at me as I toy with the edge of my dress. The slit in it is so high that half of my butt is hanging out as I sit beside him, but fine. If he doesn’t care how Corbyn is staring, then why should I? We have a driver tonight, and thankfully that means that I only have to deal with Trent and Corbyn because Brixton gets to ride shotgun with a fully tinted glass divider, making it private back here. “I’m just nervous.” I yank my hand from Trent's, where he is currently crushing my hand that he removed from my pulling at my dress. “Brixton was supposed to go over-” “He did,” I cut him off as his brows pull together. “I know the rules. Don’t speak to anyone unless you’re with me. Don’t leave Brixton’s side for ANY reason. Be cautious of my surroundings and tell you if something feels off because there’s no telling what, or who, will be here tonight. The rules don’t make me less nervous, I don’t know what to expect. It’s not like I get a genuine experience with ot
"A little obvious," Pierce's low grumble announces his arrival as he stands next to me, dragging his vision over my attire, "even for you." "And what would you have me dress as?” I keep my vision forward and voice low, “A bloodsucker? Perhaps you wanted me to put on furs and pretend to be your long-lost cousin?” My outfit was expensive, but nothing less would have been acceptable to a man of my stature. Are there any other Minerva’s owl descendants? No, but would anyone connect me with the Cartiers? No. I know my mask comes with risks, but some of us don't have the luxury of being overpopulated. He, on the other hand, could dress in all the half-rabid wolf masks he wanted without worry. Wolves were a dime a dozen and few people have seen his face and lived to tell the tale. “Ah, brother, you only wish you could have half the charm my furry ass does.” Charm. I tried not to scoff out loud at such a ludicrous thing for him to pretend to have. I may love him like a brother, we may hav
"Am I the cause of that blush, Devlin?" Corbyn asks as he puts some distance between us, spinning me with practiced ease before pulling me tightly against him. Trent won't care. He never cared about how close me and Corbyn used to be, but it's noticeable when Corbyn spends our entire dance staring directly at me. I'm not sure if I should be flattered or insulted, but his attention is unnerving, nonetheless. "For someone who can't stand to look at me, you sure are spending a lot of time looking." As soon as the words are out, I regret them. Corbyn likes to take care of me, dress me up like the perfect little doll. But dolls don't talk back. They sit perfectly at all times. They do exactly what you want, and only what you want. "Did you think you were allowed to come tonight for fun?" I blink slowly at him, unsure how to answer that. I know I'm here out of obligation, but does that mean fun is off the table? Apparently. He pulls me in even closer, whispering so softly I strain to
Making a scene would be childish. It would feel amazing but do nothing short of alert Trent to my disgust. No, I need to be smart here. What he'll see is sweet, hurt, loveable Devlin. What he'll get is his own personally curated nightmare. But first, I need to be anywhere that isn't watching them grope each other as if I don’t exist. The problem is that I am exposed here. The man to my left has already disappeared, but there are several men watching my every move. Predators - I’m sure, deadly - guaranteed, but Brixton follows closely as I make my way to the ladies' washroom. A cold grip on my wrist startles me, but not as much as the fact that I'm now outside and staring into the red depths of a handsome stranger's eyes. “A human,” he brushes the hair from my shoulder, “trying to hide amongst monsters?” He cocks his head slightly, his smile widening much wider than friendly as the two pointed tips of his teeth slip over his bottom lip. “A Vampire,” I whisper out, barely abl