Only three days and counting until Serenity and Cret go on tour, to get ready here is another chapter from book three, Shadowed Intentions.
***Content below is for ADULTS, 18+***
Opsona Journey Series Book Three
Guilty realization was the first thing that hit me. I couldn't comprehend what my actions had caused. How they continued to ripple outward affecting Serenity's world. That night I stabbed her my life iced over depriving me of any real existence. I remained in that state for so long until the extreme reaction to a world without her dulled into a set habit of living, if you could call it living. Now I was struck with the reality of what I had done to her, the hell I had awoken Serenity to.
I had been so hopeful when we first encountered each other in the city, hopeful that her memory of me had been lost. Clearly the gods didn't see it fit to grant me that small favor, when and how she remembered didn't matter. Now I had to face the sin I committed against my raven beauty and it was shattering me.
"You changed me," she growled. Hot violent venom dripped off every word enticing my demon to act.
The violence in her voice tugged at it, he loved violence. It was the only language my demon-self spoke and Serenity expressed it with an elegant fluidity. The idea of her expressive nature aroused erotic thoughts instead of the cautious awareness I needed in coming battle. I couldn't lose control now. I hadn't lost control of my demonic side since my younger years when my emotions ruled me more than logic and reason, but I could feel my iron grip slipping. She was drawing it out and my anger was aiding the process.
I wasn't angry at Serenity, not anymore. I felt too much anguish over her predicament, the thoughts of all those long years she lived feeling this way. Trapped by my actions in a hell no other could understand. I was a bastard. Not even her disregard for the living and the pleasure she sought in watching the people below suffer could stifle my misery.
If I was honest—I too derived some type of sick pleasure out of watching that city burn. A release from a small portion of my duty by the tragedy below—that was the demon in me. A nature I could not control or hide from. Those blood-stilling howls from down below was making it worse, this dark pull I was feeling from her…From us. I would lose myself if I wasn't careful.
Would that be so bad?
I ignored the voice in my mind that tempted me, focusing instead on my self-hatred to keep control. I had a second chance at something with Serenity, we were the same, torn between two worlds that would never take us in—a world we destroyed together. I couldn't let her or the mortal world suffer like this. I still had some sense of duty left. If only we had been on the same side of this battle, then maybe I wouldn't be standing here full of anger and heartbreak for what I had to do next. Fate is so cruel.
Turning to face her we locked gazes, a knowing settled in her scarlet eyes. We were evenly matched, I knew it. By the way Serenity's brows narrowed on me she knew it too. The only advantage I had in battle I couldn't use, not with my strength weakened by the fight to escape and the blood she took. No, there would be no slipping into shadows in my state, which left me with the direct approach. Skill against skill but my heart wanted none of it.
The thought of this battle had me bewildered and at the mercy of the demon growing in excitement with each tension filled second that passed. He wanted this, his needs were so simple. The complex range of human emotions had no effect on him. It was his desires itching in the back of my head, a little whisper of persuasion pushing me to make the first move. That would be foolish. With two skilled warriors like us the battle was either won or lost in the first attack, and I didn't want that burden. If I made the wrong move, if my attack failed and left me shaken then I would be the one left dead on this hill.
I could give her that.
If my death would bring Serenity peace maybe being defeated would be worth it, I had already failed Rhea. Lost the city she loved so much—what was left for me beyond this? A long life under the mercy of the Opsona and without Serenity…No.
My father's blood bubbled under my flesh, the demon didn't like that idea. My thoughts only threw it into a rage to break free of my grasp. I felt its foolish need to start this affair as my body changed under its own will. The adrenaline coursing through my veins in preparation for the battle ahead. Powerful and strong, my muscles bulked out and became more defined. Fangs grew from my upper and lower jaws, hungry to taste Serenity's flesh, either in blood thirsty battle or sexual conquest, it didn't matter. Just the thought of her sweet olive skin coated in salty perspiration trapped between my fangs had me growing erect at the most inappropriate moment yet.
All of me wanted her. My demon didn't care how, but I couldn't take her like this. She was full of resentment and hurt, the knowledge of who I was—what I had done had sent her into a state compromised by rage. By all rights Serenity was justified and blinded by her revenge driven desires, but I wouldn't take advantage of that. I wouldn't let my demon take advantage of this situation. If it had its way Serenity would be ours before the night was through. Ravaged by the primitive beast that didn't know how to communicate in a civil way. He would claim what he regarded as his despite any protests. No, I couldn't let that happen. I wasn't that much of a bastard.
Damn if she didn't look enticing. Those raven waves of tussled hair bending to the sweeping winds, scarlet eyes which deepened with savagery causing my dick to twitch. She wanted this battle, who was I to deny her needs?
"Are you really committed to this?" I asked to my demon's protest, offering Serenity a chance to end this before it began.
I watched her for a long moment, steady, thin drops of rain started to fall from the saturated clouds above, and it was then I noticed the shift in her scent carried along the growing winds. The once subtle fragrance of lavender that mingled with the more dominant sage now overpowered even the heavy scent of the coming storm. Her sweet nectar assaulted my senses with lustful distraction causing the demon within to groan with a strange need for obedience. I felt my knees tremble and weaken, an urge to bow before her—this goddess. To drop to my knees and beg for Serenity to make me a servant of her will overwhelmed my reason.
What is happening?
Flexing my wrists into circles and rolling my neck I tried to loosen the odd provoking sensation, as those full lush lips of hers twitched into the most devious smirk. By the gods I could devour that mouth.
That smirk told me everything. She was committed. No stopping now, "till death." Her words whispering over from a subtle gap in her mouth creating fantasies of pleasurably tortured moans drawn from her. Panted breaths escaping from between those soft kiss-swollen lips.
Get control Cret!
My mind's rational voice fell on deaf ears as the fantasies intensified of that mouth of hers devouring everything I would allow. Images of her kneeling before me, taking my size to the depths of her throat with each savage thrust.
Priorities! The voice screamed again giving me back a fraction of sense. I hoped it would be enough to fight against her draw.
Reality suspended for a moment, the storm silenced and hushed waiting on a baited breath. It was here. That brief moment before action. It lived within the fractioned beat of a heart, and remained until the battle's end. Pausing all the world in a single set point in time, pressuring each party to act.
Lavender drifted toward me again, stronger than before and I knew what was happening. That scent, it was her creature. The raging instinct Serenity gave herself over to in battle. I had noticed it when I studied her in the past. Normally the lavender was like a faint ghost that trailed the sage, but in battle—lost within the intensity of combat it grew in strength. Still it had never been this strong before, Serenity was no longer in control. A notion which left me guarded and heated.
Lightning flashed through the sky silhouetting her elegant figure, and then she was gone from sight. I lost her. Panic gripped me for a second before I could make out something rushing in my direction.
The once restrained excitement now flooded through me, rushing the world forward as she grew closer. Serenity dipped into a low stance just before reaching me and then launched upward to strike. A fist heading toward my chin, followed by a knee aimed at my gut. This was pathetic, a timid assault to feel me out. I grabbed her wrist with ease stopping her from making contact and blocked the knee with my other hand.
If she wanted to toy with me I would play along. In a second I had her turned in my arms, restrained and pulled back against my chest causing an involuntary groan to leave my mouth. That heated body of hers was just too much to keep my appetite suppressed. Yes, I want this.
Serenity jerked in my grasp in refusal, the lavender growing even more intense making my demon whimper. I need this.
Pain crept up from my foot where Serenity had dug her heel into bone, and I snarled in warning as it twisted into sick teasing pleasure. She could hurt me all she wanted, my tolerance was high and the demon loved it. So perfect.
Serenity jerked again in my iron grip, her desperation bringing me to life. This battle was just a game so far, a playful banter between two animals. My warrior reason fleeting under my demon's command. The traitor.
We had always worked so well together, in complete sync. My father's blood provided support when I needed it, gave me the strength that I needed, and in turn I let it run wild from time to time. Allowing its inhuman needs to be satisfied, and now it was taking over. Ungrateful bastard.
Pain ran through my hip this time, Serenity had managed to get one arm free in my distraction. Clawing at whatever she could reach, her attempts only brought me closer to the edge and I responded with a moan as the feeling dulled into a sick shiver of wanton seduction. Focus, my warrior mind screamed and I released her with a forceful shove, needing distance between us before I became unhinged.
Raindrops grew heavier, beating down and soaking our bodies. The cool droplets restrained the feverish heat in my veins from burning straight through. Sweet metallic notes mingled with the storm surge causing my chest to heave with labored breath from the pure primal desire clawing to get out. I couldn't keep this up for long, her allure was far too strong.
What is it about her? I tried for some type of answer, anything that would make sense out of this insanity by settling my gaze on the shadowy voided presence that encircled her. Typically I required light and actual formation of a shadow to read a person, but Serenity's shadow was always visible. That unique characteristic one I had only seen on her and Vondorian, but what I glimpsed gave me nothing but more questions.
Usually Serenity's shadowed self was smoky in color, dense and thick with ribbons of violet and subtle orange weaving through. Now the smoky color was so thick I could no longer see through to the landscape beyond and only violets twisted around, the ribbons of color turning into a strangling enclosure around the rest, leaving no orange visible and very little of the smoky base. What was happening inside of her right in this moment, I had never seen anything like it before.
Serenity rushed me again closing the distance I had put between us, this time she didn't strike with some halfhearted attempt to test me. The battle had really begun. Using her claws like a weapon she slashed at me in quick secessions, mad fury driven swipes raced between us in a dance of sensual violence. Some I blocked, others I let make contact with my flesh deriving pleasure from the little pricks of pain where cuts appeared. It drove my arousal to the breaking point. I countered a few attacks, my own claws dripping with her intensely rich blood making this moment all the worst for rational authority.
The gods' storm rumbled above in protest and lightning intensified the charge between us, unleashing a torrent of water that soaked the valley.
This is mine! The demon within me growled.
It had a voice. It never had a voice before, only grunts and groans with basic emotions or desires I could feel. It's speaking.
The thought frightened me enough that I lost focus, Serenity's claw sliced across my shoulder. The searing irritation quickly had my mind back on the battle. I trapped her against me in a flash of movement, her chest pressed against my front, arms pinned under mine at her sides. Serenity shifted and struggled against my restraint and I couldn't fight it any more. My lips slammed into hers.
I need you, the demon growled with its newfound voice.
Twisting my legs around hers I gave a push to throw Serenity off balance, sending her tumbling backward to the ground as I devoured her mouth. I followed the fall of her body, and pinned that small curvy frame of hers beneath mine as I forced my hunger upon her. The battle now forgotten.
Serenity's struggled refusal melted away, welcoming my tongue into her hot mouth and caused my heart to leap with excitement. She was accepting me. Triumph pushed my actions now easing my grip on her body I teased a fang over her lip before taking that mouth once more. A moan passing from my lips and against hers, I took what was mine.
She moaned in response to the second assault and kissed back with more force than I had, my chest rumbled in protest at her advances to overthrow my dominance. Gripping her shoulders I allowed my blade sharp nails to pierce lightly through her soft flesh in both warning and to scent the air with fresh blood.
I pushed deeper into the kiss nipping my fangs at her swollen lips when my vision went white. A deep burn radiated from my side and became the most intense physical agony I had ever felt. Breaking the kiss, my body spasmed from the sudden shock causing my claws to clap down on Serenity, breaking through flesh to bone as she cried out.
My body bucked up in reaction to the new sensation putting a little distance between our entangled bodies, the pain growing as I moved. A tugging feeling drew my attention down where Serenity had buried a clawed hand deep in my right side, it felt like she penetrated completely threw my body. Rejection tingled in the physical pain.
Bitch! The intense new voice of my demon roared inside my mind, the rest of me was too blinded by the numbing discomfort.
My eyes focused back on Serenity and the deep endless scarlet of her eyes started to dim, the scent of lavender weakened as the sage slipped back. Her lips trembled, her hardened gaze softened and blood pooled from the corner of her lips sending panic into my heart. Reality crashed back into the moment and I looked down between us again.
Without a thought—a pure instinctual reaction from my wounded pride, I had drawn that special amber dagger and thrust it into her heart. The baited breath of battle the had hung around us now released tightening my chest with disbelief. This couldn't be real. This wasn't happening again. I looked back to her face for some type of reassurance but there was nothing but struggle. The color draining from her skin leaving the blood that trickled from her lips so rich in contrast, it was really happening. This was real, not another nightmare.
I withdrew the weapon with haste. Her body jumped a little and a gasp of pain left her lips. I didn't care if it caused pain it had to be removed before any permanent damage could be done. I fell back on the grass and drew Serenity into my arms. There was no life without her. It had to be done, that duty drive rationale inside my head spoke up. I didn't listen.
Pushing my hand into Serenity's wound I tried to stop the bleeding, just until she started to regenerate then everything would be fine. Her body could recover from this, she had before.
The bright scarlet of her eyes evaporated into a muted pink and her head fell limp to the side, I could feel her heart as I pressed harder. The beats becoming slower, the space between each pump growing.
"No, no, no, no. Look at me Serenity, you can't give up," I pleaded with her, anguish riddled tears threatening at the back of my eyes.
Pushing her face to look at me I offered her my wrist, my blood would help her pull through this and she could have it all. Every ounce of it. Serenity could drain me into death, I didn't care. I couldn't live in a world without her—not again.
Serenity's head fell limp to the side again and the lush red of her lips iced to a purple. It was happening so fast this time. I forced my wrist toward her lips but they only trembled with a death chill. No, this can't happen.
Bringing my wrist to my fangs I bit down to draw blood, maybe she needed to smell it, the scent of fresh blood was like a drug to a vampire. She wouldn't be able to refuse this time.
Forcing my gashed wrist toward her I knew she would drink. My blood trickled down onto her lips and then she was gone from my arms. Something had pulled me back, ripped me away from her. Stunned I tumbled on the ground not completely aware of what was happening, my world was still dazed with worry.
Serenity… it was the only thought that crossed my mind when I regained myself. Scrambling to my feet I turned to meet Vondorian's glare. Serenity cuddled in his arms as he drew her close to his chest. Relief and jealousy took the place of my panic, he would take care of her. I hated the man but I knew he could save her since I couldn't.
Vondorian glanced my way for the briefest of moments before they both disappeared. Vanished into the stormy night like some type of nightmarish fairytale creature, leaving me to my suffering. What have I done?