Annie learns shocking news about Mikey. Casey begs Marcus to take another blood bound.
“But you have his heart.” She whispered to her reflection.
Taking a deep breath meant to calm her nerves she turned and left the room. The sound of several guest already enjoying the party met her ears as she neared the bottom step.
“About time.” Alice sneered.
Casey ignored her as she continued on into the large living room. Her eyes scanned quickly looking for Marcus.
She smiled hearing his voice. Quickly she made her way across the room.
“I was wondering when our hostess would appear.” A tall dark haired man spoke with a slight accent.
Casey knew immediately he was a Pure.
“Sorry I’m late.” Casey smiled.
Marcus moved to put his arm around her. “Not late at all. Some of the guests simply arrived a bit early.”
“Some of the guests were anxious to meet the Ingredior Utriusque." It was the same Pure spoke again.
“Casey this is Kenneth.” Marcus said in way of an introduction.
“Nice to meet you.” Casey smiled.
“Very nice to finally meet you.” Kenneth answered letting his eyes roam over her. “I’ve heard so much about you.”
“All good things, I hope.” Casey smiled.
Marcus tightened his arm around her. “Of course they were.” There was a definite challenge in his words.
“Yes, of course.” Kenneth nodded.
‘He’s a Pure but much younger than me’
Casey smiled briefly at Marcus so he understood she’d heard his words.
Kenneth caught what had happened, “Must be interesting to communicate with her that way.” When he saw the look on Marcus’s face he added quickly, “I understand that being bound to a Ingredior Utriusque allows her to hear your thoughts.”
Marcus blinked trying to control his anger. “It makes things much easier.” He said smoothly. “I can communicate my needs to her anytime.”
“Yes of course.” Kenneth said not wanting to anger his host any further. “Well I’ll just go mingle.” He nodded again to Casey then crossed the room.
“I’d just sent Alice up to get you.” Marcus whispered.
Casey smiled knowing they were being watched. “Gee, thanks.”
“What’s that mean?”
“Nothing.” Casey answered quickly.
Marcus took her arm then led her further away from the others. “I asked you what that means.”
“Well you could have warned me there was a very jealous Healer in attendance.” She said narrowing her eyes.
Marcus was already feeling the strain of pretending. “Get used to it Sweetheart. Tonight I’m sure you’ll meet several more.”
Casey’s eyes widened a moment. “Oh really?”
“You wanted this.” He reminded her roughly.
“Yep I did.” Casey responded not backing down. “But just exactly what am I supposed to do as your Hostess?”
“Simply make sure our guests and their blood bounds are kept happy until the party really begins. The alcohol should flow freely. I have a staff of twenty that will be serving tonight.”
“All blood bounds?”
“Yeah” He understood the underlying meaning to her question. “Some our mine most belong to Alice.”
“What about Alice?”
Marcus’s eyes were looking around the room. “What about her?”
“Well she’s a Healer so I’m wondering if she belongs to you.”
When he looked at her she could see this Pure blood was beginning to take over in anticipation of tonight’s event. “I’ve never bound her to me.” His eyes flashed , “But I’ve enjoyed her body.”
Casey understood he was trying to get a rise out of her. “That’s nice.” She smiled.
His eyes remained topaz. “Told you I’m not a nice guy no matter how much you want me to be. I am what I am.”
“And I told you I love what you are.” She answered softly.
“Marcus please pardon the intrusion.” Alice said joining them. “But several more guests have just arrived.” She shot a look at Casey that was just short of a sneer.
Marcus returned his eyes to blue as he nodded.
Alice smiled at him. “I’m so happy you’re hosting this party. It has been too long.” She reached out to gently brush his cheek.
Casey tried very hard not to glare at the Healer. Forcing her gaze away she saw a man and woman arrived she’d never met. “Marcus, will you please introduce me to the new guests?” She asked sweetly.
He nodded. “Shit.”
Alice followed his gaze wondering why he was upset. “You didn’t invite William?”
“Yeah I did because I knew he was in town.” Marcus explained.
“Then what’s wrong?” The Healer asked.
Marcus did not like her questioning him. “Did I saw anything was wrong? Why don’t you go mingle?”
Alice knew she had angered him. “Of course, Marcus.” She quickly walked across the room.
“Okay so what’s wrong?’ Casey whispered.
Marcus was still angry. “Stop asking so many damn questions.” He barked.
Casey gave him a surprised look but remained silent.
“William is a Pure.” He said in a chipped tone. “Just not one of my favorite people. The last time I saw him was at a party Annabelle and Gerard attended. William pissed me off then.”
He glared at her.
“Yeah I know I’m asking too many damn questions but how am I going to learn all about your world if I don’t.” She asked raising her chin.
“William wanted me to share Anna with him. When I told him no he wanted Gerard.” He said his voice low while he kept a fake smile on his face.
Casey considered his words. “I’m glad you’re older than him.” She finally said.
“By at least three hundred years.” Marcus explained while taking her arm. “But don’t understatement him. William can be quite ruthless.”
They reached William and his blood bound woman. “Marcus so good to see you.” William said in greeting. His eyes took in Casey from head to toe. “And this must be your Ingredior Utriusque.”
“This is Casey.” Marcus said smoothly. “And yes she is Ingredior Utriusque”
“What incredible luck you have.” William said still staring at Casey. “You’ve bonded with not one but two Ingredior Utriusques. I was sorry I never got to meet the first one. Rumor is though she was rather plain looking.”
Casey couldn’t let that pass. “My mother was a beautiful woman.”
William blinked in surprise obviously not accustomed to a blood bound speaking to him in that manner. He turned to Marcus. “As delicious as her blood must taste I would not enjoy being bonded to a woman I couldn’t control.”
‘Casey ignore him’
Casey leaned a bit more towards Marcus but did as he said and remained quiet.
“Actually you did hear wrong.” Marcus said, “Christa was a beautiful woman.”
William laughed, “Marcus I know you. You believe every woman is beautiful and most men.”
Casey tired to ignore him and turned her attention to his blood bound. What she saw shocked her. The girl, on closer inspection, was quite young. She wished she could speak to her but knew until William acknowledged the woman a blood bound was considered unimportant and she was trying very hard to play by the Healer’s rules.
“So when does the real party begin?” William asked gazing around the room. As the spoke more people were arriving.
“Soon.” Marcus smiled. “For now enjoy a glass of champagne.”
William nodded then walked across the room to snag two glasses of champagne off the tray of a passing server. As Casey watched he thrust one at his blood bound obviously ordering her to drink.
“That is an evil man.” Casey whispered.
Marcus heard her. “That is a Pure. You will not show him any disrespect.”
She looked into his eyes. “I didn’t. But it’s a good thing that you can’t hear my thoughts.”
“Casey I’m warning you.” Marcus said lowering his voice. “You will act as you should tonight. Is that clear?”
She nodded slightly then wanting to see his eyes flash said softly. “But if I don’t are you going to punish me?”
As she’s predicted his eyes flashed, “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“I’m sure along with the leather there are whips for punishment.”
He tightened his hold on her arm painfully. “Why the fuck are you doing this. Why are you pushing me?”
She looked into his topaz eyes. “Because I want to see the Pure these others have seen. The one they know.”
“You are playing a dangerous game.’ He growled.
“This isn’t a game. This is your world. A world that I want to be a part of.” She flinched “And for the record you’re hurting my arm.”
He did not loosen his hold. “If you are sure this is what you want then you need to expect some pain.”
“Pain and pleasure.” Casey whispered. “I expect both from you tonight.”
It was all he could do not to throw her down and take her right at this moment. He closed his eyes a minute and when he reopened them he had gotten back his control. “Come there are more guests for you to meet.”
Casey smiled, “Yes, Marcus.”
Again his eyes flashed, “You make yes Marcus sound like fuck you.”
Her smile grew wider. “Yes Marcus. I do.”
He shook his head. “Soon Little One you will get more than you’ve bargained for.”
“I gotta stop for a minute.” Gerard said releasing Anna’s hand then leaning over. They had left the house a few minutes earlier and had just reached the rocky shoreline.
“You are unwell?” Anna asked placing her hand on his back.
In the moonlight she saw him nod.
“You ate too much.” She said softly.
“Fuck yeah, I did.” He answered.
Anna sighed, “Come let us sit for a few minutes. The feeling will pass.”
Once they were seated Gerard shook his head, “Shit, this is the first time I’ve had this happen. This sucks.” He rubbed his stomach.
Anna spoke while gazing out at the dark sea. “I am sorry.”
“Not your fault I ate like a pig.” He answered. “But damn I really miss eating spaghetti. Guess I didn’t realize how much I was eating. You should have stopped me.”
“Gee, I tried.” She reminded him gently.
He had to admit she was right. During dinner she had mentioned to him he was eating quite a bit of Annie’s delicious dinner.
For several minutes they sat in silence. Finally Gerard spoke.
“I don’t think it’s just that I ate too much. Something else is going on too.”
Anna turned to him. “What?”
He didn’t want to keep anything from her. “Yeah my stomach hurts from the food but that’s not being helped by the other feelings I’m having.”
Anna was immediately concerned. “What other feelings?”
He shook his head. “Pretty sure it has something to do with Marcus. Fuck, I wish I knew what was going on with him.”
“Yes, there must be something going on. Especially since Annie also seems to be picking up on his feelings. Gee, should we call him?”
He closed his eyes a moment trying to understand the feelings that were starting to overwhelm him. “I don’t know.” He said finally. “We both know how Marcus can be. He hates for us to meddle in his business.”
“That may be true.” Anna said angrily. “But since Casey is with him I do not give a damn what he likes or dislikes us to do.”
Hearing her anger he wished he hadn’t brought this up. He understood how important the Pure’s protection was to Anna and he didn’t want anything they did to jeopardize that protection. “Anna, I really don’t think we have to worry about Casey. Believe me I can feel how much he cares for her. And honestly I think that’s part of the problem.”
“What do you mean?”
Gerard leaned back on his arms then closed his eyes. “His feelings for her run very deep.”
“And as a Pure he does not like that?”
“One of the things I said to him about her was that she was messing with his mind. He didn’t like that I said it but he pretty much admitted it’s true.”
Anna sighed, “He can be so arrogant.”
Gerard laughed realizing his stomach had stopped hurting. “Fuck yeah, he’s arrogant. He’s a Pure. Come on, you know that’s pretty much true about all of them. Let’s be honest even Jacob has his moments.”
Hearing her Marker’s name caused Anna to sigh. “I miss him.”
Gerard understood. “Yeah, me too but damn that man used to scare the shit out of me.”
Anna grinned, “I am sure he did.”
“You have no idea.” Gerard thought back to their first meeting then decided to tell her something until now he hadn’t shared. “Remember the first time you took me to his estate?”
“Well that day I wanted to talk to him alone…”
Anna remembered it well, “That really pissed me off.”
He laughed. “I love it when you talk like that. Yeah, you were pissed. Anyway, that was when I told him I wanted to be turned. But I wanted him to do it. I said that since he’d turned you wrong I thought I would be turned wrong too.” He paused, “I said that since he was wrong I figured that’s how it would be.”
Anna was shocked, “You told Jacob you knew he was wrong?”
“Oh Lord.” Anna said slowly. “That was a dangerous thing to do.”
“It was.” He agreed, “But of course I was right and he admitted it to me.”
Anna spoke softly, “How could I never have seen that?”
“Because Jacob has had so long to learn how to hide the truth. And once he turned you it became even more important to him to hide it. His love for you made it so.”
Anna leaned back so she could look more closely at her husband who had laid back on the ground.
“You’re so beautiful in the moonlight.” He whispered looking up at her.
“As are you.”
“Sugar, we’ve been over this, men are not beautiful.”
She gently reached out to stoke his cheek, “You are.” She saw him close his eyes again. “Are you still feeling sick?”
“No just trying to understand Marcus’s feelings.”
“You are still feeling them?”
He nodded, “Yeah I wish I could explain it to you. It’s like he’s so confused, there is anger that borders on fury but it’s more than that.” He opened his eyes. “And fuck, there is a lot of lust.”
Anna was struck by a thought. “Perhaps they are at a party?”
“That would make sense.”
“He better protect Casey.” Anna said softly.
“I get the feeling he’s trying to protect her from himself.” Gerard whispered. “But shit, the lust…” He saw Anna slowly unbuttoning her blouse and at his immediate response was anger. “I hate when you do that.”
Anna’s fingers stilled. “What?”
“You know I’m feeling the lust and it’s like you think it’s your duty to relieve it.”
Now she was angry. “Is that truly what you think?”
“Well yeah.” He sat up.
“You are an idiot.” Anna spat. “Look into my eyes. Do you not realize that just hearing you say you feel lust affects me?”
He saw her eyes flash.
“Fuck, you’re beautiful when you’re angry.” He whispered.
“Well then I must be very beautiful right now.” She started to stand but he grabbed her arm.
“Oh no you don’t woman.” He growled. “You’re not going anywhere.”
“Why not.” She asked already knowing the answer.
“Because I’m gonna rip off your clothes and have my way with you.” He said pulling her body down over his as he laid back.
“Oh are you?” She teased.
“Fuck, yeah.” His fingers inched under her blouse to stoke her bare back. “I love it when you don’t wear a bra.”
Anna lowered his lips to his. “Gee, we can wait until you feel better.”
“This is making me feel better.” He whispered as his fingers roamed down her back to cup her butt.
“Then this will make you feel even better.” Anna whispered as she lifted her body off his. She quickly undid his jeans then pulled them down his legs.
“Oh fuck yeah.” His voice shook when she took him into her mouth.
Annie placed the last plate in the cabinet then turned to Sean who was drying his hands. “Thanks for helping with the dishes.”
“Well it’s only fair. You made a wonderful dinner.” He smiled. “So it’s a beautiful night. Want to sit outside?” When he saw the look on her face he added quickly, “Unless you have something else do to.”
“I just have to call home.” Annie explained. “I promised Dad I would call tonight.”
“Oh, of course.” Sean pushed away from the counter.
“But if you don’t mind I can call while were sitting outside.”
He was unsure. “Hey, if you want some privacy…”
Annie giggled, “No, it’s okay.”
As soon as they were seated on the front steps she placed the call.
Sean loved the sound of her voice when she talked about her sisters. He could tell by her end of the conversation she was getting an update from her dad about each girl. Near the end of the conversation though he knew something was wrong. He listened to her questions trying to made sense of what was being said. When at last she disconnected he knew she was upset.
“Annie, what is it?”
She lowered her voice. “Something has happened to Gerard’s brother.”
“No” She answered quickly, “But it’s bad. I don’t know what to do. Casey told me that Gerard and Anna can’t have any contact from the people from their past.”
Gerard had explained this to Sean so he understood. “Yeah, I know.”
“But still.” Annie whispered. “It just seems so wrong.” She quickly told him what her father had said about Mikey.
“Maybe you should speak to Anna alone?” Sean suggested.
Just then they saw Gerard and Anna walking hand in hand towards them.
“I will.” Annie whispered. “Just don’t say anything to Gerard, okay?”
He nodded that he understood but the love he felt for Gerard made him hope that something could be done.
Casey was happy that many of the guests tonight were Healers she had previously met. Many of whom she genuinely liked. She had spent the past hour speaking to many of them and was now feeling much more relaxed. However her thoughts kept doing back to the blood bound she’d seen arrive with William. Several times she’d seen the Pure bark orders at the girl and she didn’t like it.
Suddenly Marcus’s voice could be heard over the din. “I’d like to thank all of you for being here tonight.” He smiled. “And now it’s time for the party to begin. As always I request that my guests dress for the occasion.” When he said this his eyes locked briefly with Casey’s. “The bedrooms are full of clothing.”
As Casey watched most of the guests, save a few Pures, started out of the room.
“Showtime.” Marcus growled.
His voice caused her to jump. She’s been so busy watching the others she hadn’t heard him walk over to her. “Yes Showtime.” She said with false bravado.
Slowly Casey moved to follow the others. She looked into the first bedroom and saw many men and women stripping off their clothes. The huge closet door was open to reveal the costumes. Not seeing who she was looking for she moved on towards the next bedroom. It was there is saw William’s blood bound.
Casey walked over to the girl but was shocked by what she saw. Never having spoken in private to a blood bound who’s mind was controlled without their Healer present she wasn’t sure what to expect. “Hi.” She said softly. “I’m Casey.”
The blond nodded, “Yes, I know. I’m Carrie, I belong to William.”
It was all Casey could do not to cringe. The more she had listened to William speak the more she disliked him and now looking at his blood bound that hatred grew. “Uh, what happened?” She asked softly looking more closely at the girls arms that both had large ugly red scratches.
“I angered William earlier.’ She answered lowering her head as she pulled off her bra.
“And he did not heal them?” Casey asked. She was even more shocked when she saw the condition of the girls breasts. Ugly bite marks covered her skin.
“He will.” Carrie said nervously. “But he wanted me to feel the pain as a reminder until he does.”
“How old are you?” Casey asked lowering her voice mindful of the others who were dressing around them.
“And how long have you been with William?” Casey asked.
Carrie gave her a nervous look. “I should not be speaking to you. William would not like it.”
Casey nodded then moved towards the closet. After a few minutes of searching she found what she was looking for. It was a black leather bustier that laced up the front with a very short matching red leather skirt. Not allowing herself to feel any modesty she quickly dressed in the outfit just as the others were doing around her. Before leaving the bedroom she slipped on a pair of six inch black stilettos.
When she returned to the living room she was shocked she did not immediately see Marcus. However she did see Carrie standing at Williams’s side, her head bowed. It was all she could do not to cringe when William’s eyes roamed over her body.
“I like what you’ve chosen.” Marcus’s voice whispered in her ear.
Casey turned to him. “Oh my.” She giggled when she saw that he too had changed into a pair of black trousers and a cream colored silk shirt tucked into his pants and unbuttoned to the waist. “Wow, that is exactly what I meant.”
He had chosen to wear this just for her. “Yes, see that I am a Pure scoundrel.”
“You look like you just jumped off the cover of a romance novel.” She smiled.
His eyes flashed, “No romance will be involved.”
Casey nodded, “I must speak to you about something.”
He shook his head, “Not now. It is time for the party to begin.”
Casey understood but still this was important. “Fine but I must ask you do something.”
His eyes flashed again this time in anger. “I told you how you must act tonight.”
She knew she must hurry as the other guests were now returning. “Yes, I understand but…” She added in a rush. “I want you to take William’s blood bound.”
Marcus was shocked, “What?”
“I know it’s your right to take her if you choose. Please do it. Take her from William.”
“What the fuck is going on?” He whispered.
“I can’t explain now.” Casey’s eyes pleaded with him. “But please, take her.”
“You understand that if I do she will join us?”
Marcus looked across the room towards William and the blood bound. “It will piss him off.”
“Do you care?” She asked softly.
He laughed, “No, not at all. I hate that fucker.”
“Then do it.” Casey said quickly.
Without answering Marcus walked towards the center of the room. “So if everyone is ready.” He smiled. “We will begin.” He nodded to the servers who began to walk amongst the guests distributing glasses to the Pures and Healers. None however took a drink until Marcus spoke again. “Drink and enjoy.” He said holding up his glass.
Casey watched as glasses were drained and eyes turned topaz. She moved closer to Marcus then stood silently by his side.
William drained his glass then placed it on the table to his side. Immediately he grabbed Carrie roughly by the arm.
“William.” Marcus’s voice stopped him. “I want your blood bound.”
“What?” William glared at him.
Marcus smiled, “I want your blood bound. She’s quite lovely.” He was looking at the girl wondering why she’d chosen an outfit that covered so much of her body.
“She’s nothing special.” William said hoping to change the older Pure’s mind.
“I will be the judge of that.” Marcus said smoothly. “And I’m sure you will find another blood bound to your liking.”
“But you have her.” William said angrily looking at Casey.
“Never could have too many lovely women.” Marcus smiled as he held out his hand to Carrie. She put out her hand understanding that Marcus’s wishes superseded Williams.
“At least let me taste her blood.” William stepped towards Casey.
Marcus moved so fast Casey blinked in surprise. “She is mine.” His voice held a definite warning as he stood between them. “You will not so much as touch her.”
William’s eyes narrowed. “Well yes yours and Carolyn’s. Isn’t that true?”
Casey could hear Marcus’s thoughts and knew that William’s comment had hit its mark. She spoke in a clear, strong voice. “Yes I am very honored to be bound to two old and respected Pures.”
Marcus forced himself to smile. “Yes she is.” He took Carrie’s arm. “Now come ladies. I have a special room in mind for us.”
Casey smiled and took Marcus’s other arm he offered but not before seeing the rage on William’s face.
Anna had known immediately something was wrong when they’d returned to the house. However she understood that whatever it was Annie wished to speak to her in private. She had urged Gerard to go to Sean before walking into Annie’s bedroom.
“Anna.” Annie smiled as the Healer shut the door. “I’m glad you’re here.”
“You wish to speak to me." Anna said crossing to the bed then taking a seat. “What is it?”
Annie hoped she was doing the right thing. Quickly she told Anna what her father had told her about Mikey. The news visibly distressed Anna who sat in silence several minutes.
“I’m sorry.” Annie whispered. “Maybe I shouldn’t have told you?”
“No, I am glad you did.” Anna smiled sadly. “Now get some sleep. I will handle this.” She got off the bed. “But please, this information can not be shared with Gerard.”
“I understand.” Annie nodded. “Sean does too.”
Anna gave her a shocked look, “Sean knows?”
“He was with me when I called dad.”
“Oh.” Anna sighed.
“He knows not to tell Gerard.” Annie said quickly.
“But because of their bond Gee will know something is wrong.” Anna said softly.
“I’m sorry.” Tears appeared in Annie’s eyes.
“It is not your fault.” Anna said reaching out to lay her hand on the girls head. “I must go.” She said quickly.
When she was gone Annie snuggled under the covers as tears ran down her face. She had unwittingly caused pain to come into this home. Something she’d never wanted to happen.