My entire mouth was dry, it was as if I no longer had any saliva left as I stared at Zane. I could feel my head tilting unconsciously as I looked at him, finally, I asked, “How come I didn’t remember that until now?”
Zane looked at me with a gentle smile on his face as he ran his fingers lightly down my cheek. I leaned into the caress, feeling the warmth from his fingers seeping into my skin. As he answered, my soul trembled in response to that touch.
“Your powers must have blocked it once I sealed them.” His smile was slightly sad, as if our futures would have been completely different had my memories not been sealed. What would it have been like to grow up with Zane always there and without my mother? I trembled at the thought. In some ways it would have been better, in others, it could have been worse. But, how, in the first place, did he use a seal of bonding to seal my powers in the first place? As I thought of this, I couldn’t find an answer, so I asked.
“Why did you do it?” Zane’s eyes narrowed slightly as he thought of this, he looked deep in thought as his brows furrowed, searching for an answer.
“I…to be honest, I am not so sure myself.” His eyes looked at me with a trace emotion I could not name. “All I knew was that you were the King’s son and that if I didn’t do anything in that moment then I would lose you to your other self.”
“My other self?” As I thought this, deep within my conscious, I felt the panther stir, it stretched and purred inside my head, as if it was responding to my thoughts. But even as the thought ran through my head, I realized exactly what Zane had said. “Wait, you only bond to me because of my father?”
Zane’s eyes narrowed, “No, that not what I meant.”
“So you’re telling me that it didn’t matter whether you could never be bound to others, all you cared about was that I was my father’s son? What about me then? What would have happened if I had not fallen in love with you but someone else?” And I froze, realizing what I just said. Shit.
Zane’s eyes travelled over my face before he sighed quietly.
“It’s not about you being related to your father, but,” his hand reached out and he touched my cheek lightly again, I flinched slightly, a blush burning my cheeks. I wanted to hightail it away and go hide, but I stood my ground. His next words stunned me into immobilization. “I’ve been waiting so long to hear those words.”
“I didn’t say anything.” I muttered, looking away from him as I denied what I had just said. Zane chuckled, and put both of his hands on each side of my face. Even as he began to lean closer, I looked away, not wanting to meet his gaze. I could feel his breath fanning my face.
Barely an inch from my lips, he whispered, “Look at me, Kei mou.”
That soft, reassuring voice tore through my conscious like nothing else could, and I couldn’t help but glance at him. Zane had a serene smile on his lips, and his eyes were like pools of molten silver, flickering in candle light.
“Say it again,” Zane whispered, his lips caressing against mine with every syllable.
I began to shake my head, denying him, but then I saw that light in his eyes, so bright, so comforting, that I unconsciously whispered, “I love you.”
In the span of the few milliseconds that the last word left my lips, Zane’s lips melded against mine. At first they were soft, like butterfly wings caressing my skin, then they turned ardent, hard and rough, as if he was a dying man grasping at the only thread of life he could see. His hands were still wrapped around my face as he pulled me closer until our bodies were touching, our heat melding into one. The feel of his lips and his body against mine sent my pulse skyrocketing. It thundered within my ears, it was so loud that it canceled out any other sounds. This was the reason that I did not hear the door behind me open.
“Oh..well then…” The voice was loud in the room, even louder than my thundering pulse. Zane and I froze, my hands were up against his flat chest, gripping at his shirt, crumpling the fabric beneath him. We were both panting as we pulled away. I snapped my head in the direction of the voice and found Cabe, Data and Pian standing there with blank looks on their faces. Brand walked up behind them, his eyes widened slowly before they returned to normal.
“Dinner’s ready, are you coming?” Brand’s voice was loud in the now silent room.
“Not anymore.” I grumbled but only Zane heard me. The smile that graced his lips was full of michievness. The boys ahead of us avoided eye contact as they turned around and began to walk to the dining room. I took a few steps to follow them, but was surprised to feel Zane’s fingers slide lightly down my nape.
My surprise turned into an outright shudder as Zane replaced his fingers with his lips. His breath was warm as it heated the sensitive skin of my neck, I couldn’t resist the moan that escaped from the light contact. His lips moved up my neck in light kisses until I felt a light tug on my ear as his teeth nipped.
“I’ll let you come later,” Zane’s voice purred in my ear, the shudders racking my body in pleasure. He pressed a kiss to my temple, then with a chuckle at my frozen stature, he sauntered off.
It took me several minutes until I could compose myself again before walking after him, my entire mind a mess from the events that just happened.
After all of us had eaten dinner, I told everyone about my grandfather and how his men had found me earlier today. All of them were furious that someone had tried to take me even with the backing of my father.
Cabe was the first one to speak up after a long time. “Do you know why he wants you?”
I sighed, and scratched my head, “No, I don’t. Even my grandmother doesn’t know.”
Brand was sitting with his hands folded beneath his chin, a complex look on his face. “Is there any way to find out?”
I thought about this and I could only think of one method that would actually work. Ever since I regained my memories, I felt as if I could control my powers better than I could before. I could even feel the ability to summon my wings whenever I wanted. I must have had a weird look on my face because Zane frowned before he looked at me. It was not a happy look that he gave me.
“Why do I have a feeling that you are about to do something stupid?” He looked aggravated and the thoughts that were running through my head even though he had no idea what I was thinking just yet.
“Most likely because I am about to do something stupid.” I chuckled. It seemed like trouble should be my middle name. At least they way I was always running headlong into it had never changed ever since I was a child.
Zane looked at me with narrowed eyes, worry seeping into his features. “Are you positive with this stupid idea?”
I shrugged and grinned. “Not really. But the odds are on my side.” From this statement, I could tell Zane had figured out what I wanted to do. All the other boys in the room looked at me with narrowed eyes as well.
“There are no odds.” He hissed, “ It’s suicide to go find him.” Everyone stared at me astonished as if I really was the stupidest person in the world. Going to find my grandfather or going with the cronies he sent to fetch me would be the simplest plan. It would kill two birds with one stone. I could find out what he wants and I could also get him to stop trying to find me.
“Look at it this way, Zane. It’ll put an end to our problems,” I exasperated, leaning on the table. Even though he was right next to me, I could feel a cold air coming off of Zane. He was not happy with my idea.
“How?” He mocked with narrowed eyes.
“I die, you’re right.” I remarked with a smile. Zane’s eyes narrowed further until he was looking at me through slits. I held back my laugh at his look and continued, “I don’t die, I’m right.” Zane sighed so loudly that it was equivalent to a groan. He lifted his hand to his head and rubbed it as if I was becoming the root to his major headache.
“I feel so much better now.” He ridiculed before closing his eyes, completely fed up with me. The sarcasm oozed out of his statement.
Data laughed while the others just stared at me with contemplative looks.
“Other than being bait,” I began, “what can I do to help in this?”
“Don’t die,” they said in unison.
“I can honestly say that I will do my best to stay alive.”
At that moment, my father walked into the room, his face a mask of anger. He must have heard the entire conversation as he made his way into the room. He glared at me as he walked over to where I sat beside Zane. The force of the hand he placed on my shoulder jarred me into being immobilized. I gritted my teeth from the pain. He had sent lightning through that hand to shock all of my nerves.
“You will not be doing that. As long as I am your father, I will not let you see that man.” He intoned. Beside me Zane had a look on his face that he agreed with my father. No one wanted me to go see my grandfather, but I felt as if I needed to go. Grinding my teeth together, I resisted retorting the words that popped up in my head.
The pressure from the hand on my shoulder prevented me from moving, but even as that pressure weighed me down, I began to think of ways I could convince him to let me go see my grandfather. I hissed out a breath.
“What if I agree not to go until you are satisfied with my combat skills?” With thought was voiced as soon as I thought it. My father lifted an eyebrow as he looked down at me.
“Oh…? You’re willing to train with me?” There was a slight gleam in his eye that was not comforting.
“I’m willing.” I breathed, knowing I would be in for a number with my father personally training me. “I will not leave until you say I am good to go.”
“Hmm.” My father tapped his chin, “That might not be a bad idea. If you really want to see your grandfather, then the training will begin tomorrow morning at dawn.” My father lifted his hand off of my shoulder and I silently cheered in my head.
“I still don’t agree with it.” Zane voiced aloud, a frown on his face. I stared at him, my father agrees but he hadn’t? How many more roadblocks would I have to pass through? Zane’s eyes stared at my father, his frown lingering on his face.
“You gave him to me, Raidon. Remember?” Zane’s voice was loud in the almost silent room, all eyes were on him and I could feel my nerves twitching with each one of the words that left his mouth. “You said he was mine to do with as I please. And I protect what is mine, whether it is my life…or his.”
“That’s far from comforting,” I said in a tone I was sure they couldn’t hear. Zane gave me an irritated glare. “Well, I’m not your pants,” I whispered. “I am a person…with feelings.”
“I say, no.” Zane growled, lifting his hand to bring my face to face him. I stuck my tongue out at him, mad that he was acting so protective. “You cannot go on this suicidal death wish.”
His fingers were hot against my skin, so I had to talk feeling his fingers slid up and down my cheeks with each word. “If I get the okay from you and my father about being strong enough, then can I go?”
Zane seemed to think about this before sighing, “Only if you get both of our approvals.”
I grinned, but when I noticed he was not dropping his hand I bit the finger closest to my mouth. It wasn’t very hard, but he looked at the aforementioned appendage as if I had drawn blood. When his eyes traveled back to mine, I felt a shiver race down my spine.
Ever feel like you’ve pretty much done everything right, had a great time, and it seems that in the end…it looks like you’re still going to get screwed? Quite literally.