Shades loss, p.24
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       Shade's Loss, p.24

           Christina Worrell
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  When she neared the top Gideon reached down and grabbed her under the arms and swiftly pulled her up and over. He then reached down to grab the bags from Damon who immediately dropped back down the length of the ship back to the speed boat. He started it up and moved it out to sea away from the boat. Shade found herself a corner and hid her head in her lap.

  The ship began to move and Shade looked around. Damon was still not back and they were leaving without him. Her eyes shot to Gideon who only shook his head.

  Ten minutes later a soaking wet Damon appeared at the ladder where she had climbed up. Gideon helped him over.

  Damon fell to the deck on his knees and looked exhausted. He had swum back and caught the boat before it had gained too much speed.

  Shade went to him but he held a hand up.

  “I am fine, babe. I am soaked and there is no reason for you to be. Just let me rest.”

  Shade sat beside him. He remembered her fear of the water and held his hand out. She took it into her lap and held it there.

  Before long they were back at the island and pulling into the port. The ship had picked up cargo as a pretense to the truth.

  Gideon followed the two of them back on land with all but one bag and the backpack.

  Shade’s brother Mikhail stood waiting for them. He pulled her into a fierce hug and patted Damon on the back.

  Gideon kept his distance. The werewolf was not of his pack and Gideon could not get over his nature. He waited for the girl to introduce them.

  Her brother took it upon his self.

  “I’m Mikhail, Shade’s brother. I welcome you to our home Gideon.”

  “Thank you. I appreciate the kindness you have shown Damon and his mate,” Gideon replied as kindly as he could.

  “It’s nothing. My mate Leila is the one who has been kind enough to protect us all.”

  Gideon nodded and followed them back to the house. Inside they joined Shayla and once more explained what had happened.

  Damon had been forming a plan since the attack in Columbia. It was the only way for everything to work out. He needed to speak to Shade and Mikhail alone.

  “I think now is the best time to discuss Shade’s dark elf bloodline. I’m a dark elf descendant and that is one reason I’m not like other werewolves,” Shayla informed them. She sat in her chair staring at the floor.

  “How do you know this?” Damon asked.

  “I was told by my grandmother and I have tracked the bloodline since the day I was changed. That is why I was in the area when I turned Mikhail. The wolf that had turned me and killed my family had been tracked to the area.

  “I came across Mikhail and knew instantly he was my mate. It was not until later I realized what you are Shade. You were the last human dark elf left alive and then you were made into a vampire. We can never have any more human elves. The originals that had mated with us have all left to other realms.”

  “Now that I’m a vampire will I still be dark elf?” Shade asked.

  “Yes. You’re elfin abilities will be stronger. No one knows what, but you definitely have it. Mikhail however did not get it because he is male. Our children will have a touch but more than likely the Lykan gene will suppress anything.”

  “Can vampires have children?” Shade asked.

  Damon looked away, Shayla and Mikhail at each other, and Gideon at her. It was he who answered her.

  “The only time a vampire had a baby she was pregnant before the conversion and the baby was bloodthirsty I had to put him to sleep.”

  Shade nodded, saddened by the thought.

  “As far as we know vampires can’t reproduce except by turning a victim. If the Royals have had any babies then they never told me. Normally vampires are turned and become trackers. Males who mate with human females can’t control their blood lust and kill the female.”

  Shade did not want to hear more. Damon saw how tired she was and knew the inevitable was coming. After they all agreed to some rest they headed to separate rooms. Gideon would bunk in the main house with the rest of the werewolves. Damon followed Shade to their room. He changed quickly and then pulled her into his arms which ached from not doing so sooner.

  “I have decided to leave you here. I do not want to risk losing you or the Royals finding out about you. When it is done I will come back for you.”

  Shade remembered Gideon’s words.

  “You have to take me with you. Shayla will not allow me to stay without you.”

  “I will be gone before she knows and your brother will not let her throw you out,” Damon told her. He ran his fingers over her chilled arms affectionately.

  Shade decided not to argue. She would follow him after he left. He couldn’t take on all the overlords by his self, or even with Gideon’s help.

  Shade waited patiently for over an hour. When she knew he was asleep she gently moved his arm and went to find Gideon. He was still awake. She knocked quietly and he let her in.

  “Damon wants me to stay behind.”

  “I feared as much. We need every able bodied person we can get,” Damon told her.

  Shade looked around the room. It was sparse aside from the two black bags on the bed.

  “That’s why I made you a bag. Mikhail will follow behind us with you. He will take you to the Columbia with their small plane. You will both take my SUV and ride ahead. You have to do exactly as I say. Shayla does not know that Mikhail plans on joining us.”

  Shade nodded.

  “When Damon and I leave act as nothing happened here. Look upset. Pretend you can’t stand to stay behind. When we are gone Mikhail will meet you. You are to be ready. Mikhail has the rest of my instructions and where to meet up with us.”

  Shade hugged him. Until this moment she did not trust the werewolf but after all this she was convinced.

  “I have called in another personal favor. This one comes with a high price. I will lose my status as a Master until we rectify those idiot overlords’ pious mistakes. An acquaintance will have one of the exits blocked and another heavily loaded with C4. If it detects motion it’ll blow everything in the hall to hell.”

  Gideon explained a few more final details and told her the bag would be in his closet.

  Shade thanked him and went back to her room. Damon was still asleep but barely. Apparently he planned to sneak out without waking her. Shade slid out of her pants and into bed. She would do one last thing before he left her. Damon felt Shade wiggling and knew she was awake. She did not look like she had slept much.

  “Worried?” he asked pulling her to him.

  “What do you think?” she asked solemnly.

  Damon pulled her in for a kiss. Shade let it build but before he pulled back she climbed on top of him. Shade pulled her shirt and bra off and watched Damon’s expression change. She had never went this far. She seemed determined to arouse him. Her plan was an obvious success.

  Shade kissed him passionately before rolling off and pulling him to her. She wanted him to lead. Her hands reached for his zipper.

  Damon stopped her.

  “Are you sure you are ready for this,” he asked curiously.

  A sure, swift nod had him undressing. When he lay completely naked beside her she shivered.

  “We can stop at any time, babe, just let me know.”

  Shade nodded and pulled his hands to her breasts. Damon took that as a sign that she would not be convinced otherwise. He built the pressure between them until Shade felt she would explode. Shade writhed in pleasurable agony under him, his hands all over her body. Shade’s fear of Damon never returning had crushed any other ones within her.

  When Damon reached for her most tender spot she nearly buckled with her silly idea. Not even seconds later she was absolutely enthralled with the man before her. She wondered why she had put it off this long. She had made a major deal about nothing. Damon was sweet, slow, and gentle with her.

  When he kneeled between her legs she was so far gone that she could not change her mind had she wanted to.
When Damon begin making love to her she felt like she had died again only instead of pain it was pure bliss. She would give Damon a piece of herself no one else had ever glimpsed.

  Damon kissed her body from one side to the other and back. He was so amazed by her, by the sheer heavenly feelings she instilled in him. He had begun to believe their relationship would be strictly non-sexual. He would never have sex again if that is what it meant to love Shade.

  Damon changed that last thought when euphoria mounted and erupted within him. He was left breathless and shaking.

  Shade snuggled for a moment with him. She wanted to spend as much time with him as she could. Damon stood and reached for her. They both needed a shower. Fifteen minutes later they stood in each other’s arms. Shade kissed him along his jaw and shoulder. She was thoroughly surprised at how wonderful the whole thing had been nothing worth being a total nut about.

  Damon kissed her passionately and told her to take her time in the warm shower. He needed to go speak with Mikhail for a moment and would be back for her before she knew it.

  Shade knew he was up to something. He planned to leave now and avoid an emotional scene. She quickly got out and dressed in her black leather pants and corset, including her socks and boots. If he was leaving her to go and take on the prince’s she would be there as well, dressed to battle. She put her black leather cuffs around her wrists. Realizing her hair could not stay down she combed her long purple hair and twisted it into a tight braid making sure there were no lumps or loose strands.

  After checking her reflection and being satisfied with the results she went to locate Mikhail sure she would find that Damon had already left, without her. She went to the kitchen first and found only Shayla.

  “Where is Damon?” Shayla asked.

  “Where’s Mikhail?” Shade asked at the same moment.

  Both smiled and waited for the other to speak. Shade stood patiently already knowing the answer.

  “Mikhail was just with Gideon waiting on Damon. I assumed you would be with them,” Shayla responded.

  Shayla looked at Shade as a thought trickled through her mind. Shayla and Shade left the kitchen and went to find Mikhail. He was sitting on the front porch deck staring into the distance at the ocean and a swiftly fading ship. Gideon and Damon had known when the ship would sail and been ready to leave at the exact same moment.

  “They already left?” Shayla asked her mate.

  He nodded.

  “Shade is your responsibility. She’s still a newborn Mikhail and like you are still unpredictable. If she attacks my humans I will have her escorted off the island if I do not kill her first.”

  Shade nearly replied to the female werewolf’s harsh rebuke. She was standing right behind the woman and yet Shayla treated her as if she were invisible. She barely caught the imperceptible shake of Mikhail’s head. Shayla left without a word to Shade who maintained her anger and pride. The woman treated newborns like they were beneath her.

  “Follow me,” Mikhail told her over his shoulder.

  She caught up to him ten feet away.

  “Gideon talked to you?”

  “Yes, he left us a bag in his closet.”

  “You realize that we did not ask for this Shade?” her brother, not but a few years older than her, looked weary to the bone. She nodded. Then she realized this was the first time they had been alone together since they had both been turned.

  “Go get the bag and meet me on the patio outside your room. We’re not staying here. Shayla will be furious but I’ll take you to him. I can see you love him.” He stared out at the reef where the water changed to several shades of blue. Darker shadows indicated larger animals. Sharks were not uncommon in the area.

  Shade hugged her brother gently and ran back inside to gather what they would need.

  Thirty minutes later they stood staring at the small Cessna. Shade gasped and turned green. Her stomach flipped as her knees wobbled. Heights were another issue of hers. She grimaced at the plane but forced herself to follow her brother up to the pilot.

  The Cessna was barely large enough for the two of them and the driver. Mikhail explained where they wanted to go then he helped Shade in and made sure she was buckled before he joined the pilot in the cockpit.

  Fifteen minutes later she could make out the ship below in the distance that was not quite halfway to Columbia. They would reach the mainland before them and have enough time to reach Gideon’s SUV. He had left the keys in the bag that was in his closet.

  Shade kept her eyes on the back of the pilot’s seat most of the time. She felt a tug in her heart when they came close to the ship. She could feel him beneath her somewhere.

  On land again at the airstrip they hailed a cab and hurried several streets over back towards the coast. Fifteen minutes before the ship pulled into the harbor they reached Gideon’s vehicle.

  They paid the cabbie well and then loaded the bags in the SUV. Damon waited for Shade to join him in the front seat as he set the GPS towards the American border.

  Shade kept herself busy by digging through the bags where she found two passports with their pictures. That was odd, she thought.

  “How did Gideon get these?” she asked.

  Her brother glanced over at the documents in her hand.

  “He probably had them made before he got here. It was a good idea really. I was afraid we would have had problems with border patrol.”

  Shade put them back in the bag. That is when she wondered how they would get the weapons over the border.

  “Will they check our bags?” she asked.

  “Maybe, that’s why we’ll hide them behind the spare tire and the wire compartment in the back.”

  Shade seemed satisfied with the answer. She was not looking forward to driving through several countries. She rested her chin on her arm and stared into the fading sun as it set behind trees in the distance. She decided a nap would benefit her in more ways than one. She forced her mind to shut down and her heart to quit crying for Damon.

  A couple hours later she felt the car stop. Shade stretched and looked up and saw the border before her. She became nervous and fidgety.

  “You’re a vampire so act like one.”

  Mikhail would have never said something like that to her before he had been bitten. She could not blame him though. He was not only right but had been through a lot and she could understand how he had changed. She needed to be stronger.

  Shade pretended to be asleep when they reached the guard.

  “I need passports.”

  Mikhail handed them over along with the insurance papers to the vehicle. The man perused them briefly, called the fake names over his radio, and flashed the light into the SUV. After a brief moment the guard handed the documents back and waved them on. Shade let out a breath and relaxed. They followed the interstate northeast for a few hours. Mikhail did not share with her where they were headed.

  Hours later when Louisiana finally came into view Shade perked up. Now things were getting interesting. Mikhail had brought a bag of his own and he reached down now by her feet to open the bag and pull something out. He tossed her a bottle of blood.

  “I know it’s not Damon but you need to be well fed. I can’t have you attacking people Shade.”

  “I only did that once!” Shade cried her eyebrows skyrocketing as she accepted the bottle.

  Mikhail gave her a sadistic, chagrined look but didn’t say a word. He wanted to laugh at her antics but it really wasn’t all that funny. He saw Shade moping again. He sighed and rolled his eyes.

  Mikhail pulled up to a white house with black trim, one of many. They all looked more or less the same. They were mainly two or three stories with wraparound balconies and terraces. Shrubs or gardens and cypress trees along the sidewalks were the only decorations. The homes were simple yet elegant as they were in the early nineteen hundreds when first built. Only half had fences or gates.

  Shade stared as Mikhail followed the drive through the gate to the back of the h
ouse where he entered a garage. It was small and held only two vehicles. The other spot was empty aside from tools tossed haphazardly as if someone had recently been here.

  “The guys will be along shortly. We were to meet them here,” Mikhail whispered. It was smart to be prepared for others to be here even if they had been told it would be empty. Mikhail was good at thinking on his feet.

  Shade quietly reached for her backpack and the bag with bottles of blood at her feet. Her eyes watered at the thought of her brother still protecting and caring for her. Even as they evolved into creatures of the night he was there for her. He went against his mate for Damon and Shade.

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