Posts tagged Mary
Posts tagged Mary
MARISSA: * It’s near the end of the day I am finishing up my nightly paperwork when I hear a small knock I open it to see Philippa (Sorry to disturb you, Marissa, but there is man to see you he said he would meet you in the new wing.) I will be there shortly *Locking my office as I head to the new wing. The construction started last fall and was nearly complete. Walking through the tunnel that connects the main part of Safe Place to Wellesandra Wing. Only staff and construction crew were allowed over there until we opened it. This wing had 12 more rooms/ bathrooms along with a kitchen and therapy rooms. I stop dead in my tracks as I reach the new wing. Dropping down to my knees and tears flow free. Something that was possible days from opening was now ruined Red paint smeared up and down every wall. The bedding was cut and ruined in every room,feathers from the pillows floated around in the breeze of the AC. Wiping my tears with the back of my hand I stand looking at the foremen* What happen? Who did this? * The Foreman looked over to me* (We have no clue the camera’s malfunctioned at this time nothing recorded we looked over the file several times it recorded everything until around 2 pm today. We will work as fast as we can to repair the damage.) Thank you *Turning around and walking back to main part of SafePlace.I am so frustrated when out of the corner of my eye I catch something red. I walk over and touch it. After touch the red spot I look at my finger there is a small patch red on my finger.then I spot feathers, I see a trail of red and fluff and I follow it till stop. I am shocked to see the red paint and fluff just outside Khelly door. I could hear Khelly laughing as I start to pound on her door demanding answers.*
MARY: [I had barely been back to work but a few days. The weeks Ethan had spent tormenting me had taken it’s toll, and I wasn’t in a big hurry to leave Rhage’s side. Alas, avoiding my commitments was not who I am. SafePlace had been practically buzzing in anticipation for the opening of the new wing. This expansion mean that we were helping families find their way and get on their feet once more. There was something satisfying in knowing that what you did made a difference. Finishing up the last of my files, I gathered up my things in preparation to go back to the Mansion. I hoped Rhage would like my idea of a family ice cream sundae/movie night. I knew Zahk would approve. Laughing softly, I pulled my office door closed. The soft snick of the lock was quickly drowned out by the pounding on a door somewhere in the facility. I didn’t waste any time turning on my heel and running down the hall. I wasn’t prepared to see Marissa with tears streaming down her cheeks. Her expression was one of pure devastation, with anger simmering close to the surface. The red paint and feathers that trailed down the hallway to this very door didn’t go unnoticed.] Marissa, what the hell happened? Are you ok?
MARISSA: I am far from okay. The new wing is completely destroyed and all the paint lead to Khelly’s room. * I start back with pounding on the door* Open up Khelly NOW!!! *I continue to pound on the door as few of the woman in the area peeking out of their doors to see what is going on. When Khelly opens the door. I burst into her room. * Why Khelly? Why did you do it? * I could feel Mary walk in behind me. My hands balled up in fist. Of course she had the look of surprise on her face. (What are you talking about Marissa?) She looks down she must of seen the red paint on her hands because she shoved her hands quickly behind her back * You know what I am talking about.*My jaw clenches together I am trying to harness in the rage I am feeling. I see red paint spilling out from under you bedding. I storm over there and point* Why did you destroy the new wing? (I don’t know what you are talking about and that is not mine I found in front of my room door when I opened an hour ago.) I turn to Mary.* Why is she lying? *All the stress from Khelly, fighting with Butch, never truly get a break from SafePlace and now the new wing being damaged has finally caught up with me.*
MARY: [Quietly closing the door behind us, my eyes widening in disbelief as your anger filled the room. It was completely justified. I just could never recall a moment when I had witnessed it before. Crossing the room to you, I lightly laid my hand on your shoulder.] Marissa, let’s take a seat on this other bed, ok? [Moving the few steps, I could feel the anger vibrating through your thin frame. I took one deep breath with my back to Khelly. It was time to get to the bottom of what was really going on with this female. If she wasn’t going to tell the truth and own up to her actions, it was time for us to realize we can’t save everyone. Keeping my tone soft as I turned back around.] Khelly…may I see your hands, please? “Who are you? And what makes you think I have to do anything you say?” My name is Mary Luce. I’m the other counselor here at SafePlace. And I would suggest you do as I say, unless you want to find your ass back on the streets with no place to go. [I kept my tone firm as I took one step and then another towards Khelly. My eyes hardening to a steel gray. I watched as Khelly stumbled a step backwards.] “You’re not like Marissa.” No…I’m not. Marissa is a very generous person, with an extremely kind heart. One you have taken advantage of. Now…show me your hands, Khelly. [Let’s say personal space was more of a suggestion at this point as we were now toe to toe. She worried her lip as she was contemplating her options. I could practically see the wheels turning. Slowly, a shaky arm was extended towards me. Encircling her wrist with my fingers, holding her red tinted palm towards you.] How about we try again, Khelly? This time with the truth. [A small nod was all the response we received.]
MARISSA: *my head falls into my hands after Mary walks me over to the bed. As I sit there and listen to Mary talk to Khelly then when Khelly shows Mary the red tinted hand I snap my head up and I growl with anger* What the hell is wrong with you Khelly? *As I speak those words Khelly craned her head to me and her green eyes turn dark ( My problem is not with Mary) turning to face Mary.(I don’t have to explain anything to you.) the venom in her voice was hard to hide. Her red curls bounced as she walked over to me. (Marissa, you are a disappointment to all the race. Your brother Havers he is brilliant and because of you being such a slut you lost being the Shellan of the King. Because of you, the Wrath took the Brothers to be healed somewhere else because you disgrace your brother.) As she finished her hand came out and slapped me across the cheek. I was stunned as she struck me.*
MARY: [I was completely stunned. Slack jaw, mouth agape stunned. It was like dealing with Jekyll and Hyde. One moment, Khelly’s voice was pure innocence and naivety…granted I knew that was a complete act. I wasn’t prepared for the rough, venom laced tone that spoke those words to Marissa or myself. Marissa a disgrace? This female was so out of bounds and over the line it was beyond ridiculous. I spun around as Khelly stalked by me. The smack of skin against skin echoed throughout the room. Not hesitating, I grabbed Khelly by her arm and flung her away from Marissa. Pushing her back until she was against the wall, my own hand coming up to grip her slender neck. My blood was all but boiling in rage.] How fucking dare you?! You vandalize a place that has taken you in. You strike the one female who has tried to help you. [My gray eyes turning to cold steel as I leaned in closer to Khelly, spitting out the words as my fingers tightened their grip on her flesh] I think a meeting with Wrath might be just what you need…maybe with ALL the Brothers. [I pulled back just enough to see her dark eyes go wide. Yelling out for one of the doggen, their gasp at what they saw didn’t go unnoticed.] Please call over to the Mansion and get someone here now. [The next thing I heard was their feet scrambling back out of the room. I didn’t want to chance loosening my grip on Khelly for her to go after Marissa again.] Marissa…are you ok?
MARISSA: *Completely stunned still barely registering Mary’s voice. then looking over at Mary* yeah, I am fine. *Mary and I are completely lost to who they were dealing with a complete nut job who self inflicted the injuries to land her into SafePlace, at this moment Butch and Vishous was at her home finding the body of her dead mate that she had poisoned because of this sick obsession with my brother. Khelly reach up grabbing Mary’s wrist and pushes her back far enough allow Khelly to scramble to the nightstand grabbing something metal and shiny and swinging it back towards us. (DO NOT MOVE!!) she screeches out. The gun she waves at us looks like one that I seen Butch use numerous times before. How she could have gotten it in the building was beyond me* Khelly don’t do anything stupid *standing up in front of Mary*
MARY: [I knew the female was crazy, but suicidal I hadn’t thought. Grabbing Marissa’s wrist and gently pulling her to my side, I knew help was coming. The gun was unexpected. How Khelly managed to smuggle it inside the building was just as equally troubling.] Khelly, what do you think you’re going to do with that? You know where you are. You know where we live. What makes you think you’re going to get away with any of this. [I kept my voice firm. I wasn’t about to show just how scared I was to a female who had lost her shit. I sent up a silent prayer just hoping that one of the Brothers got here in time.]
MARISSA: *I stand next to Mary still in shock that Khelly has the gun trained on us. Susan must have heard the fighting and she came to see what going on. Susan opened the door startling Khelly. Khelly swings the gun firing it at Susan. The shot missed Susan completely I knew that this my chance, I wasn’t going to let Mary get hurt or anyone else because of this crazy person. I lunged forward knocking Khelly and myself to the ground and we wrestle around and I fight her, Khelly surprises me she was a lot stronger than I thought. Khelly fought to the point the gun was aim at me. I wasn’t going to go down without a fight. Khelly and I wrestle a bit and the sound of the gun going off….. After a long pause I push Khelly now dead body off me. All at once everything hits me hard as I scoot away from Khelly’s lifeless body tears flowing down my cheek.* #CrazyWithADashOfInsane
RHAGE: [Stars shown in the sky, but that wasn’t what I was watching, no. It was the male only half a mile from SafePlace I watched like a hawk, my teal eyes tracking his every motion. I knew who he was without question now. There would be only one male who would be here slinking in the shadows as I were myself. And fuck if I didn’t just want to dematerialize right in front of him and rip his head from his shoulders. The Beast curled against my back, more than agreeing with that plan of action. But I told Mary it wouldn’t come to that, no I’d just scare the shit out of him as she insisted with the worry that something would be seen by one of the females she was trying to help get back on the right track. Well, she sort of agreed my interfering with his nightly watching would be fine as long as no violence arose. I took her silence as confirmation. Following him as he stalked closer and closer to SafePlace, each step just as silent as the last. Not surprisingly he was headed directly to the glow from Mary’s office window. My curse growing antsy wanting to be free and sink his talons into this fucker. A growl ripped through my throat when he stepped into the light of her window, had she been watching she would have seen the smug look on his face as he believed victory was in his grasp. He should have sensed me long ago, yet being the dumbass he was he didn’t even have brains enough to know a killer was within his reach looking to kill.] What the fuck are you doing, you piece of shit. “Watching my woman, man, what does it look like.” [The Beasts talons ripped through my hands as I seized his neck, blood welled at the tips of my claws dripping down his neck.] She’s not your fucking woman. She’s my fucking mate. MINE [The beating of his veins against my talon was beating only a single millimeter, I could sever it and kill him. The thought alone sent a sadistic grin across my mug.] You’ve been watching her. I don’t fucking like it, you feel me? [I knew my curse shown through my eyes, but I wanted him to see I meant real fucking business.] Come within a hundred miles of her again, and I’ll let the beast feast on your fucking bones. [I wanted to kick his fucking ass, to beat him until he could not walk again. Mary was watching I knew she was, I could feel her eyes on me.] Leave before I change my mind about letting you walk from here alive you sorry fucking piece of shit.
MARY: [A feeling of unease had settled into my bones. I didn’t want to be at SafePlace. I hadn’t left Rhage’s arms for a few days. Once the truth about what was going on had come out, a feeling of being safe had started to sink in. When Rhage suggested I go back to work, I almost threw a tantrum of Zahk sized proportions. After many promises that nothing and no one would enter the building that wasn’t supposed to and more than a few kisses too, I was belted into the GTO and driven to work with a personal escort to the door. I had every single light on in my office possible. I didn’t want any shadows or dark corners that could be big enough to conceal anything or anyone. Taking a deep breath, I willed my tense muscles to relax] Rhage is just outside. One phone call and he’ll be here instantly. Get a grip, Mary. [Picking up my pen, I opened the first file on my desk. The tapping against the paper started almost instantly. I wasn’t even looking at the words. I didn’t want to be here. There was a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. The rumbling growl from just below my window had me up and on my feet in an instant. Throwing open my door, I ran down the steps and out of the building. If I had been thinking, I knew I should’ve stayed inside…stay safe. But the sound of that growl, the one that was more Beast than Rhage had me leaving rational thought behind. The sight that greeted me around the side of the building stopped me dead in my tracks. Bright white eyes found me when I couldn’t contain my gasp. A taloned hand had Ethan pinned to the brick wall. His eyes turning hard the moment he saw me.] “You bitch! You have a mate! How dare you fuck another male! Touch another male! Look at another male! You belong to me, Mary! You’ve always belonged to me, Mary!” [The venom in his words could still be heard despite his windpipe being nearly crushed. Resting my hand at the base of my throat, I took a small step back. I had never seen this side of Rhage before. I had seen the Beast. I had seen Rhage coming off of the high of a fight. I had seen Rhage nearly broken. I had never seen him so ready to kill. He could snap that male’s neck in the blink of an eye. The figure before me was not my Hellren, not the man I know. I didn’t know who I was more afraid of at this very moment. My voice barely audible.] Rhage…
RHAGE: Mary…. [Your name was a soft growl from the beast when he saw you with eyes white as paper. His talons sank deeper into the male’s throat. I wanted to kill him, no, my curse wanted to feast upon him, I wanted him gone, no matter if it were death or him fleeing. Shaking myself to free the hold the beast was taking on me.] Call her name once more and you’ll never speak another word again. [My lethal fangs were elongating, my curse taking control and I was letting him right now. Talons pressed against the piece of shits chest. My voice distorted because of The Beast’s lethal teeth taking charge.] I want to rip your heart from chest and offer it on a silver platter to MY mate. [A single claw broke free the skin of his chest, blood welling in its wake.] In fact, I want you to say her name, give me that pleasure Ethan. I want your body broken at my feet, you’re a waste of space, and you’d deserve nothing less. [My jaw unhinged to allow more room for The Beast’s massive teeth, leaning closer, only the barest of breaths separated us as I crouched to face him head on.] Say her name…
MARY: [My eyes were wide in disbelief. Before my very eyes, my past and present had collided. Every fear I had about this moment was coming true. I took one tentative step forward, and then another.] Baby? [I barely breathed out the word. My fingers were tentatively reaching to touch you. I didn’t know what would happen, or if I even should. It wasn’t that I was scared of you…completely. It wasn’t that I didn’t know that you’ve killed before, not that I’ve ever seen you do it. I wasn’t naive enough to think that, but this was another male of the race, not a Lesser. That’s what I kept telling myself, over and over. I knew that no matter what form you took, you knew me down to your core. Counting on that fact, I took one more step towards you. A shaky breath escaped my lips. I could hear Ethan hissing out a breath the moment he heard me. Taking a step to place me at your back, I didn’t want to see him. I didn’t want to see what you were going to do to him, despite my feelings that he would deserve anything you did.]
RHAGE: [The Beast reared his head in a blood curdling growl when I forced him to the background enough that I was less him and more myself. My hold on the fuckers neck turned from claws to my normal fingers and I lessened my grip only enough to allow his lungs a small reprieve. Against my back my curse surged to Mary’s touch desiring to be even closer and have her fingertips stroking his inked form. Looking from the frightened fucks face to the path of blood that tracked down the front of his shirt. Fuck.] Baby. You shouldn’t be out here. [Not my usual tone but I wasn’t myself, fully. Someone thought it okay to threaten and attempt a claim on what is mine. Fuck no. The scum knew I meant business. His eyes downcast not even attempting to look past my shoulder. He was a waste, he abused his female, his child, he didn’t deserve to live, to breath the same air as any female, my own especially. It would do a lot of good to have his neck snapped.] That’s right mother fucker. You’d be wise to fucking forget her now, you fucking feel me? This isn’t a negotiation, you’re fucking done here.
MARY: [I lightly trailed my fingers over your leather covered back. Moving close enough to where I could feel the heat from your back, the ink on your skin writhing beneath my touch. I couldn’t let you kill Ethan. I didn’t want you to have the burden of his blood on your hands.] Rhage, baby…not here. Not in front of a place that’s a haven from violence. [My voice seemed to shake more with every word. Ethan was the worst fucking excuse for a male, but not you. I knew you would do anything to protect me, to protect our family. You were a warrior, first and foremost, but this…taking this male’s life, I would protect you from.] “How do I forget the one who was supposed to be mine?” [The pain oozing from his voice almost made me want to feel sorry for him…almost. I grasped onto your trench coat. The thought of being anyone’s but yours had me swallowing down the bile that had risen up from my throat.]
RHAGE: Supposed to be yours? You’re fucking kidding me. You’re a piece of shit, who deserves nothing, not even the pleasure of seeing her. [Fingers bare of any talons squeezed against his throat until he was clawing at my hand to be free. I wanted to kill him and dance in his blood. The waste his blood was would then need to be cleaned from my shitkickers not something I wanted to do, clean up after this piece of work.] If she were not here I’d rip you limb from fucking useless limb. [I couldn’t help it, he needed a warning, to never mess with what was mine. His gasping for air brought joy to both me and The Beast. Shitkickers planted as I finally released his neck and kicked his leg from under him. Too stunned or too stupid to react and try to escape I snapped his leg with a punch of my shitkicker to his kneecap. Fuck that felt good. Too good. I wanted, needed to see more of his blood. To hear his cries of pain, licked new embers to life under the beast. A sadistic grin crossed my face all fangs and meaning business.] One word, mother fucker, one fucking word and you won’t leave here alive [grinding my shitkicker into his broken leg making sure he understood me loud and fucking clear.] Come here again, and you’ve signed your name to an early grave I’ll be happy to put you in myself. [Fists balled at my sides to keep the anger from showing, even if it was the tiniest of amount, which meant it didn’t help, not right now at least. His mouth dropped in a silent scream until I released my shitkicker, he wanted to cry for help, I could see it in his eyes. In fact I didn’t care if he did right now, it would have excited my curse and make him crave for more driving me to inflict more pain on the bastard, to take all my frustrations on him. He moved then, just a fraction, just enough to lay his eyes on Mary, MY Mary. Fist balled tighter and slammed into his jaw like a freight train, sending him flat on his back sprawled in the dirt.] Leave. Now. I will not say it again.
MARY: [Reacting before I even gave myself a chance to think twice, I lunged forward and grabbed a hold of your biceps. Laying my face against your back, I knew better than to address Ethan. What the hell do you say to a bat shit crazy stalker? Please excuse my Hellren before he goes all Beastly on your ass….hell no! Plus, it would just enrage you even further.] Baby…baby, please. [I tried to pull you back against my chest. I would have had better luck at trying to move a mountain. I tried to keep the hysterical panic out of my voice that I was feeling.] Take me home, Rhage. I just want to go home. [My whispered voice was only loud enough for your ears alone. Brushing my cheek against the leather that covered your back, I could feel your muscles relax just a fraction. I wanted your arms around me in the worst way, but I didn’t want to see him. Sliding my hands from your arms, I slipped them around your waist. The warmth of your hand covering mine felt like heaven. I exhaled a shaky breath that I didn’t realize I was holding.] I love you, Rhage. [Each one of your muscles stretched as you stood to your full height once again. I heard more than saw the moment that Ethan started to move. An almost tortured sound left him. I wasn’t sure if it was from his injuries or my words. Three words that were never spoken to him. Three words that, outside of my mother, I had never said to another person. Tightening my arms around your waist, your familiar scent could soothe me in ways nothing else could. No one…man or vampire or whatever else maybe out there, could ever mean to me what you do…the one that holds the key to my heart and soul.] Take me home, Hellren mine…
RHAGE: [A tortured gaze met my own and it brought a smile to my face. I knew he heard what Mary was saying. In fact I wanted him to hear it and never forget her declaration of who I was for her. To realize he’d lost any chance he ever thought he had with my female years ago. He pulled himself up from the ground, his leg distorted from the knee down as he dragged himself slowly towards the woods along the same path he took to Mary’s window. He needed to get his ass gone before I allowed The Beast just enough control and he killed. Stood silently I waited until he was far from sight before I could turn to face you, his trail of blood burned against the dirt, the only sign he was ever there. Turning you in my arms. Fuck I didn’t want you to witness that, you didn’t need to.] He needed to know he has no power over you, baby. Now, or ever. If he even tries to show up, even though using his female, I will kill him. I’ll protect you, Mary. Anyway I need to, no one or nothing will stand in my way.
MARY: [I lifted a trembling hand to cup your cheek. The thoughts of blood and broken bones slowly being forgotten as the truth of your words hit me. I had let a man, that I hadn’t so much as given a single thought to in years, terrorize my days and nights for weeks. I let him come between me and the one person who is my entire world. I knew every emotion that was running through my body was completely visible in my gray eyes.] Since the moment you stormed into my life, Hal, there hasn’t been room for a single thought or even a memory of anyone else. [A smile quirked my lips at the name you first gave me.] I wouldn’t change a single thing about our life. You are my heart and soul, baby…my whole world, my everything. [I gently urged your lips down to mine. Placing a soft, reverent kiss upon your lips.] Forever, baby. [Gray eyes meeting electric teal ones once more.] Now, take me home. I think we have some time we need to make up for
RHAGE: [Your hand was tight in mine as I drove us home in silence. I knew you were reliving what had just happened, and I couldn’t erase the vision, though I wished you never witnessed it firsthand. Not a word was spoken to each other or anyone in the mansion as we retired to our rooms. It wasn’t until the shutters were closed, Zahk asleep in his own room, and for once in weeks past you were not at SafePlace, but in our bed. My grin wide was wide as I turned and faced you wishing for you to feel as happy as I that we were actually able to have a few hours to ourselves. Though I knew that wouldn’t be easy since just hours ago I was on the verge of murder. Fingers played with the waistband of your panties. Fabric I didn’t want back on you, but as usual I gave into your request to have a little coverage in case Zahk thought to wander across the hall. What would happen now that there wasn’t a stalker trying to take what was mine, and you had watched what I’d done to him.] What’s on that beautiful mind of yours, Mary?
MARY: [I didn’t want one inch of distance between us, not after everything that had happened. Hitching one leg over your hip, I pressed my chest flush against yours. An impish grin played along my lips.] I only have one thing on my mind right now, baby. [My fingers played with the ends of your hair. Lifting my chin, my lips brushed along your jaw. I was always worried about Zahk having nightmares and busting in on us, but tonight…tonight I was willing to take that risk. Trailing my lips across your jaw and up to your ear, lightly nipping at your earlobe with my blunt teeth. My words whispered against the shell of your ear.] It has something to do with you fucking me into the mattress and not waking up Zahk or the rest of the Mansion. [The sharp intake of your breath and the feel of your fingers slipping past the lacy barrier that separated us was the only answer I needed.] #UnhauntedNights
MARY: [Zahk had woken up starved as always. I had barely moved when he had bolted from the bed and out the door. Laughing as I heard him yelling for Fritz all the way down the stairs. He hadn’t mentioned that you hadn’t come to bed last night, and neither did I. Grabbing my phone from the nightstand, 7 calls from SafePlace had come through while I slept. I dropped the offensive device back onto the nightstand. I wasn’t going to step one more foot through those doors till I talked to my Hellren. I picked up the house phone and rang the kitchen. The doggen advised me that Master Rhage had taken his meal down to the gym. I mumbled a thank you before returning hanging up. A shower…that was first. I needed to steel myself for what was about to happen.] No more stalling. [Muttering to myself as I disappeared into the bathroom]
RHAGE: [Z had took the time to point out I was looking a little sickly around the biceps. Fine, fucker. An entire 18 hours were spent on the weights in the gym, I’d fix that fucker. Not to mention the threat from the Bastards had my drive to kill their asses wasn’t helping matters. I had plenty of time to spare since Mary was barely home, and Zahk would be sleeping the day away. Giving the doggen a flash of pearly whites as she sat down a heaping tray of breakfast goods.] Thanks, babe. Could you [snatching up a piece of bacon, devouring the fried pork faster than it took to draw a breath. Fuck could I really do a feeding without Mary, I’d gone weeks now without, and it was hard enough to get ten minutes with her awake, let alone time to schedule a feeding with her busy schedule. We barely had time to ‘see’ each other, the only reason I hadn’t told her about the threat from the bastards was simply there was not enough time in the night.] I need to schedule a feeding with one of the chosen, you think you could? “Of course, Sire, anything else?” Nah, I’m good. [Balancing the breakfast tray on my knees as I continued my meal in silence. I needed sleep, at least finish my meal and shower before I returned to my always empty bed.]
MARY: [Stepping out of the steam filled bathroom, I wandered into the closet to get dressed. Pulling on one of Rhage’s tshirts and a pair of jeans, I tucked a strand of wet hair behind my ear. Rhage had seen me look worse and I didn’t want to waste time getting all dolled up. I just needed to see him. Leaving the closet and heading out the door, I didn’t allow myself any chance for excuses as I made my way downstairs. Giving each doggen a small smile as I walked toward the door leading to the tunnel, I kept reminding myself to breathe. I knew this wasn’t going to be an easy conversation. I knew that Rhage would be hurt, angry, pissed, and probably downright murderous by the time this morning would be over. My footsteps barely made a sound in the stark hallway. I paused outside the door to the gym. My eyes widened at the sight before me. Sitting alone in the empty space, Rhage almost looked small….well small for him. The shadows that haunted his eyes didn’t escape my notice either. I took one last deep breath before opening the door. I tried to keep as quiet as possible, but the sound was as loud as a bomb blast echoing off the walls. Teal eyes met mine almost instantly. Stopping right inside the doorway.] Hey, baby.
RHAGE: [Giving my Shellan a smile, of course I’d not show you any sort of my pissed the fuck offl, and I did infact miss you. And I knew now wasn’t the time to bring up the Bastards, was it? Pushing my plate of food off to the weight bench next to me. It didn’t matter I’d only just started devouring my meal. He’ll I knew you’d be gone within the hour off to save someone else.] Hey baby [I couldn’t help but hope you’d have the day off. We both knew that was a long shot, and not fucking happening. So who was I to hope a miracle had happened. ] What time do you have to leave? [Striding the short distance to where you stood just in front of the door. Wrapping my arms tightly around your shoulders, inhaling the coconut shampoo that coated you like a second skin.] Sorry baby. [dropping my arms realizing what I’d just done with my sweat soaked body.] You might need to shower again before you go.
MARY: [I practically melted into your embrace. We had been apart before, but never like this. I was starved for your affection, your time…you. Resting my cheek on your chest, I could care less about the fact you were dripping with sweat. Slipping my arms around your waist, I muttered against your skin] I’m not leaving today and fuck another shower, unless you’re in there with me. [I felt your entire frame stiffen in surprise. Normally, those words wouldn’t be so shocking, but given the last few weeks…] I’m so sorry, Rhage. You have no idea how much. [Just one touch from you and the floodgates opened. Tears started to sting my eyes as the words rambled past my lips]
RHAGE: [More than surprised when you pulled me back into your arms. I wasn’t expecting it, in fact I was counting the seconds before you turned around and got ready for the day at SafePlace. To my surprise you stayed in the hold of my arms.] Why the waterworks, Mary? [Frowning I thought through the past few weeks. Nothing was out of the ordinary other than the amount, or lack thereof, time we spent as an actual family. Zahk hadn’t been acting up, if anything he’d been less active than usual. Reluctantly pushing to hold you at arms length and rake my eyes over every inch of you. Nothing physically was out of place, except the wet hair.] What’s wrong baby? You know you don’t have to take the day off if that’s what this is about, I know you’re needed there as much as you want to be.
MARY: Rhage, baby….we need to talk. [I lifted my gaze back to yours. Concern and confusion were written all over your features. Curling my hands around your forearms, I gave you the most reassuring smile I could manage. I knew it fell short of providing any type of comfort.] I’m not going back to SafePlace, baby….not until we talk. And I’m going to ask something of you, something that may be impossible, but I’m still going to ask…[Taking one more deep breath, forcing my request past my lips] I want you to listen and try not to react till I’m done. Can you do that for me, baby? Please…
RHAGE: [Lifting a brow and giving a silent nod. I wasn’t sure what the hell was going on, and this would be the very first time you’d ever said you weren’t going to SafePlace. That alone should have sent bells and whistles in my mind, but it didn’t completely. I didn’t believe shit was that bad. Lack of time, blood, food, sex. I was starved for anything you offered even if it was something I didn’t was to hear…. No she couldn’t want time apart. It’s that what humans did when shit went awol? Fuck me raw Nudging you to sit on the weight bench as I leaned against the weight bar.] What’s doing, baby?
MARY: [Fidgets with the hem of your t-shirt, I didn’t know how or where to start.] A file came across my desk a few weeks ago. A female and her young…abused by the Hellren…nothing out of the ordinary. The medical file from Havers was extensive, still nothing too unusual. After the first counseling session, I should’ve come and talked to you. I didn’t know how. I wanted to protect you and Zahk. [I couldn’t sit still any longer. Springing up from the weight bench, pacing across the matted floor] The female seemed familiar, but I couldn’t place it. She told me she had known about me for years. She knew about SafePlace. [I stopped long enough to take a breath. My gray eyes meeting yours, not quite sure what you see] She looked like me, Rhage. Her hair, her eyes, her clothes…[Trailing off, I forced the next words past the growing lump in my throat.] Her Hellren knows me. Dated me before I got sick. I had no idea he was a vampire. I didn’t even know about vampires till you. He’s followed me for years, baby. I didn’t know…
RHAGE: [What the fuck were you saying? I couldn’t help the relief I felt. But this? This wasnt what I expected. The Beast growled deep, mixing with my own thoughts. I couldn’t wrap my mind around what you said. A fucking male following you and you …] You dated a [I couldn’t stop my thoughts, they were coming from not only me but the emotions rolling from my curse. He was pissed, I was pissed. Fuck, we were both pissed. I knew you had others before me, but never did I have the feeling your past relationships would come back to our] wait. [My hands were balled so tight I only noticed now how hard I was holding my fists, barely releasing them.] What do you mean he’s fucking followed you? Abused his female? [Nudging you to sit back onto the weight bench so I could pace the length of the mats.] You should never feel you have to protect me, or Zahk. I’m your male, Mary. I do the protecting, you feel me? [Fuck me, I was taking it out on her.] Baby, I’m sorry. I, have you seen him? [start from the beginning dumbass. Nodding tightly I urged you to answer.]
MARY: [Lacing my fingers together, my shoulders sagged from the weight of what I had let go on.] It was before I got sick. He started acting possessive the same time I was diagnosed. I ended things and never gave him a second thought till now. [I watched your muscles tense and tighten the more you paced.] And I will protect you and Zahk, Rhage…with every last breath in my body. [Feeling the tears begin to swim in my eyes] I…I haven’t seen him. He’s called. He got into SafePlace, into my office, and wrote a note. He’s making threats. You have to be allowed into SafePlace from the inside. His female…I don’t know. [Untangling my fingers, swiping at my eyes] I don’t know if he knows about you or Zahk. I’m sorry I kept this from you, baby. I’m so sorry.
RHAGE: [The smell of your tears woke me from my needing to kill state. Frowning I pushed The Beast from the forefront and crowded at your feet, lifting your face.] No, baby, your job isn’t to protect me, or Zahk, that’s mine, you feel me? [He left a note, no male was allowed in SafePlace, even I had to jump hoops to get in to see you.] Have you seen him? [Narrowing my brows.] What do you mean his female is what? He abused her, looks like you, they have a kid. The Fuck, baby? [The Beast thrashed against my back, no longer caring for the conversation, only wanting vengeance. Turning my gaze from you back to the door in attempt to give myself the moment I needed to push back my murderous beast.] Have you talked to Marissa about this?
MARY: [Curling my hands tightly around your wrist, wanting to hold you close to me] I haven’t seen him. According to his Shellan, he’s been obsessed with me since I left him. She loves him and let him do these things to her. I don’t know why. [Not caring about the tears that were streaming down my cheeks] I think his Shellan let him into SafePlace. I think she is doing what she can to make him happy, to keep him. A note was delivered to the Mansion today. [Lifts one hand from yours just long enough to retrieve the folded piece of paper, slipping it into your hand] The only person I’ve told is Bella. I didn’t know how to tell you. I’ve wanted to…for so long, since I found out the connection. I didn’t know how.
RHAGE: [I read the note at least five times before I crumbled it into a ball. It was the only thing to keep my temper from exploding and allowing my curse to free.] Baby, I don’t know what to tell you. He’s a fucking piece of shit, true? [Shoving the crushed note into my shorts to remove the vile thing from my sight.] You need to tell Marissa you can’t make it, for a while. Anyone there you need to see you will just need to do from home. [Pulling you into the comfort of my arms.] You’ve done nothing wrong, Mary. You didn’t ask for any of this bullshit. [i didn’t know any other means to soothe you. I just needed to hold you close for my own sake. Damn. How long did this go on? No female should act as guardian. No that was the males job. And didn’t that just piss me off all the more.]
MARY: [My body instantly went boneless in your arms. All the tension, stress and fear just melted away the moment your skin touched mine. Nodding profusely, my voice shaking with emotion] I’ll tell Marissa. Whatever you think I should do, baby. If anything happened to you or Zahk… [Burying my face against the muscled plane of your chest, shuddering as that one thought caused a tremor to wrack my smaller frame] I don’t have any sessions scheduled. I have some paperwork I need to get. Anything else can wait. [My fingertips tracing along the edges of your inked skin, raising my gaze to yours] Right now…I just need you and me and our bed. Please, baby… #BeastlyBomb
MARY: [I had been staring down at my desk for hours. I had refused to answer my door, canceled counseling sessions….I was hiding from my entire day. I had arrived at SafePlace just after First Meal, as I always do. One of the doggen had driven me, like they always do. I had my hand on the knob to the outer door of the building when I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. The front of the building was well lit, but there were plenty of shadows. Shaking my head] You’re losing it, Mary.
[Convincing myself that it was nothing, I went inside of SafePlace and about my day. Throughout the day, that nagging feeling that something was off hadn’t left me. Phone calls that had been patched through to me, only to have no one there. I could have sworn something had hit my window more than once.] Sleep deprivation….that’s all it is. Focus. Just a few more files and call it a day. [Nodding firmly, I forced myself to open a case file and start work. I had manage to lose myself in my work for a time. All thoughts of anything strange had been pushed aside. The ringing of my phone didn’t even phase me.] This is Mary Luce…. [My pen hadn’t even paused on my notepad when I answered the phone.] “Hello, Mary.” [With those two words, my blood had run cold. Jerking my head up at the sound of that voice….that voice. My pen thumped against the notepad as it fell from my numb fingers. No! It couldn’t be.] “Aren’t you going to say hello, Mary. It is rude not to greet an old friend.” E….Ethan. [My voice was a barely audible whisper. It felt like a rock had fallen into the pit of my stomach. All the warmth from the summer sun that my office held had been sucked out with THAT VOICE.] “See now. Was that so hard? I knew you’d remember.” [Memories flickered through my mind like a bad horror movie. Each one was worse than the last. I wasn’t even sure they were all even memories. Some may have been imaginings that my mind had conjured hearing that oily, evil voice through the phone.]
“Now, I don’t know what my Shellan has been telling you, my darling Mary. But do not believe a word that lying whore has to say! I would hate to have to get angry with you, dear one. DON’T MAKE ME GET ANGRY WITH YOU!” [My eyes widened the size of Nalla’s prized tea saucers. A shiver of pure terror ran down my spine. Scrambling up from my desk chair, I ran to the door and threw the lock. My knuckles growing white as my grip tightened on the phone. Bracing my back against the flat wooden surface, I slid to the floor. This wasn’t happening. It couldn’t. I had a family now. A Hellren of my own. I had a son. The sound of the receiver tapping against my earring was just as loud as the busy signal coming over the line. Throwing the offensive thing across the room, I pulled my knees to my chest and buried my face against them. This was only a nightmare. This wasn’t happening. I was going to wake up in Rhage’s arms. Rocking my body against the door, I didn’t even feel the door open against me. I didn’t remember being lifted in the doggen’s arms and carried down to the car and back to the Mansion. Waking up in my own bed, I was sure the whole day prior was just a bad dream. I reached out beside me, only finding empty sheets. No Rhage. No Zahk jumping on the bed. Zahk! Jumping from my bed and running into his room, my heart was pounding in my throat. Ethan knew where I lived.
Did he know about Zahk? I wasn’t taking any chances. Shoving the door open, the sound of the wood banging against the wall echoed through the entire hallway.] Zahk, little man…where are….. [The words died in my throat. All that was there to greet me was an empty race car bed. Where was he? I turned on my heel and sprinted down the grand staircase. Heading straight for the kitchen, the sound of Zach’s laughter spilled out into the hall. I slumped against the wall in relief. My son was safe. Sliding to the floor the minute my knees gave out, burying my face in my hands. I couldn’t stop the tears sliding down my cheeks. Just the thought of losing Zahk again had me coming unglued. A soft clearing of a throat brought me out of my haze. I looked up at one of the female doggen. She gave me an apologetic smile.] “I’m sorry to interrupt, but this was just delivered for you from SafePlace.”
Thank you. [Whispering roughly, I reached out and took the small piece of paper from her with a shaky hand. Folding the paper open, my breath leaving me at just the first words….From the desk of Mary Luce. He had gotten into SafePlace. He had been in my office. That’s impossible. Vishous had installed the security systems. There was no way in, unless….] SON OF A BITCH! [Unless someone lets you in. Scanning my eyes down the paper, I wanted the spurt of anger I had just felt to carry me through, but it died instantly.] “You have a beautiful family, my Mary. But they will not mean anything to you soon. Because soon, my darling, you will be mine. Sweetest dreams, my love. I’ll be watching you.” [The piece of paper floated from my hand and to the floor. I barely heard the doggen scrambling around me.] “Mistress, are you well? What may we assist you with?” Rhage…I need Rhage. [I choked out the words past the knot in my throat.
The doggen began to rush off to fulfill my request.] “Mahmen, why you’s down there?” Zahk! [I grasped him in my arms, cradling him against me. I turned to bury my face against his hair, hiding my tears in the process.] “You’s okay, momma? You’s need daddy.” [His little head nodded firmly. He wiggled free from my grasp and grabbed my hand.] “We’s go upstairs and waits.” [I pulled myself to my feet, letting him lead me by the hand. I would barricade Zahk and myself in my bedroom till Rhage showed up. The only thought that I found solace in was that Ethan couldn’t get into the mansion…could he? I heard one of the doggen calling out for me, telling me I dropped something. I mumbled a thank you as she shoved the piece of paper back into my hand. I knew I couldn’t keep this from Rhage anymore. I never should have to begin with. My time to come up with the right words had run out. I knew what would be coming, and deep down I was ok with that. Ethan had threatened me, but more than that, he had threatened my family. Reaching the top of the staircase, I scooped Zahk up into my arms once again and walked straight for my room. Securing the door behind us, I settled Zahk down into the bed and climbed in after him. He curled against my side, just like he always did.] “It’ll be okays, Mahmen. You’ll sees. Daddy will make it okays.” I know he will, little man. I know. [I pressed a kiss to the top of his blonde locks and let my eyes fall shut. I wasn’t sure if sleep would find me or not. I wasn’t counting on it. I wasn’t counting on finding any sort of peace till Ethan was gone from my life and Rhage knew the truth. Then I would sleep.] #TheTimeToHesitateIsThrough
MARY: [Pacing….so far that is all that I had managed to do. I paced from one end of the room and back again. Rhage had kissed my forehead and told me we needed to “talk” and then he left. I knew he knew something was going on. He’s my Hellren. The one person who knows me better than anyone. Scrubbing a hand over my face, I didn’t know how to tell him. I had opened my mouth so many times the past few weeks to say something, only to snap it shut. Was I afraid of what his first reaction would be? HELL YES! But this situation was beyond me. I had never intended to keep the truth from Rhage, but I couldn’t find the words. Stopping in the middle of our room, a panicked laugh filled the silence] Why didn’t I think of this before?! [Spinning on my heel, I ran out of my room and down the hall of statues. I needed my best friend. Since meeting Bella, there hasn’t been anything in my life I kept from her, and I wasn’t about to start now. I lifted my hand and knocked on the heavy door. Bella would know what to do…I hoped.]
BELLA: [That moment in any mahmen’s life when their rambunctious child was finally -blessedly- asleep was always something worth sighing over. Bella tiptoed out of the adjoining nursery, closing the door over and smiled as she looked across at the giant stack of her fashion magazines she’d been stockpiling the last couple of months and hadn’t gotten around to reading yet. Iced latte. A comfy couch. And her magazines. Bella was about to have her some bliss for an hour while Z was down in the gym and her babygirl took a well deserved nap. The knock on the door creased her forehead. If that was a doggen wanting more laundry she might have to kick him or something, she’d already given him a load earlier just to soothe the crestfallen look on his face when she’d told him there was no chores she wanted doing. Man, she grinned pulling the door open, what it must be like to love your job THAT much, she didn’t know. Bella’s frown changed to that of a wide smile seeing Mary] Hey, sweet girl. Don’t tell me…. you’re running away and you need my help to knot some sheets together, right? AmIRite? [chuckling, Bella ushered Mary inside] you know, you’d think since we live together I’d see you more, where’ve you been hiding, Mary? [A gossip with her best friend, so much better than magazines. Bella curled her feet up under her butt once she’d situated herself on the couch, Blue eyes looking at her friend]
MARY: [An honest to God smile came to face the moment Bella opened the door. I deserved the chastising from my best friend. Seems like I hadn’t seen anyone in the Mansion for weeks. I followed Bella to the couch. Taking a seat, I felt my muscles relax just a bit from the tense knot they’ve been in.] I know. I know. I’ve been at SafePlace. It’s starting to feel like it’s my home and I just come back here to visit. [I gave Bella a sheepish look. Forget the fact that I was a subpar Shellan at the moment, but my record as a friend and mother sucked just as badly.] I feel like I’ve missed so much. So…is Nalla dating yet? I think Rhage is teaching Zahk how to drive. [I couldn’t help but laugh at my lame joke.] I hate this Bella…
BELLA: Ut oh. This feels like a wine kinda moment, but since it’s early, and we have good shellan reputations to live up to [Bella flashed a teasing grin as she reached over for the phone that connected her downstairs to the kitchen and ordered some iced latte’s and biscotti] Spill, Mary, what’s going on? you’re not usually this busy with SafePlace that it leaves you looking… and I love you girl, you know that, …but you look worn out [All joking aside for a moment, Bella really looked at Mary, she’d known her far too long to not know something was doing with her best friend. The past weeks with Autumn’s passing had worn on them all, but this was different. When she’d last seen Rhage, he’d been his usual jovial self so she was unsure if it was mated issues, she knew all too well had marital woes with your mate could wear on a female’s emotions] you not speaking is making me worry, Mary [Bella frowned, scooting to the edge of the couch and laid a hand over Mary’s, tried to put some ease into her friend, she winked] If we need to bury a body, I know just the place.
MARY: [My laugh was a little too hysterical, even to my own ears. I placed my hand over yours. Where did I begin? Giving you a weary smile.] Do I really look that bad? I don’t even know where to begin, Bella. And Rhage….how do I tell him? I open my mouth and the words just aren’t there. [I was rambling and I knew I was. I knew that you would have no clue under the moon what the hell I was going on about. Taking a deep breath, I might as well start at the beginning.] There is a new family that came to SafePlace. Not that that is anything out of the ordinary. [A small laugh escaping my lips.] The female and her young have suffered a history of abuse at the hands of her Hellren. But….that’s not the worst part. [I had the urge to jump up and pace the room. I glanced down at my hand over yours. Each similar in size. Just the small touch was comforting.] I know him, Bella…her Hellren. I know him.
BELLA: You know him? [Bella repeated to make sure she’d heard right. The worried and a little distressed look on Mary’s face told her she absolutely had. Bella had to wonder, in Mary’s line of work when she mingled with a lot of people, humans and vampires alike, why this particular person had her so on edge] I take it you knew him before the female and young came to Safeplace? is he vampire? [Bella reached for a biscotti to occupy her hands while she looked at her friend, and both her brows dropped a little before she went on] What aren’t you telling me, Mary? If you can’t tell Rhage… this male, if he’s abusive… [Maybe he was someone she’d helped previously when she worked for the samaritans helpline, the same place she’d met and subsequently brought John Matthew into their lives. Bella reasoned with herself, hoping that whatever had Mary worried was just a chance encounter with a known associate. The world was a tiny place, after all, you bumped into all kinds of people, some you didn’t even ever want to see again. David was the prime example for Bella] … are you worried he’ll recognize you if he finds out where the female is? The staff are trained, sweetheart, and you definitely should tell Rhage if it’s a situation of your safety.
MARY: [I could feel my shoulders slump a little. I twisted my fingers together in my lap and stared down at the floor. I hadn’t given much thought to my previous life since I came to the Mansion. Why would I? I had found the love of my life, a family, an outlet for my need to help others.] He’s a vampire. I didn’t know that when I knew him though. His name is Ethan Foster. He and I dated back before I got sick, when I worked with my kids. [A small smile at the memory curled my lips. Taking another deep breath before I pressed on.] We spent maybe 6 months together. Toward the end, he started to exhibit very controlling and possessive behavior. At the same time, I was given my cancer diagnosis. So, I broke things off and focused on my recovery. I never gave him a second thought, until his Shellan came to SafePlace. [My eyes met yours. I could only imagine the panicked expression on my face.] She looks like me, Bella. He made her look like me. Hair color, eye color, height, weight….everything. She showed me pictures and…. [I had to take another deep breath. I could feel my anxiety rising the more I spoke.] She said he’s been following me for years. He seems to know everything. That’s the reason she sought me out at SafePlace for help. I know I need to tell Rhage. I just can’t find the words without him unleashing the Beast on the guy. [Giving you a pleading look.] What do I do, Bells?
BELLA: Jeeeesus… [A cold shiver ran right down Bella’s spine as Mary’s situation resonated darkly to things she’d rather not have in her head. Her face all serious now, her friend needed help and advice, not for Bella to get distracted thinking of David Ormond. She gripped Mary’s fingers giving them a reassuring squeeze] you absolutely need to tell Rhage. Forget trying to protect him from this, or worried he’ll go apeshit. Remember I tried to keep things from Z and he thought I was having an affair! [she smiled a little] tell him, babe. If he goes berserk on this creep it’s what the male needs. Following you, Mary… making his female look like you… that’s waaaay past a male still having feelings for you. That’s lock you in his basement and feeding you animal crackers while he sings Cher songs to you, kinda crazy, yes? [While she tried to make light of it for Mary’s sake the sick curdle of fear was ever present in her blue eyes and on the grip of her hand] This male is vampire, so his harassment is brotherhood territory. Why have the kind of troops we do at our disposal and not use them? [she paused a moment] Please don’t just ignore this, Mary. This guy he could… he could do something..
MARY: I know! Even just the thought that he could come into contact with Zahk makes me sick to my stomach. [My blood had long since ran cold just talking about Ethan, but thinking what he could be capable of…. Jumping up from the couch, I gave into my urge to pace. My fists clenching and unclenching with every step.] I used to work the suicide hotline in the worst parts of Caldwell and never bat an eye. Now….every shadow nearly makes me jump out of my skin the minute I leave the Mansion. I’m practically living at SafePlace thinking if he doesn’t know about the Mansion, he won’t know about Rhage and Zahk. I haven’t seen my family in days, Bella. [I stopped mid stride. My steel gray eyes meeting yours.] I don’t even know what Rhage is thinking right now. I miss him so much…God do I miss him. I just don’t know how to tell him. I can’t just sit him down and say, “Sorry, baby. I dated a vampire before I met you, only I didn’t know he was a vampire and turns out he’s a psycho too!” It’s hard enough to know that I dated the guy, but to see what he has put his Shellan through, what he has put his child through….the man is a monster. How did I not see it? How did I not know? [I had resumed my furious pacing of your room. I would have to apologize to Fritz for you and Zsadist needing a new rug once I left.] I should have known. He started making little suggestions toward the end. How I should wear my hair, what I should wear when we went out. I just thought the guy was showing his control freak side. [An empty laugh escaped my lips.] The day before I ended things, he grabbed my wrist when I disagreed with him about something. He grabbed it so hard I had a bracelet of bruises on my skin. [Rubbing my wrist absently, it felt like I was reliving those final days I spent with Ethan. A shudder worked it’s way down my spine. My voice seemed to fail me as I spoke.] How do I tell Rhage?
BELLA: [As the whole saga unfolded, Bella watched Mary pacing, could see the fear in her gray eyes and warranted she felt more worry than she was actually showing] Crazy sickos don’t show their hand until it’s too late, Mary, as the female at SafePlace is undoubtedly realizing now. It’s not your fault, my friend. But you need to share this with your hellren. You tell Rhage just as you did me, He’s not going to be happy however you broach it, Mary. This male is frightening his shellan, no bonded male takes that lightly [Bella paused and unfolded from her seat on the couch to walk over to the female, stopping her in her frantic steps, she grasped her cold hands gently] you are absolutely not alone in this, Mary. This Ethan asshole does not know what he’s just taken on [She smiled and pulled Mary in for a tight reassuring hug] Please tell me you’ll talk to Rhage, and soon? As in right now no waiting. The brotherhood has weight, remember. This vampire jackass who likes to use his fists against any female can be dealt with… [she teased a grin hoping to alleviate the worry in those sombre gray eyes] without godzilla rearing his fanged chompers. Tell your hellren, babe. Let him play the swooping hero, you know our males love that shit, right?
MARY: [I couldn’t help but laugh in agreement, no matter how weak it sounded.] I know. And I will tell Rhage. I promise. I had just hoped that this whole thing would resolve itself. I had no idea Ethan was the stalker psycho type with fangs. [Another small, hysterical laugh found its way past my lips. I tried to take a deep breath to calm down. I knew you were right. I never kept anything from Rhage and he needed to know. My own stubbornness, along with my urge to protect my family, had just dug me a hole. Now, I needed to dig myself back out. Hugging you back tightly] Thank you, Bella. For everything. [Just when my resolve was starting to form, my phone began to vibrate in my pocket. Pulling back from you to retrieve it, a frown instantly pulling at my lips.] It’s SafePlace. Apparently I’m needed there urgently.
BELLA: [Bella frowned. After hearing of this creep and his psycho behavior, she didn’t want Mary anywhere near Safeplace or the female who was mated to him, but she knew her friend, Mary would never turn her back on someone in need, even if it meant putting herself in harms way. Bella could only hope she would tell Rhage and soon, or she’d be on Mary’s back until she did. She gave her a stern look] Do not go there alone, Mary, take one of the young warriors with you, say your car is out of gas if you don’t want to explain. This guy is a sandwich short of a picnic, remember that, please. [Another hug, Bella released Mary and smiled] you need anything, call, and I will send my Z, okay? I’m still voting you let Rhage beat this guy into a pulp, but I’m with you whatever you decide, my friend [her smile grew] I’ll see you when you get home.
MARY: I’ll ask one and see, if not, one of the doggen can drive me. I’m not going to go alone. I promise, Bells. [Smiling warmly, I started for the door. I had no idea what the emergency was. I just hoped I could resolve it quickly and return home. I needed to talk to Rhage tonight.] You know I have you on speed dial. And I won’t be too stubborn to ask for help. Now, go enjoy your quiet time that I intruded on. I know how hard it is with young around. [Motherhood was a rewarding gift, but so were the moments when you found yourself kid-free. Giving you one last wave as I walked out the door, I had barely turned around before I bumped into Fritz] “Forgive me, Miss Mary.” It was completely my fault, Fritz. I’m so preoccupied l, I’m not watching where I’m going. But while I have you here….could you drive me to SafePlace? “I would be honored to. Might I ask why Master Rhage isn’t escorting you?” I don’t want to bother him at the moment, but if you’re busy I certainly will go ask him. [I didn’t want to tell him that I had no idea where my Hellren was at the moment and that we were barely speaking. I just wanted to get there and home as quick as possible.] “Forgive me. Shall we depart?” Thank you, Fritz. You’re a true gem. [Exhaling a held breath, I lightly rested my hand on his forearm and smiled. Without another word, I followed Fritz down the stairs and out the front door to the car. I didn’t know what was waiting for me. And for the first time in my life, the unknown had me truly scared.] #FriendsInNeed
RHAGE: [Four days and nights had passed, and in that amount of time I could count on two hands how many minutes Mary and I had alone. SafePlace was hogging her time. And Zahk was wanting her attention every time she was home. The boy had become quite the menace when she was around, always trying to destroy something. And to top it off any time spent in our bed we actually, no Mary slept and I sat up watching the ceiling while the Beast continued to be content just being close to our wrangler. The first night after Autumns passing we spent the night in silence just holding and enjoying the company of each other. It was an eye opener that so much time had already passed that we took for granted. Checking the time once again on the clock on her side of our bed from across the room. Late. Again. She fell back into the routine after Autumns passing of staying at SafePlace almost all the time. I was beginning to think I would need to just schedule my own damn appointment with her just to get a second with my own mate. A man had needs.]
MARY: [Quietly closing Zahk’s door behind me, I sank back against the solid wooden surface. I was tired down to my bones. I knew Rhage wasn’t happy. Hell, I wasn’t happy either. SafePlace was complete chaos at the moment. Ever since Mikayla Foster’s file had hit my desk and with Autumn’s passing, my life had been flipped upside down. Dragging myself away from Zahk’s door and down the short walk to my own room, I had to talk to Rhage. I knew that. He deserved, more than anyone, to know what was going on. To know that my past had now become a part of my present. But how do I tell him? I knew what his first instinct would be, but I wasn’t in danger…was I? Opening our chamber door, my eyes moved directly to our bed.] I’m sorry I’m late. [My voice was weak even to my own ears. Every muscle in your frame was taught with annoyance, and I didn’t blame you. Closing the door, I dropped my things at the end of the bed. Crossing the room to your side, lifting my fingers to brush the hair off your forehead. I took a small step closer, looking down into your teal eyes.] Forgive me?
RHAGE: [Hate? No I didn’t hate, I loathed the fact everything was taking its course to keep us from having any time to ourselves.] Sure, baby. [Giving a nonchalant shrug even if my true thoughts were far from not giving a shit that my current position with my mate was on the backburner. Pulling your hand to my lips for a soft kiss against your palm. My curse choose that moment to stir, coiling against my back recognizing the taste of your skin. Swinging my bare feet the floor, picking up the bag and laptop you’d left at the foot of our bed.] You should get ready for bed, baby. I know it’s been a busy day and you’re tired.
MARY: [I dropped my hand listlessly back to my side. I was left staring at the space you once occupied. This wasn’t how we greeted each other. Dammit! How could I have let things get this bad? I knew my hours were shit right now at SafePlace. Every time I even thought of coming home at a decent hour, something else would come up. Not to mention my current problem that I was avoiding telling you about. A heavy sigh slipped from my lips.] Rhage…baby. I just…. [I lifted my head only to see your back walking to the end of the bed. Your inked flesh coiling with every step. We had had enough distance. Stepping up behind you, my arms found their way around your waist. Pressing a soft kiss against the Beast] Come with me, please?
RHAGE: [It was as though excuses were just piling up. From constant hours spent away from one another, to the ever present emptiness of your side of our bed, it was weighing heavy. Yet the light touch of your lips against The Beast betrayed my thoughts and kicked my body straight to the deprived male full of need I’d become.] You just what? [My curse coiled at your caress begging for more.] Go where, baby. You’re tired, I know. You were gone before I awoke, and that was 20 hours ago.
MARY: I know, baby. Believe me…I know. Everything is just…[Resting my forehead against your back, the ink on your skin writhing in almost a caress against my skin. I tightened my arms around you. I needed this. Contact. Your skin on mine. I needed you. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what was going on in your head right now. I just knew it wasn’t good.] Bed, Rhage. Come to bed with me. I need your arms around me. I need my Hellren. [I breathed the words into your skin. My throat was growing tight with emotion. With everything that had been going on, I was starting to feel adrift, starting to feel lost. Nothing made much sense at the moment. The only time it did was in the precious moments we were actually together.]
RHAGE: [Your arms tightened around my abs keeping me locked in place. I had planned to remove myself from your hold, but it’d been so long since we’d shared more than five minutes before you passed out. I knew tonight would be none the different but I still had hope that my weeks of unwarranted celibacy would end this night.] I’m always here baby, no need for you to feel alone. [Clasping my hand on your arm releasing your hold from around me and leading us both to our bed. Tossing all the unneeded pillows to the floor and pulling the bedding back.] In you go. [Following her until I was skin to skin against her back, wet kisses planted to your throat.] Sleep baby.
MARY: [I could feel tears start to sting my eyes. God, just feeling your lips on my skin and I was ready to fall apart. I was ready to turn my back on my responsibilities at SafePlace and lose myself in your arms. I wanted to. You had to know that, didn’t you? I wanted to be here with you and Zahk, not dealing with ghosts from my past. I couldn’t even manage to feel guilty about wanting to shirk my duties. I was bone tired and every fiber of my being was crying out for you. Reaching back for your hand, dragging your arm over my middle. Feeling my eyes drift shut, one single tear finding its way down my cheek. Whispering huskily into the dark.] I love you, Rhage… #LongNightsHeavyHearts
MARY: [I almost couldn’t believe my eyes when a nurse from Havers’ clinic had brought over the medical files I had requested. In all my years of social work, I had never seen a file that thick. X-rays, notes from Havers, even pictures to document the extent of the injuries this female had endured. My heart broke for this female and her child. My mind began to drift of thoughts of last night. The smile that immediately came to my lips from the memory wouldn’t be fading anytime soon. Everytime Rhage and I planned a movie night, we never could quite seem to make it to the movie part. A soft laugh escaped my lips. I had no sooner made it through the door when Rhage scooped me up in his massive arms and my blouse was on the floor. His bare skin on mine….
the knock at my door brought me out of my daydream.] Come in… [Closing my files and straightening my desk a little, standing up to greet my next appointment. A small statured female appeared in the doorway. Her ash blonde locks hung limply around her face, hiding her from my gaze. Hints of bruises were visible from beneath the sleeves of her shirt.] Please come in, Mikayla. [A warm smile curled my lips. I wanted to make her feel at ease and safe. I couldn’t even begin to imagine the hell this female had lived through. I just knew that her nightmare would end, and hopefully her healing would begin here.] My name is Mary. [A pair of startled brown eyes met mine. I didn’t quite understand what caused that reaction, but this wasn’t getting off to the best start.] Please have a seat. [Taking my own in the chair across from the one she was using as a shield, relaxing back against the cushion. She was a skittish as a scared kitten. I had to tread very carefully. I wanted her to be able to open up and to trust, both of which would not be an easy thing.
Her thin arms wound around her torso as she took one tentative step at a time before taking a seat. I thought for a half of a second that she would fall straight onto the floor. She was barely perched on the cushion.] Is there anything I can get for you? Water, tea…something to eat? [A barely perceptible nod was all the response I received. Standing up once more, I quietly walked to my desk and picked up the phone. Asking the doggen to bring up a tray for two for lunch, I returned back to my seat with a smile.] It shouldn’t be too long and I know you must be hungry. “Tha….thank you for your kindness.” You’re safe here, Mikayla. [I had to strain just to hear her voice over the silence in the room. I couldn’t imagine being beaten into submission like Mikayla had been. A light knock on the door couldn’t have come sooner. The silence had become awkward at that point. Smiling as the doggen came into the room, setting the tray down on the table between Mikayla and I.
Muttering a quiet thank you and giving the doggen another smile before she slipped back out the door. I gestured to the food and drinks on the tray.] Please help yourself, Mikayla. [Her small hand reached out for one of the sandwiches. After a few moments, her voice sounded a bit stronger…more sure.] “He can’t find me, can he?” Who Mikayla? “My Hellren” [Her voice trailed off at that familiar term. I watched as she seemed to gain strength from that small amount of food that would normally be nothing more than a midnight snack for Rhage.] “He was a good man…in the beginning. He took me out, would buy me flowers, even jewelry in the beginning.” [Her laugh was lilting, almost melodical. In the blink of an eye, her whole demeanor changed and brightened.] “I should have known he was too good to be true. The first few years before my needing were just completely happy and magical. Even after my needing, I thought we had grown even closer. Our son…he made Ethan so happy. He looks just like him.”
[It felt like someone had taken one of Rhage’s shitkickers and stomped on my chest. I couldn’t breathe. Ethan….no. That was beyond impossible.] “Then he began to change. I suddenly wasn’t what he wanted one day. It started off with a simple request. My hair…he said I looked tired and should color my hair brown.” [Her slender fingers twirled around a lock of her mousy brown hair. I swallowed hard and finally took a really good look at the female in front of me.] “I haven’t seen my natural color in 5 years. Even my eyes.” [Her gaze met mine. There was a new light blazing in those steel gray orbs. I had to drop my gaze. Who would do that? Why would anyone take this beautiful woman and try to turn her into…me?] “Do you know my Hellren, Mary? Because he knows you. It’s how I found out about this place.
[A bitter laugh echoed through the room. I could feel her eyes on me, but I was almost afraid to look to see what I might find. I opened my mouth to respond, but her voice cut me off.] Your name came up from time to time in our house. Mary Luce…counselor extraordinaire. I followed him one night and he came here. Naturally, I became curious. I came here a few nights and watched you walk in. Imagine my surprise when I saw you. When I realized what my Hellren had been trying to do to me…changing my appearance to look like you.” [My eyes flashed back to hers. Her fingers were now twisted in her lap and the timid female that first stepped into my office was before me once again.] What do you mean he knows me, Mikayla? “His name is Ethan Foster. He said you two dated for a few years. That you were the love of his life, but you dumped him. I think he loved me at first, but he saw you walking one night.” [My skin started to crawl. I knew that name and she wasn’t wrong. I did date an Ethan Foster and I did dump him too. I didn’t have a choice. My mother had gotten sick and I moved back home. There wasn’t a question as to what I had to do. But the love of his life? I did love him…back then. But we were kids, or I guess now, rather I was. The memories seemed to come flooding back from nothing more than a name……..
The memory played in my mind like a tape. I had been waiting all week for the weekend. A trip to the city to see the newest Broadway play with my love. Ethan had been nothing short of a surprise, but the last 8 months had been nothing short of a dream come true. I had done nothing but pinch myself. Who knew that literally bumping into someone on the street could lead to this? We had so much in common and seemed to like the same things. He never balked at watching a foreign film with me or going to my favorite places. Come to think of it, we always seemed to go where I wanted. Shaking my head from that train of thought, I finished shoving my clothes into my overnight bag. I wasn’t big on fancy clothes, and I only hoped that my standard slacks would be ok for the theater. The doorbell brought me out of my fog, quickly pulling my hair up as I left my room. I bounded down the stairs.
The sun was just setting and we had to hit the road soon. A pair of warm hazel eyes met mine when I opened the door. His expression wasn’t what I was expecting. A scowl had taken up residence on his handsome visage. I asked him what was wrong. His voice was harsh, harsher than it had ever been with me before. “Mary, why is your hair up? What the hell have you done?” It was just a poneytail. I pulled the offensive elastic band from my hair. His fingers roughly combed through my locks, tugging a bit. “Don’t ever change, my Mary.” The rest of the weekend went on without a hitch. Ethan had been the perfect gentleman. I didn’t think it could get any better, and it didn’t. His behavior became stranger, more possessive. I was all about making my man happy, but I wasn’t going to change for anyone. That one phone call gave me the reason I had been looking for to break things off. My mother was sick and I was needed. I was at a complete loss. I knew I had a familiar feeling with this female and her family, but not this.] I…did you have enough to eat, Mikayla? “Yes, thank you. I didn’t mean to upset you, Mary. I just had nowhere else to go.” There is nothing to feel bad about. You’re safe here. That I promise you. “I shouldn’t take up any more of your time. Thank you once again.” [I didn’t see her out or anything. I didn’t move. The quiet click of the door was my only indication that I was alone in my office once more.] #LongHoursLostMind
MARY: [Rubbing my temples as I looked at the seemingly endless stack of files on my desk. The emotional toll of Autumn’s death was weighing heavy on my mind. There was a sadness that hung in the air at the Mansion. What once was a trickle of families seeking solace and medical attention from SafePlace was slowly turning into, what felt like, a downpour. Exhaling a heavy sigh, I glanced over at the clock…4:30 am. Dawn was approaching and I had gone yet another night without seeing Rhage or Zahk. Maybe it was time to set my stubbornness aside and talk to Marissa about bringing in another counselor to help me. I missed my family. My thoughts weren’t focused on those that needed my help here. My family consumed my thoughts…how long had it been since I spent any REAL time with Rhage and Zahk? How long had it been since I had slept an entire day in my Hellren’s arms? Grabbing the closest file, flipping it open before reaching for my notepad. I was about to go cross eyed from staring at my computer screen. I’ll fill in the assessment questionnaire tomorrow. I just wanted to get it started on this next client and go home. Groaning softly at the image of my bed with my Hellren waiting for me] Focus, Mary. 30 more minutes and you’ll make that dream a reality. [With a renewed sense of purpose, I focused on the family profile: Female, past her first needing which resulted in the birth of a daughter, numerous complaints of abuse with reported injuries. My brows furrowed deeper the more that I read what this family had been through at the hands of one male. Something….something was niggling at the back of my mind. Shaking my head, it was ridiculous. The little girl looked like someone I knew, didn’t she?] You know that’s impossible, Mary. I’m tired. Very, very tired. [A weak laugh escaped my lips. That had to be it, because the alternative was impossible. I needed to look at this file with fresh eyes, not ones that only wanted to see the neon blue color staring back at me. Slipping my notepad into the file, closing it up and leaving it right where it is. I would focus on it first thing tomorrow. That’s the very least this family deserved, my full attention. Gathering my things, I hauled my tired ass out of my chair and out of my office. Smiling at the doggen as they opened the doors for me, bidding them a good night. Fritz was a sight for sore eyes as he opened the car door for me] Home, Fritz. I need to go home.
RHAGE: [Three hours and thirty two minutes late, but who was counting… That much time had passed since the time Mary had said she would be home. Slouching back in the couch that took up one side of our room to section off what I’d turned into our very own theater. Not many nights had passed since Autumns passing. Carrying her to the tomb was a task I didn’t want to do, but it was my duty, and an honor to carry the body of a beloved female to a temporary resting place. Since that night it struck me big time how much little time Mary and I had actually been able to spend alone as a couple, and that, well it wasn’t something I wanted. Her work time was overloaded, and it was putting a strain on me. The click sounding from the door sent me to a grinning boy. Three bounding steps, with the first over the back of the couch, and I had my woman in my arms and a smile spreading across hers.] Off from work finally, baby?
MARY: [Trying to close the door as softly as possible, I didn’t want to alert Zahk that I was home, if he was sleeping. Horrible, I know. My eyes lifting to find the most gorgeous sight standing in front of me. Dropping my bags right where I stood, opening my arms instantly for you.] Finally! I’m sorry I ran late, baby. [A happy sigh slipped from my lips as I nuzzled my face against your chest. Just one touch from you had all the stress and anxiety melting away from my body. Lifting my head, gently kissing the underside of your jaw.] Just what I needed…
RHAGE: [My grin widened, fangs all showing against your throat. And didn’t that just make me want to feed from your vein all the more. Shit, I needed to get in touch with a chosen, however with everything that happened with Autumn, and your busy schedule it was the last thought on my mind, and I hadn’t wanted to bother one of the Chosen with coming to the mansion. A slight frown formed as I pulled back just enough to kiss your sweet bubblegum lips.] Big Red baby? [Laughs dragging a slow hand down your bare arm.] What happened to your juicy fruit?
MARY: Desperate times called for desperate measures…I ran out. [A shiver ran down my spine from just one simple touch to my arm. Swiping my tongue over my lower lip, your taste still lingering. Clearing my throat, my own hands trailing up the muscular wall of your chest. The fabric of your shirt moving the higher my hands went.] Baby? [Whispering huskily as my gray eyes found yours, I could feel the flush creeping up my neck from the heat that was evident in your teal gaze.]
RHAGE: [My curse flashed his desire as I looked down to your own cloudy grey eyes. A sight of pure beauty, and mine.] Yeah, Mary? [Fangs pressed high against your throat teasing the tender skin that made you shiver.] You’ve been missed, you know. [The pain flashed through my features only momentarily, how could I compare my missing you when my brother lost his own female. My lips pressed a wet trail to your collarbone exposing your skin button by button until the fabric fell to the floor at our feet, I needed a distraction, and if I thought any more of the death the beast would take control.] Leave the heels on, lose the slacks.
MARY: [The urge to bare my throat to you was instinctual. The need to feel your fangs pierce my skin…moaning softly at just the thought.] I missed you, Rhage. [Reluctantly moving one hand from your chest and dropping it to the waistband of my slacks, making quick work of the button and zipper. Using every ounce of concentration I could muster as your warm breath caressed my skin, my other hand joining in to push the fabric from my hips, leaving only a thin scrap of lace covering me from your wandering hands.] Show me how much…
RHAGE: [My chuckle was a caress against your skin as I lifted you and clamped my hands around your waist. Fucking hell I missed your touch. A growl slipped across your bared breast as I dropped you to our bed. My curse coiled at the scrape of your nails along his scales. Fuuuuck. Fangs elongated as I pulled back only to shove my shorts out of the way.] Don’t worry baby, I’m planning on it. [My tongue took advantage of your creamy bare skin.] And I’ll start [fingers slid down the path of your lace panties until I cupped your wet pussy] here. #LateHoursLongNights
MARISSA: *Finishing up a Glymera council meeting, I dematerializing to Safe Place exhausted and late. My hair which is usually bright flaxen flowing down to my hips is dull looking and pulled back in a Chignon. I feel like I was starting to never leave these walls. Wait that is right I wasn’t leaving here. I had been sleeping here since the blowout with Butch. Sighing hard as I walk down the hall to the break room to get coffee, one more bit of business. As I walk into the break room I see Khelly, I smile softly at her as I pass her I was trying to be patient with her but since Khelly arrived at here it is always me that she calls for me and panics if it is anyone but me. I felt bad for her but she really needed to learn to open up for someone else other than me. When I leave the break room Khelly is back into her room. Running into to Susan as I walk.* (Marissa, Just the person I wanted to see. We have two families coming in. Can you or Mary take one while I take the other.) Sure can I will go talk to Mary right now. Thank you Susan.*Turning on my heel continue my walk down the hall stopping a moment later to knock on Mary’s office door. Sipping on the sugary black coffee as I wait*
MARY: [Files, files and more files. I was drowning in them, it felt like. Every so often, my eyes would dart to the clock on my desk. Groaning as my head hit the folder covered surface. 2 hours. 2 more hours and I was going back to the Mansion, dammit! I would still be later than Rhage would like, but I would be home in time to tuck Zahk in and maybe have Rhage tuck me in too. A grin curling my lips at the thought. That was enough motivation for me to power through the remaining time. The knock at my door bringing me out of my planning for later in the evening. Calling out] Come in…
MARISSA: *Walking into Mary’s office smiling a bit.* Hello Mary, sorry to bug you. *Sitting down in a soft chair next to your desk. Taking a sip of my coffee. Looking at your desk and smile at it because it looks alot like mine.* I ran into Susan on my way * shows you the file* There are two families coming in tonight. She said if you or I could take the other one. I really hate to ask you, Mary, but can you please take the family? I would but have another session with Khelly since I am the only she is calm around I have to go to her. * looks at you as I ask, knowing how badly you really probably just want to get home to your family.*
MARY: [I tried not to groan and keep the smile on my face. The one that had greeted Marissa when she walked in. It was harder than I thought. I was on the verge of whining like Zahk sometimes does. It wasn’t Marissa’s fault. She was just as swamped as I was. This was our job, our passion. Helping. Closing the file I was working on, turning my attention fully to you.] It seems like a never ending wave of families seeking haven here. Of course I can, Marissa. What do we know about our newest residents-to-be? [I tried to haphazardly arrange the files on my desk. The new family would take precedent due to their arriving tonight. Rhage was not going to be happy. I was only thankful we didn’t have a date night planned. I hated breaking plans with him. The fact I couldn’t seem to lighten my workload was bad enough. I grabbed my notepad and looked to you. We both had people waiting for us and others depending on us. Now wasn’t the time for me to act like a petulant child.]
MARISSA: Thank you Mary * Looking down at the file from the notes the Havers’ clinic faxed us.* A female and her young are coming to us. The file notes say that they have lengthy medical files and that you can request them to be sent over. *sighing deeply as I shake my head at the notes before handing it over to you* Mary, thank you for everything that you do here. I know I couldn’t do this at all without you. I appreciate all your hard work and all the sacrificing you are doing with your family. *My eyes met yours* I honestly don’t think I could run this place without you Thank you for everything you do. * I smile a bit before I look down at the file of Khelly’s* . I also have been thinking we may need to ask Wrath possibly for more help here. I know for one I would love to spend more than a few hours with my Hellren, and with the new wing opening soon, we have to hire more people anyways. Maybe just a few more. Maybe an assistant for each of us. What do you think?
MARY: [My brows immediately furrowed in concern at the mere mention of this female and her young having a lengthy medical history. I knew that was never a good sign. Pushing that concern aside, the genuine appreciation in your voice warmed my heart.] There is nothing to thank me for, Marissa. I love my work here and what we do. But I do think some extra help would be great, and much needed. I think both Rhage and Butch would agree. [A warm smile curled my lips. Just the thought of more time with Rhage and Zahk….I bit back the urge to ask how soon you think that would happen.] I’ll contact Havers and have him send over the family’s entire medical history. Better to have all the information, and what we will be dealing with.
MARISSA: Very true, I wish I had more on Khelly * holding up her meager file.* You know what we need is a small break. How about we set up a time next week get all the girls together and hang out for lunch? * beaming at the thoughts of hanging out with girls* it had been way long since we have all done that. What do you think Mary? * gets up stopping before leaving your office* I think I am going to talk to Wrath as soon as possible to get more help. Again thank you Mary, I better head to see Khelly, I don’t want to keep her waiting.
MARY: [I couldn’t help the impossibly wide smile that had taken up residence. A lunch with all the Shellans….perfect!] That is a fabulous idea, Marissa. Some girl time is definitely in order! [Rising from my chair, rounding the desk to show you out.] Thank you, Marissa. Everything you do is above and beyond. If I can help you, please don’t hesitate to ask. [The warmth in your returning smile lit up your whole face. I knew Khelly had been a difficult case. Every case that we encountered at SafePlace came with its own set of challenges, some more than others. Walking back to my desk, I lifted the receiver of my phone to call to Haver’s office. Glancing down at the file you had just left with me, the soft voice on the other end of the phone issuing the standard greeting for the clinic.] Hi…this is Mary over at SafePlace. I am needing the medical history for a….Mihkayla Foster and her young. “Of course, Mary. I’ll have that sent over to you before Last Meal.” [Returning the phone to its cradle, everything was now set for the new family’s arrival. Shutting off my office light, I closed the door and headed downstairs. My bed and, hopefully, my Hellren were calling my name.] #BusyDayAtTheOffice
Murhder: -He knew he was early, he was fidgety..restless, uneasy and not at all comfortable in such a clinical environment. Despite the plush little sofa he was seated on, the empty chair facing him was like a judge, jury and gallows all rolled up into one. He had never really spoken to the human Shellan of Rhage before now but she seemed to be genuine when he had begrudgingly scheduled the appointment to meet with her. Now as he sat alone he could not stop his knee from bouncing on the ball of his foot, his bootlaces flopping on the toe of his shitkicker. He would answer her questions and hopefully fulfill his orders from Tohrment with as little mental confessions as possible. He had already vowed he would NOT speak of females for they had no place in a warrior’s mind.-
Mary: [I had been trying to excuse myself from the doggen, who had been discussing the preparations for the newest family that was about to call SafePlace home. I had heard, more than seen, the warrior as he entered the building and was instructed the way to my office. I hadn’t been given a lot of background information on Murhder. I hadn’t asked either. Shaking myself from my thoughts, a warm smile curling my lips as the doggen finally finished telling me all that had been done. I softly spoke my thanks and appreciation before making my way to my office. I took one final moment to collect my thoughts and take a few deep breaths before lightly knocking on my office door. Opening the door, my eyes immediately falling on the nervous warrior. Smiling warmly, closing the door behind me] Sorry I kept you waiting, Murhder.
Murhder: -Looking up as he heard the knock, he got to his feet and nodded his head in greeting and respect as the small female entered. Shifting his weight from one boot to the other, he lowered his head but met her eyes with his - no need to apologize…er..-he was unsure what to call the female and settled on the path of tradition rather than offend her.-…Shellan to Rhage. -The words sounded too formal even to his own ears but until he was informed otherwise, he would play it safe.-
Mary: [The deep cadence of the warrior’s voice in front of me along with a hint of a Southern accent was unexpected. Waving my hand dismissively.] I’m not that formal, Murhder. Please…call me Mary. Shellan to Rhage is a title I proudly hold, but no need for formalities. [The smile I entered with never faltered from my lips. I could sense his nerves. Hell, everyone was nervous when they met with me in a counselor type atmosphere.] Would you like to have a seat, Murhder? I’m not going to make you lay down on the couch and unload your soul to me…unless you really want to. [Giving him a playful wink, gesturing to the small seating area in my office.]
Murhder: -Her casual aire eased him a little and he shook his head as he took a seat , smiling tightly- No thank you, unloading my soul would take more time than either of us have…Mary. -Stretching his long legs out, he tried his best to relax in the chair but could do nothing with his hands which were both clenched into fists and resting on his thick thighs. Clenching his teeth tightly together exposed the tick in his jaw as he flexed it, a trait he was completely unaware of until his jaw began to throb and ache. Watching her as she moved to sit, he could not help but wonder what sort of things he would be confessing to her today..or any day and could feel himself closing up tight.-
Mary: [Taking my time as I sat down and got myself settled, I had a feeling that this wasn’t going to be an easy conversation. Relaxing a bit back into my chair] Can I offer you something to eat? I have to keep snacks hidden for when Rhage stops by. [Laughing softly to myself] I have to admit, Murhder…I was a bit surprised when you called. Not bad surprised or anything. [I quickly backpedaled to clarify my response. I didn’t want him to shut down before we even got started, and by his body language, he was halfway there. Giving him a reassuring smile] How about I let you pick where we start? Any topic…nothing is off limits here.
Murhder: -He watched her sit and shook his head, declining the snacks. Not a good idea. The way his stomach was flipping was a sure sign that anything put in would just pop right back out for an unpleasant hi, how are ya.- No thank you..would hate to deprive Rhage of his fix. -he forced another smile- …how about we start where you tell Torhment that you see nothing wrong and I can return to rotation. -He smoothed his hands down his thighs and gripped his knees tightly as if actually hoping she would say yes -
Mary: I could do that, or you could tell me why Tohrment thinks you should be here. [I sat back in the chair, casually crossing one leg over the other. My gray eyes meeting the nervous gaze of the Warrior in front of me.] And don’t worry about the snacks, I keep it well stocked. [Smiling softly, I knew this was difficult for him. Tohrment never did anything without reason. If he said that Murhder needed to be here to talk, then I couldn’t in good conscience do anything less than what was requested of me.]
Murhder: -He knew the hoping for a quick fix would be a long shot but he at least had to try. Giving in, he leaned back in the chair and gripped the arms- I think he thinks I have a problem with Authority and perhaps am unstable.-Canting his head slightly, he took a breath before saying more words than he had to anyone since returning- Freud originally thought anxiety was a result of an accumulation of psychic energy, a sort of stoppage of sexual or aggressive drives, bottled up by repression. I’m not admitting to anxiety but it has been a transition. Freud later refined his concept to thinking of anxiety as a warning signal of a threatening catastrophe brought on by a conflict of forces in the individual’s mind. -The warrior shrugged- I won’t say I agree but, depending on how much you know about me..I’ve been through some fucked up shit. -Yeah, this wasn’t his first shrink rodeo-
Mary: [Impressive. Very impressive. From what I had seen of Murhder around the Mansion, he always came across as polite and reserved, not to mention intimidating as hell. I hadn’t expected his first response to quote the teachings of Freud of all things.] Honestly…I don’t know much about your history. That’s for you to tell, not for me to try and find out from others. [My own head matching the tilt of his.] So, then to what theory do you subscribe yourself to? You’ve recited Freud beautifully. You say Tohrment thinks you have an authority issue, perhaps mentally unstable and anxious. The transition, as you call it, is understandably difficult. I do know that you had a life in South Carolina, before you were brought back to Caldwell. A fairly quiet and solitary life, in comparison. [Relaxing back into my chair, I was eager to hear this Warrior’s story.] Want to tell me a little about it?
Murhder: -Shaking his his head slightly before righting the tilt of his chin and lowering it to his chest in a sigh, he surrendered part of the tension and let his hands go lax on the arms of the chair- I don’t subscribe to any one certain theory, nor do I fall into the typical mold of the individualist. -He sighed again, deeper and longer as he spoke, his eyes rolling up to meet her gaze- ..I appreciate you not listening to idle talk or rumors of me, my former brothers just don’t know the whole story. -Taking a moment to pause and reflect, his jaw flinching, he blinked slowly, choosing his words carefully before looking up to her again.- South Carolina is my family home and my refuge here in the New country. Always will be. It helped me to heal after…-he looked down again- after what happened a quarter century ago. -He left that hanging, not quite ready with the words.-
Mary: I’ve never been outside of New York. I haven’t really been outside of Caldwell, to be honest. [Softening my voice, I sounded almost wistful and a little sad. Of course I knew there was more to the world than just Caldwell, New York, I just never had a reason to explore it. First with my mother getting sick and then myself….shaking my head and focusing back on the Warrior in front of me] How did it help you heal? [I didn’t want to push too hard. This conversation was already going better than I thought it would. I was a veritable stranger. I was walking a fine line between asking the right questions and having you completely shut me out.]
Murhder: -He blinked, sure he hadn’t heard her correctly- never been outside of New York? -It was hard to fathom- some would say that’s “crazy”..-he smiled a little then let the small joke linger in the air between them before the smile faded- the simpleness of my solitude helped me to find a single voice again -his eyes flared orange briefly at the thought of the many MANY voices that used to torture him day and night.-
Mary: And how are you doing now, without the solitude? You’ve been thrust back into the center of the Brotherhood. Add to that Shellans, Chosen and a few kids running around the Mansion, you have anything but simple. [I couldn’t help but laugh a little at the picture of the everyday controlled chaos that we lived in. No matter where you turned in the Mansion, someone was always under your feet.] Do you still have your single voice? [The change in his demeanor didn’t escape me, nor the flash in his eyes of the pain that belied his soft spoken words]
Murhder: -He shrugged once with a large shoulder, his eyes returning to an almost lifeless odd orange.- I’m still alone a lot..but I don’t mind the young. Gives the race hope don’t you think? And…it’s mostly a single voice. Most times. -He drummed his fingers absentmindedly on the arm of the chair, unaware of what his hand was doing, already wanting to take the confession back. He knew that subject could open a whole new can of worms that just needed to be left alone. Besides, it had been months since the last blacking out “incident.” He was grateful that Payne and her healer had forgiven him. He had to grit his teeth to keep from growling though at the thought of the Female Warrior and the human.-
Mary: It does give the race hope. I think Zahk and Nalla are a breath of fresh air in the Mansion, but I’m biased on that view. [I glanced down briefly at his fingers as they beat out a staccato rhythm against the chair. Those two words didn’t escape my attention, nor the sudden tightening in his massive frame. Crossing one leg over the other, steepling my fingers together in thought. Did I dare broach the subject? That was the whole point of this meeting, wasn’t it? To find out what exactly was going on with this Warrior.] Have you noticed any triggers that causes it to change from that single voice to…multiple ones?
Murhder: -And there it was, but it was his own fault. He had to go and mention the voices, although they had faded greatly over the years. could see right through hHe’d be damned however if he spilled the reasons.- No, I have no clue. -Fuck, he hated lying to her and he was damned certain she could see right through him.-
Mary: [I slowly raised one brow at his admission. It wouldn’t be very professional for me to call bullshit at this point, even though every fiber in my being knew the words that had just left his lips were exactly that.] Not a clue, huh? Why do I have a hard time believing that? You’re obviously well read enough to know that most psychological symptoms have triggers. [Folding my fingers over my hands, I slowly exhaled a breath. All he had to say was that he didn’t want to tell me, not lie. Granted this conversation would never leave these four walls, but that little lie meant I wasn’t getting through and wasting my time.]
Murhder: -Fucking hell, she was a damn good doctor apparently. He should have guessed that from her familiarization of Freud she was no dummy. Lowering his head to look at his hands once more, he looked very much the part of the scolded child. He would not lie to her..not again. In a small voice, one he did not even recognize as his own, he mumbled.- I’m afraid if I tell you, you’ll have Tohrment pull me from rotation.. -looking up to her almost desperately, there was a weak glow to his peach colored eyes- I need the release it brings…trust me.
Mary: Murhder, I’m not here as a punishment to you. [I softened my voice, hoping he could hear the sincerity in every word] I’m not trying to have you pulled from rotation, but Tohrment would not have sent you if he did not have legitimate concerns. If you say you need the release that the fighting brings you, I believe that. [Nodding my head firmly in affirmation. Now wasn’t the time to handle this Warrior with kid gloves any more] Putting aside any concern that I might have for my own Hellren every time he walks out of our chamber door, you and the rest of the Brotherhood are the frontlines of defense for the race. I know you know that. So, I have no qualms in telling you that I would recommend Tohrment pull Rhage, if I thought there was cause, or anyone else for that matter. If you lie to me again, that is exactly what I’ll do. I would like for us to continue with our talk, but I’ll leave that one up to you. [Settling back against my chair, relaxing my body once more] Nothing you have told me leaves this room, Murhder. The only thing I will tell Tohr is that I’m recommending you stay on rotation…for now.
Murhder: -The relief that left him in the form of a hefty sigh was palpable in the room. Looking to his hands as he pried his fingers from the arms of the chair, he nodded and then looked up to her eye to eye.- Ok. Yes, I swear it. I believe you heale..I mean Mary. -He flexed his fingers before clamping both hands to his knees and leaning forward slightly - I’ll start…from the beginning….. #TheMurhderSessions