Chapter 7 – The High Council

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Chapter 7 – The High Council

Raine

I felt a gentle swaying motion, almost as if being on a boat, where the waves lifted and eased at the whimsy of the wind...peaceful and comforting. And I might have been comforted by the motion, were it not for the fiery hot throbbing in my chest.

My breaths sputtered in irregular patterns, short, incomplete and then not at all, for terrifying moments on end. I sucked in a ragged breath, and then immediately regretted it, fighting back tears when the hot throbbing morphed into full-blown scorching fire. Still trying to regulate the air flow in and out of my lungs, a traitorous cough slipped from my lips against my will. Yep, another mistake. The fiery pain licked through my chest once again, forcing a whimper from my lips.

A man's voice invaded my barely-there consciousness, murmuring soft assurances. Who was he? I tried to ask him but found my teeth were otherwise engaged – chattering loudly. How was it possible to have fire consume my inside and my outside shaking from the cold? I idly remembered it was June, and still chilly when the temperature dropped to about 60° at night.

The man pulled me closer against his chest. I realized then that we were running. And I seemed to be swaddled tightly, not really able to move my arms and legs, although I was pretty sure I would experience excruciating pain if I tried anyway. I closed my eyes, as the blissfully pain-free blackness enveloped me again.

.........

"Raine...wake up," a voice murmured from the darkness.

I forced my eyelids open, surprised and hugely thankful that the pain in my chest had lessened some. I breathed in tentatively. The fire still bit me, but it was noticeably more bearable than before. I looked up to find beautiful silver eyes framed with dark eyelashes peering down at me in concern, his eyebrows pulled together worriedly.

"Cage?" I whispered hoarsely.

He exhaled. If I didn't know any better, I would say he looked relieved. His behavior confused me given the fact he openly admitted he planned to kill me only a few hours ago.

A melodic, smooth voice from behind me urged, "Cage, you need to take her now. You know they don't like to wait."

I let my head fall to the other direction, finding the stunningly beautiful features of the woman he had danced with the club. She was even more striking up close with dark honey colored eyes, high cheekbones and ebony black hair.

"I will, Talia. She needed medical attention first," he hissed.

"She is as healed as she's going to be for the time being. I don't blame you for delaying as much as possible, but don't make this worse for yourself or her. Go!"

I felt a low growl emanate from Cage's chest, that I was still cradled tightly against. His lips were set in a thin hard line as he spun and walked in the opposite direction.

"Where are we going?" I whispered. It couldn't be anywhere good, if his facial expression and body language were any indication.

"King Armand and the High Council. When we get there, do not speak," he replied shortly. He navigated several more hallways, before opening a set of grand doors.

I inhaled sharply as he walked into the room. I wasn't sure what I was expecting when he said the 'High Council', but it sure as hell wasn't this. I looked around the room in surprise. If I didn't know any better, I would swear we stepped into a Las Vegas nightclub. There were several orange couches set in groupings, a bar at the far side of the room, multicolored lighting and was that a pool in the center? As he drew closer, I was able to confirm that yes, there was a pool in the center of the couches that circled the perimeter of the room. But more shocking than that was the completely naked woman swimming freely about the water!

WTF?

Cage walked toward a group of couches where four men appeared to be relaxed and drinking. From their casual demeanor, I hoped this meeting would not be as bad as my gut kept warning me it was going to be. When we reached them, Cage remained standing, palpable tension still coursing through his body. Their attention diverted to me, and their expressions immediately transitioned into anger and displeasure – and then something else flickered in their eyes – shock.

Shit.

This was going to be bad.

"Armand, Vladimir, Roman, Felix" Cage acknowledged each man tightly.

Armand was a handsome man with angular features, almost black hair and strikingly blue eyes. His deep baritone voice carried through the room as he demanded, "Who the fuck is she and what is that scent?"

I had no idea what he was referring to, but continually being told I smelled was getting a little old. I bristled in Cages arms. He held me tighter, a warning. "I found her at the club tonight. Obviously, with her scent I followed her home. Three hunters broke down her door and tried to kill her."

"Why didn't you let them?" Armand replied harshly.

Adrenaline ran cold through my veins.

"Because they were scared as fuck that she was with me. They could have left, very much alive, when they realized who I was. But they were willing to try to go through me – and die – rather than let her live. They know who she is. Hayden was with her at the club. She must represent some sort of threat to them."

"Is she an Immortal?"

Immortal?

My brain stopped functioning for a moment. What the hell was he talking about?

"No," Cage replied briskly.

"I will see for myself...Strip her," he ordered.

What?

Strip me?

I stared at them in horror, desperately hoping they had some warped sense of humor and were making a bad joke.

None of them were laughing.

This couldn't be happening...

.

I intend to release a few chapters today, so please look for more soon. Also, the little Vote button...It calls to you.... :) :)

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