Chapter 9 – Sleep Now


Armand dismissed us with a nod.

I faltered and tried not to fall over, exhaustion and relief to be able to leave the horrid room, washing over me. Cage gathered me into his arms again and held me against his chest as he walked out.

We passed Vladimir. His sour expression and blazing stare made it clear he was not happy with the turn of events. I shuddered hard thinking about what he intended to force me to do. I knew he wouldn't forget or forgive losing today. It wasn't over with him.

Cage felt my body tremble and must have anticipated my thoughts because he murmured in response, "It's okay are going to be okay."

Somehow I didn't quite agree with his assessment.

As Cage carried me through a maze of corridors and up several flights of stairs, the enormity of the building became evident.  "Where are we?"

"It's not important."

My eyes narrowed. It was clear he didn't want me to know where I was. That didn't sit very well with me.  We emerged through a large set of double doors, into what looked similar to a luxury home. There was a grand room with a vaulted ceiling, an expansive kitchen and I thought I caught a glimpse of a library.

Several vampires milled about, causing the hair to stand on the back of my neck. They looked at Cage in surprise as he carried me. He ignored them as he wound through a few more doors until we entered another suite of rooms. He locked the door behind us, and made his way into a very large bedroom. There was a huge four poster carved mahogany bed in the center with luxury linens in warm neutral browns, blue and green.

He set me on the bed and ordered, "Remove the shirt."

I eyed him warily. "Why?"

He rolled his eyes.  I bristled. I didn't understand why all of them assumed I would strip whenever they wanted. He finally explained as though it should be obvious, "So, we can get you cleaned up."

"Oh," I breathed in understanding. I guess in retrospect, maybe I should have thought about that. I still had quite a bit of dried blood covering my body.

A brisk knock at the outer door interrupted us. He left the room without a word and returned a moment later, carrying a small container of pills and a bottle of water. He extracted a pill, and handed it to me along with the water. "Here, take this. It will help with the pain."

I took it quickly, eager for relief. The pain had started to bite and burn again. The cold water felt like heaven as it soothed my parched throat. I hadn't realized how thirsty I was until I guzzled down the entire bottle, and wiped my mouth with the back of my hand when I was done. 

Cage's lips turned up in amusement.

Okay, so maybe I might have been a touch too aggressive with the drink, gulping loudly and then having to swipe away the drops that dribbled down my chin. Not my most lady-like moment, but I hardly thought etiquette was my biggest concern right now.

I glared. His smile widened and he disappeared again, this time through a side door connected to the bedroom. I heard the sound of a shower. When he returned, he reminded me, "Shirt."

"Oh right," I mumbled and undid the buttons, slipping out of the garment. "I can take a shower on my own. I don't need assistance." I stood a little uneasily to my feet, feeling my head rush. Maybe he would have let me if I hadn't swayed unsteadily. Maybe not. Either way, he gathered me into his arms again.

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