Chapter 38 – Rage – Cage's POV

My cell phone pinged. I looked down. It was Kieran: I am going to stay the night with her.

Fuck! He didn't explain, but I knew him well enough to know something had gone wrong. I typed back: What happened?!

It took a moment for his reply. I became more and more agitated the longer I had to wait. If I had been mistaken, he would have immediately clarified. But he didn't respond right away, which meant I was correct in my assumption. Finally, my phone pinged again.

Kieran: Vlad was in the cell with her. He had her pinned against the back wall. She was screaming and fighting him. He backed off and left when I confronted him.

I was vibrating with fury as I stared at his message. It took everything in me not to cause massive destruction on my surroundings. I quickly replied: What the fuck did he do to her?!

Kieran: I asked, but she refused to tell me.

A stream of angry growls and obscenities released from my throat. That motherfucker was going to die, if it was the very last thing I did! I would prefer to kill him painfully and slowly, but would take any opportunity presented to me to end his miserable existence.

Talia asked apprehensively, "What happened?"

I answered through gritted teeth, "Vlad got to her before Kieran arrived. Somehow that fucker had keys and was inside her cell. He did something, but Raine refused to tell Kieran what happened."

"Shit," she breathed.

I checked the time on my phone. Tomorrow could not come soon enough.

..........

I sat with my hands clenched into fists as they brought Raine in for sentencing. Adrenaline had been running through my body hours and I felt like I was going to explode.

Her eyes were wide with fear when she found mine. She held my gaze like it was a lifeline. I tried to comfort her silently, but had no doubt that Vlad had already informed her of her impending sentence. Fury ran through me again, hard and strong, shaking me to the core.

My contact had successfully communicated with Felaern's staff, but he had not called me. I would have much preferred to have his help, but it didn't appear as though that was going to happen, because now I was out of time. Vlad had to die and Raine had to escape.

Armand stood to his feet. Raine's attention immediately shot to him. Her entire body trembled uncontrollably as she waited.

And then abruptly, her heart rate dropped. She stopped shaking and her facial features smoothed out into perfect calm.

Oh fuck no!!

That could only mean one thing.

We were under attack!

Just as the thought crossed my mind, several doors burst open and more hunters than I could count, stormed into the room. I was on my feet in an instant, fighting my way through the throng to get to her. But it seemed no matter how many I killed or threw off of me, ten more showed up in their place. Fuck! There had to be over a hundred of them. I was stunned that our security had been breached so definitively.

I couldn't see her, but suddenly I heard her voice. She hissed angrily, "Stay the fuck away from me! You betrayed me! You gave Vladimir that book, knowing it would cost me my life!"

Whoever she was speaking to replied fervently, "I'm sorry! My negotiation with that bastard was you in exchange for the book. He promised you would be unharmed and he would deliver you to me personally. Obviously I underestimated his intentions toward you. When Teo let us know what was happening today, we knew we had to get you out. The King has already declared war. He has sworn an oath to kill every last one of us. For that, he will die. Fight with me! Fight by my side!"

It was Hayden!

"I will never fight by your side!" Raine responded furiously. I desperately wished I could see her, but I was still surrounded by hunters.

Hayden argued heatedly, "How can you say that?! Armand has sentenced you to die!! And that is after that sick bastard uses you up and spits you out!"

On that point, I had to agree with him. But I had long suspected that Raine had no control over her impulse to protect me. I prayed fervently that Hayden could keep her occupied and safe long enough for me to get to her.

After a few moments, the crowd began to thin as more and more hunters were killed. I had to appreciate their ballsy attack, but this was going to be a bloodbath. I finally had Raine in my sights. Hayden had both of her arms locked behind her back, not allowing her to fight. She twisted her head violently, looking through the crowd. I knew she was searching for me.

Suddenly, several things happened once. Armand roared loudly, and Raine's attention was riveted to him as he dropped to the ground. A dagger protruded from his chest. He wasn't dead, but the dagger had caused him to be immobile, and Vladimir stood over him!

It almost seemed as if everyone stopped fighting to watch the scene with Vladimir and Armand unfold.

Vladimir twirled a dagger between his fingertips as he sneered, "For too long I have put up with your arrogance. But no more! I've had your Queen, several times as a matter of fact. She is a surprisingly good fuck, but maybe that is a natural outcome when a woman is starved for affection. And now I'm going to have your life."

Armand's eyes glowed red, but he was unable to fight back. At this point, I was willing to let him die.

Raine shocked the fuck out of me when she suddenly begged Queen Ileana, "Don't let him do this! Call him off! You cannot let Vlad kill him!"

All eyes, including Vlad, stared at her in confusion.

What the fuck was she doing?!!

Armand had given her to Vladimir and promised to kill her himself after one year! Why was she pleading for his life?!

The Queen looked at her stonily and said nothing. Her choice was made clear. She would not hinder Vladimir in his assassination. Vladimir returned his attention to Armand was a cruel smile. Just as he raised his arm in preparation for the final deathblow, Raine exploded out of Hayden's grasp.

"No!!!" I roared in an attempt to stop her, but knew it was already too late.

As Vladimir's strike came down, Raine blurred from site, moving faster than I had ever seen her. She twisted in midair, and landed flat on Armand's body, facing Vladimir, just as he drove the dagger deep into her chest.

He pulled back in utter astonishment and hissed, "What the fuck?!"

But she couldn't answer him. Blood seeped out from her chest and she stared glassy-eyed and unmoving. I knew she wouldn't survive. Not this time. She had barely lived through the stab wound she incurred at the chalet. And I was certain that this dagger had pierced her heart.

All-consuming rage flooded through me.

I broke from my position with only one goal.

Vlad barely had time to glance toward me, but I was glad he saw me coming. I wanted him to know it was me. In the next second, I snapped his head completely off of his body, and he dropped to the ground lifeless.

I spun and faced Hayden. I had no idea what my expression revealed, but it must have been deadly enough to convince him to fight another day. "Fall back!" he commanded loudly, and the remaining hunters all followed him out the same way they had come in.

I dropped to my knees, pulled the dagger out and gathered Raine's body off of Armand's chest. I saw Felix snatch the protruding dagger from Armand, and he sat up, slowly regaining use of his limbs.

He stared at me silently as I wept and rocked Raine in my arms, pleading with her to come back to me.

She didn't...

.

Hmmm...once again this story just seems to be pouring out of me.  I think this is the 8th chapter I have posted today.  Ah well, as long as it keeps flowing, I will keep posting. lol.

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