Chapter 104 –Every Way You Know– Raine's POV

I disentangled myself from Cage's embrace, and jumped to my feet, my tears forgotten and my spirit soothed, now that he and I were reconciled. I hated fighting with him. We didn't do it often, so the times that we did felt all the more unnatural and painful.

My one goal now was reuniting with Talon, and I needed shoes to do that. I darted across the room in less than a blink. A little giggle puffed from my lungs. I still wasn't used to my gazelle-speed at the drop-of-a-hat thing. Even though I moved insanely fast, Cage still managed to stand from the couch and capture me around the waist, before I slipped into my intended footwear. He spun me around to face him, causing a startled cry to escape my lips, "Hey!"

He was silent for a moment, concern etched in the lines of his brow, and his eyes searched mine. Even in the midst of his contemplative stare, his ever-present and overwhelming love shone bright in his irises. The combination of the two – equal measures of his infinite care and obvious adoration– left me breathless and caused me to melt against his chest, my shoes and whatever was on his mind, forgotten.

Without conscious thought, my head automatically angled toward his neck, and I inhaled his scent. Woods and spice...confidence and power. He wasn't wearing cologne. No, this was his unique flavor, a scent all his own. He told me our bond would do that, make me much more aware of him, even on a cellular level. And right now...damn, if it didn't make my mouth water. I breathed in deeply, letting it wash over my senses and rubbed myself closer, instinctively wanting to cover myself in it.

He pulled back slightly and chuckled, "Slow down there, Tigru. I'm gonna need you to table that dirty thought for just a minute. We are not going to see Talon. He and Echo will be coming here in twenty minutes. How are you feeling? In control?"

I blinked up at him, not quite sure what I was supposed to be in control of. He usually preferred me to be out of control when pressed against his body. He understood my look of confusion and explained gently, "I had hoped by feeding frequently, you would have avoided bouts of bloodlust, but after what happened with Talon, we need to be even more vigilant. For the time being, I think you should always have another vampire on hand when you feed, just for emergencies."

I frowned. He continued quickly, "I'm not trying to make you feel guilty, we just need to continually plan for your needs."

I understood now. He assumed my desire for Talon's blood had overridden my senses, causing me to lose my grip on reality. I explained quickly, "Oh, I didn't lose control because of bloodlust."

His eyebrows rose. "What do you mean? If it wasn't bloodlust, why didn't you stop?"

I cringed at the reminder, and then hesitated, taking a moment to recall exactly what occurred. Images...no that wasn't right. I hadn't seen pictures in my mind. Instead it felt like a wave of devastation and pressure had blown through my senses, causing an explosion of chaos beneath my eyelids. Crimson hues that burned the very insides of me. I shuddered as the intensity of it rolled over me once again, and whispered, "I felt his pain..."

I stopped, overwhelmed again.

"What do you mean?" Cage asked, his voice was low and comforting, encouraging me to continue.

I looked up at him, and tried to find the right words. "It was like a doorway opened...and I could feel it all...all of the torture and suffering she had put him through."

My face twisted into a grimace and my hands clenched automatically, my fingers digging into his biceps. I had been so naïve, assuming that I understood what Talon had endured. He had shared a little, enough for me to know the horrid woman took great pleasure in cruel sex games, and almost daily spankings, not restricted to one area of his body, but several. She also hadn't limited her abuse to behind closed doors. No, she liked to put her suffering pets on display for other vampires to enjoy and play with as well. But even worse than the physical torture, she had inflicted an emotional wound so deep, it was unthinkable. She had forced him to slit the throat of the woman he loved. By that point, it had been an act of kindness really, mercy to relieve the young girl's torture.

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