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Chapter 116 –Pain– Raine's POV

I froze and locked down my emotions, because if I didn't, I was going to kill him where he sat. He trembled violently, waiting for me to speak. I worked to contain the muscles that ached for release, the hot seething force inside of me that ached to pass judgment and execute him. After another long moment, I was finally able to pull words from my throat and snarled, "Why?"

"Because..." his voice broke. "I thought Mistress would be...happy with me."

I cringed. In his own warped and dysfunctional way, he was trying to please his master. I stood and went to Talon's side. Placing my hand on his arm, I murmured, "You know they will all belong to you. As soon as we return, I will have the papers drawn up to transfer ownership."

He didn't look surprised and nodded. "Yes."

"So, this decision is yours. Would you have me kill him? I will do it now." I never thought I would hear myself speak so easily or freely about killing someone, but there were no doubts in my mind. No gap in my loyalty to Talon. If he said yes, I wouldn't hesitate. And I wouldn't feel guilty about it. Absolutely no one fucked with Talon and got away with it.

Talon's dark liquid gaze remained hard as he contemplated my offer. I think a part of him really wanted me to do it. But he was compassionate. He answered, "No."

Just because Elian wasn't going to die in the next thirty seconds, didn't mean I planned to keep him. I looked over to Marku and inquired, "What will happen to him if we refuse to take him."

"He will be put up for sale," Marku answered, checking his watch, clearly bored with the conversation.

I refocused on Talon. "The choice is yours."

His face twisted in conflict. He knew the horrors the man would face if he rejected him. At the same time, Talon's own pain was close to the surface. Weighing on him. Pulling him down.

I waited. I would not rush his decision. Elian cowered in fear, shaking like a leaf. After several minutes, Talon replied coolly, "He will come with us."

"So be it." I murmured. Elian would go with us, but I suspected he wasn't home free. Talon was a vampire now, with all of the heightened emotions and strength. Elian was at his mercy. Talon could do whatever he chose, inflict any punishment he deemed fit, even end the man's life. I would not stop him.

My phone pinged and I glanced down. It was Kieran. I read the message quickly and turned to Talon. "Kieran will meet you at the rendezvous point in two hours. Until then, Tobias will stay here with the pets. You and I have business to attend to."

Talon nodded hard. The muscles in his neck corded. His mouth set in a thin hard line. He didn't ask any questions, but his physical response suggested he knew what we were going to do.

I looked over to find Marku staring at me lazily. I assumed he wasn't going to just let me loose to roam around again in his kingdom. As much as I would rather not have his company, it couldn't be avoided. Might as well get started. I sighed. "I'm guessing you are coming along?"

His grin widened and he pushed himself to his feet. York stood with him. Marku purred, "And where, pray tell, are we headed?"

"I have a little cleaning to do," I gritted through my teeth.

"I suspected you might say that," he remarked and walked toward the door. I followed him through into the hallway. I was a little surprised that Marku had accommodated my, well, lack-of-request, so easily. But I was thankful. This next step was not negotiable. If Marku understood anything about me, he recognized that. His willingness seemed to indicate he did.

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