Turns out we didn't have to wait too long before we were on our way to find Aidan. About four hours after we had all fallen asleep, two wolves, both male and both in a half-man half-wolf form, barge their way into the church, the loud bang of the doors jolting everyone awake and on the alert.
"Master Jess, Lord Ambrosius has requested that you return to him immediately," one of the wolves says, offering Jess a small bow of his head. I cock my eyebrow at the back of Jess' head, wishing that he could see my condescending expression.
"Master?" I ask, looking between Jess and the wolves with distaste. Why the hell are they referring to Jess as master, and why are they treating him with such respect? Why is Lord Ambrosius even looking for him in the first place? Past the obvious fact that Jess has been lying to us, which I'm really not surprised about, I'm completely lost. I look over at Tiny from where he has moved to the very back corner of the cathedral, far from the wolves and Jess, and the wary expression on his square face shows that he is as confused as I am on the matter.
"Has he found Aidan?" Jess asks, completely ignoring my question.
"Yes master, the angel has been captured and locked away in the dungeons," the other wolf replies, his hard expression never wavering. These wolves are huge, nearly as big as Tiny, and despite their blank and controlled expressions, intelligence shines through their black eyes. I can see that even across the hundred or so feet separating them from Tiny and I.
"The dungeons? He hasn't hurt him has he?" Jess asks, suspicion thick in his soft voice. I roll my eyes; this kid really needs to decide whose side he's on.
"He told us to make sure you knew he wouldn't," the first wolf replies and my frown deepens. Why would the Lord of the world give two shits as to what Jess would think about his harming Aidan? The wolf changed the subject, obviously wanting to stay on track.
"These must be the two humans Lord Ambrosius warned us might be with you," he stated, his large eyes scanning past Jess and landing on a space between where Tiny and I stood.
"Yes, I suppose he wants you to take them with us?" Jess asks and I narrow my eyes, unwilling to be taken anywhere without a fight. I see Tiny stiffen out of the corner of my eye and I know he's thinking the same thing, though I have a feeling he comes off as a bit more of a threat to the wolves than I do.
"No, he wants them dead actually," the wolf responds and I don't even have time to register the implications of what he has just said before he makes a dive for Tiny, the other wolf following close behind. They are on him in an instant, Tiny throwing punches that would kill a normal man but barely manage to even budge the wolves.
"What the fuck are you doing!" Jess screams, letting out his snowy white wings and lunging across the cathedral at the wolves, his fist colliding surprisingly hard against one of their jaws, sending him spiraling to the ground as Jess turns his attention to the other wolf. He's too late. Tiny's large form lays sprawled across the ground, the gaping wound on his head bleeding profusely. I can't tell if he's alive or not, and I don't have time to ponder this before the remaining wolf has turned his cold eyes onto me.
I run, knowing already that it won't do me any good as I sprint through the isle between the benches and the wall, my footfalls and the heavy pounding of my heart filling my ears and nearly drowning out the loud thud as something hits my head and the world turns black.
I shudder as a new pain fills my broken body, a pain far different from that of the hunger or the chains digging into my broken wrists. I open my eyes to find the source of this pain, but nothing appears before my blurry vision. The dungeon is empty and dark, silent but for the unrelenting creak of the single bulb swinging on its rusted chain.
I allow my heavy lids to fall closed once more, unable to sleep for the aching of my trembling shoulders as they are forced to hold up all of my weight. My wrists burn where the iron cuts into them. Wait, burns? Why would my wrists be burning? And now that I notice it, it's only one of them
My eyes fly open in realization. It's my Mark, Justin's in trouble. What the hell did he get himself into this time?
I offhandedly wonder if he's decided to kill himself knowing that I'll die as well through are connection, thus stopping any chance that Jess has of killing me and marrying Ambros. I shake that thought off almost as soon as it appears, realizing that either way he wouldn't save me and if I died any way other than by Jess' hand Justin's world would come crumbling down around him.
Why is Justin even bothering to save me when doing so will ultimately cause his death, unless of course Ambros decides to marry someone other than Jess
Or if I willingly separate from him
But I can't do that, I love Jess too much, but I want him to be happy
"Fuck me running," I croak, wincing at how dry and constricted my throat feels. My eyes flutter closed as another bout of weakness hits me. What the hell is happening to Justin?
I don't have much time to ponder this before the door to my cell creaks open and Ambros struts in, wearing a satisfied smirk on his otherwise handsome face.
"Aidan," he says in a falsely pleasant voice. I would have rolled my eyes had I the energy. He goes on when I don't respond.
"I've been thinking," he says, clasping his hands together in front of his body and smiling, "youre a vampire now! How are we to kill you when angel's blood won't do the trick?"
"I'll break it off with Jess," I whisper, my throat aching. He cocks an eyebrow at me and smiles faintly, continuing with the same false pleasantry as before.
"I never thought I'd hear those words. Unfortunately for you, I trust you as far as I can throw you and there is no way I'm going to leave you alive, giving you the leverage to kill me later and take both Jess and my throne for yourself."
"You power-hungry, worthless piece of shit," I say, gaping. He continues as if I hadn't spoken, pacing around the room and staring at his boots.
"The problem is that Jess wouldn't let me kill you were you to allow us to marry, we both know that, so I'm forced to pretend that you never offered and let him finish you off for me. All that leaves is for me to figure out how to get you to die
" he adds, frowning to himself and scanning my broken body.
I remain quiet as he smiles and walks towards me, pulling a key from the pocket of his leather jacket and sliding it into the cuffs that bind my wrists.
"I have an idea," he breathes and I can't repress a shudder as he opens his mind to me, giving me a glimpse of what he is about to do. Justin better hurry
"Hold still," I grumble as I slam into the wolf that is blocking the doorway. The other one must have finally woken up since I can hear one close behind me. Mel complies, grabbing onto my waist for support as we crash through the heavy doors and the cool night air whips against my face, my wings pushing against it and using it for leverage to raise us into the black sky and away from the wolves.
"Why are you helping me?" Mel whispers after about ten minutes.
"Because you don't deserve to die," I reply, wondering if Ambros actually gave the order to kill them. If he did he is in for it, I wont allow him to get away with killing innocent people. What could they, two humans, have possibly done to get in the way of him, a vampire? It's pathetic really.
"Thank you," Mel whispers after a while and I nod. "Where are we going?" she adds.
"I'm looking for a way to get you back to your world," I reply, searching the brightening sky for an area thin enough to open a portal and feeling my mind for a demon to perform the magic necessary to do so. I freeze as my mind reaches out and automatically grasps onto Aidan's, allowing me to feel how weak he is growing every moment. Ambros said he wouldn't touch him
"I'm taking you back to the castle," I say suddenly, realizing that there isn't time to get Mel across to the other world. She stiffens in my arms, obviously nervous, so I add, "Don't worry, I won't let Ambros do anything to you. You'll be in my quarters the entire time, no one goes in there without my permission."
"Why the sudden change in plans?" she asks, her voice strengthening enough that I can hear a bit of her normal bitchiness.
"I think Ambros is torturing Aidan," I reply and to my astonishment she laughs. Well it was more of a snort, but it was unexpected nonetheless.
"You just tried to kill him didn't you? I'm assuming that's what really happened," she says and I open my mouth to reply, closing it when I realize that there really is no reply for that. She goes on, her voice losing any hint of fear.
"You know something, for being such a sweet guy, as Aidan never seemed to let us forget you are, your pretty goddamn selfish. You realize that I lost my girlfriend for your stupid marriage, and you lost someone who really loves you. And don't try and give me that shit about doing it to save this world, I have a feeling that Ambros would have done just fine without you. He's obligated to find a new lover no matter what, he has to protect his world over all else, but Aidan is going through all of this for you. He's dying for you, and what do you do in return? Go off and fuck some other guy-"
"Fuck you," I interrupt. "You really don't know what you're fucking talking about. I'm really sorry that you lost your girlfriend, I truly am, but Aidan and me aren't a fucking love story like you seem to think. He cheated on me every fucking day, and he may tell you all this sweet shit and make it seem like he was lover of the year but he never once told me any of those things. He treated me like I was some cheap fuck, Ambros doesn't. Ambros loves me-"
"Yeah, well so does Aidan. If you're too blind to see that then he deserves better," she says, and I bite the insides of my cheeks to stop a retort. There isn't any point in arguing, it'll get us nowhere, and right now I need to concentrate on flying. I'm not nearly as strong as Aidan and hauling around myself and another person isn't an easy task, my wings are getting tired and sore.
"Thank God," I breathe as I see the tips of the castle rising over the horizon, just beyond the outskirts of the city. The sun has fully risen now, spreading its warmth across the crumbled buildings and desolate streets, reflecting off of the broken windows and causing the city to glitter.
I open my mind once more and wince when I feel how weak Aidan has become, pumping my wings faster and praying I get there in time. I need to kill him, as of now he's going to die on his own.
"You stupid git," I mumble, imagining all of the arguments I'm going to sling at Ambros when we get there. I only hope we get there in time.
"Tiny?" I say weakly, pressing my shaking fingers against his neck and sighing when I feel a faint pulse coming through. Of course he's alive, were he dead I'd have died as well. Plus I can feel the blood pulsing through him, I need some badly. But the sun has risen so it'll have to wait, as will finding Aidan. I really don't have much of a hope for that seeing as how the wolves left when Jess dragged Mel out of here, though I'll at least have their scent to follow.
I really hope that it's my hunger and weakness that is making mine and Aidan's connection so weak. If he really is that weak, I don't know if I'll be able to make it to him in time to save him. The sun better go down soon, but as of now I'm going to have to wait, just like last night. There's nothing else I can do. I'm getting really sick of this bullshit.