The return back to their place was quiet but it didn’t last. Once they were home Raven turned to look at the one she adored and loved, “Starr, baby what is it?” She kind of had an idea that it had to do with the conversation that she and Eva had caught the end of. Instead of assuming though, Rave wanted to hear straight from Starrfire himself.
The dragon walked over to the sliding glass door and opened it so he could go outside and breathe in some fresh air. His hands went to the railing and he just stood, leaning over a bit and tried to clear his head.
Raven watched her love and kept quiet as she waited for him to speak. She followed him and paused in the opening of the sliding entry to just watch him as her nerves went on edge. Evan wasn’t fair in whatever he said and for that she was very displeased.
“What do you want from life, Rave?” Starr finally asked.
She’d expected one thing and gotten another. Surprised and caught off guard Raven tipped her head to the side, “I’m sorry what?”
“What do you want in this life? In the future?” Starr turned to look at his perfect Chosen.
“Oh um.. eternity with you of course.” She smiled softly for him, “I want to make music and have fun until we can’t anymore.” She wasn’t sure that was what he wanted to hear.
“Why wouldn’t we make music and have fun, forever?” Starr’s head canted slightly as he waited for her explanation.
She gave a soft laugh, “Eventually we’ll be too old and tired to.” She crinkled her nose the idea.
“I plan to be rocking and rolling until I die. And I plan on having fun til the end. But… having fun can be a lot of different stuff. It can be all night beer pong, it can be getting wasted over the club we play at, it can be just going out and having a blast at the beach or on the snow boards, it can be making love to you all day by the pool while we have the place to ourselves…” Starr stepped into her and kissed her deeply.
“Ooh, all the above.” Raven enjoyed the embrace and kiss as she let herself get lost in it.
When he let go the kiss finally, he whispered against her lips, “It can be pushing our kids on swings in the park.”
That had her pulling back a little as she looked at him strangely. “Thought you weren’t interested in as you once put it the smelly little critters. And given what I am really doesn’t make it easy on me to have em if I can and that’s a big if. Add in my mother’s insane state and just makes me want to jump in with both feet.” She gave a little laugh and realized Starr was extremely serious.
“Things have come a long way from where they were. There’s a mixture of magic and science that we talk about all of the time in your household especially. And we both know your mother’s insanity doesn’t exactly have so much to do with heredity as it has to do with what she dealt with. I…I’m not saying I want kids right this minute, but what Evan made me… “ Starr swallowed and looked down.
She stepped from him enough to pace a few steps, “Seriously alright well um.. I don’t know what I think about kids. Honestly with my childhood of craziness I’m not sure.” She leaned on a nearby railing as she chewed on one nail. Kids weren’t a subject they hadn’t really broached before this.
“I think you’d be a wonderful, cool mom. Because you’d want to be sure you were so much more than you had. And I’d make a cool wonderful dad, because I’d be the same. My drakkar wasn’t around for me. I’d be overprotective and all up in their business. They’d hate me and run away. Then, we’d have to go find them over at mama and papa wolf’s house…” Starr smirked, his green eyes looking up from the overgrown red bangs he was sporting right then.
Raven rolled her eyes at him, “Oh yeah sure turn on your drummer boy charm that you know I’m such quicker for.” She smiled for him and moved back into his arms to slide hers around his neck and move in close. Rubbing her nose against his, Raven could honestly say that she knew he’d make a great dad someday. She just wasn’t so certain about the great mom part on her side. “Okay so yeah I’d give kids a thought someday in our future. Just not too soon cause I’m still enjoying our time without em.” It was her turn to kiss him this time and there’d be no escape.
“You know how happy you make me?” Starrfire smiled, not just with his mouth but with his eyes.
He kissed her but then trailed those kisses down her neck, letting the scruff he had tickle her good while he had her in his arms.
Raven was all laughs and giggles as his whiskers scraped her ticklish spots in all the best ways. She tangled her legs with his and they went down laughing even more on the way. They wound up on the ground laughing and kissing and he was then purring and nuzzling her. They were like this. It was just who they were and they didn’t care what other people thought, for the most part. But that’s when the second thing popped into Starr’s mind and made him remember.
“Rave… I don’t think Russ wants kids. He said before he left that he was just having fun with us. And, he’s my best friend. I made him a kindred. I trust him. But…That’s the big white elephant in the room right now. I… I hit Evan because he kept pushing at me about it. It’s none of his business.” Starr moved her hair back so he could look into her eyes. “Or is it?”
There was a huge exhale as she played her nails along his ribs and nipped at his ear lobe. Raven rolled him beneath her and straddled his hips as her hands splayed out on his chest and she looked down at him.
Starr blew the bangs out of his face. He really needed a haircut.
“I know Russ is just in this for fun, Starr. Just like I know that regardless of how things go between he and I, he will always be loyal to you as the greatest friend you could have outside of me.”
“And you’re alright with that. I know I have been. Is that still…you know?”
“That’s okay, I’m alright with that. I’m just having fun with him, as I told ya from the start babe.” She tugged at her lip ring now as she answered the rest of his question. “Evan I’m not sure of.. there’s just something about him that pulls at me Starr. I wish I could say it wasn’t serious baby, but…” she groaned and her eyes closed in that slight show of frustration. “I just don’t know, with him I’m just real uncertain and kinda nervous you know.”
“He makes me annoyed,” Starr looked aside, a bit of irritation showing and a growl in his chest. What Evan had done, by putting him on the spot like that? And the mental talk?
Raven leaned forward to look Starr eye to eye, “But you mean everything to me Starrfire. You are my world, my heart and soul. If you say no – it’s no, no matter what.” This she was very serious about. She’d fight herself every day if needed.
“I know, babe. But I want you to be happy. I’m the same. Anything so that you’re happy. You’re my treasure.” His hand went to move through her hair and he smiled again, but this time his eyes got that dreamy look to them. He had been in love with her since the day he’d met her. He just hadn’t known that’s what it was until they were neck deep into trouble.
“Figure it out. I’ll be okay with it. And since Russ is just in it for the fun, don’t let that boy hold you back. You and Evan are pretty rare breeds from what I have seen. Maybe it’s just that. Or maybe it’s something deeper. You deserve to find out and he deserves… well, he deserves another belt to the lip. But I’ll hold back until I know for sure I can get away with it.” He put his hands on her hips as he chuckled.
There was a soft laugh from her as she wiggled her bottom on Starr’s groin. “I’ll figure it all out, but not tonight. Tonight’s just you and me drummer boy and I think if I remember right ya really good with those talented hands. Want to show me and refresh my memory?” Her eyebrows danced as she giggled for him.
“Always ready to refresh your memory,” And with that, Starr flipped Raven over and did just that.
Becca woke up when she felt the vampire lord walk into her room. Yesterday, she wouldn’t have been able to tell. She was thankful for being able to feed properly. She was also hopeful to know her family. He had promised.
As he closed the door Sebastian looked to the girl in the bed. “Good evening Becca.” It was good to see that she was feeling better. The girl still wasn’t 100% but she’d get there after a few more feedings. “Are you ready to go for another feeding?” Sebastian purposefully didn’t mention Cody because he didn’t want to make this personal. The less personal it was the better it would be for her when the visits ended.
“Yes. I…” She moved the bed clothes out of the way for him to see that she was in what looked like soft grey flannel pajamas. “…I’m at least better dressed this time.” She smiled. “I feel hunger. Is that a good thing?”
“Yes it’s a good thing. You just need to learn to control it after going so long starved.” Taking her hand, Sebastian helped her from the bed and pulled her close, “Let’s be on our way, no doubt he’s expecting us.”
“I will…” she didn’t really get to finish. Lord Evansworth was already shadowing them to Cody’s home. She closed her eyes. She didn’t like that. It made her queasy.
Cody was sitting on his front porch with a glass of sweet iced tea when the pair appeared. He took a deep breath and waited for them to come to him. He’d spent too many years at the back and call of vampires and vowed not to do so again. “I see ya back, how are ya feelin’ Becca?”
“Better, thank you.” She reached for the bannister and took a deep breath as she forced her steps. She felt Lord Evansworth take her other arm to try and help her, but the forward momentum stopped. She looked up.
Meeting them at the steps Cody held his hand out to the girl before stopping the elder with his other hand raised openly before him. “She can come in and feed, you can stay out here and wait or come back for her later.”
“I’ll wait.” Sebastian muttered in frustration as he allowed Rebecca to climb the steps to reach the lupus. He didn’t like turning the girl over one bit without truly knowing what was going on between them.
Rebecca climbed the rest of the stairs with Cody’s help. She was thankful there were only five and also that he was willing to help her make it. She thought she felt much better, but, her body was far from being fully healed.
As the two started inside Sebastian tried once more, “Her control isn’t good perhaps I should…”
“No.” Cody looked directly into Evansworth’s eyes as he answered and then pulled the door closed. He then turned his attention to Becca. “Come on then, let’s get ya fed.” He rolled up his sleeve as he moved to take a seat in the living room.
She stopped at the space between the doorway and the couch to watch him.
Cody flexed and pumped his hand several times to ready the bulging veins in his arm that were heavily tattooed with bands. “I see ya feel better, that’s good.”
“I do. But I thought I’d have more strength back. All I did was get out of bed, and climb those steps and I feel like my legs are jelly and my heart went through the roof.” Becca felt ashamed of her situation. She bit the upper portion of her lip just a bit and grimaced at the nearly nauseating feel of another hunger pain hitting her. “Sorry, it’s not you.”
“That’s pretty normal when ya aren’t feedin’ regularly after starvin’ for a long length of time.” Cody had rolled up his sleeves and was all ready prepared to feed her when it seemed things took a turn. It was apparent that the girl needed to talk, but why him?
“I feel like a waste of space and I don’t know my place.” She looked up into his eyes. “But, you just… you just want me to feed so I can leave you alone, again.” She shook her head, “Sorry. I’ll get to it and be no more trouble.” When Becca felt like this, like Lord Evansworth and now, this Cody made her feel? She tended to take on the submissive role that had kept her alive all of her life. They were here to play their part in her health and that was that. She had no idea why the vampire wanted her healthy and the only reason Cody was helping her was because he apparently owed Lord Evansworth a debt.
There was a very low and deep rumble from the ursa as he looked her over a moment while in very deep thought. Was he really thinking about doing this? Yes.. yes he was.
She walked slowly to the ursa and keeping her eyes to the ground, moved between his legs to take her position that he had taught her for feeding. Unfortunately, she was all nerves. She tried, she really did. But she hit one of his tendons and maybe a nerve. When he jerked and reacted, she pulled back and covered her head with her arms. “I’m sorry,” she whimpered. “I’m sorry.”
Slapping his hand over the bleeding wounds Cody took breath as he stood up and walked a few paces away to give himself a chance to catch his breath. When he was calm again Cody returned to her and sat back down. He saw that Becca had turned away from him, and huddled, slightly, a stance that told him she had been hurt before by handlers when she had made mistakes.
“I ain’t gonna hurt ya, that’s not my thing. Come on back and try again.” He held the bleeding arm out to her, “Gotta close it and try again, change ya angle and use ya hand to turn my arm to adjust it to ya bite.”
He seemed very sure, even though she wasn’t, truth be told. Becca took a deep breath and walked back to him. She took his hand gingerly in hers before moving it so she could lick the wounds. She also licked his arm and hand clean of the blood, while still facing him. She looked over the situation at him a couple of times, just to be sure he wasn’t angry.
Watching the way Becca cleaned his forearm and hand free of the blood had Cody lifting a brow. In many ways her actions reminded him of lycan.
When she was happy with the cleaning, Becca looked over the bear of a man.
“Could I sit, either in your lap or, on the cushion space against you? I’m kind of short and you’re kind of tall. It might help.”
The mental image of her petite form seated on his lap feeding from his arm caused a suddenly foreign rush through him. Clearing his throat with a cough to cover the rumble that almost left him, Cody pointed to the cushion. “Have a seat then.” He held his forearm out for her.
With the positioning settled, and having permission to move his wrist how she needed it, Becca took a deep breath and pressed her tongue against the inner portion of his wrist. She felt for the strongest pulse point and then moved the angle just slightly for a perfect puncture. She felt her mouth fill and swallowed, her fangs pulling from his skin. Her mouth covered the flow and she began drinking.
When she finally got it right Cody took a deep breath and relaxed a little more. He was almost tempted to sweep her hair back from her face. But then he stopped those thoughts and simply closed his eyes and waited for her to finish.
Becca felt like she couldn’t possibly get enough of his blood. Her stomach finally stopped trying to gnaw it’s way out of her body after she had taken at least 2 pints. She wanted more, but she dare not hurt him too much. She forced herself to stop and seal his wounds. That done, she sighed and laid back against him, placing his hand on her abdomen. She was comfortable like this, much more comfortable than she had ever been in that clinic room.
“What time of day is it?” she asked, her voice but a whisper.
“Bout seven in the evening, why?” Cody was still tense though he kept his hand where she placed it.
“I…I was having trouble seeing anything that’s more than a yard or so away from me. It all kind of gets blurry. I didn’t pay attention to anything beyond trying to make it up your front stairs.” She’d gotten really weak again since the last infusion of blood. But she was sure Lord Evansworth was a very busy man. She was lucky to have what she did. She didn’t want to complain.
Pulling his hand from her stomach, Cody looked at her eyes and rumbled low, “That’s cause ya not feedin’ enough. Now what brought all this on?”
“I … I was looking up at your ceiling thinking that it’d be nice to see the night sky and the moon and the stars like this. With such a euphoric feeling in my body? Oh, it’d be wonderful.” She closed her eyes so she could imagine it.
After watching Becca a moment as she got lost in her own thoughts, Cody gently lifted her to her feet in front of him, so he could stand. He rolled his sleeve down to fasten it again. He was moving towards the door when he stopped to look back at Rebecca. She’d never been given many choices, that he could tell. Never had any freedom in it. So, he decided to ask her – give her a choice.
“You want to stay here the next few weeks and feed proper, or you want to leave with him and come back in a few days?” He’d never offered such to another and it felt odd offering to share his sanctuary now, but somehow Cody thought that maybe, just maybe Becca might need a little sanctuary herself.
“Will it help? I feel, overstuffed right now and drunk. I don’t think I should feel like this, but I was so hungry when he brought me. Maybe if I was able to take smaller portions whenever I needed…?” she was asking if that was proper or was that what he meant. The idea seemed more reasonable than leaving and not knowing when she’d be able to get back and doing this to herself over and over.
“Yeah, I think regular feeding will help that instead of every few days. Ya aren’t used to feeding like that, and ya body is healin’. So yeah I think bein’ here where I’m in reach is gonna do better then what he’s got goin on right now with ya. Not to mention so much travelin back n forth from wherever ya stayin.”
“Honestly, I don’t know where he plans to keep me if I go with him. If they want to keep me at that clinic any longer, I might pull my own ears off. It’s so loud. It’s quiet here. If you’re willing to share some space, I’d like to stay here.” Becca felt like she had this tenuous connection to Cody. They had both lived through something horrible and in a way had not even moved on to discover what their lives might be without that shadow over them. He couldn’t say he had, even if he lived out here and it had been years since. After all, he was still alone and didn’t like others around. Maybe that was partly because he was ursa, but she had a feeling it was much more than that. So, besides the feeding schedule, maybe it would be good for them both to be near one another. “Will Lord Sebastian allow it? I’m beholden to him and his Chosen. They saved me.”
“Let me handle him.” Cody escorted Rebecca out and then had her sit down in the lone chair on the small porch.
Becca felt so small in this chair. Considering the size of the men in front of her, she felt even smaller. Right now, she wouldn’t even be able to hold her own in a conversation, little on a fight.
Sebastian started for the door the moment it opened up. He’d been having second thoughts about bringing Becca to Cody. But, he had to back up when they came out. He watched the big lycan with his ward and watched her sit down in the ursa’s chair. He wasn’t sure about the bit of tension he felt. Last time he had made sure to leave very quickly, so there hadn’t been time for a discussion. This time, it seemed Cody was making sure things went differently.
“Everything go well?”
Cody walked to the fang who had pulled him from that hive over fifty years ago. Sebastian had helped him start over, but his gratitude only went so far.
“Went fine. Rebecca is gonna stay here a few weeks and regain her strength. The Eriksson’s have a way of sappin that out of ya. She isn’t gonna recover as well with these short visits. If she’s here, I can feed her several times through the day instead of just once every few days. She’ll have a faster recovery and that’s what ya want right?” His green eyes narrowed with irritation. He had just let Sebastian know that he knew who Rebecca was.
“Look Cody, I’m sorry but I know your feelings..” And that was when Cody’s fist made contact with the vampire’s nose. There was an audible snap and the vamp was cursing as he clutched his bleeding nose while glaring at the pissed lycan.
Becca growled, but then pulled back. No. This was not her situation to deal with. This was between them. She fought her instinct. She tried not to look too much.
“That’s for lyin’ to me. I don’t like that shit and you know it. Tell me true next time and give me the respect of makin’ my own fuckin’ choices, Councilor.” With that said, the big man took a deep breath. “Don’t try to take her. She’s safe here. Nobody knows about this place. It’s quiet. She needs quiet, rest, and blood when she needs it, not when you feel like giving it to her. So talk to her and then let her stay. You know I ain’t lyin’.” Cody turned from Sebastian and walked back to the house. Pausing at Rebecca he looked down at her. “I’ll give you a few minutes to talk and then I’ll come get ya.” He knew the fang was making his way to the girl.
“Okay,” she replied before her eyes found Sebastian’s. She grabbed at her pajama shirt, took it off and motioned for him to come to her so she could at least help clean up the mess on him. “It’s my fault. I’ve never been a liar. I don’t know the art very well. I give myself away and my conscience eats me up about it if I…” She wiped the blood as best she could and let him keep the material so he could use it to stop the flow. “I told him last time. We just left really quick I guess… but, I’m sorry he hit you.”
Sebastian was still seeing stars from the hit. Damn ursa still carried one hell of punch. He held his nose with the upper part of her shirt and wiped the spilt blood with the other.
“It’s okay. I knew what was coming when he found out. I just needed him to feed you the first time. I knew he wouldn’t refuse you after that.” Sebastian would have chuckled if it wouldn’t have made his nose hurt. “But I don’t want to leave you here, Becca.”
“I think it’s for the best, though, Lord Evansworth. Can you deny that?”
There was a sound of dislike from him as he stood there before her continuing to hold the shirt to his nose. “I won’t deny that his blood is doing you a wealth of good.”
“I’ll be fine. I won’t go anywhere, I promise.” she took the shirt down and was pleased that the flow had stopped. She was also glad she had the undershirt on. She sat back down and took a deep breath.
“He’s been alone out here for a long time Rebecca. I don’t know how he’ll be with another constant around. Are you sure you want to stay out here with him?” Sebastian really didn’t like the idea of leaving the young woman with the hermited older ursa.
“I’m a mess of nerves, Lord Evansworth. Being around a lot of people is keeping me on heightened alert. I’ve got both lycan and vampire senses, so that means things are so very much worse for me than either you or Cody can understand. Please don’t make me go back to that clinic. There is too much going on. Too many smells and sounds and movement.” She laid her arms in her lap. “Besides, so far both times you’ve brought me here I’ve gorged until I’m sick.” She shrugged. “He doesn’t seem so bad. I just bit him bad and he didn’t go off on me. He’s patient.”
A hand was pushed through his long hair as he looked around for another reason to give her. He looked her over and had admit that after the feeding she looked better. “It’s very rustic out here Rebecca.”
“What’s so bad about rustic?”
“What I mean is while he has electric and indoor plumbing, you won’t find a TV or a phone of any kind in his place. I think the only new age thing he has is a radio. He spends all day out there.” Sebastian pointed out at the wide open fields where cattle could be seen grazing. “Sometimes it gets so quiet here that you can actually hear the wind moving through the grass. Sure you can handle that? Would it not be just as bad as noise?” Most people couldn’t. He was surprised that so much solitude hadn’t driven Cody insane. But the man seemed healthy and well enough.
“I think it’d be nice to have quiet for a change. Maybe it’d allow me to think and finish healing before I am expected to be more social. But if you worry that I might change my mind, why not give this a week and then come back and check on me?” Becca took Sebastian’s hand. “It’s not a long time, Lord Evansworth. I feel like I should at least try. I don’t hold anything against you and I understand you…you want me … want…what’s best for me. Yes, that’s what I meant to say.” She smiled. Sometimes her brain was a bit muddled.
She was trying and she was better for it. She reminded him of the daughter he lost so very long ago. And when he looked at Becca, he saw someone whom he could save. He hadn’t been able to save his daughter.
“Fine, I’ll be back to check on you in one week Rebecca and I’ll be bringing you a phone tomorrow – to reach me if you need to,” he promised.
“Please tell Dr. Keene thank you and tell her not to keep worrying over me. But, if she wants to come with you next time, I’d like that. She has a pretty voice. I like listening to it over all of the other stuff.” Becca smiled.
Sebastian chuckled as he handed her the phone, “I’m sure she will join me to check on you. Please control yourself and remember not to go any further than feeding.” He pulled her close and hugged her.
Well, that was unexpected. She smiled and couldn’t help wishing she could get more of those hugs. He was so unreadable, but like right now? He was kind. Sometime, Becca wasn’t sure what to think.
Letting her benefactor go, Becca watched him leave and then simply stood, holding the railing and looking up into the sky. It was dark enough that the stars were out. Hearing Cody come back out, she whispered, “I forgot how lovely the stars were. First time I saw them, I was … 10 or 12. They took us out to a country place in another country altogether. We were there training for a year. But then I was taken back to the city and you can’t really see stars that well from a city.” She shivered, having on only her undershirt now since her other was covered in Sebastian’s blood.
“It’s one of the reasons why I love bein’ out here.” Cody reached back inside the doorway to grab a throw blanket off the back of the rocker. He stepped out to place it over her shoulders before he leaned on the railing to look up at night sky. “I missed this for all the years I was locked up in that lair. I never wanna feel that again.”
~ Rachel Diane Adams and Dawn McClellan © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2019