“Do you really think these two humans have something to do with your old king? Please. They’re just stupid cattle,” muttered the one holding him.
Stupid cattle, my ass. Elliot stomped on the left foot of his captor. The vampire snarled at him, but Elliot ran away from his grip, only for the red-haired vampire to close in. In less than a fraction of a second, the red-haired vampire, Theron, had one hand wrapped the other vampire’s throat. One crack, and Theron broke the vampire’s neck. Raphael went for the vampire holding his brother, easily tossing Derrick aside, to sink his fangs into the other leech’s neck.
Elliot widened his eyes and ran towards Derrick. He knelt over his brother. “Derrick, talk to me. Are you hurt?”
Derrick looked shaken. “No, just a little bruised. God, Elliot. What have we run into?”
“Everything I’ve been dreaming of, it’s real, Derrick,” he said, unable to contain the excitement in his voice. Without anyone holding him back, he could hear the king’s voice in his head again.
You’re so close, Elliot. You can trust them. When everyone else turned their back on me, only my most loyal stood by me.
“What do you mean?” Derrick whispered.
For the first time in his life, Elliot saw genuine fear in his brother’s eyes. Derrick wasn’t stupid, either. His brother would come to the same conclusion they were dealing with vampires. He whipped his head to see Theron and Raphael one moment finishing off their enemies, and the next, suddenly transported in front of them. He sucked in a breath, recalling the myth that vampires supposedly had super-human reflexes.
“So, you’re the one who posted that picture?” Theron asked him.
“Do you have any idea what you’ve done?” Raphael demanded. “Few individuals left alive know of this place. You’ve not only alerted us, but also our enemies.”
“What enemies?” Derrick asked. “Look, you two. This is all a mistake. My brother and I—”
“I’ve been seeing visions of his prison, of him, for years,” he told the two vampires, ignoring the tug Derrick gave his arm.
“Him?” Theron asked, but there was a smile on his lips.
“The king under the earth,” he whispered. “Wrongly imprisoned, betrayed.”
Raphael and Theron shared a look but didn’t speak.
“What do you know of him?” Raphael asked him, voice harsh. Then he shook his head. “This is all wrong, Theron. Do you expect me to believe this puny human is the one who will break the curse? You don’t even know his name, or how long Theron and I have waited.”
That commanding, seductive voice whispered a name in his ear.
“Abel Savage,” he said. That made the two vampires freeze up. Elliot repeated the syllables in his head. For so long, it felt like he’d been in the dark with Abel, trapped under layers of earth, complicated spell work, and enchanted chains. He thought it was a monster buried underneath those angels, but he was wrong. In a way, Elliot understood that after being restrained in that tiny square foot of wood, all Abel could do was send the same images over and over to him.
“How do you know his true name?” Raphael asked, fisting his shirt. Derrick rose to his feet, tried to wrench Raphael’s arm away, but the vampire only shoved him away like he was an insignificant fly.
“Raphael, let him go. He’s the one, our only hope,” Theron said.
“What if these humans turn out to be a trap sent by Ivan?”
The two vampires started some kind of strange staring match, but eventually, Raphael released him. Elliot didn’t understand himself what the hell was going on, but instinct told him that for now, these two would have Derrick and his back.
“What’s your name, human?” Theron asked him.
“Elliot Pace, and this is my brother Derrick. Please. Tell me. I thought I was going insane, but he’s really here? Abel, I mean?” Elliot didn’t know why he wasn’t quivering in fear like Derrick, how he could speak to these vampires as if he was used to dealing with the paranormal. Humans were food, ants to vampires, and yet, fear was absent.
“He is,” Theron said carefully. “Do you know where?”
He shut his eyes and without answering Theron, he could see Abel’s crypt easier now, in his mind’s eye.
“Don’t you know?” he asked, ignoring Raphael’s glare.
“No,” Theron sounded mournful, then bitter. “They hid him from us, hired experienced witches to make sure no one can know where he was imprisoned. We only know he was taken here, to this cemetery. Some kind of magical veil has been put up, though, so we couldn’t pinpoint his exact location.”
“This way,” he murmured, opening his eyes.
His heart started on a staccato rhythm as he led the way. Elliot couldn’t quite explain it, but his feet seemed to know where to go.
Abel ran his fingers across Elliot’s jaw, cupped his chin, and rested his forehead against Elliot’s. “Do you know how much those words mean to me, Elliot? Or understand how much you’re giving up, if you become my mate?”
Never in his long lifespan did Abel reason with anyone the way he did with his mate. As king of his coven, Abel had to be ruthless, his commands unquestioned, but he’d stolen years of Elliot’s life. He understood that without those visions, Elliot might be living a normal human life right now. He understood all these things, except Abel was selfish. He waited several lifetimes for his mate, and now, Elliot was within his grasp.
“I understand more than you think. Even before the visions, I’d never fit in anywhere. Derrick? Put him anywhere and he’d blend in. I always thought of myself as a freak, restless, always questioning if there was more to my life.”
“A vampire’s mate also gains immortality. Are you ready for that?”
Elliot widened his eyes. “If I have you by my side, then there’s no worry, right? What else do I need to know?”
“You’ll be my source of strength but also my weakness. Our life force will be connected. If my enemies want to get to me, they’ll probably try going for you, too,” Abel explained.
Elliot drew a shaky breath. “Why don’t you seem worried about that?”
“I’ll protect you, Elliot. Come after whoever’s foolish enough to think they can get away with hurting you,” Abel replied with absolute certainty.
Long decades of being imprisoned only sharpened his thirst for vengeance, for violence. He’d never make the mistake of letting his guard down around his enemies again. Abel harbored fears he’d turn savage, that he’d become a tyrant, like some of the older vampire kings who lost the battle against madness. Immortality did strange things to long-lived races, and being locked away in the dirt damaged parts of his mind, but Abel had Elliot. His little human didn’t know just how much his presence anchored him.
Abel could sense Elliot’s concern and worry for his brother, even for Raphael, who he barely knew. Elliot had a bigger heart than he knew. He’d become Abel’s heart, because his had been eaten away a long time ago, when Ivan, who he thought of as his brother, betrayed him.
“Then I’m all in,” Elliot said.
“I won’t ask again,” Abel stated.
“I don’t expect a king to.”
Abel curved his lips to a smile and he rolled on top of Elliot. He pinned Elliot’s wrists above his head and lowered his mouth to Elliot’s. Once more, the sweet taste of Elliot washed over him. His cock leapt between his legs, growing harder. Abel left more kisses down the side of Elliot’s throat. The temptation to bite Elliot arose, but not yet. He wanted his human begging him, screaming out his name before he made Elliot exclusively his.
“Keep your hands above your head,” Abel ordered.
Elliot nodded, as if he couldn’t trust himself to speak. Abel ran his hands down Elliot’s supple body, closed his mouth over Elliot’s left flat nipple, using his fangs to tease. Elliot squirmed underneath him but didn’t ask him to stop. Encouraged, Abel traced the bud with his tongue, left a tiny bite there, before moving lower. He wanted all the time in the world to memorize every inch of Elliot’s tempting little body. All his, he thought. Possession surged through his veins.
Abel went lower, pried Elliot’s thighs further apart, revealing Elliot’s thickening dick and balls. He smiled.
“W-what are you doing?” Elliot murmured above him.
“I always wanted to taste you.”
Abel flicked his tongue over the pre-cum gathered on Elliot’s tip, making the human buck. Elliot clutched at the sheets as Abel explored Elliot from root to tip. He applied just the right amount of pressure to Elliot’s balls, wrenched another cry from Elliot. He ran his hand lower to finger Elliot’s puckered entrance.
“God, Abel,” Elliot murmured.
Abel paused from his task. “No God, Elliot. Just us.”
Abel opened his mouth wider to take Elliot’s prick inside his mouth. Elliot gasped above him, the sight forever branded in his mind. He bobbed his head up and down, loved every sound that he managed to wrangle from his little human. Aware Elliot was close, Abel pulled his mouth away at the last second, amused by Elliot’s frustration groan.
“Why did you stop?” Elliot asked.
“I don’t want you to come yet,” Abel said, getting off Elliot.
His cock felt like a steel pipe between his legs, and he needed to be inside Elliot soon, to make his human forever his.
“Wait there.” Abel had explored the suite of rooms Theron leant him earlier, while Elliot had remained unconscious. He knew Theron had furnished the space with the basic necessities. Abel grabbed towels from the bathroom, along with lube. He found Elliot where he left him.
“Are you surprised by everything you’ve seen? I mean, you’ve been underground for quite some time,” Elliot said.
“I process new information through you, Theron, and Raphael. The present takes getting used to, but I’m not surprised by them and I understand the mechanics of how certain things work. I’d like you to help me, though, like teach me how to use a computer.”
Elliot beamed at that, his smile like a bolt of sunshine. “It’ll be my pleasure.”
Abel patted the edge of the bed. Elliot slid lower, not resisting when Abel pressed a hand on his belly.
“We’re really doing this,” Elliot whispered. “You have no idea how I’ve imagined you burying that prick deep inside me, owning me.”
Every primitive instinct to mark and claim his mate roared to the surface. Abel positioned himself between Elliot’s legs and placed Elliot’s legs over his shoulders. “The time for waiting is over, little human. By the end of this, you’ll belong to me. Forever.”