I stir and slowly open my still sleepy eyes. Lightheaded. I turn, placing myself on my back and roam my hair as I try to brush away dizziness. Events of last night come click together as puzzle pieces. I’m swinging in the air. It’s almost dark outside. All party rush is already gone. Silence. Her body leans into me with a light soft murmur bringing my smile. Her dark hair tickles my lipsand covers my chest. I brush them slightly away from the lips and lean more into her. Her sweet scent hits me as a garden of flowers after the rain. I nuzzle my nose into her skin savouring her aroma. So she stayed. I close my eyes, letting her view disappear. My whole body confirms she lies next to me as my hard c*c’k trys to enter her body, ramming her skin. She reassured me last night. She stopped running. I should trust her. With the thought I let out an air blow. My gut is not calm. Why is it not calm? She stayed, she is here. She even did what I asked her. As much as I remember our last night, uneasy just becomes stronger. Some chill crowls my skin leaving an invisible web on it. It deepens sinking through my skin and wraps my veins, runs deeper toward my heart till it starts itching. I slide from the swings down and find the door. I look for shadows and dark pathways ensuring my way won’t be blocked by the light.

  • I was sure you would come. Took you long, Eirikrinn.
  • This woman is needy.

I try to hurt him, but Andvari just laughs at my attempt. Sincere. Bright. Shaking slightly his head. My muscles are alert.

  • You should stay and enjoy your time till the end.

He leans against the wall resting his hands on his chest. His feets are crossed, but he looks so relaxed. It makes me more tense.

  • Till the end?

His lips smile in response. My gut urges. Did he poison her?

  • She never gives a second chance to the same man.

Now he makes me smile and I feel me starting to relax. I let out air I was holding locked in my body.

  • You had to do what she told you, Andvari.

He looks surprised, but suppresses it quickly. I see, he expected their little conversation slipped through my eyes. Not when he spends time with my woman!

  • She was too silent.

He is a bad liar. Truth is written all over his face no matter he tries to hide it.

  • She was very clear.

I reach him and my chest almost touches his. Andvari ramms his finger into my chest straightening spine and bringing his weight on his legs.

  • She needs me.
  • Don’t fool yourself, Andvari. Yesterday you were only our toy.

I feel him getting under my skin and now I am strongly aware who awakes that creeping heaviness in my heart. I woke up with it and it led me here.

  • Was I?

His assuredness and weird smile makes my gut turn its insides. He leans against the wall with his shoulder again relaxing. His hand fishes something in the pocket.

  • So why are you now here, Eirikrinn, instead of spending time with her?

My fingers wrap his throat easily feeling a pulsating beat underneath. I pin him to the wall as a sudden float of anger hits me. He feels so light. Andvari laughs, at least tries as my palm coordinates his airflow.

  • Your bond is worth nothing.

I let him fly to the wall across the hall. For sure I join him, cutting his throat deeply. Andvari catches the hurting place with a scream.

  • You know nothing!
  • Look at you! She needs protection.. against you!

He struggles. He is not royal and heals not so quickly. My flying hand opened his throat deep and wide. His palm is not enough to stop blood. Andvari pushes himself backward making a bigger distance separating us. I stalk him slowly.

  • Definitely not yours!

He gurgles. I’m not willing to let him away. My long steps catch up with him and his dark red palms curl around my ankles. We fight letting everything on our way break and fly as he keeps accurate distance between us most of the time.

  • You hurt her!
  • Not true!

Andvari slams me to the column, but I bring him with me so he follows. His warriors skills don’t trick me. His laugh becomes more evil and pushes my range higher. 

  • You make her run.
  • Don’t play smartass!

I chase him. It’s not meant for him to get away.

  • Why did she leave her family? Who destroyed her life? Why did she appear here?
  • You think you know better?!

My hand enters his chest with one hit and he cries out. My hand is not going soft. It presses rough and he squeaks. He pays me back cutting his dagger into my side between ribs. I stumble backwards. He catches my throat and lets his nails deep. 

  • Who takes down her loved ones?

He hisses angrily. As an answer I cut his knee, he cries out, but his dagger turns dragging my inner parts. I roar and it echos. Andvari laughs. 

  • You do it even now! 

I don’t wanna hear him. No one will push my buttons! I hit him hard, breaking our body’s connection. His hand swings to hit me, but I bend down escaping. I wrap his both feet and roll his body head over me. His feet break the glass and his body follows them down, slipping through the window into the light. Small ashes cover the ground where I’m standing in shadow. I am still angry and disappointed our fight ended so unexpectedly. I don’t feel done yet. My heart slams the wall furiously and hard as I catch the air opening my lips. With each air gulp I feel lighter. My spine slides down the wall and butt reaches the floor. Ashes..

  • Now I f*cked it up. 

No. I don’t feel regret. Just how will I tell her? She will find out sooner or later. How will she react? Will she keep her promise to stay? Will she leave me again? She promised to stop running, to stay with me. She ensured she waited for me. My fist slams the hard floor leaving a stamp painted in red. I don’t feel pain. F*ck you, Andvari! Maybe she will take it easy. My gut turns signaling I am wrong, that I lie to myself. I am sure, he wasn’t only a commoner meant for one night. He is head over the heels because of her. Not surprisingly. He was already so when we first met. They were close. I’ve seen them. My heart squeezes, stretching the painfully wound in my heart. I don’t stop the tears, let them roll freely. He was dangerously too close to her heart. I saw her soft gaze lying on him. I observed her when he was running his hands over her body pleasuring her. Something was in her eyes. It broke me and made me so scared. 

– You can become the start of my end, Sunshine. 

I think mid loud, mid silent. Her eyes followed him gently. She clearly cares for him. She tried to protect him. From me. As I am the monster! My head fells backwards hitting the wall. I close my eyes. Does she see me as one? Does she still do that?! Am I still a beast at her eyes? My heart aches. 

  • She needs protection from you.

Andvari’s words ring now in my mind.

  • Damn! 

I had never let her go. And now he has already claimed a place in her heart. I couldn’t let it stay so. No one will stand in between. My heart races picking up speed as he still was here. I had to fix it. That’s why I came here. I look at my hands. They are not shaking. Painted burgundy as it happens rarely at those times. I clench my fingers into fists. He is gone, not quite as I wanted, but the job is done. I observe dark red marks between my fingers. His death will stay between us, isn’t it? Damn! 

  • Was she not what you expected?

I turn to find Estrid in a doorway.

  • Why do you say so?
  • You are the first not looking happy after night with her. Maybe after all she is not what man wants.

My eyes click to hers, but my lips stay sealed. I don’t care what others want. Her sex with them has no meaning to me. It’s just a need to be taken care of. Just as I did without her being around. As we all do as a vampires. It’s written in our blood strongly and we have to release that power erupting under pressure. But a place in her heart.. It’s completely different.

  • She is not easy to handle. Sometimes it’s scary.

She sits next to me and continues.

  • I think she needs to learn how to live.

I chuckle at her jumping thoughts.

  • She has plenty of experience.

Estrid put her palm on my tight and look into my eyes.

  • Have you seen her joy? Her happiness?

I think back years I saw her smiling and laughing. But it’s true. Some kind of sadness was almost always there.

  • She has that inner power to spread the wings, but she chose to sit low. I think she hides.

Estrid opens up more than ever and I look at her. Her words sound alerting. Andvari’s words still ring in my mind. Guilt creeps in me as I know, I’m the reason behind all of it.

  • From whom?
  • From herself mostly. She has a shadowy past. Lately she acts more strange. Maybe she goes slowly mad.

Estrid stays silent. I wait for more, but silence covers us. I exhale.

  • She is Rhia.
  • That’s how we call her. Only a few of us may call her differently.
  • Andvari?

She nods as her lips turn in a beautiful warm smile rewarding me for the guess. My heart flips as I remember I just killed him. I was right. Sinns.. I will lose her.. 

  • He means good for her.

I curse under my nose. Good, she misheard me. My body stays tense.

  • She ordered Toke to prepare an army. She was working secretly on something for a while. I’m glad Andvari stays by her side, not letting her go completely mad.
  • Sounds serious.

I look up at her again digging my guilt deeper. She also loves him..

  • I guessed it was against Black, but as now they are together.. There is no other explanation.
  • I thought she chose Andvari. What’s the matter between Rhia and Black?

She got me unprepared. Her lips let out a shaky exhale. I hug her shoulder in an urge and tug her closer. Her head rests against my chest.

  • With Rhia around nothing is simple. It’s way more complicated, Eirik.