THE VAMPIRE'S TOUCH
~ Part Five ~
Charlie gasped at the sharp pain that stabbed him in the chest. "Can he do that?"
Xavier's grimace was not reassuring. "It can be done."
"I see." Charlie had known Marcus didn't want him, but to go so far to get rid of him...Why did that hurt so damn much?
Charlie's anguish made him angry. He clenched his fists, his lips spreading into a thin line. Fine. If Marcus didn't want him, then he didn't want Marcus.
And maybe, if he continued to tell himself that, he'd start to believe it.
Charlie cleared his throat before asking, "How does one go about breaking a bond?"
"It is not an easy task," Xavier said.
"Just tell me."
"It involves great sacrifice."
Charlie's eyes narrowed. "What sort of sacrifice?"
"Blood, mostly." Xavier clasped his hands behind his back and started walking. "There is a ceremony, an ancient one, that can sever a bond between mates. I would not personally recommend it. Many have tried, but very few have survived."
"I get that, Xavier. Tell me the rest of it. What does blood have to do with it?"
"When the mating is between a human and a vampire, the human must be completely drained of blood."
Charlie swallowed hard. "C-Completely?"
"Wouldn't I die?" That's kind of what happened when a human was drained of blood.
"Yes, you would."
Charlie leaned up against the nearest lamp post when his legs grew shaky. "Does Marcus know this?"
"I doubt it," Xavier replied. "As I said, the ceremony is an ancient one. The likelihood that Marcus knows the actual mechanics of the ceremony are small."
"But it's possible?"
"Anything is possible, Charlie."
Charlie pressed his hand to his chest when it became more work to breath than to not. "He hates me that much?" he whispered.
"Marcus does not hate you, Charlie. In fact, I suspect he is rather taken with you."
"He wants me dead!" How was that not hateful?
Xavier chuckled as if he found this entire thing amusing. "He does not want his orderly life ruffled."
"Marcus is a man swamped in tradition. He has been taught that the mantle of leadership requires rigid control and an adherence to the laws and customs of our people. While he indulges in many things, he does not break with tradition."
Charlie squinted at the man. "What exactly does that mean?"
Xavier chuckled again. "In days past, human bond mates were chained to our beds and treated as beloved pets. They had no rights beyond what they were given by their mates."
Charlie growled. He'd be damned if he was chained so anyone's bed.
"Marcus is fighting your mating because he does not want a mate he has to chain to his bed. Deep in his heart, he wants one who will stand by his side and help him rule. He refuses to admit a human could be that person."
"So, it's not me he hates, but the fact that I'm human?"
Charlie wasn't sure if that made things better or worse.
"He does not hate humans. He's simply had limited experience with them. As the leader of his tribe, Marcus is tasked with keeping our existence from humans. He has been taught to prevent association with them at all costs. In his mind, it is very hard to follow that path if he is mated to a human."
"True, but it is how he thinks."
Charlie snorted. "Idiot."
Xavier chuckled. "That is also true."
Charlie started to smile as an idea began to form in his mind. He wasn't a masochist by any stretch of the imagination, but he also didn't take shit off of anyone. If Marcus Aguilera thought he could simply hide Charlie away until he broke their bond simply because he didn't want a human to rule beside him, he was in for a big surprise.
"Were you and Marcus good friends?"
"He is like a son to me."
"So, you only want what's best for him, right?"
Xavier gave a little nod. "Correct."
"Then I'm going to need your help."
Xavier's brow lifted. "My help?"
Charlie knew his grin was pure evil when Xavier took a step back. "It's time for Marcus to learn that he can't sweep this human under the rug."
* * * *
Marcus slammed his fist down on his desk. "I want him found!"
It had been three days and there was still no sign of Charlie. Marcus didn't understand how that could happen. Charlie was human. Marcus's vampires should have been able to find him, but it was as if Charlie had fallen off the face of the planet.
"We have three teams out searching for him now, Marcus," Dmitri said. "We'll find him."
"Send out more teams." He had to find Charlie.
"Are you sure you want to do that, Marcus?" Dmitri asked. "People are already starting to ask questions. If you send out more teams, they are going to want answers."
Marcus growled. He didn't fucking answer to anyone, least of all the members of his tribe. If they didn't like the way he did things, they could damn well challenge him. "I want him found!"
They both turned when someone knocked on the office door. "Come."
"My apologies, sire," Gavril said after he opened the door, "but you have a visitor."
"Not now, Gavril."
"It is the clairvoyant you sent for, sire."
Marcus forgot to breath. "Charlie is here?"
"Where?" Marcus asked as he started around his desk.
"He is waiting in the foyer, sire."
Marcus tore out of the office and hurried down the hallway. His heat thundered so hard in his chest, it actually hurt. He couldn't understand this overwhelming need he had to see Charlie and assure himself that the man was unharmed. It simply didn't make sense.
He pushed past several vampires until he spotted Charlie standing in the entry hall amid several suitcases and boxes. "Charlie."
Charlie had an odd smile on his face when he turned, one Marcus couldn't decipher. It made him stiffen with trepidation.
"Hi, honey. I'm home."
~ Coming Soon ~
Stormy believes the only thing sexier than a man in cowboy boots is two or three men in cowboy boots. She also believes in love at first sight, soul mates, true love, and happy endings.
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