Revealed:Brides of the Kindred(9)By: Evangeline Anderson
“And live with an unfulfilled blood bond hanging over me for the rest of my days?” He glared at her. “I think not. Besides, Nadiah, I do want you. I intend to show you just how much in the very near future.”
The greedy, leering way he was looking at her made Nadiah’s stomach lurch, and her skin turned cold with fear. “I’ll fight you,” she whispered, clenching her hands into fists at her sides. “Every step of the way, I’ll fight. I swear to the Goddess if you lay so much as a finger or anything else on me I’ll cut it off—I don’t care if we’re bonded or not.”
Her fiancée’s expression went from greedy to enraged—his nearly white skin flushing an angry red. “You think you can fight me? You think you can fight this?”
He made a motion with his right hand. Curling it into a fist, he dragged it back toward himself, almost as though he was yanking on a rope. At once Nadiah felt the burning blade slip between her ribs again. It was worse this time, like someone was stirring her guts with a red hot spoon.
She wanted to stand straight and tall, to stare into those hateful, bulging blue eyes defiantly, but she couldn’t—the pain was too great. With a low cry, she doubled over, fully expecting to hit her head on the floor and not caring if she did.
Instead, a pair of strong arms caught her and she was picked up and held against a muscular chest.
Sylvan? she thought hazily but the male holding her smelled wrong—Sylvan’s scent was sharp and this male had a deep, dark musk that was somehow familiar though she had a feeling she had never smelled it quite so strongly before. Also, she could see Sylvan and Sophia standing there arguing angrily with her parents and fiancée on the viewscreen. They seemed to be telling Y’dex to stop his assault on her, to stop yanking on the blood bond. But her fiancée only laughed and twisted his fist some more, causing a fresh wave of agony to roll over her. Her back arched helplessly and she gasped, tears pouring from her eyes.
“Stop it!” The full throated roar was coming from the male who was holding her. It echoed through her skull and rattled her bones as her ear was pressed to his deep chest. “You fucking stop it right now you little bastard!”
Nadiah felt herself being carried closer to the viewscreen, close enough to see the shocked looks on her parents’ faces and the angry sneer on Y’dex’s.
“And who is this?” her fiancée demanded, staring at her rescuer. “I thought Nadiah couldn’t find a Kindred to be her champion.”
“She found me.” The pain was less now, allowing Nadiah to think. Could it be…was it Detective Rast holding her and shouting at Y’dex? She looked up at him in wonder and saw that his truegreen eyes were burning with rage. They seemed almost to glow in his face with a strange, protective light.
“One of the First Kindred. Imagine.” Y’dex raised an eyebrow. “I thought your kind had all but died out.”
“You’re the one who’s going to die out, buddy,” Rast snarled. “I’ll come with Nadiah and meet your challenge but I swear to you here and now, if you ever inflict that pain on her again I will end you. Do I make myself abso-fucking-lutely clear?”
Y’dex’s already pale face went even whiter but there were still spots of angry red on his thin cheekbones. “How dare you speak to me in that manner? I am her intended.”
“No, you’re not. She never intended to marry you—she never wanted you.” Rast glared at him and Nadiah thought she saw murder in his truegreen eyes. “And I don’t really think you want her either—except the way a mean little boy wants a pet so he can beat it and hurt it. Well, Nadiah’s not going to be your pet. Her life is worth more than that—a hell of a lot more.”
Y’dex’s face grew dark red but his voice was calm. “We’ll see about that, won’t we Kindred? I will meet you in my home grotto in one standard week. There I will best you in the three sacred challenges. Do you accept?”
“Rast,” Sylvan murmured urgently, plucking at the human detective’s elbow but Rast shook him off.