Warning: This work has been rated 16+.
Author's note: I have Zander here speaking another language. It's a new development that hasn't been in the previous chapters but when I rewrite, it will be added in! Also, I'm on a new device that doesn't correct any mistakes so I apologize in advance for all spelling and grammar mistakes!
Previously: Katie wakes up from a fully needed night's sleep only to find her Mom's murderer in her room. In fear of her, Katie calls out to Zander who promises to help her as quickly as possible. In the turn of events, Katie finds out that James is not all that he seems and that Mrs. Borden knows how to handle a gun. Crazy life!
Deciding that waiting wasn't an option, he threw on his leather jacket and left the warehouse behind. Careful to stay in the shadows of the buildings, he began making his way to her house. Even though he moved at a good speed, it seemed like ages to him. She was in danger and being impaired by his "Curse of the Sun", he couldn't move as fast as he would like.
Becoming lost in his thoughts, he never noticed the shade of the alley come to a stop just ahead of him. He ran straight into the sunlit street and realized too late what had happened. His face and hands began to burn intensely and he threw himself on his back. He landed with a thud on the ground of the alley. He gasped in pain as the shade engulfed his new burns with an icy coolness. The contrast to that of the sun was almost just as painful as being in the sun itself.
Zander groaned and cursed as he held his hands gingerly. His face burned intensely but it was nothing compared to the ache in his heart as he felt Katie's fear. She connected a picture with her fear. A girl pinned a boy to the floor as she pulled out some darts. Katie was in danger while he sat in an alley like a little girl.
He growled at the thought and pushed himself to his feet. He didn't care anymore if he was exposed to the sun and he ran headlong into the street once again. This time though, he threw his arms up to shield his face. With nothing to protect his hands, they burned mercilessly. He ground his teeth in an attempt to ease the pain but it appeased nothing. If anything, it gave his head something to complain about.
He did this multiple times. With every sunlit street, another layer of his scorched flesh would flake off and leave him cursing violently.
Zander knew if he took too much longer, Katie would lose hope that he was going to help her. He growled possessively at the thought of her rejecting him. Not only would he be lost in life without her, but she as well would have no reason to live. The very thought made him push himself faster. She just didn't understand how strong the bond between them was. Only she could calm the beast and only she could fulfill his everlasting desires until the day he or she died.
Finally, he found himself staring at her through the second story window. Unable to bear it any longer, he rushed forward and burst through the front door, escaping the unforgiving sunlight.
He looked around and pushed himself against the door as he came face to face with a woman with a handgun.
She pushed it in his face and looked him dead in the eye as she spoke, her tone venomous, "You're not welcome in my house, worm."
Anger rose quickly as this woman stood between him and his mate but he tried to calm himself. The only thought that made him restrain himself from snapping her neck right there was that Katie really wouldn't find it attractive.
He put his hands up to level of his head in an attempt to truce but all it did was bring more attention to what he was. The burned, red flesh flashed in front of her and he grimaced as her eyes became even more determined than before.
"Get out of my house."
The coldness she pushed toward him was understandable but he fought to keep his cool, "I'm sorry but I can't do that." He paused as she jerked the gun towards him, warning him again. "Don't shoot, just hear me out. There is a girl in this house who called to me to help her. If I'm not mistaken, the woman that just killed her parents just attacked her, am I wrong?"
To his surprise, she became even more hostile, "I won't repeat myself again, Zander. She isn't up for your grubby hands to get a hold of. Get. Out. Of. My. House."
Zander officially lost his patience. He slipped to the side and in one solid movement, he had the gun in his hand as he held onto her from behind. Nobody, absolutely nobody would even dare to speak that way of his claim of her again. Katie was his and anyone to stand in his way would meet his wrath.
"You listen to me now because I can assue you my bite is worse than my bark, unlike yourself." He tightened his grip around her neck and he could feel her pulse raising as her blood pumped faster under his grip. "I am here at the call of my mate and will stop at nothing to keep her safe. If anything or anyone gets in my way, I will destroy them. Clear on that?"
She gulped and answered, "Yes."
"Good. Now, you are going to stay here and I am going to see my mate. Try stop me, you'll not like what happens." He growled to prove just how serious he was. He would go through with hs threat if he had to.
Not to his surprise, as soon as he released her, she spun around and tried to stab him with a knife. Where that knife came from, he had no idea but it was really the least of his concerns. He simply evaded her thrust and slammed her head against the wooden closet doors. She let out a cry of pain and crumpled to the floor where she stayed, motionless.
Content she wasn't going to move, he turned to find a way to get upstairs. He almost groaned aloud when he was met by the "Hunter". Such an overstatement. Nathan was basically a glorified teenage boy handed an absolutely ridiculous task.
Nathan stood there in a defensive stance with nothing but a knife to protect him. Zander felt smug as he glanced back towards the woman laying in the entryway, figuring she was his mom. His smugness turned to anger as he remembered that this punk kissed his mate. Not only did he kiss her but he had taken advantage of her in her state of vulnerability. That was something he would not allow from anyone. Not even himself.
"Zander, how nice of you to drop in." Nathan said, his voice decievingly sweet.
He would have pounced the Hunter right there had it not been for the stunning beauty that stepped into the room. Katie's presence calmed him and he felt his muscles ease. Even though he should have expected it, he was taken by surprise when she sought protection from Nathan and not himself. At this, the hair on the back of his neck rose and he could feel betrayal even though she had no reason to seek him out.
He physically growled as Nathan reached out his arm to touch her. All this did was cause Nathan to stare him dead in the eye as he grabbed her waist and pushed her behind him. She glared at the Hunter and this made Zander smile.
How do you fare, mi fuego? He asked her simply.
He grinned as she raised her eyebrow and finally she replied, I'm fine, thank you. I'd be better if you would leave. What does me fugo mean?
Do not forget that you called me here to help you, mi fuego, my fire.
Which means I can tell you when to leave. And Zander? I'm my own fire so bugger off.
He chuckled as she stuck her hands on her hips and all but stuck her tongue out at him.
"Whatever you say, mi fuego." Zander said out loud. Just as he hoped, this got Nathan all in a rise.
"Stay out of her head, you bastard." Nathan's voice was dangerously low. Zander liked how pissed he could get when it came to Katie. Little did he know that he had absolutely no chance of keeping her to himself. The bonds of fate couldn't be trifled with. He grinned at that thought.
"What do you mean, the bonds of fate?" Katie asked him.
He was taken aback by her question but he answered her with a question of his own, "You could hear my thought, mi fuego?"
"Stop calling her that." Nathan said through gritted teeth.
Before he could answer the damn boy, Katie interupted their little pow-wow, "Yes, I can, now answer my question."
"I will not answer such questions when others are present-" he shot Nathan a less than pleasant look "-it is something to discuss between mates, mi fuego."
Katie's eyes narrowed and she looked as if she were about to start cussing at him but Nathan let his anger get the best of him. He lunged for Zander blindly, knife in hand, not realizing that he was leaving Katie completely vulnerable. He grinned, easily surpassing Nathan's guard and grabbed hold of Katie. She squeaked in fear and this stabbed him more than she could ever comprehend.
"I'm not going to hurt you, mi fuego. I simply need you as leverage so Hunter boy there doesn't impale me." Zander said softly, breathing on her neck as he spoke. He felt her freeze in place as his lips touched her ear. He felt complete with her in his arms, he didn't want to let her go.
Painfully aware of Nathan's presence, he let her step forward away from him. He kept his hand on her arm to make sure she didn't run off to seek protection elsewhere.
"I'm not your mate, so leave me alone. Please?" Her voice was so soft it nearly broke his heart seeing her so afraid of him. He hoped and prayed that she would see him as he was sooner rather than later. He did save her life. That should count for something, shouldn't it?
I appreciate that but shouldn't stalking me kind of be a no no? I mean, come on, you expect me to love you after knowing what you are?
He growled for her to hear as she very plainly just insulted his claim on her. Not even she could disrespect the ways of fate and get away with it.
He turned his attention back to Nathan and said, "I'm not here to harm anyone, I just came to the call of my mate. Por amor de Dios, do I not get any credit for the fact that I ran here in the day? Do you know how much this shit hurts?" He thrust his hand in Katie's face and she looked genuinely concerned. The beast laying dormant in him growled appreciatively as she took his hand tenderly.
"Get away from him Katie." Nathan said, his voice cracking slightly. Zander chuckled. The boy was barely out of puberty and he was trying to protect something that wasn't his to protect.
"Nathan, wait. I did call him here. I don't know why I did but I did and he came. We should really give him the benefit of the doubt." Katie said, turning her back to Zander to confront the boy. A show of trust to turn her back to him that was. He smiled, liking hw the evening was turning to his benefit. If nothing else, he would think about that small act of trust to keep hope.
"Katie! You can't be serious! Remember everything we talked about? You can't seriously be taking this bullshit from him." Nathan exclaimed, clearly perplexed at his small victory.
By now, James had made his way into the room, unaware of what was going on, "Yeah, so she's tied up but I don't know if it'll hold her when she wakes up so we should probably come up with-" he stopped, obviously realizing Zander was there "-what are you doing here?"
James growled much like the dog he was.
Katie screwed her face up into a frown and retorted, "Nathan and James, I'm talking to the both of you. Why can't you think about his side of the story for a second? You're a freaking werewolf, James! You haven't said it to me straight but I know!" She paused for a second and stuck her finger at Nathan. "You're a Hunter! If all creatures are so bad, why isn't he being put down like a dog?"
James growled again, this time directing it at Katie and said, "I'm not a dog, understand that, Katie," his eyes began to glow and filled with hate as he tossed his head towards Nathan, "Ask him why I'm still around."
Sounds like a lovers quarrel. Zander chuckled, subconsciously sending Katie the thought.
Shut up, you bastard. She shot back instantaniously, her face betraying her fear.
She turned her attention back to Nathan and to his amusement, looked at him with an expectation of an explanation. Zander suddenly wished he had a bag of popcorn to sit back and enjoy the show. So much drama was about to unfold. Katie had no idea what kind of darkness Nathan had performed in order to have James as his little watchdog. Well, she was about to find out that the perfect, little Hunter boy wasn't as innocent of evil as he seemed.
He looked at Nathan and saw the shame settle on his face. When she was broken by the news, he would be there to comfort her. He revelled at the thought.
When no answer came from the boy, Katie looked him dead in the eye and said, her voice chilling, "Nathan, tell me now."
He glared at Zander and said, "Katie, we will discuss this when we have finished the problem at hand."
"Avoiding the question, are you there Hunter boy?" Zander asked, mocking his status as Hunter. He grinned as Nathan sent him what he was pretty sure was meant to be a "chilling" glare. Shaking in his boots, he smiled smugly in return.
Beginning to relax as their negative attention began to be among themselves rather than on him, he put his elbow on the median counter and leaned back. He noticed Nathan had relaxed his own stance and he laughed to himself. The "oh so famous Hunter" was relaxed while a vampire and werewolf stood in his kitchen. The young pup had much to learn.
"Okay, Nathan, have it your way. Zander please leave so I can pound these guys until I get some freaking real answers out of them!" She said, her voice raising with every word until she was nearly shouting.
Not wanting to leave her but still wanting to abide her wishes, he bowed slightly and took her hand. She flinched at his touch but he didn't let that stop him. He brought her hand to his lips and kissed it gently, letting them linger on her soft skin a moment longer.
Hasta la proxima vez, mi fuego...He said, not fully conscious that he had spoken in his own tongue.
Meaning what, jackass? She asked, frustration evident in her tone.
Forgive me, I sometimes switch to my first known language. I said, "until next time, my fire." He translated for her, knowing that she wouldn't appreciate him calling her "my fire." She'd better get used to that endearment sooner rather than later for her own sake.
True to her attitude, she responded, I'm not you're fire. Go bug somebody else.
He smiled at her and walked past Nathan, who glared at him in return. He felt like a peacock showing off his wares but he couldn't help it. Being able to walk in the Hunter's house while he could do nothing about it was too good to let up. He was sure Nathan would retaliate in some way but at the moment he couldn't care less. Katie had sided with him and had shown her instinctive trust towards him. That was a bigger win then he'd expected.
"Hasta la proxima, Hunter." He inclined his head slightly to acknowledge his presence but not enough to be a display of respect.
He stopped at the doorway and glanced down at Mrs. Borden, who still lay down, unconsicous of her surroundings. He grimaced and turned around to head back into the kitchen.
At Nathan's glare, he stuck his hands in the air and said, "I'm leaving, I'm leaving. I just thought I should be courteous and tell you to get some ice on your mother's head. She's going to wake up with a hell of a headache."
In an instant, Nathan had thrown the knife and he had to jump back to keep it from penetrating his shoulder. As it was, the blade slid across his arm and left it saturated with blood. Although a blade couldn't kill him, no matter how serious the wound, it could still hurt like hell.
He snarled and looked Nathan in the eyes, "That was a mistake, boy." With that, Zander turned around and walked out the door.
The sun wasn't completely set but the shadows were deep enough to provide better shelter than before. He set off back toward the warehouse even though he had no intention of returning there. The day had gone to sleep and it was time to play the games of night.
He paused as he saw a middle aged woman waiting to cross the street. He smiled to himself. The hunt was on.