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“Keep your mouth shut and don’t look at them. Better yet don’t make any sounds at all. If you cry they will snap your neck faster than you can scream. Strip.”

Hands shaking, and tears still stinging your eyes, you stared at the beautiful female in front of you in confusion and horror, “W-What? Please—Kara? Is she safe now? You promised that if I take her place you will—”

A noise ripped through the air and the female in front of you flashed her fangs, her dark eyes burning with contempt. There was no pity on her face or even a shred of doubt as she threw a white dress at you.

“You will put this on now, human, or I will break your kneecaps and force you into it,” the woman—Autumn; no that sounded wrong, North; yes, that was the one—spoke harshly, a growl rumbling through her chest.

She was stunning, the same way all vampires were. Proud, eternal, indestructible as they were seductive. They had no regard for human life, even though they themselves were humans once. You couldn't help but wonder what must have happened to this woman to put such hatred for humans in her heart. 

Fumbling with the silky material in your hands, you sniffled another cry of despair. Kara had a family though, and if there was even a slight chance you could save her, of course, you were going to take her place. Besides, as rare as those instances remained, there were stories that some humans lived. Only if they proved themselves worthy or the vampire feeding on them found their blood satisfactory. They then took the human into the fold so they were slowly integrated into vampire society before their inevitable death or Change.

Most ended up as nothing more than blood slaves, used for pleasure and blood—usually both, since vampires liked to mix pleasure of all kinds together. Or so the tales and whispers said.

There was another tale though. Of a powerful vampire Lord called Markus who supposedly took a human lover and made him his Mate, effectively making his human lover an individual of power and respect. And if one day he was to turn his lover, someone who was once nothing more than a human would become a ruler of the same prestige.

“I-I will change,” you mumbled in consensus, wiping shakingly across your cheeks. You had to be strong, you had to be obedient, had to be quiet and meek so they would think of you as nothing more than another miserable human and nothing else. “Can you p-please turn around?”

North glared at you, her lips pursed tightly. You looked away meekly, ignoring her unmoving, deadly presence as you hurriedly swapped your clothes, covering your modesty the best you could.

“I’m done,” was your soft whisper as you stared at the lush carpet beneath your now bare feet.

The dress was beautiful, white silk that flowed easily down your figure. You wondered how they knew your exact size because the dress was a perfect fit. Not tight or loose; just perfect. The skirt was soft to the touch, almost like a cloud. The design was simple as well, slightly flared skirt and small spaghetti straps that almost created a modest A-line.

“Obey the Kings no matter what, and make sure you satisfy them with your blood. If you do, you may have a slight chance of surviving this night.”

Kings?

Your lips parted, ready to broach the question carefully, but the room was already empty. Bare of any signs there was another occupant just seconds ago. Fear burned like raging fire inside your gut and you rubbed your sweaty palms together, before nervously burying them in your hair.

You got the sense you were supposed to wait in this room, and you weren’t stupid enough to try and run away. Vampires were apex predators for a reason. You stood no chance, and there were plenty of stories of those who tried to run and met a bloody and painful end.

Moonlight shone brightly through the parted curtains, drawing your nervous gaze as you dully padded towards the giant balcony door. Cautiously, you reached out, trying the door which was predictably locked, and felt your heart sink.

You were going to die.

Drained dry by vampires who would not care about your life or dreams. They would simply use you up as they see fit, and throw your body away when they’re done.

Your life was supposed to have been more than this. Naturally, faced with the inevitable, roaring oblivion, the realisation of how little you have done with your life began sinking in.

You looked at the moon. Full, and breathtaking in its wideness and felt silent tears of regret roll down your cheeks.

You just wanted—

“Who do we have here?”

Surprisingly, there was no fear. There was just...sadness. Sadness you would never get to see your friends, never enjoy a cup of coffee with Kara again, or see Rupert. Rupert. There was a whole mountain of regret when it came to him. You wish you had known how to fix things with him before everything went so wrong. Now, though, it didn't matter. Even if you didn’t die on this night, it was inescapable now.

You turned slowly, glancing over your shoulder at the source of a new presence in the room.

They were devastating. And there was two of them.

One was dressed in all black. A high turtleneck and sleek black trousers, accenting his lean, powerful frame. Every inch of him was built to be inviting, appealing, seemingly moulded from the type of beauty that stole your breath. His hair was dark, only accentuating the clear, grey eyes. He stood with a slight smirk adorning his face, hands folded deep in his pockets as he observed you mockingly with a slight tilt of his head.

The other one was leaning against the wall with his arms crossed over his chest. He appeared slightly shorter, dressed in a tightly fitted white suit shirt and similar dark trousers. His expression was hard, tightly drawn, and serious while his pitch black eyes took you in critically. His nostrils flared and his gaze seemed to darken further, lips parting in a near predatory manner.

“This one—”

The man with grey eyes nodded once. One second he was on the opposite side of the room, and the next he was right in front of you, making you gasp mutely.

He was tall. Much taller than he appeared from across the room. He towered over you, and you felt your breath hitch when he leaned closer. His nose skimmed over the curve of your neck, and you exhaled weakly while the vampire before you drew a deep breath as if tasting your very essence.

Hm. Wherever did North find you, I wonder?” he spoke, his voice as effortlessly soft as the silk on your body. “You don’t strike me as the volunteering type. But...”

A slight breeze and you felt another presence behind you, cold lips suddenly skimming your bare shoulder.

“This one smells like—”

“Yes.”

You trembled at the intense look the two shared over your shoulder, causing goosebumps to explode across your skin.

“Are you going to kill me?”

The two vampires—they looked so alike you almost wanted to call them brothers—peered at you, and you trembled between them in horror, realising too late of your mistake.

Never speak to them, never look them in the eyes.

You squeezed your eyes shut, accepting the idea of a painful death.

“Why would we kill you?” the one in front of you spoke. “We have needs but if you remain compliant rest assured we will make it extremely pleasurable for you.”

“B-Because you kill humans after they’re no longer of use.”

An arm snaked around your waist, and a cold tongue traced a slow circle up your bare shoulder. “This one is chatty, Nines,” the man behind you spoke coolly, “But I grow weary of your tricks. Let me put it plainly for you, girl. Let us sample you and you will live. If not, we snap your neck now and it’s done.”

“Come now Connor,” Nines chided with a sly smirk, cupping your cheek as his thumb swiped over your wet cheek. “They always look so terrified of us. This is preferable to those who spread their legs for us without so much as a prompt. But my no-fun brother is right. Let us have a taste and you shall live. You have our word.”

“Vampires lie.”

Surprise flickered over his expression and you felt Connor tighten his arm around your waist, leaning his chin against your shoulder, lips pressing intently against your ear as he breathed, “Is that so?” he muttered coldly, his breath fanning over your exposed skin.

Not many people knew that vampires could, in fact, lie.  

But you did.

(“Follow me, little bit, taste—”)  

Fear tore through you so quickly you jerked in panic, a cold sweat breaking out across your skin.

“What was that?” Connor spoke lowly, holding you closer as you felt your heart galloping in your chest.

Nines stepped closer, cupping your cheeks, and jerking your head upwards, “Look at me. What’s your name? Focus. What’s your name?”

“(Name),” you choked out.

“(Name), you’ve met one of our kind before, haven’t you?” Nines asked seriously, your name like fine spun silk on his tongue. “Glamour has been put on your mind. If we don’t interfere, it’s going to drive you mad. We can take it away, but we have to taste your blood to have some power over you.”

“You’re trying t-to trick m-me,” you stammered, your knees shaking as you swayed. “Y-You—”

Sickness curled your stomach, and you felt everything around you spin before another sensation pierced through everything else.

A mouth against the back of your neck. Specifically, a warm, numbing sensation of teeth sinking into your flesh.

You gasped, leaning your back against the solid chest as a low moan escaped your trembling lips, and you felt Connor’s tongue lap against your skin, soothing the initial sting of his fangs.

It was—

It wasn’t supposed to be like that.

Getting bit was supposed to be painful and draining. It was not supposed to fill you with simmering warmth, drain the flood of discomfort from your mind or set a burning heat in your lower belly.

Squeezing your eyes shut tightly, you wrapped your arms around his, bracing yourself as you bit viciously on your own lip.

Oh. Hello there,” Nines purred as he suddenly appeared before you, freeing your trapped lip gently with his own teeth. Your eyes flew open, and you stared at him wide-eyed, muffling a moan as Connor pulled you harsher against him, sucking once more on your neck before his tongue ran circles over your flesh, stopping the blood flow. “Where have you been hiding all this time, little one?”

His eyes seemed to glow—bright and greedy—as he pressed his body against yours, hand voraciously settling on your hip. Connor was still holding you close, silent and focused as he absentmindedly licked your puncture wounds. His thumb rubbed against your stomach, igniting a heat of pleasure in your veins.

It didn’t make sense. You didn’t like strangers, and you only ever shared affection with people closest to you. But these two vampires and their touch felt right and safe, and familiar. Like your body was made solely to fit perfectly between theirs, every intimate inch of you pressing against them and their tightly coiled, powerful bodies.  

“How does she taste?” Nines hissed, voice dripping with honey as his hand travelled down to find the end of your dress skirt. The material pooled around his hand as he lightly skimmed his cold fingers up your thigh, riding the material upwards, and exposing your bare legs. An uneven pattern of exhales slipped past your lips as cold air nipped at your exposed flesh. “I bet she tastes divine.”

Connor hummed, distracted by kissing the shell of your ear as his fangs nipped the tip of it, “I want to fuck this one.”

You jolted—his smooth, low spoken words like liquid fire in your veins, filling you with such sudden heat you almost sighed. It was embarrassing how such a simple string of syllables—you’ve heard cruder, harsher, before—could affect you so easily. And perhaps even more surprising... the lack of fear you felt after. Like those words have erased any remaining shred of fear you felt.

“Are you afraid, girl?” Nines questioned mockingly, a sneering undertone in his words. Undoubtedly mistaking your stillness for shock. His cold fingers were almost at your hip, only centimetres away from the ultimate prize.  

No.”

You surprised even yourself with that simple denial. Easy, and from deep within your chest, you spoke honestly and you could tell the two vampires recognised your truth as well.

Nines deride smirk flattered, something severe and assessing now in his gaze. Connor squeezed your hip for a moment before his hand slowly travelled up your stomach, a quiet growl rumbling from his chest. He pushed on your lower stomach, your backside pressing against his hardened groin, making a small noise of embarrassment escape your parted lips.

There was a flutter of air, and you gasped when you felt your weight suddenly tilt and drop. You bounced on the mattress, your heart rippling in your chest erratically. Glancing up, you shivered at the image of two vampires hovering above you.

Nines looked at you curiously, that assessing gleam still shining in his beautiful grey eyes. You wondered what answers he was looking for in your face, and if he was finding them. He reached forward, his fingers settling against your bite mark. After a moment of hesitation, he pressed his digits against the sore spot, making you wince. Connor grumbled when Nines fingers came away bloody, and you watched in silent fascination as the vampire raised his fingers to his lips, sucking hard on them. A rigidness locked his entire frame, eyes finally gleaming with something you could only describe as raw, untamed hunger. A low panting sort of growl rattled his chest, and he huffed heavily, lips twitching upwards briefly.

“Now you understand,” Connor murmured to his companion, his voice heavy and needy with bloodlust as his feral features leaned closer. He braced one hand beside your head, his face hovering over yours. Lips parting, he lazily skimmed over your features with his eyes, “No fear,” he added with a deep purr of soft satisfaction.    

Why did it—oh

It couldn't be.

No.

Nines snarled quietly, his hands snapping forward as he jerked your dress upwards, baring your thighs to him again. He leaned closer, nose skimming the fragile skin as you squirmed beneath Connor who grabbed your hands in his, locking them above your head.

“No hiding (Name), we will not hurt you,” he insisted gravely, a brush of his cold lips against your ear making you whimper. Something halfway between a hiss and a groan escaped him, the blackness of his eyes making a stark contrast between his pristine white shirt and creamy, smooth skin. “Just...feel.”

It was at those words that you felt Nines press a kiss against the skin of your inner thigh. His hand locked around your left knee, jerking the limb easily over his shoulder as he kneeled between your parted legs, your dress skirt pooling around your hips. You had no idea if it even covered you anymore but all you could do was watch as Nines raised your leg, tongue skimming leisurely down the length of your inner leg before pausing.

He was dark, all-consuming sin with his parted lips and quicksilver gaze between your legs. His fangs gleamed in the subdued moonlight, and you felt the need and want crash through you so strongly your muscles buckled—

“Yes, let us taste you, little one,” Nines whispered, his words like cold caress across your skin and you choked on a whimper when he scraped his fangs down your skin. Tiny rivulets of blood welled but there was no pain just a burn—a burn that you could not shake, could not battle, for it came from deep within. There was just a pulse of pure, unshakable desire you couldn't even begin to explain. No one had ever elicited such reaction from you before. Not ever.

Your eyes flickered towards Connor who was still dipping his body over yours. His eyes gleamed when they met yours and he loosened his hold on one of your wrists, lifting the delicate limb to him. At first, there was only a featherlight kiss and your pulse leapt; not from fear, but from the thrill of excitement that crawled up your spine at the gentleness of his gesture. Then came his tongue; and the wet, sensual lap of it across your exposed wrist. His eyes never left yours, hooded and aphotic, as he let his own fangs hover.

Nines sucked on the scratches on your thigh, nibbling and lapping the blood greedily, as his cold fingers hungrily glided upwards, coming to rest against your hip again. His fingers brushed the hem of your underwear and your back arched in a silent plea.

“Tell us you want this,” he breathed hoarsely, bloodlust dulling his voice into a gravelly whisper that rumbled from deep within his chest. Connor exhaled hotly against your wrist, teeth carefully racking down your wrist as if in silent agreement. “Let us in.”

Please,” was your desperate request.

It was like they were waiting for that exact word.

They sunk their fangs into you simultaneously. You had no idea how they managed to synchronise so perfectly when they weren’t even looking at each other but there was a hum of energy in the air; desire and bloodlust mixing to bind you together.

You didn’t bother smothering your wanton moan of pleasure as Nines caressed your hip bone, fingers slipping slyly under your underwear while he sucked harshly, teeth sunk deeply into your skin. Your other leg curled upwards and Nines' hand snapped out, laying firmly on your bent knee as he pulled himself closer, wrapping your other leg around his shoulder. Hands edging upwards, he traced up your legs before jerking your lower back upwards, hands slipping underneath your ass.

His lips finally detached from your bleeding thigh, and you whimpered at the loss of scorching, delightful heat. Blood covered his sinful lips, and his mouth uncoiled from the hungry, animalistic line it was set in before. He chuckled, a heart-melting sound of pure seduction that washed over you like a warm bath after a long day of stress.  

Connor gripped your wrist tighter, producing a very different sort of sound next to you. A building snarl—the type to install fear into the very marrow of someone—but it was not a frightening sound to you. It was a sound drenched in deep-rooted longing you could not decipher. Almost against your own will, your fingers stretched, brushing gingerly against his smooth cheek.

His eyes snapped open as if startled. There was no trace of humanity in his cogent glower. Connor’s fangs sunk deeper, drinking harder, and your vision started growing fuzzy, eyes drooping.

“Brother,” Nines’ frigid voice barely reached through the haze, “Enough, Connor.”

One second Connor was lapping the blood from your wrist, and the next you felt your body shift and the pleasurable throb in your wrist disappear.

“I don’t lose control. She’s—”

“Yes, I know.”

“We must—”

“And we will. First, we need to find out who was the one to put the glamour on her mind.”

A snarl; animalistic and chilling, “Do you think someone hurt her?”

“I do not know,” icy, soft words, “But I pity any fool who may have.”

You dimly registered, cold fingers resting over you beating heart. While another presence brushed their fingers over the contours of your face.

“Perfection.”

A sly chuckle, “Come now, brother, does she already have you wrapped around her pretty little finger? She kept us waiting long enough.”

“The wounds are closing.”

A brush of coldness across your palm before cool lips pressed against your wrist again. Surprisingly gentle, almost apologetic. 

“Of course they are. A vampire can never hurt their Mate.”

Deep fatigue dragged you towards unconsciousness but that word stuck, sinking like a knife into your heart.

Of course.

The only reason a human would find the feeding pleasurable was if...if they were the vampire’s Mate.

No, please

But the truth tore through you, dropping like a stone at the bottom of your soul. No way out now. No vampire would ever stop pursuing their Mate. Especially not two of them. They said that the Bond—a genuine, all-consuming connection with your vampire mate—was inescapable no matter how hard you tried to fight against it.

The last sensation that entered your mind was the feeling of two vampires curling on either side of you, and pressing their lips against your skin possessively.

"Ours."