King Conroys P.O.V
I glanced ahead but couldn see anything other than the clusters of trees. Pausing, I looked to my right, there! I saw a crofters hut. I ignored the throbbing pain in my back and made for it.
The barking and howling grew louder still and I cursed, ”The wolves has captured her scent. ” The cottage is the only hope for her safety so with vigor I ran towards it.
About a hundred yards to go and my long legs were eating it up…now, thirty more feet.
I snuck a peek over my shoulder to see how close the rogues were. With their appetite piques, the snarling and growling hungry animals were gaining on me. The forest had a dark magic that stopped my ankle from healing.
Ten more feet… five… two… just another foot!
I lunged over the porch and crashed my body into the door, almost tumbling over. I bolted inside the hut with a racing heart, it was quite dark but my eyes acclimatized it soon and then I saw a mat in the corner and ran towards it. I shook off my mate onto the mat.
I was out the door immediately and I charged at the wolf closest to the porch, knocking it to the ground. A yipping noise filled the air. It struck its paw across my shoulder and dug its claw in my skin.
I retaliated by tearing the skin on its shoulder with my teeth and his boiling blood spilled into my mouth. I was surrounded now by the other rogues.
The dark magic stopped both of us from healing and with a whimper the rogue beneath me shifted to a naked woman.
I leapt off her to the porch and then I arched a leg up, peeing all over the porch and growled, baring my bloodied teeth. The other rogues snarled at me and I knew I couldn afford to waste more time so I glared at the shifted human in the eye, maintaining eye contact till I exacted my dominance over the she-wolf. The other rogues scampered away while the female began taking a step back, clutching her bleeding shoulder. Then another, then one more, till she ran off naked with the other rogues, howling in forced submission.
I pawed back into the cabin, to the mat I laid her on. A twig maybe or a sharp branch had cut into her neck while she was on my back and blood was running down her body.
My wolf nuzzled her bloodied neck, refusing to let our human take control but I am useless to stop her bleeding wounds in my wolf form so shutting my eyes tightly, I allowed my human dominate over my wolf and with a low cry, I shifted into my human and collapsed on the floorboard wearily.
My ankle hasn still healed nor has the wound on my shoulder.
I cupped her face and it felt so cold, almost glacial. Her skin felt stiff and unyielding beneath my scorching hands. She could have as well been a corpse but she still breathed. Her chest rose ever slowly and sometimes her pulse was so faint that it was as though she didn have any.
She was in pain and I could feel her torment through the mate bond and my eyes stung with tears, feeling so helpless as I couldn save her in this moment without the blood of the true-blooded vampire king.
Pushing down my pain, I glanced around looking for a lamp and my fingers skimmed over the shelf and caught on a candle. Grabbing a matchstick that laid on the hearth, I lighted the candle and the hut was illuminated.
I noticed a clean piece of rag and water in a large basin. ”This hut has to have been inhabited by peasant humans. Their scent was really disgusting. ” I mused.
Grabbing both, I limped back to the mat and cleaned her wounds. Now that the wound was free of blood, I could look at it better and saw that it wasn a deep cut, rather a little slash. I pressed my lips on the cut.
I was almost there, she would live. If saving my mates life was the last thing I would achieve as the king of the Valerian Kingdom, then so be it.
~The next morning~
I hopped and staggered towards the hut, logs of wood in arms and the screech of the wind resumed. I had ventured out of the hut in search for wood to keep my mate warm as it begun snowing immediately after I got the wound on her neck to stop bleeding out.
The throb in my ankle had gotten worse and it was terrible because I couldn shift no matter how hard I tried. I hadn just twisted the damn appendage, it was broken. I would have to wait to heal to be able to continue the journey.
The forest was obviously enchanted with black magic for the season was for the rays of the sun so the magic was trying to make it impossible for me to take my mate over to the vampire kingdom.
With every step I took, I was vehemently made aware of my increasing weariness, how I was too exhausted to carry on.
Ancientrova still laid a league beyond, I judged, but I might never make it there, not with my broken ankle and my unconscious mate.
Finally, I caught sight of the hut again. it was a crude, pathetic dwelling but by far better than no shelter at all. Wed be out of the wind within its crumbling walls at least, for now…
Slouching, I made it through the low opening of the door just as my legs gave out beneath me. With a grunt, I whirled to my knees and the wood tumbled from my arms and rolled onto the earthen floor, making so much noise yet my mate did not so much as stir or utter a single moan of discomfort from the mat I laid her on.
”Forgive me, My sleeping killer mate, for this rough entrance in your bower. ” I said grimly on the silence when I had recovered my breath.
Unbuckling the black-enamored gold brooch that fastened my cloak, I drew the bearskin cloak from my shoulders and covered my mate to her chin, tucking the edge snugly about her body.
Then I drew the matches from the top of the hearth with cold-numbed fingers and clumsily set about building a fire.
The wood was wet so the fire was barely sizzling.
Rubbing my hands together again, and blowing upon them to warm myself, I turned to my mate. I grazed my knuckles across her cheek. It was as cold as ice. Growling a curse, I pulled down the cloak I covered her with and reached out to take her hand and rub some warmth into it but my hand brushed her gown.
”Bloody moon, what in the world happened? Why was her clothing drenched as though snow had begun to melt? There was no way snow should be on her for she was unconscious and I left her in the hut. ”