“What about Tina? I thought she was your mate.” Her voice came out deep and breathy.
Bane shrugged. “I’ve only known her for a few weeks. We weren’t together long. Besides, I warned her that the strigoi was dangerous. She took her chances and paid the price.”
He ripped the last of her dress open, tossing it to the side, and Myla leaned into him.
“That’s it.” He steered Myla towards the mattress on the floor. “Let me teach you a thing or two, and then we’ll have some fun with the strigoi.”
The dirt was soft and wet, and there was a strange, tingling sensation on my fingers as I dug, hunched down in the garden with Detrand by my side.
I wasn’t exactly sure what kind of magic the strigoi held, but it was most certainly prevalent in the garden where there was always a temperate weather, and the plants grew no matter the season outside the manor.
Detrand was a presence over me, hovering as always, watching me as I pulled the carrots from their roots and put them in the basket at my side.
My feelings were a mixture of both his and my emotions which I was still struggling to separate, but right now they were a contented thrill. Detrand was still training me and so I was slowly but surely becoming a better fighter. Lula, Elena, and I were becoming closer, and I had a place that was slowly growing into a home for me.
And then there was Detrand. I’d never have imagined my life could ever become like this, with passion and vitality that he brought into my world. Not only for him, but for life in general.
I was genuinely happy, and I think Detrand was, as well.
"Tell me," I said, tilting my head as I made my way down the row of vegetables, "what was your life like before you were turned?”
I didn't need to look up at Detrand to know the churning emotions inside him.
"As you know, I was married to Elena. We had two beautiful and innocent children.”
I nodded my head, my chest tightening with jealousy every time I thought of it. I tried not to, as Elena was very kind to me, and Detrand showed no interest in her. But still, they had a bond that I could never have with him: a time of before, with children, something I definitely could never have with him. The strigoi couldn’t produce children.
"Adelade." Detrand's low voice a rumble that made a shiver crawl down my spine, and he bent to squat next to me.
I didn't look at him, even though I knew he could feel my emotions, I didn’t want to reveal it on my face.
But he gently touched my chin, tilting it upwards, forcing me to look at him. "Just as your life with your parents was happy before you met me, so was my life with Elena. It was a good time in my life but the day that I became a strigoi, all that changed. Even before I met you, Elena and I weren't together. In fact, she'd been with Agosto for almost all our time as a strigoi."
"Was that strange?" I felt his response before he answered it, and put my hand on his knee to comfort him, stroking it with my thumb.
"Yes," he said, his voice strangled. "It was very strange. We all loved each other, but in different ways."
“And were you jealous of them?"
He glanced away. "At first, but then I got used to it. Over time, it wasn't the feeling of wishing things could be the same again between Elena and me, as it had in the past, but more that I was alone. Agosto was a good friend and he kept me company, but the strigoi have a great sexual appetite, and I was always on the hunt, searching to sate it." He finally looked back at me now. “I hope you never know that emotion, Adelade. Always longing, always searching for someone who could continually sate it, but never finding that special person."
His gaze burned into me, and my chest burned with the warmth of it. I could feel his buzzing contentment now, and knew that he hadn’t fucked anyone since we’d come to know each other, even though technically we hadn’t gone all the way yet.
My voice was husky when I responded. "Is that why you left England?"
He nodded. "Yes, after so long, and never feeling that I would ever grow to have what your parents had, not with the connection between Agosto and Elena and I, I left."
"I'm glad you returned."
He didn't answer me, but I didn't need to hear his words to know that he was glad as well. In fact, he was so happy to have met me, that it made my bones ache with the strength of his emotions. It was a heady, powerful feeling to know that the master of the manor, the most powerful strigoi in the city, was mesmerized by the very sight of me, fascinated and enchanted with my very presence.
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