"I liked it very much, both of you worshipping me, as if I was a creature you revered."
"That's because we do, Adelade. Even after these weeks, you have yet to understand your power. The way you taste, the way you smell. It could drive men mad."
“Then I wish to drive you mad, if it means we could be together."
I raised a shoulder. "I admit that Stefano intrigued me when I was younger but my heart only belongs to you."
"And yet, if we called him into our bed again?”
I nodded. "I would like that very much."
"Or any other man or strigoi?"
“Yes," I breathed, "If I'm with you, then I would like that very much."
The truth was, the very idea thrilled me, the thought of two men taking me was enticing. That I could make strong men weak for me was a powerful notion. However, I was also sincere in that I only wanted that kind of relationship as long as Detrand was with me, as it was truly his heart I longed to keep.
He nodded in response to my answer, and I could feel his own desire to share me with another man, to show off what belonged to him. To control us both, as master of not only the city but of our bodies.
"Good," he murmured, leaning down to kiss me once more, his kiss soft and tender, like his heart when he was around me. “Now get dressed and eat. Samira will be coming with us to the docks, and the ship will be here soon."
Nodding, I stood, feeling his eyes on me as I dressed.
Samira was Detrand's new assistant now that Bronson was gone. A group of powerful supernaturals over in the Americas sent her to him, requesting his help. She wasn't a strigoi, but a vampire, and as far as I could tell they were very similar, but with a few differences. Vampires didn’t seem to hunger for sex as the strigoi did, and they didn’t seem to possess magic like the strigoi.
I dressed quickly and we went down the stairs, heading for the kitchen. Samira passed by me and I startled, not having heard her enter the room.
She was even more silent that the strigoi, if that was even possible, and she didn’t say anything as she passed.
"Hello, Samira." I tried to engage with her even though she wasn’t exactly the friendly sort.
She nodded her head. "Adelade." Her eyes went to Detrand and she nodded at him as well, but with a touch more respect. "Sir. You require my services tonight at the docks, correct?"
"Yes, there's a new shipment of goods being brought in."
"And Stefano? Isn’t that his job?”
Detrand frowned. "Not that it's any of your business, but Stefano will stay at the docks to watch over the first set of goods they’re to deliver. You will enter the boat with me and count over the remaining goods, then stay on board to keep an eye out while I renegotiate the terms of our contract. You will also be there in case anything happens. If there is any kind of mutiny or trouble, you will get Adelade to safety."
At this, I huffed and Samira's eyes went to me again, roaming over me curiously. I was used to people staring at me by now but it still made me bristle. I knew what everyone was thinking: why would the master of the city be interested in a puny human like me?
It was a good question but one I tired of nonetheless. I met her gaze with my own, not looking away.
At this, she did turn away, looking up at Detrand. "If that is what you wish, I am yours to command." She gave him a low bow, then turned on her heel. "I will wait for you outside."
I watched her go, wondering what was going on in that head of hers, but Detrand didn’t seem too bothered. He took my hand, tugging me towards the kitchen. "Come eat, then we will leave."
As soon as we entered the dining hall, the servants came out, placing the soup and bread in front of where I usually sat. It still felt strange to be served since I was so accustomed to doing everything myself.
After a moment, Lula entered the room, an exhausted look on her face.
"Are you hungry?" I asked her, smiling. It was always amazing to see her, though she was often attending Elena in her room now.
“Come sit with us." I pat the chair next to me and she sat down.
Within moments, she had food and drink in front of her, passing something over to the server before she settled in. I blanched as my eyes landed on the bloody rag as the server walked back into the kitchen with it.
"How's Elena?" I asked her.
"Fine." She gave me a meaningful look before taking a sip from her spoon.
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