Sun Kissed (Guardian Angel #2) - Page 17
“Then let’s continue, please?”
Lucian slowly backed toward his chair, not taking his eyes off Eli. Once he was seated, Eli dropped back into his own chair, concealing his stake in the sleeve of his jacket once again.
“Go,” Lucian ordered the vampires, and as quickly as they appeared, they disappeared.
I exhaled loudly and dropped back into my chair. “What is your next request?”
“You shift your time to vampire time. Meaning, you will sleep during the day and be awake during the night.”
We resumed our conversation under civil pretences but the tensions and anger in the room were obvious.
“I want to train during the day.”
Lucian clenched his jaw in frustration and exhaled loudly out his nose. “Without supervision? Not a chance.”
“We’re on a mountain, at least twenty-four hours from the nearest town. We aren’t going anywhere.”
“You two running away is not my biggest concern.” He glanced sideways at Eli, who was eating a chicken drumstick.
I knew what his biggest concern was. He didn’t want Eli and I to have unsupervised sessions because although he was a vampire, he still had strong feelings against goddess and guardian angel intimate relations.
“I can assure you that that should be the least of your concerns. Eli and I care for each other but it’s strictly professional.” I may have bent the truth a little. “Besides,” I said, swallowing hard. “I just lost my boyfriend.”
Of course he knew that, he was the one who gave the order to take Hunter away from me. I had to play that card. When Lucian first arrived at Sage, I told him Hunter was my boyfriend.
“A one hour session at dawn is all I’m allowing.”
“That’s all I’m asking for.”
Lucian rattled off more rules and routines I was expected to follow.
At no time during the night was I able to walk the house or grounds alone. When I was in my room, my door had to be locked from the inside and I wasn’t allowed to open it to anyone that hadn’t specified beforehand they needed to see me. Under no circumstances could I offer a vampire my blood or drink blood from a vampire. Well, that’s a no brainer.
By now it was very late. I ate my dinner; once I started it was hard to stop. I ended up being a lot hungrier than I thought. My heavy stomach made it almost impossible to fight away the sleepiness that was catching up with me.
“Is that everything?” I asked.
“Then if you don’t mind, I’d like to go to bed.”
“Both of you should sleep. Take her to her room, but keep in mind that I will know if you linger,” Lucian warned Eli.
Eli, too tired for words, simply nodded.
We walked back through the lively sitting room. The party was still very much alive, only this time there were less clothes. I kept my eyes on the floor. I had only been in this room for a few seconds and I’d already seen enough blood and breasts to last me a lifetime. We passed quickly through the orgy and into the living room.
“What the hell was that?” I blurted when we reached the staircase.
“A blood orgy,” Hunter replied, floating down the stairs toward us.
No other term could describe the way he moved, he appeared weightless. His black eyes watched me curiously as I instinctively stepped closer to Eli. Hunter’s face flinched, hurt by my movement. I thought about treating Hunter a little better than I had been, but I needed more time to adjust. I was a little relieved to see he wasn’t a part of the blood exchanging orgy in the next room.
I wasn’t in the mood to say ‘I told you so,’ but I could tell by the way Eli tensed up when he saw Hunter he was in as much shock as I was when I first saw him.
“Don’t look too surprised, De Luca, surely you were hoping for something like this to happen to me.”
“I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, let alone you, Hunter.” Eli’s voice was sympathetic and polite.
“Yeah, sure,” he snorted. Hunter came to a stop a few steps in front of us, towering over us. He flicked his fangs out. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m hungry.”
He brushed passed me and I was left staring. Eli tugged gently at my hand and step by step, we made it up the stairs and back to my room.
“Now I believe you,” he finally said.
His words annoyed me. “You should have believed me when I told you the first time.”
“I saw him die. He wasn’t moving. Then I wasn’t sure if you’d hit your head or not when we crashed and —”
“Well, now you know I didn’t.”
“Move on.” I heard the ice cold voice before I saw the vampire. Behind Eli was the tall, blond vampire that had killed Hunter. If I recall correctly, his name was Liam.
Eli turned away from me and Liam stepped away to let Eli pass. “I’ll see you at dawn.”
“But that’s only a few hours away,” I called after him.
Eli looked back at me with a smirk; his eyes alight with humor. I closed my door, avoiding Liam’s cold stare.
I turned and noticed my stuff in boxes on the bed. When I found the box with my clothes in it, I pulled my dress off and slipped into a pair of checker-patterned boxer shorts and a navy blue tank top. I wasn’t going to have a shower, what was the point? In four hours I’d have to wake up and get dirty. I’d shower after my training session with Eli. I pulled a small alarm clock out from a box and set it for five a.m. and then set it down on the bedside table. I pushed the boxes off the bed and over to the window before sliding in between the silk sheets. I stared up at the pretty chandelier. I didn’t turn it off, I wasn’t comfortable enough to sleep in the dark here. On the other hand, I didn’t think I was tired enough to sleep in the light, either. I closed my eyes, waiting for sleep to come. When I saw Mila, Hunter, Camilla, Mr Aleksandrov and Eli smiling at me, I knew sleep had taken me.
I was awoken from my peaceful slumber by a few light knocks on my door. Ugh. Who the hell would be knocking on my door at this hour? As I began to deliberate whether to answer it or not, my alarm went off and the realization hit me. It was time to train.
I hate being woken up so early in the morning. I guess it was worth it, though. With a tired groan, I forced myself out of bed, stumbling over to the door. Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I opened the door and was greeted by Eli’s serious face.
“Are you ready?”
“No.” I yawned. “I’ll get dressed.”
“Not a chance. Put your shoes on.”
“Eli, I need to get changed.”
“You should have set your alarm earlier.”
“I assumed you would be lenient. C’mon, it’s my first day. I've only had a few hours’ sleep. Why do we have to start training now? Let me go back to bed,” I whined.
Eli smiled sideways at me. “I’m going to be far from lenient with you.”
I sighed in defeat. It was too early to fight him.
By the door were my joggers, so I pulled them on. Eli grabbed me by my wrist, pulling me from my room. My vision was a blur as sleep still nagged at my eyes. It wasn’t until the warm morning sun welcomed my face that I knew we’d made it outside. I rubbed my eyes and squinted at my surroundings. A beautiful garden full of colorful flowers of every hue swayed gently in the breeze before me. I inhaled the sweet scent of jasmine.
“What is this?” I gasped.
I descended the few steps and my feet hit the perfectly mowed grass. Everything was planned out so beautifully. Eli walked past me. I followed him along the concrete path and through the garden until we reached a huge clearing outside the castle’s main walls. Even though I was no longer surrounded by the breathtaking garden, a strange citrus smell still lingered in my nostrils.
The wild greenery that surrounded us outside the castle walls was depressing. The way they curled and twisted, fighting each other for a glimpse of sunlight. Most fought their way toward the beautiful garden but appeared to be cut back every time they breached the wall.
“If we’re going to do this, you need to pay attention.”
My eyes and attention reverted back to Eli.
“Right. Sorry,” I apologized sheepishly.
Eli had already set up a small training area in a small courtyard at the back of the house. The walls were rubble mostly, but a few slabs of rock remained. My eyes skimmed over the barbells, dumbbells, dummies and other things.
Eli pulled off his shirt and I couldn’t help but stare. When he kept the tank top he wore under his shirt on, I fought back a disappointed pout.
“I guess.” I sighed.
“Then let’s begin.”
Training was way more brutal than I thought it would be. First we started off with stretches and then a quick jog around the castle. By the time we made it back to where we started, I was dying. Sweat was pouring profusely down my face and my breathing came out in heavy gasps.
“Please.” I breathed, wiping sweat from my forehead. “Please, say we’re finished.”
Eli laughed and handed me a bottle of water. I envied him, he had a few small sweat beads on his forehead, but his breathing was normal and his skin tone stayed a warm tan, unlike my overheated pink.
“Yes, we’re finished.”
Immediately I felt myself perk up. I thought about having a nice cold shower and then going back to bed.
“We’re finished warming up.”
My excitement drained out of me. “You’re joking.”
He shook his head, his eyes lit up with a humorous gleam. He pointed over to the weight set.
“You can’t be serious.”
“Oh I’m dead serious.”
“We’ll start you off on five kilo bicep curls and seven kilo bench press, just to see how you go.”
“I’m not doing that, Eli. I’m not weak. I’ve staked a vampire before, you know.”
Eli grabbed a long wooden stake from his sports bag and brought the dummy to an upright position. His face was tense as he handed me the stake.
“Do it, then.”
I threw my water bottle on the ground. I was determined to show him I could do it. My long fingers wrapped around the stake, pulling it from his hand. I walked up to the practice dummy and shoved the wood through its chest, but it barely went in. In fact, when I let go, it stuck in for a little while but then fell to the ground. I glanced at Eli, who was watching in an I-told-you-so kind of way.
“Again,” he called.
I picked up the stake and tried again, but this time it didn’t go in as far as my first attempt.
A frustrated growl escaped my throat as I slammed the wood as hard as I could into the hard, jelly-like surface of the dummy.
“I staked Hank, why isn’t it working on this silicon dummy?” I shouted, punching it in the chest.
“Because you’re not strong enough. With Hank, you got lucky. If I hadn’t driven him onto the stake as you connected with his flesh, you wouldn’t have been able to pierce his heart.”
“Let me get this straight. You’re saying I can’t do this?”
“You can do this, you just need to train.”
“So the point of this session was to make fun of how pathetic and weak I am?”
“No. The point of this session was to show you that you need to train, that you’re not as invincible as you think.”
I dropped my eyes from his face to my shoes. “I get it.”
“This session,” he continued, “was also to show you how strong you are. Despite where you are and what’s going on around you, you got out of bed this morning… and that makes you the strongest person I know.”
“Just not in the physical sense?”
I dropped onto the ground and laid down. I ignored the way the spiky grass made my skin itch.
Eli towered over me, looking down into my eyes. “But you can become strong.”
“I don’t want to be strong, Eli. I don’t want to fight vampires.”
“I know.” Eli laid down next to me and we watched the sky through the gaps in the tree leaves.
“How do you do it?”
“Train and fight vampires?”
“It’s all I’ve ever known, really. My father was very strict on me. I trained twice a day, three if I slacked off in any session.”
“It wasn’t so bad. It made me strong. I killed my first vampire when I was fourteen, but he wasn’t alive to see that.”
I tried to picture Eli as an innocent, young teenager taking on a vampire. It would have been traumatizing. I wrapped my fingers around his.
“How come you aren’t as anti-vampire as your dad was?”
“My mind won’t let me. I can’t condemn someone based on what they are. My dad tried to fix me but he couldn’t, and that’s why I was such a disappointment to him.”
“Fix you? You’re not broken …”
“To him I was.”
Eli closed his eyes and his chest rose and fell.
“I wish I could be as calm and as forgiving as you,” I admitted.
“It’s not without effort.” He rolled over and rested his head on his hand. “You’re talking about Hunter though.”
I was? I hadn’t intended to, but I guess that’s what I was referring to with my comment.
“I just can’t stand being near him. It freaks me out.”
Eli rose to his feet and extended his arm to me. “Do whatever makes you comfortable but remember he was your friend. He was there for you when I left, when you had no one else. He’s probably feeling just as alone as you were, if not worse.”