“Shhh, all that matters is you and the baby will be safe.” She didn’t notice when his left hand gripped her left arm or even when his forearm pressed across her chest. She did notice when he pushed her against the back of the couch and she couldn’t move her arms or upper body. He had her pinned.
“Ephraim, what are you doing?” she demanded.
His expression was pained. “I’m so sorry, baby. I never planned on doing it this way, but now there’s no choice. I am so sorry.”
Something very wrong was happening. She tried to move, he gave her no quarter. It wasn’t until he raised his right hand that had been hanging by his side up to this point that she realized that something very bad was about to happen. Blood was streaming down his arm from a bite.
“I’m sorry,” he said again as he brought his arm towards her mouth.
“No! Ephraim, please no!” she screamed. The arm kept coming. “Baby, please, your blood kills people! Please stop! Ephraim, no!”
“You’ll be fine I swear,” he murmured. She started kicking him and pushing at him with her feet, but he was like a boulder, he didn’t give under her assault.
She opened her mouth to scream one last time when he took advantage and placed his wrist against her mouth. She fought to close her mouth but his wrist was firmly in place.
Sweet salty liquid poured into her mouth. She closed her eyes and forced herself not to swallow. Her nose wasn’t covered so she could breathe easily. The blood would collect in her mouth and when he pulled away she would spit the blood out and deck him. All she had to do was allow the blood to pool in her mouth and she would be fine, she told herself.
She tried to scream when she felt his fangs slice through her neck, causing the blood to pour down her throat until she was practically choking. Tears burned in her eyes as his mouth pulled harder on her neck. Still the blood didn’t stop. She was forced to swallow or choke.
He had to force himself to slow down. Her blood was so delicious it sent his body into overdrive. It wanted more, demanded more and he had to force himself to relax. If he drank too fast he would drain her and the baby. He needed to do it slowly until he tasted his blood mixed with hers and then she would forever be safe from even him.
Madison felt Ephraim’s teeth pull away long before his wrist left her mouth. He licked his lips and looked oddly relieved. “It’s okay, baby, just a little more.”
She tried to tell him to go f**k himself, but his wrist made that impossible so instead she settled for loud incoherent mumbles.
“Shh, it’s okay, baby, you can yell at me later.”
“If it makes you feel better you’ll be able to kick my ass up and down the street after this.”
Oddly enough that did make her feel better. He had a good ass kicking coming for his high-handed behavior. He chuckled lightly. “From the look on your face I’m guessing the idea pleases you.” He pulled his wrist away and quickly replaced it with his mouth.
She could taste her own blood on his tongue. It made her stomach roll over. She pushed him away. “Why?” she demanded hazily. God she felt so tired, didn’t she just sleep? She looked past him at the clock. Yes she had, for a good four hours it seemed so why was she suddenly tired now?
Strong arms picked her up. She opened her eyes. When did she close them? “Shh, baby, you’re going to sleep for a while now. When you wake up everything will be different. You’ll be safe. That’s all that matters.” He pressed a kiss to her forehead.
“I’m so going to kick your ass, Ephraim,” she mumbled.
He sighed unhappily, “I know.”
“Ephraim?” Mrs. Buckman called him as he walked towards the stairs.
“Yes, Eleanor?” He paused at the foot of the stairs.
Eleanor wiped her hands on a kitchen towel. “It’s been three days, Ephraim. I think we should bring her to the hospital.”
“I’ll ask her the next time she wakes up,” he lied.
“It’s funny, I’ve been up there several times over the past couple of days and I always seem to come in right after she’s fallen back to sleep.”
“I think this fever is really taking it out of her.”
Her brows pulled together. “If she’s so sick then perhaps having Chris in there isn’t the best idea. He could end up sick, too.”
“He’s just worried about her. He’s hanging out in the office anyway so he’ll be fine.” There was no need to tell her that Chris was feeding Madison blood every hour on the hour through a tube to help with the transformation or that as a Sentinel he had natural strength to deal with her if she should wake while Ephraim was out trying to hunt Caroline. So far no luck. He only knew she was still in the area.
She crossed her arms over her chest and gave him one of her stern looks. It was the only thing that tipped him off to the real matter at hand. “About that, when exactly are you planning on making an honest woman out of my granddaughter? I’m not too happy that the two of you are sharing a bed. At least when you still had a room I could live in denial, but now you’ve forced my hand.”
“Would it make you feel better to know that I decided to ask Madison to marry me four months ago and the only thing that stopped me from asking was her irrational fear that your daughter Emma created?”
Eleanor wiped her brow. “I was afraid it was something like that.”
“I love her very much and already have a ring ready. The moment she says yes I plan on dragging her to the JP before she can change her mind,” he promised.
“No, that would never do,” she said sternly.
He never counted on her disapproving of a quick wedding. “I have a friend who’s a JP. You’ll drag him here and I’ll set up a quick wedding with the help of the kids. She’s less likely to make a run for it if I’m guarding the door.”
He chuckled. “Probably.”
She nodded. “Okay, then you best get upstairs before your friend gets sick.”
“Yes, the young man who helped you into the house earlier this week after your car accident.” That was how Madison explained his injuries when Eleanor stumbled upon them at four in the morning.
“Good. I need to talk to him. Thanks, Eleanor.”
“Tell Chris he better get his little buns down here in one hour to set the table or there will be no dessert.”