darkest nightMature

Cade's mouth is planted on Dove's arm now. She is whimpering and sobbing and thrashing around, trying to get him away from her, but he's too strong.

"Jett. Jett." It takes me a second to realize that Emma's speaking to me. "You have to stop him. Dove is important. She can't die now."

I let her words sink in and glance frantically back and forth between her and Cade. I nod. "Cade!" I scream. I wrap my arms around his shoulders, pulling with all my strength. "Cade, stop it! Stop it!" I keep pulling, but Cade is so strong, and I'm getting nowhere. I jab my foot into his leg to try to get him off-balance. It works - Cade falls back into me with a lot of momentum. We land on the ground and the wind is knocked out of me.

"Cade." I pant, breathless. I study him as he seems to realize what just happened. His breathing slows, and his pupils shrink back to their normal size. He glances back and forth between Dove, Emma, and I, though Dove refuses to meet his eye.

"I..." He frowns. "Just guard her, Jett. I need time to think. Come now, Emma."

He storms downstairs and Emma casts a meaningful glance over her shoulder towards me before following him into the stairwell.

It seems too quiet after they leave and I feel sort of empty. Adrenaline exits my veins and I'm left feeling tired. Tired and alone. Except Dove is here, though I'm not sure that fact comforts me.

I can't believe Cade did that. I've never seen him so... so out of control. It bothers me because if Cade can't keep his control around Dove, then who's to say I'll be able to? Or any other vampire, for that matter?

My feet suddenly ache. I sit next to Dove's cage, glancing over at her. She's curled into a ball, shaking silently. A sudden urge to touch her, to comfort her comes over me.

Shit. I'm crazy. No. I hate her. I don't want to comfort her. I don't want anything to do with her.

"Cade's not usually like that." I say, breaking the stiff silence.

She glances up and pulls herself into a sitting position. Familiar teeth marks cover her arm and I do my best to not stare. I don't want to see that. I know the bite won't turn her. But I'm just concerned about the link - the empathy link. She and Cade will be linked for... well, it depends. It depends on how much blood he drank from her. I secretly hope Cade will stay away for a while.

Dove's expression is hard to read. I can't tell what she's thinking. "I don't care what he's usually like." She says at last.

My eyes are drawn to the teeth marks once more. "He's usually so controlled." I mutter, more to myself than to her.

"I don't care."

I look away. There has to be some way to defend Cade. Sure, he made a mistake. Sure, he's mean sometimes. But isn't everyone? Plus, Cade is our leader. I owe him my loyalty. "But blood is good," I say weakly.

When I turn back to Dove, her expression is sad, like she's sorry for me. "You must've been a good human." She says softly, "But you're nothing but monster now."

She's asleep before I can respond.

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The End

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