Duke Abbott exploded under us and I pulled Kendra to my body.
"I love you," we said in unison and I shut my eyes as we collided with the ground, both of us passing out.
"You have to do it now," Camille sobbed when I came to.
"Huh?" Kendra murmured and I opened my eyes.
I began to panic. Kendra's body was a mess. I could tell several bones were broken and she was bleeding a lot; too much, in fact. Her eyes were unfocused and I realized what Camille meant as she tore Kendra's dress. I grabbed Kendra's head and made her look at me.
"I love you," I said and she blinked. "I love you and you're my star. I-I don't know how I know, but I do."
"Wait, what?" she slurred but I ignored her.
Camille was pointed at a spot under Kendra's breast and I sank my teeth into her. I groaned. God, she tasted amazing. She gasped, her hand running into my hair. I felt the urge to take her right there but knew she was on the brink of death and needed me. I pulled back and Erik took my shirt off of me.
"Come on, Kendra," Colin said, getting in the mud.
She reached for me but her eyes were closing as blood trickled down her chin. Erik helped her to my chest and I moaned as she bit into my chest. I let out a long sigh, putting my forehead on the top of her head. Warm desire spread through my body and I gripped her hair. She pulled back and fainted.
"Kendra!" I cried.
"She is okay," Erik said quickly. "We need to get you two back to the manor."
Colin carried Kendra and Erik carried me. We went into the barn where Richard was waiting, smiling proudly at Kendra.
"Wake up, little 'un," he said and her eyes fluttered open. He pressed a marble in her hand. "Yeh remember how this works?"
"Yeah," she said weakly.
"Be careful with this one," he said. "It's fer yeh and yer star."
Erik linked arms with Colin and Colin did the same with Camille. Camille grabbed Ben's hand. Before I could ask what they were doing, we were being transported. I tried to look around but it made me ill. Suddenly, we were in their estate's foyer.
People started to panic and Camille ordered two baths.
"Wait," I breathed as they started to take Kendra away. "No; don't take her away! Duke Moreau, don't let them!"
"We need to clean you up," Camille said.
"Don't let them take her away from me!" I shouted, struggling in Erik's arms, trying to get to Kendra.
"Calm down, Solomon," Erik said. "We will clean you in the same room. Will that make you feel better?"
I just nodded and they carried me up after her. Erik took my clothes off then lowered me into hot water. For the first time in my life, I screamed and heard Kendra do the same thing. I looked over at her tub. She had fainted again as Camille washed her hair, shaking. Erik was helping me but I refused to look away from Kendra.
A servant came in and lifted her from the water. I nearly fainted. There were bite marks all over her body. I let out a dry sob when I saw they were all bleeding. Another servant was wrapping bandages around them. I struggled as Kendra whimpered.
"They're hurting her!" I shouted when Erik tried to keep me in place.
"Just watch," he said.
"Let me go!" I yelled.
"You are splashing all the medicine out of the water," Camille said. "You need to calm down."
"I don't give a shit! Get out of the way!"
Camille moved so I could keep an eye on the two servants working on Kendra. I gripped the edge of the tub, forcing myself to stop moving so I could watch. They wrapped her in a robe and started to take her out.
"No," I breathed, panicking again. "No! Duke Moreau! Don't let them! Get me out of here!"
I fought and Erik held me down by my shoulders.
"Forgive me," Camille said and forced something down my throat.
I coughed, trying to spit it out, but it didn't work and my mind went blank as I passed out.
When I woke up, I was in a room, wrapped in bandages. A man I didn't recognize stood beside me, checking my pulse. He smiled kindly at me.
"My name is Ilya," he said. "I am here to-"
"Kendra," I gasped, grabbing his wrist. "Where is Kendra?"
He gestured with his head and my stomach fell. She was beside me in bed but looked awful. There were bruises on her neck and she was crying in her sleep. I tried to reach out to hold her but pain shot through my torso.
"Do not move," Ilya said. "Your ribs are broken and need to heal. Right now we are giving you your charge's blood. Once Kendra is strong enough, we will give you hers." He sighed. "If only we could get her some of your blood.... Camille's is doing what it can but now that she has been marked-"
Ignoring his protests, I bit into my wrist and managed to get it to her mouth. She drank deeply in her sleep and I pulled my wrist away when I could feel it getting to be too much.
Ilya glared at me. "That was a stupid thing to do."
He wrapped where I bit myself and I shook my head.
"I don't care," I snapped. "She has to live. Whatever it takes."
He sighed and went around to her side of the bed. I looked around. The room was red and gold. I could tell it was Kendra's bedroom. Everything smelled like her.
Suddenly, a tabby cat jumped on me and I blinked at it. It tilted its head and pawed at my face.
"Er..." I said as she started to purr and bump into my face.
"That is Cami," Erik said and I looked up. He and Camille were at the foot of the bed. "She is Kendra's cat."
"Er, I'm not good with cats," I said and he laughed while Cami started to knead my chest gently.
"Neither am I and-"
Suddenly, Kendra started to mutter in her sleep. We all looked at her, holding our breath. Ilya looked surprised.
"It would seem your blood was exactly what she needed," he said quietly.
"Am I dead?" she muttered and I let out a long sigh.
Her right hand slid to the edge of the bed then she started slapping me, making me laugh in relief. I managed to turn to face her.
"No fair," she complained. "This is my bed to be dead in!"
I laughed and Solomon kissed me. I wanted to hold him.
"I love you," he whispered, tucking hair behind my ear. "I'm not quite sure when it happened."
"You called me your star," I whispered and he smiled. "I love you, too. And I don't know, either."
"It doesn't matter now, though," he said and ran his finger down my nose again. "Not now that you're going to live."
"I lost a lot of blood, didn't I?" I asked and he nodded.
"About three quarters," he said. "If you weren't a vampire, you would have died on impact."
I tried to move closer and groaned when pain shot through me.
"Not fair," I groaned. "What's the point of finally being in a bed with you if I can't cuddle?"
He laughed. "We can manage something, I'm sure."
After much groaning and swearing in pain, he got an arm under me and I could turn my head to face him.
"You look better," I said, noticing that his cheeks had a tad bit more color and he nodded.
"Your father kept trying to tell me that my blood loss could be fixed if I fed from my mate. From you. He knew we were mates long before we got to Richard, I think."
"How did you lose blood?"
"Remember the first night of the journey? When we woke up and we were both tired and everyone was acting strange?"
He sighed. "You had a nightmare," he said. "I shared the nightmare with you." He closed his eyes, his face pained. "I saw that bastard bite you. Ben tried to wake me up and I walked in my sleep. I got in your room and let you feed from me. I fainted before my blood could regenerate."
"Oh," I muttered. "Erm... how much did you see?"
"Just him biting your neck." He reached over and put a hand on my stomach. "What happened to you, Kendra?" he whispered. "Where did the other bites come from?"
I sighed and gulped. "He raped me," I whimpered and he made an angry noise as I shut my eyes tightly. "He said he'd spare my parents, Gertrude, and Howard if I let him take me. I-I had second thoughts and that's when he bit my neck. I tried to fight him. Each time I moved, he bit into me."
"Oh Kendra," he groaned and pressed his lips to my forehead.
"I'm tired," I said.
"So am I," he muttered and put his forehead on mine.
"So sleep," we said in unison and laughed.