Read Tasting Darkness By Jessica Hall Book 2 Chapter 1 – Kalen POV
She was out cold for hours , her shredding had died off , but we all knew it was only a matter of time before it returned . There were four of us after all , and until she completed it entirely , it would only keep returning , though the first part seemed to have worn off . ” Try to get some sleep , ” Lycus murmurs behind me , yet all I could do was stare and watch her eyelids move as she watched the disaster of my entire life unfold . I hated myself , hated that being our keeper , she would have to endure all my misdoings , all my failures , and most of all , I hated that she would know . She would see how truly pathetic I am . Aleer would know that I am weak . I had nothing to offer her , and I worried she would be upset that she was cursed with a mate like me . Lycus growls , gripping my face and tilting my head to look up at him . ” Get some sleep ! ” he growls , but I shake my head , gnawing on my fingernail while staring back at her sleeping body . ” Leave him be , Lycus ,
” Tobias says as he gets ready for bed . He climbed in beside Aleera , tucking her tiny body against him . She reacted instantly to him , rolling into him and clutching his arm as she whimpered at whatever she was living through in my memories . Lycus squeezes my shoulders , kneeling behind me as he watches her . ” She will be fine , ” ” I know that . It isn’t what I am worried about , ” I whisper , and he leans down , resting his chin on my shoulder and wrapping his huge tree – trunk arms around my waist . ” Then what is it ? ” he asks , nipping at my mark . ” You’re not weak ! ” Darius snarls , and I glance at him over my shoulder . He was sitting by the fire , glaring at it while Ryze perched on the back of the armchair , watching him . ” Is that what you think ? ” Lycus growls at me . His anger erupted through the bond , and I hung my head .
Darius always read me too well . They all did . Darius , however , was usually the most observant . ” What if she thinks I am ? ” I murmur . ” You are not weak . Never say that again . You know I hate when you talk like that . ” ” 1 Lycus snapped . ” Lycus , calm down , ” Tobias scolded as Lycus trembled behind me , fighting the urge to shift at my words . Yet I couldn’t help but believe she would hate me for being weak , hate me for not telling her it was me all along that was talking to her ,
hate me for them hating her for what I did . ” Lycus , go for a run , ” Darius snarled , making me jump when he ripped Lycus off the bed just as Lycus shifted into his gigantic black wolf . His claws ripped apart the rug as he skidded along it . Tobias clucked his tongue while Darius glared at him and pointed at the door . Ryze hissed and squawked at at the huge werewolf . Lycus’s anger grew , and his werewolf instincts took over , making him savage . No longer in control , he lunged at Ryze , but Darius snatched him off the back of the armchair before his powerful jaws wrapped around the bird .
Tobias pointed to the door , and Lycus growled , his claws scratching the floor up . Lycus pivots and runs out the door when Tobias moves with inhuman speed and opens it . ” What’s wrong with him ? ” I asked . He didn’t usually lose control like that . 11 ” He is picking up on her anger as well , Darius says and I look at Aleera and put my head in my hands . She thought I was weak ; I knew she would . I wasn’t like them . I wasn’t powerful . I wasn’t strong . Darius steps closer , holding Ryze in his hands like he is holding an oversized chicken . Instinctively , I cringe away , and Ryze flaps his wings . Darius lets him go , and Ryze flies over to perch on the headboard . His tail flicked over her arm as he petted her like she was his pet , not the other way around . ” Crazy bird , ” Darius mutters , climbing on the bed beside her . Ryze hisses at him , but he waves his hand at him . “
Hate me all you want . Just do it quietly , ” Darius snaps at him . I shake my head , but Ryze seems to listen , huddling in his feathers like an owl watching with wide eyes , but he remains quiet . Darius leans his face closer , sniffing her neck before sighing and laying back . He pats his chest with his hand while looking at me expectantly , but I don’t move . ” One ! ” Darius says , and I ignore him , not in the mood to cuddle . I was antsy and irritable .
” Two ! ” I pick at the blanket , watching her squirm as fear floods me through the bond from her . ” Don’t make him get to three , Kalen , ” Tobias hisses behind me and nudges me toward him . I roll my eyes and look at Darius , who raises an eyebrow like he was daring me to disobey him before pursing his lips . He lifts a finger , motioning for me to come to him , and I growl before crawling closer . Obviously , I didn’t move fast enough when Darius ripped me on top of him . ” Stop your pouting and sleep , ” Darius growled before pressing his lips to my forehead . His hand was warm as it trailed up my arm gently .
” You’re not weak , ” he whispers , while I trace the scars on his chest with my fingertips . I looked up at him , observing his aura , but I could see he was worried about something . His aura was black but flickering red oddly . Everyone had color in their aura , depending on the emotion . Mostly everyone was a shade of black or grey , sometimes blue . Looking at Aleera’s was like looking at a bubble when the sun hits it , a mirage of every color you could think of . Observing Darius again , he was nervous about something . ” What are you worried about ? ” I asked him . ” Nothing that concerns you , now sleep , ” ” Only if you tell me , ” I tell him , and he growls , squeezing my arm before he sighs . ” She will know all my secrets , just like she knows yours , ” You worried she will find out about your father ? ” ” No , something else , ” I could tell he
wouldn’t answer any more than that and sighed before looking at Tobias , who curiously watched Darius . Darius grabs my hand , placing it over his heart and holding it there . ” Try to sleep . I will wake you when she is up , ” he says before I feel his magic wash over me . I melt against him , letting his scent soothe my anxiety . A few hours later , I am woken by screams ; I lurch upright , and so do Darius and Tobias . Lycus , having returned , growls , stepping over me , his eyes on the door . Blinking , I see it is still dark , but definitely early morning . The light outside was lightening , and I could just make out the trees in the distance . “
For crying out loud . What now ? ” Tobias groans , tossing the blanket back and climbing out of bed . Something was going on downstairs . Darius tapped my arm , and I rolled off him . He leaned down , kissing my lips softly , his tongue forcing its way into my mouth as he kissed me . All too soon , he pulls away before ruffling Lycus ‘ fur as he climbs off the bed . ” Stay here , ” he says , grabbing a shirt and
tugging it on as he follows Tobias to the door . They leave , and I look at Lycus , who starts to shift back before moving off the bed toward the closet . Sitting up , I see Aleera was still asleep , but her eyelids moving rapidly when she shot upright , scaring the crap out of me . She blinks , her eyes trying to adjust to the light . ” ” It was you all along , ” I whispered . Tears glistened in her eyes before spilling over . ‘ I never ran from you , Kalen . I was trying to find you , find my internet friend , ” she tells me , and I suck in a breath . ” You’re not mad . I didn’t tell you ? ” I ask her .. ” No , I am mad I ran , ” she says , tears roll down her cheeks before she threw herself in my arms . I wrap my arms around her , squeezing her tight .
She didn’t hate me , and I had never felt more relieved . Feeling the bed , I watch Lycus climb on the bed . He kisses my cheek before running his fingers through her hair , and Aleera turns her head on my shoulder to look at him . I kiss her nose , hugging her tighter when Lycus runs a hand down her sides before pinching her chin and pulling her head off my shoulder . Her lips part , and he kisses her gently at first before his tongue invades her mouth , making my cock twitch beneath her . ” Thank you , ” Lycus whispers , pulling his lips from hers and she looks at him oddly , clearly confused by his words . ” For what ? ” she asks , confused . Lycus pecks her lips before laying down , pulling us with him .