Tasting Darkness By Jessica Hall Chapter 18

Read Tasting Darkness By Jessica Hall Chapter 18 – Aleera POV

I was sitting huddled under the blankets trying to get warm. The room was freezing since someone had opened a window, and the bloody thing was jammed open. I had asked Tobias if h e could shut it. He even watched me struggle with the damn thing as I tried to pull it closed, giving up when it hurt too much to stand. So I had gone and climbed in bed, wrapping the blankets around me like a cocoon. He said not one word and had placed my food in the room and left. I was starving, and I was pretty sure I inhaled my food without tasting it. I was that hungry from barely eating all day and starting to feel shaky.

Darius walked in, and I was too cold to be scared. Freezing as the frosty night air seeped into the room and my aching bones. Darius walked over, gripping the handle on the window and yanking it shut. I watched his every movement carefully while wondering what he wanted now. Was he here because he didn’t get to punish me earlier for skipping classes? I didn’t doubt it. He hated me. They all hated me, and I didn’t believe me running was an acceptable excuse, as if they wouldn’t have done the same.

Yet despite me hating him too, I also couldn’t deny the bond. The bond made me crave them. My entire body told me I needed them even if I didn’t want them, and I hated myself for it. Yet also longed for interaction after so much solitude, longed for touch and to feel some semblance of normality. I wanted rest without having to look over my damn shoulder. I wanted for once to feel wanted.

I haven’t had any of that since nana died. I missed my nana terribly, missed when she was alive, and I had somewhere to call home before I was tossed into the care of the Fae Authorities and institutionalized at boarding school with nothing left but memories of what I once had and lost.

Darius’s entire body was tense as he moved toward me. I was too cold to care what he did to me at this point. I watch as flames spurt from his fingertips and form a sphere in his hand. Darius then tosses it at the small fireplace; the wood instantly caught alight. The flames erupt up the chimney before dying down and crackling loudly.

Darius’s hands were fisted at his sides as he approached the bed. Now I couldn’t blame the cold for all my shaking as his

intimidating frame stood over me. It made it more obvious how easy it would be for him to hurt me or end me. His lips turned up as he snarled down at me.

He reached for the blanket and yanked it off. My body jerked forward, and I nearly toppled off the bed headfirst. He growled, gripping my shoulder and tossing me backward on the bed. My eyes widened as he reached toward me again. His hand grabbed my ankle as he yanked me toward him, a shriek left my lips, and I kicked my legs out, trying to free myself as h e trapped my ankles on the bed.

My knee came up as I tried to break free, he snarled, and it connected with his mouth. Darius’s nails sunk into my skin when his aura rushed out, halting my breath as I began to choke on it. Like invisible hands gripped my throat, and I clawed at it. His aura is so much stronger than anything I had ever felt. I couldn’t place where I felt something similar. Tears welled in my eyes as my hands pawed at my neck; he ripped the bandages covering my feet off.

His hand clasped over the bottom of my foot when he dropped his aura, leaving me gasping for breath. My heart was pounding painfully against my ribs as I sucked in much needed air. He lifted my foot, examining it before growling and cursing under his breath. He dropped my foot, I scrambled away from him on the bed, and my back smacked the headboard with a thud in my haste.

“You really like causing issues,” he sneered, wiping his bleeding lip. His tongue darts out. It ran across the split where my knee connected with his face, and my eyes widened as he rubbed his fingers together. His eyes dart to mine, and the anger behind them made my throat thicken like something had lodged in it. I swallowed in horror as he moved towards m e, awaiting the blow I was sure would come when he stopped i n front of me.

His lip still bleeding, and his blood dribbled down his chin again, and he wiped it again.

“Kalen wants me to heal you,” he spat venomously, it was evident he didn’t want to when his eyes darted to my feet briefly, and he sighed before they flicked to me, his lips tugged in the corners briefly.

“Kiss me,” I blink at him.

“Wh..a..t?” I spluttered at his words, confused.

“You need my blood to heal, so kiss me,” I shake my head, horrified at what he asked. He couldn’t be serious.

“So you would rather walk around with your feet like that?” M y eyes dart to my throbbing feet that seemed to now have their own pulse. My blood-stained the cream-colored sheets from m y thrashing.

“Maybe you could get one of the others,” I didn’t want to get that close to him, just being in his presence was bad enough, let alone close enough to touch him. Darius growls at my words.

“Then forget it,” he says, turning on his heel to leave the room. My feet ached, the swelling making my skin shiny, and I would have to walk around on them. But why did I have to kiss him for him to heal me?

“Wait,” I blurted out.

He was my mate, so it wouldn’t be that bad. Although I didn’t want to waste my first kiss on this monster, but my feet ached,

and surely it wouldn’t be that unpleasant, right? The bond zapped to life as my thudding heart pumped faster at what I agreed to do. Darius stopped and looked over at me. He smiled before walking back toward the bed. He stopped looking at me. I stared at him. Why was he making it more awkward?

“Haven’t got all day Aleera,” Darius said in tauntingly. My eyes dart to his full lips as his tongue darts out. He smiled, and I hated how my heart skipped a beat at the sight. I hated that h e could hear it too.

“Aleera,” He says, annoyed; my face heats, and I hesitantly knelt on the bed. Darius just stood there waiting. Couldn’t he bend down or something. He sighed and raised an eyebrow at me. Moving off the bed, I stood before him. I hissed as pain rippled across the bottoms of my feet that felt spongy to walk o n. The bond zinging in my blood urged me to go to my mate, wanting me to touch him even though he hurt me.

Yet he was still too tall, so I looked up at him. I chewed my lip feeling very uncomfortable despite the bond urging me closer. Stupid bond. Placing my hand on his shoulders, I stood on my tippy toes, and Darius gripped the back of my neck, and I sighed, relieved that he wouldn’t make me humiliate myself more as he tilted his face toward mine. I feel his breath fan my lips, and his fingers tangle in my hair. His nose brushed mine softly, my heart hammered harder as his scent overwhelmed m e, and I leaned closer when he started laughing.

My head was yanked back painfully by my hair. My hair tugged so hard I cried out, clutching his hands as I tried to lessen the pain.

“I wouldn’t kiss you if you were the last person on this earth. You don’t deserve love, only pain.” .

Hurt rippled through my chest as the bond went berserk at his rejection, and my stomach sank at his words. I didn’t want to d o it in the first place, yet his words stung more than they should; like he just reached into my chest and crushed my heart in his hand.

“But it was entertaining watching you struggle with the bond that you ignored for 6 years,” he snarled at me. He bites his wrist before jamming it over my mouth. His blood flooded into my mouth, and I choked when I couldn’t swallow fast enough.

Sputtering, he shoves me away and laughs before turning away and heading to the door.

“All meals from now on are in the mess hall. The less we have t o see you, the better,” he spits at me. Leaving me upset due to the stupid bond. I wiped my mouth on the back of my hand, and he slammed the door, locking it and leaving me gasping for air, clutching my chest as pain rippled through me. The moment he was gone, hot tears flooded my eyes and spilled

over, running down my cheeks. I hated him.

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