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   Chapter 13 In The Master's Chamber

I Thirst For You By JMFelic Characters: 19063

Updated: 2018-09-06 22:45


Using his ability, Cord disappeared from the throne room and materialized to where he felt Amanda's weakening presence. Liquid shadows first enveloped him, from the foot to the head, and it dispersed, the moment he touched the grassy ground.

He scanned from side to side, trying to find any traces of the woman: her golden-brown locks maybe or just a silhouette of her body, but he found none.

Seething in anger, he directed his focus on her heartbeat again. He found it somewhere near the vicinity, very faint and decreasing, but the exact location of it was a mystery to him.

Where was she?

The biter who had the audacity to attack her had already fled. Cord couldn't feel his presence anymore. But he would have wanted for the biter to stay, just so that he could exact revenge and tear his neck apart.

Aware that time was ticking, Cord continued to scan the area. His blindness didn't even deter him. He looked and looked, making outlines as clear as he can until he found an oddness in the pond.

Little waves disturbed its peacefulness and from its murky waters, he noticed a discoloration in it. He couldn't really say what color it was, but he had great belief it was red. Blood.

Clenching his fists, he raced towards the pond, hesitating not a second before he plunged into ten feet of water.

Once under, Cord found the woman he was looking for. Amanda's backside hit the bottom. Her face was angled up, hands and legs were in a stiff position, devoid of any signs of life. No pockets of air could be seen clinging in her nose. No clues that she was still alive.

Cord wondered where the red came from and there he saw it, in Amanda's left shoulder, two wounds which oozed her precious blood. At first, it looked to be a laceration, but upon closer inspection, there were pinpoint marks at the end.

His jaw muscles twitched.

Strongly, he propelled his legs towards her and in mad desperation, he stretched his arm to grab her elbow.

There was a quick pang of guilt in Cord when he felt the rigidness of Amanda's body. Whatever happened to her earlier, she didn't deserve it.

Why was he too lax? He was the Master of the House. He was supposed to give her the ultimate protection. But he failed in that aspect big time.

Temporarily shoving the thoughts aside, Cord embraced her, pressed her chest firmly against him with one arm and the other guided them towards the surface.

"Breathe Amanda. Breathe for me, " he stated through clenched teeth once he lay her on the cemented part of the pool. By this time, heavy rain had indeed poured down the land. The wetness was enough to stain red the surrounding ground due to Amanda's bloody wound. It was never a good situation when inside a vampire estate, but to hell be it, voiced Cord in his thoughts.

He just had to save this woman's life, and quick.

Kneeling beside her, he straightened his arms and placed his palms on top the other against her chest, ready to do a basic life support maneuver for the first time.

He did five cycles, putting enough pressure in his palms, the whole time he shouted for her to breathe, but when he still got no response from Amanda, he hissed.

He pulled his blindfold out, eyes immediately glowing red, and in one swift move, pressed his mouth against hers.

Such was the feel of her lips. Plump. Soft. Full of life. But Cord didn't linger on the thought. It was just improper considering their present situation.

He pinched her nose, tilted her chin, and with one exhale, gave her the breath of life. He did this twice and thereafter proceeded to pumping her chest again.

"Come on Amanda, breathe!" he shouted.

Miraculously, Amanda coughed, spitting out water and breathing hard. She opened her eyes for a moment, locking it with Cord's worried ones. There was a flicker of fear at first, then anger, and then a rare emotion Cord had yet to understand for himself.

"Co...rd, " she spoke, weak but still clear.

He brushed her wet cheeks and opened his mouth to respond, but then stopped when he saw her lose consciousness.

***

"She is doing fine Milord. Thanks to you, she was able to survive the drowning, " Lady Granger explained as soon as she emerged from the other side of the room. Her neatly tied bun was slightly in disarray, the sleeves of her blouse were drawn up to the elbow and her eyes showed a little bit of weariness.

It had been six hours of nonstop labor since the Master burst into the kitchen door of the servants with Amanda on his arms. Luckily, the governess was there doing her early morning routine. Cord didn't need to issue commands. Lady Granger and her team of servants were quick to do first aid on her and that included changing her damp, blood-soaked cocktail dress, sponge-bathing her with warm soapy water until dirt and grime disappeared, monitoring her, and providing her a warm, comfortable bed to lay.

And that said bed was in the Master's chamber.

The governess didn't even question or think twice placing Amanda there. It was their Master's stern command and it warranted no explanation.

"And the bite wound?" Cord asked, setting his mouth into a grim line thereafter. It was imperative he ask that. His kind, when they successfully drain their victim's blood, leave bite marks. It doesn't heal, unlike when they just take an enough fill in their bellies.

"It is now healed, " Lady Granger answered, cognizant of that fact. "It seems the biter wasn't able to suck her dry. She must have stopped it on time. She's a fighter, Milord."

Cord released a relieved sigh. "That she is."

He stepped inside his bedroom wanting to see the woman's condition for himself, but stopped abruptly and turned to face the governess again, "For now, you are dismissed. I'll see to Amanda's needs. I'll ring the bell when I need something."

"Noted, Milord, " the governess bowed. "Are there particular things you want us to do?"

Cord nodded.

"Yes, and that is to be vigilant. Keep an eye on all the biters in this roof, especially Trace. I don't want to sound prejudiced, but his previous troubles led me to think he is the one who attacked Amanda. Report to me anything that is odd."

"As you command, Milord." Lady Granger did a curtsy and thereafter left the receiving room.

Cord reached for the double doors and closed it. He turned around, directed his sights on Amanda, and found her sleeping comfortably under his duvet, using his white pillows, and inside his four-poster bed that was lavishly dressed with semitransparent black drapes.

Deep inside, he wanted her like this. Just last night, as perverted and ungentlemanly as it would seem, he had fantasized about her pinned down in this very mattress, his hands steadying her face for his passionate kisses while his erection thrust deeply inside her. He imagined her writhe in passion, moan his name, and bite his lips like a fiery woman that he knew her to be.

He would be a fucking happy man if they were in that circumstance - ready to release passion and untold pleasure under the sheets - but she was injured and possibly in threat of fever and infection from ingesting unclean water. Such thoughts of entwined legs and ragged breaths just weren't proper.

So, with a long sigh, he ceased the stirrings under his pants for the second time. After all, the reason why he chose to situate her in his bed was to ensure her safety and not to ravish her.

Striding closer to the edge of the mattress, Cord surveyed the damage visible in her left shoulder. Like Lady Granger had said, it has now healed. There was just a purplish discoloration left from the two pinpoint marks and a blue streak in the lacerations. It looked obviously different from the red, fresh ones earlier.

With the back of his palm, he felt for her body temperature. It was normal. Good. To his relief. But only for now. There was no telling the future. She might climb into a high fever later, or convulse just like any normal human he knew.

His fist tightened again realizing this.

"I apologize for not rescuing you on time. I shouldn't have left your room last night, " he whispered to the unconscious Amanda. "But why were you in that place?" he followed, confused as to the circumstances that led to her attack. "Were you dragged there? Were you taken out of the room? Or did you...try to escape from me?"

The last question came out dry, but it somehow pierced him well. It was a good possibility. A plausible one. She wore her sneakers after all. If she were indeed forcefully taken out of her bedroom, the biter wouldn't have the common sense to let her wear the damn shoe just for hygiene purposes. Amanda must have gone out of the castle on her own.

"Although I can't blame you if you did try to escape from me." There was a hint of sadness in his voice. "I showed you who I truly am. Even though you have a backbone of iron in you, you wouldn't want to be associated with me - a monster in disguise."

He brushed a stray strand of her hair gently and released a defeated sigh.

"Just help me find your attacker and unmask the rogue biter in the Circuit and I will free you from me, Amanda. Just do that. Just...do that."

***

Two days passed and still, there was no sign of Amanda waking. She had whimpered in her sleep, managed to get out a few syllables like 'no' and 'stop' but never really able to open her eyes wide. At least, however, she didn't hit a fever. Or any other downside of getting almost drowned.

This was what Co

rd held for hope. He wasn't one to worry, never had worried for others even since he was still human. Although he disliked it, Amanda, in all her loveliness and life, somehow managed to make him that and he, seeing no point in struggling, surrendered himself to it.

It was on the evening of the second day when Cord heard a rapping of the door. He didn't request for assistance nor was he expecting an audience so he wondered who could it be?

"Come in, " he bade whilst sitting in his high back chair. He had occupied this furniture for the same count of days, preferring to sit than to lie next to Amanda and risk his few strands of control. He had tried that once, last night, but it didn't bode well with him.

Her weight on his mattress was just too much to bear. It was taunting him to get closer and touch her, feel her warmth and steady pulse. And kiss her. Really kiss her. Feel her lips once again. For the very first time, no thoughts of biting her emerged, which was already a miracle for he was after all a vampire. Just seeing that she was slowly regaining her health was enough.

"Excuse my interruption Sire but a friend of Madame O'Malley is here, " the Head Majordomo informed right after he opened the double doors.

"A friend?" Cord's brow rose. Instantly, he thought of that Threvelli man, aware that he had romantic feelings for Amanda.

"Mr. Noman Asghar, Sire. He has been demanding to see her since twenty minutes ago."

A small smile crossed Cord's lips, pleased that it wasn't the suitor.

"Then let him in. I'll entertain him in the drawing room."

"Right away Sire." Jerome closed the doors and left.

Cord stood up, sighing, but before he left, he had his shadows envelope the four-poster bed with Amanda inside.

***

"Alright, " Noman, standing and with his arms akimbo, shot a stern look at Cord when he waltzed inside the room with a cane in hand and sat on a solo sofa chair near the fireplace.

Though the black panther was present beside him, Noman didn't cower at all. His resolve was just unbreakable.

"I know something happened to my friend and I demand to know right now! She hasn't contacted me for two days and she's not logging in her Skype account. I hadn't received text messages and calls from her and she hadn't replied to my messages."

Cord, although amused of Noman's rant, shot a curious brow at him. "You know where your friend is housed?" he said, knowing that Amanda's whereabouts were supposed to be a secret.

Noman sighed and rolled his eyes. "I know, she told me in one of our video chats days ago."

"You could get a scolding from Chief Moretti if she finds out about this you know, " Cord pointed out, intimidating him.

"So don't tell her, " Noman suggested. "I just want to see my friend. I'm worried. What has happened to her?"

"She was...attacked, " carefully, Cord enlightened.

"Attacked?!" Noman's eyes widened. He stepped forward, closer to him, but stopped abruptly when he heard the panther growl.

"Yes, she was attacked by a...drunkard." Cord's voice thinned to a whisper. He, of course, didn't want his unexpected visitor to know that he was inside a vampire den.

"Pshh, a drunkard?" Noman held his tummy to stifle a laugh. "That sounds about right. Your castle just has a lot of booze lying around. But, you don't have good security? Why was she attacked? I thought you are her knight-and-shining armor?"

Now that's a name he hadn't been called since he walked the earth.

Standing up, he huffed and tapped his cane against the floor. "Well, do you want to see your best friend or not?" he asked, opting not to answer his questions.

Noman smiled. "Yes, of course, I would."

***

With the pet tagging along, they traveled the length of the hallways to the Master's chamber on the third floor. It was supposed to be off-limits to all, only chosen people were allowed, but this time Cord made an exception.

Once there, he stayed in the receiving room and summoned back his shadows before letting Noman enter the bedroom.

Noman, in the other hand, showed a great deal of determination but felt nervous inside, taken aback of the grand surroundings he was in. Questions began to fill his mind as to why Amanda was placed in the Master's chamber when in fact she was just a guest. He didn't have difficulty conjuring up an answer to this, however.

He basically assumed that the two - the Master and his best friend - had already shared an intimate time together.

Which had him grinning in giddiness.

His grin however was short-lived right after he saw his best friend lying unconscious in the mattress.

"Oh, Cait..." he stated and rushed to her side. "You sure know how to attract danger huh? Look at us. Isn't this ironic? You first came to this castle to check on my welfare and now, I'm doing the same to you."

He brushed her soft curls that fanned the pillow and sighed. He didn't expect her to answer but hoped she'd be able to sense his presence.

"She has no fever or any colds. I believe she is just resting, " from the door, Cord informed. His blindfold was still on but he abandoned his cane in the receiving room. "The...drunkard managed to push her in the castle pond." Or so he imagined. "I had to save her from drowning."

Noman's forehead creased whilst looking at him. "But she knows how to swim."

"Even so, " Cord replied. "Let's wait for her to clarify everything. We can't just assume for ourselves."

Silence punctuated the room after that. Both he and Noman watched the rise and fall of Amanda's chest, wondering what really happened during the attack.

After minutes had passed, it was Cord who broke the silence first, cognizant of the time.

"Well, I'll leave you to your goodbyes. You can stay in the castle, but I can't have you sleeping here. This is my chamber after all."

Noman inwardly giggled, a wild thought popped in his mind of how romantic the Vitalis Master was. Surely, he was head-over-heels for his best friend. "Yes, I know. Just give me five more minutes to have a one-sided chat with Sleeping Beauty, " he stated and tilted his shoulder up.

Cord didn't nod but he left, allowing five minutes before he could have the woman alone for himself again.

***

"You sure are lucky, damn you, " Noman stated once they were alone again. "First Matteo and then, the Vitalis Master."

He stared at her whilst grinning and then shifted his butt up to take out something from his coat pocket.

It was a cylinder-shaped box, thin and wrapped in violet suede.

"By the way, I have this gift from Matteo. He gave me this just in case you'd be permitted to drop by the apartment. I guess it is timely that I visited here."

He opened it and pulled out a necklace.

The chain was thick, made of silver, and it had minute engravings of weird shapes in it. What was striking the most with the jewelry was its pendant hanging in the center. It was an amethyst stone.

"Well, ain't this pretty?" he asked, looking at the stone. "This would compliment you a lot, Cait. The stone's color is the same as half the shade in your eyes."

With a snort, he bent and hooked the necklace in her neck.

"There, beautiful."

The amethyst settled neatly in her cleavage. Its color showed a stark difference from her white nightgown - a swirl of magical purples, blue and white.

For a moment, Noman saw a quick spark from it and then a slight change in color to a red, but he shrugged his shoulders thinking that it was just the flame's effect from the fireplace of the room.

"Well, I hope to see you tomorrow Cait. Rest well tonight."

After planting her a kiss in the forehead, he stood up and then walked out of the bedroom.

"You done?" Cord asked when he sensed Noman's presence. He was sitting near another fireplace of his chamber with Jerome standing behind him.

"Yep, " Noman nodded, putting one hand in his hips.

"I'll have Jerome assist you to your room. Would you want another one or would you like to occupy Amanda's which was yours before?"

"The previous one please, " he answered, "I like it there because she has a laptop I can use for my tweeting."

"Very well, " Cord replied and then flicked a finger midair, a signal for Jerome to take. "Have a pleasant night, Mr. Asghar."

"Same to you, Mr. Vitalis."

***

Once both of the men left, Cord went back to his bed chamber, pulling his blindfold out. He saw the necklace around Amanda's neck but didn't bother on taking it out. He just stared at it and found that for a stone, it emitted a bright swirling shade in the center, but he couldn't determine what.

Thinking nothing of it, he proceeded to his chair, returning to his earlier duty of guarding her.

Strong was the temptation to lie next to her this evening. With the possibility of her waking up tomorrow, he expected that this would be their last night together. He would have wanted to take advantage of that, slip his arm under her waist and cuddle her close, but extinguished the idea before he could even execute it.

It'd be better to avoid the woman, he thought. Try to create as much gap as he possibly could.

But that night, when he was surprisingly in a deep sleep for a vampire, Amanda awoke and tore that gap down.

She left the mattress and climbed up his chair to straddle him, her face just inches away from his. Both of her hands were pressed flat against his chest for some time until they climbed up to his neck and assumed a strangling position.

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