Silver Blood – Tamara White

Warmth envelops me, and I smile at the feeling of peace that blossoms within me. I could get used to this. “Come on, babe. Time to get up.” I ignore Talon, pretending I’m still fast asleep, desperate for just a few more minutes of rest before getting up. A hand touches my shoulder, nudging me insistently. “Em, I know you’re awake,” Talon says sternly. Despite his harsh tone, I can easily imagine the smile on his face as he looks down at me lying there with my eyes clamped shut to avoid getting out of bed. Groaning, I snuggle in closer to the body at my back. “I don’t wanna wake up. It’s so warm and comfortable. I’m just going to stay here a little longer.” I sigh contentedly, smiling when the arms around me squeeze me tighter. “Yeah, go away, man. She wants to snuggle with me.

Go do something productive,” Dev murmurs into my hair, and I smile lazily. This is how life should be. The sound of the bedroom door opening makes me want to take a quick peek, but I resist, at least until the bitter scent of coffee becomes so strong that I know it’s right in front of me. My eyes snap open to see Nik smiling down at me, holding out a cup of coffee like a peace offering. “I thought you might need this.” He winks, placing the mug on the small table beside Dev’s bed. “Really? You’ll open your eyes for coffee but not for me?” Talon mock glares down at me. I poke my tongue out, unable to resist teasing him. “Yep. Maybe you should take notes.

Note number one, do not wake me without some kind of offering, unless you want to be ignored.” Nik chuckles as I wiggle out of Dev’s arms and into a sitting position. Dev lets me go with a groan and rolls away, beginning to drift off again almost immediately. Talon shakes his head and grabs Dev by the ankle, yanking him off the bed and sending him crashing to the floor with a thump. “Dude, what the fuck?!” Dev gets to his feet, glaring at Talon, who just grins. I think he would have done the same to me, but knew the others would stop him before he could. Dev turns away, and storms into the bathroom. I hear him mutter under his breath, “Dude needs to get laid,” before slamming the door behind him. I turn my attention back to Talon with a smirk on my face. “You know he’s not gonna forget that, right?” He shrugs his shoulders, smiling broadly.

“I’m not afraid of his payback. Nik, however, is someone you have to watch out for. He likes to get even on a whole other level.” My gaze swings to Nik, who is sitting on his bed, watching the conversation with a look of amusement. He simply shrugs with a wicked grin, not disputing Talon’s claim. I shake my head at them, reaching for my coffee and inhaling it with a moan. “God, this smells amazing! What did you do to it?” I ask Nik before taking a sip. After I swallow the liquid, I understand. “You added your blood to this?” “Yeah, does it taste okay? I wasn’t sure if you would like it or not,” he admits with a sheepish grin. I take another sip, a soft moan crossing my lips.

“Well, I think it’s divine.” He smirks in triumph. A moment later, Talon joins him on the bed, taking a seat beside him. They wait in silence, letting me drink my coffee in peace. As I’m swallowing the last mouthful, Dev comes out of the bathroom, looking more alert but still irritated. “Okay, now why did you wake us up?” Nik gets up from the bed and sits down at my feet. He gently grabs my left foot and picks it up, beginning to massage it slowly. I try not to moan, but a small whimper slips free as he applies pressure to the arch. It feels incredible, and I have to fight to keep my gaze on him when he speaks. “We were summoned by the Queen.

” He applies a little pressure to the heel of my foot, and my eyes close unconsciously. “She has something to discuss with us, but we asked her if we could meet here to talk about it instead. That way you don’t have to leave right now. We can’t quite let you out of our sights just yet. Besides, I imagine you’re still tired from everything that happened.” He moves onto my other foot while I think about what he said. You’d think after dying and coming back to life, there would be some kind of negative side effect, but there’s been nothing. If anything, I feel rejuvenated and more powerful than ever. Nik finishes massaging my right foot, and I wiggle my toes appreciatively. “In ten minutes, everyone will be here.

We thought it may be a good idea if you’re dressed when they arrive.” I look down at my pajamas and frown. They’re super comfy, and I don’t particularly want to get changed if I don’t have to. “Can’t I just wear these?” I pout up at Talon. He smothers a smile before replying. “If you want to, but your parents will be there, as well as Britt and her husbands. Are you sure you want them to see you in your cute bunny pajamas?” I sigh and put down my empty cup. “Fine, I’ll get dressed. But don’t think I’m happy about having to wear a bra.” All the guys share grins and Dev moves closer, his eyes hooded with lust.

“You know, if bras really bother you so much, I’d be happy to help you remove it right after the meeting if you’d like.” He leans over the vacant side of the bed to hover closer to me. I’m keenly aware of Nik and Tal watching us to see how I respond. I lick my lips in anticipation and move up to my knees. Dev’s gaze flicks down to my pajamas where the top button is undone, allowing him to catch a glimpse of cleavage, before coming back up to meet my eyes in challenge. I move an inch closer until I’m mere breaths away from his lips. I gently press my lips to his, enjoying the groan that escapes his lips. Echoing groans sound from nearby as Talon and Nik watch the whole show and I pull back with a teasing smirk. Dev looks up at me with a look of confusion as I get up from the bed. I move to the bags that house what few belongings I brought with me, grabbing out a set of clothes and walking towards the bathroom.

I pause at the door before turning back to the guys. “I’d better get dressed. You know, bra and all.” I wink at them before stepping into the bathroom, shutting the door behind me. I giggle to myself at the sound of Dev’s loud groan, which is followed by the sound of what I think was a pillow smacking into his face. I can hear Nik’s voice, even through the door, and I have to fight not to laugh. “It’s your own fault, Dev. What did you honestly think would happen when you teased her like that? That she’d just fall at your feet and say, ‘Take me Dev. I’m at your mercy?’” Dev remains silent, which only makes Talon and Nik burst out laughing. I smile and tune them out while I get dressed.

When I walk back out of the bathroom, Talon is the only one waiting for me. He guides me out into the main area where everyone has gathered, sitting in various spots around the room, or in the case of Britt and her husbands, leaning against the wall. Macy, along with my mother and father, are all squished together on one of the sofas, with Nik and Dev on the matching one opposite them. That leaves only the recliner, which Talon walks me over to, taking a seat and pulling me into his lap. I squirm a little at such a blatant sign of affection in front of so many. My mother smiles over at me, which helps ease the discomfort, and I notice the small cup in her hand. I would absolutely kill for another coffee to go with this meeting. I go to move, but Talon tightens his hold on me. Before I can get upset, Nik jumps to his feet and hands me a steaming cup. “Already got you one, Em.

” I inhale deeply, savoring the rich aroma, before greedily gulping it down to the sound of chuckles from all around me. I don’t care what they say, coffee is life. After I finish the cup, I hand it back to Nik with a grateful smile. He places the mug on the table in front of him and moves back to the couch, sitting close enough this time to reach out and take my hand in his. I smile at him fondly before turning my attention to my parents. “So, what’s up? Why did you need to call a meeting?” My mother gives a small smile, her gaze lingering on the spot where Nik is stroking his thumb over my hand. “Well technically, you weren’t summoned. Only Talon, Nikoli, and Devin were. I think they just didn’t want to leave you alone.” Dev leans back in his spot and turns to look at me, his eyes warming when they meet mine.

“Can you really blame us, Sie?” My mother smiles back at him and shakes her head. “No, I don’t.” My father coughs, drawing our attention. He looks towards Talon and I with a grim smile. “You’ve been summoned by the local pack. They found the three wolves you killed. One survived, however, and is refusing to say anything other than the fact that a trio of vamps attacked him. The Alpha wants an explanation for your actions.” Talon shifts angrily, and if I weren’t in his lap, I’m sure he would have stood to stare down at them defiantly. As it is, I can feel the anger radiating from him through our bond.

“What? Those rogues are wolves so it should have been taken care of before they got near Em. In fact how the hell did the Alpha not know they were in his territory? They nearly killed Em! And now they want to lay charges against us for something they should have been on top of?” My mother sighs and clasps her hands in her lap. “Talon, you know the rules as well as we do. We should have informed them of the attack, but with all the drama that happened, we simply forgot. The treaty between our kind was implemented for a reason. If we deny them this, then we open ourselves to attack and run the risk of being removed from the treaty entirely. You’ll just have to suck it up and go to the meeting. I doubt there will be any repercussions since the Alpha is one of the more progressive leaders of our time. If anything, I think he will just ask to be involved in any future executions.” That calms Talon down and he leans back in the seat, relaxing once more.

He waits for them to speak again, but Britt interrupts. “Can someone make some more coffee? It’s too early for this type of hardcore topic without caffeine.” Nik goes to stand, but I grip his hand, keeping him in place. “I’ll do it.” I climb up from Talon’s lap and let go of Nik’s hand before walking over to the opposite side of the room to begin making coffee. Britt joins me as I busy myself preparing a fresh pot. “So, you settling in okay?” she asks as I lean against the counter while waiting for the coffee beans to grind. I shrug and look over at the others, who are all discussing something, but I choose to tune them out. “Yeah, I guess. I mean, sometimes it’s still weird to think about the fact I’m some kind of cross between two species and that I have three soul-ties.

I’m still plagued with questions. One being, if I have three soul-ties, do you think I might have a shifter mate out there as well?” She considers it for a moment before responding. “I guess so. After all, Talon, Nik, and Dev are your soul-ties, but that’s only one side of you. You could have a mate, or even mates out there for your wolf side too. Oh, do you think it could be the Alpha the guys have been summoned to meet with?” she asks, a dreamy look on her face. Blaine approaches us, coming over to Britt’s side and poking her in the ribs playfully. “B, we can all see you fantasizing over the Alpha. Maybe tone it down a little?” he suggests, before taking the first pot of coffee I made and returning to the group. She sticks her tongue out at his back as he leaves, and turns back to me with a wicked gleam in her eyes.

“Seriously, Mer, if the Alpha is your mate, I’m going to be super jealous.” I shake my head at her. “Well, you can have him then. I’m perfectly happy with the men I already have.” Once the second pot of coffee is ready, I take it to the table, hoping that the two pots will be enough. None of Britt’s husbands touch the coffee and only Britt, my father, and I reach for refills. So, maybe I made too much. Oh well. There’s no such thing as too much coffee. I squeeze between Nik and Dev, sensing Talon needs a bit of space.

Whatever they were talking about obviously hasn’t improved his mood at all. Talon leans forward in his chair and looks at my father, his voice intense as he speaks. “Have you talked to the council about bringing Em’s old pack up on charges? I can look through our files for a suitable neutral territory to hold the meeting.” His eyes are filled with an anger I haven’t seen since the night I died. My mother and father exchange glances and I know immediately Talon isn’t going to like what they have to say. The way my father acts reminds me so much of my dad back home. The moment he straightened his back, I could tell it was bad news. The subtle shift of his knees as he moves into a more defensive position. The way he holds his hands beside himself to appear non-threatening, while at the same time being prepared to fight. It’s very much the way an Alpha is supposed to act.

Submissive when the situation calls for it, but able to do what’s needed to keep the pack in line. “Talon, we aren’t pressing charges yet. We need everyone to think Emerald’s dead right now. We don’t know what kind of effect this new development will have on the community. She has three soulties and can come back from the dead. If people learn of this, then who knows how they’ll react? We need to ease them into the news that she’s still alive, so we can minimize the fallout.” He pauses, and my mother takes over. “Before you get your knickers in a twist, Talon, we are going to bring them up on charges. Don’t think I will let what they did to my daughter go without serious repercussions. We just want to let Emerald settle into her new life first.

Her pack isn’t going anywhere, so it won’t matter if we delay for a few days.” Before Talon has a chance to respond, a knock sounds at the door. Dev gets up to answer it, opening the door so a tall man can come in. The stranger directs his gaze to my mother, bowing slightly while completely ignoring the rest of the room. “I’m sorry to interrupt, my Queen, but your interviews commence in thirty minutes. I took the liberty of gathering all the files you’ll need to review beforehand.” She nods regally. “Thank you, Jasper. We’ll be there in a moment.” With that, he nods and takes his leave, exiting the room without so much as a backward glance at any of us.

Rude much! I glance at my mom with a raised eyebrow, and she chuckles. “Jasper is very old school. He only speaks to those he deems are worthy of his time. It took three years before he would even look at Axel.” I smile and look down at my hands, knowing that it could be worse. I imagine a few of the vamp covens out there aren’t going to be happy learn of my existence. “Speaking of old school. Emerald, I would like to discuss the possibility of you attending lessons in order to learn what will be expected of you. As a Princess of our coven, you will be expected to know certain things, and being tutored in the matter is the only thing I could think of to quickly get you caught up on our society and its rules.” Oh shit.

I’ll actually have to do royal duties? That’s going to be an epic suck fest. My father gets to his feet, and everyone in the room follows suit, including me. He takes a step towards me, obviously intending to hug me, but then seems to think better of it. Instead, he claps a hand on my right shoulder, giving me a comforting squeeze. He lets go just as quickly, moving aside so my mother can pull me into a hug, squeezing me tightly. Before she lets go, I ask, “Do you want to get lunch later? It might be a good time for us to talk about my lessons?” Seeing the hopeful light in my mother’s eyes makes it all worth it. “I would love that, darling!” The massive grin on her face makes her appear years younger than I know she is. I smile back at her as she and my father get up to leave. As she walks, she has a spring in her step. My father turns back to look at me, mouthing ‘thank you.

’ Macy leaves right after, giving us a small goodbye as she goes. She hurries to catch up to my mother, and they laugh as they stroll down the hall together. They are obviously good friends, and I’m glad my mother has someone she can talk to. Britt comes over to me while her husbands are busy offering the guys words of support about the impending pack meeting. She hugs me fiercely, and I return the embrace just as eagerly. I’ve missed her so much and every time she leaves, I wonder how long it will be until the next time I get to see her. “I’ll talk to you soon.” She pulls away with a grin. “My men and I are going to eat some human food. You vamps and your schedules always throw me off.

It makes me hungry,” she says with a groan, and I roll my eyes. “Britt, you’re always hungry.” She shrugs shamelessly. “Meh. I need food. And who knows, maybe I can convince my husbands to feed me dessert.” She winks at me. I can’t help the bark of laughter that escapes. “I’m sure you could convince them to do anything.” She turns when Torie summons her from where he’s standing by the door.

I shoo her away, shaking my head as she struts towards him. I can see Torie’s eyes filling with lust as he watches her. After the room has emptied, I shut the door and turn to see Talon leaning back in his chair, looking completely exhausted. I walk over to him and press my hand to his forehead, noticing that his skin feels clammy. “When was the last time you fed?” I ask, concerned by the defeated look he gives me. Nik joins me, looking down at Talon. “You should have fed already, man. Come on, I gotta check the security tapes. I’ll drop you at the feeding room on the way,” he says, pulling Talon to his feet. Talon wobbles a bit, pushing away from Nik, clearly preferring to remain on his own two feet.

I imagine he needs to maintain his tough image among the coven, especially as they’re considered the guards of royalty. It wouldn’t be good for them to be seen as weak when they protect such important people. “What about Em? She still needs to be fed too,” Talon points out. Dev wraps an arm around my waist and pulls me close to smell my neck. “Don’t worry, I can feed her. Can you bring me back some bags, though? I’m gonna need to replenish,” he says, his voice filled with desire. I roll my eyes, shaking my head at them. “Okay, while you three discuss what’s happening, I’m going to have a shower. Whoever stays behind is welcome to join me.” I mimic Britt and strut into the bedroom.

Once inside, I frantically try to calm my racing heart. What was I thinking challenging them like that?


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