Chapter Eight

Teris Xenite

When next she woke she was swathed in cloying cotton. She tried to move but was too weak, and the movement elicited a soft touch to her uninjured cheek. It was dark, the curtains were drawn around the bed she was in, and she couldn't see who was there. She tried to move to a defensive posture only to feel jolting pains at the slightest movement. "Don't move Selene, you've been hurt."

"Kraven?" She whispered in a cracked voice, before going still as lightening bolts of pain colored her vision, even that whisper had cost her dearly.

"Yes Selene, I'm here. Don't try to talk, drink. It will help you heal." With that she felt a glass pressed to her lips and gave into the urge to feed. Hunger sated she fell back onto the pillows, and fell asleep wondering when precisely she'd started taking orders from Kraven.

It continued this way for several days, she would wake, Kraven would feed her, and she would fall back into darkness comforted by his soft voice and cool hands. Each time she woke she felt a bit better, but speaking remained excruciating. At least the lingering aches had subsided and she was beginning to feel more human, well as human as her kind ever got anyway. This time when she woke there was something different. Kraven wasn't there and in his place sat Michael.

He smiled when he realized that she was awake. "Welcome back to the land of the living, you had me worried there for a while."

Loathe as she was to admit it she was puzzled by Kraven's absence. Judging from the past few days it would take something monumental to keep him away, and that unsettled her; as injured or not she still had enough of her wits about her to know that killing a vampire elder could not possibly end well for either of them.

"Where's Kraven?" She whispered, noting with some satisfaction that it wasn't nearly as painful to speak as it had been the last time that she'd tried.

"Over there." He gestured. "He hasn't left your side in days. I finally had to drug him so that'd he'd get some sleep."

"What happened?"

"You were shot, several times. Twice with standard bullets, which wouldn't have been a problem normally, but the last shot was a UV round. It shattered on that necklace you were wearing and burned your face and neck down to the bone. Some of it also got into your bloodstream, weakening you so that it's taking you much longer to heal than normal. If it hadn't been for this you'd have been a goner."

He held up the small rune token that Kraven had slid under her collar before they went into battle. "I have some blood for you if you're hungry?"

She gave an abortive nod stopping when stars danced in front of her eyes. She rapidly blinked to dissipate the tears that threatened to fall and accepted the bagged blood that Michael offered gladly.

"You should give him a chance you know. I mean it's obvious that he loves you. I had to drug him to get him to leave your side."

"He won't thank you for that."

"Nether did most of my patients when I said something they didn't want to hear. He was making himself ill. He hadn't slept, barely ate, even the coven business was conducted at your bedside because he refused to leave." Their conversation was interrupted by Kraven's first stirrings of conscious. She could tell it was a much faster awakening that Michael was used to, it would she supposed take time for him to get used to the fact that all of them were different from humans.

The knowledge seemed to sink in a bit when he paled as Kraven rose and glared at him while shaking his head to clear it from the last remnants of the drugs hold. To give him credit he did stand his ground when Kraven stalked towards him obviously enraged. "What game are you playing wolf? You had no right to drug me, and rest assured when Selene is better this shall be dealt with."

Kraven as yet had not noticed that Selene was awake and so was wholly surprised when she placed a restraining hand on his arm. "Yes, it will. Michael leave us."

"Selene, you shouldn't be up so soon. We'll deal with this later." With one last glare towards Michael he proceeded to turn all of his attentions towards getting Selene settled back into bed. "How are you feeling?"

"I'll live. Which is more than I can say for you, you look like death warmed over. Michael may have been right to drug you."

"I'll handle that later, just worry about getting well."

"Kraven, leave him be. He was trying to keep you from running yourself ragged. He meant no harm."

He looked at her considering the situation for a moment before relenting. "Very well Selene, I'll leave your pet be for now. But if he seeks to do it again, I'll not be so forgiving."

"I wouldn't expect you to be."

"For the moment the only thing you need to concern yourself with is getting better. I dislike seeing you injured."

"Not exactly the first time is it? I didn't choose a line of work that's particularly easy in that respect."

"As you have often reminded me with you heedless disregard for my orders which were only meant to keep you safe."

"It's not too late to decide you want Erika, I'm sure she'd be much less frustrating." While the words were familiar the stinging distain in the tone of her voice had lessened somewhat, and in that he found some small shred of hope.

"And did I have the choice I likely would have, however I was trapped long ago and Viktor, may his soul rot in hell, knew it." Both their faces darkened at the memory of the former elder, both hating him for their own reasons. "Was the potential of being with me really so repulsive that you'd rather die?"

"Have you learned nothing of Viktor after all these years? If I had said that I'd rather be spared he would have snapped my neck in an instant. As it was he only meant to banish us."

"Thankfully that isn't something we need to worry about since you, me, and our two Lycan allies were the only ones who heard it."

"So I take it that you've taken over the coven?"

"No, it was left in our care with Viktor's last breath, surely you remember that." The sly smile would have repulsed her before she had discovered the truth about him, but now she found herself impressed with his ability to turn any situation to his advantage.

"Of course, apparently my injury has made me forgetful."

"Speaking of which, you should rest. You need rest."

"I've been resting for days now. Surely I can stay awake for a little while."

"Humor me just this once, you very nearly died. Even the half-breed agrees that you need more rest before you're up and about."

She looked him over considering her options. She was hard headed yes, but not so much so that'd she fight just to fight when the room was starting to spin. On the other hand he looked like death warmed over. And as much as his skill to spin everything to his advantage had always amazed her, the games that he played now were very dangerous. The last thing she wanted was for their house of cards to tumble because he'd made a mistake due to fatigue. She might not be hard headed enough to argue. But she could bargain.

"Alright, I'll rest." He smiled then, incredulous that it had been so simple. "Don't look so smug. They're a catch. I'll rest, but only if you promise to do the same. You look like death, and the last thing you need is to wear yourself ragged at my bedside, though I do appreciate the gesture."

"Very well, I'll rest, now to bed with you." He made a show of sitting in the chair beside her bed and closing his eyes.

"I meant in an actual bed Kraven." She pinned him with a dark look. "This is not what I meant when I said rest."

"Well I'm not leaving you. That is not an option, and the couch is too far from the entrance points. I'll not let someone steal you from me while you sleep."

"Were all those pretty words earlier about you having some self restraint just a lovely tale you were telling me?"

"What? Of course not. I would never-"

"Well then seeing as I can trust that you can keep your hands to yourself, I see no reason that we can not share a bed. Unless you're afraid for your virtue that is?"

He chuckled as he sat down on the bed beside her. "You can do any thing you want to with my virtue Selene, as you're well aware. Though I think that we might need to wait until you're recovered, I wouldn't want it getting around that you couldn't keep up with me, and ruin your reputation."

"As worn down as you look at the moment I think both of our reputations would suffer."

He stretched out beside her. "Well knocking on deaths door or not never let it be said that I turned down a beautiful woman who wanted me in her bed."

"A habit that you'd best break in the future for any other lady caller, I'd hate to have to kill when I've just discovered that you're not despicable."

"I meant that part about forsaking others company as well."

"Best you remember it, and best that we see Erika to Lucian before she can cause trouble, she won't take you kicking her out of your bed well."

"True but all of that can wait till morning. Sleep now. Wreak bloody vengeance on the world tomorrow."

And as he settled in beside her she felt none of the trepidation the first night that they'd shared a bed. Instead she only felt an intense curiosity about this man whom she'd thought that she'd known so well, and the direction of their path to come. He was right about one thing however, the questions could wait until tomorrow when her head wasn't filled with ringing bells and the room wasn't spinning.

AN: I'm sure you'd all given this fic up for dead. I've recently started writing again, though I make no promises toward updates. I hope that you enjoyed it, and I will endeavor to get more of this story written so that I can share it with you all soon. And greetings to my fellow Kraven/Selene writers, it is quite nice to no longer be alone.

How do we think that Erika is going to take her new situation? And how will Lucian react to another vampire paramour? When will Kraven and Selene get around to earning that M rating that I claimed once upon a time? All that and more will be coming when Concessions continues.