Author's note: So I started my final Bachelor's year, free time is even less now but I haven't stopped writing. This chapter …. *facepalm* … practically wrote itself. I will not be held responsible because you all knew what you were getting into when you started reading my story. But yeah … I don't know if I should be proud or embarrassed of this chapter. *sigh*

But either way ...

Enjoy.


Disclaimer: All Twilight Saga characters belong to Stephanie Meyer. Unless stated otherwise. Plot to Bloody Rose belongs to me, respect artistic creativity please. This is a non-profit story. No copyrights infringements intended.


Hardship (noun) -
A state of misfortune or affliction; lack of prosperity or happiness. An unfortunate state resulting from unfavorable outcomes.

PREVIOUSLY

"Have you no will to live, girl?" He asked, with a strain in his voice, and a scowl on his mouth.

"My will to live is a liability." I answered. And it didn't escape my notice of the irony of having his words, spoken to me not so long ago, thrown back at him.

Apparently the irony wasn't lost on him too, as Caius blinked rapidly in surprise. But he didn't say anything; instead, he slowly descended down, to the crook of my neck. I can feel his cold breath on my throat as he inhaled my scent and blew a chilling huff on my skin, sending goose bumps in their wake.

His cold lips pressed on my skin, and I closed my eyes.


And I waited.

Seconds ticked away.

I waited for the searing pain of sliced flesh and oozing blood. But all it was is cold lips, pressed and paused on my jugular. Warming slowly to the temperature of my flesh.

"So easy to surrender your life." Caius whispered into my neck, and were he not so close to me I know I wouldn't have heard him. Yet it was not a question, and I wasn't sure if his words were even directed to me, or if it was an inner thought unconsciously voiced aloud.

But before I could even think to say anything, I was gently lowered on the bed behind me, pressed by the vampire of my doom into the mattress. A sarcastic part of my brain wanted to state that my blood would ruin the pretty sheets when he bites into me, but I smacked that part of my thoughts away. A set of luxurious thread count sheets would not even matter to a monarch vampire royalty. They could wrapped it around my, soon to be, lifeless carcass and toss it away. And have a hundred more to replace it.

And so I kept quiet and still, but not for very long.

Caius's body hovered over me, pressing me further into the bed. The pressure of his form was … overwhelming but surprisingly not uncomfortable. He was minding his weight. My subconscious smirked that this was not the first time he was 'on top of me'. And I found it incredibly eerie how calm, and cool and hyperaware I was in this point of end to my life.

And then Caius's hands began to wander.

He released my wrist, which he had held, but in my state I just let it lay limp on the bed beside my head. My mind was trying to register yet remain detached from what was happening to my body.

Caius was suddenly positioned between my legs, and the flimsy silk fabric of my robes parted open to expose more of my legs and the slight peak of my incredibly short gray nightgown.

My knees twitched when he placed his massive hands on my hips. He smoothed his palms right down to my outer thighs, squeezing his fingers gently then relaxing them. He squeezed his hands on my skin again, and then he relaxed them immediately. It took me a moment to realize what it was he was doing, and then it clicked.

He was caressing my thighs, squeezing my skin. Like ripe seasoned fruit!

And as I absorbed that thought, my treacherous body against my will, began to…. respond.

His cold hands no longer felt as cold, they excessively warmed by the overheated flesh of my blushed skin, the tingling warmth of my body temperature was rapidly rising to the beating of my violent heart.

Caius's hands slowly began to travel up, over the thin silk material of my negligee, curving to the swell of my hips. My breathing, and his, became rather shallow and desperate. Electricity crackled all over my skin, around us, and between us. Caius's lips still held themselves on my neck, but now they parted to take in and out breathe of air through his mouth that he didn't need yet somehow required, which he couldn't take through his nose as it pressed under my jaw. I grasped the sheets with both hands. I, for unknown reasons, just wanted to touch him. But I tried to keep my hands busy with the sheets to stop myself.

However, his hands continued to travel up. Long fingers curling to the dip of my waist, caressing, feeling …. touching … the silk that covered me, the silk that offered no sense of modesty as much as I could feel the smooth hard yield of his skin, he too could feel the line of my ribs as his hands proceeded up my torso.

The silken fabric was also igniting that spark of tangible electricity under his hands; it made my skin alive with attention and focus on his touch than I could ever try to distract myself from. Like a yield of punishment, a zap jolted on my skin from the friction of the fabric for every second I didn't focus on those hungry hands. I knew it wasn't purposeful, but the timings were impeccable. And it took all my will power not to consciously gasp with each quicken shock.

This was true torture. A cold, undeniable sweet, torture.

I bit my bottom lip firmly, my breasts ached and their peaks hardened. Shit! I was grateful this vampire, this man, was so close to me he wouldn't be able to see. But were he to press himself further against me, he would feel it. It was a wrong moment to be human. A weak, sexually deprived, human. A weak teenage, sexually deprived, human with too many wicked thoughts spinning in my head than my imagination could care to concoct.

I blushed so madly. And breathed so loudly.

I tried with much effort to keep my eyes shut, if it ends now, I'd rather not see it nor expect it. Yet needless to say, natural reflexes of foreign fingertips skimming my ribs had me slightly squirming under this vampire's touch but his hands stopped at the top set of my ribs, holding me still. I gasped when they tried to cease my spontaneous writhing.

His thumbs were just barely brushing the under curve of my breasts, my very bare, painfully peaked, breasts. I shivered as they ghosted so delicately over the buttery fabric; I was so close to dismissing it as a figment of my overactive imagination. I bit my lip harder. Noises wanted to escape my mouth. Dirty noises. Stupid human body.

Just don't look at him. Don't open your eyes. Don't be petrified and amend your choice. I kept telling myself.

I did not know if this was for my benefit or his, but if easing him or me into this consequence before finally being fatally consumed, then so be it.

But I did not dwell on that thought for long, now my mind had another focus, as I felt the touch of something hot and wet on my throat. Slithering up and down the length of my neck. Were it to be cold and wet I would have immediately been alert to what it was but the over warmth was a shock!

His tongue!

He was licking me, he was tasting me …. I assumed ….. with his surprisingly hot tongue, that was much too hot to be warmed by the heat of my body, no matter how long his skin lingered there.

No … Caius's mouth held an unfamiliar, strange, warmth unmatched to the entire arctic chill of his hard and unyielding low body temperature. And in my state of distraction, his fingers on my torso tightened slightly, and his throat echoed a dim growl. A vibration that resonated from his throat, creating a tingling hum on my neck, with his mouth still on my skin, I could feel his lips pull back over his teeth.

I froze. I stopped breathing. This was it. It all ends here … now … but its ok. I'm ok with it. I think I am …. I .. I .. I know I am.

Yes.

I accept this, as I arch my neck further back. A silent gesture of offering. I squeezed my eyes shut much tighter till my lids ached.

But then Caius's touch to my throat was suddenly gone.

"No!" he growled, releasing me and pulling back.

My eyes ripped themselves open in time to see him sit upright on the bed and turn away from me, with his back given to my still laid form.

I shuddered a breath of air I didn't even know I was holding. My eyes absently looked on the back of the flow of long snowy blonde hair, because that's all I could see of my killer vampire. No. The killer vampire.

A chill ran through the length of my spine, causing me to arch a little off the bed. A sudden surreal pain in my chest ached. It was alien in this moment, yet a fraction familiar. A sort of pain that I had experienced before, yet it was hard to recall where and when, but probably because I shared this pain in an entirely different circumstance with someone …. entirely different …...

And then all of a sudden it hit me like an astounding shock of electricity. I knew exactly what this damn ache was.

Rejection. Cold and hard.

The, oh so familiar, bitter rejection. Like ice in my warm veins, and prickly spikes to my goose-bumped flesh.

I didn't need this; I didn't need this denial from him, of all people. I was asking for death, I was handing my blood over on a silver platter. I knew well enough to know that my blood was to be desired. And needless to say offering it to the most heartless monster was an irrefutable giving. In the end, wasn't this little game of his where we would end up reaching?

Drained and dead, and in that exact order.

So why the hell not?

He ….. Caius was still sitting on the end of the bed. His back still to my view, motionless, the illusion of breathing lost on him. I pushed myself off the bed, sitting upright but more far to the middle, that even to my erect position, I still couldn't see his face, just the cascade of blonde silky hair and contour of wide built shoulders.

I had no idea when this situation came to be a waltz around eggshells, but as I pushed myself more to the edge of the bed, I was minding my breathing, and careful movements until I came to facing this vampire.

However 'facing' wasn't the accurate term, he was looking away from me yet, to the other side of the room, almost like he didn't want me seeing his face. An avoidance.

I don't know where this bold and reckless abandonment manifested itself in me, but I felt like ... to hell with it!

I grabbed a fistful of his shirtsleeve, which was hard considering the material tightened around his big bicep, and nudged him once for attention. His head whipped in my direction, his face was hard, and jaw flexed tight, eyes wild and piercing. His eyebrows pulled together in … anger? Frustration? Annoyance? I didn't know. But the black depth of his eyes displayed roaring hunger.

I gulped, hesitating slightly in my movements as I released his shirt, which was a little marred by the crease of my grip, and reached out tentatively and carefully to his face.

My hand froze mid-air when Caius's perfectly symmetrical, chiseled lips parted. I can vaguely see the peek of those top sets of perfectly white sharp teeth. I breathed a little louder; Caius didn't breath at all, didn't say anything, and basically didn't pull back. My hand was paused inches away from his face, but his eyes continued to scrutinize mine.

And so I continued to reach forward.

I gently touched my fingertips to the defines of his jaw. I marveled a little at how magnificently smooth his skin felt to my touch. I have felt the smooth texture of a handful of vampires, which was an exterior, they all seemed to share, but this sensation was nothing like the hard smoothness of the marble ivory of their usual skin. Oh no … this was much too velvety yet firm. It felt like my skin was going to melt into his. It was so unbelievably surreal.

I swallowed hard, my gaze traveled up, meeting Caius's onyx gaze. The wind nearly got knocked out of me. He was staring far too intensely at me. Not my face. He was looking at my chest as it rose and fell.

It was slightly intimidating how he could not move his figure, his neck, to look around and about, yet his eyes missed nothing as they shifted, absorbing everything with enamored sharp scrutiny.

The hairs on the back of my neck bristled to a stand when suddenly his gaze traveled up my chest, to my neck and finally he looked directly at me. His eyes narrowed to slits, but he still didn't move or retreat from my touch. My mouth went dry. This situation was far too …. Intense. And I suppressed my urge to shiver under his gaze, and returned to where my fingers still lightly held onto his jaw.

My thumb was hovering idle over his faintly opened mouth. I slowly placed that thumb over his lips and they twitched under my touch. My stomach tightened and my heart rapidly raced. But I boldly continued to where I was seeking as I slowly pushed my thumb inside his mouth, in an attempt to touch his bladed teeth. Just one nick on my flesh, I thought.

But suddenly long cold fingers curled on my hand and pried them away from his face. I looked to him and his eyes looked like they would nearly pop out, as he seemed to be gaping at my face with a wildness of a feral beast. His chest suddenly emanates a heavy growl from within, resonating all the way to his mouth. I was inches away from a predator, and his animalistic tendencies were taking over. And he looked ready to pounce!

"Do you have a death wish, girl?" he growled menacingly.

I swallowed the heavy lump in my throat. "Why delay the inevitable?" I threw back, my voice a hushed whisper.

If he looked livid a second ago, then now he was a roaring rampage of annihilating fury. I coward, shivering all the way to the curl of my toes under his heavy unfathomable gaze.

"Do. Not. Ever. Dare …" He paused to inhale sharply. "... to answer my question with another question." He hissed with sinister intent.

My scalp prickled. "Yes, I do …. I do wish for death. Nothing else matters now … " I answered truthfully, it meant to sound firm but my voice faltered with a heavy choke. Still, it was affirming where no affirmation was even needed. Because not a few seconds ago he was ready to bite into my neck. So what changed now?

And then his next words caused me to stiffen so rigidly, I felt veins in my neck were going to explode from the pressure and shock.

"All because you lost one fucking boy?!" he yelled, causing me to startle. Caius never looked more frightening, and up close was a whole other experience.

However I did not anticipate what would follow.

Because suddenly one large glacial hand curled around my neck, a strong arm wrapped all the way around my narrow waist, and hard cool lips met my surprised mouth. My hands instinctively fell on the reveres of Caius's dark dress-shirt. His mouth moved with no pause, and the clench of my stomach grew far too tight, like a winding spring. And my heart stuttered, and my whole body flamed, beginning with the boiling blood under my cheeks, which quickly spread further down to my neck, and heaving chest.

But my lips still remained unmoving, until that strong arm that was holding firmly to my torso nudged me into his waiting lap.

The motion caused me to blink in a flutter and my lips to move, and against his unforgiving mouth … it felt ….. it …. it .. felt .. oh god … it felt so good!

My hands, which were resting over his shoulders, clenched his shirt until my knuckles turned white, and I closed my eyes and I responded to his kisses. My lips practically melted into his, moving with a pressure of fluid motion. I was kissing, and being kissed in a way like I never felt before. There was nothing chaste and sweet about this kiss.

Caius's kisses were, if there were near enough words to describe them, then it would be devouring, hungry, and greedy.

They were long, and slow, and rhythmic, and consuming. His lips curved to mine perfectly yet still kept a hard and contradicting softness to them. But the softness of his skin was overshadowed by the ravenous, wild, and punishing kisses. They pressed hard on my lips, and I knew they would leave a bruise. But I just didn't care. Nor could I think to even begin to care.

I was lost. I was lost with each kiss I received. I was lost with each kiss I gave back. And I was giving back, for once, gallantly and daringly. I wasn't being pushed back, or held at a distance. Not Denied nor rejected.

On the contrary, with each kiss, with each time Caius lips sucked my own for a hard wet kiss, I felt like I was experiencing a surreal tingling sensation. This … this bending and yielding of our lips was an anonymity to me. I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't even know if I was doing anything of strong or careful thought, my lips just moved instinctually. It was just pure feeling. And I moaned when I received a rugged growl in response.

And Caius's lips just took control of mine, releasing my bottom lip, only to press a hard luscious kiss between my lips, before devouring and sucking my upper lip. And it continued in this whirling cycle.

How long has it been? Seconds? Minutes? An hour?

The tightening sensation in my stomach began to unfurl into a tangible rapid, hot sensation, and it traveled all the way to the apex of my thighs. And it ached, it hurt, and it throbbed. I didn't know what to do to relieve the sensation, other than to rub my thighs together. Big mistake! It just made me even more conscious that I was still on this man's lap, and the more I rubbed my thighs, the more this aching sensation turned into a heady feeling of wetness, slick and hot and deep inside.

Although that thought was momentarily slipping as my attention was suddenly pulled when I felt the hot flesh of his tongue skimming my bottom lip. And I was stumped. This was ….for lack of a better word … this was new.

His tongue was seeking entrance to my mouth. And I wasn't parting for him.

His growl suddenly increased. And his hand which still held my neck in place slid down to my chest, all the way to the inside of my now loosely tied silk robe, and inside to the plunged neckline of my nightgown that displayed a large portion of the skin between my breasts. Caius's hand rested on that gap, right between the valley of my very very bra-less breasts.

I twitched and panted in surprise and my mouth opened in shock at the coolness of his flat palm to my hot chest, and the staccato of my beating heart beneath. And Caius seized that instant and pushed his tongue inside my mouth, claiming me in a dominating kiss. And the moment my tongue tasted his tongue, everything suddenly changed.

His taste, his sweet and hot musky flavor, made me surprisingly relax. I moaned into his mouth when his tongue met mine. I moaned loudly and melted onto his body. I snaked one hand into his soft hair, and my other hand grabbed onto his spectacularly muscular bicep for dear life.

My body was working on overdrive, and my heart was like a thunder strike that pump from my chest all the way that spot between my legs, which right now made me so wet that my wetness seeped and soaked my panties.

Too much! Too much! Too much! But it didn't stop there.

Because as this man was kissing me, his tongue smoothed mine and made it submit to him. Caius was everywhere, he was everywhere around me, on me. His entire existence was overwhelming me. It was a possession. His taste in my mouth as he purred and lazily explored me was a sensation like no other.

It was beautiful.

His taste was so potent and strong, and still surprisingly hot. Suddenly, I went from being on his lap to abruptly being flipped on the bed with a slight bounce. Only to be pinned by his strong physique that pushed me into the mattress. Black eyes held my brown gaze. Caius was panting, despite his dress shirt, which I creased slightly, he still looked his pristine condition, yet his heavy breathing displayed a sense of disheveled mess to his features I haven't witness before.

All coherent thoughts were cut from my mind as he swooped in again and kissed me, devouring my lips and tongue with a primal greed. I could do nothing but to simply give into him. To surrender all my power and will.

He snaked a hand into my hair and began to lightly caress my head. His other hand roamed wildly over my body until it came to rest on the exposed flesh of my thigh, where the gown rode up to bare even more naked skin. He groped my leg as his hand descended down and below my knee before he hiked that leg and wrapped it around his waist.

I pressed my hands to his sternum, and it shouldn't be a surprise but it was, I marveled at how big he was and how muscular his torso is, but I couldn't help my awe for my hands finally began to explore his chest. Going further down and feeling the outline and dips of his abdominal muscles, hidden behind his shirt garment. Oh. My. God. He was ripped!

He slowly pulled back, breaking the connection of our lips with a pop. I looked at his face and watched as he inhaled deeply, his nostrils flared. And his eyes sparkled with life. "You are absolutely soaked." He abruptly stated.

I gasped and my face burned. He smirked. "Do you know how I knew?" he inhaled again. "I can smell your pretty little cunt." He whispered, and his sweet intoxicating breath blew on my face, causing a sigh to escape my lips and my head to fall back on the bed.

His hands slid to my face, and he cupped my cheeks, one thump stroked my cheekbone and the other skimmed my swollen bottom lip. I couldn't help it, I released a little moan. His smile got a little wider. And satisfaction twinkled behind his black eyes.

Then his next words sent my sex throbbing.

"I want to eat your cunt." He spoke slowly, mouthing each word in a deep whisper.

"ahhhh …" I moaned. I closed my eyes and averted my face. I have never been spoken to like that before.

It was erotic.

And I found pleasure in it. Confirmed by the sleek liquid that escaped my sex and drenched my underwear further. I can even feel some dripping down my folds.

I looked back to this blonde immortal that had me vexed and perplexed, and a heady mess of aroused distress, but all I saw was the top of his blonde hair as he descended. He kissed his way down my body, to my chest and halted on the valley between my breasts. And again I was reminded of the deep neckline of my light garments, and how close a proximity Caius's face was to my half exposed chest. He blew a cold breath onto my skin and goose bumps erupted across my sternum, reaching all the way to the tips of my breasts and making my nipples tighten.

His hands ravaged my body, exploring and touching everything they can touch from my ribs to my stomach, until he brought his hands to the loose neckline of my gown. His fingers came up to the top rim, just beside my left breast. And just so easily he brought the material to the side and uncovered my entire breast; the cold air prickled my skin. My sex deliciously clenched as I became aware of how I was in this moment really exposed to his hungry eyes.

Caius wasted no time as he wrapped his lips around my nipple and sucked on the soft flesh with a ravenous, greedy, desire. His other hand traveled to my other breast and he snaked his fingers under the fabric and covered my right breast with his entire hand before he began massaging and kneading the tender flesh, pinching my nipple between his fingers.

"Ahhhhhh…" I moaned aloud, again and again. And my voice echoed all across the room. He growled back, still with his mouth latched on my nipple and the vibration buzzed to my peak and it made my moans echo a louder staccato, holding nothing back.

His assault made me so wet! Hot flames licked my belly, and a tension riveted through me that somehow kept building up and higher and again and again …

And …. And … knock knock knock came the sound right from the bedroom door.

I froze. Caius froze. He pulled back. I flustered and immediately covered myself.

Caius was suddenly at his feet facing the door. "WHAT!?" he roared. And I jumped, my heart stuttered in my chest.

"Forgive me, your highness. But Master Aro requests your presence at once …" came a muffled sound behind the door.

Caius gracefully turned his head to look at me, and I blushed scarlet and hot as I anxiously fiddled with refastening my robe and presenting some modestly. His eyes looked me over as though he was assessing my humility as well. I pulled the collar of my robe together with my fist, and clenched it to my chest, fidgeting under his heavy gaze.

He turned his face away, his profile in my view, closing his eyes and pressing his lips together as though he was about to shout once more and this time I prepared my heart for the next roar, but instead he just snapped his eyes open and marched to the door. His yelling might have not spooked me, but now I was more spooked by how he was walking across the floor, yet his footsteps weren't even audible to my ears. Like he was gliding or perhaps floating.

How the hell is he doing that?

When he reached the door, Caius pried it wide open to reveal a very nervous Alec on the other side. I inwardly groaned and looked down, bringing my hair to cover my most embarrassed face, my blush must have rivaled the reddest of fruit. He had to have heard ….. ugh … everything.

"Tell my brother I will be with him shortly ….. now DISAPPEAR!" Caius shouted his dismissal. But this time it wasn't just me that jumped as Alec looked to his master, bowed his head, uttering no reply and left the room in a blur.

Once Alec was out of the room, and even I could attest to it as I heard the main door to the chambers close shut, Caius slowly craned his neck and peered at me over his shoulder.

"From this moment and beyond you are to never speak of death or the semblance of it …. Do you understand?" he spoke so eloquently, but the words registered belatedly to my brain.

I must have looked like I was slapped because that's how it felt. "You don't have the right to tell me what to do!"

He turned to me slowly and straightens himself, looking much taller and dictatorial.

"Do not falter and forget that I enforce the law of our world. I hold as much power as my brothers to destroy covens with a single uttered command. You will do as you are told." He spoke with slow and calm. But his features looked raged.

I rose from the bed and crossed by arms over my chest. I can feel tears welling in the back of my eyes, and my throat getting heavy and strained. "It doesn't matter anymore. I no longer wish to be a part of your world, so I see no other alternative than to off me."

His features didn't falter, but his eyes conveyed shock to my words.

He dragged his fingers through his hair before dropping his hand numbly to his side. Then his expression melted into a stoic unreadable visage. "Unlike Edward Cullen, I am a man who keeps his word." He narrowed his eyes. "You wish to return, say the word and I will send you on your way home."

My heart stopped. My body felt numb all over.

Caius took one step forward. "I will have you sent back. Contrary to our agreement, that should your pathetic excuse of a boy proves his love to you is of a weaker basis, and in proving such, you are to live here and accept this new way of life.…. However … I will be the bigger man. Do you wish to return home, little girl?"

My brain completely shut down. I simply looked to him, with eyes as wide and round as they may appear. I was speechless. I couldn't even form words. I couldn't even believe what my ears were hearing, and if they heard him correctly.

Just like that, he is willing to send me home, after all the wickedness and deceptions and mind games?

After bringing me all the way here?

Forcing me to accept that this was to be a place to live the rest of my life. And now he easily offers me the choice to go back?

Does he not want me anymore?

Oh no …. No no no no ! what the hell am I thinking?!

What are you thinking exactly? No!

I should not be thinking that!

Oh god! I cant believe I just questioned this man's desire of me.

Oh god! Oh god! And we kissed! … You more than kissed! Oh god!

What am I saying? What am I even thinking!

I should be ecstatic that he is letting me have a choice to leave, to go back.

But back to what? ….. Back to what, indeed.

I have left everything behind, and while I have a slight feeling of regret behind that choice, I know that ultimately it's for the best, and therefore I can squash those infinitesimals of regret easily.

Suddenly I was brought back to reality by Caius's voice.

"You seem …. Conflicted. You can take the time to ponder your decision." He stated rather arrogantly. He walked to the door and placed his hand on the frame before he turned his head eerily slow to gaze at me from the corner of his eye. "You do not have anything to do today. Throw your self back into bed, little wench."

And then he left, slamming the door shut with a loud bang behind him. Leaving me a wide-eyed and gapping mouthed mess, staring at the door.


Author's note: Bella's negligee is posted on my pinterest for your curious eyes. Link on my profile.