Title: Brian's Betrayal
A/N: My first Nine Lives fic. Alek/Chloe, of course.
Chloe smiled as Brian walked up. "Hi."
"Hello. I brought you some coffee," he said, holding the cup out to her.
"Thanks," she replied, taking the cup, and sipping from it. He held the door as she climbed into his car. Within moments she felt tired, and lightheaded. But her body felt heavy – to heavy to move.
"Something… I don't feel good…" she moaned. Seconds later she was unconscious.
# # # # # # # # #
Once Chloe was secure, Brian faced his father, and his father was smiling at him. "I'm very proud of you, Son. You've done the right thing. We'll finally be able to avenge your mother's murder by the Mai. We'll kill their Uniter. You've done well. I love you."
Brian smiled. It was the first time he could remember his father saying that to him. "Yes. I just want to make sure she knows why this is happening. I want her to know what the Mai really are before she dies."
The older man put an arm around his son's shoulders and led him from the room.
# # # # # # # # #
"ALEK!" Valentina's call woke Alek from sleep.
"What?" he called sleepily. Chloe was spending the Saturday with Brian, so Alek had asked Jamine to watch her. It gave him a chance to catch up on the sleep he missed spending his nights guarding Chloe.
"The Order has Chloe!"
"WHAT?" Alek said, jumping out of bed and pulling on jeans and a shirt. He raced into the main room, grabbing a few of the weapons Valentina had set out.
"Jamine called. The Order has Chloe. It seems Brian's father is an Order member, and they now have Chloe," Valentina explained as they raced down the stairs.
# # # # # # # # #
Chloe slowly returned to consciousness. As awareness returned, she realized she was lying on a bed, her ankles and wrists were handcuffed to the metal bed posts. Her first thought was for Brian. What had happened to him? Had her crazy Mai life gotten him hurt? Or worse… killed? Her stomach churned, and guilt weighed her down as surely as the drug had earlier.
Then a thought – a name – drifted through her head. Alek. Alek would find her. He'd save her. Alek was always there when she needed him most. She pictured his face in her mind, and her heart rate and breathing slowed as she calmed down.
She closed her eyes and imagined she was back downtown that afternoon, listening to Alek's heartbeat, and nothing else. She remembered the expression on his face, the emotion in his eyes, when he stood outside her house, saying he'd stayed because she'd asked him to. She thought of how safe she felt at night, knowing he was standing guard for her.
Then the door opened, and a man she didn't know entered. And he wasn't alone, right behind him was…
"Chloe," Brian greeted, his tone colder and harder than she'd ever heard it. "I found out what happened to my mother. The Mai killed her. Your people killed her!"
"YES! The Mai are evil, Chloe! You kill people! My mother is dead because the Mai killed her!"
"Actually, the Order killed her when she became sympathetic to the Mai," came a voice from out in the hall.
"I warned you to leave her alone," Valentina told the older man, ignoring Chloe's yell.
The older man aimed the gun he held at Chloe, and fired before Valentina or Alek could stop him. Chloe felt a burning pain in her chest, then nothing.
As Valentina and Brian's father fought, Alek spoke to Brian, in a low and dangerous voice. "Chloe liked you. She risked a lot to be with you. She trusted you… And you betray her like this? Turn her over to the Order so they can kill her again and again and again? I always knew you didn't deserve her, but this…"
"And I suppose you do deserve her?" Brian sneered.
The only answer was the sound of Alek's claws tearing open Brian's cheek. Alek took his time with the fight; his purpose to inflict pain, rather than kill quickly. A kick broke three ribs. Another broke a knee cap. A hit fractured Brian's cheek, then another punch broke his jaw. Alek used his claws to inflict deep cuts that hurt and bled, but avoided the major arteries. Valentina had finished her fight, and simply watched Alek work. Once he was done, she tossed him the keys she'd found on Brian's father, and he went into the room to release Chloe, who left out a gasping breathe as she came back to life.
"It's okay, Chloe. We're getting you out of here. You'll be okay," Alek said as he undid her ankles first, then her wrists.
She threw her arms around his neck, and began to cry. He pulled her close, and let her cry against his shoulder. Rubbing her back in a comforting gesture. Hearing her daughter approach, Valentina looked away from the couple.
"The rest of the house is secure," Jasmine reported.
"Good. Well done."
"Chloe?" Jasmine asked, looking at her weeping friend.
"We weren't in time to save her life… or her heart," Valentina commented.
Jasmine gave a slight smile. "Her heart will be just fine… Leave it to Alek."
After a few minutes, Chloe pulled back. She was about to wipe the last tears away, when Alex gently did it for her.
"Let's get you out of here," he said.
Chloe nodded in agreement. They stood up, and Alek wrapped an arm protectively around her. She nestled in against him, not wanting to lose the comfort of his solid warmth.
Chloe made a point of not looking at Brian's unconscious body as they walked by. She never asked what became of him, and never knew that a few hours later he died from the beating Alek had given him.
She also didn't look at what Valentina had left of the father.
Once they were outside, she looked up at him. "Can we go to your home, or somewhere else? I'm not ready to face my Mom. She'd freak out if she saw me right now," Chloe said, looking down at her blood stained shirt, with a bullet hole in it.
"Of course. Anything you need," he assured her.
# # # # # # # # #
At the condo, Choe changed into one of Jasmine's shirts, then pointed to the chair by the kitchen table. "Sit down. I'm going to get some stuff and take care of those knuckles."
"Alek, sit down," she said. The tone in her voice, almost pleading, convinced him not to argue. He suddenly realized that just as he felt the need to protect her (and not just because he'd been assigned as her Protector) she felt the need to do this – to take care of his injured hands.
Her touch was soft as she wiped away the blood – mostly Brian's. He ignored the sting of the hydrogen peroxide. Then she wrapped them in soft gauze.
"Thank you, Chloe," he said, taking her hand in his as she was about to pick up the stuff to put it away.
She met his eyes. "Thank you…"
"For what?" Alek asked, not understanding what she'd be thanking him for. If he'd been protecting her properly, she'd never have been taken. She wouldn't have lost another life.
"For coming for me."
"Chloe, I'll always come for you. And if I'd bee protecting you properly, you wouldn't have been taken. I'm sorry. It should never have happened. You shouldn't have lost another life today."
"Alek… You'd been up all night, guarding me?"
"Yes. Of course."
"Like you are every night. You have to sleep sometime."
He sighed. "Yes, I needed sleep… but that isn't the real reason I wasn't the one watching you this morning."
She gave him a confused look.
"I… I hated seeing you with him. I let others watch you while you're with him. I used the excuse that I need sleep, but really… I just didn't like seeing you with him."
"You were… jealous?"
"Bloody hell, Chloe. Yes, I was jealous."
Chloe's eyes went wide as she tried to process that. Alek was jealous. That meant… he liked her? "But… you didn't pay any attention to me before…"
"Chloe, I thought you were a human girl. I COULDN'T pay attention to you," he reminded her.
She thought about that for a few seconds and nodded. No, as a Mai, Alek wouldn't have paid attention to human girls. His kiss would have killed her, or at least he'd thought it would.
"Chloe, you've had a bad day. We both have. We'll talk later. Right now, you need some rest… and so do I." He sat down in the large recliner, and held out his hand to her. She took at and he reclined the chair back as she nestled in against him, her head over his heart, and one hand resting on his chest. His arms wrapped loosely around her. She felt secure and comfortable in his arms, and – just as she had in the Market – tuned out every other sound, and listened to his heart. Both soon feel asleep.
# # # # # # # # #
Chloe woke to the unfamiliar fell of being curled up with someone else – with Alek, she realized. Yet again, he'd come for her. Saved her. Just like she'd known he would. Just like he always did. And he'd been jealous of Brian… That still amazed her. Amy had been the one to crush on Alek, but Chloe know she'd be lying if she said she hadn't noticed how attractive he was. If she said she hadn't been tempted when he'd pinned her against the wall and come so close to kissing her. She liked Alek. Had liked him for a while, but wouldn't admit it. Brian had represented the normal human life she'd wanted, and Alek the Mai life she was still trying to figure out. So she'd convinced herself she wanted Brian, even if she couldn't really be with him.
She heart Alek's heart rate and breathing change, and knew he was awake. He kissed the top of her head. She looked up and shifted positions so that they could kiss properly. Chloe wasn't disappointed. Far from it. The kiss was sweet and powerful and her knees went weak. Alek wasn't overbearing, but neither was he tentative. He took his time and kissed her thoroughly. Alek felt like he was intoxicated.
"I see you're awake," Valentina began as she walked into the room, causing them to break the kiss.
Chloe stayed put, but looked at Valentina. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have gone to Brian's house…"
Valentina cut her off. "No, Chloe. I'm the one who's sorry. I'd seen Brian's picture when I paid a visit to his father. I should have found out more about the human boy you liked, and made the connection."
"There's enough blame for all of us," Jasmine noted. "We have Chloe back, and neither of those two will ever hurt her again."
Chloe decided not to pursue that.
Valentina turned her attention to Alek. "I'll let you continue to be her Protector, as long as there aren't any mistakes caused by your… distraction."
"Thank you," he replied.
"I called your mother, Chloe, and told her you were staying for dinner."
"Okay… Do you two maybe want to get up now?" Jasmine asked, with a pointed look at their entangled bodies.
"Get used to it, Cousin," Alek replied with a smirk.
A/N: Not sure if I'll continue or not…
As a fan of Alek/Chloe, I'm not a fan of Brian, but I did try to give him an at least somewhat reasonable explanation for betraying Chloe. I see him more as naïve and desperate to have his father's love than evil.