Disclaimer: I do not own The Nine Lives of Chloe King!
I felt like time had stopped moving around me. No, it couldn't be. Chloe couldn't be hurt. She just couldn't. Not sweet, kind, caring Chloe who would do anything to save the people that she loved.
"What happened?" I demanded. "Jason was supposed to be watching over her! He promised me that he would guard her with his life!"
"He did," Valentina said, dragging the huge bag of medical supplies to the table and clearing everything off of it. "Jason died protecting her. Jasmine was on her way there when she heard Chloe scream, so she started running, but it was too late. When she got there she said that Jason was on the floor dead and Chloe was lying on the floor with a knife through her stomach. She's bringing Chloe here right now so we can try to save her, but I don't know if I will be able to. She might lose one of her lives."
I sat down on the couch, trying to comprehend all that she had said. Chloe had been stabbed in the stomach by a member of the Order. I knew that I should have stayed and watched her. If I had only been there, this wouldn't have happened. Guilt swelled through me as I realized that it was my fault that this had happened to Chloe. I should have insisted that I was fine and stayed to watch over her.
I was snapped out of my thoughts when the door suddenly flew open and Jasmine ran in carrying Chloe in her arms. My heart sank as I gazed at Chloe. She was covered in blood, and I could barely hear her heartbeat. She was dying fast.
Jasmine laid her down on the table and Valentina immediately got to work. She lifted Chloe's shirt up and I felt sick as I gazed at Chloe's wound. If only I had been there, this never would have happened.
I went over to the table and grabbed Chloe's hand, tears pouring down my face as I watched Valentina try to save Chloe's life, but after a while it was obvious that there was nothing that could be done. Chloe was dying.
I listened as Chloe's heartbeat grow fainter. "Keep fighting Chloe!" I yelled, hoping that she could hear me. "Don't stop. You can't leave me," I exclaimed, more tears running down my face, but it was too late, Chloe stopped breathing and her heart beat stopped.
I buried my head in Chloe's neck, crying. Behind me I could hear Valentina and Jasmine crying too. I stayed like that for what felt like forever, until I felt a gentle hand pulling me back. I looked up and saw Valentina with a grave expression.
"She will be waking up soon, we might want to give her some space," she said, tugging at my arm gently. I silently obeyed, but kept my hand intertwined with Chloe's as I gazed down at her. If it wasn't for all of the blood, it would have thought that she was sleeping.
After about five minutes, I started to get impatient. "How much longer?" I asked Valentina, starting to get worried over the fact that she had not woken up yet.
"It should be any second now," she said, gazing at Chloe in concern.
About a minute later, I heard Chloe's heart start beating again and I let out a big sigh of relief, glad that she was okay. Her eyes opened and immediately met mine.
"Oh, Chloe," I sighed, hugging her to me as she started crying. I pulled her into my arms and gently started rocking her back and forth.
"Did I die again?" She asked, pulling away slightly to look me in the eye. I could see the fear in her eyes and I hated that she had to go through all of this. I would be traumatized to if I had been killed by some assassins and then came back to life.
I nodded slowly and she buried her face into my chest, more tears escaping from her eyes. I heard Valentina and Jasmine walk quietly out of the room, leaving Chloe and I alone to give us some privacy.
"I was so worried about you, Chloe," I murmured into her hair. "I'm so sorry. It's my entire fault."
She turned to stare at me with her big blue eyes. "How is this your fault?" She asked, the tears stopping as she gazed at me. "You did nothing wrong, Alek. I told you to leave. I practically made you leave. If it's anyone's fault it's mine. You told me to stay in the house and not to leave no matter what, but when I heard a crash coming from the alleyway, I didn't even think. I just ran out and helped the mai who was protecting me."
I hugged her closer to me, deciding that now wasn't the best time to say I told you so. "What happened Chloe?" I asked instead.
She took a deep breath before starting her story. "I was in my room doing homework when I heard a loud crash coming from outside. I went over to my window to look and see what was happening when I saw three Order members fighting a mai so I jumped out my window and decided to help him."
I shook my head slightly. Why did she have to be so kind and caring? She was probably the only person that I knew who would go help save the life of some stranger she had never met.
"I fought one of them and I was able to kill him, but then I saw one of the assassins kill the mai, and I got distracted, and that was when the other Order member stuck the knife through my stomach," she said, wincing at the memory. "The last thing I remember is them running away after I fell to the ground."
I sucked in a breath as she told me what happened, trying to remain calm. I wanted to hunt these guys down and kill them slowly and painfully for what they had done to my Chloe. I closed my eyes, thinking, I should have been there. I never should have let her convince me to take the night off.
Chloe must have sensed what I was thinking, because she placed her hand on my cheek and waited for me to open my eyes before speaking. "Hey," she said softly. "It's not your fault. There is absolutely no reason for you to blame yourself. I told you to leave, so if it's anybody's fault, it would be mine."
I was about to say something, but before I could Valentina and Jasmine walked in the room, asking Chloe how she was feeling.
"I'm okay," she replied. "Just a little sore, but that should go away soon. It did last time." I winced, remembering that she had now lost two lives. That left seven.
"What happened?" Valentina asked, coming to sit across from me and Chloe on the couch. Chloe was still sitting in my lap with my arms wrapped around her. I gently stroked Chloe's hair as she recounted what she had just told me to the other two Mai.
Valentina took a moment to process everything that she had just been told before speaking. "I am so sorry that that happened to you Chloe. And I can assure you that we will be doubling your protection from now on. We cannot risk you losing another life."
Chloe nodded, but didn't say anything else.
Valentina continued. "I have already called your mother and told her that you would be sleeping here tonight if that is alright with you. I just want to make sure that you are fully healed and up to your full strength before I send you home."
Chloe nodded again. "That's fine. That's probably better too; I don't know what I would say to my mom if I came home all bloody and bruised, and I don't really want to be by myself right now," she admitted, leaning her head down, embarrassed.
I tilted her chin up and looked her in the eye. "You have nothing to be ashamed of," I said, trying my best to comfort her. "Considering what you went through, you have every right to be scared and upset, but we're here for you, and we're not going to let anything else happen to you."
She looked up at me and an emotion that I couldn't place filled her eyes. She smiled up at me. "Thank you so much Alek, for everything. I really appreciate it."
"Anytime," I said, not knowing what else to say, especially since Valentina and Jasmine were right behind me, listening to every single word that we said.
Valentina suddenly yawned. "Well, I am tired from all of these events, so I am just going to go to bed. Get some rest Chloe, and I'll see you in the morning," she said, smiling before exiting the room.
Jasmine quickly followed her mom's example and also made an excuse, saying that she was tired and desperately needed some sleep after all of the excitement that occurred tonight.
Once Jasmine walked out of the room, I turned back to Chloe who was faintly blushing. "Would you like to sleep in my room?" I asked. "I can sleep on the couch in here," I offered, not wanting to push her too far.
She looked up at me, surprised for a moment, before she smiled up at me, a blush covering her cheeks. "Actually," she said shyly. "I was wondering if I could stay with you. I don't want to be alone tonight, and I would feel a lot better if you were there with me."
I grinned at her. "It would be my pleasure," I said, scooping her up in my arms and carrying her into my room, gently placing her down on my bed before going over to one of my drawers and pulling out one of my shirts for her to wear. I knew that she wouldn't be comfortable in her bloody clothes.
I tossed the shirt to her to change into and turned away to face the door while she changed.
"Okay, I'm decent," she said, and I turned around to face her and couldn't help all of the thoughts that rushed through my head as I saw her lying on my bed, wearing my shirt. Once again, though, I was painfully reminded that she didn't feel the same way about me and she probably never would.
I went over to the bed and slowly lay down beside her. She scooted closer to me and I wrapped my arm around her and she placed her head against my chest. I sighed in contentment, closing my eyes. I could get used to this.
"Alek?" She murmured.
"I have to ask you something," she said. "I had forgotten about it until now and I was just curious."
"What is it?" I asked curiously, wondering what could be important enough to distract her from what had happened not too long ago.
"I was just wondering what a mate is for a mai," she said, tensing up, as if she was afraid of my reaction. But why would she . . .?
I groaned inwardly as I realized why Chloe was suddenly interested in Mai and their mates. She had overheard me talking to Jason on top of the roof tonight before I left. She had heard me tell Jason that she was my mate. I wanted to hit myself for not realizing that Chloe could hear us.
I decided to let Chloe believe that I didn't know that she overheard us. "A mate is someone that a Mai loves very deeply, and it's a bond between those two people that cannot be broken. If a Mai finds their mate it means that they love that person and would do anything for that person and that they would want to be with their mate until they die. It's a very serious thing," I explained. "Nobody can come between mates. Their bond is too deep."
Chloe stayed silent after I finished talking, probably processing all of what I had said. Hopefully she wouldn't mention having overheard me talking to Jason.
"Alek," she said softly after a few minutes. "Can I ask you something else?"
"Well," she began nervously and I had a feeling that this was going in a direction that I was not going to like. "After you dropped me off at my house, I heard you go up onto the room and talk to the Mai that was there to guard me and I heard you say something about me. Was it true? About me being your mate?"
I took a deep breath, wondering how Chloe would respond once I told her that she was definitely my mate. Hopefully, she wouldn't be freaked out and run away or something. I knew that she didn't even like me, so I don't know how she was going to respond to the whole mate thing.
"Yes," I finally said. "You're my mate Chloe and I know that you don't like me in that way at all, but I have to say this," I said, sitting up to look Chloe right in the eyes. "I love you Chloe, and I have loved you for a while now. I would do anything for you, and I was so scared when Valentina came home and said someone had attacked you. I love you so much Chloe."
Chloe surprise me by throwing her arms around me and hugging me tightly. "I love you too," she said.
"You do?" I asked, shocked.
She pulled away to look at me, a smile on her face. "Yes, Alek, I do. I just never said anything because I didn't think that you felt the same way."
A smile lit up my face as I regarded Chloe, lying in my bed, wearing my shirt, and telling me that she loved me. It felt like a dream. "How could I not feel the same way Chloe?" I asked softly, bringing my hand up to caress her face.
She leaned into my touch, closing her eyes. "I don't know. I'm nothing special. I'm just boring, plain Chloe."
I stared at her in shock. How could she ever think that about herself? "Don't you ever say that again," I whispered harshly, causing her to open her eyes in surprise at my tone. "You are amazing Chloe. You are the most beautiful, smartest, kindest person that I have ever met and any guy would be lucky to have you, especially me."
Tears started to form at the corner of Chloe's eyes and I gently wiped them away before they could fall. "I love you Alek," she whispered. "That is the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to me."
I smiled widely. "I love you too Chloe and I meant every word that I said."
Chloe gazed into my eyes and I slowly started to lean forward, gauging her reaction. She smiled again and leaned closer to me. I closed the distance between us and pressed my lips to her, kissing her.
I pulled away, smiling. "You have no idea how long I've wanted to do that," I said with a huge grin on my face. I couldn't remember the last time that I had been this happy.
"Me too," Chloe whispered before pressing her lips to mine once again.
Once she pulled away, she laid down, laying her head against my chest. "Goodnight Alek," she said softly, snuggling closer to me.
I wrapped my arm around her, stroking her hair. "Goodnight Chloe. Sweet dreams."
That night was one of the best nights of my life. It was the night I finally got the girl of my dreams. My love, my life, my mate, my Chloe.
I really hope you all enjoyed the story. I had a lot of fun writing it! Thank you so much to everyone who reviewed, I really love hearing what you think! Don't forget to review this chapter and tell me what you thought about the story!