“Alek, drain her.”
The blood rushed from Alek’s face, leaving him pale. His entire body shook as he stood, glaring daggers at Dominic. He sat beside Paige, who was staring at Dominic. When Alek grabbed her shoulder and pulled her against him, she squeaked.
“What are you doing?” She tried to pull away, but couldn’t.
Slowly, Alek leaned in to her neck, his mouth opening wide, all the time staring daggers at Dominic. When his teeth met skin, she trembled, and he released her, pushing her away.
“Good. Paige, come here.” Dominic sounded like the leader he was, and not like the friend he'd always been. Cold steel.
She stood on shaky legs, looking between Dominic and Alek, more scared than she’d ever been. Alek had promised... And she’d believed him. Right now, she didn’t know what to think.
“When a vampire’s sire tells him to do something, and I mean a direct order - not asking - that vampire has to do it. Not just by law, but by genetics. The pull of the demand is too strong. You can think of it like mind control, but really, it’s more than that.”
Paige still stood, shell-shocked and shaky.
“Alek was forced to do what I told him to do. And yet, he didn’t.”
“Dominic-” Alek could no longer hide the panic in his voice.
Dominic didn’t even look at him, just held up his hand, and Alek fell silent. Alek wondered where this was going. He had an idea, and didn’t like it. But Dominic wasn’t spiteful. He’d have a reason, but to Alek, there wasn’t a reason good enough.
“The only force in the world that’s stronger than a vampire’s bond to his sire, is a blood bond.”
Paige turned and looked at Alek. He was horrified to see the tears pooled in her eyes, unshed, but shining.
“Do you know what a blood bond is, Paige?” Dominic asked.
She turned back to him and shook her head.
“When a vampire takes your blood, it creates a temporary bond.”
“Alek has never bitten me. No one has.”
Dominic raised an eyebrow, but his smile showed he was undeterred. “If the person had very strong feelings for the human, say something like obsession, or even love, then the bond is stronger, and more permanent.”
“I don't understand.”
“That’s okay, Paige. I’m sorry if we scared you. It was a test of sorts.”
“Did I pass?” Paige giggled at the question after it popped out, unintended. Her laughter sounded strained and breathless.
Dominic was looking at Alek. “It wasn't your test. It was for Alek.”
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