In this scene Roarik the leader of this clan of demon slayers feels it's necessary for Breeana to be sent to a different squad because of the feelings she and Mel share.
Mel doesn't care for the idea, lol.
Roarik walked back to his desk. “I need to speak with you about a couple of things.”
Mel studied Roarik's emotionless face. Now what? “What's up?” The last thing he wanted to do was talk. His nerves were already strung to the breaking point.
“Have a seat.”
“I have nothing to add that I couldn't have said in front of the others.”
Roarik sat and waved a hand, gesturing to a chair in front of his desk.
Warning signals detonated up and down Mel's spine when he caught the grave look in Roarik's eyes. He snagged a chair leg with his foot and sat on the edge of the seat. “What's on your mind?”
“I'll get right to it. How much do you care for this hu— Breeana?”
What is this? The hair on the back of his neck stood up. “Why do you ask?”
“I ask because the Sacred Order wants us to keep her in our custody.”
Mel remained quiet, but inside his mind screamed the word, NO!
Roarik's faced looked as if fashioned from stone. “If your theory is correct, then she will have to breed with another who possesses the mark. So I ask again, how much do you care for her?”
His heart dropped like a stone sinking to the bottom of the ocean. “Too much to allow that to happen.”
Scrubbing his hands over his face, Roarik sighed. “That's what I thought.” He looked away and straightened a stack of files on his desk. “I think we should send her to the squadron in Alberta.”
Mel exploded off his chair. “She goes nowhere except back to her life! She's been through enough and I will not pass her to another to be bred like a prized mare!” He stalked to the door and stopped. “Believe me, I will take her and disappear and you, the Sacred Order, the gods, and the fucking prophecy can all go to hell. Do I make myself clear?”
Roarik slammed both hands on his desk hard enough to knock a mountain of books to the floor. “Don't threaten me, Mel.”
Mel stood his ground. “Believe me, it's no threat.”
A muscle ticked in Roarik's jaw. “What a bloody mess.” He rubbed a finger along his brow. “Answer me this. What kind of life would that be for you or Breeana? You'd be constantly on the run, hunted by the vampire authorities, considered AWOL. Plus a kidnapper.”
“You're right, but it would be better than Breeana being tossed to some vampire to mate with. Tell me, what will happen to her once she gives birth? How many times will she be impregnated? One, two, ten times? What will be her fate after she is no longer useful?”
Roarik glanced away. “I don't know.”
“A life on the run would be far better than what is waiting for her.”
“You've placed me in a very precarious position.” Roarik drummed his fingers on his desk. “You realize you're asking me to choose between you and my duty as a squad leader?”
“I'm not asking you to do anything,” Mel said, his voice devoid of all emotion. “But just know, I'll take down anyone who gets in my way.”
After a long moment of silence, Roarik cleared his throat and spread his arms wide. “Fine. When it's safe, Breeana will be free.”
Mel took a step closer. “What do you mean, free?”
“Free to go back to her world. Free from the prophecy.”
His heart jackknifed. “What about your obligation, your allegiance to the Sacred—”
Roarik stood. “My loyalties are with my men, not a bunch of bureaucratic bastards that sit behind their desks spouting orders. Besides, more with the mark have already been found and I believe more will follow. I doubt one less will change the outcome of this war.”
“What will you tell the Sacred Order when they ask about her?”
“I will inform them she met with an unfortunate accident.”
Mel stood stone-still in the middle of the room. Would Roarik really do this? More importantly, why would he put his ass on the line like that? He narrowed his gaze on his captain, trying to comprehend the reason for this boon. “Do you want to explain to me why you'd do this?”
Roarik sat down. He smiled, but his eyes were full of sadness. “For you. Your life has been difficult enough and I won't add to your misery. And I feel this would…crush you.”
Mel slumped down in the nearest chair. Breeana would be free; free to live out the rest of her life. This was more than he could have hoped for. He'd be forever indebted to Roarik, but that debt he'd gladly pay, no matter the price.
Overcome with gratitude, he lowered his head and whispered, “Thank you.”
“No need my old friend. I could never put you through that.” Roarik grabbed a pen from a strawberry jam jar on his desk and twirled it through his fingers. “Would you take Breeana for your mate if she were willing to leave her world and kind behind?”
Mel's head shot up. He needed to end this conversation quick before he disgraced himself in front of his captain. He was tempted to tell him no, but after the risk Roarik was willing to take to see Breeana free from all obligations, he owed him the truth, no matter how painful it would be to speak it. “I'd love nothing more than to take her as my mate, but I won’t.”
“Isn’t she willing?”
“She would stay, but for the aging difference.”
Roarik didn't speak for a few minutes. “You know that can be remedied…unless you've asked her and she finds it not to her liking.”
Shit. “It's not an option. The price is too high.”
“Have you asked her?”
Mel rose to his feet. “Every night my life is on the line. I won't bind her life-force to mine knowing that.” He stared hard into Roarik's eyes, driving his point home. “If you were in my shoes, can you honestly tell me you'd bind Celeene's life to yours, knowing you could be killed at any time, ending her life as well?”
Roarik hung his head and folded his hands on the desk. “I see your point. Would she stay and live her life out naturally?”
“No. And even if she did choose to stay, I would deny her. I don't want her to leave all she has accomplished, for me. Over time, I'd be afraid she'd eventually regret her decision and hate me for it.”
“I understand,” Roarik said with a nod. “I see now you truly have no choice but to let her go.”
Mel paced the room like a caged tiger, looking for a way to escape.
“Take the night off and go be with Breeana while you can.”
Shocked, he spun around, shaking his head. “The sooner I kill the demon bitch the sooner Breeana gets back to her world. It’s for the best.” He tried without success to believe his own words.
Roarik stood and came around to the front of his desk. “Take this night and enjoy. That's an order.”
Happy Holidays to you all!