© All characters and storylines involving said characters belong to me: Eben Black.
Tension. Thats what filled the bedroom ten minutes later. I had showered, dressed and was now stood against the bedroom door with my back pressed to the wall. Deep down I had a feeling, some distant voice that told me Basil was not going to harm me or the ones I loved, but I also knew that when the others realised what Basil was, then we'd have a whole new problem. Donovan and Snow may not have a problem with Basil's position on the council's seats, but Kane and Aleksander may not approve of letting someone like Basil be so close, let alone bound to me. I'd dressed in the clothes Basil offered me, our things were still at the penthouse and there was a dreadful thought that Jasper had incinerated the entire penthouse when Basil had saved us. I stood dressed in a fitted dark blue tee with the word "Valiant" scrawled across the front of the material. A pair of denim three-quarter lengths with a black leather belt, silver buckle in place. A thin silver chain hung from the belt and draped around one hip before linking to a belt loop behind me. I still had my silver loop piercings and a silver ring around my right index finger.
Basil padded from the bathroom dressed in nothing more than a pair of silk black pyjama bottoms. He padded across the carpeted floors, towelling his head fur as he walked. He stopped when he saw me framed against the wall. I'd picked a spot as far from the bathroom door as I could without leaving the bedroom. He gave me an awkward confused look and then asked, "Still frightened of me?"
"Frightened? No. Cautious of you? Hell yeah."
"The whole council thing still freaking you out?" he asked.
"Can you blame me?"
He sighed and smiled, that sadness was back. "No. I suppose not."
I took a deep breath and asked, "You said you wanted to show me your...abilities?"
He yanked the towel from his head and draped it over his shoulders. "You sure you want to see what I can do?" he replied with a raised brow.
"You saved us, and your bound to me now. You've offered the coalition your home, and you seem to hate our enemies. I'm just still freaked about your past. But apart from that I'm fine," I assured him as I clenched my fists.
"Your a poor liar."
"You said it yourself. I cannot harm you while I'm bound to you, and to be honest, its not a bad feeling. I thought I'd feel more...tied down." Basil looked at his hands and flexed them.
"What does it feel like?" I asked. Basil looked at me with a confused expression. "I've never been bound, I've only ever bound others. I have no idea what it feels like to be on the recieving end."
"I feel like I'm finally comfortable for the first time in ages," he replied.
"Snow said the same thing."
"So you want to see what I'm capable of?" he asked again. I frowned and then nodded. "I promise its nothing harmful, nothing like throwing fire, or erecting ice spikes around me," he grinned as he spoke.
I smirked at the comment.
"Watch carefully. Its gonna be missed if you-" his words stopped as he disappeared. There was no run up. He vanished into thin air. "-blink," a deep voice said from beside me. I looked up and there was Basil, leaning beside me. I stared at him for a moment and then realised what his abilities were. He could teleport in the blink of an eye. "Did you keep up?" he asked with a casual smile, it was an almost embarrassed smile to be precise. I nodded in awe. In reality I realised that being able to forge ice in your bare hands was not the norm, but seeing someone do something so impressive when they weren't trying to attack me was impressive.
"That's how you saved us?" I asked.
He nodded and said, "If I touch another being when I teleport, then they get pulled along for the ride. When I left the elevator at your penthouse, I ordered everyone to grab me. Everyone did, but you. You'd passed out."
"So you grabbed me and took us across LA and here in the blink of an eye?" I asked. He nodded. "Thank you."
"There's no need to thank me, like I said, I answered the call of your beast and found you in a bad situation," he explained.
"You could've walked away though, you could've ignored the call and abandoned us. Now you and your soldiers are involved in our problems."
"Isn't that what you wanted? A coalition united against the council and humans?"
"You make it sound like Donovan's amassing an army. We're making sure we're prepared if the worst happens," I explained with a cautious look.
"I don't believe we should wait for them to attack us first. If a tiger senses something is going to attack it, then it'll attack firsthand and take down the threat before it can move."
"We're not just beasts though, Basil. We used to be human, we have human minds. We don't need to be the monsters that we're rumoured to be," I replied.
"Be that as it may, you and I are bound together now, and if anyone threatens you or the people you love. Then I won't hesitate to kill them," he reached down and wrapped his hand around mine, his fingers laced mine.
"Just like that? A session of sex and a promise, and your my knight in shining armour?" I raised my eyebrow as I spoke.
"You'd rather I denied my feelings?" he asked.
I considered it and then shook my head. "Are they your feelings though, or just our beasts resonating?" I asked with a gentle frown.
"Either way, I feel protective over you, and if anyone aims to harm you, then I think it helps to have some powerful muscle around," he explained with a smirk.
I smiled and nodded. "I suppose not."
He took a deep breath as we squeezed one another's hand and then he peeled from the wall. "Your friends will wake up soon. In the meantime you need some food, and no doubt you have to discuss things with the others."
"Kane and Sawyer?" I asked, remembering those two were awake, as well as Maximillian and his lions. I hadn't met the white lions so far.
"They should be down in the dining room. I had the cook organise a twenty-four-hour open kitchen in the event anyone woke up at any given time. Three days is a long time to go without food or drink."
"Yeah, I suppose it is a long time. I could kill a full English anyhow."
Half an hour later I was sat at a long dining table, half a full English sat in front of me as I wolfed down sausage, bacon, eggs, beans and fried toast. Kane was sat opposite me, his katana sheathed and propped against the wooden table, while he sipped a mug of black coffee. He was dressed in a black tee and jeans, black boots. His usual black on black look. A silver belt buckle, and a silver chain wrapped around one wrist. The chain was new to me. He had an almost haunted look as he stared into the depths of his mug. Sawyer was sat a few seats down from me, his feet propped up on the table, he leaned back in his seat, one armed bandaged and in a sling against his chest. He sat with his other hand gripping the back of his seat, while he had a book propped in his lap. I think it was a Stephen King novel. I hadn't even realised Sawyer had a passion for reading. He wore no shirt and a pair of dark blue jeans, a pair of dark brown hiking boots, a silver ring around the end of his tail as it draped over the arm of his chair. Maximillian and Nirvana were sat at the end of the table, closest to me. Nirvana looked as beautiful as ever, she was tall, slender and curved, her bump looked almost odd against all that slender flesh. Eight months and counting til their child was born. Her deep maroon hair curled at the ends as it slithered down her back and over one shoulder. She was sat back in her seat, her hands smoothed over her stomach, while Maximillian sat beside her, his larger hand over one of hers as he whispered against her ear. The two smiled and gentle laughter filled the dining room. It was a joyous vision to see. Nirvana wore silk pyjama bottoms and a long-sleeved maternal shirt that smoothed over her bump. Maximillian's thick braid draped over one shoulder. He wore a pair of black pyjama bottoms and a button-up shirt that he'd unbuttoned. His stomach muscles bunched nicely as he and Nirvana gazed into one another's golden eyes.
I smiled at the sight of them both in love with one another, and almost wished Snow or Donovan would wake up. I felt like I needed to hug someone.
"So Basil is one of us now?" Kane's deep voice shattered the silence as he put his mug down and gripped his sheathed katana one handed. He raised one knee to his chest, foot propped up on the seat, while he leaned onto that sword for balance. He looked across the table at me as I swallowed a mouthful of bacon.
"Define "one of us"?" I replied with a cautious look.
"He's bound to you."
"You bound yourself to another alpha?" Maximillian's deep voice sounded anxious now, "You bound yourself to Basil?"
"Is that a problem. We wanted Basil in the coalition, and now he is. Problem solved."
"Problem solved? He's an arrogant bastard," Maximillian replied.
"And at the moment your sitting in his dining room. He's offered us his home until this whole mess is taken care of," I snapped back.
Maximillian looked at me wide-eyed. "A few days ago you thought he was arrogant too. Now your defending him?" he asked.
"He's not as bad as he comes across. He acted like he did because of his position as alpha, as King."
"I've never acted like a dickhead where others are concerned," Maximillian pointed out.
"True, but you and Donovan are rare among wereanimal alphas, and you know that."
He thought about that and then nodded.
Nirvana considered me for a moment and then said, "I didn't think he was as much of an asshole as he portrayed either. Besides, now the black tiger clan are on our side. I see no problem either."
I smiled my thanks at her and wolfed down another sausage.
"Me, Donovan, Snow, Aleksander and now Basil?" Kane counted them on his fingers and held the hand up for me to see. "Your beast sure is a greedy bitch."
"You've never complained about sharing before," I replied with a grin.
He nodded and added, "Your right. I don't mind sharing, but then again, I've never considered Basil to be a candidate for your beast. I wouldn't have picked him if it were my choice."
"Is there going to be a problem between you and him?" I asked.
"Not if he keeps quiet around me."
"I swear he's not as bad as it seems, and he's going to be an important asset for the coalition," I explained.
"Because of the small armada he has working under him?" Kane replied.
I nodded. I hadn't told them that Basil had been a member of the council. I wanted Donovan there in case Kane tried to pull rank and take things into his own hands. The last thing I needed was another confrontation among us. I looked sideways and found Sawyer remaining dead silent as he read on. I then noticed something. His eyes weren't moving. He wasn't reading. "You don't have to eavesdrop, Sawyer. You can be a part of the conversation," I said.
He looked up and closed the book one handed. "Good to know, I don't think you've ever invited me to take part in a conversation concerning the coalition before," he grinned as he spoke, "Its nice."
"Good. Now what's your opinion on the situation? I have to take everyone into account here. If there are going to be problems with Basil, then we deal with them now."
"Very diplomatic of you," Maximillian chortled with a broad grin.
"Its the sign of a good leader," Nirvana chimed in before I could respond.
"So? What do you think?" I asked, looking back at Sawyer.
"I was once the bad guy, so I can understand the apprehensions Kane has. But we're the best of buddies now, right Kane?" Sawyer grinned as he spoke. Kane winked sarcastically and sipped his coffee again.
"So your cool with Basil being a part of our little family?" I replied.
He nodded. "He's powerful, not to mention he's a Level Three," Sawyer looked at me then, his eyes held that I-Know-What-You-Did look.
I swallowed and replied, "You knew about him?"
"You forget, I've been conscious since the attack. I'm exhausted, but I know what he did when he rescued us," he replied, "He teleported. No normal alpha can do that." Sawyer still had that look in his eye. Sawyer had been a part of the council at one time. He was one of the weaker ones, but he had still been there during Balthazaar's reign. Had he ever seen Basil there? It was possible, but then again Sawyer had been something of a rebel, and didn't take his role as council member too serious. Still, that look made me think that deep down he had an inkling about Basil but was willing to keep quiet for a while. I smiled my thanks and went back to breakfast.
"You should go get some sleep," I added as I returned to my meal.
"I should, but I'll wait until the others are up. Kane's still shook up about what happened three days ago, and Maximillian needs to keep an eye on those he's sworn to look out for, meaning you have no one to watch you."
"Speaking of which, where are the white lions? I haven't met them yet," I added looking at Maximillian and Nirvana.
"Their alpha has asked them to remain in one wing until he meets with you or Donovan."
"So where is he now?" I asked. I dabbed a napkin at my mouth as I rested my knife and fork beside my plate.
"Leon should be down at the swimming pool."
"Leon the white lion?" Sawyer repeated with a grin, "Sounds like a children's television programme."
"Be that as it may he's what you might call a Level Three?" Nirvana asked with a quizzical look.
"He has an ability?" I asked with a raised eyebrow.
"That's one of the reasons he's down at the pool, that and he says he loves to swim," Nirvana explained.
"Not exactly a true lion deep down, but when you see what he can do you'll understand why he loves to swim," Maximillian added.
"Sounds interesting. You coming?" I asked, looking over at Kane as I stood up.
"Huh?" he looked startled.
"You look like you need to talk. Now lets talk before we go introduce ourselves to this Leon fellow." I turned and walked down the line of the dining table. I playfully tousled Sawyer's head fur as I went.
Kane drained his mug and then followed, sheathed sword in hand as he hurried to catch up to me.
Adelheid had said that I'd need two others to bind myself to. Basil had been number one, perhaps this new lion would be number two. Being a Level Three made him a brilliant candidate.