What Lies Beneath

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Nalu Angeni Blackstone had a past before she was even born. Her life was filled with calm, an ability she had always had. Her upbringing by the orphanage caretaker, Merida, was a normal childhood, but her past would soon catch up to her. Marked by royalty, she must learn to trust a group of strangers with her life, and is bound to protect them in return. What will she learn once her past finally finds her?

Action / Romance
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When it Began

Many years ago:

Nala and Aleu were the most loved people in the pack. One could guess this because everyone always came and asked for their guidance and love. Not only that, but they were the Alpha and Luna, the leaders of two hundred fifty-six people, with one more on the way. They were proud of their pack. They had built their pack from scratch. The only people to start the pack were Nala, Aleu, and Miko. They bought the land and over time, people had heard of the pack where everyone was treated with love. They had gained the respect from everyone in the pack by ruling fairly and treating everyone equally, even the Alphas brother and pack beta, Miko. Aleu was Miko’s older brother, but there was one difference between the two; Miko was ruthless and cared for no one. He craved the power that Aleu had and envied his brother. He wanted everything he had: status, wealth, and a family to finally call his own. Aleu still loved his brother, even though his cluelessness towards his brother’s hatred had been an issue for the pack in the past. He tried to run the pack the way he wanted it to be run, so when his brother had gone away, everyone had to listen to him. When he had been around his brother, he acted like the loving brother and kind to everyone, despite the hateful glares sent his way. It seemed that everyone knew but their Alpha, blinded by the love he still had left for him. They had warned him about the hatred of his brother; Aleu just brushed off the comments. He loved his pack, but his brother was the only family he had, or so he thought. Nala had a surprise hidden from everyone; not even Aleu knew yet. She was pregnant, with the first heir of the Bloodrose Pack. When she went to tell Aleu the news, she did not expect to see the scene ahead.

Nala POV:

“Aleu! Aleu! I have the most wonderful news”, Nala screamed from down the hall. Right before she opened the door, she stopped, and heard a strange noise that sounded like a pained grunt from inside. Next thing she knew, she had a massive pain that moved across her arm. It was almost like someone had just cut her arm with a silver knife. Then, she heard more grunts through the door, and more pains spread throughout her body. Finally, she had enough and slammed the door open, only to completely stop. Aleu was tied to a chair, and Miko was standing over him.

“Aleu!”, Nala was shocked to say the least.

Miko stopped, and stared at the woman before him, the woman he wished his brother would have never met. “Nala. What a nice surprise?”, Miko shot a nasty glare. “What are you doing Miko?”

“Me? Oh. You’re talking about this? What you’re seeing right now? Well, long story short, I want what my brother has, and the only thing in my way is, well, him. I was actually trying to get him to switch his title over, but he says that he doesn’t want to. Do you know why that is, Nala?”, he stated with no emotion.

“Just stop Miko. Why are you doing this? He’s your brother.” She tried to calm Miko down. He had always been jealous, but never jealous enough to go this far. She didn’t know why he did this. “Nala, leave. While you can. Please, pumpkin. I need you safe”, Aleu tried to get her to leave. She was not having any of it. “No, seed. Miko, please. What do you want?”, she had been desperate while she gave this plea. “Nala, I told you”, he said with a pout, “I want what my brother has. Now, there is one thing you can give me. When I become Alpha, become my Luna. Be mine, and we will be the greatest pack to ever exist.”

She thought time had stopped. He wanted her for his own use. He wanted to take over, not just the pack, but everything. Everything that they all three had worked so hard for. He wanted it all. He did not want to be second in command, he wanted to rule everything. “No! Miko, what has gotten into you? Put the knife down and we can talk this through this.”

“No”, Miko yelled, “I am tired of talking. I already told you what I want. I am tired of basking in my brother’s glory. I want to make my name known. I helped him start this pack. I helped you start this pack, but all I get is a pat on the back. A short thank you means nothing. I barely get to make any decisions now. I only get to help when he’s gone. I’m only needed when my brother is gone, so getting rid of him would put me first. I would get everything I’ve ever wanted that way.” Nala barely moved before she felt the pain in her chest as Miko stabbed Aleu. She screamed and ran towards them, towards Miko. He slammed her into the wall. “I told you, I want what my brother has, and that includes you”, Miko said directly in her face. She looked at him wide-eyed. She did the only thing she could at that moment and spit in his face. His eyes darkened, and switched from black to dark brown, a clear indication that his wolf tried to take control. “Nala, I have waited for years just to be with you. Do you remember before my brother? I loved you, I still do. Please, Nala. I have always wanted you. You wanted me too″, Miko said desperately. “No, Miko. This isn’t right. Let’s take Aleu to the doctor and then we can talk.” She tried to squirm away from him, but his grip was like an iron bar, and she couldn’t risk the baby. She looked for anything that she could use against him. She struggled to get away, but found something hard and grabbed it. She hit him over the head, and knocked his ass out. She must have hit the pressure point. She then ran over to Aleu. “Aleu, baby wake up”, she stated shakily. He started to slowly open his eyes. She tried to take the chains off, but they burned her hands; of course he used silver. “Pumpkin, please go. I need you to be safe. I need you to go. I can’t protect you like this. Please, go!”

“I can’t go without you. I came to tell you that you’re going to be a father. We finally did it, seed. We did it!” He looked at her with wide eyes and gave the best smile he could, but it looked more like a wince. “That is great news, pumpkin. He won’t be knocked out for long. Go. I’ll be okay, he needs me alive. I’ll get out and I will come back to you. I promise, but please leave.” As if on cue, they heard a groan across the room which made both heads snap in that direction. Nala searched his face, and just then realized how truly scared he was for her, and she noticed that Miko started to come through. Nala looked at Aleu one last time, “I love you, seed. Please come back for us. We need you.” She kissed him. She was afraid that this would be her last chance to see him; her love, her soulmate, and the father of the only child she will ever have. If he doesn’t come back, she won’t ever move on. She looked into his blue eyes, and smiled, so his last memory would be filled with her smile. He looked at her and half smiled, “I love you, pumpkin. Now, go. I love you so much”, he kissed her one last time. She turned to Miko, and realized that there was not much time left, so she ran. She ran out of the house, and into the woods. The first thing that she had to do was hide her scent, and covered herself in mud. She ran some more until she couldn’t run anymore. She passed out from exhaustion.

When she woke up, she was in what looked to be a small cottage. She was on a couch, and she started to look around. “I see you’re finally awake”, a deep male voice said. She jumped and looked around the small cottage. Skimming over everything quickly until she saw a man that was leaned against the counter with his arms crossed. He was very muscular. He had a pair of black boots, blue jeans, and a grey v-neck t-shirt. He was very tan with pink plump lips, a straight nose, clean eyebrows, and purple eyes. She had never met a creature with purple eyes before. She looked over him curiously one more time before she tilted her head to the side a little. “What are you?” He raised an eyebrow, “No screaming. No, who are you? No, where am I? Where did you take me? Just what are you?” She looked at him and tilted her head to the other side, “Yes, none of that. If you wanted me dead, you would have left me in the woods. You would not have brought me to this place. I asked what you are, because I’ve never seen a creature with purple eyes before.” He gave her a little smile, “I am a witch and a vampire. I can walk in the sun, but the disadvantage to that is that I have purple eyes.” She looked at him with shock and amazement. She had never heard of two species mixing before either. “That’s interesting to hear. Were your parents mates?” He just looked at her for a moment before looking away. “Yes, they were, even though no one believed them. They didn’t believe that the sacred Moon Goddess would actually pair two different species even though it has happened on more than one occasion. Now that you know what I am, you may know who I am as well. I am Cedric Jackson, and I’m now at your service.” He bowed a little while he said this. Nala was quiet while she processed where she had heard that name before. Cedric Jackson. Where had she heard that name before? It was right on the tip of her tongue. Once it registered where she had heard it from, Cedric was forced to cover his ears because of Nala’s squeal. “You’re Cedric. Oh my, you’re a legend where I’m from. The great witch healer. The one whole could heal a whole army in the blink of an eye. That you could practically bring someone back from the dead. I couldn’t be more grateful that it was you that found me now. Oh my gosh. Is my baby okay? What pack are we in? Where are we in general?” Her voice kept rising as she asked more questions. He gave her an annoyed look. “Would you stop squealing and asking questions? I will tell you, but calm down.” She stopped, and breathed heavily to control the panic that seeped into her skin. “We are in the Silvermoon Pack. It is located in South Carolina. I did not find you here. I found you a couple states away, and I brought you here. For some reason, I did not want to leave you. I can’t describe it. There was something telling me to take care of you, to protect you. I took you here, and I gave the Alpha and Luna my word that you would not be a threat.” He stared into her eyes, “You better not ruin this. They’re very wary of you. They want to keep their people safe and protected.” She looked into his eyes. “I promise I’m not a threat. Please, call both of them down here and I’ll explain to them why you found me that way. I just want to keep my baby safe.” He seemed relaxed now that she promised she is not a threat to him or his pack. “Okay. After you tell them why I found you like this, we will take you to the pack doctor.” He gave her the most sincere look that he could.

They both sat in silence while they waited for the Alpha and Luna. They waited about an hour before there was a knock at the door. Cedric went to the door and welcomed them in. They were a nice looking couple. Luna was about 5’6” with natural brown hair that had reddish streaks through it. She had golden colored skin. Her face was almost heart shaped, with green eyes, a small nose, and lips that suited her face very well. She had a very nice smile, almost motherly. Alpha was very tall. Her guess would be that he was about 6’5”. He had blonde hair, blue eyes, with fair skin, and freckles. That is odd. I wonder if that shows on his wolf. He was average sized, not too bulky or small. He had a stern look. She knew who he was the moment she looked at him. Once his eyes found her, he gave a gentle smile. One that said welcome. You could feel the aura coming from him. After alpha got a good look at me, his eyes widened. “Nala”, Alpha said just above a whisper, “is it you?” Luna and Cedric both had shocked expressions on their faces. Tears started to form in their eyes as they looked at one another. “Zanthus”, she said exasperated. “Yes, Zanny. It’s really me.” They both ran towards one another and enveloped each other in a hug while tears flowed freely from their faces. “I thought I had lost you forever, Nalie.”

“Don’t worry little cousin, I’m here now.” Their reunion was cut short by a cough. They pulled away smiling from one another. “Anastasia. Do you remember when I told you about my cousin and I being very close until we were fourteen when our pack got attacked. Then, we all got separated. Most of us never found our way back. This is Nala, my cousin. She was like a sister to me. I thought she died six years ago when the attack happened.” Luna looked at me with wide eyes and a big smile. “Hello, Nala. I can’t believe that I’m actually meeting you. Zan talked about you almost everyday. You were, no are, very important to him.” Nala started to cry again. Damn pregnancy hormones. “Thank you, Luna. Thank you for taking care of him when I couldn’t. We both know that boy needs someone in his life to keep him stable and clean.” Luna laughed, “Please, just call me Ana. Yes, when I first met him, he was dirtier than a pig. We also need to keep his weird habits in check, too.” They both started laughing. “Like when he is bored and he always sighs dramatically.” They both burst out laughing again. Ana then said, “I like the one where he thinks so hard that he looks constipated.” Nala finished with, “Oh! My favorite was when he bites his nails and then gets mad when you tell him to stop. He looks like a big teddy bear.” By the end of their rant, they were both laughing so hard that they thought they were going to pee their pants. Nala turned to see Zanthus with an annoyed expression on his face. “Okay. Yeah, yeah. Quit making fun of me. Now, Nala. You owe us a story of how you got here.” She took a deep breath, and began. “It all started when I met Miko. We met at a local coffee shop. He was really sweet; both him and I gave up on looking for our mates. When we started dating, he had told me about his brother, Aleu. He told me that his brother was the only family that they had left, and he was excited for me to meet Aleu. Well, one day we were helping out at the local church, and it just so happened to be Halloween. We all three were working that day, which I did not know who Aleu was because I had not met him yet. I met Aleu through us literally bumping into one another and spilling pumpkin seeds on each other. We did not smell each other because of all the pumpkin items being made that day. I found out that Aleu was my mate..”, Nala continued the story from there. Explaining how jealous Miko had gotten, and how he was secretly obsessed he became with her. How they had built their pack from scratch and wanted to start over. They all wanted something to call home. How Aleu wanted a family that he and his brother never had growing up. “The worst part was when Aleu was stabbed. I had come to tell him that I was pregnant. I still am pregnant. Aleu may never get to meet his child. With Miko on my tail, I may never get to meet my child either.” She looked up and saw that both Zanthus and Cedric had sad expressions, while Ana was silently crying. Nala never realized that she was crying until Zanthus came to give her a hug. “I know Aleu is still alive. I can still feel the bond. I still bear his mark. The worst part is to know that he is alive, but not being able to do anything about it. I can still feel my soul intertwined with his, but to not be able to touch him is a torture all on its own. My mind and heart are at two different ends. I want to go save him, but I have to protect this baby. This is the only heir of the Bloodrose Pack.” Cedric then sighed and said, “Yes. This baby is number one right now. Nothing comes before this baby. You and I will go into hiding until we know that we can safely go back. There is someone in a pack in Maine that I trust. She runs an orphanage. Your child will be safe there. That I can promise. I will go call her. We still have three months until you are ready to give birth. We will stay here until you are close. No one saw you come here. You’ll be safe, but you’ll have to stay in my cabin. We’ll have the pack doctor come here and we’ll make sure that he tells no one that you’re here.” Nala watched him leave the room. She turned to look at Zanthus and saw how sincere he had been. It broke her heart to think that her only child won’t have any parents growing up. “Okay.” She turned over to Zanthus and Ana. “You guys are okay with me staying here until we leave?”

“Oh, yes honey. Stay as long as you need. We just got you back. I wouldn’t forgive myself if I lost you forever.” When Nala looked at Zanthus, she started the cry again. She got up and hugged him and Ana. “I love you, Zanny. I love you too, Ana. I’m sorry to bring all of these problems onto you guys.” They both pulled back and looked at her, “It’s not a problem. We’ll keep you protected. I’m going to make you guys new identities. Only use them when you absolutely need to. We’ll ensure that everyone will be safe.” Cedric came back into the room just as they finished talking about their plan. “Everything is set in place. They want you there a week before you’re due.” She nodded her head. “Okay. It sounds like a plan then. We’ll do that, but until then, I’m not allowed to leave the cabin due to exposure.” They all nodded their heads at one another. “Okay. That sounds good. Hopefully Miko doesn’t come looking for you.”

“We can all hope. Oh, Zanthus. Cedric said that when he found me, he wanted to protect me. Like it was an uncontrollable urge. Do you know what that means?” Zanthus looked at her. “It sounds to me like he’s your guardian. It’s very rare, but somewhere in this old library in the pack house, there’s a whole book about them. The legend says the Moon Goddess only gives them to the ones in need. In this case, I think it’s a good thing that Cedric found you.”

“It must be rare if I’ve never heard of it. I’ve never even heard of that happening to someone.” She didn’t know what to think. “I would take it as a gift from The Moon Goddess herself. She obviously thinks that your future is important. Cedric is meant to take care of you.”

For the next few months, Nala had stayed hidden from the world. Zanthus and Ana did weekly visits. Nala only had two and a half more weeks until her due date. They were packing to get ready to head to Maine. “Cedric, do you know-” She stopped when she saw a burly looking man in the middle of the cottage. “Well you’re not Cedric.” He gave her a sickly smile. “No, but an old friend sent for you. He misses you. I can see that you are pregnant. Boss is going to love this.”

“Cedric! Help!” The man ran towards her. She started to look for something to hit him with. Cedric burst through the door with the most vibrant purple eyes Nala had ever seen. Both the man and Nala stopped. “I suggest you step away from her before you do something that you’ll regret.” He smirked and once again, went towards Nala. Before he could take his first step, Cedric had already used his vampire speed to reach the stranger and tear out his heart. Nala stared at him with wide eyes. She knew that he had a temper, but did not expect that out of him. He threw the heart on the ground next to the mystery man. He turned to look at her. “Get your bags. We’re leaving now.” She hopped right on it, having already packed their packs the night before. She went to the kitchen where their new identities were above the sink in the cabinet. They had a secret compartment they used for items like this, and cash. She grabbed everything they had put together the past few months and walked out the door. He already had the car ready to go. It was safer to shift, but having been that far into the pregnancy, she didn’t want to risk the baby. “You have everything?”

“Yes. I have to say goodbye to Zanthus and Ana.” She looked for them and saw their wolves coming towards them. They shifted and ran towards Nala after finding clothes hidden in the trees. “Nala. Are you okay?” Zanthus looked worried. Ana wore the same expression.

“Yes. Cedric came just in time. Miko may know that I’m here. We must go into hiding. I’ll contact you when I can. I love you guys, but we have to leave.” Her heart did not want to stop beating 100 miles per hour. What they didn’t know was that Miko had no idea where she was. Cedric killed the man before he had the chance to call Miko or anyone else that might be looking for her.

“We understand. Please let us know when you make it. We love you. Stay safe.” Zanthus looked at her and hugged her. He kissed her forehead. Nala then got into the car with Cedric. She watched as Zanthus came up to the car and looked at Cedric; “Keep her safe Cedric. She and that baby are the only family I have left besides Ana. Please promise that you will take care of her.” Cedric looked into his eyes. “I promise that I will do everything in my power to keep her and the baby safe.” They shook hands one last time. Nala looked at Zanthus and said, “We need to leave, but I love you guys. Thank you for your help.”

“Bye, Nalie. Take care of yourself and the baby.”

With that, Nala left the only family that she had left. Cedric noticed how sad she was. “I promise Nala, one day everything will be back to normal. You will get to meet that precious baby, and we’ll get Aleu back. We’ll go back to Zanthus and Ana.”

The next two days were full of fast food, hotels, and driving. Cedric wouldn’t let Nala drive, regardless of how tired he was. “Cedric. I’m fine to drive. You look tired and could use some rest.”

“No. Stop asking. We have thirty minutes before we arrive.” Just as he finished that sentence, Nala had pointed out that there was a car following them. “Yeah. I’ve seen them, so I’ve been going in the wrong direction. Hopefully, they turn off another route. If not, I have an idea who it is.” They had made a couple more turns, and the car that followed them had gotten closer than before. They eventually hit the back end of the car. “Nala. Hold on. Stay buckled. I’ll get you out of this.” She watched as he sped through the streets. Almost like he had been through them a million times. He sped pass cars, down alleyways, and even in between a couple of buildings. “Cedric. I may puke.” She burped and tried to keep her food down. He glanced at her. “Hold on. I am about to get rid of the cars.”

“Cars! I thought there was only one.” She then felt a pain in her stomach. “Oh no. No, no, no, no, no.” She looked at him. He was too concentrated on the road. He made a hard right turn as another contraction came. “Cedric. Please hurry. I had my first contraction.” The tightness in her stomach continued to get worse.

“Fuck! Hold on, Nala. Just a couple more minutes.” He then slammed on his brakes and two cars passed them. He put the car in reverse and turned the car around. “Cedric. Lose them now. This baby is not waiting.” He took a few more twists and turns before they ended up on a back road full of trees. One of the cars came beside them. He rammed their car into them which forced them into the trees. The last car trailed behind. Cedric sped the car, and once he reached over 100 miles per hour, he slammed on the brakes and the other car went past them again, but this time, he sped up to hit the back right end of the car. This caused them to spin out and flip their car. Cedric glanced at her. “Nala. We’re almost there. Three minutes. Tops.”

They finally arrived at the border. Two guard wolves were there immediately. “Listen. Guys. I don’t have time for this. Get Merida for me now. She’ll explain everything to you. Alpha Alec knows that we’re coming. I contacted him a few days ago, but this girl is in labor and we need to get through now.” One of them looked like he was mind-linking them. “Let them through.” Cedric picked her up bridal style and ran. He tucked her head in his shoulder. He didn’t have time to take the car. They made it to the pack house in the nick of time. They had a room set up for her. Cedric set her down and looked over her for injuries. Since he found none, he asked, “Are you okay, Nal?” She started to cry. “Yes, I am okay, but I just wish Aleu was with us”, she said with gritted teeth. He could tell she was in pain. Cedric grabbed her hand. “It’ll be okay. We’ll make it better. We’ll make this right.” She looked into his eyes. “I know we will. Thank you for being here for us.” The doctor, Merida, walked in. She was tall with pale skin. She had blue hair and midnight blue eyes. “Lemme guess. You are also half witch and half vampire.” Merida smiled. “Good guess. Hello Cedric. It’s nice to see you, but under certain circumstances, it’s also unfortunate.” Cedric just nodded his head. She then looked at Nala. “Let’s get this eager baby out shall we.” Nala held onto Cedric’s hand while she pushed the baby out. She was in labor for about an hour. “Looks like we have a baby girl. Good job mama. She’s beautiful.” Nala held her baby. “You look so much like your father. I hope it stays that way. You will be beautiful when you grow up. Nalu Angeni Blackstone.” Cedric looked at the baby. More like stared. It was like he couldn’t take his eyes off her. “Cedric, do you want to hold her?” He looked uncertain. “Come on. Hold her. Uncle Cedric.” She teased him. He glanced at Nala one more time before he took Nalu. She opened her eyes and looked at him. He was so mesmerized by her. She had breathtaking blue eyes, brighter than the ocean, but they held a calmness in them. Nalu also had midnight black hair. She looked at him and yawned. “Oh, someone is tired. Mama. It’s your turn again.” Nala took the baby once more. A few moments later, Merida walked back in. “I hope you’re doing okay Nala. I have to talk to you. I promise she will be taken care of. She will have a home and other kids to play with. I promise that I’ll do my best to take care of her. She’ll be loved.” Nala looked at her baby, then at Merida. “I know. I trust you.” She looked at Nalu. “I promise that I’ll come back to you. I promise that one day, we’ll be a family again. I won’t have to hide and your father will meet you. We’ll come back. You are so loved. You’ll be loved forever.” Cedric then made his promise. “Little niece. I didn’t know that you could fall in love with something the moment you lay eyes on it. I can’t describe the feelings that I have for you. I love you even though I just met you. That means that it is so much stronger for your mama. I promise to take care of her, I’ll keep her safe. We’ll come back and be a family. We’ll get your dad back. When the time is right, we’ll be together again.” Nala and Cedric gave her a kiss on the forehead before giving her to Merida. Her midnight blue eyes crashed with caramel ones, “I vow my life to keep her safe. I promise.” They all had tears in their eyes. “Thank you so much Merida. I promise that one day I will repay you.” The next day Nala and Cedric left with broken hearts and many tears.

Authors note: Hello everyone. This is the first book that I'm writing. I love being able to create my own story. I have waited for a long time and finally decided that it was time to make my own. I hope yall enjoy the story. This will be the longest chapter, but I don't plan on writing any less than 1,600 words per chapter, but that may change in the future. Some will be longer than others as well. Feel free to leave suggestions and comments. Thank you. I hope everyone has a great day!

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