Izabella (The Bloodstone, #1) ✓

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29. Incarnate

I snapped my hands out of his as if he’d burned me and my chest hollowed at his revelation. Me? It didn’t make sense. Why would they want me? Suddenly, my thoughts went to the ghost I’d seen back in The Bloodstone and in my dreams, the girl. Did that explain why I saw her? Was that her goal?

“Why?” I whispered roughly, my throat getting drier by the second. He dragged his fingers through his hair and for a second, I lingered on the movement of his muscles, watching them tighten and flex against the thing fabric of his shirt. I shook my head, trying to clear my thoughts, refocusing on the issue wedged between us.

“You’re pure, Izabella,” Was his simple explanation. I frowned, not understanding what he meant by me being ‘pure’. At my expression, he continued. “The Moon’s in you,”

“As… as she is in every wolf,” I spluttered, perplexed. “Basil-”

“Hear me out,” Placing his hands on my shoulders, he squeezed them lightly and the pad of his thumbs caressed the crook of my neck, directly on his mark on me. “It’s a belief that we had back home but I never thought of it until now.”

“Which is?” I urged impatiently, unsatisfied as my curiosity got the better of me.

“The Moon in the flesh,” His hands trailed down to my arms, rubbing them gently, lovingly, awe etched in his tone. His words were sharp enough to cut me to the very core. Like a bullet, I shot to my feet, shaking my head with a hideous scowl.

“No!” I hissed, outraged. “That’s blasphemy!”

“It explains why Terry was drawn to you the night we mated, it explains why you can see my sister, why she tried to touch you,” He said, his lips tightening as he recalled that night. “I specifically told any unmated male not to touch you. It was a command, Izabella, yet he still tried to touch you.”

“So what, you want me to give my soul?” I laughed sardonically, running both hands through my hair while tugging at the roots. To give my soul? It sounded ridiculous! Just because I may be the Moon herself, they found me valuable? For what, though? What did they want to do with one part of me that made me… me?

“No.” He answered harshly and stood, forcing me to crane my neck so I’d meet his gaze. I’d always been a tall girl yet he towered over me, making feel smaller than I should. My wolf hummed in pleasure and the unexpected sensation of pride swelled my chest. Not the right time, I scolded myself.

He held my chin, steadying his gaze with mine. “Trust me when I say you don’t want to lose your better half,”

I stared into his eyes, falling silent when I wondered how he must’ve been without his soul. He seemed so controlled, well-controlled yet very cold when I first met him. There was nothing I wanted more than for him to gain back his humanity but in order for that, I had to trade mine.

“What is it like without your humanity?”

He paused for a second, contemplating, and the muscle in his jaw ticked as his throat worked with a hard swallow. He shook his head slowly. “It’s not an easy ride,”

“Show me,” Something indescribable flashed in his eyes. They scanned my face and I waited patiently, gazing at him keenly. After what felt like an eternity, he cupped my jaw tenderly, his thumbs brushing my cheeks before one skated across my mouth. Without thinking, I licked it. His nostrils flared and his muscles tensed as he tried to restrain himself. I touched his face, loving the feel of his beard under my fingertips.

“You’re not going to like what you see,” He warned.

“Show me,” I said again, this time slowly but with determination. He paused, deciding whether or not to do so. Finally, he leaned in, his forehead resting on mine and his cool minty breath fanned my face as he whispered something in his language. I closed my eyes and images of that fateful night flashed through my mind.

There was blood, so much blood to where I could almost smell it, drowning me in sorrow. Countless bodies were scattered across the earth, their eyes soulless, haunting it sent chills to my bones. Fire raged through the village mercilessly, their cries and screams so brutal, the force of it all resonated with me.

His death was slow, agonising and my gut churned with the need to throw up yesterday’s meal being so powerful. The hunters left, tossing bodies away as if they were nothing, lower than dirt… as if they never had a beating heart.

Years of solitude went by, leaving him wild, undisciplined and ruthless to anyone or anything that crossed his path. That was until he met Elizabeth.

Bile rose in my throat, and I clutched my neck tightly, willing myself to breathe. A whimper escaped my lips and immediately, Basil pulled away, bringing me back to reality.

Tears trickled down my cheeks, knowing that could’ve been my family, The Midnight Moon. The pain I felt was a reflection of his own. Wrapping an arm around my waist, he pulled me closer, licking my tears away.

“Don’t cry,” He dug his fingers into my hair, massaging my scalp. “You see why I’d rather keep your soul than to trade it with mine,”

I tilted my head back to get a better view of his face, furrowing my brows. “What?”

Fascinated, I watched the corner of his lips tilt up into one of his rarest smiles but his brows lowered in thought. “I feel when I’m with you. More than I ever had in my years of living. I live through your soul. If that was taken away…”

He paused, clenching his jaw. Before I could say anything, a knock snapped us out of our bubble and I turned to find Dante standing by the threshold, arms folded and eyes narrowed. I tried to pull away but Basil squeezed his arms that were around my waist, holding me in place.

“What?” He asked brusquely.

“Jackson’s asking for you,” Dante shifted his gaze to me. “The both of you,”

Now, I was really curious. “Everything okay?”

“You might want to hear this,” He answered vaguely and I watched Basil for his reaction. He shrugged, taking my hand and together, we made our way to the ‘Alpha’s Office’, following Dante’s lead. Basil walked close to me, so close I could the hairs on my skin standing with the electric aura surrounding us, making it difficult to focus completely on my steps.

His fingers curled around mine and I pretended as if I didn’t notice. But still, I didn’t let go of his hold. He seemed wary, unlike his demanding self, and despite our somewhat reconciliation, the elephant hung heavy between us.

We lost our baby.

A part of me would like to blame him for the loss but in all honesty, it wasn’t his fault. He didn’t make the hunters attack us; it was purely out of coincidence. It was a loss I didn’t think I’d ever got over but he didn’t wish it. Who would? I think I was madder that he went against my wishes of pregnancy than losing the baby itself. I valued my independence and I wanted to keep that for a long time before thinking of creating a family.

I understood his need to continue his bloodline but all I asked for was time.

“What happened? Is everything okay?” I asked again but he tensed, glancing over his shoulder.

“It’s about Hunter,”

I stumbled slightly, causing Basil to squeeze my hip while holding me upright. My heart thumped loudly as trepidation settled over me.

“What’s wrong?” I demanded, eyeing him expectantly and proud that my tone didn’t convey my true feelings.

“Let’s discuss this inside,” He answered, evading my question. He pushed the door open, motioning for me to enter. Without another word, I walked in and paused when I noticed the Alphas from other Noble packs seated around. There were not all of them, but some, as the others were still making their way over. Phoenix sat down next to mom and dad while Cena sat across her, watching as if she would disintegrate in front of him.

My curiosity only intensified. We always had our annual meeting with other Noble Alphas but it wasn’t due in another six months. I glanced at Basil, seeing he looked just as confused.

“Good, you’re here,” Dad said, standing to offer me his seat. I took it while Basil stood behind my chair, his arms folded as he assessed his surroundings. Dad stood at the centre of the room, all eyes on him, waiting for what he had to say.

“I know you’re all wondering why I call you here. For those who’ve come from far places, I appreciate your journey but considering the effects of the attack and Hunter’s condition, our system has become unstable,” His lips tightened grimly and his chest heaved with his deep inhale. “His conditions… so far, they haven’t improved but we can’t wait for our Alpha while everything around us is in chaos. Looking at it long term, Beta Daniel cannot take on the responsibilities. We need a new Alpha.”

Gasps filled the room as whispers descended upon us. I was frozen in place, shocked as the words repeated over and over again in my thoughts.

We need a new Alpha

We need a new Alpha

We need a new Alpha

Words I never thought I’d hear in my lifetime shoot through me like a bullet and the heaviness in my chest lifted a little but my head swam, the voices around me blurring into the background.

I lifted my gaze to my dad, catching his blue stare assessing me intently with something inexplicable. With a frown, I sent him a questioning look but he looked away, calming the crowd with a small wave with his hand.

“How can you have an Alpha? Your son doesn’t have any heirs suitable to take over,” A deep voice called, voicing the question of others around him. I noticed it was one of the Alphas, Nixon, but kept quiet, curious about dad’s answer.

“We need someone to step in as Alpha for the time Hunter’s unable to fulfil his role,”

The room grew silent for a few seconds, some people looking around to see who would take the opportunity. I felt Basil’s eyes on me but I didn’t turn to him. After seconds of silence, Tristan stood to his full height, a look of determination crossing his dark features.

“I think I’m qualified for that role,”

“You think?” Dad asked with a raised brow.

“I know I am,” He spoke confidently, his eyes never wavering from my dad’s. With a nod, he glanced around the room, clapping his hands.

“Does everybody agree?”

There was a round of unanimous nods and yeses, all agreeing that Tristan, my cousin, was fit for the role. All except for me. Dad was quiet before he spoke again, this time his voice was lower but it felt like it was directed more to me.

“Does anybody oppose?”

No one spoke and it felt like time stood still as my breathing deepened as the thump of my heart got louder and louder and louder as I watched everything before me. The door that had been closed all my life was open. It wasn’t completely wide open but nevertheless, it was there unlocked, tempting me to step through. I could taste it and oh my, it was good. This was my chance! My wolf moved within, agitated, the thought of another taking what was rightfully ours pissing us right the fuck off.

I left because I never thought I’d get anywhere in the pack, thinking if I didn’t have a purpose, there was no point in staying. Nobody saw past me as the sister of the Alpha, expecting me to mated to one of the Noble Alpha males and simply become Luna. I was much more than that, worth more than that. I just needed to prove it to them.

Slowly, I stood from the chair, ignoring the eyes pinned on me. I didn’t squirm under their attention but regarded Tristan intently, my head held high as I spoke loud and clear.

“I do,”

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