PART ONE: New Beginning
“The splendid thing about falling apart silently is that you can start over as many times as you like.”
Regan gasped, jerking upright in her bed. The girl beside her lifted her head, turning to stare at her. Regan groaned and looked around, taking in her surroundings.
They were in an old, musky motel room with two beds. Regan and another girl, named Rose, were laying side by side on one bed, with one guy that looked to be in his mid-twenties in the other. Regan blinked, her vision shifting back and forth. The lights were dim, but she felt blinded by the light emanating from the auras surrounding her. The girl in the bed with her had the shadow of a wolf spirit laying beside her, pressed between the girl and Regan. An Irish setter lay curled in a ball at the foot of the other bed. Both of them had bright, white auras piercing into the darkness like beacons.
Regan turned her head, a feeling of relief washing over her as she caught sight of the white wolf spirit sitting on the floor beside her bed. The wolf blinked, her golden eyes the exact same shade and shape as Regan’s. She extended her hand towards the wolf, stroking the soft, shimmery fur. Then she looked up, glaring in the direction of the five Mejhan gathered around the TV. More specifically to one of the men, a German shepherd spirit perched beside him. Regan remembered all too well the sharp pain of the dog’s fangs digging into her throat, killing her instantly.
Their attention was drawn to the screen, and under normal circumstances, at least one of them would be watching the prisoners. Except this time, they were closely watching the events happening on screen, as if there was nothing more important in the world.
It was a replaying newsreel, showing recent events in an abandoned factory on the banks of the Hudson River in New York. Regan watched as explosions shook the building, lighting up the Hudson in flashes of red and orange. On the bank were four smaller shapes, one with their back to the river. Regan instantly recognized the scene. It was the moment when she had screwed up, and allowed herself to be captured again.
As the events happened on the screen, Regan relived them herself. She remembered the tingling sensation in her hands and fingers, and then lightning flashing across the bank, arcing towards the three hunters. She had been so dumbstruck by what happened, that she didn’t have time to defend herself when one of the hunters lunged at her.
Now, she was sitting in a motel room, along with two other Mejhan that had been arrested. They were being taken to the High Council, to be put on trial for their crimes. Regan shook her head and cursed, anger flaring up within her at the thought of her former partner, Caíl.
He was a Kuren, a revenant who had died while performing an evil act. He had lied to her, playing her like a fiddle, in order to get someone he loved back. In the end, Regan couldn’t blame him for that. She would have done the same exact thing, and she wouldn’t have thought twice of it.
No, the worst part was that he lied about killing her.
Regan had been human once. Well, at least, she was alive. She had been born as a mage, to Keith and Larissa MacEntyre, founders and CEOs of MacEntyre Enterprises. They designed and sold weapons of all kinds, mostly to the military. She had lived life as a normal teenager, having gone to school games and dances just like anyone else would. Her parents loved her, and she had a little sister. But then, Duncan Carter and Caíl McAlister killed her, and her parents.
Her sister would have died as well, if Regan hadn’t shoved her out of the way before the semi truck hit them. Regan died, and then was reborn days later as one of the mystical Mejhan, with a new spirit in the form of a white wolf.
One of the hunters, a woman with a spirit raven on her shoulder, turned her head as Regan cursed. She narrowed her eyes at the wolf, and after muttering in a foreign language, she turned away.
I should have never let Caíl in, Regan thought furiously. She had given the Kuren permission to enter Wolf Valley, and since then he’s caused nothing but trouble for her. Kuren were evil, and though she had once thought otherwise, there was no way to change that. She had trusted him, and had sided with him. So the High Council sent hunters after her, to arrest her and bring her in to stand trial.
One of the hunters, a tall, heavily muscled man with a polar bear spirit, grumbled as he stood up. He turned the TV off, and then turned to the three prisoners. He smiled as his eyes landed on Regan, and then chuckled as he said, “I hope they send you to the Reaper. That’s a fitting punishment for you.”
Regan frowned as everyone else in the room shuddered. The woman, and three other Mejhan, stood as well. They began moving about the room, gathering supplies and weapons together. Time to move out.
The Irish setter stood, both the man and the dog stretching their legs. The girl beside Regan stood as well, rolling her shoulders. They both had thick, leather collars around their necks, with symbols etched into the leather. Regan reached up to her own collar, hating the heavy feel of it against her neck. The collars were charmed, spells surrounding them that prevented the three of them from attempting escape.
“Let’s go,” the polar bear, named Breccan, grumbled as they finished gathering everything. One of the hunters, a cheetah named Douglas, opened the door. A burst of sunlight entered the room, instantly warming Regan’s skin, still cold from death.
Breccan and Douglas left the room first, with Regan close behind. The russet wolf stepped in behind her, and then the Irish setter. The raven, named Sybil, and the two German shepherd hunters followed after them. They made their way towards a large, black van, with dark tinted windows over the back doors. Breccan opened the doors, then stepped aside for Regan and the other prisoners to step inside. The dogs entered as well, sitting by the doors. Breccan, Sybil, and Douglas climbed up front, and after a few moments, Regan felt the van move.
“What’s a Reaper?” she asked, curiosity eating away at her. The way that Breccan said the name, and the icy chill that hung in the air, scared Regan.
“Reapers are revenants,” the wolf said from beside her. Rose, Regan remembered was her name. “They’re the only ones that can kill us.”
Regan frowned. “I thought burning our bodies did that?”
She made a face. “Eh, not always,” she said. “Sometimes, after a few hundred years or so, the revenant will come back. So, the High Council decided to leash one as their own personal bitch, and that’s one way of executing rogues. Mind you, that’s quite a difficult task, since Reapers are even more rare than a Tracker.”
“Quiet,” one of the German shepherd growled.
Rose grinned, her eyes never leaving Regan’s face. She gulped, her eyes flickering everywhere, but always returning to the russet wolf. Rose was beautiful, with long, wavy, pitch black hair. Her eyes were ocean blue, with flecks of sea green scattered through the irises. She wore skinny jeans and a tank top, and Regan couldn’t help but admire the defined muscles of her arms. Regan was muscular, but even she looked small compared to Rose. The girl had broad shoulders, as well as a broader chest area.
Rose smirked, and heat flared up in Regan’s cheeks. She turned away, unable to ignore the other girl’s chuckle. She sighed and closed her eyes, hoping to ride out the waves of fear and chaos that was now her life.