F I F T Y - S E V E N
Tears began to fall freely now and there was no way I could hold them in any longer. Whether it be the information overload or the fact that my best friend was basically a sacrifice so that I could live on, it was just too much.
Everything began to blur as I cried and released all my pent up emotion.
“Hey now” Hands cupped my face “Don’t cry Beautiful. I’m not worth those tears”
I reared my head back at Ethan’s voice and quickly dried my eyes to make sure that I wasn’t imagining anything.
“Holy...” I wrapped my arms around him in a death grip “ETHAN!”
Ethan hugged me back equally as tight “Kass”
“I am so sorry Ethan” I cried into his shoulder “I never meant for you to die...I never meant...”
“Shh...” he soothed me, rubbing my back in circular motions “I know, I know”
“How can you be so forgiving” I said angrily but never letting him go “It’s because of me that you’re dead!”
“You heard Selene, Kass” he continued soothing me “I would have died sooner or later. It was my destiny”
“You don’t know that!” I gripped his shirt “She doesn’t know that! She isn’t the God of Death or the Fates”
“Kass” Ethan said firmly, pulling away from me “It’s better this way”
“What?” I said, reaching for him “How could you say that? What about Taylor? Or Kaden? Or your Parents?”
I sniffled “Or even me?”
His eyes soften
“That’s not what I meant” he said softly “I love you all, I truly do, but even when I was alive, I felt not quite myself. Incomplete. Like something was missing”
He looked over my shoulder and smiled
I turned and watched a pretty girl walking up to us with a huge smile on her face
“I finally realized what that something was” he said before grabbing her hands and kissing her knuckles “Kiera I want you to meet my best friend Kassi, Kass, this is my mate Kiera”
“Nice to meet you Kassi” She said shyly, a soft Australian accent lacing her voice
She held out her hand “I’m Kiera Addams”
I stared at her hand for a moment before pushing it away
Her smile began to fade “I’m sorry...”
I cut her off with a hug
“Please take care of him” I sniffled, whispering quietly to her “For his family... and for me”
“With my life” she paused “Or death now, I guess”
I chuckled and pulled away from her, wiping at my eyes.
Ethan wrapped an arm around her waist and she leaned her head on his shoulder
“Make me a promise” I asked her
“Anything” she said fiercely
“When he gets out of line, beat him for me?” I said “Preferably with a bat?”
Ethan chuckled and I felt that Kiera didn’t know whether to laugh too or take me serious.
“It’s time Kassiopeia” Selene’s voice rang out
I looked at Ethan desperately
He came forward and enveloped me into a giant bear hug.
“You better not be lying to me flea bag” I sniffled “Or else I’ll come back and beat you into a bloody pulp”
He chuckled and gave my forehead a gentle kiss
“I promise Princess” he ruffled my hair and released me “Not everyone’s happy ending ends the same Kass”
I stepped back and watched as he enveloped Kiera in his arms
“But luckily for me, I met my angel”
She looked at him with a look so pure, a love so genuine, that I felt like I was intruding on their moment.
He was happy
Happier than I’ve ever seen him before
“Kassiopeia...” Selene called softly
“One more minute” Ethan pleaded with her
She nodded and tapped her wrist, giving him an inpatient look.
“Kass, tell my family to not worry about me” Ethan said quickly “Tell them that I’m, as weird as this sounds, happy. Explain to them what happened while you were here. Tell them I love them and will always be with them”
I nodded “I’ll try”
“That’s all I ask” they began to fade “Love you brat”
“Love you dog breath” I smiled
And then they were gone
“Love you too” I whispered, wiping away the stray tear that fell down my face “And I always will”
Selene appeared in front of me
“It is time”
“I’m ready” I said, facing her
She nodded and took me by the shoulders
“Now when you get there it is essential that you unite the remaining Packs together” she started “If you don’t, then this war will continue until there are no more wolves left in existence”
My eyes widened
“I thought all that these wolves wanted was to kill my family” I said “Since we’re almost extinct, doesn’t that mean they’ll stop fighting?”
“Power drives people to do unspeakable things” Selene smiled sadly “Your family was just an excuse to temporarily unite and attain more power”
She patted my cheek
“Once your family was extinct, there would have been nothing left to stop them from killing each other”
“And you chose to ignore this?” I asked “Your own creations killing each other?”
She looked away
“I couldn’t intervene again” she said simply, avoiding my question
She took a step back and straightened
“How can I unite them?” I asked “They all want to kill me and I don’t think they’ll be willing to sing kumbaya with me”
“You’ll figure it out” she smiled “You’ll have to”
“That’s all the advice...” I started but she silenced me with a flick of her hand.
Suddenly I was standing in large dark marble and gold throne room
“Uh....” I said, looking around and noticing two dark thrones sitting in the middle of the room “I don’t think I’m in Kansas anymore Toto”
Someone chuckled loudly from behind me and I jumped
I spun around looking for the source of the laughter and found nothing.
“Who the hell is there?”
“Funny you should mention hell” the deep voice said again, this time on my right side”Since your currently standing in it’s core”
“Holy Crapola” I cursed loudly “Could this day get any worse?”
“You shouldn’t say that” the voice said in an amused tone “Usually when Mortals say that, their day either gets ten time worse or they die”
“Well, I already experienced one of those options already so...” I shrugged “I’ll take my chances”
I watched in horror as a hand surrounded by black smoke reached for my face
Just a damn hand
“Eek” I slapped it as a reflex
Well, I tried to slap it away from me but the end results were more of me giving the hand a high five.
The voice chuckled
“You’re a funny half-breed”
“Why don’t you say that to my face” I snarled
He chuckled again and suddenly I was face to face with...
I reared my head back in shock
He smirked at me
I gaped at him
He tapped my chin twice and his smirk grew the size of the Cheshire cat’s
“Why do you look like my Mate?” I asked when the shock slightly wore off
“Do I?” he said, making his way to one of the dark thrones “I didn’t notice”
“Liar” I muttered
He shrugged and sat down
“I merely chose a face you would be comfortable with” he said in a bored tone “I can pick another one if you’d like”
His features shifted into those of Taylor, Kaden, Sky, and then finally Ethan
“Oops” he snickered, shifting back into Rhy’s face “My bad”
I growled at him and he raised his hands up in defense
“Calm down koutávi” he said “It was just a joke”
“Jeez, I forgot that mortals were so sensitive” he muttered under his breath
“Why don’t you use your own face and leave my friends out of this” I said ignoring his stupidity
“Trust me,” He snorted “You don’t want to see my real face”
“Why?” I said “Is it because underneath that facade you’re really ugly and have blue flames as hair?”
He scowled and then smirked, leaning back in his throne
“Nah, it’s because I’m too sexy”
He scowled again
“Why am I here?” I gestured around the room “I should be back home reuniting the wolves”
“I know” Hades said seriously, sitting up straighter “And I can’t let you do that”
“I can’t let-”
I cut him off
“I know what you said” I growled “But I want to know is why you said it”
“It’s simple” he said, looking at me like I was a moron “If your kind kill each other, than that means I get to collect some supernatural souls, which by the way, are ten times more powerful than mortal souls. The more power I have, the faster I can visit the topside”
I narrowed my eyes at him
“You can’t just let them kill each other” I said “Won’t that interrupt the so called balance of the world?”
He waved his hand
“Whatever happens up there luckily doesn’t affect me down here” he smiled, showing teeth “So I don’t give a damn if your world goes up in smoke”
“But don’t you want to go topside?” I said with raised eyebrows “If the balance is off then you definitely will be effected up there”
He leaned forward and grinned at me
“I’m not going to the human topside” he smirked
“Where then-” I started but then stopped when I realized what he meant “Oh”
“Yeah, Oh” He mimicked me
I narrowed my eyes at him
“I was lucky that I intercepted your soul returning to your body in time” he said nonchalantly “Or else I would have had to kill you for real in order to talk”
“Let me go save my people”
“No” he leaned back in his throne and gave me a mocking smile
“SELENE!” I yelled for the Goddess “SELENE!”
“What are you doing?” Hades chuckled “She can’t hear you”
“Besides, even if she could, it’s not like she could do anything to help you”
“Why wouldn’t she be able to help” I snapped “She got me into this mess so why can't she get me out of it?”
Hades face became serious
“She can’t interfere” he said “She knows the consequences if she does”
Suddenly Selene’s words came back to me
“I couldn’t intervene again”
Everything began to make sense
“You’re punishing her” I accused Hades “You’re killing off her children knowing that she can’t do a damn thing about it”
More pieces began to click together
“It was you who started this whole war” I said, realizing the truth “You were the one who told the Hunters about the Wolf Moon..You led them to slaughter my family...You... ”
Hades stood and began circling me
“Those are some pretty heavy Accusations” he whispered in my ear “With very little evidence”
I thought back to the stories my Grandpa used to tell me about the Gods and their powers. He used to tell me them so much that they were practically ingrained in my mind.
“I would have little evidence considering the accused can turn invisible and shape-shift at will” I hissed at him
His eyebrows raised in surprise and he gave me a slow clap
“Colour me impressed”
Suddenly, his faced morphed into Julian’s
“What better way to become a God” he mockingly said “Than to kill a God”
“Poor fool didn’t even know what was going on until the last second when your Wolf was ripping him apart”
“You were him the whole time?”
“More or less” he shrugged
I snarled and lunged for him
Before I could even make contact with him, three men emerged from the shadows and held me back.
I yelled, scratched, and punched them as hard as I could but, no matter what, they never released go.
Their grip didn’t even loosen
“You imprisoned my father for nine years” I lunged again but the men jerked me back “Nine FREAKING years!”
“Now to be fair” Hades held his hands up in defense “That was all Julian’s plan. Not mine. I only got involved when you were added to the equation in Texas”
I shrugged the men off me and they returned to the shadows, their keen eyes tracking my every move.
“All this because she took one lousy soul from you” I sneered “Think of how many billions of souls you’ve gained since then. I mean, I heard people can hold grudges for a long time but you definitely take the cake”
He gave me a dark look as the vein in his forehead began to throb
“It wasn’t her soul to keep” he sneered right back “It.Was.MINE!”
He began to pace
“SHE MADE ME LOOK LIKE A FOOL!” He roared, smashing his fist into the marble wall “It’s bad enough that my brothers made me the fool when they gave me this God awful position. I didn’t need some insignificant Goddess like her adding more fuel to the fire”
“You Gods sure do have a problem of letting go of the past” I said through gritted teeth “You need to let go and move on. Not wallow in your own self pity”
“And you Dimitriou’s have a problem with keeping your mouths shut” he growled in my face “Never knowing when to keep their almighty opinions to themselves”
He moved away from me and walked to his throne, waving his hand as he did.
Immediately, a giant stadium screen popped up and I watched in horror as one wolf after another fell at the hands of their brethren.
From what I could tell, it looked like almost all the Hunters were eliminated and the Wolves were fighting amongst themselves.
Just like Selene predicted
I scanned the screen for my friends and noticed each one of them battered and Bloody.
Kaden has an arrow sticking out of his limp left arm as he fought with his right. Everly’s blonde hair was so bloody that it looked like her natural hair color was red. She staggered on her feet as wolves took turns punching her. A battered Matt struggled against four wolves who held him back. They laughed and hollered as two other wolves began to shred an unconscious Mia’s clothes apart.
My heart plummeted to my ankles when I realized Taylor and Rhys were nowhere to be found
“Thank your creator” Hades whispered in my ear “She did this to you. She caused this pain and suffering. All because she couldn’t leave well enough alone”
“Please” I begged, tears streaming down my face when I realized that wolves began surrounding Rhys Pack house.
Sky’s panicked face was momentarily visible through a bathroom window before she disappeared farther into the house.
“I’ll do anything to stop this” I whispered, choking on a sob when I saw wolves bust in the house
“Anything?” Hades asked
Before I even finished nodding, he spun me around and gave me a wicked grin.
“I’ll let you go” he said “On one condition”
“Anything” I said in desperation when I heard muffled cries coming from the house “Just name it!”
“I want a favor” he said, sitting on his throne “One that I can collect at anytime, at anyplace, or from anyone of your people”
I looked at him in uncertainty
“What could I or any of the other wolves offer you that you don’t already have?” I questioned “I won’t let them suffer from a deal that I made”
“That’s for me to know and for you to find out” he said cryptically, essentially ignoring my question”Tick Tock Kassiopeia. I might have all day but it seems like your friend’s time are running out”
I bit my lip, outweighing the Pros and Cons of owing the King of the Underworld a favor.
Was I willing to risk the life of some poor unfortunate soul to save my friends?
The answer was clear
I was willing to risk everything
“One favor and only One person” I said “And it has to be during my lifetime. The deal’s null and void the second I die”
“Do you really think you should be making demands of me when your friends lives are in my hands?” he sneered
“And do you think I really am such a fool to agree with a favor that has so many loopholes” I sneered back “I can’t have you killing me the moment I agree with your little bargain. My Mom taught me better than to leave any loose ends behind”
“Fine” he spat “We have a deal”
As quick as lightening, he grabbed my hand and slashed a blade through it.
I hissed at the burning sensation and tried to yank it away from Hades death grip. He refused to release it, gripping it tighter so that more blood pooled in the center of my palm.
When he deemed it enough blood, he held my hand against a piece of parchment and chanted foreign words.
The parchment glowed before disappearing into thin air.
Hades released me and gave me a farewell salute.
“What a pleasure doing business with you koutávi”
“Kiss my a-” I started but was cut off when everything in Hades realm began to fade and blur.