I had no idea where we were. I was in a bedroom in a small cabin stuck in the middle of nowhere. It was chilly in this place, and my clothes were not thick enough to keep me warm.
Damon was pouring two cups of coffee, one for me and one for him. He even asked me how I liked my coffee. It was so surreal; he’d just kidnapped me and he was making me coffee like we were here for a chit-chat or something. My head couldn’t wrap itself around everything that was going on here.
He gave me my cup and grabbed his. I sipped mine, trying to understand what this Deity wanted from me. Thankfully, he didn’t keep me hanging too long. “Webb Montgomery was a nobody,” he began, “when he first came to Dengen Academy, Kim’s school for Energy Wielders, at sixteen, he wasn’t anyone to write home about. An average kid with average looks. No one managed to figure out his Energy type either.”
I knew he was luring me with this story, but I couldn’t help myself. “Energy type?”
Damon sighed. “Ignorance is a bliss,” he muttered before giving me a bored look. “Energy come in four types for Wielders; Magic, Spirit, Peril and Unknown. Magic refers to Energy that can be seen, a materialistic Energy, like making things float, or spitting fire and everything in between. Basically, it means brute power. Spirit is a more mental kind of Energy; like your healing power, or telepathy and things like that. Peril is a type of Energy for powers that are dangerous and unstable. It includes both Magic and Spirit Wielders, but whose powers are a danger to their surrounding. Last is Unknown, which refers to Energy powers that don’t fall into any of the other three categories and cannot be understood.”
He took another sip from his coffee as I tried to process the information. “Your father was one of the very few who fell into the Unknown type. That was why it took a long time for Kim to figure out what his power was.”
My heart stilled. “What what was his power?”
Damon gave me an almost smug grin. “Your father had a power no one had before; amplification. He could amplify anything and anyone he wanted. For instance, if he chose to amplify a regular human, that human would become some sort of Superman, with unnatural amplified physical powers. If he amplified a regular werewolf, he or she could gain the physical level of a young alpha. If he amplified a healer,” he threw me a meaningful look, “he could make their powers not only stronger but almost omnipotent. Especially werewolf healers, who were bound only to heal their kind.”
Connecting the dots was easy. Digesting them was like a blow to the face. I now understood how I had such a big pool of powers to use. How I never lost a patient before. How I could heal Reyna, someone who wasn’t a werewolf. How I shredded the Redways.
“There was one thing Webb couldn’t do with his powers, however,” Damon continued, “and it was to amplify his own strength. His power was only useful for others, but not himself.”
I swallowed hard, my brain working extra hours trying to figure it all out. “So how come I can amplify myself?” I asked. There was no point beating around the bush; the Deity knew everything.
“The mystery of hybrids,” he grinned. “Instead of amplifying others like Webb, you can only amplify your own powers, as a werewolf, as a healer, and as both. Although you do have a rule for yourself as well; your healing powers can only be amplified to the max when you play the violin.”
It didn’t surprise me he knew about that. Nothing about this situation could be any more surprising already. “And how’s that possible?”
“Energy works in mysterious ways,” Damon said, “the violin seems to be a condition for your powers for whatever reason. I guess it’s only fair; having your powers amplified all the time would be a paradox. That’s why the condition existed.”
It boggled my mind and I decided not to delve too deep into it. “So how’s all that thing with Webb went on?”
“Impatient, aren’t we?” Damon’s grin made me freeze. Then he laughed. “Relax, wolf. I’ll tell you. Jesus,” he tsked, “so jumpy.”
My fingers clenched around my cup of coffee.
“Anyway,” he said, “after it was found out that Webb had the amplification Energy, I began visiting him. He was a quiet kid at the Academy, not talking much, having no friends. I became that friend. Having a living, breathing amplifier by my side was like winning the lottery.” He chuckled. “So I became his friend. We talked. I saw a kinship in him. Our thoughts were aligned. Once he graduated, he became my pawn.”
My guts dropped. “You enlisted him to the Hunters.”
“I wished to control the Divine Hunters,” he said nonchalantly, “but that damned Dorian was too untamed. I needed a mole. Webb became that mole.”
Something told me it only worsened from there. “What did he do for you?”
Damon smiled. It made me sick. “Your coffee’s getting cold.”
“Just get on with it,” I gritted out, not caring about the fucking coffee.
“Webb felt almost like a god when he used his amplification,” he said, eyes suddenly on me, “because whenever he amplified someone’s powers, that someone became addicted to it. He used it on werewolves all the time, especially women. He liked having them at his mercy. He liked having them addicted on his particular Energy. He liked that he had that kind of power. He then began toying with them, and every time he was ordered by Dorian to kill some werewolves, he gave them a taste of that amplification Energy of his, then withdrew, drove them nuts. He played with them, tortured them like you would torture a drug addict who was forcefully put in rehab. Then, when he got tired of them, he raped and killed them as his grand finale act.”
Sadistic motherfucker. No wonder Dorian called him that. That was not a normal behavior. Webb Montgomery had been a madman. “That’s what he did to my mother,” I said, horrified to my bones. No wonder she couldn’t look at me. No wonder she called me a monster.
“He took an extra liking to your beautiful mother, Lyra,” he said, grinning from ear to ear, “because she was a healer and she was mated. He liked a challenge. And she became his special challenge. It was after he left the Hunters, after he gathered all the information he could for me and Dorian caught him in act and kicked him out. He then, under my order, went to Lumen and found your mother. From there, you can guess the rest.”
He raped her. Got her pregnant against all odds. “What happened then?” I asked, feeling the bile rising in my throat.
Damon shrugged, slurping the last drop of his coffee and pouring himself some more from the pitcher. “We joined forces and tried to kill Dorian together, with him amplifying my powers. Eventually, we weren’t successful; Dorian almost ended up killing me instead.” He shrugged again and all I could think about was, how? Dorian was an immortal, I knew, but how could he possibly almost kill a Deity?
Then again, Eve almost killed Barron Von Logia, so I guess everything was possible.
“Webb ended up saving my life,” Damon was no longer grinning now. Instead, his eyes looked murderous. “I don’t like owing anyone, and I usually don’t admit it, but this time even the universe knows I need to pay him back. After our unsuccessful attempt at ending Dorian’s life, I killed Webb, burned his body, and thought that maybe I could get away with paying that life debt back.”
Full stop. “You killed him,” I said, shocked. He actually killed the man who saved his life. What the fuck?
He rolled his eyes and sent me an irritated look. “Come on, do you really think I would’ve left him alive after that? I didn’t want to owe him anything. I killed anyone I owed something in the past. This was no different.”
This was insanity. “So you’re going to kill me now too?” Was that what he meant by repaying the debt through me? I suddenly felt even more cold.
“Don’t be foolish, little wolf,” his grin returned, “I have another plan for you.”
I suddenly remembered what he said when he snatched me. “You found out Fred helped me,” just that thought made my heart dropped, “you found out through him that I was Webb’s daughter.”
“Never knew it would be possible for a mated wolf to get pregnant from someone who wasn’t her mate,” Damon chuckled cruelly, “imagine my surprise when I went into the Red Market and my entire plans changed at once after giving some blood of my own to Fred.”
Of course. Fred could’ve been bought with blood. First he was bought with Snow’s unique blend. Now he was bought with a Deity’s liquid. Of course he spilled the beans. How could I be so stupid as to trust a blood-sucker?
“You finally get it, don’t you?” he smiled widely. “You can trust no one. Everyone will betray you in the end. Even your shady mate.”
My eyes whipped back to him. “Don’t talk about him like that,” I hissed, claws prickling at my skin.
“Ah, but he is shady, isn’t he, little wolf?” his contemplative gaze landed back on me. “You know nothing about him. Do you want me to tell you some secrets?”
“No,” I shook my head, shaking, “it’s not your secrets to tell – “
“He was born in a small werewolf community at the Thousand Islands,” he said, his voice growing when I put my hands over my ears. I didn’t want to hear this. It wasn’t right. Shade needed to be the one to tell me. Shade needed – “As you might know, the Thousand Islands is a neutral territory. On the paper, it belongs to the Canada Pack, but in truth, it’s free from any pack and full of communities. Shade belonged to one of those.”
“Stop,” I whispered, closing my eyes, “don’t tell me anymore. Don’t – “
“His community was special,” Damon’s voice was loud, “while most communities, like packs, were ruled by males, as in alpha replacement, his community was ruled by a female werewolf called Cristiona Redway.”
I knew where it was going and I wanted him to shut up. It was Shade’s story to tell. But Damon continued on mercilessly. “Shade was special; his mother died after giving birth to him, and her mate died right after, leaving Shade to grow up an orphan in the community. And what a community it was.
“The females were more dominant than the males,” his eyes brimmed wickedly, “and they were all pretty taken with the young abnormally dominant boy-wolf who was born into their community. Not to mention he was, and I quote, ‘gorgeous’.”
My hands slid down from my ears, any fighting spirit that I had leaving me. I couldn’t stop him from talking. I might just as well listen.
“Cristiona, as the matriarch, called dibs on having him first. When the kid turned five, she and had her mate, Ivan, holding down the boy while she raped him. Both of them got pleasure of the act; Ivan from holding him down and watching his mate fucking him, and Cristiona from the delight of having a young body under her while her mate was there.”
I was stupefied.
“They didn’t get enough from him. Ivan raped him next. They took turns raping him until the kid, turned eight. Then they gave him to the others to rape.”
I couldn’t breathe.
“Males and females, they were all taken with him. The boy couldn’t fight; he was like a rag doll passed from hand to hand. His dominance wasn’t yet established in its fullest. He was their sex slave. And when he turned ten and it was Morrigan and Marceline, Cristiona and Ivan’s daughter to have him, things got even uglier. Because the girls were even more sadistic; they liked inflicting pain during the act.”
My heart broke.
“They raped him day and night for a year and a half, nonstop. The girls were sixteen, already fledged Haze-wise, and they relieved it with him. The carved him with scars, marking him as theirs, and at their seventeen birthday, Cristiona gave him as a present to them, because they liked him so much.”
Oh my God, Shade...
“But then someone came to visit that community. That someone was none other than Raphael Fernandez. He saw the boy and saw the potential hidden under the scars and bruises. Saw that he was to be the next One True Alpha. He then took him away from the community and then the boy was only known as Shade, his entire past being written off the pages of history, thanks to the Alpha.
“As the boy’s dominance grew, so did his need for vengeance. When he was sixteen, he went back to the community all by himself, and shredded them apart. He didn’t get them all, however; Cristiona, Ivan, Morrigan and Marceline managed to get away. Still, he ripped apart everyone who was there, staining himself with even more scars and blood.
“Eventually, I don’t know exactly what happened, but Shade refused to be an immortal and fit into Raphael’s shoes,” Damon shrugged, his suddenly easygoing voice snapping my attention to him. “He then became his Gamma, even though he was obviously stronger than that wimp Greyson, the Beta, but apparently he intended to keep a low key. With a past like that, I can’t really blame him.” He laughed.
My mind was put on hold. I couldn’t think. What he’d just told me... What I’d just heard... It was impossible. Impossible. It explained so much, so freaking much, so much so that I couldn’t breath, my windpipes clogged by the words he’d just said.
“And that brings me to the debt I owe Webb,” Damon suddenly put his cup of coffee on the table and rose from his chair, walking toward me, who was sitting on the edge of the bed. “It’s the Magic Season, for your wolves the Mating Season. You’ll be Hazed soon, and since your precious mate can’t give you what I need, I’m going to do you a favor.”
I couldn’t listen to him. I couldn’t process what he was saying. My thoughts were on Shade and what he’d been through, not on the present.
“I’ll prepare you for your mate,” his voice was at my ear, sending goosebumps of the worst kind down my skin, “I’ll make sure you understand at least a little from what he’d suffered, and at the same time satisfy your needs. It’s been a while since I took a lover, you know?”
My body was shaking. I knew what he was saying, understood the words, but my mind was someplace else, in the Thousand Islands, in the past. I couldn’t bring myself back to the present, couldn’t answer my wolf’s cry of help that we were in danger. I couldn’t move an inch.
“Besides, I’m a sucker for blue eyes,” his hand was suddenly grabbing the nape of my neck. “Damn, we’re gonna have some fun together. And my debt to Webb would be paid. Such a perfect solution. Honestly, I amaze myself sometimes with my genius brain.”
After that, the only sound the filled my ears were my wolf’s screams.