It all happened so fast. I still can’t really understand any of it. All I remember is Austin arriving, my mother taunting him while I tried to use my demon side or Cat, but I couldn’t. They were being blocked. Then my whole world seemed to freeze as I saw my father carrying a case with a gun inside. I screamed and begged but he was fighting a fight he couldn’t win inside himself.
Once my mother, Lilith, had the gun out and pointed, all I could hear was a ringing in my ear and my heart beat as it went well over a hundred beats before completely slowing down.Everythingseemed to slow as that bullet left the chamber. My eyes followed the little metal bullet as I screamed. Then something snapped inside me, my vision turned red as the bullet crept closer to Austin and I was finally able to free myself. I snapped the silver chain like a twig and didn’t even hesitate as I ran faster than ever and stood in front of my mate.
As soon as the bullet had pierced my skin, my vision faded back to normal and my hearing came back. Everything was normal again and I fell to the ground. But before I could fall, Austin caught me. He looked so scared when I looked at him, like his heart just shattered in two. I coughed and he watched in horror as blood trickled from my cracked lips.
I gave him a hesitant smile before whispering my final words. I knew this was my end, but I also knew they’d be fine without me. Zeke will kill my mother, my father will be broken from his spell, and hopefully Austin will get a second chance mate. “I love you.” I had whispered before my eyes fell shut and I felt the final bit of life drain from me.
Now, I’m just suspended in darkness.
Is this heaven, or my own personal hell?
I couldn’t tell. I was a demon, so I was sure it was the second one. “Hello?” I called into the darkness.
Before I could even process what was happening, I started falling. A scream left my lips then I landed with a loud thump against cold marble floor. With a groan, I lifted myself off the ground and watched as a passageway of torches lit up ahead of me. Being the curious one I am, I followed them.
It felt like forever before I finally entered an elegant throne room. A black metal throne sitting at the top of over a dozen sets of stairs. A man was sitting in it with a crown on his head. “W-Who are you?” He gives me a lazy smile and stands, stuffing his hands into his suit pockets as he does. The bottom of his expensive looking suit jacket crinkled a little when he did. “I guess you could say I’m your father.”
“My father is Dean Middleton.” He begins the journey down the stairs, his eyes never leaving mine.
“No, my child, he isn’t your father. The only genetics you share with that man is the Lycan gene, which I granted to you by the way. But really it is me who you come from. I’m the one who’s blood you share, and I am the one who placed you inside your mother’s womb.”
“But Zeke said the only other person I share blood with is Lucifer and you aren’t him, are you?” I step away in fear as his jaw clenched and he looks away from me. “Yes, Celeste, I am.” My heart thumps loudly in my chest as I turn to run, only to scream in fear as an arm pulls me back. “Don’t fight my child. I do not wish to harm you.” He pins my arms to my sides and waits a few minutes to make sure I’m calm before letting go. “Are you okay?” He asks softly while I’m still in shock, the only thing I’m able to do is give a stiff nod.
“Good, now please sit so I can explain.” He holds his hand out for me to take and I hesitantly grab hold. He smiles brightly as I do before leading me towards a table in the far corner and sitting me in a seat. He sits in front of me, clearing his throat and clasping his hands together in front of him. “I’m sure you’re very confused and have lots of questions but don’t worry, I have all the answer you seek so please, ask away.” He leans back in his chair and awaits what I have to say.
“Is it true what Zeke told me? That I was made, not only because you wanted a child and heir to hell, but to lead a grand army of elite demon soldiers of your choosing?” He takes a second before answering.
“Well, yes. You see, I’ve always wanted a child of my own. Someone to cherish and teach my ways, much like my father did to the humans. Then I got word from the fates that in the near future, a war would happen. They were scared our kind wouldn’t make it, so they begged me to create an heir strong enough to fight by my side and to guide our people through battle. Then I saw one of the three innocents took interest in you, they asked me to make you one of their soul killer demons. Something about you fascinated me, too, so I gave you my blood. I made you my own.”
He strokes my cheek lovingly as he speaks. “I guided you through your life. I’m the one who helped you survive your forced shifts and who gave you the strength to withstand all the hardships you went through.” I scrunch my eyebrows together in anger and push his hand away.
“So, you watched me suffer my whole life and only helped when I was nearly dead? You could’ve helped me more! You could’ve brought me here and cared for me and protected me!” I yell as I stand up. “No Celeste, I couldn’t have!” He shouts back. “Don’t you dare say that!” He screams and stands up to his full height. “It hurt me to watch the child,mychild that I so desperately wanted in my arms and to treat like a queen, suffer through all that she did.” He walks around the table to stand in front of me.
“All I could do is sit by and do just enough to keep you alive and keep your strength up. It hurt to not be able to rise up there and drag you to safety, but you had to learn! You had to learn what it was to be like to be a tortured soul to be able to be strong enough to lead our army!” He takes a calming breath as I scoot away.
“If I had just been selfish and brought you here when things got hard then you wouldn’t have become the strong woman you are now. You wouldn’t have helped all the people that you did or met the people you call family. Their lives would’ve been far worse if you hadn’t been there. So please, don’t think I didn’t care or that I just sat back and happily watched you suffer.” He scowls as he stares at me, but it’s not directedatme. He seems to just look through me as memories play through his mind.
“Okay, I’m sorry. I get why you did it.” I whisper and place my hand on his shoulder, gesturing with my other one for him to sit back down. “Can we finish my questions?” He straightens his suit and gives a stiff nod before sitting down, me following his lead. He waves his hand in a circle motion, asking me to say my next question. “Am I really dead?”
“Sort of, you were only shot with a silver bullet which doesn’t kill a demon so technically you’re still alive.”
“Then why am I here and not up there?” He releases a heavy sigh and leans forward on the table. “When you were shot, it hit your heart directly and, unfortunately, killed your wolf. I’m sorry, Cat is gone, and you will be dead in the human world until I send you back up. Then you’ll be nothing but pure demon.” My breath hitches at the information. “Cats dead?” My voice cracks and a tear slipped down my cheek as I mourn the loss of my wolf. “Don’t worry, child. She is with the moon goddess and her ancestors’ wolves, living happily. I’ve even asked the moon goddess for you to be able to speak with her one last time after all of this is finished.” He gives me a small smile and grips my hand on the table for comfort. “Thank you.” I mumble before wiping the tears from my eyes.
“What happens now?” I ask, my voice a little scratchy from my mini sob fest. “Now, there is something I must show you.” He stands, my hand still in his as he guides me out of the throne room and down a long corridor.
Soon we’re standing in a room full of mirrors. He lets my hand go and I begin to walk ahead of him and past all of the oversized mirrors, my eyes wide in disbelief. Each mirror I passed played a memory,mymemories. The very last was empty though so I stopped.
Why isn’t it showing anything?
I slowly lifted my hand to touch the cold surface. A gasp left my lips as the mirror looked like water rippling when I touched it. As the little ripples traveled across the screen, an image slowly began to appear. It was of Austin.
He sat on the dirty forest floor clutching something. “Is that...” I leaned in closer as the picture got closer to my mate. “Me?” In his hands was my lifeless body as tears left his eyes. “What is this?” I whispered scared, taking slow steps backwards only to run into a wall. “It’s the present my child.” Lucifer says from behind me. I jump forgetting he was there.
He chuckles and walks closer, standing next to me and gestures his head towards the mirror, silently asking me to look.
It then turns into an image of my mate howling in sadness as our pack mates coming running out of the forest. He gently lays my limp body down before taking off, mercilessly killing off wolves. His gaze set on my mother and father. My father was fighting off the wolves of my pack as he protects my mother.
I turn away from all the bloodshed. Austin so looked cold and empty. The image was haunting me.
“Celeste, you need to watch.” He turns me back around to look into the giant mirror once again, and the image reappears. It’s of Austin still as he kills without hesitation. “Your mate has gone made with rage and thinks he can kill your mother. He doesn’t realize just how strong she is, especially with a full-grown werewolf on her side.”
“What are you saying?” My voice breaks as I watch him get closer and closer, my father positioned in front of Lilith, waiting to kill anyone who tries to hurt her. “I’m saying if your mate keeps acting like an idiot, him and your pack will die. I’ve already sent your grandfather to the location to help but he isn’t strong enough to defeat Lilith.”
“But he’s older than her, shouldn’t he be more powerful?” He sighs angrily and shakes his head no. “Normally he would be stronger, but she’s been messing with witches, casting dark magic on herself to become more powerful.”
“Who can kill her then?” He turns me towards him and grips my hands tight as his intense gaze never leaves mine. “You.” I gasp and stumble away from him, his hands dropping to his side as he keeps an eye on me.
“Celeste, please listen. I can send you back, I can let you live again. Then you can kill your mother and live happily with your mate.” He walks closer. “Why would you want to send me back? Shouldn’t you be wanting to keep me here to train me to guide your army?”
“Of course, I want you here, but you died too early. You were supposed to get married and give me grand-kids, you weren’t supposed to jump in front of Austin. It was all a part of his plan to get shot while wearing a bullet proof vest under his shirt. It was to trick your mother into thinking he was dead. That way you could get angry enough to free yourself and get a hold of the flaming sword to kill her. You messed it up.” He scolds me with a playful glare.
“Now, I will send you back but only if you promise me something.” I look up happily at Lucifer, my real father. “What? I’ll do anything.”
“I need you to promise that you’ll keep practicing using your powers with Zeke and to keep your mind open to me. That way I’ll be able to visit you to get to know you. I’ll help train you to be the leader you were meant to be. Then, when the time comes for war, you have to promise you’ll be by my side, helping me fight.”
“Of course.” I say breathlessly and pull him in for a hug. “I promise not to let you down. I’ll make you proud.” I smile up at him and he smiles right on back. “Good, now before I can send you back, we must come up with a plan. Look over here.”
He goes back to the mirror and points at Alpha Foster who’s protecting a large glass case behind him. “That’s your sword there. You’ll have to use your powers to get to it so don’t fight anything you feel while fighting; that’s your demon instincts kicking in after being repressed for so many years.”
“Okay, what do I do after I get to the sword?” A wicked and crazed smile takes over his face as his black eyes stare mischievously down at me. “I’ll have to lend you some of my strength but once you get the sword, you kill Lilith and save your pack.”