Between Three Worlds

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Chapter 13

Megan lay in bed, staring up at the ceiling. It was early morning, around 3 a.m. After they'd returned from the library, they'd both showered and gone to bed. Not that she got any sleep. Lucas lay beside her sleeping soundly. Megan sighed and rolled over, her eyes focusing on the open window. The curtains were swayed gently in the early morning breeze.

The prickling unease of her wolf was impossible to ignore.

How had she not noticed it until now? Megan knew she had detached herself from that part of her for so long... maybe her instincts weren't what they should be, but ever since Lucas mentioned the uneasy feeling of being watched, now she couldn't stop feeling it. She knew something was amiss, but she couldn't figure out what. With another frustrated sigh, Megan pushed up out of bed and walked out into the living room. She curled up on the couch and turned on the T.V., keeping the volume low.

Ten minutes later, Lucas joined her.

"Can't sleep?" He asked with a yawn. Megan glanced up at him.

"Did I wake you?" Megan asked. Lucas grinned, that silly grin she loved so much.

"Naw, well yeah... I've got so used to sleeping beside you. It's wrong when you're not there." Lucas said as he plopped himself down on the couch beside her and pulled her in close. Megan couldn't help but smile as she snuggled against him.

"So how do you sleep at home then?" Megan asked.

"Badly." He chuckled groggily. Megan rolled her eyes.

It went quiet for some time.

"You aren't going back there... are you?" Lucas asked with a strained tone. There was an immediate tenseness to his voice. Megan frowned.

"I don't know..." Megan said. Lucas said nothing, but she could feel the irritation coming off him.

They sat in silence for some time and Megan cast small glances at him. It was clear he was annoyed. Megan pursed her lips and hated how her mind immediately went to dark places. She again felt the full weight of how unfair she was being to him. She shouldn't even be with him... Her conscious hit her hard then.

Even if they did manage to successfully mate, she would likely always cause problems for him. She was a half-breed, and half-witch. Even with his reassurances that his pack was different... she couldn't see them accepting her.

"Why do you even want me?" Megan asked quietly. Lucas sighed. A long tense moment passed.

"Can we not do this again?" He said, he sounded tired. Megan pulled away from him and tucked her knees up against her chest and wrapped her arms around them. She was suddenly feeling insecure.

"It's just... I'm not making your life easier, and... it's not like I'm..." Megan trailed off. She hadn't wanted to go there, but it just came out. They'd never discussed it, but she knew it had to bother him.

Because of their mating habits, most female wolves would only ever be touched by their mates. Megan was far from innocent in that regard. Thinking of her past made her feel... dirty. How could he want her? Megan felt the tension in the room increase. She didn't dare look at him.

"Really?" Lucas finally spoke. Megan didn't look at him. She couldn't. Why had she brought that up?

"You think I wouldn't want you because you're not a virgin? Jesus Christ Meg, how shallow do you take me? It's not like I'm a virgin. I'm not one of those double-standard pricks." Lucas said. Megan cast him a sharp glance. She didn't expect he was, but she also didn't expect that announcement to make her feel as she did.

Jealousy was an ugly emotion.

Lucas studied her face. They stared at each other for a moment, before a slow grin broke his annoyed expression. Megan scowled.

"Relax... it's been a while." Lucas said. Megan looked away. The pit in her stomach clenched tighter. She suddenly wanted to ask him despite knowing she shouldn't. It shouldn't matter, but she wanted to know everything. How many, who, when. He knew about her...

"Meg... look at me." Lucas said. Megan couldn't.

"What's wrong?" Lucas pressed. He shifted his position before he grabbed her cheeks and forced her to look back. Megan glared.

"When was the last time?" Megan asked. She didn't care that it was her that had the double standard now. Lucas stared at her for a moment, his expression going somewhat blank.

"Uhh..." Lucas said, he seemed to be thinking hard now.

"Jeezes... I honestly don't remember." Lucas said and looked down at his hands.

"My right arm is probably stronger than my left now. Especially with all the blue balls you leave me with these days." Lucas said jokingly with a large wolfish grin, it was obvious he was trying to lighten the tension.

Megan narrowed her eyes at him. She was so far from amused, her wolf still felt agitated thinking of him with another. Lucas studied her face for a moment, his smirk fading. Megan looked away from him. After a tense moment, he sighed.

"Meg, honestly, it's been a long time. Ever since I saw you, I haven't even looked at anyone else. I haven't wanted anyone else. And I truly don't care that I didn't get your virginity... even though I wish I did, only so you wouldn't have had to go through all this heartache. I don't know why, but I just feel like you're meant to be with me... it's almost like you're made for me, in every way. I find you fascinating. I don't care how this sounds... but you are honestly my vision of the perfect female. There is nothing about you I don't like. I want you in every sense of the word. I can't even imagine another carrying my pups. I may not have been your first, but I will definitely be the first to make love to you. You will never want another after me, I guarantee you that." Lucas said firmly in one of the most serious tones she'd ever heard him speak in.

Megan looked back at him with a frown. His words struck a strange cord deep in her stomach. She felt her cheeks flush.

"You realize how cheesy you just sounded." Megan said with strained composure, her agitation quickly left her in lieu of awkwardness. She felt flustered. It was ridiculous how easy he could change her mood. Lucas chuckled.

"I said don't care how it sounded, it's the truth. You just have to let me in. In every sense of that word." Lucas said with a suggestive grin as he pulled her in close again. Megan didn't resist him this time. She felt herself relax against him as he kissed the top of her head, despite the redness of her cheeks. Megan closed her eyes as she let the warmth and safety she felt from him wash over her. Involuntarily, she felt tears well in her eyes.

She knew she didn't deserve this...

____

Three weeks went by. Megan hadn't heard anything from Nadya, not even when she missed their next planned session. Megan felt strangely nervous about that. All day long she felt extreme anxiety almost to the point she couldn't breathe. It had never occurred to her until that point.

Was she... afraid of Nadya?

Megan never discussed with her what would happen if she cut ties and decided not to proceed to the test. She knew the risks; she was still considered a renegade. But... would Nadya's coven really come after her? If they did, she would be putting Lucas in danger too...

That thought made it even harder to breathe.

Lucas was relieved when she didn't ask him to drive her to Nadya's. He was overly cheerful the entire day, seemingly oblivious of her anxiety, or maybe... he was just trying to alleviate her worry. It had been three days since then. Megan never told him about what Nadya had told her about the covens or about the test. She knew what he would say. He already told her not to believe anything Nadya said. He'd tell her Nadya was lying, and insist they go to her mother, but she wouldn't do that...

With a sigh Megan swirled the cup of hot tea in her hand and stared at it for a time. Lucas had gone home and wouldn't be back until the following week, but he promised he'd try to come visit for a few hours before then.

She was currently alone in her apartment and she didn't work until the following day. The feeling of unease was starting to escalate. Megan glanced up and looked around her. Nothing was out of place, but she felt something off. Almost like a light hum in the air. It made her hair stand on end. Was she imagining it?

Megan took a slow breath and tried to ignore it as she pushed out of bed. She made her way to the kitchen and dumped out her cup before opening the fridge. There was little left. Megan looked back to the door in contemplation. Lucas had been doing most of the shopping, they were getting ready to go to the store before he got called home unexpectedly. The grocery store was only a short walk.

She decided getting out would be good for her. She almost couldn't stand sitting at home any longer anyway.

An hour later, Megan was walking home from the store with two bags of groceries. The fresh air felt nice. She was paying little attention to the people around her, so she wasn't prepared to take a breath full of cigarette smoke. Megan choked and turned away from the smoking man leaning against a post right in the middle of the walkway. She crinkled her nose and went to step wide around him when the prickling of her wolf hit her hard.

Danger.

Megan's eyes snapped to his. The man was taking a slow drag off his cigarette as he stared at her. His expression was hard. Megan froze on the sidewalk. His eyes were the palest blue she'd ever seen.

They were a dead man's eyes.

Recognition hit her, almost as if she'd been physically struck. The frightening moment in Nadya's shop came back to her in a rush. The dead man they put on the table...

This was that man.

Megan nearly dropped the bags she held. People on the sidewalk walked around her in merry chatter. No one seemed to notice the blonde-stranger with the dead eyes as anything out of the ordinary. Megan couldn't look away from him as her heart started pounding. It was then that she caught the scent of death mingled within the cigarette smoke, but it was faint. She could clearly hear his heart beating. Confusion intermixed with her fear.

Was he some kind of zombie? Megan knew by his scent he wasn't completely... human. But she had no idea what he was. Did... Nadya do this?

"Gray." A rough voice spoke somewhere nearby. Megan's eyes snapped to the storefront about a hundred yards from them. The same big frightening man she saw that night stood at the entrance to a gun shop. The inhuman predator. Megan's blood ran cold as his eyes slowly met hers. A lopsided grin took over his expression, causing her heart to race even higher, but he didn't gaze at her long. His attention switched to the smoker.

"Comere boy," The man spoke harshly. Megan's eyes snapped to the man with the dead-eyes... he was far from a boy, but movement behind him caught her attention. A child around three started walking toward the store. She hadn't noticed him before, but he must have been there the entire time.

Megan didn't know what shocked her more when she finally caught his scent. That the dark-haired boy was obviously the predator's son... or that he was half-wolf. Megan's eyes went wide as she watched the boy walk toward his father.

He was... like her.

Well, not quite. The wolf part of him was extremely strong, which didn't make sense to her. She'd never smelled blood like that... but there was also something else in him. Something that was in both those men as well. It made her uneasy, her wolf was still setting off alarm bells inside her.

What the hell were they?

That thought sent another spike of fright through her.

"Move along girl. We got no business with you." The man spoke calmly as he continued to enjoy his cigarette. Megan's attention snapped back to him. Nadya's words came rushing back to her 'She's off limits.' Nayda had said that to the large man. Megan suddenly felt physically sick, but she didn't need to be told twice.

Megan ran the rest of the way home.

She slammed the door behind her and found herself struggling to breath. She felt thoroughly shaken. Megan shakily put away the groceries and paced her apartment for a while. How was that boy half-wolf? Had that man... taken a wolf mate? And not just any wolf mate, one with very strong blood for him to smell so strongly being only half.

Lucas had told her about pure-blood packs, they were nearly extinct, but a large pack he knew was housing some. The boy's wolf blood had an aged scent to it. Maybe his mother... was a pure blood?

Megan frowned and glanced to the window. With how frightened the predatory man made her; Megan couldn't see any female wolf willingly going to that man. He reeked of danger.

Megan felt even sicker.

What did they do to the bound man? Why were they so interested in her? Why would Nadya have to tell them she was off-limits? Were they hunters? Did they hunt her kind? Megan's mind was going a thousand miles a minute. No... they couldn't be hunters. They themselves were some kind of supernatural being. But they were clearly predators...

Megan sat on the couch and tried to calm herself, but the questions kept coming. She glanced to the clock. It was getting later now. Almost sunset.

She couldn't take it anymore.

Megan grabbed her wallet and phone and locked her apartment. It would be a good thirty-minute walk, but she didn't care.

She had to see Nadya.

When she finally pushed through the door, it was nearly dark out. Megan didn't bother calling out. She pushed through the beads and started making her way to the back.

"Not showing up for a commitment is quite rude." Nadya spoke calmly. Megan jerked to a stop and glanced back. She hadn't even noticed her lighting candles by the window. Megan suddenly found herself tongue-tied. A long silence followed.

"Forgotten how to speak?" Nayda asked condescendingly as she shook out the match and glanced back at her. Megan pursed her lips.

"I want an explanation." Megan said firmly. Nadya smiled in an almost unsettling way.

"What makes you think you deserve one?" Nadya said with a calm tone. Megan furrowed her brow.

"You threw me out, and those men... how could you expect that wouldn't frighten me? How can I trust you after seeing... whatever that was?" Megan said with a shaky tone. Nadya turned from her and started gathering objects off a shelf nearby. She said nothing for a long tense moment.

"I don't have time to see you now. I have a client coming." Nadya spoke firmly. Megan grit her teeth.

"I saw the man. In the street. He wasn't dead." Megan said firmly. Nadya paused as her form tensed, but only slightly. Megan wouldn't have even noticed it if she wasn't watching her so closely.

A thick silence followed.

"Did he speak to you?" Nadya asked. Her tone was hard. Megan furrowed her brow.

"He told me to move along." Megan said. It went silent for a moment.

"You aren't in any danger from them. You shouldn't worry." Nadya said firmly. Megan frowned deeply.

"You seemed worried... that alone worries me." Megan said. Nadya was silent for a moment, before she sighed.

"Remember when I told you, there are those I can't see? Those that aren't on a natural path? He and his kind are that type, they are an effectual blind spot for me. I don't like uncertainties, but no, I wasn't worried about them. I've dealt with them for a long time. What I was worried about, was that you would see what you did. I didn't need doubt in your head with all the other issues you're already having." Nadya said simply. Megan frowned at her. None of what she said made her feel any less uneasy.

"What are they?" Megan asked. Nadya looked over at her. They met eyes.

A long tense silence followed.

"Spiritus Viventem is the proper term, at least to the witch community, but there are many names for them. His kind specifically, is what a human would call a demon." Nadya said simply. Megan stared at her in stunned silence. Spiritus Viventem was Latin for 'spirit realm being.'

Demons existed?

"What?" Megan asked dumbfounded.

"I won't repeat myself." Nadya said firmly, annoyed.

"I'm just... shocked is all. Do angels exist then?" Nadya sighed again, deeply.

"They are in essence the same being, it's there allegiance that defines that." Nadya said. She was getting more and more irritated, but Megan didn't care. She was too shocked to care.

"What do you mean by that? Is there a God? A Devil?" Megan pushed. Is what the humans believed in true then? Megan was so confused.

"That's a complicated topic. One I don't have time to discuss with you." Nadya snapped. Megan frowned.

"But..." Megan began.

“Just know your meetings with me are not optional. I will not be able to stop the consequences next time if you choose to go rogue. That is your choice." Nadya said coldly. Megan stared at her.

“Come back in a week, the day before the Blood Moon at noon, our arrangement still stands if you so wish it. I will give you answers then, but for now, leave. I have clients to see.” Nadya said firmly.

Megan frowned. She knew there was no arguing with her. She turned and numbly left.
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