T H E F I N A L E
I was on Serenity’s heels when four hands clamped down on each of my limbs while a fifth hand clamped down around my mouth.
A familiar voice hissed in my ear as two figures appeared in front of me.
Serenity disappeared into her family’s Elysium, which alleviated some of the panic in my heart.
“We meet again little Prince” the croaky voice sneered “I can’t wait to gut you the same way you gutted my precious Charlotte.”
There was a tsk tsk coming from behind us and suddenly a very familiar face came into my line of sight.
“Cerberus?” I asked in equal parts of shock and confusion.
“Hello baby brother” he grinned at me, his eyes cold and detached “It’s been a while.”
“It has” I said struggling in Arachne’s unyielding grip “What are you doing here?”
He looked down and I followed his gaze, watching as he petted Venom, his Ebony Cobra and hellbound companion.
The cobra nuzzled his head against Cerberus’ finger, while his enormous tail was wrapped around my brother’s bicep.
“Hades sent me.”
“Hades never sends you” I said calmly, despite the position I was in “When he wants updates, he summons Shadow.”
I paused as a niggling feeling wormed its way into my chest “Where is Shadow? I sent him to update Hades two days ago. He’s never gone this long when I’m on a mission.”
‘Not to mention that Midnight was missing as well.’ I thought, putting the pieces together slowly.
“He didn’t want updates from Shadow” Cerberus said cryptically “He wants what you two came here for. And he wants it now.”
The hairs on the back of my neck stood up in alarm.
Something wasn’t right.
“Cerberus, why are you really here?” I asked, grunting when Arachne tightened her grip “You never leave the city.”
My brother let out a small laugh “You always were too intuitive for your own good baby brother.”
Before I could react or respond, I felt a pinch in my thigh.
I looked down in time to see Venom withdraw his fangs and slither his way down my leg.
Son of a bitch.
My eyes snapped to Cerberus as my vision started to blur “What did you do?”
“The venom won’t kill you” My brother said softly as I was dropped to the ground “But it will provide some incentive.”
“Incentive for what?” I asked, my voice slurring as my whole body became numb.
“Not a what” Cerb grinned at me “But a whom.”
“What happened?” I grabbed my Uncle as he tried to run past me, with a few other men, towards the East border.
He barked out orders to the others before turning his attention on me.
He gripped my arm and dragged me towards the houses “We’re under attack.”
“What?” I asked completely shocked at his news “What does that mean? I thought this Elysium was impenetrable.”
“We did too” He shook his head “And it is, but apparently the Minotaur doesn’t remember that.”
“Minotaur?” I asked, stomach dropping down to my knees “Asterius?”
Uncle Ethan looked at me sadly and nodded his head “When he’s like this, he’s the Minotaur. Not the Asterius we know.”
“I can talk to him” I said, dragging my feet in the dirt “I can talk him down and save him.”
“We can’t save him anymore” Uncle Ethan gripped me tighter “The darkness consumed him.”
“That can’t be true!” I cried out “We have to try to save him!”
“Serenity” My Uncle snapped at me “I’ve known him a lot longer than you have and I’m telling you, in all the time I’ve been here, he’s never done this. Not even once. The Darkness was always lingering in him, chipping at his soul for millenniums now. The Darkness must have became too much for him to handle anymore. It was bound to happen eventually.”
“We can’t just give up on him” I snapped back “He saved me!”
“And now he’s trying to break into our Elysium” Uncle Ethan growled “He already broke off a horn trying to get in and I’m willing to bet he won’t stop there.”
Before I managed to say something else, a terrifying roar sounded out.
Uncle Ethan dragged me toward the houses.
“I want to help!” I tried to yank on his arm but he wouldn’t relent.
“You need to protect the women and children” He said “If something happens to us, they’ll be left defenseless while we regenerate and complete the cycle over again. You’re the only one in here with a Wolf and the only one who could take down the Minotaur if we fail.”
A massive explosion sound off and made the ground convulse under my feet.
“Go” he urged me towards the Chief’s house “Keep them safe.”
He left me and I speed walk to the Chief’s house.
Before I could get any farther, a loud whistle sounded from my right.
I snapped my head to see where the whistle came from when my eyes immediately connected with two cruel violet ones.
“Hi Princess,” he greeted “Long time no see.”
“Cerberus” I said, shock at his presence “What are you doing here?”
He grinned and I shivered at the callousness lurking behind that one expression.
“What?” he mocked “No hug for your future brother-in-law?”
“What...?” I gaped at him “What did you say?”
His grin widened “You didn’t think you could hide it from me, did you?”
“Did Zephyr...” I trailed off when I saw that Zephyr was nowhere in sight “Where is Zephyr?”
“Don’t worry” He cooed “Baby brother will be here in a minute. He’s...indisposed at the moment.”
I felt my Wolf stir in panic “Where is Zephyr?” I demanded with a growl.
Cerberus sighed “Why don’t you come out here and find out?”
I took a step forward when my Wolf growled ”Don’t got out there.”
Cerberus’ eyes flashed with annoyance “You’re going to make me do this the hard way, aren’t you Princess?”
He whistled and suddenly, two figures appeared.
They were my worst nightmare and made my knees buckle back a step.
Arachne and Lycaon, appeared in my sight.
Zephyr was dragged from the scruff of his neck by one of Arachne’s eight legs.
“No...” I whispered as the two figures gazed evilly (and very much alive) at me “We killed you two.”
“We meet again Daughter of the Moon.” Arachne’s smoky voice sneered.
Lycaon looked me up and down and licked his lips.
“What did you do?” I growled at Cerberus “Why are you here?!”
“It’s simple” he shrugged “I came here for the key.”
“I don’t have the key” I snarled “You should have asked those two about how it went for them when they tried looking for the same damn thing.”
“I have information that they didn’t” he grinned “I know where the key is.”
“And I don’t suppose you’ll share with the group?” I replied sarcastically.
“Oh, I’ll share” he grinned “But not yet.”
He nodded to Arachne who crawled forward and dropped Zephyr at Cerberus’ feet.
“Baby brother had a little accident about an hour ago” A huge ass snake slithered up his leg and Cerberus caressed its scaly head.
“What kind of accident?” I asked warily.
Cerberus just grinned “The poisonous kind.”
“YOU SON OF A BITCH!” I growled, taking a step forward.
“No, stop” a croak sounded from the floor “He wants you to come out here. He’s using me to get to you.”
Cerberus stepped on his brother’s thigh which made Zephyr hiss out of pain.
“Nah ah ah Baby brother” Cerberus said calmly “Wouldn’t want you to ruin the party before it even got started.”
“What do you want from us?” I asked through clenched teeth “If Hades sent you...”
“That asshole didn’t send me” Cerberus let out a snort of laughter “He had bigger issues to worry about at the moment than my whereabouts.”
“Then why are you here?”
“I told you,” he smiled “I came for the key.”
“Are you hard of hearing or just an idiot” I growled “I DON’T HAVING THE FUCKING KEY!”
He just smiled.
There were loud growls and screams followed by a loud roar coming from behind me.
My heart ached, torn at protecting both the women and children and keeping my Mate safe.
I snapped my head back to Cerberus who gave me a happy smile.
“You can’t get in here” I raised my chin in defiance “Only the Matthews Pack and their Mates can get in here. No monster or child of Hades and Persephone can break into our Elysium.”
“You’re right” he smiled wickedly, taking calculating steps forward “And while it’s true that Zephy poo over there can’t enter yet, the same thing cannot be said about me.”
He was about a foot in front of me when he suddenly leaned forward and captured me by the throat.
“The thing is” he tightened his hand around my throat “I can only seem sustain myself in your stupid Elysium for a few moments at a time.”
I gasped in equal parts surprise and a small hint of fear.
This isn’t possible.
“SERENITY!” Zephyr roared, trying to get to his feet but failing miserably “WHAT THE-”
“Now are we going to do this the easy way or do I need to convince you some more to help me?”
Cerberus’ hand tightened around my throat and Zephyr tried to get to his feet, only to fall down flat on his face again.
He started to army crawled towards me by was held back by one of Arachne’s humongous legs.
Zephyr cried out and I clawed Cerberus the Psycho’s hold as I struggled to get an ounce of air in my burning lungs.
With his free hand, Cerberus reach for my left hand, and pulled it away from the hand that was wrapped around my neck.
He held it out in front of us, and with a deliberate gaze, dropped his head and kissed the middle of my palm.
Zephyr roared curses at him and my wolf growled at another man touching me.
With a wicked grin, and swift reflexes, he sliced said palm open with a small ebony dagger that had a snake as the hilt.
I hissed at the pain as he dug the dagger in harsher than necessary in order to obtain blood.
Cerberus just smiled and raised the dagger to his lips, licking off the excessive dripping blood with sensual swipes of his tongue.
He then dropped me towards the ground and walked back to where his snarling brother was struggling to get off the ground and onto his feet.
“She tastes delicious baby brother” he purred loudly, moaning for exaggerated effect, enraging my Mate further “Too bad you never did get to taste her.”
“I’LL KILL YOU, YOU SICK BASTARD!” Zephyr snapped, reaching for Cerberus “MARK MY WORDS! I’LL KILL...”
Zephyr hissed as Cerberus snatched his hand and sliced his palm open too, muttering some words as he pressed a drop of Zephyr’s blood to his tongue.
He stood and then pressed the blade to the Elysium border muttering foreign words as the blade started to glow a deep garnet color.
“May the blood of the Creators mix with the blood of the Protectors” he said in English “For the blood of each created the first Elysium. A deal struck was a deal made. Now a new deal comes into place, created by Blood and secured by a Bond.”
With those final words, he made a big slash through my family’s Elysium.
There was a beat of silence before the Elysium began to crumble like glass shattering.