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Chapter 17.3

A/N: What do you feel about this character as of now?

Let me know your thoughts below!

Next update in next 24-48 hours.

**************

They were not exactly friends, but they trusted each other in a weird way. After that one fateful day of her telling what happened at Tahareh, Mali helped her. As expected, Mali had access to emails and some documents a normal person could not have.

His fingers teased her hair as his lips skimmed her skin on her neck. “You got him where you wanted him to be. Why are you not doing anything?”

She moaned. Something she found herself doing whenever he touched her. And this morning was nothing new. He knew how to have her where he wanted. Though their initial bargain had been for once, they found themselves unable to go back after a taste. And Gaelan was a delicious distraction she welcomed.

“N-no,” she shuttered, enjoying his teasing hand over her. “He has connections. If he dies, someone else will take the position. I want to end this entire thing.”

Gaelan snorted. “Do you have any idea how I wished I could kill him and end this for you?”

She chuckled. “You have told me that so many times that I have lost a count of it.”

“Good,” he muttered. “Yet you want to do this on your own.”

She nodded. “Unless his blood is on my hands, I can never sleep peacefully.”

He fake gasped as he sucked her ear. “Not even with me?”

She rolled her eyes. “You know what I mean.”

He kissed her hard. “I do.”

The lazy early morning sun did no justice to the male next to her. West Coven was a destination for a lot of couples. It was a place mated couples came at least once in their life. One could say it was like the capital of love.

But being in that said capital, on the bed with a male who took care of her so much brought feelings she did not want. Did not know how to handle. She had first stupidly believed Dave and it left her in a mess. Left her as a person someone she barely recognised as herself. Next was a mate she was happy to start her life with. Someone who was unjustly ripped from her.

This male, she knew nothing could touch him. He had proven how strong he was over and over and it did nothing to hold back the desire she had for him. At first, she was sure it was just sex. With no feelings involved. But at times like this, moments when he looked at her like she was the only thing in his world, it stopped her breath.

This was something she wanted to be clear off. No feelings. She could not handle her heart being torn apart. Ever again, but this male was making it his mission to bare her soul naked to him.

“So?” he gently urged. “What now?”

She sighed and allowed her fingers to play with his soft hair. For a moment, she could pretend he was her lover.

“Harriet is coming to Laukris,” Leigh said. “After meeting her couple of times, she did agree to give information, but I feel that something is off.”

Gaelan hummed. ”There is something off about her.”

Leigh took in a deep breath. “But she is the only one who braved to give more info from inside.”

He hummed again. “When are you going to pick her up?”

“Later this evening,” Leigh murmured.

His hands worked her skin. “I have until evening then?”

She chuckled, running a finger down his abdomen. “Are you never sated?”

He gave that wolfish grin that nearly had her coming. “With you? Never, rose.”

She did have the entire day.

**********

“I am so late!” she panicked as she raced the car to the airport.

“You were not complaining so much just a few minutes ago, rose,” the male chuckled sitting on the shotgun.

She glared at him. “It’s all your fault.”

“Mine?” he asked innocently. “I remember you asking for it, rose.”

She grunted as she finally found a parking spot and left the chuckling male to pay for the ticket. She inhaled deeply, searching for a familiar scent.

When that faint floral scent itched her nostril, she walked towards it. Harriet was in a black dress with a huge black overcoat. She had three suitcases next to her as she stood awkwardly near the entrance.

“Come on!” Leigh shouted at the startled female. “I was... held up by some work.”

Harriet blinked and then broke into a grin. “Perfect.”

Seeing that female struggle with the suitcase, Leigh went to help her. Pulling two herself, she walked where she had parked her car.

As expected, that infuriating male was nowhere to be seen, but a sweet note that would give her a tooth cavity and a heart arrest waited for her. Before Harriet could see it, Leigh pocketed it and placed the suitcases at the back of the car.

“Nice car,” Harriet commented.

Leigh snorted.

Once they were settled, she started the car and began to drive.

“Where are we going?” she asked in a soft voice.

Maybe to others, this may have sounded weak and would have triggered their instincts to comfort her, but it just annoyed her. Harriet Grin was not a weak female. Had she been, she would not have been one of the head-doctors in that facility.

“Summer Coven,” she replied curtly.

“B-but that’s where Dave is!” she exclaimed.

“Yeah?” Leigh said, changing gears. “So?”

Harriet mumbled. “I thought-”

“You thought I was taking you to West Coven?”

That doctor nodded.

“Wrong,” she said in that annoying voice.

How she wished she would rather hear that male’s annoying voice.

The Summer Coven’s guards recognised her car and opened the gate for her. It still took two hours to drive from this region to the capital. The Summer Coven land was quite vast.

Apart from asking a few questions, Harriet was actually quite. She had dreaded that the female would ask questions and annoy the shit out of her, but she did nothing like that.

Ten more minutes and they would go to that place where Mali had arranged for Harriet to stay. Why Harriet came here would be a mystery for her.

It was then, the coven’s genius laughed with Rune and Sean as they left the diner. Draco was a tech-wiz. Someone she gawked when he worked. The way his fingers moved amazed her. But many did not share her feelings.

For one, Lana was obsessed with him to the point of thinking about tying the poor male to her bed. Consent was not a thing Lana knew. Dave hated how clever Draco was. Or that was what he said. But Leigh knew it had nothing to do with his brilliance. Dave could not control Draco’s mind and he hated feeling out of control. Even Harper once checked ono him and found that he was just an unshifted werewolf.

Whenever Lana mentioned dragging Draco to her room, Leigh had the urge to beat the hell out of her sister. There was no way she was touching that male while she watched. Rape was rape, no matter what the gender was.

“Wh-who is he?” Harriet breathed.

Leigh prayed she was not asking about Draco. She did admit. That male was hot, though he never knew it himself. There was that rugged sharpness in that male that drew anyone in. Like a chained beast that would snap anytime. As much as he remained calm, there was something old and chaotic in him. Something she sometimes glimpsed in Gaelan.

“Draco,” Leigh answered. “A brilliant computer wiz.”

Harriet licked her lips. “He is hot.”

“Maybe,” she answered.

“Maybe?” Harriet asked incredulously. “Are you blind?”

Leigh shrugged. “People have different tastes. I have something else.”

For a second, Gaelan flashed in her eyes. She was annoyed at herself. Since when did that male fit in her taste? If anything, she preferred someone sweet and caring like Justin. Not Gaelan. But her furiously beating heart and her mind for once were together and scoffed at her lie.

“Wow,” Harriet said. “One’s out.”

“What?” Leigh asked.

Harriet shook her head. “How much longer?”

Another glance at that female, Leigh sighed. She was right. There was a reason she hated Harriet.

*************

“What?” Mali exclaimed softly. “What do you mean?”

Harriet nodded shyly. “He is... is my mate.”

“Draco Stykes is your mate?” Mali asked.

Leigh frowned. There was something messing with her powers right now. Like a jammer was set and she could not do anything.

“He is,” Harriet said. “Can... can you create a story for me?”

Mali frowned. “What do you mean, create a story for you?”

Harriet had made herself comfortable in the room Mali had given her. It was the house of the past Zeta pair who now left to live in the second district.

“I work for Dave,” Harriet said. “I... I do things I am not proud of. I want you to weave a story for me. Change my past. When he meets me, he should see someone who had not stained her hands in blood.”

“You want to lie?” Leigh’s voice was cold. This was against everything she stood for.

Harriet exasperated. “Not exactly! I-he is my mate! I will tell him the truth eventually. But now, I want to get to know him and start a life with him. Too much to ask?”

“Starting a relationship with a lie?” Leigh scoffed. “Rich.”

“Mali!” Harriet begged that female Omicron.

“I can’t, Harriet,” Mali said softly. “I can’t hurt him like that. He is like my baby brother.”

“You’re not hurting him!” Harriet cried. “He is my mate! I just want a life with him. Is it too much to ask?”

“It is,” Leigh’s cold voice cut. “It is.”

“You are being unreasonable!” Harriet exclaimed. “I don’t know what Dave will do more to control my life and I just met him. Can’t I wish for a nice life with him?”

“Tell tell him who you really are,” Leigh said. “Don’t hide like a coward.”

Was this a Luna given bond? Or was Harper playing?

“Mali!” Harriet whined. “Can you help me? Please?”

Mali took in a deep breath. “I will think about it.”

“There is nothing to think about!” Leigh protested. “You are not doing this, Mali.”

“You are not my friend, Leigh,” Mali said, her voice cold. “You can’t order me around. We use each other and let’s draw our boundaries there.”

“I have drawn my boundary bright and clear, Omicron,” Leigh said, bringing in that chillness in her voice. “It is you who have not.”

Mali then glanced at Harriet whose eyes were filled with tears. “Go to bed, Harriet. I will tell you my decision tomorrow.”

Nodding, that doctor left the hall to the room where Mali had given her to stay.

“You are not serious, are you?” Leigh asked incredulously. “You are not going to weave a past for Harriet?”

Mali sighed. “What if she is his mate?”

“Then she should tell him the truth!” Leigh burst. “I told my entire truth to... Justin and he accepted me. If they are true mates, Draco will accept her for who she is.”

Mali got up and filled herself a glass of water. “Look. Dave is keeping Draco’s mother as his sex-slave and Harriet is working for Dave. Draco will reject her.”

“Then let him,” Leigh snorted. “He has the right to choose what he wants. If Harriet can’t make him accept her, she is not worthy of him.”

Mali sat down, her legs crossed as if she was asserting her dominance. “Why do you care about him?”

“Why should I not?” Leigh asked.

Mali just stared at her. “Why, Leigh?”

“I am not entitled to tell you,” Leigh said.

Leigh knew his mother just as she had known Berry and Honey. Those two girls literally died because of her. Draco’s mother was someone whom she could call her friend. Kessa was an amazing female and she had indeed asked her to take care of her son if something was to happen to her. But seeing Leigh’s relation with Dave, she had asked Kessa to not mention their little friendship with anyone and Kessa did as told. In fact, Kessa went as far as to promise this to her grave.

Mali waved her hand. “Fine! Call Gaelan. We have to meet him.”

“We?” Leigh asked, that protective feeling rising to the surface.

“Lawan and I,” she said. “We met him last year and he did convince us that you were not lying. He said he would meet us tonight. He and Nox.”

Leigh frowned slightly. She knew this Nox. Sometimes he hung around with Gaelan.

She snorted. “He convinced you that you are not lying? Does Lawan know about me?”

Mali shook her head. “The fewer people that know that you are not under Dave’s control the better.”

It was not many. Just Mali, Harriet- unfortunately, and Kessa. While the other two knew about others, no one knew that Kessa was a bearer of her secret too. There had been times when she wanted to search Dave’s computer for information and it was Kessa who had agreed to distract him.

Rolling her eyes, Leigh pressed on the slight ink Gaelan had put on her skin on her stomach. To others, it may look like a tattoo, but it was a means of communication with that bratty half-pulsar.

Calling me at night, rose, his cool voice entered her mind. Can’t get enough of me?

She closed eyes. Was it a crime to kill someone like Gaelan? He did say that Cosmos wanted to kill him. If she killed him, would it not be like she was helping Cosmos?

It seems you agreed to meet with Mali and Lawan tonight with Nox, she said. Where did that jealousy come from?

I did. There was heavy disappointment in his voice. I did.

Why? She asked. Why do you want to meet them?

They seem to believe me over you, he said. I am just helping you. Not them. I tell them what is happening Tahareh and they give me details what they can find. Seems like Autumn pack is involved in this shit. So does many other small communities. And don’t worry, rose. Once they believe Nox, I will slowly stop contacting them and Nox will be the one to take the information to them.

Whatever, she muttered. Where do you want to meet them?

In the Sunrise Cafe, north of the Summer Coven’s capital, he said. Nox and I will meet them there. After their meeting, I need to meet you.

Why me? She asked.

Why not? He questioned.

You know where I will be, she said.

“He said he will meet you in Sunrise Cafe, north of the capital,” she said. Then she bent to pick her coat. “If that is all.”

*********

Smoking could not kill her. If it could, it would have done so long ago. Taking a drag, she leant on the bonnet of her car as she gazed up at the murky night sky.

It was a secluded path. Instead of taking the road as a normal person would do, she took the path through the woods and parked it in a clearing. She was in no hurry to go back to the quarters’ Dave gave her in Summer Coven. Gaelan was not done with his meeting and if he was not there, she could not enter that room.

“Smoking is injurious,” a female said as she came up with a basket in her hair.

Her eyes glowed silver, matching the white dress she wore.

She put her cigarette down and stomped on it. “Who are you?”

“Many call me by various names,” she said. “I can’t say what I prefer.”

She frowned again. “Who are you?”

“Someone who made a mistake, my child,” she said. “I aided my mother when I should not have. I am paying the price.”

Leigh blinked. “If it is your family issues, I will leave it to you.”

“If it was just my family issues, I would not be here,” she said. “Trust me.”

Leigh sighed. “Okay. what do you want?”

The female clicked her tongue. “I know the bonds Luna gives and I know how powerful it is.”

Cold crept her body. “A-are you Harper’s mother?”

The female laughed. “That swine? I am not her.”

Leigh’s eyes narrowed. “Then who are you?”

“I am your Goddess’ mother,” she said. “I am Surva.”

Leigh inhaled sharply as she fell to her knees. “Moon’s mate.”

The female chuckled. “That too.”

“Forgive my arrogance,” she mumbled. “I did not know who I was talking to.”

The female sighed as she touched her shoulder. “I do not expect anyone to know my identity. Even King Atticus does not know.”

Leigh simply could not believe who was before her. This female was from legends. The powerful mother of Luna, Kamaria, Amaris and Chandra.

“Get up,” she said. “I have to talk to you.”

Gulping loudly, Leigh got up. “Yes?”

“I have seen your life, child,” she said. “You have fared through many things. There is so much strength in you.”

Leigh just blinked. “Strength?”

“The bonds my daughter give,” Surva said. “I know how strong they are. I myself give bonds and I know.”

Leigh stayed silent, not knowing what to talk to a great person like her.

“I want you to be my Huntress,” Surva said. “You will bear my mark.”

Leigh just stared. She knew what a Huntress was. They had powers where Omicrons, Alphas and Zayins did not. The only ones who had power over these Hunters were the Royals and the Warriors.

She knew who could name these Hunters. Luna had. The three great sisters had. Even Moon had. Some Warriors had. But Surva? There had been only one Hunter under so far.

“Your Huntress?” she breathed.

Surva nodded. “Yes. Mine. It will be so only if you agree to it.”

“Your Huntress?” she asked still in a daze.

Surva chuckled. “I know. I have only one other Hunter. He is doing my will as we speak. I want you to be my second Huntress.”

Leigh gulped. “Why?”

“Why not?” Surva asked. “I have personally seen you.”

“Why?” she asked.

Surva smirked. “I have never seen the great Gaelan act like a kitten around anyone. He craves your attention. I wondered what you possessed for him to do that. I search about you.”

Leigh blanched. “Y-y-you know?”

Surva laughed. “I do. Does Gaelan think he covers his tracks perfectly well? I am literally the Queen of this region. I know what happens here.”

Leigh blushed. “I-I mean-”

“What you do,” she said. “Is between you. I will not interfere. Just tell him that he is not that great at... covering his tracks.”

Leigh nodded, her face still flaming. This goddess knew what she did with Gaelan. As if this was not embarrassing enough.

“Will you be my Huntress, child?”

Without another question, Leigh Caskor nodded.

*************

“What the fuck are you doing?” Leigh snarled when she met that insane Omicron again. “What the fuck, Mali?”

For a second, that Omicron submitted to her. That was when Leigh realised that though Mali may be the Omicron of a Noble coven, she was the Huntress of Surva and that held power. A lot apparently.

“Draco is her mate, Leigh,” she said weakly. “Harriet is right after all.”

“So?” Leigh snarled. “You actually aided that female in weaving a story for her? Where is your integrity?”

Mali clenched her teeth. “Why do you care, Leigh? It’s not like Draco is someone of your concern.”

Leigh released the hold she had on Mali. “You are pathetic.”

“Pathetic?” Like a switch has been turned on, she snapped. “I am being pathetic? I am helping a mate bond. What do you do? You tear bonds apart!”

“Tear them apart?” she asked. “What do you mean by that?”

“You broke the mate bond between Kiet and Hathai!”

Leigh scoffed. “They did not have a true bond between them!”

“Not a true bond?” Mali asked. “Who are you to decide?”

“Look here, Mali,” Leigh said. “I may be a small vampire, theta’s daughter. But I don’t lie to people. You should take that advice, Mali.”

“I have already done it, Leigh,” she said. “I have been doing it for a month.”

“A month!” she exclaimed. “Are you mad?”

“It’s not madness!” the other female fired. “I am helping!”

“A very good help,” Leigh snapped. “What you are doing is wrong. Has no one ever taught you what is right and what is wrong? And they say you are Apinya Bidaya’s daughter!”

“Don’t you dare pull my mother into this!” she snarled. “I am right!”

“Spoilt brat,” Leigh scoffed and left the room, fuming at that self-righteous Omicron.

Had that female been her daughter, she would have smacked her hard and punished her with a cane.

As she made her way to her room, she saw the male she knew would be there, but his expression was not something she had ever seen on his face.

It was utter despair and betrayal. His hair was dishevelled and his lips were bruised as if he had bit on it so many times. His shirt was torn as if he had fought someone. The utter pain in his eyes brought her to her knees before him.

“Gaelan?” she asked, her voice low. “What happened?”

He opened his mouth but no sound came except a small gasp.

Her heart went out. When had she begun to develop these intense feelings for him?

“Gaelan?” she asked. “You’re scaring me.”

He took in a deep breath. “This happened way before I met you, rose.”

She took his face in her hand. “Tell me.”

“I don’t know how,” he said, his voice hollow. “I met her a long time ago. About a year before I met you.”

“Her?” she asked. “Who is it?”

“Anilise,” he said. “A werewolf. It was meant to be a one night stand.”

Her heart did not like where this was going. She was too much attached to him to let him go. As much as they said it was just a physical attraction, she was into this too much.

“We were supposed to forget what happened later,” he said with no life. “And I did forget her. But.. she hid a secret from me.”

“Secret?” Leigh whispered. “What secret?”

“She was pregnant with my daughter,” he said, his voice breaking. “She had my daughter. She is about sixteen years now.”

Her world stilled. Axis shifted. “Y-you have a daughter?”

Gaelan nodded. “I do. She never told me. I was passing by a small territory when I scented something unearthly. Upon investigation, I found that I had a daughter and s-she is missing.”

Her lips trembled. “What do you mean?”

“I could have tracked her, had that she-wolf been alive,” Gaelan said. “But as soon as she found she was pregnant with a child, she left the territory and became a rogue wolf. My guess would be she gave birth to my daughter and died and someone took her in. I caught my daughter’s scent so faint, I guess she was there when she was born. I tried to track her through that scent, but that too landed in a dead-end. It seems like someone had changed her scent to deliberately throw me off her tracks.”

That she-wolf was dead. But why was her anger rising? By Kamaria! Gaelan did not even cheat on her. He had an affair with a she-wolf before he met her and had a daughter. All the years of them being together, she knew Gaelan did not cheat on her even if they were not in a relationship. So, why was she feeling hurt?

“Y-you found where she is?” she asked.

Gaelan shook his head. “No. I tried my best.”

Leigh bit her lips. “You want to find her?”

His eyes snapped to meet hers. “I am sorry. Had I known, I would have told you before. I am so sorry, rose.”

She took time to even her breath. “It was that she-wolf’s fault. She should have told you. But how could she have? You both decided it was a one-night-stand. You wanted to contact her?”

“Damn it!” he swore. “You are right!”

He got up and began to pace, running his hands through his hair.

“Gaelan?” she called. “If... if you had left contact and if she had contacted you, would you be with her?”

He stopped pacing and just looked at her. “No. I would have been there for my daughter, be a part of her life, but I would not be with that she-wolf as I am with you now. I said it was a one-time thing. That’s why I am even surprised at how she got pregnant. My race... my mother’s race are not known to have many children. I would have loved my daughter, but not her mother.”

He came closer and wiped her tears away. “Don’t cry, rose. I won’t ever leave you.”

That was when she brought her own fingers to check that traitorous tears that left the confines of her eyes. “Ma-many had promised me that.”

He looked determined. “Then I won’t promise. I shall prove it to you by staying.”

Leigh sniffed. Those were damned words she had wanted to hear from so long.

“C-can I help?” she asked, finally reigning her tears in.

He sighed. “I thought that girl would take after my father’s side. But no. She mainly takes after my mother’s side and a bit of my father’s side.”

“She is half and half like you?”

“More like half and half of a half,” he muttered.

She chuckled. “Is that so important?”

He nodded. “My mother was an Ecthos. She was one of the few who could control the temper of aether. Meaning, she could handle aether in her raw hands and walk like it was nothing. I could do too. That’s why cosmos was afraid of me and threw me in the dungeons. If... If my daughter did take after my mother, I am afraid, she can help anyone forge a weapon made of aether.”

“Huh?”

“There are a few who can forge a weapon made of Aether,” Gaelan said. “But they can’t do it without the help of people like my mother. The ones who can forge... their souls get shattered by the power of aether. But my mother? She can forge the aether herself or help others have their soul. My mother’s mother was the one who aided Cosmos to make her weapon from the aether. So, I must warn my daughter of her powers and teach her how to use it or lock it away for her to have a peaceful life.”

“How many can do this?” Leigh mused. “I am betting not many.”

Gaelan nodded. “My mother did not help me learn it. It was a pulsar. A first-generation pulsar. She was a forger- the one who can touch aether like it is nothing, we call them that. She taught me. Said she was my mother’s friend.”

“Who is she?”

“She,” he sighed. “Not many know about her existence. But she was sent to neutralise the first Warrior. Her name is Lyra.”

A/N: What are your opinions of Leigh being Surva’s Huntress?

Did anyone expect that about Lyra? *Laughs*

Until next time,

~Quill

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