The Rise

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Chapter Fifteen

“What is it?” I found myself asking, but it wasn’t my voice.

Aeron wrapped his arms around my shoulders and rested his chin on one. Ever since the night he killed Damon, I have shivered in disgust just thinking about him touching me, but now, for some strange reason, I felt so much comfort in it. We gazed out into the deep night. “Look at all of the stars.”

An infinite number of white specks were painted onto the night’s canvas. “There are so many of them,” I breathed.

He pointed to a star just above the forest which laid in front of us. “Out of all of the stars, that one’s my favorite,” he whispered in my ear, drawing me closer. “Her name is Maia.”

I found myself smiling. “What a beautiful name.” It sounded like my name.

“In Roman mythology, the name means the goddess of growth.”

My hand grazed over the bump on my stomach. “The Goddess of Growth…” I whispered to myself.

“What do you think? It’s a strong name for a goddess. She will become the next Moon Goddess after you. Your species is in need of growth, My Beautiful Luna. They are a starved and thirsty species, hungry for nourishment.”

I pressed my lips together and took a step back, offended that he would question my rule over the wolves. “My species is none of your concern, Aeron.”

A knot formed between his brows, and he took his hand off of me. “I apologize. I’m just trying to help you out. I don’t want to see your light burn out. I love watching you illuminate in my darkness.”

He has said those words to me so many times, yet this time felt different. I was different. I wasn’t Mae - I knew it.

I shook my head and brushed my fingertips against his bare chest, watching those stars sparkle. “No, I am sorry. These hormones and this Challenger problem has been just getting to me.”

A smile tugged at his lips. “It’s okay, My Beauty.” He trailed his large hand over my stomach.

“John and I will think the name over,” I said, gazing over at him.

His jaw clenched. “You should be thinking the name over with her true father.”

“Aeron, please… don’t start this again. John is her true father. He’s the only man I’ve slept with.”

“Yet, you lay with me every night.”

I huffed, taking his hand off of my stomach. “Aeron, you’re not my daughter’s father.”

“And, why would you think that? Tell me Luna. You’ve been having your visions of the future lately. Tell me what you’ve seen.”

I clenched my jaw. Thoughts raced through my mind – thoughts I knew I’ve never had before.

Should I tell him? Would he be angry with me? Would he interpret the dream as she was his daughter?

No. I knew she couldn’t be. At least, I didn’t want her to be.

The power that radiated off of the daughter inside of me was immense; much greater than I expected. Could she hold this much power and only be a demi-goddess? Could this much power just come from me and a human?

“My last vision was of her and John. They were living a peaceful life in our home by themselves,” I said.

“That doesn’t mean he’s her father,” Aeron continued.

“If he is or if he isn’t, he will be her father. He will act like one because he deserves to be.”

“Can a measly human protect such a powerful bein-”

A rumbling shook the ground beneath us. Aeron’s eyes widened for a moment and I wrapped my hands over my baby bump.

“Aeron, what-what is that?” I asked. Was it the Challengers? Did they find us?

His eyes trailed across the line of darkened trees in the distance and he gulped. He grabbed me by the waist, pulling me in the opposite direction. “My dear, come with me. Please.” With a quick glance back, he stopped, pushing me behind him.

A woman surrounded by a green aura emerged from the trees, a bow on her back. “Luna! Why are you hiding? You’ve been hiding from me for too long. I think it’s time to finally come out and face me.”

“Leave, now,” Aeron demanded to the being.

Who was she? How did she know who I was? Stepping out from behind Aeron, I narrowed my eyes at her. She looked… familiar. Where have I seen her before?

“LEAVE!” Aeron roared.

She glanced him over for a moment, then her eyes met mine. “Next time, Luna. I will tear you down. Pup by pup.”

I lunged her way, ready to destroy every fiber of her being, yet Aeron held me back. He brought his lips to my ear. “My Dear, you can’t be using your power right now. You don’t want to put our daughter in danger.”

I gazed down at my fingers, trying to calm myself down, when I noticed my mother’s wedding ring on my left hand. The one my father kept for all those years.

I leapt out of bed, pushing Samuel’s arm off of me, and doubled over. Acid scorched the back of my throat, and then the contents of my stomach covered the ground. Samuel sat up and pulled my hair back. “Mae… Mae, what’s wrong?”

Oh my gosh. Oh my fucking gosh. This can’t be happening.

I stumbled to get up, but finally pushed myself onto my feet and ran for the bathroom. My stomach emptied into the sink this time. I grasped onto the counter, trying to hold myself up. My eyes burned.

“Drink this,” Samuel said, pushing a glass of water into my view.

After I gulped it down, I collapsed onto my knees and dropped my head between my legs. “I feel disgusted. Fucking disgusted.”

Samuel’s brows knotted. “Should I link Valerio?”

“No.”

He knelt down next to me, placing a hand on my knee. “What’s wrong?”

“I had a vision…” I said, my hands shaking. “…of the past.”

It had never happened before, and I never wanted it to happen again.

“What’d you see?” His voice was soft.

I shook my head, feeling the bile rise in my throat again. I forced it back down, not wanting to throw up again. I couldn’t let this make me weak.

“My mother and Aeron,” I whispered. My stomach knotted. “Oh my gosh. I wanted to have sex with him. Oh, my fucking gosh.” I jumped up and paced. This couldn’t be true; it couldn’t.

Samuel placed two hands on my shoulders, trying to stop me. “Mae, settle down.”

“No!” I yelled, turning to face him.

“What’s wrong?”

“He’s my fucking dad! That’s what’s wrong.”

His eyes widened. “Aeron?”

“Yes, Aeron.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes…” I said, then I took a deep breath. “No… actually. Not a hundred percent. In the vision, I embodied my mother and I could feel her worry that I was his child. He was certain that I was his. Absolutely certain.” I shivered. “She slept with him.”

She said she didn’t, but I could feel that she was lying.

Embodying her showed me a whole new side of my mother. Well, at least, the her that she was before I was born. She was terrified - strong but terrified of something. Could it be him? Was she afraid of Aeron? Did she know what he was capable of?

Samuel sat on the bed. “Mae,” he said. He motioned for me to come to him. “Father or not. You need to kill him.” He grasped my hands. “He killed Damon. He and this goddess are making that poor pup kill innocent people.”

“I know I have to kill him.”

“No feelings,” Samuel said. “The man who Brett killed, the man who died for you, although he was a bit of a dick, is your father. He raised you. He loved you. He cared about you. Do this for him.”

I would do this for him. I would kill Aeron over and over again if I had to. Aeron was not my father - not emotionally. My father died for me. Aeron would never do that.

I tried to trick my mind, but it was clear that I wasn’t having it. Aeron was my biological father, and I was sickened.

A/N Read up to Chapter 52 on Patreon now! (Click "support me" in my bio. Patrons get access to an exclusive discord chat and exclusive access all of my stories that I'm working on).

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