I am woken from a deep sleep by my mother shaking me.
“Odette, you have to get up!”
I open my eyes to see my mother’s panic stricken face staring down at me. Her mossy green eyes are wild, showing nothing but fear. Her long blonde hair, which is usually tucked away in a neat bun, is hanging down around her face like a golden curtain. She sees that I have woken up, and she pulls me into a sitting position.
“Odette, you have to go. Now. The hunters have found us. Your father is holding them off as long as he can. You don’t have much time.”
Still groggy, I rub my eyes and stare at her. She is fluttering around the room, holding a bag and stuffing some clothes and other things into the bag for me. She turns to me, and sees I am still in bed, gawking at her.
“Damn it, Odette! You need to move now!”
Right when she finishes speaking, my bedroom door bursts open. I freeze in terror, and my mother goes on the attack, using her supernatural speed to launch herself at the attacker. When she lands on him, and he catches her easily, we both realize it is my father who has come in the room.
“We need to get her out of here. They have gotten through all our defences.”
My mother’s face pales.
“But that’s not possible! I put up the wall myself, the only way they could get through the door-”
“Is if they had a witch or wizard helping them. Yes, someone has betrayed us.”
My father’s face is showing so many emotions. Even though most of it is hidden behind his bushy black beard, I can read him well, and what I see scares me. My father has done many things, and fought many foes, but fear is something I have never seen on his face. He turns his chocolate brown eyes to mine, and sees that I have finally gotten out of bed, and I am staring at the two of them, dumbstruck.
“What’s going on?” I question. “The hunters have gotten in the castle? But how?! Mother’s magic is the strongest of anyone out there, there is no way that is possible-”
I am cut off from my rant by my father.
“Odette, we do not have time. You need to escape, and you need to go now.”
I stare at him as if he had two heads.
“I am not leaving you and mother! I will stay and help you fight them off!”
“No Odette, this is not a fight you can be in.”
“No buts! Odette, someone in the pack or the coven has betrayed us. These hunters are not normal hunters. They have been enhanced by magic. There are easily 300 of them out there, and there are a lot less of us. This is not a fight we are going to win. Your mother and I have to get you out of here before they find you.”
The realization of what he said hits me. This is the last time I will see my parents alive. Tears start to burn behind my eyes, but I blink them away. I knew this was coming. The hunters have been after me my entire life. They think I am some kind of freak, that I should not be alive. They hate me more than they hate all other supernaturals.
My mother shoves some clothes at me. I go and change while she and my father start blocking the door. The sounds of battle I did not notice until now are getting closer. I feel the tears start to creep up again, but I force them back down. This is not the time to cry. I have to be strong.
Once I am fully dressed in some light traveling clothes, I turn back to my parents. My mother’s eyes are glowing as she casts a spell, revealing a hidden tunnel that leads deep into the woods outside. My mother made this tunnel when we first came to this castle, and I half forgot it was there. We had been safe for so long, I thought I would never need to use it. I sling my bag over my shoulder and turn to face my parents. This time, when I look at them, I cannot stop the tears from spilling from my eyes and sliding down my cheeks.
My mother moves to embrace me, and my father quickly follows. We stay like that for a moment, until a loud bang from just outside the door startles us all. My father’s face is set, no emotions cloud his rugged features. He grabs me by my shoulders and looks into my eyes.
“Odette, no matter what happens to us, promise me you will remember what I am about to tell you.”
Not trusting myself to speak, I nod my head.
“You are Odette Blackwood, first born of the King of Alphas. You are first born of the first vampire-witch. You defy all odds being alive, and you defy all odds by being who you are. You have power beyond what we know, and you must stay who your mother and I raised you to be. Yes, you are different, but your difference is what makes you strong. Remember that. You are my and your mother’s daughter. You are strong.”
It is a speech I have heard a thousand times, but knowing this is the last time, I am trying to commit my father’s face and words to memory. I nod in response, my tears drying.
“I am strong.”
My father nods at my words.
“I love you Odette, you are the best daughter a man could ask for.”
The banging gets lounder, and I realize the hunters have reached my door and are trying to break it down. My father goes to the door, and pushes against the blockades, trying to hold the door shut. With every bang the door splinters, I know if I am to survive, I have to go now. I turn to my mother, and she looks at me with a sad smile. She reaches behind her neck and removes her gold locket. She comes up to me and places the locket around my neck.
“Your father and I will always be with you. We will never leave you. I love you, Odette. Remember that. We love you.”
“I love you too, Mother.”
There is another loud bang, and my father growls. The door has broken in two, and the only thing keeping the hunters out of the room is my father holding the blockades up.
“Charlotte! I need help here!”
My mother turns to my father, and her eyes begin to glow again as she starts casting spells. She turns to me and mouths the word “go” before walking next to my father, chanting in latin. With one last look at my parents, I turn and run down the tunnel. Once I enter, I hear the blockade finally break down, and the familiar sound of my father shifting. I turn around, but by the time I am facing my room, the tunnel has sealed, and I am sent into darkness.
I fend off the feeling of panic, and take a deep breath. I hold out my hand and whisper “Ignis.” My hand ignites, and a small flame floats in the middle of my palm. I look at the small flame and say “crescere” and watch as the flame glows in my hand, lighting up the tunnel behind me. I turn and walk down the tunnel. I walk for half an hour before I finally reach the end. There is a wooden ladder, leading up to what looks like solid stone. I take the flame from my hand, and place it on the ground. It continues to burn, and will continue until I extinguish it.
I climb up the ladder, and push against the stone. It doesn’t move an inch. I grit my teeth, and tap into my supernatural strength. Without breaking a sweat,the stone moves, and I push it to the side. There is just enough room for me to climb out of the tunnel. I stick my hand out toward my flame, and flick my wrist, the flame jumps from the floor and flies to my hand. I put the flame up on the ledge above me, and lift myself out of the tunnel.
Once outside, I push the stone back into place, and it looks like it was never moved at all. I turn to run into the forest, when I hear a mournful howl come from the direction of the castle, I turn back. I know that my mother is dead, and my father is mourning the death of his mate. Before the howl can finish, it is cut off abruptly. Tears streaming down my face, as now my father is dead too. Looking in the distance. I can see flames rise from where my home once stood. I take a minute and stare. All this destruction and death because of me. I stop my pity party before it can consume me. I take a deep breath and take one last look at the place I called home for so long, now fully engulfed in flames.
I turn my back, and do the one thing that I can right now.
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