“Who knew this weak little thing could be worth so much money.”
The warlock and his friends laughed at my struggle to get out of the leash. I felt warm liquid dripping from my neck and hands as I tried breaking it off my neck. The spikes were sharp, digging into my skin with each attempt to set myself free. The more I struggled against the restraint, the deeper it cut me. I could smell my blood and fear thick in the air.
I’d never felt weaker in my life. I called myself an alpha, yet these warlocks had captured me so easily. I should have been able to escape them before they had the chance to trap me. Instead, I layed helplessly on the ground, anticipating their next move. How could this be happening to me?
“You’re not going anywhere, bitch” The same warlock snarled before he slapped me and spit on my face. They each took a turn kicking me in the abdomen. Hot tears and black dots blurred my vision as one of them reached into my blouse. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, they ripped my clothing, leaving me weak and bare in front of them.
“It would be such a waste to kill her so soon. We should have fun with her first.”
The coldness in his voice sent a shiver down my spine. I heard the shuffling of clothes before a cold, clammy hand reached between my thighs. My breath hitched as realization knocked the air out of me. They were each going to have a turn with me and steal my virginity away. By now, I was hysterically sobbing and praying to the moon goddess for help.
I made a promise to myself that the first man between my legs would be my…my mate. But that special moment was quickly being turned into something much darker and traumatizing. The awful memory would forever be imprinted in my mind.
I kicked, scratched, and screamed at the top of my lungs, hoping someone would burst through the doors and save me. Goddesses knows I couldn’t save myself, but I could at least fight through the pain. The warlock positioned between my thighs fell backward from my kick before he could insert himself inside me. He glared at me, wiping the blood from his mouth.
“Bad she-wolf. You’re gonna pay for that,” He grinned wickedly, rising to his feet. I tried to kick him once more, but he caught my foot and pulled me closer. His friend handed him something that looked like a syringe before I felt the sharp sting in my leg. I let out a small sob as my eyes began fluttering shut.
The drowsiness washed away any hope I had of escaping. I was too weak to fight them off anymore. They were going to rape me, and all I could do was lay there and hoped it would be over soon.
The last thing I saw was the door being shattered to pieces and a pair of red glowing eyes looking down at me in horror. The cries of the warlocks were my lullabies as the darkness took over me.
At first, I didn’t panic. The whooshing sound of the sharp blade swinging in the distance confirmed that she was close enough for my comfort. But as more intruders came piling in, the sound of my mate’s sword became fainter until my hybrid hearing could no longer register it.
I looked up with my attacker in a headlock. Wolves, witches, and warlocks scattered throughout the room, but Astrid was nowhere in sight. My heart fell to my feet. I snapped the witch’s neck and tossed her away like a rag doll, scanning over the room once more.
My demon-wolf began frantically pacing inside me. He was having awful thoughts about her, and his focus shifted. He wanted me to drop everything else and find our mate this instant. Otherwise, this entire building would be up in flames soon.
“Where’s Astrid?” I asked Kane, who instantly felt the apprehension coming from my demon-wolf.
“I thought she was with you,” His answer pushed me over the edge, and I began throwing people with just a wave of my hand, clearing the path ahead. “Arlo, wait,” Kane tried to catch up with me, but I wouldn’t slow down. She was all that mattered to me at that moment.
I cracked spines, tore through flesh, pulled out someone’s beating heart, all because they tried to stop me from reaching my mate. Little did they know, I was unstoppable, a descendant of the prince of hell. Nothing was going to keep me away from my mate.
As I reached the corridor, I saw her beta Derek, struggling to fight off six warlocks. I lifted them high in the air and contorted their bodies, crushing their bones. Derek simultaneously dropped to the floor, heaving from his intense fight.
“Where’s Astrid?” I asked sternly, looking down at him. His brows pulled in with confusion, and he shook his head, “I don’t know. I lost her,” He said, holding his shoulder in pain. It was then I saw the large gash, oozing fresh blood. I moved him inside a small janitor’s closet and told him to stay put until help arrived.
A few doors down, I finally caught her scent and wasted no time running in that direction. The force of my kick broke the door in pieces, and then I saw her lying on the floor unconscious. Seven warlocks hovered over her with their pants down. Rage hit me like a ton of bricks, and then it was all a blur.
My eyes rolled back before I felt my demon-wolf take control. I watched as he decorated the four walls with the warlock’s blood. Cries of pain rang in my ears as their bones crunched under my canines. I made sure to leave three alive- the one positioned between her thighs and the other two holding her down, leaving them curled up in the corner and begging for mercy. I had special plans for them.
After tearing them apart, I rushed to my mates’ side and kneeled next to her. Her wavy black hair was spilled out on the floor while her hand rested on her stomach. I noticed her hands were stained with blood from the spiked leash wrapped tightly around her neck, adding to my ire.
With my power, I held out my hands and broke it off. Bending down, I put my nose in the crook of her neck to sniff her. I Inhaled deeply. She still smelled like herself and me, meaning they didn’t get the chance to fulfill their wicked plans. Had I come seconds later, she wouldn’t have been so lucky. Just the thought of this enraged my demon-wolf, and I had to inhale more of her scent to calm him down.
I took some time running my fingers over her scalp to check for more wounds and carefully examined the rest of her body. Dark bruises formed on her lower abdomen, and her cheeks were fire red with handprints, hinting at the physical abuse. The rage burning in my chest intensified and edged closer to the surface. Seeing my mate like this brought the dark and twisted side of me back to life. I wasn’t myself right now. I was the prince of the ninth kingdom of hell.
“I’m so sorry, mate,” I whispered in her ear as I cradled her in my arms. Unconsciously, she leaned in closer, burying her tear-stained face in my chest. Holding her was the only way my demon-wolf would calm down and refrain from igniting this building with the flames of hell. It was a scary feeling how this girl could turn me back into the demon Azazel shaped me to be. I thought that side of me was long dead, but it turns out I was wrong. The ghost of my father’s creation still lingers deep inside me.
I stayed holding her close and taking in her scent for the longest time. Now and then, I’d run my fingers through her hair and give her soft kisses on the cheek to distract myself. The whimpers of the trio were beginning to piss me off again, but I didn’t want to kill them…yet. Meanwhile, the madness from outside finally died down, and I heard footsteps approaching us.
I quickly took off my shirt and put it on my mate before stepping out of the room. Kane and Kiera were standing outside the door. As they noticed the blood on my mate, their faces frowned with concern.
“Oh my god. Is she okay?” Kiera asked, stepping closer to take a look at my mate. Kane was quick to feel my uneasiness and put a hand out to stop her. He knew how dangerous I could be when something triggered me.
“Kiera, I want you to tie them up and take them back to the house,” I commanded, motioning towards the trio still crying in the corner, “Do it now,” I grumbled when she stood there frozen with shock. My words pulled her out of her daze, and she complied.
Some high officials and security team were already looking at the dead bodies of the three wolves. They collected bullets to later examine the dark magic used to enhance the destruction. The others were outside helping or being examined by a doctor. I didn’t miss the lingering looks from everyone as I carried Astrid to a pack doctor. I’m sure by now everyone was aware she’s my mate. It was evident from the way I cared for her.
Nicole and Derek were by my side, asking tons of questions. Despite his injury, Derek offered to carry her and some of the River Ash members that arrived. They wanted to help their alpha, but I refused to let her go. No one was going to take her away from me.
At one point, that dickface named Bryson came to have a look at her. My demon-wolf angrily paced inside me from the way he looked down at her with concern and love. His frantic questions went unanswered by me as I shouldered past him. He growled at me and tried to grab her from my arms, but one guttural growl from me was enough to have him back off. He watched with a mixture of jealousy and bewilderment as I took her away. If he didn’t realize she was my mate before, he did now.
I stormed off and carried her to the back of an ambulance truck.
“Can you lay her down, alpha?” The nurse asked as she gathered some gauze and medicine. Instinctively, I held her closer and shook my head at the nurse. If I let her go now, then my demon-wolf might snap.
“No. You can help her from here,” I rasped, sitting at the back of the truck so they could look at her cuts. I could tell the nurse wanted to argue, but instead, she got busy cleaning up Astrid’s hands while the others looked at her bruises. Overall, the nurses confirmed it was nothing major that lots of rest and her wolf couldn’t naturally heal. My tensed shoulders relaxed after hearing this.
Although I was glad my mate was okay, it didn’t entirely put me at ease. These people were here to kill my mate, and I needed to find out why; otherwise, she could be attacked again. My next thought was to travel to Salem. If anyone could help me find out this missing information, it would be Louisa and Blair- the head priestesses of the Salem coven.
The nurse was finishing up with my mate when I heard some commotion in the parking lot, some distance away from me. The alphas were in a huddle when a black vehicle pulled up in a hurry. A tall, green-eyed man was first to exit the car. I recognized him instantly.
“Where’s Astrid?” He asked before a female who looked exactly like my mate followed behind him. It was his mate- Grace. My mother’s best friend when she was alive.
The previous alpha soon began demanding information on Astrid’s whereabouts. The alphas stood there awkwardly, avoiding his questions. This angered him even more.
“Where is my daughter!” Jonah growled. It was Bryson who finally mumbled something under his breath and motioned in my direction. Jonah stared at me with bewilderment for some moments before he growled and stomped towards me.
I held my mate closer to my chest, fully prepared to stand my ground and keep her in my arms. I’d never been afraid of Astrid’s father, and I wasn’t going to start now.