The pain of losing Zane hit Storm more than it had me, she had barely spoken to me these past few weeks as I tried to get her to hunt, to feel the ground beneath our wolf feet. But she refused, curling up in a ball in the corner of our mind ignoring me as I trekked through the trees.
As Storm wouldn’t hunt I had to find a way to do it myself, it proved difficult, but luckily I found a river filled with fish and after days of tiresome work I finally managed to catch some with the last bit of energy I had, gutting them and cooking them on a fire in the small camp I had made nearby in a small cave.
It was yet another day of being out here and I was getting bored, I was beginning to miss home, throwing rocks at the waters edge sighing. I was done sulking and wallowing like a teenager, I needed to step up. What had I done? Why did I have to abandon my family? I had to fix it, I had to go home.
Feel like talking to me yet Storm?
That’s better than no answer. Listen I get it hurts losing Zane, I do, but we hardly knew him…He could be a bit of a dick…Sure you love him as our mate but my connection wasn’t there as deep, I’m sorry I don’t feel like you do. Please Storm, I need you.
I know. But, what if there is no other out there for us…
There will be, don’t give up. Now, how about a run? It’s been a few weeks.
I smile as I stand, moving away from the fire as I put it out and shift, shaking out my fur as I stretch out my limbs, slightly sore as we hadn’t shifted in a while.
Thank you Storm.
Can we go home now? I miss the others.
Sure, how about we hunt, eat, pack up and head back.
Should we open our links, see how the others are?
No, let’s surprise them.
We set off on a run before smelling out a deer not too far off, crouching low in the grass as we stalk it, a twig snaps in the distance spooking it as I growl in annoyance as it darts off, we chase after it, pouncing last minute as we break its neck quickly and enjoy our dinner.
Walking slowly back to the camp I hear yet another twig snap, my ears pulled back as I squint suspiciously into the distance as I see a pair of eyes glow through the trees before a scarred face creeps out slowly as I recognise it as one of Shade’s warriors.
“What are you doing out here all alone little luna? No one to help you,” He growls circling me.
“Nice look there with the scars, do you need me to finish it? It’s kind of like an unfinished tattoo right now,” I scoff not turning my back on him.
“You’ll pay for this!” He howls angrily before rushing at me as I avoid his first attack, he goes headfirst into a tree yelping, shaking his head before turning, angrier than he was before as he goes for me again, claws slashing at my skin as I snarl, biting and nipping at his neck as we tumble across the ground.
Blood spurts all over the ground as we fight, claws dragging across flesh, teeth biting into each other as I grab him by the leg tossing him into a nearby tree with a crack as his body goes limp, his back broken as I stand on his neck. He shifts, spitting blood at me as I growl in his face.
“The new king will make you pay for this,” he coughs before his eyes go dark and he takes his last breath.
New king! We have to get back! NOW!
Moving quickly back to the camp still covered in blood, wincing slightly as my wounds begin to knit back together, I grab our gear from the camp and begin our long journey back home.
We tried opening our links to the others but we got no reply. We didn’t stop as it drove us to move quicker and quicker through the trees, exhausted but determined to find out what had happened.
We should never have left!
I know! I’m sorry! But we have to find out what’s happened! Keep pushing on Storm!
Faster and faster we move through the forest as we head towards town I once called home first, shifting into our human form as I stood by Kade’s bar in shock, the whole thing had been burnt down to the ground.
The town seemed to be untouched as people walked around, as usual, nothing different from the norm as I made my way towards Kai’s old home as I kept my distance from anyone.
As I got to his old house I noticed his parents talking happily with their neighbours as I tried to keep out of sight, at least they were fine. Making my way back into the trees I began my way through towards Zane’s old pack…My pack…Wait…Who’s alpha now…
You told Thomas to take over remember…It would have been your pack but no…we had to run off like a child…
I know Storm…I’m sorry. I never said I was perfect…
I could smell smoke in the distance as I saw thick black smoke in the air within the pack’s border as I raced towards it, not a single wolf was in sight as I took in the state of the houses, they were burnt down, completely gone, some were still burning, this was done recently…
I howl, trying to call for anyone still left, but there was no reply as I used my powers to rid the houses of their flames that dwindled.
“What happened here?” I sigh as I shift into my human form, tears in my eyes as I see a few bodies in one of the houses as I race towards them.
William laid at the entrance of the medical centre as I tried to feel for a pulse, but he was gone, cold as ice as I closed his eyes, searching from building to building, I found no survivors, only twelve dead warriors and William the healer.
We have to bury them.
Shifting into my wolf we begin digging through the hard dirt in the centre of the square as we dig a grave before gathering the bodies and putting them inside, howling into the sky in tears as I bury them together.
“Phoenix…” A timid voice cries as I turn quickly seeing Janie standing, covered in thick mud as I gasp running towards her as I wrap my arms around her tightly. She begins to sob as I hold her, cooing her to calm her as I look all around.
“What happened? Where are the others?” I ask cupping her face in my hands, wiping her eyes of tears.
“Thomas…He took over…Those he caught he either killed or took them away to lock them up. Henrietta saved me, she died, I had to bury her near a river,” She sobs.
“Who else is with you?” I ask quickly.
“Keeley and Blake…But…But something is wrong with them…They won’t wake up,” She sobs.
“Take me to them, Janie,” I say as she nods shifting as I follow her quickly as we get further and further into the deep forest before she leaps through a huge cluster of leaves which looked like a dead-end, I follow her and look on in shock as it was a secret passage that led to an old bunker.
“Henrietta brought us here when Thomas first attacked, the pack didn’t want him, they wanted you,” She said shifting once more to open a door as I follow suit.
“I’m so sorry Janie,” I whisper. I felt even worse for leaving, how could Thomas have done this?
I knew there was something odd about him, always so eager for us to leave.
“He would have killed you too,” She shakes her head as we go into a small room as Keeley and Blake are laying still on a couple of thick blankets as I rush to their side.
“What happened when they first went down?” I ask as I check them over.
“We were running away from a pack of rogues that Thomas sent after us, something flew past us, it was like…magic, it hit them in their chests, they fell to the ground. Henrietta told me where to go, she made me shift and put them on my back and she stayed back. I made it, but she never returned. I didn’t know what to do Phoenix! I covered the place with mud to cover our scents, a few rogues have been past but they never found us, I’ve been so careful, but I didn’t know where you were! I thought someone would come,” She cries.
“I’m here now, everything is going to be ok, we’ll find the others and I’ll wake these two…somehow,” I sigh running a hand through my hair.
“I think Thomas is using the mansion like a prison,” Janie adds as I frown.
“How do you know that?”
“I heard a few rogues talking outside, they were joking around about how weak someone was when they injected them in the prison,” She answers.
We need to get them out, but what about the kids?
Do you think we can reverse the spell… maybe use the elements somehow.
We could try.
“We need to find the others but no way am I leaving you all here alone, I’m going to try something, but it might not work…I’m going to…” I pause hearing the leaves rustle outside as I put a finger to my lips as Janie looks at me with terror in her eyes.
I creep out the room making her stay inside with the other two as I extend my claws, walking softly out into the corridor as I hear more rustling.
“Who’s out there?” I bark out in warning.
“I don’t trust this, my Queen, we know nothing of this girl,” A male voice hisses from the other side.
“Oh hush, my daughter is out there somewhere and the visions that you have, have more than shown the wolfs worth, I trust her. Is that Phoenix?” A soft womanly voice calls out.
“I will ask one more time, who are you?” I growl a warning once more.
“My name is Violet, I am the Queen of the fae, you know of my daughter, Keeley, I must find her she’s in danger! I can feel it and I know you protect her with all your heart. Please, may we enter?” She calls back as my eyes widen in shock, sniffing the air, smelling the sweet smell of the fae as I step forward cautiously, pulling back the leaves as I come across a small winged woman, she was gorgeous, her hair tied back in soft purple curls, eyes lined with thick eyeliner and smokey eye-shadow, I was not expecting this…she was beautiful and I could see the resemblance between her and Keeley. Two other men stood behind her, one looking at me with a soft smile but the other standing stiffly, arms crossed glaring at me.
We can trust her, I can feel it.
“Keeley is unconscious, I don’t know how, some sort of magic, I wasn’t here, I only just came back to this may be an hour ago. Janie! Open up!” I call out as Janie opens the door timidly.
“Boys, see to the children! Quickly! Before we lose them!” The queen orders as I watch them closely, Janie rushes to my side tears still in her eyes as the men hover their hands over Keeley and Blake’s bodies.
“They won’t die, will they?” Janie cries.
“Not if I have anything to do with it. Now, you and I need to talk,” Violet gestures to me as I nod.
“Don’t go!” Janie cries holding onto my arm.
“We won’t be going anywhere sweetheart, you’re quite safe, we’ll be out here while you go wash up in there, ok?” Violet smiles kindly as Janie gulps nodding before going into the small bathroom.
“I have no idea what’s going on right now? I feel like I left from one world and came back to another,” I breathe deeply, sitting down on the ground against the wall.
“You needed a break, I understand. The goddess has visited me and said that if you had of stayed then you would have died,” Violet says.
“You’re serious…If I didn’t leave…I’d be dead…” I gulp in shock.
“Yes, you are destined to do great things Phoenix and this is only the beginning, our worlds are separated by those who want total and utter control over everything which is why I made the choice all those years ago to close my lands and save my daughter from the onslaught of battle for as long as I could. Your mother was one of my friends and she valued a world of peace, so we hatched a plan for the children all to be placed together in a safe place under the watch of guardians that loved and respected our values. When they died I felt the bond of protection snap, I felt everything Keeley did, she was so happy to be with you and the others, but so scared, I knew it was only a matter of time before I had to help. I heard of the death of King Shade but could not get here quick enough to save anyone from the onslaught from Thomas. The goddess came to my seer, Rook, the serious-looking one over there,” She nods towards the one who was now sat with Keeley, working his magic as he kept glaring at me.
“I feel like he hates me already,” I sigh.
“No, don’t worry, that’s just the way he is, he is overly cautious,” She smiles kindly at him as he gives her a soft smile before his face hardens again and he goes back to work.
“What did the goddess show him?” I ask.
“She showed him a glimpse of what would have happened and then a glimpse of what could become, although actions can still change the future. She also showed just how important you and the children were to our world. You are the next generation of leaders, you are our future, you guide all our kinds into the future and right now, I, Violet, Queen of the Fae, bind myself to you as a friend and ally,” she grips my arm as it begins to burn, my tattoo extending with a golden ribbon twirling around the vines.
“J…Janie…” Keeley murmurs as our eyes dart towards her as I rush from the ground to her side.
“Keeley, hey sweetie,” I smile.
“Phoenix!” She grins sitting up quickly hugging me tightly as I hold her in my arms.
“Blake!” Janie grins as she goes to his side as he begins to wake too as his eyes look around him, eyes wide as he sees the fae and then me.
“Phoenix!” He exclaims as the other fae man picks him up carefully bringing him to my side with a smile, he was handsome, slim with soft features, short brown hair with blue tips.
“Thank you,” I smile at him as he places Blake beside me, all three of the kids hug me tightly as I cry into their embraces, feeling the sudden relief that they were ok.
“No problem my wolf queen, my name is Jae,” He smiles as he goes to stand by Violet.
“Keeley, your mother is here,” I say softly as her head comes up suddenly as she looks towards the door at the woman standing there.
“MUM!” She cries out as I can see the tears in both their eyes.
“Hello my love,” Violet cries as Keeley looks between us as if unsure of who she wanted to be with.
“Go, she’s your mum,” I smirk nodding to Violet as Keeley bounces off of me, but not before she kisses my cheek, running into her mother’s arms.
“I wish I had my mum,” Blake sighs.
“Me too buddy, me too. But you’ve got me, I promise,” I stroke his head softly.
“You promise you won’t leave us again?” He murmurs.
“I promise, you’re stuck with me kid,” I ruffle his hair as he giggles as Janie squeezes my hand tightly.
“We should all rest, tomorrow will be a busy day, Rook, Jae, take turns in guard duty, Phoenix needs her rest too,” Violet says.
“I’m fine, I can take a shift,” I answer.
“You will need your strength for tomorrow. We are heading to the wolf mansion tomorrow to save whomever is imprisoned, I will need you in tip-top shape,” She replies.
“We’ve got this little wolf, don’t you worry,” Jae smiles as he brings out a golden stick as he shakes it and it turns into a huge bow as I look in shock.
“That’s so cool…” Janie murmurs as Jae chuckles.
“Can I do that?!” Keeley exclaims from her mother’s lap.
“One day, we will teach you everything,” Rook nods at her as she grins.
“Phoenix! I’m going to be able to do that! Isn’t that cool?!” She giggles.
“Really cool!” I laugh at her happy face.
“Ok, bed now,” Violet claps her hands as the kids all dive towards me, they lay on my lap as Violet looks over us with a motherly smile.
“Thank you for protecting them Phoenix,” She adds as the lights turn off and I lay back carefully as the kids stay beside me.
“Good night Phoenix,” They all mutter.
“Good night little ones,” I sigh as I slowly drift asleep.