I fell onto the solid floor beneath me and flinched at the impact as I landed on my legs and tumbled onto my back. I curled up in pain as my body throbbed from the harsh impact to the ground.
“Fucking hell,” I groaned, using my hands to weakly lift myself up slightly. This was no time for me to be whining. Luckily I didn’t break anything. It felt like a long fall but at the same time I didn’t end up as bloodied soup so I could only assume it wasn’t as long as my brain imagined it to be.
I pushed through the pain and sat up on my butt, trying to catch my breath as my lungs struggled for air. My eyes lifted up towards the right side of the room almost as if on instinct, narrowing in alarm.
“Are you hiding from a wounded witch?” I asked, staring at the dark corner tauntingly. Although my face was probably cold and terrorizing, my insides trembled in fear of what might become of me.
A snort was heard before the lights in the room flicked on.
I blinked against the sudden glare and immediately spotted the woman who leaned up against the wall. Her blue eyes churned in anger as she stared at me.
My hands trembled to hold up my weight until finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I plopped back down on my back with a groan. This fucking pain.
“So you’re the popular Tianna I keep hearing about,” I stated, placing a hand over my eyes to block the blinding lights that made my head spin. Man I may not have broken anything but my body sure as hell felt like it was ran through by a truck.
“Not so popular if only you’ve heard of it,” she retorted sarcastically.
I couldn’t see her expression but I kept my body alert for when she decided to move from her position. In this unfair situation, all I could do was bide my time and reserve my strength for when she finally decided to take action. From the moment I had landed in the room, I had sensed it. I couldn’t use my abilities. One of the symbols on the cemented walls around me was probably blocking our connection to our magic. Which meant that I wasn’t the only powerless one in this room. That at least gave my mind some comfort.
“So you knew we were coming here? This was your trap for me?”
I tensed up and turned my head as I heard her shift from her position and began walking towards me. Our gazes met.
“You look familiar,” she mumbled.
My heart trembled in alarm as I quickly turned my head to avoid her gaze, “Why are you doing all of this? Why’d you kill all the werewolves back then? Why’d you keep them alive until now?”
She stopped right next to my head and looked down at me arrogantly. My heart picked up speed.
“Why are you helping them? You’re a witch with no ties to their kind,” she pointed out.
“Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t know being a witch gave me the permission to be a murderer.”
Tianna rolled her eyes, “what I’m doing here is known and accepted by the council.”
My blood boiled at the mention of those senile bastards.
I sneered, “the fucking council is full of selfish hyenas full of greed for things that are not their own.”
Tianna raised a brow at the malice noted in my tone, “rebellious now, are we?”
“Where is Dexter?” I stared at her face intensely, glimpsing a flash of something strange in her eyes at the mention of his name.
I furrowed my brows in suspicion as this nagging feeling festered in my mind. I couldn’t help thinking that there was more to this situation than she was trying to lead on.
“You should’ve stayed out of this little girl,” she ignored my question and threatened, her voice carrying a slight edge to it as if my question had agitated her.
Why was that?
“So what? You’re going to kill me?”
“And that little pest you walk around with calling your sister. Pathetic,” she spat, placing her foot on my chest and applying pressure.
I groaned in pain as my back throbbed, quickly grabbing a hold of her foot to lighten the pressure but it was no use.
My heart trembled in alarm as my mind reeled in ideas on how I was going to get out of this alive. It wasn’t time to act yet... not yet.
The element of surprise was the only thing I could take advantage of here. Tianna has underestimated me based on the fact that she’s never heard of me before. Having such close connections to the council, she was bound to take note of all the high ranking members of our kind. Anyone below that wasn’t worth her attention.
I was making a bet on this one... something I wasn’t a fan of doing because of my fear of taking risks.
“Answer me this,” I gritted out through my clenched jaw, aiming to agitate her again, “how did you convince a man to betray his entire family for a bitch like you?”
The pressure on my chest immediately lifted and I coughed and turned to my side, keeping my gaze trained on Tiana’s face. Her face flashed with many emotions that I couldn’t quite pinpoint yet I had successfully succeeded in surprising her.
But again, I couldn’t quite understand why she reacted so strongly every time I brought up her mate.
I took advantage of her distraction and quickly rolled over, kicking my legs out to knock her off her feet. My legs trembled in pain at the force I mustered into that kick.
She yelped in surprise as she fell onto the floor with an oomph. I took that time to quickly crawl myself across the room and used the wall to help me stand. I glared at her as she got up as well.
The one thing I knew perfectly well about my own kind was that we solely depended on our magical prowess to protect and aid us. Physical abilities wasn’t as widely focused on as the other races which gave us quite a disadvantage in terms of hand to hand combat. Well most of us anyway... because that wasn’t the case for my birth family and Tiana didn’t know that.
“You bitch!” She growled, pulling out a dagger from inside her pant pocket and charging towards me.
Her biggest mistake was letting her emotions get the best of her.
Despite my instinct telling me to run like hell and never look back, I stood firm, staring at her movements intensely as all the times I’ve practiced this entered my mind. I remained focused and calmed myself, zeroing my gaze in on her every movement, fully prepared to act as she drew closer. This was no time for me to be running.
As she got within range of me, she swung her dagger out at my neck with wicked aim. I braced myself and quickly shifted my body to avoid the sharp blade, immediately grabbing a tight hold of her hand and using my other hand to send my elbow flying straight for her throat.
The sound of the dagger falling to the floor met my ears.
Tiana stumbled back as she clutched at her throat, desperately trying to breath as tears sprung to her eyes. I didn’t give her a chance to catch her breath. I swung my right leg out as hard as I could and aimed at her face, hearing the satisfying thud as she fell to the ground, unconscious. I leaned against the wall to hold myself up.
She actually thought that she could best me in physical prowess just because our powers were restricted? Underestimating her opponent was the one thing she shouldn’t have done. I probably wouldn’t have accomplished this if it were anyone else.
Now my legs were fucking burning. Man, my entire body ached like hell. I was really rusty from all my years of laying around the house doing nothing.
I looked across at the blood symbol to my left and immediately went towards it. I placed my hand on its surface and felt the slight pulsing as my magic poured into it.
"release,” I commanded.
The barrier between myself and my powers immediately came down.
I walked over and kneeled down beside Tiana’s unconscious body. I grabbed a hold of her hand and closed my eyes, visualizing the entrance to that blasted room again. If my thoughts were correct we’re currently beneath the central room in the museum. That painting was there to cover the entrance.
I gathered my energy and blanketed us in it, watching as our surroundings blurred out of focus for a second before falling in line. I was back at the room’s entrance.
I dropped Tiana’s hand and looked over in surprise at the bodies that were littered in the hall. By the security uniforms they were wearing I could only assume that they had all came running here at the sound of my disturbance. Axil must have taken care of them.
“Did you find anything?” I heard Liza’s voice mutter anxiously.
“No,” came Axil’s response.
I entered the room again, this time more composed than the last time I left it.
Axil’s head immediately snapped over in my direction, his eyes immediately falling to my leg as I limped my way towards them. He got up off his searching position on the floor and immediately came to my side, throwing my arm around his shoulder for support.
“Are you okay?” He asked worriedly.
Liza turned from patting her way across the walls in the room and widened her eyes as our gazes met. Relief flooded her features.
“Oh thank god you’re alive!” she cried, immediately coming to wrap her arms around me.
I winced in pain and patted her back, “I didn’t know I was dying,” I joked.
I glanced at all the strange symbols that decorated the room, confirming my suspicions. I pointed behind me and at the door where I left Tianna, “does that belong to you?”
Axil followed my hand and hardened his eyes in anger.
“Let me go,” I told them, waiting until they released me before I sat down right in the middle of the room. “Axil, wipe your blood across that symbol on your left,” I directed.
There was no time to lose. I was hungry, exhausted, hurt and ready to get all this shit done and over with. I was never helping anyone else again, that’s for damn sure.
After Axil did what I instructed, I bit my lip and swiped my blood across my finger, watching as it dripped onto the floor and began to spread all over the room, expanding and connecting all of the symbols together and lighting them up a bright fiery red.
I began to mutter.
"The curse that was placed
The malice that gave birth
Release this caged race
That belongs to the earth
Let them cry no more
Let them suffer not
I open this broken door
To release what the world forgot.”
I whimpered in pain as my head throbbed, watching as many images of people across the town flashed before my eyes.
"Buried beneath the stones they slumber
Arise you will be cursed no longer
Turn to me as I release your chains
Never will you be held captive again
A sharp cry escaped my lips as all the magic energy that I had left in me fled to undo what Tiana had done. My eyes felt heavy as my body leaned over, preparing to fall.
Axil caught me in his hands and lifted me up princess style. I curled myself up in his arms as my entire body throbbed with pain. I just wanted to sleep.
“What happened? Is it over? Is she okay? The symbols on the walls all disappeared,” Liza inquired curiously.
“She’ll be fine. She’s used up a significant amount of her energy so she’s exhausted. Let’s leave this place.”
I buried my head in his chest and closed my eyes.
We walked our way down the silent hallways until we exited the library the same way we came in.
My eyes snapped open just as Liza gasped in surprise.
Many howls pierced the air around us as the ground trembled, the sound of thundering footsteps being heard. I felt Axil shudder and looked up at his face to see his glowing eyes staring out in front of us anxiously. I followed his gaze and felt my eyes widen in surprise.
Wolf after wolf began to make an appearance, trotting towards us slowly before stopping a good ten feet away from us. We all watched in surprise as the crowd began to grow bigger and thicker as many continued to howl and growl at the sky. Many vibrant colored fur surrounded us. From black to brown to white and grey, all these wolves stood tall before us until we couldn’t even make out where the crowd ended. Then they all began to part and make way for this one specific wolf, who was as tall as Axil and wore the same colored fur.
I immediately knew who it was.
The wolf sniffed the air slightly and whimpered, bending his front paws and bowing his head until his muzzle touched the ground. Axil’s chest vibrated as he growled in response.
One by one, all the wolves crouched down and bowed their heads at us or more likely Axil but same difference.
For some reason, looking out at all of this transpiring around me, my heart softened as a feeling of belonging washed over me.
I did it.
I freed his people.
My lips tilted up slightly as I finally allowed myself to give in to the darkness.