The Brothers and I

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Prologue

The darkness was slowly creeping through my veins. I could feel it. Every inch it consumed, it burned. The agony of the storm raging within my body was debilitating. My senses dulled, overtaken by the pain coursing through every part of my being. Each breath was not without torment. Each moment felt like a lifetime.

My mind filled with a cacophony of thoughts and emotions. Some my own and some were that of my brothers. The bond between us mercilessly forcing us to bear not just our own anguish but also each other’s. Knees buckling, I fall to the ground but my eyes never leave her.

My mate. My light. My Klara.

How such a little thing could tame three of the fiercest beasts to have ever roamed this Earth will always remain a mystery. But tame us she did. She taught our wretched hearts to love. To care. The hope of redemption that always eluded us did not seem impossible anymore. With her by our side we shined. How could we not? She was our sun. Our little light.

A pained howl to my left pierced the silent night. Turning towards the sound, I saw Erik in half-lycan form. His hands and feet had turned into claws and parts of his body was covered in fur. He was swaying side to side, unable to stand steady on his feet. The growling sounds from his mouth was a mix of animal and human showing the conflict happening within.

Even without a second look, I could tell the struggle he was under. My own lycan was prepared to rip out of my skin. It won’t be long now.

As her breathing slows and her life begins to fade, we will no longer be able to control it. Once the bond breaks, so will our humanity. The lucky souls are the ones that die soon after their beloved has breathed their last. But my brothers and I will never know such mercy. The Goddess saw to that when she cursed us to forever walk this wretched land.

My heart filled with such hatred and anger at the thought of how all the events have led us here. Here, in the dead of the night and in the middle of the dark woods, with our mate dying on the forest floor.

Turning to my right was Finn. My youngest brother who I had always protected and looked out for since we were pups. My heart clenched at the sight of him now. His face contorted in agony as he ripped out a handful of his fur from his head. Claws digging into his skull and blood dripping down his face, Finn looked nothing like himself. In the place of the strong warrior stood a desperate mad man. But at this point we were all desperate.

My state of despair was broken when I heard a voice in the wind. I was forced to look up when a hand went under my chin and lifted my face. The hand though feminine, felt rough and wrong against my skin. It did not feel like “her”. I let out a warning growl.

“Magnus! Magnus ! Can you hear me ? It’s me.”

Gripping onto the arms now shaking my shoulders, I tried to concentrate. But it felt like I was somewhere underwater. The more I tried to hold on, the more I drowned.

“Agna? Is-Is that you? What.. kept you?” My voice sounded foreign to my ears. Hoarse, rugged and just above a whisper.

“Calm down Magnus. It took a while to do the spell”. She took a long hard look at me before turning around to observe my brothers.

“It looks like you are all running out of time.”

Taking in a deep breath and closing her eyes, she placed her thumb on the centre of my forehead and started to mutter something. I could not make out what she was saying but it sounded like an incantation.

A soft breeze blew past us and suddenly it was as if the fog in my head had lifted. Things appeared much sharper and although the pain was ever present, it was tolerable.

Giving the witch a grateful look, I quickly crawled to my mate’s side and gently took her head onto my lap. I stared down at the face of my saviour. She had saved us from a lifetime of misery and now it was my turn to do the same for her.

Not looking away from her, I questioned the witch standing beside us, praying that she had the answers. “Were you successful? Can she be saved?”

Although I wanted to threaten her and make sure that she had no other choice but to save my mate, I knew I had to be calm. Witches were unpredictable and dangerous. Agna was one of the strongest witches I had ever known. Threatening her would do more harm than good.

“It’s complicated Magnus.”

“I DON’T CARE !” The roar seemed to echo through the trees menacingly. Raising my eyes, I could see she was frightened even though she hadn’t moved an inch from where she was standing. I was not known for kindness nor understanding. Certainly not at a time when my world was so close to crumbling.

After a second of silence she continued in a tentative tone. “Magnus. What you seek is dangerous. You must understand that something like this has never been done before. So I cannot foretell the consequences of such a spell. However, I am certain of one thing.”

She fixed me with her piercing gaze, her dark eyes boring into the depths of my very soul.

“Going against the Goddess will not end well and the power required to pull a soul that she has claimed does not exist in this world. It has to be called forth from the darkness it dwells.”

She paused before continuing, her voice dropping to a whisper.

“And even if we are successful, only her wolf can be saved. Your mate still dies tonight and you three live on. You realize this don’t you?”

Her tone conveyed the deadly gravity of the situation but I honestly didn’t care. I was not going to lose Klara just because the Moon Goddess wanted to quench her thirst for vengeance. No! No one will take my mate from me! No matter the cost! Gritting my teeth in determination, I stared at the witch.

“Understand this. I will not let the one good thing that has happened to me just slip away. I will not allow it. My mate has done nothing to deserve such an end! I will see her and hold her once again even if I have to wait another thousand years for it!”

Agna took a deep breath as she studied me carefully. The woods remained deathly still, as if in trepidation of the events unfolding under the starless night.

“What we do now will not only affect your kind and mine but also the humans. So, I will ask you this again. Are you willing to let the world burn for one soul?”

As I stare down at the sleeping form of my mate, my mind floods with the memories of all the times we had laughed, kissed, made love and held each other close. I do not hesitate when I look at the witch and give my response.

“Yes.”

Leaning forward, I placed a soft kiss on my mate’s lips and breathed in her fading scent, commiting it to memory.

“We will be together once again my little light”

The breeze that blew past then, carried the fervent whisper of promise, forever sealing the fates of those who would one day cross paths with it.

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