Kona: Blood of the Gods

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Victory

Victory tasted like metallic honey on her lips. On his knees sat Lorcan’s heir. The dirt beneath them had turned to mud from the blood that soaked the floor. Every step she took forward squished in between her bare toes.

Wolves backed out of her way as she approached. She once again wore the black dress and it hid most of the dirt and blood. Her hair was twisted in knots. She had wounds in random places but like a deep-tissue massage, the pain felt good.

Kona stopped in front of Lukas. The wolf in her wanted to kill him, to take everything he owned, and make it her own. But with Tally standing beside her, she latched onto her humanity.

Beta Alec held onto the boy’s arms, keeping them locked behind him.

All around them the fighting had ceased. The wolves intermingled and Kona wouldn’t be able to tell who was on her side. Their faces were still too new to her. An unspoken order had gone out the moment the boy was captured. The war was over. Kona had won.

Now what was she supposed to do? Take prisoners? Where would she put them?

Let them go? They’d be back another day.

Kill them? Was she capable of such a thing?

The boy spat at her feet. “I will never submit.” Lukas twisted his lip in disgust. “Females cannot be Alpha.”

“How does it feel?” Kona wondered. “To lose to a woman?”

Her pack members chuckled, more than proud of the Alpha they have chosen.

“Kill me. It is the only way I will ever stop.”

“I don’t want to kill you.”

“My father deserved a better death. I may have failed to avenge him but the Alpha Council will not. They will see what you did as murder and end your stolen rule.”

Alec gripped his hair painfully, “His death was just.”

“She tricked him. Used what is between her legs to weaken him. You think you are the first bitch that ever tried that? You will be hanged on display as a warning to all the other sluts that believe they can do the same.”

The movement around her gained Kona’s attention. They uneasily teetered on their paws, talking between themselves while some of their silence sounded in her head. They were doubting her, questioning her.

Was there a rule she hadn’t been aware of? In the eyes of Lycan law, had she broken it?

Kona looked back at Tally. His eyes were adamantly to the side. Did he know?

Kona straightened. It didn’t matter what this kid said. What was done, was done. She would not coware or be ashamed. Kona leaned down toward him, “You can lie to yourself to save your pride, but one day, you will grow older and realize not only was your father defeated by a bitch but so were you. And when you rape your first woman, know just how capable she is of fucking you up.”

With a nod, Alec released him. Lukas fisted the muddy ground, his head bowed, and for a moment Kona wondered if he was dumb enough to attack.

Lukas stood, weak and beaten, limping as he dragged his broken foot in the mud. He gave a sharp whistle and a handful of wolves submerged around him. Lukas climbed on, looking back at her as the broken pack took off.

Kona smiled then. It was official. Her first battle had been won. Alec came at her with a victory holler and lifted her up on his shoulder. All around her they cheered. They had lost nearly twenty but gained thirty-five. Over a hundred wolves that chose her.

Kona took each hand that was offered. Men, women, and children were eager to touch her, to love her and honor her. Though all their faces were strangers, she couldn’t love them more for being with her, for helping her.

Alec set her down in their makeshift camp. It was nothing yet but given time, she could make this a temporary home. But before that, the women pulled her to the river. They undressed her, scrubbed all the blood and mud from her skin and washed all of the knots out of her hair. They spoke over each other, admiring her beauty, her strength, her confidence. It went so fast, Kona barely even knew what was happening till she was dressed in another beautiful beaded dress that went down to her ankles. They twisted her hair in all kinds of ways, adding small flowers and jewelry. She felt like a god.

When she emerged, the open area of their camp had transformed. Small huts built out of wood and rock. Blankets hung from doorways. A huge fire sat in the center with a deer already turning on the spit. She wasn’t used to such efficiency. They worked together to make this random area a temporary residence. It was amazing and for a surreal moment she stood there beside Alec, looking over all of it. She had a pack. She had a home.

A woman came up and handed her a glass full of liquid. Kona sniffed it and visibly winced.

Alec laughed, patting her on the back, “Drink, Kona. You deserve it.”

Kona didn’t hesitate. She threw it back and let it burn as it went down. She squealed in protest but that didn’t stop her from holding out her glass for another.

Music kicked up over the silence of the woods, someone had brought a boom box. The liquor found her happiness, a feeling that was stolen the day Daxon showed up. She was laughing again, dancing with the women around the fire. Why had no one told her alcohol could make her happy?

In the middle of it, she kept looking for Tally. There was something she needed to tell him. After a song ended, she parted from the crowd to find him. She knew he’d be alone. He was always on the outside, looking in.

Kona approached the cliff Tally had been on earlier. She could see down into the valley where the battle had taken place. The music echoed across the field of the dead.

Two women were there, grieving over the loss of their mates. A few children were there as well, pulling the bodies into a pile while three wolves were digging a mass grave.

Her smile faded. If she allowed herself, she’d feel the guilt, the agonizing sorrow, the regret, the weight of the world on her shoulders. A tear fell down her cheek but the wind was kind enough to dry it.

Tally watched her from the trees. The entire battle he observed her, focusing on her moves, on her face, watching the emotions fly across her eyes. Or the lack thereof.

If she were a man, would her actions bother him? Probably not. Men were typically violent. Some more than others. Men lacked a certain compassion that only a woman possessed.

The fact of the matter was that Kona was a woman. She was raised just as he was, with the core foundation of their personalities written the same as humans.

He knew what she’s done wasn’t a celebration. He knew inside, she was drowning in her regrets. But she put on a great show. He wondered when she became so good at lying.

Leylanni stepped up beside him. He paid her no mind. She was a pest, seeking the end of male dominance. Any word out of her mouth was with the drive to annoy him.

“Go back to camp.” He ordered. He may only be a Gamma but he was her boss.

“And leave you to the vulnerability of my Alpha?”

Tally met Leylanni’s gaze with a glare of his own. “You question my intentions?”

“You’re a man. You only have one intention. I know as well as you she’s had a few drinks. What better time to attack?”

Her audacity infuriated him. Being accused of taking advantage of a woman was an assault to his pride and he wouldn’t allow it. “Go.”

Leylanni was hesitant but she could only defy so much. She backed up with a smile, “Play your part, Tally.”

Tally fisted his hands at his side. Leylanni was convinced that he held some pivotal role in a prophecy written thousands of years ago. A female Alpha was destined to destroy their society and Leylanni believed he would be the cause of Kona’s rampage. But in order for him to be the cause, Kona would have to love him and as of now, there was no proof of that.

When Kona wobbled at the edge of the cliff, he approached.

“Alpha Kona.” Tally stood behind her, always one foot to her right. The battlefield stretched out before them. It was cast in shadow as the sun sunk below the mountain on the other side of the valley. The wind was chaotic and it sent a chill up his spine. “It was a perfect battle, Alpha Kona. It will go down in history as your first win. You should be proud.”

Kona’s brows knit. Though he was trying to comfort her, the words of Lukas broke through. She cheated, Lukas said. She killed Lorcan in the bedroom, while naked and vulnerable. No pride in such a defeat, was there?

But she didn’t want to think about that. Maybe it was the liquor or the adrenaline of battle or the euphoria of victory but no amount of grief could touch her. She was celebrating. What better way to celebrate than with the man she loved?

Kona turned to Tally, wobbling and he snatched her arms, holding her steady but what she thought, what she imagined, what she dreamed, was him moving to kiss her. She pressed her lips to his, her arms falling on his shoulder, her drink slipping out of her fingers.

Tally twisted his head away, “Alpha Kona--”

“Stop calling me Alpha.” She whispered into his skin. Her hands slid down his shoulders, against his chest, feeling the muscle of his pectoral, “Tally. Gods.” She panted in desire, leaning up to kiss him again.

Tally stepped back, holding her arms afraid she’ll fall, bringing her back to the safety of the woods.

Kona giggled as she followed him, relieved to find a place they could be alone in. She stumbled against him, laughing into his neck. Her hands were scaling on his back, holding him. He knew what she wanted. But with Leylanni in his ear, he was well aware of what this looked like. He couldn’t take advantage of her.

“Kona.” He murmured her name, “You’re drunk.”

“It feels great.” She whispered back, kissing at his neck.

“I can’t, Kona, please.”

She leaned back, clenching his shirt to keep her steady. “You can’t? Why?”

“You should get some rest. You’re exhausted.”

“Don’t treat me like a child.” Kona stepped back, a hand on a tree to help her. “I thought…” She scoffed, “You said you loved me.”

He almost replied. The words filtered in his head and almost came out of his lips but he didn’t. He couldn’t. He was embarrassed enough. Tally turned from her.

“I didn’t dismiss you.” Kona yelled after him but Tally continued on.

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