My mate Rex.
Stands all but a short run away from me. Alive. So very alive. All that lies between us is some ruins… and Caleb.
Rex looks like he has seen better days - his clothes are filthy, dark marks mar every inch of his tall frame. He’s wearing the same outfit he wore the day of his disappearance - they’re now far too small, seeing as he’s grown from 6ft 5 to what must be 7ft tall, his joggers sit halfway up his calves, exposing his legs to the elements. Even in his slightly hunched position, he is taller than everyone stood around him.
Upon more inspection, a lot of the dirt marks on his clothes appear to be bloodstains. A lot of bloodstains.
What did they do to you? I think to myself in anguish, eyes tearing as my heart breaks for the suffering my mate has been put through.
A long, thick silver chain connects his wrist shackles to his feet - making it difficult for him to walk. The silver shackles around his wrists and ankles have aggravated his skin. Wounds that look as though they have tried and failed to heal, due to the friction and silver burning at his skin. Angry, aggravated open wounds weep and bleed, decorating his wrists and ankles.
Through the soot and filth that covers Rex’s face, I can still see those features I fell in love with so long ago, the ones I have dreamt about night, after night, in my dreams. His facial features have become more refined and mature, his cheekbones and jaw chiselled and sculpted with maturity.
My goddess, even in his filthy state he still looks perfectly panty-dropping to me! How am I going to cope when he’s not filthy!?
My heart is thrumming in my chest, he is mine, and I am his.
My world that has been shrouded, bleak and grey for so long, now feels full of purpose, my senses sharper, the sunlight brighter, colours burst to life as if I have been blind to its beauty for so long.
No matter what happens now, nothing will ever tear us apart. I won’t lose him, not again. Not ever. I will gladly accept my fate if it is to die for him. If it’s a choice between his survival or mine, I would choose Rex each and every time. I’ll do whatever it takes to get Rex home.
Feeling impatient, I place my hands on my hips and call out, “So, are we doing this or what?”
“Patience, Mae. Why so hasty? He taunts with a satisfied smirk on his face.
“You promised, Caleb”, I seethe through gritted teeth.
“Fine, fine! Come on then, let’s get this swap done so we can get on with our life together”, he says drinking me in as I start to close the distance.
Hunter waits back - as we had previously agreed with Caleb. He is here merely to oversee the trade, in Caleb’s eyes.
“The things we will accomplish together, Mae. We will do great things!” He rambles like a mad man.
Anger rises in my gut, I will never be his. I simply won’t allow it. I’d rather die than be destined to be his.
“Once I have you by my side, we’ll take the Royal Pack for ourselves, you will be the Queen you were destined to be!”
The ground quivers and shakes as my temper begins to spike. He has another thing coming if he believes I will go against my family.
“I might become your possession, but you will never be my mate”, I spit, a vein pulsing in my neck, my hands are clenched so hard I fear they might burst as I try to push down the dark energy swirling within me, now is not the time to lose my self-control.
I’m almost to where Caleb stands now, not far to go. A few more minutes and this will all be over, all of this madness. I will put an end to Caleb.
He continues to eye me from head to toe, licking his lips like I’m a prime steak. His gaze causes my stomach to knot with hatred.
“It’s ok, Mae. If you want me to look like him, to smell like him, I can create that illusion. I will do it all for you. It’s a perk of being part incubus”, he shrugs proudly.
My steps falter slightly as I play his words in my head on repeat… to smell like him…he was mimicking Rex’s scent… that’s why he smelt so intriguing to me!” My breathing is now ragged, my headache has returned, stabbing and jabbing at my brain telling it to do something, begging for some sort of release.
“I can’t wait to have you beneath me again, begging me to take you, over and over... to put my pups in you”, he drawls as though picturing the scene.
Rex roars with fury, lurching towards Caleb, his shackles clank and rattle as he fights against his restraints. His face morphs into that of his Lycan, just momentarily. Even with the silver chains attempts to suppress him, he is pushing through - to protect me.
Five guards struggle to hold the silver poisoned mountain of a Lycan back, one even falling flat on his face as he loses his footing. Pride swells within me, mine, my powerful mate. I watch his muscles tighten and flex as he continues to pull against his constraints.
Stepping through the last ruin that separates us, I finally reach Caleb. Rex is to my right... I daren’t look at him - in case I lose my focus. I can feel the heat of his Amber orbs as they burn the side of my face, willing me to look at him so he can have a thorough look at the woman I’ve become… I push through the temptation.
I have to remind myself I’m on a mission, a mission that needs my full attention. I can’t afford to lose focus if I want to get us both out of this alive... and with our freedom.
“There she is!” Caleb exclaims with open, welcoming arms as he pulls me in for a hug.
Rex growls lowly, warning Caleb to keep his hands to himself.
My hands twitch at my sides. I have something up my sleeve that I can’t wait for Caleb to meet… literally.
“Release him”, I spit, nodding my head in the direction of Rex. The warmth from his body makes bile rise to my throat. Pushing him away as quickly as I can, I take a step back, putting distance between us.
“Yes, yes, fine!” He waves his hand, giving Jasper the go-ahead.
“Don’t try anything hasty, Rex. Or I’ll fuck her for you to watch”, he says, flashing him a sadistic grin.
Just as the first cuff is released. I make my move. Taking my opening, I launch a swift kick - straight to Caleb’s balls; as he starts to come down, I lunge, thrusting the concealed dagger into his throat.
Time seems to slow as confusion turns to dread. Realisation dawns on me that Caleb isn’t wounded. In fact, there’s not a scratch on him. He looks down at me with sick satisfaction, whatever game he’s playing – he’s thoroughly enjoying it.
My stomach churns as I feel warm blood trickling down my hand.
I stand frozen with fear.
Whose blood is painting my hands!?
Forcing myself to look at my now trembling hand, I realise a small portal has been opened, my hand and part of my arm through the portal.
Furrowing my brows, I try to figure out what he’s done... where the portal leads to. I look to my right, seeking Rex for emotional support if anything - this wasn’t part of the plan.
My stomach drops. Time stops altogether. I take in the scene before me. Rex. With the dagger. My dagger… protruding from his neck, my hand still holding onto the hilt firmly. Rex’s blood seeps out of his neck all over my hands whilst he stands, eyes boring into my own... they possess no emotion, no betrayal, no sorrow, pain... nothing. He just stares as if this is a regular occurrence for him.
Out of instinct, I let go of the dagger and pull my arm back through the portal, eyes scanning the crimson red blood of my mate decorating my hands, causing me to immediately empty to the contents of my stomach all over Caleb’s boots.
I look back to Caleb, “You sick bastard”, I whisper to him in disgust, wiping droplets of vomit from my chin as tears roll down my cheeks.
“Now, why did you go and do that, Mae? Now, look at what you’ve done, what you’ve made me do”, he grits, stepping over to a still part restrained Rex. He pulls the dagger along his throat, making the wound even larger. Blood streams out of the wound, painting the grass red.
Rex’s eyes are fixed on me, his light dimming, his face morphs into the same apologetic look he had ten years ago. But this time… this time will be different… they won’t take him from me, not again.
My whole body hums with power, the rumbling now more of an all-out earthquake; Caleb and his army struggle to stand in one place as the ground shakes viciously below them. His army looks around with confusion, searching for the source. But Caleb looks at me with a strangely proud expression.
I charge him, propelling myself as fast as I can push myself to go, my eyes finally blazing to those of my wolf’s… I can feel her. She’s regaining her strength at an exhilarating speed.
Attempting to fight him head-on, I launch my first punch, only to be hit at full strength, directly to my chest, launching me 40ft away.
Landing with a sharp thud, my lungs burn as the wind is knocked out of me. Clutching at my throat, I gasp as I struggle for breath. I make it onto my hands and knees, trying to regain control of my breathing.
Pushing myself back up to a standing position, my shaky legs wobble underneath me like jelly. I stand awkwardly, my arms swing aimlessly in front of me as I try to regain my breath.
The thump of Rex falling to his knees causes Caleb’s attention to be turned back to him. Blood soaks the entire front of his torso and upper thighs. His usually bronze complexion, paling by the second.
“Oh, come on! Will you just die already!” He roars in his face.
Rex lazily turns his eyes to him, ever so slightly raising his eyebrows, as if he’s saying ‘not a chance, buddy’, before his eyes slowly come back to me, giving me his full attention. My heart constricts... seeing him like this brings back the nightmares and my failures.
No… I’m not a fourteen-year-old girl anymore. This time… it’ll be different. There’s still hope!
Suddenly, the glint of a shiny object draws my attention. In Caleb’s belt sits a silver dagger.
My blood runs cold as I watch him slowly reaching for the dagger... his intentions are clear. He’s going to end him for good.
From my distance, I’ll never reach him in time, even with my wolf almost at max capacity. I’m still without the ability to tap into the pack link and ask for help. My suicide squad won’t be able to see the small source of my anguish, glinting menacingly from their posts.
I won’t lose him again. I can’t. I couldn’t save him then… but I will save him now. I have to.
Sadness and anger battle for dominance, though instead, they create something much worse together. Pain and fury merge into a whirling hurricane, ripping and tearing me apart from the inside.
Suddenly, I’m back in mine and Rex’s spot, he’s looking at me with pure devotion, that look in his eyes he always wore around me and me alone, I see it now… he knew all along I was meant for him. Then, his expression morphs to the sad, forlorn look that’s haunted my nightmares as he’s ripped away from me. Yet, I stand shocked, unable to move… I was just a child, full of fear… my brain unable to comprehend what was happening before it was too late - to tell me to move and save him.
Then I’m thrust back into the present. I step forwards, almost reminding myself I’m not that frightened little girl anymore, that this time I won’t freeze up, I will move. Dark energy courses through me, ravaging every cell and nerve ending in my body. The energy that once frightened me so much, I now welcome with open arms, what its intentions are, I still don’t know. But I trust it… I have to.
Caleb grabs the scruff of Rex’s tattered shirt, “Look at me!” He bellows as he unsheathes his dagger. Rex’s head just lolls to the side so he can watch me with those penetrating ambers of his. My whole body quivers under his gaze.
I grit my teeth, arms down at my sides, hands clenched into a claw-like manner. The earth groans under the immense pressure my ability is putting it through.
“So be it”, Caleb says with finality as he raises the dagger above his head.
As I watch Caleb, dagger above his head, his intention to kill my mate. Something within me snaps, allowing the ten years of the pain I endured since losing Rex to be released upon the world.
The pain I endured because of all these people. They will all pay the ultimate price.
The earth wobbles and shakes, wave-like ripples, tearing through the earth one after the other the ground itself opens before Caleb and Rex. A deep valley stretches between them, creating some space, giving me more time.
Caleb’s army begins to get in position, ready for attack, though they won’t get the pleasure to try. I clench my clawed hands even further, feeling the need to pull something from the earth.
A pained high-pitched screech leaves my lips as the veins in my arms thrum a vibrant green; before the soil opens and erupts in fiery pits of hellfire. Showering those closest to it like molten lava, peeling the skin away and stripping them straight down to their bones, I direct the ripples in the ground to the pits, causing masses of Caleb’s army to fall to a fiery death.
Wave after wave, they fall to their deaths. Though I feel no remorse, they chose their side... now they need to face the reality of their poor decisions.
Some guards rush to finish Caleb’s job for him. To end Rex.
They don’t make it far as the ground swallows them whole, or a small volcano spews green flames upon them - causing their skin to sag and melt off of their bodies.
The putrid scent of singed skin and hair fills the meadow. I can’t help but think to myself that it’s like history repeating itself, another fire ravaging the lands and taking the lives of others.
Throwing my hands out, I go after one after the other of Caleb’s army; a blind rage overtakes my senses, though a smile of sheer glee is spread over my face, the sounds of my enemies cries are music to my ears.
When a voice snaps me out of my blood-lusting haze.
That’s enough, Mae. You’ve had your fun. It’s my turn now.