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Chapter 20

There are only maybe, fifteen or so rogues and hunters left - we should be done with them in no time.

As thoughts of victory circulate my mind, my eyes search the field for that mop of raven hair. Caleb’s fate will be the same as Jasper’s.

A cold chill runs up my spine as I find him approaching Rex’s form, still lying face down in his blood.

Releasing a warning howl, I start to race to my mate. He needs me. He needs me to protect him.

Caleb scowls, flicking a wrist. An enormous portal opens before me, forcing me to skid to a stop as more rogues and hunters filter through. Glancing over my shoulder, I see three more portals opening, more and more enemies stepping through. They have us surrounded.

As my muscles scream in protest, I force myself to push forwards, throwing myself back into battle. I can’t allow myself to let up now, not when we’ve come so far.

Bobbing and weaving wolves and humans, I try to push my way through.

I have to get to him… he needs me. I think to myself as negative thoughts begin to fill my mind.

I can’t let him down… not again.

The more I push, the more I get knocked back. I can’t find a break in the defence.

“Allow them to herd us into a small circle”. I hear Hunter speak through the mind link.

Although not feeling too happy about it, I allow it. The enemy pushes forwards, circling us, making a small ring around us, giving us barely any room to move without bumping shoulders with one another.

“You better have a fucking plan”, I retort, feeling slightly anxious about how fast this plan of his is going south.

“Don’t you worry, we’ve always got tricks up our sleeve. Just wait… patience, sister”, he soothes.

Something about the way he said ‘we’ makes me think Hunter and Ozzy have already discussed our next steps.

Taking a steadying breath, I let out a long exhale, trying to calm the swirling storm inside and slow my racing heart rate.

I trust them. They know what they’re doing. They’re some of the best fighters and strategists I know. I’d trust them with my life.

Our enemies come to a halt, giving us maybe 2 metres of space between us... and them. We all shift back into our human forms, standing shoulder to shoulder with Hunter and Ozzy on either side of me - I feel safe. Hector, Ali and Anya are also helping us form a protective circle; we face outwards as our backs are protected in our mini sphere.

Caleb calls out, “Who’d have thought a Lycan would be so easy to kill?” He laughs, kicking poor Rex in his side. Not even a flinch.

“After all of their legends, and all it takes is a dagger to the throat? Nothing is in our way now, Mae!” he speaks with hope, stepping over Rex and towards the army currently holding us in place.

“We can be together”, he rants, clearly in his own little world, envisioning our life together.

“I can be anyone you want me to be! Anyone you need me to be”, his form starts to change as he takes on Rex’s appearance.

His raven hair slowly lightens, turning a beautiful honey colour, much like Rex’s. His body stretches to stand at the same intimidating size as Rex. His face morphs and reshapes to the handsome features of my mate, emerald eyes fade away before turning amber… he makes a good copy, but something isn’t quite right... the ambers of his eyes aren’t as bright, they seem duller in comparison. At first glance, I would believe it’s Rex, but he’s not quite mastered it yet... maybe it’s because he’s half incubus, or perhaps he just needs more practice.

“Has anyone told you you’re a shit mimic” comes a gruff voice that instantly makes my toes curl.

Caleb’s face drops as fear finally finds its way into his features, etching the expression onto his face clear as day. He slowly turns to be met by the sight of Rex, fully healed, healthy as ever… and unchained.

It takes more than a stab to the throat - or even blood loss to kill a Lycan. You would need to get a silver dagger to their heart or brain, that’s if you can even get close enough to do it.

Caleb opens his mouth as if he’s about to say something before he changes his mind; a scowl burrows his brows before he tries to throw a punch at Rex. With no effort at all, Rex fluidly sways his head to the side.

Rex’s eyes shine, burning brightly like an amber sun. His hands glow… a magical amber aura begins to swirl around his fists as his mother’s witch heritage rears its head.

Rex raises a finger, his amber glow encompassing Caleb, holding him frozen in place. Slowly, Caleb’s feet lift off of the floor as he gravitates towards Rex.

Caleb’s army makes no attempt to stop what is happening, yet they still stand in place, ready to fight.

Rex trails an extended claw down Caleb’s face, breaking the skin taking the time to slowly slice the length of his face.

He bends forwards to Caleb’s level, “As much as I would love to torture you for all you’ve done to my mate… you really aren’t worth the fuss”, he says with disinterest.

Without warning, his clawed hand grabs hold of Caleb’s face as he forces his thumbs into his eyes.

Caleb yells out in torturous agony, “Mae! Mae, help!”

Some deluded part of him still believes I would help him, after everything he has done… not only to me but to my mate, Dinah and Idris, my parents. He robbed us all of ten years with Rex.

Blood runs from Caleb’s eyes and over Rex’s hands. Rex doesn’t make it as quick an end as he could... his face contorts into a scowl as he inches his thumbs into his eye sockets, drawing out Caleb’s pain, teasing him with the sweet relief of death.

Please, Mae!”, He begs.

If I didn’t know what fucked up things Caleb had done, I would likely feel sorry for him… but he deserves his fate, every last excruciating second of it.

Caleb’s body begins to twitch and shudder, signalling Rex has finally reached his brain. As the shuddering lessens, Rex roars, tearing his head in two and throwing the remnants to the floor.

“Come on then!” He bellows, bashing a fist to his chest, taunting the remaining army who shift on their feet looking less and less confident, even though their numbers still dwarf our own.

Hunter and Ozzy give each other a nod, indicating the start of their own plan.

Hunter turns his attention back to our foe, engulfing himself in his golden flames, before propelling himself like a bullet through the crowd, bulldozing all rogues and hunters in his path, leaving only carnage in his wake. The flames are a wild inferno, scalding anyone within close proximity.

Ozzy uses this distraction to call upon his hellhounds. My heart sinks as I watch on in horror as the hounds bite into his wrists and ankles, injecting their venom into his body.

Rushing to his side, I try to pull the hounds away, thinking they’ve turned on him. I pause when I see the look on Ozzy’s face, imploring me to trust him. That he has everything under control. I give a cautious nod, stepping away and allowing my sweet unhinged little brother to go through with his crazy scheme.

As the venom courses through his body, his eyes switch to those of his wolf’s fiery greens, veins transform from their bluish hue to a vivid green. Throwing his head backwards with arms outstretched, he begins to cackle manically, the fires from his eyes bursting from the confines of his spheres, the flames now roaring tickling up to his hairline.

That’s when I recall the story Eddie shared. When our mother saved his life after ingesting the hound’s venom… she felt powerful. I can’t help but picture Ozzy’s face when he heard the revelation... he wasn’t mad at the hounds after all… he was intrigued. He must’ve wanted to find a way to recreate that power… and it looks like he’s managed it.

In front of us, he builds a wall of hellfire, the largest mass of sheer power I have witnessed from Ozzy – like he’s supercharged. Eventually, he drops the wall on top of the army, the scorching wall fanning out like waves as soon as it hits the ground, swallowing more enemies in the process.

Hector, Ali and Anya shift getting to work tearing down hunters trying to shoot silver bullets at my brothers from a distance.

Rex, now in his Lycan form, tears his way through wolf after human after wolf, making his way to the inner circle.

Sensing a wolf lurking behind me, I throw out three illusions of myself, causing the she-wolf to second guess herself... I take my opening. Rushing her, I slide under her stomach, my extended claws tear into her abdomen, warmblood sprays over my face and body. She will bleed out before long.

A howl catches my attention. My mum and dad stand at the very peak of the steep hill, the entire royal army behind them. Dinah and Idris stand in their Lycan form - I can see the exact moment they spot their son. Their faces change from fierce and aggressive, softening to one of happiness and longing, longing to hold their boy, now a man, in their arms again.

As my father gives the signal, they charge down the hill, clearing the remaining enemies within minutes.

My mother and father’s wolves stalk over to me, growling lowly. Not in an aggressive way, more like we are very upset about your insubordination and persuading your friends and brother’s to essentially give us the middle finger, kind of way.

I bow my head in respect, asking for forgiveness.

“I’m sorry. Please don’t punish anyone else. I dragged everyone into this”, I implore, looking at my feet.

“Don’t tell your dad… but I’m proud of you, Mae”, my mum links me, lightening in the mood.

A small smile I try my best to hide lifts the corners of my mouth.

“I also managed to shift… if that might, maybe, make you a little less angry”, I say, peeking from under my eyelashes, a cheeky, playful grin forming on my face as I squint an eye, waiting for some kind of response.

My father’s wolf huffs, his eyes softening before he responds, “We will talk about this at home, in private”.

Soo… I think that means you’re off the hook? Sierra adds in.

He can never stay mad for too long! I think he’s too happy you’re back to be angry.

All of a sudden, I feel a burning gaze eating me up from head to toe, causing me to clench my thighs and turn to search for the source.

Across the meadow is Rex, his long legs striding directly for me. My heart rate skyrockets as it soars with delight. My hands and arms tingle, anticipating the caress of my mate, the feel of his skin against my own.

He looks at me, eyes blazing, full of predatory lust and wanting, almost melting me into a puddle there and then.

A howl in the distance draws the attention of the entire pack. Filling the field with an eery silence... goosebumps burst to life over my skin as a feeling of dread makes itself at home in my gut. There, in the distance, stand what I believe is four Lycans due to their sheer size. The howl isn’t one of victory, loss or sadness. It’s a warning... no, a threat… a threat of something to come.

They pause for a moment, ensuring they have our attention, before turning and walking away. Leaving us to wonder why and how we could’ve gotten on the wrong side of these Lycans.

Turning my attention back to Rex, I start to close the distance between us. I beam at him, tears filling my eyes as happiness takes over.

Then he looks back at me… the look causes me to stop in my tracks. Something is telling me to keep my distance as the air grows thick with tension.

“Rex?” I all but whisper hopefully.

Rex’s eyes hold my own, full of want and yearning, but his body tells a different story. He stands stiff and rigid, holding himself back for some unknown reason. I watch as his jaw clenches and unclenches as he grits his teeth as though he’s going through some inner turmoil.

Inhaling a deep breath, he closes his eyes, savouring the breath. As he opens his eyes, the heat of his stare has cooled significantly - resolve replaces the look of lust from just moments ago.

He turns, changing direction towards his parents as he leaves me in the dust, wondering what I’ve done wrong… why he doesn’t want me.

As my heart breaks, I fall to my knees, the broken pieces of my heart, splinter before shattering into thousands of pieces.

Staring after Rex longingly, my heart and mind wonder why.

I kneel in the dirt, bloodied, bruised and broken. Watching the one person I have waited for... yearned for even, for so long… walk away from me.


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