Taken (Blue Moon Series) (Book 5)

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Chapter 16

All I could hear was the sound of my breath as it came out in gasps. My legs were on fire as I ran as fast as they could take me. The sound of their paws pounding against the forest floor crushing leaves with those huge feet made my heart pound in fear. I couldn’t regret now. I would gladly take my mates place if it meant saving their lives.

Loud barks followed me as the trees all became a blur around me. If they caught me I was dead. I was surprised that I was fast enough to keep out of their reach. But all that came to a stop when too late I saw a low branch and wasn’t able to stop. Painfully it caught me in the stomach and I flipped over it once before being slammed to the ground. In moments I was surrounded.

Sharp teeth clouded my vision on all sides.

No!

Frantically my hand searched the ground when my fingertips scraped against something rough. Quickly I grabbed it and swung, making contact with one of them as he yelped. It was then I realized as I shot to my feet that none of them were attacking. They just stood there and growled. Frowning I eyed them all when another, much bigger wolf came up.

Their leader?

He was a deep gray with white paws and under belly. His golden eyes caught mine for a moment before moving over to the others. Pulling back his lips he growled at them and I watched in disbelief as they all lowered their heads and back away from me. This wolf stood tall as they slunk back to him. Once they were crowded behind him he looked back at me again. Gritting my teeth I gripped the branch tighter till I could feel the skin peeling away by the rough bark.

The wolfs eyes traveled down towards my hand as he noticed the desperate hold I had on my weapon. Something was wrong as I glared at him. There was an annoying sensation pulsing through my body as I keep my eyes trained on him. It reminded me of what happened with the fox. Like my body was trying to warn me of something.

Slowly I watched as the leader stepped forward, lifting a paw off the ground and placing it almost hesitantly in front of him. My heart skipped a beat and I raised the stick defensively a fraction seemingly making him rethink his decision and he backed away a few steps. My frown deepened in confusion. What’s up with this guy? Was he going to attack or just stare at me? Suddenly I jumped at his commanding bark and watched them all run off in the opposite direction.

I was left there in a daze.

I survived.

I saved Gale and survived.

All the strength I had abruptly left my body and I collapsed to the ground. I was shaking all over when I heard fast footsteps approaching behind me.

“Lakota!” two sets of arms wrapped around me.

“Thank god you’re okay!” I heard one of them say as I was squeezed to death. When they let go I was finally able to see them clearly. Both were scratched up pretty badly.

I reached out to Gale first since he was the cause of all this. The raw scratches on his face and body hurt me just to look at them.

“I’m so glad you’re safe.”

“You stupid idiot!” he sobbed suddenly and grabbed me into his chest, burring his face in my neck.

“Why would you risk your life like that?” he words were broken, like he was holding back on his emotions.

“To save you” I answered simply. He forced out a huff of breath against my neck and I smiled looking up at Cyrus as he watched us quietly. I frowned,

“Wait why are you hurt Cyrus?” I reached out and touched his face gently.

“Two of them stayed behind and put up quite a fight” he laughed softly.

“Let’s get out of here” Gale said.

I nodded and stood once he let me go.

Taking a step I was stopped by a hand around my wrist. Glancing at Gale I watched him gradually uncurl ever finger of mine from the stick I was still gripping tightly. My makeshift weapon fell to the ground. Holding my hand Gale raised it to his lips and licked the bloody wounds.

“You’re alright now lakot.” The sting subsided as the scrapes healed.

******

“There were rogues in my territory?” Alpha Avery’s voice was strained with anger as we informed him of what happened.

Gale had said he’s been heading out of the boarders when he came across the group when he was suddenly ambushed.

“They were stronger than normal though. Just two of them gave us quite a lot of trouble. I was surprised that Gale held his own against a group of them till we got there. And how Lakota escaped them all is beyond me.” Cyrus said.

“Their leader came.” I answered quietly.

All eyes were on me now.

“Excuse me?” Avery said dumbfounded.

“For some reason he called them all back when they had me surrounded.” I was sitting in his office, my knees pressed up against my chest as I sat in my chair. I was staring down at the floor as I thought back to earlier.

“He seemed familiar somehow but I don’t know why.” That annoying stinging sensation ran through my body again as I thought back to the leader. When I looked back up I saw that Gale and Cyrus were staring at me with concern.

“Familiar?” Alpha asked. I nodded,

“Yeah but I know I’ve never met him before. But with my wolf gone, I couldn’t know for sure.” I tried to keep the disappointment out of my voice at the thought of my lost wolf. Why did the Seer take him from me? Was I scammed? How was I supposed to find my family if I didn’t have any answers.

Was it all a waste of time? Did I lose him for nothing?!

“Hey,”

A hand softly started to caress my cheek, bringing me out of my head. Looking up into beautiful blue eyes, Cyrus leaned down to close the distance between us.

“You’re alive, that’s all that matters.” He whispered, pressing his forehead against mine.

I heard a sigh along with the scrap of a chair, glancing we saw Alpha Avery stand.

“Why don’t you guys go rest and I’ll see what I can do to find these rogues of ours.” We watched him leave his office.

“Let’s go to the room shall we” Gale finally said walking up to us.

Making our way up to the room I made myself comfortable in the middle of our giant bed Gale had brought in so we could all fit.

“I’m sorry Lakota” my eyes widened at the sudden apology as I turned to Gale. He crawled up towards me and laid his head in my lap.

“Today was terrible. I just wanted you to have a good day. It was about you and it all turned to shit. I’m sorry” he confessed. I smiled at him softly reaching out and running my fingers through his hair.

“It’s okay”

“No it’s not. You’ve been having a rough time and you deserved a break but me running off made it worse.” He sat up now gazing intently at me. I sighed,

“Why did you run off anyway?” I had to know what he was thinking from his own lips. My question seemed to make him hesitate for a moment. I watched him bite his bottom lip, exposing those beautiful sharp fangs of his.

“The truth?” I nodded.

“I don’t want to hurt you lakot” I didn’t say anything as he confessed.

“The thought of possibly killing you with these fangs of mine is too much for me to bear.” As if me looking at him was too much he pulled me closer and buried his face in my stomach.

“Gale?” I questioned as I caressed his head.

“I haven’t always been like this Lakota” oh no he used my full name. This is serious.

“What do you mean?” I asked. Cyrus moved closer now, sitting next to us in the middle. He had been quietly sitting at the edge of the bed this whole time. But it seems he was interested in what Gale had to say now.

Gale shook his head against my stomach.

“I don’t want you to know, you won’t look at me the same.” His voice was muffled as he wrapped his arms around my waist and held me to him tightly.

“That’s not true. There’s nothing that could make me look at you differently Gale.” I bit back a smile at how cute he was being. When suddenly he sat back away from me so fast he was a blur. I blinked in surprise. Sitting cross-legged he sat his gaze fixed on me intently. Softening my face I sat up straighter and waited patiently.

After what seemed like a good twenty minutes he finally spoke making Cyrus jump up from his slumped position against the headboard as he stared at the ceiling.

“I haven’t always been this even-tempered. But then again I haven’t had the best upbringing.”

“In truth, I was wild with an insatiable bloodlust. But then again I was raised that way.”

*********

*Flashback*

Life was a constant battle. You trusted no one and never made yourself vulnerable. From a young age, Gale had lived his life in the shadows. While he slept in his crib, not even old enough to walk yet, his mother had tried to kill him. King Elijah had been the one to find her strangling their newborn on the nursery floor. No one could figure out why she had this mental breakdown but since it was never safe to leave the two alone together. Every chance she got she would try and take his life.

The King was force to make a decision. Either lock his mate up, far from Gale or send his child away. He chose the latter and it set Gale on a destructive course that no one could have predicted.

His father couldn’t have known that sending his son to his relatives would hurt the child so much in so many ways.

His relatives weren’t the well behaved, proper household that Gale’s came off to be. Even though they were part of the royal family they were wild, almost savage-like in their behavior and they raised Gale just so, with no mercy. Their saying was the world was cruel and you had to survive in it.

So for the next fifty years and on, he survived. The savage and wild nature of his vampire was what he relied on. Blood and shelter was all he needed. Vampires were lone creatures, that was what he was taught under the guardianship of his aunt and uncle. You needed no one, you fend for yourself and only had to rely on your instincts.

In those times there were many territorial wars and he was forced out at the tender age of twelve to experience his first. With nothing but his claws and fangs, he was thrown to the cruel world of blood and death.

Once he just barely reached adulthood, around fifty years for a vampire, no one dared to cross him. He fed from whoever he wanted and never showed restraint, there were times where he couldn’t stop and he killed many to sate his insatiable hunger. When in battle there were none who could match his speed and ferocity. And he never hesitated to gut an enemy.

Then one day his father visited, like he usually did once every year, not that Gale cared to see him though. In truth he was rarely ever in that house to greet the king on the rare days he came anyway. But this time Gale was there when Elijah showed to take his son back from his sister. Elijah had heard some nasty rumors about Gale. To him it was really rumors of his sister’s neglect, he’d know she was wild than the rest of his family. The fact that she married a Drake, who were known to be the most ill-mannered, violently savage clan in the country. They were known for their bloodthirsty ways and rough teaching methods. Knowing all this, he still thought it was the best way to keep his son safe from his wife.

If she had found out where he was she would have sent someone out to find him and assassinate him. But Elijah could no longer keep his son away. He was his first born, his heir. Because of his mate, he missed out on so much with his son. He missed his first steps, his first words, he missed the chance to raise him. He had been so excited for Gale’s birth. Both he and his wife. They had so many plans for him, so many things they wanted to teach him. But from what the many doctors of all fey kind had said was that Gale and his wife Raina were incompatible. There was something about Gale that her instincts were telling her that she had to get rid of him, and to save him Elijah was forced to send his son away. There wasn’t a day that went by that he missed Gale. Wondered what he was doing, how he was getting along. If he was in good health. Was he eating right?

It was time to bring him home no matter what his mate said.

But what he got on his sons return was far from what he would have expected. It saddened and angered him all at once. He regretted leaving his son in his sister’s hands. Gale was like a rabid animal, biting and clawing at everything he saw. His son fought him the whole ride to the castle. It took five of his best men to hold him down when they arrived home and even then he took down so many of them before he exhausted himself.

Gale’s eyes which were once a beautiful brown as a baby were now a constant black. Black eyes were never a good sign, it usually meant they were ravenous and out of control. It was considered dangerous to approach any vampire in this state and even vampires themselves are wary of it.

“You’ve brought a beast into our home!” was what his wife had told him later that day in their room and she was right. He was just like a beast. A feral animal cornered.

“Yes, he is a beast.” He looked his wife right in the eyes. “And it’s our fault.”

Elijah had one weakness, family. Seeing his own flesh and blood, a prince of the Dartanyanoff’s acting like an animal hurt him more than he would ever let on.

To keep others safe they had manacled Gale in his room. The king refused to have his son chained in the dungeon. Gale had been through enough to be forced to stay in such terrible quarters. With that Elijah had his son’s life investigated thoroughly since he wasn’t much of a talker.

What he received almost had him marching to his sister’s house that day. How could she do this! He had told them to look after his son, take care of him. He had even said that Gale had a rough start to life and he wished for them to treat him well in his absence. He trusted them with this child’s life. But instead, he gets a report of the complete opposite. His second had asked witnesses of what they had seen as Gale grew up and it tore him apart. He had grown up alone, fending for himself like some stray. Fighting to survive. And he had left him to this fate.

He had heard of someone going by the name of Reaper. A vicious warrior that took down all those in his path on the battle field. He was a force of nature that many avoided at all costs. Elijah had cleaned up after him on occasion throughout the years. He left a trail of drained bodies sometimes and he was there to cover it up so they weren’t discovered by the humans. Elijah didn’t think much of it. He just assumed that it was a young one that had yet to be taught control but he would have never guessed it would be his own son. It was time to start from scratch.

From then on Gale as resistant as he could be Gale was a force to be part of society. He had extensive lessons in manners and vampire etiquette. Trying to get his hunger in check was the hardest part. The king worked with him for hours on end to get his insatiability and violent tendencies under control till finally, he wasn’t attacking people thinking they were out to get him. The one person Gale stayed away from was the glaring woman who he found out was his mother. He had a long memory and that woman was always there in his dreams hurting him. The most vivid memory was of her angry contorted face kneeling over him and it being hard to breathe. Not many could remember back as far as infancy but there was no way for him to forget it.

He discovered he had a brother named Nicholas soon after that his mother seemed to dote on. Surprisingly his brother had attached himself to Gale and never left. He didn’t know what it was like to have a family. He never experienced the bonds that the people that called him their family had together. Many times he would be passing by and see his father, Raina, and Nicholas all smiling and laughing together. He frowned in confusion as it seemed they trusted one another. Their guards were down around each other. He had a hard time understanding, but over time Nicholas and his father helped him.

He found himself laughing on rare occasions with them. As the years past, he learned to enjoy life and protect those you care about or you were bound to lose something precious. Life wasn’t about yourself. It was about having those you trusted and cared for around. To experience the happy and sad times with. Now more than two hundred years later. He had grown up from the wild bloodthirsty monster that he used to be into a being that enjoyed what he had and lived life to the fullest. Even when Raina who was murdered by hunters a few years ago died, he stayed by his families side. He may not have cared for the woman but his father and brother had taken it hard. Her loss affected them so much that all he could do was watch the destructive paths and isolation they chose to follow. Nicholas who used to be full of so much curiosity and smiles was an empty shell of himself.

And his father had been strict before had gripped the reins tighter on his rules. He had zero tolerance for disobedience but he did let his sons slide from time to time. Just watching them made Gale realize how important the people around you were. Now he had two mates. He would die if he were to ever lose them.

Now there was no denying that he wanted to mate with them. He had hesitantly fed from Cyrus and it was amazing! He knew that he could take Gale. His blood was so tangy and sharp. It shot a boost of adrenaline in him just from the taste. Lakota, on the other hand, was no longer a wolf; he was human now. His past had been filled with countless human bodies that he had drained dry. His hunger was still unstable after all these years. Even after all his father’s lessons, it was hard to break such an instinctual habit he had since childhood. Lakota was vulnerable, more so now, then before and he still was wary of hurting him then.

The smell of Lakota was enticing and it took everything in him to keep himself at bay.

*End of Flashback*

“This is why I don’t want to feed from you Lakota. I can be a monster and lose all self if I enjoy it too much. Just the thought of tasting you makes me shake with excitement and it scares the crap out of me.” He finally finished, his eyes cast down.

Wow, I hadn’t expected his past to be so hard. It brought tears to my eyes. I knew what it was like to try and survive every day with what you had.

I glanced over to Cyrus who I could tell was seeing Gale in a new light.

“I accept all of you Gale” I said moving to my hands and knees and crawling to him. Placing myself in his lap I wrapped my arms around his neck and pulled him close.

“You’ve accepted everything that is me, how could I not accept everything that is you.” Burying my fingers in his thick hair I held him tighter.

“I’m yours, Gale. I’m both yours to do with however you want.” I whispered.

“You guys could chain me up in the cellar and I know for sure that all I would care about is seeing you coming through that door every time you decided to see me.”

“Lakota!” both exclaimed in disbelief and disgust at the thought and I smiled.

“All I’m saying is that I’m yours forever no matter what. If your survival meant losing mine for you to live? I’d gladly give my life for both of you.”

“So drink from me Gale because I want you too. And if you happen to lose control, just know what I said. My life is yours to do with what you want.”

Finally, I left the grip I had on his hair and leaned back to see his face.

“Dammit lakot” he whispered.

Tears were streaming down his face as he and he pulled me back so he could hide again. Cyrus finally moved closer and leaned his back against us hiding his face too. I laughed softly my throat tightening in the process,

“You guys are just a bunch of crybabies.” I strained out as my own vision became a blurry mess.

“You’re one to talk.” they sobbed simultaneously.

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