“I am Elder Killian Bane from the Elder Council, your parents called me on your behalf. I have to say Keenan, never in all my years serving as an Alpha or Elder have I come across a case so atrociously reckless and cruel. A mate is a gift, a treasure meant to be valued, some wolves never get to meet their mate. You were lucky.
“I don’t know what she did to upset you so much but she didn’t deserve what you did to her, she didn’t deserve what you put her through. It was sinister, unnecessary, and sadistic. You set a bad example and have almost ruined the reputation of your pack, one of the werewolf’s oldest and longest running packs. We abolished discrimination against human mates a century ago, there was no reason you couldn’t accept her. Because of what you’ve done, we think it best to derank you, along with all your friends, from your high status positions. You will have to earn your ranking as we used to long ago.”
“There’s no need,“ I interrupted, “I don’t want it.”
Everything I’ve ever been told is a lie, everything I stood for and believed in was a lie...and I have no one to blame but myself. They’re right, she didn’t deserve this, just like how I don’t deserve to be alpha.
“Had you been anyone else Keenan, You would have been charged and prosecuted.” He continued.
“Then why aren’t I? I don’t care, do it!”
“Don’t push it, you ungrateful pup, I am only here as a courtesy to your parents, who are my longtime friends. If any of the other elders found out about what you’ve done, they would have a field day and eat you alive.”
“Then go tell them, in fact, I’ll do it myself. I don’t care.”
“I don’t know what kind of self sabotaging route you’re on right now, but I really don’t care, that girl has suffered so much because of you, and I’ll be damned if I continue to let her suffer you any longer.”
I froze, chills and anticipation racing up my spine, “what did you just say?”
“If having a mate repulses you so much, then mateless you will be, I’m gonna give you what you want most, I’m going to put an end to your bond.”
Now I was confused.
He did it again, mentioned her in present tense, doesn’t he know? She’s gone.
But I couldn’t think about her right now, I couldn’t break in front of all these people.
“Your father was wrong, there is one thing that can break the bond… besides death. A ritual was discovered over 200 years ago by a coven of witches in Connecticut. It is a forbidden and long forgotten practice that only the elder council is allowed to have knowledge of. Today marks the second time, in all of werewolf history, where this ritual was used.
“I am going out on a limb here for you, the act alone of performing this ritual is a slap to Her face, the moon goddess. She will not be happy at the blatant display of disrespect to her power, but yours is something of a unique case.”
Why does he keep referring to her as if she still… alive?
“Sylvia!” He called out and in came an older woman with flaming red hair. Immediately from the sourness of her scent I could tell she was a strega, a witch, my bared my teeth menacingly at her. Witches and werewolves don’t get along.
“Did you get everything you needed?“ Elder Bane asked the woman, she nodded.
“The last thing on the list was his blood.”
“You’ll never have my blood, I’ll kill you before you touch me!”
Elder Bane tsked at me, “don’t be ridiculous Keenan, we already took your blood in your sleep… and hers.”
Instantly my heart started pounding in slow motion in my chest. “Is she…is she…alive?” Even I could detect the vulnerability in my voice, but I couldn’t bring myself to care at the moment.
Elder Bane stared at me for the longest minute of my life, milking every second for what it was worth.
“Yes,” he finally answered, glaring at me. “She lives… Just barely. She was resuscitated in the knick of time, thanks to Jean who called an ambulance while you and your friends were too busy killing your mate.”
I flinch that his words. But through my numbness, through my shock, another emotion sparked deep within me… hope.
“She’s still in a coma right now, the doctor says she may never be the same again. She could have brain damage, amnesia, or paralysis, only time will tell. I had a hospital staff member give me a sample of her blood, you’re going to be down here for a while, she’s in an incredibly vulnerable condition. Anything you do could have an effect on her health, but once the ritual is complete, feel free to return to your old life of partying and reckless behavior, it will be as though she never came here.
“You will stay away from her. You will not contact her, you will not search for her, you will not speak to her, and you will no longer seek her out. If I find out that you’ve tried to contact her, I will have you prosecuted.”
I gritted my teeth and squeezed the shackles in my hands in anger, this old man can’t tell me what to do.
I guess I was not as discreet as I thought I was with hiding true emotions because Elder Bane than yelled, “are you not happy?! This is not what you wanted?! What you’ve worked so hard for? What she suffered for?!”
I hung my head, “I didn’t mean for this to happen. I didn’t mean for her to die.”
“Well congratulations because now you got what you wanted.”
I shook my head. “We can’t go through with the ritual, we don’t know what it’ll do to her in her condition.“
I was grasping at straws, I knew it and so did they.
“Stop stalling, it’s the best thing for the both of you.”
I growled, “no! I won’t do it!“
Elder Bane gave a short condescending chuckle, “it’s not up to you pup.”
“Sylvia, retrieve the rest of the stuff.”
Sylvia nodded and left the room. Elder Bane turned to my parents, “keep in mind that because this is only the second time in recorded history that this is being done, the full extent of the side effects are relatively unknown as well as the long lasting effects. Do you still want to go through with it?”
My parents turned to face me, even though they were angry, the one emotion bigger than their anger it was pain, and it only grew as they stared at my pleading eyes.
“Yes,“ my mother spoke, “let’s continue with the ritual.”
Betrayed. I’ve been betrayed, I’ll never forgive them.
Just then the Strega came carrying a large wooden bowl. And like the snap of a finger, my wolf who was hiding in the deep depths of my mind, drowning in his sorrow, came into the forefront of my head like a boulder crashing against my skull.
We could smell her scent and it jolted him with life.
My gums began to ache and my muscles shake as I try to hold back a shift, but I was weak and my wolf was no longer having my shit.
Her scent… It was coming from the bowl, I could smell a mixture of her blood mixed with mine.
When my shackles begin to break, that’s when they all began to panic and act. Sylvia hurriedly grabbed something from her black duffel bag and threw it at me. Immediately I start howling from the pain.
It’s a silver chain, and I can’t get it off me.
“You fucking bitch!” I snarled.
The next few minutes were a hazy blur, everyone leaves the room beside Sylvia and two of the Council guards, they hold me down.
Fucking cunts, they’ll pay for this.
Sylvia stands over me, chanting in a language I’ve never heard before. Her eyes completely white, she looks possessed.
A few inches, that’s all I need, A few inches and I’ll have my teeth sucken in her throat.
As if reading my mind her eyes snapped to mine. I felt like I was under a spell, probably because I was, I felt dazed. Everything in my vision became elongated and hazy, the more I tried to clear my mind, the more it pulled me under. I was trapped in a tunnel and the light at the end only got farther and farther away.
I was out like a light.