Waiting in Darkness

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Seventeen | Terrin

This was it. It would all be over after this. I would tell Heidi that I picked Syn, apologize and then move on. We wouldn't be able to be friends. Although Syn would never say anything, I wasn't going to do that to him. People didn't do that to the one they loved. And yes, I came upon the realization I loved Syn. I knew it at the festival, I knew it the moment I caught him staring with that mask as black as midnight adoring his face and whispered the words "you're beautiful."

It had been ten days I knew I was in love with my lycan mate. Ten days and yet it was only now I was allowed out of the castle to find Heidi and end this. I lifted my hand and knocked on her door. I waited for a moment before knocking again. The door finally clicked open, revealing Heidi. Without a moment's hesitation she threw herself at me, embracing me and a hug. "Oh thank the gods!" she exclaimed. "Where have you been?" She demanded, pulling back. "I heard your alphas kept you all under house arrest, why?"

I frowned, "Where did you hear that from? I got worried about you so I went to your house and then the castle when I couldn't find you. The guards wouldn't let me through, they said you were busy, so I asked for any of the lycans but they told me to scram and that you were all busy."

I slowly pushed her off me, and stepped back. "I have something to tell you," I said quietly, cautiously, to give her warning she wouldn't like what I had to say.

"Okay," she said slowly, picking up on my cue.

Taking a deep breath I lifted my chin and firmly stated, "I have come to a decision, and I pick Syn."

A pregnant silence stretched between us. "You what?" She asked darkly.

"I pick Syn," I repeated.

"Why? Her voice was chilling, taking on a tone I had never heard her use.

"I love him," I said unabashedly.

"Are you stupid?" I flinched back at her low tone. "How can you love someone you know nothing about?"

"I know him!" I protested, "I know his preferences and quirks–"

The small female snorted, "Yeah, you used observation, good job," she praised me mockingly, "but you don't know him. What do you know of his past? The lycans are old, he lived decades before he joined Hakota's little band."

"His past doesn't matter," I said, "I care about who he is now, not who he was."

"Who he was? Terrin, you don't change much after you've been alive so long. Knowing his past is the only way to truly know him. You've only seen what he wants you to see. He's hiding something, even I knew that after our second encounter. He's too careful, Terrin, and I know you know what I'm talking about."

I swallowed down the lump in my throat so I could speak, but what could I say? She was right, he was hiding something, and if he didn't want to tell me it was probably something bad that could hurt us.

"Lycans love to chase Terrin, they like to fight. What do you think will happen once you let him catch you? What do you think is going to happen once the game is over?"

"It's not a game to him," I tried to sound like I believed my own words but I knew I failed miserably. I tried again with more conviction, "I'm his mate, he won't abandon me once he marks me."

"His mate?" Heidi scoffed, "Please, you are a male, Terrin, you can't give him pups, you're of no use. All you are is a means of entertainment for the time being." Her words dug at my insecurities, my own thoughts of doubt. "Besides, you're a werewolf, Terrin."

"So?" I snarled. "Frayah was a werewolf too before she was mated. Lots of lycans were."

"Yeah, but you're a Forester aren't you?" Heidi countered then smirked as she saw my expression of surprise. "Don't look so surprised, I figured that out after I knew Cleo never intended to get along with me. Your reaction only confirmed it."

Her words were eating me alive, and I struggled to escape the jaws of doubt trying to swallow me whole. "I'm different, I am part of the pack–"

"You are Cleo's shadow, Terrin, you cling to her and they only let you stay because you helped keep her alive." I stumbled back, tripping down one of the stairs. Her words mixed with my own insecurities flying about inside my head. I needed to get away, I couldn't let her get in my head, get under my skin. "You'll see Terrin, you'll see after he marks you that it was all an act. You'll wish you had listened to me." She retreated back into the house, holding the door in one hand and looking over her shoulder, "I'll be here when you see the truth."

Taking a deep breath, getting myself together on the outside wall falling apart on the inside I said, "You're wrong about him."

"We'll see," Heidi purred.

Shaking my head I left. This had not gone at all as I had planned. I had figured she'd get mad, or cry, but in the end she would understand. I thought this would be more civil. Heidi hadn't just been angry, no, she had been vindictive, stabbing me with the words she knew would hurt. I would prove her wrong though, I would prove my own doubts wrong.

I dragged myself to Syn's house. It was still only late afternoon and I knew he wouldn't be home yet, but I didn't mind waiting. I pulled out the spare key and let myself in. I collapsed on the chair once inside. I was fine, everything was fine. I would confront Syn, and make him tell me what he was hiding. Then we would both come clean and move forward. Heidi was not going to ruin my night, she wasn't going to ruin my plans. Syn would mark me tonight, and we were going to be happy.

When Syn finally arrived, he looked startled to see me, which was fair considering I hadn't told him I would be coming.

"Terrin," Syn called my name, "I wasn't expecting you. Are you all right?" He asked, coming to crouch before me. He frowned in concern and touched my face, checking for signs of illness.

"I'm fine," I told him to ease his worry but he wasn't convinced. "Actually," I amended, "I'm not fine," I admitted, grabbing his wrist that was lifted so he could rest his hand on my cheek. "Tell me what you are hiding," I pleaded with him. I saw the panic in his eyes, but I gripped his wrist tighter, holding him in place when he attempted to pull away. "Don't deny it, Syn, I know you're keeping secrets. But I need to know before we move forward." I kept his face in my hands, trying to tell him with my eyes not to be afraid. "Pleas," I whispered, "please just tell me, don't make me find out on my own. Don't betray me, Syn, don't abandon me like the others. I can't lose you, I can lose anyone but you." I gazed at my lycan mate, unashamed of the tears trailing down my cheeks. I would be vulnerable for him if he would be vulnerable for me.

"My secret," he said, closing his eyes and touching our foreheads together, "the words I hold close to my heart in fear that they will drive you away," I could feel his own tears hitting my hand stuck up in his face, "my secret is that I love you Terrin."

A strangled sob was pulled from my throat. I held nothing back as I kissed him. My hands slid around the back of his neck as Syn pulled me off the chair and into his lap. I was in the cradle of his crossed legs, pulling him down to meet my lips. "I pick you," I said as we broke apart for breath. "I pick you, I picked you days ago. I knew I would pick you since you danced with me." I don't know why I held back my own love confession, saying I pick you instead of I love you, but Syn seemed to understand, he knew what I was telling him. "Mark me," I told him, "mark me so the whole world knows I picked you."

No other words needed to be said between us. It had taken five years to get here. Five years in which I had been determined not to give into this, was afraid of this. I have been a fool. A stupid, blind, fool to have waited so long. And Syn, my beautiful, wonderful, mate was the only reason I was experiencing this now. Without his persistence, I never would have had this, never would've known this. Syn kissed my neck, licking and sucking on the skin he would soon sink his teeth into.

I moaned, throwing my head back, giving him complete and utter access to my neck. I wanted nothing to hinder this, and as his nose brushed against the column of my neck, sending goosebumps running up my arms and chills down my back, I knew he wouldn't be stopped. My hands dove under his shirt, passing over the hard muscles contained beneath it. The hard muscles I had glanced only a few times since I had met him, the latest one being when I had dressed him for the festival. My fingers traced every ridge, every edge, of the battle hardened male holding me.

Then my mate bit me, his teeth piercing through my skin, gracing me with his mark that would turn me into a lycan. I grunted, inhaling sharply at the pain but biting my tongue to keep from crying out. My mate retracted his teeth immediately and began to lick and kiss the mark as if it would dispel the pain faster. His hands clutched my hips, his fingers digging into the soft skin around my bones.

I was panting heavily now, as the pain faded all I was left with was the sensation of his touch. His large hands on my skin, making me burn with lust. I had gone from sating my urges almost nightly to a three month dry spell after meeting Heidi. Although I had once believed it would be impossible for me to feel this kind of attraction towards the lycan, now I couldn't believe I had never had these feelings. Syn was gorgeous, his skin was a rich sun kissed tan, contrasting with the ash grey silvery blend color of his hair. Deep set heavy liquid mercury colored eyes with flecks of green framed by those sharp cheekbones and long dark lashes, a chiseled angular face withal defined square jawline that looked like it could have been cut from marble. Chapped beige gold lips that were usually pulled tight because of the serious grim look always on his face. Honestly, the lycans needed to lighten up. Hakota, Sitka, and Syn had matching expression most of the time. His nose was straight with a slight point at the end that kept his nose from looking too flat on his face. Straight full brows that pinched together when he was deep in thought or disappointed.

He was devastatingly gorgeous, all of the lycans were beautiful, but there was just something more to Syn that made him stand apart.

And I wanted him.

Gods did I want him.

So without thinking twice I grabbed his chin, forcing his face up from my neck to capture those delicious lips. I nibbled and sucked, teasing him with my tongue. When Syn had finally had enough he pinned my tongue to the bottom of my mouth with his own. Then we engaged in a battle that he of course easily dominated.

My hands inched to his waistband, dipping below the fabric, gliding across hot skin, soft supple skin that–

I was violently shoved away, tumbling out of his lap, my head smacking against the chair behind me. I winced at the sharp pain, lifting a hand to touch my now throbbing head, hissing at the pain the pressure cause. Tears flooded my eyes, my body's automatic reaction. I blinked rapidly to clear the water and the stars from my vision.

Syn had scrambled away from me, his chest rising and falling in what I believed to be a panic attack but upon looking up to his face I corrected my assumption. He looked angry.

Really, really, angry.

"Why did you do that?" Syn snarled. "Don't touch me like that. Don't you ever touch me like that without my permission."

I flinched as if struck, and curled into myself, confused and honestly a little scared. I hadn't seen this kind of rage from him since that day in his house when I had rejected his help and told him he was nothing and I would never need him.

The wrathful look in his eyes pushed the air out of my lungs and quickened the beating of my heart, my instincts kicking in and alerting me of the danger, telling me to run.

"I-I-I," the words wouldn't form. I had nothing to say because I didn't even know what to say. I didn't know what had happened, didn't understand why he had blown up to this extent.

Naturally, I had sought out the next step in the process. I had been marked and following that usually prompted mating. Surely Syn was expecting this, this was what he wanted right?

"I don't want to have sex with you Terrin, and I know I've never said or inferred anything that could lead you to believe that I did." His voice was cold, freezing the blood in my body. He never used this tone with me, no matter how angry I made him.

More than that, the words themselves stung. I felt so dirty, so disgusting and...unwanted.

"I don't understand," I whispered brokenly.

"What's not to understand?" He growled, "We aren't having sex Terrin."

I willed myself not to burst into tears on the spot. "B-but I thought–"

"What? That just because we're mates, that means I should automatically want to have sex?"

I was struggling to breathe, panic rising up within me. I heard every rejection he uttered, the unspoken 'I don't want you' in every sentence. He didn't want me. He was rejecting me. Just like Heidi said. He got his mark on my shoulder and now he was done playing with me.

He was just like everyone else, no different. He was tossing me aside as everyone else in my life had.

I was humiliated, but more so I was heartbroken.

"But we're mates," I said it for my own benefit, trying to convince myself that this couldn't possibly be happening right now.

"I don't care, that doesn't give you rights to me."

Cold. The room felt like it had dropped several degrees, the blood in my body turned to ice. I wasn't sure if it was chills or fear that made me quiver, perhaps both.

He didn't care.

He didn't care I was his mate, just like I hadn't cared in the beginning. Is this how he felt every time I rejected him? No. He never felt this way because it had all been an act. He could handle the rejections because they didn't matter to him, not like it mattered to me.

My hand went to the fresh wound adorning my neck. It was still bleeding, not surprisingly, considering how deep his teeth had punctured.

And then in my head it clicked.

Just like Heidi had said, the game for him ended when his mark was on my neck, claiming victory in our five year battle of wills. He had won and now he was done. It was over for him now, which meant it was over for me.

Desperation for escape set in. I had to get out, leave before he saw, run before he knew how much this hurt me, disappear before he understood how deeply in love I was. I wouldn't be able to take it when he started mocking me for my stupidity, throwing the words I had spouted at him for years back in my face.

I would break fully. I wouldn't be able to recover if I had to hear those words from him. I wasn't as strong as him, I would never be as strong as him.

Get out! Get out! Get out!

Unable to hear any more forms of rejection leave his mouth, I scrambled to my feet and made a mad dash out the door. I tripped over my feet several times, stumbling as I tried to regain my footing. I ran and ran and ran. Away from him, away from the seemingly perfect world I thought I was about to have that just burst into flames.

Tears blinded me and my sobs were choked, not enough air in my lungs to support my sprint and a hysterical breakdown.

Stupid! I was so, so stupid! I had done my best to stay strong, to resist him and yet in the end I had still been too weak. I had fallen for his lies, played right into his hands. I was pathetic. So naïve and gullible.

My legs took me right to the one person who had warned me, who had been trying to tell me all along that this would happen. I banged on her door like a lunatic, not caring if I disturbed the neighbors. My fist pounded incessantly until it swung open to reveal a very annoyed female, her blue eyes narrowed and ready to tell off the crazy psycho at her door.

Seeing it was me, her expression immediately morphed into one of pity. She took one look at the still bleeding mark at the crook of my neck and my red puffy eyes and tear streaked face, before wordlessly opening her arms for me to fall into. I collapsed into her, hugging her tightly as I sobbed.

"You were right!" I wailed as she guided us into the house, shutting and locking the door, while somehow managing to support me with only half her body.

"What did you think was going to happen," she scolded me gently, "he's a lycan Terrin, you know they are cruel and heartless," she said, lowering me onto the couch with her. She rubbed my back like a mother would console her child. "I told you from the beginning this was all just a game for him. He just wanted you to fall for him so he could prove to everyone that even a Forester alpha can't resist the lycan mating bond, that you don't deserve to be alpha material. Syn only wanted to prove that you are no match for a lycan. They're sick Terrin, all of them. How could they advocate for him, for his scheme? He did it solely for the joy of breaking you. He doesn't care about you Terrin, none of them do. No does but me. I do. I care about you, Terrin."

How could everything have been a lie? How had I not seen through any of them? "But he told me he loved me!"

The female clicked her tongue at me in disappointment, "And that's what made you give in right? He only said it to win, he didn't mean it." I sobbed harder. "Terrin, you're just a werewolf, you would never have been good enough for him. Forget about him, forget about Cleo and her stupid pack."

How was I supposed to forget? How could I brush off all of the pack dinners? The conversations with the lycans, playing with the pups, having a purpose and job in their pack.

Why did I always have to be the one forgetting? Why couldn't just once I hold onto the memory of someone I had thought was close to me? Why not even once, could I keep ahold of someone? "Why can't anyone love me?" I asked Heidi.

She pulled my head down to rest at her shoulder, my nose pressing against the side of her neck. One of her hands combed through my hair, "I love you, Terrin. I love you my sweet alpha. That lycan never deserved you." She rocked me gently, kissing my head and cheek softly as I cried.

After my sobs had subsided and I had taken some time to clear my throat enough to utter just a few simple words that haunted me my whole life. "I feel so alone," the words were barley audible. The gaping maw of darkness had taken hold of me, I was drowning in its black deeps, struggling to breathe. My air, my life, my light, had been so close, nearly pulled me from its clutches only to let me see a world outside my nightmare of solitude before shoving me back, down, down, down, into the pit.

And I stopped fighting.

Stopped trying to claw my way out of the dark tendrils that refused to let me go. I stopped reaching out for the light that was always impossibly far away. I just accepted that I would be stuck, caged within myself forever.

My hope was gone.

All I felt was the bone biting coldness of loneliness seeping into me, staking its claim on my body forever. That warmth that only came from Syn's touch would never again chase it away. He didn't want to share his warmth with me. Why would he?

He was a lycan, with beauty to rival the gods, he was a warrior, everything I was not. How could I, for even just a second, believe that he would cherish me, be my mate, want me, when no one else ever had? The nobodies of the world wanted nothing to do with me, so why would he decide I was worth something of value?

"You're not alone," Heidi's voice was nearly drowned out the ones in my head. "You have me, you'll always have me if you mark me, claim me as yours. No one will be able to take me from you Terrin." Her languid voice was almost hypnotic.

My alpha's voice from the time I was just a young pup rang in my head. Once a male lays claim to a female the only thing that can separate them is death.

Even if ten years from now Heidi changed her mind and no longer wanted me, it wouldn't matter. In the Forest Kingdom they weren't allowed to leave.

The only thought in my head was to do it. To mark her so she couldn't leave.

So in my heartbreak, misery, and unstable state of mind I did it. I bit her, my teeth dug into her flesh as if I was a wild animal. I was without reason, my consciousness somewhere far away. This animalistic instinct, this beast ruling my body could only be explained as The Wild.

How, I wasn't sure.

The Wild only happened to lycans. Maybe Syn's mark was already changing me.

After I removed my mouth front her neck she pulled me down for a kiss.

I did not kiss her back, I stood there and took what she gave, making her do all the work. I did not love this female. My body went through the motions but my heart wasn't in it, my soul was dead.

"Let me give you the night you wanted," she purred.

I said nothing, some part of me knowing I couldn't even if I tried. She took my silence as a yes and started slowly pulling up my shirt. She didn't even get it over my head before the front door was quite literally blasted off its hinges.

Splinters went flying as the door flew back into the house, smashing to the floor.

And Syn came through the door, panting, his eyes alight with a crazed spark.

That wild gaze landed on me and that mouth tightened into a grim expression. "Terrin, we need to talk."

———————-

And you thought it would be a happy ending to this chapter? 😈

Btw...sorry it’s a day late. It’s twice as long as my normal chapters and I wanted the extra time to make it perfect. This chapter is pretty important.

Also, my babies Syn and Terrin are delicate, they both have insecurities and problems so don’t be too harsh with them 😉

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