Waiting in Darkness

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Twenty | Terrin

The alpha of lycans walked with me to the boarder, sharing with me what exactly a mating bond was, and more precisely what it was to the lycans. Although, the bond itself didn't invoke love, it did prompt need. It heightened emotions directed at your mate so that love was times stronger, but so was anger. That was why would when lycan mates fought it wasn't easy to get over it. The bond also allowed for the other mate to easily read the other's emotions. Only lots of practice could keep your mate from not feeling them. I knew he was telling me in hopes I could use it, but truthfully it only made me feel worse.

I had really hurt Syn and what Hakota was telling me was it would be no easy feat to fix. Assuming I could even pull him out of The Wild, he may never forgive me or take me back.

Aside from that, I still had my own fair share of anger. None of this would have happened if he had just told me whatever he was hiding instead of keeping secrets. He was partly to blame too.

Our bond had been too weak, was too new to withstand the lies. I hadn't marked him or mated with him, so I wasn't sure if we could even be considered mated yet. I asked Hakota at what stage it was that I would turn into a lycan. The alpha only laughed, "You don't really 'turn' into a lycan," he said, "all the bite does is extend your lifespan. For a werewolf-lycan pair, the bite will tie your lives together so that essentially you share the longer lifespan—which would be the lycan's. When the lycan dies so does their mate. It keeps the werewolf from going Wild. Werewolves can't survive very long without their lycan mates, sharing a life span—a soul with them really—connects them on a very deep level. It's not that werewolves are necessarily weaker, just more dependent." I froze long before Hakota noticed I was freaking out silently. "If you are worried about Heidi becoming a lycan, don't be. Only a born lycan can turn a werewolf."

"I don't care about Heidi!" I exclaimed, "I'm worried that if Syn dies, I die!"

Hakota shrugged, "It's hard to say in your case, you've only completed one of three steps." He clasped my shoulder and offered me a small smile, "Bring him back, and you won't have to worry about it." I just blinked at him, my mouth opening and closing but nothing coming out. The alpha point behind me, "Continue this way until you reach a forest. Coda told me this is where he's been lurking around."

"Wait, that's it?" I demanded, "what if I can't find him? What if he left?"

Hakota only looked at me grimly, "He'll find you Terrin."

There was not an ounce of doubt in his words which made me suspicious, "How can you be so sure?"

The alpha's face hardened as he mentally battled with himself. His expression was closed off, not allowing me even a hint at what he was thinking. Finally his lips parted, not to give an explanation but ask a question of his own. "Don't you wonder why he left the Old Kingdom and came here?"

I rubbed my arm as I tried to think of a possible reason Syn would have done so. Now that he mentioned it, it was a bit strange.

"I am impressed he made it all the way here without getting distracted and losing control entirely." The lycan continued when I didn't answer. "Syn left with whatever sanity he had to protect you. When we go Wild, it's because we are severely hurt. In The Wild, our only mission is to take out the threat, which is usually the cause of what turned us Wild in the first place. He looked at me pointedly.

"Me," I breathed. Syn would come for me to kill me. "Why are you telling me this?" I panicked, "you're sending me to my death!"

The alpha took in a deep breath and let it out slowly, "I'm telling you because you need to know what you are walking into. Your life is your own, it is not mine to risk."

"I don't want to die," I whispered after moment.

Hakota rose a challenging brow, "Do you believe he will actually kill you? Do you have such little faith in his love for you?"

I gaped at him, "You just told me he runs on pure instinct to eliminate the threat, which is me."

"Do you think his instinct to kill you outweighs his purpose to love you?"

I didn't know, after everything that had happened between us it seems likely my death awaited me if I were to continue. But did I dare to doubt him again? Doubt had caused this whole mess. I grimaced, my mind already made up. "You sound like Roshan," I murmured as I walked past the alpha of lycans and to the place my mate was said to be. I didn't turn back, said no last word to the alpha. I just walked, not allowing myself the opportunity to hesitate.

I owed this to Syn. If he killed me, so be it. Syn had spent so long chasing me, it seems only fair for me to chase him now. So I forced myself forward, my feet guiding me. I was pulled in this direction, Lune guiding me to my lycan mate.

I didn't let myself think, knowing it would be too dangerous. The moment I started thinking, I would overthink, and my overthinking would lead me to doubt, and my doubt would keep me from reaching my destination. I could not turn tail and run this time. I had caused this mess, it was my responsibility to fix it.

And knowing this was partially my fault, I forced myself to look at the dead bodies that had been torn apart by a beast, a monster I had created. Syn was taking his pain out on innocent people. Every face I saw I knew should have been my own, each wound should have been on my body, had been meant for me. This was the fate that awaited me, but still I continued. I kept onward, following Lune's direction, discovering every person my mate had slain, shouldering the guilt.

I stopped at every corpse, sinking to my knees and murmuring a quick prayer to the gods for them, and whispering an apology. It wasn't fair that the gods treated our lives like nothing. That we were so easily used as pawns in their game. Lune had no problem sacrificing werewolves to teach a lesson. This was a lesson Lune was teaching me, teaching werewolves. Her bonds were not to be messed with. Her children would exact their wrath if not given what they were owed. This was her punishment for my pride.

The gods were forcing me to behold the consequences of my actions, to carry this guilt for the rest of my life however short it may be as it was bound to end soon.

The lycan following me in the shadows told me so.

I knew he was tracking me, knew my mate was watching me from the shadows as I knelt over the dead, but I did not dare to turn to look. It was not time for our confrontation yet, not before I led him out of the Lunar kingdom. Which I did, instinctually knowing when I had seen all of the carnation and destruction he had caused. I let the gods use me, allowed Lune to use me as bait to lure her child out of danger.

I feared he would leave, that he would stop following me. I couldn't let him return to the Lunar Kingdom where Coda promised to kill him. I didn't want to never see his face again, even if for the last time it wasn't really him behind those eyes. But I also feared he would keep following, that I would have to meet empty eyes consumed by a beast. I didn't want to see what I had done to him. So all I did was keep walking, somehow knowing that the moment and I stopped would be the moment I would face him.

Every step got harder, my muscles locking up, my knees going weak. I was weary, exhausted from these five days without my mate, suffering in heartbreak. Guilt ate me alive and I cried silently, putting one foot in front of the other. As if my own emotions weren't enough to handle, Syn's were suffocating me.

With Syn so close, I could feel his rage and his grief. I knew it wasn't him anymore, just a beast I have provoked and unleashed. He was full of so much hate. It was an emotion that felt like red hot fire burning through me. I didn't know how I knew that's what it was, but that feeling was associated with anger. And the constricting tightness closing around my throat like a hand, and the squeezing of my heart in an icy cold grip, that was the pain of a broken heart. The intensity of it nearly brought me to my knees.

I was forced to stop walking, to hunch over with my hands braced just above my knees as I tried to keep myself upright, to just breathe.

Knowing it was me who made him feel such things so strongly crushed me. The fact that assumptions, a lack of communication, and bitter pasts kept us from coming together to form a future and cost me mate, broke something more within me. Syn was gone, maybe forever because of it.

And it was the thought that made my legs give out and I fell to my knees, sobbing. I would never see the male I loved again, the last face I'd see would not be his. Those eyes holding his soul would be different, a stranger wearing his face. It was nothing less than what I deserved. I grieved the loss of my mate, grieved for the male I had killed.

He came out at hearing my cries, the sound of four heavy paws thudding across the earth as he plodded forward. I slowly dragged my eyes up from the ground to behold the massive wolf before me. I blinked through my tears, focusing my vision. I knew staring into those dark pits of his eyes that he understood the creature before him was the cause of his suffering.

His lips pulled back from his muzzle, showing sharp teeth as he growled lowly.

I whimpered, dropping my gaze back to the ground and bowing my head, accepting my fate.

As he leapt at me, claws outstretched and teeth bared, all I could do was wish that I had seen his true face one last time.

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