Chapter Six: Sacrifice
Sharissa peeked at her mate and saw the anger and hatred in his eyes when he looked at her. She felt tears slide down her cheeks and he smiled for her.
“Fated Mates.” He whispered.
She nodded, then they both looked at the Elder who had ordered their family’s death.
“Now for you two.” The Elder said, then pointed at Shar. “Come to me.”
Sharissa pretended to fight her body, as she moved to the Elder, as he’d commanded her to do. When she stood in front of him, he grabbed her hair and pulled her head back, and her body to the side. She screamed and Dustin growled.
“Now, I will have what I want, and your mate will give it to me.”
“No.” Shar whimpered.
“Oh, yes.” The Elder said with a grin. “He will have no choice.”
He yanked Shar’s hair, and forced her to stand beside him, then let her go.
Shar stood still and stared at her mate across the room from her. She avoided the bloody mess of her family around her mate’s feet.
“Dustin.” The Elder said as he grinned at the last man standing. “Come over here.”
Dustin didn’t have to fake anything. The Elder had full control of his body.
Dustin stopped in front of the Elder. The Elder looked from Dustin to Shar, then back again.
“Kill your mate.”
Shar sucked in a breath and Dustin turned to her, agony in his eyes.
“Dustin.” She cried.
“I’m sorry.” He whispered as he moved over to her.
The Elder laughed. “And once you’ve killed her, cut your son from her stomach, and give him to me.”
Sharissa gasped and started to cry. “Dustin.”
Dustin growled as his body obeyed the Elder.
“Please.” Shar cried.
She knows the Goddesses will bring her back. But if this man gets her son, she will never see him again.
“Now wrap your hands around her neck, and squeeze.” The Elder said. “I want you to watch the light leave your mate’s eyes.”
Shar’s eyes widened when Dustin’s hands wrapped around her neck and he started to squeeze.
Dustin’s heartbeat out of control. He can’t kill his mate. He’d never survive that. Not even if the Goddesses brought her back to him. He’d always know, he’d killed his mate, his wife.
He found that he was able to move his head closer to his mate and closed his eyes as he whispered into her ear. “Do you still have the knife I gave you?”
She slowly nodded in his hold and he breathed a sigh of relief.
“Get it.” He said and she shivered.
Sharissa reached her hand into her pocket and pulled the knife out, without anyone seeing her do it. When the knife was in her hand, she held it up so her mate could see it.
“Kill me,” Dustin said.
Shar’s eyes widened even wider and she swallowed as best as she could with his hands around her throat.
“Do it, Sharissa. I am holding back as best I can, I can’t hold it much longer.”
“I can’t kill you.” She whispered.
“Mafilia.” He said as he looked into her eyes. “Choose our son.”
She blinked as she stared into his silver eyes.
He leaned forward and kissed her lips. Tears streamed down her cheeks.
“Choose Easton, Mafilia. If I kill you, he will make me give him our son. If you kill me, you can get away, and the Goddesses will bring me back to you.”
She let out a cry and it came out as a gurgle as his grip around her throat tightened.
“Do it now!” He hollered.
Shar opened the blade and held it above her.
“How did you get that knife?! Drop it!” The Elder hollered.
“Now,” Dustin said.
Shar nodded, then brought the knife down into her husband’s neck, hitting an artery on the first blow.
Dustin gurgled as he let go of her throat.
Shar took in a deep breath, then turned to the Elders. “Come near me, and you’ll be next.” She growled.
The Elders took a step back at the look in her eyes. They had turned silver, and it scared the fuck out of them. She’s Human, isn’t she?
Shar fell to her knees and held her mate to her.
“Dustin.” She cried. “I’m sorry.” She said as she rocked him.
“I love you, Sharissa.” Dustin rasped, then his body went limp.
Sharissa screamed so loud, the walls shook.
“Fuck! We’re too late!” A familiar voice hollered as several men came crashing into the room.
“Sharissa.” A soft voice said as hands gently touched her shoulders.
“No,” Shar growled.
“What do we do with these Shifters?” Someone asked of the Shifters who had killed the Fated Mates.
“Kill them.” The familiar voice growled.
Sharissa looked up and sucked in a shocked breath. “Lyvia.” She cried.
Lyvia fell beside her best friend and held her close. “They’ll bring him back.” She whispered.
Shar let Lyvia rock her as she held onto Dustin.
“What happened?” Daryl asked as he looked from his brother to the bloody knife still in Shar’s hand.
Shar looked down at the knife, then dropped it. There was so much chaos around them, she couldn’t understand what anyone was saying.
“He…he was forcing Dustin to kill me.” Shar studdered.
“Mother Fucker!” Daryl hollered.
“What happened?” Lyvia whispered gently, as she brushed Shar’s hair.
“Dustin told me to kill him.” Shar cried. “The Elder told Dustin that once I was dead, to cut me open and give him our son.”
“Fucking piece of shit!” Daryl hollered as he went after the man who had tried to destroy his family.
Several guards stopped Daryl and the Elder laughed.
“You can’t get me, boy. I’m an Elder. They won’t allow it.”
Daryl snarled at the Elder.
“Easy, Kraftman,” Kristoph said as he placed a hand on Daryl’s shoulder.
“How are they alive?” The other Elder asked as he stared at the Fated Mates. “They were headless.”
“Now I can honestly say I know how the Headless Horseman felt,” Maddy said as she rotated her neck.
The others chuckled, and Rolando pulled her into his arms and kissed her.
A moan came from the floor and everyone turned as Tate slowly opened his eyes.
“Get up, Vampire,” Kristoph said as he kicked Tate in the side.
Tate grumbled as he sat up.
“You were supposed to check-in,” Kristoph said as he watched the Vampire.
Tate scoffed. “Yeah, well. I didn’t expect to be controlled by that freak, or to lose my head, literally.”
“Good thing you’re one of the Goddesses pets,” Kristoph said, then turned to the Elders in custody. “And what to do with you two.”
“You can’t do anything to us. We’re Elders.” The one who’d caused their deaths said with a smirk. “The only thing you can do is send me to the Nether. And how is that any different than living here? I have enough power to grow my own army, and return here to take control of you all…”
Kristoph laughed loudly. “You won’t be getting off that easily, I’m afraid.”
“How so?” The other Elder demanded.
“Because you killed an Elder’s offspring.”
Both elder’s eyes opened wide as they stared at Kristoph, then looked around the room. The elders laughed, he had to be pulling their leg.
Kristoph looked at his daughter. “Pearl?”
The Elder who’d killed them stared at Pearl in shock and disbelief.
“Did he order your death?”
“Yes, Daddy. He did.”
Kristoph looked back at the other Elder. “No Nether for you, I’m afraid. You see, Pearl here; is my daughter.”
“No, can’t be.” The Elder said as he backed away shaking his head.
A guard stopped the Elder from backing away any further.
“It’s true.” Another Elder said as he walked into the room. He looked around the room at the blood on the floor and shook his head. “I should have known you two were up to something.” He looked at Sharissa, who was still being rocked by Lyvia as she cradled her mate’s head in her lap. “After the cub?”
“Yeah,” Daryl said as he looked at the newcomer.
The Elder nodded then looked at Kristoph. “I leave the decision of their demise to you.” He said, then left the room.
“Who was he?” Josie whispered.
“The leader of the Elders,” Tate said as he looked at Kristoph. “What are you going to do?”
Kristoph looked at his daughter and her mate. “Your choice.” He said to Dylan.
Dylan chuckled. “Really?”
“You are my daughter’s mate. You choose their punishment.”
Dylan nodded. “Death.”
“Hey, wait a minute…”
A knife flew through the air and barely missed the Elder’s head.
Everyone turned to Shar, whose eyes had turned silver again.
“Shar?” Dylan whispered.
Shar looked at her family. She was thrilled that they were alive, but her mate wasn’t waking up. And she was so angry, she could kill those two herself.
“Easy now, little mama,” Tate said as he stood above Shar and smiled down at her.
“How shall they be killed?” Kristoph asked.
“Tit-for-tat,” Dylan said.
“Beheading it is,” Kristoph said, then picked up a sword and handed it to his son-in-law.
The raspy voice of their brother; had the four Kraftmans looking at Shar and Dustin.
“Dustin!” Shar cried out as she threw herself against her mate.
Dustin sighed as he held her. “I told you I’d be back.”
She laughed. “Took you long enough.”
He chuckled, then coughed. “The Goddesses wanted a word with me.” He said, then pulled himself to his feet, his mate still against him. “I want him.” He said as he pointed at the pale-faced man who’d ordered him to kill his wife.
“Ah fuck. I wanted him.” Dylan pouted. “He killed my mate.”
Dustin looked at his brother. “He made me choke my mate, and ordered me to kill her, then tear my son from her body and hand him over…”
“Fuck that,” Dylan said with a growl. “You can have him.” He said, then walked over to the two ex-Elders and swung the sword in an arc, taking off the head of the first Elder who’d tried to kill them. “You’re next,” Dylan said with a growl to the other Elder, then tossed his brother the sword.
Dustin caught the sword with his right hand, his left arm still around his mate. He looked down at her and smiled. She was having trouble letting him go.
“Give me just a minute, Mafilia.” He gently moved her aside, then took no time doing what was to be done.
He walked over to the man, and when the man opened his mouth to say something, Dustin swung the sword across the man’s neck and watched his body hit the floor. He then dropped the sword and turned to his mate.
Shar ran to her mate and held onto him so tight, she almost broke one of his ribs. But he didn’t care. It was finally over, and soon they can go home to their daughter.
Nine Days Later
“There they are!” Lyvia shouted with enthusiasm when she saw her best friend appear in the middle of the bar.
“Mommy!” Joy screamed as she ran from her grandparents to her mother.
“Joy!” Shar cried as she bent down so she could catch her daughter in one arm, while she held her son in the other. “I have missed you so much.” She cried as she held onto her little girl.
“I missed you too, Mommy.” Joy sniffled.
“Oh my, look how much you’ve grown,” Shar said as she pulled back and looked at her daughter.
Joy grinned. “Grampa said that I grew two inches.”
Shar smiled. “I can see that.” She slid her daughter’s hair behind her ear, then looked down at her son. “I want you to meet someone.”
Joy looked at the cub in her mother’s arm.
“This is your brother, Easton,” Shar whispered.
Joy grinned as she stared at her baby brother. “Hi, Easton.” She said as she reached her hand out to touch his soft hair. “He has hair like me.”
Shar chuckled. “He does.” Both of her cubs have a blend of her blond hair and their father’s brown, giving them both dirty blond hair.
“Is he why you were gone for so long?” Joy asked as she looked at her mother.
Shar sighed. “Part of it. It was safer for me and your brother, where we were. But we’re home for good now, I promise.”
Joy nodded. “A bad man tried to take Ruby.”
Shar sighed. “I know baby. And I am so sorry we weren’t here to help…”
“It’s okay, Mommy.” Joy said, then wrapped her little arms around her mother’s neck. “I love you.”
Shar felt the tears stream down her cheeks, faster and thicker. She choked on her emotions as she closed her eyes and hugged her daughter.
“I love you too, Joy. So very much.”
Joy pulled back and looked down at her baby brother. Then leaned over and kissed him on the forehead. “I love you too, little brother.”
“What about me?”
Joy looked up at her father and stuck her tongue out at him.
Dustin chuckled. “What was that for?”
“For leaving without saying goodbye.” Joy said with a pout.
Dustin sighed. “Your mother hadn’t…”
“But Mommy was taken away. You chose to go…”
Dustin growled playfully as he lifted his daughter into his arms. “You’re too smart for your own good.” He said, then kissed her cheek. “I am sorry I didn’t say goodbye.”
Joy sighed as she wrapped her arms around her father’s thick neck. “Okay.” She said, then smacked his cheek with a noisy kiss.
Dustin grinned. “I love you.”
“Love you too, Daddy.”
Everyone gathered around Shar and Dustin as they welcomed the couple home and cooed over the new edition to the ever-growing family.