“Kaia, I’m getting some bad vibes about this place,” Mia whispered in my ear as we walked further into the woods surrounding Salem.
“What, are you afraid of some squirrels and pine cones, Mia?” I teased, but really I was also feeling some bad vibes about this place.
I looked back towards Asher and the guys, who were being extra cautious behind us. They also seemed to sense something weird about these woods. Like an impending doom was awaiting us at the end.
“Baby, you sure he wanted to meet us out here this far?” Asher asked me, seeming anxious.
“Yeah, I mean, maybe we should just wait here? He should already be here by now.” I told the group, biting my lip nervously. Something just didn’t seem right. He should definitely be here by now. I just had a bad feeling about this. Like my dad, Abraham was in trouble.
“Umm, maybe he just got held up at work?” Hayden said although he didn’t sound confident in his answer whatsoever.
“Shhh. Do you guys hear that?” Sebastian said, with a finger over his mouth. I could see the other guys looking around the forest. I tried to focus on my hearing and eyesight, but my senses still weren’t as good as a werewolf.
I saw movement in the corner of my vision before we all heard a loud growl. I turned around, frantically searching for the wolf that wasn’t part of our group. Everyone seemed to be on high alert. I felt Asher grab my hand and squeeze.
“It’s okay. Me and Sebastian are going to go a little bit ahead. Stay with Hayden and Mia.” Asher looked at me with a dead-serious look on his face that made me not question him any further. He gave me a loving kiss before walking off where the sound of the wolf came from.
The three of us stood there silently as Asher and Sebastian went off into another area of the woods. It was so silent in the forest that the only sounds that could be heard were animals and the wind. Until, we heard another growl, closer to us this time.
I spun around right at the moment that a black wolf came charging at me. Before I even had the chance to react with my magic, Hayden shifted into his blonde fur wolf and slammed into the side of the black wolf. Mia sprung into action, throwing spell after spell at the wolf who was now on top of Hayden. I was torn out of my thoughts of helping when I heard a howl, not far in the distance.
I hurled fireballs at the next wolf that stormed into the open forest floor we were fighting in. There were yelps and grunts sounding throughout the quiet forest as we fought. I was so focused on the different creatures coming through the shaded forest, that I couldn’t even tell if Mia and Hayden were still here with me.
I know I’m new to the supernatural world, but aren’t werewolves and vampires’ natural enemies? So why are there vampires and werewolves fighting together? I was so confused about the different types of supernaturals that I didn’t even notice what spells I was using. I just knew that I had to keep fighting or else I’d be dead. I was cut off from my thoughts of the next spell when I heard a sound that I never wanted to hear. A sound that broke my heart into pieces….. My mate’s desperate cry for help. I just hoped that I wouldn’t be too late.
Me and Sebastian walked through the quiet forest as we made our way towards the growling of the wolf that we heard earlier. I couldn’t help the sickening feeling in my stomach that something was seriously wrong about this situation. I felt like Kaia needed help. “Hey Seb, go back to Kaia and the others. I have a strange feeling like this is all a setup. Maybe the wolf we heard was just a distraction? I’ll keep going, just keep the mind link open.”
“You sure about that, mate?” I nodded my head. “Alright, howl if you need anything.” He gave me a wink before heading back to the others. I shook my head and continued walking further into the woods. I stopped abruptly when I heard the sound of a twig breaking behind me. I spun around, extending my claws and growling.
“Oh calm down mutt. I had to get you alone somehow.” Abraham said, approaching me with an evil look on his face. I tried stepping forward but he extended his hand, trapping me in place with a force of magic. “I can’t let you go anywhere pup. You don’t realize how much you’ve ruined my plans, now do you?”
“What the hell are you talking about?” I growled at him. I could feel my canines lengthening.
He slowly started strolling towards my still body. “Well you see, I never really abandoned Katarina. Not truly. I’ve always kept a close eye on her over the years. Maybe this will ring a bell?” I watched as his features morphed into the one of Coach Keller, our school gym teacher. My eyes widened in horror. He’s been watching us all along. “Or maybe this one perhaps?” His features morphed into one of the fight club announcers.
“How? Why?” I asked in confusion. This makes no sense. Why would he wait so long to be contacted by Kaia?
“Well you see, I did indeed lock up Katarina’s powers, but it wasn’t all for her protection. I knew if she was raised in a bad childhood environment, it would toughen her up a bit. Julie sure did a good job of that, although she is quite the bitch and definitely took it too far. There’s no way I would have wanted that much harm done to Katarina, but I guess that’s why she chose to kill her mother.” At that, I raised my eyebrows. “Oh yes, I do know Katarina killed Julie. Remember pup, I have eyes and ears everywhere.” He smiled cruelly at me.
“Okay. I still don’t understand why you never contacted Kaia and what does this all have to do with me?” I was at a loss for words. I couldn’t wrap my head around the outcomes of today. And the worse part, I was alone with this psycho.
“I guess you’re not the smart one of the group. And here I thought the alpha’s son always was. I would be worried about the retaliation from your pack but luckily I have most of the vampire and werewolf clan on my side.”
He must have seen the inpatient look on my face as he continued. “Well, if Katarina thought that there was no one on her side growing up, then she would show her true strength. She stood up for herself at school and at the group homes, she stayed in. No one messed with her. You know why? Because she’s a tough girl. I made her into one. That way, when she found out about her magic, she wouldn’t feel any remorse using it.”
“Why would she feel bad about using it? You saw her, she’s eager to learn.” I tried to reason with him.
He sighed heavily, “You don’t get it, kid. I want her to use dark magic. Before she met you, she didn’t care about offending others or hurting people if it meant that she was on top. She loves the feeling of being in control.” He actually smiled fondly talking about Kaia.
His face quickly turned to anger. “Except, she met you. The worst possible factor in this equation. You’re her mate. She has no choice but to feel these things for you and it made her weak. Have you seen her? She’s not the same girl that I’ve been watching over for years.”
“She can’t be with you, kid. I’m sorry that it has to come to this.” He said, actually looking regretful at what’s about to come next.
“What the fuck do you mean…?” I was stopped from speaking any further as I felt a sharp slice down my throat. Blood began pooling down my neck and bubbling out of my mouth. I stared wide-eyed at Kaia’s father who had shifted partially into a wolf, claws extended.
“I’m sorry that it had to come to this pup. But this is what’s best for Katarina. You’re only holding her back.” He said looking at me with a blank expression. I laid back, feeling pain extend throughout my body. Wolfsbane. I tried to reach out and mind link Kaia to warn her. To say goodbye. To say that I love her.
“Oh, kid. You can’t mind link her, I’m afraid. I’ve blocked off your connection. I can’t have you interfering with my plan.”
I breathed out heavily. I could feel my heart rate begin to slow as I barely got out, “Fuck you. I don’t know how, but I’m gonna come back and kill you…. You’ll be sorry.” I choked on my own blood as I bled out. I howled in pain as I felt the wolfsbane reach my heart. I could see the world around me blur and spin.
“Well, if you’ll excuse me. I have to make this look like an actual werewolf killed you.” The fucker said as he strolled away, leaving me to bleed to death on the cold forest floor.
“I love you, Kaia Jones.” were the last words that I said before I took my final breath.
I ran full speed in the direction of my mate’s cry for help. I felt branches cutting through the skin of my arms, legs, and face as I ran through the trees of the forest. I tried to reach out to him through our mind link but it’s like he wasn’t there. I was still getting used to the whole concept, but I usually was able to feel his presence somehow. It was like he was dead. I choked on a sob as I pushed my legs to go faster, carrying me to the edge of the forest.
I looked over, seeing Asher lying on the forest floor. He was still. Too still. I dropped on the ground next to his body and quickly checked for a pulse. Nothing. No this isn’t happening. Asher isn’t dead. I just saw him twenty minutes ago. How could he be dead that quick?
I rolled him over, seeing a massive wound on his neck. I tried shaking him. “Asher?” I whispered, tears rolling down my face. “Ash, baby?” No response. I could feel my body shaking. I could barely breathe from the number of tears that fell down my cheeks. “Ash, wake up. Wake up, please!” I shook him frantically. I felt like my heart was breaking into tiny little pieces. I felt like I was being sucked into a tornado full of emotions. Is this what heartbreak feels like? Because it feels like I’m dying. I tried to heal him like I did with Mia during the locator spell. But I felt nothing. He was dead and I wasn’t able to bring him back.
I could faintly hear the rustling of leaves behind me. I didn’t care if I died. I couldn’t do anything without Asher by my side. I gazed down at him. How could someone look so beautiful when they were dead? I never deserved Asher. He was an angel and I was the devil. He was an honorable guy, while I was a liar. I pushed him away for so long. And for what? Because I was afraid he’d leave me as everyone else had? Or maybe it was that I was afraid I would disappoint him.
I heard growling behind me as I turned to look at a werewolf with blood dripping from its mouth... It was Asher’s blood. I felt myself grow hot looking at the beast that killed my mate. It’s his fault that the only person that I cared about in this world is dead. I felt my magic brimming with power as I locked eyes with the beast.
The wolf charged towards me as I brought my hands up, pointing towards it. I felt tears pour down my cheeks as if it was fueling my magic. I let out an ear-piercing scream. A scream filled with so much pain and loss. It was like an explosion went off. The wolf’s body exploded, causing blood to hit my face. There was no doubt that I looked like Carrie at that moment. All of the trees surrounding me fell over from the force of the magic, taking away anything living with it.
I fell to the ground next to Asher’s body, pulling his head into my lap. I cried as I pushed his hair back. “I love you, Asher Lodge. Forever. I’ll find a way to bring you back. And I’ll kill anyone who gets in my way.” I sat there, stroking his face before I laid a kiss onto his lips for the last time.
I heard a twig snap from my side. I raised my hand up quickly, getting ready to hurl a fireball at the intruder. “Hey, sweetheart. It’s okay, it’s just me.” My dad stepped out from behind a tree looking in pain as he saw Asher’s head in my lap. “What happened?” He said, approaching me slowly.
“Werewolf, I killed it though... I don’t think I can do this dad. I don’t think I can go on without him.” I said, choking on a sob. I thought I was strong, but maybe I’m just weak.
“You can and you will go on without him. What other choice do you have Katarina?” He said, reaching out to stroke my hair. “I know how to take away your pain.” He said softly, looking down at his feet.
“How? I’ll do anything not to feel this way.” I said, meaning every word.
He was quiet for a minute before looking into my eyes. “Just turn off your humanity.” I looked at him confused. “It’s like a switch in your mind. Turn it off, and you won’t ever have to feel pain or loss again.”
I looked up at him before glancing back down to Ash. I felt my heart breaking as I watched my bloodied and dead mate. I allowed myself a moment to think back on all the good times that we had together. He taught me to love, and that it’s okay to let your guard down once in a while. I thought back to our first kiss, our first-time having sex, and most importantly, the day that he marked me. I reached up to touch his mark and felt myself sob harder when I didn’t feel any sparks or even any signs of Asher left from it anymore. So I did what I thought was best at that moment... I turned my humanity off.
Did you guys see that twist coming? What are your thoughts? Any predictions on what may come in book 2?
Go to the next chapter to see all things related to book #2 of the Dangerously Beautiful duology. Also, information on my new book coming out soon! Follow me for all updates and sneak peeks on future projects.
Thank you for reading Dangerously Beautiful! I really hope that you enjoyed it. If you could comment, like, or leave a review on my book, I would really appreciate it.