“You better believe it!” Nathaniel sickening laugh reverberated through the air. “What you’re not calling me Nate anymore? I thought you love to call me that.”
I was nonplussed at this developing situation. A tumbling of lingering emotions gurgled up to the surface the second I recognized who was standing there. My body quivered in disgust and my hackles rose, but I shook it off pulling myself together. Shooting up to my feet naked as the day. Standing ridged and ready to react. My chest heaved in anticipation.
“What the hell do you want.” I seethed out to him, revulsion at everything he was, thrumming off me. Of course, I didn’t call him by that name anymore. He was no longer that person that I thought he was. His true colors were long revealed.
“Oh, don’t be like that! Where did my sweet little Lolo go? What? You’re the big bad She-wolf now, are you?” He sardonically laughed and my anger grew even more intense.
“Shut up you traitor. Lier. Fake!” I shouted in a disgusted tone my fervent hatred for all that he has done rolling off me in waves of abhorrence.
He began to pace around, each step taking him little closer. My eyes were trained on him scoping out his maneuvers, trying to anticipate his next move.
“We have a lot to talk about little mate.” He replied, his face still a salacious mask of desire.
A low snarl escaped my lips, my face scrunched up at the audacity of the man. To still refer to me as his mate. No! No! Just NO! And I let a sardonic laugh out.
“You think you can call me Mate?” I questioned him sarcastically. “What level of crazy are you?” I looked at him deadpan in the face.
“I’m no longer the naïve little Omega you once knew. You beat that out of me! Remember?”
“Oh, come on Lolo you know you were begging for it. How many times did you ask me to complete the mating? Don’t pretend to yourself that never happened?” Nathaniel stopped and looked me straight in the eye.
And I couldn’t refute it, what he said was true. Back when I thought he was my mate, long before we moved to the Dark Orb of Knights pack. Back when I was in college.
...I thought he was my mate. I agreed to our waiting, but there were times― Times when I felt insecure, the times when I suffered through a heat that I just wanted it over and done. I wanted to complete the bond.
And I did… I had begged him to complete the mating. So, I would no longer suffer. In those moments I never hated myself more. I had felt weak. I felt desperate and inadequate. And now after all that― I hated that he could lord this over me. It repulsed me that I once had desired him so.
I felt Oriel pushing to the surface wanting to communicate with her mate. Did she not realize― did she not understand that whatever pull there was between us was false? Yes, Atreus wasn’t her mate. But technically neither was Nathaniel.
“So, what Nathaniel! You think that is going to hurt me even more. Do you think I would really go back to you after everything that has happened? How dare you call me mate.
What was it?
How did you create that bond between us?
I know that it has something to do with Louise that Paramount bitch. Don’t try and fool me now, it’s pointless you might as well come out and spill what the truth is. I’m sure you’ll take much gratification in telling me.”
“Oh, Lolo the little bunny that never could, ha! You’re stepping out of your little box now hey, daring to call the Paramount with such a name. You want to know the truth, really?” He cackled out and I stood their stationary weighing him up. My gaze trailing all over his body and face and I wondered what I ever saw in this man.
“Hit me with all you got.” I replied, my face still a blank mask.
“Well for starters I never planned anything with you. You were just a little glitch on the road, per say.
You see… obviously you’re not my true mate. That fact is established right?” He questioned; I watched as his eyes trailed over my body.
“Thank the Goddess for that mercy.” I spat out at him in disgust still hating every second I spent near him. I just hope Atreus will get back soon so we can both deal with this bane together. My jaws clenched in anger while I waited for him to go on.
“We happened on each other by chance... At first, I didn’t know what to do with you. I never planned for such an occurrence. It has never happened before, you know? In all the years that the Paramount has been bestowing us with the power of other wolves. Not one has ever come up with this same problem!
The mate bond we feel, is between your wolf and the one that the Paramount transferred to me. Your real mate, the original… He’s long dead.” Nathaniel looked me straight in the eye a malevolent grin growing stronger as the truth hit me.
My first mate, the one I felt the connection to, was long dead!! Oriel whined in my head, she was fighting for control and Juno gave in. She knew that Oriel deserved this right, the right to avenge her lost mate, so she retreated continuing her recuperation.
Yes, his wolf or wolf’s power lived on in the body of Nathaniel. But that would never make Nathaniel my mate. It made me feel distressed and heartbroken for Oriel. Thinking about both Oriel and her mate. Both of their human counterparts’ lives, taken too soon! I don’t even know his name, or where he came from. How old would he be now? God’s what fate had become of him.
Never have I felt more blessed to have Atreus in my life, I could feel the devastation Oriel now felt for her loss. The thought of her lost mate echoed on repeat over and over. I don’t think I could go on living with such heartbreak. To know the other half of your soul was lost, gone forever was all consuming. Oriel’s pain and rage grew ever more, and I struggled to keep hold of my human form.
“Did you never wonder why at times the bond between us was less? That at times my scent was a little less enticing or alluring. The pull wasn’t as strong.
I’ve got to be honest I was tempted on more than one occasion to fuck you so hard you wouldn’t be able to walk for a week. But the mission was always more important. I didn’t know what the outcome of our mating would be, so it wasn’t worth the risk.
You could have realized the truth and then my mission would be ruined. So, it never happened…
But now that the truth is out, I think I could spend a little time buried deep inside you. I think I deserve it, after all I put up with you for long enough!” Nathaniel’s filthy mouth spewed with such salaciousness that my stomach churned, and I felt bile rise in my mouth.
Was this asshole on something!
“I would rather die than have you anywhere near me again, you vile beast!! Don’t even think about it. Thankfully, the Goddess blessed me with my true mate, and I never have to have you touch me again.” I spoke with conviction, yet his malevolent grin grew even more.
Both mine and Oriel’s ire grew at this. He cackled out seeing my temper grow.
“That can be arranged Lolo.”
“FUCK YOU!!” I screamed out. “The only one dying is going to be you and that Paramount bitch that you work for. Mark my words Nathaniel the gig is up. You’ve been outed and the clock is now ticking on all that the Tenebris stand for.”
His eyes went wide when I mentioned the Tenebris, his sect or whatever they were. He didn’t expect me to be this well informed.
“Yeah! I know about the Tenebris, you’re not so secret sect.” A little smug grin grew on my face that I had gotten one over on him.
“Doesn’t matter now anyways.” He said as he began to pace once again. “Our leader has put things in motion, it would have come out in the next day or two anyways. So really your ‘revelation’ is moot.” Stopping to face me again. His smugness was infuriating, and I wanted to beat it out of him. Until he knew where he belonged under my foot in the dirt that he belonged.
“SHUT UP!!” I screamed out at him again, I really need to reign it in but both mine and Oriel’s emotions were now at boiling point. “Mark my words Nathaniel, you’re not going to live through this. I will make sure of it and so will Atreus.”
“You think that the big oaf will rescue you now?” He laughed. “You’ve gone from one mate to another wanting both to be your knight in shining armor. Well let me let you in on something. Atreus is already caught up with a few problems of his own, nobody’s coming to the rescue this time.”
My heart leapt in my chest and I turned to look across the lake. The light from the Temple cast shadows of the chaos that was ensuing over there. I honed in my hearing to the sounds of fighting growls and a lot of shouting. They had infiltrated the camp. Oh Goddess! I am on my own.
Swiftly I turned back to face Nathaniel, surprised that he hadn’t made a move or come closer. What was his game? Or was that the point he was toying with me and enjoying it?
My eyes squinted tighter, watching the wicked man I once thought I loved. Thank the Goddess I have come to my senses. He laughed again it’s deep tone hitting me right in the heart. That was it! I could no longer hold back my temper and I lunged toward him.
He stood their still, facing me down and his evil smile never left his face. My feet took me with speed towards him. Using the training that I had done over the years and went to grab him in a strangling hold. My body leaping through the air ready to catch onto its prey, but I just flew forward and landed crumpled on the ground.
What in the ever-loving fuck just happened? I turned around to the place where he stood laughing at my stumble.
“What the hell!” I whisper yelled and looked at my hands. Did I just pass through him? What on earth is going on.
I jumped to my feet again, this was all kinds of weird though I didn’t have time to think about it now. Nathaniel stood almost over me and yet he still didn’t attack. I couldn’t figure out his game.
This time I jumped to my feet, getting myself into an attack position and paced around him. My hand swung out, as Oriel’s anger was burning up inside me. Still Nathaniel didn’t do anything to deflect me, his arrogance so infuriating. Finally, I took my chance swung my arm forward in an uppercut, but my fist and arm passed through his head like it was a mist.
This time I witnessed it with my own eyes. Was he an apparition a ghost? Taking a deep breath, I straightened out my body and swept my hands through the image of Nathaniel before me. And just like before my hand traveled through the space that his image stood.
“What kind of crazy witchcraft is this.” I asked out loud though speaking to nobody in particular. The rumbling laughter that came of him sickened me. He was enjoying every minute of this. Then his image disappeared and reappeared deeper in the thicket of the forest.
Oriel took over in that moment and we shifted into her burnt umber wolf. Without any hesitation she pounded into the dept of the forest chasing after Nathaniel.
She couldn’t allow him to escape either could I, our feelings mirroring each other. He had to pay for the pain that he caused. We couldn’t allow him to hurt anyone else.
Nathaniel stood across a small creek. With every fiber in her body Oriel pushed forward and I willed her onwards. The soft mulchy ground of the forest easing our way ahead. We leapt and ran as fast as we could through the undergrowth. A stark change from just hours ago running through here with Atreus on my trail.
Now I was the hunter and Nathaniel was my prey. Yet he didn’t hide or dodge as I leapt across the small brook our body on course for collision. And again, with frustration I stood up.
...The apparition gone only to reappear deeper and deeper into the forest. My mind reeling with anger. Each time we came closer he evaded us with ease.
I knew I should stop― that this was all in vain and probably his plan all along. But I couldn’t, the rage had grown too much it was too deeply ingrained in me and Oriel.
So, I continued onwards we circled back and forth through the grounds of the Temple gardens. Never once did I make progress and it enraged me and Oriel. She was out for the kill now, wouldn’t or couldn’t show mercy to this man. Who so sickeningly took such pleasure out of this! His cackle reverberating through the forest, edging both myself and Oriel into a frenzy of fury.
Finally, we found ourselves on the edge of the temple grounds Nathaniel stood deep in an alley way that backed onto the gardens. He had his back to me. This time was different. I could feel him more, I could smell his scent like the first day I met him and was enraged I knew it was the real thing. That this was no longer a phantom.
I slowed my pace and looked around, scoping the area for any hidden danger. I couldn’t feel or see anything out of place. Though my body was wracked from its earlier transformation, Juno was resting and recuperating still not at full health. She couldn’t transform or share her power and the power of the markings was using everything to complete the transformation.
Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t draw from either. It was just me and Oriel who was standing here before Nathaniel. I wished I could pull from Juno’s power. But the truth was Oriel deserved this moment, she needed it to avenge her mate so she could have repose for the rest of our lives knowing she has righted a wrong that both Nathaniel and Louise had created.
Oriels thunderous growl was deeper than it ever had been rumbling through our chest. Nathaniel slowly turned to face us. Again, with that smug grin that I now wanted to rip off his face.
We took it slowly and paced ourselves, I let Oriel take full control. This was her right.
And she stalked closer to Nathaniel our ex-mate.
“You think you can take me little wolf. Little Omega.” He taunted with his insidious words.
We growled with such force that it surprised both me and Nathaniel. Nathaniel only showing his shock for mere seconds then his infuriating smirk returned once more.
We couldn’t take it any longer, no more smug smiles or jabs. No more over and back between the both of us. And with all our might we lunged forward again but this time Nathaniel surprised me and bent down to face me straight in the eye.
I could see his neck; it was there out in the open ready for our teeth to sink into. The thrill of the moment thrumming through my body. I could not wait to show this no-good piece of shit what he deserved as we ripped out his throat with our expecting fangs.
He surprised me in that moment lifting his palm before his mouth. He held his hand out and I looked to see it filled with some substance. With a one blow a cloud of dust invaded my breathing space and I dropped to the ground.
My body wailed out as the power within me drained and I shifted back to my human form. Oriel whined and yelped back in the recess of my mind.
How could we have been so stupid, so rash. Of course, this was his plan all along. He could never walk in the grounds of the temple he was never worthy for such an honor, and I played into his hand just like he desired.
I was a fool once again!
My wolves blocked from me. I was nothing more than a weak human as he stood above me. His arrogant face reveling in the moment.
What have I done? Oh Goddess!
“You should look before you leap.” Nathaniel said as my mind became a little hazy.
I squinted and my eyes, trying to focus. With all that I could I tried to move but it was useless. My body lay where it landed, I had no strength. A tear of frustration slipped out the corner of my eyes.
“Well done. I should have thought of this earlier.” A familiar female voice said, I managed to turn my head to see the silhouette of Louise. Stepping out of the shadows.
I fucked up! The ache of my heart breaking for Atreus and for everyone who was depending on me
My mind lulled into the darkness, and I was gone. Dropped into a dreamless sleep, left in the hands of my enemies.
When I awoke. I could hear lots of noise. My mind groggy and fuzzy. It took me minutes to just realize I was awakening. The sounds becoming clearer. Sounds of a crowd gathered. The susurration of the whispering voices began humming through my ears.
My eyes yet to open. Slowly I began to regain feeling in my body. The sensation of rope holding me down as I tried to move. Its rough threads brushing across my skin in a tight painful hold. My hands held tight behind my back while my feet were bound together.
What was happening… where was I?
I still couldn’t quite grasp the seriousness of it all. My mind yet to catch up to the moment. Then little by little I recalled the moments before my capture. Nathaniel. The Paramount. Oh hells!
With all the will that I had; I opened my heavy lids to find a sea of people before me. My head swept over the area to find I was on some kind of platform or stage. My eyes met that of the wicked Paramount, fear gripped its heavy hand on me as she walked over to where I was sitting.
“Fantastic.” She said as she hollered out to the crowd gathered.
“The moment has arrived our little sacrifice has awakened.” She stated with such venom as she turned to face me.
What am I going to do now? I searched deep within me to discover Juno lost in a deep sleep. Though thankfully Oriel was beginning to come back to her senses.
I could cry but I wouldn’t give them the satisfaction. No, we won’t give them that.
I had so much regret. After everything I have been through and changed and yet I still ended up in the clutches of this bitch. Goddess I can’t believe this shit and I have nobody to blame but myself…
The Paramount made her way over to me. Her back to the crowd. She bent down to my ear.
“I guess it’s reckoning day for you. And don’t bother thinking Atreus will save the day. He is… what should I say rather tied up at the minute.” She howled with laughter as she walked away.
My heart was breaking what has she done? What have I done?
Oh, Goddess if you where ever there please give me some reprieve and show me the way forward.
I summoned any strength left and concentrated with all my heart. I need to contact my man; we have always had this easy connection between us. Please Goddess let it work in this moment.
‘Atreus.’ I called out to him and nothing.
I tried again and again. ‘Atreus please can you hear me.’ And nothing.
My energy was lagging again whatever Nathaniel had dowsed me with was lethal and so powerful. I ached from head to toe. I had to give it one more try. ‘Atreus, please I need you. Can you hear me?’ I begged.
‘Yes love… I’ve got your back don’t worry. I can see you; I’m coming for you.’
Authors Note: Extra long chapter, I couldn't help it! 😅 Hope you all enjoyed. Atreus POV is the next chapter, I will post sometime next week, can't wait to hear your thoughts. Also don't panic, this is not a tragedy lol...