THE ALPHA NEXT DOOR

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Chapter 58

Still bound to a chair. I could hear the rickety creaking of the wood below our feet. Though I have little movement I looked as far as I could see. This was some old structure of stone though the flooring was made of wood. The wall to the back and sides were the same ancient stone from the city.

The night had passed on and the moon was almost at its highest point. Though the place was lit by torches that span the whole edge of the area.

Tall stone pillars each having a brazier bowl filled with flames to light the area.

The tension in my body slacked once I heard Atreus voice. It soothed my soul. Thank the Goddess! He was here somewhere close. Near enough that he could see me. I was elated and afraid, the chemicals in my brain sending all kinds of signals. His energy was thrumming through our bond giving me a boost to my own.

The relief had shown as my face relaxed, and the corner of my mouth slightly lifted. I wanted to scan the area to see my mate in person. Yet I also didn’t want to give the game away.

I was evidently too obvious as fingers threaded through my hair pulling my head back with whiplash speed.

Struggling was useless the binding had me held tight as did the person who gripped onto my scalp. With such force that I feared I may be scalped or bald by the time they were finished. The burning sensation of the bindings rubbing and chaffing, my skin was blazing throughout my body.

“Feeling smug are we.” Nathaniel said his filthy breath on my face. I tried turning my head away as far as possible though it was pointless. He had me in his deathly grip and there was nowhere for me to turn and escape.

“Can you feel it.” His sickeningly manic voice rang in my head while he was so close, I wanted to puke.

“The excitement in the air, for what’s to come.” He cackled out. “You’re lucky to be here to witness the birth of our Leader. A Goddess born once more.”

My eyes narrowed and looked at this madman beside me. I couldn’t help but glance to Nathaniel when he said all that. Has he lost his mind? He is certainly behaving that way. Now a stranger to me, everything I had once believed about him was false even his name.

The bloodlust and crazed stare he had was terrifying. The Paramount really did a number on him and those that followed her. She clearly persuaded or brainwashed them all of the farce she was claiming.

He straightened his back still holding tight onto my head, keeping me in the same restrained position while pulling me to my feet. He began to address the crowd.

“It’s about time we all get a show, is it not.” He fervently roared out to the crowd. Pushing me forward as I stumble with my legs still bound. My neck and head straining from the pressure of his hold. The only thing I felt thankful for was that someone had at least put clothing on me. Cheers, hollers, howls and all sorts of encouragement rang out from the crowd below.

It hurt my heart a little to know so many were on this evil bitch’s side. Cheering her onwards and essentially cheering for my demise.

Would they one day face the Goddess and discover their wrongs?

I do hope so. I would a least happily die knowing that they would pay for their misdeeds, maybe not in this life but in the next and that was good enough for me.

“TONIGHT, WE WITNESS THE BIRTH OF A GODDESS.” Nathaniel hollered out to the crowd with such zeal that they erupted once again. This time it was tenfold.

Are these people so stupid to fall for such a ridiculous claim?

A Goddess!

What kind of concoction had they been all taking that they would believe in such an outlandish claim?

Only a God or Goddess can create another!

It just fluttered into my mind in that moment. Clearly Louise was off her rocker. She had convinced herself she was going to become a Goddess? I would laugh if I wasn’t caught up in such a precarious situation. My scalp was still burning for the force of the pain that Nathaniel was inflicting on it.

Atreus, please hurry up, I am not sure I can take much more of this shitshow!!

Suddenly I felt the flaming sensation of something smooth close to my wrist binding. I hissed at the sudden pain that jolted through me.

There was movement and a tug and then they went slack. My arms were freed, my heart, beat harder with hope. But it was so swiftly taken away when I turned to see the face of my childhood friend.

His eyes wide and crazed just like Nathaniel.

How had I gotten here?

Where or when did my life take this bizarre change, that I was about to be sacrificed for a mental case?

She was a Luna that is for sure, a lunatic!

He was close too close, but maybe I could use that. Even with my head still locked in the tight grip of Nathaniel. I managed to peer around and see the silver knife in Vaughan’s hands.

Swinging out my arm, I tried to grab it from his tight grip. Though it was all in vain, his movements swift. Flipping the knife in his hand so when my hands landed, they gripped onto the silver blade. Not the hilt. Whimpering when it seared through my palm like it was butter.

I watched in horror as a stream of blood began to flow from the wound.

“Careful sweetheart you might hurt yourself.” Vaughan said with a smug smile. My eyes looked into his empty ones, and I shuddered. How could I be so wrong about so many people in my life. Would I question every person’s motive from now on? My judgement with people is clearly lacking.

I still had hope.

Atreus was close he will help me out of this situation. I can feel our connection strengthen the longer I am awake.

Louise was looming somewhere in the background. I couldn’t discover her location since she confronted me. The platform we stood on was very large.

“This is the Omega who thought she could steal the strength of the Goddess and use it for her own unrighteous doings. We will make her pay for the dishonor she has brought to our Leader. What say you?” Nathaniel addressed the crowd again.

They were becoming more and more on edge with anticipation. They wanted my sacrifice. And called for it.

“YES. YES. YES.” The crowd responded with great intensity. “Cut her heart out.” One voice roared above the rest. The crowd turning nastier by the second and more chimed in agreeing with whomever that was.

Nathaniel raised his hand and the crowd lulled again.

“She will be the sacrifice to appease the Goddess.” Again, the crowd went haywire in jubilation for my demise. I was never more sickened. Fear was biting down into my soul.

Vaughan stepped closer, pulling me over with my still bound feet. Ripping through my clothing with the sliver knife. The light shift dress fell to the floor and though I knew they were trying to put my head in a space of shame. I stood there proud naked as the day I was born.

Vaughan made sure to run the knife along my skin, causing a red burn mark the whole way down the center of my body. Everywhere the poisonous silver touched me.

My jaw locked as the pain burned. However, I didn’t react or allow them to see my discomfort. They would only delight in it.

Closing my eyes, I dug deep within. I was the Vegus Luna now. They may want to bring me down, but I was stronger than they knew.

And…

I was going to lean into that power. Even if I was so shot at this moment, I struggled to connect with it. I know it’s there just waiting to be tapped into.

The Goddess provides and protects. I sang on repeat in my head. Holding back my emotions from the bond between Atreus and myself, he didn’t need to feel this. I wouldn’t allow it.

A chill crept over me. Then out of the darkness one after another deathly forms began to appear around me to the back and sides. Leaving the way forwards free and open for all the audience to watch.

I tried to move my feet to loosen the ties, but they didn’t move. They were inflexible and I was getting ever more frustrated.

The crowd had gone silent, with the appearance of these dark wretches. They gave off an ominous aura that would send a shiver down even the bravest person. I could feel the unease coming off all that was nearby.

Peering across the stage. They stood with hooded heads in dark cloaks, their bodies hidden underneath.

Though the parts that were on display were aged almost decaying. Their odor so foul began to waft across the air, my stomach heaved as the smell lingered on my nostrils. Growing more potent by the minute. It was that of death and decay with hints of strong perfumes mixed in. Trying to mask the smell though it only added to the foulness.

One stepped out and separated from the rest. My gaze fell on hers and I was suddenly reminded of the moment she had cast a spell. Wrapping me in chains so I could be transported to this city.

The Paramount walked out of the shadows to greet her. Not taking a chance to pass up a smug gloat at me.

“Great Thana you’ve arrived. Shall we get on with this.” She waved impatiently with a tone of annoyance.

“As you wish.” Was all that Thana said. Then she stalked slowly around me until she stood just to my right. Beckoning to the Paramount. “Please take your position your Ladyship.”

I forced myself to look at Louise the hag, in the eye. She could kill me, but I will stand defiant until the end. If venom was a look, I held it fast and threw it out to her. Though she just smiled back with her aged skin pulling and wrinkling making me shudder in disgust.

This was a farce if I ever saw one. Nimue has told me that the powers I hold cannot be stolen by her. So, whatever will happen she won’t becoming a Goddess and she won’t be getting any power from me. I mentally laughed at their stupidity though I might be a victim of their scheme at least they won’t succeed!

With a wave of her hand Thana made a firepit grow out of the ground. The wooden planks of the floor below us bending and folding at her whim until it rose between a circle of them.

“Incendo.” Thana said then the firepit erupted in flames. She clicked her fingers again and a black cauldron appeared in the center.

She began to chant. Within seconds hot steam was coming from the cauldron. The others joined in, and a hum of chanting noises filled the air. I narrowed my eyes hoping for a look to see what it held though Nathaniel still held me fast.

“You’ll pay for this one day.” I hissed out at him in my angry state.

“Maybe.” He whispered in my ear. “But you won’t be around to see it.” He chuckled and Vaughan and Louise joined in.

Don’t be so sure. I thought to myself.

Oriel fought through, her strength beginning to return. And rage was growing ever more with the presence of Nathaniel and the words out of his mouth. She is so angry at him for all that he has done, she wants retribution.

My body begins to shake as she tries to force her way to the surface. Demanding to take back what Nathaniel stole. To release her true mates’ power from the hands of this scum.

A flame of blue ignited around all that stood upon the stage. It burned though there was no heat coming from it.

Oriels demands were becoming ever more impatient. She wanted control but not to shift she wanted control of my human body.

My eyes shot to the crowd scanning it once again for sight or sign of Atreus. Though I still couldn’t see or hear him, truth be told I was getting worried. I had already closed off my emotions to him, in turn it has blocked out his as well.

“Bring forth the power of the Goddess.” The haggard old witch said, causing a small blue flame to surround me. Nathaniel letting up, removing his hand from my head finally releasing me.

My markings began to burn, and I could see they glowed like they once had though it felt so much different. It felt wrong, so very wrong.

“Bring forth the vessel.”

Angelina stepped into the fray. She appeared out of nowhere. Standing between myself and the Paramount.

“Do you blood of Gaizka accept this blessing.” Thana said.

“Yes.” Angelina said turning to give me a satisfied smirk.

Bitch!

Betraying her blood and that of her family’s. She makes me sick!

“I readily accept the tribute as a vessel for the Tenebris.” She bellows out to the crowd with such pride I can only shake my head.

“Good!” The witch cackled. I didn’t miss the look she gave Louise. A wicked smile curving at the corners of both their lips.

I wanted to shout out and deny them. Tell her of her stupidity. Roar to the crowd to come to their senses but there was no having it. Whatever that witch had done no sound was coming from my lips. No murmur or roar, nothing.

Though Oriel was knocking at the control of my body, she was edging closer and closer to taking over. Her rage powering her ahead and I wasn’t sure if this was a good or bad occurrence. Though I was glad to have her back to full strength.

Thana walked close to the firepit. A flash of light came from the cauldron. She then approached Louise.

“What is the gift you offer my Ladyship, to appease the Goddess.”

Louise stretches out her hand and in it the Lunar Pearl sits. It’s power glowing and radiating forth. My eyes were once again drawn to it. I stared down to see my own pearl that sat around my neck now brightly shinning in reaction.

This can’t be good! I don’t have a good feeling about this.

“I give the gift of the Lunar Perl. A sign of my reverence to the Goddess.” I couldn’t help but laugh at that. Her head flipped to look at me. I smiled back at her this time, and she didn’t like it one bit.

Was she really this stupid? The pearl held power, yes! However, giving it to the Goddess?

Was it not the Goddess that gifted it in the first place?

Oh yeah here, have back the gift you already gave us. I will just steal a power you gifted from another and probably kill them. But here you go! Return to sender!

Is she for real!

Thana took it and brought it to the firepit. She began to chant again. Holding the Lunar pearl between her fingers, she placed it over the Cauldron chanting while the other necromancers joined in.

“Let the blood of Gaizka combine.” Two shades step forward and drop vials of what look like blood into the cauldron. Instantaneously it begins to bubble and broil.

“Let the power flow from one to another.” Thana roared out. The potion reacting to every word.

“Sit potentia influunt ab uno ad alium.” She shouted out again and the others began to chant that same sentence over and over.

“Sit potentia influunt ab uno ad alium. Sit potentia influunt ab uno ad alium. Sit potentia influunt ab uno ad alium.”

My heart raced and I pushed my hands towards the flames. Though they didn’t burn it was as if an invisible force was there holding me in the ring of fire.

My smug look had been left in the dirt. I could only concentrate on getting out of here. Everything else has fallen away with the progress they were making. I could hope that Atreus will get me out, or I could do what I need. Fight my way forward.

The liquid of the Cauldron began to behave strangely. It flowed upwards like liquid silver, smothering the Lunar Pearl.

Thana let go and the Pearl sat there mid space, floating in air. All the while it was covered in this potion that could only be describe as liquid sliver.

Thana walked towards me, and the Lunar Pearl moved with her.

Now stood in front of me. She whispered something I didn’t hear, and the sliver liquid became airborne again.

...It moved through the air like a snake to finally land on my arm. I tried to shake it off. Flicking and pushing it away but there was no help, and it snaked its way up my arm. Wrapping itself around my body. Then with horror I looked, and it covered my markings all of them.

Then liquid burned into my skin. A pained cry that escaped me was unstoppable. I screamed out as it seeped out into my body. Oriel cried out though she was still strong and determined to have her vengeance.

Thana spoke again. “Ne lumen regenerati sit ex Goddes.” And the liquid silver retracted and began to leave my body returning to the pearl where she walked over to Angelina.

My mind had become a little hazy with the pain and I stumbled. I could feel a change within.

I didn’t feel all that different. Yet the pain was immense. I pulled myself together to see Angelina’s body collapsed on the ground. Vaughan was yelling out in grief. All the while Thana was now standing before Louise the liquid silver flowing up her arms burning my marking onto her skin.

I felt sick at the sight and hoped that everything that Nimue has told me was fact. Taking a quick look at my arm. My markings were still there, though they were changed. They were no longer white but a silver shade that glistened in the light.

They were going to pay for this.

Louise roared out in Jubilation. When her ceremony was complete, it was the ignition to a timebomb within me that was ready to explode.

I roared out and belted at the invisible wall. Thana approached quenching the fire that surrounded me. I dropped forward slightly not expecting the freedom.

“She’s harmless now.” She spat out while cackling away, like the crazy bitch she is.

“She always was.” That male baritone that I hate said and stepped forwards.

“Now time for the sacrifice. I think they called for your heart.” Nathaniel continued and stepped towards me grabbing by the neck and lifting me off the ground.

I roared out in anger with the feel of his touch on my skin. Oriel then somehow broke through her lust for vengeance and rage outdoing my own and I let it happen. A roar howled outwards from the depth of our souls.

With the flash of an eye Nathaniel moved with such speed, his hand raised backwards then with force he accelerated it towards me. Ready to rip my heart out.

I clapped my hands above my head crushing his fingers with my collarbone. The shock made him loose his grip. This was it now or never. With all that we had Oriel shifted her hands to that of claws ripping and tearing through his chest. Until we stood there triumphantly. Bloody. Holding his heart in my hands.

"I told you... you were going to pay the price."



Authors Note:

“Sit potentia influunt ab uno ad alium.” ― Let the power flow from one to another

“Ne lumen regenerati sit ex Goddes.” (Let the light of the Goddess be reborn)

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