“I told you… You were going to pay the price.” My final words to Nathaniel as blood gurgled and spat out his dying mouth. His body now slumped on the floor.
I have just killed someone, a person I intimately knew...
I stumbled a little in shock. Though Oriel helped me to straighten up. I couldn’t take my eyes off his body as it lay there dying.
Oriel sense of relief as she watched the lights die out in his eyes was prevalent. Though I knew he deserved all that he got, the shock of taking another’s life was terrifying.
My hands trembled when I looked at what they held. Shock hitting me like a sledgehammer I threw it away in revulsion.
Grimacing when glancing down at my prey. His body was splayed out on the floor his head to the side. Eyes still open. It was eerie.
...In that moment I was frozen. The once fearsome man had been brought down. He no longer posed a threat to me or anyone else. Blood seeped out of his orifices. A large amount of blood was pooling out of the wound I inflicted. The spectacle made my stomach churn and I retched causing bile to rise in my mouth.
Though I’m born to be the Vegus Luna, I wasn’t trained or accustomed to the bloody sight of death. I don’t know if I ever will be...
My desires lay in teaching and learning. Maybe that was part of being the Vegus Luna also.
I thought I would feel sorrow or loss for Nathaniel, but he had hardened me by all that he had put me through. His true name or identity still a mystery to me. He has stolen that from another. And I just can’t find it in myself to feel remorse for taking his life. He chose his own fate in the end. I could only live mine.
Morbidly I watched as the blood continued to flow out a lesser speed than before. Then the strangest thing happened...
His mouth was agape, I could sense he was no longer there. Though there was movement just beyond his lips. Something crept out, it was so freaky. Such a surreal instant.
“Ew.” I screamed my face grimacing, I jumped back in disgust. It was alive whatever it was. Just as I was about to kill it. Oriel chimed in my head.
’Don’t Paloma, wait!
The thing crawled slowly out, I could finally see it looked like a of bug or insect, gross! It had wings and fluttered them gently until it took flight and disappeared into the night. I was captured and horrified by this bizarre occurrence.
‘What the fuck was that.’ I said to Oriel.
‘You’ll find out soon enough.’ The smart ass replied. Couldn’t she just tell me now? For crying out loud! Though it was good to hear her sound more like her old self.
There was this change in her. Her mate finally allowed to rest peacefully. And she, the little Omega had taken retribution.
...It was a sweet kind of sorrow. Her true mate was genuinely gone today, but we had done him right. And that gave us both a little solace. He can rest in peace now, no longer being used as a tool for the Paramount and the Tenebris.
My body aching now more than ever. Stumbling a little I stepped back from Nathaniel’s body. Assembling all the strength left in me, I need to pull myself together so I can get out of this precarious situation.
The stage was a mess of chaos, I could hear Louise’s triumphant squeals in the near distance. My ears had been ringing like blood was pumping through them. All I could concentrate on was the beat of my own heart while the adrenaline still flowed through me. My breathing was labored when I caught sight of her in my periphery.
“Finally, I am a God.” Louise hollered out to the audience, and they lapped it up. Cheering and bustling with excitement.
“Oh, look who’s being a bad little girl.” She cackled across the stage. I turned to her with my bloody hands. Nathaniel’s heart on the floor beneath me.
Scoping out the area. The shades still surrounded us. The Audience was wild, with bloodlust. Cheering for the kill I just did, clearly not caring who was sacrificed at all. They got blood and that’s what they wanted.
Thana looked a little shocked at my appearance and I guess the fact I managed to kill Nathaniel. Then there was Vaughan curled on the ground with Angelina’s body in his arms. Keening wails coming from his lips. It was a heart wrenching scene. I almost felt sorry for them, almost!
“What are we going to do with you, you’ve been very bad little omega. Clearly, you got a little more fight in you than I thought!” Louise said with Vehemence as she slowly stalked towards me.
“I can respect that.” She said looking straight into my eyes.
“I DON’T NEED OR WANT YOUR RESPECT. YOU MONSTER.” I roared out my anger taking over.
“Oh, is that so.” She replied then she malevolently laughed out with a sound that sent shivers through me.
“Thana, you’ve got the pearl. You know what to do.” She instructs the witch and I step backward away from these two fowl creatures. Beads of sweat began to form on my skin.
Louise strides forwards coming as far as Nathaniel’s dead body. Looking down in abhorrence, she kicks it with her foot, and it drops off the stage into the feral crowd below.
If there was ever proof, she was stone cold. That was it!
I wondered why nobody else could see it! He was one of her own. Obviously, a key element in her plan and yet she kicked him away with no sorrow or regret. There was nothing but darkness in her that was so evil it swept out of her pours and poisoned all around.
I could feel it. The darkness. Her markings though they were mirrors of mine they were black and looked like poison etched into her. It sparked and cackled but could she actually wield whatever she has taken from me?
“Do it.” She hissed, prompting the witch.
“AS you wish.” Thana responded and with a flip of her wrist. The planks of wood beneath my feet began to grow sprouts, swiftly turning into what looked like vine. Growing with exceptional speed they crept towards me backing me into a corner.
Panicking I swept out my claws, cutting any that came near. But they were growing in all directions, surrounding me. I was besieged.
Lastly, one whipped around my right leg while another two grabbed my wrists so I couldn’t move. Trapped and bound once again. I felt them wrap around my legs and feet creeping up my ankles. I screamed when they encircled my neck.
Ever so slowly they tightened more and more until I was gasping for air. I could just about breath my claws were extended as were my canines. Yet they were all but useless. With my hands held tightly by the living vines.
I couldn’t move and could barely scream because of the restrictions to my airways. I could only concentrate on breathing and staying alive long enough for Atreus to pull me out of this situation.
How can I fight back when she plays dirty and uses magic against me?
She couldn’t even do that much.
“You’re going to love this. Little omega!” She walked over and took my chin in her hands. I could see her looking over me. Evaluating me. She was waiting for me to ask. But I wouldn’t give her the satisfaction.
“Oh, come on, play along with me here. You know you want to.” Her wry smile paired with her sardonic laugh gave me the chills.
My eyes jolted over and back as I assessed her in return even though my throat burned with it’s restrained breathing and my neck ached from the restriction. I somehow managed a reply.
“Never. Do what you will. The Goddess will make you pay.” I retort then I smiled at her. I think it may have unsettled her because she reacted violently; hitting me hard across the face.
“Now, now little Omega. Tut tut.” She waved her index finger in my face.
“Stop this fight and let the inevitable take place. You ―” She paused momentarily. “You are a variable I hadn’t planned for. Though it turns out you came at the right time. Just when I needed you. What I don’t get is where you come from.
I followed all the lines of lineage and couldn’t discover your heritage. Tell me do you know who your parents are. I know you were abandoned but maybe you know more than your letting on. Go on, tell me little one.” She spoke in a soft tone as if she could lull me into obedience.
I laughed and spat in her face. “FUCK YOU, WITCH I WILL NEVER TELL.”
She stepped back wiping away the mess and rage flared in those dead eyes of hers. I couldn’t help but laugh again, I was almost delirious myself.
Then searing plain blazed across my face as she back handed me over and over. My eyes began to swell as did my cheeks. I could feel splatters of blood spill out when her hits rained down on me.
When she was finally done my head slumped a little forward. I began breathing in a staccato rhythm. While my energy was drained further. I could barely see out my eyes but could sense her approach.
“I tell you what, little rat. Here’s what is going to happen, and I told you you’re going to love this. Thana over there is preparing the special ritual to extract your wolf.” She said tersely in my ear.
My head shot up meeting her eyes with my own. A sense of dread shook my bones. This can’t be happening. She was going to take away all that I am. I was nothing without my wolf. I would be a mere human. Could I even survive the process?
“I can hear all the questions you have ringing in your head.” She laughed out.
“And yes I am going to make sure you survive this. I want to see your face when your mate rejects you. You’ll be nothing more than a human. He will have no use for you then little rat. Our people will reject you and throw you out to the humans.” Her laugh sent chills to my bones.
I had to get out of here. How could I put Atreus through that? He had already lost a mate to this fate. I couldn’t allow that to happen again.
Tugging and pulling as hard as I could I didn’t make any slack it only grew tighter the more I struggled. I tried to relax hoping against hope that maybe the opposite would work and that once I relaxed the tension from the vines they would withdraw and set me free.
That… was my stupidest thought so far!
Because obviously they just continued to hold me tight strangling my body in their hold. So, I continued on for what felt like hours pulling and fighting with my restraints, but nothing worked. I was spent. I no longer had the energy to fight, and I slumped forwards.
Louise’s voice grated on me the whole time. She was addressing the crowd. Demanding obedience and subservience her demands rolling off her tongue with fervent desire.
They were to worship her from this day forwards. Declaring herself a living Goddess. It was the only thing that made me laugh in such a perilous situation. Her audacity knew no ends.
Eventually she approached me once again.
“Ready yourself little rat. Your about to become who you are truly meant to be. Nothing more than worthless.”
Thana walked over with the pearl again. She had been busy doing no good at that cauldron of hers.
She approached me and I flinched at her touch.
“DON’T FUCKING TOUCH ME YOU WENCH!!” I screamed out in a raspy voice my chest heaved in anxiety. My visceral hatred for the her bursting through me.
‘Paloma.’ Oriel spoke to me. ‘I have a plan, don’t panic. Just know that I am thankful for everything you have given me. You gave me life when I wasn’t supposed to have one. I love you.’
‘I love you too, Oriel. What are you going to do? I will give you full reign if that is what you need.’ She was cognizant of something and I knew she wouldn't spill even if I asked so I let it be for now.
‘Yes, please do. Just go with it. Go with everything that happens, I knew this day was coming it’s time for me to prove myself to you and thank you for the life you gave me.’
Then I gave way and felt myself step back; it was like watching from the depth of my mind. Oriel now in control.
Thana began to hum a haunting song. The other shades stepped closer encircling me with their bodies and followed suit humming out the same tune.
I was so angry, as was Oriel but I could also feel other emotions coming from Oriel. Pride, a sense of acceptance. Then it hit me full force.
A wave of energy swarmed my body, seeping into the very core of me where it searched out my wolf. Oriel didn’t even try to fight it. She stepped forwards and took hold of the power allowing it to swallow her whole. I wanted to pull her back fight it off, but I had given away that power when I handed her the reigns.
Thana lifted the Lunar Pearl her singing turning to chanting words, but the pain of the separation became so much that I couldn’t hear what words left her mouth. My mind was thrown back in control of my body and then she was gone…
The emptiness and the separation were so profound that I screamed out a keening cry from the depth of my soul. She was gone and I was alone…
The witch clicked her fingers, and the event was over, the vines slumped and dropped my body on the ground.
I could feel the emptiness that was left behind. The weakness of my body, my breathing was so little that it could almost seem as if I was dead. I felt like I was almost there walking into the light, it called to me. The life I had was slipping away, I would never be the same again. Oriel was gone…
I knew what she did in that moment. She said her goodbyes and gave herself up for me.
My eyes shut as I took one more labored breath.
My last thought was how thankful I am to all of those who have given me love...
Oriel, Quinn, my friends from College, Nimue, Charlie and Niamh, and mostly Atreus.
...The man who brought hope back into my life. The man who lifted me up and accepted me without any demands or requirements. He loved me for who I am not what I was, and I will be forever grateful to him. The beauty of his face appeared before me as I drifted off into the darkness…