Blood Stained

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Chapter 37 - Two Can Play At That Game

Jayce POV

As the wall exploded, debris and rubble showering from the sky, I felt Quinn within me. There was pain but there was also fury. While I felt that level of anger it meant she was still fighting, she was strong.

My wolves and I barrelled on ahead, tearing through the trees and into the barrage of shouting and gunfire. I felt a stray bullet graze my shoulder, making me snarl but not falter in my pace. We flooded the compound but were met with numbers that tripled our own. Clayton had an army and we had fallen right into his trap.

I jumped through the air, landing on an unshifted wolf and tearing him apart with my claws. The breath was knocked from my lungs as I was pounced on by another enemy. I landed on my feet, skidding in the dirt. I turned as the next attack came and grabbed the wolf in my jaws, shaking my head until the animal tore in half; falling in two pieces at my feet and his entrails coating the dirt.

The blood lust fuelled my strength. I felt stronger and more focused than ever before, I knew it was because of the bond between Quinn and I.

Quinn.

I felt her again, her essence trying to break through. I knew in that moment that she had shifted, I could sense her animal thriving, her power radiating from her.

Two more wolves came at me, one from either side. I swatted one away with my claw, kicking the other backwards with my powerful hind leg. Before the first one had a chance to regain his balance, I bit down on his back, severing his spinal cord. Dropping him to the ground. I turned, ducking an attack from the second wolf. The wolf gnashed it’s teeth as it came at me again. This time I was ready and swiped at his chest, tearing through fur and flesh with my razor sharp claws. The light in the wolf’s eyes was gone before it even hit the ground.

I killed five more wolves before I had even a second to catch my breath. To my left I could see Cameron fighting, to my right was Cassius. I turned around and watched as my father stood over Luca’s injured wolf, snarling at any enemy that dared come near him. I ran forward and leapt through the air as a red wolf tried to get my father from behind. I grabbed the wolf in my mouth, clenching my jaw until I heard the satisfying snap of his neck. Dominic nodded at me and held Luca by the scruff of his neck, dragging him out of harm’s way.

Even though I hadn’t felt the bonds break, due to Clayton’s magic, I could see that we had lost fighters. Two dead Fern Creek wolves lay near the wall, having barely made it into the compound before being shot in the head. Up ahead, another wolf lay in his human form, his body splayed in a position not compatible with life.

My blood boiled. These men had families, mates, kids. They had made the ultimate sacrifice and it was my duty, as Alpha, to ensure their sacrifice meant something.

Then I felt it. A pain tearing through me, through my soul. It took me a second to realise that the wasn’t my own...but Quinn’s.

I looked around for Cassius, I needed to know if the barrier had been lifted, but seeing him deep in battle, I decided to just try it instead.

Quinn. QUINN!

I focused all my energy, silence in return. Then suddenly...

Jayce!

My ears pricked up. Quinn’s mind link came through strong, but the pain and fear in it didn’t go unnoticed. I sniffed the air, honing my senses. My mate’s scent flowed up my flared nostrils, making my head snap towards a three storied building to the back of the compound.

Quinn. I’m coming!

I hurtled towards the buildings, ripping apart any wolf that dared get in my way. I could feel Cameron, Mason, Cassius and my father all behind me. No doubt they had felt Quinn’s pain too.

Then something up ahead had us all stopping abruptly in our tracks, dirt spraying up around us as we dug our claws into the soil. A figure moved through the shadows, stepping out from behind one of the cabins, directly into our path. A blue hue surrounding it, giving an almost otherworldly appearance.

What is that? Cameron mind linked.

The figure moved forward, gliding over the ground as a haze of fog bellowed under foot. As the figure moved into the light my eyes widened.

Witch!

I felt the others tense around me. Witches were meant to have been forced into extinction centuries ago. They had once ruled over the land and over all shifters in it. They had been there to create a balance, to ensure that the supernatural beings of the world never strayed outside their own boundaries.
But then humans came into play. The bloodline of the witches becoming weaker and weaker as crossbreeding took hold. Witches choosing a civilian lifestyle and pairing over a life of spells and potions.

Soon the only true witches that remained were ones that practiced black magic. These witches fought to destroy all shifters, as the fear of them becoming the stronger beings took hold. I remembered my mother telling me stories. One story being about the last witch in existence, killed by the Luna of a wolf pack...a thousand years ago.

A chill ran over my skin as I stared at the witch. Her tall, thin body was draped in a burgundy cloak, her face partially hidden under the hood. Nothing could hide her eyes though...those red glowing eyes that raked over the wolves standing before her until they stopped on...me.

Alpha...” she hissed, visible energy crackling from her hands as she twirled her fingers at her side.

I snarled, baring my teeth as her lips curled up in the corner, like she was smirking at me.

Stand down”

I planted my feet firmly on the ground, howling into the sky, showing her that I would not be bending to her command.

Then I lunged forward, my legs propelling me as I tore towards the witch, readying myself to tear her throat out and get to my mate.

Shit!

My body came crashing down into the dirt as something powerful ripped through me. I felt my bones breaking and my body shifting. I swore under my breath, pushing myself up on to my feet as I stood in my human form. Before I could say a word the witch lifted her hands in front of her, sending an energy from her fingertips into my body and slamming me down into the ground. I groaned, I could feel the air being forced from my lungs as an invisible weight pushed my body hard against the earth; threatening to crush me.

I tried to reach for my wolf, to call him forward, to bring on a shift...but the magic was keeping him back, I could feel him fighting it but it was of no use. The more I fought against the force, the more I was crushed into the ground. My ears were ringing and stars appeared in my vision as the oxygen left my body.


Mason POV

I pawed the dirt and growled as I watched Jayce fight against the black magic. I could tell he was losing the battle. An unshifted wolf, even if he was an Alpha, was no match for a witch. I still couldn’t get my head around the idea that we had a witch standing in front of us, it didn’t make any sense, they had all been vanquished years ago.

It was obvious that Clayton had been working with magic but I’d just assumed he had some how coerced a wayward mage to do his dirty work. It had never crossed my mind that he had a witch on his side.

Witchcraft was dark, it was dirty and tainted magic brought forward from only the darkest corners of the world; sometimes even Hell itself. A mage was different, they used the natural power of the earth and they never upset the balance of things; with every take there was always a give.

She’s killing him!

Dominic’s mind link brought me back to reality. I looked over to Cassius and knew, as we locked eyes, that he was thinking the same as me. I nodded, letting him know it was our only option.

Cassius shook, his body vibrating and contorting back into the form of his human. Dom and Cameron looked at him in confusion.

Cameron. You must protect Cassius.

Cameron’s wolf nodded, padding over the Cassius to make sure he was safe from any enemy wolf attacks as the battle still went on behind us.

I looked back to Jayce, praying this worked; because if it didn’t, the Alpha and my daughter would be dead.

I levelled my stance, spreading my feet evenly as the earth began to vibrate underneath me. I could feel the power from my wolf, moving through my body, along my spine and down my legs. I felt the energy enter the soil beneath my feet and reverberate through the ground towards Jayce.

What the hell is happening?!

I turned my head to look at Dominic as he felt it too, his power being extracted and siphoned to his son.

Cassius is trying to save Jayce. Trust him.

Dominic’s eyes widened in shock and he turned to look at Cassius.

Cassius knelt on the ground, both hands fisting the soil at his feet. His eyes were dark and focused, staring at the Alpha that struggled against the witch’s magical hold.

It’s working. Keep going! I linked to Cassius.

I watched as Jayce begun to successfully push himself up off the ground. His arms shook and his teeth clenched as he fought back against the force the witch imposed on him.

“You’re no match for me, mage!” The witch screamed, her voice echoing around the compound as if it had come from everywhere.


Dominic POV

Mage?!

Cassius was the heir to the Eastern Ridge Pack, I had known him and his family forever...how could he be a mage?
I looked to Cassius as he focused all of his strength and energy into the soil beneath him. His forehead beading in sweat, blood dripping from his nose.

I then looked to my son, he was fighting with everything he had and all of the power that Cassius was tapping into but it wasn’t enough; the witch was too strong. Her eyes shone red and the blue hue surrounding her got stronger as the magic flickered around her like lightning.

I could feel myself panicking. The realisation hitting me that Jayce might actually die, right before my eyes, while I stood here and did absolutely nothing. I was his father, doing nothing was not an option. I roared loudly then tilted my head back and howled at the moon, calling to the goddess to give me the strength I needed to save my son.

I was about to run towards the witch when the ground shook, nearly knocking me off my feet. The sensation that I had felt earlier when Cassius was sourcing my wolf’s power came back, but this time much stronger.


Cassius POV

My power was dwindling, I had never done anything like this before and I was beginning to think the task was beyond my capabilities. The witch’s magic was too strong, too dark; I couldn’t source enough energy to combat it.

Then I felt it, a presence next to me. I didn’t have to look to know who it was, it was a presence that I had known my whole life. I felt my power increase, suddenly not only drawing the energy from the wolves in my immediate vicinity but now drawing from every wolf in the compound.

I grounded myself, closing my eyes, visualising what I was doing; what had to be done. Picturing the essence of the wolves leaving their body, flowing through the ground and passing into Jayce.

I turned my head for a moment, looking at the person kneeling next to me, her long fingers entwined in my own as we worked together.

“Hello mother” I smiled.





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