Chapter Thirteen: The Storm Arrives
While the news might have stopped my heart, the others didn’t seem to notice. The guard seemed to finally notice the three huge wolves in front of him and swallowed. Stiffly, he turned and fled.
As I watched the three wolves growl and circle one another I realised that this was the first time I had seen Seb shift. He was magnificent, his coat so dark it looked to be black. His eyes brilliant and green contrasted with his dark fur.
The King jumped forward and snapped in front of Seb’s face, causing my heart to leap. Seb danced out of the way just as Cal put his large golden body in between Seb and his father. I pressed myself tighter against the wall as the King now faced Cal, anger somehow clear in his features.
The King tried to get at one of his sons but they were each talented in evading attacks and they seemed to get each other’s backs. The King howled, clearly frustrated that he could not attack his target clearly.
Seb growled and dipped his head low, his tail slowly moving back and forth. I frowned as I noticed the King’s gaze shift from his sons to me. His eyes, odd in a wolf’s face, stared right into mine. I shivered as the King straightened and stopped growling. Cal and Seb didn’t seem to notice the change as much as I did.
In a flash the King was around his son’s and was snarling in my face. I cowered into the wall, wishing I could melt into it. The King stuck his muzzle in my face, his hot breath fanning over my face. I felt my eyes grew wide as I watched his teeth slowly pull back over his muzzle.
And then his teeth were on my shoulder and I screamed, not so much in pain but in shock. I was stunned, my whole body went stiff and numb. The whole room exploded in sound and light as Seb lunged forward and sunk his teeth into his father’s flank, his eyes murderous. Seb shook his head back and forth sending the teeth that were latched onto his father’s leg deeper into the skin.
“Seb!” I cried as the King twisted around. His teeth bit down on Seb’s ear, causing blood to gush immediately. I blinked a few times as I was suddenly seeing double. I lightly touched my shoulder with my fingertips and gasped when I removed them, they were now a brilliant red.
I gulped, never being good with blood. “Seb?”
Now, the King and Seb were really fighting. Snarls and howls were tossed around as the two scratched and bit on another. They reared on their back legs; the power struggle was obvious. Cal was in between it all, he hovered around the edges, barking when things got too serious.
Small black spots were dancing around the edges of my vision and I noticed that my whole side was stained red. The King was getting angrier by the second, whenever he thought Seb was slacking he would inch closer to me, sending Seb crazy and unpredictable. When the King was near me, Seb couldn’t think straight, and that was his weakness.
I swayed on my feet, not sure what was happening any more. I slid down the wall, clutching my shoulder. I noticed a wolf in front of me but I wasn’t sure who it was. The wolf whined and nudged my hand with its snout. I blinked a few times and opened up my eyes wide in an attempt to stay awake.
All at once the growl stopped and a whimper rang through my ears. And then there was absolute silence. “Serena?” I heard a voice call, feet pounded on marble and someone crouched in front of me. “Serena? Let me see.” A warm hand was placed over mine and slowly my hand was removed from my shoulder. Immediately, I felt an outburst of liquid pour down my shoulder once the pressure was removed from the wound.
“Shit, Seb, that’s serious,” I heard Cal yell.
Seb’s hand was shaking as he placed it on my wound, adding the pressure I had been supplying only minutes before. “I know, I know it’s bad. It won’t heal properly because of his high status. She needs medical attention.”
“You knocked him out cold. He’s going to be pissed in the morning,” Cal said.
Seb growled, the sound was loud and made my head whirl. “I don’t care! Serena is hurt, she’s bleeding like crazy.”
“I’ll send one of the maids to get the pack doctor.” Cal rushed from the room and Seb waited until his footsteps were faded to speak.
“Serena, I’m so, so sorry I couldn’t protect you,” Seb said. His voice wavered and a part of me wondered if he was crying. Two pairs of feet rushed in and I felt cold hands on my shoulder and hissed in pain. There was a deep growl, “Don’t hurt her.” And then I was out.
I woke up with a jolt, my heart racing and my brain telling me to get into action. I jumped up and nearly screamed from the pain that flared through my shoulder and right down my arm.
“Serena! What on earth are you doing! Lay down!” Cal came running over, looking frantic. “You’re supposed to be all groggy and stuff!”
“Where’s Seb?” I asked, my words like iron.
Cal frowned, “He had to go speak with the King. Your sister is here so they’ve had to push aside their problems for now.”
I pushed the blankets off of me with my good arm and made a move to stand up, only to be pushed back down my Cal. “Let me go, Cal. I have to go see her.”
Cal shook his head, “Seb has given me orders to keep you here.”
I almost laughed, “Since when do you take orders from Seb?”
Cal seemed to think about it, “I don’t, I would’ve done the same thing anyways. Sit your butt down, Serena. Or else your stitches may flew open.”
I swallowed hard, “Stiches?”
Cal nodded, “Forty of them. My father really took a bite out of you.” I felt dizzy and wanted nothing more than to lay down. But I knew I had to keep going.
“Well, I’m trying to see if I can stop a war from happening. How many men did my sister bring with her?”
Cal frowned, “Roughly one hundred and fifty.”
“A lot more than I thought,” I grumbled. I stood up, swaying on my feet. I took a step forward and gasped as my vision doubled.
“Here, drink some of this. It’s some sort of herb that’s supposed to help with your head. The doctor told me to make sure you drank it as soon as you woke up,” Cal said as he held out a cup for me.
I smiled and drank the warm liquid, “Thank you—” A warm sensation seemed to spread through me and soon my eyelids were heavy. “Bastard,” I hissed before I was out again.
When I woke up this time, I was even angrier. I jerked upwards and ignored the pain in my shoulder as I sat up, “CAL!” I screamed, my tongue felt heavy, “How dare you poison me!”
“He gave you a sleeping draught,” I was shocked to find Seb by my bedside. He looked like death, his eyes were dark and hollow, his skin was pale and his shoulders were hunched.
I scooted towards him, “Are you alright?”
He nodded and raised a hand to my face, touching my cheek lightly, “I was so worried about you,” his voice broke as he spoke. “How is your shoulder?”
I smiled and leaned into his touch, “It’s fine.”
Seb looked down, “I should have known he’d get to you. I shouldn’t have challenged him. Not with you there. But he—”
“It’s okay, Seb,” I cooed.
He stood up and yanked his hand back, “No it’s not!” he yelled, “It’s not okay, Serena! You know it is not okay!” His anger shocked me, but I knew this was just his way of expressing his feelings. He didn’t know how to cry, he didn’t know how to speak through things. He knew how to yell and scream. “Everything is just a mess.”
“I love you.” Seb seemed to freeze and so did I. I hadn’t said it yet, I hadn’t even known that I was planning on saying it. But once the words were out, I knew they were true.
Somehow, despite all the shit he put me through in the beginning. I loved Seb. I loved how fiercely he protected the things he cared about. I loved his ambition to be something better than himself. I loved his talents and his ability to make me laugh and smile. I loved how he tried to control himself for me. I loved the way he was slowly changing, transforming in front of me. I loved how he made me feel and I loved his shy side. I loved everything about him.
He turned to face me, “You—”
I nodded, a smile stretching across my face, “I love you, Seb. And I didn’t mean to betray you or the throne. I didn’t mean to jeopardize your chance at becoming King. I don’t want to leave you, even if that means I can never see my sister again. Somehow, I managed to fall in love with you, Seb. And I don’t want to let that go.”
He walked back to my bedside and took my hand, “I love you too, Serena. More than you can know. I know I get angry, and it’s rotten of me. But I’m working on it.”
I grinned and leaned forward, kissing him softly. “I know you love me. But now I have to go, Seb.”
Sebastian growled, “Don’t ruin this moment,” he begged, “It’s a really great moment for me.”
I smiled and squeezed his hand, “There will be more like it,” I promised, “But I have to see my sister.” Seb leaned back and looked me in the eye as if he were evaluating me.
“Fine,” he said.
I grinned, “Thank you.”
“But I have to come with you,” he declared.
I felt my smile drop, “Look, no offense. But she’s trying to get me away from you, she views you as my kidnapper. I can’t just waltz up there with you in tow.”
“Why not?” Seb challenged, “We will explain.”
“I need to see my sister by myself,” I told him patiently.
“She’ll just take you away!” Seb thundered.
I swallowed, not thinking about that, “Alright, alright, you can come. But we have to go now. Where is she?”
“They are hesitating, they’ve surrounded the castle but they haven’t made any more against it. I’m not sure why though, they have more wolves than us,” he said.
I nodded, “Well, let’s go find her.” Seb helped me out of bed and we walked slowly though out the castle halls. My shoulder was burning and I had to bite down on my tongue to stop myself from screaming.
“Why isn’t my shoulder healing?” I asked Seb. Usually I could feel a wound trying to heal itself by now.
“Because it was my father who bit you, his wounds don’t heal like a normal werewolf’s. You’ll heal like a human,” Seb explained.
I stopped walking, “Does that mean I’ll have a scar?”
Seb looked me in the eye and said, “I’m sorry.” I swallowed and looked down, I hadn’t seen the wound yet but I knew what it felt like when I was torn into. I knew it would be horrific. I shook my head, trying to clear it. I’d have to worry about that later.
We came to the front gates were ten men where guarding. They bowed to Seb and I as we approached, “My Prince, what are you doing here?” one asked.
“We’re exiting the castle,” Seb said. He clutched onto my hand tightly.
“Sir, that’s not a good idea there are—”
Seb interrupted him, “I know what is out there. And we’re leaving.”
The guards looked troubled, “We will escort you then.”
“No,” I said, “My sister will see that as a threat. We’re going ourselves. And I will hear no more on the matter.” Immediately, the gates were opened for us.
Seb squeezed my hand and whispered into my ear, “Spoken like a queen.” We kept walking down the front path. If I knew my sister she would be out front. As we approached the end of the road a group of people stepped out in front of us, at least thirty or so. I sucked in a breath and held it.
“Rayne?” I breathed.
My sister stepped forward, and my eyes searched her hungrily. Everything about her was the same, her hair was still chopped short. Her eyes were still narrowed and accusing. She was just as lovely as the last time I had seen her, but she seemed edgier.
I frowned and stepped forward a few steps, Seb was clearly uncomfortable. “Rayne, I’m alright. This really isn’t necessary.”
My sister snarled and I took a step back, “Alright? You’re covered in blood! I watched you be dragged away from me! From your home! I haven’t heard from you in months and you have some guard dog behind you!”
“I’m your Prince!” Seb boomed. Everyone seemed to become skittish then, “And your sister is my mate.”
Rayne blanched as if she only truly understood how serious the situation was now. “I—I—that doesn’t matter! She’s my sister! My blood! You stole her away from us! You’ve held her captive and now she’s wounded. How else have you hurt her?” I looked down, not being able to look her in the eye.
“You must stand down, Rayne Hope,” Seb said.
Rayne puffed up her chest, “Standing down is not in my genes.”
“Rayne please stop,” I begged.
“You’ve been brainwashed, Serena!” Rayne cried, “Can’t you see!”
“He’s my mate,” I told her.
She growled, “You can reject him.” Seb snarled and placed his hand on my forearm. “See? He’s over protective, he’s holding you here against your will and you don’t even see it! What about your pack? Your family? Your life back home? Mom and Dad told us to stick together, Serena. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
I swallowed, “I love him, Rayne.”
“Serena! Stop!” I turned to see Sky step forward. Sky was a girl I had met back at the grooming. I remember that she was the only brunette present, she was also stolen from her home. “Do you remember me?”
I nodded numbly. Rayne glared at me, “Sky here told me what happened that night, when you found out you were his! You screamed and fought but he towed you away!”
I looked down, “He made mistakes, we’ve tried to fix them.”
Rayne snarled, “Your blinded, Serena. I won’t let you live your life like this! I’m taking you home.”
Seb leaned down and whispered into my ear, “We have to run now.”
I shook my head, determined to keep my ground, “Rayne stop!”
“Wolves, get ready to fight,” my sister said icily. I backed up a few paces, staring at the stranger in front of me. All around I heard the sounds of wolves shifting. Beside me, Seb shifted himself. He barked at me telling me to go. I watched as my sister shifted and stepped forward.
And then I ran.