Love Stained

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Chapter 30 - A Special Place

Quinn POV

“This is all in my head?” I asked, looking around the stunning scenery that surrounded us.

“Sort of. Our minds have been transported to a different realm, I guess you could say. Our bodies are still sitting in the lounge at Moira’s...but we are no longer in them. Our minds, our essence, is here”

My eyes were dragged away from the heavenly space that I had created and slowly turned down to my hands. I could feel the gems inside them and could feel the energy they possessed but above all that...I could feel Kyanite’s hands around my own. I swallowed, my mouth suddenly dry and tacky. He was touching me.

“You feel that?” He asked.

My eyes darted up to his.

“No. What?” I lied.

“The power of the gems...?”

“Oh. Yes, I can feel it. It’s like they are humming in my hands”

Kyanite’s emeralds searched my face, taking in every inch with a sad look on his features. He then removed his hands from my own and stood up.

“Out of all the spaces you could imagine, where your animals could live in peaceful harmony...this was it? We are still in Fern Creek”

I shrugged and got to my feet.

“This is the only place I’ve ever felt home, at peace. Well I use to feel that way here. Now...I don’t know”

“What about your childhood? The people that raised you? Surely there is a place in your childhood memory that you would want to go back to”

I laughed. My childhood had been a lie. Any good memories I had now all felt tainted, stained.

“No. There is no place or time that I would want to go back to. This creek” I said, looking around, “this is where I want to be”

“Your bear and wolf seem happy here anyway”

I followed Kyan’s line of sight to the other side of the creek where my wolf and bear lay, basking in the sun. They seemed relaxed, content. My missing panther didn’t go unnoticed by either of us though.

“You don’t seem surprised that she’s not here” Kyan commented.

I could feel his presence next to me as he moved closer; the air between us buzzing with electricity. I swallowed down the lump in my throat.

“I’m not surprised” I answered.

I walked over to the creek and sat down, my shoes faded from my feet and I dipped my toes into the cool water.

“I could tell the moment I saw you today that something was wrong. The pain radiated off you for everyone to see”

“But it wasn’t for everyone to see, was it?” I said, “only you”

I gazed down into the water. I could see Kyan’s reflection as he stood behind me, staring at me. His hand twitched, like he wanted to reach out to me, to touch me but something was holding him back. Oh how I yearned for him to touch me.

“Your panther is my mate. She is all I see when I look at you”

Kyanite ran his fingers through his mop of dark curls and came to sit next to me. He sunk his feet into the water and moved them around, causing his own little whirl pool.

“To begin with when I looked at you, I saw you as a thing. To me, you were an abomination, something that existed only to cause my demise. I hated that you were my mate. At one stage I even plotted to kill you... with my own hands”

I turned to face Kyanite but he continued to stare into the water. I felt a pang of hurt in my chest. He had wanted me dead? my mate had wanted me dead and planned to do it himself. If that wasn’t the ultimate rejection, then I didn’t know what was.

“So, what stopped you?” I asked.

“You did...your panther did. The connection my panther felt towards yours was unlike anything I had ever experienced”

Kyanite scoffed and shook his head.

“My panther is strong, powerful. His bloodline is pure and one day we will be king. But you....you reduced him to a depressed, pining mess. You did everything that I feared you would do. You destroyed us”

Kyan’s words left me speechless, he said them with so little emotion that it almost scared me. I felt tears stinging my eyes. I knew exactly how his panther felt, because mine felt the same; but none of this was my fault.

“Why are you still here then?” I asked. I tried to sound strong but the break in my voice betrayed me, “you could just leave. Go back to your kingdom. I can do this without you”

The prince sighed and shook his head. I felt his fingers over the top of mine, he didn’t look away from the water. My panther stirred at his touch and I found myself staring at his hand, mesmerised by every detail, every vein, every line.

“No, you couldn’t. Without me you would surely lose your panther all together. You need her to defeat Magdalene, therefore you need me...to keep her alive”

“So that’s the only reason you stayed around? To give me the best chance to kill Magdalene?”

I bit my lip, almost wishing I hadn’t asked the question; the wrong answer could break me. Kyanite hummed and nodded his head towards my wolf and bear.

“Wouldn’t you love to see your panther there with them? Enjoying the sun? Happy?”

Of course I did. I knew he was avoiding my question.

“Yes”

“Then we need to make that happen. For you to be able to have the gems working at their optimum power then you need to heal your bond with your panther”

“How?”

Kyanite cocked his head to the side.

“Take me to her”

No.

There was no way I could go back to my panther, the image of her curled in a ball, holding on to the only fragment of her mate she had left, was burnt into my memory. Kyanite couldn’t see that, it would damn near destroy his panther too.

“I can’t” I answered, my head drooping in front of me.

I tried to hide the tears as they pooled in my eyes but as one escaped and ran down my cheek, Kyan’s finger was there to wipe it away. Without thinking I leant my face into his hand. The warmth giving me a fleeting moment of comfort; that was, until I heard my wolf growl.
I lifted my head and looked over the creek to where my wolf and bear were lying. My wolf’s head was slightly raised, ears pricked, glaring at Kyanite’s hand.

“Quinn. You have to take me to your panther. I can help but I can’t help her here, not with your wolf watching”

“I can’t take you to her” I whispered, “it’s too painful, I can’t see that again”

“So what? You’re just going to let her die? Or go insane? Best case scenario is that she goes completely dormant, but even with that you will not be able to defeat Magdalene; the turquoise will be useless”

I felt a small fire in my belly burn and I clenched my teeth together. Wether he meant to or not, Kyanite’s words were pissing me off. To me this was so much more than just defeating the witch; to me this was losing part of me, losing part of who I was. Of course I wanted my panther to be living in harmony with my other animals...but not because of Magdalene, because my panther made me who I was. I wanted Kyan to want her back for those reasons too but at the moment he was making me feel like it was just a business deal, it was what worked best for him to complete his mission.

“So, say you get my panther back and we defeat Magdalene...what then? What happens when the witch is dead? You just run off back to Panthera and my panther is left to die anyway?”

“What do you want me to do Quinn? You’re the one with another mate, not me!”

I flinched at the anger in Kyanite’s voice and the bite behind his words. I stole a look at his eyes, the emerald spheres blazing into my soul.

“Don’t you fucking dare” I snarled, “That little show with Gretchen...hardly the actions of someone that was so cut up with me having another mate”

Kyan lauged but there was no humour behind it. He got up on his feet and glared down at me.

“Get up” the prince grunted.

I snorted.

“No”

Kyanite grabbed my arm, dragging me to my feet.

“What the fuck is your problem?” I hissed.

“Take me to your panther”

“I said no!”

Kyan rolled his eyes, still holding on to my arm.

“Where is she?”

The question confused me. What did he mean ‘where is she?’? She was curled up in the depths of my mind, hidden behind a wall of pure pain and heartache.

“What?”

“Where is she? Your panther, where has she taken herself to?”

Oh.

I stared at Kyan blankly, unsure of how I should answer his question.

“My guess is she has taken herself to a place in time, a memory...an experience...where she feels safe. She will be holding on to whatever it is to stop herself from completely losing herself. So I’ll ask you again. Where. Is. She?”

“I don’t know” I muttered.

“Bullshit!”

Kyanite grabbed my other arm, pining them both at my sides. His eyes pierced into my soul and for a moment I lost myself in them. They were beautiful, they were angry but they were also full of pain. I had almost forgotten that Kyan’s panther was hurting too, this couldn’t be easy for him either. He was so close to me, touching me; but he couldn’t have me. His grip softened slightly on my arms but I was glad he still held on. My legs felt heavy, my breathing deep. My gaze dropped slowly from the prince’s eyes, trailing down his perfect nose, his perfect lips. The air around us thickened and my skin under Kyan’s hands burnt. I watched, almost in a daze, as Kyan’s lips softly parted, then before I knew it, they were pressing down on mine.



My eyes shot open. I looked around, my vision very slowly catching up to my subconscious. I knew I was no longer at the creek. Where was I?
I blinked again. Kyan stood in front of me. I felt coolness on my back. His arms caging me against whatever it was behind me. I looked at my hand, it fisted the material of the prince’s shirt. I took in the scenery around me; a terrace, a garden.

Shit.

“This is where your panther is? This is the moment in time she is stuck in?”

My eyes were slowly drawn back to Kyan’s. My heart aching at the sadness in them. I nodded my head. The prince breathed out slowly, his breath leaving a burning warmth on my skin. He leant forward steadily and rested his forehead against my own. We stood there, not speaking, not moving. I don’t know how long we stood there for. Our breathing was perfectly in sync with one another’s, it was all I could hear; that and the steady beat of our hearts.
Finally Kyan spoke.

“This is what your panther wants, Quinn. This connection, this realisation that you and I are meant to be. I know you feel it too”

My eyes closed softly and I inhaled the scent that wrapped around my whole body. The sweetness and musky undertones lifted me, elevated me, to a place where my panther was in complete and utter bliss. For once I could feel what she felt without the painful push back from my wolf. In this moment it was just me and my panther and I knew this was how Kyan felt too.

The feeling was all to familiar though, I had felt this clarity, this perfect union before. I had felt it with Jayce.




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