“What’s going on in that pretty little head of yours? You’ve been quiet since we left Moira’s”
I lay on the floor in the pack house lounge room with my back up against the sofa; in front of the open fire. Quinn lay between my legs, her head resting on my stomach. We had been here, like this, for the last hour. Neither one of us had spoken a word, which didn’t usually bother me, there was never awkward silence with my mate. This was different though. I felt a tension in Quinn’s body, she hadn’t been herself since her gem meditation session with Kyanite.
Quinn hummed, nestling her head further back into me.
“Just...stuff” she muttered, her voice lazy and tired.
“Just thinking. About stuff”
I sighed and gripped Quinn’s chin softly, turning her head back to face me.
“Quinn. I’m your mate. If there is anything on your mind...I’d like it on mine too, please”
I smiled down at her, her stunning blue eyes almost leaving me speechless, as they did every time.
“I’m sorry” she sighed, “Kyanite was right, I guess. I’m just in a bit of a fog after the session. It was...strange, like nothing I’ve even experienced before”
My wolf grumbled in my head. We were jealous. I hated that the panther could offer my Luna something that I couldn’t; especially when it was something that she needed to help her defeat Magdalene. I knew my jealousy was irrational, her and Kyanite spent ten seconds together. Big whoop.
“Tell me about it”
Quinn’s body tensed, which was not overly the response I was expecting.
“Tell you about it?” She repeated.
“Yeah. If it was like nothing you’ve ever experienced then I’d like to know what went on. I’m intrigued”
“It would bore you. Honestly”
Quinn cleared her throat and sat up straight. She turned around, still inside my spread legs and hooked her feet over the sides of my hips.
“It’s hard to explain but I’ll try” she started, “I travelled to a part of my subconscious that my animals share together. It was a location, a location that I feel at peace in and therefore a location that my animals feel at peace too”
“What was the location?” I asked.
Quinn’s eyes lit up and she smiled. A smile that sent my wolf into a spin. She was fucking adorable.
“It was here...Fern Creek”
I returned her smile. My home was her happy place.
“The creek. By your dad’s cabin”
I paused for a moment, my initial happiness fading. That creek. That bloody creek. Every time I had smelt Kyanite’s scent it had taken me there and every time Quinn had been there, revelling in it. I tried to hide my disappointment though, I didn’t want Quinn closing down on me. She was opening up because I asked her to, I needed to keep it that way.
“Tell me more”
Quinn nodded tentatively, sensing my apprehension and continued.
“I could see my wolf and my bear, they were together, curled up in the sun. It was surreal...”
“And your panther?” I asked before I even thought about if I wanted to know the answer.
“She took a little bit longer to find...”
“But you found her?”
Quinn nodded again. I could tell there was more to it but something inside me told me not to push, as there was more than likely an answer that I didn’t want to hear.
“Good” I answered, leaning forward and placing a soft kiss on my mate’s forehead.
“Do you really think I can do it?”
I sat back and studied Quinn’s face.
“Baby. If anyone can do it, it’s going to be you. You are the single most powerful force I have ever met. That witch has got nothing on you”
Those pathetic shifters thought they could really outsmart me? They’d shut their borders down tight, no shifters going out into the open and therefore no more shifters for me to corrupt.
Sure, it would have been nice to have a few more...and I would, but first I would have to take out Fern Creek.
Once I had control of their Alpha, the rest would fall into place. I knew the shifter Queen was in that compound and she was mated to the Alpha. Little did she know that he would be the key to her demise. She was weak, polluted with love. Stupid idiot. There would be no way the tribrid would sacrifice her precious mate...even if it meant saving humanity.
But time was running out. I would have to strike soon. I had enough shifters to attack Fern Creek and with Brax being so naively loyal to me, the attack would be a piece of cake. Brax had played his part well, I had him eating out of the palm of my hand; buying into some stupid story where he was the strong, Alpha male. Just like I’d done with that pathetic wolf, Clayton. Unfortunately the plan with Clayton hadn’t quite played out how I thought it would. I hadn’t anticipated that the wolves would have two strong wolf-mage hybrids; this time I was better prepared.
I had made a deal with the devil himself.
My strength was immeasurable. I was fuelled with the power of Hades after signing off on quite the deal. You see, Hades was forming his own army in the underworld and he believed that the perfect addition to his army would either be an all powerful witch...or a shifter Queen. Either way, by the end of the week, he would have one or the other.
I could either send the tribrid to hell or Hades would drag me down there himself. It was the perfect deal. The tribrid had no chance against me now with all the extra power I had, that spot in hell was as good as hers. Alessandra was dead and I knew for a fact there were no mages left that matched up to her power.
As far as I knew, the tribrid didn’t even know of her abilities as a shifter Queen but even if she did, I would not give her the chance to use them.
Once the tribrid was out of my way there would be nothing stopping me from possessing all shifters and wiping out humanity. Queen of shifters? Pfft. I would be Queen of the world.
I’d woken in the morning, my panther in a funk. The effects of yesterday’s gem session had already worn off and he wasn’t stupid, he knew his mate spent the night with the Alpha, not with me.
It had lasted for less time than I thought it would, our panthers needed their closeness, they needed their connection. I knew Quinn’s panther would be in a worse state than mine, today’s gem session couldn’t have come soon enough.
“So what will you do with Quinn today?” Moira asked as we waited for the Alpha and Luna to arrive.
You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.
“Similar to yesterday but a little more intensity”
“And Quinn will be able to handle more intensity?” Cassius asked.
“If she wants to kill the witch then she doesn’t have a choice”
Moira and Cassius looked at each other. I didn’t care if they thought I was going too hard on Quinn. In reality I probably wasn’t going hard enough. We might only have time for one or two more sessions, I couldn’t afford to hold her hand and make daisy chains. Shit needed to get real and today’s session would reflect that.
“Gretchen! Welcome, we missed you yesterday” Moira said happily as the front door sounded.
I rolled my eyes, not even bothering to turn in her direction. I didn’t even know why she was here, the she-wolf had proved to be useless to our fight so far, apart from providing the clasp to create the amulet.
“I was sorry to have missed yesterday’s session. I’m looking forward to today’s though” Gretchen answered in a sing song voice, taking up a position on the sofa, “anyway, I have received news from Eastern Ridge about Magdalene”
That had my head snapping in her direction very quickly. Gretchen smiled at me almost smugly.
“Well? Out with it” I snapped, growing impatient.
Gretchen leant back into the sofa and crossed her arms over her chest.
“Not until Alpha Jayce and the tribrid get here”
I growled under my breath.
“They are here” I sneered.
Gretchen, Cassius and Moira looked to the door just as Jayce and Quinn entered. Gretchen rolled her eyes, clearly despising the heightened senses I had for my mate. I looked to Quinn, I noticed the faint lines at the corner of her eyes and the dullness to her skin. My panther stirred as she came to sit down on the floor in front of me, she wasted no time getting comfortable; her panther was hurting and needed her mate.
“Before you begin” Cassius said to Quinn, “My sister has news from Eastern Ridge in relation to the witch”
Quinn’s eyes widened but she didn’t turn her head to look at Gretchen. My stomach turned, knowing she probably still couldn’t face her after what happened the other day. I wanted Quinn to lock eyes with me, if she did, she would see that I was sorry.
“What news?” Jayce asked, seemingly oblivious to the tension in the room.
“Brax and Magdalene’s possessed wolves have completely backed off. They are no longer scouring the forest for shifters. Our scouts haven’t seen any sign of them or any magic residue from the portals in over twenty four hours”
I knew this meant absolutely nothing. The witch wasn’t stupid. She knew that there would be no shifters left wandering for her to possess, so why continue searching? I’m sure she was already plotting her next move. This wasn’t good.
“Oh, well hopefully it’s pissed her off and thrown her off her game” Moira said, shrugging her shoulders.
I snorted. Quinn looked up at my face, her eyes telling me that she was on the same page as I was. She knew it wasn’t that easy to throw off a witch.
“Something you wish to share panther?” Jayce sneered.
I rolled my head in his direction and gave him my best ‘are you fucking stupid?’ look.
“One; we shouldn’t be celebrating about pissing off a witch. Two; when she was scouring the forest we at least knew her thought process. And three; wasn’t our plan to use one of her portals to get to her? If Brax isn’t out there searching for shifters, then there’ll be no portals for us to use. We are pretty much sitting ducks until Magdalene decides to make the first move”
The room fell silent, my panther quite smug at making the big bad wolf eat his words.
“Now, if we’re just about done with Gretchen’s not so news worthy news flash, then Quinn and I should probably get started”
“The floors all yours, Princess Pearl” the Alpha muttered under his breath.
My panther huffed but I refused to bite. I knew what I was about to get up to with his Luna, childish insults could wait.
“Ready?” I asked Quinn gently.
She nodded and held her hands out, I placed the gems inside then cupped her hands with my own. An instant zap of electricity shot through me at her touch and it took all of my will power to reign in my panther.
Mate. Need now!
I heard Quinn inhale sharply, letting me know that she had felt it too.
“Ready” she whispered.
I opened my eyes. We were at the creek again. I smiled at my mate as she stood in front of me, her hands still in my own. Her sapphire eyes shone brightly, already her panther feeling better about our closeness. Before I had a chance to say a word, Quinn’s eyes flashed black and she threw herself on me, her mouth crashing down against mine.
My panther sprung to life, I gripped the back of Quinn’s head and kissed her back with the eagerness that she’d shown me. I felt her breasts pressed up against my chest and her hips grinding into me in her desperate attempt to get closer. Her skin was on fire, every where she touched me I could feel my body sizzle.
I groaned, my tongue invading her mouth as I tugged her hair, pulling her head back. She was a woman crazed, it was sending me insane the way her body was responding to mine.
I had been so caught up in the moment that I hadn’t even noticed the shadow coming over me until it was too late. A low growl emanated from behind me, making the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. I pushed Quinn off, spinning around just in time to see a large silver wolf lunging for my neck.