Love Stained

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Chapter 42 - Get Up

Quinn POV

I wanted to let the darkness take me. I wanted to curl up and close my eyes, to cry myself into a never ending sleep. I didn’t want to fight anymore, I’d already lost so much. My body was broken. My heart was broken. My mind was broken. I lay on my stomach, still hanging over the rock ledge, staring down to where the portal once stood.

He was gone. Kyanite was gone. He’d sacrificed himself to save me. Why? Look at me. I was a failure, a pathetic excuse for a Queen.

Don’t let his death be for nothing. Get up.

I closed my eyes, trying to block out Rogue’s gentle nudge. My panther was hurting, her pain was raw and heartbreaking. I could feel my bear and wolf comforting her, holding her up. My wolf wasn’t without her own pain though, small tormented howls escaping her.

Jayce?

I slowly let my eyes drift over to where I’d last seen Jayce. All I could see were the chilling red eyes of the possessed shifters as they glared in my direction. One of the panthers stepped to the side and I gasped. Bile rose in my throat, causing me to expel the contents of my stomach everywhere. I blinked as burning tears filled my eyes. I could see a large black wolf lying motionless on the ground amongst the shifters. There was no doubting that it was Jayce, his fur and the rock beneath him slick with blood.

My body went numb. I closed my eyes again and silently willed for my injuries to take me. I flinched as my animals screamed out in my head, refusing to let me go.

Get up.

I shook my head, tears streaming down my face.

Get up.

“No” I wailed.

GET UP!

Another sob escaped my body as I pushed myself to my feet.

You need to move. We will heal you. Push through the pain. Push!

I bit down on my bottom lip and straightened my body, wiping the blood and tears from my eyes. I could feel my injuries slowly healing and oxygen returning to my lungs. But the less physical pain I was in, the more I felt the raw burning pain of my grief. I felt myself wanting to tear open my skin just so I wouldn’t have to suffer through the painful ache of my heart.

“Well what do you know. Turns out Hades was happy settling for a panther prince. He wasn’t really that picky after all”

Magdalene’s smug voice cut through me like a knife. My panther growled, her grief quickly turning into rage. I slowly turned around. The witch stood there, not an ounce of dirt or sweat tarnishing her flawless shell. My fists clenched, my nails piercing the skin on the palms of my hands.

“I guess it’s a win win” Magdalene continued, “Hades gets what he wants and I still get to kill you. Looks like Christmas came early for me”

Out of my peripheral vision I could just make out the clasp amulet, hidden behind a couple of jagged rocks. It was only metres away, close enough that I could feel the pull from the gems. They called to me, called to my animals.
My eyes narrowed on the witch and she smiled at me.

“I’ve got nothing left to lose” I seethed between clenched teeth, “that makes me one very dangerous, very pissed off tribrid”

Magdalene laughed.

Please” she snorted, “you’re as good as dead. Just like your prince and just like your Alpha”

As if the goddess herself heard the witch’s taunt, a deep, rumbling growl emanated from the direction of the shifters. Both Magdalene and I turned and my heart swelled. The giant black wolf lifted his head.

He’s alive!

I wasted no time and used Magdalene’s second of distraction to my advantage. I threw my body to the side and snatched the amulet up before rolling behind a large boulder that Kyanite used to hide behind earlier. I felt the earth beneath me shake again, the witch clearly realising that I’d slipped her clutches…again.

“You can’t hide forever! You’re just delaying your death. Come out and face me”

I secured the clasp around my wrist and a sudden wave of power coursed through my body. Every nerve impulse hummed with an all consuming energy, unlike anything I’d ever felt before. It was as though I’d just injected my body with a fatal dose of caffeine, my muscles twitching and pulsing, wanting to tear out of my skin. It took me a second to catch my breath and slow my breathing back down.

Let’s kill that bitch.

I stepped out from behind the boulder, turning all my focus on Magdalene. I had to trust that Jayce would be ok, I couldn’t afford to be distracted and I knew he wouldn’t want to be the reason I lost this fight.

“That bracelet…it’s cute” taunted Magdalene, “I might keep it after I kill you”

The witch stretched her arm out towards me, lightning crackling around it until it formed a ball in the palm of her hand. The ball flashed through the air towards me, so fast that I barely had time to react. I moved on instinct, letting my animals take control and trusting that they knew what to do. My open hand shot up in front of my body, seemingly shielding me from Magdalene’s attack…and the lightning ball fizzled out, evaporating into a mist of blue sparks.

The look on the witch’s face said it all. I’d caught her off guard. She raised both hands this time, firing two balls of lightning directly at me. I leapt out of the way, dodging one of the balls as it exploded into the rock behind me. The second ball changed direction as if it were tracking me. I lifted both of my hands and cupped them outwardly in front of my face. When the ball was only a metre from my face I pushed my hands out and projected the lightning right back at Magdalene. She hadn’t been expecting it and managed to move out of the way just in time, the ball shattering a boulder she’d been standing next to.

“Don’t think for a second that your little tricks will save you tribrid! I am a dark witch, more powerful than a few little gems on a trinket!”

Magdalene’s voice bellowed through the cave. Her level of anger suggesting that she knew she was in trouble.


Jayce POV

I groaned painfully as my senses began to return. First there was smell. I could smell blood, my blood; it stung my nose and made my stomach turn. Next came touch. My body hurt, everywhere. But I could also feel it healing, my wolf desperately trying to get me on my feet. Then there was taste, the metallic taste of blood in my mouth mixed with the salt from the cave. Next - hearing. The first thing I noticed was that the buzzing had stopped; that could only mean one thing…the portal had closed.

Quinn!

Finally sight. I opened my eyes. My vision was still blurry. I couldn’t see Quinn, I was finding it hard to see anything; but I could hear a voice.

Magdalene.

I let out a deep, menacing growl and lifted my head. I wanted that witch to see she hadn’t won yet, I was still alive, and while I was alive, she was still very much in trouble.

Movement. There was movement. The shifters were seemingly ignoring me, focused on something ahead. I gritted my teeth, pushing my heavy frame up on all four legs; I was healing fast. I looked in the direction the movement came from and waited as my eyes regained focus. I could see the witch. A blue hue misted around her and the earth shook under my feet.

“You can’t hide forever! You’re delaying your death. Come out and face me!”

Quinn’s alive!

Of course she was. If my mate was dead then I would be dead too. My wolf would not have been able to heal me and we would have given into the call of the goddess, ready to reunite with our Luna in the afterlife.
But what if she’d gone through the portal? Would we have felt the bond break? Would it be the same physical and mental pain as when your mate dies?

My eyes darted over to where the portal had been. It was no longer there, which confirmed my earlier thoughts that it had closed. How? Gretchen explained that the only way the portal to hell would close was if Quinn, Magdalene or an equally suitable substitute went through.

Movement caught my eye again and my wolf howled ecstatically in my head as Quinn jumped out from behind a boulder. She was covered in dirt and blood; her hair caked in mud and plastered across her face. Her clothes were ripped but she appeared to be in one piece. She looked fierce, she looked every part the shifter Queen that she was.
I noted the amulet around her wrist and I knew Kyanite’s plan had been successful. So where was he?

“That bracelet…it’s cute. I might keep it after I kill you”

I watched as Magdalene stretched her arm out in front of her and lighting crackled around it.
I moved forward, I knew Quinn would need all the help she could get. As if they suddenly snapped out of their trance and realised I wasn’t actually dead, the shifters stopped staring at Magdalene and Quinn, and turned their attention back to me.

Shit.


Magdalene POV

This was not how this fight was meant to play out. The tribrid shouldn’t have been a match to my powers, especially having the extra strength from Hades. Whatever that clasp was around her wrist, it clearly held more power than I had first thought. I needed to end this quickly.

“It’s time to say goodbye” I hissed.

I extended my arms downward and opened my hands so my palms became parallel with the earth’s surface. I narrowed my gaze, glaring at the shifter Queen, I knew I was going to enjoy this.

“I call on the power of Hades, God of the Underworld. Give me the strength to open this rocky earth, to commit this abomination back to the dirt she crawled from. Hear me Hades!”

I waited for the thunderous crack of the earth splitting as I levitated in the air, for the screams of Quinn as she is dragged down between razor sharp rock, for the painful howl of the Alpha as he watched his mate get sucked down into her doom. But nothing happened.

The corner of the tribrid’s mouth raised slightly, her lips curving into a smug smirk.

“HADES!” I screamed, “HEAR ME!”

Nothing.

“Maybe he’s on another call” Quinn chimed in, shrugging her shoulders.

I growled under my breath and shot another lighting ball in the tribrid’s direction. It missed her, striking the side of the cave just by her head and showering her in rubble.

Fuck”

I knew exactly why Hades had revoked his power. He’d received his payment, a panther prince. Hades agreed to give me power to open the portal and send the tribrid to him…clearly he was happy with the alternate offering and withdrew his powers, leaving me to look like an idiot. I should have fucking known better to trust the cunning arsehole.

I looked out the corner of my eye and saw the Alpha up on his feet, battling with my shifters once again. He was clearly trying to do what he could not to kill them but I could see a few were quite clearly dead.

“PANTHERS! TAKE OUT THE QUEEN! NOW!”

Quinn’s gaze shot over to where her mate was fighting and watched as all remaining panthers stopped in their tracks and turned to her, hissing. Then, they charged in her direction. I grinned to myself as the Alpha howled, still trying to fend off the possessed wolves, unable to help his Luna.
I closed my eyes, summoning every ounce of dark magic I could draw from around me. I felt the power cracking in my hands, building stronger and stronger. I opened my eyes again to see the panthers closing in on Quinn, she took a step back, not knowing what to do. Did she really think she could get out of this without killing them? Stupid girl.

I lifted my hands and grinned wickedly as a black sphere hovered in the air at my fingertips. It was beautiful, deadly. It was pure negative energy. It would suck the life force out of anything it touched. I looked past the sphere and focused on the tribrid; she was completely distracted, her back flat against the wall of the cave.

I raised the sphere higher into the air, it was time to end this.
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