Thorn (Werewolf)

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Chapter Twenty-Seven

The breath leaves my lungs as I stumble backwards. I don’t even entertain the ridiculous information. I shake my head as I keep my eyes down.

“We understand that this isn’t the ideal way to tell you,” Sky says. “We are just strangers to you but you are not a stranger to us. We have grown up hearing stories about you.”

I look back to her and I narrow my eyes. There are things that I cannot deny. Like our resemblance, the mystery surrounding my wolf gene, their protectiveness over me earlier when the eclipse took place. But I remember my life. I remember every part of it. If I was a part of this other life—this other world—then I would know.

“Our parents were ordered to kill you when you were born,” Sky continues. “You were the first-born fourth generation descendant. You were the curse breaker. Our pack feared retaliation from Malese if they allowed you to live. Our parents had no choice.”

“Devon,” Thorn says, kneeling at my side as I fall into the log.

I feel his hand curl around mine. He holds it tightly and I squeeze it even tighter. I need some time. I can hardly breathe. Thorn fills the gap and asks the questions that I can’t even stomach to ask.

“So your parents gave her to humans to raise?”

“It looks that way,” Sky says. “We only discovered that you were alive today when we smelt your DNA. Our parents never told us that they spared you. I guess they couldn’t.”

“Where are they now?”

“Our alpha has imprisoned them. Our father is his second in command so it is a conflict of interest for him. He is deciding between exile and execution.”

“Execution?” Kira growls. “For not killing their child?”

“Yes.” Sky turns back to Thorn. “Since we were children, we have grown up hearing about your war with Atticus. We were taught about the curse and the only way to break it. Every four generations, the first-born will find her way to you. It was a loophole that Malese couldn’t control.” Sky looks down at our hands. “So she put a different twist on it.”

“And now you see why this ‘twist’ means that Devon can’t break the curse.”

Sky nods.

“So go back and tell your alpha that.”

“He won’t believe us,” Dominic says. “He saw us protecting her, he knows we’ll say anything to change his mind."

Thorn sighs and leans back, using his other hand to rub his chin. I look at him and he takes time out of his frustration to meet my terrified gaze.

“If you can’t get to your pack then you need to take her back to the humans.” Sky looks directly at me. “We will stay with you until you’re safe.”

“No,” Thorn says immediately. “I can’t protect her if she crosses the border.”

“You don’t have a choice,” Sky says.

“No,” Thorn repeats.

“I’ll go,” I say. Thorn glares at me. “I’m not putting your life in danger.”

“Devon, no,” he says desperately. “I have been sentenced to eternal punishment. They can’t kill me.”

“They can do worse things than kill you,” Dominic says. “You don’t stand a chance against them without your pack.”

Thorn is conflicted. He closes his eyes and rubs his temples as he flicks through dozens of alternative options. There aren’t any. He looks to Kira for some form of input but she remains distant and cold.

“You know where I stand on the matter,” she says. “She has to stay alive. I am not waiting another hundred years for the next one to run through here.”

“Well you’re gonna be!” Thorn yells.

“You could end all of this right now,” Kira says through clenched teeth. “Just reject the bond, Thorn and think clearly.”

Sky snarls her teeth at Kira but Kira ignores it, only keeping her attention on her brother. Her tunnel vision really is incredible. Thorn is becoming angrier, he’s almost on the verge of completely snapping.

“Come with me,” I say, pulling Thorn’s hand and leading him away.

“We’re running out of time!” Sky yells after us.

I lead him down to the lake. We walk there in silence. I mainly did it to calm him down but I also want answers. I turn around to face him and he stops abruptly. He chimes in before I have the chance to get there.

“You can’t go back to the humans,” he says. “You’ll never be free again. Unless they can take you some place else.”

“Forget about that for a moment,” I say. “I want the truth, Thorn.”

“What truth?”

“The truth about us. Whatever Kira keeps almost spitting out but doesn’t. That truth.”

“I can’t-”

“Stop saying that you can’t tell me!” I yell. “I have been honest with you about everything. I have trusted you with my deepest and most painful memories. How do I break the curse?”

“Devon, stop, please.”

“You can trust me.” I lunge towards him and I grab his hands. He twists his head up to the sky, not daring to look at me. “Earlier, in that cave, that was trust. It was unbreakable. Whatever you say cannot change that.”

He mutters something quietly. I squint my eyes.


His eyes fall down to mine, fast and hard. “I have to kill you.”

I slip my hands out of his and I distance myself backwards. I’m not afraid of him, I’m in shock, but he processes it as fear.

“Me being the cause of your death breaks the curse,” he says. “It sets all of my pack free. For a witch’s curse to work there has to be a way to break it, a curse cannot last forever. But she made sure that I’d never be able to.”

I narrow my eyes. Now it makes sense why Kira keeps banging on about us rejecting the bond. The bond is the one thing that stopped him from killing me.

“Would you have killed me that night if we weren’t mated?” I whisper.

“I. . . I don’t know,” he says. “It’s complicated.”

“It’s pretty simple, Thorn.”

“I didn’t know you then,” he says. His defence makes me angrier. “All I could smell was the wolf gene and the ancestral link to Malese.”

“And the fact that I was a human at night?”

“You could have taken the cure.” He rubs his head and laughs slightly. “Without the instant connection that forced me to save you then yes, I might have killed you. I didn’t even know that it was the bond at first, your human form confused the hell out of me. I would have been conflicted either way. I can’t tell you what I would have done in that situation but I can tell you that if I had the chance to redo it, I’d still save your life.”

I don’t know how to handle this. My eyes leak tears that I wipe away swiftly but more of them keep streaming down my cheeks. I understand why he never told me. The situation is hopeless. I want him to be free more than anything. I was willing to do whatever it took to break the curse but he’d never take my life, not even if I offered it to him. I want to try though. If I am going to die anyway then I want it to mean something.

“No.” He shakes his head as he studies my eyes. It’s like he’s reading my thoughts. “Don’t even go there.”

“My life is already over,” I say. “The hunters are looking for me. Werewolves are descending into these very woods in a few hours to kill me. I have nowhere to go, Thorn. I don’t have anything. There’s no reason for me to live.”

“I can give you three reasons,” he says. “One is standing right in front of you and two are waiting for you back at the camp.”

I smile as I walk back to him. I place my hand to his face. “But you have a reason. You have a family that needs you, that loves you. You can get them out of these woods and you can make your way home.”

“Devon, if you think that I could possibly hurt you in any way then you don’t know me at all.”

“Don’t let my death be in vain.”

“You are not going to die,” he says, reading my eyes intensely. “Because I am going to do whatever it takes to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

“That’s the bond talking,” I whisper. “I know that you want to set your people free more than anything. I’d rather die and give you your freedom than spend a day back in my old life. I can’t do it.”

“You don’t have to. There are other options. Sky and Dominic can take you away from the kingdom, they can hide you.”

“And we spend the rest of our lives apart?” I say. “I can’t just leave you here.”

“Knowing that you’re out there happy and safe is good enough for me.”

I shake my head. How can he even be considering this? I’d have to spend the rest of my life knowing that he’s trapped here, knowing that I could have saved him but didn’t. I don’t want to go back out there. I love our world here. We’ve created something beautiful and exciting and I’m not ready to leave it yet.

I’m not ready to leave him yet.

“I’m not going,” I say. “I can’t leave you, Thorn. I don’t know how to-”

“Shush,” he whispers. His finger moves down my chin and presses against the middle of my throat. “I love you.”

I hang on to his soft gaze as my eyes start to feel heavy. I don’t know what’s happening to me but Thorn is becoming further and further away. I cling on to his voice for as long as I can before I collapse into his arms.

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