The cell was cold and dark, I couldn’t see a thing. I found a corner and had set myself up in it after they tossed me in here, using my jacket to cover as much of me as I could. I prayed Shai was doing something useful up there. It had to be day by now.
No one knew he knew he could walk in the sun, so no one would look for him during the day. Them assuming he would be in his rooms was of significant benefit to us, and hopefully, he was using the time wisely right now. Being stuck here went against my entire being. Being unable to do anything went against it even more.
I heard movement down the hallway and shifted so I could hear it better.
“Princess?” Shai’s voice echoed towards me and I saw a flicker of light.
“That was fast.” I said. The light immediately came towards me and Shai’s golden eyes reflected the flame of his candle. It made the colour stronger, more captivating.
“No time to waste. We plan your death come nightfall.” He said, pulling something out of his jacket. “Will it work?”
“Only one way to find out.” I said as he revealed the celestite statue of the Goddess.
“Either way, you’re going to have to be fast. One of the non-vampire residents is going to notice it’s missing. Either way, we will have to leave before tonight.”
“I thought you were planning my death, not executing me.”
“Knowing my mother, you’ll be dead before sunrise. You know too much.” That made sense. Even though I posed a minor threat to the truth, I was a threat none-the-less.
“Do you know what you’ll choose if you need to?” I shook my head. Losing my autonomy or my mate. They aren’t good options.
“I’m hoping it will come to me.” He unlocked the door and came in with me.
“Do what’s best for you, don’t worry about anyone else.” He said. I nodded as he pushed the statue to me.
“Okay.” I whispered as my fingers took hold of the statue and I suddenly blacked out.
“Devana Helsing.” A woman’s voice woke me. Her tone was harsh, but her voice was silken. It made little sense to my brain. I opened my eyes and found myself in a forest clearing. A lithe woman stood at the edge of the trees. She had blonde hair and brown eyes… she looked like my mother, but the voice was wrong. And my mother never called me my full name. Like my ancestors, I was called Van by most everyone before they were all killed.
“Goddess?” I asked. My body was tired, my mind fogged.
“What brings you to me, Devana Helsing?” She asked as I sat up on the damp grass.
“You know what brings me to you.” I said. She nodded.
“You are the first witchblood to visit me in a fair few centuries. I just wanted to know your motivation behind wanting to become a witch. It’s a sacrifice to gain the power you deserve. I assume you know the cost…” She trailed off. I nodded.
“I know the cost, the choice I have to make. Everything went to shit after the Witch Hunts. The Factions were meant to bring equality and peace. Instead, those with power abused it. I’m here to fix it.” I said. She walked towards me and knelt in front of me.
“That’s not all though, is it?”
“The vampires killed every hunter, but I got away because I’m a witchblood. I need to kill the one who instigated it all, framed my parents and massacred my people.”
“I love a good revenge plot.” She said, tilting her head to the side. “I have my own I wish to undertake. Helping yours would help mine as well. The Witch Hunts…”
“I’m trying to prevent every mortal from being killed-”
“No, I don’t want to kill the mortals. The ones who committed the atrocities are long dead, but the supernaturals who helped are still alive. Still in power.” Shit. It made sense. Vampires and fae wanted more power, so they took it. They murdered witches under the guise of the Hunts, gained their power, and no one knew any better. “Carmilla led vampires to kill witches, and Jupiter taught the fae to do so without a trace. While Jupiter gained power from the beginning…”
“Carmilla had to play a longer game. Dracula was far too influential.” I said, as I thought about it.
“Innocents don’t deserve my wrath, but they do. They should know that no act goes unpunished, and here you are, the first connection I have with the earth since they killed my witches. A hunter-witch.” She reached out to tuck a strand of hair behind my ear. “And a pretty one at that.” I always knew that witches were possessions to the Goddess, tools and bodies to use at her whim, but now the weight of that fact was crashing down on me.
“So, you have a choice to make. Allow me to use your body, or sever your mate bond.” She stood up, looking down at me.
“You didn’t say use my body when you wish to, you just said to use it. You want to use my body permanently.” I said. She tilted her head again.
“Good, you were listening. It wouldn’t be permanently, it would be until I have a coven again. You would most likely remain my favourite though. Now I understand that is a lot, but you should probably know what you would lose if you choose to keep your control.”
“You know who my mate is.” It wasn’t a question, she knew. She was probably trying to manipulate me into giving her what she wants. I wasn’t sure I was strong enough to fight it, especially if it was him.
“So do you.” She said. Fuck.
“Yes, it is. I normally don’t tell the witchblood who they could lose, but I felt it was necessary for you to make the best decision for yourself. You lose your body for periods at a time, but when you have control, you have Shai and the bond which cannot be broken. Or you keep control and never feel that bond. He can leave if something goes wrong. Do you want security or not?”
I looked up at her, tears sitting in my eyes.
I didn’t want to lose my body, to be a passenger. Shai knew that. He would understand if I severed the bond.
“You would never be alone again.” The Goddess said, and as she spoke, I knew what my decision would be.