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Chapter 51


Anthony was standing a few feet in front of us, but when the single word he had been dreading for years escaped Fran’s mouth, I watched his face snap in her direction and all colour drain from his once tanned skin. He stared at her with a look of heartache and desperation as he studied her reaction with his mouth slightly agape.

Fran kept her eyes fixed on the filthy vampire in the distance as a satisfied smirk slowly formed underneath his glowing crimson gaze.

“What do you want from Catalina?” Marcus ordered loudly as he stepped forward. His shoulders were squared, and his hands curled into tight fists.

“Dear wolf, this doesn’t concern you, you are just the thorn in my side I should have finished off while I still had the chance.”

Within seconds, chaos erupted all around us as numerous other vampires came bursting out of the forest behind Pierce with unknown wolves short on their heels. Marcus barked out for Pierce’s head and the attack was launched.

Malena pulled on Fran’s arm to snap her back to reality and Anthony immediately shifted into his wolf to hide the sorrow on his face and prepare for the onslaught. I stayed close to Melena as we worked together as a team to attack nearby vampires chased into our direction by the oncoming wolves. Fran was still slightly in a daze and we had to look out for her safety as well.

The moment another wolf accidentally scratched Melena and Feral got a whiff of her blood, I was done with and he took over. From there on out, I only saw the battle from his point of view. Feral made me proud that day. He was vicious, yet quick and precise in his actions. Truly wild. The perfect mate for my lovely Mel. She needed someone who could stand by her side in the front rows of the fight or who covered her as she worked on some poor fallen wolf with her back turned towards the fight. Feral was it.

He stayed by Melena’s side as she fought alongside Marcus, Catalina, Fran and Anthony. Even though Anthony knew it was over, he kept by Fran, moving in sync with her like I have seen them do before.

The battle was violent and ruthless.

Up ahead, I could see Pierce fighting wolf after wolf as we slowly made out way towards him. He was incredibly strong and very skilled by the looks of it.

Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of pure white, as a figure bolted out of the forest, flanked by two fairly larger wolves on either side. The one was a large brown wolf, with dark grey patches and the other, a massive, light grey beast.

The slightly smaller white wolf was a few feet behind the others, almost as though they were protecting it. One thing was for sure though, they were strong. Stronger than average wolves. Alphas. All three of them.

As they moved around fearlessly, the vampires began to disperse and started running in all directions to get away from them.

The wolves were winning, hands down. Not only did we overpower them in numbers, but with the amount of Alpha’s, we beat them in brute strength also.

Vampires threw themselves at Marcus, completely obstructing his view from the nearing Pierce. It was up to me and Anthony to stop the filth in its tracks. My wolf snarled viciously and lunged himself at Pierce. Anthony followed my lead and we bit down, sinking our teeth into the cold depths of wretched flesh. Pierce hissed in pain as he fell to his knees. A second later, he flung me away with such force, I landed on my back and slid along the ground feeling bits and pieces of gravel thrusting into my skin.

Another large wolf threw himself at Pierce and I recognized his smell immediately. He was one of the wolves that came from the forest, but his scent had clung to Melena when I first came here. The Beta. When Piece hurled the Beta away from him and into the fight, Anthony had a clear opening on Pierce’s neck. It felt like I was watching in slow motion as Anthony hovered his canines’ inches away from the beast’s throat only to peer up at Fran in the distance. How could he do it? He claimed that he loved her, yet he would be the one to end her true mate’s life.

Pierce must have noticed that, because within the blink of an eye, he slammed his fists onto the ground, letting a gust of sand and dust shoot up in a large brown cloud. I couldn’t see them anymore and bolted towards them from one side as Fran approached from the other.

Anthony stumbled out in human form, a coughing, wheezing mess, covered in scratches, blood and had a large gash down the side of his face where the blood was spilling out violently. As he fell, Fran was there to catch him. She cradled him into her lap, frantically calling out to Mel, who was already hurrying towards them with a look of utter concern edged onto her face.

The next moment, Pierce was standing in between us and forcefully grabbed Marcus around his neck and threw him away as if he weighed nothing. Catalina scrambled to get away, her mouth wide open in shock and eyes glowing an eerie red.

Pierce looked down at his frightened half-sister, grinned and lifted his hand up in the air as he gripped all of our mind’s at once and stopped us dead in our tracks.

He was strong and he obviously had some kind of power over us we couldn’t understand. Not just us, but the vampires too. There was nothing we could do as he slowly walked around us with a wicked grin on his face. As long as he kept his hand in the air, he had complete control.

The only one who seemed to be able to move was Catalina, who continued scrambling backwards.

“Oh, dear sister, stop this nonsense now and fulfil your duties before I kill every last one of your friends right in front of your eyes, starting with this fiery goddess over here,” he said as he stepped closer to Fran, dragging his pale white finger along her neck and eyeing her from top to bottom with a strange look on his face.

Catalina stared back at him in horror but didn’t say a word.

“You she-wolves,” he spoke as he kept eyeing Fran, “very pretty to look at and nice to smell, but damn, you really do taste like shit.”

With his words, I felt a pang of hurt at what Fran must be experiencing right now. Catalina started crying as she flicked her eyes towards Marcus in the distance. He stared back at her in dread and shook his head, answering a question she hadn’t even managed to ask yet.

“You promised,” Pierce hissed out in anger as he watched the two’s quick exchange.

“Pierce, how was I supposed to know I would meet my mate before the marriage?” Catalina sobbed.

“I don’t care! You had an obligation!” He yelled and took a threatening step towards her.

“I, I can’t marry the king,” Catalina sobbed desperately, “please understand.”

“Understand!? YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND! You were supposed to play your role in getting us into the kingdom!”

“Pierce, brother,” she cried.

“Don’t you dare call me your brother! You would give up our kind for these, these beasts!” Pierce replied in disgust as he looked at the wolves around him.

“But I am one of them!” she called out to him desperately, “they are my kind.”

“You disgust me you filthy halfling,” he sneered as his anger soared, sending him into a frenzy. For a moment he focused all his energy on ending Catalina, which released us from the spell he had us under and both me and the Beta jumped on top of him as he began attacking his own sister.

Luckily, she put up a fight of her own and we managed to rip him off her.

“STOP!” A loud voice suddenly boomed across the open field and Pierce’s body was ripped away from us and flung into the air where he hanged helplessly.

From the east a large party of soldiers suddenly appeared, all of them dressed in black military-style uniforms. They stood rigid and alert, watching us intently with their red glowing eyes. In the front, centre, was a slightly older man with pale white skin, wearing an impeccable, hand-stitched black uniform, finished off with numerous medallions and buttons. He was sitting on a pitch-black very large horse with a shiny coat and long, beautiful mane. The man had an air about him that screamed respect and as we all turned to face him, every single one of the vampires scattered around the battleground dropped to their knees and bowed down to him, keeping their faces turned to the ground.

The uniformed man cleared his throat loudly before he began speaking, “Pierce Campbell, you have brought destruction and death among my people.” His voice was calm and collected, yet it demanded obedience, “for days I have listened to them calling out to me and heard them dying, all at the hands of one man who’s need for power is so great, he will stop at nothing to satisfy his unquenchable thirst.”

He must be the vampire king by the looks of things.

The king looked around and scanned over the bloodied wolves and vampires in front of him, “I hereby sentence Pierce Campbell to his death for conspiring to overthrow the throne,” he said with authority.

Fran, who was sitting right next to Mel, clamped her hands over her mouth in horror and Melena draped an arm around her disturbed friend immediately. Anthony snapped his gaze towards Fran and all I saw was complete and utter sadness.

He wanted her happiness above his own, I could see it in his eyes, “wait,” he said loudly and struggled up to step forward, all eyes focused on him as he made his way through the crowd towards the vampire king.

Fran held her hand out and tried to call out to him, but not a single sound came out and Melena held her back.

“This man belongs to someone in our pack,” he said and gestured towards Pierce.

The vampire king pulled his eyes into thin lines as he studied Anthony for a few moments. Then he looked back at Pierce and finally spoke up, “young man, I have searched both your mind and his, and found you to be a more worthy companion for said she-wolf. Go now and do not dwell on this ever again.” The king said with confidence and pulled Pierce through the air closer to where he was still sitting on his horse.

When Pierce was just a foot or two away from the first soldier, the king dropped him to the ground and gave the order, “kill him.”

Like one man, five vampire warriors in black stepped forward and ended his life right there in front for everyone to witness. All around us, wolves started shifting back to their human forms as Pierce’s body turned to ash and were blown away by the slight breeze that has started to pick up.

“Come forward my followers,” the king ordered and all of the vampires we had once been fighting stood up one by one and slowly made their way towards their king.

Tears were streaming down Fran’s face as Melena held her and rocked her back and forth trying to comfort her distorted friend. Anthony slummed down to the ground and sat in the dust in defeat.


Fran was almost hysterical, and I tried to hold her back as Anthony approached the Vampire King. Things were really getting out of hand quickly and no one seemed to know what to do next.

After Pierce was executed, I flicked my gaze to Anthony as he slumped down to the ground in pure loss. I have never seen him look so pitiful and my heart went out for both him and Fran. Conner trotted to his side, still stuck in his wolf form. He and glanced at me with his glowing yellow eyes for a moment just to see if I was ok. I nodded, answering his unspoken question and he turned back to comfort his broken friend.

“Alright, listen up,” Alpha Julian spoke at last, “let’s take this back to the packhouse before things get out of hand.”

Malice Creek’s Alpha nodded in agreement and all the wolves, including those from the visiting pack, were instructed to gather in the dining hall.

As the wolves turned back, the vampire king called all the Alpha’s present to meet with him and they spoke in hushed voices for a while as the crowd dispersed and made their way into the packhouse.

Anthony looked very remorseful and broken as he eventually came walking towards us. I couldn’t hold Fran back anymore and she practically threw herself into his bloody arms, tears streaming down her face, “how could you do that?!” She cried, “how could you risk your life for me like that? Don’t you know that I love you? If something would have happened to you, that would have been the end of me!”

He looked a bit surprised by her words as it registered in his mind that she was angry at him for standing up for her and addressing the Vampire King. “But, your mate,” he tried, “I only wanted to make you happy.”

“I am happy!” she cried as more fresh tears ran over her already flushed cheeks.

“But you look devastated,” he said as he wiped a tear away with his thumb.

“I’m not crying because I found my mate, I am crying because I am happy that I am finally free to love whomever I want to. I only want to love you, and if your mate ever shows up then I will deal with it when the time comes!”

“I, Fran, I don’t have a mate,” he replied in a low, serious tone.

Fran started back at him with her mouth slightly agape, “so, you mean?”

He nodded slowly and in one swift move, Fran was in his arms, and they kissed like I have never seen them kiss before. Both of them were crying tears of joy as realization finally hit that they were now free to be together.

Conner, who had finally managed to convince Feral to back down, came walking towards me with an outstretched hand and a goofy grin on his face. We intertwined our fingers, and he gave me a sweet, longing kiss on the lips. When he was satisfied with our kiss, he pulled away and we glanced at Fran and Anthony again. The two lovers were really going at it and pretty soon it became uncomfortable to watch, so we left without saying a single word.

I was truly happy for my two best friends who finally got to be together, but most of all, I was overjoyed in finally finding my own mate. A mate who surpassed every expectation I have ever had about men and who loved me for who I was. Sure, he had a strange wolf, but we understood each other just fine, and I knew he loved me as much as I loved him.

They were both mine and my heart swelled with pride. I felt like the luckiest woman alive.


(Bonus Chapter ahead!)


Thank you very much for reading TAMING THE ZOOKEEPER.

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