The conversation between Giovanni and I replayed in my head as I traipsed upstairs and collapsed into bed. Even after it had run its course, I fought the sleep that tried to claim me and focused on mind-linking Asher.Another hour had passed, one without any success.I’d considered reaching out to Zeke, but after pouring all of my remaining energy into getting through to Asher, I had nothing left to expend. In a haze of utter exhaustion, I slipped away into a restless, dreamless sleep.I wasn’t sure how much time had passed, but the sun had yet to risen when I was yanked from sleep. The bedroom was cloaked in absolute darkness, even with the beams of moonlight streaming through the curtains. Luckily, I didn’t need light to tell who was hovering over me, their hand pressed firmly over my mouth.It was his eyes I noticed first, the sight of them telling me that something was very, very wrong.They were entirely gold, practically glowing in the darkness as they stared at me with a heat t
Really?” I scoffed, staring open-mouthed at Asher through the glass of the holding cell he was in. “Is this necessary?”Asher paced back and forth, his head snapping in my direction whenever I spoke. His eyes were still that violent shade of gold, telling me his wolf was still in charge and very much feral.The holding cell he sat in was a part of the newer renovations Asher had orchestrated. There were dozens of these cubby-like rooms, each one with a cot and a small table, reinforced with military grade equipment to keep the prisoners contained.I bet Asher never thought he’d land himself in one.Both men standing before me were grim, their lips pursed, and eyes cloaked in shadows. I was used to seeing that particular expression on Brandon, but not Zeke. Neither one appeared too happy about how things played out, but I needed to keep the conversation going. If I didn’t, I’d start thinking about what they barged in on and have no choice but to drown in embarrassment.Brandon spoke fi
I softened my voice, knowing he’d hate it, but it was all I could think to do.“You scared me for a minute there. When you came into the bedroom, you weren’t yourself. It was like your wolf had taken over, but there was something wrong with him. I know he’d never, ever hurt me, but this was different. You were both different.” I explained, glancing at the two-way mirror where I knew Zeke was currently watching.Asher went still, his muscles growing taut where he sat against the wall. He closed his eyes and turned his face away from me.“I forced myself onto you, didn’t I?” His voice dipped low, laced with rage and disgust.“No, not exactly.” I shook my head, placing my hand on his arm.With his lip curling, he pulled away from my touch. I tried not to let it get to me, but rejection stung in my heart like a shard of glass. Anger had me reaction, along with frustration for everything we’d been through. There was no way in hell I’d let him beat himself up over this. This, of all the thi
I laughed, belting out a string of giggles that probably made me look insane, but I didn’t really care.Zeke glanced at Asher; his eyes wary. “Think she’s going feral too? Should we run?”“I’m not going feral, you jerk.” I scoffed, swatting at him. “You understand how crazy that sounds, right? The power to change reality…that’s just not possible. If it was, why wouldn’t I have just snapped my damn fingers and made the Blood Witch disappear or turn into a toad?”Asher spun the book around to face me, but it was Zeke that spoke.“Probably because it’s not that simple. It says here that Conjuration is the hardest form of magic to master because of how easy it is to slip up. A single thought or desire that’s too strong can become reality, which is both a good and bad thing. This paragraph talks about how conjuring drains the witch’s energy differently and mentions the different types of power the witch pulls from when she’s conjuring. I’m sure we’ll learn more on the next page.”He turned
The moment my eyes opened; I regretted every single decision I’d ever made that led me to this point in time.Everything hurt.“Fucking hell.” I tried to groan, but my tongue stuck to the inside of my cheek.Clutching my head, I tried to turn over. Sharp, pulsating pain left my nerve endings blistered and raw. I swore I could feel my skull rattling in my head like it was full of rocks. Something was blocking me from moving, and that something immediately stoked my anger, not that there was anything I could do given my current condition.The second time I tried to pry my eyes open, I felt tears drizzle down my cheeks. What light surrounded me burned and made the migraine I had much worse. I was surrounded by a mass of color that moved and twitched. It carried the scents of Asher and Zeke, but they weren’t the only ones I recognized.“Let me up. Goddess, is there a boulder on top of me or something?” I snarled, my mouth bone dry.In the background, someone chuckled. I’m pretty sure it w
Asher grew still in his seat, chiseled from stone as he stared at Clara with a blank expression on his face. “How do you know this?”“They probably promised him power in exchange for his help, and like the dumbass he is, he accepted.” Zeke muttered under his breath. “They were probably going to kill him off once they got what they wanted.”“Yeah. Me.” I swallowed, glancing at him. “They would’ve used my magic, I’m sure of it.”“When you two were fighting, he had a witch using magic on you. I sent Mason off to find her, but he didn’t have any luck. Chances are she was being protected and whoever was doing the protecting pulled her out the minute you won, which shouldn’t have happened, by the way.” Clara replied to Asher’s question, leaning back in her chair.I swallowed the knot of unease in my stomach at the thought of Asher losing. “What do you mean it shouldn’t have happened?”Clara looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Your mate should be dead, but he isn’t and I don’t know why
It took Asher some convincing to leave the holding cell. The last thing he wanted to do was have another episode and wind up hurting somebody. The two of us planned on speaking to Cordelia and Rowena together.I’d bite the bullet and give Cordelia her spell book back, while also apologizing for stealing it, even if it had been unintentionally, and Asher would have Rowena check him over a second time for any hint of magic or spell work.We had a few hours to kill considering Rowena was currently with Holly for their training session, which gave me plenty of time to swing by the house to grab the spell book and to do something that returned just a shred of normalcy to my life.It had been days since I’d last stepped foot in a training class, and I was honestly beginning to miss sparring and testing out my skills. There was a comfort with training one couldn’t get in the real world. I didn’t have to think about losing my life on the mats, or whether or not my opponent was out to kill me.
Rowena answered the door when we knocked, and immediately took Asher into the den to scan him for any charms, spells, or curses. She pointed me upstairs where Cordelia was, and as I climbed the stairs, I searched for the words to say. It had been an accident, stealing the book, but once I had it I’d knowingly cast a spell from its pages.“Come in, Lola.” Cordelia called out, her back turned to me as she rummaged through the old trunk in her bedroom. There were stacks of magical textbooks, the entire culmination of Cordelia’s collection throughout the years. Most of which she’d gotten from her family, but there were a handful she procured from powerful friends and distant cousins. She’d told me previously that she had charmed the box to vanish should anyone try to break into it.When I entered her bedroom, which was a cocoon of tapestries and billowing fabrics, she had just snapped the lid shut. The bangles around her wrists were clinking as they hit into one another, playing the same