‘Let’s take a minute. I need a breather before I tear her heart out.’ I hissed over mind-link.The darkness in my veins was crooning, ‘kill her, kill her, kill her.’ The possibility that she’d open her mouth again and say something that eroded the last shred of my willpower was terrifying enough to make me want to run.Still holding Asher’s hand, I pulled him away from Rowena. The traitor was reclined in her seat, lazy smile on her face. She could act like being here was her choice, like this was some five-star resort, but I had a feeling she’d quickly change her mind once Asher began drawing blood.The mere thought of hearing her screams had my hands shaking, twitching with the urge to let my magic take control.There was clear reluctance on Asher’s end, but he relented and let me lead him into the observation room. As Rowena’s cell door swung shut, I closed in on my mate. The others in the room faded into the background, the prickling sensation that was their eyes smothered by fear.
There wasn’t much more we could do after that. Rowena was dangling on the cusp of unconsciousness and one more slice, one more sliver of flesh, could easily send her tumbling off the edge.I could’ve healed her, resealed her wounds and sent the blood trickling back into her body, but I didn’t trust myself. The more I thought about her, about Sean and how I felt, the hazier my mind became. I was running out of reasons not to finish what I’d started back in the forest, and that fact terrified me more than anything.I should’ve told Asher, but what was the point? There was nothing that could be done. The dark veins along my fingers and hands were proof that I’d almost went off the deep end, and the shadows themselves insisted there was no cure to be found.After ordering Giovanni to dose Rowena with enough Hemlock to subdue a small army, Asher and I left. We spent the rest of the day together, though it was anything but relaxing. There was so much he and I needed to talk about, but we we
Asher’s FlashbackWhen you’ve reached the top of a great and mighty mountain, your muscles still burning from the climb, the last thing one expects is to suddenly fall.Holding Lola in my arms, her scent invading my brain and her warm pussy sheathed around my cock, hearing her soft sighs and the way her voice swelled with love when she agreed to be my wife, it was the highest peak I could ever hope to reach.Until bars of silver slammed down over my eyes and an inhuman force clawed itself out from the furthest pits of my mind, I had no clue that something had even been wrong.Sure, there were those moments of lost time where my memory frayed, but that had just been stress, right?It couldn’t have been this—this creature with its spindly limbs and blood-soaked face wrapping around my body, winding around my torso, and dragging me back, further and further away until my limbs no longer responded to my will.What the fuck was this? Some distant facet of my mind found this thing—this crea
There was nothing in his eyes but agony. Not a hint of recognition or understanding, only pain so intense that it rendered me speechless.Asher’s memories still lingered in my vision, imprinted on the back of my eyelids every time I blinked. Sean’s face covered in blood, the way grandma stared at Asher, seeing so clearly that it wasn’t him behind those golden eyes, hearing Asher’s screams—the way every bit of ferocity and strength left him when he realized what he’d done.All of it was too much, too overwhelming, but my reason for staying strong was right here, inches away and crumbling to dust in my hands.Tears streamed down Asher’s face, down his cheeks where they trickled off his jaw, tickling my wrists from where I cradled his head. I curled into his chest, holding his empty stare with every sob he held back.His pain and guilt were a sandstorm that tore into me, scraping away at my skin, but no matter how badly I wanted to cry out and shield myself, I held back. I’d take the pai
It was terrifying how easy it was to use my magic now.A single thought woven with intention, entwined with a thread of energy, and reality itself bent beneath my hands.Holly and I left the garage, walking through the kitchen and into the living room where everyone had gathered. Breyona was talking animatedly to Mason and Clara, while the two Vampire’s standing close by watched with interest. Dad and Asher had come back inside and were now sitting on the sofa still deep in conversation.Asher’s head snapped up, his eyes locked on my face as Holly, and I entered the room. There was no dark light of suspicion in his eyes, only exhaustion and endless love. He opened his muscular arms and I stepped into them, my breath catching as I waited for what might happen next.What my mate didn’t know was that the girl he held in his arms wasn’t real.Through one of the many living room windows, Holly and I watched the illusion I crafted unfold. Everything, from the stitching on our clothes to the
We set Sean down in the grass off the side of the road. I stood over the body of my big brother, still not allowing myself to process what had happened. The gashes across his neck and chest were unimportant. His skin was almost translucent, blending in with the muted colors of the grass so well that it was both beautiful and haunting. The way the moonlight streamed down onto his body, turning him silver, was a sight I’d never forget.“I’m so sorry about Sean, Lola. I’m so sorry.” Holly’s shaky whisper came from behind.Her voice was swallowed by the night, stolen by the stillness that surrounded us. I sank to my knees at Sean’s side, trailing my eyes over his dark hair and long lashes.“What are you planning to do?” Holly asked.The clear note of hesitation in her voice prompted me to turn my head in her direction. I scowled, confused as to why she needed me to say it aloud. A chill skated down my spine, one I ignored as I looked down at Sean once more.“I’m going to bring my brother
One moment I’d been swallowed by the darkness, and the next it was nowhere to be seen.Light assaulted my eyes, carrying with it colors so vibrant they practically glowed.Sprawling hills of emerald grass wove in and out of the land in all directions, topped with lush trees whose branches dipped and bowed, providing soothing patches of shade to escape in when the sun became too unbearable.Rays of glittering gold shone over everything. Over the birds as they flew, over the butterflies that darted from wildflower to wildflower. They even shone over the structures in the distance, the ones that rose up out of the grown at odd angles, with pieces that swung in the gentle breeze.Wait a second. Was this a park?I broke into a jog, racing down the hill I stood atop of. Silky threads of grass caressed my legs, gentle against my bare skin. The air was cool in my lungs and surprisingly sweet on my tongue. As it filled my body, my head became clearer.Drawing near, the figures that had once be
There was no doubt in my mind that the place I had been was not of this world.Not only had Sean been there, confusing me with talk of some mysterious person watching over me, but the concept of pain had been elusive and just out of reach. The peace that hung in the air, shimmering as brightly as the magic interwoven to create a place that was both real and memory, could only belong to some kind of afterlife.At least, that’s what I was hoping.Pain was the first thing I felt as that place slipped away. It held my head in its strong grip, claws digging into my scalp to produce a throbbing pain that chased me into consciousness. I hadn’t even opened my eyes yet and there it was.When I did manage to peel my lids back, I tried to recoil at the pale face staring out at me.More pain engulfed me, stinging my wrists, neck, and ankles. It blasted my mind, sapping my strength until even calling out to the shadows felt impossible.I craned my head down, staring blankly at the silver-plated cu