I felt his gaze follow me all night. I even caught him standing at the corner of the building when I would go outside to take my breaks. He did not approach me for the rest of the evening, but every time Sophie or Alec would get to close I felt his aura rush out and they would back away. Him and his companion stayed until closing, I practically had to shove them out the door so I could get the place cleaned up.
Sophie doesn’t say a word to me as we close up and I have to fight back the tears that threaten to fall. Since I ran away from home I had only been about to make two friends, Sophie, and Alec. Now this stupid mate bond comes into my life completely screwing up everything that I have built. My anger is seething the whole drive home and I cannot wait to let Lilly out for a run to burn it off.
Pulling up to the cabin I can tell that there is something off. There is a different energy in the air tonight, a powerful magic that I have only felt once before. A woman wearing a dark green cloak, is standing on the porch speaking with Grandma. Hearing the truck pull up the woman turns her head enough to see the truck but not far enough for me to see her face hidden beneath the cloak. Sliding my coat on to hide the runes on my arms, I jump out of the truck and march up the stairs. The look on my Grandma’s face has me ready for a fight.
“The Coven is growing restless,” the cloaked woman says as I hit the bottom stair. “You will help us find her or you will be stripped…” she stops speaking when she hears me coming up the stairs. “You know what is at stake.” She finishes before brushing past me on the stairs.
An electric pulse surges from her as her cloaks brushes up against my leg. I am not sure if she feels the pulse but when I turn around to watch her leave she has disappeared into the night. Grandma grabs my arm and pulls me into the house, the runes on my arm are heating up under her grip. She must be pissed.
“Did your powers manifest?” She spins around and her eyes are glowing with anger.
Within moments Gramps is between us, shielding my body with his. He is so large that I have to peek around him in order to see her. Her eyes are glowing a shade of blue that I have never seen before, and it makes me duck back behind Gramps.
“Walter,” Grandma says trying not to take her anger out on him. “Move…”
Gramps shakes his head no. “Not until you calm down.” His voice is gruff and menacing.
“They are getting closer to finding out her true identity. I need to know,” Grandma says her eyes still glowing. “Now we will have to move. Again.”
“Nothing manifested. I am the same ordinary wolf I was when I left for work,” I shout from behind Gramps.
“Then what happened,” Grandma hisses at me. “And don’t you think about lying because I will know.”
“My… my…” I cannot bring myself to admit the truth. “My mate showed up at the bar.” I spit out the last part as fast as I can. “But he said he could not tell what I was. He was angry.” My voice quivers and tears start to roll down my cheeks, but I have no idea why.
“Shit,” Grandma flops down in the rocking chair.
“What does my mate have to do with the witches?” I question.
“It is well known that when a werewolf finds their mate they complement each other, making each other stronger.” Grandma now has her head resting in her hands. “What’s his name?”
“I didn’t ask,” I admit. “I just wanted him to go away.”
“Why would you want him to go away?” Gramps tries to understand. “Isn’t the mate bond special?”
I gesture widely to everything around me. “Because I knew something like this would happen.”
“Well, what did he look like?” Grandma butts in. “Maybe we know who he is.”
Flopping down in the rocking chair across from hers, I let out a frustrated sigh. “He looked like a Dark God. Like an Adonis that is walking among us peasants.”
Gramps lets out a groan of frustration, “that literally tells us nothing.” Grandma chuckles at his anger over me finding my mate attractive.
“Ugh, this is so awkward,” leaning back I place my hands over my forehead. “Dark hair, darker than mine. Huge, bigger than Gramps… oh… and he had odd eyes.”
Grandma swings so far forward on her chair that she almost flies out of it. “Odd how?”
“Ummm… one blue and one green.” Grandma and Gramps share a concerned look before looking back at me. “Do you know him?”
“Ella, he’s the Lycan King.” Grandma says in a serious tone. “He must have mobilized the Lycan guard when he found you. The witches see everything they know change is coming.”
“Fuck,” the word slips out before I can stop it. I throw my hands over my mouth and try not to giggle.
“Language, Young Lady,” Gramps’s booming voice echoes through the cabin.
“But why would he mobilize the Lycan guard?” None of this is making any sense to me.
“To protect you of course,” Grandma is snickering in her chair rocking back and forth before the fire. “We will have to add more runes to your collection in case your power manifests when you mate with him.”
“First off, I am not mating with anyone. And secondly, I doubt he comes back,” I bite my lower lip. “I was rather rude.”
“Oh, he will be back,” Gramps’s chimes in grumpily. “An Alpha would never let his mate get away.”
Giving him and incredulous look. “How do you know so much about werewolves?”
“That is definitely a story for another night,” Grandma breaks in, patting Gramps on the leg. “Let’s get started on those runes.”
Cringing at the thought of covering myself in more runes on my body I shy away from her outstretched hand. “But it hurts,” I whine.
Putting her hands on her hips, Grandma looks down at me and I know I am in for a scolding. “Fine, I will just drive you up to the Lyall family mansion and he can protect you.”
The thought of explaining this mess to my Dark God makes me cringe. I can’t help but wonder if he will be as disappointed in me as my family is. “Nope. Nope.” I raise my hands in defense. “Runes it is.”
Holding out my arm for her to fill in what empty spaces I have left, she shakes her head at me. “These need to go up your spine.”
Fuck. This is going to hurt. Heading to my bedroom, Grandma grabs me by the arm and drags me towards the kitchen. “Kitchen table,” she demands. “Not risking burning down the bedroom.”
Taking off my jacket, Grandma raises an eyebrow at the shirt I have on underneath. “Does Walter know you left the house like that?” She hisses in my ear.
Shaking my head no, she rips the shirt off my body and throws it in the fire. “Hey, I liked that shirt,” I pout in her direction.
She doesn’t answer me just pushes me towards the table. Sticking my tongue out at her before I lay flat on the kitchen table. She snaps my bra open and wipes the center of my back with a warm cloth. With Grandma leaning over my back, I feel the cool ink drop on my back. Then sharp point of her stick digs the ink, into my skin as she draws figures in a straight line down my spine. She moves from the center of my back and draws all the way up between my shoulder blades. Just when I think she is done I feel the sting of the stick tracing more figures down to my tail bone. Taking a step back she admires her handy work.
“I do hope you picked a pretty color this time,” I joke trying to take my mind off what comes next.
“Are you ready?” She asks. I know she hates this next part as much as I do.
“As ready as I can be.” I grip the edge of the table and bite down on the rag that Grandma has handed me.
I hear the flame of the match burn to life. I try not watch as she lights the end of the stick, but I hear the wood crackling. The heat of the flame grows hotter as it nears my skin. Grandma takes in a deep breath and presses the flame into my back right above my tailbone. The feeling of my skin bubbling and searing under the flame consumes my senses as it travels up my back. Biting down on the rag, I cannot suppress the screams of agony. The flames do not deviate from their path of my spine and the urge to call on my magic to stop the pain is overwhelming. But as soon as I think that I can’t endure anymore, it stops. I drop my head to the table and let the darkness overcome me.
EREBUSLucian’s arm is slung over my shoulder as I try to guide him up the mansion stairs. He keeps giggling loudly like a schoolgirl. I swear the older he gets the more annoying he becomes. Losing his footing he trips up three stairs and I lose my grip around his waist. With a giant thud he hits the floor and then slides down the stairs on his belly, his chin hitting each one on the way down. Laying at the bottom of the stairs he is chuckling like an idiot. “Why didn’t you invite me to your twenty-first birthday party,” his words slur as he looks up at me with hurt in his eyes. Pulling him to his feet, I throw him over my shoulder and carry him back up the stairs. “Because you were fourteen,” I say through gritted teeth.“Right, right…” he mumbles still hanging upside down over my shoulder. “Did you see that b
ELLAThe day after having runes marked on me is always difficult. Grace’s magical power surges beneath my skin looking for magic of my own to grab bond to. Unluckily for me there is no secret magic hiding within my body, so Grace’s magic attaches itself to the next best thing, my wolf. Lily howls in discomfort in my head as she tries to adjust to the new restrictions on her form. Grace started covering me in runes when I was fourteen to mask the arrival of my powers that don’t exist. Each week for a year she placed new symbols on my forearms until they were covered. I cannot help but frown when I look at them now. Just another reminder of the person that everyone was planning on me to be. The runes along my back itch causing my skin to ripple uncomfortably. I just want to lay in bed on my stomach and eat ice cream all day but it’s Friday night and I cannot leave Sophie to run the bar alone. There is no one else to cover for me. Pulling myself off the bed, I stumble acr
EREBUS “Don’t come near me again,” her words cut like a dagger in my chest. Remaining bent over I clutch my balls as she storms away from me. Her dark black hair catches the moonlight causing it to sparkle with waves of purple. Even after she kneed me in the balls I am still ensnared by how beautiful she is. The bar door slams behind her, and I hear the deadbolt click shut. “Ella,” someone calls from the opening to the alley. “Ella, Are you ok?” The pretty boy, from the other night steps into the alley and stiffens at the sight of me. I straighten up as he slowly approaches me with his neck bared. “I am sorry, your Highness.” His voice trembles just speaking to me. “I thought I heard my friend scream.” We both eye each other suspiciously. “She’s not here so you can go,” I throw my aura over him, and he shivers where he stands. He turns to leave but stops when he is halfway to his car. My curiosity is peaked so I drop the aura, and he turns to look at me. “I am sorry
EREBUS Watching carefully from a distance I see Ella hop in her beat-up truck. The engine lets out a horrible sound and I know that it won’t turn over. She hops out and pops the hood. Tucking her bottom lip between her teeth she stares blankly at the engine. After grumbling to someone on the phone she slams the hood of the truck down and makes her way into the trees behind the bar. Constantly checking her surroundings I have to make sure to stay in the shadows as much as possible as I follow her closely. Dropping her bag at her feet she pulls off her jacket and stuffs it inside. Giving the woods a final look around she begins to strip off her shirt and jeans. All that she has left on her body is a matching black lacy bra and thong set. The sight of her round ass poking up in the air as she stuffs the rest of her clothes into her bag causes me to take an involuntary step in her direction. A twig snaps under my feet and her eyes fly in my direction. I know she ca
ELLA“Do you mind unlocking the door?” Sophie yells from under the bar where she is quickly trying to repair some plumbing under the ice machine. “Wrap it with duct tape,” I yell back at her as I flip the lock on the door. “It should hold for the night.”The front door swings open and my Dark God graces the doorway. He gives me a small smirk as he brushes past me. “You will be waiting on me tonight,” his husky voice growls in my ear as he walks to his normal table in the corner. “I work behind the bar,” I yell at him, setting my hands on my hips. “If you want me to serve you, you will have to come to me.”His growl echoes through the bar at my response. Everyone else freezes in their place, except me. I turn and stick my tongue out at him and continue to behind the bar. Sophie jumps up and slams her head on the side of the bar and she immediately starts bleeding.“Shit,” she says as she falls backwards onto her bottom. “Soph!” I exclaim as I rush to her side, pushing a towel
ELLAPulling up in front of the cabin, my body begins to feel weird. It is a feeling that I have never experienced before. It is like a painful pulse is radiating from my heart. Getting out of the truck I make my way to the cabin when the pulse quickens and becomes more painful. Taking a few more steps I fall to the ground. The pulse is consuming my body with fire. Everything burns. The sound of a woman screaming fills my head and I don’t realize that the scream is coming from me until Grandma and Gramps are at my side. Carrying me bridal style, Gramps brings me into the cabin mumbling about unfaithful Lycans and how he’s going to find a gun. I can barely understand what he is staying because the pain coursing through my body is all consuming. He gently lays me on the bed, the waves of pain slowly subside, but then waves of nausea take its place. Rushing to my feet I run across the cabin and into the bathroom. I make it to the toilet just in time, throwing up the contents
EREBUS A knock on my door wakes me up. “Go away,” I yell pulling the covers over my head. Instead of going away the knocking gets louder, until whoever it is walks in without permission. Assuming that it is my brother or my mother, I just growl loudly hoping they leave. The blankets are roughly pulled off my body and faster than they can think, I grab them around the throat and slam them up against the wall. My Beta, Boris raises his hands in defeat. “It’s just me,” he gasps as my hand still remains tightened around his neck. Dropping him to the ground, I pace back to my bed and drop down on the mattress. “Why are you here so early on a Sunday?” “You are the one that called me on a Saturday night,” he reminds me. Propping myself up on my elbows, I shrug my shoulders. “What did you find out then?” Sitting himself down on chair in front of my fireplace he pulls out a file from his jacket. “Walter Nash, 79 years old. Ex Hunter. Stopped hunting about ten years ago.
EREBUSStanding on the front porch of the small cabin I absentmindedly wipe my hands on my pants. I have never had sweaty palms in my whole life and here I am standing in front of a cabin that is no more than a shack sweating my balls off. Raising my hand to knock on the door it flies open before I get the chance. An elderly, but large man is standing in the doorway with a very large shotgun pointed at my head. Instinctively I growl loudly and the sound echoes off the trees surrounding the forest. The man enveloping the doorway does not flinch against my anger, he only cocks the shotgun in response. Only a hunter would be brave enough to stand against me. “Walter Nash, I assume?” I cannot suppress the smirk that crosses my lips as the man tightens his arms around the gun. “You look just like your father,” he grunts not lowering the gun. A tiny woman runs to the door and shoves Walter to the side pushing the gun away from my face. A shot rings out just above my head an