Chapter 4


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.

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