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Chapter 18

LANA

Titus walks into the hotel penthouse.

The four guards that surround me, escort me in behind him.

Titus stops and turns to me. “Lana, I…”

I roll my angry eye to him. “Don’t talk to me.” I spit.

He looks directly into my eyes. “Take her to her room.”

It’s not fair.

I can’t leave. Not now. Not after I told Peter I loved him.

I should just run away. Take Peter and never come back.

My heart hurts so much. Is it supposed to feel like this? I feel like dying.

Once in my room, I lay on my bed, sobbing into my arms. Thinking of how much I hate Titus.

I’m startled by an explosion sound and my room fills with black smoke.

I sit up and wipe my cheeks. Turning toward the cloud.

Standing in my room, is a woman dressed all in black with a smirk on her face. Her black hair is pulled up into a high ponytail. Her blue eyes look familiar.

“Hello, sister.” She tilts her head.

I rub my eyes. “Who?...” Did she say sister?

“I'm Athena. You don’t know me, but I know you.” She steps close to my bed. “I also know, my brother would do anything to get you back. Including, handing over the Heart.”

I slide off the other side of the bed. “Stay away from me.” I choke.

She huffs a laugh. “Poor little Lana. Always my brothers favorite.” She steps around my bed. “Between you and Anastasia, I don’t know which one of you makes me more sick.”

I cry as I back up to the wall.

She tilts her head and looks into my eyes as she stalks me. “I've been gone for awhile, but I’m taking my Ravens back with your help. Once Titus gives me the Heart, I’ll kill him and the Ravens will control everything.”

My breath stutters. “He'll never give it to you.” I grit.

“He will. To save his precious baby sister, he’ll give me anything.” The corner of her mouth ticked up evilly.

I eye the door and run for it.

Athena grabs my waist and I reach out for the handle. “TITUS!!” I scream as black smoke surrounds me totally. My call to him echoes back to me.

I'm thrown to the ground. My hands grip into leaves and dirt. The ground is black. My eyes adjust and I look around.

My face pains as I see the sky is black as night. The trees are black and I’m outside the entrance to a large black mansion.

I raise my head to a dark cloud of ravens as the caw through the sky.

A tear falls down my cheek. “Oh no.” I choke.

****

PETER

I know Lana always had a crush, but what I saw in her eyes was way more than that.

When she said she loved me, my heart stopped. I froze. If Titus didn’t have me, I would have told her I loved her too.

I do, damn it. I love the hell out of Lana and now it’s too late. What am I supposed to do? Do I challenge the Zeta Alpha? Do I take Lana and run? Or worse, do nothing and pretend like she isn’t the best damn thing that happened to me.

I’m sitting in the chair across from Zander.

“What’s going on, Pete?” He asks with his hands folded on his desk.

I sigh. “Nothing, man. Really.”

“Lana said she loved you. Is there something you need to tell me?” He arched a brow.

I don’t need to tell him because right now there’s nothing to tell. “Nope.” I shook my head.

He nods. “Pete. One thing I like about you is your honesty. I’m not callous enough to not realize things happen. But I need to know if we are going to repair the damage made between our cities.”

“Trust me, Zander. There is nothing going on between me and Lana.” I tilt my head.

He eyes me. “Right. That’s why I’m looking a man who looks like he just got hit by a speeding truck.”

“Zander…” I start.

“OUT OF MY WAY!!” I hear from outside Zander’s office.

I turn and furrow my brow.

Titus throws open the door. “WHERE HAVE YOU TAKEN HER?” He bellows.

Zander stands. “Titus? What’s wrong?”

Titus sees me. “Where is she, you pathetic wolf?!” He starts for me as I stand, but Zander jumps his desk and steps between us.

I stand behind Zander. “What do you mean? Lana’s gone?”

“Yes, she’s gone and you fucking took her!” Titus pushes on Zander.

“No, I didn’t!” I yell back.

“He didn’t, Titus. He’s been with me all day.” Zander holds his chest and looks into Titus' eyes.

“Where is she? How did she leave? Weren’t you watching her?” I growl at him. My wolf is going insane in his cage. My anger is starting to rise.

“Who are you to ask me that?” Titus grinds.

“ANSWER THE FUCKING QUESTION, TITUS!” I push on Zanders back as my eyes throw daggers at him. Titus pushes his chin out and glares at me. It’s a push between us both.

“PETER! BACK OFF!!” Zander yells.

I step back and throw my hands in my hair. “Did you check the city?” I motion my hand to Titus.

“My guards searched everywhere.” Titus says, backing down.

Zander kept his hand out to Titus. “How long has she been missing?”

“Since last night. I sent her to her room and that’s the last I saw of her.” He rubs his forehead.

I shake my head. Biting my upper lip, my rage boils over. “This is all your fucking fault.” I say low.

Titus looks at me. “Excuse me?”

I meet his eyes. “This is all your fault. Every time she runs away. Every time she sneaks out and gets in trouble.” I step closer to him. My eyes not leaving his. “Every time she gets lost or hurt, IT’S YOUR FUCKING FAULT!” I throw my finger at him. “She runs to get away from you and your control! Now, she’s out there doing God knows what BECAUSE OF YOU!”

My chest is heaving as Zander turns and places a hand on it. “Pete, calm down, alright. Put your wolf away.” He speaks calm and low.

My body’s shaking and my breath is shallow. I glance at him and suck in a breath. I blow it out and swallow. Nodding, I push my wolf down.

“You will mind your words with me.” Titus warns.

Zander turns. “He’s just worried about Lana. We all are.” Zander says trying to diffuse the situation.

Titus turns away.

Zander pulls put his phone. “Hey, Rick. Organize a search party. Lara Marin is missing…less than twelve hours…Send for Azriel.”

Titus turns back around. “You think your wizard can help?”

Zander nods. “He can help narrow things down. He’ll be here in a couple hours.”

I shake my head. “I can’t fucking sit here.” I grab my jacket and push past Titus.

“Peter!” Zander calls to my back.

“I'll be back.” I say without turning around. I leave the unit determined to rip this city apart until I find the little girl who not only took my heart, but she stole my soul. I’ll stop at nothing to get her back.

****

LANA

It’s so hot here.

I’m in a cell, laying on the floor. My body is slick with sweat. My hair is soaked. I can barely breath. I think I’m in a holding area near the volcano.

“Peter, help me…” I whine in a whisper before crying.

I hear a door open and footsteps.

I see feet stop in front of my cell, but I’m too hot and dehydrated to lift my head.

My cell opens and someone steps in.

“Give her water.” I hear Athena’s voice.

A large hand grabs the back of my neck and a cup is shoved to my lips.

The water is so cool, my shaking hand grabs the hand that’s pouring the water down my throat with a hungry grab.

“That’s enough.”

The cup is taken away as I cough from drinking so fast. I’m thrown to the floor, my cheek bouncing off it.

Athena comes and squats beside me. She moves my hair to the side and my slits meet her eyes. “Soon, my dear sister. Titus will catch up and all this will be over. He will die and the rest of you will be under my control. The way it should have been.”

“Please…let me go…” I quietly cry.

“Can’t do that Lana. You’re my sister and I need you. Just like you’ll come to realize, you need me.” She runs the back of her fingers down my cheek as I weakly cringe. “Sleep. Titus will be here soon.”

I hear my cell shut and my chest hurts. My stomach is sick. I want Peter. “Please save me.” I whisper as my body becomes weak and I pass out.

****

I searched everywhere I could think of. The park, my apartment, the shopping district. I even checked all the theaters and anything else that I thought would cause Lana excitement. I think she’s hiding from Titus. I really believe she is.

“Anything?” I walk into Zander’s office after hours of searching.

“No.” Titus says. “My guards turned every stone. She’s not here.”

“She wouldn’t have left?” I ask.

Titus sighs and leans on the table. “With Lana there’s no telling. I would not be surprised if she ran from me.”

“Hey…um…about before. I’m sorry I snapped.” I walk up to him.

He nods. “No need. You spent enough time around Lana to have concern for her.”

I pull up a seat. “I get you want to keep Lana safe, but can’t keep locking her up. It only makes it worse.”

“You don’t know Lana very well.” He arches his brow.

“Zander. I came as quick as I could.” Azriel says as he walks in. “The guard downstairs made me surrender my crystal. The nerve of some people.” He placed his hands on his hips, shaking his head.

“I’ll have it brought up.” Zander walks around his desk. “Azriel, this is Titus Marin.”

Azriel gets a huge smile on his face. “Ah, yes. The good Sea King. Son of the cosmic being Destiny?” He approaches Titus with his hand out.

“Yes. That’s right, wizard.” Titus grumbles. Not taking his hand.

“Right…it’s…um…sorcerer, if you don’t mind.” Azriel nods.

Titus sits and rubs his head. “Can you find my sister?”

“That I can do or at least tell you where to look. I’ll need a space. The place where she was last.” Azriel instructs.

Titus nods.

****

We’re standing in Lana’s bedroom. Azriel places a map on her bed and hangs his crystal from his hand.

He whispers words and the crystal glows white. It lifts and starts to spin over the map.

As it spins, it’s circle gets smaller and its glow turns red.

It spins even smaller and Azriel moves the crystal to an area. It stops dead on the map.

Azriel looks. “Right. She’s near this volcano.” He points.

Titus leans to see. “She’s home? How did she get there? There’s no way.”

Azriel fists his crystal and walks around.

He holds his hand out.

“What are you doing?” Titus growls.

“Shush!” Azriel says sharply.

Titus looked offended.

Azriel stops and holds the crystal to his lips. At an empty spot on the floor, he blows across the crystals tip.

Red energy comes from it and flies around the empty space. The energy combines and spreads. Growing. A picture starts to appear in the translucent window of energy.

We all look to see black smoke billowing in the view. Titus gets up close. Out of the smoke, a face emerges with a smirk. A woman’s face. It freezes.

“Athena.” Titus whispers with wide eyes.

“That’s your culprit, my dear King.” Azriel says.

Titus turns and looks at us all. “That’s my sister.”

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