Shit.” I cursed.
Breyona’s sharp gaze softened. She pursed her lips and murmured, You didn’t even realize you did it, did you?”
“No.” It came out as a whisper. “I didn’t.”
(She wants to kill that one since her twin got away.
Brandon actually ran into the fire witch on his way here. He’s got a nasty burn on his shoulder to prove it.” Breyona pointed out, her eyes still on the mess ahead.
“Well, lets go intervene. Shall we?”
Turns out, there wasn’t much I had to do to turn Dina’s attention away from Tessa. My mere presence
was enough to have her hackles raising and lips pulling back to show rows of sharp teeth. Breyona situated herself in front of me, standing off to the side in case I needed her. Standing a healthy distance away, keeping a firm watch on Tessa, was Clara, Mason, Sean, along with a mixture of Vampire’s and warriors.
“Dina..” I said in greeting. “You look good.”
Breyona snorted but covered it up with a well-placed cough.
“She’s uh, she’s trying to mind-link you, but since you’ve got all that silver in your back, it’s not going through.” She explained, her eyes flitting between me and the angry wolf.
“Then it’s a good thing I have this…” Tristan’s voice materialized just a few feet away.
Perhaps he’d been there the entire time, but the loss of blood made it hard to pay attention. I let out a
groan of pure, untethered relief when he passed me a blood bag. Each gulp cascaded down my throat and soothed the raging case of dry mouth I had. It also chased away the aches and pains weighing me down, worsening the exhaustion that made me want to crawl into bed and take a long nap.
I hadn’t even realized he’d moved around to examine my wounds until he spoke a second time.
“You just can’t stay out of trouble, can you?” He cursed, his touches feather-light.
“she’s always been like that, even back when she was just a wolf,” Breyona smirked.
Tristan snorted, but then turned and spoke to Dina.
“Think you can refrain from killing the witch until I get these arrows out of Lola’s back?” He grunted.
Dina gave him a loud, wet snarl as a reply.
“How considerate of you.” He deadpanned.
I barely felt it as he peeled away the back of my shirt, even more so when Giovanni showed up with even more blood. The click of the switchblade Tristan used was drowned out by the rush of energy roaring in my ears. What topped the cake was that Giovanni had news of Asher, and for once it wasn’t bad.
“He’s on his way with Zeke, Deacon, and Brandon.
They’re gathering the dead to be burned and making sure all the fires in town are put out Giovanniexplained, his expression perpetually pinched considering his mate was butt naked roarming around in her human form.
I couldn’t help it, not when he narrowed his eyes and glared at every male within a mile radius.
“You get used to it.” I promised him, my lips tilting in a half-smile.
He grimaced; his eyes locked on my best -friends a*s.
“I somehow doubt that.”
With the blood and a little bit of magic to speed things along the wounds on my back healed up rather nicely. After the torture I went through with the Shadows removing the dark magic from my system, I wasn’t sure I’d ever react to physical pain the same again.
The moment the last wound healed; Dina’s voice exploded in my head over mind -link.
You did this, didn’t you? Don’t even bother lyin’ to me, your Majesty. Or should I kneel and call you Luna like everyone else? You turned me into a f*cking wolf.’ She snarled, her fur bristling.
I didn’t deny it because what was the point? No one else could’ve done it.
I swear, I didn’t mean to. It was a stray thought I didn’t even give any importance to. I have no clue why this happened.’ I explained honestly, knowing it likely wouldn’t make a difference.
Most Vampire’s hated Werewolves, and I didn’t expect that to change over night. It made Dina’s reaction understandable given she was one of the many that didn’t care for them.
‘When I get done killin’ this witch, I’m coming for you. Tell that to your little Vampire bodyguards.’ Her eyes flashed murderously.
Not thinking, I took a step towards her. She swung her head around and snarled, snapping her teeth threateningly. Breyona inched further in front of me, sinking into a defensive position that would only make things worse. I didn’t want to imagine the carnage of a fight between them two.
I don’t think it’s a good idea to kill Tessa, Dina.’ I warned her. ‘I’m willing to bet she has useful information on what’s going on.”
‘Information for you. I happen to care less about what she knows or don’t know. Her twin killed my mate, and I will not let that stand.’ She replied without looking at me, already padding forward to slowly stalk Tessa.
‘Sean, Mason-get everyone away from her. She’s newly shifted and I don’t want her hurting anyone.’
I said via mind -link, only partially relieved when they pulled Clara and the others out of the way.
I shook my head at Breyona when she asked if she should stop her. It had been me that turned Dina into a wolf, a fact I wasn’t sure I’d ever fully process. So, I should be the one to deal with the consequences.
There were a million and one plans racing through my head, all of them ending with Dina and I fighting it out. If she was able to mind-link me, that meant I didn’t just give her the physical form of a wolf.
I must’ve given her a wolf spirit too.
That meant, like it or not, she was now a part of Asher and I’s pack. No matter who she was or where she came from, we did not needlessly harm our own.
“Dina, you need to-“I’d been ready to draw her attention away from Tessa and onto me, even if it meant I’d get injured a second time around, but another voice cut through mine.
Spencer, alive and whole, was here. The mop of hair on his head was tangled and his clothes rumpled, like he’d just woken up from a deep sleep. His eyes quickly darted around to survey everything, from the damaged houses to the charred cars and overturned fences, before finally latching onto Dina’s wolf.
“Baby, is that you?”
Dina whirled around faster than any of us, huffing the air in great gusts before letting out a long, harrowing whine that could only mean one thing.
“It was an accident.” I said softly. “I never meant for this to happen.”
Spencer and I locked eyes. They were the same color as the soil in the forest, dark and vibrant with life.
He didn’t say anything to me, but he did nod ever so slightly. He spread his arms as he took in Dina’s wolf, raking his eyes over every strand of fur from her swishing tail to her snout.
He whistled under his breath. “You look beautiful, baby. Even as a wolf.”
A yelp burst from her muzzle as she charged Spencer, shifting at the last second and stumbling over her own two feet until she landed in his arms.
He was quick to wrap his arms around her, and even quicker to yank the t-shirt off his body before thrusting it onto hers.
“I thought they killed you- thought you died.” Dina mumbled into his chest, running her hands over his shoulders, through his hair, and over the stubble that covered his face. “You were slippin’ away; I could feel it. You were so close to dying.
“I know, baby. I know.” He said soothingly, cradling her neck and staring at her like they were the only two people in the world, like they weren’t in the middle of the street after a battle between three mythical species.
“You’re my mate, Spence. Ain’t that something?
There’s this-this chain tying us together now.” She rambled.
“It’s a mate-bond. It means that your..your wolf, is also attached to him.” I explained, trying my hardest not to interrupt their moment, but this was something they needed to know.
“So, the voice I keep hearing in my head is my wolf.” Dina blinked, not an ounce of her previous rage on her face. I’m still a Vampire, but you also made me a wolf. Don’t take this the wrong way or nothing, but that kind of power shouldn’t be available to anyone.”
“Believe me, I agree. It’s terrifying having this much, but if it means I can keep my people safe, then I’Il use every drop.” I replied wholeheartedly, then slid my attention to Spencer. “It doesn’t matter to me who the Vampire’s chosen to follow, as long as it’s not the witches. Deacon clearly cares about you and the others but know that even if I don’t have your loyalty, you have mine.”
Dina’s eyes flickered between Spencer and I, a million words sparkling behind sheets of amber. Her mouth popped open and stayed open.
Thank you.” Was all she said, her voice soft and genuine.
I wanted to personally tell Dina the ins and outs to being a Werewolf considering I had no clue how to reverse what I’d done, butI never got the chance.
I scented him long before he wrapped his arms around me and hoisted me off the ground, but that did nothing to dull the absolute f*cking relief I felt when I looked into Asher’s eyes.
There were knots of vicious tension in my shoulders and in the freshly healed muscle along my back that I hadn’t even realized was there. When the sparks danced along my skin, like tiny electrical currents nipping at my nerve endings, they vanished one by one.
“Goddess, I missed you.” I muttered, only getting out half a groan before he smashed his lips against mine and swallowed my pain whole.
Asher didn’t erase what had been done to me, but with every languid stroke of his tongue against my own and with every soft nip he left on my lips, he took a piece of the trauma and cradled it in his arms.
Every single time I stared into his eyes, falling into the darkness that filled them, I realized that there was nothing in this world I had to shoulder alone.
“You f*cking terrify me, you know that?” He snarled in between k!sses, his eyebrows gnashed together.”
Terror is not an emotion I’m used to feeling, and I’m quickly growing to hate it.”
I’m sorry, Asher. I never meant to run off on my own. The witches tricked me, somehow. They used Breyona’s voice to lure me away, but I’m safe now. We’re all safe now.”‘ I breathed, quickly going silent when I placed a hand on either side of his face.
How one person could fill another so completely, I’d never understand. Every single facet of me, every flaw and strength, Asher had access to. Loving. another person like this was terrifying in and of itself, but it was a risk I coul dn’t imagine not taking.
Well, we’re somewhat safe. I take it you’ve seen the newest edition to our prison.” Asher grumbled.
His eyes were swirling with flecks of gold when they slid to where Tessa sat in the grass, so tightly bound she couldn’t move a muscle. I wasn’t sure who put the gag in her mouth, but I appreciated the added precaution.
“I’m looking forward to getting some answers for a change.” I replied eagerly, not at all thinking about how we’d get those answers.”I’m willing to bet anything that she knows-“
I stopped abruptly, the words disintegrating on my tongue, though I wasn’t sure why.
Deacon and the others had returned, Brandon included, but that wasn’t what made me pause. Zeke was the only one of us not talking, separate from the little groups we formed to relish in the addictive, but fleeting, feeling of victory.
He stood off to the side, a few feet away from Tessa as he stared her down.
It wasn’t until Asher, and I walked over that a sinking feeling rocked me in the gut.
“Zeke, what is it?” Asher said the words I couldn’t, the ones that were currently lodged in my throat.
Our close friend didn’t tear his eyes away from the witch, didn’t so much as blink when he shuddered and said the one word none of us wanted to hear.