I felt like my body was being yanked forward. He needed me. Without hesitating, I ran. I sprinted ahead of the gnome, ignoring the yells behind me. I let my feet tell me where to go. Some powerful urge was leading me forward.
As I leapt through the thick brush my eyes were instantly drawn to him. I knew it was him even though he looked like nothing I had seen before. A shadow was hovering over him and the power I felt back in the mines surfaced again.
“Stop!” I commanded and felt the energy whipping from my body stopping the shadow. My eyes stayed on Sion as his new beast moved towards the changing shadow. I was shocked as the image of a child came through. It was only then that I noticed the other person who walked up to the child.
Even when the child vanished, my focus stayed on Sion. I knew something had happened. I felt the snap in our bond, but it was still him. My entire being knew him. My eyes began to blur as I took in a shaky breath. I had lost him. I thought would never see him again. I thought I would never feel his warmth.
The golden eyes of his beast met with mine and I couldn’t stand there any longer.
“SION!” I cried running to him. I couldn’t get to him fast enough. No one else existed. No one else mattered. His body began to change. And there he was.. the warm hazel eyes of my Sion. I took a hesitant step towards him before he ran as well.
I jumped into his arms, clinging to him as he grasped onto me. Tingling sparks ignited over the contact, remembering the bond. I smashed my l!ps into him greedily. I didn’t need air, I needed him.
My face was stained with wet tears, but I didn’t care. My whole body was trembling on the inside. His fingers entangled with my hair as his tongue invaded my mouth. I welcomed the warmth of his mouth as his tongue caressed mine. His tongue moved in taking sensual possession savored his familiar taste.
I don’t know how long we were lost in each other. Eternity wouldn’t have been long enough. When our l!ps finally parted, our eyes met.
We stood as close as we could, arms wrapped around each other. Neither one of us wanted to let go.
“I thought you were dead.” My voice was almost a whimper as his thumbs brushed away my tears.
“I was,” His voice sounded sad, and his face looked solemn. “I was brought back… and I changed. There is a lot I need to talk to you about.”
I knew the look and the tone. He was worried about me and what I would think. I brushed my finger’s over the side of his face and shook my head.
“Hove you Sion. No matter what.. I mean, when I thought you were…” I shook my head and took in a shaky breath. “I can’t lose you, Sion. I need you.”
He leaned his forehead against mine as his thumb brushed over my cheek. I could see the way his eyes watered and the pain in his eyes. “I’m so sorry for everything. I didn’t mean to hurt anyone when you were taken. And|-“
“Sion..” I gave him a weak smile yet sheepish smile. ” sort of threw everyone out of my way trying to get to you too.” I watched as his eyes widened and then a rich chuckle reached his throat. “I think we might be the perfect pair.”
“I’m different now.”
“I don’t mind,” I whispered tracing my fingertips over his face. “I’m changing too.”
“Damn, man, I thought you were dead.” I heard Conner’s voice and turned my head to see the others behind me. I could see the relief in their eyes. Sion’s death was something none of us wanted to face.
“I did die..” Sion started to say and I just wanted to hold him closer. I felt incredibly protective and wanted to shield him. Sion began to chuckle, and I looked up at him curiously. “Clover, you don’t need to Wrap your energy around me. I’m okay now.” My eyes widened and my l!ps parted. I looked down at my hands not quite understanding. I imagined myself shielding him, but I didn’t actually do anything… did I?
“He can see your life energy.” I heard a stranger’s voice reminding me of the man I had seen earlier. “A soul collector has the ability to see life energy. It is even more powerful than your true sight.” The man flashed me a white toothy grin as I snapped my head back to Sion. A soul collector?
Is that the meaning of Sion’s new form?
Sion’s l!ps curled down as he looked at me reached my hand up caressing his cheek and smiled. “My Sion… that is what you are.” I noticed the shine in his eyes almost instantly as the stranger chuckled.
“Yes, my part.. that has me very curious. The bond between the two of you has been cra.cked but yet your power still is wrapped around him. You pulled him from the spirit realm. A sheya’s power is almost disturbing. What was Endymion thinking giving you so much power?”
The stranger was staring at me as if he was waiting for me to answer.
“Endymion?” Logan asked.
“Endymion is a sheya’s deity. Of course, this one is also a werewolf, so she has the power couple backing her, both the moon and earth deities. Still.” The stranger’s hat shadowed his eyes as he faced me. “They can’t stop what fate you choose.” I didn’t like the sound of that. And apparently, neither did Sion as he growled, pulling me slightly behind him. “What exactly does that mean?” Sion growled
“Now you want me to finish explaining? was trying to tell you before when I brought up you choosing another mate..”
“That is out of the question. There is no one else for me-” Sion growled as the man cut him off angrily.
“But will you subject her to being your mate?!”
Those words got Sion’s attention and I watched as he narrowed his eyes at the man.
What do you mean?
“Clover has attached her energy to you. This is why you can stand in the world of the Living. She is the reason you will be able to move freely between the two realms. But taking her as your mate will come at a binding price. The payment for you to be able to walk among the living now is that she will have to walk among the dead with you.. when her time has ended. If you mend the bond, it will be binding.”
Well, this didn’t seem so bad to me. It meant I would always be by Sion’s side in life and in death. I noticed how Sion noticeably paled as his l!ps pursed together tightly.
“Wow that is unfair.” I heard Demetri’s voice and I could see Odell frowning as well. I didn’t understand what the big deal was.
“So, she won’t get to move on. She will be stuck in the spirit realm…” Odell looked down at the ground.
“Sion will be forced to collect souls on the other side.. for eternity?” Kai’s voice was a faint whisper as the stranger nodded his head. I still didn’t see what was bad in this. If Sion had to collect souls, then I would want to be by his side.
An eternity with Sion sounded perfect to me no matter where we were.
“What is with you guys? This means I would always be by Sion’s side. Would this have any effect on our children?” This was the only thing that I could see that could be a problem. The stranger shook his head no and I shrugged.
Sounds like a good deal to me. “An eternity with Sion is exactly what I want.”
“Clover, I couldn’t ask you to” Sion started to say and I snorted cutting him off.
“You didn’t,” I said in a matter-of-fact tone. “And if this was reversed you would stay with me without hesitation. So don’t ask me to do differently than you would.” I challenged him with my gaze.
“This is eternity in a world that is dark and cold.” It didn’t matter what Sion said.
“Then I will bring the light. It’s not like I’d let you part from me anyways. You are mine forever whether you like it or not.” I watched as a small smile reached his l!ps as his hands trailed over my sides.
“Why wouldn’t I like it? You are my sun, my love, my everything… of course l want you with me. I just feel cruel and selfish”
“Actually, she is the cruel and selfish one.” The stranger said in an unforgiving tone, without asking you she has threaded your soul to hers Look at it Sion… see how her energy has entangled itself in you. It is-“
“Perfect.” Sion’s eyes were glued to mine.
“Id!ot.. do you even know what that means?” The stranger let out an airy laugh.
“Wait.. what did I do?” I didn’t mean to do anything. It seems my powers are awakening at a frightening speed, and it projects my will on its own.
I watched as the stranger walked towards me. Sion gripped me tighter as the man came closer. He stopped right in front of me and reached his hand out. He seemed to be studying something with a scowl.
“I didn’t even have a choice in the matter.” The man mumbled as his eyes met with mine. He had eyes that looked like autumn leaves.
There were many colors around his iris that seemed to be drilling into me. “You connected your lifeline with his. If he dies you will be pulled into the spirit realm too.” The man looked up at Sion. “If you mark her, her fate will be sealed to yours.”
That’s when I clicked my tongue angrily. “Haven’t we already been over this? It doesn’t matter to me as long as I am with Sion. My energy knows how I feel. If something happened to Sion, there is no life for me anyways-
“Wrong!” The man’s voice was like thunder that shook the earth. “You have to survive. You are part of a bigger picture.”
“Then we won’t die.” I snapped back at him and watched as his l!ps curled up at me.
“Perhaps you don’t realize who you are yelling at.”
“Perhaps I don’t care. Don’t act like you have a bigger claim on my mate over me because I have no problems enlightening you.” I felt Sion tug me back into his chest as the man lifted his brows. Sion held me protectively against his chest as fire for me burned in his eyes.
The man’s eyes danced in amusement as a smile reached his l!ps. “He is what you want then? No matter what?”
I scoffed and arched my brow at the man. “I think I made that clear.” I made direct eye contact with the stranger. I didn’t care who he was.
He knew he was trying to get Sion to change his mind by making him think he wasn’t being fair to me. It was a bunch of crap. Sion would have followed me into hell if I moved there. Why wouldn’t I do the same?
“Well.. I have never had an Anput before but you decided you wanted this role all on your own. You will also be a soul collector with Anubis in the spirit realm when your time on earth is Over.”
“Now wait-” Sion began but I instantly cut him off.
“As long as I am with Sion.” I replied confidently and then stopped as what he said finally clicked in. I looked up at Sion, “Anubis?”
“There is a lot to catch you up on. I guess l can give you some time for that before I take Sion with me.”
“I’m not going anywhere with you Reapus.” I heard Sion grOwl. Reapus… as in the Grim Reaper? That was who this stranger was?!
“I need to help you get transporting between the realms under control before you reclaim your mate. Otherwise, you will drag her there with you now that she has connected herself to you.” Reapus answered calmly with a shrug.
“Can’t I stay with him?” Panic seized my insides at the idea of him leaving me again. I lost him once; I couldn’t lose him again. I watched as he shook his head.
“No, you can’t and it is important he masters this. He has the ability to stand between the two realms. Which means he can see and hear what happens in the living but not be seen. Well, most won’t be able to see him.” Reapus’ eyes met with mine as his face grew serious. “It may not seem fair… it may actually seem cruel.. but when the deities can no longer interfere..”
“Oh my you are so dramatic!” A familiar woman’s voice said loudly as a blue light manifested beside Reapus. Her blue hair tossed in the wind as she reached out to poke Reapus in the chest. “This is why you have problems making friends. Quit being so weird.”
“This isn’t your business.”
“Gosh you are still wearing that hat. Do yourself a favor and burn it. It isn’t a good look for you.” I watched as Shiva tried to reach for the hat and was blocked by a wave of shadows.
“If I recall you used to like this hat…”
Okay, I was picking up on an underlying tone there. I watched as Shiva sneered at the death god, her l!ps curling up poisonously.
“The hat was perfect for covering your face.”
The two of them stood there quietly in a stand-off. The uncomfortable aura swirled around us until Shiva finally spoke up again.
“You can quit the dramatics. I know you have a flare for it but enough already.”
“He needs to learn.”
“Before I take Sion with me..” Shiva said in a mocking tone which showed she had been watching us. She clicked her tongue and laughed.
“If that isn’t a flare for the dramatics.” She turned and looked at me as she shook her head. “Don’t mind him he can be a child at times. He will need to borrow your unhinged mate… really you need to work on that. You can’t go mindlessly slashing others…” She said, looking at Sion before she turned to look at Reapus. “But there is no reason you can’t bring bin back and forth between training sessions. Gosh, you act like you can’t instantly teleport between the two realms. That is what I mean by being dramatic.”
I looked over at Reapus, who opened his mouth and then stopped. A sheepish smile curled upwards as he let out a chuckle. He removed his hat, running his hand through his golden hair that had been hidden. “I didn’t even think of that.” I watched as he nodded his head and then looked at Sion.
“It’s settled. I’ll be back for you soon.” Reapus then turned and looked at Shiva. “And we need to chat.” I listened as Shiva scoffed and then the two of them vanished.
For a moment, we all stood there quietly taking everything in. Sion’s hand pressed into my waist as he began to lead me away from the others.
“We need to talk.”