My stomach protested angrily, and I heard a sweet chuckle from behind me. His arms curled around me, and I felt his nose buried in my hair.
“Hungry?” Sion said with sly amusement.
Hungry wasn’t even the word to describe it.
We hadn’t eaten and we never rejoined the others yesterday. Instead, Sion continued to make his loving demands on my body all night long. He was true to his word, making sure he claimed every inch of me.
He even very sweetly washed my body in the tub after our last passionate encounter.
I turned my head to gaze into his warm hazel eyes. “I’m famished,” I admitted.
“Well then, we had better get you taken care of my queen.”
He had referred to me as his queen several times throughout the night. At first, I thought it was just a pet name. However, I was beginning to think there was more to it.
“Your queen?” I smiled, arching one of my brows up at him.
“Yes, my one and only queen,” He said with conviction as he k!ssed my forehead. He looked in my eyes and his fingers moved to tuck my hair behind my ear.
“Did you wonder what this other mark meant?”
He asked, moving his fingers to my shoulder.
Honestly, I didn’t really think much about it. I didn’t have any time to think through the night. Sion made sure of that.
“This..” He moved his hand up to my neck. “ls the mark of my lupine.. and this… is the mark of Anubis.” He trailed back to my shoulder. “It is a bit strange. It is like…” I watched him shake his head as he tried to explain, “It is like I am being fed a constant stream of information now. Things that I just… know, but never did before. One of those things is that Anubis is the King of the Spirit Realm. With my mark, you are now Anput… my queen.” I watched as he gave me a sad smile.
“Bound to be by my side when your living life is over.”
“I can see where that can be a sad thing for you.” I teased, clicking my tongue. “Sorry, but I’m not sorry. You are stuck with me forever.” I listened to his airy snort as his l!ps found my forehead.
“I feel like a demon that captured the fairy princess. You are everything to me… and I feel like I can only offer you darkness in return.”
“Sion, you aren’t darkness.” I laughed at him but could see his serious face.
“You have more faith in me than I do.” He sighed and rested his head back. “This darkness has a hold on me. I had to fight it every day before and will always have to fight it. It is worse now. What if I lose?” He stared up at the ceiling with his l!ps pursed. “Is this how demons are made? What if I become the very demons I fight against?”
“Everyone has some type of darkness and demons they fight. Some more prominent than others. You don’t have to fight yours alone. I’m with you and I will help bring you to the light. And if you ever get swallowed up by the darkness, I’ll follow you there and lead you back to the right path.” I leaned up and cupped his cheeks in my hands. “I already showed you that you didn’t need to fear yourself with me. And that turned out pretty alright.”4 smiled, biting my l!p thinking about last night.
“You mean amazing.” He said, curling his l!ps up.
“Right… it was amazing. It was much better once you quit holding back and worrying. It is your fear of yourself that will consume you. That is your real darkness.” I moved in and k!ssed his l!ps as my stomach yelled angrily, reminding me that I was on the verge of starvation. Sion chuckled and moved to sit up.
“Let’s get you fed.” He moved off the bed and walked over to the door.
“Sion!” I hissed, looking at his na*ked body.
“They left us clean clothes outside of our door. I told Conner to get some and leave them there.”
“Oh.” I smiled as he cracked the door open enough to retrieve the garments, bringing them over to me. Honestly, we needed fresh clothes.. badly. I reached out for the clothes as I felt a burning pain in my back. I kept my expression controlled because I didn’t want to alarm Sion.
The mark on my back had a strange energy creeping inside of me. It was dark, but strangely, I found it comforting. I wasn’t intimidated by the dark like Sion was. I was embracing it. I guess it was different for me though because I associated it with Sion. Since he was the one who gave me this mark. Also, I think my body was already familiar with it since I attached myself to his soul.
Which is still a bit creepy when I think about it.
Especially when I never planned to do it.
Inwardly, I had to laugh. Sion thought he the monster, but I was the one who laid claim to his soul. Maybe l was meant to be a soul collector?
At least I was Sion’s soul collector. I couldn’t help the smirk that crept over my face as I finished getting dressed.
“What?” Sion asked, looking at me with a crooked grin.
“Nothing I was just thinking.” I smiled, biting my bottom l!p.
“About?” He asked, reaching out to place his hands on my h!ps.
I shrugged and looked into his eyes. “You don’t think I am a monster, but I attached myself to your soul without even asking. I didn’t even know what I was doing,. I just did it. I was already a soul collector before you marked me.” His eyes looked warmer as his hand moved up my back. “I collected yours… does that make me a monster?”
“How could you ever be a monster?” His fingers were how tracing over my neck.
“Want to go find Hazel and ask her? Or poll most of the Sulfur pack.” I watched as he scowled, hot finding what I said amusing. “My point is.. there are more things that point to me having a darkness than you. If you are going to call yourself a monster, then you must call me one as well.” His eyes smiled at me as he leaned his forehead against mine.
“I love you so much.” He nuzzled his nose against mine.
“I wonder if Reapus was just saying you shouldn’t mark me again because he wanted you to take multiple mates?” I looked at him and watched his eyes darken.
“Never going to happen, but I don’t think that was it. I felt a weird spiraling sensation inside of me, but you stopped it immediately.
“I did?” This was news to me. I didn’t feel anything weird in that sense.
He smiled at me as his nose traced over my cheek. “Yes, your energy inside of me stopped it as soon as it started.” His l!ps brushed against my skin and his eyes trailed to my l!ps. “I’m getting hungry…” I could see where this was going. Not happening.
“Unless you want me to die of starvation and start our life in the spirit realm early, I need real food.” His l!ps landed on the tip of my nose and then he swooped me into his arms.
“Sion!” I gasped, wrapping my hands around his neck.
“l can’t have you expending unnecessary energy. l need to treat you like the queen you are.” He said as he carried me out of the room.
“Sion! Put me down.” I hissed, tapping his shoulders while he laughed. He raced down the stairs and I giggled as he paused at the bottom. You don’t know which way to go… so put me do” He sprinted down the hall with a wide toothy grin.
“You act like I don’t have a sense of smell.” He laughed as he charged us into the dining room where everyone was already seated for breakfast.
“Hurry! She needs food immediately. She is in imminent danger of starvation.” He voiced boisterously, making everyone in the room laugh.
“Here…” Kai said, moving a plate of stuffed french toast across the table. “I’ll wait for the next batch.”
“I’ll remember your sacrifice.” Sion continued to tease, as he lowered me into a seat. “Here, let me feed you.” I laughed and swatted his hand away. He grinned and took the seat next to me as a fresh stack of pancakes and more french toast was set on the table.
“I trust you slept well?” Conner asked with a smirk. I looked down and concentrated on the food in front of me. I could feel my ears getting hot and knew my colorful embarrassment was all over my face.
“Did you find out which way that wolf went from last night?” Sion asked, changing the topic for my benefit.
“They went in the direction we already assumed,” Denny said, and I looked up between the two men.
“Which direction? What pack were they from?” I asked.
“It was a member of the Diamond pack. We are fairly certain about this but not sure why.” Jude said, staring at his hands.
“I think they are watching what is going on here. After all, their beta was here when the fire happened…” Joey said, glancing up at Jude. The fire that had killed Taylor..
I looked up at Jude. His eyebrows were pursed together as he looked down at his plate quietly. I wonder how he had been handling everything. From finding out Taylor set me up for her being killed. It was no loss for me. However, I’m sure it was a lot on Jude.
“I think we can assume the Chance pack has also caught their attention with the odd movement,” Denny said as he looked up at Sion. “Which is probably a good thing..”
“Right, but we need to reach out to them. I want them to be aware that the Chance pack is being manipulated.” Sion said with a small frown. I knew he had mixed feelings about this because of the Lycan princess.
“I would be more than happy to reach out to them on your behalf,” Demetri said. “My family has a good relationship with them.”
“Thank you, Demetri, I appreciate it, but this can’t be done over the phone,” Sion said, looking over at him. “There are too many things that could go wrong with a phone call. It is a risk that the call could get intercepted too.”
“l understand.” Demetri was quiet for a moment before he spoke again. “We will head to the Nova pack it is closer to the Diamond pack. We will be able to meet up more easily that way.”
“The Nova pack?” Denny asked, furrowing his brows. “I have not heard of them.”
“That is because they are underground.” Demetri looked up at me.
“Wouldn’t it be best to stay with us?” Andrea asked, and Denny nodded his head in agreement.
“No, I think given the mixed feelings in the Sulfur pack, it is safer for Clover not to stay here,” Sion said as I watched his discerning eyes travel over the maids who were picking up plates from the table.
I noticed the cold glare of one of the omegas as she set a fresh pitcher of juice on the table. They were clearly upset over what happened to Hazel. She couldn’t have Sion, but maybe banishing her was a bit extreme?
“Was it necessary to banish Hazel?” I asked Denny. I didn’t want to step on his toes as the alpha, but it did seem a bit harsh. I watched as he sighed and nodded his head.
Yes, it was absolutely necessary. This isn’t her first offense. She has been talking back to the officers lately and showing a lack of respect to my Luna,” He looked over at Andrea and frowned.
Also.. she was already given a warning when she threw a going away party when you left…” I could see he looked ashamed to even say that last part.
Honestly, it stung a little bit, though I shouldn’t have been surprised. “I should have kicked her out then, but instead I gave her a warning. Her attitude has seemed very uncharacteristic lately. She had never acted like that before. In either case, she brought banishment upon herself.” Denny was right. I can’t remember a time when Hazel was out of line. She was always respectful and did her duty without complaint. I was curious why she had changed so much.
“Alpha.” A man’s voice came from the doorway. “Taylor’s father, Drew, is demanding we allow them access to their daughter’s remains for a proper burial.”
Denny groaned and rubbed his forehead. We are not done with our investigation.”
“I think you will need to talk to him. He is very agitated.” The man said, and Denny nodded his head.
“We need to get going anyways,” Sion said, looking over at me. I already know what he was thinking. He didn’t want to stay any longer than he had to in a pack that was potentially dangerous to me.
“I’ll have some necessities prepared to take with you. Do you need to borrow some vehicles?” Benny asked as he stood up from the table.
“No, we can’t take vehicles,” Demetri spoke up. “We will need to be as discreet as possible.”
Denny nodded his head. “Come with me, I’ll only be a moment, and then I will get you the things you need for traveling.”
“That isn’t necessary,” Sion said politely. I watched as Denny’s eyes came to rest on me. “It is necessary.” He smiled as he looked at me for a moment and then nodded his head. “Furthermore, I insist.” He then looked up at Sion.
“Let me do this.”
“Very well.” Sion wrapped his arm around me, gazing down at my eyes. “Did you get enough to eat?” I felt like that had more than one meaning to it. I smiled up at him and shrugged.
“The imminent danger of starvation is over for now.”
“I’ll try to take care of your needs better.” He said, winking down at me. placed my hand over his as we all made our way out of the pack house. Near the site where Taylor had been killed was a storage facility. There were backpacks that were always ready for traveling and expeditions. I knew we had to head this way, but I really wasn’t thrilled to see Drew again. Especially with how he was with me last time.
I could already hear his loud snarls as we approached the site. I felt Sion halt as his hand gripped into me. His eyes flashed gold as his gaze locked on something.
“Sion?” I whispered, looking up at him.
“l can see…” He muttered as his brows furrowed.
I turned to look in the direction he was. The world moved in and out of focus, turning from green to gray. This was when my l!ps parted in shock.
There was a body curled up with their head buried on their knees. It was the soul of the person killed.. Taylor.