Clover? Sion?!” Conner said, making me look back at him. He was looking around as if Sion and I weren’t there.
“Calm your wee self. They just took a stroll to the other side.” Stilts said from nowhere.
Seriously, this guy needed to wear a collar with a bell on it, so we knew where he was at. I looked at my hand interlaced with Sion and wondered if it was because I was holding his hand that I was able to come here with him. That, or because he marked me, I was able to. It was like we were in an in-between state right now. Not in the spirit realm or in the living.
I felt Sion’s hand tighten on mine and I looked up at his pinched eyebrows. It looked like he was fighting against something once again.
“Keep going.” I heard Reapus’ voice, though I didn’t see him anywhere. “She isn’t a vengeful spirit. You will need to come all the way, Sion.” I could hear the annoyance in Reaper’s voice. This guy was getting on my nerves but at the same time.. I felt like he was trying to help.
If she wasn’t a vengeful spirit, he could have led her to the other side. Where she could decide to rejoin the life pool or be at peace. Yet, he had left her. Which had me wondering,. did he know Sion and I would be together all along? What game was being played here?
“Sion?” I looked up at him and smiled. “I’m not leaving your side, besides, this is our destiny anyways.”
“It isn’t that..” Sion’s tone seemed edgier than normal as his eyes flickered to golden. A dark cloud of dust danced around us, I noticed how his arms started to turn colors and it seemed to control Sion’s mood. Was it necessary for him to shift into this Anubis form? It might be the form granted but he was Sion. He should have control over his forms.
I squeezed his hand, digging my nails into him slightly, forcing his golden eyes to look at me.
You aren’t going into battle. Don’t shift.” A black mist covered us as I stared into his glowing amber eyes that faded to a warm hazel color. The mist swarmed around us in a maddening circle. Then it suddenly fell to the ground with a hissing sound. I was holding onto Sion’s hand, and we were both staring at one another.
“You officially creep me out,” Reapus said, and I turned my head to see him standing right next to us. He was examining Sion and me with an odd expression. He was still wearing his hat, only his silver eyes were not hidden by the rim. “Only Endymion would collect such a creature.”
“What?” I said with my brows furrowed. “Interesting,. you are cloaked with Anubis but keeping your form. Huh… well, I’ll be damned.”
Reapus chuckled, leaning back on his heels looking very intrigued. His eyes then flashed to me and he stepped closer, “May I?” He asked looking at my shoulder. Sion growled and narrowed his eyes at Reapus. “Calm down, I just want to see the mark.”
“I’ll show it to you then,” Sion growled and pulled my front against his chest. He then pulled down my shirt to reveal the mark he left on me. I glanced over my shoulder to see Reapus staring at the mark intently. His lips were pursed, and he looked perplexed.
“Is there a problem?” I asked as I turned back around to look at him.
“Never mind.” Reapus cleared his throat and looked away.
“Never mind? Well, l am not done talking with you.” I clicked my tongue as he looked at me, shocked. “What is the big idea of giving Sion another mate and wanting him to…”
His eerie chuckle started off soft before it turned into a boisterous rolling laugh. He finally stopped and his eyes looked at me with amusement.
“You have some nerve to speak to death like that… but given what you are, I guess it makes sense.” He then smiled as he stared at me. “You are a clever lady. Follow the breadcrumbs that are being left for you. I can’t put a sword in your hand and swing it for you. However, I can point you the sword and in the direction you should swing it. I can also delay collecting a soul or create a mate to help your mind connect the right dots..” His eyes were gleaming at me as if he was telling me to understend.
“So, the mate pull wasn’t because you want me to have many mates?” Sion looked at him confused and Reapus laughed.
“You believed that? That was a joke.” Reapus snickered.
“Hilarious,” Sion said tersely.
“So, you created a bond with Hazel for a reason… and you didn’t collect Taylor’s soul because you were giving us the opportunity to talk to her. That means you already knew Sion and I would be together. You already knew that he would..”
“Reject Hazel outright? Die and become Anubis? Yes, to all of the above.” He nodded his head as he stared at me. “Just keep using that brain of yours. You’ll figure it out. Starting with the soul that I haven’t collected yet…” I watched as a smirk formed on his lips. “Taylor?” He shrugged and turned his head. “Is it though?”
My eyes widened as I looked behind Reapus. The girl was still sitting on the ground with her head on her knees. However, now l could see her better. This girl.. was not Taylor. My mouth parted in shock as my mind began to race.
“Clover?” Sion asked as I shook my head.
“That isn’t Taylor..” I whispered out still in shock. If that wasn’t Taylor then did that mean.. she was still alive? And if she was… then where was she?!
What? Sion looked at the soul and then at Reapus. “Who is she?!” Reapus sighed with annoyance and motioned over to her with his eyes. He was clearly saying that is why I left her here so go talk to her.
Perhaps if the moment wasn’t so serious, I would have laughed. But this was a crazy moment. I needed to know who this lady was and what she knew. Instead, Sion was the one to shake his head and click his tongue.
“Your dramatic theatrics are annoying. It is really dumb if you think about it. You can’t tell us directly, but you can gift wrap us the answers.” Sion said sarcastically, rolling his eyes.
“Just accept your gift and be happy there is someone out there helping you. Because without it, you would be swallowed up by the darkness that is coming.” Reapus’ tone was dark, and it didn’t leave room for questioning. There was a depth in his eyes.. a knowledge of something that made a chill creep up my back. You know what… I really didn’t want to know what he knew.
What was really at work here? It seemed like whatever was happening was bigger than what was happening to us. I guess that was the answer.
We played a role in a much bigger picture.
All l could concern myself with was the now. That was what I needed to focus on. I would gather the clues and hints that are left. Reapus was right on that point, just accept the gift. Right now.. I was confused and would gladly take whatever help that I could.
I looked at the girl and began to walk towards her without saying anything else to Reapus, Sion stayed by my side as we approached the soul.
She stayed there, still quiet, with her head buried in her legs.
“Excuse me.” I whispered out. I watched as she lifted her head to look at me. She has wet stains streaking down her face and my heart instantly hurt for her. “Do you.” Da.mn, what should I say? I didn’t want to sound insensitive.
Hey, tell me who killed you.. oh, by the way, sorry you are dead?!
“Do you know what happened? Why you are… here?” Sion asked as his hand rubbed my lower back. The young lady nodded her head.
“They killed me.” She whispered, making my breath hitch. They?
“Who killed you? What happened? Who are you?” I asked and she settled her gaze on me. I didn’t recognize her at all. At first, I had thought it was someone else from our pack… but I didn’t recognize this face.
“I came to visit with a group of other ladies. We were visiting packs looking for our mates.” This was a normal practice. Sometimes small groups would travel from pack to pack once they came of age hoping to find their mate. “I had been at the Sulfur pack for a few days and became friends with Taylor.” I watched as she swallowed.
A man came to get me and told me that Taylor wanted to see me. I followed him… and he shoved me inside a building… and…” A man? Who? Someone Taylor was close to.. I felt my heart thumping against my chest as I tried to keep my composure.
“Taylor looked inside the window and smiled, saying my body was identical to hers in size. She said no one would know. Then…” I watched the woman’s hands begin to tremble.
“She moved from the window and… all I remember is eyes that glowed… then it was so hot. I couldn’t get out.” She stared at her hands. “I died. I never found my mate. I’ll never had children. There was so much I wanted to do. So much I wanted to pass on.” Her Voice was now high pitched in crying sobs.
I could see black smoke beginning to circle her body. I felt like this was the beginning of her losing herself. “But you still can..” She looked up at me and I forced a smile. “You can rejoin the life pool. You can be reborn and start all over again.” I glanced over my shoulder to Reapus. “He can lead you on to the next path in your life. Whatever it is that is planned. But could you tell me something,. the man. did he have a name? Can you describe him?”
“I never heard his name. He had brown hair and was tall… that is all I know.” Well, that narrows it down to almost anyone. That could be Joey, Jude, Denny or most of the men in the pack.
Logic though would point to men Taylor was close to. “There was another person there as well. I couldn’t see them, but I heard a woman’s voice.”
Once again this could be anyone.
“I’m so sorry for what happened to you.” I reached my hand out to her. “You deserved to find your happiness. I’m sure you will be rewarded with it if you are reborn again.” She placed her hand in mine… it felt like ice… and sadness. There was so much grief pooling inside of me that it was hard to breathe. This was her pain. Her sorrow.
“Are you ready to walk with me?” Reapus was next to us, his hat covering his eyes once again. He watched as the soul nodded her head. “Then follow me and choose..” He took a few steps and turned to look at Sion. “I’ll be back for you soon. We have work to do.. without her by your side.” A second later he vanished with the soul of the girl.
I turned to look at Sion, my mind was racing. It was Sion that said the words I wasn’t allowing myself to think.
“Could Jude have been the man? He was Taylor’s boyfriend, right?” As Sion said the words, I licked my lips and shook my head. If it was Jude… he betrayed us all. He lied. He.. he hated me. Gods, please… I continued to shake my head and I felt Sion’s arms come around me. He pulled my head to his chest and held me tightly against him.
“No matter what… l am here, Clover. We will figure it all out together.” His gentle tones washed over me, calming me down. I just. I knew that it being Jude could be a possibility, but I didn’t want to believe it. It hurt to believe it.
“Now what?” I whispered in his Chest.
“We shouldn’t show our hand. It is the only advantage we have right now. We can use this to our advantage. Not to mention… we don’t know who we can even tell.” I knew what he meant by this, but l couldn’t stomach that either. He was saying we couldn’t trust Denny or Joey. Was it wrong of me to have faith in them? Or was this just the pathetic part of me holding on to the fake family I believed I had with them?
“We follow the breadcrumbs…” I whispered, thinking about what Reapus had said.
How did Hazel come to play in all of this? He put us on her trail for a reason too. 0r was it more about the mate bond? Was this what was suspicious? Could Hazel have been the other woman the soul heard?
“Did Hazel live alone?” Sion seemed to be thinking the same thing l was.
“Yes, she lived by herself.”
“Do you think Taylor would have stayed with her? Would she have hidden herself at her place?”
“Sion…” I pursed my lips and pushed back to look at him. “Taylor was working with demons. The same demon that caused-” I stopped and could see the darkness in his eyes.
He already knew. The same demon that killed his parents. The same one Dr. Snyde was working with. It was-all connected. I was still missing what exactly was tying it all together. Unless.. it was me.
Dr. Snyde wanted a sheya. It was the reason she had the light to notify her of a sheya’s presence. But how was Taylor involved in this?
How did she get involved with Dr. Snyde? Where was the connection? This had to do with me. But how did those two work? Taylor would have told her about the possibility of me being a sheya.
Did she know from the day l arrived at the Chance pack? Was she already waiting for her opportunity? Then why try to kill me? Why would Taylor set me up to be killed. or was that not the real purpose?
I felt Sion’s grip around me tighten and I looked up at his gold-flashing eyes. I could see he was deep in thought as a growl reverberated in his chest. Did he also put together that I was connected to it?
“l can keep you here, Clover. They won’t be able to touch you here.”
“Sion..” I smiled and reached my hands up to cup his cheeks. “We have to save the Chance pack. We have a life to live. No matter what, I won’t be afraid to continue to live my life.
Especially now that | have a future, I’m excited to create.. with you.”
“l could lock you up here… where no one can ever harm you.”
I giggled and smiled. “Now you sound like at the other alphas.” I watched as a warm smite reached his lips as his eyes returned to hazel..
“Besides… you couldn’t even if you wanted to…” I watched his eyes dance in amusement. “I could just order you to do what I want.”
“Silly woman…” He grabbed my hips, pressing himself against me. “You could always order me to do what you want even without your sheya powers.” He then lowered his head and melted his lips against mine.
No matter how complicated things were or were about to get. I had Sion. l embraced the warm tingles and inhaled his heady scent.
Together, we would overcome this challenge. We weren’t in this alone.
Even if I did end up dying.. I would end up with Sion. Here in the spirit realm. For all eternity.