He gripped my chin firmly, putting pressure with his thumb. His gaze was like fire, searing into me as I was held captivated in its embrace. Black wisps of energy began to ensnare me, holding me in place. The grip was firm but not rough.
“Sion—” I gasped, seeing the hurt in his eyes.
“Are you upset with me for decapitating Hazel?” He asked, his eyes searching mine. “Did you see me fight as Anubis and change your mind? Did I scare you? Because I would NEVER hurt you. You know that, right?”
“Sion, it isn’t anything like that—”
“Then what is going on?” I listened as he sighed and turned his head to the side. “You can’t change your mind, Clover. You can’t. I’m sorry… I won’t ever let you leave me. It’s impossible for you to leave me. I’ve already claimed you as my Queen… that can’t be undone.” I felt his hand tremble on my face as his pained eyes came back to search mine. I pursed my lips together and looked away from him. I couldn’t stand to see him like this. I was going to have to try to talk to him.
“What if we… what if we weren’t supposed to be together?” I mumbled and his eyes turned dark. His hand wrapped around my back, ensnaring me, and he leaned his head closer to mine.
“You. Are. Mine.” He growled as his possessive eyes locked with mine. His eyes wandered over my face and then suddenly he smashed his lips against mine. I tried not to respond because I didn’t want to keep taking advantage of him. I felt his teeth bite down on my bottom lip in frustration and the moment I opened my mouth he attacked. His tongue invaded like a war general and conquered without mercy.
My mind was spinning with desire and confusion. I wanted to pull away, to resist his advances, but my body was betraying me. I moaned softly as his hands roamed over my body, exploring every inch of me with a fierce hunger that left me breathless.
As his lips trailed down my neck, I found myself gasping for air, drowning in a sea of pleasure and lust. His hands were everywhere, tracing the curves of my body, leaving a trail of fire in their wake. I felt like I was losing control. I was being overwhelmed by fiery sensations.
But even as my body was consumed with desire, my mind was still reeling with uncertainty. I loved Sion with every fiber of my being, but what if he did have a true mate out there? It wouldn’t be fair of me to keep him from her. If I manipulated this relationship, it wasn’t fair of me to keep him. No matter how badly I wanted to.
“If I have to reclaim you right here I will.” Sion growled into my lips, nipping my soft skin with his teeth. “You can’t deny what we have, Clover—”
“What if it isn’t real?!” I finally shouted and confusion settled in his eyes as he held my gaze.
“How isn’t this real?” I watched as he leaned back on his heels, still keeping a grip on my waist.
“What if I manipulated the bond? What if I wanted to be with you so badly, I made you think I was your mate? What if I manipulated my wolf into believing you were our mate?”
Sion sighed and stared at me. “Where is all of this coming from?” The corners of his lips curled up in a tired smile.
“Sion, I am serious. What if I manipulated the relationships around me because I wanted a family—” I watched as Sion raised his brows looking at me as if I suggested trying to lay an egg.
“Seriously, where is this coming from? Did Dr. Snyde say something?” I pursed my lips together and he moved his other hand to rest on my waist. “So, you just decided to make us like you? You didn’t use your power on the whole pack? Just us. And when your powers were still dormant you were able to manipulate me into thinking you were my true mate?” I blinked at him and then just slowly raised my shoulders in a shrug.
“Furthermore… Clover… my love… you can’t control me.” I blinked at him, and then my brows knitted together.
“Yes, I can.”
“No… you can’t.”
“Yes, I can.”
“Have at it then, Clover. Control me.” Sion smirked and gazed down at me.
“But in the bedroom when I—”
“I let you.” He said in a simple tone as he searched my eyes. “I can feel your will and what you want. I allowed you to have control, my love. I’d do anything you ask except to let you go.” His brow arched as a sly smile spread across his face. “But once I transformed into Anubis, even if I had been under your influence before, there was nothing left to control. I died. We were disconnected and worlds apart. Even with all of your might, you had no dominion over a death god. It was only through my own will that I reclaimed you. We chose each other again. And again. And I have marked you as my Queen. Even if you die now, you will remain by my side. You are mine for eternity and nothing can change that.”
My heart pounded in my chest as I listened to him. I absorbed his words as I stared at him quietly. The bond was real. I had let Call Me Bree nuke my mind with treachery. She made me doubt my relationships. She made me doubt what was real. However, Sion was right. I didn’t have my sheya powers when we first met. I didn’t start to develop them until after I had lost Sheena.
I then folded my arms over my chest. “You let me control you?” I listened as he chuckled, pulling my waist closer so that I was touching his chest.
“It is hard to explain. I trust in our bond enough that I submit to your powers. I could choose not to, but why would I? I can’t be manipulated, Clover, but you are allowed to do whatever you want with me. I will always submit to you, my Queen.” His hands moved over my sides, sending sweet tingles through my body.
I sobbed, fresh tears cascading down my cheeks. No matter how hard I try to have faith, no matter how hard I try to believe in Sion, the scars of my past remain with me. Years of being treated as worthless has left its mark on me. Having Sion as my mate is too good to be true. I want him so desperately that it is hard to believe that this is real. It was easier to believe that I had manipulated it all. My bottom lip quivered uncontrollably as I uttered the words, “It’s okay for me to keep you…”
His hands moved to cup my cheeks and he lowered his head to mine. “Clover… is it okay for me to keep you? I’ll never be good enough to deserve you. Do you know how terrified I was? I thought, ‘she finally sees me for the monster I am. She doesn’t want to be with me anymore’.”
I smiled through my tears and looked up at him. “How could I ever think that? You are everything to me. We have some work to do on ourselves. We never feel like we are good enough.”
“I’m not good enough, but that doesn’t matter. You make me better. Your light is what saves me. And no matter what… I need you. I may never deserve you, but I need you. I’ll never let you go.” There was so much passion in his words as his possessive gaze looked over me.
My heart shattered into a million pieces at his words. The sensation of his heartbreak ripped through my soul, and I threw my arms around his neck, sobbing uncontrollably.
“I love you Sion.” I whispered against his lips as I kissed him, my tears falling freely as he held me close.
His scent surrounded me, and I drank in his essence. Sion was everything I had ever dreamed of. He was the one and only man I wanted to spend eternity with. As our hearts beat in unison, I fully realized that this was real. It was okay to be happy. I could finally look to the future and enjoy the present.
“I love you too, Clover. Forever and always.” His words were a promise as he continued to kiss me. Sion was wrong though… he was my gift. I have never been as happy as I am with Sion. He has helped me to become the woman I was always meant to be. I will always be grateful for the way he loves me. He is so gentle and caring to me. He knows what I need without me asking and he gives it to me. I felt dumb for doubting our bond.
I need to remind myself it is okay to be happy. I can be sad about those we have lost, but it is still okay to live my life. I deserve to enjoy my mate and our family.
“I’m sorry for doubting us.” I said as Sion pecked my cheek tenderly.
“It’s okay. Just never doubt us again,” he said, kissing my forehead, and I nodded. “And what exactly did you think you were going to do? You are pregnant with my heir. Did you think I would just allow you to leave?” A playful smile spread over his lips.
“It is not like I wanted to ever part from you. I… I love you so much that I couldn’t stand the idea of robbing you of something precious—”
“Then don’t. You are what is precious to me. Our child… I already love him so much. Nothing is more important than you. Do you really think, even through manipulation, that you can create this? My love, this isn’t just bending someone to your will. You can manipulate what someone thinks but the level of these emotions…” He shook his head. “Even with love spells and potions, that person is just completely consumed and blinded by emotions. What we have is so much more.” Sion let out a shaky breath as he closed his eyes. “When I thought you might want to leave me… Clover, that part of me is terrifying. The things I would do to keep you…” His eyes opened to look at me. “I—”
“It doesn’t matter, Sion. Don’t think about it. I’m sorry. I won’t ever doubt us again. I’m never leaving you.”
“I am not the same as when we first met. I am more possessive and there are times it is all I can do to allow you to walk in another direction than me. I am—”
“You are everything I need you to be. I’ll always be with you Sion, all the way up until I take my last breath.” I watched as he smiled, and he rested his forehead against mine.
“And even after that. I will remain with you until that last breath and then I will stay with that body, taking you with me to the spirit realm. We will never be apart again.”
“Promise?” I smiled as he chuckled.
“It is an everlasting vow.” His lips brushed over mine gently. This sweet, caring side he reserved for me… and our family.
“You are going to be a great father.” I watched as his eyes lit up and a wide grin spread over her lips.
“I’m excited. I can’t wait to decorate the nursery. I want to do all the fun normal stuff with you. I want to stay up late watching movies with you. Sleep in late just so I can hold you longer. I want to chase our children around the house and make sure they know how much they are loved. I want it all.”
I nodded my head. “Me too.” Everything he said was what I wanted. We were going to be a family… I was going to be a mother. His lips pressed against mine again and this time a greedy hunger came over him. A low possessive growl hummed from his throat as his tongue caressed mine. Out of the corner of my eye I saw several figures come into view. Two were very tall broad men and next to them was a woman with silver hair. I pulled apart from him and turned my head to get a better look.
“Sion…” I whispered and he followed my gaze. “Are they spirits?” I asked, but they felt different. There was so much life in their energy.
“No… they are not dead. They have chosen to exist in this realm.” He nodded his head to them politely. “Fairy magic is intriguing…” he said as he pulled me deeper in his embrace.
My heart pounded with anticipation as his breath grazed my ear. “We can go back now,” he whispered, his voice low and menacing. “But later…” He exhaled in a ragged growl, conveying an unmistakable promise that I would not soon forget. “Later, I will make sure you understand exactly who you belong to.” Fear and excitement coursed through me as I imagined the consequences of my moments of doubt.
I leaned my head against his chest, feeling the steady beat of his heart. “Should we talk to them first?” I asked quietly, looking at the people in the distance.
“No, they are not here to talk to us. They were checking us out. We need to leave them to do their job.” A moment later I felt the air around me change. The brilliant colors of the world returned to normal, and we were back in the living realm. Odell and Demetri were standing there talking to the two dragons.
“Finally, okay so you guys are good now. I’m going to go enjoy myself.” Odell’s voice rang out like a gong, her hand slicing through the air as she declared that she was on her personal time now. “She’s on your watch Demetri.”
“Is everything okay?” Demetri asked with a small smile. “You look much better now.”
“Yeah, I just needed to clear my head. Sometimes I am my own worst enemy. I’m lucky that I have Sion to help sort out my nonsense.” I smiled up at him and he kissed the tip of my nose.
“That’s what having mates is all about. They are the part of us we didn’t realize we were missing. They help with our doubts…” Bella said as she interlaced her fingers with Brian. I looked at the two dragons and could see the love reflecting in each other’s eyes.
“The half we try our hardest every day to deserve, but will always fall short.” Brian said as Bella shook her head.
“You never fall short.”
I guess for a lot of mates this was normal. The feeling that you didn’t deserve the other because of how wonderful they were to you. More proof that Sion and I were true mates.
“I’ll take you to your friend. The queen should be with him now.” Brian said and I nodded, feeling Sion’s fingers grip around my waist. We were both anxious to see Kai. We knew he wasn’t in any danger anymore, but it would be a relief to see him awake.
We followed behind the dragons as they led the way towards a beautiful shining building in the distance.
“Welcome to Elysium.”