The Beast And The Blessed

Chapter 17

Seventeen: Natalie

Natalie’s P.O.V.

Killian had done as I had expected and returned to his cold and brooding self the next morning. I was
just happy that he hadn’t killed anyone else since we had come home. Brooding, I could deal with.

He was already halfway out the door before I had regained consciousness, and the ‘good morning’ I
had thrown at him was greeted by him closing the door between us.

It still made me smile though. The fact that he was there when I had woken meant that once again he
had slept in with me, holding me tight against him. His walls were cracking, and as soon as he was
ready to let me in, I would be here waiting.

Training had been canceled as Joselin was busy with Killian, and Tobias shook his head at me. I knew
right away that he didn’t want to have any distractions today. So, having him train me was also out of
the question.

Instead, I decided that it was time that I educated myself. I didn’t want to keep pestering Killian with
questions when it seemed to be a sure way to make him angry, and Tobias guided me to the library
where I found all kinds of books on Lycan history and different creatures. It was the information on
Vampires. that I found particularly useful.

I could come back to learn about Lycans, but the immediate threat was the bloodsuckers that had killed
one of our men. If I could educate myself on their kind, then maybe Killian would see some use in me
after all and would talk to me about it.

I was lost in their story, learning about how they took pride in capturing the strongest of victims to turn
them into bleeders. Lycans were at the top of their food chain. It was rare that they managed to get

their hands on them, but when they did, the Lycans had been able to fight off the poison for years. It
made them the perfect food source.

Having one of their men attacked and killed yesterday told me that it was far more than just one
vampire. that had fed from and repeatedly bit him. Killian had said that the man had *from the
excessive number of bites.

If a Lycan could stay alive for years with the poison in their system, I had to wonder just how many
bites or vampires were involved in the man’s murder. It was a lot more serious than just one rogue
vampire causing trouble.

“Huh,” Joselin said as she appeared in front of me, the black lines dancing along her skin and catching
my attention. “I never thought I would find you here.”

I closed the book on my finger to save my place, giving Joselin my undivided attention. “Why is that?”

“I pictured you as more of a cheesy romance type than to be reading in the history section.” She leaned
forward, grabbing the book from my hands, and I let out a protest as she made me lose my place.
Curious about vampires, are we?”

“The king doesn’t like it when I ask questions. I am looking for answers.” I watched as Tobias shook hist
head in disappointment as he maintained his sweeping gaze from one door to the next. I knew he
wasn’t disappointed in me, but his reaction still made me feel embarrassed.

I reached forward, trying to grab the book from Joselin, but was too slow as she pulled it out of my

“Fascinating creatures. If they didn’t believe that the rest of the world was only here as cattle to feed
and serve them, they wouldn’t have had to *.” The book floated above her palm as she flipped through
the pages. “It’ll be hard when we have to battle them again.”

The attack was only a warning, and I knew from what I had learned of The Great War that history was
about to repeat itself. I just wasn’t sure what part I was to play in it. If I were to one day be queen, I
would be expected to stand by Killian’s side as he sent our men and women off to war… to their

It was a guilt that I was not prepared to live with. “I imagine it will be. Is that what you have been
training me for?”

The pages stopped as Joselin leaned in, looking particularly interested in whatever she had seen. “Yes,
you had to have been lot stronger then than you are now to have saved Killian like that.”

Her mumbling took me by surprise, and !-froze in my chair as she flipped the page once and continued
reading, her lips moving with the words silently. The excitement that maybe she would answer one of
the questions that Killian refused to, had me leaning forward in my chair.

“How do you know I was stronger?” Her head shook back and forth as she slammed the book closed
and tossed it to the chair next to me. She had just given me more information in that one sentence than
Killian had given me the entire time I had been here.

Not only was I supposed to fight in the battle against vampires, but I would save the king’s… my mate’s
life. It seemed an impossible task to accomplish as I was only human, but if she had somehow seen
the future, who was I to argue.

“You do ask a lot of questions.” Her clipped tone was followed by her walking back toward the
bookshelves. “I came here to talk to you about something I saw today… about your mother.”

My eyes narrowed, as I watched her run her fingers over the spines of the books. “What about my

She had been a regular suburban housewife until I failed to shift. Only then did she show her true
colors and her all-consuming disappointment in me. Before that, she was just like any other loving and
caring mother. She would go out for training for a few hours a day, but otherwise, she stayed home and
took. care of my sister and me.

“Did she tell you about your birth?” Joselin asked as she ducked behind one of the shelves, and I
moved to follow her as she continued browsing.

“Not really, she only said it was really fast,” I said, walking behind her as I waited for her to accidentally
release more information. Instead, she spun suddenly on her heels, her blank *eyes bore into me and
sent a shiver down my spine. The feeling of small worms moving beneath the skin of my face, made
me gasp as I reached up to grab my cheeks, wanting to claw them out.

As I fell to my knees, Joselin stepped back. While the feeling disappeared, my hands continued to
shake as I continued to search my skin for the intruders.

“Hm, you’re blocking me. Very interesting.” She mumbled to herself, and I glared up at her from my
place on the floor, wanting to scream at her for her invasive attempt at getting information.

“What the *? Did you just try to get into my mind? I just told you that she never told me anything.” Using
my hand on my knee, I pushed myself up until I was standing.

Tobias stepped in front of me, blocking my view of Jaselin, and I could feel his body shaking as he *off
with the witch. Whether they had something going on or not, his job was to protect me, and that was
what he did.

“Don’t *yourself, Tobias.” Joselin snapped, but I could hear the hurt in her voice that he had stood
against her as if she were a threat. “We both know that I’m not an enemy.”

The growl he let out in response had me flinching back, and I stared at him with wide eyes.

“That is enough!” Killian’s voice boomed out from behind me, making me jump as I had not noticed his
entry to the library. “Joselin, we have work to do.”

I turned to look at him, enjoying how his eyes traveled over me as if searching for injury before he
pulled his gaze away. I wanted to greet him, but I was not sure how to address him with others around.
Would he be offended if I called him Killian, or would it be improper to have his mate call him Your

Instead, I just nodded my head in respect, watching as his eyes narrowed as he noticed my movement
from his periphery.

It didn’t escape me that as he turned and gestured for Joselin to leave, he stood between us. In an act
of defiance, she flickered before disappearing from the room. The little trust I had in her vanished with
her, and my feeling of security in the castle was suddenly gone.

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