Chapter 85: Leyanne
“We’re here… may as well. Just don’t let your guard down and don’t hesitate to use your gifts.” She
hisses under her breath and I scoot up right behind Carmen to fall back in line, flanked by two femmes
and still unsure this witch is a friend at all. Sierra told us she was, but this doesn’t feel like someone
who is willing to bend over backwards to do anything for anyone except herself.
We make quick work of following close to her, aware of the pitch darkness and I start to wonder how
the hell we’re meant to stay out here if she ups and leaves us now. We don’t know this terrain; the truck
is far enough away that we’ll encounter a fight if vampires come upon us, and I have no mental space,
or physical energy, for any of that. My adrenaline is firing high and I’m already exhausted. Missing
Colton has become the biggest drain on my soul, craving him, needing his touch, his presence and I
seem to start of the day already fatigued, no matter how much I sleep.
“You’ve got to be kidding me.” Carmen’s haughty tone cuts into my thoughts and I blink up and look
over her shoulder as a tiny derelict cottage comes into view, offering little to no protection from any
outside invasion, a fire burning within its tumble-down walls. Smoke trickling through the hole of the
disintegrating roof, glowing from inside and highlight the lack of solid foundations, or full walls on each
side it has. I realize this is where she wanted us to go. Exposed at night, sat round a campfire in a
strange place, of a ruined building, with only a witch we don’t know if we can trust. Not a good move
and I glance skywards and prey the fates know what they’re doing this time.
“What? Afraid of things that go bump in the night? I thought you were big bad lycanthrope… never took
you for being afraid of the dark. Don’t worry wee lassies, the scariest thing out here is me.” Leyanne
mocks us from her slight distance ahead with that amused tone and wanders into the cottage casually,
using the completely absent side wall as her path in, to go perch herself on some positioned logs
settled around the glowing flames. It seems this is her resting place and is already set up to sit by the
fire to see the darkness out.
She watches with amusement as we three follow slowly, glancing around in high alert, and timidly place
ourselves close together on the other side away from her. We keep our backs close but spread so we
take in three angles to keep watch through the fallen stones, aware, and looking around with caution.
“Aren’t you afraid of being out here?” Carmen is the one to question it, always so verbal with her
thoughts, but Leyanne shrugs nonchalantly. She relaxes onto her log and stretches out her legs,
exposing laced up knee high Victorian boots and adjust her skirts.
“Why would I be? Any creature stupid enough to tackle me deserves what they get. Who should I be
afraid of? Nothing can kill me! I know, because they’ve all tried.” She kicks up some dirt at the flames
with her heel, causing instant green sparks and crackles to ring through and I jump, on edge and antsy.
“This is just a temporary resting spot for you wee fellows to rest; I have something I was doing before I
intercepted Sierra trying to locate me. Needless to say, I like solitary abodes and I only had short notice
to detour.” She picks up a large black kettle that had been nestled beside her feet and hangs it up on a
metal bar sticking out across the fire at an angle where she props it. Seemingly not phased at all and
making boiled water, while we gawp and sit stiff as rods, observing her.
“So that’s how you knew about us? Sierra somehow alerted you with the locator spell?” my interest is
piqued as I home in on that detail as she nods. Remembering I was meant to give her the vial around
my neck, but it seems she doesn’t need the proof of my connection at all.
“When you try to use magic to find someone like me…. I know about it. Especially when you use the
spell I wrote for the purpose. So then, naturally, I had to investigate the why, with the help of my birds. I
may know a lot about who you are and why you’re here, but I don’t have all the details. My little gossip
mongers are only good for Chinese whispers of things they actually witness. It’s a long trek from your
mountain to here and ears and mouths of passing crows are not always reliable.”
I glance around at the birds flocking the trees to watch us and squint and her term for them. A visual of
birds enjoying drama and storytelling and spreading it through flocks across the land. I guess mine and
Carmen’s conversation by the trees that day was reported along the line, with every single time we
spoke freely in the grounds of the homestead. It’s weird and makes me feel we should be watching all
those innocent creatures back home if this is the truth of what they do for witches. If it is, then Tawna
running, they would have known fast that she did if the birds were messengers. Our forest is teaming
with them and they are always around, day and night.
“What do you want to know?” Meadow interjects, ignoring what she probably mentally summarized
about the birds too and Leyanne ponders her for a long moment, quietly.
“Everything, but that takes time, and I can’t linger for long. So maybe I can see for myself with your
permission. Condense, rapidly learn, and extract what is necessary from all the other boring tidbits of
life.” Her words bring my eyes back to her in wide surprise, my mouth falling open, guessing she’s
hinting at being able to pass mentally, like we can.
“You can mind link?” I’m awed, unsure I have ever heard of any other species apart from ours that can
even do that, but she just looks at me with a ‘please’ of sarcasm across her face. That air of boredom
that we really seem to underestimate her at every turn. Just who the hell is this witch?
“I mean, sure.” I hesitate a little flustered with her response and lean forward without a second thought,
to get up when she raises her hand to still me. Once again ignoring my question, she gets up and
walks to me instead, gently laying her fingertips on my temple and I’m startled by the unearthly warmth
and tenderness of her skin. It’s a gentle almost maternal touch that doesn’t coincide with her demeanor
Immediately a strange sensation tugs at my skull, so unlike what happens when we mind link as
wolves, and I feel like warm rivulets of my body heat are flowing right out of my head. It’s almost
pleasant and my eyes grow heavy with tiredness as I begin to relax and feel pleasantly soothed.
I blink up at her, seeing her eyes are locked on mine, unblinking, glowing a little eerily, but not blue like
Sierra. No, this witch’s eyes are darkest chocolate with glowing veins of honey amber threads around
the inner pupil and I close my own to shut out the way my body trembles at the sight of them. It takes
only seconds, this tugging, almost draining of my energy around my face. A sleepiness invading a little
too abruptly the longer she goes on and then she stops suddenly, and releases me so I blink awake,
the effects instantly dismissing as though being hit in the face with a blast of cold air again
“Interesting…… very, very interesting.” Is all she mutters softly and wanders back to sit down with a
thoughtful glance at me, then Meadow, and then Carmen. It’s as though she’s sorting through the
thoughts, filing them into an orderly timeline and working out our relation to one another.
“So, you saw the fog, you know what to do?” Meadow zeros in and tries to pull her attention, but
Leyanne continues to stare at me in an unnervingly intense way. Her face poised, still, a slight frown
over one brow and a hint of a little dimple at one side of her pretty mouth, showing a slight strain to her
“Hmmmm……” that’s all she says, and I blanche at her sudden lack of verbal’s when I have just given
her god knows how much backstory. Unlike when wolves link and we can filter and control what we
share, I had no insight into what she took, saw, dug into and she might have seen my whole existence
for I know.
“What does hmm mean?” Carmen snaps losing patience, her usual irritable persona showing face, not
that I blame her, and Leyanne smirks.
“It means, hmmm…. I thought that phrase was universally understood. It’s not like I’m not speaking
English… although some from that country would disagree.” She chuckles at some vague self-joke and
again fixes that penetrating gaze back at me.
“Hmmm you know how to help, or hmmm, you don’t?” I chirp in, tenser by the second and honestly
getting so sick of this. She’s so good at vague, dragging things out and evasive answering and it’s
annoying as hell.
“Hmmm as in, well now that makes sense, and hmmm as in ….. I know what I have to do. Does that
clear up your inability to understand the worldwide use of Hmmm?”
“Oh my god, you’re infuriating, you know that!” Carmen snaps, riled and instantly tense all over, getting
up to pace around behind me and shake off the obvious hostility that is making her stiff and frustrated.
It’s this atmosphere, this holding on with bated breath and walking on eggshells as we try to suss this
witch out. It’s detrimental to patience and Carmen has low amounts of that in the first place. Leyanne
just sits back comfortably and prods at her kettle with a stick to see if it’s even beginning to steam.
Unperturbed by the outburst.
“I have something to do and you three should rest. We have to travel back to your home tomorrow and
see what needs to be done. Help yourself to tea, there’s blankets back there in that chest, along with
the leaves, creamer…sugar, whatever you need. Try and not make a mess, I hate sloppy campers.”
She rises gracefully, dismissing us so easily, acting like this is fucking normal, and I gawp at her my
heart hitching in utter disbelief.
“You’re leaving?” I snap at her, my voice cracking in my throat with the raspiness I spat the words out,
and somehow jumped to my feet without even realizing it. We literally haven’t gotten anything from her
other than agreement to come with us and she’s dumping us out here in the middle of the night while
the moon is full, and we have no means to shelter.
“Hmmm, things to do, people to see. I didn’t just come here for you three, as I previously stated. I was
on my own little mission and it happens to be as important, and maybe beneficial to your little
predicament.” She starts moving towards the exit and Meadow is the one to lose her temper in true
feisty fashion. Letting rip with a roar, bouncing up in front of me with ambering eyes and a snarl to her
“So we’re to stay out here, unprotected, while you swan off and do god knows what? Like sitting
fucking ducks, just patiently trusting you! You, who has given us nothing at all to even trust!” that
wolfish aggression comes through in waves of oozing anger and her eyes glow even brighter as her
“You’re not very gracious, or grateful, for people seeking my help and towing themselves across the
country. What do you think will happen to you here that won’t in your truck, protected by MY magic? Do
you really think a secondhand spell carried out by a half witch is more effective than any I have in place
here?” She smirks and gestures around us with an airy-fairy wave of her hands. “Safe as houses, and
a little warmer than a steel box. I’ll be back before sunup, with a guest or two. So be awake, ready to
go, and have more hospitable attitudes, because he isn’t the type to take any kind of rudeness and
dismiss it as graciously as I’ve done. You’re lucky I’m in a good mood, with a solution to an issue I’ve
been agonizing over, and you happen to be important to someone up there.” She points upwards at the
appearing stars in the velvet blanket of sky, gaining a squint from me, a confused frown from Carmen
and more intrusive verbals from Meadow.
“Meaning?” she interjects harshly, eyes still not simmering down to normal, and I’m getting the vibe that
none of us are really warming to this witch at all. She’s a strange one with an aura of something that
makes you not really trust her, but you can’t quite put your finger on it, even if her words are telling you
that it’s not true.
“I was led here for one task and it just happens to coincide with you three showing up…. hardly
coincidence. Now why I came here makes sense. Looks like the planets are finally aligning and your
fates are sorting their mess out.” She smirks again, and I eyeroll at her use of word soup to tell us
nothing at all once more. She’s evasive for sure, talks in riddles, and literally offers no insight while
seeming like she is. Carmen inhales heavily to hold her own temper, slumping back down to sit and
gives up, and I sigh realizing this is futile. I too fall back, let myself land heavily on a log beside her and
stare helplessly at this strange woman.
“You’ll tell us when you think we need to know, right?” I point out, knowing this is looking to be a lot like
how she operates. She plays things close to her chest and maybe it’s her that doesn’t trust us.
“Right. And I hate to spoil surprises. Oh…. talking of which… This one I’m afraid needs some words of
caution.” Leyanne eyes me steadily, locking on like I’m the target and her face falls serious and stern.
She nods down at the vial on the long chain I brought with me from Sierra that we didn’t need at all. As
soon as she eyeballs it, it begins to glow with low, white, faded intensity, and she smiles a little wider as
though it contains an answer, she needed to be sure of. “Don’t go turning anytime soon. I know you
have, and you’ve been lucky up until now, so don’t anymore…. That little witch gift in you isn’t
supposed to be lost.” She winks, smiles in a somewhat staggeringly pretty kind of way and turns to
walk away, but this time I really do need her to be less vague with that.
“What are you talking about… the vial? What?” I lift it and take it from my neck, thinking she wants it
back, that it somehow gets damaged by my turning, but I never wore it when I turned. Leyanne only
chuckles at my obvious confusion, the questions etched across my face, and turns away from me to
straighten her petticoats, pulling her cloak back over her shoulders to conceal her slight frame.
“No wee darlin, I’m talking of those two little seeds of hope you have growing in your belly. Part witch,
part wolf, part vampire….. don’t turn and they won’t die. Something that took Sierra a hell of a long time
to figure out. In the end, all those lost, came after a turning… so I would say that’s proof of what not to
do.” She moves off with a steady step and the blood literally drains from my face, turning my body icy
cold as it infiltrates my fuzzy mind like a dripping tap. I blink down at my stomach and it smacks me
right in the chest with the force of a freight train
“Seeds in my? … Are you saying I’m? How can you ..? I can’t be… we never….. We were careful. We
made sure that there wouldn’t be accidents. How could you know?” It’s a blurt of words, a spew of
soggy rambling as my eyes mist up and I find swallowing a whole ordeal. It stop her progression as she
pulls up her hood.
“Because I can; perks of being a creepy bitch, and careful or not, the fates decided these two bairns
had to come to fruition. Like I said, Luna …. Don’t turn or the wolf in you will treat them as a virus and
cure your body. Their getting big enough now to be seen as such. Such a simple remedy that most
wolves never figured out until it was too late.” It’s a commanding but gentle tone, full of the confidence
of someone in the know and I sit like a statue, gazing at my own belly and have no idea how to even
react. I can’t think, or feel, as a numbness crawls over my limbs and skin, enveloping me in mild shock.
“You’re pregnant…” Meadows mouths it breathily, finally caving from fierce warrior wolf and slumps
beside to instantly cradle my abdomen with a gentle hand and a face of instant tears. Carmen’s face
colors darker as she looks away, her eyes misting so obviously, and her instant of heartache almost
drowns out my own shock and numb at such a crazy revelation. “Chica? You’re pregnant!” Meds says it
again with more energy, a hint of excitement, and I shake my head at her, still unable to let it sink in.
Colton doesn’t even know or is even capable of knowing about this even if we were home. He should
know, he should have been with me when we found something like this out…. It should have been
together, a moment, a shared happiness, and not this cruel twist of being hit in the face with it while
hours away from him. Tears fill my eyes and my heart shudders painfully at the thought that this should
have been a life changing discovery, in his arms, and not like this, while he’s lost to me.
I don’t even know if this would make him happy, given we avoided the possibility because of the
brewing war and the state of our lives under the shadow of vampires. I don’t even know if I’m happy. I
don’t know how to feel. Our world is a mess, our lives aren’t simple, and my mate currently wants to kill
me. This is so wrong, yet on some level a tiny piece of me shines bright and a warmth settle sin my
heart that twists it in a good kind of way.
“Turning makes us miscarry” Carmen whispers the words, seemingly more to herself than needing to
have a question answered and it tears my attention back to her swirling chaos of dark emotions. I can
feel the deep and heavy grief of her mother’s death all over again, yet this seems different somehow,
and a harsher, piercing kind of sorrow fills my senses and makes me stiffen in reaction. Carmen lowers
her eyes and begins to cry softy, staring at her own body much like I was. “Right, of course… hybrids,
not pure. Makes sense.” I don’t get why she is so upset but Leyanne fastens a steady look on her and
seems to soften slightly, seemingly knowing the why in Carmen’s dissolving emotional state.
“It was you or both. If you didn’t heal you would die. There was no other options. Juan is a murderer,
not you.” Leyanne seems to know something we don’t, and I literally gawp at Carmen as my brain
registers on what she’s saying, pain hitting me tenfold for two reason, and I can’t get my head around
the possibility Carmen was pregnant. It feels like she stabs me in the heart, not only for her pain but for
the possibility of ….
“Colton’s?” Meadow is the one to say the words I literally can’t verbalize but thankfully she shakes her
head. I feel so selfish for the relief in that, but I don’t know, somehow if she had created a life with him
first it would have tainted my own bond to him. I’m so stupid, and jealous, and ashamed of my reaction
“A one-night stand that spelled disaster. It was never meant to be but still…….. just for that short time, I
hoped. He didn’t want to know. Then he didn’t need to know anymore.” She can’t look us in the eye and
turns her face away as it dawns on me that everything I suspected about a change in her…. It wasn’t
just what Juan did. It wasn’t Colton’s betrayal, or the pack leaving her, hell, it wasn’t even her mom. It
was deeper than all that and this is it right here.
Carmen’s loss, her constant weight of guilt, her change about caring about others… she’d been
pregnant, and she lost something she’d grown to love instantly. For a girl who craves genuine love and
a bond from someone who might just see and value her, it must have been doubly crushing. I can feel
her agony so much clearer now as the sadness rises but she battle’s it back down behind that tough
demeanor and shoves it behind that haughty tone and superior frown. Just a glimpse of her despair,
but enough to break my heart for her for the rest of time. Meadow is silent as she absorbs this, finally
that compassion I know she has on full show, tears filling her eyes, and Leyanne breaks the eerie quiet.
“Well, you three enjoy the heart to heart. Sister bonding seems to be much needed in your pack of
three. Joined by fate… maybe you gals need to work on that. Like I said – early rise, be ready for my
arrival; you don’t want to miss who I’m bringing along.”
She doesn’t wait for a reply, not that any of us have one to give as startled shock is causing strained
silence and tearful faces but turns on her heel and leaves without a second glance. Disappearing into
the darkness as smoothly as she first arrived, as the atmosphere around the fire grows steadily worse.