The Beast And The Blessed
Her heartbeat was slow, slower than I had expected as I approached the car with my suit jacket over
my arm. The bloody handprints left by her mother as she begged for death were sure to stain, but I
would burn the fabric later.
I had learned long ago not to let anyone get a hold of my personal belongings. That was like giving a
kid a piece of candy. Witches ate that shit up like they were addicted. If you ever wanted to get on their
good side, a guaranteed way was to give them something that belonged to one of their enemies. The
curses and spells they could cast from that were endless.
Natalie was staring blankly ahead at the headrest of the front passenger seat. The driver was in the
car, ready to go, but her guards were standing outside of the vehicle.
“King Killian, we didn’t get a chance to talk.’ The alpha called out as he jogged behind me.
“Not now,” I said, dismissing the young alpha as I kept my gaze locked on the SUV where my mourning
queen was sitting. “But what about the vampires? What do I do?” He called out, sounding lost and
I stopped, scoffing at how weak he was. He was not prepared to lead, and that was my fault for killing
his disrespectful father. But he needed to step up. “Lead your people!’ I snapped, spinning around to
face him. “Review border patrols, care for the injured, train harder, and step up!”
His eyes were glossy and bloodshot. He stopped walking when I reached the back of the car and
popped open the back hatch, placing my suit jacket inside so Natalie wouldn’t have to see it when I got
in to sit next to her. Her body was stiff and unmoving as I glanced at the back of her head before pulling
down the hatch to shut it.
‘We are not prepared for vampires.” The young alpha whispered.
I pinched the bridge of my nose as I let out a breath of frustration. “Then you know what your goal is.
Do your research and become prepared.”
No one spoke as my men returned to the vehicles. Those in their skins waited until I was seated next to
my mate before climbing into the other cars. The rest shifted their weight in their Lycan form with
excitement to run again.
I wanted to be out there with them, stretching my legs and getting away from the offensively loud cage
of metal around me. But I needed to be here.
A single tear fell down Natalie’s cheek as I watched her from the corner of my eye. Her hands were
clasped together on her lap, but the tremble was still visible.
As the car began to move forward, she didn’t bother to look out the window at her previous home.
“Natalie,” I called out gently, not wanting to startle her from her trance. Her skin was pale as she turned
to me slowly. Her eyes filled with water. As a king, I had only ever apologized once, and it was to her. I
would only ever apologize to her. Last time, she didn’t believe me, and I prayed to the Goddess that
she would this time. “I’m so sorry.”
The vehicle picked up speed as we flew down the dirt road, and her walls seemed to crumble at my
words. I watched as her chin quivered before she turned to me, leaning into my side. I couldn’t take
that she was hurting, and I knew most of it was my fault.
She moved with me willingly as I reached around and grabbed her hip, taking her from her seat in the
car and turning her until I could pull her into my lap. Her side was against my torso, with her feet on the
seat she had previously been sitting in.
It broke my heart as her shaking hand reached up and grabbed the front of my shirt while she cried into
my neck. She shouldn’t want to touch me, let alone seek comfort from me when I had just killed the
only remaining parent she had left.
It was the mate bond pulling her to me.
Although it was now made clear that they may have never been her parents. It was something I would
have to talk to Joselin about. She had mentioned a confusing vision about Natalie’s birth. At the time, I
had refused to listen, wanting nothing to do with the beautiful siren in my lap.
Now, I wanted to know everything.
It took the majority of the car ride home for her to calm down. As she did, I held her tighter to me,
scared that she might decide against touching the man who had just murdered the woman who raised
Instead, she rubbed her cheek on my shoulder once as she adjusted and whispered a soft, “Thank
I had never been thanked for killing someone before. I had single-handedly killed hundreds, if not
thousands in my life. But a show of gratitude was never given. Not until now.
Perhaps she was thanking me for comforting her, or perhaps she had accepted her mother’s fate and
was grateful that I had shown mercy. I had given her a quick and assumed pain-free death instead of
letting her suffer from the poison until her organs inevitably gave out.
“I’m not one of them.” She whispered. My mother… my mother said that I was not born into the pack.
How could they even know if I was born with the wolf gene?”
“They could smell it, just as I can. It is in your blood to be a wolf.” I responded, unable to resist the urge
to take a deep inhale through my nose to confirm what I already knew as fact. Natalie held herself
closer to me as her shaking stopped, but I continued to gently rub her back with my thumb.
“But I am not one, Killian. I am not a wolf.” She pulled back, staring into my eyes, and I released one
hand to wipe the trail of tears from her cheeks. ‘You could have chosen anyone you wanted. A warrior,
a witch, a fae… why me? Why did you pick me?’
The innocence in her eyes and her question made me stall. How many times would I need to tell her
before she finally believed me? Were her insecurities really so deep that she could not accept that she
had been chosen for me, not by me?
“I have told you before, but I will tell you again… as many times as you need me to. We will breed, one
day. But I did not choose you to be my breeder. You are my mate. I did not choose you, the Goddess
chose you for me.”
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