The Beast And The Blessed

Chapter 64

The Beast And The Blessed

Sixty-Four: Natalie

Natalie’s P.O.V.

The cave felt cool compared to the warm air outside, and I ducked my head to enter the small space.
There was a pathway leading in further, and Killian huffed in his Lycan form as his head brushed
against the top of the opening.

As the light faded from the entrance of the cave, I reached forward, placing my hand on his lower back.
Killian shivered at my touch, looking over his shoulder briefly before continuing forward.

My other hand trailed along the dirt and rock wall, and I gasped when a pointed object that was
protruding from the wall sliced the inside of my ring finger. “Ah!”

I yanked my hand back, holding my fingers in a fist to my chest as Killian stopped walking. I could feel
the hot liquid running down my palm from the incision.

“Are you okay, mate?” He turned around, hunching his shoulders in to avoid scraping against the walls
as he lifted my hand. I wasn’t sure how clearly he was able to see the injury. The only thing I could see
was his glowing red eyes. But he growled as I opened my hand, and his tongue slid over the injured

“Yes,” I whispered, in awe of the feeling he invoked in me. Even in his current state, I was wildly
attracted to him.

It must have been the magic in the air. As soon as his tongue flicked against my skin, I was ready to
have him throw me against the jagged wall and fuck me. I knew he could feel it too. His other claw

moved up to intertwine with my hair, pulling my head up. My injured hand landed on his large chest as
his nose pressed against my neck, and his tongue ran over my mark.

“Mh,” I moaned as his body shook.

“You are making it very hard not to shift back and claim you before the Goddess.” He growled, and I
shivered in response. We both knew it wasn’t a good idea, but my hand slid down his chest anyway,
my fingers dipping over each muscle and scar on his torso.

I knew without a doubt that he would claim me again. I needed him too. One last time before I tried to
shift. If I didn’t make it through the shift, I wanted something to remember him by and something for him
to remember me by.

The cool air around us turned hotter, and I groaned as his tongue touched my mark again. Only this
time, it felt cold as if he had just had a sip of ice water before touching me.

He pulled back suddenly, and I panted, grabbing his arms to steady myself as beads of sweat formed
on my forehead. “You’re burning up. We need to get you inside.”

My disappointment was washed away as my body turned on me. My hands grabbed at my chest as the
familiar pain from last night stabbed through my heart.

I let out a scream as Killian grabbed my arm and pulled me forward. I stumbled behind him, my
shoulders bouncing off the walls, getting torn up by whatever rocks were sticking out.

“No,” I shouted as I cried, not wanting to go further into the cursed cave. ’ No!”

“It’ll help you turn. It’ll be okay. It’s going to work. I know it! You’ll be okay!” He said firmly, but it
sounded as though he was trying to convince himself rather than me.

My eyes frantically flickered about the room as the tunnel began to grow bright. I could see the crystal
shards sticking out of the walls, and fought against every fiber in my being that was screaming at me to
run and trailed after Killian.

My free hand grabbed at my chest, while the other remained in his grasp. The entrance to the cave
opened before us, and I blinked rapidly as my eyes adjusted to the bright cavern.

“Deep breath,” Killian’s deep animalistic voice called out, but my lungs didn’t want to pull in air as the
magic in the air threatened to drown me. ’ Deep breath. It will go away soon, I promise.”

The walls of the enclosure were bright and colorful. Crystals and gems of all sizes stuck out of the dirt,
most only exposing small sections of color. The rest were dirty and hidden, hidden behind their
unpolished coating. Joining them was a vast display of moonflowers.

The white blooms were on display even though it was daytime, and I recoiled further from the wall.
Moonflowers were toxic to humans, and while I knew I was not fully human, the idea of being
surrounded by them terrified me enough that I couldn’t enjoy the beauty.

There was a bubbling section of water that was crystal clear as it splashed and steamed like an active
hot tub. A small stream ran from it across the room and disappeared under the wall.

Several tunnels could be seen around the wall of the cave, no doubt leading to a dead end, and the top
of the cave opened up to the sky. Even without the moon, I could understand why they referred to it as
the Sanctum of Light. The sun had already passed over the top of the cave, and yet, there were no

It was as if each flower and crystal put off its own glow.

But the divine beauty of the space did nothing to stop the pain. As I leaned further into Killian’s side, he
pulled me to the middle of the cavern. The heat grew stronger, and my bones ached. This was nothing

like my heat, nor was it like the night before when I had thought I was shifting during my coronation.

It was so much worse.

I looked up at Killian as the tears fell faster, and my breathing became harder. How was I supposed to
survive this?

The snapping of my leg had me letting out a scream, and Killian slowly lowered me down to the
ground. My hands gripped his furry forearms tightly. My nails dug into his flesh, refusing to let him go.

But I knew he had been right. This place, whatever it was, was triggering my shift. I still wasn’t certain
that it held a connection to the Goddess.

While it was a powerful hideaway, as my thigh twitched and my bone felt like it shattered, I was leaning
more toward it being a cursed place, 1

I had never seen anyone struggling so hard to shift, nor had it taken very long.

A whine of protest left my mouth as Killian pulled back and looked around us as if he were trying to find
anything that could help.

“No… please!” I cried out as I felt the bones in my arm twisting beneath my skin.

“You can do this! This is it, mate.” Killian cheered, his hand hovering over my cheek as if he was scared
to touch me.

I knew my wolf wasn’t too far behind, but there was more to it. The overwhelming pressure in my mind
told me that my wolf wasn’t alone. Whatever was fighting her for control was still at the surface. I didn’t
care what it was, and I didn’t want it to win. I wanted to be with my mate as a wolf.

Bone after bone, joint after joint, my body destroyed itself until I could do nothing but lay with my cheek
against the ground and pray to the Goddess for mercy. My lungs were barely working, and I knew if I
hadn’t consumed Killian’s blood last night, I would have been dead at this very moment.

Instead, I lay limp as I silently cried. The energy to scream or beg for my end was gone, and Killian
whispered my name every so often to get me to look up at him. But I couldn’t even hold my gaze up. It
took too much energy to look to the side and up at his face.

Was this how my mother felt before she begged for mercy?

The world around us dimmed for a moment, and I was excited at the prospect of passing out. Anything
would have been better than the constant torment and torture my body was going through.

But then the cavern grew even brighter than before, and I wanted to curse the Goddess for what she
was putting me through.

Killian glanced up before backing away slowly, and I let out a whimper at the distance. I couldn’t tell if it
was horror or awe in his wide eyes. The glowing red of his beast was focused on the Earth around me,
and I began to convulse.

My mind was under attack as I felt my wolf fighting for control against the unknown creature inside me.

With one final stabbing pain, my eyes fell closed.

‘Freedom,’ I thought to myself.

‘No, my mate. Success.’ Killian’s voice sounded clear and loud in my mind, and I forced my eyes open.
White fur covered my body, and I picked my head up slowly as I attempted to move my limbs.

When they responded with no pain, I let out a laugh that sounded like an animal choking. It was me. I
was the animal. I had finally done it.

‘You are so beautiful!’ Killian said as he shifted into his full wolf form. He towered over me before licking
my cheek.

Everything felt different. Natural, but different. It took me a few minutes to get to my feet. Killian pushed
my other side with his head until I was up and steady. Then it took me even longer to get used to

The moon was high in the sky, hovering over the opening at the top of the cave and reflecting off the
gems and flowers. I had known that it had taken a long time, but I didn’t expect it to take as long as it
did. We had gotten here just past noon, and I had no doubt that it was almost midnight.

I stuck my nose in the warm water before flinging my head toward Killian with a laugh. He had been
patient and loving with me while I got used to my new form. I had been waiting for this since I was a
kid, and I wasn’t ready to go back to my skin just yet.

I knew I would need to tell him about the feeling in my head. Something had happened during my shift,
and I knew without a doubt in my mind that the other part of me that could sense the magic was still
there. It was still inside me, as strong as ever.

As the water flicked off my nose and splattered across his face, a shadow dashed across the flowers
and into one of the caves halfway up the wall.

My body tensed, and my tail tucked beneath my body as I braced myself.

‘What is it, mate?’ Killian asked as he took a protective stance in front of me.

‘I don’t think we are alone.’

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