The Beast And The Blessed

Chapter 76

The Beast And The Blessed

Seventy-Six: Natalie

Natalie’s P.O.V.

Not knowing who I could trust was hard, but being without Killian was even more challenging. I had
tried to reach out to him several times, but there was no answer. Either our pack link was broken, or I
wasn’t doing it right.

Since I could talk to other people through the link, neither option seemed viable. But I had to trust that
Killian was okay. I knew deep inside that he was okay and that I would feel it if he wasn’t.

Charlie had been pleasant around other people, but I hadn’t gotten to talk to her one-on-one in the
week that Killian had been gone. A week of worry and anger.

It made me lethal in my training, and I had improved more in the past week than in the few months I
had been here. If Killian insisted on being in as many of the battles before the war, fighting with his
men, then I wanted to be strong enough to fight beside him as his mate and queen.

Rona had been spending time ‘tuning up’ Joselin’s spells, as she had referred to it. After she walked in
and saw me training in my fur, I had lost hope in keeping my secret, but she became a different person.
While she was still openly a bitch, she was more respectful and willing to talk and help than I had

It was the other council members that should have been arriving any moment that had me biting my

The worst of the best… that was how Joselin had described them, and it was a unanimous agreement
between the Amery siblings and Joselin that there wasn’t a single pleasant member of the council.

If I thought Rona was hard to deal with, I couldn’t imagine what the others were like. I didn’t even know
how many more to expect, and I wasn’t about to ask Rona and let her know how ignorant I was on the

Charlie sat beside me on the stairs, and my eyebrows raised as she bumped her shoulder into mine in
a friendly gesture. Yet, the petty woman in me was still angry that she had been treating me differently
and was clearly talking about me to the women who hated me. I wanted to ask her what she said, but I
didn’t want to let her know it bothered me.

That was one good lesson I learned in my old pack when they beat and bullied me. They only did it
more if I let them know how much they had hurt me. It brought them more pleasure when they realized
they were making an impact. Then things would always get worse.

“He’ll be home soon.” She whispered as she stared ahead at the sizeable grand entrance to the foyer.
“He might have a few new scars, but he’ll come back to you.”

I closed my eyes and tried to fight back the tears that wanted to be free. The thought of him being
injured and in pain made my chest hurt.

“Thank you, I just wish I could contact him.”

Charlie’s shoulder brushed against mine as she leaned back on the steps, resting her upper body on
her forearms. “He does this. Every time he goes to battle, he shuts himself off. I wasn’t even sure he
realized he was doing it at first until he became the king, and people needed to talk to be able to report
to him. Now I think he does it out of habit.”

My hand was cold as I rubbed it over my left eye and cheek. “He could at least tell me he’s okay every
few days.”

I ignored Charlie as she shook her head, staring back at the doorway as if he were going to walk in any
moment and sweep me off my feet.

“The man you first met is different from who he is today. But the man he is during battle… that’s
someone else entirely. I have only ever seen him that way once, but it was something I will never
forget.” Charlie’s voice wavered slightly, just enough for me to hear the fear in her voice.

“You’re scared of him?” The idea of Killian being someone even his sister was terrified to be around
was almost amusing. But he was closing himself down for a reason, and none of the possibilities I
could think of to explain why were laughable.

“I would be stupid not to be. I pray to the Goddess that you never see him that way because if you do,
you would be scared too.” Her voice was low and steady, as if she had suppressed her emotions like
Killian usually did. It seemed to be a requirement of the job. “You really love my brother, don’t you?”

“I do,” The nod that accompanied my words was unconscious, and I bit my lip as I tried to think about
anything other than Killian and what he was doing right now. I didn’t know if he was still searching for
our missing people, fighting our enemies, or being captured by them. “Are you sure it’s safe to talk to
me right now? The past week, anytime you were alone with me, you bolted. You’ve only talked to me if
there were other people around. Want to tell me what I did wrong?”

The foyer was empty as I looked around, but that didn’t mean there weren’t people within earshot near
the banisters on the floors above us.

From the corner of my eye, I watched as Charlie winced before sitting up next to me with her arms on
her knees in a very manly position. For a woman with a royal upbringing, I assumed she picked that up
from her time away when she was off on her adventures with her group of mercenaries and her mate.

“It wasn’t personal. I just wasn’t ready to talk to you yet. Whenever you looked at me, I could see the
wheels spinning in your head and the pity in your eyes. I know you know what Killian did, and I hope

you agree it wasn’t right.” Charlie pleaded, and I couldn’t look away. It was like I was being sucked into
a hypnotic state with her bright green eyes.

“I think it is a hard situation for anyone to be in.”

The smell of the burnt floor and some herb still clung to the air, only it was thicker since Rona had
messed with the spell. It wasn’t offensive, but not entirely pleasant either. If I weren’t waiting for the
announcement of the second council member’s arrival for me to be out front, I would have been
upstairs in my room, where it only smelled like Killian, recovering after a taxing training session where I
had managed to take down Thomas twice as Tobias stood to the side, observing.

“Natalie, you don’t know what it feels like, so I would appreciate it if you would mind your own
business.” Her harsh words fueled me with fire, and my eyes narrowed at her.

“I do know what it’s like, Charlie. The only difference is that with your mother, Killian has been killing
himself for years, trying to make the decision as her next of kin as to whether he should show her
mercy and put her out of her misery or if he should leave her to suffer here alone without her mate.
When he killed my mother, she had been conscious, begging, and screaming for him to show her
mercy and send her to the Goddess, where her mate was waiting for her!” My voice raised as I glared
at her, and she looked stunned.

“I’m sorry for your loss.” She muttered before looking away and down at her hands. It didn’t fly past me
that she hadn’t apologized for how she had spoken to me. Like brother, like sister. I never should have
expected an apology from her, and I wouldn’t make that mistake again. “Why hasn’t he done it before

I shook my head as a bitter laugh left my lips. It didn’t take a genius to figure it out. I could feel his
heartbreak and panic through the mate bond anytime we spoke about Charlie’s plans for the future or
the adventures she had gone on.

It was easy to figure it out between that and his reaction when she caught him in their mother’s room,
contemplating the option to send his mother to find peace.

“Because you abandoned him, Charlie! Time and time again, you leave him to deal with all this shit
alone! Your father and mother were both gone, and his last family member ran as far as she could to
escape. He had been scared that once he did it, once he showed mercy and let your mother finally find
peace with her mate and child, you would leave again and, this time, never come back. That man
adores you! He put aside his feelings about the bears to make you happy by giving Damien a chance.
He even asked for me to take care of you while he was gone.”

Charlie gaped at me as I got to my feet. The guards hadn’t announced it yet, but I could feel the magic
moving closer. So, I approached the front door, carefully stepping over the burnt divots in the flooring.

“I didn’t ab….”

“Yes, you did. You ran and left your brother behind. But don’t worry, I’m here now, and he won’t ever be
alone again, so you can go back to worrying about yourself.” I pulled open the door, silently cursing
myself as it shut behind me.

‘Way to go, Natalie. Burning bridges with everyone you talk to.’ The thought crossed my mind, and I
shook it free from my thoughts. I had bigger things to focus on.

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