The Beast And The Blessed
She didn’t sleep last night, so I didn’t sleep. I hated that she was scared, and I held her to my chest as
her heart raced away with fear. Every few minutes, despite being in my arms, she would move her
hands along my skin as if she were making sure I was still there and alive.
Once she settled, the slightest noise would set her off, and her magic would swirl around us violently.
She was prepared for battle, one that she had to fight alone, which killed me. I wanted to fight it with
her, for her, if I could.
Aurora had stated that if we touched Natalie while she was in or going to the other side, we would go
with her and be trapped.
If her theory was correct, I didn’t think my father would summon her to the veil again if he knew I would
be trapped there with her. He wanted to send a message or deliver a warning, but he wouldn’t risk my
life or our family’s position on the throne to do it.
I suspected that Charlie would not want to take over if something happened to me.
In the meantime, Natalie was going to be stuck with my neediness. I wanted to touch her as often as
possible until we were sure it wouldn’t happen again.
Her breathing evened out, and I sighed quietly as she fell asleep. The last time she had gotten any rest
was the night before she was taken. She needed this.
Her little hand was shoved between two buttons on my shirt and pressed against the skin of my chest. I
looked down at her in my lap. She was curled up in a ball with her head against my shoulder and her
legs draped limply over the arm of the chair. It almost hurt to look at her and how perfect she was.
I had always been seen as a monster by most. Having Natalie in my arms only confirmed that for me. I
would burn this world for her. Anyone who thought to cross her would have to face me, and I would
show them just how vicious and evil I could be. She may have tamed my rage and bloodlust, but that
didn’t mean it wasn’t still there, bubbling beneath my skin.
There was a knock on my office door before it cracked open, and Joselin peaked her head in with a
smile. It was a sight to knock anyone off their axis and fill them with unease. Joselin rarely ever
genuinely smiled. She grimaced, glowered, and glared.
But this time, she was smiling, and the evil glint in her white eyes sparkled even more when she
pushed the door open the rest of the way, and the council followed her in.
“If you wake her….” I started to threaten them, but Joselin cut me off.
“We found Talia.”
I sat up straighter in my chair, carefully keeping Natalie as still as possible.
“She’s three miles north of where the patrol was found, but we must move fast. How many witches she
has working with her is unclear, but we know she is not alone. She’s going to know we are coming. We
thought we found her last night, but she has only grown stronger since then, and the masking was even
harder to break through this morning. Several power sources surround her, but hers appears to be the
strongest.” Joselin reached forward, sliding my laptop to the side and unfolding the map in her hand.
“What if we siphon from her before the attack?” Rona said as she placed both palms on my desk,
focusing on the mountain range that hid our enemies.
“It’s too risky. We would have to tie ourselves to her. If she senses it, she could drain us.” Cora said as
she began pacing the room.
Natalie shifted in my arms, and I held her tighter. She let out a sweet sigh as she nuzzled her face
further against my chest.
“Not if you do it the right way. I could easily drain her without her knowing, but it takes a long time. I
found a way to pull from another witch little by little until they didn’t have enough left in their body to
even get out of bed.” Rona was still staring at the map, but the smirk on her face told us all we needed
Joselin and I made eye contact momentarily in silent agreement that once Talia was dealt with, Rona
would have to go too.
Rona didn’t have to say it for everyone in the room to know it was how she had killed her own mother.
The pride on her face said it for her.
“How long would it take?” I asked, pushing down my distrust for her.
“Time we don’t have, but we may be able to speed up the process if we work together. It doesn’t matter
how little it is. Anything we can take from her would be helpful.” Rona smiled at me, not bothering to
lower her voice to prevent waking my sleeping mate like the others had. Her long grey nails tapped the
map as she pointed to different sections around the mountains. “We would need to set up points here,
here, and here.”
Natalie shifted, and I saw her eyes open as she looked around the room.” What happened?”
I leaned back in my chair, listening to the witches formulate their plan, knowing they would need my
final approval before taking action.
Cora turned to Natalie, “I don’t know how, but I believe your little trip yesterday did something to expose
our enemies. This war will be over sooner than we had expected.”
The premature victorious excitement had me gritting my teeth. To have the war over, we first had to
fight in it. We would lose more men and women, and Natalie would have to fight, something I was still
unhappy about. If Joselin’s vision was still correct, Natalie would be on the front lines with me.
“Hm,” Natalie hummed, sounding intrigued before pushing herself up to stand, leaving her hand on my
shoulder. I could see the wheels turning in her head as she listened to the witches forming their plan.
“I will be calling a meeting of my commanders in an hour. I want all of you in the conference room to
participate. It’s time we attack.” I said, and I felt the pressure on my shoulder from Natalie’s hand lift
slightly before she completely removed it.
Her body shook subtly as she stood unattached to anything that could ground her. My hand shot out,
and I grabbed hers, but she only squeezed mine before letting it go.
“I’ll be right back. I’m okay, I promise.” Her shoulders rolled back, and I could see the determination in
her eyes. But her fear was pumping through our mate bond, threatening to drown me.
“Where are you going?”
Natalie swallowed hard before forcing a smile on her face. ‘I just need to take a walk and get some air.”
I opened my mouth to respond, but she shook her head.
“Alone. I mean, I’ll have my guards still, but I just…I’ll only be gone for a few minutes.”
“Stay close to Tobias,” I ordered as I stood and walked her to the door.
Tobias nodded as I gave him the order through the pack link to stay within touching distance. I wanted
him to be able to grab her or her to grab him if anything started to go wrong.
I didn’t like the idea of her leaving my sight, and I grabbed her hips, spinning her around until her chest
was pressed against mine.
“I can go with you. You won’t be alone either way. But I’ll know you are safe if I’m with you.” I said,
hearing the witches behind us start to bicker and knowing if they would get anything done, someone
needed to stay with them to keep them in line.
Natalie laced her fingers through the hair on the back of my head, pulling me down to her. I moved
willingly as my hips pressed into hers, capturing her lips in a kiss I hoped she would never forget. Our
tongues fought for dominance, and she moaned as the world faded around us.
The clearing of a throat had us breaking apart, and I turned to growl at Joselin.
Natalie ignored her as she ran her fingertips over my jawline, pecking my cheek. “I’ll be right back. I’ll
only be gone for a few minutes.”
I let out a low growl. My beast didn’t like it either, and as she pulled away, a bad feeling settled into my
Update Chapter 83 of The Beast And The Blessed by Ashley
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Key: The Beast And The Blessed Chapter 83