I just wanted to invite her to join the council. Now I was trekking through the forest, blinded with fury,
and wanting her dead.
She had said it was a favor, but it wasn’t. It was a test. Whether she had tried to trick me into going
under the disguise of a favor or Killian sent me, I would be sent regardless. She had already talked to
Killian before trying to get me to agree as if I had a choice.
Knowing I wanted her to join, using the council position as leverage was sneaky. I respected it.
Killian had wanted to know what was different this time than when he would send me on quests in the
past. The answer was simple. I had something I longed to come home for this time. I had Tobias.
All the other trips or missions he sent me on were because he didn’t trust anyone else to know or be
involved in them. But at least with those, he had given me most of the information I needed to stay
I used to go in, slinging magic and drawing blood. I took what we wanted or needed and went home to
my tower. As much as I wanted there to be, I had nothing waiting for me back there. Nothing hanging
over my head, telling me I had to come back to them or reminding me what I was fighting for beyond it
being my job, just another assignment.
Now, I had Tobias. I had someone to love, and the idea of not coming home to him scared me. The
idea of anyone hurting him frightened me even more. Aurora using her magic on him, had me seeing
red, and it took everything in me to resist the urge to gut her like a pig.
I would have done it if Killian hadn’t ordered me to stand down. Her life should have flashed before her
eyes, but she just smiled as she stared at me with pride. She had enjoyed my show of dominance and
possession. It made me even more curious about what was happening inside her head.
Killian had given Tobias permission to walk me to the edge of town before we had to part ways, and the
kiss he had left me with made my toes curl and my chest warm. It was the best kiss of my life, and I
hoped it wouldn’t be my last.
“Crazy old bitch,” I mumbled as I walked around a fallen tree. I did have to admit that while I was livid to
be separated from Tobias right after we finally became something, I was terribly curious.
If it weren’t something cool, like a dragon, I would probably return home and kill
Aurora just for the disappointment she caused me.
The sun had fallen, and the dark forest around me was silent until another explosion shook the Earth.
That made four in the past five hours. Whatever was happening on that mountain was attracting a lot of
attention, and I knew I wouldn’t be out here alone for long. Others were sure to investigate.
I had taken my magic for granted before. Being unable to use air to provide myself a cool breeze and
not having the option to teleport to where I needed was irritating. I was happy I had decent night vision
with the bright moon illuminating my path.
Without it, I would have to use my flashlight and give my position away.
Instead, I stayed as close to the stream of pale light between the trees as possible to see my path and
avoid unnecessary sounds.
I should have stopped, made a camp, and maybe slept for a few hours, but that was for the weak. The
longer I took, the greater the chance of someone finding me or finding what I was searching for first.
I wanted to know why I hadn’t heard about this mysterious creature before when it was clear others
had. Maybe I might have wanted it as my pet too.
I tucked in close to the tree trunk next to me as the soft glow of a campfire appeared through the trees.
Low voices could be made out, and I pressed myself further into the harsh bark when a shadow passed
in front of the fire, stopping to look out through the trees in my direction.
My white hair and pale skin should have given me away. But the man turned away, showing me his
side before walking out of sight behind the trees. The glint of silver metal hanging over his chest made
Humans, based on the fire. If they were anything else, they would have been able to see or stay warm
without the flame.
We were still a few miles from the mountain, so they probably figured they were safe. It was the
mistake they made when we used to be in hiding before the Great War when Lycans took over. They
would never be safe. They had gotten confident and comfortable, and it shook them to their core to find
out they were the weaker species.
I debated fora moment. The thought of waiting until they were asleep and slitting their throats was
enticing. I just couldn’t justify wasting time. If they stayed in their camp for even the next four hours,
assuming someone else didn’t come along and kill them, then that would be a four-hour head start I
would have on them.
So, I left them. They would be dead soon anyway. Someone stupid enough to light afire on a hunt
would not last long out here. The world had become an even more dangerous and feral place to live.
A round of loud laughter echoed behind me, and I rolled my eyes at their stupidity. Laugh it up now,
gentlemen. You’ll be screaming later when you’re slaughtered or eaten.
My mind traveled back to Tobias’s laugh as I continued my power walk through the trees. It was my
second favorite sound. The first was the way he moaned when he had his head between my legs.
A bead of sweat ran down the back of my neck, and my hair stuck to my skin, where my ponytail hung
down against my back. I had gone several miles and could reach the mountain by morning if I kept my
rest to a one- hour power nap.
Just before sunrise, I pulled myself into a tree, bracing myself in the branches, and closed my eyes. I
was thankful that there were no Fae or Sprites in this one. I had made that mistake before, and the little
fuckers had almost killed me in my sleep.
I didn’t need to set an alarm to wake me up, but my heart did speed up when the tree I was in shook
from the next blast, and I felt the wave of heat brush over me. The morning sun had just reached the
ground, and a few people seemed eager to get a head start.
The closer I moved to the mountain’s base, the thicker the air became. It was charged with electricity,
and there had been no way for me to determine where exactly it started. I could have walked through it
for hours before it became thick enough to notice.
I closed my eyes for a moment as I finally understood. This was why I couldn’t use my magic. There
was a protective shield around the mountain. I didn’t know what would happen if I used magic, but
based on what I had assumed were landmines, it would surely result in death. Who, or whatever this
was, was not trying to scare others away. It wanted to kill them.
Whatever this creature was, it was strong and intelligent, able to set up and plant mines in the ground. I
groaned in disappointment that it wouldn’t be a dragon. With claws as large as theirs, they would kill
themselves trying to plant any explosives.
I scanned the dirt before me, looking for any sign of disruption, but I did not see any.
Either this area was clear, or they had been in the ground for a long time. With careful steps and my
eyes peeled, I made my way forward. The sun quickly heated the Earth, and I was sweating and
irritable within minutes. It only meant I had to work faster so the other creatures in the hunting parties
wouldn’t smell me. If they did, I was in for a fight.
But maybe that was a good thing. It would help me burn off some of this anger before I found the prized
creature and brought it back to the castle and me back to Tobias. A fight didn’t sound too bad, and not
even half an hour later, I was given my chance.
A group of woodland nymphs were enjoying their midday meal. A redhead with long wavy hair threw
her head back as she laughed at something one of the other women said. Fresh blood ran down her
chin and to her throat. I slowly pulled my dagger from its sheath on my thigh as her perfect teeth
elongated again to slightly curved, thin needles before she bit into the side of the tiny creature and tore
a chunk out.
For the most part, she was naked and absolutely filthy. I knew if I could see the oreads that made up
her pack, they too would be covered in blood, dried mud, and other miscellaneous fluids. Small
sections of their bodies looked like a wet forest floor with green moss, mushrooms, and flowers growing
out of their skin.
Beautiful though. Oreads were always wild and curvy. It was the kind of body a true man craved, with
wide hips that tapered in at the waist only to widen again with their large breasts. I knew women who
dreamed of looking like them, and those that did were foolish to desire not to. They were divine.
But that was how they set their trap.
Sirens would hypnotize their victims, fuck them, and then eat them. But the Oreads, the mountain
nymphs, were bigger on literally fucking someone to death. They would find their victim and drag them
back to their cave. The poison in their venomous bites would keep the victim aroused and desperate to
be touched and fucked while they starved to death.
It didn’t matter which sex their victim was, but they favored men so they could be impregnated and
produce more of their disgusting little spawns.
“Who will go first?” A voice asked from behind a tree, but I caught sight of brown hair being whipped
over her shoulder, the long strands peeking out from behind the tree before going back into hiding.
“It is my turn.” Another whined, and I narrowed my eyes as I counted at least three. I could handle
three.“You had the last one!”
The redhead smiled, throwing the squirrel carcass over her shoulder.” Ladies, there will be plenty of
him to go around. Once we get our hands on him, we can all enjoy him.’ She smiled wickedly, and I
gripped the dagger tighter, ready to move in. “Or we can gather a few others to join us.”
A pair of hands clamped down on my arm, forcing the knife away from me in a move that would have
broken my arm if they had done it right. I lifted my palms instinctively before closing them into fists and
using my combat training to knock them off back.
No magic, Joselin.
The group rushed toward the commotion, the woman eagerly bouncing with glee when they saw me. I
reached behind me, pulling another knife from my waistband and throwing it through the shoulder of
the brunette who had stepped forward.
I kicked and punched in rapid succession. My training gave me the upper hand as I knocked the fifth
nymph to the ground, prepared to end her as I reached down to grab one of the blades I had tucked
into my boot.
“She is going to be fun,” The words caressed my skin before I felt teeth sinking into my shoulder, the
venom rushing through my system.
My body felt energized, but the fight had left me. As a rush of warmth and desire filled me, my last
sober thought was about how pissed off Tobias would be if I ever told him about this.
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