Aleera POVThe sound of squeaking woke me, and Lycus tapped my chest or thumped it like it was a damn drum. "Your turn," Lycus growls, rolling over before kicking backward. "Tobias, go before they screech!" Lycus snaps, and I blink up at the ceiling, wondering why he thinks I am Tobias and also what the heck he is talking about. Shaking my head at his terrible wake-up call, I climb over him and place my feet on the floor before rushing to the bathroom and having one of those, Ah…. moments from holding your bladder while torturously listening to a slow drip and not having a toilet in sight. After washing my hands, I hear the squeaking noises again and move back toward the room. Glancing at the bed, I notice Lycus, Kalen, and Tobias in bed. Darius is nowhere to be seen. Peering around the darkened room, I barely noticed him sitting on the couch by the fire that was slowly dying out. Sighing, I walk over to the fireplace when I see the crates holding the tiny Phoenixes sitting in front
Turning my attention back to the chicks in the crate. I watch as they squirm, wondering what they have been feeding them. Yet as they got louder, the others began to wake, and Lycus groans before climbing out of bed and stumbling half asleep over to the crates. He tips the crates up, making my eyes widen before he starts removing his clothes. I wonder what he is doing when he shifts abruptly, giving me a view of his ass in my face before he flops onto his stomach and lies on his side. The squirming chicks rush to him, bouncing on the floor, and I laugh as they burrow into his fur. He puffs out a loud wheezing breath while the chicks get lost in his fur."About time he made himself useful. If only he would sleep in this form every night, we may get some sleep," Tobias says, brushing his fingers through Lycus's fur. The chicks squirm in his fur, popping their heads and chirping quietly while snuggling into him as if he was their personal warm nest. Tobias carefully steps over him and
"What is this place?" I ask him, looking around. This place gave me the shivers like it was full of dark energy. It felt like I walked into a tomb or over someone's grave. Darius says nothing, making me look back at him to find his eerie demonic eyes watching me. "You shouldn't have come down here," he snaps at me as his hands slam against the wall on either side of my head. The moment they do, lights flicker, and I hear the sound of a generator turning on, the fluorescent lights on the roof blink to life, illuminating the space. "It's a bunker," he finally says, pushing off the wall and stepping away from me."Why are you here?""I followed you. Don't ask me how because I don't know how," I tell him, looking around the space. I find a tiny kitchen, a bunk bed, and scattered belonging that look old and abandoned. Drawings were on the walls in crayons and pastels, and teddies were on the bed with more dust than stuffing.I move around the space, looking around, yet I feel his gaze on
Darius was in some warehouse. He presses his hand to a wall and curses because of how low his magic is. Hellhounds followed him like obedient little pets, and I gasped, looking at him. And he swallowed when his phone rang. The hellhounds wandered off as he answered it. It was a three-way call; Tobias and Thomas' faces appeared on the phone."Thomas," Darius says, watching his hellhounds look around."What's up?" Tobias asks his brother, who appears to be in a different location."I felt her. She is close,""Where are you?" Darius asks, whistling loudly and his hellhounds come bounding back toward him."Outside, Astrid," Thomas tells him, and I blink, and Darius' eyes bore into mine, watching my reaction to his words. I searched for Astrid city and could never find it. When Kalen, words from months ago come back to me. It isn't a city but a name."Wait for us. We will come to you," Tobias tells his brother."I think she is in trouble,""Thomas, wait for us. You don't know what you're r
Lycus POVDarius and Aleera were gone when I woke up on the floor by the Phoenixes, I could hear the shower running, and Tobias was on the couch staring at his phone. "Where is everyone," I ask after shifting back. Tobias raised an eyebrow at me, and I knew he was still angry about me running off and helping my father.How could I have been so stupid trusting him? Was I that desperate for a connection to the very man who killed my mother? He robbed me of my childhood and almost cost me my mates. Losing Kalen again would have killed my mates and me. We could have lost not only Kalen but Aleera. I needed to be smarter next time, making it the last of my contact with my father."Tobias?" I ask while scooping up the Phoenixes to place back into the crates. Tobias sighs, leaning down to help me."Kalen is in the shower, Darius and Aleera, I have no idea, but hopefully, working out their issues,""Issues?" I ask, and he clicks his tongue in annoyance. "Aleera is going to shred anytime now
Aleera POVI almost stumbled back as the full realization of what I had just said hit me. I understood it, but knowing it and believing it were two different things. One does not want to believe they were raised by monsters. Because if they were monsters, what would they make me?My mother? She'd been the source of everything that had terrorized us for so long, or was I missing some vital piece of information. I had uncovered so many secrets, yet not nearly enough to have a clear picture. She'd been the one that had ruined everything for us before we even got to begin yet no matter what something felt off. Too many secrets and too many lies. I wondered when It would come full circle, when the lies would pile too high and it would break down the walls and spill only truth."No," Darius whispered. He shook his head. There was no hesitation in him. "Don't blame yourself, Aleera. You couldn't have known," Darius tells me, feeling my tumultuous guilt. Darius opens up a portal leading back
Stumbling into the room the portal closes behind us, Darius didn’t step through but Tobias steered me toward the bathroom and I could feel how uncomfortable he was. I could also tell he was breathing through his mouth so as to not inhale my scent.“But Darius,” I tell him. He shakes his head and points to the shower, clearly not trusting himself not to talk. I wasn’t aware it was about shredding that made him almost rabid. I also didn’t want to know but it must be a vampiric-fae thing because I remembered the strange Vampire from the store the first time. Shutting the door, I strip my clothes off before stopping when I feel the stone in my pocket. It kind of looked like a moon stone, shaking my head. I turned and started the shower before trying to figure out what to do with it. Hearing the door open I panic and drop it into the bowl that sat between the basins full of bath bombs. Kalen steps into the bathroom just as I turn back toward the shower. He holds up some clothes and sets
Two Days Later.Aleera POVDarius was still refusing to let me mark him which made me suspicious after what my mother said. Yet if I couldn’t trust my mates I couldn’t trust anyone, but it should be the same with him. I stopped bleeding yesterday and each passing second my shredding grew closer, and my temperature grew hotter as power surged and died down in my veins as I stepped into the bedroom with Darius after showering and fighting with him in hushed voices. Tobias and Lycus wander into the bathroom behind me and shut the door lost in some discussion. I knew there was no point in telling the others. One I didn’t want to upset Tobias, secondly that would not earn me Darius’ trust by snitching on him to our mates.I glared at this stubborn, beautiful, ignorant man. My rage grew like a match that was lit and quickly grew out of control. It became a ball of rage. It zipped through my veins, burning me from the inside out but it felt good. The pain was exquisite and I gloried in it.