I am unable to move from my spot outside of the den. My brain was on high alert. Nothing like this had ever happened to me and I wasn't prepared for it. Katherine's lifeless body was still crumbled on the ground at my feet, her head merely steps away. My mouth was gaping and my brain swimming. Blood was splattered over the bottom of my jeans and I stare at the blood in horror. A distant howl rips through the forest and my eyes widen at the raw vulnerability that could be heard. A few seconds later, a large sleek black wolf barrels through the nearby bushes and immediately collapses to the ground in front of Katherine. Small heart shattering whimpers are leaving the wolves lips and tears well in my eyes. Sebastian was crushed. The desperate sounds he made as he nudges her body repeatedly, clearly hoping she would get up, break my heart. Lowering myself to the ground, I bring my knees to my chest and let out a sob. He had so much hope for her. They were for once actually together and now that is all ruined. Sebastian lays down silently next to her body, tearing leaking freely down his snout. Pulling myself together, I attempt to wipe the tears from my cheeks. I wanted to be strong for him, he needed the stability. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't bring myself from crying.
"I'll go get help, Seb." I whisper, patting him on the head.
He looks up at me with a whimper and buries his head further into Katherine's shirt. A loud sigh breaks past my lips and I turn back into the trees of the forest. My teeth clamp down on my lip to stop myself from sobbing, as I make the small journey over to the house. My feet drag against the dusty ground and I struggle to keep myself from fainting. Opening the front door, I stumble my way up the stairs, following Alex's scent to his bedroom. I stand in front of the door for a second trying to collect myself. Limply, I raise my hand to the door and knock. After a few seconds, with no answer, I knock again. This time, I hear a faint growl from inside the room. Seconds later, the door is thrown open and a glistening Alex stands in the doorway. My eyes nearly bulge from their sockets and my mouth falls open. A trail of water drips from his chin and descends down the space between his perfectly formed pecs, to his muscular abs, until it is finally absorbed by the hair at his lower abdomen. I rip my eyes away from his chest and back up to his eyes. Alex is wearing a smirk, but his eyes are clouded with worry and surprise.
"Why are you crying?" he tries to ask softly, but like everything he says, it comes out harshly.
I sniffle as another tear slips from my eye. I quickly reach up and wipe it away.
"Get dressed." I order softly.
This makes him furrow his eyebrows and throw me a questioning look.
"You know most girls would be begging me to leave them off." he teases.
Closing my eyes, I sigh, "Please, Alex, I'm not joking right now. Just get dressed."
His face turns serious and he takes a deep breath, before becoming motionless.
He sniffs the air again, before snapping his eyes to mine.
"Are you okay? What happened?" he asks, in a slight panic.
My lips part and he continues to sniff the air.
"Are you hurt? Why do I smell blood?" he mutters, taking my wrist into his hand.
"I'm fine." I mumble, "It isn't my blood."
A relieved expression falls over his face, but it quickly turns grim.
"Did somebody die?" he questions, gripping my wrist tighter.
I silently nod my head and he immediately turns the other direction and shuts the door. I lean back against the wall opposite the door, waiting for him. In no time, he walks back out of the bedroom wearing dark wash jeans and holding a blue V-neck, his chest bare.
"Let's go." he says, as he starts to walk to the stairs.
"No." I demand and he turns back to look at me with an eyebrow raised, "Put your shirt on."
"Seriously?" he exclaims, a disbelieving look crossing over his face.
"Yes." I nod, crossing my arms over my chest.
He rolls his eyes, crossing his own arms over his chest, "And if I don't?"
"You aren't the leaving the house then." I shrug, raising an eyebrow at him.
"You can't tell me what I can and can't do." he smirks, "If I want to leave the house like this, I can."
"Just put your damn shirt on, Alex. This isn't a joke." I snap, anger filling my veins.
"Fine." he sighs, pulling his shirt over his head, "Now what happened?"
My face immediately falls and I feel a new wave of sadness fall over me. I can feel the dam of tears threatening to break.
"Come on." I whisper, leading him out of the house.
He silently follows behind me and as we near the forest, he grabs my hand, intertwining his fingers with mine. I gasp at the sudden sparks jolting through my body and rip my hand away from his. He looks down out my hand with an expressionless face, before lengthening his strides and walking faster. Jogging to match his strides, I slip through the small break in the trees and latch onto his hand, pulling him further. His hand tightens around mine and we remain in a comfortable silence for the rest of the walk. Once we are a few steps from Sebastian's den, Alex pulls back on my hand.
"Get behind me." he orders and I silently do as I'm told, too weak to object, "I can smell the blood even stronger than before. The enemy could still be near."
"It's just up there through the trees." I mumble, cupping my hand over my elbow.
As we reach the clearing, I clamp my eyes shut momentarily. Taking a deep breath, wincing slightly at the heavy tinge of blood in the air, I open my eyes again. Sebastian is still closely huddled over Katherine's body, his whimpers never ending.
"Katherine." Alex mumbles, moving towards his brother.
Placing a hand on Sebastian's back, he sighs, "I'm sorry, man."
Sebastian turns to look at his brother, tears still leaking down his snout.
"Shift and get dressed. We need to talk." Alex orders, nodding towards the trees.
Sebastian shakily stands to his feet and trots over to the nearby trees.
Alex casts a look in my direction, his eyes once again heavy with worry, "You okay?"
I nod my head and he reaches over and wipes a tear off my cheek. Seconds later, Sebastian comes stumbling through the trees. Once again, collapsing in front of Katherine's dead body with a forlorn look on his face.
"What happened?" Alex asks, tilting his head to the side.
Sebastian says nothing, shrugging his shoulders and shaking his head. Alex turns to me, raising an eyebrow.
A sigh slips through my lips and more tears dribble down my cheeks.
"I'm so sorry, Seb." I whimper, "It's all my fault."
He looks over at me his eyes cold and emotionless.
"What are you talking about?" Alex says, moving closer to me slightly.
"She was trying to warn me about something." I sniffle, wiping more tears off my cheeks, "She was panting and out of breath, obviously running from something."
Alex casts a look over at Sebastian and then focuses his attention back on me.
"Then, out of no where a........." I pause, biting my lip, "Rogue came out of nowhere."
"A rogue did this?" Alex mutters, looking over at the fallen body.
I nod silently, biting down harder on my flesh. Sebastian stares at me, his eyes never leaving me. He knows I'm lying. He has to. I can't tell Alex about my powers yet, they'll scare him away. I need to talk to Sebastian alone.
"Okay." Alex sighs, rubbing a hand down his face, "I'll call a meeting."
"Come on, Seb." I nod, "Let's let Alex deal with this. I'll take you back to the house."
He numbly stands from the ground, stumbling over to the tree line. Looking back one more time at Alex, I trot along behind Sebastian. As soon as we are out of hearing distance, Sebastian spins around, glaring at me with blazing eyes.
"Why did you lie to him?" he spits, "What the fuck happened to my mate?"
"Seb, he can't know about my powers yet. He just can't." I blurt, "He'll punish me."
"This is about your powers?" he gapes, anger flaring in his eyes.
"Yeah." I whisper, slowly nodding my head.
"What the fuck happened?" he spits, "What did you do?"
"I didn't do anything. Not directly anyways!" I yelp, backing away from him.
He jolts forward, grasping my wrist harshly.
"What did you do?" he spats, narrowing his eyes at me.
"I'm so sorry, Sebastian." I whimper, "She came to warn me about my powers. She said that I was in danger and I needed to get away and then this black mist thing showed up and......decapitated her."
"A black mist killed her?" he asks harshly.
I nod my head, wringing my hands in front of me.
"This isn't a fucking joke, Claire. She was my mate and now she's dead. And you actually have the nerve to damn well joke about it?!" he screeches, his voice cracking on the last word.
"No. Sebastian, I'm not lying. I swear to you. It doesn't make sense and yes, it sounds crazy, I'll admit that, but it's the truth. I don't understand it myself. We'll figure it out." I try to reassure.
He glares harshly over at me.
I clamp my eyes shut and back farther away from him, putting my face in my hands.
"I'm so stupid." I cry, pulling at my hair, "I should have ended this a long time ago. I screwed up so bad. I'm so sorry, Seb. I'm so damn sorry. Don't worry though, I'll be out of your hair forever. You won't have to worry about me anymore. I'll take care of it."
Hands wind around my wrists and pull them down to my sides. Opening my eyes, I look up at Sebastian. He has tears streaming down his face and he is frantically shaking his head.
"Don't you ever say that to me again." he croaks, "Don't you dare ever say you're going to do that. I can't lose you too. You're all I have left. My family is gone and Alex doesn't give a shit about me. And now Katherine's gone too. I can't lose you, Claire. I just can't."
My expression melts instantly and I throw my arms around his neck. He pulls me close and locks his arms around me. He holds me so tightly, the air almost hurts leaving my lungs. We stand in each others embrace, neither of us moving. Sebastian stands so still I am almost scared when the ferocious sob wracks his body. He basically collapses to the ground, no longer allowing himself to stand. If anyone were to see us right now, they would call Sebastian a crybaby, but this was understandable. He had lost his mate and that grief alone was enough to break anyone's heart in two.
"It hurts so much, Claire." he sobs, wrapping his arms even tighter around my middle.
"I know it does, Seb. I know." I mumble, tucking his head under my chin, so that he is laying on my chest, "Everything's going to be okay. Remember that. I'll make sure of it."
"I miss her so much!" he cries, shaking harshly in my arms.
"I know you do. I do too." I sniffle, tears now falling down my own cheeks, "We'll find a way to see her again Seb, I promise you that."
"How can you say that?" he whimpers, trying to calm his shaky breathing.
"You have to have hope, Sebastian." I comfort, "The moment that you don't is your downfall."
"I can't do this, Claire." he whines, burrowing his face farther into my neck.
"Yes you can!" I exclaim, "Don't you ever say that again! Just like you, I don't have anybody. My parents are gone. My old pack hates me and more importantly my mate wants nothing to do with me. I don't have anybody else. I need you here, Seb. You're all I've got."
"I'm sorry." he mumbles, once he finally calms down.
"You want to go home?" I whisper, already standing to my feet.
"I can't go back there. I don't want to be alone. Please, Claire, can I stay with you?" he pleads, shakily getting to his feet.
"Of course!" I say, "That's what I meant anyway."
"Okay." he sighs, rubbing his hands down his face once more, before we begin our journey back to the house once again.
It had been a few hours since the incident and Seb and I were laying in bed. That is all we had done since we got home. Sebastian was too tired to keep his eyes open and I wanted a quite place to think.
A knock on the door, causes my head to shoot up and Sebastian to stir slightly. Quietly getting up from the bed, I tiptoe over to the door. Opening the door quietly, I slip through and raise my eyebrows in surprise. The man wears a small smile on his face and he bows his head respectfully.
"What are you doing here, Simon?" I ask, tilting my head to the side.
"Alpha has instructed me to watch over you. From here on out, I am your guard." he says, keeping his eyes locked on the ground beneath us.
My eyebrows furrow, "Alex sent you?"
"Yes, my Luna. He is concerned for your safety. So he has assigned me to protect you." he explains.
"So you're my guard." I confirm slowly.
"Yes Luna." he nods.
"Claire." I say and he looks up at me, "Call me Claire. Luna seems so formal."
He smiles again and nods his head.
"I came to alert you of my presence. You are free to return to whatever was holding your interest prior." Simon informs, getting into position beside my door.
"You sound so old." I smirk.
"I am very old." he says seriously.
"Right....." I trail off, "I forgot about that."
He grins at me and stands back beside my door. Shaking my head, I quietly slip back into my room. Looking over at the bed, I see Sebastian sitting up against the headboard.
"Hey, Seb." I greet, "How are you feeling?"
"Good. I want ask you a favor, Claire." he says softly.
"Course. Shoot." I reply, sitting on the edge of the bed.
"I don't want to intrude........at all. And I don't to offend you, but I wanted to know if I could stay in here by myself. Maybe you can stay Alex or something. You guys are closer now. I just need some time alone." he nods, biting down on his lip.
"Oh!" I exclaim, "Of course! Yeah! That's totally okay!"
"Really? Okay great." he smiles, relieved.
"I'll let you be now." I grin, slipping back out of the room.
"Luna!" Simon says, "Where are you going?"
"You are dismissed, Simon." I answer.
"But Luna, Alpha said....." he trails off.
"I don't care what Alpha said. I'm going to his room anyway. You are dismissed. If you wish you may walk there, but your services will not other wise be needed." I tell him, turning around and walking the short distance down the hall.
"Thank you, Luna!" Simon calls.
"What did I tell you to call me, Simon?" I tease, raising an eyebrow.
"Thank you, Claire." he nods, before walking away, his black boots clicking against the ground.
I raise my fist and knock on the door lightly. In seconds, a groggy looking Alex swings open the door with a snarl on his face, but when he sees me he straightens up and his expression turns to worry.
"What happened?" he demands.
"Nothing. I'm okay." I reassure, "Sebastian wanted some time alone."
"So you came to see me?" he questions, raising an eyebrow.
"I came to tell you I was switching rooms." I roll my eyes, "I didn't want you go all beast when you realized I wasn't in my room tomorrow."
We are both silent for a second, before he mumbles, "You could stay here if you want."
"Isn't Stephanie in there?" I ask, cocking my head to the side.
He shakes his head, "No. She doesn't stay in the house."
"She doesn't?" I gasp, "Why not? I surely expected you two were sleeping together."
He rolls his eyes, "I don't trust her enough to be in my house."
"Wow, is this what divorce feels like?" I smirk, teasing slightly.
"It's coming, for sure." he sighs, "Now come on. Let's go to bed."
A small smile slips onto my face as I slip through the door. I fall backwards onto the bed, before snuggling into the soft sheets. Alex comes to stand beside me, chuckling.
"Scoot over." he orders, yanking on the covers, "This is my side."
Sighing and rolling my eyes, I silently slip over to the other side and get under the covers. He follows my lead, before reaching out and grabbing my waist. With one fierce tug, he effectively pulls me into his side and wraps his arms around my middle.
"Can I ask you question?" he mumbles, after a few minutes of silence.
My eyes are already drooping and I hum in response.
"Why did you stay? You wanted to leave so badly. What made you stay?" he whispers, playing with a piece of my hair laying on the pillow.
A sigh leaves my lips and I groggily answer, "Partially Sebastian. He told me needed me. That I was one of the only people he had, but no matter how much I begged you to let me leave, I knew in the back of my mind, that I never was gonna be able to. I'm in too deep by now, I can't leave you."
I can feel the smile that spreads onto his face on the back of my neck.
"Goodnight, sweetheart." he whispers.
"Goodnight." I mumble, before effectively falling asleep.
The room is cold, dark, and desolate. I can barely see anything in front of me.
"Where am I?" I mumble, my head beginning to throb.
My eyes blur for a second and I momentarily lose sight of everything, but when my vision returns, I can see everything. There is a mirror sitting against the wall on the other side of the room. I look at my reflection, noticing the disturbing color of my eyes, but they weren't anything I hadn't seen before. My eyes were blood red, that I could see clearly. The room was still dark, but my eyes were almost glowing. Almost like I had infrared vision. Standing up from the grungy wall I was leaning against, I walk to the middle of the small room. The floor is bare. The walls are covered in a sickly red substance. I can only hope that it isn't blood. Walking further towards the front entrance I place my hand on the bars, but hiss at the burning feeling that runs through my body. Stumbling back, I nearly fall, but an unknown force catches me. I gasp as a chilling spark runs down my spine. I jump away from the feeling and turn around. My eyes widen and a scream slips past my lips. A black mist surrounds me.
"What are you?!" I scream, slashing my hand in front of me.
"I'm your worst nightmare." the voice of a man whispers, flicking past my ear.
I jump in surprise at the feeling of warm breath on the back of my neck.
"Who are you?" I screech, whipping around.
"I told you. I'm your worst nightmare." the man whispers, a rush of heat hitting my cheek.
I turn it time to see the mist take the form of a man. The same mist covered man that killed Katherine. I screech again, falling back into the bars. Another scream rips past my lips as I jolt forward right into the arms of the black mist. The mist's arms wrap around my back and I am lifted from the ground. I struggle furiously, banging my head forward, but I never connect, my body simply slipping through. I am moved over to wall and suddenly with a snap of its fingers, we are flashed into a bedroom. My eyes widen and a scream gets stuck in my throat as I am suddenly thrown onto the bed. I struggle again, trying to sit up, but I find myself pinned to the bed. I cannot move my body, it is as if I am super glued to the bed.
"Sleep, my angel." the mist whispers.
"Do not call me that." I spit, gritting my teeth, "You killed Katherine."
"Oooh, Did I do that?" he taunts, biting his bottom lip.
"Why?" I spat.
"She knew too much." the mist shrugs.
"CLAIRE!" a panicked voice screams.
"Oh no, Prince Charming has awoken." the mist smirks.
"Leave me alone!" I yell, struggling against the invisible restraints.
"CLAIRE, YOU NEED TO WAKE UP!!" the voice shouts.
"I will come for you soon, my queen." the mist says, before it completely disappears.