Characters: Kaya, Caleb, Connor, Charlie, Amanda, Eli, Lobo, Vaughn, Sophie, Roberta, Dominick, Kaeleigh, Joseph, Lexi, Faith, Chandria
Word Count: 6,343
Summary: The puppies are here and they are...adorable! Amanda tries to speak to Eli but gets more than she expected. And the will of magic is tested.
Warnings: Language, suggestive material, violence, strong sexual content, adult content, adult situations, nudity. Pretty long chapter (tons of pics, sorry about that.)
“What’s happening?” Caleb demanded as Kaya was placed on a gurney and wheeled into the clinic.
“She’s in labor,” Roberta replied, doing her best to get the squirming Luna hooked up to an IV. “Hold her still!”
Caleb and Charlie stood on either side of the bed, securing Kaya down as the doctor diligently went to work. Roberta moved to Kaya’s side. Placing her stethoscope in her ears, she listened to the Luna’s heart and the rapid succession of beats that signified arrhythmia. “Kaya, do you mind lifting your dress for me? I’d like to run a quick sonogram to see where we are here.”
She pushed the ultrasound machine closer to the side of the bed and moved the wand around Kaya’s belly. Caleb stared at the screen with bated breath waiting for the doctor to finish. “Well?” he asked impatiently as Roberta wheeled the machine away. “Why is there so much blood? Is that normal?” Panic could be heard in Caleb’s voice as he again addressed Roberta. The pain he felt from his mate had nearly doubled in intensity and duration and he didn’t know how much more of it he could stand.
Roberta’s first answer was no but instead of speaking it she gave Caleb a look that hid her concerns. “I understand you’re worried but Kaya is in good hands, I assure you.” Even as she spoke the words, she didn’t fully believe them herself. In all her years working with expectant lycan she’d never encountered one with this much distress several weeks before her due date. It was equally as disturbing that Kaya was not like other wolves and she hoped it was her nature that accounted for the additional conditions. “Right now I think our next step is to get Kaya on some fluids.”
“Kaya?!” Connor burst into the room and quickly took position beside the bed. “I came as soon as I heard.” He looked down at the blood splattered sheets and over to Caleb whose eyes met his with comparable fear. As freaked out as they were with the growing viscous pool they both knew alarming Kaya was not in her best interest. “You tried to sneak them passed me huh?” Connor joked, taking her hand as Charlie made room for him.
“Not possible. I think the people in Paris heard me scream,” she replied resting her head on the pillow as her last contraction subsided.
“I called Lobo, he’s on the way and sounded very excited. He kept saying, ‘Grandpa’s coming!’”
“Good,” she smiled, “That’s good.”
“I think I’ll tag Sophie in for me. I don’t know if I can be here when uh…” Charlie didn’t bother to finish his sentence before slinking out of the room. Moments later they were joined by a smiling and anxious Sophie. She checked on Kaya before taking a seat in the only chair in the room.
“May I speak with you?” Roberta pulled Caleb to the side as Connor offered up a distraction. “Now I don’t want to alarm you but you wanted to know the results of the earlier sonogram.” Roberta hesitated before she spoke her next words, choosing how best to say it. “I can only see one baby on the monitor.”
“What?” Caleb said, quickly checking the volume of his voice. “What does that mean exactly?”
“Usually, heavy blood flow like this can be indicative of a miscarriage.”
“What?” Caleb said, quickly checking the volume of his voice. “What does that mean exactly?”
“Usually, heavy blood flow like this can be indicative of a miscarriage.”
“Again I don’t want you to panic. We need to try and keep Kaya as calm as possible. It may not be what’s happening here but I do want you to prepare yourself for the worst, just in case.”
“What about Kaya? I can’t…she should know what’s going on.”
“I’d advise against telling her, Caleb. We don’t want to alarm her and create an even more stressed environment for the child I can see on the sonogram, ok?”
“Yeah. I understand. So what happens next? Are you going to do a C-section?”
“Cesarean is always last resort for me. I want to wait until she’s dilated enough to push on her own. If that doesn’t happen, yes, I will perform an emergency C-section.” Caleb nodded and Roberta placed a sympathetic hand on his shoulder before returning to her duties.
Caleb was pacing. He was more restless than anyone else as Roberta went to work with the various tests while Connor and Sophie continued talking to Kaya, trying to keep her calm. A knock on the door drew the anxious Alpha out of his fourth trip around the room but the stress wasn’t easing seeing his brother standing on the other side of the door. He’d only been gone for a few minutes before he returned with a worried expression on his face. “Caleb?” he waited for his brother to meet him near the door and kept his voice low as he spoke. “We have a problem out here.”
“What is it? Can it wait?”
“I don’t think so. Braedan’s back and he says there are uh…we’ve been breached in the north. There are several groups of wolves he’s never seen before rushing into the territory up there.” Charlie turned as someone tapped his shoulder, giving more information on the developing situation. “Ok…thanks,” he sighed, peering back into Caleb’s eyes. ”It’s Luther and his pack.”
“Luther? That son of a bitch,” Caleb growled and slammed his fist into the wall. “What the hell does he think he’s doing?”
“I don’t know. But we’re getting reports of injuries. He’s starting shit up there. We need to send more people to hold them back.”
“Damn it.” Caleb looked from the doctor to Charlie and back again. “How long before the babies are here?”
“It’s hard to say since there is no set timetable for giving birth. I’d have said she was in the early stages of labor since her contractions were seven minutes apart but now…” Roberta trailed off and motioned for Caleb to move to the side with her. “Her contractions were minutes apart when she arrived but now they’ve seemed to have stopped completely. She’s not your typical wolf. And for this reason I want to run a few tests.” Caleb’s eyes widened and Roberta quickly back pedaled. “There’s nothing to be concerned about. I just want to make sure everything going on inside is normal. It shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes and we’ll know where we are. The baby’s heart monitor is fine, doesn’t appear distressed or elevated so we’re in a resting state now until Kaya’s fully dilated for delivery which can be anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours.”
“Connor.” The redhead looked up and trotted over to his Alpha. “I need you to do me a huge favor.”
“Luther and his pack have decided to stir up trouble and I need to help get rid of him. Can you look after Kaya for me until I get back?”
“Yeah. Of course. Sophie and I will be fine. You go and do what you need to. We got this.”
“Thank you. Also, don’t let her push before I’m back.”
“I’m kidding. This shouldn’t take long.” Caleb followed Charlie out the door and the two met up with a small team heading towards Luther and his band of wolves.
Amanda wasn’t sure how she’d found herself here. It wasn’t as if she’d made a conscious decision to seek him out again—but her body seemed to have its own agenda. Eli had made it perfectly clear how he felt about that night. It was a mistake and never should have happened. He’d walked out on her; on one of the happiest moments of her life. She should have been angry; being used and discarded in such a way.
If she was honest with herself she’d have listened when he told her they shouldn’t. But all she could see in that moment were Eli’s soft, pink lips inches away from her own, trembling and so full of need. She’d let herself become consumed. And she was sadly reminded of her place in his life when that men’s room door shut behind his retreating back. She should have been angry but, mostly she was just hurt.
It had been painful, always being second best; not the one Eli wanted. She’d give anything to have him look at her the way he would look at Brooke. To feel even an ounce of the love and compassion he had for his ex. Something told her to turn around and leave him in peace where he seemed to find most often around water. Still, she continued walking the splintered boardwalk down to the sand where Eli sat. He knew she was there, of this she was certain. He always knew. But she was tired of being avoided. They needed to talk. And if he wasn’t going to be the one to start it, then it was up to her.
“Hey, Eli!” Amanda greeted him in her normally cheerful voice. She added a small wave and a smile which had gone unnoticed.
“Mandy,” Eli acknowledged her without looking up, too focused on the crashing waves in front of him.
Without being invited, Amanda took a seat beside him on the towel. Eli said nothing. She scooted a little closer, watching as he toyed with something between his fingers and came to recognize it as a jewel of some kind. Ignoring the pang of jealousy she felt thinking it must have been a gift from Brooke, she forced herself to speak. “So…did you hear? Kaya’s gone into labor. Means we’ll be greeting some new additions to the pack soon.”
“I heard,” he replied. His simple response not allowing her any room in a conversation. Amanda nodded as the tension in her belly intensified. She had come down to this beach for one reason and she’d be damned if she didn’t see it through.
She had to do this. She needed to know. Most times it felt as though he only tolerated her presence, sort of like now. Nibbling on her lip, a dozen different scenarios played out in her head. She could be getting ready to make the biggest fool of herself in the face of his rejection but she had to know one way or the other. Taking a deep breath, Amanda set her mind to task. It was now or never. “Eli, about the other day…”
“I was wondering how long you were going to step around the subject,” he said, still refusing to look at her. He knew why she was here and still couldn’t bring himself to face her. Why had she bothered? She wish she could be as callous and unfeeling with her emotions as most of the guys she’d found herself attracted to. You love hard. The words of her mother echoed in her head. It was true and damn how she wished it wasn’t. “I owe you an apology.” He turned to look at her then, his azure gaze fixed on her face.
“I…what?” she stammered, caught off guard. She hadn’t expected this. She was set on giving him a piece of her mind. She’d worked up the nerve to tell him so and now…Amanda knew she was weak, but Eli only had to look at her sometimes and she was on fire.
“The other day…I shouldn’t have walked out you on like that. But after we…I felt like I’d just used you and that wasn’t right.”
“Eli, I wanted that. I told you as much.”
“Eli, there’s nothing wrong with this,” she said with a smile, gently running her thumb across his lips, hoping he’d see past his moral dilemma and just give in.
“You’re right,” she sighed, “I’m sorry.” After a long pause, Amanda stood. “You going in?”
“Was thinking about it, until you showed up.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” she asked, looking suddenly annoyed.
“I didn’t bring any swim trunks,” he said, looking up at her with a shy grin.
“Seriously, Eli?” she felt herself smiling before she realized it. “You’re a wolf. Besides, it’s not like I haven’t seen it before,” she smirked and slowly began undressing. Eli watched as piece-by-piece Amanda became completely naked in front of him. “Last one in’s a rotten egg,” she giggled and took off for the water.
He watched for a moment with a lopsided grin as she playfully scampered down to the shore. “This is a bad idea, Eli,” he chastised himself, blowing out a breath as he continued watching her. “A very bad idea.” Hopping up, he kicked off his pants while simultaneously hauling his shirt off over his head and quickly sprinted after her. He caught her, just as her feet touched the edge of the water and they both landed with a splash in the ebbing wave.
“See? That wasn’t so bad, now was it?”
“Well…it wasn’t the water I was afraid of,” he confessed with a smile and small splash of water.
Grabbing her wrist before she could soak him again, Eli pulled Amanda flush against him once more. Their eyes met for a brief moment before their lips connected. His mouth explored hers; sending sweet sparks of warmth through her body and dispelling every sensible thought in his head. He released her eventually, both of them breathing raggedly as they stepped a little deeper into the ocean. “You ever do it in the water?” Amanda asked as his lips fondled her neck again and his hands caressed her gentle curves.
“Good…” she sighed, smiling inwardly at the idea of combining his love for water with a lust for her. His mouth found her engorged nipples. Slow, sensual sucking shot an intense sensation flooding through her body making her shudder.
“You and I really should talk about this,” he said, even as he pulled her hand down and placed it firmly on his cock. She took hold of his shaft, reveling in the way he swelled even more in her hand.
“We will. Later,” she smiled and placed her hands on his shoulders. Eli lifted her with ease, slipping himself inside her body like he was made for her.
Their movements became increasingly urgent. Amanda leaned forward and closed her eyes, losing herself in the way Eli was making her feel. She felt him gripping her hips, his fingers digging painfully into the fleshy part of her thigh, but she didn’t care. Nothing else mattered but this. As her orgasm broke, she opened her eyes and saw him watching her, his face taut with tension. Slick moisture spilled from her shaking body as he pushed inside her. She could do nothing but moan incoherently as he propelled her towards the edge of oblivion. With a shuddering cry, she came hard.
“Oh Mandy,” Eli moaned, as his hips thundered faster, “You feel so good.”
The walls of her silky tunnel gripped him tightly, milking his cock as she finally poised herself enough to ride him with mounting intensity. With each thrust of his hips she ground her pubic bone against his, sending small electric shocks through her swollen clit as she impaled herself on Eli’s dick. Her body had moved to a rhythm of its own, savoring the feeling of every inch of her pussy’s journey along the length of his shaft.
Eli kissed her hungrily, never once stopping his deep strokes into her tight, wet cunt. Amanda quickly lost count of how often he’d made her come on his relentlessly thrusting cock; he seemed to have stamina for days. Her muscles contracted around him for what felt like the hundredth time and it was finally his undoing. He hammered into her with a new frenzied fury and with one last, powerful lunge Amanda felt his cock spasm.
Eli let loose a deep howl before pulling his throbbing cock out of her. His body arched back and he choked out his own cry of ecstasy as he shot his load into the surging waves. Amanda smiled. She buried her flushed face in his neck and heard him rasping in her ear as he came down. His arms wrapped around her body, pulling her into an embrace, making her feel at ease. “Now,” he sighed, catching his breath as a large wave tipped them forward. “About that talk.”
A sharp, painful cramp bent Kaya forward and she squealed, closing her eyes tightly as her breathing became erratic. “I don’t know how much more of this I can take!”
“Is it worse than a shift?” Connor asked and backed away when Kaya glared at him in frustration. “Alright. I’ll just,” he made a zipper motion across his lips and leaned back against the wall.
“Ok, I’m ready to push, can I push now?”
“Wait a little longer, Kaya, you’re not fully dilated,” Roberta replied.
Sophie moved towards her head to look at her. “How are you feeling? Dumb question, sorry. You want some ice or some water?”
“No, I don’t want water! I want to push these babies out of my body! Why are you stalling? I’m ready to go! Wait, where’s Caleb?” Sophie looked up towards Connor and he shrugged. “Where is he?”
“He…uh…stepped out for a moment,” Sophie started.
“Stepped out?!” Kaya yelled, sitting up a little more which caused a violent tug in her abdomen, causing her to quickly lay back down. “Where did he go?”
“There was a threat at the back gate and he took a few guys and went to check it out. He wasn’t supposed to be gone for so long but…”
“I need him here! Go and get him!” Kaya closed her eyes and tried finding him through their shared link but another contraction ripped through her gut and she lost the connection as a deep howl rocked the room. “Oh screw this,” she growled and swung her legs over the side of the bed.
“Kaya, you shouldn’t move right now, you’re in no condition for that,” Connor warned and tried pushing his Luna back to bed. “I’ll go and look for Caleb, just stay here.”
“No! I’m going to find him myself!”
“Kaya, Connor is right, you shouldn’t…”
“GET OFF!” she roared, throwing both Connor and Sophie back hard against the wall. Both wolves hit with brutal impact. Sophie was out cold and Connor barely missed going completely through the drywall. An impression of his body was made in the paint as he achingly pulled himself from the hole, falling to the ground. Roberta stood against the countertop, slack jawed in awe as Kaya made it to her feet.
“Kaya…” Connor called weakly, wincing in pain at the undeniably broken ribs he felt beneath his fingers as he crumbled to the floor. “Wait…” He watched as she disappeared out of the room and heard the front door slam shut.
Tumbling and stumbling, Kaya traipsed barefoot through the woods sloshing through mud holes and swamp grass while she struggled towards the east end of the property in search of her mate. She’d lost sight of the trail minutes ago as darkness grew quickly, encompassing the area. Still she moved forward, taking turn after turn through mossy covered trees and damp mud that slowly sucked at her feet.
She had no way of telling how long she had been walking or where exactly she was going. The faint blue hue of moonlight peeking through the tall oaks was her only source of light. Her labored breathing caused her chest to heave quicker, straining for air and her lungs were on fire. Blackness surrounded her and she leaned against a pine as a gut wrenching spasm tore through her body, ripping down her spine.
Adrenaline pulsated through her every vein and the thought of closing in on the others helped keep her mind off the cramping that was painfully tearing through the muscles in her legs. She was tired and growing weaker with every step. Staggering from the heat of exhaustion and the tireless frustrations of being pelted by small twigs and pebbles she wanted to stop but forced herself to continue forward. Ducking beneath a low hanging branch, she soon found herself lost, surrounded by dark shadows and trees she couldn’t remember.
Slowly she inhaled sluggish breaths and examined the large opened plains. Caleb could not have been out here. There were no footprints and no scents indicating anyone had come this way for hours! Her eyes finally focused enough through the pained tears that leaked out of them to make out the area she was in, the west garden! She had gotten so turned around that she now found herself in the one place the Savages deemed forbidden for access. Too many hunter’s traps and pits lined the area making it a danger to them all. The sound of her own breathing filled her ears as she began hyperventilating and her heart felt ready to explode.
Cussing under her breath she scolded herself for coming out here but it was too little, too late. Her shirt was tattered and spotted with blood. There were minor scratches on her exposed arms and legs and her face was covered in dirt. A light sheen of sweat coated her skin, making her glisten under the moonlight and she felt a warm liquid rushing down her legs. Branches broke close by and she paused a moment, straining her ears to listen.
Trees rustled to her right and she gasped as a large figure stepped out of the brush and quickly moved forward. “KAYA!” she heard Charlie exclaim and felt his arms wrap around her body. “She’s over here!” he yelled and instantly more wolves broke through the trees, narrowing in on their position.
“Caleb? Where’s Caleb?” she moaned weakly and tried to stand.
“Kaya, stop, you can’t be on your feet right now!”
“I need Caleb, Charlie, please. Tell me where he is!”
“Here! I’m right here,” Caleb shouted and pushed his way through the others towards her side. “Kaya,” he leaned down, clasping her in his arms before examining her for severe wounds. “What the hell were you thinking?”
“I…something’s wrong. I can feel it. And I couldn’t do this without you and no one knew where you were!” she cried and leaned into his arms as he held her. “Connor and Sophie, oh god, I hurt them!”
“No, no they’re alright. Sophie’s resting and Connor’s healing. They’ll be fine.” He pressed his ear to her belly, listening for his pups and sighed relief when the familiar gurgles of movement reported their presence. “We need to get you back to the manor quickly.”
“No. I can’t move; it’s time.” A gut bursting howl ripped through the din of night and every wolf in her presence fell to one knee. More soon joined them as the rest of the pack answered her call, each bowing to the might of her roar. Kaya looked up and smiled seeing Connor enter the clearing. Silently she apologized to him and watched as a boyish grin turned his lips up. “They’re coming,” she whispered to her mate as patches of brown fur began coating her body.
The sound of bones snapping pulled Caleb closer to her side and he felt the tug in his belly as her shift affected him. Fighting the change, he lifted his head to the sky and howled mournfully, swallowing down his wolf. Kaya’s muscles twisted and her skin stretched as her mate’s cry lessened the pain of transition and she fully took on her Shifter form. Curling into a ball, she prepared herself to deliver their pups keening and scratching at the ground.
Roberta moved towards her with the towels and blankets she liberated from the manor and nodded at her Luna to push. Kaya growled, clenching Caleb’s hand tightly as she felt the head of their first cub pull free of her womb. Sophie giggled in delight as she lifted baby number one for the others to see, “They’re shifted!” she exclaimed and cleaned him off before handing him to Charlie.
She hovered over Roberta’s shoulder as the second pup whimpered and slowly inched out onto the blanket. “Another boy!” Roberta announced, passing him to Sophie. She wiped him down as well and handed him off to Connor.
Kaya’s grip loosened a bit on Caleb’s hand as she sat up under her own strength and pressed a hand to her belly. “You’re doing great!” he whispered against her ear as he re-positioned himself behind her. “Just one more push baby, you can do it!”
Encouraged by Caleb’s soft coos and the gentle rumbles of her two babies beside her, Kaya leaned back against him and gave the last push what little strength she still had. Very soon she was rewarded by the small cat-like whine as the last pup, a little girl, “roared” her arrival. “Oh my god!” Kaya teared up and shifted back to human form, listening to her youngest cry. “She’s trying to howl! Listen to that!”
Caleb laughed and kissed Kaya’s cheek before Roberta handed him his baby daughter. He brushed back her fur and touched each of her little claws, examining her closely. “Look at that, you already have me wrapped around your little…paw,” he smiled and kissed her damp cheek. “She’s perfect, Kaya, they all are. And I can’t believe they were born shifted!”
“We should get back to the manor,” Charlie suggested, placing the firstborn in Kaya’s lap. “Get you to bed to rest.” The pack led the way out of the woods and Caleb carried his mate while Connor, Charlie and Sophie toted the newborns close behind.
“Feeling better?” Connor asked once Kaya was cleaned up and settled into her bed. She gave him a sorrowful look which he immediately understood and shrugged off. “Yeah, it hurt,” he groaned and touched his chest. “Good thing we’re quick healers, although I can’t say that for the wall.”
“Connor, Sophie I’m really sorry about that. I didn’t mean to hurt either of you.”
“It’s ok. Like Connor said we’re healed. No harm done. They are so cute!”
“When do you think they’ll shift back?” Kaya asked feeling a little worried that their babies may not transition normally to and from human form.
“I honestly, I don’t know,” Caleb responded, watching as his cubs curled up beside Kaya in bed. “I don’t think you should worry though. They’re happy and healthy and that’s all we can ask for right now.”
“What are their names?” Charlie asked, finding it impossible to keep from holding them.
“The oldest boy is Dominick, it’s my Dad’s middle name,” she gasped and jumped up as she suddenly realized her father had missed their birth.
“I’ve already called him,” Connor assured her, understanding her abrupt cause for alarm. “He and Ulrick are almost here, should be maybe another ten minutes. Braedan and Kendrick have gone down to meet them.”
She settled back into the pillows. “What did he say? Did he sound upset?”
“He was a little disappointed he missed their birth. He thought he’d left well ahead of time to get here for that but he was happy to hear that you and the pups are doing well.”
“Ok, that’s good.” She smiled at Charlie who waited patiently for her to continue and she apologized for getting sidetracked. “The second boy is Joseph; I don’t have to tell you where that name comes from. And our daughter is Kaeleigh, named for my Mom—Kaelani Leigh Cromwell-Villalobos. Middle names though were Caleb’s department,” she glanced over at him. “What have you settled on?”
“Well since you’ve given them middle names as first I thought I’d give them first names as middle. So, I’ve decided on Dominick Connor Vaughn, Joseph Charles and Kaeleigh Clarissa.”
“Well I know which one I’m spoiling,” Connor grinned and leaned back from the triplets who popped up again with a little renewed energy.
“Very beautiful cubs,” his voice announced his arrival and Kaya nearly jumped out of her skin. Vaughn smiled at her before entering the room with the others. “May I?” Picking up the youngest male, he began playing with him, listening to the pup’s silent mewling. “You’re a really active fellow, huh?” Joseph lightly scratched at his grandfather’s hand, cooing and rumbling softly. Vaughn massaged the soft spot on the pup’s belly and as he did, slowly the small cub began transitioning before their eyes. “Well I didn’t expect that. You have very unique babies.”
“How did you do that?” Kaya inquired with shock and awe in her voice before Vaughn handed Joseph over to her.
“It was unintentional. I was simply rubbing his belly.” Vaughn retrieved Kaeleigh and Dominick from their blankets and recreated the actions on their bellies as well. Instantly the two pups shifted into mortal babies.
“Now we can see what you really look like,” Caleb said, picking up his little girl and gently tickling her chin. “She has your eyes, Kaya.”
“So does little Joseph,” she announced. The door opened and her eyes moved to the man stepping inside. “Dad!” Kaya exclaimed, watching her father rush into the room. The smile on his face broadened as he took in the sight of his newborn grandkids. Kaya clambered out of the bed, embroiling him in a warm hug before Lobo’s attention moved to the wriggling infant in her arms. “This is Joseph.” Kaya went through introducing the others while Lobo made cooing sounds to the smiling baby.
It was soon discovered how they shifted at such an early age and the group was fascinated watching the pups transition back and forth. “Alright, I hate to be the one to put a damper on the mood but, since everyone’s here, I think we need to discuss some things about our current situation. More specifically, what are we going to do about Luther?” Caleb asked, looking over the faces of everyone in the room.
“Luther took the opportunity to attack when our backs were turned. I guess with Kaya not making the trip to Willow Reed with me, he assumed she was out of commission.” Kaya moved into Caleb’s arms and he gave a sweet kiss as she snuggled against him. “It was my fault. I let him blindside us. I thought he’d wait until he got what he wanted but I was wrong. I won’t let it happen again. And I won’t let anything happen to my family. It’s time we put an end to this war once and for all.” Caleb said, wrapping his arm tighter around Kaya’s waist.
“You felt that, didn’t you?” Faith asked, sensing the awakened new energy.
“It doesn’t matter.”
“What the hell do you mean it doesn’t matter?”
“Just what I said, Faith! Why do you think she’s here? They’ll never be able to find us, not as long as her magic belongs to us.”
“And how long will that be exactly? You’re out of here every night for one ingredient or the next. How long before those herbs become hard to find? We can’t keep going like this, Lexi. We need to think up a more permanent solution.”
“Now then, what’s say we make sure that blood magic holds?” Lexi snarled and sauntered deeper into the temple.
“Cast iron chains, Chandria, your struggle is useless. You’re not going anywhere until I say so.”
“That’s where you’re wrong, Lexi. I’ll be out of here, soon enough,” Chandria replied, feeling the burn of tears roll out of her dry eyes. She was tired of crying. Tired of being tortured by women she once trusted. Tired of being used for their evil blood magic. “I felt it and I know you have as well. They’re coming for you. You and the rest of your kind.”
“Don’t you mean our kind? You didn’t stop being a witch since last I saw you, did you?” Lexi mocked and started closer.
“I mean you and all the rest that play around with the dark arts.”
“Playing? Is that what you think we’re doing, Chandria? This isn’t a game. But, if it were, I’d be winning,” Lexi grinned wide, taking in the tired look of the seasoned witch.
“What happened to you, Lexi, that turned you so cold and bitter? You were once my friend!”
“We were NEVER friends, Chandria, because I was NEVER your equal. You were ALWAYS the most powerful of us. Always the first to master a new spell, a new charm, a new skill. And after you met that wolf, you turned your back on me.”
“Turned my back? You murdered your sister! I had no control over what happened after that. You know as well as I do that nature always gets its revenge. What happened with the coven…you brought that on yourself.”
Lexi harrumphed and there was a long pause before she spoke. It was as if she was deciding her next move and for a moment Chandria thought her words had actually reached that part of her she’d buried a long time ago. But the evil smirk reappeared on the witch’s face and she inched even closer to the binding circle where Chandria stood. “You’re looking a little parched. Here, I brought you a little something to wet your throat.”
“I’m not drinking that.”
“No? You sure you don’t want a little sip?” Lexi asked, swirling her finger around the mixture before sucking it off her finger. She smirked seeing Chandria’s tongue dart out, moistening her lips, longing for a taste. Lexi teased her, pretending to imbibe from the chalice while keeping an eye on the shackled woman. But Chandria was not biting. Taking a deep breath, she looked away and tried to focus on anything else. “Well, you can’t say I never offered.” Lexi turned to leave when her attention caught on something at Chandria’s feet. “You tricky little witch. How’d you do that?”
“Do what? I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Chandria said, swallowing hard. For once she was grateful Lexi’s ever watchful eye was not on her.
“It was a nice try, Chandria,” Lexi laughed. “But it doesn’t matter. You will never fully disrupt the circle.” Grabbing a small piece of chalk from the podium behind her, Lexi redid the writing on the edge of the circle, closing the spell once more and congratulating herself for catching it when she did. “Now, let’s see you break that one!”
“The defenders are here, Lexi. Your time on this earth has grown short. No amount of runes or spells will keep you safe. They’re coming for you, Lexi!” Chandria shouted, her lips curling slightly in an amused grin. “There’s no place left for you to hide.”
“I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you.”
Author’s note: I don’t normally do this but I just couldn’t help myself this time. Here are a couple of blooper shots from this episode.
The pups are a curious bunch. They are running that manor and are just a day old, its crazy. Anywho, this is a shot of them interrupting a scene where their mother is in labor. Kaya’s not even had them yet and they were running in the door to “investigate new object.” They continued doing this for the whole episode from one room to the next (how rude!)
And here is a clearer shot of the three little rascals. I can tell their parents’ hands will be full (mine certainly were.) I didn’t include a close-up of the infants because I figured you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all.