Tue. Feb 13th, 2024

#MY_BLACK_KNIGHT

Happen 27

#phase 1

As Produced By SheriffSquinty

Theme: Rain Of Secrets (2)

Sub Theme : There’s More Than Meets The Eye

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My Wolf and I were stunned speechless for several long seconds. The idea of those filthy bloodsucking vampires, strolling about in the daylight and feeding upon

anyone they wanted, was horrifying. Knowing that my Fate-given Mate was the key to the vampires’ salvation, so to speak, was even worse. Had Gabriel lived his entire life knowing? Had he spent his years as Alpha waiting for the day that the vampires would knock on his front door?

I just couldn’t believe he had Angelic blood in his veins. I had known that Gabriel buried many secrets deep inside but never could I have expected something like this.

Raziel was watching me with that unsettling gaze of his, but I turned away from him and faced my Mate instead.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” I finally asked, my voice barely above a whisper. I had been athis house for weeks, I had asked him multiple times why the vampires

wanted him, and he had never come out and said it. It was a huge secret to keep, but as his Mate, I was supposed to help him shoulder the burden.

At first I had pushed him away, but once I was living with him, if only I had understood what he was going through….

Gabriel’s eyes found mine, flickering with a multitude of emotions. “How could I just come out and say something like that?” He replied, his voice thick. For some reason, I felt like there was something more he wanted to say, something he was keeping suppressed.

“Is this why you keep pushing me away? Why you thought you weren’t supposed to have a Mate?” I was speaking as if Raziel wasn’t standing right there, as I was too absorbed in my thoughts to feel embarrassed at my vulnerability.

Gabriel’s face contorted, and to my shock he turned away from me, refusing to reply.

I blinked at him in disbelief. Was he seriously refusing to answer yet another question, even after I had just learned his deepest secret?

“You’re not going to answer that?” I snapped, my whirlwind of emotions threatening to overwhelm me. He remained silent, to my frustration.

“You reveal something like that about yourself and then refuse to explain how it relates to us as Mates?” I clenched my fists, unable to prevent my rising anger. Gabriel turned halfway to glance at me. “Skylar….”

“No…don’t do that. Don’t use that patronizing tone!” I really was losing it.

 

Gabriel glanced over at Raziel, and to my surprise his look was almost pleading as he locked gazes with his grandfather.

Raziel sighed, looking resigned as he walked over tome. He gently planted his hand on my forearm. His touch was almost soothing instead of disarming.

“Skylar, do you want to take a walk with me?” Raziel asked, eyes boring into mine. “I have a really lovely garden outback, and almost nobody ever gets to see it.” He gave me a significant look. My eyes flicked to Gabriel, who had started to pace in agitation. I really wanted to continue to pry him with questions, but at the same

time I was feeling claustrophobic and stressed. Perhaps I could use some fresh air. I attempted to take a deep breath, forcing down my anger. If Gabriel wouldn’t tell me things, maybe I could get them out of Raziel.

“Okay,” I replied shortly. Raziel grinned that brilliant, disarming smile of his

before leading me towards the back of the house. I glanced over my shoulder to see Gabriel sinking back down onto the couch, placing his head in his hands. My Wolf suddenly itched to comfort him but I held her back. He was not getting that sort of treatment until he stopped hiding things from me. Part of me knew I was being a

bit unfair and demanding, but I had waited long enough. I had handled the Angel thing without fainting; how much worse could it get?

 

Lost in thought, I barely registered the grandeur of the rest of Raziel’s house as he led me to the back door. When he opened the door, though, I stared in awe at the

massive garden stretching out behind his house. It was indeed lovely, ashe’d put it. Flowers of all shapes and sizes bloomed on either side of us as we began to walk

down a well-kept path that led through the middle of the garden. There were

vibrant splashes of color everywhere I looked, and I marveled at the effort it must have taken to maintain something like this. Raziel did not speak as we continued

down the path and I examined the vast variety of plants around us. The sweet

aroma of honeysuckle wafted through the air. I didn’t know a lot about flowers, but I was pretty sure most of them weren’t native to the area. Raziel must have had a

lot of time to cultivate his gardening ability.

We turned a sharp corner and my eyes fell upon a large gurgling fountain. A

circular space had been cleared around the fountain and there were small park

benches on either side. The architecture itself was impressive; the fountain looked very old, like the rest of the items in Raziel’s possession. He led me to one of the quaint benches, indicating that I should sit down. Raziel himself remained

standing, taking a few steps closer to the fountain, seemingly lost in thought. I couldn’t help but admire his profile as he stood there. Raziel really did have

 

elegant, regal features that suited his Angelic bloodline. I recognized some of them in Gabriel, too, although Gabriel had his father’s coloring. I felt slightly intimidated sitting there, alone with a Holy being that was probably older than anything on the planet.

“Your garden is beautiful,” I finally said, wanting to break the silence. I wondered if Raziel had brought me out here to tell me anything in particular.

“Thank you.” He turned to face me, studying me with a contemplative expression. I tried not to shrink away from his penetrating eyes.

“You have to forgive Gabriel,” he said after along pause. “I know he can

be….difficult to talk to sometimes. He’s one of the most stubborn creatures I’ve ever met.” Raziel sighed, turning his eyes back to the fountain. “But he handled this whole…situation the best way he knew how.”

“I just wish he would’ve told me sooner. I’m his Mate, eventhough he likes to pretend otherwise.”

“He doesn’t LIKE to pretend otherwise,” Raziel contradicted me softly. “If it were up to him, he would accept you in an instant. He cares very deeply for you.”

I felt my face heating up at the intensity in Raziel’s words. “He doesn’t exactly show it,” I muttered, embarrassed.

“Trust me, I’ve been around long enough to read emotions. Gabriel has already

grown attached to you. To him, you’re practically a miracle. He never thought he’d find his Mate, or that he even had a Mate at all.”

My eyes widened as I remembered somethings Gabriel had said, similar to

Raziel’s words. “Why?” I asked, puzzled. “I mean, he has werewolf blood. All wolves have Mates.”

Raziel sighed and sat down beside me, leaning against the back of the park bench.

“I will tell you this: I know you think Gabriel is cold, distant, and heartless. I’ve checked in on him over the years and observed him. I know he has treated

outsiders less than favorably.”

“His pack killed some members of my pack for minor territory infringement. They took away almost half of our land. Before I met him, I hated him.”

“As an outsider, I could understand why you felt that way. But from what I know of him, in Gabriel’s mind it is all just…survival. His pack is bigger than yours and needs moreland. They are stronger, so to him it is survival of the fittest. If you

have moreland than you can use, the Black Mountains Pack is going to take it for

themselves. It is a selfish way of thinking, but they didn’t always live so

comfortably. When Gabriel was younger they relocated a lot. Many wolves in their pack died from starvation and rogues. Gabriel was hardened at a very young age.

 

Now, he will do anything for his pack members. He couldn’t careless about outside packs.”

 

*

As Produced By SheriffSquinty

*

I sat there, absorbing all of this, trying to understand. My Pack did have an

incredible amount of land and we’d always lived comfortably. That didn’t excuse Gabriel’s actions, but it did shed more light on the situation. I remembered what

my father had said before I’d found out Gabriel was my Mate; he had called

Gabriel a visionary to the Black Mountains Pack. I couldn’t forgive Gabriel for the pain he had caused us, but in his position, many Alphas might have done the same.

“There’s something else you must know,” Raziel continued after a moment.

“Gabriel seems uncaring, and I know he often doesn’t treat you the way a Mate should. He does have reasons for this that he can discuss with you himself, but

before you ask him you have to realize what his childhood was like. Gabriel’s

father, David, was heartless, relentless, and cruel. He fought to expand the Black Mountains Pack’s borders at any cost, and most of your pack’s issues with them occurred while he was Alpha. For David, though, it was different. He didn’t care for the welfare of his pack like Gabriel does, he only cared about power.”

I noticed that Raziel’s expression had darkened considerably. He clearly was not a fan of Gabriel’s father…then again, neither was I.

“He extended this sort of behavior to his son after Gabriel’s mother died.” I blinked in surprise, curious about her. I’d figured she was out of the picture because she

had passed away, but Gabriel had never talked about her. She was half-Angel, according to Raziel, so I was burning with curiosity. For now, I held down my questions until Raziel finished his train of thought.

“David was very cruel to Gabriel. He pushed him but never rewarded him for his efforts. He was often physically abusive, but most of his lingering effects are on Gabriel’s mind. David caused a lot of emotional damage. He never loved his son because of his Angelic blood, and David drove it into Gabriel’s mind relentlessly that he would never have a Mate because of his lineage. He began telling Gabriel this even when he was but a child.”

Raziel’stone was bitter and there was vivid sadness in his expression. I could only sit there, staring up at him in horror. I had known that Gabriel’s father was not a

good person, but I never would have thoughthe could’ve been so horrible to his

 

own son. Why would he tell his son that he was doomed to live life without a

Mate? Every werewolf dreamed of finding their Mate one day, it was something to look forward to. It was every werewolf’s source of happiness. To take that away

from one so young was despicable.

I looked down at my hands, intertwined in my lap. Gabriel knew that he had

Angelic blood, that he was different. Coupled with his father’s words, it was no wonder he had been surprised that I existed. I felt a surge of sympathy for my Mate.

Still, I was confused about one thing. If Gabriel had seen me as such a miracle, why had he put forthevery effort to drive me away?

“Why did David hate Gabriel’s Angelic bloodline?” I asked, deciding to leave the more personal question for later. I also wanted to know what had happened to

Gabriel’s mother, but worried that would be too sensitive of a subject with Raziel. How could I approach such a thing?

Raziel’s mouth tightened into a hardline, his eyes becoming guarded. For some reason I felt like I had trespassed on a taboo subject.

“That’s not something I should tell you,” he replied carefully. Apparently I wasn’t getting all the answers I wanted. I sighed, slightly frustrated. A few things just

weren’t adding up. I knew that Gabriel’s father had died a few years ago; rumors said he’d been attacked by rogues. Gabriel’s mother had never really been

mentioned. Plus, there was the one picture I had seen of the beautiful woman, where she had looked strangely withdrawn standing next to her family.

Something was definitely off.

A few minutes passed in silence. I idly watched the bubbling fountain, enjoying the

fragrant smell of the gardens and the chirping birds overhead. The sun was

beginning to climb in the sky, reflecting off the clearwater. If I lived here, this would be awonderful place to come and think.

 

*

Hall Of Supernatural Stories

*

“Ready to go back?” Raziel said after a while. “I know Gabriel doesn’t want to be here too long. You have a lengthy drive ahead of you.”

I nodded in confirmation, following his lead as he headed back to the house.

Questions clouded the forefront of my mind, along with an unsettling mix of

emotions after hearing so much about Gabriel’s past. It was no wonder he never

 

talked about his father. My parents had always been loyal, protective, and kind. I couldn’t fathom how any parent, especially an Alpha, could be cruel to their own child.

When were-entered the sitting room, I was surprised to see Gabriel standing

upright, staring at us. He had an intense, agitated look on his face, and everything about him was tense. His arms were folded in front of his broad chest. When I

walked in after Raziel, Gabriel’s eyes met mine and he gazed at me for several long seconds. I couldn’t fathom his expression. He seemed to be searching for

something. I shifted under his dark scrutiny, and after a moment I saw resignation, clear as day, enter his eyes.

“I want to see her,” he said shortly, shifting his attention to Raziel. I frowned. Now Raziel was the one that seemed uncomfortable. “Gabriel…”

“I want to see her. When we spoke all those years ago, you told me you had her. I have the right to see her.” His jaw was clenched, every muscle on edge. I had

absolutely no clue who they were talking about. My Wolf was equally confused. Raziel sighed, lowering his head. “As you wish.” His eyes met mine. “What about Skylar?”

Gabriel looked reluctant as he spoke. “She knows everything else now. She might as well come along.”

I perked up in surprise at that, hardly able to believe he was going to let me in on something. Judging by the mood of the two men, though, it wasn’t the most

positive subject.

Raziel eyed him for a long moment, as if sizing up his intentions, before he nodded. “Very well, come along. Only if you’re sure, Gabriel.”

“I’m sure,” he spoke coolly, although I got the impression my Mate was trying to mask any emotions.

We exited out of the back door again, although this time we took a sharp right in

front of the garden and followed a different pathway. We traveled to the edge of

the garden before exiting into the open, revealing the entirety of Raziel’s green,

well-manicured lawn. I spotted a thick fringe of trees in the distance, to which we seemed to beheading. Gabriel walked just behind me but he seemed distracted and remained silent as we trudged along. The pathway had ended and I felt guilty

treading on such beautiful grass. It reminded me of a much larger version of one of my human friend’s lawns; humans always seemed so intent on keeping their plot of land nice and tidy.

 

 

After several minutes we entered the trees, the forest floor dappled, after a fairly long walk, my wolf whined softly in the back of my mind as we emerged from a particularly thick clump of trees.

Before us stood a large, marble structure, finely crafted and imposing. It looked to be about eight feet tall and was the size of a small room. The marble was pure and looked relatively unscathed save for the words carved on the side of the building. They were in a language I did not recognize. In front of us was a large door, and I felt my unease increase tenfold as we approached. I had never seen one of these

before,but I knew what it was.

A mausoleum.

It was the type of tomb rich humans buried their dead in, so I had never been in

front of one, but I’d read about them. I stopped in place, looking up at the building. Who was buried here? Even more importantly, why were we here? I felt my skin prickle as my mind began to work overtime. My Wolf did not like this place, as it was unnatural for werewolves to be around something like this. We did not bury

our dead in mausoleums.

 

“Here,” Raziel said, indicating we stop. His face was drawn, his expression taut. Raziel looked like he was trying to reign in some strong emotions.

I focused on my Mate. His face looked like it could have been carved out of the

marble before us, so tense was his expression. Slowly, he took a step forward to the door. My Wolf did not want us to get any closer to the strange burial site but I ignored her. Gabriel had said we could come and I desperately wanted him to

reveal what he was hiding.

With one motion he grabbed the handle on the door and heaved it open. It made a loud grating noise as the mausoleum’s depths were revealed. Straightening his

shoulders, Gabriel stepped in first. Swallowing my fear I followed, Raziel close

behind me. My werewolf eyes quickly adjusted to the darkness gathered inside the building. Above us was a very small hole, placed strategically so a narrow beam of light filtered into the room and fell upon the coffin in the center. I heard Raziel pull something out of his pocket behindus and he quickly lit a match, using it to ignite a nearby torch. Although the door was still partially ajar, the torch did a lot more to illuminate the darkest corners of the mausoleum.

Inside was along, flat table, on top of which rested a coffin. The coffin itself was intricately carved and ornately detailed; it looked as ifa lot of effort had gone into its making. However, the craftsmanship wasn’t what caught my eye. What startled

 

me was the fact that the coffin had no lid, nothing encasing the corpse inside, and it was completely exposed to our view.

I couldn’t prevent the small gasp from escaping my mouth as I saw the figure within. Dark hair cascading around her shoulders, regal features, pale face

completely peaceful in death. She was beautiful and perfectly preserved, decomposition not affecting her in the slightest.

It was Gabriel’s mother.

I heard Gabriel’s sharp intake of breath as he hesitantly placed a hand on the coffin. Raziel, too stepped forward, his eyes burning with intensity of emotion. For some reason I almost felt as if I was intruding, as if I should back out and head back into the forest.

My eyes were wide with shock as I stared at her. Gabriel gazed down on his

mother’s still face, a multitude of emotions flickering across his features in mere

seconds. I felt a sense of loss swell powerfully in my chest, and I put ahand to my heart in confusion before I realized the feelings were not mine. I was feeling an

echo of Gabriel’spain across our growing link, much as he had felt flashes of my pain before. I stared at him, taken aback by the intensity of his feeling and how

well he was managing it. He could conceal his overpowering emotions better than anyone I had ever met.

Gabriel took a step back from the coffin and instantly I felt the pain diminish as he tossed me a dark glance, clearly trying to recover.

“This is my mother,” he said, his voice completely devoid of feeling.

I already knew that, as I had snooped in his room, but instead I just nodded. What was I supposed to say?

He stared at me for a moment before turning back to her form. Raziel was looking down at her with pain etched in his features, and I remembered with a jolt that she was his daughter.

“How is she still….” Gabriel began, indicating her still healthy-looking flesh. “She isn’t completely dead,” Raziel replied.

I put my hands to my mouth to prevent any sound from escaping. If she wasn’t dead, why was she in a mausoleum?

Gabriel was clearly wondering the same thing as he glared athis grandfather in complete disbelief. “What?”

“She might as well be, though,” Raziel continued, infinite sadness in his eyes.

“What the hell are you talking about?” Gabriel snapped, clearly not liking being left out of the loop.

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#The story continues

 

_ _-Agboola-_ _

d..γ€οΌŒ… #MY_BLACK_KNIGHT d..γ€οΌŒ…

Happen 27

#phase 2

As Produced By SheriffSquinty

Theme: Rain Of Secrets (3)

Sub Theme : Mate Challenges

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“When I came and told you about her death, I didn’t tell you the full story. I was

waiting until now.” He sighed, and I could sense the agitation rolling off of Gabriel in waves.

“The vampires didn’t kill her. They didn’t catch her by surprise. She knew they

were coming after her; it was part of the reason she left your pack.” I stood there, flabbergasted, absorbing the words as they came.

“They were dangerously close to capturing her and using her blood to walk in the sunlight. She was working with a human geneticist to try to figure out how she

could alter her DNA so the vampires couldn’t use it.”

“Alter her DNA…?”

“She wanted to kill her Wolf.” Raziel’s eyes were grave as he spoke. I recoiled in absolute horror. My Wolf howled in agitation and I tried to keep her at bay. How could any werewolf do such a thing? Our Wolves were part of our souls. To try to kill our Wolf would go against every fiber of our nature.

Trying to control my reaction I stared at Gabriel, who looked equally horrified. “Why…” He began, but Raziel cut him off.

“She was half-Angel, Gabriel. She wasn’t as in-tune with her Wolf as you and

Skylar are. Killing her Wolf would leave her with pure Angel blood, which the

vampires couldn’t use. It was still a huge sacrifice, but one she was willing to take to protect your race from Cain and his vampires. She was taking a medicine, bit by bit suppressing her Wolf. It was working. Then, one day she got caught by Cain’s right-hand man, Antonio. As a last-ditch effort to prevent herself from being used

 

or tortured she injected herself directly with the formula. It effectively killed her Wolf.”

He looked down at her form, closing his eyes aspain coated his features. “What

she didn’t realize was that her werewolf DNA was completely intertwined with her Angel DNA, and the medicine could not separate them. One cannot live without

the other. The Angel part of her was undamaged, and is still alive today, but it

cannot go on living without that part of her soul. Her Wolf. So she remains here in perpetual sleep, unable to fully live without her Wolf and unable to commit to

death while Angel blood still runs through her veins.” He trailed off.

I stared at the figure in complete horror. So she had killed her Wolf, and now she was doomed to lie there in a mausoleum for the rest of eternity. It was a horrible Fate. Gabriel stood rigidly, absorbing the news. I couldn’t fathom how much this must be affecting him.

“Why didn’t you just kill her?” He finally said, voice thick. “Instead of just leaving her there to live in perpetual sleep?”

“I could never kill my own daughter,” Raziel said coldly. “And while some of her DNA, the Angel side, remains undamaged, there is still hope. Her Wolf cannot live with the amount of formula she injected, but there is the possibility that it cannot

truly die, either, while the Angel in her lives. Her Wolf may just be in a comatose state. If I could find something to bring it back, if it isn’t truly dead, Rebekah

would live again.”

It was the first time her name had been spoken. Rebekah. It was fitting, I thought, as it sounded like another Biblical name.

Gabriel was silent, lost in thought. “That seems like too many ‘ifs’,” he finally

murmured, the words barely discernible. “And leaving her out here, alone in this…. tomb, is just unnatural.”

“I come visit her every day. Sometimes numerous times a day. What was I

supposed to do? She’s my daughter, Gabriel. Do you honestly think I haven’t spent every waking moment agonizing over what to do with her?”

“Funny. She didn’t agonize over what would happen tome and my father when she abandoned us.” I stared at him in shock athis heartless dismissal.

Raziel’s face hardened. “She only ever wanted to protect you, Gabriel. She left

when she got wind of the vampires so they would never find out about your

existence. Her only hope was they’d never learn you’d been born. You were angry that she left, but she did it to protect you. The least you can do is hope that she has a chance.” Gabriel growled, low in his chest.

 

“You have no right to tell me what to do,” he said coldly. “Not everything she did was selfless.”

Raziel shook his head slowly. He looked angry, the first time I had seen him that way. “I will give you some privacy,” he said shortly, before abruptly turning and exiting the mausoleum.

Gabriel and I were left in thickening silence. I could sense his vast array of intense emotions. He continued to stare athis mother’s form, jaw clenched, eyes flickering in the torchlight.

I wasn’t sure what to do. My Wolf sensed that Gabriel needed me, but he hadn’t

been too willing forme to touch him the last time we were alone. I cautiously took

a few steps forward until I was standing right next to him. I felt a prickle of electricity as our arms brushed.

Looking down at her this close, I could see that she wasn’t truly dead. Rebekah

wasn’t as sallow as a normal corpse. I held my breath and attuned my ears, to see if I could detect any signs of life. After a few seconds I heard it: a heartbeat. Very

slow, agonizingly slow, but there nonetheless. There was the faintest rise of her

chest and a near-silent whisper of breath as she breathed. Her breaths were few and far between, and it was unnerving standing so close to her in such a state. It was as if she was in some sort of deep coma, I supposed, where she didn’t need food or

water to go on living. The Angelic bloodline was incredible indeed. All of this was nearly beyond my comprehension.

“…..I’m so sorry, Gabriel,” I finally said, keeping my voice soft. I tried to put every ounce of emotion I could into my tone.

He shifted his weight from one foot to the other. A few more seconds of silence passed before he spoke, voice heavy.

“It’s because of her that we can’t be together, you know.”

I twisted to face him, blinking in surprise athis bluntness. I had thoughthe would continue avoiding this subject.

“It was outside of her control, but if my blood is anything like hers….” Gabriel trailed off, still not looking at me.

“What do you mean? What happened?” I asked softly, almost scared to push him. He indicated Rebekah with a jerk of his head. “Look at her, Skylar, really look at her. Do you notice anything out of the ordinary?”

I frowned but did as he asked, roving my eyes over her figure. “Aside from her…um…current state?” I asked, confused.

“Look ather asa werewolf. As my mother,” was his short reply.

 

I examined her again, almost painfully slowly, raking my eyes over every inch of her. Her skin was smooth, unblemished, still youthful. She was garbed in a

sequined gown, dressed up in a similar manner as human corpses. My eyes trailed

across her prominent collarbones, her smooth neck….I frowned. There was

something missing on her neck, something every Mated werewolf female had. “Wait…she was your father’s Mate, right?” I asked, tentatively. Awareness was pricking at the back of my mind. Gabriel nodded curtly and I continued.

“So….where’s her Mating mark?” The scar caused by the mark of her Mate’s canines was noticeably absent. It never faded and never truly healed, so her unblemished neck looked strangely out of place.

“It’s gone,” He said. Gabriel had tensed again, and for some reason I felt my Wolf’s agitation suddenly skyrocket.

“What do you mean it’s-” I started but he cut me off.

“It faded. As soon as my father marked her and she grew pregnant with me, her

mark disappeared.” I could only stare at him blankly, not wanting to make the

connection. Slowly, Gabriel turned to face me. I felt my stomach plummet as I saw

the look in his eyes; they were burning with agitation and contained a deep sadness, intermingled with resignation.

 

*

Hall Of Supernatural Stories

*

“Angels don’t have Mates, Skylar. Mates are for werewolves, not any other species. The central reason that werewolves have Mates is to reproduce, to find the best

suitable match to continue the bloodline. It’s purely instinctive, and everything

else—love, passion, trust—comes with the more….human side of us, for lack of

better word. Angel blood rejects the bond as soon as it’s made. While my mother’s Wolf initially recognized the bond with my father, it was never as strong of a pull as my father felt. As soon as she grew pregnant and completed the central purpose of’Mating’, the connection…..faded.”

I stared at him with wide eyes, disbelief overcoming everything else. I couldn’t even form words.

“My father’s feelings for her, however, did not fade. He had to suffer through the agonizing emotional turmoil as, day by day, she faded away from his

consciousness. She fell out of love with him as her mark and the connection faded, but his mark remained intact. My mother’s Angel side completely took over her

 

mental and emotional state. No matter how much she loved my father before, it

was outside of her control as her bloodline rejected everything about the Mating.

To my father, it was as if his Mate was slowly dying. As an Alpha, every emotion was multiplied for him, and it all went against werewolf nature. The emotional

agony drove him mad and turned him into a shell of his former self.” His voice had grown cold, monotonous, but I could still see the pain palpably visible in his

expression.

I felt cold, almost numb, as I finally managed to form a question. “You said it’s…Angel blood that rejects the Mate as soon as the Mating is completed.

So….will the same thing happen to us as happened to your parents?” I stood there, practically trembling, dreading the answer but unable totearmy eyes off of him. Gabriel’s face contorted and he looked down at the ground. Every line of his body seemed as if he was in intense pain. “….there’s a really strong chance that it will,” he finally said.

I clasped my hands to my mouth as a whimper of pain escaped. My Wolf was

howling in the back of my mind, drowning out any coherent thoughts that I’d had. I could feel unwilling tearswelling up in my eyes, blurring my vision.

“It’s why I tried to keep you at arm’s length,” Gabriel said, so softly I could barely hear. “I’m fighting my Wolf every second of every day, but I knew that if I gave in and we Mated…..” he trailed off, but I caught the implication.

“But if….but if you knew this from day one, why didn’t you just reject me? Why

did you make me come live with you?” My voice came out pathetically weak and scratchy but I didn’t care at this point. My inner pain was so great I was barely

remaining in a standing position. It felt like the world was crumbling down around me and I wanted to curse Fate for doing this tome.

Gabriel’s eyes abruptly met mine, and there was a bright fierceness in them. “I

never thought I’d find you, Skylar. When I did, you were the most precious thing

I’d ever laid eyes on. You were a gift. I couldn’t think straight, I wanted you so

badly. When I left you that night, it was the hardest thing I’d ever done, but when I got back to my pack I decided I would do the selfless thing and reject you. I knew it’d practically kill my Wolf in the process but I didn’t care. And then….” His voice broke and he rubbed a hand through his hair in abrupt agitation. “Then I felt your

pain when the vampires attacked. My Wolf tried to take control and I nearly lost it. I couldn’t just sit by why you were in danger. I found you and saved you, and from then on I had an overwhelming urge to protect you no matter the cost. I don’t trust anyone else to keep you safe while the vampires were around. My Wolf won’t have it any other way.”

 

He had begun to pace back and forth while he spoke, while I was still standing there in mute horror. My Wolf had subsided into painful, short whimpers.

“I knew from day one that I would have to tell you all of this. I decided to stay

distant from you until you found out. My Wolf had already grown attached to you, my miracle Mate, and I wasn’t going to spit in Fate’s face by rejecting you. Once I told you everything, I planned on letting you decide for yourself if you wanted to reject me. And now we’re here.” He looked up at me again. “I was selfish bringing you to my pack.” His eyes glimmered with self-loathing. “If I could go back and

change it, I would. And I have the oldest vampire in existence after me. Even if we could be together, you’d constantly be in harm’s way.”

 

*

As Produced By SheriffSquinty

*

I remembered his hurtful words from a couple nights ago. Now they made much more sense.

“I won’t blame you for rejecting me. I just….I can’t bring myself to do that to you. I’m not strong enough to break our bond.”

Never had I heard Gabriel speak of himself as not being strong enough. It

astounded me, seeing the pure vulnerability in his eyes. My mind was a complete mess. I was hurt, and conflicted about him not telling me this at the beginning, but would I have done anything differently in his place? Could I have brought myself to reject a Mate I had never dared dream of? Emotions whirled through my body, and it felt like my heart was being squeezed in a vice.

“I need some air,” I choked out, willing the tears not to fall. I turned around and

shoved the door open in my haste to get out, blinking in the bright sunlight. I heard Gabriel following me but I didn’t dare look at him. My Wolf was completely

subdued now, not even trying to speak tome. The thought of our likely fate if we stayed with our Mate had completely silenced her.

To my surprise, Raziel was standing very close to the mausoleum. One look at my expression and a knowing look entered his eyes, along with a deep-rooted sadness. I shifted my gaze to the ground, unable to withstand the pity I’d seen in his icy

orbs.

“B-but….” I began, not even sure what I was trying to say, still staring at the forest floor beneath me. “When we first met…your eyes….” I was referring to the silver sheen that had appeared in Gabriel’s expression the night of the Meeting, which

 

indicated that his entire being was recognizing the missing piece of his soul, his

Mate. The silver discoloration only lasted mere moments as the bond was initially recognized, but I had seen it there nonetheless.

“I recognized you as my Mate,” Gabriel said quietly, affirming my suspicions, “And I felt the pull more strongly than I could’ve ever imagined.”

“Then how do you know the bond will break after we Mate? You said your mother barely felt the pull when she met your father,” I whispered, pain laced in my tone. Slowly, I turned to face him, and I could barely stand the raw emotion lingering in his dark eyes.

It was Raziel that answered. “Angel blood is dominant, Skylar. The most powerful blood in the world. Gabriel is just as in-tune with his Wolf as you are, but he still has my bloodline. ” He looked at Gabriel, his eyes contemplative. “I didn’t know

you had physically recognized the bond. That could help your chances a bit.” He looked hesitant to say it, but I felt the tiniest flutter of hope.

“What are our chances?” I asked softly. The Angel turned tome.

“If Gabriel wasn’t an Alpha, I’d say very slim. However, because he does have a powerful Wolf and he did recognize the physical manifestation of the bond….I’d say fifty-fifty, at best.”

So there was just as much of a chance that I’d eventually go crazy from loss after

we Mated as the chance that our Mating would be successful, I thought grimly. My Wolf whined softly,not liking the odds. It would be quite a risk to take. The

thought of Gabriel fading away from me, our mental link being slowly severed….I couldn’t fathom it. Many wolves nearly went crazy from loss when their Mates

died. I couldn’t imagine how I would be able to live without a Mate once I had the mark.

“After your mother’s mark began to fade…what happened to her?” I dared to ask. Anything to distract myself from my train of thought.

“She grew quiet and withdrawn, full of guilt. She wanted to love my father again and rekindle the bond but nothing would work. His mark would not stay on her

skin. As my father grew increasingly disturbed and violent, she eventually left. I realize now she was leading the vampires away, but that wasn’t the whole reason. She wanted to get away from us.”

 

*

As Produced By SheriffSquinty

*

 

“Gabriel-” Raziel began,but my Mate turned and glared at him. “You weren’t there!” Gabriel snapped. “You didn’t see…it was like her Wolf wasn’t there

anymore, like she barely cared about the pack! My father went after her to retrieve her, but he couldn’t. When he came back, he said she’d shacked up with some

human!” He spit out the last word in disgust.

“The human geneticist was helping her-”

“No,” Gabriel snarled. “She could’ve stayed. She could’ve atleast explained tome what was going on. I was left with that….that bastard of an Alpha. He took all of his pain and fury out on me!” My Mate was shaking with anger, and Raziel looked moderately alarmed.

“If I were in her position, I would’ve tried harder to be with my Mate.” Gabriel

turned to face me, his gaze tinged with desperation. “I would never leave you, I

don’t care how distant I felt. I’d never abandon you.” He spoke vehemently, and I wanted to believe him, wanted to think it would all be okay even if my mark may never permanently reside on his neck. It literally was all or nothing: I could be

perfectly happy with Gabriel, or I could slowly go insane as his body rejected the bond against his will.

But right now, it was all too much to take in. Angels, bloodlines, living corpses,

the severing of the Mating bond…..I just couldn’t handle it. I was shaking with

suppressed emotion and I couldn’t take anymore. All of these emotions were going to burst out of me and release the floodgates, and I didn’t want them to be there

when I finally broke down and lost it. I’d always thought of myself as strong and

reliable, the emotionally stable one, but right now I just wanted to be alone. My

Wolf was more emotionally distraught than I’d ever felt her. What I needed was

time, time to think everything through and figure out what the hell I was supposed to do. I couldn’t think coherently right now. I didn’t want to do anything rash.

Gabriel was still staring at me, visible longing hovering in his eyes. Another time I would have been relieved to see this emotion from him, to hear him outwardly

state how he felt attached tome. But now, it just hurt even more, knowing that his bond with me may fade if we ever tried to reproduce or fully complete the Mating ritual.

Trying to be with Gabriel could literally result in my soul becoming fractured. It was a terrifying concept.

“…I want to go home. I just need….to think,” I said. My voice held thinly veiled

exhaustion. I did not try to hide my pained expression from him. Thankfully I had kept the tears at bay, but I knew they would fall soon enough. Which home did I

 

want to go to? Deep in my bones, I ached for the company of my family and pack. I needed comfort.

Gabriel’s jaw clenched and his eyes were pained but he nodded, slowly. “We’ll leave now then.” His eyes flicked to Raziel, who looked resigned.

“I need to give you a few things when we get back to the house, but it’s probably time for you to head back anyways. You have a long drive ahead of you,” he said, glancing at me with something akin to pity in his blue eyes. I nodded, subdued.

Without another word we began to head back into the woods towards Raziel’s magnificent house. I had all of my answers now, and Gabriel’s strange behavior was thrown into perfect clarity, but the truth was completely unexpected and

painted a grim outlook for my future with my Mate.

For the umpteenth time, I mentally cursed Fate. I would never understand why I had been chosen for all of this. I wouldn’t wish this on anybody else, but that still didn’t prevent me from wishing it hadn’t happened tome. Gabriel himself was

everything I could have dreamed of, and I now knew there was a depth to him I had never perceived. But his bloodline….of all people, I had been matched with someone I could likely never be with.

I felt a hollow echo of pain, and I couldn’t be sure if it was Gabriel’s or my Wolf’s at this point. I lowered my head, my dark tresses falling forward to obscure my

expression from the others. For once, I let the horrible gravity of the situation simply wash over me. There was no denying it, I just knew…..

I had a really difficult journey ahead of me.

#Tobecontinued…..

 

 

_ _-Agboola-_ _

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