The Beast And The Blessed
I was grateful that Killian let us take the cars. I didn’t want to be carried again, whether it was like a
sack of flour or cradled to his chest. It made me feel weak, and I didn’t want to return to my family and
be seen as anything other than a queen.
My eyes were locked on the passing trees and ruins as we drove through them. It was fascinating to
watch the men who chose to run in their Lycan form, sprinting alongside the vehicles as they jumped
and dodged debris.
The world had changed a lot over the last century. I remember seeing pictures in my school books of
tall and shiny cities packed full of humans, practically crawling on top of each other just to move
around. But after The Great War, their cities fell, and they had to rebuild. Most of their technology made
it through, but the other species refused to let humans gain that much power and control over the world
Now the humans kept their towns small, trying to hide them in any natural structures they could find.
Some even went underground and built their cities in the Earth.
But the evidence of the destruction was fascinating to see first-hand. It was a reminder that things
would always be changing. It was not wise to be comfortable in life as we know it.
Going back to my family, was terrifying and exciting. I wanted to prove to them that I was more than just
the human who failed to shift. I was going to be their Queen, someone they could be proud of.
I had given up hope of our relationship mending when I chose to run away.
I had left them behind when I was taken by the king.
While the little voice in the back of my mind was quietly whispering that I didn’t need them, it was
largely overshadowed by the insecurities screaming that I wanted to see my dad smile at me again like
he had when I would learn something new. I wanted my mom to pull me into a hug and tell me
everything was alright like she did when I had a bad dream.
Only now, the monsters she had been chasing away from those nightmares… I was living with them,
making love to one of them, and would be ruling over them.
Killian’s warm hand settled on mine over my thigh as we approached the border, and I felt myself still,
not realizing I had begun to shake with anxiety. I looked over at the large beast crammed in the back of
the SUV with me.
I knew he hated it. He wanted to run free with the rest of his warriors. Instead, he sat with me, silently
holding my hand and being a supportive mate.
It wasn’t just my parents that I was anxious to see. I was also nervous to see Jake. Did Killian know
that we had been together? If he found out, would he kill him?
A part of me wanted him to be punished for cheating on me and treating me like shit at the end. But I
knew being stuck with my sister would be punishment enough.
My eyes widened as we drove through the pack land. My old pack mates lined the road in their fur, their
heads bowing in respect.
At least Jake had learned from his father’s mistake.
All of the familiar faces made my chest tighten as the memories of their bullying, abuse, and torment
washed through my mind. I looked over my shoulder, watching through the window as the pack sank
back into the woods once we had moved past them.
I knew they would be in a hurry to beat the vehicle back to the pack house. But when we pulled up, I
was stunned as the pack silently gathered back in their skins with their eyes cast down.
Whether it was Killian’s last visit here that put the fear of the Goddess into them, or Jake straightening
them out once he took control, I had never seen them so organized and respectful. The warriors that
had come with us surrounded the vehicles, and I remained seated as Killian’s hand stayed in mine.
“What are they doing?” I asked as quietly as I could, hoping no one outside of our car could hear me.
‘Ensuring the area is secure,” Killian muttered, his eyes scanning his surroundings.
“They didn’t do this the last time you were here,” I wondered aloud, figuring it was because of the
added threat of the vampires. ‘Last time you were not with me. You are precious to our people, and I
will not risk any harm coming your way.” His voice remained low and hard but the way they briefly
flickered back to me had my cheeks burning.
I knew he really meant that it was because I was human that I needed the extra protection. But his use
of the word precious had my stomach filling with butterflies.
“Stay here,” Killian insisted as his eyes turned black, signaling that someone was mind-linking him. My
eyes stayed locked on him as he strode around the front of the car with the confidence of a king,
stopping when he reached my door.
I sat up straight, lifting my chin just before he pulled open the metal barrier between us. His large hand
was out and waiting as he winked at me before loudly and indirectly asking for my hand, “My Queen.”
I felt my chest stop moving as I stared into his eyes. He was like a different person, one that seemed to
adore me and who I could see myself falling for quite easily. I could see the acceptance of us in his
eyes as I placed my hand in his, and he helped me from the car.
“My King,” I whispered back as I smiled up at him, temporarily forgetting about the people waiting
I didn’t want to humor the thought that he had only said it to throw my status in my old pack’s face. It
was a possibility, but I refused to believe that it was anything less than him accepting me in his life.
Movement out of the corner of my eye made me turn, and I watched as Jake approached cautiously.
“Your majesty,” He bowed before us with Haylee hot on his heels. He dipped his head before Killian,
waiting for an acknowledgment to stand back up.
“Alpha Jacob,” Killian nodded, forcing his eyes away from me and glaring down at my ex-boyfriend. “My
condolences for the loss of your pack members.”
I tore my eyes away from Jake, briefly meeting Haylee’s sneer of disgust before looking over the
crowd. Each face brought back different memories, but the two that I had been looking for were
nowhere to be found.
“If there is anything you need, please let me know,” Jake said as he dipped his head once again before
looking up at me. “It’s good to see you are doing well, Tilly.”
I refrained from flinching at the nickname, but the growl that left Killian made everyone jump. I was half-
expecting him to reach into Jake’s chest and rip his heart out right there.
“That is not her name. Show your future queen some respect!” Killian snarled as he took a step
Jake quickly submitted, muttering an apology.
The stubble on his chin looked patchy and unkempt, and the redness that covered the whites of his
eyes made him look terrible. But as bad as he looked, Haylee looked worse. Her clothes were wrinkled,
and her makeup appeared to be on her second or third day. I could see that she had been crying, and I
felt my stomach drop.
There was only one reason someone as selfish as her would be upset. She didn’t care about the rest of
the pack. She never had. But the faces missing among the pack now seemed more alarming than ever.
“Our men have their orders,” I said mindlessly as I continued to look over the pack to ensure I didn’t
miss them. “We wish to visit with my parents before we return.”
“Our apologies, your highness,” Haylee spit out. Grinding the title between her teeth as a low growl in
the back of her throat followed. Tobias took a step forward from where he stood several paces back
and Killian’s eyes flashed red. “But they have not invited you, nor are you wanted in their home at the
My tongue felt heavy as my eyes began to burn, but I kept my composure.
“You have forgotten your place. You may be a Luna for now, but she will always be your Queen. Now
move aside before I rip out your tongue for your insolence!” Killian threatened with a low and deep
growl, stepping forward and releasing my hand as his claw extended.
I knew he wanted to spill her blood. I could practically taste the desire for it radiating from him. From my
time watching him interact with others, I learned that Killian despised disrespect more than anything. If I
had to guess, the only thing holding him back was that she was my sister.
Haylee dipped her head, stepping back to be out of the way. I could see her clenching her jaw, but it
was the death grip Jake had on her wrist as we passed them that caught my attention. She jerked her
arm away from him, and I smirked as she subtly swatted his hand. It seemed Jake was having a hard
time controlling his Luna and teaching her how to act properly for her role. With my father being the
Beta, I had expected my parents to be present during our welcoming. Yet, as I approached my
childhood home, I felt in my gut that my fears were justified. Something was wrong. Something was
very, very wrong.
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