The Beast And The Blessed
The man grunted loudly as I gripped him by the neck, slamming his back against the truck of the large
pine tree. Before tonight, I had nothing against his kind. The bear shifters kept to themselves in the
forest. They didn’t bother building cities or living in them. They preferred to be in the wild. They had
cabins and huts. Some even lived in caves. 1
I wanted to scoff at that, but it was their choice.
Bears were known to be more instinctual and animalistic. They were also naturally more violent.
But tonight, I was ready to declare war against them if he caused any more delay in me getting back to
“Put him down!” Charlie screeched as she burst through the tree line, baring her teeth at me.
My head tilted to the side in my Lycan form as I watched her rush toward me. She stood at his side but
made no move to forcefully remove my claw from the man. She knew if she did, I would just rip his
throat out and be done with it.
But what pissed me off, even more, was that he didn’t fight back. I was itching for a fight. For every
second I was kept from my mate, I was getting more on edge.
“He attacked one of my men, Charlotte. You know the rules.” The snarl behind my words made her
eyes widen in fear, terrified for the fate of the man who carried her scent. Their intimacy was the only
thing holding me back from ending his life.
“It was self-defense.” His statement was void of emotion, but I could see the anger burning in his eyes.
He wasn’t submitting, but his animal was also not at the surface. He had an incredible amount of
control. It would take a strong shifter to contain their beast when their life was being threatened. ’ He
attacked me first as I was minding my own, turning in for the night.”
I narrowed my eyes as I scanned his face, but there was no sign of deceit. Blood was thick in the air,
and I smelled it as soon as I reached the edge of the city. My hand loosened from around his neck as I
held his stare.
“Charlie, get away from that beast. He is spouting nothing but lies and is a threat to our people.” The
familiar voice of one of my guards only reinforced my suspicion that the bear was speaking the truth.
Xander was bleeding far more than the man before me, and I knew without a doubt that his
involvement was not innocent.
Xander had been after my sister for years, determined to be the one to lock down the princess and get
all the benefits that come with the title. Only he seemed to be oblivious to the fact that she could not
stand him. Nor did he accept that I would rather kill him before letting him mate my little sister.
His whole family was on a fucking power trip. His father was a commander in my guard, one of my
head warriors. But he fucking earned it. He was allowed to demand respect from those below him
because they were below him. He had worked hard to become their commander, and even I respected
It was his son, Xander, and his daughter, Lindsey, who were always pushing for more power. I had
been stupid to ever let Lindsey into my bed, and I still needed to deal with her for her treatment of my
mate at Charlie’s welcome home ball.
But Xander was a spoilt man with a short temper and a cocky attitude. He had gone on a few dates
with Charlie, trying to hide what a despicable weasel he truly was, so he could attempt to worm his way
into her bed.
I was happy that he failed. It had been my goal to let Charlie make her own mistakes and learn for
herself. I knew she wouldn’t listen to me if I told her that she could not see him anymore. That would
have only pushed her closer to him. Instead, I let him court her, keeping a close eye on the man so I
could make sure to stop it before it went too far.
But she was smart, as smart as I had hoped, and she saw right through him, calling it off before
anything could happen.
If he had succeeded in marking her, I would have ripped his throat out, freeing my sister from the
poisonous man, but losing her in the process. Even if she didn’t die, she would have pulled away from
I was lucky she came home every now and then as it currently stands, but if I had killed her chosen
mate, it would have been the last time I saw her.
But I still would have done it.
He was stubborn, closed-minded, and fucking obnoxious. The pretentious prick. She deserved better
than him, and I would stand by that opinion for the rest of my life.
“Shut the fuck up!” Charlie snapped, taking a step forward but stopping when the bear pressed further
into my claw so he could reach her hand and keep her at his side. My gaze narrowed as their fingers
intertwined in an intimate hold.
I watched him further. His black eyes, a common trait among bear shifters, held no concern for his own
safety. He didn’t care that I still had the upper hand and could end him before he could blink. He didn’t
want Charlie to go near the man who he claimed just attacked him.
His action made me relax further, and I let my arm drop. Charlie looked at me suddenly as I took a step
back, surprise coloring her features.
“Get your hands off her!” Xander yelled, stepping forward but stopping when I turned to him, placing my
back to the bear and my sister.
‘Who are you to disobey an order from the Princess?” My eyes burned, and I heard the overlapping in
my voice of my beast and human, both present and angry.
The sound of a wolf barreling through the trees made Xander’s eyes widen, but I refused to turn and
look as I had already known who it was.
His father, Braxton, slid to a stop by his son, shifting back to his skin and dropping his head in
“Please, Your Majesty! Have mercy on him. He is just a young and ignorant boy!” Braxton begged,
knowing my intolerance for disobedience.
Xander stood up straighter, seeming to take offense to his father’s statement of being a stupid boy
even though he was an adult.
The memory of the last time someone begged for me to show mercy, brought my mind back to my
mate, and I grew angrier that I was not with her at the moment, knowing she was waiting for me.
“Your children have been overstepping lately, Braxton. Your daughter publically disrespected and
insulted my mate, and now your son has attacked one of my people without cause or orders to do so.”
The man glared over at his son who dipped his head but turned back to me quickly as I spoke again.
“Both need to be dealt with. I have shown mercy thus far because of your hard work and loyalty, Brax,
but this has gone on long enough.”
The man shook as he heard the threat in my words. “Please, don’t take my kids from me!”
I had known the man since I was a child myself. He was strong, loyal, and smart. He had earned my
mercy, but his children had not. His mate had died, and he fought tooth and nail not to give into the
darkness that came with the loss of his mate. It drove him harder during battle and made him an
But raising his children alone hadn’t been easy, and it was unfortunate to admit that his children had
turned into spoiled and ignorant assholes.
But he didn’t deserve to suffer. Not after how hard he fought to survive.
Not after how hard he worked for my father, for me, and for our people.
I jerked my head toward Xander, and several of my men moved in, grabbing his arms. He kicked and
struggled, trying to get free as he yelled.’ No! No! Get off of me!”
I quickly called out through the pack link to a few of my guards to collect Lindsey. I would deal with
them both right now and be done with it.
‘Take them to the dungeon. They can spend the next two weeks there.” My men nodded, dragging the
flailing and loud prisoner away as Braxton let out a sigh of relief. “This will be their only warning, Brax.
When they get out, you might want to have a talk with them because I won’t be so merciful in the
future. If your daughter approaches my mate again, I will cut her tongue out. If your son attacks another
under my rule without reason, I will be the one he will fight.”
I turned, eyeing the bear shifter who held my sister’s hand and had moved to stand a step forward as if
to shield her from an oncoming attack. Charlie’s eyes were expressive, begging for me to understand.
I didn’t But this was either one of those mistakes she needed to make for herself, or it was something
that the fates had in place for her. Either way, I would be keeping tabs on him.
I met his black eyes, my beast unusually calm as I nodded once before taking off through the trees to
get to my woman, my mate… my queen. Tonight she would be mine.
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