The Beast And The Blessed
The sun seemed brighter, and I let my hand run across the stained glass design as I left Killian’s empty
office. I was disappointed that he wasn’t there when I tried to stop by for a quick hello…and other
But I was too happy to let it bother me. His mark on my neck made me feel like I could do anything in
I also knew that I couldn’t steal all of his time. He did have work he needed to do, especially with the
additional stress of the council heading this way.
“Natalie, my favorite sister! I need backup. I need you to talk to your mate!” Charlie exclaimed as she
walked down the hallway toward me, disrupting my daydream as I stared at the glass mural.
She looked infuriatingly beautiful for a woman who Killian had informed me was sleeping in the woods
with a bear. Her steps were light and quiet as she stopped in front of me, the anger melting away from
her face as her eyes landed on my neck.
Her emerald eyes widened as she glanced up at my face and then down to my neck once more.
“Holy Hell! That fucking hypocrite!” She pressed her lips together before looking up and down the
hallway to make sure no one heard her. Tobias groaned in annoyance as Charlie grabbed my hand and
pulled me down the hall and toward a room I hadn’t entered before.
I knew he was hoping I would go check on Joselin again since Killian wasn’t available. He was on edge
lately and the only time I had seen him relax was when he was near her.
It was a grand room, similar in layout to my room, but was designed specifically for a princess. While
Killian had a mature beige color palette in his sitting room, Charlie’s was decorated with two bright blue
couches facing each other and a modern black coffee table between them. The crdme-colored throw
pillows paired with it nicely.
I found it fascinating when I sat on the couch and glanced over her shoulder to her bedroom. The
untouched bed and spotless room let me know that she had indeed spent the evening in the woods
instead of here. My heart hurt for her knowing that she cared that much about the bear shifter and that
Killian disapproved of the man that she was willing to sleep in the dirt for.
“This explains all the chaos downstairs. I almost thought I forgot Killian’s birthday!” She stopped in front
of the couch, and I sat down as she
released my wrist. Her fingers moved up to tap against her mouth as she began to pace.
She nodded absentmindedly. “Yeah. They have been prepared for your coronation since you got here,
just waiting for your marking. This was perfect timing really. The full moon is in two days, and they will
do it then. I just can’t believe Killian would be so selfish!”
I narrowed my eyes at her, not appreciating the negative tone she had toward my mate when he had
done nothing unjustly… yet. It seemed pretty obvious that if the bear did anything to provoke Killian that
he would snap.
“I don’t seem to have the full story. Why don’t you tell me what it is I need to talk to my mate about?” I
leaned forward, kicking off my shoes before pulling my legs up on the couch. She looked ready to
launch into a fit of rage or burst into tears. I hadn’t decided which one, and I was almost certain that
she hadn’t either.
“About Damien! Killian basically called him a coward and me a whore in front of so many people!” She
raised her hands into the air in frustration as she yelled before tilting her head from side to side as she
contemplated her words. “Okay, so maybe not a whore, but he compared me to a mistress, which is
just as bad!”
I sat up straighter in surprise at her confession. I know it wouldn’t be unusual for Killian to call the bear
hiding in the woods a coward, but to speak so disparagingly toward his sister seemed out of character.
“I’m sure he didn’t mean it that way. He was really stressed yesterday.”
Charlie laughed sarcastically as she glanced back at me with a knowing look. “Oh, I’m sure he was. If
that stubborn ass, of all people, gets to be with his mate, then I should get to be with mine. I have
enough working against me without adding Killian to the mix.”
Charlie walked over, slumping into the couch next to me with her eyes closed and her head back as
she ran her hands over her face.
The revelation shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did. I knew mates could be other species. Hell, I
wasn’t a Lycan, but Killian was still mine. But I never thought a female Lycan would be mated to a bear
shifter. “I didn’t realize that he’s your mate. Does Killian know that?”
Charlie shrugged as she let out a long sigh. “I don’t know, but it took me long enough to even convince
Damien to give me a chance. I don’t need Killian pushing him away.”
I nodded in understanding. Killian could be a hard nut to crack, but he was worth it. Having him in my
life has made me the happiest I have ever been. Of course, Damien wouldn’t be sleeping with Killian
like I was…
“I think if you tell Killian that you are mates, he would be a bit more understanding. But you also need to
see it from his point of view. Your brother wants what is best for you. He wants to know that the person
you are with is going to treat you well and not like…” I bit my tongue, watching her face fall as her eyes
filled with understanding.
“Not like how my parents treated each other,” The despair in her voice made me feel guilty for bringing
it up, but I hoped she would understand that I wasn’t intentionally trying to bring up a bad memory to
“Look, Killian told me that your mate will be coming to dinner tonight,” I smiled with her as she lit up at
me referring to Damien as her mate. “Let them get to know each other. You know Killian the best. You
know that it takes a while for him to warm up to people.”
I knew from my conversation with Killian this morning while we got dressed for the day that he was
offended that the man sleeping with his sister hadn’t even introduced himself. Worse than that, he
hadn’t even stepped foot inside Killian’s city to be a part of Charlie’s welcome home celebration. That
set off all kinds of red flags for Killian.
He felt Charlie deserved better, and maybe she did. But we weren’t in any position to make that call.
This was her life and her mate.
It took a lot of convincing and a quick round of sex for Killian to get back to his good mood. He loved
that his mark was on my neck and made a point of kissing, licking, and sucking on it, every chance he
“I know! But Damien wasn’t raised the way we were. The bear shifters can’t feel the mate bond. It took
me weeks once I found him to get him to even interact with me. Then another few months for him to
give me a chance. This is just a lot for him. He wasn’t expecting a Lycan mate, and his sleuth wants
nothing to do with me. He doesn’t mind it as he likes being alone, but him being here at all was a huge
deal to them. Look, all I’m asking is for you to convince him to give Damien a chance, please.”
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