The Beast And The Blessed
The grass was stained red.
Bodies were strewn across the yard as the dark clouds overhead opened up, letting down a sheet of
rain that limited visibility.
With each exhale, I could see my breath coming out in a thick fog, but I didn’t feel cold. My body was
burning hot as I sprinted down the front steps of the castle. My breathing was rapid and panicked as
my head twisted from side to side, trying to locate Killian.
He was out here. I could feel it, the anger and the pain coming from him.
He was out here, and he was hurt.
A large figure raced forward through the rain, and I squinted as I tried to see if he was a friend or foe.
But he was moving too fast, and the rain was too heavy. His broad shoulders were smaller than
Killian’s but were relatively close.
The dark hair made me think it was Tobias or perhaps Damien. But when he was finally close enough
for me to identify him, my body froze with fear. The pitch-black eyes were locked on me as he snarled
and lunged forward.
I lifted my arms to shield myself as the stranger crashed into my body, but instead of an impact, I felt a
sickly chill, and he passed right through me. The sound of a struggle made me turn, and I watched as
Heath fought the creature, i
My stomach turned at the sight of him. His skin was even paler than the vampires, and dark circles
were under his eyes. His cheeks were sunken in, and his skin was pulled tight to the little muscle he
But it was the open wound across his neck than made me queasy. I knew he was dead. Yet, he stood
before me as he fought to protect me.
“Run,” He choked out as he fell to his back, barely holding the vampire back as it snapped and clawed
at him.’ Run!”
My jaw dropped open as his hand slipped, and the vampire was able to sink its teeth into Heath’s neck.
The scream he let out seemed to follow me as I turned and ran further from the castle and deeper into
I stumbled as I caught my toe on something before regaining my footing and looking to the side to see
a hand. The tanned skin pulled at my heart, and my wide eyes followed it up with horror to its owner,
seeing the first man I had ever cared for lying on the ground. His eyes were open but lifeless, staring
“No, no, no,” I gasped. I glanced around as the rain began to lighten, seeing the piles of bodies
surrounding me. This wasn’t how it was supposed to go.
Another surge of pain ripped through me, and my hand flew to my side. I looked up and away from the
corpses. I would worry about the dead later. My mate was still alive, and he needed me.
A lone figure was standing to my right, swaying back and forth. I didn’t need to be able to see his face
to know that he was my mate.
I launched myself over the bodies, sprinting toward him as he stumbled to the side, falling to his knees.
“Killian!” I shouted as he clutched one arm across his body and against his ribs. His other dug into the
wet Earth as he held himself up. His uneven gasps for air sounded rough and painful. My hands
hovered over him as I fell to my knees, joining him in the mud, scared to touch him. “We need a
A quick scan of the courtyard only confirmed my worst fears. The few people standing were moving
toward the castle. Their black eyes passed over me as they smiled in victory when they saw Killian
fighting for his life.
Beyond the city wall, I could hear the terror the black-eyed demons unleashed on the people. The
screaming and growling were quickly cut off, leaving only the smell of smoke as the rain ceased.
Killian groaned, and I turned back to him, trying to focus my powers so I could help him. I wasn’t a
healer, but I could at least try to teleport us out of here like Joselin could. I just needed to get him to
“Natalie,” He cried between gritted teeth, and my stomach dropped when I realized he wasn’t looking at
me. His eyes were straight ahead, staring toward the castle that was being flooded by vampires.
I placed my hand on his back, trying to tell him I was here, but it went right through him. “Killian, I’m
going to get you to safety. I’m going to get you out of here!”
How could he not see me when Heath could?
“Natalie!” He shouted as he pulled up one knee, trying to push off it to stand. He tumbled forward a few
steps before crashing to the ground with a loud cry of pain.
I rushed to his side, trying to push my magic to him through our bond, my strength. But as he lay with
mud splattered over his face and his cheek against the ground, I knew he didn’t feel it.
A loud scream came from the castle, sending a chill down my spine and goosebumps across my skin.
It was familiar, heartbreaking, and full of horror.
It was mine.
Killian tried to push himself up once more but crashed back into the mud after rising only a few inches.
His gaze looked right past me as I watched him in horror. His eyes lost focus, and his body fell limp.
Killian’s breathing came out in short pants, and I laid down next to him as each breath seemed
shallower than the last.
“Killian, I’m here,” I said, placing my hand over his even though it fell right through. “I’m here.”
“Natalie.” The broken whisper was paired with blood spilling from his mouth. As much as I wanted to
close my eyes, I couldn’t.
I held mine on his even though he couldn’t see or feel me and continued to whisper, “I’m here. You’re
not alone. I’m not going anywhere.”
“Love, wake up.” Killian’s voice became stronger, and I blinked as the world around me faded, leaving
me in our dark bedroom. I was still lying on my side, with Killian’s face only inches away as he rubbed
his hand up and down my side. His large form made me feel small as my feet touched the top of his
He hadn’t shaven in several days, and the dark layer of scruff looked incredible on him. It added to his
mysterious and terrifying persona, which only sent a thrill through me.
“What were you dreaming about?” He asked as I continued to scan over his features, my fingers joining
in to memorize every part of him. I didn’t want to forget it for a moment or miss out on the opportunity to
enjoy time with him.
“Horrible things,” I murmured quietly, not wanting to disrupt the calmness of the room.
“Your heart is racing.” He responded, leaning forward to rub the side of his nose against mine.
It was incredible that the man who had been so opposed to having me here had turned into such a
loving and caring mate. I had expected to be locked away in a room to raise the children he forced
upon me while he spent his free time with his mistresses.
I had been so wrong about our life together, and I could not have been more grateful for what we had.
The thought of losing him and watching him die, even in my dream, made me feel like my world was
ending. I prayed to the Goddess that it was a dream, not a vision. But why would I be in my own
dream? I didn’t even want to know what had made me scream like that…that blood-curdling, soul-
“It was just a nightmare,” I whispered back, pushing myself forward to steal a kiss when his lips parted
to say something more. I didn’t want to remember how he had called and cried out for me, and I hadn’t
I had to think it had been a dream because I wouldn’t be hiding in the castle if our people were out
there fighting for their lives, especially if my mate was. Nothing could keep me from being at Killian’s
side as we battled our enemies together.
Killian pulled back, looking between my eyes as he cupped my cheek. “Do you want me to get you
some water? What do you need, my love?”
My fingers grabbed his wrist, and I pressed my cheek further into his large, calloused palm. “I just need
you. I just need to feel you.”
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