The Beast And The Blessed
One Hundred Five: Killian
I should have been over the gut-wrenching feeling that settled in my stomach whenever I approached
my family crypt where my father lay.
The more time that passed, the more secrets I learned about my parents. Every secret I learned about
them made me hate them a bit more.
Joselin stood before the doors to the crypt, holding my father’s crown in her hands. She had been
stalling on doing this, and I knew it would be hard for anyone, even her.
Disturbing one’s rest in the afterlife was frowned upon, not that she hadn’t done it before. But my father
Not only had he taken her in as family, but we already knew he was still wandering between realms. He
hadn’t made contact since before the war, and I was almost positive he had moved on. Yet, disturbing
his body could anger his spirit; if he was still here, that could mean trouble for her.
“I can do this if you would like, Joselin.” I offered, moving to stand at her side, our shoulders only
inches apart. “He’s my father.”
Joselin looked away from the building before us, her hands tightening around the crown. ’That won’t be
necessary. I need to reseal the vault anyway since someone was able to get it. It shouldn’t take long,
but if his spirit is angered, his wrath should not be targeted at you. You have more important things to
Only five steps led down into the crypt beneath the church where my family was buried, and we stood
at the top, surrounded by beautiful flower arrangements to honor our people’s fallen leaders. If only the
people knew just how awful the ones before me had actually been…
If they didn’t before, then after my mother’s speech on the battlefield, they probably were getting an
idea. My mother hadn’t been laid to rest here. After what she did, I refused to let her lay with the rest of
our blood. She was cremated and released into the wind so no one could ever find her remains.
“Do you want me to go in with you?’ I offered, curling my top lip in disgust at the idea of seeing my
father’s preserved body.
Joselin snorted as she smiled, but I could see the tension on her face. “I don’t need an escort.” “Then
what’s stopping you?” I raised my eyebrow at her, amused when her face turned pink with anger. I was
taunting her, and I knew getting her worked up was the only way to give her the push she needed to go
in there. Over time I learned that the easiest way to get Joselin to do something was to challenge her.
“Nothing!” She snapped like her usual headstrong and stubborn self. I watched, amused, as she
stormed down the steps and into the crypt. Joselin was in there only a few minutes before she came
racing out empty-handed like a demon was chasing after her. “There, it’s done.”
We were all scared of something. Joselin, in particular, hated being around corpses even though she
could cut any creature down faster than anyone I had ever seen. She was lethal, but she still had a
“Was that so hard?’ I joked, eyeing the goosebumps on her arms, the only sure sign that she had been
affected by going in there.
“You’re such an ass,” Joselin muttered as she stopped at my side, looking back at the castle. ’I don’t
know how Natalie puts up with you.’
I smiled at the thought of my mate. I didn’t know how she did it either. A woman that strong and
beautiful was bound for greatness no matter who the Goddess chose for them. I was proud that Natalie
had been tied to me instead of someone else. Before her, I never thought I could be loved the way she
loves me, nor did I think I could ever give my heart to anyone and walk away unscathed. “She doesn’t.
She’s stuck with me.”
Joselin laughed, bumping her shoulder into mine as we continued to face opposite directions. My eyes
were locked on my future, on the entrance to the crypt holding my parents ‘ bodies, which would one
day hold mine.
Hers was on our present, on the castle where our loved ones were.
“You were wrong,’ Joselin muttered, and I looked down at the little witch who had stuck by me for so
many years. She had been through her own hell. Our shitty childhoods helped us to form a connection,
and I wanted her to be happy even if I didn’t know how to talk to her about it. “When Natalie first
arrived, I told you to go for it and be happy, and you told me to do the same thing. I should have just
kept my feelings to myself. I made a move, and he wasn’t interested.”
My eyes widened in surprise as I turned and faced the castle with her.
Tobias always had his eye on her. I had never talked to him about that specific topic, but his feelings for
her were obvious since we all grew up together. His rejecting her was the last thing I expected.
“So, make another one. You’ve never been one to give up.”
Joselin shifted uncomfortably as I threw my arm over her shoulders supportively. She had also never
been one to need comfort, at least not from me. She used to go to Tobias, and I was glad about it. It
saved me from having to have uncomfortable conversations. But if he was the issue, maybe it was time
for me to step up… or encourage her to talk to Natalie.
“Trust me, I have made dozens at this point. I did everything except strip down and crawl into his bed to
get his attention. I may not act like it, Ian, but I do feel it. It hurts each time he turns away from me or
pulls back at my touch. At some point, I have to move on.”
I was stunned as she let the side of her head rest against my chest, and I tightened my hold on her.
“Sometimes it takes people a long time to accept the love they are offered.
It took me months to finally let myself care for and be cared for by Natalie.” “Yes,” Joselin agreed, but
she looked at me with a sad smile. ‘But it has been over a decade, Ian. I don’t think this situation is the
same. He doesn’t feel the same way, and it’s time to stop humiliating myself.” “I’m sure other men
would fall to your feet to get your attention if Tobias is too stubborn to grab a good thing when it’s
handed to him.” I offered, and she pulled away from me.
“Maybe. I’m sure I’ll find one eventually,” Joselin’s voice trailed off as my gorgeous mate came into view
with her guards, the devil himself in tow.
She was magnificent, and my eyes trailed over her body instinctively as she drew closer. Her toned
legs, wide hips, tapered waist, the swell of her breasts… She was perfection in every way. I couldn’t
wait to see her round with our children.
Joselin pulled away, throwing her hair over her shoulder as she stood up straight. Any sign of emotion
was gone, and for the first time, I saw the emptiness she displayed to be what it truly was. Loneliness.
She had been excited to bring Natalie here because she had wanted a friend. With Tobias, she had
wanted to love and be loved by someone.
I stared at her for a moment longer as Natalie approached. When I turned my gaze to my woman, she
was staring at Joselin with the same look. Curiosity and confusion. She knew something was wrong
too, and with any luck, my mate could help Joselin. ’Everything okay?” Natalie asked with concern as
she leaned up and kissed my cheek.
“Yes, my love. Everything is fine. We were just discussing the future.” My gaze darted past my mate to
land on her guard, seeing his eyes sweeping over Joselin like I had Natalie, confirming her well-being
and admiring her form.
“Hm,’ Natalie hummed distractedly, noticing the same thing I did before gesturing to the side with her
head. “It is time for the run with my father. Would you like to come?’
My arm looped around her waist, pulling her against my body as I leaned in and let my lips hover over
hers. “And you came all this way to ask me instead of linking me? What are you up to, my mate?”
Natalie threw her head back and laughed loudly as she lit up like the Goddess she was. “I knew you
were more likely to say yes if I came to ask you in person, and I really want you to go.”
I didn’t think I could have said no to her if I wanted to. After how long I spent resisting her and saying
no back then, I wouldn’t dream of ever saying no again. She could ask me for my heart, and I would
reach into my chest and rip it right out. It was hers anyway.
“Then, yes. Tobias, you are dismissed for the evening.
Tomorrow, I would like to discuss a rotation change with you.” He dipped his head, spared one last but
brief look at Joselin, and went on his way.
We didn’t need multiple guards on Natalie anymore. As long as she remained within the walls of our
well-guarded castle, I trusted that Natalie was safe on her own. She must take someone with her if she
ever left to go to the city or anywhere else. But she was strong, and I knew she could handle herself
once she felt more confident in her training.
“Oh, before you go, Joselin!’ Natalie called out, and my best friend turned on her heels to face my
mate. “Don’t worry, I won’t hug you against your will this time. I just wanted to thank you again for the
study. It means a lot to me.’
Joselin smiled back, laughing at avoiding a hug, and began to walk away as she yelled over her
shoulder. “It’s no problem. I’ll send you a bill for it later.”
Natalie curled into my chest, pressing a kiss over my heart before looking up at me. “I can’t wait to run
My chest swelled with pride as I picked her up to have her legs wrapped around me and took off toward
the forest, where I caught traces of Henry on the breeze. Natalie also seemed to smell him, dropping
her legs as we got closer.
He wasn’t alone, and I heard Natalie’s heart pick up when she saw her mother’s white wolf standing
next to the brown wolf that was her father. He licked the side of Aurora’s neck, making the woman
shiver in her white fur before she looked away and noticed us intruding on their moment.
Natalie cleared her throat with discomfort before going behind a tree to remove her clothes and shift. I
did the same, not bothering to preserve my clothes as they shredded around me.
It was fascinating to watch as Henry approached Natalie, and they began to sniff and bump their heads
against each other’s sides. The run was a good starting point in their relationship. I was glad my mate
was finally getting the family she always wanted. I just hoped one day soon, it would be us taking our
kids for a run.
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