The Beast And The Blessed
She had wanted me, and I had pushed her away.
She was done waiting. I was out of time.
I knew with every beat of my heart and breath in my lungs that I wanted her to be mine. Everything
about her drew me in, called to me. She was the embodiment of seduction. But she was also funny,
intelligent, and loyal. Every time we spoke, all of my responsibilities vanished from my mind, and I just
wanted to spend all of my time with her.
Even Ana didn’t make me feel this way; that had been a hard pill to swallow. I had tried so hard to
protect her and to love her. But I had failed on both accounts. It was unnatural. It was against the will of
My beast felt the pull to Ana, but my mind had always been on Joselin. For that, I would never be able
to let Ana go. The guilt alone was too much for me.
I ripped open the door to my father’s house. The musty smell of the abandoned property made my
nose wrinkle in disgust. It had been so long since I had been here. I hated doing it. It always brought
back too many memories.
Yet, I also hadn’t built up the courage to fix the place, so I could sell it. It was mine now that my father
was gone, but the horrific memories inside made me want to burn the place down instead. I didn’t want
to have to go through and renovate it to hide the horrors of my past.
I was physically strong enough to do it, but I didn’t know if my mind could handle it. The easiest of the
issues would be the scratches on the inside of the door and walls of the closet in my childhood
The most difficult would be having to rip up the flooring and replace it to hide the blood stains on the
I had thought I could mentally prepare myself to move on and offer Joselin everything she could ever
want. It didn’t seem possible with the ghosts of my past still here. Maybe this was the closure I needed.
I had always hated this house. Every room was walled off from the others, making it darker than I’d like.
The closed off floor-plan was exactly what I had avoided when I purchased my current home.
We had a few things in common, Joselin and I. Our horrific upbringing was what we had bonded over
when I found her. Soon after, she became my best friend, my only escape. I had hoped for her to be my
future as well.
Then I found Ana, and it felt wrong to spend time with Joselin.
Now, Ana was gone, and the only thing stopping me was my guilt.
The only way to move on was to let go of Ana. She wasn’t here to forgive me anymore. I could beg and
plead to the Goddess until the words lost all meaning, and I had, but it made no difference.
I glanced down at the discolored wood.
Tomorrow. Tomorrow I will take care of it. Tomorrow I would get my closure so I could move on.
I walked to the front window, cracking it open to air out the house a little while I was gone before
locking it behind me and leaving.
It was for me. It was for Joselin. It didn’t matter if I felt I couldn’t do it yet; I couldn’t face those demons.
I had to do it.
If I didn’t, I would lose her forever.
I glanced back at the castle over the buildings, seeing her tower. She should be here with me, or I
should be there with her. Instead, I was alone, and she was alone. How would it feel to crawl into her
bed and wrap my arms around her while she was sleeping? Did she cuddle, or was she a mover,
always trying to find a comfortable position?
Was she sleeping right now or still working on her spell?
As soon as I got home, I flopped down on my bed. The horrors that awaited me were always the same,
one memory or another. I closed my eyes, threw my forearm over them, and drifted asleep within
seconds, not bothering to turn off the light.
I could hear him. His voice was low and deadly as he scolded her. Her sweet innocence could have
gotten her out of anything unless it was with him. He despised her kind. She was a disgrace to this
family. A human mate would dilute his perfect Lycan bloodline. He repeatedly reminded me of that
while trying to force me to reject our bond.
I thought she was beautiful.
I found her when I had first shifted at fourteen. We were lucky like that.
Regular wolves had to wait longer, but Lycans… Lycans were stronger and shifted as soon as their
beasts were ready. I had seen some of my pack mates undergo the change as early as nine. We could
find our mates at any time after that. It was one of the many reasons why we were superior to wolves.
Wolves didn’t find their mates until they were nineteen.
If the wolf hadn’t found their mate, they had to present themselves as a potential breeder for our kind.
The Offering is what we called it. It was how King Killian had found Queen Natalie.
I hated The Offering. Attending those and the mating mixers when I knew I had already found my mate
was torturous, but no one knew about Ana. After what happened, I wanted to keep it that way.
We had been on patrol to one of the human cities, checking in with our people to ensure everything
was running as it should have been. My father had me tag along, wanting me to start learning the ropes
as soon as I shifted.
She had been one of the maids cleaning the bunkhouse, working so young at only fifteen. As soon as I
walked into my room, I smelled her.
Ana probably thought her life was about to be better. She probably thought I would take her away to the
capital, and she would live with me among royalty. She never expected that having me as a mate
would mean she would have to deal with my father too.
He was furious.
I was already a disgrace to him, but it was even worse that I had been paired with her.
Yet, he brought her back with us anyway, claiming she was to be a maid in our household. No one
knew she was my mate at that time.
I should have known better.
She should have listened.
I told her I would help her run. I told her I would distract him so she could make a break for it. She
never did. She insisted that she wouldn’t leave without me.
He would never let me leave. He would rather see me dead than let me go, and we both knew it.
“You vile human. You can’t do anything right, can you? We should have rid the Earth of your kind ages
ago.” His growl of disgust made me flinch. I opened the front door, dropped the groceries to the floor,
and raced toward my mate. My beast roared in anger as I saw his fist colliding with her delicate body.
Ana cried in pain, her body smashing against the entryway wall as I reached her.
My father turned at my growl, snarling at me when I stood between him and his prey. He reeked of
liquor and moonflower oil, a potent combination to which he had grown a tolerance.
’Leave her alone.” I snarled, shifting into my Lycan as he watched with rage that I had dared to
’You are as weak as she is, boy! Know your place!” He snapped, gripping me by the neck with his claw
digging into my flesh as he shifted only his hand.
He was right. I had minimum training and hadn’t mastered control of my beast yet. He had decades of
training and experience on the battlefield. I was just a teenager…a kid.
’She is mine!” I argued when his hand tightened around my neck.
My father laughed mockingly before his other fist flew and crashed into my face. I didn’t have a chance
to make a plan of attack. Hit after hit, my father launched a full strike at me, avoiding my snapping jaw
and claws swiping at him.
I let out a groan of pain as black dots danced in my vision, stumbling backward as he tackled me down.
The back of my head hit the floor, but I could still hear Ana crying and begging my father to stop.
Run, Ana. Please.
Only we had been too young to mate, and she couldn’t hear me.
Each hit took more out of me than the last, and while I could feel my body trying to heal, he was
attacking too quickly.
’Stop it!” She yelled as my father slashed his claws down my chest, splitting the skin open as he had
done countless times before. It was his way of teaching me a lesson. I knew he did it on my front
because he wanted me to see the potential scars.
That would have been the end of it, of my punishment. He would have sliced open my chest with his
claws and locked me in my closet until I learned my lesson.
But she had to anger him more by jumping on his back.
My father shook her off, spinning around with his knee on my chest, and grabbed her by the throat.
“I’ve been trying to decide what to do with you. But you just made it very easy. You’re weak, and I won’t
have you tainting my legacy.”
I clawed at his thigh, trying to blink away the blood that had run into my eyes. The world spun around
me, and I couldn’t breathe with his body weight pressing on my chest. I felt myself growing weaker and
weaker with every passing second.
It happened a second before I heard it. The first of my ribs broke. Then the second.
It wasn’t the first time he had broken bones, and it wouldn’t be the last.
Ribs were the easiest to hide. I had dealt with them several times before.
Ana was sobbing from above me as I struggled to get free. Then she let out a scream. One that would
haunt me for the rest of my life before she fell silent.
My body went limp. My fight and will to survive left my body, and I gasped for air as my father stood up,
freeing me from his hold. I was too young to understand the pain I was in. It was far greater than
anything I had ever felt from his abuse. There was a distinct ache in my body as I felt part of my soul
Warmth covered my arm and side as I lay there, staring at the ceiling, begging the Goddess to show
Ana’s smell grew stronger as I regained control of some of my body and forced myself up even though
I wasn’t ready to move just then. My body hadn’t had enough time to heal, but that didn’t mean I
couldn’t shield her from the sadistic monster that had raised me.
I couldn’t understand what I saw for a moment and laid my broken torso over Ana’s, wanting to protect
her, even if I was too weak to fight. It was only after I heard my father laughing that my mind caught up
with the reality of the situation.
Her beautiful heartbeat was no more, and her empty eyes stared back at me as I pushed myself up to
look at her.
Her throat had been ripped from her body, and all of her blood was pouring from the wound.
’No,” I whispered, placing my hand over her neck, trying to help her as the blood leaked between my
My father’s sadistic laugh made my hackles rise. I released my mate, turning to my father, who stood
over me with a broad smile. “You killed my mate, and now I’ve killed yours. Beautiful, isn’t it?”
The look in his eyes as he glanced down at my mate was half-crazed, and I saw red.
’I’m going to kill you,” I growled, stumbling toward him. “I’m going to kill you.”
I launched into his midsection, my teeth digging into his side as we flew through the air and landed on
the living room floor. I felt his claws ripping into the skin on my back, but I only held on harder, pulling
and tearing at the skin until it gave way.
He snarled at me, his body shifting into his Lycan and latching his jaw around my shoulder. But not
even the Goddess could have stopped me as I slashed and bit my father in a mad frenzy. I had no
control over myself as I let the years of abuse and the murder of my mate fuel me.
Piece by piece, I tore him apart, unable to control my actions or thoughts. I just needed his blood. My
beast had taken control, and I enjoyed it as I tore into my father until he lay limp beneath me.
I stepped back, shifting back to my skin as my beast gave me back control. He was the only family I
had left. Yet, as I stared down at him and watched as he choked on his blood, I held no remorse for
“You’re a sorry excuse of a father. I won’t be surprised if the Goddess turns you away. You’re weak.” I
spat through a growl as he turned his head and let the blood pour from his mouth. “I should have killed
you a long time ago. You deserve this.”
He smiled widely, his teeth covered in blood as he took a pained breath. ’ I’m proud of you, boy. You
sound just like your father.”
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