🐺💣🔪 #MY_BLACK_KNIGHT 🔪💣🐺
🔑🔑 #phase 1
As Produced By Sheriff Squinty
Theme: Rain Of Secrets (2)
Sub Theme : There’s More Than Meets The Eye
My Wolf and I were stunned speechless for several long seconds. The idea of those filthy bloodsucking vampires, strolling about in the daylight and feeding upon anyone they wanted, was horrifying. Knowing that my Fate-given Mate was the key to the vampires’ salvation, so to speak, was even worse. Had Gabriel lived his entire life knowing? Had he spent his years as Alpha waiting for the day that the vampires would knock on his front door?
I just couldn’t believe he had Angelic blood in his veins. I had known that Gabriel buried many secrets deep inside but never could I have expected something like this.
Raziel was watching me with that unsettling gaze of his, but I turned away from him and faced my Mate instead.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” I finally asked, my voice barely above a whisper. I had been at his house for weeks, I had asked him multiple times why the vampires wanted him, and he had never come out and said it. It was a huge secret to keep, but as his Mate, I was supposed to help him shoulder the burden.
At first I had pushed him away, but once I
Gabriel’s eyes found mine, flickering with a multitude of emotions. “How could I just come out and say something like that?” He replied, his voice thick. For some reason, I felt like there was something more he wanted to say, something he was keeping suppressed.
“Is this why you keep pushing me away? Why you thought you weren’t supposed to have a Mate?” I was speaking as if Raziel wasn’t standing right there, as I was too absorbed in my thoughts to feel embarrassed at my vulnerability.
Gabriel’s face contorted, and to my shock he turned away from me, refusing to reply.
I blinked at him in disbelief. Was he seriously refusing to answer yet another question, even after I had just learned his deepest secret?
“You’re not going to answer that?” I snapped, my whirlwind of emotions threatening to overwhelm me. He remained silent, to my frustration.
“You reveal something like that about yourself and then refuse to explain how it relates to us as Mates?” I clenched my fists, unable to prevent my rising anger.
Gabriel turned halfway to glance at me. “Skylar….”
“No…don’t do that. Don’t use that patronizing tone!” I
Gabriel glanced over at Raziel, and to my surprise his look was almost pleading as he locked gazes with his grandfather.
Raziel sighed, looking resigned as he walked over to me. He gently planted his hand on my forearm. His touch was almost soothing instead of disarming.
I attempted to take a deep breath, forcing down my anger. If Gabriel wouldn’t tell me things, maybe I could get them out of Raziel.
“Okay,” I replied shortly. Raziel grinned that brilliant, disarming smile of his before leading me towards the back of the house. I glanced over my shoulder to see Gabriel sinking back down onto the couch, placing his head in his hands. My Wolf suddenly itched to comfort him but I held her back. He was not getting that sort of treatment until he stopped hiding things from me. Part of me knew I was being a bit unfair and demanding, but I had waited long enough. I had handled the Angel thing without fainting; how much worse could it get?
Lost in thought, I barely registered the grandeur of the rest of Raziel’s house as he led me to the back door. When he opened the door, though, I stared in awe at the massive garden stretching out behind his house. It was indeed lovely, as he’d put it. Flowers of all shapes and sizes bloomed on either side of us as we began to walk down a well-kept path that led through the middle of the garden. There were vibrant splashes of color everywhere I looked, and I marveled at the effort it must have taken to maintain something like this. Raziel did not speak as we continued down the path and I examined the vast variety of plants around us. The sweet aroma of honeysuckle wafted through the air. I didn’t know a lot about flowers, but I was pretty sure most of them weren’t native to the area. Raziel must have had a lot of time to cultivate his gardening ability.
We turned a sharp corner and my eyes fell upon a large gurgling fountain. A circular space had been cleared around the fountain and there were small park benches on either side. The architecture itself was impressive; the fountain looked very old, like the rest of the items in Raziel’s possession. He led me to one of the quaint benches, indicating that I should sit down. Raziel himself remained standing, taking a few steps closer to the fountain, seemingly lost in thought. I couldn’t help but admire his profile as he stood there. Raziel really did have elegant, regal features that suited his Angelic bloodline. I recognized some of them in Gabriel, too, although Gabriel had his father’s coloring. I felt slightly intimidated sitting there, alone with a Holy being that was probably older than anything on the planet.
“Your garden is beautiful,” I finally said, wanting to break the silence. I wondered if Raziel had brought me out here to tell me anything in particular.
“Thank you.” He turned to face me, studying me with a contemplative expression. I tried not to shrink away from his penetrating eyes.
“You have to forgive Gabriel,” he said after a long pause. “I know he can be….difficult to talk to sometimes. He’s one of the most stubborn creatures I’ve ever met.” Raziel sighed, turning his eyes back to the fountain. “But he handled this whole…situation the best way he knew how.”
“I just wish he would’ve told me sooner. I’m his Mate, even though he likes to pretend otherwise.”
“He doesn’t LIKE to pretend otherwise,” Raziel contradicted me softly. “If it were up to him, he would accept you in an instant. He cares very deeply for you.”
I felt my face heating up at the intensity in Raziel’s words. “He doesn’t exactly show it,” I muttered, embarrassed.
“Trust me, I’ve been around long enough to read emotions. Gabriel has already grown attached to you. To him, you’re practically a miracle. He never thought he’d find his Mate, or that he even had a Mate at all.”
My eyes widened as I remembered some things Gabriel had said, similar to Raziel’s words. “Why?” I asked, puzzled. “I mean, he has werewolf blood. All wolves have Mates.”
Raziel sighed and sat down beside me, leaning against the back of the park bench. “I will tell you this: I know you think Gabriel is cold, distant, and heartless. I’ve checked in on him over the years and observed him. I know he has treated outsiders less than favorably.”
“His pack killed some members of my pack for minor territory infringement. They took away almost half of our land. Before I met him, I hated him.”
“As an outsider, I could understand why you felt that way. But from what I know of him, in Gabriel’s mind it is all just…survival. His pack is bigger than yours and needs more land. They are stronger, so to him it is survival of the fittest. If you have more land than you can use, the Black Mountains Pack is going to take it for themselves. It is a selfish way of thinking, but they didn’t always live so comfortably. When Gabriel was younger they relocated a lot. Many wolves in their pack died from starvation and rogues. Gabriel was hardened at a very young age. Now, he will do anything for his pack members. He couldn’t care less about outside packs.”
As Produced By Sheriff Squinty
I sat there, absorbing all of this, trying to understand. My Pack did have an incredible amount of land and we’d always lived comfortably. That didn’t excuse Gabriel’s actions, but it did shed more light on the situation. I remembered what my father had said before I’d found out Gabriel was my Mate; he had called Gabriel a visionary to the Black Mountains Pack. I couldn’t forgive Gabriel for the pain he had caused us, but in his position, many Alphas might have done the same.
“There’s something else you must know,” Raziel continued after a moment. “Gabriel seems uncaring, and I know he often doesn’t treat you the way a Mate should. He does have reasons for this that he can discuss with you himself, but before you ask him you have to realize what his childhood was like. Gabriel’s father, David, was heartless, relentless, and cruel. He fought to expand the Black Mountains Pack’s borders at any cost, and most of your pack’s issues with them occurred while he was Alpha. For David, though, it was different. He didn’t care for the welfare of his pack like Gabriel does, he only cared about power.”
I noticed that Raziel’s expression had darkened considerably. He clearly was not a fan of Gabriel’s father…then again, neither was I.
“He extended this sort of behavior to his son after Gabriel’s mother died.” I blinked in surprise, curious about her. I’d figured she was out of the picture because she had passed away, but Gabriel had never talked about her. She was half-Angel, according to Raziel, so I was burning with curiosity. For now, I held down my questions until Raziel finished his train of thought.
“David was very cruel to Gabriel. He pushed him but never rewarded him for his efforts. He was often physically abusive, but most of his lingering effects are on Gabriel’s mind. David caused a lot of emotional damage. He never loved his son because of his Angelic blood, and David drove it into Gabriel’s mind relentlessly that he would never have a Mate because of his lineage. He began telling Gabriel this even when he was but a child.”
Raziel’s tone was bitter and there was vivid sadness in his expression. I could only sit there, staring up at him in horror. I had known that Gabriel’s father was not a good person, but I never would have thought he could’ve been so horrible to his own son. Why would he tell his son that he was doomed to live life without a Mate? Every werewolf dreamed of finding their Mate one day, it was something to look forward to. It was every werewolf’s source of happiness. To take that away from one so young was despicable.
I looked down at my hands, intertwined in my lap. Gabriel knew that he had Angelic blood, that he was different. Coupled with his father’s words, it was no wonder he had been surprised that I existed. I felt a surge of sympathy for my Mate.
Still, I was confused about one thing. If Gabriel had seen me as such a miracle, why had he put forth every effort to drive me away?
“Why did David hate Gabriel’s Angelic bloodline?” I asked, deciding to leave the more personal question for later. I also wanted to know what had happened to Gabriel’s mother, but worried that would be too sensitive of a subject with Raziel. How could I approach such a thing?
Raziel’s mouth tightened into a hard line, his eyes becoming guarded. For some reason I felt like I had trespassed on a taboo subject.
“That’s not something I should tell you,” he replied carefully. Apparently I wasn’t getting all the answers I wanted. I sighed, slightly frustrated. A few things just weren’t adding up. I knew that Gabriel’s father had died a few years ago; rumors said he’d been attacked by rogues. Gabriel’s mother had never really been mentioned. Plus, there was the one picture I had seen of the beautiful woman, where she had looked strangely withdrawn standing next to her family.
Something was definitely off.
A few minutes passed in silence. I idly watched the bubbling fountain, enjoying the fragrant smell of the gardens and the chirping birds overhead. The sun was beginning to climb in the sky, reflecting off the clear water. If I lived here, this would be a wonderful place to come and think.
Hall Of Supernatural Stories
“Ready to go back?” Raziel said after a while. “I know Gabriel doesn’t want to be here too long. You have a lengthy drive ahead of you.”
I nodded in confirmation, following his lead as he headed back to the house. Questions clouded the forefront of my mind, along with an unsettling mix of emotions after hearing so much about Gabriel’s past. It was no wonder he never talked about his father. My parents had always been loyal, protective, and kind. I couldn’t fathom how any parent, especially an Alpha, could be cruel to their own child.
When we re-entered the sitting room, I was surprised to see Gabriel standing upright, staring at us. He had an intense, agitated look on his face, and everything about him was tense. His arms were folded in front of his broad chest. When I walked in after Raziel, Gabriel’s eyes met mine and he gazed at me for several long seconds. I couldn’t fathom his expression. He seemed to be searching for something. I shifted under his dark scrutiny, and after a moment I saw resignation, clear as day, enter his eyes.
“I want to see her,” he said shortly, shifting his attention to Raziel. I frowned.
Now Raziel was the one that seemed uncomfortable. “Gabriel…”
“I want to see her. When we spoke all those years ago, you told me you had her. I have the right to see her.” His jaw was clenched, every muscle on edge. I had absolutely no clue who they were talking about. My Wolf was equally confused.
Raziel sighed, lowering his head. “As you wish.” His eyes met mine. “What about Skylar?”
Gabriel looked reluctant as he spoke. “She knows everything else now. She might as well come along.”
I perked up in surprise at that, hardly able to believe he was going to let me in on something. Judging by the mood of the two men, though, it wasn’t the most positive subject.
Raziel eyed him for a long moment, as if sizing up his intentions, before he nodded. “Very well, come along. Only if you’re sure, Gabriel.”
“I’m sure,” he spoke coolly, although I got the impression my Mate was trying to mask any emotions.
We exited out of the back door again, although this time we took a sharp right in front of the garden and followed a different pathway. We traveled to the edge of the garden before exiting into the open, revealing the entirety of Raziel’s green, well-manicured lawn. I spotted a thick fringe of trees in the distance, to which we seemed to be heading. Gabriel walked just behind me but he seemed distracted and remained silent as we trudged along. The pathway had ended and I felt guilty treading on such beautiful grass. It reminded me of a much larger version of one of my human friend’s lawns; humans always seemed so intent on keeping their plot of land nice and tidy.
After several minutes we entered the trees, the forest floor dappled, after a fairly long walk, my wolf whined softly in the back of my mind as we emerged from a particularly thick clump of trees.
Before us stood a large, marble structure, finely crafted and imposing. It looked to be about eight feet tall and was the size of a small room. The marble was pure and looked relatively unscathed save for the words carved on the side of the building. They were in a language I did not recognize. In front of us was a large door, and I felt my unease increase tenfold as we approached. I had never seen one of these before, but I knew what it was.
It was the type of tomb rich humans buried their dead in, so I had never been in front of one, but I’d read about them. I stopped in place, looking up at the building. Who was buried here? Even more importantly, why were we here? I felt my skin prickle as my mind began to work overtime. My Wolf did not like this place, as it was unnatural for werewolves to be around something like this. We did not bury our dead in mausoleums.
“Here,” Raziel said, indicating we stop. His face was drawn, his expression taut. Raziel looked like he was trying to reign in some strong emotions.
I focused on my Mate. His face looked like it could have been carved out of the marble before us, so tense was his expression. Slowly, he took a step forward to the door. My Wolf did not want us to get any closer to the strange burial site but I ignored her. Gabriel had said we could come and I desperately wanted him to reveal what he was hiding.
With one motion he grabbed the handle on the door and heaved it open. It made a loud grating noise as the mausoleum’s depths were revealed. Straightening his shoulders, Gabriel stepped in first. Swallowing my fear I followed, Raziel close behind me. My werewolf eyes quickly adjusted to the darkness gathered inside the building. Above us was a very small hole, placed strategically so a narrow beam of light filtered into the room and fell upon the coffin in the center. I heard Raziel pull something out of his pocket behind us and he quickly lit a match, using it to ignite a nearby torch. Although the door was still partially ajar, the torch did a lot more to illuminate the darkest corners of the mausoleum.
Inside was a long, flat table, on top of which rested a coffin. The coffin itself was intricately carved and ornately detailed; it looked as if a lot of effort had gone into its making. However, the craftsmanship wasn’t what caught my eye. What startled me was the fact that the coffin had no lid, nothing encasing the corpse inside, and it was completely exposed to our view.
I couldn’t prevent the small gasp from escaping my mouth as I saw the figure within. Dark hair cascading around her shoulders, regal features, pale face completely peaceful in death. She was beautiful and perfectly preserved, decomposition not affecting her in the slightest.
It was Gabriel’s mother.
I heard Gabriel’s sharp intake of breath as he hesitantly placed a hand on the coffin. Raziel, too stepped forward, his eyes burning with intensity of emotion. For some reason I almost felt as if I was intruding, as if I should back out and head back into the forest.
My eyes were wide with shock as I stared at her. Gabriel gazed down on his mother’s still face, a multitude of emotions flickering across his features in mere seconds. I felt a sense of loss swell powerfully in my chest, and I put a hand to my heart in confusion before I realized the feelings were not mine. I was feeling an echo of Gabriel’s pain across our growing link, much as he had felt flashes of my pain before. I stared at him, taken aback by the intensity of his feeling and how well he was managing it. He could conceal his overpowering emotions better than anyone I had ever met.
Gabriel took a step back from the coffin and instantly I felt the pain diminish as he tossed me a dark glance, clearly trying to recover.
“This is my mother,” he said, his voice completely devoid of feeling.
I already knew that, as I had snooped in his room, but instead I just nodded. What was I supposed to say?
He stared at me for a moment before turning back to her form. Raziel was looking down at her with pain etched in his features, and I remembered with a jolt that she was his daughter.
“How is she still….” Gabriel began, indicating her still healthy-looking flesh.
“She isn’t completely dead,” Raziel replied.
I put my hands to my mouth to prevent any sound from escaping. If she wasn’t dead, why was she in a mausoleum?
Gabriel was clearly wondering the same thing as he glared at his grandfather in complete disbelief. “What?”
“She might as well be, though,” Raziel continued, infinite sadness in his eyes.
“What the hell are you talking about?” Gabriel snapped, clearly not liking being left out of the loop.
#The story continues from the next Happen