🐺💣🔪 #MY_BLACK_KNIGHT 🔪💣🐺
😥😭 Happen 32 (E)
As Produced By Sheriff Squinty
Sub Theme : And He Ripped Out Her Heart
Never had a day felt so long.
I hadn’t even debated ignoring the note. At this point, I had seen enough of Cain’s ruthlessness to know he would kill Anne in a heartbeat and leave her there for us to find. If she died, it would be all my fault. If it were anyone else besides Cain I might think they were bluffing, but I knew it would be just as easy for Cain to kill off the pack members one by one until I gave in. I wasn’t going to let any more blood be spilled if I could help it. It didn’t matter that Anne and I had never gotten along; she was my pack member, and she had a Mate out there waiting to meet her one day. She had a father, a mother, and a little brother that loved her. It wasn’t her time to die.
With my rosary to protect me, I would have to trust Raziel’s words that the vampires couldn’t touch me. I knew that I was putting myself in danger, and that Gabriel wouldn’t like it. But Riley was dead, Maria had almost died, and my father was in a coma. I couldn’t take much more. I needed to know what the Hell Cain wanted from me, and I wasn’t going to put my entire pack’s safety at risk because of cowardice. Perhaps I was being reckless, but I didn’t care. I was out of options.
So, I acted like nothing was on my mind besides my father’s health to fool my mother, sitting by his bedside and staring into space as darkness slowly arrived. The rest of the pack was in such a state of panic because of Anne’s disappearance that I knew they’d scarcely notice if I slipped away. I simply told my mother that I was going outside to ‘clear my head’ before it got too dark. In her dreary state, she just nodded, barely registering what I said.
I still felt strange, the blood burning through my veins, as if I were coming down with some sort of rare disease, but I could only attribute it to the stress of the situation. My nerve endings felt frayed but they would keep me alert. I had to be on my guard when meeting Cain.
The patrols and searches for Anne were easier to avoid than I thought. Because it was getting dark, Alpha Brett would not allow smaller search groups to rove the land so the parties were more spread out. I found an area of the woods where my packmates’ scent was fresh so they would not be searching there again anytime soon, and from there I headed north. I walked in a stream for a brief spell as to mask my scent better. My Wolf itched to be free, as she was feeling the same feverish tension I was, but I ignored her. I would meet Cain face-to-face.
The forest grew steadily quieter as I continued, the animals likely scurrying far away from the menace that was lurking nearby. It was fully dark now, the thin moonlight doing little to illuminate the forest floor. Leaves crackled and crunched under my feet as I crossed another stream. I hoped my innate sense of direction was guiding me true.
Not too long after dark, the hairs on my neck stood on end and I knew I was getting close. The forest was deathly still now. The crunching leaves underneath my bare feet seemed disconcertingly loud amidst the silence. I felt a spike of nervousness but attempted to quell it, feeling my rosary warm against my skin and hoping it would be enough to dispel Cain’s evil.
It was not Cain’s scent I caught first; it was Anne’s. I emerged into a clearing to see three figures standing there, bathed in moonlight. Anne was there, bloody and bruised, silver loosely wrapped around her thin torso as a vampire with scraggly hair stood behind her and held her in place. She was slumped, blonde hair falling forward to obscure her features.
My eyes immediately flicked to the vampire I knew must be Cain. He was tall and imposing, his features just as Maria described them. His unnatural eyes burned with such maliciousness I almost took a step back. My Wolf could recognize the aura of pure evil that he emitted, and I tried not to visibly shudder. A lazy smirk made its way across his features as he took me in.
“And here I was, thinking you’d be a no-show,” he drawled lazily.
“What do you want?” was my short response.
“In such a hurry…don’t you want to get to know me first?” The smirk grew. “I’ll have you know, Skylar, that letter took a while to write.”
I did not like his arrogance, the way he was treating this all like a game. My name sounded like poison coming from his lips. I heard the vampire holding Anne snicker cruelly. “Enough playing around,” I snapped, trying to be brave despite my inner turmoil. “Why did you want to meet me here?”
“Call it…scientific curiosity,” Cain said, eyes glinting, echoing the words from the letter.
I stared at him, perplexed, completely unsure where he was going with this.
“Tell me, Skylar….how have you been feeling since your father’s accident?”
I couldn’t prevent the snarl that escaped my chest. “Don’t you dare talk about him,” I snapped furiously.
The vampire cocked his head, raising an eyebrow. “You really don’t know what I’m talking about, do you?”
I only stared at him mutinously, refusing to partake in his game of his.
Cain shook his head slowly. “It must be much more deeply buried than I originally thought…I suppose the blood will have to do for now.” He almost seemed to be talking to himself.
Now I made no attempt to hide my bewilderment. “What are you talking about? What is deeply buried?”
Caine made a tsk-ing noise in his throat. “Now, now, don’t be hasty. If you don’t already know, I’ll have to let you figure it out by yourself.”
“Figure WHAT out?” I was about at the end of my patience. It didn’t escape my notice that Anne had shifted position, whimpering in pain. I didn’t even want to know what they had done to her.
Caine took a step closer, and I had to fight not to move backward.
He closed his eyes and inhaled deeply. “Yes, it definitely is different. There’s an edge to it.” He opened his eyes and his lips curled in a sneer. “Although other than that, you dogs all have blood that smells the same. Disgusting.”
I ignored the insult. So he was talking about my blood, then. My eyebrows furrowed; did this have anything to do with the odd way I’d been feeling all day?
“I was hoping that, with your father’s….predicament, it would have emerged. Seems I’ll have to wait.” Before I could put all the pieces together, Cain moved on, his eyes taking on a hungry edge as he examined me. “Or, I could just take you with me. See if I can beat it out of you.” He grinned, and I noticed with a stab of horror that his canines had slightly elongated.
I did not prevent the growl from emerging from my chest. “There’s no way in Hell I’ll go with you,” I snapped.
Cain’s eyebrows rose. “You think you know anything about Hell, dog?” He bared his teeth, his voice hardening. “Your whole species is pathetic. You know nothing of suffering.” His eyes were darkening and I recognized the demon within, making itself known.
My Wolf rose within my consciousness at the insult but I fought her down, seething. “No, you’re the one that is pathetic. Hiding in the shadows like a coward, refusing to face your enemies head-on. Killing those that are weaker than you.” I indicated Anne with a jerk of my head, seeing the furious expression on Cain’s face but recklessly continuing anyways, “You’re despicable!”
In a flash Cain’s face morphed until his eyes were completely black, his fangs bared. In a movement so fast I barely saw it, he lunged at me, claws extended. I scarcely had time to leap backwards although I knew I would be too slow for him. I braced myself for the impact but it never came. Instead, there was a furious hiss as Cain stopped himself mid-lunge and recoiled, face contorted in pain. He landed on all fours and then quickly scurried backwards like an animal. It was then that I realized his demon eyes were fixated on the necklace hidden under my shirt. There was a burning fury etched in his expression.
I drew the cross out, slowly. As soon as it was visible the second vampire snarled and backed away while Cain continued to glare at the necklace.
“That…” He started to say, spitting his words out. “That thing… that was supposed to be destroyed!” I had never seen so much anger in one expression. Cain’s eyes glittered with hatred and I wondered what experience he’d had with my rosary to infuriate him so.
“Well, apparently it wasn’t,” I said coolly, still holding it out. The rosary was so hot it was nearly burning my hand.
A few seconds passed in which Cain visibly tried to control himself. It was then that I realized he really did have a short temper; perhaps I could use that to my advantage. He backed away a bit more, keeping a safe distance between himself and the rosary, before his fangs retracted and his eyes returned to their electric green-blue hue.
“Well then,” he said coldly. Cain’s fists were clenched tightly at his sides. “Apparently, there will be a change of plan.” I felt a small blossom of relief as he said that. Obviously he hadn’t known I had the rosary and he’d planned to take me with him, likely to use as a bargaining chip against Gabriel. If I hadn’t had the rosary, I would’ve been in trouble, or I may have never come. No wonder Cain said he thought I’d be a no-show
“You think I’d walk in here unarmed?” I replied, trying to keep my cool façade although I was trembling inside.
Cain shrugged, the movement almost delicate. “I was hoping. However, since I can’t take you with me, I’m afraid I’ll have to do something else….drastic.” His eyes flicked to the other vampire, who let go of Anne and uncoiled the silver that had been wrapped around her. She crumpled to the ground, landing on her hands and knees, head bowed.
In a burst of motion, Cain leapt over to Anne and grabbed her hair, yanking backwards so she was forced to look up. I felt a tremor of fear as I realized what was about to happen.
“No!” I yelled furiously, tensing up to leap at him. It was as if everything from then happened in slow motion, although it couldn’t have been more than a second.
Anne’s tired, despair-filled hazel eyes flicked up to meet mine as I leapt towards Cain on the far side of the clearing. Her gaze caught and held me. In her orbs I saw more emotions than she’d ever shown me her entire life; fear, resignation, pain, but most of all, sorrow and regret. In that brief second Anne displayed more feeling than I had seen in almost twenty years. The intensity of her expression almost took my breath away, as if she was sending me a silent explanation for everything that had ever happened between us instead of begging me for help. Because she knew I was too late.
As I was mid-leap Cain shoved his arm roughly into Anne’s chest the same way he had Riley’s, and I heard bones snap as he penetrated her structure. With one jerk he ripped her heart out of her body and all emotion in her eyes vanished, leaving her expression vacant.
With a howl of fury I continued my trajectory but in the same movement Cain smoothly leapt out of the way, narrowly avoiding my fevered lunge. He could not retaliate because of my rosary but he hissed menacingly as I landed on all fours and turned to face him, hovering over Anne’s body.
He clutched Anne’s heart in his hand, blood smeared on his pale skin. He let go of the organ and it dropped to the ground with a thump. I felt a wave of grief rise within me as I glared at him, my teeth exposed in a snarl, trying not to Shift. I was torn between the natural instinct to hover over my dead packmate’s body or leap at the attacker.
Cain made the decision for me. He smirked menacingly, eyes dark again as the demon inside of him made itself known. “Next time, Skylar, I suggest you let me stick with my original plan.” He jerked his head to his companion, the vampire with the dark scraggly hair. The vampire turned and vanished into the trees with scarcely a sound. Cain made to follow before glancing over his shoulder. “This little get together was far too short for my liking. I’ll be seeing you soon,” he said, cruelty in his expression, before he too exited the clearing.
I sat over Anne’s body until I was sure they were gone before I let my eyes travel downwards to her corpse. Her lips were slightly parted, hazel eyes wide and empty. There were cuts and bruises all over her fair skin and her hair was matted with dirt. Gently, I reached down and brushed a strand of hair out of her face as I felt another wave of uncontrollable grief crash over me.
This was Anne. The Alpha’s daughter. One of my pack mates. And now she was nothing but an empty shell, her Wolf gone forever. Her Mate was now destined to be alone, and Alpha Brett had lost his only daughter.
I stared down at her sadly. Without the arrogance and haughtiness normally present in her expression, she was beautiful, and almost looked…gentle. I gently reached forward and closed her eyes. I couldn’t stand seeing the profound emptiness that indicated that her soul wasn’t there anymore.
Although her front was splattered with blood and gore, I paid no mind as I lowered my head and rested it against her still-warm figure. Tears blurred my vision and began to trickle unheeded down my cheeks. This was my fault. All my fault. I had provoked Cain somehow and he had killed Anne, who had never done anything to deserve a death like this.
Maybe he had planned on killing Anne no matter what I did. After all, according to Maria he had called her ‘collateral damage’.
The guilt was almost unmanageable. I stayed like that for nearly half an hour, lost in my emotion, cradling Anne’s still figure in my arms, before I realized I would have to tell the rest of the pack that she was dead, dead because of me.
Letting all of my emotions well forth and my Wolf come to the forefront of my consciousness, I tilted my head up and let my grief emerge in a long, drawn-out howl.