Ryaln and Declan now had another little boy. They named him Sebastian. He was now four and his twin older siblings Gregory and Dania were ten. Declan had been gone on a very painful mission for him. A werewolf had gone on a mad killing spree because a Wendigo had hunted and killed his mate. Declan tried to reason with him knowing how much pain he’d be in if anything happend to Rylan but there wasn’t any. He had gone completly mad with grief because of that monster who seemed to have dissapeared right after killing her.To make the rampage and countless deaths stop he had to kill the man.
It pained him even more when as the werewolf layed dieing he thanked Declan for putting him out of his misery. Declan had been gone about a week because of all his failed attempts just to ease him instead of killing him to make the deaths stop. Declan couldn’t stand there and watch the poor man die so he walked away.He couldn’t wait to get home to Rylans smiling face.
Rylan was busy packing the kids things so they could go visit Zander and Caroline. It was hers and Declans anniversary the next day and she wanted to be alone with him incase he got back in time for it. Zander was meeting her at the airport so he could ride with the kids there. Zander didn’t want Declan to get home that night and her not be there.
When Rylan got to the airport she thanked her brother for meeting her and doing all that extra flying. The children all hugged their mother and she kissed them. Rylan didn’t leave to go home until the plane was in the sky. Rylan really hoped he’d get back and especially that he remembered it was their anniversary.
When Declan walked through the front door the first thing he did was go upstairs and turn on the shower. He made it as hot as he could stand then stripped down and stepped under the water. He pressed his forehead against the tiles, slammed his fist angrily against them. He had never felt so helpless in his life, like an utter failure as man and as a protector. If he could not protect humans then how was he supposed to protect his family. He felt tears burning behind his eyes and he let himself cry. He slammed his fist against the tile again, barely containing his strength.
Rylan pulled into the circular driveway and was excited to see Declan’s car parked out front. She jumped out and ran inside. She could hear the shower upstairs and was up them in the blink of an eye. She opened their bedroom door and had the sudden impression of sadness and death. She swallowed, her heart going into overdrive. She opened the bathroom door quietly and could hear him crying. Her heart broke. She pulled off her clothes and slipped in behind him, wrapping her arms around him and laying her cheek against his spine. She felt him shivering. “Tell me.” She said softly and he turned to face her.
“I don’t want to darken your day with such horror and despair.” He said, his voice a pained whisper. She could hear his frantic heartbeat beneath her ear.
“Don’t internalize your feelings. Talk to me, let me help you.”
“You being here is helping.” He rested his forehead against hers and smiled sadly. She grabbed his face in her hands and kissed him. She could feel his lip quiver and fresh tears rolled down his face. She brushed them away. Whatever he had been forced to do had nearly broke him.
Declan turned the water off and picked his wife up. He set her back down to grab a towel to dry her and himself. He picked her back up and she wrapped her arms around his neck laying her head on his shoulder. He started crying really badly again as he carried her to their room. Declan just sat on the bed holding Rylan tight. “Declan what happened?” He pressed his head into hers again and explained how a Wendigo attacked and killed a werewolfs mate. “It caused him to go insane with grief especially because after the attack it’s been nowhere to be seen. It dieing was the only thing that could help him and I couldn’t find it nore could I reason with him.
I didn’t want to kill him but he was taking so many lives every day. I spent each day trying to talk to him but he wasn’t there atall. His eyes were hazed over with sorrow and anger. I could only feel sympathy for him to spite the hundreds he killed. I don’t know what I’d do if you died and I couldn’t even take revenge for you. I’d probably go just as crazy. It was so painful to end up having to kill him. Then when he thanked me for putting him out of his misery I fell apart. All I know is that Wendigo better not show it’s ugly head again or come anywhere near you or our children.”
He kissed Rylan again. “I’m so sorry Declan” He just looked into his wifes eyes as more tears streamed down his face. “I don’t think you would, you’d stay strong for our children if anything happened to me.” Rylan smiled trying to bring him a little happiness. Declan just held her tighter. “Is there anything I can do to make you feel better?”
“Holding you and kissing you is all I need right now. I just need to be close to you.”
“why don’t we get closer then?” she asked suggestively. That actually made Declan smile. He started sliding up her shirt and he took off her pants and underware. Rylan undressed Declan as soon as she was naked and then he layed her on the bed. He made love to her gently but passionately. Her every moan, whimper and touch made him feel better. When he finished he started all over again making love to her. He wanted to keep making love until she asked him to stop.
Rylan jerked awake still exhausted from Declan. He was gone, his side of the bed empty. The way he had clung to her, so tight he could have crushed her bones, she had not expected him to leave. She checked the clock sitting on the table next to the bed. It was three in the morning. She crawled out of bed and went downstairs, feeling worried. He had been so upset and she wondered what he could possibly be doing. She heard noise coming from out back and followed it. She opened the back door and peeked out. Declan was slamming his fists angrily into the punching bag he had set for him and Zander when her brother was still a teen. He had taught Zander how to box. He was very focused, his fists making aloud thumping sound as he glared at the bag. She believed he was envisioning the Wendigo.
“Declan are you alright?” She asked and his eyes jumped angrily to her face. They softened when he saw it was just her.
“Yes, did I wake you?” He grabbed his water bottle and sat down, taking a drink and then pouring some over his head and face. He grabbed his shirt and wiped the excess water and sweat away.
“You not being there woke me. Come back inside please.” She held out her hand and he just stared at it for a minute before standing and moving toward her. He laced his fingers through his and let her pull him inside. He closed and locked the door behind him then wrapped her in his arms. “Beating on that bag isn’t going to get rid of your frustration.”
“I know. I just couldn’t sleep. Every time I closed my eyes I saw that wolf’s eyes, saw how his grief had made him a rage filled shell of his former self. I thought if I pounded on that thing it would exhaust me so much I wouldn’t dream.”
“You have way too much stamina.” He laughed and she looked up at him with an arched eyebrow. “Don’t you dare make a sex joke you perv or I’ll have to kick you.”
“Sorry, but you set yourself for it.” He kissed her and lifted her into his arms. He carried her back to their room and tossed her on the bed. “I’m going to take a shower then I’ll be back in bed.” She blew him a kiss and rested her head on her pillow.
Declan cleaned off all the sweat as quickly as possible so he could get back in bed with Rylan. He wanted her to get good rest. It made him feel good that she had come out just to get him. Declan loved Rylan so much. She could make him feel better no matter what. A big part of what had him up was worry about the Wendigo coming and attacking her. The werewolfs mate wasn’t the first of it’s victims. She was the fourth. After every attack he’d dissapear and only be heard of again when there was another death. Every time it was a woman and she was always married.
It had to be a very advanced one. They didn’t normally have a method to anything they did. He turned the water off and went back to their room. “Rylan are you sleeping?” He asked since her eyes were closed. “No, just waiting on my amazing husband.” He layed down and pulled her into his arms. He lovingly kissed her head “Goodnight Rylan, I wont leave again.” Rylan fell slowly back to sleep. Declan just layed there enjoying her breaths on his chest and having her close.
A week was much too long to be away from her. Especially dealing with someone losing who they loved the most. A life without Rylan wouldn’t be a life. He wasn’t even sure he’d be able to keep it together for his children if he lost Rylan. Every day with her felt like a blessing. He loved her smile and laugh. He loved the way he could give her goosebumps still. He loved the softness of her skin and the sweet smell of her hair. He eventually drifted off hoping he wouldn’t dream.
She was cold and lifeless. She stared up at him with empty green eyes. He held her, rocked her. His tears fell on her pale face. There was blood everywhere, covering her clothes and his. He begged her to come back, pleaded and wept and begged. “Declan, wake up.” Her voice whispered around him in the darkness, washed over him. He felt the most gut wrenching despair. He cried out her name, his voice a wail. “Wake up, I’m here.” His eyes flew open and he blinked, bringing her beautiful worried face into focus. He reached out, brushing his fingers over her cheek. She was real and warm. He pulled her close, crushing her to him as he cried. “Hush now, everything’s alright. I’m here, I’ll always be here.” She whispered and kissed his chest.
Rylan had never seen him so shaken. He was holding her so tight she thought he might break her, but she didn’t say anything. He needed her as close as possible, needed her comfort and love. He was trembling against her. “Tell me what you dreamed.” She said.
“You were dead and there was nothing I could do. I was so afraid.” He replied, his voice quaking.
“I’m not dead. I’m right here, alive and well. I’m not leaving you.”
He inhaled the scent of her hair, letting it calm him. He kissed her shoulder and noticed that sunlight was filtering in. He wrinkled his brow, knowing this day was important. His eyes widened as realization dawned on him and he loosened his grip to tilt her head up. “Happy anniversary.” He said and she smiled, her eyes lighting up. He knew she had expected him to forget and he almost had. He had been so wrapped up in his sadness that one of the most important days of his life had almost completely escaped him.
“I can’t believe you remembered with how upset you are” Her voice happy. “How could I forget the best day of my life? The day i was blessed with you being mine forever. I’m not going to let anything take you away from me. I hope I didn’t hurt you when I woke up. I’m so glad it was only a dream” He held her tightly again but he was more gentle than before. “I love you so much Rylan. I wish words existed for me to describe what I feel for you.”
“I love you too. I’m going to make you a nice breakfast. You stay here and relax” Declan shook his head. “I’d love breakfast but after that dream I need to stay where I can see you.” Rylan wasn’t going to argue. She kissed him then they both went to the kitchen. He sat at the table watching her cook. “where’s our children?”
“I sent them to Zanders & Carolines just incase you remembered and came home. They are keeping them until Sebastian needs to come home. You know how attached he is to me. Dania and Gregory wanted to stay a few weeks but they agreed to come home when Sebastian broke down. Poor little guy.”
“It’s cute” Declan said smiling. He was surprised he had managed to after that dream. He was still really shaken. Declan was grateful she woke him up. He got up hugging her from behind. “That’s going to make it hard to cook for you ya know.” he kissed the top of her head. “I just needed a quick embrace.” He sat back down until it was ready. She made him a really big breakfast. “Everything is delicious Rylan. Thank you so much. I wish I had planned something. That last job was just so much.”
“I know Declan, I’m just concerned about you. What we do today doesn’t matter. We can do anything that makes you happy. You still look so upset.”
“Even in a dream you dieing is a lot. My heart still hurts. I promise I’ll shake it off as soon as possible. I wont ruin today for you.”
“Declan you made my day already by remembering. I didn’t expect you to atall with the way you were last night”
It made him feel guilty, but she smiled at him like he was her everything. She didn’t seem hurt, her eyes glowed so brightly with her love that it was like standing in the sun. She ate with that same happy, satisfied look. Her heart was so big, so loving and gentle. She only fought when she had too and it was always for those she loved the most. She had far more strength than he did and she didn’t have to lift a finger for anyone to see it. Even in her fear she never thought of herself. When he had met her it was her brother that her world revolved around. When she had been kidnapped it was him and their unborn children she had filled her mind with, and now it was him she worried about and sent all her love to.
“Do I have something on my face?” She asked and he smiled.
“Just that beautiful smile and that loving look in your eye that melts my heart and can turn me into a big stuttering fool.” She laughed and he sighed happily. He lived to bring her joy.
“I was thinking after breakfast we could go to the lake. I miss going there. It’s so quiet and serene there. I think we should go for a swim.”
“I’d like that and I’m sure Sacha would too. That old cat is still going. I never thought I’d see her live so long.”
“I wanted to talk to you about that. I want to ship her out to Zander and Caroline. Sacha loves him most and I hate to separate them.”
“Whatever you want love. I’ll make the arrangement tomorrow when I’m not spending the entire day with the most gorgeous creature in the universe.”
Rylan smiled brightly again “I love you Declan.” she said slightly blushing. When they were both done Declan cleaned the table and dishes. Declan lifted Rylan into his arms kissing her as he walked outside so they could find Sacha. He stepped off the porch and whistled for Sacha. She came running excited to see him. He put Rylan down and grabbed Sacha so they could fly to the lake.
He looked over at Rylan as they landed there. She looked absolutely delighted. Declan put Sacha down and kissed Rylan hard and happily. She laughed when he pulled back “what was that?”
“I just love seeing you happy.The look on your face made it irresistible to kiss you.” She adored the way he was looking at her. Sacha had dove into the water splashing around. “I remember when she used to do that with Zander.” Declan grabbed her hand and they walked closer to the lake. He sat down and she sat down with him laying back against his chest. He wrapped his arms around her and they just enjoyed the outside.
Sacha splashed them and Rylan decided she wanted to go in with the cat. She stood and slipped out of her night shirt and shorts so she was in just her panties and bra. She waded into the water, feeling Declan’s eyes on her so she turned her head and winked before pushing off into deeper water. Sacha swam next to her and she ran her hands over the big cat’s graying head. She lay on her back just floating as Sacha made circles around her. She heard splashing and watched as Declan slipped into the water and swam toward her. He pulled her into his arms and she wrapped her legs around him, holding him close. He was still tense, his eyes watching all around them as if waiting for an impending attack. “You’re liable to worry yourself to death which would be an amazing feat considering you’re immortal.” She said and a small smile flitted across his lips.
“It’s my job to worry.” He replied and looked her in the eye.
“Only when you’re working.”
They swam for a little while longer and then headed back to shore when Declan said he was ready for lunch. They pulled their clothes back on and started through the forest. Declan had this sudden feeling of being stalked. He felt eyes, but they were not on him. He pulled her closer and stayed alert. It was the smell that alerted him to the presence of the Wendigo. They always smelled of blood and death. He spun around, pushing Rylan behind him. He heard her gasp at the large fur covered creature before them. It’s face reminded one of a cross between a man and a baboon. White fur covered its shoulders and went down its back and around to cover its genitals. There were sharp claws at the end of each finger and long sharp canines in its mouth. It wore a necklace and belt made of bone that clicked when it moved. Yellow eyes stared past him to Rylan, filled with a dark disturbing hunger that disgusted him.
Sacha hissed at it angrily. The Wendigo finally moved not taking its eyes off of Rylan. She was really all it wanted. Sacha pounced on it and the Wendigo sent her flying into a tree with a quick movement of its arm. Sacha let out a loud pained noise and fell to the ground not moving. “Sacha!” Rylan screamed as Declan grabbed the huge creatures arm making the Wendigo take down a bunch of trees as it slammed into them. Declan hated to fight in front of his Rylan but he wasn’t going to let it anywhere near her.
He ran rushed towords it as it got up to come back. Rylan ran towards Sacha to see if she was still alive. She hit the tree hard. Rylan dropped to her knees beside it and placed her hand over Sachas heart. It was still beating but faintly. “Take Sacha home Rylan!” He yelled still fighting with the Wendigo. Declan knew if he stopped for even a moment it would go after Rylan. She wanted to help but knew this was no time to bicker with him. She scooped the cat into her arms and took off.
Her flying away seemed to enrage the creature making him hit harder. It slammed Declan into the ground quickly then tried to run after her. Declan went into a side of himself he never showed to Rylan. Part of him feared she’d be too afraid of him if she knew what a monster he could be.
He jumped on the monster, driving it to the ground and sank his fangs into its shoulder. It grabbed him by his neck and threw him. He tumbled, coming back onto his feet and running at the monster as fast as he could. His rage drove him, clouded his mind. He growled and tore a low hanging branch off one of the trees. He swung it at the Wendigo which was surprisingly fast for its size. He clipped it in the side of the head and it roared at him. It gripped the branch, jerking him close while punching him in the face at the same time. He hit the ground so hard he bounced. His head swam and he tried to stand. He collapsed back down and started to crawl. The Wendigo was gone.
Rylan lay Sacha on the couch and lay her head on the cats side. She was alright, her heart beating stronger now. Nothing was broken, the panthers flexibility obviously saving her. She heard noise on the front porch and thought it was Declan. All she could think is he might be hurt. She opened the door, her eyes widening at the sight of the Wendigo. She started to scream and it hit her, knocking her unconscious and then throwing her over its shoulder.
Declan made it back to the house, his heart dropping when he saw the front door hanging open. He ran inside, adrenaline pushing him. Sacha was on the couch, wounded and unconscious. He was glad Rylan had sent the kids away. They didn’t need to know that their mother had been taken by a blood thirsty murderer. He had led it here to his home to his wife. His worst fears were coming true and his nightmare came flooding back into his mind. He had to find a trail, any trail.
He noticed small drops of blood leading away from their house. Rylan must be bleeding. As much as he hated it atleast it gave him a trail.He was going as fast as he could not being able to get the images from his dream out of his head. He wondered where it was taking her and why. Why was it only taking and killing women? Maybe them all being married was a coincidence but them all being women had to be something.
Most of him didn’t care. All he cared about was getting Rylan back. He needed her back. Declan kept inhaling the air even though it hurt at this speed to make sure he was still perfectly following the blood trail. At Zander and Carolines house Sebastian was crying. Zander picked him up “what’s wrong little buddy?”
“What do you mean mommys hurt?”
“My head hurts. When mommy hurts I hurt.” Caroline whispered in Zanders ear “I think he just misses his mom. Why don’t you let him call the house?”
“I hate for him to get his hopes up calling when they probably wont be home today. It’s their anniversary.”
“Let him try. He’s already upset.” Caroline said as she rubbed her pregnant belly. Zander hugged his nephew and brought the phone to him. Sebastian hoped his mother would answer. The house phone went to voicemail. “I love you mom, please call Uncle Zander back so he can give the phone to me. I miss you and I’m worried about you. Have fun with daddy if he’s there. I can’t wait to see you again.” Sebastian hung up very sad.
“Why don’t we get ice cream Sebastian?” Dania and Gregory ran in “did you say ice cream!?”
“Yeah, come on” Zander said smiling and looking at Sebastian. It made Zander feel bad that Sebastian could never visit without breaking down. It made him feel like a bad uncle. Dania talked to her uncle in her mind “He really is concerned about her. She probably just has a headache though. I’ve noticed he does feel her pain. Once we were playing and his hand started hurting really bad. When we came home to tell Mom she had burned her hand on the stove.
Rylan opened her eyes, finding herself upside down and staring at a big furry back. She felt sick and she had blood on her face from her mouth and nose. She tried raising a hand to wipe it away, but she was too weak and dizzy. She felt like throwing up. She was sure she had a concussion. She knew her body would recover on its own, but until then she would have a massive headache. She didn’t know where the Wendigo was taking her, but she had a bad feeling. “Let me go.” She said weakly and it ignored her. “Please, I have children and a family. Just let me go.” It growled and squeezed her until she gasped for air. She wished she wasn’t in so much pain.
Declan moved quickly across the ground, suddenly stopping when he lost the trail. He searched the ground and plants and picked it up again. The Wendigo was taking her around the lake and deeper into the woods where the underbrush was extremely thick. Horrifying images flitted through his head. Images of her being gutted or having her throat slit. He felt sick to his stomach and breathed through the nausea. What if he failed? What would he tell his children and Zander and Caroline? He had promised to always protect her and right now he was failing. He started crying, but continued following her scent.
Rylan was almost unconsious again when it pulled her off it’s shoulder and craddled her in its arms. She still couldn’t move well. She was angry she was so helpless. It suddenly said in a growl like voice “mate.”
“what? You can speak?”
“I have a mate thank you now please take me back to him.” It looked mad. “You will be my mate or you will die. Your choice.” She was still taken back by the fact such a beast could speak. He seemed to have a bit of trouble but it could speak. “Can’t you find another Wendigo to be your mate?”
“Female Wendigo not pretty like vampire or wolf female.”
“I’m sure there’s plenty of beautiful female Wendigos you just haven’t found them”
“Not pretty like you. Don’t make me kill you. It’s shame to kill somthing so beautiful.”
“I wont make you do anything. Just let me go. If you’re nice and quit killing people you might be able to make someone love you.”
“Too late, first girl I killed on accident because I was mad. Now it’s my only choice if mate I want says no.”
“It’s not your only choice. You should’ve explained it was an accident.”
“No one would believe me. Violent and scary. It’s what Wendigos have to be.”
“Not smart ones like you. Look at you, you can talk.” Rylan was absolutely terrified but she kept a nice calm voice. “Please just let me go back to my mate. How would you like it if sombody stole your mate? You’ve caused so much pain. When you killed the last woman you drove her husband to insanity. Why did you choose her?”
“I saw her and thought she was beautiful and I had to have her as mate. I choose you because I followed your husband home. Youre most beautiful. You should be my mate not his.”
“You can’t have woman who are taking.”
“No more talk unless agree to be mate. You have until I find cave to decide if you’ll die or be mate.”
“Please don’t make it like that.” He squeezed her to make her fall unconsious again. He deserved whoever he wanted wheather they wanted him or not. She was making him second guess himself talking to him. He decided he was going to mate with this one regardless of what she chose. This one was too pretty to kill no matter how angry he got he’d try to control his anger. He didn’t want to kill any of them but his anger when they rejected him blinded him to rational thinking. He was very advanced but still couldn’t keep hold of what came natural to him as a Wendigo.
“I can’t breath.” Sebastian said to Zander. “My ribs hurt.”
“Come here buddy, let me see.” Zander sad and Sebastian walked over to him. He lifted his shirt and didn’t see anything. “What does it feel like?”
“Like I’m being crushed. It hurts.” He started crying and Zander cradled him. Maybe he was right, maybe there was something wrong with Rylan.
“It’s alright buddy, everything’s okay.” He would call later when the kids were sleeping.
Declan lost the trail again and frustrated searched for it. Rylan must have stop bleeding. He started to panic and ran his fingers through his long hair. He couldn’t lose her, not now. He felt like screaming. He kept moving in the directions the drops of blood had been going. He now understood what the male wolf had been going through, the maddening hopelessness that ate at you until you wanted to kill yourself and just end the agony. It was infuriating and terrifying. He would find her, he would bring her home, and he would never lead harm to her again. He was going to bring her flowers every day so she’d know how madly he loved her. She deserved all the time in the world, not being carried through the forest by a lunatic who was stuck forever in his monstrous form because he had let his nature take him over. Wendigo didn’t always look grotesque, but when they allowed themselves to slip slowly into the murderous instincts of their ancestors they began to change and couldn’t change back unless they died or stopped being evil.
Rylan opened her eyes and her head felt better. She rubbed her temples and wished the damn Wendigo would either put her down or put her out of her misery. She looked up at its face. The look in its yellow eyes was haunted and remorseful like he couldn’t quite believe what he had become. She saw flecks of blue in his irises and guessed his eyes had been blue once. He held her gently like he was cradling a baby, a huge contrast from the aggressive way he had attacked her and Declan. “Were you always like this?” She asked, startling him. He looked confused for a moment like he was trying to remember something important. He squeezed his eyes shut and a pained expression crossed his face.
“I don’t think so. Maybe different. I have images.” He finally said.
“Do they hurt you?”
“Yes. I try hard remember. All I feel is pain. I remember falling in water, hitting head then nothing. Maybe mate help me.”
“You should try to remember. Please. I’m not saying I’m your mate but mates do that sort of thing for eachother. Atleast do ti for the mate you remember helping you. Figure out what happend to her.”
“Don’t care about old mate. Only care about you new mate.”
“Please” she said again in the sweetest voice she could come up with. He grunted then she added “If you sit down we could really talk and you’d be able to think.”
“You run if I put you down.”
“I wont run, I don’t even know how to get back.”
“Husband catch up take you back”
“I wont let him hurt you. I’ll ecplain to him I’m trying to help you.”
“He will hurt me because he’ll want his mate back.”
“No because I think you’re going to let me go.”
“No, you’re mine. So pretty” She was upset. She just wanted him to stop. She wanted to try and help him but she also wanted her husband. It could easily kill her especially since she was sure he cracked a few ribs. If Declan was near to protect her she could more comfortably speak with him. She started crying. “If I stop will you stop crying?” She nodded “I’ll try.” He sat down “Thank you. Will you try to remember for me please?”
“I will not.”
“Consider being my mate while I think?”
“sure, but I love my current mate.” As much as she wanted to lie to him for her own safety she couldn’t do it. She was lieing enough even saying sure to considering. Now that she was close to the ground she was tempted to bolt. Every bit of her was screaming for her to run away but this creature honestly seemed troubled. “You could start by telling me your name.”
“Don’t have name”
“Everybody has a name. I’m Rylan”
“Even name pretty”
“Thank you now please remember yours.” He looked deep in thought. “Auron”
“good! See I knew you could remember. What did your mate look like?” He sat there silent than gripped his head. He started roaring loudly “calm down!” She saw the calm beast disappear and he became violent again. She knew she had to run. There was no speaking to this side of him. She took off as fast as he could. The Wendigo close behind and angry. She screamed for Declan knowing he would’ve followed. Her husband would never let this monster just take her.
Declan heard her screaming. It echoed through the forest seeming to come from every direction at once. He took a breath, closed his eyes, and listened. The wind blew around him rattling the leaves. He blocked it out, focusing only on Rylan, on the image of her face and her sweet laughter. He breathed in the fresh air and listened. She screamed again and he knew it was from the north. He started running, praying she would be alive when he got there.
The Wendigo caught up to her and grabbed her. He gripped her throat and lifted her off the ground so she was eye to eye with him. “Please Auron, please don’t hurt me.” She said and started crying. He was a roaring beast, baring his teeth one minute and a confused almost hurt animal the next. He looked horrified and dropped her. She coughed and rubbed her throat.
“Sorry, you okay?” He said and helped her to her feet.
“I’m fine thank you. I need a drink please.” Her voice was hoarse. He lifted her in his arms and carried her until they came to a small stream. He sat her down, cupped his hands, and dipped them in the water. He held them out to her and she took a sip. “Thank you very much.” He sat down in front of her, looking worried.
“You push.” He looked at his hands as if he couldn’t quite believe they were his. “I crack.”
“You didn’t mean too. I can’t be your mate Auron, I just can’t. I love my husband, my mate. We have children.”
“But you help me.” His face was close to hers. “Help me.” Her heart broke for this monster. She opened her mouth to speak when a very enraged Declan burst through the trees. He went straight for Auron, murder on his mind. The Wendigo was back on his feet, roaring at Declan. He slashed at the vampire, trying to rip him to shreds. Rylan screamed for them to stop, but neither of them heard her.
Declan jumped in the air and onto the Wendigo’s head, slamming his head down into the dirt and leaves. He flipped backward into a tree and hissed at the beast. Rylan had blood on her face and looked terrified. The Wendigo slammed into the tree, knocking it over. Declan jumped onto the Wendigo’s back and sank his fangs in, trying to drain him dry. The Wendigo grabbed his hair and wrenched him of and threw him. He skidded across the ground and rushed the monster. Rylan was suddenly between them, screaming at them to stop. Both of them came to a halt, surprised to see her there.
“Just wait a second Declan.” Declan looked really confused but she had to get Auron calm again. “Auron! Sit back down right now.” He dropped slightly shaking the ground. Declan was even more confused now. He couldn’t believe how his wife had just talked to the Wendigo. She stood in front of Auron “You need to sit here and remember ok?”
“Declan would never let you hurt me but try to remain calm” Declan came up behind her putting his arms around her waist to hug her. He was trying to calm down. All he wanted was to kill it but Rylan had asked him to stop so he needed to try not to go after him again. Auron got mad “Youre my mate Rylan” Declan held her tighter. “No, I told you before Declan is my mate. I love Declan and you aren’t going to change that. You need to remember the mate you had before Auron.”
Auron held his head. Just hearing his name gave him a headache. “Anna”
“Who’s Anna?” Rylan asked hoping it was his mate. “My mate was Anna. Blonde hair like you.”
“Do you think that’s how you’re choosing mates? You’re choosing girls who remind you of her?” He nodded. “Now try to remember why you don’t have her any longer.”
“Yes you can Auron. You remembered your name and hers. You also said somthing about hitting your head and Anna helping you.”
“Hurts too much” Auron looked so miserable. Rylan went to comfort the Wendigo but Declan wouldn’t let her go “Declan.”
“No you aren’t going near it again. Wendigos are quick to lose their temper. He could kill you. I just can’t let you do it.”
“Declan look at him. He needs help. Let me help him.”
“You can help him from right here.” His voice was so absolute but she could hear the worry in it. She sighed in frustration. “Auron, just pull through the pain. This is the only way to get better.” Auron thought hard. He suddenly could picture his mate intierly. Auron started to cry. “You remembered somthing else?”
“My mate beautiful”
“You remember what she looks like besides her hair?”
“Yes, she’s tall with long blonde hair. Pretty hazel eyes. Very nice like Rylan.”
“You can remember her personality too?” She asked trying to get him to think more.
“Sweet, warm.” The memory swept through him like a hurricane. “Her smile so bright. I looked different, more human. We argued.” He gripped his head and started growling. Rylan finally broke away from Declan and wrapped her arms around Auron’s neck.
“Calm down it’s okay. Everyone argues. What happened next?” She said softly.
“Walk away, no hurt her. Walked, walked, got lost then angry. Sad. Wanted Anna, but no Anna. Then changed, hurt people. So sorry.”
“Do you remember where you lived?”
“Forest. Not this forest, but same.” He whimpered in pain, but stayed calm. “Wolf Creek.”
Rylan told him that was enough for now. This poor, tortured creature had found her, had asked for help. He lived in despair and it had driven him to madness just like the werewolf. She talked softly and stroked the fur on his head.
Declan was equally confused as worried. Rylan, with her unconditional love and gentle nature, had managed too tame a Wendigo. She held him to her like he was a child who had lost his way in the mall, like he was a wounded dog. She had halted both of them in their tracks and neither he nor the beast had questioned why they had listened. She was his wife as well as the new Matron, but that wasn’t why he had stopped. There had been something in her voice, a quality he didn’t recognize.
“We’ll find Anna, but you have too let me go home.” Rylan said as she pulled back too look into Auron’s eyes.
“You no come back.” He looked angry and distressed.
“Come with us. We’ll find you a place to sleep.”
“promise you wont run again?”
“I promise. Now come home with us for the night and then we’ll find Anna tomorrow.” Auron stood up with Rylan putting Declan a little on edge. He wasn’t happy about it coming back to their home. “Will you let me be with my mate Declan? I want to go home with him.” Auron looked conflicted but set her down. Declan knelt in front of Rylan because he wanted her to ride on his back. “Don’t leave him Declan. Stay close or you’ll upset him.”
Declan sighed and they started walking home together. He was relieved to have Rylan pressed against him. Declan had been so worried he’d lost her. Rylan was his happiness, his everything. After they handled this he was going to try harder to show how much he loved her. As he chased after her screams just moments ago regrets filled his mind. Things he wished he could go back and do differently. Auron kept looking over at Rylan which immensely bothered Declan. He didn’t like the Wendigo looking at his wife. He hoped they could easily find Anna tomorrow. He’d rather hunt her down tonight and just finish this but he could tell Rylan was tired.
They finally made it back to the house. “Where do I sleep?” Auron asked. “If you can squeeze through the back door you can sleep in our living room. The back door is bigger than the front because it’s a sliding door.” Rylan heard Sacha coming. She jumped off of Declan. “Sacha sit!” The cat obeyed promptly. Making Declan smile. He was truly amazed by his wife. She went over to Sacha and scratched her head. “He’s not going to hurt anybody. Be nice ok.” Sacha purred at Rylan.
Auron got through the back door followed by Rylan and Declan. “are you two hungry?”
“Don’t cook Rylan, please just sit for me.” She stared at her husband for a moment. He seemed near panic and very sad. “Ok” she said as she sat down. Auron was sitting on the floor. He layed his head in her lap. Declan was really struggling to control himself. He couldn’t stop worrying about it hurting her. He finished cooking and they all ate. Auron started staring at Rylan again causing Declan to glare at him. “Auron please stop staring at me like that. You’re really upsetting my husband.” Auron got up “I go to sleep. Goodnight nice Rylan. Thank you”
“You ready to sleep Declan?” He got up instantly sweeping her off the chair and pressing his forehead into hers. He took Rylan to their room and layed her down. He got over top of her and started kissing her. He lifted her back up and kissed her harder. She felt wetness and noticed he was crying. “Declan.” She said putting her hand on his cheeks. “I just can’t lose you. I was so afraid my dream would come true.” he started shaking with tears as he held Rylan then started kissing her again.
“I’m here now and I’m not leaving again.” She whispered, her hands pulled at his clothes and he stood to take them off. He dragged hers off and crawled back on top of her, nudging her legs apart. He lifted her hips and thrust into her as his mouth covered hers to muffle her cries. She wrapped her arms and legs around him, holding him close. He made love to her like he’d never see her again, a little rougher than usual in his desperation. She whimpered against his lips as a very intense orgasm moved through her. She clung to him, gasping as he finished and pressed his forehead against her shoulder. She stroked his hair, massaged his neck and shoulders. “It’s alright, I’m here and I’m alive.” She said softly.
Declan lay next to her and pulled her into his arms. The stress of this day had nearly killed him. He didn’t think he would ever be able to leave her alone again. He feared he would hover so much she would suffocated. He didn’t want to suffocate her, didn’t want to give her restrictions, but right now all he wanted to do was lock her in a cage or a tower and never let her out of his sight again. Her fingers moved over his chest, soothing and calming him. “Did I hurt you?” He asked.
“No, I’m alright. I might be a little sore, but it’s not a bad sore. I heal fast thanks to you so don’t worry.”
“If I had lost you I would have killed anyone who tried to stop me from getting to that Wendigo.”
“Declan, please try and understand him. He’s confused and scared and angry. He can’t find the woman he loves, can’t remember how to get back to her. How would you feel if you could never find me again, if one day I was in your life and the next I was gone?”
He tightened his hold on her. “I would feel lost. I would die.”
“That’s how he feels. We can help him. We have too or he’ll never be himself.”
“You have such a good heart Rylan. Only you could be able to tame one of those things.”
“Please stop calling Auron it or a thing. He’s a person inside. A very lonely and afraid person.” He just held her close listening to her soft breaths. She went limp so he knew she was sleeping. He tilted her chin up to kiss her forehead then just stared at her as she slept. He didn’t trust the Wendigo enough to sleep. He planned on staying awake so Auron couldn’t surprise him with an attack and take her away again. Nothing was going to pry Rylan out of his arms.
He loved how peaceful and at ease Rylan looked. He could spend the rest of his life just looking at her. He kissed her lips tenderly not wanting to wake her. Declan decided that it had been luck so he wouldn’t push it. Rylan needed to rest and he could have all the kisses he wanted once they took care of Auron. He was content just to spend the night admiring his wife. A huge weight was lifted off of him holding her knowing he could keep Rylan safe.
Declan heard the phone ring but ignored it. He didn’t want to move and whoever it was could leave a voicemail. Declan heard the machine pick up “Hey Rylan, Sebastian is really worried about you and so am I. Please call us back soon so we know how you’re doing.” Declan would make sure to tell her to call them before they left tomorrow. He was amazed Sebastian could tell from so far away. His mind filled with happy thoughts about his children. He couldn’t wait to see them again but was still very glad Rylan had sent them away before this all happened.
When morning came the sound of Auron getting up woke Rylan with a jump. It scared Declan “are you ok?” His face expressing his panic. “Yes I’m fine, calm down.” She smiled then asked “how long have you been up?”
“I never went to sleep” He said smiling appoligeticly hoping she wouldn’t be upset. “I understand.” she kissed him then got up to put on her clothes. Declan did the same ” You need to call Zanders house. Sebastian is worried.”
“Ok, I’ll do that while you make breakfast.” Rylan went for the phone and Declan went to the kitchen. Auron was staring at Rylan again which made Declan worry about being in a different room than her. He heard his wife talking to and comforting Sebastian then explaining things to Zander. She hung up after telling everybody she loved them. “Lets go to the kitchen Auron.” she said knowing Declan would feel better if he could see her.
Auron barely manged to fit through the kitchen door and then just stood there looking awkward. He opened his mouth as if to say something then closed it again. He scratched his head and then looked at her. “Confused.” He said.
“About what?” Rylan asked, placing a hand on his shoulder.
“You.” She laughed and rubbed his shoulder.
“Why am I confusing? I thought I was pretty straightforward.”
“You control me and him.” He pointed at Declan who glanced at him a moment then went back to cooking. “The animal inside listens. Your voice changed.”
“He’s not lying. I heard it too. It was like your voice put a barrier between us, like you crawled into my head and touched that primal part of me. Are you sure you don’t have psychic abilities like Zander?” Declan said and sat the plates on the table. He had made extra bacon and eggs for Auron.
“I wasn’t experimented on as far as I know. I shouldn’t have any abilities.” She said as she sat down and picked up her fork. “Eat Auron.” His hands were too big for the fork so he just stood there feeling self conscious. Animals didn’t feel that way, but some of his humanity had been restored. “Just eat like Sacha does.” Rylan said with a warm smile.
“It could be because you’re Matron now. Caroline can use people’s blood against them so maybe you have gained your own special power.” Declan took a bite of bacon. “How are the kids?”
“Good. Little Sebastian was scared out of his mind. I explained as best as I could that I was okay. He seemed calmer before I talked to Zander. He said they can keep the kids for as long as we need them too while we help Auron.”
“We find Anna today?” Auron asked and swallowed his food.
“We are sure going to try honey.” She squeezed his large clawed hand and went back to eating.
They finished and left. Declan knew where Wolf Creek was. He would’ve drove but there was no way of getting Auron in the car. He carried Rylan on his back like he did yesterday. She had tried to just get him to hold her hand but he wouldn’t have it. He absolutely had to carry her. It took a few hours but they made it. “Do you have any idea where we should begin looking Auron?” Rylan asked. Auron was wide eyed remembering things. He ran and Declan followed holding tight to Rylan.
They quickly dashed through the woods until Auron came to a stop in a small clearing. There was a small house. “Anna”
“Slow down Auron! You might scare her.” He stopped in his tracks. “Let me go see if she’s there ok? Declan will you please let me go.” he reluctantly set her down. He went to follow her but she held a hand up “No sweetheart, I should go up to her alone so she isn’t intimidated ok? Sit here with Auron.” Declan didn’t want her walking away without him. Somthing could come out of the woods and take her away like Auron had. “But Rylan”
“Declan I’ll be right back. You will be able to see me still.”
“Ok” he said in a sad voice. Rylan walked up to the cabin and knocked. Anna answered the door looking like she had spent every day since he left crying. “Are you Anna?” Rylan asked even though it was obviously her. “Yes, do I know you somehow?”
“I found Auron. Well really he found me and”
“wait you found Auron?! Where is he?”
“Yes he’s over there but he doesn’t look like himself” Rylan was still talking but Anna ran out seeing Declan and Auron standing in the distance. She covered her mouth. It didn’t look like Auron but she could feel it was. She started running towards him even though what he looked like now was scary. Auron couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw Anna. He lifted her up when she reached him. Anna kissed his cheek. Tears started pouring out of his eyes “sorry Anna.”
“I’m sorry Auron” Auron quickly set her down because a weird and painful feeling surged through him. he held his head in agony. “What’s wrong?” Anna asked worried. He just grunted not able to speak. Declan picked Rylan back up to be prepared for anything.
He fell to his knees, shaking. Declan could easily snatch Anna out of harms way and save both women. Auron started to get smaller, his bones making popping sounds as his size became more compact. He dug his nails into the ground and screamed, sounding more human than animal. His white fur melted away, his pale skin turned a sun bronzed tan. Long dark hair hung across his back. He buried his face in his hands and started crying. Anna dropped down in front of him, her hand drifted over his back soothingly. He wrapped his arms around her waist and rested his head on her chest.
Rylan had to avert her gaze because he was naked. She buried her face in Declan’s shirt, blushing. Anna helped him to his feet and invited Declan and Rylan into her home. “Could you get him some pants please.” Rylan said. Anna helped Auron inside and sat him down on the couch. She found him some shorts and he slipped them on. Rylan walked into the very cozy living room and Auron grabbed her, wrapping her in a tight hug. “Auron, Auron you’re crushing me.” He let her go and she gasped.
“I’m sorry for crushing you, not for hugging you.” He said and smiled sadly. He had the brightest blue eyes. They were like crystals. There were flecks of gold on them from his Wendigo eyes. He sat down and wrapped his arms around Anna. “What do I do now? I hurt people, I killed people.” He looked disturbed by that thought.
“That’s up to Rylan. She’s the Matron of our family.” Declan said.
“I want you to live Auron, but you have to understand we will have to keep an eye on you until we’re sure you can control yourself.” Rylan said as she sat on the couch next to him.
“I understand, but what about those families?”
“As far as I am concerned the Wendigo is dead, but he has to stay dead. He can’t come back ever. Auron has to be in control.”
“I will make sure he does.” Anna said hugging Auron. “If he changes you come get us right away. Can I have a pen and paper to write down our number and address?”
“Yes of course.” She got up and ran to get it. Rylan wrote down everything when Anna came back. Auron got up “are we friends Rylan?”
“Yes, of course we are. You two are welcome to visit.” Auron hugged her again. Declan was still a bit uncomfortable with him even as a man. Anna hugged Declan and Rylan before they left. Declan held Rylan in his arms and flew home so they could get there faster. Rylan hated that Declan wasn’t relaxed yet. When they landed Rylan said “He’s a man now with his wife. Why are you still afraid?” He sat down on the couch cradling her “I could’ve lost you. I fight all kinds of vicious monsters. I never thought about it until today but the ones that don’t end up dead could easily follow me home to you and our children. How am I supposed to relax realizing that now.” He looked into her eyes.
“everything will be ok. If I can handle a Wendigo I can handle anything.” She smiled at him and he slightly smiled kissing her. “I’m not going to be able to leave your side for awhile. I’m going to try not to smother you but I may for a little while. Please don’t get angry at me.”
“How could I? You make me feel so loved Declan.”
“I cherish you more than anything Rylan” He held her close glad it was all over.