…. With a sudden lurch inside my chest, my eyes flew open. I was gasping heavily, trying to compensate for the suffocation that had afflicted me only moments earlier.
… Except I wasn‘t mounted on the glass shard anymore….
I was in my bed.
My hands frantically grabbed at my body, inspecting for any sign of damage… but there wasn‘t any.
So it wasn‘t real? But I had felt it. It couldn‘t be a dream. I know it wasn‘t a dream.
But it ended up easier than expected to figure out exactly what had happened.
The nausea hit me first, forcing me to throw myself over the side of the bed and empty out the contents o f my stomach. Then the ringing in my ears followed… then, finally, the b****y nose.
…It was a vision. Easily the longest one I‘d ever had; the realest one I‘d ever had. Somehow it had been strong enough to show itself even with my collar, now punishing me with the worst side effects I‘d ever had to date.
My head still struggling to clear from the trauma of what I‘d just experienced, I tried my best to focus on what I‘d seen. But the shock of the situation was hard to overcome.
…Because the reality was…. I had died.
I‘d died because I‘d tried to stall for time and fallen as a result of an accident. A goddamn accident. The idiot had f*****g butterfingers and killed me.
Somehow it had felt seamless though, as if I really had just woken up before it all played out. So when was all of this meant to happen? A day? A week? A month from now?
But I didn‘t need to wait long before I got my answer.
… Because suddenly I could hear the sound of my front door clicking open, and a familiar creak groan out into the silence.
They were here. Right now.
Okay, it was time to think fast. I knew what went wrong and what I could avoid, I also knew what their intentions were. There was no need to call out or make my presence known, and I already knew now that I was helpless to defend myself given their size and strength.
But my body ached as though I really had just been thrown out of a window, my head pounding with a migraine worse than any other. Whilst I had more options available to me this time, there was no way! would be physically able to accomplish much. Hell, I doubted I‘d even be able to wriggle free this time.
No, there was no way I could defeat him… but I knew someone else who could.
I had been only seconds away last time from being able to achieve the best strategy available to me, seconds that had been wasted trying to confirm who was there the first time. But I didn‘t have that problem now.
Inhaling as much as I could, I screamed out into the night. Screamed for the one person who I knew could save me.
“ALERIC! ALERIC, HELP! PLEASE!”
The pounding of feet quickly rushing towards my room was the first thing I heard and i knew it was the intruder. I was sure he was probably wondering how his cover had been blown so quickly.
Without waiting, I dropped to the ground and crawled under my bed; though a much tighter squeeze than I expected. He would be able to find me here, I knew, but literally all I needed was a few extra seconds. Just a couple of seconds for Aleric to find me.
My bedroom door then flew open and the man appeared at the threshold. I couldn‘t see his face but I could tell he was searching for me, probably attempting to use his heightened senses to help locate my position in the room. Silently, I held my breath, but I knew even the tiniest of sounds, the smallest of movements, would be easily picked up on by him.
In the end, though, it wasn‘t enough as he soon appeared in front of the bed and reached down to grab m e from under it.
“Let me go!” I screamed, weakly pushing away from him to no success.
With no time to bind my mouth this time, he proceeded to just quickly throw me over his shoulder and run for the window. I struggled, wriggling as much as I could, but my movements were completely ineffectual against him. Like I had thought, my body really was far weaker than it had been in the vision.
However, just as we made it to the window, the front door then suddenly burst open, and the dim outline o f Aleric appeared across the room. My heart immediately jumped at the sight.
“Aleric! Aleric, please!” I screamed back.
‘I don‘t want to die again, please…‘
Aleric moved faster than I could keep up with in the darkness, only reappearing once his hand was on the man‘s arm. He was just about to open the window before Aleric appeared. Just a moment later and I was sure he would have thrown me out, taking the chance that I would hopefully survive the fall.
A sickening snapping noise then sounded out and I managed to only just catch sight of how Aleric had broken the man‘s arm like a toothpick, as if it wasn‘t attached to one of the largest, most muscled werewolves I‘d ever seen. But it worked. The intruder doubled over, cradling his arm to his chest as he
cried out in pain.
Aleric didn‘t wait though. Immediately, he grabbed at me under my arms and hauled me off the guy‘s shoulder, my body still shaking from the adrenaline pumping through me. I wanted to cling to him for safety but I knew I would only be getting in the way. Which was exactly what the man must have realised too as he threw out a punch towards Aleric‘s face with his good arm.
I dropped to the ground the second Aleric released me, the top of my head only narrowing missing Aleric‘s hand that came up to defend himself.
“Aria, get back!” he ordered, grabbing the guy‘s arm and throwing him to the ground away from me.
How he managed to toss him with such ease, I had no idea. But it was effortless for him, as if he were tossing a bag of sand rather than a man twice the size of him.
| quickly scooted away from them as far as I could and looked on mutely as the scene unfolded before m e. The man was still struggling with the pain in his arm but had managed to get to his feet… and then there was Aleric, moving towards him with all intent to kill and do so quickly.
…But perhaps that wasn‘t the best idea. If he killed him then…
Aleric grabbed him by the throat and pushed him up against the wall. The man was growling, snapping, maybe even trying to shift… but, really, everyone here knew it was over. The difference in power between the two was as clear as night and day.
With tug free fond, Aleno pulled it back his dans chatting to protrude out and
“Aferd, wat dort
Hetliced frim through the throat, instantly making humbled out
With the situation rrow dealt with i sacrumpled on the floor still in shock I was alive. I was alive. It felt live an eternity since my life hadnt been in danger, having just experienced this scenario won in the succession of a few minutes Minutes that tasd felt like hours
Aleric‘s attention turned back towards me once he was assured the manual dead Vithout wasting my more tune, he ran over to engulf me into his arms, the man‘s blood covering him and all Maybe I would have recoiled from his state normally, but now I clung to him for life, try body still staking I dont tatter that he‘d just killed the guy and was getting me coated in blood too, I just needed to feel the contot only be could provide in that moment
“Are you okay?” he asked, his breathing still hear from everything that had transpired “YOU DO bleeding
i nodded stiffy, mowing that my blood was from the vision not the intruder T‘m okay are you oka”
We continued to hold each other for another s uite bath of us needing the time to calm down and feel reassured the other was okay But before too long Alene finally went to pull away only it ghtened my grip in response
Please don‘t go yet,” I whispered
I could feel myself s**t trembling struggling to process the different thaumasrdjust gone though t once To be honest, I was surprised I hadn‘t passed out yet My adrenaline was slowly meaning of the aching in my body only getting wobe and itly mind was still selambing to cope with angel slowly dying only minutes eative
“Okay, I won‘t‘ he said before gently powing tumself to sit against the wall
Pulling me into his lap he then held me, letting me have my moment of feeling safe event was just to a few minutes
Which was exactly how we were positioned when the warriors finally came upstairs and found us, huddled together and now both covered in blood
“Alpha heit Miss Chrysalis,” one of the
greeted, alan in the voice
Aleric simply pointed towards the window where the man‘s body laid “Over there
They nodded and started inspecting the scene beginning the investigation of the corpo
Pemaps this room was more soundprool than drealised given theit slow response Boedondo long it had taken them, they must not have heard anything until Aleric broke the deadows and made me more grateful that Alenc had shown up when he had
for questioning and
“You shouldn‘t have killed him” i quetiy ctumed in “We should have taken him gotten answers about why he was trying to kidnap me
don‘t care He chose death the minute he touched you. He could have asked you.
Alenc shook his head Alla”
He did kill me,‘ I added in my head, a shiver going down my spine How long was going to take this link
before I could finally bury this memory along with the rest of my traumas? A memory that wasn‘t even real but just an overly realistic vision.
“Are you cold?” he asked, mistaking my reaction.
“A little,” I admitted. And it wasn‘t a lie. Maybe between the shock and the blood–soaked clothes, my body was definitely feeling a little chilly.
“Can you walk?”
I nodded, though I wasn‘t sure if that was even true.
Slowly, Aleric helped me to my feet and followed suit, not letting go until he felt assured I could stand by myself. To my relief, someone also quickly provided me with a blanket. There was a short conversation with the warriors about what had happened and a few orders to scout the area for anyone else, but soon enough I found myself trailing behind Aleric in a trance, completely out of it, as he moved around.
At some point, he left the quarters and started walking through some hallways, I didn‘t snap back to reality though until I realised where he‘d taken me.
It was his quarters.
“You can take a shower and sleep in here tonight. Tomorrow I’ll work something else out.”
Stay… in his room?
And as he opened the door, I caught my first ever glimpse of inside his living area. A place I‘d never been allowed in the past.
“Are you coming in?” he asked after I just stood there, unmoving
I nodded slowly and entered, trying to focus despite the accumulating crazy things that were happening i none night
Inside looked mostly the same as my own quarters, maybe a little bigger with an extra room or two. The most notable difference from where I stood was in the furnishings though, his being more suited to an Alpha as opposed to a Luna,
He saw me eyeing off the extra doors and answered accordingly. “Gym and study,” he explained, pointing them out.
That made sense. Lunas weren‘t supposed to need either of those,
“Shower is down there,” he then added. “An attendant went ahead and grabbed you some of your spare clothes. It should be in the bathroom already.“
“Okay… thank you,” I replied quietly, my voice still sounding distant,
Robotically, i followed his instructions and found the bathroom without any issue. It became a process of steps to complete one by one; brushing my hair, getting undressed, and turning on the shower I was on complete autopilot as I moved.
So once the hot water hit me, I finally felt myself begin to break down. The steam was trying to relax my muscles but it was a futile attempt, a sob already beginning to shake itself through my chest i sat down slowly, allowing the hot water to wash over me and, as quietly as i could, I allowed myself a moment to release what had been building up inside. With any luck, the shower would muffle the sound of my silent crying from Aleric
This had been too much even for the Moon Goddess‘ standards. The vision could have broken the moment I fell onto the window shard and I would have understood what happened next. Why did I need t o live through my own slow death? What benefit would that possibly serve if not just to mentally destroy me?
“I hate you,” I whispered to Selene, tears falling down my face. “Just let me die and be done with this already. Once was already bad enough.”
“Aria?” Aleric‘s voice then called out from the other side of the door, causing me to jump. Had he heard what I said?
I rubbed at my face and quickly washed it under the shower stream before replying. “Yes?”
“…You still okay?”
“I‘m fine,” I replied. “Coming out in a minute.”
He didn‘t sound reassured. Fair enough.
As fast as I could, I washed myself down and got out of the shower to get changed, though taking longer than anticipated as my fatigue was hitting hard. The side effects I was experiencing this time were savage to the point I would be grateful to never have a vision ever again.
Aleric was waiting for me on the other side of the door, somehow also freshened up now. Perhaps he had a second bathroom? I couldn‘t help but notice though that he was looking down at me as if I were made o f porcelain; something I couldn‘t fault him for thinking. Wasn‘t it just yesterday morning he had a scare thinking something had happened to me in the Diamond Claw pack? Now I‘d literally been seconds away from death right in front of him. I was weak and this was just another painful reminder of that fact.–
“Come on,” Aleric said, gently guiding me with a hand to my shoulder.
I allowed him to lead me to where he wanted to, all the while not saying a word, before realising he‘d walked me straight to his room and intended for me to take his bed for the remainder of the night.
“Aleric… no, I can sleep on the couch,” I declined.
“Don‘t be stupid,” he argued. “Take the bed and sleep. You‘ll be safest in there whilst I keep an eye on the front door from the living room.”
He was trying to protect me. His idea must have been that if anyone else was stupid enough to attempt this a second time, he would be waiting for them. Not that anyone would be that crazy. Not even Thea, who I assumed the delightful visitor earlier was from; or at least that was my best guess so far.
“Okay,” I finally conceded, too tired to argue, and I slowly dragged myself over into his bed,
It smelt like him which was a bit of a surreal experience, all things considered, but it wasn‘t like this arrangement was under normal circumstances. He was correct in saying that this was the safest place for me in the house, if not the entire pack, right now.
He moved to then leave but I spoke up before he could go.
“...Aleric?” I called softly.
He quickly looked back up, meeting my gaze. “Yeah?”
I bit at the inside of my cheek, unsure how to properly express what I needed to say.
“Thank you… I wouldn‘t be here right now if you hadn‘t come for me.”
“...Always,” he said simply and left before I could reply.
Now left in the dark to my own thoughts, I wondered what tomorrow would look like. From sneaking outt o attend a meeting, to now being attacked within my own bedroom, I was sure Tytus would have several