My phone rings non stop as I drive to the coven, my father’s name flashing on the caller ID.
Would you pick up the f****”g phone already? Jack snarls. It’s driving me crazy.
f**k you, I mutter, my eyes flicking to the rear view mirror where I catch a glimpse of my mother’s body.I tighten my grip on the steering wheel as a wave of sadness hits me.I just took my father’s mate.
Don’t feel too sorry for him, Jack sneers, his voice a low rumble growing louder and stronger with every passing second.
Need I remind you, your father is the reason we’re in this mess! My father did nothing- Nothing? Jack scoffs, the hairs on his back bristling with rage.
He did not approve of our mate.He made her feel small and insignificant.He looked down on her no matter what she did and she was never good enough for him.
But worst of all, he made you believe you deserved better.
He made you believe you could find someone better when the best thing that ever happened to us was standing right in front of us! And like a weakling, you let his beliefs corrupt our marriage to the most perfect woman to ever cross our path from all of his overwhelming anger.
He deserves this pain, Jack whispers.He deserves to feel what I feel every day.
I shove my wolf to the back of my mind, slamming my foot on the accelerator as I speed down the secluded road until I pull up to the lake house.
There is a pyre set up near the shore of the water where the witches are gathered, and as I come to a stop, Lorelei, one of the witches, walks towards the driveway, her eyes following me as I step out of the car.
“You did it,” Loreli says, her judging eyes scanning me carefully.
“Where do you want her?” I snap, opening the back seat door and carefully lifting my mother in my arms.
“Bring her to the pyre.The sooner we get started, the sooner you’ll be able to find your son,” Lorelei instructs.
I carry my mother’s body to the pyre and set her down gently, the entire time convincing myself that her death will not be in vain.I’ll soon have my pup home along with my mate by my side, where they belong.
As I step back to let the witches work, I take note of the ritual set up.
Embedded in the wood surrounding the pyre are stalks of sage and mugwort.
Enclosing the pyres is a circle and beautiful runes carved into the earth and there are candles that sit at the northern, eastern, southern, and western points of the circle.
The four witches, Loreli, Endora, Melusine and Sinnan stand them above their heads.
“The God of Chaos has agreed to help you find your son in exchange for your mother’s blood,” Lorelei says to me.
“We will now call to him to offer your sacrifice and seek his guidance to help us cast our spell for you.”
“I call unto Air to connect us to the Realm of the Gods, I call unto Fire to purify this body and its blood, I call unto Water to release its spirit, I call unto Earth to ground our purpose and give Kay her peace.”
The witches step into the circle, and from her sleeve, Endora, the second witch, pulls out a dagger and walks to the pyre, chanting something under her breath.
I watch in horror as she raises the dagger above her head and calls to the God of Chaos.
“I call Spirit to join us and bless this sacrifice.God of Chaos, hear our pleas.Bring us your wisdom, guide us through the darkness, show us the truth!”
She buries the dagger in my mother’s chest, blood spilling over the pyre.
I feel disgust churn in my stomach as I watch the ritual but I cannot bring myself to look away as Endora makes slits across my mother’s wrists and neck.
Satisfied that the pyre is bathed in the right amount of blood, Endora steps back to the inner edge of the circle, the third witch, Melusine, taking the candle representing fire to the pyre and setting my mother ablaze with flames, speaking in tongues I do not understand.
A strong wind blows past me, pulling smoke from the pyre to the heavens to form a ring.
The ring of smoke grows thicker and thicker until it dissolves, ashes falling like snowflakes onto the earth.
The witches stop their chanting, working in unison to draw water from the lake to dampen the earth surrounding the pyre.
A mixture of blood, ashes, sage and water stain the earth and when the four witches turn to face me, their eyes are jet black and a mischievous smile graces their lips.
“It’s not often a wolf seeks my help,” the four witches say in unison, their voices morphing into one.
“So I could not pass up an opportunity to help a creation of my sister’s.”
“Who are you?” I ask, the hairs on the back of my neck standing up.
“Why, I’m hurt,” the witches reply with a pout.
“After all, it was you who summoned me here,” the witches add, all four now circling me like prey.
“I have many names, Loki, Balor, Apophis, Yam…Chaos.”
Beads of sweat gather on my forehead as I struggle to keep track of all four witches as they circle me, their figures morphing to all look the same yet at the same look distinct.
“Are you afraid?” the witches snicker at me, Lorelei stepping closer to me.
“Would you prefer to speak to someone else?”
Before my eyes, the witch’s face contorts and shifts until I find myself staring back at Natalia.
In disbelief, I reach out to caress her cheek only to be slapped in the face by her.
“You do not touch a God, you i***t!” Chaos roars.
I step back in fear, God of Chaos suddenly bursting into laughter as I stare back in confusion.
“So you wish to find your pup?” the God asks, his voice mimicking Natalia’s.
“Y-yes,” Inod, keeping my guard up around the strange God.
“And my wife.”
Chaos corrects me, Jack growling in response.
Chaos inhales deeply and one of the witches brings him a dagger while another hands him Natalia’s burnt hair brush.
“Follow me,” he instructs.
Though weary of the God taking the form of my mate, I follow him into the circle where the pyre still burns with intensity.
“Magic is about balance. To take, you must give,” the God explains.
“Just how much are you willing to give to retrieve your pup?”
“Your mother’s blood was necessary to bring me to this world for death is one of the bridges between the realms,” the God smirks.
“What are the others?” I ask, afraid to know the answer.
“None of your business!”
Chaos snaps, Natalia’s eyes turning jet black.
The God of Chaos takes a deep breath to calm down and 4much are you willing to give to retrieve your pup?”
Everything! Jack snarls.
We’ll give him everything! Chaos seems to know Jack’s answer and grins mischievously.
“Then let’s begin.”
He tosses Natalia’s hair brush into the pyre and I watch it be consumed by the flames.
Chaos then takes my hand and I grimace as he slices my palm with the dagger, letting my blood pour over the flames.
Suddenly my head feels as though it’s burning, and I bend over in agony, holding my head in my hands.
Christian! Jack howls before disappearing into oblivion.I suddenly feel very alone with my thoughts, unable to see or feel Jack’s presence.
Jack? I call out into the depths of my mind, hearing nothing but silence.
Jack! The God of Chaos puts his hand in the flame and from the fire, he extracts a blue stone.
The stone almost glows against the fire but becomes opaque once cooled by the night air.
“To take, you must give,” Chaos says smugly I shake my head hoping to hear my stupid wolf but he never replies.
“What did…w-what did you do to me?”
I cry, staring at the stone in his hand.
“You wanted to find your pup,” the God shrugs.
“Now you can. A bright light blinds me, forcing me to close my eyes and when I open them again, a series of images materialize within the dancing flames.
Hushed whispers bombard my head as I stare into the fire until finally, I see Dakota’s face take shape.
My heart beats a mile a minute as I watch the vision expand to reveal my mate holding Dakota in her arms.
Natalia appears to be speaking to someone, but I cannot make out who it is.
As she speaks, our little boy rests his head on his mother’s shoulder and she gently combs her fingers through his hair.
A deep voice murmurs in my ear.
“California…” whispers another.
The voices grow louder, the sounds almost overwhelming and I cover my ears in frustration, hoping to make them stop.
I close my eyes, the vision in the flames coming to an end and my pup and mate disappearing into ashes.
“You are now your own compass,” The God of Chaos explains.
“The voices will guide you to your pup.”
“And my wolf?” I ask, resting my hand against my forehead to soothe my growing headache.
“He is now contained within this small stone,” the God of Chaos smiles.
“In order to help you, I had to give you a part of me.In exchange, I took a part of you.Now we’re even,”
Chaos says smugly, my mind filling with panic as the voices collide with my thoughts.
“Your son resides within a heavily protected pack in California.It won’t be easy to infiltrate,”
The God snickers.
“The will be given a medallion tonight.You have until the full moon to find him and give me the medallion or I will keep your wolf and you will become human…permanently.”
I stare down at my bare hands, the thought of becoming human disgusting me.
This isn’t what I signed up for!
“Y-you can’t do that!” I snap.
“I asked you how much you were willing to give up and your wolf answered for you.Deal with it,”
“Do you want your pup to spend the rest of his life thinking another man is his father?”
Chaos sneers, Natalia’s figure morphing back to Lorelei’s.
What? I snarl, a bitter anger filling my soul.
What other man? Dakota is mine!
“I would act quickly if I were you, Christian,” the God calls out as he turns to the other witches.
“Before it’s too late.”
The witches once again move in unison, raising their hands above their heads.
A ring of smoke once again takes form above the pyre, growing larger and larger until it finally dissolves.
The witches chant under the breath as they draw more water from the lake, this time washing it over the pyre and putting out the flames.
Blood and ashes mix once more over the earth and when the four witches turn to look my way, I am relieved to see the color of their eyes return to normal, the God of Chaos long gone closely.
“You should hurry.The full moon will soon be upon us.”
She hands me the blue stone, carefully folding my fingers over it.
“Chaos has given you your own wolf to keep.When you have the medallion, summon Him and he will release Jack back to you.Should the stone get lost or break, you will lose Jack forever.Handle it with care and good luck.Our work here is finished.”
“But how do I-“
“Listen to the voices,”
Lorelei snaps with annoyance.
“They are your connection to Chaos.”
She wordlessly turns on her heel and together with the other witches, she closes the circle and begins to perform a cleanse.
A voice hisses near my ear.
Queen of Ivory.
Go now! She’s moving! Go…
Eager to make the voices stop, I head over to the car, thinking of my mate and my pup as I start the engine.
I glance into the rearview mirror, a vision of Natalia and Kota sleeping together materializing before me.
Tears glisten on my mate’s cheeks and for once, I feel the urge to comfort her.
“Don’t worry, Nat,”
I murmur, pulling out of the driveway.
“I’ll bring you home.”