Kissed by Lightning Ch. 06bySilverDawn©
Thank you so much for being so thoughtful about my school work. It means a lot to hear you guys say that.
You're all right, school is my life, but this... is it crazy that this is just as important to me. I've never done anything like this before and right now, it's the only thing keeping me sane. Seeing all your comments makes me want to better myself as a writer to provide the best possible work. But I also want to continue the plot.
This might come as a shock but I don't have the story planned out to the last word. The story unravels to you as much as it does to me.
I let it come to life they way it wants to, naturally.
I know it might be slow and maybe lacking some common sense, but it's a different world. My characters are new and fresh and I completely agree that they require some more work to make them more realistic.
I also know that the story sometimes moves slowly and it drives me insane, but sometimes there's so many details I want to offer you.
I apologize if some of you don't personally don't like my way of writing, I am trying to improve those skills.
Thank you so much for being so supportive.
You guys are the reason why I work so hard, because I like knowing some how, some way I've made you smile or laugh, or feel sad for my characters.
Stefani's body hung from silver chains connected to the ceiling causing her wrist to ached. Her toes barely touched the floor. She had awoken tired and thirsty, in a pitch black room. She took a deep breath, trying to ease the throbbing headache. There was a stench in the room she couldn't place and her heart started racing as fear began to settle in.
With calming breaths, she forced herself to think rationally. She had no sense of time and wasn't sure how long she had been out. She only remembered the burning of the drug as it met her bloodstream and wrecked havoc on her nervous system, leaving her sore and exhausted. She heard footsteps drawing closer and she swallowed down the sobs.
"You shouldn't have left, Stefani" His voice cut through the darkness only seconds before the whip came down on her back. She screamed as white light burst behind her eyelids.
Cole jolted up on the bed, covered in sweat. Panting heavily, he felt his heart racing in fear. It took several minutes as it dawned on him that it wasn't his own. 'Stefani!' His breath came out in hard angry pants. His chest didn't ache as much but there was a thirst burning his throat that made it difficult to think.
His gaze was pinned to the ceiling. As his body healed from the physical torment his mind also healed. He was also clear enough to acknowledge something was wrong with his wolf, the animal was too quiet. No amount of calling was bringing him out of to the surface, which worried him. Letting out a sigh he sat back up, looking around the room for the first time.
It was the medical center in the O'Faolain pack, whose alpha he didn't personally know. Cole knew what lay ahead was going to be an ongoing amount of obstacles. His rational mind tried to work the ramifications. How much should he reveal to the packs without going against his mission?
Lucian walked into the clinic, to find Cole sitting up on the bed, looking out towards the windows apprehensively.
"Cole." His voice was barely a whisper but Cole looked up, his eyes hardening. Lucian recognized the anger in his eyes, the clear disappointment.
Lucian swallowed hard, "The alpha wants you to come upstairs. Now that you're awake, we can start the meeting."
Cole wanted to beat the living daylights out of Lucian and Johnson. He had specifically left them to protect her and they'd fail her- they had all failed her. Lucian helped him dress and led him upstairs.
Alpha O'Faolain sat at the head of the table with alpha Mactire on his left. Audrina Mactire and Faust Mactire sat by their son, their faces anxious. They had arrived last night and had almost begged to see Cole but Alpha O'Faolain had made it clear they would see him at the meeting. The O'Faolain betas sat all on Rain's right. Down at the end were Elba and Johnson, eagerly waiting.
Although at the top of the hierarchy was the alpha, because they were the strongest most capable of defending the pack, and who led and ruled over the civilians. Most importantly the alpha was a defender, a protector, a provider.
Rain watched the Elders present in the room.
Elders, the oldest survivors of the royal family, gained wisdom and strength from years of experience and training. They held great power and knowledge that was lost to most of their kind. They were a different entity all on their own. Although they fell under the alphas command and dictate, they could still act on their own accord. Part of the pack and yet separate.
They also had many secrets, knew things from the past that only they had the privilege to know and would reveal only if necessary. That was just the way they worked. Secrecy had kept them alive for so long. Rain hated secrets. He was an alpha after all.
The silence in the room was uncomfortable as they listened to the heavy footsteps approaching the door. Audrina stood up as the doors opened. Lucian stepped through and stepped to the side and Cole Mactire stood in the doorway. His huge body barely fit in the doorway.
Audrina's body trembled. She choked down her sobs, stepping forward slowly. Cole gazed his eyes over her, searching for the alpha's brown eyes. All the elders in the room sat stunned at seeing the ghost of the great Cole Mactire.
His face was still bruised. His body ached as he walked by his trembling mother who couldn't hold down her tears. Faust stood and wrapped her in his arms, comforting her breaking heart. Cole sat at the opposite end of the table, meeting Rain's eyes without submission.
Most people would look away at the sight of an angry alpha, but Cole Mactire was in no position to back down. Hale bit down his harsh comments as his parents sat back down. They were both clearly in shock. How could this man treat his parents this way?!
"Who are you?" Rain's voice cut through the silence, snapping Hale back out of his angry trance.
Cole raised his eyebrow at the pointless question. Out of the corner of his eyes, he could see his parents, clearly shaken. The bond to his parents that he had fought over the years to bury was still dormant within him. As pain cut through his soul he could no longer deny the yearning he had to have his family back. He took a deep breath. He had a mission and he couldn't afford to think about his desires right now.
"My name is Cole Mactire. First born of the Mactire Clan. Son to Audrina Mactire and Faust Mactire. About three hundred years old, I would say." His tone was defiant, bored and arrogant.
Rain struggled to contain his anger. "You are in my territory wolf. You should respect the alpha that helped save your life!"
Cole stiffened, "You should have left me right where I was. You fell into an obvious trap! I suggest you focus more on your abilities to make educated decisions rather than your territorial impulses." Rain pressed his lips together and rubbed his temples, forcing himself not to think of her. The room fell silent for a couple minutes.
"We didn't know they were after her." Johnson spoke up, cutting the silence.
Cole's eyes move to his, "Of course you didn't!" Sarcasm dripped in his tone.
"You were told to protect her. What reason did you think that was for? Two hundred years I disappear and everyone seems to have become incompetent at deducing information. I trusted you with her life. Worse, I'm sure she came to trust you with her life as well." A small, sad smile pulled across his lips as he thought back on her personality. Always so trusting and warm. His heart ached.
"Enough!" Audrina stood up, slamming her hands on the table, her eyes leaking tears as she looked down at her son. "You want to walk right over us. The parents who have suffered centuries over your death, fine! But you will respect the alphas. We want to hear all of it. Out with it." Her voice was hard and unrelenting. Faust had his hand on top of hers. He could feel the sorrow overwhelming her, but he could sense her strength as well.
He looked up, finally meeting his mother's eyes and pain flashed through his eyes momentarily. Her dirty blond hair was styled short. A good look for her. Her green eyes melting everything inside him, but he forced himself to harden his core and look away.
"I don't know how much they know," nodding his head towards the younger people in the room. Lucian nodded his head in affirmation, they knew enough.
"Clearly I survived the fire those many years ago. He came in the shelter of night, with vampires, so many vampires They stopped all communication from going out, so there would be no call for help. The Haven pack fought hard, but in the end they were overwhelmed. Rodan, the rogue, was ruthless that night. He burnt everything to the ground, sparing no woman or child." Cole's eyes drifted, as he recalled that night. The fire burning away at the compound, the screams and howls breaking through the dawn's light still tormented him at night. The destruction, the deaths, all of it hung heavy on his conscious as it always had.
"We watched as betas, thetas and omegas were slaughtered before our eyes. We managed to escape, Drake, Dawn and I. I argued that we should go to the Mactire pack and seek protection. They refused. Alpha Haven was almost at death's door, having lost great amounts of blood. He almost died. It was lady Haven, who cried so hard, screamed so hard, that I thought then that I knew true heartbreak.
She begged me not to leave them, she begged me to help watch over him. So I stayed. It was my duty to protect them. I was determined to come back to the pack though, to set things straight and most importantly, to wipe that scum from the face of the planet." Cole let out a sigh, his anger bubbling under the surface but he held himself in check.
"We all knew Rodan would search for us, if he though us to be alive. He wouldn't ever give up his search for Dawn. His crazy obsession would lead us all to our deaths......So we went into hiding." He looked back and remembered how hard it had been to give up his whole life, it had been a form of voluntary exile.
"I didn't understand then what was happening. We knew we had to split up. So I went into the human world. I started a human life for myself, pulled myself completely from the grid in the paranormal world. For years, I didn't hear anything from the Havens." Everyone seemed to lean forward, a legend unfolding in front of their eyes.
"For almost two hundred years, there was no sign of them. Until about twenty-five years ago." His voice lowered to a thoughtful whisper.
Audrina stared at him blankly, trying hard not to cry. "You were alive all this time and you never thought to come back?" Faust's voice was accusing. Cole shook his head at his father. They were all missing the point.
"We couldn't! We just couldn't take that risk," Cole looked away, trying to forget the yearning that haunted him. He swallowed hard, looking up at the people in the room. He straightened his back, preparing himself for the part of the story he would never forget.
"Drake Haven was my mentor. It was my duty to go back to them but It wasn't till they contacted me that I received my final assignment. I thought it was finally time to surface. To come back to the pack, but I was wrong. When I got there, I found something that changed my life forever, my very reason for living." He took a deep breath, looking up into Rain's eyes. Suspense was heavy in the air, and they all craved for what was next.
"Dawn Haven and Drake Haven. Two of the most powerful creatures to have walked this planet, had a child." He paused for a breath.
"Her name.... is Stefani Haven."
Cole sat on a tree trunk facing a small lake below. Her sweet strawberry scent subtle but it made his heart ache.
He thought back to the meeting. The room had fallen into a shocking silence. Elba had been the one to stand up and call a break. The elders left the room rush. His parents gave him a second glance, which he refused to meet. The huge O'Faolain alpha and the Mactire alpha, who Cole denied to be his brother, had stared at him hard as he had left the room heavily.
Taking a deep breath, her scent suffocated him. Burning down his throat and igniting a deep fire within his soul.
He purposely put off trying to connect with her mind, refusing to let himself know exactly what she was going through. He was a coward. Shame filled him, hot and boiling under his skin. He groaned slamming his fist down on the trunk, the wood breaking underneath his fist.
"My lord. Please be gentle with the tree." A soft female voice fluttered through the silence. He looked back at the small dark haired omega. He sighed, seeing her eyes a terrified shade of brown. Her fear was like a bucket of cold water to his senses.
"My alpha wishes you back in the manor. He has asked that I bring you to him." She hesitated, "Will you please come?" Her voice trembled, as if he would dare strike her. He shook his head and followed the small omega back into the mansion. Following her with distance, he could sense her distress but he hadn't done anything to provoke it. Omegas had this tendency of making him feel guilty for being strong.
Walking through the halls of the O'Faolain compound he felt a need to see his own home, to see what had changed, what hadn't. The longing made his heart ache.
Reaching the bottom of the huge staircases at the front of the manor, he straightened his back and hardened his heart, meeting the eyes of the alpha.
"You called?" Cole's voice was cold and detached. His parents were off to the side with Hale Mactire. Cole took in his height, his hair, long as he once had worn his. A warrior, a defender of his people, the way he had been. His eyes were hazel with silver rims. It was eerie staring at his own eyes in the face of a stranger.
He could see the similarities. He could sense the blood of the Mactire ran thick through his veins. There was no denying it, Hale Mactire was definitely his younger brother.
Rain took a deep breath, straining against the magical bonds holding his wolf together. Dismissing the young omega, he glared at Cole.
None of the elders could understand why Rain was so out of control, but their ancient magic had helped to subdue his animal until he could better analyze the situation. Cole Mactire, was the only person who held answers. The fact that the last surviving member of the Haven pack had been within his grasp and he had let her be taken, bothered him on a deep level. He told himself that was the only reason why he cared as much as he did.
"There's something I want you to see." Alpha O'Faolain answered and walked out, towards the general compound. Cole had no choice but to follow the alpha. He knew his parents were trailing behind, but the rest of elders were nowhere to be found.
They came to a stop at one of the omega quarters, being led inside by Hale.
"You kept her in the omega quarters?" Cole was not surprised at the degree of courtesy.
"I see the courtesy in this place has not improved since the last time I was here." Cole's voice was filled with disapproval. Rain growled but Hale opened the door to her room and quietly led him in.
Her scent saturated the air stronger than in any other place he'd been to. He let out a noise, something between a growl and a sob. He stepped further in. He sat on the bed, closing his eyes. He could almost see her walking through the room in her usual big t-shirt that he totally disapproved of.
"Why did you bring me here?" Cole's voice was hard but it shook slightly. He looked around. Something was off. Both alphas stood at the closed door, looking at him anxiously.
"Do you think there's something here?" Hale asked suspiciously, both alphas were weary and concerned at Cole's strange expression.
He stood up, looking around the room. Going into the bathroom and checking out the installment, he stepped back out into the room. His eyes scanned the room.
He knew her. She wouldn't have just left without saying a word. She was smarter than that. She must have left something behind, something that let him know what she had known. Cole walked over to the bed, reaching under the bed, his hand feeling for something. His eyes widened.
'So predictable' He thought, as he pulled out a small black bag. Pulling the bag open, he dumped layers of papers out onto the bed. Both Rain and Hale stepped closer to get a good look. They were pictures, countless pictures of Stefani. Most of them had target signs on them that left chills on all of them.
Cole picked up one of the pictures, "I remember this.... it was a couple months ago. They've been watching her for a while..." He let out a growl, his throat burned slightly at the thought of these monsters watching her from the shadows.
"I thought you were protecting her? How did you miss this?" Rain's voice was thick with venom.
"The same way you missed that she had these! The same way you let her walk out onto that field and get taken by bloody vampires!" Cole hissed in fury, his fists shaking at his sides. Hale picked up a little note card, with the bold red letters: 'You belong to us.'
"She knew they were coming for her. She knew that's what the ransom was really for." He paused, "How did I miss this?!" Hale threw the note back down with disgust. Shame filled him. He recalled their conversation, she had promised to bring his brother back. All along she had known the price of that promise.
Cole looked around, his eyes landing on a portrait on the bedside table.
Cole with his arms wrapped around Stefani, his head resting on top of her head, both smiling mischievously. He remembered that day, the sun had been shining. They were at a park, having their usual picnic lunch when she launched herself at him, tickling him for taking her jelly sandwich. A little smile formed on his lips. He reached down to pick it up. He held it lovingly in his grasp.
"You've been protecting her all this time, why? Is she your mate?" Hale's voice whispered across the room. His brother's voice was strange to his ears, yet uniquely familiar. Cole only shook his head. Turning around the frame and taking off the back, a small folded up paper was nestled behind the picture.
"No. She's not my mate. She's the most important person in my life." He picked up the little paper, sitting down heavily on the bed, he read out loud.
'Cole, if you're reading this, it must mean I'm gone, so you're safe.
Forgive me, I didn't want it to come to this, but there was no progress on getting you back. I had to do something!
I found the pictures in my apartment, along with the note.
Cole, they've been watching me... for a while.
What do they want? I don't understand? Why me?
I've been so lonely, so confused, and so lost. I can't distinguish between my nightmares and reality anymore. I feel like I'm loosing my mind.
Cole, you should have told me about your life, about what you were. I wonder if I meant anything to you. In the many centuries you've lived, I wonder if I made any impact in your life. But it really doesn't matter anymore.
I'm going with him tomorrow Cole. You deserve another chance to be with your family. You have a little brother Cole. He has your eyes and your parents..... They've missed you so much. They're good people, you were right.
I do like them.
Please be safe, Cole. There's still so much I don't understand but I'll be strong for you.
Please forgive me. You've done so much for me over the years, all I've ever been was a burden to you and this is the only way I can pay you back. I'm giving you, your family back. T