Drake was gone again when I awoke. CJ and I had been working in the magic room all morning. It wasn’t because of Karver, but a deep sense of foreboding I had about our current situation. I wanted…I needed Christopher to be as strong as he could. He was always trying to protect me and everyone else around us, so it was time I started letting him.
I watched as he cast magic freely. His face was beaming as he created a teddy bear army and explored the depths he could reach within the source. Still he was unable to fully control it in its entirety, but watching him try and knowing that the demon blood in him prevented him from pain, I let him.
“Are you sure this is wise?” Mom asked appearing in the room.
“You’ve been watching us haven’t you? You see the constant threats to your Grandson? To me? He needs this Mom. I need him to be able to control himself if anything ever happened to me.”
“Men cannot be trusted with this type of magic, Zoe! It’ll corrupt him! Look at what he’s doing!” she said noticing the army was now dressed like him; he’d created clones of himself in bear form and crowned himself king.
“It’s cute! Is that why you were begging me to have a daughter? Mom, Chris is your Grandson; give him a chance to learn.”
“It doesn’t matter, Sweetie. Men consume themselves with power and it eats away at them until they get to the point where the craving to have more is the only thing driving them. Chris will be no different. And I can only imagine what the added demon traits would do.”
“I can guide him Mom! I can keep him on the right path!”
She started flickering. “I can’t stay, I just wanted to try and talk sense into you. You must take control of the source and use it yourself. You can’t let him do this, Zoe. Please, trust me on this.”
“They’ll be his if I die Mom. I can’t change that.”
“Just try…” she said as she vanished.
My head was pounding. I rubbed at my temples as the situation weighed heavy on me. Demons from every corner, Drake working with the ruler of all evil, Mom pressuring me to have a child and Chris in constant danger, it was enough to drive me to kill.
“I believe in you baby. I have to.”
He got rid of his summons, walked over to me and asked to be picked up.
I scooped him into my arms, turned out the lights and walked into the kitchen to prepare him a bottle.
It started getting darker outside; clouds; a low overhanging encircled the house. I checked the time, 11:15am; I moved closer to the door and stared out the window as the bottle warmed.
Out of the corner of my eye I caught movement. Whatever it was quickly approached the door and the handle began turning. I jumped back as the cloaked figure popped up in the window.
Chris immediately slammed the door shut and I rushed over to lock it. “Not again.” I turned off the warmer and ran to check the other doors. Ensuring they were all locked, Chris and I stood in the middle of the living room and waited.
From the front window I could see a gathering of people. The house was surrounded by men in dark cloaks. I sat Christopher on the floor as I frantically dialed Drake. “Answer please, baby.”
“We want the boy! Send him out and we’ll leave you alive!” I heard a deep, raspy voice announce from outside.
I looked at him as I realized that next shoe had finally dropped. This is the beginning of what Karver is after, I was sure of it.
“That’s not happening! Leave now and I’ll let you live!” I replied.
I saw an immediate response as they all descended upon the house, banging on the windows and doors trying to gain entry. I quickly grabbed Chris and headed upstairs.
I ran towards the bedroom and was grabbed from behind.
“Witch! Hand over the boy!” her face was partially covered in strange markings and her eyes were a bright yellow glow.
I threw her up against the wall as I rushed forward with CJ. I locked us into his bedroom and summoned up protection. I focused on the one that was just in the hall, tightening my grip around her.
I started squeezing the air from her lungs; I could hear her choking just outside the door. She gripped at her throat as the last of the oxygen released.
Her corpse fell to the floor and the others with her quickly rushed to the door, trying to pry it open.
Chris moved towards the window. “Baby!” I yelled grabbing him back. “You’re not going out there! Are you crazy?”
He started crying and I watched as a few of the hooded men moved closer to the house. “We have to get to Daddy, Chris. Can you make that happen?”
He stopped crying and looked at me. For the first time his intense blue eyes gave way to red sending a jolt of fear through me. “No…”
Before I could protest, I was standing in Karver’s throne room staring at Evelyn whose sinister smile only heightened my fear at this moment.
“Welcome Back,” she sneered.
I turned to exit the door but it vanished as I neared it.
“You won’t leave this room until Karver tells you to. Your…child teleported you to safety and you can thank Karver for that as well.”
Chris jumped from my arms and walked near the wolf at the throne. Macbeth and Midnight watched as he played with the animal.
I walked towards him and was cut off by Evelyn. She circled me taking in my scent as she continued to speak. “Did you enjoy the way he handled you? Drake I mean. Did you like what he did to you? I can smell it, the intense lovemaking. I taught him that, you’re welcome,” she grinned again.
I let her words echo in my head before raising a hand and slapping her hard across her left cheek. “You don’t want to fuck with me right now, bitch,” I said moving towards Chris again. I felt her claws rip through my shoulder.
I turned and tossed her off before charging and tackling her to the ground. We rolled around on the floor trying to gain dominance over the other before I was on top of her punching her as hard and quick as I could.
She shrieked and kicked me off before coming at me with as much ferocity. Her razor sharp nails aimed for my face and she tried to scratch the flesh from my cheeks.
I kicked at her, connecting to her midsection and dropping her again, the wind was knocked out of her and I stood above her slamming my foot harder into her side.
Unrelenting, I pulled her up by her hair and slapped her again; quickly my hand balled into a fist and I sent it crashing into her jaw.
She blocked my next movements and sent a high kick to my face.
I stumbled backwards and she came at me, her claw hooked into the side of my jaw and ripped a mark across my cheek.
Instantly blood began to pour from my wound and I grabbed at my face a little before rushing back towards her. I gripped her tight in my hands and slammed her against the wall. Her wing bent backwards and she screamed in pain. I noticed her agony and ripped at the feathers on her injured appendage.
She again pushed me away and tried to mend herself. I tossed her to the ground and levitated her before sending her crashing to the ground again.
“I’m going to kill you!” she yelled as she got to her feet.
The door opened behind her and Karver approached taking her by the back of her neck and slamming her into the wall.
He glared at me before turning back to her. “You know what’s about to happen now?” he growled in her ear.
“I’m sorry My Liege. I got carried away,” she begged.
Without another word, he teleported her somewhere and where ever she landed wasn’t good. I could hear her blood curdling screams echoing through the halls.
Karver approached me and took my face into his hands. “She got you good. Hellfire,” he said offering me his wrist.
I looked at him in disbelief. “I’m not drinking your blood.”
“If you prefer to live with the scar, that’s fine. It’s not going to heal any other way.”
I accepted his blood and felt the searing sore on my face begin to vanish.
I stood again to face him, “What the hell is happening? Who were those men, Karver?”
“Malachites,” was his one word answer.
“That’s a mineral, not a person.”
“Wrong. It’s how I like to refer to the group of Malachai’s followers, the ones that have fallen from my grace. Many have sought to destroy me and all have failed.”
“Who is Malachai?”
He didn’t answer; he only smiled before approaching his throne and throwing himself in it. His gaze went to Christopher playing with his wolf. “It’s surprising they bond like that. Phenrir hates everyone, I made sure of it.”
“If your wolf bites my son, I’m having him for dinner. Now stop avoiding this Karver! If you expect me to prepare Chris for something, I demand to know what it is!”
“You’re so pushy,” he smirked. He stood and approached me. “Your son is being hunted by Malachai because he wants to own my realm. Malachai and Zavier started a revolution; they contracted many demons underneath me and from all over the realm. It’s a push for my throne I should say, one that thanks to you and Chris will not take place, I’m ensuring that.”
“So you want my baby to prevent some pack of demons from dethroning you? You created them Karver, why don’t you just kill them?”
“If it were that easy, they’d all have been destroyed years ago. But everything as always is connected. While I can’t do anything to stop them without hurting myself, Chris can and Chris will when the time comes.”
“What assurance can you give me that he won’t be harmed? That he won’t be killed or hurt during this…war?”
“He has my blood in him; he is strong enough to handle them. Now you know,” he grinned. “How is his progress?”
“Full. He can handle source magic without repercussion. What makes them think they can take over your throne?”
“Every 100 years they try for my throne, Zoe; everyone wants to be the King. I’ve always been able to quell the uprising though. This time it was different. This time, Zavier had found your Mom, you; he had you under his control and during that time, he gathered up my enemies and planned to overthrow me.”
“What happens every 100 years?”
“You ask too many questions, you’re going to end up asking the wrong one and you’re not going to like the answer. Stop while you’re ahead,” he glared at me.
“Fine, I’ll stop. Where’s Drake?”
“Busy,” he stopped. “That was another question. I want you to stay here with Christopher. I’ll send him to you when I can, but for now, sit tight.”
“How long are we going to be here? I need to feed him.”
He looked at me then to Chris before exiting the room.
I walked over and took a seat near CJ. “You like the wolf baby?”
He smiled as he hopped on his back. “I take that as a yes.”
Hours passed and I was becoming restless. Chris too had fallen asleep and I held him in my lap.
The door reappeared and I heard it open.
“Dah dee,” Chris said sitting up and running towards him.
“Did he just say what I think he did?” Drake asked picking him up.
“He called you Daddy,” I confirmed.
“Oh, that’s my boy!” he hugged him tight and kissed his cheek before bringing me into his arms for a kiss as well.
“Chris needs food and I need to know when this will all be over.”
“There’s a small mutiny starting here, baby and I just learned that from someone I finished extracting information from.”
“I know, Karver mentioned it. There’s a push for power; everyone is after his throne. He said he wants Chris to take care of those threats; that was his purpose of me training him.”
Drake looked at me before sitting Chris on the floor. He held me close and whispered in my ear, “How are you feeling about this?”
“I think you know the answer to that, Drake. I can’t even think straight. I just want this over now.”
The door opened and Evelyn entered inside. She was in her human form and followed by Karver. He grabbed her arm and pointed her to a chair behind his throne; she took a seat and kept her eyes diverted from me and Drake.
“I need Chris to stay here tonight,” he announced. “I’m not asking and I’m not in the mood for any complaints,” he looked at me. “He stays.”
“Then I’m staying. I’m not leaving him here exposed to whatever you have in store for him.”
His face warped into the beast from the Nanny cam and he charged at me. Drake jumped in front of him before he could reach me.
“I’ll take care of her.”
“Handle it, Steele, before you become a widower!”
Drake approached me and whispered softly, “Go home, Zoe. I’ll stay with Chris.”
“Drake I can’t do that. I can’t leave him here…”
“I’ll be with him every step baby, you can’t stay here. You won’t be able to.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Trust me please. Just leave. I’ll have him back as soon as we’re done here.”
A tear fell from my eye and I nodded my compliance. Chris hugged me before Karver cast me out.