Chapter dedicated to Pinklizabeth. Thanks so much for reading my stories!! 

Chapter 34 – Destroy Them All – Raine's POV

I felt a dull ache in my head as I slowly came to consciousness. I knew something was wrong, but had no idea what. I tried to roll back my memories. I couldn't sleep and had gone into the main kitchen for hot cocoa. Teo found me.

Teo!! He must have spiked the cocoa!

My eyes flew open to find Teo sitting across from me – along with Hayden!

"What the fuck are you doing?!" I snarled, jumping to my feet. "He will kill you for this!" I swayed unsteadily, still under the effect of the drug.

Hayden spoke soothingly, "Sit back down so that you don't fall. Yes, Teo may not have asked your permission before bringing you here. But if you notice, you are not bound. I told you before I wouldn't hurt you. As soon as we are done talking, you can walk out of this room."

I sank back into the chair and groaned softly.

Teo flinched and murmured, "Sorry about that. The effect should wear off quickly."

Fury raged through me. I spat accusingly, "You are the spy! How could you consort with him?! You are a vampire!"

A muscle in his jaw twitched. His eyes were hard as he replied, "I have my own reasons. I took a huge risk by revealing myself to you, because I know with one word, you could have me killed. But maybe I'm not the bad guy here, like you think I am. I just thought you should know the truth. Once you hear it, you can do with it as you wish."

I stared at him confusion. That wasn't the answer I expected. I looked over to Hayden. It was obvious he had the answers.

Hayden began gently, "I know that you think you love him. You wouldn't have fought for him if you didn't."

I realized Hayden assumed the only reason I had fought for Cage was out of love. He still was not aware that I had been willing to give my life for Cage; even after Cage informed me he was going to kill me. I didn't respond.

He continued, "But your destiny is with us. It is what your mother would have wanted."

I inhaled sharply, "You knew my mother?!"

He replied with obvious affection, "Yes, she was as unique as you are. Kind and loving, with an untamed spirit. Many of the hunters mourned her death."

My heart constricted. I had always pictured her living her life somewhere in the world, just not wanting me. But maybe a part of me always knew the truth. I whispered brokenly, "She's dead?"

His features pained. He leaned toward me and murmured, "I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this. It is said that she died at the hands of Marku, but we believe that Armand killed her after he found out about her affair."

"Armand killed my mother?!" I couldn't breathe, fear rippling through me. Why would Armand kill her?! And then his words clicked. It couldn't possibly be true, but I knew of only one woman who Armand would have given a shit over having an affair. The words sounded foreign coming out of my mouth as I asked hysterically, "Are you telling me that Brialle was my mother?!"

Anger coursed through him and his fists clenched as he explained, "Yes and that monster killed her shortly after she gave birth to you."

A part of what he said didn't make sense. Armand was not a forgiving man when it came to Brialle. I asked in confusion, "Why did he let me live?"

Hayden's response made perfect sense, "He never knew about you. She ran from him and hid the pregnancy. If he had known, he surely would have hunted down any child she had and likely killed it in front of her, just a punish her."

I shuddered hard. Felaern had warned me if Armand became aware of my lineage, he would try to kill me. Suddenly, I remembered Cage telling me that Queen Ileana suspected that Brialle had had an affair with a Hunter! I whispered, "Who is my father?"

Hayden nodded as if he knew my thoughts and confirmed, "Yes, your father is a vampire Hunter."

No, no, no...It couldn't be true, I wanted to scream. But yet, I knew that it was.

"It is what the prophecy foretold," Hayden continued.

"Prophecy..." I murmured, still in shock.

Hayden extracted an ancient book from his pocket. He flipped it open and handed it to me. He spoke from memory: "A child born of an impossible union, an immortal and a vampire hunter, whose loyalty rests on the head of a pin, bringing great devastation and ultimate victory."

"There are very few immortals known to exist. We narrowed it down to Brialle, but neither she nor her hunter lover ever admitted to the relationship, so we still do not know who your father is. We finally found your birth certificate, which led us to you but she didn't list his name.

"But you think he is alive?"

"Yes, we suspect it is one of the Elders. We cannot fault him for not coming forward. Maybe he will now that you are found. However both he and you would be Armand's biggest targets."

Devastation consumed me as tears flowed down my cheeks. Hayden spoke the words I was thinking, "I really am sorry. It is obvious that you have feelings for him, but he cannot mate with you. Armand would never allow it. And if he did mate with you, then he would no longer be successor to the throne."

I trembled uncontrollably.

Hayden leaned forward and touched my hand gently. He implored, "I came here to free you. We know you are meant to finally, once and for all, destroy them. It is what your mother would have wanted, to vindicate her death at the hands of a tyrannous cruel man."

"How the fuck am I supposed to destroy them all?!" I hissed angrily. Everyone kept talking about how dangerous I was, but so far, all I seem to do was try to sacrifice myself.

"Prophecies do not give us all of the details. It is just clear that you have the ability to cause them great destruction. Stand by my side, fight with me. I can protect you. I would never let Armand harm you. If Cage found out, his loyalty is to the throne and Armand first. He would have to tell Armand."

Pain shot through me. It was the same thing Felaern had said. He had said that Cage's loyalties would be tested if he knew. And I knew how strongly Cage felt toward his duty.

"Please come with me," Hayden requested intently.

I couldn't think, but I did know one thing. I wasn't going to run away from him, without any explanation, again. I tried to speak past the lump in my throat and replied, "No. You said I would be free to go when you are done. Did you speak the truth?"

His face fell. "Yes, Teo can help you find your way back. I would ask that you not reveal him. He doesn't deserve to die for you."

I flinched. I had no intention of making Teo die for me. I stood and replied shortly, "I give you my word."

As Teo and I left, Hayden issued one last warning to my retreating figure, "Raine, you cannot go through with the union..."

I didn't turn around.

.

Just curious, was it pretty obvious that Brialle was going to be her mother?  Since another woman wasn't mentioned, I thought it might be, but I can never tell for sure as I write it.

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