The Plot Thickens - 8 | i

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Marx was still trapped. He knew that the things he saw were not real, but they felt real. The acrid smell of blood and death seemed as real as anything else in his life. The dry, hot air against his skin, the sounds of battle that had his heart racing. At this point, it was hard for his mind not to succumb to the things around him.

Before him, war was raging.

Vampires.

Werewolves.

Humans.

Shadows. Not like the ones Sven had conjured but the real deal. There was so many of them. Their wispy forms merged, weaving around the vampires, werewolves, and humans who fought them. It seemed like a never-ending battle. All sides were denying defeat as they fought, many to their last breaths.

Among the warring factions were his family—his pack. He saw Daniel and Ava fighting back to back, one unit, connected by their minds and souls. When one moved the other did the same, their bond like nothing Marx had ever seen. It was a beauty to watch in the midst of the ugly scene before him. Shea was there as well fighting like a demon out of hell. Marx could hear Penny's roars though he could not see her. They sent chills down his spine. Helick and Garrick fought with the rest of his family, but how were they going to win? How were they to fight magic with brute force?

Vescovi and the other two families along with the vampires they led were also part of the fight. Roan and his men were holding their own, but their numbers were diminishing. Just as the number of people in Marx's pack. He could feel their deaths like tiny cuts in his soul. He pushed it all to the back of his mind; he needed a clear head.

No matter what he tried he could not reach them. They were right there, right in front of him but there was an invisible barrier between him and them. Marx slammed himself against it again and again, but there was no getting through. He shouted at them, his voice going hoarse, but no one seemed to notice him. He paced running his hands through his hair thumping at the barrier in frustration.

The shadows started to pull back. Under other circumstances, this would be a good thing, but Marx found it suspicious. Why would the shadows be retreating? They had the upper hand; they were pressing his pack and the others hard. Why would they pull back?

Pulling back the shadows formed a circle in the sky over the battlefield. All eyes were on them. Their wispy hands started to move, and a rune shimmered in the air in the center of the circle. Ava knew what it meant, and it was clear that she was giving the others the order to retreat. Marx could not hear what she was saying, but he saw the fear and urgency in her face. His pack and his allies scattered running to retreat. They came up short against the invisible barrier that had barred him from them. They thumped their fists against it—all their efforts as futile as his were.

The sky boiled like a cauldron of darkness, the air crackling with energy. Lightning laced across the sky, the roll of thunder reverberating through the earth. All attempts to break through the barrier ceased as all eyes rose to the heavens.

From the portal, that the runic symbol made came death. Death with the face of a man. Ava rose up to confront him but even before that, Marx knew who it was.

He could not hear them, but the confrontation appeared heated. Ava attacked first the man deflecting his runes as if they were more of an irritant than a threat. His attack, however, dealt a deathblow. As Ava started freefalling back to the ground, her body broke apart into thin wisps of black mist. The mist dispersed on the winds before reaching the ground. Daniel's roar of outrage and pain echoed through Marx's mind.

With brutal ease, the being started to wipe out the army that stood against him. Marx felt the death of each member of his pack now like atomic blows in his gut. Their deaths—like dominoes falling—caused a ripple effect too powerful for him to push aside. The force sent him to his knees. No words could describe the magnitude of the pain he felt. Shea's death had Marx gasping, his head falling back. At that moment, he could hear her laugh, see her smile and then she was gone.

Writhing on the ground Marx turned to look at the beast that stood behind him. His alpha. It stood there watching, waiting. He feared it, but there was one thing he feared more—losing the people he loved. Pulling his body across the uneven ground Marx tried to make his way to it. Daniel's death cut his approach short as the pain had Marx Curling into a ball on his side. Hot spears of pain coursed through him as the King of Shadows took all he held dear. It was too late. They were all going to die. All because he was so focused on himself, he did not recognize all he stood to lose.

"Fight," he heard a voice say. "Fight for them. This is not over."

Through the foggy haze of pain, Marx made out a face he saw every time he closed his eyes. But it was not just a face anymore. She was there, kneeling beside him.

"Celeste?" Her name felt heavy on his lips.

"You must fight for them."

"I-I can't. It's—too late." He roared as Helick's death slice through his chest. Hot tears burnt in his eyes. The taste of desperation and anguish sore in his mouth.

"It is only too late if you let it. If you give up. Fight my love. You will not lose yourself. You are accepting who you were meant to be."

Marx's stomach roiled—tears streaming from his eyes. Grief gripped his mind and pain ravaged his body. The wounds were deeper than flesh and bone.

"I-I can't get to it."

"Call him; he will come. Trust him; he will protect you and all the ones you love."

"I couldn't protect you," Marx said.

Her hand felt warm against his cheek where she touched him. "My love that was a long time ago. There is nothing to gain from living in the past. Now is what you need to fight for. You need to get up and accept what you are—completely. There is a war coming, one like you have never seen. One you will not be able to fight if you do not do this thing."

She moved away from him and Marx tried to reach for her. He did not want her to go. He could not lose her again. Not now. Not when he was losing everything else.

He could do nothing as he watched Celeste walk over to the alpha. The beast's attention moved from him to her. It lowered its head as she reached a hand up to touch his face. Marx felt her hand on his skin.

"He will give you the strength if you allow him," he heard her say. "Open yourself. Accept. Trust—live."


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Author's Note:

So we're back with more Shadow Wolf and things are about to take another turn.

Feedback and comments are welcomed. Happy reading :)

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