Chapter 55

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The full moonlight was shining down on the altar in the dark woods. Gazing around, there was no sign of anyone coming to help. The only smell in her nose was that of demon, and the searing flesh of the werewolves on their knees in the dirt. 

Gazing upward, the moon was shining brightly down on them, highlighting the altar. All demons were standing shoulder to shoulder, lowly chanting the same phrase over and over again in an unknown language. 

Closing her eyes, Aylin tipped her head up to the sky. 'This may be it, Kaia.'

'I'm sorry. I'm weakening against the power of the demon blood.' She whimpered pitifully in Aylin's head. 

'I can take it from here.'

Looking down at her mate, she sent him a small smile in hoped that it would ease him a little. Seeing the expression on her face only made him struggle more against the chains. Being pushed to the ground, an overwhelming sense of defeat flooded his heart. The loss he was going to suffer would be the biggest blow in his life, rivaling the loss of his parents. 

'Zeke.' Aylin's voice sounded in his head. 'When I'm gone, I want you to find someone worthy of a Queen, and move forward.'

Being pulled back onto his knees, his fists clenched behind his back. She was already saying goodbye without putting up a fight. There was no way he was going to let a demon take what was his. 'Stop! I'm not losing you. I swore I wouldn't.'

'I already told you. Better me than you. The pack needs you.'

'Goddamnit, I need you!' he protested.

Another voice cut through them, interrupting their conversation. But their eyes remained fixed on each other. 

"On this most hallowed full moon, we are gathered here to witness the transformation of the Rogue Queen." Zagan walked through the crowd of demons, past the bound werewolves to the altar where Aylin stood frozen. Chalice in his hands, he raised it to the sky. "As I was once forsaken by the Moon Goddess, so shall you be. Now, if you would be so kind as to lay down on the altar." Confused, she made no move. "If you don't, I'll slaughter him right now, while you still remember it." 

"You son of a bitch," Ezekiel growled. 

"Stop!" Aylin yelled, before Zagan could harm him. "I'll do it."

"Aylin, don't!" Daemon protested. 

"It's okay, Daemon. I forgive you." 

Zagan internally smirked, realizing that she had no idea of the child in her womb. She was willing to sacrifice herself foolishly; something he still did not understand. Watching the Rogue King writhe on his knees was giving him so much pleasure, he could have died from  it. There would be nothing stopping him from claiming the child as his since she would have no memory of the life she started. 

Laying on the altar, nerves started to take hold of Aylin. She prayed to the Moon Goddess hoping that an answer could be found in this serious dilemma. Trying to block him out, she could feel Ezekiel's anger and sadness through their link. He, too, was trying to think fast, but coming up empty.

Pulling a silver dagger from his belt, Zagan dipped the tip into the chalice. "By my blood, you shall be baptized in death, transforming into a demon of the higher order."

 Aylin twitched hearing the word "death". From what she read, there was never any indication that she had to die for this transformation to be completed. Something was missing; a higher reason for it. Tightly fisting the dress, she turned her head to look at her mate. Mouthing "I love you" to Ezekiel, a single tear slipped. 

Raising the blade above his head, he spoke the final words. "You will be forsaken by the Moon Goddess to be embraced by the Devil." Zagan paused for a moment, looking down at the girl. "So say I!" 

At the last moment, Aylin watched the blade come down. The pure rage that flowed through the demon's veins made the impact more forceful. Searing pain emanated from her midsection, and distant voices of protest and fury were fading in her ears. 

"No!" the King yelled. He was helpless against the higher demon, who appeared pleased with himself. Losing all strength, the King slumped forward, devastated. 

Coming around, Zagan stood before the crestfallen wolves, smirking. "You thought you'd win against me? How presumptuous. It seems to me you have nothing left to live for. Once the queen wakes, you'll simply be fodder for her." 

"You bastard!" Angus growled. 

Whipping his gaze to the Delta, he was met with a snarl. "Well, well. I didn't think you cared about her. Was I wrong? I suppose she was one of a kind," he sneered. 

Blocking everything out around him, all Ezekiel could see was the blood dripping down to the ground. Blood that should never have been spilled. His best wasn't enough to stop the demon, and he was left to suffer. He welcomed death, so much so, that he was willing to take his own life. Nothing would give him more relief than to feel a cold blade sever his heart. Closing his eyes, he recalled all the beautiful memories he had with Aylin. Her smile, and the way she would light up just being in the same room as him. All of that was gone now. Never to come back. 

"Do not despair, Rogue King. Aylin is not lost."

Snapping his eyes open, he looked toward the lifeless body of his mate. A white light emanated from her body, raising it from the altar. Suddenly, the Earth beneath them began to rumble. "Oh my goddess."

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