Chapter 57

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Heart in his stomach, the King couldn't believe his ears. "How do you know?"

"He managed to link me just as he was taken, but then it cut out abruptly." Angus looked guilty, as though he shouldn't have turned his back, even for a moment, on one of his pack members. "I tried to get to him--"

"Don't blame yourself. It's brutal out here." Ezekiel tried to be as reassuring as possible, but now there was more at stake. "We have to find him."

Holding both her hands out, the Goddess encouraged the men to take them. She knew exactly where the demon took the brother, for it was the same place so many other incidents had taken place. The King, Delta and the Alpha all trusted her. 

After being consumed in white, the group found themselves in a different set of woods. It wasn't as oppressive compared to where they just came from; much less dense. Moving forward, the faint smell of slightly putrid water stung their noses. 

Daemon had a sudden revelation about where they were. "Wait a minute. Are we on my pack lands?" 

Wordlessly moving forward, she didn't dignify him with an answer he already knew. Parting the branches, the water came into view. Across it, there was a figure on the ground. Breathing a small sigh of relief, she was pleased that the Beta wasn't harmed, but it would be short lived. 

"I see you came," an eerie voice said. Black mist briefly circled them before retreating to the far side of the water. Materializing, Zagan glowered. "So, you thought you could win this? If I'm not mistaken, Rogue King, you lost your mate and you're about to lose your brother. How about a trade?" 

Narrowing his eyes, Ezekiel sized him up. "What trade could you possibly entice me with?" 

"Give me your mate, and I'll give you your brother." 

Growling fiercely, he took a step forward. "And why would I do that?" 

"Because your mate is dead, only alive by the grace of the Goddess. Once she's gone, then so is your mate. Which means, the ritual will be complete." 

'Zeke, you have to save Aylin.' 

'No, you idiot. I'm saving you both.'

'It's not reasonable. Don't sacrifice the life of your pup.'

"What's it going to be, Rogue King?"

The malicious smile on the demon's face told the King everything he needed to know about the next turn of events. He had no intentions of letting anyone leave. In reality, there was not going to be a smooth end. And, in all likelihood, someone was going to be killed. He wouldn't allow anyone else to fight for him; this battle was going to be to the death between two higher beings with strong wills. 

Before he could make a move, the Goddess stepped passed him onto the water. "Have you learned nothing? Did you really think you could kill another one of my descendants? I should have killed you a long time ago." 

Agitated, he immediately saw through what she was trying to accomplish. "Trying to piss me off enough so I strike, is that it? You must think I'm a fool. What can you do?" 

"Oh, it's not what I'm going to do. It's what you've created." 

All beings present were confused at her statement. None of them knew exactly what transpired after the demon finished the ritual, and none of them could have anticipated the outcome. 

Stepping into the middle of the water, the Goddess raised her arms, halfway, dipping down to reach the Rogue Queen. 'It's time, Aylin.'

The same all consuming light burst forth from the Goddess, blinding everyone. 

"What's happening?" Daemon asked. 

"I-I don't know," Ezekiel responded, covering his eyes. 

When the light subsided, still, on the water was the Goddess. Something was different; her energy exuded power. Enough to make the demon weak in the knees; while having very little affect on the wolves. 

Experiencing the most of the change was the King; he felt light, complete. Like there wasn't anything in the world he couldn't do, including kill the Higher Demon. The power he was felt rushing through his veins was unbridled, raw. Beneath it all was a softness that was familiar to him; the kind that made his heart swell. 

Finally seeing the world through her own eyes, Aylin was face to face with the demon who made her life a living hell. She felt different, empowered. With enough strength to finally take him down, for good. 

"It can't be," the demon quaked out. 

"Aylin!" Ezekiel called out. Hearing her mates voice, the woman craned her neck back. He was astonished to see the color of her eyes. Her own mixed with the Goddess with shreds of the demon. Though happy to see his mate, there was something different about her. 

"You think you scare me?" Zagan screamed. "I'll kill him, make no mistake." 

Silently, she raised her hand in Quill's direction, encircling him in a ball of light. It was then that he raised his head, to see the Queen protecting him. "Think of your pup, Aylin!" He was begging to her to let him go, lest the demon make a hasty decision. 

"No one else will die by your hand!" she declared; her voice still laced with the Goddess. "I am going to end you."

Black aura surrounding him, the demon took a place five yards from the girl. Closing his eyes, every muscle tensed making the air around him more dense, and the aura fiercer. Opening his eyes, his ocean blue eyes changed to blood red. "You're no match for me." 

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