Chapter 58

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The wolves were all shocked to see how large, and dangerous the energy coming from the Higher Demon was. They all took a step back, and watched it grow exponentially. To their eyes, an enormous black fire was raging, seemingly looking to engulf the forest behind it. 

"My power comes from the Devil himself. Not even a Goddess can stop me now!" 

As though propelled by an upward force, Aylin raised herself into the air, her own energy surrounding her. For a brief moment, her eyes settled on the stranded wolf, nearly being consumed by the dark energy. His eyes pleading with her to stop the current course of action, perhaps believing it was his last stitch attempt to save her life. Offering a small smile, the terror on his face intensified. 

'Use the power given to you,' the Goddess said.

Shutting her eyes, Aylin breathed out, digging as deep as she could for the power that was inadvertently bestowed upon her. Snapping her eyes open, all the energy from the dormant part of her came rushing to the surface. Their energies began to clash, trying to overpower the other. 

All anyone could do was look on in awe, mouths agape. 

"How's this even possible?" Angus felt completely shaken by the sudden change in his Queen. 

Ezekiel couldn't even come up with any words, nothing sprang to mind as he watched his Queen transform. The utter immensity of the situation whipped him across the face, and he had no idea where to begin.  During all their time together, he always felt he needed to protect her, when she was a weapon in herself. In a moment of clarity, Ezekiel realized that Aylin was always protecting him, not the other way around. 

Light bursting from her, Zagan began to buckle. Even for one such as he, the power dripping through the pores of the Queen was more than a match for his own. He had to think, and fast, of a way to counter her power. Being focused on protecting himself, he had very little left to exert. 

Barely holding on, an idea struck him. Focusing, a segment of the fire went hurtling toward the woman at an alarming speed. 

Unable to stand by anymore, Daemon shifted into his wolf to avert the demon's attention. The King and Beta failed  to notice his action before he jumped. Mere seconds before the fire hit Aylin, she saw the black fur of his wolf, reaching the demon. 

"No!" Aylin screamed.

Following her sight-line, the demon whipped his head to the side, only to be met with the jaws of the Alpha.  

Only a loud whimper, and a scream were heard. 

When the dust settled, Aylin was attempting to stand up, blood dripping from her nose. Trying to lift her head, all she could see was the dirtied, bloodied back of her former mate. Motionless. 

Racing over, Ezekiel cradled her head between his massive hands. "Aylin, look at me! I need you to focus!" Wiping the blood away from her nose, his mate could barely keep her head up. He could see that her body was tired, too tired to fight anymore. 

Angus rushed over to Quill, who was also unconscious. He didn't have as many wounds as Daemon did, but his breathing was shallow. Listening to his heartbeat, it was present, but slow. "Your Majesty, if Quill doesn't medical help, he may not make it." 

The King couldn't hear anything his Delta was saying. Seeing his mate the way she was twisted his gut into knots. He couldn't even tell if the Goddess was still aiding her or not. All he knew was the blood dripping from her nose wouldn't stop, and she was weak. 

"Help...Quill...", she eeked out. 

"I'm not leaving you like this," he protested, attempting to pick her up. 

Forcing her head up, she looked into Aylin looked into her mate's eyes. "He's still--" 

An evil laugh penetrated the air. "Foolish wolf," he sneered. "Thought he could destroy me so easily." 

Protecting his mate, the King readied himself, blocking her from view. Clenching his fists, the two squared off, veins bulging in their necks. But the King knew that he couldn't make a move without putting his mates life in jeopardy. She was weak, unable to fight anymore. 

"Weak woman thought she could defeat me. What a joke," the demon laughed. 

Only growling in response, Ezekiel was thinking fast. Running was the only option he could come up with. Wolves were dying all around him, and the Higher Demon was only getting stronger. On the other hand, the King wouldn't be able to move fast enough to collect his Queen and make an escape. 

"So, what's it going to be wolf? Will you hand her over, or will you suffer the same fate as your Father? Alone in the world, thinking only of the one he loved. Then ending his pathetic existence--"

"Enough!" the King bellowed. 

In the midst of the heated words between the men, Aylin was still trying to ready herself to finish what she started. 'Help me,' she pleaded in her head. 'I can't do this alone.'

'You are not alone, dear child,' the female voice replied. 'Dig down as deep as you can, mustering all the energy from within.'

'What will happen to me? Am I going to die?' 

'Have faith in me, sweet girl.'

Shakily standing to her feet, Aylin closed her eyes. Planting herself into the Earth, she took a deep breath, allowing all the energy around her to absorb into her being. The more she focused, the more the healing energy of the Earth enveloped her. Gazing up to the moon, Aylin raised her arms  with a prayer deep inside her heart. 

Complete calm washed over the woman as she started at the clear moon. It finally occurred to her what needed to happen. Digging down as deep as she could, every molecule in her body was set ablaze with energy. 

Before she made her move, Aylin reached out to Ezekiel. 'Zeke, I want you to retreat. Take the others, and run.'

Confused, he faced his mate. 'What? What are you saying? We're all getting out of here together.' In his heart, Ezekiel realized that it may have been a foolish notion, but not one that he was willing to give up. 

Smiling thinly, she took a step forward. 'I'm sorry, my love. There was no way that could have happened. It's my turn to protect you.'

Understanding her meaning, Ezekiel was about to move towards her when a scream caught both of their attentions. 

"You can't defeat me, you weak fools!"

The demon was preparing himself for another attack. 

Focusing her energy again, the woman was readying herself to protect her pack members. Locking eyes with Angus, he was helping Quill to his feet. Smiling gently at him, Angus caught onto her meaning, immediately. 

Seeing no other choice, the Delta grabbed his King, forcing him away from the scene. As the men ran, the King's protests grew distant. 

Gingerly touching her stomach, she inwardly apologized to her unborn pup. Though she felt guilty, Aylin did not regret her decision to save someone who meant so much to her. 

Feeling ominous energy barrel towards her, Aylin planted herself firmly, simply reaching her arm in front of her, instantly pausing the dark energy. 

"It's time," the female voice said. 

Squaring off against her opponent, a burst of white light flew at him, knocking Zagan off his feet. When he regained himself, the white light was glowing brighter than anything he had ever seen. The true power of the Goddess was shining through the woman. Every cell of her being was powerful. 

"It can't be," he whispered. Focusing as best he could, Zagan saw the Goddess herself through the light. Her flowing dress, her golden hair whipping about, and her shimmering eyes seemingly glaring a hole through him. 

"Your time is done!" the Goddess said. 

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