Authors: Franca Storm
THE TWISTED DESTINY SAGA
Edited, Produced, and Published by Writer’s Edge Publishing
All rights reserved.
© 2015 by Franca Storm
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher.
All characters in this book are fictitious, and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental.
* * * The Redemption Series * * *
* * * Twisted Destiny Saga * * *
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“You’re sure that’s what she meant?” Josh asked Ryan, his arms folded as he studied him worriedly.
He’d never seen him in such a state before. Hell, he’d never seen him emotional before. Ryan always played things like that close to his chest. But right now he hadn’t been able to manage it. His pain was too much. He couldn’t swallow it down like he usually did. He sat on his bed stroking Orion’s fur as he held him close to his chest. Tears glistened in his eyes as he slumped dejectedly against the headboard.
“What else do you think it meant? She was pretty clear when she rode out of here on her Harley to get away from me.”
Josh looked at Shaye, who stood beside him, watching Ryan. She caught his eye and he saw the same concern in her eyes that he was feeling. The two of them had come to see Ryan to get his advice on a situation with the female wolves. They’d found him much the same way as he was now. It’d taken them more than ten minutes to get him to talk to them and to tell them what’d happened. But Josh still couldn’t believe it. Ryan and Cora had broken up? It was over between them?
“You guys are destined mates. You have a fated love, Ry,” he said.
“The two of you can’t be apart for very long without it affecting both of you physically,” Shaye added. “She’ll come back to you.”
Keeping his eyes on Orion, Ryan murmured, “There’s a way to break the bond.”
“What?” Josh cried.
Shaye shook her head. “Ryan, I have never heard of such a thing. I don’t think—”
“It’s a guarded secret that only those with royal blood know about,” Ryan explained. “It’s never been done before, because it would require a fuck of a lot of power.” He looked up at the two of them as he said, “Power that
Shaye blew out a breath. “Cora doesn’t know about it. The only royal we did have to worry about telling her is dead now. Luca.”
Ryan placed Orion down on the bed beside him and rubbed his face roughly.
“It’ll be okay, Ry,” Josh assured him.
“How will it be okay? She left me. My wife left me.”
“You can work it out. You’ve never been someone to take ‘no’ for an answer, to let a little adversity stop you before, Ryan,” Shaye said.
“This is different.”
she’s not the woman I fell in love with. Her power…it’s changed her. She can’t accept me for who I am anymore.”
“Who you are?” Shaye queried. “What does that mean?”
“She says I’m too…controlling.”
“When you fuck?” Josh blurted out.
“Josh—” Ryan growled.
But Josh wasn’t deterred. “Let me guess, she asked you to let her hold
down for a change. Tie
up, or whatever. And of course you refused because you cling to that misguided idea that a man is not a man if he isn’t the one doing the dominating in the bedroom.”
“It’s not just when we fuck. But yeah, that
what I believe. Don’t you, J? Would you let a woman take control of
“Yeah, I would. It’s hot.” His eyes inadvertently met Shaye’s and the two of them both broke eye contact quickly. Awkwardly.
Josh watched Ryan catch the look between them.
“You guys hooked up,” he accused.
“What?” Shaye choked out, blushing furiously.
Josh smirked. “I told you I wanted my own sorceress.”
Shaye smacked the back of his head.
“Sorry, babe. I’m just fucking about.”
“Looks like,” Ryan cut in, shaking his head at the two of them. “I’m not sure how I feel about my ex hooking up with my best friend.”
“Please, we haven’t been together for several lifetimes, Ryan.”
“I’m sorry, Ry. I should’ve asked you before. It just kinda…happened,” Josh said.
Ryan waved his hand dismissively. “I’m kidding. Relax. Continue doing…whatever it is you’re doing with one another.”
Shaye rolled her eyes. “Okay, enough of discussing this.” She reached into the pocket of her floor-length, white, velvety coat and withdrew two rings. She held them out on her palm in front of Ryan.
“Here are the rings that you wanted. The warlocks gifted them to you. They’re made from the heart of the earth. They are eternal. Once the rings are on, they cannot be removed—only in death.”
Ryan gazed sadly at the rings and shook his head.
“Take them, Ryan. You
work things out with Cora.”
Ryan took them from her and stowed them in the inner pocket of his leather jacket. “Thanks.”
Shaye nodded. “You might want to start with letting Orion shift back to human form next time she comes to visit with him.”
“She’ll take him from me, if he’s in human form.”
“Let it be
choice, Ryan. You can’t do this to her. It’s not fair. Instead of worrying about her trying to take him,
“She’s right. One of you two needs to stop being so fucking stubborn. And it should be you,” Josh said.
“Yeah. You’re more equipped to handle it. You have centuries of experience that she doesn’t have. You’re her first…
. It’s harder for her. She’s still learning.”
Ryan grinned at him. “You really like her, huh?”
“I told you, she’s like my little sister. And it’s pissing me off that she’s not here anymore. So work it out ASAP!”
“Seconded,” Shaye said with a smile. “Take a leaf out of Nathanial and Marella’s book. Look at how complicated and burdened by history their relationship is. Yet, they’ve managed to work through all of that to be together.”
Josh sighed with relief as Ryan nodded and said, “I’ll see what I can do.”
Nathanial grunted as Marella lowered herself onto his cock. He pulled his black, V-neck sweater over his head and then cupped her face in his hands, pulling her in close as he took her in an earth-shattering kiss that had her moaning into his mouth.
She pushed him back into the bed and raked her nails slowly down the length of his chest. He hissed at the sensation.
“Mmm…you know how much I like that, angel.”
His words spurred her on and she leaned down and kissed his right nipple. She moved lower and gently nipped him with her teeth.
“Ah…yes,” he groaned.
She continued to torture him with little bites until he was lost in sensation and panting beneath her.
She sat up and ground down on him hard, driving his cock even deeper inside her. A little too deep, because he heard her cry out shrilly.
He chuckled. “Too much, angel?”
“Deep,” she said, grinning at him.
“Here,” he said, gripping her hips. “Just relax.” He started to guide her up and down his cock. Gently. Slowly. Moving her up and down in a steady rhythm, helping her to adjust to his size in this position.
“I need to taste you.”
She nodded her permission. His hands left her hips and she took over.
“You smell so sweet. Just like strawberries,” he said, fisting his left hand in her hair and forcing her closer. The fingers of his right hand traced a path from her collarbone to her neck. He heard her gasp and she started to ride him hard.
He let the demon take him. His fangs dropped and he growled low in his throat as he buried them in her neck.
“Oh, fuck, Nathanial!” she screamed. He felt her come around him instantly.
With her fresh blood filling his mouth and her pussy contracting around him, he lost control and released himself inside her.
“You’re incredible, angel,” he said as he lay on top of her, his elbows either side of her so as not to put undue pressure on her pregnant belly. “I want to stay inside you always.”
“Mmm,” she murmured peacefully. “I don’t want you to pull out either.”
He smiled and then propped himself up to look at her as he said, “You always come so quickly. Is it the bite?”
“I’ve never been bitten before until you.”
“You had better not have been or the culprit will face the full force of my wrath.”
She chuckled. “I didn’t know you had a jealous side.”
“When it comes to you, I am very possessive,” he said with a wry grin. He pressed his hand to the bite mark on her neck. A black glow emanated from his hand and it closed up instantly. “Better, angel?” he asked.
“I’ve told you that I don’t mind having your mark on me, Nathanial.”
“The last thing I want to do is inflict a permanent mark on this perfect body of yours. I am sorry that I need to—”
Her hands gripped his arms firmly, cutting him off. “I love when you bite me. And you are so gentle when you do. The feeling is…amazing. That’s why I come so quickly.”
“Really?” he asked. “My bite pushes you over the edge?”
“Yes. I am glad that my destined mate happens to be a vampire.”
Before he could utter a response, a sudden ice-cold sensation ripped through him and he gritted his teeth. It disappeared a moment later, only to be replaced with a searing pain forcing its way into his head. It felt as though it were boring a hole right through him.
“Nathanial? What’s wrong?” she asked as he suddenly pulled out and collapsed onto the bed beside her, clutching his head.
“Oriana,” he hissed with anger as he forced himself to sit up.
“What? She’s hurting you?” she asked anxiously, wrapping her arms around him.
He buried his face in his hands and concentrated, trying to cast out the invasion pulsing through his head. His hands shook as he called his dark magic forth. He raised them slowly as he muttered under his breath, “
Marella laid her hand on him and he knew what she intended to do. She wanted to help him with
magic. His grabbed her hand quickly, stopping her.
“It has to be dark magic, angel.”
A collective roar resounded suddenly, the force of it reverberating through the entire room. The wolves. They were in pain, just like he was.
Several moments passed, before he was finally able to lift his head. He eyed Marella and told her, “It’s all right, angel.”
“The pain has gone?”
“Yes. For now,” he said, hurrying off the bed and snatching up his boxers and pants.
“What’s happening, Nathanial? First you and now the wolves. By the sounds of it—all of them.”
He pulled on his pants and hurried to the door. “I need to check on Ryan,” he said in a panic.
“Nathanial!” she called just before he made it out of the bedroom.
He turned back to her, his expression grave and intense as he revealed, “Oriana has moved up her timetable. The Dark Realm has begun to crumble. I must go to Ryan. Now.”
The pain in Ryan’s head was searing, unbearable to the point that he was struggling to hold a powerful wave of nausea at bay. Josh was on his knees cursing with Shaye wrapped around him, trying to use her white magic to stop his agony. Orion didn’t appear to be affected at all by whatever was assaulting the two of them and causing the rest of the wolves in the compound to roar in agony. Orion was bounding all over him, licking him, pawing at him. Ryan could feel his son’s anxiety at seeing his father in pain.
“It’s…all right…Orion,” he struggled to utter.
The door flew open suddenly and a violent gust of wind blew through the room. Ryan felt hands on him on either side of his head. A bitter cold permeated his temples and he gasped at the uncomfortable sensation. But he was too weak, too consumed by the pain to summon any sort of defense or to even attempt to move away.
And then the pain was gone. Completely.
He lifted his head to see Nathanial leaning over the bed, eyeing him with concern.
“It has gone?”
Ryan nodded absently. It took him a moment to regain his bearings. “Josh,” he said to Nathanial. “Help him.”
Nathanial shook his head. “I’m sorry. I cannot. He’s not of royal blood.”
“This is no time to be elitist, Nathanial!”
“It is not that. As a pureblood—royal—you have a natural immunity to what is happening. I just called it forth with my dark magic. Josh and the other wolves do not. But it will pass shortly. For the time being.”
Ryan scooped Orion up in his arms, stroking him in an effort to calm him amid the thunderous wolf roars shaking the compound. He climbed off the bed and studied Nathanial. He’d obviously just rushed out of bed. He was shirtless and wearing only a pair of silk pants. Ryan’s eyes were drawn to the scars all over his broad chest. He failed to hide his shock. There were so many.
“Wooden stakes dipped in holy water,” Nathanial said, off Ryan’s look. “There have been many attempts on my life over the years. And you forget that I used to be a warrior before I took the throne.”
Ryan averted his gaze. “Right. Sorry. What’s happening, Nathanial?”
“I thought we had more time, that Oriana wouldn’t make her move in the Dark Realm quite yet. It is not her usual approach. I had assumed she would take her time enjoying the castle and reveling in her return to all of the wealth and power that it has to offer. But she has not. What’s happening here is a result of the Dark Realm beginning to fall.”
“What? She’s destroying the realm? How is it affecting the
Nathanial hesitated and looked away.
Ryan gripped his arm, jerking him towards him as he growled, “Tell me.”
“If the Dark Realm falls, every creature that is a descendent of the dark—vampires, werewolves, all of them—will perish, regardless of which realm they are currently residing in.” He strode over to Josh and lifted his shirt. Ryan grimaced as he saw severe burns all over his chest. Nathanial told him, “These will feel like silver burning a wolf’s flesh. For vampires, sunlight. This is just the beginning. The burns will continue until they have melted through all flesh and organs. Until there is nothing left but a pile of bones.”
Ryan was without words.
Nathanial was talking about the damn apocalypse here.
“You said it would stop soon?” Shaye asked.
Nathanial released Josh and stood up. “Yes. Within a few minutes, I suspect. But it will only last until the next time Oriana destroys a foundational aspect of the realm.”
? What does that mean?” Ryan asked.
“A part of the realm that holds its lifeblood—pure dark energy. She is in the castle right now, as we know from Haraz. There is a room in the dungeon level that contains two orbs—spheres of dark energy. She must have destroyed one of them. There are five in all, hidden throughout the Dark Realm.”
“Let me guess, if she destroys them all, she destroys the Dark Realm?” Ryan said.
“Why didn’t you let us return to the Dark Realm as soon as she stormed the castle a couple of days ago like I’d suggested?”
“Because neither you, nor I, can defeat her,” Nathanial said, starting to pace the room anxiously. “And I miscalculated. I did not think she had the strength to destroy one of the orbs. It doesn’t make sense. Even with her black magic that she fuses with the white now, it’s not possible…unless…she must be drawing on another’s power…it would have to be someone of
power.” He stopped pacing abruptly and eyed Ryan gravely. “It is Vazra. She’s drawing on his power. It can be no one else. Michael isn’t strong enough to provide her with enough
power. Only I am. It must be white. And the only other person strong enough to draw on outside of Vazra is Cora. She would not allow that. No, it is he. He is assisting her.”
“Why can’t you defeat her?” Ryan asked. “You’ve told me that your abilities are evenly matched.”
“Only a white sorceress can defeat another,” a voice came from the door suddenly.
Ryan turned to see Marella standing there.
Nathanial shook his head at her. “I can read your thoughts, angel. And it cannot be you. You cannot defeat her.”
“Nathanial, I am quite capable of—” she began to protest.
He cut her off, “I am sorry, angel. You are carrying
child—a child of the dark. Your magic is no longer pure. It will remain that way until you give birth.”
“Oh,” she murmured. She nodded slowly and she said, “Only pure white magic can defeat a white sorceress.”
“Yes, angel. I am sorry.” Nathanial then eyed Shaye and said, “Unfortunately, you are not strong enough, my dear.”
“It must be Cora,” Marella said.
Ryan and Nathanial locked eyes.
“Yes, it must,” Nathanial confirmed as he held his intense gaze. “But she is not ready yet. I must teach her how to rein in the unstable element of her magic…the evil.”
The roars thundering through the compound ceased suddenly. Josh growled in frustration and climbed to his feet with the aid of Shaye’s arms around him. A moment later Haraz staggered into the room.
“Your majesty! The realm!” he gasped.
“Yes,” was all Nathanial offered.
As Ryan tried to absorb the realities of the situation, Orion shifted in his arms and a sudden realization hit him. “My son wasn’t affected by this. He is wolf.”
Marella and Nathanial exchanged a knowing glance. She came to Nathanial and took his hand in hers.
“Nathanial and I discovered that part of his destiny as the
means he cannot be killed.”
“Yes, I know. He’s a pureblood wolf like me. Immortal.”
“No, Ryan. He can
be killed, not by anyone or anything,” Marella clarified.
“He is eternal,” Nathanial added.
“But he needs both the Dark and White Realms to survive,” Ryan said.
“It appears we were wrong about that. He needs both in order to be
, but not to
,” Nathanial clarified.
“You knew this and you didn’t tell me?” Ryan thundered, aggravated by the entire situation.
“We didn’t tell anyone, because Oriana cannot know. We have an advantage here,” Marella said.
Ryan watched Nathanial’s eyes narrow at everyone in the room, casting a threatening stare over them all. “I am prepared to kill anyone who cannot keep this secret. I know Haraz will take it to his grave, but the others…I am not so sure.”
Ryan growled at his threat to Shaye and Josh. “They’ve kept many secrets for me over the years. I trust them with my life, Nathanial.”
“You are certain?”
“Yes,” Ryan said, gripping his shoulder and forcing him to look at him. “If you can’t trust them, then trust in