I watch Judah calmly, despite the hatred and rage within me, because he f*cking got rid of the last of my doubts. My aura exudes from me in waves, and I can feel it swirling around the room, filling every corner and repelling the darkness that tries to cling to our skin.
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I see Azura glance back at Corrado from the corner of my eyes, and know it’s time to wrap this up, once and for all.
“I don’t know what you mean. You know nothing!” Judah hisses, but it’s a little too late for him to try to deny anything.
“It’s a tad too f*cking late to play dumb, but if you don’t f*cking know then cool. Let’s do this shit. I’ll take your name and try to kill you with a weapon coated with Nightshade, Ephedra and Harpagophytum for the sake of It won’t work, but at least it’ll entertain me.” I say knocking his weapon from his hand. It rolls to the far side, and he growls.
I hate that weapon… every time I f*cking see it… For me, it would always be associated with those who tried to hurt my family.
“Nothing can kill me!” He hisses, lunging at me, the smoke around him grows, it’s a mix of shadows and smoke, and it pushes against my aura and Azura’s moon fire.
Two against one… he’s losing and the injury I had caused him before, is still bleeding. I have a few wounds and only more are added to it as we rip into one another, but I make sure Azura isn’t harmed. He roars in rage as he jumps to his feet once more, but instead of attacking; he turns in a flash and runs to the table.
“Not so fast!” Azura growls, blasting him back as she walks to the table.
Judah is on his feet, and I know she is his target. He moves with incredible speed and for a second, my stomach twists as I run as fast as I can. I block his back, throwing one of my daggers up and grab his neck, throwing him across the room. My throw is accompanied by a blast of Azura’s power that only makes the impact greater.
“You’re right where I want you to be.” Judah spits despite the blood that he coughs up. He staggers to his feet and dives past me in a blur, before he pushes Azura. She stumbles, and I see the black smoke rising off the stone plaque that sits on the table. I catch her, and push her behind me.
“Don’t let the smoke touch you,” I warn. Something about that stone is not right. Azura nods, backing away from it.
“So, I need to get rid of you first, then.” He spits as the entire room shakes violently and pieces of stone fall.
He’s good, but I’m better. Each punch I throw aims to break him, and every satisfying crunch makes me savour his pain.
“Daddy… Mommy…” Corrado whimpers.
I glance back at him, and my eyes blaze when I realise he’s injured too.
“You touched a child!” I snarl as Azura’s power wraps around Judah, forcing him to the ground. He fights it and she steps forward, punching him square through the nose. Blood squirts everywhere, as she punches him again.
“Your time has come to its end, Judah… finally I can step away from you and the nightmare that you created in my life.” She says, as he tries to grab her, only for me to kick him back, pressing my foot into his chest.
His claws are out, and he tries to dig it into me, but I spin around and slam my dagger into his wrist, and into the ground. He roars as he struggles.
“No, I need her! I must have her.” He hisses,
“I need this!”
Ignoring him, I draw the sword and look at Azura.
‘Do you want to do the honours, my s*xy little psycho queen? One strike, and he’s gone.’ I ask her through the link with a
Her face becomes solemn, and I think she realises what this means.
‘Is this really it? Just one stab and he’s gone? ‘She asks as she grabs my other dagger, which fell during the fight, and she slams it into his other wrist.
‘Yeah. Through the neck and take his real name. Dimitri Ivanov.’ I say. She nods, and her eyes become cold.
“For everyone that you ever hurt.” She says, reaching for the sword. “Dimitri Ivanov,
your time to live is over…”
Her heart is thundering as her eyes blaze,
and her grip tightens on the hilt.
“You… can’t kill me… remember how I was the only one who ever understood you, even your own family never got you little pet! I’m the one who f*cking made you feel alive!” He hisses.
A flare of jealousy rushes through me, but it’s only there for a second. She’s mine, she’s always been mine. What they had can never even f*cking compare to what we have. Ever.
“No. I was just too stupid to realise if I talked to them, they’d get me. My family loves me, and you manipulated that, you encouraged the seed of doubt that was inside of me. I’m not the Azura you f*cking knew. And you know what Judah? What we had was nothing, what I have now…” She looks at me, “Is beyond compare. Goodbye loser.”
“Azura!” He snarls as he struggles violently against me, but he’s far too injured to get up, even though he’s healing it’s not fast enough.
She raises the sword, “Dimitri Ivanov, just go to hell!” She snarls, and plunges the sword through his neck. A vicious wind erupts around her and instinctively I place my hand over hers on the hilt, keeping the sword there. His scream of rage becomes one of despair. Waves of energy slam through the cave, before his body dissolves into smoke that escapes his clothing and vanishes into thin air. The silence that follows is far too quiet, our racing hearts beating as one.
She lets out a shaky breath, letting go of the blade that is now charred, letting it clang to the floor, as she stares at the bloody clothes.
“He’s gone.” She says before closing her
“He is.” I say, tugging her into my arms and hugging her tightly. Sparks rush through us and I tighten my hold on her, kissing her neck.
She hugs me back, and neither of us speak. She moves back and my lips crash against hers in a quick passionate kiss, and despite not wanting to f*cking let go, our son needs. us. She pulls away and we both turn to the child that still remains behind the shimmering barrier. Azura closes her eyes, and the shield vanishes, revealing our son sitting there with his chubby hands covering his eyes and I can’t help but smile.
At least he obeyed his Mama.
“Corrado.” I say, and his eyes fly open, eyes that are full of tears as he launches himself at me. I bend down, hugging him tightly.
“Daddy, you came!” He sobs.
“It’s ok, he’s gone son, you are all ok.” I say, my arm tight around him as I reach up with my other arm caressing my girl’s stomach before I take her hand and kiss it softly. I then tug her down beside me and wrap my
arm around her tightly as I slump back against the wall. Pulling them both onto my lap, I kiss Corrado’s head gently, examining his injury. It’s not too deep and I know he’ll be ok. I turn, kissing Azura’s neck and inhaling her scent deeply.
My family is f*cking ok…
Thank f*ck. She wraps her arm around my neck, kissing the top of my head and we simply sit there; I don’t know for how long we remain like this, but I feel content. The stress and worry I had felt all night now left me exhausted.
‘So how did you figure it all out?’ She asks curiously.
I lean my head back against the cavern wall.’ Well, it started off with your father saying the word shadows. From there a certain thought came to my head, and I had to confirm it…” I began explaining as I fill her in on everything…
Delsanra doesn’t take long to dial the elder woman’s number. The speaker is on, the ringing filling my cave and it is answered immediately.
“Hello?” Janaina’s voice comes.
“Hi, I had a couple of questions, and I’m hoping you might have some answers. Have you ever heard of Shadow Wraiths?” I ask, sitting down on my chair as I stare at the paper in front of me. There isn’t time to waste.
“Shadow Wraiths? They are a thing of lore… but… do you think this being is a wraith?” She asks, sounding far more shocked than I would have thought.
Was it really that out there?
“I’m certain, I’ve also figured out how to kill it. The only thing is I’m wondering if you would be able to tell me any way that I could find out a Wraith’s real name, is there any way to force him to speak it? A spell that perhaps Delsanra or Raihana could perform?”
“Probably not. Our magic doesn’t always work on other mystical creatures… but I think I have the answer to your question. To take a name, you must give a name.” She says.
I raise an eyebrow.
“Give a name? Meaning an exchange?” Delsanra says at the same time that the very same thought came to my mind.
“Yes.” Janaina says. “So that means he has to give his name to-”
“The real Judah Gallahan, and that would be …” I say, knowing exactly where our answer will lie.
“His grave.” Delsanra says suddenly.
“I know who to ask about that.” I say.
“Anytime Alpha Leo.”
“I appreciate it.” I say before hanging up.
The Ardens, the Gallahans were part of their
“Do you have a number?” Delsanra asks.
“Yeah…” I say, pulling up my files and finding Kenneth Arden’s number. Time to find out where that grave is…
It rings a few times before it’s answered by a man who doesn’t sound like Kenneth. I had heard him over the conference call.
“Hello, Alpha Kenneth Arden’s office.” A
man’s husky, deep voice comes.
“Can I speak to the Alpha, it’s Alpha Leo Rossi from the Sangue pack. I have an urgent question.” I say.
“He is not in. I’m Royce Arden, his son. Can I help?” He replies.
Wasn’t he supposed to be in America? “I need to know where the graves of the Gallahan family members are, specifically
Judah Gallahan’s. Your father will know why I’m asking.”
There’s a moment’s pause and I hear a scrape of a chair.
“Yes, he did fill us in on that situation. Their graves are in the pack graveyard, all of them were buried here.” He says.
“I need to check something on his tombstone.” I say. “I can head down there and take a look for you?”
“That would be great.” I reply, I wasn’t expecting this to go this f*cking easy, but then again, it wasn’t Kenneth I was
speaking to – who always seems to want something in return for everything.
“Sure, I’ll call you back from my mobile phone. I’ll just head down to the graveyard and call you back.”
“Sure.” He hangs up and we wait.
After the longest fifteen minutes, the phone rings. Delsanra and I exchange looks as I answer it.
“I’m at the graveyard.” Royce’s voice comes. I can hear his footsteps, the howling of the wind and the rustling of the leaves.
“Thanks. I appreciate you doing this.
“Just give me a minute or two to locate it.”
He says, the line crackles and it feels as if a violent wind is blowing on the other end before the line steadies.
“It may not have Gallahan’s name on it anymore, if there’s any grave there that should be a Gallahan’s, but has an entirely different name, that will be the one.” I explain, thinking that sounds f*cking weird.
“Yes, I am actually not able to find his name … but according to the Pack archives, this one here is his grave.” He says, sounding concerned.
“What’s the name on it? It isn’t Gallahan is it?” I ask, thinking is this it? Was the answer within my grasp?
“No, it is not. Dimitri Ivanov, son of Harold
and Bertha Gallahan. What on earth…”
“Can you send a picture of it to me?”
“Yes, sure.” He says.
“Thank you, Alpha Royce.” I say, truly f*cking appreciating his help.
“You’re welcome. I hope you manage to deal with him once and for all. He sounds like an absolute blooming nutter.”1
“That’s putting it nicely.” I say before we hang up and my phone beeps.
I look down at the image of the gravestone.
We have our answer.
“So that’s how it happened…” Azura says as the room shakes once more.
“Let’s get out of here.” I say, and we all stand up. I lift Corrado up, and walk over to the table, looking at the array of things.
“Shall I destroy it?” Azura asks, raising her hand. I stop her and shake my head.
“No… this shit needs to be examined
thoroughly first…” I say, looking around the room. I reach into my pocket and take my phone out and snap a few pictures of all angles of this f*cking place.
Azura watches me but says nothing. I can’t say much. I’m f*cking paranoid and always need to be thorough. Once I’m done, I turn to the entrance. “Let’s go home.”
“Yes, home.” Corrado mumbles his agreement.
Azura nods, glancing back at the empty clothes on the floor, all that remains of Judah … We get to the door, but before I can even try to open it, it swings open to reveal Alejandro, Dad, and Elijah.
All three tense, as if ready to attack, and I resist the urge to roll my eyes, instead smirking arrogantly at them.
“You’re a tad too f*cking late. Tell me, did old age make you lot f*cking slow?” I taunt.
Dad chuckles, relief in his eyes as he looks at us. Whilst Alejandro frowns as Elijah smirks and turns to him.
And just like that, the dark, heavy atmosphere of the night fades away…