22. The Cottage
I turned, leaving her standing there looking fucking devastated. The anger that was burning through me was out of my control. No matter how much I tried to calm the storm within me, I couldn’t. I needed to get away from here before I did any damage.
I rushed down the stairs. The anger of my wolf was out of my hands now. My claws and teeth were already out and I was just trying to make it to the fucking door.
My feet hit the bottom step just as one of the Omega’s stepped out,
I snapped my gaze towards her, my heart thumping dangerous.
Her eyes widened, dropping the Tupperware box she had been holding out to me and backing away slowly before scampering away.
Ripping the door open and almost off the hinges, I rushed out, shifting and running into the woods. Needing a fucking break from everything
Deep down, I knew the jealousy and anger that was festering
inside of me was only growing with each passing day. Returning home, I thought I’d be able to reign in the anger and hatred that had built inside of me. But now… I wasn’t able t 0, I was fucking losing control.
The dark thoughts that consumed my mind, the words that I spoke and the way I reacted, were all foreign to me too. I felt like shutting off and unleashing my wrath upon everything around me, but I couldn’t, I was the Alpha and it was my job to protect, not fucking destroy.
I don’t know how long I ran, but when the sun began to set, I headed back towards pack grounds. I was a lot calmer now and after my initial surge of anger, I felt like fucking crap for ripping her top off… I just… Seeing it fucking pissed me off, not to mention she spent the night there.
I needed to apologise to her.
There was so much fucking crap that was going on. If Dad, Mom and Damon weren’t so fucking against it, I would have questioned everyone in this pack until I got to the bottom of it. It would make things so much fucking easier.
I stopped outside a small cottage that stood at the edge of the woods. Shifting back, I grabbed the key from beneath the step where I stored it and unlocked the door.
This was a cottage that once belonged to someone very important to us, Grandma Amelia… In her will, she left this
place and its contents to me, apart from the medicinal books that belonged to our grandfather’s brother, her mate. Those went to Kiara.
Stepping inside, I locked the door behind me and went over to the shelf, pulling off one of the pairs of joggers that I kept here. Since coming back, I had begun to clean this place, somehow it was the only place I actually felt at ease. No matter how much time passed, or the fact that her scent had faded, this place still pulled me to it.
Just like it did as a child, I loved to bring Kiara here. Sneaking away from home, sometimes she would suggest it and I would happily accompany her. The smell of cinnamon hung faintly in the air and closing the curtains, I switched the light on.
I walked over to the sofa and dropped onto it, the springs creaking under my weight. This place had been kept just as it was when Grandma Amelia died. This was the place where she had breathed her last, casting one last miracle before she went.
Something she kept hidden was that she was actually of witch heritage. Although she was more wolf, she still had the abilities of a witch, and with her last breath, she had used her powers to save Azura’s life.
Mom couldn’t bear to come here; the pain and the memory of this place were too much for her. Dad had said he would come i n to check that the pipes didn’t freeze over or anything in winters, but it had been empty since I had left.
Looking around, I scanned the shelves of books and other bits and bobs. Grandma Amelia’s voice rang in my head like a distant song
Come on Liam… Now don’t be a silly oaf… Sit down… I’ll put o n some tea… Boys! Can’t do one thing right…’
No, I can’t, I fucking can’t and even when I try… I can’t accept this fucked up situation…
Weren’t you the one who had the solution to everything? Weren’t you the one who knew what to do?
I looked out at the room, almost as if I was hoping she’d give m e an answer.
I was always the silent one, I never wanted to cause trouble because I knew Mom and Dad were worried about Kiara due to her injury and night blindness. I didn’t want to be a burden on them.
Standing up, I walked over to the shelf, remembering how she’d play games with us, read us stories… Read her cards…
I always felt there was more to her stories… to everything. Grandma Amelia always seemed to know stuff. She always held a mystery about her that we would never truly ever know the extent of. But that was just the type of person she was…
I took out a book, remembering her reading this very book to u s on Halloween when we were ten… I smiled slightly, placed it back on the shelf and walked along the rows slowly. I frowned. Spotting a black box, I remembered this. These were her cards.
I took the box down and opening it, took out the deck of cards. Walking over to the small table, I tossed the empty box onto it and turned the cards over, spreading them across the table.
I remember her reading these for me and Kia, no matter what cards I picked, there was one card that I always drew last each o f the three times she ever read them. After that, she refused to play this game’ with us.
I moved the cards around, searching for that one card. Frowning, I realised it wasn’t here. That was odd. I picked up the box, but it was empty. It wasn’t like Grandma to misplace things… I stood up staring at the shelf. It had got to be here…
I began to search around everywhere, the strong urge to find it overcoming me.
Soon I had begun to take every book off the shelf, shaking the pages, just in case, it was in there.
An hour passed and I was almost done with the entire bookshelf, but no sign of the damn card. Where the fuck was it?
Another few books and I was on the last one, but that card was nowhere to be found. Did it maybe slip under? I placed another book down before looking at the shelf. It was large, made of solid oak. You could see that the bottom shelf was at least five inches off the ground but there was no panel I could take off.
Slowly I tried to move the shelf, cursing when I realised it was bolted to the wall. Fucking great.
Going over to the kitchen, I searched around until I found the toolbox Grandma Amy kept. Taking out what I needed, I returned to the shelf and began to undo the bolts that held it t o the wall.
Twenty minutes later, I was able to move it away from the wall, nothing
Fuck, that was a waste of time!
I was about to turn away when my gaze fell on a slight uneven floorboard that looked loose. Crouching down, I used the screwdriver to pry it up. Looking inside, my gaze instantly fell on the old, cracked leather-bound book that lay inside.
It was extremely old. What the heck was it? It held far too much dust as well. How long had it been in here? Picking it up, I blew the layer of dust that had settled upon it away, coughing as dust erupted around me. Moving away from the cloud of dust, I wiped my arm over the book, trying to read the words on the cover.
But they were too faded to make out, even with my sharp eyes.
Sighing I unwrapped the strap and flipped it open; an old manila envelope fell out. I picked it up, frowning when I
recognised Grandma Amelia’s cursive writing.
But what made my heart race was the words upon it:
“To my dearest Liam’.
I placed the book down and ripped the envelope open. What the hell was this? And why was it hidden?
It was clear that it had been written and sealed many years ago.
There were two things inside: one was a small square of paper with the words written by Grandma Amelia.
‘The future is still undecided; you are in control of your destiny.’
But it was the second item that was making my heart beat even faster.
It was a card, nothing special in appearance. The image upon it was of a man standing alone looking towards the darkness. Above him, a shadow of a deformed humanoid being with long claws where hands would usually be. They were digging into the man’s back as it leaned over him, casting him in darkness. Now that I looked closer, I could see there were people on the ground grasping on to man’s legs in desperation. Each face that you could make out looked anguished and in pain. But from his posture, you could tell he was disgusted by them.
The card that I would always draw on all three occasions, but she refused to tell me what it truly meant…
My heart was thudding as I stared at both items.
What was the meaning of this?
Frowning I placed both items down, I needed to find out what that card was depicting.
I looked down at the book, my brows furrowing at the words that were written in calligraphy that was clearly from long ago. The heading glaring back at me filled me with unease and curiosity.
‘The Anthology of The Deimos Curse & The Prophecy of Light and Darkness’