“It last a few hours...I can handle it...” she said and made him look at her “have you forgotten who your master is now Thomas? If I hear you call her mistress again I will punish you personally is that clear? She is no longer yours or Annabelle’s master I am, now listen, your job while we are here is to heal your bodies,When that is done you will come to me and I will tell you your next task, if you fail you will be punished is that clear?” She said in a demanding tone. She hated to be like this but she knew it had to be done if they were going to heal properly. She worried for Annabelle the most but she had agreed with Malachi that the only way to fix their minds was to slowly guide them to do so, right now she knew they were lost, she also knew when they dethroned Morgan the Malachi had done what had to be done to make sure they knew the she was their new master. It was his gift to her so she had people to aid her and keep her company. When Victoria told him she wanted to fix their minds he told her of a way to help them but it would not be easy and he was right. She hated to sound like this.

"We don't want to see you in pain," Thomas said. He felt Annabelle's hand on his arm in agreement. "We will not disobey. We only wanted to end your suffering."

“My suffering makes me stronger, remember...learn from pain but don’t hold onto it. I will suffer more if you disobey me, you don’t want that right?” She said before another wave hit her

"Mistress, please," Thomas begged. "Tell us how to make it stop. You are important to us." He looked at Annabelle. "Let's take her away from here. They can't help. We can."

As the wave subsided, Thomas picked her up. He knew they couldn't go through the door and started to look around for a way out. Annabelle shook her head and pointed to the bed.

"S-stay," she whispered.

"But..." Thomas began.

"Better here," Annabelle said. "Food, roof, and mistress."

"Okay, sister, we will stay," he said, giving in and putting Victoria on the bed. "But we have to stay with Mistress Nymphae. Master Malachi would want that."

It went on for hours, Thomas had to keep others from coming in several times. Finally her body shut down and she went to sleep. Annabelle cleaned her off and covered her on the bed. Both her and Thomas were tired yet being close to her they felt better. It was when they were away from her they were unable to rest, they both fell asleep next to her, both of them had a arm over her. Just like back in the cave she was the only one that made them feel at ease and safe.

Jacob finally peeked in. Part of him was upset that those two were allowed to help his lifemate. But seeing them cling to Victoria, he couldn't help but feel sorry for all three of them.

"Do not pity them," Zandar advised. "They will never forgive you once they are healed. Support your mate and help her heal those two."

"How should I do that when she wants me to play master?" Jacob asked.

"Do you really think she wants that?" Zandar asked, holding his lifemate to him. "Serilda has told me that that life is not a choice, but a way of survival. Be patient with her."

Jacob nodded and sat in a chair across the room. Everyone left. Jacob knew they were far enough underground that he could sleep in the chair and be fine. He passed out as the sun was rising.


Dylla brushed the horse fondly. She had come to this school because her family had requested it but she wished she could have stayed on the ranch. The person she was suppose to meet has been to busy to meet her so instead of going to class she skips and comes to the stables, no one seems to notice and she likes it that way. She felt trapped and home sick, she looked around and saw no one was around. She smiled and got on the horse bare back, holding it thick mane. She made a clicking sound and the horse took off. She felt at peace when she rode like this and she could sense the horses enjoyment of the run. She was tired of the walls of the school and decided to ride the trail just outside the schools gates. She didn’t fear because she had heard of the safe guards the prince had put up around the school and the land. She guided the horse until they left the schools gates and then she let the horse run freely,going along with the ride. She felt the horses happiness until the reached a small creak, she felt the change in the mood instantly.Fear filled the horse and it started to act panic. Howls in the distance confirmed why. She knew she needed to get the horse back to safety but when she went to turn the horse he panicked and bucked her off throwing her to the ground as he took off back towards the school. As she was getting up she heard a twig snap behind her and a low growl followed. She slowly turned to see the wolves descending in a hunting formation. They were so beautiful to her even as she was scared, she slowly bent down to her knees and locked eyes with the alpha. That was her mistake, the worst part was she knew better then to do so but he was so beautiful she couldn’t help it. The charged with their teeth bared and she started to run.

Dom and Ion were going to leave. Their job was done and the boy would be well looked after. But when there was a growl, headed towards the sound. He pulled Ion out of the way as a horse galloped pass them. It was then that he saw a wolf go to attack a woman.

It was almost a compulsion. He leapt between her and the wolf, taking the bite on his arm. He flung the beautiful animal away from him and looked at her, saying, "Are you alright?"

She completely ignored him, she didn’t even look up at him, instead she rushed towards the wolf he had thrown. The alpha was hurt and it broke her hear, it growled even as she gentle stroked him fur. The beta came up and she grabbed her around the neck and started fighting with her, she had to get enough time to heal the alpha but to do that she was going to have to get the rest of the pack to calm down. Slowly the beta started to relax as she used her powers to connect with her. When the beta finally stopped struggling she let go. Her and the beta both fell to the ground tired, the other pack members started to surround them in a protective circle. As she laid on the ground she put her hand on the alpha and closed her eyes as she became healing light and started to heal him

Dom sighed and said, "Perhaps I was a bit rough with the poor beast. After everything, I think I just need to calm down. Ion, though I know it is unlikely, do you have any meat for the pack?"

“Not unless you count the meat on my bones. I’ll go get some you stay with the girl” he said and walked back towards the school. The girl gasp letting him know she was back in her body

Dom went to the woman and said, "You are some kind of crazy, you know that? Why did you stay put when the wolf lunged? They could have easily been controlled by a vampire. You..."

He gasped as he got a real good look at her.

When he gasped she opened her eyes, Her bright golden eyes looked up at the skyher face had a soft yet emotionalism expression on it “They are only doing what is in there nature...I had everything under control were the one who made the mistake “ she said in a soft calm tone. She gave the wolf one good pet before standing up, didn’t seem to be paying him much attention, in fact she still really had not looked at him,she wore a white dress that was now dirty, her light brown hair had leaves and twigs in it but she didn’t seem to care “I must get back, excuse me” she said and started to walk past him

He took hold of her hand and said, "Your place is with me. Why are you outside of the school walls? There is a track for riding horses there. The wolves may not be controlled today, but tomorrow may have them attack as ghouls. And from what I saw, the alpha was heading for your throat."

She looked down at the hand he was grabbing, she finally looked up at him, her golden eyes meeting his. Suddenly she grabbed his wrist with her other hand flipped him over onto his back “do not touch what does not belong to you hunter” she said and tilted her head looking down at him, he could see amusement in her eyes “ my aunt was guys do look good on your back” she said with a soft smirk before she started to walk away.

He got up and quickly blocked her path, his crooked smile catching her off guard as he said, "I am the only one allowed to touch you. And I'm not one to lay on my back when it comes to my lifemate. Now, can I have your name?"

She looked up at him, her golden eyes shined brightly in the moonlight “My uncles warned me about males like you....if what you say is true then expose your wrist to me”she said in a defiant tone

He smiled and said, "Gladly, though I have a feeling I might regret it by your tone and the sparkle in your eye."

He held out his wrist. He wanted to feel her hand on his skin. He wanted to hear her voice for all time. He wanted to bind her to him.

She grabbed the back of his hand, the touch of his warm skin made her nervous. She lowered her face down to the sensitive skin on his wrist and inhaled. Her lips parted ans she sucked in her breath at his scent. She felt her heart slam into her chest. His scent was intoxicating, spicy and wild. She knew an alpha when she saw one but this was different. Her fangs lengthened. every part of her begged for her to bit into his delicious skin. She dropped his and and backed away from him, she looked at her feet instead of him, afraid of what she might do if she did "well...." she said in a uneven tone "it looks like we have a problem after all..." She said slowly looking up, when her golden eyes meet his there was something wild in them "Im not ready to be claimed" she said and for a moment he saw her eyes glow like a wolf before she turned and started to run.

He laughed and ran after her. It was easy for him to block her path. The speed told him that they were both Guardians, which meant that they would butt heads, but he was her mate.

"Nor am I really ready to claim you," he said after a moment, taking hold of her to keep her to himself for a while. "I have some issues to work out at this time that prevent me from doing so. But do us both a favor and stay within the walls of the school. When I'm able to be free from... my problem, I will come to claim you. I trust you will be ready for me at that time."

"I decide when I am ready to be claimed not you" She said breaking his grip and kicking him away from her "if I do not find you worthy I will not allow have to earn the right to be able to call me yours until then all I see is a dog that does not know how to bark yet" She said dodging his grip and jumping into a near by tree

"Hey, it won't be for a while that I get to claim you, woman!" he said, jumping after her. "Hell, it may be years before I get my dad off my back! I don't want or need a pack, and it will take time to learn to be with you! Why do you women overreact to everything?"

He couldn't see her but he felt himself bring watched. Suddenly soft firm hands grabbed him from behind and one covered his mouth "quiet" her voice said into his ear. After a moment a deer came running into the opening. The howls of wolves where near. A second later the deer was surround and the wolves took it down. The pack ate with a fierce hunger, all but one part took in the feast. It was the alpha from earlier. He was hungry but refused to eat, the deer was small so he was letting his pack have their fill. The beta ripped off one of the legs and carried over to him with her mouth, and pushed it towards him with her nose. after a moment of hesitation the alpha began to eat the leg "A lone wolf might have gotten to eat the whole deer if he was fast enough to catch it.....but without a pack he will never feel full" She said in a whisper "if you dont need a pack then you dont need a beta...just pretend we never meant hunter because I will never be yours" she said and took to the air as a bird

He stayed sitting in the tree, contemplating her words. He got comfortable and looked at the stars. He wanted a mate, maybe even his friend Ion, but a pack? He didn't want to be responsible for the fate of his village. He was not the prince, he was not his father, and he was not made to lead. He knew this to be fact.

"But a pack is different from a mate," he said aloud, knowing she was still close enough to hear. "A lifemate is necessary for breathing. A pack is not. Hunters survive centuries without anyone helping them. I can too. I have a friend with me for company if I desire it, but I know Ion will eventually leave, either due to finding his memories or to death. I can't stop that. I am not a leader, golden eye, and I don't need a pack. Just you."

hunters dont have a pack? really? so when a hunter calls for aid no one ever comes? hunters never group up to take down a big enemy? well then I best go tell the school they have been teaching us wrong, that all of Carpathians are not family to one another, that they were wrong when they said we all take care of each other and look out for one another she said in a sarcastic tone. Her voice was like silk in his mind your older then me yet your mind is that of a child, how disappointing you are

"I just... I mean..." He tried to think but it was more than just her voice that made it difficult. "Look, I don't want to be the alpha of a pack of Guardians, okay! I am not made for that! I am a hunter, a tracker, not a leader! I can't handle all those people swarming me with their problems, begging me to make things right, acting like I'm so important that they have to die for me, just because I'm the representative of the prince! I refuse to live in a cage!"

He looked down and noticed that the wolves were gone, but that Ion had returned. He jumped down, but was not in the mood to really talk.

"Hey," Dom said. "How did things go?"

"not well considering i couldn't find the school" he said in a tired tone

"But we just left it," said Dom with a laugh. "We are only about fifty feet from the wall. How could you get lost? See, this is why you need me, old man. You are lost without me and my good looks."

He rolled his eyes "didnt you say the school was hidden...some kind of ward or something? dont sass me and come on im hungry and tired" he said and began walking in the wrong direction

"Ion, are you okay?" Dom asked as he turned Ion around, worried. "I'm taking you back to the school. Perhaps there is something wrong. There is food there and healers to look at you."

"Im fine just tired" he said as he started walking "so why were you in a tree talking to yourself?" he asked

"The woman from earlier," Dom said, "She is my lifemate. However, it seems she doesn't like how I see things and is refusing me. I want to be free of the path my father has set for me before I claim her. So, we are butting heads."

He stopped him "lifemate? you mean the woman with the other half of your soul...I thought you said chances of finding her are very small, yet you have and you are here with me? I dont understand"

"It's complicated," said Dom. "And if you are fine, then let's set up camp."

"no" he said plainly "you said you needed her, you made it very clear without her you would suffer, I will not follow you unless she is with us is that clear? so take me back to the school and go do that claim thing you do before I kick your ass for being so stupid"

"Clean out your ears, old man," said Dom with a groan, even as he picked Ion up and flew to the school. "Our views are causing us to bump heads. Neither of us is ready."

"then get ready before you lose her and then i lose you, or did you forget home many people were taken recently?" he said as they landed in the school grounds and he put him down. He made him look at him "I know you well you are to stubborn to listen sometimes, but on our friendship listen to me now, is what ever you both are butting heads about so important that its ok to risk not having her at all?" he asked

Dom said, "If it means that I am forced to become alpha of the Guardians, I'll wait another century before claiming her." He looked up when he heard a bird call. It made him smile. "Sounds like she liked that idea."

She landed in front of them in her human form "I like the idea because i reject this union" She said in a plain tone "you do not deserve to be a guardian of all, you have no honor and you are not the lifemate for me, when the time comes for you to fall I will make sure you watch the sun rise. But I will never be bounded to a honor less creature like you. You are a disappointment not only as a Guardian but as a man, maybe in our next life you will chose to be honorable and we will be bonded but in this life I will not have you" She said sending a call to her uncles she was coming home regardless of their protest. Her golden eyes held his gaze, disappointment and sadness filled them "after tonight the only time you will see me is when I come to make sure you greet the sun, goodbye " She said and turned to leave

Dom doubled over, pain assailing him as if she had given him a physical blow. He had fought vampires, saved lives, risked his sanity to find missing people... How could he not have honor? He just didn't want to be alpha. So what was he doing wrong? He stood up, rethinking his stance.

"Golden eyes, I am sorry you feel this way," he said, sounding emotionless. "It seems I have much to think about, including about how I view things. But know this, when I mark you as a friend or lifemate, you never have to worry I will abandon you. Fate has decided that we be together, and so it shall be." He didn't notice but his alpha aura was growing. "I protect my own, even if being a leader is not the destiny I envisioned. Rest assured, I will think over my actions from the last month." He touched her hair, marveling at how silky it was. "I do not feel I am best suited to being the alpha of the guardians, but my family has pushed me into it. I have run from this path, but once I am no longer needed here, I will return to my village. My father will will then name me alpha. Visit before you run back to Brazil." He kissed her cheek. "Your copper skin gave you away, Miss De La Cruz."

She grabbed the back of his neck and and used her legs to throw him to the ground "Dont touch me, you do not have the right.." She said looking down at him "And I decide who I love and my own fate" She said with a growl "the worst part of this...I have never let a man touch me, I have waited to meet you, knowing there was someone out there waiting for me I made a decision unlike all the other Carpathians I would wait for him. I had no want or need to lay with anyone else,even with my wild nature. If I had known this is what I was waiting for I would have done what my body desired" She said with a disappointing look on her face "live your life running if you want but you will be running alone, I will be living a honorable life....without you" She said and walked away

He waited until she was gone and looked at Ion, saying, "Go on. Tell me how bad I messed up. She's right, I'm acting like a fledgling, but I was never given a choice in what I would do. This last month was the only freedom I've ever had."

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