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  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
    astone2292
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Love in the Shadows - 25. Chapter 25: Celestial Circumstances

Silence. Silence crawled across the table. Across the wolf's mind and soul. "Kaplan?" Raising his head slowly to meet the tan eyes of the bear, words and thoughts began to trickle in. He's...he's dead?

"You...killed him?" Ice cold shivers ran down the spine of the Beta as he muttered the sentence. He almost refused to believe it. But he knew the panda spoke nothing but truth.

Cyrus took the bottle of wine and refilled his glass, just to take a swig from the crystal clear cup. "Yes. It had to be done. You can call it self-defense, or a challenge. He struck out at me, and I don't take too kindly to that sort of behavior when it involves hatred and anger." Giving the wolf a look of concern, he solidified his earlier statement. "He will not be bothering you. And once again, I'm sorry if you-"

"No...don't be sorry, sir." The interruption surprised the Alpha. For one of great respect to higher status, he sure ignored that! Not that I blame him. Letting some tears fall, Kaplan smiled. The first genuine smile in a very long time. One that echoed through his soul. "Thank you...Alpha Vonder. That...man. He has haunted me for as long as I care to remember. I'm relieved to know he's dead."

The panda gave his accompaniment a light grin and put his arm across the tablecloth. "So you aren't mad at me? For ending your former Alpha's life?"

Shaking his head, a muddled chuckle left Kaplan's lips. "No. I don't think I could ever be mad at someone who took a deep seated fear from my life." Emotions ran amok in his head as he accepted that he no longer felt the need to hide. "Gods, Cyrus! I've been hiding who I am for so long...out of that fear."

More curiosity pinged Cyrus' head. "Do you mind if I ask? What were you hiding?"

Kaplan folded in his lips and prepared himself to tell his deepest and most treasured secret. "I haven't been honest. For my entire teenage and adult life. Once I knew, I could never be open with myself, or I would face exile...or even death." The floodgates burst, and Kaplan dropped his head in emotional overload. "I'm...I'm not exactly...straight."

Cyrus wanted to smirk, but kept his face of concern and compassion. I assumed. The waitress was a tipoff, but I wasn't going to say anything. Grabbing his handkerchief once again, he handed it to the Beta. "Kaplan. You don't need to say-"

"Pardon me, Alpha, but...I think I do." As Kaplan dried his tears once more, he gripped the cloth tight. "A weight has been lifted. And...it feels good! Feels good to say it, after all this time. I'm...gay. I'm gay, Cyrus." Saying the words meant the world to Kaplan. I...I feel happy. I'm happy!

"Young Beta. I am beyond proud of you, in this moment! And I want you to revel in your emotions right now. Bask in their joy! Here, drink. Drink! This is a moment of celebration!" Cyrus raised his glass in a toasting fashion, and Kaplan lifted his to match. "To...a fresh step in life! And may every step afterward be just as inviting."

Kaplan let out a happy chuff and nodded. Clinking the glasses together, they drank their wine. Swimming in pride for the Beta, Cyrus couldn't help but let out a hearty laugh. He took another sip of wine and smiled at the wolf. It has been a while since I became so attached to someone. I believe I should keep him close. He is...special.

***

On the day of the proposed meeting between the mages, Vincent tried his best to keep himself focused at work. But he couldn't even fool Dave as he had some trouble turning aisle corners with the pallet jack. I need to calm down, or I'm going to end up like John and his spaghetti sauce incident.

Calm. It all be alright. No action, just talk.

I know, bud. But you get where I'm coming from, right? I mean...this is the bad guy. The bad guy!

I know. It...strange. But you trust plan. I trust you. Will be good.

Pausing his work for a moment to breath, he confirmed his belief in the ideas formed last night. You're right. Not gonna lie, I wasn't sure how I would feel having a second voice in my head when I was just human...but I'm really glad you're with me.

Same as you. You strong and smart. Kind thoughts. Smiling from his internal conversation, he looked up to find Dave giving him a raised eyebrow. "You good, Vin?"

"Yeah! Sorry 'bout that, Dave. I'm still getting to know the other voice in my head. He's keeping me pretty entertained."

Dave smirked and shook his head. "I get it. It was many years ago, but I remember getting to know my wolf back when I was a teenager."

The mage mirrored the Beta's smirk. "Must have been a long time ago. Surprised you can think back that far."

The tiniest growl mumbled through Dave's lips as Vincent giggled. "Funny. Let's take a break. I'm heading out to smoke."

Vincent nodded and parked his pallet in a spot that wouldn't bother customers. He followed Dave out into the parking lot and sat with him on the picnic table on the far side of the building. The Beta lit his cigarette and the fumes burned Vincent's nose. Wow! That...stinks! I usually smell his cigarettes, but man this time it's cranked up to eleven! Dave noticed Vincent's discomfort and laughed. "Looks like your sense of smell got stronger. Welcome to being a shifter, little man."

The mage nodded and accepted the odor as a new part of his friend's life. He closed his eyes and focused on the breeze hitting his face. It feels so good! Today would be a great day to meditate.

A growl was let out of his mind and Vincent knew his wolf was unhappy. What's up, bud?

Watched. We are watched. Concern washed over the mage as he kept his head still.

Where from? I didn't see anyone out of the ordinary.

Can't tell. Feels like...from ground. But no make sense. As Vincent looked at the ground, he noticed the aura his wolf was detecting. Curious. In the shadows? Could be bad mage.

I don't doubt it. Let me dip in real fast. He rose from his perch and scanned the parking lot to see if anyone was watching him. He noticed that Dave was showing concern. "Be right back. Want to check something." Getting a nod from the wolf and seeing how no one was watching, he placed a foot under the table's darkness and let the world fall to gray.

There! Under pole! His wolf pushed on Vincent's head from his subconscious toward the middle of the parking lot. A scrawny and bald man in a grayscaled tribal robe stood by himself in the lot next to a beaten up sedan. And he was staring right at Vincent.

The second he widened his eyes, Vincent watched the stranger grin and shift away under the car. Black smoke wisped across the parking lot at a blinding speed. He's fast! But how? It's daylight! The smoke slipped around from vehicle to vehicle. Before Vincent could even think about pulling himself into the normal world, the shadowed smoke vanished before his eyes.

What...in the fuck?!

Another shadow mage? Do know him?

No! The only shadow mages I know of are Stefan and myself. And I guess the lady Old Man Richards spoke of at the meeting when I did my dance. This guy...seems monk-like.

Need to be alert. Is friend or foe?

Not a clue, man! But yeah...we need to keep an eye out for him. Having another shadow mage lurking around is not a good thing! Vincent looked around the lot once more in order to move back in.

"Vin? Where are ya, kid?" Dave never liked it when Vincent headed into the shadows. Can't keep my eye in two worlds. And I can't go diving into his if he runs into trouble.

The mage popped back up next to him on the table, causing the wolf to be startled. "Jeez, Vince! Give a guy a warning. What the Hell was that about?" Staring at the smaller man in frustration, he quickly saw that the mage was shook. "Hey. What's up?"

In trembled tone, Vincent whispered underneath his breath. "There's a third shadow mage in town."

***

After receiving the call from Dave, Mason ordered Caleb to go to the Greenthumb and follow Vincent's blue Kia back to the house for security measures. What the Hell does this mean? A third shadow mage popping up the day of Stefan's meeting? I do not like this.

The door unlocked and Vincent came in with Caleb right behind him. "My mate! Are you okay? Did you get a look at the man?" Mason rushed to Vincent in the blink of an eye and held him in his arms.

"Easy, big guy! Easy! I'm fine." Looking at Mason's new wide-eyed and sideways head, Vincent giggled. "Seriously, I'm good. He didn't come at me. When I spotted him, he took off. He was bald...and really thin. Like he hasn't had a decent meal in years. And he was wearing...not a robe, but kinda like a tunic?"

Mason gave his mate a deranged stare. "A tunic? Like a long shirt? You sound like you just described a monk from the mountains or some shit."

"Yes! Exactly! You don't believe me, do you?" Vincent squinted his eyes as Mason raised an eyebrow. "Alright, then. I have a witness." He closed his eyes and brought his wolf to the front. Tell them we aren't crazy!

Mason and Caleb watched as Vincent's eyebrows furrowed, giving a menacing glare. "We see bald man. Long clothes. It all gray. Never been in shadow before. But I see man as human tells."

"What do you think, Mace?" Caleb gave a concerned look to his Alpha. "If we have another shadow mage around, we need to put the council back on high alert."

"I agree, but we find ourselves in the same position as with Stefan."

Vincent felt a little irritated and wanted to put his two cents in. He switched once more with his wolf and brought his human mind to the helm. "Okay, fellas. Can we focus on one mage at a time? We can worry about this new guy after we talk to Stefan. I know we need to be ready in case of emergencies, but I'm not ready to call this new guy a threat just yet. I mean...I just saw him in the parking lot. He didn't fight or even say a word."

Mason crossed his arms. "I know, Vinnie. But we now have two shadow mages that are vying for your attention. With that kind of magic, they're bound to be up to no good."

The moment the words left his lip, the Alpha felt a dark pit in his soul. What...is this? That's where my...bond-

"What do you mean by that, Mason?" On the sofa, Vincent stared down to the hardwood floors with every inch of his body trembling.

Realizing what he said, Mason wished he could take back every word. "Vinnie. I didn't mean that towards you. I'm just saying that-"

"That shadow mages are evil? They have some sort of plot in their head at all times?" Vincent looked up to stare down his mate. He felt the anger in his mind beginning to boil. "You know, I recall a moment when I shared my power with you. You said it was amazing! What happened, Mason? Was that just something you said? Something you didn't mean?"

Mason's mind was screaming for him to get his mate to calm down and be understanding. "Never. I have enjoyed every moment with your magic."

"With which affinity? When I used my frost and clairvoyancy to please you? Mason...you know my ambitions!" The mage felt his eyes having a tingling sensation, but that added fuel to his fire. "And my mate thinks that my shadow magic is some...corrupt art? I can't stand for that!"

Mason. Calm mate!

I know, my friend! I just need to find a way to do so. The Alpha closed his eyes and took a cross-legged seat on the floor, as he did in the forest during their very first fight. "Vincent. I apologize for my words, and my train of thought." He glanced up to the frosty blue eyes that permeated anger throughout the room. From the corner of his vision, he noticed Caleb was forced to kneel from the intense aura his mate was emitting. "My words were misplaced...and I wish-"

"Wish to what? Use more of your misplaced words to apologize? I am your mate! Your destined mate! And you practically backhand one of my two goals in life! I can't believe you!"

The Alpha was beginning to be irritated. This has gone on long enough. Dipping into the deeper parts of his throat, Mason tapped his Alpha Voice to calm down his man. "Vincent. Calm down, my mate."

Vincent's irises burned even brighter when his mate spoke in the guttural tone. His wolf growled intensely in his mind. He use voice?! I am Alpha! I throw right back at him! The mage felt the ball of energy rise from his throat and spoke with all of his mustered anger. "No!"

Mason's eyes fluttered as he had an Alpha Voice blasted in his face. Oh, fuck! Bad move! "You dare to use that voice with me?! I am your mate, Alpha Wilson! My wolf is an Alpha, so your Voice will not work with me. You will do you good to remember that!" With his words cutting like knives, the mage turned and marched toward the backyard.

Dropping his Alpha Voice, Mason called out for his mate in vain. A nasty cough brought his attention to his Enforcer. "Caleb! My Gods…" The lion was kneeling on both knees and breathing in broken measurements. He just got bombarded by an Alpha Voice argument! Honestly surprised he didn't piss himself. "Caleb, I'm sorry about that. Here, let's get you on the couch." Mason picked up the nearly limp man and set him on the leather seat. "Get some rest, I'm going to go after Vincent."

"Go...be careful." Nodding, Mason turned to go after his mate. Rushing through his back door, he caught Vincent's scent and ran into the yard, but quickly slowed his pace. Well...that was easy. Walking at a cantered pace, Mason walked to the tree that his mate loved.

"Vin...are you okay?" The Alpha placed slowly in front of his mate's meditation spot, and saw that Vincent had calmed himself down quite a bit. He noticed the hazel eyes had returned, but were kept low to the ground. Mason exhaled out of his nose and took a seat in front of the mage. "You know I didn't mean those words, right?"

Vincent sat in silence, but nodded his head. I...I wanted to run away again. Just...ready to give it all up and start fresh like usual.

No. We need mate. May be...misguided...but he mean well.

Yeah. I felt the bond tug as soon as we got to the tree. Knew it wouldn't let me be far from him. I love him too much to just abandon Mace.

Need to make right. Speak. He need to hear voice. Your voice.

Thank you.

We stick together. Two head better than one? A snort left Vincent's nostrils at the internal joke, but took his wolf's advice. "I know. The longer I play the memory in my head, the more I think I overreacted."

"No. You didn't, Vinnie." Mason scooted himself closer, putting himself within arm's reach. "I said those words. And I shouldn't have, plain and simple. The mistake that I made could have cost me my relationship with you...or worse. Your trust. I can not afford to lose that. You are the one the Gods gave me, just as they gave me to you.

"I insulted the shadow affinity. Associating it with evil intentions made you seem like the bad guy. And that...is unacceptable. I'm sorry, Vincent. Can you forgive me?" The Alpha stared at his mate in heart pounding anticipation.

Vincent searched within himself and felt the bond's new sensation. He feels...vulnerable. I've never felt him like this!

You left him. Distance and bad feeling do that to mate. See how you feel?

The mage went from Mason's end of the bond to his own, and found a similar emotion. Gods! We really do need to depend on one another.

Yes. Now...forgive. Forget. We need mate. Nodding at his wolf's decision, he agreed. "I forgive you, big guy." Hopping himself closer to the bigger man, he draped an arm around the lower back. A flood of love rushed through Vincent's bond and responded with his own emotional tidal wave towards Mason. "I love you too much to be mad. It was an accident, plain and simple."

"I love you too, pup. I know I promised to never hurt you again, but it seems that was one I couldn't keep." Mason wrapped his arm around the smaller man's shoulder and pulled him closer. "It seems we still have a lot to learn about each other."

Vincent tilted his head upward and gazed into the shiny brown eyes. "Yeah. But I'm happy. And I know that reflects onto you, so I think that's all that matters." The mage watched as Mason's face came in close. He closed his eyes as the wolf's lips touched his and basked in the electricity when they collided. The world melted away as the couple embraced their love for one another.

Mason didn't want the kiss to end, but he knew they had to get going soon. "When we get home…" He lowered his voice to a subtle growl as he whispered in the man's ear. "...I'm going to make slow and steady love to you."

The promise caused blood to rush to Vincent's groin as he imagined a scene in the bedroom. "Well...what if I don't want that?" Mason shot a look of despair to his mate, and Vincent gave a sultry and lustful stare. "What if I want you at your strongest? I want your hybrid…"

His eyes burned golden as he let his arousal pierce the dark night. "If that is what you wish, then you may have it. But don't be certain that you'll be able to walk tomorrow." Swimming in the other's desires, Mason had to break the passion. He stood and helped his mate stand next to him. "Let's go. I'd hate to keep Stefan waiting." Vincent laughed and held Mason by the arm, letting him lead them back to the house.

***

Parking the truck in the lot, the tension built even further in Vincent's heart. Gods...am I really about to do this? To face off with the man I've run after for years? It seems so unreal. "Vinnie. We got this!" The mage looked at Mason in the eye and received a confidence boost. He's right. We do. "Everyone is in place. We just need to get to the roof."

Nodding, Vincent saw the familiar rusty blue Dodge truck pull in next to his door and smiled when Lei and Elaine came into vision. The mage let the other couple get out of their vehicle first, as to avoid a door dinger, then stepped out and gave them both an endearing hug. "Thank you two for coming." Stefan is going to be surprised to see Elaine here. Maybe she will cause him to slip more information.

As he hugged Lei, he felt a vibration in the shifter's chest. "Sorry, son. I'm just anxious to finally meet the bastard that attacked my mate. My growl is not aimed at you."

"I know, Lei. Your anger is pointed at the rooftop. I can smell it." Lei was taken aback as his son-in-bond had developed his senses. His mate walked up from behind and smiled daintily as Lei wrapped his arm around Elaine's hips.

"Ellie? You sure you want to do this?"

She stood stoically and flashed her sapphire irises in anticipation towards her mate. "I want this, Lei. I want to see him." With all present, Mason checked in with Caleb and Dave through a group text.

'Everyone in place?' He was swiftly responded to with two messages that gave confirmation. "Alright, let's head around back. Vincent's going to shoot us up with his shadows." Everyone nodded and walked in a group to the rear of the building. Vincent found a drainage gutter and had everyone grab onto his shoulders.

"Alright. So when we go in the shadows, I need everyone to imagine themselves feeling weightless. I'll be able to pull on the shadows and get us up there. Just need everyone to make sure their feet are in the shadows." Another collective nod came from the group and once everyone was standing in darkness, Vincent made their world go gray. He gave the older couple a moment to capture the power of his magic. "Hold on."

He shot them upward at a fast pace, causing explicit comments from Lei to air the night. Reaching the roof, he brought his family back to the world of light. Mason pulled out his phone and checked the time. It's a few minutes before nine. He should be here any moment.

The four stood by as time slowly passed. Habitually, Mason kept checking his phone every thirty seconds until Vincent told him to be patient. But the little mage was beginning to grow anxious himself. He said nine in the evening on this rooftop. Stefan usually keeps to his word.

Unless…

"Hang on a bit, sweetie." Vincent looked around the rooftop. He noticed his eyesight had improved, but it wasn't until now that he recognized his ability to see better in the dark. "I'll be right back. Just a quick in and out."

Mason nodded. "Alright, Vinnie. Be careful. And come right back." Taking a deep breath, Vincent slipped into the shadows.

"My, my…" Hearing the soft accented voice, Vincent's blood ran cold as his wolf began barking in his mind. He scanned around until the mage saw the slender figure leaning against the ledge of the storefront. His breath caught. It’s him. “...you have grown so much.” Vincent wanted to say something. Anything. But he couldn’t talk, scream, yell, or even muster a whisper. “I’m glad we could finally meet, Vincent. We need to talk.”

Vincent’s wolf nudged him in the head and urged him to say something. Talk! Before I do! Mustering whatever courage was inside him, Vincent forced himself to speak. "About what? How...how you killed them? How you murdered my parents?"

Stefan shoved his hands in his pockets and sighed. The younger mage watched every move the murderer made. "I wanted to talk with you, Little Vinnie. I won't say I'm a changed man, because that would be a lie. But I've had years to reflect on my actions. You will not believe me, but I feel the need to tell you that I am sorry."

He gritted his teeth and let hit be known that he was angry in the shadowed world. 'You're sorry?! Sorry doesn't bring back my Mom and Dad! I should kill you where you stand for saying such empty words!" His words seethed as he began showing his teeth.

The Italian stared innocently at the young man. He's...changed. His eyes darted to Vincent's face, which led to the large scar peeking out from the gray shirt. He's been bit! Has he been turned yet? This makes things complicated. He's becoming more and more formidable. "As you should. But my words are true." Looking at the clueless duo behind him, he recognized Elaine, but the larger men were a mystery. One was standing close to the lady, and the other bared a resemblance to the other man. Ah...the picture is painted. "I believe your wolf can verify my truthful emotions."

As furious as Vincent wanted to be, his wolf confirmed it. He speaks truth. Hate...but true. "So, what? Feeling guilty all of a sudden? Doesn't seem like you."

Fingering his chin, Stefan did his best to keep his smile away. "I do admit, I feel a twinge of guilt. They didn't possess what I was looking for, and I took my anger out on them instead of the cretin who fed me lies. It is one of the reasons why I wanted to meet with you."

"And the other reasons?" Vincent never slacked on his position or stare.

"Vinnie! Where did you go?" The mage completely forgot about his mate and parents-by-bond behind him. Mace is probably freaking out. Never leaving his gaze on Stefan, Vincent sent a wave of positive energy through his bond. "I feel you my mate. Are you able to come back?" With Mason's new question, Stefan bobbed his head to the side and waited to see if Vincent would reply. Vincent quickly sent a flash of anger through the bond, hoping Mason would get what he meant.

"Is this a new development, Little Vinnie?" Stefan crossed his arms in curiosity. "Surely, you haven't acquired the telepathy affinity. No...maybe you are sending endorphins out that I can't smell. This is quite interesting."

Vincent was losing his patience with the older man's inquiries. "Why are you here? Why do this...just to talk?"

A sly smirk crept on the Italian. "Yes. I've been hearing a lot about how you've grown and become your own man. You've acclimated your magic skills to quite an impressive level. I'd almost say you would be an impressive opponent to face."

His wolf could stay quiet no longer. In a sudden burst of rage, Vincent shouted. "Then fight me!"

Taking a step backwards in surprise, Stefan couldn't believe the deep and echoed voice came from his rival. What...was that? Is...his wolf an Alpha? Oh, that is very interesting! Rather bothersome, though. He might be more of a challenge that I anticipated. "Believe me, Vincent. We will fight, but I desire a challenge. Call me old fashioned, but I want the best from someone who wishes to duel with me.

"But for now, consider myself out of your hair. I've had my fun in this town, but it is rather...rural." Stefan lifted a finger from his pocket and pointed it at Vincent's lower half of his body. "You'll find a burn phone with one phone number in your pocket. When you feel you are ready, give the number a call. We will arrange for a time and place of your choosing. You may take as long as you like, Little Vinnie. Until then, I will stay away from you, others you find precious, and from this...town. I have other avenues of business to attend to across the world.

"I want you at your finest...your strongest. This isn't some play pretend promise, or another one of your sparring matches with Elaine and that lion."

Vincent sucked in air hard. He...watched my training? That means he knows my tactics and strategies! As his lungs decompressed, Vincent watched as Stefan kept a serious stare on the younger mage.

"Understand what you have asked for, Vincent. This is a fight. Only one of us will leave alive. That is, of course...what you wish for?"

There was one answer. The same answer Vincent carried with him for seventeen years. Seventeen long, arduous, and emotionally painful years. Memories from his childhood swept through his mind. Mom. Dad. This is for you.

"Yes." Vincent let his frosty blue irises glow bright. "I will win. And mark these words, Stefan...your blood...will drip from my claws. I promise you that."

With a thin grin, the Italian squinted his eyes and nodded. "I look forward to seeing if you can keep that promise...Little Vinnie." The slender mage turned and phased off into the night. Vincent let his breath go when he was confident he was free from Stefan's presence.

Stefan...bad human. He strong. We need get strong.

Yeah...we need to do some serious training.

Agree. I want mate. Go to mate?

Sounds good to me, bud. I could use a hug. After getting his nerves under control, Vincent reverted back to the normal world and looked towards his mate. Instant smelling his man, Mason shot his head upward and ran to Vincent, embracing him tightly. "Vinnie! Are you okay? You were gone for so long."

Vincent rubbed his head into Mason's wide chest and let a lighthearted laugh out. "I know, baby, I know. But he was in the shadows. I should have known what he meant when he said I could bring as many friends as I wanted. They wouldn't have mattered since he intended to meet with me like that."

Mason lightly cupped his mate's cheek. "You can't anticipate every move your opponent makes. Did he hurt you?"

"No. He did keep his word on that part. I'm honestly very conflicted about what he said." The mage furrowed his brow as he felt a dull throb starting at the front of his brain.

"You okay? Headache?"

"Mhmm. Yeah, I'll be fine though. Stefan, he...he actually apologized to me. He said it wasn't his intention to kill my parents...and I could tell he was speaking the truth."

Lei and Elaine moved closer and the bigger man placed a hand on Vincent's shoulder. "Has he ever shown any inkling of compassion or kindness towards you?"

Shaking his head, Vincent kept his head down. "Nope. This was something new. But...that's not all we talked about."

Mason looked at his mate and brushed through his longer hair. "What is it, Vinnie?"

Vincent sighed and reached in his pocket. He pulled out an outdated flip phone and held it out to show. "He slipped this in my pocket at some point before I went in the shadows. It has one number on it...his. I am to call it when I feel that I am at my strongest. Then we fight...and one will walk away."

The gravity of the conversation hit the shifters as they looked between one another. Elaine became pale as she thought more and more upon her encounter with the evil mage many years ago. Vincent...is nowhere near ready. Not even frost magic is up to par. He needs to find a way to master his shadow affinity. I'll have to message the Dean once more and get an update on his search.

A hard grimace plastered itself on Vincent's face as his headache grew. "Mace, you mind if we go home? I could use a little bit of food and some rest."

"Of course, my mate. Could you get us down to the ground?" Vincent nodded as they walked to the edge of the roof. He transported everyone to the back of the building, but that made the headache worse. Mason was becoming more concerned for his mate. "Here. Let me carry you." He swooped Vincent off his feet and headed for his truck. "Mom, Dad? Did you want to come over and chat for a bit?"

Lei held up his hand and shook his head. "No, I believe you need to take care of your mate. Unless you need some of Doc's lycan-dose acetaminophen?"

"I got some. Come on, Vinnie. Let's get you home." The Alpha opened the passenger door and buckled in his mate and made his way back to his house. Along the way, Vincent's condition was slowly getting worse. Okay, get him some food, then water, then half a pill since he's still partially human.

Vincent sat in an intense discomfort. I don't know where the Hell this came from! It has been a bit since I've eaten, but I don't think it would cause this big of a problem.

No, not food pain. Stress?

I mean, it's possible. But I'm pretty calm now.

Mate will help us?

Yeah, Mace is gonna help. I think he said something about a pill. Hopefully, it will make this pain go away. The mage noticed that they had arrived at the house, so he unbuckled his seat belt and started to open the door. "Vinnie, let me come around and help you." Oh, come on. I'm not completely helpless! He got the door opened and tried to find the step up bar below the door. Missing the target, his body fell out of the truck and he landed hard on his side.

"Vincent!" Mason rushed to the other side of his truck. "Jeez, Vinnie. Would ya let me help you for a moment?"

A wave of guilt washed over the mage as he realized he made not only his problem worse but caused his mate to be concerned. "I'm sorry, Mace. I just got tired of being helpless."

"You're not helpless, my mate. You got me. I'll always be here for you. Now, can you get up?" Vincent surveyed the damage to his side and nodded. With Mason's arm as a brace, he rose slowly as he nursed his growing headache. "Let's get you inside and sat down on the couch."

Yeah...I need...to sit down. My head's getting worse. The pain was beginning to become irritable for the mage. They walked up the steps as Dave's truck pulled into the driveway and both members of Mason's council flew to their side.

Caleb shared a look of concern with Dave as they wondered how Vincent got into this state. "Caleb, get the door, would ya? Vinnie's getting a headache, and it's not calming down. Dave, medicine cabinet. Get the L-acetaminophen." The shifters followed their orders as Mason steadily walked his mate in through the now open door. "Alright...easy does it…" Vincent got close enough to the couch closest to the door and was gently placed down.

Dave arrived in the living room with an orange pill bottle and a glass of water. Mason took the glass and handed it to Vincent's shaky hands. "Get one of those, and cut it in half. I'm not confident his wolf could handle a whole one."

"Yes, Alpha." The Beta hurried to the kitchen and completed the task in no time. Vincent took the pill and sipped on the water.

Pain...unbearable. Get worse.

I hear ya, bud. It's no walk in the park for me either. Just gotta wait until the meds kick in. But he sat in ill-gained patience. As Mason filled in Caleb and Dave on the meeting's outcome, Vincent sat and bared through the unrelenting pain. Twenty minutes passed as the mage stayed silent. The three men gathered every known trick in the book. Warm rags. Cold rags. Mason was ready to draw a warm bath for his mate if it came to it.

What in the world could be the cause of this? Maybe I should get Doc here. He might-

A sharp and searing pain struck! Vincent screamed out in agony as he clasped his hands on the sides of his head. His body writhed around, causing him to fall to the hardwood floor. The Alpha knelt quickly and latched on to his mate to prevent further damage to his body. "Vincent! Vincent! Dave, get Doc here now!" He turned away as the Beta pulled his phone, started his call, and made his way outside to hear the doctor clearer.

The pain was centered around Vincent's mind, and the mage felt him and his wolf being separated. No! Don't go! A white flash pierced his conscious and so did a new wave of pain as Vincent felt his scalp burning. In a new howled yell, he nearly bucked himself out of Mason's grip.

Mason's mind flew with no restraint. Is this his turning? The full moon is a few days away, but there should be no sign of his wolf pushing through until that day! What the fuck is going on? He whispered sweet sayings into his mate's ear in an effort to calm and ease his pain.

As the lion stood helpless, Caleb stared intensely at the symptoms his friend was showing. Extreme pain, uncontrolled body movement. It's almost like a migraine and a seizure put together. Gods...if you can hear me...ease this man's pain. He means a lot to this world, and has a destiny to fulfill! I pray to you. Aliz of Destiny, Dinbe of Love, and Bol of Order. Please lend us your strength and guidance!

Vincent's torturous pain persisted as he screamed and fussed in Mason's arms. Tears rushed down his face as he struggled to stay awake. He didn't understand where this came from, but he wanted to be rid of it. The pain was becoming of second nature to the mage, but was brought to a halt when one final strike of mental lightning landed. Vincent let a barrier-piercing scream out as he opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling.

Mason cried. He was helpless to assist his mate in his agony. "Gods...whatever is going on with my mate, let him live. Of please, for fuck's sake let him live!"

Caleb's breath caught when he saw Vincent peeled his eyes open. What...what is this? The discovery closed out Vincent's blood-curdling screams as the lion noticed the mage's irises had changed color. They're...white. Almost pearl white! I see the pupils, but...what is this? "Mason! His eyes!"

The Alpha, through his own tears, caught what his Enforcer was pointing out. What the Hell? This is new! His wolf's eyes are blue, not white. His attention was brought back to Vincent breathed hard, voice hoarse from his screams. It...is his pain gone? He's breathing raggedly, but he's not screaming. "Vincent?" The mage kept staring at the ceiling. "Vinnie? Come on, pup. Answer me."

The man in the wolf's arms began darting his eyes around the room. They latched onto the bigger man's and he tilted his head back as an examination began. Vincent's breathing was still broken, but he moved and slowly lifted himself to his feet. To Mason and Caleb, it seemed like they just witnessed a miracle. The boy began taking steps like a toddler learning to walk, stumbling every now and again.

"Vincent? Are you good? Maybe you should sit dow-"

"Stop!" A deep voice emanated from the mage. Mason's level of concern just skyrocketed. That...doesn't sound...like Vinnie. The voice was of a baritone-leveled base, and was almost elegant in it's stern command. "You...call this one...Vincent?"

Mason rose with purpose. "Who are you, and what have you done with Vincent?" Anger began to seep from the Alpha's pores as Caleb stood next to him, prepared to incapacitate the being that took over the Mated Alpha's body.

Vincent looked at his hands in silent wonder, then raised his white irises to the two shifters. "Be still. There is no call for frustration or violence, young shapeshifters. I understand I caused great strife to this human, but it was necessary." Looking at the ground and focusing on the body's leg movements, the being in Vincent's skin whispered to himself. "I sometimes forget how these bodies work. One in front...of the other..."

Seeing his mate's body being used as a toy infuriated Mason as he roared in anger. "Who the fuck do you think you are?! Walking in my mate, controlling him like a puppet!" He wanted to lash out, but knew that would mean harming Vincent himself. This...is bad! I'd rather be fighting Stefan. At least I know what I would be up against.

Cocking Vincent's head to the side, the mysterious being inside the mage turned his attention back to the shapeshifters. "Your mate?" He closed Vincent's eyes and opened them once more when he found the bond between the two bodies. "I see. One of my sister's precious gifts. You should consider yourselves lucky."

Caleb's eyes widened in thought. My Gods...it can't be-

"I heard that, ailouros." The white irises pierced Caleb's gaze, and the lion knew then just what they were up against. He instantly fell to his knees and dipped his head downward.

Mason was baffled at his Enforcer's behavior. "Caleb, get up! This is no time to...do whatever the Hell you're doing."

"Forgive me, Alpha…" Caleb's words were mere whispers as his eyes rattled. "...but I don't think Vincent is in any trouble." There's no way I could not trust the being in my friend's body.

"Lion…" Caleb's head darted upward at the mention of his animal. "...you are wise beyond your years. I heard your wish, but I was already on the path to this place. It was my intention to play host to this human's body."

Caleb's jaw dropped, and Mason only got more angry. "Enough!" He let his Alpha Voice rumble throughout the house, causing Caleb to bare his neck.

But Vincent stood tall. Unphased. "An Alpha shapeshifter. I do not acquire the chance to see one of your kind very often. Unfortunately, your power of voice does nothing to me. I am here for a reason, and I am to assume you and the ailouros shapeshifter guard this...Vincent?"

Standing in fury, Mason growled. "Alpha Wilson." Darting his eyes to his knelt Enforcer, the wolf heard his words. "Forgive me for saying this, but I mean this with the most respect. Stand down."

Mason's eyes burned amber. "Enforcer Gage! This man-"

"Alpha Wilson!" Caleb wouldn't have dared to ever interrupt his Alpha, but he knew not to test the patience of the being that occupied Vincent. "If my assumption is correct...the being inside your mate has the ability to wipe you from existence if he so wished."

What did my Enforcer just say?

Listen to him. Shocked at his wolf's input, Mason's anger was put on hold. Sense him. His aura. Focusing his attention on Vincent's body, he realized the power the seeped from his mate. Caleb correct. Stand down.

Yes, my friend. Mason's eyes reverted back to brown and Vincent nodded. "I believe this world entertains the concept of personal introductions. Allow me to partake."

Vincent's irises shined bright as Mason and Caleb felt the presence of the being before them. The power that rushed through the room trembled the muscles in Mason's body. Speaking the name of the inhabitant of the mage, Vincent's voice echoed in the living room.

"I am Bol. God of Order."

Copyright © 2020 astone2292; All Rights Reserved.
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Oh, Hell to the no. First another shadow mage, and now an ancient God?  I wonder if the third shadow mage might be a servant to this Bol, God of Order?  

Loved how the chapter started, but the ending just WOW...

 

 

 

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If a god decides it's important enough to come to Earth and inhabit a human body, wouldn't they know the human's name? Omniscience and all the jazz which goes with it.

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3 minutes ago, drpaladin said:

If a god decides it's important enough to come to Earth and inhabit a human body, wouldn't they know the human's name? Omniscience and all the jazz which goes with it.

Gods are busy beings. Maybe they also watch over other planes of existence and they're having catastrophes. If a God takes over Noah, I'm not going to be the one to question what he knows and not knows. Just gonna nod my head and do what I'm told.

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47 minutes ago, astone2292 said:

Gods are busy beings. Maybe they also watch over other planes of existence and they're having catastrophes. If a God takes over Noah, I'm not going to be the one to question what he knows and not knows. Just gonna nod my head and do what I'm told.

Well, I'm nosier. :P

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