11 The Bloody Hand

Black Devil and Full Moon were fighting together, like one proud army.

Life can be hilarious: Full Moon's high-ranked members were defending the smaller pups of Black Devil.

Unfortunately, they lacked in skills and people.

Elena's body was soon littered with wounds and she probably sported a few broken ribs.

So badly outnumbered, she began fearing for her friends. Rex was barely standing up, trying to cover a knocked out Giulia, slumped in a corner with blood all over her. Her heartbeat slower than usual.

And Marco was preoccupied with three large wolves. Terror paralysed Elena as she glanced at him and assessed his precarious situation.

When Elena sprinted toward her friend, someone or something grabbed her by the tail so brutally she almost fainted from the pain. Her cry died in her throat, not having the strength to roar.

Four enormous wolves surrounded her, growling with mischievous glares.

"Use the syringe, you idiots! What are you waiting for!" A random werewolf yelled.

"Capture her without too much damage or I will make you my fucking slaves! You, you pieces of nothing!" Alpha Ciro's voice vibrated from her left. Only a small fraction of her overwhelmed mind had registered these exchanges directed at her possible kidnapping.

'Elena!' That was a voice that belonged to someone who should not have spoken ever again. Not through mind-link, not in person.

Relief flooded her heart as she let out a deep exhalation from her nose and closed her eyes for a second.

'We are coming. Hold on.' That her father seemed exceedingly furious was an understatement.

"Alpha! We need to leave! NOW! Those damned bastards could appear at any moment!" Someone yelled.

It seemed hours passed, but it could have been mere minutes since the horrible nightmare began. The majority of the students lay scattered around, dead, heavily wounded or held hostage.

The fight was ending and not in their favour. Coming help sounded like a broken promise.

When Elena noticed a scary long needle heading toward her neck, she jumped back but in vane. A kick caught her in the stomach as she fell sideways and curled around the pain, gasping. Someone grabbed her right arm, dirty fingers stuck into her hips like hooks made of flesh. "Hold the female still."

Elena shut her eyes and bared her fangs.

'Think, think, think'

The school trembled and growled.

For a split second, she believed to be the cause of the mini earthquake.

Two new males were.

One belonged to Marco, indeed a terrifying red wolf with vermilion eyes.

But nothing compared to the other wolf, standing beside him. If you could even classify it as a wolf.

It was the largest beast Elena had ever seen, more like a tractor with razor-sharp fangs. If a great white shark had witnessed those fangs, it would have died of embarrassment for how pathetic its teeth were in comparison.

His fur was like the darkest midnight. One of those nights devoid of stars and hope, when the moon and all the stars decided to abandon humanity.

Elena barely acknowledged the Beta of the Black Devil Pack speeding toward Marco.

She was distracted by the other wolf. Too mesmerised.

That was Craken.

The legendary Black Alpha's wolf. There were pictures of him, drawings.

Those glowing, stormy eyes found her almost immediately. Raw emotions swam in their recesses: anger, love, surprise, and... fear?

Realisation assaulted her soul like a bullet train...after it sheared the body of a suicidal person who threw himself on its tracks.

'Mate is here for us!' Titilas yipped in happiness.

They looked into each other's eyes for what seemed like an eternity, absorbing the presence of the other for the second time that day.

"The Alpha of the Black Devil pack is my soulmate." Elena murmured in disbelief, blinking.

Black Alpha.

Mate.

In the same sentence.

She was entranced, trapped under his inhuman gaze.

And then it happened.

A trail of blood dripped from her nose to her chin. The eyes of her mate followed the path with incredulity.

The scariest growl everyone had ever had the bad luck to hear made all the eardrums explode.

Elena sank to her knees, completely astonished, her mouth agape. A tsunami of emotions flooded her aching body.

All she could do was following her mate, the Black Alpha, in action.

Still in his wolf form, he pounced at the hopeless enemies with blazing speed.

He reminded her of a legendary shadow that visited their mortal world to slay all the evil beings with his lethal scourge.

Her mate, a nightmare risen from the deepest hell, breaking every neck and crushing souls as if they were nut shells.

Alpha Ciro did not even have time to blink. Captured and barely breathing, he lay on the floor like a forgotten bag.

Elena covered her eyes, overwhelmed by the day. Probably the most intense one of her entire existence.

When she felt a special gaze directed at her, all her hairs stood up. Slowly peeking from behind her fingers, she saw the Alpha himself stalking toward her.

In his human form.

He had shifted back, those magical blue eyes locked on her.

Elena couldn't believe how incredibly tall and fit he was. Wearing only a pair of loose basketball shorts, his upper body was on full display and stained in blood.

Blood that didn't belong to him. It smeared his abdominals which were so hard that even the air bounced off them. There was also some red splash on his endless pecs.

"My mate," He whispered once he was close.

His husky voice gifted Elena with shivers and unleashed all the butterflies in her belly.

There, amongst all the wounded wolves, amongst the smell of death and tears, with more and more nurses and senior pack members rushing to help. Amongst all that, Elena felt completed.

He took a few more cautious steps towards, hesitant she might disappear.

Once he reached her spot, he slowly knelt in front of her, with just enough space to breathe. One of his big hands rose in a slow motion and ran through her hair. Dark blue eyes scanned every detail of her face.

"Hello." He murmured with a hidden emotion. Elena smiled, noticing how sweet he was and how delicately he was touching her.

"Hi." As soon as she spoke, his eyes darted to her lips and a small blush spread through his cheekbones.

When Black Alpha shifted his attention to her arms and shoulders, ensuring she had no serious injuries, electric sparks ignited everywhere their skin brushed. They looked at each other in amazement, with lips slightly parted. Both lost in the supernatural pull.

"What's your name?" He finally asked, with that husky voice.

The girl frowned inwardly, a little nervous to reveal her identity.

"Elena," She croaked out, "From Full Moon."

The male in front of her, however, did not seem to care about the 'where'.

Only the 'who' mattered to him.

Hands that must have smashed and slaughtered countless times moved to cup her face.

Sparks, sparks, sparks.

"You are so beautiful." He murmured with hooded eyes.

A heartbeat later, he leaned forward and inhaled deeply as if committing her scent to memory.

"Fuck," He cursed under his breath, letting out a masculine growl.

Unconsciously, Elena mirrored the action and filled her lungs with his musky scent. All her body relaxed, healing all those mateless years without him.

As if an arrow had been shot by Lady Reality, their private bubble was pierced.

When his head snapped in the direction of his Gamma, his eyes gazed for a moment. Mind-link.

Mirko sighed.

The pack of devils needed their Alpha.

Before leaving, he leaned forward and placed a kiss on Elena's forehead. A deep blush spread across her already burning cheeks. All the insects and other beasts residing in her belly were doing summersaults.

Mirko stood up and walked away, not without stealing another glance or two at his little mate.

When Elena smelled her Dad and warriors of Full Moon, she jumped in disbelief and was catapulted into the present time.

Elena desperately searched around the never ending room for a sign of her closest friends.

Several students and teachers had reported different wounds were still able to go to the infirmary by themselves, while others had to be carried away.

In a remote corner there was a number of bodies covered in sheets. The stench of death pungent.

And then she sensed them. Rex lay unconscious on a stretcher, his Dad holding his hand and talking to a nurse. Giulia was in the arms of her respective father, who was shouting orders at some of the warriors.

Marco. Where is Marco.

"Elena!"

With his head where it should be - attached to his neck, Alpha Giacomo was standing behind her. Concern and relief morphed his Viking features.

Without wasting another heartbeat, she threw herself at him, crying out all the tension.

"D-dad! Oh god," She let out a shaky breath, "For a moment I thought you w-were-"

"Sssh, it's ok. I'm fine. You are fine." He murmured before looking down at his daughter. All the adrenaline was running out of her system, leaving a trembling shell behind.

"That filthy excuse of an Alpha tricked us all, sweetie." He seethed, referring to Alpha Ciro.

The effects of the magical episode with her mate were slowly dissipating; Elena felt drained out of life.

"Hey, hey. I'm here now." He embraced her tightly. "Let's get you home." Concern laced in his stained voice.

A loud cry petrified her heart. The Beta of Full Moon was crying.

Desperation flooded in tormented waves.

"It can't be.." Elena slowly turned around, moving away the hand of Alpha Giacomo that tried to shield her eyes.

A group of blurry, frantic people moved around something. All Elena could spot was a familiar face.

His eyes were hollow orbits, his mouth hanging strangely agape.

Was that the face of death? The fate that all of us should face at some point, down the path of life.

Marco, an amazing soul, full of energy and positivity, with a whole life left to live alongside a newly discovered mate. Marco was being destroyed, swept away by those evil shadows wrapped in their madness and hatred.

There were three werewolves, or what was left of them, scattered dead around there. Marco's attackers.

They were so severed that reassembling their bodies would have been an impossible puzzle.

"Marco..." Her throat closed up, tears welled up in her eyes.

And there it was.

A chopped off, bloody hand.

In the middle of the room.

By its smell and the ferocious despair of the Beta, it belonged to Marco.

Black dots peppered Elena's vision.

The last thing she heard was her own scream.

The last thing she saw was her mate.

He was staring at her with fury deforming that inhumanly perfect, or perfectly inhuman face.

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