Blind Heart

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Under a pregnant moon, a storm is brewing, bringing with it darkness and chaos.

Submitted: September 21, 2013

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Submitted: September 21, 2013

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The sky darkened, the torrent of churning clouds protecting the moon from the bloody streets that scoured the earth.  The sick sound of plopping rain mingled with the scent of spent blood, the two fragrances waltzing together to form a ghastly perfume.  Fog crept in from the mountains, drifting in from the angry peaks to send humans scurrying for the numerous shops, buildings, and homes.  Some laughed, others cursed, while a select few stayed quiet, glaring up at the storm clouds as if the gods had chosen to smite them. 

Katherine Wolfe was not one of those people.  Indifferent to the furious storm, she walked along the rain splattered sidewalk, hunched beneath her knee length coat with her hands tucked in the deep pockets.  She did not mind it as her hair became increasingly soaked, dripping down her back.  Her boots clacked and splashed through the puddles, the five inch heels daring the thunder that roared overhead.  As the water raced to chase away the blood of the night, she smiled carefully, eyeing the humans behind darkly tinted glasses.

She passed by the homeless tucked away beneath cardboard boxes and awnings, fear on their faces as they took in her black clad figure.  She gave them no attention, nearing her destination.  Lightening forked the sky in two, challenged her to a duel.  But she would no please the gods tonight; she had other, more important plans. 

The quaint shop sat on the corner of Emerald and Orchard, the green sign flashing gaily in the window, announcing Crones Cupboard to be open for business.  Before she was even in the door, the scent of herbs and spices attacked her sinuses.  Her nose itched, and she fought off a sneeze as she swung open the glass door littered with flyers.

“Marigold,” she barked.  She slid sinuously out of her coat, hanging the dripping article on a nearby rack with an array of others.  “That damn apprentice of yours used Wolfsbane again!”

The young man in accusation cowered in the far corner, slouching on the stool.  His brown eyes widened as he took in the woman, especially as she removed her eyeglasses.  Wild eyes of liquid amber pinned him in place, irises swirling with a predatory light that belonged solely to the rulers of the animal kingdom.  Paired with her leather footwear, the ripped jeans and tank made her look like a lethal beast.  Tanned arms roped with femininely pronounced muscle were marred with black tribal tattoos that arched across her shoulders to her chest and back.

“Quit terrorizing the help.  That’s the third apprentice I’ve had this quarter, and I rather like this one.”  Drabbed in contrasting colors, the older woman smiled as she stepped behind Katherine to flip the switch on the open sign.  As the fluorescent colors died, she patted the younger female on the shoulder. 

Those golden orbs flicked sideways with a dangerous leer, her arched eyebrows dipping low between her eyes.  “Then teach him not to put Wolfsbane in the scent pot on full moons.  It makes my head hurt.”

The crone cackled, moving her frail, knobby body towards the back of the shop.  She waved her hand towards the offending black cauldron on passing, and the scent immediately changed to something more earth like and subtle.  “He still has a lot to learn, but that’s no reason to bite his head off.  Even you, the great Blind Alpha, had to learn to walk before you could hunt.”

The young man’s eyes widen further, a gulp stuck in his throat.  He recalled stories of the fabled alpha, but he thought they were just that.  “Um…  Uh…  Welcome to Crones Cupboard, ma’am.  How may we help you tonight?”

“Do I look like I need help,” her tone was heated and short.  Her brows raised until the full circle of her irises could be seen.  It was then he noticed the nearly invisible film that covered her eyes.  She was good at hiding it, but now that he noticed, the blank stare was almost a dead giveaway.  So the legends were true after all.  “Say, boy?”

“No, ma’am,” he stammered, his heart in his throat.  “I didn’t mean it like that.  I just meant-“

“You think because I’m blind I can’t find my way around a store I grew up in?  Is that it?”  He watched in terror as she stalked forward, missing the stand of calendars and books, walking around another glass topped display case, as if she could see them clearly enough.  Her eyes, though, never left his quaking, shivering form.

“Katherine,” a new voice emerged from the side.  “Leave the boy alone.  You’ve scared him enough that I can smell his fear over the piss.  You know the old bat’s not going to be happy you made another one soil his pants again.”

A dark, seductively dangerous laugh drifted from the female figure and as she turned away, the boy let out a shaky sigh.  He hung his head, staring down at the growing stain in his jeans.  Heat crept up his face about the time he realized the store had gone eerily quiet.  He glanced up and came nose to nose with the she-wolf.  She crouched on the glass top table, not even making a sound in her boots.  Her golden eyes zeroed in on his, and it took all he could do to breath.  Her rose pink lips peeled back from her teeth, revealing the lengthened canines native to every predatory shifter.  She smelled of rain and blood, coupled with a distinctly earthy scent that belonged solely to the wolf shifters of Boise.

“Boo,” she whispered.  It was enough to send him surging backwards in fear.  As he fell off the back of the stool, a chorus of laughter spilled from the shop and from upstairs. 

“Humph.”  He looked through the glass table, passed the displays of necklaces and gems, to see a tapping slipper beneath a violet skirt.  “What am I going to do with you?  Ivan, go clean yourself up, and you have the rest of the night off.  There won’t be very many customers with a storm like this one rolling in.”

Sitting childishly atop the counter, Katherine swung her crossed legs back and forth as if she did nothing wrong.  A slight frown tugged at the corners of her lips, one Arden couldn’t help but kiss away.  Where she was feral in nature, he was calm and collected, disciplined.  The airman had traveled straight off of work, arriving in Boise moments ahead of the storm.  Still in his ABUs, he looked powerful and respectful, responsible compared to the woman in front of him.

Though blind, Katherine never missed a beat.  As Arden’s lips played with her own, her fingers wrapped around the thickness of his throat, a growl working its way out of her chest.  The female pushed with one arm, forcing the obviously resisting male away from her.  “Don’t kiss me again, pup.  I have a good five centuries on you, and despite your manly muscle, I’m stronger than you.”

With a good push, she sent him stumbling ten feet, staring awkwardly as she slid from the counter top.  She walked passed him without as much as a smile, smelling the scent of his rising anger in the air.  “Let’s go.  I’d like to get back home to my dogs.  Oreo doesn’t like bad weather.”

“Does that mean our date is off, my heart?”  Leaning against the jam, with his arms crosses, Alexi glared at the werewolf.  His crimson eyes pierced straight through to the bare soul of the creature, seeking out his worst nightmare and weaknesses.  He held a hand out to the golden eyed female, relishing in the warmth of her grasp as she sighed at the coolness of his.  “I left the lights on at the house, and made sure the televisions were on.  I think he’ll be okay.”

“Of course we are still on for dinner,” her tone completely opposite from earlier, Katherine stood on the tips of her toes and brushed her lips across his cheek.  Ivan watched from the bathroom door, his pants in his hands, while the warmth of a ceremonial robe enveloped his body.

As different as night and day they seemed.  She appeared to be the incarnate of earth and life, with her golden brown hair and bright, tanned skin.  Compared to her, he looked like the grim reaper, his raven hair and blood-red eyes shockingly dark against the deathly pallor of his skin.

Tension filled the air as the werewolf and vampire stared each other down.  But it was no real contest.  Despite his leadership in the military, Sergeant Brock was no match for death.  He broke eye contact, rubbing the back of his neck nervously.  Alexi laughed in a deep baritone that sent a chill down Katherine’s spine.

“Come,” the dead man said, wrapping an arm around Katherine’s waist.  She nestled into his body, and over her head, he winked at Ivan.  Unknowing what to do, the teenager waved gawkily and tried to hide a smile.  “We have a meeting to attend, and I’m becoming hungry.”

The double innuendo was left to hang in the air, though it sparked a fire deep in the she-wolf’s belly.  She took the steps carefully, listening as Arden followed behind her.  Since he arrived in Mountain Home, he seemed to have staked a strange claim over her.  It made her nervous and untrusting of the male.  The ties within the pack were fragile and ever changing as it was, with the military members of the pack leaving or coming back every year from deployments.  What she didn’t need was some hot shot male busting in, thinking he was gods gift to women.  Obviously, he thought he was destined to become the alpha of the Treasure Valley pack.

“By the way,” her mate called out, direction the words to the lumbering figure behind him.  “If you touch my woman again, I’ll rip out your throat.  That silly uniform does not bother me a bit.”

They breached the doorway to the room, a large upstairs space with no walls and one large floor to ceiling window.  It was massive in size, stretching from the front of the store to the back, with a small kitchen space, comfortable couches and recliners, and an entertainment center.  The screen was on mute, but a weather report clearly announced that Boise and the surrounding area was under a severe storm watch until a few hours after midnight.  Katherine sighed and Alexi nuzzled her neck affectionately.

The members of the Treasure Valley pack all watched with smiles on their faces.  Despite being a vampire, they had welcomed Alexi into their arms warmly, offering him a place at the head of their table with little to no problem.  It helped that their love for Katherine went deep, their trust in her profound and strong.  A few eyed Arden darkly as he slunk off to a corner, licking his wounds and chugging down a two liter of Coca-Cola.

“Thank you all for gathering here tonight,”  Katherine was the first to greet the pack, stepping into the middle of the floor.  Her friends and family sat on the array of furniture.  A few were missing, she noticed, all family men and women, or at work.  Those would get filling in on the meeting later.  “As you know, tonight is the full moon.”

Even mentioning the pregnant moon was enough to send everyone’s beasts howling.  She felt the rise in power, almost visible, as it swirled around the room.  She smiled back at Alexi, who watched his female with pride and love shining in his crimson eyes.  She felt her own wolf inside, filling her chest, her heart and soul.  She felt the connection to her pack mates, the bond that they all shared.

“I know you all wanted to go hunting tonight, but I was afraid that the storm would become too dangerous.  Marigold said that this was no normal storm, and she confirmed it with her priestess in Seattle.  I want everyone to be careful, and to remain on the alert.  There is dark, black magic moving around tonight, and blood is running in the street.”

“It does not belong to my vampires,” Alexi explained as a few worried cries rose up from the younger children in attendance.  “None would dare defy me, as you well know, and no trespasser would step foot into my territory without announcing himself.”

There was a scoff in the far corner and all heads turned.  Eyes of amber and ice lit with inner flame at their alpha being picked at.  Fiercely protective, parents began to shelter the young away from the newest member of their order, urging them to go downstairs and play with Ivan and the shop cats.  As the last youngling escaped out the door, growls began to grow.  “Just what makes you so special, huh.”

Power surged.  It was different from the warm currents that poured out from the wolf shifters.  This one was electric, as cold as the artic winds of the underworld.  It escaped from every pore of Alexi’s being, arcing visibly through the air around him.  The way he moved was pure grace at its best example.  He walked like a lioness stalking its prey, like a snake about to strike.  His eyes pinned onto Arden’s now trembling form, who was realizing his mistake.  “I am one thousand and sixty-eight years old.  I have power that you can only dream of, and you dare to question me.”

The situation had escaladed so quickly, Katherine did not exactly know what to do.  She had known Alexi for nearly a hundred and five years, and she had never seen his temper so bad.  Of course, he was prone to dangerous tendencies, especially when a rival vampire moved into the area, but this was a whole new level she had never seen.

“Alexi,” the voice called from the doorway.  Eyes flipped from witch, to alpha female, back to the werewolf, and then to the vampire in an revolving circle.  There was so much power in the air, it seemed to choke them of oxygen.  Wolf, witch, vampire; it was swelling like the storm that raged outside.

“Everyone out,” Katherine ordered.  Without question, the wolves of the Treasure Valley pack rose and filed downstairs.  They thanked and blessed Marigold on their way out, who passed along the information that pizza and beverages were waiting with the children.  A series of growls rose as Arden picked himself up from the recliner.  He tossed the empty bottle in the garbage and stepped towards the door.  “Not you, Arden.  You are staying.”

As the tension remained at a high constant, Marigold shut the door firmly and drew the curtains over the floor to ceiling window, blanketing them in darkness.  The television’s changing light played across them, and with a wave of the witch’s hand, candles flickered to life and the TV died.  “It’s this storm.  It’s got all the major powers riled up.  Rowan warned of this.  She said for me to tell you, but it slipped my mind.  I’m afraid my memory potion isn’t working as well as it used to.”

“It’s alright, Marigold.”  Standing in the middle of the room, Katherine tried to get her bearings.  She listened, but there was so much energy in the room, she couldn’t focus.  All she saw was darkness, and she felt trapped.  She stretched her arms around her, hoping to feel something.  Her fingers brushed against wrinkled hands, and she intertwined her fingers around her friend’s.  “Alexi?”

Hearing the worry in his mate’s voice, the tone of fear that was laced there, he pulled back the wave of power that coursed through his body.  He reined the raw energy in, locking it tight in its cage.  He took those heavy steps backwards, until he was side by side with his heart and soul.  “I am contacting your commander first thing in the morning.”

“You don’t have to do that,” Katherine’s voice was stern as she look in the direction she thought Arden to be in.  The influx of so much power lingers in the room, enough they it is muffling the wolf’s presence.  “He is banished from the Treasure Valley pack.  Arden, I told you when you arrived here that you’re position in the pack was a trial run.  All my pack members who come from the military bases arrive on temporary standards.  It is until they prove to me they can be dedicated to my family, that I allow them in.  You have not done that.  You come after me, knowing damn well I am mated.  Then you question my mate.  You have caused many a fight within my pack, and you often come to these meetings smelling of alcohol and blood.  I have enough problems, without you screwing up my system.”

“But, Katherine.”  Arden stepped forward, reaching out as if she would save him.  “Please don’t.”

“I said leave!”  Her voice was firm, nonnegotiable.  Her eyes glowed with the inner light of her wolf and as it rose to the surface, its presence became very evident.  Her canines sharpened and her silken locks lengthened until it reached to her waist.  She looked wild, and as her eyes began to visibly glow with an inner power, she caught the first hints of light.

Shadows danced ominously on the walls of the witch’s shop, almost as if reaching for the lone wolf.  The three stood united as one against him, who watched as she stared directly at him.  Gone was the blank stare that she usually held.  Now, she looked and saw him, her wolf lending its eyesight as it rose from its home in her soul.

“Arden,” the crone said sweetly.  “I believe this beautiful alpha told you to leave.”

There was no warning.  Katherine knew that the shop was a living, almost thriving creation blessed by the witches of the Treasure Valley.  I liked to hide things, and reveal them at the most inopportune time.  This time, it has its attention dead set on Arden.  The walls seemed to expand, the ceiling appearing to rise.  Flames danced on the wicks of thousands of candles as they burst to life, their flames reaching high.  Shadows swirled together in a wild, erotic dance.  The floorboards creaked and groaned, while pictures shook on the walls.  The television flickered on and off in time with the lights and stove, while cabinet doors added their own cadence to the chaos.

Fearing for his life, Arden bolted for the door, which opened for him and slammed shut behind him, the lock clicking into place.  As soon as the bells on the front door chimed, Alexi walked calmly towards the window.  The curtains slid open for him, almost playfully, and he watched the black pick-up truck peel out into the street, whereupon a cop flashed his lights and began his pursuit.  The vampire king laughed.  “I really hope I don’t piss the two of you off one day.”

Laughing, Katherine felt her wolf half sink back down.  Her vision of the room dimmed until she was once against surrounded in complete darkness.  “It’s not us you have to worry about, love.”

She held her hand out to him, and he took it gently, tugging her up against his body.  She fit so perfectly, her curves pressing against him, her warmth seeping into his soul to warm his heart.  A gentle smile lifted his lips, and his heart soared.  He wrapped his arms around Katherine’s waist and resting his cheek against the crown of her head.  Breathing in the scent that was strictly her, all earth and all female, he wished they could stay like that forever. 

Marigold felt her heart sing at the sight of the vampire and the werewolf, two who were supposed to be eternal enemies, though they loved each other with all their being.  She very gently shut the door behind her as she returned downstairs, humming a merry tune and joining in on the full moon festivities taking place around her.


© Copyright 2020 Wood Nymph. All rights reserved.

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