Banewolf (Dark Siren Book 2)

By: Eden Ashley

For Mom





Prologue




The psychiatrist held the chart in hand, trying hard not to let the subject see just how uneasy he was. He was the professional, the doctor. He was there to diagnose and provide treatment. Dr. Graves couldn’t fulfill that duty if he was afraid.

“This is your third session and we are well into another hour of complete silence. I can’t help if you won’t talk to me.”

The young man sat impossibly still, staring directly over the doctor’s head to where the clock hung on the wall. The only movement was the rise and fall of his chest.

“Mr. Youngblood, you voluntarily entered counseling because you needed help to manage your temper. Mr. Faust noted that you were afraid you might cause serious harm to your girlfriend or someone else. He referred you to me only because he felt he didn’t have the credentials to deal with your unique set of problems. I assure you that I can help you. But in order for me to do so, you must talk to me.”

Silence.

“Mr. Youngblood, do you understand that you will not be able to return to school until I deem you mentally sound?”

A soft thunk from the clock signaled the passage of yet another minute. Dr. Graves sighed. This was no way to make progress.

He opened the soft chart, closed until that moment. “Callan…you prefer to be called Cal. Since you have refused to contribute to your rehabilitation for the last three sessions, I took the liberty of pulling your file from children’s services. Before emancipating yourself at the age of sixteen, you underwent horrific abuse at the hands of your father. Would you care to talk about it?”

Cal’s eyes gradually slid down the wall to sharpen onto the doctor’s face. Encouraged by the response, Dr. Graves continued. “From age one through fourteen, you suffered twenty fractures and four mild to moderate concussions. You were a frequent bed wetter. Your last accident occurred when you were thirteen. You commented here that your father made you sit in a freezing tub of water filled with chunks of ice for thirty minutes. ‘My hands and feet were blue when he finally let me out,’ you said.” He paused briefly. “Your father was a very wealthy man. He must have paid off a lot of people in order to keep you in his custody.”

A wave of anger washed across Cal’s features. His fingers dug into the chair’s leather armrests.

That was good. Anger was something. It was at least the emotion the boy had come to therapy to deal with. “Tell me about the time he locked you in the closet for three days without food or water. What were you being punished for?”

Cal’s face smoothed into a sort of frightening calm. He leaned forward. Blue eyes gazed steadily at Dr. Graves. “I will tell you another story, human. One of power, betrayal and vengeance. Only then can your weak mind hope to understand my cause.

“Nine centuries ago, I learned the reality of my existence, the reason I and others like me had been created. Thought free men, we were truly pawns in a game reserved for those who believed themselves gods. Hundreds of my kin died in ignorance to correct a mistake not of our making. I discovered the existence of a real monster, one with power unmatched by even those who made it. Division exists among them, these Builders.” Venom dripped from Cal’s tongue as he pronounced the word. “Division makes them weak. They used Warekin to fight their mistake, to protect their secret. I acted to save my people from dying in a war that was not ours. Killing our makers was the only way to save us. It is the only way to save us.”

Thrilled the subject had finally opened up, Dr. Graves started writing furiously. Delusions. Personality disorder. Paranoia. Schizophrenia. He underlined the last word three times.

“To fight these beings I needed the support of our armies. But my brothers would not give them to me. Civil war started…I regret causing it even to this day.” Cal’s voice shook with bitterness. His eyes dropped to the floor. “I lost something very precious to me.”

In the silence, Dr. Graves looked up from his notepad. “Please continue, Cal. This is progress.”

“After defeat, I was stripped of my position and accused of high treason, hunted like an animal for many years by my own people. To Builders, the knowledge I possessed was a crime worthy of the severest punishment. They locked me in a tomb, taking away my ability to move, my ability to feel. For nine hundred years, I was trapped inside a useless body, void of sight and sound, fully conscious with only thoughts of regret and revenge. I became a very, very angry individual.”

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