Fated Ties (The Twisted Destiny Saga Book 3)By: Franca Storm
A Werewolf Paranormal Romance Novel
Marella watched Ryan worriedly as she paced up and down the lounge in the castle of the Dark Realm. He sat on one of the couches knocking back a bottle of scotch. His son, still in wolf form, lay down beside him with his furry, white head, nestled against his father’s leg. He emitted a low, guttural purr as Ryan gently stroked him.
The furor of Nathanial’s deep baritone echoed thunderously through the castle as he argued in the Great Hall with his former wife, Oriana, about her sudden return to the Dark Realm. She’d forced him to show his son mercy, instead of allowing him to plunge a stake through his heart, which he’d been mere seconds away from doing when she’d suddenly appeared in a blinding flash of white light.
“She’s…back,” Ryan murmured quietly.
“For the time being.”
Ryan’s gaze snapped to hers. “What does that mean?”
Marella ceased her erratic pacing and perched on the edge of a couch opposite him. She hesitated on what she was about to say. Is he ready to hear this? He had that look in his eyes that she’d seen before, that insistent stare, signifying that he would accept nothing but the truth.
“Marella?” he pressed when she failed to respond.
“It is dangerous for her to remain here in the Dark Realm.”
“If Nathanial wanted her dead, he would’ve made an attempt by now. I would’ve stopped him, but he would’ve tried anyway, if that’s what he’d wanted.”
“He was never the threat to her, Ryan.”
“What? She went into hiding to protect herself from him.”
Marella shook her head sadly. “No. That’s not what happened.”
“You’re defending him over your own sister—your own family? Why? Was he really that good of a fuck, Marella?”
She flinched at Ryan’s cutting comment. It was too late to deny there was something going on between them. Ryan had seen the two of them in bed together. At least they’d both been clothed at the time and just talking with one another when he’d burst into the room, frantic about his son having shifted into wolf form. She knew Ryan was in shock and, despite his attempts to hide it, she could see the gut-wrenching emotion all over his face as he struggled to process his mother’s sudden return. A mother he hadn’t seen for two centuries. A mother he’d always believed had been forever lost to him in exile. He was wolf—it was his nature to lash out, rather than exhibiting hurt. So, she forced herself to swallow down his brash comment and hold back a scathing rebuttal. She wasn’t a submissive woman. She was anything but weak. Nothing intimidated her or unnerved her. Well, except Nathanial, for some strange reason. No one spoke to her like that. But, Ryan was her family and he was in pain. She would let it go this one time.
“This is not about him, Ryan. It is simply the truth. When it came to light that your mother had, not only been with your father, but had even given birth to a child—you—Nathanial was under great pressure from his advisors to take immediate action—against both of them. As King of the Dark Realm, he couldn’t be made to look like a fool and especially not like a victim as a result of their betrayal. They willed him to torture and kill both of them and you.”
“Nathanial told me he had threatened her.”
“He told you what you needed to hear, because you weren’t ready to hear the truth. And that truth is that he saved her life that fateful night. He smuggled her through the Dark Realm gates where Vazra was waiting for her outside, to help her and hide her somewhere out of reach of everyone. That same night, he banished you from the realm.”
She watched Ryan take her words in. He downed half the bottle of scotch he held in his hand and then placed it on the floor beside the couch and released a heavy sigh.
“I know her return is…unprecedented,” Marella said kindly.
“It is a fuck of a shock,” Ryan agreed. As soon as the words had left his mouth, he looked down at his son. “Don’t copy my bad language, wolf pup. Your mother won’t be happy.”
She watched as he wiped the sweat trickling down his brow with the back of his hand. He sputtered out a cough and leaned back tiredly against the couch. “Your sickness is worsening.”