Guardians of The Demon Slayer(2)

By: Ruby Raine

But too fast reality would slide on home and remind them they were not just two wolves about to go through the final stages of mating, but also had a duty as witches to fulfill as well. Mostly, that came from everyone else around them in the form of rolling eyes, clearing throats, and annoyed, go-get-a-room smirks.

Somehow, Charlie's parents, and theirs before them, and so on and so on, had managed to fit in both the job and life, and so would he. But this thing with the Source was possibly the biggest moment ever in recent history, maybe even since the war against the Deanes so many years before. It simply felt wrong not to be here and be part of it.

And also, as much as none of them had any damn clue what was popping out of that cocoon, other than a person of some kind, they all fully expected another attack—whether it be the Feyk, or something else. Because the release of magical energy was inevitably going to draw curious evil closer. Evil that would want to steal whatever was born even if it was meant to serve the side of good.

Or at the least, it might make the Power Source vulnerable and evil was always seeking out an opportunity to seize control, or tap into the power. And the extra magical energy being released because of this birthing event was sure to alert anyone paying attention.

Because one thing was certain: whatever was born would be the most valuable thing in the magical world, possibly ever. Evil would want to make it theirs. So, it was the Howard's job to make sure that did not happen, at any cost.

Well, not any cost. Because Charlie would never put anyone's life at risk during a werewolf shift, especially the first one. Which would be the hardest one because of all the unanswered questions that remained. After tonight, they'd find out if Lizzy would have access to her human mind while shifted. From what they'd read in the notebooks of research provided by his parents, as long as Charlie could connect with her, as her Alpha, she should remain in control of her mind and actions.

But the topic of whether Charlie would have to force his Alpha status to control her wolf, was a hard one. It was an idea he was struggling with because he hated the thought of stripping away any of Lizzy's freedom or independence. She'd suffered enough of that in her long life already.

And even with all the notebooks of research they'd read, they were not completely sure what to expect. And as life had proven over and over again, complications happened. Like the timing. It sucked, but they'd have to make it work.

Inside, with the Source, Riley clutched his chest and winced as footsteps approached. It was Charlie and Mathew coming to check in. Again.

He stopped his pacing as they came into view, the pressure against his chest, intense and blazing with a stark warning—I'm coming soon.

Whatever was inside that cocoon was being born. It wanted out. And its time was approaching, fast. And for whatever fucked up reason, it wasn't the Howards, or the Guardians needed when that happened, but a Deane.

Him, to be quite specific. But why? Why? Why?

The question with no answer.

Yes, it was his feeling that had brought him here. To the Isle. And now, to the Source. And it was his feeling telling him he had to be here. But it wasn't his gift that was needed, but him. Which made even less sense. And he might be wrong. His gift might not be telling him why he was here yet. Or what was needed from him.

Or maybe it was going a few days without proper sleep or rest and too much coffee and his mind was playing tricks on him.

Riley had been caught off guard when he'd gone into the manor after arriving back on the island to find visitors there—Emily Morgan and her aunt, Lucy Arnaud. He was still reeling from his run in and break up with Melinda when he'd come across them. However, when he'd seen Mathew not long after...well, that just threw him for a few crazy ass loops and made him question his own sanity. Because why was his brother's ex here on the Isle? And seemingly aware of the magical world?

Riley had even wondered if maybe he'd left Sorcier only to return to some alternate or wrong version of The Demon Isle that existed in some other plane of existence, or universe, or something crazy like that. But reality got straightened out pretty quick.

Turns out Mathew had been hiding the biggest of secrets: he was a freaking Guardian.

Riley was still having a hard time seeing it as he glanced at Mathew. He was so—wonderfully normal. He had a beautiful energy to him that brightened a room just with his presence. He was a bit shy. A bit awkward. Clumsy and cute as hell—according to Lucas on more than one occasion. But also super smart and quick witted too.