The Kingdom of Archer Book I: Bloom

By J.Rose All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Scifi

Collision

(Lyric)
Have you ever seen empty eyes? There’s cold in them, they’re void and all you can see is evil. I’ve only seen this kind of eyes once in my life. I came to fear them; I dream about them in my nightmares. Having him look at me was like having my father glaring back at me. There was no soul in his eyes, no emotion, only pitch black. I could see the same in this person, this nova’s eyes. The difference was that while my father’s eyes had been pitch black, this person’s eyes were blood red. His thirst for blood, torture, and death evident in his eyes. I wanted to run, to scream, to hide away behind the wolf protectively standing in front of me and growling. Beside him was a similar but smaller and furrier wolf protecting Crystal, whom I knew was Spencer. I was afraid that my body simply could not move as much as my mind screamed for me to do so.

All around me I could hear screams of terror from women and children while they ran on the street in fear. Growls and howls could be heard on the streets that seemed to shake with the chaos.
“Spencer! Take Lyric and Crystal out of here!” Parker growled out. The hyena in front of us hissed in anger, sending chills of terror in waves throughout my whole body. Spencer seemed to growl something back but Parker’s roar was louder.
“Now Spencer!” He growled out in anger, his eyes turning to look at me and it had been the first time I had ever seen Parker Archer look afraid.
“You’ll be fine. I promise,” He said to me before a loud screeching banshee-like noise was heard once more.
“You’re not taking her anywhere she’s mine!” The Hyena yelled out. Leaping into the air with a feral screech the hyena was ready to fight. Parker himself growled out angrily and ran towards the angry Nova. Both hybrids colliding midair while swiping their claws at one another.

Looking at Parker fight for me once again was like being back in that fire; watching him fight my father. Except, this time he was not fighting another wolf but a hyena. A rabid bloodthirsty one. Hearing a growl before the ground shook I screamed covering my ears and closing my eyes afraid that someone else had come to kill me.
“Lyric! Hurry! We don’t have much time! We need to go!” Crystal called out, her voice filled with fear while she rode the large wolf that was Spencer Archer.

Reaching for my hand she helped me on to him and Spencer immediately leapt in the air running out of the ruined shop. My heart continued to race and though I was afraid for myself, watching the surrounding chaos increased my panic. Crystal’s eyes were terrified, and she seemed to be clinging on tightly to Spencer while we rode away on his back. Though I was beyond afraid a loud pained howled caused my attention to drift back in the direction Parker still was. I could see his wolf self on the floor while the Hyena began to leap at him once more.


*Bump Ba-Bump Bump*
Faster and faster my heart sped with fear. While I looked back.
“Parker!” I called out through the chaos. Even if we were far away from one another his eyes met mine from across it all. I could tell by the way he looked at me that he’d heard me. I watched as he leaped up into the air and attacked the hyena once more.
“He’ll be fine Lyric,” Crystal tried to assure, but the fear in her eyes said otherwise. Why was this happening? What did that nova want from me? Why was Parker risking his life for someone like me?


*Whoosh*
It was almost like being hit by a car, the impact sent both Crystal and me flying off Spencer’s back both in opposite directions. Spencer was thrown against a building while I collided with a street pole. My back was immediately heated with pain and my head collided harshly on the ground. There was an immediate ache in my head as though my brain was being split in half. My ears began to ring as though a whistle had blown loudly in my ear... and then... nothing. Everything suddenly grew silent outside. I could no longer hear people scream though I could see them running I could not hear them. Everything began to look distorted and my mind began to reel. Though I tried to get up, to lift my aching head, I couldn’t. I could see three large bobcats approaching Spencer who was struggling up from where he had been thrown. Hissing at him as if he were their prey, surrounding him ready to attack him, to kill him.
“Spencer!” Crystals’ voice called out before the bobcats attacked Spencer all at once and then nothing. The world had gone dark and I was no longer conscious of anything else. Even though I tried to fight for lucidity I could only feel myself slip in and out of consciousness.


Soft. I was floating on soft and warm. Trying to open my eyes that seemed so heavy my head rolled to the side. I could see Spencer being helped up by Crystal and someone else I could not recognize. Spencer was injured and struggling to stay up on one leg while the other seemed to be cut open and bleeding.
“You can’t keep her with you! She’s mine!” I heard that voice again say, and though I wanted to escape it, my body felt heavy even if I was being carried by someone.
“I will not hand her to you! She is my mate!”
Disoriented I once again moved my heavy head to look up at the person carrying me. His chest was bare and had large bleeding gashes, his forehead bleeding and his eyes fierce and angry. But I wasn’t afraid of him.
“Parker,” I weakly called out, before he looked down at me, his hazel eyes filled with worry and then… nothing.
***
It’s pitch dark again. The room is cold. My body, weak and frail, is covered in bruises. I know what this is. I know where I am. I can hear heavy footsteps making their way toward me. Though I can’t see him, I can hear him. This isn’t a dream or even a nightmare. I’ve been here. Lived it. Survived it by a twist of faith that could only be summed up by one person. Parker Archer.

I can see my father now at the bottom of the steps and his eyes are void of any emotion. Nothing in his eyes say that he’s living, that he feels, that he is human at all. It’s the same every single time. With a single blink of an eye, he’s holding a lit match in his hand. The gallon of gasoline is now empty and spread around me while I cower away in a far corner.
“We’re both dying today,” He says, his voice empty and dead before he drops the match igniting the surrounding flames. They grow so fast and angrily and they surround me making it unable for me to escape no matter how much I want to run. He’s standing there but this time it’s different.

When the walls begin to concave and the fire reaches my right shoulder burning my flesh and I scream he laughs. That’s when I realize it’s no longer my father but him. I can’t see his face all I can see are his bloodthirsty red eyes looking at me. His eyes dancing with amusement and I knew he was enjoying watching the terror in my eyes.
“He’s not coming to save you. Not this time,” He tells me.
“Parker! Parker! Somebody help me!” I cry out in fear only to make him begin to laugh.
“Parker! Parker!” I scream out again.
“Parker! Parker!” He mimics before laughing twistedly and I know he’s out of his mind. A look of twisted glee and enjoyment clear in his eyes while he smiles.
“He’s never going to come save you. Not again,” He says, shifting into a hyena once more.
“You’re mine!”

Gasping I sit up only to collide with someone’s chest while they hug me tightly.
“It’s okay. You’re safe,” He whispered gently, and I can recognize his voice immediately. Parker.
My head hurts and I feel dizzy, my heart rate increases and drums in my ears loudly. I don’t realize I’m shaking until Parker’s hold on me tightens and he makes soft shushing noises trying to calm me down.
“You’re okay. I promise,” He says again. Looking up at him he looks right back so many emotions flickering in his eyes before he lets go of me. Though his reassurance alone should have calmed me, there’s a sense of unease that increases when Parker let’s go.
“I’m sorry. I just,” He begins before he looks down at the ground and sighs.
“Are you okay?” He asks me, looking back up at me and I don’t really understand what he means.


“You hit your head. You’re fine the doctor said you have a concussion,” He says, and somehow his words bring everything flooding back. The attack. Crystal, Spencer.
“They’re okay,” Parker says to me.
“Spencer fought all three of them with everything he had and killed one of them. He’s hurt, but he’s recovering right now,” Parker explains. Looking back at him I can see the cut above his forehead already mended. His left arm is in a sling though when he looks at me he simply offers a smile.
“Novas heal faster but Spencer’s leg was severely injured so it’ll take a few days no, more than a week,” Parker explains.
“I just dislocated my shoulder but by tomorrow it should be healed,” He adds.
“Crystal,” I want to ask, though her name is the only thing that manages to leave my lips, my voice coming out strained.
“When Spencer was attacked, she was thrown off him too, but she has some minor scratches and bruises nothing to worry about. She’s taking care of Spencer,” Parker assured.


*Howl*
Tensing I looked up at Parker while growls and howls begin to sound off across the entire mansion like sirens.
Hearing a knock on the door I felt my body tremble. Parker immediately turning to the door before it opens.
“Son. I’ve set up the guards they will not let anyone or anything past our gates,” King Thomas spoke. Briefly his eyes flickering toward me before turning to look back at Parker.
“They will guard her with their lives,” King Thomas says before leaving the room. Somehow the kind King that had done so much for me and had spoken kind wise words to me seemed different. His eyes seemed pitiful, afraid, unsure, but most of all concerned.

It was quiet for what felt like hours. Parker did not say a thing though he looked pensive and I couldn’t bring myself to say anything either. After what felt like days of silence he finally spoke.
“Lyric. When we were ambushed in the shop. Could you hear me in your head? Could you understand me?” Parker asked quietly.

I didn’t understand why he was asking me this. But somehow his words brought me back to the attack.
“Are you okay?”
“Lyric?” He called out bringing me out of my train of thought.
“I. Yes,” I whispered looking down.

He was then silent again for a really long time as he looked down at his hands. I could tell he wanted to say something more but he would shake his head from time to time and I wondered if I had done something wrong. Was it was normal to hear him when he was in his Nova form? His eyes met mine again and there was something in them when he looked at me that I could not understand. But the way he was looking at me made me feel uneasy. Not afraid, but nervous, making my heart tighten just a bit.
“Then. What about him?” Parker asked, his voice softer than before.
His words confused me. Him? Who was he talking about?
“The Hyena. Could you also hear him?” He asked.
“Found you.”

Remembering his voice was like being hit by a bullet to the head. His voice bringing terror to me once more and it seemed like Parker knew it as well though he seemed to want to confirm it. Reaching for my hand he then looked at me.
“Lyric? Could you hear him too?” He asked again. I didn’t know how to answer. Part of me wanted to lie to him. Afraid of what he would do to me. But I knew Parker would see through it. He could always see past my lies. I knew I had no other choice but to tell him the truth.
“Yes,” I whispered. The word echoing out through the silent room like a loud blast before everything was once again calm.
He didn’t say anything again and instead looked down. Slowly he let go of my hand and stood there for a really long time.

What was wrong with me? Had I done something that was so despicable by Nova law? So many questions ran through my head but I was not sure what it was that was happening.
“What about Spencer? Could you hear him?” Parker asked abruptly, his voice sounding hopeful, and I didn’t understand why that was.
“No,” I answered before his expression changes once more. He laughs dryly shaking his head and I wonder why but before I can say anything he looks back up at me.
“Do you know who he is? The Hyena? Have you ever seen him before?” Parker asks.
“No,” I tell him and at my words, he seems to relax for a second, but just like that, tension comes back to him.
“His name is Maxwell Cray,” Parker says.

Maxwell Cray. The name immediately sounding alarms off in my head. Like Parker, Maxwell Cray was a Prince. Heir to the Kingdom of Cray. If you live in the Kingdom of Archer, you know of the Kingdom of Cray.

The Kingdom is ruled by Tyranny the people starve, there is illness, so much suffering, discrimination. Generation by generation not one king from the Kingdom of Cray has ever lead their people with anything other than selfishness and evil. Centuries ago and generation by generation there has been a rivalry between The Kingdom of Archer and the Kingdom of Cray. A fight between good and evil that had so far been kept even. A rivalry carried down from King to King, Prince to Prince. Father to son and so on and so forth. A rivalry that I knew Parker would inherit. A rivalry he would one day pass down to his children and his children would pass on to theirs. It was a vicious never ending cycle that would always be.

The council had been created long ago by the first king of Archer. King Thomas’s ancestors. It was formed and made by the original Nova’s consisting of twelve people. The first to carry the gene and pass it on. Lineage counted and therefore they were thought to be the most honorable and neutral beings. Though the original Nova’s had passed hundreds of thousands of years ago and more Nova animal species had risen. Nobility counted and a position was passed down. I thought of my friend Andrew son of a council member who would one day be part of the council for his lineage.

When the first Nova’s walked this earth one was chosen to rule. A fair king, the first Nova wolf to walk the earth. His name was King Alexander Archer. He was the wisest, the fairest of the Novas. Of course, there was also Lazarus Cray. The first Nova Hyena. He was selfish, arrogant and had always been jealous of King Alexander. Refusing to be beneath him he demanded to be king himself. If not, he’d take what he wanted with blood. Lazarus Cray was able to gather new Nova’s that arose later gathering troops for his side. Causing bloodshed, destruction, and pain for King Alexander’s people.

So many years would go on like this. Neither side was willing to yield. That was until King Alexander realized there was nothing to gain from this war. By then, there had been too many lives lost....too much pain....and so much anger. The council then begged Lazarus to stop the war with the king. Their words were void to the power-hungry hyena. King Alexander, who had by then met his soulmate Catherine and fathered a child, Noel, agreed to give Lazarus the power he wanted in exchange for peace. King Alexander was a passive King, thinking only of his son. This war was not a war he had ever wanted his son to inherit. Therefore, he agreed with Lazarus and would give up his throne. The council begged him not to, knowing very well that Lazarus’s tyrannical rule would lead to the demise of all people and Nova’s alike. King Alexander confirmed this after Catherine, his wife, was almost killed by Lazarus in an attempt to gain full power when King Alexander refused to give his kingdom up. With no choice and for the sake of his people and his family King Thomas made a deal with Lazarus in exchange for peace. He would make Lazarus a King.
“There will be no more war. You and your people can take half of the earth. My people will stay with me and you may take yours,” King Alexander had said.
“Not just my people. Half of this earth. I want half of these Novas. My Kingdom will be equal to yours. Or I will take what I deserve by force.” Lazarus demanded. With no other choice. Not wanting more Nova families to die, King Alexander Agreed.
“The council will remain neutral. They will be intermediates and will be above both of us to prevent war,” King Alexander said. Though unsatisfied yet at the same time please to have taken some power from the King, Lazarus agreed to King Alexander’s request.

A few years would go by though there was peace, King Alexander was vigilant. And not without good cause. Lazarus Cray now king of his own kingdom and with a mate and a son of his own, wanted more power. He was never happy with just half of the world he wanted to be the only king. With power in mind, he sent troops to attack. King Alexander was ready and Lazarus’s men came back defeated further enraging Lazarus. He vowed never to give up and to one day have the Kingdom of Archer end.

Lazarus would spend his entire life fighting a useless war. Eventually, the next Cray king in line took Lazarus’s place his name was Edgar Cray, and he too would fight over Archer. There was still not a full out war. Noel inheriting Archer from his father and ruling in the same fashion. There were small fights, incidents such as resources taken away, random acts of kills in different cities of Archer. Yet nothing could be done as far as the Council went. Not without an all-out war breaking out.


“Lyric,” Parker spoke gently, pulling me out of my own thoughts once more.
“Do you know why you could hear me in your mind even though I was in my Nova form?” He asked gently. Shaking my head, he looked at me and once again took my hand. This time, however, his grip was not gentle, but strong. He was not hurting me but I felt his grip on my hand a lot more than before.
Hearing those words leave his lips brought a strange sensation at the pit of my stomach that I could not understand. I was confused by my own reaction and I knew fear was not what I felt at this moment.
“Only our soulmates can understand us. Even if other Nova’s can understand each other their soulmates can only hear them. No other woman, human, will ever understand us unless they’re linked to us,” He explained.

Though it was hard to comprehend I realized two things. One. I was the only human woman that would ever hear Parker Archer and understand him when he was in his Nova Wolf form... and two. How was it possible to understand Maxwell Cray as well?
Somehow Parker must have seen the confusion in my eyes and something more than understanding flickered in his because his next words answered my question. Though I would have preferred he not answer it. Ever.
“I don’t understand it. I’ve never heard of it, neither has my father. We didn’t know it was possible. I. You. I don’t know how to say this,” He begins his eyes looking directly at me, the grip he had on my hand tightening just a bit more.
“Lyric. Maxwell is also your soulmate.”


(Parker)
There was nothing more to describe what was happening other than utter chaos. The people of my kingdom ran and screamed. Nova citizens fighting off whatever creature had come in order to defend what was theirs and who they loved. It was instinct to protect those we loved. My own fear and instinct to protect my mate causing my own transformation into my Nova wolf form.
“Found you,” Cray’s words had been clear. He was after her.

My soulmate. My Lyric. I didn’t know his reasons or if this was retribution for centuries of war but I knew only one thing. I would give my life to protect my love or die trying. Turning to Spencer, who had also shifted into his Nova wolf form, I spoke.
“Spencer! Take Lyric and Crystal out of here!”
“No Parker! I’m not leaving you to handle this alone! We can take him,” Spencer said, anger and determination clear in his eyes. Though I knew he wanted to help, right now my mate was the most important thing in the world to me.

Her safety mattered more than my life. I could see Cray’s anger increase at my words and he had not stopped hissing with rage. I knew we would fight, and I knew one of us would die here and I wasn’t planning on it being me.
“Now! Spencer!” I yelled at him. Looking at Lyric I could see the terror in her eyes. The way she was looking at me brought me back to that fire. I’d promised myself I would never allow her to feel this way again, that I’d make her forget it. But now, she was afraid again, and I knew I needed to stop it.
“You’ll be fine. I promise,” I try to reassure her, but when a loud screeching banshee-like sound is heard I can see her terror increase.
“You’re not taking her anywhere she’s mine!” Cray sneers out, leaping forward to attack.

There’s no time to think, no time to do anything but attack. My instincts go into overdrive telling me to protect what’s mine, to protect what I love most. Jumping in the air as Cray does the same my paw collides with his face striking at him first before he falls hissing. Behind me, I can see Crystal already on Spencer’s back helping Lyric on to him before they take off.
“You think that you can keep her from me,” Cray hisses out, standing up on his four paws and shaking away the hit.
“She belongs to me, Archer, even if I have to kill your people and burn your kingdom to ashes I will get her,” Cray says. We circle around each other ready to attack.I can feel my heart slow with the tense atmosphere. His eyes are filled with rage and hate, not only for me but for my mate. I can see it in his eyes, he wants to break her.
“You are never going to touch her. She’s my mate,” I growl out.
“She’s mine too,” He says, leaping up and striking me with his paw. I can feel him sink his teeth into my neck and though I’m in pain, his words have confused me.

Though I fight back I’m thrown into the building wall while a large pillar falls on me. My shoulder throbs and my ribs are sure to be cracked. I hiss in pain and Cray laughs.
“This is more than what you think it is Archer. Look around you. We are finally going to take what’s ours. What the kingdom of Cray should have always had. And what better way to do it than to kill the heirs to the throne of Archer.”
“She’ll be better off with me anyways. I’ll tell her what it was like to see the life leave your miserable eyes,” Cray hisses out. I can see him coming ready to attack, to hand the final blow. My body has gone numb at this point and I can’t move. No matter how much I will it to do so. It can’t.
*Bump Ba-Bump Bump*

I can hear the rate of my heart slowing but there’s nothing more I can do. Part of me knowing that she would be better off without me. By now I hope Spencer has gotten her out of here. Spencer will take care of her for me maybe he’ll send her away to a place where Lyric can be happy.
“Parker!”
I can hear her calling me my eyes drift to her. She’s farther away than my tired eyes can see. But I can see the fear and the concern in her eyes. Not only for her safety. But for me.
“Lyric.”

It’s like a wave of energy hits me. Maybe it’s her calling my name. Something she’d never done before. Maybe it’s the fact that I needed to survive at the moment not just for me and my people, but for her. Whatever it is I find my footing and I attack back mustering up what little strength I have left just before Maxwell is ready to deliver the final blow. My hit sends him flying across the opposite end and he falls unconscious. I want to kill him. To end this ridiculous fight that’s broken out for centuries. But I know retaliation would come from his father if I were to kill him and then more bloodshed than necessary would no doubt ensue.


*Whoosh*
Hearing the large crash, I can see Spencer collide on to a large building my heart racing as I see Lyric on the floor. I want to run to her as I see her struggling to get up from the blow. While three large nova bobcats start to hiss. I can see it in their eyes and I know their Kingdom of Cray. Not only do I see the anger but the large brand letter C on their right shoulder as they hiss at Spencer ready to attack him. A rough feral growl is heard and someone leaps over me. The large wolf collides onto Cray, who’d gotten himself up and had tried to attack me while my back was to him. Turning to look I can see my father in his Nova form hissing and growling at Maxwell. I’d only ever seen him in this form a few times in my life. Once when I was a child and he’d carry Spencer and I on his back. Another, when our troops were killed in a Cray attack. My father stood tall in his nova form. His wolf larger than both Spencer and I. His eyes though old, were sharp. His strength though not the same as when he was young, was still something to fear.

“I’d rethink attacking here. Go home!” My father growls out to Maxwell.
“I came here for my mate and I intend to leave with her,” Maxwell growled out.
“Go home before my troops arrive if you don’t leave now then I will not be responsible for your death,” My father called out calmly.
“Then both your sons shall die Thomas,” Someone hisses out and I can see a much larger hyena than Maxwell walking towards us before he stands next to Maxwell. His eyes calm much like my own father although the blood red eyes show a calm evil I had never seen before.
“Charles. I suggest you and your son leave my kingdom. You have nothing to do here unless you want to start a war,” My father says to him.
“We simply came for what is his,” King Charles says to my father.
“You come to take what is not yours once again,” My father snaps.
“Son. Go get Lyric,” My father says calmly. Maxwell hisses angrily. His eyes move menacingly between my father and I.

Even so, he retreats when dozens of Nova wolves hiss his way having arrived just as my father had warned.
“Go,” My father tells me, his tone calm but the urgency in his voice is clear. This was dangerous. I could feel my heart beat erratically with worry and I knew I could only calm once I had Lyric in my arms. As fast as I ran it felt like I could not get to her fast enough.

I can see Spencer already back to his human form breathing heavily blood running down his leg. With my brother hurt Crystal is at his side trying to help him up with the help of our Nova guard, Oliver. Crystal herself is covered has a few scratches and though Spencer asks if she’s alright she ignores his questions as she fusses over him in tears. On the floor a few feet away there is a large bobcat lying dead. The other two bobcats are surrounded by five Nova wolves who hiss at them and make them retreat. Though their eyes blaze with hate and anger they don’t attack, knowing it is a battle they will lose. Then there is Lyric.

Two Nova wolves are surrounding her protecting her while she lies on the ground unconscious. Bowing and moving aside once they see me I take her in my arms and I can hear Maxwell hiss from far away.
“Prince Parker,” One of the Nova wolves calls out.
“The council will be here any minute. They authorized the attack!” He says and all I can do is turn to look at my father who is making his way toward us. Behind him, Cray and his father who are surrounded by Nova troops follow us. The Nova Males of Archer upon seeing my father, their king, joined the Nova officer howling and growling out at the Crays. The message clear to them, we were in control.


“This is treason! How could the council allow the Kingdom of Archer to be invaded,” I say to my father angrily.
“The council was created as neutral ground! Have they taken sides!”
“We allowed King Charles and his son to enter because they said Maxwell’s mate was here. We allowed three of their guards to come for their protection,” The Lion says calmly.
“We asked that they keep the peace,”
“Look around you! They’ve come for war!”
“A war that we will win,” Maxwell hisses out.
“Enough!” Both my father and his yell out firmly to both of us.
“There was a purpose to coming here. And that wolf is holding her in his arms,” Charles Cray says. My heart clenches and my grip on Lyric tightens while everyone’s eyes land on her.
“Lyric. What do you want with her?” Crystal asks her voice afraid.
“Lyric,” Maxwell said and my instincts take over causing me to growl at him at the way he calls her name out.
“When you said you merely wanted to bring back Maxwell’s soulmate you forgot to mention who exactly she was,” The Lion called out.
“Must have slipped my mind,” Charles Cray said nonchalantly
“She is my mate. Not his,” I say angrily only to have Maxwell smirk.
“Funny thing about that isn’t it,” He begins before he is handed a file by his father.
“She happens to be my soulmate as well,” He says before handing it to the two councilmen who have now taken their human form.


“That’s not possible. It’s a trick,” Crystal says.
“But it isn’t,” Maxwell says, his eyes showing pleasure at the situation.
“Is it councilmen?” He asks before everyone turns to them including me. My heart beats fast in my chest and my grip on Lyric tightens just a bit more.
“I’m afraid not,” The Lion says, his eyes shifting to Lyric with pity.
“That can’t be possible,” I say to him.
“You heard him Archer. Now hand her to me now,” Maxwell says angrily.
“I’m not going to do that Cray,” I snap back at him.
“Enough!” The eagle says.
“Samuel, Daniel. How will we fix this?” My father asked.
“Certainly not by war,” The Lion said.
“Then what do you suggest Councilmen Green. That they share that woman,” King Charles hisses out. His tone already speaking for him as to what he feels for Lyric, disdain.


“She belongs to one of them only and that is my son,” King Charles said to them.
“Enough,” The eagle called out calmly.
“We must speak with the rest of the council. In a few days’ time, both sides will meet in front of the council where we shall give you our deliverance. We expect a call from you, King Thomas, though we give you no more than a week,” Councilmen Green spoke, his lion roar daring anyone to object.
“And for the time being what do you suggest councilmen?” King Charles asks through gritted teeth.
“You can’t keep her with you! She’s mine!” Maxwell snaps angrily and I know he’s ready to fight for this if he has to but so will.
“I will not hand her to you! She is my mate!” I growl out though my instincts tell me to shift into Nova form the only thing stopping me is Lyric who is still in my arms. I want to tell him that he’s never going to see her. He is never going to touch her, much less have her but her voice interrupts the tension, cutting through it like a knife.
“Parker,” She calls out, her voice weak and I turn to look at her.

Her eyes are calm and I can see the confusion in them as well. When her eyes meet my own something flickers in them just before she faints in my arms. I know she’s not afraid of me, at least not at this moment in time.
“She’s staying with me,” I tell them, knowing well that I have to protect her.
“You can do what you want Cray. She’s staying with me,” I tell him firmly.
“I won’t let you have her,” Maxwell says his voice low and filled with malice.
“I know. I’ll be ready then,” I say before turning to my father.
“We’re leaving,” I say before I walk away with Lyric in my arms.
***
There is silence in the living room. Spencer is struggling to sit up while Crystal is next to him keeping him steady. My father is standing by the fireplace, a pensive look in his eyes. All of us have now been tended to by a Nova Doctor. My arm is in a sling but it doesn’t bother me as much as it should. My mind has somehow numbed this pain and only allowed me to focus on this situation. It’s unbelievable, incomprehensible and terrifying. I have never heard of a double mating before. How was that possible? How could someone be linked to two people? How could Lyric have two soulmates? Thinking about her made me want to go to her. She was currently upstairs in our room asleep. The last thing I wanted was to cause more distress to this already overwhelming situation between us.
“King Thomas,” Oliver called out, breaking the silence in the room.
“I’ve called our Nova troops. They’ll be ready soon my lord,” Oliver said.
“See to it that they are. For the time being, you are in charge of them.”
“Yes Sire,” Oliver responded back to my father before leaving the room once more.
“I don’t understand it,” Crystal spoke.
“How can Lyric have two soulmates? Is that even possible?” She questioned.
“In all my years… I’ve never heard of anything like it,” My father spoke turning to look at me and I could see it in his eyes. The pity.


“She can’t stay with both of you. Mating doesn’t work that way,” My father spoke.
“I’ve already called the council to confirm our leave. We should be ready by tomorrow and arrive in three days’ time if we hurry,” My father spoke
“How is this possible? Not only does she have two soulmates but they’re both on opposite sides. This is going to cause a war regardless of what the council decides,” Spencer spoke up and deep down I knew it too. Everyone did. If one of us had her, it would mean the other didn’t. I knew if Lyric was allowed to stay with me Maxwell would start a war that would cause chaos and bloodshed.
“What if they take her Parker?” Crystal asked, fear clear in her voice.
“She already didn’t want this and now Maxwell.”
Hearing her own words Crystal stopped speaking, but I knew she was right. Lyric didn’t want me. Had she chosen I knew it would have never been me.
“Parker that’s not what I meant.”
“I know. But you’re right,” I say to her.
“She deserves better. Better than me and much better than Cray.”


“What are you going to do if they decide to give her to him?” Crystal asks and for a second the question lingers in the air. Everyone waiting for my answer but I don’t have to think much of it because I made my decision the second I realized it was a possibility.
“If they decide that she stays with him and she doesn’t want that. Then I’ll do whatever it takes to get her back to me,” I tell them.
“But if she wants to be with him. Then. I have to let her go,” I say to them.
“Parker,” Spencer begins but I shake my head and ignore whatever it is he wants to say.
“I’m going to go check on her,” I tell them before heading upstairs to her room.

She’s sound asleep, lying peacefully on the bed. Her posture is relaxed and her breaths are even. Walking over to her bedside I can’t help but stare at her beauty.
“I guess you really don’t want to be around me do you?” I say to her taking her hand. Pressing a kiss to her knuckles I sigh.
“If you don’t want to be with me, you can say it. I’ll stay away from you. But don’t go with him,” I whisper to her.
“Even if you don’t want to be with me. I think I can deal with that. A lot better than you being with him,” I say to her.
“Please don’t choose him,” I whisper.
“I thought I’d get a chance to make it up to you. To maybe redeem myself in your eyes in some sort of way. Maybe I need to realize that I never will. But I don’t want you to get hurt. Not again. Not by me, Cray, or anyone else,” I tell her.
“If you want, I could send you away again. Anywhere you want. As far away from me as you like. Just don’t go with him. He’ll hurt you.”

Though I know she can’t hear me these are the words I want to tell her. I know she’d never let me near her had she been awake, still. I want to keep her safe from any more harm or pain, and Maxwell Cray was going to hurt her.
There was not one thing about Maxwell Cray that told me he loved her. Maybe it was just them or Nova Hyenae in general. Wolves in our Kingdom were common. There were lions, bears, bobcats, eagles the list goes on of the Novas that existed in our Kingdom. What set my father, Spencer, and I apart from other Nova wolves was simply in strength and size. We were stronger than any other Nova wolf and much larger. The same applied for the Crays. When it came to mating every single Nova’s instinct was to love their soulmate. But the Cray’s treated their mates like objects. They were simply to bear children, and that was it. There had been rumors about the queen of Cray Jade, Maxwell’s mother. She had given birth to Maxwell, and the kingdom had not seen her since then.

There were rumors that the King had killed her and there was no doubt in my mind that Cray had done so. If he had no compassion for his mate, then what hope could Lyric possibly have with Maxwell who was just like his father?
“I won’t let him hurt you,” I whispered to her, reaching to caress her cheek. Looking at her lips I found myself unable to stop. Pressing a soft kiss to her lips I felt her stir slightly before she settled once more, her breathing evening out once again. When her hand grips mine, I panic thinking she’s woken up, but her grip slowly loosens again as she sleeps peacefully.
***
It’s the middle of the night when I hear her call out to me. I was not asleep nor could I have been with what had occurred a few hours ago with Cray. I’d spent my night looking out the bedroom window, watching the dozens of Nova guards surrounding our castle. All to protect her.
“Parker,” She muttered out.
“Parker,” She called out again while I made my way toward her bedside once more.
“Somebody. Help me,” Lyric continued to say though her voice remained just above a whisper.

“Parker,” She continued to call out, and I realized she was having a nightmare. Going to her bedside I tried to calm her reaching to caress her cheek gently in order to offer some comfort to her.
“It’s okay. I’m right here. Nothing is going to happen to you I promise,” I tried to reassure her.
“Parker.”
“Parker,” Lyric continues to call out her breathing erratic. Picking her up from the bed slightly I try to shake her awake gently.
“Lyric,” I call out to her only for her to gasp opening her eyes. She doesn’t seem to realize it’s me because for a second she looks relieved and hugs me.
Her soft body pressed against mine while she shook in fear. Closing my eyes, I wrap my arms around her tightly. Trying to offer as much comfort as she’ll let me.
“It’s okay. You’re safe,” I reassure her gently.
“You’re okay. I promise,” I tell her. Though it takes a few seconds, she seems to calm down before she turns to look at me. The hold that she’s not aware she has on me begins to loosen. Her arms slowly lay limp at her side and I know she wants me to let go of her now.
“I’m sorry. I just.”
“Are you okay?” I finally ask not knowing what to say to her.

Confusion floods her eyes before I realize she might still be a bit unsure of what happened.
“You hit your head. You’re fine the doctor said you have a concussion,” I explain to her. For a second she’s quiet before panic flashes on her face.
“Spencer. Crystal,” She mutters out, fear and concern clearly written on her face, though she doesn’t seem to realize she’s spoken out loud.
“They’re okay,” I assure her.
“Spencer fought all three of them with everything he had and killed one of them. He’s hurt, but he’s recovering right now. Novas heal faster but Spencer’s leg was severely injured so it’ll take a few days no more than a week,” I explained to her.

She doesn’t say anything but I can see relief in her eyes knowing Spencer is okay. She then looks up at me and her eyes land on the sling across my shoulder before looking back up at me with concern. Concern that I had never seen in her eyes, at least not toward me.
“I just dislocated my shoulder but by tomorrow it should be healed,” I tell her.
“Crystal,” She whispers her voice strained. The panic in her eyes so clear that I can almost see the attack of today playing out in her eyes.
“When Spencer was attacked, she was thrown off him as well, but she has some minor scratches and bruises nothing to really worry about. She’s taking care of Spencer.”


*Howl*
Startled by the noise I can see her posture stiffen and her eyes flash with panic. I want to assure her that we’re safe but I am interrupted by a knock on the door.

For a second his eyes flicker to Lyric and then back to me. I know he’s concerned for the both of us. What it’ll do to us, to the kingdom, to our family. I know this situation is overwhelming but I have no choice but to tell her the truth. Simply because in a few hours she’ll have to face the council and Cray. Looking at her I can see the sadness in her eyes, the fear of the situation, of Cray. Still, there are so many things I want to ask her about the attack. My mind flashes back to the shop and when Cray spoke looking directly at her. There was recognition in her eyes. Almost as if she knew exactly what Cray was telling her. Not knowing what to say or how to explain I started with what I already knew.
“Lyric. When we were ambushed in the shop. Could you hear me in your head? Could you understand me?” I ask her.

For a second she looks at me unsure of what to say and I can see her trying to remember. Silence ensues for what feels like hours and part of me begins to wonder if she could not have heard me. Was it possible that this was wrong? That this between us was somehow a mistake? That she could hear him and not me? Was it possible that I was not her soulmate and in the end, she did belong to Cray instead?
“Lyric,” I call out to her unable to take the silence any longer.

For a second she’s unsure, maybe even afraid of what to say. I have to hold my breath afraid to hear the word “No” leave her lips.
“I. Yes,” She answers and I feel a weight on my shoulders leave but just as it does a bigger question surrounds my thoughts. Could she hear him? I’d never known someone who could hear other Novas. Then again, this wasn’t a normal situation.
Taking hold of her hand she seemed confused but part of me needed this. Part of me needed to know that either way she was still connected to me.
“Then. What about him?” I asked her quietly, her eyes seemed confused while she searched for an answer through my eyes.
“The Hyena. Could you also hear him?” I asked and for a few more minutes there was silence. Though her eyes flashed with fear, the hand that I was holding began to shake as time went on. Still, I needed to know the answer to this.
“Lyric? Could you hear him too?” I asked again.

I knew was afraid to know her answer to my question. The fear in her own eyes, at the thought of what we both knew to be true but did not want to face, was obvious. She began to shake her head frantically in fear but I knew she was more afraid of my reaction at this point more than anything else.
“Yes,” She finally answered softly. Her words echoing out through the room and causing my stomach to drop. I had known the answer beforehand but I could not seem to face it.
“What about Spencer? Could you hear him?” I asked hoping that maybe she could hear all Novas instead of just Cray and I. Maybe then things would be okay for us.
“No,” Lyric answered only confirming what I had refused to acknowledge at this point.
“Do you know who he is? The Hyena? Have you ever seen him before?” I ask her, wondering if he’d ever shown up in front of her.
“No,” She says quietly.
“His name is Maxwell Cray,” I tell her. My next words further pulling her away from me. Maybe I’ve already lost her. Whatever she chooses I know I have to live with it.
“Lyric. Maxwell is also your soulmate.”

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