Falling In Love With The King Of Beasts - Chapter 556
Chapter 556: 556
GUESS WHAT? This book will be COMPLETING in early December! *Flails* I can’t believe it’s finally happening. I’m already grieving losing my time with Reth. But, I’m also SO excited to share the whole picture with you! Keep an eye on my announcements over the next week or two because I’m planning a BIG giveaway and Christmas event for early/mid December for all of us to celebrate and say goodbye to Reth & Elia together! Gaaaaaaahhhhh!
For a moment he thought he couldn’t have heard his mate correctly. His mind immediately filled with the images of the training they’d done before—teaching her to be a warrior, to fight for her life. The idea was so frightening to him, so far from what she needed, that he was aghast.
“Elia,” he spluttered. “You’re not even supposed to be on your feet. You can’t leave the bed, how can you possibly think you should be running and kicking and—”
“Not that kind of training, Reth,” she sighed, rolling her eyes in a gesture that would have made him grin to see her old self peeking through. But he was terrified of what was going on in her head, so he just stared. “I need you to teach me how to keep my beast away. Or how to get back from it if it comes.”
He relaxed a little then. Oh. Of course. Of course that would be on her mind today after what had happened the night before.
With a heavy sigh he stroked a strand of hair off her cheek that had stuck to her lip.
“Love, I want to help you. But you’re so tired and Aymora thinks the pregnancy is already draining you. Dominating the beast takes a good deal of mental energy and focus. I’m not sure it’s a good idea while you’re still pregnant.”
And that was the understatement of the century.
Her brow furrowed. “But can’t you see, Reth?” she said, “That’s exactly why I need it. I don’t know how I got back last night—or the night you brought me home. I have no idea. When I’m in the beast, I’m trapped. I fight and I scream and I push and… and she never lets me go. I’m stuck there. While I was in the human world it was like she didn’t even hear me. Even keeping her away became impossible in the end. It wore me out to fight so in the end, I gave up. I can’t give up again, Reth! I’m terrified—absolutely terrified—that one of these days she’ll come up and just won’t let go. And then… what if I shift while I’m delivering and I need to be human? Or the other way? I… I’m too scared to let the beast come because I’m so scared I won’t get back. But then sometimes, like last night she just comes and I don’t know what to do, and—”
“Shhhh, shhhh, I’m sorry, Love. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you. I—”
She shook off the embrace he tried to give her. “No, Reth, don’t apologize. I just need to feel like I at least know what I should try. So if she comes back like that again I can at least try to come back. Please… teach me? Gahrye said that you all teach the little ones. Surely I have as much strength as a toddler?”
Reth stared at her, and fear trickled down his spine like cold water. She didn’t understand. An Anima’s beast grew with the Anima. A toddler that was being trained by its parents was only dealing with a cub. If they shifted, their beast could be easily controlled. And the will of the cub was, often, not nearly as strong as the will of the child. But as they grew… the reason Anima trained their children so young was because when a beast hit sexual maturity, its will could be come iron-strong. The more dominant the Anima, the more dominant their beast. It took more than a strong will to wrestle a male lion into submission.
Elia wasn’t wrong to be afraid. Every year they lost one or two of their number to Anima who hadn’t trained enough, or who became so enraged that their beasts took over and they were… lost. It was called going silent, and it was only spoken in whispers. Some Anima even chose it… a form of suicide without actively ending one’s own life. It was frowned upon by most. Seen as weakness, or selfish. But Reth had never been so sure. He knew desperation could make a male do strange things.
And now he faced his mate looking desperate and pleading with him.
He sighed. “I’ll talk to Aymora,” he said quietly. “See what she thinks.”
“If you’re going to ask me to let you mate, the answer is… how should I put this? No. No. Absolutely not. No fucking way,” Aymora said, striding into the room without warning and immediately going to the dresser where she began to pull bottles and herbs out of the bag slung across her chest. “Next question?”
Elia dropped a hand to cover her face in embarrassment.
“Aymora, always a pleasure,” Reth said through his teeth. “Perhaps if you could knock next time?”
“Shouldn’t have left the door open then,” the lioness said with a grin.
“We weren’t going to ask about mating,” Elia said into her hands.
Aymora sniffed the air pointedly, then eyed Reth. “I think your mate was.”
“Actually,” Reth ground out, “Elia is asking about being trained with her beast. She wants me to teach her how to shift back now. Before the delivery.”
“Well, that’s good,” Aymora surprised them both by saying. “After last night, I had the same idea. We’ll have to be careful and do it when you’re feeling your strongest,” she warned Elia with a sideways glance. “But yes, I think you should at least start. Who knows what you’ll need to do during the delivery.”
“Thank you,” Elia sighed.
Aymora continued setting up her things and Reth held Elia’s gaze before rolling out of the furs and going to dress. “Let me know when you think we should start,” he said gruffly. “I need to talk to Behryn, but I could come back before lunch.”
“Oh, you won’t be training her,” Aymora said simply.
Reth froze with one leg in his leathers. “What do you mean?”
Aymora turned him with a look on her face like he was stupid. “You are an Alpha Male, and I don’t need to remind you the bullshit that brings with it. She needs training from a Lioness. I will do it. And maybe Huncer, if she advances quickly.”
Reth frowned. “What difference would that make?”
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Aymora gave him a flat look. “Would you train a woman for childbirth?”
“Of course not, I’ve never been through it! I cannot!”
“You’re telling me shifting is different for females than males?”
“I’m telling you our beasts are different and motivated differently.”
Reth frowned. How had he never heard of this?
Then his beautiful mate struggled to a sitting position, holding the furs to her now-ample chest and staring at Aymora. “I don’t really care who does it, but if you will… I do have one question.”
“What’s that, daughter?” Aymora asked, frowning at a bottle.
“Will I have to call you, Sir, as well?”
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Zev prowled towards her, all shining, brutal beauty, his chin low and those incredible, piercing eyes fixed on her. He didn’t stop until they were toe-to-toe and he blocked her view of every other male in the circle.
His eyes dipped to her mouth as he leaned in, his whisper playing on her skin.
“You. Are. Mine.”
His deep voice twanged in her belly as the howls of the wolf pack rose from behind him to echo across the mountains of Thana, while the other Chimera protested his claim.
Fighting the urge to stroke his broad, bare chest with her shaking hands, Sasha forced herself to tilt her head and raise an eyebrow. “So bold for a pup who just found his fangs.”
The other males hooted with laughter.
Ignoring their taunts, Zev’s eyes sparked and he leaned even closer, the scruff on his jaw tickling her cheek as he smiled.
“So bold for a human who already knows the pleasure of gasping my name.”
She shivered when his teeth grazed her ear.
(SEE THE FULL SUMMARY IN THE AUTHOR NOTE BELOW)