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Shadows of the pack novel Chapter 58

A few days had passed since Seraphina's arrival at the Nightshade pack, and she had been successful in portraying herself as a lost and broken soul seeking refuge. The pack members had embraced her with open arms, none more so than her sister, Aria. Seraphina knew she was playing a dangerous game, but her thirst for revenge and her desire to be accepted by Aria compelled her to continue the charade.
One evening, Seraphina and Aria found themselves alone near a serene moonlit pond. The silver rays of the moon illuminated the water, casting a gentle glow over the surroundings. Seraphina stood somberly, her gaze fixed on the reflection of the moon.
Aria approached her sister cautiously, sensing the sadness that emanated from Seraphina. "Seraphina," she said softly, "Can we talk?"
Seraphina turned to face Aria, her expression a perfect mask of sorrow. "Sure," she replied, her voice tinged with sadness.
Aria took a deep breath before speaking, "I want to understand, Seraphina. Why have you always hated me? What did I do to deserve your anger?"
Seraphina averted her gaze, the weight of her own lies heavy on her heart. "It's not that simple, Aria. It's not about what you did. It's about what you had, and I didn't."
Aria looked puzzled, her brow furrowing in confusion. "What do you mean?"
Tears welled up in Seraphina's eyes as she finally revealed a part of her true feelings, carefully woven into the tapestry of her fabricated grief. "You were marked by the moon goddess, chosen to be special. I wanted the truth so I brought Lucas back here yet when he came, he saw me as nothing and he treated you like his own flesh and blood. But what about me? I was left with nothing.
I am the older of the two of us yet Gabriel chose you as his heir. I've always resented you for everything that came so effortlessly to you, while I struggled to find my place in this world."
Aria's eyes softened with empathy, and she reached out to Seraphina, trying to bridge the emotional gap between them. "Sera, I had no control over any of that. I didn't ask to be marked, and I didn't ask Lucas to disregard you. I never asked for any of this and I never even wanted to be Alpha."
Seraphina looked directly into her eyes,"Yet here you stand happily mated to the Alpha of the Nightshade pack." She looked down to her sister's belly, "You are even pregnant."
"It doesn't matter Seraphina. I will admit, you are not my favorite person. No matter the amount of jabs you threw at me, I never hated you. In a twist of fate, we happened to have the same father. We are blood Seraphina. Family. It's not never too late for us to act like one."
Seraphina's heart wavered, torn between her desire to maintain her act and taking Aria's words to heart. She wiped away a tear and tried to steady her voice. "It's not that easy, Aria. I've carried this burden for so long, and I don't know how to let go of the anger and resentment."
Aria stepped closer, their breaths almost mingling in the cool night air. "You don't have to carry it alone, Seraphina. We can face it together, as sisters should. I've always wanted to be close to you, but you pushed me away."
Seraphina's voice trembled as she spoke, "I thought it was easier to hate you than to confront my own feelings of inadequacy. But deep down, I was envious of the love and attention you received."
Aria's eyes glistened with tears as she gently touched Seraphina's cheek. "You don't have to be envious of me. I love you, Seraphina. Can't we find a way to heal together?"
For a moment, Seraphina's resolve crumbled. She stared at her sister as different emotions coursed the through her and in that moment she realized why Aria was chosen by the moon goddess. She was pure at heart, even after everything she could still find it in her heart to love her.
Seraphina closed her eyes trying to fight her emotions.
"Stick to the plan." She could almost hear Julian's voice in her head, "Whatever you do, do not falter."
She opened her eyes, the weight of her lies and the tender emotions displayed by Aria too much to bear. "I've done terrible things, Aria," she confessed, her voice barely above a whisper. "I've manipulated and betrayed people. I don't deserve your forgiveness."
Aria pulled Seraphina into a warm embrace, holding her close. "Nobody is beyond redemption, Seraphina. We all make mistakes, and we all have the capacity to change. You don't have to be defined by your past actions. I believe in you, and I know that deep down, you're still my sister no matter what."
The moon's gentle light filtered through the trees as Aria reluctantly pulled away from the embrace. "I'm really sorry, but Knox wants me," she said, a hint of disappointment in her voice.
Seraphina nodded, mustering a small smile. "I understand. We'll talk later," she replied, trying to sound composed.
As Aria walked away, Seraphina took a deep breath, her heart still heavy with conflicting emotions. She knew she had to keep up her act, to stay true to her plan, but the warmth of her sister's love had pierced through her defenses, making her question everything she was doing.
Just as Seraphina was lost in her thoughts, Julian emerged from the shadows, silent as a wraith. He wore a knowing smirk on his face, watching her carefully. "You're really good at playing your part," he remarked, a hint of admiration in his tone.
Seraphina's facade remained intact, though her heart raced. "Thank you," she replied, her voice steady.
"I almost believed you were having a change of heart back there," Julian continued, circling her like a predator sizing up its prey.
Seraphina forced herself to meet his gaze, determined not to reveal her inner turmoil. "I won't let emotions get in the way. Revenge is what matters," she said firmly.
Julian's smile widened. "Good. I knew I could count on you."
They moved away from the moonlit pond, finding a secluded spot to discuss their plans further. Seraphina took a deep breath, reminding herself of her goal: to eliminate Lucas and take over the werewolf society. Her mind was a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions, but she knew she had to focus.
"So, let's talk about Lucas," Julian said, his tone businesslike. "Once he's taken over the werewolf society, we strike. With everyone believing I'm dead, we have the element of surprise."
Seraphina nodded, her mind sharp and calculating. "Yes, they won't see it coming. But we need a foolproof plan to get close to him."
Julian leaned against a tree, crossing his arms. "I've been observing him closely. He has a a soft spot for Aria, and now that he thinks I'm gone. We can use that to our advantage."
A plan started to take shape in Seraphina's mind. "I can use my closeness with Aria to get close to Lucas," she suggested. "He won't suspect that I would betray him with me having nothing. I brought him here, he thinks I only wanted a chance to know my father."
Julian nodded in approval. "Yes, gain his trust, and when the time is right, strike him down. He won't see it coming from you."
Seraphina's resolve hardened, her determination unwavering. "I'll make him pay for everything he's done. He didn't give me a chance and for that reason he will pay and so will Aria."
"You're right," Julian agreed, his eyes glinting with vengeance. "It's time to end his reign of terror."
They spent hours plotting and strategizing, going over every detail to ensure their plan was foolproof. Seraphina pushed aside her conflicted feelings and embraced the darkness within her. Revenge fueled her, and she felt a sense of empowerment knowing that she held the key to Lucas's downfall.
As the night wore on, Seraphina and Julian solidified their alliance, bound together by a shared thirst for vengeance. They knew the road ahead would be treacherous, but they were prepared to do whatever it took to achieve their goal.
As the moon began to set, casting long shadows over the forest, Seraphina felt a sense of purpose she hadn't experienced before. For the first time, she truly felt like she belonged somewhere, even if it was in the dark embrace of revenge.
Little did she know that her path was set to take unexpected turns, and the line between deception and reality would blur even further. The journey ahead would test her in ways she never thought possible, and she would have to confront not just her enemies but the darkness within herself.
Aria stood by the edge of the Silvercrest territory, her mind racing with thoughts of the impending confrontation with Lucas. She had just returned from her meeting with Knox and Ryder, where they had discussed their plan to gather allies and take down the tyrant. The weight of the responsibility weighed heavily on her shoulders, but she knew she couldn't back down now.
As the night air caressed her face, she turned to look at Knox, who stood a few feet away. His gaze met hers, and for a moment, all the worries and fears seemed to fade away. Aria found comfort in his presence, in knowing that he was by her side.
Knox took a step closer to her, his hand reaching out to gently brush against her cheek. "You're not alone in this, Aria," he said softly. "We'll face Lucas together, and we'll come out on top."
Aria smiled, feeling a sense of reassurance wash over her. "I know," she replied, her voice filled with gratitude. "I don't know what I'd do without you."
They shared a brief moment, their foreheads leaning against each other. The moon shone above them, a silent witness to their bond. In that moment, all the uncertainties seemed to fade away, leaving only the strength of their love and determination.
As the night wore on, Aria found herself unable to sleep. Her mind was too restless, too filled with thoughts of Lucas and the impending battle. She quietly slipped out of the pack's den, not wanting to disturb anyone with her restlessness.
Under the cover of darkness, she walked through the forest, her steps guided by an unexplainable pull. It was as if an unseen force was leading her somewhere, calling to her, urging her to move forward.
 Aria's heart pounded in her chest as she followed the trail, her instincts guiding her deeper into the heart of the forest.
She walked in a trance for what felt like hours until eventually, she arrived at a clearing she had never seen before. In the center of the clearing stood a massive stone pedestal, ancient and weathered. On top of it lay an ancient-looking book, its pages yellowed with age.
Aria approached the book cautiously, a mix of curiosity and trepidation rising within her. As she reached out to touch it, a surge of energy coursed through her, causing her to stumble back in surprise.
But the pull was too strong, and she found herself drawn back to the book. As she opened it, the words on the pages seemed to glow with an otherworldly light. Aria's eyes widened as she realized what she was reading - a history of the Moon Goddess's mark and its true purpose.
She blinked in surprise suddenly snapping out of it. She looked around. It felt like she had been transported somewhere else, like she had stepped into another world.
As Aria delved deeper into the ancient texts, her heart pounded louder with every revelation. The Moon Goddess's mark was not just a symbol of strength and destiny; it was a powerful conduit that connected the marked wolves to the Moon Goddess herself. It granted them access to her vast powers, but with it came a dark and dangerous potential for corruption.
As she read on, Aria's mind was filled with images of what could happen if a marked wolf succumbed to the darkness. The powers granted by the Moon Goddess could fuel the corruption, turning them into a ticking time bomb that would threaten to wipe out the entire world when the darkness manifested enough to be released.
The thought sent shivers down her spine, and she couldn't help but think of Lucas. It wasn't just the Crystal fueling the darkness in him; he was corrupted by the Moon Goddess's mark. The implications were terrifying. A marked wolf held the power of the world in their hands, and if they fell to the darkness, the consequences would be catastrophic.
Suddenly, she felt a presence in her mind, a voice she had never heard before but one that felt strangely familiar. It whispered of power, of destiny, and of a choice that would determine the fate of not just her, but all the wolves.
Aria closed the book, her mind swirling with the weight of the knowledge she now carried. She couldn't help but wonder if she was strong enough to bear the burden of the Moon Goddess's mark, if she could resist the allure of its power and prevent herself from falling into darkness.
As she stood in the clearing, the moonlight washed over her, and she felt a surge of energy coursing through her veins. The mark on her skin glowed faintly, reminding her of the connection she shared with the Moon Goddess. She could feel the power within her, pulsating with a life of its own.
But there was also a darkness there, lurking beneath the surface, voices she hadn't in a while. It whispered to her, tempting her with promises of power and control. Aria took a deep breath, trying to push those thoughts away. She knew she had to be careful, to resist the temptation, or else she risked becoming just like Lucas.
As she wrestled with her inner demons, a sudden light caught her eye. She turned and saw a figure standing before her, bathed in a soft, ethereal glow. A gasp flew out of Aria's lips as she realized who it was. She wasn't sure it was a who.
The goddess floated gracefully before Aria, her presence radiant and serene. Her eyes sparkled with wisdom, and a gentle smile graced her lips. "Hello, Aria," she said, her voice like a melodic whisper, "It's so good to see you again my child."


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