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Chapter 2 Caught

  • "I can explain," I stammered, as my voice quivered in response to my swirling emotions. My eyes were already brimming with tears, and my heart was pounding loudly. I was well aware of the consequences that awaited me for my grave mistake.
  • "We would like to hear it. By the way, it is so late, and you know witches are banned from staying out this late. Especially females!" His deep voice resonated with each word, a heavy reminder of the gravity of my situation.
  • His men stood by his side, their stern expressions mirroring his displeasure. My gaze remained fixed on the ground, unable to meet the piercing gaze of his angry eyes. His authority was unchallengeable as head of security.
  • His words weighed heavily on my shoulders. We were taught from birth not to leave the coven after dark. The consequences of violating it were dire. My heart raced, anxiety growing within me as I awaited his judgment.
  • "Alicia? What are you thinking about? You said you could explain your reasons for being out of the coven so late, and with your luggage for that matter," he prompted, his tone brimming with impatience. His words brought me back to the present, urging me to find my voice.
  • I felt my face pale, cold dread creeping through me. What could I say to justify my actions? I couldn't lie – they would see right through it, and the consequences would be even worse. I lifted my gaze slightly enough to see the stern visage of the head of security. He was a symbol of authority, his gaze unwavering and severe.
  • The truth weighed heavily on my tongue, which had the potential to unravel not just my fate but the carefully maintained peace between our coven and the werewolves. My heart raced as my mind grappled with the magnitude of my confession.
  • His patience was thin; I could sense it in the tense air around us. I had brought this upon myself, breaking not just one but two sacred laws – falling in love with a werewolf and being outside the coven's bounds after dark. These rules were rooted in history and shaped by past violence. The werewolves' affinity for the night had made them powerful enemies during the war, so we had to enact strict curfews.
  • "I apologize," I murmured, bowing my head to accept my fate. My voice trembled, my throat tight with emotion. Lying was not an option – they would see through it, and the truth would eventually emerge. My eyes burned with unshed tears as I bit down hard on my lips, fighting to keep my emotions in check. I was prepared to bear whatever punishment they saw fit, to endure the consequences of my actions.
  • My thoughts spiralled, my heart heavy with the weight of betrayal. Why had Lucian abandoned me like this? Had he orchestrated this to trap me? It was unfathomable, the hurt deep and raw. I had trusted him with my heart, and he had seemingly turned his back on me. As I faced the impending judgment, my confusion mingled with sorrow, leaving me more vulnerable than ever.
  • There was a mist surrounding my world, like a distant dream. The air felt heavy with tension, a weight that pressed against my chest and made breathing difficult. I could hear his words echoing with anger and accusation, but they barely registered.
  • "You, you are not ready to speak? Let's see how long you can keep your mouth closed. Seize her!" His command cut through the haze, sharp and commanding. The guards, obedient as always, closed around me, their fingers gripping my arms intensely.
  • Surprisingly, I felt no fear. This scene was far from unfamiliar – I had seen countless witches being arrested, their fate sealed by the unyielding hand of the head of security. The tyrant was a hothead and a rule-follower.
  • I let them pull me along, my steps unsteady. Tears welled in my eyes, blurring my vision, a silent testament to the storm of emotions within me. Love had been a mirage, a cruel deception that had led me astray. It was a tale woven with pain and betrayal, a realization that had left my heart slashed and bleeding. I realized love was never about rainbows and happiness; it was a promise of sorrow and suffering. And I had chosen that willingly, embracing my punishment for my choices.
  • My mind echoed with bitter words directed at him – Lucian. The cause of all this agony. "I will never forgive you for this, Lucian," I muttered, my voice a whisper carried by the wind as I forced myself to move forward. The guards shoved me roughly as if they had forgotten I was more than just a commoner, more than just a girl. My identity, my station – they all seemed to blur into insignificance at this moment.
  • The room I was brought to was grand and imposing. The queen of the witches was seated on a huge throne. The council members flanked her, their eyes trained on me with suspicion and curiosity. Yet, my focus was elsewhere. My eyes met those of the woman who had brought me into this world, my mother. Her expression was a tumultuous blend of anger, disappointment, worry, and confusion.
  • The queen's voice broke the silence, her words like ice cutting through the air. "So, you vehemently refuse to admit the truth, Alicia? Do you wish to have your memory checked instead?"
  • I remained on the floor, my hands bound, dirty and dishevelled. The weight of tears clung to my lashes, threatening to spill at any moment, but I refused to let them see. They would not have the satisfaction of witnessing my vulnerability.
  • "I told you before, my queen," my voice finally found its way out, steadier than I had expected. "I will not open my mouth. Sorry."
  • My gaze turned away as if avoiding the storm that raged around me. My mother's voice pierced the air, a mix of reprimand and desperation, but it barely reached my ears. My face turned into a silent protest against their judgment.
  • "I can't believe her insolence, Trainor!" The queen's tone held a disbelief I could almost taste, her gaze shifting from me to my mother. She seemed taken aback by the way I dared to speak to her.
  • But in the cacophony of accusations, I found solace in my own defiance.
  • My mother's apologies hung heavy in the air, a constant reminder of the shame I had brought our family. Her eyes bore into me with a mix of anger and disappointment, and I felt their weight like a physical burden.
  • The queen's decree cut through the tense atmosphere, her words carrying the weight of authority. "Fine then, since Alicia would not state why she was out so late, call in the older witches to check the memory of this stubborn child." The room agreed, and the decision was made without hesitation. The older witches were summoned, their presence signalling a sense of gravity to the situation.
  • Tears burned at the corners of my eyes, threatening to spill over. I fought to keep them in check, to not show my fear to those who held power over me.
  • As the older witches entered the room, Alicia's heart raced erratically. It was as if the world had narrowed to the centre of the room, her own beating heart. This was it – a moment she had dreaded that would lay bare her secrets and vulnerabilities for all to see. She understood, deep down, that resistance was futile. What was to come would happen regardless of her wishes.
  • "You called for us, your Highness?" The voice of an old woman cut through the silence, her presence commanding attention. Alicia's gaze snapped toward her, realizing the woman had entered without noticing.
  • The witch was striking, her fiery hair contrasting with the wisdom etched into her features. Despite her age, she seemed to radiate an otherworldly beauty. Alicia couldn't help but be captivated by her, her appearance defying the passage of time. She was not alone, accompanied by two equally powerful-looking women who seemed to exude an aura of strength.
  • "Yes, I did. Thank you so much for honoring my request for your presence, Cassandra," the queen's words carried a mixture of gratitude and authority. She pointed toward me, and I felt a shiver run down my spine. My eyes were undoubtedly red from hours of crying.
  • "Alright, do you have anything specific you want to find out from her, your majesty?" Cassandra's voice held a polite and calm tone, belying the power she undoubtedly held.