I am having a bit of a rough time finding moments to write and read. This new job is eating at my days, and because it is I have not finished The Healer Who Needed Healing. I also have not finished reading any books lately. My lack of time and self-expression in the form of writing has caused my depression to worsen. I am trying to remain positive, but the fact of the matter is that I feel like crap and one of the last things I want to do right now is work on this blog. However, I want to give all of you that actually do read this something. So here is a sneak peek of The Healer Who Needed Healing. I hope you enjoy it!
*Keep in mind this is a work in progress and WILL contain errors*
*This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations, and events portrayed are fictitious. The content here in is fabricated by the author. Any similarities to real person(s), living or dead are coincidental and not intended by the author.
Copyright © 2016 Astrid Lee Miles
All rights reserved.
The night sky was as black as pitch, which was odd on a night with a full moon. It seems as though the moon peeked out only for my best friend’s Mate Ceremony. Once the two wolves had disappeared into the massive pack mansion, the night sky was covered by rolling black clouds. It was a sign, an omen, but I thought little of it. My task as pack healer was to keep all of us safe. My thoughts, however, were far from my pack duties. Instead, I thought of my potential mate.
I loved watching Zayne run during the day. As the sunlight hit his dark chocolate hair, coppery red tones would peek through. Yes, I loved watching him during the day, but at night was even better. I swear on my life that his royal blue eyes had a certain sheen to them. They especially sparkled whenever he laughed. Man, I longed for his tall muscled frame to stride confidently towards me and make me laugh as he did with ort other pack mates. He was joking with Sandra right now.
His blue eyes were absolutely sparking and it pained me to see that Sandra was trying to get closer to him as they walked towards our home. It was obvious that she liked him. Normally, I would be happy for her, but I did not feel that now. Bitter jealousy turned my stomach and tightened my skin. How foolish was I to have told Celena that I believed Zayne was my mate?
Without thinking, I ran past the laughing couple. My legs could not carry my fast enough as I ran through the pack mansion. I went straight to my cold and uninviting room.
My “room” is actually a massive suite. In fact, I have the largest in the house. I have extra bedrooms in my suite to house any injured or sick wolves that could need my added attention. No one needed to be in my extra bedrooms tonight. I would never actually want anyone to be hurt or sick enough to need my rooms, but on nights like this, I wished for the company it brings me.
The silence ripped the heart breaking lonely feelings further out of me. When I feel this bad, I typically end up with Celena. My best friend would surround me in her caring embrace and comfort my aching chest. This cannot happen tonight…ever again, really. A sensation like fire plunged into my body. The sadness clawed at me. She had a mate now; I could not rely on her as much.
With a low head and heart, I crept into my bed. The blankets felt restrictive and uncomfortable. Back and forth I moved in my bed uncomfortable; the deafening silence keeping me awake. My eyes itched with exhaustion, but I could not get them to close for a long time. When they did, nightmares plagued me.
I banished the thought of sleep as I woke from the same nightmare once again. The nightmare in which I had to rip countless daemons from possessed bodies. The tears I shed at the exhaustion and lost souls felt so real to me. I had even cried in my sleep. My wet face a pillow could attest to that.
Warm milk or tea was my nighttime remedy. My sock clad feet froze as I walked across the cold floor to my kitchen. It was tempting to leave my sink running as I heated water on my stove top, but I hate wasting things. I shut it off just as a cold chill ran over my body. My limbs shook as if they had a mind of their own. Fear did not come to me; instead I relaxed my mind and soul.
“Spirit of unrest, I hear you. I am a friendly ear, what holds you here?” I calmly call out.
The ghost did not show herself. Regardless, I needed no picture to recognize the voice. “Your life holds me here. For I am dead because you are an abomination.”
The heartbreak I felt earlier caused by my loneliness was nothing compared to what I felt now. “Mother, I cannot change who I am.” My words fell on deaf ears.
Without an responding, her spirit left and I ran. My wolf pushed us forward. She too wished to run from our pain. We found ourselves in front of Celena’s old bedroom door. She was not there. We knew she would not be there. We had attended her Mate Ceremony only a few hours ago.
In our sorrow, we blindly walked to the pack kitchen. We could not disturb the wolf that brought us here. We could not bother our best friend on what was essentially her wedding night. We sat at one of the long tables in the large room we had eaten in so many times before.
Though I wished for company, I am glad none of my pack mates were here tonight. My being here would be seen as a weakness, and that was not something I could show. I glance around the empty room. What we call a kitchen is more like a school cafeteria. Most of the wolves in this house are adults and prefer to call this room the kitchen.
The hard cold table top under me just reminded me of what I longed for; Zayne or just a mate. I never thought I would get a mate. I am the Half-Breed. I am someone who should not exist. Zayne was taken into our pack just over a week ago and when I first saw the new wolf. His blue eyes locked with mine and my heart pounded like it never had before. This wolf was different; I was so sure of that. I thought there was a connection. However, his lack of approach toward me has shown me that the thought is only one way. Obviously I could seek out him, but I am too shy to try that. Maybe I would have worked up the courage if we had shown any of the usual mate signs, but we do not.
I have not heard his thoughts. I do not have mate markings. The jagged design that runs along his chest, shoulder and back have not changed. The lack of signs have not changed the possession I feel.
Yes, I was fairly certain that I would never get a mate, but Zayne had felt like mine. I had allowed myself to hope. Especially since Celena’s mate, Decebal was a half breed. Though he is half human, and I am half witch. It must be my witch side that will not allow me to have love. Tears took over my body, I fought them, but it was difficult to keep them in. It was hardly a minute before the door opened. An involuntary jump went through me, but I did not need to look in order to know that it was Celena.
“Andy, what is wrong?”
My dearest friend pulled me into a hug. The tight embrace is had I had been needing from someone. Finally I would get relief. I feel my body relax and give into the emotion it had desperately been trying to contain.
“My mother has passed into the next realm.” I mournfully confided, but I did not want to tell her about Zayne’s lack of interest in me.
“Where is the man that you thought might be your mate?”
Of course she would ask that. Why I thought I could keep it from her was beyond me. I could only share with her the pain I felt with a stare. Due to our heart to heart- and ability that links us-that glance told her everything she needed to know. Celena now knew all the sorrow and ache I felt.
Celena was in quiet thought for a time. When I felt Decebal’s presence outside one of the kitchen doors, I assumed he was talking to Celena with their mind bond. Jealousy hit me again. I wanted what they had.
“Andy, I want to help you. Please, just tell me what I can do.” Celena said with concern.
“All I ever wanted was for someone to love me.” I shamefully admitted.
“There is no love like a sister’s love.” Celena and I often felt like sister. It is true that I could feel her love for me, but it felt incomplete.
After a moment, she added, “It is the same with a mother’s love. No one can replace what has been taken from you. A mother’s love should be unconditional. I am truly sorry that yours was not.”
Before I could respond, the door on the opposite side of the kitchen crashed against the wall. I knew it was Zayne, and the knowledge brought fresh tears to my eyes. Why did the man I thought was my mate, have to be the one to show up now?
“Do not cry, Mate.” Zayne stated before he plucked me out of Celena’s warm embrace.
Joy and grief tangled themselves together in my chest. The knot was painful and yet comforting.
“So, you are my mate after all.” I stated somewhat happily. Though with the excitement I must admit came fear. What Celena had just said rang through me. My mother’s love was not unconditional, what if Zayne’s was not either? Could I suffer through having someone supposedly love me again only to have it taken once more?
As my new fears wriggled around my brain, my best friend sat silent and moved back. She stayed close enough to reach out if I needed the additional comfort. In her eyes I could see that she was ingesting my changing emotions and deciding in what way to react. Zayne sat us down. He kept me in his embrace and on his lap.
“Yes, and it seems that I need to learn more about you, from you. I tried asking around the pack, but no one seems to know anything other than you are a witch and Celena brought you here.”
“It is a long story.” I said, not wishing to divulge any more details.
“I have all the time in the world to get to know you.”
I stood abruptly. “Then you can wait.” I turned tail and ran.
My mate was out of my sight before I could figure out what had happened. I stood to go after her, but the Princess Celena was in my way. I tensed to strike but held back.
“With all due respect, Princess, get the hell out of the way.”
“Zayne, just wait. I know your wolf wants to go after her, but it will not go over well. Please, sit,”
I stood completely still. I made sure not to make eye contact, but she would have to order me to move. I would not listen any other way.
“I will tell you want you want to know.”
Now I move. I take a stumbling step back. “You would be so disloyal?”
“It is not disloyalty. You will need to know this if you have any hope to figure Andy out. She is a massive twisted puzzle, but also the most loyal and caring person I have ever met. We are biological sisters. If there is anyone you can trust with Andy, it is me.”
Listen. My wolf said.
But, our mate, what if she is in danger?
She not. She strong. Listen.
I frown, but agree with my wolf. This is what we had been searching for since we saw her. Now someone was willingly giving up what we wanted.
Stiffly I walk back to the table and sit on it. ”Okay, Princess, talk.” A hard glare from her mate tells me I need to be polite. “Sorry, please tell me what you know, Princess.”
“First, stop calling me that. I am Celena. Next, I hope you meant that you have a lot of time, because this is not a short story. To truly understand Andy I have to start from the beginning.”
“This isn’t the most comfortable seat, but it will suffice for as long as it will take for you to tell me her life story.”
“Good, It all started twenty-four years ago on a cold and blustery night…”
Andy’s Past Told by Celena
Chapter One: Gwen
Andy’s mother met her father late one stormy night. Gwen, her mom, was alone in her isolated house on the edge of town. The thunder and lightning crashed and flashed aginst the night sky. Gwen didn’t have any issues being alone, except on nights like this. It would take far too long for anyone to come to her aid if it was needed. With her nervous wringing hands, she stared out her window at the vast darkness. Fear crept up as a dark figure stumbled from the forest.
Powers of the wind, bring me the image of the figure. The young witch commanded her magic. Moments later bits and pieces of an injured man were brought to her mind.
“This will not do.” She said to herself. Gwen swallowed her anxiety and went out into the stormy night.
She made it to the man faster than she thought possible.
“Sir, do you need assistance?” She questioned.
His piercing green eyes locked with hers. His hand moved away from his side exposing his bleeding wound. Gwen quickly tucked her small frame beneath his large one. Together they staggered to her three-roomed cabin.
“Come, this way.” Gwen said leading the stranger to her kitchen table.
Though she lived alone, her table was long enough to fit the tall injured man. This was not the first time she had used her table as a bed for an injured the person, and it would not be the last. Pain filled grunts escaped the hurt man’s clenched jaw. When the stranger was sitting up, Gwen began pulling his shirt off. He firmly gipped the young witch’s hand to stop her.
“I have to examine and mend it or you could bleed out.” She warned.
Slowly the stranger let her hands go. She lifted the shirt off of him. Her experienced eyes traced the bleeding hole in his side. She poked around the edges before covering it with a clean cloth.
“I need to clean it and then I can give you a poultice. I must tell you, I am a witch. I can give you something with magical properties or not. It is your choice.”
She thought she saw fear in his eyes for a split second. It was replaced with a skeptical look before he answered her.
“Magic is fine.” His gruff voice replied.
Gwen nodded and then began her work. The man studied her wirily. She grabbed a bowl of hot water, rags, and a couple of containers. Her mom’s skilled hands were quick with their work. He was bandaged and resting within minutes of lying down on the table. Gwen was quiet and thoughtful as she washed her blood cover fingers.
When all the crimson liquid was off of her, she assisted the man to her spare room. The young witch pulled a chair up towards the man and studied him. Upon closer examination, she could see that he appeared to be younger than she had first assumed. Her new thought was that he was in his mid-twenties and had been through much. His face was worn and tanned like leather. The stranger’s thick brows went well with the scruff that ran along his chin and upper lip. Gwen thought his lips seemed soft for such a rough face. The stranger lying in her spare bed had a familiar scent to her too. She could not figure out why. The answer tickled her brain, but effectively escaped her before she could catch it.
After her study of the man in front of her, Gwen leaned back in her chair and allowed her eyes to close. She had not planned to sleep, but she did. It was a restful sleep. The man, though he was a stranger, had a calming feeling about him. Gwen had never slept so soundly before, especially in the plush chair she was sitting on.
The morning sun was peeking through the spare room window when Gwen awoke. The injured patient stirred slightly. Gwen stood up and began to change out the used poultice for a fresh one. The gaping wound had healed more than she thought it would. What had been a horrible bleeding mess was now a small cut that no longer needed her attention.
“Mornin’,” he replied. “Thank you for your assistance last night.”
“I am happy I could help. The magic I wove into the poultice must have been stronger than I thought it was. Your wound is almost gone.”
The stranger sat up and looked at his side. As he looked at the cut, Gwen stared at his hardened abs. She was not sure how she could have missed the defined plains the night before. His stomach was almost hairless. There was the smallest amount that traveled from his navel and disappeared into his pants.
A blush traveled to her cheeks when she realized the man was watching her. “You could leave today,” she began then suddenly added, “but it would be better if you rested for one more night.” Indeed it was true, but Gwen had said it because she did not want him to leave.
“I could not leave without repaying you.” He looked around the kitchen. “I see a few puddles on the ground. Would you allow me to fix your roof? It is the least I can do. With winter quickly approaching, you cannot have a roof that leaks. ”
“All right, but first you need to rest. We do not want your injury to get worse.”
“Nonsense, at this point it is just a scratch.”
Her purple witch eyes glared at him.
“I heal quickly anyway. With your magic, I will be all healed up within an hour.” His handsome face said defensively.
“Fine, but you need food first.”
Her mom turned away from him and began heating up water. Even though it was possible to have an electric stove, Gwen preferred the old fashion way to do everything. She had a wood burning stove and fireplace to make any food she wanted. When the man noticed this, he silently stood and made his way out to the barn.
Gwen’s red barn was small in width, but had a high ceiling. There were two stalls and two pens. One stall had a tall jet black horse, and the other was empty. One pen had a hen house. The hungry chickens clucked and pecked at the ground around them. The man stroked the horse’s velvety soft nose and then began collecting the splintered wood from the corner of the barn. There was very little wood left. He added it to the list of things he could do, and went back inside with a load of chopped wood.
“Where should I put this?” He asked as he walked into the house.
“I thought I said no work until after you eat?” The witch replied sternly.
“This is not work. All I did was pick up a few things. Now, I just need to know where to put them down.” He responded with a smug grin.
The witch had a difficult time concealing her smile. She turned from the stranger and then pointed to a large metal bin in the corner of the room. The man made his way to the bin. He balanced the wood in one arm and then opened the bin. He dumped the wood and then went to the beautiful witch that saved him.
His massive form leaned against a wall close the small witch.
“By the way, my name is Coron.”
“That is a perfect name for an easy going man with a nasty bite.” Witches name their children for the traits they want the child to have. Coron doesn’t have a mean per se, but we believe that the men with that name are strong wiled and loyal. Most importantly they are funny and get along with everyone. You just don’t want to cross them. Her mother felt the name was fitting because of his stature and the way he carried himself.
Coron eyed the witch suspiciously. By now I can only assume that he gave a suspicious look because he was trying to decide if she knew that he was a wolf. I guess he figured that she did not know, because he stayed with her.
Not understanding the reason for the look he gave her, she said, “My name is Gwen.”
A deep liquidly voice came from Coron. “It is nice to meet you.”
A tingle ran up Gwen’s spine. His voice and body called to the witch. It was then she knew this was going to end in heartbreak. She was right.
One day turned into two, then three, then a week. Next thing she knew Coron had been with her for three weeks. He charmed his way into her heart and soon after her bed.
The happiness she felt was not going to be long lived. When her coven found out that she was in love a human they threatened to kill him. On a dark quiet night, they made love for the last time.
Soon after Gwen fell asleep, Coron made his escape. In his place, he left a single red rose. He knew that because Gwen was a witch she would know what he meant by that red thorn-less rose. It said “I love you.” For that is the meaning of a rose like that. She knew he would not return, but it was something she longed for. She wanted more of him or at the very least a piece of him.
She was glad when she got Andy.
Chapter Two: Gwen
They day Andy was due was an easy one for Gwen. She woke up and checked her spell.
For a perfect child, mix the following in bubbling water. After a ten minute simmer, fill a bottle for your darling child. The first thing they drink should be your mixture.
Fennel for strength
Elder for compassion
Azalea for fragile passion
Bittersweet for truth
Bluebell for humility
Chervil for sincerity
Feverfew for warmth
Honeysuckle for devotion
Mimosa for sensitivity
Cinquefoil for a beloved daughter
No one could find Cinquefoil. How could I not love my daughter? Gwen asked herself as the news was delivered to her. One of the attending Elders advised her to use a substitute, but Gwen declined. She was sure that her perfect daughter would always be loved.
When the contractions began, Gwen drank her dittany filled potion. Dittany is the plant that assists in childbirth. This particular potion is created with all four of coven elders. It is strong and completely changes the childbirth experience. What is normally a long and painful process is turned into a short and painless one. It is as if Gwen peed and a baby popped out.
The infant newborn girl was given her potion as soon as she was in Gwen’s arms. Though Gwen was happy that Andy was there, she did not think she felt the way she should have felt. She confided this to one of the elders.
“I warned you about not using a substitute.” The Elder warned, but once again, Gwen brushed it off.
The lack of Cinquefoil does not change a thing. Plus it did not keep Gwen from wanting to be a faithful mother. She would try, for as long as she could.
Let me know what you think.
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The title of the first book to this sneak peek is My Other Half.
Be free and keep reading!