Howl

Chapter Nineteen: I don't break hearts, I just damn them


Nikolas feels his heart sinking further and further down each day. He hasn't eaten other than what Alexander has force fed him, and he hasn't joined them in their recent battles. There was one at the school again, another one at the supermarket, and one even just at some random park.

None of it matters.

What good is he? He can't even protect anyone. Even Alexander had to learn how to fight and kill because Nikolas couldn't protect him. It's his fault these people were dragged in his hell. His fault his sweet little brother is dead before he even got a chance to help him.

He would blame it all on Cammy, but it isn't even entirely her. Not his little brother, anyways.

No, a good portion of the blame goes to his parents as well. If they were real parents he would have never gotten caught up with Cammy and neither would Joseph. Alexander would still be an innocent college student whose main concerns are classes and work (neither of which he has attended in a while, which thanks to Joshua is unnoticed by everyone).

Everyone he loves has been destroyed in some way, simply from knowing him.

The tears come flowing again as he remembers his brother. That young life struck down before it could begin. All because of twisted adults.

His self-pity has lasted a few weeks now, and he sees no end in sight if he is being entirely honest.

That is until, of course, Alexander come barging into his room. Nikolas not-so-subtly wipes his eyes and looks over to the boy to see he's bleeding. Significantly.

"Alexander, what-?"

"Another fight." Alexander huffs, sitting next to Nikolas on the bed and getting out a first aid kit. "You would know if you came." He points out, feeling a strange mixture of bitterness and understanding over Nikolas's choices.

"What are you doing in my room?" The older man asks and Alexander glares at him, holding up the first aid kit.

"Fix me." Alexander demands and Nikolas stares at him for a moment.

"Hasn't Kris bee-?"

"I don't want Kris to do it, I want you to do it." He huffs, slamming the box into Nikolas's lap. "I know it hurts, and you can't help but think it's all your fault, but it's not." Alexander cups his face, tilting his chin up so he can look at the boy now straddling his waist. "We are not to blame for the chaos Cammy has rained upon this world. The only thing we could ever be blamed for is if we stop trying to put an end to it."

"Alexander…" Nikolas mumbles and Alexander grins at him.

"I miss having you there with us, Nikolas. I'm getting sick of Kris taking care of me."

"You're acting like a spoiled child…" The man points out and Alexander laughs.

"Where have you been all this time? I am 100% a spoiled child!" He holds out his arm for Nikolas to bandage, which the man does immediately. "We have no time to be sad, Nikolas. We need to take action, to end all of this. We need to kill her and her right and left hand women. Once that is done we can all stop and mourn and break down…but that luxury is only rewarded to us when we finish this once and for all."

"When we finish this…" Nikolas begins, finishing with Alexander's arm, "I'm fighting for my youngest brother's custody."

"Ohh?" Alexander smiles, "Good luck, then. I'm sure you can win."

Nikolas feels his hands twitch, wanting desperately to touch Alexander. The boy has been unbelievably tempting lately and he's not sure why, but it is kind of driving him crazy. Of course for the past few weeks he hasn't been noticing it, but with Alexander here in his lap, smiling like that, it's reluctantly hard to ignore.

"Now, do me a favor and get out of this bed," Alexander says, pointing to the door, "Take a god damned shower, and let me wash these dirty ass sheets."

Sighing, Nikolas nods. "If you insist." He says, grabbing the back of Alexander's head and bringing him down to kiss him on the forehead. He was going to play it off as a joke, but the flustered look on Alexander's face says that ship has sailed.

"D-don't touch me before you shower!" Alexander huffs, jumping up and running out of the room.

"Huh…" Nikolas mumbles. The scent of arousal from Alexander is honestly nothing new, but there was something else he couldn't place his finger on. Maybe when everything is over he will actually confess. After it has all settled, maybe he can find a little happiness.

"Stupid mutt, going after Alexander…" Francesca hisses from her spot outside of the man's house. She is tasked with (well not so much tasked as insistent upon) watching Alexander and Nikolas in their home. It started because Cammy didn't want to be bothered and Josephine would not be able to enter their home, but over time Francesca has grown disgustingly fond of Alexander.

What began as an attempt to be the seducer ended with her being the seduced. She's not entirely sure when it was, nor the catalyst that brought it about, but she knows at some point the constant touching and overly familiar way Nikolas treats him began to disgust her. Alexander seems to affect Cammy and Josephine as well. Not to mention his marry little group of monsters.

Perhaps there is something magical inside of him he doesn't know.

She grimaces at the thought, being reminded of things she'd rather forget. Honestly, she hopes that's not the case for his sake.

Nothing good comes from being special as a human.

Disgusting, greedy humans don't deserve to be in the presence of something special, let alone have it inside of them.

They can't handle it.

No matter what they promise…

As she watches Alexander help Nikolas get back on his feet from the loss of his brother, Francesca decides this is probably what he used to seduce her. Ever since meeting Nikolas, and knowing what he is, Alexander has done nothing but care for him. Even to the point of joining a life-or-death battle. He never once reacted with rage when he found out someone he knew was a monster.

Well, he did with Kris, but for a different reason…

Oh how she wishes she had someone like him when she was young.

No fires, no fear, no mass murder…

Not many people know this, outside of Cammy and possibly her brother and his weird boyfriend, no one would have any way of knowing…but she actually made history in the past. Or she almost did, had it not been for Cammy.

Yes, thanks to her beloved alpha, what would have been Francesca's title went to a poor woman named Bridget Bishop. A boisterous woman from a simple place known as Salem, Massachusetts.

That's right, she was an actual witch in Salem during the witch trials. In fact, she is fairly sure she was the only actual witch in Salem during the witch trials. A fact that used to keep her up at nights.

Back when she cared about humans.

It is in fact because of her that the witch trials were able to happen and had been given so much credence once started. Although she was not in fact the mastermind.

No, like most people she started out as a normal and sweet girl with dreams of marrying a boy in town and having his children. If only it had gone that way.

In Salem Francesca was known for her beauty and way with men. She was friendly and could flirt up a storm, but like any good young woman in those days she made sure to keep it to a respectable degree. At that time she had many suitors, all handsome and willing to give her the world.

However, like every young girl, none of them were who she wanted.

Yes, Francesca has had an interesting life.

One that might end tomorrow.

Why tomorrow you ask?

Well, as a witch of the dark magic, she is privy to certain knowledge. Last night during a ritual she was informed that tomorrow will be the end of everything. The war will reach its conclusion and bring about a victor. Which means either she or Alexander will fall.

So what's a girl to do with her last free day sharing earth with the boy she likes?

Spend it with him, or course.

Whether he is willing or not, she wants to have him to herself for once. Perhaps she will tell him her story, and he will accept her. Perhaps he will even hug her and assure her she was not to blame. Perhaps he will give her all the things she ever wanted from a human boy.

It would be wonderful if he did, but she wouldn't be destroyed if he didn't.

Deciding to put her plan in motion, Francesca waits until Nikolas is inside the shower before descending upon the raven haired man. In one foul swoop, before he can even react, Alexander is whisked away by the witch and brought into the woods.

Are the woods romantic?

She admittedly hasn't thought about the true semantics of this plan.

"What the-?" Alexander looks around confused, "Where the hell-?" He looks to the beautiful blonde and glares, "Francesca, what is this?"

"A date, of course." Francesca coos, and from the look on Alexander's face, he is not buying it.

"You literally tried to impale my best friend with a silver rod earlier this morning. Why would I go on a date with you?" Alexander huffs, acting put upon despite the fact he is not trying to run away.

"If you hate it so much, why don't you run?" She counters, making the man frown and look away awkwardly.

"You have yet to really hurt me…and…" He looks over to her, "You haven't seemed like yourself today. Like something was on your mind…" The man sighs, "Even when you went to impale Kris, I could tell your heart wasn't really in it."

"My heart could never be in a fight," Francesca begins, taking Alexander's hand and bringing it to her lips so she can kiss his palm, "It is only invested in you." She can feel his pulse quicken from beneath her lips.

Is it fear? Embarrassment? …Excitement? Honestly any of them would make her happy.

"Francesca," Alexander mumbles wearily, "What is going on here?"

"Our battle will come to an end tomorrow, so it is one of our last days on earth, Alex." She finally answers, watching for his expression. .

It's pure horror. With an odd amount of determination in it.

He plans to win.

"So…it's our last day…and you want to spend it on a date with me, is that it?" Alexander seems pretty indifferent to the idea, but indifference is better than flat out refusal.

"That's right, dear Alex, I want our last day to be a date with you. Is that alright?" Francesca asks and Alexander rolls his eyes.

"Even if it isn't, you're going to make me go anyways."

She grins, "That's right~!"

He laughs a little bit, "Alright, since I'm clearly going to be the victor tomorrow, I will give you a happy last day so you can die without regret."

"Ohoh, such a kind man…and so cocky." Francesca teases, "You truly think you will win?"

"I know we will." Alexander smirks, "Because we are the good guys, and the good guys always win!"

"You have learned nothing from history, have you, Alex?" She asks, her smile faltering for a moment before she grabs his arm. "Enough of that, what should we do for our date?"

"Beats the hell outta me," Alexander shrugs, "Never been on one. I guess dinner and a movie? Well, I can't afford either, actually…"

"Then just spend the day with me." Francesca smiles, "We'll walk around town and I will buy us something to eat."

It goes wonderfully. Or, well, as wonderfully as she dared to dream. They walk around town, talking about inane things and window shopping for items neither really care about. He's nice to her, smiles at her, and even laughs at her jokes. It's almost like a dream.

Shame it will be over tomorrow. Perhaps she can convince Cammy to let her keep him as a pet when they kill the others. A cute little sex kitten.

They finally grab some food and go to the woods through a park Alexander is so fond of to eat it. As they walk and eat, Francesca decides she is definitely not letting Cammy kill him. He might end up dead inside, but as long as he isn't outside, Francesca is good.

"So tomorrow we will finally finish this, huh?" Alexander asks, "Don't suppose you have a time and place."

"Nope," She says, taking a bite of her fries, "Don't even know the catalyst. However, something happens that drives Cammy to breaking point." Her gaze falls on him as her lips turn up into a smirk, "Have fun fighting a berserk alpha."

"I will enjoy it immensely." Alexander assures her, "Especially when she's finally killed. Probably by Kris."

"Well, it's true, out of you all he is the one most capable…" Francesca admits, "But he is still just a baby alpha."

"One you're all afraid of." He points out, surprising her. "What? Don't give me that look. I'm not an idiot. You all very pointedly focus on him for death, Nikolas and I for pain, and…well you don't seem to care about the others…"

"Ethan, Joshua, and Andréa are bit players in this." Francesca laughs, "Although they are powerful, they have wronged us the least."

"Even Ethan and Joshua?" Alexander asks curiously, "Isn't Cammy eager to kill her brother off?"

"While she denies it, Cammy still has a soft spot for her brother." She pauses for a second, recalling a few times Cammy tried to kill him, but shrugs it off. "Well, as soft of a spot as she is capable of."

"So even with her twisted mind, she still loves him, huh?" Alexander smiles a little, "They both still love each other, which is the whole reason they are both still alive. Love is a truly powerful bond."

Francesca sighs, "It sure is, Alex."

The man smirks at her, "What? Are you going to confess to me now? Just so you know, I'm not into psychotic women."

She laughs bitterly, "Psychotic, huh? Well if I am, it's only thanks to that powerful love you seem so fond of."

"Hm?" Alexander looks at her curiously, the same look he gave Nikolas when he confessed his secret. It makes her hopeful, and anxious, and although she tries to stop herself, it comes out anyways.

"Well, Alex, let me first start with telling you I am from Salem, Massachusetts…and it's because of me that the witch trials started." Francesca says, enjoying Alexander running into a tree from the shock. "You see, I was a pretty popular little lady back then, crowded with suitors of all kinds. Of course, even in those days I was difficult and there was only one man for me. The judge's son." She sighs, remembering his beautiful face, "Yes, his brown hair and piercing green eyes were just the greatest thing to me. I was so enthralled, I had already named our first four children."

"Wow, you don't half-ass anything, do you?" Alexander asks and she laughs a little.

"Be happy I am not in love with you, like I was him. You would be mine by now if I were." She teases.

"Not willingly."

"I'm fine with that~!"

Alexander cringes and moves a little further away from her. "Alright, so, you had the crazy-hots for the judge's son. Then what?"

"Well, I confessed of course." Francesca smirks, "I could have any man I wanted, so when I found one I latched on. He didn't give me a real answer to marriage, but he did allow me to spend more time with him." Her smirk fades, "That's when it happened…he noticed I was special. A birthmark I'd had tipped him off. It's on my inner thigh, and he saw it one day when we were in the woods. You see, he slid-"

"I get it! I know what you were doing, so move on!" Alexander exclaims, his face bright red.

"My, my, such a virgin." She teases, "But, yes, during that he saw it and when we were finished he explained the mark to me. He told me I was chosen at birth to have an extraordinary power. A gift not many get. I was so excited, I thought 'finally! I can be worthy of him!' so I asked him if that made me worthy of marriage. He said yes." She sighs, "Of course what he didn't tell me was that I needed to partake in a ritual to bring it out, and that this ritual would make me a bride of Satan."

"Well that puts a little bit of a damper on marrying him." Alexander mutters and she nods.

"Satan seems cool with mutual polygamy, but the true damper was what my beloved planned to do when I was turned. You see, once I promised to do this for him, he had me meet him and his friends late one night. I thought we were eloping, but when I arrived in the woods I found no altar or wedding fixings. Instead there was a large, flat stone, two of his friends, and a goat." She notices the horror on Alexander's face at the mention of a goat, "I won't tell you specifics, since apparently you can't handle them…despite disemboweling many of our minions."

"Hypocrites have feelings too." Alexander huffs.

"Yes, well, needless to say we were short one goat and one of his friends by the end. We performed the ritual and a seal came to my birthmark, as well as book coming from…something's…entrails…"

"OH COME ON!" Alexander whines, "You promised!"

"Suck it up, little man." Francesca mocks, "With that book, and that mark, I had successfully become a witch. A fact I didn't realize until my love told me so. When he informed me I was a witch, I was horrified. I did horrible things that night, only to become a horrible thing myself. Swallowing those feelings, I decided it was worth it if I could marry my beloved. Sure enough, the next day we married.

"Of course, after we married, he made me use my powers. I cause crops and livestock grown by his family to flourish, while bringing ruin to others. I infected children with illness, only so his relatives could provide antidotes, and I even killed men who defied his family." She sighs, "Really, though, I thought he was stupid. All of these things were so obviously beneficial to his family that people became suspicious of them, believing they were sabotaging others somehow.

"That's when I was made to take the fall. My husband brought me out to the courts and told the town I was a witch. They didn't believe him, so he made me prove it by showing them my mark. Naturally, the entire town went into a frenzy and before I knew it I was in a holding cell, to be killed the next day. My husband came to me down there, and I called him a fool. I told him how all his favors from me lead to this because he was careless." Francesca looks at the enthralled man and continues, "You know what he said?"

"He clearly did it on purpose so you would get caught." Alexander says, earning an annoyed look from the witch.

"Exactly. Way to steal my thunder, Alex." She huffs, "Anyways, apparently he knew all along what I was and made sure to gain my attention so I would do whatever he wanted. His whole goal was to make more need for trials, and to rid the town of 'useless' women. In his eyes, if the first is real, then it won't matter if the rest are so long as the people are still terrified. So, he confessed all of this to me and left. Naturally I was devastated and began crying, wishing I could escape and free myself from this fate.

"That's when Cammy came. She appeared out of nowhere, leaning on the bars and offering me freedom if I became her eternal servant." Francesca sighs dreamily, "Even when I first met her I could tell she was powerful. Such beauty and strength in one woman, how could I not fall in love? So naturally I agreed and went with her. Not two days later I heard they had killed poor Bridget, a good friend of mine."

"So the shittiness of men drove you into a strong woman's arms? Yeah, I think I get that." Alexander nods to himself.

"For a long time after, I mourned the deaths of those innocent women. I felt so guilty. Had I just known…or fallen for someone else…so many women would have been saved." Francesca mutters.

"Well that's a load of shit." Alexander rolls his eyes, "Even if you hadn't fallen for that jackass, they still would have found a patsy. Besides, around that time everyone was so fucking suspicious of shit that they probably would have believed it anyways. I mean, my god, there is no need for you to shoulder the guilt of that when it would have realistically happened with or without you."

Francesca looks at him surprised. Granted, she wanted to hear him say it wasn't her fault, but she didn't think he actually would. "Alex…I love you."

Alexander smiles at her sympathetically, "I know, just as you know I love Nikolas."

"Mm, I just wanted to say it." Francesca sighs, "If only I had met you back then."

"Wouldn't have changed anything." Alexander admits, "I'd probably still be into a dude, and then get killed for that. So I would have been zero help to you."

"You know…you are so unromantic, were Nikolas to actually live to be with you I would feel sorry for him." Francesca smirks.

"Yeah," Alexander looks around and frowns, "Where are we?" He asks before looking to her curiously, "Do you know how to get back from here?"

"Of course!"

"Well, it's getting kinda late, so why don't we head back?"

"Can I get a good night kiss?" Francesca teases. There's a surprisingly long pause after that, before Alexander smiles at her and holds out his hand.

"Alright. Last mutual day on earth, I might as well give you a parting gift." He takes her hand and pulls her over to him, pressing his lips against her cheek. It's a small kiss, and she's been kissed many times before, which is why it surprises her when her heart actually speeds up at the touch of his lips to her cheek. What comes as more of a surprise to her, however, is the knife that jams into her from behind.

"I'm sorry, Francesca," Alexander whispers in her ear as he pulls the dagger out, "I hate this method, but it's the only way I could do it." He admits and Francesca gets that familiar feeling of betrayal again. "If we're at war tomorrow, I know exactly what you'll do. You planned to kidnap me, right? Keep me around for yourself and kill everyone I love?" His words are the only thing she can hear now as the poison from the blade sets in.

"I can't be in a world without them, I'd rather die…but if you were around I wouldn't be given such a luxury." There's guilt in his voice, which eases her pain, "I planned to kill you from early on today, which is why I tried my best to make your last day a happy one." He confesses, and Francesca smiles. She wraps her arms around his neck in a hug that he returns, whispering in her ear. "I truly mean what I said, none of the past was your fault. Please remember that."

"Thank you…" Francesca mutters, tears spilling from her eyes, "I'm glad I get to die by your hands. You're the only human who proved to be of any worth," Her voice grows quieter, "If this is the catalyst for the end, I'm glad we were part of it together." She admits before the poison finally kills her.

"WHAT IS THIS?" Cammy screams from nearby and Alexander pales.

"Alexander!" Nikolas calls from somewhere else close.

"You want to kill someone who loves you, huh?" Cammy asks, stepping out of the trees and coming closer to Alexander, yanking Francesca's body from his arms. "Well two can play at that game. I will teach you to mess with my toys!"

"Alexander, look out!" Nikolas yells, grabbing Alexander and dragging him further into the woods from Cammy. "Shit, Alexander, what were you thinking?"

"It had to be done." Alexander mutters, a distant look in his eyes. It's the first time he's ever felt truly disgusting for killing something. He manipulated her, just as the last man she loved did. She seemed happy, though…

"I don't know what is on your mind, but you need to focus Alexander!" Nikolas growls, snapping the man out of it just in time for them to reach a dead-end.

To everyone's surprise, they reached a waterfall in the woods. Alexander didn't even know these woods were large enough to hold a waterfall.

But that's not the main issue here, of course.

The main issue would be the 130 pounds of red haired rage barreling towards them, and them having no escape.

"Nikolas," Cammy yells when she is within earshot, "I command you to KILL ALEXANDER." Her eyes glow red, a far darker red than Alexander has ever seen them before. "Just as he did with Francesca, bring about his death from the arms of his love! Throw him down the waterfall!"

"That won't work, he would never-!" Alexander gasps when claws begin to dig into his skin. "N-Nikolas…?" He looks up at the man and his blood runs cold. Nikolas is towering over him with an angry stare through empty eyes. "Shit, Nikolas, don't!"

"Shut up!" Nikolas growls, pulling Alexander closer before wrapping his arms around the man's waist tightly and lifting him so his feet can't drag across the ground. "Don't struggle, or I'll hurt you worse."

In a desperate move, Alexander wraps his arms tightly around Nikolas's neck, "Nikolas, snap out of it! Isn't Kris your alpha now? Don't take orders from her!"

"For a werewolf your alpha may change, but the one who turned you is always your true alpha." He explains, "Their word is absolute."

"W-wait!" Alexander pleads, "I know what I did was careless, and wrong, but such immediate retribution seems a bit much!" He calls to Cammy, "Let's fight this out once and for all tomorrow!"

The woman stares at him as Nikolas drags him, slowly, towards the waterfall's edge. It doesn't take a genius to see the control she has over him is weak at best. "Alright, if you survive this, I will wait until tomorrow to kill you."

"That is NOT the deal I was trying to make!" Alexander yells, but Cammy is already gone and he is still stuck with a very homicidal Nikolas. He has to admit, though, it's a little odd that it's taking so long to reach the edge. Not that he's complaining, but perhaps it's because Nikolas isn't fully under her control. "Nikolas please listen to me!"

How is he going to snap him out of it? If he could just get the man to lose his concentration for a moment, that would work…but how…?

"Would you shut up?" Nikolas growls out, his claws digging into Alexander's back. "You have wronged my alpha and must be punished."

"What? I can't hear you!" Alexander exclaims, finally having an idea. "How am I supposed to hear you from all the way up there?"

Nikolas looks down at Alexander and scowls before leaning down towards him. Immediately Alexander seizes the opportunity and tilts his head up to kiss Nikolas. The man loses his footing for a moment from the shock, but Alexander makes sure to tighten his grip on the man's neck and head so he can't pull away. Alexander doesn't waste time with a chaste kiss, and immediately forces his tongue down Nikolas's throat, making sure he can't get much air from his mouth.

Luckily, Alexander is right and Nikolas doesn't know to breathe through his nose. Nikolas continues to struggle in Alexander's grasp for a few more moments before finally kissing back roughly. His claws are still digging into Alexander's back, but now his mouth is basically attacking Alexander's for a moment before the kissing becomes gentle and then cuts out completely when Nikolas faints.

"AHAH!" Alexander cheers before wiping his mouth and getting out of Nikolas's grip. "Not exactly how I wanted our first kiss to go, but, at least I finally got one." He says, smiling at the unconscious man beneath him. "I'll make sure to teach you to breathe through your nose for next time." Looking at the man's body, and their location, Alexander realizes something. "Oh, wait, shit…how…do I get him out of here?" He mumbles, pulling out his phone to see if it gets any service.


A/N: Two more chapters to go! Sorry this chapter is so...cluttered? Yeah, cluttered. Sorry.