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THE BEAST IN ME

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I shivered in the darkness, the air stale, damp and cold making goosebumps appear on my bare skin. The low rumbles and huffs which were coming from behind made me a little scared, and I knew the beast was still there, watching me with interest. I knew screaming and calling for help was futile since my voice was already hoarse from trying to scream the past few hours, but the only thing to be heard was my echo, and the snarl that followed next. I heard it shift and felt its soft fur brush against my body and skin. I swallowed hard and held in my voice. The more it leaned in, the more my heart beat wildly, and I tried to move away from it. It's warm breath brushed against my cold skin making me shiver in response. I couldn't see but I had an idea what it wanted. I kept resisting but it was much stronger than I was. It showed its dominance as a way to make me submit. I knew I wasn't strong enough to fight or escape it, but that didn't mean I was going to willingly do what the beast wanted, at least at that minute. But everything changed when I felt it's big, long, rough, tongue brush against my nape, that's when I knew. The beast wanted to breed with me.

Prologue

Long before the werewolves formed packs and the dragons split their land into territories. My kind were living peacefully out in the open. 

  We the Tasmanian devils had a very powerful reputation in every land there was. We were fearsome shifters who stood at 8 ft - 20 ft tall.

  Our stocky and muscular built surprisingly gave us speed and endurance greater than the other shifters, we could climb trees no matter how high they were and swim across rivers like it was nothing.

  Our black fur made us fit in perfectly with the nightfall, and gave us the complete camouflage of the night when we were up for a quick hunt.

   Many shifters knew how we rarely shifted into our human form and how we were carnivorous. And so they decided to keep away in fear. 

  We also had a very keen sense of smell that allowed us to separate substances such as Poison from Potions, and detect whether an imposter, rogue, assassin, or enemy was approaching. No matter how light their footsteps were and how careful they moved, we easily detected them and planned how to take them down ahead of time. 

  My kind was mostly happy to have this keen sense of smell because it was the only way that helped us to scent and find our mates when we came of age.

  Most Tasmanian devils came of age when they reached the age of 20. 

  We lived for a very long time because our life span was thrice as the humans. 

  When the ritual of coming of age was set by the elders, the males were required to fight one another for the female's hand. Despite being mated, any male interested in a specific female had a right to fight the female's mate for her hand.

  Those that were already mated stood from afar watching and guarding their partners to prevent female infidelity.

   Females were respected way more than the males because they were a few of them. My kind was rarely mated to another kind of shifter, so it was hard to coexist with the other shifters and bond in one environment. 

  Our culture and traditions were somehow similar to the werewolves but also further apart

  To attract mates, both males and females scent-marked the ground, rocks, trees near their caves and houses. The stronger the scent was, the greater the chances of mating more than one female or male became.

  As much as the females seemed weak, they got Stronger whenever the mating season began. The females were known to reject small males vocally and physically. 

  They wanted the best of the best, that's why the males fought each other and the top five winners were given an opportunity to approach any female and dominate her completely.

  Once a female accepts the male, the male would bite the scruff of her neck and drag her back to his den, where he would further assert his dominance by pushing and nudging her. 

  The pair would then mate for a few minutes to over an hour.

  Mating usually turned incredibly aggressive, with male and female devils due to the strong pheromones they both released. The male would bite and mark his female forcefully while the female would do the same during and after the act.

   In the mating season, after male devils have mated with their females, they spend an extended period either confining the female in a den or closely following her to make sure other males were unable to mate with her.

  It was once in a lifetime that a female Tasmanian devil decided to forever mate one male and warn off the other males seriously. Most of them took pride in being worshiped and f*ck*d by the strongest warriors and leaders.

  Our females were polyandrous and had multiple mating partners, and their male partners were mostly younger than they were.

  As years went on. The number of assassins who had an interest in our kind increased, the more they developed their weaponry, the more danger we encountered. We were hunted down for no specific reason and killed on spot. 

  We had to lay low and learn how to keep ourselves hidden from the public eyes. 

  We easily adapted to the new changes, but sadly our customs were disadvantaging us all. The males wouldn't stop fighting for the females who by now were way fewer than then. Most of the males began killing each other as means to fight for what was rightfully theirs. 

  I knew it was a matter of time before I was to come of age. My instinct would soon kick in and force me to fight anyone who stood in my way just so I could mate a female. 

  I had to leave before I could end up regretting my whole life. And so I took off with a few clothes and gold bars in a bag. I walked away from my own family and friends without a single word.

  My decision was already made and I was going to live by it.

  The journey was dangerous and exhausting for I had traveled in search of land that wasn't occupied by any shifters or human beings yet.

   I met some rogues and a few assassins who I easily managed to take down. I got their supplies for myself and continued onwards.

  It took me a year to find a land that was not owned by anyone. And another five years to build up a mansion that was a few miles away from a cave that I had marked as my home.

  Surviving became easy because way down ahead was a river that separated my territory from the human land. And behind my beautiful mansion was a forest where I haunted freely and fed. The only time I shifted to my human form was when I wanted to buy things for my house.

  Yes, the beast in me was satisfied to live in a cave and feed from the animals around us. But the human in me wanted to live like a normal human being with a good life.

  "Everything was going smoothly."

   That's what I had convinced myself, when deep down I knew it was a total lie, because every year when the mating season began. The beast in me became aggressive and in need of his mate. He wanted to find her and breed her the whole year until he was sure that she was carrying our seed. I had to chain us in the cave a few times but it was useless.

  He broke free and went out to hunt. The next morning I usually found myself lying next to a naked, female dead body. And it went on for as long as it could every year. 

  The humans started to warn their kids to never cross the river because that's where the beast that killed and fed on their blood lived.

  It was sad. But I knew well because the beast was in me.

Chapter 1

Hera P.o.v

  "Quit sighing," Ava said seriously. " Yeah right," I muttered under my breath then sighed again.

  She glanced in the rearview mirror with a glare then focused on the road. 

  "You should make sure you don't bring that rotten attitude to our new house." She said between gritted teeth.

  I glanced at her for a second then chuckled softly. Was she trying to be a comedian?. Because her shit wasn't any funny.

  "And whose fault is it that we are traveling far away?" I asked in a whisper.

  "What?" She asked loudly while glancing at the rearview mirror again.

  "Nothing, did you hear something?" I asked trying so hard to play dumb.

  "I don't care what you think of me Hera. All I know is that I'm still your fucking mother who gave birth to you. So always show some respect and keep your asshole side in check." She warned.

  I swallowe

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