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My Unexpected Mate

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In a world ravaged by fear and violence, humanity wages a merciless war against supernatural beings. Gabriel, a brooding warlock haunted by the loss of his family, embraces a life devoid of love while honing his magical skills and evading the inquisitors. His only companion is his loyal friend, Nick. Aria, a beautiful witch unaware of her powers, is forced to flee her destroyed village and seeks help in the city. Her path intertwines with Gabriel's, but who are they to each other? As their kind faces imminent destruction, they must find each other in time to save themselves and preserve their future. Will they overcome their pasts and unite against the encroaching darkness? Their journey will test their strength and reveal the power of love amidst chaos.

CHAPTER ONE - Inquisition

Gabriel’s POV

The smell of burnt flesh was the only thing in the air these days. It was making me sick. The only thing that helped was this cheap wine I was drinking. I was halfway through my second bottle when Louis walked in carrying a box full of liquor.

“They burned another one today. Man, you would think we would have left witch-hunting in the Middle Ages,” he said, putting the box down. He looked at me frowning. “How many of those are you going to drink today?” he asked pointing at my now almost empty bottle.

I looked at him and pulled my wallet out. “Until I give you all my money.”

“You know I shouldn’t even be serving you. There is a rumor about you.”

I was lucky he didn’t believe in witches and warlocks. Or any supernatural being for that matter. Because the rumors were true. I am a warlock.

“What rumor?” I asked, knowing damn well what he was going to say.

He coughed and pulled a towel to wipe some glasses that were drying on the bar.

“You know… They say you are a…” he was nervous and didn’t even look at me.

“I’m a what, Louis?”

“Warlock,” he said, lowering his voice.

If I wasn’t one, I wouldn’t even have heard him.

“Well, if that was true, I would be on one of those poles in the middle of the main square by now,” I said, drinking the last of my wine. “Give me another bottle, would you?”

He frowned and went to the back room.

I looked around. There weren’t many people in the bar. They were all afraid to be out at this time of the night. When the new inquisition started a lot of people ran from the cities and were in hiding. Inquisitors condemned people without proper investigation. Just like the first time. A lot of humans died. A lot of werewolves and vampires died as well. Some were my friends, some were my enemies. But I would never wish such death on anyone. Despite my reputation, I wasn’t that cruel. They didn’t only burn them. They were torturing them, killing their loved ones in front of them, and starving them. When you were captured by them it didn’t mean instant death. It meant suffering for months. I think that was even more terrifying than just simply dying. By the end, most of them were probably happy to be on that pole. It meant the end of suffering.

“You drank my stash,” Louis said, coming back from the back room. “I had to dig pretty deep to find this one,” he said and put the bottle in front of me.

“Well, I'll pay you to have them, Lou.”

I got my wallet and handed him the money.

“Maybe you should drink this at home, Gabriel,” Louis said, looking at the clock. “It’s getting pretty late, and if I don’t close soon those witch hunters will be all up in my ass.”

“Sounds even better. It smells like crap here, you know,” I laughed.

I liked Louis. He was an old man. A human. He had gray hair that went down past his shoulders, dark eyes, and a wrinkled face. He didn’t have a wife or a child. He had this bar. And even though it was a dump where only drunks and shady people came in, he loved it. He once said to me that his bar couldn’t leave him as Carol had. He refused to talk about her, and I didn’t insist. Even though a lot of his clients were supernatural beings, he wasn’t aware. Or maybe he was. I was not interested in finding out. He and my neighbor Nick were the only ones I would remotely describe as my friends. Louis’s crappy, dark bar was more of a home to me than my own house. Ever since they killed the woman who raised me. Now it’s just an empty space that reminds me of her, my guilt, and the possibility of me being tied up to that pole.

I started getting up, but I felt dizzy. This red mush he called wine was getting to me. I liked it. It was far better than being pissed off all the time.

“Damn Lou, I like your wine.”

I was at the door when Louis called out to me.

“Gabe.”

“Yeah, Lou?”

“Get a haircut. You look more like a werewolf than the thing they say you are.”

I laughed. Fortunately, the bar was now empty. If not, I would have to kill him and everybody who heard that. I wasn’t planning on killing my friend today.

I got out and started walking to my so-called home.

Aria’s POV

My Dear,

If you are reading this, it means they have caught me. I am so sorry. I never wanted you to be alone. I spent 20 years of my life taking care of you. You are my sunshine. If I could, I would be with you forever. But these are dark times my Aria. Soul-wrenching dark. I am somewhat glad I don’t have to live anymore. To see all the suffering of our kind. But I would like to be with you through everything that is going to happen. Even though I know how strong you are, I wish I was by your side. To comfort you. To hold you like I did all those times through your childhood. You are the key to stopping this, Aria. I need you to find someone. Her name is Claudia Richardson. She lives somewhere in Moon City. She has a prophecy. You need to find her and let her know you are alive. I wish I could tell you more. I wish I could help you. I can only leave you knowing how strong and smart you are. Knowing you will make the pain go away.

I will always be watching you and taking care of you from afar.

Love, Grandma.

I couldn’t cry anymore. I’ve read her letter over and over. Each time I understood less. Who was Claudia? What prophecy? How could I stop the war between our kind and humans? I was nobody. A little witch who lived in a small village with her grandma. I wasn’t important or powerful. I didn’t have any special skills. I was not gifted with any unique magical powers like some witches and warlocks. It just didn’t make any sense. I decided to get off the dirty floor and try not to think about this anymore. It was the only thing I could do until I got to Moon City.

My heart hurt. I just lost the only person who loved me, raised me, and took care of me. She was the only family I had. My parents died in a car accident when I was just a baby. My Grandpa Jack was also in the car. I had no memory of them. She didn’t talk about them much. It was too painful. I lost a mother and a father, and she lost a daughter and a husband. My grandparents from my dad’s side died when he was a child. My parents didn’t have siblings. I am alone in this world. My Grandma Grace was everything to me. My parents, my teacher, my family.

I looked around the room. It used to be mine. Now there was nothing left. I sighed and walked to the living room. I took my bag and started packing a few things that survived the fire. My grandma was prepared. When the inquisition started, about a year ago, she sat me down and told me her plan. She removed some floorboards in our small living room and made a little safe where she put some important stuff in case anything happened. There was a picture of my parents, money, my documents, a picture of us when I was a baby and some spare clothes. There was also a locket that I couldn’t open but she said that when the time comes somebody will open it for me. I was confused but she said not to ask any questions. She must have added the letter after because I never saw it before this day. I placed the locket around my neck and packed the rest of the stuff from our little safe in my bag. I hoped I would have enough money to at least find Claudia.

My grandma and I earned our money by healing our fellow villagers. Maybe I could do that in the city. Earn some money. Try to rebuild my life. I wasn’t as good a healer as my grandma, but I was a quick learner. I could do this. I must. My grandma was an excellent healer and I learned everything I know from her. We even had our little garden where we grew our herbs. But that was gone too. I felt tears starting to accumulate in my eyes. I quickly wiped them and focused on packing the rest of my stuff. I couldn’t let myself cry anymore. I had to get out of here before they came back.

I tried to clean my dirty clothes. I was covered in ashes from the fire. My brown hair that fell down to my waist was now gray. My green eyes were now probably red from crying. I gave up, there was too much ash on me. I would have to clean myself in a nearby stream that provided our village with fresh, clean water. I walked out of my home holding a sob in my throat.

I was near the forest line when I turned around and looked at my village. There was nothing left. They burned it to the ground. I wasn’t sure if anyone survived. My heart clenched painfully in my chest.

This morning I had left to go to the market like any other day. My grandma and I used to go together but today she decided to stay at home and make her famous “limb growth potion”. Her potion saved a couple of village kids a few years back when they were playing around with spells and lost some fingers and toes. It was a lot of work and she told me to go by myself. I was gone for about an hour and when I came back inquisitors had already destroyed everything and left. I checked every house and every building hoping some of my fellow villagers survived. There was nobody. I was alone.

I glanced at my home one last time and turned towards the forest before I started crying again. I couldn’t let myself cry now.

Moon City was an hour away by car. It was going to take me a lot longer on foot. I could use a spell to transport myself there, but I was too scared to try. I couldn’t risk appearing somewhere I could be seen. Walking it is. It was 11 am and I was hoping I would arrive before dark.

The first thing on my to-do list was to find my childhood friend Annie. She was a werewolf. I really hoped they hadn’t caught her. She used to live here with her parents, but they moved to the city a few years back. We stayed in touch after they left, but I hadn’t heard from her in a while. I think she had changed her phone number. She told me a little about the place where she lived. She was an artist and a gifted one at that. When she described something, you felt like you could see it clearly in front of you. I could probably find her just by her description of her new home. At least I hoped I could. I must be very careful though. I can’t get caught.

CHAPTER TWO - Moon City

Gabriel’s POV

I woke up feeling like shit. Fucking red mush.

I got up and went to the bathroom. After I did my morning business, I turned the shower on and hopped in. The cold water woke me up from my drunken state. I need to quit drinking. Or at least drink something other than that thing Louis called wine. I always felt like crap afterward.

I looked in the mirror and smirked. Louis was right. I did look like a werewolf. My dark brown hair was a tangled mess on top of my head. I would cut it today.

My biggest assets are my green eyes. I was tall. 6’3 of pure muscles. I was pretty well-built for a 20-year-old guy. Women loved me. And I loved them. They were good for sex. I loved seducing them. But I didn’t see myself ever caring for any woman. I was fine on my own. I did not need nor wanted to love anybody. I got all the sex I needed without loving them or caring for them.

The only person I ever loved was my grandma. She was the only family I had. She r

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