Hybrid Aria by Jessica Hall Chapter 44

Reid’s POV

We had just finished the meeting; every back member was called. We had to meet at the Pack stadium just to cram everyone in. We tripled the border patrols, made sure that we had a plan. A plan that I believed was solid and would work, that they wouldn’t catch us off guard. The patrols were running smoothly for the first nine hours. My men were exhausted but alert. Geared up on needing to protect their families and our way of life. The Hunters haven’t been seen or heard from in nearly two decades.

We soon learned they had been biding their time, accumulating more members, they outnumbered us. There were over five hundred Pack members in my Pack. This should have been an easy victory, especially with the help of the Black Moon Pack by our side. We sent word to the neighbouring Packs outside the city, everyone that we had alliances with. But even they couldn’t get here in time. I had just received word that Alpha David had sent all the women and children to the bunker, we sent ours to be safe, or so we thought. I still don’t know how many made it. One thing I learnt was that our bunkers were old and outdated, not for the size our Pack has grown. I hope they made it, but I know it’s foolish to think they all did.

If we find a way out of this, if any part of the Pack survives, we will have hundreds of people to account for, hundreds to bury. Zane took Aria to the Black Moon Pack, to the safety of their bunker. Despite his past grievances and lack of training for his Pack, Alpha David was prepared for war. I was surprised when Alpha David told me to start sending my Pack members over there for protection. But it was a smart move less ground to cover if everyone was in one place.

What we weren’t prepared for was the fact that the Hunters didn’t need to cross the borders, they were already lying in wait for us, their numbers tripling both our Packs. They were well trained and had an advantage, they had something that weakened us. After I received the call that the Black Moon was under attack. I knew instantly that we failed.

We failed because to get to the Black Moon border, they had to get through ours. That’s where we went wrong, we were so busy protecting the biggest border of the city, not realising they were already well and truly past our city border. Smack in the middle by the hundreds. They snuck up behind us, and when the first explosions went off, everything turned chaotic. They attacked both Packs at once leaving a clear divide between both. The woman and children fleeing caught in the crossfire between borders.

Every street, every building lit up like Christmas trees, as they were blown to smithereens effectively trapping us. Both Packs tried to get to the bunkers to protect them. But with the amount of firepower the Hunters had and the amount of Hunters we didn’t stand a chance, they wiped out over half our people.

I had to block the mind link; nobody was able to fight properly, becoming distracted by the fear and screaming of their loved ones being ripped into the afterlife. I knew instantly when the bunker had been breached. I could feel Aria had woken, then I could feel her pain. Her pain as the explosions went off, I could feel the wolfsbane burning her skin, but she held on, and I knew exactly why. Aria wasn’t one to go down without a fight, especially when her loved ones were at stake, when our Packs were fighting for their lives, I knew she would fight for them. I was well aware of everything she was thinking, everything she was feeling, but I couldn’t focus on her alone when I could feel the teethers of my Pack, being cut and ripped away from me. I lost count after the first seventy.

The pain of their deaths only fuelled me to keep fighting. I knew if I stopped, I would break, it’s unnatural to feel one death, let alone hundreds of links torn. Hundreds of people now memories. Then the feeling of everyone’s heartache at having lost their mates, their parents, their children. It was too much to bear; I bore all that suffocatingly. I don’t know how my father survived living through it for years after the attack that killed my brother and mother. I felt like my soul was being split away piece by fucking piece, the sharp edges cutting deeply, bleeding my soul right out me and creating a void, that was now being filled with guilt. Guilt that I couldn’t save them. Guilt that I failed my job as Alpha.

When Aria finally succumbed, I felt that too, not only did I feel it, but the entire Pack was also linked to that teether we shared. We started dropping like flies. The Hunters did their research because they backed off as soon as she went down, going back to the shadows they came from. I tried to fight it, but her pull, the Lycan pull, was greater. Had I known being mated to her would cause not only me to fall but my entire Pack, I may have second-guessed marking her, although I knew that was a foolish thought to have, the mate pull is stronger than us, it would have been inevitable. The Hunters must have known, I don’t know how they knew but without a Queen to command or fight for, the soldier’s fall.

We all dropped, plunged into darkness as whatever they did to her knocked her down, effectively putting her out. I knew she wasn’t dead, but I also knew that if they did kill her there would be no waking up, her link to this Pack was far too strong, stronger than we could have imagined as we were pulled into oblivion. I opened the link just in time to hear her.

“Reid, please Reid, you have to save them.”

Then nothing but darkness. This was their plan all along. Take out the Luna and we all go down, so they can escape taking the only light in my life with them.

Aria’s POV

This maniac of a man has been rambling nonsense for what felt like hours. I have never held so much anger towards one person before. I didn’t just want to kill him; I wanted his death to be slow and painful, I wanted revenge. I wanted revenge so bad I could taste the bitter taste of it in my mouth. Christine and Wendy still hadn’t awoken. Periodically men in white lab coats would come in and inject them with something. I demanded so many times to know what it was he was giving them, but he said we would find out soon enough.

We learned a few things about him like his name, which is Kade. I was going to kill Kade, no matter what, I knew when I went down, I was taking him with me. I watched as he finally walked out. Lily visibly relaxing as soon as the door clicked shut.

I looked to David, who was still clinging to consciousness after being electrocuted at random by the sick bastard.

“David?” He looked in my direction but couldn’t even lift his head to look at me. At least I knew he was listening.

“Do you think you could shift out of your restraints?” His breathing was ragged, sweat dripping off his head and onto the floor. I could smell the burnt smell of his body hair, wherever the cow prodder touched, leaving behind round inflamed red blotches on his skin and bleeding holes. His blood was enticing my senses, trying to consume me.

“I am too weak, and I can’t feel my wolf anymore, I haven’t since we got here. I think they did something when I was knocked out.” Even his speech was slurred and raspy. Lily looked at me, frightened. This was the man I feared for years and was now a crumbling mess, what chance did we have of escape when they took him down so easily.

“Lily, I need you to try and wake up Amber, nudge her try to rouse her awake.” I watched as Lily used her elbow trying to nudge Amber awake, all it managed to do was make her move closer to the edge and closer to falling. I shook my head at Lily to stop, and she did. I could hear Amber’s heartbeat, but it was so faint, I knew she was only just clinging on to life. Looking at my hands, I tried to wriggle them free, but it was no use. I actually wished; I could shift it would come in handy right about now to escape these restraints. Wendy shifting her head and groaning pulled my attention to her.

“Wendy, you’re awake, are you okay?” She lifted her head, and I could see the full extent of her injuries, her eyes were swollen shut, her lips bruised and bloody, her hair sticking to her face from the dried blood from the gash on her head. “Mitch, Mitch, where are you?” She muttered.

“Wendy, it’s Aria, I need you to look at me, I’m on your right side.” She moved her head, it rolled more to the side then moved. She was weak.

“Aria, where is Mitch? Why isn’t he here?” She was disorientated that much I knew.

“We are in some lab,” I told her. I didn’t want to tell her, I felt Mitch’s teether snap, I knew when she came too, she would realise and feel he was gone. I felt him leave this life just as the first explosion went off outside the bunker doors. Felt his life be snuffed out.

“Wendy, what do you remember?” She slurred her words and muttered something that didn’t make sense before going unconscious again. I put my head back against the wall. We were screwed. I was losing feeling in my limbs from the restraints. Looking at my hands again, I stretched my fingers and realised they were only a few centimetres off David’s. Then an idea popped into my head, one that might actually work.

David was drooling on the floor, but I needed him awake. Just when I went to call out to him, the door opened again. This time another man walked in, he had a shaved head and bulging eyes, he wasn’t dressed like the others, in their lab coats instead, he wore a white singlet with jeans, and I could see his tribal tattoos that ran up both his arms from his wrist to his shoulder. He looked towards the table.

“Stay away from them, don’t fucking touch them!” I yelled pulling on my restraints. David hearing me yell, looked up and started struggling as well to get free. He walked towards the table Lily and Amber were at. He lifted Amber’s head by her hair and sneered as he let go, her head hitting the table with a thud. Lily started screaming as he grabbed her, before undoing the cuffs holding her to the table. He then pulled her to her feet, and she stumbled, trying to free herself.

“Let her go, she is just a child.” The man grabbed her arm and started taking her towards the door.

David and I both screaming at him.

“Let her go, where are you taking her?” I screamed tears building in my eyes, panic setting in. The man opened the door. Pushing her through the door she fell forward, she got up and tried to run, but another man grabbed her, we watched on in horror as he held her. Another man brought in a mesh cage, he opened it and shoved her inside. Her fingers clutching the mesh as she called for us. She couldn’t even stand the cage was fit for a dog, not a person. Kade walked over with a syringe in his hand, walking directly towards her, Lily backed into the corner of the cage trying to get away from him screaming and crying. My heart tearing into pieces at seeing her so frightened and defenceless.

David screamed for them to stop, but they ignored our pleas. Kade put the syringe on the end of a pole before shoving the pole through the mesh. He tried to stab her with it, but she managed to move just in time. This went on for a few seconds before he jabbed it into her thigh.