Zoe’s friend was extremely useful, I could tell years of being a Hunter himself had him still wary of Abel and myself. I could also tell; he was trying his best to conceal his discomfort. Hunters are raised in families who have generations of Hunters following in the footsteps of their forefathers. I didn’t expect him to drop everything he has been raised to believe. I could tell he had only just come around to the idea that not all of us were bad, that didn’t make him more comfortable though, so Abel and I let Zoe do most of the talking. This was her area of expertise even though she retired decades ago.
Abel and I were organising what was left of both Packs into scout teams, which was easy over the mind link for me, but David’s Pack discovered Abel didn’t need to be a Pack member. Being half Lycan allowed him to communicate with David’s Pack members, he was able to contact Michael for me. I wondered why Aria never talked about the fact she could mind link any wolf. I also learned that Michael lost his mate in the war, Elizabeth. My Pack took the biggest blow; we lost two hundred and nine Pack members; David’s side only lost seventy-one members. The Crescent Pack, another neighbouring Pack outside the city, was on their way over to give us a lending hand. I was grateful, but we didn’t have the best relationship with them. We were currently waiting for the Crescent Pack Alpha to arrive before we made our move.
Abel also was able to verify Kade was, in fact, the same man from his younger years. We were still trying to figure out how the heck he had managed to prolong his life. Johnathan the Hunter that was helping had taken plenty of surveillance footage of trucks coming in and out of the city heading towards the area where the tunnels cut off one of those photos were of Kade. We knew now they must have built a headquarters just outside the city. Our scouts at the moment were verifying that’s where the tunnels lead to.
Right now, we were waiting for people to start arriving. When we heard the familiar ding of the diner bells ringing, I knew instantly it was the Alpha from the Crescent Pack. I looked at the screen above the bunker door. I looked at Abel, and he nodded. I walked upstairs.
Walking upstairs, I came to find four enforcers and the Alpha Trent and his young son. Who looked to be thirteen? I thought he was insane for bringing his son until I remembered my brother and I were taught by our father the same way with hands-on experience.
“Alpha Trent, thanks for coming,” I said, holding my hand out. Alpha Trent was a giant of man, his arms flexing as he shook my hand. He had shoulder-length blonde hair that was tied at the back of his neck and dark, almost black eyes. Anyone else would be intimidated just by the look of him, but I felt no such things. They were the third biggest Pack, but after our loss, our numbers were pretty much the same as theirs now.
“Alpha Reid, nice to finally put a face to the name, this is my son Damien.” His son put his hand out, and I quickly shook it giving him a nod.
“If you want to follow me, I will show you downstairs, please be mindful there are two retired Hunters so I would appreciate if you didn’t kill my mate’s grandmother or her friend, they are helping us locate my mate and our missing Pack members” He nodded once, but I was a little concerned still. It was unheard of to have Hunters working alongside the very thing they hunted.
I was halfway down the stairs when I felt it, a wave of emotion hit me. I grabbed onto the handrail and doubled over. Zane would be here any second, and if I feel this bad, he would be ten times worse. Forcing myself back up the stairs, I shoved past everyone.
“Alpha Reid, what’s going on?” I looked back at them. Trent looked up at me alarmed.
“I need to get to my Beta,” I gasped out, forcing my legs to keep moving up the stairs. I had just walked out to the diner’s dining area when I saw Zane’s car run straight into a telegraph pole out the front. The howl that resonated through the air chilled me to the bone. I ran to open the door just in time for Zane’s wolf to break through the door of the car, ripping it clean off. His howls agonised as he threw himself at the ground.
I ran towards him, Zane had no control left, his wolf taking over as I felt Christine’s teether to us break, her life slipping from us. Zane’s agonised screams resonating through my head at the loss of his mate. And our Beta female. I hesitantly walked over to him; his wolf was whining, completely devastated.
“Zander,” I called to Zane’s wolf, he lifted his head at the command of his Alpha, he took a step towards me, teeth bared, I knew he wouldn’t attack me. I knew his wolf well; he made a noise that sounded strangled. “You need to give Zane control.”
His wolf whined and then howled, I could hear how broken he was, I could feel it. I looked back towards the diner. Alpha Trent and Abel were watching a knowing look on their faces. I didn’t have to explain anything. The sounds he was making told everyone what broke him. But right now, I needed him to focus, move through the pain he still had to find his daughter.
I put my hand on his head. “Zander, give Zane control, we still need to find your pup, your little girl buddy come on.” He whined before I watched him shift, Alpha Trent walked out with a towel Zoe had given him. I threw it over his naked body. Tears running down his face as sobs wracked his body. I had never seen him like this, my strong best friend, now broken. Alpha Trent helped me get him up and inside the diner.
We placed him on a chair, Abel came out with a change of clothes and handed them to him. He took them with one hand. His eyes looking at us were empty and hollow. It was like looking into the eyes of my father, nothing left, just an empty vessel.
After a few more minutes of silence, he pulled himself together and stood up pulling the pants up before doubling over again. I turned around horrified praying to the goddess it wasn’t Amber, but then I felt it too. My breathing becoming harder, my skin burning, my eyes watering. Something was terribly wrong. I could hear Trent yelling at his men to do something, anything. He wasn’t prepared to deal with this, none of us were when we realised we were all linked to Aria the way we were. I didn’t even have a chance to warn him before both Zane, and I passed out. The pain becoming too much. If this keeps up, we were never going to have a chance to find them. My last thought was trying to mind link Aria.
“Keep fighting, stay alive, so we can find you.”
I tried to fight it, tried to hold my breath, but the wolfsbane burning my flesh had me screaming only to inhale its toxic gas. Just as I passed out. Reid’s voice popped into my head, he sounded weak and in pain.
“Keep fighting, stay alive so we can find you.” His words giving me comfort as I succumbed to the darkness.
When I came too, I was strapped to a gurney. I turned my head to the side to see Lily in the cage. She was awake and observing everyone walking around the room. I rolled my head to the other side to see Wendy strapped down along with David. Amber was missing. I tried to ask Lily where she was, but my voice was completely gone. I must have breathed in more than I thought. Lily was covered in burns, the skin on her face all blistered. Her hands blistered, but I was surprised to see she was awake.
The only conclusion I could come to was that her wolf kept her alive, I just hoped Amber was still alive. Wolfsbane was extremely potent, and I am surprised by the amount that has been used on us repeatedly that we were all still alive. I was immune to death, but the rest of them, they weren’t. I heard Wendy awaken beside me. She looked over at me panicking when she realised we were strapped to tables like some science experiment. Whatever was coming next, I knew it wasn’t going to be good.
I tried to look around. We were in the same room only the table was gone and, in its place, the three gurneys we were placed on.
“Where’s Amber?” asked Wendy. I shook my head, not knowing when Lily spoke.
“They took her,” I looked at Lily, her blue and gold eyes gleaming back at me, but she didn’t look scared or sad. She looked angry. I wasn’t sure if I was looking at Lily or her wolf, it was hard to tell the difference with her eyes remaining like that. Her voice did sound different though older then the six-year-old girl she is.
The door opened and in walked Kade. A woman walking in with him. Her red hair tied tightly in a bun on top of her head, glasses perched on the end of her nose, she was around my age. She carried a small case in her hands and a clipboard.
“Start with the Hybrid,” he said, looking towards me and pointing. She nodded her head and walked over, standing beside me. I wondered how she could justify doing whatever it was she was about to do, to women and children; did she feel nothing towards us. I couldn’t imagine watching a child and other woman being tortured, I wondered how she sleeps at night. Peacefully or restless? Do her sins weigh heavily on her? She opened the box pulling out two syringes one filled with a green liquid. The other was empty. She jabbed the empty syringe in my arm before drawing blood. Her eyes met mine, and hers quickly darted away guiltily, yes, I knew she didn’t have a clear conscience and that her sleep haunted her. I could smell her fear and something else. Guilt.
When she pulled the syringe out, she handed it to Kane before Picking up the syringe with the green liquid in it.
“What is that?” I asked my voice croaky, praying to god whatever they were about to give me wouldn’t hurt my baby. I don’t know why I turned so maternal all of a sudden, but as soon as she neared my arm panic for my baby kicked in, fear consumed me but not for me but for the baby growing inside me. I squirmed trying to get free.
“Oh, it’s a mutation of your father’s blood, I have been saving it waiting to catch another Hybrid, I want to see if I can make you shift” Shift? Hybrids couldn’t shift, was he insane? I had no doubts he had a few screws loose. Just as she stabbed it in my arm, Wendy blurted out the one thing I was hoping to hide from them.
“Stop, she is pregnant, use me,” The woman looked up concerned, her finger hovering above the plunger that could kill my baby. I was too scared to move in case I accidentally injected myself. Kade walked over, lifting up my shirt, revealing my bump. He pulled a stethoscope from his pocket and pressed it against the centre of my stomach and listened. I knew what he could hear, the slow thumping of its heartbeat. He looked up, surprised. He nodded at her. “Remove it.” The woman looked relieved. She pulled it from my arm, and I relaxed. My fear dissipating but only momentarily. “Grab a bigger syringe, I want you to inject it into the foetus.” She looked appalled.
“You heard what I said, now get a bigger needle.”
“I can’t, I won’t do that.” I watched as he grew angry, he reached over and grabbed her leaning completely over me.
“Either you do it, or I will inject you with it.” She shook her head before he let her go. I started struggling against my leather cuffs. Wait leather? This will be a piece of cake. I watched as her hands shakily drew out a bigger needle, she put it in a vial drawing out the green liquid. Her hand shakily moving towards my stomach. Fucking leather, are they for real, we managed to get out of steel braces did they really believe wolfsbane would weaken me that much? Just as her hand went to jab me, Wendy started yelling at her to stop pulling against her restraints before coming to the same conclusion I did. I felt the needle press but not break the skin on my stomach before I moved, the cuff ripping from the chain that held it to the table. I grabbed her hand, her scream echoing off the glass windows.
I sat upright, just as we heard an explosion, the entire building shaking.