The Prince's Hybrid Slave

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Chapter 17

“Destroyed?” Silas exclaimed. “How did you find out?”

“There are more wolves here,” Zander answered. “They passed by the wreck on their way. They said it didn’t seem like there were any survivors, and the scent of rogue wolves was present.”

“More wolves?”

We all looked at one another in confusion. “Oh, that must be my cousin,” Maddox remarked.

“But there’s something else,” Zander added. We remained silent, allowing him to continue. “Amia, Maynard, Baroness Van Hemming and Delilah have all shown up too.”

The lot of us ran out front to see a massive group of wolves standing in the driveway. Their leader stepped forward. He was an olive complexion with spiky dark hair, deep brown eyes, and prominent muscles under his shirt, but the most distinguished mark was the scar on his face next to his right eye. As I gazed around at the wolves in his presence they seemed ready for war. Based on their appearance, they were war hardened. Clearly warriors.

The vampires were separated from the large horde of wolves. The two councilmembers had healing burning on their flesh, their clothes, clearly tattered. Delilah and her mother wore expressions which told me what happened in their home since they were driven out when they chose to defy the Baron. It was hard for me to show them any pity.

“My name is Gunner Steele. I’m looking for Maddox Kane.”

Maddox and Jax stepped forward toward him. ’Gunner, it’s good to you see you.”

They shook hands firmly. “Cousin, we need your help.” Stepping back, Silas moved forward. “This is Prince Silas Zephyr.”

“We know who he is.” He gave a short, curt response. “He’s made his name known, even where we are.”

“It’s time to put petting sentiments aside. We have a war to win,” I interjected.

Whipping his head toward me, he growled slightly. “And who are you?”

Maxim and Silas growled behind me. “My name is Marnie Collins, and I’m Maxim Collins niece.”

“You smell different,” he remarked, nose in the air.

Before I answered, Maddox silenced me. “We can explain that, but we need to know that you’re on our side.”

“And, why should we?” Gunner snapped.

‘I should tell them.’ I used my telepathy to contact Maxim.

“Tell us what?”

We all turned our heads toward the newcomer. Looking to Silas and Maxim, they were both shaking their heads at me. They didn’t want me to reveal my secret, but I knew if they did then perhaps they would be more inclined to help us.

Tell everyone to step back, I told Maxim.

He used his telepathy to tell all the wolves to step back, and the vampires followed suit. Silas was deeply uncomfortable with this, but he knew this was the right thing to do. Nodding at me, I removed my shirt, dropping my fangs. Gunner’s wolves gasped. Picturing my wolf, I hoped this shift wouldn’t be as painful as the previous. As though on instinct, I realized I was on all fours, no pain whatsoever. Some of the wolves wanted to strike, but Gunner halted them.

“How is this possible?” Gunner asked, astonished. “Is she—”

“Yes, she is a hybrid,” Maddox responded.

“But, she’s also a white wolf. That only happened through genetics.”

Maxim stepped forward, and everyone seemed to realize who he was. “My brother, Ryker Collins, was a white wolf.”

“Ryker Collins?” Gunner had a realization. “That asshole is the one who caused the war years ago. Why the hell should we help you? Because of his actions, there was nothing but death and destruction for far too long.”

Silas was becoming increasingly angry at the wolves. Shifting back, keeping the peace was essential. “Micheal Blackmore is the enemy now. What happened in the past doesn’t matter. Right now, we need to stand together, and fight back. The vampire council has been destroyed, and we are in dire straits.”

Pausing, he considered my words carefully. “Cousin, I know you have tried for years to stay out of war, but we need all the help we can get,” Maddox reasoned.

Sighing, he finally resigned himself to the fact that we desperately needed help. “All right, you have the Golden Sky Pack as an ally. Having a hybrid on our side will do us wonders.”

We collectively breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank you, Gunner,” I said, gently.

Maddox embraced him in a hug. “You’re a good man.”

Focusing our attention to the vampires, the two councilmembers explained what happened to them. Micheal had sent his wolves to destroy the council, and set fire as to assure no one would survive. Caught unaware, everyone, except for them managed to flee. Taking refuge in the forest, they didn’t show themselves until the Golden Sky Pack came through.

Despite what happened previously with Delilah, we welcome her and her mother into our home. We didn’t even question what happened, or how they ended up coming across the wolves. Veronica quietly showed them where they could get cleaned up. Before walking inside, both women pledged they would help us fight, only in exchange for ousting the Baron, which Silas readily agreed to.

Everyone embraced one another in solidarity. The vampires appreciated the gesture, but they were more hesitant. Seeing Silas shake Gunner’s hand made me proud. Relief washed over me knowing the vampires and the werewolves working together so that we could end a senseless, needless war.

Leaving some of his wolves outside to patrol the perimeter, Braxton did the same. We all ventured inside, and then suddenly, Gunner’s senses went crazy. He sniffed the air, and his eyes flashed golden.

“What’s wrong?” I inquired.

“Gracie,” he murmured.

My eyes widened when he said that. “How do you know her name?”

Not answering, he sprinted up the stairs with Silas and I hot on his heels. Bursting into her room, his eyes set on the young girl lying on the bed, unconscious. “What happened to her?” he snarled. Stepping in front of the injured girl, I protected her against the furious wolf. “Move,” he demanded.

In defense, my claws extended, and my fangs emerged. “Not until you tell me why you’re behaving like this.”

“She’s my daughter!” he yelled.

I gasped, unable to comprehend his words. Thinking, it all made sense. Grace was a wolf, and she didn’t remember anything about her parents. Gunner looked no more than thirty-five, making Grace young enough to be his child. His whole body was shaking in anger. “What happened to her?”

“Wolves attacked the kitchen staff, killing everyone, but Grace. She’s been unconscious since,” I said.

“You may want to stand back,” Maddox warned.

Moving away from him, we switched places. Everyone began to file out to give the man privacy. Those behind me entered the hallway. Just before I hit the door, I closed it.

“You should leave,” Gunner growled.

Standing my ground, I was desperate to explain myself. “I’m just as angry as you are,” I replied.

He whipped around quickly, eyes golden with rage. “You don’t know what love means. Not a father’s love.”

Head down, I knelt in submission. In doing so, I wanted him to realize that I truly did love her as much as he did. “I took care of her the best I could.” His hot breath fanned my face in a roar.

“Then why is she lying in that bed?”

“Because we didn’t realize Blackmore was coming.” That was the only answer I could come up with, but even I knew it wasn’t satisfactory. “I’d give my life, if I thought it would help her.”

He loosened his body as he stood over me. After he shifted, he used his nose to lift my chin, looking straight into my eyes. Gunner scanned my eyes for the truth. You really do love her, don’t you?

Yes, I do.

Good. Let’s kill this motherfucker.

A smirk spread across my face. Gunner was not only a powerful ally of mine, but he was profoundly enraged.

He jumped on the bed, curling up next to his child. Withdrawing, I left him to spend alone time with her.

Stepping out into the hallway, I let out a relieved sigh.

“Hey!” Jax exclaimed.

“I’m fine. Everything is fine,” I reassured. “What’s going on?”

“More came while you were in with Gunner.”

“Who else came?”

“The pack that your father started. There are more than three thousand wolves that want to help us.”

“Three thousand wolves?” I asked, completely astonished.

Silas must have heard my voice, since I saw him hurry down the hallway with Maxim, Maddox and two unknown wolves. There was a muscular light skinned blonde with deep forest green eyes and a noticeable tattoo up his neck. He was very striking. The second man was slightly darker toned, short dark hair, green-gray eyes and muscles.

“Marnie, are you all right?” he asked, tucking hair behind my ear.

Nodding, I smiled at him. “I’m fine. Gunner just needed to get it out of his system. We just need to leave him be with Gracie.”

“I’d like to introduce you to our other allies, Titus Thorn, and this is Reese…Collins.”

Titus extended his hand. “Good to meet you. I’ve already heard so much about you. I’m the Beta of the Midnight Shadow Pack.”

Then I replayed the words Silas uttered moments earlier. I couldn’t believe my ears. “Reese…Collins. As in Ryker Collins?”

This wasn’t possible. There was never any mention of a brother. I couldn’t imagine that he would want to meet his hybrid sister. I felt shame at the thought. Wolves couldn’t abide vampires; even in this time of strife, he may not accept me for who I am. My heart was pounding, and my head was spinning.

Maxim jogged to my side. He didn’t seem as shocked as I was. “Reese,” he said, extending his hand. “I’m Maxim, your uncle.” The men studied each other, carefully. Though there were resemblances, I clearly had more in common with Reese than Maxim did. Our uncle looked to me, then back to his nephew. “Perhaps, you two need a few minutes together.”

“Take my office,” Silas suggested.

“Right,” I responded, hurriedly. Before any more words were uttered, I darted for our intended space. As it stood, I was still adjusting to Maxim being my uncle, and now, suddenly, I had a brother. Though it was hard to deny our lineage due to our resemblances. None of this new information was bad, rather it was overwhelming.

“You know,” Reese started, “I can hear what you’re thinking.”

“I’m sorry,” I answered. “I’m not quite sure what to make of all this.”

He sighed seeing how the news was, what could have been perceived as adversely, affecting me. “Is it such a bad thing that you have a brother?”

Finally, able to get a good look at him, my brother was formidable. I imagined our father was similar to him, not only in stature but in appearance as well. Obviously, I came from a line of warriors. “Of course not. I’m just adjusting to having an uncle. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had no one. Suddenly, I have an uncle and brother, and I’m fighting in this war. Forgive me.” There was a question on my mind that I was too afraid to ask.

“Yes, I knew Mom….and Dad. I don’t remember a lot, but I remember Mom’s raven colored hair and her piercing eyes. I also remember Dad’s temper, but he had a lot of love in his heart for Mom and for us,” he confessed. “You were a surprise.”

“Was I a mistake?”

He shook his head with a slight chuckle. “I don’t mean it like that. Mom kept the pregnancy a secret for awhile. I was still young, and she didn’t want to overwhelm Dad. When you were born, he was the happiest man alive. And he made me swear to protect you.”

Pausing before I spoke, I was trying to make sense of the timeline. “How old were you when I was born?”

“Two and a half. The story goes that Mom was already pregnant with me when she left her first husband. When I was about five, we were separated. I tried to find you when I was old enough, but then the time came for me to take over Dad’s pack.” There was shame laced in his tone; he felt guilty for putting me on the back burner.

Taking a pause, neither of us knew how to fill the awkward silence. Somewhere in my mind, I think he was allowing me time to process everything he had just told me. Lucretia hadn’t mentioned anything Reese did. Granted, she didn’t have a lot of time.

“What happened later? When we were separated?”

“Dad knew war was coming, and he also knew what would happen if we were found. Lucky for us, he had already started the pack. But, that wasn’t enough. Mom insisted that we were removed. Since she was the former wife of a noble, her biggest fear was being discovered by vampires. We had heard there were families who were separated, killed, or sold into slavery.”

“Obviously, you don’t know what I used to be—”

“No, I know you were a slave to Zephyr.”

“It wasn’t much of a lifestyle change, really. I just went from the kitchen to the bedroom.” He growled in response. “Relax, Brother. He treats me well.”

“Then, how did you end up like this?”

Shuddering at the thought, a cold shiver went down my spine recalling the horrible ordeal. “Someone tried to murder me. Silas saw no other alternative; I was dying.”

Giving a low rumble, he was clearly pissed. “Are you a hybrid?” Hesitating, I didn’t want to answer. “I’m not angry, Marnie. What kind of brother would I be if I became angry at something you couldn’t control?”

“Yes, I’m a hybrid.”

Sitting on the desk next to me, he draped his arm over my shoulders. “Now that we’re together, I’m going to make good on my promise to Dad. I’m going to protect you until the day I draw my last breath.” As he kissed my temple, I felt secure. Not that Maxim didn’t make me feel the same, but there was something about having a brother always looking out for his sister that made me feel better.

“Are you a hybrid?” Those were the only words I could manage.

“No, I was only born a wolf. There’s an ancient story that tells of only the chosen being turned into hybrids. They would walk the Earth, protecting those who couldn’t defend themselves.” My eyes widened, and he chuckled. “There is a score of wolves at your back. I wouldn’t worry about carrying the burden all by yourself.”

“What if we fail?”

His grip on my shoulders tightened. “I promise we won’t. We have the strongest being on the planet here, and I’m proud to call you sister.”

“There’s something else,” I added. He seemed confused when I moved away. My hands started to shake trying to figure out how to tell him our half sibling was a psycho. “Micheal Blackmore is my…our half-brother.”

After a brief moment of shock, Reese regained his composure. “That makes no difference!” he said, standing to his feet. “We, you and I are blood. Nothing will change that, ever. Understand?” Tilting my chin up, his resolve was absolute. “As long as we have each other, nothing can stop us.” Kissing my forehead, I felt safe knowing that my brother was on my side.

***

Micheal

I’d finally achieved my goal; cutting off the life-line against my mongrel sister and her band of worthless dogs.

With the council destroyed, they would have an infinitely harder time getting their message out. My only regret was Marnie finding out what she was before I had the chance to deal the blow. However, I was comforted in the fact that she was clueless as to how powerful she truly was. Completely unbridled. I needed to move quickly and take her back before she learned how powerful she would become. Her wolf would be the most powerful and dangerous creature in the world. Even then, I wouldn’t be able to stop her.

For the moment, I would seek the counsel of my captive witch Dorella. She was the reason I knew of my sister’s existence at all with her ability of sight. Having the advantage, I could obliterate Marnie’s pack.

“See anything new?”

“There is a whole score of wolves now. Her brother included.”

“Brother? Show me.”

Dorella mumbled an incantation over the bowl of water, showing me everything that was transpiring in that moment. There was a muscular, light haired wolf at her side. Their resemblance was apparent.

“If you want to bring her back, you must take him too. She won’t leave his side,” Dorella replied matter-of-factly.

I gave a maniacal chuckle. “I think I can handle that.” Out of the corner of my eye, I could see the pain on the witch’s face. “Time for me to make a statement.” Turning, I knew I’d have to bring her with me. “Come, Dorella, we’re going to war.”

***

Silas

Everything was coming together very nicely. We had more than enough on our side to fight. Blackmore would regret the day he ever laid eyes on Marnie. I’d make sure of it. Right now, she seemed to be much more at ease. Having her brother and uncle at her side made her feel more secure.

Her voice pulled me from my thoughts. “I think we should rest while we can.”

I agreed with her. “Yes, we should. He doesn’t know what we’ve been up to, and striking now will give us a decided advantage.”

Her uncle and brother looked so proud of her. Marnie was deathly afraid of them not accepting her, considering what she was. However, both Reese and Maxim didn’t think twice about who she was to them.

I, too, was proud of her. Just seeing the woman I loved becoming so strong in such a short amount of time made me love her all the more. All these wolves were willing to fight beside her. Some would die, which clearly pained her. The concern on her face was obvious.

“Silas?” she asked.

“Yes, sweetheart?”

“I’m going to get ready. Then check on Grace and Alina.”

“I’ll go with you,” I offered.

“No, it’s okay. I need a few minutes to myself.” She gave me a peck on the cheek, then walked off.

***

Marnie

We were about to take down a psychopath.

Every nerve in my body was on fire. I wanted to be the one who disconnected his head from his shoulders. He made everyone’s life a living hell. I’d show him what hell really felt like. Now, he was about to contend with my kin and me.

First, I went to Grace’s room to see Gunner. He was standing next to his daughter’s bed, fists clenched. I couldn’t even bring myself to say anything, but he knew I was there. “Are we doing this?” his deep voice asked.

“Yes, everyone is waiting.”

He bent down, giving his daughter a kiss on her forehead. “I’m coming back for you, baby girl.” His determined look proved to me that he would survive for the sake of his child. “I’ll be outside.”

Taking one last look at Grace, I gave her hand a small squeeze, silently promising that I would protect her father so they could be together.

Leaving the room, I ventured down the hall, walking into Alina’s. Zander was in there with her, saying goodbye. My heart squeezed painfully seeing their expressions. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt.”

Alina sniffled as they pulled apart. “No, it’s okay,” she said, with a catch in her throat.

Zander smoothed the hair away from her face, kissing her forehead. “I’ll be back. I promise.” She only nodded in recognition of his statement.

Walking past me, he lightly brushed my arm with his hand. Half-smiling, he continued out of the room. “He’ll be okay, Alina. I’ll make sure of it.” I sincerely hoped that my half-hearted attempt to soothe her would help.

“I can’t lose him,” she whispered.

She practically fell into me, sobbing on my shoulder. “I swear that I will safely bring him home to you. While we’re gone, keep an eye on Gracie, okay?” Breaking away from her, my thumbs wiped the tears of her cheeks.

“Make sure you come back too,” she added.

“I promise.”

Leaving her, I walked down to Silas’s room, where I kept some of my clothes. Putting my hair up, I shifted my eyes to see if I could without inducing other changes.

My mind raced thinking about the wolves in my corner. Who was who, where they came from, and if they would return home. I had almost forgotten about Ben. He was severely mangled the last time I saw him, so I hoped he was able to fight alongside us.

Entering the bedroom he was staying in, I saw his back filled with scars along with a tattoo going up towards his shoulders.

“It’s my old pack’s tattoo,” he said, without me even asking.

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to stare.”

He turned to me, looking in much better health than before. His wounds healed nicely. In truth, I hadn’t even gotten a good look at his face when I met him since he was so bloodied up. “I take it you’re here to see if I’m ready to go with you?”

“Yes. Everyone is gathered outside.”

He came toward me, kneeling down in respect, bowing his head. “First, I need to tell you thank you for sparing my life. I owe you a debt.”

Tilting his chin up between my fingers, I smiled down at him. “You’ll repay your debt by fighting at my side. That’s all I ask.”

“I choose to stay by your side, always. You were merciful to me, and I’m going to fight until my last breath.”

Smiling, at his conviction, I kissed his forehead. “Once this is over, you’re free to go wherever you please, whichever pack will have you. It won’t be much of a life for you here.”

“And if it’s what I choose?”

“Then, I can’t stop you, but you have the option. I certainly won’t force anything.”

He stood before me, looking ready as ever to fight. “Then, I’m going to stay. I’m sure I can make this work. You did right by me, and I’m choosing to do the same.”

Nodding, I accepted his answer. “Head outside. I’ll be right there.” Ben left me alone.

Just looking around the room, I wondered if I’d ever see this house again. I wondered if I would ever see Grace and Alina again. Even if something happened to me, I wanted the last thing I saw to be Blackmore’s blood on my hands. Steeling my resolve, I went to join the others.

They were all ready. Some were shifted, but others waited until the fight started.

Silas, Maddox, Maxim, Reese, and I led the charge. Veronica and Zander were right behind us with all the wolves, ready to attack. Following the scent, we took a sharp left turn, coming to a large clearing. There before us was Micheal Blackmore, wait. The smug smile on his face told me all I needed to know. He thought he had us beat.

“So nice to see you, Marnie, my dear sister.”

Reese let out an audible growl with Maxim and Silas doing the same. I stepped forward, completely unafraid. “Let’s do this,” I said, extending my fangs.

He laughed cruelly. “As you wish.” He raised his arms, and his army of wolves came to his side. “Ready when you are.”

We charged each other, starting the battle that would determine the outcome of our lives.

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