Fishing for Gold
I watched them through half lidded eyes. My entire body hurt - my lungs especially with all the screaming. If I was human, I had no doubt I would have lost my voice by now. But I wasn’t. I was a strong, confident werewolf who didn’t get what she wanted. I was a mess. I was helpless. I wanted to cry in frustration, and I did. No good came out of it. My usually well groomed nails were muddy and broken in places. My perfect hair was in disarray and I didn’t give a single fuck. It was all a part of my disguise. I had to look presentable, be groomed for the perfect Queen. I just wanted to leave all this behind and catch a breath. There was no breathing where they were. There was nothing.
Noori prodded my arm once again and I nearly bit her head off. She didn’t even look at me, working at a speed faster than light, she needed to get the poison out of my system. I needed her to do it as well, so I could get back to my mission: find mom. I knew I’d hurt a lot of people, but I felt the worst about Hank, who had been on my side the whole time. Well, until Flora waltzed back into our lives and my truth came out. He had no doubt been as shaken as Reece had. But what choice did I have? I needed to protect them all as well. They didn’t understand and they never would, the things I’ve had to go through. For them, and my mother. Hank had stepped out, unable to see the bruises that marred my skin like birthmarks. I didn’t stop him, why subject people to things they could never unsee? He was better off.
Noori tried making small talk with me, but I wouldn’t answer. There was no way I could tell them anything. Anything I said would just make it worse for my mother and I couldn’t have that. So I would stay quiet, and I would look for possible escape routes.
“-maybe she’s just as much of a victim as we are! As you are!” I caught Grey’s voice outside and stiffened. I did not need them figuring this whole thing out. It had to be me. Mom and me versus the world. They would just make it worse for us and I would lose her for sure. ‘Tell anyone and your mother dies.’ ‘Tell anyone and everyone you love dies.’ ‘This is the best really, nobody gets hurt, and you get to be the Queen.’ ‘Just do as we say and no one will get hurt.’ ‘Just do this.’ ‘Just do that.’
Before I knew it a fresh set of tears were running down my cheeks. I could not let them know the truth! Come on, Brianna. Be cold. Be calm. Be strong. Keep your Disguise on. I chanted in my head. The door opened slightly and the Alpha King entered the room. A wave of apprehension swept the room. Apart from Noori, all the four men that dragged me here, Noori’s assistant and me, we all froze. He just had this effect on us. It was torture. I looked away from his intense eyes and analyzed the room around me. There were three doors, including the one he entered from. One had to lead to a bathroom of some sort. So two ways out.
I looked at Noori again, who was busy hanging a unit of blood that was about to go into my body. This was good, my scent would change for a while and I could use that for a sneak attack. But first, I had to get out of here and figure out where my mother was taken, or should I say, relocated? I had been so close to finding out about her whereabouts but it hadn’t worked. Lucky for me, Reece and Flora hadn’t released the news and there had been no ceremony. I could have played as his fiancé for quite a while before I was called into question. But then when Reece marked her two days ago and we all felt it – every single werewolf in the world, I could no longer keep up the rouse. My time was up and so was my mother’s.
I looked at the clock in the room, just past 9p.m. I knew that I had till a maximum of sundown before they killed her. Oh, mother. She was so fragile after Dad’s death, she didn’t deserve this. It was cruel of them to take her. Everyone knew how disturbed she had been. My heart ached for her. Countless times she told me to sacrifice her and abandon the whole disguise, but what kind of a daughter would do that? They wouldn’t kill her with mercy. No, they’d torture her for days, drive her crazy. There was no way I would let them do that. I had no choice.
“Hey.” Reece’s voice hit me like a train. This was all so wrong. He was family, I wanted nothing more than for him to find out the one girl who was destined to be his. I never wanted to do this to him. I turned away from his voice and straightened my features, turning my expression into a sneer. No cracks here. “Hey.” I told him, matching his stare with my own. Noori worked on me still, fixing every little cut that my otherwise werewolf genes would have been able to handle without a word.
Reece nodded at Noori and she got up and left us alone after hesitation. She was a doctor, she needed to do everything she could and I understood that sentiment. She gave me a kind glance and I grimaced at her. I was not here to make friends. Every second stuck to this IV in this protection was going to be a second my mother could lose her life! “This should be out of your system by the next hour.” Reece told me and I gave him a cacophonous laugh. “How is Flora dear? Still fishing for gold with you?”
Yes yes, I know. Never bait an Alpha.
“She’s good. She went to speak to Xena.” His voice..he was being so polite. Something was wrong. I tried not to let it show that his polite behavior was getting to me. “Aah, her no good best friend? I heard she put her claws into Nate. Quite a pair the two of them.” I said evilly and he grimaced. Then, he pulled a chair from beside the makeshift bed and sat down next to me. His face didn’t once show the murderous fury that I had witnessed back when I called them out a couple of days ago. A zap of cold ran through me, a chill all the way to my toes and the dread settled in; he knew.
“Why am I kidnapped like a common criminal. Let me go. You have no business keeping me here.” They didn’t have any proof against me anyway.
“You can leave anytime you want after the hour’s up. I’m afraid Noori will harm me if I let you out of here before you’re completely healed.”
I stared at him open-mouthed and right there I knew. He didn’t hate me anymore. This was going to make my job ten times harder. “Well alright then. I will be out of here.” I managed to retaliate. He gave me a smile and then looked away at the rest of the men. The four of them bowed down to him before exiting the room and two new figures entered. It was Hank again, and in tow was Sienna. They both looked at me kindly, and I looked down my nose at them. I looked at the time again, half an hour had passed since Hank left me here with Noori.
“How are you feeling?” Hank asked me and I resisted the urge to give him a decent reply. I didn’t need any attachments now, not where I was going. Let them hate me, it was better off this way. “I’ll be better once I’m away from you all.” I snarled. But just like Reece, my words seemed to have no effect on him as well. He simply stood there, with his hands crossed over his chest. I ignored him and looked at Sienna. Big mistake. She looked like she was about to cry. I really didn’t need these weak, emotional people around me right now! I needed fucking space!
“Get out of here. Leave me in peace.” I snarled, my control slipping and the anger rising. Sienna hiccupped and Hank looked defiant. Reece was calm. “Sorry, but I’m the owner I can go wherever I want.” Reece supplied, almost softly. Like he was making fun of me, but in a considerate way. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t sit here any longer and look at these faces that seemed to read me. They had this look of pity and guilt that I couldn’t take.
“Well then allow me to get out of here.” I told them, reaching to rip out the IV from my nerves; my body would just have to deal with it on it’s own for my mind certainly wouldn’t be able to. Hank wrapped his hand around mine and prevented it, “You’re going to need all your strength back before you go looking for your mom.” He said.
Shit. Shit shit shit. They knew! They knew! Or they didn’t and they were fishing for information! I couldn’t afford to find out. “I don’t know what this is but I’m out of here.” I told him, trying to remove his claw from my own. Sienna reached over and placed a hand on his as well, “But you do, you have since way longer than we did.” Her voice was lacking any malice. Oh how she had hated me, how could they let go of it and speak to me so politely.?
“We know what you’re afraid of.” Reece told me, and I gave him a sneer, “and what would that be?”
“You’re afraid that after everything that has happened, we won’t help you get your mother back. You’re afraid to find out.” Hank said, out loud. It was as if time froze. All three of them were looking at me expectantly but all I could do was gape at them with my mouth open. A million thoughts, a thousand feelings, a hundred questions and this was the one statement that held true in everything that had transpired between us. I was afraid to find out.
If I did tell them the whole truth, what did I think? Why would they help me after I helped the perpetrators break so many hearts, hurt so many lives just at the sake of my mother’s? They would be right to ignore me and catch them without concern for my mother’s life. They were right. I was right, they wouldn’t help me. But then why did they continue to stand there, look down at me as though I belonged here? Why did their eyes shine with the fierce protectiveness that I could never in my life dare to assume was for me? Why?
“W-hat?” This was it, my moment of truth. I had officially lost it if I had begun to trust their word.
“Sienna, didn’t you say that our people spotted them at the international airport?” Reece asked, turning away from me and looking at his sister. Sienna did the same, putting out a little skit in front of me. “Why yes, Reece. I just got a hit that we had put out on them an hour ago.” I was at the edge of my bed, leaning forward despite the pain in my lungs and the ache in my muscles. They had better not be joking.
“Our men got there in time?” Hank asked now, playing along to the two of them and I just gazed between the three werewolves, wide eyed and frantic.
I couldn’t hold it in anymore. Did they mean-
“DID THEY FIND HER?!” I was now holding onto Hank’s hand for dear life.
“We secured her just before they got onto the plane, five minutes ago.” Sienna supplied triumphantly.
And right then and there, I started sobbing.