“Where is she?!” The hooded man snarled, careful to keep his face hidden in the shadows.
“I – I don’t know!” The other man pleaded. The sweat was beginning to bead on his forehead as he strained against the chains pinning him down. He knew his situation was hopeless, but he still had some fight left in him. He wouldn’t go down without knowing he had given it his all. Even if it did turn out to be useless in the end.
“Wrong answer,” the hooded man hissed. He snatched out a hand and grabbed hold of the lever. “Last chance…” he warned.
“No, please! Listen to me! I have no idea! I—”
A guttural scream tore from his throat as the hooded man pushed the lever down with unnecessary force, grinning at the sounds of the screams as though they were music to his ears.
The hooded figure kept his gaze on the table and watched in satisfaction as the chains attached to the shackles began to spread the man’s body – his arms were pulled up above his head, and it stretched his legs out in front of him. He was laid on his back, his head thrashing left and right as the chains shortened, stretching his body even further.
“This could be so much easier for you if you just obliged and told me what you knew! He snarled.
“I don’t know anything!” The man said helplessly, tears of frustration and hopelessness making their way down his face. He looked at the hooded man and pleaded with his eyes, begging him to believe him. “I haven’t spoken to my brother in years! I didn’t even know he had a daughter! I—”
“Enough!” The man flinched as the hooded figure slammed his hand on the metal table before he pushed himself away from him. Shaking his head, he reached into the folds of his dark cloak and pulled out a photo.
His eyes went wide as he took in the image. His body began to shake. He tried to speak, but his mouth dried up in terror. He knew what this meant for him.
“Please…” he said again. The hooded figure reached for the lever once more, and the man thrashed about. “No! Please! Who are you? What do you want with them?!”
The hooded man leaned forward, grinning at the man on the table. He pushed the hood off his head and revealed his face.
“Surprise,” his grin widened.
“Alpha?!” The man gasped, the terror in his eyes multiplying. How did he not recognise his own Alpha’s scent? How did he not realise where he was? He was angry at himself for allowing himself to be captured this way, by being too blinded by fear that he hadn’t realised who, and what was doing this to him. “Why?” He asked simply, his body sagging on the table as he resigned himself to his fate. He knew his Alpha’s reputation. He wouldn’t be leaving here alive.
The Alpha didn’t answer. Instead, he stepped back into the shadows, and his hand went back to the lever once more. With one small push, the chains tightened more. The man on the table screamed once more. The scent of blood filled the air as small tears in his flesh appeared in both armpits as well as his groin.
“Not much longer now,” the Alpha murmured. “One more sharp pull of this, and your limbs will be severed. Last chance – Where. Is. She?” He strode forwards to grab the man’s chin and forced him to look up at him. “Where is she?!” He roared, the spit flying from his mouth.
“Fuck you!” The man on the table shot back, spitting in his Alpha’s face. “I won’t tell you shit! If I’m to die today, I’ll die knowing I protected my niece until the very end! They left your pack for a reason, Alpha, and you’ll never find them! They want fuck all to do with you!”
“She’s an abomination!” The Alpha responded, wiping the spit with the back of his hand, and flicked it at the ground.
“She’s just a child!” The man screamed back as the Alpha retreated once more. “She didn’t ask for any of this! She didn’t ask to be what she is! Leave her alone. She’s nothing to you, not now! They don’t deserve this!”
“No one leaves my pack. Nobody disobeys me,” the Alpha said back with an eerie calmness. “They knew what I expected of them. I want the girl, and I want her father. He knew better than the mingle with the wolves,” he almost spat the word. “I will punish him for the abomination he has created. All of them will die a death of unimaginable pain and suffering. And so will anyone found to be aiding them,” he added, grinning as the man on the table shouted for mercy.
There was no mercy left in him.
He watched in satisfaction as the cranks ground up the chain, making the tears in his armpit widen. The scent of blood filled the air, filling the Alpha’s nostrils with the most delicious aroma. He closed his eyes and focused on the sounds, chills breaking out on his body in ecstasy.
It wasn’t long before the tears on the man’s body were deep enough for his shoulders to protrude, for chunks of muscle to spill over the broken skin. The Alpha could hear the wet slaps as clots of blood seeped onto the table.
Blood was everywhere, spilling from the man, pooling over the table, and running down the metal legs onto the tiled floor. He screamed, gargling on the spit that ran down his throat. The sweat on his forehead seeped into his eyes, blinding him as his arms hung on by a thread.
The Alpha snapped open his eyes and lowered his gaze to the man’s legs, noting with a satisfaction that was bordering on pleasurable, that the two legs were almost severed. The only thing keeping them connected were a handful of stringy veins and one thick bone.
With a loud snap, the bond broke, the sharp edges slicing through the remaining veins. His thighs hit the table with a wet thud, his legs hanging uselessly in the air.
The Alpha looked up just in time to see the same thing happening to the man’s arms. The shoulders bent at an unnatural angle until they finally came apart, ripping out parts of his collarbone as they went.
The Alpha laughed as he walked away – his last thought was that the collar bones had reminded him of a wishbone. He wasn’t superstitious, and he believed you made your own luck in this world, but that didn’t stop him from making a wish on the broken collarbone. A wish that would have his enemies worshipping at his feet and pleading for forgiveness.
He gave a nod to his worshipers, and they descended, their bodies shaking with excitement.
They licked at the trail of blood that trickled away from the body and followed the delicious path up to the now dead man on the table. Each of them raised their snouts to the air and gave a howl of appreciation before they ripped into the flesh, swallowing huge chunks down without even bothering to chew.
The Alpha left them to it. He sent a mind-link to his warriors to inform them that the job was done, and they could now check the bags that had belonged to their dead guest.
It hadn’t taken them long to realise he had packed up and was planning on leaving the pack grounds, just as his brother had done years ago. It surprised the Alpha that he hadn’t left a long time ago, but he soon realised these people were not stupid.
They were scared.
And they were hiding.
Had he thought for a moment that the dead man would have led them to the people he was searching for, he would have added an extra day to his life.
But he knew better.
Now they just had to hope that in those bags was a paper trail. Something that would give him a hint as to where to look.
The search for Sophia had begun a long time ago, and finally, they were making progress.