Lone Wolf (The Wulf Pack Book 1)

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Chapter Twenty-five

Rage stood before the mountain, the castle, his childhood home.

He wanted to turn around, to go back to his camp and try to get some sleep before tomorrow. But he couldn’t, not with his mind buzzing.

He hadn’t slept in over a day, his attempt to pass out drunk had failed, and he was sure his judgment was not good at the moment. Yet here he was, about to sneak into one of the most impenetrable places in the US.

While Hunter had spent their childhood training, learning to be an Alpha, Rage had been watching, listening, learning.

He had learned everything that his brother did, and more, because he was interested in learning.

He knew the politics, the running of the pack, and every detail of this castle.

After all, he had been the “backup plan” as everyone use to say. That he was there in case something happened to Hunter. A second “first born” was rare, twins in general were rare for werewolves. There really wasn’t a place for them, too strong to be beta, yet just not “fit” to be Alpha.

He slipped through the treeline, following the path he had taken as a child, along the edge of the castel. The dark allowing him to pass most of the wolves without detection. He shook his head as the guards didn’t even notice him at all.

He found the gate, the one that filtered the water underneath and into the structure. The iron gate a third deep under water. He would get wet, but that was the last thought on his mind.

The latch was sealed tight, the lock secured in place, just as he had suspected, the gate not having been opened for a decade or more.

He reached up, grazing his hand over the bricks that rimmed the entrance and smiled as he felt the shift in the one he remembered.

He curled his fingers around the stone, pulling it smoothly from its home deep in the wall. It moves as if it hadn’t been so long since it was removed, as if just yesterday he had pulled it from its bed.

With the stone in one hand, he reached inside and pulled the old key out. The iron rough compared to the stone around it.

Iron key in hand, he stepped into the knee deep water, cursing at the cold that seeped into his bones on contact.

The gate protested being opened, the lock sticking from the lack of use. He was sure the key was going to break, when it finally gave and the latch opened, the hinges groaning as if in pain.

With the key and stone back in place, he slipped through the gate, trudging through the water. He pushed the gate closed be hind him with a whine and a groan, pulling a few times to make sure it was securely shut before he made his way through the tunnel.

The tunnel opened into a small room that held it like a lake, piping along the walls were the only show that it was anything but just that.

He made his way to the stairs that led from the water to the small platform containing an airtight door, like those on submersion. Wouldn’t want the castle to flood if there was a big storm or something.

He made his way over to the door, moving slow in the now waist deep waters. He felt like a teenager again, sneaking into the house so he wasn’t found out late. His family always knew though, his mother never said anything, his brothers all gave him jealous glares because they didn’t know how he was never caught.

With wet hands, he gripped the wheel of the door, turning clockwise, hand over hand, until the seal released with a hiss. Unlike the gate, this door opened smoothly, used by the pack workers to work on the pluming.

He dripped the wheel on the other side of the door, the one that worked like the other side of a door handle. He pulled the door closed and made his way through the cave like hall, he was in the catacombs under the castle. Each level was carved from the stone of nature, only the first three levels being used, most of the natural tunnels unexplored below his feet.

There were no steps as he made his way up the two levels between him and the castle, only angled ground that led up to the ground level. He passed the entrance to “the dungeon”, you could call it, “the prison”, is more of what it was. The damp hall sat just below the cellars, holding some of the most wicked beings in history, those of which were not killed for one reason or another.

He ignored the crazy yelling and screaming of the prisoners and continued on, to his destination. When his eyes fell on the door at the end of the dim hall, he sighed. This was the last level into the castle, and the only way in and out of the catacombs on this side of the mountain.

He pushed the cellar door open, the slight creek and then slam of the door hitting the floor echoed through the storage rooms. All five of them connected, holding all of the food and drink for the castle and rations enough to feed the whole pack if the need arised.

The set of wooden stairs were old an worn, groaning loudly as he used them to make his way into the large kitchen. His shoes squeaked on the tile floor, like a baby mouse for its mother.

Without a second through, he slipped them off, followed by his socks, continuing barefoot out of the kitchen and into the main dinning room. He made his way to the main staircase, only stopping to take in the scents of the occupants. His scenes were dull, causing it to take a bit longer for his clouded mind to filter through them. Once he caught the one he was looking for, he followed it. Up the stairs to the second floor, leading away from his family and down a hall no one used.

Before he knew it he was standing before the wood door, his wet jeans sticking to his legs and leaving a puddle at his feet. He stood there staring at the door, racking his impaired mind for a reason for him to turn back. Racking his sleepy brain, one that should be awake after all that work he just did to be standing here. Yet it wasn’t, it was just as fuzzy as it was an hour before. His heart on the other hand, was beating so fast he could only hear the sound of it, nothing else.

He reached up and knocked, the sound of his blood in his ears driving him crazy as he waited to see if the door would be opened.

He held his breath as it began to creep open. The sleepy brown eyes widened as they took in his appearance and then his face.

“Rage?” the sweet voice almost brought him to his knees, “What are you doing here?”

“Willow,”

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