Kendrick sat across from me in the booth, looking at ease with his arm stretched out across the back and his leg hanging out the side. He was chewing on a toothpick, flicking it back and forth in his mouth. I could see Dace from where we were seated, perched a barstool. He was sipping on a beer while he flirted with the human girl sitting on the other side of him.
“Where the hell is that waitress?” I growled, throwing a glance over my shoulder toward the kitchen. I could feel the itch under my skin, my wolf becoming increasingly hard to control the longer I was away from our female. When I had left I had told her a couple days, which had turned quickly into a week and a half. A week and a half and I was about ready to snap. I wondered how Kendrick could sit so steady, knowing that out his own mate, who had been missing for two years and assumed to be dead, may actually still be alive somewhere.
“What’s the rush? Our friend is still enjoying his meal, so, why shouldn’t we?” We had been tracking Silas pack’s movement, trying to figure out the best way to get to their Alpha. We were doing what we could to avoid an all-out war between the packs. Though I was content to eviscerate the whole lot of them for the fact that they had kept Dove captive. I had to remind myself that an Alpha’s command was absolute, even if you didn’t agree...you were made to obey. Only those who had strong minds and wills were able to move freely outside of the order, though most Alpha’s didn’t keep those people around long.
I clenched my hands into tight fist, under the table, “This is bullshit. We’ve been here for over a week and haven’t gotten any closer to dealing with Silas. I have my own pack to run and Dove to worry about...”
Kendrick reached up and pulled the toothpick from his mouth, “You won’t have to worry about Dove if we just finish what we came here to do. Work Smarter, not harder, Rhys.” I sneered at his comment, but I knew that he was right. I needed to finish what we set out to do, it was just I couldn’t help the gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach that we had missed something. That somehow, we were in the wrong place, following the wrong lead.
My gaze swung to the male, Silas Beta. I felt my claws begin to poke through the tips of my fingers. It was taking everything in me to remain calm, to not shift and go for his throat, humans around or not. The male took another drink from his beer before excusing himself from his date. I felt the energy in my body hum with violent anticipation as I watched every step that took him away from public view. Dace flipped a look over his shoulder toward our table as the beta passed him, meeting my gaze before downing the rest of his beer and following after him.
Kendrick gave me a quick look before removing himself from the bench, “You take care of the check and try to get some control, Rhys. Seriously, you’re not a pup anymore.” He remarked under his breath as he tossed his napkin onto his empty plate, making his way to the back exit near the bathrooms. We had already concocted a plan to funnel the male out into the back alley. I watched through narrowed eyes as the three of them disappeared from sight. I tapped my foot impatiently against the ground as the waitress walked up with the check for our meal.
She gave me a bright smile as she set the check down, “Sorry for the wait.”
“It’s fine.” I sneered as I pulled my wallet from my pocket, pulling out a fifty and tossing it onto the table.
Her eyes widened at the sight of the larger bill, “You want change?”
I pushed up from the bench, towering over her as I shoved my wallet back into my pocket, “Just keep it. Buy yourself something nice.” I growled as I walked away from her, heading towards the back exit with a powerful stride. Humans scurried to move out of my path, looking frazzled as if they sensed the fact that I was willing to tear them limb from limb if they didn’t hurry up and get the fuck out of my way.
I barged out of the back door to see that Kendrick had the male pressed against the wall, “Where is Silas?”
The sound of cars on the main road, echoing off the brick walls of the buildings we were sandwiched between. My wolf growled, he hated the sounds of the city and I didn’t much care for them either. It was too loud and putrid stink of pollution burned my nose. Dace gave me a quick glance, leaned back against the wall with his arms crossed over his chest, keeping watch.
Kendrick drove his fist into the male’s face, asking again, “Where is Silas?”
The beta laughed, “Did your mama beat you with an ugly stick?”
Kendrick didn’t flinch. He simply pulled his arm back and gave our captive another solid punch to the face. He pushed him back into the wall as he lifted his face, “I’ll ask again, where is Silas?”
Silas’s Beta glared at Kendrick before spitting the blood from his mouth at his face, “Go get fucked, Scarface. You know as a matter of fact why don’t you bend over, spread yourself, and let that asshole...” He pointed toward me, and I narrowed my eyes, flashing him my teeth, “ream you good, like I’m sure you like. That would be a better use of our time cause I ain’t tell you shit.”
"Enough!” I growled, taking a step forward, “Where is your Alpha? If he harms a single hair on my females head I promise I will make sure each member of this pack pays for it.” I didn’t doubt my words. I never thought myself a monster but I was beginning to find that even good men would do monstrous things for the ones they loved.
“What is it with this female?” He was giving me a bloody smile, chuckling softly, “She must have a magic pussy and suck cock like a pro. Maybe when Silas gets her back he’ll let me have a go in her...well, if he doesn’t kill her first.” Kendrick must have sense my fury because he quickly stepped out of the way, leaving our captive open to my attack.
I slammed my fist into the bastard’s face, shutting up his laughter as he choked on his own teeth. He slumped into the asphalt, groaning. My bones creaked as steam began to curl up from my flesh, my wolf rising dangerously close to the surface. He wanted to tear into this guy, leave him as nothing but a pile of bones and scraps. Kendrick stepped in front of me, pressing his hand into my chest, “You need to reign it in, buddy. You can’t be shifting in public places and you don’t want to kill him before we get our answers.”
I took a step back trying my best to pull back on my wolf. I put my hands up, knowing that I couldn’t trust myself at the moment to be in control of our little operation. Kendrick must have understood because he turned back to the Beta, grabbing hold of the back of his shirt and pulling him up off the ground, “Unless you want my friend here to finish what he started, I think you best start saying things that make him a whole lot happier.”
The male looked like he was in a daze, shaking he head as he tried to regain full function of his facilities. He seemed to resolve himself, losing his cockiness, “Fine, I will tell you what you need to know...”
“When Silas finds that female he’s going to kill her nice and slow. She will suffer greatly and die alone.” I latched myself forward with a fearsome snarl only to pull up short as he bit down into his own tongue with such savagery it startled even my wolf. We all watched as he bit into his own tongue, over and over, the power of his jaw lopping it off with precision. It was the type of loyalty that any Alpha would be proud of but at the moment It had rendered him completely useless to us. We had no other leads and it was clear that the pack was probably under some kind of suicide command from their insane Alpha. It was disturbing.
Kendrick dropped the male with a sigh of annoyance, ”Damn it.”
I turned toward Dace, “Take care of this...” I glanced back over my shoulder at the male, eyes slitting, “Make sure it’s painful. At least now no one will hear him scream.” I mumbled.
Dace gave a wicked grin as he pushed off the wall, eyes zeroing in on his prey, “It would be my pleasure. I’ll make sure to take my time...”
I gave his shoulder a pat as we passed each other, “head back to the pack when you’re all finished up here. I’ll join up with you there after I stop in to pick up Dove.” He gave a nod of his head, asking me nothing about the change of plans. I walked beside Kendrick both of us lost in silence. It was disappointing how all of this had turned out to be fruitless.
Kendrick have me a friendly shoulder squeeze as if he understood my disappoint, “Tomorrow is another day...” He remarked, looking off with a distant expression on his face. I knew he must be thinking about his own search, the one for the mate he had lost. I felt that this situation had help to strength the bond that I thought had been destroyed by the mistakes of my father. I tried not to laugh at my thoughts, which were certainly because of Dove’s influence in my life. She was always looking at the positives of every situation, and now she had me doing it. Whoever said an old dog couldn’t learn new tricks was wrong.
The cellphone in my pocket went off, and I quickly reached for it, falling back a step behind Kendrick as we made our way out of the alley way and into the parking lot, “Hello mom, can I call you back?” Right now, was not the best time for a check in. I could do that later after I had come down from the slight defeat that I would have to return to Dove, knowing that Silas was still out there. I wasn’t giving up on finding him but it was time to get back to my female and my pack. I had been gone long enough.
“No. This can’t wait until later. It’s important...” The way her voice shook told me that she was upset about something.
"Alright, What’s going on?” I questioned her begrudgingly.
“Rhys, I don’t know how to say this but something has happened...” My mother spoke into the phone in a voice I only remembered on other time in my life and it was the night that my father died. I knew whatever had happened was not going to make me happy.
“What are you talking about?”
“Larissa, one of the pack girls that works down at the bar confided in me about Camila...”
I let out a low growl, reaching up to pinch the bridge of my nose, “Mother, I am not in the mood to hear the latest gossip.”
“Will you just listen to me?” She snapped back, waiting a moment before continuing, “Larissa told me that Camila has been running off the territory to meet with some guy, for weeks now she has been doing this. Apparently, she was gloating about it to one of her friend and Larissa overhead, that he is an Alpha from another pack...”
My stomach churned in a building rage at her words, “Does this Alpha have a name?”
“She didn’t say but Rhys...there’s something else...” There was something in the way she bated me that I knew I was not going to like what she told me next, “Camila knows about Dove, she knows where you’re keeping her.”
“How the fuck would she know that, Mother? That’s privileged information.”
“She had asked to help me around the pack house. I didn’t think anything about it. Xavier called to check in and she took the call. I’m sorry, Rhys.” I clutched the phone in my hand, my wolf howling at the words my mother had spoken. This wasn’t the time for apologies. I knew this was the work of Silas, and that traitorous bitch.
“I want her found and detained.” I growled into my phone, feeling the beast rising under my skin. He was relentless and he wanted out. He wanted to race off to his mate and I was in the same mind. I didn’t say anything more, ending the call before tossing my phone at the ground. It shattered on the impact. I began to pace back and forth, like a beast in a cage.
I could feel Kendrick’s eyes following my every movement, “Are you going to tell me what the hell is going on? or should I just start guessing.”
“Silas...He knows where Dove is.”
Kendrick tensed, knowing that not only was my mate in danger but so was his pack. The pack that was barely hanging on as it was.