Chapter 50: Home
We talked for a few more minutes, but when the conversation slacked Ker leaned her chair back and promptly went to sleep. “She’s a cat,” Al said, “She does that all the time.”
I was a little jealous, the years of captivity had trained me to stay alert during the day and to sleep lightly at night. “It’s all right.”
“You fascinate me, Ella. You’re everything she told me you were, but more.”
“What do you mean?” We had met exactly once before, when she snuck into my bedroom while I was in the shower. It didn’t mean we were besties.
“Well, take what happened with Alpha Marvin. Here’s a man who helped kill both your parents, who tried to kill you several times, who stole millions of dollars from you and has been in hiding for two years. Yet, when you are left with him, you killed him with all the emotion of a person stomping on a spider that they find in their bathroom. It wasn’t what I expected.”
“I killed, but I’m not a killer, Al.” I didn’t like where this was going.
“Yet you kill, and do so efficiently and without emotion, yet you aren’t a psychopath. It’s a rare ability.”
I snorted. “Not one I wanted, just one I ended up with. You wouldn’t understand.” I reached forward and took one of the Cokes that was in the bucket of ice. God, I had missed caffeine.
“Explain it to me then. Tell me how you can show such compassion towards someone like Charlie, while being so detached with someone like Marvin.” He sat back, his hands folded over his belt.
“You know the basic history. How the four Alphas conspired to auction me off as a mate so one of the sons could take over my Pack, and bring power and money to the alliance with them.” He nodded. “The first man I killed was my rapist. I was desperate, my dreams were over if I submitted to him, and I almost died fighting him off. My wolf DID die, leaving me alone and shattered. Still, it was self-defense. I never regretted for a second what I did to that bastard.”
I looked at him, he was studying me as I continued the story. “I made a blood vow to my parents after that, that I would avenge their deaths. My parents were everything to me, they didn’t deserve the death they were given; those men were without honor. They sacrificed their lives in a hope that I would get away. With no wolf and no Pack, I thought that I would use the money they left me to kill the four. I hated them; I wanted them to suffer, to have everything taken from them just as everything I had was taken from me. Only then did I want them to find out I had done it, and I wanted to be the one who killed them. This is what gave me the will to continue on when my heart wanted to give up.” I took a drink and checked Charlie, he was still dead to the world.
“When Marvin came to my hospital room and offered a truce at a price, I agreed because money was the least of my worries. I needed time. I didn’t think he would give me up so quickly. The second man I killed was going to capture or kill me, he underestimated me and paid the price with his lift. Again, self-defense, but now I’d killed two. I slept just fine, thank you.”
“Yet, you didn’t have your revenge.” He grabbed a slice of turtle cheesecake off the table, I’d already had one and it was fabulous. He saw my eyes and handed it to me, taking a piece of chocolate cake instead. Wise man.
“I was good for a while. I had found a lover, and then found I was pregnant. I may have killed men, but I was never going to kill an innocent baby. Finding myself pregnant with what later became known as my rapist’s twin boys, that changed everything for me. I wanted revenge, but that was no longer the only thing left in my life. I also found out that the bonds of family and Pack were deeper than I had anticipated. Darry, Marge and Mabel stuck with me, even though I had no wolf and no bond with them anymore. They plus Mark gave me reasons to live.” I smiled, thinking back of that time. “I hadn’t cared before if I died fighting the Alphas, because I didn’t see a life past that anyway. I’m so glad I had the help of Doug and Remi, and their Pack.” I had to stop for a moment to wipe my eyes, it still hurt to think of them.
“When the Packs attacked me, Remi, Renee and Darryl, I was fighting for my family and myself. The three I killed, the six others that died, I had no remorse for what I did. I later regretted the way we disposed of their bodies, because they were wolves just following their Alpha’s orders. So now my body count is up to five.”
“In aviation, you’d be an ace.”
I snickered. “Yeah, I’ll get stickers for my truck.” I took another bite of caramel cheesecake heaven. “I started to second guess my strategy after that. I wanted the Alphas and Lunas who had killed my parents to die, because that was justice for my parents. I didn’t want to see innocent wolves in their Packs suffer for the lack of honor their Alphas had. It became less personal to me. I wanted them to suffer and die, sure, but I was all right if someone else did it. When Dennis told me what happened with his daughter, I didn’t mind that he was the one to end Scott Tanner. I was satisfied that he died in front of his Pack which had turned its back on him.”
“Yet somehow through this, you found a way to forgive.”
“Only those who regretted their actions. Carol and Olivia, they were brought up believing that what their parents were doing was right. Since their offense was against me, I forgave them.”
“So when you and Olivia killed Alpha Lewis and his men, that was also self-defense. What about Alpha Anderson and his mate? Word was that you walked right into their Pack House and shot them in cold blood in front of the rest of the Pack.”
“I did. They had given up information that led to hundreds of deaths, including my closest remaining family. They were a disgrace to the werewolf race and had threatened to expose more Packs. It was self-defense as well, for me and others. So I’m up to what, ten people I’ve killed? Eleven with Alpha Marvin? I don’t regret a one. As they say in Texas, they needed killing.”
I put the empty plate down and grabbed another Coke. “I watched American Sniper once, Chris Kyle had over a hundred and sixty confirmed kills, and he didn’t regret a one. His only regret was those on our side he couldn’t save.” I stared into his eyes. “That is my only regret too, that I couldn’t save Darryl, I couldn’t save the Johnson Pack. I sleep just fine.”
“So, back to Marvin.”
“He didn’t deserve to keep sharing the air with me. His death is justice.” I looked over at Charlie. “So many have died. I had plenty of time to think about what I would do if I ever got out of that place. Not once did I want revenge. I wanted justice, quick and simple. Plus, Charlie doesn’t need to see any more. He struggles enough with the thoughts that a monster is inside of him. I know different; the monster is not in the wolf side, because I never hurt anyone before I lost mine.”
“Thank you, Ella. This conversation has been very illuminating.”
Charlie woke up and looked around frightened, I jumped up and went to him to calm him down. When he was wide awake, I brought him over to sit in my lap while he ate. There was still plenty of food, but there wouldn’t be soon. A growing werewolf had a bottomless pit for a stomach.
The pilot announced that we would be landing soon, so I put Charlie back in his chair and buckled him up before sitting in the chair across from him. Al woke up Ker and they settled in to their seats. Charlie had never been in a plane before, so he was fascinated by what they saw out the window.
We landed and taxied to a hanger where three cars were parked. The pilot shut the plane down, then came back and opened the door and lowered the stairs before going back to the cockpit. He never even looked at us.
We walked out, this time Charlie and I followed Al and Ker. They walked straight for the cars. Al opened his up, then gestured for me to go to the other. I looked at him quizzically. “We’re not going with you, Ella. Go to your people, and when you are ready to talk, call us at this number.” He handed me a piece of paper with his cell number. “Don’t take too long, we’ll only be in town a couple days.”
I nodded, thanking them both for getting us out of that place. Charlie and I got into the car, it was a Ford Edge with navigation system. The key was in the ignition, and rental papers were on the dash, along with a driver’s license in the name of Elanor Black. I noted with a snort that it was MY corporation that had rented the vehicle, the same one I had used to do research on the Packs. I went to the navigation system and the map, then worked my way through to set Raub, in the center of the reservation, as my destination. We drove out, my mind still spinning with how quickly things had changed.
“What do we do now, Ella?”
I looked over at Charlie as I drove, he was scared. He was still just a kid. “Whatever we want, Charlie. Whatever we want.” He smiled as he looked out the window into the setting sun. “Right now, we’re heading towards the place I think my Pack is at. I want to find them, my mate, my sons.”
“Will they like me?”
I ruffled his hair. “Of course, they will. I told you before, you’re Pack now, and we’re family. You have a home, Charlie. I can’t wait to see your wolf running with the others.”
“I wish you could run, too.”
I sniffed a little. “Yeah, well, I had to make my peace with my life a few years ago. I’m happy just being around a Pack now.”
We stopped at a Dairy Queen for dessert, since he was getting hungry again, then an hour later we were crossing the border of the reservation. I was shocked to find a checkpoint there. I had to wait a couple cars, then rolled down the window and the Tribal Officer looked in at us. “Identification and business on the Reservation?”
“Visiting friends,” I said as I handed the man my new license.
He looked at it, then shined the UV light in my eyes. “Who are you visiting?”
“Rose Stormwater.” He looked a little shocked, but got over it.
“Is she expecting you?”
“No, I’m a friend, I thought I’d surprise her.”
He stepped away from the car and made a phone call. He frowned as he talked before coming back to me. “She says she doesn’t know you,” holding his hand over his phone.
“Tell her Ella needs to talk, I haven’t seen her since that party on Labor Day weekend a few years ago.”
His mood changed suddenly and he hung up. He wrote down an address and handed it to me. “She’s waiting up for you, this is her home. Drive carefully.” He waved me through, and I stopped just past the checkpoint to put the address into the navigation system.
Twenty minutes later, I was pulling into the driveway of a large home overlooking the reservoir. We got out of the car and walked to the front door; we were almost there when there was a loud scream, and I was knocked sideways into the grass as arms squeezed around me.