The Hunter

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Chapter 15 ~ Don't Mess With Me

...Ryder’s P.O.V...

“Ryder!” Claire’s scream knocks me from the vision in front of me as she bursts through the door. “I’ve done something,” she panics while pacing my bedroom floor.

“What Clay? Can’t you see what’s out there?”

“Yes, I fucken can Ry, because they were out the front of every compound. We all had to use the underground tunnels to get here. But fuck that…” she inhales and exhales shakily, scratching her head as her eyes remained fixed to my floor.

“What is going on? Spit it out while I get dressed.” I pulled open the double doors of my closet, Claire was already dressed in her black jeggings, black bralet and leather jacket. I throw on my black wet look leggings, a black singlet, black combat boots with my signature grey suede and black leather commanders jacket, she continues to mumble while I dressed.

“I thought it was a dream, I thought... I thought... I just missed him.”

“Roland?”

“Yes, Roland. Well, it wasn’t the fucken Vampires Ry.” I roll my eyes at her snippy attitude. “But then, when I looked in the mirror…” I came out fully clothed, clipping on my utility belt and thigh dagger holster, to a shaking Claire.

“What? What was in the mirror?”

“Look!” She cries and pulls back her hair revealing a bite, a mark - he had claimed her.

“Fuck.” I sighed and hung my head low. “Do you know what that means?”

“Yes, I’m the researcher remember. I just can’t believe I didn’t notice before, all the signs of them being werewolves were there, I was just too damn lost in his fucken gigantic cock to notice.” Claire attempts to sit on the bed but slides off the corner and on to the floor.

“Oh Clay,” I sympathised. “We are both so fucked. If you dreamt he was there and I dreamt that Ulric was here, then that means… I actually… fuck… I claimed Ulric back.” I held her as my phone rings and she looks at me with sparkling blue eyes the size of saucers, stunned by my revelation. “What?” I answered, irritated by being interrupted - again.

“Hurry the fuck up you ungrateful bitch, we’re moving.” My loving mother hangs up in my ear as I seethe at her words.

“I’m sorry your parents are so cruel Ryder.” My short but muscular angel looks up at me.

“Clay, don’t hold it against me when I kill them,” She snorts.

“Just make it look like a Vampire done it.”

I chortle, “okay.” We pick ourselves up and head outside to meet the rest of the Hunters.

“So, what do you think you’re going to do about Roland?” I ask as we trot down the stairs. Before she can answer, my front door flies open and in marches Myka and William.

“What the fuck are wolves doing here? I thought they didn’t attack humans?” Myka’s voice strained as he stares longingly at Claire.

“Why don’t we find out?” I snap, walking past them both.

“Clay, please I’ve… I’ve really missed you,” I hear.

“Don’t,” she warns him.

“Claire, no one touches you the way I do.”

“It’s too late Myka, I’m with Roland and he treats me as if I’m a deity to be worshipped and loved. You… you treated me like a fuck, to be thrown away. You will never touch me again.”

I felt sorry for Myka, maybe Claire was a little harsh but in truth, he deserved the backlash. He thought she would always be at his fingertips, he had years’ worth of opportunity and he wasted it. He had no one to blame except himself for the way their relationship is now, but there was no time to dwell, the Hunters were gearing for a fight and my heart belonged to those they were about to attack. What the hell am I going to do?

“Nice of you to join us, Ryder.” My father sneers through gritted teeth, his clenched jaw clamping down so hard, I can see the muscles flex under his skin.

“You’re welcome, I know how much you miss me when I’m not around, touching really. I was actually discussing strategy with my Lieutenant,” sarcasm drips from my mouth.

“Well, since you see fit to keep us waiting while wolves circle the compounds, please, do us the courtesy of sharing what you came up with?” My top lip curls in disdain.

“I have decided that my unit will expand and I will take on those who you deem unworthy, unruly and untrainable.” He looks at me with murderous eyes.

“Who do you want?” He scowls.

“Claire’s sister Nova, Rick Whyte, George Fern, Martin Casey, Blaire Faraday and Williams brother Steven.”

“But they are teens? You make a dumb move, you embarrass me.” He glares at the extension to my unit while they all take their positions behind us.

“Yes. These are the ones you deem useless, you write them off because they are nothing... you are wrong!” My voice held a dangerous glint to it which unnerved my father.

“Fine, you take the weak, they will die just like you.”

“Or they won’t asshole,” I throw back, my hand motioning for them to move.

My unit are loaded up, adorning every bit of weaponry they were confident with. The wolves taunting them, bating the hunters for some reason, the gates to my father’s compound open. “Whatever happens out there Ry, I’m behind you,” Arrow holds my elbow.

“I love you - I don’t tell you but I do. Just remember that, when the time comes...” I get cut off before I finish.

“Kill them all, they are the same vermin as the vampires!” His bawl meant to be heard by everyone - including the wolves. My parent’s unit takes off, chasing after the furry creatures as I pull my team and Arrow’s unit to the side.

“Nobody and I mean nobody, kills any wolf, you understand?”

Williams’ brother raises his hand, “why? Your father…”

“Steven,” I snap, “my fathers an idiot, they will not attack you if you don’t attack them, it’s simple and our parents are misguided fools.”

William roughs up his brother’s hair, “kid, she’s our commanding officer, Ryder pulls rank - even over that muscle-bound Adonis there.” He motions his head towards Arrow, “so if she says don’t touch em, you don’t.” Steven nods in understanding.

“Now, if any of our parent’s try to attack the wolves, I will take them down. If you grew up how I did, then you should harbour anger towards them, now is your chance. If they go to attack, you have my full permission to take them out.”

Their innocent faces light up, “are you saying…” Blaire questions but before she can finish, I affirm.

“Full. Permission.”

“Yes, but does that mean we, can kill them?”

“Yes Blaire, any way you see fit. Treat them as they have treated you.” My callous and cold mask was at the forefront, I was now fully bound to Ulric which meant those wolves are my family and I would do anything to protect them.

________

Sprinting through the forest towards the massive horde of waiting wolves, I come up fast behind George Fern’s parents, hiding like cowards behind a rock with their guns drawn. I look to my right and notice a grey wolf, running a fair distance away, to the side of me. They aim for the wolf and I jump, slamming my fist down hard into the woman’s face as my right leg flings around behind me, knocking George’s Dad off balance, banging his head and splitting it open against the very rock they sought shelter from. Two wankers knocked out cold and I’d only just begun. The wolf pauses, watching me as I smirk as I continue my fastening strides.

I hear Arrow holler behind me, “don’t stop George, they don’t deserve it.”

Blaire comes up fast on my left and overtakes, her parents were just ahead of us. I see her platinum blonde hair sliding across the forest floor, knocking both parents to the ground. She smashed her heel into her father’s crutch, rendering him immobile while her mother and her were going at it - blow for blow. I pulled out my pocket knife, slide onto my knees, circling, and with my left hand, stab Blaire’s mother behind her knee causing her to fall. I leap to my feet and keep running, I could hear her fists pounding her mother in the face. They deserved it, they all did, those ‘parents’ were sadistic abusive murderers.

The rest of my father’s unit was just ahead, all standing completely still as the air engulfed us, slowing our pace, thick with tension and echoing with snapping jaws and dangerous snarls.

“Shift. Now!” My father demanded but the pack stood their ground, growling menacingly and gnashing their canines. “Shift, you weak, pathetic pack of mutts!” All of them had their guns, laced with silver bullets, trained on the werewolves.

My heart was pounding so hard against my breast bone. My eyes instantly falling on the grey and black wolf, far larger than all the others - bar one golden brown one, standing beside a white and orange wolf. Leonardo and Isla.

My father begins to shake, his temper flaring to an uncontrollable point - I make my decision.

Gnawing at my lip, breathing heavily, I step forward and out of line. All eyes snap to me as I swivel on my heels and walk confidently down the centre - directly between The Hunters and Ulric’s Pack.

Claire steps forward from the other side, squares her shoulders and strides down the centre to meet me. Our eyes locked on one another, affirming our strength. We turned with our backs to the wolves and face our so-called parents head-on. Unsheathing my pistol from the hip holster, I hold it firmly, ready if needed.

“What are you doing Ryder?” My mother sneers.

“My unit...” I bellow loud and clear. “I know your oath, you have sworn your loyalty to our cause, I will not hold it against you. You a freed from your obligation. You are not bound to serve me or help Claire and I in protecting these Werewolves, choose your side. However, if you choose to stay with them - I will not hesitate to kill you.”

My eyes locked on my father’s the entire time, not blinking, not moving - not afraid.

Myka swears and moves beside me, Blaire is the first of the new crew to move and the others follow. William and Steven side glance each other, then reluctantly join ranks in protecting the wolves.

“Choose Arrow?” My eyes still not leaving my father’s but I could see, in my peripheral vision, his conflict and turmoil at going against everything he’s ever known.

“Fuck Ryder...” he swears. “My unit, you are freed of obligation, choose your side,” he voices loudly and moves in beside Claire. “Ry, you better know what you’re doing but I stand by my oath. Whatever happens, I’m behind you,” he hisses, clearly not expecting this was how today was going to go. His unit all fist bump each other then move into line beside us.

We stand there for several minutes in complete silence, neither side making a move, both standing ground, until finally, my father speaks. “Gage will be here soon, he will be utterly disappointed in your disobedient behaviour,” his eyes narrow with hatred daggers hurling in my direction.

“Gage can go fuck himself.” Venom drips off my tongue like acid.

“What are you up to you useless bitch?” He growls.

I pull my caramel locks to the side and push down the collar of my commander’s jacket. “Protecting my husband.” His eyes widen in shock at my scandalous reveal.

“You fucken bitch, how dare you ruin it for us?” My mother’s caterwaul echoes through the trees, screeching at the top of her lungs causing everyone’s weapons to rise and release their safeties. Deep unhinged growl’s and snarls perforate the tension from behind us, resonating scary unchallengeable power, causing goosebumps to spread across my skin. Ulric’s wolf steps in front of me but I sidestep him, pushing him back - he snaps his jaw, clearly pissed off by my action.

“Lieutenant?” My voice laced thickly with authority.

“Yes Commander,” Claire replies.

“Move these wolves back, there will be no fight here today.”

“Yes, Commander.” Claire moves quickly, ordering them to follow as the rest of us step backwards. Weapons at the ready, watching that the Hunters do not move.

My deadly gaze unwavering from my father, a smile plays upon his lips as a bolt of fear runs through my spine. He turns and orders his lot back.

Ulric shifts once we are far enough away, my pupils dilate at having witnessed that for the first time - along with the others. The sound of snapping bones bouncing off the surrounding tree trunks.

“Rocky…” I throw up my hand to stop his mouth.

“You don’t get to talk to me, you don’t get to say anything.” I continue to walk, grinding my teeth together furiously.

“We have to talk about this…”

“Jesus sakes Ulric, you’re a fucken wolf.”

“And you’re a fucken Hunter,” he spits back.

“Yes, a Vampire Hunter…”

“Yes, that protects a coven of Vampires.” Everyone’s now stopped moving, gaping at our argument. The sun was fading, soon it will be dark but I can feel familiar penetrating eyes.

“You fucken knew everything didn’t you Ulric?” I inhale shaking my head, I can feel my temper ready to burst through at any moment.

“I had too, you never answer my fucken questions!” He barks at me.

“I. Had. Too. To avoid this fucking situation!” I screamed back at him, unshed tears of frustration gather in my eyes - my breathing harsh with sporadic puffs.

“You needed to come back to me,” he replies in a softer tone.

“You fucked me into submission. I was asleep and you fucked me, to claim you. You marked me without my knowledge and you stalked me to learn my secrets.” I was angry, I had every right to be.

The two wolves that I had presumed were Leonardo and Isla, quickly shifted and Isla launched forward, slapping Ulric hard across the face.

“You did what?!” Her vicious temper causing Ulric to wince.

“Son, how could you?” Leonardo was disappointed, it swept over everyone.

“We are mates, it would have happened eventually,” he defends himself.

“The right way, not deceitfully!” Isla curses at him.

“I’m possessive and I don’t care, she is mine - my mate,” he growls.

“Lieutenant?” I call, “escort them all home, wait for me there,” I ordered.

“Yes, Commander.” Shucking off my jacket, I throw it at a very quiet Myka. He catches it and throws back upper arm daggers and holsters which I attach immediately. Claire opens her pack and throws me two extra pistols which I slide into my boots. I look up through the trees, noticing the sky’s grown darker.

“What are you doing Ryder?” Arrow questions as William walks over with a bulletproof vest - he slides it on me and straps it up. Claire tosses me two shotguns.

“Get them home safely and wait there,” I reply.

“Rocky, why do I get the feeling you’re about to do something stupid?” Ulric steps forward.

“Ryder, what the fuck do you think you’re doing?” Arrow booms at me.

I stamp my foot hard into the ground, glowering in his direction, my voice laced with danger. “Get. Them. Home!” I shake with raging fury. “I am your Commanding officer and I will not repeat myself. I’m going to get my weapons - without you!” I crane towards the sky again.

“Dimitri,” I bellowed and within a flash - he’s there.

“Mi Amore, I’ve been watching,” a snarl comes from Ulric.

“Let’s move.”

Dimitri and I head off in the opposite direction with his coven close behind.

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