-Better Off Dead-
Three months later
--And finally tonight, we bring you a tragic story straight out of the heart of the Windy City. Officials have confirmed reports of a historic death toll as related to drug overdose along with an alarming amount of missing persons this 2018. Though there seems to be no real connection between the two, the city’s Mayor, Rahm Emanuel maintains that the countries opioid crisis is solely to blame. On Wednesday, however, the President openly disagreed, tweeting that the idea was preposterous. While President Trump and Mayor Emanuel have been at odds before, the President claims he is closer than ever to sending in the Feds. On the plus side, the city has seen a significant decrease in gun violence these last three months, but that number is expected to go up as the temperatures rise--
“It’s getting worse out there, man.” Doug shook his head as he took a seat on the opposite side of the couch. “People are starting to blame us for this mess. And the media’s so stupid-- it’s not an opioid crisis causing everyone to disappear,” he sneered. “It’s a vampire crisis!”
“I know,” Dominic nodded in agreement. He had been trying to steer clear of the whole mess, especially since the night when he had shifted in front of Big Dragon without a full moon-- not to mention he had almost lost Hailee to that damned sire bond. But it was becoming more and more clear that sitting back and letting this play out wasn’t going to remain an option. “Ava says she just needs a little bit more time.”
“A little more time for what?” the officer frowned. “We’ve already tried siphoning his funds and closing out his offshore accounts, but the man literally has so many connections to money, it’s like it doesn’t even phase him.”
Doug shook his head before dragging a hand across the top of his head. “We should be out there, Dom. Actively searching and finding out where he’s keeping all these people. To serve and protect, or have you forgotten?” His eyes narrowed as he turned to look at the larger man. “We’re the only ones who can stop this from happening, yet over nine hundred people just up and disappeared right under our nose! What if they decide to take Molly next, or one of my kids? I swear, it’s like you don’t even care about taking down Big Dragon anymore.”
Dominic shook slightly as his hands balled into a couple of large fists.
“That’s not true,” he pushed through clenched teeth. “If I wasn’t always having to look out for your ugly, weak ass--”
At the crestfallen look on Doug’s face, Dominic trailed off.
“Look,” he sighed. “I’ve just been trying to go at this the right way-- you know, through the proper channels,” Dominic tried to explain. “If it was just myself that I needed to be worried about, I would have turned his ancient ass into a pile of ash months ago. But we need to be smart about how we approach this. Do you have any idea how the government might react if they found out about us? Think about your kids, about Hailee and Molly--”
“I am!” Doug shouted.
“No. You’re not,” Dominic shot back. He turned the television off as he turned towards the other man. “The only way I’ll be able to take down Big Dragon is if I let my wolf completely take over. After that, it’ll take just one person to get that on camera, and they’ll come for us, you know they will. And it won’t be just you, me and Hailee-- they’ll come for all of us.”
“You know he’s right, Doug.” The attention of both men turned towards Hailee as she entered the room. “You can’t let your emotions rule on this one,” the she-wolf pointed out. “It’s what he expects, it’s what he wants.”
Dominic noted how she adjusted the hem on her black, form-fitting pencil skirt nervously before placing herself in his lap.
“You’re going to do great today.” His hand ran along the silky evergreen shirt before lifting a strand of her honey scented hair to his nose. While he worked security at the parade in the southside, Hailee was supposed to meet with her first ‘million dollar’ client in the north.
“It’s not me that I’m worried about,” she confessed.
Dominic gave her a sideways glance as she placed a pin between her lips before grabbing up his lapel.
“Both of you are a part of the supernatural world now,” she reminded them, her words slightly jumbled as she balanced the needle between her teeth. “As far as the leprechauns are concerned, that pretty much marks you as fair game.”
“Oh, c’mon,” Dominic snorted. “Leprechauns?” He tried to pull away but Hailee’s fingers dug into his chin as she fixed him with a serious look.
“Trust me.” Her eyes pleaded with him sternly.
A moment later, Dominic lifted his thick neck as he allowed his mate to pin a four leaf clover to his collar.
“Don’t be surprised if you see them playing all kinds of tricks on the crowd,” Hailee warned. “Most people won’t be able to see them, so don’t be alarmed. Don’t try to engage in a conversation with them either. The little fuckers are evil,” she explained with a sadness in her voice.
He wondered how she had gained so much first hand experience, but a deeper explanation would have to wait. As the three werewolves stood up from the couch, Hailee handed both Dominic and Doug a green hair tie to place around their wrists.
“If the green doesn’t work and one of them seems to have targeted you, trying throwing these in the opposite direction,” she suggested before passing them a few golden coins.
“I just-- I’m sorry,” Doug exploded with laughter before letting the hair tie snap into place. “I’m just having a hard time accepting all of this. Wh-- what’s next?” he laughed. “The Easter Bunny?”
The man snorted again before abruptly stopping up. The look on his face, as his eyes widened and cheeks turned a bright red-- “I think I just peed a little,” he announced.
Dominic watched Hailee cringe as they watched their friend head off towards the bathroom. He guessed his mate might have been even more disgusted, but there was just so much stress flowing through their bond.
“We’ll be alright,” Dominic tried to reassure her. It really bristled his wolf’s fur when she doubted their abilities. “You know a few months ago, I would have agreed with him,” the big man nodded. “But look at us now,” he gestured between himself and the retreating form of Doug. “A couple of strapping, handsome werewolves.”
True to her word the night he had accidentally bitten his partner, Doug now sported a full head of luscious hair. The man had slimmed down as well, and had packed on quite a few pounds of muscle in just a short amount of time. While the donut obsessed officer wasn’t anywhere near the size of Dominic, nor did the man wield the sheer power he himself possessed, the alpha would have been the first to admit that Doug was finally starting to look fit and strong.
“When he gets back, we need to get going,” Dominic said before turning Hailee towards him. The sultry look she threw his way as her eyes turned upwards though, had the hulking weremale doing all kinds of double guessing.
“I’ll be waiting for you after the parade,” she whispered. With her hands resting against his broad chest, she leaned in. Her lips hovered a breath away before suddenly pulling back. The smirk on her face suggested anything but innocence.
“Nobody likes a tease,” he scolded. His large hand trailed down over her backside to that firm, rounded ass. “And my wolf really doesn’t like it when you worry about us so much,” he growled, his voice sounding more gruff than he intended. “It makes us feel weak--” he continued. “--insulted.”
With a rough tug on her arm, Dominic made sure to give a good roll his hips as he pulled her flush against himself before holding her in place. “Do you have any idea how strong I am?” As he pulled himself up to his full height, the hulking officer looked down over his nose. His eyes glowed a dangerous sapphire as he dared her to contradict him.
“Yeah, yeah we get it.” There was a loud, flustered cough as Doug re-entered the room. “You could level the entire planet-- we should marvel at your presence amongst us mere mortals-- from here on out we shall refer to you as Thanos.”
Dominic wanted to ignore the other man, but Hailee had suddenly pulled away with a slight chuckle.
“Seriously, do you two ever give it a rest?” Doug scoffed. “I’m pretty sure a teenager could walk into this room and get pregnant from all the sex in the air.”
Dominic shrugged as he pulled Hailee into his arms again. “It’s ok to admit that you’re jealous, mortal.”
The traffic after the parade was worse than he had anticipated. Drunks stumbled down the streets every which way, while every Uber and taxi driver engaged in some kind of war. Dominic was putting out fires all over the city-- public indecency, public intoxication-- he swore if he laid eyes on just one more male appendage, he was going to wolf out on the city and explode.
He had just dropped Doug and the squad car off back at the station when his personal cell phone suddenly began to ring. The number was unknown, not like it would have made a difference anyways. Hailee was the only number programmed into the new phone Ava had gifted him with a day or so after Christmas. He was still getting used to swiping the green circle to the right, and as far as texting-- his fingers were just too damn big.
“Hello?” He answered.
-Oh my god, Dominic, where the hell are you?
Dominic could feel his face scrunch up as he tried to place the female voice.
“Who is this?”
Even with his heightened hearing it was hard to make out any words. Wherever the woman was, it was overly crowded.
--You seriously don’t know?
He could hear whoever was on the other end huff in annoyance when he didn’t answer right away.
--This would be your future cousin-in-law if you would ever pop the question!
“Ava?” It was like a light bulb had suddenly gone off in his head. “Is everything alright? Where’s Hailee?” he asked. If something had happened to her--
--Calm down, big guy. She’s here, she’s alright--
Dominic sighed in relief.
His grip tightened on the steering wheel. “What do you mean?” He challenged, his knuckles turning white.
--You’ve seen you’re mate, right? That hot little thing with the big tits and an ass you could sink your teeth into.
Dominic growled deeply in response. It wasn’t exactly like he needed a reminder.
--Well she’s like a big, juicy steak being paraded around in front of a wild pack of dogs. Jupiter and I won’t be able to hold them off much longer.
His jaw ticked as his booted foot hammered down on the gas. The star symbol on both his license plates would prevent him from being pulled over by another cop. A benefit for putting his life on the line for the city he supposed.
“I’ll be there in five,” he snapped before ending the call. So help him if someone was messing with his Hailee-- they’d be better off dead.
He hopped out of the car as he pulled up and tossed the valet the keys. Not even bothering to torment the kid as he passed by. Aside from the full moon every month, Dominic hadn’t shifted at will since December. Something told him though, that this was about to change before the end of the night.
“Where is she?” Dominic barked as he shoved his way up to Ava’s bar. As he scanned the crowd, he grew even more frustrated by her absence.
“She headed off to the restroom a few minutes ago,” Hailee’s cousin answered.
He refused the shot glass that she offered him as his sharp vision narrowed in on the dark hallway on the other side of the club.
“Those are some ugly looking decorations,” Dominic remarked as he noted the three statues over by the bathroom door.
“Decorations?” Ava craned her neck as she tried to see what Dominic was looking at. “You mean for St. Patty’s day?” She asked.
Dominic nodded and a smile quickly drew across his face. As her eyes landed on her big man standing nearly head and shoulders above the rest, Hailee responded to his presence with a huge grin of her own.
“Dominic, we don’t have any--”
“Hailee!” Dominic screamed. He stumbled over the bar stool in front of him as he tried to rush forward.
“Out of my way!” He roared, but it was no use. The crowds were unusually thick tonight and the people insanely drunk. As Hailee was drug into the shadows, the happiness he had felt through the bond just moments ago, had suddenly turned to fear.