Dominic starred up at the ceiling restlessly as he lay in bed. His heart, his soul, his mind-- none of it was at peace nor would allow for him to fall asleep. It was why he had taken up drinking in the first place. He couldn’t sleep without Hailee by his side, it felt wrong, unnatural.
With an exaggerated grunt, Dominic rolled out of bed and headed to the kitchen. While the ten members of the brotherhood had reserved rooms in the nearby Trump Towers for the night, the eleven Lakota shifters had decided to take up occupancy on the roof. Doug had gone home earlier when Molly called to tell him she was in labor. But it turned out to be Braxton Hicks, and the other officer promised to be back bright and early the next morning.
The allies had agreed to attack then, citing that Bojing would probably assume he was safe until another full moon. Dominic had agreed it was risky since neither Doug, Jupiter, Ava or Justin could shift. But the four werewolves refused to wait another second and leave Hailee in the hands of that monster.
The odds certainly seemed against them, but the leprechauns had agreed to fight as well. They had promised to meet at Dominic’s apartment at sun up. And then--
--Then they’d bring hell for breakfast.
Dominic stood in the kitchen looking over where the other three wolves had crashed for the night. John had explained how werewolves used to have packs and ranking orders until Bojing had brought them nearly to extinction. Alphas had been revered as kings amongst the rest, with the Betas as second in command and the Gamma warriors categorized next.
He went on to explain that the lowest ranking, the Omega’s, were usually treated worse than dirt. He pointed out how the system was flawed and unjust and within its own disloyal roots laid the foundation for their demise. Any man should have the same opportunity to move up in position as long as he showed himself worthy. But the Alphas’ of the past decided to rely on loyal bloodlines instead, and when Bojing began wiping out the packs, some saw that as a way to get a head.
Before his very eyes now, there seemed to be hope for repopulating the species. If they lasted the next twenty-four hours, Dominic vowed there would be no dictatorship this time around. No omegas. Everyone would work together and he would look out for his pack, the same way he did his brothers and sisters in blue.
Dominic turned back around but grew even more frustrated as he paced about the kitchen. He opened and closed the refrigerator again, each time hoping some magical sleep potion might appear. It was around the fifth time that he heard someone shuffle in behind him.
“You should really try and get some sleep, you know.” Ava’s voice was soft as she gently rebuked him. “Hailee will need you at your best tomorrow We all will,” she added
“Trust me when I say, it’s not for lack of trying,” he replied dryly. He had caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror after he had taken a shower at the redhead’s insistence. To say he looked like shit would have been the understatement of the year.
With an all knowing nod, Ava quickly moved about the cupboards. Two minutes later she had pulled out a mug from the microwave, removed some sort of bag, stirred in a drop of honey and held out the steaming cup for him to take. He gave her a questioning glance as he sniffed the yellowish liquid. It smelled strongly of peppermint and something else he couldn’t quite place his finger on.
“Peppermint and chamomile,” Ava supplied for him. “It’ll help you sleep,” she promised with a weak smile.
With a curt nod of his head, he thanked her and took the cup back to his room. As he slowly sipped on the tea, he found his thoughts were consumed by happier times with his mate. He laid back with a surprising smile and within half an hour of drinking the concoction, he was fast asleep.
“We’ve been going about this all wrong.”
Ava sat on Dominic’s couch between Jupiter and Justin, a small computer open and resting in her lap. With Doug, Running Fox and ‘Michigan’ standing behind her, she had just begun to explain where they all might find the blood sucker and his Hailee. Her fingers flew across the keys, before she finally turned the screen towards him. He quickly realized what she was showing him was a map and in an almost perfect triangle, three buildings across the city were highlighted in red.
“Until he took her, I had never thought to look under Hailee’s name. But a warehouse, an abandoned apartment building and a shipping yard--” Ava pointed on the screen to each highlighted building as she spoke. “You’re not going to like this, but they’re all listed as being owned by a Ms. Hailee O’Connell.”
A low rumble vibrated in his chest. His fists clenching at the idea of Bojing implicating his precious Hailee in all of this mess.
“If I had to take a guess, I’m pretty sure she has no idea about any of this, or that she also has millions in offshore accounts,” Ava informed him. “He’s just been using her all this time and in the end, if it all goes south, it won’t even fall back on him.”
Dominic could feel his rage building but he needed to remain calm. At all costs he would make sure that this didn’t fall back on his mate.
“Drain the accounts,” he ordered. “And shut ’em down.”
“Already on it,” she replied. “And I’ve put a lock on her social security number as well so he can’t open any more accounts in her name.”
“Good,” he nodded. He was about to begin explaining the plan he had come up with late last night when suddenly the elevator doors slid open.
“Well it’s about time,” Charlie whistled as one of his men stepped into the room. “For a minute there, I thought we might have to starve.”
The other man’s arms were filled with a few boxes of donuts and one of those portable coffee carriers from Starbucks. As Dominic stood to help him, he noticed the words splayed across the bear shifter’s chest.
“Train like a beast, huh?” Standing a good head taller than the biker from Michigan, Dominic couldn’t help it as a brow lifted humorlessly on his face. His ego was growing to epic proportions as the average size body builder was forced to look up. Dominic dwarfed him in every way, out weighing him by almost a hundred pounds.
“How’s that workin’ out for ya?” Dominic snorted.
As the guy took a step back, he visibly gulped. Dominic almost laughed as the leather cut revealed the biker’s name was Tank. Without another word, he grabbed the donuts and coffee from the other man and headed back over towards his chair. He was about to sit back down when a clap of thunder followed by a flash of lightning produced three very short and ruddy looking men.
“The wee Irish folk extend ye there hand in service, Alpha,” Calum bowed but not before removing his hat in respect. “We were saddened to hear the news o’ your lassie fallin’ into the wrong hands,” he said.
While Dominic pretty much blocked most of Calum’s view, Seamus and Finnigan had been looking out and around him at the rest of the gathered crowd. The two seemed to reminisce over a good time as they pointed towards Doug and laughed, but the moment their eyes landed on Charlie Westcomb and Tank, the leprechauns immediately began tugging on their leaders clothes.
“You’ll have to excuse me a moment lad.” Calum looked up towards Dominic apologetically before huddling with the other two. It was a quick meeting of whispers between the three and he couldn’t deny having a bad feeling as he looked over at the shit eating grin on both Tank and Charlie’s faces.
“I’m afraid this has never happened before--” Calum began as the three straightened back up. Dominic wasn’t sure what to make of the looks of apprehension. “Unfortunately due to unforeseen extenuating circumstances, the wee folk most revoke our allegiance--”
“What do you mean?” Dominic growled. “We had a deal.”
“Er-- ehm, yes,” Calum coughed and fidgeted under Dominic’s intense, angry gaze. “But you see--”
“We don’t need them anyways,” Dominic heard Charlie mutter as he took a step forward. He could feel himself growing more irate every second that they wasted. As the biker fell in line next to Dominic, he observed how the three leprechauns cowered in fear.
“Help me understand what’s going on right now,” Dominic pushed through clenched teeth. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes as he thought back to some of his training at the academy. If he wanted everyone to work together, he needed to diffuse the situation quickly.
“Did you know a leprechaun will tell you were his gold is if you capture one?” Charlie smirked. “He also has to tell you the truth if you force him to look you in the eye.”
Charlie pretended to take another step forward, causing the three little men to shrink back even further.
“Last time, we only caught one, right Tank?” Charlie leered over his shoulder back at his second in command. “Imagine how rich we’re gonna be with thre--”
“Enough,” Dominic roared, his hand wrapped tightly around Charlie’s throat. He had dealt with bullies before and this time it would be so much easier. At the distress of his Alpha, Tank tried to rush him. But Justin and Doug jumped into action, holding the bear shifter back by his arms.
The floor seemed to grow further away from him as his bones lengthened and popped to accommodate his growing size. His shirt ripped at the seams as more muscle packed onto his already dense frame. It didn’t completely shred though, in his rage he’d only had time to transform into his hybrid. This form allowed Dominic to retain some control while keeping his wolf happy. And nothing made the beast happier than to see ‘Michigan’s’ face turning beet red.
“Please! We’ll do whatever you say!” Tank bellowed. His eyes had glazed over along with the Alpha’s. It occurred to him that perhaps Charlie was controlling his beta somehow, but he didn’t care. He’d kill them both if they tried to fvck him over.
“If we’re going to beat this, we work together.” Dominic’s voice was so deep, it sounded as though Lucifer himself had awoken inside him. It sent shivers down everyone’s spine while leaving no room for questions. “I’m your Alpha now.”
“We understand,” Tank replied.
“You better,” he warned, flexing his fingers till he could feel Charlie’s vocal chords strain. “Or I will have no problems ending you. You do what I say from here on out and you leave the leprechauns alone.”
Charlie sputtered on his own spit as Dominic’s hand tightened even more.
“We understand!” Tank screamed again.
Dominic held him there for a moment, watching the man go from red to purple before finally letting the biker fall to the ground. Immediately his hands scratched at his throat, his lungs gasping for the precious oxygen Dominic had denied him for so long.
“You will take your brotherhood to the shipyard,” Dominic instructed. His voice boomed with power and authority as Tank helped Charlie to his feet.
“Running Fox, you and your men will head to the abandoned apartment.” He nodded towards the raven haired man before removing his torn shirt and taking a seat in his chair. He studied each face before addressing the rest of the room.
“The five of us and the leprechauns will take the warehouse,” he explained. “If you think he’s there, or you see my mate, you call me immediately and whatever you do-- DO NOT engage.”