I woke up on the stone floor, feeling like I’d been run over by a tank. It took a few minutes to push myself up to a sitting position in the small cell. It was hewn out of solid granite, with silver-plated bars on two sides and a small gate. All that was inside was a thin blanket under me, and a bucket in the corner. “JESSIE!”
“Shut up, you idiot,” a man said. “The jailers don’t like it when you make noise, they’ll come down here and use a cattle prod or fire hose on you.” He was in the cell across from mine; he looked to be in his forties, his eyes a little crazy, hair greasy and tangled.
“The woman? Over there.” He pointed to a dark corner of the room, I could see a small cell. I could barely make out her form; her hands were chained to wall above her head, her ankles to the floor. She was spread in an X-shape, her head hanging down, the gag still in place around her mouth. “Oh Luna, Jessie… wake up, baby, wake up.”
“She’s been out since they brought her back from the interrogation room. They worked her over good.”
Oh Luna, WHY? Jessie is gentle, loving, loyal; she’d done nothing to warrant this. “How long have I been out?”
“All afternoon,” he said. “Dinnertime is in about ten minutes, and sunset an hour away. Moonrise is in two.” Fuck… I didn’t have much time. “You better say your goodbyes, I hear she’s gone with the moon.”
I pounded my fist into the bars, ignoring the pain and the burn. “You watch yourself, rogue. That’s my mate you’re talking about.” I started looking around the cell, looking for any point of weakness I could use.
“Don’t bother, those bars are an inch thick of steel with a silver clad, sunk two feet into the solid bedrock,” he said. “The Hulk couldn’t get out of these.”
I folded the thin blanket and sat down on it. I checked my pockets, everything had been taken out. My belt was gone along with my shoes, they had given me flip-flops on my bare feet. I was regretting my decision to go dark, no communications at all. No one was looking for me, no help was coming.
Revise that, plenty of people were looking for Jessie, but none of them wanted to do anything but kill her.
I heard the door unlock, and a fresh breeze came through the cell before it closed and locked again. I could smell what was supposed to be food; what came through the bars looked like it had been rescued from the garbage bin at lunch. Pieces of bread crust, some beans, lettuce, half a hot dog. The food was all soaked into the pieces of bun, it was cold, and flies were buzzing around it. “Bon appetit,” the guard said with a smile.
“I need to speak with the Alpha, it’s urgent.”
“Of course you do, sir. Why, I’ll go fetch the Alpha right now. Anything else I can do for you? Fluff your pillow? Turn down your bed? Do you like those little mints on your pillow too? I know, maybe I’ll fuck your girlfriend for you, it’s clear you haven’t done the job.”
I threw my bowl at him, slamming into the bars as he stepped back from me. “I’ll fucking slay you if you touch her.”
He just laughed. “Aww, poor Beta didn’t like his dinner. Maybe you can eat what’s left off the floor.” He opened his fly and started pissing towards me, causing me to jump back in disgust. He made sure he soaked down any piles of leftover food in or near my cell. “Now shut the fuck up before I get the firehose out and do some cleaning.” I said nothing as he looked into Jessie’s cell, then walked back out, locking the door behind him.
“FUCK!” I sat down against the wall, my head in my hands.
“You really screwed up, when the kids have hot dogs that’s the only chance to get meat the whole week,” the rogue said as he licked his fingers.
The sun went down, the air vent in the center of the room darkening, casting the room into shadows from the dim lighting used. I tried getting Jessie’s attention, but she didn’t wake up. When the door opened, I knew I was out of time.
Four guards set up around my cell, one carried silver handcuffs and leg shackles with a short chain, the others clubs or a cattle prod. The Alpha was behind them. “Bring him out, we don’t want him to miss the show,” he said.
The Beta smiled. “Easy way or hard way works for me, it’s all a matter of how much pain you want to be in,” he said.
I turned my back and placed my hands behind them. The door opened, and my wrists were cuffed together, then the shackles placed on my ankles. I could walk with short steps; they led me out of the cell and up the stairs, slowly. I was surprised they didn’t drag me, instead two of them just led me slowly along until we were inside the pole barn.
The whole Pack was there.
I was forced to my knees, and a short chain was attached to my handcuffs from a big concrete block buried in the ground. I could smell the blood on the chain and the stone, it was clear this area was used for punishments. The guards faced me towards a steel pole set in more concrete, just across the dirt floor from me. They forced a cloth into my mouth, gagging me as it was tied behind my head. “Behave,” the guard said as they stepped back from me. Both of them put on ski masks.
The building was full, almost a hundred adults, but no one under sixteen looked to be there. They filled the stands along one side of the building, talking about normal stuff as they waited. I scanned the crowd, committing faces to memory, ones I would take pleasure in killing when I got free. I pulled against the chain, the silver digging painfully into my wrists, but I was going nowhere.
I heard the doors opening, and the place went quiet. I turned along with the others, seeing the Alpha and Luna walking into the room as the Pack bowed to them. Behind them, the Beta and some guards were dragging a frightened Jessie along. Her ankles were shackled close together, preventing her from walking, and her arms were bound behind her head. The gag was still in place, but not the blindfold. No, her eyes showed sheer terror as they pulled her through the crowd towards the pole by the men, all of whom were hooded or wearing ski masks.
She looked at me briefly before they turned her. Her hands were uncuffed and attached to shackles high on the pole, leaving her hanging with only her toes touching the dirt. She was screaming, but I couldn’t make it out. I was in the back of this show; in front, that bastard of an Alpha Sven standing with his mate. “Tonight, we put a witch to death for the crime of trespassing onto Pack lands,” he said to cheers. I noticed a cameraman was standing there, the lens pointed towards us. I couldn’t believe the bastards were recording this.
I was going to kill every last one of them.
The Beta came forward, a black hood over his head, a large knife in his hand. Silver plated, it was designed to retard healing for werewolves, but the blade would kill humans too. He walked towards her, the cameraman following until he was standing next to Jessie. He turned to the camera and said something as I was screaming into my gag, struggling to get free. He turned back to her and gripped her hair, pulling her head back. He looked at me, then lifted the knife up to her throat. With one stroke, he sliced her neck open to the bone.
I screamed and struggled as I watched her blood spray into the dirt around the pole, until I felt the needle again and the blackness took me again.
Alpha Yuri’s POV
It hadn’t been easy, but I’d raised the three hundred million dollars with minutes to spare. I’d liquidated everything I could, I sold properties and businesses to other bosses, and the last hundred million I’d borrowed from the Sicilians at a cost of ten million dollars a week. The transfers went through, and I was in the office with my Betas, watching the video stream from wherever she was being held.
The camera showed a pole, and behind that a large male was chained to the ground. He was gagged, two guards standing by him. “Who is that guy?”
One of my men got close to the huge television in the conference room, looking closely. “Shit, I thought that was a rumour.”
“What the fuck?”
“That’s Beta John Pearson of the Highlands Pack. He’s the one who put a man in the hospital when he pinched Jessie’s ass at the bar she worked at. He got six months for assault, I didn’t know he was out.”
“He did time for her?”
“Yeah. Word was she was his mate, but she’s human so I didn’t believe it.”
We watched as Jessie was dragged in and hung from the pole. The camera went in close, I could see the terror in her eyes. “Is that her?”
My computer guy was using facial recognition. “Yes, Alpha, it’s Jessie.”
The hooded man filled the screen; “Thank you for your business,” he said before he turned back to her.
The Beta didn’t waste any time. The large silver blade sliced across her neck, blood spraying feet in the air as he pulled her hair back. The cut was so deep we could see her trachea. Death didn’t take long, we saw the light in her eyes go and her head slumped forward.
Jessie was dead.
“Vodka,” I said as the video ended. My men gathered round as my assistant poured, and we drank a toast to our good fortune. That bastard daughter of my brother would no longer stand in the way of my money, or the Moscow Pack.
Beta John’s POV
I woke up to the motion of a boat. Looking up, I was lying on the artificial turf of a speedboat, spray wetting my hair and back. I was still cuffed, and as I looked up, I could see the Alpha driving the boat through the night. His Beta was up front with the guard from the cells. I tried to get myself loose, the engine noise covered me along with the motion, but it was of no use. The Alpha turned around, catching my eyes he smiled. “The Beta’s awake now,” he yelled over the motor.
“Are we far enough out now?” The guard walked back towards me, looking towards the lights of the houses in the distance. I growled as he approached. I could still smell Jessie on him. He’d hurt her, and I wanted to rip his head off and shit down his throat.
The Alpha nodded, taking the throttles down and putting the boat in neutral. The Beta was attaching cinder blocks and chains to a large canvas bag, the kind hockey players used for their gear. He wrestled the bag to the side, then set the cinder blocks on top of the bag that held my Jessie’s body. One push, a splash, and she was gone.
The scream of pain and anger I let out was unlike anything I’d ever felt before. The silver kept me from shifting, and my wrists were cut deeply as I struggled. My eyes were closed with the pain, my wolf and I were hurting, even the smell of Jessie on the guard’s clothes just drove the anger higher.
“STOP, John, you’re hurting yourself. I’m here.” A hand cupped my face, and tingles exploded.
I opened my eyes. Jessie was kneeling by me, her face next to mine. She kissed me, and I blacked out again.