I had survived many battles in my years. I had fought in wars, both human and werewolf, and I had seen things that I kept buried deep in my mind where my mate would never find them. Still, I had never seen a scene like this, and I had never felt such pride in the men and women who were in my Pack. The dead men who lay in pieces around the shredded entrance door were true heroes, they saved a bunch of lives at the cost of their own.
The Moscow Police had been called. “Alpha,” my Theta Ivan said, “Polina’s dead, she was burned to death. It looks bad.”
“Get her out of here, take her somewhere and make her death look like something else,” I said.
“We’ll fake a car chase then set the car on fire with her in it.” Polina’s body was quickly put into a bag and hauled out of the basement before the police could arrive. I set two people to cleaning the mess she left behind, ash marks marking the spot. The sprinkler had been shut off after putting her body out, and brooms and water would rinse the evidence down the drain.
I was holding Konstantin’s intestines in his body, my fingers holding the jagged edges of his flesh together after the metal fragment tore it open just below where his vest ended. One medic was digging to find the severed artery in his right thigh, while another was working on slowing the bleeding from his arm. Another was trying to find a vein for hanging a blood bag with a large-bore needle. “He’s still alive,” I heard behind me. Looking back, medics were fighting to save a man whose legs and one arm had been blown off by the explosion.
“Tie tourniquets off and get him upstairs first,” I ordered as they swarmed the injured man. “Find his limbs and take them up,” I told another. He started sniffing, in all the carnage scent would be fastest.
I kept working with the medics to stabilize Konstantin so he would survive being taken upstairs. “Alpha, the police and ambulances are here,” the security lead sent to me.
”Alert them that we have had two bombs go off already and more here in the basement have not exploded,” I sent back. “We will evacuate wounded to the front doors, we can’t use the freight elevator yet. No one comes down here until the bomb squad is done,” I said. Those that weren’t involved in care, I sent back outside, except the two cleaning the burn marks off the floor where Polina had fallen.
I was shocked when a blood-covered Jessie came over to us. The medic on his leg was running out of time, the femoral artery had pulled up into his body and the belt wrapped near his hip was not effective. Jesse moved the medic out of the way, placing her hands around the wound where a blue glow encased them. I looked down and saw the bleeding stop and the flesh starting to knit together. Looking up, I could see her strength failing her. I moved over, holding her to keep her from falling on top of him. “You have to stop, Jessie, you’re killing yourself.”
“Not… yet…” she said, but as her body went slack the glow faded.
“Get him out of here,” I said. She’d given him a chance, now we needed the hospital.
“Alpha, where do we send them?”
“Trauma center, our clinic won’t be safe until the explosives are removed,” I said. “Send men with them.” Four men passed me, carrying an unconscious Beta John between them and up the stairway. I adjusted Jessie in my arms, making sure I was the last one in the room before following them up the stairs.
The main area was empty, but outside was chaos. Ambulances, police cars, fire trucks and people clogged the front. As soon as I got to the door, Alpha Stan was there and took Jessie from my arms. “She collapsed from the magic,” I told him.
“I’ve got her,” he said. “I’ve had people reserve as many rooms as they could get at four nearby hotels. I’ll take her there.”
“Good thinking,” I said. I had no idea how long it would take before the bomb squad would be done, much less the police investigation. I set my remaining Betas to work, getting a complete count of people and making sure every Pack member had a place to sleep. It was going to be a long night.
The twin blasts shook more than the ground. “We better get dressed, love.”
She was shaking like a leaf as she got off me, reaching down for her pants and pulling them up. “They didn’t stop her,” she said quietly. “We need to run, my mate. My only chance of living was if they managed to stop Polina before she could hurt anyone. I have money, but we need to leave now before they come for us.”
“There is no place we can run that will save you, Liz. Your only chance is to turn yourself in and let me help. Those two men who were with me? One is Jessie Donato’s mate, the other is the next Alpha of the Kstovo pack.” I tried to link them to make sure they were all right, but all my Pack members had blocks up. “If we leave there is no chance for mercy.”
We sat there for another twenty minutes, her in my lap, my hands comforting her as the sirens blared. I finally got through to Alpha Stan. “Alpha? What’s going on, I can’t reach anyone else.”
“Larry, where are you right now?” I gave him my location. “Is the woman still with you?”
“My mate is with me,” I replied.
I had to wait a minute before he replied. “I’m sending people to pick you up, things are hectic here. You are to go to the hotel room they tell you and not leave the room, do you understand?”
“Yes Alpha.” I felt the weight of the Alpha command on me as he cut the link again. Liz was clinging to me like I was saving her from drowning, and fear was the dominant emotion in our mating link. “It’s all going to work out, I’ll find a way out of this for us,” I said.
“I don’t think there is a way,” she said as she buried her face in my neck. “At least I had this moment with you, something to remember when things get bad. Just don’t leave me? They are going to make me sound like a monster, but I need to know you are with me to the end.”
I kissed her hard, pouring love and support to her as I held her tight. “I marked and mated you just so you would always have that,” I said. “I’m not going anywhere.”
A black sedan stopped by the entrance to the park, and four large men got out and walked over to us. I stood up, holding Liz to my side as her legs threatened to give out. “They are Council enforcers, I’ve worked with them before,” she said.
The four stopped before us, they kept a professional demeanor but the way they looked at her made my wolf rise up. “Easy, pup. Elizaveta Klimova, the European Council has issued an arrest warrant for you on charges of conspiracy to commit mass murder, attempted murder of visiting Alphas and attempted murder of a Council member on official business.” One of the men was removing her handcuff from my hand, then he locked her hands in them behind her back. A silver collar was placed around her neck, it would prevent her from shifting and it shut down the link between us and muted out bond. Two of the men grabbed her arms and started to lead her away.
“Stay strong, my love,” I said as I started to follow, but the other two held me back.
“I love you, Larry. I’m sorry.” She was pushed into the back of the sedan and it quickly drove off.
“Where are you taking her?”
The men just pulled me towards the other side of the park. “She will be detained at an undisclosed location pending trial,” the man on my right said. “Come on, the hotel is five blocks away. You didn’t help her escape, that’s the only reason you aren’t in a cell next to her right now.”
“What happened? I can’t reach any of my Pack members.”
“That’s because you and your Alpha are the only ones still up and about after the blasts.” My stomach sank as they told me what was happening, and I had to stop and throw up in a garbage can when the details were given to me. Liz’s actions had resulted in the deaths of her own Pack members, and both of my friends were in the hospital fighting for their lives.
Luna had dealt me a shitty hand.
I sat by Patrick’s bed in the hospital, the sunrise moving shafts of light over the sheets on his bed. I hadn’t had a bit of sleep; my parents and I had arrived at the hospital shortly after the ambulances did, and only a short time ago had been allowed to see him. The hours of surgery had put the rest of his body back together, and the CT scan of his head showed no brain injury. He needed to rest and fight off infection. The next day would be key.
“They don’t know half of the injuries he had,” my father told me as he sat next to me. Konstantin was in the next room, he was in just as bad a shape.
Patrick’s body had been ripped open by the blast, only the Kevlar vest and helmet had kept him from losing his life. “Polina used large bolts and pieces of metal as shrapnel in the bomb she set by the door. The doctor told me that when they got to him, his right arm was nearly severed near the shoulder. Only Jessie’s healing powers saved his arm. Now you can’t even see a scar.” There were plenty of other wounds and bandages on his body. “She saved his life, Konstantin’s as well, but she only had so much she could do before her energy was gone.”
”How is she?”
“Still unconscious. Alpha Stan said it could take hours, even days for her to wake up, but at least the baby seems to be fine. This has happened before; she exhausted her body with her magic.” Patrick had told me about what happened during the attack on the Pack, and why she wasn’t supposed to use her magic while pregnant. As much as I appreciated what she did, I don’t know if I’d be able to face her if she had lost her pup. “Javier had her moved to a hotel, the Pack House won’t be available to us for several more days. The bomb squad guys said they are removing almost two hundred kilos of military-grade plastic explosive. She had the support columns rigged to blow; it would have collapsed the building from the inside out. Your mate is a hero, Mischa. There were still two dozen people in the building when they stopped her. Thank Luna only seven people died.”
I looked at my Patrick, bandages soaked in blood, his face pale, tubes in his body and monitors counting out the beats of his heart. “I can’t lose him, Dad. Not now.”
“You won’t lose him, but you need to be strong for him. It could be a long recovery, and some things might never come back. Doc says he has no idea how effective Jessie’s healing was on his shoulder. He might not have use of it again.”
“He will get better. I need to keep telling myself that.”
He hugged me, then pulled me to my feet. “I’ll watch him, you go get something to eat and freshen up and give your Mom a break, she’s in with your brother.”
“Let me know if anything changes,” I said with a sigh.
I hugged him, then went down to the cafeteria and ordered something remarkable only for its lack of taste. I was upstairs in fifteen minutes, this time going to my brother’s room. His large body, so full of life and power before, looked pale and helpless on the bed. My mother looked up when I opened the door. “Mischa,” she said as she tried to put on a brave face and failed.
“How is he doing?”
“He lost a lot of blood, and the doctors say the injuries are severe. It could have been worse, though.”
“Did Jessie’s healing save his leg?”
“We won’t know if any permanent damage will be left until he wakes, but he has a chance. Your brother is strong, he will come back from this.”
I sat in the chair next to her. “Dad says you need to eat and freshen up, I’ll watch him while you’re gone.”
She was tired, she had been up all night. “All right, but just a few minutes.”
I watched her leave, and a minute later the door opened again and a haggard-looking Alpha Javier came in. “Alpha,” I said as I got to my feet and bowed my head slightly. “Have you slept?”
“Have any of us?” He came in and stood by the bedside, he put his hand on Konstantin’s large hand, avoiding the IV line. “He is doing well?”
“The doctors did what they could,” I said.
“And I can do more now,” a voice came from the doorway. I turned and gasped as I saw Jessie, walking in with Alpha Stan.
“JESSIE!” I ran over and hugged her as she stood there, her arms wrapping around me. “Thank you.” I looked up into her eyes, I owed her so much.
“I just did what I could for my friends,” she said. “My Alpha is here to make sure I don’t overdo things again, but I want to use a little power to help him along. Until he can be transferred to a Pack facility, I can’t do more,” she said as she stepped back from the hug.
“Anything you can do to help would be great,” I said. “I just want them back.”
She moved next to the bed, looking at his skull which was wrapped in gauze. She placed hands on both sides of his face, and a faint glow appeared on her hands. I watched until she let go, the monitor showing improvement in his blood pressure as she stepped back. “Come on, let’s go see Patrick,” she said.
“Can you heal him?”
She took my hand and led me out of the room. “My power healed my own body after the car bomb, remember? I have even more now, and I know better how to use it. He’s going to be all right,” she said.
“What about your John?”
“He’s still out cold, the magic exhaustion was bad for me the first time too. He must have gotten powers from me when we mated, because he healed on his own while I was out.” We had reached Patrick’s room. “Come on, let’s fix some shit.”
I had hope again.