Danag guessed luck was on his side after all. He found Addison long before Pierce did. She stayed in an abandoned building out of town. She sat alone eating a sandwich and drinking a small carton of milk. This was almost too easy. She sighed. A look of defeat was present on her face. Danag crept into the building. He had her right where he wanted her. He needed to act fast in case Pierce came for her again. Tonight was the night. Tonight, he would make her one of them. Danag emerged from the shadows. He made sure she could see him. He wanted her to know she had nowhere to run. She stiffened at his presence. A squeak escaped her lips. She dropped the sandwich and milk.
“Hello, my pretty,” Danag said. “Nice to see you’re a solo act now.”
“Danag, please,” she said. “I don’t want to die.”
“You won’t, my little flower. You won’t. I just can’t wait another minute to taste you. Your blood has been calling out to me. It’s irresistible you know.”
She ran. Danag laughed. This was going to be so much fun. He walked slowly and watched as she tried to find a way out of the building. He made sure to lock all the exits. She ran up the broken steps.
“Nowhere to run, Addison,” Danag said. “Accept your fate. You belong to me.”
Addy didn’t know why she was so careless. She should’ve gone further out of town. The reason she stayed close was Pierce. She wanted him to find her in case he came looking for her. From his reaction when Victor kicked her out, she hadn’t seen the last of him. Addy wasn’t tooting her own horn or anything but Pierce was in love with her. After learning of this revelation, she had to rethink her position where Sid was concerned. She loved Sid but her feelings for Pierce had a chance to grow from the weeks she spent with him. Sure, she was around Sid longer and she spent more time with him but there was something about Pierce she couldn’t walk away from.
There was something about him that made her want to belong to him. Love grew stronger if it was forbidden. Maybe she was drawn to Pierce because they were forbidden to be together. He was rich, she was poor. He was handsome, she was ugly. Pierce was a werewolf and she was human. Pierce wanted her and she wanted him. Addy wished she told him how she felt. Now, she wasn’t going to get the chance. Danag would kill her. Pierce would never know her feelings. Addy slumped down near the door. Tears sprang to her eyes at the unspoken words still lodged in her throat. Danag grabbed her leg and pulled her from the door. He threw her down the broken steps. Addy landed in a corner. Danag came down the stairs after her. Addy closed her eyes. Well, she’d probably meet Sid sooner or later. When he was close enough to her, Danag mounted her. He brushed a thumb over her cheek, wiping away her tears.
“Don’t cry,” he whispered. “I promise it won’t be painful.”
“Just get it over with,” she said. “I’ve got one foot in the grave anyway.”
Danag brushed the hair from her neck. He hissed as his fangs retracted. Addy swallowed. She wished she said goodbye to Pierce properly. She wished she had fought harder to try and convince Victor she was no threat to him. As Danag leaned down and sank his teeth in her neck, she thought about the life she could’ve had if she hadn’t met Randy. She thought about the dreams she had once she got back on her feet. Danag groaned and pulled her closer to him. Addy closed her eyes. There was no escape from this hell. It was a lie they told themselves. They’d be fine. It’ll all work out in the end. Too bad it never did.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered. “Goodbye Pierce where ever you are.”
Danag was thrown off her with incredible force. Addy gasped. It was Pierce it had to be. He found her. A sigh of relief escaped her lips. Pierce’s eyes landed on her. Addy smiled at him before she passed out.
Pierce growled. He knew it would come to this. He would make Danag pay for attacking her. Danag got to his feet and wiped her blood from his mouth. Pierce wanted to rip his throat out. This was all Victor’s fault. Pierce could’ve protected her. Danag charged with a shriek. Pierce didn’t bother to shift into his wolf. He dodged Danag’s attack. Danag lost his footing and fell to the ground.
“You’ll pay for that,” Pierce said. “You’ll pay for hurting Addison.”
“Hurt her?” Danag glanced at him. “I could never do that, Pierce.”
Pierce didn’t want to hear any more. He wasn’t going to waste any more time. Danag got to his feet. Pierce watched as he went over to Addison. She had passed out. Danag grabbed her up by the hair. He held her in front of him like a shield. He kissed her jaw. Pierce began to shift. It hurt like hell. Pierce figured his anger had something to do with it. He growled when his change was complete. Danag began to step back as Pierce walked towards him.
“You don’t want to risk it,” Danag said. “Back off!”
Pierce didn’t listen. He attacked. He was able to maneuver around her which was a surprise to Danag. Danag screamed when Pierce got ahold of his arm. He tried to get him off. Addison slipped from his grip. Danag was able to shake him off but not for long. Pierce ran after him as he climbed the broken stairs to the roof of the building. Pierce snarled. Danag had nowhere to run. Blood dripped from the gash on his arm. He peered over the roof’s edge and laughed.
“This isn’t over, Pierce,” he said. “You’ll pay for thi-"
Pierce took him down in one fell swoop. Danag gasped for air. Pierce placed a big paw on his throat and pressed. He relished the sight of Danag writhing and kicking under him. Danag’s eyes rolled in the back of his head. He was fading fast. Pierce leaned down, ready to rip his head from his shoulders.
One distraction from Addison was all it took. Danag pulled a knife from his belt and stabbed Pierce in the paw. Pierce screamed. Danag shoved him away. Pierce didn’t have time to nurse his injury. Before he could take Danag down again, Danag leaped from the roof. Pierce ran to the edge and peered down at the streets. He was gone. Pierce shifted back into human form. He frowned at the stab wound on his hand.
“Bastard,” he muttered, licking the wound.
Addison called out to him. He hurried down the stairs. He found her at the foot of the stairs. She glanced up at him. Pierce went to her side.
“I’m so sorry, honey,” he whispered. “I should’ve searched this place sooner.”
“It’s alright,” she panted. “I’m glad you found me.”
“We should get out of here before he returns.” Pierce lifted her in his arms. She rested her head against him and closed her eyes. Pierce made his way through the building and outside. He rolled his eyes at the car that was parked beside his own. Bryce emerged with Victor in tow. They were the last two people he wanted to see right now. Pierce ignored them. He went to his car.
“Pierce,” Victor called.
Pierce put Addison in the car. He sighed at the two puncture wounds on her neck. She would turn now. It wouldn’t change how he felt about her. Victor grabbed his arm when he tried to leave.
“Pierce, listen to me.”
Pierce jerked away from him. “Why? Are you going to tell me to walk away from her again? Is this your idea of making sure no one harms her? Look what happened to her.”
“Pierce, we didn’t mean-” Bryce started.
Pierce cut him off. He ignored him and addressed Victor. “My Addison was bitten by a vampire. In 24 hours or less, she’ll turn! This is all your fault. Don’t ask me to understand why you did what you did. You didn’t try and understand I was in love with her and I still am. Don’t try to make excuses and tell me this is the reason you kept her away from me. If I was here protecting her or better yet, if you let her into the colony, this wouldn’t have happened. She’d be with me and in my arms where she belongs.”
“I know you’re upset but that gives you no reason to disrespect me,” Victor said. “I’m still the alpha and you better remember that.”
“I don’t give a damn about you being the alpha!”
Victor stared at him in shock. Pierce didn’t care if he stepped over the line a million times. He was so tired of Victor using his position to keep him in line. He was tired of Victor using the fact that he was the oldest and demanded respect as a way to control his life. Pierce wouldn’t have it anymore. He couldn’t take it.
“I don’t give a damn about your position,” Pierce screamed. “Take responsibility for turning Addison into one of them. If you think this will keep me from pursuing a life with her, forget it! I’ll choose her over the colony any day. She means more to me than the colony. She means more to me than you and Bryce! I won’t ever leave her again.”
“That’s not your call,” Victor said. “Once she’s back on her feet, I’ll make sure you never see her again.”
“You can’t kill her,” Bryce said. “That’s not how we do things, Vic.”
“I’m not going to kill her but I won’t accept her. I’ll take her somewhere Pierce can’t find her.”
“Go ahead,” Pierce said. “I’ll search the ends of the earth until I find her. The only way you’ll keep me away from her is if you kill me.”
“This is nonsense,” Bryce said.
“Kill me if you want to stop me,” Pierce said. “You’re strong enough to, Vic. Kill me where I stand. I won’t stay away from her!”
Victor sighed. “You know I can’t do that.”
“Then stay away from us. Don’t come near us again!”
Pierce climbed into the car. He wiped the tears that streamed down his cheeks. He cranked up and glanced at his brothers. They watched him with a forlorn expression. Pierce sped away from them. He glanced in the rearview mirror. He saw Victor fall to his knees before he rounded the corner and disappeared into the night.