Pierce shifted back into human form. The pack surrounded him with looks of happiness displayed on their faces. Pierce ignored them. He wasn’t going to give them any false hope. Victor wiped the dirt from his clothes. He scowled at the bloodstain on the collar of his shirt.
“Are you alright?” Pierce asked.
“Fine,” Victor said with a gruff tone. “I thought you weren’t coming back here and yet you save my life.”
“You’re my brother after all,” Pierce said. “Even if I hate you at the moment, I can’t let you die.”
Victor didn’t say anything. Pierce figured he wouldn’t. No thank you or are you okay was uttered. He was the same. Pierce didn’t know why he expected him to be different. He glanced at Danag’s arm on the ground. Jacinth covered his nose and poured the wolf’s bane on the arm. Pierce watched as he set the arm on fire. The wolves covered their noses at the stench.
“He tried to kill you using the same thing that took out our first alpha,” Jacinth said. “This is war now, sir.”
“Damn right it is.” Victor scrunched up his nose. “Pierce you remain here until further notice.”
Pierce glared at him. “I will do no such thing, have you forgotten about-"
“Bring her here.”
Pierce gasped. He sure as hell wasn’t expecting that. Victor was adamant about no human entering the colony but Addison wasn’t human anymore. So he was fine with vampires entering the territory but not humans. They were the worst sort. Pierce cursed under his breath. He shouldn’t think like that. Addison was one of them now. A sense of dread overcame him. Perhaps Victor wanted her here to make an example of her. They planned to torture her and kill her.
“I won’t let you harm her,” Pierce screamed. “She’s not like them. She knew nothing of this attack!”
Victor frowned. “What the hell are you talking about, Pierce?”
“I won’t let you make an example of Addison!”
“Is that what you think?”
Pierce didn’t have time to answer him. Victor punched him so hard, Pierce was afraid he knocked a tooth loose. Pierce glared at him. He wiped the blood from his mouth. Bryce ran up to them, ready to get in between them if they fought. Victor let out a growl. Pierce growled back. The pack stepped back.
“I wouldn’t do such a thing,” Victor said through clenched teeth. “I don’t approve of your relationship with her especially now since she’s one of them but from the little time I spent around her, I know what kind of person she is. Since you refuse to live without her, I only wanted to give her a chance. Maybe I judged too harshly. Whatever the reason, I don’t like a female coming between us. I won’t lose you because of her. Bring her here so we can settle things without her being in the way.”
“Will you be nice to her?” Pierce glanced around at the pack. “Will any of you be nice to her?”
“As nice as I can be,” Victor said. “If that bloodsucker is after her, it’ll take more than you to protect her. Go get her and come back straight away.”
Pierce didn’t know how to respond to Victor’s orders. He didn’t like how Danag could easily sneak into their territory but at the same time, he didn’t know if Victor was telling the truth or jerking him around. He tried to read his brother’s face but he gave nothing away like usual. Victor turned away from him and headed back to the mansion.
“It’s your call, Pierce,” Victor said over his shoulder. “You better act now before that piece of shit makes a move again.”
Pierce sighed. He guessed he really didn’t have a choice, did he?
Addy had no idea where Pierce was taking her. She sat on the passenger side, surveying the landscape as he drove past. He didn’t tell her anything and when she tried to ask him, he just told her to trust him. The trees gave way to a winding road surrounded by lush, green grass. It was the middle of nowhere. Addy felt at ease for some reason while watching the grass. A beautiful meadow came into view with the most beautiful flowers she’d ever seen.
“Wow,” she whispered, leaning closer to the window.
Further up, past the meadow was a river, crystal blue and sparkling, lit by the moon. This place was paradise on earth. She didn’t know such a place existed in Silver Creek. A mansion loomed in the distance from the meadow and river. Addy wondered who had the luxury of experiencing such a scene every day. When Pierce sped toward the mansion, her excitement gave way to fear.
“Is this,” Addy cleared her throat. “Is this where Victor lives?”
Pierce nodded. “Hard to believe, isn’t it?”
Addy gripped her seatbelt tightly. She didn’t know why Pierce brought her along for the visit. Victor probably wouldn’t even let her on the lawn. He probably wouldn’t even let her set a foot in the meadow even though it was a little ways from the house.
“Pierce, I don’t think this is such a good idea,” she stammered. “Victor doesn’t like me.”
Pierce placed a hand over hers. “Victor told me to bring you.”
All the more reason why she shouldn’t have come. She guessed Pierce never watched movies or tv shows. This was usually a setup to humiliate the other party or in Victor’s case, he would kill her. Addy slumped down in the seat the closer they got to the mansion. When Pierce went through the gate, she was pretty sure she soaked the seat with all her sweat. She saw a young man outside, waiting for them when they pulled up. He jogged to the passenger door. Addy cringed when he opened it. Their hospitality was lost on her. Addy glanced at Pierce. He nodded.
“I promise not to bite,” the young man said with a smile.
Addy wasn’t worried about him. She unhooked her seat belt and stepped out of the car with caution. Pierce got out as well. Addy shut the door and jumped when the alarm sounded. He was locking the car. Addy wanted to tug on the handle but she wouldn’t be immature. She had to face Victor one way or another. Pierce held out a hand to her. She took it. They made their way into the mansion. Addy was sure she gripped Pierce’s hand a little too tight but he didn’t seem to mind or notice. Addy didn’t have time to admire the impressiveness of the mansion inside. She was too frightened.
“You’ll be fine,” Pierce whispered in her ear.
Addy could only nod. Her legs weren’t working right. She stood up to Victor. She didn’t think he’d forgive her. She wasn’t afraid at first but maybe she was stupid at first.
“Pierce…” Addy grabbed his arm. She saw Victor coming down the hall to greet them. Addy moved back to try and hide behind Pierce but he pulled her forward to stand side by side with him.
“I’ve done what you asked,” Pierce said. “But know this, if you so much as-"
“I’ve had enough of your empty threats, Pierce,” Victor said.
Addy stiffened when his gaze landed on her. What was he going to do to her? She didn’t have the energy to greet him properly. She tried to say hello but it came out as a small sound.
“Don’t tell me you forgot how to talk,” Victor said. You had so much to say when we first met.”
“I thought I’d never meet you again,” Addy said. “You made it clear I won’t be accepted by you or your friends.”
“Well, things change, Victor scowled. “If I want Pierce to stay, I have no choice.”
Addy thought as much. He wasn’t really accepting her but he didn’t want to lose his brother. It kind of upset her in a way. She didn’t want to walk eggshells around him her entire relationship with Pierce. She shouldn’t have come.
“With all due respect,” Addy said. “I should leave.”
“Addison,” Pierce protested.
Addy let go of his hand. “You only want me here to keep Pierce around which means I’ll have to walk eggshells around you and I don’t want to do that.”
Addy expected Victor to get mad at her like he did the first time she stood up to him. She was waiting for the backlash but to her surprise, he laughed. She glanced at Pierce who looked just as lost as she did. Was he making fun of her again?
“You don’t have to walk eggshells around me,” Victor said. “I want Pierce to stay and yeah, I don’t fully accept you but if Pierce sees the good in you and the fact he loves you unconditionally then I guess I should do him the honor of giving his mate a chance.”
“No strings attached?” Pierce asked.
“There is one,” Victor said. “We aren’t vampires so you are responsible for your own meals and you are not to feed on any member of the pack.”
“I offer my blood willingly,” Pierce said.
“It’s going to take more than your blood to sustain her,” Victor said. “I’ll see what kind of strings I can pull on my end.”
“Thank you I guess,” Addy said.
“You're to keep this under the radar,” Victor narrowed his gaze at her. “We werewolves live in secret and we want to keep it that way. We don’t expose ourselves to humans for any reason. If you want to be with Pierce, you’re to do the same. Keep your identity a secret unless you’re in danger.”
“Being a vampire I can’t come out in the day anyway,” Addy said. “I’ll miss that.”
“We might be able to do something about that as well,” Pierce said.
Pierce kissed her on the side of the head. “Trust me, love. I’ll do whatever it takes to make you happy.”