Chapter Fifteen: Crane
Author's Song of the Chapter: Play Dirty by Kevin McAllister
As soon as Dusk and Noah rejoin us I can tell something is different about them. Suddenly they hold so much more responsibility in their hearts. They are more than just our alphas now, they are our protectors. The two Hellhounds who will do anything to ensure our survival. An ache spreads through me, they are sacrificing their wants for our greater good. It’s not fair. None of this is fair.
“Why do you trust Penny and Hayley?” Noah asks me, his voice is still the same as before, warm and caring yet he is somehow more dangerous as I feel he is demanding a response even though he doesn’t say so.
“They didn’t have any part of the deaths of our adults, they didn’t even know it had occurred until Hayley found me in pieces in the aftermath. I believe it was the green-haired guy and the kid Joey who played the biggest parts.” I respond honestly even though I know what is coming next.
“Proof?” Dusk asks simply her eyes burning into mine hungry for information.
“Joey was present, he went around collecting the bodies from the dead humming shamelessly as he did so. I have nothing on the green-haired guy but my instincts.” I reply, I expect a scolding for my lack of evidence but I don’t get one.
Dusk and Noah nod, satisfied with my response, it’s then I notice the wilderness in their eyes. They are keeping their Wolves very close to the surface.
“What are we going to do?” Danny whimpers from where he and Cassie comfort a sniffling Lily.
“Noah and I will handle it,” Dusk states simply than they make to leave the room together.
‘Crane come with us, I know this might be hard on you but we need you to work Hayley. We need to hear her heartbeat about the matter, only then will we know the truth.’ - Dusk tells me in my mind, I quickly move to follow them.
Behind us Garth, Sicora, Tucker and Carl go to work as the betas, they will work on calming the pack down and explaining the plan as Dusk and Noah send it to them. I close the door behind me sprinting to catch up with Noah and Dusk. They walk quickly Dusk using her nose easily to follow Hayley’s scent. I contain a growl as it mixes with Joey’s the closer we get to her location. Finally, we come to a door coated in Hayley and Joey’s scent, the only thing keeping me from going crazy is the lack of a sex smell. Noah nods at me as they wait tight against the wall, I knock on the door. Groans echo to my ears and I remember it's four or five in the morning. After a moment I hear shuffling before Hayley appears at the door. Her eyes widen when she sees me, I soften mine, or at least I pretend it doesn’t happen automatically. I step into her space causing her to back up into the darkroom giving me the space of the doorway, Noah and Dusk slip in like shadows around me. Hayley’s full attention is on me as my eyes adjust to the darkness, there is only one bed in the room and Joey is in it.
“Did you play me?” I ask quietly need to know as my eyes bore into Joey’s sleeping form.
“Crane if I had known I would never have let that happen!” Hayley claims quietly her voice almost pleading.
“Why tell me to fight?” I prod wanting to understand what was supposed to happen.
“They were supposed to start the omega fights to learn who the weakest link was because we already knew who the strongest was. I was told you’d be placed against the adults and during that conversation I could tell you would have been okay with dying. I didn’t want you to die.” Hayley explains her eyes meeting mine as her cheeks flush a deep crimson colour in the dark.
I step forward suddenly hungry as I press my lips to hers. At first, she stands stalk still, then her lips move against mine as she becomes receptive. We both jump apart when a growl groan leaves her body sending shocking jolts through mine. Hayley breathes hard and I recompose myself as I try to push away the fact that was the best damn kiss I’ve ever had.
“I shouldn’t have done that but I couldn’t in case you end up hating us again,” I tell her right before a growl comes from within the room behind us.
Hayley’s eyes widen in shock as her mouth pops open and she turns to the door. At that exact moment Dusk and Noah open their eyes behind her lighting up the room with their glow, a slumped body is nestled over Noah’s shoulder. Dusk nods at me before they slip around us and out of the room.
“You told them, you couldn’t wait?” Hayley accuses me disbelief in her tone as she faces me as the door closes.
“I couldn’t trust you, you and Penny wouldn’t have dealt with them. My sister, my alphas will deal with them, my pack are the only ones I truly trust.” I tell her, her face goes pale as if I struck her but she doesn’t argue with me.
I turn and leave the room, Hayley quickly follows behind me, we meet up with Dusk and Noah outside of a cafeteria, our packmates appear behind us dragging Penny and the green-haired guy with them.
“Will they kill them?” Hayley asks suddenly as we continue to follow Noah and Dusk into the cafeteria.
“I don’t know,” I respond and I can tell my response scares Hayley, the cafeteria is crammed with Wolves as they allow us all to pass through.
Dusk and Noah set Joey and Draco down in the middle of the room before joining the other alphas where they discuss. Suddenly the red-haired alpha marches towards Penny and Hayley the other alphas moving close behind him.
“Is it true, were the adults murdered?” The alpha spits the question out, Penny fumbles for words as we step back away from her.
“It’s not the words we want,” Noah states catching the whole room's attention.
Everyone watches as he lights his fingers with blue flames near the two unconscious men, they startle awake scrambling away from the burning heat. This might very well be torture were about the witness.
“What’s going on here?” Draco asks Penny before he gets up charging over to her.
“A trial, not one run by me,” Penny states tacking on the last part to make sure he understands Penny isn’t the one in control.
“Did you kill the adults?” Dusk questions as she and Noah circle the two men, they are in control.
“Draco won’t talk, he’s had military training,” Hayley whispers to me, I smile at her words.
“They’ll make him talk,” I reply, the room goes silent as Dusk and Noah go to work.
Dusk and Noah circle Joey and Draco as if they are circling prey, in a sense they are. For the most part, they leave Joey alone working Draco, beating him to the point of death than healing him so they can do it all again. Slowly Draco begins to crack and the truth begins to come out, at this point Joey is sobbing with fear.
“Fine, I killed them, because I knew we couldn’t control them. Plus they deserved it, you deserved it. You murdered my best friend, I couldn’t just let that go. Penny has been throwing his work in the trash, Jack knew the truth just like I do. Wolves are no more than monstrous animals, this torture proves it!” Draco spits out, blood dribbles from a split lip as he speaks.
“Humans invented torture within the war, Wolves have just perfected the methods.” Noah’s voice is straightforward as he throws the fact at Draco.
Draco blanches, he has no smart retort ready. His eyes are locked on Dusk who moves to Joey.
“What was your part in this?” Dusk demands as she crouches to look Joey in the eyes.
“I didn’t help kill them, I just made sure they were dead. I wanted them dead, all I want is justice for my murdered family.” Joey’s voice wobbles as he cries out his response.
Dusk is quick as her hands snap out to grab Joey’s face as he holds his eyes to hers.
“Your heart betrays you. Tell me the truth before I beat it out of you and your companion!” Dusk threatens to cause Joey to swallow hard.
Joey opens and closes his mouth before letting out a strangled wail that has Dusk letting go of his face. Joey has been broken, now he’s ready to talk. Joey licks his lips and that’s when everything goes into slow motion as Draco pulls a switch from beneath his clothes. Draco hits the switch causing heat to blast overhead as fire soon engulfs the entire room. I barely have the chance to register Hayley moving from the circle of Wolves towards Joey when Dusk shoves Joey and Penny into the circle of Wolves as Noah puts up an ice barrier between us and the initial fiery explosion. Hayley’s on the wrong side of the ice as fire flickers hot consuming them, Hayley screams in agony as Draco laughs manically.
“Hayley!” I cry out as I slam into the ice barrier beating at is as my own manic panic sets in.
Hayley’s being burnt alive, she’s going to get killed. I can’t save her. Panic eats me as I continue to beat on the ice for what feels like an eternity.