Chapter 32: Mission Get Rick
“Oh my gosh!” Hecate gushed as she grabbed my hand and brought it up to her face. “Look at the size of that rock!”
“I’m so happy for you.” Janus smiled down at me as he rested his hand on my shoulder. “Welcome to the family.”
“Isn’t it pretty.” I blushed.
“I see that’s not the only thing you go last night.” Apollo winked with a smirk as my blush deepened.
“Apollo!” I yelled as he made kissy faces. “I hate you.”
“No, you don’t.” He smiled as he put on his gloves.
“Leave her alone.” Ares smiled as he wrapped his arm around me. “We have to get ready to head out.”
“So when’s the wedding?” Hecate asked excitedly.
“We haven’t come up with a date just yet.” Ares said. “We first need to deal with Rick.”
“We discussed it last night.” I said.
“Before or after the sex?” Apollo teased.
“Apollo!” I growled as I smacked the back of his head.
“Ow!” He yelped as he rubbed the spot that I just hit. “That was not necessary.”
“Neither was your comment.” I shot back.
“Touché.” He nodded.
“So is everyone ready?” Ares asked as he put on his sweatshirt.
“Ready.” I smiled as I pulled my pants leg over the gun that was strapped to my ankle.
“Me too.” Apollo nodded as he grabbed his hat. “Do you know what would be cool? If we had those small little earpieces to talk to each other. Or watches that had microphones and holograms.”
“Apollo. We are werewolves. We don’t need ear pieces when we can just mind link each other.” Janus said rolling his eyes.
“Okay well sorry, I wanted to seem like a spy. Damn. Always ruining my fun.” Apollo huffed.
“You are such a child sometimes.” Janus groaned. “Good Lord.”
“If everyone is ready.” I started as I placed my hands on my hips. “Mission Get Rick is underway.”
Everyone piled into the cars and we headed for the city. Hecate found a small shop that sells clothes, jewelry, and some other items. It’s towards the outskirts of the city so it would be the perfect place to be just in case something did happen.
“It’s going to be okay.” I whispered to Ares as I rubbed his knee.
He turned to look at me and pulled me closer to him as he gave me a smile. “I hope so. I don’t want anything to happen to you.”
“Nothing will.” I smiled reassuringly. “This plan will work.”
“It better.” He smiled as he kissed my forehead. “I would go crazy if I lost you.”
I closed my eyes and lead my head on his shoulder.
‘This plan better work.’ Artemis said nervously.
‘Why is everyone so worried?’ I asked. ‘The plan will work.’
“This is where we split.” Janus said as he continued to drive forward the other two cars following us turned right. “Are you guys ready? We are almost there.”
“I’m ready.” I nodded.
“Not really, but let’s do this.” Ares sighed.
“Have faith.” Apollo smiled as he tilted his hat down.
“I’m glad someone believes in me.” I whispered.
“Ready Athena?” Janus asked as he looked at me in the rearview mirror. “I’ll let you, Hecate, Jason, and Achilles off here so you guys can head inside. Then I’ll go park the car in the back parking lot and we’ll sneak in through the back door.”
“Let’s do this.” I smiled.
“Wait.” Ares said quickly before he grabbed my cheeks and pulled me in for a kiss. “I love you.”
I smiled as I placed my hand on his cheek and ran my thumb across it. “I love you too.”
With one last smile, Jason opened the door and the four of us piled out and ran into the store.
‘Just walk around and act normal.’ Janus said through the link. ‘We’ll be there in a couple of minutes.’
‘Roger that.’ I said back.
“Oh, this is cute!” Hecate gushed excitedly as she ran over to a hat.
“It amazes me how she isn’t broke yet.” Achilles said seriously. “Like I honestly don’t understand how she isn’t in debt.”
“You guess is as good as mine.” Jason said as we all watched Hecate shuffle between racks.
“My guess is that she married a big mafia boss back in the day and then he died so she inherited all the money.” Achilles suggested.
“You know what would have been a plot twist?” Jason asked as Achilles and I listened. “If she poisoned him.”
“Well, she is a witch.” Achilles pointed out.
“Hecate?” I asked shocked. “She’s too sweet.”
“That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.” Jason said as we watched Hecate zig-zag through the isles.
“Has she always loved shopping?” I asked laughing and ignoring his comment.
“Yes.” The brothers said simultaneously.
“That explains a lot.” I mumbled as I thought back to all the stuff she bought me when I first started to live with her. She was way more than happy to shop for me.
I laughed and shook my head as Hecate started to run around with her arms full.
I picked up the cute floral shirt but froze when I caught the scent of my old pack.
‘They’re here.’ I growled through the link for everyone to hear.
‘Really?’ Jason asked confused. ‘I don’t smell anything.’
‘I smell them too.’ Ares growled. ‘Probably a mile away or so.’
I looked over at Hecate, who was watching me intently and nodded. Giving her the signal that they are here.
She nodded once back to me and then turned her serious face into a smile.
“Deary!” Hecate called from the other side of the store. “I think I found a cute chair for your room.”
I groaned and walked over to her, passing Apollo as I got closer. “Hecate. I don’t need any more stuff.”
“Sure you do!” She smiled.
I perked up as I heard the bell chime when the front door opened but kept my focus on Hecate.
‘I can’t wait to kick ass!’ Artemis yipped. ‘This will be sweet revenge.’
Right as the door closed, the bell chimed again as it was opened.
‘I hear three sets of footsteps.’ I said through the link.
‘Did Rick only come with two other people?’ Janus asked. ’Even if he is stupid, I didn’t think he would be that stupid.’
‘He’s not.’ I said confused. This doesn’t make sense.
Hecate and I both jumped as we heard a thud from above us and then a hissing sound.
‘What was that?’ Ares asked worriedly.
‘I-I don’t know.’ I replied as I carefully looked up.
I squinted my eyes as I saw a cloud of thick white smoke coming down from the vents.
‘Look up!’ I yelled through the link.
‘A smokescreen?’ Apollo growled. ‘I don’t know whether to be impressed or pissed off.’
‘Athena!’ Ares yelled as the smoke thickened. ‘Where are you?’
‘By the hats!’ I yelled back as I coughed.
Damn this stupid smoke.
I jumped as a hand wrapped around my arm and pulled me back.
“Hey!” I growled.
“Hello, my Queen.” Zack smirked.
“Athena!” Ares yelled from the other side of the room.
Zack’s eyes got wide. “What? He’s here?”
Now it was my turn to smirk. “You aren’t the only one with tricks up your sleeves.”
Zack growled and started to pull me towards the door. “Let’s go.”
I smirked as I used my free hand to punch him in his kidneys. Zack grunted and fell straight down.
“No thank you.” I said as I ran back towards Hecate and the guys. “Ares?”
“I’m over here!” He yelled. “This stupid smoke is pissing me off! I can’t see anything.”
I growled as I tried to see through the smoke, but it was no use. The smoke is getting thick and it’s getting thick fast.
I was about to call out to anyone, but I heard the slight sound of an object being moved.
‘Please tell me you heard that.’ Artemis said as she became alert.
I nodded to myself and stopped walking forward. ‘I did. Somewhere behind me.’
I closed my eyes and focused on the noises around me, hoping to find out what that was.
The sound of footsteps filled my ears and I smirked. Got you.
I ducked right as someone tried to tackle me and that caused him to fly over me.
“You bitch.” He groaned as he rolled over on his side.
I jumped as I heard a growl behind me, causing me to twirl around and come face-to-face with another wolf.
‘Quick!’ Artemis shouted. ‘Run into the smoke. Use their trick against them.’
I turned to run into the smoke and watched as it filtered in around me.
The wolf growled. “Are you serious? I did not see that coming.”
I kept running forward and dodged a big chest. I soon saw the backdoor in my sights.
The door flung open and a couple more wolves came running into the building.
‘Don’t make a sound. They aren’t from our pack.’ Artemis said.
I flattened myself against the wall and watched as they ran ahead. But what caught my attention was the last person in that group. He was a hunter.
‘Hunters!’ I shouted through the link. But no one answered me. ‘Hello!’
‘Sorry.’ Janus grunted. ‘I was too busy trying not to get stabbed.’
‘Where’s Apollo?’ I asked worriedly.
‘Right here.’ Apollo groaned. ‘I might have thrown someone through a window.’
I sighed. ‘Please be careful.’
‘He punched me first!’ He defended.
I shook my head and carefully moved away from the door. Hopefully, Ares is okay.
But after slowing walking around, I wasn’t able to find him and I could hear signs of a struggle in the distance. I couldn’t pinpoint exactly where because of how thick the smoke was and the shop was way too loud with everyone yelling and fighting.
‘Where’s Ares?’ I asked.
‘I thought he was with you.’ Janus said confused.
‘Theseus.’ I called out. ‘Is Ares out there?’
‘No, my Queen.’ He answered.
What the hell?
Thankfully the smoke started to thin out and disappear.
I grunted in annoyance as I started to wave my hand in front of my face to help get rid of the excess smoke.
“Athena!” Janus yelled in relief as he ran up to me. “I’m so glad you are okay.”
“Where is everyone?” I asked confused as Apollo and Hecate ran up to me with worried faces.
“That’s why I’m glad you’re okay.” Janus confessed. “I watched them run out of the shop so I had to make sure you were still here.”
“Oh no.” I whispered as I looked around. “They have Ares.”
“Oh shit.” Apollo growled as he ran out of the shop. “Ares! Ares!”
I jumped as the door slammed open and Circe walked in and threw two wolves on the ground.
“Look who we found.” She smirked as she stood over them with her arms crossed.
They both shivered in fear and backed away from her.
“Who are they?” I asked as I stared at them. “Oh wait. I remember you two.”
Jerry gulped and bowed his head. “I’m sorry for how we treated you in the past, Athena.”
“That’s Queen to you.” Janus growled as Circe kicked him in the stomach.
Jerry grunted in pain as he clutched his body. “I-I’m sorry.”
Circe looked up and scanned the area. “Where’s King Ares?”
I sighed. “I think he was taken.”
“He was what?” She growled at me as she bawled her fists. “Our King was taken?”
“Calm down.” Janus said harshly.
“I knew this plan was a mistake.” She snapped.
“Knock it off!” Janus yelled with authority. “None of us knew that that was going to happen. Especially Athena. So watch your tone.”
I bawled my fists and turned away, walking towards the wall. I let out a low growl as I punched it, causing my fist to go through the wall. “Dammit!”
“Hey.” Apollo said softly as he walked up to me. “We are going to get him back. It’ll be okay.”
“That’s not the point.” I said quietly as I brushed the drywall off of my hand. “Let’s grab the two wolves and head back.”
Circe hogtied Jerry and Will and then threw them in the trunk of her car. Everyone else piled in and we set onward to the castle. Well, not before leaving a giant check for the owners of the shop to cover the damages. I felt really bad about that.
Once we got the castle, Circe and her team took the two men to the dungeon to interrogate them while everyone else went into the big conference room to talk.
“So now what’s going to happen?” Atlas asked as we all sat down around the table.
I lifted my head up from my hands and my eyes grew wide as everyone else turned to face me. Oh, you have got to be kidding me.
“Why are you all looking at me?” I asked as I shrunk down in my chair.
“You are the Queen, Athena.” Janus said softly.
“Oh.” I chuckled nervously. “That’s right.”
“What should we do?” Jason asked as he turned to face me.
“I-I.” I gulped shyly.
“Well.” Apollo said slowly as he snuck a quick glance at me. “Ares is missing, that we know. But why?”
I sighed in relief at Apollo’s attempt on getting the attention off of me. I’m a terrible leader.
“Maybe they meant to grab Queen Athena and King Ares got in the way?” Achilles said unsurely.
“Do you think that this was their plan all along?” Jason asked.
“To grab Ares and not Athena?” Janus asked as Jason nodded. “I don’t think so. I think that the smoke made it harder for them to find Athena and they accidentally grabbed Ares instead. Plus we all drank Hecate’s potion so they wouldn’t have been able to smell either of them.”
“I don’t think they thought all the way through about using the smoke.” Apollo laughed. “But I do have to give them credit for being creative.”
“This is all my fault.” I whispered as I placed my forehead on the table. How could I have been so stupid with this plan? I should have listened to Ares.
“No, it’s not.” Hecate said as she rubbed my back. “No one could have predicted this dear.”
I growled as I stood up fast, causing the chair to shoot backward. “They will pay for this.”
“Athena.” Apollo said cautiously. “You need to calm down.”
“No!” I growled and clenched my fists by my sides. “They need to pay for what they have done. They took Ares. They could have harmed you guys.”
“Apollo is right.” Janus agreed as he stood up.
I growled. “We are going to get Ares back.”
“We will.” Janus nodded. “We will get him back.”
“Jason and Achilles. Let’s go.” I commanded as they both scrambled to stand up.
“Yes, my Queen.” They said.
“Apollo and Janus. Get everyone to the training ground and go run through drills.”
“Where are you going?” Janus asked.
“I’m going to go pay Jerry and Will a visit.” I said as I grabbed the door handle and pulled it open.
The walk to the dungeon was a little awkward. Jason and Achilles could tell how pissed off I was and I’m pretty they didn’t want to make any small talk because of it. I’m kind of glad that they both decided to be quiet, but I also feel bad for acting like a bitch.
The elevator doors opened and we walked down the hall to a set of doors with two guards standing in front of them.
“Queen Athena.” They bowed in respect.
“Jerry and Will are in here?” I asked.
The guard on the left nodded. “Circe is in the cell with Jerry. She’s been trying to see what he knows.”
“I want to talk to them.” I said as I stood tall. Hopefully they can’t see how terrified I am.
“Yes, my Queen.” He nodded as he and the other guard each took a handle and opened the doors for me.
I turned around and faced Jason and Achilles. “You guys wait here.”
“A-Are you sure?” Jason asked.
I nodded. “Yes. Stay here.”
“As you wish.” Achilles said unsurely.
“Thank you.” I said quietly as I walked through the doorway and entered the room.
I looked around the cells trying to find where Circe put Jerry and Will.
“You should really start talking.” I heard Circe growl. “Because if you don’t, I will rip your tongue out.”
‘Remind me to never get on her bad side.’ Artemis shivered in fear. ‘She’s scaring me.’
‘That makes two of us.’ I agreed as I walked forward towards her voice.
“Circe.” I called out as I got closer to her.
She paused with her hand around Jerry’s neck. She turned to face me and once she realized it was me, she dropped Jerry on his butt. “My Queen.”
“Is he talking?” I asked as I stopped in front of his cell.
She growled and shook her head, glaring daggers at Jerry. “No. No, he’s not.”
Jerry gulped and covered his head as he sat in the corner of his cell, careful not to touch the bars.
“Let me try.” I said in determination. I can do this. I will find out where Ares went.
“My Queen.” Circe said in surprise. “Are you sure?”
“Yes.” I said.
She walked towards the cell door and stopped to look at me. “My Queen. I know you are worried and scared, but do you thi-”
“Stop.” I said as I cut her off. “I need them to talk to they can tell us where Ares is. I have to do this. I need to be a leader.”
Circe studied me for a moment before I saw the ends of her lip curl upward slightly. “Yes, my Queen.”
Circe took out her key and unlocked the cell door and stepped out.
“Thank you.” I said as she handed me the key. “You can go wait outside with Jason and Achilles. I got this.”
Circe stared at me in surprise, but nodded anyway and walked out of the room.
I turned to look at Jerry and he laughed at me.
“I’m scared of her, not you.” He chuckled as he started to stand up.
‘I’m going to kill him.’ Artemis growled.
I gave Jerry a smile right before I grabbed his shoulder and drove my fist into his gut.
He let out a gasp of air and fell to his knees.
“Are you sure you’re not scared of me?” I whispered into his ear. “Because I’m not the same old little Athena that you once knew. I’ve changed.”
I don’t know where this newfound energy and attitude change is coming from, but that’s fine with me. I’m tired of being the scared girl that hides. It’s time I change that and step up to my role as a leader and as the Alpha Queen.
“You bi-” Jerry started but I quickly wrapped my hand around his throat, stopping the words that were about to come out of his mouth.
“I wouldn’t finish that sentence if I were you.” I said calmly as I pulled his face towards mine. “Like I said. I’m not the same old Athena.”
Jerry struggled to pry my hands away from his throat, but I didn’t care. I was furious.
‘We need him alive.’ Artemis said as she tried to get through to me.
I huffed and dropped Jerry.
“You are crazy.” He heaved.
“I know.” I smiled. “Now. You are going to tell me what you know and you are going to tell me now.”
“And why would I do that?” Jerry asked as he narrowed his eyes at me.
“Because your life is literally in my hands.” I threatened. “So you better tell me where Ares is and choose your next words wisely.”
“If I tell you what you want to know.” Jerry paused as he looked me in the eyes. “You have to protect me from Rick.”
“What do you mean?” I asked confused. “Why do you need protection from Rick?”
“Just promise me.” He pleaded. “Please.”
“Fine, fine.” I nodded.
Jerry sighed. “This was a high profile mission. The target was you and we didn’t get you.”
“What does that have to do with it?”
“Rick is going to kill me once he finds out that I failed. Will too. He will literally kill us.” Jerry said frightened. “He wants you and only you.”
“Why?” I asked as I sat across from him.
Jerry shrugged. “None of us know why. But the man is obsessed with you.”
“Is it because I’m the Queen?” I asked confused.
Jerry shook his head. “He’s been obsessed with you ever since you ran away. Athena this, Athena that. He’s had search parties out looking for you for months. Maybe because you guys were mates? Maybe because you hit him over the head? None of us know why.”
“Not my fault.” I huffed. “He shouldn’t have hurt me.”
“We shouldn’t have hurt you.” Jerry whispered. “I really am sorry.”
I met his gaze and stared at him. “It’s in the past. Forget it.”
“Drop it.” I commanded.
Jerry jumped and quickly looked down at the ground. “Yes, my Queen.”
“Tell me about this mission.”
“We were supposed to follow you around the city and grab you when we got the chance.” He explained. “When we saw you go into the shop, we knew that was our chance. But we didn’t know that it was a trap.”
I smiled as Jerry laughed. “It was a trap for us too. We weren’t expecting the smoke in the vents.”
“That was a terrible idea.” Jerry said. “Zack came up with that and I knew it wasn’t going to work. I was right considering we kidnapped the wrong person.”
“You do realize Ares is going to kill them, right?”
Jerry shrugged. “I’m not so sure. Rick has connections with hunters.”
I growled. “Well, that makes sense. I saw a hunter run in with your little group.”
Jerry nodded. “There’s a lot more back at our pack.”
“Why would hunters work with Rick?” I asked curiously.
Jerry looked at and then looked down at the cement floor. “The hunters help Rick get you and in return, the hunters get Ares.”
“What?” I gasped. “W-Why?”
“The hunters are going to sell him to the highest bidder.” Jerry explained. “They are going to kill him.”