Chapter 36: Crashing The Auction
I growled as I clutched my fists. If it wasn’t for this stupid wolfsbane, I would have linked my members already.
‘Look at all of their smug faces.’ Zeus growled. ‘I want to kill them all.’
I did too. Looking at all the familiar faces as they stared up at me.
Some of the biggest hunting families were here in this room or whatever this place was.
‘This is the type of place where horror movies take place.’ Zeus commented.
I couldn’t help but agree as I took in the dirt floors and walls. Plus I’m sitting in a chair on this weird wooden platform type thing. Don’t know what that is about.
“I’m glad that all of you could join me today.” Rick smiled as he stepped next to me. “Now. This isn’t going to be our normal type of auction. No. We have a special guest today.”
“Wait, wait. Just hold up.” I said in disbelief. “You mean to tell me that I’m not the first wolf you have sold?”
‘I’ve seen some evil stuff in my existence but this has to be the worst.’ Zeus growled.
Rick smirked. “How else do you think I’m so rich?”
“You’re an alpha.” I commented. “What about the money that your parents left you?”
Rick rolled his eyes. “They took all their money with them when they left.”
“So you’ve been selling wolves to these hunters?” I growled in anger. “What kind of werewolf does that?”
“They are only rogues.” He scoffed. “No one cares about them anyway.”
I growled as I struggled against my restraints, trying to ignore the burning sensation from the wolfsbane. “You are a monster.”
“Why thank you.” He mocked bowed. “That really does mean a lot coming from you.”
The hunters that stood before us laughed.
“I can’t wait to bid.” One smiled as he stared at me.
“I have some more rogues for you guys to bid on in the cellar, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t buy our dear King Ares here.” Rick promised. “I wouldn’t want you gentleman to leave empty-handed.”
‘He’s like a human trafficker.’ Zeus said in disgust. ‘Except he sells wolves to hunters so they can slaughter them.’
‘Well we don’t exactly know if he sells female rogues.’ I said. ‘And I really don’t want to think about that right now.’
“What is the starting bid for Ares?” Another hunter asked.
“Ten million dollars.” Rick answered.
I was about to comment, but I paused as I lifted my nose to the air and took a whiff. My eyes grew wide and I smelled lavender.
‘Is Athena here?’ Zeus asked excitedly.
‘I-I think so.’ I said confused as I looked around. ‘But I don’t smell anyone else.’
‘Maybe they drank one of Hecate’s potions.’ Zeus suggested.
I smirked to myself. My mate is a genius.
“Why do you look like you just realized something?” Rick asked as he looked at me suspiciously.
“What?” I asked as I shook my head and looked at him. “Oh, nothing. I just think I’m worth at least fifteen million. I mean have you seen this pretty face?”
Rick rolled his eyes and looked back at the same hunter who asked how much I was. “Five thousand and you can come up here and punch him.”
“Deal!” The hunter smiled as he jumped up and practically threw a wad of cash at Rick.
“Okay now hold-” I started to say, but stopped once the hunter’s fist connected with my face.
My head shot to the right and I felt the wind get knocked out of me. I gasped for air and felt the blood start to pour out of my mouth.
“Oh, that felt good.” The hunter laughed. “I’ll give you another five hundred if I can do that again.”
“No.” Rick said. “Sit back down and we can start the bidding.”
The men hollered in excitement.
Athena. Please hurry.
“What do you mean?” I asked Janus nervously.
“There are ten major hunting organizations in America. Six of them are right over there. They are all ran by a different family.” Janus explained. “Each leader is accompanied by two or three of their men.”
“So if we kill them, their organization will crumble.” I smiled.
But my smile instantly fell as Janus shook his head. “Just because you killed the head of the organization doesn’t mean you got rid of the group. Someone will take their place.”
“Crap.” I growled.
“The bidding is starting.” Apollo warned.
“We have to stop it!”
“How?” Circe asked.
I shivered with fear as I heard the bidding continue and the numbers were getting higher. I can’t believe Rick is really selling my mate.
I growled as I ran towards the hunters and Rick.
“Athena!” Janus growled as I heard footsteps behind me.
“twelve million!” Rick smiled. “Do I hear thirteen?”
“thirteen million!” I yelled.
The hunters turned towards me and their eyes got wide. Rick looked through the crowd and when his eyes landed on me, he laughed.
“Athena!” Ares yelled with a smile.
“Do my eyes deceive me or are we standing in the presence of the Alpha Queen?” Rick asked as he stepped off the platform and walked towards me.
“Let him go.” I commanded.
Rick chuckled. “This just got so much better.”
I growled. Way to fall into his trap, Athena.
“That’s the Alpha Queen?” A hunter asked confused.
“Why was I expecting more?” Another asked.
I’m just going to ignore that comment.
“Hunters.” Rick smirked. “The Alpha King and Alpha Queen are now a package. The bid has doubled.” Rick motioned with his head and the two wolves that stood next to him made their way down towards me.
“No!” Ares growled as he struggled in the chair.
“Touch her and see what happens.” Janus growled as he took a step closer towards me.
“I have to admit.” Rick said as he eyed me carefully. “I’m impressed you made it this far without being caught. I didn’t even know you guys were here.” I mentally smirked to myself. Thank you Hecate. “How did you do it?”
“A magician never reveals their secret.” Apollo answered.
Rick rolled his eyes. “Whatever. It doesn’t matter.”
“Then why did you ask?” Apollo said in a ‘duh’ tone.
“Enough of these stupid games.” Rick growled. “Grab them!”
Janus pulled me back as wolves from Rick’s pack came into the room through a door behind the stage. The hunters joined them as they closed in on us.
“Hecate now!” I yelled.
“I’ve always wanted to do this.” She smirked as she grabbed two glass balls from her jacket pocket.
“What are those?” Rick asked slightly nervous.
“Bye, bye.” She smiled as she threw both of them on the ground.
Once the glass balls hit the dirt floor, they instantly shattered and smoke started to fill up the closed space.
“Shit.” A hunter said as he jumped back and shielded his face.
Everyone in the room started to cough as they all scrambled to flee from the smoke.
“Let’s grab him and get the hell out of here.” I said as Janus nodded.
Apollo, Janus, Perseus, and Hecate followed me as we ran towards Ares while Circe and Theseus covered us and made sure no one stopped us.
I growled as the smoke got thicker. I thought I would have a little more time before the smoke completely took over.
‘Just keep running forward. We are bound to run into Ares sooner or later.’ Artemis said.
I pushed a hunter out of my way and kept going, hoping Ares was close.
Why can’t I get ahold of him?
‘Rick must have laced the rope with wolfsbane.’ Artemis suggested. ‘If not, Ares would have broken out a long time ago. Do you really think a rope could hold our mate?’
I laughed. ‘You’re right.’
‘Our sexy Alpha King of a mate.’ Artemis howled.
I was about to answer, but a grunt cut me off.
“Ares?” I asked.
“Athena!” He yelled.
“This way.” I mumbled as I steered left.
Not even a second later, I finally found Ares. I tried not to laugh at the site before.
Poor Ares was still tied to the chair, but the chair was on the ground horizontally making him appear sideways.
“A little help would be nice.” He huffed.
I smiled and nodded as I walked closer to him.
But I instantly regretted touching the rope and I pulled my hand back with a hiss as it burned.
‘Didn’t I just say Rick probably laced the rope with wolfsbane?’ Artemis asked annoyed.
Ignored her and looked down at my red hands.
“Careful.” Ares said softly as he stared up at me.
“I’m fine.” I said as I offered him a reassuring smile. “Apollo and Janus. Help me get him up straight.”
Apollo and Janus nodded as they rushed to my side and helped me straighten out Ares.
“Thank you.” Ares sighed in relief. “I think all my blood was rushing to my brain.”
“Here.” Apollo said as he pulled out a knife. “Stay still so I don’t accidentally cut you. The blade is silver.”
Ares nodded as Apollo carefully slid the blade under the rope, careful not to touch Ares. With one quick swipe, the rope was cut and it fell to the ground. Apollo repeated it to the rope around his other hand and also the rope around his feet.
“Thanks man.” Ares smiled to Apollo before pulling me into a hug. “I missed you so much.”
“I missed you too.” I blushed as I wrapped my arms around his torso.
“Are you okay?” He asked as he pulled back and looked me over. “Did anyone hit you? Wait. Why is your shoulder bleeding? Who the fuck did that?”
“Told you.” Janus muttered in between coughs.
“I’m fine.” I groaned. “We have to leave now.”
“But which way do we go?” Perseus asked. “Rick and the hunters are all behind us which means that we have to get through them again to get to the elevators.”
“And even if we did make it to the elevators, it would take too much time. There’s too many of us.” Hecate added as Perseus nodded.
“What about that door?” Apollo asked.
Through the small open space in the smoke, I saw the door that Rick’s pack came through.
“I don’t know where that leads.” I said.
“Outside somewhere.” Ares answered. “I don’t exactly know the way, but I know it leads outside. Rick put a bag over my head and then the next thing I know, I was sitting in a chair on this platform. We never went into an elevator.”
“Then let’s go.” I said. “We’ll have to be careful just in case he has some guards out there.”
‘Go through the door that Rick’s member went through behind the platform.’ Ares commanded. ‘Don’t worry about his members or the hunters. We just need to get out of here.’
I heard the agreements through the link and then the sound of running footsteps filled my ears as our members got close to us.
“Come on.” Ares nodded towards the door.
We followed suit and Ares carefully opened the door before deciding it was safe.
“Get them!” Rick yelled through his coughs.
“Damn. That smoke is really affecting them.” I said thinking out loud as we ran down a thin tunnel.
“There was a small amount of wolfsbane in that smoke.” Hecate explained with a smirk.
“Why didn’t it affect any of us then?” I asked confused.
“We are royals.” Janus answered. “We can tolerate it more than regular wolves can.”
“You really are awesome.” I told Hecate.
“I know.” She winked.
What felt like hours later, we finally emerged from the tunnel and came across a vine wall.
“What the?” I mumbled confused as I pushed the vines out of the way.
“Where are we?” Circe asked as she looked around.
I smiled to myself as I felt Ares move to my side and wrap his arm around me while he pulled me closer.
“I don’t know.” Ares answered. “But keep your eyes open.”
Everyone kept their guard up and we walked on. But the longer we were walking, the more and more this area started to look familiar.
‘Why do I feel like I know this place?’ Artemis asked.
‘I was just thinking the same thing.’ I replied as I looked around.
“Do you know this place?” Apollo asked as he looked down at me. “You have this look in your eye.”
“I feel like I do. Even Artemis thinks she knows it too.” I nodded. “I think we are close to the packhouse.”
“What’s that?” Hecate asked as she pointed ahead of her.
I followed her finger and saw a square brick building.
“That’s the cellar!” I shouted with glee. “We are back in the middle of Rick’s territory.”
But as we got closer to the cellar, we noticed a present waiting for us.
Rick, his goons, and the hunters.
Ares growled as we neared them. “You ready for another fight?”
“I’m going to win this one.” Rick growled back as he held his fist up.
I could practically feel Artemis rolling her eyes at Rick. Same, girl. Same.
But something caught my eye from behind Rick.
I narrowed my eyes at the tree line and saw some light flashes coming from the leaves.
‘Does he really have hunters in the trees?’ Artemis asked.
‘I knew he was never going to play far.’ I growled.
“Perseus.” I called out and he stared at me. “You and the blue team take care of the hunters in the trees.”
“In the trees?” Perseus asked confused.
I nodded. “They are in the tree directly behind where Rick and the others are standing.”
“How did you-” Ares started, but I ignored him. I was too focused on finishing this fight once and for all.
“Circe. You and the green team take care of Rick’s pack members.”
“You got it.” Circe nodded in determination.
“Theseus. You and the red team take care of the hunters on the ground standing next to Rick.”
“Understood, my Queen.” Theseus bowed.
“Who are you and what have you done with my mate?” Ares teased.
“We have a battle to win.” I said as he stared down at me with pride.
“I like this.” He mumbled nodding to himself. “It’s pretty sexy when you take control.” He growled with a wink.
I looked away as I tried to calm down my raging blush. Bad time Ares.
“Ready?” I asked with a shaky voice.
“Lead the way.” Apollo smiled.
“You ready to lose Rick?” I called out to him.
Rick growled as he took a small step forward. “I should have killed you a long time ago.”
Ares growled and I put my arm in front of him before he could lunge towards Rick.
“Then let’s see what you got.” I growled. “Nobody touch Rick. He’s mine.”
“I call second punch.” Ares snapped, but I could tell his anger was towards Rick and not me. “He’s dying today.”
I saw Rick mouth something to the man next to him and then a minute later he ran back into the trees behind him.
I turned to look at Perseus who cocked his gun. “Told you.”
“Excellent eye, my Queen.” Perseus said impressed.
Rick growled as his members shifted where they stood before charging at us.
“Let’s go.” Theseus said.
I ran ahead with Theseus and shifted as well.
I moved so I was running in front of Theseus and his team so I could knock away any wolf that tried to attack them. They needed to get to the tree lines and fast.
My step faltered slightly as a bullet slightly grazed my side. I growled as my skin burned from the silver.
‘Are you alright?’ Ares asked.
I looked to my left and gave him a nod. ‘I’m fine.’
Once we got closer to Rick and the other hunters, I pushed myself faster.
‘Get ready to jump.’ I said to Theseus.
I knocked the last wolf out of the way before Theseus jumped over the hunters. He and his team landed on the ground flawlessly before darting into the forest.
It wasn’t long before we heard gunshots and growls coming from the trees.
“How did you know?” Rick asked angrily.
I gave him a wink before lunging for him. He dodged it at the last second and shifted before charging at me.
I let out a grunt when I felt something connect to my side and saw it was one of Rick’s members.
“Oh no you don’t.” Circe growled as she wrapped her arms around the wolf’s torso and threw him a couple of feet away from us.
‘Thank you.’ I said as I stood up.
“No problem.” She smiled. “Now go get Rick. We got these guys.”
I nodded and shot off after Rick who used that distraction to get away.
‘We have to get him!’ Artemis yelled as I saw Rick ahead of us.
I pushed my legs faster and pushed off the dirt to jump up in the air. As I falling down, I extended my claws and dug them into Rick’s back when I got close enough.
The impact made him fall face-first into the dirt and he slid into a tree. Luckily I was able to regain my balance and jump off of him before that happened.
Rick slowly stood up and gave me a menacing growl. He swiped at me in surprise and he caught a little bit of my shoulder.
I hissed in pain and was about to attack, but Rick held up a paw as if saying ‘hold on’.
I watched as he shifted back to his human form and I looked away while he pulled a shirt out of a bag in a tree. I felt a shirt land on my head and I shook it off.
“Shift. I want to talk.” Rick said as he looked around him to make sure no one was listening.
I growled but shifted anyway. He looked away as I put on his shirt and thankfully it was long enough to cover everything.
“What do you want to talk about?” I asked annoyed.
“We don’t have to fight.” He smiled. “I want to make a deal.”
“What are you talking about?” I asked confused.
“You have got to be kidding me.” I said in disbelief. “You can’t be serious.”
“I am.” He nodded as he took a step towards me. “You and I can rule this pack and take over Ares’ pack. His pack members will listen to you.”
I stared at him like he grew two heads. “Let me get this straight. You want me to turn against my mate and my pack?”
Rick gave me a scowl. “Technically I was your mate first.”
“Yes.” I nodded. “But you rejected me and then sent your goons out to hunt me down.”
“I was stupid back then.” He said. “I’m sorry. Come on, Athena. Let’s take over the Royal Blue Moon Pack.”
‘He’s scared of us.’ Artemis growled getting agitated. ‘That’s the only reason he wants you to join him. He knows he was never going to win this war. That’s why he tried to sell Ares and now since that didn’t work; he’s trying to get you to turn on your pack. He’s desperate.’
‘I would never go against my pack.’ I growled as I balled my fists. ‘I am their Queen and I took an oath to protect them. I’m not backing out now.’
“It’s not going to happen.” I yelled. “That is my pack. My true pack and my true mate.”
Rick growled. “You are so stupid!”
I felt my eyes start to glow and I knew instantly that Artemis was in charge now.
Rick’s eyes went wide as he saw my wolf take over and he took a step back.
“She’s stupid?” Artemis asked as she stalked towards Rick. “You think Athena is stupid?”
“I-I.” Rick stuttered.
“Let me tell you something you mutt.” Artemis growled as she balled her fists. “If Athena was so stupid then she wouldn’t have been able to get onto your territory. If she was so stupid then she wouldn’t have been able to stop you from selling our mate to hunters. Which by the way was a really dumb thing to do.”
Rick didn’t get a chance to speak because Artemis brought her fist back and punched him directly in the middle of his face.
Artemis then grabbed his collar and shoved him against the tree. Rick clawed at her hands and tried to get himself free. Artemis shoved him even further into the tree and Rick winced in pain as the bark rubbed up against his back.
“I-I’m sorry.” Rick heaved through the pain.
“You’re sorry?” Artemis scoffed as she dropped him and he fell to the ground. “You’re sorry. That’s cute.”
Rick let out a grunt as she kicked him in the stomach and I’m pretty sure he just got the wind knocked out of him.
She then grabbed him and pulled him up by the arm, punching him again when he stood up straight.
“Athena!” I heard Apollo yell from behind me.
Artemis growled at the interruption and turned around with glowing eyes full of furry.
“That’s not Athena.” Janus said quietly as he put his arms out to stop Apollo and Ares from running up to us.
“Back off!” Artemis demanded as the three men stopped in their tracks.
“Artemis.” Ares said softly as he held his hands up. “It’s just us.”
Artemis growled and turned back to face Rick. He was coughing out blood as he lay on the ground. “He deserves to die.”
Rick coughed up some more blood and looked up at Artemis. “I’m sorry.”
“Stop lying!” Artemis shouted as she kicked him again. “You caused Athena so much pain. You beat her every single day and you beat so bad that you put her in the hospital. You aren’t allowed to be sorry!” She grabbed him by his neck and threw him against a tree.
“Artemis!” Ares called out but she ignored him.
“You are only sorry because you’re scared of her now.” Artemis smirked as she bent down to his level. She grabbed his chin and forced him to look at her. “You are scared of her because you know she’s gotten stronger. Well, guess what? She’s always been strong. You just never saw it.”
Rick mumbled something, but I couldn’t understand it.
Artemis growled and punched him in the stomach one more time before standing up and backing away. “You’re really going to be sorry now.”
“Get back.” Apollo said quietly and I assume he pulled Ares and Janus back to give Artemis space. There was no stopping her and they knew it.
I felt some pressure in the back of my mind and I’m pretty sure it was Ares trying to talk to us. Artemis scoffed and blocked him out.
Well, that’s not going to go over well.
“Stand up and fight mutt!” Artemis yelled.
Rick slowly looked up to us. He tried to get up but fell back down.
‘Artemis.’ I said softly.
She growled and blocked me out as well. Now all I could do was watch.
Artemis gave Rick one final growl before she shifted. She panted in anger and stalked towards him slowly.
Rick’s eyes were full of fright as he desperately tried to stand up to get away. But before he could turn around, Artemis chomped down on his leg and flung him up towards the sky.
Right as he was about to land on the ground, Artemis leaped up and head-butted him, causing him to fly up against the same tree from earlier. Rick laid motionless as she closed in on her prey. He took a couple of shady breaths and looked up at Artemis, pleading her with his eyes.
‘Worthless.’ Artemis said to me and she narrowed her eyes at Rick.
I think Artemis finally had enough as she looked up towards the sky and howled before looking back down at the dying man and sinking her teeth into his neck. She bit down hard and with one final crunch, Rick was dead.
Artemis breathed deeply as she stepped back from the dead body.
It was very quiet as everyone stood and stared at Rick.
A moment later, a warm hand softly came down on my side and Artemis was getting ready to attack, but stopped once she realized it was our mate.
“Are you okay?” Ares asked softly.
I felt my eyes slowly shifted back to my normal brown color and I smiled as I was finally given control back. ‘I will be.’
‘Is Artemis?’ Ares asked through the link.
‘I think she just needs some space right now.’ I commented. I could feel her sadness but she was also very relieved and happy that Rick was dead. I was too, to be honest.
“Oh, my baby!” Hecate wailed as she collapsed on top of me. I gave her a wolf chuckle as she wrapped her arms tightly around me and squeezed. “Don’t you ever scare me like that again.”
“Is it okay to approach?” Apollo asked hiding behind Janus.
“Normally I would make some sarcastic remark, but I have to agree with him.” Janus nodded. “I’m terrified too.”
I rolled my eyes and nodded.
Apollo sighed in relief. “I’m glad you are okay.”
“Everyone else is dead.” Janus started. “The head of the hunter organizations that were here are all dead. But that doesn’t mean we beat them. I’m pretty sure they had someone ready to take over just in case the auction went sideways.”
“They are always prepared.” Ares said in disgust.
“But we won against Rick.” Apollo smiled. “That’s all that matters.”
“I’m glad you are okay.” Ares said as he placed a feather-like kiss on my forehead. “I love you.”
“I love you too.” I smiled back as I leaned into his chest.
“Come on.” He said as he nodded his head to the left. “Let’s go home.”