This is it. It is now or never.
With a hard pull, my body falls forward but his hands grip my shoulders roughly. He does not look at me, probably scared to see the fear that I am currently feeling.
The knot in my stomach makes me feel nauseated as I try to calm my breathing. My mind tries hard to think back on all the training that Chase has shown me.
Chase tightens the harness that wraps around my shoulders holding the two midsize swords in place.
“Here,” he hands me his brown leather jacket, “it will cover the swords until you have to use them.” He helps me into his jacket since it is on the big side. The swords are almost undetectable under the leather and he zips me up.
Ken and Mathew are discussing amongst themselves something that is known as The Last Words.
“Uncle,” Ken looks at me, “what is that?” I peer over Chase's shoulder as he pats my sides and adjusts the harness.
“What is what?” He narrows his eyes and his eyebrows dip.
“What you’re talking about, the last words?” I grab Chase's hand making him stop manhandling me as I walk away from him.
Mathew pats Ken on his shoulder and then walks up to me.
“I got this," Mathew does not allow Ken to intervene as he gently grips my shoulders and makes me look deep into his blue eyes. "See your mother is an alpha of great power and with power comes more enemies and also with that comes more death. It’s inevitable. Your mother has seen her fair share of fights in her life and when she lost one of her own it killed her inside not being able to protect them. You see Melany always tried her best to keep the family afloat if there was anything she could do for them she would. The last words act like a will, in some ways, it is their way of saying their last goodbye.”
They do not think that we are going to come out of this as a whole pack.
“Did my mother and father ever write one?” Mathew looks at Ken and my eyes follow his. Ken stiffens and he averts his eyes from mine.
“Yes, they both did. Every fight they would go into after you were born they would write their last words,” he shrugs, “actually your father wrote letters,” his eyes lock on mine, “your mother had a journal.”
“No one has ever read any of their last words,” he smiles meekly, “of course, but I do want you to know that your mother had a very hard time writing them.”
“And what about my father,” my voice wavers as I hold back my emotions.
“He had a hard time when you were very young but he saw something in you as you grew older that it made it less painful.”
“I didn’t know,” I swallow down forcing a cough to come out and not a sob.
“You were never meant to find out unless you had to,” Ken appears to be unsure of what more to say.
“Thanks,” I turn to face Chase, “strap me in.”
My foot inches further on the gas pedal as I push Chase’s Range Rover to its limits. The trees rush past me as the car maneuvers over the roots of the trees. My body bounces in the seat as the trail becomes more untraveled.
Chase wanted to be here but I need to go about this strategically. I can feel his presence as I am sure that he is running behind me in his wolf form.
The plan is for me to walk back onto this territory, get more information, and hopefully find out who the hell has been passing down information about our pack down to the rogues. My foot slams on the brakes as the area seems ever so familiar.
The Range Rover skids for a second as I take in a sharp breath. The car comes to a complete stop as I exhale slowly. This is where Chase parked the car and where Luke came to get us.
The dirt settles down as I push myself out of the car and the darkness seems eerie. “Wanderer,” I yell as I slam my door and the crunching steps behind me has my hand gripping the gun holster on my side.
“Hey Angel face,” he beams down at me from where he stands. He is wearing all dark clothes and his dark eyes scan me from head to toe. “I see you changed,” he breathes out and I almost miss it.
“Had to,” is all I say.
“You came at a good time. Floyd was about to announce something huge when I heard you making your way over here. He is waiting for you.”
My jaw clenches but I make my way towards him. Luke talks but nothing registers in my mind. He leads the way to the group of people where Floyd and a man are standing on a platform.
“I see that Luke has returned with our guest,” the older man eyes lock on me and a shiver runs down my spine.
He looks fragile with age but he has this menacing aura about him that I would not think about turning my back to him.
“We decided,” Floyd’s arm wraps around the man, “that if the alphas' offspring does not make a move then we will gain the alpha’s power and then rip through their territory,” he yells and the crowd response in an uproar.
“What is he going to do?” I try to keep the panic well hidden.
“He’s going to kill the alpha,” Luke states matter a factly and smiles at me as if he were speaking about a baseball game rather than someone's life.
I want to say something but then Luke yells with the rest of the pack. “Come on,” he comes closer to me when he sees me not going the celebration, “when do you ever get to see a queen lose her crown,” he wraps his arm around me.
“Never,” and I am not going to see that happen tonight.
“Bring her out!” The man yells making my entire body tingle and my chest heave.
The crowd gets more riled up and they start pushing closer to each other wanting a better view of my mother. Luke tries to hold onto me but I push through the crowd making my way through. The rattling chains echo in my ear.
“Angel,” Luke shouts over the people but I need to get to her. As I push through the last of the people I see two men dragging my mother towards the platform. My body suddenly is on alert and the screams around me start to become clearer. “Angel, you can’t be running around. You’re human and something can happen to you.”
That is all I am to most people.
A mere human.
“I am more than just a human, asshole,” my throat is raw with so much held back emotion that it actually hurts to yell at Luke.
“I know you are I could sense it the moment that I laid eyes on you,” his eyes soften and my stomach heats up with anger. Not anger towards just him but towards everyone. But most of all anger towards myself for not being the good daughter that I could be and stayed in my mother’s office.
The men haul my mother’s weak body up the platform and from my vantage point I see that she opens her eyes. They scan their surroundings for a way to escape.
“Stupid alpha you deserve this and much more.”
“Floyd will be a better alpha than you ever were.”
“You deserve this!”
Her eyes lock on the man next to Floyd and her body flings back as her arms thrash around. The sizzling of skin and the smell of burning flesh is unbearable. The person next to her is a lanky man who is easily overtaken by my mother. The chains whip around him until they choke him into submission.
“Let me go and I will not hurt him.” Her voice is raspy and tired that my body aches to run to her and comfort her.
“Go ahead,” the man smirks at her. My mother’s gray eyes gleam vanishes as we realize that this man wants nothing more than her head on a platter.
“Why? Why do you hate me so much,” my mother’s eyes lock on the older man as her grasp loosens on the man before her.
“You know why!” The unsettling feeling in the pit of my stomach lashes through me and my body vibrates. "You know exactly why," his hand whips across her face. My mother drops to the ground and the man that my mother was holding a moment ago runs into the crowd.
“How dare he!” I breathe and Luke looks at me his eyes full of concern.
If I have to die in her place, so be it!
“Back off,” I scream and the silence engulfs me. There is no going back.
We’re not one to back away from a fight!