A/N: I know its been long, but I had a skin infection on my finger which did not allow me to write as fast as I could. I will try to get back on track after I deal with this.
An animated ring woke him up. He frowned without opening his eyes. The last time he checked, his ring tone was a new metal song. When did it turn to be a this?
But the floral scent that invaded his nose said that he was not alone. True to his nose, he felt the bed shift next to him and the weight on his chest lift.
“Hello?” she answered, her voice hoarse.
He opened one eye. What happened was not a dream? He… he really slept with her? The most beautiful werewolf he had ever met.
“Not at home, Sam,” she said.
Zeke did not bother to listen to what the one on the other side had to tell her.
“Won’t be coming tomorrow,” she said.
The faint beep signified the call had ended and she rolled over again and laid how she was when he had woken up.
“I know you are awake, Zeke,” she murmured, throwing a hand over his chest.
“Should I wake up then?” he asked, opening his eyes fully.
She woke up and blinked at him like a baby seal. “D-do you regret it?”
“Regret what?” he asked, unable to keep his hands off her smooth skin.
Right from the second Draco introduced her to him, he was attracted to her. Her sparkling eyes, her enchanting smile, her tiny button nose, her butter skin. Everything about her enticed him. Why was this perfect female not his mate?
“Yesterday,” she whispered. “Last evening.”
He drew lazy circles on her back. “I loved every second of it. I really...”
She waited for him to continue, but words fled him. What could he say? Tell her that he wished she was his mate? Tell her that he wanted to continue this despite knowing that they would meet their mate one day or the other?
“Really what?” she pressed.
He licked his lips to find her lingering taste. “Want to continue this.”
She looked away, but she whispered, “Then let’s continue.”
He cleared his throat. “But when we meet our mates-”
She closed her eyes, her lashes skimming his skin. “We will think about that when it comes to it.”
“You are willing to gamble?” he asked, his voice as soft as silk.
She nodded. “I… I have never felt this before, Zeke. I had a boyfriend before, but there was never this connection.”
His hands rested on her waist comfortably. Like she was made to fit in his arms. “I understand.”
She pressed her lips together and opened her eyes. “Are we going to make this work?”
Zeke gulped hard. “I will try my best.”
She raised herself and rubbed her nose against his. “Perfect.”
He chuckled. Before he could reply, his phone rung.
He groaned and reached for his phone, pulling it from the charger.
The number that flashed made him sit up. It was not from Laukris. It was from Asia. From the country where Allen was hidden.
He picked it up in the third ring. “Hello?”
“Zeke,” the person on the other line said. “They found Allen. Yuezi and Kiki died. I don’t know where Clio is. But Zilin had taken Allen and fled to Yunnan. I am trying to stop them, but Dave had dispatched a lot of them.”
What he feared had come true. He knew what Allen and Clio meant to Draco. That assassin had particularly asked him to take care of the mother and son using his connections in China.
“I will come and take Allen out myself,” Zeke said, searching for his pants. “Just make sure you find Clio and keep her safe.”
“Got it.” With that, the line went static.
“What happened?” Erica asked, sitting up.
“The worst,” Zeke said, getting off the bed and pulled his pants on. “Dave found Allen.”
Erica frowned. “Who is this Allen?”
“I mentioned Sean, do you remember?” he asked, taking a new shirt from the closet.
She nodded. “I do. You said, he saved Draco’s life and in the process, lost his. Aiko is his daughter.”
“Allen…” Zeke sighed. “Is his son. Sean’s mate, Clio was pregnant with Allen when Sean was killed. To save them both, Lawan and Wirat pulled strings to send her out of the coven. Later on, when Draco learnt that Sean died saving him, he asked me to take them to a country out of Laukris and keep them safe there. To make sure that they are out of Dave’s sight.”
“What happened now?” She had gotten off the bed when he began to tell her and she slipped on her clothes faster than him.
“Dave was pissed when we took Aiko out.” Zeke slipped on his shoes. “He found where Clio and Allen are hidden and sent his men after them.”
“Shit,” she swore.
She pulled her hair in a ponytail and took her phone.
“I have to go to China,” Zeke said. “Clio and Allen have seen me. I have to bring them back.”
The clock blinked twenty two. He frowned. Draco usually would be awake at this time. He took the time after sunset to immerse himself in the language of coding.
He gave him a call and it rang completely.
“Pick up,” he muttered. “Pick up the damn phone.”
But no one picked up. This was a first.
“What happened?” Erica asked, tapping something furiously on her phone screen.
“Draco’s not picking up,” he said, calling him again.
Just like the last time, he did not pick up the call. What was wrong with Draco?
Should he check on Draco before he checked on Allen?
“I booked the tickets,” Erica said. “Three flights.”
“What?” he asked.
“One from here to a country named Malaysia,” Erica said, blinking her eyes. “From there to China and from there to Yunnan.”
“How do you know where I am going to go?” Zeke asked.
“I was next to you when you were talking.” She rolled her eyes. “I checked where this Yunnan was and I found how to reach there.”
Zeke looked at her from her head to toe. “You are a genius. Forward the booking details to my phone.”
Nodding, she tapped her phone screen for a few more times and there was a loud ping from his phone. Unlocking it, he saw the tickets as she said. But why were there details of two tickets?
“Why two?” he asked.
“One for you,” she said. “One for me.”
Zeke blinked at her. “Y-you? You are coming with me?”
She walked slowly over to him and hooked her hands around his neck. “My ‘boyfriend’ going on a dangerous trip. Rather than to stay here and worry about you, I will come with you.”
His breath grew rapid and he did not bother to hear another word she said after ‘boyfriend’. Bending down, he kissed her, trying to tell her what he was feeling.
This connection, this feeling, this bond. Everything was real. Even if Luna herself came and told him that she was not the one for him, he would fight her. This female, how could she be so perfect in everything she did?
“You’re not worried that I’ll hinder you?” she asked after he let her go.
He gave her a crooked smile. “I’ll be more or less depending on you. You have no idea how bad my fighting skills are.”
Erica smirked. “I know. You are absolutely terrible when it comes down to fighting.”
It was a painful twenty-hours flight. Including the transit time. They had stayed in Malaysia for about two hours before the connecting flight was ready.
Before he left, he had contacted all who could have known where that Draco was. Finally, it was Rune who replied to him about Draco. Apparently, that idiot had slept in. Mali had done something traumatising to him.
If he was there next to Draco, Zeke was sure he would kindly take care of that female vampire. Who did she think Draco was?
Draco had called him back seeing his missed calls, but he had been in the flight and he saw the calls only after he landed in Malaysia. Just when he was about to call him back, he saw a text from that guy asking him to call back when he reached Beijing.
Did Draco know why he had come to Beijing? Was he that clever?
He took his phone out and fiddled with it. After that long journey, they had finally made it to Beijing’ domestic airport.
“We still have about an hour,” Erica said, gazing at the architecture of the airport. Though these humans lacked technologies they had in Laukris, they made a decent construction. “You can give Draco a call. I saw a coffee shop, I will get something for us.”
“Money?” he asked.
Erica grinned and fished out a card. “I came prepared. This card is accepted here.”
He blinked at her purse. It was true. A female’s purse was the most mysterious thing.
Tapping his nose with the card, she left in the direction of that coffee shop.
He shook his head and searched the contacts to find Draco’s name right at the top of his recent contacts.
Shaking his head, he pressed the call. The bastard picked the call after two rings.
“I landed,” he said flatly.
“I know,” Draco said. “You just left.”
“I had to,” Zeke protested. “I heard Dave had already dispatched people to find Allen. I have to find him in three hours.”
“Where are you?” he asked.
“Beijing. I have to take a local flight to Yunnan.”
“Allen is there?”
“Yes,” Zeke said. “He was living with his mother… but the source that called me a day ago said that Allen was running alone. There is no news of Clio.”
He knew what Draco would be feeling now. He had entrusted Zeke to take care of Clio and Allen. Now, he had failed.
“Where are you right now in Beijing?” he asked.
“I am in the domestic airport,” he said. “Waiting for the flight.”
“Wait there,” Draco said. “Nox will come and take you guys.”
“Nox?” Zeke asked. “Is that guy reliable?”
“Yes. He will come there.”
After the call ended, Zeke shook his head. Even now, Draco was looking out for him. It was not a secret that his fighting skills were weak. But to the extent of help coming to assist him in a job he failed spoke volumes.
Whatever it was, Nox was still a star. With that guy around, perhaps, Allen and Clio could be saved.
His recent update from the guy he asked to look after Allen informed him that Dave’s men had indeed caught Clio and they had taken her to Yunnan and not to Laukris. They were planning to lure Allen out.
Time was definitely not on his side. As of now, he did not know how the situation was in Yunnan. He still had a three-hour flight.
Just thinking about this gave him a headache. He just put his phone back when Erica came in with two coffees.
“Nothing edible?” he asked.
Erica wrinkled her nose. “I saw sandwiches but I could not bear the smell from them. Just stuck with coffee.”
He nodded and sipped in the caffeine. Just as he finished his coffee, Erica gasped.
“What is it?” he asked, turning around to see what made that female gasp.
He saw people trying to get their flights on, the ones who maintained the airport clean, the ones who belonged to the security. But amidst them, he saw a familiar silver-haired male who had a flashy silver jacket, making many eyes follow him. It was as if he wanted people to see him.
He walked towards them slowly and sat on the seat next to him.
“Pretty fast,” Zeke commented.
“Not as fast as I would have liked it,” Nox said. “Where in Yunnan?”
“You know where Yunnan is?” Zeke asked.
Nox blinked at him. “I am a star, Zeke. I know the geography of Earth.”
“Yes,” Nox nodded seriously. “I have seen how each city had developed so far and I have a pretty good sense of direction. I know where Yunnan is. Tell me where Allen is in Yunnan.”
“In a district called Yuxi,” Zeke said. “Yuxi city.”
“Close to the capital,” Nox said closing his eyes briefly. “Let’s go.”
“You know where?” Erica asked incredulously. “You weren’t kidding when you said you know the geography of Earth?”
Nox exasperated. “Give me some credit, okay? I may not know how geography or the location of each and every galaxy in this universe - no star alive could actually provide you with that detail, but I do know how this planet came to be, okay? I also know the geography of the two other planets that have life in this galaxy. I know.”
“There are other planets in this galaxy that has life?” Erica asked, sipping her coffee.
Nox threw his hands up. “Focus on the important things. Let’s go.”
Erica coughed and drank the rest of her coffee in one go. “It’s hard. Especially when you act like you have sense.”
“I have sense,” Nox protested.
“Surprise,” Erica muttered.
“Let’s go.” Zeke shook his head. “At least one of know where Yuxi city is.”
He took his phone out and opened the message his men sent him a couple of minutes ago. It was live location. “Allen is here.”
Nox glanced at the screen. “In this place? I got it.”
“What do you mean?” Zeke asked. “There’s still one hour for the flight-”
But before he could finish the sentence, Nox grabbed his hand and Erica’s and the next second, both weren’t there in Beijing.
It was a hazy summer. Unlike Beijing where people ignored them, some of the pedestrians gave them weird look. It could be because their appearance did not match with anyone over there or it could be because they literally appeared out of thin air.
“What now?” Zeke asked, holding his head between his hands.
The speed with which Nox brought them here was not to be underestimated. He was much better compared to Erica who had rushed into a complex, searching for a restroom to puke.
His legs gave way and he just crashed on the road, gasping for air.
“Can you stop being dramatic?” Nox asked, sitting on the steps that led to the complex into which Erica had dashed into.
“Dramatic?” he wheezed. “I almost died.”
“I won’t allow you to die,” Nox said confidently. “Or else Draco will just kill me.”
Despite that ringing sensation in his ears, his mind cleared on a point. “D-draco will kill you? Are you mental? He is a human and y-you are a star! How can-?”
“How can he kill me?” Nox smiled sadly. “He got Taurus backing him up. One word and he won’t hesitate to kill me.”
“What?” His vertigo was momentarily halted.
“Oh!” Nox’s smiled widened. “You did not know?”
Why did this smile give him an ominous feeling?
“Niran saw Draco and Taurus make out.”
Zeke blinked. And then blinked again. And then again.
“You are not joking?” Zeke finally asked.
“Nope,” Nox said. “Even I was stunned when Niran told us. No one believed him. Not until we saw Taurus glare at the poor boy.”
“What was Draco’s response?” Zeke asked.
It did not matter to him who Draco was dating. He just wanted his friend to be happy. He heard bits and pieces from Ryan and Sorrel as they quarrelled in the kitchen about what Mali did. Though he did not get the complete picture, he understood that Mali had hurt him.
If Taurus ever hurt Draco, he would make Taurus regret thinking of hurting him. Though he knew that attempt would be futile.
“Draco was out taking your phone call,” Nox said.
“Damn it,” Zeke said. “I regret calling him at that time.”
Finally, Erica sauntered out, her legs wobbling. She sat next to Nox and took deep breaths. “Let’s move.” Nox reached for her hand and she swatted it. “Zeke, hold my hand. I don’t trust this guy.”
Nox held his fist to his chest and gasped dramatically.
Zeke shook his head and stood up, offering Erica a hand. She took his hand and stood up, but did not let it go. Though Nox noticed this, he did not comment on it.
He inhaled the stale air deeply. Nox had brought them to the location his men had sent. Though he did not see anyone, he could smell their scent.
Finally, he caught the scent he was searching for. He had met Allen once and that had been enough for him to commit that male’s scent in his memory.
He pointed at the street to their right. “There.”
The three moved together. Erica flanked his left and Nox his right. Like they were protecting the weakest in their tiny team.
The scent led them somewhere. He did not know what road he took or where in the city he was, he just followed the scent.
Then he stopped. The scent was still strong, but from this point, it was mingled with the rusty tinge of blood. Vampire blood to be exact.
“Allen’s hurt,” Zeke whispered.
“The blood is Allen’s scent?” Nox asked.
Zeke nodded. “Someone else is hurt too, but Allen is definitely hurt.”
Another turn and they heard faint gunshots. Zeke looked at his two companions. He was not sure about Nox, but he knew Erica was not well-versed in guns. She could defend herself, but to kill armed people, he was not sure.
The night grew colder and the air was laden with thick death intent. Moon hid behind a horde of clouds and the stars that usually winked at them in Laukris abandoned the sky.
They left the car hons and traffic lights far behind them as they entered the area that held tattered houses and warehouses.
Two kids ran away upon seeing them. A couple was standing in front of a crowded hotpot shop as they passed. A car with a family of three drove past them. Did no one ever hear the gunshots? Did they not smell the thick scent of blood in the air?
“There’s a star,” Nox whispered as they rushed towards the warehouse from where the sounds came.
Erica looked up. “Where?”
“Not in the sky,” Nox said. “In the warehouse. Or half-star.”
With that, Nox sped up and crashed into the warehouse. At the opposite side, a female was sitting lazily on a chair while Ren, Kai and Yuri were holding back a young vampire. On the ground, before Zeke was a female he had seen in the video conferences he made every three months to ensure that both mother and son were alive.
Clio was a pile of bones and skin. She had been skinny, to begin with, and now, he could not judge is she was alive or dead.
Nox narrowed his eyes at the female. “Mirfak had a daughter?”
The female’s eyes showed alarm as she stood up. “A star? Who are you?”
Nox adopted a fighting stance. “I think you know Rigel?”
Her eyes widened. “Rigel’s son? Wasn’t he a half-vampire-”
“That’s my brother,” Nox said. “You?”
“Mirfak’s daughter,” she said. “Rekha.”
“Considering our father’s friendship, I could let you go,” Nox said. “If you walk away now.”
She struggled. She was just a step away from submitting to Nox, but then she snapped. “I am not that weak.”
“Is this the path you choose to walk on?” Nox asked. “The last time I checked Mirfak was not this weak.”
“I am not his daughter,” she snarled. “Not the daughter of a bastard who left me behind.”
Nox shook his head. “Leaving his scent on you was enough protection, Rekha. Space is not a paradise to live in. Not unless you are the strongest. Leaving you here would have been a difficult choice for him, but he did it so that you could live.”
There was reluctance in her eyes. She took a tiny step back and knocked the chair off. “I… I won’t believe you. He left me. He left me and my mother.”
Nox shook his head. “Who told you that?”
“Does not matter!”
“Don’t be an idiot,” Nox said softly. “I don’t want to kill you. I know your father. But if you insist on standing on the other side, I have to.”
She gritted her teeth. “Not on his account.”
With that, she sped towards him and from that second, there were two streaks of light that flew here and there.
For a second, all were just stunned. He tried his best to follow their trail, but it was futile. That second was all it took Allen to break from Yuri’s hold and rush towards his mother.
Kai shook his head. “They said that if Allen would go with them, Clio would be alive. We have been trying our best to hold Allen back.”
He figured that much. Next to Clio were five people with guns and Kai was bleeding terribly.
One look and it seemed like they were equally numbered, but each men Dave sent was enough to take five like them.
Erica shifted and her huge wolf knocked the female assassin who was aiming her gun at Allen who punched her friend. While Erica took two assassins herself, Yuri teamed up with Kai and they were fighting a blurry male.
Ren kicked the other male and Allen kneeling next to his mother, begging her to open her eyes.
Where was the male Allen just knocked down?
When he searched for that male, he saw Erica fighting a losing battle. If it was just one female, there was at least fifty per cent chance for Erica to win. The two female assassins were clearly stronger than her.
Leaving his search for the fifth assassin, he joined Erica. Unlike Erica, he did not shift. He could not shift. To a werewolf, their shifting was their pride. The size of their wolf indirectly spoke of the power they held. But now, he was not able to shift.
He was not Draco, the madman who could take grown wolf without shifting. Now, even his shift failed him. But he would not let Erica fight alone.
He held the wrist of one female and twisted it behind her. It was the element of surprise that allowed him to have the upper hand with this female assassin. If not, he would have been stabbed by the dagger she held before he even approached her.
This gave Erica a second to catch her breath and bite the other female’s thigh. She screamed but she still managed to shoot at Erica’s leg. His girlfriend howled, but she did not lose her hold.
The female in his hold kicked his left shin and broke from the weak hold. She spun around with her dagger to slash him and he stumbled back, just to avoid the dagger’s tip.
Taking advantage of his off-balance, she took a step forward, twirling the dagger, positioning it to stab him.
Instead of balancing himself, he let himself fall and he rolled to the other side. She traced him, but she held back when she saw that he was falling down.
On the other side, Erica had managed to pull the female’s leg from her body and the other female instead of screaming, shot another bullet in the same leg.
Ren at this point was just defending himself and Kai was laying down unconscious as Yuri took the gun from the other male and skillfully turned it and shot.
The fifth male. Zeke finally located him. He was running towards Allen. Allen who did not care what was happening in the world around him. He was just trying to wake his mother up. He had slit his wrist and was forcing his blood down Clio’s throat, but the blood just leaked from her mouth.
Was Clio gone?
Then everything happened in a flash. Zeke stood up and pushed the female before him as he rushed towards Allen. The fifth assassin had morphed his hand into a wolf’s paw.
He pushed Allen and just turned to see what the assassin would do. The paw struck the centre of his chest, right where his heart was. His claws dug past his skin and muscles. There was even a faint crack of his ribs.
Erica’s scream was the loudest and Nox just landed before him with Rekha’s body falling at his feet.
Then everything became dark. Everything became silent.
A/N: What do you think of this chapter?
What do you think will happen?
Until next time,