The Rise

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Chapter Twenty-Six

“I really don’t want to do this,” I said, stepping out of the car. Valerio and I walked to the hospital entrance. “I never wanted to suck up to this man, but I feel like that’s the only way I’d get him to even consider letting us use the equipment.”

Valerio placed a hand on my upper back, guiding me in. “Do it for us.”

I walked up to the reception desk, not wanting to face him, but knowing that I had to. The blonde man behind the counter smiled at me. “Hello, what can I do for you?”

“My name is Mae. I have an appointment with Mr. Handock. 11am.”

His smile dropped. “You’re the woman I talked to on the phone, aren’t you?”

I smiled sweetly at him, hoping to get on his good side. “Yes, I am.”

He picked up his phone and dialed a number. “Dr. Handock. Mae is here for your appointment.” He nodded and put the phone down, barely gazing up at me. “Room 235. Go down that hallway. Take a right. Second door on your left.”

We followed his directions down the hallway until we reached the office. Before I knocked, I took a deep breath. You can do this, Mae. You did nothing to him. Nothing.

After knocking three times, he finally called for me to come in. When my eyes met his, the blood in my veins boiled. Those eyes reminded me of his son’s - the ones that still haunted me every time I thought about Dad. Never in my life did I think I would see this guy again.

Through thick lenses, Brett’s dad gazed up at me. He sighed and put down the files he was looking through. We sat awkwardly across from each other, both not knowing how to start the conversation.

I knew exactly what I came here for, but I couldn’t get the words passed my lips. I hated this man for everything he was and for the son that he had raised.

Mr. Handock cleared his throat and eyed Damon’s mark on my neck. Then he gazed at Valerio for the first time today. “Still hanging around those beasts, I see.”

“Your son was one of those beasts,” I said. “I don’t think you have any right to talk about them like that anymore.”

His fist collided with the papers on his desk. “Don’t talk about my son like that,” he said. “One of those rats turned him, just bit him and turned him into a vicious animal.”

I narrowed my eyes at him. “Your son volunteered to turn, Mr. Handock.”

“Don’t lie.” The vein in his neck pulsed violently.

“I’m not. You’re just angry he left your house to room with them. You’re angry that he wanted to turn into one because he thought I would love him for it. You’re angry that I had to be the one to kill him.” With each word my voice rose. I stood up, my heart racing in my chest. “But I’m sick of you being angry and disrespecting my wolves for no fucking reason.”

He stood and leaned over the table, trying to make himself look intimidating, but he never scared me. “Your wolves? Who do you think you are to them?”

I stood taller. “I’m the Moon Goddess, their leader.”

He threw his head back and laughed. “Goddess? You think that you’re their goddess? What have they put into that head of yours? I remember you used to be such a smart girl, Mae. Now look at you.”

Before I could stop it, Black emerged from my palm, growling as he grew into his full size. He stalked toward Brett’s dad and cornered him against the wall. A white film blurred my vision for a moment.

Brett’s dad stared, wide-eyed at me. He swallowed and stuffed his hand into his pocket, pulling out his phone. My fingers, instinctively, grazed against the mark on my chest, absorbing the power within it. I swiftly pointed to his phone and watched it burn in his hands.

All I wanted was a friendly conversation and he had to ruin that for us. He dropped the phone before it burned his palms and stepped back until he was pressed into the wall.

Black was growling at the poor, stupid man. “Black,” I warned.

“Get out!” he yelled. “Get out, now.”

“I can’t.” I stepped toward him. “I need something done for me.”

He grimaced, like he didn’t want to do anything for me, but when Black growled louder and nipped at his hand, he nodded. “Fine! God, what the hell do you want?”

“My doctors need access to CT scanners.”

He shook his head. “I can’t help you with that. I don’t have access.”

Black lunged at him again. “Are you sure about that?”

He looked away, curling himself into the corner and trying to make himself disappear through the wall. “Give me a few days.”

“Now.”

His eyes widened again. “I can’t do it now. I need time.”

“What you need to do is sit down at your desk, pick up that phone, and get me access.”

He rubbed his hand over his face. “Fuck.” He scooted by Black to his desk and dialed someone’s number on the phone. “Yes, please… no… I need it today.” He gazed up at me. “Who will be utilizing this?” he asked through clenched teeth.

“The Protectors.”

“The Protectors,” he said through the phone. There was silence for a moment. “Override the access… They’re allowed. I’ve allowed it… Good.” He set the phone down and took a deep breath. “You have access. Give them my name at the front desk whenever you would like to use it.” He glared at Black. “Now, get him away from me.”

“Black,” I called, holding out my hand. I reabsorbed him in my palm. “Thank you.”

Brett’s dad waved his hand dismissively in my direction. “You need help.”

“So will you if you keep disrespect us again.”

“Was that a threat?”

“No. That’s the truth.” I turned around and marched out of the room with a grinning Valerio behind me.

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