Chapter 40 Part 1
“They muddy the water to make it seem deep,”
The words of the dying girl rang in my mind, clanging around like tin on metal as I sat curled up in an empty chair, the pungent scent of disinfectant and chemicals burning my nose. Celina was safe, back with her mother and father, a reunion event I didn’t care to attend, not when I was feeling like this. Not when sickness sprouted in my stomach and every bone in my body ached from exertion.
They had went into a meeting an hour ago, Roman and the Alpha to discuss methods of security and god knows what else. I didn’t. I didn’t want to.
Not when that girl was hooked up to machines, fighting for her life. I wasn’t alone in the waiting room, there were of course wolves flanking my sides, alert with caution at every movement, surveying each nurse and patient that crossed the halls. Doing their job and doing it well because there was no room for error, not when they worked for Roman.
They weren’t the only ones waiting with me though and every time the double doors that extended out into an office area swayed with the entrance of workers I caught a glimpse of the others. I knew why they were here, its a main reason why I fought so badly to be able to be waiting. They were large and intimidating, suited with weapons sheathed at their sides, soldiers of a different kind.
The second she woke up-if she ever did, they’d pounce on her and pry her dead corpse for information if needs be. Anything to get whatever morsels of the rebel cause they could and I didn’t want her to be alone for that. If she wakes up I want her to at least have someone here to be on her side, no matter what.
I don’t know what the rebels or the hunters or whoever told her in order to make her believe that dying with that child was the only option but I doubt she came to the conclusion herself. If she was coerced then the story of her fate still has a chance to be rewritten. Her trial, I had convinced Roman, should be the first for humans here that was set to a different standard, a fair one.
My head jerked as shouts started to erupt in the lobby to the hospitals surgical section just down the hall, following the angered cries of a woman. Immediately, the guards in front of me tense and I stand from my seat, ignoring their critical gazes. They remain apprehensive but don’t dispute my actions as I stand to get a better view of the lobby, just as a doctor comes rushing out, his white coat moving and his face full of worry and surprise.
“Baby, what are you doing here?” He asks and the woman screaming walks over to him with haste, her hair disheveled and her eyes staring into his with a complete absence of fear despite his clear strength over her. The couple are young-looking and I notice the side of her neck baring a mark. Wolves, then.
“What am I doing here?” She yells before turning around to the clerk again, tears of frustration welling in her eyes. “She won’t tell me a damn thing, I listened to the message she left you on the answering machine, I know, Shane,” she says, nothing but anger in her tone.
His furrowed brows smooth over and a hard look covers his face, his lips thinning into a tight line. “I thought we discussed already that my office was off limits,” he says lowly, a slight growl gracing his tone.
She scoffs. “You’re really going to bring that up? Like that is the most important thing right now?” She presses and he touches her arm to give her some calm I presume but she yanks her body away, making him even more frustrated.
“Now is not the time for this discussion. I’m at work and you should be at home,” he instructs but her scowl only deepens and I feel that rage for her, feel it bubbling and threatening to spill.
“I’m not going back to your house until I know she’s okay. You promised me that you would look after her, you said-” She cuts herself off and lets out a shaking sigh, staring back up at him with a lid on that fury. “I’ve done everything you asked. Everything. I have filled my part of the bargain so uphold yours. She shouldn’t be alone,”
The doctor takes that moment to look down the hall, straight at me and I see his back go rigid at my gaze. “She isn’t alone,” he replies, his tone lowered as he looks back at his mate.
“I’m all she has left and I’m with you. There is simply no way she couldn’t be alone and no, you don’t count,” she rebuts and I notice him glance towards me again, furthering the suspicion that grows in me.
“She is safe and that is all you need to know. I’ve upheld my promise, she was the one who decided to put herself, and others in harms way. Not me,” he says and then the woman attention turns to me, as though she senses my presence.
Her eyes flick up to the sign above the open doors leading to the surgical section, then back at her mate and then to the barrage of wolves positioned not just around me, but outside a door. It’s all she needs to start walking furiously, angrily enough that the wolves in front of me clutch their weapons with caution.
Her mate takes ahold of her arm before she makes it more than three steps towards us and as he turns I notice a lack of mark on his own skin where the shoulder meets the neck. His body unmarred by the sacred bond which only means one definite thing.
“Hey!” She yells and he doesn’t look happy at it, not when his patience is teetering on a very thin edge and his colleagues surround him.
“Don’t do this, I’m a doctor for the sake of the goddess and in her current state, I’m the safest person for her. We are going home,” he tells her with finality and she glances back at the wolves guarding the room then at me directly, recognition flaring in her eyes.
“Fine,” she mummers, her shoulders slumping in utter defeat. She pushes herself into his firm chest and wraps her arms around his torso, taking him off guard. “I’m scared,” she says so quietly I almost don’t hear it.
I feel intrusive, staring at their moment like I am but there is a larger force pulling my attention towards them, that spike of guarded curiosity poking at my logic profusely. Her mate hugs her back, pulling her closely.
“It’s okay, let’s just get you home. She’ll be alright,” he comforts and she nods, breaking away from him. He goes to take a hold of her hand but she skilfully avoids his touch, wiping at the tears on her cheeks leaving their bodies completely separated.
His gaze flicks down to a watch on his wrist and the second his attention diverts she sprints towards us full force, coming to a skidding halt when the guards form a complete barrier, their large bodies the only thing separating us.
“Ma’am this area is out of bounds.” The guard closest to her says robotically and I can’t see her reaction through their wall.
“I apologise for my mates behaviour, she is clearly very distraught,” her mate says, in the equation already.
“I am the only family member of that girl in there, I’m her legal guardian and I demand you let me pass,” she fights before beginning to protest against her mate no doubt.
“Let her through,” I speak up, my tone firm and full of power. Her fighting ceases and the air goes still.
“Luna,” A wolf begins, his head turned to me but I shoot down his hesitation with a fiery glare.
“Let her through,” I repeat and they don’t object a second time, moving apart so that I can see the mates clearly.
The doctor immediately bows his head to me once he realises who I am whilst the angered female merely stares, conflict battling in her expression. I think back to the vehement words of her sister on the river bank as she named me as a traitor, holding nothing but contempt towards me despite everything. It is highly plausible that the attitude runs in the family given her unrelenting look of rage.
“I suppose you are the young girls sister, then,” I say, my voice levelled and a flash of pain goes through her eyes, mixed with some other, resentful kind of emotion.
“Yes,” she answers and I nod in understanding, before picking up my carry bag contacting a single book from the floor.
“Well then I guess you can look after her from here on in. She has committed a series of offences, ones that don’t look good for her at all,” I inform and I watch as her face pales considerably. “Your mate should be able to fill you in on her current state as well as the finer details of her crimes but I suggest that you take this and study it,” I pull out a book of pack law from my bag, half already highlighted and tabbed with a page of notes marking folded in the inside.
“I’m not an expert on law of any kind but she’ll need someone to defend her case when she gets out of there. I don’t know what drove her to do what she did and I in no way condone it but she shouldn’t have to face them alone,” I say and she gulps before laughing dryly.
“I guess it’s a good thing I was a lawyer before all this,” she says, tears still pricking at her eyes that move from me towards the room her sister is currently occupying. Her words hit me like a sack of weights to the chest because even though I realise she is probably the best person for her sister right now, the truth is it means I’ll have to leave this hospital and face a problem far greater.
“Thank you,” she mummers and I nod.
“I’d want someone to do it for me,” Is all I say in return, just as her mate walks past the guards to occupy the space next to her, worry evident on his face.
“Luna Superior, my mate and I appreciate what you’ve done immensely,” he says and I sling the straps of my virtually empty bag over my shoulder, shrugging his appraisal off.
“I mean it, my mate and I would never have even met if it weren’t for you, a great many thanks are in order.” Just like that, my heart turns icy and I realise where that slither of resentment comes from in the woman eyes.
“How do you mean?” I ask, trying to remain composed though my words come out in a croak.
He slides his arm around her waist and a faint smile lingers on his lips at the memory, “When we met she had a broken leg, actually and she was hobbling down sector two on her way to an appointment with you in the lower sectors. I was only there to run some errands and I didn’t realise she was my mate at the time but I figured she could use some help,” his smile becomes a fraction larger and she looks down, like the humanity in his actions make it worse. “I went to ask if she needed some assistance and then the bond clicked in place and now… well the rest is history,”
A woman with a broken leg had to come to me for assistance. I try to scrounge through my brain, the messy workings of thoughts and emotions to figure out why I would ask that of someone but in all my muddled memories, I can’t. During my time in this pack I met so many people, worked with other human doctors and nurses and treated all types of humans. Remembering one was a fools game.
“It was years ago,” she mumbles, noticing my struggle to recall the event. “It doesn’t matter now,” she adds, though it clearly did matter, for however many years she’d been mated to this doctor it mattered to her that she had to come to an appointment with me. All up until I showed mercy to her sister did it really matter.
“I’m sorry,” I say, without thinking through my words.
Her mate furrows his brows, “Why would you be sorry, Luna?” He asks in an apprehensive confusion.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t help with your leg,” I conclude and she shakes her head, pinching her pursed lips.
“It’s okay, the goddess had my back it seems,” she replies, burying out hatchet and pointing to her mate who smiles at her acknowledgement of their bond. It does seem like fate, to be injured like that and find your mate to be a wolf that can give you all the aid you need. A cruel twist of fate or fate written in the stars I’m not sure.
Just as I open my mouth to respond my phone in my back pocket starts buzzing and I pull it out, placing at Roman’s name on the screen though its obvious it’d be him calling me considering no one else ever does.
“Good luck with everything,” I say and the woman nods solemnly, turning her attention onto the room holding her sister.
I walk away from the two and the wolves follow my movements as I answer the phone and hold it to my ear.
“Maeve?” Roman’s voice asks from the other end.
“Hey,” I reply, gulping away the emotion that arises in my throat.
“How are you going?” He asks, his voice gravelly and strong, more so than usual.
“I’m fine,” I reply curtly and silence overtakes the line for a few good seconds. “Is everything alright?” I ask and when the silence returns it doesn’t make me feel awkward, it makes me feel dread.
“Is there any chance you can get back here? I know you want to look out for that young girl but I’m about to head into a meeting and I think you’ll want to be here for it,” he says and I look back at the mated couple now in deep conversation, the pack law book heavy in her hand. “I don’t mind filling you in later but… it’s serious, Mae. Really serious.”
“I’ll come back now,” I answer, running my hand through the loose strands of my hair.
“Alright, tell the guards to take you to the main pack office. I’ll see you soon,” he says and I hang up the phone just as the loitering men from the lobby, waiting to interrogate the young girl saunter past me, heading straight towards her sister with a look of seriousness on their faces.
I debate staying, defending her too but I realise that she doesn’t need me. A human lawyer that has been mated to a wolf has had to have many opportunities to practice their fighting abilities and from the way she doesn’t cower or flinch, but rather stand taller as they approach. I know she’ll be just fine all on her own.
I wish I could say the same for me.
My eyes lock instantly with Roman’s as I enter the room like our very bodies have been implanted with magnets that constantly pull. He walks over to me with grim lines of worry marring his soft skin and I quickly survey the room, noting the other leaders all stood in anticipation of something.
“How are Noah and Jenna? Celina?” I ask straight up and the question almost surprises him, like it is the least of his worries at present.
“They are fine, both are still recovering from the shock but your niece is completely fine,” he answers and I can’t help but feel like I’ve unwittingly asked for the good news first, not knowing that a bad was in the equation.
I lean in closer to him, my eyes darting around the room again. “What’s going on?” I ask lowly, my brows furrowing.
“There’s been some alarming news. Our technical team has been combatting an unknown cyber attack and there have been threats on the bordering packs of the East. Elijah will be contacting us shortly to inform us further but things are getting more serious, the hunters have established themselves well both inside and outside of this continent,” he explains and my blood curdles.
“Shit,” I mummer and he doesn’t correct me, making the direness of the situation much worse. “Can’t your forces handle the attacks?” I ask and he shakes his head.
“That’s not the issue, if what I suspect is coming truly does then many lives could be lost, on all sides. I don’t want to taint this pack with any more blood and heartache. Plus things aren’t as straight forward as they may seem, we understand this enemy but to limits, which is a problem,” he explains and I feel a shudder travel down my spine.
I’d much rather have an enemy that I know, one whose motives I can discern than one I have no clue about. Nicholas and his forces might be easy to navigate but the hunters…
“Well they’ve clearly already started playing dirty, who knows what’s next?” I comment and he looks to the screen behind me, his Alpha mode switching on fully.
“Hopefully our Beta,”
Everyone in the room looks to the screen as Elijah’s face overtakes the pixels, his chiseled face framed with an office background. The seats at the circular table fill silently yet quickly and soon all the attention is refocused onto Roman and I as we stare at them all. The tension in the room is palpable.
“Thank you for meeting us Beta Elijah, if you could recount your report for the leaders present that would be appreciated,” Roman says firmly and Elijah gives him a firm nod. From the way the two look, how they interact with that stony gleam you’d never guess the two were friends. Completely gone were the jovial men that passed humour around a table and smiled upon meeting, in their wake laying ice cold leaders.
“Alpha, Luna,” he acknowledges before clearing his throat, “We have received reports on what appears to be a dual attack, orchestrated by the hunters and their affiliates of South America. Our cyber security system noticed an attempted attack and whilst the enemies were unable to penetrate any damaging information, they managed to breach several firewalls and leave an impact. The people we are dealing with won’t meet us on the battle field armed with sticks and stones, the likelihood of them living in decrepit bases struggling for survival is extremely slim. The hunters and human rebels have resources and we have no idea where they are or how many they have,”
Mummers erupt from around the table and I feel that trickling sense of fear that is so unmistakable. I’ve felt this type of fear radiate from crowds of people more times than a single person should and that very fact scares me to my core.
Roman growls lowly and the sounds cease. “Enough. Continue Beta,”
“The other attacks have been ground forces. The many lesser attempts committed over the last few months have led us to dead trails, each of them failing with a purpose. They were throwing our scent off of a larger scale attack on the East coast packs and the fighting that has erupted there has yet to come to an end.” Suffering, death, destruction. I can heart my heart in my head now, thumping louder and louder the more he speaks but I don’t let it show.
“Our forces exceed theirs ten fold just with members from the Eastern packs alone however we are aiming to minimalist the casualties from both sides and doing so may prolong the period of battles even further. Our people have already began putting into effect other measures of security beyond what we have now but a compiled warning will be given to all the Alphas within the next twenty four hours,” Elijah explains and my previous Alpha nods his head attentively at this.
“I’ve received news that a smilier turn of events has taken place in other packs as well. The Alpha Superiors will no doubt declare this as a threat on our level in the coming days so I want all my Alphas to be prepared and ready for what is to come. Security on our primary locations is essential and I want all human workers from the palace to be relocated to different jobs until the threats cease, we can’t afford the risk of housing enemies in our home,” Roman declares and my instinct tells me to debate it but my logic prevails. After what’s been happening recently it probably is a sensible idea.
“What about the pack tours?” I ask, watching as Romans lips thin into a pursed line.
“They will have to be put on hold,” Elijah informs. “As the head of national security it simply isn’t a wise choice at this time to continue with it. There are other options such as sending out representatives of your choice to document their findings but because of your comparable lineage and our packs lack of future security, keeping you safe is extremely important. I don’t say this with the intention of offending you, Luna, but your efforts as well as the Alphas are most helpful if from a guarded place at present,” he concludes and my hope deflates slightly.
“Your request is understandable, Beta. I’d like it if you could please detail the nature of the attacks on the smaller scale, what type of weaponry are they using, battle tactics,” Roman asks and Elijah nods sorting through papers on his desk.
“Yes of course-” The screen freezes on his face as he looks at a piece of paper and I turn to Roman with furrowed brows.
Roman’s chest rumbles, the sound like thunder. “Someone please sort this out,” he growls, impatient.
The screen starts to glitch and parts of what Elijah was explaining comes through in staggered fragments, his pixelated picture warping and slicing. Static white noise starts to blare in the room and I cover my ears as the screen turns completely fuzzy, glancing at Romans pure rage as he shelters his own sensitive hearing with his hands.
The wolves in the room fumble around with the attached computer, trying to figure the issue out and then all at once, the sound stops and the screen goes black. I expect it to stay that way but an emerald green colour starts to flash on the screen followed by others until a picture forms of a hooded figure.
Their identity is entirely hidden but they walk freely across the screen, making it obvious what the purpose of today’s cyber attack truly was.
“Luna Superior Maeve.” It starts, the voice warped by an alien autotune and my body stills in my seat as Roman’s wrath works its way onto his face, not yet erupted. “You have b-b-b,” it starts to clammer again and my stomach twists into a tight knot. “Betrayed your people. Your traitorous lies have poisoned a nation and your false promises of freedom cripple those who live in tyranny.”
The screen glitches again and the hooded man moves with the camera, following a black screen until he stops in front of a hooded male, kneeling on the floor. “You h-h-h.” The audio glitches again and I move forwards in my seat, my breathing becoming quicker.
“Have three days to hand yourself over to us.” The person says and the growl that cuts from Romans lips is almost as frightening as the message. His large hand clamps over mine and blankets me in heat before his gaze whips to the cold nature of my skin.
The man walks around to the back of the hooded man kneeling and I hear the cries and protests of a woman sound over the audio, pleas that quickly become muffled. The hood is ripped off the man kneeling and Carters bruised face doesn’t even have the strength to glance up at the camera, his head lulling on my shoulders like he is already rendered dead.
My lip begins to quiver and I feel my hands start to shake, my body following suit. The man grips Carters hair and pulls back his head so his swollen eye is level with the camera and I can see the torment that swirls in them, the utter pain.
“If you fail to comply with these demands, he will be the first to die.”
The last thing I see is a Carters body fall to the ground after the man knocks him clean over the head with a weapon and then the screen goes completely black.
If you don’t follow me on Instagram then you a) are missing out big time and b) wouldn’t know via my last post-which you should comment and like btw-that this chapter is the last
(or part one of the last)
So brace yourselves people, there’s a lot of crazy content heading your way.