The plane reached cruising altitude and I unbuckled the belt. Across from me, David did the same and gave me a smile as he reached for a briefcase by his legs. The pilot from the cockpit up ahead opened up the door of the small private plane and signalled a thumbs up, indicating that it was now safe to move around the cabin.
Standing and stretching my legs, I moved to the bar and made a Gin and Tonic. Flying off without an hour’s notice meant that we had to go without our usual stewardess, but perhaps that was best for this flight.
“Can I get one of those, darling?” David called up to the back. I studied him and smiled, simply nodding. He turned back to the work he now had out on the tray table. The monthly sacrifice was wearing out, too soon. I should still have another week of unwavering devotion and obsession, now, he was forgetting things. Instead of being the first thing I saw off the plane when I flew into the local airport, he was with Kelly and had forgotten that I did send him my flight details. I didn’t mind, but it was telling of how much the monthly spell had worn off. Now I was making his drinks, like I was his waitress instead of his divine bride.
I sighed and added a double to his glass. After ten years of keeping Arawn under a compulsion spell, I guess he was becoming immune. He was certainly stronger than when I stumbled over him as an eager new Hunter, both of us trying to infiltrate the same Welsh pack all those years ago. It made sense that he would require a stronger monthly invocation to keep him in line. What was on the Italian farm at the moment? His spell usually required three chickens, but a goat would be a good substitute and increase the strength.
My eyes wandered across the aisle to Kelly, now sleeping peacefully and slouched up against the side of her seat. Since we were travelling West, the pull of the moon was going to come faster, and she had admitted when we were boarding that she felt jittery. The tell tale sign of an impending transformation. Ewan’s used to get them so bad, they would span five days instead of the normal three. Now it was Kelly’s turn to suffer them, and thankfully, she didn’t notice when I put her under. I couldn’t keep her asleep for the whole time, but I would certainly try if it meant not dealing with a new Were’s shakes.
Diana’s baby, strapped to Kelly’s chest, stirred in its sleep and she unconsciously held it tighter. I couldn’t help but smile at the whole scene and the woman she had become. Holy Darkness, she was magnificent. Killing poor Carlyle and Brent, who were only following my orders, with such ferocity and zero training. She was a natural. Typical Margaret Wardwell. Stifling such talent with her rules and guilt. I had planned on swift retribution for her, facing her and making her grovel before doing something physically satisfying, maybe with the machete that the men liked so much. But perhaps this was better.
Stealing her mentee and training her as my own, as it should have been in the first place, seemed like the best cold revenge. When Kelly was finished with the Welsh Maddock Clan, we would return to Washington and kill the pack and raze that commune to the ground, leaving Margaret Wardwell last to witness it all. It was too beautiful, too poetic, it was justice.
Ignoring Kelly for thirteen years was stupid on Margaret’s part. I understood what she was trying for. Keep Kelly’s heritage in the dark forever, hoping that nothing would emerge. So naive, monumentally naive. When I saw the playback of her on the hill, I knew exactly what had happened and was nearly ecstatic that something had finally broken through Ewan’s teaching enough to change her. To happen on the night of my return to the commune, well, it was serendipitous.
The mix of witch and Were in her blood was too beautiful to ignore, too volatile. They should have tried harder with her, honed her. Instead, it would be me, and Ewan’s own progeny would be my flaming sword against everyone who led to his death. It was so goddamn poetic it could have been Shakespearean.
Kelly took a deep breath, and went into a REM cycle, I guessed. Her dirty shirt shifted on her shoulder, the bandage now peeping out. Walking back down the aisle, I handed David his drink and stood hovering over Kelly. The scar would never do. Kelly would never even get through the doors of Wolf Castle in Wales if she had that scar on her neck. They would be suspicious and question everything about her.
As she was, she was too innocent, but maybe that was perfect. She had no guile for subterfuge. I had only been in her presence for a total of twenty minutes, yet I had manipulated her already into making her first sacrifices. Throwing a few disgusting men her way, made sure she thought she heard Carlyle laughing, muttering some sympathetic words paired with tearful eyes. It was almost too easy, like she unconsciously wanted it. Ever since I watched that tape and saw her from the driver seat in the alleyway, her potential was unquestionable. It was too much for the Coven to control, they couldn’t even imagine what she could do but neither could she for that matter.
I placed a hand lightly above the bandage on her shoulder and focused on the damage, willing the atoms of her skin to rearrange and some of the irreparable tissue to dissipate. She shifted, probably feeling an uncomfortable itching over the area. After a few moments, I lifted my hand, satisfied. It would be raw red now, but when it healed, there would be no scar to indicate anything had happened with the Alpha.
Resuming my seat, I scowled at the thought of him. Of all the luck, her being paired with the Alpha of the pack we were going to exterminate. Those bloody wolves. Wiping out my entire North American unit. They probably felt a great sense of victory right now. David and I had spent literally a month assembling that team of former mercenaries and it was not easy to find the few who were morally repugnant. It was a risk, using the wolves’ own caves that Ewan had told me about all those years ago and banking that no one would check them for the month we were there. So close, just an extra hour and we would be onto their lands and armed.
Then again, as with Margaret, maybe this route would be more satisfying. Having Kelly by my side while I kill that spineless old wolf who had even forgotten my husband’s name. Watching the gleam of the beast die in his eyes seemed like a fitting end, maybe too good for him. Maybe the more just end would be to leave him alive and to let him wander the deserts of his own mind for decades until age finally took his body.
The plane made a quick adjustment for turbulence and the baby in Kelly’s arms stirred again. It was a shame to bring it, but she would have never come without it. She was still too soft hearted, she still felt something for that Were, just like she felt something for the baby she hadn’t even met. I guess we could name it. No one else would. They would all be dead soon.
It was a nice thought, starting out our new Coven with three different generations. Bringing them up in the manner that they should be, not ignoring their unhallowed heritage, but embracing it. The baby would be especially powerful, a triumvirate witch. A third of a third of a third. Sacrificing her on the upcoming blood moon would have been especially powerful, but she was a better bet for the long run. Plus, she was family.
Kelly would never forgive me, and we did needed to start somewhere to build a strong group of women. Might as well begin now. I stared at the little bundle, trying to see if there was any aura around her yet, but there was nothing yet, it was too soon.
The pilot opened up the door again and caught my attention.
“Ma’am, we have clear skies and it’s a fourteen hour flight to Palermo airport.”
“Thank you, Tony.”
After a few minutes of staring into my drink and trying to plan the best preparation for our unexpected guests, David looked up from the pile of papers he had been shuffling through.
“Well, dear, it was a blow to the company’s resources. We could reshuffle some personnel from Africa, now that the hybrid pack in the Congo are dead, and bring them over to Washington when you are finished in Wales.”
I shook my head at him.
“No, keep everyone where they are. There are still those tribes of night children in South Africa that need to be dealt with when we are eventually finished. Plus…”
I looked over to the unconscious Kelly, my flaming sword. So unaware that she had been arranged in a marriage since her birth. Unaware that she would happily kill her fiance to satisfy her own upcoming blood lust. Unaware that she would be the Alpha and Omega in the destruction of so many.
“...we have everything we need in this plane to kill them all.”