Beauty in the Beast

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Chapter 17

I needed to go there right now. This is it, this is the lead I’ve been waiting for. I walked out the door and jogged to the location on the envelope.

423 Courttown Road

The building was small and had a public library feel to it. I walked in and looked around. Mostly books and the smell of dust was overwhelming. The woman at the counter was an elder, Josephine. Dammit. She would surely know why I was here and call Nick. Her silver hair was pulled back in a clip, little beads covered the chain that held her glasses to her neck. She brought them to her nose and narrowed her eyes at me. “Emma.” Shit. “What are you doing here?” She asked, her voice raspy from the cigarettes she smoked. Her stench made my nose curl but I had to put on a fake face.

“Honestly, I don’t know.” I couldn’t lie to an elder.

The elders were the voice of reason between the alpha and the pack. While the alpha was the one who made pack decisions and had the final word, the elders made sure that word was fair. We haven’t had any type of problem since Nick began his reign as Alpha but past Alphas haven’t been so fair.

“You must be looking for something.” She pushes her glasses back to her face.

“Answers.”

“And what kind of answers do you think you’ll find here?” She asked.

“I’m hoping I’ll find something to lead me to what happened to my mother.”

“You’re a curious little pup, aren’t you?” I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to answer her. This was pointless. She was going to call Nick and every step I’ve made so far to get here is just going to put my three steps back.

“Curiosity killed the cat, not the wolf.” I stood my ground, this was the only lead I had. Josephine modded at me and removed her glasses.

“Come with me, pup.” She moseyed her way around the counter and walked past me, down the hall and into a dark corridor. I wanted to ask her where she was taking me, what she wanted to show me, but nothing came out of my mouth. Finally, we reached a aisle of books that looked older than Josephine. She reached up and pushed a black book to the left of the shelf, pulling a very thin file from between it and handed it to me. I went to take the file from her but she still had a grip on it. “Going behind your Alpha’s back will get you killed, whether you’re a wolf or a cat.”

“Understood.” She released the file and left me alone in the corridor. I opened the file but there were only two things inside: a photo and a piece of paper. The man in the photo looked so familiar, I’m sure I’ve seen him before. I move the photo to inspect the paper behind it. It was handwritten in my mother’s writing. With the number of post-it’s she placed on the fridge growing up I knew her handwriting from anywhere.

Alpha Phillip,

It has come to my attention that a client of mine is plotting against the pack. I am aware that this letter will likely cause war against our pack and Alpha Stefan’s but I cannot allow my daughter to become collateral damage. Jackson Slater has been plotting for your assassination and I fear he has been in alliance with Stefan’s pack to overtake ours for the power and territory. My knowledge of this plot will likely result in my death. I beg of you to protect our pack and my daughter.

Jackson Slater...of course. I pulled the photo back out. Nick’s uncle. He was there that day, he was one of the 22 killed in the explosion. But why would try to kill the Alpha? Alpha Phillip was killed by rouges two years after the explosion, but what if it wasn’t rouges that attacked? What if Stefan sent Omegas out to finish the job? But then why wouldn’t he take the credit? Why allow Nick to appointed Alpha? Unless...Nick took over his uncle’s plan. Was Nick trying to stop me from finding the truth because he was at fault?

I put the file back where Josephine got it. Having something like that in my possession would surely get me killed and I was looking for answers, not a death wish. I ran out of the building not stopping to thank Josephine. No one can know I was here. No one can know Josephine helped me, it’ll get us both killed.

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