No wonder Derek hated authority figures. His father was the most malicious alpha I’ve ever heard of. I didn’t blame him for running, who knows what kind of torture he was subjected to as a child. Even Alpha Phillip used him for his own benefit instead of showing him any kind of affection. I couldn’t be that surprised that Jackson was the only father-figure Derek could hold on to. Everything was coming together now. All the mysteries surrounding my life recently are all connected and ultimately lead back to Derek.
“The explosion,” I tried to pull him back to me. “Was that him too? Did he try to kill us too?”
“No, Em, you were never a target.” Derek turned back to me. “He found out I was working with Jackson again. He set off the explosion to hurt me, not you.”
“Then why am I here?” I asked him. “Once you and Jackson lure Nick here to kill him, I won’t be useful anymore.” I twisted my wrists in the cuffs, but it only sliced my skin even more.
“I won’t let Jackson hurt you.” Derek shook his head and locked his eyes on the screen behind me.
“Derek, all these wolves you’re using as guards, who are they? Where did they come from?”
“Jackson has loyalties with the South pack from when he was working with them to overthrow Phillip.”
“Exactly, Derek. They’re loyal to Jackson, not you.”
“Jackson will listen to me.” He didn’t break his gaze on the screen. I tried to turn in my chair to see what he was looking at, but I couldn’t twist my body enough.
“What are you looking at, Derek?” I asked him.
“Your friend is here.” Derek’s face went cold, and an evil smirk spread across his face.
“What friend?” I tried to turn again, almost tipping my chair over. “Derek, who is it?” I gasped as the chair went out from under me, Derek spinning it around with such ease I was slightly worried by the power behind him. He pushed the chair closer to the screen and leaned over my shoulder as his finger pointed at two guards dragging a limp body into a cell very similar to the one I just escaped. I couldn’t tell who it was until they tossed his body in like a doll left in the mud too long. “No…” I whispered. Daniel’s body looked beaten and dirty as he lay on the cement floor. How was I going to keep Nick from coming to the rescue when they had his Beta and his mate? I turned back to my only option. “Derek.” I said softly. “It’s not too late. We can still get out of here. Let Jackson have the pack, let Jackson have all the packs. We can run and be together. No more drama, no more explosions, no more death. Just me and you. Like it was supposed to be.” Derek spun my chair around again, my back to the security cameras. His bent down to me, his nose almost touching mine.
“You ruined that the second you accepted Nick as your mate.” He backed off and went to the door, still not being able to leave, but he pulled his phone out and began texting. I flung my body as hard as I could onto the floor and landed on my shoulder. I felt a pop, but I also heard the leg of my chair snap. I pulled my leg free and kicked the other leg of chair until it snapped off, freeing both of my legs. At this point, Derek picked me up, anger in his eyes. I kicked his abdomen as hard as I could, and he fell back. I rammed my back into the wall as hard as I could, smashing my hands in the process, but at least the chair broke enough for my cuffs to slip free. I slid my arms under my ass and legs until my cuffed hands were in front of me. Derek came at me again, his fist swung out towards me, but I caught his wrist in my cuffs and twisted. He cried out in pain as I snapped his wrist, my foot connected with his knee as I held my grip on his broken wrist. He fell to his knee and I elbowed his head. He spit blood on the ground and looked up at me, his eyes pleading. I closed my eyes and connected my elbow with his head again. I did it one more time before Derek’s body went limp and fell to the ground. I couldn’t kill him, but I needed him unconscious. I released my hold on him and went straight to the security screens. These would show me a way out and a better plan to get Daniel out with me. With the adrenaline wearing thin after my fight, my hands and shoulder were starting to throb. I had no idea if anyone heard the scuffle between Derek and I, so I had no time to try and shift to contact Nick. I scanned the screens as I tried to memorize them as quickly as I could.
Daniel looked to be in the same hallway as I was when I was locked in the cell. If I was in the security room, that meant I all I had to do was leave this room and follow the hallway to get to Daniel. But that still didn’t show me how the hell to get out of this dungeon. There was a green light reflecting off the corner of the security camera and it looked like a letter, but it was so small I could barely see it. I tried to get a better look at it through another camera, but none of them had the view. I was here too long; someone was going to notice Derek didn’t respond to that text. I grabbed his phone from the floor and took one last look at the security camera. Oh, Moon Goddess, please let me be right. I shoved his phone in my back pocket and grabbed two of the broken legs on the chair. I looked at the screen again and counted; four wolves were in that hallway. I needed to get to them, get Daniel out and get to that green light before any notices us. Easy, right? The wolf that unchained my leg was one of the wolves in the hall, which meant he had a key I could use to get Daniel out. If I could get the door to the cell open, we could make it.
I stepped over Daniel and went to the door, slowly opening it and then closing it behind me. I was quiet as I made my way down the hall to where the wolves would be waiting.
“Where the hell am I?” Thankfully, Daniel was awake and questioning his captors. I jumped a guard and used one of the chair legs to choke him. I put my hand over his mouth and pulled back on the leg until his neck snapped. I held his body as it fell and gently laid him on the ground so no one would hear his murder. One down, three to go. I continued until I came upon another wolf.
“Hey!” I smacked the chair across his face, and he fell into the wall. He pushed himself back up and I plunged the chair into his gut. He groaned as he fell to the ground, blood pooling around his body.
“Max, what’s going on over there?” I heard a guard call. My element of surprise vanished as fast as Max’s life. I rounded the corner to the last two guards that stood in the way of my and Daniel’s freedom. I held my two chair legs up and the two wolves sized me up.
“Daniel, shift.” I instructed him before I was attacked by the two guards. I blocked one, which the other came at me from behind.
“Emma, I can’t! There’s wolfsbane on the chain!” Daniel called to me as I slammed one of the wolves into the wall of the hallway. I thrust the chair leg in between my side and elbow, pushing it upwards into the wolf’s chest. For the split second I had before the other attacked, I reached into the dead wolf’s pocket and grabbed the set of keys. I tossed them in Daniel’s cell just in time to take a fist to the jaw. I fell to the ground, not expecting such force.
“Shift Daniel!” I held the chair leg across my chest to block the wolf’s hit. “Mind-link Nick!” I heard the popping and cracking of Daniel’s joints and bones as he shifted into his wolf form. “Tell him not to come!” I flipped onto my feet and kicked the wolf’s chest, knocking him back. With a quick thrust I plunged he chair leg into his chest and twisted it down until I hit the floor. I pulled the chair leg from his body and smacked the door of the cell repeatedly. I knew the noises were going to alert more guards, but I had no choice. For all I knew, Derek was awake and watching me on the video, sending more guards to help. I needed to hurry. I hit the door again, followed by a kick and it bent. “Can you squeeze through?” I asked Daniel as I tried to pull it back some more. It was tight, but his wolf managed to get out. “Let’s go.” I ran in the direction of the green light on the camera. “Tell Nick we’re coming to him.” I stopped at the end of the hall and thanked the Moon Goddess I was right. The little green light was the light of the elevator. We were underground. I pushed the button over and over again until the doors opened. We rushed in and I hit ever button on the damn thing, not knowing where the hell I was. The elevator went up and opened to another hallway, but this one was well lit, and I could see glass double doors at the end of the hall. “This way.” I ran out the elevator, expecting a fight, but surprisingly no one was there. I ran with Daniel and burst through the doors. The air hit my lungs so hard I thought I was going to pass out. “We need to get somewhere I can shift.” Daniel lead the way into a patch of bushes near running water. He turned his back to me as he watched for any threat to appear while I ditched my bloodied clothes. “I don’t know if I can do this.” I whispered as I tried to get my head straight enough to let my wolf take over. I haven’t seen her in so long that I wasn’t even sure she would come out. Daniel turned to me, his head nudging my leg as encouragement. I had no choice but to shift. He turned back around, and I thought of my wolf, her beautiful long coat, her deadly claws. She was the beast within my beauty, she was a part of me. I opened my mouth as my teeth elongated into fangs, my nails turning to claws. I fell to my knees, the joints of my legs and arms popping into new shapes. My ears flicked as they perked up, my spine stretching into a long, fluffy tail. I shook my body out and growled. It was time to go to my mate.