As much as I appreciated Nick’s enthusiasm, it just wasn’t realistic. If we killed Jackson, Derek and the loyal guards would retaliate. If we killed the guards, I don’t think anyone but Jackson would care, but killing Derek would cause Stefan to retaliate, and having a war within the South pack seemed inevitable at this point, could he really kill then entire pack that stood against us?
“We need a plan, Nick. You’re the target, they’re going to come after you.”
“And how many of our pack will die in the process?” I put my hands on his shoulders. “Don’t run into this with a half-cocked plan of revenge. That’s what they’re doing and it’s sloppy.”
“Okay, you’re right.” Nick eased up and I dropped my hands.
“So, go get Daniel in there to see Dr. Morris and let’s get in the office and come up with a plan that won’t get anyone in our pack killed.”
“Yes ma’am.” Nick leaned down and pressed his lips against mine before walking into the office and telling Daniel to trade rooms with me. Other than the tranquilizer they used to get him to the bunker, it didn’t seem as though he was hurt, but a quick check from the pack doctor never hurt anything.
Nick and I went over the details of the plan with Daniel and Emmett, but they left soon after. Daniel headed to the hospital with Dr. Morris to hopefully bring Alex home and Emmett left to fill the Omegas in on the plan. Nick took my hand and gave it a gentle squeeze.
“Are you ready?” He asked me. I handed him Derek’s cell phone and sighed.
“No, but I don’t really have a choice.”
“We don’t have to do this, Emma, we can make a new plan.”
“If there was another way, we would have thought of it by now.” Nick knew I was right, and he took the cell phone I offered. There was only one number in the entire phone, which was normal for a burner phone like that to be used. Nick dialed the number and put it on speaker phone before setting it on the desk in front of us. The phone ran twice before it was picked up, but no voice was heard on the other line.
“I heard you were looking for me.” Nick spoke.
“My dear nephew,” Jackson’s voice echoed from the speaker of the phone. “You heard right.”
“How can I help you, Jackson?”
“I want what you took from me.” His voice was thick with jealousy and anger.
“If you were fit for the job, it would have been given to you a long time ago.” Jackson laughed at Nick’s response.
“I must say, nephew, I’m impressed.”
“Is that so?”
“Not with you, of course, you bore me to death.” Jackson laughed again. “Your mate on the other hand…” Nick gripped the edge of the desk, holding back his anger. “I’ve been with many females in my day and not one of them has ever come close to impressing me like yours has.” Nick looked up at me, but I stayed silent. It was better to let Jackson talk. “She killed thirteen of my men. Good men. I’m saddened to have to tell their families.” That caught my breath and I closed my eyes, trying to compose myself. “But I’m more upset that I tried to kill her so soon in our relationship.” I wanted to vomit at the word, but I pulled myself together. “If I knew how much of a spit-fire she was I wouldn’t have put an arrow through her chest.” He chuckled. “But, luckily for me she’s somewhat of a pet to my companion.”
“You should keep better company, Uncle.” Jackson laughed again.
“Oh, on the contrary. Derek has been quite the Beta I’ve been searching for. He does as he’s told and he… usually… gets the job done. Such a shame I had to kill that nice old neighbor of his. But your mate couldn’t keep her nose out of my business.”
“Is there a point to this?” Nick sounded annoyed.
“You know, Nephew, if he would have killed you in the Mating Ritual we wouldn’t be in this mess. He would have handed over the pack to me and lived happily-ever-after with his rightful mate.” Nick growled, but it only got a laugh out of Jackson. “I see why you fought so hard for her.” Jackson continued. “She is remarkable.”
“Then you’re just wanting to congratulate me for mating? All you had to do was ask and you’d have been invited. If you’re offended, I’m sure we can come up with a way to make it up to you.”
“I want what is mine.” Jackson seemed angry now.
“You deserve nothing, which is exactly why you have nothing.”
“I will take my rightful pack from you.”
“You underestimate how far I’m willing to go to get it.”
“I’m giving you the chance to walk away.” Nick straying from the plan. We never talked about this. “Walk away now and never return.”
“I won’t make this easy on you, Nephew.”
“You’ll regret not taking my offer.” Nick pressed the red button on the phone and ended the call. He let out a long breath before he turned to me and opened his arms. I walked into his chest and he wrapped his strong arms around my torso. He kissed my forehead before burying his face into my collarbone.
“Are you sure you can do this?” I asked. “He’s your family.” Nick lifted his head and met my gaze.
“I grieved my uncle when you grieved your mother. This wolf is not my family, he is my enemy.” I nodded and laid my head against his chest. “This is going to get very ugly, little wolf.” Nick muttered. “I can’t walk away without blood on my hands.” He leaned down and kissed the top of my head. “I don’t want you to look at me differently when this is over.” I pulled from his chest and connected eyes with him.
“You heard Jackson, I killed thirteen of his wolves. Do you look at me differently?” I asked.
“Not even in the slightest.”
“You have no reason to question my feelings for you, Nick. Do what you need to do to fight for your pack, don’t worry about me.”
“I do worry about you, Emma.”
“You don’t have to fight for me, Nick.” He cupped my face with his hands.
“I will fight for you every day as I have been since the day I stepped into the ring at the Mating Ritual. You are the beauty that tames my beast. I love you, Emma Clark.”
“And I love you, Nicklaus Slater.”