Beauty in the Beast

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Chapter 54

I stepped in front of Nick, but he instantly threw an arm out across from me and pulled me back so that I was now behind him.

“How noble.” Jackson grinned like a devil.

“This has nothing to do with her.” Nick said through gritted teeth.

“Oh, but it does.” Jackson disagreed. “She’s your weakness.” I hated that he was right. Having a mate was supposed to strengthen you but loving someone always came with a price.

“If you want to hurt Nick then I’m your target.” I pushed Nick’s arm down from protecting me. With an evil smirk, Jackson tilted the bow, aiming it slightly to the left so it was at my head.

“Don’t.” Derek stepped forward and in front of the bow, meeting my eyes. “I told you, she’s off limits.”

“No one is off limits if they get in my way.” Jackson cocked his bow once more to aim at Nick.

“Then end this, Uncle.” Nick stated. “Enough talk.”

“As you wish.” Jackson’s fingertips released bow string, the arrow shooting out.

“No!” I screamed just as Daniel’s hand gripped my wrist and pulled me to the ground. Nick’s hand shot out in front of him and grabbed the arrow in midair. Jackson’s face paled and he dropped his bow to the ground, turned and ran to the opposite side of the room. Nick jumped and tackled Derek to the ground. I pushed Daniel off me and jumped to my feet, following Nick into the security room as he landed punch after punch to Derek’s face.

“Nick! Jackson’s getting away!” Roland screamed as he rushed past all of us, following our enemy. Nick growled and jumped off Derek, running after Roland and his Uncle. I was torn, I didn’t want to leave Derek alone so he could escape, but I didn’t want to leave Nick either. I looked to Daniel and he knew.

“I got it, go.” He said. I didn’t ask twice as I ran after Nick. Derek was hurt, so Daniel would be able to handle him on his own. Being a Beta meant he was stronger than Derek, but Derek was scrappy, and I couldn’t underestimate him.

There must have been a passageway I didn’t notice when I was in the security room the first time, because Jackson had tried to escape down another hallway.

“Let him go.” I could hear Nick’s voice, but I didn’t quite reach them yet.

“An eye for an eye, nephew.” I finally had them in my site. Jackson was holding Roland’s back to his chest, his elongated claws resting on his throat.

“Don’t.” Nick stood only a few feet from them. Jackson smiled and Roland’s eyes went wide as he swiped his claws across his throat. Blood shot out like a hose and Jackson threw Roland at us before he turned around and run. Nick dropped to his knees and slapped a hand over Roland’s throat. “It’s okay, Roland, you’re fine.” Blood squirted in between Nick’s fingers as it pooled around Roland’s body. I took a few steps towards Nick and placed my hand on his shoulder. Roland was a good warrior but looking into his wide eyes I could see that he was no longer in the shell that Nick held onto.

“Nick,” I whispered. “He’s gone.” Nick stood to his feet and let out a loud roar. I stepped back from him; I knew he wouldn’t hurt me, but I couldn’t help but feel a little terrified of his power. He turned to me and I tried to find his golden eyes in the darkness of the corridor.

“Where’s Derek?” He asked with darkened eyes. I didn’t answer and he pushed past me to go back to the security room.

Daniel had Derek secured to a chair in the room, very similar to the way Jackson had me in the same room. I knew Nick would only be seeing red after losing one of his own right in front of his eyes, but I couldn’t let him kill Derek. Nick went right up to him and planted a foot on his chest, sliding the chair back until it hit the wall. His foot applied more pressure and Derek groaned in pain.

“Nick, wait!” I grabbed his bicep and tried my best to give him a reason to keep him alive. “We need him.”

“Wrong.” Nick wouldn’t even look at me, his darkened eyes were set on Derek.

“He could have information on where Jackson would go, we can’t kill him.” I was stretching, I knew that, but I was hoping it was enough to keep Derek breathing for at least a few more hours.

“She’s right, Nick.” Daniel spoke up. “The Omegas are plowing through his guys with no casualties on our side. He has no one left except Derek.”

“One.” Nick growled.

“What?” Daniel asked.

“Roland’s dead.” The room fell silent as the weight of Nick’s words fell on Daniel’s ears.

“What a shame.” Derek broke the silence, which was a bad move. Nick removed his foot from Derek’s chest only to kick the leg of the chair, sending Derek flying to the ground, much like I did, in a loud crash. I yelped as his shoulder connected with the floor, making a pop.

“Round everyone up.” Nick told Daniel. “Kill whatever few mutts are left and bring my Omegas back in this room. We need to regroup.” Daniel nodded and grabbed his sword, closing the door of the room behind him as he left.

“I showed you mercy.” Nick began pacing around Derek on the floor. “I hesitated during the Mating Ritual and showed you enough mercy to allow you to step out of the ring instead of ripping your throat out.”

“So generous.” Derek remarked from the floor. Nick bent down and yanked Derek off the ground, setting his chair back upright.

“I warned you that given the opportunity to finish the task, I wouldn’t be so pleasant.”

“Then do it.” Derek and Nick held their eye contact, neither one willing to show the other weakness.

“Nick—” I had nothing left to convince him not to kill my once best friend, but I couldn’t stop myself. The door to the security room opened and Emmett stood frozen for a moment, unsure if he was welcome in the room given the intensity of our state.

“And there’s the other half of this love square.” Derek laughed. “Come on in and join the party, Emmett.” Nick turned to Derek and growled, warning him to shut his mouth, but Derek was never one to take orders. Emmett stepped into the room, Alex behind him, but both looked hesitant to enter. “Did you know that Emmett got to our Emma Rose before either one of us?” Derek asked Nick with a sly smirk.

“Derek—stop.” I tried to prevent the instigation, knowing it was only setting Nick off more.

“While you were too busy with your hand in your own pants, Emmett was putting his in hers.” Derek didn’t listen to me and Nick struck. His huge fingers wrapped around his throat and squeezed. Derek gasped for breath and I threw myself in between them.

“Nick, don’t! We need him.” I tried again. “He’ll know where to find Jackson. Nick, please.” Nick dropped his hand and turned to me; his eyes still darkened with anger.

“Fine.” He spat. He turned away from me and walked towards the doors of the room. “Gag him.” He ordered Alex before stepping out of the room and slamming the door behind him.

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