“Can’t pull anything past you, Em.” Derek smiled and lifted his head, but I could tell her was weak from his beating.
“Except you did.” I knelt in front of him. “For years, actually.”
“You gonna hold that against me forever?” He asked as he tried to adjust himself in the chair.
“I’m trying to help you, Derek, but you’re not giving me anything to go on.”
“You want me to give up Jackson to your boytoy?” I shook my head and stood to my feet, knowing he wasn’t going to give him up and I was just stalling Nick from killing him at this point.
“If you just tell us where he’s hiding, Nick can do whatever he needs to do, and I can take you back to the North pack with us.”
“And do what with me, Em?” He asked. “Take me back to my job at the construction site? Pour me a beer every Tuesday at the bar?” We both knew that was a fantasy land.
“I can keep you alive.”
“As a prisoner.”
“It’s better than dying.”
“Is it?” He laughed and I closed my eyes, trying to think of a plan. “If you’re trying to help me, Em, then get me out of here so I can go start a new life.” Now that he was the prisoner in the chair, he was bargaining like I did. “I won’t go to the North, East, or South pack. I’ll disappear out of the states and go to Europe or some shit.”
“Tell me where to find Jackson and I will.” I crossed my arms over my chest, and he smiled at me.
“You know I can’t do that.”
“Why? What has he done for you? If you’re just going to flee to Europe when I let you out, then what does it matter what happens to Jackson?” I called his bluff.
“Tell me where your father is, so I can go rip his throat out.” I pursed my lips at him.
“He’s not your father.”
“You’re right.” Derek nodded. “He means more to me than my father ever did.”
“Don’t you get it, Derek?” I knelt to him again. “Nick is going to kill you whether you tell us where Jackson is or not. He’ll kill you and find Jackson on his own. He won’t stop until our pack is protected.”
“So why make it easy on him?” Derek grinned. “Just go, Em.” He turned his head from me. “Tell Nick I’m ready for round two.”
“No.” I stated firmly.
“Then you’re just going talk me to death?” Derek met my eyes again.
“I don’t want you dead, Derek.” I put my hand over his hand that was tied tightly to the arm of the chair. His eyes softened at my touch.
“There’s a cell in the corridor where we kept you.” I tilted my head, holding on to his every word. “Third one down from the elevator on the right if you’re leaving the elevator. There’s a brick by the chain in the wall that doesn’t quite fit. If you push it in, it’ll open into a panic room. Knowing Jackson, he’s probably trying to dig his way out into the sewer tunnels under the city. If he gets that far, he can make it anywhere through the tunnels.”
“Why are you telling me this?” I asked. His broken fingers contorted, trying to rub my hand.
“I love you, Emma.” He held my stare. “And I think you love me too.” My breath caught at the words. “So, let me go.”
“Derek—” I didn’t know what to do. Nick would be furious if I let him out. He could easily turn on me and go back to hunting Nick the minute he’s free.
“Please, Emma.” I had no idea if he was going to double-cross me, but I couldn’t help but to feel safe with him. “I promise, we’ll both get what we want.” I closed my eyes to think; my wolf was fighting me on this. “You have the information you want. Nick can have Jackson; you can let me go and I’ll disappear. You can have your life with Nick and I’ll still be alive.”
“If I let you go, can you let me go?” I opened my eyes again and locked them on his gray ones. “If I get you out of here alive, can you put this in the past and let Nick live? You won’t hunt him down for revenge?”
“I promise you, Emma.” My wolf growled as I ignored her and stood to my feet. I grabbed the sword I used in battle off the counter and took it over to Derek. With silent movements, I sliced through the ties that held his ankles to the chair before I moved on to free his wrists. He was free, but he didn’t move. We stared at each other for what seemed like eternity before he quickly stood to his feet and wrapped his hand around the back of my neck, pulling me down to him as his lips crashed into mine. I had no time to react before the door burst open. Derek grabbed me and my sword before I knew what he was doing. He pulled me close to his body and held the sword diagonally across my chest. Nick’s fangs and claws elongated almost instantly, his growl shaking the bunker. I held my free hand out to stop him.
“Nick, don’t!” I called out. “He gave up Jackson, I know where he is.”
“Let her go.” Nick growled, ignoring me.
“I will.” Derek replied. “But we’re leaving together.”
“I’m not letting you out of here with her.” I knew Nick would hold true to his word.
“Nick, he won’t hurt me.” I said.
“I’m not taking chances.” Nick responded.
“I will let her go as soon as we’re out of the building.” Derek’s arm was across my chest, holding me to him, but I knew I could get away if I tried. He wasn’t holding me to capture me, he was only using me as a shield against Nick. Daniel placed his hand on Nick’s arm, agreeing with Derek and me. “Step aside.” Derek ordered, but no one moved.
“Nick, please,” I begged him. “Just let him go. Jackson’s held up in a panic room behind one of the cells. He’s trying to dig his way to the tunnels of the sewer right now. The longer we wait the farther he gets. Don’t let him escape. I’ll be fine. He won’t hurt me.” Emmett and Alex stood behind Daniel and Nick, all waiting for Nick to make the first move, but he stood frozen, just staring at me as he weighed his options.
“Nick,” Daniel began. “He’s kept her alive when Jackson wanted her dead. Let him go.”
“Don’t.” Emmett disagreed. “Roland’s already dead, don’t let Emma be next.”
“I won’t be next, Nick. Please, just let him go.”
“Don’t be a fool, Nick.” Derek spoke up again. “Listen to your mate.” I made eye contact with Nick, both of us pleading to each other. For the slightest second, I thought Nick was going to agree to Derek’s terms. But suddenly Emmett pushed Daniel out of his way and lunged at Derek. Derek instantly threw me to the side to block me from Emmett and lifted his sword. The blade came down and connected with Emmett’s body as blood splattered across the floor.