Twisted Fate

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Chapter 28

-Astrid-

No one uttered a word after Kane’s statement. Nicole and Derek snapped their heads in his direction while I stared incredulously.

“They’re offering half a million dollars for your assassination,” Kane delivered the last horrifying piece of information. First, my hands began to tremble, and then my legs turned numb. The power of his words seemed to make my limbs lose control.

Half a million dollars. That’s how much my life was worth to someone. Someone very corrupted and vile.

“Who?” Derek asked as he began pacing, a nervous habit Nicole and I always detested, but no complaints had left our lips at that moment. We remained speechless.

Arlo sighed, “That is still unknown, but we will find them,” He assured confidently. All the while, he never took his eyes off me. I let out a staggered exhale, and my eyebrows creased the skin between my eyes, “Why?” Was the only breathy response I managed to speak.

“I was hoping you or your parents had an idea as to why someone would want to do this to you. Can you think of anyone who’d be a suspect?” Arlo asked. I held on to another second of my calmness before it crumbled.

“I…I don’t know…I haven’t done anything wrong. I’ve never known a witch other than Sylvia. It doesn’t make any sense,” I slumped in my chair, running a hand through my messy hair.

“Astrid,” Arlo called my name softly, but it was too late. The damage was done, and I needed to let it out.

“I have never wronged a witch in my life. Why would someone want to kill me so badly? We need to find the pups soon, or they will all die because of me. The pack is in danger and-“

“Astrid,” Arlo cut off my rambling, “The pups will be fine. I will stop at nothing to protect them and you. I don’t want you to stress about anything,” He said, his fervent eyes searching mine. Just in those simple words, he’d made my heart do a backflip.

“I feel like we’re sitting ducks,” Derek mused, peeking out from the window. His comment sent a shiver down my spine. It’s what scared me the most. I could only imagine how many covens were plotting their next move to attack.

“Your protection needs to be increased majorly,” Nicole spoke up for the first time, pointing her finger at me, “I’m not letting you out of my sight. No, if’s and’s or buts.”

“For sure,” Kane agreed, “From the previous events, we can conclude that this person has a lot of connections. You’ll need help to stay under the radar.”

“We could take you somewhere far until we find them,” Derek suggested. I didn’t even try to hide my displeased look.

“I’m not running from anyone.”

Hiding wasn’t an option for me because It wasn’t the nature of an alpha. I’d spent my whole life trying to prove myself worthy, and now was the time to be about my word. I’ll be damned if someone was going to put my people in danger.

“You cannot stay here,” Arlo said adamantly. Before I could argue any further, he added, “You’d be doing more damage by staying put. They’d eventually come for you out of desperation.”

I stared at the ground as I thought hard about this, tapping my foot anxiously. He had a good point. The award for my life was set too high to lose out on. If I chose to stay here, then they’d ambush my pack. River Ash was more than capable of taking on any war that came our way but not without difficulty due to the circumstances. Avoiding conflict was the best option.

I sighed heavily, understanding what I had to do, “Alright. I will leave for the safety of my pack. But we still have the missing pups to find.”

“The Salem coven has offered to help us,” Kane mentioned. This piqued my interest. I remembered Sylvia telling me about the witch town being her home. Kane continued, “The warriors from your side and ours will still take action with the help of Sylvia, but they’ll have to keep a low profile.”

“That’s great. So, now I just have to figure out the perfect place to lay low.”

Arlo shook his head, “You don’t need to worry about that. I have talked to the head priestess, and she has agreed to let us stay as long as we need. The coven will provide additional protection for you.” I nodded.

“Alright then it’s settled.”

Derek and Nicole didn’t say anything at my response, although they didn’t need to. Their faces said it all. I knew they were uncomfortable with the thought of traveling to an infamous witch town. Besides Sylvia, it was rare that we’d ever come in contact with a witch due to my family’s lifestyle choices.

It didn’t help that Silverhill is a conservative city, believing in witch hunting and burning them all for crimes they may or may not have committed. Mostly all the wolf families living here participated in hunting though things have changed slightly over the years. Fortunately for the witch community, there are legal precautions to prevent more packs from performing this disgusting hobby worldwide. However, Silverhill will always remain the same.

If the head priestess of Salem didn’t hate us now, she’d definitely start once she learned about us. But even that thought didn’t bother me as much.

“What are you going to tell your dad?” Derek read my mind so easily as he looked at me warily. Everyone turned, anticipating my response, but I remained silent. I rubbed my temples from the throbbing headache, just thinking about my father’s reaction to this. He’d never agree with me leaving for Salem. There was only one solution to this.

“Absolutely nothing,” I spoke up, bewildering everyone, “The less he knows, the better. He won’t try and stop me then.”

“You want to gather a few warriors and leave the pack without telling your dad. Do you realize how impossible that would be?”

“Seriously?” Nicole and I snapped our heads at Derek, thinking of the old times and our mischievous ways. Nicole sneered, “The three of us have snuck out of the pack more times than I can remember. Don’t start acting like a pussy now.”

Derek’s forest green eyes bore into Nicole as Arlo and Kane chuckled at her comment. He opened his mouth to speak, but I quickly raised my hand at him.

“Please, the two of you, don’t start” I warned both of them. If they didn’t stop now, we’d be in the office all day with their bickering. Derek huffed and continued staring out of the window while Nicole made faces behind his back.

Returning my attention to the guys, we discussed the plan further. I’d leave with only fifteen more warriors apart from those already out of the pack which would later meet up with us in Salem. They would keep dad distracted long enough to sneak away. Once we leave without alerting anyone, Blood Rose and Silver Moon would meet us halfway, beginning the trip to Salem.

Liam joined the conversation and suggested my mother could be trusted with this information. She wouldn’t tell anyone our whereabouts until the plan had been successfully executed. I felt bad to ask my mother to lie to her mate, but it was the only way.

“We’ll meet back up tonight,” Arlo said to me when we got a moment alone. I was bouncing nervously on the tips of my toes as I waited for him to leave on his bike. He gave me a friendly kiss on the cheek, through the lingering effects were anything but friendly. He pulled back, staring at me with his vehement eyes as he held my cheek and rubbed his thumb across the trace of his perfectly shaped lips. That was all it took for my mind to run wild.

He is your friend, Astrid. Stop thinking irrationally and stay true to your word. I kept reminding myself, but these words meant nothing to my wolf. She was determined to be with him in a less platonic way because he was our mate. Staying friends sounded absurd to her.

“If anything happens, don’t hesitate to call me.”

“You don’t need to worry about me so much. I’m an alpha too,” I rolled my eyes, pretending to be annoyed, though he could see right through me. To prove this, he flashed his award-winning smile before kissing me again on the hand and hopped on his bike. Meanwhile, I stayed back and watched him leave in a daze.

There was nothing sexier on this earth than watching that demon-hybrid drive away on a Harley.

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