To Love

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Chapter 17

PLS VOTE <3 (both for me and your political leader)

“If you avoid the conflict to keep peace, you start a war within yourself.”

-unknown

“We know that they have heavy artillery, and lots of it too by the sounds of things. Warehouses, bunkers, enough warfare to put up a fight. Their fighters however aren’t at a magnitude but that’s going off the merit that he only saw the people in his own base, information beyond that was restricted to him.” Elijah stands over the table containing his mapped out information.

I glance to my side, looking through the window that opens to a swarm of workers, all completing their tasks of security. We were in the meeting room but none of us were seated in the plush chairs surrounding the circular table. There was too much information for us all to look over on Elijah’s desk in the room adjacent to this and apparently what we were assessing was the refined version.

“Where are they manufacturing this type of arsenal?” Roman asks, his brows furrowed in clear concern as his eyes scan over various documents in his hands. If one thing is clear by this meeting, its that Roman didn’t know the extent of their strength-and he wasn’t please about it either. “There is a whole lot here and given our aerial surveillance I find it difficult to grasp the idea that they have hidden entire damn factories. There are a lot of weapons here, weapons that would require years to amass without raising suspicion.”

Roman’s stare is firm on his Beta’s, the two primarily in charge of maintaining these issues but he doesn’t hold any accusation in his blue eyes. Disbelief, annoyance, a slight anger maybe, but he doesn’t blame them-at least not yet.

“That is what we are trying to find out. He’s been mostly cooperative, he doesn’t know where the bases are, he has described to us any setting that might indicate a location but it doesn’t surprise us that they refrained from giving him that information. But he’s holding something back on these weapons,” Elijah responds and Roman nods his head, still deep in thought.

Jayce points to the scattered pieces of paper. “He’s given us a large amount of knowledge on the types of weaponry they have, on the size of the inventory and the number of able bodied fighters at their ready. He clearly had some role within that department, he knows too much about it all to not know where they are sourced. It doesn’t add up,” Jayce concludes and next to him Gamma Christopher pulls out a large map overtop the other pieces of paper, large red circles laying overtop.

“We’ve managed to narrow down potential areas in which the base he was held could be. But given the vagueness of his description our search is too wide to make any rash allocations of the base.” Christopher moves his finger along the map, pointing out the different marked zones. “As you can see all options line borders of packs, many including rouge lands which tells us the legitimacy of his claims. We have our special ops moving in on those areas as we speak to scout out anything.”

Roman nods. “Right. In the meantime I want the Alphas to meet with their bordering packs and negotiate the split of any land left. Tell them that negotiations must be completed and sent to me within the next week and to ready their men to move the borders,” he says and another Gamma, a female, nods, hasty writing the information onto her tablet.

“That still leaves the issue of securing the last part of information we need from the prisoner.” Another Gamma pipes in and I conceal the flinch that threatens to appear at his choice of words. But I can’t just keep sugarcoating it- he is currently sitting in a cell and is being questioned every day. He’s a prisoner. I’d be lying if I said the thought didn’t cause a pang of pain to reverberate through my heart.

Roman turns his head towards Elijah. “How long do you need?” He asks and Elijah blows out his cheeks, letting out a thoughtful sigh.

“I’m out of options, Alpha. There is no further I can go through questioning,” he says.

“You are still questioning? With all due respect Beta, we are running out of time and if we are to meet the Alpha’s restraints it’d be wise for you to extend your methods,” the Gamma female holding the tablet professes, making me bristle visibly next to Roman.

“Gamma Gale has a point, we have days left before the Kings scheduled return. Something needs to be done,” Elijah comments and Roman looks toward me briefly.

“Let me try,” I announce and the members of the room look at me incredulously. “I know him, I can try to talk with him.”

“Luna you must realise how absurd you sound.” A Gamma rebukes, his eyes widened by the surprise of me even asking. “Sending you in is extremely dangerous and a risk this pack simply cannot make.”

Others mummer their agreement and I swallow the annoyance that’d surely arise in my voice at our stark difference of values. I am their Luna, they only want what is best for me and my being human amplifies that need ten fold.

“He didn’t hurt me before, in a room of weapons aside from the hands that could’ve choked me to death he didn’t make a move to harm me,” I point out, referring to our meeting in the hospital room. Both meetings, actually.

“He attacked the Alpha.” Another Gamma points out and I purse my lips. I wouldn’t expect them to understand the depth behind the attack and I’m not about to start trying- not now at least.

“He also didn’t detail to you the things we need to know,” Roman intervenes and his statement takes me off guard but I recover quickly, nodding at the validity of his claim.

“But there is no use in trying again,” I counter and Christopher lets out a huff.

“Luna whilst we understand your ties to the prisoner it is in the best interest of the pack to move forward in the interrogation process.”

I shoot him daggers at the challenge, some hidden part of me really disliking the action-more so than usual. I’m about to open my mouth when an idea comes to be-the beginnings of a plan formulating in my brain. “Give me until this afternoon, I’ll have a plan ready to discuss with you, Beta Elijah, and we can go from there. As your Luna I hope that you’ll trust me on this,” I announce, daring any of them to challenge this-my last hope at saving Carter from immense pain no doubt.
I see Romans chest sweet with pride from my peripheral vision and his trust comforts me. He turns his attention to the table and without even saying a word, the people in the room turn to him, like they sense his pure power.

Roman looks to Jayce, their eyes meeting. “All industrial materials traveling inter-packs must be accounted for. I want heavy records and accountability on the parts of all manufacturers within our borders. If the rebels are being sourced from within, I want to find out and I want it to be known that revelations of any outside affiliations will not be taken lightly.”

“Yes Alpha.”

“And Elijah, I expect you to take in the Luna’s considerations but also have a plan ready. Organise your Gamma’s to take on the dealings of our military for the time being. I still want the plans for our offensive fronts modified and sent to me for further revisions. This meeting is over, I will link you the details of our next one.”

And with that the men in the room all nod towards him and I, leaving out the door in single file. Elijah walks over to the two of us and gives me a soft look. “You were right, Luna. For the most part, your brother wasn’t hard to work with, he wants to help put an end to whatever might happen. I underestimated your faith in him and for that I apologise,” he says candidly and I nod.

“It’s fine, really. You were just doing your job,” I reply, “And by the looks of things you did a good job too. It was wrong of me to doubt your skill.”

He gives me a smile and I return it, taking Roman’s hand in my own as we follow the men from the room and walk together past the wolves working rigorously on the tasks in front of them. It doesn’t take us long to reach the pack office but once we do, and the door is closed soundly behind us, Roman lets out a loose sigh, walking over to his desk and sitting down.

“Hungry?” He asks, picking up his desk phone. “I could do with some sustenance right about now,” he says and want to point out that missing both dinner and breakfast is likely to do that but I have no doubt he would skip meals again if it meant staying beside me in bed.

“I’ll have a sandwich,” I say and he nods, picking up the phone and replying his order to the chef.

He looks over at me when I finish and observes as I take my seat, pulling out a piece of lined paper to being drafting ideas on how to stop Carter from being held under a knife for information.

“What is your plan?” Roman muses, turning to me and I scrunch my nose in a wince, turning to face him too. He becomes more sceptic at sight of my expression but at least he is preparing himself, that much I can count on.

“Just hear me out,” I start, squirming slightly in my seat. “Well to start with, I think he should be interviewed in that room-not like that. Cuffed and held down like a criminal… I think it’d be better if we tried to get his answer in a more neutral setting,” I begin and I can tell by the look in his eyes that his wariness only grows further. But he doesn’t press and lets me continue, hearing me out.

“I think we should let him see Noah and Celina,” I conclude with a huff, waiting for his response which comes in the form of silence.

I can see the thoughts twirling over in his bright blue eyes, all of them covered by the concerned furrow of his brow.

“You want Noah to get the answer from him?” He asks, his wary tone remaining as I nod. “And for the pup to be there too, with him free from restraints?”

His clarification makes dread pool at the pit of my stomach. He thinks he’d hurt Celina, a thought that honestly didn’t occur to me, the notion utterly impossibly for my mind to comprehend.

“He’s proven himself to not be a hunter,” I state and Romans lips form a thin line.

“But he hasn’t proven himself to not be a rebel, to not hold the aim of destruction held by the hunters. I’m not saying he indefinitely would, but is it worth the risk?”

I blink at Roman, processing his words. Honestly I’d feel offended, truly deeply offended to my core at the accusation had it not come from a good place. But Roman cares, he cares about Celina and I know he only wants the best outcome for everyone in all this.

“Well just Noah then,” I restate, there is no point in pushing on what I want. Maybe if we had more time, if I had more leniency. Carter shouldn’t just not be able to meet his niece, at least once in his life he deserves that. But now is not the time.

Roman ponders for a moment. “It might be worth it. If we can get him out here by tonight, have Elijah and ourselves debrief him on the situation… he could be useful. But as far as keeping Carter restrained goes…” he winces again, the multitude of scenarios flicking through his mind. “We need to be careful, I know they are brothers but honestly I think we will be better off allowing Noah to make that call once given the necessary information. Their are certain procedures we have to uphold on our end, matters of legality,” he informs and I furrow my brow.

“Like what?”

“Like the case of an unfortunate incident occurring. We can’t just allow pack members to interact with our prisoners, it puts them at risk and makes us liable. Besides as an Alpha it is my duty, and my wish, that no harm comes to the members of this pack- not if I can stop it,” he explains and it feels weird that Noah is considered a part of his pack now. All humans are now.

“We’ll ask him,” I compromise, because truthfully, I don’t even know if Noah would want to be potentially harmed by his brother-if he even trusts him. He has a kid and a family to go home to now and after everything his own father did to him… it wouldn’t surprise me if he took caution.

“How long until we can have him out here?” I ask and Roman thinks for a second.

“I’d say four hours, if we fly him out on a jet. We will have to alert the Beta’s of this plan immediately however so they can compile the relevant documents for Noah when he arrives,” he says and I nod. I’d love to be able to dissect the possible outcomes and think over a solid plan with days to spare but we are on a time crunch.

“And all we need to find out from Carter is where they are getting their weapons from?” I ask, clarifying as Roman nods.

“That is what the Beta’s have said,” he answers, not a yes or no but an indication at least.

“Surely it’d be Alpha Nicholas, if we can’t pin the supplier down to someone within the packs then it has to be him,” I say, the obviousness of the situation almost stark.

“There is a high chance, yes. But if Alpha Nicholas is truly the one supplying them then we need to figure out how they are getting all that weaponry to their bases. Carter has explained large amounts in one base, finding out with certainty that the weapons are coming from the south will also make Gamma Christophers scope on their location smaller,” he explains and I think over it.

“Because it’d have to be in a place that is easy to slip through,” I comment and he nods.

“Our borders are extremely tight, but there could be a gap on our coast or on the southern border with his pack. We’ve already put a large amount of funding into tightening the security of our borders and our military is working extremely hard to monitor every movement on our outer borders but there is always room for error,” he says and I think about the stacks of paperwork he has had on his desk recently, most filled with numerous digits and an insane amount of calculations.

“And if Noah can find out the information from Carter what happens then?” I ask. “Will he be let out?”

It almost feels naive to ask but if he has worked with us, proven himself to be innocent and refrained from harming anyone-I don’t see why he should be kept in a cell.

“He will have to go through a trial. There are pack members assigned to sort out the innocence of people under pack law and given his help to us, I see no reason for them to find him guilty outside of the offences he has already made. It’s tough to say how long it will take though, considering all the reforms we are currently putting the legal system through most proceedings are taking a while. Even still, I think it is best that he remains in custody until this war is over,” he finalises and my brows flick in concern.

“But that could be months,” I note and he nods.

“I know. But especially when the King discovers his existence and we are concerned with the efforts of defeating our enemies, it’d be best for him to not be freely roaming. I’d suggest moving him to a larger holding facility, one where he can walk outside or

“You really think putting Carter- the son of a hunter and rebel against the packs- in a prison with a bunch of wolves?” I ask and he shakes his head.

“Our prisons are extremely secure and I can assure you that he would be held only with human inmates-if he is held with any at all. Crime rates are not high and most often prisoners have their own spaces and are not disturbed by one another. I honestly think he would be safer there than here with the King,” he explains and I bite my lip.

“Lets just see how it goes with Noah first and deal with that later,” I propose and he nods. Unfortunately for me, however, later is really restricted to days. There are some matters that can’t just be swept under the rug.

“I am going to go back to Elijahs office and sort through some of this and I will organise for Noah to be brought here. In the meantime I suggest you compile your case for the Beta’s and I’ll have them both here within the next hour so we can go over some things,” he says, standing up from his seat.

“But what about lunch?” I blurt, part of me hoping that he’ll stay for it.

“You can eat for the both of us,” he says with a wink before leaning in and pecking me on the lips, an action that takes me aback.

“Um, okay, yeah… I’ll do that,” I stammer, my eyes wide as he moves towards the door.

“I’ll see you soon,” he says and I offer him a small wave as he exits the room to hunt down his Betas, leaving me alone with the task of trying to discern how the hell this is all going to blow over.

-

“Noah,” I say, the words coming out in a breathless sigh as I walk through the foyer of the castle to greet my brother and the entourage of wolves escorting him.

I expected it to be bustling in here, every time I have stepped foot in the main entrance to the New Moon palace there have been countless people going about their own tasks. I sort of presumed that the hectic nature of this place would just continue into the dead of night. And perhaps it does, perhaps it is this way for a reason.

Noah looks up at me through his disheveled brown locks and moves from the guards sent with him, walking over to me instantly. I match my pace to meet his stride and notice Roman linger a safe distance behind me, allowing for me to control the situation.

“Mae is everything okay? Why am I here? What is so urgent?” He fires, concern clouding in his eyes.

“I’ll explain everything to you in my office, there is a lot to go through and some of it…” I start, wincing. “Some of it may not be nice to hear.”

“How long will this take I mean how serious is it? Jenna is concerned and I don’t want to leave her and Celina worried like that,” he says and I nod, understanding completely.

“I don’t know yet, hopefully just the next day, maybe longer depending on where it all goes… Noah it’s really serious,” I say, hoping he’ll get the hint that we need to push aside the pleasantries and get into my office. Though I don’t doubt the men guarding behind him are sealed like a vault, some conversations are better had in private.

“Okay,” Noah responds apprehensively walking aside me to where Roman is stood.

“Alpha,” he says cordially, inclining his head. Roman returns the gesture but I can tell it pleases him that whilst Noah’s tone isn’t exactly loving-at least this brother isn’t trying to rip his throat out.

“I’ve contacted the Beta’s and they are on their way to meet us. They should arrive from the training barracks in about twenty so whatever needs to be said it has to be done fast,” Roman instructs, slipping into Alpha mode, his directions curt and his tone firm.

“Alright,” I say with a nod and the three of us make our way to the office, an eerie silence drift between us aside from Romans interjections every so often to inform me of something new.

The moment we arrive in the office I notice a chair that three chairs have been set up in front of our desks, making the space look more like an interview room than an office but I know that’s not what its meant for. This is purely a meeting, and a dire one at that. Heaven knows we could potentially spend a lot of time in here and having everyone seated might just make it all a bit easier.

Roman and I take our seats behind the desk and Noah chooses the one in the middle, the others laying empty by his side. I wonder for a moment if that is going to be an issue, him stuck between the two Beta’s that have been interrogating Carter but its something that I’ll deal with should it arise. And if things go to plan, it won’t.

“What is it, Mae? What’s going on?” Noah asks, more exhausted than anything.

I suck in a harsh breath. I’ve been practicing how I am going to do this all day and yet here I am, acting like I am completely unprepared. “The meeting that took place, between me and the rebels…” I start and Noah nods, following me. “Well Carter was there, he was there and he hadn’t been abused like we thought. Everything we saw on the tapes was all fake-all a set up by your father who was there,” I say and I see the visible shock wash over his face.

“My father?” He asks and I nod.

“Yes, which is something that I will get to but eventually… Carter warned me, it got to a point where the lies that your father were saying too much I suppose and he snapped, telling me not to trust them and revealing his fake bruises. And then…”

“Then what?” Noah asks, concern etched into his face, marring his soft features.

“He shot Carter,” I rush out and the immediate hurt that crosses through his eyes and then face is a sight I don’t think I’ll ever forget. “He shot him but I managed to get him back, to bring him here into recovery and he’s fine, Noah. He’s safe and healed but we have had to be cautious about it all-for obvious reasons,” I state.

“Carter’s here?” He asks, his brows knitted together. I know the look on his face all too well, I’ve experienced enough betrayal to understand where his reaction is coming from.

“Yes, he has been here since the meeting,” I confess. “I wanted to tell you sooner but things have been difficult. Carter has been through a lot and since we have discovered some unsettling facts about your father he is currently being held under guard,” I say to which his confusion only grows.

“My father? What has he got to do with Carter being imprisoned here? Mae what the hell is going on?” Noah exclaims his voice only growing anger by the second.

“Try to remain calm. This situation is already tough enough for the both of you and the easier it is for her to explain, the easier it will be for you to understand,” Roman intervenes firmly. Brother or no brother I can tell that the way he is speaking to me strikes a nerve within Roman.

I shake off Roman’s words however, focusing on Noah. “Your dad isn’t who you think he is. You knew he was a hunter but he isn’t just that. It is a long, complicated story and I promise that after tonight you can have all the resources you desire to find out more but the crux of the matter is that your father, Arthur Hunt is a dangerous man. He is the founding hunter, the man that began the systematic killing of wolves and orchestrated the attack on Celina’s life,” I explain and the hurt that crosses over his face is different from the others. Not only is he completely betrayed but his entire perception of a man supposed to guide him through this world has been utterly wrong.

“Is that what you brought me here for?” He asks, “to tell me of Carter and my father?”

I shake my head. “We need your help. Carter has been giving us information, knowledge that will help us should this war escalate any further and for the most part-he has been fine doing so,” I start and Noah begins to nod slowly, understanding where I am taking this.

“But not fully, right?” He asks and I nod, glancing down.

“We need the answer to a question, one simple question that could change a lot of things for us.”

“And you need me to be the one to ask him,” he interrupts, answering the question for himself with a look of apprehension lurking behind his eyes and a loose sigh escaping his lips.

authors note

I’m thinking about starting this fun comment thingy!! I’ll post on my instagram story (and maybe at like the start of chapters) my favourite like top three comments from a chapter and like at the end of the month make like a cool post with the most awesome ones :)) dunno, just a thought and do keep in mind it is like nearly one am over here aha, ya girls kinda sleepy

Any who, as usual lemme know your thoughts and pls don’t forget to follow, comment vote etc-i love seeing literally anything from you guys <3

ps: to those re-reading… ilysm (u know who u r)

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