A few days later Zane had finally managed to get the whole pack in the main square outside the pack-house. The whole pack was a bundle of nerves as they waited for their alpha to tell them what was truly going on as they had been on high alert and training harder than before. I stood beside him as my gaze wandered over them all, praying that none of them would get hurt or killed in the events that would come.
My gaze finally came across my friends as I smiled softly at them while Zane was talking with Thomas quietly beside me.
“What’s going on?” Trey linked to me.
“Things are about to get…difficult…” I reply as I see him frown as he begins whispering with Kai and Luciana.
“Crimson Peak Pack, listen up!” Thomas bellows out as the pack goes silent.
“Thank you to you all for coming here, our pack is under threat, a few days ago we received word that King Shade has invited all packs to a masquerade ball for a truce between all packs. This has been set up under false pretences! My mate, your Luna, Phoenix, is of royal blood, the daughter of the queen and has been chosen as the next possible queen and he wants to kill her!” Zane shouts to his pack as a chorus of growls sounds from the wolves while Zane holds up my arm to show my tattoo as I frown, I hated making a big show of it.
“Phoenix…” Someone whispers in my mind as Zane continues talking to the pack, I cannot concentrate on his words.
“Who…” I whisper holding my head as it throbs.
“Phoenix, let me go,” The voice croaks.
“Nix?!” Kai runs to my side before I fall to the ground, my head pounding.
Focus on the voice.
“Phoenix, listen to me, you cannot save me, protect your pack. I’m a dead man. It’s too late for me. I’m sorry my love, I will see you again in death, but not for a very long time I hope, tell Kade to take care of my little girl, I love you,” Dad’s voice croaked before I feel the bond break as I scream in pain.
“Nix!” Kai has my face in his palms as he looks at me with fear in his eyes.
“Kade…” I cry out as Kade drops beside me.
“Dad…He…He broke the bond,” I cry.
“Zane carry on informing the pack, I need to talk with Phoenix,” Kade says to my mate as he glares at us as if I was hiding something from him.
We kind of were keeping it from him, he doesn’t know about our little plan, Kade doesn’t even know it all!
“Fine,” Zane growls as Kai, Trey, Luciana and Kade take me away from the crowd.
“Explain exactly what happened,” Kade says as we are far enough for the others not to hear.
I explain it all as he paces.
“What the hell are you planning Phoenix?” Trey asks.
“I’m not leaving him behind, we have to get my dad out, no matter what he says,” I answer.
“Zane is never going to let you out of his sight,” Kai answers.
“He’s not my keeper,” I growl.
“Your impulsiveness is beginning to show Nix,” Kai smirks.
“I haven’t even started yet. I won’t let this pack be hurt because of me, this is my problem, my family,” I say looking Kai in the eye before my eyes dart to the little girl behind him.
“Phoenix?” Keeley murmurs as they all turn to her.
“Do it, Keeley. I’m sorry guys,” I say as a tear falls down my face.
“What are you doing Nix?” Kai’s eyes go wide.
“Protecting my family,”
“No, Phoenix!” Kade growls as I nod to Keeley.
“Sleep,” She says waving her hand as they all gasp falling to the ground asleep.
“Zane’s going to kill me for this, you know that right?” A voice sighs from behind me.
“We talked about this, I won’t risk the pack. I’ve been training hard with you full stop the last few days for a reason Thomas, it’s going to take me most of the week to get there, Keeley will put the pack to sleep for the rest of the day to give me a head start, you will fake having no idea about what’s happened,” I sigh as I look at my friends on the ground.
“As you wish little luna, here I’ve packed you a few items, your dress and mask is inside as you wanted, the map is inside but we’ve already gone over this, go and be careful little luna I wouldn’t want you to get hurt,” Thomas clips the backpack to me as I shift as it stays on my back.
I nuzzle Keeley as she hugs me.
“Be careful Phoenix,” She murmurs hugging me tight as I nod racing into the woods as she heads to the pack with Thomas, I look back and the crowd drop to the ground, but as I see Zane fall my heart pulls with sadness.
Are you sure about this?
What choice do we have?
Stick with the pack!
And put them in danger! No way! They’ll be a couple of days behind us, they’ll still be at the ball. Us turning up alone will make sure they are kept safe, Shade won’t know they are with us.
We are going to die.
No, we aren’t. Shade wants someone powerful beside him, if we have this tattoo to prove we are strong and act as if we like him, we can use him, get to mum and dad, save them and kill him.
You’re crazy. This is going to fail.
Yet you’re the one running towards the danger, you want to save them as much as I do.
Fine. But I don’t like it.
It was the next day when we had stopped to rest for a few hours that I felt Zane and the others wake up. His rage burst through me.
“Phoenix! What are you doing?!” He growls through the bond.
“Keeping you safe,” I link back.
“You’re going to get yourself killed, come back right now!” He orders as I have to resist his pull.
“I will see you at the ball, please pretend you don’t know me or you’ll get us all killed,” I reply, sighing before switching off the link.
I knew I was getting closer as the forest got denser, Shades’s huge mansion was surrounded in dense forest to hide it, his warriors surrounding it in groups of four. They were all huge!
“Stop, state your business here,” A huge warrior wolf growls at me as I skid to a stop.
“I’m here for the truce ball,” I act timid flattening my ears against my head, whining, lowering myself to the ground.
“What pack do you come from?” He growls at me.
“I’m a lone wolf,” I answer.
“Follow,” he huffs as we walk up to the victorian style mansion, the place was huge, it was like no other place I had seen before with huge, tall towers made of greying concrete, I could envision this being like a magician’s home just like Kai’s fantasy books he liked. Trees surrounded the place but there were large gardens all around it and what looked like an old river bed with a huge iron bridge over it.
“Shift,” Another wolf growls as I nod shifting back to my human self as I lower my head, hiding my arms in my hoody.
“Take her to the guest rooms,” the first warrior states as they shift.
“Follow me,” The second orders as I nod and slowly follow him as we go through the huge double doors into a grand entrance hall. My mouth is open in shock as I look around, it might be run by the most awful man known to wolf-kind, but my god it was beautiful.
“Who is this lovely little thing?” A handsome, dark, suited man walks down the stairs with a seductive grin. I can almost feel his eyes gaze into my soul.
“Lone wolf, she’s arrived early for the ball my King,” The wolf answers on his knees in submission as I look up at the man he called king. Gasping I go down to my knees so I hope he sees me as submitting to him.
“Lone wolf huh? Such a pretty little thing, where did you come from? You must have a family,” He circles me predatorily.
“I was abandoned when I was little on the steps of an orphanage, I have no idea where I came from,” I murmur pushing out a small tear.
He grabs my chin tilting my head to meet his eyes as he looks at me.
“Well I never…” He grins with an evil glint in his eye as he wipes the single tear from my cheek.
“Do you know who I am?” I ask timidly.
“Yes I do sweetheart, you’re mine,” he pulls me into his arms as I feel his power, I felt sick to my stomach holding onto this man, it was like I could feel the evil inside him, but the closer I got to him, the more of a chance I had of killing him.
“Yours? Like what? My dad?” I ask.
“No, definitely not… You haven’t had much contact with wolves have you… I’m your mate sweetheart,” He smiles kissing my lips.
“Mate…What is that?” I pretend to be shocked. Though I was disgusted at the thought of him touching me like that.
We’re marked already Phoenix, what happens when he sees it?!
Then we need to be careful.
“Wolves have a soulmate, a second half of their soul, someone they will love until the ends of the earth. You were a lone wolf, where were you hiding? I’ve been looking for you for a very long time,” he takes my hand as he leads me with him.
Up ahead I can see the vampire messenger that was at our pack. If Shade found out that I came from the pack, I was dead.
Think Phoenix! How do we get out of this!?
“I grew up in an orphanage. I didn’t know that other wolves existed until recently, when…when I was attacked by a vampire, he was talking with some wolves in the forest and he tried to kill me…oh no, it’s him,” I fake cry into his side, shaking in fear, praying this worked.
“King Shade!” The vampire flits to his side, bowing before glaring at me.
“Who was the vampire who tried to kill you, my love?” Shade growls.
“My king, she is…” The vampire starts as I point to him with a whimper as Shade grabs him by the throat, tearing his head from his neck as I stare wide-eyed, blood pouring everywhere as I shriek.
“No one will ever harm you again sweetheart,” he caresses my cheek with his bloodied hand as I gulp nodding.
“Do you…Do you know what this means?” I lift my sleeve showing him the tattoo as he grins broadly taking my arm in his hands.
“It means that you are very, very, powerful,” He kisses my arm.
“I…I can use fire too,” I murmur.
“My, my, you are talented. You must be tired my love, come with me my sweet, we’ll get you settled in,” He leads us upstairs and along the corridors as I take in the place, noticing an old fashioned door amid a row of brand new ones.
“What’s in there? Why is the door different?” I ask.
“That is where I keep my enemies my sweet, it’s our prison,” He grins taking my hand, placing a kiss on it softly.
“Why do you keep them here? Surely that’s dangerous,” I frown.
“Better to keep them here, this place is surrounded by my warriors and is one of the safest places in the world, they are loyal to their King and they will be loyal to you too as soon as I make you into my queen,” He pulls me against him as I squeak in surprise.
“I’m seventeen,” I say as he frowns.
“Mmm so young, I know, I can sense your innocence. I will wait until you are of age before I ravish you, my dear, when is your birthday?” He asks.
“Three days time,” I whisper.
“Fantastic, that is the day of my ball, we shall celebrate in style my little queen, for now, you will stay in here and rest, tomorrow I will have someone show you the grounds and when I get a few moments we shall sit and get to know each other. I can explain what you are, teach you a few tricks and introduce you to a whole new world. But right now I need to go deal with a few issues regarding another pack, sleep tight little queen,” he kisses my lips softly before leaving me by the door of the room he was giving to me as I opened it finding the most beautiful bedroom I had ever seen, filled with a dark mahogany four-poster bed and matching furniture.
Why is he being so easy with us? This feels too easy…
Perhaps he really believes we have no idea what’s going on.
We better hope that’s true or we’re dead.
Why would he kill that vampire if he didn’t believe it?
Just be careful.
I’ll do my best Storm.
“My god this room is huge,” I sigh as I find the ensuite bathroom, taking off my dirty clothes and sinking into a hot bath, I might as well make the most of this while I can…
As I get out my phone rings in my bag as I bite my lip nervously as I see Kai ringing me.
“Hey,” I answer timidly.
“What the fuck is wrong with you?!” He shouts at me.
“Shout a little louder, the whole kingdom can’t hear you,” I growl.
“Seriously, what are you playing at? Using Keeley to escape and put yourself at risk,” he whispers into the phone as I listen at the door, hearing no one outside.
“What is it most of the books you read say, keep your friends close but your enemies closer?” I answer.
“You’re a fucking idiot!” He snaps.
“Tell me you’re not coming here,” I say as I hear wolves in the background.
“Uh, I’m not coming…” He lies as I growl.
“Now who is going to get themselves killed?!” I snap.
“I was not leaving you alone! Maybe if you hadn’t have run off then I wouldn’t have had to come after you,” He replies.
“You’re human Kai! What the hell are you going to do against wolves and vampires?!”
“Yeah…Uh…I’m not human anymore…” he murmurs as I stand in shock.
“What…Kai, what have you done?”
“Blake bit me…He used his vampire side to turn me…I wasn’t going to let you have all the fun,” He sighs.
“I’m going to kill you myself when I see you, Kai!”
“When this is all over we can fight over this but right now we are on our way, what the hell is your plan so I can persuade Zane not to dart straight for you, he’s livid,” He says.
“The king has taken a liking for me already, he even killed the messenger that came to the pack as I claimed he tried to kill me. I’m cuddling up to the guy and he believes me, I think, we’ll see. I need the pack to act like they don’t know me, all of you or this won’t work,” I tell him.
I can hear footsteps outside coming towards the door as I swear under my breath.
“Gotta go,” I say before hanging up quickly.
I throw my phone in my bag as I quickly put on some clothes and answer the door as someone knocks.
“King Shade told me to bring you some food my lady,” A small lady bows at me as she brings in the tray filled with food.
“Oh, thank you,” I smile at her as she frowns at me like she’s never been thanked before.
“It’s my job ma’am,” She bows.
“Still, thank you, I’m grateful,” I smile.
“Good night ma’am,” She nods and leaves quickly.
I bite my lip nervously looking at the food, he wouldn’t have me poisoned, would he?
Sniffing at the food it smelt fine as I took a bite, groaning at the scrumptious range of flavours as it hits my tongue swallowing it all down quickly.
The door bursts open as a huge, bald, warrior bursts in pushing me against the wall as I scream out in pain.
“Who are you?!” He growls holding me by the throat as I scratch at his hand to try to breathe.
“How is she going to answer you if you have a hand on her throat, Paul?” Another man shuts the door behind him as Paul’s hand loosens a little as I cough, trying to catch my breath.
“Who are you?” I cough.
“My name is Michael, this is Paul we are King Shade’s betas,” Michael answers.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” Paul growls at me.
“I’m here because of this,” I show my arm as Paul growls yanking my arm towards him.
“We have to get rid of her or the queen is doomed,” Paul whispers, I think he meant to say it through their link but forgot as his eyes widened in shock.
“Wait! What?!” I cry out.
“I’m afraid sweetheart that you pose a risk to our queen, our king will kill her to gain control of you as his next queen and we can’t have that. Selina must be protected,” Michael looks at me sadly walking up to me as claws grow from his fingers.
“Wait! She’s my mother!” I panic, hoping this wasn’t a trick from Shade.
“What…You lie! Her daughter is in hiding!” Paul growls grabbing my throat again.
“My name is Phoenix and I was put on the steps of an orphanage where Mrs Taylor and Layla protected me for years! Selina is my mother!” I cry out.
“Let her go, Paul,” Michael growls as he pushes him aside and lifts my chin with a finger looking at my eyes.
“I believe her. She has his eyes and her face,” Michael says releasing me as I sigh with relief as he runs a hand through his messy mop of brown hair.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” Paul snaps at me.
“Why should I fucking trust you?” I spit at him.
“She’s right, she had no reason to trust us, we’re Shade’s betas. So, how about this,” Michael lifts his top over his head as he shows a huge tattoo on his muscly back as I gasp at the names on his back, my mother, father, Kade and a few others were all woven by vines.
“Your father was our alpha once, now I understand you have no reason to trust us, however, look at this one,” He says turning around as it shows another tattoo on his chest over his heart…My name…
“Why…” I shake my head in shock sitting on the bed.
“We gave our allegiance to Shade to keep your mother protected, I won’t lie, we’ve done things that we hate, we’ve killed for him, but it’s all to keep her safe. We helped her the day you were born to get you out and we never thought we’d see you again, now you’re here and in his clutches…What the hell were you thinking!?” Michael growls at me.
“Mike, he’s coming,” Paul growls.
“I’m sorry for this,” Michael says as he throws me against the wall with a thud as I cry out.
“What the fuck is going on in here?” Shade roars.
“Just finding out what this little bitch knows,” Paul growls as Michael holds me in place.
“Put on a show or we’re all screwed,” Michael says in my mind. I can see the pain in his eyes, he doesn’t want to be here right now.
“I don’t know anything, I swear! I’ve been roaming around for months since my orphanage burnt down and heard a few whispers about some ball and then put my bracelet on and it lit up like I was on fire! I wanted answers so cornered a rogue for answers and he pointed me this way!” I put on the tears.
“Michael, unhand my mate,” Shade growls his order as Michael lets go and stands beside Paul. Both men were huge. but nothing compared to Shade, he was even bigger than Zane.
“I swear King Shade, I swear I don’t know what’s going on with me, I just needed help, I needed to have a home, someone to love me,” I cry as he walks up to me.
“You shall have all that and more, my love, leave us,” He orders the other two as he hooks my chin with his finger as Michael looks at me longingly, his eyes flashing with his wolf as he and Paul leave the room.
“I didn’t mean to cause you such a ruckus my king,” I bow to him.
“You do not need to bow to me, you are my queen, we are equals. In fact, I could do with a little help the day of the ball, you can help me,” He smiles.
“What is it?” I ask timidly.
“Don’t you worry about that now, how about I stay with you tonight, make sure no one else bursts in on you,” his hand drifts down my body, over my curves as I shiver at his touch in repulsion but he must take it as lust as he pushes me against the wall, his fingers gliding down further.
“I need to rest, I barely know you, my king,” I hold his hand from going any further as his lips connect with my jaw.
“You’re right, I’m sorry. I will leave you alone for tonight, I fear I may not resist the temptation of you if I stay. I will have someone guard your door for the night to make sure you are safe,” He kisses my lips hungrily.
“That’s not necessary,” I murmur.
“It is, can’t have my men force their way inside anymore, you are precious to me little queen,” He grins as he waves shutting the door as I hear him roar and footsteps rush to the door.
“No one enters or exits this room without my knowledge, understood?!” He growls at the second person.
“Yes my king,” they answer.
Great, now we’re stuck in here.
At least we know there are others here that could help.
And how do you expect us to be able to talk to them to find out now? We’re stuck in here!
We’ll work on that tomorrow we need to rest.
We are going to die.
Real positive Storm…