Blood and War

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Chapter 56 - Disbelief

They all jumped at the sound of Derrick’s fist slamming into the table. It must have hurt, but no sign of it showed on his face. They felt the rage, but he was the youngest of the four of them and the only one who allowed his true emotions to show.

“How can they be so damn blindly stupid!” Derrick spat the words out one by one, and it voiced all of their thoughts for them. Until then, they were too stunned and too angry to give voice to their opinions.

“How can they call the death of so many an isolated incident?” Derrick raged as he scraped back his chair and it almost toppled, but for Dillon who reached out to steady it. Derrick paced the room like a caged tiger, but the person they were all most aware of was Aldrich.

Aldrich had not moved, nor spoken since the messenger left. He stood like a statue. His hands casually draped over the back of a chair, yet the wood creaked faintly under his grip.

His eyes were darker, his face was expressionless, but you could feel the power of his rage like a living entity in the room.

“They have condemned us all to die,” Aldrich finally spoke and the very control in his voice, gave it an icy cadence of fury.

“We will not die so easily,” Dillon countered, and as his chin came up, his shoulders squared, and his eyes grew hard with determination.

Catherine felt the warmth of pride spread through her chest. Their eyes met and held. He was her mate, a possessive little voice whispered, and a small, grim smile touched her lips.

They would all fight until their very last breath. They would fight for each other and take as many of the enemy with them as they could. Aldrich watched this small interaction.

Aldrich felt his heart ache. Catherine had no idea how much she was like her mother.What he would not give to have back Elizabeth, but having her daughter was good enough. He would always have some small part of his family with him.

Catherine had much of her father in her too, but Elizabeth’s blood tempered those qualities. Catherine was not selfish, and she was not cruel, but she was fierce, elegant and forceful.

If Catherine was his daughter, he would have moved the earth to protect her. Eduardo was a fool, but she was his now, and he would never forsake her. He would spill the last drop of his blood for her.

“Maybe it’s time we sent a message of our own,” Catherine’s voice brought them all from their reverie, and suddenly the air in the room seemed less oppressive.

“Attack instead of defending,” Aldrich murmured, and abruptly a small unholy smile touched his lips.

“Derrick, I think it’s time you called Robert and Priest,” Derrick responded to the command from Aldrich instantly. He understood that Aldrich was the ultimate authority, but he still deferred to either Dillon or Cathy.

“If the Council will not listen to our warning, then fine. We will not acknowledge them in our decisions, and we will not allow them to interfere.

Let them sit in their castles until they are slaughtered like sheep. From now on we will fight with those who will fight with us,” Aldrich decided with finality and seated himself beside the table.

“You do realize, Father, that if we attack the East and they retaliate, the Council will blame us for this war,” Catherine stated quietly, and Aldrich nodded.

“What war? These are just isolated incidents,” Aldrich mocked, and Dillon frowned.

“Don’t fret, my human son, we have enough allies to make sure that we are not branded traitors when they finally admit they were wrong,” Aldrich assured, and Dillon nodded.

“I don’t care for myself, Aldrich, it is my people I worry about, but you are right. We will not win if we don’t find a way to distract the East and bring them together in greater numbers,” Dillon explained himself.

“No, we won’t, but I do understand your concerns,” Aldrich assured him. Their eyes met briefly and held.

“What do we kill and when?” Robert demanded, and they found his infectious good cheer lifted the darkness from the room.

“The Easterners and as to how... that has yet to be decided,” Aldrich greeted his right-hand man.

The two sat down, and Derrick returned. They started planning. The sun had long set and risen again before they finally conceded to fatigue.

They had hatched a plan that would rock the foundations of both the East and the Council.

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