I tapped my foot anxiously as I watched the two male fighters clutch one another in the center ring. The audience cheered and got to their feet as one of them dropped to the floor from a hard punch to the nose. I could smell the blood splatter from where I was sitting.
Everyone in the city loved this. They loved to watch competitors rip each other to shreds, but I was beginning to grow numb to it. I bet $250,000 on this fight, and I could care less who won.
I’ve never seen such a packed stadium, both humans and werewolves were mixed together, and even some political figures were sitting in box seats overhead of the stadium. And that left the rest of the Alphas, all sitting closely to the perimeter of the ring.
This was a werewolf sport, so we were going to sit as close as we can.
It wasn’t a traditional human fight. There were less rules, there was a lot more blood, and technically there was no referee required, but we always had one just as a formality.
Today we were fighting in the old ways, and I was nervous as hell. I was nervous to see her, and I was nervous how Xanos would react when he realized what James did…
How could I allow her to fight? How could I allow her to fight James’s fighter out of all people?
I was already two whiskeys in, but nothing could calm the raging beast within me. So much has happened in the last 24 hours and I’m not sure how much more I could contain myself. After Xanos told me she was Andrew’s fighter I fucking lost it.
I blacked out, my beast took over my body and I couldn’t remember what happened in the last few hours.
How could I be so foolish?
The night at the Rogue when James was dancing with her. He fucking knew who she was, and she didn’t say anything. I could have fucking killed him that night. He taunted me, and I allowed it to happen.
How could I let him get away?
She kept it hidden away for reasons unknown to me, but the thought always brought tears to my eyes that she couldn’t trust me enough to tell me. My throat tightened up, and I wasn’t much for emotions, but just thinking that she fell victim to James and his pack was overwhelming. Never have I had so much guilt in my life. And to top it off, I fucking bit her after admitting that I killed her mother.
What kind of monster was I becoming?
I haven’t spoken a word since I shifted back. My mind was in shock, and I was trying my best to keep myself from killing James.
“You alright?” My brother’s voice brought me back to reality.
I shook my head and refocused my attention on him. It still felt weird having him sit right beside me, and I’m sure we were the talk of the city tonight.
“Yea, just thinking…” I took another sip of whiskey. It was Johnnie Walker black label, and it reminded me of her. Everything fucking reminded me of her. Every minute I was apart from her was torture.
“Just keep calm, we need to stay focused.” Xanos looked to me, and his eyes, for once in his life, were full of concern for my mental stability. I haven’t seen him look to me like that since we killed Kane, since the night we started to drift apart.
“There’s something not right about tonight.” I analyzed the entire stadium; the entrances and perimeters were littered with security. There was a parley, but the Alphas were still going to be paranoid no matter what. Every square foot of the building was thoroughly inspected by every pack in attendance, but I still felt like we missed something.
“You will see brother, just wait.” He replied.
“No, its not that, there is something else that we are missing. Why did he want Andrew dead?”
“I think he’s, our answer.” Xanos pulled a file out of his brief case sitting by his feet and handed it to me.
I held the brown folder in my hand, “What’s this?”
“I saw him last night…” He cleared his throat. “She was staying at his place.”
My eye twitched as I leaned towards him. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. My hand was gripping my leg tightly to refrain myself from bursting into a fit of rage. “Are you fucking insane? Who is this man she is staying with?! You knew where she was and failed to tell me?!” I wanted to yell, but I kept my voice subtle. The stadium was packed tonight, and I couldn’t trust if someone were overhearing our conversation.
“Just open the file...” Xanos looked away and tried to keep his emotions in tack.
I was a wreck. He held himself pretty strong, but ever since I marked Hunter, I was losing myself. I needed to complete the mating ritual. I regretted how I did it, and now I was paying for my impulsive behaviour.
How could I be so stupid to let her get away without explaining myself?
“Seems her little Derek friend is lying to her.”
I opened the file and there was a picture of him sitting on a small stack of appears. Derek was a large man, and he was standing over an even larger man’s corpse by the looks of it. I heard Troy speak about him, but he didn’t go into detail of who he really was or what he did on his free time. He was a human, so I never thought anything more of him.
As I scanned through each document, I realized some of the pages were blacked out, and additionally, the pages were stamped ‘Classified’ with red ink.
“Troy mentioned he was a marine, but that’s all I know.” I pulled the photo up and looked closely. “How did you get this anyways?”
The picture was of him dressed to the nines in camo gear with a large assault weapon. He was standing over the man’s body like he was a trophy hunter.
Xanos sipped his drink and kept his eyes focused on the fight still going on. “I got friends in high places.”
“Of course you do.” I scoffed and passed the folder back to him.
“Derek’s a ghost. No friends, no family, and he was never a marine. He’s former Delta force.”
My eyes widened as I looked back to him, but he kept his focus on the ring the entire time.
“Are you serious? Why would he lie about it?”
“Classified Marcus. That’s what I don’t understand… it’s like his file was scrubbed clean. There’s a ton of missing info. There was a court marshal and a dishonourable discharge, but as far as I am reading, the details of the case are closed.”
“Do you think he was able to scrub the file himself?”
“Do you know how much power and influence you would need to alter something like this?”
I couldn’t help to let out a small laugh. Here Xanos was, showing me all these suspicious documents about Derek, all the while she was with him. Spending the night at his place doing God knows what. He could have done something.
I took a large sip of my drink and swallowed hard, “I can’t believe you left her there…”
“I can’t believe you bit her.” A small smirk erupted from the corner of his mouth as he peeked over to me.
I laughed at his response. He was a fucking hypocrite.
“So, when were you going to tell me?” I raised my eyebrows and looked down to his neck.
He grabbed onto his mark that was still in process of healing. I knew instantly when I saw him last night. At first, I was angry, but over time, I listened. I thought I would be enraged, and I thought I would try to kill him right then and there, but I was unusually calm about it. I listened to his explanation and the circumstances leading up to it, and surprisingly, I understood what he was telling me.
Jealousy always tore us apart, but now, we were ok with sharing the same girl? It wasn’t unheard of to have more then one mate, but after all the carnage and hard feelings, I still couldn’t believe she was bound to my brother too.
I’m sure he was just as surprised as I was.
“After the fight I was going to tell you.”
“Yes, too bad James fucked us hard last night. Do you know how embarrassing it is to be blackmailed by that piece of shit?”
Xanos remained still as he continued watching the fight. “As long as she paves her own pathway, it will always lead back to us.”
“Your insane. We have to take matters into our own hands.” I replied.
He turned to me, and his eyes darkened. “Look where that got you.”
I growled back. “You already betrayed me by seeing her last night. You think I take your insults serious?”
“She bit me. It was something she wanted.”
“Was that before or after you fucked her?”
He chuckled lightly as he took another sip of his drink, “Still acting like a young boy. Your words mean nothing. I’m telling you the truth so we can work through this together.”
“Fate is a fucked-up thing.” I sipped onto my drink again. My throat was numb from the burning aftertaste of the whiskey, but it warmed my stomach. It was a much-needed depressant for my mood.
I kept seeing images of Andrew’s dead body sitting on the chair. He would be here right now, warming up his fighters in the back, doing what he loved. It was all taken away from him. It was all my fault; I should have been there for him. I should have listened to him when he came to me for help that day.
I still couldn’t believe he was dead.
I’ve known him my whole life, we were close, we had our fights, but he was a trusted friend and now, he was dead. I was going to kill that cock sucker after this parley. I already caught sight of him with some blonde bimbo several sections over. It looked like he had a larger pack by the looks of his growing posse. He was wearing a suit, trying his best to fit in, but Xanos and I both knew he would never fit in. He was too much of a loose cannon. He preferred to murder innocent people then deal with his pack full of misfits.
“Cheers to that brother.” Xanos lifted his glass and clinked onto mine.
“Cheers to fate, and you know, if I would have guessed that we would have been sharing one mate, I think I would have shot myself with silver long ago.”
Xanos laughed as he sipped on his drink.
“Let her be herself, and she will come Marcus, just be patient. Our pull is getting stronger everyday. Let her release herself on Aphrodite.”
“Yea, letting her get ravaged by a manly looking woman is considered releasing her.”
“She will come through. She will heal, you have to trust the blood running through her veins.”
“Kane.” I finished my drink and was quickly met from another by a red headed waitress hovering near us.
“Like you said Marcus, fate is a fucked-up thing.”
“I’m weak brother, I need her… I need to complete this mark.”
“My time of weakness will come too, she will feel it, she is the one who marked me, so in time, she will realize she needs to seal the bond.”
“I’m not the same, I fucked up. I should have been in control.”
“She will forgive you in time. You just need to control yourself around her.”
“We need to find this Derek character first. There is something not sitting right. I feel something.”
“I do too, and I warned her.”
I scoffed, “She won’t listen to you. She’s stubborn as a mule.”
“Let’s just get this night over with and hopefully start fresh. Speaking of which, where is her brother? You said he went missing from the penthouse? Did she reach out to him after she escaped your place?”
“I don’t know to be honest. I got eyes and ears all over the city, but I hadn’t the slightest clue where this boy ran off to. I’m worried. I still have my men looking.”
“I’ll get Christopher to assist you in the search party. I’m sure she is worried about him.”
“If anything happens to Troy, its game over. I will never be able to forgive myself if something happens to him. She will never forgive us, and I assure you, she will blame us.”
“We will find him. Just sit back now, she is about to come out.”
“Yea, you better tie me to a chair because when she comes out,” I nodded my head back as I downed the entire drink, “My beast will start its ascent to have her.”
Xanos focused back onto the ring. “I can smell her, she’s close.”
The lights suddenly darkened.
This was it. She was coming out.
The two fighters that were in the ring previously had already left. I was so busy thinking about everything I didn’t pay attention to who actually won, but I could care less.
Some stadium staff members were busy wiping cleaning up the blood stains from the ring floor, but the announcer continued with introductions.
That’s when I heard the song.
It was all too familiar.
I was having flash backs of Andrew, blaring this song, over and over again as we trained in his gym. It was eerie, and it brought goosebumps to my skin. I straightened myself from my seat and leaned over, trying my best to hide my anxiousness.
I looked over at Xanos doing the same thing. He was just as excited as I was.
A large smile erupted on his face.
Only Hunter would be able to unsheathe a smile on my brother. He wasn’t a man of many emotions. It was strange to see him smile, but at the same time, she brought out emotions in me that I thought I never had.