Ember Rains (Book 1)

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Chapter 26: A Final Stand

Immediately I forced all of my energy on thawing the ice crystals that were now seeping out of the wound in her arm. It took all of my energy to force the water to heat up.

Victor cackled maliciously, “Cool isn’t it?”

“What did you do to her?” I hissed through clenched teeth as Alison and Trystan ran to Myra’s side.

“Oh, just a Tungsten bullet with a little barium hydroxide octahydrate in the tip and ammonium thiocyanate in the base. Upon impact the two touch and immediately turn into a freezing liquid. Much to cold for Ms. Ember here to stand.” He grinned at me with those same crazed eyes. “Isn’t science amazing? I’m just a simple scientist, no different from other werewolves. Yet I can contain both a maitre de fue and a maitre de l’eau.”

Brooke growled loudly through my teeth, but was too focused on keeping Myra alive to do much more.

“Go ahead. It would only take a moment to kill me.” Victor taunted, “Of course then your stolen whore might be dead.”

He stepped forward so he was right in my face. “Try it.”

“What do you say Richy? Are you going to prolong her miserable life or dispose of the threat to her freedom?” He hissed maniacally.

I swung at him, fighting to not allow my concentration on Myra to fade. I had to save her, and I had to defeat him.

“Oh, we are impressive aren’t we. No wonder our father wanted you. Mom knew you were special too though. That’s why she ran away with you.” His words twisted in my gut like a knife.

“What?” I gasped.

“Oh, dad found her and she paid dearly for her treason. However, not before she managed to hide you. I thought you were dead, brother.”

The word struck me like a physical blow and I fell to my knees. It had to be a lie, but then why did it make so much sense? Even to the point of Myra being attracted to him in the first place. We shared blood so he would naturally feel safe to my mate. Then there was how hard Myra had fought me, she had learned not to trust the feeling of safety around him, and me.

“No,” I mumbled despite knowing he was telling the truth.

“Yep, dad killed mom, I killed dad. I’m the only family you have left.”

With those words I saw Logan, Rowan, Myra, Tyler, and all of my pack in my mind. He was wrong, I had a huge family and they were all willing to follow me. Even Logan went with my instincts and never second guessed me.

With that, I felt a surge of familiar energy but this time I didn’t shy from it or push it away. I felt myself shifting and growing even larger than Brooke had been. Suddenly the effort I was putting into sustaining Myra felt insubstantial.

I stood in wolf form face to face with the man who had abused and tormented the woman I loved for years.

“Wha…” He gasped, stepping back so quickly he fell on his ass.

Brooke snarled loudly.

“Dad died years ago. I became alpha, not you!” His high pitched shout showed his desperation..

He quickly regained his composure and shifted. He was a hand shorter than me at least.

‘How are you an Alpha?’ His wolf demanded.

‘I gained your title when you ran dad’s pack into the ground, I also was granted the title by my adopted dad.’ Brooke growled happily answering the question I hadn’t been able to.

‘That’s not possible…’ Victor’s voice rang with disbelief. ‘No wolf can be the alpha without a pack! You gave your leadership to that other guy, and dad’s pack is history.’

‘I will restart it. I will make it a safe haven for anyone who needs it.’ I retorted. ‘And I have a pack.’

Just as I finished talking Trystan, who had been sneaking up behind Victor, pounced on him. I leapt into the fight and for a long time everything was lost in a blur of fangs, claws, and blood.

When everything settled I found myself standing over Victor’s limp body. I glanced at Trystan verifying that he was okay, before walking slowly to Myra.

Alison had managed to get the bullet out of her arms and far away from her. I could still feel the cold radiating off of her. I shifted back quickly throwing on my shorts.

“Is she going to be okay?” I asked frantically.

“Yes, but Ember is gone.” Her voice sounded broken and pained.

“For how long?” I snapped.

“I don’t know…” She cringed, already knowing what would happen next.

“How the fuck can you not know? And why didn’t you see this coming?!” I shouted standing up.

“I don’t know what happened…” Her voice trailed off. “He knew so much more than he should have. He found some way around me. He knew we were waiting for him.”

How?” I shouted at her, standing over her as she sat on the ground next to Myra.

Part of me was glad when Trystan, now in human form, came between us shoving me back with both hands. A protective snarl ripped through his teeth.

“Stop it, Richard. This isn’t her fault.” He snapped. With overwhelming pain and frustration, I felt tears start to run down my cheeks.

“I can’t lose her.” My voice was choked. “I can’t.”

“You won’t.” Trystan said confidently, “This isn’t the first time Ember has been gone, she will come back. Myra is going to be fine.”

With that I felt myself crumple to my knees. I had never been more exhausted in my life. I drug myself over to Myra’s side and wrapped my arms around her.

I must have fallen asleep then because when I opened my eyes it was getting dark. Trysten and Alison were sitting a little ways away, talking quietly.

“Richard?” Myra’s voice was weak, but despite that relief washed over me.

“Myra?” I asked frantically.

Looking around I noticed a large blanket draped over us and quickly pulled it up around her. She shivered slightly, snuggling into my chest.

“You were supposed to stay safe.” I attempted to chastise her.

She chuckled, “Me? Safe? I don’t know the meaning of the word.”

I rolled my eyes, but couldn’t help but smile. “You scared the shit out of me Myra.”

“Sorry.” She said honestly.

I rolled my eyes before kissing her deeply. She froze surprised for a second before pulling me closer.

“So what do we do now?” She asked as I pulled away, meeting her warm brown eyes again.

“Now we find a shadow and build our pack.” I said confidently, “Victor is gone but bigger threats are still out there, and we have to be ready for them.”

She nodded nervously. I on the other hand had never felt more sure about anything in my life. As long as I had Myra and Tyler, we could do anything.

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