Hunter

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13. How to Have Sudden Epiphanies


Immediately, Evangeline backed off of Laurie, her head bowing ever-so-slightly, a sour expression on her face.

I didn’t blame her. Though it didn’t have much of an effect on me, I could hear the power reverberating off of that one, calmly-uttered word. Keith reacted in a similar way to Evangeline, bowing his head, though he looked more respectful than the interrogator.

Laurie, on the other hand, glanced up towards the door, her shirt hanging off of her in shreds, blood welling in the slashes Evangeline made across her abdomen. The Beta Female seemed to have forgotten all about that, as her eyes lit up.

“Luca,” her voice, which was already soft, turned to velvet.

The Beta’s eyes met his mate’s for a split second before he transferred his gaze to Evangeline.

“Beta,” she mumbled, her hand shifting back into that of a human.

“What, pray, are you doing?” every inch of Luca Rossi was calm - whether it was forced or natural was yet to be determined.

Nobody spoke for a long moment. The silence was nearly stifling. I fought against the urge to clear my throat.

“Interrogating the Hunter, as the Alpha requested,” it was Keith who had spoken up, though his eyes were still trained on the ground. His hands flexed at his sides.

That’s one way to put it, I guess.

“Oh?” Luca glanced at Keith for a moment before his brown eyes zoomed in on me. He glanced me over, his calm façade cracking when he frowned. “Funny. I don’t remember the Alpha requesting torture.”

My body turned against me at that moment. At Luca’s words, my wounds flared with pain - my face, my arm, my leg, even the back of my head. My Hunter instincts dropped away like they were never even there.

Thanks for the help, I thought sarcastically.

There was no response from my Hunter.

My leg was now throbbing, the combination of my weight and the ache from the gashes forcing me to sink down onto the ground.

Keith sneered, Evangeline mirroring him, and Luca raised an eyebrow. Laura didn’t seem to notice, her eyes still trained on her mate.

“That’s what I said,” she rolled her eyes before gesturing to the interrogator and the hotheaded male. “This one wouldn’t listen, and this one was encouraging it.”

“Besides,” Evangeline piped in, raising her head to meet Luca’s eyes. “Shouldn’t the Alpha be glad I’ve incapacitated her, even if it was just a little? She won’t be able to hurt any of us.”

Realization flashed through me at her words.

She was scared.

Scared of me.

I’d been afraid of supernatural beings since the Takeover, a fear I channeled into rage, allowing my mental and emotional pain to control my every action. I’d been scared of how much worse this city could get if it was under the control of supernatural beings for much longer. I was scared that I, the last Hunter, would find myself in exactly the same situation I was currently in.

But it had never occurred to me that they were scared of me.

I had thought they were hunting me purely out of revenge. That every single vampire, werewolf, and magic-wielder had a grudge against me - which most did.

I never thought fear would be one of their drives.

I was human. The new society all but states that humans are not to be feared. That they’re weak, unable to stand up for themselves against the power of supernatural beings.

But I was a human who’s killed supernatural beings. I’ve uprooted the belief system that all humans will bow down to them without so much as a peep.

I was dangerous.

Of course, I knew that. I was the dangerous Hunter, stalking the streets of Toronto as night, searching for my prey.

I didn’t know they had considered themselves prey.

“She couldn’t do anything, anyways,” Luca’s tone stayed steady, calm. “She has no means to kill any of us. Not anymore.”

My dagger.

“Where’s my dagger?” I asked from the ground. Of course, I was ignored.

“Just let me have a few more minutes with her,” Evangeline begged. “I’m sure I can get her to tell us where she gets her information from.”

“No, thanks,” since nobody was listening to me right now anyway, decided to amuse myself and just say whatever popped into my head. “I’m not going to tell you anything, so I think it would be much easier if we don’t drag it out.”

“The Alpha doesn’t care who her informants are,” the Beta acted like I hadn’t even spoken - and, since right now they seemed to think I was about as harmless as a housefly, I may as well have kept my mouth shut. “He wants to see her.”

Wait, what?

No no no no no...

Cold fear unfurled within me. Images flashed through my head, swirling around in a whirlpool of memories. A teenage boy, stepping out of the shadows. Blocking our escape. An older man transforming into a wolf right before my eyes. The glint of light as a dagger flashed. Blood, so much blood...

“On second thought,” I fought to keep my voice steady, but there was the slightest shake to it that I just couldn’t seem to get rid of. “I’m kind of feeling cooperative at the moment. Maybe we should continue with the interrogation?”

“For once,” Keith shifted his gaze to me, looking thoughtful. “The Hunter has the best idea.”

Huh. Mr. Angry Revenge-Driven Wolf and I are on the same side. I don’t expect it to happen again.

“No,” Luca’s eyes hardened, his right hand flexing at his side. “The Alpha’s not in a patient mood.”

“In that case,” I spoke from the floor, suddenly finding it rather comfortable. “I’m even more inclined to stay here. Hey, Evangeline, don’t you want to know who my informers are?”

That is, if I had any to begin with. They’re Opal’s informers, after all, not mine.

Evangeline’s dark eyes glinted as she took me in, but even she looked hesitant now. Smoothing a lock of her blue hair, she turned back to Luca, sighing. “Fine.”

No.

“Thank you,” his hand stilled at his side, and he glanced at me. “Reese, if you would come with me, please.”

I crossed my arms, gritting my teeth as my shoulder practically shrieked with protest. “Nah,” I said. “I’m quite comfortable here, as a matter of fact. I don’t really want to move.”

Also, I wasn’t looking forwards to putting weight on my leg again.

“I’m not going to ask again,” the Beta warned.

“Good,” I didn’t move. “Go away.”

I longed for my dagger. My hand craved its hilt, the feel of the silver pressing against my palm. I wondered how the werewolves had taken it without burning themselves in the process. Probably by using hand coverings, idiot.

Good point.

With a sigh, Luca stepped towards me, his hand reaching out, wrapping around my wrist, yanking me upright. I hissed as a new wave of pain and dizziness crashed over me, and I jerked away from him.

My Hunter instincts stirred again with the onslaught of pain.

Supernatural. Enemy. Werewolf.

The burning bite in the gash on my leg dulled, fading away. When I’m a Hunter, recognizing pain is not a top priority. My hands balled up into fists, my feet sliding apart as I stepped subconsciously into a defensive position.

Sensing the change in me, Laurie immediately went to grab Luca’s arm, intent on pulling him away from me. Evangeline and Keith exchanged a wary look, before the former rolled his eyes. I could almost hear him saying, you said she can’t hurt any of us!

I could strike. I could escape. I could gain my freedom.

Strike with what?

Ah, yes. My currently missing dagger. I’d have to locate that before I leave.

As quickly as it came, the instinct to murder the werewolves on the spot vanished. I sighed, abandoning the defensive position. This wasn’t an ideal circumstance to have a fight, anyways. Even with my dagger, four werewolves - one a Beta, at that - was too much for me.

Realization crashed down on me at that moment. Despite all the mayhem I’ve caused in the supernatural world, I was still human.

Compared to supernatural beings, I was weak. Powerless.

I rely on pointy sticks - wooden and silver - to be strong.

I’ve never killed a werewolf without my dagger.

I’m in Toronto’s packhouse, surrounded by the strongest werewolves in the city.

Without my dagger...

Even with my dagger...

I’m still nothing.


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