The Culling

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Chapter 14

Darcy stood in the empty room, anger spilling from his body. His hand was wrapped around the neck of the wolf that was supposed to be keeping an eye on his mate. “You tell me the truth now, or your death will be painful.” He threatened the man whose face paled quickly.

“I’m sorry my prince. The rogues snuck into her room and when I realized that something was wrong, they had her out of the window. I followed them and fought with one, but something knocked me out. I don’t like pointing fingers, but it was a member of the pack, that I know for certain.”

Darcy released the guard who fell to his knees gasping for air. He strode to the open window and a howl flew from his soul, crying out for his mate. They were fated to be together, but it would seem that fate was doing its best to keep them apart. “Have the strongest and fastest guards outside the castle in ten minutes.” He ordered as he quickly left the room. He would find Phoebe if it killed him.

Just as he stepped out of the hospital, a bolt of hot pain seared his chest. When he saw that he wasn’t bleeding, he knew that the pain came from Phoebe. Stupid mutts, he thought as he all but ran to the castle, they will pay dearly for the pain they’ve caused my mate. Ten minutes later, Darcy stood before fifty guards, and double that of warriors, and to his left stood his future brother in law.

“Men, our future queen has been taken. We will not rest until we find her and wipe those who dared kidnap my queen.” His men let out howls as they all shifted and ran into the forest. King Stone watched from the window with his wife beside him. Both were worried about Phoebe, but they also knew that she would be able to handle herself. But just the same, they prayed to the goddess that their son would find her quickly.

For three hours I laid in a cell, waiting for someone to show up. The silver burned my wrists, but it was just a faint pulsing, something I could easily ignore. A bright burst of light flooded the dark cell and I had to squint to see. “Ah, so you’re awake. That’s good.” The man spoke softly but I knew who it was. This was the rogue’s leader.

“You’re going to help us overthrow the king, my dear.” He told me, grinning. I laughed softly. “I’d like to see you make me help you, you worthless mutt.” I managed to spit at him, but he just backhanded me. It was plain to see that he was struggling to keep his anger under control.

“If you don’t help us, then we’ll kill your mate.” he threatened but I didn’t blink. Mates were special to our kind, and generally, a mate would move mountains to keep their other half safe. But this wasn’t most cases. My mate was the future king, and I knew that if this rogue had his way, Darcy would die either way.

“I will not help you. My mate will understand.”

“Will he? How will he understand that his mate didn’t care enough about him keep him alive when she was given the chance.”

“He will understand that I put our entire kingdom before him, just like he would have if he was in my place. I have taken an oath to protect my king and nothing you can or will do will make me break that oath.” My eyes flashed as my wolf came forward. The rogue just laughed as he removed a vial that had a silver liquid in it.

“Maybe a little silver will help make up your mind.” He took out a small dagger and quickly plunged the tip into my chest, not deep enough to badly hurt me, just deep enough to leave a hole. Popping the cork off the top, he slowly poured the liquid silver into my wound. I grit my teeth as pain flooded my entire body, but I didn’t move.

“I’ll be back in an hour to see if you’ve changed your mind.” With that, he left the cell and I let my body fall back against the wall. Pushing the burning pain from my mind, I start to slowly work on the cuffs that were holding me. They were made of silver, but they were old and not as stout as a pair of new cuffs would be. The hour slowly passed, and by the time I heard the door opening, I had managed to break both cuffs.

Looking up, I was pleased to see that the leader was alone again. He would be a little hard to take down in my weakened state, but I would not fail my pack. “I see that you’ve managed to heal for that little taste test of what is to come if you don’t agree to help me with my goals.” The look he gave me sent chills down my spine.

“You know, it’s a shame that I have to harm such a beautiful looking woman like you. I could move you to my tent and let you warm my bed instead.” He laughed at his words before removing a syringe from his pocket. “This is one hundred grams of pure wolf’s bane. The unfortunate soul that we tested this out on died within seconds. I wonder how long you’d last once I inject it into your system.”

“Longer than you would mutt.” I sneered at him as I lunged up, grabbing the hand that held the syringe. We struggled but I managed to gain the upper hand by making him trip. As he fell, I pushed the syringe into his neck and quickly injected the wolf’s bane into him. I watched as he writhed in pain for a few seconds before his heart stopped.

Slowly, I moved towards the door and cracked it open. The compound before me was overflowing with rogues, and I knew that getting out alive was going to be very hard. But with darkness starting to set in, there might be a chance to get away unscathed. Hiding my scent completely, I wait until dark before I slip out of the small building.

Using the thick brush for a cover, I silently make my way towards the trees. Only an hour had passed since I killed their leader, and I knew that it wouldn’t take them long before they found out that he was dead. But I knew that it would take them a while to find me seeing as how my trail couldn’t be found. I managed to put some distance between the rogue compound and myself when I heard the alarm sounding. My escape had been discovered.

Knowing that I wouldn’t be able to shift or run in my condition, I started to look for places to hide. My eyes landed on a large tree and I smiled. They would be too busy looking for me on the ground; they wouldn’t look up in the trees for me. Quickly, I scale the tree, climbing quite high. Once I was a good distance up, I started watching for any signs of Darcy or others from our pack.

As my eyes started to close, I realized that I was weaker than I first thought. My wolf was working as hard as she could to heal the wound on our chest and to remove the silver. It was a process that required time and a lot of energy. Both of which I didn’t have at the moment. Trying to keep my eyes open, I knew that I was fighting a losing battle. With a defeated sigh, I got comfortable on the tree branch and let sleep claim me.

When I finally awoke, the sun was shining and the forest was deathly quiet. Slowly climbing down the tree, I listen for any sounds of danger but hear none. Once my feet touched the ground, I froze. Lying all around me were bodies of rogues. The smell of blood was thick and I found myself feeling sick. Turning away from the direction of where the rogue compound lay, I start walking. My body was still weak, but I was strong enough to do what had to be done.

I quickly lost track of the time. Morning and night held no meaning to me. I was lost but I was determined to find my way back to my mate. My wolf was pestering me to stop and rest, but I couldn’t bring myself to do that. My already weaken body was growing weaker from the lack of food and water.

I wasn’t sure of where I was, but I was determined to keep walking until I made it back home. “It’s been a week since we raided their camp, Darcy. My sister wasn’t there, but that doesn’t mean she’s dead. You would have felt her die if they killed her.” A voice spoke and I came to a stumbling stop. Was my condition so bad that I was starting hallucinating voices?

“I won’t give up searching for her.”

“I’m not saying that we should stop the search. All I’m saying is that we should return to the pack, rest up a little, gather more men, and come back. We won’t find her if we’re half dead.” The voices sounded so familiar but I couldn’t place them. Suddenly, my legs collapse out from under me and I crumble to the ground. “What was that?” The first voice said as it sounded like it was coming closer. My body had been pushed to its limits and couldn’t go any farther.

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