Part 2 - Chapter 22
I followed Hercules into another house on their territory. The moment I stepped inside I knew that it was some form of clinic, or where their pack doctor stayed. Everything was clean, white, and minimalistic.
“When did they find the body?” I asked as I followed him down a set of stairs. The ground level was just as cold as outside, I could see through glass doors at a man hovering over a body on a medical examination table.
“This morning,” Hercules.
“Hercules,” the man bowed his head down in respect and looked at me, before pausing and nodded at me holding back whatever he was going to say.
“This is Oscar.” Hercules introduced us, “Go ahead Oscar.”
“I did a quick examination of the body, it would have died at least a week ago, there are few identifying features of him left. As you can see there are claw marks that have penetrated the body. The body was left in the case so this could be wild animal marks as a huge chunk of his leg is missing, otherwise it could be a bite of a very large wolf.”
It was definitely the body of an Enforcer like I predicted, as he still had his uniform on but I couldn’t recognise his face.
“There were traces of some sort of chemical in his body, there isn’t enough left in his blood to test what it is but from what I could see, it was definitely something that would have paralysed him so he might have been alive when the animal attacked him.” Oscar said.
“Can I touch?” I asked looking up at Oscar. He nodded and I stepped closer to the bench. I had to admit the smell was horrible, it was a mix of dead body and the smell of maggots.
I touched his damp red jacket, opening it to show me his pocket that was on the inside of the blazer. I placed a hand in grimacing as I felt something soft.
There was nothing there. I checked the other side of the blazer in the two hidden pockets also coming with nothing.
“Are you looking for anything in particular?” Oscar asked.
“No, just seeing if there is anything. Did you find anything in his pockets when you looked at him?”
“No,” he said as I went through the pockets on his pants. Surely he had to have something on him. What i did notice was that this Enforcer did not have a single silver weapon on him, meaning that someone had to have attacked him and taken them all.
I was about to give up when I thought of something, “Did you check his socks?” I asked Oscar.
“Socks...? No, I didn’t look there.”
I rolled up his pants, trying not to look at the pale skin that was deteriorating. He had the typical Enforcer supplied socks which would mean that they had small holes in them to hold things. I always had spare bullets tucked into mine.
I started going through each one when I finally felt something. I tugged out a small white slip. It was no bigger than my fingernail, tightly folded.
I started unraveling the paper till it because a small thin slip, with a single name on it.
“What does it say?” Hercules asked from next to me. I passed him the piece of paper and went back to checking the other side of the paper.
“Do you know anyone called that?” I asked, getting no response. I checked the other sock as well as the belt around the Enforcer’s waist finding nothing else. Great a dead end.
I turned around looking at Hercules, who was still staring at the piece of paper, his eyebrows furrowed when he looked up at me, “Catherin.” he said.
“Without an ‘e’, weird right?′ I wondered if that was a spelling mistake but then I saw something in Hercules eyes that made me pause, maybe it wasn’t a dead end.
“You know her.” I said.
Hercules almost looked nervous to tell me, one side of his lips quirked up as he pursed his lips, his eyebrows furrowing further, the faintest wrinkle forming on his forehead. I almost poked it to make him relax his face, instead of scrunching it up like that.
“Who is it?” I asked. It was confirmed, he knew her. There was no way you would be looking like that at a name if you didn’t know who it belonged to.
“She’s Alpha Caine’s mate.” He said letting out a sigh, “You don’t want to mess with Alpa Caine.” He said.
“What pack?” I asked.
“Catherin or Caine?”
“They’re not from the same pack?” I asked.
“What do you know about their packs?”
“I have some books in my office if you want.” he said. He thanked Oscar handing me back the piece of paper and I followed him back to the other house and into this office. I wanted to know more about what Hercules thought rather than some book, for that matter I could just look at my laptop and find the information on the agency documents.
Instead I followed him into his office as he plucked some books from a shelf, they were old with a unique pattern on the front, “These belonged to my father. He liked having these old historical books with him.”
“How well do you know them?” I asked.
“I haven’t met Catherin but I know Caine.”
“How well?” I asked.
“Really well.” he said and I raised an eyebrow, “We’re cousins.” he said.
“Oh...cousins but both Alphas.” I said, “So your parents weren’t from the same pack?
“Our fathers are from his pack, my dad came to this pack when he met my mother. My grandfather had three daughters so someone had to come be the leaders for this pack.” Hercules leaned against the bookshelf, crossing his arms as I took the books from him.
“What...happened to your parents?” I asked, “Marcus mentioned you had a sister?”
Hercules shrugged, “They did.” he said casually, “It happens.”
“Can I ask how they died?” I knew bits from what Marcus had told me, and then I had looked it up myself in the agency documents but I wanted to know what Hercules knew.
“My mother had a lot of enemies.” he said, “My dad might be the Alpha as per the title but he married into this family. She was the real Alpha, wore the pants and everything. A bit like you actually,” he said, a soft smile on his face, “It was an ambush one day when they were out.”
“Rogues?” I asked.
“Not sure who they were, we didn’t bother to check if they belonged to another pack that hated us. Our men killed them, all I knew was that I came home to a bloodshed. We lost a lot of people that day.”
“How old were you?”
“So you became Alpha?” I asked.
“My sister was in a COMA, if she survived she would have been the Alpha but we lost her a week later so it was up to me I guess. Gideon’s father was really the one that showed me what to do. You’ll have to meet him one day, he’s pretty fun.” and then he paused, “Oh... I mean if you want to, I know you’re unsure about all of this.” He said clearing his throat standing up straighter.
“Oh yeah...we’ll see.” I said pursing my lips.
“It’s fine you know.”
“It took my mother eight months to accept my father. She was too focused on being the next Alpha, taking over everything from her grandfather after he died. She didn’t have time for him so I guess it’s my turn to wait then.”
“You’re going to wait? What if you’re going to be waiting a long time?”
Hercules took a step towards me, “How long do you want?”
“I uh,” I said confused, I didn’t have a number planned or anything, I didn’t think he was going to ask me like this. “I don’t know, I’ve never really thought about it. I just don’t think it’s going to wor-,”
“I don’t know Hercules, maybe five years? It’s not something I sit down and think about you know? You can’t just put a number to these things, why are you smiling? ” I was irritated as he smiled at me. Did he find this funny?
“I like it when you say my name.” he said.
I sighed, “really, that’s what you got out of this? You’re unbelievable.” I shook my head turning around when he reached out to me, pulling me against him. Both the books were in my right arm, my left palm coming up against his chest to stop me from colliding with him.
I could feel the heat from his body radiate from under my palm, beneath the soft sweater I could feel hard muscles. His other hand pushed away the strands of loose hair from my face, my stomach flipping. Why did he smell so good?
“Not five, make it one year.”
“No way, four and a half.”
“One and a half, not up for discussion. You know I can just mark you now and you’ll feel the bond pull? I don’t want to do that.”
“Gia...you’re pushing it.”
“Two and a half, come one. It’ll be over before you blink.” I said. “Besides you’ve survived this long without me surely another two and a half years will be easy.”
“I did but now that I know you exist and what you’re like, every day that you’re not accepting this is making it hard. I’m trying to negotiate with you, give me a break.”
“Two and a half, I can’t go any lower. Let me think about it.”
“Is there someone else?” he asked.
“What? Of course not.”
“Is that why you don’t want a mate. It’s fine if that’s the situation I understand and I’ll accept that I was too late.”
“I can assure you there is no one else.” I told him. Hercules visibly relaxed and I realised that I was still against him, his arms on either side of my waist holding me.
“Well...we have to seal the deal then.”
“Great, good to know. I’ll see you in two and ha-whoa,” I said leaning back as his face came closer, “What are you doing?”
“If there’s a two and a half year wait period, I need some sort of incentive right?”
“I don’t think so,” I said, shaking my head.
“Fine.” Hercules said, “No kiss.” but he didn’t let me go. Instead he stared at me with those intense grey eyes of his. I could feel his body all around me as he kept holding me, the soft fabric of his clothing, the firmness of his body practically holding the weight of my body effortlessly.
Not to mention his scent, from the close proximity I could smell the intoxicating smell of woods and the smell of burned logs, but that could be from the fireplace behind him. Either way it was a smell that I loved, and perhaps that’s why I started to lose the plot.
“Fine?” he asked, his eyes still staring into mine and I had no idea what he was looking at.
“Not one for each year?”
“I’ll take that.” and with that he lowered his mouth to mine.
I wasn’t sure what to expect but the last thing I thought was that his lips would be that soft. They were firm against mine but soft, almost hesitant at the start, wiping my mind blank and leaving my lips tingling.
Hercules kissed me softly, before he tightened his hold pulling me against him even closer till our bodies were pressed up against each other, the books pushing into my ribs. I felt the world spin when his tongue slipped into my mouth and I could taste coffee and excitement.
With each stroke of his tongue I could feel myself slipping away and melting into his frame, my hand gripping the sweater to hold on. It wasn’t till the crackle of the fire behind him that I was brought back to reality and pulled away quickly.
“That was more than one kiss.” He said and I frowned.
“I should be saying that.” I said trying to push him away from him, but his grip was tight, strong, like he was never going to let me go. I could hear my own heartbeat in my ears, my body warm as I tried regaining control of my fluttering heart.
“At least I know.”
“Know what?” I asked, as he leaned his head down again and I held my breath thinking he was about to kiss me again.
“That you aren’t completely repulsed by me,” he whispered, “that I do make you feel things even if you refuse to feel them.” my stomach turned and I swallowed. Maybe.
“Don’t you dare.” I warned him as he moved his head closer, “We had a deal, it was one.”
“Oh...but I do dare.”
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