I kissed Lucien’s cheek as he slept. I then left him a note that I was going for a run. It wasn’t like I was going far enough that the link wouldn’t work – so he had no real reason to worry. Besides, it was going to take me a while to get to the spot Ignus had “showed” me. I zipped up my coat and made my way outside, choosing to take the lower exit of the house. Glad that I’d worn boots with a decent grip, I navigated my way through the forest, the lake serving as my guide.
This would probably be a lot better if I was an actual werewolf. Walking all the way is a real pain in the ass – and the sun’s still asleep. I thought to myself- or at least I thought I was- until Ignus responded.
So you’re on your way? Fantastic.
Get out of my head Ignus.
Can’t do. It’s something we have to live with.
Then why can’t I hear anyone else? Also, the distance on this um, link thing, is amazing – considering we aren’t a pack.
Link thing? Ignus was definitely laughing at that one. Anyways, Auden, most of us can hear each other, all you need to do is meet another one of our kind.
Sounds freaky. I replied as I cut through the forest.
You know, if you drove here you would’ve spent a lot less time. Ignus replied.
It’d take me even longer to find out how and where to get a car. Finally having made my way around the lake, I began to jog. My breath came out in streams of mist as I finally made it to the clearing that Ignus had somehow showed me yesterday.
“Finally,” Ignus commented and I found him wrapped up in a crimson coat, his hands shoved into his pockets as he greeted me with a smile. I raised an eyebrow as I spotted two other people. “They’re other members of our little group, Hera and Dalton.” Hera and Dalton looked like they were only teenagers, definitely younger than Xander. They waved at me from their spot by the lake.
“Little group?” I asked as I waved back.
Ignus calls us that. But we’re not very little. A female voice said in my head, probably belonging to Hera.
Nice to meet you, by the way. Dalton said. Well, I guess ‘linked’.
“Yeah, um nice to meet you guys too,” I said loudly before turning to Ignus. “And you brought more people because?”
“Thought it might help with your… choices if you knew there were more of us,” he said with a shrug, his eyes shining brightly now that the sun had begun to rise. “So, how has the pack reacted to the mutt’s accusations?”
“Mutt?” I repeated before I realized he was talking about Zaina, “I don’t think they’re reacting all that well, Katherine in particular seems pretty unnerved.” I’d have to talk to her about that.
“It’d be good if you did. We aren’t the bad guys-“ I scoffed.
“You do realize you guys are part of the group that kidnapped Lucien’s sister, right?”
What? Dalton asked.
That wasn’t us. Hera echoed in my mind. I looked over at Ignus, confused as I watched Hera march her way over to us, Dalton followed. The two of them had pitch-black hair and glistening blue eyes – siblings, I’m guessing.
“I told you not to trust that woman,” Hera hissed as she walked over to me. “The three of us were planning to legitimately live there until your sister decided to ruin the plan and used it for her own devices.”
“Half-sister,” Dalton added and I raised an eyebrow.
“Our kind doesn’t breed werewolves… technically speaking, so it’s obvious that Zaina’s not completely related to you,” Hera pointed out and I looked over at Ignus.
“I’m sorry… But you do know how ridiculous this sounds right?” I asked and Ignus nodded.
“Unfortunately ridiculous doesn’t mean false. Bloodhounds breed bloodhounds, whether or not they’re sired by werewolves.”
“And why exactly did you guys want to live beside my apartment?”
“We were gonna try and ease into your life, but your sister ruined everything and your mate came into the picture,” Ignus explained as I bit my bottom lip.
“Why are we, and I’m using that word carefully… called bloodhounds?” I asked.
“Because-“ Dalton began but Ignus stopped him.
“When are you planning to have your mating ceremony?” Ignus asked and I stared at him.
“And why is that important?” I asked, Hera and Dalton then stared at each other.
“You’ll have to bite your mate, inevitably drawing his blood,” Dalton said as he walked over to me. There’s a reason we have blood attached to our name…
We shift at the taste of werewolf blood – and the first shift –
Involves some severe bloodlust. Ignus completed for Hera.
“You’re telling me, we’re the equivalent of werewolf vampires?” I asked, incredulous.
“We… don’t just feed on blood, Auden,” Ignus said grimly. “It’s… just a trigger.”
Katherine called us ‘cannibalistic blood suckers’, I thought to myself. Everyone seemed to have heard my thoughts as they looked at each other.
Monsters. Hera said in her head before walking over to me.
“That’s one of the reasons why we’re here. We need your help and you’ll definitely need ours. Your mate can’t be your first…” She said and I swallowed a lump in my throat.
“And how exactly are we supposed to ‘fix’ that? How exactly are you supposed to help me deal with that?” I asked.
“We hunt- as we should,” Ignus said. “Rogues are usually our… target. But should you really need a first blood volunteer, I would gladly offer up my-“
“Stop weirding her out, Ignus,” Hera said. “But it yeah, it works both ways, you can taste the blood of a werewolf – or one of our own.”
“If that’s the case, why would I have to meet any of you more than once? Why don’t I just drink blood from you and go?” I asked.
“Considering how old you are- we’d be here for a while…” Ignus commented.
“Also… we weren’t the only ones looking for you…” Dalton said. “Ignus has been taking information and getting rid of it – you’re not difficult to find when you’re the daughter of an Alpha. That and you don’t know what’ll happen when you shift for the first time-”
“Okay, now we’re getting weird. Who else would look for me?”
Auden? Lucien’s voice rang in my head.
Yeah? I linked back.
Where are you? He asked and Ignus looked around and shook his head.
“If he’s asking you where you are-“ Dalton began but Ignus spoke up.
You can’t tell him. Ignus said. Not until you win his trust. Completely win his trust. I felt my lips fall into a thin line.
Just going for a run- I left a note.
Just wanted to check, any requests for breakfast?
Anything, really. I’ll be back soon.
Can you come in five minutes?
Um… I’ll try?
“Mates. Always so attached,” Ignus muttered. “Unfortunately… this was, unexpectedly brief. But we’ll see each other again. If not, Dalton and Hera will talk to you,” Ignus said and I simply nodded as I turned to get back to the pack house. I turned around and the three of them seemed to be talking, whispering really – because I couldn’t really make out what they were saying… But I caught the words ‘worry’ and ‘shift’ quite often before they stopped and stared as I ran off.
“So… are you going to tell me what else Zaina told you?” I asked Lucien as he stared at his computer. I was in his office – particularly because he was a bit wary of Ignus… Not that it helps that I met him earlier this morning.
“Well, we couldn’t exactly… follow interrogation procedures with her,” Lucien said as he glanced up at me. I sighed and got up from my position before walking over to Lucien and wrapping my arms around him, resting my head on his shoulder. I look at the screen and found that Lucien had really begun to research all he could about bloodhounds.
“You get to work pretty fast,” I said as I looked at the amount of tabs he had open.
“Not really. Desmond and Katherine are on the search for information and yet we have nothing. We’re asking just about everyone we know,” Lucien said, sighing as he turned to look at me. I lifted my head off of his shoulder.
You absolutely cannot tell him. Ignus said and I wanted to smack him out of my brain. Instead, I chose to ignore him.
“Lucien… what if I could find out?”
I stared at him.
“What do you mean, ‘no’? You have no other information on these guys.” Lucien shook his head.
“I’m not going to risk your life-“
“You don’t even know what they want from me. How are you so sure they’re a threat?”
“How are you so sure they aren’t?” He countered and I rolled my eyes.
“Ignus went out of his way to locate me, do you really think he’s out to kill me? He’s already met me when I least expected him. Wouldn’t it make sense for him to kill me then?” I tried to explain.
“Some people like to meet their prey beforehand – what makes you so sure he isn’t planning anything worse?”
“Well why would he turn on my sister if they were all in on it?”
“To make himself look like a good guy. You don’t know them, Auden.”
“And neither do you! Neither do any of us!”
“Why are you so defensive of them?”
“And why do you hate them so much? You don’t even know anything!” That was when I noticed that my voice had risen. Shit.
“And what do you know that I don’t?” He asked and I bit my lip, refusing to look into his eyes.
Lucien then held my chin and lifted it up so that I would look at him. But as soon as our eyes met, I looked away.
“Auden. What do you know and how do you know it?” Lucien asked, his voice dead serious. I tried to pull my face away from his grip but he grabbed my shoulders and I felt the sudden weight in the air. He was using his command and the grip on his shoulders had increased in strength. I grit my teeth and looked down.
“Look at me.” He commanded and though I felt ease in resisting – I knew better. I looked up into his eyes.
“Let go of me, Alpha,” I said, my jaw clenched and tense.
“Auden.” I balled my hands into fists. Alphas and their stupid freaking commands-
Submit for now, Auden. He can’t know – not now. Just… avoid answering- Ignus said, invading my head.
Shut up! I hissed in my head – and suddenly silence came, my thoughts now mine alone. I looked up into Lucien’s eyes.
“Let go of me,” I repeated and I could already see Lucien’s wolf threatening to come out- questioning an Alpha’s command was pretty much the worst thing you could do to a wolf’s ego.
“Or what?” Lucien growled.
The door slammed open and Katherine stormed in.
“Xander’s injured,” she said before looking between the two of us. “Sorry… Was I interrupting something?” Lucien immediately released me and I stood up, touching my shoulders that had gone sore from his hold.
“Lana?” Lucien asked.
“She’s fine, we got Xander to the living room. Desmond’s patching him up but Lana’s screaming bloody murder, so you better get your big brotherly ass over there and care for the poor thing,” Katherine said. Lucien nodded before looking at me and without another moment’s hesitation, he walked out.
“Get into a fight?” Katherine asked me and I sighed.
“Something like that,” I said with a shrug.
“Show me your shoulders,” Katherine said and I gave her a weird look.
“Though I know you’re part werewolf, it worries me when Lucien does that whole Alpha thing, best to make sure you’re not bruised.”
“Wouldn’t be surprised if I was,” I muttered garnering a chuckle from Katherine as I sat on the corner of Lucien’s desk. I tugged on my shirt and Katherine pressed it lightly, I winced once she pressed a little further. She repeated it on my right shoulder and the same pain passed.
“He’ll regret that later, for now, you might wanna ice that,” Katherine instructed.
“Thanks nurse, Katherine. Gonna join me and Desmond in the medicine job?”
“Hell no, but I know how to do the basic shit, can’t exactly have a geek like Desmond for a mate and not learn a few things, Doctor Auden,” she mocked and I rolled my eyes. “What’d you guys fight about anyways?”
“I was suggesting I meet Ignus to learn more about the bloodhounds for you guys, which obviously didn’t sit well with the angry Alpha, out there,” I said and Katherine paused for a moment.
“Well… hopefully we can discuss it amongst each other – for now, we should go to the living room – Lucien should’ve calmed down a bit,” Katherine said.
“Hopefully,” I mumbled, as I rubbed my shoulders, following Katherine out of the office.
“What happened?” I asked as Desmond wrapped Xander’s chest up in a bandage. Lana had her hands stuck on Xander’s as Lucien rubbed her shoulder. I almost winced just from the sight of Lucien touching her shoulders – I mean he did just hurt me.
“We were on the way back here- only half-way through the hike and Lana was about to get tackled – the scent wasn’t familiar,” Xander said, his voice hoarse.
“He got clawed on the chest and partially bitten on the neck,” Desmond said, sighing. “Had the guy been on target, you would’ve gotten seriously injured.”
“Better me than her,” Xander said, looking at Lana who seemed to be sobbing as Lucien patted her back.
“I’m guessing the wolf escaped?” Lucien asked and Xander nodded, his face revealing a sense of guilt – I don’t know why though, considering he did what he could to protect Lana. “We’ll do a sweep of the territory. We can’t let the perpetrator escape – not when it could be one of those bloodhounds.” I rolled my eyes, Lucien practically spit the word out.
Don’t get angry, Auden. I don’t know how you managed to block me out of your head. But- I sighed.
“I thought they weren’t werewolves,” Desmond said and I folded my arms over my chest.
“Yeah, they aren’t. But Lucien’s getting a little overprotective because he doesn’t want me to-“ Lucien growled loudly, interrupting me.
“Fine,” I looked over at Xander. “I’m sure Desmond has you covered.” Xander nodded in response before everyone looked between me and Lucien. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that we were pissed at each other. Even Lana looked worried. I took a breath then turned on my heel.
Lucien could go find somewhere else to sleep. I walked in and slammed the door shut, locking it this time.
Meet me tomorrow. I said, hoping that Ignus received it.
I need to know more. I’ll tell you where to go by morning.
Alright. Goodnight Auden.
Goodnight my ass. I cursed before I shut him out and everyone else out of my head.