He could just barely feel her now. Fuck. He cursed in his head. He groaned as he tried as best as he could to get up from the couch. The pain was unbearable, but his loss was too much. His whole body was in pain, but his wolf's own pain over losing his mate, unable to protect her was even more excruciating. What kind of mate was he if he couldn’t even get up to save her? He coughed and tasted the tang of blood in his mouth. A hand came from behind him and he couldn’t help but release a loud growl. Katherine rolled her eyes.
“Lucien- for the love of- You need to calm down, you’re not healing as fast as we thought you would,” she explained and he grunted before turning his head and spitting into a nearby trashcan. He was right, he spat out bright red blood.
“Where are they?” He asked, his voice low and coarse.
“Ignus? They’re searching everywhere. Dalton’s still here, he’s doing his best to coordinate with them. If you need someone to talk to, he’s your best bet,” Katherine said with a sigh. “What happened?”
“I lost her,” Lucien said, his voice filled with sadness. His and his wolf’s emotions were in a turmoil. He wanted to howl, cry, rage…
“We’ll find her,” Katherine said reassuringly. Lucien decided not to take note of that, he looked down at his body and clicked his tongue.
“How are the rest of the pack?”
“They’re fine. Most of them weren’t too badly injured. I’m guessing they went all out on you because you had her,” Katherine explained with a sigh.
“Do we have anything on how they got here?”
“Nothing so far, no one noticed a thing and… Ignus doesn’t look good.” Lucien raised a brow, Katherine studied his face before breathing a sigh.
“You can’t pin this on him-“
“If he had done his job right- if he had-“
“Yeah, yeah, I get it,” Ignus’ voice said from above them. He came down from the stairs and it was only then that Lucien realized how different he looked.
“Anything?” Katherine asked, trying to break the palpable tension in the air. Ignus glanced over at Lucien before shaking his head.
“Nothing.” Ignus said, almost spitting the words out, the disgust in his voice was clear, and Lucien saw the tenseness in Ignus’ arms. He had his hands balled up into fists and he radiated with a kind of anger.
“I thought you had everything under control,” Lucien said and Ignus chuckled, striking a nerve with him.
“The hell are you laughing about?” Lucien asked angrily before getting up, ignoring the heart-wrenching pain coming from his body. His bandages grew soggy and he felt the thick wetness that came from tearing his wounds open again. Lucien stepped forward and all of a sudden, he and Ignus were at each other’s throats. Katherine stepped forward, but Ignus simply shoved Lucien off him.
“You werewolves always think it’s so easy, don’t you?” Ignus cursed, “What the hell do you wanna do, huh? Wage a war?”
“If I have to, I will,” Lucien said in a low voice and Ignus began to laugh.
“Your mate is an heiress and if you think werewolves are good at operating with their instincts you have no idea what she’ll be capable of if they wake that up in her.”
“You didn’t even know jack-shit about her did you? What the hell did you even do for your group, huh? Didn’t you just lead them right to her?”
“We all would’ve gotten to her at some point. We’re not like you, we can’t renounce members, we’re bound together just like you are sure, but if it were so easy to just run from this clan we would’ve done it a long time ago,” Ignus said.
“Can the two of you just calm down?”
“You didn’t answer my question. Did you know jack-shit about her? Do you actually know what will happen with her if she tastes blood or if she does ‘awaken’? Huh?” Ignus didn’t respond and Lucien shook his head. Katherine herself even remained silent as Lucien walked around in frustration, though she winced with every sound Lucien made, his body was literally falling apart. But she knew he wouldn’t listen to her even if she tried.
“So what do we do now?” Lucien asked, Ignus breathed a heavy sigh and Katherine watched the two carefully.
We found someone, Alpha. Katherine and Lucien instantly looked at each other.
A bloodhound? Lucien asked.
She says she wants to see someone. Lucien looked over at Ignus who had no idea of what was going on.
“There’s someone still on the grounds,” Lucien said and Ignus stared at him in surprise.
“Shit,” he cursed, “Is it a woman?” Lucien nodded. Ignus shook his head and looked over at Lucien before breathing in a heavy sigh.
“It’s her, isn’t it?” A young voice asked and everyone turned to find Dalton making his way down the stairs.
“Not now, Dalton,” Ignus began.
“She’s our only chance,” he replied and Lucien gave Ignus a stern look.
“Do you know who it is?” Lucien asked. Ignus didn’t reply, so Dalton did.
“She’s his mate.”
“Not if I have anything to do about it,” Ignus muttered, “It’d be better if we met her outside.” Lucien raised a brow and turned to Katherine.
“Because I don’t know if she’s a spy or if she’s honestly doing this out of the goodness of her so-called heart,” Ignus said bitterly before climbing up the stairs, “Are you all coming or what?”
The four of them made their way through the forest where six pack members including Xander stood-by, encircling the lone woman. She had short curly brown hair and a pair of hazel eyes that looked nervously around her but they lit up as soon as she her eyes met with Ignus’ who turned away from her gaze. Lucien ignored them to the best of his ability.
“Has she said anything?” Lucien asked turning to face Xander. He shook his head.
Nothing worth mentioning, Alpha. She only said she was surrendering. He mind-linked. Lucien nodded curtly.
“And you are?” Lucien asked, looking straight at her. She looked back into his eyes and Ignus immediately cleared his throat, stepping forward to catch her attention.
“She’s Medusa’s reincarnation,” he said bitterly, “so don’t look into her eyes, she’s not as innocent as you think she is.” The werewolves all of a sudden shifted their weight uneasily between their feet and it wasn’t hard to tell that they were all speaking to each other through their link.
Silence. Lucien commanded and everyone seemed to freeze. The woman chewed her bottom lip before looking over at Ignus.
“This isn’t fair,” she said and Ignus merely whistled and looked elsewhere.
“Such is life, now what the hell are you doing here?” Ignus asked, his voice so harsh that she shuddered.
“I came to help you,” she said and Ignus rolled his eyes.
“Sure,” he said with a shrug.
“Stop being such an asshole Ignus,” Hera countered, walking forward but she was careful not to step in front of Lucien. “We’re with them now, Celia, so if you’re planning on doing or even saying anything stupid, I suggest you leave.” Hera said, motioning to the pack. Celia swallowed a lump in her throat.
“He’s constantly moving around,” Celia said, “She’s not gonna be somewhere you can find, not for a while.”
“But do you know where they are?” Hera asked and Celia paused. Ignus let out an incredulous laugh.
“Really? And you chose to show up here?”
“Ignus.” Hera scolded.
“He wanted to keep things under lock and key,” Celia explained, “he has her, for sure, and I can- I can help-“
“Help get into our heads and warn him again? I don’t think so,” Ignus said indignantly, “But thanks for the information.”
“I didn’t have a choice,” Celia countered angrily.
“Bullshit,” Ignus cursed, "Everyone has a choice. It's not like he put a gun to your head." Lucien breathed out a sigh.
“Let her speak,” Lucien said and Celia bit on her bottom lip.
“I-I can find her for you and tell you where she is… It’ll take time – but you’ll have eyes inside,” she said, staring at the ground as if purposely avoiding doing anything that might raise suspicion.
“Why should we trust you?” Katherine asked.
“I just… I’m trying to make up for a mistake, a big mistake-“ she said, her eyes looking over at Ignus who stubbornly refused to return her gaze. Lucien looked over at Hera who was studying Celia intensely.
“What exactly happened between you two anyways?” Lucien asked.
“The man who took your mate is her brother,” Ignus said with a smirk on his face as he looked straight into Celia’s eyes, “Have fun convincing them that you’re anything but a snake.” And with that, Ignus turned and left, disappearing in the blink of an eye.
“You didn’t have to be such an asshole,” Hera said, slamming the door shut behind her. Ignus shook his head as he took out one of his own syringes and quickly poked himself in the arm before taking it away. He clicked the bones around his neck and sighed.
“I don’t expect you to understand,” Ignus said and it was Hera’s turn to sigh.
“She’s still your mate.”
“Well she sure doesn’t act like it,” he snapped.
“Listen, like it or not, she’s our only shot,” she replied.
“Yeah, a bad one at that. We might as well search ourselves-“
“But he’ll tell her- I’m sure.”
“Yeah and then he’ll easily slip into her head and figure it all out.”
“Can you stop being such a pessimistic ass?” Hera hissed and Ignus shrugged.
“She didn’t even do anything to stop him that time, what makes you think she’ll act any different? She’s a coward. A manipulative one at that.”
“You just need to give her a chance,” Hera said. “She knows more about this than you do.” Ignus let out a frustrated groan. A knock on the door suddenly took their attention and they opened it to find Lucien and Katherine along with Desmond.
“That’s the girl that marked you?” Desmond asked looking at Ignus who simply chuckled.
“Like I said, ‘snake’,” he said turning to Hera who shook her head. “Did you keep her on lock-down?”
“For now, yes,” Lucien said, “But I need explanations.”
“Yeah, I knew that was coming,” Ignus said with a sigh, “You all might wanna take a seat, this is gonna take a while.”