Chapter 33 - Tiberius
Tiberius snarled as his entire body trembled with rage to tear her apart.
Alexander nodded, as if reading Tiberius’ mind. “She hasn’t caused any harm and because she is human, no one has attacked her, though they have tried to deter her and threaten her. If she does cause harm, then we have a right to protect ourselves. Supernatural versus supernatural. That is our way. Brooke is guarding the front of the house and Rhonda the back. Will you come with me?”
Tiberius huffed and nodded yes, barely holding himself back from racing out of the yard to hunt her down himself.
Rhonda locked the front door and the back door before dropping the key in the pool and shifting into her dark brown and black wolf with streaks of gray throughout her fur. Alexander shifted into his wolf as well, a light brown, tan, white, and copper mix with more streaks of gray woven into his thick fur.
Tiberius shook uncontrollably, his nostrils flaring as he tried to keep himself from destroying something as he waited the two minutes for them to lock up and shift.
Catherine was coming for him or Crystal. She better be ready for him because he was not letting her get within an inch of his mate.
Inclining his head in respect to the older male, he shook himself again and snorted. His impatience waning.
The sooner he got to Catherine, the sooner he could sever all ties with her and return to his mate and unite their souls.
Wasting no more time, Alexander jumped from the deck and over the wooden fence around their yard to the front lawn.
Brooke was pacing back and forth, growling and pawing the dirt, looking for a fight.
Tiberius followed Alexander as they raced down the street.
He wanted to sink his teeth into Catherine’s jugular and rip her limb from limb. She had come for him, or Crystal, and he wasn’t about to let that witch come within a mile of his mate.
He could taste her blood on his tongue. Hear her shrieks ringing in his ears and it only pushed him harder and faster.
Alexander couldn’t keep up, but he didn’t need his father-in-law to lead him to her. He could hear the barks and snarls of the werewolves ahead as they tried to force the intruder back.
Soon, he could smell her. The stink of the curse lifted and the floral scent of her natural musk caught in the bile blocking his throat.
If she so much as uttered a threat to Crystal’s life, she was done. No one threatened his mate and lived to brag about it.
He whirled past a few werewolves running toward the scene, his paws beating against the asphalt of the road.
The road curved and there she was, marching forward to the beating of her own drum, and ignoring the wolves circling around her.
She paused in her tracks when she saw him and whipped out her wand. The tip pointed at him and that was as good a threat to his life as any.
Baring his teeth, he charged only to slam hard against an invisible force field.
Momentarily stunned with the wind knocked out of him, he bounced back and shook himself before snarling at her.
“He’s the one I want,” Catherine snapped at the werewolves. “Now go away!”
The large wolves ignored her command and continued to snarl and growl as they circled around her.
Catherine narrowed her eyes at Tiberius as he dragged air into his lungs. “Send them away and shift so we can talk.”
She’d aged terribly as a result of the curse, appearing ten years older than she actually was. Her black hair was pulled back into a tight bun with thin strands hanging loose, accentuating her already thin face, hollow eyes, and jutting cheekbones. Her skin also sagged a little along her jaw and the lines around her mouth were drawn in a permanent frown.
He crouched down and pushed through the transformation as quickly as possible. When he was finished, Alexander was standing next to him in wolf form, curling his lips and baring his teeth at Catherine.
“I have no authority to send them away,” he told her as he looked up from his crouched position. “I am merely a guest here and you are an intruder. State your purpose or get out.”
A large black wolf, larger than the rest, stood on Tiberius’ other side, Alpha Jackson, with Beta Justin’s mixed brown wolf next to him.
She huffed and crossed her arms over her chest. “I want to speak to you—”
“There is nothing more to say,” Tiberius interrupted her. A growl worked its way up his throat.
“There most certainly is!”
He gritted his teeth. “Then say it.”
“This is a private matter.”
He stood up and Alexander positioned himself in front of Tiberius to shield his nakedness. His fists clenched and unclenched at his sides. “I don’t give two shits. I want nothing more to do with you. You’re dead to me. Whatever it is you want to say, say it and get out.”
Her eyes narrowed even more into thin slits as she regarded him for a moment before looking around at the wolves that surrounded her. Nervousness leaked out of her pores.
Good. She should be nervous. If she wanted to live, she should leave and never come near him or his mate again.
“I want to apologize,” she finally stated.
“I don’t want your fucking apology. I want you to get out and leave me and my mate alone.”
The nervousness surrounding her turned to anger. “You don’t have to be an asshole about it.”
“You cursed me,” he sneered. “What part of that entitles you to any form of kindness from me?”
She huffed. “Some common decency, then? Whatever.”
“I ought to kill you now for what you did. How’s that for common decency?” he retorted.
The rumble of growls from the werewolves surrounding her increased in volume when he said that.
This wasn’t his pack. They had no loyalties to him. No doubt that they had figured out his and Crystal’s story and now he connected the dots for them.
Fear ebbed away at her anger and she curled up into herself. Holding herself, she hung her head in shame.
“I’m sorry,” she uttered softly. “I was wrong. I shouldn’t have done what I did and I apologize.”
“I told you, I don’t want your apology. To apologize is to ask for forgiveness and you don’t deserve it. You deserve to rot with the guilt of knowing that what you did was terrible and wrong. Even though things eventually worked out, you made my mate suffer for years. I can never forgive you for that.”
“Please?” she begged. “Why do you have to be so hard?”
“Because my world is a hard, strict, rigid world. I don’t bend for scum. I take the whip across my back when I’ve done wrong and carry the shame in silence. I don’t beg for mercy or forgiveness. Forgiveness is granted when it is deserved. You deserve nothing.”
“Please!” she cried out, stepping toward him, only to be met with snarls from the werewolves.
“You had your chance when my mate stood at your bedside. And what did you do?”
Her face twisted in pain as she pressed her lips together. Her eyes pleaded with him.
“What did you do to her?” he demanded. “I want you to say it in front of everyone here.”
What little patience he had left snapped. “Tell them, everyone here, what you said to my mate!”
She shriveled up, withering under the harsh glares and flashing of teeth. “I-I begged you…”
Tiberius’ snarl ripped through them when she trailed off. Catherine fell to her knees, trembling, while the werewolves flinched.
He saw red. His nails elongated. His fur pressed against his flesh. His canines descended. The urge to spill blood—her blood—filled him. He could feel the untapped power of his Alpha Bloodline surging through him.
Alexander stepped back and shifted into his human form as Catherine whimpered pitifully on the ground. He gripped Tiberius’ shoulder firmly. “Son—”
“I will never forgive you, Catherine!” Tiberius yelled. The force of his words raised the hackles of all the wolves and made Catherine shake even more. “I will never love you! I will never take you back! If you don’t leave now, I will kill you myself!”
Alexander yanked him away.
Tiberius roared. His rage made the older wolf shiver but his grip on Tiberius’ shoulder wouldn’t let up.
“You don’t have to do this, son,” Alexander urged in a low voice.
“She came for me, and I will finish her!” Tiberius uttered through gritted teeth. He tried to keep his voice down, tried to reign in his untrained Authority before he hurt someone, but he couldn’t get the taste of blood out of his mouth.
“I don’t want her blood on your hands,” Alexander said.
Snarling, Tiberius pulled himself from his father-in-law’s grip.
“Let us handle this,” Alexander said smoothly. “You’re a guest in our lands and she’s an intruder. She harmed you and one of our own. Don’t you think I want to kill her myself? I could have lost my daughter because of what she did to her.”
Alexander’s normally calm, cool eyes were blazing as he clenched his teeth.
“My daughter needs her mate and a father has a duty to protect his offspring. Give me the right to finish this on my turf, on my terms.”
Tiberius’ muscles twitched. He couldn’t shake off the need to destroy the one who almost destroyed his life and his mate’s.
Nostrils flaring, he looked over his shoulder at the pitiful sight. His past on one side with his future on the other.
What did his future desire?
“Cris wants her dead,” Tiberius growled as he stared his father-in-law in the eye. “Will you deny my mate what she wants?”
Alexander shook his head.
“Then I won’t deny her what she wants either. If she bares her neck to me once more, I won’t hold back.”
Alexander nodded, his jaw clenched tight.
Tiberius turned his back on his past and set forward to his future.
The past cried out for him, shrieking through the snarls and growls as the distance between them grew.
He ignored the calls of the past.
His future awaited him. And he couldn’t wait to sink his teeth into her.