Adrian glanced at his watch and impatiently tapped his polished black shoe on the floor. He wasn’t a fan of waiting and the line he was currently on was longer than his sister’s Christmas list, and that’s saying something.
The triggered alpha stood for another five excruciating minutes before he finally got to place his order.
“Welcome to Starbucks! May I take your order?” a preppy brunette with small blue eyes and a pointy nose greeted.
“Large green tea,” he answered. The cashier’s roaming eyes traveled from his shoulders to his face once his husky voice reached her ears. The young woman was clearly crushing on the tall stranger.
With a smile, she placed his order.
It was only until he was about to exit the shop when he realized the cheeky employee scribbled her number on the cup holder. Adrian read over the digits uninterestedly. He had a heavily pregnant mate waiting for him in a hotel across the street.
Now annoyed, he turned around and walked to a table containing spoons. He disposed the cup holder and replaced it with one free of desperation. Before he walked away, he glanced at the cashier and found her blushing terribly.
Adrian walked out of the elevator with the cup in one hand and his coat in the other. He dug out his keys once he reached the door and unlocked it.
“I’m back,” he announced. He walked to the bedroom and deposited what he held on a nearby table. He found Eva laying on their bed, asleep.
Her peaceful expression was disrupted by the trails of dried tears that marked her tanned cheeks. Adrian absorbed the signs of distress and felt worry settle in. He kicked his shoes off and carefully sank onto the bed, not wanting to startle her.
He rested his back on the bed’s headboard and moved his hand to her face. He caringly ran his thumb up the streak of pain that stained her skin.
Eva’s unfocused brown eyes fluttered open and stared into his own.
“Hi baby,” he whispered. His voice held a vulnerability that only this special woman got to become familiar with.
Eva smiled lightly and cupped his large hand with her smaller one. “Hi,” she responded.
“What’s wrong? Why were you crying?” he asked softly, keeping his hand on her cheek.
Her brow furrowed with concern once she was reminded of the missing female alpha.
“Zena... I’m worried about her. It’s been days and no good news,” Eva explained with a disappointed sigh. She closed her eyes and imagined her friend’s alert dark brown eyes. Zena was a ball of energy. A ray of light in a world of darkness. She was too good of a person to be plucked out of this life.
When they were informed that her plane fell off the map, Zya passed out from the grief. Zena was her only family member. Their bond became stronger when Zya turned 16 and never shifted. Her shift came much later, at the age of 26. Zena stood beside her like the good sister she was and provided unconditional love during the 10 years that Zya spent wallowing in self-hatred and pity.
“I’m working on it. I won’t stop until we find her,” Adrian promised.
He invested thousands of dollars into the search. He was working with the Canadian and American councils to speed up the process. They gave him the political clearance he needed to obtain all records Air Trafic Control had. Unfortunately, what ATC offered led him to a dead end. They had the last location and time stamp before the aircraft fell off their radar but neither the plane or the passengers were in the remote area. Adrian dispatched dozens of planes and private search parties but not a single sign of the alphas was found.
Adrian was at a loss. The situation had him completely baffled. It was as if the plane didn’t want to be found.
He was currently working with the best architects and meteorologists money could buy to analyze the model of Zena’s jet and determine what could’ve gone wrong.
At first, both Zya and Eva conspired that Lukas had something to do with the disappearance. Adrian dismissed the notion immediately. He knew that kidnapping wasn’t Lukas’ style. Doing something so desperate and illegal would completely tarnish his reputation. Lukas may be an asshole, but he was a sane one.
The American council was on edge. Two alphas had completely vanished, leaving their packs defenseless. If Zena and Lukas weren’t found soon, they would have to be replaced.
Zya couldn’t run the pack because she was too weak and inexperienced. Since she couldn’t lead, the council would probably assign it to Adrian. Bleak Moon and Red River had a massive amount of treaties. The two packs were geographically close and political allies so it would make sense to make Adrian the alpha.
Adrian wasn’t excited about adding of two-hundred and something werewolves to his plate. He had a baby on the way and merging Bleak Moon with Red River would take months of preparation. He wanted to be by Eva’s side every step of her pregnancy.
“I’m going to find her.” He assured his mate.
...Hopefully alive he darkly thought.
The sound of a vibrating phone disrupted Adrian’s sleep. He groaned and sat up tiredly. He gently removed Eva’s arm from his waist and rolled out of bed.
“Hello?” he answered, not bothering to check the caller ID.
“Hey, is this the Krusty Krab?” a female voice asked.
“SHIT! Where the fuck are you?!” he burst out in a mix of excitement and relief.
“Lower your voice! Bella took the plane down. She didn’t make it but we know she has others working for her. They’re interested in putting Eva in a coffin so for the love of the goddess, play your cards right. Get the hell out of Canada and back to New York, it’s not safe,” she rushed out.
Rage surged through Adrian and a growl thundered out. He walked to the bathroom and closed the door when heard Eva shift in her sleep. She was already stressed by Zena’s disappearance. He didn’t want to worsen the situation by telling her that her life was at risk.
“Why is Eva involved in this?” he demanded.
Zena sighed. “Adell was Bella’s mate. He killed himself and Bella blamed us.”
Adrian shoved a hand through his already scruffy hair.
“Did Lukas survive?” he asked.
Zena chuckled. “Yea, sadly.”
The comment earned her a growl from a very alive and very pissed Lukas.
“I’ve been going crazy with the search. You owe me 72,000 dollars,” Adrian joked. He was glad his friend was alive.
Zena stifled a laugh. “Lukas said to put it on his bill,” she giggled.
“What?!” Lukas yelled in the background.
“Text me your coordinates. I’ll prepare a plane at the nearest airport. I’m going back to Bleak Moon tonight. I’ll tell Zya you’re still being a pain in the ass and drop her off in Red River,” he instructed.
“Okay, thanks. And Adrian...?” she trailed off.
“Yes?” he replied.
“Make sure this plane actually stays in the air. I don’t think I can survive a second crash.”
Adrian smiled brightly. It was good to have her back.
“I make no promises,” he teased.
Zena hung up and stared at the phone with a small smile.
“So what did your boyfriend say?” Lukas asked from the kitchen. They were staying in a cheap motel that had more rats than they had dollars.
She rolled her eyes. It was no secret that she used to have a thing for Adrian. She wasn’t ashamed or embarrassed about it. He was hot and single and so was she. It was only natural to feel attracted to him. Of course, this was before Eva came into the picture. Adrian was now nothing more than a good friend.
“That he loves me of course,” she replied with a wink. Lukas didn’t reply and dug through the grocery bags.
“He said he’s sending us a plane. He’s going to make preparations and then call back. He’s on his way to America,” she clarified.
“We’ll have to reach the nearest airport then,” Lukas said thoughtfully. Zena nodded, “yeah we should start going tomorrow. Hey, is your email protected with two-factor authentication?” she asked hopefully.
They both decided that getting in contact with their packs was a bad idea. They didn’t know if their packs were infested with Bella’s spies. They were supposed to be dead and couldn’t risk the news of their survival reaching their enemies just yet.
Zena was trying to tap into Lukas’ computer network since Red River was unpenetrable. She designed the system so well that she couldn’t even hack herself. They hoped that they could find a flaw in Lukas’.
He nodded with a sigh. “Yeah, all of them.”
Zena frowned. “Your little brother... do you know his passwords?” she asked with a sparkle of hope.
Lukas sat next to her on the couch and stared at the cream-colored wall across from him thoughtfully. “Yeah, I might. He should be asleep by now so he won’t get notified of the login. Try sim45!$,” he replied.
Zena eagerly typed in the child’s email followed by the password. She nearly cried with happiness when she was logged in.
“Okay, good! Does your beta have administrator access?” she asked and created an email draft.
“Yea, why?” Lukas asked and stared at the screen.
“Just making sure he has clearance to download files to the computer. I’m sending an email from your brother’s account with a rat attached to it. The plan is for your beta to download it and infect his computer. I really hope he has a shitty antivirus,” she explained as she typed.
“What’s the beta’s name?” she asked.
“Calvin,” he replied.
“Hi Calvin, look at what I found! -Does that sound like your brother?” Zena asked and hovered the cursor over the ‘send’ button.
Once Lukas nodded with approval she sent the email.
It wasn’t until thirty minutes later that the client started showing activity. The beta downloaded the file, granting Zena access to monitor what he was doing.
Lukas didn’t know if he should feel concerned about how easy it was to break in or impressed by Zena’s skills.
He watched the screen interestedly. On Calvin’s desktop sat a picture of him and his parents.
He opened the internet browser and replied to the email he received from Lukas’ brother.
Hey kid, nothing opened. Did you send the wrong file?
Zena immediately deleted the email so the child would never see it.
Calvin returned to his inbox and started answering emails. Lukas leaned in once he recognized the email of the head council member. He sent a message requesting an update on the situation of Mountain Hill.
The alpha is still missing and Alpha Adrian of Bleak Moon continues the search. The rogue from the initial attack is still in captivity. The response was brief but it provided a lot of appreciated information. For starters, it seemed like the Beta wasn’t involved in Bella’s plan. Not that Lukas was ever concerned about that; he trusted Calvin. In addition, Lukas now knew that Mountain Hill had a rogue on their hands. They could torture him to get answers.
The beta logged off after sending the email. Since it was late at night, they decided to go to bed. The springy mattress wasn’t exactly a luxury but their sore backs weren’t complaining.
Lukas turned to his side, feeling uncomfortable. He then shifted to his other side. Something just wasn’t right.
It took him two more positions to recognize that the discomfort came from the lack of weight on his chest. He had gotten used to sleeping with Zena in his arms.
He eventually fell asleep with a scowl on his face.