A War of the Heart

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Chapter 15

Chapter Fifteen

Trent stared at the man in front of him. Who the hell did this guy think he was? What kind of proposition did he have? "What proposition?" Trent looked down at the body and then made eye contact with Anthony. "How did you get here?" "You, my friend, are in a difficult situation, but I have a way out for you." Anthony made a motion with his hand and then three other men emerged from the trees and stopped about ten feet away from Trent. They had him trapped with nowhere to run. It made his wolf howl in frustration. He didn't like feeling caged.

"What the hell are you talking about?" Trent snarled, his frustration and anger showing in his voice.

"The penalty for murder is death. As you can obviously see, there is a dead body with your scent all over it. You will face the death sentence." Anthony grew quiet and watched Trent's emotions play out on his face. After a moment he began talking again. "I'll make you a deal."

Trent's fists clenched. He was a deep shit and so far there didn't seem to be a way out. He hated himself for killing Bruno. The man didn't deserve it. No one deserved the fate Trent dealt. "What," he spat. He didn't want to make a deal with this man; it was like he was making a deal with the devil. Who exactly was this man? Why did his name seem familiar?

"I will cover up this mess. I will cover your scent and no one will know what happened. I will make it look like this man died in an accident. I'm very good at deceiving people and it will be easy." Anthony smiled menacingly at Trent.

"What's the catch?" Trent found himself considering whatever Anthony asked. He was too young to die.

"In return, I want you to deliver my son to me. You know him as a wolf, but he is a panther. His name is Raice, and I want him alive." Anthony growled low in his throat, his eyes lighting up as memories assailed his thoughts.

Trent couldn't believe his luck. This man wanted Raice? That could easily fit into his plans. With Raice gone, Trent could have Lucy. It was a win-win situation. He smiled at Anthony.

"You have a deal. What do you want me to do?"

"Ok, here's the plan…"

Aren closed his eyes and took in a deep breath. He had been running for a good twenty minutes now. He slowed his pace and shifted back into human form. He scented the air, making sure no one was around.

Up ahead, he could hear the babbling of a creek. He walked toward it and sighed. He squatted down and ran his fingers through the chilled water. Telling his story had brought up painful memories of living with his mate. It had been hell when he had to stay away from her. He had snuck and saw her once before he knew it was too dangerous. He had seen his daughter. He could tell the other one wasn't his immediately. She smelled of the new male in his mate's life. It had taken everything in him not to attack the man and kill him. He held back, knowing she was happy. She looked content, though there was this inner sadness in her. He knew his death affected her greatly.

Aren admitted he should be dead. He should have ended his miserable life. If he had, Anthony wouldn't be on his way here now. He wouldn't know where his son was. Now he had caused more problems by stepping out and letting his daughter know he existed. She probably hated him with good reason. Aren remained in the shadows, watching his daughter from a distance. He'd wanted her to be happy and find happiness. He never wanted this life for her; one that would be surrounded by death. He had brought this on his daughter and her new mate. He would have to make it go away. He owed Lucy that much.

"Anthony, you're a dead man," He promised before climbing to his feet and racing back toward the house.

Lucy took the last bite of her sandwich and eyed the window with a bit of regret. Her father had been gone for some time. Had he left for good? Would he come back? She had so many questions. She wanted to know more about him. She regretted being so harsh to him at the beginning, but what child wouldn't after learning their so called dead father had actually been alive? It had come as a shock to everyone. Anthony was a sick sadistic bastard for keeping Aren away from his mate and making everyone believe he was dead. It made her want to rip out the man's throat.

Woah, where did that come from? She asked herself. Ever since she had come to this pack, her thoughts and reactions had been different. Her wolf was taking over.

She could feel a presence in her mind, but the wolf made no sound, or said anything. Was it supposed to? Turning toward Raice, Lucy asked him that very question.

"My panther is very vocal at times. He helps me when I need to focus and lends me wisdom and strength hen necessary. It's kinda annoying though, so be prepared," he answered with a smile. Lucy thought about that. What was it going to be like having a voice in her head? If she ever answered it out loud people would think she was crazy. She laughed. "What is so funny?"

"I was just thinking about how people would react if I accidentally answered my wolf out loud. They'd think I was crazy," she replied, laughing once more.

Raice smiled at her. He loved that his mate was relaxing a bit. He had been worried she'd tear him a new one about mating with her. He was surprised that she was so calm about it. Where was the anger, the regret? Could this be easier than he first thought?

Lucy knew Raice was watching her, and it made her wonder what he was thinking about. Part of her was surprised at how calm she was at the moment. She should be pissed at Raice for mating with her, and feel confused and somewhat terrified about her father. Where was their relationship going to go from there? Would he step in and actually act like a father? Did Lucy want him to?

"Well thanks for the sandwich, Raice. It was delicious," Lucy stated, getting to her feet. Raice jumped to his feet and moved toward her. She held up her hand. "I need to take a shower and put some clean clothes on. I need some time to myself. Can you leave me alone till I'm ready? Please."

Raice opened his mouth to say something, but then closed it and solemnly nodded. He turned and stalked down the hall to his room. Lucy sighed and walked slowly toward her room and a fresh change of clothes.

Raice was so mad he could feel his panther close to the surface. He threw his bedroom door open then slammed it shut behind him. He growled low in his throat and dug his fingers into his scalp. He closed his eyes and tried to calm down.

He shouldn't be mad, there was nothing wrong with Lucy asking for time alone. Why did his panther make it feel like she was rejecting him and wanted away from him? He didn't have to be by her side every second. She had said that she was his. But was that under the heat of the moment? Did she really mean it?

"Fuck," Raice snarled, punching the wall as hard as he could, his eyes completely black with his anger. He felt his fist meet drywall; it crumbling beneath the force. When he pulled his broken hand back, it was covered in dust and a huge hole now adorned the wall. He ignored his broken hand, and stalked over to the bed. He left a trail of blood dripping down his fingers and he left his hands down by his side. He launched himself on the bed and stared at the ceiling. He strained to hear Lucy. What was she doing? Was she really taking a shower?

Closing his eyes, exhaustion hit Raice like a ton of brick. He hadn't gotten any sleep over the last few days and it was catching up to him. That contributed to his anger. He was like an angry bear woken out of hibernation when he didn't get his beauty rest. His panther was used to taking cat naps.

"I'll just rest until Lucy gets out of the shower," he mumbled, his body relaxing as he slowly drifted off into a restless sleep.

The nightmare that assaulted him was one of his worst memories. It was the first time he had killed an innocent person. And all because his father had demanded he do it, or he'd kill his mother.

"Kill her son, you can do it," his father's voice echoed in his ears. The woman reeked of fear and it stung his senses. He shook his head, he couldn't do it. She had done nothing wrong except be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

"No, just let her go. She's done nothing wrong. It's just wrong place, wrong time," Raice argued with his father. Anthony's eyes narrowed. He looked around at the two other men in the room.

"You think to defy me? Just because you are my son doesn't mean you get to disobey your alpha. Kill her, or I'll kill your mother. And I'll enjoy ending the bitch's life. I'll make it slow and painful," Anthony said it easily, as if he were talking about the weather.

Raice growled and took a threatening step toward his father. He saw his father's henchmen move from the corner of his eye and he stopped. His fists clench and he turned his regretful gaze on the poor sobbing girl. Her shirt was torn and her jeans were ripped in several places. Her nose was bleeding and black smears stained her cheeks from her tears and eye liner.

"You have ten seconds. If she's not dead by then, your mother's life is on your conscience." Anthony crossed his arms and smiled at Raice. Raice growled and squatted down next to the girl.

"I'm so sorry. You don't deserve this, but I have to save my mom. Please forgive me. I'll make it fast," Raice whispered to her, his eyes swimming with regret. The girl sucked in a breath and stopped her crying. She looked Raice in the eye.

"I forgive you," she said. Raice was flabbergasted. How could she forgive him? He took her head in his hands and then moved them with practiced ease. Her neck cracking echoed around the bare room. It made Raice want to puke. He got to his feet and ran. He didn't stop until he was leaning against the car parked outside. He leaned over and emptied his lunch onto the ground. He could hear footsteps approach and knew it was his father.

He looked up, only to be met with a fist in the face. His head turned sideways and he barely managed to stay upright. He righted himself and then glared at his father. "What was that for?" he snarled.

"Don't ever disobey me again. Next time I won't give you a choice. If you disobey me again, your mother is dead. Do I make myself clear?" Anthony was serious, and Raice could tell. He swallowed and nodded. "Good."

Raice woke in a cold sweat. He opened his eyes and was met with a dark room. Only a sliver of moonlight entered his room from the crack in the curtains that hung over his window. He cursed and shot to his feet. How had he slept so long? Where was Lucy?

Riven slumped in his chair. His hand rubbed his eyes and he took in a deep breath. What was he going to do? Anthony was on his way, with an unknown number of men who were trained killers. Riven could fight, his father had made sure of that, but what about the other men in his pack? They could hold their own when it came to the neighboring wolf packs attacking, but they had never had to kill anyone, or fight off a trained mercenary. He would have to train them. Drew would be of help, he had served time in the army and could hold his own.

Grabbing his cell phone, Riven called Drew. He answered on the third ring. That was unlike him, but Riven was too distracted to ask about it. "I need you to come to my office immediately. It's important."

"Sure thing boss. Should I bring Jaiden and Candy?" Drew asked, almost as if he were out of breath. Riven raised his eyebrows and glanced at the phone.

"Why are you out of breath?" Riven asked. "No, better yet, why is Candy out there with you when she was supposed to be here to care for Lucy?"

"I'm sorry sir, I didn't know she wasn't allowed here. When she showed up, she said she wasn't needed anymore and was assigned to help out here. What do you want me to do?" Drew seemed angry, and very distracted. Riven could hear a noise in the background that sounded like someone growling.

"What is going on there? What are you doing?" Riven questioned.

"Nothing sir. I'm on my way," Drew answered quickly. The noises in the background quieted and then Drew did the unthinkable: he hung up on Riven. Riven's mouth hung open in shock and he stared at the phone in wonder. Shaking his head, he knew Drew would have a lot to answer for.

Riven seriously hoped that Candy wasn't starting to take action about her crush. If that were the case, he might have to keep Drew and Candy separated. That might mean sending Candy off to school. It was about time the girl got some education. Trent's mother could only do so much when it came to schooling the children. Maybe that would keep Candy safe as well. He would make some calls.

Trent's hands clenched as he walked out of the forest and toward his house. He sniffed the air and noted that only his mother was present in the house. He jumped onto the porch, skipping the three steps. He opened the door and ran up the stairs. He went to his room and changed clothes. He had already washed all of the blood off in the river, and now only needed to change his clothes.

The plan had been an easy one, and one Trent could easily accomplish. It gave him Lucy, and Anthony got his son. Trent looked in the mirror and gasped. He didn't look like the same person from that morning. He looked dangerous. His eyes were cold and calculating. He looked older too.

"Trent, are you in there honey?" His mother's voice came from the other side of his closed door. He sighed and rolled his eyes.

"Yea, I'm in here mom. What do you need?" he growled. He heard his mother's sharp intake of breath and then silence. "Yes?"

"Never mind," she replied. He listened as her footsteps went back down the hall and down the stairs. He clenched his fists and then growled.

"Damn it," he mumbled. Walking toward his door, he threw it open and walked after his mom. "Wait."

"What?" she asked coldly.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to sound so harsh. I'm just upset with everything that has been happening. Did anyone let you know what's happened?" Trent completely forgot that his mother might not even know.

"Your brother told me," she said evasively. She didn't mention which brother. He only hoped it had been Logan and not Braiden. Braiden was a momma's boy and told her everything. He would probably make Trent out to be the bad guy in wanting Lucy. But fuck it, Braiden wanted her too.

"So you know that fucking pussy got Lucy to mate with her?" he snarled.

"Watch your mouth young man. I am still your mother and you will treat me with respect. I won't want to hear another word like that out of your mouth. Am I understood?" she glared at him. He could smell her hurt and anger and part of him was angry at himself.

"What did you need?" he asked, changing the subject.

"I was just going to tell you I made your favorite apple pie, and was going to see if you wanted to sit down and eat some with me," she replied, looking hopeful. Trent sighed and closed his eyes. He couldn't say no to her when she looked at him that way. Anthony would just have to wait a bit longer.

"That sounds good, mom. Lead the way," he replied, motioning for her to go head. She smiled at him and started down the stairs.

Lucy stepped out of the shower and quickly dried off. The house was cool and she felt goose bumps grow on her arms. She shivered and pulled her pants on. She had decided on a pair of grey sweatpants and a long sleeved solid black t-shirt. She put on a bra she had found in her drawer. It was small, but worked well enough. She looked around and found a brush under the sink. She brushed her hair and stared at herself in the mirror.

She looked different. Her eyes were darker and her cheeks more defined. Her face was clear and smooth. She looked older and more mature. Maybe being a werewolf had its benefits. She shook her head at herself.

After digging around, Lucy found a tooth brush that was still in the package and some tooth paste. She walked out into the hall and down toward her bedroom carrying her old clothes.

She walked over to her dresser and opened one of the empty drawers. She placed her dirty clothes in it. She was going to treat it like a laundry hamper. Turning back around, Lucy faced her room. She sighed.

So much had happened in the past few days. She had been kidnapped, found out her mother had a brother, found out her father was still alive, and lost her virginity to the only person she would be tied to. What the hell was up with her life?

Groaning, she threw herself backwards on her bed and stared at the ceiling. "What am I going to do?" she asked the empty room. She looked over at the window and noticed it was still open. She climbed off the bed and walked over to it. The sun was setting in the sky. It had been a long day.

Lucy saw movement by the trees and then her father was sprinting toward the house. He looked worried and there was a sense of urgency about him. She opened the window and called his name. His gaze narrowed on her and then he was in front of her window. He swung his legs in and landed easily on his feet in her room. He glanced at her and then around the room.

"I need you to pack as much as you can and get ready. We're leaving." He started throwing clothes out of her drawer.

"What are you talking about?" Lucy asked. She was confused. What was going on, what was wrong with him?

"Anthony is here," he answered her. Lucy's face went pale.

"We have to warn everyone," she said, pushing the threatening fear to the back of her mind. She had to find Raice. "Where's Raice?"

"Lucy, look at me," Aren commanded. Lucy's head swung toward his. He was glaring at her. "We are leaving. I will call Riven when we are on the road and give him a heads up. You're my number one concern. Now pack your clothes and grab what you need. We don't have time for this."

"I'm not leaving without Raice," she growled. She started toward the door. Her hand rested on the knob when her father's voice stopped her. He sounded like he was right behind her.

"I'm sorry Lucy, but this is for the best," he said with a sigh. Lucy turned around to ask him what he meant.

She saw his fist coming toward her face, but she could do nothing but watch in horror as her father punched her in the face. Her eyes rolled up in her head and she slumped in his awaiting arms. His face willed with sorrow and he pushed Lucy's hair away from her face. He leaned down and kissed her forehead.

"One day you'll understand," he said before setting her on the bed. He threw her stuff in a bag that he found in the closet and then threw her over his shoulder. He would have to borrow one of the cars, but that was the least of his worries. When Lucy woke up, she'd be pissed. "Shit." He said before walking out of her room and down the hall.


Well it's been longer than I would have liked, but I'm sorry. I'm back with another chapter!

Just wanted to give you guys a sneek peak... but next chapter is going to make a lot of you hate me! I'm sorry, but this has to happen! Hope you understand! Anyway, enjoy this chapter! I might have at least two more chapters posted this weekend! Depends on my schedule and that of my amazing betas!

Midnight :)

PS: The first three people to review, if they ask, will get a bit of the chapter sent to them before hand! :) Just a bit of motivation to review ;)

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