Sixteen | Cleo
Coda was as disgusted if not more disgusted as I was upon entering the heart of Lunar forces. I watched from my perch in the high rafters of the great open space overlooking the huge open expanse below me of the main building, or the 'headquarters' if you were willing to admit the Lunars had any sort of real hierarchy to their rebellion.
I smirked as I watched him look around, four Lunars coming up to him to 'escort' the very obvious powerful male that had just entered the heart of their operations.
I could see his lip curl up in a sneer at the four Lunars who were some of the largest werewolves around here. It seemed Mila was being cautious about my guest. Unfortunately for her, no werewolves she had would be able to restrain Coda. The hunter knew as much, his face reflecting just how unconcerned he was.
Placing my fingers in my mouth I let out a piercing whistle. His head whipped over to me and I wriggled my fingers in a greeting.
He rolled his eyes at me and flicked his head in a silent command to come down to him.
Pulling in my extended leg up to my chest so it would be symmetrical to my other leg, I gripped onto the slanted beam above me and stood. I jumped to the next rafter, hopping my way from one beam to another, zigzagging my way over to the the stone wall. The architect that designed this building gave the whole place a rustic lodge look. The support beams I was leaping across were designed to be shown in a decorative way. When I reached the top of the stone wall of which water was flowing down in a calm waterfall, I readied myself to jump. Below a pool of water about five feet deep called invitingly. Without hesitation I stepped off the stone wall and plummeted into the water.
The fall was far from one that could hurt me in any way. I easily stood from the water, jumping out of the pool and making my way over to Coda, sopping wet.
The Lunars stared as I walked past them, dripping water on the floor. Coda took a step back as I approached, but he was a second too late to escape the big wet hug I gave him. I wrapped my arms around him, making sure to press every inch of my wet self against him, succeeding to make him both uncomfortable and wet.
Serves him right for thinking he could order me around.
I rubbed my wet head on his chest, making sure the water seeped through the fabric of his shirt.
He kept his arms up and away from me, sighing out his annoyance as I continued to embrace him.
Finally I pulled away, beaming at him.
"So glad you could make it," I cooed.
Coda grunted in response looking around the building. "This is where my hunters are going?" He scowled as if it was the building's fault. "Nothing special."
I patted his cheek, "Only you would be jealous of a building Coda."
He swatted my hand away, shooting me a glare, "Spill it kid, why'd you summon me?"
I snickered, "Summon? What are you, a demon I called up from hell?"
Coda pinched the bridge of his nose, muttering to himself words that sounded a lot like, 'don't strangle her' and 'keep calm'.
Deciding to put Coda out of his misery and get down to business I turned to the Lunars and flicked my head. "Get lost."
They didn't move.
Not surprising, because who would be intimidated by a five foot three little girl?
Coda was watching the scene with dull interest. I knew he wanted to step in and get them to scram himself but he new better than to fight my battles for me. So he stood by passively, his arms crossed and a bored look plastered across his face.
I decided to give them one more chance, just because seeing Coda had put me in a rather good mood and I'd rather not spoil it over a bunch of Lunars who didn't seem to understand orders. "Beat it you blockheads."
One of them actually had the nerve to snort this time.
My eyes narrowed.
Good mood spoiled.
My eyes slid over to Coda, assessing his reaction to the disrespect. He rose a singular brow at me. Telling me to do something fast or he would.
My claws were out faster than light and I sliced through the werewolves, deeply embedding my claws into their flesh. I didn't inject my venom because Mila, being the sadistic psycho she was, would probably try and harvest more of my venom from their wounds for her little experiment. I didn't want her to get anything for free and besides, I could teach these meatheads a lesson without using my venom.
I was much faster than them, and much more vicious than they expected me to be. I kicked out the back of their knees, giving two of them a shove to the ground, flipping the one over me and taking the feet out from under the last one all before they could blink.
It was silent in the building, everyone around had frozen in place, trying to figure out what they just saw or rather what they didn't see. They were in the same boat as the Lunars, literally blinking and then seeing the result of my attack without seeing me act.
"Let's go for a walk," I chirped.
Coda's lips twisted up into a grin and he followed me without a word.
I knew that Mila had spies trailing me. They had been sent to watch my every move, listen to every word that left my mouth. Of course, I had known about this before the spies even began their job. I knew exactly how to deal with them.
I lead Coda to the busiest place in the city, taking him to a coffee shop I found to serve decent enough hot beverages and scones. People came in and out of the cafe every minute, making it near impossible to pick up a quiet conversation.
I waited in line, looking up at the menu board, Coda standing next to me. "I recommend the mint tea, although you look like you could use a good cup of coffee," I remarked, glancing at his strained face and tired eyes.
"You should try running a pack that's tearing itself in half while hauling your ass to every crevice this world has to hide from an insane lycan who lives to see your head on a spike," he snipped.
"And cranky too," I muttered.
Coda gave me one of those looks. "How about you take over the pack and be the alpha? Oh wait," I rolled my eyes knowing what was coming next and shuffled forward in the line, "you are the alpha. My bad, I sometimes forget because I'm the one doing all the work."
"So mint tea then?" I asked him, ignoring his jibe.
He grunted, not answering my question but asking one of his own, "Do they know you are a hunter?" His voice was low, evoking a smile from me. He knew as well as I that we had ears and eyes watching and listening in. However, this place was much too loud and filled with conversation for them to be able to pick up our full conversation.
"Yes," I replied, eyeballing the apple and cinnamon scones in the glass case in front of me, "otherwise Mila wouldn't be so determined to keep me."
"She doesn't know about..."
It wasn't a mystery as to what he had been about to say. "No."
"How did they find out you were a hunter?" He gave me a small push forward to where I had fallen behind in the line, too busy staring at the scones.
I hummed, thinking back. "I'm not really sure, I kind of inadvertently admitted it, and I think that perhaps Sebastian might have said something."
"And it doesn't strike you as odd?" It didn't matter how quiet his voice was I could still hear him clearly, having trained myself to recognize voices and lock in on them, a skill I doubted the spies a few people in line behind me had.
"The fact that they all believed you," he clarified. "You are the first female hunter. Why would they take you at your word for it?"
I frowned, that had never really occurred to me. I was still frowning as I finally got up to the barista. "A mint tea and a black coffee please."
The girl nodded, and I fished out the plastic card the Old and Lunar Kingdoms used in place of hard currency. I still found it weird that you could pay with something that didn't technically exist, something that wasn't tangible and real but I wasn't one to complain. I paid and took a seat in a booth in the center of the cafe. Coda slid into the seat across from me.
I folded my arms on the table, placing my chin on my overlapping hands. There was a sugar granule right in front of me, but with one exhale I sent it flying across the table. "I don't really have an answer for you," I admitted, "but it is definitely something I need to look in to."
Coda nodded in agreement.
"Before that though, the reason I called you here," I let my eyes wander the room, locking in on the three familiar faces that had been fallowing me like a shadow for weeks. I sat up, running a finger across my lips as I tried to figure out the best way to approach the subject. "Camilla, the leader of the Lunars, is exploiting the people of this kingdom to fulfill her own revenge plan. I wasn't worried at first because there was no way she could win, but that is about to change."
Coda cocked his head in interest, concern flashing in his eyes.
"She's creating hybrids," I told him, "And I know what I'm about to say is madness but I saw it with my own eyes. She's turning humans into a different kind of hunter."
The male hunter straightened in his seat but did not interrupt me or contradict my words.
"She is using lycan bone particles and werewolf blood and infusing it with hunter venom and injecting it into the humans. They are turning into hunters, as big and powerful as the lycans but with our speed and venom. They could kill lycans and hunters alike."
"Where are they getting the lycan bones and hunter venom?" Coda believed me much to my relief, and being himself he immediately assessed the situation and sought out more information.
"The lycan bone is from a mass grave that apparently she has access to, as for the hunter venom, I'm now the one supplying her with it."
Coda ran a hand down his face, "Why?" He demanded. "Why would you do that?"
I shook my head, understanding his frustration. "I don't have a choice, Coda. I need easy access to those labs. I need to watch her progress. I need to know what is going on. The only way I can do any of those things is by donating a small amount of venom."
"And where is she sending these Hybrids?"
"She's been sending them straight to the front lines. She wants to see what they can do against the lycans."
I swallowed, "too good. If half of them weren't keeling over and dying, the lycans would be facing a more substantial threat. They are getting cuts in, they were close to taking out Innoko last time. Syn just managed to drag her out."
"You were there?" Coda hissed, clenching his fist and raising it, barely able to keep himself from slamming his fist through the table.
"No!" I exclaimed. "I've been listening to the reports. I know the lycans well enough to know who they are speaking of when they describe them."
Coda seemed to calm down at that. Taking in a deep breath he asked, "And this new batch of Hybrids, they are all made with your venom?"
I nodded, "Yes, she ran out of the other supply."
"And the few she's keeping are for studying purposes only?" I didn't miss the underlying tone of warning in his voice.
I scowled, confused as to why he would think that. "No...why would you think she's not going to send these ones out? Didn't you hear me? They die, Coda. Like, fast. She wants to utilize them for what they're worth."
"You mean to tell me," he gritted out through clenched teeth, "that you freely gave out your venom to Camilla to use for her Hybrids that she intends to send into battle against the lycans?"
"Well what else would she do with them, Coda?" I snapped, annoyed he was so angry about it.
"You don't see what the damn problem here is?" He snarled. He thrust an accusing finger my way, "Your venom, your DNA, is in those Hybrids. And if you've forgotten, let me just remind you what your DNA does for your mate. It doesn't hurt him, it heals him."
My eyes widened and my pulse quickened as it dawned on me what he was getting at.
"Do you see it now?" He growled. "What the hell do you think is going to happen when those Hybrids attack Hakota but instead of hurting him like they used to, they heal him and only him? How long do you think it's going to take for him to figure out where that venom is coming from?"
My heart was thundering in my chest now, beating so hard I wouldn't be surprised if I fell out of my chest and on the table in front of me.
"You just gave Hakota all the proof he needed to know that you are still alive."
Needless to say, I started to panic. My breathing became erratic and my head began to spin. I stopped hearing Coda, everything around me becoming a blur of noise and motion.
Then I promptly passed out.