Three | Cleo
Deciding that my elk jerky wasn't going to eat itself, I opened the bag and pulled out a piece, munching on it while I scoured for the details in the file before me.
It was the most interesting of the lot. As always the client wished to remain anonymous but I could tell it was a woman behind this request. She wanted me to take care of a female werewolf who was quite well known. I knew my client was my target's twin sister because no one else could know details about my target like a family member would. It made sense, mating was hard for twins. Since their genetic code was practically identical, they had many of the same mates.
In this case though it was worse for this poor twin because her sister was quite the beauty while she was not. It was no secret that my target had many suitors who vied for her while her sister was forgotten in the corner because of a birth defect that made her unattractive to the public's eye.
I reviewed the file, taking note of my target's day-to-day activities to see how hard of a target she would be. Getting out a highlighter I started to mark key details when a timid knock came at my door.
"Come in," I said loudly without raising my eyes.
His fear could be scented as he stepped into the room. I let him sweat it out as he took my office in. Terrin had informed me it was rather daunting with black, white, and shades of grey, not a single splash of color in sight. My large ebony desk was not exactly welcoming either, but the bear skin rug on the floor with the head still attached, its mouth open to show its teeth, was perhaps the most intimidating thing in the room, besides me of course.
I flicked my highlighter in a motion for him to sit while I finished up my work. He wasted no time sitting down in the chair, his knee bouncing up and down nervously. I could feel his eyes taking me in from my sharp, shoulder length, haircut—edgy Terrin had called it—to my plain black sleeveless turtle neck.
A pendant hung from my neck, the vile designed to look like a ruby but in reality was a crystal ball filled with blood. Silver wires encased the vile, keeping it firmly lodged in place. Coda had gifted it to me, an instant medicine to whatever injury overcame me. It was filled with Hakota's blood that had apparently been collected before he was executed. My father intended to study and experiment with the blood to see if he could replicate their abilities to make hunters even stronger. The hunters had samples of blood from all the lycans but Coda only gave me Hakota's.
The human was sweating, I could smell the saltiness of perspiration and hear the increasing rhythm of his heartbeat. He was sacred, as he should be.
I slowly capped my highlighter and put it away as well as the file. I leaned back in my chair, crossing my legs as I took in the human. He was a sketchy looking fellow with a sallow face and sickly white complexion. His hair was thinning but for some reason he wore it long, giving it a greasy sheen. His eyes were sunken in, purple bruises under them. He looked near dead sitting in the chair before me.
I rose a brow when he didn't speak, a silent order for him to state his business.
He swallowed, "I–I..." he cleared his throat nervously, "I want you to kill someone."
"Well it's not like people come to me to plan weddings," I drawled.
His hand rose to loosen his tie, pulling down the knot in a nervous habit. His eyes shifted around my office as if looking for the ways out should I attack him. "Yes, yes of course...I um..." his eyes continued scanning my office, locking on the painting hanging on the wall to my right. His eyes flew back to me when he realized he'd trailed off and I wasn't speaking. He straightened up in his chair, his hands coming to lay on the armrests as his fingers clutched the rounded ends. He took in a deep breath, muttering to himself before he quickly exhaled the words out on a breath, "I need you to kill a lycan for me."
It was so silent you could hear a pin drop.
I drummed my fingers across the armrest of my chair before leaning forward, knitting my fingers together as I said, "I have just a few rules, and one rule," the human squirmed under my intense stare, "I know is very clear." I curled my lip at him, giving him a brief view of my canines, "I don't kill lycans." I drew back immediately, dismissing him with an uninterested look.
"I know, I know," the human was the one leaning over my desk now, "but you're a hunter and only a hunter stands a chance at killing a lycan."
"I don't kill lycans," I stated flatly, "no exceptions."
He stood up, the chair shooting backwards. "But you're the best of the best!" He placed his palms on my desk, "Please, there's no one else and it's not even the alpha, just the pregnant female–"
I stood up, causing him to immediately leap back. I circled around the piece of furniture, my claws lightly dragging on its surface. "You seem to be under the misguided notion that anything you have to say will dissuade me from my rule." I took a step forward, forcing him to take one back which had him stumbling into the chair and flopping back down in it when he lost his balance. "Let me clear this up for you," I said, bracing my hands on the chair so he was caged in, "It's not because I'm scared of them, it's because by killing one I put a target on my back for them to all hunt me down. I don't mess with the lycans for a good reason and no amount of money is going to make me forget that reason.
The human gulped, nodding to show he understood.
I let go of the chair and returned to my desk, "and another one of my rules is that I don't kill children, unborn or not." My eyes flashed up to pin him with a brutal stare.
The human was frozen with fear in his seat, unsure if moving would provoke me.
I flicked my head, "Get out."
He didn't have to be told twice and wasted no time in removing himself from my sight.
I watched him scurry away, the heavy black door clicking shut long after he was already down the stairs. I took a seat, folding my hands behind my head and blowing out a breath as I closed my eyes. I cracked open one eye to peak at the brown paper bag. With a sigh, I picked it up and began to gnaw on the tasty morsels.
Unable to think with the lycans now plaguing my mind I went home early, taking the file of interest with me. I locked up my office, bidding goodbye to Berma on my way out.
When I entered into my home, I began to wish I'd stayed in my office. Sebastian, the 'stupid werewolf I was sleeping with' to quote Terrin's words from this morning, was waiting for me with his arms crossed and a stance that told me he was ready for battle.
I ignored him, shouldering past him into the living room. I tossed the file onto the coffee table and flopped down on the couch, kicking off my shoes intent on taking a much needed nap.
"I think you should stop," he finally spoke as I swung my legs up on the couch, grabbing a pillow and stuffing it behind my head.
"I'm not having this argument with you today Sebastian," I replied while getting comfortable on the couch and adjusting the pillow behind me.
"It's dangerous, Rala," he persisted with the ongoing argument between us. "The reason people hire you is because they're scared to die so they send someone else instead." I had no interest in this conversation that I'd heard a hundred times and I expressed that to Sebastian by rolling onto my side and giving him my back. "Besides that, it's immoral and wrong. To kill people for money–"
"Is perfectly legal." I finished for him hoping that would be the end of it.
"And that's why we need to change society." He switched right over to another matter we disagreed on.
I groaned and pulled the pillow over my head in a weak attempt to block out his oncoming speech. Sebastian only grabbed the pillow away from me and tossed it across the room. "That's why the lycans need to be ousted! I mean how can anyone be fine with that? Someone doesn't like you or you said something offensive so they just kill you?"
I rolled my eyes and twisted to look at him. "You think too much like the humans about equality and protecting the little guy. The way I see it, you have your place in the pecking order. If you can't defend yourself against the people you insult it seems fair they can kill you. Otherwise we would have a bunch of pathetic weaklings walking around saying and doing whatever the hell they want because there is no consequence. If someone lesser than me ever disrespected me or tried to put me in my place I wouldn't hesitate to hurt them until they learned their lesson. People don't respect you, you simply do away with them."
"So you think people who are weak should just be killed?"
"No," I let out an annoyed huffed, "I'm saying they need to understand that they are weaker and they need respect those who are stronger. It's simple in our society, if you take a step out of line we'll take ten to put you back in your place. Besides, why do you think I have such a high demand for my services? The weaklings pay me to kill the people they can't. It all comes full circle."
Sebastian sighed in defeat. Picking up my legs he sat down and dropped my legs on his lap. His fingers immediately began to massage my feet, kneading out the knots in them. "I talked to some Lunars again today." He told me while pressing into a rather painful knot.
I grunted, "I told you to tell them to screw off." Sebastian pressed harder and I gritted out, "they are going to get you killed."
"They are fighting for a good cause, Rala."
I pulled my foot away. "They are idiots if they think they will stand a chance against the lycans."
"The world would be better off without them." Sebastian didn't deny my claim but redirected the conversation to their noble mission of curing the world of the lycans. "Look Rala, I know you think that going against them is suicide. I know they killed your alpha and your mate but if we can stop them then we can prevent anything like what happened to you from happening to someone else."
I wanted to scream out my frustration. I wanted to just tell him the truth. I wanted to yell that he had no clue what happened to me. I wanted him to know that I lied to him about Hakota killing my alpha, Eric Farland. That it was me, that I killed my father. And that I lied about my mate being dead because Hakota was very much alive. I wanted to tell him that the reason I refused to break the bond was not because I was grieving over my dead mate and the bond was all I had left of him, but because I owed it to the lycans to let them have their pups.
I was surrounded in lies. Lies that I told Sebastian and everyone around me, lies that I told Terrin and lies that I told myself. There were starting to be too many lies to keep track of and I feared that one day they would swallow me whole.