Six | Hakota
There in front of me stood the female I had searched for. The female who I risked everything to find. She kept her back towards me, facing out the window to watch the hunters and lycans try and tear each other apart. I quietly walked up behind her, my footsteps near silent. I knew she could hear me but she made no move to defend herself or acknowledge me.
I stopped a foot away from her, taking in a few breaths before she turned her head just slightly. "I always wished you would have been able to save me, that you would come for me before it was too late."
I kept silent, taking a step forward to stand beside her. Her head turned back to the window. My lycans were holding their own against the hunters but we didn't have much time to waste. The hunters would overwhelm us with their greater numbers soon.
"I guess that was never in the cards. Lune wanted this to happen for some reason. I'm but a sacrifice for the greater good." The lycan woman didn't sound sad, rather her tone was bland, like she was stating cold hard facts and not referring to her death.
She turned to me fully then and I finally let my eyes drop to her heavily pregnant belly. "I'm sorry alpha, that I have caused this."
"It's not your fault Irene. If anyone is to blame it's Lune," I told her.
She laughed softly, "I suppose, but she has a plan. I trust her to fix this." Her eyes twinkled with a light I suspected had not been there for quite some time. "She sent you after all to clean up this mess." She looked down at her belly but made no loving gestures towards it. "Well go on then Hakota, do what must be done."
For just a second I hesitated, wondering if there was another way. The female grabbed my chin and forced my eyes to meet hers. "Don't you dare," she warned me darkly. "You know what this child will become if it is born. You will not risk the extinction of the lycans for me."
Before I could let myself think, I plunged my hand into her chest, digging my claws into her heart and ripped the organ from her body. There was no surprise on her face as she collapsed to the ground, just a blank face of acceptance.
A high pitched squeal drew my attention to the little side table by the couch. The single cabinet door had slightly opened, and I could see two little eyes filled with horror staring at the dead body on the floor, and the heart in my hand. I was covered in blood, a monster no doubt in the eyes of the small child.
Taking a few steps closer, her eyes widened and then the door banged shut. I had to resist the urge to smile, I found it adorable the child thought it would keep me away. Crouching down in front of the cabinet, I gently pulled it open to see a little girl, no older than three, huddled in the back corner.
I knew exactly who she was, what she'd come to mean to me. "Come on out little one. I will never hurt you." I reached out a hand, still covered in blood, the blood of her mother no doubt, to coax her from her hiding place.
She shook her head vehemently, her eyes as large as saucers.
I wiggled my fingers, "It's alright, come with me."
The child uncurled slightly, looking at my hand, her own fingers twitching to grab it but she tried her very best not too, her brows furrowed in determination to not give in.
"Come on," I encouraged her softly.
Her small hand slid down from her chest where she'd kept it tightly clenched, her fingers just about to brush mine when a loud bang and howl interrupted us.
I whipped around to see a hunter had dove through the glass window, Sitka on his tail. Then Innoko came through the window, a bloodied dagger in her hand, her white braid stained with red. "We need to leave right now. There's too many of them! Roshan's seriously hurt and Frayah already fled with him. We don't have a chance against them all."
I looked back at the cabinet where the little girl was still inside, looking only at me even with the two massive wolves battling it out behind me. I scooped her up, tucking her under my arm.
Innoko plunged the dagger into the hunter, killing the wolf. Sitka wriggled his way out from under the other wolf, his hackles raised as another three hunters came through the broken window.
"What are you doing Hakota? Put the child down we have to go!" Innoko eyed the three hunters warily as they did not advance.
"Go, get the others out," I commanded the two lycans who turned to me in shock.
"Are you out of your goddamn mind?" Innoko snarled.
"Go!" I ordered just as the twins broke through the door, rolling head over tail into the room as Eric Farland and his beta, Coda, and friend, Grey, stood on the other side.
Eric looked from the standoff between the lycans and the hunters to the dead body of his breeder on the floor and then the child in my arms.
"Put my daughter down, lycan and I'll let you leave."
I instinctively gripped the child tighter, growling lowly in answer.
Eric's eyes widened in realization. He swore under his breath. "My daughter, lycan, or your pack's life."
"She belongs to me," I spat.
"No daughter of mine is a mate of yours, release her!"
Innoko was breathing hard, Sitka had shifted back, clutching the gashes oozing green on his side. My friend pleaded with me. "Make the trade Hakota or we'll all be dead."
"No! They'll corrupt her if I leave her here! They will tell her lies and turn her against me! She's my mate and only I alone can care for her!"
"Hakota!" Sitka barked. "We can come back another day. Let us escape with our lives to do so."
Another glance at the teary eyed girl and I knew what I had to do. "A trade." I conceded. The little girl clutched onto my arm burying her face against it, despite that it was covered in her mother's blood. She felt at home with me, not the fear she felt towards her father.
I held my mate tightly as I was escorted to the border, the remaining lycans alongside me. I ushered for them to go as I faced Eric and set the child down on the ground. The hunters stood back from Eric as his lycans did from me, ready to pounce if someone made a move.
I touched our foreheads together. "One day I'll come back. And even if you hate me and try to kill me, I will never turn my back on you again."
Then I turned away from the child, ignoring her outstretched arms as she called for me. I continued walking when her sobs turned into screams as her father picked her up and took her away.
My eyes slowly opened and I slowly lifted my head from my arms. I was still in my office, the papers I'd been examining crinkled beneath my arms. I ran a tired hand down my face to try and get rid of the exhaustion. I sat back in the chair, thankful I had not had another nightmare but I wasn't sure if it was worse to see a piece of reality instead.
The memory was one that I was not proud of. I had turned my back on my mate, and broke the promise I had made several times. It was my fault she turned out the way she did, corrupted and poisoned by her father. I couldn't help but wonder if had I taken her with me that day, she would still be here with me. I wouldn't have needed to kill her because she would have put me first before anything. Her love for me would have been genuine, I could have trusted her.
I put my head in my hands my fingers digging into my scalp. In the end it was my fault. If I hadn't given her up that day, if she grew up under my care, I never would have needed to make the choice between her and my pack. But the reality of the situation was that Cleo was raised by her father, not me, and she was dead because I killed her.