HUNTER'S MOON

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F I V E

Ares

My sister stood in front of our living room, tapping her foot against the hardware floor, giving me the scariest glare of the century.

Rhys sat on the couch opposite of ours, playing with Mars like it was his own son.

“Why didn’t you tell me what was going on?” My sister asked, hurt lacing her tone “I would have helped you.”

I sighed, feeling slightly guilty “I..”

“That’s my fault” Madi said, grasping my hand and squeezing “I begged him to not tell anyone I was here.”

“Your sisters going to be so pissed off” Rhys said, grinning at a giggling Mars.

Madi winced.

Kassi looked at Rhys with hearts in her eyes and longing on her face.

My heart ached, sad to see my sister so sad.

“I know” she sighed “But if I told her what happened with my Ex, she’ll fly to New York and kill him with her bare hands.”

“Do you blame her?” Kassi said softly “You’re her baby sister.”

Madi stayed quiet.

I cleared my throat, redirecting everyone’s attention.

“Can we get back to the matter of hand?”

“Yes, of course” Kassi said “Tell me what happened?”

“Some weirdo showed up on our doorstep, begging me to let him in” I frowned “Because of a flat tire or something. He was pretty adamant about it but my wolf and I felt that something wasn’t right. So we told him to get lost and called the cops.”

Rhys frowned and stood, looking out our window.

“This house is hard to find because it’s so far off the road” he said, handing Mars to Kassi “There’s no way he could have found it on its own.”

“Maybe he got lucky?” Madi suggested “Maybe he just started walking and found our house?”

“No possible” Kassi said “There’s no property signs listed on the main roads nor is the house easy to spot unless the person has specific directions how to get here.”

My heart started pounding “So what are you saying?”

“I’m not saying anything for sure” Kassi said, bouncing Mars on her hip “But tell me again what he looked like.”

“Dark disheveled hair, beard, white, shorter than me. Black T-shit” I said, remembering as much as I could “Weird accent.”

“Weird how?” Rhys asked “Like y’alls Greek accent weird or Texas slang weird?”

“Not Greek or Texas” I said “Another accent.”

“What kind?”

I shot him a look “Don’t you think if I knew, I would have told you by now?”

Rhys gave me a sheepish look “Sorry.”

“Ares” Kassi scolded “We’re only trying to help.”

“I...” I went to respond when something smashed through our living room window.

I jumped on Madi, shielding her with my body, and glanced at Rhys to see him doing the same thing to my sister and Mars.

When nothing else came at us, I jumped up quickly and ran outside, hoping to catch whoever did this to my family.

“ARES!” My sister cried out “COME BACK!”

I ignored her, running as fast as I can in order to catch the culprit.

I spotted a black hoodie weaving through the trees and I ran faster.

“HEY!” I roared “WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING!”

I pushed myself harder, faster, wishing I could shift but knew that it would be too dangerous considering that we didn’t know who this person was nor their motives.

My finger tips touched the back of the person’s hoodie when something whipped through the air, embedding itself into my forearm.

I stumbled, crying out in excruciating and unexpected pain.

I looked at my forearm and found, to my surprise, a huge arrow sticking out of it.

My eyes widened when I realized that another arrow shot past me, nicking my earlobe.

I dived behind the largest tree, gritting my teeth at the pain the arrow caused, and promptly tore the damn thing out of my arm.

The area was bleeding profusely and numb, but at this moment, I really didn’t care.

I only cared about ripping the archer and vandalizer into shreds for harming my family.

More arrows continued to fly around me and just when I thought that it was slowing down, thirty more arrows would come again at full force.

“DAMMIT!” I snarled, angry that these people have me cornered.

Suddenly, the arrows stopped.

Not wanting to risk it, I picked up a rock that was in front of me and threw it to the side.

Nothing.

I peeked out from my hiding spot and found Valkyrie, my sister’s wolf standing at the top of a little hill, where the shooters were stationed.

Her nuzzle was bloodied and her teeth were raised in a snarl as she growled at something in front of her.

I quickly joined her and found four dead and hooded bodies.

When I bent down to get a closer look at one, she barked at me.

I turned back to her and raised a brow “I want to see if they’re dead.”

Valkyrie barked again before slowly shifting into my sister.

I snapped my head away before ripping off my flannel and throwing it to her, leaving me with my dark undershirt.

“You know Rhys is going to kill you, right?” I said, bending back down to look at the dead shooters “He hates when you shift with Val instead of letting her go in first.”

“I know but you’re my baby brother and I couldn’t leave you alone.” Kass sighed “Besides, I have this special shifting ability for a reason. Might as well use it, right?”

I turned the masked shooter’s body over and suddenly Kass, who was on the side of me, jumped up and retched her lunch up.

I stood in surprise because my sister, the woman who has seen more death and gore than anyone I’ve ever met, NEVER got sick at the sight or smell of blood.

“Hey,” I rubbed her back as she continued to retch “Are you okay sis?”

She gave me a look, her face pale and sweaty and her sticking to her face.

“This is SOOO not how I wanted you to find out ” she puked some more before wiping her mouth with the back of her sleeved hand “Please don’t tell Rhys.”

“Whoa, hey” My eyes widened “Find out what?”

“I’m pregnant.” She gave me a weak smile “Surprise, you’re going to be an Uncle!”

My eyes widened even more (to a comically level) and my jaw slackened.

“What...But how...Wait! Don’t answer that!” I rambled excitedly before picking up sister and swinging her around like a madman.

She groaned “Unless you want puke in your hair, I suggest you putting me down.”

I immediately put her down but enveloped her in a giant bear hug.

“This is amazing news Kass!” I pulled back “But why don’t you want Rhys to know?”

“Because if I tell him now, he’ll get all excited and start planning everything” She frowned “And once he gets that excited, he’ll won’t stop until the baby’s born. If they baby’s born. I don’t want to get his hopes up only for them to come crashing down if we have another miscarriage.”

“You can’t think like that Kass” I said softly, patting her head “He’d want to know, whether the baby comes or not.”

She waved my hands away “I’ll tell him, but just not now.”

I sighed, knowing that from the tone of her voice, she was done with the conversation.

I went back to the body while Kassi stayed a safe distance away, and picked up the assailant’s arm.

There was this familiar marking on his arm, one that I’ve seen before but couldn’t quite put my finger on where I saw it.

Suddenly, it clicked.

“No way” I whispered to myself “It can’t be.”

“What is it?” Kassi asked “What’s wrong?”

I turned to her and her expression turned serious when she saw my expression.

“Do you remember why this looks familiar?” I held up the guy’s arm and she came closer “Because I do.”

She stared at the marking with a blank stare before looking at me quizzically.

“I’ve seen it before” she said “But I don’t remember where.”

“Gramps used to wear it” I said “It was burned onto the palm of his hand. It’s the insignia for the Hunter’s.”

She reeled her head back “Impossible, we killed them all.”

“You killed all the adult members” I said before riping off the guys mask “But you didn’t kill all the members.”

The guy, who was no more than a couple of years older than me, stared up at the sky with unseeing eyes.

Kassi continued to shake her head “The members who had children were sent to good, loving families. They also had any traces of their Hunter heritage meticulously removed and hidden. I made sure of that before they were sent away.”

“Someone must have found out about their past” I said, going to the rest of the shooter and taking off their masks “Because these guys are at least my age or a few years older. About the right age to seek revenge on our family.”

Kassi’s words were cut off when a loud howl sounded and Rhy’s wolf appeared.

He walked right up to her, curled his body around her, and poked his nose to her stomach, inhaling deeply.

He nudged her stomach with his head and gave her a serious look, she dropped her head in defeat.

He knows.

I smirked.

Of course he knows.

That man knows Kassi more than I think she knows about herself.

My wolf snapped at attention when we heard a twig snap behind us.

I whirled in time to see Madi’s outreached hand, her face red in embarrassment.

I smiled but then frowned, shielding her and Mars away from the bloodied mess.

“What are you doing here?”

“When your sister left, Rhys started freaking out. Like majorly freaking our, rambling on about how scared he was about his loves getting hurt. I thought he meant you two, because you’re his family too, but considering how he hasn’t even given you a second thought and how his wolf’s focus is solely on Kassi’s stomach, I can safety assume he was really only worried about her.”

I laughed and draped my arm around her shoulders, pulling her back towards our house, and giving my sister some privacy.

“When you two are done, come back to the house” I yelled over my shoulder “We have plans to make and Hunters to discuss.”

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