Dark Instincts

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Chapter 17: Together

Hailey wandered around Hunter’s bedroom but there wasn’t much to see. There was a massive bed which sat in the middle of the room and it faced a small couch and a flat-screen TV. Although, a few photo frames sat on the side table, she couldn’t help herself when she curiously lifted the first one; it was a photo from when Hunter and his siblings were all kids. They were all wearing uniforms so they must still be in high school. Hailey smiled when she recognized all the faces- Hunter still glowered and Vincent and Viola had matching smiles. Klaus was timidly standing next to Gabriel and the Drakov twins were huddled around their young alpha and his baby brother.

They were all still like this now, nothing changed expect that they were fully trained wolves fit for combat. Hailey changed frames and lifted the smaller round-shaped one; it was a beautiful portrait of a young woman holding a baby. She had bright blonde hair and emerald green eyes that flattered her sweet smile, but she looked terribly pale. This woman’s resemblance to Viola and Klaus was uncanny- Hailey figured that this was the famous Rose Centauri. She had heard a lot about her but didn’t have the opportunity to meet her personally. However, it didn’t feel like that to Hailey. The pack never let anyone forget Alpha-female Rose Centauri who was the heart and soul of this pack before Gabriel.

As Hailey lost herself in those compassionate and strong eyes, it felt like she knew this woman for years. Hailey looked down to the infant Rose held so closely, the new born baby was asleep in his mother’s arms. Hailey guessed that it was Klaus in Rose’s arms because Rose looked sick and she was still in hospital clothes. This must have been so hard on the family, Hailey knew all about losing a parent in a blink of an eye.

Hailey couldn’t help but smile down at baby Klaus, he was just so cute and had the chubbiest cheeks. He looked healthy and strong, which was probably the reason Rose looked even more happy in the photo. She was glad that her baby was born healthy, it reassured her before she passed away after labour.

Hailey put the frame down where she found it when she heard shouting outside the door. She wasn’t going to eavesdrop, but then, she heard Klaus’s name and she couldn’t help herself. She crept over to the door like a mouse and opened the door. A sliver of the door opened for her to see outside, she found Robert Centauri and Klaus standing near the top of the staircase. She focused her attention on them and heard the words they exchanged.

“Didn’t I say not to show me your face,” spat Robert. “It makes me sick.”

Klaus’s green eyes were blank. No anger, no sadness exhibited through those bottomless green pits. This wasn’t the side of Klaus Hailey was used to seeing at school. He was usually so bright, free and relaxed around the kids and teachers.

Robert’s bitter eyes glared at Klaus. “Enjoying this life, are you?” he asked and a chill crawled down Hailey’s back. “You shouldn’t enjoy something you stole.”

What’s his fucking problem? Hailey’s wolf spoke with austere rage.

I don’t know, but you need to relax. Hailey told her wolf to calm down because it wasn’t going to do them any good with her raging inside of Hailey. Her wolf growled and clawed inside of Hailey but complied and stayed calm as much as she could manage.

“You stole her life,” sneered Robert, “and now, you’re here and she’s not.”

Hailey felt sick to her stomach by the sight in front of her eyes. She waited for Klaus to say something back to stop his father, but he didn’t. He stood there, alone and empty. Hailey didn’t like that at all, not one bit.

“I should’ve-”

“I think that’s enough, Mr. Centauri,” she stepped out the room and joined them on the stairs.

Robert’s piercing cold eyes shifted from Klaus onto her. He had the same sharp eyes as Hunter, but she hated the way this man stared at her. “Who the hell are you?” He spat his question.

Klaus grabbed Hailey’s hand. “What are you doing here?” he asked with sheer panic in his voice. “Where’s Hunter?”

“With Gabriel,” she shrugged past him and stood in front of Robert, even though he was bigger than her she didn’t feel one bit intimidated. “Is that any way to talk to your child?”

Robert scoffed. “Stay out of my business,” he gritted out.

“No,” snapped Hailey. “No one talks to my boys like that.”

“Hailey,” Klaus steered her away from Robert.

“How dare you,” Robert rubbed his temples.

Hailey had enough of his attitude, she moved away from Klaus and faced Robert. “You’re the one that’s a disgrace to Rose Centauri’s memory, not Klaus.”

Before Hailey or her wolf could move, she felt meaty hands brutally shove at her shoulders. Hailey’s feet slipped back and her heel caught onto the rug on the stairs. The next thing she knew, Klaus was holding her close to his body and they rolled down the fleet of stairs.

-Hunter’s POV-

River, Ryder, Azura and the rest of the STAR squad had gathered in Gabriel’s room. Hunter paced behind Gabriel and the ache in his head grew tremendously from the moment he left Hailey alone in his room. He desperately wanted to go back to her, but this matter needed him too.

“We don’t know who the car belonged to,” said Elliot as he closed the phone.

“The plate number was a fake,” believed River.

“You didn’t really expect it to be real, did you?” asked Azura. “When did they start following you?”

“Right after we left the restaurant,” Ryder answered.

“They didn’t tail you from here?” she asked him.

“No,” he said. “I’m sure of it.”

“That means they were positioned at the restaurant,” understood Azura.

“How the hell would they know that Hunter and all of us would be there?” snapped Ryder as he raked his hair and started pacing like Hunter.

“It wasn’t Hunter they were waiting for,” said River when he looked at Gabriel who was sitting comfortably on the couch.

“Everyone knows that Gabriel loves that place,” said Lupin. “It’s smart to leave wolves there.”

“This is why I tell this man to stay put,” gritted out River. “You make my job so difficult, Gabriel.”

“They were waiting for me, huh,” said Gabriel nonchalantly.

“We need to find whoever tailed you,” said River to his twin. “Find them and get some answers.”

“Not tonight,” said Azura. “They probably left to tell whoever they serve that they tailed Hunter Centauri.”

“They’ll be back,” said Hunter grimly.

“They always come back,” chuckled Lupin. “Just in case they catch other fish with their lame net.”

“And Gabriel-” River crossed his arms and stood in front of his alpha- “stay here until I know that Bobby’s place is safe.”

Gabriel rolled his eyes. “Fine,” he sighed.

Hunter slightly smiled because the last people those measly wolves should hope they catch was Gabriel or himself. They weren’t as forgiving as the others.

“You look nice,” said Azura. “How’d the date go, besides this whole bullshit?”

Hunter’s smile broadened. “It went good,” he told her. “Hailey’s waiting for me upstairs.”

“Is she in your room?” asked Gabriel sternly.

“Yeah,” Hunter answered. “Why?”

“Hunter!” Klaus’s voice boomed through the house.

“What the fuck,” all of them in the room spoke at once.

Hunter ran out of Gabriel’s room when he felt a stabbing pain in his heart and his wolf howled for his mate. They all followed him as they ran through the house and ended up at the top of the stairs.

Hunter paled and his blood went ice cold. Hailey was laying on the bottom of the stairs, her eyes closed, her body so still. He ran down and didn’t even know where to touch her. “What happened?” He growled.

“She came in front of me when Robert-” Klaus’s voice died.

Hunter dead cold eyes- the ones he had when he was hunting his prey landed on the sick man they called father. His feral eyes shined and everybody could smell the anger raging from every pore from his body. But he knew that his anger wasn’t going to help his mate, and she’s all that mattered right now.

“River get the ambulance!” Gabriel barked the orders, but everyone was already doing exactly that. “I’ll deal with you later,” he warned Robert than he made his way to Hunter’s side.

“We can’t move her,” Gabriel said. “Not until we know it’s safe.”

“Dispatch will be here,” said River.

The front door opened and Viola gasped at the sight. She bent down next to her siblings, she didn’t panic but her pale skin told them she was just as concerned as them. “You need to move so I can check, Hunter.” Hunter didn’t move, so Viola went around and checked the pulse which was steady. “Hailey’s breathing. She may have a concussion and I think her arm’s broken-” Viola’s nimble fingers pressed on Hailey’s ribcage- “no broken ribs and her legs are good.”

“Where the hell is the ambulance?” Hunter snapped irately.

“They’re here,” said River from the door.

In a matter of seconds, Hailey was lifted onto the crate and taken inside the ambulance with Hunter and Klaus stubbornly followed even though only one person was allowed, but the paramedics didn’t really have a choice when it came to the Centauri’s.

“They’re all behind us,” said Klaus as he checked his phone. “Gabriel, Viola, Azura, River and Ryder. Vincent’s on his way too.”

“Okay,” said Hunter as his eyes stayed only on Hailey.

“Gabriel already called in Dr. Stone,” said Klaus. “She’ll be there the moment we arrive.”

The ride was dreadful for Hunter. They finally reached the emergency hospital entrance. A tall woman ran out with a white coat, her black hair was tied back in a bun revealing her sharp angular face and piercing blue eyes. “Bring her here,” Dr. Stone ordered to the paramedics and they followed her efficiently. Hunter did too, but a nurse stopped him from passing the threshold of the room they took Hailey.

Gabriel and the rest of his family appeared right away. “Is Dr. Stone already with her?” he asked.

“Yeah,” answered Klaus. “She took Hailey just a second ago.”

“Are you hurt?” Gabriel asked Klaus.

“No,” said Klaus. “I just have some bruises from catching Hailey.”

“Let’s get out of the way, we’re blocking the hall,” suggested Azura.

They all went to the private room and took a seat, but Hunter was too angst to think about anything, let alone taking a seat.

Gabriel got to his feet and put his arms behind his back. “What happened?” he asked Klaus sternly.

“Robert was talking his usual bullshit and Hailey heard him,” said Klaus. “She came to help me. I tried to move her away, but she fought with him and then he pushed her.”

Hunter braced his anger through his gritted teeth. “He pushed a woman down the stairs,” he scoffed. “How sick can he get.”

“I’m sorry, Hunter,” said Klaus. “So sorry.”

Hunter’s face drowned away his blood when he saw tears in Klaus’s eyes. “It’s not your fault,” he said.

“I couldn’t protect her…like mom,” Klaus’s voice was soft but they all heard the aching guilt.

Dr. Stone appeared at the entrance.

“How is she?” asked Hunter hastily. “Is she awake? Can I see her?”

“She’s still unconscious,” said Dr. Stone calmly. “We gave her sedatives for the concussion and her wrist had a severe fracture, plus her shoulder’s sprained. With her wolf healing abilities, she’ll wake up soon and heal faster, so I wouldn’t worry. I’m monitoring her vitals, especially her wolf’s. I will keep Ms. Swan here tonight, but she should be fine to go by morning.”

“Thank you, Dr. Stone,” said Gabriel.

“She’s been taken to the VIP room,” she said. “You can visit her when she wakes up-” Hunter was already out of the room and making his way to the area booked only for the Centauri’s.

“Sorry about him,” said Gabriel. “Hailey is Hunter’s mate.”

Dr. Stone smiled. “I figured,” she said. “I really wouldn’t worry. It would have been worse if she had gotten more impact from the fall.”

“Klaus caught her,” said Viola.

Dr. Stone nodded. “That explains why she didn’t break her ribs or any legs,” she said before a buzzing sound interrupted them.

“Thank you again, Dr. Stone,” said Gabriel.

“No worries,” she smiled and then briskly walked away from them to answer her pager.

Wake up, Hailey. Her wolf gently whispered.

Are you hurt?” Hailey asked her wolf.

No, her wolf answered. That boy, Klaus, protected us from any severe injuries.

The ringing in Hailey’s head finally stopped and she could feel her body again. She thought she was a goner from the way she fell down the fleet of stairs. If Klaus wasn’t there to catch her, it would’ve been more dangerous. She took a deep breath which was a bad idea because it hurt like hell. Her sore ribs, felt stretched under her skin and ached badly. She winced and peeled her eyes open to find herself in a darkly lit room with plain ceilings. Hailey guessed she was in the hospital.

She turned over and found Hunter sitting on the stool next to the bed. “Hunter,” she said groggily.

Hunter jumped onto his feet. “Hi baby, how are you feeling?” he asked eagerly. Hailey nodded before she steered him to sit down again.

“Where’s Klaus?” she asked.

He pointed to the couch where Klaus was soundly asleep. “He hasn’t left your side all night,” he said.

She gaped at him. “All night?”

“You had a really bad concussion,” said Hunter. “And you fractured your wrist.”

“Oh,” she looked down at the white cast around her arm. “I fell down the stairs-”

“I know,” he interrupted as he laid his hand on her cheek. “Klaus told us everything.”

Hailey leaned into his touch. “Sorry I ruined date night.”

“Don’t,” he shook his head. “It’s not your fault.”

Hailey licked her dry lips. It pained to speak but she needed to know. “Did Klaus get hurt?”

“Just a few bruises,” he said. “What were you thinking getting between a fight?”

Hailey looked at Hunter through her hazy eyes and realized she must be on some type of pain medication. “Robert wasn’t being very kind,” she pouted.

“Klaus can protect himself,” said Hunter.

Hailey looked over to Klaus sleeping on the couch and remembered his solemn expression from earlier. “I know he can, that’s why I found it weird that he wasn’t.”

Hunter gently smoothed her hair away from her face. “What do you mean?” he asked calmly and carefully.

“I thought Klaus would talk back or tell Robert to stop, but he didn’t,” said Hailey. “It was like he believed everything Robert was telling him.” Hailey closed her eyes when everything in the room started spinning again.

“You should get some sleep,” said Hunter.

Hailey grabbed his hand. “I couldn’t just sit by and watch him believe what that man was saying,” she told her mate.

Hunter kissed her head. “Get some sleep, baby.”

Hunter left Hailey’s room with Klaus still sound asleep. They both had a rough night and didn’t deserve to hear the bitter words that were about to leave his mouth.

“Is she okay?” asked Viola.

“Yeah,” said Hunter. “She just went back to sleep.”

They all sighed in relief.

“That was some scare,” Vincent laid his hand on Hunter’s shoulder. Vincent had arrived as soon as he found out. “How are you doing, brother?”

“I’m pissed as fuck,” growled Hunter. “I want nothing more than to rip that man to shreds.”

“Gabriel is handling it,” said Viola. “He went back to the house to get rid of him.”

Hunter clenched his teeth. “Robert better not be in that house when I bring Hailey back. Or I swear on mom’s grave, I’ll kill him.”

“I’m sure Gabriel already got to him,” Viola said. “I’d be surprised if Gabriel let’s Robert go after what he just pulled with Klaus and now Hailey.”

“Fuck,” growled Vincent. “That poor boy.”

Hunter wanted to punch a wall but he held it in for all their sakes. “Hailey told me that Klaus wasn’t fighting back Robert,” he told them.

“Why would he,” said Viola. “He’s tired of that man’s shit like all of us.”

Vincent raked his hair. “At least Hailey was there to stop him,” he said. “Or who knows what other fucked up shit Robert would have said to Klaus.” Viola took the vacant seat next to Vincent and leaned onto his shoulder.

“She called him her boy,” said Hunter.

Vincent and Viola’s greenish hazel eyes met Hunter’s gaze. “Only Gabriel calls Klaus that,” said Vincent.

Hunter, Vincent and Viola finally smiled, even if they were sad ones.

“You guys can go home,” said Hunter. “I’ll bring Hailey tomorrow morning.”

“Are you sure?” asked Vincent.

“Yeah,” he answered.

Vincent anchored his sister. “Ryder is coming with us,” he informed. “Azura and Lupin are here with you. So, you don’t need to worry about anything.”

Viola put her arms around Hunter. “Bring Hailey and Klaus back home safe and sound,” she said firmly.

Hunter hugged his sister and welcomed that firm and soft comfort that reminded him of their mom. “I’ll see you later,” he whispered and kissed his sister’s head before she followed Vincent back to their car. He returned to Hailey’s bedside feeling a little better than before.

His wolf had stopped pacing and waiting for blood because he saw Hailey wake up with his own eyes. Hunter thanked his family for being able to handle everything so efficiently when he was ready to lose his mind. Hunter’s body was still on high alert, he couldn’t shake off the icy cold fear that petrified his entire soul. Everything blanked in front of his eyes when he saw Hailey’s body laying across the foyer floor.

Hunter watched his mate’s steady breath as she slept away the pain and medication. He loved this woman and what she did to him was surreal. He laid a kiss on her forehead, and then, he positioned himself on the chair. He closed his eyes and tried his hardest not to envision the scene from earlier, but it didn’t help. The only way he was going to forget tonight was if he saw Hailey on her feet again, which was going to be in no time, he would make sure of that.

His phone pinged; it was a text from Gabriel.

Robert’s out. I sent him packing to the farm house with Cedric. Take care of Hailey and don’t worry about anyone here.

Hunter closed his phone after he read the text. He looked from Hailey to his baby brother and knew that everything would be okay because he had a family around him that were as tough as nails. And the Centauri’s always survived through any storm, and that definitely included his Hailey Swan Centauri.

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