Dark Instincts

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Chapter 2: A Wish For You

Hunter cracked the kinks in his stiff neck as he waited inside the sleek metal elevator, that was speedily taking him to the top floor where all his other siblings would be after a long day. They never liked returning home to the pack grounds without each other and out of habit, they would gather at their Gabriel’s office at their company.

Hunter had a long day with the same problems and solutions as usual, he was exhausted and wished nothing more than to go home or run under the full moon tonight in his beast form. But he bit back his urges to go pick up his family because despite everything, they were the only ones that made him happy and calmed his wolf even if it was just for a brief moment.

The elevator’s door pinged open.

Hunter strode towards the massive black doors at the end of the hall that had the family insignia on it- the silver crescent moon. He didn’t have to use his carnal senses to figure out that all his siblings had arrived since the loud voices were enough proof.

Hunter pushed open the door.

“Finally,” groaned Klaus. “Could you be any slower.”

Hunter rolled his eyes. “The councillors meeting took longer than I expected,” he said to the youngest Centauri who resembled their mother the most; he was tall for his age and had a muscular built preferred for wolves and warriors like them, but his vibrant green eyes and pale gold hair matched their sister only.

“I also had the longest day at the Institution,” said Viola as her long limbs were draped along the lounge chair, her soft golden hair flowed down her slender shoulders and her emerald eyes were round and soft.

“I had a great day,” remarked Vincent. He was the family lawyer who was always busy attending banquets, charity balls and handled the paparazzi. They left that stuff mostly for him since he had the most charming and approachable disposition, although he was just as ruthless like Hunter when it came to their hunting business. Gabriel made sure of that all of them were adequately trained since enemies always had an eye on them. Vincent was dressed in a prim Armani suit; his dirty blonde hair was tousled and raked back, which made him look smart yet rakishly handsome.

“Of course, you did,” retorted Viola. “You know, I’ve noticed that you never help at the institute.”

“I help, occasionally,” shrugged Vincent with a smirk.

Hunter laughed but Viola just growled at them. Whilst they all gossiped about their day, a heavy silence emitted from the front of the dim office. The eldest of them sat behind the hard-oak table on a dark leather chair, his suit’s jacket was tossed on the side which showed that he was relaxing with his time off. Hunter crossed the large room and stood next to his brother and his alpha.

Gabriel Centauri was the tallest of them all combined and the most ruthless. He had the strongest aura that dominated over everyone, it never left any doubt in people’s minds why he was the fiercest alpha or the greatest entrepreneur. His cool and collected demeanour never hindered his ability to win the next deal or hunt the next criminal, which Hunter always admired about his brother since he had more of a temper. Gabriel was a noble leader that protected everybody under his wing, no one had anything to fear as long as Gabriel declared them to be under his protection.

Hunter always paid close attention to Gabriel who sat in the front lines of this great empire that came with an even greater responsibility. His brother was just a year older than him but dressed in his formal pin-striped suit and the gold family signet ring on his middle finger, he looked much older than them. As much as they complained about their workload, they knew nothing was compared to Gabriel. So, the pack orders and training the young pups for their first transformation was handled by them, some close and trusted friends and cousins.

Hunter, Viola, Vincent and Klaus never cared for the Centauri name that their father built, they all cared for their older brother who raised them when their father was too busy drinking away his resentment towards his kids. All they knew was that Gabriel cherished this name and its people, so they made sure nothing harmed it…ever.

Hunter as beta and the second eldest always made sure that Gabriel was taken care of no matter what happened. He made sure that Gabriel got all the support he needed, even if it required some special skills that only he specialized in.

“How are you feeling, brother?” He asked Gabriel.

“I’ve been better. The Waldorf deal is taking a lot of my time,” he said as he raked his dark black hair that was the same colour as Hunter’s. “But the pups liven me up.”

Hunter couldn’t agree more. “The reports for the Institute are all done and the councillors have been assigned their next duties for the pack,” informed Hunter.

“Thank you,” said Gabriel. “I know I can always rely on you, since your siblings are a bunch of wild mutts.”

“Hey!” shouted Klaus and Vincent at the same time.

“I’m definitely not included in that,” said Viola as she got out of her seat and stretched her arms into the air causing her shirt to rise, which briefly showed the black Roman numerals inked into her skin on her hip, he knew it was the date their mother passed away whilst giving birth to Klaus.

Hunter and Gabriel still remembered that day like it was yesterday, their mother went into labour fully aware that she would die from complication, but that never stopped her from giving another life. Before she passed away, she made Gabriel promise that he would take care of Klaus, she told Gabriel that Klaus would be the only one that didn’t get to meet his mother, so he needed Gabriel the most.

Hunter and Gabriel both promised their mother that Klaus wouldn’t feel her loss, but they always did. However, whenever Hunter felt that loss, he remembered their mother’s last words to them, she said that she was not dead, and that by the grace of Maya she was being reborn in Klaus. Hunter never doubted her for a second and neither did Gabriel.

“Quinton Fuller has been executed,” informed Hunter. “Elliot and Eve took care of disposing the body and cleaning the site.”

“And the drugs?” inquired Gabriel.

“Have been removed and destroyed,” added Hunter. “Harvey cleaned up Quinton’s stash before I got to him.”

“I want to keep the streets quiet and my territory safe as I can get this Waldorf deal completed,” said Gabriel. “I want this family feud to end once and for all, so no one has to suffer anymore.”

“Waldorf’s men aren’t causing any trouble, are they?” asked Hunter. He knew that Waldorf’s werewolves were always lurking around the streets outside Centauri territory.

“If they know what’s best for them, they won’t,” alleged Gabriel and got out of his seat. “Let’s go home, kids,” he hooked his suit’s jacket over his broad shoulder, which exposed the beautiful tattoo of their mother’s wolf on his forearm. They all followed Gabriel to his car and rode home together.

-Hailey’s POV-

Hailey locked the door of the Institute before she left home for the night, she had a long tough day and she couldn’t wait to get home and take a hot shower and eat some good food. Thankfully, her cabin wasn’t far from the Institute, she just had to walk across a plain field and a few remote forest trails which lead her towards a small lake dividing the border, it was quite secluded here and right around the corner was her small cabin that was provided by Centauri pack who actually lived right across from her house. She wasn’t born into this pack but she has been always heard about the prestigious Centauri family, not that she hated it, in fact she couldn’t be prouder of the clan she chose to belong in. Unlike other packs that only accept wolves that are born into their packs, the Centauri clan accepted everyone, they had welcomed her with trust and respect.

Hailey worked at the Centauri Institute for almost a year since she finished her studies abroad, when she returned she chose this clan because they protected their own, and after losing her family, she wanted nothing more than a comfortable and safe place to grow old. She had an interview with Viola Centauri, at first Hailey was quite intimidated but when work started to come through, Viola had an ease to her that relaxed everyone around her. Now that they worked together almost every day, they became quite good colleagues without even thinking about it. But Viola’s dominate attitude and confidence was always felt whenever she walked into the building, that’s why no one would dared to challenge her; not that anyone tried since the Centauri family had nothing less than respect from everyone here, especially for Gabriel Centauri.

Alpha Gabriel ran this pack with an iron-fist and he made sure that his wolves were safe and comfortable. Everyone had a home to live in and a family to return to every night.

That family took care of their own, and she praised them for it. Although, she always wondered how hard it must have been on all of them. But Hailey knew that their alpha raised his siblings to be brave and kind, no matter what outsiders said about them, she didn’t doubt that for a second and neither did the pack. Hailey may not know how they maintain such an empire with so many enemies, but she did know that they were honourable and they would always protect their family.

Hailey heard in the distance the ignition of a car shutting off, her ears perked when familiar voices echoed in the night. Speak of the devil, she said to herself. The Centauri siblings jumped out of a Range Rover and chattering away with their arms around each other.

She watched them being so unguarded with one another, they never had to hide who they truly were in front of their siblings. Hailey envied that bond, she didn’t have any siblings and her parents died when she was still in high school, but deep down she and her wolf both craved having a large family with many brothers and sisters. That was one of the reasons she started working at the Institute, all day she got to work with young pups that were training to master their wolf forms. And she couldn’t love that job more.

Hailey pulled out her house keys, when she spotted Hunter Centauri- the beta of this pack coming around last from behind the van with a duffle bag in his hand, but he didn’t follow his siblings inside the house, instead he trailed towards the garage. He looked dangerous under the low lights, his sharp features had deep shadows that created a scowl all the time, she wondered if he ever smiled. His short stubble framed his sharp angular jaw and around his kissable lips that were always held in a frown. Hunter had a dark smouldering gaze that weakened her knees and almost every other female. It had to a sin to be that good looking, and it wasn’t just him alone, all his siblings were built to perfection.

Hailey couldn’t help but watch his every move and the stretch of his muscles under his clothes, with the help of his strong legs he took long calculated strides across the driveway, he had dark green cargo pants on with a tight black shirt and a dog-tag hanging around his taut neck that always made her want to take a bite. From across the field, she could smell his strong forest pine scent and dark leather cologne, and as much as she didn’t like to admit it, his scent drove her wolf crazy. But Hailey pushed aside these thoughts because that beta was practically royalty, and he would never go for a regular wolf like her.

Hailey entered her house. She tossed the keys on the counter and strode straight up to her bedroom. She ripped off her tight clothes and headed straight for a shower, she didn’t wait for anything.

A few long minutes went by when she finally waltzed out the bathroom with a fluffy white towel wrapped around her body. She shivered from the cool night air and quickly slipped on a night gown, but before jumping into bed she would always pay her respects to the deity of wolves, Maya.

Hailey strode outside onto her porch and stared across the beautiful view of the lake that shined a midnight blue like the sky, it had the reflection of the moon dancing on top of the graceful waves but nothing beat the real moon. She gazed up at its full glory and thanked Maya for all the blessings in her life, but like all children do to their parent, they make one last wish before heading to bed. Hailey silently wished that her life was full of laughter and a big family, she didn’t know what she was wishing for or how it would be possible without a mate, but she prayed nonetheless to Maya with all her heart.

What Hailey didn’t know was that the goddess of wolves had already set Hailey on a path to pick her mate. It’s only a matter of if Hailey was brave enough to face who the goddess had picked only for her.

-Hunter’s POV-

Hunter dropped the duffle bag in the garage and he came back outside, but he froze in his tracks when the sweet scent of lilacs and vanilla engulfed him. He didn’t recognize this feral instinct to go track down the scent that set him aflame and made his wolf go rogue enough to burst out. But with great strength, Hunter controlled himself. He knew that the scent was close since it was vibrant and fresh, he scanned the area, he knew that no one lived that close to their house except one of the instructors at the Institute; he believed her name was Hailey Swan. A young female who recently started working for them, she handled most of the Institute with Viola. But apart from her, no one lived near their house.

Hunter shifted underneath the shadow where he stood when a familiar figure caught his eyes, it was Hailey Swan. Her hair was wet and open falling down her back in long thick locks of auburn, he could smell the fresh scent of lavender vanilla shampoo, but that sweet lilac scent was all hers. The bright light of the moon showed him that she was adorned in a white lace nightgown, the light showed her curvaceous figure through the flimsy fabric that made him want to go over there and explore.

That figure and hair. This was the girl he saw at the Institute, no doubt about it, Hunter thought.

Hunter’s mind reeled back, the girl he wanted to track down an hour ago stood in front of him and was the closest to their house, she had moved here a year ago if he recalled. How come he had never noticed before? But he knew the answer to that question, he was too busy fulfilling his role as beta.

Hunter raked his hair and proceeded to enter into the house with the little control he had left, when her scent washed over him again, he didn’t look back but he knew she was still standing outside admiring the moon, he could easily hear her light humming and her soft breaths that set his body on flames. He could feel his wolf getting impatient again, but his wolf has been feeling like this for the past couple of day, so he didn’t find it weird. But now and like before when he stood in front of that girl, his wolf was more alert and focused unlike how it’s been all day. Hunter clenched his jaw and didn’t get his hopes any higher than it already was. There was no way he was getting a mate out of the blue, although he felt this way twice tonight about the same woman, he shouldn’t ignore this anymore but he let it slide just for tonight.

Hunter walked into the manor and didn’t look back because if he had he’d want to go to her. But when he sauntered inside and closed the door he found a rather unsettling scene. Their father was performing another one of his drunken acts again, usually their father would break a vase and then go to sleep whenever his ass landed. But not tonight, which was fucking terrible because Hunter wasn’t in the mood for this shit. Hunter usually would’ve walked past his father and ignored this whole scene, but his father just so happened to pick the wrong target, it was Gabriel.

“You think you can take my place,” their father slurred. “You’ll never be as good as me.”

Gabriel released a sigh and told the other kids to go to their rooms, like he always did when they were younger.

“Look at me when I’m talking to you, boy!” Robert shouted this time. “And where’s that cursed child that condemned me to this hell?” Robert’s crazed eyes spotted Klaus who was guarded behind Viola and Vincent, another sight Hunter was used to seeing. “You-” Robert pointed an accusing finger in the air towards Klaus. “Come here!” He shouted his command but no one followed, and that was when Gabriel snapped, he usually didn’t give a shit about their father’s outburst towards him, but when their father chose one of the young, Gabriel’s calm demeanour turned feral and almost demonic.

“Viola take Klaus,” said Gabriel through gritted teeth.

“Yes, brother,” answered Viola and followed the order gladly.

“How many times have I told you to not talk to Klaus like that,” sneered Gabriel. “That’s my boy, do you hear me!”

Like Hunter their father watched all of this happening, he watched that his kids didn’t listen to him and that they only took orders from Gabriel.

Robert’s wicked icy glare focused on Gabriel. “You think you’ve won this house, don’t you?” He accused coldly. “Well, let me tell you something, you haven’t, you insolent child-” Hunter was bored and wished to leave, which he was just about to do, when his wolf detected their father raising his meaty hand, and that did it for Hunter.

“That’s enough!” Hunter growled viciously, he rushed between Gabriel and Robert with his strong hand cuffed around the wrist that dared to lay a finger on his brother. “Get your sorry ass out of my face,” spat Hunter cruelly. He knew Gabriel was adequate enough to protect himself, but Hunter never let his brother waste his precious time with trash like their father.

“Cedric!” Gabriel’s voice echoed in the house.

A tall lean man ran out, his black beady eyes searching only to find the same scene all over again. “I’m so sorry, sir,” he said to Gabriel. “I’ll take him to his room right away.” Cedric grabbed their father and dragged him away from Hunter’s menacing glare.

Gabriel laid a hand on Hunter’s seething stiff shoulder.

“I knew we should have sent him off somewhere,” growled Hunter as they all climbed the grand staircase.

“Soon,” said Vincent. “I’ve got the contracts ready, so the house will under be under Gabriel’s name in a couple of weeks.”

“Why’s it taking so long?” Hunter asked irritably.

Vincent raked his hair, which was something they all did when they were frustrated. “This property is ancient,” he explained. “The original deed has to be dug up from the courts, but trust me it won’t take that long. I’ve got this.”

“And we don’t doubt it,” assured Gabriel.

Vincent strode off to his room on the third floor that was only for his use, they all had their own wing in the manor. He left Hunter and Gabriel on the second floor which was Klaus’s. Hunter was about to leave for the night as well, when Gabriel stopped him.

“Something’s off about you,” he said but Hunter ignored the observation, until his brother spoke again. “What’s wrong?”

Hunter stopped in his tracks to face Gabriel. Hunter didn’t know what was bothering him and his wolf so much, but lately his mood has been on the edge and he needed some release. Hunter wanted the restlessness in his heart to end, he craved to come to a peaceful home that didn’t have the memories of their abusive father and terrible childhoods. At first, hunting provided a healthy release for him to let out his rage and hatred. But now it wasn’t enough, he wasn’t full of hatred or rage anymore, he was alone and nothing less than lost with no purpose except fulfilling his role as a brother and beta.

“I don’t know,” he lied.

“You usually handle father’s outbursts quite well,” believed Gabriel.

“I know I do,” said Hunter. “Until he disrespects you, then I draw the line.”

Gabriel smiled and he put a supportive hand around Hunter’s nape like he did when they were younger. “Get some rest,” ordered Gabriel.

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