Seeking happiness

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XXIX

Early in the morning, even before breakfast. Chris walks the distance to the clinic with a little bag in his hand. He wants to get the residue in the bottle from last night examined. Also, there may be fingerprints on it, so he wants to get that checked out as well. He wants to know exactly who the one is that poisons him.

When he returns from dropping off the bottle at the lab, he enjoys the quiet morning. He decides to take a detour and follows a trail that leads him further up the mountain. There’s somewhere he wants to go, somewhere he hasn’t been in a while. It’s a little further up on the mountain, but not too far away from the Packhouse. The air is damp, patches of mist hang between the trees, like thin threads of candyfloss. It’s quiet around him, just one or two single birds have already started their morning song. He loves this weather; it matches his mood perfectly. He searches his pockets for his cigarettes and his lighter. It’s the perfect moment to smoke.

Once his cigarette is lit up and he has put everything away again, he enjoys the peace. Inhaling deeply and blowing out big clouds of smoke. It feels like the quiet before a storm.

He arrives at an open clearing. You can see that the building of a house has started here. The first floor is already there, but it’s not nearly finished. The house has its back to the mountain, surrounded by trees, but the front has the clearing in front of it, providing a lot of light and an amazing view. Someday he’ll finish it, someday this house will be filled with the sounds of kids running around, of children laughing and playing. Someday he’ll be happy, right here. But before he can start the life he dreams about; he has to make sure this place is safe. He throws his cigarette away and puts it out with his boot. Time to go back.

Coming closer to the Packhouse Chris can see a tall person sitting on the steps. He would recognise the dark shoulder long hair everywhere. It’s the signature hair colour and hairstyle of the Andersons, almost all male Andersons have the same hair Christopher and his brothers included. “Nicholas, Good morning.” He turns around and sits next to his brother.

“Morning, Chris, you’re up early.” He looks at Chris.

“Yeah, had to bring something to the lab quickly.” He puts his hand in his pocket and brings out the cigarettes again. He offers one to Nick who gladly accepts.

“What for?” Nick holds his cigarette in the flame Chris holds up for him and inhales deeply.

“I think I’m still being poisoned.” Chris lights up his cigarette and puts the lighter away.

“Really?” Nick looks surprised, blowing a cloud of smoke out at the same time. “Why do you think so?”

“My whiskey had a bad aftertaste last night. When I smelled it, it smelled like Wolfsbane.”

“What? Someone put Wolfsbane in your whiskey? Someone must really have something against you then.” Nick’s face shows the outrage he feels inside.

“Yep.” Chris shrugs.

“Who knows how long they’ve been doing that, without you noticing it.”

“I think this has nothing to do with the Wolfsbane the rogues injected during the fight. But it does explain a lot of things that happened lately. It was probably a low dose every time, but enough to weaken my senses.”

“Who would want to do this to you?”

“Do you think the person who does this would still be alive if I knew who it was?”

“Nah, that’s out of the question.” Nick shakes his head. “Oh, before I forget to tell you, I contacted my Alpha after our talk yesterday. He is going to think about coming over here. He isn’t against it, but he is careful with what he does.”

“I understand,” Chris nods, “I would do the same, I suppose.”

The front door behind them opens, someone steps out and closes the door again.

“Good morning guys, this looks like a family meeting.” Leo takes the steps and sits down next to Chris. Now the Anderson brothers are complete.

“What are you doing up this early?” Nick asks Leo.

“Well, I have some news for Chris, I was looking for him.”

“Spill it, something about your investigation?” Chris looks at him expectantly.

“Actually, yes,” Leo smiles. “I immediately took action, and my men did a great job.”

“Then tell me, don’t keep me waiting.” Chris is getting impatient.

“Last night, Lisa sneaked out again, this time even without permission. She went to the city to meet up with some guy with green eyes. A rogue. He seems to be either a lover or her mate because they were very intimate with each other. They went to a cafe. Once there the guy got in some trouble with a girl, the guy got a good whack on his face from that girl. After that, the couple left, my men followed them to the outskirts of town, where they are closest from here. They met up with a lot of other rogues in an abandoned warehouse, my men had to watch out for not being noticed.”

“A guy with green eyes? That could only be one person. Vince. Do you think you can point out exactly where that warehouse is on a map?”

“I think I can.”

“Perfect. This is the best news I have gotten in quite some time. Well done Leo.” Chris gets up and walks a few steps a way to think. “Looks like this Vince-guy is not just a normal business partner for Mr. Verona. Now it looks like Lisa is a mole. She gathers information and she passes it on to either Vince or Mr. Verona himself.”

Nick gets up as well and stands beside Chris. “You know what to do, capture her.”

Chris rubs his stubble, deep in thought. “No, not right now. We need to follow her, see what she does in a day. When she leaves the pack again, I’ll come with. I need to see the warehouse for myself. When your Alpha comes, we’ll have all the information we need to be able to get to action.”

“We could act as if we’re discussing something important,” Leo suggests. “Make sure she overhears us and that way we can lead them astray, giving them false information. If she leaves right away, we’re sure she’s what’s going on with her.”

“That is actually not a bad idea. We just need to figure out what kind of information we want to give her and how we can make sure she’s heard us.” Chris frowns, thinking hard.

“Talk to Danny, he doesn’t know what’s going on, then you’ll get a genuine reaction. Maybe tell him that my Alpha isn’t going to support you after all. That’s quite important news for them.” Nick suggests, he smiles.

Chris nods in agreement, “that’s it, that’s what we’re going to do. I’ll call him when Lisa is nearby. Our maybe tell him at breakfast, then Lisa is always nearby.”

“That last idea is a good one, she knows we’re discussing important things when we’re eating.” Leo points out. “Nick can even tell the news himself, with you, me and Danny reacting.”

“That’s what we’ll do. For the rest, I want warriors following her. As soon as she’s about to leave the pack-grounds, inform me, I’m coming with you.”

“Alright.” Leo nods.

“Nick, can I count on you when I’m gone?” Chris looks at his brother.

“Of course, you can.” Nick nods, then smiles. “You always can, you know that.”

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