When her body landed on mine, crushing me with her heavy weight, the pistol I had carried with me poked out of my coat, the barrel touching the ground. With one arm under the wolf's neck, I managed to keep her threatening teeth from my face, my stomach churning in revulsion at the stench from her breath.
She growled as I moved my free arm, her eyes staring deep into mine as she once again attempted to lunge at my face, razor sharp teeth grazing my cheeks. My arm muscles strained from keeping her heavy head away and I wheezed in relief when I felt the gun, held it awkwardly.
There was a moment of hesitance as I contemplated shooting her; she may have valuable information. But then I remembered what she was and gladly pulled the trigger, my lips curling harshly as the bullet sunk into her underbelly, her howl of pain ringing in my ears, seeming to shake the leaves of the surrounding trees.
And just as I did this, Xerxes appeared, only taking a mere second to take in the scene before grabbing his mother by the scruff of her neck, effortlessly throwing her off of my body. I brushed away his hands and kept my attention on the wolf as Flynn managed to bound her, not allowing her to escape if she tried.
I worked my jaw, tasting iron as Xerxes knelt on one knee by his mother, his fingers fisting the fur on her head so that she looked up at him, her breathing ragged. Blood was beginning to pool under and around her, and the boots which Xerxes wore became stained with the thick redness.
"I've been very lenient with you." Xerxes scowled when she flinched, whimpers erupting behind her tied mouth when his fingers tightened on her dark fur. Suffocating tension crackled in the night air as his icy eyes seemed to burn a hole through her head. "Not any more, Idina."
Her fur bristled when he released her. Xerxes ignored her rumbling growls and faced his Beta. "Take her to the van. Have Easton take her to the shed by my house. I'll need to speak with her."
Flynn tilted his head, disgust evident as he looked upon her bleeding body. "And afterwards?"
Xerxes turned slowly, his fury filled eyes narrowing in on my still stinging cheek and I raised my head, waiting for his response. His exhale was soft, an attempt to release the stress in his body. Then, his head lowered to where his mother lay, a dark hatred blazing in the depths of her silver eyes. Xerxes' lip curled in a snarl,
"Afterwards, I will deal with her personally."
Steaming hot water awoke the woman from her slumber, her fur retreading into pale skin, the bullet wound still remaining on her smooth stomach. She hissed, fangs bared as she crawled into a corner of the room, trying to hide her naked body.
I stepped forward, near to the dark glass that allowed me to see what was taking place without being in the room, unable to hide my curiosity about what Idina would have little choice but to reveal.
"Do you remember using this method on me to wake me up when I was a child, Idina?" Xerxes tossed the bucket which once held the water onto the floor, allowing it to roll to her feet. "Doesn't feel very good, does it?"
"I remember many things, boy." Idina snarled from her corner, her body trembling from the droplets on her skin. "I remember when you actually put our kind's needs first, before anyone else's. When you used to put my needs before anyone else's."
Xerxes ignored her words. "Every morning, you would come inside and throw hot water on my body to wake me up. Relentlessly. You would see the burns on my body from the water and watch my skin knit together, heal. And then, the next morning, you would do it again." He paused. "I was merely a child and could do nothing. I've endured many harsh treatments by the hands of you and my father. I've tried to forget and forgive those acts. And now, you've done certain things I just can't dismiss or let go of. My patience with you is running thin, Idina, it is slowly becoming nothingness."
Idina swallowed, her shoulders still shivering, the heat from the overhead light her only source of warmth. "What are you going to do?" She spat between shudders. "Kill me?"
The sound of water dripping from her body was the only noise that could be heard for many long seconds, along with her ragged breathing. When Xerxes stood, her back straightened and she wrapped her arms around her legs, recoiling into herself.
"Perhaps." Xerxes spat as he walked across from her, grabbing a wooden table and dragging it across the room, the legs dragging against the metal floor a harsh, painful sound. Two chairs were also brought out and situated on each end. Xerxes paused by one of them, one hand gripping the handle of the chair as he stared down at his mother.
"Come and sit."
His mother flinched from his harsh spoken, commanding words and she folded her arms tighter around her naked body.
"Sit, Idina." His bellow seemed to shake the table in the room, the two ceramic mugs on a counter. She did not move a muscle and Kesley shifted uncomfortably beside me, growing wary because of Idina's reluctance.
Xerxes strode to his mother and gripped her by her thin arm, hauling and dragging her to the chair. Once she was seated, he slid the chair closer to the table and her body jerked forward from the sharp movement, her palms landing flat on the table in surprise. She was exposed, naked and uncomfortable. But she need not worry about her lack of clothes; none of the persons in this shed were interested in her state of undress.
Xerxes moved to sit by the chair on the opposite end of the table. "So this is how the conversation between us will be, Idina. You will tell me what I need to know about the Insurgency Club and the plans which you want to carry out. You will answer my questions and I may just change my mind about killing you."
Idina's silver eyes narrowed. "And if I don't?"
"Then I will have to use force to make you speak. And after I do that, your death will be imminent." Xerxes cocked his head when she pressed trembling lips together, his tone mocking when he continued speaking."So what shall it be, lovely mother?"
Her head raised, gauging her son. Her mind was ticking, she was thinking hard. "You would not kill me. You don't have it in you."
Fangs glimmered under the yellow light in the room as Xerxes smiled, although there was nothing humourous in the action. "It would be in your best interest to not underestimate me, Idina." His voice had darkened, deepened into one which was unbelievably animalistic. It was a rough, gravel sound that raised the hairs on my skin and even Idina was taken aback.
"Now, will you speak with me willingly?" Xerxes asked. Idina looked away from his piercing gaze, looking towards the glass where I stood behind. I frowned; I knew there was little chance that she could see me, yet, it seemed like she was staring right in my direction.
"What do you want to know?" Her voice was still clipped, still annoyed and I knew it would be a struggle before Xerxes managed to get what he wanted from her.
Xerxes clasped his fingers together and leaned forward. "Let's start with the whole trying to overrule me shit. How were you planning to do that?"
Idina scowled, her eyes darting back to the Alpha. She licked her lips slowly, deep in thought as her shoulders lifted and lowered with every breath she took. And then, she straightened; smugness oozed from her. "I change my mind. I won't answer any of your questions, dear son."
Morning came and went, and she still refused to speak. The look of triumph on her face disgusted me when she watched Xerxes leave the room. A sense of satisfaction warmed me when I saw him enter the room again, weilding a briefcase. Idina's grin slowly melted away and confusion settled in her gaze as she watched him slam it down on the wooden table.
A few clicks echoed in the room and I watched him open it, set out the items from it on the table. "You had every chance to speak willingly to me, Idina. You should've taken it up."
He moved quicker than I could've ever anticipated and the blade of a dagger sunk deep into her hand, through the wood of the table. Her scream was shrill, the noise of the blade slicing bone echoing in the room. Her other hand immediately sought out the hilt of the dagger as she tried desperately to yank it out.
But Xerxes easily jabbed another dagger into her other hand, effectively pinning it to the table. Her body curled forward, her screams deafening as her eyes became wide, staring in disbelief at her now pinned, bleeding hands. Beside me, Leo, who had decided to travel to the shed out of curiosity early this morning, clapped my shoulder.
"Well, I think I've seen enough for today. I'll be outside vomiting if you need me." The door swung shut after he departed and I fixed my coat, moving it closer to my shoulders and turned back to the gruesome sight. Idina's head was flailing back and forth as she no longer screamed, her moans low and long. I felt uncomfortable watching her this way, and wondered if Xerxes felt the same. But one look at him told me that he didn't.
"Where shall we start, mother?" He spoke over the noises of her pain and lifted a book. He flicked through pages and rested his back against a wall, ignoring his mother, grinning when he finally stopped at a page. "I've written just a couple of questions ma, so this won't be long."
Silver eyes became dark and she snapped her jaws in his direction. Her body shook as if she was going to shift, the bones under her skin moving grotesquely as she tried and failed to do so.
"Would you be so kind as to share some of what you hoped to achieve by being apart of the Insurgency Club?"
Idina's snarling was his only response. Tears had began to stream down her cheeks, and fall into the blood that had trickled from her hands and onto the table.
Xerxes shook his head, sighing dramatically and approached the table to begin searching through the briefacase. "I'd really hate to have to use another weapon on you, Idina-"
And with one breath, her words came jumbling out. Her reasonings were similar to Sander. She wanted things to be like the good ole days, where humans worked tirelessly and werewolves got to live in their golden kingdoms.
By the time she was finished, I was bored and had sunk into a chair, watching with tired eyes as she continued to reluctantly spit and hiss information to her son, information which we already knew, but I assume Xerxes wanted to hear just incase she would say something different than what we had been told from Sander and Mathew.
"And how many werewolves pledged to fight alongside you, Idina?" Xerxes asked a question which had me sitting up, wanting to hear an answer.
Idina grimaced, eyes darting to her hands as she tried to shift in her seat. The pain was still there and the wounds would not heal unless the knives were taken out. The bullet wound on her stomach had not healed either; the bullet was still in and surgery would be needed to take it out. Unless she somehow managed to unpin her hands and use her claws to take it out herself.
"I don't have an accurate count." Idina snapped. "But what I do know is that the humans will do what they need to and drive you out. Werewolves will happily set out the plan which I have spoken to them about, with or without me being there."
Xerxes' face hardened with anger and annoyance. "Well that is where you're wrong." He growled, but said nothing else. He firmly pulled out the swords and her body slumped forward, a low mumble of relief, soft sounds of cooing coming from her parted lips as the wounds began to heal.
Xerxes began to clean the weapons with a cloth, place them away into the briefcase with fluid movements.
"Your father would be ashamed of you if he was still alive." Xerxes stiffened at Idina's words. She sneered and continued, "He wanted what you had for many years. The power you had over humans, the livelihood that was once created for us werewolves. And you have thrown it all away."
Xerxes snarled, "I don't give a shit what he would've wanted. He was just as demented as you are."
And with that, the three soldiers who had been waiting outside the door came in, grabbing the helpless female's arms and tieing her arms to a pole. Her gasps of fear and struggling was relentless. My stomach dropped at the sight of a whip which one of the young soldiers held, giving it to Xerxes.
"Will he really kill her?" I questioned Flynn, who had been watching the whole interaction quietly. He shrugged.
"She tried to have you murdered, Becca. She sent out Sander to do it and that failed. And she attacked you in the forest and failed as well. I find it very difficult to believe that Xerxes would allow her to live after all that she's done." Flynn paused and eyed me. "And please don't go in there trying to be a hero and stop him. You spared her life once and yet she still tried to harm you."
The sound of the whip against flesh was a sound that I hoped to never hear. The pale skin of Idina's back ripped apart, leaving a long slash from her shoulder to her hip. My eyes rolled backwards and I turned slightly away from the window, feeling faint as I saw pink flesh and blood.
Xerxes lifted the whip, completely immune to his mother's cries and struck again. And again. The whip cracking on her body overpowered any protests and screams as it relentlessly scorched and split open the skin of her back and sides of her hips until blood drenched the floor under her. It was clear that Xerxes had whipped someone before; the way he handled the whip was so precise and he made it look so easy.
I didn't stay after counting the thirtieth lash. My legs had a mind of their own and I left the shed, inhaling the cool morning air. And even though I was outside, her haunting screams still followed me, still could be heard clearly and I hurriedly recited Flynn's words. She would have killed me if she had the chance, so why should I pity her?