I was slowly lulled out of sleep. Riley was still snuggled in my arms and sleeping soundly. I found it cute that he snored.
I bent over to take a look at his face and he looked much better.
It had worked. Riley would be okay now at least for a little while.
The banging at the door sounded again and I rolled out of the bed, reacting on reflex. Everything in my bones was shouting: DANGER.
I made my way to the living room and watched the door. A couch and a whole lot of carpet space stood between me and it.
I hesitated then heard Dustin’s voice.
I started forward to open for him but someone grabbed my arm before I made the step.
Riley stood there frowning at the door.
“What?” I asked. “It’s Dustin.”
He shook his head and placed his fingers on his lips. My blood went cold when I heard another voice.
“Why don’t you have a key to your own apartment?” the voice asked. Definitely male.
“Because Riley can open the door for me,” Dustin growled.
I looked at Riley. His eyes were panicked as he ushered me back to the bedroom.
“That’s Ethan and Everest. Cole’s betas,” he said when we got there.
Cole was the alpha that had had me kidnapped me.
The water in the river should have washed off my scent. I was only twenty years old, my Siren scent should not be that strong. But maybe it was. I had to get out of there. Fast.
“Look at me,” Riley said, taking my face in his hands. “I won’t let them take you away from me. Now hide.”
He went out and locked the door behind him. But I stayed there frozen in fear. I heard the front-door open. Then voices, followed by growls.
Heading towards me.
“Wait, Ethan,” said a voice I wasn’t familiar with. Must have been the second beta.
The next second, the door was torn off its hinges and sent flying across the room.
In the doorway stood a pissed off wolf-shifter. Dark hair, steely eyes. He looked familiar.
He clenched his fists and glared at me.
His twin --I’m not exaggerating, they were identical-- pushed passed him and entered the room.
“What are you doing here? I told you to leave the city.”
And then I remembered. The second brother was the one that had set me free.
“I-I….” I shrugged helplessly, taking a few steps back.
Riley and Dustin appeared, and shoved the angry twin from the doorway and into the room. Riley locked the door behind him, sealing the five of us inside.
The twin, the one that hadn’t rescued me, sighed and rubbed the sides of head with the tips of his fingers. “What did you do, Everest?” he asked, tiredly.
I knew that tone and almost laughed. I knew exactly how he felt, having siblings of my own.
“Ethan--” Everest began, but Ethan was not having it.
“What did you do?” he interrupted, his question carrying much more force than before.
Riley and Dustin made their way to me and stood beside me. Riley had removed his shirt. He was ready to shift, his body rippling with barely restrained anger.
“I helped her escape, Ethan. Cole has no right to keep her.”
“Ev, listen to me. Cole’s your alpha. You--”
“No! You listen to me, Ethan.” Everest said angrily.
Ethan’s power was enough to suffocate my siren senses. He was a strong beta and did not bother to hide it
“She’s a Siren, Ethan,” Everest mumbled.
Ethan flicked a look my way, eyes softening. “Oh.”
I couldn’t accurately gauge how strong betas were-- only Omegas could do that. But I knew Betas could never be Alphas. They were born to be second.
“Phillip told me after they came back from the mission,” Everest continued. He gestured at me. “She was the mission. Do you know what alphas do to Sirens?”
Riley growled at my side, but he wasn’t growling at the betas.
My heart dropped to the pit of my stomach when I noticed five figures stuck to the huge window. They had scaled the building like geckos. We were ten floors up. This was insane.
The next thing was the crash of glass breaking. They burst into the room and we would have shifted but they were faster and had the element of surprise on their side.
Quite frankly, I didn’t even try to shift. I knew it was too late.
It all happened in the span of two short breaths. They broke in and shot at me. Twice in the neck, once in the arm and again in my stomach,
I felt it more than knew it when I woke up.
Riley was bent over me. Shaking me awake, tears pouring down his face, sobbing relentlessly, “Wake up! Dustin! Please! We’ve got to find her!”
The E twins were still knocked out but my mate was crying. He was in pain and I needed to help him. “Okay. We need a plan.”
He looked at me helplessly. Riley trusted me. “Pack all our things,” I said. “We’re not coming back here once we find Freya.”
Once he left, I realized that I was stalling. That I had no plan. And most importantly, that I had no way to get to Freya.
“I can help you,” Everest said as soon as he woke up. “I think I know who took her.”
Thank the heavens.
I helped him sit up and in the end he insisted on standing up.
“Who took her?” I asked him.
“Ivanov. Those were his vampires.”
I did not know much about vampires--I hardly knew anything about shifters. What I knew about vampires, I learned from stories. They fed on blood and got crazy sunburn. The kind where you burst into literal flames.
“Why would they take Freya?” I wondered out loud, not really expecting an answer.
“He has this rivalry with Cole. Every time he wants something, Ivanov has to have it for himself.”
“Then we need to move,” Riley said from the doorway. “The bags are ready.”
“I’ll go with you,” Everest said, pulling away from me and standing on his own.
“No,” Ethan groaned. He had woken up too and rising onto unsteady feet.
“Oh my dear, dear brother,” Everest teased as he rushed to help Ethan up. “You know you can’t stop me. So why do you bother?”
Ethan hit him over the head. “Idiot. Then I’m coming with you. Someone needs to carry your corpse back to packlands.”