28 She's Right...
“Taken care of,” Chris replies to my question about Sara’s whereabouts as his expression instantly darkens.
“What does that mean!?” My voice protests heavily against being in an argument so soon.
“What did you do, Chris?” I whisper. My anger is replaced by shock as a cold shiver runs down my spine.
Did he kill his own friend!? Scratch that, did I get her killed?
“Relax, I haven’t done anything yet, she’s just locked up,” Chris says dismissively. How casually he says that makes me shudder. He reaches for me, but I pull away.
“You locked up your own friend.” The disbelief is clear in my voice.
“I locked up a disobedient pack member who defied a direct order and attacked my mate!” His tone is cold and threatening.
“Take a walk you two, this isn’t heading anywhere good,” Derek warns.
Chris growls, throwing his dish at the sink before heading out the back door straight for the woods.
“Let’s go,” Derek says as he stands.
“You tried to kill me last time I was alone with you,” I say skeptically. He raises a brow.
“I want to see Sara,” I say.
“I’m guessing you need a guide, unless you know where the cells are,” he says matter-of-factly.
“I don’t think-”
“Keep not thinking there, pretty boy,” Derek cuts Jace off, eyes locked, warning him to drop it.
Jace just growls at him. His demeanor has changed completely, arms crossed with a scowl on his face.
“Shall we?” Derek asks, gesturing to the kitchen door.
I reluctantly follow his lead as we head through the house stopping at a staircase I’d never noticed before. Two men block the way, solemn expressions on their faces.
“Guardian,” they greet Derek in unison. “Luna,” they smile with my greeting.
Before I can protest Derek addresses them. “Are we doing this the easy or hard way, lads?” He asks, letting the threat hang heavy in the air.
“Alpha’s orders Guardian, sorry.” The guard visibly pales as he speaks.
“Are you questioning my authority?” The power radiating off of him is sickening as it washes over the men in waves.
How does someone hide such an aura!?
“O-of course not Guardian,” he stammers. “If it was official business we would-”
“Do you presume to know what is, or is not official business,” Derek threatens. His eyes darken as he narrows his gaze at the guard.
“No! Of course not,” he stammers, looking like he may throw up at any minute. His shoulders slump in defeat as he steps aside.
Derek leads the way; the stairs are dark and lead to a dimly lit hallway. The feeling of all the concrete and bars is crushing, not a single window gives any natural light or fresh air. My body tenses up to the point of being painful.
“Relax,” he says, noticing my state.
“Sorry, this is my first dungeon,” I snap. His nonchalant nature, given the circumstances, just irritates me to no end.
“This is a jail, dungeons are elsewhere,” he replies with a sinister laugh.
‘She deserves it, why do you even feel bad about it?’ ‘Because it’s my fault she’s here.’ ‘She chose to go against Chris.’ ‘Maybe, but she wasn’t wrong.’
Having finished arguing with myself, I notice we approach a lone guard at the final cell in the block.
“Let’s have a chat,” Derek says, guiding the protesting guard away by the shoulder. I shudder, remembering how that grip felt.
“I can’t say I expected to see you here,” Sara says as I take the last couple steps into view. She does nothing to hide the bitterness in her voice.
She’s sitting on the bench across from the door, head held back against the wall. Her nose has long since started to heal though the bruises are still visible, but she looks strained. Her regular unbridled spirit feels diminished… wounded even.
“You look like shit,” she says a little stunned.
“I met Derek,” I say flatly.
"He did this to you?!” She almost sounds concerned, they must have really worked her over good.
“In all fairness, I did shoot him,” I mumble.
Her cynical laugh echoes around us. “So, what do you want then?” She asks bitterly, still not bothering to look at me.
Straight to the point, I’ve always appreciated her lack of small talk. “I don’t know,” I mumble.
She scoffs at my lack of plan as she closes her eyes. Her body is so tense, brows furrowed deeply as she sighs loudly.
“When Chris said he had taken care of you I thought he killed you, but when he said he just locked you up I felt the need to come.” It sounds pathetic to me as well but it’s the truth. She eyes me skeptically but says nothing. I spot a key ring on the wall, grab it, before fighting with the lock until I find the right one and swing the door open.
Her expression has changed from skeptical to flat out mistrust. “Why,” she whispers.
“You shouldn’t be locked up for doing your job.” I shrug.
She stays seated but finally speaks. “When you showed up I thought you came to gloat,” she trails off bitterly. “I should have known that you’d pity me. Fucking pathetic.”
“You have a funny way of saying thank you, you know?” I grate my teeth at how she makes it very hard to be nice sometimes.
“You letting me out doesn’t change anything, I sealed my fate the moment I opened my mouth,” she trails off sadly. “I knew it when I did it, but I wouldn’t take it back.”
“Nothing is set in stone,” I try to reason.
“Chris won’t even talk to me. He’s totally blocked off my link too.” Her sorrow hits me in waves. She may not regret her words but she hates to have upset Chris.
“Hard to ignore someone standing in front of them.” I nod at the open door, before turning to walk away.
I’ve had enough of the jail and I just got here, I can’t imagine how Sara feels.
“It still doesn’t change anything, you know? I’m not suddenly going to follow you around like a puppy singing your praises or anything.” Her words hold an edge that he voice lacks.
I scoff at the notion, “Well aware.”
“Then why help me?” She asks dumbfounded, dark eyes locked on mine.
“I’m not doing this to force you to like me, you shouldn’t be punished for speaking your mind,” I explain.
“That’s exactly how packs work,” she says cynically. “There’s a hierarchy, those above set the rules and orders for those below to follow.”
“Well I guess I’m just proving your point then. Come or don’t come, I’m not staying down here any longer. It’s your choice,” I say as my irritation creeps into my voice.
Derek’s expression as we walk past is unreadable, but I think I catch amusement in his eyes. The guard, however, looks mortified as we make our way back to the kitchen.
Jace stares coldly at Sara. “Best behaviour, right?” he threatens. She nods, dropping her gaze.
“Incoming,” Jace warns, grey eyes locked on mine.
The back door smashes open with such force that the sound makes me flinch. Chris stands there, trembling in anger as his furious gaze scans the room before settling on Sara. “The fuck is she doing up here?” he snarls.
The commotion has drawn onlookers from the rest of the house, though not one person so much as whispers.
“It wasn’t right Chris,” I say, trying to take his attention from her.
“Right?! She attacked my mate! That makes you her Luna,” he snarls as his eyes darken.
I tentatively lay a hand on his arm. I’m not sure if I did it to try and calm the storm in his soul or my own shaking nerves. Either way, my touch seems to be working so I lay my other hand on his other arm. He slowly stops shaking.
“We argued,” I pause before continuing, “I threw the first punch, she never hit me.” It’s true, though only because Xavier and Jace were there.
He saw right through that defense. “It would have ended differently if Xavier and Jace didn’t show up when they did,” he growls out, through gritted teeth.
“Possibly, but the fact is I lost my temper and escalated it. Sara was in full control of herself, she just spoke.”
“And what did she say?” He says lowly.
“That I was a liability.” He growls as I speak. “That her views aren’t personal, she’s just looking out for the safety of the pack,” I pause.
“She’s not wrong Chris,” I whisper sadly.
“She doesn’t know a fucking thing about you, she has never given you a chance. Not once did she even try! I put you on her team for challenge so she could show me she was capable of caring for her Luna, but instead she left you unprotected. This isn’t the first time we’ve fought over this.” His words are laced with anger but he has regained control for now.
“What do you mean? Why didn’t you say anything about it?” I ask, not hiding my shock. My heart hammers as my emotions are threatening to overwhelm me.
A bitter laugh slips past his lips as he locks eyes with me. “You run from me half of the time, why would I give you more fuel for the fire?”
“Because I had the right to know,” I say, hurt lacing my voice.
“Like you’ve been honest about your past?” Chris snaps back, narrowing his gaze at me.
His words hit with a force he didn’t intend, causing me to recoil. He realizes his mistake a moment too late, reaching for me but I take a step back, wrapping my arms tightly around myself.
“Jess, I didn’t mean it like that-”
“Yes, you did.” I whisper as my voice trembles. “Why can’t you just leave it alone, just leave it in the past?”
“You don’t see how it’s still affecting you!” He snaps, stepping closer.
“God, why is everything always your way or the highway! You don’t always know best,” I shout as my fire flares back to life.
“Because I’m the Alpha, and you are mine! I just want to take care of what’s mine but you fight me every fucking step of the way,” Chris growls, closing the gap.
His aura hits me stronger than it ever has before, the commanding pressure pushing to be obeyed, but my own fire is raging, threatening to consume me. I stand defiant, eyes locked as he towers above me.
“Why do you always fight me?” Chris asks, his eyes full of sadness and confusion.
My resolve starts to waver as my fire retreats. “Because she’s right.”
His shock and confusion takes him off guard.
“She said the Moon Goddess made a mistake pairing me with you.” I barely get the words out as my chest tightens. “She’s right, you need a strong and capable Luna, not a broken husk of a person.” I stare at the floor, unable to look at him.
He lifts my chin before speaking softly. “She knows nothing of what I want or need. All I want is you, all I need is you.” His hazel eyes bore into mine as my heart leaps at his words.
“The matebond makes you think that. You could get rid of me and feel that way for someone else,” I whisper as my heart aches.
“I’m not rejecting you! Not now, not ever.” His voice has taken a dangerous edge. “No one can force me to and I’ll kill them if they so much as try. You are mine,” he growls.
“If you won’t, then I will for your own good,” I pause, unable to breathe. The tightening in my chest snaps tighter then it has ever been before threatening to crush my heart, making me stagger from the sheer force.
His eyes fly open with shock as what I’ve said sinks in. Wordlessly, he drops instantly to his knees, head falling to the side as he stares at the floor. The room is silent except for the collective gasp.