I felt like a fool not realizing that it might be a smokescreen.
Damn it, Riley! You must be going soft now you have found your mate!
“Riley!” Whipping my head around I see Fredrick walk towards me looking absolutely horrified.
Great, what does he want now?
I know that as Head Hunter, the King has given him the task of tracking down Keelan and Vincent a.s.a.p. Not only that but dad has also been on his case about this, something about doing what’s right.
“What is it, Fredrick?” Up close I can see the dark rings under his eyes and his usual sun-kissed skin is quite pale.
“I think I have found a lead on where Keelan might be stashed away.” I raise a brow in question to his quite bold statement. “I believe that Vincent might have stashed him away in one of the huge warehouses on the docks in the industry section of the human city. At least that was until we lost Keelan’s tracking signal.”
I am not surprised he had a tracking device on Keelan, it does raise the question of why hadn’t they find him or his family earlier. He must have read the question on my face as he held up his hands in surrender.
“I overheard dad talking about it with one of the previous council members and some Clan elders. And before you shoot off at me for not telling sooner, I wanted to be sure the information was correct.”
I fold my arms and let out a sigh “You do know this also might be a trap right?”
He looked as uncomfortable as I felt “Yes I do, but this is our only lead so far. And if we are going to act, we need to act now!”
Unfortunately, he was right; the warehouses on the docks are usually crawling with drug dealers and other types of lowlifes. And since recently crawling with cops since the huge drug heist a few days ago.
“How are you going to pull that off with just so few of us? I mean those warehouses are huge and not to mention at least ten floors high! He could really be anywhere in one of those. Not to mention they would be guarded.”
For the first time in my life, I see my always calm and composed little brother worryingly bite his lip.
He rubbed a hand through his hair in an irritated gesture “I don’t know okay?! I don’t know, but I do know we can’t just sit here and do nothing when we might actually find him.”
I want to find Keelan as much as he does, if not more, but this, this is just insanity. “Look, I know you want to find him and bring him back in one piece. The only bad thing about this plan of yours is doomed to fail.”
Snapping my head to the side I saw Dillan calmly leaning against a tree. “And you would know that how? And why are you here? Weren’t you off somewhere doing Vincent’s bidding?”
Fredrick looked panicked and pale, as Dillan snickered softly before sauntering over to us. “I know Riley for a fact that without an experienced person with these types of situations, you won’t get far.”
Fredrick let out a small sound of distress as Dillan walked up right beside him. I have got to give him credits for only flinching and not stepping back. I glare at Dillan, folding my arms, not really clear on his intentions.
“What are you suggesting Dillan?” I snort “You want to help us?” I ask mockingly.
My eyes widen as he shrugs “So what if I want to help you? Keelan’s survival is important to the Pack.” I shake my head at the unbelievable fact that Dillan wants to help out. Of his own free will to boot, something has to be up. There is no way he will help us out of the goodness of his heart.
[I know you don’t like Dillan, but he’s our best chance Rile.]
I look over to Fredrick after giving Dillan another dead glare. [I know Freddy, but I don’t have to like it. And if we go I want to take Archie with us. Don’t give me that look, I am taking him with us whether you want to or not.]
Fredrick let out a huff of annoyance as he rolled his eyes, folding his arms. [Go and call him. So we can leave as soon as possible.]
I grin as a few minutes later Archie saunters up to us wearing Pack sweats and sweatshirt, barefoot. “So, are we ready to go?” He looks a little unnerved at Dillan before shrugging and turns to Fredrick, holding out his hand. “We never officially met, but I am Archon Cole.”
Fredrick looks at me first for permission, and grabs Archie’s hand, shaking it after my small nod “Fredrick Woods, Head Hunter.”
Dillan lets out a frustrated groan “If you two pups are done, we need to get going NOW.” He sneers, making both Fred and Archie glare at him at being called pups. Yet they say nothing as they follow Dillan’s lead as he weaves his way past the guards and out of the Pack Lands.
[Okay, let’s get one thing straight, no matter what you guys will follow my lead. I don’t have the time or patience to look out for you and locate Keelan. We should shift as soon as we leave the Lands.]
We all wince as Dillan’s voice booms across our recently made Link.
[Fine, but how would you know where to find Keelan anyway?]
Archie sounded rightly suspicious of Dillan knowing all this.
[Because I was there when they pulled him out of the truck as they drove him here and dragged him into a warehouse.] Dillan sounded bored or even irritated.
We all keep our mouths wisely shout after that, we all knew a warning when we heard one. [Okay, it’s safe enough to shift now. Do take your clothes with you though; we will need to be human to get into the warehouse.]
We stop briefly in a small ring of trees, Freddy gasps as he sees Archie’s animal form for the first time. Dillan, however, doesn’t give him the time to gawk.
[Okay, everybody ready? Let’s move out!]
Dillan’s animal form is a huge dark coloured mountain lion, while Freddy is a puma. We run in single file for a solid thirty minutes, with Dillan leading and me bringing up the rear.
[Stop! We’re close.]
Dillan slows to a trot, slinking around several abandoned buildings and cars, before coming to a stop behind a Volkswagen camper bus and shifts. We all follow his example, “So Keelan was being dragged into that building last time I saw him.” Dillan motions to the red-bricked five-story building with his chin.
“Great,” Archie groans as he looks at the building “how are we going to find him in that huge building? He could be everywhere.”
Freddy studies the building more closely before turning towards Dillan “How do you know he hasn’t been moved to another building?”
Dillan shrugs “I don’t but I know Vincent pretty well and this building means something to him. I highly doubt he would move Keelan out of his favourite hiding spot.”
I cocked my head to the side, listening for any sign of movement. “Do you have any idea where he might be held? I feel nothing for wasting time searching places where he wouldn’t be anyway. ”
Dillan narrows his eyes slightly as he looked at the building “I would say he would be on either the second or third floor in the middle of the building. He likes to be able to keep an eye on everything all the time.”
I nod my head, getting my head in the game “Okay so how are we going to do this?”
Freddy takes control of the situation “Well I think that splitting up into groups of two and sweep the floors and approach from both sides, making sure we cover as much ground as possible.”
Dillan nods his head, approving of the plan “Riley and Archon will take one side and I and Fred will take the other side.” Freddy looked uncomfortable at being paired with Dillan but pulls himself together putting his game face on.
I grab Archie’s hand
[Come on Archie, let’s go.]
We nod at Dillan and Freddy before running from the cover of the Volkswagen to the side of the building.
[Is it just me or is it weird that there are now guards?]
[No it’s not]
Dillan reacts before I could
[Vincent is known for being arrogant and cocky. So he won’t have a lot of guards if he even has a few.]
[My guess is the guards he has will be with him and Keelan, right?]
I ask just to be sure, still looking around the main entrance of the building for any kind of movement.
[That’s most likely, but just to be sure don’t count on it.]
[I don’t like this at all Riles.]
I stop at the top of the stairs, on our way to the second floor.
[Why is that?]
[Because this is too easy, this is way too easy. In the whole time, we have been here we have seen no sign of life or Keelan, not even a faint scent. I think this is a trap.]
I sigh as I run a hand through my hair
[We all kind of knew that when we decided to do this. Trap or no trap Keelan is Pack and we look out for each other.]
We were creeping along the wall of the second story floor when a faint wailing sound reached my ears.
[You hear that?]
I look over my shoulder to see Archie look at my wide eye.
I grit my teeth
[That bastard! Dillan! Freddy! Cops are coming!]
Somehow Dillan sounds out of breath, making me frown.
[What happened to you guys?]
[We ran into some trouble, fellow hunters Fred’s taking care of it. Is he there?]
I look at Archie, who shakes his head at me as we both move to the other side of the room on opposite walls.
[No he’s not on the second floor. We’re going back to the staircase to go to the third floor.]
[Okay we will meet you there as soon as Fred’s done taking care of the hunters.]
I nod at Archie as we silently creep back the way we came, back to the staircase. I don’t question why Dillan is waiting on Fred, as we heard the murmur of conversation as we near the top of the staircase.
“….Idiot….Thinking he’ll be saved….. Thinking he’ll leave this place alive…” I don’t focus enough to hear the rest, more interested in where they are going.
[Dillan! Fred! He’s on the third floor!]
The wailing of police sirens pass us as we see the flashing lights pass by in a high way, we both silently let out a sigh of relief. Taking a deep breath I put some pressure on the door that opens onto the third floor. We cringle and stand still as the door squeaks and groans as it opens, even though most windows were boarded up, there was a lot of light in the room.
“Welcome, Riley and Archon. Welcome to my little private party.” The velvety smooth voice of Vincent whispers around the room. As my eyes are adjusted to the bright light I see Vincent sit in the middle of the room in a similar raised chair as the King those, with Keelan bound and chained to something.
Just like Dillan said there were no guards, except the ones on the other side of the door we just came through. “Can’t say it is a pleasure to see you again Vincent, last time I saw you, you were getting exiled.”