Thorn (Werewolf)

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Chapter Thirty-Eight

“You look awful.”

I slam the car door closed and I place the bag beneath my feet. Coan passes me another hat and I tuck my hair into the back of my shirt.

“It’s been one day,” he says. “What happened?”

“I have to go back.”

“Back?” He taps his fingers against the wheel, refusing to move. He keeps his attention on the motel door and he watches Malachi leave. “Who the hell is that?”

“A friend.”

“You seem to be making all sorts of friends lately.”

“Coan, just drive.”

“No, Devon. No. This is insane. I’m taking you somewhere far from here.”

“Just take me back to those fucking woods now,” I growl. “Or I’ll get out and walk there.”

He sighs and starts the engine. I press my elbow into the bottom of the window and I rub my head as we enter the highway. There are only a few hours until sundown and I have to find Thorn and talk to him before he transitions—or during.

“When was the last time you ate?”

“I don’t remember.”

“I thought as much.” He throws a packaged sandwich at my lap.


“Why those woods?” he says. “I can get you more money, lots of it. If you want to fully disappear then I can make it happen.”

“It doesn’t matter,” I say. “It doesn’t matter how far I go or if I start my life over. I’ll be drawn back to him. I have to go back to him.”

“Who? The savage that helped you?”

“His name is Thorn,” I whisper. “I can’t really describe it but. . . my life didn’t really begin until I met him. We’re connected.”

He sighs. “I know the feeling.”

“I know that the reason you never left or ran way is because of me. I don’t want you to be trapped, Coan. That town is screwed up but we don’t have to bend to them anymore.”

“I stayed to protect you and I did a pretty shit job at it. Our lives have been awful but I’m glad that you found someone that healed you.”

I smile. “We healed each other.”

I tense when I see the familiar palace in the distance. I look across to the giant mountain, my eyes scouring every inch of it even though I cannot see where they are. I don’t know how Thorn is going to react to me returning. He might be mad. He might try and convince me to go back. Cole is still a threat but he’s a threat that I’ve faced and survived. My family are on that mountain and I won’t rest until they are free.

As much as Sky annoyed me, I miss her. I miss every damn thing about her. I just need to know that she’s safe. That they all are.

Coan drives past the palace and heads in the same direction that the carriage travelled on my wedding day. It is clear for around a mile but then we spot several cars turned in the middle of the road. Coan slams on his breaks and checks his mirrors.


Several men dressed in black starts running towards us with guns. Behind us, two more cars pull up. We’ve been followed.

“Get out. Run.”

“Coan, they’ll kill you.”

“I don’t care. Go!”

I stay in the car as he frantically glares at me. I always thought that I’d do anything to never go back to my old life—suicide, accepting Thorn’s murderous ways with the hunters, escaping to these damn woods in the first place—but I will not let my brother’s life be the price. The King will execute him if I’m seen running from this car.

“What the hell are you doing?” he screams. “Devon, go!”

“No,” I say.

It’s too late anyway. Our doors open simultaneously and my eyes meet the end of a gun. I throw my hands up into the air as a man drags Coan out of the car.

“Don’t hurt him,” I say. “He found me. He was taking me back to our parents.”

I keep my hands on the top of my head while Coan is thrown against his car and searched. I am ordered to do the same and I stay still as a soldier pats down my clothes. He twists me to face him and checks my pockets.

I meet Coan’s eyes over the car before a soldier handcuffs him and leads him down the road. I am not cuffed, instead I am escorted to one of the cars that followed us. The soldier opens the door for me and I slide inside.

I watch the woods fade into the distance as I am driven back to the palace. My palms are clammy. My heart is elevated. I can’t think straight. Have I just lost Thorn for good?

No one speaks to me. No questions are asked. There are four soldiers in the car with me clutching their guns as though I am a dangerous criminal.

The car pulls up to the locked gate and we are let through. I stare up at the familiar steps that I walked down in my wedding dress. There were so many people there. Smiling, waving, emotionally clasping their hands as they witnessed a girl being forced to a chapel.

I stay in the car for as long as I can before I am forced out of it. I shake my arm out of the soldier’s grip.

I’m not that same girl anymore. I’m stronger. Braver. I have faced things that would make some grown men pee themselves. I was shot. I was circled by vicious, murderous werewolves. I was attacked—repeatedly. I endured dehydration for almost three days. I was kidnapped by a deranged sociopath. I am not the same girl. I survived.

I am not afraid of him. Not anymore.

I take a deep breath and I keep my head high as the soldiers form a huddle around me. The palace is calm. Servants are going about their usual regular day. Cleaning and dusting. The moment one notices me, they all notice me.

I am taken through to the back of the palace, the place where most prisoners are held and interrogated before they are thrown into the dungeons or executed—depending on the nature of their crime. They didn’t bring my brother here so I wonder where they’ve taken him. Most likely to my father.

The room is small and basic. There is one window but it’s tinted and bolted shut. I sit down on a small chair as the soldier shuts and locks the door.

I try to shake my growing nerves.

Do not show him fear, I tell myself. You can make it through this.

I glance around to check if there’s anything I can quickly make into a weapon. I inspect the floor but there aren’t any nails or loose splinters. I don’t sit for long. I start pacing back and forth.

Think, Devon. Think.

There has to be a way to escape. The palace is a fucking fortress but there has to be a way. I was only here for a day before the wedding so I don’t know any of the exits that well. Maybe I could bribe a servant to help me.

I freeze as the door opens. Time’s up. I don’t know whether to be relieved or not that it’s the King. He looks over me with an expression that’s almost. . . sad?

“You poor thing,” he says.

Poor thing?

“That must have been such a terrifying ordeal. Being kidnapped and tortured by those savages.”

What the hell did Lyle tell him? Does Lyle really believe that Thorn had kidnapped me this whole time?

“It’s okay. You’re safe now. Let’s get you cleaned up.”

I neither admit or deny. This is very strange. The King takes me out of the room and I follow him down the hallway and up a narrow staircase. He takes me into a large bedroom with a red carpet, it has a bathtub at the far end. The smell is beautiful, a mixture of rosemary and lemon scented candles.

“Your parents have been so worried about you since their carriage was ambushed,” King Harrison says. “But do not fear, those that hurt you will be punished. I am sending soldiers to the mountain tonight. The savages will finally be caught and executed for their crimes.”

I squint as I move over to the window. He thinks the carriage was ambushed? That must have been the lie that my father spun but Lyle knew the truth. He knew that I ran when he attacked me in the woods. It could be possible that he’d forgotten, given the extent of his head injuries.

Wait. Wait. Soldiers? The mountain? Tonight?

“King Harrison.” I clear my throat. “If I may?”

“Yes, go ahead.”

“They are not all bad,” I say. “Some of them helped me to escape. That’s when Coan found me on the road. Most of them are prisoners too and I don’t want them to get hurt.”

“Did you meet their leader?”

Of course he just completely skipped over everything I just said. “Yes. He is dangerous. But the rest are innocent.”

“I don’t believe that. Ambushing cars and kidnapping our people is not innocent. It has taken a lot of careful planning but we are finally ready to attack.”

Is that why Cole was so desperate to get those weapons today? I thought it was because of Thorn but it isn’t. Cole must know that the humans are attacking the mountain tonight. He might have spies placed here. Sky said that he was trying to take over the town—to diminish the human hierarchy and enslave them to his pack. If he takes out the King’s best soldiers then that’d be a strong place to start.

Werewolves with weapons would be this town’s worst nightmare.

“What if I went with the soldiers? I know all of their weak spots around the mountain, I know how many savages there are guarding it.”

He shakes his head. “I admire your bravery but no. We have all the intel that we need.”


The King squints his eyes and I clear my throat again.

“I mean, they are very elusive and secretive. I can’t imagine that they’d share that information willingly.”

“We captured a savage that has told us enough.”

That’s how Cole knows. If they have a werewolf trapped in their dungeons transitioning every night then they’ve been communicating to him. How the hell haven’t they noticed that?

The werewolf has obviously spun them lies. He was probably planted there by Cole on purpose. But none of that matters if they can’t even fight them.

“Don’t worry yourself about all of that now,” he says. “You’ve been through hell. I’ll send word to your parents that you’re safe. Get some rest.”

I start pacing again when he leaves. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. I am the reason that Cole doesn’t have those weapons. Did I just get Sky and Dominic killed?

The only good news is that Cole knows the attack is happening. He’ll make another plan. He’ll get them out of there. The humans probably won’t stand a chance anyway. That solves one problem but what about Thorn?

I look out of the window. I can see the road from here. It’s crowded with cars and soldiers. They’ve blocked it off. There are hundreds of them. I pinch my eyes closed as the door opens. My heart races before I’ve even turned around. My hand folds into a tight fist against the glass.

“Look at me.”

I turn around slowly. Lyle stands in front of the closed door. I don’t look at him. I keep my eyes on the floor. He charges at me.

“Take that ridiculous hat off and look at me.” He smacks the hat off my head and pushes my chin up.

I meet his cold, purring eyes that are riddled with excitement. His red hair has been half-shaven, there is a dressing wrapped around the side of his skull which has a dent as though a part of it has been removed. Apart from that, he looks and seems fine. He stinks of something rotten though. Everything about him makes me nauseous.

“Harrison believes that you were kidnapped. That the savages ambushed the carriages and took you. That is the story that you will tell everyone.” He touches my cheek and I swipe my face away, moving myself across the wall to get away from him. “No one runs from me and gets away with it. Did you think that I’d forget? That I’d move on?”

I look up to his skull and I smirk. “That looks like it hurt.”

“I still want to marry you.”

“I don’t want to marry you.”

He smiles. “You don’t have a choice. I will have a doctor examine you before the wedding to check that your hymen is intact and that you’re still a virgin.”

I walk around him and we slowly circle each other. I let out a small chuckle. “I’ll save you the fuss. I’m not.”

He stops. His nostrils start moving angrily. “The savage, did he…?”

“Rape me?” I say.

He nods. He doesn’t like thinking about that, that I could be ‘raped’ when I’m his. When in his head, I only belong to him. He doesn’t actually see the difference.

“What the fuck do you think rape is?” I demand. “Anyone else touching me except you?”

“We are engaged!” he yells. “Granted, we only met the day before our wedding but I marked you. That means that you don’t open your legs for anyone else, that you don’t slut your way into other men’s underwear. You are mine. So yes, having sex with someone else is rape because it would be a very big mistake if you did it willingly.”

I clench my teeth. “You are delusional. I am not an object. I am not your fucking property. You do not own me and I will never let you touch me.” He reaches behind his back and extracts something. “What is that? What are you doing?”

He points the gun directly at me. Not this again.

“Get on the bed.”

“Shoot me. Try explaining that to the King.”

“I’m not playing. I’ve enjoyed your excitement but I have waited long enough.”


I move my eyes to the door and he runs and locks it before I have the chance to reach it. My fist collides with the side of his face and he falls backwards against a small table. He drops the gun. I pull on the door but it won’t open. I start banging against it.

“I told everyone to leave. No one’s out there.” He holds his cheek and blinks to himself. I reach down and I grab the gun before he can. I turn it on him, my finger curling around the trigger without hesitation. All I hear is a click. Lyle laughs. “It’s not loaded. I don’t know what those savages have been teaching you out there but I’m not taking chances.”

I throw the gun across the room. He uses the table to pull himself up and I move backwards. I watch his footsteps, my hands clenching into fists. His hands try to grab me and I punch his stomach. He curls over with a grunt. Thorn taught me these moves. He was the guinea pig, he let me hit him over and over. He couldn’t feel it. And Lyle has that same tolerance. He intercepts my next punch and twists my hand behind my back. He grabs the back of my neck and forcefully throws me towards the bed.

I struggle, shoving my elbow into his stomach over and over again. He hits the side of my face and I collapse onto the bed seeing stars.

I look up to see him ripping the veils off the bed frame. He ties the material around my wrists and drags me into the centre. My head is spinning but after he’s tied my hands to the bedframe—just like Cole did—I use my leg and I smack my boot into his jaw. He falls sideways off the bed.

I use my teeth to try and break through the materials but they’re tied too tightly. This is the second time that I’ve been tied to a bed today and it’s starting to piss me off.

“Jesus fucking Christ.” Lyle holds the bed—and his jaw—as he pulls himself up and glares at me. “Who taught you that?”

“Let me go, Lyle. This isn’t excitement. I am repulsed by you. Can’t you see that?”

“It’s just excitement,” he says. “I like it.”

“This isn’t right. You must know that, somewhere deep inside.”

Lyle glances over my body and I know that he isn’t listening to anything that I say. “The idea of sharing your body with him is infuriating but I’ll move past it.”

“You’ll have to kill me first.” I move my leg up but he dives on top of them, holding them in place.

“You won’t be doing that again.” He crushes my legs underneath his weight and his hand grabs at my waist underneath my shirt. “I really didn’t want to do this but you’ve given me no choice.”

“Do what?”

I widen my eyes when he takes out the needle. Whatever fear I had been suppressing for last few minutes in order to fight is now alive and explosive. “No.”

“It’s just a little sedation,” he whispers. I twist my body away from him but he sticks the needle into the side of my arm. “You’ll still be able to feel everything.”

“You’re a psychopath,” I mutter, my voice starts to become quieter and softer as my eyes fight to stay open.

My body relaxes. My hands are numb. I can’t feel my legs anymore. It’s as though I’m paralyzed. Lyle turns his attention to my hair and starts stroking it like I’m a cat. I glance at the window.

The sun is setting.

Oh no. This is not something that I want Thorn to see. Tears roll down my face. It’s going to break him. If I close my eyes then I might be able to trick him into thinking that I’m asleep. But he’ll know. He’ll know somehow.

I’m sorry.

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