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Embers curse prime wolf, p.12
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       Ember's Curse (Prime Wolf), p.12

           Gena D. Lutz
 
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  ***

  I felt like a teenager waiting for the principal to lay out my punishment for skipping school, or vandalizing the school gym, as I sat in Tommy's den. I swear there was never a dull moment in my life. A quiet convent was sounding pretty nice right about now.

  That's out of the question, my love. How on earth would I be able to ravish your body behind the sanctity of God’s walls?

  You just be quiet! I can't believe you let Harper throw Sylvia over the railing. She could have broken her stubborn head! I was left inwardly smiling at that possibility.

  I have no control over what Harper does. But I have to say, I'm glad she did it. Sylvia was out of line, he said smugly.

  You are not Sylvia’s Alpha. She doesn't have to follow your orders!

  And that my love, is where you're wrong.

  I took a sideways glance at my infuriating mate. The confident look on his face made me want to punch him square in the nose. But that would have to wait until later. Until we didn't have my Alpha waiting to rip my damn head off.

  Tommy walked into the room. He pulled the double doors closed and made his way over to us. The den was spacious, large enough to fit two stories of bookshelves that reached all the way to the ceiling. There was a comfortable sitting area with several wing-backed chairs and a couple overstuffed couches that our group was currently taking full advantage of. That area alone was bigger than my apartment. Tommy walked by everyone without so much as a side-glance, and stepped onto the plush cream and tan colored carpet that separated his personal space from all the rest. He then sat in front of us behind a huge desk.

  Tommy folded his hands, one over the other and leaned forward.

  "I'll get straight to the point," Tommy began. "Not only did you disrespect my orders by showing up to this party late," he said, leaning even harder on the desk, "You also brought non-pack members with you."

  "I wasn't aware that I couldn't bring a few gue—"

  "I'm not finished!" he said, slamming his hand down.

  I squeezed Collin’s leg under the table. I could feel the telltale muscle roll caused by another uncontrollable shift.

  Think of puppies and kittens...cute and adorable bunnies even, but somehow calm down.

  "Not only did that vampire bitch friend of yours attack my mate, but you have the nerve to tell me, at your engagement party, that you just happen to now be mated?"

  "You need to watch who you call a bitch, Mutt. I have no problems with sucking you dry,” Harper said, standing up from across the room.

  I waved my hand at her to sit back down and be quiet but she remained standing.

  "You might have to take this idiot’s abuse but I don't," she said, standing her ground.

  "That’s it!" I said, voiced raised. "Everyone but Collin get your asses out of here!"

  Nathan set his cup of coffee down on the silver tray that was heaped with refreshments. He reached over and slapped Brady on the back. "You heard her, let's go."

  Surprisingly, Harper turned and left without saying another word. Nathan and Brady followed right behind the pissed vampire. Milo, on the other hand, "Sir?" he said with a nod at Collin.

  "Go. Keep an eye on our little group. If anything happens, like a crazed vampire tossing people around, come back and let me know."

  "Not a problem," he said.

  I heard a little chirp of a bark come from the front of Milo's jacket. "Mojo says she'll help, too."

  I laughed. "I feel safer already," I said to his retreating back.

  "Now that we got rid of your band of circus freaks, we can discuss just how close you are to being excommunicated."

  I looked up at him and studied his face. His dark brown eyes held no sympathy, and his lean face remained neutral.

  "I'm listening."

  "Good. Now, tell me who this friend of yours is," he said, sitting back into his chair.

  "I'm her mate, Wolf."

  Tommy shook his head. "I'm trying to figure out how that can even be a possibility. Especially if you take in account that I, as her Alpha, never sanctioned nor do I remember presiding over this said union."

  Collin shrugged, "Our bonding didn't require your assistance apparently."

  Tommy's head swung to me so fast I thought it might twist off. "Did he say bonding...He is your prime mate?"

  "Yes," I said, "that is correct."

  He looked away. "Not good," he whispered. "Evidently we're going to have to move my plans up a little bit."

  "And just what do you mean by that?" Collin demanded, shifting in his seat.

  Tommy reached in his desk drawer and pulled out a gun. He pointed it at my head. "Move one inch and she's dead. And just in case you’re wondering, the gun’s loaded with silver."

  Chapter 14

  Tommy stood up from his chair and walked around the desk. He held the gun steady so his aim on me never wavered. A sense of foreboding blanketed me and I knew somehow that my chances of leaving here unharmed, and with Collin, were slim. He started moving towards the bookcase about ten feet or so, off to the left us. He pulled one of the older looking books forward and the shelf slid back and over. It revealed a dark passageway.

  "Why are you doing this?" I asked the deranged Alpha. I always knew that there was something off about my cousin, but I never knew that I had anything to truly fear from him.

  "If you would have just married Logan as planned," he said, shaking his head. He looked a little crazed and a bead of sweat rolled down his forehead.

  "I don't even know who Logan is," I said confused.

  We heard voices coming out of the passageway. Tommy turned his head for a split second toward the noise. Collin lifted himself out of his chair to attack, but Tommy saw him and fired off a shot into the wall right next to my head.

  "Try that again and next time her brains will be painting the wall."

  "All right, I won't move," Collin said, slowly sinking back down into his chair.

  I'm sorry, my love. Are you okay?

  I'm alright. Let's just stay calm and do as he says. But keep an eye out for an opening. Oh, and one more thing, forget everything I said about him being my Alpha. If you get a chance...he's all yours.

  That’s music to my ears, Kitten.

  Given the severity of our current situation, from here on out I had to choose my words and actions carefully. So I was going to let him call the shots...for now.

  "All right, you have us. So what's next? Why go to this extreme over me finding my true mate?"

  "I guess there's no harm in telling you now," he said with a cocky grin.

  "You were my pot sweetener in a deal I'm trying to work out with some important clients of mine. I guess you could say that you caught the eye of the wrong guy, a person who can do tremendous things for me."

  "So I'm nothing but a bargaining chip to you?" Real pain trembled through my voice as I realized that this whole time, the pack and me meant nothing to him. That crazed look in his eyes could only be quenched by power. And he would use his own flesh and blood to get it.

  "They do say that the most obvious answer is the right one." A voice with barely suppressed hostility said, coming from the passageway. I recognized it immediately; it was Sylvia's.

  The hollow clicking of her high heel shoes echoed in the darkness. I saw an orange glow flashing off the narrow stonewalls before she emerged from the tunnel. I fixed my eyes on her and nodded. "You're right," the words whispered out of my mouth. "It has been obvious to me all this time what a bitch you are."

  The slap across my face stung and made my ears ring. It was worth all the pain though. Now that I'd decided to free myself somehow and take the pack from them, all bets were off. I could say whatever I wanted to this weak heifer now. Well, I guess I should keep my mouth shut long enough to figure out an escape plan.

  Collin gnashed his teeth and growled a warning, "If you expect me to do as you request, your mate needs to keep her fucking hands off of mine."

  "Syl, move away from her. Now isn't
the time for your petty jealousies," Tommy said.

  Sylvia sucked in a breath and practically spat, "I'm not jealous of her," she said offended.

  "Whatever. Did you bring it?" he asked.

  She walked over to Tommy and shoved something into his free hand. He then handed the gun to her. Her grip on it was a bit shaky, but she soon got used to the weight and it steadied. The smile that spread across her face was cold and calculating. You could tell she was enjoying this way too much.

  "If this mutt moves at all, shoot her."

  "With pleasure," she smirked.

  "I should have challenged you for this pack years ago."

  "Yes, Ember. Maybe you should have. But a prime female hasn't held an Alpha position in this pack since your great Grandmother. And just like my father before me, I will never let a wolf bitch hold it again. No matter what the cost”.

  "So that's what this is all about? Your precious male ego?"

  "It has nothing to do with ego. Just common sense. Females are weaker than men, in all definitions. I'm actually keeping this pack safe. Even if it comes at the price of one or two of our own."

  I spat on the floor, barely missing his polished black loafers. "You disgust me!"

  "Well, dear cousin. You're nothing to me."

  With a wicked grin, Tommy opened a small grey case. He pulled out a syringe filled with a red liquid.

  "Don't worry this won't hurt for too long, just a day or two."

  He grabbed Collin and shoved the needle into the blue pulsing vein at the crook of his arm.

  "What the fuck are you doing to him?" I screamed.

  I heard the sound of metal grinding against metal, followed by a "click". Sylvia had pulled back the gun’s hammer. I was getting to the point of not giving a shit if I lived or died through this. Nothing mattered without Collin. Tommy recognized the look in my eyes for what it was. A look of pure rage, and if he was smart at all, he would get the fuck away from my mate. I was about to tackle the bitch holding the gun on me until I heard Collin slam to the floor. Red liquid began foaming out of his mouth and his body started to convulse.

  "Oh my God! Help him!" I skidded to my knees by his side.

  "Collin!" Collin!

  He wasn't hearing me. What felt like a linebacker slammed in to my shoulder. I fell to the floor face to face with my mate. Streams of blurry colors passed before my eyes.

  "What the hell were you thinking, Sylvia? We need her alive."

  The background noise faded away and everything went black.

  ***

  The smell of blood and feces permeated the air. A rush of pain wracked my body and I had to swallow down the bile in my throat to stop myself from throwing up. My shoulder blazed like fire from pain. I could hear music playing faintly in the background, some kind of jazz or blues. I couldn't tell which, my thoughts were too fuzzy. It was a sickly sweet melody either way.

  Still, all I could think of was Collin. Collin, where are you? I sent to him down our psychic path. A frenetic buzz shooting back at me was my only answer.

  "It's the remaining traces of silver still poisoning your blood stream. I tried to convince Tommy to leave it in your body, but he said he still has plans for you. So I guess you get to live. That is, if we got the bullet out in time."

  A cold hand touched my back and I felt a tug on the zipper of my dress. "I might not be able to take your life. But your dignity? That's another story entirely."

  Sylvia yanked my dress off my shoulders, purposefully hard where the gunshot wound was, and stripped me of it. I could feel the blood seeping from my body. I shivered from the loss of it and my clothes. I was weakened from the silver and couldn't focus my eyes on any one thing. I listened for her voice to see what was going to happen next, but the psychopath kept quiet. I tried to stay conscious, but my battered body had other ideas.

  ***

  If there was one thing I knew about a crazy person, it was that if you didn't give them anything to play with, then chances were, they would go away and leave you alone. I was banking on this theory ever since I woke up and heard someone breathing not too far away from me. I'd been playing possum for the last ten minutes or so as it stood, but unfortunately, my beliefs weren't ringing true.

  "I know you're awake. You can open your eyes."

  When I finally answered the tiny voice, I did so calmly. On the inside, I was screaming bloody murder; I was consumed by hatred. Not toward the little boy, no older than seven years old, huddled in the corner wearing torn and dirty clothes. No, my fury lay at the hands of the sick fucks that put him in here. The boy was very thin. A dingy, white T-shirt and sweat pants hung loosely on his body. His eyes, which were a chocolate brown, stayed focused on the ground.

  "What is your name, child?" I asked while scanning the cell I was imprisoned in. It was one of many cells lined in a row, all next to each other, and on both sides of the room. I counted twenty in total, and almost all of them were full of people, mostly werewolves, and a couple of vampires.

  The boy shifted uncomfortably. His little fingers fumbled with the drawstrings that hung loosely from his pants.

  He pressed his lips together and shook his head. "I don't have one," he said simply.

  I stood up to go to him. I wanted to somehow make him feel better, to take away some of the sadness in his eyes, but soon realized it was a bad idea.

  I vaguely remembered that bitch, Sylvia, stealing my clothes, leaving me completely naked. I couldn't wait to get my claws on her, and now that I had some, my fangs as well. I grabbed the sheet off my bunk and wrapped it around myself. The smell that came off it was rank. I took a second to curse my hybrid senses. What I wouldn't give for a normal human’s smelling abilities, or lack thereof, right about now. I smelled blood, semen, and unwashed bodies...the combination was horrific.

  I focused on my wolf and tried to bring her forth, but she just slunk away from me. What the...? I thought. With more effort, I tried to shift again. Still nothing.

  "Are you okay?" asked the boy. "You keep making a funny scrunch face."

  I gave it a final go, but just like before. Nothing. Just an odd tingling feeling that ran up and down my entire body.

  "I'm fine, little one. I'm just having problems shifting."

  "Oh," he said shaking his head, "no one’s allowed to use their powers. The silvers say so."

  I had no clue what he meant by that. "What’s the silvers?"

  "That's the silvers. They stop you from changing."

  He pointed to the top of our cell and then to the bars that surrounded us. His fingers were slim, too slim for a child his age. They should have still held a hint of baby fat, making them soft and chubby. But instead, they were almost skeletal.

  I reached over and touched the bar that was closest to me. I immediately snatched my fingers back. It had burned them on contact, proof positive that they were indeed lined with silver. Hmmm. That would explain how Tommy was able to hold so many supernatural beings prisoner down here in this makeshift dungeon. Well, at least the werewolves anyways. Vampires couldn't give two shits about the metal that sapped a wolf’s strength. It did nothing to them.

  "I hope your accommodations are to your liking," came a voice, which raised the hair on the back of my neck, from the stairway. I squinted to try to see through the darkness. The shadows hid a lot, but thanks to my nocturnal sight, I could make him out. The guy was tall with a medium build. He had one hand stuffed in his pocket while he used the other one to bring a cigarette up to his mouth. He took a long draw off it then puckered his lips, blowing several smoke circles in the air.

  "Where's Collin?" I demanded. I wasn't interested in playing this strangers game. My only concern was for my mate. My heart stung at the remembered image of him seizing on the floor. He couldn't be dead. I would know if he was dead. I would know only because there was no way my heart could still be beating otherwise.

  "Your precious mate is okay...for now." He pushed himself off the wall and lazily strolled down the hal
l.

  "The name’s Tyson, if you were wondering," he said, running his fingers over the cell's bars, all of them full of prisoners, as he walked closer to mine. The way he took his time about it, making sure to stare down all the people in the cells as he passed, told me a lot about him. He was a cruel and arrogant bastard and for some reason, he was interested in me.

  "Does the cat have your tongue?" Tyson asked, stopping in front of me. I inhaled deeply and over all the other funk in the room, I smelled vampire. Because of the competing odors, I couldn't tell how old he was. My nose had a special knack for pinpointing a vampire’s age. I can only describe the smell as having different degrees of heat and copper. I believe, but am not entirely sure, that the heat that burns my nose indicates the level of power they wield and the copper the strength of their blood.

  "What do you suppose I say?" I stepped a few paces back. The sheet I held around my body dragged on the floor, collecting dirt and grime. He watched my feet as I moved away from him and a creepy smile slid across his dark face. Everything about this guy screamed of darkness. His hair, his almost black eyes. He even wore a black leather jacket with chains looping all around the bottom of it. A set of keys hung from one of its silver rings.

  "Do you want these? They are the keys to your freedom." He reached down and jingled them at me teasingly. His eyes roamed over my body and halted at my exposed cleavage. "I'll tell you what. You give me a little something nice and I can try to get you in to see your mate." The vile man licked his lips and grabbed his crotch. He squeezed it a couple times and smirked. "Small price to pay really. Not to mention, I'm going to be sampling your goods either way."

  An overwhelming heat infused my body and a growl erupted from my very core. Everything around me turned red and my nails grew into sharp claws. It was happening again. The silver sapped my wolven powers but it couldn't affect my vampire side. And this vamp was pissed.

  "Just try and come near me with your puny dick and see what happens to the little fellow." I dropped the sheet and prowled straight up to the bars. Facing him, I wrapped my fists around the silver bars. My eyes caught his glare and for the first time since he arrived, I saw the coward that he really was shining in them. I could break him in half with barely any effort if not for these bars keeping me from him and he knew it. I tried to pull them apart but they wouldn't budge. I growled and threw my head back in frustration. When he saw I couldn't break through, the cocky grin reappeared. But I did notice he was several feet farther back from me now. The submissive gesture earned me some satisfaction.

 
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