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Embers curse prime wolf, p.13
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       Ember's Curse (Prime Wolf), p.13

           Gena D. Lutz
 
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  "You're a wily one, aren't you?" he said over a chuckle. "Tommy told me that you were different from your prime kin. But I'm positive that he doesn't know how different you really are," he rubbed his chin and stared at me like a prized pig. "You will be the first sacrificed to the Darkin."

  "What do you know of the Darkin?" I spat out at him. My vampire was still in control and she was out for blood.

  Tyson pulled the keys off his jacket and fumbled with them until he found the one he was looking for. He opened the cell next to mine and walked inside. A female wolf was sleeping on her cot in the corner. He yanked her up by her dirty hair and dragged her back out through the doorway. The woman's fear hit me like a battering ram...she was a member of my pack. It was Donna Vance, the missing female wolf, from the massacre at my apartment building. He tossed her to ground in front of me and I rushed to her. Dried up blood crusted the hair at her temple. There was a deep gash underneath all the matted mess. She looked at me with vacant eyes. "Please don't hurt me anymore," she pleaded to me. She put her trembling hand in front of her face and crumpled down into a ball.

  "Donna, it's me...Ember. I won't hurt you, Sweetheart." I reached through the bars to touch her face. I wanted to bring her into my arms but was helpless to do so. Before the tips of my fingers could even graze the side of her battered face, Tyson yanked her up against him.

  "Get your hands off her, you piece of shit!" I roared at him.

  His mouth opened wide and long white fangs slid out from his gums. He tilted Donna’s head to the side roughly. She let out a small whimper but remained as still as possible. "This one is my personal, bitch," he said touching his tongue to her neck. "Put your hand on my cock," he whispered into her ear. He kept his eyes on me the whole time. "Yes Master," her words, that she barely had the breath to use, staggered out.

  "To answer your question," he said, grinding up against the hand that now held him cupped, "I know everything about the Darkin. The group that I’ve assembled over the years, along with myself are going to free them soon. And the wolves I have collected are going to feed and pleasure them...just like this cunt is doing for me.” He struck her neck so quickly that it took me by surprise.

  I grabbed the bars again and shook them, pulled them, I even banged my fists against them, but they held strong. A lone tear trickled down Donna’s cheek. She kept stroking him, the pace of his hips speeding up, moving in and out of her hand. Tyson groaned in pleasure as his seed spilled out over her fingers. Even though he came, he didn't stop feeding. The color was draining from her face and her knees wobbled.

  "Stop! You’re killing her!" I screamed, helpless to save her.

  He followed her limp body downward, greedily pulling the last drops of blood from her until her lifeless body crumpled to the floor.

  Chapter 15

  For the life of me, my mind couldn't process what had just happened. Donna was dead. That douchebag sucked the spark right out of her without a moment’s pause.

  Tyson shrugged, leaned down, and picked her up. He tossed her over his shoulder like a flour sack and smacked her hard on the ass. I was horrified at his displayed disrespect toward the dead.

  "I'm going to miss this one," he confessed. "She gave great head." He leaned in a little closer to me, but not close enough for me to reach him. "Oh well," he said, arching a satisfied brow. "I'll just have to choose another play toy. I have plenty of you in stock."

  We stared at one another for a few minutes not saying a word. I imagined sinking my fangs into him, the same as he did to Donna, and draining his pathetic life away, but then thought better of it. A piece of shit like him could only taste like piss and rot. I didn’t want any part of him corrupting my body. I also fantasized about how good it would feel to drive a stake into his cold heart. To hold the wood in my grip as its tip sank deep into his chest.

  "You tell Tommy I want to speak with him," I said. "Now."

  Tyson tsk'd and shook his head slowly. "I take orders from no one, Bitch," he said matter-of-factly. He went to leave but turned his head and glanced at me over the dead wolf’s body. "Everyone here does whatever I say, whenever I say it...and that includes Tommy. Plead all you want to your pack master, he doesn't have the power to help you. No one does."

  "Good to know," I said. When I finally got myself and everyone else out of here, I now knew who to kill, even though he was already at the top of my "To be killed" list. Chop off the head of any monster and the rest of its body will eventually perish as well.

  Tyson said no more and with a final dismissive look, hauled Donna away.

  ***

  I tried to rest but every time I attempted to close my eyes, I saw Collin’s face. It was heart breaking. Whenever I wasn't being haunted by his perfect features or the taste of his soft lips, I was thinking about how to save all of the imprisoned wolves. The thought of vampires using them as blood slaves made me want to gut Tyson, and every single one of his Gatherers.

  "That's what he did to my mommy," the little boy said. He sat down at the edge of my bed and pulled his legs up and underneath his shirt. "She cried when he bit her. She tried not to, but she did," he said, staring off into a place only he could see.

  "That's when I lost my name. The bad man said I wasn't allowed to have one." The little boy frowned. He reached over, grabbed the loose part of my sheet and put it over his little feet. I went and grabbed his blanket and pillow off his bed and brought it over to him. "Would you like to sleep here tonight?" I asked, covering him up and stuffing the pillow behind his back. "Okay," he smiled a little. "I'm not scared or nothing though," he announced, trying to look brave. "Oh, I know that," I agreed nodding, "it's just I'm a little scared and need a brave and strong person to make me feel safe."

  He hurriedly pushed the covers off him and scrambled out of the bed. Standing tall and with a serious look, he said, "I'm brave and strong. I'll do it. I'll keep you safe."

  I pretended to think about it for a second. I could tell that buried under all that dirt and grime and his tender young age, thrived the heart and determination of a warrior. "Hmmm," I said tapping my chin. "I would be honored to have such a courageous gentleman protect me. That's a great idea."

  He beamed and jumped at me. My arms naturally embraced him. He squeezed me so hard. I hugged him back with just as much meaning. "Let's get some rest, but first, will you tell me the name the bad man took from you?"

  He looked up at me with precious almond eyes and with a hushed whisper said, "Dane… I use to be named Dane. I liked my name."

  After lying back, I placed him next to me and on top of the sheet I was under. He laid his head down on his pillow and I covered him up. "I'll tell you what. I'm giving you your name back."

  Dane looked at me like I was silly. "You can't do that. The bad man tells me what to do, not you. He hurts me if I don't listen. You don't hurt me," he said. I cursed under my breath. "How about this? I will only call you by your name when we are alone. Is that okay?" He nodded his tiny head and closed his eyes. I tucked the covers around him and pushed a stray hair behind his ear. He was asleep in seconds. Please God, help me find the strength to save this innocent child.

  ***

  I awoke to the silken voice of Collin flowing through my head. Ember...where are you? Please answer me, my love.

  Collin? Thank God...I thought—

  Shhhh... calm down, I'm fine. My head’s just a bit fuzzy. How are you?

  I'm alright...they have me in some kind of dungeon. Collin, there are a lot of wolves being held in cells down here. Tommy is in on it; he is working with the Gatherers.

  He didn't answer me. The silence in my head almost left me in a panic. Collin, are you still there?

  Hold on, Sweet love, there's two men talking in the room with me. They don't know I’m awake.

  Can you hear what they are saying?

  Yes, something about you.

  I could feel his instant aggression. I jumped into his private thoughts and found him at war with himself. He
was testing the silver cuffs around his wrists. The searing pain barely fazed him. His wolf wanted out, its only thought, which rippled through my head in a wave of red, was to tear the throats from the men that posed a threat to me. The cuffs were doing their job keeping him trapped to the table. It was the only probable reason that Collin was able to focus all his energy into taming his wolf, holding him back long enough to gather as much information as possible.

  You're doing great, Collin. Hang in there.

  My wolf unexpectedly made her presence known to me. Startled, Collin’s bond and mine was severed. Loneliness consumed me from the abrupt loss of his warmth and closeness. I scrambled to regain my connection with him, and as soon as I achieved it, she pushed against my link to him. She wasn't trying to take me over like Collin’s wolf was doing to him, not at all, she was actually gentle about it. Her soft fur coated me on the inside as her final nudge broke through, and as soon as she did, she bypassed Collin all together and made way straight for her mate. I felt Collin’s instant relief as the two wolves made contact. They forged their own connection, a new pathway of communicating, and whatever she was doing to the male wolf had worked. They both went silent.

  What just happened? he asked.

  I think our wolves found each other. No wonder yours has been so restless. He's been searching for her. I think you'll be able to control your shifts better now.

  Well their timing sucks, Collin groaned.

  No kidding... I'm going to listen to those guys through you. Concentrate solely on them. And Collin... I love you.

  I love you too, Ember.

  We both focused on our link. I could sense our wolves being playful, and God knows what else, inside my head. It didn't bother me though. It was like they had their own frequency or better yet, their own channel running parallel to ours. I had no doubt that I could push through it if I wanted to. But why would I?

  His voice was the first one I heard. Tyson. I couldn't help myself from growling out.

  "She is a lot more powerful than we had initially expected," Tyson said to whomever he was with. "The bonding that you spoke of was nothing like you explained. She is strong, too strong to be only hybrid."

  "That's impossible," the second man in the room with Collin denied, with a voice I was all too familiar with. It was Tommy. "I've known her all her life. There is nothing special about her."

  "You telling me that I don't know what I saw with my own two eyes, Smart Guy?"

  "Of course not, man. I’m just saying that she has always been a pain in my ass, but never a threat to my position in the pack. With the amount of power you’re suggesting, she could have taken it from me at any time."

  They both went silent. All I could hear was the jingling of chains on Tyson's jacket. That and the soft snoring of Dane fast asleep beside me.

  "Her fucking eyes glowed red, you idiot. And she almost broke through Margo's wards!"

  My cell was warded? I hadn't sensed any magic. Margo had to be a pretty skilled practitioner to hide that bit of information from me. But now that I knew about the spells, I could plan my escape a lot more efficiently.

  "Look, I have no idea what's going on with that bitch. It doesn't make any sense. I knew her grandmother and mother both. Neither of them had red glowing eyes or abnormal strength. They only had the extra abilities that come with being prime wolves." Tommy sounded different as he said that. His voice was trembling and he sounded a bit desperate. I wasn't used to hearing any sort of weakness from him. He thought himself above everyone. Nothing like the sniveling wimp he was proving to be now. Tyson wasn't kidding when he said he was in charge.

  "Do you still want her for Logan?" Tommy asked.

  "Probably not. She isn't controllable. It's going to be hard enough to keep her behind those bars for the next few weeks as it is," Tyson said thoughtfully.

  "You plan on giving her to the Darkin then?"

  "I figured she'd make a good breeder for one of them. That is, if they don't suck her dry or fuck her to death first."

  Collin’s growl erupted from his chest. He couldn't hold back any longer. "You fuckers better stay away from her," his voice boomed.

  "Looks like Prince Charming is awake, Tom. Have any more of that special knock out juice?"

  "Sure, but why don't we just kill him?"

  "See. That's the thing with you dogs. It's always kill and ask questions later. I have plans for this one. Now be a good mutt and fetch me some more of that red shit. It's time for lover boy to take another nap."

  ***

  Without a watch, it was hard to say exactly how long it had been since I lost connection with Collin. I swallowed hard. The conversation between Dumb and Dumber earlier had me really nervous. At least they planned on keeping us alive. That was of some assurance. Absently, I fiddled with the strings on the threadbare sheet that I had tied around my body like a toga. Dane was still fast asleep and so far, I had been left undisturbed by any of my jailers. My head jerked up at the sound of footsteps coming from down the hall and I watched as a shadow snaked along the floor in front of my cell.

  "Touch my ass one more time with that fucking hand, Pig, and you'll lose it."

  I rushed forward and peered between the bars. " Harper, is that you?" she turned her head and our eyes met.

  "There you are," she said, pulling against one of the guards hands wrapped around her arm. There were two of them on either side of her with a third bringing up the rear. They were all dressed in the same ninja-like getups that the assassins from earlier had been decked out in, but these guys weren't mindless human minions. They were vampires. Behind them, a scuffle broke out. It looked to be six men trying to keep one man down.

  "Yip, Yip," the yapping of a little white fur ball grabbed my attention and I watched on as it bravely jumped into the fray, biting at ankles and lunging at any exposed skin on the guards trying to hold Milo down. The little sucker was fast. She dodged all the hands scrambling to get at her.

  “Mojo...home. Now!" she paused and looked at her master. One of the guards noticed that she was distracted and launched a side kick in her direction. It flew through the air with lighting speed and right before making contact with the dog’s head, she disappeared into thin air. Milo smiled at the now empty spot where Mojo had been. His head turned, searching for something, and when his eyes landed on me he mouthed the name "Tegan" and then he was back to fighting.

  The guards holding Harper kept moving forward, ignoring the fight behind them. Two cells down, they opened the metal door and shoved Harper inside of it. She lunged at them but it was too late. The door slammed shut before she could reach it.

  "You guys are lucky. You were two seconds from a serious ass beating," she hissed.

  "You deserve to be in here with all these mangy mutts, Wolf Lover," teased one of the guards.

  "Fuck you," she spat. "Hey! Instead of jerking around with that vamp bitch all day, do you mind giving us a hand with this prick?"

  Watching several vampires drag a beaten and bloody Milo across the floor would usually be a very disturbing sight. I'm not saying that it didn't bother me; it did, but when the wolf in question is wearing a big shit-eating grin, it's hard not to shake your head at him.

  "You're crazy," I said as he passed by my cell, leaving a bloody trail in his wake.

  "Thanks for the compliment," he laughed back, amused.

  "Who is that?" Dane asked crawling out of bed. He rubbed the sleep out of his eyes with the ball of his palm and slipped his body behind me. He peeked out just far enough so that he could watch the procession of guards hauling Milo into a cell several doors down.

  "He is my friend," I answered him softly. I turned around and looked at the curious boy. I noticed that the bags under his eyes had almost disappeared and he seemed less nervous this morning than yesterday.

  "Did you sleep well?"

  He quickly nodded and stretched his arms over his head. After a big yawn he smiled. "I had a dream about my mom. She told me she likes you."
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  I gave his shoulder a pat. "I'm sure I would have liked her too. Now run over to the sink and get yourself a drink."

  Dane did as he was told. I looked between the bars that separated me from Harper. She was pacing restlessly in her cell and mumbling something under her breath. Her eyebrows flew up when she noticed I was watching her.

  "Do we have an escape plan yet?" she asked, not wasting any time.

  I just shook my head and said, "Nothing yet." She stopped pacing.

  "So what are we waiting for? Let's figure this shit out." I nodded slowly. I always did appreciate her no nonsense attitude.

  "We have at least twenty vamps and three werewolves policing this place at any given time," I relayed to her. "The bars are coated with silver and all the cells are warded. Brute force doesn't bend the bars, I've tried." A pang of guilt shot through my gut. If it weren’t for me, none of this would be happening. But it was. I hadn't been able to figure a way out of this mess so the extra help was needed.

  "How did they capture you and Milo?" I asked. Tommy seemed to only be interested in me. I had no idea he planned on capturing my friends too. After all, he didn't know they were coming to the pack house.

  "We were asked to leave a couple hours after the meeting in Tommy's office. They tried to tell us that you and Collin had already left...I obviously didn't believe them," she grumbled. "Besides. Rent’s due and I'm not about to let you get out of paying your share."

  I had to laugh at that. "Sometimes I wonder if there's an abnormality growing in your brain," I grinned.

 
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