Dead Wolfpart #5 of Kiera Hudson Series Two Series by Tim ORourke / Fantasy
It wasn’t true! I refused to believe that Jack Seth was my brother. How could I be related to him in any way shape or form? I knew who my mother was. She was the police officer who went to the Ragged Cove to investigate the disappearances of those people who had once lived there. She had that kind smile, pretty eyes, and just like me, she had jet-black hair. She had been the one who had whispered in my ear, ‘See you later, alligator’ as I had set off for school each day as a girl. My mother had been hooked on the red stuff by Phillips and Rom – she had in turn been seduced and betrayed by Luke – Elias Munn. Jessica Hudson had been a Vampyrus – not a wolf. She had been my mother and I refused to believe anything different.
“You lie!” I hissed into Jack’s face.
The windows rattled in their wooden frames, like old teeth in loose gums. Jack looked back at me, a cruel smile pulling the corners of his mouth up into the shape of a crescent moon. “You know I speak the truth,” he said, fixing me with his crazy stare.
I slapped his face with the flat of my hand, the sound of it like a gunshot in the dim light of the room. Jack’s head rocked to the left. A thin line of blood trickled from his right nostril and onto his upper lip. The urge to lean in close and lick that blood away was unbearable. He saw me watching the blood, and he slowly licked it away with the tip of his tongue.
“I hate you,” I spat, leaning away from him.
“Hate?” he smiled. “A feeling so passionate it borders on love. Don’t you think?”
The chains which fastened him to the chair clinked together in the darkness. “Don’t you love your brother?”
“You’re not my brother,” I breathed, shaking my head.
“You know it’s true,” he said, this time his smile faded. “Look into my eyes, Kiera, and you will see for yourself. See how your father betrayed me and you. Watch your friend, Murphy snatch you as a baby from the dead waters and. . . ”
“Stop it!” I screamed at him, screwing my hands into fists by my sides.
“You can’t look because you know what I say is true!” he suddenly roared back, leaning forward in the chair I had chained him to. “We are brother and sister – you know it! I think we’ve always known it. I felt a connection between us the day I first saw you, and you felt it, too. At first I thought it was just lust – but it was more than that – it went deeper than that. It wasn’t lust – it was love that I felt for you. ”
“That’s why you killed me?” I spat at him.
“That’s why you. . . ”
“Oh, please,” Jack hissed back at me.
“Don’t flatter yourself. I never so much as touched your skinny little butt. When you threw yourself at me in The Hollows, I looked into your eyes and I was overcome with lust; that is true.
But not for you – but for the simple act of killing.
Yeah, I ripped your throat open, tore your liver and heart out, but I never did anything else – there was something which stopped me. At the time I didn’t know what. Only when I came here to this house and saw you in the photographs with Father Paul, that I truly began to understand the connection I had – we had – for one another. ”
“So why have you had me believing that you. . . ” I started in disbelief.
“Would it have mattered what I’d said?”
he shot back. “You had me all figured out, didn’t you? The vicious rapist and killer. That’s how you’ve had me tagged from the start. Why bother telling you any different? Besides, I wanted you to hate me as much as I hated you for betraying me in The Hollows. ”
“Do you still hate me?” I asked him.
“More than you will ever know,” he said, his eyes fixed on mine.
“But why, if it’s true that we are brother and sister?”
“Because you had what I always wanted,” he spat, unable to take his eyes from mine. “I just wanted a family. Father Paul took my dad from me, then left me for you. For years he treated me like a son, but as soon as you came along, he left. He chose you over me. ”
“None of this – this hate you have for me – is because of what happened in The Hollows,” I breathed. “You hate me because you believe I stole the man you loved as a father from you. You believe if I hadn’t have been born, you and Father Paul would have carried on pretending to be father and son. ”
“He chose you over me!” Seth barked.
“While you were growing up, blissfully unaware of what your father was really like, while you sat on his knee and he told you stories, I was left to raise Nik as my son, to find him food, shelter – to survive. Not once did he think about that. Not once did he think of me. I was just a boy when Father Paul and his brother, Murphy played that cruel trick on me. Do you have any idea how I felt when I saw Father Paul’s coffin taken beneath ground? I spent my life believing he had taken his own life because of the misery my mother – I had caused him. When all the while, he was playing happy families with you and the woman you believed was your mother. ”
“She was my mother,” I barked back at him.
“Kathy Seth was your mother,” he shot back. “She was my mother, too. ”
A thick silence fell between us like a heavy set of curtains. I could hear the snow pelting against the windowpane behind me, and the wind howling around the eaves. I looked at Jack tied to the chair and desperately fought the nagging feelings of doubt which now tried to consume me.
“You didn’t turn evil because of anything Father Paul – my father – did,” I whispered. “You didn’t let the curse consume you because I was born, you didn’t know about me at the time. You chose to turn bad because you were weak. ”
“Weak?” he roared. “I let the curse take me because I had to survive. You have no idea what it was like for me trying to survive each day.
You were the lucky one. You grew up in the nice house with mummy and daddy. What chance did I have?”
“You didn’t have a chance, Jack,” I shot back. “You had a choice. There is a difference. ”
“It’s easy for you to say,” Jack sneered back at me. “Little miss goody-two-shoes. You’ve never known suffering. Perhaps if you’d gone through what I’ve been through. You’ve had it so goddamn easy. ”
“Easy?” I cried. “You call this easy! I lost my mother and father only to discover that I’m some kinda freaking half-breed from the underworld. I’ve got wings, claws, and a set of teeth a rabid dog would be proud of. In the last year, I’ve been chased, imprisoned, beaten, attacked, and hooked on the red stuff. Not only have I been murdered, I’ve seen all of my friends murdered, only for all of us to come back from the dead to this fucked up world that has been pushed. I’m being stalked by a bunch of creepy statues, berserkers, Skin-walkers, and any other hideous creature you might want to add. Not only that, I have the added bonus of turning to stone unless I drink blood, my lover is a no good, lying cheat, and I’ve just discovered that I have a long-lost brother who is a freaking serial killer. And to top it off – the cherry on the cake – I’ve just discovered that I’m part-freaking-werewolf! So don’t you dare tell me that I haven’t had my fair share of pain and hurt. I’ve had enough to last me two lifetimes. ”
“Okay, so you’ve had a few difficulties, too,” Seth said. “But don’t you see? That just makes us the same. ”
“I’m nothing like you,” I shot at him.
“We’ll see,” he half-smiled at me.
“And what’s that s’posed to mean?” I demanded.
“Your choice,” he said.
“I’m not making any choice,” I told him.
“It looks like you’ve already chosen me over your father,” he said, his eyes shining like two pale yellow discs.
“What are you talking about?”
“Instead of finding your father some help for his wounds,” Jack smiled, “you chose to chat shit with me, while he bled to death. . . ”
Wheeling round and remembering my father, I raced across the bare floorboards towards him. How could I have forgotten that he was lying bleeding on the floor? I glanced up at Jack to see his eyes shining back at me from the darkness. One of them slowly closed as he winked slyly back at me. He had tricked me. Jack had sucked me into the conversation – taking my mind from the room and my dying father. He had caught me with his stare.
I placed my hand against my father’s face, and his skin felt cold and stiff, like taut cloth.
His eyes were open, as was his mouth. A pool of sticky, black blood covered the front of his shorts, where it had pumped from the openings Jack had made in him. I lifted my father’s lifeless body into my arms, and the gap in his belly opened like a huge, grinning mouth. Twice now in my life I had cradled my father in my arms as he lay dead. The first had been in a white, sterile hospital room, this second time, in a room with bare walls and no carpets, and a serial killer laughing at me from the shadows in the corner.
The snow drove horizontally across the windscreen in thick flurries. The wipers fought to keep the screen clear. Violent gusts of wind crashed into the side of the police van, and I bit down on the end of my pipe as I tried to steer around the narrow, winding roads. It was dark now, and the two thin cones of light shining from the headlamps reflected back off the falling snow, making each flake glisten like glitter.
“I thought you said we were going to the Fountain of Souls?” Kayla shouted over the howl of the wind.
She was right, I had said that. I had lied, though.
“And we are, but not just yet,” I said, glancing in the rear-view mirror at her.
“Where are we going then, if not to the Fountain of Souls?” Sam asked, sitting next to Kayla in the back of the police van as it lurched from side to side over the uneven roads. “Isn’t Potter going to meet us there with Kiera?”