- A Threat
A loud knocking on the door makes me jerk up. The incessant pounding in my head makes me flinch, the hammering sound of the knocking only making it worse.
“Stop it.” I growl as the door is thrown open to reveal a very cheery and energetic Jai.
Why the fuck are we friends?
“Rise and shine, Cupcake!” he says, dunking the paper bag of what I can tell is breakfast from the smell, before he places a foam cup of strong coffee next to it.
I guess he has his uses.
“I hope you aren’t thinking of ways to kill me,” he remarks, observing me suspiciously
I smirk, “I was just wondering why we are friends, then I remembered you make a good maid.”
He casts me a glare before opening the blinds, the dazzling sunlight only making my head hurt more
“No, it’s morning. Why the hell were you drinking?” he asks, scanning the empty bottles that surround my desk, scattered on the floor
How much did I drink?
“Because I wanted to,” I reply quietly, a sudden thought entering my mind. The day of the rejection I had offered Zaia a drink of our favourite wine
Deep down, I was hoping that the memory would make her falter and refuse to accept my rejection. Yet she bent far faster than I could have imagined, throwing water all over my plans.
“So you mentioned the Whispering Mountain Pack Ball yesterday. Are you actually considering going to it?” he asks as he drops into the seat opposite my desk.
I’ve searched all the packs around here, even those we are not on friendly terms with. There are only a few packs that I have not managed to get into and those belong to enemy packs.
Whispering Mountain is one of them, and this is the perfect chance to infiltrate their grounds.
“Yes, I’ll be going.”
“Then I’m coming with you. You know it’s going to be risky Are you seriously considering this?”
“Like I said, yes I am Besides, when the invitation came last week, Annalise saw it and she wanted to go.
It’s a good idea, and suddenly it begins to make even more sense that I should go. There’s a high chance that the one behind all of this may be there. If I take Annalise, they will realise I truly have moved on…
Who is it and what do they want from me?
“Cool, then I’ll take Valerie,” Jai says casually
I look up sharply and frown. “Valerie? As in Valerie Scott, your ex?” I ask, opening up the brown paper bag.
There’s some hangover medicine in there too. The guy can be so damn annoying, but he’s a good friend, half the time anyway
“Yes, Doctor Valerie Scott,” He replies sarcastically, making me frown.
Sighing, he shrugs, “Yeah, she’s still super hot, and I wouldn’t mind seeing her in a sexy gown again. I mean, she’s gorgeous as hell and I’m bored of seeing her hiding her assets behind that boring white doctor’s coat.”
He smirks and he sits forward as I down the medication he got me and gulp down some water, hoping it helps.
“Right, and are you forgetting the fact that both of you jump at each other’s throats the moment you’re in the same room?” I remind him.
He winks at me “Who knows, she might succumb to how hot I look and decide to engage in some smoking hot angry sex I kinda miss that ”
“I don’t want to know your bedroom antics. I don’t think she’ll agree, but I mean, if she does, then fine I’ll be happy if Annalise gets some company, too.
“What? So she doesn’t eat your mead off for the full evening?”
I cast him a glare and he snickers.
“Jai, did you ever manage to get me an assessment of everyone who had come in and out of this pack for the last year?” I ask as I bite into the sandwich
His face becomes serious, and he shakes his head. “I’m still working on it Seb, you’re asking for everyone who has come in and out of the city for a full year. That’s… that’s not an easy feat I’ve been on it for several weeks, and I’m not even half done, but I’ll get there I know you have your reasons not to ask the IT team, but care to share why you want to know?”
He’s asked me several times, but I can’t bring myself to risk anything by telling him Over one year ago, was the first time I received a message.
Until this day, I still remember what was written on the plain white card in bold black font
YOUR WIFE TRULY IS PRETTY, ISN’T SHE?
I had brushed it aside as a prank and had commanded my men to find out where it came from, but nothing came up and I didn’t worry about it and soon forgot about it.
That was until a second one came two
I WONDER HOW YOUR WIFE’S BLOOD WOULD LOOK RUNNING DOWN HER PRETTY LITTLE NECK?
That’s when things got darker and the beginning of my worries started.
I look up to see Jai’s eyes filled with concern.
“You spaced’ “Sorry, I was thinking.”
A tense silence falls between us, and he looks at me. “I am your friend before I am your Beta Sebastian. If something is troubling you, tell me. You know you can trust me
“It’s nothing.” I brush it off, not wanting to discuss it.
Dad is already pushing me into a corner, forcing my hand when it comes to the business, Mom is angry at me. Goddess knows where Zaia is and how she’s doing
The thoughts given birth by fear are clawing to the forefront of my mind.
What if in my attempts to protect her I
have put her in worse danger?
“I’ll find out as fast as possible
I look up and raise a brow “What?” I ask.”The full breakdown of who has entered and left the pack, Sebastian”
I shake my head, massaging my temples. “This hangover is rough
“Yeah, sure,” he replies, standing up He’s upset, because I’m not telling him, but whoever it is made it clear I couldn’t
If it was my life on the line, I wouldn’t care, but she’s the target. She’s the one they will hurt if I defy them.
“I’m sorry…” I reply quietly
“Well, whenever you’re ready to share, you know where I am.” The door shuts behind him with a sharp snap, leaving me alone in my office which stinks of alcohol
Standing up, I draw the blinds shut before walking over to the door and locking it
I push my desk back, pulling the rug up and move the chair away, before turning and walking to the large 3D artwork that hangs behind my desk, depicting a wolf. His eyes filled with rage and his fangs bared.
Staring at the image, I place my finger on the centre of his forehead, feeling something buzz and then a faint click.
I look to the ground where my desk usually stands, watching as the panels move back, revealing a metre square area. There’s a panel on it and crouching down, I place my hand on it, allowing it to scan my hand.
‘Enter Pin’ Flashes on the screen and I quickly thumb it in and finally the key
I pull out the chain from around my neck that has a metal tag at the end that I always wear underneath my clothes. Clicking on the small indent, it clicks and a slim intricate key-like panel pops out. I remove it and place it into the small square that awaits it
A faint blue light scans over the entire surface before a faint whirring sound comes from it and the door of the safe swings open.
It’s half a metre deep, and it’s filled with money, papers, files and old books and boxes.
I reach for one specific box, and take it out I unlock it with a pin, and flip it open, taking out the yellowed paper that’s been torn from an old book along with a white envelope
I stare at the torn paper, reading the italic text at the bottom of the page.
‘Beware the one that wears the mark of discord, mischief and death.’
But it isn’t the message that makes my heart race, but the image itself Despite how battered it has become over the years, it’s clear. An ancient symbol that does not align with any language, but what gets to me is that it’s identical to Zaia’s birthmark that sits on the side of her left breast
A mark that somehow holds far more importance and meaning than we know. Someone knows about it and t know if others found out about it, it will only put her in danger. Even those who currently love her would turn upon her
I place the paper down and take out the envelope from the box. It contains another white card, but this time there’s also a photograph included A photograph of Zaia on the balcony of our mansion, with her hands in her hair, and circled in a red pen is ber birthmark
Anger flits through me as I glare at the card once more .
WHAT WOULD THE PACK DO IF THEY KNEW THEIR LUNA WILL BRING THEM DESTRUCTION?
I toss the photograph down, running
my fingers through my hair
Someone knew about the mark, I don’t know how, but they were able to get close enough to take this picture
I’ve messed up, I thought I’ll send her away and I’ll keep an eye on her, what if I’ve put her at a greater risk by doing so?
The unanswered questions spin in my mind, like a foreboding cloud hanging above my head.
Who are they? Where are they hiding? And above all, why? Why are they doing this?
The ultimate question is, is there really more to Zaia and her birthmark, or was it all a myth of the past?