Home > Reaper Unleashed (Deadside Reapers #7)(10)

Reaper Unleashed (Deadside Reapers #7)(10)
Author: Debbie Cassidy

If I step under it, I’ll be a prisoner, unable to jump out of this room.

“Grayson…” I crouch to study the chair legs.

They’re bolted to the ground. They’ve used silver chains to hold him in place, and red welts have come up on his skin where the chains are touching him.

He must be in pain.

“Go!” Grayson mumbles through the gag.

Fee needs him. She needs him by her side if she’s going to bring Ulrich down. She needs the power of her Tribus.

I stand slowly and take a deep breath.

I know what I have to do.

I step into the trap.

Chapter Eleven

Fee

An hour had gone by and Uri still wasn’t back. I paced the kitchen, looking at the clock every few lengths. Hunter didn’t say a word. He let me do the pacing, but I could tell from the tension in his shoulders that he was starting to worry too.

What if Uri had been caught? Shot like Grayson so he couldn’t get away?

I came to a standstill. “It’s been too long.”

Hunter exhaled through his nose. “I know.”

I closed my eyes and centered myself. If Uri and Grayson were out of action, that left me, Hunter, and my pack.

“We’ll have to do this without them.”

Hunter’s dark eyes locked with mine. “I get to rip out Ulrich’s throat.”

“He’s yours.”

There was a banging on the front door, and Hunter and I froze. Who the fuck was that?

Uri would jump into the house. He wouldn’t bang on the door. It was late too, almost ten at night.

Hunter pushed back his chair silently and pressed a finger to his lips. He made a stay-put gesture and then slipped out of the kitchen into the hallway. I followed but hung back in the doorway. A hulking shadow was visible through the top half of the frosted glass of the front door.

Hunter went in low until he reached the door and then he rose up slowly to peer through the peephole. He let out a curse and then yanked open the door.

Grayson tumbled into the house, golden hair windswept, husky eyes bright.

Oh god! I rushed down the corridor and into his arms. He held me to him so tight it felt like he’d never let me go, and honestly, right now, I was totally good with that.

“Where’s Uri?” Hunter asked.

Uri? I pulled away and looked up at Grayson. “Babe?”

“They have him,” Grayson said. “But not for long.”

“Ulrich knew we had a celestial on the team. He also knows about Cora and her ability to jump. The trap was an insurance policy that if one of those allies came for me, they’d end up trapped in the circle.” Grayson sighed. “Uri stepped under the trap willingly to free me, so you could have the power of the Tribus when confronting Ulrich.”

And now they had him.

“I tried to disrupt the trap, to scratch away the paint, but there’s some kind of magical protection over it.”

Which meant we’d need magical intervention to remove it.

Neither of us said it but we were all thinking it. There was no reason for Ulrich to keep Uri alive. We had to hope they’d be too distracted to worry about him right now.

“There’s more,” Grayson said. “Uri overheard them speaking. The ceremony takes place today, in less than two hours.”

Oh fuck. “We need to mobilize now.”

Petra appeared in the doorway. “Then you’ll need to activate the power of your Tribus.”

Grayson frowned. “Activate? We both mated with Fee. I thought we were done. Connected?”

“The matings form the Tribus. But to activate its power, for it to be felt by the Loup around you, you must complete the triad.”

“And how do we do that?” Hunter asked.

“You must emotionally accept each other. It’s the only way to access the full power of the triad and provide each of you with a unique protection that comes from the Vista. A metaphysical bond that will connect you in every way.”

I was so confused. “But we have accepted each other emotionally.”

“You have,” Petra said. “You accept both your mates, and they, in turn, have accepted you into their hearts.”

I looked up at Hunter. In his heart?

He wouldn’t meet my eyes.

Petra looked from Grayson to Hunter. “These two haven’t accepted each other.”

“I have,” Grayson insisted.

Petra smiled indulgently. “Yes Grayson, you accepted Fee, and you resigned yourself to her mating with Hunter, but you have conflict in your heart toward your brother, as does he toward you. To access the full power of your triad, you must—all three—be in emotional harmony.”

They needed to let the past go. They needed to forgive each other.

I took Grayson’s hand and then Hunter’s. “What happened between you wasn’t your fault. The anger, the confusion, the hate that grew, it wasn’t your fault, and it should never have happened.”

Grayson looked at Hunter. “I’m sorry I didn’t fight harder for you. I’m sorry I let him treat you the way he did.”

Hunter’s throat bobbed and his jaw ticked. “I’m sorry I never came back, and that I gave up on us.”

“I want to start fresh,” Grayson said, his tone thickening with emotion. “I want us to be brothers, the kind of brothers we should have been from the start.”

My hands began to tingle, and a strange buzz filled the air.

Hunter took a shuddering breath. “When I thought you were in danger today, I wanted to burn the world to get to you. I thought I hated you, but that’s a lie. I never hated you, Grayson. It was just easier to hate than to admit…To admit I needed to be loved.” His voice cracked and the tingling in my hand rushed up my arms.

“I do love you,” Grayson said. “I always have.” He grabbed Hunter by the nape and pulled him into a one-armed hug.

Heat exploded through my body and rushed out through my hands into them.

They pulled apart, eyes wide, as the power raced through them. The air cracked and the scent of the forest filled my nostrils. The Vista bloomed in my mind, here but not here.

I could feel my mates’ unique signatures pressing in on me, melding to mine, and then a strange calm settled over me, a sense of wholeness and completeness as if puzzle pieces had slotted into place in my Loup soul.

The forest scent dispersed, and it was just the three of us, standing in the kitchen, holding hands. The world was normal, yet everything had changed.

We were different.

We were one.

“It’s done,” Petra said. She fixed her determined gaze on me. “I told you once before that a triad is rare. It only occurs in times of great need. This is that time. Ulrich’s reign will be the beginning of the end. He cannot be allowed to take the alpha crown. He must be stopped. The powers that be have brought you together to protect our way of life and make it better. It starts tonight with Ulrich’s death.”

Chapter Twelve

An hour. That was all we had until the ceremony to crown Ulrich as alpha.

We approached the Rising pack building. Forty Regency wolves, a witch, and a Tribus of alphas.

The power we’d unlocked thrummed through us in a circuit, connecting us in a way I didn’t understand and didn’t need to. It was primal and instinctual. It brought surety and calm to my thoughts and lent my body a new inner strength.

The pack could sense it, but no one questioned.

They were ready to fight for what we believed in, ready to die if need be. But I was hoping it didn’t come to that.

The plan was to sway the Rising pack, to alienate the rogues and take back the power.

We entered the building and the receptionist looked up, startled. His hand went to the alarm, but I blur-moved and punched him in the face. His head whipped back, and his nose exploded in blood. He howled and clutched his face.

“Nice,” Hunter said.

“Thanks.” I grabbed the Loup’s lapels and hauled him over the desk and onto the floor. “Where is the ceremony taking place?”

He shook his head.

Hunter grabbed him by the throat and hauled him up. “Answer her,” he growled, his jaw elongating, fangs sprouting so he was in half-shift. “Or I’ll eat your fucking face.”

Now that was hot.

The Loup mumbled something.

“I can’t hear you?” Hunter sing-songed in big bad wolf mode.

“Basement,” he blurted.

Hunter shoved the Loup toward Grayson, and Grayson pinched the nerve in his neck. The Loup hit the ground out cold.

“Dean, take Vi, and a couple of Loup to the floor above the Penthouse. Uri’s trapped there.”

Vi was dressed in black, her hair pulled back, her delicate face etched with determination. She didn’t have to be here. Didn’t have to help, but she hadn’t hesitated when I’d called, and that meant the world to me.

‘Thank you.” I mouthed to her.

She inclined her head and headed toward the stairwell with Dean and three Loup.

The rest of us made a beeline for the stairs marked lower level.

We had no idea how many Loup would be at the ceremony and it wouldn’t change the fact we had to do this, but we had a plan. A plan to allow me the spotlight and speak to the Rising pack.

Our boots clattered down the steps as we descended. We hit the last flight of steps and two rough-looking Loup greeted us with snarls.

Grayson and Hunter were on them in seconds. Bone snapped and the Loup hit the ground, dead.

I stepped over them and headed for the double doors to the basement.

“Wait.” Hunter grabbed my arm to stop me. “Look.” He pointed to the space above the door where symbols were painted in silver across the plaster.

“Not good,” Grayson said.

Hunter reached up, his hand morphing so claws emerged, and scraped his talon across the paint. The air spat sparks, and he pulled his hand back with a soft snarl.

“A protective shield again,” Grayson said.

Fuck. We had no idea what this symbol meant or what it would do to us.

   
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