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

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

“I’m sorry,” she said. “We can’t help you.”

Shit. “Please reconsider.” But they were already turning away and slipping into the shadows.

The conversation was over.

I’d failed.

What the fuck were we going to do now?

Chapter Six

“You did your best,” Grayson said down the phone. “Now let me see what I can do with Crimson pack.”

“You got a meeting?”

“Yes, in an hour.” He sounded strange.

“Grayson…what is it?”

“I’ll be going into their territory alone. Mitchum’s terms.”

The Crimson alpha a-hole? He wanted Grayson alone?

Panic bloomed in my chest. “Wait, what? No, you said you have a good relationship with them, why won’t they let you bring a second?”

“I said I had a relationship. We’ve communicated before, which is why I was able to reach out, but anything can happen.”

Unease writhed in the pit of my stomach. “Why does he want you to go alone?”

“To exert his power. Intimidation? Who knows?”

I didn’t like this. “Don’t do it. We don’t need them.”

He sighed. “Yes Fee, we do. I have to do this for all the Loup. We can’t let Ulrich win.”

My stomach twisted into knots. I felt sick. “Let me come with you. I want to come with you.”

God, I sounded plaintive, but I didn’t care. All I knew was that my gut was going haywire and that was a bad sign.

“You’re Eldrick’s heir. You need to stay put,” Grayson said. “The deal is that I go alone.”

“But—"

“I love you.” He hung up.

I looked up into Hunter’s dark eyes and saw the conflict churning in them, saw the resolve and comprehended what he was about to do a split second before he made a beeline for the door.

“Hunter, no.” I ran after him, but he was too quick.

The front door slammed. He was already gone.

Uri came up behind me. “I’ll go after him.” He kissed my temple and winked out.

Fuck, fuck, fuck.

“Fee!” Petra’s voice rose in alarm.

I rushed into the lounge to find her trying desperately to hold Eldrick down as his body convulsed.

I joined her, taking over while she rummaged in her herb pouch. She pressed a paste into his mouth, trying to get her fingers past his clenched teeth and then settled for rubbing it into his gums.

I held on to him while his body spasmed. Seconds dragged by. Finally the spasms weakened, and he relaxed back into unconsciousness.

I released him cautiously, hands hovering above his body just in case the convulsions started again.

“He’ll be fine now,” Petra said. She packed her herbs away and sat back down.

My hands trembled. “What just happened?”

“His body has been severely traumatize. The seizure is simply a reaction to that, but his wounds are healing.”

But she didn’t look too sure. “Petra?”

She sighed. “There’s no more we can do. Yes, there may be internal damage that his Loup can’t heal, the silver may have gone so deep my herbs were unable to remove it all. I can’t know for sure, and hospitals are not an option for us.”

Oh god. “He could still…die?”

“We have to hope he can fight this.”

I looked down at my father. The man I was only just coming to know and care about. We hadn’t had enough time. I wanted—needed—more time.

“He’s a fighter. He’s tough. He’ll make it.”

“Yes, I believe he will,” Petra said.

I noted the dark circles under her eyes for the first time. “Have you eaten?”

“Yes, Hunter gave me some of the delicious pasta bake you put in the oven earlier.”

I’d completely forgotten about the food, but now she’d mentioned it my stomach grumbled.

She chuckled. “You should eat.”

“I can’t, not while the guys are out there in potential danger.”

All my guys.

Azazel and Mal were up against Mammon in the Underealm, and Grayson, Hunter and Uri were in Crimson pack territory.

The sick feeling in my stomach grew stronger.

Petra took my hand. “You must be prepared to be strong if you’re needed. Eat. Trust me. You’ll need the energy for what’s to come.”

I didn’t question her further. She was a shaman, a different kind of outlier, and her gut instincts had guided Grayson’s father, when he wasn’t being a dick to his youngest son.

If she said I needed to be ready, I’d damn well make sure I was.

I made my way into the kitchen. Hunter had taken the pasta bake out of the oven and covered the top with foil to keep it warm. I was about to dish up when the cuff on my wrist began to tingle.

My vision blurred and the kitchen vanished.

I was on a street. The sun was setting, and people walked by arm in arm.

Normal. So normal.

The voice was a thought projected into my mind in a male voice. A voice I recognized from my memory of Purgatory.

This was it. This was Cain. I was in his head.

Focus. Where was he? The street didn’t look familiar. I needed to look for a sign, but I had no control over his head. I couldn’t make him turn it. Shit. Wait…there was road up ahead. A crossroads. There would be a sign.

Something scratched at the back of my mind and then I was falling. I hit the ground hard, crying out at the impact of tile on tailbone.

“Fee?” Petra called out from the lounge.

“I’m okay!” Shit. Had he shoved me out of his head?

I’d been so close. The cuff stopped tingling. I gripped it and focused, trying to get back inside his head, but the metal remained cool and unresponsive against my skin.

I had time. If this could happen once it would happen again. The cuff was acclimatizing to me. I just needed to be ready.

I looked down at the food and my stomach rolled.

My resolve of a few moments ago wavered. I couldn’t eat while Grayson, Hunter and Uri could be in danger. Two hours, Grayson had said. I looked at the clock. They’d been gone less than forty-five minutes.

I’d wait, but if they didn’t contact me by the time the two hours was up, I was going after them.

Yeah, I was Eldrick’s heir, and yes, that was important, but not as important as my guys.

Nothing was more important than them.

I dished up a large helping of the pasta bake, grabbed a fork and began to shovel food into my mouth, ignoring the icky feeling in the pit of my stomach and the flutter in my chest.

If the guys needed me, I’d make damn sure I was in top form.

I just hoped I wasn’t too late.

Chapter Seven

Grayson

Crimson pack territory has a vibe I can’t quite define, but my Loup is never comfortable here. We live by a code, but the Crimson pack are renowned for breaking it. Coming here alone is a huge risk that puts me in danger, but not coming at all could put us all at peril.

The apartment building that Mitchum and his pack call home is a graffitied monolith of dirty windows. Dumpsters line the alley that leads to the main access.

I navigate it easily, very aware that there are eyes on me. Mitchum makes sure scouts roam the night and keep watch on his property. It may not be much to look at, but it’s his castle, and he’s the king.

Best remember that.

I get to the sickly green door with a dingy porch light bolted to the wall above it and knock three times for entry.

It opens a moment later emitting the distinctive scent of weed and cigarette smoke.

A bearded Loup looks up at me with a sneer. “He’s spectin ya.” He jerks his thumb up the corridor but takes his sweet time getting out of my way.

I’m not about to push him. I’m way out of my territory. Still, the alpha in me surfaces. I can feel him looking down at the irritating Loup, and sure enough he backs up pretty quick.

The corridor is dirty, walls smeared with brown stuff. I dread to think what it is. Doors are open left and right, giving me an easy view of the apartments within, but I don’t stop to take look. The only person I need to see is up a flight of stairs, occupying the whole of the second floor of his building.

Mitchum likes his space, and only his betas share it with him. That and any human females he can convince to join them. Humans who’ll believe these Loup to be just regular bikers.

I push through the access door onto the second floor. There is no corridor here. No apartments, either. Mitchum has had a remodel, and the space is open plan and a blatant mimicry of the ground floor of my house.

Someone has castle envy.

There are Loup lounging about on battered sofas. Others play pool or shoot darts. A huge flat screen TV is showing some sports game, and sitting smack-bang in the middle of the room, on a huge leather recliner, a beer clutched in his hand is Mitchum himself.

He raises the bottle as I approach. “The great Regency alpha, come to visit the little people, eh?”

I nod “Mitchum.”

He takes a swig. “You actually came alone.” He looks almost impressed

“It’s what you asked, and this is important.”

He sucks on his teeth. “U-huh. Yeah, you mentioned that on the phone.”

And he could have heard me out over the phone, but he’d insisted on this meeting.

“So?” He jerks his chin up. “What is it?”

“Ulrich has taken the Rising pack.”

His expression remains neutral, not even a flinch or a twitch.

Fuck. “You know.”

He shrugs. “I may not have the swanky territories, but I have the best scouts.”

“Then you know this isn’t good for either of our packs.”

“Really? And how’s that?” He tips his head to the side.

Alarm bells go off in my head. Mitchum isn’t stupid. He’s an asshole, but he’s a smart asshole who made the best of the shittiest territory his lack of influence could net him. He knows how Ulrich taking over could affect his business operations. How Ulrich will muscle in, and the fact he’s so nonchalant can only mean only one thing.

   
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