Chapter 27

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When her body landed on mine, crushing me with her heavy weight, the pistol I had carried with me poked out of my coat, the barrel touching the ground. With one arm under the wolf's neck, I managed to keep her threatening teeth from my face, my stomach churning in revulsion at the stench from her breath.

She growled as I moved my free arm, her eyes staring deep into mine as she once again attempted to lunge at my face, razor sharp teeth grazing my cheeks. My arm muscles strained from keeping her heavy head away and I wheezed in relief when I felt the gun, held it awkwardly.

There was a moment of hesitance as I contemplated shooting her; she may have valuable information. But then I remembered what she was and gladly pulled the trigger, my lips curling harshly as the bullet sunk into her underbelly, her howl of pain ringing in my ears, seeming to shake the leaves of the surrounding trees.

And just as I did this, Xerxes appeared, only taking a mere second to take in the scene before grabbing his mother by the scruff of her neck, effortlessly throwing her off of my body. I brushed away his hands and kept my attention on the wolf as Flynn managed to bound her, not allowing her to escape if she tried.

I worked my jaw, tasting iron as Xerxes knelt on one knee by his mother, his fingers fisting the fur on her head so that she looked up at him, her breathing ragged. Blood was beginning to pool under and around her, and the boots which Xerxes wore became stained with the thick redness.

"I've been very lenient with you." Xerxes scowled when she flinched, whimpers erupting behind her tied mouth when his fingers tightened on her dark fur. Suffocating tension crackled in the night air as his icy eyes seemed to burn a hole through her head. "Not any more, Idina."

Her fur bristled when he released her. Xerxes ignored her rumbling growls and faced his Beta. "Take her to the van. Have Easton take her to the shed by my house. I'll need to speak with her."

Flynn tilted his head, disgust evident as he looked upon her bleeding body. "And afterwards?"

Xerxes turned slowly, his fury filled eyes narrowing in on my still stinging cheek and I raised my head, waiting for his response. His exhale was soft, an attempt to release the stress in his body. Then, his head lowered to where his mother lay, a dark hatred blazing in the depths of her silver eyes. Xerxes' lip curled in a snarl,

"Afterwards, I will deal with her personally."





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Steaming hot water awoke the woman from her slumber, her fur retreading into pale skin, the bullet wound still remaining on her smooth stomach. She hissed, fangs bared as she crawled into a corner of the room, trying to hide her naked body.

I stepped forward, near to the dark glass that allowed me to see what was taking place without being in the room, unable to hide my curiosity about what Idina would have little choice but to reveal.

"Do you remember using this method on me to wake me up when I was a child, Idina?" Xerxes tossed the bucket which once held the water onto the floor, allowing it to roll to her feet. "Doesn't feel very good, does it?"

"I remember many things, boy." Idina snarled from her corner, her body trembling from the droplets on her skin. "I remember when you actually put our kind's needs first, before anyone else's. When you used to put my needs before anyone else's."

Xerxes ignored her words. "Every morning, you would come inside and throw hot water on my body to wake me up. Relentlessly. You would see the burns on my body from the water and watch my skin knit together, heal. And then, the next morning, you would do it again." He paused. "I was merely a child and could do nothing. I've endured many harsh treatments by the hands of you and my father. I've tried to forget and forgive those acts. And now, you've done certain things I just can't dismiss or let go of. My patience with you is running thin, Idina, it is slowly becoming nothingness."

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