Out of Darkness Ch. 03bylilgirlsix©
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Sardinia - 1052 A.D.
Erobos stayed several days with the vampire. When he left the castle he realized he had never felt stronger or more confident. The world was his. No one would keep him from his aspirations.
He returned to the pack and was met by his father, Adrastos, his face a contorted mask of rage. The pack was watching from nearby. They had felt their Alpha's strong emotions in the last few days while his son was missing without a trace. They had hoped that now that he had returned, all would be as it was. They knew immediately that they were wrong.
"Erobos, my son, where have you been?" His voice was angry but laced with fatherly concern. He looked with fear into the emotionless eyes of his son, his heir. He had always hoped to leave the pack in his hands. But now, that could never be. Their bond had been severed, by what means he had no idea. But it was irrevocable. As his son approached, he could see the changes in his body. He was larger and, no doubt, probably stronger as well. Even his features looked different. His skin was paler, his eyes darker, almost black. His hair was still the same black color, but seemed lifeless somehow.
"Erobos, what has happened to you? What have you done?" Adrastos was shocked by his son's demeanor. He was normally a quiet cub, unassuming, who kept mostly to himself. Now he was almost strutting, self-possessed, and maybe even conceited. What black magic was this that had transformed his son in so short a span of time?
"I have come for what is rightfully mine, father. I will go to the panthers and take Leona as my mate."
He smirked in a way so unlike his son that Adrastos was taken aback. It was as if he looked at a stranger. This was not his son. "Erobos, her father will never allow it, and neither shall I. She is not your mate. She is meant for another!" His wolf struggled with the emotions welling up inside him. This was his son who he was sworn to protect. But this male, so different from the cub he loved, was bound and determined to begin a war with the panthers. He could not condone it.
"Have I asked your permission, father? I do not need it. I am stronger than you now. It is my time to take over the pack." His gaze was icy as it fell on the father he had once adored. It was time he took what he wanted. And first, he would take the pack. He laughed at the shocked expression on his father's face. "You never thought I would stand up to you? Well, the time has come, and your time is over. Leave now and I will allow you and your mate to flee to safety."
Adrastos was stunned by his son's cold statement and staggered back a few feet. He saw the evil smile that covered his once beloved son's face. It was then that he realized his son was dead. This was some shell that only looked like him. He knew now that he would have to kill his own flesh and blood. The thought sickened him, but he would have no choice. If not, this evil being would plunge their pack into a war that could destroy them all.
The Alpha shifted into a large silver grey wolf, muscular, with heavy bones. He was made for hunting, for killing. He trained his eyes on the human figure in front of him. Erobos' wolf stood no chance against this battle-hardened fighter.
Erobos laughed out loud before shifting to the wolf that now shared his consciousness. But this was not the wolf his father knew. This was a Dire Wolf, bigger, stronger, faster, with no conscience to keep him from killing his own kin. This wolf didn't worry about destroying his father or anyone else. This wolf wanted power and would take it!
The huge animal towered over the advancing Alpha, who was not deterred by his unexpected adversary. His duty was to his pack. He could not run and hide from what used to be his son. He would defend his pack or die in the process.
The brave Alpha circled, trying to find an advantage. The loud growls from deep in his chest did nothing to put fear into the heart of the creature who stood across from him. He leapt towards the bigger animal and bared his teeth to slash at the belly of his adversary, but Erobos easily side-stepped the attack. Again, the Alpha made an attempt to come in low and strike a deadly blow, but as before, his assault failed.
It was as if the Dire Wolf was playing a game with the smaller wolf. He put forth no attack of his own as he watched his foe tire himself with one failed strike after another. The older wolf was panting, slowing steadily, obviously exhausted. Erobos smiled to himself, satisfied he had proven to the surrounding pack that he was obviously the stronger wolf and best able to lead the pack. His need for this charade was over. It was time for the kill.
The next time that Adrastos moved forward Erobos, without effort, leapt onto his back and sunk his teeth into his father's neck. He reveled in the taste of blood and felt a sudden euphoria as he heard the bones of his neck cracking. He drank every drop of blood from his father's body and shook the lifeless hull that was left, dropping him to the ground. How could he ever explain to anyone this new craving he had for killing? He felt marvelous! He felt fully alive for the first time!
He faced his father's pack, now his pack. Blood dripped from his mouth as he looked at their horrified expressions. He shifted back to his human form, his father's blood streaked across his skin. He called out loudly, "Is there any among you who doubt my strength to lead this pack?" He looked at each beta who, in turn, bowed to their new Alpha. Erobos smiled with satisfaction. He walked slowly to each member of the pack, listening to their murmured oaths of allegiance.
He was delighted at the sight of their frightened eyes, especially the females who attempted to hide from his sight. This made him laugh out loud. As if they could refuse his advances. They were all his to use as he saw fit. And any father or brother who attempted to stop him would die a painful death. He may want Leona as his mate, but he was not mated yet! And a Dire Wolf's appetites were much greater than those of any mere werewolf, much more.
He watched each female and pondered which to choose. He was the Alpha; any should be overjoyed to be his consort. She would, of course, not be needed after Leona was his mate, but for now, his wolf needed to sate his lusts, which had become suddenly overpowering after the exertions of the fight and the delight of the kill.
His gaze settled on a little blond who, just a few short weeks prior, had ridiculed him when he had told her his plan was to take the panther as his mate. She had said Leona would never have him. Yes, she would do nicely. He stopped in front of her father, a beta who struggled to hold his tongue. Adrastos had been his good friend as well as Alpha. And now Erobos would defile his daughter, and he could do nothing. He looked over the beta to the trembling girl. "Come, Zosime."
"Please, Alpha, she is too young. There is still another month until she is of age." Acacio had to speak up even if it meant his death.
"She is too young to mate, Acacio, not to be the consort of the Alpha. If you wish to serve your Alpha, then I would suggest you hold your tongue or I will remove it for you." Erobos exulted in this feeling of power. Every wolf here knew that he was their better, he was their leader, he was their master. And he could feel as each pack member proved their allegiance by bonding to him as their Alpha. He would give them one week. Any who did not bond with him by then would be killed. He did not wish to worry about closing his eyes at night.
"Zosime?" He watched as the female haltingly approached her Alpha. She couldn't look into his face. He could sense her fear, feel it, taste it. Yes, he would keep her fearful of him. He knew this new wolf half of him craved fear. He licked his lips in anticipation. While his human half knew nothing of females, his wolf's instincts were strong. He would take over when it was time.
He took her hand and walked with her past his pack and towards the cave he had shared with his parents. He barely noticed as his mother ran past him to her dead mate, screaming his name, wracked by sobs. He could feel her devastation and smiled to himself.
Acacio felt empty, his friend dead, his daughter at the mercy of Erobos, whatever he had become. The others were looking to him for guidance. How could he guide them? He was as frightened as they. His daughter was the Alpha's promise to him of what would happen if Acacio did not follow him. He had no choice. He allowed his wolf to bond with the new Alpha. And his first order sickened him, but he would obey. His daughter's life would depend on it.
Acacio stood in front of Adrastos' body, watching the sobbing female sprawled across her mate. He knew that, in a way, it was a kindness. He shifted and his wolf looked at the woman as she turned to face him, going to her knees. The tears streamed down her face as she waited. She knew. He promised his friend he would not let his mate suffer. He closed his eyes for a moment to beg forgiveness from his friend.
Do it Acacio! Now!
He cringed when his new Alpha's orders exploded in his head. He sadly watched as the former Alpha Bitch lowered her head, waiting for the end. He made it quick.
Nevada - Present Day
Carr sat in his chair, watching Xylon's anger rise. The Baxter Alpha understood his frustration. No one likes to feel they've been taken. And for a werewolf, being lied to by your own kind was especially galling. They thought of themselves as above some of the common human failings. But deep in their hearts, they knew there were still weres whose allegiances were to things other than their kind, things like money and power.
Carr listened with interest to the information his betas were providing about Xylon's present and former employees. Being a cop was a lot different now than in the days when Carr had worn a badge. He hadn't even had a car radio when he'd started, much less computer systems. A background check meant knocking on doors, not tapping on keys. His green eyes sparkled as he thought back to those days, outrunning stupid crooks who didn't know you can't escape from a werewolf.Ah well, long gone. Have to think like an Alpha now, not a cop.
Xylon let out a long, exasperated sigh. "I can't believe I was so stupid as to be taken in. So you think this was the one who was in with Gary?" He pointed to a picture of a smiling male in a lab coat.
Cole and Brett had pulled out all the stops in this investigation. It was just too important to the stability of the packs and of their pack in particular now. Cole had the file in his hands. "Yes, Silvano Cavallo. He joined your company in 1985."
"But he had worked with Watson and Crick! His scientific credentials were impeccable. I just don't understand it. How could he have lied to me?" Xylon couldn't believe this. Silvano had been a trusted researcher. He had thought of him as a friend. In fact, Xylon had begged him to stay when he insisted on returning to Italy after only a few years. He'd even offered him the job of COO of the company.That's how much I trusted him. How could I have been so wrong?
Cole shrugged his shoulders. "You can never really tell about a person; unless of course you're his Alpha and in his head." He glanced over at his brother and winked.
Don't push it, bro, he's upset enough as it is. Not too much joking around, okay?
Cole nodded imperceptibly to his brother and Alpha.Got it.
Brett picked up a second folder and dropped it next to Silvano's. "Looks like the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. His son just kidnapped a human female who was being protected by a local pack in Italy. He killed two of their betas and is still at large."
Xylon opened the folder and looked at the picture of Silvano's son. He shook his head. "I'm sorry, I just don't get it. I remember when he adopted his son. He was a scared little rabbit, abandoned by his family. I think that had something to do with Silvano leaving. He said he wanted to raise his son away from the cub's bad memories." He kept staring at the picture. "What's his name again?"
"Drago Cavallo. They said he's a rogue and should be killed on sight. They're pretty sure the female is dead. They said they thought he was unstable for some time but hadn't reported anything to the council." Brett was disgusted. After dealing with Gary and his followers, just the idea of having a rogue in his presence made his blood boil.
Carr caught a glimpse of the picture and stood up to get a better look. "Something familiar about him." He cocked his head as he picked up the picture. "I can't put my finger on it. Maybe it'll come to me later." He sat back down and thought for a moment. "You know, Xylon, the European Council members are still here. Maybe they can find a way to have Silvano brought here so we can question him on our own turf." He saw the smile widen on Xylon's face.
"Alpha, that is a great idea. I hadn't even thought of that!" Xylon was glad they hadn't left yet. There were still so many unanswered questions about the panthers and the Dire Wolves.
The Europeans had decided to stay on a while longer. Besides, there was the decision about whether or not Konstantin and Tracy would stay or return to Europe. Xylon thought they should stay, and Konstantin should take Niklas Metzger's seat on the Council. The panthers felt it important that they all be in close proximity or, at the very least, on the same continent. Konstantin would be a great addition to the American Council. Although it would mean the Europeans would lose two members since Rudolf Metzger was under lock and key after attempting to kill his own archivist, Guillame. But that was their problem.
SandalioLópez, the tall Spanish were and the likely next head of the European Council, sat in Carr's office. He scanned through the files on the two Italian pack members. He ran his hand through his long black hair and pursed his lips. "This has to stop!"
Konstantin stood silently near him and wholeheartedly nodded his head in agreement.
The American Council exchanged glances. What had to stop?
Sandalio saw their confused expressions and tried to explain. "The pack from Sardinia. They issue kill orders on anyone that escapes from their pack. Or rather, their Alpha issues the kill orders."
"Kill orders? There are so many they have a name for it?" Alistair's hackles rose.
"How could your Council allow an Alpha to arbitrarily issue kill orders on any of their own members without a plausible reason?" Rhys was suddenly glad he had come to America all those years before. They had their problems, but even the worst of their Alphas would never do something like this.Well, other than the Dire Wolves.
Sandalio shook his head, "It wasn't the Council, it was Rudolf. He has some sort of history with the Sardinian Alpha. Anything he wanted, he got, no questions asked. It led to many heated discussions in the Council Chambers. But Rudolf was too powerful and had too many eyes and ears in the Council. Those of us that disapproved could do nothing." Sandaliolooked up and grinned. "But we can do something now. I am acting head of the Council. I will rescind the kill order on the son and have the father taken into protective custody and brought here. Maybe you'll be able to get the information you need from him. I'll put our people on finding the son as well."
"Who is the Alpha of the Sardinian Pack? What is it that sends his wolves running?" Alistair kept thumbing through the files. He couldn't seem to look away from the picture of the son.I could swear I've seen him before.
Konstantin spoke with an uncharacteristic hatred in his voice. "The Alpha's name is Erobos. He's very old, over 1000 years old. He's been the Alpha of the pack almost that long. I've never met him, but I've heard stories. Even as a cub I heard stories about that pack. It was said that anyone who got in his way disappeared. And whatever he wanted he got!"
"And I heard the same. He is almost a legend in Europe among the werewolves. Everyone has heard of him, but few have actually seen him. Some say he doesn't exist. I have met members of his pack. They never speak of him except referring to him as 'the Boss'. And they will not answer any question about him. They are very tight-lipped."Maybe they've had good reason to be.
Alistair stood up and walked across the room, looking out the window at the cubs playing in the middle of the compound. "For the sake of all our futures, maybe it's time for the legend to fall." He walked out of the room. He needed to find Jenna. Something was nagging at him, and he needed to find her.
I'm here, love. I'll be waiting for you.
Jenna had felt Alistair's unease and knew that he'd want to see her when he was finished with the Council. And the uncertainty he was feeling bothered her as much as it did him. She sat on a blanket in the middle of the clearing. This was where Alistair had brought her their first day together, when they were just getting to know each other. She hoped she could help him with whatever it was that was bothering him. She was still getting used to this whole mate bond thing, as well as the panther bonds. At least she didn't have the Alpha bond to contend with as well. That was one thing about being the mate of a Council member; they didn't have Alphas. Alistair was his own Alpha, in a way.
She felt him near before she saw him and couldn't help but smile. She'd never had this feeling of unconditional love before. He was always with her, always a part of her. She couldn't imagine living without him. Of course, in some ways she had no privacy. Well, except when she blocked their bond. She hated doing it, but a girl needed a little privacy. She smiled to herself. After today she wouldn't need to block him anymore.
He ducked under the branches and looked up to see a vision. He couldn't help but grin. The last few weeks had been the happiest of his life and it was due to having Jenna in his life. Just knowing she was waiting here for him had helped to calm his frayed nerves. But now, seeing her here, nothing else seemed to matter. He sat down on the blanket next to her and took her soft hand in his. "This is where I've wanted to be all day. Thank you." He leaned forward and brushed her lips with his. He sat back, her hand still in his and just smiled at her.
"You're going to make me blush, Alistair. I feel like you're seeing into my soul when you look at me like that." Her face was hot, and she couldn't help smiling. He wasn't blocking his thoughts at all. She knew exactly what he was thinking.
"I do see into your soul, love. And it's a lovely as you are." His fingers reached up to brush her cheek. Her skin was so silky soft. He inhaled deeply, her scent enveloping him as he closed his eyes to savor it.
"You've been tense, Alistair. I felt it the entire time you were in the meeting. But I couldn't tell what was bothering you. Care to share?" She smiled as she felt him nuzzling her neck. She bent her head to the side to make it easier for him. Her hand tangled in his white hair, a smile on her lips as she felt her body responding to his attentions.
"Not tense anymore, my love." He murmured into her neck as he tasted her skin gently with his tongue. Yes, this was what he'd been needing all day long.