Out of Darkness Ch. 04bylilgirlsix©
Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to comment on Out of Darkness. I love constructive criticism and feedback. I hope you continue to read, comment, and vote on the saga of the Baxter and Bertrand/Kardos packs.
And, as always, a huge thank-you to my editor, Archangel_M, who makes writing so much more enjoyable.
As always lately, Carr's office wasn't big enough for their meetings, so the American and European Councils, the Alphas of the Baxter and Bertrand/Kardos packs, and their seconds would meet in the dining hall. Alistair took his place at the front of the room and waited for the last to arrive.
He smiled as Guillame Bertrand breezed into the room, his second, Zsigmond, close on his heels. The Belgian were had come here only a month before. At the time, he had no idea his trip would lead to his reunion with his long-lost mate and her family. And no one had expected the newly reunited Hungarian werewolves to bond with him as their Alpha. Soon, the Bertrand/Kardos pack would be ready to move to their new homes on the land Carr had given them nearby.
"Guillame, we felt you needed to be included in these meetings. We know that Gary had some use for the Vlkolak women, and since they are your family, you need to be involved in any decision-making." Alistair smiled at the Alpha of their newest pack before returning to the business at hand. "Now, Sandalio, I believe you said you had an update for us?" The white-haired were took his seat.
The Spaniard stood and nodded slightly. "Thank you, Alistair. I've heard from our operatives in Italy. Apparently we are not the only ones looking for Silvano Cavallo." He saw a few surprised looks. "It's obvious to me that Erobos went for the father when the son disappeared. But I guess Silvano knew better than to wait to be found. He and his mate have disappeared. We are doing our best to track them. I would assume the son warned his father to run."
"What now? We don't have a chance in hell of finding either Silvano or his son. They're going to be doing their best to hide from their Alpha. They certainly aren't going to be easy for us to find." Even though Xylon had just found out Silvano had been in league with Gary and had something to do with Gary's plans to transform werewolves into Dire Wolves, he still couldn't stop thinking of him as a friend. He was worried about him and his family.
"We have every available agent at our disposal working on this. We won't give up, Xylon." Sandalio couldn't stand the thought of any more deaths at the hands of Erobos and his pack.
"Maybe it's time we find out from Rudolf what he knows about Erobos." Rhys had been silent in the back of the back of the room, but he wanted to know what the former head of the European Council had been hiding.
"Yes, I agree. Carr, could you have him brought here, please?" Alistair glanced at the Alpha who nodded, and then a moment later, nodded again. Rudolf was on his way from the security building.
Rudolf had been locked up in the security building since he attacked Konstantin. Alistair scanned the room. No one looked comfortable. Well, almost no one. The Czech werewolf seemed completely unperturbed. He did, however, take a quick look at his arm, flexing it, proving to himself that the broken bones were completely healed.
There was a loud commotion in the hallway, and all heads turned as the doors opened. Rudolf Metzger was surrounded by Baxter Pack betas and shuffled his way to the chair they pointed him towards. He had shackles on his legs and a waist chain with wrist shackles attached. They assisted him in sitting and then took their positions surrounding him. Each wore a tranquilizer gun in a holster at his side. After Gary and Paul's escape from the security area last month, they'd become a little more paranoid. If he made a move, they wouldn't hesitate to put him to sleep for a while. Actually, they'd rather put him to sleep for good.
Brett stood to Rudolf's left, Bryant to his right, and James behind him. None of them would let him out of their sight. Each had a hand resting on the butt of his gun. Steve and Craig were outside the door, waiting to be called if needed. They weren't taking any chances.
The German werewolf looked around the room. He wasn't sure why he was here and wondered if they had finally sentenced him to die for his attack on Konstantin. He sat quietly, trembling slightly, waiting. He had spent almost a month in that prison, and no one had told him anything that was happening. Maybe he was here because the remainder of the European Council had forced his release. Yes, that was probably it.
Sandalio walked slowly towards the smaller male seated in the chair. He towered above him. He looked down at his former leader and couldn't believe they had allowed him to lead for so long. What kind of power had he had for all those years?
"So tell me, Rudolf, what do you know about the Alpha named Erobos?" He stared into the small black eyes and saw the startled look.
"I don't know what you are talking about." But Rudolf's answer came too fast and loud. They knew they had hit a nerve. He definitely knew something.
"Perhaps I wasn't clear enough. What information do you have about the Sardinian Alpha?" Sandalio stared down at him, his face a stern mask. He showed no anger, but no patience either.
Rudolf couldn't meet his eyes. He couldn't bring himself to look at any of the weres in the room. His wolf had his tail tucked between his legs and had curled tightly into a corner of his mind. Their human half had been the one that wanted power. Well, he would have to deal with the consequences.
Guillame suddenly jumped up from his chair, startling the others in the room. He and Zsigmond exchanged glances and ran to the door where they were met by an enraged Istvan, who was trying to push his way past the guards outside the door. His eyes were wild, and he seemed barely in control of his wolf.
"Istvan, what are you doing here?" Zsigmond had grabbed his brother by the shoulder, making his best attempt at calming him before he did something he might live to regret.
The Baxter betas stayed out of it. This was a pack or family matter and none of their affair.
Istvan's face was a mix of anger and grief. "I found the wolf who killed Zsálya!" The beta stood toe to toe with his brother, his dark eyes flashing, tears beginning to form. His fingers were caked with dirt. He looked like he'd been digging.
Both Zsigmond and Guillame were too stunned to respond. Zsigmond couldn't believe it. He finally found his voice. "Where? Where is he? I'll rip him apart!"
"He's dead already, brother. He's in a grave out in the desert. I was hunting, and I caught the scent. I'd remembered it all these years. He was here, Zsigmond, he was here!" Istvan couldn't control his rage and picked up a chair, throwing it across the room, where it crashed through a plate glass window.
The betas guarding the building outside jumped as the chair and glass flew around them. Carr quickly sent them the message that all was well and not to let anyone inside. They set about cleaning up the glass before anyone got some embedded in a paw.
Guillame made a straight line for Carr, his eyes blazing with anger. "How is it our sister's killer is buried just outside your property?" He could barely contain his own outrage.
Carr looked confused for a moment and then realization dawned. "The only were that's been buried near this property was Niklas Metzger. Rhys killed him after he manipulated one of my pack members into attempting to kill his mate. He killed your sister?" Carr was at a loss for words.
"Metzger. Your kin, Rudolf?" Guillame turned slowly to face the captive, who was now cringing. He approached him slowly, his anger barely contained, his mate's brothers close behind.
Brett and Bryant looked at Carr. What should they do? What if they attacked the prisoner? Carr shook his head. They backed up and gave Guillame more room. Rudolf looked at them in surprise. He had expected them to keep him safe, not leave him at Guillame's mercy.
"If he was in Hungary, then he was the real spy you sent. So you knew what he'd done." Guillame's anger was building as he circled the once-powerful were. He saw the sweat beginning to form on Rudolf's forehead. "You sent him to America to save him from the justice he deserved. You robbed her family of their revenge." He leaned in closely to whisper in the ear of the restrained, petrified male. "Then we shall have our revenge now, Rudolf."
Rudolf looked up into Guillame's cold blue eyes. He heard the growling from the betas on either side. "I didn't know, I didn't know she was anyone important." His face twitched uncontrollably.
"Important?" Guillame couldn't believe his ears. "You think any young female is unimportant? Do you know what he did? Do you know what he caused?" Guillame stood behind him, his hands resting on Rudolf's shoulders. He leaned in close, "Do you know what we lost?" His hands tightened, breaking first Rudolf's left and then his right collarbones.
"Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" Rudolf screamed out in pain. "Please, stop! I didn't know he would do something like that. I'm sure it was an accident. He was my cousin; I had to help him." His breathing was labored as the pain tore through his body. He could feel the pain subside a bit as the healing process began, but it was still immense.
Everyone in the room had heard the snap as each bone broke. No one came to Rudolf's aid.
"Please, keep them away from me. You can't let them kill me while I'm chained here. I at least need to have a fighting chance." His whining tone caused several of the Council members to sneer in disgust and turn away. Let Guillame and the betas kill him.
"A fighting chance? Did Zsálya have a fighting chance? Niklas raped her and then chased her off a cliff! And then..." Guillame's voice broke. "And then, my mate miscarried our two cubs because of her grief. So you owe us three lives, Rudolf, three!" He practically screamed it into Rudolf's ear. The growls from the brothers were so loud it almost drowned out any other sounds.
Rudolf cried out, "No, please, I'll tell you anything about Erobos you want to know. Please, don't let them kill me." He sobbed loudly, as he whispered, "Please, don't let them kill me." Tears flowed down his cheeks, he sniffed as his nose dripped onto his shirt. His whole body shook with fear.
Sandalio managed a quick look to Alistair and then walked slowly to the snarling males surrounding the shackled prisoner. "Guillame." He said it so softly he could barely be heard over the growls. "Guillame, I must speak with you." He stood quietly, a few feet behind the Alpha. He watched as Guillame's shoulders rose and fell.
Guillame turned slowly, his face full of grief. All the old feelings had come back. He felt Orsolya with him, and she was crying. He could barely speak as his wolf fought with him for control. He could see what his wolf wanted, and he agreed. But he forced himself to answer the Spaniard. "Do not ask for mercy for him. None will be given." The words were distorted, his wolf still exerting some control.
The only thing keeping Zsigmond and Istvan from killing Rudolf where he sat was the forceful will of their new Alpha. But at the slightest order, their wolves were ready. Their eyes blazed with fury. Their beautiful little sister deserved her revenge!
Sandalio motioned Guillame to come with him, and they walked out of the room. A moment later Alistair joined them. When they returned a few minutes later Guillame's face was like stone.
"Zsigmond, Istvan, come with me." He was emotionless as he stood, glaring at their prisoner. He'd never felt such hatred in his life. He'd never liked Rudolf, not even a little. But now, all he could see was blood when he looked at him, Zsálya's, Orsolya's, and hopefully, soon, Rudolf's. He looked at his betas, his brothers, fighting his orders. Don't worry, we will have our revenge. Give them some time.
Zsigmond reluctantly backed away, his wolf fighting him. He could see Istvan struggling to obey and laid a supportive hand on his arm. Istvan's wolf was as close to disobeying his Alpha as he had ever been in his life. He wanted to rip Rudolf apart, one limb at a time. He wanted him to suffer and scream and beg for mercy. He would give none.
Istvan, trust Guillame. For now, we must leave.
The betas walked out with their Alpha close behind them. Their mates awaited them in the building where their pack was housed while constructing their own homes on their new land.
Sandalio watched them leave, waiting until the outer door had closed before turning back to the prisoner, who seemed relieved.
Rudolf's face had relaxed now that the danger was gone. His bones had almost healed and he felt much more at ease. "Thank you, thank you for saving my life."
"Yes, well, now we want to know all you know about Erobos." Sandalio was amused by the shock that registered on Rudolf's face.
"What? Oh, I don't know anything, I just didn't want to die. Now that you've sent them away, I can tell you I really have no information for you." Rudolf smirked as he sat facing his supposed replacement. He would find a way to regain his place in the council.
"Ah, well then there is no reason for us to keep you here. I'll send a message for Guillame to return, and we can hand you over." Alistair made two steps to the door before Rudolf yelled.
Sandalio and Alistair smiled.
"Wait! Yes, you're right, I do know Erobos." Rudolf slumped in the chair. If he didn't give them the information they wanted they would hand him over to Guillame and his betas. He had no choice. He hoped that Erobos would never find out he'd betrayed him. Maybe he could find a place far away to hide the remainder of his days.
"Why did you work with Erobos? Why did you help him?" Sandalio sat calmly on the edge of the table behind him, his hands in his lap.
"I was by myself, in southern Switzerland about three hundred years ago. I was traveling to discuss Council business with an Alpha there. I had fallen down a ravine and a large rock had fallen on top of me. I tried for days to dislodge it, but I couldn't. I was too far from any of my pack or family to communicate through our bonds. I was alone. I was going to die alone. Erobos found me. He asked why he should help me. I told him I could offer him assistance in the future in my position as a Council member. That seemed to interest him, and he agreed to help me. He was stronger than any werewolf I had ever seen. He moved the boulder easily. Before he left me, he said he would expect repayment of his good deed when asked, no questions. I agreed." Rudolf looked among the Council members for some sign they understood why he'd helped the Sardinian. He saw none.
"What did he ask you to do?" Konstantin was so disgusted he could barely bring himself to speak, but they had to know. How could we have allowed this filth to lead our Council? How were we so blinded?
"He merely asked for information. He said there was a pack that was not following Council edict. They were killing humans, endangering us all. That was why I sent Guillame to observe." He looked at Konstantin hopefully, waiting for his acceptance.
"And you sent Niklas. But he did more than observe." Rhys almost spat the words out. Rudolf was as vile as his cousin had been. He briefly wondered if the rest of the Metzger wolves were the same.
Guillame quietly opened the door and slipped in, finding a spot on the back wall. He crossed his arms, stared straight at Rudolf, and leaned back. His barely contained rage radiated from the Alpha.
Rudolf saw him and his voice quavered as he answered. "I-I didn't plan that. Niklas lost control of his wolf. It was unfortunate." He hung his head but no one thought it was anything more than an act. He could see out of the corner of his eye that Guillame wasn't going to let him out of his sight.
"Unfortunate? It was repulsive!" Alistair was amazed at how little feelings Rudolf had. "And did Erobos ask anything else of you?"
"He asked if there was any news of a female named Leona." He waited for another question, but none was forthcoming, so he continued. "I told him all I'd been told by Niklas. She was the pack's former Alpha Bitch, and helped to run the pack with her daughter's mate. That's all I knew. It was Erobos who told us the pack must be terminated. It wasn't my decision."
Alistair couldn't believe his ears. The Council had followed the orders of a rogue Alpha to destroy another pack for his own personal reasons. "You didn't stop him, Rudolf. You could have refused to assist and warned them. You could have helped them fight. Instead, you were a coward!" Alistair turned his back and strode out of the room. He had to get as far from this poor excuse for a werewolf as he could.
Alistair glanced up and saw Guillame's betas standing outside their interim home. He could tell the only thing keeping them in their place was the order of their Alpha. Istvan's son approached him cautiously. What's his name again? Ah yes, Ash.
The young male was polite but Alistair could see he was barely able to restrain his anger. "Did the traitor give you the information you wanted?" His handsome face was streaked with tears.
Alistair nodded sadly. "Did you know her, Ash?"
"Yes, I was just a cub, but I remember her. She looked just like Orsolya, but with black hair, and the most beautiful blue eyes." He looked up into the sky and smiled. "I know she'll be trying to find us." He looked squarely at the older male. "But she'll wait until he's dead." He turned to face the building where Rudolf still sat shackled. Ash was startled when his father and uncle ran past him into the building. He'd been waiting for this. "Soon, Zsálya, soon." He closed his eyes for a moment and then opened them in time to see Rudolf being half dragged, half carried out of the building.
"Noooo, nooooo, I gave you what you asked for! You promised to protect me from them. Please! Sandalio, please!" Rudolf was crying, his pleading for his life fell on deaf ears.
The tall Spaniard stood with Konstantin as they watched their former leader dragged from the building. "I fulfilled my part of the bargain, Rudolf. I kept them away, and you told us what we wanted to know. I didn't say I wouldn't hand you over when we were done with you." He watched impassively as Rudolf tried to pull away from the two snarling wolves.
The other Bertrand/Kardos betas had shifted and were running around the trio as they made their way out of the compound, Rudolf screaming for help. Rudolf was unable to shift in the shackles.
Guillame walked silently behind them. His wolf was close. He saw, out of the corner of his eye, his Orsolya, sobbing in the arms of Istvan's mate. It will be over soon, kitten, I promise. She looked up for a moment and then buried her head in Matild's shoulder.
Alistair watched them walk out of the compound. He felt Jenna before he saw her. "You shouldn't be here, love." He twined his arm around hers as she took him by the waist. She was upset, he could see it, but her thoughts were jumbled. "Do you think we're cruel to let them take him?"
She shook her head. "No, I understand it. I'm just confused. I have this overwhelming hatred of him, and I've never met him before. My panther wants to watch what they do to him. She's being evasive when I press her for the reason why." She leaned in close to her mate. Just being here with him calmed her, but at the moment, she felt she needed to be with Orsolya.
"Go to her. She looks to you like her grandmother. She says you're her exact double. If it gives her some comfort, then it's worth it." He bent down to softly kiss her forehead. He watched as Orsolya ran to her arms, Jenna's hands gently stroking the older woman's hair. They looked natural together, as if they had always known each other, not like they'd just met a few weeks ago.