tagNonHumanOut of Darkness Ch. 10

Out of Darkness Ch. 10

bylilgirlsix©

Things are going to heat up soon. Just a few chapters left to go. I hope you continue to read, comment, and vote. Again, because of my formatting issues, { } denotes italicized text.

And another warm thank you to my favorite (and only) editor, Archangel_M.

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"I'm sorry! I thought Drago needed Kelly with him. I guess I wasn't thinking." Trina slumped down in her chair, dejected as her mate stared at her in disbelief. She had absentmindedly put her hair in pigtails and was nervously playing with the braids.

"That's an understatement! When Carr gets here, just... just..." He rubbed his eyes as he leaned his head against the wall. "Damn, Trina. You should have talked to me first." His head whipped around at the loud sounds coming from the outer offices.

They heard the Alpha before they saw him. The door to the outside offices slammed shut seconds before Carr and his mate, Lee, walked in.

Lee was a step behind the Alpha, her hand reaching out to try and lend a calming influence to her irate mate.

Carr ignored her and stopped in front of Trina. He glared down at her, his eyes narrowed. How could she have done something so stupid? He watched her lower her head in submission, tears streaming down her face. He breathed in deeply and let it out slowly in a loud sigh. "T, you really put us in a bind."

Trina was surprised when he used her nickname. Maybe he wasn't as mad as he seemed at first? She looked up tentatively, afraid to raise her head. She had displeased her Alpha, and that was worse than almost anything.

Trina glanced up and saw the twinkle in his green eyes. She breathed a sigh of relief. "Carr, I know I screwed up. I just really felt sorry for Kelly. And you know what a difference it makes to have your mate with you when you're injured."

Carr turned to look at his mate. She smiled back at him. She clearly remembered sitting with him, holding his hand and stroking his face as he recovered from the nearly fatal injuries he'd received in his battle with the Dire Wolves.

"You agree with Trina?" He already knew what her answer was going to be.

"Yes. Carr, didn't you feel me near you while you were in that coma?"

"Yeah, I did, but we're mates; we're bonded."

"Then ask Karen if she could feel Cole when she was unconscious. They'd barely met. He hardly left her hospital room." Lee wasn't going to give up. She did agree with Trina; maybe not her methods, but she agreed Kelly needed to be at Drago's side.

"And Cole knew she was his mate. Kelly doesn't know. And now she sees what he is, and what we are." He turned back to Trina. "Not a great way to be told your boyfriend is a werewolf."

Logan couldn't help it, he growled. The Alpha was hurting his mate. He felt Trina's pain. She was sorry. Why couldn't he just leave it alone?

Carr's head swiveled quickly to the doctor. "Logan, do you have something you want to say?" His face was hard, and his green eyes suddenly cold. None of his pack had dared to growl at him before, other than his brother, and he had special privileges. Was the doctor going to challenge him?

Trina jumped up and ran in between the two males who were glaring at each other. "Alpha, he was upset about my state of mind. He wasn't challenging you, I swear!" She turned around her to her mate. {You weren't, were you?}

"Alpha, I felt Trina's panic at displeasing you. My wolf was being protective. I apologize." Logan dropped his eyes to his Alpha. He would never want to challenge him. Carr was a strong Alpha; He was meant to lead this pack. Being in charge was the last thing Logan would want. And he'd agreed to join the pack and had bonded with Carr. He and his wolf would be having a discussion later. {It's one thing to growl at some Beta who gets too close to his mate, but NOT the Alpha!}

Lee held her breath. The growl from the doctor had shocked her as much as it had her mate. Growling at your Alpha meant you were challenging his leadership. If Carr chose, he could sidestep the apology and force the challenge. Or he could banish Logan from the pack. Carr had immediately shielded his thoughts after he heard the growl, so she had to wait for his decision along with Logan and Trina. She tried to read his expression, but his face was like stone.

Trina was white as a sheet. If Carr killed Logan, she would be lost. If he banished him, she would need to be with him, and she would lose her family. She couldn't believe how loud her heart sounded as it pounded in her chest. She slid her hand into Logan's, holding it tightly.

Carr shook his head, a small smile forming on his lips. "Apology accepted, Logan. Trina? Promise me you won't do anything like that again."

Trina was so relieved she could barely speak, but she managed to croak out her answer. "I promise, Carr. Thank you." She smiled as he grabbed her pigtails on either side of her face and gave them a quick yank, like he used to do when she was a cub and followed him everywhere. Back then he was just Cole's big brother and the Alpha's oldest son. She'd had a huge crush on him.

"Logan, when will Drago be out of the coma? And when do you think he'll be able to shift?"

Logan was grateful that Carr acted like nothing had ever happened between them. "He's healing pretty quickly, all things considered. We stopped his sedation an hour ago. He should be awake within the next few hours. As for shifting, a few days, maybe longer."

Carr nodded. "Okay, so we have maybe a few days before Kelly will be able to actually talk with Drago. Guess we'd better figure out what to do next. Lee, we've got some planning to do." He held out his hand for his mate.

Lee smiled at Trina and Logan and gave Trina a quick hug before taking her mate's hand and leaving the room.

Trina watched her Alphas leave the room. How could she ever explain to a human what a wolf felt for their Alphas? Next to their own mate or cub, their Alphas were the most important people in their lives. Carr was like a big brother, favorite uncle, father, grandfather, protector, all rolled up into one. When Carr had come close to death last month, the entire pack had been deeply affected. She breathed a sigh of relief and turned around to find her mate's arms waiting for her.

Logan hugged her to his chest and rested his chin on top of her head. "I guess we both have something to be sorry for. That was close. Let's both promise to think before we act from now on." He held her even tighter as he heard her light laughter. He hadn't waited all these years to find her to ruin his life now!

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"Where's Carla?" Alistair looked past Silvano, but didn't see his mate.

"She is sitting with Drago. She doesn't like leaving him." Silvano didn't particularly like leaving him either. Look at what had happened the last time they'd left him alone. Kelly was able to sneak into the room which now has added to their problems.

"So, does anyone have any good idea about how to explain things to Kelly?" He looked around the room. No one said a word. "Anyone?" He was surprised when he saw movement out of the corner of his eye from where his own mate sat. "Jenna?"

"The best person to explain all of this to Kelly would be Sheila." Jenna knew her friend would know exactly what to say. "She's still human. Kelly will feel more comfortable around her. And then after she's told her all she can, if Kelly has questions, there are several of us who can help. But she should really have a human perspective right now."

Carr communicated the request with Jeff, who was extremely protective of his human mate. No one could really blame him. He'd met her when she'd been brought into the hospital close to death. She'd been brutalized by one of Gary's group of Dire Wolves. Jeff managed to save her life and hated to let her out of his sight for a moment.

"Okay, Jeff is sending her over. Jenna, do you want to meet with her first and fill her in?"

Jenna nodded. She had a feeling Sheila wouldn't need any guidance. She was pretty intuitive all on her own. She wondered what she was going to be like once Jeff turned her into a werewolf. Jenna was a little saddened that her best friend wouldn't become a panther like her. If she did, they'd be bonded like the rest of the panthers. But at least once she was turned, they'd know they would have years of friendship ahead of them.

Carr watched the werepanther walk out of the room with Silvano and turned to the Council members who stayed behind. "Now, on to other matters, I got a call from Axel, from the Jensen pack in California. They did a sweep of the San Francisco Airport and took out all of Erobos' operatives. They watched him get off the plane and buy a ticket for Reno. He's on his way here." Carr had called Axel as soon as they'd heard he was on his way to the U.S. He knew he'd come through. He was a natural as an Alpha. "I told him not to try to stop him. There wouldn't be any way to do it without drawing attention to our kind. Better to do it here."

Alistair nodded. "Good thinking." He thought back to their time with the Jensen pack last month. He'd been impressed with the new young Alpha and his mate. Now it looked as if he Axel was living up to expectations.

Rhys had sat quietly in his chair, deep in thought. He glanced up for a moment. "What about the Reno Airport?"

Carr was ready for that question. "Wilson has that covered. We'd already figured that would be the next stop. So his Betas have had it staked out for hours. They've been picking up members of the Sardinian Pack all day. They've been keeping them sedated so they can't send their Alpha a warning."

"Did you ask how Cheryl is doing? And Kyle?" Rhys sounded almost disinterested.

Carr and Alistair exchanged looks. "They're doing fine. They've mated and Cheryl's wolf rejoined with her. Apparently, she's a model member of the pack and a wonderful mate for Kyle. He's integrated back into the pack and is a loyal Beta."

Carr hoped that's what Rhys wanted to hear. Rhys had spared her life after she'd attempted to kill Katy. Katy had forgiven Cheryl, and because of that, Rhys had let her live. Cheryl had lost an arm and her wolf had abandoned her, retreating to the recesses of her mind to punish her for her treachery. But she had found a mate in Kyle Wilson, a former rogue who had become a Dire Wolf, and then, as their guinea pig, been turned back into a normal werewolf again. He had been accepted back into his pack and taken Cheryl with him. At the time, the hope had been for the two of them to redeem themselves and again become productive members of the pack. Apparently, their hopes had come to pass.

"Good, Katy will be pleased, as am I." Rhys stood up and stretched his long legs. "I think I'm going out for a walk. My old legs are getting cramped up sitting in this chair. If you'll excuse me?"

Alistair stifled a laugh as his good friend left the room. "Code for 'I am going to find my mate.' Carr, what about the spies watching your compound?"

"Cole and Brett are taking care of them as we speak. Just a few left. Then, I think it's time for a hunt, if you care to join us." Carr grinned. His Betas had been ready for this for days. They didn't like being watched. It made them jumpy. They needed a good long chase.

"No, I think I will stretch my legs myself. Jenna won't be long, I'm sure." Alistair winked as he walked out of the room.

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Kelly awoke to the sound of humming. She kept her eyes closed and just listened, trying to recognize the tune. What was it? It was so familiar. Then it came to her. Whoever it was had a sick sense of humor. "Hungry Like the Wolf" by Duran Duran. She barely opened one eye to see who it was. She could make out a woman with long dark blond hair, maybe a little older than she. The woman sat on the counter top across the room from the bed, humming and swinging her legs.

"You're awake." The woman hopped down, crossed the floor to the chair next to the bed, and sat down.

"I am not." Kelly kept her eyes closed. She didn't want to talk to any of these crazy people. She didn't know if they really believed that wolf was Drago or not. They were sick. For some reason they were hiding him from her or...or... She blinked back her tears. Or they were hiding the fact he was dead!

"Kelly, I'm not going anywhere so you might as well open your eyes and look at me."

Kelly turned her head towards the voice and slowly opened her eyes. The woman sitting next to her bed looked normal enough. In fact, more normal than anyone else she'd seen. So far, every man was drop-dead gorgeous, every woman was statuesque and looked like a model. They were just so perfect looking. But this woman was different. Kelly could see the recent scars on her face, neck and arms. What the hell had happened to her?

"Hi Kelly. My name is Sheila. Sorry we have to meet this way. I hope you won't hold the locked doors and sedatives against them." She ignored the grunt from Kelly. "They really are only thinking of your safety. They just weren't prepared to have you here. They like to have things planned in advance. They're big on planning."

Kelly stared at her. Seriously? Thinking of her safety? Bullshit! But something about the woman, Sheila, seemed to calm her. The smile seemed genuine. She sounded sincere. But Kelly couldn't bring herself to say a thing. She just continued to stare.

Sheila decided the best thing was just to keep talking. She couldn't blame Kelly for being upset about how she'd been treated so far. She'd probably feel the same way. "So I'm sure you're worried about Drago. Logan says they've stopped giving him the sedatives. They think he'll be awake soon. They're really surprised at how well he's doing. But he has a lot to live for, don't you think?" She grinned when she saw Kelly's slow nod.

"So he's really still alive?"

Kelly's voice was so quiet, Sheila could barely make it out. She leaned forward in order to make it out and moved back in her chair as she nodded. "Oh yes, very much alive!" Sheila was playing with the rings she wore on her fingers, trying to figure out how she was going to say it. "I guess it'd be best to just put this out there. You saw the wolf."

Kelly glared back at her.

"I'll take that as a yes." She smiled back at the woman who continued to glower at her. "The wolf is Drago, Kelly. He's a werewolf. Almost everyone here is a werewolf."

Kelly popped up in the bed and sat up against the wall. "Then you are as crazy as the rest of them! Why are you doing this? Why are you lying to me about Drago?"

"It was hard for me to believe at first too, but I found out the hard way. The Baxter pack is full of wonderful people who are loving to a fault. Everything they do is for the good of their families and the good of the pack." Sheila hoped Kelly would listen.

"What do you mean you found out the hard way? You mean you don't believe you're one too?" And here Kelly had thought this woman had been normal. Showed her what good first impressions were worth, nothing.

Sheila's laughter filled the room. "No, I'm not a werewolf. Not yet, that is. But hopefully, I will be soon." Her face had a strange faraway look.

"What the hell are you talking about?" Now Kelly was getting angry again. She was crazier than a loon. The only difference between her and the others was that she thought she was normal.

"Maybe I should tell you what happened to me, then you'll understand." Sheila hoped Kelly would understand. She hadn't spoken about this to anyone ever. She hoped she could even finish. She swallowed hard.

Kelly glared at her from the bed. "Whatever floats your boat. I don't think I have any plans." Kelly watched as the woman took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. Was she shaking?

Jeff stood on the other side of the door, his hands clenching and unclenching. Sheila had never told him what had happened to her. He was torn about whether to stay and listen. He looked up and saw his Alpha.

{Let her tell you when she's ready, Jeff. Come with me for a run.}

Jeff stared at the door for a moment. He hated leaving her here alone, but he knew she was safe.

"Jenna is nearby."

Jeff nodded. Jenna would be sure nothing happened to his mate. He reluctantly walked away from the door.

Carr grabbed him around the shoulders. "You haven't had a good hunt for a while. I saw some elk up on the mountain this morning."

"Elk?" Jeff licked his lips. His wolf loved the taste of elk. He hadn't hunted in so long.

Carr grinned. "Yeah, elk. Let's go. The guys are waiting."

Sheila bit her lip as she looked at the woman glaring at her. Here goes nothing. "I'm 42 years old, never married. Just could never find someone I really felt was 'the one'. Know what I mean?" She waited for some acknowledgement from Kelly who was slow to respond but finally nodded.

"So I decided to try one of those dating websites. No one got my attention until this one man contacted me. His name was Gary. He was handsome, charismatic, and seemed to be everything I could ever hope for. But he was so much younger than me, or so I thought." She could see the questioning look on Kelly's face. Good, she's listening.

"We went on a few dates and he had me totally at ease. But he didn't really seem as interested in me as he did in my family history. He wanted to know what I knew about them and where they were from. I liked him, but there was no spark. But I kept going out with him. And then one day he introduced me to a friend of his and asked if he could rent a room from me. I said sure, and it was the worst mistake of my life."

"Why? What happened?" Kelly leaned forward a little.

Sheila smiled to herself. Good, Kelly was interested. "His friend, Jackson, moved in right away. He was nice, and we even dated a few times. But there was nothing between us. He accepted that and we were more like brother and sister than anything else. Then, one day, he said he wanted to take me on a picnic. We got in the car, and it was the last time I saw my home. We ended up at a cave. Gary was there with a group of his friends. They each had brought a woman with them. Gary told us all we were their captives, that we were going to be their mates, and we could do nothing to stop it." She took a deep breath. Could she finish?

"Mates? What was he talking about?" Kelly was totally engrossed now. She needed to know.

"We were confused too. That's how I met Jenna, my best friend. We were thrown into a cage together. They took our clothes and put chains on our legs so we couldn't run. Gary told us what they were, werewolves." She saw the incredulous look on Kelly's face. "I know, we didn't believe them either, until they changed. Then we had no choice but to believe. Gary and his friend Paul were huge! A few of the others too. But most were just a little bigger than a normal wolf. Then we knew what they said was true. Gary told us they were a new race of werewolves and that, with us as their mates, they would take over the other packs. They said we were special, that we were meant to be werewolves."

"That's insane!"

"That's what we thought too. But, in a way, they were right. We were meant to be werewolves, or something else."

"Something else? What?"

Sheila knew she had Kelly's attention now. "I'll get to that in a minute. They said we had to wait for the full moon in January, and until then, we would do whatever they said. They made us do all the cooking, cleaning, and whatever else they wanted." Her voice dropped, and she looked down.

Kelly reached out and took Sheila's hand. She looked so upset. Kelly spoke quietly. "What happened, Sheila?" She had to know. It must have been awful. The woman's face looked so haunted.

Sheila gave her a grateful smile and held onto her hand tightly. "We were just pieces of meat to them. A woman was there for them to use, and that's how they looked at us. Whenever they felt like it, they'd just grab one of us, drag us to wherever they wanted, and rape us. Jackson tried to save me from one of them once, and he got the shit kicked out of him!" She felt Kelly's hand squeeze hers. "Then he disappeared, and I thought he was dead."

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