Following the Feeling Ch. 09bycricketmuse©
Here's another chapter to make up for the long wait for Chapter 8. This one is short, but important to help the story along.
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Kiera walked away from Grayson's apartment hoping she'd be able to find her way out without getting lost. The building itself was easy to navigate, but once she found herself outside she realized she had no idea where to go. She wandered towards Grazing, a half block away, but turned into the alleyway she'd Derek. She remembered the doorway they'd been ushered through when he was taken to the infirmary.
Soon enough she was in a hallway lined with what looked like hospital rooms. Kiera focused on Grayson and realized that he was somewhere in the building. If the kitchen was up and over, perhaps the place they sent prisoners was down. She found the elevator from that first night and chose the button for the basement. Sure enough, once she walked out she could feel a wave of aggression. Kiera crept down the long hallway until she came to a locked doorway guarded by two men.
They glowered at her as she approached. Kiera tapped into her inner bossy self and declared, "I'm with Grayson, let me in."
The guards straightened at her tone, but one said, "No one is allowed access in here without permission."
As a rule Kiera tried not to tamper with other people's feelings. It was intrusive and manipulative and made her feel like she was using her ability unfairly. But she knew that the only way she was going to get through the door was to either draw attention to herself by calling Grayson or to make the guards feel like they could trust her. She chose the second option and focused on making them feel safe and relaxed.
"It's okay," she tried again. "I'm supposed to help your Alpha with the prisoner."
Twin frowns met her pronouncement before fading into dazed smiles. The larger guard nodded and opened the door.
"Right this way, miss," he said.
With an apologetic smile, Kiera walked passed the guards and through the doorway.
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It didn't take her long to find her destination. Grayson was no longer present in the room she approached, but there was someone else she recognized. Gathering her resolve she opened the door and strode in. Alistair stood in front of a one way mirror speaking in quiet tones to the other two present. His surprised expression at her sudden presence made Kiera question her decision to come.
"Kiera, what are you doing here?"
Taking a deep breath Kiera replied, "I came to talk to the prisoner."
Taking her arm, Alistair attempted to steer her away from the mirror and out of the room. "That's not a good idea. He's dangerous and Grayson wouldn't approve."
Pulling her arm away Kiera replied, "I know he's dangerous. I was nearly his victim a couple days ago. But I want to talk to him."
"Gray will back in a few...wait!"
Kiera ignored Alistair and walked through the door next to the mirrored wall. She found herself in a new room with the very restrained and very beaten werewolf that had attacked her. Chains bound the werewolf, still in human form, to a steel chair bolted to the floor. Blood seeped from wounds on his face and his eyes were nearly swollen shut. It didn't take a detective to realize that most of the injuries were the result of Grayson's anger. Kiera waited for the prisoner to raise his head to look up at her before approaching.
Standing a few feet away she began, "Why did you attack me?"
"Human scum," he growled, "what are you doing here?"
"Why did you attack me," she asked again.
"Because I could. Because you're fragile and human and are merely a chew toy for the likes of me."
"No," she contradicted. "You're lying."
"What makes you so sure," he spat.
"I know. I know when you're lying. I know that it wasn't your idea to attack me and I know that you are nothing more than hired help. So who hired you?"
The werewolf sneered. "No one hired me. I wanted to hurt the Alpha asshole of this pathetic pack and so I attacked his bitch, you."
Kiera rolled her eyes. "More lies," she pronounced. "You're a pawn; you're the one who's pathetic. Whipped and beat and barely able to breath from the fear you're feeling." She paused and focused on his murky eyes. "But not of the pack, that's not the source of your fear. You're afraid of someone or something else. Who is it?"
"I'm not afraid of anything!" The werewolf strained against his bonds, but they held tight.
Kiera didn't point out the lie, but instead walked behind the imprisoned werewolf and whispered in his ear as her anger grew, "You don't think you're going to tell me, but you will. You will spill all your secrets before I leave this room or you'll be begging for someone to end your miserable life. You think I'm fragile? You think because I'm human that I can't hurt a big, bad wolf man like you? Well listen to me, you sack of fleas, this fragile little human bitch is going to make you regret you laid a paw on me. I've been through more hell than you can imagine and I'm now about to listen to another lie from you. Now tell me who ordered you to attack me."
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Watching through the one-way mirror, Alistair watched in horror as Kiera approached the bound werewolf. He had already called Lena to alert her of the development, but she'd said to leave Kiera be unless it looked like their prisoner was going to break free. He knew Grayson was going to punish them all for Kiera's brazen behavior, but he was also intrigued to watch the little human empath that would be Gray's mate take matters into her own hands. She wasn't a wilting violet, he knew, and she was turning out to be much, much more than he expected. After whispering into the prisoner's ear, Alistair watched as Kiera straightened after the werewolf's insult. Instead of looking afraid, her face took on a determined expression. She tilted her head a moment, looked up at the mirror and the placed her hands on the werewolf's shoulders.
What followed was the most agonizing scream of terror Alistair had ever witnessed. The werewolf struggled to shake Kiera's touch off of him to no avail. His body bowed and the blood on his face from Grayson's punishment seemed slight compared to the fear that now clouded his features. Moments later he started begging for Kiera to let him go, sobbing and choking on his tears.
It was both horrific and fascinating.
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"PLEASE STOP" the werewolf begged. "STOP IT AND I'LL TELL YOU WHAT YOU WANT!"
Kiera tested the truth of his words before backing down. She had made the fear the creature felt towards whatever had ordered him to attack her and magnified it tenfold. It was a dirty trick and one she hadn't attempted in many years.
"Who ordered you to attack me?" A soft, soothing tone.
"The dark thing," he howled, "the dark creature said I needed to weaken the Alpha, get his blood and bring it to him. But he's too well guarded! So I followed him and saw him with you. I wasn't trying to kill you, but I needed the Alpha's blood."
Kiera pressed, "Who is the dark creature?"
"I don't know! Please don't hurt me again, I never saw his face! I just wanted the money, I just wanted the blood, I don't know. I don't know!"
Kiera realized that she'd pushed too hard and that the werewolf was not only telling the truth but was on the edge of losing his mind. She felt immediately guilty and pushed a feeling of calm and serenity into the prisoner, much as she'd done with Derek just a few days ago. Relieved of the fear, he slumped into unconsciousness.
It wasn't a lot of information, but it confirmed Amber's vision was correct and that something other than the werewolf was after Grayson and his pack. Kiera took a few moments to collect herself before walking out.
Alistair met her on the other side.
"Did you hear?"
"Any idea what the dark creature is," she asked.
Alistair shook his head, arms crossed and face guarded.
"I'm sorry," Kiera said, "but I had to know why he attacked me. I couldn't just..."
Dropping his arms Alistair offered Kiera a small smile, "You don't need to apologize to me, I'm just a little amazed at what you just did in there. I knew you were a hellcat, but I didn't know you were so strong."
Kiera shook her head at that.
"I'm not strong," she said. "I'm tired and stressed and I think that I'm about to get in a lot of trouble."
That last was said as Kiera picked up Grayson's emotions, he was coming and he was angry. She hesitated, but then walked out into the hallway.
Almost as soon as she'd exited the interrogation room she was shoved against a wall. Her eyes shot up and met Gray's, his own silver and enraged.
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"I told you to stay in my room!" he shouted. "What the fuck are you doing down here?"
The quiet part of her mind wondered if she should just apologize, but the other part...
"I told you before, I don't take orders from you! I'm not one of your damn supplicants and you're not the boss of me!"
So much for apologizing.
Incensed by her audaciousness and angry at himself for not assigning a guard to keep her safe, Grayson pushed her harder into the wall. She brought out the primal part of himself that was usually kept buried except when hunting or battling for supremacy. But that was the position her attitude put him in, battling to conquer his wayward future mate.
Leaning down into her face he growled, "As long as you're in my protection you will follow every order or I will tie you to my bed until you know your place!"
"My place," the rage Kiera felt at his words made her scream. "My place is wherever I damn well please to be, when will you get that through your furry, testosterone fueled brain?"
"Your place is with me, by my side and in my bed and anywhere I can keep you safe!"
Kiera tried to argue, she had a scathing tirade ready on her tongue, but the words were lost as Grayson's mouth attacked her own. He pushed his tongue into her mouth and tried to dominate in deed as he couldn't in words. Her frustrated scream reverberated in his mouth and he answered with a growl no human could produce. The wolf was controlling his brain and it had to subdue the woman struggling against his powerful embrace. Her nails clawing against his back drove him into a frenzy of animalistic lust and he lifted her from the ground so he could thrust his whole body against the softest parts of her.
As his aggression transformed into desire, Kiera felt her own anger drain away from her. She tried to maintain it, but his emotions flowed into her like a raging tide and she was swept away. Lost in feeling, she answered his kisses by biting his lower lip. The act served to make Grayson lose all sense and he started pulling at her clothes. He would mate her and mark her now and then she'd be his. No more questions, no more arguments, nothing but lust and primal instinct. Kiera tossed her head back against the wall that supported her when Gray started sucking on her neck. It was madness, but it ensnared them both and she thrilled in his passion.
"Gray," a stern, female voice barked.
Grayson tore the shirt from Kiera and attacked the top of her breasts. She thrust herself against him moaning for more.
"Stop right now!" Lena shouted.
Grayson was torn away from Kiera and tossed against the opposite wall. He instinctively snarled at the intruder before Lena pushed him back again. With her hand pressing against his chest Lena forced him to meet her eyes.
"Náčelník, you cannot take her now. Not without her consent."
"She's willing, now get out of my way before I thrash you," he growled.
"Lena, do not force me to dominate you today."
With a short laugh Lena replied, "Alpha, there's only one woman in this hallway you want to prove your dominance to and it's not me. She may be willing, but she doesn't know what that means for her. Without her expressed consent I cannot allow you to mate with Kiera."
Others had gathered in the hall, all looking on warily as their Alphas argued and the half naked human slumped nearby. Only Alistair dared to interrupt the posturing.
"My lord Alpha," he said in even tones, "we were able to get some information from the prisoner."
"I don't care, Alistair!"
"You should," he persisted. "He revealed he was hired by something, some dark creature, to get your blood. Kiera was just a means to an end. You're the real target."
"We knew that already, he said as much during the attack." Grayson was breathing heavily, but getting control over himself.
Well, we knew he wanted you. We didn't know about this creature. I think we should alert the pack of this information, the sooner the better."
Glowering at his Beta, Grayson tried to think of a reason to deny the request. But as sanity returned he knew he couldn't postpone the pack of any new information regarding the threat even if he'd rather be claiming his mate.
"Fine. Contact the top pack members and have them meet us to discuss."
He looked over at Kiera as she was pulling her tank top back on. He really wanted to tear it off again, but restrained himself.
"Have Kiera escorted to my apartments and assign a guard to stand outside at all times." This order earned him a glare from the object of his desire.
"I'll escort her," Lena offered.
Grayson tried to argue that Lena was needed for the conference, but she dissuaded his argument by appointing Alistair to attend in her stead. Grayson then tried to argue that Alistair would already be at the meeting as Beta, but then Lena countered by declaring Alistair was acting as both Beta and her mate and therefore she would not be needed. Begrudgingly Grayson agreed and left with the others.
Not a little shell shocked over recent events Kiera leaned against the wall during the Alpha's exchange. She watched as Grayson strode away with only a dark, possessive look cast in her direction. It was a cold conclusion to the fire he had ignited in her. Emotionally wrung out and getting a headache, she was ready to give in to his demands for once and relax in his apartment.
Lena had other plans.
"You must be hungry, let's go get some lunch."
Kiera shook her head, "Not really."
Guiding her by the arm Lena walked them through the guarded doors and onto the elevator.
As the doors shut Lena stated, "Kiera, we really need to have a little talk. And we need to have it now."