Kissed by Lightning Ch. 05bySilverDawn©
(Yes, that was spanish for hello :) )
I did promise they would come out as quickly as possible but it's the site that takes a while to review you know. But please be patient.
I'm very happy that people seem to enjoy it, I have so much in store for you guys, I'm all giddy inside.
Don't know if anyone reads these little italic sections but its a great stress reliever to speak back to you guys.
Stefani stared into the forest, the trees lined with a thick cold fog. It was late afternoon. The sun was on its way to the horizon and they only had a couple hours till the trade. The compound was a flurry off activity. The young, women and elderly were being taken some place where they would be safe. They didn't tell her where. She had wanted to say goodbye to the children but alpha O'Faolain had forbidden it. Her heart ached slightly at the thought of the big alpha.
They had been avoiding each other ever since arriving yesterday. She had wandered around the compound getting to know some of the pack members. She came across some of the betas, who were very kind to her. The blond beta, his lover, she thought with distaste, had been rather nasty to her at some point, but she'd ignored the blonde bitch and kept walking. She had seen Hale very little as he had his errands to run.
Mostly she had been left to her own, only seeing them at dinner, where she'd only taken bites. She stayed out of the conversations and only spoke when spoken to, but she watched all of them interacting with each other and she grew fond of each wolf.
She was in one of the training buildings, sitting on a chair as the men around her packed weapons and protective gear. Her hand pressed against her cheek lazily. She was anxious. She could feel Cole closer. His essence was dim and slightly different. Before he had felt like a warm breeze in her mind.
Now he felt more like waves, coming and going, but much more solid within her mind. She couldn't put her finger on it. Shaking away those thoughts, she realized that it didn't matter. The only thing that mattered was getting Cole safely to his family. Lucian placed a hand on her shoulder. Looking up she smiled. "We're ready." His voice, like always, was soothing, which she appreciated.
With a nod, she stood and walked silently behind him as he led her to a black hummer. "I won't be coming along. Johnson and I must stay behind to guard the compound but you take care of yourself child. We expect you back" Her eyes watered. She leaned up to give him a tight hug, kissed his cheek and thanked him for being so kind. Johnson stood behind him and got the same treatment. As five black hummers left the compound, Lucian and Johnson couldn't shake the feeling that something was very wrong.
She wore Cole's white dress shirt, tucked into a pair of black leggings with black and gray flat boots. Her hair was a mass of waves around her shoulders and her skin was a delicate pearly white. She looked around at the different men in her car who were dressed for battle. They wore thick vests, dressed in black and draped with deadly weapons. Maybe there would be a chance and they could take Cole and rescue her before it was too late, but she knew it was false hope.
The alpha had chosen to drive in another car. She really wished she had been in his car. Hale was also in another car and she wondered why that was. They rode through the bumpy forest and she watched as the sky took on shades of pinks and purples.
Rain drove fast, hitting every bump, with his eyes scanning the forest for the wolves that followed. He hated what he was about to do. His wolf growled and had fought with him every step of the way. Finally he had dominated the beast and sent him to a slumbering cage within his mind. The pack's vulnerable were safe and all they had to do was deliver the money. He had purposely kept her in another car to make sure Hale or he wouldn't go back on the plan. Once he looked at her face, he would crumble and he hated her for it.
Stefani stepped out of the hummer as soon as it had stopped. The warriors around her lost themselves in the forest. Soon it was only Hale, Rain and her. Both looked down at her hesitantly. She tampered down her emotions, placing a solid cold wall as she stared at both of them.
"I'm ready," Rain nodded, Hale handed her a heavy black duffle bag and she shifted her hands around.
"We'll be in the woods behind you, in case anything goes off plan. We have no way of communicating, but you will hear our howls, if we think something is off. If we call you back, you are to follow the orders. Is that clear?" Rain's voice was cold and detached. He looked down at her with displeasure and her knees buckled. She nodded.
There wasn't a clear pathway to the circle but the forest floor had been used so often the track was clear. Rain took off running into the woods, leaving Hale behind.
"You're going to be fine. Just get in and out. Once we have him, we'll move in and take you guys out. Come back safe." His voice was soft, she gave him a smile.
"I promised you alpha, that I would bring your brother back and I intend to do that. I'll be fine. You just take care of him. Do me a favor, will you ask Rain to take Cole to the cottage?" Her tone was soft and she refused to look up at him. He would know something was wrong from the look in her eyes, but she had no intention of coming back.
With a final hug, they both went on their own way. Taking a deep breath she whispered 'Cole? Can you hear me?' she reached out with her mind and she could feel him so strongly she almost wept. 'I'm coming for you. We're gonna get you home Cole.' she reassured him. She walked for a couple minutes in the right direction and up ahead she could see the clearing. Looking around, she couldn't see the wolves but she knew they were out there. Somewhere out there was Rain and Hale, waiting anxiously for the lost Mactire. Stepping out into the clearing, she gasped. It literally took her breath away.
The horizon was a mixed of pinks, purples and lilacs with the coat of dark sky behind it. The clearing must have been the size of a football field and she could hear rushing water nearby. In the center was a circle outlined by huge boulders, but what shocked her the most was the men on the other side.
Cole was on his knees, with a leash around his neck. His naked body was marked and bruised to the point where she couldn't even make out his natural skin color anymore. Tears rolled down her cheeks.
'Cole. I'm here' she whispered. She saw his head jerk up, searching for her eyes. As they met, he let out a loud growl so strong it rocked her backwards, setting the forest in silence.
'Leave! Stefani. Not safe...' His voice was weak in her mind but she shook her head and she stepped forward.
"Glad you could make it." A voice echoed through the field. Her blood turned to ice as she met a pair of green emerald eyes. "And you brought your pets along." His voice was thick and sensual but it only made her skin crawl. From the place she stood she watched as wolves appeared all throughout her sides in the distance. She immediately found the biggest black wolf, who growled at the vampires on his territory.
"This is how it's going to work. You move and we kill them both. The young lady will step forward to the center and he will meet her there. Once the payment has been accepted, you may come get it. If any of you mongrels move, they die. Is that clear?' Stefani took a deep breath and started walking forward.
Rain was struggling to keep calm. The few vampires on his lands made him anxious as well as angry. Watching Stefani walk towards said vampires was worse. He growled and paced anxiously. Mactire was struggling to get to his feet. The black leash around his neck was taken off and wrapped around his wrist instead. He was pushed forward and he stumbled, fighting to stay in balance. He could see the damage that the vampires had done physically to the man, he was unrecognizable and he could feel Hale's distress increasing.
'Why are you here?' Cole shouted in her mind, making her temples throb in pain. She shrugged, little tears escaping her. She walked faster, the duffle bag stopping her from fully running but she made it into the circle about the same time he staggered in. She dropped the bag and rushed to his side. Unsure whether to touch him as he fell to his knees, she cried and wrapped her hands around his shoulders.
"Run" He whispered hoarsely. She shook her head.
"I've been running all my life. For once, I'm going to stay and do something for someone else," she whispered into his ear. She looked up into those green terrifying eyes. He gave a slight nod and she cringed. Pulling away, she looked down into Cole's eyes.
"I'm giving you back your family. I'm just sorry I could never truly be part of it." Her sobs were softer now and she straightened her back. Cole struggled to keep himself sane. The pain was so strong it had taken all his energy to simply walk to her. Her hands moved to his wrist and slipped off the leash. He groaned.
"Don't do this. Please Stefani... Sister," he begged, tears falling over his cheeks, tears he hadn't shed in his torture poured out now. She shook her head. She looked behind her to the two biggest wolves in the clearing.
"I'm sorry... but it was the only way," she whispered. She could hear their howls in the night as they finally understood.
"Come pet." Varcolac's voice made her cringe and she stepped away from Cole, who only groaned and tried desperately to hold on to her hand. She gripped the leash in her hand, taking a deep breath and numbingly moving forward. She could hear the growls behind her, could sense they were getting ready to attack but it wasn't until Varcolac spoke that she looked back.
"If you move, we'll kill her." There was a thin man with his hand wrapped around a slender neck, blonde hair cascading down a woman's naked shoulder. It was Sarah. Rain howled in anger at seeing once of his pack so vulnerable and at seeing Stefani crossing the field to the enemy. Sarah struggled for breath, calling out to her alpha as the vampire dug talons into her neck.
Stefani walked faster towards Varcolac. His eyes boiling pits of green, she shivered and straightened her back.
"Let her go. You have what you came for. Please...Please. Let her go!" He smiled, flashing his fangs in her direction. He nodded and the vampire flung Sarah a good distance away, she screamed as she connected with the ground. Rain rushed to her, licking at her skin softly, shifting only to pick her up. Hale and a couple other wolves ran over to the fallen Mactire who mumbled incoherently.
Varcolac wrapped his hand around Stefani's throat, leaned down and inhaled her scent deeply.
"It has been a pleasure doing business with you dogs. I hope you enjoy your prince as much as I'll enjoy her." He laughed, she tried to step back away from him but when he wouldn't let her go, she spit in his face. His eyes turning a dark shade of red, his fist connected with her face so fast her body didn't get a chance to fully recognize what happened.
One moment she was standing defiantly in his grip, the next she was laying on her side on the ground as her face throbbed in pain so strongly and she sensed that Cole had felt it. The wolves in the clearing growled threateningly. Rain tensed and gripped Sarah so hard she whimpered. Stefani sobbed in pain as a vampire picked her up roughly and threw her over his shoulder.
"I'm going to enjoy breaking you bitch" Varcolac growled in anger, looking back and meeting Rain's eyes for a second before they vanished into the forest.
Rain passed on Sarah's body to a beta as he stood at the circle, running a hand through his hair, he looked around. His mind not working as fast, wondering what in the world had just happened. He picked up the duffle bag with the money.
This whole time, the vampires were really after her. They only used the money as a way to get her out here, vulnerable and alone and they'd played right into it. He looked up at the dark sky and screamed. His energy pulsed with anger, pushing the trees with such force they struggled to stay upright. Warriors had their instructions to take the injured to the healers but at that moment he couldn't care less. He wanted her back and he wouldn't rest till he had her back and his wolf agreed.
Lucian and Johnson waited patiently inside the main hall and silence hung thick in the air. They both sensed the pulsations emanating from the earth. It rocked the trees back for a couple minutes before everything stilled. Something was wrong and they both sat in suspense for what felt like hours until a heard of black hummers pulled up in the drive way. A couple male omegas rushed forward as a beta, stepped out with a blonde female in his arms. Lucian and Johnson both stood and waited for them to enter. They watched as three men struggled to carry a bruised scarred man up towards the entrance. Both men growled in outrage as they finally recognized Mactire.
Hale walked into the main hall, his face grim and they both watched the fury in his eyes. "What happened?" Johnson asked the question they all wanted answered. Lucian looked back out the window as a huge black wolf strode into the mansion heaving in anger.
"I don't fucking know!" Hale's voice was rough and he sat, rubbing his face of the weariness he felt.
"Where's Stefani?" Lucian asked suspicious, a deep fear gnawing at his senses.
"The vampires have her" Hale looked up into Lucian's gray eyes. Both elders growled in anger, the O'Faolain alpha still fought to control his beast even as he paced the room in wolf form. It took him several minutes to shift back. He stood naked and tense.
"Mactire is injured but alive. I don't know how, but somehow Sarah was caught and she's being treated right now..." Rain said with an aggravated sigh.
"We all need to get some rest. There's nothing we can do. We'll speak to Mactire as soon as he wakes up, I want him debriefed and I want our people brought out of lock down." Rain's voice was hard but they could all see the boiling emotions within his wolf. The betas in the room bowed and went to do as ordered. The four men in the room stood in silence.
"She went with them? Willingly?" Johnson's voice was calm and collected but he couldn't hide his concern for the bubbly brunette. Rain plopped down on a sofa, his eyes glued to the ceiling.
"I think the trade was really for her. She knew." Rain whispered to himself, cursing his stupidity.
"I agree, somehow she knew. She walked right past Mactire, right towards that sick bastard." Hale spoke out, his words were harsh. He had adopted her into his family and not only had he lost her, he hadn't watched out for her.
"Mactire might know something about what's going on," Lucian spoke. All the men were in shock. It had only been a couple days and yet, having Stefani around was like breathing, it was just natural.
The sudden loss left them all a bit unsettled. Hale flipped open his phone and called his parents with the news.
Down at the medical center, the nurses struggled to strap down an unconscious Cole in order to drug him. His huge body was so tattered it was a struggle to heal them. His own healing abilities were kicking in but even then there were broken bones that would take some time to heal, the horrible maze of whip marks that ran across his back were difficult to clean and yet the unconscious Cole was struggling to surface the drugged infused state he was in. In the back of his mind he knew something was terribly wrong but he couldn't make any of his heavy limbs do as he commanded. Sarah was sleeping soundlessly. The bruises around her neck and back were healing slowly but she'd survive.
The compound was silent even as the pack started to come out from the lower basement levels. They sensed their alpha was in a foul mood, could sense something evil in the air and it left everyone feeling anxious. The moon was high above but clouded by thick fog. No one would be getting a peaceful sleep.
Stefani was slumped over the back seat of a black van. Her wrists and ankles were bound by thick rope, her mouth covered with duck tape and each bump made her body jolt upwards uncomfortably. The bruise on her cheek throbbed painfully. She struggled to hold back the tears that clouded her vision. She felt herself growing further and further apart from Cole and even though she refused to admit it mattered, further from the O'Faolain alpha. The distance was choking her.
She didn't regret what she had done. She would gladly do it again but she had a feeling that something bad was coming. The eerie silence in the car crawled up her spine almost petrifying her with fear. She closed her eyes shut, thinking back on the big strong alpha stepping out into the clearing for his blonde lover, pain slicing through her chest as her sob was muffled by the tape.
It was at that moment that she made her resolve. She would fight. She wouldn't give in to these monsters. She heard a chuckle cut through the silence and felt a hand gripping her hair, lifting her up harshly as she looked into a pair of emerald green eyes. A few seconds later she felt a needle pierce her neck. She couldn't scream but pain engulfed her. She could feel the drug burning itself into her body. His hand tightened around her throat but before she could react she slipped into a terrifying oblivion. Varcolac smiled, his fangs gleaming slightly as he settled her trembling body back down, it had been a rather productive night.
Rain sat on the edge of his bed frustrated that he couldn't go back to sleep. It was around five am and the compound wouldn't be up for a while, his mind was numb. He refused to let his thoughts drift to her, so he stood and worked on his morning routine before heading out.
The forest was quiet. It was a rather cloudy day and it seemed the sun wouldn't show itself any time soon. Hale tossed in his bed at the mansion, his eyes fastened to the ceiling. He remembered calling his parents and informing them that Cole -his brother- was safe. Thinking about it, made his stomach turn. The words sounded alien to him even as he recalled the way his mother had cried and spilled praised to the Gods, etc. etc. Something was eating him up and he knew her name. He made arrangements for the pack so that his parents could both come up here and see their son.
Cole Mactire was being treated in the compound clinic. His wounds had been severe but already healing, he'd be up and running in no time. Hale planned to be at his side every moment to make sure when he awoke he got answers. He knew there were a lot of things that didn't add up, things they all needed to know.
He stood from his bed and got ready for the day, even though it was still early. It was only ten minutes later that he found himself walking around the compound. He didn't know where he was going but he looked around. It was the playpen he had brought Stefani to a couple days earlier. He thought back and remembered the way she had sat down on the soft grass and let all the cubs practically mow her over and he remembered fondly the way she giggled infectiously.
He had adopted her into his family, had vowed to protect her. He also had watched her step out into the clearing and head for the vampires and it never crossed his mind that she would keep walking, that she would leave with them. The alpha inside him was growling for vengeance, wanting her back where it was safe. Judging by the looks of Cole, he shuddered to think of what they would do to her. For the first time in his life, he felt fear.
Hours later, Cole surfaced the drug induced state he was in. It left him foggy and unsure. There was something familiar about his surroundings, his wolf could feel it. He groaned as the pain in his body became evident. He inhaled softly trying to avoid his aching chest, something was wrong. He blinked his eyes open and the light blinded him momentarily. It took him several minutes to grow slightly accustomed to the light but still his eyes stung as he had been in the darkness for so long. He licked his dry lips and looked around the room. It was some sort of clinic. He growled.