Reawakened (Chronicles of Cas Book 1) (9 page)

BOOK: Reawakened (Chronicles of Cas Book 1)
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"Damen would've."

He tipped my chin in his direction after I pulled into the garage. "Hey. You're not Damen. Stop comparing yourself to him. He'd be proud of you for what you did."

I shrugged. No matter what he said, him and I both knew that I fucked up. "I just hope that Frankie can fix this and that the Elite will agree to help keep the calm until he gets what he needs and we can turn the damn ley line off."

"I'll give the Elite everything I have in me to get them here. They won't want the magical world exposed either. I'll tell them about the rise in crime and everything else."

I walked Jake to the portal and told him to hurry back no matter what. If the Elite weren't going to send backup, I needed a plan two.

To distract myself from waiting for him, I turned on the TV and tried to catch the news. Was it really as bad as Frankie made it out to be?

The short answer? Yes. The longer, more appropriate answer, hell yes. It was way worse.

As soon as I found the local news station, a rolling headline across the bottom of the TV read, "Reports of injuries and accidents rise in Salem today to over 1,000. We are unsure what is causing the uptick in violence. Unverified reports have reached the news station that we are researching now. Please stay tuned for more information."

The screen cut from a weather woman to a news reporter near the mall. A heavyset man spoke into a black microphone, sweat beading on his forehead. "This is Evan Guleg from News Channel Eight. I am at the North side of Museum Place Mall where a stabbing has just been reported." The camera cut to police officers taking down a young man.

No.

My heart leapt into my throat. My eyes had to be wrong. There was no way I was seeing what I was actually seeing on the screen.

The camera cut back to the reporter. "As you can see, police are apprehending the suspect now who is said to have attacked a tourist for no reason. More reports of this nature have been flooding the newsroom all day. We are verifying everything we can. Again, this is Evan Guleg outside the Museum Place Mall where a violent crime has just taken place."

The camera panned over to the cop car where an officer was shoving a teen into the backseat. When the suspect looked up, my stomach heaved. It was him. Liam. The shifter I'd let out of magical restraints not twenty-four hours ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Fourteen

 

 

 

Though the screen had changed twenty minutes or so ago, I still kept staring at the small section of the TV that had showed Liam's face as the cop shoved it down and pushed him into the backseat of the cop car. His hair was disheveled, messy. It was coarse like his shifter host. He was dirty. Brown spots on his clothes, hands, and cheeks. But it wasn't his appearance that got me the most, it was the look in his eyes.

He looked absolutely terrified.

That was when I knew that the ley line being on was causing much more damage than we originally thought. Liam stabbed someone, and he didn't look angry or upset. He looked lost and scared. There was no way he would've done something like that if the ley line wasn't on full blast.

Jake was right. Again. I should've left Liam shackled in the basement. I should've stayed here with him. He was a little kid for fucks sake. I didn't do the right thing.

Finally, I tore my eyes away from the TV and slipped my phone out of my pocket. In a fog, I searched for the number to the hospital and then called the main desk extension.

"North Shore Medical Center."

My heart pounded in my throat. I closed my eyes and wished for good news. "Um, hi. I'm calling in regards to a stabbing that just took place. Could you tell me how the victim is?"

The lady sighed. "Are you family?"

My tongue felt thick in my throat. "No. Not family. Just concerned is all."

In a monotone, the voice on the other side of the line rattled off a well-rehearsed line. "I'm sorry but if you're not family, I'm not allowed to give you any information. The hospital is bound by HIPAA--the Health Information Privacy--"

"I know what HIPAA is. Please. I'm not asking for a play-by-play. I just really want to know if the victim is dead or alive. I don't need to know about wounds or blood pressure levels or anything like that. I just need to know if he survived."

Maybe it was the desperation in my voice. Maybe it was just her not giving an actual fuck about her job, but she answered. "Alive."

Dead air greeted me on the other end of the line. I sighed in relief. No, I still wasn't happy that someone had gotten hurt because of me, but at least they hadn't died because of me. I squeezed my eyes closed when I thought of Liam. I had ruined his whole entire life. What would he do now? He was a violent criminal.

The doorbell rang as heat gathered on the other side of my lids. I straightened my shoulders and marched toward the incessant ringing. Someone didn't have very much patience. I barely had the door swung halfway open when a body steamrolled through it. A tall, intimidating figure turned toward me. He looked down his nose into my eyes and clasped his hands in front of him. He had salt and pepper hair and a bad attitude. It was Mayor Hawthorn.

Without even a greeting, he said, "I need to speak to Damen."

I sincerely hated macho pigs, and Mayor Hawthorn was one of the worst. I remember Damen telling me that when he found out I was helping Damen take care of the city, he told Damen to find real help, someone who could actually hold their own. I hoped one day Hawthorn would see me take something down so I could rub it in his snobby, aristocrat face. Or, I could just let the thing take him down. That may even be a better idea.

I crossed my arms over my chest. "He's not here."

"Where is he?"

He looked around the house as if he'd suddenly appear so that he could call me a liar. I gritted my teeth. Considering I didn't know where the hell Damen was and that the ley line had gone to shit, I wasn't in a mood to deal with his assholishness. "Not here."

His beady eyes narrowed. "I've tried calling his cell phone and he doesn't answer."

I clamped my arms tighter around myself so one of them wouldn't accidentally reach out and slap him. "As I said, he's not here. What's this in regards to Mayor."

"Damen is supposed to be keeping this city safe from the damned."

The air around the mayor shimmered and Green Eyes appeared. Wonderful. Exactly what I needed right now.

He immediately gave the mayor a disapproving look and walked toward me. He mouthed the word damned and flipped him off. The mayor was completely oblivious of course. His humanness kept him in the dark.

I couldn't help it, I smirked.

"I don't think the violence currently happening in Salem is very funny, Ms. Marston. I doubt your brother would either."

I squeezed my eyes closed. "Be assured Mayor, I take this job very seriously. I have the whole situation under control."

"Under control?" His face flushed red. "A thousand percent increase in crime means you have the situation under control?"

"It's the ley line, Hawthorn. It's making all the magical beings go balls to the wall. I am working on a solution currently, which would be going a whole lot faster if I wasn't standing here talking to you."

Green Eyes elbowed me and nodded approvingly.

I was just about to usher Mayor Peckerwood out of the house, when it started to tremble. Of all the times for the portal to open, it did then. Out marched a team of six Elite, Jake in the lead. Mayor Hawthorn took a couple steps back. He was one of the only humans to know about the magical world in Salem besides us but he wasn't comfortable with it. In fact, I was pretty sure he hated it.

Jake held out his hand and shook Hawthorn's. I wanted to strangle them both.

Green Eyes nudged me forward. I cleared my throat, interrupting their greeting. "This is the plan I have. We brought in reinforcements to help calm things down until we can figure out a solution to the ley line problem."

Mayor Hawthorn turned toward Jake. "I--"

"I'm," I spoke up, "going to need you to keep your police off the streets tonight so that we can clean up the mess. We don't need your police force getting in our way." I pulled the front door open. "Now, if you'll excuse us, we have some strategy to go over."

Mayor Hawthorn put his nose in the air and walked away, his face as red as hot peppers. "Asshole," I muttered as the door closed.

I turned and found one of the Elite's smiling. "I like her," he said.

Jake narrowed his eyes. "She needs to learn the art of diplomacy."

"I will. As soon as we get someone in Salem who isn't so damn misogynistic."

Shaking his head, Jake made the introductions. Green Eyes kept quiet and Jake didn't offer any intros to him either. Then again, we didn't know his name so what would he have introduced him as. Whatever it was, I was sure it wouldn't be very nice.

Jake motioned toward the group. "These are the best of the best."

I raised an eyebrow. "The best of the Elite? I think there's a joke in there somewhere."

Ignoring me, Jake asked, "Heard from Frankie yet?"

My mind immediately went to the piece of news I actually did find out while he was gone. I shook my head. "Nothing yet."

He went to the window and moved the curtain aside. "As soon as it hits twilight, we'll head out."

I opened my arms, motioning to the whole house. With all these big, strong men inside, it seemed a lot smaller than it usually did. "Make yourself at home guys. Kitchen's to your right. Living room to the left. Bathroom upstairs and downstairs."

They all dispersed, dropping their weapon bags in the foyer. I eyed them with envy, not wanting to wait to see what their weapons of choice were.

Jake went with them, leaving me alone with Green Eyes. "How'd you get in here anyway?"

He shrugged. "You left the door open, I have a piece of your hair, and I'm no threat to you. Also, the ley line."

"For trying to help, you seem to pretty much come and go whenever you want. And what was the deal with you and Frankie?"

"He must not like fae. We can't all be perfect like me."

I rolled my eyes and pushed past him into the living room where a few of the Elite were watching TV. As soon as I entered the room, I wished I hadn't. They were blasting Liam's face all over the news. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Jake straighten. Then, he leaned forward, squinting. Finally, he stood and searched for me until his gaze locked onto mine.

His eyes were huge, lips thin. He pointed toward the door into the kitchen and then walked through it.

I took a deep breath. I was in trouble, and I might as well just get the lecture over with now.

I started forward. Hearing footsteps behind me, I turned. Green Eyes was there. "I don't think so."

"Fine," he sneered. "I guess that's my cue to leave."

After he vanished, I turned and pushed open the door to the kitchen. He stood in the center, his hands leaning on the island. When the door shut, he turned. "Cas..."

I swallowed, my throat thick with emotion. "Listen. I don't need a scolding from you. I was wrong."

He stood up tall and then walked forward and gathered me in a hug. "I'm not here to yell at you, you stubborn girl."

I froze in his arms. Not knowing what to say, I just let him hold me.

"I know the feeling, okay?"

"I'm fine," I said, trying really hard to be.

He pulled away and looked me in the eyes. "You're lying."

"Maybe I am, but I also have too many things to worry about right now than just that one wolf shifter and his victim. Damen is still missing. The ley line is still jacked. I need to prioritize. I am prioritizing."

"Great. Good." He stepped back and leaned against the island, his hands shoved into his pockets. "What's the plan for tonight?"

"Hunt to trap. No killing or injuring. There's something else going down here than just evil being evil for the sake of being evil."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Fifteen

 

 

 

Watching the Elite work was something else. When Damen and I planned something, we usually just said you go here, I'll come around the other side, we'll meet in the middle and kick some creature ass. The Elite sat down and made backup plans for their backup plans.

Alec, the head Elite, sat in the middle of my living room, a map of Salem spread out before him and the rest of us. He split us up into three different groups. One group would do some digging into the witches to see what they could find out since that was where everything seemed to have originated. The next group would subdue the magical creatures of Salem that were out making trouble. The other? Well, they were in charge of going behind and making sure they were staying under wraps until we got this whole thing figured out.

I got the mayor to lend us one of the abandoned factories downtown as a temporary prison. The reconnaissance group that was out digging for information was stopping there first to set up wards to keep the creatures inside until we could figure the rest of this out.

Frankie was aware of the situation. He set up his own wards around his clinic so that the creatures who were currently there couldn't get out either while he still waited to hear back from his fae friends. The Elite also tapped into their connections to see if we could get Frankie what he needed faster.

"Bag and tag group," Alec said.

My ears perked up. That was the group Jake and I were involved in. We were going out with the subdue mission. After I'd explained everything to the Elite, they agreed to just tag and imprison before we lay down any law. With their help, I hoped to have this cleaned up soon.

"I want you starting in the center of town and working your way toward the harbor, that way the targets won't have any place to run. Keep pressuring them toward the harbor, call for back up when you need it, and send up the flares for the follow-up group, and...you got it."

BOOK: Reawakened (Chronicles of Cas Book 1)
11.19Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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