Sorcerer: Trouble with Werewolves: Power of Air Book 2 (5 page)

BOOK: Sorcerer: Trouble with Werewolves: Power of Air Book 2
3.55Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

I turned to Sierra, “Would you like to get lunch?”

She smiled, “I thought you’d never ask.  I’m starving.”

 

Chapter
8

Thursday, May 19
th
, 2016, 12:48 PM

I was stuffed from surf and turf.  I’d also been amazed
at the twenty-six-ounce porterhouse I’d watched Sierra polish off along with
two baked potatoes.  Apparently werewolves did very much eat more than
normal humans.  She’d clearly enjoyed every bite as well.

Sierra asked curiously, “So, is that what you do when not
working for the council?  Rescue kidnap victims and find people?”

I nodded slowly and looked her in the eyes, “Does that
surprise you?”

She smiled, “Yes, it does.  In a good way though, it
proves we were right to invite you to ally.  You’re a good man,” her face
turned fierce as her smile melted away, “How do you not feel the urge to hunt
down the one who did that and kill him.  I have to admit I’m tempted to do
just that.”

I shrugged, “I do feel that urge, but humans have a
different justice than we do.  It helps to know that he’ll be in jail, and
pedophiles and rapists are not well received there.  He wouldn’t suffer
merely as much from a quick death.  Maybe the fact I was raised human
makes a difference there.”

She nodded thoughtfully, “I hope he does suffer, it’s
probably a good thing we didn’t catch him down there.”

That probably would have been bad, although I could have
destroyed the evidence easily enough.

It was getting to the point I knew she’d be heading back to
the pack, and I was thinking of asking her out on a pure date, no
business.  It wasn’t the fast connection Diana and I had formed, but I was
definitely interested in more, and not just because she was so damned
attractive.  But her phone went off before I said anything, and the way
her eyes widened with a sheen of tears, it was definitely not the time.

“What happened?” I asked as I pulled out my wallet and
dropped three twenties on the table.

She shook her head, “I have to go… something… I need you to
come with me.  It’s about the pack…”

She looked a little dazed, so I walked around the table and
helped her up.  She was a strong woman, but I somehow knew my touch would
be calming.  Wolves don’t grieve alone, and anyone stupid enough to think
that makes them weak would be foolish.  I had no doubts if the enemy were
nearby she’d be having a different reaction.  Right now though, she needed
the tactile contact and comfort to function.

When we got out of the restaurant I kept her hand as we
walked toward the Metra station.

I tried again and asked, “What happened?”

She spoke so softly I could barely hear her above the sounds
of the city, if I wasn’t a sorcerer with control of the air to guide the sound
of her voice, I was sure I’d have missed it.

“They got one of us, Debbie, she’s was just nineteen. 
I don’t know any details yet, just to get home, and bring you.  She…
wasn’t a fighter, not like me, she was in college…”

I didn’t ask any more questions.  I tried to imagine
what she was feeling, and I realized that would be hard to do, pack bonds were
very close.  The closest I could really understand would be the loss of my
mother, or imagining what it would feel like to lose Amy or my Aunt.  So I
stayed quiet as we got on the train.

When we sat down, Sierra was practically sitting on my lap
and curled into my side.  Under other circumstances I may have enjoyed
that quite a bit, but her pain was palpable and my thoughts didn’t go in any
direction except to be there and offer what comfort I could.  I wrapped my
arms around her and we were silent for the rest of the trip.  Even
Aitheria looked grave.

The ride seemed interminable, but it was right around forty-five
minutes, just like every other time, and we arrived around one-thirty. 
She didn’t even comment when I led her over to her car and put her in the
passenger seat and drove us the rest of the way.  When we got into the
backyard, there were nine werewolves gathered, including Sierra, with an
undercurrent of grief and anger.  To my surprise Sierra stayed buried into
my side, instead of joining one of the groups of her pack mates.

Derik nodded my way, but otherwise ignored my presence and
started to explain.

“Now that we’re all here, let me tell you what
happened.  The invading pack struck their first blow.  I told you all
not to go anywhere alone, but I made a mistake.  I thought Debbie would be
safe at college surrounded by humans, but I was wrong.  Debbie and her
human roommate were killed while crossing through an isolated part of the
campus mid-morning today, in the same way others have been killed by this
invading pack.

“I want to make it clear to the rest of us, that we need to
stay together, two or more when possible, and be vigilant.  We know
they’re using magic to hide their scents, so don’t depend on just your noses
when you’re out there.  The authorities have the body, and since it was a
murder it may be some time before we can put our daughter to rest beneath the
earth.”

It took me moment to realize he’d meant daughter as in his
flesh and blood, not just pack.  Although I wasn’t even sure if that
distinction was meaningful, they were all family and all were grieving. 
If the rogue pack was in front of me right now, I’d have killed them all.

He looked at me, “Can you and Sierra go with my mate to look
at the body.  The police will have to allow it for both religious and by
family right.  I need to stay here with the pack.  Plus, if she
breaks the spell we’ll need you there to track them.”

I wasn’t sure of that, if they weren’t done gathering
evidence they wouldn’t want the body disturbed even by family.  But I
simply nodded, I didn’t have it in me to object to a grieving father and
alpha.  Besides, I didn’t really want to object, we would make it
happen.  Sierra let go of my hand and let me know she’d be right
back.  I understood when she went into the house, a white sundress with
flowers probably wasn’t the right thing to have on when visiting the morgue.

She came out in a black skirt that was just short of her
knees, and a dark gray blouse, and two inch black heels.  She collected
Selene on the way over to me, who was similarly dressed in dark colors, and we
headed out to the car.  I tried to give her my condolences, but my throat
closed up, we did exchange a look however and she seemed to understand without
me actually saying anything.

The drive was fairly long, maybe thirty minutes to the to
the morgue.  Luckily, it was one of the newer buildings that didn’t have
the morgue in the basement, we’d have had trouble explaining why we needed to
move the corpse above ground so my power would work.  We went in to the
building and stopped at the desk out front.

Selene cleared her throat, and when the guard looked up she
said, “I’m here to see my daughter’s body.”

The guard sat up straighter and stared at Selene a second
too long.  She didn’t seem bothered by it, I imagined she was used to that
sort of thing.  It was hard to believe she had a nineteen-year-old
daughter, she could barely pass for thirty.

The guard asked, “Name?” after he unlocked his console.

“Debbie Williams,” she said softly.

The guard typed it in and read the screen before grabbing
the phone.

“Doctor, can you come up here, there’s someone to see Debbie
William’s remains, the computer says it’s cleared but…”

He listened for a moment and hung up the phone before he
looked up at Selene, “Mrs. Williams, the ME will be right out to speak with
you.”

We took a seat and only waited a few minutes.  Sierra
held my hand while her and Selena leaned against each other.  They sat up
straight when the door opened, and an older man walked over and introduced
himself.

“Mrs. Williams, I’m Carl Denton, the ME.  I’m very
sorry for your loss, and though we’ve finished gathering evidence and the
remains are available, I’d urge you to reconsider seeing your daughter’s body.”

Selene shook her head, “I need to see the remains for
religious reasons, please take us back there.”

It looked like Carl wanted to argue, but instead he just
nodded and led them toward the back.  We passed through a few doors, the
last one had a guard outside of it and we had to sign in.  The ME led us
over to a drawer and pulled it out.

Selene asked, “Can you give us some privacy please?”

The ME shook his head regretfully, “I’m sorry, I can stand
over on the other side of the room, but I can’t leave you in here alone.”

I understood that, there were probably other corpses in here
and chain of evidence issues would come up.  I didn’t like to do it, but
Diana had taught me how a couple of months ago.  I pulled power from the
air around me and after getting his attention locked eyes with the ME, creating
a connection between us.  His face went blank a second later when the
mesmerize power took hold.

I sent into his mind, “
Go stand in the other corner,
remember nothing of what happens until we leave.

When the doctor shuffled away, I nodded to Selene.  She
reached out and pulled the sheet back, the face had deep claw marks in it, and
the body was even worse, missing parts of her flesh clearly made by ripping
teeth.  I’d have rather not seen it, but then this would help with having
no second thoughts when we finally do hunt the bastards down.  She stopped
pulling down the sheet when we saw the symbol which was carved in her upper
chest, right below her throat.

I’d like to say it didn’t bother me, but the truth was even
with relatively very little relieved I almost lost my lunch.  It was…
horrifying is the right word.

I couldn’t really feel the magic of earth, it was the
opposite of my nature, I was essentially blind to it, but I could tell it was
there because it blocked my abilities.  Selene took a calming breath, and
brought out a small vial with some kind of oil, and poured it onto the symbol,
then she closed her eyes and chanted, her face the picture of
concentration.  I knew she was doing magic, my inner core wasn’t happy to
be standing there, but my power also knew I was safe with them at the same
time.

What she was doing though wasn’t just earth magic, there was
a component of fire as well and I could feel it eating away at something. 
It was weird being half blind to what was happening.

I held my ground ignoring the discomfort, and watched as she
went through a ritual chant.  I felt the difference right away as I felt
the blocking magic fail, and knowledge rushed into my mind.  Not as much
as I wanted, and at the same time, way more than I wanted.  I now had the
memories of exactly how Debbie had died, and never in my life had I wanted to
kill anyone more than I wanted this enemy pack dead.

They hadn’t just killed her, they’d played with her first,
this wasn’t a simple territory take over, attacking her hadn’t simply been
about culling the weak member of the pack, no… they’d enjoyed what they
did.  It wasn’t a werewolf thing at all, it was just that particular alpha
was an evil bastard.

I sighed, “I don’t have their location, but I think I have
everything else.  I’m not sure why, perhaps their pack is protected
directly against it, on their own bodies?  Is that possible?  Maybe
we should go back, so I don’t have to explain it more than once?”

I knew it was possible with a witch, it had happened on my
first case with the vampire council after all, but I wasn’t sure what the
limits of a mystic were.

Selene nodded slowly and covered up the body, and pushed the
drawer in.  I couldn’t tell if she was just acknowledging my words or
answering my question.  When I opened the door to the room the ME blinked
and came out of his trance.  He looked confused for a moment, but then
adopted a solemn look.

Selene asked, “Do you know when the remains will be
released?”

The ME shook his head, “I’m sorry, it may be some time with
an open murder case.  I’ll be in contact as soon as I know anything.”

Selene murmured a thank you and we left the building.

 

Chapter
9

Thursday, May 19
th
, 2016, 03:37 PM

Pack ally and friend or not, it was a little intimidating to
have nine angry and grieving werewolves focused on me with unforgiving
gazes.  Their anger wasn’t about me of course, but in addition to those
natural feelings I had that werewolves were a natural enemy, it was a bit
disconcerting.  I had managed to shrug off those instincts in regards to
Sierra, and even to an extent with the alpha and his mate yesterday.  But
I felt like I was standing in front of a semi-truck bearing down on me.

I took a deep breath, knowing intellectually I was safe
hardly made a difference.  But I was… safe I mean, so I started to lay out
what I knew.

“I still don’t know where they are, their location is
blocked to me.  But thanks to Selene breaking the spell, I was able to see
who, and a little bit of why.  This isn’t an alpha that just randomly
picked this area because he wants it.  He wasn’t kicked out of his old territory
at all, he is here specifically for revenge against perceived wrongs, and he
isn’t sane.

“His name is Karl Lansing, although I think that last name
is fake.”

I paused for a moment, there was no recognition in some of
the pack, but Derik, Selene, and a couple I hadn’t met yet widened their eyes.

I went on, “I’m not saying it’s true, but he believes he was
wronged by your alpha years ago, and fled north to Canada to find a new
pack.  He was obsessed with getting revenge, and made plans, although it
took him a few years before he could challenge the old alpha and take the pack
for his own.  He… isn’t a good alpha like Derik, and uses his position to
bend his pack to his purposes.  Once they were firmly under his thumb he
led them down here.”

Derik looked grim and I waited for some indication as to if
he wanted me to continue.  It just got uglier from there.  Derik took
over at that point in the story though, confirming what I knew.  He looked
around making eye contact with each pack member and then spoke.  His voice
was dispassionate, as if just relating a story that happened to someone else, I
wondered if he was in shock, or just holding back his rage. 

“Except for my mate, beta, and enforcers most of you have
been with the pack less than twenty years.   There was a reason we
were only five back then.  Karl was a part of the pack back then, and we
were friends growing up.  We… competed at everything.  He wasn’t
always the way he is now.  Things changed though when our alpha at the time
started to decline.  He wanted to challenge and take over the pack…

“At the time I didn’t see anything dark in him, but the
alpha must have, because he challenged me before Karl made his move, and then
threw the fight.  A last gift to the pack he led and loved.  I guess
it was then when Karl started to turn bitter, and resist the alpha’s… my
authority.  You all know this pack is all about family, I wasn’t
interested in running a pack if I had to lock everyone down tightly under my
orders, but in Karl’s case, that would turn out to be a huge mistake.

“He started to cause disruption and disharmony with his
words and actions.  I tried to guide him back to where he needed to be, I
didn’t want to give up on him.  But then Selene showed up looking for a
new pack to join.  Selene of course, stole my heart the first time I
looked at her, and she felt the same.  That seemed to be the breaking
point for Karl, because he coveted Selene as well out of some twisted need to
have whatever I did.  He took it as a challenge in his warped mind, and
Selene became just one more thing for us to fight over.

“The pack was an unhappy place to be, a couple of the pack
even broke ties at that point, and went to find a new pack.  That, and his
aggressive attitude toward Selene, was when I finally saw the darkness in Karl
that I refused to see in my childhood friend up until then.  I should have
killed him when he challenged me, but when I had him at my mercy, I merely
banished him from the pack on pain of death if he ever returned.”

He looked at me like a man about to drown, his stone face
breaking, “That’s why he killed Debbie, isn’t it?  Not because she was
convenient, or separated from the pack, but because she was Selene’s and my
child?”

I simply nodded, not wanting to say it out loud.  Karl
was bitter and insane, and had tortured Debbie simply because she was the child
from his enemy, and even more that she was the child of the woman that he’d
wanted for himself. 

But if Derik thought his story would lose him more wolves,
he was wrong.  Everyone in the yard gathered closer to him in support,
they were a family and wouldn’t be going anywhere.  Even if their alpha
did screw up.  I really understood then that the magic werewolves shared
had two sides to it, like everything else.  It could be used to strengthen
and nurture in Derik’s case, and for Karl, he used it as a leash, to control
and enslave the pack beneath him.

The pack went for a run then, some kind of bonding thing I
could only understand the edges of, and I waited in the backyard for them to
return.  When they did, three left to take care of business, because life
went on and they had businesses to run regardless of whatever else was
happening. 

We were sitting around the table.  Sierra on my right,
followed by Selene, then Derik.  Next to Derik was his beta wolf, a second
in command, named Clint.

Clint was of similar build to Derik, he looked like a
linebacker, and maybe a few years younger.  Next to Clint was his mate and
one of the pack enforcers, Katie.  Katie had fair skin, blonde hair, and like
Sierra, an athletic body.  Next to Katie and on my left, was the second
pack enforcer Gerald.

Derik looked at me, “So we don’t know where they are?”

I shook my head, “Breaking the spell allowed me to see their
history, and who they are, but it seems they must have other magic on
themselves, that blocks me finding them.  I could see their lives up until
they left to come here, whatever the spell is it blocks what they’ve done
since.  Somehow the connection with what happened to Debbie, jumped over
that empty spot.  I can tell you there are seven of them outside of Karl,
and none of them want to be there particularly.  Selene, do you have any
thoughts?”

She shook her head, “It must be a spell similar to what
they’ve been putting on the victims, but to break it I’d have to see it. 
Of course, at that point there would be no reason to, we’d already have them.”

I sighed, “There are non-magical ways to track people. 
I could turn the names over to a few cop friends I have, see if they can find
anything.  But that would be complicated to say the least.  The only
other thing I can think of is asking a witch.  Perhaps they would know a
way to overcome the spell where Selene doesn’t, but I don’t know if they would
even get involved or want in return if they did.”

It was a shame the vampire council wouldn’t get involved,
they had access to police and federal databases, and could probably find them
as long as they were using something traceable.

Katie shook her head, “We can’t involve the cops, even if you
have a friend.  They’ll be in this up to their necks already soon enough
due to the murders, we don’t want them sniffing around the pack.”

Clint nodded in agreement before he said, “If you know a
witch, maybe you could find out what she’d want for her help?  She may not
help though, it’s possible it would put her in danger if Karl finds out about
it.”

Clint looked at Derik, as if for approval of his idea. 
Derik nodded slowly, so I took out my phone and called Tara.  The six of
them watched me intently while I talked to Tara.  It was a werewolf thing
I decided, they were more intense than humans and it seemed they had no issues
with prolonged eye contact, it was still a bit disconcerting though.

Tara was obviously pleasantly surprised to hear from me, and
I couldn’t help but notice Sierra’s eyes narrow at Tara’s familiar and almost
intimate tone.  Her voice changed though to a more normal tone when I
explained the problem, she even had me text her one of the pictures.

She said thoughtfully, “I believe I can help, but I need
twenty-four hours.  Come see me tomorrow afternoon at the store
okay?  I assume the pack will repay the favor when I have need?”

Derik nodded at me, apparently werewolves had excellent
hearing.

“Yes, they will, and thanks.”

She chuckled, “Your welcome Ben,” and hung up the phone.

Sierra said quite firmly, “I will go with you.”

Derik raised his eyebrow at Sierra in surprise, but the rest
of the wolves were unreadable.

I was smart enough not to argue with her tone, but I
wondered if her motivation had been merely to remain the pack liaison as I
helped, or if she’d been jealous of Tara’s tone with me on the phone…

We had a plan for our next steps, so we broke up.  It
was time for another train ride and I wasn’t looking forward to my fourth trip
in one day.  Diana had told me once that sorcerers of air could transport
themselves from one place to another, but I hadn’t figured out how yet and had
no one to teach me.  Until I did, it was public transportation or walking
for me.

Sierra and Gerald gave me a ride back to the train at
Derik’s insistence.  Sierra wasn’t to be by herself just like the rest of
them, not even for a quick drive.  I never had gotten around to asking
Sierra out on a date, but between a virtual stranger being there, and Debbie’s
death putting a pall over things, it just wasn’t the time for it. 

It was past dinner time and I was looking forward to
relaxing at home for a bit after getting back into the city, and perhaps a full
night’s sleep.  The last two days had been a bit hectic, but it turns out
the day wasn’t quite done with me yet.

 

BOOK: Sorcerer: Trouble with Werewolves: Power of Air Book 2
3.55Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Amaryllis (Suitors of Seattle) by Osbourne, Kirsten
Sacked (Gridiron #1) by Jen Frederick
Little Bird of Heaven by Joyce Carol Oates
Conspiracy by Black, Dana
Tears of Tess by Pepper Winters
Sing Me Home by Lisa Ann Verge