Tristan had stopped by later on in the day, and I set my plan in motion. I was becoming impatient, each passing day increased my anxiety. The silver bands around my wrist kept me separate from Asher, though I didn’t have enough information to give him at the moment.
Worst case scenario, I’d use the shadows to contact him, but I needed to find out the location of the warehouse and when the Vampire’s planned to attack.
I nearly ambushed Tristan as he came into my room, asking–begging him to give me any information he could. I could see the indecision in his eyes, and nearly screamed as he stormed from my room.
The next few days went that way, me begging Tristan for his help, only for him to storm out. Each time, I could see the indecision burning in his eyes. I wasn’t sure I could ever truly trust Tristan, but it was clear he wasn’t sure which side he was on.
Four days later, I was nearly at my wits end. I hadn’t heard from Holly or my Father, making me increasingly worried. Tristan came into my room as he often had, a tray of food in his hands.
I snatched the glass of blood from the tray first, downing it before I took a deep, ragged breath. The blood rushed through my veins, making my head feel floaty and my body tingle.
The blood always sent a surge of energy through me, though I was still powerless with the silver cuffs on my wrist. I had to give it to my Father, even under the impression my mind was controlled, he was still paranoid.
“Don’t start this again.” Tristan grunted as I pleaded with him for the fourth time.
“Tristan, if Asher doesn’t get this information, it’s over.” I sighed, rubbing a hand over my face. Even in this large suite, I was a prisoner. “What do you think will happen then?
He’ll attack, and the pack will be overwhelmed. I can see it in your eyes Tristan, you don’t want this war. So, help me. Help me stop it.”
“Let’s say I help you and your Alpha wins; my people would suffer.” Tristan snapped, his ocean eyes narrowing into little slits. “Countless Vampire’s would be killed. Don’t think I haven’t heard about Alpha Bran. He would single handedly fight for the slaughter of my kind–of our kind.”
“I don’t want that any more than you do.” I shook my head. I had too much time to think things over. If Tristan and Giovanni were both questioning the morals of my Father’s plan, then how many others were thinking the same? Vampires weren’t inherently evil, just as werewolves weren’t.
They all deserved a place in this new world, one where peace was an attainable goal. “Countless will die either way, that’s war.”
“Then what is it you want, Lola?” Tristan asked, he sounded confused and exhausted. “What is the outcome you’re looking for?”
“I want our species to get along, to stop trying to kill one another.” I hissed, “I want peace. I want Vampire’s and Werewolves to wake up in the morning, not fearing for their life.”
“I want the same, Lola.” Tristan murmured; his eyes thoughtful.
“Then help me.” I pleaded, forcing all the emotion I held into my words. I channeled my desperation, the overwhelming desire to see my mate again, and the need I felt towards protecting my younger sister. “Help me get this information to Asher.”
“You need to promise me something, Lola.” Tristan spoke lowly. “Promise me, you’ll always have the best interests for Vampire’s in mind. You’re not just a Werewolf, you need to remember that.”
“I promise.” I swallowed, unable to shake the feeling that my words were binding. “I want what’s best for both of our species.”
Tristan approached me, his eyes darkening as they met my own. The knot that had been growing in my stomach twisted painfully, and I resisted the urge to flinch away from him.
Standing this close to him, it felt too personal and just wrong. The looming threat of my heat was dangling over my head. I had been here for a week already, but had not yet felt the signs of my heat coming on. My patience and courage were running thin, I needed a way out and I needed it now.
Tristan leaned down, his lips hovering over my ear. I clenched my teeth together as his breath fanned across my cheek, silently wishing it were Asher who stood this close to me. His words were low, and I strained to hear them clearly.
“He plans to attack your pack tomorrow night. Your Father and his troops will be leaving out at sunset, tomorrow. The main group will attack from the North, your Father and another team will venture in from the West and head North.” Tristan whispered, “He will leave you and Holly here. He doesn’t need you until after your Alpha’s pack has been demolished.
You’re at an abandoned warehouse in Screven, South Carolina. The warehouse is just off Morgan Street. Tell your Alpha to prepare himself, that war is coming.”
The sound of metal clattering to the ground rang out throughout the room. My head snapped down in time to notice the silver cuffs falling from my wrists, the padlock securing them unlocked.
As I lifted my head to meet Tristan’s eyes, he had already left the room, closing the door behind him.
I rubbed at my raw wrists and clamored into the bathroom. I let out a painful hiss as I ran the tap water over my skin. Wounds from silver could heal much slower, but all I had was a raw, painful rash. I couldn’t still my frantic heartbeat as I thought of Asher, and how in just a few short hours, I would finally be able to speak with him again.
I hid the silver shackles under the bed, curl ing under the covers as I searched for Asher with my mind. At some point I had drifted off, succ*mbing to the darkness.
‘Lola?’ A voice drifted through my head, seductive and deep. The voice called out to my soul, yanking me from my sleep with a rough hand. ‘Lola, are you there?”
The thick voice of the male was growing stronger, more frantic as he called out to me. My eyes snapped open, awareness flooding into my eyes as Asher’s voice called out in my mind. For a moment, I sat on the bed grinning like an idiot. This was the most comfort I’ve had all week, and I had truly underestimated how much I missed Asher’s voice.
‘Lola?’ Asher hissed; his voice laced with frightened venom. ‘This is the first connection I’ve been able to make with you all week. Answer me!’
‘Asher.’ I exhaled a ragged breath, fighting the pain that darted behind my eyes. Tears stained my vision, and pain ran through my chest as I listened to his voice.
‘Goddess, Lola.’ Asher groaned, ‘Don’t f**king scare me like that! I haven’t heard from you all week. What happened?’
‘Silver cuffs–they put silver cuffs on me.’ I choked out. I closed my eyes and took a few steadying breaths, calming my nerves so that I could give Asher a rundown of everything that happened. ‘There’s so much I need to tell you, but I don’t have much time.’
I didn’t have a clue when Tristan would come back, or when these cuffs would need to return to my wrists. I didn’t want to tell Asher about the other side of my heritage over the mind-link. I wanted to look into the depths of his dark eyes as I told him what I was, what kind of monster my Father wanted me to become.
‘Breyona and Giovanni made it back.’ Asher responded, and I left out a choked sob. My Father had been good on his word, the thought sent crippling relief rushing through me.
‘Listen closely.’ I hissed, unable to bask in the joy of my mate’s voice, the feeling of him through our mate-bond. ‘My Father plans on attacking tomorrow night. Half of his men will come from the North, the other will come from the West and try to ambush you. You need to start evacuating people, Asher. Now.”
‘Consider it done.’ Asher replied, and I could feel his dread through the mate-bond. He wanted this war as much as I did–not at all. This war was a necessity.
This pack–our entire species was being threatened. There was only one way to eradicate a threat like this. To cut the head off the source–my Father. ‘Where are you, Lola? You can’t stay there any longer. I need you here, baby. I need you to come home.’
‘I miss you so much.’ I whispered, feeling a featherlight caress through the mate-bond. “I’m at an abandoned Macy’s Warehouse in Screven, South Carolina. Just off Morgan street.”
‘I’ll come for you, Lola.’ Asher murmured, ‘When I find you, you’re never leaving my sight. You know that, right?’
‘After all of this, you won’t be able to shake me.’ I chuckled, but quickly turned serious. ‘Asher, I don’t have time to explain the details, but I have someone else here we need to rescue.
My half-sister, I can’t leave her behind. You know you can’t come here, right? You need to stay with the pack, lead them–be their Alpha.’
‘Lola, you’re not keeping me away from you. Not again.’ Asher snarled, but I could hear the hesitation in his words.
He knew I was right, but neither of us wanted to admit it. I wanted him here, more than anything–but the pack came first. They needed their leader, they needed Asher to instill courage, hope and motivation within them. Asher was the glue that held this pack together, and right now, they needed him more than I did.
‘Asher, we’ll see each other again. I promise.’ I murmured softly, ‘Our pack needs you. What kind of Luna would I be if I put my needs before the pack?’
The link between us went silent for a few moments, then Asher finally replied.
‘Alright.’ Asher sighed; his voice heavy. ‘I’ll send a group to come and get you both. It’s going to take a couple hours; I can’t let my men walk in there blind. I’ll pull up the blueprints and scout out every exit, and guard locations. By tonight, you’ll be in my arms.’
‘My sister–Holly, she said that once our Father leaves with his men, that the warehouse will have little guards. Their leaving at sunset tomorrow. That’s our best window, and will cause the least amount of damage. They have me locked in a room, I’m on the Eastern side of the warehouse, on the second floor.’
‘If you can, try and get your sister in the same room when the time comes.’ Asher replied, ‘It’ll be easier to get the two of you out without having to scour the warehouse.’
‘I’ll do what I can. I love you Asher, so much.’ I exhaled, sending the rush of emotion through the mate-bond. As my hearing increased, and I heard the heavy steps of someone walking down the hall, I called out to Asher. ‘I have to go, someone’s coming.’
Just as I dove under the bed and emerged with the silver cuffs, my bedroom door opened and Tristan stepped inside. His eyes were still haunted, torn between what he believed and what his King expected of him.
Tristan was still insufferable, but I had learned more about him than I ever thought possible. I didn’t fool myself into thinking I earned Tristan’s loyalty, but he had helped me where no one else would.
“If I had been anyone else, you’d be monumentally screwed right now.” Tristan glared at me, his eyes flickering down to the cuffs in my hands.
“Well, I guess I got lucky.” I huffed, “Do I need to put these back on?”
“You do.” Tristan nodded stiffly, “Your Father requests your presence for dinner.”
“Dinner?” I grimaced, “I thought Vampire’s didn’t eat human food.”
“They don’t.” Tristan spoke darkly, “He wants to make sure you’re still under my control before he leaves. I’m not sure how, but he’s going to test you, Lola. Whatever you do, don’t break.”