‘Why are you letting her live?‘ The voice inside hissed ‘She‘s a traitor. A rat.‘
It‘d been going on like this for a few days now ever since I made the agreement with Lucy.
The original plan had been for Lucy to reach out to her mother in order to uncover Thea‘s whereabouts, but something had gone wrong with that. According to Lucy‘s mother, Thea hadn‘t come back yet from whatever she‘d been doing recently. Which caused several dilemmas.
The main one being the safety of Lucy‘s mother. Someone who apparently was now so scared for her life that she was demanding immunity within the pack for her information.
A huge ask considering she was a rogue and it would mean losing an inside connection.
Looking at her record, Stephanie Faulkner had crimes of fraud and theft committed against higher–ranked members. And whilst Lucy herself believed wholeheartedly that her mother was innocent, the evidence was stacked up against her.
Personally, I would have preferred for her to stay among the rogues for intel but it seemed as though she felt her position was now far too compromised. She wanted to return to the Winter Mist or she wouldn‘t help at all.
It was bold, I‘ll give her that, especially since I was still debating her daughter‘s fate for when this was all over. Obviously, she wasn‘t the smartest tool in the shed since she forgot to ask for Lucy‘s freedom in her immunity terms.
However, now I was left with the voice inside tormenting me over what I should do with Lucy for lying to me all of these years. It was almost incessant and making it difficult for me to think.
But today was the most important day. It was the day Stephanie would be arriving. According to her, the rogue pack she had been living with was the same one terrorising the border of the Silver Lake the last few months. I was hoping that whatever information she could provide would make all of this worth it.
‘Why are you honouring your word for a liar?‘ The voice continued. ‘And not just a liar, but a murderer too. Aren‘t you forgetting that she created the river system for the rogues? Don‘t you remember who died because of that?‘
Myra. She was blaming Myra‘s death on Lucy now.
‘Not only Myra but she‘s someone who almost got you killed several times too,‘ she said. ‘Did you forget about the kidnapping from the packhouse? The Golden Blade pack attack? The river cave with rogues? All of that stems from the information she would have provided them. How can–.‘
“Shut up!” I finally screamed aloud. “I can‘t take it anymore.”
I was at my limit, my head hurting from all of her talking. It was just nonstop as she kept bringing up memories I would rather not focus on right now. How was meant to do my job and get information with all of this going through my head? When she kept telling me to just kill her already?
‘You know it‘s the right thing to do. You need to end this now.’
But then a knocking came from the door and I saw as Lucy entered hesitantly, evidence on her face to tell me she‘d been crying. Presumably, I took that to mean her mother had arrived.
“Alpha,” she greeted, a tímid smile on her lips as she walked up to my desk. “My mother is here. Let me introduce you.”
I Ignored the voice and stood up, walking to the middle of the room to see who would enter. To see who would be giving me the information on Thea I‘d been so desperate for all these years.
And then an older woman walked in, with greying black hair and a kind face.
I recognised her immediately.
“Hello, Alpha Ariadne, it is a pleasure to finally meet you,” she bowed respectfully, smiling. “My name is–”
But I didn‘t wait
‘Never again. Never again.’
‘NEVER AGAIN. DO IT.‘
I quickly spun around and, without even an ounce of hesitation, I slit Lucy‘s throat with my knife, allowing for her to instantly begin bleeding out.
And I watched quietly, watched as she coughed, wide–eyed and spluttering on her own blood, before finally falling to the ground. Her body stilling within just seconds.
“LUCY! NO!” the woman cried, tears immediately falling down her face. “Why? Why would you do that?”
But I just calmly walked up to the woman‘s shocked, frozen form and began cleaning the knife on her shirt.
“Partly for myself. Partly because you gave me the incentive I‘d been waiting for. I wanted to see if you were genuinely capable of crying over someone you considered a daughter,” I said evenly. “I wanted you to know how it feels when you actually meant it.”
“I–I don‘t… I don‘t know what you mean,” she stuttered, her face distraught. “W–who even are you?”
“Her blood is on you now,” I said, taking a step away from my old attendant. “Enjoy that last thought before I have you locked inside the cells.”
“You can‘t do that! Y–you need me! I have information on Thea. Don‘t you want her?”
“You‘re going to tell me everything I want, whether you like it or not, Sophie Forrester,” I hissed, instantly moving back in so I was right in front of her face. “…Or whatever fucking name you go by in this life.‘ Stephanie‘. I want you to sit in those cells, rotting, thinking of every despicable thing you ever did which led you to this very moment.
Never forget that you‘re alive right now because I allow you to be. I want you to live, knowing that Lucy died for your mistakes.”
And then I side–stepped her to walk away, pushing open the office room doors to leave.
“Lucy!” I heard her cry behind me. “My baby, my poor baby… Oh, Goddess.”
“Take her to the cells,” I ordered the warriors on the other side. “…And have someone clean up the mess.”
They nodded at my request, though I could tell they were doing their best to not show me what they really thought. But it didn‘t matter. I had bigger problems to worry about.
And I walked away calmly, knowing I‘d finally gotten my revenge on at least one person. Even if it wasn‘t the person I originally thought I‘d be finding today. Finally, my old attendant got what she deserved for throwing me to my death in my past life.
I knew I didn‘t need to worry though. If Sophie went back to Thea, she would just be killed for being useless, her identity now uncovered and Lucy‘s advantage gone.
If she remained in the cells refusing to talk, I would just throw her out of the pack for Thea to find. It was her choice.
There had been nothing in our immunity agreement for her to live freely, just that she would be allowed back into the Winter Mist in exchange for information.
And truthfully, considering Sophie was one of the people who had gotten me killed in my first life, the cells seemed mighty generous of me.
Like mother, like daughter, I suppose. Both finding some way to help Thea destroy us all.
“Alpha,” a voice then said near me, causing me to look up.
I‘d been wandering in a daze, so lost in my own thoughts that I hadn‘t realised I‘d ended up in the garden.
“Alpha, are you okay?” Elder Luke said, a frown on his face. 1
“I‘m fine,” I replied quietly.
But he looked at my clothes more pointedly prompting me to look down. “Is that… blood on you?”
I stared at it.
“Not mine. Lucy‘s,” I answered factually.
He was quiet for a minute, not knowing what to say. “Is she… Are you feeling okay?”
Was I feeling okay? I thought that getting revenge on Sophie would feel great except I didn‘t really feel…anything. Like at all.
But the voice inside had at least gone quiet, having done what she wanted, and that made me feel a little better. A minor victory, all things considered.
“Okay… well, I was going to show you something I‘d been working on that‘s pretty important,” he said, clearing his throat. “Did you want to do it later or…?”
But I just shrugged, not really concerned. “We can do it now. Though if it‘s in my office we might need to wait a bit.”
And I thought I saw him shiver but I could have been mistaken.
“It‘s in the meeting hall,” he replied. “I‘ve been using the smaller office attached for extra space since it‘s not often you call ranked meetings with everyone.”
That was true. Not much to negotiate with the others when their opinions couldn‘t possibly take into account everything I knew.
“Alright, we can go,” I said, already heading in that direction.
And so we left.
It only took a few minutes to get there and I walked in front through the doors, heading through the hallways. But it was as I was about to head towards where the office was that I caught something surprising.
A familiar one.
And I swiftly pivoted and opened the large double doors of the meeting hall instead, finding something! never would have expected to see on the other side.
“Aria,” they said.
And I looked from where Aleric was standing… to where Cai was right next to him.
It was an ambush.