The hunt was on.
Jericho studied the ground, at the tracks the retreating wolves left in the soft forest ground. After their defeat, they scattered, but two wolves stayed together, heading north. His gut feeling was they were the scouts to report back to Bennett Warren, wherever the lowlife was hiding.
He broke up the search party, taking Mitch with him after the two retreating wolves. As they ran, they shifted mid-stride. Clothing tore and fell away as fur replaced skin. Jericho’s gaze sharpened. His nostrils picked up the omegas’ scents, and he charged forth. It wasn’t long until they came across the smaller, slower wolves, and he attacked.
His teeth sank into one wolf’s neck, past the thick fur to latch on to muscle and bone. With one powerful flick of his head, he snapped the spine, killing him immediately. He had no remorse for ending the life of one of his pack. They had forfeited the right to belong the moment they had sided with the traitor Bennett.
When he spun around, he discovered Mitch had subdued the other. The wolf whimpered pitifully. Jericho shifted back into his human form, heedless of his nakedness. He walked to the downed wolf and stepped on its throat.
“Shift,” he ordered.
It took the creature a moment to comply, but Mitch clamped down harder, and the omega shifted back to human.
“D-don’t hurt me!” he cried.
“You planned to murder children,” Jericho said harshly. “You planned to kill my mate. You have forfeited the right to ask me anything.”
“Please! I … I’ll tell you where he is!”
“You’ll tell me anyway.”
The omega cowered and began to cry. “He’s hiding in a hunter’s cabin, about a mile north of here. Please, I beg you, let me go.”
As Jericho studied the pitiful man, he brought his claws out. “Denied.”
Quicker than lightning, he struck, and the life faded from the man’s eyes. He stepped back as Mitch shifted.
“I know that cabin,” he said. “Been abandoned for years. It’s on the ridge line.”
“When we find Bennett, he’s mine.”
“Of course, Alpha.”
Jericho shifted back into his wolf, and Mitch did the same. Then they were off, racing through the forest toward the hunter’s cabin.
The run helped clear Jericho’s head. Bennett Warren was a tricky, traitorous son of a bitch. He had worked for his father in his construction business, and Jericho could only guess that was where his late father had been poisoned.
Through his grief, he had let his guard down. He’d been truthful that he didn’t know when or how Bennett had slipped him wolfsbane, but Jericho had to assume that it was in something he’d consumed.
Bennett had taken everything away from him back then, and he’d tried to do the same today. There was no way he would allow the other wolf to see the sun rise another day.
When they arrived on the ridge line, Mitch pointed his snout in the direction of the cabin. Jericho raced toward it, only slowing when the wooden structure came into view.
He howled, and Mitch joined in, letting the rest of the pack know the enemy had been found. The door to the cabin opened, and Bennett stepped out holding a rifle.
“You better leave here, Jericho! A bullet travels faster than you.”
Jericho had come too far to stop now. If he let Bennett walk away, it would show weakness to the pack.
He had to get vengeance for his father and for himself. With a growl, he charged forward. Bennett took aim and fired, but Jericho dodged the bullet. Again and again, Bennett shot his rifle, but each time, Jericho sprang out of the way.
Bennett tossed the rifle aside and transformed into his wolf. The two met in a clash of viscous growls, snapping at each other. Bennett was a big wolf, but he was no alpha. Jericho channeled all his hate, focusing on ripping the other wolf’s throat out. He clamped down on Bennett’s leg, and he howled in pain.
Without letting up, Jericho charged at him, and Bennett went tumbling down an incline. Wounded, Bennett stared him in the eye as Jericho charged. He sprang and landed on his back, biting down on his neck.
With a savage snarl, he gave a mighty yank and bit through the neck. Blood filled his mouth. Standing on the corpse of his enemy, Jericho tipped his head back and howled his victory.
Mitch joined him. Others from the pack arrived, and they too howled, all acknowledging their alpha.