Chapter 5

Keller’s POV

“Hey, Jensen. Ping my phone and send a car to my location. I think I got one with some potential.” I pull my car over and park. When I double check the rearview mirror, I can see the girl still sitting on the curb.

“You sure?” Jensen asks with a sarcastic tone in his voice, making me roll my eyes.

“Have I ever been wrong before?” I snarl into the phone at my oldest brother.

“Hey, don’t get an attitude with me, you little shit." He snarls back. “I’m not sending out a car unless you’re sure.”

“Send a car, asshole." I say, and hang up on him.

I take a deep breath and frown internally. Now it’s time for the part I hate the most. It feels more slimy and disgusting every time. Secretly, I want to get out of the family business. I don’t know how I could even approach Dad with the subject.

I step out of the Range Rover and smooth my clothes down before I approach the shabby-looking girl sitting on the curb.

“Uh, hi. This is kinda a rough part of town. A-are you okay?” I squat down, examining her carefully. The last thing I want is for her to bolt and hide.

She looks and smells like she hasn’t had a shower in days, if not longer. Bruises and infected scabs dot her pale, thin face. She looks at me with cold, empty blue eyes. Her light brown hair is in a dirty, matted ponytail. I watch her blink a few times, like she’s trying to decide if she should speak to me or not. 

Under her natural stink, the slightly sweet tang of ketamine is exuding from her skin. To humans, it’s odorless, but werewolves can smell and taste it. It’s one of the few drugs our kind can use to get high. She doesn’t look like she’s down a k-hole. Maybe she’s coming off the high? Maybe someone drugged her?

“Twenty dollars." She says with no emotion in her voice.

“What?” I feel hopeful about this one. Maybe she’s just an addict, but I don’t think so.

“You gotta pay, just like everyone else." Her tone is dry. “If you want me to suck you off, it’s an extra ten dollars.”

“Oh, no. I-I’m not trying to… I don’t want to have sex with you. Just a nice guy making sure a pretty girl, sitting on the curb in a bad part of town, is okay?” I put my hand on my heart and sit next to her.

She rolls her eyes at me. “Don’t be stupid. Everyone wants to have sex with me.”

I ignore her tone of voice and raise my eyebrows at her simple statement. Everyone? That’s a good sign for me. I lean back on my hands and glance at her midriff exposed below the gray crop top she’s wearing. There are deep scratch marks from where her last John dug into her skin. A distinctive sideway ‘M’ birthmark is on her back, right above the waistline of her jeans. Sigma. I was right, as usual.

“Look, I’m not trying to trick you. I want to help you. I swear. My name is Keller.” I put my hand out for her to shake.

She snaps her head with a wary look and stares at me, considering if she should trust me or not. She slowly puts her hand out and shakes mine. “Katie.”

“Nice to meet you, Katie.” I nod and gesture with my head to the surrounding area. “How long have you been out here?”

“About twenty minutes. My last… uh, job was a little rough, but my wolf will heal me so I can get back to work soon."

“I see. Sooo... just curious. How old are you, Katie?” I tilt my head at her, trying to sound genuine.

She gives me a dazed look before she answers. “Nineteen. Maybe twenty. What’s today?”

I look at the date on my phone to be sure. “July seventeenth.”

A blank look crosses her face as she turns back toward the street. “Huh? I-I must have lost track of the days. We turned twenty, three days ago.”

“Well, happy late birthday, Katie.” I press my lips together and think for a moment. I’m pretty sure she said ‘we,’ but I don’t know who else she would talk about. “So, where do you live when you’re not on this curb? Do you have a pimp, or are you a free agent?”

“I don’t have a boss. I stay in motels when I have the money for it.” She shrugs. “If not, then you know, whatever.” 

“That kinda sounds like it sucks, Katie. Um, what if I told you there are better things out there than this? You could leave this life behind. Start you out fresh with a shower and clean clothes, warm meal. All that jazz.” I lean back on my hands, speaking casually. “I could introduce you to people who can help you, if you’d like.”

“Nobody helps me.” She squints at me when she talks. “What’s in it for you?”

“Family business. We help sigmas get off the streets. Give girls like you opportunities for something better. Consider it philanthropic.” I shrug.

“How’d you know I’m a sigma? And what’s philanthropic mean?” She furrows her brow at me, trying to pronounce the large word correctly.

“You’re a rogue. I can smell it. Female wolves almost never go rogue unless you’re following a mate. You’re not marked. So, it was a kind of process of elimination.” I explain to her, ignoring the fact that she just told me she turns tricks and she has an exposed sigma birthmark, while she scratches a red spot on her neck. “Philanthropic means charitable. A charity of sorts.” 

“So… free. You’d help me for free?” Katie gives me a suspicious look.

“You only have to promise you won’t come back to this kind of life.” I confirm, nodding at her reassuringly.

Katie tugs at the end of her grimy ponytail for a minute and bites her lip. “I-if I have a friend who’s like me, could you help her too?” 

My heart hits a hard beat. A two for one? Today is my lucky day. “Of course. If she’s… like you, I would be glad to help her too.”

Katie looks around to make sure we’re alone. “I’ll get her. Will you wait here for us?”

“I wouldn’t dream of going anywhere until you get back.” I pat both hands on the ground to show I’m not going anywhere.

Katie stands up and makes her way into the abandoned building behind us. A sedan with dark tinted windows pulls up to the curb. I stand up as the driver puts down the passenger side window.

“Well? Where’s she at?” My middle brother Skylar sighs at me as if he has better things to do with his day. “Don’t tell me you scared her off.”

“Nah, man. I never scare them off. Not like some dickheads I know. She’s getting her friend.” I lean against the ledge of the window.

“I’m going to ignore the dickhead comment because you got a twofer.” He grins broadly. “Dad will be happy.”

I hear shuffling behind me. I stand up and turn around to find Katie standing in front of me. She’s holding the hand of a girl who looks like she could be her clone. Her clone is high as a kite.

“This is your friend?” I ask, while my brain tries to process what I’m seeing.

“Well, she’s my friend, but she’s also my twin sister.” Katie frowns and wipes some dirt off of her sister’s chin. “She hasn’t been able to handle things as well as I have.”

“I can see that.” I nod, looking at the zombie of a girl next to Katie. “Katie, I really want to help you. Both of you. And I think I can. You just need to get in the car and your life is going to change.”

“Okay, but if we go with you, can we stay together?” Katie asks. I look away from her sister and into Katie’s eyes. She looks like she might cry if I say no.

“We will do everything we can to make sure you and your sister stay together.” I don’t know if it’s the truth, but I don’t want her to bolt. I open the car door. “This is my brother, Skylar. He’ll take you to a safe place. You two can get cleaned up, fed, and get sober.”

“You’re not coming with us?” Katie asks me with trepidation. She looks at Skylar and stands up straight.

“I’m going to spend the afternoon making sure there aren’t more girls like you two roaming the streets. You’re in excellent hands with Skylar. He only looks like a creep. He won’t hurt you. I promise.” I motion my hand for the girls to step inside the car. Katie gives me a hopeful smile.

“Come on, Kara.” She whispers to her sister, who doesn’t seem to hear her. "No more scaries. We’re gonna be safe now.”

I help Kara into the car and put her seatbelt on, then Katie gets in. “Thank you, Keller.”

“You’re welcome, Katie.” I close the door with a smile. I hope she’s right. Katie and Kara are safe for now, but I know there are no guarantees for a sigma.

Comments (2)
goodnovel comment avatar
Mary Omoruyi
very interesting
goodnovel comment avatar
This is going to get good. Cant wait for more

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