Chapter 4

Ruby's POV

There were times that I cursed myself for being half-Fae. Of being at the edge of something great but not really quite there. Being a half-Fae granted me a lot of skills and abilities. Primarily focused on my energy and channeling it to cater to my demands.

I strapped Lincoln’s dead weight in the passenger seat and broke the driver’s side window. I placed a palm on the dashboard, and the engine roared to life. Hoping that the werewolves were still too busy recovering from following us, I drove faster than the suggested speed limit. It was easier as it was the dead of the night, and everything was quiet.

I looked at the unconscious body on my side and wondered how long it would take before he bled to death. And a werewolf scratch… that had never been good. I slammed my hands against the steering wheel. What the hell was I doing with my life? Why did I have to save him? Was I a hero now? Was I happy?!

The drive to the address given by Maximillian only took twenty minutes. Surprisingly, it was a building. Sure it was rundown, but it looked sturdy. The lights in the halls threatened to never blink on again, and grime covered the walls and floors. Finally, we reached the door, and I knocked pretty hard.

Maximillian opened with a grin on his face. I quickly threw him Lincoln’s form and strode in without his invitation. There were papers everywhere, and the place was dimly lit. It also smelled like a mixture of a hundred chemicals. “My payment?” I demanded. “And I’m charging extra.”

“Extra?” Maximillian asked, straining as he placed Lincoln on a hospital bed. I would not even ask where the hell he got that from.

“I had to fend off two werewolves who were also out to get him,” I said, my voice hardening with every word. “Why didn’t you tell me there’s a price on his head? I could have died there.”

“Oh, please,” said Maximillian. “I wouldn’t have come to you if I knew you wouldn’t survive it.” He took great care of putting a strap on Lincoln’s wrists and ankles. “Aren’t you a Fae princess? I heard that the royals are far stronger than the regular ones.”

I did not answer his question and posed one of mine instead. “Why do you have to restrain him?”

Maximillian pointed to Lincoln’s bleeding chest. “Guess I better be quick before he turns.” Maximillian stood, feeling for his pockets. “How much do I owe you?”

I kicked him hard in the stomach, making him double over and drop on the nearby seat. I placed a silver knife against his chest. “Tell me why they are after him.”

Maximillian looked like he wanted to laugh but coughed up from the pain. “It’s none of your business.”

“I might be hunted down by a pack of werewolves. The least that you can give me is some information.”

Maximillian’s lips pressed into a thin line. It looked like he needed more motivation to speak, so I pressed the knife harder against his skin until I smelled burning and blood. He winced as his skin sizzled.

“Tell me!”

I burrowed it deeper, making him cry out and growl. When he bared his teeth, his canines were lengthening, drawing blood on his own lips.

“Why do you have to know?!” he asked. “He’s human.”

“He’s not human,” I dared. “Why do you werewolves want him?”

“It’s not like you’re a savior of mortals. They’re your money-making machines. You do not care about him.”

“Yeah, I don’t,” I said, stopping myself from showing emotion. “But why do you want him? What is it with this man that you need?”

He glared at me. By this time, I did not hesitate to plunge half of the knife’s length, close to nicking his fragile heart.

“One more, and you’re going to die.”

“Okay, okay!” Maxmillian said, turning his eyes away. “I need Lincoln’s DNA. He… I believe that I could use it to make more werewolves.”

I kept quiet, urging him to continue.

“Do you know Ravenhead?”

I felt my entire being froze. What did a female legendary Fae warrior have to do with this story? Ravenhead was the first female to have ever joined the ranks of Crimson Cloaks—Fae’s group of elite warriors.

“She had a son.”

“The son was killed.”

Maximillian grinned. “Said who?”

“He’s dead.”

“No, he wasn’t FOUND.” Maximillian gestured to the walls filled with papers and strings to connect them all. “I’ve done years and years of research trying to find the descendants of that son. And there I have him.” He nodded towards Lincoln.

My hand on his collar tightened. “He’s Fae?”

Maximillian shook his head. “There’s a lot of things that you Faes don’t talk about. I guess it’s true that you are not the friendliest of races.”

I could tell that I was being led astray. I moved the knife an inch, and he groaned. “You still haven’t told me why you werewolves want him. Now that I know he’s somehow Fae for some kind of miracle, I feel more obliged to help him.”

“He’s not Fae,” Maximillian barked a short laugh. “I can’t believe that Faes keep secrets from one another when none of you can’t lie. I wonder how that was possible.”

I shook him. “Answer my damn questions.”

Maximillian sighed. “I thought it would be familiar to you. After all, hadn’t your kind hunted down every single werewolf until you obliterated their whole pack? Well, at least they think they did.”

“The Grave Walkers?” I asked, naming the pack from our old history. “That was centuries ago!”

“Well, living forever has its perks and drawbacks.”

“Tell me more!” I said, slamming his back against the seat.

“Ravenhead and Hargreaves had a child. It’s quite the love story, to be honest. The hunter, an elite Fae warrior, falls in love with her prey, the Alpha of werewolves. Enemies to lovers. All that forbidden romance…”

I gritted my teeth. “You mean to tell me I saved a descendant of my enemy?!”

“For a price,” he smiled.

I could no longer contain my anger. I pulled the knife out from his chest and threw the most brutal punch I ever landed against Maximillian’s face.

“Be thankful I didn’t use my Light. It would have decapitated you.”

Maximillian spat a tooth out, blood dripping from the corner of his lips. When he grinned, it was like he feasted on flesh and had a great time doing so. “I have him now—Lincoln. The only remaining descendant of The Grave Walkers, the only werewolf who can save our entire race.”

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