Chapter Three

"No," I say, violently shaking my head. "That's not possible."

Jace looks at us, treading carefully, thinking about his next words. "I don't know. We can't know for sure. But that's the widely known rumor."

Sure, I don't remember my father. But what Jace is saying, just can't be possible. For my father to kill a woman, a wolf, another Alpha's mate at that, he'd be worse than Thantos. 

"Yeah," Iselyn shakes her head. "You just told us that Thantos kills whoever he wants. That sounds like Thantos, not our father. Besides, if he had killed Thantos's mate wouldn't we all know about it? Wouldn't he have bragged about something like that?" 

"Not if he was ashamed," Jace shakes his head. 

Killing a woman is unthinkable. Killing a mate is even worse. But killing an Alpha's mate… That's the worst offense possible. Punishable by death. 

I suck in a sharp breath. "It makes sense." 

"What!?" Iselyn barks at me. "Don't tell me you believe this!" 

"I don't want to believe it. I don't want to envision dad like that either, but-"

"But what?" She snaps.

"But, he leaves perfectly healthy and when he comes back, all of a sudden he's sick and dying? And forces uncle Grayson to challenge him?" I ask, forcing her to connect the dots. "It would make more sense if he did do it." 

I can see her face drop as the gears in her head turn with the information. She puts her face in her hands, defeated. 

"Do you think Grayson and Balthazar know?" She asks, her voice muffled by her hands. 

"I don't see how they couldn't know," Jace says. "Like I said, it's pretty widely known." 

"Okay, but if Gray does know why would he risk our lives by sending us there?" I ask. "That doesn't make any sense." 

"Unless…" Jace stops. 

"Unless what?" she snaps at him, lifting her head, her blue eyes flashing amber. 

"Nothing," he shakes his head. 

"No! Go ahead, say it," she growls. "Go ahead! Say it! Say it! Grayson is sending us alone, without protection! Not because he needs the help here, but because he's offering us to Thantos! Right!? Say it! We're all thinking it!" 

Jace sighs. "It's possible that Alpha Grayson doesn't know Thantos's reputation for killing children." 

The fire in Iselyn's eyes continues to burn as she glares at him. "Screw you." 

"You're purebloods," Jace says. "Royalty in Thantos's eyes. It's also possible that he'd rather offer you some kind of deal than kill you and waste your blood." 

"Yeah," Ice scoffs.

"So it's really a fifty-fifty split." I say softly. "Between whether his love of blood trumps his loathing of our father." 

"It doesn't matter," he says sternly. "Either way, I'm coming with you."

"Good luck with that," she scoffs. 

"I'll give you a ride home and ask Grayson about it," he says. 

I shake my head. "There's been hella yelling at the Sinclaire house already tonight, that's probably not the best idea." 

"I can handle it," he says, flashing a sparkling grin. "I don't scare easy." 

"Obviously," Ice says. "If you're willing to go with us to Maine."

"Or suicidal." 

"Nah. Anything but," he says enthusiastically. "This is a real chance for me to get an in depth, personal look at the Crescent Shadow pack. It could be a really amazing learning experience."

"Or really gruesome death," she points out. 

"Either way," he shrugs. "I'm sure as hell not going to let you guys go alone. I'll leave the pack if I have to. But you guys will always have me to watch your backs, that's a promise." 

"We can't let you do that, Jace," I shake my head. 

"It's worth a shot," Iselyn says. I shoot her a glare and she shrugs. "What? It is."

“I’m not asking, Malia,” he says. “I’m not going to let you guys walk into his den without backup. So, you might as well get onboard. Princess, you’re onboard, aren’t you?” 

“Hell yeah,” Ice smiles. “Better you than Alazaer.”

I roll my eyes. “So much for being a princess. You know that means you’re supposed to give him orders, not the other way around, right?”

Iselyn lets out a small gasp and her eyes light up with mischief and excitement. “Ooooh.”

Fear and concern flash across Jace’s face. 

“Oh I could have some real fun with that,” she says, rubbing her hands together, with a smile. Then proceeds to let out a wicked cackling giggle. 

“Ice,” I groan. 

“What?” she asks innocently, batting her eyelashes at me. “I never said for me.”

I place a hand over my eyes, shaking my head to myself. “Oh yeah, a road trip with the two of you sounds just great.”

“I’ll behave," she purrs. "If he doesn’t."

“Alright, alright,” He says, checking the watch on his wrist, completely ignoring Iselyn’s impropriety. “It’s getting late. We’ll be lucky if our Alpha doesn’t rip my head off as soon as I pull up with you.”

“Yeah, well,” I tell him. “Your grand plan isn’t going to help your case much.”

“True,” he chuckles. “Looks like I might be going rogue.”

Ice and I laugh, but inside I’m dreading the outcome.

It’s funny because there is no real way for a wolf to go rogue. Sure, you can be a single wolf and just roam if that’s what you choose to do. But it’s not frowned upon, quite the opposite actually. You have the pack you were born (or made) into, the pack you choose to join, and the pack you marry into, if that’s the case.

Werewolves (men especially), are known to leave the pack between their teen and adult years. Mostly to roam and explore. In most packs it’s a rite of passage for men, in order to deeper connect and understand the wolf within. We just call it Lone-wolfing. 

There is only one way to really be labeled a rogue. Murder. If a wolf kills another wolf, that results in being banished from the pack. In that case, the Alpha must report it to every other Alpha in the country, to ensure that they don’t let the wolf into their pack, and avoid unknowingly risking their members. 

However, a wolf can freely leave or be banished for any other reason and be accepted into another pack easily enough. 

We follow him over to where his truck is parked. 

“What’s wrong with your truck?” I ask, wrinkling my nose at the strong gasoline odor. 

He chuckles. “Sorry. I have an extra tank in the bed.”

I groan from the nauseating smell and wait for Iselyn to get in before climbing in next to her. Jace hops in once we’re both inside and starts the truck, heading in the direction of our house. My stomach churning every second we’re in the car. 

When he pulls the truck up in front of the house, I sigh when I look at Iselyn, who is all smiles. As soon as Jace parks, Iselyn practically pushes me out of the door. I wrap the leather jacket tighter around me before heading to the front door, Iselyn at my side and Jace following a few feet behind us. 

Gray opens the door before I can. To my surprise, he’s grinning and ushers us inside. We follow him inside, and he gestures for us to sit down as Jace closes the door. They both stay standing as Iselyn and I sit down on the couch. 

“How was your run?” he asks. 

“Amazing!” She answers, getting comfortable and throwing her legs over mine. “It’s really nice tonight.”

“Where’d you go?” 

“Riverglen,” I answer. 

He nods and then sighs as Bo walks in. 

“I told you they were still awake,” Bo tells Gray, as he joins us. 

“So, I’m guessing from the timing of your run that you overheard our conversation,” Gray says.

“Conversation?” I scoff. 

“You mean did we hear you screaming at each other for half an hour?” Iselyn asks. 

“Yeah, pretty sure that would’ve woken us up if we hadn’t been already,” I say. 

“I’m sorry,” Gray says with a defeated look. 

“Sorry?” I ask. “Are you sorry that you’re sending us alone to die too?”

“Excuse me?” Gray snaps.

“What?” Bo asks. “Why would you say that?”

I shoot a glance at Jace, his eyes dark. ‘Don’t say anything. Not yet.’

 I take a breath. “Nothing.”

“Mal, we don’t have the resources or manpower to send anyone with you,” Gray says. 

“Oh, that’s such bullshit!” I bark. “And you know it!”


“Don’t try to defend him, Bo!” Iselyn snaps.

“I will accompany the girls,” Jace says calmly, dull but still audible under us screaming at each other. Everyone stops and looks at him.

“No,” Gray says. “I need you here.”

“It wasn’t a question,” Jace says. “I will accompany the girls.”

Grayson growls. “You would disobey your Alpha?”

“If it meant protecting the girls,” he replies with a nod. “Absolutely.”

“You would abandon your pack and your Alpha’s orders?” Gray snarls.

“I don’t see it that way,” Jace shakes his head. 

“How do you see it?” Bo asks. 

“As protecting the future of our pack. These girls are your legacy. They need protection. They definitely shouldn’t walk blindly into Crescent Shadow territory without protection, even if it is only me.”

“And if Abraxas turns on you?” Gray asks. 

“Then my death will give the girls time to run,” Jace says simply. 

Grayson tries to hide a smile with a sneer and narrowed eyes. “You would disobey your Alpha’s orders and risk your own death to accompany them?”


“Well,” he claps his hands together. “That’s all I need to hear. Your plane leaves in the morning.”

“Wait, what?” I ask. 

“That was easy,” Ice laughs. 

Bo glares at her. She tries to hide her smile and looks down. 

“I suggest you go and pack your things,” Gray tells Jace. “Be back at first light, I’ll brief you then.”

Jace nods and glances at us before leaving. Iselyn and I get up and head upstairs. Gray stops us. 

“Not you,” he says. 

We turn back to face him. 

“I would like to know what you were referring to,” he states, his voice hardened. “Why, you said I was sending you to die.”

“You know who he is,” I tell him. “You know what Abraxas has done, and you were willing to send us by ourselves. What else am I supposed to think?”

“I love you both,” Grayson says softly. “If I thought it was dangerous for you I wouldn’t even send you with an army. Abraxas won’t hurt you.”

“Even Jace said we’re your legacy,” Ice says. “You don’t think he’d hurt us to get to you?”

“No,” he shakes his head. “I don’t.”

I nod my head. “Okay.”

“Look,” he sighs. “Yes, it is risky, but I have no doubt that he won’t hurt you. If I did, I wouldn’t send you at all. Abraxas is all about blood. Your blood is pure in his eyes. He won’t want to risk losing what could be beneficial to him, no matter the circumstances. I need you to believe that. I need you to trust me.”

“Why?” She asks. “You clearly don’t trust us. You made this entire plan without even asking us if we’re willing to do it.”

“Aren’t you?” he asks, raising an eyebrow. “You were raised by Alpha’s. Born from Alpha’s. Why would I have any reason to believe that you wouldn’t do everything you could to help your pack? Your family.”

“Of course we are,” I answer. 

“It just would’ve been nice to be included in the original conversation and not as an afterthought,” Ice says. 

“You were awake, you heard everything,” he says. “You could’ve come in at any moment, but you didn’t.”

I sigh. “You’re right.”

“Mal,” Iselyn mutters. 

“He is,” I tell her, before turning back to Grayson. “We should have. Obviously we’ll do it. We want to do it. We just want to have all the information before we do. So, is there anything we should know?”

Grayson’s blue eyes bore into mine. 

“There is,” he nods.

Related chapters

Latest chapter Protection Status