Home > Reaper Unleashed (Deadside Reapers #7)(13)

Reaper Unleashed (Deadside Reapers #7)(13)
Author: Debbie Cassidy

The air rushed out of my lungs, and my vision blurred

“Move!” Hunter shouted.

I rolled in time to avoid a fist to the chest and scrambled to my feet, putting space between us, but he wasn’t letting up. I was winded and he was coming for me.

Focus, Fee.

I dropped and jabbed him in the stomach. Fuck it was as hard as rock. I jabbed again, aimed for his crotch this time, but he blocked. Shit. I slipped under his arm, but I didn’t make it far before he had a grip on my hair. He hauled me to him. Crushing my back to his chest, he wrapped his tank arms around me and squeezed.

There was a sharp crack and then fire lanced through me. My scream lit up the room. Gunfire rained. Growls and snarls of rage drifted to my ears.

My ribs. He’d broken my—

Ulrich squeezed again

Another crack.

I screamed high-pitched and furious. Bastard. I bucked and threw back my head trying to connect with his face, needing to be free. I couldn’t breathe.

“You want to submit?” His breath was hot on my ear.

“Never.” My body was healing, knitting the bone.

He squeezed again and several cracks punctuated the air. My vision went black as unconsciousness tugged at me.

No. I had to fight, I had to—

He dropped me on my front and then his boot connected with my side. Nausea rolled through me and copper filled my mouth. I spat out the blood, trying to pull myself up as my bones knit.

“Submit,” Ulrich said.

“Fuck you.”

Another kick, this one so hard it lifted me off the ground and propelled me several feet across the ring.

For a moment I was paralysed by white hot pain. Blood rushed in my ears and my heartbeat pumped an erratic rhythm. The pain was a weighted blanket, pressing me into the earth, holding me there and tearing me asunder.

I was distantly aware of my mates calling my name. I needed to see them. I needed them. I lifted my head and the movement sent fire racing down my spine. There they were, grappling and fighting to get past a barrier of rogue Loup. Bullets pinged off the ground as a warning, but my guys were past caring. They wanted to get to me because this was it.

This was the end.

I wasn’t strong enough. Not alone.

Needles pricked my scalp as Ulrich fisted my hair and yanked my neck back. “Submit. You put up a good fight, but it’s over.”

He sounded almost sorry.

“Fuck you, Ulrich. You want the crown? You’ll have to kill me.” My words ended in a gurgle as blood bubbled up my throat.

I wasn’t healing fast enough.

I was dying.

“Such a shame,” Ulrich said. He grasped my head, and I knew what was coming.

I locked gazes with Grayson then Hunter. Sorry. I’m so fucking sorry.

Grayson’s eyes blazed silver and Hunters bloomed gold, and then the scent of the forest filled my nostrils. Heat infused my limbs, turning to healing fire.

Ulrich’s grip tightened as power surged through me. Hunters and Grayson’s power. It swelled and exploded outward expeling Ulrich away from me and tearing a bellow from me that was pure beast.

This was the power of the Tribus.

This was all of it channeled through me.

It raced through me, infusing my muscles and my Loup with energy and strength unlike I’d never experienced. I rose to my feet in one fluid motion and turned to face Ulrich.

He shook his head. “How? How are you doing this?”

“It’s called a fucking Tribus, you bastard.” I attacked.

Two jabs to his face. Blood on my hands. Claws sprouting and slashing through flesh. The red haze of the berserker took over, fueled by Grayson and Hunter. Their power, my skill. My Loup. My berserker.

Blood and screams and the satisfying tear of flesh followed. I attacked in a non-stop frenzy, over and over, not giving him a chance to recover or counter. He was big, but I was fast, and then he was on the ground.

The red tinge bathing my vision retreated as I looked down at his torn chest, skin pulsing as it tried to knit, then up at the pulp that was his face, bubbling with blood.

He held up his hands to ward me off, and then slowly, painfully, bared his throat in submission.

I wanted to kill him. I wanted him dead.

But if I was going to rule Rising, I had to be the bigger person.

I stepped away from him and his head fell back against the ground in relief.

The crowd was silent. Stunned. And then several Loup detached themselves from the crowd, coming forward to fall to their knees.

Rising pack.

My Regency pack pushed through the rogue barrier to join me in the circle.

I looked to Grayson. “Is it over?”

He reached for me but there was pop and then something slammed into my shoulder, throwing me back.

Fuck was that a bullet in me?

Hunter morphed and leapt for the stairs, but a bullet caught him in the leg, and he buckled.

“Nobody move!” A voice called out from the balcony above.

Grayson pulled me up. “Shit, Fee…”

But there was no pain, only fury as I raised my head to pin the shooter with a death glare.

The rogue Loup trained his gun at me. “Ulrich may be down, but us rogues still outnumber you. We didn’t work this hard to be side-lined, and you’re not getting rid of us that easily.”

“Fuck,” Bastian said.

I lifted my chin. “How many bullets you got? How many of us can you take down before we get to you, huh?”

I was bluffing, no way would I risk my Loups’ lives. They weren’t cannon fodder, but I got the response I was looking for as doubt crossed his face. Shame it was momentary.

His eyes narrowed. “That ain’t you. That’s an Ulrich move. You’re a do-gooder, just like your father.”

Shit. “You can’t just take a pack. There are protocols.”

“Yeah, you got to bring down the current alpha. And by my calculations that’s now you.” He aimed the gun at my head, and my blood ran cold. “Bye, bye bitch.”

Grayson shoved me, falling into my place. My scream was cut off by a flash of light. And then there was silence punctuated only by the chink of a bullet. What the hell? Uri materialized through the brightness, haloed by celestial power, he reached out his hand to me.

“Turns out I’m bullet proof,” he said.

“But they aren’t,” the Loup sneered. He aimed the gun at a random Loup. “Die you fuck—"

An arrow thunked into the rogue loup’s neck and he fell back. Taking his weapon with him.

There was moment of absolute silence and then more arrows whizzed through the air landing on their marks with simultaneous thunks.

What the fuck?

I scanned the room looking for our saviors. The crowd to my left, closest to the exit, parted, and the female Loup from the forest strode through, flanked by two of her pack and trailed by even more. They were all dressed in combat gear and carrying crossbows.

It was over.

With the female pack on our side, we finally outnumbered the remaining rogues and they knew it. They exchanged glances then made a break for it., barreling toward the exit at the back of the room.

“Fee?” Bastian looked to me for instruction.

“Let them go. There’s been enough bloodshed.” I grinned at the new arrivals. “You came.”

“Sorry we didn’t get here sooner.” She looked down at Ulrich’s unconscious body. “Looks like you claimed the alpha spot.”

“I did. Will you stay? I could use the help running the pack.”

Her brows show up. “Running it?”

“Yeah, running it. You in?”

She looked to the women flanking her and nodded. “No commitments. We see how it goes.”

I could live with that.

The air crackled and Cora appeared in the circle. Her gaze zeroed in on me and then slowly panned around the room.

She slapped her hands to her hips and shook her head. “I leave you alone for two days, babe. Two days!”

She looked horrified.

A giggle bubbled up my throat and exploded from my lips.

“You think this is funny?” she said. “Seriously?”

But the cork was out the bottle and the giggles wouldn’t stop coming, and the next thing I knew, I was guffawing like a crazy person. It was inappropriate and a totally non-alpha move, but the nerves and the fear, and the every-fucking-thing combined, needed an outlet, and this was it.

Fuck it. I was alpha. This was my party, and I’d laugh if I wanted to.

Chapter Fifteen

Eldrick was back in his penthouse suite which we’d cleaned up, removing any evidence of Ulrich and his cronies. Security measures were updated, and new pack roles assigned. I plonked my ass onto the sofa in the penthouse and groaned.

I was fucking shattered.

“I’ve found Harper and her pack rooms on the floor below,” Uri said. “They aren’t too comfortable with sharing a floor with the male Loup.”

Harper. So that was her name. “Understandable. Thanks, Uri.”

I needed to remember the distrust Harper and her Loup had of the males. This was going to be a huge adjustment, but if they stayed, if they integrated, then Rising and Regency could be free of the need for covens. The miasma produced from their presence would be enough to free us, but they had to make the decision to stay willingly, and to do that we needed to change the mentality of the Loup in Necro.

I had no doubt Rising would come around, the worst of them had been weeded out when they joined Ulrich. The best of them had died. Oh shit, I needed to find out who the dead Loup were.

We needed a memorial service. “The Loup Ulrich killed—"

“I found out the names,” Uri said. “We can have a memorial service for them.”

I looked up at him in surprise, and an idea formed in my mind. “I’m going to need a beta here. I know it’s not the same as being a Grigori, but will you do it?”

“I’m not a Loup.”

“I don’t care.” I looked to Grayson. “Does it even matter?”

Grayson frowned. “No one has ever appointed a non-Loup beta, but there’s no law against it that I’m aware of.”

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