"Well, well, well. Little David."
My father stood from the throne and observed me for a while. I was trying to get over the shock of seeing him here like this. His eyes had turned black just like the rest of the wolves. I realized this was the reason the handwriting looked familiar on the threat letter. He was bigger but not from muscles. I could tell he was relishing in his position as the alpha. But how did he get here? How was he alive?
"You look great," he said mockingly and I tightened my hold on the bag.
"What are you doing here? They told me you died."
He chuckled, picking at his teeth. "Oh, yes, I'm sure they think that. Follow me," he added. "It's a thrilling tale so we should sit." I followed him into a little dining area and he offered me a glass of wine I didn't accept. He shrugged and pointed at another chair. "Sit, boy."
"I don't take orders from you anymore," I snapped.
His eyes flashed red but he ignored my defiance. "Fine; stand if you want," he said but got comfortable in a seat at the head of the table. He took a long drink of wine and ate a few grapes. "So, when we last saw each other, that whore at the palace wanted you to stay. It was finally an excuse to get away from you and your pathetic mother's memory. I was about to leave when I remembered that I had a few... admirers in the village that were keeping an eye on me after they realized what I was doing to you. I staged a fire and took care of one of them."
"You murdered a man in cold blood!" I shouted.
"Do not interrupt me, boy," he spat. "I decided to travel north when I was ambushed by a few of these lovely werewolves. They took a liking to me, though, and brought me back here." He grinned devilishly. "It didn't take me long to get close to the alpha and take care of him, too." He sighed and stretched. "I do so love being in charge."
"Why do you want the Sword?"
"You're not that stupid."
"So it can kill you." He didn't answer, just picked up a leg of lamb. "Well, here it is. Now I expect you to hold up your end of the bargain."
I threw the replica on the table.
"Are you really in such a rush to leave?" my father asked, an eyebrow raised.
"I don't want to have to look at you a second longer," I snapped, clenching my fist.
His eyes trailed to the bag I still held in my hand. "What's in there?" I didn't answer. "What's in there, boy?"
I rolled my eyes. "Just because you don't have to work for your food it doesn't mean I don't." I pulled out a hunk of bread. "Happy now?"
His eyes lingered on me. "Stay for a night. You look tired."
"Thanks but no thanks," I said and turned to leave. He snapped his fingers, though, and the door to the dining room slammed shut. I clenched my jaw and turned slowly. "Let me out."
"No, I don't think I will," he said idly and stood. "At least, not until I have a look at this sword."
He walked over to it and I hoped that he wouldn't know the difference. Then an idea occurred to me. I glanced at the door. It was heavy and thick. While my father pushed a few chairs out of the way, I quietly dug in my bag until my hand closed over the hilt. He took the fake out of the sheath and sighed heavily.
"Son, you must not know much about wolves," he said coldly and I gulped. "I can hear every single thing you're doing. Now, you can give me the real sword and walk out alive, or you can die." He turned to face me, his eyes red. By now, I had the sword unsheathed and pointing at him. Its blue glow illuminated my face and body. "Death it is, then," he said solemnly and, the next thing I knew, he was on me.
His claws ripped into my left arm and I yelled out in pain. I pushed him off of me and brought the sword swinging through the air. At the last minute, though, I changed my aim from his neck to his arm. To my shock, and his apparently, his arm came clean off like butter. He let out a yell of rage and leapt for me. I dodged and pressed the sword to the base of his throat.
He chuckled, looking at his bleeding stump. "Go on, boy," he panted. "Kill me. I know you've wanted to for many years."
I tightened my grip on the sword. Now is the perfect time. One push and it will cut through him and this will be over. Years of torture flashed in my mind. Memories of him slapping me, kicking me, beating me with his belt, threatening to kill me in my sleep....
Do it now, I told myself.
But I couldn't do it. Despite it all, this man was my flesh and blood. My arm was stinging from his slash but it was nothing compared to what he'd done to me in the past.
"I knew you didn't have it in you," he snorted. "I guess I'll just have to destroy your friends. Maybe I'll make your pretty little girlfriend my wife," he added, grinning wickedly.
I pressed the blade to his throat again, a snarl escaping my lips. "Don't you ever talk about Angel again."
"Why?" he taunted. "Aw, are you in love with her?" He sneered at me. "Don't worry, boy. She'll find out what it's like to have both men from our family deep inside her," he added, licking his lips.
"Shut up!" I roared. "Don't talk about her like that!"
He laughed. "I see; you still haven't bedded her." He smirked. "What's wrong? Afraid you don't have it in you? You probably don't. Oh, I'll make sure she gets plenty." Rage was pulsing through my veins and he was enjoying every second of it. "It's always fun to have the first go. After all, your dear mother was untouched before I got to her." He laughed. "Oh, she fought me so hard. I'm sure Angel will do the same."
He licked his lips again and rage overtook me. I was seeing red and, before I could stop myself, I swung the blade. Suddenly, my father's head was on the floor, the smirk still on his face.
I dropped the sword, horrified at what I had just done. I took a few steps back and fell to my knees. Blood was pooling as my father's body fell. Someone knocked on the door and I scrambled to my feet, snatching the sword.
"Sir, is everything okay?" Alec asked through the door. "I heard a noise." I looked around wildly only to realize the only way out was forward. "I'm coming in."
He tried to open the door but my father's body was in the way. Alec paused then pushed it with all his might. While Alec took in the scene, I made a mad dash for the pathway that would lead me back home. Alec started yelling and the door slammed in front of me. I spun on the spot to see eleven werewolves snarling at me.
I held the sword in front of me, shaking a little, and trying not to think of how fucked I was.
"You killed our alpha," Alec hissed.
"No. I killed my father," I snapped back.
Alec looked at the sword in my hand and hissed, backing away, as the other ten did the same. They were afraid of the Sword....
"What's the matter?" I taunted, opening the door behind me. "Afraid of a little piece of metal?"
"Do you know what you hold?" Alec demanded.
I was almost in the pathway now and I knew I was screwed if they decided to chase me. The most I could do was keep them talking until I got outside and then the Black Hand could help. But if this sword was the only thing that could kill them....
"Of course I do," I said. "What, do you think I'm stupid?"
He sneered at me. We were in the pathway and I couldn't see a thing except for their eyes glinting as they slowly advanced. The blue glow only went so far. I felt with my feet carefully before each step backward.
"Well, you did come in here on your own and killed an alpha wolf while surrounded by 100 werewolves," he said. "So yes. Yes, I do think you're rather stupid."
"At least I'm not afraid of a silly little sword."
I had reached the stairs and I put my hand on the wall to steady myself. One misplaced foot....
"Where will you go that we can't find you?" Alec whispered dangerously. "You reek of your father and we know you're from that traitor's kingdom."
I didn't have an answer and he smirked.
"Just hand over the Sword and we'll let you live," he said. We were in the hut now and I stepped outside. I heard two hundred feet run around us until we were encased in a circle. "You can go back to your pretty little life and never worry about us again."
"That's a load of shit and we both know it," I snapped and he tilted his head to the side. I was thinking quickly, trying to think of a way out of this situation. Then it came to me. "I'll make a different deal with you."
He narrowed his eyes. "What kind of deal?"
"You're the beta, yes?" I asked and he nodded. I gulped. My arm was still bleeding but I hardly felt the pain as I faced what could certainly be my death. "We'll have a duel: You as a wolf against the Sword. If I win, you'll die and your lovely little pack will have no choice but to retreat. If you win, I'll be dead and you'll have the Sword."
Alec seemed to think it over. He looked around at his fellow werewolves. Some were telling him not to but others insisted that I would be an easy kill. I waited with bated breath.
Alec cracked his knuckles. "Very well," he said coldly. "I accept the terms. Let those around us and your silly little assassins be the witnesses." My face betrayed my surprise and he snorted. "They're not as good as they think they are." He cracked his neck. "Come, let's get this over with."