ook TWO – Ch.# 31 *CRACK*
…Another finger joint. The third now in under five minutes, him still refusing to answer mne.
Truthfully, I was a little surprised he was holding out for as long as he was. He was still determined to resist my questioning and refused to cooperate. Was this really the hill he wanted to die on? After everything he’d been working so hard on for at least a decade? “You know… I’ve been doing a lot of research lately,” I said. “Thanks to you, my health has become a point of focus for me and I’ve actually learnt a lot about our kind’s anatomy.”
And I grabbed another finger, pressing it tightly in a way that conveyed the threat. Just hard enough for a pathetic whimper to leave him.
“Like for example… did you know that our joints heal faster than all other injuries?” I asked. “Faster than cuts, gashes… faster than even bones breaking? It’s something to do with how our joints relate to our ability to shift. They naturally have to heal quicker in order to compensate for that.”
Another finger. “…But evidently that doesn’t mean it hurts any less,” I added.
“Please… stop…,” he cried.
Though it did him little good. He already knew what I wanted to know and could end this whenever he so desired.
“I did the math…,” I said, ignoring him. “I could hypothetically dislocate all of your fingers about five times within the next hour without any issues. That means I can repeat this process approximately every twelve minutes. The only question is… how long will it take before you finally answer me? Another round? Another four? …Ten?”
“Goddess… enough… I’m begging you.”
And I leaned in, right next to his ear.
“Then tell me where the docuinents are, Sterling,” I whispered. “Tell nie what they contain.”
Only his cries replied, screaming out from the pain. Something that merely annoyed me enough to then grab his next hand, ready to start again with a fresh set of digits.
But, finally, it seemed that was enough for him to speak. “Why do you care?!” he shouted back. “You’re angry at me but I wasn’t the one who dosed you. I was just the supplier, commission to make them. The man you’re trying to protect right now is the one you should be torturing,” I knew that. Of course, I did. To a certain degree, I should be pissed at my father.. and I was. But this went beyond simply protecting him now. This was my only chance to locate the documents and… and, well, after that I could choose what to do with them. An internal debate for myself another time. All that mattered right now was getting the information… and making Sterling pay. “I’m the one asking the questions,” I reminded, “You’re not in any position to be arguing right now.” …And I grabbed another of his joints firmly… readying to snap it at any second… giving him one last chance…. “Okay, okay!” he yelled. “Okay… I’ll tell you. Just… please. Please stop. I-I can’t take it anymore.” “Where are they?” I wasn’t keen on wasting any more time. Despite being several floors up from the dining hall, there was every possibility someone could hear should they wander this way. Not that they should have a reason to. It was meant to be a private level for the Alpha heir and all the attendants would be on duty serving the dinner guests.
“Where are they, Sterling?” I repeated again, himn taking too long to answer.
“I… I think they’re in Miles’ warehouse,” he said. “It’s located near the border between Lockdale and Ashwood.” Right… I already knew about that warehouse. My father had been the one to originally tell me about it. But if it was that simple, the documents would have been retrieved already. The first thing he would have done is send someone to look there.
“Where exactly in the warehouse?” I asked. “In a safe? A hidden compartment?”
Il seemed he thought that simply mentioning the warehouse would be enough to Satisfy my question, liis eyes becoming more stressed as I pressed for details.
“I… I’m not sure. All I know is that it’s in the warehouse,” he said. “Please… let me go now. I told you all I know.”
Did he think I was stupid? This wasn’t amateur hour, I’d had plenty of experience in situations like this. I’d been taught to be an expert in getting answers, no matter how I went about it. If he actually thought that I would believe him so easily, then he really was naïve.
And so I snapped another finger… making sure to get my point across. “Tell me where exactly in the warehouse they are,” I repeated. “I’m losing patience.”
Instantly, he cried out again, squirming under me enough that I had to press my knee harder into his back. A reminder that he was still overpowered. “I don’t… I don’t know,” he whimpered pathetically.
And I grabbed another finger. “One…,” I simply replied, holding it firmly. His denials sped up in speed, becoming more frantic. “…Two…,” I continued, bending it backwards slowly. He was almost screaming now, shouting that he didn’t know as if it was somehow going to save him. Which, of course, it wouldn’t. Oh, well. He did it to himself.
But before I could finish, he then cut me off. “A FLOORBOARD!” he yelled. “A floorboard in his office, under a rug! He always kept all of his important things in there, but… 1-I don’t know anything else. I swear.”
I sighed in exhaustion.
“Now was that so hard?” I asked, leaning back a little. “Funny how your memory seems to work better when subjected to pain. So, I wonder then… if that’s the case, have you finally had enough? Or do I need to keep going until you remember what’s inside the documents too?” “I don’t .,”
” Do you really want to finish that sentence?” I warned. “Because if you knew
about some deal Miles was coming to you with, then you would definitely know what the documents contained. Please don’t insult my intelligence by telling me you don’t know. I feel like we’re past that point now.”
He only huffed and cried in response, a sight that was truly pitiful to watch. And yet he wanted to be an Alpha? I was only just beginning to learn what that was and even I could tell he was far from fit for the job.
It was something that made me almost thankful for the upbringing I had, for the skills and strength I possessed. Because I knew that is some poor, inexperienced girl had been in this situation, facing the insanity of this sick perverted man, then this situation might have played out very, very differently. An outcome that made me shudder to think about. “Sterling,” I prompted. He still hadn’t replied, “I swear… if you don’t tell me right now, I’l….” “Wait… wait…,” he begged. “I-l only know what Miles told me. Just that it.”
A voice then spoke from behind me.
I instantly recognised it. “…Kieran,” I gasped, turning to look at him. “What are you… what are you doing? Is that… Sterling?” he asked, confused by what he was seeing in front of him. How I had his uncle pinned to the ground, crying uncontrollably. “It was Sterling all along,” I quickly said. He was the one selling the suppressors. He tried to atta-.” But, somehow in the time I’d been distracted, Sterling had gotten his hands on one of my spare shoes that I’d left by the bedside table. And before I could finish explaining to Kieran what was happening, he then swiftly embedded the heel of the stiletto into my thigh. “Rae!” Kieran yelled, watching as Sterling then pushed me to the side,
| screarned out in pain as I pulled the shoe out, but it was too late to pin Sterling back down. He’d already gotten back onto his feet, moving towards me as if he were going to serve a kick straight into my gut.
However, Kieran then moved in quickly to intercept. “Don’ı louch her,” he growled, pushing Sterling away. “That bitch bas it coming,” he spat. “Do you have any idea what she did to me?
What she is truly like? I bet that image of a beautiful, sweet girl will be shattered once I tell you what she’s capable of.” “He planned to kidnap me,” I said, cutting in before Sterling could say anything else. “He followed me upstairs and told me he was going to mark me. Force me into becoming a Luna for some new pack he was going to start. He tried to claim me as a chosen mate.”
“Lies!” Sterling yelled.
“How else would I know what marking is? What a chosen mate is?” I asked. “You never told me about that, Kieran. Think about it.” But Kieran’s eyes had already darkened in a threatening way, my explanation alone already being enough for him to turn on his uncle. “…You tried to do what?” he demanded. And Sterling’s face paled. “Nothing,” he said. “She’s lying. She–.”
*Tell me the truth. Right now.” Kieran ordered.
But there was something in the way he spoke. It wasn’t like anything else I’d experienced. He wasn’t simply asking the question, more so there was an almost … tangible force behind his words, one that even I could feel. A weight that compelled without room for argument. All directed at Sterling.
“I…,” he started, squirming under the pressure. “I… goddammit….”
He was fighting it. Whatever it was, it looked as though he was physically struggling against the order, refusing to answer Kieran. “I… J… renounce my loyalty to the Ashwood pack, its Alpha, Victor Lycroft, and the heir, Kieran Lycroft,” he finally spat out. “From this day forth, I no longer serve you.”
And, just like that, it seemed he freed himself from whatever Kieran had done.
“This is the road you’re choosing?” Kieran asked, “After everything we have done for you?” “You have done nothing but look down at me, pup.” Sterling spat. “And had your whore not been a freak, I would have relished every second I spent looking down al *her” as she writhed under me in pleasure.”
…That did it.
That was enough.
And as Kieran moved towards Sterling, intending to begin a fight… he hadn’t quite been quick enough.
Because in the second after Sterling had spoken, I immediately retrieved my dagger and moved towards him. Going so fast that he didn’t even see me.
No, he didn’t see me… nor did he see my dagger as it swiftly sliced through his throat.
A last, lethal blow that there would be no coming back from.
… It was done.
I breathed heavily as I pulled the knife back out slowly, shaking with rage as I did so. Because unlike Sterling’s reasoning for why he had poisoned me, this had in fact been personal. Personal *for me*.
And I had wanted him dead. Unable to hurt anyone ever again. Not me, not Kieran … not any other poor soul he might come across one day.
I wanted him gone. Gone for good.
The dagger fell from my fingers, loudly hitting the ground, and the noise was then enough to break me from my trance.
It crashed me back into reality… and I started to cry.
Sobs shaking through my chest as I realised Kieran had seen what I’d done, how I’d just killed his uncle. How… no matter how hard I tried to be different, I would always have this side inside me. But instead of being upset or angry, instead, I then felt as Kieran walked up… and wrapped his arms around me.
He stroked my hair soothingly, allowing me to cry into his chest. I hadn’t realised I’d needed it so badly but I clutched onto him as if I were clinging on for life. Holding on like he would suddenly disappear the moment I let go.
“I’ve got you,” he said quietly. “You’re safe now.” And I only cried louder.
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