Lord of the Wolves Chapter Seventeen

January 6th, 2018  |  Published in Haventon Chronicles  |  1 Comment

Start | LoTW Chapter Sixteen| Index | LoTW Chapter Eighteen

A/N: If you missed my New Year Post about my returning schedule check it out.

Abigail didn’t seem anything like a potential renegade spy to David. Then again he wasn’t sure how an evil werewolf pretending to be a good one would seem. But as she slid into the seat opposite him at the table he was certain that this calm, collected young woman with an easy smile and laughter in her eyes wasn’t it. She had to know how little his family trusted her and that they would kill her if she put a foot wrong, but he had no sense of fear from her. Instead she seemed vastly amused by her situation.

“Well that was an interesting journey.” She gave Meredith a sly look. “I’ve never been in a vehicle driven by someone who so clearly wanted to kill me before. I think someone’s been slandering me.”

The look Meredith gave her in return was pure venom. Sarah leaned across and murmured something to her. Meredith glared at her for a moment before nodding.

Sarah looked around at everyone else. “So I think we should catch everyone up on what we’ve learned.”

The others agreed and Leisa began telling them what Caleb had told them and what they had surmised from it. It just happens David was looking right at Abigail when Sabren’s name was mentioned, so he saw the deeply speculative expression that crossed her face momentarily before vanishing as quickly as it came.

“Sabren?” Philip said. “Yes, that’s distinctly possible. She’s supposed to be Maelin’s half-sister and his most implacable enemy. The old stories say she’s utterly ruthless about stopping him which makes her a dangerous ally.”

Leisa snorted. “She’s dangerous all right, but I wouldn’t call her a dangerous ally. She’s a rather cold and ruthless for my taste but she doesn’t betray people to achieve her aims. I’ve only crossed paths with her a couple of times but she seemed driven more than anything and we got on tolerably well. She doesn’t actually talk to anyone except Moira much.”

“Hmm,” he said. “Abigail, do the renegades have any tales about Sabren?”

Abigail looked down and gave a half smile. “Of course they do. I’ve heard her called the blood traitor for betraying her brother. Then again, I’ve also heard it said that you don’t call her that to Maelin’s face if you want to live. But if you mean useful tales I know only this – it’s said no one hates the Summer Warrior more than the Lord of the Wolves. That may be true but it’s also said that his half-sister hates her just as much and spends at least as much of her effort on combating her as she does on him.”

“What do you mean?” Philip asked.

“Well isn’t it instructive that before she gutted the hunter boy she said that someone female was in his head.” Abigail gave a slight smirk in Meredith’s direction. “I think you should consider the possibility that she meant Gwen was controlling him. It could be that the Summer Witch has got her claws into the Order and has had for quite some time.”

Liam sucked his breath in sharply. “It’s not impossible. In fact it would explain a lot. Gwen is known to hate werewolves and she’s none too fond of vampires either.”

“Not to mention the fact that back then we constituted a major threat to her power given the ties we’d forged with the Rebel Court,” Michael said thoughtfully. “It would explain a lot about what happened if Gwen was behind it. A lot but not everything. And it also doesn’t explain…” He trailed off and glanced at the stairs. “Laurel isn’t connected to the Order in any way.”

“No,” Abigail said. “I have no insights to share about what her interest in your child might be, I’m afraid.”

“Have none or just won’t share them?” Michael asked sharply.

Abigail just gave him an infuriatingly calm smile and didn’t reply.

“I’ll take that as a just won’t share them,” he said in an irritated tone. “You’re not doing much to convince me that you aren’t a spy.”

She tilted her head at that. “Why would I waste my effort like that? There’s nothing that I could do that would convince you. I have better things to do.”

Michael gave her a long, thoughtful look. “Well you could answer one question – why are you still alive? Renegades don’t ignore turncoats and Sal says that no one has even tried to kill you?”

Abigail just shrugged. “And if I was a spy you’d think there would have been at least a couple of close calls to build my credibility, wouldn’t you?” She sighed and shook her head. “I really don’t know why no one has tried to kill me. I wonder about it myself. Maybe Maelin likes me. It wouldn’t be the first time he’s declared someone off limits when they ought to have a giant target on their back because he took a shine to them.”

“Really?” Michael gave her a questioning look.

“I think so anyway,” she said. “My parents used to bitch like crazy about the fact they weren’t allowed to kill some people they wanted to. No one else could have stopped them.”

“You’ve mentioned that before,” Philip said. “But why.”

“She’s full of shit,” Sarah said. “There’s no way would he do that. She still tries to claim it wasn’t renegades who killed Martin.”

“It wasn’t,” she said. “Even if that crazy hunter hadn’t been the killer that wasn’t a renegade ritual.”

“Of course it was,” Sarah snarled. “It’s not like there’s a third group of werewolves out there. We’d know if there were.”

“I know that.” Abigail looked away. “I know it sounds stupid but I’m certain it wasn’t renegades.” She looked over at Anna and chewed on her lip. “I wouldn’t push this, I know you don’t believe me, but please be cautious. Next full moon is an eclipse.”

“You think the fact it was a lunar eclipse when that happened was significant?” Meredith asked. While she was still glaring at Abigail curiosity had softened thee murderousness of her gaze somewhat. “How?”

“I…” Abigail hesitated. “I’m not sure. They were attempting some sort of magic, I think.”

“Eclipses are magically significant,” Liam said. “So it’s possible.”

“They are.” Michael frowned. “But mostly for human magic. At least I can’t think of any other magic that uses eclipses off the top of my head.”

“You don’t have to be human to use human magic,” Liam said. “Anyone can use it.”

“True enough, but renegades wouldn’t use it. They consider human magic beneath them.” Michael said. “Just like anything human. Which makes the whole thing even odder. It’s probably not a bad idea to look into it once we have time.”

“And we should bear in mind that there is an eclipse coming up and be on our guard,” Philip said. “But protecting David and Laurel has to be our priority. We know for certain they are in danger.”

“No argument from me.” Abigail nodded and looked like she was about to say something else when someone knocked frantically on the front door.

“Well that doesn’t sound good.” Michael went to answer it.

He returned several minutes later with a female vampire who David remembered from the party that seemed an age ago now even though it was only a few days. Helen he thought her name was, though she looked different without peacock feathers clashing with her hair. Both of she and Michael looked a little tense.

“It seems that we were right about Sabren being the culprit,” Michael said. “Helen just encountered her in town.”

“Encountered may be the wrong word,” Helen said. “It was more like she accosted me. She knew my name and wanted me to deliver a letter to you.”

“Well hand it over then.” Michael held out his hand.

“Did she threaten you?” Leisa asked.

Helen shook her head as she passed the letter to Michael. “Quite the opposite. She went out of her way to reassure me that I was safe from her. She was very formal about it.”

“Yes,” Leisa said. “She always is.” She looked over at Michael. “So what does she say?”

“She wants to speak with us.” He passed the letter to her and she perused it with a growing frown as he continued. “She says that she’ll explain if we meet her at Morna’s bar. She’s waiting for us there.”

“Yes, meeting on neutral territory makes sense,” Leisa said. “But that likely means that she’s been watching us. I mean it’s a bit coincidental that she sent this to us just as we realised who she was.”

Michael snorted. “More than a bit.”

“Does she say anything else?” Philip asked.

Michael nodded. “She says that we should ask Laurel about the night it happened before we go to meet with her. Apparently Sabren has released the block on her memory so she be able to tell us what happened now.”

“Ah!” Philip said. “Let’s go and talk to her then.”

“We’ve found out who did this to you,” Michael said as soon as they entered Laurel’s room. “She’s asked for a meeting. She also says that your memory of what happened to you should be returning.”

It is, she said. Things have been coming back to me slowly since I woke up this evening. Someone attacked me and she stopped them.

“Yes, you said that much before,” Michael said. “What else has come to you?”

I was at the park when it happened. I’d jumped the fence because I wanted some quiet. I was admiring the moonlight reflecting off the river when this guy came out of nowhere. I’d never seen him before but he knew who I was and he seemed shocked to see me. I remember he said something about Kevin being incompetent, and then he had claws out and was rushing at me.

“He definitely sounds like a werewolf,” Michael said. “Concentrate on what he looked like and I’ll broadcast it to everyone. Let’s see if anyone knows who he is.”

The image Laurel gave them was of a short, think man with shaggy pale hair and no dress sense. He was almost pallid enough to be a hungry vampire but David rather thought that that was because he rarely went out in the day rather than any lack of blood. He didn’t seem to have a werewolf’s eyes but that was probably because this was Laurel’s memory and she couldn’t see them.

“Well at least it wasn’t Maelin himself,” Michael said with evident relief. “I was half afraid it would be. Do any of you know who he is?”

“Yes, unfortunately,” Philip said quietly. “He may not be Maelin but it’s almost as bad. He’s the mate of the local renegade pack leader. They’re a pretty nasty pair – we’ve been trying to track their lair for years but they are tricky.” He shook his head. “You really should go and speak with Sabren. We need to find out what’s going on.”

Leisa nodded. “I’m definitely going. Sabren’s not usually unreasonable – I’m sure she’ll explain and that I can persuade her to stop killing hunters and to release Laurel. I can’t speak for Michael.”

“Of course I’m coming,” he said. “And I hope that you’re right that she’s reasonable.”

“I’m coming too!” Meredith said. “Reasonable or not I have some choice words for her about her methods.”

Michael looked like he might argue but there was a set to her jaw that made it clear she wouldn’t budge so he just sighed and shook his head. “Very well. Try not to antagonise her too much.”

“What about taking a truce gift?” Leisa said. “The circumstances make this meeting potentially fraught.”

“That’s not a bad idea,” he said. “We should let her know that we come in peace. Two bottles of blood wine maybe?”

“Perfect!” she said. “Sustenance is always a good choice for a truce gift. Grab it and then we’ll go.”

A/N: If you missed my New Year Post about my returning schedule check it out.

Start | LoTW Chapter Sixteen| Index | LoTW Chapter Eighteen

One Response to “Lord of the Wolves Chapter Seventeen”

  1. MB says:

    Nice to see the story going toward its term.
    I just had to reread everything from the start, since I did not remember who was who and what.
    It has the nice side effect of pushing to make hypothesis on the future revelation, which I would not attempt when reading at the slower publication rate.
    Thank you for sharing your stories.

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