We had found a few things in the documents from the Alpha Dean’s pack, such as Mr. Crux’s name linking to multiple brothels in the state. It looked like he was helping traffic rogues because sizeable sums of money had been sent to Alpha Dean’ s accounts when they suddenly stopped abruptly a few years ago and enormous debts started accumulating. Debts from Crux’s casino.
As we sifted through the boxes, we found other strange things that didn’t add up, which had me going down to the underground storage. Gannon and Dustin were pulling everything we had on Crux from the archives, and we set them on the huge wooden table in the storage room.
“While we are down here, pull all the staff records for me,” I tell them and they move back to the storage boxes and start bringing them over, dropping them at my feet.
I dig through the boxes looking for council records, anything really. “You two start on the staff files. Go as far back as 14 years when the Landeena’s were killed.”
“So before Azalea’s fourth birthday?” Dustin asks and I nod.
“There has to be a reason someone is targeting her and it has to be someone on the castle grounds. Check all the guards, under oath or not. Also, all the cleaners, gardeners, everyone that has
been on the payroll,” I tell them and they both start sifting through files.
We had only been sorting through stuff for a few hours when Gannon pulled Trey’s file again, and another file with his medical records confirming everything he had told us. We really needed to come up with some sort of electronic filing system. This was ridiculous.
It was a couple of hours later that I felt Azalea wake up. She told me she was going to play with the children, and I told her to take Trey with her.
“Did you know Ester had spent time in the Landeena Kingdom?” Gannon asked me abruptly, making me look up as I closed the
“What?” I asked, and he holds the file out to me.
“A year. Her parents reported her as a runaway, and she was located in the Landeena Kingdom and she was granted the right to stay by Garret,” Gannon tells me
“What year was this?”
“The year before Azalea was taken. Says she left a month before the attack after a fallout with Queen Tatiana,” Gannon says and I flick through the files. I read it thinking it was odd, because why would she go there and return a year later?
Yet we found nothing else and she started working here two years later. I knew her grandparents. They worked for my father,
but I hadn’t seen them in years.
So when her grandfather called me asking for a job for her, 1 gave her one. Her parents were very strict people apparently, and she spent most of her childhood being raised by her grandparents. I am pretty sure that was where she was living again. I tried to pick my brain about why she had an odd : . relationship with her parents, trying to remember what their falling out was for, but I didn’t really involve myself with her.
I felt the mind link open up moments later and Azalea called me through the link, only to cut it off like she had dropped it when Trey opens it up.
“My King, have you looked into Peter?” Trey asks and I open the link to her to try to get a hold of her.
“No. Why? And Azalea, b****y answer me!” | snarl as my eyes roam over another of Ester’s files, and I was only half-listening to what Azalea was saying when I remembered something and started flicking through the files. Trey mentioning Peter while going over Ester’s files made me remember something about her having a brother. I knew she had an estranged relationship with her parents since they had adopted Peter! Peter! My eyes widened in realization
“It’s Peter!” I growled when Azalea screamed through the link, and I raced to get to her. My heart hammering in my chest.
Dustin and Gannon were chasing after me and I skidded across the floors as I smashed out of the cellar, my shoulder smashing
against the doors, and into the kitchen’s pantry before I raced out of the kitchen. I lost my footing as I twisted to head for the stairs at the same time. I heard someone scream.
My heart felt like it stopped when I saw a figure shoved off the staircase and I registered that figure was Azalea. Her arms flailed about just as the entire banister railing came down after her. My feet tried to get friction on the floor just as Gannon and Dustin burst out of the kitchen doors. I raced to catch her when Liam jumped after her. Her body hit the stairs with a thud before I could reach her.
I froze and blinked in shock. I was too late. Trey tosses Peter into the wall and his body falls limply on the steps. All I could do was stare in shock as Liam turned his head, screaming for help, his hands pressed down on the knife in her side. Azalea chokes, blood spurting out her mouth and dribbling down her chin, ripping me from my shock when I see Gannon and Dustin trying to move but are both unable; I race to Liam’s side as her eyes roll in the back of her and I move to her. I grip her face.
“Azalea!” I choked as she passed out.
“Get a doctor!” | scream the order and Gannon and Dustin rush off.
“Stay with me. Stay with me, Love,” I tell her when I feel my knees warm, making me glance down to see her dress turning red. Blood pooling and running down the steps from between her legs.
“No. No, no, no. NO!” I panicked, sliding my arms under her before I take off running toward the doors. I clutch her to me and Liam races ahead, shoving doors open and screaming for the guards to open the gates.
Blood coated my arms from her head and from it gushing out between her legs, my clothes becoming drenched as I ran down the bitumen road shifting while running. My ears picked up the heart beating inside her starting to slow, but she was still much too early for any life to be born and viable.
My legs falter when I hear it stop, and her pulse weakens. Seeing the doctor’s surgery ahead, Lycans looked around shocked, as the doctor burst out his surgery doors with his gear before spotting us and his mouth fell open. The next second, he raced back toward the doors, forcing them open and screaming, at his nurses to get a gurney.
Moving through the old brick building, the nurses rush out and I place her down, and Doc sets his bag on it before rushing off with her and I go to follow when Liam’s hand grips my shoulder.
“You’ll just get in the way,” Liam says, but I could heal her. I was about to say that when Liam spoke, seeming to know what I was going to say.
“Some things can’t be healed, my King. Let Doc work,” Liam says and moments later, Damian burst through the surgery doors. He looks at me, his eyes then moving to Liam’s hand holding my shoulder.
“Come on, let’s wait outside. There is nothing you can do right now,” Damian says, and I shake my head.
“Come on. Come have a smoke,” Liam says, pushing me toward the doors, and am forced to take my eyes away from where Doc took her through the double doors to the day surgery area. Liam pushes me out the doors, nudging me and I reluctantly step outside, and he shoves his smoke packet in my hand, yet I don’t light one when he pulls two from the packet and lights them, keeping one for himself and passing me the other..
“Azalea will be okay,” Liam says, blowing smoke into the air. “She is tougher than she looks,” he says.
“The baby?” I ask him. Neither of them says anything. Even though I knew that if she was alright, the baby wasn’t going to be. Which made me wonder if Azalea would be alright after all.
The doctor confirmed that when he stepped out the doors twenty minutes later. He tugs his gloves off.
“Azalea?” | asked.
“Alive. She is still unconscious. I stitched her up. The bleeding stopped, but you could probably help that healing process,” Doc says, and I nod.
“Our baby?” I ask, grasping on to any form of hope.
“I’m sorry, My King. The fetus didn’t make it,” he tells me. Fetus. Thated the way he said it, but she wasn’t quite near her second trimester yet. My legs buckled under me, and I hit the ground
hard at his words. My heart sank and my stomach dropped at the information.
I failed her! Peter was a child and the last person I would have suspected. I failed her, and it cost us our baby and nearly her life! How do I tell her that?
“Azalea needs you, Kyson. Get up,” Damian says.
“We lost the baby,” I murmured. Trying to wrap my head around everything.
“I know, but if you don’t get up and get in there, you may lose her, too. Now up,” Damian says, gripping my arm and Liam
grabs the other; they haul me to my feet.
“One foot in front of the other. Come on, big fella. Your Queen needs you. Break later, not in front of her,” Liam says, pushing me towards the doors.