Note: First of all, a HAPPIER NEW YEAR to all of my readers! Second, Metallica’s new album, Hardwired… To Self-Destruct is definitely helping me to finish this story that was inspired by their songs in the first place. I feel like the universe is smiling on me and my Adommy muse again :) After this chapter only an Epilogue is coming in the following days.
Tommy opened his eyes in shock as he heard the gun drop and Terrance’s body slam against the floor behind him, clothes tearing as someone shifted. Swirling around on his heel he saw the room turned into a chaotic battle ground again, Zane already in wolf form fighting the also wolfed out Terrance.
Finally breaking free from her shackles, Ashley and Sutan was already on Julien, his men trying to protect him in vain as the wolves of the San Diego pack that just flooded the room were keeping them busy or were already gutting them.
As Tommy looked up, Adam was already standing next to him, his blue eyes glowing with fury as he picked up the smoking gun that Terrance had dropped the moment Zane collided with him, kicking him off his feet.
The next moment – once the other Alpha managed to pin the traitor against the floor, sharp teeth closing tightly on the wolf’s throat and ready to finish him off – Adam pressed the barrel between his once-friend’s eyes, ready to pull the trigger.
“No! Adam!” Tommy pressed against him, his fingers closing around Adam’s forearm. “You can’t!”
“Tommy! He wanted to kill you in cold blood!” his Mate growled, finger twitching on the trigger and bloodlust in his glowing eyes.
“I know. But this isn’t our way. He’s captured. As much as I’d love to let you do it, we’re gonna deal with this following pack laws. I’m fine. Adam!” Tommy tried to persuade him, but wasn’t sure he was going to succeed.
It took a good minute and a lot of self-control for Adam to take his finger off the trigger, but he finally did it. During that time the other culprit was captured too and the enemy fucking finally defeated.
“Tie him up tight. He CAN’T escape!” the Alpha ordered, his power sizzling in the air, making Terrance completely submit to him against his will.
It was the first time Tommy saw Adam use his full force on one of their pack members. It hurt not just Terrance, but to some degree the wolves standing near him too. Even Tommy’s knees nearly gave out and he wanted to bare his belly and throat for his Mate. But this time it had nothing to do with sex.
Julien, Terrance and their accomplices got locked up in secured cells in the vampire estate’s basement. Ashley contacted the Vampire Council to update them on the situation and ask permission for a trial. She got it so the next evening Julien and the other vampires who sided with him would be sentenced. While the Queen was dealing with her vampires, the packs stayed on the estate too to help tend the wounded and take care of the dead.
Zane updated the Mated pair about what went down earlier in the basement. It was Terrance’s trap to thin their numbers with that explosion and also eliminate Zane and Sutan, who’d have been the only one standing between Terrance and the Alpha position once he finished off Adam and Tommy. Zane’s head got hurt in said explosion, but otherwise most of them managed to duck in time thanks to their sharp instincts.
Adam and Tommy thanked Zane for his help and saving Tommy’s life with that bold move, although it was a risky one to make. But in the end it was successful and Tommy reminded Adam of that to stop him from huffing about what a close call it was. He was right, Terrance firing the gun in his surprise could have hit Tommy instead of the ceiling, but he luckily missed.
While all these things went down inside the building, outside and on the first level of the mansion the San Diego pack – and once the sun went down the vampires on their side – were dealing with the rest of the hunters. That was a vicious fight too right up to the point when a handful of the surviving hunters decided to turn on their vampire allies too and flee to avoid getting killed off by the dozens of wolves and enemy vamps.
“Those fucking cowards.” That was Eber after he briefed the other two Alphas about how they had ended up helping them out to disarm and capture the conspirators in the last moment.
“What do you want to do?” Tommy asked Adam once they locked the door of the guest room Ashley provided for them.
“Take a hot shower to wash off all the blood and dirt and this fucking day…” he sighed, looking and feeling tired as fuck. “Come here…” he reached out a hand for Tommy, who stepped to him and took it without any hesitation, letting Adam pull him in his arms. “But first I want to do this…” he leaned down and kissed his Mate gently and full of emotions.
Of course the Beta didn’t protest at all. He slid his arms around his Mate. Tightly. They had to process a lot of things and make important decisions regarding Terrance and his punishment, but now they needed a few hours for themselves too.
Feeling how Adam’s muscles started lightly shaking, Tommy gently broke the kiss and took his hand to lead him into the adjoining bathroom without saying anything. There they quietly undressed each other, stealing soft kisses every now and then.
The warm water felt like heaven to their exhausted muscles as they washed each other with slow, gentle motions. The water cleaned off the dried blood, sweat and dirt too, leaving only quickly healing battle cuts and bruises behind.
“I was so fucking scared for your life, Tommy,” Adam finally broke the silence as he slid a soapy hand down on his Mate’s spine, resting it on the small ass, blue eyes vulnerable and open to the core.
“I know, my love. I could feel it,” Tommy answered softly.
“You were ready to sacrifice yourself for me and the pack,” he whispered with amazement, gratefulness and love in his voice.
“Of course. I’d do that any time if it is to ensure the survival of the pack and their Alpha. You,” he smiled gently up at him, his slender hand sliding onto Adam’s cheek. “What did you expect? I’ve told you that I’d take this Beta and Mate thing seriously,” the blond chuckled lightly.
“I wouldn’t have survived for long after your death. I love you too deeply for that, Tommy,” Adam swallowed hard. “If you die, I die…”
“But we are both alive so now shut up and kiss me, you big lovesick Alpha, you,” he slid his hand onto Adam’s nape to pull him down and seal his statement with a kiss. It was more passionate – and maybe desperate – this time. His mouth opened up for Adam, letting his Mate’s tongue meet his half-way.
“I wanna make love to you now,” Adam breathed onto Tommy’s lips as he closed the tap.
“Yes, please,” the equally breathy reply came and then he let the freckled man carry him to the bed, not caring that their bodies were wet from the shower.
Tommy looked up at his naked man with love in his eyes and once Adam paused above him just waiting and looking at him, his Alpha power and the presence of his wolf slowly surrounding him, Tommy tilted his head back to offer his belly and throat in submission, relaxing against the bed.
Adam took a wobbly breath seeing and feeling Tommy offering his life and soul to him like that. “Beautiful. You’re so fucking perfect,” he whispered hoarsely, his wolf right there on the surface. Possessive, needy and in love like Adam. They were one after all.
Tommy moved his head a bit to be able to look at his man from under his thick eyelashes and smiled warmly and a bit challengingly at him. “Take me then. I know you badly want it,” he let his legs fall more open, not hiding a thing from his Mate.
Needless to say, it made Adam growl hungrily as he leaned down to feast first on the Beta’s willing mouth then the pale wet body too that was his. Only his.
In no time Tommy was arching his back, his needy moans and whines breaking the silence of the dark room as Adam was literally worshipping his shaking body as if it was the tastiest offering in the world. And for Adam it was.
As the Alpha finally slid into him, stretching and rubbing against all his pleasure spots, Tommy cried out with relief. He thought he’d never again have the chance to feel Adam like this, but now he was lying there under his freckled Mate who was taking what was his, putting his claim on Tommy again with his deep thrusts and possessive bites, licking away the blood to ease the stinging.
Tommy’s hands were roaming the broad back, narrow hips and firm butt, scratching Adam here and there as he was encouraging him to move faster and harder, needing more and more. Nothing seemed to be enough and he was whining for it. They both needed to be as close to each other as possible after nearly dying today. It was understandable, of course. And they used everything they could to express the deep love they had for each other.
Adam slid out of him only until he turned Tommy on his side and lied behind him, pushing a leg up. Moving in sync, the blond reached down to pull on his ass-cheek, opening himself up for the hard Alpha meat that slid back home in the next moment, making Tommy moan and buck back against it to make sure it was fully nestled in him. He could feel Adam’s growing knot at the base of his cock too and knew that soon it was going to be in him too. He couldn’t wait! It’s been too long since the last time he was knotted senseless by the Alpha.
Shivering he took hold of the already creased sheet in front of him and met Adam’s deep thrusts, the wet sounds they were making sending jolts of desire into his leaking and painfully hard cock. Adam was basically plastered against his backside, the heat their bodies were giving off forming thick sweat drops between them, but Tommy didn’t pay attention to that, because Adam started licking his Claim Bite on his nape, making the Beta beg for more.
“Please… Adam… Please!” he whined. He didn’t have to tell what he wanted, his Mate knew it well and fucking harder and faster up into him, kissing Tommy silly, he finally slid his knot inside too, making the smaller man cry out into Adam’s hot mouth.
His eyes rolled back into his head after they broke the kiss but Adam stayed there panting onto his wet mouth and watching him closely. Tommy reached back again, finding where their bodies were connected and he ran his fingertips along his wet rim, feeling and enjoying just how much Adam was stretching him to his limits. It coaxed a broken sound out of him, his heart beating like crazy, his whole being stirred up then all that he was surrendered to the possessive kiss and the deep grinding that followed.
He was pinned against the bed, Adam’s heavy body rendering him motionless and forcing him to take everything the Alpha was giving him. Tears sprang into his eyes and he opened them a bit to let them fall as his face was pressed against the bed, air becoming thin. Especially when Adam managed to sneak a clawed hand between them to jerk his cock to the frustratingly slow but mind-blowingly deep grinding, the knot deep in him swelling some more, making Tommy whine for mercy, but there was none given.
And then Adam sunk his teeth into his Mark to claim him again and everything exploded around Tommy.
All he could sense was Adam as close to him in every meaning as possible, making him come over and over for the next nearly half an hour until Adam finished filling his tummy and turning him into a wet whimpering and incoherent mess.
The best feeling ever.
Everyone was gathered in an auditorium-like room in the mansion. There were carved and richly decorated wooden chairs placed on the four wide stairs, facing the middle of the half-circle. In front of the only wall of the room the Queen’s throne was situated. Ashley was already sitting on it, surrounded by her remaining – and loyal – advisors who’d helped the packs to free her. The rest of her vamps were sitting on said chairs along with the wolves of the three packs.
Adam and Tommy took a seat opposite the Queen, Eber on Adam’s other side while Zane and Janice on Tommy’s left, the rest of their packs surrounding them.
“Bring them in!” Ashley’s strong and cold voice rang in the relative silence. After that only the shuffling of clothes could be heard as the gathered shifted and moved around in their seat. Otherwise everyone’s attention was glued to the side door through which Julien and the traitor vampires were led to the middle of the room, all wearing magical shackles that could keep them captive.
They all were still wearing their dirty and bloody clothes from the battle from the night before, because they didn’t deserve any comfort.
“We gathered here to right the wrong deeds that were done against this Coven and our guests, the LA, Oxnard and San Diego packs,” Ashley started and she was every bit of the Vampire Queen her status required from her. “The Vampire Council is watching us through a video connection too to bear witness of this trial and its outcome,” she waved a hand towards the laptop and projector through which a group of men and women could be seen, although their faces were mostly obscured by the shadows to keep their identity as hidden as possible.
“They were kind enough to allow me to conduct this trial and make whatever decision that I deem would justify our losses and the unspeakable high treason that was committed by these vampires in front of us.”
An agreeing murmur ran across the room then Ashley’s cold eyes were directed at Julien. “Julien, you stand here being accused of high treason against your Queen and Coven. You also played part in taking countless of innocent lives and conspiring with our nemesis, the hunters. Do you have anything to say in defense?”
“I did what was necessary to stop this comedy that you call ruling, my Queen… You’ll disgrace the vampire name more than I could ever with meddling with the hunters. I at least put the Coven’s interests in front of my own feelings. You are weak, unfit to rule. But I could’ve helped you if you took me as your King and gave me the power that I’d deserve after being your right hand for all these years. You are ungrateful and pathetic,” Julien spit on the ground, eyes glowing bright as he couldn’t hold his tongue any more.
Ashley just leaned back on her throne and raised a brow. “Are you talking in the name of your accomplices too?”
“Yes!” Julien grunted, the other vampires nodding or not reacting at all.
“Very well. As you all can see, they don’t show any regret for their actions. The Council is clear with every detail and evidence of what has been going on behind our backs for months now. Thus there’s no further need to explain the extent of the high treason that was committed here. The sentence for that is death by spike,” she said. “Any last words?” she looked over at the lined up vampires.
“We’re not the only ones who think like this. What went down here will get to others who’ll want to purge this city from you and your dogs, you’ll see. You’ll fail, bitch,” Julien spat speaking in the name of his followers too.
Ashley grimaced then waved to the guards. “Let their death stand as an example of what happens to those who betray my trust and means ill to this Coven and its allies. Proceed.”
The guards stepped in front of the convicted vampires and with precise movements staked them all at once.
It was over. For now.
As the vampires turned into dust, some particles dancing in the air, the wolves felt somewhat satisfied for bringing justice to those things that happened to their packs because of Julien and his vampires. But they still had to have their own trial for Terrance. That was going to be harder on all of them.
Maybe wolves and vampires weren’t that different after all. Or at least in their traditions regarding punishment. This time it was just the LA pack gathering behind the mated pair’s house, because Terrance’s fate was pack business. Later Adam would inform Zane and Eber about the outcome. But now he was just sitting inside the house in a room that had windows looking on the path where the pack members were walking up the hill to their sacred ritual circle.
Adam looked pale, lines of worry and sadness creasing his forehead up to the point that his heavy thoughts nearly gave him a headache. He still felt devastated about Terrance’s betrayal. And this was also a blow to his Alpha authority. He knew that he had to make a hard decision up on that hill. He couldn’t afford to let the shaken up pack see him weak. He had to be an Alpha for them more than ever after everything that had went down lately.
They finally knew who caused so much pain to them, but there were moments when Adam wished it never came to light. Losing such a pillar, friend and brother like Terrance hurt him deeply. He was truly a breath away from pulling the trigger after he’d threatened to kill Tommy in front of his eyes. Threatening the life of the Alpha’s mate like this was one of the biggest crimes in the werewolf world. The wolf law was also clear about betraying the pack to trick one’s self into a better position without a formal challenge. It was dirty tactics and depending on the seriousness of the crime, the sentence could be death too.
Adam didn’t know how to decide yet. What kind of punishment would Terrance deserve? One side of him said death would be the most fitting for what he’d done to Tommy and assisting in attacks like the bombing or the ambush that had killed innocent cubs too. But his other side…
The door quietly opened then closed. He didn’t have to look to know that it was Tommy. He let his Mate put a slender hand on his shoulder. Adam could practically feel the weight of the worried gaze on him, but he didn’t look away from the window.
“I had met Terrance on an audition when I was looking for dancers for my first smaller tour around the area. We had a good vibe going on between us right away and while working together we became friends quite quickly. He was a Delta then, looking for a pack. I invited him into mine. Everything happened because of that decision. I’m sorry,” Adam said quietly and felt Tommy’s hand tighten on his shoulder.
“You couldn’t have known back then. It’s not your fault, love. He made these decisions that led us here. If you want to blame someone then blame him. You did nothing wrong.”
“You’re wrong,” Adam looked up at his Mate with his raw emotions shining through his blue eyes. “I had to do some things wrong if his opinion of me had changed so drastically and he agreed to do these horrible things and even went as far as using some witch potion to hide his betrayal from the pack bond… No one suspected anything… I’m not sure I can trust my Alpha powers at the moment,” he admitted and an Alpha saying something like this, showing his weak side was a big thing, usually reserved only for their mates.
Tommy sighed and sat down on the edge of the bed next to Adam, sliding his hand into the bigger one, letting their fingers lace together. “Baby… please never doubt yourself as an Alpha. You are one of the best ones I’d ever met. If it wasn’t like that, I wouldn’t have agreed to join your pack and later become your Mate. You know how picky and suspicious I can be,” he chuckled softly, trying to lighten the mood a bit. “I love you. Our pack loves and respects you. One rotten apple doesn’t mean that the whole tree is rotten too. Also, people change with time. Sadly sometimes in the wrong way when they are influenced by the wrong desires and people. Terrance became power-hungry and found an accomplice in Julien. The vampire used that desire in him and twisted Terrance’s mind until he agreed to do all this. You couldn’t have stopped it or reason with him. He’d let himself lost in this hunger and fantasy too much for that,” he leaned and lightly rubbed his head against Adam’s shoulder, offering comfort and love to the shaken up Alpha. The two things Adam needed the most right then.
“Guess you must be right,” Adam finally sighed after a minute or two, some of the tension bleeding out of his back hearing and feeling the truth in Tommy’s words. “But… I still don’t know what I should choose as a punishment. I can’t look weak… still… what we’d witnessed during the vampires’ trial… I found it a bit barbaric, to be honest. Are we going to be like that too?” he asked Tommy not just as his Mate but as his first Beta too.
The blond rubbed his thumb against the back of Adam’s hand and thought for a moment. “I didn’t really agree with the quick way the Coven got rid off the traitors to wipe them out of existence as if these things never happened. I mean… they got what they deserved, but… it left ambivalent feelings in me,” he tilted his head to the side, thinking. “A part of me felt satisfied, another not so much. But we aren’t vampires. We have our own laws and ways to settle such a problem. I know how shocked you are about Terrance’s deeds, but I can also sense that you don’t want to kill him for his sins… If you don’t want to, then come up with an alternative that would satisfy the pack too. We’d lost precious members and everyone got hurt by these deeds, not just in the fights. But, Adam…” here Tommy cupped the side of the freckled face with his free hand to make the Alpha look at him “I’m sure you’ll consider my advice and decide the right way. Whatever that decision might be, I’m on your side. I love you,” he whispered at the end and pecked his Mate’s lips, who returned the kiss with a grateful sigh.
This is why Betas and especially Mates were so important in a pack.
“I’ll shun you from the pack,” Adam’s voice sounded clear and strong, his Alpha powers swirling around him like a second aura.
Terrance looked surprised by this verdict and most of the pack roared up displeased, but they were silenced by a wave of their Alpha’s hand. He was standing on his usual rock on the clearing, Tommy by his side, the accused chained and standing in the circle of the other wolves he once could call family.
“I know this comes as a surprise for a lot of you,” Adam turned his attention to the pack. “I feel like I have to give you an explanation about my decision that I’d made after interrogating Terrance and giving this a lot of thought. Yes, death would probably be a fitting punishment for everything this wolf had done against us, his family and friends…” he began then grimaced for a second before he regained control over his anger and hurt feelings. “Shunning him from the pack might seem like giving him mercy. That’s only partly true, because I hope that one day he’ll see how wrong he was. But I believe that for a wolf that thrives on being in a pack, a family, it’s a worse faith than death. Also, death would be too quick. Marked as a fallen wolf, an outcast, he’s going to be forced to reflect on his deeds and maybe atone to them. He’ll have to live with this for the rest of his life. Branded and homeless forever…” he looked down at the tense and angry wolf by their feet.
“My brother and Advisor of the Wolf Council, Neil was kind enough to notify the Council about my decision and they support it,” he looked to the left where Neil was standing with a serious expression on his face.
“That’s true. If we all accept, the Council will notify all the Alphas in North America about his deeds and prohibit them from taking him in,” the younger Lambert brother looked at the gathered wolves then sent a disgusted look at Terrance.
“You’d heard the reasoning behind my decision. What do you say now?” he looked every member of his pack in the eye while waiting for their reaction.
“We accept, Alpha!” several of them yelled, and an agreeing murmur followed.
“That settles it then,” he said, glad that they were done with this critical part. Jumping down from the rock with grace, Adam stopped in front of Terrance and waved Longineu and Tommy to his side while he let his Alpha powers hit the traitor with full force, not holding back its burning effect. “Kneel!”
Terrance moaned and had no other choice but to obey.
“Hold him down,” he nodded to the other two wolves and when they did, Adam grabbed the short hair to push Terrance’s head forward, exposing his nape. The Alpha let his claws grow on his right hand and started carving the symbol of The Shunned onto Terrance’s skin. It had the same purpose as the Broken Full Moon symbol for fallen Alphas. It was to signal disgrace and brand the wearer for life.
Needless to say, Terrance cried out and moaned from the burning pain the magical mark was channeling through his body from the mark while Adam started talking on a voice that was more wolf and Alpha than anything else.
“With this mark I shun you from the Los Angeles pack. You are to leave our and any ally’s territory and are not to ever return. If you do, you shall be hunted down and killed on the spot. You are no longer part of this pack, you have no family, protection or allies in these territories. You should wear the sign of your disgrace with shame for the rest of your life. I, as your Alpha deny you…”
“…we, as your pack deny you,” the wolves said the ancient words in unison.
“You, Terrance Spencer, from now on don’t belong to any of us. With my power over you, I break your bond to me and the pack. You shall cease from our pack bond forever. Go and never return. You are not welcomed here anymore,” the Alpha finished carving the mark and after his last word the Alpha magic seeped into the burning stigma that would leave a visible white scar in a few days once the skin healed enough.
Adam waited with a grim expression until he and the whole pack could feel their bond to Terrance breaking. Once it was done and he couldn’t sense the traitor in his mind anymore, he knew that the ritual was successful.
Turning around with his still swirling emotions, he barked at the Betas. “Take him out of my sight. I don’t want to see him ever again. Dump him somewhere outside of our territories.”
And with that he headed back to the house, no one daring to get into his way. They could all feel their Alpha’s pain. Except for Terrance, who didn’t exist for them anymore.