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The Alpha’s Pack: Chapter 32

A sharp knock on my office door was the only warning we got before Finn came bursting in with Lachlan and Vic tight on his heels.

Luckily, he hadn’t waited a minute longer, or the position they’d caught Caleb and I in could have been a whole lot more embarrassing. Even as it was, I needed to re-button my blouse and wiggle my skirt back down before hopping off the desk.

“You have a TV in here?” Finn demanded, looking around and spotting the large flat-screen set into the bookshelf. “How do I…” He fumbled around with the controls to try and turn it on but was really just getting nowhere with it.

“Here,” Wes offered, picking up the remote from the little table beside it where he’d been sitting to, er, watch… things… “What channel do you want?”

“Doesn’t matter,” Lachlan replied in a grim voice. “It’s on all the channels.”

I raised my brows at this ominous statement and turned my attention to the TV as it flickered to life. It didn’t take long to see what he was talking about.

Chaos. Pure chaos.

“Reports are coming in from all across the globe that this is not an isolated situation,” the harried news reporter told the camera, and something exploded behind her as a furred creature flew past, its claws narrowly missing her hair. “From what we currently know, around one third of the world’s population has somehow… mutated, over the past three days. It is unclear whether this was a deliberate act, but speculation is leaning toward some sort of chemical warfare. President Stunich and her advisors are in discussions with the United Nations today to discuss military action and how best to handle the chaos.”

The report cut short then as the camera got knocked to the ground, and a woman screamed. We’d seen all we needed to see, though, so Wes flicked the TV off.

There was a long, tense silence in my office as I stared at the black screen and tried to process what I’d just seen.

“Well shit,” I breathed, dropping into one of the masculine leather chairs. “Do we think that shock wave… after Bridget…”

“Seems to have reversed the effects of Tasha’s magical plague,” Vic finished for me. “It certainly looks that way.”

“And everyone thinks this is some sort of terrorist attack?” I gaped up at the man who had fathered me. “How? Why?” Okay, I was a little at a loss for words, but little aftershocks of that info bomb were still going off in my head.

“It’s the most logical human reasoning to explain such inexplicable phenomena,” Wesley commented, tapping at his lower lip in thought. “I mean, prior to us knowing about magic, we would have thought the same thing had people started turning into animals or throwing fireballs or”—he indicated to the blank TV— “flying!”

“So, what do we do?” I turned my attention back to Vic and Lachlan, who I had sort of been leaning on for guidance in the days after our battle in Bolivia. Lachlan was crazy skilled, so much so that he could even teach Austin a thing or two with magic, and Vic, I could tell, was really trying to make an effort to get to know me now that Bridget’s geas was out of the way.

The two of them exchanged a look with Finn, who I was still having a hard time processing as one of my parents’ peers. I mean, he had been dating Lucy, for fuck’s sake.

“Why do you guys look a bit ill with what you’re going to say next?” I demanded, pushing up from my seat so that I didn’t have to look up at them.

As though through unspoken agreement, Vic was the one who answered me. “Kit, hon, we think that the best course of action is to get ahead of this before the world leaders start taking drastic measures with quarantines and whatnot. This is not a virus; we know what it is… and that there is no cure. The best thing right now is working together to find a safer future, isn’t it? For everyone.”

I blinked at him a few times. “Yeah, I agree with you on that. But are you saying that you’re somehow going to get a meeting with all the world leaders to discuss magic? How the hell are you going to manage that?”

Vic smiled at me, his scarred skin crinkling. “We’re not. You are.”

“Sometimes,” I murmured to Vali as I picked imaginary pieces of lint from my sharply tailored pant suit, “your skills in blackmail and bribery scare the crap out of me.”

He huffed a short laugh, grabbing my fussing hand and squeezing it. “Only sometimes, regina mea?

“Yes, then I remember you’re on my team and just marvel in awe. Still, getting us into a meeting with the United Nations is pretty damn badass, even for you.” I pursed my lips, then freaked out that I’d smeared lipstick on my teeth and started rubbing at them with my tongue.

“Take a deep breath, Kitten,” River murmured in my ear, stroking a sure hand down my spine. “These people are just people. They need you, not the other way around. Remember what we discussed.”

I nodded, letting Vali keep my hand for a bit longer so I didn’t pick holes in my serious business outfit. “I remember,” I assured them. “The second we get in there, scan the room for magical signatures.” We had all agreed that it would have been far too much of a coincidence if the entire United Nations had been unaffected by my magical EMP. It was far more likely they were just keeping it under wraps so as not to lose their footings of power.

Not that I blamed them. Those people would be the ones who would end up being my greatest allies in the long run.

“It’s a damn handy trick being able to do that,” Caleb commented, scratching at his viper ink in a way that told me Sam wanted to be let out. “Being able to see magic in humans, I mean.”

He was right; it was a handy trick. Especially now. I couldn’t quite pinpoint when it had developed for me, but I was grateful nonetheless. It also served as a reminder that my Ban Dia powers were nowhere near full maturity, so who knew what new skill I would gain next.

“Has there been any word on Nicholai?” I blurted out, totally off subject, but it was something that kept weighing on my mind. His absence in Bridget’s last stand had been curious, but to not show up after she was imprisoned? Worrying.

Austin shook his head. “No, but we have Bridget’s cell well-guarded. If he shows up, we’ll know about it.”

“We suspect he’s done the smart thing and run far and fast, though,” Wesley added with a reassuring smile. “I don’t blame him, either.”

I nodded, fighting the urge to nervously chew my lip. “How’s Grant?” I asked Wes, shoving aside the anxiety that thinking of Bridget brought up.

Wes smiled broadly at the mention of his little brother. “He’s doing great,” he assured me. “After this is all over, I’ll go and spend some time with him. Maybe see if he wants to train in Caora or come to Omega.”

His little brother had been paralyzed for years, but when we’d discovered the aftershocks of stripping Bridget’s magic, we had immediately reached out to his mom and brother. Grant’s back had been healed, just as surely as their neighbor had turned furry, but it became painfully clear that Wes had no recollection of even having a brother at all. Turns out the babdh had taken something pretty important from him after all.

He’d handled this revelation well though, and had been throwing himself into getting to know Grant again, speaking to him on the phone for hours every night.

“Good, that’s good.” I sucked in a deep breath and then let it out with a gust, letting this news help to calm me. “What about Elena?” I asked Cole and Vali. “Is she coping okay with the scales?”

Vali grimaced. “We sent her to stay with Bunica.”

My eyes widened at the mention of the cranky old woman. I opened my mouth to say more, but they knew I was stalling.

“You’ve got this, Vixen,” Cole encouraged me, using strong fingers to turn my face toward his. “We will be waiting right here.”

Call it stupidity or feminism or whatever you wanted, but I felt strongly about addressing the United Nations alone. They wouldn’t allow all seven of us to attend, so I had opted for none of the guys rather than just two.

Besides, this was the absolute last place I needed to show weakness. I would go in there with my head held high, knowing I had the love and support of these six men at my back. They didn’t need to stand guard over me like I was weak or needed protection. I was a strong, independent woman, dammit, and this group of world leaders was about to learn exactly what that meant in this new age of magic.

“Here goes nothing.” I sucked another deep breath, straightened my spine, and entered the room that held the fate of the world.


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