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The Alpha’s Pack: Chapter 33

Epilogue

The unusual painting held me captive, unable to tear my eyes away from the incredible detail that had gone into the image of a sheep protecting her dying lamb while flocks of ravens waited to pick apart the carcass. It sent a shiver through me, and I pondered on the mindset of the artist who’d created such a chilling piece.

“Sixteen minutes and fourteen seconds until security systems are back online. Quit gawking at the pretty paintings and hurry the fuck up, girl.” Lucy’s irritated voice spoke in my ear as surely as if she’d been standing right beside me, and I grinned.

How the hell had she known what I was doing? Our comms were strictly audio only, as stated in the agreed-upon rules. Old school tech only, no magic permitted.

Still, she had a point. Without the help of magic, I should seriously be paying more attention to the job at hand.

“Sixteen minutes,” I murmured in a soft voice, knowing she could hear me just fine. “That’s forever. Don’t stress, babe; it’ll make your feathers fall out.”

“Ha-ha, another feather joke. Hilarious,” she muttered in a growl. “I think I have safely proven that angels can swear just fucking fine without losing a single—” She cut off with a yelp. “Seriously? That was so uncalled for, Finn! Gimme a sec, Kit. This twat just yanked a feather out, and I need to shove it up his ass now.”

I snickered a soft laugh as she hit mute on her end of the comms to deal with her estranged demon lover. The fact that they seemed to be working things out made me insanely happy for her, especially seeing as things had gone really badly with Elena finding out Lucy was alive-ish. Somehow, I didn’t see that particular relationship getting mended anytime soon. But such was life; not every love lasts forever.

“So, ah, want to tell me where you are?” One of my definitely forever loves asked in my ear, and I jumped with fright.

“Wes? What the hell are you doing on my comms? This is against the rules!” I probably looked like a lunatic, standing in the middle of a museum at three in the morning and yelling to myself. But then again, I was robbing the place, so…

“I will have you know, sweetheart, that hacking Lucy’s comm unit while Finn distracts her is entirely within the rules. I should know, I wrote them.” He sounded smug as all fuck, and I growled under my breath.

I couldn’t concentrate with him lurking inside my head, even if he was using human-tech. “Nope, not doing this,” I muttered. “I’m cutting you off. Tell Luce to enjoy herself, but I’ve got this handled now.”

Whatever his protests were, they became silenced when I removed the earpiece and tucked it into the pocket of my faded black jeans. This job was simple enough I shouldn’t really have any further need for Lucy, so better safe than sorry.

I crept farther into the museum on silent feet, staying wary for any active security systems we might have missed or pesky bonded guardians who might have found me already, but the way was clear.

Well shit. They really did underestimate how badass I am, even without my magic.

Just as I was mentally congratulating myself, the scuff of a shoe around the corner sent my heart flying into my throat, and I quickly used a nearby sculpture to launch myself up onto an ornate iron chandelier hanging from the ceiling.

My timing couldn’t have been any more perfect, as two uniformed museum guards came strolling through the doorway a second later. In a mark of how incredibly times had changed in the eighteen months since my magical blast had restored magic to over half the world’s population, one of the guards was a half-man, half-rhino type creature. His huge form passed under my hiding place with barely a few inches to spare, and I held on for dear life. The last thing I needed was to sneeze now.

When they were gone from sight, I released the breath I was holding and dropped silently back to the floor.

It could have been worse. Those guards could have been two of my guys.

This was the second year we had run this little game of ours, and as I’d won the first year, I now had a reputation to uphold. The stakes were higher when pride was involved.

Tension sang through my muscles as I slipped into the next room and spotted my target: a god-awful, canary-yellow diamond ring, surrounded by chartreuse green stones and inset in a band of pink sapphires. The item itself was revolting, but it held a certain level of nostalgia for us, so it was to be our target every year.

Our impartial third party, Vic, had been tasked with hiding it somewhere inside the city of Paris, and it looked like Lucy and I were the only ones smart enough to work out where he would have stashed it.

Of course, he had chosen the most obvious place—not to mention the hardest nut to crack—the Louvre.

“Hello, old friend,” I whispered to the gaudy ring, which was worth more than some small countries. “Long time, no steal. You’ll be coming with me again tonight.”

It barely took me two minutes to work my magic—metaphorical, not literal—on the fancy, alarmed display case and tuck the glittering jewel into my bra.

Time to bail out, Kit! Another win for team Fox.

“Ahem,” Vali’s deep voice fake-coughed across the room, and I whirled around to face him.

“Too late, hot stuff,” I gloated, “I’ve already won.”

His lips pulled into a grin as he padded across the room toward me, looking like sex and death in his all-black attire. “Who said I was here to catch you, regina? I have no side in this game, remember?”

I squinted at him, trying to work out if he was playing me or not. It was true, though. As he hadn’t been involved in the first robbery that had set Alpha Team on my doorstep, Vali was an enigma in our annual game. He was neither Fox Team nor Alpha Team; he was a wild card.

“So, you’re on my side this time?” I asked him with suspicion. Last time, he’d been solidly on the boys’ side and had damn well nearly caught me before I outsmarted them.

He spread his hands wide and shrugged. “Can’t I be on my own team? I am merely supporting the result that will gain me the most favor with my lover when we get home.”

“Aha,” I chuckled. “Smart man. So, do you have an escape route planned, or are you just tagging along for fun?”

His grin spread wider. “Of course. Follow me, draga.”

I did follow him, but I sure as shit didn’t let my guard down. As in love with him as I was, I hadn’t totally left my brain at home. The game wasn’t officially won until I reached our rendezvous point.

“Just through here,” Vali murmured to me as we rounded another darkened corner. “I left one of the glass panels open and hitched a rope to it, so we should be able to shimmy on up and out without a hassle.”

“Interesting choice,” I commented. He must have meant one of the panels that made up the glass pyramids visible from the street above the museum. I’d considered them as a point of entry, but discarded them as too risky to be left open for the amount of time I needed. That, and too obvious.

As we turned the corner into the room, my heart shuddered to a stop, and I froze in my tracks. What in the ever-loving shit…?

Regina, are you okay?” Vali asked me with a smug grin on his face. Like he didn’t know I was severely in shock.

The whole room below the massive glass pyramid was lit with hundreds upon hundreds of candles scattered throughout the space, and the floor was littered with fragrant rose petals. All the exhibits had been cleared out to make way for the rows of chairs, within which a handful of our closest friends were seated—all turned to stare at me triumphantly.

“Hot stuff?” I murmured to Vali, not moving a single muscle. “What the hell is happening here?”

The infuriating Romanian huffed a laugh, tugging his black pullover off to reveal a crisp white tuxedo shirt underneath. One that matched what my other five lovers wore at the end of what could only be described as an aisle.

“Here?” Vali cast an innocent look over the room and all its waiting inhabitants. “Well, I would have thought that was pretty obvious. We’re getting married, regina mea. All of us.”

I swear my brows could not have risen any higher if they’d been connected to pulleys. My jaw flapped, but no words came out.

“Hah, we got you this time,” Lucy crowed with glee as she approached me in her shimmering evening gown, her white wings proudly on display. “Don’t stress, girl; I thought about the finer details that these dopes forgot.” She threw me a saucy wink, then pressed a shimmering finger to my chest and transformed my stealthy Fox-clothes into a breathtaking wedding gown. Hell, she even managed to trade my combat boots for a pair of limited edition, ivory satin Louboutin’s. I knew what they were because we had both admired them in the store a month ago.

“Is this for fucking real right now?” I finally gasped out, eyeing the six of my dianoch, who now waited for me together.

“As real as the feathers on my back, Kit babe,” Lucy whispered back to me, tucking my arm through hers. “This is your happily ever after. Are you ready for it?”

My heart was lodged so far into my throat I knew that I’d cry if I spoke. So I didn’t. Instead, I just nodded and glued my eyes onto the six men who loved me more than anything—in this realm or any other.

Was I ready for my happily ever after? I had no idea. Was anyone, really?

One thing was for damn sure, though. I was going to give it a fucking good try. k12

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