“How come?” I asked him.

“I’d always been a smart mouth, even before the Sophie thing, but now I was hurting bad and I became almost wild – uncontrollable - and the instructors at training school didn’t know how to manage me. Hearing that I was close to being thrown out and having my badge taken, Murphy said that he would finish my training and he took me with him to The Ragged Cove. I think training school was glad to see the back of me.” Then looking at me, he said, “So now you know, sweet-cheeks.”

“What about Sophie?” I asked him. “I wrote a couple of times,” he said, “but I never got a reply. Anyway that was about five years ago now – I’m over it.” “So why did you give Isidor such a hard time?” I said. Looking at me, Potter said, “Because I could see me in him – that younger me – full of hope and expectation. I didn’t want to be reminded of that.”

“So this Sophie,” I said, avoiding eye contact with him. “Do you still have feelings for her?”

“Would it bother you if I did?” he asked straight back.

Ignoring his question and feeling his eyes boring into me, I said, “You said that she was beautiful. You said that Vampyrus women were beautiful, too.”

“So?” he said, sounding confused. “Well, I’m neither,” I reminded him, still unable to meet his stare. “I’m a half-breed. So what does that make me?” Kneeling-up, then taking my face in his hands, he looked at me and said, “The best of both.” Before I could say anything back, there was the sound of footsteps outside our cell. Thrusting one of his chained hands into his trouser pockets, he fumbled about, pulling something out. As the door to our cell began to swing open, Potter thrust something into my hands and said, “Look after this for me.”

Looking down, I could see that I was now holding Murphy’s tiny silver crucifix. I looked back at Potter and he winked at me.

“I took it from around his neck as I held him back there,” Potter whispered. “Keep it safe for him…and me.”

I refastened my clothes and placed the crucifix into my coat pocket along with my iPod and the CD I’d downloaded back at the monastery. Standing next to one another, we looked defiantly at Jack Seth as he strode into our cell.

Chapter Thirty


Jack Seth stared at us with his bright yellow eyes, the black slits in them narrow and menacing. Potter positioned himself slightly in front of me. Over his shoulder, I could see a wolf standing just outside the cell door and it was looking back up the passageway, as if on guard.

Hooking his thumbs through the belt loops on his jeans, Seth said, “Are you two just going to stand there looking at me, or do you both wanna break out of here?”

For a moment, I thought perhaps I had misheard him. But then Potter had darted across the cell and was looking up at him.

“Look, I’m not in the mood for your fun and games, so why don’t you just take me and get this over and done with?” Potter barked.

Again, Seth just looked down at him and said, “Do you want to get out of here or not? We don’t have much time,” and I detected just a trace of urgency in his voice.

“You’re a traitor!” I yelled at him. “Why should we trust you?”

Grinning, Seth said, “What other options do you have?”

“I wouldn’t trust you if my life depended on it!” Potter spat.

“But your life does depend on it, Potter,” Seth said, and the smile had gone.

“How do we know this isn’t another trap?” I said, crossing the cell to stand shoulder to shoulder with Potter.

As if in a show of trust, Seth yanked the chains apart that bound us. Then, he produced Isidor’s crossbow from behind his back and handed it to me. “You don’t know that this isn’t another trap,” he said. “But if you want to leave the mountains alive, then you’re just going to have to trust me!”

Potter snatched the crossbow, and with his arm fully extended he aimed it up at Seth’s head. “Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t just kill you right now?”

Ignoring Potter’s question, Seth said, “Are you coming with me or not? We don’t have much time. We may even be too late to save them!”

“Save who?” Potter said, eyeing Seth with suspicion.

“Isidor and Kayla, of course,” he smiled again, his broken teeth shining in the torchlight.

“Kayla’s here!” I cried.

“She’s been here all along,” Potter hissed. “The monastery was just a trap.”

Hearing this, I snatched the crossbow back from Potter, and aiming it at Seth’s head, I said, “Where is she?”

“Follow me,” Seth grinned, leaving the cell.

Outside the cell stood the giant wolf I’d noticed before, and it looked at us with its brilliant eyes. It made a purring noise in the back of its throat. Seeing the wolf standing there on all fours in the gloom of the passage, it looked so big that it could have easily been mistaken for a lion.

“What’s the company for?” Potter asked Seth, as he eyed the wolf.

“It’s coming with us,” Seth said.

“What do you mean, when you say ‘us’?” I asked.

“We’re coming with you,” the wolf said, and its voice was soft – female.

Shocked, I stumbled backwards as the wolf stretched out of shape like a piece of putty and took the form of a woman. She wasn’t as tall as Seth, but stood over six feet tall. Her hair was white-blond and hung down over her shoulders. She was thin, but not emaciated looking like Seth. Although she was dressed in a sweatshirt and jeans, I could tell that she had a good figure. But it was her face – it was almost breathtakingly beautiful and I could see why people would be mesmerized by her. Like Seth, her eyes were bright yellow, with two black slits for pupils, but it was her mouth. Her lips were full and blood red and I could guess that most men would long to be kissed by them.

Glancing at Potter, I could see him staring at her, his mouth ajar. Elbowing him gently in the ribs, I whispered, “Remember the hairy tongue!”

Snapping himself out of his trance-like state, he looked-up at Seth and said, “Who’s this?”

“Does it matter?” he asked.

“It does, if we’re to trust you,” Potter said.

“This is Eloisa – my lover,” he smiled, reaching out and stroking her face with his hooked fingernails.

“I have gone to great lengths to try and right the Lycanthropes’ mistake,” Eloisa said, her voice sounding soft.

“Mistake!” Potter yelled. “I’d call your treachery more than just a mistake!”

“Look,” Seth said, leaning down over us, “I have my race to think of. We’re nearly at the door of extinction thanks to the humans. So when the Vampyrus showed up and told me of their plans to take over the Earth, why shouldn’t I have gone along with it? Phillips promised that if we helped him, that once the Vampyrus had control of the ground above, we would be free to roam it as the Vampyrus’ equals. But -”

“But what?” Potter cut in.

“Phillips said that there was a small group that could thwart the Vampyrus’ plans,” Seth said. “Then he told me it was you, Murphy and the others. Phillips said that if we helped to trap you all, then the Lycanthrope’s future would be a peaceful one. Murphy had already had me released from prison to help search for this girl, so I did struggle with the idea of betraying him.”

“Not for long, I bet,” Potter spat.

“That is where you are wrong about me, Potter,” Seth sneered. “I struck a bargain with Phillips that insured your safety. He told me that he only wanted Kiera, Kayla, and Isidor, so we agreed that he would hand Murphy, Luke, and you over to me as long as I helped him capture the half-breeds. He agreed on the condition that I never let you leave these caves beneath the mountains.”

“Sounds like a great deal!” Potter snapped back at him.

“It was better than death!” Seth shouted.

“Yeah? Try telling that to Murphy!” Potter fought back.

“Look, I never intended for him to die,” Seth said, and his anger had eased a little. “That wasn’t part of the deal. Phillips tricked me just like he tricked you. I can’t trust him now not to go back on the rest of our agreement. Once the Vampyrus have occupied the ground above – I fear that the Lycanthrope will also be driven to extinction.”

“So why take us with you?” I asked him.

“I know you’ll find this difficult to believe, but I’m trying to make amends,” he said. “I regret what happened to Murphy and to your friends.”

“And I regret the day that Murphy ever came to you for help,” Potter said, staring up at him.

“Despite how you feel about Seth,” Eloisa said quietly, “you need him to get you and your friends out of here and away from Phillips. You either trust him or you don’t.”

“I don’t trust him and never will,” Potter said. “And as soon as we’re out from beneath this mountain, we go our separate ways, and If I ever lay eyes on you again, Jack Seth, you’ll be able to tell Murphy how sorry you are in person!”

“Is that a threat?” Seth asked.

“No, It’s a promise!” Potter said. “Now, how do we get out of here?”

We followed Seth and Eloisa through a maze of narrow tunnels. The two Lycanthrope moved so fast at times, they would disappear in the darkness altogether, making it difficult for Potter and me to follow. There was a bend ahead, and we joined Seth and Eloisa at a small junction.

“From here, I don’t know where your friends are being held,” Seth explained, his eyes glowing in the dark like cat’s eyes.

“I thought you said you knew where they were?” Potter snapped and I could hear the suspicion in his voice.

“I said that they were being held somewhere beneath the mountain,” he hissed in the darkness. “These tunnels stretch for miles. Even I don’t know where half of them go!”

Most Popular