REDEMPTION

Chapter 6


As I slink into my old apartment several things about the old place hit me at once. As expected the place is wrecked, it looks like a hurricane swept through and upended everything. I didn't expect the WIB or the looters would do any less. I had been careful however to leave no clues behind so I was not concerned that they had found anything to indicate where Gina and I were hiding. However, I didn't expect the graffiti. This was something new, something that was not in their modes-operandi. They had written the word 'WHORE' all over our white walls. The 'whore' bit was not what surprised me. No, what surprised me was that it was written in a dark reddish substance. I prayed that it wasn't what I thought it was, though from the smell I already knew the answer. I went through my home, room by room...everything was a disaster. Then I came to the bedroom.

Immediately the smell of blood and death got stronger and I clenched my eyes shut as I stood before the entrance to where Gina and I had spent many nights in each others arms. Some vagrant had likely died in there. At the very least, I hoped it was someone that I didn't know. I took a deep breath and steeled myself, then I pushed open the door. My stomach lurched up into my throat and I couldn't help the strangled noise I made.

As my eyes took in the scene before me, I could feel a familiar anger from deep within my gut begin to cloud my senses. It spread outwards and I threw my head back and howled, the sound was low and mournful. I sank to my knees and gazed up into the woman's decaying face.

It was the client I had been sleeping with the morning Gina first asked me out for breakfast. She was nailed to my wall in the style of the crucifixion. Her arms outwards, her feet nailed together...she was naked with the exception of her underwear. Her stomach had been torn open and there was a mass of flesh and organs spilled out onto the bed which she was hung over. Above her head they had written the word "ABOMINATION" in her blood.

My head fell forwards, my chin against my chest and I wept. I couldn't stop myself, great wrenching sobs tore their way out of my throat. Darrel must have heard me because he came bursting through the door.

"Holy fuck!" he rasped out as he took in the sight of the body and me in weeping hysterics. He was quiet as he approached the bed and leaned over it. I was too far gone at this point to make much sense of what he was doing but in the next minute he was in front of me his hands clutching my upper arms painfully. "Yours," he said.

I nodded, "She was my client."

"No, no...they...they took out her womb...its...she was..." he choked and I looked up into his face to find it pale and sickened. I'll never forget his next words. "She was pregnant and the baby...its yours," he pulled me to him. Though I don't know if for my support or his own. It allowed me to get a look at the bloody mass on the bed. It was a baby...or what was left of one. And it had a thin layer of blood matted fur...I pushed Darrel away from me and staggered out of the bedroom.

Very few times in my life have I found myself overcome with such rage. Which should speak to you about how the death of the child and its mother affected me. I don't remember how I got back to Central Park. I don't remember hunting down the WIB Agents that were chasing Darrel only hours before. But there I was, my muzzle dripping wet with warm coppery tasting fluid. My beasts eyes locked on the two bodies at my feet with a sort of mixture of pride and feral blood-lust. Even then it wasn't enough, I wanted more. My vengeance such that it could never be sated.

For all of my life these people oppressed me, literally beat it into me that I was an animal, not fit to tread the Earth along side them. I fought against such beliefs for so many years, I tried all I could to prove to them that I could never be a threat to them. No matter how much they had been a threat to me. I had even taken humans to my bed and took a human for my wife. I was branded, hunted, hated, shunned and humiliated. They had taken my childhood, stolen my livelihood, degraded my manhood and now they denied me Fatherhood. That Gina was pregnant with a donor's child when it could have been my own, only added to the insult. Neither she nor I and perhaps not even the child she carried was likely to survive this ordeal, and I needed to get something back. I had now found my own reason for killing Agent Brixby. Redemption. I needed to get back some of what he and they stole from me. I would make him pay and hopefully in that, I would find my own forgiveness for what I had let happen. To Gina, to that poor girl and my dead child.

"By all the Gods!" came the slightly sickened exclamation of my new friend.

I did not turn, I didn't transform back into my human form. I simply huffed out a canine breath and sniffed the shoes still left on the mangled carcasses of my foes. Then I issued the final insult by lifting my leg and urinated on their rapidly cooling bodies.

"Isn't pissing on them a bit redundant after...you know...death?" Darrel points out.

I huff again indicating that redundant or not, I really didn't care because at this point it made me feel better, even if it was a bit immature.

"So," my companion left the 'Now what?' unsaid, but its implication was plain in his tone.

I didn't answer, I simply lifted my nose to the air and sniffed. I padded some way away from the smell of blood and canine urine and sniffed again. A few moments of this and I caught a whiff of what I was looking for. A familiar scent, one I practically memorized from the numerous times I was pulled off the street and interrogated. Brixby was nearby, perhaps waiting for his minions to report back. I felt my lips peel back from my jaws and a barely audible growl vibrated through my chest.

*~*!*~*

I can feel Gina tense beside me in the passenger seat of the SAAB we were renting since coming to The Green Mountains in our haste to finally be united in matrimony. I look over at her and I see how her hazel eyes have widened, her normally full pretty pink lips pressed together so firmly that her skin is white. I look forwards again where we have stopped before the gates of the Werewolf reservation. Standing before the car is a large Werewolf. His bulky frame covered in a pair of fatigues and a black wife-beater tee and I find myself rolling my eyes. The Were's attire plus the chain-link fence and automatic gate topped with miles upon miles of barbed wire is beyond melodramatic. Should the human's really wish to kill them all, they would only need to drop hell on earth upon them, as they did on Hiroshima and on the United Republic of California.

"Drama Queens, the lot of them," I frown and reach over to take Gina's hand. My head turns and out eyes meet. Hers seem quite frightened while I'm sure mine convey sympathy for her and a little exasperation for my brethren. "We don't have to stay," I tell her. "We can get lost in the mountains somewhere."

"What about the baby, Charon? Do you know how to deliver a baby?" her voice waivers just as her hand trembles in mine and I sigh.

"Alright, love. Put on a brave face then," I advise.

She takes a steadying breath and favors me with a smile that doesn't quite touch her eyes. I feel a pang of regret in my heart. We have up until now relied upon our own selfish happiness to sustain us, we had each other and this child and we believed that was enough. We believed that in coming here, we would be safe. But then Werewolves and their spouses began disappearing, my kind began moving to compounds, seeking safety in numbers in places where borders no longer seemed to matter to WIB covert operatives. Time was growing short for us. I knew it, perhaps long before Gina had known it. We had nowhere left to run. I smile back at her, "That's my girl."

The guard approaches the car and motions for me to roll down my window. "I.D.?"

I roll up my sleeve and brandished my tattoo at the fellow. He narrows his eyes at it and then his gaze shifts to Gina, his eyes taking in her swollen stomach and his nostrils flared, breathing in her decidedly human scent. "Your mate?"

"Yes," I acknowledge. There is disapproval in his eyes but I find that I can't bring myself to care for his opinion. I do however level a look at him. "My wife," I say in my own disapproving tone.

He stares at me for but a moment and then shrugs. "You've come at just the right time, the family apartments are almost full. When they open the gates, keep to the main road until you get to the main building, you'll find the registry and housing office there. You'll be required to report to Nallan before you settle in," he cast another glance at Gina and then straightened. He motioned for the guard at the gate house to let us through.

Gina and I watched as the gate rolled slowly aside, granting us passage into the compound. She lets out the breath she's been holding as we clear the gates. "Alright, love?" I ask.

"That was unnerving," she replies. "You tensed when he mentioned we needed to speak with Nallan. Someone you know?"

I clamp my teeth together and manage to restrain myself before I let loose a growl. "An old wound, my love. Nothing that you need worry about."

I can practically hear her frown. She huffs slightly but says nothing. I am not ready to tell her and she refuses to pry information from me. A quality of hers that I have always loved and was immensely grateful for. Eventually she would have to know. But, not today. Perhaps not until after the baby was born. It was not a burden I wanted her to carry. She carried enough being the wife of a werewolf and an expectant mother on the run from crazed governmental nuts.

As for Nallan herself, I could only hope she remembered that she owed me.


A/N: Let me hear your thoughts.