Ravensong (Green Creek 2) - Page 291
“I said sit. Down.”
And she did. She couldn’t stop herself. Her legs folded, and she sat in her chair.
“Good girl,” Robert said. “Now, I’m going to talk, and you’re going to listen. Do you understand me?”
She nodded, though she tried to fight it.
He tapped his boot against Dale’s thigh. Dale groaned but otherwise didn’t move. “I have little use for wolves. You’re animals, the lot of you. Enslaved to the moon. I’ve always found lycanthropy not unlike a virus.” He sighed. “Which is why I attempted to make it one. The results have been varied, but there is always a trial-and-error phase with any experiment. One must learn from their mistakes in order to push the boundaries further. And I planned to push them until they broke. But I find myself at an impasse. There are… wolves that I did not account for. Variables I didn’t expect. Richard Collins was a failure. Your attempt with the hunters was a failure. Because of these variables.”
“The Bennett pack,” Michelle managed to say.
Robert sighed. “Yes. Them. Still. Even with the fall of Thomas Bennett, even with a separation, even with nothing but a human to guide them, they managed to survive.” He shook his head. “And now… well. They’ve become something more, haven’t they? Somehow they’ve been able to contain my magic in the Omegas. And they have my son.”
“Gordo?” Michelle asked. “But he’s always been—”
“No,” Robert Livingstone said as he came to stand in front of her desk. “Not Gordo. Gordo is lost to me. I’m talking about my second son. His brother.”
There was a sharp buzzing in her ears. “I don’t understand,” she said weakly. “There isn’t any other Livingstone. We would have—”
“Do you know what it feels like to lose your tether?” he asked, leaning forward, hands flat on the desk. “What it feels like to have it ripped from you when you least expect it? Because I do. My wife, she… didn’t understand. She quite lost her mind, in the end. And she took my tether from me. Murdered her in cold blood, even though she was an innocent in all of this. When she became pregnant, Abel Bennett made me send her away. Made her give up the child. She returned, but she wasn’t the same, after. And then my wife….” His hands tightened into fists. “I promised myself when my magic was being ripped from me that I would return. That I would bring my children back into the fol
d. That I would see the end of the wolves. But Gordo… I knew that no matter what I said, he wouldn’t understand. And my other son… somehow he’d been bitten. He’d been changed. I could heal him, if only I could find him. And then came news he was the pet of that hunter, and I—I did everything I could to get to him.” His voice grew cold. “Instead he finds himself with the Bennett pack and his brother, feral and stuck as a wolf. That will not do. I have come to you with an offer. Help me break them apart. Give me back my son. And you will be allowed to remain as the Alpha of all. I no longer care about the fates of wolves. I only want what’s mine.”
“How?” she asked. He lied, she knew, even though his heartbeat didn’t stutter. But she also knew that she would agree.
He leaned closer. “Even after all they’ve done to you, there’s still one who you’re fond of, isn’t there? A wolf in their pack who used to be yours. Someone who I can turn against them. Someone who I can use to take back my son.”
Her eyes widened. “Robbie,” she whispered.
And he smiled.