Corrigan Fire Bloodfire - Helen Harper Page 0,1
I turned to him. ‘Do they?’
He didn’t answer. Slowly, I released the tension in my hands, flexing my fingers one by one. I adhered to the pack hierarchy. In fact, I believed in it wholeheartedly. Shifters need to be kept in line; too many of them are hot-headed and impulsive. I was not being derogatory to my own kind; it's merely a matter of nature. But Xander Brady, Lord Alpha of the Brethren, went too far too often – and abuses of power were becoming commonplace.
Entirely impotent, I watched in frustration as Camilia was dragged out of the hall, her feet scuffing on the floor. She didn't say a word but the taut white lines around her mouth made her feelings clear. All she'd done was play the part of Good Samaritan and now she was going to reap starkly painful punishment in return. Perhaps it was finally time for a change. The Brethren was packed to the gunnels with a whole host of powerful shifters who would make better leaders than Brady. They just needed the opportunity to step up.
‘Corrigan, your eyes are glowing. You’re not going to do anything rash, are you?’
I forced my mouth to form the semblance of a smile, although there was little humour in it. ‘Oh, believe me, this won’t be rash. I’ve thought it through very, very carefully.’
I waited until the keep was quiet. Most of the other shifters were either eating or napping until it was dark enough to venture outside and get some freedom to shift properly. I had the sneaking suspicion, however, that our esteemed Lord Alpha had other plans in mind. When he passed by the door to the library, walking with what seemed to be strident purpose, I was fairly certain it was time. I carefully put down the book I’d been reading and stood up, stretching. Then I followed. When he began descending the narrow spiral staircase to the basement, I knew my instincts had been right.
Up until the 1940s, the Brethren had benefited from the numerous small rooms in the bowels of the keep where they housed those they deemed to be criminal or in need of punishment. After the war, however, they were converted into more usable spaces. The previous Lord Alpha had made little use of them other than for storage. Brady used them far too often. Poor Miss Waite was cowering in one right now and he was on his way to see her. I tried not to dwell too deeply on what exactly his plans were. Treading lightly, I padded to the top of the stairs and peered down. When I was fairly certain he’d reached the bottom, I began my own descent. I’d barely gone a few feet, however, when I heard a rustle behind me.
Glancing round, I spotted the worried faces of both Lucy and Boyne.
‘We know what he’s doing too,’ Lucy whispered.
I growled softly. ‘Then you know you need to stay away.’
Boyne shook his head. ‘We’ll back you up.’
‘No.’ I wasn’t about to brook any argument. ‘If things go pear-shaped, then you need deniability. He’s still the Lord Alpha.’
‘All he needs to do is compel you…’
I narrowed my eyes at the pair of them. Both bowed their heads in capitulation and backed away. Good.
Staying on the balls of my feet, I continued downwards. It wasn’t long before I could hear the Lord Alpha.
‘You’ve been a bad, bad werewolf,’ he was saying, with an audible trace of delight in his voice. ‘I think it’s about time I took you down a peg or two.’
My mouth twisted. Not if I had anything to say about it. There was a sudden loud smacking sound of skin against skin, followed by a heavy thump and a whimper. That was all I needed. I launched myself downwards, no longer bothering to keep quiet. The door to the makeshift cell was open as if to broadcast the fact that the Lord Alpha couldn’t give a rat’s arse whether anyone heard him or not. From the threshold, he half-turned in my direction, his body stiffening as he realised what I was about to do but, before he could fully react, I slammed into him, knocking him to his knees.
‘What the fuck are you doing, Corrigan?’
I ignored his words and glanced over at Camilia Waite. She was cuffed and bleeding, slumped into an almost foetal-like ball in the corner. ‘It’s easy to beat up a woman when she’s tied up, isn’t it?’
His eyes narrowed. ‘You go