“She’s not here, Tom. It’s a trap,” Saal said.
“If it were a trap, they would have sent more than one.”
Tom rose and followed Rebecca’s scent until he saw a clump of hair soaked in blood. His heart skipped a beat, knowing she was suffering because of him. He scanned the area and saw a set of glowing eyes watching.
“Did you act alone or did King Ulvarg send you?” Tom asked.
The lone wolf emerged from the shadows, approaching Tom with caution. “I would not violate the policy of the pack to see you like this. The King grows impatient to have his vengeance. The longer you defy him, the more your mate will suffer.”
“He is a fool if he thinks I will just hand over my child and myself to him to satisfy his vengeance. The game is set and I will not stop fighting him,” Tom growled.
“Calm yourself, Tomas. There are many who feel the King’s revenge is unfair, especially to your mate and young one. We used to be satisfied taking orders but now a variety of unjust dealings have caused a riff in the pack. Your exit has created a loyal following. You have many on your side.”
“Will they fight for me?”
“Perhaps, but you must speak to them. Tell them the whole story,” the wolf said. He backed away as Saal appeared to stand by Tom. “The King knows of your part in this too, jackal. You are an enemy now.” He turned back to Tom and motioned him to follow. “Come now. I must return before the hour is gone.”
Tom nodded. They followed the wolf back through the woods to a designated area where a portal appeared at the top of the hour. Tom and Saal followed the wolf through before it closed again.
Billy reached the campsite hours before the federal agents would appear. He’d heard a portion of the 911 call through his dispatch and raced to get there first. He approached the crazed man, who smiled at his arrival. Billy checked the phone near the man’s head. Dead. The man chatted excitedly about his prize and the nice lady on the phone. She’d promised him more prizes and he’d told her his location. Billy nodded as he pulled his revolver from its holster, lined it up with the man’s forehead and pulled the trigger. He released the man’s arms from their restraints and re-positioned the body. No one would fault him. Another deranged murderer dead, the product of a broken environment no longer preying on the unsuspecting. They’ll make him a hero.
Billy pulled the t-shirt from beneath the man’s head and placed the bloody garment in an evidence bag. He smiled as he thought of returning it to its owner.