Turning my back on them, I raced along the shore towards Murphy and the others. Within seconds, I had reached them.
“We’ve got company,” I said to Murphy, jabbing my finger in the direction of the approaching wolves.
Jumping to his slippered feet, Murphy barked, “Where’s Potter?”
“They’ve taken him already,” I said, eyes wide.
“Then it’s just me and you,” he said, unbuttoning his shirt.
“And the others,” I said, glancing at the group gathered around the fire.
“We can’t expect them to fight,” Murphy growled at me. “They’re not used to dealing with shit like this.”
“We’ve got to learn to defend ourselves sometime,” Meren said, springing to her feet.
“And now looks like a good time to start,”
I said, the wolves now picking up speed and racing along the shore towards us.
“Up! On your feet!” Meren shouted at the others still gathered by the fire.
True to their earlier promise, all of them sprang to their feet.
Realising he was never going to talk Meren or any of the others into backing down, Murphy looked at them and barked, “Form a line!”
Without question, they stood up along the shore.
“Wings,” Murphy snapped as the wolves bounded towards us. There was a thunderous beating sound as we all released our wings.
“Hold the line!” Murphy ordered.
The wolves were so close now, that we could see the drool spraying from their giant foaming jaws. I glanced to my left at Meren. Her claws and fangs were already out and gleaming brightly. Her hair shone an electric blue.
“Hold,” Murphy whispered. “Just a few more seconds.”
The wolves were almost on top of us now as they bounded at a terrifying speed towards us.
Sand sprayed up from beneath their vicious-looking paws, and their eyes shone so bright, the light which seeped from them was almost blinding.
“Now!” Murphy roared, shooting up into the air.
We followed his lead and leapt into the night, the wolves missing us by inches below.
Some of them skidded to a halt in the sand. Others yelped and growled, craning their giant heads up to see where we had suddenly disappeared to.
“Now let’s kill the fuckers!” Murphy roared, plummeting out of the sky and onto his prey.
Within an instant, Murphy had snatched one of the wolves off the shore and was slicing and dicing it into quarters with his claws. Entrails and fur-covered lumps of flesh rained out of the black sky as Murphy shredded the wolf. As if spurred on by this, the others dropped out of the sky. With their claws and fangs at the ready, they bit, clawed, and ripped at the wolves below. The wolves fought back, lunging up at the approaching half and half’s with their mighty paws and cavernous jaws. But we were faster – slicker.
And just like Gayle had said, we blinked at speed around the wolves. They spun around as if chasing their own long bushy tails as we blinked before them, above them, behind them, to the side of them, all at once. We raked at them with our claws, slicing open their thick throats in violent sprays of black blood. I saw Peter zoom forward, his wings arched high behind him. With his mouth open, he ripped into the snout of a wolf. Then, soaring upwards, he took half of the wolf’s face with him. It dangled wetly from his mouth, then he spat it out. Peter wiped the blood away, then dropped out of the sky once again to finish off the wolf, which now lumbered blindly around on the shoreline.
I looked down at the sand, which was now covered with so much blood, that for a moment, I thought the lake had completely washed over the shore. Meren raced out of the sky, her claws out before her. In the light of the moon they glistened like a set of blades. A wolf lunged up at Alice as she swooped through the air. Unbeknown to the wolf, Meren was approaching on him fast. Just as the wolf’s mighty paw was about to knock Alice out of the air, Meren had sliced open its back and was soaring away with its spine dangling from her claws. The wolf collapsed into the sand like a pile of fur-covered jelly.
Behind me I heard screaming. Spinning around in the air, I saw a wolf standing up on its back legs. Its jaws were fixed tight around the ankle of one of the girls. She beat her wings furiously as she desperately fought to stay airborne. The wolf was strong, heavy, and he was yanking her back down towards the ground. With the claws opening and closing on each of my wings, I raced forwards, the wind rippling against my face. Dropping low so my stomach was just millimetres above the sand, I raced towards the wolf. With my arms tucked in against my sides to give me as much speed and propulsion as possible, I rocketed towards the wolf that had now almost pulled the girl out of the sky.
As I skimmed past, the claws at the tips of my wings sliced through the back legs of the wolf.
With a bewildering yelp, it released its crushing bite on the girl and collapsed. She shot free into the sky, blood trailing from her mauled ankle. The wolf tried to stand, but without any back legs, it rolled over onto its side, where it lay panting, its giant tongue lolling from its wide jaws. Spiralling upwards, I back-flipped, and then raced towards the ground. With my lips pulled back and fangs out, I tore the wolf’s head free from its neck. Fur and blood oozed between my fangs. I let the wolf’s head fall from my mouth and into the Dead Waters, where I spat a wad of fur and blood from my mouth. With my wings thrumming as fast as my heart, I hovered in the sky and surveyed the carnage below me. The shore was littered with disregarded wolf body parts. The last of them were losing their fight with two of the half and half’s.
Murphy swooped in and hovered beside me. He grunted with satisfaction at the sight below him.
“They did good,” Murphy said. Then, looking at me, he added, “Now we go and get Potter, Kayla, and Sam back from whoever has them. And when we find out who has our friends, we rip him a new arsehole, right?”
“Right,” I said.
Murphy then swooped away from me, and back towards the shore.
“I might have known you’d be behind this,” I said, Seth dragging me to my feet. “And to think that Kiera nearly had me believing that there was a chance there might be some good in you.”
“She told you about me then?” Seth asked, shoving me towards the open cell doorway. “She told you I was her brother?”
“Yeah, she did,” I spat. “I think she took the news quite well, considering.”
“Considering what?” he asked.
“If I’d found out I was even remotely related to you, I would’ve slit my own fucking throat,” I sneered at him.
“Nice,” Seth said, forcing me out of the cell.
I staggered into a narrow corridor and finally realised where I was being held. It was the police station in Wasp Water. I’d had a row with Kiera in this cell block. Although she would never have admitted it, she had been jealous over Eloisa.
She’d had no reason to be. Eloisa had been a lying, cheating, murdering wolf.
Lola’s paws click-clacked over the stone corridor as she sauntered along beside me and Jack. Just like my cell, the whole place stank of piss and shit. But then it would, wouldn’t it? The place was overrun with wolves.
“So where are you taking me?” I asked Seth, as he led me out of the cell block and through the police station. My hands were still secured behind my back.
“You’ll soon find out,” Jack said.
“So what have you done with Kayla and Sam?” I hissed.
“Nothing,” Seth smiled at me.
“Don’t fucking lie, the wolf looked like Kayla,” I said.
“Lola can shape-shift, just like me,” Jack explained.
“Stop treating me like a retard, Seth,” I groaned. “I know the wolf would need a drop of Kayla’s blood to shift like her. Just like you needed some of McCain’s back at Ravenwood School.”
“I matched with her once,” Lola barked.
“Not completely, but enough so as I can shift to look like her.”
“I couldn’t give a monkey’s toss if you matched with her or not,” I said, stumbling forward up the narrow corridor. “But I promise you, if either of you have so much as harmed one single hair on Kayla’s head, I’m gonna rip your fucking lungs out.”
“More threats you can’t possibly keep,”
Seth smiled, his thin lips twisting in a crescent moon shape.
“I’m guessing you’re the brains behind this whole thing. You’re the person they call Wolf Man, aren’t you?”
“Me?” Jack laughed. “Not me, Potter. I’m not the Wolf Man.”
Lola made a woofing noise beside me as if she, too, were amused by what I’d said.
“So who is then?” I asked as Seth pushed me up a spiralling staircase. We stopped outside a wide wooden door.
“You mean you haven’t figured it all out yet?” Seth grinned. “You mean Kiera hasn’t been able to see who it is?”
“Leave Kiera out of this,” I said, reaching the top of the stairs.
“I plan to,” he said, his eyes bright and boring into mine. “But the Wolf Man has a different plan altogether.”
“Well why don’t you just take me to this Wolf and let me...” I started, then stopped as Seth pushed open the door before us to reveal a room.
There was a desk with someone sitting behind it.
“Hello, my old friend,” the man behind the desk said. “It’s good to see you again.”
“Luke?” I whispered, as Seth closed the door behind us.
“You!” I roared. “You’re this Wolf Man?
It’s been you the whole time!” Despite having my arms secured at my back, I lunged across the table at him. “You’re not even a fucking wolf!”
Seth took hold of me, and placing his hands on my shoulders, he forced me down onto a chair at the opposite side of the table from Luke.
“Still the hothead,” Luke said, his bright blue eyes twinkling back at me. “And as for not being a wolf, the wolves just want to be led. After all, you’ve tried to dominate them for two lifetimes and you’re a Vampyrus, just like me. But unlike you, Murphy, and the Black Coats, I’ve given the wolves their freedom.”