Chapter 14

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Seven walked back down the hallway toward the stairs going up to her room and she paused at the doorway of the office. Her curiosity took over, and she couldn't help but wonder what was in all the files strewn about the office. She started to glance at them, picking up a few, and was shocked to see that they all seemed to be referencing her old pack, and more specifically, they were detailing the attacks that had occurred the night she ran. She sat on her knees, and began going through them. File after file, detail upon detail, she began to read about everything that had happened. She found files listing the known deaths of people she knew and loved. She found files showing what had been going on since then, and how it appeared that Dante's pack had provided resources and assistance to her uncle George who seemed to be trying to lead the pack and re-establish some order. She found files about the rogues who had attacked, and then her heart almost stopped when she found a file about her parents.

It was a thick file, full of information. It detailed how they had been found in their room, appearing to have been killed instantly, likely unaware of any threat. There were even a few pictures that had apparently been taken during the investigation. Seven was sobbing as she continued to go through the files. She flipped through the documents, another picture fell out. She picked it up, it was one she knew well. It had been taken years ago, and she remembered the day like it was yesterday. It was her father, her mother and Seven, as a little girl. She remembered they had just gotten home from a picnic when Tina had taken the picture. They were laughing and happy, she was in her father's arms, and couldn't have been more than 9 at the time. She traced the lines of her mother's face, as more tears fell in uncontrollable bursts.

Seven was completely absorbed in her grief, and didn't hear Dante's approach. He paused in the doorway, seeing her weep over the picture in her hands, and he quickly rushed to her. At first, he assumed she was just upset from reading about the attacks, and he silently cursed himself for having left the office door open. But when he reached her side, he could tell that she was consumed with grief, more so than that of just a bystander. He took her in his arms in an effort to comfort her and calm her down.

Seven jumped when Dante touched her, she hadn't even seen or heard him come in. But even in that simple touch, there was comfort, and she couldn't help herself, as she needed it. She leaned into him, and buried her face in his chest, as the tears continued to flow. He wrapped his arms around her, and took the picture from her hands, looking to see what she had been staring at. As he studied the picture, it finally dawned on him, and he recognized the chocolate eyes and auburn hair of the little girl in the picture. He flipped it over and read the names written on the back.

Alpha Mason, Luna Allison & Jade

The pieces finally began to fall into place in his mind, and he couldn't believe he hadn't figured it out before. This was their daughter, she must have escaped the night of the attacks, and had been found by Luther's men. Not a rogue, not an inside traitor, but another victim. In all of the documentation and reports about the losses, she had been listed as presumed dead, so it had never even come up as a question about her whereabouts. From the very beginning, she had been accounted for incorrectly. It also confirmed the doctor's suspicions about her bloodwork indicating that she wasn't an omega, but had high-ranking characteristics in her dna.

Dante held her close, rubbing her back and kissing the top of her head, until she slowly stopped crying. She sat up and pulled away from him, wiping tears away from her face, and he put his hands on her face, pulling her up to look at him.

"Jade?" he asked her, questioningly. And she gave him a slow nod, her eyes dropping down as she looked at the floor.

"I'm so sorry" he said. "I'm sorry this happened to you and your parents, and I'm sorry I didn't know to look for you. I'm sorry you spent all that time in Luther's clutches" and he pulled her back into his arms. This time, she wrapped her arms around him, feeling the warmth, comfort and safety that his embrace provided.

It wasn't long before the sounds of many pack members returning for lunch was heard echoing through the halls, and Jade picked up her head in a slight panic. She looked at Dante, and was suddenly very self-conscious about having been crying in his arms for so long. She jumped to her feet and headed quickly to the door of the office.

Dante jumped to his feet to follow her, and gently grabbed her hand. "Do you want me to bring you some food up to your room?" he asked, assuming she wouldn't want to be around the pack. She looked up at him and nodded, with a look of gratitude in her eyes. She peeked out the door, and then bolted for the stairs and ran up them quickly and went straight to her room, closing the door behind her.

Jackson, come to my office as soon as you can Dante mind-linked with his Beta.

"Yes, Dante?" Jackson asked, appearing in the doorway about a minute later.

"I know who she is" Dante said, not even looking up, as he was sorting through the files.

"What? Really?" Jackson asked, as he entered the room. Dante handed him the picture.

"She's the daughter of the late Alpha and Luna of the Silver Crescent pack." Dante said, with a slight catch in his throat, as the emotion he felt for her pain was still welling up inside of him.

"Wow!" said Jackson. "I thought she was killed" he said after a second of thought, looking at the picture in his hand and recognizing the girl in the picture as the woman they had come to know as Seven.

"So did I" grumbled Dante. "And I can't help but wonder why."

"What do you mean?" asked Jackson.

"Well, if your pack had been attacked, the Alpha and Luna killed, wouldn't you question where their daughter was? Without seeing a body, or finding her alive, if you were reporting the losses to the investigating parties, would you let them know that she hadn't been found, dead or alive?"

"Yes, I would, so what would be the motivation for suppressing that information and reporting falsely that she was dead?" asked Jackson.

"My guess?" queried Dante, looking directly at Jackson, anger burning behind his hazel eyes. "I think we now know who the inside man was. It had to have been her uncle. He's the one who provided the death count and names. The only reason for reporting her dead, when she obviously wasn't would be that he wanted to assume control of the pack. If she had been reported missing, we would have looked for her, and she would have been given control of the pack until an Alpha was found to take over."

"That makes sense, in a twisted horrible way" Jackson responded, shaking his head.

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