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~Meara

I storm up the steps, trying to force some calm into my body.

He doesn't need to die. He doesn't need to die.

I repeat my mantra over and over under my breath, trying to keep to my morals. As much as I would like to see Carran suffer for detaining my best friend, and causing her physical injury, I can't give into the temptation when there is so much more at stake.

Sire was more than willing to oblige my angered intentions. I've managed to calm down within the hour. Enough, at least, to decide that no harm will come to Carran unless he instigates it.

Or if he causes Hazel any more harm...

I slam my fist into the door rapidly. His guards let me into the property with nothing more than a murmur of greeting.

Carran knows I'm coming. He's betting on it, I assume.

The door opens moments later, and instead of it being one of his staff like I suspected, it's Carran. He gives me a lopsided grin, propping the door open for me to storm into the foyer.

"I assume you know why I'm here," I growl, whirling around to face him.

He looks out the front door before slowly closing it. "Alone, I see."

"Was someone supposed to accompany me?" I quip, resting my hands on my hips.

It wasn't easy to convince Sire to let me march through the front door alone. Eventually we agreed that I would distract Carran, while he snuck in through the back to try to find Hazel, and get her out before anyone notices.

I'm trying not to think about everyone he may harm on his way through.

"Why yes, I suspected you would be joined by your mate," Carran notes, raising his brows. "The man you have since freed from the tomb."

I shift, clearing my throat. Despite knowing he would have come to learn of Sire's release, it still frightens me a little. Next time, Carran won't be entombing him. He will be killing him.

"Keeping him in there was cruel. It did nothing to resolve the curse," I tell him sharply. "What would your Pack members think if they knew the truth?"

Carran's eyes narrow ever-so-slightly. They will learn, once Carran is sufficiently out of the way enough for us to inform them.

"I warned you about what would happen if you released him," he growls, advancing on me.

I hold my ground, not wanting to let him in on any of my fear. "We can come to some kind of agreement, I'm sure. Especially since the curse has not ended, as I'm sure you know."

He laughs bitterly, brushing past me. I follow on his heels as he circles behind the stairs where his private office is.

"Mmm, a witch informed me mere hours ago that a ceremony had taken place where you and I were supposed to complete the ritual. Then, someone told me there were no more deaths. Overnight, it seemed as though everyone recovered, so I put two and two together," he mutters, shaking his head.

I linger in the doorway as he falls into the chair behind his desk, looking tense. He isn't behaving how I suspected him to.

Is he hurt by my rejection?

"You're welcome for saving the members of your Pack," I tell him plainly. Sire and I did more in one instance for the people than Carran has managed to the entire time he presided over this Pack.

"There will be no one left to save if your mate kills them all."

I frown. "He won't."

"No? He was a murderous monster, just like a father when he ruled over his Pack," Carran snaps, shaking his head at me like I'm the ridiculous one.

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