Chapter 17: Jagger

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A few hours later Leanna found herself in a restaurant of sorts with a bar. She chose the bar in the corner, away from prying eyes. It looked like a slow night and music was playing over the speakers. The stench of intoxicated humans was very overwhelming as they swayed too much to the slow-playing music.

"I knew I smelled a dog," a smooth voice caught her attention and she looked up.

"Excuse me?" She questioned, staring at the tall, pale man before her.

He had a wide, bright smile on his seemingly perfect face, his eyes blue like the ocean and almost entrancing but not quite. Something about him was completely off and she was becoming increasingly uncomfortable with his presence.

"Wolves don't particularly have a very appealing scent to them. Which begs the question why you, a wolf, smell so delectably bittersweet? I don't feel like feeding off you but you do have an odd smell. Why is that?" he leaned in, curiosity twinkling in his eyes.

It dawned on her that he was a vampire. To wolves, vampires didn't have a smell, which was how they could spot them. Humans smelled like what they ate, their pheromones, their sweat. Not vampires.

But having never encountered one, fear spiked through her.

"Oh, don't worry darling. I don't feed on your kind. But you do have a 'damsel in distress' sense about you so I'm here to help," he slipped into the stool beside her, sipping from a glass filled with whiskey.

Leanna gave him an offended look; she was not a damsel in distress by any means. Though she figured being rejected, tortured, alone, and lost would give her such an aura.

"I don't need help from a sucker," she snapped, glaring at him.

He let out a chuckle, "Yes, you do. I'm just gonna assume you weren't very high ranking in your pack and you haven't spent much time, if any, in the human world. Because if you had, you would have realized that two hunters were tailing you for hours."

She gave him a quizzical look, "Hunters?"

"Yes. Not too many people know about them and I don't believe Alphas would tell their pack about it lest it stir panic," he explained calmly, calling the bartender for another drink. she was silent, almost sure this man was absolutely out of his mind. 

This was almost too much to take in. Hunters did exist at one point but they were wiped out centuries ago. On top of this strange vampire talking to her about werewolf hunters, her back had begun to ache. She'd taken some pain pills earlier from a store but, even in her weakened state, her system was still strong.

"Look, you can think I'm crazy all you want. But those hunters will jump on you the second you walk of this building. And from the beads of sweat on your forehead and slightly labored breathing, I would suggest you're in a great deal of pain. Am I right?" 

She scowled at him, clenching her fists. But she knew this wasn't normal and it wasn't just the vampire. The pain was far stronger than earlier.

"Wait. If you know they've been following me for hours then that means you were following me too," she realized, looking at him.

His face was void of emotion and he nodded, "Yes. That's true. But I only began to follow you when I realized they were hunters. And I would say we should leave now and ask questions later. I know a group that can help you."

"No. I'm not going back to your group of suckers," she slipped off the stool, the sandwich she'd ordered earlier untouched and cold.

Her appetite had been ruined by the vampire and the pain.

"Wow, you look really bad," he announced abruptly, his eyes watching her closely.

"Uh, thank you?" She didn't know how to respond to his statement and was in too much pain to think about it.

"No, I mean, physically you're pretty good-looking but I mean that you look sick. Paler than me and that's saying something. Oh, and the name's Jagger. I think I may have forgotten to mention that," he rattled off as he stood, wrapping his arm around her waist.

"Woah, what are you doing?" She wheezed, looking at him through blurry eyes.

"Helping you. In case you didn't realize this, you are swaying from left to right," he noted. "Are you sure you're okay?"

"No. I don't know. This feels.." She looked at her food, which was still untouched, and at the empty cup of water.

"Wolfsbane doesn't have a smell," she realized. "The water. There was wolfsbane in it."

The pain in her back had begun to worsen and her stomach felt as it were cramping.

"Come on. I know who will help," he said, leading her toward the door.

"Who can help?" She asked, the lights outside piercing her eyes to the point where she had to close them.

"The Hope Lunar pack."

The wolfsbane must've been so strong that she was having auditory hallucinations.

"They don't exist," she whispered, looking down at the ground.

The ground was swaying and it took her a few moments to realize Jagger had begun carrying her.

"Yes, they do. They are just extremely reclusive and secretive about their location. But luckily, I had a run in with their Alpha a while back. Best way to describe him is to think of a hero; good-looking, strong, sensitive or whatever. The ladies sure do love him."

As Jagger rambled on, she looked behind them and saw two stocky blurry figures gaining on them.

"Behind," was all she could manage to say.

"Shit," he cussed and then they were in an alley. "Hold on."

The next thing she felt was a rush of air and her body being jolted. She glanced around and could see they were on what looked like a rooftop. 

She watched as Jagger slipped a phone out, his voice fading away as she succumbed to the darkness.

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