Chris Argent had many contacts in his line of business. He ranked most of them in order of who was most efficient and usually it was him that was calling them. Not the other way around.
He was surprised when the name flashed up in bold letters on his phone but he took the call. That being said he didn’t understand why he was called out this late at night to the middle of the forest.
Especially by her.
His confusion stayed with him when he came to greet the woman who was pacing around a large tree, muttering softly into the phone that was pressed up against her ear. His eyes went past her to the feral creature that was tied to the tree by several layers of wolfsbane laced rope.
The beast was huge yet it looked as it had been torn apart by its own kind by the way the wounds had been inflicted.
“This work of art is yours, Malia?” He waits until she pulls the phone from her ear, arms crossing over her chest almost defiantly. If it had been any other hunter that happened upon the sight, questions would have been raised. But he knew better than to question her efficacy in the job.
The sight was quite a spectacular one. Malia was a petite woman, lashes of thick raven hair cascading over his her shoulder in soft locks that settled around her almost like a halo, matching perfectly with her black hunting attire. Chris, himself towered over her with ease, that itself wasn’t too difficult. Yet she seemed to have brought the creature down to the sorry state it was in all by herself.
“I’ve been watching him for days; my youngest said she saw a strange creature watching her the other day from her bedroom.” She was a soft spoken woman, which seemed to go over Chris’ head at the brutal way she had deal with the wolf tied to the tree. It wasn’t the first time he had saw such brutality from her and he knew it certainly wasn’t going to be the last “If I had been a normal doting mother of four, I would brushed it off as a child’s overactive imagination.” She turns with a degree of swiftness that Chris found incredible, lashing out to strike the creature with the electric taser she held in her hands, a sadistic smile crossing her lips as the howled in pain. “Luckily I am not.” Naturally there was some degree of pleasure that had to be taken from the sight. “Sick fuck had been watching my family.” Her fingers seemed to tighten around her weapon of choice. “My children!” She struck the creature with the taser once more but this time she made sure to strike it in the face.
“You seem to have it completely under control. Why call me?” Chris asks, finally getting to the point.
“I thought I might have needed help.” She offers a small shrug. “My husband is trailing something down state and you were the closest link I had at short notice.” She twirls the taser elegantly through her slender fingers. “But it took you a while to get here and I had already dealt with this thing.” She spoke with such venom.
Malia was a hunter Chris had never desired to get on the wrong side of.
“I’m surprised you actually wanted to see me.” His gaze kept switch to the creature who was howling in pain back to Malia’s disinterested face. “Last time I saw you was at Victoria’s funeral.” He moves closer to get a better look at the wolf, tied to the tree with the wolfsbane rope, a knife embraced in his shoulder and blood dotted all over his flesh which almost looked as if it had been burned.
He certainly wouldn’t put it past her. He knew how vindictive she could get if a threat was placed on her family.
Malia gave small hum, eyes skittering over the beast she had trapped. “You know why I tend to keep my distance from you.” She steps closer to Chris pushing the taser into his hands. “I can’t deny that you are one of the best, that much I agree with but beyond that and into more personal matters, I disagree with your methods.” She twists her head a little as she looks up at him. “Your methods with your daughter.”
He knew that was going to come up. It always had done any time they met. Many hunting families took many different approaches to what they do. His family was known for putting the job first.
A method that Malia strongly disagreed with and she had made it known on many occasions.
“How old is Allison now? Seventeen?” For a moment the wailing beast was forgotten. “She is still a child. A child shouldn’t be doing the things she does.” He was ready to ask how he knew but of course she knew. Malia’s greatest skill was her ability sneak around everywhere without being seen if she didn’t want to be.
“First off, it wasn’t me that told my daughter so whatever grudge you have against me for that is pointless.” Chris replies calmly. “It was Kate. She wanted Allison to know and now she knows.”
“Kate.” Malia snorts, clearly out of disgust. “You were a fool to let her near Allison to begin with. If you didn’t know how that was going to end up, you were a fool.”
“Regardless of what she done, regardless of everything, Kate loved Allison.” Chris knew that no matter how twisted his sister was, there was a space in her heart for Allison. There always had been. He didn’t need people acting as if there wasn’t a speck of goodness in her. Even if it was miniscule.
“If she had been my sister I would never have let her near my children.” Chris knew a part of him should have taken insult but he didn’t. He just rubbed a hand over his face. “Anyways, it doesn’t matter if she was the one who told Allison. You are the one who trained her.” She whipped her head around to get a better look at him as they moved around one another, circling one another in a basic effort of intimidation. “You had the opportunity to keep her safe.”
“Training has kept her safe. She wanted to be trained. She found out and she wanted to help. You cannot blame me for that?” Chris struggles not to get defensive about the whole matter.
“Yes but subconsciously you worked it into her head. I mean who gives a seven year old girl a longbow for her birthday?” Malia scoffs. “It was my Heidi’s seventh birthday a few days ago and you know what she got?” Her eyes brows were raised as she spoke. “Doll and clothes and dvds and all the thing a seven year old should have. Not a damn weapon!” She tried to speak again when a laugh elated from the beast. “Shock him again.” She asks, pinching the bridge of her nose.
He does as she asked and is not entirely happy about it but the wolf was interrupting a conversation. He presses the taser to his neck not caring for the screams that followed. His eyes follow up to meet Malia’s so he could continue the conversation. “So you never taught your children any method of protecting themselves?” He lifts the taser to point it as her, known she wouldn’t take it as a threatening gesture. “You have a son who is ages with my Allison; you can say you have never tried to get him to protect himself.”
Malia simply elates a deep chuckle “I am a mother to four children. None of them are aware of what my husband and I do. I was long since taught that family comes before all else. I have let my children do as they desire, learn the skills they wanted to learn and not because I plan on making future hunters out of them.” Her hands flared out as she spoke before coming to settle on her hips. “I will tell my children about all of this in time, when they are old enough to understand.”
“And what will you do if they get caught up in all of it.” Chris sneers.
“That is my job to stop that. Not theirs.” Her head whips around in a flash of anger towards the other hunter. “My children will lead a normal life, not one that is shaped by monsters and danger. As their mother I owe them that much.” He knew it was an important issue to her but something’s were more important. “Of course your family never knew much about that, did you?” Chris narrows her eyes, she was hitting too close to home for it to be comfortable. “I will tell my son when he is twenty-one but no sooner. He has a life, he is to go off to university, find himself someone he loves long before this plays any part in his life. The same goes for my daughters.” She leans closer to Chris with a small smile on her lips, pulling the gun from his holster on his belt, not even looking as she aims the gun perfectly to the beast’s head before firing, putting the wolf out of its misery.
Chris give the wolf a once over before his eyes cast back over to the other hunter. Simply giving an exasperated sigh before he began to speak once again. “At least I am honest with Allison. I have no secrets hidden from my daughter.” Total honesty that had come after many prices had been paid.
“You would rather have open honesty with your daughter than a guarantee assurance of her safety?” She began to pace once more as if judging every word that came out of Chris’ mouth. “Because I know which I would rather have for my children. As their mother it is my duty to keep them safe. They come before my obligation as a hunter. Maybe if you and Victoria stood by that, you wouldn’t have mess like what you have now and maybe she might have still been alive.” She knew it was a risk brining this but she stood by her comment.
“Malia, that is a low blow and you know that.” Chris raised a finger pointing it in her face only for her to slap it away.
“But it’s the truth!” She snapped “She took the cowards route. She had a family who loved her and she tossed that asunder for honour.” Malia would not fall to the intimidation glare Chris was giving her. She kept her expression almost bared as she paced around him for a moment before pausing. “I have said all I care to say on the matter for now.” Her hair whips around her once more as she turns away. She had a home to get back to. A family to return to.
“And if it was you?” Chris was getting more aggravated by the second especially the moment she turned her back to him. “If that happened to you? If you were in the position my wife was in, what would you do?” She pauses looking over her shoulder her brows knitting together sadly.
“I would have dealt with it. I would have hated myself but there are things bigger than me. Bigger than my own problems.” Her voice sounded strained. “I am sorry for your loss, I truly am and I know it was hard but it was the selfish thing to do. No matter how hard it was for her.” She whispers before tugging her coat around her tighter and taking off to get home.
Chris stood alone mulling over Malia’s words for a moment before he was disrupted in his musing.
“I wouldn’t call sneaking out of the apartment when I wasn’t paying attention to be complete honesty.” Of course she had followed him here. It was hard to sneak under her radar. He had trained her well. “Who is she?”
“A very gifted hunter.” The last thing he wants is for Allison to be under that thing were more than what they really were. His heart bleeds a little for his daughter. He knew she would have heard every word that Malia said, what was said about her mother and all. “A friend; well she used to be but we haven’t spoken all that much since your mother’s passing but you know that.”
“How come I’ve never met her before? Is there something going on between you two?” He knew Allison had met most of the hunter he kept close to him.
“Of course not.” He tugs her closer trying to reassure her. “She is a happily married woman and I…” She knew how it went. He didn’t need to say anything more.
“Still, I want to know who she is.”
“Her name is Malia Mahealani, one of the best hunter’s I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.” He head cocks to the side, gesturing to the dead body tied to the tree. “Not many hunters can take down a beast that size on their own.”
“No kidding.” Allison’s jaw almost dropped in shock and Chris let her pull back from him. “I need to go and phone someone.” She was already fishing her phone out of her pocket and he just lets her go. Not really paying attention to her anymore as he looks over at the dead wolf and missing the frantic look of worry that crosses his daughter’s face.
The moment the door was shut over, Danny felt his entire body being pushed hard against the door. He wasn’t scared despite the fact the only light in his room was the streaming lamp from outside. Wet lips already being pushed against his own, his own hands scrambled to grip at the back of his ‘intruder’s’ body
“You know my four year old sister is in the room next door.” He breathes out, fingers twining in the lather of his partner’s jacket. Only getting breath for a short moment before he was distracted by another kiss which he certainly was not complaining about.
He had spent the last hour making sure his sisters had done what they were supposed, homework and were fed and bathed before getting his youngest two sisters off to bed..
It was a messy kiss, his hands gripped everywhere in a weak effort to keep Ethan close to him. The pair acting as if they haven’t seen one another for an extended period of time. “Ethan.” His boyfriend’s name rolls off the tip of his tongue like a mantra.
“Yes?” His head fell to the side like a weight when he felt Ethan’s lips pressed into his neck, eyes falling shut of their own accord, head falling against the door as a smile ghosts over his lips.
“I hate you sometimes. “ Words came out a little more breathlessly than he anticipated. Both of them knew this wasn’t case. It would never be the case.
Hands scrambled in any direction that they could just so they could touch at any scrape of skin that they could reach.
It wasn’t an ideal method of keeping their relationship going but it was something he would cling to as best as he could. His relationship with Ethan was so much more than anything else he had experienced before.
Both of them were content like this until Danny’s hands pressed hard into Ethan’s chest, alerting the other. “What is it?”
Danny slowed his breathing down, pressing his ear closer to his bedroom door for a more before groaning. “Mom’s home.” His mom didn’t have a problem with him being gay or anything, she just had a problem with him bringing guys into the house when his sisters were in.
Something about ‘hormonal teenagers’.
“Your mom has the worst fucking timing.” Ethan hated the fact that stealing kiss between Danny’s babysitting duties was what their relationship was depleted to right now. He should have heard her before she reached the house but he was far too occupied with something else.
Something else being Danny.
“She’s coming up the stairs, quick!” Danny couldn’t face the fact he wound be grounded if his mom found out Ethan was in his room. “In here.” He shoved at Ethan’s side, shoving him quickly into the closet where he kept all of his lacrosse stuff, slamming the door shut on him before flopping down on his bed with a chemistry book, remember to flick the switch of the light on just in time to hear the knock on the door.
“Come in.” At least his mother side had the common curtsey to knock before coming into to his room. “Hey mom.” Of all this things Danny found himself skilled at, acting was not one of them.
“Hi, sweetie.” He could tell that she would know something is off. His mother was not an idiot. “Did you get the girls off to sleep okay?” He cocks her head to the side and Danny is thankful that was the direction the conversation took.
“It took a little effort with Heidi since she was crying for dad but other than that everything was fine.” His fingers stroked over the spine of his book. “How did your meeting go?” Danny didn’t really know where his mother had gone; she had said something about covering a meeting for his dad.
“Oh? It was fine but I would much rather your father was here.” His father left quite often on business and it was something that unsettled him for various reasons. “What are you doing?”
“Chemistry homework.” In all honesty that was what he had planned to do tonight but a visit from Ethan was too tempting to pass up on. “Have to get it done by tomorrow.”
“Then I shall leave you to it.” In the clear. “Daniel, why is the window wide open?” Not so much.
“I was warm.” He was going to have to kick Ethan for forgetting to close it over.
His mother seemed to give him a disbelieving look before starting to close the bedroom door over. “Just make sure you close it before going to sleep.”
“Yes, mom.” Play on the every perfect son act and it seemed to work.
He waits for a few moments, making sure he hears the creaking of the stairs to assure him that his mother was out of ear shot. “You can come out now.” He could have moved to help Ethan out but that would have taken effort.
“Pun intended?” Ethan stretches out of the narrow and crowded closet where he had to remain silent amongst the many lacrosse sticks Danny had accumulated over the years. Surely one was enough.
“Maybe.” Ethan shoved all the equipment that seemed to tumble out with him. “But you have go, she’ll hear all the noise and she’ll come back up. I love you but I am not getting grounded for you.”
That much didn’t surprise Ethan at all. “Fine I’ll go but next time make sure all of your family is out of the house so we aren’t distracted.” He let his knees dip on the bed, hooking his other leg over Danny’s hips to straddle him.
“Not making any promises.” His arms slid up and hooked around Ethan’s neck tugging gently at the stands of his hair. “Although I have the car tomorrow so,”
“Are you insinuating sex in your mom’s car?”
“I think it was a little more than insinuating, Ethan?” He tugs him down hard for another kiss which was brief but they would make up for it tomorrow.
“Well,” Ethan pushed himself up, rolling to the side so he could get to the window. “Guess it will have to do until you get your own car back.” Danny had been out of a car for almost a month now after it suffered some damage.
“Yeah, yeah don’t remind me.” Danny waves him off just watching as Ethan slipped through his window.
For Ethan the position of Danny’s room was perfect for him sneaking in and out. He could get in anyways but this way he could do all the while making it look humanly possible.
“No.” Jackson kept his arm around Lydia’s shoulders as he looked straight at Allison. “I am telling you right now that Danny’s mom is not a hunter. She’s is a stay at home mom.”
Allison knew she couldn’t go to Danny and suddenly unload the news to him that his mother was a werewolf hunter. He would have just laughed at her and proceeded to slam the door unceremoniously in her face. So she went to the next best person which might have been a mistake on her part now. “I’m telling you that she is. She had a wolf about twice the size of her tied to a tree, easily torturing him before she shot him in the head.”
She had asked to meet Jackson an abandoned parking lot, citing that it was urgent matter. She hadn’t expected that he would bring Lydia but she knew everything now anyway so there was no point in keeping her in the dark.
“No way, I’ve known this woman since I was five. She used to look after me when both my parents were working. She is not some psychotic hunter!” Jackson growls, adamant that she was making this up or that she had at least got then wrong person.
“Sorry but she is.” Allison sighs sadly her eyes looking over to Lydia. “She met up with my father and I followed him. She knew about my mother.” Her lips were pursed in worry, an expression that was mirrored by Lydia. “He said the woman was called Malia Mahealani.”
The stricken expression that crossed Jackson’s face seemed to be his way of understanding that this might just be real.
“What about Ethan then?” Lydia asks and for a moment Allison and Jackson just look at one another. “How long until she find out about that?” She brought up a fair enough point. Danny’ relationship with Ethan was something that most of them left well enough alone. “How long until she ends up killing her own son’s boyfriend?”
“Can I not use this as an excuse to finally him away from Danny?” Most of them except Jackson. It had been a few months now and it was still something that Jackson was not over. “’Oh hey Ethan you really need to stay away from Danny or his mom is going to butcher you’.” His voice low and mocking but the smirk said pretty much everything but it fell after he was nudged by Lydia. “What!? I don’t like him.”
“Clearly.” Lydia scoffs.
“What are we going to do about this?” Allison had her reasons why she kept low on the hunting thing at the moment, she could keep her dad out of it but if the Mahealani’s are hunters this was just going to make things more difficult.
“Nothing.” Jackson says. “I never liked Ethan so if Malia is as you say she is then we should just let her get Ethan. He’s done bad things.”
“And you haven’t.” Lydia sounded panic namely because Jackson could now become wanted man yet again. That was the last thing she wanted. “What if she comes after you?” He hands press flush against his chest.
“She won’t. She loves me.” He snorts.
“And will she love you when she finds out you’re werewolf. Or what if she already knows?” It was all about perception and Allison didn’t know enough about this woman to know if she would see Jackson was the boy she had already known or see him just as a monster.
“Hey, I will be the least of her problem when she discovers her son is sleeping with one. I vote to gift wrap Ethan and send him to her.” He receives another slap to the chest for his comments.
“We need to tell Ethan.” Lydia didn’t have any problem with Ethan; he genuinely seemed to actually care about Danny. Although she wasn’t entirely comfortable with the fact his brother stared at her constantly but that was another story.
“Why?” Jackson groans. “I don’t trust him. He’s going to hurt Danny and I am waiting for him to slip up so I can rip him to shreds.” He lazily shrugs, getting a glare from both Lydia and Allison.
Jackson’s loyalty to his best friend was touching but it wasn’t going to help much at this moment in time. Allison actually worried that it could only make matters worse.
“Yeah well he is important Danny and since you are his best friend it should important to you too.” Lydia gives off a displeased huff. “He make’s Danny happy. That should matter to you.”
“Happy?” He snorts “At what cost Lydia. The guy has kill people before. Please tell me what is going to stop him from killing Danny?” Allison was aware that it was a touchy subject for Jackson. It was something he didn’t liked to think about. “The quicker we get him away from Danny, the better?”
“Better for who?” Allison asks. “For you?”
“For him. He is my best friend and he is sleeping with a murderer.” Allison could make a quip about the murders that Jackson had caused but in his defence, he was being controlled. Ethan was totally aware of what he had been doing.
“No. We should tell Ethan, he’s changed.” Lydia holds her head high as she speaks, knowing she had the best chance of the uniting the two of them on opinions. “He changed for Danny. You can’t say that doesn’t mean anything to you. That it doesn’t mean a damn thing?”
“I have to agree with Lydia. That might be the best idea.” Allison checked her phone having message the information to Scott who in turn would most likely tell Derek.
“Well I disagree.” Jackson snorts. “I vote we anonymously tell Malia about Ethan and have him rid of.” So much for Lydia helping to change Jackson’s opinion.
“Majority rules I’m afraid.” Allison smiles.
“Wait doesn’t this mean Danny is being trained to be a hunter.” Allison knew Lydia wanted to say something about her being trained as one.
“No. Apparently that is the reason she looks down on my family, because they trained me up. Danny doesn’t know a thing.”
“Good. That can help lay things low for a moment.” Jackson swallows hard around the lump in his throat.
This was only serving to make things infinitely more complicated.