Read Mated To The King’s Gamma by Jessica Hall Chapter 62
Gannon had told me Azalea had been hurt because of me and all the way home I worried. Well, he didn’t say because of me, but that is sure what it felt like. She wouldn’t have been put in that situation if it wasn’t for me. She would never have endured what she did if I had listened and never gone with Kade. It ground my gears that even though he was d**d, my past with him was haunting me from beyond the grave, that there were still repercussions from everything.
Gannon’s phone starts ringing, and I glance at where it sat. Damian’s face popped up on the screen, and Gannon pulled the car over to answer it. I wondered what bad news we would get this time because if Damian was calling instead of mind linking meant it was important. When he was mind-linked about the council, he nearly ran us off the road, so maybe that is why Damian was calling this time instead?
Gannon got out of the car and sat on the hood talking on the phone, he glanced nervously back at me through the window before turning away from me, and I could hear his voice rising, but he walked off so I couldn’t hear the conversation.
We were pulled over on a highway. Cars zipped past, making the car shake. Gannon runs a hand through his hair before turning around to look back at the car. Leaning over the back seat, I grab his jacket. The temperature had dropped, and it was windy outside of the car. I pull it on and climb out. I wanted to stretch my legs anyway. We had been in the car for hours, and my a*s was going numb from sitting so long.
I stretched my arms above my head before walking around the front of the car while Gannon moved further away, talking angrily to Damian. I lean against the hood of his car and watch him, catching the end of his conversation.
“You should have just k****d her. You could undo everything I have done, just get rid of her and be done with it,” Gannon snaps, hanging up the phone. He growls, turning to face me. I rummage in his jacket pocket, finding some red sugar clouds. He always had candy on him. Yeti don’t ever see him eat it. I shrug more for myself. I giggled, opening the little bag and pulling one out while he lit up a smoke.
“Everything alright?” I ask him, and he nods.
“It will be,” he says, wandering over to me.
“You found my stash?” he laughs, pointing to the red sugary clouds in my hand. I smile, popping another in my mouth.
“You always have them, yet you never eat them?” I chuckle. The tips of my fingers turned red from digging them out of the bag. Sugar coated my lips, and I quickly l****d them, savoring the sweet taste.
“I don’t like sweets,” he laughs.
“Then why buy them?” I ask.
“I buy them for you. I know they’re your favorite,” he says, and I let out a breath.
“What?” he asks.
“Nothing, you had me worried for a second, I thought,” I shake my head, not understanding why my mind went there.
“You thought what?” He asks
“Nothing, it was a stupid thought, just don’t worry about it,” I tell him. His brows furrow, and he draws back on his smoke, watching me before blowing a smoke cloud in the air.
“How much further?” I asked him.
“About three hours. Why, anxious to get away from me?” he chuckles.
“Come on then, let’s go,” he says, holding out his hand. I slide off the hood, and he walks around, opening my door. I shook my head at him, and I wasn’t sure if he just liked opening doors or thought I didn’t know-how. I shake my head and climb into the car. We drove, listening to the radio for a while. He was suddenly very quiet, and his aura was all over the place.
I pull the candy from my pocket again, and he glances at me. “What were you thinking before?” he asked, and I looked at him. He points to the bag in my hand. I didn’t want to answer, suddenly feeling ashamed for even thinking about it, I know Gannon, and he isn’t that sort of monster.
“What did Damian want earlier?” I asked instead.
“I’ll answer when you do?” he retorts, and I sigh. I look out the window watching the scenery go by.
“So?” he asks. I shrug, turning back to look at him.
“When Azalea and I were little, the butcher used to offer us candy to help him in the basement. We never did. He always gave us strange vibes. We always thought there was something off with him, so when he would ask, we used to tell him Mrs. Daley gave us chores, which she did anyway, so it wasn’t technically a lie.”
“You thought I was a creep?” he asks appalled, as he should be, no one would like being thought of that way which made me feel guilty yet as soon as he said it for some reason that memory came to me.
“No, just when you said you didn’t eat candy it came to mind, it’s just where my mind went for some reason,”
“Well, I am definitely not a p*******e. That I can assure you, and do you mean Doyle, that same butcher?” I cringe hearing his name but nod, looking back out the window. All that seemed like a lifetime ago, yet at the same time I would always remember every detail, remember it like it was yesterday, it only needed the right thing to trigger it and bring to the forefront of my mind.
“He’s d**d now. You don’t have to worry about him,” Gannon says, and I s*****w.
“It’s my fault, though. I went down into the basement with him. I knew I shouldn’t have, but Mrs. Daley said she wouldn’t feed us for a week if I didn’t help him bring the meat down to the freezers. I shouldn’t have gone down there. We always made sure we were never around and made sure we were busy when the butcher came to drop the meat off, we both knew something was off about him,” I tell him.
“Then why did you?” Gannon asks.
“Because if I didn’t, she would have made Ivy, I mean Azalea. Mrs. Daley used to make us share whatever scraps were left over. We hadn’t eaten in three days. There was nothing left over. Mrs. Daley said if I helped him stack the freezers, we could eat with the rest of the children, so I went down there. If she said I would have got lashings if I didn’t, I would have taken those instead, but we were hungry, and Azalea’s back was badly torn up already. She couldn’t take more lashings, and some were down to the bone. I just didn’t expect what I got when I went down there,” I murmured.
“That doesn’t make it your fault, Gannon says.
“Anyway, Azalea found me afterward. We cooked dinner, and she fed us. We had a bowl of rice to share. Both of us were starving, yet neither of us touched it. That was the payment, a bowl of rice, Mrs. Daley then called us ungrateful, and Azalea,” I close my eyes. Guilt flooded through me and shame.
“Azalea took 39 lashings for me that night. It was only supposed to be five. Then Mrs. Daley made it forty, but I wasn’t going to tell her she was one short,”
“Was it supposed to be five?” Gannon asks. I nod, feeling terrible, knowing how much she endured for me.
“Yeah. Mrs. Daley threw the bowl at her when we refused to eat. It hit her in the face and split her eyebrow open. When she brought the cane down, she used to have this whip that went around the handle, which was usually reserved for Azalea.” I tell him, s*****g in a shuddering breath. A whimper escapes me at the memory of what she endured that night, just so I didn’t have to.
“What happened?” Gannon asked.
“Mrs. Daley gave her the five lashings, but when it was my turn, Azalea…” My face burns with shame at my next words. “I couldn’t sit, it hurt too much, yet Azalea was already hurt and still she did it,”
“What did she do?” Gannon asked. I chewed my lip and glanced out the window as that night b****d through my vision like I was right there all over again.
“She attacked Mrs. Daley so she wouldn’t hit me with the cane. Azalea slapped her, and I was so shocked I just stood there. We were petrified of that woman, yet Azalea slapped her. She got another five lashings for it, but then when it was my turn again, she got back up and hit her again, knocking her over.” Tears b****d my eyes, and I could still see the blood gushing from Azalea’s face where the bowl hit her. Azalea had worn my stained clothes because I couldn’t bear to put them back on afterward. Mrs. Daley already whacked her good for that before dinner for wasting clothes. Only to suffer more for me.
“Mrs. Daley smacked her head on the coffee table. She had a nasty bump, she then sent me to my room, but I stayed on the stairs. Mrs. Daley said Azalea was going to get 40 lashings for messing up her face before the Alpha visit.”
“Forty Lashings?” Gannon asked, shocked. He growls when I nod.
“Most of the scars Azalea has are because of me. She always took most of my punishments after that. Mrs. Daley was b****l with her. That night Azalea collapsed on the ground, and I watched as she just kept whipping her over and over until she wasn’t moving. I thought she was d**d. I waited for Mrs. Daley to leave, and I helped her clean up as she did me,” I tell him. The car was silent for a few seconds until i couldn’t handle his silence any longer or his burning aura.
“So, what did Damian want?” I asked him, changing the subject.
“They have Cassandra in the dungeons,” Gannon answers and I gulp, biting on my lip to stop it quivering.
“It’s up to you what they do with her. That’s what Damian called about”
“I get to choose her punishment?” I asked, horrified. Gannon grips the steering wheel tighter, his knuckles turning white under pressure.
“You don’t have to do anything, you don’t want to. You don’t even have to see her if you don’t want to. I can handle it when we get back it is up to you,” Gannon says. I s*****w and nod.
“And the council?
“Kyson k****d Denali and Kendrick. The other two he let go,”
“Why would he let them go?” I ask, confused.
“Because Mr. Crux has immunity. Despite Kyson hating him and Larkin he left alive, to serve as a reminder, that no one is untouchable. Denali and Larkin are from very prominent families,”
“What do you mean, Mr. Crux has immunity?”
“He has immunity because he is Azalea’s cousin,” Gannon tells me.
“Then why isn’t he ruling?” I ask confused.
“Because he was an illegitimate child to Garret’s brother. Plus, Kyson always held out hope Azalea was alive and that one day he would find her. He refused to believe she was d**d until he had proof,” Gannon tells me.
“What do you mean?”
“The Landeena’s kept her a secret. Kyson knew he would be betrothed to any daughter they had, but for some reason, they never told anyone she was born. We never knew until we heard of their slaughter and found the nursery.”
“So why did he think she would be alive?”
“Because Landeena, blood is special. When we learned, there was a child, and we couldn’t find her, we at first thought the hunters took her
“But if hunters k****d them, why would they want to keep the child?”
“Because Landeena’s are venomous,” Gannon says, and my brows furrow. I look at him, and he sighs.
“Landeena blood is more potent than even the King’s,” he adds.
“I am not sure what you are saying,” I confessed.
“They were the only ones that could make a human a Lycan. Lycan’s like me, can turn a normal werewolf into a Lycan, but the Landeena’s could change a human into a Lycan,”
His words shocked me. “Wait… Does Azalea know this?” I ask and Gannon shakes his head.
“And you can’t tell her, Abbie. Let Kyson do that,”
“I am not going to lie to her,”
“I’m not asking you to. I’m just saying don’t mention it unless she says something, just don’t deliberately bring it up. Give Kyson a chance to tell her first,”
“Why are they different, though?”
“Because they were the first Lycans. They were created by gods, or so the story goes anyway.”
“So the Moon Goddess?” Gannon nods.
“But if hunters wanted to get rid of Lycans, why would they want to become one?”
“Same reason anyone would, to gain immortality. Landeena blood is the only blood that could make humans immortal. We believe that is why her parents kept her hidden from everyone except those in the castle,”
“They were worried someone would try to take her,” I state with a sigh.
“And they did,” Gannon says.
“So what, she just has to bite them?”
“Yes, there is a bit more to it, though. For me to change you, I only have to mark you ultimately, which is part of the reason why Kyson wouldn’t do it. You could sire to him, basically become an extra mate. It’s rare for that to happen when you already have a mate, but it has happened in the past,” Gannon explains.
“Can Azalea do it?” I asked thoughtfully. Gannon clenches his jaw but nods. “Yes, but I would rather change you myself,”
“I know, but”
“You think you aren’t worthy of me, but you are. I am the one not worthy of you, Abbie. I want to be with you. I don’t care about your past or the s**t that has happened. I told you I could wait for anything more as long as I can have you as mine. The rest we can figure out. Just let me love you. That is all I am asking for,” he says, cutting me off and becoming angry.
Gannon sighs heavily. “I’m sorry. I just want to be the one to do it,”
“Okay, I won’t ask Azalea.” I tell him and he lets out a breath.
“But you still aren’t sure you want to be a Lycan,” Gannon says.
“No. I was gonna ask if we could do it tomorrow and not when we got back home,” I tell him, rubbing my temples.
“Wait. You will do it?” Gannon asks. I look up at him to see his shocked face.
I had been unsure, and he had asked multiple times, and the answer was always no. But the last day or so, I wondered if I should. I could be with Azalea, and I had Gannon. I loved Gannon, but I also worried he would get bored of me since I am not even sure I can have s*x or be with anyone that way. At least not yet anyway, but would he still want me anyway.
“Yes, I will let you change me but do we have to”
“No. We don’t have to have s*x, Abbie, but you know it would eventually send you into heat with me marking you. Azalea changing you won’t, neither would Kyson because he has a mate, but I don’t have a mate. So I wouldn’t just be changing you. I would be claiming you. I just want to be clear on that. You will go into heat eventually,” Gannon says. I s*****w and nod.
“I know, just, I want a little bit more time,”
“And you have all the time you want, and I don’t have to do it tomorrow. I just ask if you are going to become a Lycan. When you choose that, I just hope you choose me to do it,”
“Okay. But we can tomorrow, I just want to check on Azalea first. Do you think she is awake? I wouldn’t mind ringing her too since it will be too late to see her by the time we get home,”
“You can try her on my phone,” Gannon says, handing it to me. I take it from him, and he tells me the pin number to get in it.
“You know how to ring her?” I nod. I had plenty of practice, but when I noticed the time, I decided to send a voice text since I can’t write, usually Gannon types for me.
I open up the messages only when I do I see a picture message from a thread he was in. I gasp at the mutilated body of a woman and Gannon looks at me. He glances down at the screen before trying to snatch the phone.
“I thought you were ringing her,” He growls, trying to reach for his phone.
“Why is Blaire on your phone?” I ask, staring down horrified at the screen. Why? I had no doubt it was her. I would recognize her face anywhere, it haunted my dreams, and I always wondered what happened to her. I hoped she got free of the pack but here she was d**d on his phone screen. Yet as I scrolled through the photos, I began to feel sick.
“Blaire?” Gannon asks.
“Pullover. I am going to be sick,” I tell him, and he rips the car to the side of the road.
I toss the door open, throwing up. I empty my stomach. Seeing her mutilated body made me sick, and I dry heave when I had nothing left but bile. Gannon raced around the car, snatching the phone from my hand and pocketing it. He goes to grab me, but I take a step away and stand up.
“Did you k**l her?” I ask, horrified, wondering why he would send that to Liam.
“What? No!” he says, stepping toward me, but I take another step back.
“Why is she on your phone?” I demand, and his brows pinch. Gannon pulls his phone out and looks at the screen.
“You know this girl?”
“Yes. Her name is Blaire. She was one of Kade’s girls. Now answer me. Did you k**l her?” I ask him.
“No. Of course not. She was one of the bodies we found, I sent it to Liam so he could forward them to the packs so we could try identify her. Wait * she is from Kade’s pack?” He asks.
“Yes, I just said that. She was one of the rogues there. She worked in the b*****l, I tell him. Gannon looks at his screen again and flicks through the pictures. He takes a deep breath and shakes his head.
“What?” I ask him.
“We found a nurse not far from Blaire but in the opposite direction.”
“You want me to look. You think they are linked?” I ask, taking a step forward.
“Just let me zoom in on her face. I don’t want you seeing the rest,” Gannon tells me. I nod, already wishing I could unsee Blaire’s body.
He turns the screen to show me, and I stumble back, clutching my mouth, tears brim in my eyes. “You know her?” he asks.
“She is the nurse who helped me escape. She undid my handcuffs,” I tell him and I choke on a whimper. Gannon comes over, wrapping his arms around me, and he kisses my hair. “I’m sorry, love,” he whispers, and I clutch the front of his shirt. He rubs my arms before pulling away from me
“We need to get back. I need to speak to the King and Damian about this,” he says, and I sniffle but climb back in the car, and he shuts my door.
He gets back in the driver’s seat before reaching over and grabbing a blanket, a water bottle, and some mints. Gannon puts the blanket over me, and I shakily open the water bottle, gulping it down. He turned the heater up, the night turning colder. Or maybe it was my shock because he was still in a shirt and didn’t look cold.
“Come on, let’s get you home,” Gannon whispers, pulling back onto the road.