Chapter 114: Varro
The dark swirls around me like an oppressive, heavy cloak and I stand motionless, aware of bodies
close behind me as we wait in the unearthly still. The sound of labored breathing, suppressed snarls,
and growls, as my flank of wolves grows to stand in a uniformed mass of protection.
“Lorey.” The familiar voice, followed by a swoop and gentle thud as my mate lands beside me in perfect
poise. Appearing as if by magic. His hand skimming the back of my hair with gentle precision as a
show of affection, and he takes a second to focus everything on me with a pause as he checks me
over. Appearing from beyond the veil of shadows and trees and I’m instantly calmer, relieved at his
presence. Less afraid when he’s by my side.
“Where have you been?” I whisper at him under my breath, not giving him a second to talk or question
me; eyes still fixed on the emptiness as I await Jasper’s reappearance. The vampires have all fallen
back, leaving us out here as though standing on a stage and waiting on the curtain to rise. It’s a
freakish still in the storm and a feeling that has me on edge, drowning in senses as my ability to feel the
vampires overpowers me. They’re still close enough to make me antsy. My heart’s pounding through
my chest with the heaviness of my own anxiety, trying not to fidget as we wait for the appearance of the
man who can end this tonight.
“Fighting, trying to keep the valley wolves alive. There are so many of them and so few of us.” He shifts
around me, eyes all over my body as he checks for anything untoward once more, not satisfied with his
first appraisal. Always protective, always caring, and then places his palm on the small of my back and
pulls me to his side so our bodies touch.
I throw a look up at him and can already tell by his scrapes and mud slick body that’ he’s been having a
rough time in the valley. His wounds are slow to heal due to the frequency, so he’s covered in marks
and grazes. His hair is messy, his eyes still glowing amber while in human form and I can feel the
adrenaline pumping through him like hot lava.
“Have we lost many?” I try and keep my tone inaudible to the nearby wolves as my mate casts a quick
glance back at them, instantly uncomfortable and shifts on his feet. His reluctance to answer is
“Hmmmm” it’s a short and empty reply, but it speaks volumes to me. He knows it will ruin the morale of
the ones closest and word would spread fast that many have died already. I don’t want to know how
many are gone either; I don’t think I can handle seeing Varro if I know just how many lives have been
pointlessly lost tonight. I would hate him before I can even talk to him and it would color everything that
came out of my mouth. I push it away as best I can and try to focus on the here and now.
“Where’s Meadow and the subs?” I change the topic and scan the dark again, yet the only faces I see
are those who were already here, patiently waiting, and in the back of my mind I wonder where Juan is.
He merged into the mess after the imprinting and he’s nowhere to be seen. Not that I care, as he has
nowhere to run, and I am quietly confident that once Varro decides to pinpoint him, then he will be
caught quickly. We no longer need to protect him, so everything has changed. Juan can try and escape
this night, but fate brought us all together for this reason.
“Split up, spread thin. They are some of our best, so they went where needed. Without being able to
link, I can’t be sure.”
My gut sinks and flips and I’m suddenly deflated and even more scared with that fact we have no
contact with our most trusted. This is a mess. Our pack is disorganized without our ability to link and
judging by Colton’s labored breathing, his gifts and strength are fading the longer we are out here.
Objectively I know that if we keep going with this fight, we will lose. We never imagined it could even
get this way.
“Carmen?” Colton flicks his glance to my side, devoid of her and only flanked by my guards. She swore
to him to protect me and yet his furrowed brow and icy glare tell me he isn’t pleased she’s absent.
“Busy trying to disarm the sound for us, where I told her to go.” I nod towards the house and yet
Colton’s head stops as he scans the faces to my left. His eyes suddenly coming to rest on something of
interest that sparks a facial response; they open in shock and then something warmer as his muscles
relax and I spot a hint of a smile.
I turn around and catch sight of Sierra propping Radar up on her shoulder, her fingers tracing his face
to make sure he’s recovering, and the look of utter adoration cannot be missed. Radar has his arm
around her shoulder possessively, in a way that screams ‘mine’ and Colton isn’t slow on the uptake. He
nods in their direction, looking for clarification, but I can only shake my head for now and cast him a
look that means ‘later’. I don’t want to recount that story or talk; I am barely keeping my body in check
as nerves eat away at me. Colton falls back into line with me, sighing with agreement, and fixes his
eyes back on the empty space before us.
My palms are clammy, my heart rate elevating and my legs turning to Jell-O the longer we wait here.
It’s a form of torture to wait on the unknown to play out. Knowing I am going to face off the father I
never knew and attempt to salvage what is left of the Santo pack, it’s a huge deal and my emotions are
all over the place.
Leyanne disappeared with Jasper to go summon Varro and left us standing here in this deafening
anticipation. I know word would have travelled to surrounding wolves’ mouth to mouth that I was
waiting here to meet with him, so I know that’s why Colton appeared. He would have questioned the
sudden retreat of those foul creatures and heard I was standing alone awaiting him. True to his nature,
he came to me in a flash.
“You’re okay though? No harm, no one touched you? You aren’t tired, dizzy, needing to lay down?”
Colton brings his attention back to me, scanning me with that quick eye and I nod at him, completely
distracted. I know he knew the answer to that the second he landed beside me, but he still has to ask.
His eyes and emotion sensors all over me because he knows emotionally I am all over the place
concerning Varro. He’s trying to fill the silence in the only way he knows how.
“Hmmm…… I’m just sick of waiting. It’s been fifteen minutes, where are they?”
“Right here!” The husky and powerful voice jolts me with the unexpectedness of it and I flinch, caught in
Colton’s arm as he pushes me slightly behind him and faces the direction in which it came. It’s not
Jasper, or any voice I have ever heard and my blood runs cold at the sheer sound. Strange yet there’s
something familiar in it. Like a forgotten feeling.
I clench my fists and try to cool the instant booming rapid thuds of my heart, legs finally losing all sense
of solid as my entire body turns weirdly cold and light. Fear gripping my stomach in both wariness and
yet anticipation. I take a deep breath and remind myself this is what I am here for.
The tall and terrifying figure seems to fluidly move from the darkness towards me, only the horrifying
glow of dark red eyes visible at first and locked on my face as he seems to grow larger with his
progress towards me. I am rooted to the spot, held captive by that eerie gaze and even Colton stiffens
and bristles with this intimidating aura. It’s obvious this is not a normal vampire, and we can taste his
power sparking the air around us.
“Varro?” I ask with a timid shake to my voice, sounding feeble because he caught me off guard, but I
inhale slowly to cool my nerves. Knowing I should show him no weakness. I am the Luna, I need to
“Father might be a more appropriate title…. given that’s what I am to you.” His smooth and low voice is
like honey on warm cake and despite myself, there’s something almost comforting about it when he
adds that little tiny inch of charm. I push it down and remind myself of the decades of carnage at his
hands, even if his reason is tangled up with me.
“I have never known you as such, and as you’re currently killing my family, I am a little reluctant to
acknowledge it.” I bristle. Mood accelerating from fear to anger in a flash.
“No further. Stay there if you want to talk.” Colton cuts in, moving fully between us as the gap closes
and I am shielded with a strong arm behind his back, catching my wrist and holding me still. He starts
to shift as claws elongate and his body bulks a little, fighting his own wolf to stay in control.
“You think I’ll hurt her?” Varro fully comes into the moonlight glow in the center of the clearing, exposing
a slender yet handsome face that could be mistaken for human. If it were not for his elongated and
pronounced teeth and those devil eyes that match mine so effortlessly.
“I don’t know what you want, but I’m taking no chances. She’s my mate…. you won’t get anywhere
near her without my say so.” Colton is fired up and ready to battle but Varro just smiles, a disarming
and smooth change to his face, softening his angular features enough to take that hint of demon away.
His teeth recede enough to stay within his lips, but those eyes glow brighter.
“She’s my child… one I thought I lost and yet now stands before me. I want a chance to know her….. to
see if her mother left anything of herself within her. I came here to find a resolution to our issues.”
Effortless suave and oozing charm and I finally understand why the old books told us that Vampires
could dazzle humans with their charisma. It’s the first time I have seen a hint of it. It doesn’t work on
other supernatural’s though. Especially not ones who are half-bloods like me.
“Colton, I’m okay.” This is going nowhere fast and with my mate standing between us with all hackles
up, then this isn’t going to be resolved anytime soon. “He won’t hurt me.” I gently prod him in between
the shoulder blades to stand down as my security guard.
“You have a bone to pick with our pack, and we get it, we do. This isn’t the way to resolve your feelings.
Alora doesn’t want this, and it won’t bring you any kind of peace. Fighting here, killing each other, it
won’t get you what you want.” Colton is still adamant he won’t back down, so instead of arguing, I slide
myself in front of him and hold his arm instead. Making it clear I want to do this myself. I love his need
to lead, but in this my voice is what’s needed.
“Who says it won’t? Who says that taking down an entire bloodline in revenge won’t satisfy some of
us?” Jasper’s voice filters through from behind Varro and he appears at his side in the blink of an eye.
Eyes ambering out as his inner wolf grows restless. His stance is hostile, his eyes gleaming bright with
rage and I can taste so much pain pulsating this way from my brother. It’s almost like an overwhelming
downpour coming at me from above.
“Jasper…. Do you really think this will bring mom and dad back? Do they all need to die to fix that scar
in your heart? What about me? Do you not care what it does to me?” I know this is futile but I’m not
ready to give up on my brother just yet. There’s enough conflict inside of him to make me believe I still
have a chance to help him through this darkness. I know his heart, who he was. He was never bad,
never a killer, and all of this is pain and loneliness that’s eaten away at him for a decade. He needs to
“I know nothing but pain and misery from their loss. Dad would want me to avenge our family. Mom
would never lay down and let it go, she was a warrior. How can I just forget them?” He turns away,
eyes glistening as tears make a show and despite his angry words, my emotions are hit with an
agonizing sad pang. My brother is in agony and now we’re here ready to do what he’s wanted for a
decade; his heart is wavering. I can feel his confusion even if his words contradict that. He wants so
badly to do something for their memory, even if deep down he knows they wouldn’t want this for us.
“Enough… I didn’t come to listen to bickering. I was offered a solution and I want to hear it.” Varro
impatiently snaps, bringing my brother to heel with his tone. He snaps all our attention back to him and
I have to let go of my brother’s emotions for now.
“I want this to end, tonight. The root of all of this is Juan Santo. He’s here, among us. You want
someone to blame, then it’s him and his greed. We won’t stop you. His thirst for power over a pack and
his acts of murder, his actions that kept me a prisoner for a decade. I have as much reason to hate him
as you do, so please, don’t see this as some sort of weak compromise. This is as much for me as it is
for you.” I let go of my mate and bring myself up tall and proud matching Varro’s stance. Words finding
their strength and reminding myself that I can do this. My hatred for Juan is as strong as theirs, I need
them to understand that.
“He didn’t act alone. There were other Santo wolves who helped slaughter your entire bloodline.” Varro
raises a brow at me, seemingly dissecting my words and acting like he’s considering them.
“His men are mostly gone. The few remaining are slinking around in the shadows trying not to be
caught. You are welcome to all of them. As a pack, we won’t stop you. As Luna, I encourage you to
help free us form their burden. All we ask is that you don’t touch anyone else. That this fight ends here
tonight. Place blame where blame is due and not on the innocent around them. These are my people
and they raised me, protected me…. I’m alive because of Santo wolves. Their own Luna for a start.
Reward that…. Don’t punish it.” My chest swells at my own words as Sierra flits across my mind and it
just strengthens my resolve.
“It’s not that easy to let go of twenty years of heartbreak. This anger didn’t just build itself up overnight.”
Varro is acting reasonable, even civilized and I wonder if this is an act or if he really is the kind to
compromise and listen to logic. His actions of the past say no, but this being in front of me, he seems
almost sane. I guess there had to be some qualities in him that drew my mother to one of their kind and
I wonder if I am seeing glimpses of it now I’ve peeled away the reasons for his war on wolves. My
mother was a good person, she would never have loved a monster.
“Then look at me and put it aside. What is it you want? A relationship? Fine…. I’ll do whatever it takes
to end this. I’m not scared of you. If you do this, I’ll get to know you, take the time to learn who you are.”
“My dear sweet child, I’m not asking for a sacrificial lamb. I never asked for you to be afraid of me
either. I want my child to come to me willingly because she wants to know her father. The plan was to
wipe the slate clean, free the world of these bothersome wolves and take you home with me for a
better life. Where you belong.”
I snort and half laugh half cough at his ridiculous idea. It’s not what I expected to hear but then I guess,
delusional plans had to be part of the bigger picture. Did he just imagine I would up and follow him
home because of who he is.
“Not a chance. You kill the pack, you kill me. You know how mate bonds work and my mate won’t stand
back and let you do anything to our pack. Neither will I. I am not going off to live in some vampire land
with you. Get real. I’m still half wolf.” My place is with my pack and nowhere else.
“So stubborn, just like your mother. Can’t you be more like your brother… so deep in longing for
revenge he will do whatever it takes, even if it kills him. He has managed to stay alive among my kind
for a decade, and that was no easy task.” He seems amused at my words, and pats Jasper on the
shoulder in a weirdly affectionate way. A hint of pride that my brother somehow didn’t die all these
years and I squint at him. My emotions bubbling away as I try to stay on top of the chaos I feel inside.
“My mother would hate you for all of this. You never knew her if you think any different. At the last
moments of her life, she was still fighting for her pack. Think about that. She lost her life while still trying
to protect them. She died for these wolves, for her child. She went to war to fight against you…don’t
you see that?”
Jasper shifts on his feet, drawing my attention as he turns away and I catch the glimmer of a tear rolling
down his cheek. He walks off, his posture stiff but his emotions are caving as my truths sink home. My
words have struck a chord and he can’t bear to listen anymore. Varro on the other hand looks smug,
mildly annoyed but he stays calm and unmoved in posture.
“You’re clever. You have her fire. Her insane logic and way with words. So what’s the compromise
then? You hand me your father-in-law and his men and skip off happily into your forest to live out your
life, oblivious to what you are? Is that what you’re offering?” He smirks, a tooth peeking out to remind
me I’m dealing with the devil himself.
“I hand you them, you do whatever you want with them but no, I don’t skip off into the sunset. We came
here to make a deal and if getting to know me is part of your wish, then I won’t say no. You want a
bond with me, then you’ll get one.”
“Lorey!” Colton warns with a stern whisper, catches my wrist, attempting to pull me back to his side, his
sudden spike of fear and protectiveness kicking in. I know he doesn’t want me to have anything to do
with Varro after this, but I’ve been denying our link for too long. Hate these creatures or not, this man is
my father. I need to stop focusing on the venom that was ingrained into us all these years for these
creatures and recognize his motive behind all of this. He did it for love. He did it because of loss. I have
been taught to fear and despise them and I’ve let that rule all decisions these past months. I never
stopped to really think or feel form Varro’s point of view.
“You are willing to come with me, back to my home?” Varro seems to visibly relax, his posture
smoothing from standing stiff and proper, to more of a casual lounge as he places one finger on his
bottom lip and crosses his arms to support his own elbow. It’s odd, to see him relax as though he thinks
he has this all worked out and in the bag. It disarms me a little.
“No. I said I would get to know you, but this will be on my terms. I say when, where. I need to be more
careful, take care of myself from here on in.” I subconsciously splay one hand over my abdomen, that
inner fierce in me needing to protect these two lives above all.
“Why?” Jasper’s voice comes strong from behind and he’s back faster than I can blink. Sudden
concern for me out of nowhere and he hone sin on where I have placed my palm. His eyes widening
and then his brows furrow to a suspicious frown.
Colton bristles and moves right up behind me, so his body heat encapsulates me and that low growl
tells me he’s getting impatient with this whole thing. He’s wary of Japers move towards me and his
mate need to protect is getting rebellious. The vampire hybrids are still lurking around the perimeter
and the pack is getting restless too, everything feeling tense and heavy as the seconds tick by.
“I’m pregnant with twins.” There’s no point hiding it. It’s something that may sway the whole tone and
they would find out soon enough, should we survive tonight.
“What?” Varro and Jasper snap in unison, the shock pretty obvious that they never expected that at all.
A sudden change in both their demeanors and Jaspers eyes widen once more before he chokes on his
own saliva then coughs. He seems to sag, his mind ticking over the fact he just gained more family,
became an uncle in a blink.
“She’s pregnant. Our children are growing in her belly…so she’s going nowhere with you, ever. She
shouldn’t even be here, doing this, but she had no choice. Is this how you protect your daughter and
grandchildren?” Colton again with an equally snappy tone, biting words, anger obvious, and I sigh and
push him back. His emotions are getting the better of him and he’s a bit like rocket fuel on a fire
“You’re going to be a grandfather, Varro. Do you really want to waste tonight standing here and arguing
about the future of my pack? I won’t raise my babies away from them, and I won’t be bringing them to
your people either. These are my children so don’t make me do what my mother did. She ran because
she knew her child only stood a chance among wolves. I want you to leave them alone and secure your
grandkids future in a loving and nurturing pack, in a peaceful environment. That’s what I want.”
There’s strained silence as his eyes eat me up, boring into my skull before travelling down to my
abdomen and back up. The air prickly with tension and static as it sinks in that he has more than me to
care about now. He takes what feels like an age to think through and then rests back on his heels in a
weirdly comfortable way. That smirk fades and I get hints of a real smile which drastically transforms
“I want to know you, and them….. I want to be a part of their future. Those are my blood too. SO you
have some logic in your requests and I’m not against this compromise. I get more out of it than killing
everyone, I guess.” His request is quieter, somehow sincere in its deliverance and the glow of his eyes
dull a little as he says it with hushed tones. For the first time I get some sort of feeling from this strange
being and sense nothing malicious in the intent. His brain is working fast and he’s calculating a future
with three more to his bloodline.
“You stop this tonight? Call off your hybrids and send them home.” I stand firm and cast a quick glance
at my now silent brother, who’s staring at my stomach and immersed in his own head. Eyes no longer
amber and he looks completely lost. His emotions are unreadable now as they are chaotic, and I can
see his internal struggle as he tries to figure out how to feel.
“I want those responsible. I will do to them what I see fit. You get no say whether they live or die.” Varro
won’t budge on that, yet I don’t care. We always knew if we could find a way we would sacrifice Juan
and his loyal. The fates have made it all happen.
“Deal.” Colton answers in my place, a quiver in his voice because at the root of this is his father’s life. I
know, despite everything, his heart is in pain even if he knows this is what must happen. He’s loves
him, even if it’s undeserved and this is killing his soul. I can’t imagine the turmoil or his heart in this
“You can never wage war against my people again, for as long as my children and I live. We bind us
together. No weapons, no invasions, no more fear of being attacked.” I stand firm, pushing my chin up
to meet his unbreaking gaze and he nods. My fire growing strong now an end is within my grasp and
elation starts to grow from a tiny ember in my stomach.
“I have no reason to play with mutts if the intent is gone. They make excellent guard dogs now I have
three lives to protect. I give you my vow, that once Juan is delivered to me, and his loyal…this is over.
We have a future to discuss at a more pleasant time and venue. I’m bored with war and mongrels. I
have a nice castle waiting for me back home.” He can’t even admit this is a decision he’s made from
the heart. For a moment I actually find him amusing.
I stand and inhale slowly for a moment, my brain whirring with everything he’s saying. It feels too easy
and I can’t believe it really is this simple. That he’s willing to end it all right now, and everything we
hoped for is happening. My gut says though, this isn’t a dream and I shouldn’t question it. My worthless
persona of many moons ago ingrained this idea into me that I was never going to be enough for
anyone…. This just proved it all wrong.
“I want my brother left with me.” I add in afterthought, grasping quickly at one extra detail that means
everything, seeing Jasper sudden spring back to life at my request. He looks confused and then
“No. I won’t live with these…..” he blurts out, his voice husky with emotion.
“Deal!” Varro cuts him off without hesitation, shutting him down with that non nonsense booming
command and Jasper spins on him in a flare of anger.
“What the fu……?” It’s obvious this is the last thing he wants.