Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Wednesday Briefs: Mine! Chapter 26

Another week, another update! No prompt this week, but there's a chapter for you anyway. Also, today's the last day to enter my contest for the On Fire Release Tour. AND, starting today at Dreamspinner Press, there's another 30% off sale the entire store so you can get On Fire, or my other titles, for a great deal!In the meantime, enjoy this update!

Chapter Twenty-six

I was halfway home when I stopped dead in the middle of the road. I poured over the files that the doctor had secured on his computer, and Uncle Radford was researching the scientific information. What I hadn’t done was gone back to that house. After I pulled Kraig out of that horrific room in the basement, I’d ordered the house closed and locked. I didn’t want anything to remind him of what suffered there.

But who knew what might be there? I’ve been in shock when I realized Kraig was the werekin being experimented on. And why had he been taking samples from my streak? He’d already changed Kraig. Was there something about him specifically that was different?

The last thing I wanted to do was go into that basement again, but it look like that was where I was about to go. Answers were more important than my rage and pain, knowing just how long Kraig had been there suffering when I should have known. He told me to forgive myself, because there was no way I would have connected to him as a human werekin. They were outside the power of the alpha.

I marched to that house in the darkness. My eyes were just enough to see by the moonlight as I went inside. The stench of old death was awful, and I tried to take shallow breaths. No one in their right mind would keep sensitive information on the open, and the doctor had gone to all the trouble of constructing a hidden lab in the basement concealed behind a false wall.

It would make sense to start there.

Once I hit the basement stairs I turned on the light. I didn’t want to alert anyone to my presence in the house, if one or more of the guards passed by on patrol, but there were no windows in the basement so the stairs to send it in to pitch blackness. The wooden stairs creaked under my feet, and I had to resist the urge to creep down them silently.

There was no one to surprise here. The house was empty. Not even flies buzzed around the dark bloodstain staining the concrete floor where the doctor had fallen after I eviscerated him. I climbed through the hole in the false wall and reached up for the bare bulb dangling from the ceiling.

Harsh light cast shadows all around the room as the bulbs swung and then gradually steadied. I flipped my claws in and out as I prowled the perimeter of the room first. I couldn’t escape the sight of those chains, the vicious sharp cuffs that it held Kraig to the wall.

When we need uncovered this plot, and stopped everyone involved from hurting anyone else again, I would have this house razed to the ground and the empty hole filled in. I rapped on the wall as I walked just in case the doctor had seen fit to hide another area behind a false front, but they were solid.

My stomach churned as I approached the long metal counter that ran along one wall. Needles, vials, little metal tools, and even an electrical stun gun cluttered the surface. There were several specimen jars, Petri dishes and slides along with two different microscopes and a few other pieces of equipment I didn’t recognize. Maybe Uncle Radford would.

I pulled out my phone, and brought up the camera. I took pictures of everything. Slipping my phone in my pocket, I growled. This was the part I really didn’t want to do. I picked up the first petri dish and looked inside. There was a red gel surrounding a piece of flesh, clearly something cut from Kraig’s body because one edge of it held a rosette.

The only thing that would keep me going was my rage. If I stopped for even a moment and considered how they’d taken these bits and pieces from him, I’d go insane and destroy the entire room. I took a deep breath— instantly regretting it— and then blew it out. What I needed was papers that had to be some here somewhere.

Nothing was visible on top of the table, so I began to run my fingers along the edges of the wall along the top. No cubbies or anything else that I can detect. I crouched just a few feet away from where Kraig had lain for months on that cold gray concrete floor, and looked under the table.

“Jackpot!” Built into the bottom of the table were two recesses. They each were fastened by a lock creating a built in secure box. Lack of the key wasn’t going to stop me. I jammed my fingers into the crack between the table and the front of the boxes and I yanked downward. Pain shot through my claws, and one cracked, but the metal gave with a screech.

And notebook, a phone, and several file folders tumbled to the floor. I gathered them up and set them carefully on top of the table. I reached inside both boxes to make sure they were empty. Something slick was under the fingers of my left hand. I slid it out.

It was an ID. Studying the face, I could see the resemblance to Ritch. This had to be what I was looking for. I clutched the ID and stood. I grabbed the rest of my find and headed home like I originally planned.

The doctor had definitely thought he was secure in his hiding places. The actual experiment results made little sense to me, but the personal notes he made in the notebook were invaluable. I finally knew why he’d chosen Kraig, why he’d been taking so many samples from me.

I shoved the notebook across the table and rubbed my forehead. There was no magical rewind button, no way to put the genie back in the bottle.

But revealing the information could rock the entire werekin world.


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