Stolen - Book Two

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 9 (v.1)

Submitted: August 22, 2011

Reads: 43

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Submitted: August 22, 2011

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Chapter Nine

November 3rd

11:00 PM

It was eleven o’clock and Gabe was anxiously pacing Ben’s study. “Where the devil was he?” He muttered to himself. Gabe had been searching for his friend for the past 24 hours. Unbelievably, he had found no trace of him. He had an inkling that he was working at his office, but his secretary swore that he was not present at his desk. Gabe might have believed her, were she not a damn Verdon. Curses! That family was crawling all over the place!

He stopped pacing and leaned out the window. The night was cold and gloomy; the moon was high and full, illuminating the grounds below. Gabe particularly liked nights like these; the chilly climate helped ease and soothe his temper. He took another deep breath to steady his nerves. Was this the fifth time he had done so since he stormed into this room? Blasted! It was of no use. Temper rising, he slammed his fist on the windowpane. Gabe had news to share! The Verdons WERE behind this whole affair. Time was of essence and they must make haste to free Ally…and her friends.

He sighed and walked away from the window, looking for a place to rest. He reached the leather armchair that was facing the fireplace and sat heavily upon it. With a smile tugging at the corners of his lips, he wondered if he was particularly in a hurry to rescue Ally because he hoped to save the blonde girl dressed as Little Red Riding hood. He closed his eyes and replayed, once again, what he witnessed inside Ally’s dungeon.

Before slipping through the same crack he came in, he entered the adjacent cell and regrettably saw her. She was curled up, her knees nearly touching her chin. Her wavy blond hair spilled around her, rippling across her shoulders and resting on her back. He inhaled sharply at the glimpse of her, before she awoke to Moira’s shouts. Never had he desired anyone or anything as much as he had at that moment. He turned swiftly away and vanished out of the cell.

Damn it! How cruel was fate to throw this curveball at him? He was not expecting to find his mate. Hell, he was happy not to be betrothed. Gabe chose bachelordom for himself. He tried his hand at celibacy, but that was a tad too difficult. Bachelorhood was a good compromise since he had nothing to offer to anyone. He would not have any estates to inherit, nor would he have any land to build on. His household possessed very little wealth, and they held no title. He was scum and he did not care…as long as he got back at the Verdons.

However, not everything was so clear now. While he gazed at her, he thought, for a small moment, that everything was perfect. He no longer was hungry for vengeance or dead set to regain everything that was lost to the Harlan’s house. She was everything; the beginning and the end. Her soft supple body, which lay innocently beside her friend, stirred something deep within him. Something primal, instinctual. He wanted to claim her as his own; to forget about those dark bitter years he had to face. Damn it all to hell! He wanted to bond and mate with her until she screamed his name.

What about his plans?  He ran his fingers through his hair, shaking off the sudden desire that was threatening to engulf him. He reminded himself that he could not afford to be distracted at the moment. Everything was finally falling into place. He had the Verdons exactly where he wanted them. Soon, very soon, he would destroy them.

“Stay focused.” He said.

At that moment, the phone rang. Immediately, it interrupted his thoughts. Should he answer the call? Would it be Benedict? Gabe highly doubted it. He was almost certain that Moira’s family was keeping him extremely busy before the wedding. If he were to be completely swamped with work, he would have little to no time to think about Ally. The machine eventually picked up the call.

“H-hello? HELLO? Mr. Voss, are you there?”

Gabe looked over to where the machine laid. Benedict was rarely called “Mr. Voss.” He was not a fan of formalities. The voice was barely a whisper. Whoever it was, it was female and her message seemed urgent.

“If someone can hear this, please pick up. Mistress Moira is planning on doing something utterly foolish and she needs to be stopped.”

Gabe leaped out of the armchair so fast; it fell backwards, as he raced for the phone. Once he reached it, he tore the receiver from its base.

“Who is this?” He demanded.

“Oh, thank goodness! My name is Joanie, and I am a servant for the Verdons’ house. Is this Mr. Voss?”

“No, I am Gabriel from the Harlan Household. Benedict and I are good friends.”

“W-would it be possible to speak to him?”

“He is absent, but as I said, I’m a close friend. What is the problem, Joanie?”

Gabe heard the hesitation in her voice. Clearly, this woman had information on Moira. As a servant, he understood that she was taking a great risk going behind her mistresses’ back. Gabe wondered what she or her household must have done to be sentenced as the Verdons’ slaves.

“Will this remain confidential? I do not wish to cause more problems for my family. ”

“You have my word.”

Joanie’s voice was low and slightly trembling. “Mr. Harlan, my mistress has taken three humans as prisoners. Up to now, they have been well taken care of, except for the morphed who has not been fed.”

Gabe nodded, hoping she would get to the point, but unwilling to interrupt in case she divulged useful information.

Joanie pressed on. “Initially, she told me that they would be imprisoned until she married Mr. Voss, at which point, she would free them. Now, things have changed. She has become increasingly paranoid. She does not trust anyone, not even me. I am making this call when I should be doing errands.”

“I understand.”

“Well, I have a feeling that she is jealous of the morphed. She curses her name throughout the day. She even threatens to kill her! She doesn’t even seem to care that she could be exiled for such an offence!”

“The problem, Joanie, please.”

“Yes, well, she is taking them away. All three girls! Even the humans who are of no threat to her.”

Gabe froze. He was potentially now dealing with a loose cannon: a paranoid woman on the verge of a mental breakdown. “Where are they?”

“I am unsure of the exact location, but I overheard her ask the chauffeur to drive her and the detainees over to Helena’s Bog.”

Gabe smiled, relieved. If Moira was heading to the bog, then he knew where she would probably put the girls. One of the estates, that was confiscated from the Harlan’s, was a small cabin situated in Helena’s Bog. He never understood why it was part of the deal; the cabin was run down, old and falling apart. It was more of a shack than anything. Still, it had a sentimental value to both his mother and father. The small cabin faced the bog, and was isolated in the area. Gabriel would head there directly.

“I think I know where she is heading. Had she departed?”

“No, but they will very soon.”

From where he was, it would take him approximately an hour to get close enough to walk towards the cabin. It would still be daylight and dangerous. His safe bet, would be to wait until the sun set. This left him very little time to free the girls, stop the wedding, and bring down the Verdons from this hellish experience. He had to get a hold of Benedict!

“Listen, Joanie, thank you. This will stay between us, and I promise you that your days as a will soon be over.”

“One last thing, Mr. Harlan…” She seemed to falter but quickly regained her composure, “I think Mistress Moira is foolish enough to hurt the women. I mean, I have no proof that she would do this, but I can think of no other reason as to why she is heading there. I believe that she is trying to cover up her tracks. You must act fast! She has completely lost it!”

“I will.” Gabe announced, “May I ask you why you’re doing this? Why are you risking your House’s welfare? Surely, you do not care for the well-beings of humans to jeopardize your standing within our society.”

There was a slight pause. Gabe wanted to certify that this was not a trick. The last thing he needed was a wild goose chase and waste even more of his precious time.

Softly, Joanie replied. “Mr. Harlan, my House, like yours, was reduced to ruins centuries ago. I will not go into the details, but I fear that the Verdons are hoping that Benedict will balk at marrying Moira. Even if he honors the wedding, the Verdons’ will gain more power than they already possess now. Ultimately, reducing the Voss family to nothing.” Suddenly, Joanie’s voice was cold and lethal. “I will not allow the House of Voss to face the same fate as mine. Enough is enough!” She said, hanging up the phone.

Gabe placed the receiver on its based and stared hard at it. He did not personally know this Joanie, but he felt a kinship to her. Both were from destroyed families at the hand of the Verdons’ Household. He knew he was not the only House affected by Vincent thirst for power and wealth, but he never knew that others would be willing to fight them.

Quickly, he grabbed a scrap of paper and a pen. He needed to hurry. Before he headed out to Helena’s Bog, he had to grab a few relics. He had no idea what to expect up there but if Joanie was right and Moira was losing her marbles; Gabe wanted to be prepared.

 

Benedict,

Join me at Helena’s Bog. Bring offense and defense relics.

It is going to be a showdown.

-Gabe

With that, he left the study.

*****

Gabriel embarked on his motorcycle, and drove the 25 miles back to his apartment. He knew that war was on the brim of breaking between the Harlans and the Verdons, and it was about time. He hoped that in the end, he would safely be able to rescue the girls.

He checked his watch, and knew he had some time to kill, but decided to head over to the bog. He would spend the extra time he had scouring the area.  A lot could have changed since the last time he had been up there.

He headed towards his bedroom and lifted a loose floorboard located at the foot of his bed. Inside, he grabbed a few relics; put away some he deemed too dangerous, changed his mind, and packed those as well. Who knew what type of situation he would come across? 

Next, he crossed the floor and opened a small battered chest inside his closet. He wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to bring this relic, but he decided that it was better that he came well prepared, than not at all. With everything in place, Gabriel headed out towards Helena’s Bog.

As he rode to the bog, Gabriel slowly realized that revenge was no longer, what he was truly seeking. He was not risking his neck to catch the Verdons, but to save his mate. Damn it, he muttered to himself. I do not want to become attached to her. Save the girls, apprehend Moira, and get what was once supposed to be my life. End of story. Nothing more, nothing less.

As he arrived at his destination, he hopped off his motorcycle and started scouring the area. No one was immediately visible. He sniffed the air and smelt human blood. They must have headed north from the entrance. Gabe commenced his pursuit.


© Copyright 2020 Merilly. All rights reserved.

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