Unleash the Night (Page 25)

Unleash the Night (Dark-Hunter #9)(25)
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon

Wren’s eyes flared at that. "No, he didn’t." He gave her a harsh stare. "Thank you."

She was completely baffled by his words. "For what?"

"For making me come back here." There was a grim determination that burned brightly in his eyes. "I was happy to let them get away with what they did to me and my parents. You were right. There is more human in me than I thought. ‘Cause right now I want revenge, and I’m not leaving here until I get it."

"So what do we do?"

He glanced away as an angry tic beat furiously in his jaw. "First thing, we have to make sure that we don’t alter anything here in this time period. We need to try and stay away from anyone who might remember us in the future. Second, we have to make sure I don’t run into myself."

She nodded in understanding. "It’ll cause a paradox."

"Yes, and it would cause me to drop completely out of existence-really not a good thing for either me now or me then. But luckily, at this time and place, I’m pretty much confined to a bedroom down the hall."

He opened the closet door and peeked outside, into the bedroom. "It’s clear."

She followed him back into the bedroom. "Any game plan?"

"Follow my mother. Grayson is my uncle, and since they’re meeting, my money says that this is when they planned my father’s murder."

That made complete sense to Marguerite. "Okay, but how do we do that?"

Marguerite gasped as her clothing changed into a bright red, ruffled shirt and a beige prairie skirt. It was an outfit very similar to some of the ones she’d seen her mother wearing in old pictures taken around the time she’d been born.

Wren grinned at her confusion as his own clothes changed to a black Izod and dark jeans. "We need to look like we belong in this time period."

"How do you do that?"

His grin widened. "It’s magic."

Yeah, but his magic was starting to creep her out. It was one thing to travel through time, quite another to find herself wearing outdated clothing that was actually the height of fashion right now.

A woman could really lose her mind thinking about these things… Then again, maybe she had. Maybe all of this was nothing more than a grand hallucination…

It was certainly a possibility.

As Wren took a step toward the door, it swung open.

Time seemed to hang still as they both faced a man who was an exact, only older, copy of Wren. Dressed in an elegant black suit, the man had blond hair cropped short. His blue eyes were electrifying as he narrowed his gaze threateningly on them.

Wren wasn’t sure what he should do. He could flash him and Maggie out of the room, into another part of the house, or even outside, but his father would be able to trace them and follow.

Damn, they were caught and they were screwed.

His father sniffed the air, then frowned in obvious disbelief. "Wren?"

Wren swallowed as he met Maggie’s wide brown eyes. Repressed emotions tore through him. Grief, rage, but at the bottom was the part of him that had wanted to love his father.

The part of him that had wanted his father to love him.

His father moved closer to Wren with a deep scowl marking his brow. "It is you, isn’t it… from the future?"

There was no need to lie. His father was far from a stupid man, and there was no other explanation for the two of them being in his house.

Double damn. This was against every rule Wren knew of time traveling… not that he knew many. Since he didn’t practice jumping, he wasn’t all that familiar with the laws of it.

He took a deep breath before he answered his father’s question. "Yes."

"Why are you here now?" His father frowned as he looked back and forth between them. "You’re not supposed to be, are you?"

As every second ticked by and nothing odd happened-like he didn’t cease to exist-Wren began to wonder about that. "No… Yes… Maybe? Since I’m not dead now, I’m not sure anymore. If I wasn’t supposed to be here, wouldn’t I have died when you came through the door?"

His father let out an exasperated sigh. "You still haven’t mastered your powers?"

Anger flashed deep inside him. How dare his father judge him lacking? He wasn’t a callow cub anymore. He was an adult who was more than able to take care of himself, and he resented his father thinking otherwise. "I could take you down, old man, and not blink or flinch."

His father looked at him with pride in his eyes. A slow smile curved his lips. "But you don’t time jump?"

"No," he answered honestly. "I was told a long time ago that it wasn’t in my best interest to learn it."


"He was raised in Sanctuary," Maggie said. "There are a lot of people who want Wren dead."

Wren narrowed his eyes on his father in case he misunderstood Maggie’s words. "Not that I’ve ever feared a fight or backed down from one-"

"That’s the truth," Maggie inserted. "I swear he’s half beta fish. He’d fight his own reflection to prove a point."

Wren ignored her interruption. "But likewise, I’m not stupid and I’ve never wanted to make it easy on anyone. Especially not my enemies."

There was no mistaking the pride on his father’s face. "Good, boy. I’m glad to know they haven’t killed you yet."

"And they’re not going to."

His father looked at Maggie. "Is she your mate?"

Wren took her hand into his and squeezed it as Maggie watched him expectantly for that answer. "Not exactly… but we’re working on it."

His father laughed until he sniffed the air again. He cocked his head curiously. "She’s human."

Wren wrapped his arms around her as if to protect her. "You have a problem with that?"

"Not at all," his father said firmly. Sincerely. "My mother was human, too."

Wren gaped, letting Maggie know that his father had just imparted a secret to him. "Pardon?"

His father moved to lock the bedroom door as if he was afraid of someone overhearing them. "You heard correctly. It wasn’t something that we ever spoke about outside of the immediate family, but yes. My mother was an Arcadian tiger." His face softened. "Hell of a woman she was, full of fire and spirit. I wish to the gods that I had been mated to a human, as opposed to the bitch I fathered you with."

Marguerite felt Wren tense around her, but she wasn’t sure why. She rubbed his arm to offer him her support. Poor guy was having one hell of a day.

But then, they had come back here for answers. Even hard ones.

"I want you to know that I don’t regret you," his father said, reaching out to touch Wren’s shoulder. "I never did." And then his handsome face turned sad and wistful. "I take it by your presence here that I’m not around in your future."

Wren leaned his head against hers. His tenseness increased before he answered. "No."

His father winced as he dropped his hand and sighed. "Do I… Did I do right by you in the end?"

Wren didn’t answer the question. Instead he asked, "What day is today?"

"August 5,1981."

Marguerite gasped at the date as a chill went down her spine.

"What?" both of them asked.

"I’ll be born at noon tomorrow," she said incredulously. "It’s just kind of eerie, isn’t it?"

Wren’s father snorted. "Not in our world. You get used to such weirdness."

Wren took a deep breath while he continued to hold her close. "Three days from now, I’ll be in the back of a car headed for New Orleans."

His father opened his mouth as if to say something, then snapped it shut. Emotions played across his face while the reality of his imminent death hit him.

Marguerite couldn’t imagine anything worse than to know just how limited your future was. All the regrets. All the concerns. His poor father.

He sighed heavily. "I’m going to assume that I’m not the one who sends you there."


His father sat down on the edge of the bed with a sad, faraway look in his eyes. She could tell he was struggling with the news.

"I only have three more days left alive," he breathed.

"You shouldn’t know that," Wren said.

"No." His father looked up at them. "If you’re here, then it was meant to be."

A weird feeling went through Marguerite as she considered that. "I think he’s right, Wren. Remember what you said about running into the man in the woods who took you to Sanctuary? He knew who and what you were. He knew to be there. How?"

Wren looked as perplexed as she felt.

His father frowned. "Why didn’t you go to Grayson for protection? He’s your guardian."

Wren shook his head. "Bill Laurens was my guardian until I came into my own."

His father scoffed at that. "Bill is a child."

"No, he’s twenty-one right now, and for reasons I never understood, you made him my guardian. Bill’s the one who saw to it that I was tutored in my powers and kept safe until I could protect myself."

"Grayson is the one who kills you," Marguerite told Aristotle. "He would have killed Wren, too, had Bill not been his guardian."

Wren’s father snarled as he came off the bed. "That sorry sack of shit. I always knew he was a scabbing bastard." Hatred and anger burned deep in his blue eyes as he paced back and forth in the room. "I should have killed him. I should have…" His voice trailed off.

Aristotle paused as he looked back at the two of them. "Your mate is right. You were here before. You had to be. Because if you weren’t, Grayson would have had full rights to you. I would never have left my only son in the hands of a human child."

Aristotle growled and cursed… and returned to pacing even faster. He definitely reminded her of a caged tiger that was ready to tear the arm off anyone who came near it. "Who runs my company after I die?"

"Aloysius Grant."

He screwed his face up in disgust "He’s an incompetent nerd."

"Yes, but he’s a visionary," Wren said quietly. "In the next twenty years, he makes this company second only to Microsoft."

Disgust gave way to incredulity as his father stopped pacing again. He gaped at them. "Microsoft? Don’t tell me that kid from the West Coast really got that stuff to fly?"

"Oh yeah," Marguerite said with a laugh, "Bill Gates pretty much takes over the world as we know it."

Wren’s father growled again. "Damn, see what happens when you get killed before your time? Someone else dominates the market you’ve spent your entire life grooming. It’s just not right."

"It’s okay, Dad. Your company makes it on the hardware side anyway. That and the World Wide Web. Not to mention plasma TVs and cell phones."

His father’s eyes burned with intensity as he locked gazes with Wren. "Not my company, cub. Your company." He wrinkled his brow as if another thought occurred to him. "What’s this World Wide Web thing?"

Marguerite laughed again. "In short, money. Lots and lots of money. Especially for Tigerian Tech."

Wren’s father smiled. "Good. I like money. Always have. It doesn’t ever betray you, and unless someone steals it, it stays where you put it. But mostly, money keeps us safe from the outside world." The humor fled from his face as he let out a long sigh. "I guess my problem was that I wasn’t looking within. I should have kept a better eye on my family."

He returned to pacing with his hands behind his back and his gaze on the floor. "So I only have three days to get everything in order." He glanced back at them. "But that doesn’t explain why the two of you are here, does it?"

Marguerite stepped away from Wren. "We’re both being hunted."

"Why? By whom?"

"Grayson wants to finish what he started," Wren answered. "He wants me dead so that he and his son Zack can take over the company."

"That’ll be over my…" Aristotle ground his teeth. "I guess it is over my dead body."

Marguerite moved to pace beside him. She wasn’t sure why, but it seemed a natural thing to do. "They framed Wren for the deaths of you and your wife."

Both of his eyebrows shot upward. "Karina dies as well?"

Wren nodded. "But not until after she kills you."

He wrinkled his nose as if that was the most disgusting thing he’d ever heard. "How the hell does that bitch kill me? There’s no way she could do it."

"She had help," Marguerite said. "Her lover is here with her."

Aristotle shook his head in denial. "That worthless leopard cub? He can barely tie his own shoelaces. Never mind take me on. That’s just stupid."

"I never understood it, either. But as a cub, I will hear something break in this room and I will come in here and find you dead. Mom and her lover will be in the study across the hall, laughing about it."

Still Aristotle shook his head in disbelief. "And who kills her?"

Wren shrugged. "My money says Grayson. But I don’t know. When I woke up after her lover attacked me, she and her lover were dead, too. I never saw hide nor hair of who did it."

His father ran his hand over his face before he sighed wearily. His eyes were sincere as he looked at Wren. "I’m so sorry that I wasn’t around for you, Son. Here I’ve been thinking that I would have time to make it up to you that I left you alone so much as a cub. I should never have ignored you."