Chapter 72 The Cliffs
Think about your mate!” Tylen calls after me, the mention of Talia making me halt in my place “Think about your pup,” he adds softly when he manages to catch up. “That kid still needs a Dad. You have a family to return to. You have to think with your head if you ever want to make it back to them.”
From the water, we hear whimpering and howling growing fainter by the second, the sense of urgency rising within me
How can I just sit back and watch?
“M–my son thinks I–I am a hero for being here, H–how can I ever face him again if I–don‘t at least tr–try to help?” I ask, turning to face him.
“W–why did y–you bring me here if I–I am only meant to wa–watch?” I demand, looking back to the cliff
“An Alpha should see how his team works before he takes command. You‘ve never seen war. Now you‘re watching it unfold before your very eyes,” he replies, his eyes flicking to the cliffs when we hear another s****m from the water.
We don‘t have time for this! Grayson snaps. If we want her to live, we need to move now! My body twitches instinctively towards the cliffs, Tylen scoffing condescendingly at me.
“So what‘s your plan?” He laughs. “Say you manage to jump into the water without setting off one of the guns or the gas canisters. You grab my aunt and then what? SI going to scale back up the cliffs with her body on your back? It‘s a 30ft climb and you‘d be an easy target for the Scarlett Haven wolves coming in. You‘ll be dead before you know it.”
Iglance over at the cliffs, the sound of more boats coming in drowning out the struggle in the water.
Thave an idea, Grayson snaps, detailing his thoughts to me. It‘s crazy enough that it might just work and we don‘t need pretty boy‘s help over here.
We need his marksmanship. linterject, realizing I left my gun in the watchtower. And a rope.
Grayson grunts in approval and I turn to Tylen, lowering my walls to command him.
G–get a rope, “I order him, Tylen clicking his tongue in disapproval.
Grayson grows irritated when he doesn‘t move and steps forward “NOW,” he commands, a black film washing over Tylen‘s hazel eyes.
His eyebrows furrow in shock as his body moves involuntarily towards the watchtower. “What the–”
“Bring the rope and the binoculars to the cliff ” Grayson snaps, and we sprint away towards the cliff before Tylen could say another word.
The rocky face of the cliff on the Western Island is sheer drop into the water, making it
difficult to climb without a rope. Tylen is right, climbing the ndge with Taryn on my back would be almost impossible without getting ourselves shot or killed The thick fog does work to our favor, but it seems our cover will soon go away as a light wind begins to blow through the channel. The clock is ticking and I‘ll have to act fast if I want to save Taryn Ravenstone.
Squinting my eyes, I search the turbulent waters for Taryn and finally find her near the base of the main island, struggling to hang onto a large chunk of debris from the shattered boats crashing against the cliffs. Her attacker is nowhere to be seen and the boatmen with the guns are long dead, taken care of by the Tylen and the other Ravenstone wolves on the cliffs. Taryn, however, is still in danger as I hear the hum of boat engines getting closer.
Tlay flat on my stomach, crawling to the edge of the ridge behind a boulder to stay out of sight from the incoming Scarlett Haven wolves. From the fog, two small boats emerge, each equipped with three armed wolves as they scan the waters and I pray they do not see Taryn floating near them.
Tylen finally arrives with the rope, crawling on all fours as he approaches the cliff edge. “I need an explanation now,” Tylen demands, handing me the rope. “How did you–”
“Shhh,” I hissed, carefully wrapping the rope around the boulder and tying a knot to keep the rope anchored. I then grab the binoculars from his hand to search for the Scarlett Haven wolves again. “I–I need y–you to keep an eye–eye on the water and make sure n–no more boats come into
the area while I–I get T–Taryn out of the w–water.”
“Do you mind telling me what exactly you are going to do?” Tylen snaps, using the scope on his rifle to scan the water.
“J–1‘m going to ma–make the Scar–lett Haven wolves help us,” I reply, lowering my walls to allow rivers of thoughts flow into me.
“You‘re what?” Tylen asks, turning to look at me in confusion.
I don‘t have time to explain as the first boat in the lead appears to trigger a surviving gas canister hidden among the rocky cliffs and the wolves aboard begin to howl in pain as the gas does it job. Taryn also cries out in agony, the fumes slowly floating towards her.
Her cries draw attention from the wolves aboard the second boat nearby and a Scarlett soldier takes aim in her general direction. Through my binoculars, I focus on the soldier, pushing through his mental walls so that his thoughts start to trickle in.
Come on, come on, come on , he mutters as he desperately searches for the threat. Where are you, wolf? They‘ll kill me if I don‘t prove myself today!
Just behind him, a second soldier with a deep frown line on his forehead scolds him to look harder before shoving him aside to look for himself. I do not recognize either man but the second soldier appears to be older and crueler than the first one. I focus on the second soldier, pushing my way into his thoughts until I gain control of him.
“Shoot the wolves on the first boat,” I command, the soldier nodding and pointing his rifle at the first boat.
“Captain?” the first soldier asks when his commanding officer takes aim at his own comrades.
The Captain does not say a word as he pulls the trigger, quickly taking out all three wolves aboard the first boat.
The younger soldier and the boat driver stare at their commanding officer in shock, neither one willing to move
“Sir?” The young soldier gulps timidly “What” Before he can finish his sentence, I re–enter his mind, “Grab the lifebuoy,” I demand, Tylen watching them all move in shock.
I then turn to the Captain and order him to the back of the boat to stand guard. The boat driver stands by idly in confusion, unsure what to make of this situation.
“Drive forward,” I command after taking control of his mind, needing them to get closer to Taryn.
The driver follows my instructions and I have him stop just a few feet from Taryn. She‘s hanging on by a thread, struggling to keep her head above water from exhaustion
I wander into her subconscious, hoping to calm her down. “Taryn, hang on a little longer,” murmur, my voice startling her.
“Who is that?” she whimpers, looking around frantically.
“It‘s Zane,” I reply, Taryn still very confused. “There‘s no time to explain but the Scarlett Haven wolves are going to help you.”
“What?“she gasps. “Just trust me. Can you swim?“| ask, Taryn shaking her head. “I don‘t know. I‘m so tired,” she whispers, her voice growing weak. Knowing time is limited, I look back at the Scarlett Haven wolves.
“Throw the buoy out and reel her in,” snarl at the young soldier. He obeys instantly, tossing the ring out towards Taryn. “Grab on,” I murmur to her, Taryn staring suspiciously at the ring. Please trust me, “I urged, Taryn reluctantly grabbing the buoy.
The young soldier begins to reel her in when I suddenly hear Tylen mutter to himself.
“S**t,” Tylen hisses under his breath, readjusting his rifle and aiming his scope on the newcomers. “We‘ve got company.”
From the fog, a third boat emerges, this time carrying at least five armed soldiers on board.
” You should let me go,” Taryn whispers. “You won’t get me out of here without getting yourselves killed. Go back to your tower and keep watch over the cliffs instead. Protect the bunker. That‘s an order,”
Grayson only grunts in annoyance, but neither he nor I are willing to give up just yet.
‘C–can y–you … can y–you take out any of the wolves?” I ask Tylen who is already crawling further up to get a better view.
“I can try but this fog is impossible. I can‘t see s**t with this stupid mask on,” he mutters, tossing off his mask.
I look back at my new source of information. “Tell me how many soldiers you see on the boat “I demand from the captain but it seems his vision is no better than ours.
“At least 5,” He replies with a strained voice. “Who are you?”
“Your mom,“Grayson replies for me, turning back to the younger soldier. “Pull faster, d**k. We don‘t have all day.”
“My name is not disk prick” the soldier replies. “It‘s” “Didny ask, dark” Grayson mutlers, returning control back to me
The soldier only grumbles as he pulls Taryn towards the boat and I continue to monitor the third boat‘s movement,
We need them to leave… I mumble, my eyes scanning the area for a possible distraction,
Use your balls! Grayson snickers but his voice becomes serious when I don‘t reply. The beads, you f**t. Blow the boat up.
Oh, I gasp, reaching into my utility belt to find the beads.
As I crawl over to Tylen, I look over at the main island bluffs and notice a group of incoming armed Ravenstone warriors. I crawl faster, grabbing a handful of beads for Tylen.
“Te–tell those soldiers up–up there to move further u–up the channel and sh–shot at the third boat,” I say pointing from the cliff towards the harbor. I hand the beads to Tylen who stares at me quizzically. “Help them o–out. W–we‘ll need the cover for my p–plan to wo–work.”
“What exactly are you planning on doing?” he asks, taking the beads.
“X–I‘m pulling T–Taryn up,” I reply, taking off my mask and crawling back to the boulder.“ Y–you just worry about the th–third boat and any other Scar–lett wolves. l–I‘ll get T–Taryn.”
peer over the ledge of the cliff, seeing the soldier pull Taryn‘s body out of the water and onto the boat. Focusing on the driver, I instruct him to move the boat towards our cliff and toss the rope over the ridge.
“Tie her up !” I demand the soldier get to work wrapping the rope around Taryn‘s waist and legs.
Blood pours from a large wound on Taryn‘s leg but her strained screams are drowned out by sounds of gunfire further up the channel, the Ravenstone wolves shooting down at Scarlett wolves and luring them further away. From the corner of my eye, I watch Tylen roll a bead between his fingers, the metallic coat glowing red. He tosses the bead over the ledge, the bead exploding upon contact with the water.
He tosses several more, clouds of smoke, rock, and fog filling the channel. I can no longer see Taryn or the Scarlett Haven wolves under my control but I feel a tug on the rope so l anchor my feet against the boulder and pull.
Beads of sweat gather around my forehead as I pull her up, the rope burning as it slides against my palms. I breathe through my mouth to avoid the pungent smell of burning flesh and blood as more beads explode below us and despite the bullets and loud explosions, the only sound I hear is the sound of every breath I take.
“Co–come on, co–come on,” I mumble to myself, tugging the rope as hard as I can.
Suddenly, a bullet flies past my nose, exploding in the boulder beside me. I stop pulling and duck, making sure to keep my grip on the rope. A second bullet rushes past me and through the clouds of smoke, I see a group of Scarlett Haven wolves across from us on the main island, their rifles pointed at Tylen.
Tylen rushes behind some brush and I take cover behind the boulder. “You okay?” Tylen calls out, reloading his weapon “Y–Yeah,” I call back, my voice drowned out by the rain of bullets firing towards us.
Still holding onto the rope, I press my legs against the boulder and maneuver my way to the other side to get as close to the edge as possible. Very carefully, I lean over the side of the ridge and peer down at Taryn still dangling two thirds of the way up the cliff.
“Ha–hang on, T–Taryn,” I whisper, Taryn chuckling softly. “Don‘t really have a choice, now do I?” she whispers
I try to laugh despite my obvious fears and once again begin to pull, ducking every so often aş bullets fly our way. Tylen shoots back and I command the three wolves still floating in the channel to shoot up towards the main island.
My heart sinks to the pit of my stomach however, when the clouds of smoke and fog begin to shift as a gust of wind blows through the channel.
“I‘m out of ammo and beads and I already threw all of my silver grenades,” Tylen curses under his breath as he crawls over to me. “We gotta go. It‘s not safe here anymore.”
Adrenaline pumps through my veins as we hear the hum of more boats approaching, our predicament worsening by the second. I pull with all my might but the rope suddenly becomes stuck.
“G–grab onto m–my legs. Sh–she‘s almost u–up,” I shout, Tylen nodding and wrapping his fingers around my ankles.
I throw the upper part of my body over the ridge and reach out my arms to Taryn.
“Ta–take m–my hand,” I hiss, Taryn weakly stretching out her arms. “Co–come on! Y–you can do it!” I plead, the fog slowly shifting.
“Hurry up!” Tylen snarls. “We‘re losing our cover!”
“Co–come on Ta–Taryn, give m–me y–your hand,” I whisper through gritted teeth, spreading my fingers as far as I can in hopes of reaching her. Her eyes fill with tears when a gap the size of a
penny is the only space separating us. “Al–almost there, co–come on!”
“l–I can‘t,” she pants, stretching her fingers as far as she can reach. “I can‘t reach.” “Y–yes, y–es y–you can!” | shout back. “Ty–Tylen, lower m–me a little mo–more.” “I can‘t!” he shouts back. “I‘m going to lose my grip!” “Tylen!” I plead.
A knowing look washes over Taryn‘s eyes as more Scarlett wolves arrive on the main island cliff and she shakes her head at me.
“You have to go,” she whispers.
“N–no!” I shake my head, tears gathering in my eyes. “No–no, I–I can get y–you u–up. Just let m–me think.”
“You don‘t have time,” she replies, pulling a small knife from her pocket.
“N–no, don‘t!” I whimper, stretching my hand out a little further. “D–don‘t do it! Please d–don‘t!”
She puts the blade of her knife against the rope. “Tell Toran I love him.”
She slashes the rope, my breath hitching as I watch her fall into the cloud of smoke and water below.
“Look out!” Tylen pulls me back in time as a gas canister is launched at us, the toxic fumes
spilling out of its shell in a grayish mist as it collides into the face of the cliff
“Mask!” Tylen shouts, crawling over to our masks and tossing mine back to me
Thaphazardly put it on hissing in pain as the poisonous misi touches my bare arms. Tylen pinches the collar of my shirt and pulls me to my feet before turning in the direction of the tower
“We gotta go! We‘re losing covert” he shouts over his shoulder, a numbness filling my heart as I run after him