It was very true the current situation would be crucial for our race in the years to come. It made me consider things on a much wider scale than just my own personal safety, not that it wasn’t my main concern. I still couldn’t help myself from having a jab at him. “I guess he felt you were quite disposable, to be thrown into the firing line so soon after having taken a bullet.”
Gerard turned serious at last. “Not only am I one of the strongest wolves in my pack after Jacques, but Marcel knows what a fraught time this will be for all of us. Additionally, I know more about human law than any of my pack. He could have offered you a host of bodyguards, except you would not have accepted them, would you?”
This was true. It was a stretch for me to have one wolf to help me out. “I’m going to stay one more night with Robert, and then I will be moving on. I don’t know where exactly, so I hope you are prepared. Tonight you will have to stay at a hotel.”
His next line I had expected, “You should stay with me.”
I looked at him with disdain. “Let’s keep this on a business like footing please. I need to see Grace, and I’m as safe there as anywhere. Best stay at the Fairmont if you can stretch to it, as I’m meeting my lawyer there tomorrow.” I felt guilty reminding him that I was going to be very wealthy, but he deserved getting put down. “Now,” I went on before he had a chance to pout, “since you want to help, I would like you to contact all the packs that my father didn’t control. You can ask them if anything untoward happened with them since the murder. I need useful information, and that will be a start.”
“What about your father’s packs?”
“I’ll contact them, as I know who to approach.” That put an end to conversation for a bit, as he whipped out his cell phone and started calling around. Since he had rather a lot of calls to make, I chilled. It took him most of the journey back, and of the seventeen packs, twelve had had incidents. Nobody had been killed, but he told me there had been three other shootings, three car ‘accidents’, two gas explosions, one ‘wayward’ arrow, a collapsed bridge, a case of silver poisoning, and a forest fire.
“Well that’s interesting, could you write it up for me when you have a moment, and let me know which packs had no issues?”
“Of course,” he said, “you know they may be lying.”
Not something I hadn’t thought of, but I didn’t say it.
I spent a very relaxing evening with Robert and Grace. I needed some chill time, and I put my problems aside for a while. It was all getting to be a bit much and I needed a clear head for my meeting with Hamish. After breakfast, when I gave Grace a last quick look to make sure I hadn’t missed anything, I called the Fairmont. Gerard had stayed there, and I arranged for Hamish and me to meet in Gerard’s room in an hour. Robert drove me there himself, and wished me luck. I think, looking back, that even then he knew I was going to trigger enormous changes on both sides of the border.
Hamish was known to be my dad’s lawyer, and it wasn’t a great stretch to think he may have been followed. Once he had visited my mum’s house, he was a marked man, and taking an unscheduled trip in the circumstances was a flag to the opposition.
I entered the lobby dressed like a total bimbo, someone completely forgettable to wolves, as I had tightened up my scent to the extent that I smelled more like my toothpaste than anything else. Surprisingly, I made it to the elevators unnoticed even though I did see a couple of wolves lurking. That was good, as I memorized their scents.
As soon as I was in Gerard’s room, I told him, “There are two wolves in the lobby, waiting for Hamish to leave, at least that’s my guess. Do you know any wolves who could intercept them?”
“Already on it.” He told me. Picking up his cell, he called a number, and spoke briefly. When he finished, he said, “I had a team of six waiting. They will intercept them before our meeting is over.”
Better and better. That was almost good enough for a hug, so that’s what I did, making sure my lips never got too close to his. There was fortunately a discrete knock on the door before he could try to escalate the situation. It was Hamish. I introduced Gerard as a bodyguard, as that would make the most sense, and he retreated to a corner of the room.
“I’ll get straight to the point, Moon,” he began, seeming to know that time was a factor. “Apart from what you already know will go to your mother, and what will go out in taxes, you get everything. Yes, there are a couple of provisions that you know about, but they vanish five years from now.” He pulled out a thick envelope. “This is for you, and contains what I understand are his wishes and recommendations. I am not privy to the contents.” Pulling out a file, he said, “I also have a lot of things for you to sign.”
Whoopee, the envelope was the most important, and the rest could wait. Once I had affixed rather a lot of signatures, Hamish pulled out yet another envelope out. It was a credit card. “This does actually have a limit, but unless you want to buy a couple of Ferraris and want to trawl around Tiffanys, you shouldn’t have a problem. Since neither attracted me, I didn’t see that as a negative. Having my name on it was, but I couldn’t do anything about that. Hamish brought me back to earth, as he said, “He also felt having cash would help.” Pulling up a briefcase from the floor, he added, “This is something he believed would help. Half is US and the other half Canadian.”
Wow, dad did think ahead. Now it was my turn to use my brain. “Could you wait while I read this?” I asked him, “as I may have a question or two.” I went into the bathroom for privacy and shut the door. Apart from anything else, I wanted to give Gerard’s team enough time to intercept the wolves I had noticed in the lobby. I really didn’t want to give them a chance to get hold of Hamish. Plopping myself down on the toilet seat, I grew a claw and cut the envelope open. First there was a covering letter:
Moon, my love, I am so sorry that this is to be the last time I speak to you. Please tell your mother I love her, but know that you have always been the most important to me. If I knew who wanted me dead, then they would never have had a chance, so right now your guess is as good as mine would have been.
Apart from a few things, I have left you everything. Mostly that will be problems, as regardless of what my Alphas want, you will be the one making the decisions. You will no doubt have lots of eager suitors, but if I were you, I’d want to stay single for quite a while. Right now you will have a hard time trusting anyone’s motives. If any of the packs want to break away from my umbrella, it will cost them around five million a year – of what is now your money, so they will have to do some hard thinking. They will also lose access to any land which is now your property. It will be far better long term for all my packs to stay together.
I enclose notes on all my packs and their Alphas, which I hope will help, and there should be a copy of the will too, so you will have an idea of what I owned. I also enclose my vision for the future, which I hope you will embrace.
I know from a wolf who has the gift of foreseeing that you will, when shifted, be a Super Alpha like me. I have lived a long life, and can have few regrets, however one is that I never saw your wolf and that I never had a chance to say goodbye. This way doesn’t quite do it. Of course not being able to see what you make of your life is my biggest regret of all, but the same foreseer also saw you as strong and incisive, so I know that you will be successful.
Remember I love you always
I read it through again, and by then I felt that the two wolves downstairs would have been caught or chased away. Catching Gerard’s eye as I came back into the room, he shook his head. Rats, I was more concerned for Hamish than me. “Hamish,” I said, “I have two things that I would like you to do. I want you to send out an email to everyone on the list that was to attend my father’s earlier statement. It will say that I have seen you, and that there have been incidents – Gerard will have details, which he will send to you as an attachment. I will send you a further attachment, which you may say comes from me. It’s best that you are not privy to these attachments. You should say that you will read my father’s will at a time convenuent to you as per his instructions. I will also have a message from me for you to read at that time as well.”
“I understand,” he replied, “What was the other?”
“The other is that there may be some people allied with my attempted kidnappers somewhere in the hotel. I would like you to stay here until we know the coast is clear. They may have been tracking your movements as you would eventually have to meet me in person.” I was probably a bit unkind not letting him know what sort of people they really were, but I really had no choice but to let him believe that they were simply kidnappers wanting me for ransom. I shook his hand. “Thanks for everything, Mr. Burton. We’ll let you know when it’s safe to leave.”
“Moon,” Gerard told me as I went to leave, “the situation is still fluid, and there may be more than the two you noticed.” I took that to mean that they had not yet been apprehended.
“Should we help?” I asked.
He held up one hand while he hit a number on his cell phone’s speed dial with the other. “What’s the situation?” he asked.
I could hear the reply easily. “We have identified a total of seven unknown wolves, and we are pretty sure that they have tracked all of us. What should we do?”
“We call the OPP,” I told him. With Hamish listening, I couldn’t say why, but I needed help, and hoped the situation wasn’t so dire that they would reveal themselves. I grabbed the room’s landline, and asked the operator to get me the police. Hopefully this would alert hotel security that something unusual was going on as well. When I got through, and it was the emergency operator, I said, “My name is Moon Hammersmith, and I am in room 648 of the Fairmont hotel. My bodyguards tell me that there is a significant chance that the kidnappers who failed to apprehend me a few days ago are about to make another attempt. I am requesting assistance.” It wasn’t long before I was transferred to a senior officer who, thank God, took me seriously.
Their response time was amazingly good, probably because, being in the Capital, there was always a team on call. Also the possibility of having one of the country’s richest citizens being kidnapped under their noses after they were warned would have been too embarrassing to consider. In any case, a contingent of the OPP turned up less than twenty minutes later. In all that time, the wolves had made no move. I guessed they were waiting for us to leave. The downside of calling the police was that they would no doubt want a statement about the earlier kidnapping attempt. I would pay that price, as I had to start being responsible.
Gerard had asked two of ‘my bodyguards’ to come up and stand outside before the police came, andwhen they did, they ushered in a man wearing the uniform of a Superintendent. I took the lead, and greeted him. “Thank you for coming so swiftly, I’m Moon Hammersmith.”
“Superintendent Hawkins,” he replied, grasping my hand, “it’s a pleasure.” Even if I had been wholly human I would have known that for a lie. I sympathized, but introduced Hamish as ‘my lawyer’ omitting the fact that he was American, and probably not able to represent me in Canada, and Gerard as ‘a friend’, who could explain the situation better than I could. I thought he would be more comfortable dealing with a man anyway.
Once he had done so, we agreed that we would go down with to the lobby together, where the rest of the police and Gerard’s men would be waiting to protect us. Hamish would wait in the room. It all went well until we had taken a few paces away from the elevator, then it happened. There was a very loud and concussive explosion. Gerard’s men took the brunt of it, being thrown back onto us but although they were clearly out of it, as wolves they would survive.