The year before
My eyes were closed as the water washed over my head and washed everything that had happened tonight.
Anger surged through me over the last few week’s events.
All the pain that I went through was all because of someone who was supposed to be my soulmate. He even put me in the hospital because of the amount of pain I was in. I hated him with every fiber I had. He hurt me and even broke my heart over and over with what he was doing.
All my family wants to know who he is, but I still haven’t told them. Hearing more about their kind, my lips are sealed. Everyone wants his head, but they will have to get in line as I am the first one to kill him, whether he is an alpha.
After last week, something needed to be done; I was sent to the hospital and nearly died twice because of the pain he put me through.
After a day of rest, I felt normal. Sandy was with me when we came up with the plan, and I went through with it last night.
Sandy made the observation that if I can feel him being with someone else, then it should work the other way around. So, the plan was to go out for the night and hook up with some guy.
Bow and Peggy offered to have Brody for me and even told me to have some fun. Part of me thought Sandy told them our plan, especially Peggy, who was eager for me to wear something that looked like it was made to be worn as a belt.
Sandy and I went two towns over from where we were staying, so if there were any issues, the others would be safe and could take off with Brody. We had a plan in place, and as long as Brody was safe, I didn’t care.
We found a bar that looked like a shifter paradise with everything known to man. Grabbing a few drinks, Sandy and I went to the corner and searched for a man for me to hook up with.
I felt sick, knowing that another man would touch me. But this was my only option; my so-called mate needed a lesson that what he came with a price. I want him to know another man had his hands on what was supposed to be his, and it was all his fault.
After a few hours, there was no one who stood out. So, Sandy and I left, but before we did, I had to visit the little ladies’ room. Sandy went outside to wait for me.
On my way back, I bumped into a man who caught me, sniffed in my scent, and growled that he wanted me and that he would make my night worthwhile.
The guy didn’t seem bad; he was good-looking, but that could have been the beer goggles I had on because even the bar owner looked good toward the end of the night. He was an old pervert who tried it on with me when I walked into the bar at the start of the night, but I dodged him whenever I saw him.
I nearly had second thoughts about going with the good-looking guy until an image of the reason came to my mind why I was at the bar. I gave him the most flirtatious smile I could muster and followed him to his motel room.
While on the way, I messaged Sandy where I was and that I found someone. I gave her the details of where I was and that I would contact her to come to collect me. I didn’t tell her anything about the guy, but all I knew he was a werewolf, as his eyes changed yellow when he saw me.
My eyes opened as I stared at the tiles. I grabbed what shower gel was on the side, which was clearly the man’s, and washed my body to get every part of last night from me. I didn’t want his scent on me.
Images invaded my mind of what went down last night. The guy had me in all positions and even fucked me against the door. No names were given; I didn’t want to remember or seek him out after this. This was a one-time thing to prove to that mate of mine that it works both ways—I hoped that this worked and that it made him realize he hurt me. I don’t want to go near another man again. I was done with them.
I shut off the water and got out. Grabbing the towel from the back of the door, I quickly got dried and placed the dress back on.
Looking into the mirror, I checked myself out and twirled slightly. I noticed a few bruises from the night’s events and hickeys covering my breasts.
More images of the night came back again, this time when he had me on all fours and fucked me so hard that I was begging for him to stop. The guy was rough, but there was no passion in him. All he wanted was for me to scream and make him cum, which he did six times.
Six times of being fucked by a stranger, and all I could think about was how I could be back with my child.
With a sigh, I opened the door as quietly as possible and appeared through the gap to see where the man was. My eyes scanned the bed and found him on his stomach and snoring. He was still out of it, which was good.
I pushed the door open wider and crept through the room, bending down to pick my shoes up as I headed toward the door, but I noticed his wallet on the table. Stopping, I looked over my shoulder to make sure he was still sleeping—which he was.
I know I told him no names, but I needed to know so that I could avoid him at all costs.
Picking up his wallet, I went to the ID and found his name.
My stomach twisted as I read the name at least three times and looked at the guy. Knowing I needed to go, I put the wallet down where I found it and went to the door, pulling it quietly open to let myself out.
Once outside, I closed the door behind me and looked around the car park till my eyes landed on a familiar car.
Before the shower, I had texted Sandy to pick me up, and she messaged straight away, telling me she would be there as soon as possible.
I walked over to the car and climbed in.
Sandy started the car and drove away, but she spoke as she turned the car at the junction and headed down the road.
“Well,” she said. “How was it?”
I could feel her eyes on me, but I couldn’t look back at her as I felt sick, knowing she wanted to know what had happened. Part of me knew it was a friend thing, but it was also because we wanted to know if this whole experiment worked and if my mate would stop doing what he was doing.
Clearing my throat, I looked over to her and was met with her eyes staring back. Concern riddled her face. “It was okay,” I whispered. “Hopefully, it worked because I don’t want to do that again.”
Sandy eyes softened. “That bad.”
Licking my bottom lip as I looked through the windscreen. “It wasn’t what I expected,” I muttered. “But hopefully, the pain will stop now.”
Sandy said nothing as we drove.
Silence filled the car, which was what I needed.
My mind raced over everything that had happened over the last three years of my life and my family. They may not be blood, but they are more family to me than I have ever had.
Over the last three years, we have been on the run due to mad wolf. We learned a few weeks later, after leaving the bar, that the bar was burned to the ground. My heart ached for the people still there—Malcolm, mainly, who had become a friend.
It seems the wolf is collecting rogues along the way, and the one who doesn’t support his rule as leader, he kills them. He wants what was meant for him, power, and he wants to rule over all werewolves. Scary thought, but no one has defeated him.
The people who lost their lives to this madman were unheard of, especially the ones we have known longer. But over the last few months, we have learned of the name of the mad wolf, which puts the fear of god in Sandy, Peggy, and Bow. And also me too. I feel the same, but it’s not for me. It’s for my son, Brody. He is only two and a half, and he needs to live.
Bow has been teaching Brody the ways of the werewolves. Well, what he can at his age. Bow has even mentioned to me he can tell how strong Brody will be when he is older but has said nothing else. I know he may want to ask more, but I want to put off telling them who his father is.
I have often had Bow or Sandy mainly asking me who his father is, but I avoid it.
“We are leaving again this morning,” Sandy blurted out, making me look over at her. Her eyes met mine. Worry was in place, and I knew why.
“Jasper Lyon is here,” she said. “I learned about him when I left the bar last night when a man came out telling me he arrived and that I should leave or there would be a bloodbath. I told Peggy and Bow.”
My stomach dropped as she continued.
“Bow and Peggy have packed up the house,” she said. “We will meet them soon.”
Sandy looked at me and sighed. “Did you see Jasper Lyon?” she asked. “Was he in the bar?”
I shook my head. “I didn’t see him,” I muttered.
“So, what was the guy’s name last night?” she asked.
My eyes went back to the window as she passed the first town and headed into the second one.
“We didn’t give any names,” I said. I wasn’t even lying, we didn’t, but I couldn’t tell her who he was; there was already worry and concern about the man. I didn’t want to put more in place if I told her it was the man we were running from.
I wanted to forget all about last night as it was.
I said nothing.
Silence filled the air and after half an hour, we turned the corner onto a little lane and drove to the small house we had lived in for the last few months. We have been staying in houses off-grid and only staying in houses that were close to the roads so we could leave without hassle.
As we pull up to the house, I notice Bow carrying Brody and placing him in the car.
Sandy came to a stop, and I opened the door as Peggy came out to me with a pile of clothes in her hand.
Peggy stopped and smiled. “I hope last night worked for you, sweetheart,” she murmured, confirming that she knew what Sandy and I had planned.
Looking over to Sandy, who gave me a sheepish look as she walked over to Bow.
“It’s okay,” Peggy said, placing her hand on my arm. I looked back at her as she gave me a small smile. “It needed to be done, especially after being in hospital. I thought I was going to lose you.”
A lone tear slid down her cheek as she sighed. My heart ached as she stared at me. Knowing they had to watch me go through that was hard to swallow.
Clearing my throat as I placed the sweats on and pulled them up as she handed me a baggy t-shirt. “Peg,” I murmured. “I’m okay, I promise. I hope it puts a stop to it all.”
I placed the top over my head and moved the dress down until it hit the floor. I pulled the T-shirt down. I didn’t wear a bra, but I made sure no one saw the bruises or hickeys I had. I stepped out of the dress, and Peggy went to pick it up, but I shook my head, which made her stop and look at me with confusion.
“I don’t need it anymore,” I said. “We can throw it away.”
Peggy looked hesitant for a moment but let out a sigh. “If you are sure,” she said as I bent down and picked up the dress. Nodding as I looked at her, “I will throw it away,” I said. “Then I want to kiss my little man, and we can leave.”
Peggy smiled. “Sounds like the perfect plan,” she said as she followed me.
I walked over to the trash bin, threw the dress in, and moved away. Turning around, I headed to the car where Bow and Brody were.
Bow smiled as I leaned into the open car and saw Brody, who had his arms reached out to me and wrapped them around my neck, pulling me into him. “Mama,” he whispered as he buried his nose into my neck. “I miss you.” I love these snuggles, but I knew we needed to move soon.
I kissed my son’s cheek as I pulled away and looked into his gorgeous eyes, the same eyes as his father, but he was more like me. “I missed you too, nugget,” I whispered. “Love you.”
Brody grinned as I moved back and sidestepped as Bow came near. “Nugget was good last night,” he said as I looked at him and smiled.
Bow grinned as I let him close the door.
“We decided to go backward,” he said, making me move my head to the side and look at him, confused.
Bow chuckled. “What I meant was,” he said. “We are going back the way we came and head in a different direction from where Jasper is going. I believe we can at least warn other wolves where he is.”
I nodded, letting his words sink in, but before I could, he continued.
“Last night while you were—” he said, looking at me sheepishly as his hand rubbed the back of his neck.
Fuck, even he knew what I had planned.
I felt my cheeks heat as he looked away from me and looked to the ground. Bow hated talking about anything sex-related or any form of intimacy.
“Sorry,” he murmured as he met my eyes and let out a sigh. “Sandy means well, and hopefully, it works. We couldn’t keep stopping like we had done. I would have taken Brody and Peggy away from you. We agreed if I felt that crazy man was close, I would.”
I knew he would; that was our safety plan between us. Having the pains I had every so often made me feel weak and took a toll on my body. It was getting harder every time it happened. One night, Bow and I devised two plans to help us. Even if it meant with one, I would have to live without my son. I would do anything to keep Brody safe, even if it meant being apart from him.
The other plan was for Brody and me to move into a human town and make a home without our little family. Bow told me that Brody wouldn’t get his wolf till he turns twelve so I could pass him off as a human child with help from a witch we have gotten to know along the way.
Bow cleared his throat, pulling me back from my thoughts and back to him.
“We are going backward,” he said. “We will avoid the places he has already been and head in a different direction. A wolf mentioned in passing that a pack was taking in rogues who would help fight against Jasper Lyon. Apparently, the alpha wants his head more than anyone, as he murdered his father in cold blood and seeks revenge.”
I stared at him, not knowing what to think.
“Verity,” he said, placing his hand on my arm. “We can head to the pack and even stop along the way; we don’t even know if the rumor is true, but if it is, we got a fighting chance to be together.”
Thinking about it, it seems like the logical solution.
I knew these wolves I had grown to love, and they would help fight this war if it meant protecting us all.
I smiled. “Sure,” I said. “Let’s leave now.”
Bow smiled, leaned down to kiss my head like a father would, and sighed. “We can stay in abandoned houses like we have done,” he said. “A few days at most.”
“Sounds like a plan,” I said. “Have to ask, what’s the name of the pack? And how long will it take to get there?”
“I don’t know. It could take months, as we have to make sure Jasper doesn’t catch us along the way,” he said. “I don’t know the pack’s name, but I heard the name of the alpha—Alpha Axel, I believe.”
My stomach dropped to the ground, and felt like someone had trod on it for good measure.
Please don’t be the same Axel I know.
My mouth was dry, but I cleared my throat. “Ah, right,” I said. “Shall we go?”
I didn’t need to tell them anything, but our second plan might have to come into place. I might need to hide Brody and me within the humans. There was no way I was letting Axel anywhere near us.
Bow nodded and moved toward the driver’s side.
I moved away and headed to Sandy’s car.
On every journey we have been on, I have always ridden with Sandy. It was mainly to do with the pain of what my mate was doing with others.
The same mate that my family wanted to search for and help.
Keeping my eyes on the ground, I went to the car and climbed in as Sandy was starting the engine. “We will follow them,” she said with a smile. I stared ahead as I let my mind register what was happening.
Sandy drove away as she followed Bow, as I kept to my thoughts.
I needed to think of a plan and fast. There was no way Brody and I were going to that pack or even be close to Axel, not after what he did.
This was going to be a long drive, but it was the only time I was going to come up with something.
Settling into the seat, Sandy drove and even put the radio on as I kept my eyes on the window, taking in everything we passed.
It wasn’t just Axel I had to worry about, Jasper Lyon too. I wanted everyone to be safe, especially the people I love. I would do anything to make sure they were safe.