Chapter 18: Jessica
July 4th Weekend
I looked up from my book as Carson came into our room. “Hey baby,” he said as he came over and bent down to give me a kiss. “How’s the studying going?”
I put my notebook on top of the medical text and reached up, keeping him from backing off as I kissed him back. I had missed him, he was spending long hours each day in training, while I was studying all I could. I kissed him hungrily, letting my desire for him come forth. He and his wolf smelled it, and I smiled to myself as his eyes darkened. “Study break?”
His face fell. “The Alphas want to see you,” he said as he pulled back. “Come on, the sooner we are done the sooner I can come back here and ravish you.”
I giggled as he pulled me up off the chair, crushing me to his chest. “I didn’t mean THAT, I wanted you to make me my ice cream,” I teased.
“Oh, we’ll have dessert,” he said as he leaned back. My legs wrapped around his waist as we kissed again. “I already had your cherry, but there’s plenty of whipped cream.”
“Naughty.” I kissed him again and he let me down. I put on my sandals and walked with him out the door; even though it was almost ten at night, it was still light out. Our hands melded together as we walked, feeding the bond that had grown quickly between us. I had gotten over him not being my fated; such fantasies were no longer reasonable in the world we now had. Packs were falling apart, women were being stolen and men killed. I had a good man, one who would love and protect me with his very life, and my wolf and I both loved him.
It was much better than what Vivian had happen to her. Once everyone was gone, Denise had closed the door to the clinic and filled me in on her conversation with my friend and mentor. Being raped, then forced into a mating bond was bad enough, but to have the bond ripped from you just as quickly? It was horrible. I had no idea how she had survived the heartache and loss.
It sucked. I missed her, I was doing the best I could, but I was a high school graduate with an interest in medicine. I wasn’t anywhere near qualified, but I was all this Pack had.
It didn’t take long to reach the Pack House and head to the Alpha’s office. Carson knocked softly on the door, I head shuffling then we were told to come in. We walked to his desk, our eyes kept down in respect of his position. “Ah, Jessica, please sit.” We sat in the large leather chair, Carson pulling me down onto his lap.
I looked across the desk, Madeline was on the Alpha’s lap, and I could see by her swollen lips and mussed-up hair that we had interrupted something. It wasn’t uncommon, new mates were constantly showing each other affection, fanning the flames of the new bond. It took a year or so before couples became comfortable enough, until then I expected to spend more time on his lap than a chair. Add in the nervousness of being called in for unknown reasons, and it was no wonder our bond was pulling tight. Madeline smiled at me. “You aren’t in trouble, dear, just relax. We need to talk about what is going to start happening soon.”
I knew exactly what she meant, the women farthest along were at week twenty now. We had lost one last week, and the experience of last year showed the majority of the deaths happened to women between twenty and twenty-six weeks along. Madeline was at eighteen, he hand was perched over her stomach, her fingers spread over the bump. She started staring at her fingers, she quickly pulled her mate’s hand over. “There. Right there.”
“Feel your baby kick?”
She smiled. “It’s weird, I thought it was gas at first, but it’s like you described.” Her face was full of wonder as she held her hand over his. “Feel that?”
He smiled as he felt it. “It’s amazing, isn’t it.” He leaned back where she couldn’t see him before his face fell. He had known this before, it had been ruined for him, but he couldn’t bear to have her witness his pang of grief. We waited patiently until they were ready to continue. “There are ten other females plus my mate who are in grave danger now. Have you made any progress in figuring out a cure?”
“No, Alpha. There is nothing like this in the human medical journals; I’ve not found anything helpful, and Dr. DelMara hadn’t found anything either. I don’t have any contacts with other Pack doctors, only the Doctor had those.” I looked at my hands. “I watched some of when she delivered those babies by caesarean section, but I had other tasks at the same time. I have read the journals, but I get lost in the descriptions. I’m sorry, sir, but I’m just pretending to know what I’m doing, underneath I’m scared to death.”
The mood in the room deflated as I made my confession, but I felt a little relieved to finally get it out. I had no formal training and no confidence. Alpha Clark’s gaze pushed my wolf back, whining slightly under his dominance. “What chances do the have if things stay as they are?”
I looked at my feet, thinking how best to say this. “I’m not aware of any survivors, even with competent medical care, which you know I can’t provide. If you want them to have a chance, you need experienced doctors who can control the bleeding, who have the facilities to deal with severely premature babies.”
“We can’t do that,” Madeline said. “No human doctors or hospitals, ever. One blood test, one shift and our existence is no longer a secret.”
“I don’t have other options for you, Alphas. None of the women have made it far enough into the pregnancy for the babies to be viable without extraordinary care, care I don’t have the facilities or knowledge to provide. If you aren’t willing to go to humans, the only other option I see is abortion.”
Madeline’s hands went to her belly as Alpha’s eyes turned dark, his wolf pushing forward. He set his mate down before leaning over his desk at me, his nails digging into the wood. “YOU WILL NOT THREATEN MY CHILD,” he growled at me.
Carson leaned forward, his neck exposed in submission, but placing himself between me and his Alpha. I exposed my neck as well. “I would never do that unless both mates consented,” I said. “Are there any doctors or medical staff at the Packs you are still in contact with, sir?”
I watched as he settled down, his eyes changing back. He sat down, pulling his mate into his arms, nipping at her shoulders as she relaxed again. “No. None of the Packs will admit to having any medical personnel, and most think I am hiding something because they know I had a Doctor here. The only Doctor I know is still under contract to our Pack. Jessica, I need Doctor DelMara back here now.” He leaned forward. “Do you know where she is?” I shook my head no, I had never asked and she wouldn’t tell. “Have you talked to her?”
My eyes went wide, I couldn’t lie to the Alpha, my wolf wouldn’t let me. “Yes sir.”
“In May, she called into the office right before your appointment.”
“And what did she want?”
“She just asked if I was all right. Denise talked to her more than me.” Oops.
“I better get Denise in here then.” He set his mate in his chair before standing. He sent out the command for his Beta pair to come to his office, a few minutes later they were standing next to us. “I understand you’ve talked to Doctor DelMara recently?”
“Yes Alpha,” Denise said. “She is doing well, and was interested in how our Pack was doing in her absence.”
Alpha Clark got right in her face. “You, my Beta female, talked to our missing Doctor, who I have an Alpha command out to find, and you didn’t think it was important to TELL ME THAT?”
Denise was not cowed by his display. “No sir, the worst thing I could have done was talk to you.” He didn’t look impressed. “Alpha, YOU are the one who threatened her when she was unable to save Luna Connie. YOU were the one she had to flee for her life from. YOU are the one who promised her protection, then violated that trust. So yes, YOU were the LAST person I would ever tell. I would have zero chance of getting her back by talking to you.”
He thought about it, then went back and sat on the corner of the desk. “So what is your plan?”
“Guilt. She’s a Pack doctor, it’s what her whole life is about. There are eleven women, people she knows, who are in danger and she’s the only one who can help. I could tell from her voice she wants to, but she’s scared to death, and not just of you. We all have heard the stories, there’s no telling what danger she is in out there by herself.”
“She’s not in her old Pack,” Carson said. “We had it checked, they’re gone, all of them. No active scents for weeks, in fact the property is now for sale.”
“It hasn’t been easy for her, either,” I said. “She said she had been force-mated by a rogue, and he was killed just after the bond formed.” Madeline’s face fell, she knew what this all meant for a shewolf. “If we want her help, we have to show her we can protect her while she works. And I don’t mean from other Packs, I mean from you and other males in this Pack. She won’t come without it.”
“And I don’t know why she would ever believe us after what happened the last time,” I said.
“I see,” the Alpha said. “Still, I have to try. Do you have any way to contact her?”
“She told me of a person to contact if it was an emergency, they would get a message to her.”
He looked at Carson. “I don’t want to know anything about it, if you have to lie she might see through it. You two get in contact with her, meet up and figure out a way to get her here. Right now I can’t think of a higher priority.” His gaze landed on me. “You two have the authority to negotiate for me. Whatever she needs to take care of our women, I’ll get her. Whatever it takes to make her safe, I’ll do it. Whatever price to pay, I’ll pay it.” He pulled Madeline back into his lap. “I can’t lose another mate, Jessica. The Pack can’t lose more women.”
“Yes sir,” I said. “I don’t know how long it will take, though.”
“As long as it has to take. Time is danger, our women can’t wait. Carson, you keep her safe, stay away from other Pack areas and hide among the humans. I want you to call me daily, just to let me know what is going on. Take a Pack truck and credit card.”
“Yes, Alpha. I will protect her, and we will do what is needed,” he said.
“That is all.” We both got up and left the room, leaving the Betas behind to talk more.
It looked like we were going to Bill’s in Robbinsdale.