Chapter 20: Find, mate, keep
Alpha Clark’s POV
“She wants me to WHAT?” I damn near jumped over the desk and attacked them, only Madeline’s hand on my back kept me from losing it. Jessica was practically rolled into a ball on the chair, my dominance had rolled over her like a wave and her wolf was completely submissive. Carson was showing his neck, but he was positioned between me and his mate. He wouldn’t let me get to her without taking him out, but that wouldn’t stop me for long. I finally sat back down, reigning in my wolf who was furious at the idea of letting my mate leave me.
“She… she said we could bring the pregnant females to Duluth, they would be picked up there. She would take care of them, provide them medical care.”
I looked over at my Beta pair, both were anxious. Denise was moving closer to the young wolves, she liked Jessica and didn’t want her hurt in my outburst. “Please, Alpha, let’s hear her out without losing our shit,” she said softly. “You sent her to find Doctor DelMara and make a deal, she came back with one. At least let her finish before you dismiss it.”
I sat back, pulling my mate into my lap. My hands covered hers over her baby bump, moving my fingers around as I calmed. Denise was a pain in my ass, but she was usually right. She had more backbone than her mate did, but he was better at things requiring brute force. I reached over and pulled a pad of paper out of the drawer with a pen. Focusing, I wrote “Females transferred to Doc’s care at her location after transfer in Duluth” as the first item. I looked up at Jessica, she was sitting normally now, but Carson was on the edge of the seat protecting her. “What else did she want?”
“The medical supplies and equipment that we have up here, she wants them.”
Beta Charles looked up at that as I wrote it down. “Wait, we need that stuff!”
Jessica shook her head. “Other than the basic first aid stuff and exams, I don’t know how to use most of it anyway. It belongs with the doctor. She has tissue samples, reports, a lot of things she was working on to figure this problem out. She needs the lab equipment and supplies to do her research. She wants the drugs, even that expensive IV treatment she ordered last year.”
“The one that cost more than half a million?” I had been making the transfer when my first mate, Connie, had started to bleed. With her gone, it had been sitting in the refrigerator. She had been very clear that it could easily kill if not used right. “She can take that, but it is for the Luna. What else?”
“She wants blood. All of the adults and older children need to give a pint before we leave. If last year is any gauge, we’ll need a lot.” I wrote it down, I wasn’t going to argue this one. “Anything else?”
Jessica swallowed, “I am to be allowed, along with my mate, to break the bond with this pack and remain with her if we choose to do so.”
“AB-SO-FUCKING-LUTELY NOT!” I roared. There was no way in hell I was going to let Jessica leave the pack, ever. She was a hot little number. I hadn’t moved fast enough with her after Connie passed, thinking she was still too young since she was still in high school, not even half my age. Still, I didn’t think she’d take a choice mate so quickly. If Madeline didn’t make it, she was top of my list for the next Luna. “She can’t take the only person here with any medical training or experience. Some of the women may not agree to go, they will need help too, and I need Carson here to protect the Pack.”
“Alpha, calm down,” Denise said. “Write it down, take a breath or two.” I sat back, writing it down, swearing to Luna it would never happen as I did so. “Jessica, do you want to go with her?”
“Our home is here, Beta Denise. It’s all we have.”
I smiled at that. “Is that all?”
“Yes Alpha.” She leaned into her mate’s chest, I had upset her.
I looked down at my list. “So, she wants us to turn over the patients to her, just the women, no mates or protection, no contact with the Pack or their mates. She wants all our medical supplies, all our blood stock, and our medical assistant and her mate. And what do we get in return?”
“She takes care of our females, Alpha. She is a good Pack Doctor, she will give them the best care she can.” Jessica was loyal, I had to give her that. She just didn’t see the big picture, but she was so young and trusting. It was both endearing and dangerously naive. “If anyone can find a way to save a mother and baby, it’s her. We were working on how to stop the bleeding, on how to deal with preterm babies. We can give them a chance.”
I sat back, my fingers tapping on my mate’s belly as I thought about it. She was offering all the care I needed, but the loss of control grated at me. I could get the exact same thing just by getting her marked and mated by a man in my Pack, and she’d never leave then. It was a much simpler and more direct solution than taking eleven pregnant women away from their mates to die in an unknown location. And die they would, unless something had changed.
I got up, setting my mate in my chair. “I can’t order men to give up their pregnant mates, it has to be their choice. My love, I need you and Beta Denise to call a meeting in the dining room, I expect all pregnant females and their mates to attend. Have the kitchen staff set up snacks and drinks. I’ll be down there in twenty minutes.”
“So quickly, boss?”
“We don’t have much time to set it up, so yes. Jessica, I need you to stay in the clinic and do the blood draws. I’ll have people cycle through the rest of tonight and tomorrow, it will keep you busy.”
“Alpha,” she said, “Don’t you want me at the meeting?”
“I think I can handle it, and it would be better if we didn’t have to worry about protecting you when this happens. You saw how I reacted, the other ten males could be the same. Let the Betas and I handle it instead. You stick to drawing blood and preparing to move the equipment. I’ll require a decision by noon tomorrow, that will give us enough time to get everything ready for the move.”
“Yes sir,” she said.
“Carson, I need to talk to you and Beta Charles while the others are doing their part,” I said. The dismissal was clear, the three ladies got up and left the room. When they were gone, I stared at Carson. “Tell me about the meeting with Doctor DelMara.”
“Well, sir, I never saw her. We got to St. Paul and went to Bill’s Gun Shop and asked for a guy named Moose. This big human works there, we told him who we were and that we needed the Doc, and left him our contact info. A few hours later she calls and has us meet on the top of a parking garage at the Mall of America.”
“Really? That place is cool, I need to go there sometime,” Charles said.
“We didn’t go in, sir. We are waiting like we were told when a white panel van pulls up next to us. This guy gets out and comes to my window; he’s human, but he smells of Vivian. He tells me Jessica needs to get in the van and come with him, ninety minutes later he’s dropping her off. She was taken to the national cemetery nearby and met her there. As soon as she was back, we drove right back up here to tell you.”
“Human? She’s using humans for security?”
“Yes sir. And I think they know about us.” I looked at him quizzically. “I could smell silver on him, along with gunpowder and oil. I think he had silver-tipped ammunition.”
My claws extended, this was very dangerous. If she had already informed humans of what she was, she was subject to instant execution, no trial. “Any idea who he was?”
“No sir, but I did get the license plate of the vehicle.” I wrote it down, one of our men was in the Sheriff’s Department and could figure out who it was.
“Thank you, Carson. You did well, and you protected our Pack. Join your mate and get some sleep.”
“Thank you Alpha. Beta.” He stood and walked out. I went over to the bookshelf, grabbing two glasses and a bottle of bourbon. I poured two, handing one to Charles as I sat back down. “Thoughts, Charles?”
“If she’s told humans about us, it gives us some leverage in that we might be able to threaten her to come back or face the consequences. However, we don’t know how much the humans know, they might know where we are, how many of us there are. If they know about silver, they could be a threat.”
“It would help if we knew who they were. Other than the doctors up here, who else? It doesn’t sound like that guy was from her medical school.”
“Well, sir, there are some clues. This Moose guy at the gun store. She’s been calling here, I could check the phone records. And remember last summer, those bikers who brought her back?”
“Yeah, she said she saved one of them. The Northwoods Riders, if I remember right.”
Charles smiled. “Those are the ones. Who owes you more than a biker gang when you save one of their lives? Certainly, they would be capable of giving her security.”
I smiled, it was perfect. “We’re going to go ahead with the transfer. They won’t let her anywhere near here, but that’s all right. We’ll wait for her. We’re going to figure out where these bikers are, where she is hiding, then we’ll get her back.”
“How? She doesn’t want to come up here.”
I just laughed, she was a hot, smart woman in a world with no single females left. I would have no shortage of volunteers. “I’m sending male volunteers down to St. Paul. I don’t care if they have to walk the city smelling for her, they will find her. And the one who finds her and fucks her gets to keep her. She’ll be back here inside a week, along with Jessica and Carson and all our women. Just like it should be.”