Chapter 27: Not as planned
I was holding Kelly in my lap as we sat on the grass by the dumpster behind the old animal hospital. I had my shirt over the hole in her upper right chest, and a towel over the hole in her right shoulder. Viper and the others had taken off, and Trigger was out calling for an ambulance. “Hang on, Kelly, help is coming,” I said as I rocked her gently.
She was pale and coughing blood. Her breathing was strained, so I put her down on her good side, still holding the pressure on her wounds. She coughed hard, blood spraying the grass. “Come on, Kelly, keep fighting,” I said. “The kids need you. The Club needs you.” I prayed for the first time in years that she would be all right, that the help would get here in time.
I could feel the heat from the building now, flames were starting to burn through the boarded-up windows and smoke was pouring out. I looked at the building, then where I was; if I waited much longer, the ambulance may not be able to get back to me. “Shit,” I said to myself. “Wrong place to wait for the bus!”
I shifted, picking her up so I could make the run for it. I could hear sirens in the distance, but I couldn’t wait. I kept close to the fence, ignoring the heat as I ran through the open gate and along the driveway that went along the side of the building. I could hear and feel the fire building, it was roaring now, consuming everything. I had just made it to the road when I heard an explosion; dropping to my knees, I used my body to protect her as the heat wave rolled over us.
Trigger ran up just in time. “Take her,” I said. He picked her up and I ran alongside, holding pressure on her wounds again. We got about a block away and set her on the grass between the sidewalk and the curb, making sure no cars blocked us from view. He set her down, me directing her to her side again, and Trigger ran into the road to flag down the help.
The first to arrive was a police officer; he parked to block incoming traffic, then grabbed his first aid kit. “What happened,” he said as he ran up.
“Shot twice,” I said. “We pulled her out of the building before it went up.”
He tore open some bandages and placed them over the cloths we were using, then used a roll bandage to hold them in place. “Don’t you take off the shirt first?”
“Nope, leave it on or you break up any clotting and the bleeding restarts,” he said. He called in the situation on his radio. More police were arriving, then an ambulance parked by us and the paramedics took over. “Who is she?”
“Our buddy’s wife. He’s still in there.” He went to call that in, I stopped him. “He’s dead. The bastards killed him.”
Trigger stepped in front of me. “Don’t know, I saw them running out the back as we were walking back from the minimart. They had pillowcases filled with stuff in their hands. Probably hit the drug cabinet.”
“We went in the back,” I said, “but the flames were already hot. I checked Doc, he was dead, he found Kelly in the surgery room. We barely got her out before the flames made it to the hallway. We couldn’t go back in to get him.” The EMT’s had just finished loading Kelly up. “I have to go with her,” I said.
“Go,” Trigger said, “I’ll stay with them.” I followed them to the ambulance, they loaded her in and I jumped in after him. I watched and listened during the ten-minute drive to the hospital emergency room; I didn’t understand much, but I could tell they were worried. She had an oxygen mask on, an IV, and the monitor with her blood pressure was alarming every minute or so.
When we pulled up, they had me wait until they were out. The nurses wheeled her in, and I was left in the waiting room. I got shunted to admissions, I couldn’t help much there. The only person she wanted was burned in the fire.
Beta Denise’s POV
I was in the office, catching up on paperwork to distract me from the nervousness I felt at Charles’ absence. I didn’t like being away from him, there had been very few days in our twenty years as a mated couple where we hadn’t seen each other. I didn’t like the attack, I didn’t like how things were going, but there was little I could do to change this Alpha’s mind about things.
With the warriors gone, the remaining females who could fight were handling security. We didn’t have enough people to do normal patrols, so we were down to two women on a five-mile perimeter. After the attack group had left, I gathered the remaining people to go over the drills. We had a safe room in the basement of the safe house; pregnant women, children and those who couldn’t fight were told not to go too far away. The weaker warriors would protect the basement, while the stronger would fall back to the house and protect it. Fall back and protect the vulnerable, that was the plan.
I looked out the window of my office, the sun in my face, looking at the pines and birch trees of the surrounding forest. I couldn’t see patrols, but I could see the children playing in the playground, the mothers gathered at the picnic table watching them. A few of the young were shifted, play fighting in the grass closer to the woods. It all seemed normal, but something was wrong. “Julie, Margaret, anything abnormal in your patrols?”
“North side is normal, Beta Denise,” Margaret sent.
I waited for Julie, she didn’t respond. Just then I saw a column of wolves heading towards the house at full speed. They weren’t ours, and they were huge. “WE’RE UNDER ATTACK! WOLVES COMING FAST FROM THE SOUTH!”
I ran from the office as all hell broke loose. The front door was open, and wolves were rushing in, but they weren’t ours. I shifted immediately, leaping into the fray as two of them ran towards me. Fighting and slashing, taking bites to my flanks and back, I tried to get past them as they ran for the stairs to get down. The brown one forced me back, while the gray one tried to flank me. “They are going for the safe room,” I sent as I frantically tried to get past them.
They weren’t fighting as I expected. One passed up a shot at my throat, breaking my front left leg instead. It was only when my left front leg was in the brown wolf’s jaws that I realized what was happening. They didn’t want to kill me, I was a female. They were fighting to disable. With two legs out, I couldn’t fight, and the grey one was on my back, jaws on my neck, forcing me down. The other shifted. “Yield, female. It’s over.”
The other increased the pressure on my neck, his teeth bloodying it as it became harder to breathe. ”They have taken the safe room, Beta Denise,” I heard over the link. I relaxed my body, it was over. As I showed my neck, the big male over me released it.
“Shift.” I obeyed, holding back the tears from the pain I felt from my torn and broken arms. “You are Beta Denise, you are in charge, correct?”
“Yes,” I replied softly.
“Order them to stand down before more die. It’s over.”
I closed my eyes. “Stop fighting, surrender. It’s over, they’ve taken the Pack House,” I sent. The sounds of war and fighting stopped. They pulled me to my feet, I kept my eyes down as the shame of defeat washed over me. I was escorted out the front door, following instructions to have everyone meet in front of the house. We formed lines, many of us naked after the shift. No adult males had been spared, and some of the warrior females were gone too. I could see wounds on the attackers, we had gotten some licks in, but their numbers were greater than ours. Without our men here, we never had a chance.
The attackers formed a line in front of us, with some still searching the house and buildings for stragglers or guarding escape paths. A large, heavily scarred warrior stepped forward. “Welcome to the Brainerd Pack, I am Beta Chris Timms. Alpha Hans Johannsen sends his greetings. Be not afraid, cooperate and the violence is over for you. Alpha Hans has the largest Pack in the state, fully able to protect you and your families, unlike Alpha Clark. Now, please separate into three lines. Unmated females over thirteen in front, mated females in the second row, others in the third. Quickly now.”
There was grumbling, and some didn’t want to cooperate, and the wolves surrounding us started to growl and bite at those who weren’t moving. “Cooperate, don’t make it worse than it already is,” I ordered. It took a minute or so for the line to form. The three adult women, all newly widowed in the fight, and eight teens were shaking as they tried to cover their bodies. They knew exactly what was going to happen as naked men started lining up in rank order. “Please, these girls are not of age to be mated per our laws,” I said.
“They are old enough by nature,” the leader said. “Our laws adapt to the crisis we now have. Men, make your choices.” One by one the men walked down the line, some stopping at their choice for a mate. Grabbing the terrified female and tossing her over their shoulder, they took them into the Pack House, their arousal clear for all to see. Their screams died out as doors slammed, and I felt their Pack bond drop as the men claimed their new mates, biting into their necks as they came. While our former Pack members were being forcibly claimed, one of the young warriors was handing out clothes from the cabinets of extras we kept on the front porch. Soon all who had shifted in the fight sun dresses, or shorts and T-shirts on. I stood in the T-shirt dress, my eyes down in shame, as my failure grated on me.
The attacking males were smug, celebrating the new mates their Pack members had found. The ones who hadn’t chosen were walking us in the second row, placing bites on our necks to indicate their choices. We couldn’t be mated until our mates were killed. The attacking Beta himself, Chris Timms, moved towards my shoulder. My arms were still broken, but I head butted his face, following up with a knee to his groin. He quickly grabbed my leg, lifting and dropping me hard to the ground on my back. His body followed me down, forcing the wind out of me. One big hand forced mine together across my chest as he straddled me, too high up for my knees to dislodge him. He leaned down and bit into my shoulder. “I’ll enjoy your submission to me, Beta.” I glared at him.
He got off me, pulling me to my feet as his big hand bruised my upper arm from the grip. “Restrain the remaining women and female children,” Beta Chris ordered as a line of SUV’s pulled in front of the house. Boxes were taken from the back of one vehicle, and the warriors donned heavy leather gloves before pulling out silver-coated shackles from them. “Step forward one at a time to be shackled for your own safety,” he said. “The shackles are designed so they don’t hurt you if you don’t struggle. We want you safe and healthy for your return trip, do not test us,” he said.
“Comply and stay together,” I ordered as I walked forward. It would be the last mental communication I made; the silver handcuffs tied my broken and cut up arms in front of my body, and the silver shut my wolf down. No pack link, no shifting, no wolf strength. I was escorted into the house and sat on a couch in the big living room area. The room quickly filled with prisoners and escorts until all the females were here. The female children and some of the women were crying as we leaned on each other for support, all forty-two of us in the room were now no more than property, waiting for our mates to be killed so we could be taken by another. They were out of linking range, and I prayed their attack would work.
The Beta walked in, escorting some young males who were shackled. I could hear screams for mercy from outside. “What are you doing?”
“We have no use for young boys or weak males,” he said. “We only keep what makes our Pack stronger.” The silver blocked the feeling of the Pack bonds, but we all heard the sounds of our Pack members being slaughtered. I was crying, begging him for mercy, but none was to be found. I begged Luna to intervene, to stop them, but she was silent to me. The noise of death stopped quickly, but the two women whose mates had just been killed were screaming in agony as their mating marks dissolved from their necks. The men who had chosen them ran forward, pulling them up the stairs to find an open bedroom they could use for their claiming.
The Beta went to the phone on the wall and dialed a number. “Alpha Hans, the attack is complete. We have fifty females total, and six teen males of promise.” He listened for a moment. “I understand, sir. We will be ready for them.”
He was smiling as he turned towards us, his dominance rolling over the room. “Alpha Hans is pleased you are now with us. He tells me your males are more cowardly than he thought. They turned around, there is no attack, they aren’t going to extract a revenge. Our spy reports they are an hour away from slinking back into this territory with their tails between their legs.” He looked at the warriors, silent commands going out. “They’ll be dead before they see you.”