Link is Down
I got off my shift at eight in the morning, it was another long night. Two drunk driving arrests and one domestic violence call, which didn’t end until a few minutes before my shift did. I pulled off my uniform in the locker room and packed it in my bag, it was soaked. Taking a quick shower, I put on jeans and a Harley shirt and went outside to my ride.
I had a bit of time before I usually went to bed while I was on my night run, so I drove through the morning haze towards Mitch’s apartment. I figured he might need a hand loading up the U-Haul, and I wanted to see him off if I could. As soon as I arrived, I knew something wasn’t right. There was no truck parked out front, no motorcycle. I looked in the window and the boxes were all gone, the apartment was empty. I flipped out my phone and called Mitch, our tech guy at the Club. “Mitch? Hey, it’s Donuts. I’m looking for Mitchell, do you have a location on his tracer?”
We’d put the tracer on his bike while he was up north, to make sure he didn’t violate the limits he’d been given to stay away from Eve and the Club. “Just a second, let me pull it up,” he said. “You coming over for breakfast?”
“Probably not, with Snake gone and Mitchell not helping, I can make my own cereal,” I said.
He chuckled and I could hear keys tapping. “Got it. He’s at his apartment, the bike’s parked on the side of the house.”
Fuck. “He’s not here, Mitch. Him and his stuff, it’s gone.”
“Well, the tracker is there.”
I looked around, a minute later I found it in the flowerbed. “He found the tracker and tossed it. Mitch, wake up Viper, tell everyone at the Clubhouse to strap up and keep their eyes open. I’m calling Snake.”
“I’m on it, Donuts. What do we do if we see him?”
I couldn’t tell him that, I was an officer of the Law. “You do what Viper tells you,” I said before I hung up. I called Snake’s number. It rang a few times before he answered. “Snake, it’s Donuts.”
“It’s eight thirty in the fucking morning and I’m on vacation, Donuts,” he grumbled.
“Too bad. Mitchell Miller is missing. All his stuff is gone from the apartment, and he found and tossed the tracker on his bike. He could be anywhere.”
Snake didn’t say anything. “So he could be leaving town like he was told.”
“Maybe, but he didn’t give me that vibe when we talked yesterday.” My blood turned cold. “Fuck. I can’t believe I did that. Snake, you’re gonna kill me if this goes bad.”
“What did you do?”
“I told him Eve was over him, that she’d be Mrs. Adam Johnson in a few days.” I was kicking myself. “I’m sorry, I was trying to get him to understand she didn’t want him and was moving on.”
He didn’t say anything for a moment. “Go to the Clubhouse and tell Viper everything you know. Eve’s on a run in wolf form with the Knights, but Abaddon is up here. I’ll call him and get him to warn the others.” He hung up, and I put my phone back in my pocket. Starting up my bike, I headed for the clubhouse. If Snake wasn’t happy, Viper would be furious. If anything happened to his granddaughter, my ass was grass.
I was in the shower when I felt it. Something was torn from my soul, the pain knocked me to my knees. My wolf was howling, something was wrong.
“Gabriel, what’s happening?” I got no response, and even worse I felt no tie to him. I tried linking the others, trying to call the entire Pack, but I got a whole lot of nothing back. It wasn’t possible, the entire Pack couldn’t be killed at once, right?
Well, unless it was an explosion or something. I quickly rinsed and dried, pulling on my clean jeans and opening the door to a surprised Meghan. I was pulling my shirt on as I walked over to her. “Something’s wrong, really wrong, Meghan.” She had showered first so she was already dressed. “I felt the link break, I can’t feel or contact anyone in the Pack. No Gabriel, no Michael, no one.”
“How is that even possible?” She’d been among wolves long enough to know how this all worked.
“I don’t know, but I need to find out what’s going on.”
“I’ll go with you,” she said. We grabbed our jackets and quickly packed, we didn’t know if we would return here for another night. We loaded up my saddlebags and her backpack, and put our helmets on before climbing on my Harley. “Where are we headed,” she asked over the intercom link my bike had.
“The Knights are supposed to be protecting Eve while they are on their Pack Run, but Gabriel would have left a few people at Adam’s house to protect him until they mate,” I said. “We’ll go there first, if I don’t find them…”
“Then you shift and run, and I’ll stay with Adam and his family,” she said. “That’s fine, I should check how Adam is healing.”
I pushed through the gears, riding the near-empty roads as fast as I could safely go. All kinds of scenarios were going through my head, none of them good. My wolf was uncomfortable, he hadn’t been without a Pack bond for two decades. It wasn’t natural, wolves were social creatures who craved that structure. Meghan’s arms around my waist helped a lot; it wasn’t like that of a mate, not like the tingles I felt when I first met mine all those years ago, but it was close enough. I dropped my left hand down, placing it over her hands and squeezing gently. “Whatever we find, Meghan, we’ll get through together.”
“I’m sure there’s an explanation,” she said. “A whole Pack doesn’t just disappear, especially when they aren’t all in the same place.”
“We’ll find out soon,” I said. A phone call interrupted my thoughts as I drove at over a hundred miles an hour down the two-lane highway. “Abaddon,” I said.
“Abaddon, it’s Snake. I got a call from Donuts. He went to Mitchell’s apartment this morning, everything is gone including him.”
“Good for him, we don’t have to kill him now.”
“Maybe not,” Snake replied. “He found and tossed the tracking device we placed, and Donuts let slip that Adam Johnson was her mate. If he is still obsessed with her, he might head back that way to try and get her back.”
“Fuck me sideways, this day is going to shit really fast.” I slowed down, we were getting close to their driveway. “I’m almost to the Johnson’s house, can you get up here?”
“I can, but it will be a bit, I’m still in Duluth.”
“Get going then, I have a feeling you’ll be needed.” I cut the call and filled Meghan in on what was going on as I moved slowly along the rutted tracks that led to Alan and Alice’s home. “You have your pistol,” I asked Meghan.
“Always,” she said.
“Follow my lead,” I said. We reached the clearing where their house was, and my heart sank as I saw Mitchell’s Harley parked in front.
“STOP RIGHT THERE,” a voice yelled. I stopped my Harley, putting down the kickstand as I watched Mitchell come out of the house. In front of him, their hands cuffed behind them, were a frightened Alan and Alice.
We got off the bike, hands up. “Mitchell, it doesn’t have to go this way. No one needs to get hurt.”
“SHUT UP!! Toss your pistols into the woods.” I pulled my Glock our, tossing it into the brush, and Meghan did the same. “Don’t try anything.” He pushed the two down the porch stairs. Without hands to balance them Alan fell heavily onto the sidewalk, Alice on top of him. “WHERE IS MY EVE?”
“I don’t know,” I answered honestly. “I can’t contact the others, I came here looking for them.”
“Well, you better find them quick,” he said. “It’s simple. I take Eve with me and these two live. Doc, come over here and join them.”
I didn’t want her to, but we had no choice. She shook loose of my hand. “I love you, Steven. Go find your Pack and bring them.” She walked towards him, and he quickly produced another pair of handcuffs and made her sit with the others.
“Shift and go. If Eve isn’t here in an hour, I’m going to shoot one of them.”
“I’ll get her, Mitchell. It may take a while, I don’t know where they are!” I started pulling off my clothes to shift.
“Then you better hope I don’t pick Doc here as my first victim.” I swore to myself, shifting into my big wolf I ran into the woods. I had to find them and NOW.
I didn’t want to interrupt the newly mated couple, but we had no choice. Without a Pack link, I couldn’t coordinate their protection unless they were in view. I howled a note that summoned everyone to me, and a few minutes later they were all gathered around and shifted so we could talk. Every one of us had lost the Pack link. “What’s going on, Boss?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “Can anyone link anybody?”
Adriel and Kushiel stepped forward. “Alpha, our sibling link still works, but we’re not feeling the Pack link. Even now with you in front of us, that Alpha presence is missing. It’s like my wolf doesn’t recognize you, not just as my Alpha, but as anything different than any other wolf. No offense.”
“It’s true,” Michael said. “It’s like we aren’t a Pack anymore. I don’t understand how, I didn’t shift allegiances and you are still alive.”
“All right, priorities first. Kushiel, since you and Adriel can still talk, you take two men with you and run back to Adam’s house. Use the phone, try to get ahold of Abaddon and tell him to meet us there. Stay there until we get back.” He nodded, picked two and ran off.
“What are we going to do,” Michael asked.
“Follow me. We’re going to tell Adam and Eve that something is wrong and we need to get them back to his house.” We moved slowly through the woods towards the point, the smell of sex and blood heavy in the light breeze. I told the others to wait as I walked into the opening towards them. Adam was growling, his need to protect his mate from others was strong, but he was in no position to do so while he was still tied to her in wolf form. She whined in pain as he tried to move, the knot pulling her insides. “Stop moving, you’re hurting her,” I said. “I just need to tell you a few things.”
I knelt down so I wouldn’t be as threatening, and he calmed down and stopped trying to pull her around with his dick. I told them about what had happened with the Pack Link; when I asked Eve If she could talk to anyone, she shook her head before looking at Adam and licking him. “You can only speak through the link to him?” She nodded.
“All right, we’re going to stay back until you disengage. As soon as you shift back, yell for us and we’ll talk.” I walked back to my men, it could take an hour or two for his knot to subside, more if he started to make love to her again. New mates were just like that.