Cherry

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From bad to worse

Aiden's POV
***Warning- drug use***

We left before dawn, meeting Elijah at the airstrip before making the trip north.

Beta Grey had so much wolfsbain in his system he sill hasn't fully healed, we had to leave him behind.

Leaving Cass was the one of the hardest things I've ever done. It's only for one night but it feels like I have a knife in my chest as we drive away from her.

I tried not to wake her, I stared down at her, chestnut hair splayed out over her pillow while she slept. Her soft lips pulling in shallow breaths.

When I leaned down to kiss her she sprang up, flinging her arms around me, kissing me all over my face.

"Promise me you'll be safe," she begged me.

Over course I promised but that didn't ease the worried look on her face.

"It's going to be alright, kid," Elijah pulls me from my thoughts, "the first few times are really hard but as the bond solidifies it gets easier. It doesn't fully go away but it gets easier."

"Fuck, I'm so glad I don't have a mate," Cole says but I don't miss the quick flash of sadness in his eyes.

"Shut up, Cole," Elijah smacks the back of his head.

We look over the plans and maps, showing Elijah everything, for the rest of the drive.
Beta Grey was able to tell us how to breech the wall in a specific area.

When we get closer to the packlands we park and walk in wolf form, stalking through the woods on high alert.

When we reach the gate surrounding their land we shift and climb the tree hanging over into the territory.

Beta Grey said they kept it in case pack members ever needed an emergency out, a lot of good that did them.

We climb up and over the high fence, one by one. We're in the woods at the back end of the packlands, far away from where the pack actually lives. Even from this distance the smell of blood hangs in the air.

Everyone is tense as we creep through the trees, making our way toward the center.

Before we step out I can see a man walking down the street, he's definitely human. It's so strange to watch a human stroll so leisurely through the streets.

The metallic scent of blood is growing stronger as we get closer to the buildings. We stay hidden in the treeline, walking parallel with the street. Eventually the human walks toward a house, the Alphas quarters.

My heart pounds in my chest as we watch him go into the house casually and close the door.

I hear a growl from behind me, everyone is furious.

Kayden stays behind to watch the house as we continue, following the road down. When we come to the packhouse there are several wolves outside, smoking and drinking. They all smell like rogues. There are six of them with one human man. Four of them are in wolf form, they look awful, mangy and thin, it makes my stomach turn to look at them.

Cole runs ahead, scouting out the area near the holding cells and medical facilities.

Kayden mind links that the other human is walking our way.

Moments later he joins the group, throwing a bag of something on the table near the group. A few of them jump up and rummage through the bag, pulling out a some small items. I realize it's drugs and hang my head. Everything makes more sense now. Elijah nudges me to get my attention, we all follow him back to the more thickly wooded area, leaving Kayden to scout.

Once we've all shifted Cole groans, "this is going to be harder than I thought. I've counted ten that appear sickly, the six by the packhouse, one by the holding cells and three by the gate. I thought it was going to be a piece of cake until I got to the medical facilities. There are three there that are definitely not sick. I was wondering how a bunch of hopped up rogues could organize this... they didn't. The guys at the infirmary are definitely the brains. They won't be so easy to take down. They have the whole building barricaded."

"Shit," Elijah huffs.

"I say we wait til dark," Cole adds, "we can attack, take out the large group of rogues quietly, incapacitate the humans, then go for the big guys."

"Sounds solid," I nod.

"Do you think we could get the one guard at the cells?" Elijah growls. I know it's killing him to know that the pack is locked up in there.

"Yeah, I think two of us can handle it, while the rest scout."

"I'll go," I volunteer, sitting around until dark is going to drive me insane, I need something to do to burn off the adrenaline.

"Me and you, man. Let's do it!" Cole shifts.

I mind link Kayden and tell him everything we talked about as I shift.

I follow Cole down toward the holding cells. I cringe and my stomach rolls when we come upon a few large bloodstains in the street.

We approach the building from the back. As we round the corner the pungent odor of a rogue hits me. I hunch forward, ready to attack when Cole leaps through the air silently.

He takes the wolf down in a matter of seconds without a single sound.

Holy shit.

I like to think of myself as a strong warrior. I completed more warrior training than is required of an Alpha but fuck, this guy is absolutely lethal.

He drags the wolfs body to the treeline and drops him before trotting back to me like nothing happened.

We shift and make our way into the builidng. The conditions are horrendous. Each cell is packed so full people can't even move or sit down.

We try to explain to the frantic pack that we are here to help. The hardest part is getting them to understand that for their safety, they have to remain in the building. We explain to them that Beta Grey made it to our pack and we're ending this but we need them to cooperate. Once everyone agrees we let them out of the cells and they spread out around. The restlessness is palpable.

"Does anyone have any information about the attack? Why they would choose this pack? Did you recognize any of the rogues?" Cole asks the room.

"Alpha?" A teenaged girl approaches me, "they came here for the Alphas daughter, Dina."

Cole and I bring the girl and her parents upstairs to talk privately.

"Tell us everything you know," Cole growls.

The girl looks frightened and backs away.

"It might really help up later, anything you tell could be really useful," I smile at her.

Cole rolls his eyes as she starts speaking, "we met him at the mall. I told her not to get involved with him but... she... she just liked the thrill. He's older and a rogue, she didn't think he was dangerous. When he asked her to be his chosen mate she cut ties. She wants her real mate. He attacked two weeks later, they have her with them...or... at least they did."

She turns and cries in her mothers arms.

I can tell that Cole is mind linking Elijah. Shit, things just got worse.



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