This was frustrating, Evan thought as he watched Lorelai’s pack launch into an attack.
He’d given strict orders to his men that no one was to be harmed. If Lorelai belonged to someone else, he’d do himself no favours if the boy got hurt. But what respectable wolf would stand there and allow themselves to be attacked?
He growled as he watched the two packs meet, their air ringing with the sound of snarling wolves and clashing teeth. The first whimper made his blood run cold as the sound of unmistakeable pain ran through the air.
Gods, he hoped it wasn’t one of his own. Even worse, they better not have marked his Lorelai.
He scanned the mass of fur, looking for the grey and white pattern of his mate. There was nothing remarkable about her, nothing special. Just a normal wolf. And yet, to him, she was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen. More spectacular than the rarest of breeds. More special than anyone that had ever existed.
She was perfection.
Even with blood covering her muzzle.
Anger boiled in his veins that she had to defend herself. That he had put her in that position. All across the field that surrounded her packhouse, there were battles varying in the ferocity. His pack outnumbered hers. Each one of her wolves surrounded. Still, they didn’t give up the fight.
Not until the ear piercing howl of a wolf in agony gave each member of her pack a moment’s pause.
Evan scanned the crowd, looking for the injured party. Brooke was human once more, rolling on the floor and clutching her side. Even from his distance, he could see the blood pouring from her waist, could smell it, thick in the air.
His eyes whipped towards Lorelai as she howled in pain, tearing at the wolf holding her back and running to her injured friend.
Fury, like he had never felt, threatened to take over him as he watched one of his own chase her down.
Austin was a hothead, and Lorelai had just taken a chunk out of his mate. He meant to kill her, Evan was sure. There was no time to think, no moment to pause. He ran to her side, shifting mid set as he pushed himself to reach her first. His lungs burned with the effort, his legs ached. Were he human right now, he’d never make it.
As Lorelai reached Brooke, she paid no attention to the black wolf chasing her with death in his eyes.
Evan snarled as he jumped on to Austin’s back, pinning him to the floor. He released him immediately, putting himself between Lorelai and Austin. Standing as tall as he could, he stared down his soldier, ordered him to obey.
Austin shook his head as he tried to fight the order of his future Alpha, pawing at the ground.
“You will leave her!”
The authority in Evan’s tone was easy to recognise, even with the telepathic link. So much so that the other members of his pack stood to attention. Austin fought for as long as he could, until finally, he lowered himself the floor, his head bowed in submission.
“Enough of this,” Evan roared, ordering his pack back from the fight. “I said we were not to fight them. You all ignored my ruling and you will suffer the consequences!”
“You’re okay, Brooke. I’ve got you.”
Evan turned his head, whining as Lorelai tended to her injured friend, even more lovely as a human than a wolf. It pained him to see her dainty hands covered in blood, to see the agony in her eyes.
“Killian, I need help over here,” she said, her tone pleading. The wolf, called Killian, broke away from the crowd, nudging Brooke’s hand. Lorelai worked quickly, lifting the injured girl on to his back. “Get her inside and lock the door. Do not leave her no matter what you hear out here, do you understand, Killian?”
Killian growled his protest, his large head shaking his refusal. Briefly, Evan wondered if the black wolf was his rival, but quickly dismissed the idea. Lorelai, as lovely as she smelled, did not smell of Killian. No, it was another wolfs scent that lingered on her skin.
“You will do as I say, Killian,” she said, her eyes blazing. “No arguments.” A flicker of attraction went through Evan’s entire body at the way she handled herself. She looked so delicate, he expected a personality to match.
He was happy to be wrong.
With pain in his eyes, Killian nodded, carrying Brooke on his back and disappearing into the house.
“Go with him, Rachel. See what you can do for her. Save her.”
Lorelai stood, turning to face Evan finally as the wolf broke from the pack and joined her pack mates inside. The air was still now, silent. An awkwardness descended over them as the two packs stared one another down.
“I’m not going with you,” Lorelai said. “You are not my mate.”
For the first time, their eyes met. Hers a fierce blue, his a pained amber. She was rejecting him? Agony ripped through him.
The thought was almost laughable.
Transitioning back, he stood before her, as a man. He noticed the subtle intake of her breath, saw her body’s reaction to his. He knew exactly how she felt. His skin tingled at having her so near, his breath caught in his throat. He longed to take her in his arms, to bury his face in her hair and inhale her scent.
Did a more beautiful woman exist?
Was it possible?
With a confidence he didn’t feel, he took a step towards her, smirking as she stood her ground.
“You know I can’t accept that, Lorelai. You’re mine.” Her laughter rang out across the field, and Evan was overly aware of the audience gathered.
“I’m not yours. I will never be yours. And if you come back here, we will fight.”
Ah. Such bravado was admirable. But also unacceptable. With his pack behind him, listening to every word, waiting for one mistake, he couldn’t afford to be gentle here.
“I’m sorry,” he said, taking another step towards her. “Perhaps I made a mistake by letting you think there was a choice in this. You are coming with me, Lorelai, if I have to carry you the entire way.”
“I am staying here with my pack picking up the pieces after your pack attacked us.” She stepped towards him, poking him in the chest. “My friend is dying, and it’s your fault. The only way you’re taking me anywhere is if I’m dead.”
Evan snatched up her wrist, pulling her against him until her breasts flattened against his chest. Ignoring the stab of desire, he stared down at her, growling his words.
“You attacked first, Lorelai. Don’t forget that. My men defended themselves. Your friend’s injuries are on you.”
“Get your damn hands off me,” she said, shoving him away from her. “And get the fuck off my land.” Turning her back on him, she whistled to the rest of her pack, walking towards the house. Evan rolled his eyes.
Surely she didn’t think that would work?
“Scott, Callum?” The two men rushed forward, standing at his side. “Restrain the lovely lady and get ready to travel. Hurt her and die.”
He could have grabbed her himself, he knew that. But to touch her was to want her. With her complete dismissal of him, he was going to have to play this right, and he didn’t think she would appreciate him throwing her to the floor and fucking her for their entire audience to see.
Better Scott and Callum grabbed her.
He ignored her growls of protest as they each grabbed an arm, holding her so there was no chance of escape. Still, his little she-wolf gave it her all, thrashing against them and kicking out, making her breasts bounce in the most tempting way.
From the house, Killian emerged, his teeth bared as he ran towards Lorelai and his men.
“Killian, no!” Lorelai yelled. “You get back in that house! You protect them!” Evan laughed and rolled his eyes.
“I have no interest in hurting your little pack, Lorelai. I only want you.” Lorelai snarled at him.
“Keep dreaming, dickhead. It’ll be a cold day in hell before I-.”
Lorelai’s head whipped around at the anguished scream from Rachel. Evan followed her gaze and felt himself pale.
Determined to save her captured Luna, Bethany was running towards them at lightening speed. But it wasn’t her that had him worrying. It was the bulky frame of Austin chasing her down.
It didn’t matter how fast he moved, he still wouldn’t have time to stop it.
Despite this, he shifted into his wolf form, a sense of deja vu running through his mind as he, once again, chased down Austin, yelling orders at him.
“Stand down, Austin.”
“I’m fucking ordering you to Stand. The. Fuck. Down!”
Evan winced at the yelp as Austin’s body hit Bethany’s, sending her sprawling to the ground. The crunch of bones was unmistakable, the howls of pain unbearable. Rachel was screaming, the sound shrill and desperate. Lorelai’s pack was snarling once more, running to save their packmate.
Evan pushed himself to run faster, to pull Austin off her before he stopped in his tracks, devastated by what he saw.
Austin pulled away from her, his muzzle drenched in blood. The wolf was no more replaced by a slowly dying girl, her throat ripped to shreds. He backed up a step, giving her pack room to reach her.
There was nothing they could do.
Her gargled breathes would haunt him for the rest of his days, but there was nothing he could do. Two of his own members pinned Austin to the ground, giving him no chance to escape. He could hear the cries, the howls, his own mates agony.
And there was still nothing he could do.
“Move out,” he ordered, turning his back on the scene.
Lorelai would think him heartless. The truth was exactly opposite. He couldn’t put her through this. For her own sanity, he needed to get her as far away from this devastation as possible.
He knew that better than anyone.
He shifted back to human, grabbing some clothes from a nearby pile and pulling them on. He approached Lorelai, his eyes giving away his grief. She stared past him, no fight in her to push him away as he pulled a dress over her.
“I’m sorry,” he said. What else could he do?
With a whistle, he called his pack to follow him, leaving the scene behind.
“What about Austin?” Scott asked, looking over his shoulder. “What do we do with him?” Evan’s lip curled, curling his hands into fists to stop their shaking.
“Leave him. They deserve their revenge.”
He glanced at Lorelai, his heart aching at how broken she looked.
He’d head of difficult matings before now. This one was going to be damn near impossible.
“I’m sorry,” he said again. “But it’s time to go home.”
Without a backward glance, he relished the pitiful cries of a wolf being ripped to shreds. If there was one thing Evan could not stand, it was a disloyal pack member.
Good riddance to him.