He paced in the room trying desperately to think of a way to help his family, to escape. He had never been the smartest and fastest thinking on his feet but he might be their only hope. Noah growled and smashed his hand into the nearby wall instantly regretting it as pain zinged through his hand.
“Why can’t I just think of something,” he snarled to himself. Finally he fell into the bed and put his head in his hands. Seconds later he was up and pacing again trying to harness his nervous energy. What would Nick do? Noah thought desperately. What would Reese do?
He looked around the room looking for an escape route. The only one he could see was the door and he had spent a good hour examining it and banging on it. The computer was no help and there were no windows or vents that he had found. His father had locked him in tightly and he was sure there was no escape.
Consumed with anger again he kicked the desk top leg at the wrong angle and cursed when his foot hit metal instead of wood. He bounced on one foot for a second before falling and hitting the floor hard. If they were watching him they would think he was an idiot. Maybe they would let him go if they thought he was stupid.
As he was getting up he caught an odd shape under the bed. He frozen and looked again getting on all fours and crawling to it. He ducked his head under the bed and saw a small ventilation shaft. With relief he pulled himself further in and began working to pry it open. It wasn’t big enough for him to get through but maybe he could hear something useful or pass a message to the pack if he was close enough.
He was just starting to make progress in lifted it up when someone grabbed his legs and pulled him out. Noah shouted surprised. He turned quickly and raised his hands automatically. Suddenly someone took the front of his shirt and life him off his feet. Noah looked into his father’s eyes seconds later. “Always thinking just like your old man.” He threw Noah on the bed and he quickly caught himself and stood clenching his fists and glowering at the man. He had never felt this much hate for anyone in his life but the people who tortured and killed his grandfather.
“Get your stuff, we’re leaving,” Joseph ordered. Noah looked around the room still glaring. He didn’t have anything. When they kidnapped him he had nothing but his clothes and the gun. Wait they were leaving? Shit.
“Give me my gun back and I’ll have everything I came with,” Noah snapped. Joseph barked a laugh at this and walked forward to put an arm around Noah’s shoulder but Noah pulled away and went to stand near the door with crossed arms.
“You’ve certainly grown in muscle and in balls boy.” Noah didn’t dignify that with an answer. It was funny how actual good food and good training could aid someone’s physical and mental growth. Something Joseph didn’t understand.
“He loved you, you know, Dennis. He loved you a lot and you betrayed him and everything our family stands for. You don’t deserve me Joseph,” Noah growled. Nick had told Noah countless times that his father didn’t deserve him and he was right. Maybe it took a while to sink in sometimes but he was right.
“Nevertheless I am your father and you are coming with me boy.” Noah started to back up but then stopped. He would not run from this man anymore. He wasn’t a coward. Instead he raised his fists and got into a better stance ready to fight. Antonio and Nick would be proud he hoped.
“Oh, you think you can fight me,” Joseph smirked. In seconds flat the man was in Noah’s face and had punched his jaw before Noah could block. Nick was always telling him that mutts would be faster and probably better so his best bet was to get away until he was as fast and strong as them but he could not back down from this man.
Noah pulled back and dodged between his father and the desk not turning his back to the man who turned and smirked at Noah humouring him. Joseph was about to speak when the door open and Noah saw his chance. He was quick, one of his biggest assets Antonio always said. He darted past the mutt and raced down the hallway but didn’t get far before he was tackled. The mutt was on top of him bearing his weight down hard. Noah gasped and the mutt stood and grabbed his hair pulling him up before he could think. He growled and grabbed onto the mutts hands trying to ward him off to no avail.
“Noah, you will accept being here soon enough. Now come,” Joseph snapped and turned fully expecting Noah to follow. He didn’t have a choice. The mutt was dragging him by the hair painfully. He tried to struggle but the mutt gripped his hair tighter. In a last ditch effort he kicked the mutt aiming for his thigh but he got an area a lot more tender. The mutt growled and loosened his grip and Noah kicked him again to make him let go.
Noah took off in the opposite direction and thought maybe he could do this. Maybe he could save the pack. It was a bright hope for a few seconds before he was tackled. He turned in the air to make sure he could deliver the blow but Joseph smashed him in the neck making him lose his breath. He coughed as he hit the floor and took two more blows to the head making him dizzy. He was pulled up seconds later and someone kept a tight grip on his shoulder as he tried to walk woozily. He was not getting away from them. He had failed the pack.
He had never been so cold before in his life. When he came to the States he was cold but he got used to it, kind of, but this was colder than cold. His winter coat was gone and he was in a cement box, in a cement hallway with open metal bars with snow and ice piling up and releasing their coldness in their cages. He hated the cold but he hated what was going on outside even more. Antonio was going to face Cain and the only one who could help was an unconscious eighteen year old kid wolf who might be dead.
Reese trusted Antonio and knew he was one of the best fighters in the pack but he was hungry and beaten up and Cain was fresh. Reese gripped the bars and watched fearfully. He loved Nick and he loved Antonio. Was he about to lose his new family? He was sure he couldn’t bare that after losing his first family.
He swallowed and looked back at Layn just as Cain roared and rushed Antonio. Beside his cage Nick was holding the bars with white knuckled hands looking like the blood had drained from his face. “We have to wake him up,” Reese said standing suddenly and going to the wall to rip off more rubble. He heard flesh hitting flesh and grunts in the background. He worked hard and got some bigger chunks.
He walked back seeing Morgan had gotten some of his own chunks and was lobbying them at Layn’s head. Reese threw a couple as well. Karl paced the cage and grumbled beside him. “Throw one to me,” Elena instructed. She had been trying to reach Layn through her bars but her fingers were a millimeter to short.
Reese threw her a bigger chunk and she tried to stab it into Layn’s flank like Tonio had. She didn’t get it far the first time but the second time Layn whined and moved. She tried again harder and he yipped moving away and opening his eyes groggily. “Layn, wake up now,” Elena ordered. The wolf groaned and closed his eyes again until Elena stabbed him once more. Layn opened his eyes wider and reached back biting Elena hand and she took this opportunity to grab the scruff of his neck and pull him close.
The Alpha made sure he saw the wolf in her eyes. Layn whined and tried to pull away but she reached through the bars and grabbed his muzzle so he could not leave. “You will stay awake and you will get me that hand, do you understand?” she growled. Layn made a noise in his throat until it seemed like he agreed and she let him go.
Layn got up shakily and stumbled to the door touching it with his muzzle. It opened with little effort and Layn limped to Antonio’s cage stopping only once along the way when his gaze went cloudy. “Layn, you can do it just focus mate,” Reese called. He was joined by Nick, Morgan and Elena encouraging him as well. He finally shook his head and continued forward grabbing the hand in his mouth and bringing it back to Elena.
He lay down outside the cage and whined tiredly and Elena set a hand on his head before she stood and reached outside of the cage and to put the hand on the scanner. “Ok darling, I’ll tell you what to push,” Clay said as Elena reached around and touched the number without being able to see them.
Once she had the right number and the cage clicked open Elena flew out. Reese looked back at Antonio’s fight. He was going hard against Cain but losing ground. Cain was fresh and the last few days really took its toll on him. Cain had Antonio pinned but he didn’t see Elena jump on his back.
Layn watched for a few minutes with droopy tired eyes until Cain pulled a knife out. Elena had managed to get Cain off of Antonio and Tonio had come back and back fisted Cain distracting him while Elena kicked the back of his legs. Normally it was one on one for these matches but Cain wouldn’t play fair and there was too much on the line.
When Cain pulled the knife Layn seemed to get some new energy. He stood and shook himself a bit limping forward with a low growl. Reese noticed that Layn didn’t seem to have much left but what he had he was giving to them. All three werewolves’ looked up and stopped what they were doing. No wolf in human form was stupid enough to face one in wolf form.
“Layn,” Elena warned as Antonio threw out his arm and pushed Elena back.
Layn bared his teeth and growled deeply. Cain smirked and brandished his knife but Tonio reached out and snapped Cain’s wrist in a split second move. Layn let out a snarl and leapt up sailing through the air and landing on Cain’s chest. Cain fell backwards and Antonio backed Elena up even more despite her annoyance.
Cain grabbed Layn’s by the fur around his neck preventing him from biting down. Layn yipped and snapped at his face biting his nose painfully making Cain lose his grip. Layn immediately snapped down on his neck ripping his throat out and munching on the blood and skin. Cain gasped and weakly tried to push him away but Layn wouldn’t be deterred. He bent down and bit deeper filling his muzzle and mouth with blood.
Cain groaned and laid his head back going still. The light left his eyes as Layn continued to eat. “Get him off,” Elena snapped an order. Antonio moved forward and grabbed Layn’s scruff pulling him back hard. Layn chuffed and reached back to snap at him but Antonio easily took them both to the floor and got a hand around his muzzle to keep it closed. Blood and guts dangled from his mouth and he snorted impatient and annoyed.
Layn struggled for a bit before he went still again exhausted and in pain. “Get him in a cage. I don’t want him freaking out around anyone.” Antonio nodded and got his knees and then standing he kept Layn in his arms walking him back to his cage. Layn’s breathing became shallow and he whimpered again.
“Tonio, I need you.” The man nodded and set the wolf down. Layn whined and tried to get up again but he couldn’t manage it. Antonio petted his heaving side gently before he stepped from the cage and closed the door. He also grabbed a piece of wire and locked it shit before turning to Elena who was across the room sawing off Cain’s other hand with her wolf’s paw to open the other cages.
“Dad, are you ok?” Nick asked as the man came from the cage. Tonio nodded and set a hand on the bars and Nick wrapped his hand around it. Reese watched and felt a pang for his own father that he brushed aside. He had to focus on the mission.
“Elena, what do we do?” he called. The Alpha held up her hand. She was holding Cain’s other hand to Clay’s scanner and they were working out the code. Blood ran down her arm and pooled around her feet but a little more blood didn’t matter.
“Try Joseph’s birthday,” Antonio suggested which didn’t work. They had researched all the main players in the mutt pack and they tried all the birthdays and important dates but nothing was working. Reese leaned against the bars of his cage thinking hard. He was cold, hungry and frustrated and his brain was not working well but suddenly Noah’s name popped into his head.
“Noah, try Noah’s birthday,” he called. Nick smiled over at Reese proudly as Elena typed it in lightning fast. The door clicked open letting Clay out and Elena immediately opened the door and stepped in hugging Clay. The taller man leaned down and whispered in her ear. Elena nodded and tossed Antonio the still warm hand. He rushed to Nick’s cage and opened it and then opened the others.
After Nick hugged his father he immediately went to Morgan’s cage and helped the man up. Morgan smiled weakly and accepted the help walking slowly out with Nick. Reese immediately went to them and helped as well getting on Morgan’s other side. “We need to find Noah and the others. Can everyone handle a fight before we leave here?” Elena asked stepping out of Clay’s cage and letting go of his hand. They were not a couple that showed a lot of affection outside of the pack or in public and with so much danger the time for affection could be saved for later.
“Morgan needs to sit out,” Nick announced. Morgan tried to protest but Nick’s look stopped him.
“Ok, Morgan I need you to stay here and guard Layn. I can’t leave him alone. You’ll sit outside the cage and if anyone comes…,” she said breaking off. Morgan nodded and Nick helped him sit down. The wolf hadn’t moved since he had been set on the floor ten minutes before hand.
“Everyone else keep your ears and eyes open. We get Noah back at any costs except our lives,” Elena informed them and looked pointedly at Nick and Reese. Nick sighed and nodded and prodded Reese who was frozen in place. Reese slowly nodded as well but he hated this. How could he not save Noah even at the cost of his own life? It was hard to bring himself to disobey her but he would do anything he could to save his brother, anything.
“Antonio take Reese and Nick and search the south side. Clay and Karl you’re with me.” Reese turned to Antonio and he gestured for them to go. Reese followed behind Nick getting into the mindset to kill. He was pissed that the mutts put them in here but he was even angrier that they had taken Noah. Noah was his brother and Noah would be avenged.
They walked from the hallway and into the outer chamber surprised to see a large warehouse with nothing in it but dust. Antonio walked to the south side and began walking along the wall and looking for any clues. Reese sniffed smelling Joseph, Cain, Noah and multiple other scents he could not identify.
They walked across the floor to the one door on the other side. Elena and the others had checked the few doors on the opposite side and discovered they went to the outside where snow was piled up so thick it was impossible to get through it. When Tonio opened the door of it looked identical to the space with the cages but instead of cages there were multiple doors. Opening them they found small bedrooms with the mutt’s scents and only beds in them and some crates for holding clothes. There were six rooms and it was not until they got near the last one that they smelled Noah and his blood.
Reese looked at the floor seeing some small droplets. He dropped and sniffed telling them it was Noah’s and it led to the last room. Antonio surged forward and opened the door as the fear spiraled in Reese’s stomach. Noah had to be ok. When he door was opened they smelled more of his blood and his scent but not enough for him to be there.
When he got a look at the room he saw a bed, desk, computer and dressers. More of Noah’s blood was on the floor but only smaller droplets indicating that he was hit a few times but not hurt. He was also long gone. “The trails are a few hours old,” Nick indicated.
“So they left Cain here? Why?” Reese asked looking around.
“Fuck. We’ll get him back,” Nick growled. I promise.
His head was swimming and he was shivering. He was definitely feeling the effects of the being sick for so long. Behind him he heard Layn whine and move. He turned to see the wolf losing his fur and changing back into a human. Morgan struggled up clutching the bars and untwisted the makeshift lock walking inside. He sat beside Layn until he was human again.
“Shit,” Morgan sighed seeing Layn body. Every inch of skin was bruised and bones were sticking out in places they should not have been. Multiple stab wound were bleeding and his face was pale, a mask of pain and blood.
Layn whimpered much like the wolf and Morgan moved in and took his sweat plastered hair gently cradling Layn’s head in his lap. “It’s ok, it’s almost over.” He set a hand on Layn’s hair sucking in a breath at seeing the tear tracks running down his cheeks. He must have been in an incredible amount of pain.
When the door opened again he tried to move as little as possible to see who it was. The pack was back. When Elena saw Layn was a boy again she walked faster and came into the cage. She kneeled down saying Layn’s name and he opened his eyes slightly. Fear and pain were prominent. Suddenly he gasped and his eyes rolled back a bit as he shook with a seizure.
“Shit,” Elena said setting a hand on his cheek. Behind Layn Clay snuck up and bashed him quickly in the side of the head. It was a dangerous move but there was no way to get him out of here without him being unconscious.
“Be careful with him,” she said softly. Nick nodded and gently lifted him up. Reese had grabbed some blankets and they carefully covered him up before leaving. Clay and Karl had scouted outside and they had no idea where they were but it was not outside the city. They were somewhere in the GTA, the greater Toronto area.
Just as they were leaving through a doorway Reese, Nick and Karl had cleared, with Reese helping Morgan along, Jeremy and the council members appeared. Elena’s face broke into a relieved smile and Jeremy moved forward and hugged her. Hierarchy did not matter in that moment. Everyone was too relieved.
“Jeremy, Layn,” Nick said looking down at the blankets in his arms, Jeremy let go of Elena and rushed to Nick moving the blanket and looking at Layn’s face. He felt his pulse and swore covering him up again.
“Call Randall Tolliver, we need to get him some place warm.” The pack wanted to get as far away as the warehouse as possible so hurrying was no problem. When they called Tolliver he told them to bring him to his private clinic which would afford them a place they could make noise and he could work on the boy in peace.
The SUV’s were a block away and they were at Tolliver’s twenty minutes later. They laid Layn out on the surgical table and took the blanket away. Tolliver winced when he saw Lay’s condition and gave him a quick examination. “I am not going to lie, it would be easier to give him a quick death,” the doctor emphasized. All the pack member’s eyes turned to Elena who shook her head annoyed.
“He saved us, save him,” she demanded.
Tolliver ushered everyone out but Nick who she left to watch over them while she talked to the others and planned. They had to find Noah which meant they had to leave Layn. He was safe here and she would not worry about him. Morgan knew if he survived he would be given a place of honor in the pack. He himself was not going on the rescue mission. He was too weak and needed rest. Tolliver would look him over after he was done with Layn.
He was back in the white space walking around aimlessly. He remembered being awake and then suddenly he felt the spider web again and it felt like his whole body was electrified. He felt a sudden pain and then darkness. He woke up here again. Now he was wandering again wondering if Elena would appear and talk to him. He was terrified that something bad was happening to the pack. If he disappeared would he be dead or was he dead now?
All he could do was walk and hope that something would happen. If Joseph destroyed the pack he most certainly would not save him. He’d be dead in a ditch and probably burned with the rest of the pack. Joseph would destroy Noah but not physically. Noah would be destroyed emotionally. He would either not be able to handle it and Joseph would get tired of him and kill him or Noah would become hard and cruel. It was his fault. He should have told the pack as soon as he got the chance. He had made so many wrong choices.
“Reuben?” Layn heard and he looked around surprised. No one ever called him that. He turned in circles and looked up but nothing had changed. He recognized the voice but he didn’t know from where. He called a hello and no one answered.
Layn shoved his hands in his pockets letting his hope die. The voice was a voice woven into his soul as a baby and toddler but he could not make himself say her name. He preferred to pretend not to recognize it just in case he never heard it again.
“Reuben, sweetheart.” Layn turned and saw the white air shimmering. He took a step back and watched as two forms materialised. A woman and a man stood there first like faint ghosts and then becoming more solid. His mother held out a hand to him and his father smiled. This could not be possible. He hadn’t seen his parents since he was four and they were dead, he saw them dead. He saw the blood and he had knelt on the floor shaking first one and then the other. They had been lifeless.
“Mom? Dad?” Layn asked hesitantly. The woman smiled and finally walked forward. Layn remained frozen even when she hugged him to her tightly. Finally he sniffed and her familiar scent relaxed him. He leaned against her hugging back relieved.
“I missed you so much,” he whispered. His mother nodded and pulled back a bit looking into his eyes. His father was beside him now and started rubbing his back like he used to when he was a toddler and had nightmare
“You’re so big now,” his father smiled proudly. Layn nodded. They looked just like they had in the photo. They were about his age but that didn’t matter. They were his parents and they were finally here. Now it didn’t matter what happened in the real world.
“Yes, it does matter Ruey,” his mother said using his old nickname. He hadn’t heard it in years. “We need to tell you some things and you need to listen carefully.” Layn nodded and took a seat with them hugging his legs close.
“Reuben, you’re not like other werewolves. I am a werewolf so you inherited the gene but your mother is a full demon witch. She is different because the power can be passed onto the children as long as the blood is pure. Normally witches only have girls but when mating with a werewolf a boy can be produced.”
“You’re also different because boys are not supposed to inherit from witch powers but with the werewolf gene you get an extra bump and can inherit. You are not like any other witch and your werewolf side will always be the most powerful side. If we had a girl she would have limited werewolf ability but full witch ability and more,” his mother explained. “This means you can do some things like turning off lights and unlocking door or binding spells but only for a short period of time. Your witch powers are not strong but they become stronger when you are stressed out or agitated,” she finished.
“After you use these powers you need to recharge and won’t be able to use them for a few days so use them wisely,” his father encouraged and Layn nodded dumb founded.
“So you’re a full demon, mom?” he asked smiling at the word. He hadn’t been able to call anyone mom and dad for the longest time.
“Yes, normally demons are male but some of us who were created early were female. We are just so rare no one believes in us anymore. I hardly ever came to earth but I did when you dad was a boy and I fell in love. I watched over him until he was grown and then we married. He knew me as the woman down the road who never seemed to age. When we had you we knew we had a miracle and a very special child.”
“Why were you murdered then?” Reuben whispered not able to keep the hurt from his voice.
“Reuben, we did all we could to protect you but I did not chose to leave with your father. The demons had been looking for me for years and knew I was with a werewolf. One demon in particular, Esdawdin, was on the hunt for me. He convinced a few werewolves to help track us down. He took me back when he killed my human form and they murdered your father as you well know.”
“How was I burned then?” Reuben asked confused. He set a hand on his shoulder feeling the pain from that day again.
“Esdawdin had many powers and one is the power of fire. He tried to burn you to death Reuben but a neighbour came in and recused you. The human could not see the demon and the demon was not allowed to hurt the human. He threw you in the pool in a panic where you almost drowned. When he figured out what he had done he jumped in after you and saved you sweetheart,” his father said filling in the blanks. Layn did remember a monstrous figure but he figured it was him a small child creating monsters to make sense of what happened to him. It seemed he wasn’t after all.
“Why am I broken then? I have something wrong with me.” His parents both shook their head and his mother leaned over and kissed his temple.
“You’re not broken. Because you have two supernatural powers your brain sometimes gets confused and shorts out when one tries to dominate the other. The wolf always wins but since you are so different we couldn’t have predicted this. If you were a witch and sorcerer the powers are so similar that they can live together but a spell caster and a werewolf is so rare that there was bound to be hiccups,” his father said. Layn nodded. This made sense he supposed.
“What do I do now?” Layn asked desperate to reply on someone else for a change.
“You go back to the pack and you stay with them. They will protect you and help you. They are your destiny is Reuben. Don’t forget that. Also, remember we love you more than anything and are watching over you now. No more bad things will happen. We’re here now.”
“Where were you before?” Layn asked concerned.
“In Esdawdin’s prison but we had some help,” his mom said and gestured to two more figures that appeared. He didn’t recognize them except for the eyes. Big blue eyes like Savannah Levine had and the woman looked a lot like her too.
“This is Eve Levine and Kristof Nast, Reuben. They will be watching over you too,” his father said and they stood. Layn shook hands with them and told them he would make contact with their children and help them out too. It turned out that they had more than just Savannah so he would figure that out later.
“We know we couldn’t be there for you growing up and we know horrible things happened but everything will be ok now, you need to trust that,” his father said taking his shoulders and looking into his eyes. Layn nodded.
“I don’t want this to end,” Layn admitted as they started to fade again.
“I know sweetie but remember how much you have left to do. We’ll be waiting for you when you’re done,” his mother promised. Layn nodded again and hugged them unashamed. Then they were gone along with Eve and Kristof.
Layn sat there lost in his thoughts wondering what he should do. His past was finally revealed and even though he felt like he’d feel amazing when he knew the truth he just felt more confused. What should he do with the information?
Suddenly Layn felt a jolt in his body. He looked down confused. It came again like he was being pulled by an invisible rope. He jumped up and was pulled forward and then into the air.
When he opened his eyes again he was in a white room in a white bed. Elena was stroking his hand and speaking softly to him. He waited for the pain to hit but there was only a slight discomfort in his head.
“He’s awake,” Nick said and Layn turned his head slightly to see the man stride across the room. Layn blinked looking around confused.
“Layn, take it slow. You’re still recovering,” Elena said. Nick nodded as he came to the bed and tried to take his other hand. Layn pulled it away and pushed down the sheets surrounding his stomach. The bruising and broken bones were healed.
“H…,” he tried to get out but it was if his voice had not been used in months. Nick grabbed a glass of water and put it to his lips. Layn drank thirstily and almost coughed up half of the water all over the sheets.
“Don’t try to talk Layn. You haven’t used your voice in a while,” Elena instructed. A spike of panic ripped through his chest at the thought. He tried to sit up but Nick pushed him back down easily. His heart monitor was beeping like crazy.
“Layn, I’ll tell you what’s going on but you need to calm down, deal?” Elena asked. Layn took a deep breath and nodded.
“You have been in a coma for a month now. That’s why your body is healed. After we got you back we could not wake you up without you seizing so Dr. Tolliver had to operate. With Jeremy he performed brain surgery and took out a small part of your brain that he believed was giving you trouble. We don’t know what that means about your abilities or how you will be affected but you have not had a seizure for the last month.”
Layn stared at her confused before he slowly raised a hand to his bandages head. Noah, where was Noah? “N…no…”
“It’s ok Layn, you’ll be alright,” Nick assured.
“No…Noah,” Layn finally got out. Nick glanced at Elena and they both glanced at him. “Noah,” Layn growled and tried to get up. Nick and Elena both pushed him down.
“Calm down or I’m putting you to sleep again,” Elena warned. Layn sighed and lay back closing his eyes. His head started to pound and his anxiety was suddenly through the roof.
“They’re gone Layn. We have tried to track them but haven’t found a track yet. Noah’s gone but we will get him back,” Elena promised. Layn closed his eyes feeling hopeless. Jay had had Noah for months now. Would he even be the same? Was he alive now?
“You promised you wouldn’t let anything bad happen, you’re watching out for me now,” Layn whispered opening his eyes. Nick and Elena exchanged worried looks.