A Sin of Her Own

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Chapter 43

It only took Eóghan a short run after Doctor Craig’s revelation to contact Brett. He couldn’t help the whirring thoughts that occupied his own mind and his wolf’s, especially when she was so close. After nearly spending a month and a half in the wilderness, the end was in sight; the light at the end of the theoretical tunnel. Even if Eóghan had to make choices he didn’t necessarily agree to, he’d do it – for her.

Checking the sinking sun for the time, he made his way back to Titania’s make-shift hospital cabin, spotting Brett’s form deep in thought outside.

Brett’s face was blank as the ex-Alpha made his way towards him. His stance stiffened against the wooden exterior of the cabin. While Eóghan’s plan may have been simple in his own head, the expression on his companion’s face did not echo such thoughts. It instead expressed concern and resistance, a turbulent mix that had creases appearing upon Brett’s usually expressionless face.

As Eóghan approached, Brett motioned for him to enter first: a move done by Alphas to display dominance. A raised lip and a deep growl met Brett as Eóghan voiced his displeasure towards such a patronising move.

“You’re first,” the Duskfall male offered the cabin door with an exaggerated flourish, “remember where you are.”

Brett’s teeth fared grimly under the hard grind of his jaw. It was hard. Transitioning from an Alpha- a rank he had had since a child - to a wolf with no rank or power. But with willpower and grit, he kept his opinion to himself and walked into the cabin.

Pride was nothing compared to the woman he loved.

With determined strides, he made his way into the cabin. Apart from Doctor Craig, Brett spent the most time at Titania’s bedside with Eóghan a tight third. Tensions had increased over the past few days, especially between the ex-Alpha males. As possessiveness and judgement of what was best for Titania riled them both, their wolves were at the forefront and had resulted in some violent spars between the pair.

However, somewhat used to the scene of her body patched up and attached to cables, it always caused a whine from his wolf and his own eyes to soften a touch. Not that he allowed anyone to see his broken heart.

Titania lay on her stained sheets struggling against her chains in her sleep as the skin rubbed red raw from the aggravation. It was nothing new to him after the past four days, but it still caused the air in his throat to pause while he got accustomed to the sight. It was never easy.

Eóghan followed right behind him, taking his place in front of the bed that Titania was facing. He stood straight, posturing to Brett. His wolf did not want a repeat of yesterday when Brett subtly challenged him. His charge was Duskfall and he knew Titania and the pack better than this wolf in front. While the bruises along his body spoke volumes, a testament of establishing dominance with an ex-Alpha, his stubborn Duskfall will remained. Nothing would let him falter. Not for a second- even if Brett was just like him, an ex-Alpha.

With the air heated, Brett stationed himself by one of the chairs facing the bed. A safe distance away from her jaws.

He gulped back his irritation from their exchange, “No changes?” His eyes met Eóghan’s, any hint of malice gone as he kept his face neutral. “Last time I was here the Doctor said she was making some progress…her legs were scabbing over. Well, I’m sure that’s what he suggested.”

Brett had no authority over the doctor and only Eóghan was privy to Titania’s healing records. Another tick on the growing list of Brett’s brewing distaste of the male.

Eóghan checked the monitors briefly, gauging the heart rate monitor that showcased the peaks and troughs of her steady heartbeat.

“That’s only half of it.”

“It is? How?”

Eóghan didn’t respond as he worked through some of the papers Craig had left him. Brett’s fur bristled at lack of acknowledgement, but he needed to know, “That’s it? Is she healing normally or not? It’s not a hard question.”

With barely contained fire within his green eyes, Eóghan spun around at the accusatory tone of Brett’s voice. His wolf reacted almost immediately. “You’re starting this again Brett? Remember whose pack this is because if I can recall correctly, we let you in and last time I checked, you’re not the Alpha.”

Alpha dominance flew through the room as the anger seeped out Brett’s pores. How dare he, was all that clouded Brett’s mind as his wolf flashed warningly through his usually cold glare.

“I want to know how she’s healing, not about being the Alpha. I know I’m not an Alpha anymore and I don’t give a shit about it! Titania is my priority and god be fuckin’ damned, I did not trek through one of the worst Scottish winters and put my life on the line for you to shut me out and accuse me like this!”

Fury, hot and lethal, danced in the room. Both males were standing, eyes scowling with only Titania’s bed blocking them from another full-frontal confrontation. Low grows tumbled out of Eóghan’s throat. Titania roused and both males’ eyes flickered down to her figure.

“Are you trying to wake her up?” He grumbled, “Stop throwing your Alpha bravado on her, you know she doesn’t respond well to it.” Eóghan’s hands strained on the bar of Titania’s bed as Brett’s dominance subsided momentarily at his admission.

“Then stop provoking me and give me some damn answers.”

Brett had left the wooden armrests of his chair permanently cracked. His figure hunched as his wolf was seconds away from taking over and ripping Eóghan’s throat out, ally or not.

A sigh escaped Eóghan’s throat. “She’s getting worse, not better, the longer she stays in wolf form the longer she risks infection and never shifting back.”

Brett calmed significantly as a wave of gloom overrode his need to shift. A few deep breaths later and the male had resurrected his control over his emotions.

“I don’t appreciate the secrecy and your snide comments. I’m not here to fight you; or Duskfall.” Brett could see the resignation within Eóghan as his jaw clenched, “I get you’re stressed- we all are, but my wolf and I won’t take this.” He motioned his hand between the two.

Another rustle from Titania’s bed had both males controlling themselves, both focused on her peaceful form. Peaceful despite the creases that adorned her forehead, for who knew what travesties were happening within her head.

She didn’t have her dark reputation for no reason.

A hand raked over Eóghan’s beard as his eyes regarded the male. He knew his temperament was unstable. His thoughts centred around Titania’s diminishing health and the packs uproar. His insecurities as a temporary Alpha, as confirmed by his current management of Duskfall only cemented his stress levels and inner demons. Eóghan was never meant to lead, yet here he was – his worst dream come true.

He cleared his throat as he relented, Brett’s words hitting him with remorse. “There’s a lot on my plate at the moment and I’m struggling to balance it all. Maybe I’m handling it wrong.” He sighed, “Craig thought she’d make better progression than this, but she hasn’t shifted. We have a few options but they’re not great odds.”

Brett acknowledged the apology for the male’s stingy behaviour and his willingness to share information. To Brett, the protective instincts came out in times of hardship and unfortunately Eóghan had fallen headfirst into the stress.

“If it’s the one you suggested over the packlink then you’re right…”

“Do you have any other ideas? We’re pulling at straws here while she’s trapped in this state,” he motioned to her badly healing skin, “if she can shift back, she can heal then this conversation wouldn’t be happening.” Desperation painted his tone as the Duskfall male crossed his arms expectantly watching Brett.

“You heard what I thought of that idea!” Brett’s voice deepened as he fought his rising irritation. “But it’s out the picture…”

The disdain was painted over Brett’s face. He had joined the Duskfall pack for strategy’s sake; the packlink was infallible in their current situation with moles and the angered packs. Despite this, he had paid the price when his few hours of rest bite were interrupted with a horribly thought out plan.

The door creaked briefly as Angus entered. His eyes widened momentarily at the tension still present within the room.

“Sorry to interrupt. I know I’m on patrol, but I just wanted to check up on her.” Angus remained stationary at the door, “My wolf needs to see her.”

Eóghan nodded, he understood the angst of their wolves. “Sure, but don’t get your hopes up, she’s still asleep.”

He walked in tentatively as he shut the door behind him. Brett sent Eóghan a look and shake of his head, reiterating his refusal to participate in the madness that he’d proposed. Eóghan’s sigh echoed through the now silent cabin as he ran a head through the beads in his hair.

“Even when she’s sleeping, she looks in pain.”

Angus’s observation had the two bickering males watching her resting form; their dispute momentarily forgotten.

She had been rolled onto her stomach, courtesy of Brett and Craig’s efforts during the night. Titania had ripped open her scabbing skin as she continued to snap and move in her slumber. The males had no choice but to rebandage her every three hours, a tiring and labour-intensive challenge.

Angus’s face crumpled at his Alpha. Her back was still as gruesome as he could remember- if not worse. The skin and fur were non-existent along with the vast majority of her upper back as it had started to take on a greenish hue- a bad sign in healing terms.

Tears lined his eyes as his hand covered his mouth to control the urge to vomit, he nodded to his Beta before leaving wordlessly. Him and his wolf having had enough at such a sight.

“I forget how bad it is,” Eóghan muttered to himself. Brett hummed his agreement alongside him.

“It doesn’t need to be this bad. We have options…”

“Bad options” Brett supplied.

Eóghan approached Titania’s bed, finding calm at watching the slow rise and fall of her chest, “It’s something at least. Craig doesn’t think she has long, we need to shock her back to human so we can reset her bones and re-graft her skin.”

Brett’s eyebrows scrunched at the information. “We can’t get medical help from the other Alphas? Surely there’s someone who could help Craig.”

Eóghan snorted. “I don’t trust any of them as far as I could throw them; we can’t risk it. What if they poisoned her? Sabotaged her from within? The revolt is growing stronger the longer she’s in this state and we’re distracted.” He trailed off, “Even our Scottish allies have their hands full. Not to mention that internationally we have no hope, African, Asian and American packs are keeping their berth due to this outbreak. Trust me, I’ve tried everything.”

Brett snapped the wobbly chair in half as it collapsed to the floor. The news was most disturbing and whatever hope he had was diminishing by the second as the bad news poured in.

He straightened; eyes screwed in frustration. With a forced breath he addressed the elephant in the room, “I understand your position, but I refuse to force a mark on her.”

Before Eóghan could cut in, he continued, “Could you imagine the kind of psychological impact that could have on her? We have no idea of her mental state, hell my mark could kill her in worse ways than the infection.”

The vulnerability shone through Brett’s voice as his eyes met Eóghan. For a split second, Eóghan could see the indecision within the hulking males face. It was clear that Brett cared, he truly respected her consent and mental state more than his own desires. Desires that Eóghan was sure were tucked deep away within him- the man refusing to be like the rest of her previous bondmates.

“We have two other options before that, but we need to evaluate the risks of each. It might be a case of you either mark her or watch her die.”

Brett held back a gasp and instead chose to reposition himself beside the window, making sure Eóghan didn’t catch the slight moistening of his eyes.

How was a man to make such a decision? Titania would maul him if he marked her without her consent but was it considered okay considering the circumstances? Would it save her or condemn her to an even worse fate?

He groaned as the thoughts assaulted him. Finally, he conceded. “I’ll consider it after we’ve tried your other ideas, surely you’ve got something better…?”

Eóghan’s chest swelled at the fact Brett was willing to tie his soul to a feral wolf. A feat not common or heard of within the Werewolf community, it could easily result in Brett’s own suffering, especially if she died, but here he stood – willing to give it all up. For her.

“Doctor Craig suggested bringing her rejected mate here. It could anger the wolf enough to shift, or not…”

Brett’s wolf couldn’t hold back a warning snarl at the idea, his instinct to defend and protect shooting through his veins. At Eóghan’s expectant look between the bed and him, he calmed, not wanting to wake her up.

“Sorry, my wolf and I don’t like that twat.”

“You’re not the only one here,” Eóghan’s lip tilted in a half-smile at the male’s confession, “but what must be done must be done. If he can’t do this, then the boys got no use at all.”

“I’ve heard enough from the guards at the cells and Lucy to have my fill of him. I can’t see that it will help; but I’d rather we try that, it’s less permanent than my mark.”

“I’ll get Lucy and Angus to bring him here. You think you can control yourself enough to watch cause if you can’t then I’ll have to kick you out, this is for the sole purpose of getting her to shift. Not for you to get your revenge. As much as we all want to…”

Brett rolled his eyes and crossed his arms. “I’ll be fine if the boy keeps his paws to himself. If he challenges me then he’s got it coming.” He shrugged; his wolf willed the Spaniard to even try to hit him just so he could knock his teeth out.

A few mind links to Doctor Craig, Lucy and Angus had Nathan on his way. Of course, Eóghan had taken no chances, the male was cuffed and blindfolded as keeping Titania’s location was top priority.

Eóghan had given Lucy the strict orders to deposit Nathan outside as Angus and Garth had seen the state of their leader, and she hadn’t. He didn’t want to scar the teenager. The sight was something of nightmares and he did not want Lucy to face the same scenes that kept him awake into the long hours of the morning.

A few choice words were mentioned but Lucy didn’t back down. She wasn’t a ranked wolf but her relationship with Titania made her keep her head held high as she addressed her Beta. “Let me in, I had to drag this piece of shit here so you might as well let me see her.”

Nathan muffles could be heard under the cotton bag over his head but no one payed any attention.

“It’s not pretty Lucy, I don’t want you regretting this…”

“Holy fuck, I’m telling you I want to see her. I’ve seen blood and guts before it’s nothing new to me, my wolf’s been clawing at me to see her.” While the words were harsh, she dipped her head with respect, “I’ll be fine.”

The sincerity within her voice had Eóghan opening the door for her as Angus and Nathan entered the cabin. The doctor joined moments later. He gave Eóghan and Brett a dip of his head as he started rummaging through his herbal jars and sheets of notes.

Angus’s steely face addressed his Beta, “I’ll keep patrol around the cabin. Mindlink me if you need anything and I’ll double back.”

“Shall do, keep a tight perimeter and alert me of any breaches immediately.” Angus nodded to his orders before closing the door, caging Nathan inside with four angry wolves.

Lucy held her tongue well. While the smell of infection was sharp and the sight enough to cause one nausea, she played a strong poker face, ignoring the watchful gaze of Eóghan.

“Is she sleeping?” She asked, skimming her eyes over the huge gouges of missing skin and fur.

Brett nodded as he moved to the opposite side of the room. His wolf wanted eyes on Nathan the whole time; one misstep and he’d let him know they were not here to fuck around. He’d heard all about Nathan’s attempts to destroy Titania; through alliances with Alpha Alfonso, rumours, cheating and hiding her location when there was a manhunt after her. How his gums ached for his blood.

Not wasting another moment, Eóghan ripped the bag off its prisoner’s head. Nathan took a few moments as his eyes adjusted to the light and he recognised four sets of bitter gazes: Brett’s predatory look from across the room, the Doctors full of resentment and Lucy who’s grip dug in harder into his skin, her wolf riled and disturbed at the violence her Alpha had suffered to the hands of Nathan.

Eóghan pushed Nathan into a chair as he loomed over him.

“Well well, Nathan, it’s time to fix the shitstorm you’ve caused.”


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