Rogues crossed the border, one of the sentries sent out in the mind link.
“Layla!” I heard Madden scream to me as he ran across the field in order to reach us.
But he didn’t reach us in time.
Rogues poured out of the woods in a blind rage as they charged from the pack house. They moved in a frenzy as blood of our pack members soaked their clothes and covered their features in the sticky red substance.
“Zea!” I heard Ellie scream over the snarls of the hoard of rogues emerging from the woods.
The second her voice hit my ears, I snapped into movement and ran toward the little girl I had come to call family. Her little arms wrapped around my neck as I swept her into my arms and ran toward the house.
I could hear the stomping of rogues chasing us as I pushed my legs to sprint faster toward my charging husband. My only thought was to protect the child we currently held in our arms and the one growing inside me.
Layla! Get down! Madden yelled to me through our mate bond.
I immediately dropped as he sailed over me in his wolf form, charging into the middle of the rogues threatening the lives of his mate and family.
I looked back and froze as I watched my mate fight off an attack of over fifteen crazed rogues attacking him from all sides. My wolf whimpered and snarled at the rogues as we watched one of them take a swipe at our mate.
Madden! She called out in my head.
“Layla!” Ellie came to our side, pulling her daughter into her arms, “We need to get out of here!”
I looked back to her as if she just said the craziest thing in the world, “What?! No, I will not leave Madden here to fight without me!”
“You don’t have a choice!” she argued back as she tried to pull me toward the other side of the field, but I continued to fight her as more of my pack came out of the woods to join their Alpha on the battlefield, “Listen to me, you are pregnant! You can’t be here and protect your child!”
I understood her reason for wanting to protect me, but I couldn’t just leave my mate, “I can’t leave Madden.”
“You will only put him in danger by staying,” she spoke over the roar of the raging war, “Your being here is a distraction that will get him killed. We need to run.”
I nodded my head as we took off to the forest. We ran deep into the underbrush before Ellie pulled me to an abrupt stop.
“What are you do-” she slapped a hand over my mouth as she dragged us down to the forest floor in a crouch.
What is it? I ask her through the pack link.
Her voice shook even through the link as she replied, It’s him, the one who tried to kill me after I left my mate.
How do you know? I ask her, my fear for Zea’s and her safety growing from the story Ellie once shared with me about this man.
It is not a scent I could ever forget. I need you to take Zea, she said as she carefully handed me her daughter.
Where am I supposed to take her? We are surrounded and from what you’ve told me about him, he won’t give up until he has both you and your daughter, if he even knows she exists.
Take her to the only person that can protect her, she said, hesitation clearly in her voice.
What! He will kill her on sight, he told you he would, I argued with her to reconsider this choice.
I know what he said, she told me, her eyes drifting to the frightened little girl I was holding in my arms as she cried silently as if aware of the danger around her, But no one, not even this monster, would go against him.
But if he recognizes her-
He won’t. You will say that she is your daughter.
He won’t believe that, I argued with her, The second he looks at you, he will know that she is his.
Her eyes sunk to the ground as she spoke back to me, her voice heavy, That’s why I’m not going with you.
No! I cried to her, If you stay here, you will be caught. Cortez will kill you.
She shook her head at me, Not until he gets what he wants, she gently stroked Zea’s hair as she stood firm, and he will never get to her. Just keep her safe.
Quickly kissing her daughter on the forehead, she silently said goodbye before running back into the field of battle.
Stay strong, I sent those last words to her and I took off with her daughter towards the one place she swore never to return to.
Back to her home.
Run! My wolf screamed to me as rogues emerged from the trees surrounding us. We were only a mile from the border. All I had to do was make it there before they caught us.
Zea squeezed my fur harder as she urged me to move faster.
Hold on, I told her as we jumped over and dove under fallen trees in the path.
I felt teeth graze my hind leg as one of the rogues nipped at me. I pushed faster until I saw the border tree in view.
The old, wise tree lit up as the fire burned to light the way for those who were lost, as a warning not to cross into this territory on penalty of death, but I had no other options.
Come on, I told my wolf as we gave one last push to break through the barrier.
The rogues skidded to a stop as they realized where we were. I gave them a sly smirk as they growled lowly at the line drawn between them and their goal.
A howl sounded in the distance, shutting them up immediately. Giving one final look at us, they backed off the border and disappeared into the forest.
Slowly sliding Zea off my back, I went to take a deep breath to calm my raging heart. I didn’t even have the chance as I heard the thunder of running paws came closer to us.
I pushed Zea behind me in a protective position as four wolves emerged in front of us.
One shifted in front of us, wearing nothing but a pair of shorts. His brown hair was matted to his forehead from sweat as he watched us with his blue eyes. He was handsome with a sharp chin and chiseled features, but all looking at him did was make me miss Madden. His tone muscles rippled as I was hit by a wave of his power. He was the beta.
“Shift,” he ordered.
I did as he said, shifting back into my human form. I wore the same outfit I had on when the attack first happened although now it was covered in tears and blood from the attacks by rogues trying to get to Zea and me as we ran here.
“Luna Layla?!” shock covered his face as he took in my appearance, bowing slightly for respect, “What are you doing here?”
I cleared my throat as I pulled Zea closer to me, “I need to speak to the alpha.”
“What happened?” he asked, clearly trying to stop me from making a mistake by asking for this request.
“I must speak with Alpha Axton immediately, Beta,” I said in the tone of Luna, authority demanding respect.
I cut him off immediately from trying to stop me.
“Blue Moon has been attacked. I need to speak to the Alpha now,” shock covered his face as he took in the thought of one of the strongest packs being attacked by the group of rogues. I lowered my voice to a softer tone, “Please. Before my pack and my mate are dead.”