I tried to press for more information about Zea’s mother, but Layla wouldn’t budge. She seemed to want to protect the woman, but I would do the same. I couldn’t understand why she would purposely withhold information that could be the key to finding this woman.
As I walked back to my office, I thought about why the rogues wanted the pack’s blood. Zea had found information about the warlocks that would make sense, but the warlocks and witches were mostly gone. They had been eradicated by the northern packs. The packs used humans to commit the actual genocide, but every wolf knew the truth about Salem. There were still a few covens around the states, but they were rare to say the least.
I was so lost in thought about the past troubles with the warlocks; I almost didn’t catch the light humming coming from behind my office door.
Confused on who would dare trespass into my space, I slammed open the door in a sudden surprise to the little girl sitting before me. Zea didn’t jump at my loud entrance, but instead continued to look down with drawn eyebrows at what she was holding.
After a moment, she lifted her head to meet my gaze. A small smile started to creep onto my face as I watch her look me in the eyes. Amusement filled me as her eyebrows slowly raised in a questioning expression.
The first thought I had was of how she reminded me of the one I lost. But the second the thought crossed my mind, I immediately pushed it to the back of mind before the painful reminder could be felt.
“Why do you have a picture of her?” she asked inquisitively. I could hear the tint of sadness in her voice as she pointed to the frame sitting in her lap.
I looked at her questioning before asking, “Who, Zea?”
Slowly lifting the frame into her hands, she turned the photo around and into my view. I felt my wolf start to stir in my mind as he whined and howled at what was in front of us.
“Put that down,” I ordered her, my alpha tone seeping in my words, “Now!”
Don’t hurt her! Knox yelled at me.
Her small form started to shake as silent tears fell down her face. Immediately forgetting my pain, I tried to comfort her. But the second I moved forward, she shrunk back into the chair.
“Zea I’m sorry. I didn’t mean-” I started but she bolted out of the office before I could even get a word out. I could hear her cry as she ran down the hall.
What did you do that for? Knox scolded me, We must protect her, not hurt her!
I didn’t mean to, I tried to tell him, but he just brushed me off and ignored me. I couldn’t understand why my wolf was acting this way towards this one little girl. What was it about her that he needed to protect?
Still thinking about Zea, I walked over to my desk. Slowly swiveling in the chair, I stared down at the lonely frame as her bright smile stared back at me. She was so happy the day I took this photo. She had it framed so I would always remember that day on the beach.
It was our first actual date since I had met my mate at my birthday party. We swam in the morning and then spent the entire day just sitting around and talking. Even though we had just met, it was that day I had known that I loved her.
I just continued to stare down at her face, completely surrounded in my past world.
A knock on the door drew me out of my thoughts. Quickly sliding the frame back into my top drawer of the desk, I called for the person to entire.
“Alpha,” Walker walked in, “I got a call from some of the scouts.”
“What do you have?” I ask him, devoid of all emotion and getting straight to business.
“The rogues are stirring and a big group of them are heading straight here.”
My wolf growled at the thought as I rose from my seat, “Double the border patrols. If a rogue is spotted, it dies. Understood?”
“Yes Alpha,” he nodded and walked out to enact my order.
I was about to sit back down when my wolf started to stir in my mind. He seemed to be crawling to be let out. Not wanting to deny him a run, I rushed out of the house and into the forest surrounding to the pack house.
Not carrying about my clothes, I jumped and shifted into my giant black wolf. Quickly scanning the area, I took off running. I felt liberated as I pushed my paws into the dirt around me, taking in my land.
Go to the north border! Knox growled at me.
Why? I asked him, becoming more confused at his recent behavior.
She’s in danger! Hurry up! He pushes, trying to take control.
Who’s she? I ask him, but he didn’t get a chance to reply.
The cool breeze picked up, carrying the stench of multiple scents close to my territory.
Letting out an angry growl, Rogues.
I sprinted in the direction of the familiar odor as Knox grew angrier at the thought of rogues on my territory. Coming to a clearing, I paused at the tree line, waiting for the rogues to cross my path. I pushed my body into the ground as I watched the two wolves come into my view.
Without a second for them to process what was happening, I pounced from the forest bed. I swiftly dug my teeth into the neck of the first rogue, tearing out his throat before dropping him onto the forest floor.
Turning my attention to the second wolf, I took in his form. He had a brown coat and a small frame. I watched as he slightly shivered as he had watched his friend die. Taking pity on this horrid creature, I moved quickly for his throat.
Pushing my canines into his fur, I swiveled my head. The echoing snap sounded through the trees as his life disappeared from the rogue’s eyes.
Snouting in triumph, I threw the rogue’s dead body into the soil. Lifting my head to the stars, I released a howl into the night, signaling the rogues’ deaths.
The breeze picked up slightly, blowing the leaves about around me. Sniffing into the darkness, I smelt it. The one scent I have been begging to sense for the last 7 years. The scent I thought had been taken from me forever.
It was her, it had to be.
Find her! Knox screams to me in need.
Stepping over the dead wolves, I set off into the forest. Running without watching where I was going, I pushed my legs harder to chase the fleeting scent. I had to find her.
The scent became stronger as I neared the pack house. Quickly shifting behind a tree, I grabbed a pair of shorts from one of the hidden spare piles and sprinted out of the forest and onto the path.
I lifted my nose again as I took in the perfect scent in front of me. Vanilla and honey invaded my senses as I took in the woman standing with her back to me.
She was covered in blood and dirt as she looked up to the house. Her blonde hair cascaded down her back as her scent was blown to me once more.
Mate! Knox called out.
“Ellie?” I called out, every ounce of hope I had seeped into my voice.
I watched as her demeanor stiffened slightly as she turned around to face me agonizingly slow.
The second her eyes reached mine, my heart lifted. She stood in front of me the exact same as the day I lost her. My eyes scanned over her petite frame as I took in every part of the woman I had lost.
“Axton,” she breathed out.
The second my name left her lips, my eyes went straight to her eyes. Her green hypnotizing eyes that I had spent hours staring into now held back so many secrets.
“Ellie,” I repeat as I make a step forward, but I halt as I watch her quickly raise her hands to signal me to stop.
It’s the only word she said. She didn’t want me to come to her. I don’t understand.
What is wrong with mate? Knox whines as he takes her rejection of our touch.
“Ell-” I try again but I am cut off by the sound of the front door slamming open.
We both turn to the little patter as Zea comes sprinting out of the house as fast as she can.
I watched the scene unfold around me as if I had stepped outside of my body. The word froze me in my spot as I watched her jump into the arms of my mate. Ellie lifted her up as she held Zea close to her chest, tears shining in her eyes.
Those secret green eyes caught mine as I silently pleaded with her to tell me the truth.
Was Zea mine?