"How many survivors?"
"Eight sir" the doctor answered nervously as his steps turned in to slow jogs trying to keep up with his boss.
"Out of the twelve. A major improvement." His boots thundered against the floor, they were loud to their ears as the long hallway was narrow and held no escape routes. White, white and more white as far as the eye can see. His facility was sterile and had the best equipment for the project he started years ago.
"Y-Yes sir." The imposing man glanced over his shoulder to see the doctor nervously adjusting his glasses.
"What is it?" he snapped.
"T-The girl sir. She have grown much more aggressive than the others. Are you sure you need her now? I think she needs more training, how to blend in."
"I'm not paying you to think. Things need to get moving now. Word just got in that the human left her side with a bad temper. I'm taking a chance with this weakness. Both alpha and human would be vulnerable." he sneered pushing open the double doors. He smirked at the new scenery behind glass windows both men and women were chained to beds writhing in pain as wolf venom course through their bodies. Turning the corner, wolves that survived the transformation were put together in one large room, it tested their strength and team work as a pack. It had a few that didn't fit in but he had plans for those. He came up to the last room, shackled in chains was his prized possession. She was the perfect tool in his plan. What surprised him when he first approach her was they way how persuading her was so easy. For the other candidates it subjecting to them being taken by force, it didn't weigh on his conscience his goal needed to be reached and he would do it by any means necessary.
The unlocking of the door got him the attention of his prisoner. Her hair was dirty and tangled, dressed in the basic grey sweatpants and t-shirt her body shape was outlined perfectly. "Heard some bad news about you my little pet." he said going towards her.
"Didn't know I was being graded." she retorted. Her eyes were no longer the plain color brown, green was now mixed in beautifully. A few other physical changes he noticed about her pleased him greatly, her body mass have grown she was no longer skinny, her pale skin now had color added to it giving it a healthy glow. He chuckled reaching forth to touch her but she flinched away watching him closely.
"What do you want? I've been here for weeks."
He ignored her and began to idly walked around the room going over the plan in his head. It all needed to run smoothly. She watched as the man paced, dressed in tactical gear and guns strapped to his sides. His age was questionable by his appearance he can be in his late 30's or above 40 due to the grey streak of hair at the crown of his dark brown hair. She won't lie and say he wasn't handsome because she would admit that his looks and charisma got her to agree to this. This life altering fiasco to get what she wanted.
"And for those weeks you have shown much improvement for a changeling. Werewolf venom can kill a human during change that's why it has been prohibited. I'm not one to follow the rules, I need a pack more like an army and you my dear would be part of something great. You would be greatly rewarded. Taking down the biggest Royal pack in the state is just one step away from dominance. All you have to do is get rid of the human."
"Based on what we agreed on right?" she asked a bit skeptical.
"My dear your part of the deal is what will carry this to success. It's your turn to start it all"
"Yes sir" she sneered thinking of the best way to get R.J Macallister to fall.
"How is she?"
Tiffany and Ryan sat on the dock of their lake watching their Alpha do her ten mile run around it in human and wolf. They weren't surprise to have the presence of Alpha Shane and Alpha Benjamin Jr behind them. It has been like a routine for them for the past four days, training -work-patrol Jacob's house.
"She's the old RJ. Everything has been so mechanical with her. Work is the worst place to be in. You can feel the tension through out the company. What showed everybody that things were bad between them was yesterday." Tiffany answered watching as her alpha shifted into her wolf during the run effortlessly.
"What happened?" Shane asked.
"Jasmine made a request to see R.J who quickly agreed but she didn't tell her father. When she arrived at the office R.J was already there waiting to greet her when both of them entered back into the lobby Jacob was there. R.J.... R.J wanted to say something to him even smiled his way but he just stared at her blankly like he was confused as to what to do, what to say. What he agreed on was, 'Good afternoon Miss Macallister'. It broke her even more, we all felt her pain. She wasn't even strong enough to block her emotions from the pack link."
"I felt it back here. When she came home it was like nothing even happened. She simply geared up chose her men and made her way to his place." Ryan added.
Days after the disagreement and revealing, things didn't go back smoothly for the two. For R.J, both her and Kara decided to wait. Wait till he's fully accepting of their kind, embracing what he truly was, even if it took years they decided to wait. Patrolling his house at night took every strength she mustered up each morning to stay away from him. She missed him greatly, she even missed the little girl who still warmed her heart with a smile. What she envied for the past nights was the way how her pack mate Frankie easily found acceptance by the little family especially Jasmine. They weren't blind to see that William told him everything.
Jacob was introduced to the men that would be his nightly guards and those who sworn to be at Jasmine's side no matter what. Not once had he asked of her, what gave her hope was the momentarily glance out the glass doors of the kitchen when he was calling it a night. She took note of how sad he looked and the deep sigh, Markell always called out to her in which she comforted him in reply. At work it was awkward, no more lunch dates, strictly work their talks were less than five minutes and was done via video chat or emails. Him addressing her as Miss Macallister shattered her dreams of him coming back to her. R.J refused to talk about how that made her feel, she refused to come to terms that she lost her mate.
'I'm not giving up.' she spat
Kara agreed and pushed herself harder in the run, they wanted to feel the burn something to distract them from the pain in their heart, to distract them from the man with the lovely blue eyes who can break her down with just one look.
'We. We are not giving up' Kara said with conviction before disappearing into the woods.
'Mate is here.' Markell whimpered.
The still foreign voice startled Jacob as he was alone in his home office doing some paperwork. He has still yet to get used to being a werewolf, sharing personal space with someone else in his head was complicated and unnatural. Though William have been helping him and the other wolves who called themselves his guards been giving him little facts it didn't help him in rectifying what he had done to their Alpha.
"Why does she still do this? I hurt her so much, even more so yesterday with that slip up" he said out loud clutching at his hair.
'She loves you.' was all Markell said.
"What?" Disbelief was clear in his voice, how can she love him after he outright called her a liar and a freak basically rejecting her.
'She-wolves who have bonded and develop strong feelings for their chosen mates would be loyal and faithful to them even when he hurts her. Renae have waited for you since she was sixteen imagine how much bottled up love she has to give.' Markell continued.
Jacob was about to continue their discussion when a loud knock was heard behind him. Turning around he came face to face with the woman who took residence in his mind. She gave him a small smile then it quickly faded away. Slowly he made his way to the door, his heart thundered in his chest as he looked her over. She was dressed in a basketball shorts and a sports bra, her feet was bare and her dark blonde mass in a messy bun atop of her head. Her once bright playful blue-grey eyes were now dull and emotionless, dark circles made a home beneath them. Guilt racked through his body as he opened the door for her. Her intoxicating scent hit him like a boulder, it has been days since he have been able to have that scent wrap itself around him.
They both held each others gaze no one saying a word. As R.J took in everything that she missed about him then she remembered what was delivered to her home a few hours ago. Not the one to believe everything she saw but the pain was real. Tears flowed down her face as she looked into his confused blue eyes. "Ummm, can I come in?" she asked softly. Her heart dropped as he started to make excuses and his hesitation in letting her in.
With her head bent low she asked the question she dreaded the answer to, "Do you accept me as your mate?"
Jaocb's voice hitched, his wolf was shouting for him to say yes but something was holding him back his mouth won't cooperate with his mind. Say Yes dammit he shouted to himself.
She released a sad laugh, "Still skeptical. I understand"
"Baby.." he started to say.
"It's alright. You don't need to explain. Gotta do what's best for Jasmine right." she said with her voice breaking.
"Renae this is all so new to me. I...When you... I said some stuff... but..... I... fuck" Jacob was trying so hard to put it all out there but the right words weren't there. He was losing her and he had the opportunity to make things right but his head was still a mess.
"J-Jacob are you seeing Lexi now?" she asked sullenly.
"WHAT?! No! She called to talk over coffee today, she wanted to apologize for her outburst and attitude." he exclaimed incredulously. Reaching behind her back with trembling hands, she took out the folded photograph at the back of her bra. R.J wanted to believe him but things must be cleared. Jacob opened the photo she handed him, he noticed how her hands shook and the way she avoided his eyes, tears falling to the floor beneath her feet. Opening it he cursed out loud, running his hands through his hair, he had to look twice to make sure he had seen wrong.
The photo was enough ammunition to lose the woman before him forever. It was taken earlier today in a parking lot opposite a popular coffee shop. Lexi's hands were on his shoulders as both their lips were locked in a kiss. One of his hand was on her waist like a lover's touch, to anyone and even to him they both looked like a couple. "Shit" he spat.
" I just wish you would reject me first then move on because this fucking hurts like a bitch. When I saw this it felt like you reached in and ripped my heart out. For days, I waited for you to come to me. Come to me and tell me that you accept me as yours. Now all I want to know is if this is all real. Please tell me it's a dream and I would wake up and see a cheesy text from you waiting for me to read." It was a struggle to get it all out when her voice was heavy with emotion and all she wanted to do was retreat to the dark and run back home.
R.J focused on Jacob to get his reaction but what she saw confirmed it, it was real. Guilt was written all over his face, his own tears covered his cheeks. "It all h-happened so fast. One minute we were talking about you and I. I told her how we weren't on good terms, sh..she pulled me into a hug. Then..Then she kissed me. I'm so sorry baby"
"And you kissed back." she continued for him. He didn't answer, he closed his eyes and took a deep breath. "I...I... didn't want to but.... I... she... for a moment I.. was weak. Comfort that I wanted after all of these revelations." Every word was like a nail to her already broken heart, she just wanted him to stop.
"But I'm your mate." she cried.
"Renae. I'm sorry for everything. Everything have been thrown at me one after another. You being my mate, I'm a werewolf of Royal blood. Finding out that my best friend and family kept this major secret from me. Do you know how hard it is to adjust? I have wolves. Wolves Renae. In and out of my backyard, one is super glued to my daughter's side. This ain't normal. Having someone in your head 24/7 ain't normal. This whole mate thing isn't normal. So forgive me for being weak and wanted a little piece of normal. Lexi was my normal." he ranted rubbing his face harshly with his hands.
Renae listened to every word he spat at her, they were all loud and clear, he wasn't taking it all good that they all thought. He was rejecting it all inch by inch. "So what you're saying is that all you want is normal. No mate bond. No werewolves. No protection. Just a normal human life." she asked so quietly he was surprised he heard. She kept her eyes away from his as she spoke knowing that she would break down even more.
"Yes." he answered quickly thinking that she understood him.
'NO! What are you doing?' Markell shouted.
'I need to digest all of this on my own. Less distraction would be better.'
"I think it's best to call off this relationship thing we had. I need to find myself. It's all overwhelming."
Kara whimpered in pain, Renae's own painful whimpers escaped her lips. A few sobs escaped her but she was able to hold back the others, swallowing them all and clearing her throat she tried so hard to appear fine. She lost him. "As you wish." she said finally looking at him.
'Look what you did.' Markell shouted wanting to be released.
"Would you like to....to.. Do you want .... " She couldn't finish the question. What if he truly didn't want her? What if he would really reject her?
"Baby... I didn't mean that I would reject you. I just need to be away from everyone." he rushed out hoping that those words would be more clarity for her. It seemed everything he said was wrong. He was honest with her about the Lexi thing, he was honest about taking a break from this mythical world. Wasn't that what she wanted? Honesty?
"Explaining your kiss with Lexi is the normal that you need is equal to a rejection." Without another word she turned and walked slowly away from him as the tears blurred her vision as she reached the cover of the trees she fell to her knees and let it all out. She can hear the cries of her wolf joined with hers, all they wanted was for the pain to go away. Shane and her men approached her cautiously, feeling her sadness that surrounded her.
"R.J?" Ryan called out.
She shook her head no to his unvoiced question. "Stay with him. Keep him safe" she said hoarsely.
"Yes ma'am" they all answered.
Not wanting to be there any more she shifted in her wolf and took one last look at her mate's house. He was still at the door looking at the trees from the look on his face she knew he was talking to Markell. Releasing a sad howl to the full moon above them she projected to the moon all the pain all the love she had for that man. She sent instructions into the night to all wolves beneath her and other packs that are bonded through her to protect her mate, protect her daughter, protect his family. Glancing back to the glass doors to his office, Jacob was now on his knees crying, she wanted to go back and comfort him but she would honor his wish.
'I love you Jacob'
Running through the woods in the dark of the night, she listened to every wolf who pledged their life to him.