My hands grip tighter onto Cade as he continues to try and push me towards the safe house.
"Rogues are attacking and rushing the borders. Hails, you need to get to the safe house now!" his voice is firm as he watches the trees for any threat.
"What? Come with me!" I grab his shirt and begin to tug him in the direction of the safe house, but it's like moving a mountain.
His eyes soften as he looks at me. He cups a hand behind my neck, pulling my forehead to his own.
"I'm the Beta-in-training. I have to go but I'll be back soon," His lips press a warm kiss to my forehead before he untangles himself from my grip.
I may not be able to feel the mate bond yet, but Cade is my best friend and I worry about him just as I worry about my dad, Mason, and the pack.
"Promise you'll come back to me as soon as it's under control." Cade smiles that breathtaking smile while backing away from me.
He pulls his shirt over his head, tossing it to the side. I use to pretend I didn't notice his body, but I was always internally checking him out when he would get ready to shift.
I'm not blind and even if I was, his muscular torso would read like brail under my fingertips.
"I'll always come back to you. Now get to safety." Cade winks and blows a kiss my way before shifting into his brown wolf and running through the trees.
I don't move until he is out of sight and then I'm running as fast as I can towards the safe house.
The large door is already sealed shut, protecting the women and children inside.
Sam, I'm outside, please open the door. I call through the link.
The sound of locks moving begins to fill the space and I keep my eyes peeled for danger.
Sams' head pops out and before I can say anything, she grabs my arm and yanks me in the shelter.
I help her bolt the locks before moving to the next door. I always thought it was ridiculous having two doors with numerous locks but I have to admit, they take our safety seriously.
I look around all the faces, searching for my family. They have to be here if Sam is.
"Mom!" I smile in relief when I see her sitting in the back with Hannah sleeping nearby.
Her face snaps to mine as I move towards her. I can see the salt trail on her cheeks from crying, but she looks relieved to see me.
"Are you hurt?" her arms open and pulls me into a tight hug.
"No," I shake my head against her shoulder before pulling away.
Alex sits next to Sam, their hands locked on each other. My eyes search through all the faces but there are still some missing. No one is talking right now, all of us worried about our loved ones out there fighting.
"Where's Jake?" I try to keep my voice level, but panic is clawing up my throat as I do another sweep of the shelter.
My moms' bottom lip trembles and tears rim her eyes. There is little in this world that compares to the heartache I feel seeing my mother this upset.
"He's the Alpha-in-training now." her voice breaks and a small sob wracks through her body.
My whole body feels like cement as the weight of what she said crashes over me. First Cade is out there and now my baby brother is too?
For the millionth time, I curse myself for not shifting. It would be me out there and then Jake could be in here safe with mom.
Sam pulls my mom in close and they gently rock, while she whispers soothing words. Both understand what the other is feeling.
Both have a husband and son out there fighting.
It's been nearly an hour and it has been eerily silent in the shelter. Everyone trapped in their own minds as time continues to drag on.
A small scream fills the void and Hannah bolts upright from her nap with tears pouring down her face.
"Shh, baby, shh." Sam soothes, quickly picking Hannah up into her arms.
Hannah grips her moms' shirt like she scared Sam will disappear. but slowly her tears stop. All that's left to fill the silence is her soft hiccups.
A howl echoes through the walls and everyone holds their breath to hear the message.
One howl means the fight is right outside the door. Two howls mean it's safe to come out.
The second howl sounds and collectively we all breath again. Everyone looks to my mom, waiting for instructions from the Luna.
"Let's go to our mates and children," She says calmly.
Out of respect, everyone clears a path allowing us and the Beta family to leave the shelter first.
The bright sunlight causes me to squint and I have to blink rapidly to see properly.
Warriors are pouring out of the trees, some in wolf form still and others in their bruised and tattered human forms. No doubt the clinic will be busy tonight.
Cries of relief and heartbreak sound from all around us as families are reuniting or told of their loss.
Jake appears in wolf form, limping carefully towards us. My mom gasps at the sight of blood dripping down his side, but it looks like it's starting to heal.
My dad appears behind him in human form, his chest covered in blood that is clearly not his.
His eyes connect with my moms and something silently passes between them because her hand flies to cover her mouth as tears roll down her cheeks.
My dad turns to help someone still in the trees and a few warriors appear, helping more wounded.
A heartbreaking scream echoes off the trees. I want to look for the source buy my eyes are glued to where my dad is.
Mason steps out of the trees, pain evident on his face. Every step is slow and I can almost see his body trying to collapse.
My breath catches in my throat, my lungs burning from lack of oxygen that refuses to enter. My heart thuds painfully against my chest and I want to look away, but I can't.
I can't move. I can't breathe.
My mom and Sam take off running but Sam collapses into a heap halfway. My mom collapses next to her, wrapping her tightly as Sam screams silently.
Or maybe I've gone deaf. I can't seem to hear anything as everything moves in slow motion.
Mason's face twists to one of pure agony and my mind snaps, finally allowling me to register what I wasn't before.
A bloodied and still Cade being carried like a baby in his father's arms.