6 months later
“Alex says that he’s gonna be Beta now,” Hannah stated out of the blue as we walked through the woods.
At first, it was hard being around Cade’s family. I didn’t know what to say or do and truthfully, there are days that I still don’t know how to act.
I never got to feel the bond with Cade, but he was one of my best friends and his family has always, will always, be my family.
Alex told me on my birthday that I will always be his older sister. Even Mason and Sam said that nothing would ever change how they feel about me, but Hannah was the hardest to be around.
She didn’t understand why Cade was gone. She thought for some reason he was angry at her and ran away with his mate. I cried that day a lot. Especially after I told her that I was Cade’s mate and then she blamed me for letting him go.
I don’t know why she finally came around, but daily walks through the woods became our thing.
“I know. It’s a big job but Alex will be good at it.” I smile sweetly at her, swinging our hands back and forth.
I stopped suddenly, pulling Hannah close to my back with I smell something that doesn’t belong here.
Jake, there’s a rogue. East woods about three miles from the lake. My eyes continue to scan the woods for the threat but I know Jake will be here soon.
Laughter rings through the trees and I turn to the right, where a tall man sits on a branch. His legs dangle and he watches us like a hawk.
When his eyes connect with mine and he knows I’ve spotted him, his lips turn up into an amused smirk as he easily jumps to the ground.
I grip Hannah’s hand tighter, keeping her pressed to my back as the man starts strolling over to us.
A growl leaves my throat and he stops about one hundred feet from us. His beady eyes scrutinizing every tiny movement I make.
“Such a pretty she-wolf,” he muses as his eyes rake over me again.
I fight a disgusted shiver and growl again when he tries to move closer.
“Come closer to us and I will kill you with my bare teeth.” I threaten, forcing Hannah and myself to take a step back.
“A feisty little wolf. I like it,” the man licks his top lip, before biting the bottom one, “Why don’t you come home with me?”
“This is your chance to go back to where you came from.” Hannah whimpers behind me, her fingers grabbing at my shirt as the man begins to try and circle us.
His smirk never faulted, but something close to amusement danced within his eyes.
“Do you have a mate, little wolf? I’d love to challenge him for a sweet thing like you.“His tongue rolled over his lips again and my palm itched to slap him.
The sound of paws hitting the ground behind me caused his smirk to drop.
Not so confident now are you, ass? I thought as the wolves appeared behind me.
“Ah, The Alpha-in-training. Am I not important enough for the Alpha?” the rogue faked sadness as Jake appeared next to me in human form, a deadly look on his face.
“You!” Jake’s growl vibrated the air around us and I stopped him when he tried to take a step forward.
Why would he think that he can take on this rogue alone?
“Is this the mate?” the rogue clapped his hands before rolling his shoulders and stretching his arms like he is preparing for a fight.
He killed Cade. Jake’s eyes held sadness and shame as he looked back at me.
My breathing stopped and my blood ran cold as I turn to face the rogue. Shock rolled off me in waves and I dropped Jake’s arm before gently pushing Hannah into one of the warriors.
Despite the fact that my lungs were barely functioning, my heart felt like it would beat out of my chest. I could hear the blood rushing in my ears and my vision began to turn red.
“You killed my mate.” my whisper was venom as my wolf fought to take control.
Every cell in my body demanding that I take this rogue and make him pay for everything he took from me.
“Oh. So you’re single then?” His eyebrows raised in surprise and his nasty smirk back in place.
Something inside me snapped like a rubber band. I leaped into mid-air, shifting completely into my silver colored wolf. Scraps of clothes rained down around me as I growled at the rogue.
My threat was clear. I will kill you. You will pay.
I growled again before charging towards the rogue. He shot me a wink before shifting and running the way he came.
“Hailey!” Jake voice held the Alpha tone, but not even that could stop me.
Let us handle it, Hailey! He shot through the mind link.
I could hear him running after me so I put the wall up and continue chasing Cade’s killer.
Cade flashed through my mind.
His smile the brighten the room.
The sound of his laughter.
The way he looked at me when he realized I was his mate.
I thought my wolf would whimper again, but instead, my wolf pushed me to run faster. Revenge fueled my body and when the rogue passed the border he shot me a wolfy grin.
He was taunting me, daring me to follow after him.
If he thinks I won’t he has another thing coming.
Less than fifty feet and I would cross the border. When he realized I wasn’t going to stop, he turns and continues running. But I’ll find him.
A large black wolf jumps in front of me and my paws skid in the dirt trying to stop from colliding.
I could feel the anger radiating off of him as he looks down at me with hard eyes.
SHIFT NOW! My dad shouted through the link.
His commands don’t work on me, but there was something in his tone that had me obeying.
He shifted and threw me a large t-shirt before tugging on a pair of basketball shorts.
“What the hell were you thinking, Hailey?!” he seethed, running a hand through his hair and turning a cold glare on me.
Jake and some of the warriors finally arrived and I don’t miss the glare that my dad sends them.
How fast was I running that it took them this long to catch up?
"Don't even get me started on you! Why didn't you stop her, Jake?!" My dad pointed at the large wolf in the front and his big wolf head drops in shame.
"He killed Cade!" I screamed, pointing in the direction the rogue ran in.
While my dad is yelling at us, that murder is getting further and further away from my grasp!
My dad still held his glare, but I could see the sadness in his eyes. He walked towards me, reaching out to me, but I step out of his grasp.
"Why would you stop me from going after him?!" I scream again, turning towards the border.
I wonder if I'll still be able to catch him? It hasn't been that long and the trail would still be fresh.
"And what would you do then?" He turns and dismisses the warriors, telling them to take Hannah straight to her mother.
Guilt racks through me when I see her hysterically crying on the back of one of the warriors. She won't even look at me before they turn around and run home.
"He took Cade from us," my dad says sadly as I turn to look at him, "but you almost gave yourself to him. You're training is a beginner at best in human form. Do you even realize the danger that you were putting yourself in?"
I could feel the anger in his words and I hate that he is right.
I'm not really trained. The only training I did was hand to hand and even that was limited when I didn't shift because he thought I would be human like my mom.
I can feel my resolve working its way through my system and I straighten to look him in the face.
I'm not trained but there is a way to fix that.
"Then I start training tomorrow," My voice is firm and I leave no room for arguing.
I want to train. I need to train.
And should that rogue ever come back, I will have him begging for a quick death that he won't get.
He caused me and my family too much pain. Watching him run off just now with his life and freedom was felt like a knife to my heart.
It was like loosing Cade all over again.
A traitor tear rolled down my cheek and I quickly wiped it away.
My dad sighed, pulling me into a hug. I worked to study my breathing fighting with everything to hold the sob in.
"Fine. You can train."