To have Liza in my arms again was the best feeling in the world. Everything made sense again and my wolf was on cloud nine to have his mate back.
I just couldn't believe she was here, but as always she had gotten herself into a dangerous situation. Maybe it was fate that I was there to save her.
I didn't know why Shane was chasing Liza but I knew the was out for blood. He was going to kill her if I didn't kill him.
I tried to get Liza to tell me what happened the day after but she didn’t want to talk about it, not that I blame her, he was a sketchy guy so I assume he did or said some pretty bad stuff. He was getting close to being kicked out of the pack so I didn't get into any trouble when I told Garrett what happened.
I just hoped Liza can cope with everything going on. She'd been through so much and everything piled up was enough to make even the strongest people crack. But if she ever needed help I'd be right there to do whatever I could. I wouldn't ever leave her again, it would kill us both.
“Earth to Asher.” Becca’s suddenly said, waving a hand in front of my face.
“What?” I asked, had she been the whole time I was stuck in my thoughts?
“You didn’t hear a word I just said, did you?” She asked, bemused.
I shook my head, “Sorry.”
“You can’t even concentrate for half an hour while she’s in the shower.” She stated, shaking her head in disapproval.
I shrugged but didn’t say anything because she was absolutely right. I just couldn’t get Liza off my mind when she wasn’t around, and it honestly didn’t bother me.
If I thought my life revolved around Liza before I left, I was clearly mistaken. She meant more to me now than ever and I didn’t know that was even possible.
Now I knew what it was like to live without her, I never wanted to do that again so I was going to do everything in my power to treat her right and make sure I never had to be without her again until the day that I die.
There would never be another second when I didn't know where she was and who she was with, that way I’d always be able to keep her safe. I would never let anyone ever hurt her again, especially not me.
“Okay, seriously snap out of it!” Becca exclaimed, breaking me out of my thoughts once again.
“Sorry, I can’t help it.” I apologized again, and thankfully before Becca could yell at me some more Liza walked into the room.
I immediately stood up and wrapped my arms around her.
“I missed you.” I whispered, placing a short kiss on her temple.
She giggled, “I was just in the other room.”
“I still missed you.” I told her, playfully pouting as I plopped down onto the living room couch with Liza still in my arms.
“You’re crazy.” She teased, rolling her eyes.
“I’m leaving, you two are making me sick.” Becca mumbled as she got up from the love seat she was sitting on.
“Don’t be like that Becca. You’re the same way with Garrett.” Liza teased, and Becca just rolled her eyes in response before leaving the room.
“I love you.” I told Liza when I couldn't hear Becca's footsteps anymore.
“I love you too.” She responded right away, without hesitation.
My lips formed a goofy smile and soon Liza was mirroring it. We probably looked crazy but neither of us cared.
I just couldn't believe she was really here, in my arms. I didn't deserve all the chances she kept giving me.
After everything I’d put this amazing girl through, how could she still love me? How was I lucky enough to have her as my mate?
“What are you thinking about?” Liza asked, absentmindedly running her fingers through my hair.
“Just about how I got so lucky to have such an amazing mate.” I told her honestly.
She rolled her eyes and blushed, “I should be wondering the same thing.”
I shook my head, “You’ve been nothing but good to me while I’ve done so much to hurt you. Why do you forgive me for leaving? Why do you still love me?”
“None of that matters, we're mates and the best thing for both of us is to be together. I love you despite the choices you've made in the past and it doesn't do anyone any good to dwell on any of it. I'd rather just move forward.” She replied, sounding wise beyond her years.
“You’re amazing.” Was the only response I could come up with, I was in awe of how mature she was.
She was so understanding and forgiving, the perfect traits for a good Luna.
After that neither of us said anything, we were just enjoying each other's presence, something we hadn't be able to do in so long.
But of course Becca had to ruin that by walking back into the room.
“Jay’s here to meet with the pack about the fight.” She informed us.
“Does he know that I’m here?” I asked, feeling uneasy about my reunion with my best friend. He'd either be happy to see me or try to rip my head off for leaving.
“I just told him. He wants to talk to you actually.” She replied.
I nodded and stood up, taking Liza with me since she was sitting on my lap, and gently placed her on her feet.
She was about to sit back down on the couch but I grabbed her hand and started leading her to the doorway Becca was standing in.
“What are you doing?” She asked, scrunching her face up in confusion, making her nose crinkle in the cutest way.
“I’m not gonna leave you here alone.” I told her, chuckling lightly.
“We’ll be back in a little bit.” I told Becca before Liza and I left the cabin.
“He’s out front of the main pack house.” She called after us just before I closed the door.
Soon enough Liza and I were in front of the pack house and I could see Jay sitting on the porch steps waiting.
Once he saw us he quickly got up and ran our way.
“I’m so glad you’re okay man.” He said, pulling me into one of those weird man hugs that last half a second.
“Is Ava here with you?” Liza asked Jay once our hug was over.
“Yeah she’s in the kitchen.” Jay replied, nodding his head towards pack house.
“I’m gonna go see her.” Liza told us, letting go of my hand so she could make her way inside.
I instantly missed her touch.
“We can go see Ava after, stay here with me.” I told her, a little desperately, but I didn't care how I sounded anymore. I already spent too much time away from her.
“You two need to catch up, alone.” Liza said sternly, leaving no room to argue.
I pulled her in for a quick kiss and told her I loved her before I let her go.
Once I saw that she was safely inside the house I turned my attention back to Jay.
“So Becca brought me up to date on the whole situation.” I told Jay, getting right down to business. The whole thing was absolutely ridiculous, when was Liza going to get a break from that family?
“Good.” He said with a nod, but didn’t look me in the eye as he spoke.
“Is everything alright?” I asked. Was there something I wasn't told?
“Yeah, we have all the neighbouring packs on our side and they’re all training with each other as we speak, we should be just fine.” He told me, sounding more businesslike than I’d ever heard him.
Jay was never the serious type, the amount of pranks he’d pulled on people was crazy so hearing him sound so professional was really weird. But I guess it was good that he matured, It meant I chose the right person to step in for me while I was gone.
“So how have you and Ava been?” I asked him, slipping back into my best friend role. I’d missed talking to him.
A big smile took over his face at the mention of his mate.
“We’re going strong, she’s just amazing and I don’t know what I’d do without her.”
My smile mirrored his, “I’m happy for you, you deserved this second chance.”
He was a great guy, if anyone was worthy of a second chance with a mate, it was him.
“Thanks man.” He said, patting me on the shoulder.
“Speaking of mates, why don’t we go check on ours?” I suggested, not able to spend one more second away from Liza. I needed to make sure she was okay.
“Sure.” Jay agreed, and together we made our way into the house and headed straight to the kitchen.
I had a goofy smile on my face when I saw Liza, sitting on a bar stool facing Ava, but as soon as she swivelled around to face us my smile dropped.
She had tears streaming down her face and her eyes held heartbreak in them.
What the fuck?
“Baby what’s wrong?” I asked, immediately rushing to her side.
She hopped off the bar stool and pushed me away, “Don’t talk to me.”
“What, why?” I asked in complete and utter shock. What had gotten into her?
“Don’t act all confused and innocent. This is all your fault!” She yelled before running out of the room.
“Liza!” I called, attempting to run after her but someone grabbed my arm to stop me.
I looked back at the culprit, expecting to see Jay, but instead it was Ava.
“She needs to be alone to think.” She told me.
“Think about what?” I snapped, ripping my arm from her grip.
“Watch it.” Jay warned, protectively stepping in front of Ava.
I raised my hands in surrender, realizing my mistake. I couldn’t just snap at my best friend’s mate like that.
“Sorry man.” I apologized.
He nodded, silently telling me we were all good, but he still stood in front on Ava.
“What’s up with Liza though? She was fine before she came in here.” I asked, more to myself than to either of them.
They both shrugged but Ava was avoiding eye contact, which I found suspicious. There was something she wasn't telling me.
Maybe she told Liza something to get her all worked up, there was no other reason for her sudden mood swing.
“What did you say to her?” I growled, beginning to shake in anger. She had no right to insert herself into my relationship with Liza.
“Nothing!” She exclaimed, cowering behind Jay.
“You need to leave before someone gets hurt.” Jay growled back at me, losing his composure. He was shaking just as much as I was.
“Fuck you.” I spat to both of them, turning to leave the room before they had a chance to say anything else.
Once I was at the front door I stopped to try to calm down, but in doing so, I heard what seemed to be the end of Jay and Ava’s conversation.
“What did you do?” Jay asked her.
“What I had to.” Ava replied vaguely.
“That wasn’t part of the plan.” Jay said, obviously understanding her even though I had no clue what she meant.
“But it makes everything easier.” Ava told him, and that was the end of that conversation because after that they started taking about food.
I growled under my breath and stormed out the door.
I was going to find Liza and demand to know what Ava said. I had a bad feeling that whatever happened between them was part of something much bigger than our relationship.
The first place I decided to look for my mate was the cabin were staying in.
I quickly found Becca in the living room and decided to ask her if she knew where Liza was.
“The last time I saw her was when you two left to see Jay. What’s going on?” She replied, her eyebrows raised with worry.
“I’ll tell you when I know.” I told her over my shoulder because I was already exiting the cabin.
Once outside I sniffed the air for any trace of Liza’s scent and luckily I caught a whiff. It was leading into the woods so that was where I went.
I contemplated calling out her name but decided against it since she was mad at me and might try harder to get away from me if she knew I was close.
After half an hour of following her scent I finally found her, sitting by a small pond.
I watched her for a minute, trying to gage how she would react to seeing me, but I couldn't tell. I never knew what to expect from her.
Suddenly she stood up and an ear shattering scream escaped her throat. It was filled with anger and pain, immediately becoming my least favourite sound. I hoped nothing would ever make her feel bad enough to scream like that again.
Just as I was about to let my presence be known to her, her hands started to glow white, so bright I could barely look.
Then in one quick movement, she threw her hands in front of her and the bright light shot out into the trees around her.
Everything in front of her that was hit by the energy instantly turned to ash and blanketed the forest floor.
I watched in horror as Liza let out a breathy, empty sob, and fall to the ground in an unconscious heap.