Fever Claim

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Twenty Nine

Judah

When a dam breaks a tsunami of water is released. Trillion Gallons of water is passing through the broken walls and flooding the lower valley which contains twenty-some homes of our pack members. It is a small damn but if flooding the valley, it can cause significant hazardous damage. Twenty-some homes will cost a lot of manpower and resources to rebuild.

When we reached the location, the water had already flooded the valley heavily. Homes have collapsed. First thing is to evacuate as many pack members as we can. Boats are out there, driving around. The heavy pouring rain isn’t helping much in locating people. Our eyesights are impaired with the rain.

All pack warriors are trained in flooding events. Part of the pieces of training they do every day is to prepare for things like this. They swim for miles to ensure their endurance is up. We fight against nature most of the time because sometimes our enemies aren’t rogues, pack wars, or hunters. Our enemies could be the very thing that lives on our territories such as forest fires, flooding, tornados, and many more.

I was on a boat with Hunter and Ace. We have rescued so far two families that were sitting on some floating logs. After lifting them and bringing them back to safety. We went back out again to search for more families. Everyone here is family. So, we knew how many families are still out there.

At this point, it has been hours of searching and calling. We knew that we might not be able to rescue all but we can hope that we do

“Over there,” Hunter pointed east.

Ace and I turned to see a pack member holding onto her pup. She’s fighting to keep her pup above water which is pushing her underneath the water. It didn’t help that her pup is panicking. She’s trying to survive. She’s kicking and pushing her mother down, not on purpose, but she couldn’t help it. Her survival instincts are kicking in.

We drove the boat near enough to grab the crying pup but the mother was nowhere to be seen. The little girl cried harder and leaned over the edge, realizing now that she can’t hear her mother.

“Mommy!” she cried.

“It’s okay. I’ll go find her,” I assured her.

“Judah-”

“I’m the fastest swimmer out of us three.” I looked at my friend.

“Save her, please!” the little girl pleaded.

I stripped off my shirt before diving into the water where I have last seen her. I swam deeper into the water, a flashlight in my hand. I held my breath. It is absolutely dark down here and the water is cold, nowhere warm. Slowly, I allowed my lungs to stretch and my breathing to steady, slowly releasing air as I go down.

I swam a good twelve feet; my lungs were aching at how long I have been underneath the water. I couldn’t find her. It means she’s deeper. Swimming lower, my lungs start to burn and I feel a strong tension in my chest. I’m running out of air.

I went down another two feet until and shined my light ahead of me. I caught sight of what looks like hair. Encouraged, I swam deeper and closer until I saw it was her. I grabbed onto her arm and kicked my feet back up but shit my chest hurt. I had run out of the air a few seconds ago and now I am struggling to pull her and me up to the top.

I moved to wrap my arms around her waist to keep her close. Kicking as hard as I can, I kept swimming to the top. My lungs hurt and I opened my mouth. My brain is telling me I need air, that I have held my breath too long but I also knew I am almost there.

My vision blurred and I remember Rosemary’s last words. Be safe.

I felt someone dived in than another. Hunter and Ace appeared before me just as my body weakened and I released the woman in my arms. Ace grabbed me while Hunter grabbed the pack member.

We swam the rest of the way to the top. The second I got a chance to breathe in air, I choked. My lungs burned and my vision blurred.

“Take it easy,” Ace replied as he swam us over to the boat. He had one arm wrapped around me.

The female pack member went up first, then Hunter, and then I before Ace lifted himself up into the boat.

I coughed harder and turned to lay on my stomach. The water I consumed gushed out of my mouth and I collapsed onto the ground with a shiver. Someone tossed me a grey fleece blanket. I wrapped it around me. The rain pounded on the boat roof above us. I closed my eyes, exhausted from lack of food and from lack of air.

When we made it back to the safety zone, everyone was crying and searching for each other. People were begging for pack warriors to go out and get their families. It was hectic. Those whose family are all in checked were taken away to the packhouse for care from the doctors and from Luna Mikaela.

I didn’t realize how long I have been out here. Being out here, time seems to blur together. It felt like only a few hours but the sun is already setting yet we are barely finished our search. It continued like this for the day.

The third time that Hunter, Ace, and I went out, a pack member’s mate have begged us to search for her mate. She said he is trapped underneath the water but she’s sure he is alive because she can still feel him.

Hunter, Ace, and I took turn diving into the water. Going deeper and deeper and coming back up for air. It was a long process and it took forever. It almost got to the point where Hunter was going to call it and say that her husband is no longer trapped in their home underneath the water.

She turned to Hunter and clutched at his arm, “Please, Alpha. I know he is alive. Please don’t lose hope. Please go down one more time to go find him. What if it was your mate? Will you stop searching? Please, I need you to go back down.”

She was frantic and sobbing hard. Shaking her body and head. She refuses to leave the location. I thought about it. If it was Rosemary, I wouldn’t give up. I would find her one way or another.

“We’ll go down one more time,” I replied.

Hunter looked at me before nodding.

“We all will go down but if we can’t find him, we are calling it and heading back, Sara.”

She nodded, tears streaming down her eyes.

We dived back off the boat. I’m not going to lie, I’m exhausted as fuck but I can’t say no. If it was Rosemary, I would go. I wouldn’t stop.

When we reached the pile or whatever is left of the home, we removed some of the broken walls as much as we can to get in. We were deep underneath the water. It would make sense to bring an oxygen mask but we have run out of that quickly by searching all day today. Now, it was just her and her husband left.

I removed what looks like a broken dresser until I saw a broken bed frame. I tried removing it, tugging it but it wouldn’t release. I gave it a good jerk, feeling the air already escaping me already. The tug did it. The frame released and revealed a body underneath. I grabbed onto the male’s shirt and kicked back to the top but my feet hit something hard. I heard a noise and then a burst of pain hit the back of my head.

Everything spun around me. A pounding pain vibrated from the back of my head. Ignoring the pain in my head, I swam up to the top of the water. When I burst to the top and the female pack member saw her husband, she made a sound of despair. She crawled to the edge and reached for her beloved mate, lifting him out of the water and into the boat.

Ace and Hunter helped me up. I collapsed onto the ground. I watched Sara cried over her mate’s body. I felt a warmth spreading from the pain in my head. I raised a hand and touched it before bringing it forward. Ace shined a light at my hand and we saw it was blood.

“What the fuck?” Ace growled.

“What happened?” Hunter moved behind me to shine a light to my head. “Shit, Jude, you hit your head. You got a bad cut. We gotta get you looked at.”

Ace moved to the first aid kit on the boat, grabbed some bandages before pressing it to my head to stop the bleeding.

“What hit you? What happened?” Hunter asked.

“It was fucking dark, Hunter. I can’t see anything down there. It could have been anything,” I muttered, feeling a pounding headache throbbing all over my head.

“We are taking you to the packhouse,” Hunter said.

“I’m going home,” I replied.

“What?” Ace looked at me like I am crazy.

“Just use whatever you have in there and bandage me up. I’m going home.” I looked at the first aid kit in his hands.

Ace looked at it and then back at me. “I can’t bandage you with band-aids!”

“It’s nothing. I am awake. I’ll be fine. I’ll heal. I just need you to stop the bleeding.” I snatched the damn fucking first aid kit away from him and looked through it. There was a roll of small bandage in the first aid kit. I tossed it to Ace to wrap it around my head.

“Why won’t you go to the packhouse? We can get you stitched and taken care of. You can go back home after,” Hunter reasoned.

“I have to go home,” I responded. Rosemary is waiting for me. I have to go home.

The safety zone appeared in front of us. The last of the pack warriors took the dead mate and Sara away. After Ace got done wrapping my head the best he could, we got into Hunter’s truck and drove back home.

It was late at night already but I am anxious to see Rosemary. Even though it has only been one day, after seeing so much crying and sobbing from families, I needed to be close to her.

I laid in the back of Hunter’s car. My head is throbbing terribly but I knew it wasn’t that bad. I’ll probably fucking lose consciousness but that will probably be it. Nothing big. What is big is the fact that my mate is probably off at the packhouse. I needed to return home.

The car came to a full stop in front of my house. Slowly, I pushed myself up into a sitting position before opening up the door. Hunter and Ace got out of the car and followed me, making sure I made my way up the steps and to the door. The door whipped open the second I reached for the handle.

She didn’t leave.

She stood there dressed in the clothes she had on this morning. She looked relieved to see me but at the same time, terrified. Her eyes landing on the bandage on my head. Her strawberry blonde hair is down and around her shoulder. I couldn’t stop the smile from spreading across my face. She looks beautiful with her hair down. I love it when she has it up because her long beautiful neck is exposed but I love it when her hair is down too. I love running my nose through it.

“Judah,” she said worriedly.

I blinked and my vision blurred. I collapsed right in front of her, losing consciousness. I heard her scream and her arms wrapped around me but that was it. I was out cold.

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