Fever Claim

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Thirty Five

Rose

"How can someone be so cruel?" Luna Mikaela said from her sitting position next to her mate. On mate instinct, she reached for her nearest comfort which was her mate's hand. She intertwined her fingers through his and pulled his hand closer to her body to ward off the fear.

I sat on Judah's lap since there was no other place to sit. My mom and Galen took up the love seat. The Beta couple and Judah's dad took up another. Judah's parents took the liberty of pulling in two chairs to sit in the circle. While Judah and Beta Ace took the other love seat which eventually led to me sitting on his lap. I could have squeezed between my mom and Galen but Judah wouldn't let me go.

I watched the rest of the adults' eyes flying over to my mom. Confused as to why they were looking at her, I turned to see that she has gone completely pale.

"Mom?" I asked worriedly. "What's wrong?"

"Catalina, I think this is the time for you to explain everything." The way Alpha Corbin said it sound like he was giving her a choice but his tone was commanding.

My mom's gaze flew over to me and I saw the panic in her eyes. I'm confused at her reaction. Explain? What does she need to explain?

"Your father didn't die, Rose," my mom began.

"W-what?" I stuttered. This is the first time she had spoken about my dad. She would always push the subject away every time I asked. I figured it was probably too painful for her and I never pressured her any further. Judah's hands tightened around my waist to keep me in place.

"Your father is a human hunter. We stumbled upon each other when he was doing a raid. Even though he is human, he felt the bond. The instant attraction. At first, I saw the flash of repulsion in his eyes. He recoiled physically at the thought of being bonded to a werewolf but then the bond is irresistible. He seduced and tricked me into falling for him. He took me back to his base where he had me imprisoned. He would visit me daily and shower me with gifts and flowers.

He had hoped that by giving me that it would blind me to the fact that I was a prisoner. He wouldn't let me out of the room. Every time he left, he would lock the door to keep me inside. He told me it was for my safety that he didn't want anyone to hurt me. After a year, he started changing. His visits became less.

When he did visit, he was always angry. He would tell me that this was all my fault. That I did this to him. It didn't take long until he started hitting me. He'll beat me up and then rape me afterward. Then he started experimenting with me. Injecting me with cold serums to change my body heat and alter my DNA but it did little to change who I am."

I stiffened and began squirming in Judah's lap. I needed to walk. For years I have envisioned who my father was. I told myself he was a soldier, a kind gentleman who loved my mom with all his heart, and I even envisioned that he was alive. That my mom had lied to me.

"When I became pregnant with you, I knew I needed to escape. He would kill you. He would use you against me. I knew his potential. Your father did not love me. The bond made him obsess about me but it did not make him love me. So, I broke out one night after one of the human nurses brought me my food. I killed her and ran. For years I kept you hidden and away from everyone because we weren't safe. Every time, I would see signs of him anywhere near us, I would run with you." My mom sobbed into her hands—remembering her past.

"When we came here, I couldn't do it anymore. I couldn't run. I was exhausted from running. My fear was killing me alive. I needed you safe."

"So, my dad is a sadistic psychopath?" I whispered feeling all kinds of emotions. "And now, the only reason why I am hearing about this is that he has found us?"

"He won't hurt you," Judah said.

I whipped my head to look at him. He didn't look surprised. He knew. He knew before I did.

"You knew," I accused him.

"I found out just recently---"

"And you just so happen to forget to tell me—"

"It wasn't his job to tell you this. It was mine. I didn't want to tell you because I knew how much you wanted a father. I didn't think he would ever find us. I never wanted him to find us. Then hopefully, you wouldn't have to know about the horrible things he is capable of. I know you, Rosemary. You pictured him to be perfect. You pictured him as a father who would have showered you with love and gifts. I don't want to take that away from you."

She was only trying to protect me but I couldn't help but feel betrayed—like a fool. She wasn't lying when she said I imagined my father to be a hero. Everyone's eyes were on me and it fueled my frustration, anger, and irritation with everything—everyone around me.

Tearing myself away from Judah's reluctant grasp, I stood up and hastened my footsteps out of the office. I can't be here when they discuss what to do with my father. I needed to clear my head. I needed a place to scream and release the building emotions inside of me.

I heard Judah's and my mom's protest but I couldn't stop. I made a dash out the door down the hall and out onto the foyer. No one was in sight. That was a good thing. I heard footsteps behind me but I didn't wait to see who it was. I made a dash for the stairs. Taking it two steps at a time, I made it up the stairs in no time. I took a left before opening the second door the right and entering inside. Slamming it shut, I leaned against the cold wooden door. With my eyes closed tightly, I focused on my breathing.

My father is a psychopath. He is human. He hunts us. They weren't in love.

I heard a low growl and my eyes flew open.

It landed on a woman. She looks to be around my age. She wore an oversized white t-shirt over her slim form. I admired her beautiful sun-kissed skin and long black tresses that cascaded past her shoulders down to her hips. I wondered faintly if she straightens it or is it naturally straight? Her large doe eyes narrowed on me for a second—assessing if I am a threat to her. I noticed beside her a child was sleeping. She's flawless.

"I-I'm sorry. I didn't think anyone was in here," I whispered gently.

Her head tilted slightly to the right and her eyes widened a fraction in curiosity. I shifted against the door. I have invaded her space, walked into her bedroom without thinking. I watched her lick her dry lips gently to wet them. She opened her mouth in an attempt to speak but closed them a second later. I frowned, did she not know how to speak?

"It's okay," she said hoarsely back.

Her voice is a startling difference to her fierce look. Her eyes although big and doe-like. It held a certain fierceness to it. Her face is more oval and slender compared to mine.

"Are you okay?" she questioned. "Is someone hurting you?"

I shook my head before shoving my hands through my hair when I recalled my father again.

"I'm upset," I replied honestly.

We went quiet for a while. I should probably leave before the pup wakes up but I didn't move. Instead, I stood where I was and looked at her. I think part of me was afraid to go back out there and hear more about what my father did. I am not ready yet and so I stood firmly in her room like an idiot.

"My n-name is Katya," she whispered and looked at me intently.

"My name is—"

The door whipped open, pushing me forward. I stumbled hard onto the ground. In an instant, Katya hovered over me. She growled at the intruder, warning it to stay back. I flipped my hair back to see that my mate was standing in the doorway breathing hard next to Hunter.

"Get away from her," Judah growled, making a move towards me.

"Get back," Alpha Hunter grabbed Judah's shirt to stop him from approaching us.

"Your mate has my mate underneath her," Judah snapped, shoving Hunter's hand away.

"She's not hurting Rosemary, idiot," Alpha Hunter growled. "Look at her stance."

Judah's eyes snapped back to Katya and me. His frown deepened and his thick eyebrows deepened between his forehead.

"I'm fine," I replied before reaching to touch Katya's shoulder.

She looked at me for a second before she pulled back and stood up. I noticed that the shirt she was wearing is Alpha Hunter's shirt. She's Alpha Hunter's mate. I heard something about this before the storm. I walked into the future Luna's bedroom.

"Thank you, Katya," I murmured before Judah bent down to help me up.

"Katya?" Apparently, it was Alpha Hunter's turn to get confused.

I looked at his mate and then back at him.

"That's your mate's name. Isn't it?" I responded.

"Katya," he rolled it on his tongue some more like it was the most interesting word he has ever pronounced in his life.

Katya's eyes met her mate's head on. Although Alpha Hunter is now exhibiting any Alpha powers, Katya's shoulders were rolled back and her chin was lifted. It was like she was prepared to fight her mate.

"You talk to her but not me?" Alpha Hunter growled at his mate, suddenly angry.

Katya's jaw ticked and Alpha Hunter growled louder.

"Um, did I miss something?" I grumbled to Judah.

"Apparently, they aren't on the same terms yet," Judah murmured into the side of my head. He pulled me closer to him. I wrapped one arm around his waist, happy to have his support and warmth.

"I'm your mate." Alpha Hunter looks pissed off. He takes a step toward Katya. Katya turned her back to her mate and marched away from him. He grabbed onto her arm and she whips around to punch him in the face but he grabs onto her hand and twists both hands behind her back.

"I'm your mate," he growled louder.

"Wait." I pulled away from Judah and walked over to them. Slowly, I placed my hands on Katya's forearms and willed Alpha Hunter to release his mate.

Katya glared at her mate. Her brown eyes matched the fire in his eyes. It was like adding gasoline into the fire. It grew tenfold.

"Katya, he won't hurt you. He is your mate. Alpha Hunter is a good person," I assured her.

"I don't trust him," she replied quietly but Alpha Hunter and Judah heard it nonetheless. The softness and sweet velvet in her tone took Alpha Hunter by surprise. I can see it in his eyes. They glimmered with unspoken desires and admiration.

"But you trust me?" I asked.

"Because you're a girl," she replied.

"I'm your mate." Alpha Hunter thought to emphasize again.

Katya ignored him once again like he never spoke. It hurt him. I can see the color in his eyes clouded a little bit more.

"Katya, he's your destined soulmate. He is born to stand next to you—protect you. He will never betray you," I said.

She lifted her eyes to look at Alpha Hunter then shook her head.

"No such thing as soulmates," she grumbled.

That did it. Alpha Hunter took one step and yanked her into his arms. She fought him hard but he is so much stronger than her. She kicked and even tried headbutting him. Even through all this quiet seething talk, the little one never woke.

"Stop struggling, Katya. Feel the tingles? It feels like you are being stroked to life. Your heart rate is beating in sync with mine. You are my soulmate. These feelings aren't just here for no reason. They're here to tell you that I am yours just as much as you are mine."

"No," she shot back with a glare.

He slammed his lips onto hers. She froze. I turned to Judah who grabbed my wrist. This was our cue to leave.

When we were alone in the hallway, Judah stopped us and turned me to face him.

"You're fast, Rose. I almost lost you. Luckily, a pack member saw you wandering in this direction," he started.

"I needed time alone," I grumbled.

"It is hard to hear the truth but it is. Your father is a bad man and he is on his way here. We need to prepare for him."

"He wants my mom and me, doesn't he?" I asked.

He nodded before he suddenly yanks me back into his arms.

"He thinks he has the upper hand but he doesn't know what I am capable of."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"I am a dangerous man when it comes to things I love. I'll fight for you. I'll even kill for you. You are mine and there is no way in hell he will take you away from me."


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