We strengthened the guards on our borders and laid out traps for the hunters. It is a waiting game. When a rat doesn’t want to be found, you can’t find it unless you lure it out. Sending out trackers will only waste our time and effort. Instead, we are going to play his hands and make him believe we have no idea he is heading our way.
Honestly, I don’t know what to expect for the impending future. However, I know without a doubt that Rosemary’s father won’t stop. He searched for them all this time. More than likely, he is crazier than he wants to admit. More than likely, the bond is too much for him and he has become obsessed.
I took Rosemary back to my old bedroom in the packhouse. I did end up taking a quick shower and changing into a pair of black athletic shorts quick in my closet.
Reaching above me, I took down a small shoebox. Inside was something that belonged to her. I think it is about time I gave it back to her. A distant memory played in the back of my mind and I couldn’t help but smile.
When I stepped out of the closet, I had my hands behind my back. She looked my way and I noticed how she took her time scanning my body. My blood always heats up when my mate looks at me that way.
She cleared her throat and tore her eyes away for a second and looked at her hands that were resting on her lap.
“So,” she began.
“So,” I walked over and sat next to her on the bed.
Our thighs rubbing against each other, distributing warmth and comforting heat between us both. Slowly, I grabbed her hand that was nearest to me and intertwined my fingers through hers. An adorable confused expression appeared on her face.
“What?” she asked in confusion.
Lifting my other hand, I revealed her pearl bracelet she had dropped back in grade school. She looked at it for a second before her frown turned into a smile. Her eyes flew to me.
“You kept it?” She reached for the pearl bracelet and turned it over in her palm.
“I did. You ran off so quickly that day.”
“Sean called me his girlfriend that day,” she pointed out while wiggling her eyebrows at me.
I smirked, “I heard the conversation. You looked a little pale when he called you his girlfriend.”
“What? No. I wasn’t pale. I liked him. That’s why I agreed to be his girlfriend,” she argued.
I snorted. “You didn’t agree. If I remember correctly, you never responded to his claims. You led the boy on.”
“Did not,” she shoved me with her arm.
“Just like how you tried leading me on that you went out on a date with Ace,” I replied, remembering the conversation in the elevator.
An embarrassed flush appeared on her face and she immediately covered it up with her hands and fell back onto my bed.
“Oh my god. Don’t remind me,” she grumbled.
Chuckling, I removed her hands to look at her. I love seeing her expressions and moods. It is so much better than not being able to predict how she is feeling.
“You’re cute when you blush,” I told her.
She tried to push me away but I pinned her hands above her. My body now hovering above hers. Our eyes met and she drew in her bottom lip nervously before she spoke up again.
“Why did you keep it? It was just a pearl bracelet.”
“I don’t know. It was yours. So, I kept it safe.”
“When I saw it missing, I swore you would have thrown it away,” she replied.
I sighed because she has every right to feel that way but, in my defense, she was a hard woman to get to know.
“Do you remember the first day we met?” I asked. “You refused to talk to anyone. Even when we tried to include you, you pushed us away with that empty look in your eyes.”
“What can I say? I don’t reveal much,” she mumbled with a shrug.
I chuckled. “No, you definitely don’t. You were a pain in the ass.”
“Yet you kept following me, glaring at me, and running into me. You know what I think, you were stalking me,” she concluded at the end.
I snorted. “Ok, Einstein. Let’s hold back on the scientific hypothesis.”
She giggled and took me off guard by flipping me over onto my back. My eyes widened just as her legs wrapped around my midsection. She pinned my hands above my head.
“Well, what do you know. The disciple did a perfect straddle pin on her master.” Her light russet-colored eyes gleamed with a victory.
One corner of my mouth lifted before I broke one arm from her hold and grabbed the back of her neck to bring her down for a kiss. She gasped in surprise at how quickly I got out of her pinned hold. Kissing her seems long overdue. I missed these perfect lips that were melting against mine. I crave the sweet taste of her mouth. I heard her softly moan before her hold on my other hand released. She placed her hands on my shoulders. I pushed myself off the bed while continuing to kiss her. She still perfectly straddled on my hip, only this time, she can feel how hard between her legs. I cupped her neck and threaded my fingers through her hair.
It started out with a superficial dislike but then I found myself constantly wondering about her. To me, she stood out even when she isn’t trying even before the bond. I’ve always found myself looking at her. I’m not going to deny it.
When I saw the chance to provoke her, get closer to her, I took it at the resort. I’m glad I did. Slowly, bit by bit, I learned more about her and I found I like her quirky and weird personality. She’s different but a good kind of different. When I am around her, I can breathe. I don’t have to pretend. I can be myself. I can argue and fight with her and she won’t try to please me. I love the fight she brings with her. I love the way she challenges me every day.
Maybe it is true...that you don’t see it immediately but love can stem from anywhere. I’m just glad she turned out to be my mate. I don’t know how I would react if I found her mated to someone else. Just the thought placed a strange ache in my chest. This woman in my lap is mine. I needed that reminder or else I’ll possess her body over and over.
Growling, I tore my lips away and trailed open-mouthed kisses down her throat until I reached my mark. My canines lengthened and I heard her sharp inhale. She whispered my name faintly before I pierced her skin for the third time. The connection grew stronger, sweet euphoria flowed through our bond, and I am reassured once again.
She’s mine. I am hers. We are one.
When I pulled back, I brought her lips back down onto mine. Kissing her senseless seems to be a new hobby of mine. She kissed me just as feverishly back.
We went like this for a few hours until she grew exhausted and I finally allowed us both to sleep for a bit.
When I did wake up though, it was to howls.
Adrenaline rushed through my veins, replacing the numbing sleep in my muscles. I jerked awake and it woke Rosemary up. She took one look at me and I know she sees the look on my face.
Her father is here. We are under attack. The human hunters have gotten past the traps we have set up. It might have taken down some of their numbers but they have made it to the Border Patrols.
“Go to your mother,” I ordered her.
She grabbed my arms. “No, I’m coming with you.”
“No,” I shook my head immediately. “I need you safe, Rose. Go find your mother.”
She shook her head and cling tighter to my arms.
“We go together. You leave me behind and I swear I’ll break out and run after you. Take me or I’ll disobey you either way.”
“This is not the time for you to argue with me, Rose,” I snapped in anger. The thought of her getting hurt—it terrifies me. I’ve seen her get hurt and the immediate pain I felt when I saw her losing blood on the ground-No. She will stay.
“This is the perfect time to argue with you,” she countered.
I wanted to throttle her and shake her at the same time.
“I’m taking you to your mother,” I told her.
“Take me with you!” she lashed back at me. “Either you take me with you or I disobey you and come after you. I think it will be best if you kept me by your side. If we are going to fight this, we will fight it together. It is my father who is attacking this pack. It is my mother who brought me here. I am the issue here.”
I cupped her cheek but she kept her hands on my arms to prevent me from walking away.
“I don’t want to see you get hurt,” I told her.
“I won’t. You taught me how to fight. Let me do this,” she pleaded.
I leaned in to kiss her lips. I know she can do this but the fear of losing her and my protective instincts are overpowering. I can’t resist it. If I have a chance to protect my light of happiness and keep it safe, I will do everything I can to keep it safe even if it meant she would probably hate me afterward.
I broke the kiss roughly to look down at her for one moment. There were more howls. I heard my father, the Alpha, and my friends. I needed to go out there. I needed to do my part in protecting my pack.
“I’m sorry, my little Rose,” I leaned in and kissed her lips one last time before I pulled away.
I walked to the door and saw the guard.
“Take her. Bring her to the rest of the pack members and the pups. Don’t let her out of your sight.” I ordered.
“Judah!” she shouted from behind me. I heard her getting off the bed. I stepped aside and allowed the guard to walk inside to restrain her.
“No, please, don’t leave me. Judah!” she cried frantically.
I ignored her pleas and walked out of the room and down the stairs. Just as I hit the foyer, I shifted into my grey wolf. We burst through the front door. We were met with a burning forest, screams, and howls from a distance. I can smell and see the smoke. The fire is spreading rapidly. The hunters have set fire to our territory as a diversion to keep us from maintaining control of both their attack and the fire.
My heart lodged in the middle of my chest. A burst of speed rippled through me and I entered the woods heading towards the chaos. The hunters have breached the lower valley where the river runs. If I know Hunter well, he would have half of the teamwork on putting out the fire. The other half holding back the hunters.
When I appeared at the battle site, it was bad. Bodies were on the ground. The smell of silver is in the air but the fire is giving us an advantage. The humans can’t stand the heat. They will have to suffer through it with us and more than likely get burns.
Seeing a human hunter lifting his gun and pointed it at a pack warrior, I jumped towards him and clamped my jaws around his upper body. Jerking my head, I tore his muscles apart. He screamed and dropped the gun.
Our warriors quickly did a circle formation, closing all exit and eliminating the threats as they closed the circle. My father fought next to Beta Ace’s father and the Alpha. They may be older but they are far wiser than any of us. They fought brutally and killed in one bite.
I turned my attention back to the fight in front of me. I tore through two human hunters quickly before moving onto the next one who was nearby but my steps faltered when I heard my father roar as he launched himself at me. At first, I was confused as to what he was doing. His body rammed into mine. I flew across the field and hit against a burning tree. My eyes snapped up to see a silver bullet flying and hitting my father square in the chest and an old burning tree falling on his body.
I got onto my feet and ran towards him. The tree will take at least three people to lift off. I looked down at him. Those similar olive eyes looked back at me and he whimpered. I whimpered and nudged him with my nose. My eyes went down to the wound on his chest. He’s bleeding out and the bullet needed to be removed.
I am not supposed to shift to my human form but without hesitation, I shifted. Kneeling before him, I cast a frantic look his way before my fingers went to his chest. I searched for the bullet. I needed to remove it or he will die.
He howled in pain. Ace and Hunter heard him. They came running and together, they were able to remove the tree off from him in their wolf forms. Slowly, another circle formed around my father and me while I removed the bullet.
My fingers felt something hard and cold. I dug around it until it was released. Pulling it out, I threw it just as it exploded in the air. My father is panting. He’s going to lose consciousness soon. Grabbing the nearest guard, I lifted my father’s wolf onto his back.
“Take him back to the medical wing,” I ordered.
I watched my father’s unconscious wolf being carried away for a second before I turned back to the fight. My eyes leveled with a middle-aged man. He stood out among the other humans. There was a crazed look in his eyes.
“Baden,” I whispered.