Chapter Twenty Four
HE watched amusedly as his little mate scrunched her nose at the stench of sweat that lingered in the gym room. This particular one had a sparring mat, which they both stood on. One more timidly than the other.
"It's not that bad." Lucas smiled softly at her, pulling her closer to the centre of the large mat and ignoring the stares of the other pack members.
"I feel like the smell has gotten worse Lu Lu. It wasn't this bad last time." She complained. Ava absolutely dreaded fighting. She was good at it, a born natural surprisingly, but still hated it.
"It's just 'cause you haven't been here for a while." He said and started to stretch, making Ava do the same thing. She hummed in agreement.
Ryan had told them last night that the rogues were suspected to be in a warehouse. It wasn't in use as the company went bankrupt years ago and it was exactly two hours away from the cabin they had kept Ava in. That was good enough reason to believe that is where they were. Lucas planned for himself and most of the pack warriors to check the place out next morning. This day, however, was left for training. More time would've been appreciated but they couldn't risk the rogues moving some other place.
Of course, some of the pack warriors would be left to protect the pack in case something unexpected happened. Because it was dangerous, Ava was also be staying behind. Lucas didn't want her anywhere near the rogues and more importantly, he didn't want her near Veronica. The woman had already taken away two important women in his life. He'd rather die than make it three.
But, the overprotective mate wouldn't be able to focus on anything if he didn't see that Ava would be ok by herself, especially at such a dangerous time. Therefore, Lucas was making her train with him.
"Ok. You remember what to do?" He asked her to which she replied with a confident yes. "Hit me."
He watched her movements with a smirk but it quickly disappeared when she landed a solid punch to the gut and a stomp on the foot.
Ava's eyes widened and touched his shoulder gently, watching him double over in pain, whilst trying to hold his gut and his toe. "Oh my gosh. I'm sorry." Lucas could tell she was sorry but was still holding in her laughter.
Conscious of the snickering pack members, he quickly stood straighter and fake coughed, before glaring at some of them that failed to avert their eyes. "That was great baby. Maybe we should do a countdown or something next time."
"Maybe you just need more practice Alpha." She teased him, sending small fake punches as she bounced on her feet.
"I bet I could take you on." Said a cocky boy, around fifteen years old Lucas assumed. Maybe some other time, Lucas would've been angry that the boy challenged him but now with Ava there, his mood was brighter and he only found the situation humorous.
"Oh really?" Lucas raised an eyebrow at the kid, eying his shape. He wasn't as big as some of the other guys in the gym but still had decently sized muscles. What he lacked in strength could easily be made up in his agility.
"Yeah. I mean, didn't you just get beat up by our Luna." He laughed and Ava quickly joined in, high fiving the boy.
Lucas scowled at the two but then an idea made it turn into a smirk. "Well how about you fight Ava then? Seeing as she's clearly better than me."
"I am." She nodded in agreement, looking thoughtfully.
"Shut it you." Lucas pinched he side playfully, making her giggle and slap his hand away.
"Ok." The boy said confidently.
Ava chewed her lip, nervously looking at the boy as Lucas had done moments before. He could tell she was a little worried and was doubting her abilities but he knew she could easily beat this over confident teen. He wasn't worried.
Well, maybe a little.
"Let's do this then? Right Luna?" He said, looking at Ava when they took position in the middle of the mat, leaving Lucas to watch warily from the side.
She tightened her pony tale as Lucas cursed himself for letting her leave the room dressed in her attire. His innocent mate had eyes all over her body, just clad in a sports bra and leggings, both showing features of her body that only he should have the pleasure of seeing.
The hormonal teen in front of them was also finding it hard to keep his eyes from her. Lucas inwardly grinned at the idea of beating the sh*t out of the him later.
Although, it seemed he wouldn't have to do anything as he watched Ava get into a fighting stance, completely serious and ready to fight. Until, he saw her face morph into a cute little creature he wanted to coo at. Her lips were pursed together and her nose was scrunched, matching her frowning eyebrows. She tried so hard to look intimidating, Lucas almost felt pity for the poor girl.
"Ava baby. Come here." He waved her over.
"What's wrong?" Ava said, back to her smiling self.
"What was that face you were doing?"
She looked at him with a confused look. "What face?"
"The constipated one."
"I did not pull a constipated face!" She gasped. "But if you must know," she started, tightening her ponytail again. She had so much hair, the hair ties were too weak, causing her to have to readjust it every few minutes. "It was my scary face." Ava stated proudly and then pulled the face again for demonstration.
Lucas couldn't contain his laughter, chuckling freely as everyone in the room stared at their unusually care free Alpha. "Oh baby. You are the least scariest person I know."
She pouted. Though not believing it herself, she then mumbled sadly, "that was scary."
He kissed her pouty lip and agreed to make her happy. "Of course it was. I was just kidding. I'm sure the kid is terrified."
"Yep." She grinned, popping the 'p' as usual. "I was doing the face that you do when you tell people to do things."
This time it was Lucas' turn to pout as he said, "I do not do that face."
Ava giggled and pulled his head down so she could kiss his lip like he does to her. "Yes you do. You always say 'listen to me! I'm big bad Alpha. Big man boy with big muscles. I snap you in half you puny humans.'" She imitated his voice poorly but it brought a laugh out of him and of the boy that watched them from the centre of the mat.
"I've had enough of you. Go and fight with the kid." He laughed, turning Ava around to push her in the direction of her opponent, patting her on the bum because he wanted to.
"Aren't you the one that's supposed to be fighting battles for me." Lucas heard her say as he could only see her back.
"Sometimes the Prince has to take a break, Princess."
Lucas stared down at the curled up boy, groaning in pain and panting from exhaustion of having to fight Ava. She crouched next to the injured kid, checking to see if he was ok and if she had broken anything.
Clearly, the boy didn't have all the abilities he believed he had as his human Luna managed to beat him. She was smart in how she fought, making every move tactical so no energy was wasted. Ava was quick on her feet and therefore, dodged most advances towards her. The ones she didn't dodge were weak so didn't do much damage. It didn't stop Lucas from growling at them to be careful.
The little show even brought an audience around them. Pack members, skilled warriors, all watched in awe of how their little Luna fought. They were proud to see her use the little strength she had as a human against a werewolf.
"Get him to the doctor." Lucas ordered two men. Since their town was small and mainly populated by werewolves or people who knew of their existence, there was no need of a pack doctor. They could just go to a hospital and one of their doctors would be there to assist. However, one doctor was kept at the pack house anyway, for convenience.
"I'm so sorry." He watched as Ava apologised once again to the pained boy.
"S'alright Luna. Good game." The boy croaked out as he was carried away.
Lucas felt like a proud parent and was about to praise Ava on how well she did, when he saw her teary eyes. He immediately brought her in for a hug. "This stuff happens when people fight. It's ok. He knew what he was getting himself into. You should be proud baby girl. Such a strong girl."
"I am pretty proud." She whispered sheepishly, probably feeling embarrassed that she was patting herself on the back for beating up a boy so well.
"And so you should. Let's go to the gun room now aye?" He suggested and offered his arm to her.
She happily linked her arm around his and forced him to skip with her as they made their way there. Initially, he gave in but after noticing the many weird looks he got from people, he just picked Ava up to carry her in his arms instead.
"I've gotten better at this you know." She told him when they arrived in the gun room. The walls were littered with different artillery, suitable for any situation. Ava picked up her favourite - a gold plated handgun, engraved with her name on the handle.
"Yeah? Show me." Lucas gestured to the shooting range they had and walked in, holding his own gun.
At first she missed the target by a few millimetres but then she hit it every time. Her face was focused on the target. Ava's shooting was just as good as her fighting, if not better.
It was slightly comical to see his tiny innocent mate hold a deadly weapon and using it perfectly. But, he was pleased she would know how to protect herself.
"See." She said smugly once she ran out of ammo.
"That's very good. Have you been practicing without me?" He accused.
Guilty she swayed on her feet. "Maybe?"
Lucas rolled his eyes playfully and warned her not to do it again. He didn't like that she was down here by herself. It was dangerous. He didn't like that she was away from him at all actually. "Whatever. Let me show you these."
He felt her eyes on him as her curiosity radiated off of her. Lucas picked a box from the shelf and opened it, revealing bullets.
"Is there supposed to be something special?" She asked, her voice laced with disappointment.
Lucas put a glove on and picked up the little bullet carefully between his two fingers. "These are silver bullets. It will kill werewolves or at least cause some serious damage." He explained.
"That's so cool! Why have you got them?" She asked, taking a silver bullet to look at.
"So we can hurt rogues and what not. You can use it to protect yourself against any attackers if they come tomorrow and I'm not here. Try shooting a few." He said.
Ava listened to what he said and put the bullets in the gun, aiming at the target. After getting the hang of it, she was able to hit the target every time, just like she did with her regular bullets.
A proud smile sat on her face when she turned to him. "I have good aim right? I can go with you to the attack thingy tomorrow."
Lucas' face hardened and instantly shot down the ridiculous idea. "No."
"But why?! I can do things. I can help. I promise I won't get in the way!" He watched her beg and plead with him to allow her on the mission but it was no use. Lucas would never willingly let Ava be in harms way so there was absolutely no possibility of her going with them.
"The answers is still no." He felt guilty when her face dropped. She walked out of the room and put her gun in it's place, avoiding eye contact with him. Such a spoilt little thing. "I'm sorry, baby. You know I just want you to be safe." He said softly and then grabbed her waist to stop her from walking away from him. "You can protect the pack here. Be the brave Luna they can turn to because the Alpha isn't there?"
She nodded slightly, still a pout on her face, but gave into his words. Ava wanted to help. He knew that. But, he didn't want her in trouble and he didn't know what would happen to the pack if they lost their Luna.
"C'mon. It's my last day before I have to go on this scary mission. Are you going to ignore me for the rest of it? Not going to give me cuddles to help me feel brave? How is the Prince going to save his Princess with no cuddles? Hmm?" He hopped none of his men were outside listening otherwise he'd never hear the end of it. Although, the smile on his mate's face was worth it as she snuggled into his chest.
"I'm worried you'll be hurt Lu Lu." She admitted into his shirt.
He squeezed her gently. "I'll be fine. Have some faith. Next week is your birthday. We'll do something to celebrate. 'K?"
"Ok." She agreed and then suddenly looked up at him with her beautiful blue eyes. "Movies?"
Lucas kissed Ava on the forehead before slipping out of the room early in the morning. He dreaded leaving her, especially since she was being so clingy last night due to the fact he was leaving on a potentially dangerous mission. It was difficult to detach himself from her this morning too as he didn't want to wake her up and risk her asking him to stay. He knew he would be tempted to agree.
"Why'd we have to go so early?" Mason complained once again. He was definitely not a morning person and had even brought a pillow with him so he could continue his sleep in the car.
"Because I said so." He said, effectively ending the conversation as they got in the van.
The drive was two hours but felt like two days with Mason's snoring and Ryan and Connor's bickering. Everyone else in the large van wouldn't shut up either, giving Lucas a painful headache. This is why I hate people.
When they finally reached the warehouse, Lucas couldn't have been happier, despite possibly facing death. The place was dilapidated but it was still possible people could be hiding in the building.
"Ok. Connor and Ryan, take those guys to go out back and see if there's another entrance. We will go through the front one. See what you find and if you see anyone, mind link us." He ordered, causing a team to quietly run to the back. His own team stayed where they were and waited for the go ahead.
Seeing movement in the broken window, Lucas knew the warehouse wasn't as abandoned as it looked. He sent a text to Ava quickly.
Morning baby. I'm about to go in. I love you k? I love you so much. Xx
"Alpha? You ready?" Someone asked.
Lucas put his phone in his pocket and nodded. "Let go."
The unlocked door opened with a slight creak. Everyone looked around cautiously for any rogues but it was difficult with only a few electric lamps illuminating the rooms. Lucas couldn't see anything of use to them but then noticed a room that had a table filled with papers. It had a maps of the territory and the packs patrol rota.
Lucas sent a mind link to Ryan. "They have our rota and a couple of maps. Where are you guys?" He asked but received no reply at all.
"Alpha? I can't reach any of the guys in the other team." A guy, Neil, said and many other agreed.
Starting to get worried, he furrowed his eyebrows and thought about what was going on. He was really confused about what was happening. They had prepared for an attack and there was nobody here. Maybe we're too late. He thought.
Mason saw that his Alpha was lost in his own thoughts and suggested, "let's move towards the back of the building and find them." He looked towards Lucas for approval.
"Yeah. Let's go guys."
They began to move out of the room but then the door closed shut and the room filled with smoke. "Open the door!" He yelled to one of the pack members that yanked on the handle, only for it to break off. It was getting harder to stay awake and some people have already dropped to the floor unconscious.
"I'm sorry." Lucas heard before falling to the ground himself. The last thing he saw was a blurry image of Connor wearing a gas mask.
Thank you for reading!
So... some people have pointed out that cookies don't take two hours to bake.
You can probably tell I can't bake.
Let's imagine that Ava made GIGANTIC cookies...
Yeahhhh. Let's do that.
WORD COUNT: 2937
Much love <3