Wild Claim

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16

SAGE

I stumbled down the dirt path that led to Liam's cabin. A little giggle leaving my lips when I tripped over a branch and fell onto my knees. I must look like an idiot.

After Liam had left the bar, I drunk a little too much mixed tonic. I told Tommy and Ellie that I was going to make my way to the bathroom but I found myself leaving the bar and suddenly making my way to Liam's cabin. A rationalized part of me told me that he might not be home but I needed to see him. After all, he has been stalking me. It was only right that I did the same.

Yet when I fell onto the ground, I couldn't find it in myself to get back up. I released a puff of breath before looking up at the moon above me. Tree branches were blocking my view but I can still easily see through them.

I don't usually drink to the point where I can't walk straight but Liam was frustrating. He was frustrating but at the same time, I was affected by his protectiveness and possessiveness. When he kissed me in the bar, he wanted to make a point to everyone that was looking our way. If we haven't announced our mateship earlier, it must be the current talk right about now. I'm almost positive I'll hear about it tomorrow.

A gentle breeze brushed past me. I closed my eyes, savoring in the cool wind against my heated skin. Maybe it wasn't a very good idea to go see him like this. He'll think I was undisciplined.

Before the mate bond, I was always focused on my Gamma duties. Now, I'm focused on how dangerously handsome Liam was. The number of times that I have looked into the chocolate abyss of his eyes might have drowned me more than a hundred times. Even the way he holds himself, it pulls me in. I'm studying him like he was a fine piece of art.

The man was overbearingly tall for a male werewolf. The shoulders were as wide if not wider than the length of my arms. Those dark locks falling over his forehead ruefully. It only added to his bad boy guise. I'm dangerously attracted to him in so many ways, I fear I don't have any control over my emotions.

I'm like a puppet controlled by him with strings. He pulls one way and I go that way, at least that was how I felt whenever I am close to him. He muddles my brain like nothing else. It was frustrating.

I don't know how long I laid there looking up at the sky above me but I was rudely interrupted when his face appeared overhead. It wasn't enough that he was performing laps around my head day and night, he had to appear in front of me like some kind of mirage.

I sighed with a smile on my face. Those tonic drinks were really playing with my mind. He wore his usual scowl but was surprisingly shirtless. I can see the fiery flame tattoo that tatted his entire torso to the wings that stained his arms. He looked like the Devil himself.

"It isn't enough that you run around my mind all day and night. You have to appear before me too," I murmured still smiling.

He raised an eyebrow and I gave another giggle. I pulled myself up into a sitting position and he pulled back to his full height. My eyes scanned his body meticulously. He has nothing on except for a pair of dark blue denim jeans. I pulled in the bottom of my lips because a sudden fire ignited in the pits of my stomach.

"And now you are seducing me with your naked ways. You do have a very nice body," I laughed. "There are many nights I wondered how it would feel against mine. You look exactly like how you look in my dreams. Perfect."

"Are you drunk, Kitten?" he asked.

"What? No," I grumbled and crawled onto my hands and knees before getting on my feet to stand up. "See?"

He looked down at me.

"Here let me take you back home," he told me.

"Nonsense!" I said, batting off his hands. "You are just a hallucination. There is no need to treat me like a child."

"Hallucination?" he said in bewilderment.

I wrinkled my nose. "Although, I wonder why you can talk. Aren't hallucinations supposed to not talk?"

"You are definitely drunk," he murmured quietly before reaching for me.

I jumped back with a sly giggle again.

"Kitten," he warned.

"Catch me, Liam," I said just as I turned and made a dash away from the woods.

I wondered if hallucinations can follow. I made it far into the woods and stopped by the lake. Spinning on my feet, I turned to see Liam was right behind me. He looked thunderously upset with me.

"Kitten, I am not a hallucination," he explained.

I laughed. "Ok, and I am not real too."

He rolled his eyes just as I began stripping my shirt off. His eyes caught what I was doing and immediately zoned in.

"What the hell are you doing?" he growled.

"I'm going for a swim," I replied.

"No." He was always so demanding and ordering. Doesn't he realize I am soon to be the Gamma of the pack?

I shimmied out of my pants and left only in my bra and panties. His eyes did a slow scan of my body and when they met my eyes they were dark and smoldering. If I was a dried leaf, he would burn me into ashes. Deciding to cool down my newly heated body in the cold water, I ran and jumped right into the lake.

When I popped out, I see Liam glaring at me.

"Come back here, Sage," he ordered with his hands on his waist.

"How about you come and get me?" I replied and swam further in.

He shook his head. "I am not coming in. You're crazy. Get out before someone sees you."

"No one would see me," I said before ducking back under the water.

I swam down and deeper. I am usually really good at holding my breath underwater. When I was a kid, I would often go outside to swim in the lakes with the other pups. We would compete to see who would hold their breath the longest and competitive me, refused to lose. I have learned master breathing underwater.

When I felt my lungs began to tighten and ache painfully in my chest, I popped back out just to see that Liam was no longer at the edge of the water. My hallucination had disappeared. I was a little disappointed until I heard a splash to my left. I turned to see someone trying to stay above water. I narrowed my eyes further to see Liam in the water.

Realization dawned on me. He couldn't swim. He wasn't a hallucination. It was the last thought to douse the rest of my drunken state. I swam as quickly as I can towards him.

When I reached him, I tried to wrap my arms around his body but he was flailing so fast and hard that his large body was hard to hold above water with mine.

"Liam, stop!" I demanded.

I looked at his face and it was fear-stricken and his eyes were glazed over like he was having a nightmare. He clawed and at everything, trying to grab onto anything to keep him above water. He grabbed onto me and pushed me down. I struggled to get him to unhand me. Coughing like crazy when I finally made it back up to get some air.

"Stop! Don't panic. I got you," I said while water splashed in my face and in my mouth.

Suddenly, he half-shifted. His claws scraped my sides and stomach. It clawed at my back and pain ripped through me. I looked at his face to see his eyes had changed color. They were gold and glowing as I have never seen before. Those canines were long and thick. His face almost transformed into a monstrous beast. It was scary and not anything I have seen before. We all have canines but none as crazy as his. He fought harder and ended up clawing at my body some more. I can feel that one claw had dug its way deep into my stomach before he pulled. I released a scream of pain before I was shoved under water once again.

I needed to get him to calm down. Soon we both would lose the fight and would drown if he doesn't stop. Although he was hurting me by clawing at my body, I moved closer to him. I wrapped one arm underneath his arm and over his chest to his shoulders. Pressing my lips close to his ear I tried again to make him listen.

"Please, you are fine. Don't fight, Liam. Don't fight me. I'll get us safe. It will all be over soon. Just don't fight me," I pleaded.

His body stiff, his arms were still flailing like crazy but suddenly he stopped.

"There we go. Trust me. I'll get us to shore," I told him.

"Kitten?" he whispered hoarsely.

"Yes, it's me. You are safe," I told him before kicking our way towards shore. It took a bit because I was gravely injured by his claws and I know I was bleeding badly but I fought the pain. I needed to get us safe.

Once my feet touched the bottom of the lake, I moved so he can wrap an arm around my shoulder while I carried him to shore. I plopped him down before I fell onto my knees. I clutched at the wound on my stomach and felt warmth seeping through the injury. My blood tainted the night air. Liam must have smelled it the second we were out of the water because his eyes looked me over. When he saw what he had done, a new kind of panic replaced the look on his face.

"Shit! Sage!" He crawled onto his feet to grab onto my shoulders.

"I'm alright," I whispered even though I was losing consciousness soon.

"No, you're not alright. You're injured badly, bleeding all over. Fuck, I need to get you to the packhouse," he said quickly before scooping me up.

Suddenly, we were zipping through the woods. The moon blurred above me. I dropped my gaze back to Liam who was looking down at me.

"You weren't a mirage," I whispered quietly.

"No," he replied.

"I'm an idiot," I told him.

"I'm sorry," he whispered. "When you didn't come up for air, it freaked me out. I jumped in after you---"

"It was my fault. I didn't know you were afraid of water," I said.

"I hurt you." Pain and horror flashed across his face. He looked like he was the one who was injured not me but then I remembered how he looked. He looked terrifying half-shifted. I have never seen his wolf before but if he looked like that when he was half-shifted, I was afraid to find out he looked when he was in his wolf form.

I closed my eyes and saw how his eyes had glowed while his canines lengthen in a monstrous way. I knew right away that something was off about Liam. He was different and I couldn't help but feel a little terrified. My body shook at the image I saw in the lake. He must have thought I was feeling cold because he brought me closer to his body with a tightened of his arms. I felt both comforted and frightened by him. How do I explain this new feeling I feel for him?

It was the last thought before I allowed unconsciousness to overtake me.

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