Wild Claim

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The morning dew has already coated the fallen leaves on the ground and a cold onset breeze mixed in the air. Liam and I headed back to the pack and sat side by side on the steps to the main entrance. I knew I should return to Ellie's room before she wakes up but I couldn't pull away from him even if I wanted to.

"Sage, I—"

"I know about your beast," I interrupted.

I leaned my head against his shoulder and slipped my hand through his. Secretly glad that he didn't pull away from me. These past few days, I have been avoiding him but he has also been avoiding me too. For him to return, it must have taken a lot.

"You are afraid of me, Kitten. I can feel your fear inside of you," he replied.

Lifting our intertwined hands to look at, I sighed and scooted closer to his body.

"I won't lie to you. Your beast scares me but you don't," I told him.

He was silent and I worried that I had offended him but he pulled our hands towards his chest and held it over his beating heart.

"Katya shouldn't have told you. I should have been the one that explained everything."

"It doesn't matter," I responded, tilting my head to look up at his face.

He was already looking down at me with a frustrated look. He leaned down and kissed my forehead and I closed my eyes; savoring the warm tingles that spread from that intimate contact.

It truly doesn't matter who told what. My opinion of him doesn't change. This man was still my mate. Fate gave him to me for a reason.

"I am dangerous, Sage. When I shift into my beast, I can't remember anything that it does. Being around the people I love is risking everyone's safety. I can't be here. The other night, it was a perfect example. You're my destined mate and I hurt you. If I am capable of that than it is best that I am not around you at all. I don't want to hurt you, Sage."

I sat up a little straighter and turned to face him.

"You won't hurt me," I told him and knew right away that it was the truth. He did hurt me but only because I got in the way. His fears were taking over his senses. He didn't know what he was doing.

"You don't know that." Liam released me and stood up suddenly. His stiff body took a few steps away from me. He was becoming agitated. I stood up and followed him.

"I know! I do know!" I protested.

"No, Kitten, you don't. You don't know how dangerous I am. You don't know the things that my beast wants to do to you. He is a part of me. I can feel how strong he is." He turned around and grabbed onto my arms, shaking me.

"You won't hurt me," I repeated.

His jaw ticked and he released me to pace in front of me. I watched him mutter incoherent words. His eyes were glowing now. He looked wild and menacing with his obsidian colored hair flying in the wind of the night.

"Your sister told me that they were injecting you with drugs that were modifying your DNA. Whatever your beast is, it is a part of you. It lives in you." I moved a little closer.

"That is exactly why you need to stay away," he growled in a feral whisper. His wild eyes snapped to me and he halted in his footsteps. I fought back a shiver. He looked almost borderline feral.

"I won't," I argued.

His hands curled into fists. I took up the last few steps to remove the spaces between us. Grabbing onto his face, I wanted his full attention.

"I'll take you the way you are. You are mine, Liam Black. There is no pushing me away. If you do, I'll mark you without permission just to keep you by my side," I threatened.

The glow in his eyes lessened. He was dangerous and even if I was afraid, I can't stop what I feel for him. I didn't want to change him. I just want to be there for him.

"You don't know what you are saying," he whispered. His eyes have returned to its normal shade of dark brown. I felt his hands on my waist just as he pressed his forehead against mine. He closed his eyes and inhaled deeply.

"I don't," I replied with a chuckle.

He laughed with me and moved his hands to cup my cheeks too.

"I don't want to hurt you, Sage."

"Let's not worry about the 'if' part. Let's just enjoy what we have. I want you, Liam," I said honestly.

I've always been a straight forward kind of gal. I speak my mind and sometimes come off as a little too harsh. My dad tells me that my mom was like that too when they first found out they were mated. She spoke her mind and didn't entirely like him until later.

He sighed before pulling me into his arms again, tucking my head underneath his chin. He smelled clean and crisp like the morning breeze. I sighed in the content before wrapping my arms tighter around him.

Liam was an exception to everything for me.

"My sister told you about me but did she tell you about her?" he asked.

I frowned. That was an odd question to ask. I tried to look up but he held my head tighter underneath his chin.

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"My sister was also given the drug but she had no effects on the drug. She didn't experience blackout moments as I did. She didn't have a beast she couldn't control but when we arrived in this pack, the doctors here tested her blood. They discovered that her DNA was slightly different from a regular werewolf," Liam explained.

"What does that mean for her?" I asked.

"She asked me to come back not just because she was afraid to give birth. She is afraid that the baby in her stomach has taken our genetic makeup. She's afraid that he or she would be born not normal," Liam said.

He threaded his fingers through my hair gently. I closed my eyes against the caressing tingles. Feeling tired now that I am all warm and safe in Liam's arm. Still, he didn't release me. It seemed he was perfectly fine in holding me close. After days of being apart and avoiding each other, it was very much needed. The closeness was what we both needed.

"Will she love him or her either way?" I questioned further with a yawn before burying my face in between his chest.

He switched position and swept me up into his arms. I wrapped my arms around his neck and rested my head on his shoulder. The movement of his body while walking added more to my sleepy state.

Finally, he sat down on a swing located on the left side of the packhouse. It was hidden from the front of the house. Kicking his feet, he held me while we swung on the swing.

"She loves me. So, she would love him or her," Liam replied and I realized he was right. Katya loved him regardless. She protected him all these years.

I smiled against his neck, loving how he shivered upon feeling the brushing of my lips.

"She loves you very much to have interfered in our relationship and explained everything," I told him.

"She worries about my happiness," Liam said.

I yawned once again and felt his arms wrapped tighter around me, pulling me closer to the warmth of his body. I realized I loved feeling comforted and treated delicately like this. I loved the way he protected me and spoke softly to me.

"Do I make you happy?" I whispered with a sigh.

I wasn't looking but if I was, I was almost positive he was smiling. His lips pressed on top of my head.

"You make me very happy," he replied.

"You make me happy too," I told him.

"Go to sleep, Kitten," he urged.

I didn't wait for him to tell me twice. My eyelids were heavy and I couldn't keep them open even if I wanted. The soft beating of his heartbeat, the swing of the swing, and his scent lulling me faster to a deep slumber. Before I knew it, I was already asleep.

I didn't wake up until I was jerked awake by Ellie. My eyes flew open to see that I was in her bedroom again. She narrowed her eyes on my attire.

"You went out last night," she accused.

I recalled my conversation with Liam and a soft smile appeared on my face.

"With your mate," Ellie added.

I laughed and she jumped onto the bed.

"So, you two are good? I haven't seen you this happy in days. Also, may I add, how refreshed you look. I didn't realize all it took was being near your mate to bring some color to your face," she said quickly.

"We are good," I told her but then remembered she was leaving today. I grabbed onto her hands that were in her lap and held them tightly.

"You are leaving today," I said with an overwhelming amount of sadness settling in my stomach and heart.

Her face fell a little before she forced a smile on her face, "Be happy for me. This is what I wanted. I'll miss you terribly but this is what I wanted."

"You have always been ambitious, Ellie. I know that you would learn so much and prove so many people wrong," I reassured her. "I'll miss you too. I'll miss you so much because we have been together for so long."

I pulled her into my arms. We both hugged each other tightly. Ellie will be gone for a few months. She won't be back for a while. Life here will be different without her. I hope that she enjoys her adventures. Although Ellie has the grandest clothes and always appears in the community as beautiful, she was also ambitious and a fierce woman to reckon with. I've seen her fight and deal with pack issues in her role, she was so much more than what meets the eyes.

Beta Ace knocked on the door, both Ellie and I pulled apart to look at him. He smiled down at the both of us.

"It is time to go, Ellie," he announced.

Ellie turned back to me, "Call me every day."

"Of course," I replied with a smirk.

Tears welled up in Ellie's eyes before she pulled me back into another hug.

"Aw, let me in this warm and fuzzy moment too," Beta Male Scott interrupted and wrapped his arms around us.

We both laughed and hugged him back. After a while, Ellie and I eventually did leave her bedroom. I followed them downstairs to the front of the packhouse where a jeep was already waiting for them. Beta Ace put Ellie's luggage in the back of the jeep.

My mom, dad, Luna Katya, Alpha Hunter, and Tommy were also out there to wish her well on her journey. After some hugging and promises, Ellie stopped in front of Tommy and me. She pulled us into a tight hug.

"I'll miss you two," she said sadly.

"You know we both will miss you," I told her.

"Take care of her Tommy," Ellie said to Tommy.

Tommy snorted, "Sage won't need me."

"Of course, I do!" I argued. "You're my friend and with Ellie gone, I only have you. If you leave me, I won't have anyone else."

"You'll still have him," Tommy said almost bitterly.

"But I need you. I need my friend," I pleaded.

One corner of Tommy's lip lifted and he nodded his head in agreement. "Alright, I'll stick around you. I have no one else anyways."

I scoffed before shoving him. He made it seemed like I was his last choice when we both know I wasn't. I feel bad for Tommy. I know what his feelings are for me but I can't love him that way. I do hope he finds his destined mate soon.

We watched Ellie drive away with her parents. She was looking out the window until she disappeared down the driveway. I felt like I was losing her but I know she will return and who knows what she might find while she travels to the other packs. She might discover something more than just pack treaties and influences.

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