Wild Claim

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24

LIAM

After a week in a half of holing up inside my cabin, I was able to restrain myself enough to allow Sage to return home. Her parents were happy to see her. I could see it on their faces. I also noticed their eyes moving from our faces down to the marks on our neck. Sage wore one of my old school hoodies. It hid all the marks on her body, including the hickeys that I couldn't resist placing on her neck and on her chest. Her hair was an utter bed mess but I realized Sage didn't care much to groom her hair besides brushing it to remove tangles. I liked that fact about her.

"Oh, c'mere," Rosemary said cheerfully and pulled Sage away from my side. They walked further inside their home.

Judah had his hand stuffed into his pants. The man was an inch shorter than me but regardless of his height, he looked intimidating. He planted me with a pointed look.

"Judah," I greeted with a polite nod.

I respect the man, his title, and that he was my mate's father but he also had to acknowledge that I wasn't going anywhere without Sage. We leveled each other with a stare. The front door left opened carelessly behind me. The wind hissed inside the house with an unannounced invitation. Neither one of us moved from our spot.

"Mom, can you tell dad to stop staring down Liam?" Sage's voice filtered through the tensed air.

"I'm just making sure he knows what I am capable of," Judah murmured, still staring at me.

I smirked at the open threat. "I respect you, Judah, and I promise I'll take care of Sage. No harm will come to her."

Judah's eyes narrowed some more. Rosemary appeared between us. She placed a palm on her mate's cheek and forced him to look down at her. She flashed him a brilliantly bright smile.

"Hi, hey, yes, Jude, I am talking to you. I know you are an amazing father and you are protective of Sage because she is our only pup but she is no longer a juvenile. She is a mature she-wolf. You need to respect her decision, Jude," Rosemary said softly.

Judah's gaze faltered. He has a good intention and I was glad there was someone else who was here to protect Sage beside me. He sighed in defeat a second later, heeding Rosemary's words. He placed a quick chaste kiss on his mate's lips, he turned and headed into the kitchen without glancing my way. Rosemary followed closely behind him to assist him.

I sensed this conversation was not over but delayed until dinner was over.

"Dinner will be ready soon. Sage, do you want to show Liam around the house while you two wait?" she called out just as she entered behind the kitchen counter.

"Sure, mom," Sage responded.

Sage showed me pictures of her when she was a child. Looking at them, I remembered how adorable she was when she was little. I did grow a little attached to her until I hit my early teens. Then I started my rebellious stage and was no longer interested in babies and toddlers.

I pointed to a picture of her on her first birthday that was hung up in their living area. There was a small wall built to block the view from the kitchen. When she saw me point to the picture, she turned to look at it with me.

"I remember attending your birthday. You were bratty and cried a lot on that day," I replied.

"Did not," she muttered.

"You were afraid of everyone. Hid behind your parents like we were going to bite you," I murmured.

"You did bite me," she deadpanned me with a look.

I growled and snatched her by the waist. I pulled her to my front and nipped at her earlobe. She giggled while cowering away from my bites. I held her in my arms and pointed to the picture next to it.

"That picture was during your first shift. Your father was so proud of you that day. I saw the look he had on his face. A first time shift usually takes hours but you were able to do it within an hour," I told her, recalling the night that we were called to witness her first shift in the woods. She was a tiny little pup. Nipping and growling like she was a dangerous beast. She was so tiny with her light grey fur and gleaming olive eyes.

"How do you remember all of this?" she asked, turning her head to look at me.

I looked down at her. "You were family back then. I cherished all the moments I had with everyone."

She smiled softly at me before turning in my arms to grab me by the cheeks and pulling me down for a kiss. I returned her kissed easily. It was nothing heated. It was chaste and sweet.

She pulled back. My eyes moved past her to the picture behind her. It was one that I have not seen. It looks like she was in her mid-teens. Her hair was still unruly. Her eyes were bright with happiness. In her hand, she held a sports trophy.

Sage turned to look at what I was looking at. She made a horrifying sound and moved to cover the picture.

"Oh my God! Don't look," she exclaimed.

I laughed and removed her hands to look. She looked different. A lot skinnier in stature. Her facial structure was more innocent, a lot more boyish. I chuckled some more which earned myself a groan from my mate.

"You look..." I drawled slowly.

"Amazing," she ended sarcastically.

I laughed, "Um, cute."

"You are such a bad liar," she grumbled.

I pulled her close, cradling her cheeks again, I crushed my lips against hers. The smile on my face still plastered there. She didn't push me away. Thankfully. I adored her either way. Teasing her was a pleasure of mine.

Once we were done looking through the pictures on the wall. We stepped into the kitchen. We helped Rosemary and Judah set the table.

During dinner, it was quiet. Surprisingly though, Judah was the first to speak.

"What are your plans now that you two are mated?" he asked.

Sage glanced my way. Unsure on how to answer this since we never discussed this. The fault fell on me as I knew better but I was so busy pleasing my mate, I have forgotten to discuss the most important thing. However, I knew one thing I wanted and I voiced it out loud to her parents.

"Sage will be moving in with me. She is my responsibility now. As her mate, it is my duty to take care of her and protect her," I announced.

Rosemary sighed in acceptance. "I know you since your a pup. I do not doubt that you can take care of her. From the moment you met her in my stomach until now. I have always known you and Sage would have a special bond."

"You do realize she will be inheriting my title," Judah added, looking at me.

I nodded. "I will support her in every way I can. As long as she is happy."

Sage's hand rest on my knee. My eyes jerked her way and the soft look in her eyes took my breath away.

"She will be under dangerous situations. Can you handle that?" Judah questioned.

I looked his way.

"I will be with her. She will not be alone. She is the Gamma but I am also her mate. I will respect her position but as her mate, I am bound to protect her," I responded.

Judah's intimidating guise dropped. He sighed once again before nodding his head in approval.

"I admit that fate couldn't have chosen a better mate for my daughter. As my mate have previously stated, I have known you since you were a pup. I had even trained you. I know what you have gone through as a pup. You are a strong mate for someone who has Collins' blood running through her veins," he admitted.

"So, you approve?" Rosemary asked with a smile in his direction.

Judah looked at his mate with all the love and adoration he holds for her.

"I approve," he replied.

Sage and Rosemary shared a smile. We finished dinner with Judah and Rosemary. In the end, Judah got called to the packhouse by Alpha Hunter while Rosemary hurried to the medical wing in the packhouse to assist with a laboring mom.

I followed Sage to her bedroom. She was going to pack one of her bags with her clothes and personal items. Once we were inside her bedroom, she stepped into the closet to change into her clothes. I can hear her moving around.

It allowed me to look around her room closely. She didn't rub me as a girly girl. So, I wasn't surprised to not see anything girly. My eyes hovered her sports trophies on her wooden dresser until I reached the last one. It was a picture they had taken at the resort. From the date in the lower left-hand corner of the picture, it was just a month in a half to two months ago.

I easily found my mate in the crowd. She had her arms around another male that I didn't recognize. This was a picture taken during the resort ball. She wore a red dress that hugged her body sensually. Her hair was neatly done and pinned. Little strands of curled hair falling on the side of her face to soften her features. Her pouty lips glossed over and kissable. The man she had her arms around, he looked like he was having a dandy time feeling my mate's pressed against his back.

The closet door creaked open. I turned my head to see she had changed into an old shirt and a pair of black yoga pants that hugged her hips. My mark and hickeys were exposed now.

She walked over with her bag. Her eyes finding the picture I was just looking at. She took one look at and knew immediately why I was spending my time observing the picture but when her eyes met mine, they were blank. Her pouty lips formed an 'O'.

"Oh," she said.

"Oh?" I replied with a cocked eyebrow.

"It was the resort ball," she stated.

"Obviously, Kitten, but I am more interested in whom do you have your arms wrapped around," I said slowly. Jealousy twinged in my tone.

"Why? You interested in him?" she teased.

Jealousy flared inside of me. I snarled my displeasure upon seeing her with another man. Grabbing the back of her neck, I yanked her into my body. She collided with a soft gasp. I heard her dropping the bag in her hand. I dipped my nose to the crook of her neck. My teeth ached to bite. Pressing a warm and heated kiss to my mark on her neck, I whispered possessively into her ears alone.

"Who do you belong to, Kitten?" I commanded huskily.

She shivered in delight, pressing her body further into mine.

"You," she replied in a sensual, throaty whisper.

Desire rushed through me. I cupped her breast in my hand. Squeezing possessively, I nipped at her skin.

"Then why do you have your arms wrapped around him, Kitten," I whispered.

"He was a member of another pack. We didn't meet our mates, so we decided to go together but that was all. I don't care for him," she said breathlessly.

Hearing it should please me but I was a lot more possessive than I thought. The image was permanently printed in my head. My beast wasn't all too happy too. He wanted to go on a hunting trip.

"Jealous?" she questioned in a pant.

"Extremely so," I rumbled before pulling back my lips and re-marking her again. She cried out before leaning into my body. The sensation was making her muscles lethargic. She moaned and I crushed her body to mine.

After I finished re-marking her, I pulled back and was extremely pleased to see the new and fresh mark. I rubbed my thumb over her neck. Another possessive emotion rushing through me. I looked into her eyes, her legs buckled at the heated look in my eyes.

"Let's go home," I said with a promise that this wasn't over. She was going to be pleasure until she could only remember my name.

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