Wild Claim

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31

My dad called us to meet them at their house the next day. The weather today seemed fitted for the current thick tension in the house. Alpha Hunter, Katya, Beta Ace, and Beta Scott were all here along with my parents. Everyone seemed to be deep in thoughts.

"Seekers came back and found nothing out of the ordinary. There are no rogue packs nearby that we know of," my dad spoke first. He stood by the dining table.

"The authorities approached me yesterday, they wanted to know how two werewolves defeated over thirty-five rogue wolves," Alpha Hunter eyed Liam.

"They weren't just werewolves. They are both highly trained," Katya interfered, moving to stand next to Hunter by the front window. She wrapped her fingers around his elbow. He looked down at her before patting her hand gently.

"I agree with you completely, sweetheart, but they also mentioned multiple issues that have been happening around our pack borders. Our werewolf government has been keeping an eye on uncharacteristic activities for us. When I was approached by Quinlan, he mentioned that the humans report multiple strange animal attacks throughout our area. There have been concerns about the activity and I have been questioned on it," Alpha Hunter explained and his eyes moved back to Liam.

I noticed how stiff Liam has become from hearing this news. So, I could only conclude that he knew something about it. If he knew something about it, then his beast was involved. I couldn't help but think if that was what he has been doing when he disappeared. He told me he doesn't remember anything when his beast takes complete control.

Katya was also eyeing Liam. It only further confirmed what I was already starting to realize. Glancing around the room, everyone knew. It seemed everyone knew Liam's secret but it shouldn't come as a surprise. Liam grew up and was raised by them all in some shape or form. Yet I couldn't help but wonder why my parents never mentioned anything to me.

"You all knew?" I couldn't keep the accusations out of my voice.

"Of course, we did," Beta Ace replied from his seat across from me and Liam.

My dad walked into the living area. He stood at the end of the wooden coffee table. His arms were crossed over his chest.

"Beta Ace and I knew when we first found them. Liam was in his wolf form and very feral. Bit me harder than anything I ever encountered," my dad explained.

" At first, we thought it was due to the physical and mental trauma he was put through. We didn't start suspecting until after Luna Katya was kidnapped and your father went with Alpha Hunter to rescue her," my mom added, I recalled my mom telling me something about this. She was attending medical school in another pack during that time.

Although Liam and I grew up together, we weren't close. There was a seven years difference between us. While he was learning how to be a teenager, I was playing with stuff animals and houses. I realized that I never really paid much attention to what was happening around me and after Liam left, it only made it easier for me not to remember him.

Those incidents that Quinlan had mentioned, Liam didn't say anything to deny it. He looked like he knew exactly what happened. He also looked troubled and lost. I didn't want him to feel like he was cornered.

"It doesn't matter if Liam was involved with those incidents. He is my mate and a part of this pack. We protect him," I said firmly, looking at everyone.

My dad smirked, "You sound like your mother."

"I don't want anyone to get involved," Liam replied.

"You are family," my mom answered.

"And you're my mate. If you are going to protect me from harm, I should be able to do the same," I argued.

Liam turned to look at me. His eyebrows wrinkling with frustration. He really didn't want to get us involved.

"This is different. This is me we are talking about," he retorted.

"So?" I flung back at him.

"Family is family, Liam," my dad answered and Liam turned to look at him.

"This is about your daughter too, you know," Liam mentioned to him.

"She's got Collins's blood running through her. We don't back down from a fight. Especially one that involves our loved ones," my dad winked at me.

Liam knew when he was outnumbered. The meeting went on for another thirty minutes. When Katya yawned, Alpha Hunter called a stop to the meeting. He finalized the meeting by adding that he would be ordering another group of seekers to go further out just to ensure that no rogue packs were hanging around. We didn't know what to expect. Searching for something we don't even know. It would be better to know who our enemy was. That way we could seek what we were looking for but it wasn't that easy.

The attack on the country road, was it intentional or was it a random pick? So many questions but it didn't help to sit and go in circles when there were so many possibilities.

Liam and I returned to our cabin. He was quiet on the way home. Remained quiet throughout the rest of the evening.

It wasn't until later after I got done taking a shower and pulling on one of his long cotton t-shirt that I found him sitting on the sofa staring at the opposite wall. I moved to stand in front of him. He blinked and looked up.

I threaded my hands through his hair and massaged his scalp.

"You're awfully quiet," I whispered.

He sighed, closed his eyes, but pulled me between his legs. He pressed his face into my stomach.

"I'm thinking," he replied.

"About?" I asked.

"About our future," he said and pulled back to look at me. My hands were still in his hair.

"You aren't leaving me, Liam. No running away, remember?" I stated.

One corner of his lips lifted. "I remember, Kitten, I'm here."

"Then what are you worried about?" I asked, moving in to straddle his lap. He leaned back to give me enough room to sit on top of him. My hands dropped to his shoulders and his hands moved to rest on my hip.

"I'm worried that my past would catch up to me. That what I am most afraid of would come true." His fingers dug a little into my hip bones. Fear flashed in his eyes and I realized how much he cared for me. He wouldn't be here if he didn't.

"I don't want to lose you, Kitten," he whispered.

"I don't want to lose you," I told him before moving to sit beside him. I wrapped an arm around his waist while he threw one over my shoulders, pulling me close to his side.

I know that I was asking a lot from him. Liam had been on his own for a very long time. To ask him to stay with a pack puts him on edge. The separation was what he knew best to keep everyone safe. When I asked him to stay, I had eliminated that opportunity. At times, I still think he would bolt at the slightest thing.

"Liam, I know you think that your beast is dangerous and that you are incapable of being around people, but have you ever considered that sometimes trying to control an out of control situation is doing you more harm than good?" I asked him.

"You might be right but I don't want to risk it," he replied.

"Would you ever let him out on purpose?" I asked, realizing that I have never seen him release his wolf by will not by force.

He didn't answer me. Instead, he tucked my head underneath his chin and caressed my side. We remained silent together until I had fallen asleep.

When I did wake up though, it was from the sound of glass shattering. I shot up in bed, Liam's body flipped and covered me. He was trying to shield me from harm, looking over his shoulder I saw our bedroom filled with a cloud of thick smoke.

He realized that the smoke was a paralytic smoke. He grabbed for the thin blanket on our bed and covered my nose and mouth, but it was already too late. The smoke smell was sweet but as soon as it entered my system, I knew what it was. My body went numb. My eyes were getting heavy. I looked back at Liam and found that he was also experiencing the same effect. His head began nodding. I can see that he was also fighting off the paralytic smoke, but it wasn't working.

Although in my mind I was screaming that I needed to stay awake, I was physically unable to. My mind was under control and I couldn't fight off the drug. I watched the smoke grew thicker while my eyes closed shut. Seconds later, I felt Liam's heavy body collapse on top of mine just as I went out cold.

When I woke up for the second time, I was no longer in the cabin. Instead, I laid on a hospital bed, strapped down with heavy, unbreakable straps. The white walls were smooth with no way of getting past them. To the right corner was a door but, on the inside, there was no handle. Neither were there any windows. It was basically a room that was fit to lock someone in and not let them out.

Liam was nowhere in sight. I was left alone to fight an unknown enemy and with no hints of where my mate was. Liam could be back at the cabin. He could be here with me and if he was here, was he awake? Did he know what was going on?

Struggling against the restraints, the hospital bed shook. The little wheels squeaked in protest. A ball gag was placed into my mouth to stop me from screaming.

I heard a light whizzing sound from my left ear. Looking up at the ceiling, I noticed a little security camera pointed in my direction. It whizzed again and then I watched the lens moved closer.

At that moment, I knew I was being observed.

Someone was watching me.

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