Wild Claim

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37

LIAM

Memories were coming back to me slowly. I could remember little details about my past. It was hard to explain. It felt like piecing jagged puzzle pieces that didn't have the correct pieces.

Yet a touch of her hand could trigger a memory. Even the way she looks at me seemed to be helping.

There was a burning sensation in my chest. It ached when she wasn't near and then grew incredibly strong when the duration of absence lengthens.

When she was near though, it seems to placate my erratic emotions and thoughts--the hunger to hunt and the urge to shift. She seemed to be the only thing that was keeping me from flipping out.

In the past 24 to 48 hours, I have never been more frustrated and irritated in my life. People were poking me. Asking me questions that even I don't know the answer to. The urge to kill the source of my frustration was overwhelming.

However, we were released from the hospital after a couple of days. Sage realized my anxiety of the people around me, even the attention I've been getting from the pack was fueling my anxiety.

We left against the doctor's orders. I can see the uneasy look in their eyes.

They were afraid of me, but do I blame them? I am a monster.

I felt Katya's gentle hand touched my shoulder, jerking me from my thoughts to the present. I looked away from the cabin I had been staring at for the last ten minutes to Katya.

"Are you okay?" she asked me for the hundredth time since leaving the packhouse.

"Tell me again, " I said under my breath.

"Our mom died because of him. These people saved us. They protected us. They are our family now. You are safe, "Katya assured me gently as a mother should do to her child.

I nodded before turning back to the cabin. Sage emerged from the front door and looked our way. Her olive eyes landing on me first. She was breathtakingly beautiful. When I saw her at the corner of the room, I was taken aback. Seeing her again in the medical wing had almost the same effect. I still can't really explain all the missing fragments in my memory but deep inside of me, something stirs at the sight of her.

That must mean something.

My heart quickens in speed and I find myself lost in a trance, every time. This beautiful being tells me every time that she was made for me. She whispers words of comfort and love into my ears and never looked at me any other way other than another person. She treats me as a normal person.

Mate.

She was my mate.

She smiled in my direction and just like that, everyone else around me vanished.

Alpha Hunter, Gamma Judah, Rosemary, Katya, Beta Ace, and Beta Male Scott.

They were here for support but never pushed too far. They were all skeptical and know very well that it would take me more than just a couple of days to feel normal again.

But at this moment, they were nothing but shadows of the forest.

My eye zeroed in on the voluptuous body that walked my way. Enraptured at the disheveled, carefree soul that belonged to me. Even through the baggy t-shirt that she wore, I can make out every curve and feel of her body. I may not remember the full details of our mating, but I knew without a doubt those breasts were made to fit in my hands and those legs were made to wrap around my waist.

I ripped my eyes from devouring her body to looking into her eyes. Caught her staring at me already. She smirked cockily as if she knew what I was thinking. I released a frustrated sigh between my teeth before shoving one hand through my hair and shoving the other in my pocket to keep myself in check.

She may calm me, but she also drives me to point of gluttony. I want to do so much to her. I loved her presence and he touch.

"So, are you ready to come inside?" Sage asked when she stood in front of me.

I glanced behind the cabin. I'll be alone with her with no other person to protect her.

What if I hurt her again?

Katya touched my bicep to get my attention again. I looked down at her already swollen body. She looked happy and understanding. Most importantly, she trusted these people which means I can trust them. I could see it in her eyes. She has always been scared to trust. It must have taken Alpha Hunter many years to earn it.

"There will be no more running, Liam. You deserve to live a happy life without someone taking advantage of you," Katya whispered in comfort.

"We are your family, Liam," Rosemary added from behind me. I glanced her way and she smiled brightly. Sage didn't carry her mother's soft features and strawberry blonde hair. She has her dad's dark umber hair and olive eyes. I loved these dark features on her. It made her look like my very own Goddess.

Family.

The thing I needed the most and wished for every day while living in containment.

"You don't have to be afraid anymore. Your past can't be locked away. You can only make it a part of you. The things that run through your veins can be used for good or for bad, Liam," Beta Ace added. "The choice is entirely yours."

"We'll always be here for you," Alpha Hunter said and grabbed my shoulder to give it a good squeeze of confidence.

I turned to look between the many faces until I landed on Sage, then I stopped. She grounds me and my beasts in a strange sense.

Before when I hurt her, I felt his rage in pain and outrage. At the time, I didn't realize the reason behind my beast's defensive mode. I didn't realize she was my mate but after Silvia's death, I am able to differentiate between Sage and her.

Silvia's eyes were filled with lust and desire but behind them was a sinister glow. Sage's eyes were an open canvas of meadow. In them, I see everything. She hid nothing behind. It felt like she was baring her soul for me to see.

"So? Ready to go home?" Sage asked again with a smile.

Home.

I nodded, "I'm ready."

I heard everyone breathe a sigh of relief. I didn't realize they were holding their breath. I can understand why they are all so anxious around me. I've been feeling off and not myself lately. The tingling in my skin sometimes feels like needles poking. The blood rushing through my veins were like an open dam. I could also hear their heartbeats. They were steady.

Sage slid her fingers through mine and took lead. I followed closely behind her without looking back. I can already hear the retreating footsteps. Everyone was leaving us alone.

My hand tightened around hers which caused her to turn back to look at me before walking us inside. She closed the front door the second we were inside. I looked around the cabin.

Blinking, memories of raining and steamy nights appeared in my mind. I remember taking her in every single room. Naked with her legs wrapped around my waist. Against the wall. On the table. On the floor.

Sage released my hand to look at me completely. She looked worried and I realized she must have said something and I was too busy remembering to hear.

"What?" I said and then cleared my throat after realizing that it sounded dry and raspy.

"Did you want to take a shower?" she asked.

I nodded and headed towards the bedroom. When I didn't hear her footsteps following me, I stopped midway to the bedroom to turn and look at her.

She was standing at the door looking confused.

"You know where the bathroom is?" She asked.

Now that she mentioned it, I did. I shrugged my shoulders before stuffing my hands in my pockets.

"I guess, " I replied. "I don't know how. I just know."

She looked surprised but quickly shrugged it off and walked up to me. Walking side by side, we walked to the bedroom together.

Once we were inside, she walked to the closet and turned on the light switch. Without stepping outside to see where I was, she spoke louder.

"Take a shower. I will leave some clothes by the door for you," she said.

I stood there waiting. Listening to her breathe and shuffle through the clothes. Minutes later, she stepped out of the closet with some folded clothes. Her steps halted when she saw I haven't moved from my place.

"Uh, the bathroom is behind you." She walked up to me and handed me the nicely folded pile of clothes. The smell of the clothes was my scent. These were my clothes.

I turned and walked into the bathroom. Turning to the mirror to place my clothes on the old sink counter, I glanced in the mirror to look at me.

A stubble on my chin and jawline. My eyes were sunken from lack of sleep and exhaustion. My skin was as pale as white sheets. My black hair was a disheveled mess.

I took a quick shower before changing into the new clothes. I stepped outside to find Sage changed into a long sleeping shirt that smelled like me and sitting beneath the covers in bed. Her hair was down around her shoulders unkemptly.

Her eyes scanned over my exposed tattoo riddled chest to my dark grey cotton sleeping pants. Tossing the used towel into the hamper near the doorway, I walked over and slipped beneath the covers.

Immediately, Sage scooted over to give me enough space. Right away, I realized that we would need a new bed. I took up almost three-fourths of the bed. With my size, I would have thought Sage would cower away from me in fright but in the little times that I have been with her and from the little memories that I could gather, she was not afraid.

Instead, she slipped comfortably to my side and placed an arm over my chest. Her head settling on my shoulder. Surprised, I grew stiff for a minute waiting for the monster inside of me to attack but it didn't. It grew quiet.

My entire focus landed on her soft body and even breathing. Her fingers traced the hard-chiseled plane of my chest while I experienced a soft tickle of her warm breath spreading across my skin.

I didn't know what to say or what to do and so I settled back down onto my pillow and looked up at the ceiling.

Even though we were quiet and our positions were more than comfortable, unanswered questions hovered in the air between us. I know she wanted to give me time but I also know that she wanted answers. Answers that I can't completely satisfy her with because I don't remember everything completely.

"Don't leave me," she whispered, breaking the tense air.

I looked down at the top of her head. She didn't look up but those words tugged at my heartstrings. I had thought about it. Leaving my past was easier than living in it. Especially when I can't remember but I couldn't bring myself to it.

This was home.

She was my mate.

How can I leave this behind and not fight for it?

She fought for me. Sage has an impenetrable will to fight. This was true because why would she have stayed with a monster like me for this long? Why would she want to be with me? Love me? Even sleep in the same bed with me?

She wasn't afraid of me and that meant more than anything to me.

"I won't," I replied.

"I know you can't remember everything. I won't force you to remember. We can create new memories. If your memories return that would just a plus to our future but, for now, all I want is for you to stay with me. We'll fight your demons together. You're no longer alone," Sage whispered before turning to look at me.

Looking down at her soft olive eyes, I never felt safer—more loved in my life. I cupped one side of her cheek before leaving down to kiss her forehead. When I pulled back, her eyes fluttered open and she gave me a small smile.

"Go to sleep," I ordered and watched her settled back down on my side again.

I listened to her breathing.

Counted every inhale and every exhale.

Waited.

Listened.

Until I found my eyes growing heavy with sleep. Finally, giving in I fell asleep with her wrapped around my arms.

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