The Bearington Brothers & Their Fated Mate (My Love; My Mate; My Shifter - Chronicles - Book One)

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Chapter Fourteen: Ambushed... Again... Really?

Laila heard whispered voices before she saw them.

“Paxton,” she whispered, but he had already seen them.

They skidded to a stop and watched as three hyenas moved towards them.

“We found her,” a hyena hackled.

“What great rewards we will get from the Dark Wizards,” another said.

“We will live like kings,” the third said.

“Take her out, then deal with the bear.”

Laila looked over to when she had heard the new voice coming from. A wolf moved out from behind the trees.

“I will take care of them,” Ryce said as he moved beside Paxton.

“What’s going on?” Paxton asked as he watched the three hyenas and wolf.

“They work for the Dark Wizards,” Laila whispered, not wanting the others around them to hear her. “The wolf told them to take me out first then go after you.”

“Over my dead body!” Paxton snarled.

“I think that’s their intention,” Laila whispered. “Ryce said that he’ll take care of them.”

Paxton snorted.

“Please, Paxton. I can’t lose both of you, not when we have little ones to think of.”

Paxton snorted as he blew air out his nostrils.

“I can take care of these hyenas. Just go,” Ryce said.

Laila silently repeated Ryce’s words to Paxton.

“Trying to communicate with a bear?” The wolf asked. “That’s like communicating with a dolphin.”

Laila fleetingly wondered if she could communicate with a dolphin. She’ll have to test it, but right now, she must get out of this alive.

Ryce snorted, then bared his teeth and growled. “Now!” He yelled as he jumped towards the three hyenas.

“Ryce!” Laila cried out. “Paxton, run!” She screamed.

Paxton turned and ran.

The wolf came after them as Ryce fought the three hyenas. A screech in the sky had Laila looked up. Mekhi circled them then dove and took the wolf down. The wolf screamed as the Osprey tore his flesh from his bones.

“Mekhi!” Laila hollered.

The Osprey flew beside them as they ran through the woods back the way they had come. They’ll never get out of this without help.

“Where’s Avel and Nova?” She asked Mekhi, worried for the two young Osprey.

“In the sky, keeping an eye out for more obstacles.”

“Have you seen Park?” She asked as she closed her eyes.

“No.”

“What did he say?” Paxton asked.

“He hasn’t seen Park, and his kids are above us, keeping an eye out for any more surprises.”

Riley cried out as her ring glowed and burned her finger. “Mark!” She screamed.

Laila’s left ring finger burned as the ring glowed. “No!” She screamed. “Park!”

Paxton growled and kept running.

“Paxton, stop! We’ve got to go help Park and Mark!”

“We need to keep going!” Paxton shouted then whimpered when a pain slashed through his heart, and he stumbled over a log. His twin is dying.

Park’s ring felt like it was going to rip her finger off. “I can’t let him die!” She cried out then did something that surprised them all.

She leaped off Paxton’s back.

Laila tumbled to the ground, and before she could catch her breath, she was on her feet and running in the direction she had felt Park’s presence. She exploded out of the woods and into a field. She clapped her hands over her mouth to keep from screaming when she saw the two bears under a pile of wolves and hyenas. Both bears were barely breathing their fur matted with blood and meat torn from their bones.

Their sheer will to live was the only thing keeping them alive.

The hyena’s laughter in her ears had her ready to scream. They need help!

“Hear me all animals,” Laila whispered, “I am Queen Laila, the Mother of the future Kings of the Animal Kingdom. I am asking for your help now. My family has been attacked by shifters who wish to destroy me and the young kings I carry.”

She wasn’t sure if that was going to do anything or not, but she prayed it would.

A scream had her turning to find Riley beside her on her knees, her hands over her mouth.

“I need to get to him!” Riley cried out.

“You can’t,” Laila said as she knelt beside her best friend and held her. “You won’t do them any good if you’re dead,” she hissed in Riley’s ear.

Riley cried out.

Paxton stopped behind the girls and roared with pain and anger when he saw his brother.

“I am going to tear them to shreds!” He roared as he shifted back to his bear and ran towards the wolves and hyenas.

“Paxton! No!” Laila screamed. “I can’t lose you too!”

Mekhi flew past them. “I heard your call to the animals.”

Laila watched as her Osprey tore into a hyena who was on Paxton’s back. If Mekhi had heard it, does that mean others had as well?

A noise behind them had Laila and Riley turning.

“What’s going on?” Riley asked in a panic as hundreds of animals came into view from the woods.

“They heard me,” Laila whispered as she wiped a tear from her cheek.

The animals stared at Laila for a moment, then every animal from the woods rushed into the field.

Laila giggled as she and Riley watched elk and deer jump over their heads.

Bobcats, wolves, coyotes, bears, and so many more wild animals joined Paxton and the Osprey in defeating the wolf and hyena shifters.

Even squirrels and chipmunks ran into the fray. A group of meerkats ran past Laila and Riley and jumped on the back of a hyena.

Rabbits and other weaker animals stood around the line of the forest to watch.

A loud noise above them had them looking up. Dozens upon dozens of hawks, owls, eagles, falcons, and other birds, flew in a wide circle above them. Then as one, they all swooped down and started taking out the shifters.

“What is going on? Animals don’t attack us!” A wolf shifter hollered.

“You messed with the wrong shifter’s mate,” Laila hissed.

Riley looked at her. “Did you do this?”

Laila shrugged, “I only asked for help.”

A small brown bear cub sat down in front of Laila and looked up at her.

“Are you really the queen?”

Laila smiled down at the cub and scratched behind his ear. “I am.”

“Shasta, don’t bother the queen.”

“He’s okay,” Laila said with a smile.

“We heard your call a mile from here.”

Laila looked at the mother bear. That’s incredible. She thought.

“My mate recognized your voice. He is out there fighting for you.”

Laila looked out into the foray of animals.

“I think this is the first time in two hundred years that animals have gathered without killing each other,” the mother bear said.

Laila smiled at her; she liked this bear a lot. She wondered who her mate is.

Soon the fighting was over. The wolves and hyenas who were still alive scattered as they ran away. The animals returned to the woods, and Laila stared at the carnage.

“I need to see if I can save them!” Riley cried as she jumped to her feet and ran to where Park and Mark laid barely alive.

“Laila!”

Laila tumbled to her feet and ran to Paxton, who had shifted to his human form. He caught her in his arms and held her.

“Did you do that?” He asked as he kissed the top of her head.

She nodded, “I asked for their help. Temble said they had heard me a mile away.”

“Who is Temble?”

She pointed over to the mother bear and her cub. “She said that her mate had recognized my voice.”

“How could that be?” He asked, surprised.

She shrugged, “I don’t know.”

“Laila.”

Laila turned to find a large brown bear behind them.

Paxton turned to see what she was looking at and tightened his grip around her.

Laila studied the bear then covered her mouth with her hands as tears streamed down her cheeks.

“Dommence!” She cried out as she pulled from Paxton, then rushed over to the bear.

She wrapped her arms around the bear and buried her face in his fur.

“I knew you were special.”

Laila chuckled. “How’s your mother?”

“Ornery as ever.”

“Laila?” Paxton asked as he came up behind her.

“Is he your mate?”

“One of them,” she said with a smile as she turned to Paxton. “Paxton, this is Dommence. The cub I had saved along with his mother after you and Park had saved me from the pack of wolf shifters.”

Paxton grinned, “we had hoped we’d gotten to the veterinarian in time to save you and your mother. Never realizing we were saving our mate.”

Dommence laughed, “small world.”

“Thank you for your help,” Paxton said.

“The queen calls, we come.”

Laila repeated his words to Paxton.

Paxton nodded.

“I must be going.”

“Please bring your family to see me again,” Laila said as she hugged the bear again.

Dommence nodded then ran across the field to his mate and cub. Laila waved to them as they disappeared into the woods.

“Laila.”

Laila and Paxton turned to where Park laid on the ground now in human form.

“Park!” She cried out as she ran to him and practically fell into his arms.

Park sighed as he held her.

Laila looked over to find Riley in Mark’s arms. ‘Thank you.’ She mouthed to her best friend.

Riley smiled as she nodded, then buried her face in Mark’s shoulder.

Paxton joined Laila and held his brother close.

A whimper in the woods had the five of them looking. A coyote walked out of the woods limping then fell to the ground.

“Ryce!” Laila shouted, then she and Riley were on their feet and running to the shifter.

Riley fell to her knees and placed her hands over Ryce’s body. Once he was healed, Ryce got to his paws and shook out his fur then shifted.

He smiled at Laila. “I told you I would take care of them,” he said with a smirk.

Laila rolled her eyes. “Yeah, and almost got yourself killed.”

“I’m here, aren’t I?” He asked with a laugh.

She snorted, then turned when she heard a noise. Park, Paxton, and Mark were on their feet and walking towards them. When they stood in front of them, Park helped Laila to her feet and held her in his arms. She sighed as she laid her face against his chest and listened to his steady heartbeat.

Paxton held his hand out to Ryce and helped the man to his feet. “Thank you,” Paxton said.

Ryce grinned, “just doing my job.”

“You have proven yourself loyal. Welcome to the fold,” Paxton said as he held his hand out to shake Ryce’s.

Ryce nodded as he shook Paxton’s hand. “Thanks. I’ll serve you and your family well.”

Laila smiled, “we know you will.”

~🐾~

Once Laila knew that Park, Mark, and Ryce were fully healed, they started their journey home again. With the attacks of the day, they won’t make it home before nightfall.

Everyone was exhausted, but no one wanted to stop until they reached home.

“We should send a message to Vectore and see if he has any suggestions on protecting Laila and our sons,” Paxton said.

“Sure, but who do we send?” Park asked.

“One of the Osprey...” Paxton didn’t get to finish as Laila interrupted him.

“We’re not sending my Ospreys anywhere.”

Paxton sighed, “all right. We’ll figure it out when we get home.”

A few miles from their home, they came across ten hyenas.

“Not again,” Laila said with a groan.

“I thought there seemed to be less of them from when we had first seen them,” Park said.

“Do we fight?” Ryce asked as he moved up next to Paxton, where Laila sat holding onto his neck.

“I’m too exhausted for this fucking shit,” Park said after Laila related to them what Ryce had asked.

“We all are,” Mark said as he moved to stand beside Park.

“I’m not calling on the animals again,” Laila said, “I don’t want to abuse their loyalty.”

“Agreed,” Paxton and Park said at the same time.

The hyenas made the decision for them when they attacked.

With a scream Laila and Riley fell off their bears and tumbled to the ground.

Laila ran to hide behind some bushes, and Riley ran in the opposite direction.

Laila tried to keep herself hidden, but she could hear two Hyenas hackling to each other. They had seen her and were coming after her. What can she do? If she ran, they would catch her. She could never outrun them.

She’s too human to be the Animal Queen!

Something snapped and crackled in her body. They’d found her and were tearing her to pieces! That’s the only explanation she could come up with to explain the pain surging through her body.

She tried to scream, but it came out as a squeal, and soon the world went dark.

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