The last time I’d seen my mate was yesterday but it’d felt like years. I was sitting next to her hospital bed now. When she’d mind-linked me, told me to bring Lynn, I thought she was hurt. But beyond severe exhaustion, she seemed fine.
The pups she had with her weren’t anywhere near as healthy. The baby boy, about ten months was barely alive. He was severely undernourished and had a really bad cough. The girl hadn’t woken yet. She’d been a bloody mess and malnourished. All that blood from a pup, it enraged Zack to see his mate and those pups in such bad shape.
“Alpha, the girl is awake.” I turned to where Lynn stood in the doorway. Unlike the other women in the pack, Lynn was meek and shy. She was confident when it came to her practice but beyond that, she didn’t seem to have any confidence.
“Thanks, Lynn. Stay with her?” I gestured to my mate.
“Sure. Don’t scare the poor thing. I doubt you’d live through it.” She joked.
I sighed in response and left the room with a final glance at my still sleeping mate. She’d pushed herself beyond her capabilities for those pups, I wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of that determination. Walking across the hall, I entered the room that the girl and her brother shared.
Tina, Chris, Clarice, and Forrest were in the room. Tina seemed preoccupied with the girl and pointedly ignored her brother and mate. The Clarice girl was standing a little ways away, peering at the little boy.
“Wh-who’s he?” The pup whimpered. “Wh-where’s the woman? She said she’d take me to the rouge pack...” she looked terrified of me. Zach whined at the thought.
“Don’t worry, pup, I’m not going to hurt you. This is the Rogue Pack. Amrey brought you. What’s your name pup?”
“Annabella. Her name is Amrey?” It came out more like aim-we but close enough. “Are you the alpha of rogue pack?”
“No. I’m Zander. Amrey’s mate. Amrey is the Luna. Rogue Pack doesn’t have an alpha.” I smiled at her.
She smiled hesitantly, then her face melted in horror. “Is Jesse okay? I completely forgot about Jesse! I’m such a bad sister! I gotta take care of him!”
“Jesse’s alright, hun. He’s sleeping right over there.” Tina pointed to the bed Jesse was in. “I’m Tina. This here is Chris and Forrest.” She pointed to each. “You’re not a bad sister by the way. I heard you took care of him when your parents couldn’t.”
“Yeah. I took care of Jesse when Momma and Daddy died. Alpha Mason said they were s-sym-pa-pa-thh-”
“Yeah! Alpha Mason said they were that with the packs he was taking over. He said they were weak so they had to die. I didn’t wanna fight so I left school and took Jesse with!”
“Yeah. It was really hard. We had to learn how to fight and control our wolves in battle. But a lot of us don’t have our wolves yet.”
“What school teaches pups that young to fight?” I asked, not really looking for an answer.
She just looked at me weird. Blinking, she asked, “Can I go see Amrey?”
“Not right now. She’s... tired and you’re too injured to move, Annabella.”
“You said you were Amrey’s mate right?” I nodded, “How come you aren’t Alpha then?”
Tina answered her question, “Rogue pack is lead by females. Always has been and maybe always will be. Alpha Zander is the apha of his own pack though.”
Annabella just looked confused.
“I’ll go see if Amery’s up and about. She’s super strong so maybe I can bring her to you, ok?” Tina smiled at her and left the room.
I heard Lynn’s voice before I saw her. I felt like crap. Then I remembered Bella and Jesse and shot up, shaking off the feeling of dizziness, I asked, “Where’re the kids?”
“In the room across the hall. You’re in the hospital. You pushed yourself too hard. You need to rest.”
“Is Bella ok?” I persisted.
“If you hadn’t moved so fast or if you’d put too little pressure on her wound’s she’d be dead.”
“So she’s ok?”
“She’s healing but yes, she’ll be ok.” I breathed a sigh of relief at the words.
“It’s so much worse there than I thought. I barely saw anyone who wasn’t sick and apparently Mason force pups into some sort of war camp school.”
“It’s good that you didn’t take them on by yourself Luna. I’m not sure the betas would have been able to do as you asked if you’d... failed. And Alpha Zander...”
I didn’t look at her.
“Where are they? Ruby and Tina I mean.”
“Beta Tina is in the other room, Alpha Zander, her brother, and her mate are in there too. Beta Ruby is in the packhouse, organizing a defense in case they decide to attack again. Before you ask there was already one in place, but Beta Ruby wanted to ensure there was a defense for every part of your territory. It’s grown quite large now.”
“Alright. Can you go and get everybody? I’m not gonna be stupid and try to take Mason out by myself so we need an actual plan. We can’t leave things as they are now. Especially since we now know the state of his pack’s pups.”
“Goddess above, thank you. Finally. You’ve never been alone and you just now realize you need that help?” Tina said as she walked in.
I rolled my eyes at her.
“Lecture me later.”
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