I sat their stunned at the information she just told me. Jack was the Alpha of this pack and Austin was his Beta? I couldn't process anything and my brain was overloaded with questions but my lips wouldn't cooperate so I sat there with my mouth open just staring at Val.
She sensed my shocked state and said "Austin wants to talk with you. Do you think you can manage a few words?" As she chuckled.
I narrowed my eyes and furrowed my brows at her jumping up off the bed. "VAL! How can you be so calm right now? Weren't you surprised, shocked, mad? Anything?" I was pacing around the room pulling on my hair with frustration.
She chuckled "Anna you have got to stop freaking out." She stood up and grabbed my shoulders. "Yes I was completely taken by surprised. I even thought Austin was in love with you and I kinda verbally attacked him for it."
I gasped and grabbed my chest. I didn't want her thinking anything could ever happen between Austin and I. "Val, I would never...Why would you think that?"
She shrugged and said "I don't know. He was just so protective of you and when I mentioned Jack he was always so weird. Come to think of it he probably was hurting because Jack is missing and I just made things worse." She looked down at her feet and a tear rolled down her cheek.
"Oh Val." I grabbed her and pulled her into a hug. "We are a mess aren't we?"
There was a knock at the door and a timid Austin peaked in "C-can I come in?" He said with a slight smile.
Val's eyes immediately lit up as she ran to the door and he grabbed her pulling her close and kissed her. They pulled apart and he cautiously walked towards me. "Anna, I'm so sorry about all of this. I know you are probably mad and confused but I am here to answer any and ALL questions."
I shook my head still unable to look him in the eye. I don't know why but I felt so betrayed that he kept this secret from us. He could have been helping us look for Jack this whole time but instead he was keeping me from him.
I gathered as much courage as I could channeling all the anger from within and glared at him. He visibly flinched but didn't meet my gaze. "WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL US THIS SOONER?" I shouted through gritted teeth. I stood there shaking from rage waiting for his response.
"Anna, when you and Val first showed up, the ambassadors did their job which is to assess new wolves for threats. You weren't giving off any wolf scent so they never thought you were an issue and Val's background check came up clean. Once they relayed the information to Jack he was satisfied and didn't need to intervene. However while he was looking through the reports he became intrigued with you and commanded me to protect you and Val no matter what. So I stayed close enough to keep an eye on you both but far enough that you wouldn't see me. I knew the moment I saw Val she was my mate but I couldn't blow my cover." He ran his fingers through his hair.
My body relaxed a little from his admissions but I still needed more information. "Go on, please."
"A week or more later we got information on a potential attack on ours and two other packs so Jack had to deal with it. He left at the same time you and Val left to go to Oregon. I had to assume Alpha duties so I wasn't able to follow you and keep an eye on you. Jack returned the same day you and Val did so he invited you to dinner to make sure you were ok. The rest is a mystery. No one knows where he went. He just...disappeared." His eyes got misty and he dropped his head.
I let out a loud sob and fell to the floor. Austin and Val both came running over to me. "It's my fault. It's all my fault, Austin. I told him I didn't want a mate and he ran away. He won't answer my wolf and I can't mind link because we never completed our bond. It's all my fault." Val wrapped me in a hug and tried to comfort me but all I could do was cry.
I saw the disappointment in his eyes and I reached out grabbing his hand. "I love him, Austin. I always did I was just scared I would get hurt again and I didn't know what to do so I told him to go away. But I can still feel him. I believe he is still here somewhere but he's in danger."
Austin looked at me with a stern look "How do you know he's here and what do you mean in danger?" His jaw was clenched and his whole body tensed.
"The day at the farmers market I met a man who has been painting Jack's wolf for years. He said he saw him the night before during the block part and painted him. Then Marina, the wolf that came into town, the one your ambassadors refused to help in our search for Jack, she showed me him or what I think was him. He was chained up in a cell somewhere."
Austin jumped up and ran out the house. Val and I followed after him. "I knew I should have went to that meeting. Sending those ambassadors was a mistake but it's what the council wanted. They didn't want anyone to know that Jack was missing so when Marina and the parliament came to town they freaked out. Nothing good ever happens when they show up. They are the last resort when packs cannot figure things out on their own." He turned around causing Val to come to a sudden stop and I slammed into her. "How do you know Marina, Anna?"