I ran out of the bar the fastest I had ever moved running through the woods towards the orphanage, I could smell the smoke as I jumped over the back fence, fire bursting out of the windows as I shifted again.
I could hear screaming from inside as I kicked down the back door and rushed in, using my powers to try and rid the building of fire.
We aren’t going to last long! There’s too much! We aren’t strong enough.
“Shit!” I growl as flames lick at my hand as I make my way through the house looking for anyone, covering my face with my jacket.
“PHOENIX!” Mrs Taylor shouts from the other side of the room, the bookshelves have fallen and are on fire between us.
“I’ll get to you!” I call out.
“NO! Get the kids! They’re upstairs!” She shouts through coughing.
“No, no, no,” I murmur as she drops to her knees as fear floods me.
“MRS TAYLOR!” I scream.
Kids, we have to get the kids! We’ll come back for her!
“Phoenix! Tell me she didn’t go in! No! Phoenix! We have to save her!” I can hear Kai shout outside as I hear commotion and sirens.
I cough through the smoke as I try and stop the fire again but it’s too strong, I dart up the stairs.
“Guys! Where are you?!” I shout as I lower myself crawling on the ground in the smoke.
“PHOENIX! IN HERE!” One of the little ones coughs from the bathrooms as I notice water on the floor as I burst through, they’ve put the taps on, blocking the plugs, small towels on their mouths to help them filter the air of smoke with water.
“Anyone else up here?” I cough closing the door for just a second to check the three kids inside.
“No, everyone else went out with the families and the social workers,” Janie says coughing.
All of the three were young, Keeley was six-years-old, Blake was eight and Janie was twelve-years-old. The older kids got the less likely they were to get adopted and I felt for them, families had come and gone and they never got picked, just like me. These were the three I had a secret soft spot for, I would sneak them sweets sometimes and keep an eye on them.
Janie was the eldest of the bunch and was really smart, no doubt she was the one who did the water, hoping it would help them with the fire.
I douse the bigger towels inside with water as I wrap them around the kids.
“Keep a hand on me at all times you hear?” I say as they nod.
Opening the door fire licks up the stairs, there isn’t much time left before this house is toast.
“Let’s go,” I call as we head out the bathroom as I use my powers to help stop them getting burned and the water to follow their little feet.
They scream as part of the ceiling falls as we get down the stairs, in the way of the front door.
“Shit!” I growl as I turn with fear in my eyes.
“Phoenix!” Janie cries.
“It’s ok, I will get us out,” I say as I move us slowly through the house as Keeley collapses on the ground, she’d passed out from the smoke, I pick her and Blake up, curling them against my chest as I nod for Janie to move with me as I see the tears in her eyes.
“Phoenix!” Kade bursts through the fire as I look at him in shock, his eyes are bright yellow, he was a wolf!
“We have to get the kids out!” I cough as he grabs Janie quickly and we dodge the falling timbers of the building making it out of the house as I cough falling to the ground on my knees.
“Phoenix!” Trey, Luciana and Kai rush to my side.
“Kids, help the kids,” I cough pointing to Keeley and Blake on the ground.
I can hear a scream inside as my eyes widen.
“Mrs Taylor!” I scream as I push up from the ground.
“Phoenix no!” Kade shouts as he goes to grab me but misses as I run back into the burning building, fire burns my arms as I jump through it, looking for Mrs Taylor as I leap over the coffee table, kicking over the burning shelves which gave me a walkway as I rush over to her side as fire covers her body.
“ENOUGH!” I scream as power floods from my body. The whole room stills the fire extinguished as I grab her in my arms, her skin peeling as I walk with her out the room as fire licks back at the room behind us once more.
I know, we just have to get out!
My legs are beginning to fail me as I walk towards the back door.
“I’m gonna fucking die,” I cry as I fall to my knees.
“Not on our watch,” Zane and his two friends pull off the two heads of an extinguisher as they spray around us before Zane hauls me onto my feet as Thomas takes Mrs Taylor.
“You fucking idiot!” Kai shouts as Zane sits me on the ground, my skin tingles at his touch as I hear Zane growl beneath his breath.
Firefighters begin walking around the back as they get to work.
“Phoenix, I saved this for you,” Janie stumbles to my side as tears fill my eyes. She had gotten my box, the one with the items I had when I was left here.
“Why would you do that?” I murmur.
“If I had something to remember my family, I’d save it, I wanted you to have it,” she says as I tug her into my lap, ignoring the searing pain in my arm from the burns.
“Thank you, but don’t you ever save something instead of yourself first, don’t ever put yourself in danger,” I cry, coughing my guts up.
“Sorry Phoenix, I just…I wanted you to keep it, you’re like my sister, you look out for us so I wanted to do this for you,” Janie looks down to the ground.
“Janie, thank you, but you mean more to me alive sweetheart,” I kiss her head as she nods slowly.
I can feel my arms slowly begin to heal under my burnt jacket and the cough began to stop.
“Look at me,” Kade takes my chin in his hand as I look into his eyes as they flash yellow.
“What?” I murmur.
“What’s your name?” He asks Luciana.
“Luciana,” She raises a brow in question as she looks between us.
“Luciana, take Janie from Phoenix for a moment,” He orders as she nods, looking at me with worry as paramedics begin rushing around the kids, taking Janie to check her over.
“Is there a problem?” I ask as he helps me to my feet, walking with Zane and the other two to the edge of the garden.
“Look at her eyes,” Kade tells Zane as he frowns, gently taking my chin in his hands.
“Holy shit,” I murmur as my skin tingles.
“Mate…” Zane whispers.
“What?” Kade exclaims.
“Nix! Mrs Taylor’s awake, she’s calling for you,” Kai rushes to my side as I break free of Zane’s hold and rush towards the ambulance.
“Mrs Taylor!” I cry out as I get to her side.
“Royal,” She croaks.
“What?” I frown.
“I am guardian, you royal, stay safe, trust Kade, proud wolf, trust friends, stay safe…” She croaks before she loses consciousness again as the paramedic rushes to her side, then I hear it, her breath…It leaves her in one long sigh as she dies beside me.
“No!” I scream as I feel sadness sweep over me and then felt something snap inside me, like something that had power over me was gone.
What was that?
I don’t know.
“Nix,” Kai looks at me sadly as he pulls me from the ambulance as I sob.
“I tried to get her in time, she told me to get the kids, I couldn’t get to her in time…” I cry.
“It’s ok, I’ve got you,” He says holding me as I drop to the ground.
I pass out from exhaustion in his arms as he holds me tight.
“How long have you been friends with her?” I hear Zane growl.
“Since we were thirteen,” Kai’s voice replies.
“Alpha, calm down, they are just friends,” I hear Kade sigh.
“She’s mine, you understand!” Zane growls possessively.
I open my eyes, groaning as they get used to the light as I look around at the unfamiliar room.
“Where…” I murmur.
“Flat above the bar. Slowly Phoenix, take sips,” Kade passes me a cup of water as I nod gratefully.
“How are you feeling?” Luciana says quietly beside her brother.
“Like I got hit by a tonne of bricks,” I groan.
“It’s your power, you used up so much of it and when untrained it can drain you more,” Thomas answers.
“Do all wolves have powers?” I ask.
“No, only a few,” Zane answers as his gaze drifts over me.
He’s so hot…
Don’t start Storm, not yet.
But he’s our mate.
Yes, but we don’t know him!
She huffs and goes back to the edge of my mind as I sit up on the sofa I was on.
“What did Mrs Taylor say to you?” Trey asks as I gulp, tears welling up in my eyes.
“She…She…She said, I am guardian, you royal, stay safe, trust Kade, proud wolf, trust friends, stay safe,” I say as I look at Kade and he looks at me in shock.
“You…You’re…my god…” Kade murmurs as tears fall from his eyes.
“Kade…Do you know what’s going on? Do you know who her parents were?” Kai asks as he grabs my hand, causing Zane to growl as I glare at him, a growl vibrating through my chest in warning that if he were to touch my friends he would be in trouble.
“Phoenix, our kind are led by some of the most powerful wolves known and they are not all good people. Years ago a child was born by the queen, but the child was not the kings but of her true mate, she was forced into being a queen by her family due to her strength at such a young age, she was beautiful, strong, kind, but she didn’t want to be queen, she wanted a normal life. Her true mate was the alpha to my pack. Your father…your father was my best friend and your mother was the kindest woman I had ever met and she was destroyed by the cold-heart of the king. He’s power-hungry, he has always had a thirst for blood and he wanted nothing more than to destroy the bastard child that she had given birth too. So, she ran, no one knew where she went or what happened to the child…When she finally returned she went crazy with grief…Everyone thought the child was dead…” Kade says as my hands shake.
“You’re saying the queen is Nix’s mother…” Kai murmurs.
“Yes…” Kade nods looking at me as a tear falls down my face. I had always wondered who my family were, why I was left at the doorstep of an orphanage and now I was finally getting answers, I wasn’t sure I wanted them.
“What happened to them?” Luciana murmurs.
“No, No, I can’t do this,” I stand up suddenly as I walk from the room.
“Phoenix!” Trey calls out.
“Give her some time, she’ll come around, she needs to process,” Luciana puts a hand on her brother’s arm as I rush out the flat and out to the woods as I shift, darting through the trees, pushing Storm harder and harder.
Suddenly a black wolf runs beside me alongside two grey wolves, who I noticed I nearly matched in size.
I howl as they join me and I get a weird feeling like I belong finally, this whole thing was messed up, but maybe, just maybe I would belong somewhere. Through all the heartbreak, maybe something positive would come out of it.
Zane, the black wolf, growls at the two by his side, which I was guessing was Thomas and Jason who took off in different directions as I slowed down to a stop before laying on the ground, panting from tiredness.
He stands beside me as he nuzzles into my side, heat floods my body as he touches me.
He stands tall above me as he growls, trying to assert his dominance.
I will not bow to anyone!
Storm makes us stand tall snarling at him as he nips at our neck.
She takes a swipe at him as he growls before pouncing at us as we roll on the ground in a battle of dominance. Our skin feels like electricity as we fight, not to harm, but just to dominate.
Snapping at his neck he goes to the ground baring his neck to us as I growl.
He’s submitting to us!
Proudly I lick his neck as he stands and shifts into his human form as I follow suit.
“I’ve never submitted to anyone…No one has brought me to my knees before,” He says breathlessly.
“You hadn’t met me yet,” I smirk.
“You’re going to be trouble, I can sense it,” He chuckles as he steps towards me, his hand caressing my face as I lean into it.
“You can back out now,” I answer.
“Never, the moon goddess made us mates for a reason,” He says pulling me close.
“You don’t know me,” I whisper as our lips are almost touching.
“I will,” He says before pressing his lips against mine softly.
“Wait, no, this doesn’t feel right, I don’t know you!” I push him away, ignoring the heat between us.
“Then we will get to know each other, but for now, we should go back,” He smiles.
We walk back as the other two wolves come back to us.
“Thomas and Jason, right?” I point to them.
“Yes, Thomas is my Beta and Jason is my Gamma,” He nods as each wolf growls at the sound of their name.
“Are females usually the same size as male wolves?” I ask.
“No, females are usually smaller, you are very strong and no doubt with training will be one of the strongest Lunas known to wolf-kind,” Zane answers.
The other two shift back as we get to the edge of the woods and head back to the bar.
“You killed that man last year, why? You didn’t know him or me,” I ask.
“I watched what you did, you saved the humans without blinking, he was about to shoot you and I couldn’t let him kill you, you were too innocent, too beautiful, my white wolf,” he smiles kissing my cheek.
“Thank you,” I smile as we head up the stairs.
“Feel better?” Kade asks as I nod slowly before seeing the grim faces of my friends.
“What did you say to them?” I point to my friends.
“Your parents, they aren’t dead…” Luciana says.
“Where are they then?” I ask looking at Kade.
“King Shade has them both,” Kai answers.
“Your mother, Selina is forced to do the kings bidding, he has her watched twenty-four-seven, your father, Bryant, is in the cells,” Kade answers.
“What I don’t get is where Mrs Taylor comes in…” I sigh.
“She’s a guardian, the goddess has them dotted about for supernatural beings that need protection, Mrs Taylor was a specialist in keeping children safe, Selina must have thought that the best way to keep you safe,” Zane answers.
“But why didn’t she tell me she knew then?”
“I don’t know, maybe it was ordered as such,” Kade replies.
“How can we not smell her wolf?” Thomas asks.
“I don’t know, maybe a spell? Do you have any weird marks on your body?” Kade asks.
“No, I don’t think so,” I shake my head.
“Right butt cheek,” Kai says suddenly.
“Excuse me?” Zane growls.
“Calm down buddy, I saw it when she was wearing a bikini…which was for all of twenty minutes, you have what I thought was a birthmark on your butt cheek, goes in a spiral,” Kai blushes.
“Checking me out were you?” I smirk at him.
“Who wouldn’t, you’re hot,” Luciana laughs as Zane glares at her too.
“Look at my sister like that again and I swear you’ll regret it, wolf or not,” Trey warns.
“Kids got spunk,” Jason laughs.
“Enough,” I growl at them all.
“I need to see the mark…” Kade sighs.
“I am not taking my trousers off for everyone to see,” I say sternly.
Zane growls as I raise a brow.
“This is how it’s going to be princess, get used to it, he’s going to be possessive of his luna, especially as you’re unmated,” Thomas says putting a hand on Zane’s shoulder.
“About that…I’d wait a while longer on that one Zane…” Kade mumbles.
“Why?” Zane growls.
“She isn’t eighteen yet…” Kade answers as Zane’s eyes go wide.
“Do I want to know how old you are…” I murmur looking at him.
“Oh, I bet you’re…Twenty-six…” Luciana guesses, she loved to people watch and guess their ages, most of the time she got it right.
“No,” Zane shakes his head as she sighs.
“You rarely get it wrong,” I laugh at her as she slumps in a huff.
“How old are you?” Kai asks.
“Twenty-nine…” He answers as I gasp.
“Phoenix, it’s not as bad as it seems, most wolves have an older mate and it’s not seen as bad when the ages are so far apart, though for the humans I would leave any knowledge of you both being together to be left until you are of age,” Kade says as I groan, my hand running through my hair.
“Cradle snatching…” Trey murmurs.
“Trey,” I growl.
“Could be worse…” Kai sighs.
“Could be better,” Trey grumbles.
“I give it a month before Zane kills him,” Jason whispers to Thomas with a smirk.
“Touch any of them and I’ll rip you apart, I don’t care who the fuck you are,” I growl at all three wolves, mate or not I didn’t care, these were my friends.
“Don’t worry, your friends are perfectly safe as long as they keep their hands to themselves,” Zane growls.
“So if I was to do this…It would be a problem,” I smirk as I walk over to Kai and sit on his lap as I feel the anger radiate from Zane.
“You’re testing my patience,” Zane growls.
“Just because you are my mate does not mean you control me, you do not control who I touch and you will not harm my friends!” I growl standing up in front of him.
Storm sends her message to him as I see his eyes widen and he goes down to one knee baring his neck.
“Well…That’s a first,” Thomas laughs as Zane sends a punch to his crotch as I smirk winking at Zane before sitting with my friends, my hand lacing with Luciana’s as she giggles.
“Oh you’re going to be powerful,” Kade laughs.
“Powerful enough to take Shade out?” I ask.