I had a rough nights sleep, fire plagued my dreams as I saw Mrs Taylor’s face, muttering her last words over and over.
How did the fire start? Was it an accident or coincidence? How was I supposed to keep the kids safe? My parents were alive and in trouble from the wolf king. I’m mated to an Alpha who goes from angry Zeus to nice Zane in seconds. Trey tried to kiss me, Kai was…well, Kai, my best friend whom I’ve had a crush on for ages and yet I knew I couldn’t have him, perhaps if I mated with Zane all these feelings would settle down and I could finally be happy, fall for Zane…
“Phoenix…Hey Phoenix! Wake up!” I’m jolted awake as I groan, opening my eyes to find all three kids in the room with a grin.
“Morning,” I groan as Keeley and Blake jump onto the bed, surprising me as they curl up into my side.
“Zane’s making breakfast!” Janie smiles as I raise a brow.
“Is Kade up yet?” I ask.
“He’s still sleeping,” Keeley sighs.
“He’ll wake up soon,” I hug her as I get up.
“Come get breakfast!” Blake smiles before jumping down and running out the room as Keeley rushes after him.
“They are so happy right now,” Janie chuckles.
“Good, but what about you?” I ask.
“I’m ok, sad about Mrs Taylor, I can’t believe she’s gone,” she sighs as a tear drops down her cheek.
“She’ll always be right here,” I point to her chest and wipe away her tears.
“You’ve changed…” She laughs.
“How so?” I ask.
“It’s like you don’t need to be this bad girl anymore, that you’re…you,” she smiles.
“I guess you’re right, I was kind of a different person, I didn’t want people to like me, I didn’t want people to find out my secrets, the less people who knew, the less people likely to break my trust,” I sigh.
“You can trust us,” Janie takes my hand in hers.
“I know, I just hope I can keep you safe,”
“We can keep each other safe, which means I need help to shift, I’ve only done it once, will you help me?” She asks.
“Of course I will,” I nod as she hugs me tightly.
“Thank you,” she says before walking back out the room.
I groan realising I had no new clothes or anything as I tie my hair up in the only bobble I had on my wrist, brushing it with my fingers. I had slept in just my t-shirt last night, all I could do was put on my jeans from yesterday and spray some of Kade’s deodorant on for now after having a quick wash in the bathroom.
Walking out of the bedroom I could hear the kids giggling in the kitchen and smelt the gorgeous aromas of bacon and eggs being cooked.
“Good morning,” I smile walking into the small kitchen.
“There she is, good morning beautiful,” Zane smiles as I blush.
“I don’t feel beautiful right now, I need clothes…we all need clothes…” I groan thinking of the kids, they had nothing too.
“We’ll get you some,” Zane nods.
I hear groaning coming from the lounge as all our eyes dart towards the door as Kade walks in slowly.
“Phoenix…” He murmurs, I can see the pain in his eyes.
“Don’t, it wasn’t your fault, I’m ok Kade,” I hold up a hand as he looks so sad, I walk up to him, hugging him as I hear Zane growl and the kids giggle at him.
“I nearly…” Kade begins.
“Stop, yes it nearly happened, but it didn’t, I’m not hurt, you couldn’t control it and we stopped you, Keeley stopped you,” I smirk and wink at Keeley as she giggles.
“How?” Kade looks at the cute little girl with her little doe brown eyes.
“She’s fae…She can make people sleep,” Janie smiles cheekily.
“Come eat old man,” Zane says pushing a plate towards him.
“Wait, talking of old, did I hear you right yesterday, that you’re five hundred years old?” I ask pointing at Kade.
“Yes,” He nods.
“Woah…That’s old…” Blake murmurs.
“How old do wolves live to?” I ask.
“We’re essentially immortal, the oldest wolf to date is a thousand and fifty-eight,” He answers as my mouth opens in shock.
“Woah…” I murmur.
“You have a lot to learn little white wolf,” Zane chuckles.
“Well…Yeah…I thought I was the only one up until you showed up,” I answer as Kade sits down eating slowly, I can see in his eyes he’s still upset with himself as I sit in the chair next to him squeezing his hand as I smile before taking the plate Zane hands to me.
“Well, lessons will start today, for all of you, including your friends, they should learn too,” Zane says before sitting himself.
“Thank you,” I murmur.
“Anything for you,” He answers as I blush before my nose crinkles at a vile smell in the air.
You smell that?
I do, it smells…rotten…
I get up from my seat as Zane frowns at me.
“Phoenix?” Kade watches me.
“Can’t you smell that?” I ask sniffing the air.
“Smell what?” Zane asks as I head down the stairs, followed by Zane closely.
“Something…rotten…” I wrinkle my nose as I open the door.
“Holy shit,” Zane coughs as it hits him when the door opens.
“What is that?” I hold my hand over my nose and mouth as we head outside and towards the woods, the ground was wet from the rain as our feet splashed against the puddles.
“Phoenix, go back inside,” Zane growls as he shifts. I shake my head shifting too as we head into the woods, he growls at me snapping for me to go back but I continue walking before I see it, a body.
“LAYLA!” I shift as I fall to my knees beside her body, her stomach ripped apart.
A howl echoes in the distance as Zane growls, his hackles raised, teeth snarling and snapping towards the howl.
“Get inside, protect the kids,” Zane says through my mind.
“But…” I murmur.
“GO!” He growls as I nod, running as fast as I can towards the bar and flat darting inside.
“KADE!” I shout as he rushes to my side.
“What is it?” he asks.
“Layla, she’s dead and something else is out there, another wolf, Zane told me to come back and protect the kids,” I stammer as he pushes past me.
“Lock the door behind me, call your friends, tell them to stay indoors and not to come over until we call,” He orders as I nod and head upstairs to grab my phone.
“Phoenix, what’s going on?” Janie asks.
“Trouble,” I murmur as she nods.
“Phoenix, we were just about to leave, are you ok?” Luciana answers on the first ring.
“No! Stay home, do not come out, something’s going on, Layla…She’s…Dead…” I say as Janie gasps beside me, tears welling up in her eyes as I grasp her hand in mine.
“We can’t stay, dad’s in a bad way…” She murmurs as I growl.
“Fine, get in your car, go to Kai’s,” I answer.
“I…” I hear fighting going on in the background.
“Luciana!” I call out as the phone goes dead.
“We have to go help them,” Janie says, having heard it all.
“I can’t put you all at risk…” I murmur.
“Phoenix!” I hear Zane shout from outside as I run to the front door, Jason, Thomas and Kade follow him in, they are covered in blood.
“Great, now you’re all here, I can go,” I nod.
“WHAT?!” Kade shouts.
“The others are in trouble,” I say.
“You cannot go out there, it’s too dangerous. What with Layla now being dead the spells to keep you safe are disappearing and King Shade is looking for you, he’s got people coming to kill you!” Zane exclaims.
“I will not let my friends get hurt!” I growl standing my ground as his chest heaves in anger, Zeus was at the forefront of his mind as his eyes flashed yellow.
“Then you aren’t going alone,” Jason says standing by my side, looking uncertainly at Zane as if worried his alpha would kill him for disobeying.
“You guys protect the kids, we’ll be back,” I nod in thanks to Jason.
“If anything happens to her,” Zane growls in warning.
“I know,” Jason nods as I pull on his hand, shifting quickly as we get outside, sticking to the edge of the woods to get to Trey and Luciana’s house.
A howl sounds in the distance as it pushes us harder. Our backs covered in mud as it splashes everywhere.
Their front door is wide open as I hear a cry from inside the house, shifting quickly with Jason right behind me.
“Luciana!” I shout as I burst through, listening for the cry as I hear it in the basement, wrenching open the basement door and rushing down the stairs. Blood is all over the ground as I gasp.
“Phoenix!” Luciana cries as she holds on to a limp body.
“Trey…” I murmur as I kneel beside her, blood pouring from a stab wound on his chest.
“Phoe…Nix…” he coughs out blood.
“FUCK!” I hear Kai’s voice from upstairs.
“I’ve got it,” Jason rushes off to help Kai.
“Look after Luciana,” Trey coughs.
“No, you’re going to make it, hold on Trey, don’t give up on us, I will not lose someone else,” I cry as he takes my hand in his.
“Too…Late,” He coughs.
“Phoenix!” Zane comes down the stairs as he takes in the scene.
What’s he doing here? Doesn’t he trust us?
Not important right now!
“We have to save him!” I cry.
“I… Fine…Shift and bite him, we can turn him,” Zane says as my eyes widen in shock.
“You can do that…” Luci cries, hope filling her eyes for her twin.
“Phoenix hurry, your friend doesn’t have long,” Zane says as I nod, shifting in the small space.
Zane rips open Trey’s shirt.
“Trey!” Kai and Jason rush into the basement.
“Bite him here,” Zane says lifting Trey’s arm as I nod and bite him, Trey cries out in pain before passing out when I release his arm.
“Zane, there’s no guarantee he’ll survive the shift,” Jason murmurs as I shift back.
“What…” I exclaim.
“He’ll die if we don’t do something and Phoenix has lost too much already, the last thing I need is a luna that’s weak because she’s lost her family,” Zane says to his gamma.
Alpha say what now!
Calm down Phoenix, he’s right, we would be weakened emotionally and that won’t help anyone, he’s an alpha, every alpha needs a strong luna by their side. I’m sure he didn’t mean to sound like a jackass. He’s our mate, he’s taking care of us.
You better be right. I swear I feel like I could kick his ass and then kiss it at the same time.
Mate bonds… We’ll tame him and his wolf.
“How long will it take?” I ask as Luciana cries over Trey.
“The process is already beginning, look,” Zane points to the hole in his chest as it’s beginning to close up.
“What did you mean about him not surviving the shift?” I ask Jason.
“When we turn humans, their bodies aren’t ready for it, they aren’t born with the gene, so a lot of the time they die before they can shift…” He sighs while I watch over Trey, hands shaking in fear of losing one of my friends.
“What percentage survive?” Kai asks holding his arm as it’s dripping blood.
“Ten,” Jason answers as I look at him in shock.
“Trey will be part of the ten, he has to be,” I sit beside Luciana, hugging her into my side.
“We need to get back, it’s not safe here,” Zane says.
“Kai, you’re bleeding,” I say as he walks closer to us.
“I’m fine,” He grimaces.
“Let me see,” Zane growls taking his arm.
“What happened here?” Jason asks.
“Some guys came for their money, dad offered us up on a silver platter, they came for me, Trey and Kai were fighting them off and then dad…he got shot, Trey got distracted and got stabbed in the chest before they beat the shit out of Kai and left,” Luciana sniffles through the tears.
I growl in anger as Zane binds up Kai’s wounds, I head upstairs sniffing around as I catch the scent of the people who did this.
“Don’t even think about it,” Kai walks up behind me.
“They’ll pay for this,” I growl.
“Yes, but we need to get somewhere safe first,” Kai says softly, taking hold of my hand.
“Where is safe Kai? The orphanage got burnt down, Layla is now dead. The flat and bar is now being surrounded, here isn’t safe…” I murmur.
“We are heading to my pack, I can keep you all safe from there, the kids can be trained by my warriors as can you, plus Trey will have more of a chance of surviving around the pack,” Zane huffs as he carries Trey in his arms.
“So, how do we get there?” I ask.
“We run, I’ve called for a few of my warriors to join us for added protection, Luciana pack some bits for yourself and brother, though pack light, I don’t know when you’ll be home next but I’m sure we can find anything else you might need. Kai, Jason can go to your house with you to help pack your stuff if you wish to come too,” Zane says.
“Kai…Your parents…” I murmur.
“They’ll survive without me,” Kai sighs sadly.
“Think this through Kai, we could be at the pack for a long time,”
“I am not leaving you, my parents knew I would fly the nest some point,” He answers.
“Kai, they’re your parents…”
“Yes, and they will still be there when this is all done with, you are my family too Nix, when will you realise that?” He says cupping my cheek.
“I don’t want you to lose your family either, you shouldn’t have to do that for me,” I squeeze his hand as I see Zane fighting with Zeus for control.
“I love you Nix, always, I’m coming with you, you’re my best friend, my girl,” he says with a soft smile.
“Mine,” Zane growls.
“Down boy, I don’t mean she’s my girl like that, she’s… like… my twin,” Kai says as a tear falls down my face and I hug him tight to me. Kai was family and he always would be and I was happy for it.
“Jason, if anything happens to him,” I growl as I let Kai go and face Jason.
“I swear I will keep the little prince safe,” Jason smirks.
“Fuck off,” Kai snaps at Jason as I giggle.
“Be careful,” I kiss Kai’s cheek.
“Hey, what about me?” Jason exclaims in shock tapping his cheek.
Zane growls in warning as I giggle, winking at Zane before kissing Jason on the cheek.
“This girl is amazing Zane,” Jason laughs as he and Kai make their way out.
“I’ve got our stuff, what do we do about dad?” Luciana murmurs as she gazes over Trey.
“I’ll have someone deal with it. I’ve got him, you take her,” Zane says as I nod.
Luciana locks up the house, hands shaking before putting the backpacks on her back as Zane shifts in the woods, I grab Trey and place him on Zane’s back carefully before shifting and having Luciana jump onto me quickly as we head towards the flat, I nudge Trey back onto Zane a few times as he slips slightly.
I can hear howls in the distance as we pick up speed. Thomas stands ready at the door as he grabs Trey off of Zane so he can shift back, while Luciana jumps off of me and heads inside with her brother. I don’t shift back, I can smell something in the air.
Smells like the men from the house.
Something’s not right.
I growl as I look into the dark woods as Zane follows my gaze while I pad slowly towards the edge of the treeline, hackles raised as Storm takes over our body.
A whistle catches our attention, like a man calling for a dog as three guys with bright red eyes and blood coating their skin smirk, walking out into the open as we snarl.
“Phoenix! No!” Zane shouts as I run-up to the monsters before me, pouncing onto one of them as they bare their teeth…Vampires!
My claws tear at them as it holds me in a vice-like grip before four large brown wolves jump into action, tearing at the vampire’s arms as I’m let go. It had had such a good grip on me that as it was torn from my side it split my skin as pain pierced my side as I yelp in pain.
“Phoenix!” Zane bounds up to me as I shift, crying as I hold my side in pain.
“Alpha, we should head out soon, more rogues are headed this way,” one of the other wolves shifts beside us.
“Gather the others,” Zane orders as the wolves nod heading to the building as I breathe through the pain as it heals slowly.
“They were the ones from Trey’s house,” I murmur.
“Yes they were, but I think they were recently turned, they were too strong. You shouldn’t have gone after them alone Phoenix, you aren’t trained,” Zane scolds me as I groan standing up as he helps steady me.
“Well maybe you should have joined in and helped me,” I snap.
“I did, I took out the one who grabbed you Phoenix,” he smirks.
“So this is your fault?” I point to my side.
“You’re healing, you’ll be fine, now come on, we need to go,” He orders grabbing my hand as he drags me to the flat where everyone was standing ready at the bottom of the stairs.
“I hate having to leave this place,” Kade sighs.
“We’ll come back,” I murmur.
“Phoenix, you’re hurt!” Janie gasps as she sees my side.
“I’m ok, it’s healing already,” I smile at her hiding the pain in my side.
“Where are Kai and Jason?” I ask.
“On their way,” Thomas nods at me.
I don’t hear them.
They may not be that close yet, calm down.
I begin pacing as we wait for them, I could feel the nerves spilling off of the others as it took longer and longer.
“Zane…” I murmur as his eyes are looking into the woods.
“We have to go…” He sighs.
“Not without them!” I growl.
“What about the kids? We need to get Trey back too! What would you have me do? Save the many or the few?” Zane shouts back at me.
“You guys take them and I will stay to wait for them,” I say ignoring him, he was getting on my nerves.
“No Phoenix,” Luciana shakes her head.
“I will not leave them behind!” I snap.
“RUN!” I hear a voice shout as I look into the distance. Kai and Jason were being chased by several rogues.
“Oh shit! Get the kids and go, Kade!” Thomas shouts as Kade nods shifting as Trey and Luciana are put on Thomas’s back as we all shift.
“Zane! They won’t make it!” I push to Zane through our link as we start to run.
Zane growls as he turns abruptly heading towards Jason and Kai.
“Keep going!” He growls as we run as fast as we can.
“Phoenix to your right!” Keeley screams as I look and dodge a rogue wolf coming at me as I pounce on top of it, tearing at its legs as another one of the warriors snaps its neck and we keep on moving after nodding in respect, I look back to see Zane fighting against several other rogues as Jason rushes to catch up.
Our mate! Help him!
He’s going to kill us for this.
I turn abruptly as I head past Jason who whines at me, barking for my attention as I growl and snap as he carries on.
Pouncing on a rogue that was embedded on Zane’s back I tear it off of him as he is released so he can keep moving. I snap the neck of the rogue as the warrior had before, nuzzling up to Zane’s side as we ran in sync with each other, darting between the trees as we took out rogue after rogue, blood soaking our skin as finally we got through them, trailing behind the others, panting hard.
“What do you think you were doing?” Zane growls in my mind.
“Saving your life mainly,” I growl back.
“Stupid,” He snaps.
“I thought we worked well together,” I nudged him with my side playfully.
“We did, but it doesn’t mean I like you putting yourself in danger,”
“We do things for our pack, we protect those we love, my friends have been like my pack, just as you have a pack. We protect our own,” I say as he looks me in the eye quickly as we bound through the trees, managing to catch up with the others.
Thomas howls upfront as I notice a group of wolves pacing.
“My pack,” Zane says as he howls as I hear a whole chorus of howls that join him in sync with each other.
“Holy shit!” Kai exclaims, his eyes lighting up as he sees more and more wolves.
I look up at him as he grins.
“You’re definitely not alone anymore Nix,” He grins as I nod.
“Trey!” Luciana screams as she shakes her brother, Thomas stops suddenly for them to get off. I whine at his side as Luciana and Trey are pulled off of him carefully by a few others as I shift.
“Who are they?” I ask as Thomas shifts.
“Our healers, they will help him,” He says holding my arm to stop me following.
“I am going with him,” I growl.
“No, Zane needs you here, he will be fine with them, Jason will take Kai and Luciana with them. The kids will stay with Kade and you need to stay with Zane,” Thomas says sternly.
“Why?” I growl.
“You’re our Luna, he needs to introduce you to the pack,” he smiles.
“We aren’t fully mated yet…” I murmur.
“You hold his mark and I see the looks you give each other, though I do think you’re too good for him,” Thomas whispers the last part and rolls his eyes as he wanders off to talk with Jason. I look at Zane who is talking to a group of huge, mountain-like men as he turns and catches my eye, smiling at me as I feel my heart flutter.
I don’t think it’s going to be too hard to be with him.
We don’t know anything about him Storm. So far he’s been a bit of a jerk.
Then hurry up and get to know him, I’m bored! I want to play with Zeus! He’s an alpha he’s going to have his moments, he did bring us all here though!
You just want to fuck him.
I laugh out loud as I shake my head at my wolf.
“Phoenix?” Janie walks up to me as I smile at her.
“You ok?” I ask.
“I…I need to shift…Rose, my wolf wants to shift, but I don’t know how…”
“Ok, close your eyes, focus on Rose, what she feels like, how it feels to be your wolf, picture your body changing shape,” I say calmly as I feel Zane’s gaze on me as he watches me with her.
“I can’t,” She cries.
“Janie, listen to me, breathe and try again, let your wolf in, let her take over, trust her and she will take care of you,” I say softly as her face scrunches up.
Her body shakes as it begins to shift slowly, she cries out from the pain. Her only shifting the once probably wasn’t helping. I couldn’t imagine how hard it must be having only shifted once at her age. The first few times were the most painful.
“It’s ok, keep going, the pain will go with time, I promise,” I say as she shifts…Well, tries to…
But something didn’t look right as she was shaking all over, I never shook like that.
“Zane!” I shout in a panic as her body contorts.
“She’s resisting the shift, Janie, let your wolf guide you, the more you fight the more it hurts!” Zane kneels beside her as she screams out in pain.
I shift myself as I hope Storm can coax her out of her shell as we nudge her side, whining at her as she begins to calm down, shifting into a small grey and white wolf as she whines on the ground. Storm licks her muzzle trying to get her to open her eyes as she slowly realises she’s in her wolf form, before stumbling on her feet as we help keep her stable before she finds her feet and begins to dance about playfully, nipping at us as she bounces about, tail wagging.
I push her over with my muzzle as Zane chuckles beside me.
“Well done Janie,” Zane smiles.
I shift back to my human form as I stand watching her play around as Zane leans up against me, his hand resting on my back softly.
Trey will be ok, I can feel it. We can have a family again Phoenix.
I think we’ll be ok here, I don’t know why but I trust Zane. This place might just be what we needed.