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“How the hell did Marie live in this Goddess forsaken place?!” Mel exclaimed as she tramped through the woods along Madelyn’s trail she used to take to the creek. “It’s absolutely disgusting here!”

“She was seduced by that damn half-breed, Mel, remember? If she hadn’t ‘fallen in love’ we’d be well on our way to breeding that little bitch of his after Marie poisoned him as per the plan.”

“Don’t remind me, Louis,” Mel said, giving a name to the third man Ulric and Connall had heard talking back at Madelyn’s house. “We need to find out how to track her when she returns and you know she’ll return. That damn dog who brought her wolf out won’t leave her in the old man’s clutches. Too bad for the mutt he won’t be able to keep her!” She cackled before screeching as a bird dive-bombed her head.

The wildlife doesn’t like evil Aunt Mel anymore than I do, apparently!” Madelyn quipped to her companions. They all chuckled through the pack bond, agreeing with her quietly. They watched for the next twenty minutes as the four stooges hemmed and hawed about the forest, the wildlife, and everything in between.

Finally, the four traipsed back through the woods, clearly having gotten tired of waiting for Madelyn and Connor to come back through the portal.

It’s clearly not safe for you to remain here, Madelyn,” Ulric said to them through the link as soon as the four were out of earshot and they could breathe and move a little. “We have a solution, though, and it will take you to a pack in the North where you should be safe for a while…and it just so happens that Brian and Vela are there now!”

“What? Where did Brian go?” Madelyn said, alarmed that he’d left without saying goodbye, even if it did end up that she’d be following him to wherever “there” was.

I’m not saying. You three will be placed in an unmarked van, hidden in large wolf cages in case anyone stops the van and searches it. You will need to be sedated for appearances sake. And before you say something about being pregnant, Madelyn, it’s perfectly safe for you to be sedated this early in the pregnancy. Your pups will be fine,” Ulric said.

You keep saying pups, Ulric,” Connor said. “Do you know something we don’t?”

“Well, yes. Her scent has changed so quickly and is so strong that it’s clearly multiples – likely twins or triplets,” Ulric responded calmly, smiling inwardly as he knew the reaction to his words would be anything but calm.

WHAT?!?Madelyn and Connor exclaimed in unison.

Connall and Ulric both watched the couple as they looked at one another then back at him, then at one another again, clearly overwhelmed with the new information.

Let’s not forget that wolf pregnancies are shorter than humans’ and even than elves’ and that with multiples, they often develop a little faster because there are more of them,” Connall said, amused at the continued shock written plainly across the two wolves’ faces. “So, since you’re already pregnant after just a week of being mated, you should expect a delivery in, oh, about 5-6 months.”

Madelyn fainted. Connor and Rinion both glared at Connall as they shifted to sandwich the little golden wolf between them. Ulric and Connall both just laughed through the pack link at the three wolves in front of them, shaking their heads and saying something about “…kids…” via the link.

Madelyn woke a short time later, panicking slightly as she realized she was still in the bushes in the woods, surrounded by the four male wolves, but calmed as she sensed both Rinion and Connor beside her.

Sighing, she slowly stood up, stretching her legs, then looked at the males.

We’d better get this show rolling if we’re going to go. I’m not getting any less pregnant just laying here,” she quipped dryly. “And if we’re going to get to wherever this place is you’re sending us anytime soon, we better get started!”

“True,” Ulric responded. . “Let’s get you three to safety.”

The five wolves made their way carefully through the forest back to pack lands, taking care to use game trails and creeks to help hide their tracks, in case anyone tried to track them. Once there, Ulric wasted no time at all to get them loaded into wolf cages, sedate them, and send them with five of his most trusted warriors – Aatu and Aatto included. The twin warriors were Elders, had many years behind them, but were still as lethal as any of the Pack’s warriors.

As Ulric watched the three being loaded into the van, he heard a shriek behind him.

“MINE!!!” a young woman hollered and took off toward the cages. “What the hell have you done to my mate!” she screamed at the warriors loading Rinion into the cargo area of the van.

“Elsbeth!” Ulric shouted. “What are you talking about?”

“Father, how could you!?” She screamed at him. “He’s my mate!”

“I…I didn’t know!” he stammered. He sighed as he looked at the panicked, furious, and worried face of his only daughter then glanced at the van before looking back at her. “You must go with them, my sunshine.” He said, calling her his childhood nickname for her.

“You cannot take anything with you, not even your phone. You must not tell anyone where you came from or where you are going, this is for their protection, my sunshine, do you understand?” he told her seriously.

“Yes, Father, I understand,” she said solemnly. “I’ll get the story from him when we get to wherever we’re going.”

She stopped to hug her father tightly then ran to the back of the van, only stopping to turn and smile brightly at her father.

“Thank you, Father! I love you!” she said before one of the warriors directed her to the front of the van. She’d have preferred to be in the back, but listened.

Ulric’s mind was clouded with doubt and worry. Now, instead of losing two pack members, he could lose four. He was sure it would be a long time before he could get any rest.

-The End-

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