Ember Rains (Book 1)

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Chapter 10: Sought After

Myra shot up again, her eyes landed on Tyler almost at once. This time however I was one step ahead of her. I stood handing Tyler to her.

“Stay here.” I said urgently.

“I’ll keep them company.” Layla said as she suddenly slittered to a stop beside me.

“Thank you.” I said before I bolted out the door.

Catching up to the others I took my rightful place on Logans right. Zane ran on his left and Jason was on my right. Our paws silently trampling through the underbrush effortlessly

‘What’s going on Seth?’ Logan asked, allowing everyone to listen to the link he formed.

‘Five unknown wolves approaching from the south.’ Seth responded, sounding nervous.

‘Who’s with you?’ I asked desperately.

‘No one is here yet.’ The boy’s voice shook slightly.

‘Fall back Seth!’ Logan ordered from behind me as I ran to meet him.

He didn’t argue as I pulled in front, leaving the three of them behind. They sped up as well but I was a different breed. I was the fastest and best fighter thanks to my gift.

I hated the idea of the sixteen year old kid alone against so many. I trained him, he was my responsibility. Even with him coming back we met just as the other wolves entered the clearing Seth was in.

‘What’s your business in New Moon territory?’ I asked authoritatively.

No others here ranked as high as I did. This was a scouting party, no more. However I still didn’t relax. Something told me I wasn’t going to like what they had to say.

‘We are following the trail of a rough who seems to have passed through here.’ The leader of the small group responded calmly.

‘What’s it to you if a rouge is in our territory.’ I responded.

‘She belongs to our Alpha.’

Brooke snarled ferociously, snapping in their direction. Just then Logan and the others caught up to us.

‘The girl bears no scent of a pack membership.’ Logan stepped ahead of me to my left, assuming his rightful place.

‘If you won’t hand her over at least be warned. She is cursed, dangerous, she could burn this pack to the ground in a heartbeat. You don’t want her here.’ The leader growled.

‘Then why do you want her?’ I snapped.

‘My Alpha has plans for her. He knows how to… contain her.’

I snarled at the implications behind his words. She was no more than a weapon to them, and somehow I doubted their methods of containment were humane. I was suddenly furious and I glared directly at the leader.

The gray wolf started hacking and coughing as if desperate for air. Water splashed out of his mouth but my rage did not subside. I snarled as I met his wide terrified eyes.

‘Richard stop!’ Logan linked only me, his wolf snapping at my front right leg.

I looked away and the wolf collapsed, gasping in huge amounts of air. After a minute he stood and backed away, eying me wearily. All five of them turned darting back into the woods.

‘What was that, Richard?!’ Logan roared, turning on me, his eyes wide with anger.

Brooke just growled in response. ‘She’s mine!’

‘And what do you think broadcasting your gifts would do.’ He yelled through the link, everyone else was slowly backing away heads down. ‘I’ll tell you! It’ll put another target on your back!’

‘I’d rather it be on me then her.’ I flinched.

Logan was my Alpha and even the Beta could only stand up against his anger for brief periods. In all honesty this was the first time I had ever had to at all. I was sure if I pushed back I would win and resume my rightful role, but I didn’t want that.

‘You think they’ll forget about her now?’ He snapped. ‘You’re smarter than that Rich.’

Brooke whimpered as my stomach brushed the ground under the weight of his rage.

‘He said she was cursed Logan…’ My voice was low and pained.

Logan flinched at Brooke’s tortured whimper. He sighed relaxing enough that I could stand again. I shook my black fur, throwing water droplets everywhere.

‘I know. I know. I’m sorry I got so mad but I don’t like you risking yourself this way bro.’ Logan groaned.

‘You would do it for Trish…’ I nudged his neck with my head.

He glared at me for a moment before I added. ‘I shouldn’t have reacted that way I know. I just, I don’t know he was threatening her and saying she belonged to someone else and I just… I snapped. I’m sorry.’

He nodded. ‘And yes I would defend Trish against anything in a heartbeat, no second thoughts or doubt. But I can’t do what you can. You scare some people.’

I chuckled, the sound was strange coming out of Brookes mouth, it was a wilder, harsher sound. ‘Do I scare you?’

I had meant it as a joke but he paused deliberating, ‘I worry that the fear others bear against you could bring unpleasantness down on our pack. However I believe that as long as you are willing to help, we can overcome anything.’

‘I’ll think it over. I may just hide out that day.’ I rolled my eyes.

‘This makes me wonder, however, how many Alphas she has pissed off by refusing to be a weapon.’ Logan frowned into the woods. ‘I wonder if that’s what she thinks I will want.’

‘I don’t know.’ I shrugged. ‘She’ll tell me eventually.’

Logan nodded once then we headed back towards the house. The whole way I thought about what he had said. I had never thought about how the collective fear of my power might affect the pack. It will be even worse when everyone finds out what Myra can do.

Once again I wished there was some way I could have hid what I was longer. I stared at the ground as my feet slid through the still damp grass. I replayed the night that revealed my identity over and over in my head, trying to find something I could have done differently.

‘You saved Logan’s life, as well as those three other Alphas.’ Brooke said confidently. ‘They will all be on our side if it comes to anything.’

‘That’s four of the seven major packs. It’s too even, people would get hurt.’ I groaned.

The year before someone had attacked the northern packs at a council meeting. I had no choice but to use my powers to protect the Alphas, and put out the fire the attackers had started on the eighth story of the hotel, just below us.

Now everyone knew what I could do, and at least two of the southern packs were vying for some sort of claim over my abilities. The third wasn’t sure what to think. Alpha Jackson was uncomfortable but his Beta, Clay, was an old friend. He was trying to convince his leader I was no threat.

The past year I had been laying low while Logan and Clay tried to make peace. I had thought it was going well but maybe I had been wrong.

‘How bad is it?’ I finally asked, as we trudged through the trees back to the house.

Logan sighed, ‘Jackson is on our side but the other two are getting angry and insisting you become some sort of communal weapon.’

‘What?’ I snarled. ‘You’re kidding right?’

Brooke’s furious growl echoed around the slowly darkening forest as we walked.

‘Afraid not. Of course nobody else agrees even slightly. For some reason though Alpha Damon of the Blood Moon pack can’t seem to see you as a person with rights. He is controlling the Shadow pack.’ Logan frowned.

‘Why didn’t you tell me?’ I snapped.

‘I’m doing everything I can and it wouldn’t help for you to stress about it. You are in no danger right now.’ Logan kept pace with me. ‘I’m only telling you now because of Myra. If Azrael gets to her and joins the Blood Moon pack…’ He shook his head, real fear crossed his face for the first time in years.

‘She won’t…’ I comforted him, but I wasn’t so sure.

‘Your goal is to show her this is where she belongs and keep your head down.’ Logan commanded. ‘If you can’t... I’m afraid the pack will be destroyed.’

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