This Crazy Little Thing
The result had been three years of a relative calm between the remaining packs, and Diamond Edge had even begun to thrive again. Then, twenty-four hours ago, news of a rogue wolf in Valen’s territory had gotten to him via his various intelligence channels, and his hunter’s instincts had kicked in for what should have been a relatively routine mission. It hadn’t been. After a murder a few towns over had been reported via the local authorities to wolves he had on the police force, he’d received a call from one of his pack in the dispatch office that had led him here.
“Three bystanders inside.” Tyson murmured from his right as the four of them strode to the apartment building. Even had Siri not informed him that the wolf would be here, the noise coming from the house would have been information enough. He hoped his wolves in the police force would be able to stall the local authorities, no doubt called in by the numerous close neighbors, long enough for him to deal with this before someone else was hurt.
There was no point to subtlety, the wolf could smell them as easily as they could smell it. Therefore, Tyson took no care in kicking down the door and the four of them rushed inside.
Blood was everywhere. Valen suspected it was coming from the form of the person trapped beneath the wolf. Tyson reached him first, ripping him away from his victim before he could finish choking the life out of her. Valen and his two lieutenants flanked Tyson as the four of them backed the rogue into the corner of the small apartment complex. He felt his wolf’s satisfaction at a job completed, and was about to allow his feral smile to show through his skin when the person behind him coughed, the sound wet. Valen turned, glancing behind him to where the woman lay in a rapidly growing puddle of her own blood.
He knew his wolf’s eyes were showing through, which is perhaps why what happened next affected him so entirely. As his glowing green eyes met her pained grey ones, he felt the connection he’d dreamed about since his parents had described theirs. Mate. His wolf whispered, but rather than the awe he’d felt himself, his wolf’s voice was coated with horror. This was because his wolf had already deduced what Valen’s human mind hadn’t yet, his mate was dying.
Mine. He snarled, and he could tell she’d heard him too via their new link. She opened her mouth and a torrent of blood flowed freely, causing another coughing fit. Then her eyes dulled as she faded rapidly from this world. No. Valen’s wolf was beside himself. He could feel him trying to break free of his skin to go to their mate’s side. Hoping to prolong his control he knelt forward, reaching her as her body went limp. With his wolf howling in his head, Valen held his mate as her life faded, knowing what he had to do.
* * *
Valen trudged down the hallway, his guilt coating his throat with bile. The rogue had slipped away while he’d been distracted with his mate, which had been made easier by the fact that as Alpha he was connected to his pack. Therefore, when his wolf had lost control of himself, it had caused a ripple effect that also meant the wolves with him had lost control too. He’d only barely contained his wolf, keeping him in check long enough to make it to the room down the hall where he could scent what could only be her children. Hers. He ran a hand down his face, trying desperately to control his breaking heart, before slowly turning the door handle and entering what could only be a daughter’s room.
The kids were in the closet, of that he had no doubt. He reached the door and slid it open, expecting to meet with hysterical children. What he did not expect, was the baseball bat he received to the face. Well, it would have been to the face, had his wolf not taken control of his reflexes, deflecting the bat and cracking it against his forearm instead.
The girl couldn’t have been older than fifteen or so but she was doing all she could to make herself look bigger. The phone in her hand was still connected, so instead of looking at her he focused on it. He reached forward gently, plucking it from her now shaking grasp.
“I’ve got them.” He spoke with authority and Siri, who’d no doubt been speaking to the girl from her post at the police dispatch, responded in kind. He ended the call and refocused on the children, noticing the younger of the two had come out from behind his sister. “I need you to come with me.” He tried to make his voice as gentle as possible but given the girl’s wilting glare he’d not succeeded.
“Like hell you do.” She growled. “Where is my mom?” She demanded. Valen flinched.
“She’s going to need you. Please, come with me and I’ll take you to her. I promise.” The girl opened her mouth again but before she could respond, the boy moved in front of her, toward Valen, and turned to face her.
“Evie, we have to go.” He stated, sounding older than he looked. “We have to go with him.”
The girl, Evie, debated for a second more before, finally, nodding reluctantly.